23 July 2021 (Friday) - Early Shift

I was woken in the small hours by a mass exodus from the bedroom. “er indoors TM” went to the loo, and Treacle and Pogo followed her. Both dogs hit the floor like sacks of spuds, stomped down the stairs as though they were trying to go through the stairs, and had a bit of a quarrel when they came back as both wanted to sleep where the other was.

I eventually gave up on sleep, did yet another negative COVID test and scoffed toast as I watched an episode of "Fresh Meat" in which one of our heroes realised what a waste of time and money a poorly considered university degree can be. Having spent three years studying geology the chap wanted to work in the media and was having something of a melt-down.

Speaking as someone with multiple post-graduate qualifications, I've always felt that a university degree can be an over-rated commodity. Getting a degree is expected these days, isn’t it?. But why? What does the degree achieve? Is it a means to an end, or an end in itself? I once read that fifty-two per cent of biology graduates end up in banking, and only two per cent of history graduates ever gain employment in anything where their degree is remotely useful.

As Evelyn Waugh wrote in Brideshead Revisited (seventy-six years ago) "a degree just means you start life three years behind the other fellow". Unless you are going into a profession which requires graduate and post-graduate knowledge (testing blood springs to mind for no apparent reason), having a degree for its own sake just means that you can fart in Latin… doesn't it? Does a degree get you on in life? I don’t know.


I got dressed as the dogs (and “er indoors TM”) snored, and set off to work. Being Friday the pavement was less of a place to walk and more of an obstacle course set by the local bin-men. Seeing their lorry strategically blocking the road I took the long way round to get to the A28.

As I drove there was talk on the radio about the consternation being expressed by many disgruntled hospital workers who aren't happy with a three per cent pay rise. I can't say I'm impressed with the offer, but what option do we have? Unless people are prepared to do a proper strike (and let the bodies pile up) then we have two choices. Take it or leave it. I can remember when I was a union rep many years ago being told by the full-time union officer that unless we were prepared to go on strike for months on end then we had no option but to take whatever pay rise we were offered, and to be grateful for it. The chap had a point.

Mind you, the masses all stood on their doorsteps banging their saucepans for me, didn't they? You can't put a price on that, can you?


There was also a lot of talk about the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo today.  Much of the talk focussed on Kentarō Kobayashi who having organised the opening ceremony was then sacked yesterday for some comment he made twenty-three years ago. Admittedly the comment was in very (incredibly) bad taste, but it was twenty-three years ago. This is setting something of a dangerous precedent, isn't it? Are we all to be looking over our shoulders waiting to be bitten on the arse by long forgotten comments made in our immature youth?


As I parked my car I was glad to turn the radio off. I have no idea who was being interviewed, or what they were talking about but it was on BBC Radio 4. It was not some bunch of thugs in the pub. In the conversation on the radio something had been necessary and so apparently someone "would of hat" to do something or other.

In my world someone "would have had" to do something or other. No one ever (in the history of the universe) "would of hat" to do anything. A subtle distinction, but an important one.

Is being able to speak English no longer a requirement for the interviewees on Radio 4, or am I just becoming a snob?


I went in to work, and had a far busier day than I had intended to have. Not that I get much say in how the day goes. But there were doughnuts, and an early start made for an early finish. I drove home (singing along to my Ivor Biggun CDs), collected the dogs, and took them down to Orlestone for a little walk. We’d not been there for a while – the recent hot spell had dried out the mud and we had a good walk.

Really must get back in the habit of going down there… 

We came home, and I then slobbed in front of the telly. I’ve worked all but one day of the last two weeks… I’m looking forward to a day off tomorrow.

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