Monday, 1 October 2012

Minors' Strike

In Fotheringhamton today, there was surprise news when the entirety of Fotheringhamton Gardens primary school unanimously voted to strike “until our concerns have been answered”. Class representative Tommy Smith (11) and headteacher Sandra Wilson (51), met to discuss a series of issues, including but not limited to, the number of benches in the playground, a discussion on the idea of allowing football to be played in designated playground areas, and “the weird smell in the male changing rooms” [sic]. According to both parties, things came to a head in a discussion over Mr Lowson, the PE teacher, and undisclosed activities within aforementioned changing rooms, and, with neither participant willing to budge on the issue, Mr Smith decided to walk out of talks and convene with his members to discuss further action. Miss Jenkins (8) told us that these talks were brief and “Within minutes, we decided the best course of action was a strike. When laid out objectively, the problems lay deeper than these superficial concerns initially raised and ran right at the heart of this school. We cannot continue to be treated like second-class citizens and ignored!”. We spoke to a spokesperson from the school board, who told us “If they don’t want to be treated like children, perhaps they shouldn’t act like them. We’re ready and waiting to reconvene talks when they are willing to grow up and be adult about necessary compromises”. Mrs Wilson was unavailable for personal comment, and Mr Lowson would only direct us to the school board’s comments, whilst repeatedly stating that “They are only allegations, and, need I remind you, until proven guilty, I am legally innocent, and on that I consider the matter closed”.

A spokesperson, 9 year old Jessica Floris, for Mr Smith said he would be releasing a statement later this afternoon that would cover a wider range of the issues involved. She allowed us to view an unfinished draft of the speech, which included such topics as “If David Cameron and his ilk are so fond of a voluntary “Big Society”, why must I be legally mandated to attend classes every day for no pay when I could, and some would argue SHOULD, be out in the real world earning a wage. If education was deemed to be vital to my success, surely I should have my university fees paid for by governmental contributions, and if it’s not considered vital, why must I attend for 11 years of my fledgling career? Who needs maths when you have calculators? I can already read and write; anything further seems excessive and superfluous to my requirements. I’m sure Mrs Wilson is sitting very superciliously in her ivory office while the plebs strike, but the fact of the matter is that she is part of the problem with this culture”. Ms Floris said that such inflammatory comments were likely to be edited down in the final version, but that this draft clearly showed the anger Mr Smith felt towards the “petty bureaucrats” limiting “the potential of every child entering the system”, and the “authoritarian stance” the school took on every issue being “indicative of a closed-minded, dogmatic society unwilling to advance as part of a more progressive society".

We asked some of the strikers what this meant to them, as they picketed the school gates. Trevor Pittins, aged 6, said “It’s scandalous the way they treat us in there! Do this, do that, pick that up, don’t throw that in here... Let me live my own life, Mrs Jones!”, while Harry Fligart told us “We’re in here, every day, 8:30 am till 3:15 pm, with a strictly regimented break system, for no money, and we’ve no choice in the matter. There are prisoners that get treated better than us, and I tell you what, I bet their cells are nicer than our bloody classrooms, pardon my French”, but these are counter-balanced by participants such as Patrick Gossomer, who said “Well, it’s a day off, isn’t it? I’m sure the powers that be will have the whole thing sorted out within a few days”. In a day of uncertainties, the only thing we can know for sure is that this isn’t the last you’ll hear about this story.

Friday, 31 August 2012

The Future-Phone

I hold in my hand, a smartphone. Now, like many people who have spent the last 5 years living in the past, yearning for the days when all a man needed to fix anything in his house was a screwdriver, a socket set, and a bit of mechanical knowhow, I have never had a smartphone before. Obviously, holding it in my hand is making it difficult to type, so I'm putting it down on the desk beside, but the point is still valid: I have a magic touchscreen device which can play music and make phone calls and has a built in VCR and all the other usual features.

