20 November 2014 (Thursday) - Birthday Party
I slept a little better last night, but was still awake before the alarm went off. I came down to find my dog fast asleep. I then had a minor fight with the SkyPlus box; it wouldn't switch on. Eventually, after pulling the thing's plug twice, I got it going. What's the point of recording all-new episodes of South Park if you can't watch them?
Off to work. As always I listened to the radio. There wasn't quite so much annoying drivel today; instead the airtime was (frankly) wasted on an interview with the artist David Hockney. Mind you there were a few snippets of note. The Sir John Cass school in London has been visited by OFSTED. In one fell swoop it has gone from being "outstanding" to needing "special measures".
How can a school go downhill so far and so fast? I can't help but feel that either it was never "outstanding" in the first place, or that the current need for "special measures" is nothing but a silly political publicity stunt.
I was pleased to hear that the Government has brought in legislation to do away with the "beer tie"; at the moment landlords of pubs owned by large breweries are forced to buy their beer from said large brewery. Thyis is why I tend to avoid any pub owned by Shepherd Neame; the beer is OK, but it is the same beer in every pub. The abolition of the beer tie will hopefully bring variety to the hand pump.
Or so I thought. The pundits today weren't so sure. Apparently the beer tie (if nothing else) guaranteed the breweries an income. The feelings expressed this morning were that the abolition of the beer tie won't actually increase the types of ale available. With the advent of market forces only the cheap will survive. Greene King IPA all the way?
And to add insult to injury the Enterprise chain were quoted as saying that they get far more income from premises they run as corner shops than those that they run as pubs.
I got to work, did my bit, and got rather cold during my lunchtime sax practice. Being Thursday I had after-work sax lesson. I figured out why my rendition of "Hello Dolly" was a tad squafty; it's all in the F#. And from sax lesson I went round to Chiquitos where the family had gathered for a birthday meal.
Today was Lacey's eighth birthday, and she likes Chiquitos. They aren't bad. To be fair they are quite good really. But the bill for just me and "er indoors TM" was forty quid. And the bill comes with a tip already charged for; which I think is a bit of a cheek. When it's my birthday, Lacey will be celebrating with me in McDonalds for a quarter of the price...