I bloody love Easter, me. A chance to spend a few days reflecting on things while munching creme eggs and trying to get through packets of stale hot cross buns from Lidl. I am in Blacbury with Barkles and am trying to catch up with what has been happening while I have been on holiday.
Gampraising continues to make the headlines. And quite right too. In the wrong hands an umbrella can be potentially dangerous. Reckless opening of a brolly can cause injury as can self centred porterage and use. And the attendant bad publicity reflects poorly on the whole umbrella sector. That is why BUBB has always been very supportive of the work of Darcy Maxwell and his team at the Institute of Gampraising. Their work on codes governing such areas as safe procedures for opening umbrellas, the correct height to which they should be lifted, the recommended gap between carriers on busy walkways etc has done a lot to promote responsible umbrella usage. And I have always had a grudging respect for IoG's former chair, Bo "Cool" Hoxton, head of umbrella research outfit NotEnuffEnergy. His gravitas and credibility can be measured by him being winner of many polls of influential people in certain spheres including not only gampraising (every year since 1842 in Professional Gampraising magazine's controversial popularity fix), but ideas driving, notion nurturing, theory couriering and bullshit chauffeuring.
But IoG's codes don't carry any regulatory weight so you will always get selfish brolly dollies scuttling down the pavement, umbrella pulled down low over their heads, nearly spoking the eyes out of all they pass.
The government have decided that self regulation is the way to go and a couple of years ago the GRSB (Gampraising Standards Board) was established along those lines. It is fair to say that its early life under the management of Slim Purse was undistinguished. Not enough umbrellas were convinced about the benefits of joining. But there is hope that its new CEO, Leon Uris, will lick it into shape. I am a big fan of self regulation, having ploughed a lone furrow myself with no apparent control or accountability for several years. I think it is a model that can work, as long as there is someone with a great big stick standing by for when it doesn't. I fire off a quick email to Leon suggesting we meet for a few lagers after work one night and discuss how we can work more closely together.
I was going to express my thoughts about a quite scandalous piece that appeared in the Times while I was away about how umbrellas should not be used to carry slogans. But I am still so angry akIjscanxfghardlydchjgetkajhmykajwordsshatypedjkhdsd.
I will return to this when I have calmed down but let's just say for now that if I see Mel Dolby she will get a slap. If she's lucky. I am sorely tempted to seek her out and open an umbrella (with the words "practice what you preach and shut up yourself" emblazoned on it) in a very uncomfortable place.