Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Saturday, 18 March 2017
How brave are you? When I am not being stupidly foolhardy, I am a proper coward.
'Oh well,' they say, 'It cannot be avoided.' Oh yes it can.
Despite my extreme reluctance to make plans for the future, I spend quite a bit of time worrying about it. I spent many months trying to persuade someone to keep me in work for about a year by making 8 months worth of sculpture, and now they have I am worrying about it. Previously I had been worrying about not having enough work.
I told someone about my good fortune, and they said, "Good. All you have to do now is make it." That was when I acquired a brand new set of troubling concerns.
I have been called up - again - for jury service which begins next week. In one way I see it as an interesting diversion from my normal life and a perfect excuse to put off the work, but my immediate concern is to not get lost on the way from the station to the courtroom and be late for my induction. This time it cannot be avoided - a High Court judge has actually ordered me to do it. Last year the central office in London called me to tell me I was excused. That pesky computer has randomly selected me again.
At the outbreak of the Falklands conflict (or Malvinas if you happen to be Argentinian and reading this), I was just on the age borderline for any call-up which might have been sent if the thing dragged on for longer than it did, and I had never signed up to play soldiers in the Territorial Army. I have, since Vietnam, vowed that WW2 would have been the only conflict which I would willingly become recruited, and wondered what all those territorials who spent weekends charging about the British countryside in expensive hardware thought when they were actually called up to fight in places like Iraq.
How awful it must have been for a man to be handed a white feather in the street by a woman he had never met before, and where/how did they get all those white feathers?
Over the years I have talked my way out of dozens of fights, but now (you would have thought) I am just too old to get involved in any. What I didn't consider is that you are never too old to get hit. I have not yet reached the age when I can legally refuse to do jury service either.
Even as I write this, I am putting off doing the washing-up; putting off showering; putting off shopping - putting off everything. Am I wasting time? Just putting off the innevitable or just plain lazy?