"Because I am in my prime!" as Miss Brodie was wont to say.
Oh yes. Sixty one is the eighteenth prime number, the next being sixty seven, which I await with bated (baited?) breath. Oh yes again.
Dead Mothers And Other Matters
I wasn't going to mention any of my family today, for a change. For years (eleven now, I think) I've wallowed in the coincidence of my mother's death on my birthday. The unique torture. The horror.
Well, fuck it. Dead mother no more. And this is why...
Blogging morals prevented me from telling this story earlier. But in view of the requests, and because of the extreme inspiration within it, I've decided to do just that. At some stage I'll inform the true narrator of my choice.
It was on a recent walk with the group. These last for seven, eight hours or more, and people pair off and group up - fluidly interchanging. Sometimes with periods of silence alone. Me I mostly prefer those periods.
So there I was, at the end of the line on this long sunny autumn day, with a woman I'm going to call Bernice. (The last person in the walk is always accompanied. You cannot have a singleton alone at the back for obvious reasons.) Bernice and I chatted loads, when I decided to up the ante a little.
"Do you and your husband have children, Bernice?"
"We had two," she began, slowly and precisely. "Oh fuck," I thought.
Bernice told me about one of her now adult children. I listened, waiting for the main feature. Time passed. We walked along, dodging rocky bits and bog, until she spoke again.
"I had a son, too, but he died at eighteen. Killed on a ski-ing holiday with a friend. Both killed."
Silence for some steps. The heather was high and pesky on the ankles.
"Avalanche?" I asked.
"No - they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Over a cliff."
Silence some more.
"I can't begin to imagine what that must be like, Bernice."
"Yes," she said. "But we clung to the fact that at least he died doing what he loved best."
"And it would have been instant and painless," I said, trying to offer something - anything.
"It was in December," she said then. "On my birthday."
Silence some more - a silence full of meaning and thought - as I realised from that moment on I could never get melodramatic about my mother's death again. Never. Not ever. It is a minnow in comparison. Mothers are meant to die. Teenage sons are not.
So that's why Dead Mother Day is over. The ghost is laid, for ever. Have a good new year and a great 2008. I intend to.
Thank you for your lovely wishes, both now and throughout 2007. It would be hard to imagine life without you!
Oh yes it has. Been. Sixty. Me, sixty. And this is the last day of it.
I've made sixty quite fashionable! Life begins at sixty! Sixty is the new forty-five!
And so on, so forth.
But not sixty-one, which I achieve tomorrow. Not that - being as it is ten percent of the way to seventy.
Seventy which no-one pretends is fashionable. With seventies incontinence, loss of memory, loss of libido, and really not much else left to lose. Except life itself, of course - but then we're all inured to that. All of us. You better believe it.
Had to do it, didn't I, on this my last day of being sixty. Pentlands. Was OK, but the weather sure set in. Fog and eventually rain. As well. They were doing a bomb at the Flotterstone. There's nothing like a catastrophically wrong weather forecast to get them flocking in to your pub.
NEIGHBOURS FROM HELL
I think we've got them. Downstairs. Last night. Didn't get a wink till about four. Then Darling Zoe roused me at seven twenty. There's no escape. You know, I should be in better circumstances than these - scheme trash party people, manhole cover from hell, and a cat understandably wanting her oats.
So much to say to you. So very much. But I have to protect myself for just a few hours longer.
At least tomorrow is a normal Monday, with buses, shops and things. I couldn't help seeing in Princes Street the ads for tomorrow's Hogmanay party. Where you have to buy a ticket to walk the public highway. No way will I be anywhere near the damn place.
But I have to hope my neighbours from hell stay there all night.
BY WITH A LITTLE
Must at some stage stop watching endless Friends episodes. Like tonight. The one where Phoebe's husband admits he's really straight. This is a masterpiece of positivity for my people. Masterpiece. Almost as good as Big Gay Al from South Park. But that's another genre, more or less.
Friends is probably the finest television series yet made. Arguably. But don't take my word for it - wtf do I know - I'm just the guy who championed Abba and Dusty in their dark days - the time before their geniuses were utterly acknowledged.
And it'll be Dire Straits next. Their turn. You mark my words. Katy Mellua is good. Pretty good. Whereas Leon Thing is pretty rubbish. Street trash with a karaoke range. Will make a small fortune for Cowell, before ending up back as a schemie drugfuck. You mark my words.
