Thursday, February 21, 2008

Birthdays, OAPS And Asbestos

The high life yesterday – well, as close to it as one can get on local authority wages. I lavished Karen with loads of pressies on account of it being her birthday (I shall be a gentleman and not tell how old) and took her for a wonderful meal at The Saxon Mill, a lovely pub / restaurant just outside Warwick. Tom accompanied us too though he declined the sumptuous menu and instead stuck with his own supply of bottled provisions. Good lad – already looking after his daddy’s wallet.

The low life today – back at work earning local authority wages to pay for the meal and the presents above. No sumptuous meal this lunchtime but instead an asbestos survey being carried out by a third party contractor. Our H&S bods ticking yet another H&S box. I doubt very much that they’ll find anything but it’s got my skin crawling just thinking about it. Not sure why. Does asbestos make you itch?

And the afternoon can only get better. I have about 5 “old dears” coming to see me for some PA system training. They’re members of a local “friends” group who regularly help out the gallery where I work with various fundraising events and organized talks. Sort of an octogenarian WI. Calendar Girls without Helen Mirren, Julie Walters or appetizing jugs of any sort.

For their meetings and talks they like to utilize our PA System – a relatively simple piece of kit that they merely need to switch on. Unfortunately, whether due to their venerable ages or their collective horn-rimmery, they manage to mess it up every single time and then complain that the PA system doesn’t work, blah blah blah, tea doesn’t taste like it used to, blah blah, aren’t policemen getting younger these days and you spring chickens never show us oldies any respect at all ever.

So. I am giving them a free training session today on how to flick a single switch from the OFF to the ON position.

Laugh if you must but it’s your council tax that’s paying for it.


Rol Hirst said...

It could be worse.

I'm not sure how.

But I'm sure it could be.

Steve said...

Give me time, Rol. I'll think of something...

The Hitch said...

yesterday I was out with a chap who works for a "company" that aims to get the unemployed back into work .
This "company" is owned by the govt, and boy did he have some horror stories to tell me about how crap life is in the public sector despite what I read in the daily mail.Yes its secure but for most people badly paid and soul destroying in its futility, after all they pay taxes just like the rest of us.
Anyway , happy birthday to Mrs Steve, Eve was 24 today, obviously Feb is a fine time for hatching girls (+:

Annie said...

Must try that pub/restaurant Steve.

Aw come on Steve, methinks you are exaggerating just a tad. Trevor and I are in contact with lots of elderly people and none of them are like that! Perhaps those WI women were land army girls once upon a time... maybe evacuees ... I bet they've got some stories to tell!
Sorry to be depressing, but God willing, you'll be elderly yourself one day...don't worry though, I'm sure someone will look after you ....

Steve said...

Feb is a grand time, Hitch - I'm very thankful for it! ;-) I'm sure the phrases "secure but badly paid and soul destroying in its futility" actually feature on my official job description...

Annie, I am not exageerating at all. Normally I get on well with old folks and though I can still charm these particular ones (by lapsing into "pseudo grandson mode") they genuinely are hard work and leave most of my colleagues white with fear whenever they are around. In fact their "leader" rather candidly admitted to me yesterday that despite her best intentions she is ineffably crabby and cantakerous and now tries to make a virtue out of it by doing it to the best of her ability. Have to say: she's a real pro...!

Daisy said...

happy birthday to your lovely wife...sounds like you did it up is my son's 24th birthday but we had a snow/ice storm last night so i probably won't see him for a couple of days as he lives about an hour away (yes i am from illinois and we tell distance in hours) :)

Anonymous said...

They've probably been sent by the MIL!!

I suspect they just pretended to be incompetent so that a lovely young man could come and spend some time with them! Sounds like the sort of thing my granny would have done. They are probably talking on the bus on the way there about whether they dare risk touching you up.

Glad you had a good day on Weds anyway. And today is Friday - so hey, things are looking up.

And wasn't Keeley sexy as Cat Woman??? Just wish 80s hairstyles had been a little more flattering!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Ah, but there is such a thing as microphone 'technique', avoiding popping & feedback etc etc, which is in the whole gallery's interest to avoid!

I gave a similar demo to a bunch of over-50's last summer and had a wonderful afternoon transforming them from shy retiring writers into veritable performance tarts!

They had a ball and couldn't stop telling me how much they'd enjoyed it. Several have since gone on to successful book launches, employing aforesaid skills.

So you might be appreciated more than you think and get more out of it than you imagine Steve. As for being elderly, alas, we're all headed the same way, so let's make it as funky as poss before we get there!

Steve said...

Hi Daisy - snow and ice storms? Wow. Things are a little more mundane here... kind of grey and mild for the time of year. Doesn't really compare! Happy birthday to your son - hope the weather breaks soon so you can catch up in person!

Gina! No touching up was allowed - I'm a married man. Though thinking about it one of them did keep tapping my elbow... but that could have been Parkinson's disease. Sorry. That was a crass joke even for me. Actually they weren't too bad... not sure though whether I was indulging them or they were indulging me. I didn't get offered a Wurther's Original though so I can't have been that lovely!

Keeley did look pretty hot and the trailer for next week looks pretty warm too... trapped in a hot lift. Gene Hunt is a lucky B. Her hair style is beginning to distress me though... but I'm loving all the off the shoulder tops and the eye make-up.

Laura, if one day I can get them wanging mic stands about like Freddie Mercury I'll retire a happy man. Until then I'll settle for just having them be able to turn things on properly without accusing everyone else of incompetence!

And to make it clear (in case I was giving off all the wrong signals) I don't harbour a secret loathing of old people. Not at all. Honest. The ones in comas are really sweet.


Am thinking of renaming today "bad taste Friday".

The Sagittarian said...

Happy Birthday Mrs Steve (sorry I'm late). Looks like that pub lunch was great. When I was in the UK BC (before Children) we went to lovely pub for lunch in the country somewhere...was staying in Wimbledon so no idea where we went but it was great.
Things can always be worse Steve. Now, doesn't that give you summat t'look forward to!! :-)

Steve said...

Thanks Amanda - oddly it has cheered me up. Or at least made me thankful that things aren't as bad as they could be! ;-)