The wind is whistling through the cracks in the office windows much like a demented banshee. The ambient temperature is 16 degrees in here and falling. I had an amusing chat to a Swede in Stockholm (where else?) yesterday. Swedes are very polite and he began the conversation by asking me about the weather. I thought about it and then replied: “Well, I think it’s bloody freezing, but you’d probably think it was a nice summer day.” He laughed. Turned out it was two degrees colder in Sweden and it was a nice summer day. Africa is just not geared to the cold. You try and ask for double-glazing here, people laugh at you, or central heating, central air conditioning maybe. I’m taking refuge inside my Sharks XXXL hoodie, I look like a mix between a gangsta rapper and a tortoise, but at least the shivers are abating.
Yesterday marked not only Youth Day, (which apparently was marked by mayhem), but also my 11th wedding anniversary. We played hookie and went to watch Pirates of the Caribbean in 3D. What could be better way to spend a chilly morning then with Johnny Depp in 3D glory? Don’t answer that, a myriad better things just popped into my head and all of them definitely not PG rated. It was a fabulous movie although the drippy mermaid and the insipid missionary seemed a bit superfluous. Although, I must say if more missionaries had bodies like that, a lot more nubile young wenches would convert. It could be the saviour of organised religion. Of course we disagreed on the ending when the mermaid swims off with the missionary. Does she kill and eat him? Do they live happily ever after? And was old Blackbeard really Columbo? He must be ancient.
Now, Keith Richards as the father of Captain Jack Sparrow inspired me to finally try and read his autobiography, Life. I bought it when I went into hospital, but the morphine made it hard to keep the words on the page and it lay abandoned until yesterday. Now I can’t put it down. It’s a wonderful flow of unedited truth, unsullied by political correctness and unnecessary adjectives. I keep reading parts of it out loud to the aspiring young guitarist in the family. Apparently young Keith went for an interview at the great J Walter Thompson in London and when asked if he could make tea said, “Yes, but not for you.” He then stalked (I can’t imagine him ever doing something so banal as just walking) downstairs and threw his portie into the bin. For all of you who work in the fickle world of advertising that thought probably invokes a gut clenching nausea. Our porties are the one thing we’d save in fire, forget the dog and baby pictures. Even cynical old hacks like me are obsessively attached to the career trajectory of our precious portie. Hell, I know people who will buried with it in case they need some affirmation in the after life. Perhaps God will care they once worked on a Coca Cola campaign. Hell, maybe God for advertising people is David Ogilvy.
All in all it was a very nice anniversary, marred only by the snot-gobbling chef at the Chinese Restaurant and Supermarket at the Morningside Wedge. I don’t seem to have much luck at Chinese eateries. During my noteworthy 48 hours at Fiat, the Chinese restaurant I tried to get lunch from, was shut down by the Health and Safety Directorate while making my spring rolls. I took it as a sign and went running back to the safety of a chaotic creative studio.
Of course, the high point of the day was the breakfast cooked by Small people aged 9, 6 and 5. Scrambled egg, Bovril toast and tea. That’s love for you.