OK, I am properly back now. This is me, Robin Bogg, typing this all by myself. All my own thoughts and work, and not the words of anyone else pretending to be me. I have missed blogging while my eyes have been recovering but I realised it was pointless to try and type when I couldn't see the wood for the trees let alone the screen on my Blackberry so have reluctantly given it a miss for a few days. But a few tentative tweets on twitter have showed that when it comes to typing I haven't lost it and I am ready to blog.
I get out hospital tomorrow and have decided to go away for the weekend. It was a tough decision as to where I should go. Usually there is only one destination - Oxford, naturally. But I feel the call of the seaside so will be off to Bog(g)nor Regis.
Today I am catching up on emails and doing a bit of mindBoggling around BUBB's new strapline but more of that in a future blog. What I do want to do is quell any nasty rumours that are circulating about me. There has been some unpleasant tittle tattle (no doubt started by Hector Rule) that my trip to hospital was nowt but a ruse to lie low while the furore around my second home allowance and expenses died down. I can categorically deny this was the case as well as any suggestion that I have acted outside of the rules (set by me) regarding what I can claim from BUBB funds.
A key part of my job is assessing umbrellas both in urban and rural environments therefore it is entirely right that I need a cottage in Blacbury as well as my flat in East Lambeth. And how I juggle these arrangements in my tax returns is between me and the tax adviser (paid for by BUBB). And I will argue very strongly that such items as a house for my rubber duck, a ditch round the walls of the cottage, croissants, rubber bands and a hedge trimmer are essential to my job. So I hope that sets the record straight.
One final note. I see today that "loathe him or hate him, you just can't love him, can of worms opener in chief, shit stirrer extraordinaire" Aaron Brothel has quit his role as director of umbrella comparison website Unintelligible Drizzling. Aaron has certainly made a bit of hornet's nest carnage in the umbrella sector with his controversial views on umbrellas but he is a nice chap who only wanted to increase accountability and transparency. And that was his mistake. People don't want transparent umbrellas on the whole. They want a traditional black or stripy opaque fabric so they can hear the rain drumming down, not see it as well.
Aaron is off to become a geography teacher, a role I am sure he is eminently qualified for through his sweater collection. He will be replaced by Robert Swamp (a fellow chap who shares his name with a water-based geographical feature) who until recently was head of the GampImPact coalition, a woolly collection of umbrella enthusiasts also banging on about accountability and devising impact measurement tools to assess the effectiveness of umbrellas. You know the sort of thing, coming up with a metric to calculate how much dampness your Lyle & Scott avoids by using a golf umbrella thus extending its life by x years, or the amount of embarrassment saved by having a carefully sculpted hair do preserved by the protection of a pink handbag dolly brolly. Well meaning but all nonsense of course, and now that BUBB has taken over the running of GampImPact we'll stop all of that immediately.