Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Of mobile phones and the extortion of the internet costs

You probably think that I'm completely obsessed by the weather. You'd be right. Well, almost. Now, they say, we are expecting more snow and winds and freezing temperatures from the weekend. Great. Well, actually, not. The wind today keenly whipped around my face when dog and I were walking on the Heath. He likes it. Me not. At least we don't get the question mark faces when they see him. Or the amazed stares of 'What on earth has she done to that dog?' It's not MY fault I want to shout at them. I didn't do it! My Russian lady friend. She who has a dog that mine actually does an Obama bow to. An Obow wow wow, so to speak. She couldn't believe it when she saw him. In her rounded vowels she said that we must 'get compensation. It just doesn't look like him!' I know what she means. Not much hair has grown in ten days. It took three years to get that long.

New technology is great, isn't it? It is until you get the bill. I was upgraded to a BlackBerry. In my understanding, I believed the patter that internet and browsing were 'free.' Well, actually, they're! I can't believe that I was duped like this. I received the mother of a bill this week. Something that I had surely not anticipated. I recognise that we are still at the mercy of the phone companies when making international calls. I do tend to spend time abroad and I know from past experience just how much we are exploited for making calls there but this time I was charged for internet and browsing and I really, really (honestly) didn't realise that I would be charged. In fact, no one explained this to me. Only now, having checked my bill and contacted CarPhoneWarehouse and O2, has this been explained in terms of how much each megabyte costs! So beware! Don't be taken in by the beauty of the mobile phone upgrade. I think I'll go back to my old, trusty Nokia. I'm mightily peeved.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Sunshine, SAD, Avram Grant and Yom Ha'Shoa's Holocaust Survivors

Amazing. A whole day of sunshine. People out and about. Summer dresses (even though it's still chilly) and sandals and legs. Walking dog this morning (ok, I've taken him out of hibernation, notwithstanding my pure embarrassment, no, not really) and the people I met en route to the Heath were full of the real joys of spring. "Sunshine!" we shouted at each. "Blue skies!" We have all suffered from SAD this winter and to see the sun above is liberating.

The above was written three days ago. Since then we've had grey skies and wind but today it's sunny but SO cold!

Pompey did well yesterday. Avram was the saviour and 20 people crowded into the flat to celebrate Pompey making it to the semis before they made their way to the match. The fact that they're on their way to Wembley yet again to a final, notwithstanding that they are broke, relegated, full of injured or out of contract players, is irrelevant. Avram wore his black armband and celebrated how strength of mind and the fact that football is not life or death encouraged his players to beat crabby 'Arry's lot. Go Avram!

To continue the Avram theme: Today was Yom Ha'Shoa, Holocaust Memorial Day. Avram left Wembley in order to fly to Krakow and thence to Auschwitz to go on the March of the Living. The fact that his father buried most of his family in the wastes of Russia, having 'escaped' the extermination camps, is a tribute to the way that Avram has led his life. He said that his father was born with a smile on his face and died that way.

A story on AP today showed that the Holocaust is not over for those who experienced it. Over 200 Jews remain in mental health facilities in Israel, never having been able to expunge their memories. Some are 'locked in', unable to speak; others chain smoke and stare bleak-eyed into the distance; some have grotesque nightmares and others, who had managed to make lives for themselves post-war and have families and grandchildren, have found themselves back on psychiatric wards because these horrific memories will not leave them and have placed themselves at the forefront of day-to-day lives.

Ruby Wax, who writes that she suffers from depression, is going around the country with some kind of comedy show for those who suffer in psychiatric institutions. Perhaps she should wonder how Holocaust survivors spend their days. There's no comedy in trauma.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Of dogs and groomers and electioneering

Multi apologies. I've been away. It's been cold and wet and windy and I've suffered from SAD and now it's April and my birthday! Can't believe how quickly the time goes.

We're on our way to an election, although the party incumbant doesn't appear to have the balls to actually call it and yesterday the two weakest, most dorky, most irritating and infuriating - the boys Milliband - decided to launch a campaign wherein Dave the Cam is reflective of 'Life on Mars.' Doesn't everyone know that everybody loves the idea that political correctness is a burden and calling a spade a spade in the manner that Gene Hunt does is something to be admired, not vilified. And they want us to vote for five more years of the loathesome Mandelson and the man who sold off our gold reserves for the lowest price possible. Yes, that 'intellectual giant.' Geez...

Yesterday I took the dog into the groomers. He'd had a long winter. He was dirty and smelly and, quite truthfully, he was tangled. Guess what the groomer did? He shaved him. Can you believe it? A Rough Collie. A Lassie contender. A dog whose beauty is in his ruff had it shaved away! I'm in shock. I'm distraught and speechless that someone whose job it is to make dogs beautiful could actually do such a thing! He no longer looks like a Collie. He looks deranged. You can see the skin in some parts. The groomer showed me the bag of hair when I arrived to collect poor chien. 'He was matted,' he told me. He was never matted! All the groomer had to do was wash him, condition him and BRUSH him! Who's ever heard of SHAVING a Collie?! It will take years to grow!

So it's not all fun and games on my birthday. Zach came over with a card. He's taking me out for lunch later in the week. He's still good but still not doing anything actually to fill his days again. What a shame that the course didn't last for years...