In the words of our American cousins, we have had the living room remodelled.
Furniture has been rearranged, walls have been redecorated and all the images of the RMS Titanic, her sisters and sundry other vessels have been rehung, because nothing says home, sweet, home than the image of a 46,000-tonne ship that sank on her maiden voyage, taking most of her passengers with her.
A new wooden fitted shelving arrangement now takes up one wall and is specially designed to enclose a television. A far larger television than the one we owned. The TV was now looking distinctly tiny. A replacement would have to be sought.
Now, in the usual run of things, if something is required for the house, it falls within my job description to sally forth and procure said item. Tea towels, beans, socks, that sort of thing. But for some reason, the minute AC/DC current is required, responsibility for procurement is transferred to the right-hand seat in the living room, and the husband starts the process of evaluation, tendering and consideration.
One does not simply rush out and buy a television, oh no. Magazines must be perused, websites consulted and chin stroking put into play. Initials such as LCD, LED, HD and 3D peppered our days, whilst our conversations started to sound like the announcement of a football team with names like Samsung, Toshiba and Sony.
The tape measure was plied frequently. Verbal reviews were solicited from people who had recently purchased a new television, or at the very least seen one in the last year or so. This took six months. Eventually, reader, I snapped. After a foot-stomping, ranty-voiced toddler tantrum that would have graced a Beverly Hills diva I made a rush for the car keys and headed for the door.
Alarmed by the fact that I may well be setting off to purchase a high-ticket item without being armed with all the possible information gleamed from every possible source about every possible television that has ever been on the market since John Logie Baird said ‘Is that all that’s on the telly tonight?’ the Yorkshire husband followed with the air of an anxious civil servant who has suddenly realised the Minister for Defence is about to buy an aircraft carrier on a whim.
Apologies to other customers in Tesco Direct. It was I who pointed in triumph at the television and bellowed THIS ONE. He got his own back though. We got the telly into the shelf arrangement and then spent an hour – an hour! – reading the instructions before we could switch it on.
See how you act this one out . .
AH me, the Fringe is back in town. You can tell because the relentless sound of the wheelie case can be heard thumping along Edinburgh’s pavements. We welcome all and sundry to our city to perform, but we must be honest, the mime artists can sometimes do our heads in.
The council, in an effort to appear more welcoming, has suggested renaming our streets since some tourists don’t know how to pronounce them, or get embarrassed by them – well, at least one.
Why not embrace this opportunity for more Fringe fun? Make the mime artists direct people to Cockburn Street for the whole Fringe. We’ll get a laugh and the mime artists get an audience.
Straight from horse’s mouth
THIS is my 15th Fringe. Or it might be my 16th. I’ve lost count. Never mind. People have a tendency to ask me what to go and see, like a sort of native guide. So, here we are.
If you have a serious mind and enjoy a bit of a mental challenge then join me at 3.40 every day in St Andrew Square in the yurt, where I am working with some really clever people on The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas.
Seriously intelligent people will be presenting some seriously interesting notions, and they’d like you to come along and join in the discussion. I am, in effect, playing the part of Igor, the dim-witted assistant.
If you are up for a bit of a laugh, pop along to see an amazing act called Lost Voice Guy at the Assembly Rooms at 5pm. His show is called Laughter is The Worst Medicine. He is a stand-up comedian, without a voice. He is not a mime artist but is very, very funny.