Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is it Me, or the Rest of the World?

I am less grumpy now, but it's taken a while. I don't believe in writing things down during a serious grump, because then the grump's there forever, and it looks like you're a grumpy person. And I'm not. Much.

I've forgotten the more trivial things now, which is good, but others still stick in my side:

• The teenage staff in the Ptarmigan Restaurant who were rude and surly - when they work in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I might be getting old, but when I make a justified remark (politely) about the disappearance of the children's play area, I don't expect the staff member to say, "Well it's not my fault." And then turn to his (teenage) colleague, and say, "It's not my fault, is it?" And snigger.

• The woman who told me on the phone, "Oh yes, our climbing tower is suitable for little ones. My 18-month nephew goes on it all the time." So, we went, having spent considerable time and effort locating a climbing venue that would let the Smaller Girl (three and a half) have a go. And when I got there? They said the Smaller Girl was too young, the helmet wouldn't fit (it did), she would be scared (she wasn't), she wouldn't be able to reach (she could). After a fight (I was cross), they let her go, and she waved delightedly to me from ten feet up. She loved it.

The People's Friend, that last bastion of old-fashioned values, has stopped sending out complimentary copies to authors, citing "rising postal costs and the current difficult economic conditions." Sure, I can see that 81p, is really hard to find when you have a circulation of three hundred thousand. In addition, they didn't tell me my story (published on the 21st August) was out until the 23rd (at which time I was in remotest Scotland, with no newsagents to hand), and by the time I returned to civilisation (on the 25th), the next issue (dated the 28th) had replaced mine.

• Some yobbo threw a rock at my windscreen (mercifully not breaking it), and yet it would have been wrong for me to take a hiking pole and beat him round the head. The police came. Looked bored. Was I wasting their time? Should rock-throwing fuckwits go unreported?

And there is one other thing I'm grumpy about: the fear that I'm getting old and grumpy. I'm not a luddite. I can change. I embrace change; but I'm tired of falling standards, and seeing good services - that cost nothing - replaced with bad services, or none at all. Above all else, I'm tired of lethargy and rudeness, and grumpiness.