Thursday, 28 June 2007

Beige Food

My sister eats vegetables. Out of choice. She even likes broccoli. In line with most of the normal blokes I know, I tend to feel that this is, of course, one of those unfathomable behaviours exhibited by people who wear hand knitted underwear or who had the misfortune to be born in the developing world or the middle ages. I know I am supposed to have 5 portions a day and drink 15 gallons of purified yak's blood or something but, let's face it, the devil's vomit has got to be more palatable than broccoli. I liked brussells sprouts* for a while (in my green period) but I soon realised that the sprout was no more than the Mata Hari of vegetables trying to lure me into betraying my carnivorous allegiances. When I'm hungry I don't crave green, I crave beige.

It was my sister who first pointed out how my food tended to be beige and she was right. I like potatoes, pies and... well that's enough to fill up any man. I will eat vegetables but, like some kid desperate to earn the right to have pudding, I stuff them down quickly before I get to the good stuff.

However, yesterday I had a radical re-think of my food preferences when my dinner turned out like this:

I still ate it but it made me a bit sad really. I suddenly wanted a sophisticated , multicoloured evening meal. I vowed that today I'd eat healthy and verdant food. I started with a bowl of porrage (not sure how that's spelt):
I know it's beige but it's part of my work's healthy employee initiative and is free. I put sugar on it because it tastes pretty much like it looks. Lunch options were limited but I did have a quarter of a tomato and a leaf of that really long lettuce with my crisps. I so wanted to make something good for tea but it's all gone wrong. The cash point has run out of money and I wasn't going to use my card to buy a couple of vegetables so... we have chicken dippers, chips and beans for tea. Best laid plans and all that...

Off subject only marginally, me and best mate had a ruby the other night in Bradford. It wasn't the best I have to say. Maybe it was the short curly black hair I found in the lime pickle that tainted the meal. BUT they did this pudding (called 'funky pie') and it was lush.

I think I may have two vitamin supplements today.

*somehow that doesn't sound right. But then neither does brussell sprouts.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Turkish delight

I don't know what it means but the old man in the yellow Turkcell shirt looks happy enough. This is from one of Turkey's papers today.

This reminds me of a story I heard about why the Fiat Punto sold so badly in Brazil: apparently in Brazilian Portuguese it means 'small penis'. What a bunch of A.Güclüs.


Is it possible to have a head transplant?

If I have a head accident and, say, Noel Edmonds had recently been killed in a helicopter crash and I got his head with his brain in it, would I still be me or would Noel have had a post mortem whole body transplant?


My boy was picked for the district athletics event today. This is surprising because:a) I didn't think there were enough schools up these parts to merit a 'district' and b) I thought he'd inherited my sporting crapness. Seems, though, that out of the blue he has got a bit of his mum's dad in him (not literally, I hasten to add).

I was proud enough that he'd been picked. He came 5th in a race with 10 kids in it. To me that's some achievement- he's one of the best in the whole area at 800m. And he's got no excuse not to run down the shops for me from now on either. Of course I don't want to start a 'Gaylord achievement wall' like the one in 'Meet the Fokkers' but I am very proud of him. Wish I could take some credit for this but, in reality, all credit has to go to him. However, if he ever enters a sitting about watching football competition and wins I will take my place on the rostrum as his trainer.


It turns out that my emotional biorhythmic cycle is at a critical phase. No wonder I'm grumpy and shouted at my girl this morning when she was trying to be nice. Thank God it's a fault beyond my control. It's not as good as blaming someone else entirely but dwarfs don't tumble around thinking they can do anything about their leg length (probably).

I also learnt that I have been alive 15,162 days. And I have achieved at least 3 things in that time! If you think that biorhythm things are so much mumbo jumbo then ignore the chart but at least you'll see how many days you have been alive.

by the way, it doesn't tell you how many days you have left. My guess is that it's more than three if you're reading this; just to put your mind at rest.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Colouful drinking venue

During the local elections I saw a few BNP vehicles cruising around Bradford and its environs. Obviously the Nazis use words other than 'environs' but that's not my point. Post Derek Beacon (repellent and utterly pointless BNP councillor elected early 90s in Tower Hamlets) the BNP just seemed to fade away in East London. Barely even a whimper really. Before moving up and during those elections I was worried that it'd be like going back 15 years living here. I needn't have worried of course. This pub attests to just how far ahead they are. Yorkshire folk don't mince their words but clearly all are welcome here. It's opposite 'The King's Withered Arms' funnily enough. Looking at the picture again- I'm not so sure it is a pub. I took from inside my car whilst stuck at traffic lights. I will check tomorrow.

I'm ok with computers...

