Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Bus-Load of Wetsuits

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

It is fair to say that my blog does not fit in to any particular type of ‘pigeon hole’ in terms of its subject, or target audience. My blog isn’t about food, or fashion, or health, or wealth. It isn’t a transcript of any kind of journey that I may be on in my life, nor is it a guide for others to follow. I would go as far to say that my blog is unlike any other blog that I have seen – and I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not.

That being said, I don’t have a clever formula for the stuff I write. I simply take inspiration from the world around me, and am able to turn it into a standard blog post, or a Friday Poem. There is an abundance of absurdity in this world, that is easy to find if you just pay a little more attention to the world around you. For example, in the past few weeks I have been struck by the following:

  • Two gentlemen walking behind be my as I walked on my lunch break; they were discussing the Tour De France and potential individuals who could challenge for the yellow jersey. They spoke a little about a few contenders, before one of them said “Of course, I don’t trust the French”. I found that statement absurd and intriguing – why does he not trust the French? Is it all French? or did he just mean French professional cyclists? If so, what possibly could have happened to make him distrust French cyclists?

 

  • A colleague at work discussing with a friend the fact that the previous owners of the house she has just bought, did little to make any real improvements to the interior of the property. The phrase she chose to convey this sentiment was “They just put more lipstick on the pig” I laughed out loud when I overheard her say that.

 

  • The fact that during a recent medical test for a mysterious cough that has been troubling me for a while, I was complimented on having the lungs of a 37-year-old. Being 46, I was heartened by this – and then saddened by the fact that I am only retaining my youthfulness on the inside. I feel like a house with a beautiful decor inside, whose exterior walls and cracked and flaking.

 

  • I saw a lady on crutches struggling to get through two sets of doors in a vestibule. The doors were at either end of the vestibule and the far set led to the outside. As the lady struggled through the interior set of doors (the first set), and man came through the exterior doors – and rather than hold the door open for the lady on crutches to get through easier, he rushed forward and nipped through the interior doors being held open as the lady struggled through. As disappointed as I was in the man for not doing the decent thing, I was encouraged by the fact that a guy stood near to me gave me a look of mutual agreement that they bloke who rushed through was a complete tool.

 

And finally, at a recent meeting up of my partner’s extended family, her brother in-law arrived late after completing a triathlon. I was fascinated by the fact that the car parking for competitors was quite a way away from the event, and that after the event finished, this gentleman, and a lot of other competitors had to get the bus back to where their cars were parked. Given that they were all wearing wetsuits from the swimming portion of the Triathlon, the image of a bus full of people in wetsuits tickled me somewhat.

My blog is random, because life is random. And I find that stuff like the ones mentioned above bring much-needed light into this world that we are led to believe (by news and social media) is full of darkness.

I try to find the funny, the quirky, or the light-hearted in most things – it is all out there, waiting for us to overhear, or interpret.

For example, here is a picture of a lily that has finally flowered outside in our garden after what seems like months.

WP_20170730_16_21_58_ProMy partner, has a jokey competition with her mother to see who’s lilies will grow the best. Her mother always wins – this year her lilies are magnificent – there is loads of them, all opening in perfect synchronisation, while we have just one or two open. I reckon her mother comes round and nobbles our plants when we are at work.

 

Life is a bus load of wetsuits – just hop on and enjoy the ride!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approaching Milestones

I’m very excited to announce that I am approaching two major milestones in terms of my blog. Firstly, I am only 23 blog posts away from my 100th blog post, and secondly I currently sit at 48 followers – just two away from the magic ’50’. I just wanted to say a huge thank you to those brave first 48, who are pioneers in the strange new world that is my blog.

You are the reason I do this – I simply want to share the mirth and laughter with the world. Without followers, this would not be possible. I know my blog posts are unlike the majority of other blogs you follow (in fact I have not yet seen any other blog that is as random as mine), and I am so grateful that you have chosen to follow me on my journey.

I constantly strive to improve my blog and, as always I welcome all feedback – what you like, what you don’t, what you think could be better. I’m just a regular guy, so please do get in touch and let me know your thoughts.

Once again, thank you for your support and comments. And in terms of this blog, all I can say is:

You ain’t seen nothing yet!!

The Adventure Begins!

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

I’m writing this in considerable pain. I was minding my own business, doing some washing up (watch out guys – it starts when you sink into her arms, and ends up with your arms in her sink), when I received an incredibly sharp stabbing pain in the my lower back. Initially I thought “ah, my good lady wants a cup of tea”, but soon realised that there was something else going on. I was experiencing a painful stiffening – and not in a good way. Subsequently, I believe I have pulled a muscle in my lower back and standing is agony. So I am sat down, now talking to you.

Well, if I’m in pain, why should you be too?

Anyway, on with my blog post. Well, we are off and running! You may remember, that a few weeks ago I posted a blog titled “That’s not my name“, and in that blog I got side-tracked a little, and started talking about letter writing, and how good it is to actually write a letter. In that blog, I invited you, the readers of my blog, to contact me, and start a written correspondence.

