Friday 28 December 2007

The making of 'Scroblene'

There is a certain amount of pressure being applied from The Honorable Member for Tuscany, to reveal the origin of the name ‘Scroblene’.

I have thought long and hard as to how to respond, and agree that some explanation is appropriate, even if yet another layer of my privacy is exposed to the world, along with all my NI records which are on one of those CDs lost in transit, and, the small matter of certain 'evidence' (pah!) now in the possession of Tunbridge Wells CID...

The name evolved from a bastardised version of similar names, which circulate inside a confused mind…

Rene Blosc was the owner of a small Pernod cafĂ© on the Caen Canal. (not the one by Pegasus Bridge, but on the other side). Rene had a daughter, Giselle-Dubonnet, who looked after the customers, sometimes many times… When the old bridge was demolished in 1994, the contractors actually managed to disturb the foundations to such an extent that the whole building slid slowly into the water and was never seen again! Rene Blosc lives on under an ‘assumed’ name*, but Giselle-Dubonnet married a passing quantity surveyor, and now lives near Droitwich with eight children and a brindle spaniel called Collette.

S.R.Benecol was a part-time margerine futures broker, who spent most of his life being hounded by large corporations to give his name to a new type of health food. He surrendered eventually, taking temporarily, the name S.R.Beconase – (not to be sniffed at); but was again badgered by large firms until his untimely death in suspicious circumstances not unconnected with a toasting fork and a small nasal inhaler.

Senor Compadrione Ricardo O’Blene, was a monk from the fifteenth century, who is believed to have been the role model for a traditional rugby ditty, concerning a foray into the less salubrious parts of London town, and, it’s dire consequences. He is buried somewhere, but nobody actually knows where, and most people aren’t really that bothered…

We are getting there though aren’t we? Lilith was once so close, she was breathing down my neck; which is a uniquely pleasant experience from which I have not totally recovered…


Friday 21 December 2007

Shutting up shop for t'festivities...

Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone - and thanks so much for all the good chat!

The Twelve Days of Christmas.(Traditional – well nearly)

On the first day of Christmas my Client sent to me.....One vague letter of appointment on a laughably insignificant, suspicious and possibly illegal industrial whale blubber smelters descaling and rendering-down plant on a waste tip in Nottingham.

On the second day of Christmas my Client’s solicitor delivered to me.....Two photocopies of our fee agreement with a pencil note in my client's accountant’s spidery scrawl still attached, reducing the percentage by a third. (the reference to ‘bloody liar’ was nearly rubbed out).

On the third day of Christmas my Client left (just after lunch at 3.45 pm) on my mobile ..... Three tired, emotional and totally slanderous messages about the goings on at the planning committee.

On the fourth day of Christmas my Client couriered (unpaid) to me......Four photocopies of an article showing him doing the twist (!) with a glamorous local councillor at a charity function at The Ritz.

On the fifth day of Christmas my bank sent first class registered mail to me .........Five red letters!

On the sixth day of Christmas my Client's long-suffering wife biked (c.o.d) to me.......A list of six contractors to tender, one with a golf invitation still attached, and also an extra one from her local builder who has been putting up a few things in her en-suite recently...

On the seventh day of Christmas my stupid nephew, who's training to be a Chartered Surveyor, sent to me ........A bill for seventy quid for a few grey pictures of the site taken in the rain during the evening, and seven of the inside of his car while trying to work out how the camera worked.

On the eighth day of Christmas my Client wrongly faxed to me......Eight grovelling pages of pathetic mumbling gibberish about his delay in the deal, all of which should have gone to the equity fund.

On the ninth day of Christmas my Client's agent emailed to me.......Some very nasty notices from a Mr Hideous-Ache (sounds like), Environmental Health Officer, with the intimation of impending messy legal action.

On the tenth day of Christmas my Client's idiot assistant wrongly dropped off at my neighbour's home (who eventually passed them on to me just as I was going to bed)......Eleven (he never could count) pages of queries connected with the colaterel (he never could spell either) warranties.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my Client forwarded to me..........Eleven holiday snaps from Bermuda (with the glamorous councillor in a ridiculous gold lame bikini) and a new mobile number, (the other one had fallen from his Bermuda shorts pocket into the crystal-clear waters…….(so it said on the insurance form – next to the Rolex Oyster claim……..)

On the twelfth day of Christmas my Client ordered, for me to collect from Threshers.......A dozen bottles of cheap Bratislavian (country peasant blended and unfiltered) red wine to celebrate the fact that he had sold on the development at 200% profit and was cancelling our agreement.

Friday 14 December 2007

Until sanity returns...

It's been an utter bugger of a week, so can I suggest that you just talk amongst yourselves until I can get around to writing something...?

Thanks so much...!

Update...following day...

Er; sorry about that; very rude...

...well you know how it is when things seem to be getting better at work, then everything suddenly deteriorates, and then turns even more terminally disastrous, and you tell yourself to cheer up because things could be worse, and sure enough, they do get worse, then just one phone call turns everything round in an instant, and you're so relieved that you have a couple of drinks and fall asleep in front of the fire, and wake up in the early hours with a conking headache, and JRT needs to go out for a last wee, and you get to bed feeling tired but so relieved, and are so exited that you can't sleep for hours, and then the little doubt creeps in to why it may not all be so fantastic, and you spend the rest of the night on the worry cycle again.

