Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Man and beast

The temperature in the Brecon Beacons is forecast to be 26 degrees on Thursday. I hope my brother is OK. In contrast, in Wellington, it's been the first day of what I'd call proper winter.

One of the facilitators from the autism group – I’ll call her Isabel – volunteers at the Wellington SPCA. On Sunday she gave us a tour of the premises. This was quite popular – many people on the spectrum have a strong connection with animals. The SPCA recently moved to the old Fever Hospital, which opened just after World War I as (mostly) a final destination for TB sufferers. Unsurprisingly the building is supposed to be haunted, but it now works very well for the SPCA. It was upsetting to see animals that had been neglected. At one point I had a dog on my lap who was shaking like crazy; apparently she was just very shy, and had actually improved in that regard since arriving there. I hope she goes to a good home. The cat section was the best – I could have taken any of a number of them home with me, but alas the body corp rules prohibit pets. Tom was fascinated by the microchip reader. He thought that humans should have chips implanted too, so we wouldn’t have the hassle of carrying around bunches of keys everywhere. I’m happy with things as they are, although come to think of it there have been occasions when a microchip might have saved me some embarrassment. Some of the group went to lunch at the Hong Kong BBQ on Kent Terrace – I’ve eaten there before – but I already had food and drink on me and I just walked to my car and drove aimlessly for a couple of hours. I needed some time and space to myself – the car was the only real answer.

On Friday night I’m flying up to Auckland. I’ll be staying four nights at that motel in Epsom I was hoping to avoid this time, but it was the place that made the most financial sense. My room will have a TV with a few Sky channels, one of which will be showing a sport I neither care about nor properly understand. I might even notice a slightly unpleasant smell when I walk into my room for the first time, but the niff won’t be attributable to anyone in particular, and anyway I’ll soon get used to it. I’m looking forward to it all. I hope to see Richard, Bazza and the woman who used to facilitate the autism group in Wellington. Seeing people is the main reason I’m going. The other reason is not seeing people.

Kevin is pleasant to talk to. We do have a lot of conversation, even when, or especially when, I’m not in the mood for it (and he does like to talk about god quite a lot). It’s his complete domination of everything inside my home that’s the problem, rather than him per se. It’s a shame because with the change of job, life could actually be quite good for me right now, instead of just about tolerable. Granted, things could have been even better if that app had taken off and I’d made lots of money and I could have travelled and not had to answer to anybody, but that app was doomed from the start. It was like buying a lotto ticket with only three numbers on it. Dealing with maps of drainage networks is nowhere near what being my own boss would have meant, but it’s miles better than insurance.

So the World Cup is over. Germany were deserving winners of a very good tournament that will live long in the memory. The final could have gone either way and I'm glad it wasn't settled by penalties but instead by Götze's excellent goal. I only managed to watch the first half before going to work. I noticed that several of the German players had umlauts in their name; surely (Schürrle?) one of them would score. Germany's consistency in major tournaments has finally been rewarded. They've reached the semi-finals of every World Cup this century. England haven't got that far since I was ten. Making Messi the player of the tournament was a little odd, but what do I know? On the evidence of the few games I saw, it would have been a toss-up between Rodriguez and Robben.

Oh, and I've just noticed this is my 500th post.

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