diamond geezer

 Saturday, November 30, 2019

30 unblogged things I did in November

Fri 1: Washing up pans and dirty crockery still takes two kettlefuls.
Sat 2: Blackheath's fireworks very nearly don't take place, but the day's stormy weather abates just in time and a depleted crowd turns up. The bangs and flashes are as good as ever. Several people spend the entire display filming it on their phone - those under 30 portrait and those over 30 landscape.
Sun 3: I enjoy a day out at Chartwell, Winston Churchill's Kentish pad (it being the last day of the year the house is open and the last Sunday of the year the 246 bus is extended past Westerham). It may be my fourth visit but I hadn't previously explored the wilder extremities of the estate or been in the Studio to see his paintings. The audio trails are very new and rather good. During an election campaign, a timely visit.
Mon 4: The latest exhibition round The Curve at the Barbican is clever, but not clever enough to sustain lengthy interest.
Tue 5: My thanks to the special people who waited until actual Fireworks Night to set off a pointless volley of bangers in the park.
Wed 6: Red Leicester Mini Cheddars are the best Mini Cheddars.
Thu 7: I didn't find the Dockside Shopping Outlet in Chatham an especially enticing attraction, but the local population appeared to rate it and it does offer considerably better savings than that crap luxury desert round the Millennium Dome.
Fri 8: Finally, after over 50 days without hot water, I receive an email confirming that a new boiler will be fitted sometime next week. However it will no longer be in the kitchen, because gas safety regulations have evolved since the flat was built, so it's got to go somewhere frustratingly awkward instead.
Sat 9: I'm enjoying the new series of The Demon Headmaster, because sometimes the best drama is on CBBC rather than Netflix.
Sun 10: The Two Minute Silence, broadcast live via digital television, is (checks watch) ten seconds late.
Mon 11: Beside the banks of the Serpentine is the closest I have ever got to a heron. Both of us stood motionless for three minutes, and then off they flapped.
Tue 12: The gas engineer is due on Thursday, finally, so I get busy emptying the kitchen cupboards and clearing space along the walls he says he'll need access to.
Wed 13: Only a month to go until Jeremy Corbyn ought to resign, but won't.
Thu 14: The gas engineer arrives with his plumber mate. I have to clear an extra bookcase at the last minute, because the precise location of my new boiler was not previously specified. By mid-afternoon it's in position, and looks a lot more intrusive than I was expecting.
Fri 15: I think dustsheets would have been a good idea guys, every surface in the room is now coated with finely-powdered wall.
Sat 16: The new housing development in Trent Park (near Cockfosters on the former Middlesex University campus) is depressingly upmarket, pointlessly adding to London's total of entirely unaffordable housing. Of course Daffodil Crescent is a private road, of course it is.
Sun 17: I receive an unexpected invitation to visit Nephew's New London Flat, around dusk, and it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that his view is staggeringly better than mine.
Mon 18: The plumber's blowtorch sets off my smoke alarm four times.
Tue 19: Every time I think the new boiler might now be complete, I discover a new pipe with another safety gizmo has been attached underneath it.
Wed 20: The workmen need a day off, which is annoying because they've only got one day's work to go.
Thu 21: Hurrah, after 67 days I finally have a functioning boiler, heating that works and hot water on tap. I celebrate with a long warm bath. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to walk around the flat in a t-shirt.
Fri 22: The newsagent kiosk outside Stonebridge Park station has closed. Former customers have stuck signs to the shutters reading Raju Come Back! and Raju We Need You!
Sat 23: I need a lottery ticket for next week, so I ask for a Lucky Dip and get handed 11 12 13 14 26 28. Drawing four consecutive numbers seems ridiculously unlikely, but has actually happened four times since 1994 (the odds are 1 in 583).
Sun 24: Sadly I couldn't complete this weekend's prize crossword, otherwise that'd've been four consecutive too.
Mon 25: 99% of this decade is complete. I fear the final 1%.
Tue 26: I need to use a cash machine before I go to the pub, but the terminal outside the Post Office is out of service so I have to use the machine on the corner, the one I haven't dared use since someone stole my card from it last year. Notes emerge without incident, but that doesn't mean I'll be back.
Wed 27: The landlord pops round to see the new boiler and the hole where the old boiler used to be. The landlord almost never pops round. I am at least getting something out of it.
Thu 28: BestMate and I always go out on a day trip for Thanksgiving. This year, Surrey. We walked into Brooklands Museum via what was signposted as the pedestrian entrance and the gates swung open, but there was nobody there checking tickets so we could have walked around the site all day for nothing. Fortunately this is what our Lottery tickets allowed us to do anyway.
Fri 29: It's great to know that Arsenal's poor run of form is now at an end because sacking the manager always solves the problem.
Sat 30: Ha, my quarterly gas bill has arrived. By chance it covers the period from one day before my gas was turned off to four days after it was turned back on. It is a very small gas bill.


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