Tuesday 20th September

BBC Breakfast informs me that there’s a bit of a ‘hoo-haa’ going on over some pikeys who have, using scaffolding poles, corrugated iron and other assorted crap, barricaded themselves into a field in Essex.

Despite the fact that their legal defence appears to amount to little more than the fact that they’d rather just stay put if it’s all the same to the rest of us ‘player-haters,’ they seem to be attracting rather a lot of attention from the media, and none of it seems to actually be helping their cause at all.

Having given the racist implications of this impending, and much discussed, eviction a great deal of thought, in the time that it took me to brush my teeth, I think I have hit upon the solution to the problem.

Rebranding.

It’s an image problem.

If these ‘travellers’ would lose the scaffolding poles, corrugated iron and other assorted crap, send the disgusting 1970’s pre-fab style caravans to the scrap-yard and get a hair-cut once in a while, things would start to turn around for them.

Admittedly, and in addition, the thieving, mugging and driveway related skulduggery would need to be addressed as well but, and bear with me here, I think I can see a future.

They need to stop being ‘Do-As-You-Likey-Pikeys,’ and all start being good old fashioned, traditional Romany ‘Gypsy-Folk’.

Which aspirational country village wouldn’t benefit from the arrival every summer of a band of travelling ‘Gypsy-Folk’ complete with painted caravans, shire-horses and genuine odd-job doing merriment.

Parish councils wouldn’t be evicting them; they’d be queuing up to get them to deign to visit.

The ‘Gypsy-Folk’ would need a website; complete with tour dates, so that tourists could come and see how traditional itinerant workers lived in a bygone golden age of British history.

I see fortune telling, white heather and a resurgence of Famous Five culture.

I see a ‘Gift-Caravan’ and an appropriate dress-code that inspires hoards of gullible curious tourists and tourist kid-lets to learn the traditional ways of the ‘Gypsy-Folk’ and, in the process, pay through the nose for the privilege.

The ‘Gypsy-Folk’ wouldn’t need to be ripping off old ladies, they’d be too busy attending New York Fashion Week to give a monkeys about anyones pension money.

I also see economic benefits for the villages in which the ‘Gypsy-Folk’ stop.

Bed and Breakfasts being booked up months in advance. Restaurants needing to put out extra chairs and tables and local stores needing to expand their offerings to include all that home-made crap that everyone’s going all bat-shit about these days.

What the USA has done for the Amish, we need to do for our gypsy folk.

I’m telling you, it’s a gold-mine and a total win/win.

You heard it here first!

Monday 19th September

Having a ‘day-job’ really takes it out of you.

I must confess that I don’t have massive experience of sustained, week on week, ‘workiness’ since what generally happens is that my employers and I reach a parting of the ways when said employers finally take on board the fact that the shuffling noises coming from the direction of my desk,  bear no relation at all to any tangible or measurable output.

In other words, I’m chewing gum, moving my stacks of paper around and smiling charmingly every time anyone comes near me.

No, it’s not the scale of my endeavours that is tiring me out so much but the time restrictions.

I don’t always feel like being up by 7.30 in the morning and quite honestly, I’m more partial to a gentle amble around the house in the morning, than a blind scramble toward the bathroom via the Nescafe cupboard in my frantic haste to get myself wedged into my black trousers before the traffic builds up too much on the A6.

My smeggy-eyed morning dash is hampered by frequently tripping over Dalmatians, teenagers and more often than not these days, random kids that I have never seen before but apparently, stayed over last night.

Then when I finally get to the workplace, the capitalist slave-drivers refuse to let me leave until 5pm.

What about my needs?

What if what I really want to do is catch up on the X Factor auditions from last night instead of putting invoices in envelopes or whatever it is that I’m supposed to be doing?

Why, pray, am I shackled to this bloody chair for seven hours at a time?

I don’t get time to write. Having a hang-over means coming up with one of my ‘emergency surgery’ stories and a day out at Bluewater requires yet another dead relative.

Plus, work is full of weirdos and people that, under normal circumstances, you would never, ever mix with.

To illustrate this fact, an elderly gentleman from the warehouse just opened a carrier bag to show me the dead rabbit that he will be cooking for his dinner tonight.

He seemed surprised when I screamed, shot backwards, crashing into the printer and knocking it off its stand.

Being pretty elderly, he obviously didn’t know that in polite society, we stopped poaching, skinning and stewing bunnies around the same time as we stopped building our houses out of shit.

I need a lie down.

Apparently I’m not allowed to do that here either.

Talk about human rights violations.

9/11

 Today marks the ten year anniversary since someone rang you and told you to turn on the tele.

Until about a week ago, I have always been resolutely of the opinion that whilst horrific and unprovoked, shit is prone to happen and because it is impossible to legislate against nut-jobs, occasionally their insanity will have shocking implications for the rest of us.

About a week ago, however, I was forced to reassess my fundamental belief that 9/11 was just a tragic and unforeseeable act of craziness.

I’m no ‘conspirasist’, I don’t really care if the lone gunman was actually a gaggle of communists, I even managed to read the Catcher in The Rye (there’s an afternoon of my life that I’ll never get back) without grasping what the conspiratorial fuss was all about.

I’m a pragmatist. I believe that life is, quite often, stranger than fiction and that even with our sooper-dooper techno-crap, that we as a species are far from being able to read the tea-leaves of fortune and thus avoid all or any unpleasantness that may currently be taxiing to the take-off runway of Dullis International Airport.

So, there we are. Me, shocked that 9/11 happened. Sad that nobody could have stopped it. Gutted for the victims that tragically lost their innocent lives on that terrible day.

Then I watched a documentary about United 93.

Now I’m a little confused.

United 93 apparently dove from the sky at a 45 degree angle and instead of hitting the ground and smashing into pieces, which I am fairly sure is the standard protocol for aluminium when it collides with the earth’s crust, it flew through the ground whereupon it buried itself without so much as a wheel visible above the crater that it created.

It didn’t have to be pulled out or anything inconvenient like that because when it had burrowed, mole like, underground, it and all of the passengers, seats, drinks trolleys and bags of peanuts disintegrated into vapour.

Oooops.

And while I’m on the subject of things that make you go ‘hmmmmmmmm,’ how could a plane that measures 140 foot from wing-tip to wing-tip fly into the Pentagon leaving a hole that is only 67 feet wide?

Once again, the plane was vaporised which makes sense since several of the survivors who were in the building that day, made their escape through the 67 foot crater and didn’t once trip over so much as a stray wing-mirror, let alone a Boeing jet.

I don’t have any agenda for questioning these apparent anomalies other than the fact that I stopped believing in fairy stories when I was ickle.

Sherlock Holmes used to quip that when you have removed the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable must be the solution.

I agree that it’s impossible that USA Inc. were in some way aware of whatever was going to happen that day. I’m not entirely convinced that causing a war that would enable them to gain control of the richest oil-fields in the world would be reason enough for orchestrating the deaths of over 3000 of their own citizens.

Would the wholesale removal of privacy laws and the introduction of a system of justice that allowed anyone, anywhere to be held for however long USA Inc. deemed necessary be reason enough to slaughter so many brave souls.

I don’t necessarily think that the 160 billion Kuwait owned dollars that were stored in, and not fully recovered from; the wreckage of the Twin Towers is all that strange.

Or is it?

I think I can hazard a guess at what Sherlock would say.

He’d say it was all highly improbable.