A big, hearty THANK YOU to for your kind messages. These mean so very much to me, especially at this awful time of year. This foulest of foul months.
Ah well. Christmas behind us now, almost the furthest away it ever gets. Christmas lunch here at Naked Towers wasn't too fussy an affair... Co-op Everyday Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice. One pound forty nine, eleven minutes in the microwave, and no washing up because you eat it out of the plastic tray. I think this must be some kind of record for cheapness and efficiency.
Darling Zoe plumped for Gourmet Solitaire Premium Fillets with Beef in Sauce. (Min 4 percent beef.) (You gotta wonder what the other 96 percent is.)
Passed the time with endless Friends episodes (thanks, Channel 4), and a new toy I bought on spec, which is a Sudoku machine. Four pounds only. At least ten times as many hours as that of enjoyment already. I've even bought a Carol Vorderman book on how to do the damn things. Extreme Sudoku, that is. I'm past the elementary stages already.
Never thought I'd join the ranks of life-wasting Sudoku people. But then I never thought I'd join the ranks of gooey-eyed cat owners either.
You truly never do know what's ahead.
OK. Work beckons Friday and Saturday. Sunday is the thirtieth, and a fairly safe day, but things get a bit tricky on the thirty-first. January the first will be the traditional brain death in these parts, when once again almost nothing is open.
Ah well. Mustn't grumble. Bus drivers are people too.
Soon be January! So close!
Thanks so much again for your comments. Sorry not to reply sooner, but I haven't switched on for over a week. And haven't looked at emails for much longer than that.
Enjoy your day, weekend, New Year, and rest of your life.
It started off quite easily. Friends, various friends, lady friends, have children who deserve Christmas presents. Just call me Santa. Ho Ho Ho.
And vouchers, book tokens are no longer the mode - now it's plastic or nothing.
Oh yes. HMV plastic. BOOTS plastic. VUE CINEMA plastic. And the beat goes on. Gets them used to a wallet full of plastic at a young age. So they might live their entire adult lives in debt.
But I digress.
OUT AND ABOUT
Went to the pub earlier, didn't I, thinking I might get the correct plastic transferred to the correct teenagers, but twas not to be.
Big Straight Al came in. With a pal. So things quite quickly speeded up. And I missed my Santa Act with the kids. But tomorrow is another day.
Got to the shop, then. Lidl. Who were doing binoculars for 9.99. And body mass scales for much the same.
How do they do it?
Must get them on to the NB menu.
Have a nice Christmas Eve. Ill be back. I expect. Usually am.
0h - I'm doing my traditional reply to the Queen's Speech again this year. YouTube. Done it before, but this one won't have depression. Exciting to wonder what it'll be like.
Some entity has put a thing called Labels at the bottom of this post. How fucking dare they. Fucking dare they.
Tomorrow it's a world exclusive about Google, Judaism and faggotry. Just where does Google draw its lines? Watch this space. But then maybe don't bother.
Binoculars fab. Get some. Tenner for 10 X 50. They make my earlier twenty-five quid ones look like M. Mouse Esq.
Body Mass Scale thingie ended up faulty. If I hadn't been a bit wreckaged in the shop I would have noticed it was a returned one, and chosen another. Will take it back tomorrow. I can't imagine the mighty Lidl GMBH objecting.
Got large tins of beans and sausage for 28 pence, whereas ScroteMid charge 46p for small ones. Beans and sausage should be an important part of everyone's diet. Fucking weird being not depressed - like losing a limb. But musn't grumble.
Lidl is the strangest shop - African staff selling German goods to Polish customers. Have you got them in your town?
Yes, that's right. Winter Solstice was a couple of hours ago, at 0608 GMT. Here is a new reference, where you can read some of the background to the day length at this time of year. It's to do with the equation of time, which is an equation I've yet to get to grips with, despite an adolescence steeped in scientific matters. (Scientific matters didn't hurt so much as human matters.)
Something I should have got right was the earth's rotation, though. For readers in Alaska, California, Montana (Hills Have Eyes), and other such oddities the Solstice was yesterday, not today. Not in New Zealand as trumpeted here.
And this from someone who spent his internet adolescence "chatting" to oddities from around the globe, in every time zone imaginable. And in personality zones quite unimaginable.
