Friday, 22 July 2016

Bastille Day - Nice - 2016


I went on holiday to Nice to relax and extinguish residual anger.

I went on holiday to Nice because I had been there before and I loved it.

I went on holiday to Nice because I love France and I love French people.

I was delighted to discover that Bastille Day was right in the middle of my trip and that I would have a memorable day as a result.

It was memorable – but not for the reasons I expected.

The day started well. We woke up and had a stroll to a local café that served a lovely traditional French breakfast with croissants, pain aux raisins with coffee and jus d’orange.  After that we returned to the hotel and decided to have a lazy day by the beach.

Pretty soon we crossed over Promenade des Anglais and settled down on the beach, reading a book, enjoying the sun (under the shade of an umbrella in my case to protect myself from sunburn) and occasionally dipping into the sea to cool off.

That’s when the day started to go wrong.

A lifeguard on the beach saw a young man in difficulty in the sea and raced in to rescue him. Sadly by the time he had approached the man’s position, there was no sign of him. The lifeguard called the coastguard and very soon a couple of rescue boats appeared, searching for the man. After about twenty minutes, one of the divers spotted a body and dived into the water. They dragged the unconscious man to the beach.

It was too late.

Ambulances and police arrived on the beach and despite attempts to resuscitate the young man, the man was declared dead. A lot of people were upset and we saw an Italian woman consoling a French woman in their only common language – English. Neither of them knew the victim but the French woman’s grief got the better of her.

We were fairly far away from the incident but we were still pretty shaken by it.

In the evening, we stopped at a small bar to have a drink or two before following the crowds back to Promenade des Anglais to join in with the Bastille Day celebrations. The promenade was packed with people and families of all ages and although most of the people were French we saw quite a few other nationalities waiting for the festivities to begin.

At just after ten, all eyes turned towards the sea as the first of a spectacular series of fireworks lit up the night sky. I’ve always loved fireworks and the look of glee on my face matched that of the children nearby. I could hear gasps of amazement and whoops and cries of joy as the black sky became a cascading kaleidoscope of colour accompanied by distant explosions from the sea.

When the firework display stopped, there was a huge cheer from the crowd and lots of applause. Just to our right, a small stage suddenly burst into life with live music as the Prom Party started. For a moment we were tempted to stay and listen to the music and watch the people enjoying themselves. I suggested that we head back to the Old Town for a night cap and Mrs PM agreed.

We left the promenade and walked past our hotel with the crowds. A work colleague of Mrs PM’s and his wife were also in Nice that week and we had been out with them a couple of times already. We bumped into them just outside the Palais de Justice and had a quick chat about the fireworks.

Suddenly, a crowd of people came running from the direction we had been in, bumping into us and screaming as they ran past.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” said Mrs PM’s colleague,” but they are all running – so should we.”

Without thinking any further I grabbed Mrs PM’s hand and we ran into the Old Town with the crowd into the narrow streets. People in the restaurants and bars began to panic and as we ran, the proprietors began closing their doors. I looked around and there was no sign of Mrs PM’s colleague.

Eventually, after a few minutes, we stopped as people ran past shouting into their phones, some people crying, others looking terrified.

We passed some stairs that led to a main road and saw a lot of people on the steps staring down towards the promenade. Without warning, there were screams and everyone turned and ran down the steps toward us. One older man tried to leap from the steps over a wall and tripped, landing on his knees. Adrenaline must have been coursing through his body because he jumped to his feet and ran away. We followed the crowd further and stopped again trying to ask what was going on.

A young woman spoke to Mrs PM, who speaks very good French. My French is poor and while I only understood a little of what she had said, her gesture of a man shooting a gun spoke volumes. She switched to English and said “Don’t stay here! Run!”

I grabbed Mrs PM’s hand again and we found the main road and ran towards Place Garibaldi, where we had stayed on our last visit. Mrs PM rang her mum as we ran, but she wasn't in, so she left a message saying that something had happened in Nice but that we were okay – at least for now I thought!

When we reached Place Garibaldi, we noticed that the number of running and panicking people had slowed down and people were standing around, talking to each other and ringing loved ones. I looked for a policeman or somebody else in authority but all I saw were a few emergency vehicles shooting past, sirens blaring.