After the minor hassle of sorting out a contract in order to get and use my phone (£853 a day or whatever it is), I received the phone the day after I ordered it. Well, hypothetically it was delivered then. DPD said they would deliver it between 08:00 and 18:00. "Fair enough", I thought. "Set themselves an ambitious ten hour window to turn up at my house for less than a minute. They love a challenge, don't they?". I can be witheringly sarcastic inside the solitude of my own head. Well, as if hearing my complaints that "Some time today" was a little vague, they sent me a new text telling me that Alex, "my DPD driver" would be there between "17:02 and 18:02". It's that extra two minutes either side which really lend it the glorified air of impending accuracy. "They've calculated this down to the nanosecond back at the transport lab!" I mused to myself. "I shall strive to be in during that very specific hour!". 17:02 rolled on, in the manner time is rather accustomed to, and I sat, nervously, excitedly, beside the door. 17:32 came and went, and the eager joy on my face started to turn to anxious panic, like a barometer that has shifted suddenly from "Set fair" to "Batten down the hatches, it's a big storm!". 18:02 flickered past my eyes, shamefully, embarrassed about its presence and the accompanying shame that came with it for DPD. They were late! "Well, now, what's a couple of minutes between friends, eh? Me and Alex! We're on first name terms. You can't blame him for being a couple of minutes late!". I had a thing to do that evening (For those of you wishing to keep fully informed, imagine it was, say, an ambassador's function, or perhaps a well-heeled millionaire's bachelor party. It really doesn't matter. It was an unavoidable event), but I wouldn't have to leave for that till 7:30. "88 minutes late, he'd have to be, for me to miss him! Haha! Can you imagine such a thing!". I chuckled to myself at the minorly amusing set of circumstances I'd laid out before my very eyes. Alex would never do that to me. He wouldn't betray me like that. And truth be told, he didn't betray me like that. He turned up fully 97 minutes after we had agreed, unilaterally from HIS side, that he would attend. I was already gone, so he put a little cheeky note through my door. "Sorry we missed eachother!", or words to that effect. Just a friendly note, with overtones of "Tsk, what are we like eh, me and you?! You go one way and I come in the other! Haha, Us, eh?!". No, Alex and DPD, YOU. I was in for 11 and a half hours waiting for my phone to arrive. I had sat, eagerly, to watch you crush my dreams to ashen dust in your misshapen paws, for nearly half a day. We live in a world in which I can hold a magical touchscreen device which connects to the internet, sends and receives messages instantly, and comes with an auto-rewind function, and yet you couldn't drive to my bloody house in over ten hours?! Fortunately, Alex and I worked it all out (I think we both said a few things we regretted, admittedly mainly me), and then, promptly the next day, Alex turned up with my phone.

And from there, I powered it up, and indeed, left it powering up as I went to do another thing (I'm a very busy man: These evening soirĂ©es with Gloria Hunniford or whatever it is you imagine I do; they don't attend themselves you know). And then, later that very night, I turned it on, and went through the tedious rigmarole of setting it up, which involved a more in-depth grilling than some policemen give prime suspects implicated in a gruesome murder (and which also involved transferring my number from my old phone to my new one, a process made about as quick and painless as an emergency enema with no anaesthetic). But then, THEN, I had a portal to the very future itself.

First thing I did, obviously, was try and load it with purchased music. Given that I have spotify (I may have been ignoring the smartphone revolution for nearly 5 years, but I can't afford to miss out on all that music), this means I primarily loaded it with music I bought legally in the past. This means, obviously, that it is shockingly bad. You only buy Kate Nash's hit song "Foundations" once, before you learn your lesson (This is accompanied by Lush Life's "The Music Sounds Better With You" and Bitman and Roban's "Despues de Almuerzo". But balanced out by the whole albums of "Low Vs Diamond" (Yes, I am that obscure. Get me. Oooh) and Jet's debut "Get Born", I reckon), so I'll need to rectify this at some stage.

