Ted Barrett                                                   - Training, Consultancy and Technical Services

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Blog for November

Well, there you go.

Another month has rolled by and we are now within kicking distance of Christmas. As we get into the festive season the round of dinners and gatherings will lead us through the month. Our first Christmas dinner takes place on the 6th, so it won’t be long before we are spitting feathers.

So where have I been this month? well; Bath, Lydney, Verwood (New Forest), Oxford, Caerphilly and Bristol to mention a few.

When I look at the news these days I can’t help but feel a sense of revulsion when seeing a constant diet of bloody protesters. What are they protesting about – climate change, Brexit etc etc. But lets face it, its been non-stop for the past 40 or 50 years. “Ban the bomb”, Greenham Common, Save the Gay Whales. And the funny thing is, I seem to recognise the same people taking part in all of them.

So how does this work?

“Oh Tristram, I’m so fed up. We haven’t been on a march for at least a fortnight”.

“Same here sweetie, it’s been so long since I knocked a policeman’s helmet off I might have to hand my CND badge in”.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been too busy working to take part in such frivolity, I wish our politicians would wake up to this and realise the majority of people in this country are a silent majority (we are not fanatical about climate change, plastic bags, LGBTSOSDIY-wotsits, cycle lanes blah blah), but we still vote and we are the majority.

See, the thing is, I hate fanatics. They scare me. I was horrified as a kid when attending a football match to see Sunday League supporter’s faces contorted with rage and hatred. Prior to that I naively thought they went there to enjoy a game of football. For Christ’s sake it’s just a game, if it affects you like that you need to fecking grow up and get some control over your emotions. I never, ever, attended another game.

On the other hand, I was absolutely overjoyed to see the ordinary people of London drag that climate change tosser off the roof of an underground train and kick the shit out of him. Real People Power, not taking a day off from Uni for a coach trip to London organised by the JCR. Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Climate change, politics, sport, take the lot of it and stuff it. I’m not interested in anybody imposing their views on me. I prefer the company of well-balanced, relaxed people who are simply grateful to see another day.

Likewise I am not interested in what team you support or pay a colossal amount of money for a season ticket or wear the latest shirt of some unpronounceable player.

Funnily enough, I actually know people who have made themselves appear to like football so as not to appear to be a wimp. Take it from me, if you feel that’s necessary, you are a wimp.

My “Person of Merit” award this month goes to my old mate Gary Hogg. Gary is an old Osney boy like me and was always a good-natured guy I liked. Like most of us, he’s been through the mill a bit, but he remains head and shoulders amongst many I know.

I particularly admired him for his trick of dunking a lit cigarette into the petrol tank of his motorbike and demonstrating the science involved that didn’t lead to our destruction. I also admired his patience (and courage) in soldering on the lid of a catering size coffee tin containing a mix of weedkiller and sugar that he christened his “Starbomb” for a Guy Fawkes night of several decades ago. After lighting the “Jetex” fuse and retiring to a safe distance this device seems to have worked fairly well by blowing a massive crater in the footpath. Well done Gary, that was much appreciated. Nowadays, you’d probably be serving at least 10 years for constructing an IED. Happy days.

As November closes, the Christmas decs come out and the lurch towards the Birthday Boy’s (et al vicar of Dibley) celebration begins. I do try to send cards/messages to all my working colleagues and associates who I like and respect, so if I overlook you please forgive me, or you might even try sending one to me.

My award for “Dick-end of the month” this month goes to the bloke who attended one of my maintenance courses recently. I’m too much of a gentleman to name names but this guy was second in command of a Maintenance Department but had no interest in learning whatsoever. How can you be so disinterested in improving your chances in life? By self-improvement you gain all-round. You become a better engineer; you have a better understanding of engineering, so your job gains a deeper satisfaction. And of course, you become more confident and more employable. I also like to think the way I deliver training is fun.

However, you never know what is going on in people’s lives so they may find concentration difficult, but I have been around the block enough times now to tell that this guy was just a waste of space. When I see people down on their luck and willing to give anything for just a single chance to improve themselves I will go above and beyond what might be possible. But for this jerk, I just want to kick his backside.

Okay, so as they say, rant over. Keeping a log like this is a tip I learnt from my teacher-training days; keeping a diary of some sort gives you a chance to let off steam.

One very important, magical event happened on the first day of November and that was the birth of my second Grandson. I have three grandchildren already but this is the first male in the Barrett line of my particular branch. Please feel free to have a look on my “Barrett Family Page” for further details. Truth be told, no matter what loop or line he was in I am just as proud of him as all my other children and grandchildren (they are all equally good-looking and smart, but maybe I’m just a little bit biased).

Now, lets enjoy that trundle up to Christmas (not twattish PC “Holidays” but good old Christmas) and enjoy a little peace on earth.

I’m pretty sure I have mentioned it previously, but my favourite carol (and I do like many) is “In the Bleak Mid-Winter” – what’s yours?

As my next post will be at the end of December, Happy Christmas to you all and I sincerely hope you have a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Merry Christmas one and all.

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