Mrs PM stopped a group of older people and asked once again what had happened.

The woman spoke in English and told us that a lorry had hit the crowd on Promenade des Anglais but, she thought, there was no danger. At this point we realised that we were about ten to fifteen minutes’ walk away from our hotel.  People were drifting towards the promenade area, slowly and at this point we assumed that there had been a tragic accident.

Mrs PM’s work colleague was staying very near out hotel and he sent us a message saying that they were back at their apartment.

“Come on, “ I said, “let’s hurry back.”

We walked as quickly as we could back the way we had come and thankfully there were no more hysterical crowds running towards us. We could hear sirens getting louder and eventually we reached our hotel.  On the way we saw no open bars, shops or restaurants and our hotel was in darkness. We entered the hotel and the foyer was full of terrified people who had sought shelter in the nearest refuge they could find.

We arrived at our room and saw a young woman on the corridor.

“Have you come from outside?” she asked in English.

“Yes,” we replied.

“Is it safe now? We have strangers in our room who are terrified.”

We told her what we knew and entered our room to watch the news and search the internet for any hints about what had happened. In the next hour or two the full horror of what had happened dawned on us.

A psychopath had ploughed into the Bastille Day revellers, deliberately running people over and shooting people until eventually the police had stopped him by shooting him dead. If we had decided to stay on the Promenade des Anglais and join in the party we may have been in the firing line.

We heard sirens late into the night and drifted into an uneasy sleep.

The next day, the Promenade des Anglais was closed and the police presence was very evident. We saw television correspondents giving reports from the promenade as well as soldiers walking around alert. We had seen soldiers before the tragedy so this was no surprise. To me, however, the police presence was increased slightly, particularly around the tourist areas surrounding the Old Town.

However, I was relieved to see people going about their daily business with an air of defiance tinged by a little sadness. My feelings were exactly the same, as were Mrs PM’s, and despite one or two calls for us to come home, we decided that we were going to stay and enjoy our final few days.

And we did.

We have not been put off by neither Nice nor the rest of France by this and I aim to return to both soon.

The one thing this episode has done has strengthened my resolve somewhat. While we weren’t directly affected, we were both close enough to the attack and, if we had decided to join the party or move closer to where the incident took place, things may have been different.

For three days we stood shoulder to shoulder with France.

We will continue to do so.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Therapy



Recent events have got me really angry. My normal grumpiness has become rampant and I have an urge to rant at everything I see on the news.

2016 has been, so far, a year I totally want to forget – and it’s not even over yet! I haven’t spoken to Mrs PM’s parents since Brexit because I know that I will say something to them that I regret, upsetting them, Mrs PM and even myself in the process. Mrs PM and her mum have already exchanged tense words resulting in Mrs PM slamming the phone down on her own mother.

My anger is building up so much that I am turning into Mr Angry, the person I mocked so mercilessly just a month or two ago.  As soon as I hear the news I start ranting. I have given up reading newspapers because they make me angry.

Grumpiness is one thing – rage is another and I am full of rage.

And I hate myself for it because this is not me – this is not the laid back guy I have known all my life.

I need a holiday and, thank goodness, I am off tomorrow to Nice, a beautiful city in the south of France.

And for that, I need to calm down before I set foot on French soil.

So to help me, I have been looking through some of my old photos to raise my spirits and try to forget names like David Cameron, Nigel Farage, Michael Gove, the Conservative Party, Donald Trump, Brexit and, yes, bloody England – the country that I love but the country that has pissed me off more in the past few months than it has at any time in my life – even more so than when Margaret Thatcher’s reign of terror was at its peak.

With that in mind, I thought I would share a couple of those photos with you, dear reader.

I hope you like them.
Hong Kong at Night
Tokyo - Barrels of Sake
Budapest - Hungarian Parliament Building

Rio de Janeiro - A Famous Statue

Rome - The Spanish Steps
 
A Temple in Kyoto
Kyoto - Lots of Torii
Santorini
Prague - Performing in front of an Old Church

A Big Cathedral in Barcelona

The Great Wall of China
That's better. I feel much calmer now. I need to be in a good frame of mind for packing so maybe I should do that too.

I am making a promise to myself here and now - I will not watch the news between now and 6am tomorrow when I have to be at the airport.

