The Mad Chair

I've been musing on the point of position - not on the track - but in one's own environment. I've discovered that if I sit in my 'usual' chair in the living room, which happens to be next to the TV, the position becomes what my children have dubbed the 'mad chair' and a whole tirade usually ensues. This seems to engulf all who sit there, even my kids when they beat me to it.

Whereas, if I move further back into the room and have a different vista (i.e. I can see out of the window) I adopt a far less combative demeanour.

As I have never liked having my back against a wall and am vaguely claustrophobic, I wondered if this was the answer.

It's not just aggression that changes depending on what part of a room that one has parked one's body - sometimes one's train of thought changes. Just a personal observation - but wondered if I should offer this up to various controlling bodies, Governments and Corporates.

What do you think?
The name of this thread is really quite stark but very apt - rendolent of 'Speaker's corner' but in a more personal way.

The 'chair' has been devoid of human occupation for a few weeks except on a very haphazard basis - due to 'pressures of work' - one would like to say annual leave but that would be a nonsense.

So, what has it seen over the last few weeks - not much F1 action that's 'for sure' - plenty of rioting, war and political intrigue but, more importantly, telephone contact with loved ones. Only when talking to them is the chair moderated, encouraging and loving - except when it comes to texting. Who said that was easy and convenient?

The chair is an anchor - it has been with me since 1998 when I was still quite young (OK, 47 and a half!) and my children were leaving home, coming home, leaving home, ad nauseum. I even bought a smaller fridge-freezer on the premise that I was an 'empty nester' - (the fact that I managed to puncture the lining and let out all of the gas in the old one is neither here nor there - please don't mention this to Greenpeace!).

The 'chair' is the fount of all wisdom (well, mine anyway) and the focus of my living room - it's beautiful, slate blue with emerald green piping, in a very modern, bulky, angular design; accompanied across the back wall by a 4 seater settee - great for sleeping on!

So, there we have it - imagery is everything.

Oh, and by the way, I think I may have found another mad chair in the house - sitting in it now!!
On Saturday night, I thought I heard the chair sigh.

For a moment I imagined it might be happy to see the start of a new series of Dr Who - always one of our favourites - but this was not a sigh of contentment, more resignation and a foreboding of what was to come.

Yes, Sunday would see the return of F1 after a few weeks respite and all that that might entail - swearing, emotion, excitement and, very occasionally, sleeping - Valencia is emblazoned on the castors as a reminder to the chair to chill!

And then the follow up, after the race - the endless examination of what might have been, the angst associated with the F1 Fantasy League (lost and heading for the wooden spoon and it suggested not to touch Cosworth with a barge pole) and the disappointment of losing place in the ZDKf1 competition and not helping CTA to trounce it's rivals in this round.

The chair sighed again last night; slightly more restfully, knowing that Monza isn't for another 11 days.

I suspect that it will sigh again tonight - to what end, who knows - it would be so much easier if it had learnt to communicate in normal fashion! :)
Panic stations!

The chair is groaning.

Do I need to get the upholsterers in? Could be expensive at the weekend, what with call out charges.

Update to follow once we have him settled.
Peace reigns, thankfully.

Having spoken to the upholsters and ascertained their call-out charges (good God!), I decided I had to take matters into my own hands. He and I sat quietly to watch Dr Who - to all intents and purposes a scary episode; not for me but the chair hid behind me - hadn't realised he was such a scaredy cat given all his enticement to bellow and argue. After which we had a long conversation - hell, supper was ruined anyway and what would future suppers be like without one's favourite chair to sit in.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, he was beside himself for two reasons: I had moved him 6 inches, only to allow the Eon meter reader to mis-read my meter (which required me to do a 'customer reading' and offer up the right figures) and because I had not sat in him enough over the last few weeks.

So basically a crisis of faith, if you will - sidelined and underused - how many of us can empathise with that?

The chair and I would like to thank Rooters for their stunning piece and we both offer up our gratitude for Fender's concern.

Hopefully next week will see a return to normal, now that I'm on top of my workload and Monza (another of our favourites) will be upon us - yes, I out-shout him sometimes but we are a partnership.

