Things are conspiring to make me jolly cross. You may remember the Christmas parcel sent to Miss Mason which got as far as Belfast and then lingered, doing nothing. Well, it made its way back to us rather than proceed on its way to Thailand. It came with a nice letter, telling me off for putting offending articles in a parcel – in this case some Paul Smith aftershave, intended for Mr Safaie – but without the aftershave which, I imagine, some of the postal workers in Belfast now smell of. All the presents were ripped open and so Mr Mason sealed them all up again and we took the parcel back to the post office we posted it at originally. One piece of good news on the horizon was that it cost less to post this time as it was a couple of hundred grammes lighter. Instead of paying to send it again, we actually got a refund and the parcel is now on its way to Bangkok. Forgive me if you know the story thus far.
I duly told Ms Mason her Christmas presents were finally on the move and she rubbed her hands together and looked forward to opening them with something like glee. Then fate stepped in. Although it hasn’t been reported in the British tv media, there has been a lot of trouble in Bangkok with protests and, more recently, bombings. Some people have been shot and it seems there are water cannon and rubber bullets being deployed with great abandon. Yesterday, it was announced that there would be a State of Emergency declared with effect from this morning. Well that’s just brilliant. First of all British postal services wouldn’t take the parcel and now Thailand is doing everything possible to prevent its delivery. Does Miss Mason not deserve her new knickers and nail files? She has actually got more than that but I don’t want to give the game away entirely. I do enjoy buying things for the offspring. It’s lovely to do all the things that I didn’t experience when I was a child/young adult/adult with my parents. But really, Bankok! What appalling timing!
So today has been day 3 of jury service. I am starting to get to know my fellow jurors, some of whom are lovely and some slightly unhinged. In the jury room in general, amongst all the jurors for all 13 courts, there seems to be a large preponderance of Daily Mail readers which depresses me. There is also a man many people tell me smells of vodka. This is very specific and I suspect is the opinion of people who don’t drink alcohol, or certainly not spirits. I haven’t been close enough to check for myself but I may give it a whirl tomorrow morning. I overhear people discussing Benefit Street, a tv series about a road in Birmingham which has a large number of benefit recipients living in it. There are some sad examples of child rearing by a couple who are not out of their teens but already have 2 children and scant understanding of how to bring them up. Swearing and foul language abound. It just underlines the fact that some people haven’t had great examples of how to behave, live or raise children and might require some support or extra input in order to help them become good and useful citizens as well as raise children who are both happy and with aspirations. I don’t think it says anything particularly terrible about the people who live there but it provides much fodder for those who like to find people worse of than themselves and point to them as examples of what not to do. Adler had some great ideas about society and community and occasionally I find it soothing to read his ideas of training children and involving the whole community.
I have to say it is an interesting if not exhausting week. I am not used to regular morning starts. When I work, it is often from home and does not require getting up at 7.30. I know, I know; the rest of you are all out there, buzzing around and working like demons all day every day but I am not made of such stern stuff and find it all too much. My rock’n’roll lifestyle is such that I have been in bed before 9pm on both days so far. Tomorrow is the fourth day of the trial I am sitting on and it is proving very interesting and illuminating but alas, I cannot tell you more.
Here’s an extra special hello to all the people from outside the UK who read my blog. I love looking at the readership, broken down by country and wonder how you all find it. Do stop by to say hello!