Well I spent a pleasant week or two at the castle, recovering from some germs, and pursuing a rigorous programme of beer testing. Also, clearing out junk, sweeping, repairing and polishing various things including a lovely old brass paraffin lamp. If you are old enough to remember the 1970s, electricity had not been invented then, or was briefly made illegal, I forget which, so lots of people grew to love the cosy glow of a paraffin lamp, accompanied by the cosy glow of your house when the lamp set fire to it.
I polished up this lamp, hoping there might be a genie inside, or a djinn, but there was not a djinn, or genie, so I did not get to make some wishes. It got me thinking about what my wishes might be though. I would probably wish for:
- A super cosy house in the country, preferably close to my Mum, with a garden for growing vegetables, marijuana etc, and next to some woods and a little stream. And the house would have a library for all my books, plus crackling log fires, a fully-equipped workshop for hobbies, big kitchen, guest rooms so my friends can visit, and lots of comfortable armchairs for reading Patrick O’Brian novels in. I know that is a lot but I would also like a Lotus sports car parked outside, if possible a convertible in British Racing Green, for going to the shops in, or booming down country lanes in the sunshine.
- Being my own boss where I do not have to turn up to some place for work every day, but can still earn money using my main professional skill (swearing at computer screens), but decide what I want to do and when to do it, or if I just want to take the day off and look at some interesting wildflowers, or stare vaguely out of the kitchen window. And if I turn up 15 minutes late to work, my boss (still me remember) will take me aside into his office and say “You’ve been consistently late to work every day this week. Are you sure you wouldn’t like to stay in bed a bit longer, and just start whenever you feel like it?” Or give me a performance-related bonus, of some crisps.
- Obviously an infinite number of further wishes, which the people in stories mysteriously never ask for, which just shows that people in stories don’t think things through properly. “You did say anything, right? So that would include more wishes, or another genie / djinn / cursed monkey paw. Hop to it!”
Looking carefully at this list though, I see I already have the first two, and the third is kind of an optional bonus which I do not really need, but I believe in rationally maximising my benefits in case someone is crazy enough to offer to grant me wishes. So things are pretty good at the moment basically.