Me, I'll be celebrating the Solstice by calling the bingo, as usual on a Saturday. It's a long hard slog. Lots of money to be made for my employer.
But tomorrow is another day. As is Monday. And for Tuesday I have no horrors this year. I won't go so far as to meet anyone (too scary), but might be able to pick up the phone. Might. Darling Zoe and I could even share some turkey.
THE BIRDS AND THE BEES
Oooh! Almost forgot. December is confusing for birds, the ones you don't eat, that is. They truly don't know whether to migrate, hibernate or fornicate. On Thursday's walk I stumbled upon a pair of grouse at five hundred metres. She was walking ahead with a "chase me" look about her, and he was following purposefully, the red thing on his head quite engorged, I thought. Modesty prevented me pursuing them into the heather.
Then later, back down at ground level at Flotterstone, what should I see but a pair of robins hard at it. Oh yes. I recognise birdy amour when I see it. So look out for some tasty grouse and robin eggs in the weeks to come. (I didn't see any bees though. That was just to make a snappy title. Cliches R Us. But the gorse is in flower already.)
GLORY OF GLORIES
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Overheard in one of Leith's more fashionable bars recently, "Peter's really lost the plot this time round - first he's claiming no depression (hah - as if), and now he's got the Solstice wrong - again. What a loser!"
But I'm afraid the joke's on you, buster... Winter Solstice 2007 is December 22 at 06.08 UT/GMT. According to the US Navy at least. (Our own Greenwich site seems to be down for the public holidays.)
So for readers on Christmas Island and New Zealand then the Solstice really is today. Others will have to wait till tomorrow. And now you know.
I'LL FOLLOW THE SUN
Yesterday was wonderful, glorious. Dawn till dusk brilliant sun, without a cloud in the sky. Trouble is you had to be above 200m to enjoy it. Good bit is - I was... looking down on the entire Forth valley obscured in misty mire.
Oh yes, sun shines on the righteous fair enough.
All in all a fab day in the Pentlands, spoiled only by a piece of bum jounalism in the Grauny by a dude called Guy Clapperton (Crapperton), who thinks he can map the British blogosphere. Some map - omitting not only Edinburgh's leading weblog, (instead substituting this heap of commercial crap), but treating everyone on my sidebar with similar disdain. No JonnyB. Nor mike. Nor Diamond Geezer.
Listen, twat with a typewriter: if you want to understand the British blogosphere - ask someone who's actually in it. Eh. Don't just Google for URLs containing town names, which is clearly what you've done.
Shocking the Grauny should pay money for such rubbish.
It's a very great joy to have no time off at all this "holiday", so that the well-off can enjoy themselves at the expense of the low paid. Maybe just a tiny thought-out thank you to your waiters and bar people. Tiny.
Strange sitting here writing to you like this, at half seven in the morning - with the day's plans utterly dependent on the weather forecasts. Which today are blessed once again. Metcheck says big yellow spiders all day, and Metoffice sun and cloud combination. Little wind. Near zero degrees. Just perfect for a double rollercoaster in the Pentlands.
Puff! Pant! Ooh! Aah!
Today I'll treat myself to somewhat more luxurious sandwiches from the Co-op. Tastier than the boring fish, chicken and jam ones I tend to make myself. Co-op actually sell an All Day Breakfast sandwich. Yumm!
Sunday's walk was fun, in which I lost a person. Yes, really. I was back marker, which means you mark the back. I marked it and marked it for hours, and just at the last gasp, ten minutes from the bus if that, we had landed at a place called New Lanark. Twenty nine of us. It's a museum village. Museum of philanthropy, although I hae ma doots about all these philanthropic businessmen... Fry, Cadbury etc.
Business has no morals. The words shouldn't even be in the same sentence. I think they just cottoned on to the notion that if the workers stayed alive and well they'd be more productive, more profit-generating. Cynic that I am.
Anyway, there we were at New Lanark, when a lady at the back stopped to read the posters in the doorway. It was four o' clock and almost dark. I breezed past her, not wanting to be too officious. Not wanting to say, "Come along, now!"
Next thing she'd disappeared. Into the building. We searched and searched. No sign.
Got her in the end, but at the cost of half an hour's delay. Michty me. I sense my career as back marker is on a knife edge.
