They really do walk among us! Today I attended a meeting in town with the gaffer, this entailed a short hop on the metro. It never fails to astound me how many people that they let use the metro despite being ill-equipped. I would say that there should be a test to determine if you are capable of using public transport, but to be honest it would ruin my journeys. Today the Piccadilly line had a man who was intent on balancing a 5 inch glass ball on his finger tip or the back of his hand. Neither of these are mean feats before you add a moving train full of people.
The guy achieved his ambition and I actually felt a little (only a little) sorry for him. He was desperately looking for praise or acknowledgement but none came, like a child bothering busy parents he continued to perform but to no avail. I doubt he reads my blog but if he does then I can share this information with him. Alternatively if you know a man who likes playing with his balls on the metro…. no scrub that lets hope he reads this. The Piccadilly line is in London. That’s it, I shouldn’t really need to say anything more should I? London is not New York or Madrid, we don’t look for entertainment on the metro it is just transport. In London buskers get in the way and are annoying, graffiti has to be cleaned and is frankly rubbish. We don’t marvel at people’s skills when they try to entertain us we just give a British snigger and look away, even that only happens if we are travelling with someone.
They should write on the little metro maps some notes for visitors and number one would be “Do not make eye contact”. It is far more dangerous to make eye contact on the metro than it is to feed animals at the zoo or jaywalk. What happens if you make eye contact? There’s the rub, nobody knows! Seriously in 150 years of operation it has never happened, or perhaps nobody has lived to tell the tale. In fact if the upcoming zombie apocalypse was to rely on eye contact, rather than the more traditional biting, nobody on the metro would get infected. Don’t misunderstand me we love the eclectic atmosphere on other metros its part of a travelling experience but we also love sangria and we wouldn’t drink that in London.
To cap a post on London I have to say that following a week in the smoke coming home is all the sweeter. As I walked down my high street, before I could even see the sea, I smelt sea air and it was fantastic. I swear that smell alone cleanses the soul and revitalises you and I am so lucky to call it home.
I had a good catch up with my mate Sean last night. Some of you will remember him as the biker collarbone example. Sean has recently started following my blog, I like to think this is research for starting his own. He has discovered that he has the same errant screw as I have, his opinion was the angle of the x-ray but I was happy to explain. Upon further consideration I have concluded that the wrong people are doing the operations. Given the DIY skills of surgeons we should let them open and close but get a builder in for the serious work.
In my survey of two operations I have found that in 100% the screws have split the bone. When you look at it the cause is obvious, too many screws too close together. The solution seems to be to try and draw the split together using a screw at right angles to the split. If I put up shelves at home like this I would be embarrassed let alone if I did it at work. Smaller screws, or less of them, is the answer and any chippy will tell you that. The good thing about this revelation is that it falls in neatly with the austerity measures that are so popular now. Your average surgeon is very expensive so if he only provides access and closes up we can get more out of him. Your metalwork can be put in by a chippy at a much lower cost.
I accept that there will be some infrastructure costs, we will need to get some extraction to deal with the habitual smoking for a start. The public’s perception of chippys will improve as well since they will no longer be the expensive part of the job. But why stop there? Surely a seamstress would do a better job with stitches? My butcher has a precision with a knife that puts some of my scars to shame. Internal work is all really plumbing isn’t it? A load of pipes and a pump, not sure if plumbers are cheaper than surgeons but if not the competition has to be a good thing doesn’t it.
I trust the PM or at least the health minister follow the blog so I will await their call…
I have just read a story in the newspaper about the most bitter divorce in the UK, the couple were called young. Mr Young, I know its no solace now but its not you, apparently all divorces involving the name young are a nightmare!
I think I convinced a few more on the reality of zombies yesterday. What started as a seemingly crazy conversation developed to a point where we were having reasoned arguments about why some people didn’t like zombies. It was interesting to see how, once a dislike was expressed, people immediately took up the cause of the zombie minority. Then of course how can we have a minority if the plague infects so quickly? A minority outset must become a majority?
