Friday, August 19, 2016


My friend Liz asked me recently how much I would pay to go and see Paul Simon in Nottingham, an hour's drive away. I couldn't answer. 

"Tell me how much it is and I'll think about it," I said.


"Not that much."

I love Paul Simon's music, but I hate crowds. The concert is at the Motorpoint arena, capacity 10,000.

I went to see Simon and Garfunkel in 1967 with my best friend Gill, and my lovely boyfriend John. OMG, imagine being able to say I did something almost 50 years ago. I really am an old person now.  It was at the Birmingham Theatre, now called the Hippodrome. I can't remember how much we paid for tickets but I guess it was 12 shillings and sixpence.

In those days an album cost three times that much. Now an album costs a fifth of the price of the Nottingham ticket. Interesting.

I bought a new phone last December because the old one broke. My new one cost £10. I didn't want a smart phone. I only have a mobile for emergencies and for when I am staying away from home and for occasional texting. I hate texting because my fingers are too fat and I always touch the wrong button and the text whizzes off before it's finished and then I have to type an explanation or an apology or whatever. I like email.  Unfortunately younger people do texting, or messaging on their phones, and one of my emails can languish for weeks in their inboxes waiting to be answered. This is annoying, and I don't know what the solution is. It is my problem, I know, all you lovely young people who text me, and you don't need to apologise (unless you are the family member who declines to be named. I am your mother, after all.) 

Anyway... I dropped my phone and broke the screen and tried to get a replacement but it was going to be £40. The sweet salesman couldn't believe I'd got my current one for £10. The phone still works, and as I insisted I hate mobiles, he suggested I sellotape the screen and keep it.

Dave has had the same cycling jacket for 40 years and it's a disreputable rag. I would be ashamed to show you a photo of it. He refuses to spend money on a new one though he cycles a couple of hundred miles a week in the summer.  But he will willingly spend money on new tools. I would willingly spend the £55 I am not spending on a Paul Simon ticket for a new cashmere hoodie if I could get one for that price. And I'd spend £55 on a round trip by rail to see my sister in Winchester. 

I don't know how to conclude this post though I have been mulling it over for several days. The first thing that occurs to me this morning is a political point though I promise I didn't plan it that way.  

This government is willing to spend £205 billion on an independent nuclear deterrent when the NHS is crumbling and homelessness figures are soaring and one million people in the UK  rely on food banks. As Tony Benn said, "If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people."

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