Monday, December 18, 2006

The Last Post

























I'm on holiday until

1st January 2007

Happy Christmas

and

New Year

This is going to be my last post for two weeks. I’ve decided to have a holiday along with everyone else – and I’ve run out of things to say. There are people who know me well who will doubt that this is physically possible. I just don’t want to be mean with the marmite so I’ll be putting up my ‘out of office auto reply’ and getting into some serious DVD watching and novel finishing. I’ve also got a number of books to read including The Adoption by Dave Hill.

Everything else is over for the year so I might as well be too. No Politics Show or Newsnight Review. And no more X-Factor. Leona Lewis, our 21 year old fellow Hackneyite won it in the most suspense-free forgone conclusion ever to devour cathode. Leona’s uninspiring reading of a Kelly Clarkson (??) song A Moment Like This has achieved a record for the fastest number of music downloads ever – something in the region of 50,000 in half an hour. I wasn’t one of them although I did vote for her, twice. The thought of Astro Boy’s cheeky little chappie grin springing from every possible medium like a demented jack-in-a-box was just too vile to contemplate.

One thing I’m curious about though, whenever there’s one of these voting thingies they always say you can vote via the red button on your remote control. I have five remote controls and I have pressed the red button on all of them, sometimes simultaneously, but nothing’s ever happened. Perhaps I’ve inadvertently saved a gorilla or David Gest. Actually, I’ve just realised that amounts to the same thing. I have thought about developing a basic competency re the home entertainment centre but it seems that just as I learn some of the functions of one silver box, it needs replacing with one that does something entirely different.

It’s been a very mixed year for the fortunes of Hackney. We were voted the worst place to live in the whole of Britain a few months back but we’ve also produced the X-Factor winner so we can’t be all that bad. What I can’t figure out is how someone with such obvious ability could get through a whole childhood in a borough that always seems to have about a thousand ‘initiatives’ going to discover and nurture talented young people without getting noticed. With a social worker mother and a father in youth work, you’d think Leona and destiny might have collided spectacularly at some point but this just didn’t happen.

Five or so years ago, £23m was spent on turning our main library into The Ocean Music Venue, a ‘world class’ facility with three performance spaces and rehearsal and recording studios for local young people to use. So determined were a handful of ambitious council officers to get this project off the ground, they very nearly succeeded in starving our beloved Hackney Empire into ruin by refusing funding for it. It didn’t work. The Empire was superbly refurbished and The Ocean sank into financial crisis and closed within three years without once discovering Leona Lewis or, indeed anyone at all.

Perhaps we all need a television show to help us find out where we fit into the grand plan. I am resigned to not ever locating that place. It isn’t actually a very efficient way for the world to function. It was hardly worth evolution bothering to give us all different skills and abilities if nobody’s going to find a way to utilise them. I’m sure I would have been good at something but I may never know now. Recruitment consultants are all about twelve years old and don’t seem to have the vaguest notion of what a job might entail. They tell you that you have lots of transferable skills which magically match any vacancy they happen to have on their books. It never matters because employers always pick the person whose face they find most pleasing. They don’t so much care if you can do the job or not, they just don’t want to have to rearrange all the furniture.

Hackney’s biggest claim to notoriety is still a few years off. The Olympic site is just a mere javelin throw away from me. Over the next few years the memory of money wasted on trifles like The Ocean Music Venue will disappear under the shadow of this magnificent vanity if the present levels of incompetence and maladministration are maintained. I will be long gone hopefully, to a place where although I probably won’t belong any more than I’ve belonged in Hackney, will be warm.

Today a nice man came to look at my flat. He said he liked it. I hope he’ll buy it. The sun was shining and the ducks and coots and geese were frolicking in the water below. Even they are confused by the mild weather as they seem to be fully engaged in the erstwhile spring activity of courting and sparking. You can’t even count on the seasons to behave themselves now. The flat looks rather nice when it’s clean, almost nice enough to never want to leave it, but not quite…

26 comments:

Miss Hacksaw said...

Have a wonderful holiday, Xmas and New Year!

Miss Hacksaw said...

Have a wonderful holiday, Xmas and New Year!

Ms Melancholy said...

Dear Pants,

let me be the first to say that I will miss your insights and your strange brand of wit. Reading your blog has become a daily habit for me - it's cheaper than crack cocaine and less fattening than chocolate, so as habits go I'm not too concerned. Have a lovely christmas, enjoy your viewing and reading and pull a cracker for me. (And remember when you are in the depths of your Seasonal Affective Disorder, spring usually arrives round about June and we have the whole 6 weeks of British summer to look forward to...) I find a light box works wonders.

Take care x

That's so pants said...

To the lovely Ms Hackshaw - Thank you, and all the better in stereo I think.

To the equally lovely Ms Melancholy - technically second but who cares because it's the thought that counts obviously. Thank you also for your professional advice. I'm wondering though, as I have many boxes, how light does a box have to be in order to be beneficial?

