Thursday 2 February 2012


I said yesterday that I would continue with the doleful tale of my woeful experience as a school pupil…

The first few years’ reports - as you may have read from yesterday’s blog- were so harrowing, however, that I feel crushed. My self-esteem is at zero and I am finding it difficult to carry on. So I will wait until next week and maybe an improvement in my mental state before I continue with the final few years at that school until I reached 13 years.

In truth the real reasons are that I have left the report book in the boot of my car and also the pressure is beginning to tell on Strangelove my Producer. I forward the completed blog to him each day so he can fix the grammar and punctuation (see previous days reports for the reasons why I do this) along with various photo requests. The more bizarre the better although sometimes either I am not clear or as happened yesterday the terminology defeated him.

I asked for the picture of a "Wolf Cub". I wanted this:

I got this:

So today I thought I would talk about the weather instead. Everyone else seems to have jumped on the bandwagon and every news outlet and newspaper is talking about "Arctic conditions".

I will admit it was cold when I left the flat and when I hailed a cab to take me back after the shoe this morning, the driver - one cheery Afghan - was telling me that it was why we had hair; one of this mates had popped outside the office for a crafty drag and - being totally bald - had come stumbling back with a blue dome.

I then told him the story of the guy in the supermarket I heard about who was wearing a large woolly hat and on his way out suddenly collapsed. The Store Detective, upon attempting to revive him, discovered he had several frozen lamb chops hidden under his hat.

It just goes to show that crime doesn't pay and the cold not only saw off this evil-doer but also saw off Hitler on the Eastern Front as well.

I needed to go into town and get a voucher for my Aunt's 81st Birthday. She has all the books and gadgets she needs and so asked that vouchers for smellies and gardening stuff were the way to go.

It was cold enough to don the first hat of the winter.

I strode across the park in the sunlight. Normally I make a few phone calls as I stride but it was too windy, which had stymied any attempt at going flying in Upminster which was a shame. Still, as I strode I was aware that the hat was working but the gloves weren't as I think they are in the boot of the car with the report book!

Judging by the frozen conditions it was colder than I thought. By the time I had reached London's wild West End I was chilled to the marrow. So I ducked into one of the big bright department stores to warm myself through as they are generally overheated.

As you are probably aware I do like to reference a relevant song or song lyric in the title to each day’s blog, so you may be wondering where the reference to Prostitution is in the blog which has so far touched on the cold: my 81 year-old Auntie?


Dr Strangelove? (Well, he has had a “chequered” past but not I think that chequered…unless he has not told me everything!) . A taxi driver with hair? The park (possible I suppose)? and Wolf Cubs/Cub Scouts? (DON'T. JUST DON'T OK?!)

For some reason I am not sure of, large department stores tend to have their perfume sections just by the main entrance so they are not only overheated but extremely pungent.

These days the staff are not content to stand behind their counters waiting for customer enquiries like the halcyon days of "Grace Brothers"

No, they are on you like a pack of wild but slightly respectful dogs. Normally with my personal style of "modern tramp" I tend to be ignored. However, on this occasion a swivel-hipped and swarthy gigolo type matched my step and muttered in my ear

"Sometheeng for nice laydee. You got girl ?"

Whilst I'll admit this is not quite up there with

"You want a good time, dearie?" it reminded me very much of a friend’s experience thirty years ago in Mexico City when he hailed a cab, which makes some of our rather battered taxi's look like stretched limo's in that it was an extremely battered VW Beetle with no doors and bits of twine across the aperture, so that you knew where the edge of the vehicle was. Or maybe it was to cling on to as he flung it round the bends.

Having settled into the remains of the back seat and made himself as comfortable as possible under the circumstances he noticed a tobacco-stained driver grinning at him in the grime-encrusted rear-view mirror.

"You wanna meet my seester? Very cheap, very clean!" he rasped.

Like the consummate journalist that he was and is he made his excuses and left at the next junction!

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