This week started with the Tiger sailing through it’s MOT without one single ‘Advisory’ and the front tyre that had been fitted way back in Volgograd didn’t even get a mention. It’s now taxed and tested and I’m all set for another year of riding, .... I just need to decide where to take it. All week the sun's been shining, not a single drop of rain has fallen and our good friends the Obama’s came to pay us a visit. They met with my ex-friend Gordon Brown and eighteen of their acquaintances at the Excel Centre in E16, ….. which I’m sure must have been an absolute treat for all of them. In fact, I haven’t seen Gordon look quite so chirpy since Tony and Cherie waved their way out of Downing Street, with unbelievably perfect timing, to begin their new lives in the seemingly lucrative world of semi-retirement. Gordon Brown divides opinion but Barack Obama doesn’t, everybody loves him. They’d journeyed to E16 in search of a trillion dollar’s of new fiscal stimulus, but sadly for Gordon, Mervin King had misquoted the popular President and before the summit began, had uttered the fatal words, ... ’’No we can’t’’. It seems that our prudent Prime Minister has exceeded his overdraft limit and his bank manager has quite publicly smacked his abundant arse. But with true British spirit, Gordon maintained his smile, stiffened his lip and passed around the begging cap anyway. Nicholas Sarkozy stood on tiptoes but pretend that he still couldn’t reach, Angela Merkle busied herself adjusting the political beach-towels, King Abdullah shrugged his shoulders and muttered something uncomplimentary about the falling price of light sweet crude, President Hu Jinto seemed content with his existing majority holding in ''USA Plc'' and Silvio Burlosconi was far too engorssed in this months copy of ‘Leaders Wives‘ to even notice it‘s passing. The cap was returned to sender bereft of hard currency and goodwill. Undeterred, Gordon then moved the goalposts and decided that I-O-U‘s would be perfectly acceptable. And so it was that the IMF was given authority to print the required trillion dollars, using recycled paper of course, and with the addition of a liberal dose of spin, it was mission accomplished for Gordon Brown. He may not have come away from E16 with everything that he’d wanted, but on his return to Downing Street he was greeted with the brighter news that MP’s had awarded themselves an inflation busting pay rise and an extra few hundred thousand pounds in pension provisions, …. an amount that should in some way compensate them for the loss of free access to porn movies. Call me cynical, ……. and I’ll take it as a compliment.
Closer to home, but not literally so, the lovely Tassaneeya telephoned to say that she’d just been waved down for speeding by several young men wearing overly tight brown uniforms on the road to Chumpae. The Thai Police are an interesting group of thankfully underpaid public servants, enforcers of law in a land where the fragrance of your grease generally determines the outcome of your low-level legal encounters. Thankfully, an undeniably winning smile, a letter confirming her iminent attendance at an interview for a new position in government and a few hundred Thai Baht ensured her smooth progress towards Chumpae, …. and hopefully progress on the ladder of career success. I’m not sure that I would have got away quite so lightly had I committed a similar offence here in Blighty. Tassaneeya had learned her lesson and had left the crime scene with nothing but good thoughts and respect for authority. If the same thing had happened to me, I’d by now be wrecking speed camera’s, campaigning against police performance targets and questioning the parentage of any person who in their working lives has chosen to wear a cap. It probably wouldn’t stop me from exceeding the speed limit in the future, I’d just be slightly more careful about where I did it. It’s not that the Thai way is better than the British way, but it does seem to get the job done and everybody at least learns their lesson or achieves their goal, … and surely that‘s the real point behind these laws anyway.
With very little in the way of writing or editing achieved, progress on the book was further thwarted by the arrival in the mail of ’The Carin’ Sharin’ Chronicles’ by Dave Gurman. I didn’t have time to read the whole book, so I just read the introduction, .. and then the preface, .. and then chapters one through twenty, .. and then the acknowledgements…. and now I’m waiting for him to publish the second volume. It’s taken him almost thirty years to write this one and so I’m not really holding my breath whilst waiting for the next, but if it’s half as good as volume one, then it will definitely be worth waiting for. I don’t think that I appeared in any of his tales about life in general and despatch riding in particular, but many of the characters and situations had an alarming feeling of familiarity. The collection of short stories are like literary Marmite, there is no middle ground and you’ll either love them or hate them, but if you’ve ever wondered what goes through a courier’s mind, or indeed if we have a complete mind between us, …. then get hold of a copy and you wont be disappointed. Available from all good book shops blah blah blah, but not surprisingly ’Sold Out’ on Amazon, … way to go Mr Gurman.