(Warning: this blogger has been drinking. A lot. Do not expect a tightly focused argument in this post and try to keep up with the random subject changes)
It seems entirely appropriate that three 50-hour working weeks should end on one of the nights Scotland designates as an excessive whisky consumption night.
No, not ‘Friday’. It’s the official birthday of Robbie Burns, poet and drinker extraordinaire. Poets seem to be famous for boozing. There must be some link. I’m a crap poet – perhaps I should drink more.
Tomorrow I have a single shift, starting at the crack of noon, so can welcome this bottle of Ledaig into its new home… me. In theory I am not working Sunday. In theory – since I wasn’t supposed to be working last Sunday, there is no guarantee, but if the Boss doesn’t contact me before I get to Smoky-Drinky tomorrow night, well, too bad. Three weeks of seriously restricted booze intake is more than the human body can bear. I wouldn’t want to go down with a bad case of alcohol deprivation, it might cost the NHS money!
I might forget to charge up my phone. I’m old enough to get away with forgetfulness now and then. The ‘smoking makes you forget things’ fake science story won’t work because the Boss smokes too, and despite going straight from school to work, she is canny enough to know when she’s being bullshitted. Just because someone didn’t go to university doesn’t mean they aren’t smart.
In fact, I recall meeting some school friends in a pub many years ago (when smokers were still allowed in). Some of us had gone on to university and were perpetually penniless. Some had left school after O levels and gone to work. One was loading lorries (intelligent guy, but really enjoyed lifting heavy things), another had joined up with the oil exploration boats. The latter was talking about which model of car he was planning to buy. We ‘intelligent ones’ at university were wondering if we could afford another pint…
There is also the question of pensions. If you finish higher education at around 23-25 years old (first degree then PhD, longer if you do a Master’s in between), your pal who left school at 14 to become an apprentice electrician has at least ten years’ pension contributions under his belt before you even get started. He’s also looking to buy a house by that time while you are still pausing over buying a kettle. He has learned how to handle money, your first job is more money than you’ve seen in years and you can (and I did) blow the finances very badly.
Government’s idea of helping people is to make them go to university. When I did it, they gave us a grant which was just enough to live on but you could finish university with no debts at all. It was possible. Now it is not. They raise the school leaving age and push kids onto university courses that won’t help them at all – and I’m not just talking about witchcraft and knitting degrees. Our universities produce around eight times as many qualified forensic scientists than the jobs market can possibly accommodate. That’s one of the less common courses!
For a lot of those kids, if they had left school and apprenticed to a plumber, they would be running their own business by the time they are 25, they would have a house with a well-dented mortgage and a very nice-looking pension pot. The ones forced into university when it wasn’t really for them are flipping burgers and living in a council box in a high-rise tower that reaches halfway to Mars and where the lifts only go down, and at terminal velocity. You don’t even have time to be offended at the graffiti.
I don’t know if the likes of Burns, or Dylan Thomas, had much of an education beyond the right amount to pour into a glass but they clearly had minds. Fuzzy minds, a lot of the time, granted, but they clearly had those fuzzy minds. I have a feeling the modern education system would have thrashed their creativity out of them, and the modern medical establishment would have tried to keep them sober and plain and normal and dull.
If Thomas wrote ‘Under Milk Wood’ or Burns wrote ‘Ode to a Louse’ now, there would be Outrage! and when their drinking came to light, paranoid drones would nod like sage in the wind and display less intelligence than that herb as they pronounce ‘gross diversion’ as the label for the dog (bonus points if you know which song that’s from).
I had a look at the Daily Offended but found nothing that pushed absurdity beyond their usual daily fare. Maybe they’ve reached their limit. They do now say that snoring is more deadly than smoking, which is probably true. Crossing the street might be up there in the death stakes, inhaling bus exhaust and the over 2000 nuclear explosions might eventually come to the attention of the MSM but I won’t hold my breath unless there’s a bus passing.
Considerable amounts of snow fell today but there is less on the ground than before. I think this is a fall of anti-snow, which combines with and annihilates previous snow. I’ve heard some large snow slides off the roof tonight.
Hopefully the snow is going away again. I want to get to the lab next week. Also hopefully, the new guy at work will turn up as required and there will be no ‘can you cover?’ phone calls.
At the end of March I will have six months’ retail experience. The organisation I am with, the one who cleans Local Shop, is always complaining that they can’t get experienced staff. They pay as little as possible, there are no perks, experienced staff go for better jobs. This mob are entry level and they don’t even realise it! All they will ever get are the inexperienced because once we have experience, we move somewhere else.
Somewhere that demands six months’ experience… and gets the same bill-covering pay for less hours. No wonder they are always looking for staff.
Anyway, back to poets. There is a great poet alive who sets his stuff to music but his latest release is a fucking dirge. Miserable and droning. He is obviously not drinking enough. In the past, he did. I always liked this one –
Back to helping the Ledaig move in. It’s almost there, it just has to rearrange the furniture in my liver.