23 October 2009

Milestones, Myths and Naked Ladies

You have probably imagined me trapped beneath something very very heavy, unable to reach my keyboard to tweet for help? Or banned from any more screen-time until I have finished my chores? or perhaps, rather less plausibly, snowed under at work and too busy to blog?

The dragon wing of night o'erspreads the earth by harold.lloyd
Well the truth is I temporarily mislaid my blogging mojo1

Look, it can happen to anyone perhaps it's old age, perhaps its something else.

Not that I haven't been busy, mind; I have been. And not devoid of bloggable experiences either: why, just in the last three weeks or so I have:
- seen my eldest daughter pass two lifetime milestones
- tackled, in the den, a whole barrel of naked ladies
- been present at the birth-throes of a new, national, political party
- unaccountably failed to award a clear penalty try, and
- seen, in the flesh, but failed to photograph, an animal I've previously believed was entirely mythical.

You're wondering about the naked ladies,aren't you?  Sigh, I guess every blog gets the readership it deserves.

Well anyway it was like this: red centre broke clean through on his own 22 and sprinted all the way to the line pursued by two blue players and a puffing, sweaty referee. Just before he got to the line red was brought down by a tackle round the neck, hit the deck and managed to ground the ball for a try.

Well, he sort of grounded it. Sort of fumbled it a bit as well. Indeed, someone2 idly watching from the touchline just might have go the impression he dropped it in the course of being nastily high tackled as he crossed the line.. . I did award a try, mind, but .... not a penalty one....... and I did speak crossly to blue 9 (it's always blue 9) but hmmm... the try I awarded was in the corner and the conversion was missed and.....

Anyway the naked ladies...  it was Mrs Botogol's idea actually, but to us both, it was totally normal for a large party like that. However it turned out that, despite all the parties the eldest Botogol child and her ilk have attended in the last few years, this was the first time they had seen anything like it.  Mrs Botogol and I were quietly chuffed, but surprised - in our day everyone always got a barrel in.

You are wondering about the milestone? Well if there is a lifetime milestone more important than the passing of a driving test I have yet to hear of it3. We have a chauffeur!  Yes, it does make you feel old when your children drive... but hey! the family finally has a long-term designated driver!  Mrs Botogol and I didn't waste any time cashing in: we arranged to be picked up and fetched home from a dinner party last Saturday night, at 11:30. This was an opportunity too good to miss..
- at 11:25 we texted to say we weren't ready yet, could she give us an hour
- at 11:45 we texted to say was it OK if she also took our friend home on the way? Wandsworth, actually, but, look, her bf has gone off without her, so
We spared her the snogging in the back seat.

But we did regale our sober driver with incredible stories of a mythical beast. A beast not just glimpsed... but watched for several minutes in the back garden of our hosts; for we saw last Saturday night, in a suburban street near Kingston, an animal that even Outside Jane herself has never seen, an animal I was convinced was a masive hoax, an invention of the BBC...smaller than a great dane, bigger than a fox....

...a badger.

No, the elder Botogol daughter didn't believe us either.

1  I retraced my steps. 
2 someone like, for example, red coach.
3 except, well,, the birth of your first child would be one...a milestone which, in the case of Mrs Botogol and I, happened eighteen years ago this month.

05 October 2009

In the interests of science

It was a damp, cold morning in Hounslow and the clocks were striking eight when I presented myself at the UK Biobank offices ready to sign away my body medical records to science

Staircase to hell by Jano De Cesare

'Yes', said the bored security guard, 'they are expecting you' surreptitiously pressing a button under the counter.

I was the first to arrive and foolishly early, but the white-coated, young, pleasant but strangely unreal staff were unruffled, and before long I was meekly seated at a computer console answering intrusive personal questions about my medical history. Behind me a middle-aged woman was being mysteriously reassured, as to my left a sinister-looking young asian sat down at a console and pretended to be answering his own survey... while all the time keeping an close eye on me.
A door swung closed with a click. A window blind fell. Above me I could see an ATMOS CCTV camera, red light blinking, pointing directly at me.  It suddenly didn't seem right at all. What was really going on here? Who was watching me? I imagined a large room on an upper floor, a giant monitor, my face filling the screen.. before it a huddle of Daleks angrily commanding some hapless human, "YES! .. THAT ONE... THE BALD ONE WHO HAD THE TONSILLECTOMY IN 1969. BRING. HIM. TO. US! HE MUST. BE. EXTERMINATED!'

"Mr Botogol?", I leapt out of my chair,

"Please come this way, Alibert... would you like a biscuit?".   At least, I figured, at least I'd die with a chocolate hobnob in my mouth..

01 October 2009

computer wants a blog

It's not as though I haven't been busy since my last post: two visits to the Hammersmith Apollo (Rich Hall and Paolo Nutini), 10km Charity Run (4 minutes slower than last time, oops) Bacon and Egg sarnie in the Hampton Court sunshine...

But no glistening bloggable triumphs or disasters.

My software developer I hear you ask? seven approvals gained - just one more to go :-)  That's quick.