God knows how the chair will react once introduced to the 'grandchild'! I am hopeful that he will be accepting as he has accommodated 2 cats and a dog in the past, as well as me - he is a mighty chair and good natured usually, but like all of us sometimes lost.
The chair and I have rebonded over the last few days. We are both a lot happier and he is a lot more amenable to listening to me rabbitting on. But, there is always a but.

You might think this madness, but I tell him everything, even stuff my children don’t know – they would only worry for my sanity and, certainly, oust the chair to the nearest skip!

He knows all about Clip the Apex and some of it’s members; about my ‘bit of bother’ with Yahoo this weekend (which sent out bogus emails to my entire address book – I’m hoping they weren’t harmful) and the ‘fun’ I have on Facebook.

Suffice to say that he has moved so quickly into the modern world that he is posting his profile on all types of websites. There is no stopping him.

Even putting the laptop out of ‘arms’ reach has not had an effect – I’m testing the theory that he is electronically telepathic (more on that later) – this could explain why some programmes haven’t recorded on the TV. He’s already seen them, so doesn’t want to view again!?

He is now looking for: ‘babes’, opportunities and entertainment!

Good God, I find all of this a tad worrying and a little upsetting – for Heaven’s sake, I thought we were friends and ‘enough’ for each other – all this because I have not been terribly accessible whilst I was actually earning a crust to keep a roof over our heads.

In current mode, his discretion and loyalty are in question, and wondering whether it would be wise to sever the broadband connection.

I just don’t know where to turn at the moment – if you can’t trust a chair that has been with you for yonks, what can you trust?
Well, the chair has reverted to being a ‘bit of furniture’ albeit grudgingly, although his essence is intact and still has the ability to incite extreme reaction whilst viewing ‘Newsnight’, ‘Panorama’ or that chap ‘Snow’ on Channel 4!

But what a roller coaster we have had to get there! At one stage, I thought I would have to take a knife to him to shut him up – desperation was not the word – gobby, truculent and defiant and never, ever, silent.

His telepathic powers managed to deck the router – probably by overloading his internet requests – and what a palaver that was to get Orange to send a new one – for Heaven’s sake, I can’t work without email.

Then he managed to wipe all of the recorded programmes on the new digital recorder thingy – gone was the entire series of Harry Potter films (I like a bit of wizardry and thought it might come in useful during the winter months); the Dr Who series, I like to reprise these because you always see something new; Billy Connolly doing something extraordinary on Route 66; Spooks, the last ever series and I hadn’t watched the first two episodes; Downton Abbey which, thankfully, I am up to speed with; plus all sorts of other stuff.

But worst of all was the avalanche of mail that ensued after all of his on-line requests. If you remember he was looking for ‘‘babes’, opportunities and entertainment!’

The ‘babes’ came up trumps – pictures, resumes, specifications, from all sorts of seating equipment – sad to see so much unhappy furniture out there. We even had unsolicited catalogues from DFS and World of Leather. But my favourite was a very sweet note from a Victorian nursing chair – badly misused but recoverable – which I thought might come in handy for my pregnant daughter, so am keeping her details.

‘Opportunities’ came mostly in the guise of ‘home working’ and franchises. Well, we all know about the joys of home working, don’t we? And franchises only work if you have a fair few quid to put in – which, of course, the chair doesn’t have – nor the ability to get out of the house – but that hadn’t crossed his mind. He was particularly taken with all things animal – stuff like dog washing or exercising, cat sitting, etc – because he is acquainted with furry things and thought his knowledge would come in handy!

‘Entertainment’ encompassed everything from the pornographic, expensive and the plain ridiculous. I was forced to cancel two accounts on betting sites and his account with Linkedin – although I think he may have done well here in some capacity, as he was the only chair registered.

Luckily, this hasn’t cost me too much, except the goodwill of the postman and the ‘waste disposal operatives’ and I was quite amused that everything was addressed to Mr M Chair.

And what of our relationship you may well ask? It has certainly been a learning curve for both of us, but, as the saying goes, we are the stronger for it! x

I am currently out of the living room on annual leave and will not be returning until Wednesday 19th October 2011.

If your enquiry is urgent, please contact anyone of my colleagues on 01389 245786 or email

Alternatively I will reply to your email upon my return.