Well that's my week anyway, and no different from most people's I guess! If I had ten hours sleep this week, that left plenty of time to thank my lucky stars that I met Mrs S. over forty years ago...

Monday 10 December 2007

Go on, go on, go on, go on GO ON!!!

Two priests decided to go to Hawaii on vacation.

They were determined to make this a real vacation by not wearing anything that would identify them as clergy. As soon as the plane landed they headed for a store and bought some really outrageous shorts, shirts, sandals, sunglasses, etc.

The next morning they went to the beach dressed in their 'tourist' garb. They were sitting on beach chairs, enjoying a drink, the sunshine and the scenery when a 'drop dead gorgeous' blonde in a topless bikini came walking straight towards them. They couldn't help but stare. As the blonde passed them she smiled and said 'Good Morning, Father ~ Good Morning, Father,' nodding and addressing each of them individually, then she passed on by.

They were both stunned. How in the world did she know they were priests? So the next day, they went back to the store and bought even more outrageous outfits.

These were so loud you could hear them before you even saw them! Once again, in their new attire, they settled down in their chairs to enjoy the sunshine. After a little while, the same gorgeous blonde, wearing a different coloured topless bikini, taking her sweet time, came walking toward them.

Again she nodded at each of them, said 'Good morning, Father ~ Good morning, Father,' and started to walk away.

One of the priests couldn't stand it any longer and said,
'Just a minute, young lady.'
'Yes, Father?'
'We are priests and proud of it, but I have to know, how in the world do you know we are priests, dressed as we are?'

She replied,'Father, it's me, Sister Kathleen.'

Friday 7 December 2007

For Piglet... (and Mutley)

JRT often sits with me (sometimes on my knees, wich mokies tyippimg defecuult), and as she jumps up unawares on several times a day, she knows roughly what's going on in my field of commerce...

Here she is checking my expenses, and disbelieving every entry... and also staring down her nose at the bank manager...
When I got home last night after the Varsity match, JRT and I shared a large glass of Beaujolais to celebrate Cambridge doing the right thing - as expected! (She doesn't rate the Gamay grape luckily...)! Mrs S also supports Cambridge, otherwise JRT's leapings, ears-backings and boundings would have been less than appreciated.
It usually takes me five minutes to get in the door when she's on guard, (JRT, not Mrs S...), luckily, I wasn't too late back, and still capable of a conversation...

Saturday 1 December 2007

The road to ExCel...

During several days this week, I’ve had to spend quite a few long hours in the company of 7,000 or so good citizens at a property investment forum in London. You see; I have to talk with people to tease out opportunities for our company, and many of these were assembled under the same roof. So I was there.

I’ve always been an inveterate networker – even won a prize for it once; you've got to like people from the start. But the buzz of talking with anyone, keeping it nice, looking for clues, laughing a bit, is still a happy occupation which demands one result – a potential opportunity to earn a crust. Sometimes I even start networking to myself (“Hi Scrobs…Oh, Hi there Scrobs!…How are things?…Oh pretty good thanks…How are you keeping now…Why are we talking like this; we are me aren’t we…)! Surreal eh?

Some conversations on public services stands are stilted, the other chap or girl is sometimes shy, possibly well qualified but unsure, or maybe just bored. On the other hand, there will always be the bright spark who livens up the moment, and appreciates that the reason for being there is that at some stage, we may do some work and get paid. I enjoy those chats, and when eventually the magic business opportunity is realised, I can hear the triumphant love theme from ‘Back to the future’, echoing down the spine…

These stands contrast with – say - one full of commercial agents or lawyers, where there will be quite a lot of finger-flicking and plenty of ‘OK yah, for sure’ attitude, but as my business partner often says, there are many people out there who know a hundred ways of having sex, but don’t know any women!

I always avoid the speeches, as I don’t need to listen to politicians who understand very little about anything except spending other people’s money, and this year I made a point of being as far away as possible from the droning, and used the time to work. When I mentioned to one (public service) lady who was chained to her desk, that I wanted to drown out Yvette Cooper, I could see her eyes glaze over with fear of Stalinist retribution for talking while the ‘leaders’ pronounced…! Rude man…me?

So, I’ve got stupidly lost on the tube twice, walked several times round the hall (and it’s big; really big…), collected a fistful of business cards which all require following up, arranged several days of new meetings, met some stunningly attractive ladies who make me feel eight feet tall, discussed about a hundred schemes, of which I can only work on sixteen, and been tempted (several times an hour), by the inevitable nemesis to good behaviour; the champagne pop…! Many times. Many, many times..

I’ve fallen off a stool (got my leg tangled like Inspector Clouseau in ‘The Pink Panther’), answered the phone in the gents – yes exactly then, lost several cloakroom tickets, been spun round like a top by a gorgeous lady who was helping me take off my coat while I was gabbling on the phone, listened with interest to a man yelling ‘F***’ when he went to sleep on the train and missed his station, tripped over every single step which manufacturers cleverly build into stands for that purpose, eaten something beige, and hopefully won a bicycle!

But the best phone call however, was to Younger Daught, so we could meet up and go home together on the train. That’s more important.