Next thing I did was use it to get my mail. "Now I can get pointless updates from companies I deeply regret allowing to contact me WHEREVER I am!" I thought to myself, with a little wry smile. Witheringly sarcastic, see? That's sort of a call-back. This was surprisingly painless (I had to set up a similar thing once a while ago, and trying to get it to work was like having a tattoo done by a toddler, in that it was very painful, scarred you for life, and wasn't something you'd want to discuss with your neighbours), so this pleased me! Success, 1-0 to the phone in the game of life.

Then I had to insert my friend's contact details. This was a tedious process (I can hear you all shouting already, "I've got this one, I've got this one! "All your friends eh? Must have taken you nearly a full minute!". Nailed it! Haha! Come on guys!". A wittier man than me would have a scathing riposte prepared for that sort of obvious put-down, but all I've got is the factual correction that, because of my relatively low typing speed and the newnesss of the phone (and accompanying keyboard) in my hands, it took me almost 5 minutes. Schooled.) from beginning to end, not least because I had to dig out close friends' contact details. Phone numbers was fine. When the phone started asking for their addresses and childhood schools, I bailed on the process and left them with half-complete forms (I'm not sure how much information these things really need, but I filled in the fact one friend's favourite film is The Lion King, another friend's favourite breed of dog was the Maltese, and finally that one of my friends is 6 foot 1 inches tall.), which angered my OCD tendencies a little, but pleased the procrastination and laziness centres of my brain too much to let that worry me.

This suitably done, I sent out 5 test text messages, of which one person replied. "Good!" I thought. "Working at exactly the same rate as my old phone". One of these messages was a message to a friend about the fact I was using a smartphone. This is the sort of non-stop thrill-a-minute tedious information you can expect from me if you ever become a close friend. The point was rather, I was using my phone at that very moment to listen to a mash-up song (Dave Brubeck and Radiohead, since you ask. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, ended up being delicious. And that's where the recipe analogy breaks down. The more you know), and reached down to my pocket to get my phone and text a friend about it ("thrill-a-minute" was not overstated, clearly), when I realised "Oh my god! I'm ALREADY holding my phone!". This revelation caused me such delirious joy I sent out a text instantly.

I also checked that it does in fact, browse the internet. It does. I have been on the internet before, and was connected to the wifi in my house, so I was pretty underwhelmed by this (Despite the fact that I'm wirelessly receiving information from global servers directly to a small box in my hand, I am underwhelmed. What minor miracle of technology will I have to see before I am again, wowed?). When I'm out and about though, I'm sure I'll look at it and go "OH MY GOD. I'm using the internet. On a BUS! I can get a news source that ISN'T the Metro! And it might contain news, rather than poorly written articles about celebrity gossip, the traditional non-story, usually heavily pictorial ("Me and my waterskiing Daschund!", say, or "What happens when a parrot and a kitten become best friends!"), and some minor coverage of, say, civil war in Syria" (Witheringly sarcastic again! Can you just imagine what a laugh-fest it is in my head? No, you're wrong. You can't. Good effort, though).

I haven't even added any apps to it yet. And they're probably the best bit! But I will. And when I do, hoo, boy, the world better be ready for me, because let me tell you, me and my smartphone will be ready for the world.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Frankie Says Retax

Woah, what's that?! Biting satire from nowhere? Weren't expecting that, were you? I didn't think so.

Nick Clegg is asking for an emergency tax. The emergency being an economic disaster that was widely predicted, and easily preventable. It's a bit like living in a flood plain, in a house made out leaky bricks, that everyone tells you will flood when the rains come, and after it floods, going to your neighbours and saying "Oh my God, my house has flooded, can you believe it, please, lend me a couple of billion pounds, just to help a poor man like me get back on his feet". I'm not sure when we (ie: Politicians, in particular Gideon Osborne) started calling already very rich people "Wealth Creators". If someone hoards newspapers in his house for a decade, he's not a "newspaper creator", he's mental. This is apparently "Pre-Conference Talk", which in generalised terms, is that bit before a minor scuffle in which one party accuses the other of "thinking he's hard", and the accused responds with "Oh, yeah? Wanna go? We'll go right here!", before increasingly specific threats ("I'll shove my boot so far up your arse, you'll think Clarks have started making hats.", etc) that will inevitably, come to nothing and fizzle out amidst complaints of "Leave him Terry, he's not worth it!" and "Back off Darren, you're already on probation!". I'm idly waiting for the Tories to respond with something like "What are these benefit cheats doing eating more than stale bread and water! Unbelievable!" and calling for an end to "Compassionate Conservatism" (They already did that. If this is compassion, I am deeply worried as to what they would be like enraged), and for Labour to complete the Holy Trinity of poor politics by accusing the coalition of "Infighting" and saying "If they can't work together, how can they expect to work with the nation?". 

