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Birvidik

Vessel Name: Birvidik
Vessel Make/Model: Victory 40
Hailing Port: Jersey C.I.
Crew: Bob Newbury
About: Liz Newbury
Extra: 11 years into a 10 year plan, but we get there in the end.
24 December 2023
22 November 2023 | Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
14 August 2023 | A farce in three acts.
14 August 2023 | Sliding Doors
14 August 2023 | The Game Commences
11 March 2023 | Joseph Heller, eat your heart out.
24 December 2022
26 August 2022 | or 'French Leave'
03 August 2022 | or 'Fings ain't the way they seem'
18 June 2022 | or Desolation Row
22 March 2022 | or "Every Form of Refuge Has its Price
28 October 2021 | and repeat after me - "Help Yourself"
23 September 2021 | Warning - Contains strong language and explicit drug references
23 September 2021 | or Everything's Going to Pot
04 September 2021 | or Out of my league
27 August 2021 | or 'The Whine of the Ancient Mariner
16 August 2021 | Found in marina toilet, torn into squares and nailed to door.
06 August 2021 | or 'The Myth of Fingerprints'
Recent Blog Posts
24 December 2023

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Those were the days, my friend...

22 November 2023 | Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right

As a fully paid-up Guardianista, I am fully aware that blanket, stereotypic statements along the lines of:

14 August 2023 | A farce in three acts.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles - Preface

OK, I admit it.

The Division of Labour

24 December 2022
Or A man´s gotta do what a man´s gotta do.
Ladies & Gentlemen of the jury,

I wanna complain.

The Obergruppenführer has instructed that I clear our burgeoning backlog of overdue email replies, arguing some feeble tosh about my having some small degree of facility with words.

Balderdash, piffle, flummery, moonshine, claptrap, drivel and crock.

(Yes, I know - sounds like a particularly dodgy firm of solicitors).

This grubby little tactic, this pathetic, lame, and disingenuous faux justification of what can only be described as modern slavery, a return to feudal vassalage, cannot be allowed to pass unchallenged. Anyway, it goes against the spirit and the letter of our Joint Agreement on Chores, Kitchen-duties and Allocation of Sundry Services.

In its 'Communications, electronic & hard copy' section, JACKASS clearly states that I am responsible for all the creative stuff, such as writing best sellers or winning the Turner Prize by not making my bed for three months, whereas SWMBO (1) is charged with the more workaday tasks, such as passing on accurate information, co-ordinating visits, social events and zoom calls, and making plausibly sincere enquiries regarding the recipients' health, prosperity, and general well-being.

This division of labour into the two categories of the sublime and the mundane is reinforced by the other clauses in JACKASS, in support of which argument I proffer the following sample clauses:

Social Events on board Birvidik:

I do the inviting, blackball those not up to my exacting standards, welcome the guests aboard, open and pour the drinks and engage in jolly banter and/or enter into reasoned and informed analyses of current affairs or recent advances in neuroscience. Liz, meantime, has bought the ingredients, transported them back to the boat on her bicycle, and cleaned the boat from stem to stern. She then prepares, cooks, and serves the food before clearing the table, doing the washing up and laying down with a flannel on her head.

Boat Cruising (May - September):

I do the blue-sky thinking. I consult the charts, pilot books, guidebooks, I-Ching and internet before choosing our route and destination. Liz reroutes us to her favoured destination, then drives the boat, negotiates the locks, shallows, narrows and cross-currents and then parks it. I tie it up with some impressive, fiendishly complicated knots. Liz comes up and replaces them with bowlines.

Winter sojourn (October - April):

I ponder on the big questions -
Is Boris a fit and proper person to take on the role of Prime Minister of Great Britain? (2a).
What is the correct and proportionate response to Putin's annexation of large chunks of The Ukraine? (2b)
Does the manager of < insert football team of choice> know his arse from his elbow? (2c)
Does the Large Hadron Collider contribute to the sum of human happiness to a degree commensurate with its ₤4billion build cost?(2d)
Does God exist and if so, is he both omniscient and omnipotent?(2e)
Why is Justin Bieber?(2f)

Liz, meantime, busies herself with more mundane, quotidian matters, such as finding somewhere to live, making sure we are covered for medical care and building up a social support network. Her defining recurrent questions are of the 'What are we going to eat and what do I need to buy in order to make it?' variety. These are supplemented by the likes of 'What is your sock doing in the muesli?', and 'Shouldn't you see a doctor about that dodgy-looking mole on your left arm?

I submit that all this is nothing more than a cynical attempt to make her life even cushier by browbeating me into a low skill but nevertheless time-consuming task which, incidentally, is well below my pay grade. I further argue that this constitutes a clear breach of JACKASS protocols and principles and can justifiably be categorised as domestic abuse. I've got enough on my plate as it is, what with the NHS on the verge of collapse, inflation running at ten percent, the Northern Ireland Protocol teetering on the edge, apocalyptic climate change predictions, intergenerational strife, and bitter divisions over the 'woke' agenda (3)
.
All these matters need careful and sustained thought. How can I concentrate on my core responsibilities if I'm forced to spend my time feigning interest in the (frankly, unhygienic) behavioural quirks of great aunt Celia's bloody cat, Tiddles, or expressing ersatz sympathy with that bloke from S/Y Sphincter over his still being a martyr to his Chalfonts (4), despite eight weeks' strict adherence to a diet that seems to consist mainly of cardboard.

These opinions don't just form themselves you know. (5)

"Oh come on Bob" I hear you wonder. (6) "Who won? Do tell. Don't leave us in suspense like this."


I'll give you a hint. Check your inbox in a few days' time. If there's an email in it from me, you'll know that evil has triumphed.

And now, Ladeez an' Gennelmen, the bit you've all been waiting for:


THE FOOTNOTES!

(1) Viz: H. Rider Haggard, 'She'.

(2a) Are you kidding? He's not a fit and proper person to run a Venezuelan whelk stall.

(2b) Christ only knows. And he's not letting on. I don't blame him. You don't want to upset our Vlad, no matter how well connected you are.

(2c) Don't ask me. I don't even know what a football manager does. All I do know is that they seem to get sacked a lot.

(2d) Sadly, probably not. Unless it really did find the Higgs boson (aka The God Particle), in which case we can ask it for the answers to questions (b) - (f). Don't bother with (a) - it's self-evident. Or Responsum quod quaeris, per se notum est. Ooh - Hoc est crustulam fragmen? as Boris would say.

(2e) If the answer to parts (1) & (2) is 'True' then He, She or It is a callous bastard.

(2f) Even an omniscient, omnipotent, callous bastard would have trouble answering this one.

(3) I've never had this 'woke' business satisfactorily explained to me. As far as I can work out (Which, admittedly isn't far) it boils down to 'Be nice to people. Treat them with consideration and respect. Let them live their lives their way, and expect them to reciprocate.'

Can't see much wrong with that. In fact, didn't some bloke with long hair and sandals propose a similar philosophy about 2000 years ago? Mind you, I do seem to remember that he got nailed to a tree for his trouble.

(4) It's rhyming slang - work it out.

(5) Well, actually they do, but that's bye the bye.

(6) I wonder what wondering sounds like.
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Photo Albums
26 July 2013
4 Photos
21 June 2011
23 Photos
SailBlogs Friends
inclusionWinds v2.0
AURA