If proof were needed that we live in a world of unbounded optimism look no further.
This was the scene this morning as we pulled back the curtains to see that the neighbours had managed to manhandle their wheelie bins to the roadside as it is, after all, Wednesday and Wednesday is wheelie bin day. Yes, notwithstanding the fact that Southport is gripped in Arctic temperatures and ungritted roads that have left vehicles performing involuntary pirouettes and slow motion spins all over the town, the residents of Coudray Road believe that the intrepid bin men will manoeuvre their enormous lorry from the depot about two miles away and somehow empty the bins into it. As it took each neighbour around fifteen minutes to get their bin down their drive and into position at the kerb side did it at no time occur to them that they were expecting the impossible? Perhaps they thought that the lure of Christmas tips would drive the council's finest to superhuman feats but if they have any sense I somehow suspect that our refuse collectors are currently sitting with their feet up somewhere as their Christmas has arrived early.
It's a glorious day today and something of a thaw has set in. Temperatures are still freezing but the sun is melting the snow on the roof and the house is shaking at regular intervals as large drifts of it shift from the top of the house to the conservatory roofs further down I imagine that's how it felt in Cumbria last night as Eskdale was the epicentre of small earthquake. I wonder how big this icicle will get before it disappears into a memory.
I've managed to get myself into a post op routine. Get up, have a fantastic breakfast courtesy of Marion, do some exercises to try and get the hip moving freely and then confinement to the hospital chair to do the quick crossword, check Twitter, blog and read. I'm living the life of Riley really as Marion is waiting on me hand and foot despite my protestations and offers of help. I really owe her when I am mobile again.
If you've been reading this blog you will know that I have been catching up on all the lost reading that I've missed while working. I love to read but don't like to just get through one or two chapters at a time and until retirement I didn't have enough time. Yesterday I read Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger. I've read some bloody good books in the past fortnight but this one is really special. Written in the form of a series of letters to a Chinese official who plans to visit India, the book tells the story of a low caste young man living in "The Darkness" - the poor Indian countryside, and how he becomes an "entrepreneur"in the city. Corruption, which is the major theme of the story, runs like an open sewer through everything that the narrator Balram experiences and every decision hinges upon it. The book is written with great style and imagination. It is easy to read, highly entertaining and a real delight.
Has the Pope lost his marbles or has something been lost in translation? In his Christmas address to cardinals and other officials in Rome yesterday he is reported as saying that paedophilia was not considered an absolute evil as recently as the 1970's and that child pornography is increasingly considered "normal" by society. For the pontiff to be so far out of touch with reality it is hardly surprising that the Catholic church has been such a hotbed of child abuse over the years. It beggars (or should that be b*****s) belief.
I'll leave you today with a great sketch from the forthcoming One Ronnie. Echos of Four Candles - My Blackberry is not working.