As a Brit, I know it’s something of a cultural stereotype to keep on yakking about the weather but it’s just so damned variable that you can’t help but take an interest in what’s happening outside.  The other day many of us were bemoaning the end of summer – the outside temperature plummeted to 5 degrees one night and we shivered in our beds in August.  Yesterday the temperature peaked at 24 during the afternoon and it was definitely coat-free weather…hell, it was shirt free weather for many.  What a difference 72 hours can make.

Before I resort to other sources, here’s another online plea for help.  Back when I was living in Germany, SSVC used to run a television show to help British people learn German.  It was a fifteen minute programme (with a catch-up at the weekend) shown weeknights around 5.45pm.  It was presented by a German woman with the aid of her green parrot and the end credits frequently saw this parrot bobbing its head in time to the theme tune.  WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THIS PROGRAMME? I’ve tried every derivative of Google searches but haven’t come up with anything close. 

So, I have drawn a complete blank in my recent searches for a new rucksack – I spent a good chunk of Friday and Saturday hunting around all the Department stores and luggage stores but there was nothing suitable to be found.  Plan B is to get a Scottyvest from eBay or Amazon or some other retailer.  Most bags are too small or just don’t look sturdy enough to put up with the expected amount of junk I’ll lob into them (and I do weigh myself down like a packhorse or the Buckaroo donkey). 

By way of recompense for my failure, I wandered into HMV at the Trocadero yesterday evening and walked out with five blu-rays and four new games.  I say four new games, only one was new (Shinobi on the 3DS), the rest were three DS games I used to own and have bought back as part of my rebuilding of my former stockpile; Bust-a-Move DS, Star Trek Tactical Assault and…um…another one whose name I’ve temporarily forgotten but it was only £5.  That’s about 10 of 60 I’ve been able to reacquire but the others will take more than a little time.  Note to self – start writing these down on the iPad so I know what I DO have and what I DON’T have. 

Speaking of games, I unearthed my N64 at the weekend and played a bit of Banjo Kazooie, Goldeneye 64 and South Park just to catch up on the general nostalgia trip I’m currently on.  Had a temper tantrum when I kept dying in Rusty Bucket Bay on Banjo and thought of playing Banjo Tooie as that was the better game.  Grrr.  It remains really weird to see these old polygon sprites on a big screen TV, as the cruder graphics are really shown up n all their blockiness.  Playing with the uniquely designed N64 pad is a weird experience for some games and for others, the only natural fit. 

After Friday’s recipe, I decided to make myself a Vegetarian Chilli that evening – was very not bad even if I do say so myself.  There was a substitution in that recipe for something I had a large surplus of in the fridge but it turned out great; really hot.  And threw together a pasta bake yesterday with some Mediterranean Vegetables, Brussels Sprouts and Fusilli Pasta which also turned out pretty well and is very likely to form the backbone of this week’s lunches.   

It’s really, really tempting to pass comment on the Government reshuffle today but as I don’t fancy being censured for any implication or innuendo, I’ll refrain.  Sufficed to say all the work some of us here have been putting into any number of projects is going to have to be put on hold as new Ministers get to grips with their briefs.  We know who the new Transport Supremo is (Patrick Mcloughlin) but there are two more vacancies (at time of writing) to fill. 

I suppose I should also (publicly) acknowledge my mother and sister’s birthday today; there’s that odd statistic where if you take a room full of thirty strangers, at least two of them will share the same birthday so naturally when they are in the same room…statistic proven.  So Happy Birthday y’old farts.