Thursday, 12 July 2018

My Sustainable Life

The report of my death was an exaggeration. Or would have been, if anyone had ventured to ask, 'Remember that Middenshire bloke? You know, the one with the blog full of stream of consciousness drivel. Is he still alive?' In answer to that unasked question, I can confidently say that I am undead. Now, some will argue that 'undead' is a term that can properly only be ascribed to that popular, but mythical creature, the zombie. But I disagree. What's the opposite of 'washed'? 'Unwashed'. And how about 'eaten'? That would be 'uneaten'. So why should the antithesis of 'dead' be any different? However you wish to describe me, I am still above ground, and ready to start committing my inconsequential thoughts to the blogosphere.

One of the motivational factors involved in bringing me back to this blog is the fact that I have a new computer. Until recently I was using a laptop that I had inherited from my father. Now, bearing in mind it was already a couple of years old then it became mine in 2009, it has been in use for eleven years. Processor speeds, it would seem, increase exponentially year on year, a bit like multiplying Dog Years by seven so they can be measured in human terms. So on this basis, the old lap top is probably long overdue a telegram from The Queen. My new machine is up and running within fifteen seconds, whilst the old one is still putting on its glasses and looking for its zimmer frame. But I haven't pensioned it off yet. Like an elderly aunt, I shall allow it to occupy an unused corner of the room, burbling quietly to itself during its thirty minute startup, until one day it slips quietly away during an attempt to stream a kitten video on YouTube.

An awful lot of water has gurgled through our downpipe since I was last here. Hale Towers has had yet more work done, most recently the installation of sustainable sandstone paving to replace the (never 100 per cent) lawn I created some years ago. A lawn that always seemed to be on the verge of suicide. So it went, and in came the sustainable stone. I'm very partial to the word 'sustainable'. It's a bit like claiming Diplomatic Immunity, or waving your 'Get Out of Jail Free' card during a game of Monopoly. Imagine: you decide to build a massive New Brutalist extension to your late Georgian stable conversion. All the neighbours are up in arms. Questions are raised at the Parish Council. And a Planning Officer turns up on your doorstep to demand an explanation. 'But it's sustainable,' you say, and instantly the situation is resolved. 'Ah, that's ok then,' says the Planning Officer, 'your approval notice is on its way'. I have also used this on Mrs H, when she asked When Was I Going To Clear All That Clutter From The Top Loft. 'It's fine,' I told her, 'It's sustainable'. Mrs H. said she hadn't the faintest idea what I was talking about.

Mrs H. not understanding me is what makes our relationship sustainable.

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