Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

JANE AUSTEN'S ALLEGRO on midges, IKEA and Barnet

I have never previously been bitten by a midge [aka Midgie in Scotland]. Never understood what all the fuss was about. I have even heard people say that what puts them off holidaying in Scotland, apart from the Scots, is the midges. Last Friday I was out in the garden planting a few dozen daffodil bulbs when the (insert collective noun here) Midges descended on me. Apart from having to brush them away from my face on the odd occasion, they did not really bother me that much, or so I thought until the next day, when I found that I had being bitten on my head, arms and neck and was covered in spots/hives along with an insatiable desire to scratch myself until I bled profusely.

Earlier that day I had been to see the doctor, who, after a cursory examination of my knee, which had been causing me occasional pain and discomfort, informed me that I had osteoarthritsis, which is something I will just have to put up with. (Season ticket for the Cyril Knowles stand will be the order of the day next season).
"You would think that after forty-odd years of supporting Pools I would know better"

The doc asked me when I noticed the pain first occur. And my honest answer was, and don't laugh, "About three months ago, when walking around 'Lego Land' ". Little wonder my appointment appeared to be cut short.

Saturday has got to be the worst night on the telly: Strictly / The National Lottery programme and Casualty, all of which feature people screaming in one form or another. How can anyone cheer a lottery ball when it is released from its cage? Whilst these programmes were on I made a point of putting the various timepieces in the house back an hour. In the process I managed to break one of the clocks.

On Sunday, much to the delight of The Bride, we made the trip up to IKEA in Gateshead, the sole purpose of which was to purchase a particular style of LED downlighter, total value £5. We spent ten minutes trying to access the car park. A further 52 minutes - yes, I did purposely time it - was spent in the store for a downlighter that they no longer stock. The bride also tried to order a child's bed for the grandbairn. Did they have that in stock? Did they heck.

The only thing going for the IKEA store is the meatballs and chips that they serve at the take-out next to the exit, but as the the queue was so long I decided to forgo that one particular pleasure. A further 20 minutes of my life was lost trying to exit the car park, at which point my blood pressure was at boiling point. Hell will freeze over before I venture back to IKEA. Bring back MFI is what I say.

So, all in all, a lousy weekend. I could pretty much take all that happened to me, even IKEA, but you know what wrote off the weekend for me big time was Barnet 3 Pools 2. You would think that after forty-odd years of supporting Pools I would know better but it was the fact that I saw that at one stage Pools were two nil up. Even allowing for Liam Donnelly's sending off, Pools should have taken the three points off a very poor side like Barnet.

Prior to the match I had asked my son to put a couple of quid on Pools winning two one. So when the score went two one in Pools' favour, my only concern about Pools stopping me collecting a few bob was that they may score another goal to make it three one. Never did I once expect Barnet to equalise, let alone win.

My son told me later he was sweating when it was two one to Pools as he had forgotten to put my bet on and was worried he would have to cough up the £20 or so I would have won. Hopefully next weekend will be better and Pools won't spoil it. Who are we playing? Stamford. Wouldn't bet on it.