Monday, 10 February 2014

The Tim Burton Birthday Pic And Flushing Out The Frackers


The start of a special week. I’ve taken a few days off work so while the Bairn is at nursery in the mornings, Wife-features and I can have some rare grown up time. This week also contains my birthday, when I will become older than I’ve ever been. And it’s the last week of the winter beard.


Three hours of uninterrupted daytime with my better half are well spent. A walk on the beach at Porty and a leisurely coffee (including refill) and blether. It doesn’t sound like much but trust me, with a four year old, it’s eerie not hearing “Mum” or “Dad” being yelled every 10 minutes. I have an extra spring in my step after picking the Bairn up from nursery. She’s been telling everyone it’s my birthday. The teachers seem very impressed. Apparently I’m seventeen. Ahem.


I enter my 38th year with a decent haul of goodies including whisky and old cowboy stories. The Bairn has fashioned me a card with a picture of a Linzertort or possibly a Jammie Dodger. She also sketches a picture of me with some kisses. I do not tell her it bears an uncanny resemblance to a scene from a Tim Burton film.


To the newsagent! I’m pleased to see the local organs of truth flushing out the wishy-washy views of our elected representatives of the big issue of fracking. East Lothian’s certainly done its bit over the decades for energy supplies by inefficiently burning coal at Cockenzie and piling up a toxic legacy at Torness. We know of course that wind turbines will doom us by literally scratching the retinas from tourists’ eyes so perhaps the answer lies by hydraulically fracturing lots of gas wells. The FM seems to be open to the idea, the local Labour MP and MSP too. Some Libdem chappie doesn’t answer the question, like a true Libdem. Thank goodness I’m a Green and won’t hesitate to tell the frackers to frack off.


I witness some spectacularly bad driving and parking in an area earmarked for a paved town square. It seems pavements in the Honest Toun are up for grabs for particularly inept and lazy motorists. Where’s a traffic warden when you need one?

I also take great delight at hearing the latest words of wisdom from the top brass fighting for the Union. General Cameron says we should vote No so he can continue to read his kids books about Britain’s history. Unless a Yes vote results in access to a Tardis I’m not sure why history would be changed. And Captain Darling is continuing to equate a Yes vote with That Man Salmond. Apparently the First Minister of Scotland is acting like he’s Head of State or something! Carry on, chaps…    


To North Berwick, the dapper coastal resort where the taps run with artisan gin and cheese toasties look like the Law. In a café the Bairn spills her drink in her lap (FYI it’s water, not the hard stuff) and despite my reassurances that she’ll dry with a brisk walk on the beach, new trousers are sourced in one of the many excellent charity shops. Later on, miles out on the beach, the Bairn tells me she needs an urgent toilet trip. Power walking back to town is required. I don’t want to have to shell out for a second pair of emergency breeks.
A Bairnsitter allows Wife-features and I out for a rare grown up drink in a bar. We’re so out of practice that Her Nibs orders something that comes in a bucket covered in fire. I have an Old Fashioned, heavy on the cherries.


To the bicycle repair shop! The new-ish commuting bike’s chain snapped recently and I had to press the back-up bike into service. I decide to stick with the old faithful but put it in for a service. It emerges like brand new, with no creaks or squeaks and a sturdier bag rack. It also gets an upgrade from a threaded headset to a threadless. Apparently my bearings were getting rusty. Now there’s a metaphor for birthday week.

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