And one of you did!

A lovely fellow blogger answered the call and gave me his contact details and – being a man of my word, I sat down and wrote that man a letter. I can’t tell you how different actually writing a letter is to typing an email – or even typing on a word document to print out and send as a letter is. To start with, the physicality of writing itself is really hard; years of being chained to our keyboards has made us weak, and I got real cramps in my hand from writing, and it was really, really painful.

The last time I found writing that painful, was when I foolishly used the magnetic letters on our refrigerator to spell out “Dinner was crap”. Boy, did that hurt!

I also found that I had to concentrate much more on what I was saying. With email, or text whatever, it seems like the emphasis is on speed rather than content as if we need to get through whatever we are writing as quickly as possible so that we can get on to the next thing to write about. I found that when writing a letter, because I took longer I could focus on the content, and such things as spelling and grammar – which we take for granted in digital communications because of spell check.

So, I wrote my letter and posted it off. I have had confirmation that my letter has been received, and I await a reply.

My original offer made in my earlier still stands, as does my desire to resurrect written correspondence amongst us. If anyone would like to start a written correspondence with me, please get in touch using the contact form on my “about me” page. I welcome you all – but, must insist that if you want to start a written correspondence with me, you also start a written correspondence with someone else.

I’m looking forward very much to receiving the reply to my letter!

 

Good evening, and welcome to this blog offering. I hope that you are well.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to donate both Blood and Bone Marrow – as the image above will testify to, because you get a little card for your wallet that tells people you donate. I am also an organ donor – but ironically, I don’t appear to have my organ donor card anymore, and so am in need of a new one. I am looking for a suitably matched person to donate their organ donor card to me.

Because that is the purpose of these cards; in the event of my death, or if I am in a life threatening accident, these cards will let the relevant persons know that I have given my consent to have my organs donated in the event of my death. I would hope that these cards would have another function; as a deterrent to pick pockets. If someone stole my wallet, I would hope that finding these cards as they rifled through its contents would make them think twice about stealing from such a kind, generous person, and make them return it to me. Unless they had killed me for it, in which case they might just think that they were helping me to do what I had so nobly promised to do.

Incidentally the wording on my Bone Marrow donor card is interesting: “I’m a bone marrow VOLUNTEER donor”. This says that I volunteered to donate my bone marrow – but does that also mean that there are some people who had no choice whether their bone marrow was going to be taken? Do they have a little card in their purse or wallet that says “They took my bone marrow by force – I didn’t need it apparently” ? I think the card should just say “Bone Marrow Donor – Awesome!”

Anyway, I was thinking – why is there no donor card scheme for your clothing? Why are Charities and Humanitarian organisations not creating donor cards for clothing – “I want my clothing to be passed on to people who need it after my death”. Think about it –  the current refugee crisis around the world; people having to flee their home countries because of war and genocide etc. who literally only have the clothes they are wearing at the time. Or the number of people who are struggling to be able to afford to live any kind of normal life due to the current economic crisis and austerity cuts? Food banks are on the increase, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening, and the ‘have nots’ outnumber the ‘haves’.

When you are dead, you are dead. You don’t need your clothes anymore. And what happens to them afterwards? They might (only might, mind you) be taken to a charity shop, or most likely be thrown out to end up in landfill. So why not ensure that after you are gone, your clothes continue to serve a purpose by clothing someone who needs them?

I think all the major charities and humanitarian organisations throughout the world should set up a clothing donor card, so that we are able to help those who need help, after we are gone.

And I know that donating clothes is not the solution to the gap between the rich and the poor, nor is it the solution to the refugee crisis. But what is more likely – The governments and powers around the world making a fundamental change to better the existence of everyone who inhabits this planet of ours or a simple donation being set up to ensure that some good is shared around.

 

 

I’m a coffee drinker – have been for most of my adult life. It’s my first drink of the day, and generally speaking I drink it more in the first half / two-thirds of my day. At the weekend I will drink it up to about 1pm, and during my working week right up to the time I finish – around 4:30pm.

I drink too much coffee – WAY too much. In a typical working day I can get through 6 to 8 cups. In fact it’s more than that, because I have one of those thermal cups with the lid (not a spill-proof beaker), which are about twice a big as a regular cup/mug. So I probably have the equivalent of 10 – 12 cups in a working day. The weekend is slightly better, but as I type this at 12:47pm I am just finishing my 4th cup of the day.

If I am out and about and me and my partner stop for a drink, I will have coffee. On pay-day I will buy a coffee on my way into work. In my town, we have a COSTA coffee, although I do like a Starbucks too. I know that other coffee retailers are available. I have never sampled a coffee from Caffe Nero outlet – possibly because every time I” see their logo, I think it says “Caffe Nerd”

caffe-nero-logo1[1]

Caffe Nerd – Only One Duffle Coat at a Time Please.

So, I get coffee from Costa fairly regularly but there is one thing about getting a coffee that I don’t quite understand.

Why give me a receipt for my coffee? Every time I get my coffee, I get a receipt.