Other news in Britain includes the revelation that the honours are going too heavily towards celebrities and businessmen (And indeed, civil servants, Sir Jeremy Heywood or Sir Bob Kerslake, for example), simply for doing their jobs, rather than going above and beyond the call of duty. Certainly, if the Chief Executive of a FTSE100 company saves an orphanage with his own wealth creation programme, it's more than fair to reward him with a gleaming trinket freshly minted by the Queen herself (That's why they apparently limit it to a quota: Because the Queen stays up overnight once a week minting medals. In 1974, she had to stay up for 4 days in a row before the New Year's honours, having fallen behind earlier in the year, leading many people to claim they had misshapen and incorrectly spelled awards), but if he's simply come into his office everyday and sat at his desk and done his job, that deserves a reward no more than turning up to McDonald's everyday entitles the man in the crap cap to an OBE (I'm a little bitter: I've been rejected by McDonald's 6 times).The honours are supposed to reward those who make a real effort to improve life in Britain, and unless Sir Fred Goodwin did all his work voluntarily, I'm inclined to think he, and I know this might seem outlandish, was motivated solely by greed, heaven forbid such a thing to be true.

Still, it could be worse. We could be living in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where Blizzard have just cut off access to that most vital of services: World of Warcraft. US Trade Sanctions have led them to cut off their service in Iran. Surely now, the clamour in Iran for them to stop trying to build a nuclear power station will be overwhelming. Millions will be out in the streets, every day, and won't rest till they get their virtual game back. Iran will be forced to cave. It's not like they've ever had to face protests before. Except when they did, over Ahmadinejad "winning" an election. But they kicked him out straight away, because the people's word is law in Iran. Wait...Wait, I'm just getting message in now that Ahmadinejad is still in power there, and weeks of protests changed absolutely nothing. Tsk.

Finally, a joke. I haven't been writing much of late because the police stopped me. I'm still on Proseation.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Sun on Sunday!

I'm a man who, history has documented, is willing to try new things, and this week, I thought "I've never actually bought, and read, the Sun!". Well, when you combine that with the release of the brand-new and not-at-all-like-the-News-of-the-World Sun on Sunday, it was an ideal opportunity to dip my toes into tabloid water. In the interests of a fair comparison, I also got The Mail on Sunday, its main rival in the Sunday paper market. Here is a comparison of each against each other.

The Sun
has the newstritional (Deliberate pun) content of a cereal box. If you want a series of insightful, thoughtful articles, examining the biggest issues society faces today, with relevant examples from this week, The Sun is not the place to look. It's like a kid's "My First Newspaper", with big, exciting pictures and small, simple words. Of the opening ten pages, 5 can be considered "News", and three of them are about the "Indy" debate. Seriously, they shorten independence to "indy". It's got 12 letters, I can't be expected to read all of them. They also have "Celebrity" endorsements littered throughout the paper, as this is the glorious first edition, to quote them; "A new era has dawned". One such celebrity endorsement is The Krankies. Oh yes, the ever-relevant Krankies, thank God you sought out their opinion of the paper, I couldn't imagine doing anything without their agreement. Another celebrity was Barbara Rafferty. You know, from Rab C Nesbitt? The wife, of a supporting character! Don't tell me you don't remember! She was on River City, till about 3 years ago? Come on! No? She's one of 3 former River City stars to say the Sun's great. I wouldn't expect you to get the other two either.

