We landed late. No excuses proffered. None expected. Nobody gives a CX anyway. I have spent 3 days beavering away in Singapore. I think that technically I was facilitating something. And I gave a presentation on how to be a grumpy old man. At least I think that’s what it was. Or it may have had something to do with leadership skills. They are much the same thing in my view. I rarely check the terms of reference. Whatever the subject it ends up the same. Possibly in a different order but indubitably the same dominoes, shuffled a bit.
I arrived home to rain. It left a decent sky later in the afternoon.
And all that grumpiness training paid off. The washing machine has curled up its toes. 4.5 years old. Zanussi (Electrolux in drag). My last washing machine in Britain was still going after 20 years. Hoover. Damn. So the choices are a repair; a new Zanussi, or a new Miele. Understand please, I would never have known these were the options until Mrs. Ha phoned me. The costs respectively are HK$2,000, HK$5,000 and HK$20,000. I chose the repair. I hate the idea of throwing away kit that is not yet in primary school. The gremlin is that we leave for Lisbon on Wednesday and have no washing machine until then. I will leave that to the Commander-in Chief to sort out. I shall just be Mr. Grumpy.
The two weeks on a river boat will offer us refuge from the penalty shoot out that England will inevitably lose. So by the time we return to HK I expect it will be down to the usual suspects and the English supporters will still be singing about 1966 and World Cup Willy, Gordon Banks, Nobby’s false teeth and Bobby’s comb over. And they will already be back home. Most of the soccer world cup will pass us by. It scares me to think that it is almost 50 years since I saw the triumph at Wembley, when we beat the spiked Helmut Haller, Wolfgang Weber and Uwe vuvuzela Seeler; and gifted to the German language that wonderful expression ‘ein englisches Tor‘ (a goal in which the ball does not cross the line).
On a more serious note I watched a lot of the commemoration of the D-Day landings yesterday. It remains very moving to see the veterans no matter how many years pass.
Merkel was there looking rather cheerful; Putin, Queen Elizabeth, Obama, Hollande and a host of others including I fear a rather strange looking chap, who seemed to be in charge of Australia. (I think the Aussies should have a whip round to buy him a suit that fits, a decent tie and an ear-pinning op.) They all gathered and managed not to punch one another on the nose. Vlad the Impaler looked decidedly uncomfortable. He was the archetypal pantomime villain. I wondered if someone would shout to Obama “He’s behind you!!” Although sadly for BO Vlad has been ahead of him for a while now. I watched carefully to see if Vlad would try to tap the new Ukrainian chocolate chap for the gas money they owe. Perhaps he should just set up a giant gas meter at each border point and if the Europeans don’t put in their sixpence the gas goes off. It was on a Monday morning that the gasman came to call…..
And that is about it I think. I need to do my tax return, pack a suitcase and all sorts of other things that grumpy old men do when they get home from an adventure. Don’t go away will you?