Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas, season of faulty plumbing and e-card spamming

All man's problems are caused by his not being able to be happy alone in a room, said Pascal, but he forgot the many problems caused by plumbing. My existential problems were caused
by no heating and not putting a bulb in my lamp stand (it's a very complicated kind of bulb) and a blinking light in the kitchen. Now all resolved happily thanks to Alexandru at a cost of 600,000. The philosophers do not talk nor the poets sing about plumbing.

This reminds me that Aldous Huxley said something similar about tragedy.
“...Fielding, like Homer, admits all the facts, shirks nothing. Indeed, it is precisely because these authors shirk nothing that their books are not tragical. For among the things they don’t shirk are the irrelevancies which, in actual life, always temper the situations and characters that writers of tragedy insist on keeping chemically, pure.
The full quotation, worth reading, is here.

The firm's Christmas party was a success: ten-pin bowling (as always I am reminded of what Eric Berne said about winners and losers being most easily detected when playing games) and a wonderful feast at Four Seasons - delicious even if you are keeping the Advent fast, by the way. Possibly the best restaurant in Bucharest.

I used to feel, when taking my employees out, a bit like the headmaster taking the head boy to the pub. Now, as they get married and have children, perhaps it is I, fairly confirmed bachelor, who am the sixth former, not they.

Each year I choose a rather clever (I think) link to add to the firm's Christmas e-card, but this year I settled for a very cheesy joke because it was suggested by the Transylvanian scene in the photograph we chose. Here it is for what it is worth (not much).

A foreigner was driving through the Romanian countryside when he came across a herd of sheep blocking the road and while he waited for the herd slowly to pass he asked the farmer
"If I tell you how many sheep you have, would you give me one? 
The farmer says he would.
The foreigner had counted right and the astonished farmer gave him a sheep. The foreigner is stuffing the sheep in his car when the farmer knocks on his window. 
"I've got a proposal for you. If I can guess what you do for a living, will you let me have my sheep back? If I’m wrong, you can have another sheep.” 
The foreigner agrees.
"You're a consultant", 
"Good lord, how did you know?
"Easy. You tell me something I already know, it was of no conceivable importance and then you charged me for it. Now give me back my sheep."


  1. And now give me back my dog...

  2. One of the best quotes I've heard in months.

  3. Mr.P.V.E., a happy, joyful, grateful, hopeful Christmas.

  4. In my opinion living alone might be an ideal for the moment for some of us.But we are all,more or less needing to socilalize,at least,if not dependent to one another.It is the way we've been created even though some of us would rather think that living alone is an option.We only apparently may pretend to do so .

  5. I'm so glad I found this article. You have such a positive attitude that is really inspiring. I love it! It's worth reading. Thank for sharing this. I would like to read more about this.