The Mail isn't exactly content-heavy either, in fairness to the Sun, but it does at least have a token effort at including news (Judging by the randomness of the articles, largely by accident. "Oh no, Mr Dacre, I accidentally ran an article containing news!" "It's too late now, we've already started printing!" is probably a common exchange in the editor's office).

Both papers rely heavily on celebrity tittle-tattle to make up for their stunning lack of news. there is however, one news story that featured fairly prominently in the columnists pages for the Sun: Fellow News International war correspondent Marie Colvin's death came up twice, separately. Katie Price (In her articles on page ELEVEN. That's ten pages of sort-of news then "Woah there, but what does celebrity topless model Katie Price make of this!?". The tagline is "The Price is ALWAYS right!", and she talks about private education versus state education, using the damning line "I went to a state school and look how well I've done!". Quite. But if I don't want my daughter stripping for money...) says "She is just the sort of woman who impresses me", while Catriona Shearer also sings her praises. Nothing mentioned of the award-winning war photographer who died with her. Presumably he was just freelance rather than working for NI.

The Mail didn't focus on this story much, but how could they with space at such a premium that the story about Tara Palmer-Tomkinson telling Kate that William would come running back to her could only take up a (full) single page? That's a four page spread at least, but they must have somehow whittled it down to one. The Sun weren't quite so economical in their story about Amanda Holden giving birth, unable to get that down, somehow, to less than two pages.

Having criticised Katie Price, The Mail's columnists aren't much better, in fairness. Liz Jones looks around the world, sees plague and pestilence across the world, looks at the issues in Syria and Bahrain, looks at the big issue of the day, the Scottish independence debate, glances at the NHS debate, and indeed, the "Slave labour" issue rearing its head, and thinks "The world needs an article, and I am ready to deliver". She sits down at her desk, is presumably briefly possessed (It's the only logical conclusion) and churns out "Someone has to tell the truth about fashion (...Even if it does cost me that lovely olive greatcoat)". Brilliant. Well, thank god you stepped up, Liz, because it doesn't seem particularly likely that anyone else would, and now that Marie Colvin's dead, someone has to nail these big issues. Unbelievable.

Mercifully, though, The Sun is slightly less right-wing than the Mail (I kid you not, the Mail has some sort of weird article about the Socialist Worker's Party and its front organisations. Apparently whatever side they are on, "Sensible citizens" should be on the other. It reads like a 1920s piece against the rise of communism. "Sacrificed on the altar of Leftist dogma" may be the weirdest way to end an article since about 1953) but it's hardly the Socialist Worker. Both papers lose marks for showing clear bias here.

Additional pull outs and so on, as is standard for Sunday papers, were adequate in both. A decentish sport section, although nothing remarkable. The Mails "You" magazine featured the rest of the aforementioned Tara Palmer-Tomkinson interview which didn't fit in the newspaper. To show you that I've done my reading, she describes herself as "secretly clever". Oh really. I'm secretly very handsome. No, no, I know I don't look it, but that's because it's a secret. I didn't realise we could ascribe ourselves qualities and then put "secretly" before them, and thus, it becomes a perfectly valid statement. The Sun's pull out was "Fabulous" magazine, which had the story article "99 Buy Me Now Shoes". I'll let that speak for the general tone of the thing. Nothing more to say about them, really.

In short then: The Mail wins, but only because, at fifty pence, The Sun on Sunday is the best value toilet paper I've ever bought. Don't buy either if you can avoid it.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Small things occasionally about the news

David Cameron said: "I often say to my children 'No need to go to the Natural History Museum to see a dinosaur, come to the House of Commons at about half past twelve'.", which Labour took offence at, so Conservative Mark Pritchard said: "I wonder whether this House of Commons would be better with more or less humour?". Judging by the first statement I'd start with introducing some humour, then working our way up. Given that parliamentary footage is explicitly not allowed to be used for comedic purposes, it's a shame Cameron's non-stop gag-reel of a mind is so wasted on an audience of "Politicians and to a lesser extent, people who care about politics". He really zinged that 79 year old, to the extent that he never even knew what hit him. Possible return zings "I often tell my kids that if they fancy hot-air ballooning, it appears the PM has an excess of fuel that they can pick up about now.", or "I tell my children that instead of going to the local farm on the off-chance of seeing a cock crowing to his loyal following chickens, they might as well be certain of it by coming to Prime Minister's Questions". He said neither of these things, by the way.