Groucho said...

Why I'd horse whip you if I had a horse. You'll have to settle for a tongue lashing instead. Be merry.

THE PERIODIC ENGLISHMAN said...

A light box, when full, should weigh no more than 10 kilograms, Ms That's So Pants. I hope this answers the question you posed of Ms Melancholy.

I bought one for my girlfriend (she suffers terribly from SAD) and have found it most useful. The box can fit a change of shoes, some sweeties, a book, cigarettes, a harmonica and about a quarter of Lebanese Black. And when we go out for long winter walks I find the sight of her carrying my belongings in this little light box raises my spirits considerably. So these things really do work, as Ms Melancholy says.

I tried to ask my girlfriend what she thought of it, but unfortunately she was unavailable for comment. This has been the case for quite some time now, actually.

Always glad to be of assistance.

Kind regards etc....

That's so pants said...

How very helpful Mr Periodic. Thank you, but not a light traveller, obviously.

THE PERIODIC ENGLISHMAN said...

Au contraire, Ms Underwear - I travel VERY lightly. It is my girlfriend - the wee workhorse that she is - who bears the burden of my excess baggage as we criss-cross the heaths and hills of mad Ireland together.

This allows me to race ahead of her and get to the pub first, often hours before her. She usually gets there eventually, though.

I just thought I'd best put you straight on the facts. Inaccuracies often just lead to upset and despair - and nobody wants that.

A bien tot,

Mr Periodic.

That's so pants said...

Useful to know Mr P. Thank you.

Grunge Girl said...

Hey girl. Happy holidays to you. Love your blog and I'll be looking for you in the new year.

andie said...

Will miss your "column", t.s.p. and hope you have a good break - though not sure whether running out of things to say is a reason for stopping. But you're the boss - go well.

That's so pants said...

Cheers Andie

And thanks for all your lovely comments. You have a good holiday too.

Clerk from Kent said...

Have a good break. Catch up with you in 07.

kris said...

Ms Pants

I was pleased for Leona too. I liked it that her fans were at the hackney empire.

The kelly clarkson (american x factor/pop idol winner) song...They could have picked a better one to sing for the girl.

Leona will be doing american 80's power ballads in Los Angeles soon.

As for you Ms Pants, I hope you too are having a good holiday in a place where the sun shines.

That's so pants said...

Thank you Kris

Have enjoyed your blog very much. You and I will be sharing the same patch of fog this Christmas. I hope for both our sakes there is some sun.

Lara Croft Tome Reader said...

Dear Pants - hope you have a lovely break. Interesting that you mention the failed Ocean Music Venue in Hackney. Your spiritual home (Noosa) has recently ventured into similar territory with the "J". A good early indicator of success would seem to be J's eagerness to work with existing community groups. It is also very inclusive - vital in a place with a such a large proportion of retirees! I for one, hope it fares better than Ocean.
Rather selfishly, I'll miss your blog posts over the next little while, but then I very much look forward to seeing the writing output in print! Hope Christmas brings you something to enjoy.

That's so pants said...

Thank you Ms Lara. I look forward to seeing this 'J' - hopefully not too long now - to either spiritual homecoming or retirement.

Mullet said...

I'll be thinking of you when I chuck a couple of prawns on the Barbie.

Penless Artist said...

I will certainly miss your blog... I admit that I'll be checking in just in case you are inspired to jot off a word or two (no pressure).

I'll be thinking of you as I toss my first Aussie shrimp on my first barbie... and toasting you with champagne which seems to be a staple food in this part of town!

Happy holidays!

That's so pants said...

Cheers Penless. I hope you'll be doing some posts from Australia too.

hairdresser said...

Oh no! I will miss you. Have a lovely break.

Fringe Poet said...

Wow. Logged on in expection of your usual sardonic take on things and you are off enjoying yourself! This is not on. Hurry back. And you had better not be too cheerful or there will be trouble.

Political Umpire said...

Ms Pants

Only recently came across your blog, and wanted to say I found it tres enjoyable, and wanted to say merry xmas while I was about it.

The Periodic Englishman means well. As have many other criminals throughout history, and ignorance of the law is no excuse. So don't let him get away with it.

That's so pants said...

Thank you Mr Umpire and a jolly happy new year to you.

Ms Baroque said...

Dear Ms TSP, I hope the festive rest is doing you good! I've tagged you, in the mean time. One last look at 2006, for seven successes.

Lots of wishes for 2007!

That's so pants said...

Hi Ms Baroque - and big poop in pants to you too. I thought we had done with all this tagging business. It's not so much that I mind listing things. I could in fact do this until homeward bound cows form an orderly queue at the front door. The problem is always that I invariably end up being amongst the last five people in the whole world to get tagged so it always stops with me. So much bad luck. I was hoping to turn things around in 2007 too. Yursshhh. Successes you say? Double Yursshhh.