Spend, spend, spend

An early update this week, since I'm off to Southampton for the Minami anime convention tomorrow. And, indeed, not that much of an update, since my lifestyle has been destroyed by my VCR quietly grinding to a halt last Friday. "F05", it said. "Refer to dealer", replied the manual. "Where's the bloody receipt?", added Jim: though still (just) within the guarantee period, I can't really take it back because of the absence of that little slip of paper. I found the receipt for the previous machine, of course... Phoned a repair shop or two, and they all breezily assured me it was a loading motor problem, and quite easy to fix. "Easy" is one thing, "cheap" is another. Hence, there will be a short delay before I get to review all the stuff I took back from the States.

Indeed, household appliances, and the house in general, seem to have dominated spending in TC Towers lately. The oven, long a source of interestingly clangy noises which made a simple pizza sound like a Test Dept concert, finally gave up the ghost. It's been replaced, but by a gas oven, which is different enough to ensure I have been consuming my food either cold or carbonated. It doesn't bother with anything sensible on the front like a temperature: it just goes from 1 to 9. The manual, even less usefully, describes 1 as "Cool" and 9 as "Very hot". I think I could probably have worked this out myself. Expect sales of microwave-ready meals in the Tulse Hill area to increase.

We also discovered that roots belonging to the 1:1 Amazonian scale-model, thinly disguised as a hedge, which is planted in front of the house, are rapidly heading towards becoming an integral part of the foundations. The problem is, if we get rid of it now (perhaps we should have bought a wood-burning stove!), the cure might be nastier than the disease, involving the rebuilding of the entire front wall, before my bedroom suddenly acquires a genuinely "airy view". I knew we should have Agent Orange'd the bastard the day we moved in.

Instead, now it's going to cost a sum which is currently indeterminate, but likely to make the costs of new ovens and VCR repairs, pale into insignificance. Hang on, I thought we were simply trying to sell the house - y'know, get money out of it? I understand than you can only buy a house if you have money, but now it appears that you also need money if you want to sell it, too. I guess this is no more than we deserve, after seven years of largely neglected maintenance. The chickens (albeit more floral than faunal) are now coming home to roost...

Finally, went to the WCW wrestling at London Arena last weekend. Though the wrestling was thoroughly enjoyable, and the venue suitably spectacular, perhaps the two most memorable moments were outside. Firstly, Canary Wharf tube station, on the Jubilee Line extension: is it just me, or has the designer of it seen Logan's Run once too often? I almost expected to see Jenny Agutter in a short skirt ("Look! There's Jenny-bush!") on the other escalator. And most amusingly, after the event, I was actually asked for my autograph. No, I don't think I was mistaken for Sting or Bret Hart -- the black-and-white striped shirt I had on just made me look like a ref! Hell, I signed anyway, and even added "referee" helpfully underneath. Somewhere out there, is a very confused kid carefully scanning each program to see whether his ref can be found...


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