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February 2009 - Administrative StatementMy faithful devotees, out there, will be acutely aware of the heartache Nick Harvey has been going through in recent months regarding the complex writing schedule for this monthly epic and the naming of the individual instalments relative to their publication dates.
Here we are, you see, writing this particular portion under the heading of 'February'; yet those of you with an average amount of brain power or more, will have already realised that, in order to publish this on the first of the aforementioned month, the interaction of fingers with keyboard must take place during January, or possibly even earlier.
It is with this in mind that I have been musing upon the subject of the heading dates for these wondrous monologues. Would it not be more logical, one wonders, to write this edition during January and under the heading of 'January' as well? That way, the heading would correctly match up with the guiding thoughts for the particular month in question.
The only problem I can foresee with moving to this new system would be similar to that experienced when putting the clocks back in the autumn. You experience the wonders of the hour from 1am to 2am and then, having put the clocks back an hour, you have the thrill of experiencing the same hour all over again.
Incidentally, and as a minor digression, I note that that bonus will be my birthday present again this autumn. It happens every so often, you see, that I am blessed with an unusually long birthday. The clocks go back this year at 2am on Sunday 25th October, so I shall have the enjoyment of a twenty five hour birthday once again. An extra large cake please, this time, as I'll have an extra hour's energy to replenish.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, experiencing the wonders all over again, wasn't I? You see, that's what would happen if I were to amend the titling protocol for Nick Harvey's Comment.
If I change, shall we say, with effect from next month's edition, then you would have read this exciting edition under the heading of 'February', but then there would be another edition under the 'February' heading, that written during the month itself. That prospect is already starting to confuse me greatly, so perhaps it is best not to inflict such a confusion on all your good selves.
It is this administrative confusion that has finally brought me to the decision to retain the status quo (no madam, not that loud and, so called, musical group) in the heading department and to continue in exactly the way things have been for many a good year (no madam, not the tyre to go on the rapid racer).
Oh yes, by the way, hello, good day, whichever part of it it may be where you are, and a warm welcome to the February edition of Nick Harvey's Comment, written, as you may have guessed by now, in January.
Why is it, I wonder, that we all feel this urgent need to be terribly administrative during January and to tidy up all those things that we have left un-administered through practically the whole of the final quarter of the previous year?
It's a bit like New Year Resolutions isn't it? Now, I'm definitely not one for making those things, it has to be said. I made the one as 2000 turned to 2001, that's the only time I ever did and the only time I ever intend to!
Those of you viewers with a technical bent towards these computer things, and the screens on which you are probably reading these words at this very moment, might be amused by one comment I did enjoy around the turn of the year.
Somebody said that their New Year Resolution was going to be a thousand and twenty four by seven hundred and sixty eight. I liked that! I wish I could remember who it was who said it, then I would be able to credit them. As it is, I fully admit to stealing the thought; thank you very much, whoever you were.
That's okay, madam; don't you worry too much about those last two paragraphs, they probably went straight over the top like that low flying Spitfire in 1944.
So anyway, back at the plot, for a little while at least. I seem to have been thrashing about all over the place over the last few weeks, being terribly administrative, or perhaps that ought to be administratively terrible. It must be something to do with the change to the new year.
I probably should have changed my mobile phone a few years back, really. The contacts on the pull-down slider thing on the front if it have been dodgy for ages and, seeing as the microphone bit is in the section that slides down, people were starting to only hear every other word that I said. It was a bit like being on one of those bad "mobile lines", but it was actually the phone causing it instead.
Whilst the majority of those with whom I was telephonically conversing noted the huge improvement due to the intermittent fault, a few of the people did take a moment or two to complain that it was becoming a little difficult to understand the meaning of some of my lengthier sentences, just on the odd occasion.
Not that Nick Harvey has ever been noted for complex and lengthy sentences, it has to be said.
So, anyway, I decided to telephonically converse with those very nice people at Vodafone headquarters to see what was available in the way of a nice, free upgrade. It appears that, having been with them since 1985, I'm practically entitled to take their Almondsbury exchange away with me for free, rather than just have a telephone.
I understand that most mobile phone users insist on a free, new, top-of-the-range telephone every year, or eighteen months at the most. The Vodafone lady seemed a tad surprised that I was only asking for my fifth new one in well over twenty three years.
