Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig



Date: 11/04/15

And On It Still Goes...

It has been another shitty week, folks.

As I mentioned the other day, I seemed to have slipped back to where I was about a month ago, when I had to take my first sick leave since the arse-end of 2013 because the Depression (and I'm going to refer to it with a capital letter from now on just to spite the bastard thing) had caused a general physical debility.

In work (where everyone I have spilled my guts to on the issue has been very kind and understanding), I just got my head down and plodded through Tuesday and Wednesday. I seemed to perk up a bit during Thursday, and resolved that - when I got home - I would give the grass its first cut of the season. Or, at least, I would make a start on it; doing the back and part of the side piece on Thursday, with the remainder of the side piece and the front getting the treatment on Friday afternoon when I got home from my customary early 13:30 finish.

This idea was very effectively banjaxed by having to spend about three quarters of an hour sitting on a broken-down, clapped-out Arriva bus (yes, them again) at the bottom of Tanyfron Road, waiting for the mechanics to come from the depot a mile and half away to fix a broken/detached/shagged throttle cable.

(Oh, apparently there are some new buses heading for the Wrexham garage shortly. Unfortunately, there are only half a dozen of them and they are, it seems, being reserved for services to two particular villages, neither of which happens to be the one I'm living in).

So, no mowing on Thursday, then. I had an early-ish tea, and then had a nap on the sofa. Bad move. When I woke up, the mild euphoria of early afternoon had evaporated and I was back down to minus 3 on the swingometer.

Friday wasn't too bad, it had to be said, and I got home at 14:00 ready for the fray.

Except that I found that the plug on the extension cable had become damaged during the winter (I suspect that I'd been a tad heavy-handed putting the hedge-cutters back in the spench at the end of last autumn), and the base of the earth pin was now exposed. This would not do, and so it meant that I had to find a suitable plug and wire that up.

(When you consider the fact that all mains electrical appliances now have to have a fitted plug - even to the extent of having one of those moulded-on ones which you can't undo, merely cut off - wiring a three-pin plug must now be one of those practical skills which is going the way of knowing what to shove in a VCR and where: technology and over-prissy regulation are rendering such ancient know-how obsolescent).

I finally set to it. Whether it was my imagination or not, the mower seemed...heavier than it did last year. What didn't help is the fact that the lengthy side strip is now composed far more of moss than of grass, and it's a proper sod to push the Flymo over it as a consequence.

Anyway, I finished the job (mowing and then trimming the edge bits that I can't get the mower on, then having to brush/rake up the results, which is often the worst part of the job - a full disposition on the subject may be found here) and, having cleaned off the worst of the squish from the equipment, I settled down for a cosy evening.

Having had to get up earlier than I had hoped this morning due to an odd phenomenon whereby I keep waking up on Saturday mornings (and only Saturday mornings) with a combination of queasiness and trapped wind, I put the washing on (two sets of everything - chinos, shirts, sweaters, drawers and socks) and put it out on the line before having lunch.

(I only have half a clothes-line at the moment, due to the guy next door taking down the fence that part of the line was tied to for what in other contexts would be called 'an exciting new development' of his garden, the first phase of which took place a couple of weeks ago and involved the unscheduled yanking of a power cable and the busting of a water pipe with - as they say - hilarious consequences).

After I'd had my chicken soup (the old Hebrew penicillin always hits the spot, I find), I set about finishing the job I'd started on Friday. Except, of course, that the moss was still a problem and caused a degree of difficulty, not to mention a master's degree in invective. It didn't help that I had to stop every couple of minutes to replace a clothes peg which had got blown off the item it was supposed to be holding, it being a breezy old day, and said breeze being more in keeping with November, temperature-wise, than the second week of official spring.

I finally finished the task shortly after three, but then had to spend the better part of an hour scraping the residue off the mower and trimmer. The mower is a particular problem, in that an inherent design flaw means that the cowling over the motor, once fitted for first use, can't ever be removed again without knackering the whole thing. This means that a fair cushion of dead grass accumulates over the motor housing, which must surely shorten its working life. Although that, from the manufacturer's point of view, may be what we philosophers call The Point.

Everything finally stowed away, and the washing brought in (primarily to save me the prospect of having to fetch my knickers back from Marford), I had my customary king prawn makhani and rice, followed by a pot of black cherry yoghurt and a doughnut, and then had a little kip on the sofa.

Realising the importance of forcing myself into activity when I'm in this state of mind and body, tomorrow I intend changing the curtains on my bedroom and living room to their darker-coloured summer plumage and then mopping the downstairs floors. Whether I actually will or not is another matter.

I'm now sitting here enjoying a pint of Bulmers Original and looking forward to a light supper of grilled cheese. I might even look at some online porn later on, because I could do with a laugh.

In the meantime, let me leave you with a well-remembered and altogether apt tune from the heyday of New Wave. Radio Stars were - like more acts of the time than is generally supposed - pre-punk, at least in their membership. Andy Ellison had been in the psych/hippy combo John's Children and Martin Gordon had been bass player for the first UK-based incarnation of the legendary Sparks. Here's their brief but humourful ditty which scraped into the Top 40 in 1977 (including a false ending which wasn't on the single):