This is the best time of year to be a columnist for The Press and Journal. Everybody else is having to go out to their workplaces, but I can work from home. My cousin Ann said to me the other day that she suspected I was sometimes at my computer in my dressing gown. As if.
OK, sometimes I do write this column in my pyjamas. In fact, I have to confess that I sometimes write it in bed, Ann. When I’m in bed with my computer on my knee, I often wish I had bought a laptop.
Computers and TV get us through the festive season if we have suspended our belief about a fat red man coming calling in the middle of the night.
There have been great dramas. I thought Call The Midwife was excellent in the Christmas Day episode, set up here in the Hebrides.
Miriam Margolyes, the old cailleach from Harry Potter and many other drama productions, is fantastic anyway.
So many people criticised it, though. Many seemed to be so used to seeing the same boring old kinds of documentaries about the Western Isles that they could not get their heads round the fact that this was actually a drama.
It was a story to just entertain, but they just could not suspend disbelief in the way that you need to do to enjoy any drama. You know, like Brexit.
Ridiculous social media comments about Midwife included: “They came out of the Garenin Blackhouses and there was a lighthouse there – just like the one on Scalpay, if I am not mistaken.”
Another said: “A white stag at the Callanish Stones? I have been there many times and I have never even seen a sheep inside that fence.”
No sheep, Sherlock. This was pure and utter fiction, which is not real, but a delusion to while away some time and it shouldn’t be taken seriously – like Brexit.
Another TV star is coming to Harris after 20 years. Ben Fogle, once in the running for the UK’s sexiest man title, spent the year 2000 on the island of Taransay, off Harris, with a bunch of other castaways in a documentary dubbed a social experiment.
Castaway 2000 made him and a few others household names. Since then, Ben has rowed across the Atlantic with James Cracknell, climbed Mount Everest, trekked to the South Pole and contracted a horrible tropical disease in Peru. Oi oi, cove. Slow down.
Ben will perform an exclusive, free, wet, cold, performance of Tales From The Wilderness on Luskentyre beach.
He has invited everyone on Harris and Lewis for a wee celebration on the sand.
He writes: “Performance is at the mercy of the weather (though only a hurricane will stop this performer).
“I’d encourage car sharing to minimise our footprint. Please no plastic. Whisky will be provided. Bring your own mug.” Mrs X wants to bring me.
Action man Ben says: “Fellow open swimmers welcome to join us for a dip at 11am. Only Speedos allowed.”
Heck, he must be a fast swimmer if he needs a speedometer. If you think New Year week is a good time to go on to a wind-blasted beach to hear the great man, be there before 11am. Sexiest man, huh? I may not be the sexiest man alive but I’m definitely in the top three billion.
This is also a time for DIY, apparently. We have to replace the floor in the utility room. She has been on at me for ages to get it done. I have said I will do it but I’ve been busy.
Women do not understand the planning and the workflow analysis that men have to carry out. If a man says he’ll fix something, he’ll fix it. There is no need to nag him every six months about it.
Coincidentally, I saw an advert last week about new durable floors for kitchens and utility rooms with a new type of plastic floor.
So I texted the details to everyone who I discussed the project with to get an idea of the likely cost and so on. Unfortunately, the predictive texting thingummyjig changed the spelling and the tradesmen got a message asking if they had any ideas for my planned pelvic floor.
Most of them replied that they had no idea what I was talking about. Then one who was married to a nurse replied that he didn’t even know I was pregnant. Oh heck, I must look it up and see what pelvic means.
Another computer problem. I cannot turn down the sound in any way. It is playing a track of some woman singing and it just goes on and on.
I have just phoned up the computer repair shop and I think they have sussed it. The engineer asked me what make of computer it was but I didn’t know.
He then asked who the female singer was but I had no idea. He then asked what the song was and I said it was Someone Like You.
“Ah,” he said, “there you have it. It’s a Dell.”