Saturday, 15 April 2017

Cold Comfort Farm by Jan Needle (no relation)


Where’s this ruddy spring, that’s what I want to know. It’s been a long, gruelling winter what with one thing and three others, and I’ve had just about enough of it. Packed the grandkids and their ma n pa off to some damn theme park or another today, and it’s so cold out (Pennines/Lancashire/Yorkshire border) that they’d have been better off staying in bed.

Not that they’ll think that, of course. I can remember days at Alton Towers (not where they’re going; apparently they charge £20 a day for the use of a wheelchair, which sadly now is needed for one of
Spring is sprung? Come to't sunny north!
the party) when it rained so hard the waterproofing of my skin gave up and I filled me wellies from the inside by osmosis. Honest! You ask Donald Trump.

And the children? They never noticed it. Just demanded more ice cream…

Talking of wellies, my darling Mac rendered it as ‘willies’ both the first time I typed it, then again just then (which is poetry of a sort, n’est-ce pas?). Correcting the self-correcting facility. Well, it passes the time, doesn’t it?

It also rendered ‘gruelling’ in the first paragraph as ‘grueling’. Probably another presidential influence. Did you read about the woman who was bumped off her Airbnb booking an hour before she arrived in California for her holiday?

She asked the people why, in a text, and they actually replied: ‘One word – Asian. We have Donald Trump now.’ Had she been on United Airlines they’d have tossed her out of the window, one imagines.

In case you think that I’m obsessing, let me get to the nitty gritty. Which is that I’m actually so cold (one jumper, two jackets) that I can’t get me brain to spark up on all four cylinders. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve got four left anymore.

And I’m very busy, I promise you. Me and a mate called Andy Lynch, who with whom I used to work on Brookside, have got a couple of cracking ideas (we think so, so please don’t bring me down; leave that to the telly companies) which I should be working on.

I’ve tried (to spark the brain cells) but without too much success, and then I saw the date. April 12. Significant only in the fact I have my blog to do for the fifteenth. What should I do? Panic, or go back to bed? (It’s two minutes short of midday, which would make it pretty shameful, though.)

Aha, thinks I! Too cold to knock out pitching-docs for TV execs to blow their noses on, or worse. Too depressed by the hell-in-a-handcart world to turn on the radio in case I hear the news. Too idle to go downstairs and make meself a cup of instant coffee. No milk, anyway. Much too cold to drive downhill and get some from the Co-op.

So here you are, sensation-seekers! A day in the life of  Ijan Whatsisfaceovich! Fulfilling, exciting, illuminating!

And another thing, as well as changing my English words to American – up until yesterday, if I wanted to find a word anywhere in a document, I clicked Control and F, and a box dropped down the left hand side. I’d type in the word, and it would appear, and I could change it where it was, or replace it with another word throughout the whole shebang.

Lots o' lovely lasses - and all the sarsaparilla you can drink!
And yesterday? I click C and F – and nothing. Oh ’eck, I think, me computer’s knackered. Presumably Apple guessed I’d panic and rush out and buy a new one willy-nilly, but I didn’t. I’m not stupid, am I?*

What I’ve got to do these days, I discovered (another son, another phone call) is go up to a lickle window in the right hand corner, and type in replace or summat – and the box drops down just like it used to. Progress, no doubt. Bloody progress. Have they never heard of the greatest engineering principle ever devised?

If it works, don’t fix it!

Ooh, I feel much better now. I think another coat on, and a stroll down to the pub. And bugger Bognor, into the bargain.

Pip pip!


*Answers on a postcard please; and I’ll sue.

5 comments:

Jan Needle said...

The change everything brigade have even got into one of my best sentences, I see. I wrote:

who with whom I used to work on Brookside with

and the computer, not noted for a sense of humour, changed it. The sort of subbing that's bringing the Guardian into daily disrepute.

Bah. Bumhug.

Bill Kirton said...

Cold? Cold? I live in bloody Aberdeen, mate. Don't come whingeing to me about living in sub-tropical Pennines/Lancashire/Yorkshire border country. (And it that cues outrage from Chris and Wendy, ignore them, they live much further south in temperate Montrose and Dundee.)

Reb MacRath said...

The gruel and artless--I mean the cruel and heartles, damn correcto speller--cold has inspired a delightful bit of improv. I'd love to see you do a whole book in this vein. I'm with you every step of the way. What does Wild Bill now about cold. Here, in Seattle, the temperature has plummeted down to THE FORTIES this year!

Reb MacRath said...

Ach! 'What does Wild Bill know'.

Jan Needle said...

The forties. We used to dream about the forties....