Only 1,431 days to go until the next Olympics. You can walk to the Olympics from my house. If any of youse wants to camp in my garden come 2012, I shall be charging very reasonable rates. I also have a very lovely and well-appointed shed. It is draught-proofed and has carpet. Carpet! It is a veritable palace and reasonably spider-free. The rent will be reduced by 50% for anyone who chucks a rock and hits the bastard cat who sings outside my window at 3am like a demented feline Courtney Love.
Those of you who have been here before, you get dibs on the spare bed, sofa bed and sleeping bags. For free. Well, if I still like you, you do.
It's only been a couple of days since the Olympics ended and I miss it. Despite working in a black-hearted hellpit of cynicism and chicanery, almost everyone here has found it impossible to be cynical about the Olympics, and winning 47 medals has made everyone pointlessly cheerful in this summer of grey skies. If you can't watch Rebecca Adlington or Chris Hoy having a well-mannered squee about their gold medals (or in Adlington's case, being at the Olympics when Phelps won eight) without feeling joy for them, I suggest you examine your chest cavity where your heart would usually reside. A stone lurks therein.
And yes, BoJo the Clown did make us look a bit stupid at the handover ceremony, and WTF was the thing with the bus and the random cyclists and Jimmy Page and Leona Lewis, but all handover things are totally shite. It's tradition, like the dodgy, dodgy mascots. There's no way that London is going to compete with Beijing for spectacle -- you can't even get 30 people moving in concert together in Britain, let alone a thousand, unless there's a bloody queue -- so I think the best thing to do is make London 2012 the friendly sort-of-shambolic games. It'll be pissing it down, the transport won't work properly, but the beer will be good and you'll have a laugh. The Mustn't Grumble games.
The only bad thing about it has been the traditional outpouring of nationalistic bollocks about the nature of Britain. It's just the Olympics, it doesn't mean we're heading for a second Elizabethan golden age, people. And additionally, doing the equivalent of shouting "come on, feel the schadenfreude!" at the Australians and French is just *tacky*. They'll whump England at rugby/cricket and that'll be the end of the gloating and quite right too.
I did like these alternative medal tables, which put things in a bit of perspective.
So, I went to a wedding on Sunday. It was weirdly like stepping into Four Weddings and a Funeral, actually.
It was a small ceremony and held in the most gorgeous little church in an Oxfordshire village that looked like the setting for Midsomer Murders. My friends only had two hymns, which everyone knows from school, and filled up the rest of the time with readings, like a spot of Corinthians, the traditional Irish blessing and a poem which didn't do much for me, being a blackhearted cynic, but I can see how you'd love it if you were getting married.
When they did the recessional, emerging from signing the register, they played the main theme from Star Wars. And it *totally* works for that sort of thing. They only had five tables at the reception, which was held at the home of the Baring family (as in oops, once had a bank), and each table was named after one of the Hitchhiker's Guide books.
I love my geeky friends.
My friend has married into a big Dublin clan -- the groom has two sisters but is part of a close-knit group of friends -- so there was plenty of laughter and taking the mickey. When the meal was done, they actually had a guitar-led singing duo, exactly like the couple from the first wedding in 4WAAF. And exactly that execrable. Win!
A was in attendance and was actually very pleasant, along with one other person I was at school with -- the one person I really wanted to see didn't make it. I hope it was for the reason she said. I always thought I was fairly foul-mouthed and crude of thought, which mostly I am all right with, but I have *nothing* on A and F, who are the most scatalogically and sexually explicit conversationalists I have ever come across. I was gobsmacked and I am not easily gobsmacked. I felt like some kind of prim maiden aunt.
Best of all, S. looked absolutely *beautiful* and the devotion of the couple made the best man cry during his speech. I had to leave earlyish because I was working on Bank Holiday Monday, but it was still magic.
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If I might give some advice to those of you thinking of having children or whatever. Do not have just one child. It is not fair on said child, as she will have to put up with all your batshittery, rather than being able to spread it out with her siblings. And at some point, she is going to text her best mate in order to inquire whether it is illegal to HIT YOU ABOUT THE HEAD WITH A PAN.
To whit: My mother is coming to visit for two days tomorrow with my elderly aunt. They are not leaving on Thursday until 5pm, so I have to think of something for them to do for five bloody hours, when my aunt only likes English food, doesn't really want to go to galleries or museums and has been to every market which is open on a Thursday. And I love them dearly, really I do, but the whole thing is driving me spare.
I was a little abrupt with mum on the phone tonight -- she was already weepy because my dad was being an arse -- probably because I just done nine hours at work, and it was really, really BORING and I don't really want to talk to anyone after that.
It provoked a crying fit, as usual, about how she doesn't feel we're close any more (because I won't take her shit as often as I used to). She says that I really don't want her to come and she might cancel her visit in November as well -- to which I thought "oh please, please, please" and then felt like the worst kind of arsehole -- and "no one likes me, why does no one like me" and how my father is awful and she never gets to go anywhere and no one calls her and oh, Jesus, it's like me at my very worst. I could feel myself clinging on to the very last vestige of patience I possess not to yell.
Then I get my dad on the phone: "have you been upsetting your mother?"
"No, you bloody clown, you upset her and then I have to spend forty minutes on the phone calming her down," is one of the things I don't say, because I have some sense of self-preservation.
He knew I was knackered and wanted to get off the phone so he talked for half an hour. Then he goes off on a massive digression about how he's been banned from eBay for arguing with them over something totally fucking pointless -- arguing with people in authority over totally fucking pointless things is his retirement hobby -- and will I run his eBay account for him? It shouldn't take me more than three or four hours a week or so.
Oh, I so, so wanted to say no. I really don't have time for this shit. But I can't. It would be mean.
I'll have the simmering cocktail of resentment and barely suppressed violence, if you please, barman.
For those of you playing at home, our narrator is *in her thirties* and still dealing with this bollocks. I just have no idea how to make it stop.
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From Meeejah Gaaahjuhn: Graham Linehan's rules for writing comedy, though most of them apply to other stuff as well. When I become a God or vengeance and mighty wrath and start smitin', Mr Linehan will forever be exempt because he co-wrote Father Ted. That's an automatic smiting exemption right there.
Cry MOAR Jeremy Paxman: TV is biased against middle-class white males. Oh ya think so, do you? It's like that research that showed that if slightly under half of the characters in a film were female, men perceived it as a chick flick. Here, because suddenly there are some powerful women at the top of the telly tree, Paxo thinks that middle-class white men are under threat. Well maybe they're not *ubiquitous* any more Jezza, you prawn, but they're certainly not an endangered species. Words don't fail me at this piece of arrant nonsense but non-swearwords do and I've already been way too sweary in this post.
Read this and laugh. I love it so much.