We concluded that commuting and shopping would be improved by the new zombie way of life. Eating became a debate, amongst the girls naturally, and we struggled to conclude a foodstuff since zombies appear to eat human flesh but the bite of a zombie infects the host. Are the cannibalistic eating their own? That hardly supports world domination does it?
The legal debate centred on proportionality in self defence. Is hacking the head off an appropriate response to a slow moving, moaning person with both arms out? surely maintaining a 2M exclusion zone would suffice in which case could we justify the killings? Of course this is just our debate, in reality all such complications will already have been resolved in government think tanks by now.
Honourable mention to the newly upgraded DW, apparently I’m such a dream catch that we have moved from Dream Lover to Dream Wife! It’s a bit like a virtual life as we have had meetings of family and ventured into business. One really odd thing was that I was shattered this morning and the only logical reason is romping through DW dreams last night. On the plus side the dream jealousy did not result in dream bruising. I will obviously seek guidance on the leg ramifications of having a dream wife, just in case . . .
No gain in life comes without loss, no profit without cost. As written recently one thing that is key to the publican roll is the short leash that accompanies it. It is this leash that is the ‘cost’ for the ‘profit’ that is being part of the community. I miss being tethered to my business which is something I have always considered to be a result of the Romany lifestyle that I have.
This morning I was watching the news and considering how much I wanted to visit this or that place. I realised how much travelling is part of me, how embedded it is. Don’t misunderstand me I am not a big leisure traveller, I struggle with aimless wandering, but more and more I am being drawn to it. The thing is that I have not left the shores of this country since August. That is a hell of a gap for a man who fills his passports with visa stamps and wears out the covers.
I love exploring, but not tourist sites. For me the joy in distant lands is being part of the grass roots, its working in factories and eating in family restaurants. My job has been fantastic at allowing me the opportunity to meet and be involved with people all over the world. Most importantly it has allowed me to be my own brand of tourist. Innocuous and invisible, strolling to a chinese bar on a Saturday afternoon is me not joining a throng to visit landmarks.
Will I be able to overcome this drive to travel? Will my need for community overcome my need for change and new shores? I think so and after all like I said there is no profit without cost.
One other thing that occurred to me whilst watching the morning news. How tired do they think we are? They have a guest every morning who is related to a top story, but they ask their opinion of everything. This morning I watched a senior analyst at an American bank discussing sports and royal pictures. Surely experts are brought in for their expertise and not general comment? They could save more money and just bring in ‘bob my neighbour’.
For those of you that have any doubt I have man hands. That is to say that my hands are scarred gnarled and lumpy, in short they bear witness to my life. There is a new addition to my hands, having vociferously chewed my finger nails for as much of my life as I can remember I have now stopped. It suddenly occurred to me that if I can give up smoking I really should be capable of growing some finger nails. But it is not the finger nails that concern me.
Having performed my normal press-ups this morning I flexed my hands and realised again how tight my right knuckles are becoming. The right hand is supported, during press-ups, on 2 knuckles and my thumb, in deference to the lack of movement. This is result in rough patches on my knuckles and I’m not happy. The rough patches cause no real problems to me; they don’t disturb my life, inhibit movement or cause pain. The trouble is that the rough patches remind me of the expression ‘dragging knuckles’ and for that alone it disturbs me. For the first time in my life I am considering that I may need to use some form of hand cream, only considering of course.
An item in the news today caught my eye and reminded me that in the world of finance there is no humour. A man is facing jail having been convicted of selling novelty golf ball finders as pretty much anything (bombs, drugs, immigrants, money) detectors. Now much has been made of the poor front line guys using this kit to detect bombs in cars, reliant on equipment that could never work. For me this misses the point, it’s not the man selling the lucky heather that is wrong it is the idiot that purchases it. Some of these devices were sold to NATO but they rejected them as not being fit for purpose, I am surprised that they got that far but have no doubt that there was some underhand financial incentive involved.
