Thursday, February 03, 2005

Mr Tidy

Every so often I have the desire to be highly organized. Still not well - the virus is settling down, now I am just running hot flushes - I can only concentrate for short periods of time and I am worn out by the exhaustive squatting and dosemboweling I have been through. (Its called the nowalk virus because one spends most of the time running to the washroom).

Anyway, I have had a tidy urge. I sorted out all the bills, documents and papers for the last six months which had accumulated in a pile called "Eventually". I am now turning my attention to the piles called "To Get To" and "File or Throw".

I was once advised as that as one got more senior in the organization, one needed more waste bins. For an organization that wants to be at the leading edge of technology, we generate a lot of paper. There are a fair number of CYA (cover-your-ass) memo's. some really interesting stuff and a lot of dross. I'll find a home for it.

Thank goodness for the shredder, though. There are so many bits of documents with bits of information about me all over my floor which, in times gone by, I would simply bin. Now that I lecture on identity theft I am much more conscious of just what information goes out of our house. (Blue bags, by the way, just make it easier for the skunks to view before they chew).

I cant tidy without thinking of my University room mate, David Tidy. He and I shared a single room with David Gent in Mrs Wellsbey's house in King's Rd, Canton, Cardiff in 1969 for one term. David Gent was an engineer - he's dead now (AIDS). He had several annoying habits - including making calculator/computer like sounds when doing his assignments and studying. Tidy and I decamped to 7 Plastrurton Gardens, but there was only one bed which we shared with a large blanket down the middle until friend Mike Statham decided we should each have our own (we were too poor to buy a second hand bed).

I was ill - not unlike my current spell, if I remember correctly - and David couldn't cook at all. He asked me to tell him, from my sick bed, how to boil an egg. I explained it to him and then fell asleep. About an hour later I awoke to see him sitting by the side of the bed, looking most concerned. "Do you think it will be ready now ?", he asked plaintively. I got out of bed and found a blackened egg bouncing in a bottomless pan on top of a full flame gas burner. "Yes", I said - "time to put some toast on". It was the begining of my recovery.

David also couldnt pee in a public washroom if others were present. When we went to the pub we carried a sign, which we had lifted from a work site, which said "out of order" which he hung on the toilet door when he went in and took off when he came out.

He is married now and works for a Council near London - we tried to get together before I left the UK to return to work here in Alberta, but we couldnt find a way of doing it. He was a very nice gent (unlike David Gent, god rest his soul).

Back to the piles, as it were..

I have finished the first two volumes of Graham Greene biography and will await the paper-back edition of the third and final volume, though I must say I find the writing superb and the story of GG compelling. Now reading James Lees-Milne's biography of Harold Nicholson (husband of Vita Sackville West).

We watched the British film Heartlands directed by Daniel O'Donnell (2002) - a UK film, not to be confused with others with a similar title. Northern tale of a darts player (Colin played by Michael Sheen) who loses his wife to a fellow darts player (Geoff played by Jim Carter). He tracks them down to Blackpool, but en route begins a journey of self-discovery. Filmed in London and the peak district, with a cameo appearance by Celia Imrie (Dinner Ladies, and a lot of good pieces) and Ruth Jones (Fat Friends and other large parts), the film appeals to the northerner like me. Not a great movie, but what we might safely call a "nice" movie.

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