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Drilling the neighbours

May 6, 2006

So you want a quiet week at home doing some work for a client. A pretty straight forward writing job, a cinch, knock it over for sure without raising a sweat. Yeh, that's what you thought until the drilling started. Monday morning, just had a coffee break and returned to work when someone invaded my apartment to make holes in the concrete walls with an impact drill. Or so it seemed. I investigated – no one there. It sounded like it was inside my space but obviously that was a cruel illusion. I go outside, go up fire stairs, find nothing. Go down fire stairs, eventually trace the noise to an apartment two floors directly below mine. Someone wants a bathroom make over so all the existing tiles have to be jackhammered off. That explains the noise and vibrations – concrete is like a giant sounding board. I try to raise a complain and am told to piss off. I contact the apartment owner who tells me its tough luck. Sure, tough luck for me. He's away in a quiet, airconditioned workplace, he doesn't have to suffer the intolerable noise that the gestation of his new bathroom is causing. So monday passes, likewise tuesday, wednesday is pretty much the same, by thursday the regularity of the noise has begun to wane – there can't be too many tiles left. Friday just a few bursts see the end of it. It nearly sees the end of me. I am a stressed-out wreck. Does my neighbour care – not one bit of it. Do I get an apology – what are you, some sort of weirdo. I don't even get an invitation to use his bathroom once it is transformed. You'd think that is the least he could do.

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Marching feet

April 25, 2006

Today was a day when a lot of men and women go marching. They do so in memory of those who have died in wars. I didn't join them. I went to a movie instead. Heartless, ungrateful? Perhaps. But I just don't get carried away by the memory thing and I get put off by images that seem to glorify war and praise mindless nationalism. People who fought in wars did so because they felt they had to. Maybe they thought it was a matter of national survival, maybe they thought it was a matter of national gain. At the time it was their motives, their beliefs. They didn't fight for me, they didn't even know me. It's what seemed right at the time. You don't fight for future generations, you fight for yourself, for your friends, your family, your country.  Did those people who fought make the world a better place? Not really. Had they not fought it would have been a different place, but most likely not a better place. Just look at the fighting in Iraq if you are tempted to think that fighting a war will make things better.

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Four legs bad

April 22, 2006

Saturday – race day. Morning study the form. Barriers, weights, riders, trainers, recent form, winning prize money, record at the track, record at the distance. So much information to consider. And that's only scratching the surface. Then there's gut feeling, intuition, tipsters' selections. Analysis overload. The answer's got to be there, right. Yeh, but that doesn't account for the horse throwing its rider, getting stuck in the barrier stall, running wide, shying at a clod of earth, being bumped by another runner, being bored and disinterested, wanting a roll in the hay. So I watch my money flutter away on the back of an animal that doesn't give a damn about my hard earned cash. It goes back to a stall for a hose down, a rub down, a brush over, a vet inspection, a bucket of feed, a blanket to keep it warm. And at the end of the afternoon I tally up my losses and tell myself next weekend it will be different. But it never is. Who's stupider – me or the horse?

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It’s all so new

April 21, 2006

My first time in the blogosphere and suddenly it seems daunting. Unlimited space to say anything that comes to mind. But faced with all that open ended opportunity why does my mind go a blank? Maybe overwhelmed by the possibilities. Anyway I get the impression that the blogosphere actually requires some focus and concentration to make it work. Not quite so free wheeling as I first thought.  Good – a bit of discipline never hurt anyone. That can be the first thought for the first day.