Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Let me tell you something that happened to me the other day, because it is indicative of society falling apart.

The other day we walked up to the town. This in itself is not news, or unusual. However, it was the first time since Laura gave birth that she walked for any distance, because she'd had a c-section and it was the first operation she'd ever had of any kind, so she was a little sore to say the least. But I digress. Let me get to the crux of the matter.

At a certain point I went to the pub with the stroller containing our new daughter Rosie. I can hear the collective gasp - you can take your kids to the pub now in the UK because there is a complete ban on smoking indoors. So don't fret. Rosie was OK, there was no second-hand smoke. And no, I didn't buy her a beer. But I digress. Let me get to the point here, people!

Oh, and don't worry about Laura. She had an appointment at the beauty salon (not that she needs it! God, I'm good) and I was in need of food. It was mid-afternoon and I hadn't eaten much that morning so I was ravenous. She said 'go ahead to the pub, get a bite to eat, and I'll meet you in a few minutes'. But I digress. Or do I? No, I don't, because me getting food is central to my tale of woe.

I ordered a tasty platter of the White Lion's always delicious gammon, egg and chips, which came along in due course. As I was about three bites in, a couple of young women entered the pub. No, this isn't that kind of story. I should back up and tell you that I was seated at a table directly facing the door.

These two women came in. I'd say about mid-to-late-20's, sort of semi-pretty in that Barbour-jacket-jolly-hockey-sticks-ruddy-faced-horsey-set kind of way. As they were making their way to their table one of them looked at me, then at my food, and said "Ooh, that looks good!". Then, as she was hanging her jacket on the back of the chair, turned back to me, leaned forward and extended a hand towards my plate. "You won't miss a couple of those chips!" she said in a cheeky-chummy sort of way. "YES I WILL!" I replied, pulling my plate closer towards myself. Those are my chips, dammit! I paid for them and I will protect them with my life! (They were very good, actually).

WHO DOES THAT!??!?!? Where in the world does one get the cojones to just go up to a complete stranger in a pub and start nicking food off their plate???

OK, I know I probably didn't need the chips. But I didn't know this woman, and she didn't know me. If a friend had done that, I probably would laugh and give them a couple of chips. But what sort of upbringing does one have to have had to think that it is even remotely OK to go up to chubby stranger and steal their dinner out from under their nose? What sort of childhood instilled these kind of values?

Alright, I understand that it is possible that a strange woman may be able to pull this sort of scam on a strange man if (a) the man is single and perhaps drunk and possibly even horny; and (b) the woman is in fact attractive, wearing sexy clothes, and very hungry.

But this is just yet another example of how people just don't know how to act any more. When I was young, I was raised to have these things called good manners. What happened since I was at school? A lot, apparently. Including life-skills workshops in How To Be A Rude Arsehole, evidently.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I've Been A Bit Busy

Well, folks, I find myself humbly apologising once more for neglecting my duties as regards this blog. I offer up no other excuse save the fact that I've been busy. It seems I am one of those people that never stops thinking or planning or creating, and that is compounded by my position as a person to whom shit continues to happen.

I live in a house where it is very difficult to find some space and time in which to privately think quietly and write solidly. I can go up to my laptop with the best of intentions and inevitably too much other stuff is occurring within earshot, and this distracts me. Not to mention the pitfalls of Facebook, Gmail and Angry birds that conspire to make me procrastinate. Usually by the time I get to the point where I say to myself "OK Jeff, time to get serious" I'm usually too tired to bother and end up saying to myself that I'll do it tomorrow. And it doesn't happen.

Also, many of you will know that my partner Laura just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Rosie. Spending time at the hospital does not allow one to do much blogwise, and right now Rosie is sitting in her bouncy seat nearby and making little pseudo-cranky baby grumpy noises, so I know that it is just a matter of time before I have to quit this and give her a bottle.

Transition Town Tenterden has been consuming much of my time and energy recently, as I have been trying to design a local food map to print out and hand out to people that stop by our booth on October 6th and 7th (Harvest Festival/Folk Fest weekend). I have redone this map about 7 times. I'm still not sure it's complete but I am not redoing it again (at least, not for a while).

I've also been busy moderating Tenterden Freegle.

Last but not least is work. Work is irritating because where I work it can be either feast or famine. Most evenings behind the bar are painfully slow. Occasionally I'll work a Friday night, which can be busy, or a function in the upstairs bar, which can be a nightmare of drunken young folks shouting "givvus six, no wait, seven, no wait, fourteen Jager Bombs mate and a pinta lager top!!" and people that come to the bar after we've called time and we're clearly cashing up, wanting a drink, then resort to attempted bribery when we tell them that the bar is closed. "Come on, I'll buy you a drink! I'll pay double for it!! C'mon gissa drink!"

So there you are. My life is not a dull and empty one for sure. I have a baby and a lovely woman and three lively boys and three idiotic mutts, a job with odd hours and unpredictable business, an environmental group that I spend time working on, a Yahoo group to run, lots of great ideas, and issues with laziness. So if I'm silent for weeks on end, please don't think for a second that it's because of something you did or said. I'm still here, and one of these days I'll be back on a more regular schedule.

NB: As I was typing the title to this post, my finger slipped on the last letter, causing me to hit two keys at once. It came out as I've Been A Bit Busty - and I considered keeping it like that for a moment.
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