Coffee from such an outlet as Starbucks, or Caffe Nero etc. probably falls under the category of “Fast Food”, and therefore is going to be consumed within a very short period of time once purchased. The chances of somebody taking fast food back for a refund is slim, and certainly wouldn’t happen after an extended period of time. Most people check their purchase whilst in the store or very close by – fast food is food that is going to be eaten quickly after purchase – so anything that was wrong would be identified and dealt with soon.

I understand that there might be some businesses that allow their employees to claim back coffee as an expense (although I can’t imagine why), and I suppose that it is possible that some self-employed people could try to claim the coffee as tax-deductible. But would you really bother to keep all your receipts for coffee to add to your tax return? If you are that bothered about watching every penny, then you probably are the type of person to spend £2.95 on a large cappuccino.

But apart from the obvious benefits that coffee Tax havens can give you, why should coffee houses give a receipt automatically?. On one recent occasion, I was given my receipt but said that I didn’t need it. The ‘Barista’ – the person serving me – simply took my receipt and put it in the bin. What a waste – he didn’t even say a word – just had a look of resignation on his face that said “I’ve done this a million times”. He was so on auto-pilot, that I’m fairly sure that more than one customer has ended up finding a screwed up ball of paper in the bottom of their skimmed soya milk caramel macchiato with a double shot of Guatemalan espresso.

Surely it would be better for the environment if receipts were only given if the customer had confirmed that they wanted one? There must be a way to have a prompt on the till that simply said “Receipt Y/N?”. That way, less receipts would be printed, which would save paper and therefore trees – and therefore the environment, and ultimately ourselves.

I think that if you counted how many people refused receipts that were offered to them AFTER being printed, and then compared that to the number of people who said yes when asked if they would like a receipt BEFORE it was printed, the latter would be less.

So, come on Costa, step up Starbucks,……..erm……get a grip Caffe Nero – stop giving out receipts, and make your lovely brown stuff greener!!

A

 

Hello, and welcome to my blog. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.

So you are walking through the woods – perhaps on a hiking holiday, perhaps exploring out from your campsite or where your tent is pitched. Anyway, you are happily walking along, enjoying the woodland scenery when suddenly a huge Bear comes into sight. By the time you see the bear, it has already seen you – and it feels threatened.

BearWave[1]

‘Whoa – don’t invade my space bruh’

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a bad situation. Escape looks unlikely – although there is some distance between you, you know that bears can run at speeds of up to 20 or 30 miles per hour over short distances, and can climb trees. Even as you consider your options, the bear starts to advance. So what do you do?

The-Road-to-El-Dorado-the-road-to-el-dorado-18327748-500-282[1]

No, screaming in terror will not help you. What you do, is reach for your Bearcrow.

The Bearcrow is a device invented by yours truly, which will either scare the advancing bear away, or at the very least distract the bear for long enough so that you can make good your escape. But how does it work?, I hear you cry. Well, like the best inventions in the history, it’s simple.

Do you know what an Air Dancer is? No? , well it looks like this:

Green_Air_Dancer_2[1]

Cheesestring anyone?

Air dancers, are inflatables that “dance” as air passes through them from a fan at the bottom. Their arms wave and they sway to and fro. Air Dancers are usually 20 or 30 feet tall and are seen at sporting events, concerts etc. and are used for advertising or promotions.

The Bearcrow is simply a smaller version of an Air Dancer. It is designed to look like a human. It comes in a self-contained outer, with a battery-powered fan. The battery also powers a speaker so that the Bearcrow will make a noise (either a loud sound, or perhaps the sound of another bear). The Bearcrow will attach to your jacket via Velcro, so it can be torn off and dropped easily.

As soon as it is dropped, the Bearcrow deploys – it inflates, and makes the noise which will either stop the bear in its tracks and scare it off, or will draw its attention towards it – and off you.

Either way, it gives you time to get out there.

The Bearcrow; because being mauled by a bear is NOT an option.

Erm…….What?

Just briefly………..

 

 

Fruit tea. Why?

Today at work I ran out of my coffee. I drink WAY too many cups a day (we are talking 8 – 10 cups folks), and although there was lots of others people’s coffee in the cupboards (each with their  name scribbled on them – it’s a British thing) it’s just not the done thing to take another chaps coffee without asking. That’s also a British thing.

Which probably negates the need for people to write their names on their coffee – but we do it anyway.

So, I was out of coffee – which meant Tea. Well, stick a flag in me and claim me for your empire, if I had no tea available either.

Actually, that isn’t strictly true; there was tea available, but it was not tea flavoured. It was………

Strawberries and Cream.

What the Blue Thunder is that all about? Strawberries and Cream is not a tea flavour – it is the flavour of a very popular British treat, often seen at the world’s greatest tennis tournament – Wimbledon. (another British thing).

Like a North Korean Missile, I can’t see this getting off the ground.

But some people like it I guess – people who are very, very wrong.

I managed to get my coffee – just plain old coffee, nice and uncomplicated.

Just