If I had the choice between a life only with one big problem, and a life with twenty annoyances, I might chose the big problem.

When you've got a cluster of small problems, they form a cloud, the smaller ones loom much larger than they should, and you get smothered. Here's a list of my current problems, in approximately descending order of cosmic significance.

I was at a rally yesterday, to protest Isreali commandos attacking an aid convoy and killing several people.

Getting sixty five people to a rally at six hours notice in a small town...isn't a bad result. Getting filmed for the local TV news is good. Having no passers by heckle you with ignorant and stupid cliches is a plus - and it's always welcome when strangers who happen to be passing join the gathering.

But the BBC are still describing aid workers as "activists", before cutting to full length speeches by Benjamin Netanyahu telling us it's all really their fault for being there, before some journalist interviews a charity worker accusing them of supplying terrorists, bags of concrete and sheets of corrugated steel. To build shelters because someone dropped a load of bombs on their cities a while back. Anyone remember who did that?

Apparently writing that makes me anti-semitic. In exactly the same way as mentioning Tibetan human rights abuses makes me anti-buddhist and a vegetarian-hater.

If anyone else had attacked a partly-British convoy in international waters, we'd be at war now. As it is we're getting tepid expressions of "concern" from politicians and no prospect of change.

None of this is my problem as such. My problem is the sense of hopelessness it creates.

For two months the civil service have been "forgetting" to pay me unemployment allowance. I've kept all the appointments, applied for posts and signed all the forms, but somehow there was a blockage.

After six phone calls, three departments, and rather a lot of Handel's Water Music on hold, it's now sorted out. I'm getting quite practiced at being excruciatingly polite to spectacularly unhelpful women on the phone.

Although the one woman who was helpful admitted she had no idea what the problem was in the first place.

Rosie is nearly blind. She was born with the right eye missing, though we weren't sure of that for the first month. The left eye is cloudy, and seems to be slowly clearing, but we're not sure. She can see shapes and colours, but bumps into things.

She's a lovely, fat, fluffy, happy and active puppy, constantly snacking and exploring, sniffing, licking and gnawing on anything new. Here she is:

Cloudiness isn't unusual in puppies, but tends to clear up quicker than here. We won't know whether she needs a cataract operation for another two weeks.

I won something on ebay recently, and although it was dispatched eight days ago (by registered post) it hasn't arrived yet.

I won something else because I managed to forget to cancel the scheduled bid. It's okay, and now the money situation's sorted out I can afford it.

My sensible eating and exercise plan has had zero effect - I'm still a fat bastard.

It was Douglas Adams who said something like, "The one thing we can't afford to have in a universe like this is a sense of proportion".


  1. Rosie is adorable!!! And ditto on the 'fat bastard' situation; I'm trying to drop a few but keep sabotaging myself in the evening with biscuits and crisps... :(

  2. @Camy: Yes, she is. Even her little squeaky growl is adorable. Even the way she does a freaking poo is cute!

    @Michael Guy:

    Welcome to my humble blog. And to the crisps and biscuits guilt-tripping club.

    It's probably not difficult to be healthy. It's just even less difficult to be unhealthy and live with the guilt.

  3. sniffing, licking and gnawing on anything new

    Sounds like someone we know, doesn’t it?

    Oh, and adorable puppy.

    And Oh my, there's Michael Guy!

  4. Rosie looks like she's having fun. She looks happy; that's fantastic.

    The problem with the reporters nowadays is instead of just reporting the news, they are now making the news.

  5. Good for you for protesting this outrage.

    As for the 20 little problems vs 1 big. My experience suggests there really is no choice, you usually end up with all of them.

    I've survived by breathing in and out regularly, cider, blogging and friendships. Hang in there hon.

    Most amusingly, my wv is: chinke. It is, honest injun.