CNPS Number : 21
When we went to see Richard Herring in London last month he spoke of a game played using car number plates. The idea was to spot the numbers from 1 through to 999 in consecutive order. Trying to find them all would be bad enough but the fact that they had to be in order seemed utter madness. Richard Herring had played this game as a child but had given up early on, still stuck in the forties. Anyway over the last 18 months he's been playing it again, driving himself to the brink of insanity by devoting so much of his time to a game that won't win him any kudos with people, or make his life in any way better.
As we left that night Marie made me promise that I wouldn't play the game. She knows that I am mildly autistic, very obsessive and have an odd affinity for numbers and order. I promised as it seemed to be rather mental.
Anyway, on Friday I nipped into town. As I was pulling into the Blockbuster car park in town (and trying to pretend to the attendant that I was really interested in buying some videos), I saw the numbers 2, 3 and 4 next to each other. This actually isn't unusual, the usual T454KND style of number plate has been usurped by another numbering system with the years on (such as 02, 03 and 04 in this case). There also seems to be some other numbering system going on involving the numbers 51, 52 and 53, I'm not sure how that works though, if both are still current or whatever. I don't study number plates, that would just be strange…
I remember thinking that if I was playing CNPS that this was almost a good start, except I was missing the number 1. I couldn't store these numbers in my head for later use, that is against the rules. I got out of my car and saw that I was parked opposite a number 1. And so it started…
Our work car park is actually 5 minutes walk from the office, so to keep my mind occupied I started looking out for number 5, number 6 and so on. As I work at a company full of loveless engineers, many have spunked their money away on fancy number plates and I got into the teens quite early on.
A few times I've thought this is stupid and would take forever (especially as I don't play whilst driving as it seems rather dangerous), and just after I've decided to not bother, the number I've wanted has turned up.
I'm really stuck now, bar the numbers mentioned above, two digit registrations seem quite rare. I couldn't get a number 21 at all, until I considered giving up and then saw two in a row yesterday afternoon. In my little walk around site (I think I may be having some sort of episode) this afternoon, I couldn't find a 22. I saw a 20 and two of the previously elusive 21s, yet numbers in the twenties seem to be quite rare. Bah!
My Uncle James died yesterday. He'd been ill for quite a while, yet I always treated it as one of those cases where no news is good news. My dad phoned on Tuesday to tell me the situation had worsened, and phoned yesterday to say that he'd died overnight. I felt really sad, both for my Uncle James and family, as well as for my dad. I really don't know what to say in these situations to people. I beat myself up for growing up as a working-class northern man who can't express his feelings in case it's seen as a sign of weakness, yet I think nobody really knows what to say as there isn't anything 'right'.
My dad is from Aberdeen, he came down to Fleetwood to find work as a fisherman in his teenage years. He met my mum and the rest is history. Every year as a child we'd go to visit Aberdeen during my summer holidays, usually for a couple of weeks. We'd always stay with my Uncle James, Auntie Alice and my horde of cousins. It'd be great, visiting so many relatives when you're a child (my dad is from a family of 9 and most of his siblings had quite a few kids) can be a bit of a chore, yet I have fond memories of it. I always remember my Uncle James as the man who used to play pitch-n-putt with me, and who'd make jokes with me at my dad's expense.
As time went by and me and my brother grew older, trips to Aberdeen grew rarer. My dad only seemed to go up for funerals, and when you don't see such a large portion of your family, it becomes inevitable that you only hear things when it's bad news.
I'm taking my ma and da up on Sunday for the funeral the day after. It's a hell of a long drive, yet it's pretty.
Yet it won't be a happy occasion, seeing all my cousins, aunts and uncles for the first time in years will be cool but tempered by the fact that we only get older and that when we meet up now it is usually to find another face missing from the picture I carry from childhood.
Sorry, mildly depressing.
I'm really looking forward to the V festival. When we booked it there were a few good bands on and it seemed the easiest to get to this year (Julia may be driving, giving me some quality number spotting time). Recently though they've started adding new bands to the line-up and created a new band stage, and suddenly there are loads of bands that I want to see. It should be great.
Annoyingly it does mean that we'll miss any celebrations Dave has planned for his birthday, even though he doesn't seem that arsed this year. It'd be a shame to not do anything for it though.
Still, this Saturday it's Liam's annual birthday fancy dress party. This year the theme is comic and cartoon characters. I was thinking of going as Fry from Futurama, yet it is ridiculously easy (red jacket, white t-shirt and a sort of quiff). It'll soon be time for the nexus awards, an exciting night when we are confused for Games Workshop employees by people in a restaurant. I don't know who to vote for in a lot of the categories, I can't put myself down as the funniest, sulkiest or sexiest user as I haven't been sulky, funny or sexy in the last 12 months.
I know who'll I vote as sexiest at least. What has been the nexus moment of the year? Can last years awards win? Most memorable occasions of the last twelve months that have happened to nexus punters really haven't happened on the sexus. Hmmm…