Suited and Booted.

Here in the muggy spring weather, the streets are full of schoolchildren of all ages, giggling and chattering and carrying huge parachutes disguised as rucksacks. The easiest way to know that they are schoolchildren is that they are wearing uniforms. The uniforms are normally a fairly simple design, same coloured trousers and a shirt worn with a school tie for the chaps and either a skirt and blouse or a pinafore thing for the girls. One school features a dicky bow tie as part of its uniform and it has to be said that a six-year-old looking like a very young Frank Muir does have a certain cute appeal. I remember my school days. I absolutely hated school uniform. “We look like a load of sheep!”, “I want to express my individuality!” I also hated school, brussel sprouts and of course getting out of bed in the morning to go to school. Now I am older, I no longer wear a uniform, avoid brussel sprouts and only get out of bed when absolutely necessary. Now I am an adult I think that school uniform is a very good thing. The commonest argument against uniform is cost. Well to be truthful, unless you are planning to send the fruit of your loin to school in the nude, then you are going to have to buy them something. whether that is to avoid the childs embarrassment or a knock on the door by social services is up to you really. It also means that getting dressed for school is a lot simpler and reduces the risk of a semi-clothed female screaming “I have got nothing to wear!!”
Th other grumble about uniform is its sameness. I used to groan about looking the same as my mates at school, then at the weekend pester my poor mother to buy me the latest garment with the whine that “Everybody else has got one!”

As one get invariably older, the attitudes change slightly. I still dress casual, which Wife says is code for “Like a slob” but I like to deal with professionals who are clean-shaven and wear a suit. I do not think I would be particularly keen on parting with a few hundred quid on a car if the salesman looked like he had just been dragged through a hedge backwards. A while back a young chap took his employers to tribunal as they required him to wear a shirt and tie. This,he claimed, was sexist and he won. Well he might be a bloke but GROW A PAIR! I was astonished at his whinge, he sounded like a petulant fourteen year old…”Its not FAIR!” Well its tough, get over it! There are worse things in life than having to make a bit of an effort before you go to work. You could have to wear a radiation suit and clean up a nuclear reactor, you never hear of those people moaning that they all look the same do you?

I do appreciate that you should never judge a book by it`s cover and I am sure that this chap was perfectly competent at his job. I would, though just like to propose the following scenario.

You are just settling into your seat on an airplane ready for a twelve-hour flight. Walking down the aisle is the pilot. tattoos up one arm, five days stubble on his face and wearing an “I`m with stupid” t-shirt complete with sweat stains and the remains of his lunch smeared down the front. Would you be unperturbed or would you pay really really really close attention to the safety announcement!

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Summer is here!

The last few days has seen a marked increase in temperature. The local population has been seen to dispense with the jumpers and just wear a t-shirt and coat. Me? The jeans have been relegated to the wardrobe and shorts are now the order of the day.Temperature is all a relative thing, last “winter” I was sorting out the transfer of various utilities from our old flat to the new one. The staff at the shops were aghast as I stood in front of them wearing a slogan`d t-shirt and jeans. “Are you not cold?” they asked through scarves whilst zipping up their coats a bit more. Of course I am used to an English climate, so Hong Kong seems warm most of the time. There is, as ever, a payback to my tough “I-don`t-feel-the cold” stance. While I sit and gradually descend into a puddle of sweat in the corner, my fellow drinkers sit cool as cucumbers and smile as I slowly but surely melt. The mercury is heading towards 30 degrees but the only one sweating is the Englishman. I envy the fact that the locals cope so well in the heat. My main consolation is that should any of these sweatless people head to England for the summer, they will have surely caught hypothermia before the end of August!