I'll leave with you with a tune that reflects my new found calmness and coincidentally is by my favourite band from France.



Au revoir et à bientôt, mes amis.


Sunday, 3 July 2016

Top Ten ELO Songs


The other day, I was flicking through the TV channels when I stumbled across a time machine. The TV programme was coverage of the Glastonbury Festival, an annual music event in the UK where generations of music fans stand in the mud and rain in front of a giant stage shaped like a pyramid and listen to many different bands covering many different styles of music.

And there on stage stood my very first musical hero.

That man is Jeff Lynne, the creator and genius behind the very first band I fell in love with, The Electric Light Orchestra or simply ELO for short.

I was instantly transported back to the 1970’s as a young teenage boy.

At that point in my life I hadn’t discovered the glory of heavy metal or rock music. I liked pop music but by far and away my favourite band at the time. I spent my hard earned paper round money on their albums. Given the ratio of my income then to the amount I spent on music, this was a big deal. I had to negotiate with my dad to let me have time on his music centre (usually when he was out). I played the albums to death and I still have them in my attic until now.

Back to the present, Jeff Lynne, now aged 68, was standing in front of the now called Jeff Lynne’s ELO belting out my favourite songs as if he were still in his 20’s. And amazingly the guy doesn’t look his age at all. What’s more, he’s from Birmingham – just a few miles down the road from where I was born.

Seeing Jeff bang out a load of old favourites  gave me an idea for this post and I am sadly going to inflict it on you, dear reader.

Here are my favourite ELO songs. I hope you enjoy them.

10. Here Is The News

The first song is actually a later one from the early 1980’s when I had actually started university. ELO sacrificed the orchestral side a little in favour of synthesiser but that distinctive ELO sound is still there. 



9. The Diary of Horace Wimp

At the time I heard this song for the first time, I was a weird spotty little seventeen year old with an attitude and girl problems – i.e. I didn’t have one. In many respects I was Horace Wimp, the hero of the song and the song told my story."Well he just stood there mumbling and fumbling"  was a little too close to home.. However, I loved the optimism of the song particularly when Horace finally asks a girl for a date and his amazement when she says “Yes!”. In some ways, this gave me a little bit of courage – if Horace Wimp could get the girl then so could I.



8. One Summer Dream

This is a beautiful song from 1975 and yanks violently on my heart strings. I’ve always loved the way that ELO fuse guitars and drums with violins and cellos simply because it makes a simple song sound more epic and all embracing. When I hear this song, I feel like I’m floating over the English countryside on a beautiful sunny day.



7. Rockaria!

The fusion of styles between orchestral instruments and rock guitar is probably most evident on a song about fusing opera with rock and roll. One of ELO’s most famous songs is about an opera singer, raised on Beethoven and Puccini who is persuaded to apply her vocal talents to good old fashioned rock and roll and is the quintessential ELO song.



6. Do Ya

The very first ELO album I bought was A New World Record, containing the previous song, Rockaria! as well as this one, my favourite song on the album. Sadly Do Ya wasn’t released as a single, much to my surprise. Perhaps it’s a little too much of a rock song for the tastes of the 1976 youth. That’s a shame.



5. Ticket To The Moon

This is another beautiful song from the early 1980’s with a hint of melancholy that shows just how good a songwriter Jeff Lynne is. Again, when I hear the song, I feel my tear ducts starting to work again. I simply love this tune – I can’t say more than that.



4. Turn To Stone

I am so sad that I actually learned the fast bit of this song so that I could impress my two sisters who, in typical sibling style, were no impressed at all and completely took the piss. Listen out for it:

Yes
I'm turning to stone
'Cause you ain't comin' home
Why ain't you comin' home
If i'm turning to stone
You've been gone for so long
And I can't carry on
Yes I'm turning
I'm turning

The sad thing is I can still do it – and Mrs PM is not impressed either.



3. Mr Blue Sky

After the sadness of the last song, let’s hear an uplifting tune. Mr Blue Sky is probably the band’s most well-known hit and I can see why. For me in particular, it reminds me of walking the streets of Walsall with a huge bag of newspapers, forcing them through letterboxes that were sometimes too small. At those early hours, the streets were empty and in summer, it was eerie because the sun would rise well before 6am yielding a beautiful blue sky with few people around to witness it, apart from me and a few cats. This song will make even the most miserable person feel positive.



