take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Thursday, November 09, 2006


"We'll need to set the video"

The anticipation of future frustration and exasperation was visible in his expression as I reminded him of this fact.

Damned parents' evening. There aren't many programmes which we mind missing, but having seen last week's tantalising trail and realised that he wouldn't be home from school in time, the disappointment on his little (34 year-old) face was too much. It was no good: we'd have to scrabble about on the floor, brave the dusty, tangled web of scart cables and sockets and try to work out which buttons on which remote control pressed in which order would result in a successful outcome.

Having located a suitable tape on which the action on screen was discernible in amongst the "snow", I set to with the video remote. I needn't have bothered; it didn't work. I scrabbled around upstairs for a change of batteries. I needn't have bothered; it still didn't work.

"I can't program it without the remote!"
"Well, you'll just have to press record on the VCR when it comes on, then,"
"What if I forget? What if I get distracted by... well, you know..." [she thinks: blogging, most likely].
"Set a reminder on your phone."

I set a reminder on my phone so that it would bleat at me a few minutes before the programme was due to start.

"What if you don't hear the phone?"
"But it's not on silent or anything,"
"But what if you're in the kitchen? Or at the computer," [he thinks: blogging, most likely]
"I'll hear it!"

He gave me a look. I picked up the phone and stuffed it into the elasticated waistband of my "leisure pants".

"It's on vibrate."

Satisfied that all bases had been covered, and having carried out a "test" recording, he set off back to school.

I must say, it was worth it. The presenter is no slick professional, but instead a passionate, enthusiastic, eccentric host. I laughed and cried (sometimes all at the same time) at the story of "Tommy" the buzzard. Not least because it's a very silly name for a buzzard. It was truly wonderful viewing.

Big has made me share his passion for wildlife in general and birds of prey in particular. I can now recognise buzzards soaring and gliding high in the sky as I travel around the West Country, where they are now thriving again. I can spot a hovering kestrel a mile off. I bought him a Falconry Experience here, which he loved and where I even ended up having a tawny eagle fly to my hand: a terrifying yet phenomenal experience.

In short, he has opened my eyes to much more of the beauty this world has to offer. Bless.

Aside from all that, though, I still think it's time we got Sky+...

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