So, what have I learned this week?


According to the saying, we learn something new everyday.So therefore on Sunday last week I decided that I would make a point of seeking out new knowledge as well as seeing how much knowledge just happened to come my way without me having to try too hard to seek it out.As it happens, seeking out new knowledge turned out to be ridiculously simple and it became boring and I became uninterested. For example All I had to do was type “10 things I didn’t know” into google and follow a few links and hey presto, I discovered 10 facts on the London underground. It turns out that Jerry Springer was born at Highgate underground station during world war 2 ,like Jerry Springer it is 150 years old this week and in the same amount of time that it’s taken the Chinese to build a 3000km railway from one side of their country to the other,our boys have managed to dig nearly 10 miles of tunnels to form the cross rail addition the underground network. By all account this should be ready just in time for the next drivers strike. After that,much like you just have, I got too bored to carry on so decided to wait for new knowledge to find me and thankfully it didn’t take to long.

Sunday: Thanks to over enthusiastic weather forecasters we had decided to spend Sunday in doors awaiting the “blizzard like conditions” that were promised. The thing is that these days, forecasters are so terrified of doing a Michael Fish that they exaggerate ‘extreme’ weather to the point where we are warned of impending weather armageddon only to find that the worst that actually happened was that Mrs.Wembley’s wheelie bin fell over during a sudden gust of wind.Last week my blog was read by a great many people people in North America and Canada so in case any one reading doesn’t know who Michael Fish is allow me to explain. Back in the Mid 80’s he was a highly respected weather presenter who announced during a live weather bulletin that even though it had been reported elsewhere that there was a hurricane on the way, it wasn’t actually true but instead it might just get a bit blowy instead. Fast forward 12 hours and the nation awoke to discover that the contents of the South East of England were to be found in North West France, the town of Sevenoaks was down to to be renamed threeoaks and if your house still had a roof you were considered to be part of the upper class elite. The lesson here is that while a few years ago you couldn’t rely on a weather forecast as they weren’t accurate enough, these days you can’t rely on it either as it’s always exaggerated.

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view the broadcast

Monday: Far too late in the day,I’ve learned that whilst I value a high street with stores such as HMV and blockbusters, I along with many others, should have actually used them more often and not just relied on the internet instead. I found myself saying things like ” we need a music store in the high street” and bemoaning their demise while hypocritically downloading all my music from the web and buying all my dvd’s from supermarkets. This also indirectly resulted in me learning that in the future it would be a good idea to avoid being lazy at Christmas and come up with a present for someone rather than buying vouchers as that now the stores are in administration,it seems that vouchers have a ‘valid until’ date measurable in days and be about as welcome in store as a tramp taking a dump in the fire bucket.

Tuesday: On Tuesday I learned that given my love of burgers there is more than a good chance that at some point I’ve eaten some horse with it. Not on the side as some kind of Heston Blumenthal freaky side dish, but as a consequence of food factories clearly running low on beef and slinging some nag,albeit on the quiet. When I first heard this news story I went through a very strange set of reactions starting off with a resounding uurrgghh leading straight onto shock, followed by who cares before finishing off by seeing the funny side. It seems that the rest of the country shared the same sentiments as Facebook went into meltdown as people tried to out do each other with increasingly humorous and creative posts and pictures. All of the posts that I have seen seem to poke fun at the supermarkets and laugh at the whole thing as opposed to any degree of outcry which leads me to think that nobody is upset or offended and actually, aside from the rather boring points about food labelling why should we be, after all, horse meat is perfectly edible.I’ve also learned this week that despite their general grumpiness,rudeness,and compulsive hoodie wearing, the local teenagers of our town should be congratulated for donning a pantomime horse outfit and going to the frozen burger section in Tescos shouting “mummy, where are you”. I’m slightly jealous that I didn’t think of this myself but ever so grateful that they decided to film the whole lot and put it on you tube.

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click here to watch

Wednesday: On Wednesday I learned that it would be a bad idea to fly a helicopter at low altitude through a city of skyscrapers on a very foggy day. Very bad idea indeed. Now I do have to qualify this by saying that both the pilot and a pedestrian who just happened to be passing by at the same time that the aircraft crash landed on him,both died at the scene so this is most definitely a time for mourning but the breakfast news was reporting fog all over the South and suggesting that journeys should only be made if necessary. Last year I booked a helicopter flight over London for Cally’s birthday but it was cancelled at the last minute due to low cloud so surely this wasn’t the smartest thing to have attempted in the first place.

Thursday: Instead of learning anything major or significant on Thursday I relearned lots of little things instead.For example I have relearned that whilst the customer is always right they are rarely correct, and that far from being able to please all of the people all of the time,some people are determined to remain unpleased whatever the circumstances, and that unless you want to end up ankle deep in horse poo, it’s a good idea to watch where you’re walking.

Friday: On Friday the snow arrived. All 2cm of it. As a result of this,workers were sent home, Facebook was full of people posting photos of their car/garden/last years deeper snow and supermarkets were full of people panic buying perishable goods. This I’ve never understood. At the merest thought that there may be snow on the ground for a week, the stores are full of people panic buying bread, milk and vegetables all of which will go off in a handful of days. Nobody ever panic buys long life milk or buys the ingredients to make bread so they end up buying loads, deprive the rest of us from having them and throw them away at the end of the week. So what this has taught me is that as a race of people we are essentially stupid,selfish and too lazy to bake.

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Saturday :Lance Armstrong managed to avoid jacking up for long enough this week to do an interview with Oprah Winfrey where he slightly confessed to taking drugs and cheating. In a similarly earth shattering set of interviews to come,Oprah meets Jodie Foster who admits she’s gay, Ben Afleck who admits he can’t act and Piers Morgan who owns up to being a massive tosser. So what’s the lesson here? Well,Armstrong has been in therapy for his drug taking recently but not the kind of therapy intended to get him off drugs, instead he’s gone for the kind of therapy that’s designed to make him feel better about what he’s done and convince him that he’s a nice person after all. So after cheating his way to Olympic medals, tour victories and millions of dollars, denying somebody else a clean victory and fame of their own, suing people who claimed he was taking banned substances AND committing perjury,he has today gone on tv and said that he should only have got a 6 month ban as thats all anyone else gets and that he should be allowed to compete again. So the lesson learned here is that no matter who you have hurt, who you have cheated and who you have let down,If you’re bloody minded enough and self absorbed to an Olympic standard, a therapist is able to convince you that none of it really matters that much after all.

So there it is, a weeks worth of knowledge gained and perhaps even a little extra wisdom too, but it does appear to have had some side effects. Sadly these days my rapidly shrinking brain appears to have no storage room left for new information and therefore in order to accommodate it,space has had to be created elsewhere.It seems that my brain has a trick up it’s sleeve to deal with this as it has decided, all by itself,that it’s going to auto delete perfectly useful knowledge to accommodate this new data and it’s being pretty indiscriminate about what it deletes. For example twice this week I have found myself going upstairs and completely forgetting why, I got cross with my mouse for not working only to realise that I was aimlessly moving my stapler around instead and I also found myself watching ‘teen mom’ when I’d clearly forgotten that punching myself in the kidneys would be a far more enjoyable experience. So taking in to account knowledge gained and knowledge lost, I appear to have gained trivia and lost basic skills and perhaps that’s the biggest lesson of them all; knowledge, like a good friend, is easy to gain and can stay with you forever but it’s best not to be done at the expense of old ones that have seen you through the years and whom you need and rely on.

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