EDitorial ± 25-Jun-2001

Going, Going, Soon To Be Gone

It started, like so many things, with a Tweenie: Milo, to be specific. You see, McDonalds, bless 'em, have recently been dishing up a Tweenies figure with each Happy Meal (choose from hamburger, cheeseburger, 3 fish fingers or 4 chicken nuggets). And while the kids had been fortunate enough to get Doodles, Jake, Fizz and Bella, the purple-headed Milo proved elusive. Then a thought struck me: that's just the kind of item sold through ebay, the online auction site.

Sure enough, entering Tweenies into the search box brought up quite a selection, ranging from single characters (around 75p) to a complete unopened set of five (around £3.00). Might be worth a fortune in years to come. Provided you keep them in the wrappers, of course, and above all else don't let the children play with them.


It's a fascinating place to browse, is ebay, like an enormous searchable car boot sale. While I was visiting last week, I typed in the names of a few favourite bands, one of which was Radiohead, probably because they were on the hi-fi at the time. Scanning the list of items for sale, you can quickly see what's attracting any attention from the number of bids. One entry caught my eye, since there were already six bids which had put the price up to £72. This was for a 4-track CD EP called "Drill". Hang on, I thought: I've got that!

Turns out that this CD single I'd bought years ago from the Our Price bargain rack (for a couple of quid) was worth money, since (a) it was Radiohead's first release and (b) only 3000 were produced. I followed the auction, and it closed on Sunday afternoon with three bids in the final ten minutes, giving a final sale price of £133. Bingo!

So, having decided to cash in, I put my own copy up for sale last night on ebay. The auction runs for a week, closing late on Sunday, and to make things more interesting I've not set a reserve price, so it will go to the highest bidder regardless of the amount. Where are we now? Well, bidding opened at £25, and, four bids later, with 5 days 23 hours to go, now stands at £41. I'll be watching with interest and with little dollar signs in my eyes.

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 18-Jun-2001

Perchance To Dream

Arrived at work this Monday morning around 8.50am to be greeted by this:
"What's the matter, couldn't sleep?"
Actually I had a fab sleep on Sunday night, and would have stayed in bed longer had it not been for baby boy having woken. There was the customary game of I'm-really-asleep-me when we heard him through the miracles of the monitor on the bedside table. I cracked first: well, it was my turn. Ah, nothing beats the life-affirming odour of the 7am nappy change! Lenor and springtime meadows don't come to mind.

I'm no better than average, if that, at getting up of a morning - after all, with a crying infant in the next room, it's more a case of having to - but I do have the knack of going to bed late and getting away with it, most of the time.

Sing me to sleep
Sing me to sleep
I'm tired and I
I want to go to bed
— The Smiths: Asleep

Perhaps I started honing this skill when I got into films some years back. Often as not, because these critically acclaimed works might be subtitled or black-and-white or over two hours long or all of these, it'd be just me on the couch. And I wouldn't hit the "play" button until I was the only one awake in the house, which usually meant that it was already gone 10pm. Which in turn meant that the credits wouldn't roll until, say, 1am. Then off to work the next day.

Wherever I lay my head

Next, something dreadful happened: internet access from home. What with the kids and everything else, quality time kicked in as soon as the washing-up was done, around 10.30pm. Fire up the modem, connecting at 46667 bps, and off to read the web-based email. Might as well check out a few favourites on the web before signing off. Next thing you know, it's three hours later.

Can't say I'm particularly proud of my ability to survive on not much shut-eye. Not big and none-too clever, and even I need to recharge occasionally. Middle of last week, having not crawled under the covers until gone 1.30am on Monday and Tuesday, I went for an early night on Wednesday, lights out by 11pm. Woke up Thursday morning feeling lousy. As Kurt Vonnegut would say, so it goes.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else
One sheep, two sheep, three sheep, zzz:

  • Maggie Thatcher needed minimal sleep while in office; look at her now
  • it's 11:46pm now and I've just made myself a cup of tea
  • OK, upload this to the web, then quickly check for any new mail...
Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 11-Jun-2001

One Giant Leap

Theo, aka The Boy, is coming up for a year later this month. I know, time surely does fly. And for what seems like months now he's been pulling himself up onto his little footballer's legs (inherited from his dad, naturally). More recently, in search of forbidden fruit like a shiny magazine to screw up or small plastic toy to cram into his mouth, he's been confidently cruising round the furniture. This past weekend, as has been threatened for some time, he's taken his first steps.
I'm walking, yes indeed
— Fats Domino
It's quite a feat, in my humble opinion, and please excuse the pun. I realise that as a parent this is a great moment, but I'm equally impressed by what seems to me an almost unnatural transformation. There we are, happily crawling around on all fours, when suddenly we realise that hey, we can (a) stand still, then (b) move forwards on just the back two. Helluva thing, the inner ear.

Standing tall   Feeling confident   Here I come   D'oh!

Was it The Ascent Of Man that had the cover showing the stages of evolution leading to man walking? And didn't Fatboy Slim do something similar in the video for Right Here, Right Now? There I go again, covering all intellectual bases. From memory, I dimly remember a theory about the need to stand straight in order to pick fruit from the lowest branches. Not sure how likely that is in these days of one-stop convenience shops. One small can of Fruitini, please.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else
Left, right, left, hello carpet:

  • he's already doing Ring-A-Ring-A-Roses with his big sisters
  • what's more clever: walking or using the lift?
  • when I was 19 I broke my leg while posting a letter, but that's another story

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 4-Jun-2001

Ten Years After

I had a good time Saturday night: perhaps you were there? Twas ten years and a day after the wedding of Edward Freston Broom to Gail Frances Nelder, which seemed a reasonable excuse for a bash. We tried to get most of the attendees of the original event back together again, and largely succeeded. For people without one of those tea-towels, it's tin for a 10th wedding anniversary. You expect precious stones at this early stage?!

Tell you what: it's a great thing to go to a party where you know everyone in the room 'cos they were all hand-picked. Took me back to our evening do a decade back over at Rat and Poy's place, which was heaving in an extremely sociable sense. Both then and at the weekend there was fine food, free drink and stacks of people you genuinely wanted to speak to. Can't ask for too much more.

While I'm here, love and kisses to Gail, of course, but also to mother-in-law and other family groupies for their hard work prior to the do. I appreciated the marshmallows, and would have consumed a lot more had it not been for a Harry Potter lookalike scoffing the lot. And a big masculine hug to the menfolk for washing up endless glassware on the night.

Cordial invitation

Tips for a long-term relationship, if I might be so bold:

  • master the art of the non-committal grunt
  • don't begrudge doing the washing-up
  • use a nice deodorant
  • buy the biggest bed that'll fit in your bedroom

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else
Among the presents (ta!) were two tins of biscuits from my mum and dad. Except that only one contained any biscuits. The other contained:

  1. a tin of smoked sardine fillets "a l'huile de tournesol"
  2. a tin of Cawston Vale apple & cherry juice
  3. a tin of Canadian candy holding two saTIN soaps
  4. a tin of Colron finishing wax
  5. a tin of ten Typhoo tea bags
  6. a tin of Cromer clotted cream toffee
  7. a tin of Japlac metallic finish paint, tin colour
  8. a tin whistle, plus sheet music
  9. a tenner

Be seeing you!