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Friday, April 13, 2007

1,000 Not Out
It's always good to write your 1,000th blog post on Friday the 13th. I'll probably hit the wrong button and delete the whole lot.

But the good news is my niece made it down to Brighton yesterday morning, despite being held up by an "incident" (not to be confused with an accident) on the M25. Six months ago she used to claim that the distance between us was insurmountable (I'm not sure she used that exact word), and felt there was no way she could endure the torture of a two-hour car journey just to visit her Uncle Phil. Interestingly that opinion changed the moment she got a Nintendo DS for Christmas, and could sit in her booster seat playing Charlie & the Chocolate Factory for a hundred miles. I think I'll buy one for my brother.

RoaaarrrrSo my niece arrived at midday with her chauffeur in tow, and immediately introduced us to Scabby. If that's what she calls a tiger, I dread to think what she'll name her children. Lisa had taken the day off work, so we both settled down to watch my niece play her Nintendo, eat Curly-Wurlys, and extol the virtues of Lem-sip. Which she calls 'Lime-sip'. Possibly because it's addled her brain.

After a couple of hours, during which I successfully worked out how to use Oompa-Loompas to get Wriggle Sweets, we went to visit Lisa's nephews and renew the friendship between my niece and her future husband. Unfortunately he's been ill for the past week and looks like an extra from Tenko, but the good news for matchmakers like myself is that my niece wasn't put off. Even if his trousers did keep falling down.

An hour or so later, and having been asked three times by my niece if we could go out somewhere, I walked back to my flat with Lisa to collect my car and transport everyone to the beach. The plan was for Lisa to walk down and meet us there, as the only room in my car was in the boot and she refused to lie down with an oil-can, so I drove back alone to pick up two nephews, a niece and a mother. Whereupon Nephew Number One decided he didn't feel well enough to go, Niece decided she wouldn't go without Nephew, and the whole trip got cancelled. Leaving Lisa heading for the pier alone.

Fortunately it all worked out in the end, and with the help of a pensioner and a three-year-old (who was more interested in leaving footprints in wet cement) I hunted down Lisa and returned her to the 32G bosom of her family. That left us free to spend the evening at the McDonalds Drive Thru, where I ordered a Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal with a toy for a girl, and got a Cheeseburger with a Ninja Turtle. Which would have been ok if we'd opened the bag and discovered it before leaving the window and driving all the way home.

But while my Mum was making the lengthy journey back to McDonalds for a girl who won't eat cheeseburgers, I had time to explain the plot of Ledgers to my niece (who was confused by the photos on my wall), before welcoming back my Mum and discussing whether a fax machine is heavier than a duck. It seemed quite important at the time.

Anyhoo, having sent all my visitors back to Essex with a song in their hearts and half a Curly-Wurly in their bag, I settled down with last night's Argus, where I found this breaking news story...

The words 'only in Brighton' spring to mind.