I am ashamed to live in a country that can give us meteorological conditions as horrible as today's.
The weather outside is frightful.
Grey, wet and downright bloody miserabul.
Anywhere's better than here, I know.
So let me go! Let me go! Let me go!
I know we can't have beautiful sunny days every day of the year but there must be a better way than this to dish up a less than perfect climate. I'm just glad that friends from the Central African Republic didn't decide to pop round unannounced.
I travelled to the fashionable Quemerford district of Calne where they have a particularly good post office. A smiling lady assistant who appeared neither slovenly nor grubby (a rare quality amongst the staff of Wiltshire post offices) banked my week's business takings with an air of efficiency. Other outlets in the area have been apt to temporarily lose my money in recent months so I tend to frequent the two or three that I know I can trust. And they sell 'Greetings from Calne' birthday cards which have got to be seen to be believed. In fact, I have seen them but I still can't believe that there is a supply of them, let alone a demand.
From here I dispatched the last few of my late Christmas cards to friends. To avoid the awkward situation of having to explain that I wrote some of them five days after the event (partly because I had been so busy and partly because I just couldn't be arsed) I ensured that my message contained an apology for sending them so early. I nearly added the words 'and all the best for 2013' but I felt that people may have suspected me of taking the piss, even though I nearly always am.
The plan for the day had been to go for a nice walk in the countryside but as most of it was three feet under water I chose instead to go in search of shop that could sell me a four bird roast to grace my dinner table on New Year's Day. I set off in the direction of the Aldi shop in Melksham but the rain was so heavy and my frame of mind was so downcast that I decided to stop somewhere along the way for a jar o'stout and a read of my book to brighten my world. The Three Magpies Inn somewhere between Devizes and Melksham seemed quite appropriate, especially as three magpies would only have been one bird short of a four bird roast.
The pub irritated me from the moment I stepped inside. I couldn't get to the bar to order my drink as there was a crowd of people (I believe the correct collective noun for such irritating bastards is a 'bastard') sitting on bar stools at the bar being loud and trying to look like they owned the place but if they did own the place why didn't they get up off their lazy, fat, beer laden arses and serve me? I really can't get my head round the fact that people do this because as well as getting in everyone else's way, surely it is inconvenient for them to have normal customers standing behind them and interrupting their conversations with drinks orders that they are forced to shout.
There were other people getting on my nerves too by talking far louder than was necessary and by letting their dogs bark. It wouldn't have been so bad if their conversations, which they seemed intent upon broadcasting to all present in the pub and for several miles beyond, had been the slightest bit interesting. I felt more like joining in the dogs's barking than the conversation of their owners. For this reason, and because of the lure of Aldi, I couldn't concentrate on my book so I drank up and walked out of the bar, never to return. One for sorrow, two for sorrow, three for sorrow . . .
If the world had haemorrhoids they would be in Melksham. The world's dingiest little hole of a town and I chose the world's dingiest day to go there. But I did get the four bird roast that I had gone out looking for. In fact I did even better because the writing on the packaging that it came in warned me that it contained pork. Pigs might fly!
The other good reason for going to Melksham was that I saw two RAC breakdown vans parked up in the same lay-by with no other vehicles around. Could it have been that one of the breakdown vans had broken down and the other one had come to the rescue? Wouldn't it have been funny if the driver of the broken down breakdown van hadn't been a member of the RAC!
In Samoa today they didn't bother with today. They decided not to have a 30th December 2011. They said it was because they wanted to switch to the other side of the International Date Line to simplify trading with China, Australia and New Zealand but I reckon they just knew in advance what a crap day today was going to be.