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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Play Your Cards RightIt's been an eventful couple of days, most of which I'm not going to write about in an attempt to give the impression that something interesting's happened, but the highlight of the week so far is that I've finally cast aside the shackles of Ludditism, embraced the technological age, and confronted the dangers of static electricity head-on by successfully installing a new graphics card in my computer. The one on the left to be exact. And very nice it is too. I can play Space Invaders and everything. Although I did tread on my webcam whilst trying to get the back off my PC with a rusty screwdriver, so I'm not sure that works any more. But hey, with the amount of dust I found inside my PC, I'm surprised anything works.

Anyhoo, triumphant in my computer-upgrading skills, I opened my front door on Tuesday morning to find the council were out there with a blowtorch erasing half the parking spaces in my road and replacing them with double yellow lines. So the year-long resident's parking permit I applied for less than two weeks ago now entitles me to park about half a mile from my flat. Strange how they didn't mention that when they gave it to me.

But to cheer myself up, I went around the corner to my local charity shop where I found a painting by Bernard Buffet, which sounds like a catering event organised by a Norfolk turkey farmer, but is in fact a French artist who died in 1999. Not that I knew that at the time. But having returned home and utilised the power of my new graphics card by looking at some pictures on the internet, I discovered that if genuine, this painting was probably worth upwards of ten grand. Although the price tag was hidden by a dress in the window, so it's possible they were charging nine.

Either way though, it was the find I'd been waiting for, so I naturally grabbed my wallet and rushed straight for the front door. Only to find I couldn't get out. The maintenance company that looks after (and I use that phrase in its loosest possible sense) my building are in the process of fitting a new fire alarm system, and it just so happened that at 2pm on Tuesday afternoon they were at that crucial stage which involves blocking my front door with a stepladder, some live electrical cables, and a bloke called Marcus.

So I left it until 3:30pm, safe in the knowledge that they were unlikely to sell my painting in the next hour and a half.


But still, I live five minutes walk from Faques Gallery, an art shop which (as the pun suggests) sells fakes. So I'm hoping it had come from there, and I haven't just missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It could have been my only chance to clean up at Sotheby's without actually buying a vacuum cleaner. But never mind, eh.