Monthly Archives: January 2010

I’m ready for you, Chubs

Your bed is made

Your vests are ironed

I’m ready for you, Chubs

*

With me you’ve grown

You’ve laughed

And cried

You’ve curled your limbs in mine

*

Outside, your noise

Your mess

Your needs

Will jar

*

Preparing you

The better each day

To leave me alone

With mine

*

Unfurling you

Into your world

Straightening your fleshy legs

With every piece of love

*

Hello goodbye

In a dance divine

Of intense deliverance

*

I’m ready for you, Chubs

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Apple World

There is a small Utopian village in London where brothers and sisters roam together in perfect harmony, pausing only to exchange a wink that says, ‘It’s great here, isn’t it? I mean, God, it’s good.’

It’s a place where the floors are spotless and the walls are clutter-free. Never too hot or too cold, with lighting designed for perfect vision, it is set to the sound of contemporary recording artists so familiar you wonder if they’ve been to your house for a cup of tea.

No-one raises their voice. No-one loses their temper. They just want to help.

Welcome to Apple World in the Westfield shopping centre.

Buying an iMac from this temple isn’t shopping at all. It’s like meeting the in-laws or getting baptised; you’re becoming part of a family.

One that wears sweatshirts and sends dozens of emails. One that sees technology as your portal to a better you, replete with software to burp louder and direct movies from your toilet seat.

In San Francisco there are Apple elves who have never seen daylight, whose lives are dedicated to your hard drive. They bus around a campus the size of Asia to discuss with other elves how to maximise your system preferences and minimise your interaction with fellow human beings; you are in safe hands.

Sprinkled with the fairy dust of Uncle Sam, the White City brethren are more user-friendly than their free-standing mice. They know to greet with both hands, in the manner of a kindly pastor at the knave of a church. They know  your experience will be ‘awesome’ because they have ways of making it so. Agree to be added to their newsy database and they’ll look like they’re coming up on an ‘e’.

Express interest in more than one piece of kit, wearing a demeanor ripe for enlightenment, and you will be given the full attention of a plastic surgeon measuring up Susan Boyle.

If only they could take you back to their Apple apartment and keep you in luxury under the stairs forever to explain the endless possibilities. The widgets! The firewalls! The Mountainleopard Felatio application!

As it is, they will have to make do with taking 79 silver coins from your pocket, for which you have the right to drag them out of their hospital bed to ask how to download Cheryl Cole’s latest single onto iTunes.

Them: And when would you like to meet your new Mac?

You: Do you mean like a date?

Them: Yes. This week or next?

You: I need to get a babysitter. Buy some new slap. Will it have lost interest by Saturday?

Them: Hey, whatever works best for you, right? It will be here waiting at reception.

You: O.K. Tell it nice things… Can I alter my personal details?

Them: Sure. What would you like to amend?

You: Say I’m 34, not 36. And a natural blonde.

Step aside, yoga. I’ve got a 3.30 pm Photoshop initiation to honour the divine in me.

And I get to do it sitting on a high stool with a double espresso.

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G.P. Training

Doc: Congratulations, All, on qualifying as G.Ps.

You know the knee bone’s connected to the hip bone and all that jazz.

I’m what you might call the touchy-feely end of training.

So we’re going to dive straight in with some role play and you’ll get the gist.

You, sir, what’s your name?

Giles: Giles, Doctor.

Doc: Top notch, Giles. You’re the doc, I’m the patient.

Giles: Righto.

Doc: Knock, knock.

Giles: Please come in. Nice to see you. Take a seat.

Doc: Bingo! That’s like a red rag to a bull to these people.

Give them less encouragement. They need to know who’s boss.

Make them knock again, as if you didn’t hear them first time. Mumble permission to enter. Be distracted when they do.

They should feel uneasy, a little unsure, faintly queasy. They should be bubbling under with panic about presenting a convincing case without stuttering.

O.K, Giles. Crack on.

Giles: How can I help you today?

Doc: Wrong!

That’s writing them a blank cheque to park their behind in front of you for 20 minutes.

Be time-challenged, interrupted, vaguely annoyed. Think Jeremy Paxman being sold a time-share- sneery, dubious: What seems to be the trouble?

Giles: Well doctor, I’m depressed and I’m getting these migraines…

Doc: Migraines? How do we know they’re migraines? Who’s the G.P in this rat-hole? Who took the bastard exams?

Good to hear about the depression, though. That’s easy-peasy. Start scribbling the Prozac prescription straight away and say something earnest like, I prefer to make the diagnoses, if you don’t mind. Are these headaches really that bad?

Giles: Yes, doctor, they’re terrible…

Doc: Ya-di-ya-di-ya… Do you know this person? Are they a relative? Do you know their history with ‘the truth’?

Or is it just possible they’re laying it on thick for the nice doctor?

Giles: Umm, what if they’re really in pain?

Doc: Oh, they’ll be back, Sonny. More rambling tales about how much worse it is etcetera etcetra.

But by then you’re in anti-biotic land, my boy. Home and Away.

Giles: So what do you give them on this visit?

Doc: Something to think about, young Giles, that’s what. This is how you finish:

Look, people of your age/race/persuasion tend to get a lot of this sort of thing and it goes away in a jiffy with the right attitude and one of these happy chappies with water every day. Now, let’s make some room for those genuinely in need, shall we?

Giles: And don’t forget to shut the door on your way out.

Doc: By God, he’s got it!

Take an illegible note of that, the rest of you fellows.

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Turkeymania

Every Christmas my father goes in search of the ultimate turkey.

Not one doing the backstroke in gravy, being strong-armed by an army of chipolatas but a stand-alone bird of such uproarious quality that ‘Zadok the Priest’ starts up with the chewing.

It has been an escalation leading to ever more obsessive behaviour every yuletide. When Waitrose magazine runs a Turkey Addicts questionnaire he will say ‘yes’ to more than half the questions, including, ‘Do you often wake up in an unfamiliar place having been searching for the perfect bird?’

In 2008 he gained an £80 speeding fine hastening one back to optimum refrigeration temperatures- no mean feat when carving up a trail of 90 year old Sunday drivers on the Sussex Coast (pun intended).

This year he sourced a turkey that cost more than 100 good English pounds. She was called Caroline and came with a birth certificate and a brochure of her Christmas Lunch accompaniment preferences (‘Don’t serve me with cabbage; it’s malodorous.’)

My father received regular updates about her progress until she was slaughtered. It was like adopting a Siberian tiger, only in reverse.

As with all addictive behaviours it takes it tolls on the loved ones.  The tense atmosphere as the hot meaty smell starts to creep from the oven. The sneaky peak under the tin foil for signs of dry spells.

The fear of Overcooked Meat Disappointment.

Caroline fared well this year. She clung onto the moisture in her loins like a mature women determined to enjoy an active sex life, overcoming the unpromising handicaps of her considerable bulk and the length of time she spent waiting in the wings pending trimming negotiations between chef and family members.

Perversely, this did not work in favour of the Christmas guests. Impressed and relieved by her survival instincts my father began to plan fresh adventures for her in soup and curries.

So that despite the presence in the kitchen on Boxing Day of a cold poultry the size of Milton Keynes, left-over slices were jealously guarded; it’s not often that I feel like a child during the blitz dodging the adults to try to steal protein for a wounded German soldier.

The question now is whether Caroline’s kin will be ear-marked for next year or if the crazy quest for a Better Bird will begin anew.

Wise bets are on Her Majesty’s best swan.

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