I’m going to sound like an even bigger old fart than usual but are people being taught manners these days or is basic etiquette going the way of the Dodo? Work: nobody thanks you for holding open a door any more and if you’re asked to bring something to a meeting – there’s no please. Pub: Crowded – nobody says excuse me or apologises for banging into you. Coughing fit? Better remove that hand from the front of the face. Sneeze? Why, let’s spread a fine mist over everyone. Long line in front of you at a shop counter? Cut in front, particularly if peroxide blond with a large cleavage. I’m with Season 3 Frasier on this one “perhaps you need an etiquette lesson!” (Of course the irony on that is that the actor he does it to in that episode is also the voice actor for Canderous Ordo in KOTOR/KOTOR 2).

Payday today – the good news is that I’ve successfully sold five days leave. The bad news is that I’ve an appointment with the periodontist that day which will cost in excess of £150. Bye-bye money. For the unenlightened, a periodontist is a gum specialist who’s going to be probing my lower gum line with a bizarre array of cleaning tools and possibly a tonne of novocaine so it’ll look like I’ve had a stroke. Sweet eh?

As discussed with Stephen t’other day, think Februaryitis has kicked in early this year. What do I mean by that? Every year around February, possibly in connection with the birthday or possibly as things get back to normal after the winter rush and the days start to get that little bit longer again but the weather remains lousy (in this hemisphere), there’s less joy derived from everything, as if stoicism is the norm rather than the exception. It lasts between two/three weeks and isn’t pleasant to be around. Insularism – that’s also a predominant theme. Last year I had the house move to keep me thoroughly distracted. This year…I don’t have that excuse.

I won Risk Legacy (the East London group)! It ended up being a three-way tie between me, Jad and Robyn so there was a roll-off which I won despite being at a disadvantage of only having named a single continent. It was a sullen game with more than a little sniping at each other which I found hilarious. Then we played a game of Betrayal – Alex was the traitor and we all won. Except Robyn who I killed off. Heh heh heh.

As an old fart, I’m off to M&S to buy a pair of slacks in beige…