On Ray Davies, Birthdays, and the Blackberry Thief

Another flying update.

First - the Ray Davies show. In short: abso-freaking-lutely incredible.

What a showman! I’ve not seen a gig like this in over 10 years, or maybe more. It probably ranks up there with the best I've ever seen, in fact. The bloke is 63 years old and he’s bouncing around the stage like a teenager the whole night with a HUGE grin on his face, clearly having the time of his life – as was I.

I went expecting some kind of quiet, intimate, acoustic set - something along the lines of what he did on that "Storyteller" tour a few years back. But no - he blew the flippin' doors off. Full band (guitar, bass, keyboard, drums) backing him up, and what a band!

He did all the best old stuff and tons of great new songs - Lola, All Day & All of the Night, You Really Got Me, Where Have All The Good Times Gone, Come Dancing, Sunny Afternoon, Dedicated Follower - the lot.

The best thing about it was the way Davies clearly seems to just love performing. Tons of willing, happy audience participation - the packed Music Hall crowd singing their hearts out and dancing like the night would never end. Great songs, terrific singing, fantastic band. Just outstanding all round.

Seriously, I can't remember a gig this good since the last time I saw The Jam. Or maybe the Clash on the London Calling tour. Incredible stuff.

Second - excellent birthday last Saturday. Thanks for all the happy Twitter and Facebook messages and emails. Just a perfect day. The first properly Spring-like day we've had so far this year, after a nasty, sleet-drenched Friday.

Excellent breakfast and prezzies with the kids, then scramble out the door. Charlie had his championship hockey game to run to. His team hadn't finished top of the playoffs, but the way this league works they still got to play for the Bronze medal.

He put in his best performance ever, stopping more than 25 shots, and his entire team seemed to raise their game to a whole new level. Fantastic, thrilling, end-to-end stuff - about as exciting as a hockey game full of 10-year olds can get (and a lot more exciting than some of the Leafs home games have been this season). Final score 6-2.

Charlie also got a special medal for "Most Sportsmanlike" which has me absolutely bursting with pride. They hand out three specials every year: "Most Improved", "Most Dedicated" and this one. The Sportsman award is definitely the one to win, in my opinion. It's the "Lady Byng" of his hockey league. Choked me up.

Meanwhile, as Charlie was scrambling around in front of the net, fighting off all attacks, Lily and Ruairi were running in the Spring Sprint - an annual fun run along the Beaches boardwalk. Both finished really well, with Ruairi placing 7th in his age group (out of 20-odd kids), and Lily 18th out of 57.

The two of them were so proud of the numbers on their backs and their Spring Spring T-shirts; Ruairi wanted to sleep in his.

Charlie and I had hopped a cab down to the boardwalk after hockey, to catch up with the gang. After a couple of very happy pints in the Balmy Beach rugby clubhouse, we wandered lazily along the boardwalk for a couple of hours - blessed by the weather. This has been such a long, hard winter - coming in a centimetre or two short of the record annual snowfall. I've never seen anything like it. Saturday was bliss. We even got a bit sunburnt, surprised by the brightness of the day after months with our entire bodies wrapped in layers.

Dinner at Green Eggplant, a bloody good new restaurant in the beach. Huge quantities of grub, then home for fantastic Dufflet cake and watching the third Back To The Future movie with the kids (utter pants, I know, but it was their choice).


Third - the not so great part of the weekend. The kids had a swim meet on Sunday, out at a sketchy part of the East End called Crescent Town. (BTW - where did we ever get such athletic kids? Hockey, running, swimming, Lily's dance and diving classes, plus footie and baseball starting up in a few weeks... I guess it's the way things are these days. Bloody brilliant really.)

So, arriving in a bit of a rush, I helped Charlie stuff his gear into a locker and pushed my leather jacket in after it - completely forgetting about my Blackberry in the inside pocket. Crap.

After the swimming and lunch, we headed off on bikes and blades to enjoy the sun and mess about for a couple of hours at a local playground. It wasn't until an hour or two later that I thought: "I wonder where my phone is...?"

The usual trick - ringing my own number - didn't find it. Checked the car, the briefcase, everywhere. Gone.

Piecing things together, and talking to Rogers (the phone company) about it, we figured it out:
  • At some time between 12 and 2pm, scumbag or scumbags unknown evidently went through the lockers and nabbed my Bb.
  • At 5:02pm - when the kids and I were still out on the bikes - Leona called me to see if we were on our way home. Someone answered - not me. Sausage naturally thought she'd got a wrong number, apologized, and hung up. Calling back, she just got voicemail.
  • According to Rogers, a call was placed from my phone - probably from somewhere in Newmarket - to a local cab company, at 4:56pm
Our theory is that the scumbag called for a cab (or called his buddy at the cab firm that also does a nice little sideline in knocked-off cells and Bb's) - then when Leona called a few minutes later, he thought it was the cab firm calling him back (why else would he answer?).

The phone has now been bricked by Rogers and our IT guys (they can completely wipe Blackberries remotely, apparently - who knew?), so I'm not so worried about any of the data that might have been on it.

By curious coincidence, the handset had crashed on me just last Friday, wiping most of my email and contacts. Not a problem, as I had everything backed up and the email is all mirrored on our corporate server anyway - in fact, it's a blessing. At least the scumbag wouldn't have been able to read anything but the last 4 emails I received on Friday night.

Still pissed off, though - at myself and at the scumbag; but mostly at myself. You have to love the fact that this scumbag was going through the lockers at a swim meet for kids. Class act.

The cops have all this info, of course - but I doubt very much they'll do anything, and I completely understand why. So some yuppie lost his fancy phone - they're not exactly going to scramble 55 Division for that one.

The one thing that really bites (apart from the realisation that I'm a pillock) is that the only photos we had of Charlie's epic hockey win on Saturday were on the Blackberry, dammit.

A sour end to an otherwise blissful weekend - but heck, it could have been a whole lot worse. Stuff it.