Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunburn and pants

I spent today itching and scratching - it turned out I wasn't as assiduous as I'd thought in applying insect repellent on the beach. The bugs had just as good a dinner as we'd had, and all day today more huge bite marks began to erupt on my ankles and my feet, while my poor flame-red arms left me squeaking every time I brushed against something. Truly, life is hard some times.

This evening I was mostly baffled by the world, but I had occasional moments of lucidity where I piled clothes into a mound in the centre of the living room, readying them for my trip to Chiang Mai this week. This is part 2 of Colin's birthday surprise, after the weekend's camping trip. I'm hoping that transport goes to plan, rather than arriving at Hong Kong International on Thursday to be told it's too rough to fly to Thailand and we're going to have to walk instead. Carrying a picnic box full of steak.

Still, collecting together bike gear and underpants is strenuous work, and as I say my mind wasn't quite on top form this evening, which was why I found myself wearing a pair of underpants and a full-face helmet, much to the chagrin and disdain of my fiancee. I told her she had to look on the bright side: at least I was wearing underpants and not screaming, but this failed to mollify her. Oh well. You can't please everyone all of the time.

I then tried to cheer the cat up by pulling it around the apartment. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't grabbing hold of her tail like some dementedly inquisitive two year old and then heaving. I love that little cat and her way of waiting until we go to sleep and then sitting on our chests. No, she's taken up residence in a large cardboard box that my Five Tens came in, so I took hold of one side of the box and tugged it, to drag her across the floor without her having to make any effort.

Apparently just as my fiancee doesn't like to see men in mountain bike helmets and not much else, nor does our cat enjoy being paraded around the apartment in a cardboard box by a man who's only wearing a helmet and some pants. I don't know what's wrong with the pair of them; I mean, it's a carbon fibre helmet, lovingly crafted in a factory somewhere, and a pair of high-quality Marks and Spencers underpants, with only enough holes to fit your legs and waist through, rather than some cobwebby half-collapsed pair of brown Y-fronts.

What did happen to Y-fronts? Stylish yet practical. Well, practical. Perhaps.

I'm not going to pontificate on the subject of archaic undergarments. Especially as I read an essay by George Orwell today that said you should never use long words when short ones would do, or talk in a confusing manner because you haven't thought through your sentences properly. Which is all very well, but would put paid to half of what I write, say, or do. Oh well. You can't please everyone all of the time. Especially if they've been dead for more than half a century.

I learned two things this weekend: firstly, there's an academic definition of 'hipster': somebody who fetishises authenticism. (I wonder if those polysyllabic words would annoy George Orwell any more than a man with a chinstrap beard, a vintage Thundercats t-shirt and a banjo.) Secondly, there's lots of volcanic rock in the northern parts of Hong Kong, recognisable because it forms these odd crystalline shapes, as though lots of oblong blocks of rock have been whittled out over the centuries.

And this evening I learned that the 'S' key on my laptop stops working every so often and you have to turn the damn thing off and wait half an hour to type some more. Oh well. You really can't please all the people all of the time.


T.S.A.B. said...

Living up to the expectations of the unliving is the most stressful thing ever!

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