Avatar More old news

Here we are again, starting a whole new year with the unnerving feeling that if we go outdoors for any length of time we will cause the immediate and irreversible end of all life on earth. Staying in and doing nothing has its charms of course, not least the fact that I can wear the same pair of pyjamas all day long for a whole week. But there’s not much to write about.

Back in May I posted a series of photos taken on that day in previous years, and it was so well received, and I was showered in such huge volumes of adoring fan mail, that I decided to do it again. So, let’s find out: what was Past Chris doing on this day in history?

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Avatar 2021 State of the Beans Address

Hello, and to a certain extent, welcome. Thank you for coming. My name is The Honourable Sergeant-Major Professor Lord Sir Elbert Louche, KBE, and it is with great pleasure and moderate smugness that I return again this year to deliver the annual State of the Beans Address.

It is a very different address this year, of course. For social distancing reasons, I am speaking to you from the top of the ornate clock tower that adorns the Beans, with my voice amplified using all the many shouters attached to the corners of the tower. And for you, the audience, this is a drive-in event. I must ask you to please remain within your cars, and choose between either opening your windows slightly for ventilation, or breathing. You cannot do both.

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Avatar Christmas wrap-up 2020

Another year is over, Christmas has ended, and all that remains is to sweep up a large quantity of pine needles from the carpet, move an item of furniture over the conspicuous mulled wine stain in the middle of the living room, and plant a boot firmly in the arse of 2020 to make sure it departs on time and never returns.

What’s left, now the stocking has been emptied, the wrapping paper is off and the dust has settled? Let’s have a look.

House fixables

  • Large Stanley sorting box with starter collection of screws, bolts, dry wall fixings and other DIY essentials
  • Bird table camera for capturing visiting wildlife in HD video without having to leave my iPhone on a windowsill and then spend 20 minutes looking for it even though it was me that put it there
  • Bee hotel

Tasty eatables

  • Chocolates intriguingly shaped like walnuts and acorns
  • Odd coffee bags that make very fancy coffee by pouring hot water into a paper bag, somehow
  • Large bars of marzipan. I fucking love marzipan

Thrilling enjoyables

  • Husky ride where I get to drive the huskies (not sure how you drive a dog but since I basically like having a go at driving anything I’m allowed to climb into I am well up for this)
  • Segway safari

Well done everyone. Now let’s buckle up for 2021. It can only be better than 2020.

Avatar Underneath my car 2

It’s almost two years since we all joined hands and took an emotional journey underneath my car. Two years of laughter, tears and general wear and tear. Two years of usage in all weathers.

There has, naturally, been a clamour from people of all nationalities and faiths to know what’s become of the underside of my vehicle in the intervening time. And who am I to stand in their way? So a couple of weeks ago, I returned my car to the same garage who made the first weird video and asked them for a full service.

Service completed, another weird video of the underside of my car was duly texted to my phone, and I have spent an afternoon trying to download it from a website that has been very specifically and cleverly designed to prevent videos being downloaded. I then set it to stupid music.

Here we are then. Join me once more as we go… underneath my car one more time.

Underneath Chris’s Car 2020 FAQ

Q. The tread depth looks a bit low on the front tyres, is that OK?

A. Yes, I know. But they have at least another half a year on them so it’s fine. I’ll get them sorted later.

Q. Why was there no Underneath My Car video in late 2019/early 2020?

A. I don’t know. My car had a service but they didn’t make me a video. I was genuinely a bit disappointed about it.

Q. How did the MOT go? This was its first MOT wasn’t it?

A. Yes it was. You’ll be pleased to know that my car passed with flying colours.

Thank you.

Avatar Spying on nature

Ages ago, we got a transparent bird feeder that attaches to a window with suckers. When birds come to have some lunch, we can see them. It’s nice. 

Lately I’ve been on a quest to get a picture of one of them and it’s harder than you think. If you move too much, they dart away, so you can’t just grab your phone and walk over. And if you’re not up close, they’ll be too small in a picture anyway. 

