To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.about me
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It didn't get better when I went to the wife's office lunch.Whilst I was grateful for the invitation, unfortunately it was at a new venue and neither the view nor the food was as good. Anticipating a "food issue" I had made contingency plans buying in a butterball turkey for Boxing day and organising a seasonal dinner down in the village for New Years Day. As to the view I was left wondering whether the ample bra which for the last two year has been flying proudly from the building opposite the previous restaurant was there this year..... Wondering whether it was or not was even more distracting than wondering what normally filled it when it was not hanging about (so to speak)
And whether it is conditioning or not I got very agitated when at 10am on Christmas eve we were inside the Science Museum instead of last minute shopping. I had this acute urge like most western (well British) men to do last minute Christmas shopping especially since apart from securing the butterball, 6 crackers,a packet of mince pies and Jamie's new bike (nearly a month ago) we had bought precisely NOTHING !! What is Christmas if not staring at empty shelves or queuing with hundreds of others to pay for those last minute purchases. My wife pointed out that she is Chinese, not Christian and I am Jewish so why should Xmass be special for us ? She simply could not understand the cultural background. I even had to remind her that Boxing Day is not when you open your presents but when people take "boxes" round to those less fortunate so that they may share in the seasons good fortunes.
I did manage to relieve the urge and get down to the supermarket about 4pm - still lots of wines and beer but no Bristol Cream or Port (not even the crap stuff) . However the upside of being in the Science Museum at that date/time was that we had it all to ourselves except for the cleaners and guards. Everyone else was either having a lay in or was out doing their last day/panic shopping!!.
This brings me to my final comment : with the exception of #3 son who got his bike last week and a torch this morning (you know for looking under sofa for his lego etc) I failed abjectly to organise presents to my elder children. This isn't because I forgot or couldn't think of anything suitable, it's just that I have been to busy.
#2 son recently had a contact list "stolen" over the internet.Those of us fortunate enough to be it, myself included, got spammed .Coincidentally earlier in the year #1 daughter asked me (over facebook chat) for advice on cleaning up some suspected viruses on her PC. Just as we start cleaning up , she gets a phone call (land line not mobile) from a gentleman asking if she has virus on her home PC and offering to fix it .Suspecting a scan she hangs up. Although she believes it to be a coincidence , I on the other hand, even though I can't identify a plausible mechanism to trigger the call, simply don't.
If you think I am paranoid , I am surpassed by #1 son. Although he has a Facebook account he rarely uses it. In fact I believe that he hardly touches a computer outside of work, regarding them as Gateways to Hell and Zuckerman as a handmaiden of the Devil. In fact when I mentioned in passing that I had given #2 son a hardened USB drive with internet applications, he complained bitterly that he (#1 son) was more deserving and I should have given him one instead. I took this to heart and made a mental note to generate 3 hardened USB drives this Xmass (I have to assume that #2 son has already lost his !!!) . Well I've missed the target date but I am now working to deliver on or just after Chinese New Year....