Friday, January 08, 2010


And a happy New Year to my reader.
Sorry it has taken so long but, quite honestly, I did bugger all at the turn of the decade. In fact, I was tucked up in bed by 11.30 only to be woken up by the horns from the ships moored off Southend together with the statutory annoying firework display.
Then, when I was just getting to sleep again, there came a call from my mate Hayd.
It went something like this:
"Aaappy noooo year! Washu dooooing?"
"I'm in the house on my own. In bed."
"Whaaaa? Ah great. Aaappy nooo year! Washu doing?"
"I just told you! What are you doing?"
"Amat a neighbour's party. Wharrabout choo?"
Oh well, good to see some people having fun.

What a week it's been. Went to bed on Tuesday fully expecting to drive back to Southend on Wednesday in time for work. Pulling the curtains back the following morning, though, I was faced with a complete whiteout. I could hardly see my Corsa Basil, which had been parked on the street the previous night, nor Mrs R's car Millie, as Britain was engulfed in snow hell.
Turning on the radio we discovered that Bristol buses had also ground to a halt, meaning my good lady wife had no means of getting to work. As for me, forget it!
It was then I remembered I had a doctor's appointment to get my blood pressure tested. We slid up the hill to the surgery and thankfully my GP had managed to get to work and sort me out.
After an enjoyable breakfast in the little cafe around the corner we then headed home. Crossing the little triangular green outside our house (which now, incidentally, was white) I managed to slip on a patch of ice, put my hand down to save myself and let out a yelp of pain. I don't really know the damage I did and it didn't help that I then took a shovel outside and began clearing snow from the road.
By 3pm that afternoon my wrist was in agony but fortunately Florence Nightingale (well, Mrs Rippers anyway) was at the ready with a temporary sling.
Then Mrs Rippers, who is not exactly a fan of the horror genre, wanted to watch the film Drag Me To Hell, on Virgin Movies on Demand. So we paid our £3.95 - and saw about 15 minutes of it. Before long she was hiding her face in her hands as an ugly old gypsy woman put a curse on the film's heroine. When she eventually screamed out loud at a particularly stomach-churning part, I knew the end was nigh. Moments later off went the film and we settled for watching the last two episodes of The Wire Series 3 on DVD - not a bad substitute it has to be said.

Thursday and I was confident of digging out the motor and driving to work, but I ended up marooned at home doing some research required of me by the office lawyer (with reference to a Cardiff City back page exclusive we had done the previous week).
I took the chance to ring some of my contacts, then settled down to watch an enthralling last two hours of the third test between South Africa and England at Cape Town. England needed an unobtainable 467 runs for victory, and had lost three wickets for 132 the previous day. It meant they had to bat all day to save the game and, as is their wont, they kept me on the edge of my seat until the last ball of the day.
Somehow, with Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell having defended stoutly for the entire afternoon, they contrived to lose five wickets in the last 14 overs. It meant that Graham Onions - our No 11 batsman - was left to save the day and face the last over - just as he had done at Centurion Park, Pretoria, two weeks earlier.
And he managed it. Fantastic. England go into the last test on Sunday 1-0 up and with a great chance of claiming the series.

On Sunday Mrs R and I wanted to see the new film Sherlock Holmes, but got our times mixed up. Instead we opted to see the new Sci-fi film Avatar. Quite stunning. The visuals and special effects were breathtaking and the storyline not bad at all.

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