Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Numbers and conversations

I understand that rather a lot of people got married on Friday which was the 11th of November. While to most of us this meant Remembrance Day, to some people, especially in far Eastern countries, it meant a palindromic date, this being the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of the century, an auspicious day to be married on apparently.

Numbers are funny things. I can remember my son being amused and pleased on his eleventh birthday. He was born on July 6th and the date of his eleventh birthday was 6-7-89. Now his niece was born on his birthday but she won’t be able to manage that nice sequence of numbers for the date of her birthday until she is 86. So it goes.

Yesterday I spotted a lorry unloading Christmas trees in our village centre. There’s always a huge one in the centre itself, another large one at one end of the village and small ones set up on the walls at intervals along the main street. So, Christmas decorations are clearly on the way. This reminded me of a conversation in my daughter’s house. She has the habit of finding odd bits of information masquerading as news on the internet. On this occasion the conversation went like this:

Daughter: “Oh, that’s awful. Someone has stolen all the Christmas lights that were stored in a lorry overnight ready to decorate ..... town centre. How dreadful!”

Granddaughter (the one who shares her birthday with her uncle – 14 and bright as a button): “Well, they’ll soon spot the thief’s house once he puts all those lights up!”

We discovered amusing women by accident on BBC2 late on Thursday evening. This was a series of short sketches in French, featuring women taking a wry look at all sorts of things. Here is a link to a sample of their wares. It’s on BBC2 for the next few weeks if anyone else wants to catch it.

Here’s another link, this time to La Voz de Galicia. Catching up with news from my favourite bit of Spain online the other day, I thought I recognised a young man in a still from a video clip. The item was all about a young woman walking through the streets of Vigo wearing a Celta de Vigo football strip and getting reactions from people. Either the young man in the diamond pattern hoodie is Phil’s young chess playing buddy Samuel or Samuel has a double. It certainly sounded like him as well.

Finally, here’s a conversation I had with a postman. I spent Thursday morning waiting at my daughter’s house for the postman to arrive. She had been expecting a parcel. The post office had attempted to deliver it earlier on the week when there was no-one in. Now, this was what they call a “tracked item”. I am unsure exactly what this means; presumably it’s something to do with the post office keeping tabs on where it has got to. However, in the event of it not being delivered a tracked item is not left at the nearest local post office to the parcel’s destination. Oh, no, it has to go back to a main sorting office, open only Monday to Friday and closing at 5pm. Consequently my daughter could not just go and pick it up because of work and child-collecting commitments. So she tried to rearrange delivery. Thursday was the best offer so I was asked to house-sit.

Eventually the postman arrived. He did not knock but, having been forewarned of his arrival by the dog, I was ready and whipped the door open as he moved on to the next house. He following dialogue ensued:

Me: Shouldn’t you also have a parcel for us?

Postie: Oh, yes. It’s in the van.

Me: Could you get it for me?

Postie: Are you staying in? It’s going to be about 15 minutes.

Me: That’s fine, I’ll be here.

And lo and behold, the parcel was brought to the house ... and left on the doorstep! It’s a good job I was in. I did wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t opened the door to speak to him.

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