To be honest it was November 19th 2011 but it is close enough. I obviously went out with my camera and something clicked – no pun intended. I came back with several images I liked. I shall post some below. I was somewhat taken aback by the fact that 12 months had elapsed. Hard to believe. One year. Let’s say 1/80th of my lifetime if I am very lucky. 1.25%. Just like that. It was also my first official week of retirement. I find it extremely hard to say what the last year has meant to me. A veritable curate’s egg. The newspapers are still stuffed to the gunnels with depressing garbage and the Eurozone crisis crawls inexorably on, like a drunk on all fours, retching and vomiting knowing that there is the mother of all hangovers ahead. I only hope the car keys have long since been confiscated. I am mightily tempted to launch a “good news only” paper – online of course – but I suspect deep down many people like gloom and despondency with their cornflakes. That and the salacious gossip that nobody admits to liking but sells newspapers by the thousand. I’m more of an apricot jam man myself. Lulu quite likes that too.
The flip side of Euro-Puke is the number of enjoyable blogs I have discovered. There are still many people that have a social conscience, a will to save us from environmental destruction on a grand scale, a mission to rid the world of injustice and abuse of human rights. Most of all there are many people who possess that most valuable of assets, a sense of humour. If only it could be bottled and prescribed under Obama-care or the NHS. And there are just too many excellent photographers out there with an eye I would die for. Metaphorically speaking.
Earlier on today I was on another mission to clear out unwanted detritus from my past. I discovered twenty years of performance appraisals. Now that really would make people laugh. Amongst a fair few encouraging remarks I noticed that I seem to have had a problem with authority over the years. My lowest ratings were for ‘attitude’. Well stuff you, was my invariable reaction. Its my party and I’ll cry if I want to. That sort of thing. I did not decide on the spot whether to bin/shred or keep. They are in the procrastination pile. I can decide later. Hopefully before it is too late. I did manage though to throw out 3 aromatherapy candles, never lit, six years old and in one instance seemingly lacking a wick. Clearly a gift from someone with the imagination of an amoeba. But I’m sure I feigned delight and gratitude.
If I seem in a somewhat cynical and jaundiced mood today it is because I am. You see I hate stupidity. That was another comment on multiple appraisals. “Doesn’t suffer fools gladly”. Too damned right, I don’t. Nor laziness. So my reaction to an e mail from someone telling me I couldn’t buy a specific bond for my pension fund because it wasn’t rated, well it just made my blood boil. All the AAA rated slops and effluvia that I could have bought back in 2007, only to default in 2008….. well they would have been fine. But an unrated bond with strong defensive characteristics and a decent coupon. Sharp intake of breath….. Ooooh, no! Far too risky. Fortunately I didn’t buy any CDOs, CDOs-squared or even cubed and I do understand issuer risk. That was my job. Still, someone, somewhere in the bowels of the curse that came upon me when I took out my QROPS has decided that policy is policy and commonsense shall not prevail. Pestilence squared and cubed be upon them. Four horsemen may not be enough.
But where are the images, you ask. A valid question. Here they are.
That’s it. Nothing special but the light was good and nobody bugged me that day. Now if only I could get the other 364 days a year to function in the same manner I may just launch my good news service. Today’s good news is that I am stopping here. As the saying goes, ‘They told me, cheer up, things could be worse. So I cheered up and sure enough, things got worse.”