I was in a shop that was playing Falco's seminal German hit "Rock Me Amadeus". It was as close as I'll ever get to time-travel. I felt like going up to the cashier and yelling "WHAT YEAR IS IT?!". At some stage in 2030, someone is going to make this precise joke about current hit "Party Rock Anthem". I sometimes like to remember that one day, that'll come on Radio 2 as one of the "hits from the past" while I'm driving, and I'll sing along, and the children in the car will be horrified. Partly because they're not mine, but mostly because of the song thing. That's a joke obviously; that song will still be cool in 18 years.

The Duchess of Cornwall launches a new initiative for kids on Jubilee day: A cooking competition! "Cook for the Queen", presumably shortened from the original title "Cook for the Queen like the worthless peons you are, she demands it of you and who are you to resist the demands of a divinely-chosen being, you pleb?!", aims to unite the children of the UK through their shared love of baking into one joyous nation again. This should single-handedly stop the Scottish independence referendum in its tracks, and grind republicanism to a halt. Anything less and it can only be considered a failure.

People have been "Flooding" MPs with questions via twitter for Michael Gove. Over four billion people from around the world have tried to get MPs to ask him "Why are you so hateful?", as well as "A royal yacht?! What sort of austerity measure is handing out free boats?!". One person got halfway through a sensible question about the government's new academy policy before descending into using his remaining characters on "IHATEYOUIHATEYOUIHATEY". Sadly, it closed at 11am, so you've missed your chance to ask a question to Michael Gove.

Ed Miliband, as ever a man of the people has had a go at David Cameron about what this week? Let's make it a multiple choice quiz!

[a] Swingeing cuts to core services that will leave many in Britain who are reliant on a system of social security, those are the most vulnerable in our society, out of luck as the system abandons them in a desire to save money?

[b] The intractable war which Britain has been waging for nearly a decade in the Middle-East, and the PM's position on the apparently growing threat that is Iran?

[c] Chocolate Oranges.

It's a tough one... Got an answer? Good! If you said [c], well done! If you said [a] or [b], I'm afraid you simply have too much faith in the leader of the opposition to address issues that are actually meaningful or important. You grow out of it, it's a phase, like having faith in the political process, or liking George Michael. Yes, Ed "Fathead" Miliband has pointed out that David Cameron was aghast, appalled and angered by the cut-price chocolate oranges available to fat people at WHSmiths, only 6 years ago, in 2006. And yet, in 2 years of power, he has not found time between battling the political fires of the middle-east and economic woes of neighbours to address what is, CLEARLY, a burning issue. "If he can't sort out the chocolate oranges, he's not going to sort out the train companies, the energy companies, the banks, is he?". In a wide-ranging interview, he was also asked about whether he would donate to a privately-funded Royal Yacht. He said "I give money to charity in different ways. There are obviously lots of deserving causes.", carefully neglecting to finish that with the sentence "And a new yacht for a woman who literally lives in a palace isn't one of them.". Very politically astute of him.

Finally there has been a hubbub over RBS giving someone a bonus of £963,000. On top of his regular salary of £1.2 million. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I will do the job for a paltry £100,000 a year, and not ask for ANY bonus. And given that, due to the joys of shares, the £45.5 billion investment has now lost £27 billion under his reign, it's hard to imagine I could do a worse job. Consider this my formal application, RBS. I await your response with anticipation.

