A day out in midwinter

Arbour at Hampton CourtThe ground is frozen hard as iron today, so digging impossible (thank God).

Thus had a wander around Hampton Court Palace. In summer, it’s black with tourists and makes you wish you’d brought a machine gun. In winter, delightful. Hardly a soul about.

Hampton Court PalaceWe molested swans, poked ducks with sticks dipped in dog turd and generally availed ourselves of the usual amusements of a sunny day out in midwinter.

On the way out, there was the additional pleasure of watching brain-dead, overweight holidaymakers falling on their arses on the ghastly ice rink. It looks nice in the publicity pix, but don’t be fooled: more than 10 minutes wearing the rented skates and you need your feet amputating. Plus they pack you on the (slushy) ice as tight as penguins in Antarctica.

But hey, it’s a nice day out if you like breathing other folks’ BO and repeatedly falling in a cold puddle.

Posted on 20th December 2009
Under: Winter | 6 Comments »

Scrooge’s Christmas crackers

Last year's Christmas tree rides again… and so my thoughts turn to Christmas.

I wish they wouldn’t. I loathe Christmas. It’s an ordeal that I rank up there with unblocking the lavatory, protracted root canal work and proctological examination (which last I have yet to endure, but visualising the procedure’s psychological effect demands minimal imaginative chutzpah).

There is one small glint of moonlight in the morgue, however: by some horticultural miracle, last year’s potted tree is still with us – just.

Granted, it’s lost half its foliage. But at least I can save £15 by re-using the bugger. Assuming I stand it against a wall.

It’s got me thinking about other things I could re-use. Hey, why not? If you’re hating it anyway, why not claw back a few quid on the deal?

I’m figuring a bit of glue and concentration could probably resurrect the Xmas crackers, if you remember to save the pieces. And the Christmas cake’s a dead cert. Nobody eats the fucking thing anyway, so they’ll never notice if I wheel out the same cake 10 years in a row.

I’m inspired by the Empress Dowager with her 100 dishes at every meal. The eunuchs knew she only touched the same 10 favourites every day, so the rest were served up, untouched, week after week… until they were rotting under the porcelain tops.

That’s my kind of hospitality.

Posted on 23rd November 2009
Under: Rants, Uncategorized, Winter | 10 Comments »

Reflection on the season of ill will

Water butt at the allotment

We got about 2 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. It’s lowered my morale, but raised the level in my summer water butt.

And of course, there’s Christmas to look forward to.

If there’s one thing worse than freezing cold, pissing rain, the credit crunch, the currency crash, inflation and deflation, it’s Christmas.

Message to Santa: Come down my chimney this Christmas and I’ll shoot your fat, red arse.

Posted on 14th December 2008
Under: Rants, Winter | 6 Comments »