Back again

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.

After the rain

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?


33 thoughts on “Back again

  1. The black and white shot of the bay is sublime, a sort of Japanese painting with internal lighting on the mountains and a cold breeze ruffling the water. I’ve been away too much, I’m staying put for a bit.

  2. Off again! Good heavens, that’s a short turn around, you’d better get down the laundrette smartish if you don’t want to be visiting Portugal commando. What a bummer about the washing machine. I get very very very grumpy when things break or don’t work. The fact is, Andrew, they just don’t make ’em like they used too. I’ve been told on good authority that they are only designed to last 5 years – no wonder our planet is sinking under the weight of abandoned white goods and plastic.
    Enjoy your trip to Lisboa – don’t forget to savour the delights of pastel de nata! 😀

    • My idea, Lottie, was to use the washing machine in cost centre 2’s flat. Until I discovered that is broken too and nobody can be bothered to have it repaired. Built in obsolescence should be a crime. I am serious. Why do things that used to last 20 years now give up the ghost after 5 years. Its just another form of pollution. Make them take them back free and recycle them. My blood is boiling.

      • I agree, it’s the most terrible waste. It makes my blood boil too. We scraped the funds together to buy a new washing machine as soon as we had plumbing, but I dread to think how long it will last, 4.5 years if we are lucky!
        Nothing is built to last and just think how many obsolete mobile phones are now ditched in our poor planet’s landfills? millions of them. Pete and I are making a conscious effort to try to step back from this madness – my iphone was stolen a few months ago and I have no desire to replace it – instead I found an ancient phone that we had years ago, it’s the ‘smartest’ phone ever, it does just what I need, sends texts and makes calls – why ever did i waste good money on my other phone? it’s all a load of hype and hogwash ….I know what our mate Gerard would think! 😉

      • Copper wire. That’s what Gerard would think. My phone is almost 3 years old. It embarrasses the kids.

  3. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being grumpy, most of the time it is over the small but important parts of life. England will not win and either will go out due to lack to lack of skill or a conspiracy against England winning.

    • It is true that small problems irritate me far more than big ones. I have never understood why. As to the footie, I’m already waiting for the conspiracy theory to emerge. Won’t take long.

  4. Your posts never fail to make me laugh out loud, Andrew ! 😀
    (1) Sorry about the washing machine: but my Scandivanian Aski – around, oh, 15 years now, has started to smell strangely of mould, if I bend down to its little front-opening door and sniff. The people in Oz who handle ’em told me I should do a FULL wash on HEATING not once but THREE times. I said, faintly, “Do you have any idea how much electricity that would take ?” (the machine is set to cold wash), but they must not have heard … Out of the question: with our power prices: I might as well buy a new bloody machine. As nothing comes out of it smelling of anything, I’ll just have to grin and bear that faint pong.
    (2) Sad about UK football. We’ve managed to scrape our way in, but will be out before you know it. At least you guys will win a match or two.
    (3) Mr Rabbit managed to cover himself in ordure (again) before going to D-Day by turning the trip into an ideological rant. He does this whenever he’s abroad – starts trying to impress whatever host with tales of the awfulness of the Opposition – and embarrasses everyone except himself. He makes me ashamed to be Australian.
    Somehow I’ve managed to turn this into a letter from school. Sorry about that.

    • 15 years for a washer isn’t too bad, M.R. Another 5 years and you will equal my Hoover. I suspect the modern machine is more energy efficient but many materials now require a 30C wash and it is only the really heavy duty stuff that needs a hot wash. We even wondered whether Lulu could be put through at say 20C. Mr. Rabbit is not the best ambassador I have ever seen. He has the word SMUG tattooed across his physog. I despise smugness with a passion. Throw him out.

      • There are a very great many of us trying to do that very thing – or at least to keep reminding the rusted-ons what a slimebag he and his cohorts all are.
        ‘Smugness’ is the word of the day/month/year for the Libs: they think they were born to rule, and now they can once more.

  5. Andrew, Andrew! You ARE NOT GRUMPY! These are the facts of life. If you think you are grumpy well your complaints are legit. I am the feminine version of all those things that you wrote about. I had a washer that was repaired three times and should have been declared a lemon by Sears who took advantage of me. But I turned around and got another from Sears but a top loader this time.

    The harbor scene is great. There seems to be a path in the water over to the right of the middle. The movement of the water somehow prodced what looks like a zig-zag path. Nice effect, for me, anyhow.

    Before you and Ms.Ha leave for Portugal please look up Pradaxa and read carefully. I will try to email you about being well aware of the new blood thinners. I went back to Coumadin because there is an antidote for it. There are no antidotes for the new ones. Very dangerous drugs.

    • Thanks for the comments Yvonne. I know the risks of Pradaxa but I am not familiar with Coumadin. I shall investigate. I have stopped taking the calcium channel blockers as my HR seems to have slowed down a bit. I am seeing the cardio again tomorrow and will see what he suggests.

  6. Welcome back, Mr. H. Isn’t it a sad disappointment when we return home expecting the world to be a better place only to unsurprisingly disappointed when it becomes evident that it is worse?

  7. I watched a hilarious TV program in Australia called Grumpy Old Men. Literally, grumpy old men sitting around complaining about the current ways of the world. Actual reality TV that was tolerable.
    My mother-in-law has a Miele front loading washer that is still going strong after it’s use-by date. Hopefully, a quick repair is all that’s needed for your machine.
    Bon voyage for your river cruise! Sounds wonderfully relaxing.

  8. You should be grumpy more often. Brilliant post. Now I’m not quite so grumpy. Oh and the sun is shining and the Chicadees are singing and the geese are arguing over whether they are in Ukraine or Russia. Life feels good now.
    Apparently the average life expectancy of a contemporary washing machine is just 7 years. The salesman says it’s because they are douch better now. Oops GOM is finding his way back.

    • 7 years would be a lot better than 4.5, Rod but still woefully short of expectations. I don’t like chickadees. No idea why. I just don’t. So there. GOM.

  9. Oh it all makes work for the working man to do. I too was moved, as ever, by the D Day commemorations. I think many Aussies would be happy if we just kept their chap over here. He might have problems with this; he’s not big on letting people stay in foreign countries. The gas meter idea is a good one though there is some doubt as to just where the Russia/Ukrainian border actually is. It’s a line dispute. Maybe they should ask a Russian linesman. Enjoy Portugal.

  10. Yes, enjoyable post! I watched Putin looking uncomfortable, and Abbott looking out of his depth during the D Day commemoration ceremony too. My grumpy stayed up with me to watch. I liked observing the dignitaries who acknowledged the children.

    • Yes, Barbara, the dignitaries were good with the children by and large. The digs all seemed to be extremely late and HM the Queen must have taken a wrong turning. Perhaps Philip was driving. Timekeeping was not good.

    • We are bent on world domination, Joanne. The GOM of the world are uniting. Absurd is good. Certainly better than much of what we have today.

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