The places that used these devices were third world countries; they were purchased by mad dictator states. The failure was not the selling of the device but the stupidity of the purchaser in relying on it. Brilliantly the have found evidence of countries asking for special sample cards related to their particular detection problem. The ‘detector’ was calibrated by inserting a coloured card into the handle, really? Have these people ever travelled? Inserting a red playing card was sufficient to cause the device to detect a human from 10 Km, a yellow card detected Botswana dollars. The scientific advisor to the case said that a 15-year-old would have considered the claims to be fantastical.
The real crime that this man committed seemed to be the £50M that he made and the life with 3 houses and a yacht that it supported. I have not researched it in-depth but I would wager that a failure to fully comply with some western tax legislation was the start of his end. If anybody wants to purchase a device that predicts the winning Lotto numbers then please contact me, don’t forget to let me know which country you are playing in so that I can include appropriate coding cards.
I have written on this subject before but the combination of a weekend in a tourist location and a plethora of comments on Facebook justifies another visit. The debate over frogs and princes has run for many years and at its heart is the presumption that there exists some vast stock of princesses. The poor princess is bound to kiss frogs as she seeks out the prince that she so richly deserves. The frog is an analogy for the men that fail to meet the grade and treat our princess as they should.
If my Facebook is any indication there are a lot of women out there that feel that they have been let down by Ms Nature. The volume of frogs is apparently making it difficult to identify the princes. I have no issue with anybody expecting to be treated well, in fact I think we should all aspire to this. I am concerned though by the gap between the actions that I see and this desire. If I accept that there is a shortage of princes then the corollary of this, as purported by Facebook, would be that there is a glut of princesses. It was many years ago that I read fairy tales but what I see from my window on a Friday or Saturday night does not match my understanding of the term.
I don’t recall reading how prince charming picked up his princess as she staggered along the road at 2 am with her heals in her hand. I am sure that Cinderella didn’t preload with a bottle of vodka before heading to the ball. In fact there isn’t a fairytale that I recall where the princess slammed shots and then vomited.It seems that the desire to be treated like a princess is inversely proportional to the previous night’s behaviour.The more young ladies that I see fighting, vomiting or falling over outside my flat in the early hours the more Facebook berates the lack of princes. Don’t misunderstand me, if you want to be a ladette then that is your choice and your right. But if you want to be treated like a princess then, and this is just a thought, maybe try acting like one.
My hotel room this week is towards the rear of the building on the ground floor, that’s near the pond. In fairness the term pond elevates the stagnant pool of water that lays outside my room. When I returned yesterday it was a glorious day and the window was open. The room was cool and peaceful with sun streaming in. I was on a conference call so quite distracted but after some time I noticed a fellow resident.
In traditional welcoming in of the summer a sole mosquito entered the room. I secured my window and set about chasing my visitor with a suitably heave newspaper. Several near misses ensued before the nasty midge escaped to an unseen corner of the room. I heard no more from the mosquito until, as is always the way, I retired for the evening. A high pitched buzz past my ear reminded me I was not alone.
A couple of token arm waves ensued but I knew that I would tire before the vampire in the room. At this stage one has to consider options, does one cover to the neck or sleep with flesh exposed? My plan has always been to expose some innocuous piece of flesh in order to avoid irritating bites on the face. How odd that in the civilised world I am hanging flesh out as an offering to a viscous blood sucking beast.
At 3am I awoke scratching the place on my arm where I had donated my precious blood, like tax to Ms Nature. But I don’t surrender quite so readily, this was not a gift but a loan. Awaking again at 5 I walked to the washroom and on the way spotted a well fed mosquito on the wall. I ignored my nemesis for fear of alerting it. On my return I was appropriately armed and ‘thwack’ it was over.
The smug, bloated mosquito so pleased with finding its personal sleeping food source didn’t see it coming. So I apologise to housekeeping, that large splodge of blood upon the wall is mine but it was not me that left it there and please don’t open the window today.