Anyway, the other day I left my phone propped up by the window and set it recording, and then just left it for about 45 minutes. The downside was that, half an hour later, I spent some time swearing copiously and scouring the flat for a phone I thought I’d stupidly lost. The upside was that (once I remembered I hadn’t lost it and had deliberately left it recording) I found that I’d captured our robin friend paying a visit. 

So here’s the video of our robin. It’s not very funny or silly but I think it’s pretty cool. I like him. I’m glad he enjoys dining with us. 

Avatar Splashing out

I don’t like Black Friday. I don’t like that it’s an American thing that makes no sense here, and I don’t like that it’s a ridiculous incentive to buy stupid crap I don’t need, and I don’t like that it causes stampedes of morons to trash shops in the hope of getting a bargain on a games console. I don’t like Black Friday.

So when Black Friday rolls around I take a principled stand and refuse to take part. My morals are stronger than my desire for bargains. Or so I thought.

This year I happened to be doing some Christmas shopping online when I hit on the Amazon list of Black Friday deals, and something turned my head.

I couldn’t resist. I was weak. I bought it.

I splashed out a totally unplanned £5, and now I have a pack of five adhesive cable clips in a range of sizes to keep all my wires tidy at the back of my desk.

Im not proud of it. But at least, when my standards slipped, it was for a just cause.

Avatar Frothies

I recently discovered something I didn’t know, which is that there is a word in the English language that breaks my brain. I can’t process it. Something about it just doesn’t fit inside my head.

The word is “froths”.

This came up the other day when I needed to describe something frothy to someone. I attempted to say that it “froths up”, but every time I tried to say it, my head got stuck and the word that came out was “frothies”. I made four attempts to say “froths”, all of which were “frothies”, and then I gave up and started a new sentence that avoided using the word altogether.

I don’t know why this is. I don’t know how long this has afflicted me. I know the word “froths” exists, of course. I can sit here and type it. But each time I’m approaching the point of typing it, my brain first suggests “frothies”, and even now – even knowing that this is a problem, and that the word is coming up, and being conscious that I might get it wrong, I still can’t say it right on the first attempt.

I have decided that, from now on, I’m just going to stay away from any bubbly, foamy or otherwise aereated liquids as a way of avoiding the problem completely. That’s definitely the answer.

Avatar Bank holidays

There’s a serious problem that we have all been completely failing to address, and it’s been going on for too long now. I have decided to fix it. The arrangement of bank holidays across the year is inconsistent, unfair and stupid.

Just look at this chart showing where all the bank holidays fell in 2020. What a mess.

Just spacing them out evenly wouldn’t bring an end to this madness, because there’s only seven of them. That would mean a wait of 52 days between free days off work, a barely acceptable waiting time.

The solution is obvious. More bank holidays, sprinkled evenly throughout the year, so we get one about every two weeks. That’s a massive win. Here’s my suggested list.

  1. New Year’s Day
  2. Blue Monday
  3. Pancake Day
  4. Box Set Thursday
  5. Spring Cleaning Day
  6. St Patrick’s Heavy Drinking Day
  7. Good Friday
  8. Easter Monday
  9. First T-Shirt Day of the Year
  10. Eurovision Day
  11. The Other May Bank Holiday
  12. Boxing Day (relocated)
  13. Wimbledon Finals Day
  14. Beer Garden Friday
  15. Barbecue Day
  16. Holiday Packing Day
  17. Summer Bank Holiday
  18. DFS Sale Day
  19. Steak Pie and Mash Day
  20. Winter Coat Day
  21. Wellies and Leaf Crunching Day
  22. Bonfire Night
  23. Pyjama Wednesday
  24. Christmas Shopping Day
  25. Christmas Day
  26. New Year’s Eve

This results in a much better spread of bank holidays through the year, as shown below.

Please consider this the start of my campaign to enshrine these new bank holidays in law, and also the start of my campaign to be Prime Minister. Thank you.