May 19th 2018

This didn’t happen today, or yesterdayr but on the the day before, which I think by my calculations is Saturday. Christ such a lot has happened over the last few days, some good, some bad but I’m still alive and kicking so nothing too bad you can rest assured.

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On Saturday I had to go to my folks house for a meeting of the family company, we had our cashier come this time as we wanted to show her how to do the online banking as we desperately try to drag the Acorn Antiques of the financial investment world into the present. It kicked off at 11am and so I had to drive the 70 miles or so across the southern reaches of Brum to reach the kingdom of Bruntingthorpe, a small untouched village with 2 pubs, a petrol station where the pump attendant used to smoke a cigar when he filled your car up and my folks house, a throw back to the “Sevs” where the carpet is coloured, the bathroom suites coloured and decorous, and the garden a veritable splash of vibrant colours, my Dad is an incredibly good gardener, and despite  the normal age related issues his garden looks amazing, truly wonderful.

Now we have a bookkeeper who has worked for us for literally a million years, she was my Grandpa’s secretary, he died when I was 8 which was 40 years ago, and she’s still pushing the pencil across the ledger now, I learnt she was born in 1941 this weekend which makes her 77!! She’s an amazing woman but what makes the whole thing very scary is that she is really the oil which makes the wheels turn, she knows everything and to put it bluntly, without her, we’re fucked! My cousin and I have a lot to learn.

I’m not going to dwell too much on the timing of this meeting and I won’t mention too much what was occurring on the  Television in the snug when the meeting was underway, and I definitely won’t comment on the quality of the internet speed and above all connectivity. I don’t think I’ll even bother to touch upon the keenness certain family members have towards the royal family. Or even the volume of the television during the meeting. The biscuits and coffee was of course first class and served in cups  on saucers (we had guests), having said that, there is never enough coffee in a cup and saucer and there is far too much in a large takeaway cup, a mug of coffee is the standard by which all measures should be taken; you’ve got espresso, mug and fucking huge, far too big. Never trust anyone who drinks Coffee out of anything larger than a mug, you’ll understand when you get to my age.

So the meeting started, my cousin was there too, the bookkeeper, my Dad (looking increasingly puzzled as we talked IT), my Mum popping in and out of the snug where the TV was on 99 with the subtitles which no one can read without their glasses on, again you will understand when you get to my age. My Mum recently had her eyes fixed by an eye doc  and so all her old glasses are useless, the prescription all wrong, she can’t hear and kept flitting between the two rooms saying how beautiful she looked and how cross posh spice looked (I agreed, like a bulldog chewing a wasp) wasn’t Elton John looking odd and the Queen looked absolutely resplendent in green and purple or what ever. And did we want anymore coffee, biscuits or cake? We logged onto internet banking and immediately realised that our bookkeeper had the wrong passcode and the wrong membership number so we called the call centre, they wanted to know what the last transactions were for security, I was logged on and so to see the bank statements was not an issue, a click of the finger on the touchpad, but up jumped Dad to fetch the bank statements from the massive pile of printouts he “saves” when he’s on the computer. In the past I mentioned idly if he saved anything he wrote on the PC, he replied that he did and pointed to a huge stacked pile of A4 paper, every e-mail and attachments he can open is printed off and “saved” in the pile.

Now do you understand what I have to deal with? We decided that we should move the office and paperwork to the home as it is becoming increasingly difficult for Dad to travel into the city to check post and what not at the office. This was also due to the internet being better or actually there at my folks house, but the broadband package they have is utter bollocks and after about 20 minutes gave up the ghost, so the meeting ended up being about the royal wedding, biscuits, coffee, the wrong numbers, stacks of printed e-mails and what we are having for lunch; really it was a comedy of errors. I do feel like we are taking several steps backwards every time we try and make improvements as we are met with a brick wall of resistance in the form of my folks wishing everything to be as it was 40 years ago. Why does everything have to change and can’t we just write cheques and go and see our bank managers when we want to?

I’m afraid for better or for worse, richer or poorer (!!!, ironically what the 2 main protagonists at the wedding vowed to do, my 14 year old daughter laughed out loud when they swore that), for poorer indeed; they don’t pay for anything, everything is on a fucking plate for them. Anyway the way of the world is changing and like it or not you have to move with the times or get left behind, there in then lies the road to paranoia as everything becomes more and more complicated, and less and less comprehensible to the luddite.

I did learn one thing after the dust settled and the bookkeeper left, my cousin and her hubby went off to Birmingham, my wife and kids arrived on the scene and very wisely spent the time out on the lawn soaking up the late spring sunshine whilst everyone left and lunch was served. Prince Harry, being a member of the military, is not allowed to get married in military uniform with a beard, one can have a moustache, long ear hair or plaited eyebrows but a beard is a no-no. Unless of course your Gran is the fucking Queen of England and then you can do what the hell you please.

Sunset was beautiful at the back of my Dad’s field, after some Pimms and fine chilled white wine. But no jug of Pimms this time, just a couple of heavy cut crystal glasses topped up with lemonade, traditional with mint, cucumber and strawberries, all we needed was to get the croquet set out and have TMS playing on the radio (regular readers will understand the reference), a typical quintessential British summers day.

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