This is my 112th post. Listened to the end of the Chris Evans show on Radio 2 this afternoon. Johnny Saunders is interviewing Will Carling at the end of the show. Chris, having recently discovered Twitter, and being very excited by it, interrupts.
“So, Will, I was following you on Twitter today, and I see you were out on your bike this afternoon…?”
Gosh. I must really get myself onto Twitter, there’s a lot of interesting news going down there. Perhaps I could call myself @frequentlyburgled or something. I arrived home one Friday night recently from a conference in Ascot, somewhat empty-handed, BA having lost my bag in Terminal 5, as is their wont. My key wouldn’t turn in the Yale lock. I feared the worst, as the only person who could have snibbed the lock from the inside (legally) was my mother, and she was in London. And if she had snibbed the lock, she must have left by the window. Which it seems is what the burglars did, having entered the same way, before spurning my entire CD and DVD collection (again) on their way to finding my digital camera. Installing pretty-looking window locks, as I did after the last burglary, appears to have been the equivalent of owning a nightclub and hiring a couple of teenage girls as bouncers. Attractive, but ineffectual. The electrified steel bars with barbed wire and sensor-triggered shotgun, which I have just added to the back of the property, should put paid to them when they come back for my new camera.
Shopping for the new camera was an interesting experience. Last time, my insurance company insisted I buy a replacement from Jessops, which suited me fine, as they know things about cameras in there, not to mention customer service. I duly was given a full explanation and demonstration of my chosen camera, and the photographic miracles it could perform. This time, I had to buy from Comet. When I asked about a specific model, I was taken to the nearest computer screen, where the young chap helpfully read out the list of features that appeared. Still, he was very pleasant.
I subscribe to a weekly cricket email, called the Spin, which is sent out from the Guardian HQ, and brightens up my inbox of a Tuesday. This week, the author, in passing, made reference to the UK Citizenship Test, and I followed the link to have a go at it. It appears I am ineligible to live in my own country. I have now lived in the UK for thirty-five and a half years, and I failed the test that they give people who want to live here. I deeply regret that I do not know the year that married women gained the right to divorce their husband, or how many people in the UK declared themselves to be Muslims in 2001. I imagine there are many, many people in the UK who know how many parliamentary constituencies we have, but I trust that I will be able to continue to survive without that knowledge. How embarrassing, that prospective UK dwellers have to answer these questions. Personally, I think that Norman Tebbit’s Cricket Test makes more sense. After all, that’s what we’re all here for, right? ‘Course it is. Apart from Wiseman, who’s only here for the kick-boxing. And beer…