Monday, 23 January 2012

My Own Magdalen College Rejection Letter

Dear Magdalen College,

I, like many other candidates who have not been accepted to your university, am writing pre-emptively to reject any offers you may put my way. I sincerely hope you understand that you were in competition with many other universities who have not accepted me, and I simply cannot accept all possible offers that are not yet put to me.

I hope you find many other not-accepted candidates who are willing to attend your university in my stead.

Yours Sincerely

On a side note, I read the (actual) letter, and the final sentence is "Perhaps you should offer a glass of water in your interviews; it is rude to torture your guests". The use of torture there is bold, to say the least. One could suggest that real torture victims in Guantanamo might say they get arguably too much water during interviews. It's a fine line between "Satiating Thirst" and "Waterboarding", and frankly, if a college doesn't want to accidentally stray across that line, I can respect that.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Song Puns around Communist Leaders

New Music Update! Robbie Williams has released a new album of communist remixes of his old songs. "I'm loving Engels instead" is to be the title track. Also included is a brand new version of Fatboy Slim's seminal hit "Right here, Right Mao", advocating an immediate change to Maoism in Britain. Another twist on a new song with "Just the Che you are" remixed with the aid of Bruno Mars. And a change on the classic "Sparks" by Coldplay, called, you guessed it, "Marx". Say what you like about his music, you can't argue with the underlying political messages in his songs. Nothing in there for fans of Liebknecht, but it's hard to rhyme, I can't blame him really. THAT JUST HAPPENED. Get on board.

Friday, 6 January 2012


Due to stormy conditions, we went without power for 3 whole days. I am going to relate to you that nightmarish existence. Do not read before bedtime, as this is clearly, a first-world horror story.

Wake up without power. Think little of it, as I am going to a friend's house, and it'll surely be back on by the evening. Surely.

Arrive back that evening. Enjoy a game of cards by candlelight. Novelty factor still making this a relatively enjoyable experience. Good analogy is a Christmas jumper. Wearing it once isn't bad. Midway through day three, though, with absolutely no choice in the matter, it begins to become a little grating. Go to bed. House not yet lost the warmth, but is noticeably colder than I would desire.

Wake up. Curse the cold. Then curse the mind-numbing boredom. Suddenly understand the popularity of Victorian toys and sports, given that the alternative is "Freeze to death inside your own home reading ludicrously ambitious literature" (I had a stab at Dante's Inferno and very nearly learnt something before Scottish Power turned the electricity back on. What are you trying to pull, Scottish Power!? I don't want to LEARN on my time off. God.). Spent all day at home, tending to fires (Read: Not moving very far away from fires) reading books I'd always meant to get round to reading but never had. Nearly died from ennui. Had to eat something unexpectedly spicy just to liven up my day. Evening came. Played cards. Went to bed around 10, just because I needed something to do. Cold. So cold. Slept with a hot water bottle. In a sleeping bag. Under a duvet. Was acceptably warm. Scottish Power's emergency line said we'd have power by today. We did not.

Wake up at dark o'clock. No idea what time it is, and my phone won't tell me as it is out of power. Decide to sleep until it's light outside. Get up. Ring Scottish Power's emergency line again. Shout "What are we to you, ANIMALS?! I need my electricity!". Moo down the line at the automated voice telling me it would now be midnight tomorrow till I got my power back. Begin to suspect cold and boredom may be messing with my mind. Spent all day trying to make a fire so hot it redefined the temperature scale as we know it, and everything would have to be designated in terms of this fire. This should just about stave off the cold. Sit within a four yard radius of the fire. Take up napping as a pastime. Boredom is physically palpable. At lunchtime, I try to learn piano. Twenty minutes later, I knew I was not cut out for the world of piano. Stare out of the window like a lonesome dog. Secretly hope UFOs land and take me away, just to end the crushing tedium. Night falls at about 4 pm. Wear a headtorch. This is my only fun. Play cards.

Wake up to power. Shout "THANK THE LORD!" at the sight of the illuminating glow of the shaving light. Immediately upon having power again, I get offers to go do something that isn't sit at home alone the dark. C'est la vie.