Friday, January 23, 2009

Straight To Video

'Have we got a video camera?' - demands JP after school.

'No, sorry.'

'Can we use the video on your mobile then? I'll get my costume sorted and you can film me.'

I trail upstairs after him, question marks punctuating the air.

'We can upload the video to the computer (waxing his thick, dark hair into a shock of upright spikes)

.... and I'll put it in a Powerpoint presentation (donning my white dressing gown in lieu of a lab coat).

... then I'll need to export it to a USB stick to take to school to show Male Teacher' (posing in front of the mirror and practising an Austrian accent).

Whilst I am happy to encourage initiative and creativity in the Little Ducks, I decide to enquire further before Orson Welles gets going on his project.

'Male Teacher taught us something today and he's wrong, so I'm going to prove it.' - he explains.

The world has turned on its head, while I have been busy in the Purple Garden. Not only does JP feel empowered to challenge the word of a teacher, but he's making a documentary film to expose the unfortunate pedagogue.

It turns out that Male Teacher had the temerity to suggest that the world was round, when every 8-year-old worth his salt knows that Neil Armstrong's pictures from space prove that the Poles are flatter and the Equator is fatter.

JP faces the camera and indicates his readiness with a brief nod. After half a dozen takes, he is satisfied with the result. We upload the video and he sets to work in Powerpoint - custom animation, imported images of the earth and the all important video evidence.

I hand over a datastick and go off to toast bagels - glad that I at least have charge of something in the house.

Although I can't help feeling that I'll have little more to contribute in the none too distant future.

Geek? Who am I kidding?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What Are The Odds?

JP, Tiddler and I have now had the house on Friendly Drive for six months. They love it. There are lots of children their age on the Close for communal snowman-building, bike riding, trampolining and Football Card swapping.

So far we don't seem to be as unpopular as the previous owners, despite the Little Ducks' Morningtime habits. Bizarrely we all appear to share a communal doorbell system. The receiver in our house picks up everybody's doorbell rings. Luckily we have all selected different tunes, so if it's Twinkle Twinkle, or the theme from Disney, I don't get up.

The electrics are dodgy, the new purple garden is only slightly purple so far and very boggy and the donated TV has such an orange hue to the screen that everyone looks like David Dickinson. But things are coming together.

So far so good I thought. Until I found myself in conversation with the next door neighbour recently. He was enquiring politely about my job and on finding out where I worked, told me that his son-in-law used to work there and that perhaps I would know him...

'What's his name?' I asked

My face dropped when he mentioned the name of someone who I'd fired a couple of years ago.

Somehow I think things may get slightly less Friendly when the son-in-law finds out who moved in next door.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Price of My Soul

Yesterday, I did a very bad thing.

We did a great local walk to Jubilee Tower at Darwen - known affectionately as Thunderbird 3. We climbed to the observation platform and surveyed the familiar landmarks we have walked over the past few months, including the wind turbines at Scout Moor which we walked last week. Elegant, extraordinary and spectacular. I loved them.

Anyway, on returning from the walk, we headed to the pub to watch the game against Chelsea.

Hang on, I hear you cry. Shouldn't you have been at Old Trafford in your seat, where no-one else can sit when United are playing, for as long as you live?

Yes, I should. But someone offered me £110 for the ticket, and I didn't have anyone to look after the Little Ducks for me to go anyway, so I took it!

So there you have it. I am a sell-out! The price of my soul is a measly £110. I feel like I sacrificed a puppy.

This year, as has become traditional, I had 10 pints of Guinness - on my nails. A belated Happy New Year to all.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Celebrity Stalker

Lizzie's daughter Juju has been over from the States via France for Christmas and it seemed only fitting that she should take in a game at the Theatre of Dreams as part of her visit. I usually park on the street a few minutes from the ground to avoid the gridlock and to save the extortionate cost of so-called security parking -whose attendants are there when it's time to take your money but seemingly absent when the actual business of guarding your vehicle has to be done.

I was therefore slightly perplexed when a car pulled alongside us as we were preparing to leave the car under a street light. The driver gestured for us to wind down the window and advised us against leaving the car in that particular spot - taking us for first timers, I believe.

I assured him that I had been parking there for years and was prepared to take the risk. But nevertheless, thank you Nigel Pivaro - aka Terry Duckworth, for your interest.

Incidentally this wasn't the first time Mr Pivaro has been my Guardian Angel. A couple of years ago he spent some months guarding a building site adjacent to my office and looking up at our windows.

To be honest, despite Corrie's best efforts to perpetuate the Terry Bad Boy Duckworth image, he's not particularly big or threatening without his make-up and without Jack's pigeons as back up, but I'm now slightly concerned that he might be stalking me...

Either that or he's out for revenge after the incident with Marlon.