Best regards

M Chair

Mad Chair
Contact Centre Executive
The Comfy Chair Company
01389 245787

Would you credit it? I thought all these shenanigans (and delusions) had stopped. Can you section a chair? And more importantly what do we sit on until he gets back?
Well, we coped until the chair was safely ensconced in the living room again. I have to say it was nice to have him back, in a perverse sort of way!

It took a couple of days for him to feel at home again and he had obviously been mulling things over whilst settling back home; quite apologetic about his foray into modern life which was a relief.

He had enjoyed his days of rest in Wessex and taken on board the legends and myths that surround that part of the country. He’d also brought back some nice photos of him and his friends enjoying the countryside…..and ley lines!

I had a foreboding of what was to come.

Now back in myth, he believes that he is a wizard from the 9th or 10th century and, possibly, connected to King Arthur! All this despite the fact that his label (still intact), says he was manufactured in Czechoslovakia – he does not see a problem with this, as all countries have their own legends, apparently.

We have had various tussles since his return which have resulted in one or other of us being flung against a wall. It has also involved a lot of Latin ‘type’ language being spoken throughout the day – it’s an absolute bugger when all you want to do is drink your first cup of tea in a comfy chair!

It is now a case of will against magic :)
It has been a while since we, the chair and I, last posted and he has missed the interaction with others.

Mad is a tad more subdued than usual, although he is always quieter in the winter months - grazing, keeping warm, snoozing and waiting for the Spring - like a hibernating hedgehog, he waits for the hope that increased sunlight and warmth brings. Now, a week past the Winter Solstice, there is a gathering sense of optimism swelling his breast and cushions. He has put aside his youthful ways, wizardy and belligerence - whether this is a result of the season, who knows? I only hope that he wakens a little older and wiser. As he does me, I suspect!

Life has carried on, as it does, with highs and lows - he and I have been happy in our co-existence and little has come along to ruffle that synergy.

I have mended a few fences, acquired a beautiful granddaughter, Amelia (I call her Duc), beaten a couple of banks, which will mean that my meagre pension will go a little further, and survived a Christmas away from home - well out of my comfort zone, particularly with Mad about.

I had visions of endless parties and carousing whilst I was away, appalled neighbours and police being called - he did have a few other chairs over but nothing too excessive and had tidied and hoovered before I got back; bless him!!

Mad bemoaned the fact that the 2011 season has finished and is looking forward to 2012 - I haven't told him about the Sky deal yet, couldn't be doing with all the tantrums that will cause. I will have to steel myself for that one.

Our current challenge is fighting another planning application - the fourth so far - for huge houses to be built around us. Mad has interjected from time to time, as I have sat with him pawing over the plans and planning and building regulations. He may only be a chair but he has nudged me into checking various rules and distances, etc. - hopefully, we will necessitate a fifth planning application.
Goodness, is it really three months since Mad and I wrote with an update on life in the sleepy hollow that is our home?

I finally plucked up the courage to tell him about the Sky deal on the day of free practice in Australia; explaining that the BBC had let F1 fans down in order to concentrate on the upcoming Olympics. Albeit a bit of a fib!

As a reasonably patriotic chair, he took it quite well and mused that he would at least be able to see most of the action in a rejuvenated East London. He was particularly keen on the 'London' link, as I had explained to him some time ago that I had lived there for many years before the children came along. Apparently, in his younger days, he had imagined himself as a 'metropolitan' and hoovered up all the information I could give him about life in the big city. I question whether he would have been happy in a 'loft' or an all glass apartment, but he might have hacked it in a Victorian, mid-terrace in Palmers Green.

As the conversation returned to all things F1, he was relatively sanguine and understanding of my inability to muster the funds needed to buy the Sky package. He, too, was against parking an enormous dish on the side of the house - for political and aesthetic reasons he said - and he felt that it would lower the tone of the area in which we live. This hadn't occurred to me, as there are several dishes around us already; but I did not argue, as I already had a pleasing response that I was not expecting! He also took it on the chin when I explained how we would be watching the races that the Beeb would not be showing live - he may have been a tad truculent in the past but has matured into quite the adult over the winter and was very supportive!! However, he is looking forward to watching the Chinese GP legitimately!!
Goodness, a whole year on.

Mad has talked quite recently of his friends on CTA and he would like them to know of his thoughts and feelings on the prospects for the current season and life in general.

