Sunday 27 September 2020

Life Entirely

 Welcome to another sunny day in South Manchester. Let’s not mess about – let’s dive straight into sill question mode from Sunday Stealing.

1. Something someone told you about yourself that you never forgot

When I was a kid at junior school, roughly aged about ten years old, the teachers were advising parents about which senior school we should be going to. I was a Roman Catholic so this was the only such junior school in the area and, logically, the kids would almost certainly end up at a comprehensive school local to them. It seemed that this might happen to me but I was quite a clever chap and passed an exam called the “11 Plus” with flying colours. This opened up a chance for me to go to what was considered the best school in Walsall, the local grammar school. My parents were delighted and when they chatted to the headmaster of the junior school, with me sitting there looking humble, he actually said these words. 

“I don’t think that David has the ability to cope with the demands of the grammar school. I think it is a mistake to apply, if I can be quite frank about it.”

Thankfully, my dad disagreed and I applied.

Not only was I accepted, without having to take the entrance exam, I thrived in that school, leaving with 10 O-levels, 4 A-levels and a place at university.

So all I can say to that headmaster now is – you were a complete arse and I am delighted to have proved you wrong.

2. What are your 3 top pet peeves

Top of the pile is the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom who have been in government for the past ten years sadly. What have they achieved? They have decimated public services with their program of austerity, widening the gap between rich and poor to an almost insurmountable chasm; they are responsible for Brexit and the fact that we are now out of the European Union, a decision that I am still angry about; finally their handing of the pandemic is amongst the most incompetent in the entire world.

The pandemic itself is pissing me off too. This year will go down as a complete disaster and I feel like I have been locked in a cage.

The “fake news” fad that is now ubiquitous. Our leaders are telling absolute lies to us every single day and there are getting away with it. Chief amongst them is the Orange Goblin still squatting in the White House, but our own Clown is almost as bad. “A world beating test and trace system” is what Boris Johnson described the incompetent mess that we have in place now. 

I must not rant …

3. List five places you want to visit

Amywhere. As I said, I feel like a bird trapped in a cage at the moment. Here are plans we have once the Covid-19 chaos has passed.

A belated 50th birthday trip to Greece to celebrate Mrs PM’s birthday (cancelled from this year).

A trip to the south of Spain (cancelled from this year).

A trip to Italy with friends to jointly celebrate Mrs PM’s birthday plus the 60th birthday of another close friend (cancelled from this year).

Our next long haul trip will probably be to Malaysia (taking in Hong Kong).

I would really like to go back to Japan too. Hopefully we will get back there within a few years. 

4. Share something you struggle with

At the moment my only real struggle is having to work in a career that I am fed up with. I am good at what I do and you would think that this is a good thing to keep me going for my final few years. However, I struggle to whip up the enthusiasm to do it any more and the only thing that keeps me going are the people I work with, all of whom are really intelligent and funny people. 

5. Post words of wisdom that speak to you.

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.”

6. Something you always think “what if....?” about

What if I had accepted that job in London instead of Manchester?

7. Five blessings in your life.

I glad that I am a healthy chap even though age is beginning to creep into my bones.

I am very content with my house, Mrs PM and my family.

My mates, some of whom I have known for decades.

My laid back attitude to life. Sure, I can rant with he best of them, but deep down I am an easy-going bloke who tries to see the best in all bad situations, even if it means making fun of them.

The fact that I look about 15 years younger than I am – especially without the beard I have at the moment.

8. Something that you miss.

We no longer have any cats. Four years ago we had three of them but now they are all gone. The most recent, and last, was Poppy. She was 18 years old and died two weeks ago. She was a scaredy cat who used t run away from me all of the time but since I have been working from home, she bonded with me lay next to me in the morning when we opened the bedroom door to let her in in the morning. We noticed that she was drooling a lot and saw a little blood on her teeth, so we took her to the vet who told us that she had mouth cancer that had spread. He said she was in pain and had to be put to sleep immediately. We were so shocked that we sought a second and third opinion. They all said the same and told us that we could treat the pain she was in for maybe another two weeks but that she would be in agony. We had already watched Jasper slowly die for about two months and didn’t want Poppy to suffer like he had so with a heavy heart we had to do the deed. 

