Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'll Be Seeing You 

“Boobs and teeth. Boobs and teeth. Boobs and teeth.”

Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, had a big meeting at eleven – highly important small and medium sized business men and women were winched in from all over the Ribble Valley, movers and shakers, hotshot deal makers, the cream of the cream of central Lancashire's power broker set – so she needed to be on top of her game.
She spent the preceding hours pacing nervously around her office, waiting to be summoned, checking her hair on her webcam and smoothing out the folds in her blouse, all the while repeating her mantra over and over - “Boobs and teeth. Boobs and teeth. Boobs and teeth” - psyching herself up into a state of near impossible executive preparedness.

Creepy Keith from Accounts hung around outside her door, pining like an abandoned mongrel chained to the wall outside Sainsburys, perplexed as ever by her continuing rejections.
“I'm everything you ever dreamed of,” he said, and she replied “Too little, too late,” gave him a pat on the head, then wandered off to fill her trolley.

There's a drowsy end of summer atmosphere lingering in the air. The sunflowers have been and gone, the sweet peas too, and with all this rain, the nasturtiums never really got off the ground.
An ominous feeling of dread swills around the pit of my stomach, like when the school holidays are all but over and a new term beckons, and I have to remind myself that I don't actually go to school any more, nor do I need to fret over incomplete homework, and if I want to dress up in a school uniform then that's my own free choice, but still this mood lingers.

Now Pietersen is coming in from the Stretford End and England are looking solid in the field – seventeen for one, thirty one for two, thirty three for three – and the afternoon passes hazily through a faint radio crackle, like molten jam being pressed through a sieve, and he delivers a short one to Tendulkar who top edges it and is caught by Flintoff in deep square leg, but the signal is weak and listless, which infuriates the hell out of Mike who complains he can only get the cricket on Long Wave, when Stella breezes back from her meeting, pumped up on adrenaline and conference room power buffet, and says “If you want cricket, buy yourself one of them DAB radios. My friend Becky gave me one in June and I've been getting it down the allotments all summer,” and outside my window Rex the security guard is bashing his sunflowers against the datacentre wall and gathering his seed in a polythene bag, while away in the distance, beyond the twinkling dual carriageway and the rinky dink toy town car showrooms, Preston, city of lovers and undeterred optimists, glistens sweet and inviting in the lovely late summer sunshine, like strawberry jam in the birthday cake of life.

Tonight at barbershop practice down in the rifle range, we will sing -
“I'll be seeing you in every lovely summer's day, in everything that's light and gay, I'll always think of you that way...” -
and there will be heated exchanges on the nature of Constitutions and matters of principal, accusations of sharp practice, but I will not be distracted by points of order -
“... I'll find you in the morning sun and when the night is new, I'll be looking at the moon but I'll be seeing you, only you” -
and I hereby pledge to do my solemn best to stay the course, steady my aim and hold true, because Autumn is lurking in the shadows, dark and menacing like the unwanted attentions of a grimy accountant, and this time I'll be ready for it.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Doctor! Doctor! 

In our continuing Summer series of going to the pub with people off the internet, today we met Jonathan Crinklybee, his sister 'woor Abby', her fella John, Oscar and The People's Looby.

Topics discussed:
1) Why oh why do people go on about Jules et Jim being a great film? Anyone with eyes in their head knows it's preposterous drivel.
2) Mills and Boon. Crinkly used to work in a library and told us that Mills and Boon books are colour coded for degrees of smuttiness. When you see an old lady heading straight for the red ones, it means she's a dirty hag. I might need to investigate this for myself.
3) Star Wars. None of us have seen any of them.

In Doctorate of Blogging news, Abby has finally finished writing it.
I suggested that blogging is no longer quite the bleeding edge phenomenon it was, say, last Tuesday.
She agreed, but as the professors marking it are all aged ninety and above - they've only just discovered that colour television exists - time does not seem to be of the essence in Academia quite the way it is here at the coalface. She starts her new lecturing job soon.

Oscar didn't have a lot to say for himself. He spent the entire afternoon, well, just smiling and filling his nappies, while John proved himself enviably proficient at changing them. Abby and John write the excellent Bonkworld site, which is not about what you think it is. Well, honestly. Grow up.

Looby was still Looby, wearing a polyester shirt the likes of which was last seen on The Likely Lads. It looked like one loose spark and he'd have been up in flames in no time. He's moved on from the world of high finance now to working in a florists.
Crinkly is enjoying his new job too, though he's not sure what he's doing. We talked about flanges, Levenshulme and Mexico shirts.

This was rounded off by de rigeur coffee and cake, then we went for a stroll along the prom and took snaps on the jetty.
Another pleasant blog related afternoon then. Nobody cried, nobody peed themselves. Oh wait. They did.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Baggy Trousers 

Wedding Photography Day went well, I think.
It rained throughout, of course, but there were some good indoor locations, so it wasn't the nightmare that it might have been.
It's absolutely ages - fifteen years? - since I photographed a wedding as a 'professional'.
I used to take 48 pictures – four rolls - then would pick out the best twenty to put in an album; today I took 440 pictures. I shouldn't have too much trouble making a decent album's worth out of that.

It's funny, but I felt more pressure today doing this as a gift for one of Girlfriend's colleagues than I ever did trying to make my way as a professional.
If I'd screwed up back then (which never actually happened, but the possibility that I might haunted me constantly) then at least I'd merely be that idiot who mucked up their wedding photos and they'd never hear of me again.
This was different because it would be a much more public failure, in the full gaze of people I know and like. From this moment on it could forever be “Oh here's Tim. What a shame. He really messed up C&P's wedding photos.”
Anyway, there was no mess up - it went alright, I think. Girlfriend did a fine job of making sure I didn't miss anything or anyone off the list, everything went to plan and everybody had a really nice day. It was all, as they say, good.

Minor cock up on the vegetarian catering front – the caterers couldn't count to four – so my dinner consisted of a small mountain of whatever they had left, which I thought was funny, and not really a problem as I was way too hyper to be hungry anyway.

Afterwards we checked into the Hotel Overheated then went to the evening bash. I impressed everybody with my 'dancing like a wazzock to Take That' routine, and a fun time was had by all. Good as always to see everyone.

After that, FFA wanted to go clubbing – you could meet somebody who really loves you, etc. - so FFA, Leanne, Long Tall Wanda and me got a taxi and hit the bright lights of Burnley. Girlfriend was by this time having trouble with her vertical hold, so went to bed.
According to the bloke on the door, the nightclub had two floors - “Eighties and Cheese” and “Really rubbish techno.”
We settled for the former and although there was lots of Eighties I didn't see any cheese at all, and I was feeling peckish by this point. So that was a bit annoying.
But apart from that it was a good laugh, rubbish dancing and all. By chucking out time there was broken glass all over the place.

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