He is aware that 'life waits for no man' and is mindful that dementia could be just around the corner - in Mad's case this may be difficult to spot but one must always humour old boys.

So I promised that I would, once again, open a dialogue with 'all his fans'. To which end he is composing his 'insights' and will get back to you very, very soon!
Firstly, Mad would like to offer up his apologies for the interminable wait he has put all his supporters through!

If truth were known, he has been a little melancholic of late and, when not drinking tea, he has slept fitfully, hoping that it would pass.

A lot has happened in the year that he has been absent from the scene - both personally and professionally (as an 'armchair pundit').

Strangely, he was less than taken with last season, having had to watch BBC highlights for what seemed most of the time. He was particularly miffed that the laptop had been consigned to upstairs (for obvious reasons) which meant he could not 'get the full flavour' of many races - as a consequence, he felt that his punditry abilities had been diluted.

Sadly, he is in the same position for this season but has taken on board my promise to relate the 'facts'. He has also taken into account that my bias is not necessarily the same as his. Mad has always had a penchant for the outsider and ne'er-do-wells which is why he has squandered his inheritance on the gee-gees and dogs and now relies on me for a roof over his head.

However, none of this detracts from his ability to spot talent in F1 - Mika, Kimi, Michael, Fernando, Lewis and Sebastian - all had his backing and he was 'well pleased' when they won a race or, ultimately, the WDC. Of this year's new blood, his tip for the future is Bottas or Bianchi - how far down the line is questionable. But, hey, a chair is as likely to get it right as anything - depends on the FIA tweaks, rule changes and personal luck for each and every driver.

On the personal front, Mad has had a relatively easy ride - a 'rescue cat' arrived in May 2012 which has largely left him alone except to 'mark' his lower legs, Amelia has given him great joy as they watch TV together (whatever the programme!), he was grateful that I kept the heating on over the prolonged winter and tries his hardest to ignore the noises from next door.

Mad still wonders about his longevity - he needn't, he is with me for the duration!
Mad and I are fairly melancholic. I have heard him snivelling in the night and have thought that I should go and comfort him, but my own angst has prevented me. I have hated myself for my lack of pity but put it down to the 'modern world' - a fairly nasty, irrelevant place that is populated and endorsed by politicians, celebrities, the press and those who can't think for themselves. I am thoroughly ashamed of my actions but it does not stop me from being totally selfish.

As furniture goes, Mad is quite knowing and on the ball, almost sentient. I should be more compassionate and humane.

Sadly, we are facing our own 'testgate', without the tribunal but including the lawyers. We both understand that there is a strong possibility that we will have to remove ourselves to a little lower down the grid. McLaren to Caterham in one fell swoop - doesn't bear thinking about. However, we both realise that any garage is better than none.

Mad and I have enjoyed the season so far and are looking forward to it resuming in a couple of weeks.

The long gaps are proving to be a tad irritating and to our minds unnecessary. However, there have been some close battles and interesting strategy, coupled with crap tyres, DRS and KERS. Long gone are the days when a driver got in a car and raced - Mad just about remembers that and pines sometimes. He says the 'old days' are always the best! I say, perhaps?

He and I are hoping for a topsy turvy second half and believe that it is between Seb, Nando and Kimi for the WDC - maybe Lewis if 'strange' things happen. The WCC is RBR's for the asking though.

On a positive note, Mad is eagerly awaiting my write up on the US and Brazilian GP discussion threads - a way to go on that but he keeps prompting me on the season so far. Hopefully, when the time comes his memory will be better than mine
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Mad is chuntering. never a good sign, and I need to get to the bottom of his incessant groans. It could take a while to get him to vocalise his concerns.

I'll get back to you as soon as I have something concrete.
Mad now has a 'new best friend', apparently!

The rescue cat, Mills, - Mad swears that she can 'talk' (chatter, perhaps) and she has acquired the art of signing to augment her limited vocabulary. I call it grooming, but Mad is insistent that the endless paw movements constitute the animal equivalent of sign language.

Sadly, the fact that she is a wuss and, quite possibly, intellectually challenged seems to have escaped Mad's attention. However, we can all agree that, for all her faults, she is very pretty - which in this shallow world is always a plus.