In view of the fact that I just want to talk to people on this new piece of equipment and don't need to send a text to anyone, listen to the latest Status Quo hit on empty three, tune in to BBC Radio Wiltshire's Weekend Breakfast Show, read Nick Harvey's Comment on the web, take a picture of my left big toe while I'm in bed or make a video of the carnival procession, I ended up having to choose a 'middle-of-the-road' model with far more features than I will ever need or understand.
It actually took me the best part of the first two days with the thing to re-arrange the menus to stop it offering me MJ your DJ on the BBC at the top of every list. Why can't the most important thing, at the top of a menu on a telephone, be "make a bloomin' telephone call"?
And why is it that the one thing that a mobile phone most definitely is is a "wireless" device, yet the one "extra" that doesn't work until you plug in an external aerial is the flamin' radio?
There is, however, one of the little "extras" on this telephone with which I have already found a way to be a complete and utter nuisance at dinner parties. It's the built in camera. No, no, madam, I don't sit there at the table taking pictures of all the other guests. No, I've found a much better way of being totally obnoxious and annoying.
How many times do you go out to a dinner party and decide that you rather like the wine they're serving, only to completely forget the name of it when you're next in the wine merchant's?
Well, Nick Harvey has now solved that problem at a stroke. While you're sitting at the table enjoying it, you take a picture of the label on the wine bottle with the camera in your mobile phone. Then, when next in the wine merchant's, you can whip out the mobile and ask the manager for a nice bottle of Image003.jpg if he pleases. Excellent stuff!
Anyway, enough of all this. Suffice to say that I eventually completed the administration of the new telephone and moved on to the administration of the eyes.
It appears, as I eventually found when hunting through my filing drawers, that my last eye test and glasses prescription was in October 2003 and that they'd recommended I have a further test a year after that. No wonder it took so long in the filing drawers, I think I was looking under "I" for "Eyes". Well, it looked a bit like an "E".
With memories of being ripped off for a figure far too close to a thousand pounds by the local independent optician the last time round, 'er indoors and I both opted to visit one of the 'budget' chains this time round. It would be a poor show to mention any particular name, but let's just say that we should have gone there in the first place.
We came out having ordered two pairs of new glasses for each of us, and after paying less than half of what I paid the independent last time, just for me. This time I will be going back next year for another test because I won't be scared to death I won't be able to afford any new glasses.
The arrival of the glasses is expected in the next week or so. I shall report back in a future edition in the event that there be any problems with the service, otherwise just remember, you should have gone there too!
Okay, whilst we're loosely on the subject of matters optical and the art of seeing through a glass darkly, a further item which finally became administered during the month of January was the rear windscreen wiper on the rapid racer.
For the best part of the last year, probably ever since the season of splashing on liberal quantities of de-icer early in 2008, the view through the aforementioned rear window, after operating the wiper, has been partially obscured by two or three arc shaped lines where the rubber wiping material has failed to make any contact with the glass.
Why is it, I wonder, that if the same problem was to occur with one of the front wipers, your wheels would hardly touch the road as you rushed round to the local garage to have a replacement fitted or to the fit-it-yourself windscreen wiper shop to simply buy one? Because it's 'only' the rear wiper, the urgency of the matter seems to just fade away until another day.
So, as we've decided that January is the administration month, then January would appear to have also been redefined as that 'other day'. Which means that, yes, the rapid racer is now sporting a brand new rear wiper and, what's more, a nice clean rear window.
I seem to have been disgustingly administrative in a host of of other areas as well this month, but perhaps it's best not to bore you with too much more detail. After reporting on how busy December was while writing the January edition of Comment, January seems to actually have been even busier while writing for February. You do follow that, don't you, madam? Good!
Now, of course, we come to the real problem month. In February, I need to write for March. Just twenty eight days in which to write a thirty one day sized edition. You see, this is where all the problems come along. I really ought to have changed the titling protocol. Oh well, never mind.
I trust you'll all be along promptly for the next one. It's on St David's Day, March the first, so don't be late, dear viewers. I'll be here on time, so you should be as well.
A quick lie down is indicated now, I think. I'm worn out from all this administration. Now, how do you set the alarm clock on this mobile phone? Right I'm off, where's me Dalek ringtone?
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