Monday, 29 September 2014

Why Are Mondays Still Grim?

I retired early due to ill health. That was almost five years ago. In that case, why do I still feel Mondayish on a Monday morning?

Back in the days when I grafted for my bread and butter, knocking off time on Friday couldn’t come too soon. The weekend and complete freedom beckoned and I had grand plans; the pub, the bookies, the pub, the football results, the pub, and a lie-in on Sunday before going to the pub.
Course it never happened. Our typical Saturday was the supermarket, the football results and the pub. The rest was just a haze, and Sundays were even worse. The lie-in never seemed to materialise, and I couldn’t go to the pub on Sunday night because I had to be up for work at half past four on Monday morning.
That last point was the cause of Mondayish syndrome. It was always safer not to speak to me until about lunchtime on Monday. Any time before that and heads would be bitten off.
I worked with one lad who had it so bad, he was wound up about Monday morning as he finished work on Friday afternoon. I told him he’d be better off getting out of it while he still could.
Now I’m retired. I don’t have that ever-present threat of Monday morning hanging over me. Why, then, do I still feel so grim on a Monday morning?
A clue might be in the aforementioned routine. We don’t do anything different with the weekend now than we did when we were both working. It’s still the supermarket and the pub every other week, and the rest is a haze. And if we don’t go to the pub on Sunday night it’s not because we have to be up early on Monday, it’s because there’s nothing different happening in the pub on Sunday night than there was on Saturday.
We need a change.

Trouble is, the next nearest pub is nearly two miles away.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Monday Mumbling: Blackpool and Bond

Her Indoors fancied a day out on Saturday, so we hopped into the wreck and shot over to Blackpool for the day.

On the way round the town we bumped into Darth Vader outside a shop. As you can see from the picture, he was looking a bit depressed, so I had a bit of natter with him and we came to an agreement on the way forward when we take over the world.

I get West Yorkshire, Manchester and Tenerife (with travel facilities) and he gets the rest.

While we were there, I also picked up a paperback copy of the James Bond novel, Goldeneye.

Regular readers will know that I am Bond fan and I have read all of them… written by Ian Fleming. I haven’t read any of the others and Goldeneye is written by John Gardner. What’s worse, it’s based on the movie.

I soon learned I was being as elitist as Bond himself. Gardner doesn’t go into the same tedious and often unnecessary detail as Fleming did. To this day, I’ve never understood the relevance of sea island cotton shorts and shirts, other than to demonstrate that Bond was a sartorial snob.

Gardner, like any modern novelist, prefers to keep the action moving along. In his favour, he hasn’t stuck religiously to the plot of the movie, which is just as well because some of it was plainly idiotic; e.g. the absurd free fall dive to get him into the cockpit of the aeroplane at the beginning of the film.

I haven’t finished the book yet, but what I read so far, is good without being too far-fetched.

I do, however, have one observation, and it takes me back to the old problem of suspending disbelief.

I read my first Bond novel (Dr No) in 1962 and in it Bond was supposed to be in his mid to late thirties. He was the same age throughout the whole of Fleming’s books. If we assume him to be about 35 when Casino Royale was first published in 1953, it means he was born in 1918, and he is now 96 years old. Even when Goldeneye was published in 1995, he was about 77.

And yet, here he is chucking himself about, beating the S-H-one-T out of the bad guys, shagging the girls just like he did when I was a lad.

Whatever his secret, I wish he’d bottle it and sell me some.