I have transcripts of conversations between them, supplied by Mad obviously, to back up his assertions and will relate some of the more 'interesting' in due course.
Our diary has somehow become adrift, an effect of old age perhaps; although I have to state that I am the youngest of the trio!!

Mad, Mills and I have all been engaged in the World, whether it be F1 related, political, philosophical or humanitarian since our last post way back in November. We all know that our days are numbered - Mad is not as sturdy or as plumped as he once was, Mills is an enigma, age wise, anything from 14 to 18 (who knows with a rescue cat?) and I am not in the first flush of youth, nor have I really looked after myself.

So old codgers together. There is a certain contentment in that - it is the idea that, for once, you and your friends know rather than speculate and even if you've got it wrong, it really doesn't matter!
129 AC - that is my name. I was one of the finest of my genre and am part of the household. I am now redundant despite the fact that I can multi-task - deep rinses, rinse hold, quick wash and variable spin - I can do it all. Temperatures from 30c to 90c with endless programmes. Why am I not in employment?

I am aware of Mad (a chair ffs), Mills (a cat!) and her (well what can I say?).

I've sat in the back lobby for nearly two years, unused, redundant, but still kept - for whatever reason. I hear the threeway conversations and have struggled to have my voice heard. The chair ignores me, the cat rubs against me and she walks past me. Today I vocalised and she stopped to listen.

"I may be an unplumbed washing machine now, but you relied on me for years, so what have I done wrong to be unused for so long"
The three of us huddled round 129AC for the best part of the night and chatted. Mad was a little distant, as an elderly chair he can't move too far but was within earshot. Mills and I tried to talk carefully and sympathetically to 3 - this is his preferred name - easy if you know numerology - 1 +2+9 = 12; 1+2 = 3.Thank God it didn't become 11 - a magical number and should never be diluted apparently!

I tried to explain that there is nowhere to plumb him in and that now I live alone my washing needs have reduced considerably. Hand washing and my daughter's machine are adequate. On the plus side, I tried to explain that he does support the dryer on his shoulders and that is always a boon to any family, however small. I also suggested that when we all move he will come with us as an integral part of the family. That seemed to answer one question - and finally, 3 saw it, grudgingly, as a sabbatical for greater endeavours.

3 also expressed an interest in F1. He had listened to commentary, whoops, cheers and sighs for nearly 2 years and wondered what it was all about. Mills concurred, Mad sighed (again!) and I just went with the flow.

Let's be known that we will not ignore 3 again. I have spoken, quite sternly, to Mad and Mills, and asked them not to show their own driver prejudice until 3 is up to speed with the current season,
3 is now in his element having caught the ear of those around him. In fact he is positively verbose which has had Mad and Mills in stitches sometimes. I have asked that they keep their amusement to themselves and to try and hear past his bluster.

They are finding it hard, as neither have had to accommodate a dysfunctional (their word, not mine) washing machine before. Sometimes, I want to knock their heads together, but can understand that they may feel threatened by a new and vocal,addition to the family.

Whispers of "What comes next?" have echoed round the living room; to the point that Mad and Mills are running a book on the next addition. Mills is opting for 'Wolfgang', the ageing VW Golf, with a bet of 10 to 1 and Mad is going with 'The President', again a tad elderly, but a perfectly competent free standing cooker. Mad has selected slightly shorter odds of 8 to 1 on the grounds that the President is already in the house. Mills apparently choose Wolfgang as she has ridden in him on several occasions and 'he at least has an engine!' Should I tell them that it is all a bit debatable as neither have 'their own money' and it is down to fate as to who will 'speak' next.

Anyway to this weekend's race. I have answered all of 3's questions on the season so far, as impartially as I can. Mad has bellowed from time to time and Mills has done a lot of sidling and sitting defiantly on the mat in front of him.

3 is quite an old boy and has his own preferences and mind. He has asked that I move him closer to the TV for the 'weekend', so that he can make an informed decision. He is aware of the demise of Caterham and Marussia - he shrugged when I told him and described them as ne'er-do-wells anyway. His interest in F1 is only recently burgeoning - I feel that it was his way into the bosom of the family, but could be wrong.

His request is out of the question, of course. There is nowhere available nearer to the TV and he is too weighty for a mere women to shift. I'll tell him tomorrow!
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