Wonderful Wednesday

Ever since I “left” home I have lived in two houses which at varying times have had people sticking notes through the door demanding that they come in and change the gas and electricity meters. Unfortuantely, every time this happened I have not been at home. I received a letter last week telling me that my gas meter needed replacing. This only happens once every 10 years for the type of meter I have (so the meter maintenance man told me) so it’s just sheer bad luck to be living in a house for nine months which just so happen to cross the time in which a new one is needed.

I’m almost getting suspicious that my name is associated with someone who might want to try to fiddle their meter readings. A new house, a new meter. But it was yet another good excuse to take the day off work, as if I needed one at the moment. Because Parliament is on recess, and my MP is staying in the constituency working hard (haha) there is effectively nothing for me to do but sit there answering the phone and dealing with people who seem to think I work for them (particularly charities that MP is involved in), when in fact I work for my MP. So, I successfully made my excuses and ran away.

The meter man turned up this morning and did his duty. I, in return, did my duty and did the decent thing of offering, and providing, a cup of tea. It’s such a British thing, and one I’ve been brought up with well. Maybe these little bit of hospitality are dropping out of British culture. I don’t know. However, there is normally a dilemma which asks, “What is the minimum length of time that an engineer must be in the house for to do deserve a cuppa?”. Given that I knew the meter man would be there for 30 minutes (the warning letter said so), I knew that had passed the threshold. But I still don’t know where the line is. For instance, the washing machine repair man who came a month ago was only in the house for 5 minutes, and I didn’t offer him a cuppa. I think 5 mins is too short.

But the worst is when the repairman (let’s be honest, it is still mostly men) is going to be there for an indeterminate length of time because you don’t know what’s wrong, and therefore can’t estimate how long he’ll be working for.

Such is the quandaries of etiquette. I must be one of the few people in the country to have ever considered this point, but I think it is a fair one.

The rest of the day has been spent playing Warcraft III (which, at long last, I am near completing) and watching Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe downloaded via UKNova. That was excellent, as always. But what really makes me happy is the technology involved in on-demand programming – because it is simply fantastic.

What is even more exciting is the fact that us technology geeks are leading the way. Within 10 years I am sure that content-on-demand will be at the fingertips of everyone, and they will no longer be considered something that only a small proportion of the population enjoy. Sky+ are doing their best to corner the market and charge a bloody fortune for the privilege, but, thankfully, there are ways around it.

But you just know that as soon as everyone else catches up, us technophiles will have moved on to the next big thing. I just wonder what it will be. My personal suggestion would be the creation of Injectible TV, whereby a “TV” programme can be absorbed without having to sit down and stare at the idiot box for hours. “Johnny 5 is alive” would almost be reality.

Talking of staring at the idiot box for hours, I fully expect to watch Bolton v Arsenal later, and it is always nice to watch some free football. However, there can be nothing worse than watching bad football – as it sucks away two hours of your life – two hours that you ain’t gonna get back. So I’m hoping for a cracker – a nice penalty shoot out wouldn’t go amiss. That would make it worth my while.

Then it really would be a good day. I’m calling today Wonderful Wednesday in anticipation of it being good. I’m sure my optimism will soon be crashing and burning in a fit of boredom. Or perhaps that’s just because I’m about to continue some work on my assignments for this year.

Who would have thought sitting in one’s house all day could be seen as a great achievement to be celebrated.

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