I'm a kick in the bot off sixty one years old. And have no hair. I haven't had a relationship for thirty five years. I have few friends, my colleagues can't stand me, my house is falling down around me, and do you know what?
I don't give a shit.
No fucking depression.
I don't know what, why or how.
Maybe life truly does begin at sixty.
Sorry - gotta rush. Work beckons, but first I have to take a washing out.
Must write a book soon called "HOW I CONQUERED THE WINTER BLUES". Except I don't know how I did it.
Life's a bitch, eh. You just get better but got no idea how to monetize it.
Seriously, I can't believe the way things are. Can't believe. Something truly dreadful is about to happen, I just know it. Mebbe prostate. Have a nice day.
Got just moments left of Saturday in which to say hello.
Been at work all day - the servant of capitalist shareholders. I don't mind that, though. At least then you don't get people claiming to "pay your wages", as they do with public sector workers. Never catch me saying that, eh?
Ten to midnight. Tired. Been plotting tomorrow's hike on to the GPS, and printing out the map. Seems strange. I'll get up at quarter past five, more or less. Make sandwiches in the cold kitchen. Leave the house in minus five degrees. Freeze all day, apart from the leg exercise. Warms yer blood.
Ace forecast. Ace. Sun, sun, sun. Go down on me. Will get dark really early. Head torch.
Bought an electronic Sudoku game for just four quid. Batteries not included. I don't actually care for Sudoku, regarding it as much a waste of time as crosswords, but at four pounds how can you resist? Might even beat the swanky new phone for entertainment. Whae kens?
Bye. Got to get some zzzzz. Hope zoe feels the same way.
And the beat goes on. Yesterday was a bit of a catalogue of failure, I guess. Failed to complete my walk due to gales. Forty plus mph and zero degrees. I managed to the top of Turnhouse (after incidentally giving the bus driver a reward for rescuing my wallet recently) managed to the top of that - when I had to pull my jacket hood over the polyester bonnet it was that chilly. Down Turnhouse then up Carnethy, which was quite sheltered on the nearside. Then at the top - oooh la la! More wind than a baked bean factory.
Started down the far side of Carnethy in the most unpleasant conditions, when it occurred that if I continued down then at some stage I'd have to return back up. Still in the most unpleasant conditions, as the wind was forecast to increase. Thought of going on. Thought of the Flotterstone Inn and the friendly bar staff. Guess which won?
Ah well. At least I got the old body moving again for three ascents. Although my normal set is nine.
SOME ROOM AT THE INN
The Flot was fine - there were three tables full of army dudes (and two army dudettes... what do women do in the army?) having their Christmas dinner. (Here in Scotland we still have Christ in Christmas. I believe in England now you have to say "Winterval" or some such abomination - lest the towelheads get distressed and blow you up.)
Couple more in the Village, and then home for the evening about four. Strictly speaking it was the works Winterval Do last night - staff Christmas party - but no power on earth was going to get me out of my warm bright house at nine in the evening to trek across town to Broughton Street with its marauding armies of drunken teenagers waiting to mug me. No way. Like most other pensioners I stay indoors after dark. That's why the cops can bleat about falling crime rates. All the over-sixties are cowering in their homes too scared to go out.
Don't believe me? Then tell me the last time you saw a cop on the streets - even in daylight. No. Leith and Edinburgh have become quite anarchic. Self-policing or no policing at all. Council can't even fix the street lights, which are known to be a crime deterrent. Look at Great Junction Street. (Or try to, in the dark.)
Wonderful the SNP Scottish Government (the people who promised no Edinburgh trams then gave you them after a fortnight) are in such deep doo-doo after interfering in the Donald Trump planning application for Aberdeen. This after banging their gums about Labour Opposition sleaze in the form of Wendy Alexander. (Crazy Frog.) Goes around, comes around.
It has to be said that both Britain and Scotland are suffering crises in governance these days. And I hold out no hope for either of the Opposition parties. Basically we're fucked, from Westminster to Holyrood. Ah well. Count on the taxpayers to bail them out, as usual. Feeding the feckless and workshy. Pouring methadone down their greedy throats.