But this one had me calling IT services the other day. I logged on to my laptop as usual and found that the screen had gone all funny. I had to work like this for a bit until I got called back. Turns out I'd inadvertently hit Ctrl+Alt+arrow. It's cool. I do it all the time now.

Lemon Aid

In the last two weeks I have cut my finger, had a nose bleed in the street (bad enough for girls in the corridor to back off, shriek and go 'Oh my God'), stabbed my toe with scissors and banged my eye on my boot (that's the boot of my car- if I could do that with my 'feet' boots I wouldn't need to grunt whilst getting out of chairs). I also burnt my shirt because it somehow got caught between the frying pan and the hot plate thing.

Serendipitously, I happen to be on a first aid at work 4 day course this week. It's frantic, a little confusing at times and assessment led BUT... it's also educative and, gawd bless it, very good fun. I learnt, for example, that all the time I spent tilting my head back when I had that nose bleed just prolonged the blood loss and filled my stomach with snot and blood. I also learnt that when you put people into the recovery position it doesn't matter what your instructor says: size does make a difference. Some people's arms just aren't long enough to go all the way over their bodies. Interestingly, those same people have weeble-like qualities when you try to roll them over. Frankly, I felt re-assured that I was surrounded by so many keen first aiders when I inspected my crushed foot afterwards.

I have learnt two other things that I should have known too: 1. when you choke, the food is stuck in your trachea not your oesophagus. When I was younger (in fact I was quite old when I realised the inadequacy of my physiology awareness) I used to think that when people said 'it's gone down the wrong hole' they were talking about a hole for food and a hole for drink. I think that's why I avoided soup: how would it know if it was food or a drink? I would probably choke. 2. Blood in your veins is blue- I was awestruck by this. We didn't really do much biology at school but I can't believe I managed 40 odd years without encountering this fact. It turns out that when exposed to air (i.e when you cut yourself) it turns red as it becomes oxygenated. I asked my instructor whether James Bond's blood would come out blue if he was cut with a sharp bowler hat or something whilst in space. He said he wasn't sure but expected that was true.

Things I am now good at:

  • bandages
  • slings
  • getting help when rolling some people over
  • checking pockets for fags and keys before rolling people over
  • knowing about the three types of drowning

Things I wasn't really concentrating on or am/ will be rubbish at:

  • poison
  • lung problems
  • sustaining CPR- my hand hurts you see
  • anything involving vomit or anuses.

It's probably best not to seek my help if you have sat on a heart and lung seizing, vomit inducing cucumber in your vegetable patch.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Modern parent

Normal people's mums knit doileys or go to bingo.

This is what mine does: as well as running her own business and organising festivals.

Just looking at this I expect imminent contact from said parent telling me I have misspelt doiley.

She keeps telling me I don't use enough paragraphs either.

Hope there are enough here to keep her happy or it's no pocket money for me again this week.

One of my colleagues told me last week about when he used to work in an old people's home. This woman came in accompanied by her daughter. But it was the mother who wanted the place for the daughter who'd got dementia in her late 60s. I keep thinking about it and can't help thinking that I might be setting myself up for something similar.


Just thought it was about time I embarrassed my sister again. She still walks the same way. Shall I mention how convinced she was when I told her 'they' were banning the use of boxing day and insisting it be called Christmas Morrow? And how she went on to tell so many people in her job as hairdresser that it eventually came back to me?! Nah, better not- she'd write some stuff on her blog about me.

Looking at this old cine film again makes me realise that people really did wear medallions in the 70s. I remember that one that my mum is wearing. Outside her jumper. It weighed a ton. I think they eventually melted it down for the war effort.

Language and football

I just happened across the current Premiership table on the BBC website and was shocked to discover that Spurs are in a relegation position. Even worse, A*****l are top. How can we expect to compete if we’re so disadvantaged by our name? To remedy this I propose one or more of the following to be put in place before the start of next season:

1. A*****l renamed Zarsenal

2. Spurs lose 125 years association with the cockerel and adopt the aardvark as both emblem and part of their name.

3. The FA (and, for convenience, the rest of the country) adopt GB Shaw’s so called ‘Shavian’ script. As you can see ‘p’ sound comes first then ‘t’ and the example is ‘Tot’ . Clearly Shaw had Spurs in mind when constructing it and had no idea Pompey would be in the top flight. I also notice that the vowel sounds are right the way down his list; need I say more?