2. Fire On High

Imagine you are walking through a haunted house in pitch black. How scary would that be? The opening of this fantastic song is quite spooky and if I were creeping through such a house and heard this I think I would quite literally shit bricks. After the spookiness, it evolves into a progressive masterpiece and is one of my most played ELO songs, even today.



1. Don’t Bring Me Down

Ultimately I love a good rock song and ELO can do that too. Don’t Bring Me Down has a fantastic drum beat and came at the time I had discovered rock music causing me to embrace it with the hope this was a future direction for the band. Sadly it wasn’t but I still love the song today.



And Finally...

I hope you liked that little collection. ELO still has a place in my heart and it is good to see Jeff Lynne still enjoying himself.

Do you remember ELO, dear reader?
Do you have a favourite song by the band?

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Painful Shoes


Ladies – let me show you two clips! Men – please look away for a few seconds.

The first clip is of poor Jen when she sees the shoes of her dreams:



The second clip is when she takes the shoes off:



I’ve seen this madness first hand. Let me take you back in time a few years. I was in Funchal, Madeira with Mrs PM and we were debating where to go in the evening. I told her that I had seen a couple of bars and restaurants further along the promenade.

“How far?” said Mrs PM.

“Not far at all,” I replied.

I thought nothing of it and we set off. After about ten minutes, Mrs PM stopped and asked

“How much further?” 

“About another ten minutes,” I replied.

“You could have bloody told me,” she snapped. “These shoes are killing me”

I looked at her incredulously as her face darkened slightly.

“Why are you wearing them then? Why on earth did you buy them?” I asked.

I think I would have been in less trouble had I spilled a beer over her head.

She looked around with a face like thunder. For a second I thought she was looking for a large object to hit me with but then she just grabbed my hand.

“We’re going here,” she said dragging me into a dingy bar, where she explained to me, as if I were a five year old simpleton, about the basic relationship between women and their shoes.

I nodded thoughtfully as she stood on my soapbox and told me why women buy uncomfortable shoes. Apparently all women are guilty of this madness. Just like Jen in the videos above, women fall in love with shoes and wear them no matter how uncomfortable they are. The idea is that they don’t have to walk too far, just be able to stand up and look beautiful in them.
For men, shoes need to be functional and comfortable and I can honestly say, with my hand on my heart, that I have never bought uncomfortable footwear.

Since then I have noticed this mad trait in women myself, where, in a moment of madness, they buy shoes that are beautiful yet look as if they will rip the poor creature’s feet apart of cripple them for life.

Some of the heels on these shoes are huge!

I was once speaking to a woman at a bar as we were waiting to be served and she started grimacing.

“Are you okay” I asked.

“Just a second,” she said before removing both of her shoes.

“Oh GOD, that’s better,” she said picking them up.

She had shrunk about four inches. The heels were enormous. I wanted to ask her how she had managed to hobble the short distance from her table to the bar but was too scared in case she whacked me her footwear.

I’ve also known women take a huge bag with them on a night out.

“What’s in the bag?” I’ve asked.

“Just my shoes,” they would say.

These are sensible women who wear comfortable shoes to walk to the restaurant or bar and then, when they get there, swap them for a pair of horrific but compellingly beautiful high-heeled foot scrunchers. After hobbling around for the entire evening, the shoes would then be swapped back at the end of the night.

Worse, I’ve seen women do this but then rush up to the dance floor in a night club with the worst shoes possible and bop away as if they were wearing slippers before hobbling back to their table.

I once heard somebody say “All women, without exception, are mad!”

I think this is untrue but when it comes to shoes, a lot of women lose their minds.

Meanwhile, back in that bar in Funchal, Mrs PM told me that women like to dress to impress and there is nothing more impressive than the way high heeled shoes alter the posture of a woman and make her look taller.

But I have news for you, guys – they’re not doing it to impress men – on the contrary – it is to impress other women.

You see for women, fashion is all about competing with other women.

They don’t care about us.

Is this instinct or madness?

I know for a fact that I wouldn’t even consider buying a pair of shoes if I could only walk a hundred yards in them. And this is true of almost all men I know who have met.

