DIY stores lure us in with patio furniture and barbecues we know will never see the sun
It’s the peculiar cruelty of the DIY superstores that wounds me. Right inside the front doors. You can’t miss them. The deckchairs. The huge weapons-grade barbecues. The patio furniture flaunting itself beside photo-spreads of lush green lawns behind trays laden with French pastries, Italian coffee, Swedish crockery and Sunday newspapers, waiting in the sun.
The promise of long, hot summers of breakfast on the lawn and evenings in front of the fire basket, glasses of chilled wine in hand, just waiting for the barbecue.
We will fall into that terrible trap. We will stand before that rattan corner sofa arrangement with the low glass-topped table and ponder. We will wonder if there is enough room for the oak-look outdoor table that sits six and, in moments of madness, we will, I swear, cast an eye over the hot tub.
We will, good people, dare to dream. And we will do this even though we know the truth of the matter.
The barbecue you bought two years ago was fired up once, and managed to stay alight, no small feat, considering you lost the golf umbrella to a stray spark. The brolly was sheltering you from the sudden downpour you hadn’t seen coming, and neither had the weather gal on the telly, who was still chirruping about a barbecue summer.
Anyway, you might not get to use it this summer, either, but the folks three doors along might get a wee go. You haven’t yet found the time to pop round and rescue it since Hurricane Bawbag hurled it into their shrubbery.
Ah, the outdoor furniture. Well, there are the sun loungers you picked up one optimistic June. The cushions smell a bit weird, but they’ll be fine once the fresh air gets to them. Mind you, the damp might just damage your kidneys.
We will eat outside, dammit. Those fancy French pastry doodahs will attract every fly, midge and buzzing black terror from here to Bathgate, but that’s just added protein. We’ll drink our coffee avoiding the bugs struggling on the surface like extras in a film about a ship hitting an iceberg (last Titanic reference, I swear) (Mebbe).
We will lounge a la Mediterranean whilst reading the Sunday newspapers, even though pages one through 17 are flapping round our fizzogs and pages four through 15 have been ripped out of our hands by the Siberian winds and are flying up faster than petrol prices.
Yes, Scotland, we will gaze evenly upon the white rattan-look lounge and seat suite, the thing we think might be called a chimnicunka, but probably isn’t, and the gas-fired outdoor cooking array so massive it could be dropped into a war zone and we will believe in a hot, sunny, bug-free future.
Summer. Bring it on. Can’t help but notice they have the garden display furniture indoors, though . . .
Buying a gift for the cat is swings and roundabouts
We felt bad about taking Gertie the baby cat to the vet, so when we saw the Cat Seesaw we were dazzled by the prospect of our little moggie having hours of fun, just like the image on the front of the box.
Home we sped with the Cat Seesaw, and spend a crabbit half hour not reading the instructions and hitting bits of wood with an Allen key (aside, who exactly is Allen? Did he invent it? Did he deliberately make it so easy to slip and rip the skin from the knuckle? Is it a Cold War thing?)
Gertie has had hours of fun, as promised by the manufacturers of the Cat Seesaw. Of course, she’s had that fun jumping in and out of the box the Cat Seesaw came in.
Plastic Stonehenge art deserves Glasgow’s firmest ‘interactions’
To the west! A young man with artistic leanings called Jeremy has erected a plastic copy of Stonehenge on Glasgow Green. He seems a nice chap. He’s from England, you know, where they do this sort of thing all the time.
He says he hopes the people will interact with his work in a Glaswegian way. Don’t you worry, Jeremy. I know my native city. They will. And I hope they get a grant to do it . . .
Scottish justice is best served dry
The antics of Judge Laurence Ito during the OJ Simpson trial made many of us look askance at the idea of cameras in courtrooms. The man carried on like he was auditioning for Boston Legal, with half an eye on sitting in for Judge Judy.
Naturally, the notion of televising even part of a Scottish trial makes us nervy.
We needn’t worry. Lord Bracadale was filmed in his glory in a Scottish courtroom sentencing a particularly nasty individual who knows more than he tells to 18 years in prison, and he did it in the best tradition of dispassionate Scottish law.
Revenge is best served cold, paired with justice served dry.