Today was my mother's birthday. I am sure that she won't mind me revealing that she is now sixty-four years of age. Even if she did mind, her astounding failure to grasp any of the technologies of the twenty first century (Mobile Phone, Sky+, Internet, etc.) mean that she is unlikely to ever read this blog. Furthermore, a Venn Diagram containing the populations of 'People Reading This Blog' and 'People My Mum Talks To' would have a shared area containing one person. Namely, me. In fairness to my mother, she is in remarkable condition for her age. She has sharp eyes, all of her own teeth and possesses a rabbit-punch/shin-kick combination that is still as effective a p*ss-taking deterrent (PTD), as it was in the nineteen eighties.
The day started in the normal manner, by depressing myself with the News and complaining constantly to my wife about Bill Turnbull. As it was a relatively quiet news day, much was made of the media-perpetuated Credit Crunch. The BBC is struggling to convince the general public that the fact that thousands of investment bankers, estate agents and solicitors will lose their livelihoods, is a bad thing. To the casual observer, this seems more like Divine Judgement than anything else. I for one am eagerly awaiting the next four Plagues that the Credit Crunch will bring about;
The collapse of 'Reality' TV (not including 'Strictly Come Dancing').
A re-introduction of the maximum wage in football.
Huge job losses in the celebrity magazine industry.
The death of Kerry Katona.*
In the meantime, the BBC tried to make the ongoing 'disaster' more relevant by broadcasting a piece which, they proudly revealed, was coming directly from the village that was the birth place of deceased nineteen seventies sit-com star, Arthur Lowe. Yes. Arthur Lowe. Instantly hooked by this journalistic first, I got comfortable on the big sofa. The BBC reporter was on location, in the hairdressing salon that served the womenfolk of the village which was the hometown of Arthur Lowe. The hairdresser, who incidentally looked just like one, made me see the real-world implications of the Credit Crunch for the first time. I may not be able to relate to the sub-prime mortgage market in the US. I may struggle to understand the finer details of the re-nationalisation of the British banking system. I may be patently unaware of the ramifications of the weakening pound. But you don't need a degree in economics to realise that if the women in the village which is the home town of Arthur Lowe are now having the hair professionally high-lighted slightly less frequently (down 15-20%), then that is very bad news for all of us.
The rest of the day was a bit of an anti-climax after that blockbuster revelation.
In the evening my wife and I drove to Barry to celebrate my mother's birthday with her and dad. We had decided on the classic bathroom essentials presentation-pack as a gift, along with an amusing card. My wife and I would deliver this to my parents' house, after picking up take away food for the four of us, at the Chinese restaurant in Dinas Powys.
On the way to Dinas Powys, we drove past the gypsy site, near Leckwith, which has reappeared recently after an absence of several years. I would imagine that local entrepreneur Dick Lovett (yes, that is his real name), is overjoyed. His well-established Maserati dealership is immediately adjacent to the gypsy site. As such he can now tempt millionaire prospective buyers, not only with the prospect of test-driving an exclusive £200,000 sports car, but with ringside seats at bare-knuckle boxing matches, badger-baiting excursions into the surrounding woodlands and very competitive block-paving quotes.
The evening with my parents was very enjoyable, as was our chicken chow mein and pancake rolls.
On our return home I made myself an MSG-combating blackcurrant squash, which I proceeded to drink using the correct number of sips, in the correct sequence. I then ate two indigestion tablets and went directly to bed, bypassing the big sofa.
* I of course refer to the hoped-for figurative death of Kerry Katona's career, not her actual death. But you never know.