It doesn’t make any sense to me and to be honest this is a backwards step in my quest to understand the fairer sex, despite Mrs PM’s explanation.

Here are a few other examples of crazy shoes.






And Mrs PM, if you are reading this and considering buying any of them and you want to wear them, you will just have to get a taxi (though I think you might struggle to even walk the short distance to that).

I know one thing for sure – I am not carrying you.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum


I start this post off with an apology. I’m going to rant again. I’m going to talk about politics again.

And my language may not be what you would expect from a polite mild-mannered Englishman.

I’m sorry.

On Thursday my country voted to leave the European Union. I voted to stay.

I lost.

I am a sore loser and I am still barely able to contain my frustration and anger about this.

The United Kingdom consists of Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England but as a country we are not united at all. My own country, England, together with Wales voted to leave. Scotland and Northern Ireland wanted to stay. Yet now they will be dragged out of the European Union, alongside those English and Welsh people, like me, who want to stay.

And it stinks.

I can’t believe that just over half of my fellow countrymen, the ones who could actually be bothered to turn up, chose to turn their back on Europe based on a weird form of patriotism and a disturbing undercurrent of xenophobia.

I am gutted and angry. And yes – I am bitter too.

The immediate effects are obvious – the value of our currency has plummeted and the stock markets have dropped like a stone, something that the economists warned would happen. The problem is that the leavers, who have been seduced by a false sense of optimism, are saying “We’re British! We’ll be fine! We have our country back!”

I’m not a man of violence but the primitive, primeval animal within me wants to lash out at these idiots.

Now I’m sure that some leavers genuinely had reasons to vote the way they did but the truth of the matter is that the rest didn’t.

I actually saw one man interviewed who said:

“I’m a bit shocked to be honest. I’m shocked that we actually have voted to Leave, I didn’t think that was going to happen.

My vote, I didn’t think was going to matter too much because I thought we were just going to Remain, and the David Cameron resignation has blown me away to be honest.

I think the period of uncertainty that we’re going to have for the next couple of months, that’s just been magnified now.

So yeah, quite worried.”

Are you insane? What a fucking moron.

There is also a story I heard involving a young black woman talking to a white woman about the result. As they were chatting, a man walked past, pointed at the black woman and said “Great result – now we’ll send you home!”

Send her home to where, you racist fuckwit? She’s ENGLISH!

My own son is furious because he feels totally let down by the older generation. Why? Because the older generation mainly voted to leave.

Here is how the voting went over the age groups according to YouGov:

18-24: 75% Remain

25-49: 56% Remain

50-64: 44% Remain

65+: 39% Remain

Read those figures again – the majority of people under 50 wanted to stay whereas the majority of people over 50 wanted to leave. 
There is a lot of bitter resentment in young people and I am ashamed at those people my age and older who have potentially made our country a worse place to be for the younger generation in future.

I fully understand why they are angry.
Furthermore, this result has shattered any plans I had of spending my later years in sunny southern Europe. 
On a lighter note, I turned up for work yesterday having watched David Cameron’s resignation speech, and faced my work colleagues who wanted to see my reaction. Regular readers know that my work colleagues regard me as a grumpy old man prone to comedy rants.
And they weren’t disappointed. I ranted several times during the day but, even as I poured comedic scorn over the clown prince of idiocy, Boris Johnson, and the fish faced freak, Nigel Farage, I could see in their faces that they too were disappointed. If there were any leavers in my audience, they didn’t make their views known.
And now the leave politicians are asking for calm and unity. 
How the fuck can I be calm when and suddenly be magnanimous in defeat when I am so bitter and angry that we have been shafted just so that David Cameron can heal rifts in the Conservative Party?
The blame for this debacle lies fully at the feet of David Cameron. The man has taken a political gamble using my country and has lost, just so that he can appease his party. 

"WHAT HAVE I DONE????????"
I also blame Boris Johnson who, despite his vehement denials, used this referendum to stake his claim on Number 10 Downing Street. 

"I'M GOING TO BE PRIME MINISTER! SHAME THE COUNTRY WILL BE A DISASTER AREA!"
I blame the odious Michael Gove who is also a pretender to David Cameron’s now vacant throne.

