...there was Jeremy Vine encouraging us all to feel sorry for ourselves or to despise those that feel sorry for ourselves as VAT rises, jobs disappear, money dwindles and our bank balances dip further below the overdraft line in this first week of 2011.
There was no mention of new starts, healthy lifestyles, starting again, looking forward, general gung-ho optimism, no, he just wound his callers up. Most of his callers sounded as if they hadn't left the house for a month. I have sympathy with them due to my own seasonal agraphobia. I still haven't quite recovered and find I get a little dizzy if away from the house for more than a couple of hours.
I can only listen to Mr Vine for short periods of time before my ranting gets the better of me. Phone-ins are such pointless things. They don't solve anything. There's not a great deal we can do about the VAT rise apart from a) make more money b) spend less. No amount of complaining will change it. We've just got to get on with it and accept that a millionaire who's never had a proper job is quite likely to be unaware of the impact his policies have on the ordinary minions about the place. That's what we voted (or didn't) for last year.
We went to see 'Swallows and Amazons' at Bristol's Old Vic on Sunday. It was lovely. I always forget what a small theatre it is. We had half the back row of the stalls and I was sat bang in the centre with a direct view of the stage.
The production had a sense of austerity about it. The biggest prop was a mast and there was a 'make do and mend' air about the rest of the staging. The sea was represented by 4 blue ribbons and the boats were improvised from boards with castors and bits of wood. Like 'Warhorse' the stage hands were part of the production and were much more than lugger-abouters, they played the instruments, sang in the choir and gave the main actors an energy and humour they otherwise wouldn't have had. It made me want to come home and make things but then, I always do want to come home and make things. We had a lovely time watching a nostalgic version of dear old Blighty and the fun we used to be able to have with nothing but a cardboard box and a sugar sandwich.
On a more materialistic note - FC brought me a new car stereo with a jack to play my ipod - no more tapes. Just me, my ipod and a few CDs. My old one crashed at the beginning of December and I've had enough of driving around with just my random thoughts to distract me. I'm much better off if I can listen to Melvyn Bragg once in a while. I'm sure my IQ rises simply by hearing him talk with all those dons and professors about ancient greece or the vikings. Can you get brainier just by listening to brainy people? When I'm not listening to Melvyn, I shall be trying to blow my speakers with lots of age-inappropriate music on the way to Swindon College.
Happy New Year!