Friday, November 28, 2008

unravelling clues

Current work: Medical, chapter 12/13 (dirty draft - though I am at the stage where I'm tinkering with earlier chapters)
Listening to: Bach
Reading: started Kelly Hunter's new one yesterday and it's a real treat

Dad set me a task yesterday. “I’m looking for this record.” (Um. You don’t have a record player, I am on deadline, and I have floor people due round at any second… but obviously I don’t say that. I’m nice. I make the expected “interested” noises.) “You can find it for me on the internet, can’t you?” (Possibly, but I need to know some details to help me find it.) “Well, the singer’s Paul Carpenter.” (Google it while am on phone to him. Person who comes up has the phrase “feat.” in the credits – hmm, don’t think Dad is quite into rap. How about the song title, Dad?) “So do I.” (Google it. Three potentials – none of whom are Carpenter. Pull up the lyrics and read them out. Do they sound familiar?) “No. There’s a bit about a wise old owl scheming. And dreaming. And something about the stars.” (Righty. Google selected phrases. Nope, nuffink. OK, so Paul Carpenter is the singer – the record’s probably released under the band name rather than his. What was the band called?) “I can’t remember. But it’ll be on a ’78. It was released in 1953. He died quite young.” (OK, you’ll have to leave this one with me because I’m going to need a couple of hours on it – be warned, I don’t think I’m going to be able to find it.)

Now, I am on a screaming deadline. I should NOT be anywhere near the internet. I should be WORKING. But, as I said, I’m nice. So I do some digging before the floor guy turns up. (No pun intended. I do have a solid floor again. It just needs to, um, dry.) There’s a feature on IMDB: Paul Carpenter was an actor in the 50s. Hmm. Right era; if he did musicals, he might be our man. Check it out. “Discussion” beneath the feature says he was a crooner. Aha. Getting somewhere. It also says he sang with the Ted Heath Band. Aha. Now I have my band name. Do some more Googling. Turns out the song title was “So would I” – OK, he wasn’t far out, but when you’re trying to look up something on the net that includes incredibly common words, it’s a tad crucial to have three consecutive words correct :o)

The CD was available on Amazon, so I bought it for him. And maybe he is right. Maybe I am a genius… (Wry smile – no, not really. My IQ’s only about 140. Besides, there’s more than one sort of intelligence, and they’re not all quantifiable.) He does however know that I love researching stuff and solving puzzles. His timing’s a bit off, though: a week of disruption plus a screaming deadline is not the best time for me to do this sort of thing. (Dear ed. Sorry. Book will be in on Monday.)

And now I have a dilemma. Do I:
(a) give him the CD for Christmas as a surprise extra pressie (bearing in mind we all agreed a limit to Christmas pressies in our family this year so it’s back to the proper spirit of Christmas, and even if I tell a couple more fibs he’ll know I broke the limit and he’ll be upset);
(b) give him the CD next time I see him (assuming it arrives by then), because I normally take him a little something when I visit (though next time was meant to be the children’s school photos in a nice frame); or
(c) post it to him so he gets it between visits and it’s a nice surprise? (I can type him a letter in 18-point Arial so it’s easy for him to read and he'll know who sent it – he loathes having to decipher my handwriting. Though at least nowadays he doesn’t moan about it.)

I’m inclining towards (c), because I used to love it when my mum sent me unexpected parcels at uni. One went hilariously wrong, tough – I was in self-catering accommodation and Joyce, our cleaner, used to prop the post on the radiator. Which was fine - unless it was winter, and said post contained a large bar of chocolate. Let’s just say the entrance landing smelled lovely, that day. Like Norwich city centre used to smell on days when the wind was in the right direction (our late, much missed, chocolate factory – now redeveloped as Chapelfield).


Diane said...

I think I'd send it to him if it's likely the post will get there before you next do. It will be lovely for him to "open" something and have a nice letter to read too. That will give him enormous pleasure.

But if you're going to get there before the post, you'll have the added pleasure of seeing his face when he opens it.

And had you not found it, I would have given it a go. :o) (And I've already cancelled meetings because I'm mid-production.)

Jan Jones said...

Duh! Send it to him now as a nice surprise! You know perfectly well you'll have found a little extra something by the time Christmas comes.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jan.

Also, according to this, 130-144 is "moderately gifted." So you and I (My IQ is 140 as well) are moderately gifted.

Shirley said...

I'd send it to him. It would be lovely, on a day when he didn't see you, for him to have a surprise.

And Jan's right; you'll have found another little extra by Christmas.