What’s a retrofit?

20 Sep

Retrofit was last week’s new word. I speculated that it could mean a spasm that someone has when wearing flared trousers. Then someone told me that it was the word for fitting sprinklers into buildings that might have been fitted in the first place. Well, why not just use the word ‘fit’? Adding retro adds blame, the finger-pointing of hindsight; the implication that budgets for social housing are pared to the bone. Hmm.

I caught Farridge at the European Parliament fulminating about how awful the Eurocrats were for not caving in to Cameron’s pleas for a better deal for the UK. He may have a glimmer of a point but why is he still there, taking his fat Eurosalary and expenses, when all the while he is avowedly anti-European? It beats me. I have a retrofit every time I catch the man on telly.

I noticed that Diane Abbot used the N-word t’other morning, explaining how she is regularly abused, I assume both on social media and in the street. Susanna Reid leapt to apologise to the vast numbers of children watching Diane Abbot at 7.15am; indeed she told Ms A that she should not use such language. Shortly afterwards the same Ms Reid, interviewing the great Dione Warwick, tried to turn the chatter about Ms Warwick’s charity concert to Witney Houston’s (a cousin of La Warwick) tragic life and death. The great dame put Ms Reid to the sword. ‘Why would you want to hurt me like that in an interview? I only came on to talk about my children’s charity.’ Cue Reid-squirming. Retroapology.

I thought that I would do something retro after the breakfast TV excitement and planned to catch a bus, a rural bus, into Cranbrook, my local town. The 9.37, to be precise. Well the no 5 to Maidstone (via Cranbrook) had broken down and, being in deepest darkest Kent, the next omnibus (notice the retrolingo) was just over an hour away. Reluctantly I got the car out and passed dozens of the senior bus-pass brigade shivering in the rain waiting for Godot and the no 5 that was never to appear. I know that Southern Rail commuters would have sympathy with the plight of countryfolk. I just wish our local MP, the Thunderbird Greg Clark, could manage some.

Moving on to more important matters than the Trumpmeister’s latest infinitive-splitting threat ‘to totally destroy’ North Korea, I find myself seeking solace and , yes, meaning, in matters more trivial. After golf yesterday me and my buddies were commenting on the well-judged volume of the music in the club bar. Mick Jagger was pumping out to our Satisfaction because we could hear ourselves speak. This is a rarity in many pubs, clubs and restaurants up and down the land. And yet we spend fortunes on booze and food, sitting or standing in crowded, littered venues, shouting conversation at eachother over the detritus of the previous customers’ lunch. If a table can be found in Café Nero or most Youngs pubs I go in, it invariable has a wonky leg to which bar-mat repair is urgently required so as to avoid precious spillage of an overpriced latte or pint of Special. This is all made worse if it is your date-night and you are sitting next to a Bose speaker, beneath arctic aircon and wrestling with a wobbly table on uneven floor. The chilly-shouty-wobbly experience comes in around £50 per head. Real retrovalue can be found by staying in and watching Not Going Out…geddit?


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