"DON'T CALL ME ODIOUS! I'M MUCH WORSE THAN THAT!!!"
And if I am ever unfortunate enough to meet Nigel Farage, my wrath will explode so much that I will mutate into The Plastic Hulk and forcefully take him out of the country and maroon him on an island surrounded by hungry cannibals with a penchant for fish.

Nothing more to be said!
There are lots more people to blame for this but I have to stop now otherwise I will be writing forever!
Anyway, normal service will hopefully be resumed when I eventually calm down but I can’t guarantee that it will be soon.
For now, I think the songs below perfectly sum up how I feel.






To be honest at the moment  I feel like emigrating to the Dark Side of the Moon.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Policy of Truth


Do you mind if I rant?

I am totally sick of politics and politicians. They dominate my life and ruin my days. The news is full to bursting with these arses insulting my intelligence on a daily basis.

At the moment, there are two major political stories saturating the news at the moment. I wrote a post about each of them earlier this year.

The first is the American Election. The second is the EU Referendum.

I am absolutely sick of them both. What’s more I am sick of everybody involved, from the media themselves to the politicians involved, from the morons on each side who use anger and outrage as weapons to persuade us to the absolute downright lies and exaggeration that these people use to fool us into putting an X in a little box.

Let me start with the EU referendum, i.e. whether the UK leaves the European Union or not. This referendum affects us all in the United Kingdom and in my opinion this has been one of the dirtiest campaigns I have ever had the misfortune to witness.

Both sides have told blatant lies and issued dire warnings about what would happen if the other side wins. At first, it was funny seeing the depths that these odious people have plummeted to get us to support with their respective causes.

I have done some research myself and I know that they are lying – on BOTH sides.

Here are some examples of the lies and scaremongery we have had to endure (from both sides):

The EU is trying to achieve the same as Hitler – just using different methods.

Leaving the European Union could trigger World War 3.

If we stay in the European Union, migrates will come in and sexually assault our women.

Our economy will collapse if we leave the European Union.

I have avoided watching debates on the television because I hate the people involved and I know that there will be virtually no facts mentioned by either side and that fear-mongering will prevail as well as character assassinations on both sides.

And in America, the knives have been out for months in both camps as we have had to witness so-called political allies stabbing each other in the back. In the UK the Conservative Party is currently having a civil war of Europe but normally, during a general election, all differences are cast aside in favour of the party.

Yet in the United States, we have the Democrat candidates attacking each other and the Republican candidates doing the same thing. Worse, we have to endure it on British television.

I don’t give a shit about the American elections. I’m interested ultimately who wins but that’s about it. I do not want to see the war between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz or the political battles between Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. It seems to take forever and then, just when you’ve had enough, the war escalates as the Democratic candidate takes on the Republican candidate.

My God – how do Americans manage to endure this long drawn out campaign?

I am sick of the European referendum.

I am sick of the American elections.

I am sick of David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and George Osborne.

I am sick of Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.

I am sick of “Brexit”.

I am sick of “Bremain”.

I sick of “facts” that are not facts.

I am sick not hearing the truth.

I am sick of lies.

I am sick of constant television coverage.

I am sick of people falling out based on campaigns of fear.

I am sick of politicians.

I am sick of politics.

I want all of them off my television screens.

They may argue that this is the most important decision we will every make. If that’s the case, why the phark are they misleading everybody with constant lies and no real facts?

People cannot predict the future but politicians of all sides and all countries think they can. Not only do they preach lies to us, they use the future to sway us all by predicting what will happen if we don’t support them.

They make promises – they break them.

They predict the future – they fail.

They tell us facts – the facts are lies.

And I’m sick of it.

I think I need to become an anarchist.

Anyway the best way to finish off a rant is with a little heavy metal, which is quite apt!



I'm glad that's off my chest. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Mr Angry


Everybody has a moment when they become angry. I know I do and I’ve seen normally mild mannered individuals succumb to the red mist and explode in a flash of rage. Usually this is a rare occurrence.

However, the are some people who seem to spend their entire day in a perpetual state of fury, never resting from their wrath until they close their eyes to sleep, whereupon I’ll wager their dreams also involve stomping around shouting and screaming at every poor figment of their imagination.