4. In line with the FA’s remit to get players and clubs to set a better example to young people, points are deducted from teams that have rude words in their names. This is doubled if the manager also has a rude word as part of his name. This is tripled if the rude word is the same in the team’s and manager’s name since it is clear that the club has an anti societal, anarchistic swearing agenda. Teams with very very rude words in their names should be relegated to the conference. Thus, Scunthorpe’s efforts this season will have all been in vain.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

I'll give him literal interpretations...

'Tidy your room and lay out your uniform for school tomorrow.'
'OK dad.'
The immediate acquiescence raised my suspicions. This is what I found. He doesn't normally wear a vest on his head so I'm not sure why he put it up there.

Oh dear

I sometimes ask my sister: 'why do you like Brighton so much?' Well, here is my answer: A naked bike protest. If this sort of thing goes on all the time, how could anyone ever get bored. I can't recall when I last saw a naked bike protest I have to say. I'm not sure what they're protesting about but presumably it has something to do with nakedness or cycling. Thanks R for the picture: you have put both me and S off our dinners.

Why Felicity we must have two...

Little Jasper and darling Victoria will need big stockings this Christmas.
This is decadence at its worst. I was enjoying my trip to Harrods with my girl the other day until I saw this. I don't know if you can make out the price but it's marked up at just under 15 grand. More than my car cost new.
A free foot massage and a half decent lunch helped me forget how angry things like this can make me. And, really, it's not because I resent the money of the rich gits that buy things like this- it's just that things like this so grotesquely emphasise the gap between rich and poor it makes me shudder. Maybe I'm doing them all a disservice: perhaps they walk past and mutter their own disgust- " You know what Felicity, that is disgraceful. I am so appalled I shall wire 15 thousand British pounds to some poor brown people in Africa upon our return to the estate. And some of those wonderful eclairs from the food halls."
ps. I have no idea if the small man's head is part of the windscreen design. It seems happy enough though

Motorway Pride

Motorway service stations are usually Godforsaken affairs full of overpriced, rank food. Of course this one was too, so from amongst the pseudo hygeinic toilets, burger wrappers and little pots of 'cream' the humour in the sign caught me by surprise. The person that comissioned this one must like the taste of their own cheek. I still haven't found out exactly how many coffee concepts there are in Europe: I so hope it's only 25.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007


This is what the internet is for.
I made this without parental help or supervision at . They may be annoyed with me as it says you're not allowed to write rude stuff. Stupid marmite twats.

I am speaking to British Gas...

Right now. I really want to shout but I have resolved not to any more because it's not the fault of the person with the strong accent - God knows they're only trying to earn enough cash to get them through their basic English classes. I'm listening to a glorious muzak version of 'everybody wants to rule the world'. They're not so good at subliminal messages at BG. It's worse than the original by far and that was the biggest pile of atonal monkey gurgling. getting annoyed... Still waiting for the girl to get back to me. Ah she is, excuse me a moment.

Apparently I don't owe them any money after all. It's a shame they wasted those letters. All 11 of them.

Post script:
they phoned me back! With a private number. i had to put the phone down on S who was asking me funny questions about my height and weight. The world's gone mad. They were wrong again: I do owe them money. I put her on hold while i spoke to my supervisor and i asked her to key in her 47 digit account number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, cup size and pin number but she put the phone down.

why am I so embarrassing?

My son is going on the year 8 trip today - four days camping in Cumbria. Of course I'm used to him preferring to leave the house just ahead of me with a muttered 'See ya later then' rather than with a father/ son bonhomie that would no doubt get him beaten up at school for being 'gay'. However, I was totally unprepared for his escape effort this morning: I had to take him to school because he had this big rucksack with clothes, sleeping stuff and crumbs in it. As I was pulling up at school he was saying 'see ya then' even before I'd stopped the car. I had to shout at him in order to explain that it was probably a bit dangerous to get out while the car was still moving. 'Don't park there,' he says....I look around for warning signs, sharp things or babies crawling across the road then notice the hazard: it's a girl from his class.

On that note, we went into a pub the other day for a bit of lunch and this young woman said hello to my boy. She looked late teens or early twenties so I wondered aloud who she was. 'She's in my class.'

Saturday, 2 June 2007

high tech grandpa

I was very impressed the other day. At my grandad's place for a flying visit, my mum mentioned that she's able to keep up to date with what I'm doing by reading this.
'Oh yes,' says Grandad, 'I need you to sort that out for me... Can you put an icon...'
He's in his 80s, e mailing, using the web and getting on expertly with a whole bunch of assistive technoloigies and now he's throwing words like 'icon' around.
'...on my desktop...'
'Uh huh' I nod dumfounded by the ease with which he has been able to adapt. I have no doubt when (if) I hit 80 I won't know how to operate any of those new fangled hovver cars or operate my teleport machine.
' I can read your blob.'