Week Four: 2022

I worry about law breaking. I do it, more often than I’d like to admit. Speeding – staying at 20 mph, which is universal around here, is darned tricky – the odd parking infraction, the occasional littering and I can’t be sure I’ve not left a few of Dog’s offering, steaming when I’ve been distracted by a podcast. There are other offences, m’lud to take into consideration. A bit of graffiti, not paying my fare on the train, driving in a bus lane, running a traffic light. This week my son wants me to take his car in for a belated MOT which means the car tax isn’t paid… another offence. And during the covid paranoia of the first lockdown, occasionally a child would pop round. In some cases I’ve been hit with a suitable fine, points on the licence and on others I’ve dodged a bullet. I like to think that on most occasions I’ve held up my hand and taken my punishment. I’m not special, just an ordinary Joe. Were that true of some others…?

I undertook a bit more strava art this weekend. The Dulwich Fish. As with the Brockwell Dog it was about 15 km, took in a couple of decent hills and, given the mild weather down here (further north Storm Malik has been doing its worst, I believe) I sweated loads.

At one point we passed along Sydenham Hill (the chest, just under the nose). There are some impressive Victorian Villas built after the Crystal Palace was rebuilt elsewhere on Sydenham Hill. This one

The Cedars, was built in the 1890s and at one point housed part of the Salvation Army’s training facilities in the 1950s. Most people would be glad to own it, I’d guess. Well, maybe not Harry and Megan as apparently it has 10 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, a ratio that simply wouldn’t pass muster.

One reason why various schemes to rebuild some version of the original Crystal Palace on the foundations in Crystal Palace park have never taken off is the enormous BBC radio mast that looms over us.

Here is is seen across the manicured playing fields of Dulwich College, the Croesus-wealthy private school that educated luminaries like PG Woodhouse and Raymond Chandler and arsewipes like Nigel Farage. You can’t win them all. And the buildings are rather fabulous, even slightly blurry and out of focus as they were in the last kilometre of today’s walk…

Education is so wasted on the young.

On the subject of the mast, the irony of it being where it is, is that the digital radio signal and mobile phone reception around here are shite. A mile away they’re perfect. You may be advised to keep your friends close and your enemies closer but your phone mast is in a different kettle of distance.

Our house alarm has been fixed after a month’s hiatus – so all you miscreants reading this blog, yah boo sucks. Getting to this point has been a modern example of the Gas Man Cometh, by Flanders and Swann. In this case we upgraded our cable TV package and broadband to include the house phone, even though we still received that via British Telecom’s cabling. Then the broadband became a bit volatile. We sort of put up with it. Then our old TV sort of gave up the ghost so we bought a new fangled internet TV and we started losing connection in the middle of some Amazon Prime TV series. An engineer was dispatched. He replaced the router. Hmm… Another came and replaced the cabling from the street to the house and another from the front wall to the central junction box further down the road. Whoop-dee-do, a cracking broadband. But the house phone was now plugged into the router, not the wall socket… Sadly, while that was fine for the phone, the disconnection of the BT line took out our alarm’s connection to the central police thingy (I imagine a Bobby dozing in a blue police box and receiving a small electric charge down the phone line when our alarm goes off, waking him up sufficiently to dispatch a car to our front door). So our alarm company had to send out another engineer to fix the alarm’s connection to said Bobby. It took him a couple of hours and we now have a state of the art alarm that connects, not via cable but via radio waves to our Bobby. Whew. As I was performing one of the more useless tasks required of such companies – trying to write my signature with a fingernail on an iPad – the engineer handed me some stickers. ‘You can put these in your windows’. Apparently these two by one posters (inches, not feet) will inform any prospective burglar of our new alarm and that will dissuade them from attempting entry. I still prefer the socking great box on the front wall of the house with the alarm company’s logo on it as a deterrent, TBH.

Oh, and the Gas Man Cometh?