I like to refer to people like this as Mr Angry or, in the case of ladies, Ms Angry. Let’s not forget that such illogical behaviour transcends gender.

I have worked with such people in the past. We all know a Mr Angry.

Mr Angry fails to control his temper and has a short fuse and the only reason he seems to be calm is because he is waiting for a random person to speak to him so that he can explode in rage.

Mr Angry is usually a bully who thinks that bellowing at people will somehow force them to behave in the way that Mr Angry wants.

Mr Angry also explodes when something trivial annoys him – like this man:



Personally, I hate being angry because ultimately that is undoubtedly a low point. It is a rare event, dear reader, and when I am possessed by rage, my mind isn’t clear and I am prone to say things that I will later regret. I am sure this is the same for everybody.

When this happens to me, I simply walk away from the target of my wrath as soon as I can. The symptoms can actually be physical – increased heart rate, anxiety, depression and high blood pressure are just some of them.

Some people may argue that it is sometimes beneficial to become angry in order to “let off steam” and while that may be true for the occasional hissy fit, I think that if you are constantly angry it can’t actually be that good for you.

Therefore I avoid it when I can – and if I can’t I simply run away from the source of my anger.

Okay, regular readers may say; “But hang on! You often rant and rave about things on this very blog!”

Yes, that is true, but it is a technique that I have honed, certainly over the past few years. Anger is pointless but the ability to “let off steam” on a blog allows me to vent my spleen in a controlled way without the adverse reactions associated with a full blown Incredible Hulk moment. And I enjoy it because I can inject a little humour into the mix.

This is also what I do at work; I strive to “let off steam” in a fun way, which allows people to laugh at me. It’s entertainment in a way.

People who know me really well consider me to be very laid back and this is the truth of the matter. I rarely genuinely lose control.

Yet I have seen people who thrive on this anger, maybe because they have had some success in the past as a result of it.

Here’s an example.

Many years ago, I was working in an edible oil production plant. We had supplied a process management computer system to the company and we were testing it in real time. I had heard of a man whom I shall refer to as Mr Banner (in a similar way to the Hulk) and that he was prone to moments of rage.

Yet whenever I had met him, he has been as nice as any person I had worked with. One day, we were running a test and something went slightly wrong.

We were all trying to find the problem and it was either a computer glitch or a problem with the equipment itself. We were in a control room above the equipment and we had to wear all the safety gear including hard hats and goggles to satisfy the Health and Safety police.

 I looked at the computer screen and after about five minutes of watching what was going wrong, I turned to the guys in the room and told them that I thought I knew what the problem was. We had a test system downstairs and I knew that I could confirm my hypothesis on that machine and actually fix the issue. I said, “Give me ten minutes.”

Now everybody in the room seemed to accept this – apart from Mr Banner. He glared at me and then he glared at each of the other guys in the room in turn.  Then, in a true Hulk moment, he pulled off his hard hat and screamed:

 “PPPPPPPPHHHHHHHAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!”

He hurled his hard hat at the floor and it bounced up with a noise that sounded like a firecracker. His face turned bright red and everybody in the room backed away from him. I stood there open mouthed in shock.

He walked to his hat, picked it up and I could see his inner struggle. I expected him to calm down but he didn’t! Instead, he picked it up again and hurled it across the room at the wall. I was expecting him to turn green but instead his face darkened to a weird crimson colour.

That was my cue.

I turned to the guy next to me who was also goggling in shock and said “I’m off to the test system!”

I left the room and went downstairs shaking my head in disbelief and half expecting Mr Banner to follow me. There was no way I was going to tolerate that kind of behaviour.

Thankfully, I was not followed.

Twenty minutes later, I had found the problem and returned to the control room with the fix. The rest of the day was fine and by then Mr Banner had returned to his normal calm self. I received no words of thanks and he behaved as if the episode had not happened.

What scares me about such behaviour is that it is unwarranted and also the perpetrator thinks that his antics will force people to bend to his will.

However, what makes me laugh about Mr Angry is the irrationality of it all and, sometimes, I have to walk away when I see Mr Angry in full flow, in case I burst out laughing and enrage him further.

Like in this video:



My advice to Mr and Ms Angry is to take a deep breath and walk away. That’s what I do – it works for me – unless Piers Morgan is on the TV.