Loads of time-passing telly. Double Frasier between eight and nine am on Channel Four. Then you can watch it over again straight away on Channel Four Plus One. Double Friends at five on E4. Then you can watch it over again straight away on E4 Plus One. OR - switch to the Simpsons at six. Last night there was the extra bonus of double Third Rock on ITV4 I think it was. Then you can watch double Friends again at eight.
There really is no time to get depressed, if you're organised. I'm getting to know every hairdo Matthew Perry ever had.
Well - that was my short week holiday. Five days. Not too bad - if a little monomaniacal over the new gadget. Fitness really has taken a bit of a dive. And we're a bit diverticular again. Damn that weakling waste pipe I say.
Two days hard graft then off again. Well - somebody's got to do it.
The Pink Floyd documentary on Wednesday was ace, as was Russell Brand motoring across America. Although Pink Floyd were really after my time. Jumping Jack Flash was about the last pop record I listened to, in Autumn 1968. Then I grew up. Well - maybe that's debatable.
I shouldn't be sitting here, writing to you like this. Should instead be outside, soaking what rays there are. It's cloudy today, after a couple of scorchers, so things might be a bit disappointing. Light is all. The imperative is out.
Spending much time in the Village and the Port Inn, both of which have convenient WiFi access. But more importantly, have people I've known for years, and vice versa. New people are all very well, and this year has seen a terrifying amount of them, with the walking group, but there's something about the tried and familiar. Friends who know your good bits and your bad, but hang in there nevertheless.
And I mustn't overlook you, dear readers and especially commenters. Your words here are at times like balm on ny troubled soul. So much. Luvvya. What a strange and brave new world.
The new phone wasn't broken yesterday, as I feared in the comment box, just frozen. Closing it down with too many applications running, chided the young man in Phones4U, as he took out the battery and SIM card and replaced them. All OK now, I'm glad to report.
You'll be wondering about this mobile blogging thing. Is it worth it, I hear you ask. Some tortured sentences, very few at that, and a few low-res pictures, I mean what's the big deal?
Well I can tell you. The big deal is yet to come, when I complete the last chain in the technosphere, which will be the acquisition of a mobile keyboard. Small, foldable and just 192 grammes. Bluetooth. Laptops are just so last year. So.
But before we leave the topic, I'm noticing some blogs simply don't work on the Nokia browser. I'm thinking Anna and Lyle. (Lovely to see Anna in the Grauny now, by the way. Look out la Burchill, I say.) With LRB and D4D, the sidebars cover over the text. I know - all that work and then Nokia comes along and fucks everything up. The only thing constant is change. (No charge for this report, incidentally. That's what friends are for.)
Fun and games in the Port Inn last night, under the capable stewardship of Gwen the masseuse. Kevin the Shopgirl was there, and Craig the barman, when who should appear outside but Glen. "Here's Glen," I said to Gwen. "I might have to be a bit nasty."
"Do you have to sit there?" I asked as he sat at my table. "Yes, dear chap, and it's even worse cos Stevie O is coming in a minute."
Stevie arrived and sat down. "Fuck off you paraplegic dolescum," he said to Glen. (Glen has some paralysis from a stroke many years ago. Oh, and this is what's known in Leith as a greeting.) We passed some time. Stevie's a postman now, apparently. I don't know how he manages to get up in time, what with all those hangovers he must have.
Little Alex came in and plonked a big sloppy kiss on me. Tasty. Here we all are, yours truly with adoring fans Alex, Craig and Kevin TSG. How blessed I am.
(To the person I photoed earlier in a different pub, well I'm saving you for tomorrow.) Too much excitement and the readers will be disturbed.
Must go now, as it's eleven and I haven't even meditated yet. Off work today. Holiday. I've missed two recent hillwalks, and haven't moved significantly since a week gone Sunday. But you know what? I don't give a fuck.
Hello dears. Welcome to my second moblog. Managed to get out side by 12.45 so not desperately depressed. Gwen and RENA came into the village. They'd been selling their goods at green side car boot sale and were pretty knackered. I tried to send gwen a picture by blue too th. Later stewart was in the port inn. He asked me to guest on his radio show but i declined. When you've been such a star as moi darlings. Wed robert was there, and kevin the shop girl. And loads to be honest. Bye bye from the living room couch then. P x
I'm having a Michael Douglas moment. The one where he pulls the gun in the Burger joint because they won't serve him breakfast because it stopped three minutes ago.