I spent a full day in the garden this week and I will write about it shortly. Here’s a tempter…

And for Dog lovers?

Have a splendid week. By this time next week we may know if our PM is a lying toerag or… actually, we know that. Of more interest will be what then happens. My guess? A lot of wailing and gnashing of dentures and bugger all else. Anything else might restore my faith in the integrity of politicians and it’s really too early into the New Year for that to happen…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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24 Responses to Week Four: 2022

  1. trifflepudling says:

    Modern life is … messy! It’s not as if there is always something to watch on all those channels either but you get forced into upgrading. I still have an ordinary TV – it’s not smart or anything (probably CSE level). I dread the day when it has to be consigned to the recycling bin.
    I know someone who was caught for speeding – in a bus lane! Takes some sort of attitude to do that!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I do love me some Dog!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The gas man saga continues unabated with the added fun of help desks and FAQ’s!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. willowdot21 says:

    It’s so good to read your weekly account of the year so far. Lots there for me to recognise. Our year and the end of last we have lurched from one disaster to another so I have everything crossed for next month.
    Garden looking good as is dog, keep sane Geoff I am losing mine ! (Sanity).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Miriam says:

    I was nodding in agreement with many of the rules you’ve broken. Life is too serious, sometimes we just have to do what we have to do! Happy February Geoff. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. noelleg44 says:

    Thanks for including the Victorian monster and of course, my favorite, Dog. He does brighten my day. That school looks semi- medieval. Happy Valentine’s Day (shortly).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the trip, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yvonne says:

    Our politicians, by and large are such toerags. But they sure know how to trot out the great big sincere (lying) apologies.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. V.M.Sang says:

    We have an LG smart TV. (Other smart TVs are available, and preferable) it is annoying. It keeps trying to take over. It wants us to use only one remote and tries to take over our Sky remote, rendering it dead.
    Until my husband found out how to turn her off, it kept on saying, “Let me suggest something for you to watch.”
    No! I don’t need a disembodied voice making suggestions. I’m an adult and am capable of looking through a list of programmes to find something.
    Then there’s the ‘hidden’ camera. I say hidden because it’s a teeny, tiny hole in the black bevel. Barely visible to the naked eye. Fortunately, my husband found out how to turn it off, so we can’t be spied on.
    There are other annoying things, too.
    I’m glad you seem to have things sorted, now, Geoff. And I agree about the box. Are potential burglars going to peruse your windows to see if you have a tiny notice? But a large box can be easily seen, and said burglar will give your house a miss in preference to next door, which has no box ( but maybe a tiny notice.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      We despair at TVs. One just keeps turning itself on at 3 am. I think it’s home to a collective of Extinction Rebellion activists who are trying to stop us using the standby option and turn it off at the plug.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Widdershins says:

    I refuse to voluntarily get anything listed as ‘smart’ for the very reasons you, and others in the comments, mentioned. There’s already so much ‘smartness’ in our lives that we have no control over.
    Did you hear about that Swedish, I think, bloke a while back, who, deliberately, blew up his Tesla on YouTube? Apparently he owned one for a few years, everything was fine until something broke, I can’t remember what. Anyway he took it to his tesla fixer-upper, who tried a few things, then informed him that the fix would cost a gazillion dollars, months to get the parts, and the fixer-upper would have to contact Tesla head office to get permission, yes, permission, to do the repairs.
    The Swedish bloke had had enough by this time, I think he decided it wasn’t worth it, the car having reached its ‘used-by’ date … so he took it out to an old quarry, and, after having responsibly removed anything with heavy metals, etc, he strapped a shit-ton of dynamite to the poor thing and blew it the hell up! … it was glorious. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I well remember The Gas Man Cometh, and have had a few similar experiences – extended well beyond the Monday morning! I think you have made a mistake about the PM. He tells the truth – Nadine Dorries says so, it must be right. The fact that she appeared to be three sheets to the wind at the time is irrelevant.

    Liked by 2 people

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