That sort of thing. But it's not about breakfast. We're talking manhole cover.
In Scottish cities we have mixed communities. That means homes and businesses all in the same streets - unlike say Newcastle where the city centres are given over to business, and pedestrians cower in the night streets in terror of their lives. (Or in sale of their bodies.)
Here we're talking what used to be called tenements, although the vast majority are now owner-occupied. Typically the bottom "layer" is given over to business... shops, pubs, restaurants - and an astonishing number of hairdressers... with three layers of homes above that. Mixed. Communities. People always about. Respectable. Not all drink and drug fuelled yobs and yobettes. Not all.
So Naked Blog lives in the hubbub. The hustle bustle. And normally it's all good. Normally. But we're talking manhole cover.
Yes. They and they alone have the ability to intrude on my god-given right to silence.
All of the day and all of the night.
And I'm so sick of it. So sick.
But I hate complaining, because in my experience it just never achieves anything. Anything other than elevation of my blood pressure.
To Michael Douglas levels.
I've just phoned the local council road repairing line. It's called Clarence, and it famously never repairs any roads. Not unless they get into the local evening rag, which runs a regular "Clarence name and shame" column. Which also seems to achieve very little.
So this council guy at Clarence has just written down my complaint for the fourth time since April. Written afresh. As if naught has preceded. New reference number, because of course I've lost the earlier ones. Muttering about "the system is slow today". Last time he muttered about "New system. Lost all the records."
I PAY YOUR SALARIES - YOU ARESEHOLES! GET DOWN HERE AND DO THE ONE SINGLE THING WE PAY YOU FOR. ONE THING. REPAIRING ROADS. YOU REALLY WOULDN'T THINK IT'D BE ROCKET SCIENCE.
Yet for laying a load of trams on us - which almost no-one wants - there's money a-plenty apparently. My money, that is. Wonder if Donald Trump is behind the trams.
I've lost two pounds in two days by going on a liquid diet. Well - whatever gets you through at this time of year, I say.
Big-ups to Eilidh (rhymes with daily), proprietrix of the Port Inn, for allowing me to try out (unnamed Nokia) on her Wi-Fi broadband. Ooh la la! Must get one in my house, methinks. Especially as I've used more than half of my monthly telephone megabytes since Monday already.
YOU PHONE CLARENCE
Here's what you can do. (We successfully pulled this stunt some years ago for the same manhole cover.)
Phone Clarence. Yes, really.
It's Freephone (UK only) 0800 23 23 23
People from abroad will have to put on the UK prefix and possibly pay a charge. But thank you.
Tell "Clarence" where you are, and say you can hear that damn manhole cover at the roundabout at the foot of Easter Road. And it's keeping you awake and damaging the baby's health.
Glad you enjoyed my first moblog in the post below, even if it's not up to Shakespearean levels quite yet. (I was using predictive text, so clog = blog, and sub = pub.) Things will soon improve when I purchase a collapsible keyboard. Oh I'm that techy these days.
This was Sunday with the walking group. Ben Vuirich, north east of Pitlochry.
If you're VERY GOOD, I'll also put up a set from North Berwick last Thursday. All rocks and seashore and little boats. Oh, and a seal feeding from its mother's bosom. But you have to be VERY good. You'd be amazed how close seal nipples are to seal vagina.
A very early blogstar, Josh in Alaska, the world's first prominent teenblogger, has re-surfaced and restored his archives.
Soon I'll give all you Jonny Come Latelies a little touch of blog history. Soon.
Trying to avoid the "D" word. December. Last December I got myself in such a depressed state here that local blogger Urban Chick kindly brought a gift into my workplace. This made me feel both grateful and guilty in varying proportions.
Fact: it's not light for very long each day. If there's much cloud then it's barely light at all. The evening starts to show around two thirty pm. Cope. It's not for much longer.
I'm reading you on my Nokia N95E 8Gb now, even in bed, but the battery doesn't last long. Eighteen month contract. I never buy things on credit me, but for this I make an exception. Now I need a wireless router in the house for speed of download, and a keyboard as I say. Then I will - quite rightly - be restored to my rightful status of blogqueen of all I survey. Bye bye kitchen sink drama - hello world!!
Some new people have moved in downstairs, and last night I think they were having a party. I do hope this isn't the start of another fifteen years of hell.