I miss her much more than I thought I would. 

We will have a little break but there will be cats in our house again. We are thinking about Christmas – another couple of kittens.

9. Post about your zodiac sign and whether or not it fits you.

I am a Libra and Mrs PM thinks that I am stereotypical of that star sign. She is a Leo and apparently Libra and Leo are the best combination when it comes to romance. I am very sceptical about it but I have explored this before. Here are my findings.

10. Think of a word. Search for it on Google images.  Write something inspired by the 11th image.

The word I picked is something else I miss – travel.

Here is the image:

The image shows an aircraft flying into the sunset and inspires bittersweet emotions. I love the image because I am very fond of sunsets and it reminds me of past trips abroad. Yet at the same time I feel deeply frustrated that I will have spent the whole of 2020 in the UK without crossing it’s borders. Bring on 2021 I say.

11. Write about an area of your life that you’d like to improve.

I have a tendency to procrastinate and for the past few years I have been attempting to defeat this annoying trait. And I think I might be succeeding. At the start of the lockdown, I vowed to complete a Japanese travelogue based on a trip I took with Mrs PM back in 2013. Yes – that is seven years ago – see what I mean about procrastination? Well the good news is that I know that I can defeat this bug in my psyche if I think about it – after all, I never ever procrastinate at work. And for this year at least, I made great progress. I finished the first draft of the travelogue yesterday – and I will review it and complete it by the end of 202 as promised. 

12. What made you laugh out loud today.

Nothing so far but this guy did yesterday. He is a British comedian called Romesh Ranganathan and I watched one of his shows on TV.

Here is an older example of his work:

13. What are your goals for the next 30 days.

Finish draft two of the Japanese travelogue, try to somehow celebrate my birthday within the constraints of the lockdown and possibly start a new writing project.

14. Your highs and lows for the month.

The lows were all to do with the pandemic. In Manchester we have had extra restrictions since the end of July but now with rising cases and the second wave, our Clown Prime Minister has announced more nationwide restrictions.

Are there any highs? I guess finishing draft one of the Japan travelogue is a high and also my favourite football team still being unbeaten.

15. Favourite movies that you never get tired of watching.

Most of the Marvel movies – especially the Avengers, Inglorious Basterds, The Matrix, Pulp Fiction, Star Trek movies, Aliens – too many to mention really.

16. Books you have read more than once.

I don’t tend to read books more than once because there are a lot of new ones out there just waiting to be read. The one I have read a couple of times is War of the Worlds by H.G.Wells because I first read it at school and had forgotten about it. 

17. Something about which you feel strongly.

Brexit is the worst mistake that the United Kingdom has made in my lifetime – and perhaps ever.

18. Five things that make you really happy.

Mrs PM, music, friends, football beer.

19. What are you excited about?

I’m excited about travelling once more when this cursed pandemic is finally over. I am also excited about the prospect of retiring. 

20. Three celebrity crushes

I don’t have crushes on celebrities but these ladies are the ones that leap to mind as being the most attractive: Gal Gadot, Morenna Baccarin and Lesley-Ann Brandt.


Kwizgiver said...

You remind me that my high school guidance counselor told me not to bother going to college. 🙄

Lori said...

#1 makes me sick that an educator was not encouraging. I think any child can do anything they stick their mind to. If they want it bad enough, they will make it happen. Good for your dad and good on you!
I am so sorry about Poppy! My dog died about a year ago and I still miss her terribly. It is hard. Loved your answers! Have a great day!

Bev Sykes said...

So sorry about the death of your cat(s).

And...hey!... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Elephant's Child said...

I am so sorry to read about Poppy. It leaves a hole in the house doesn't it? We are down to one cat now. A difficult cat - who is much loved just the same.

LA Paylor said...

where to start? I so love your answers... agree to the ones about our respective conservative squatters, sad at your 18 year old's passing and shed my own tears missing my two dogs who developed cancer, commiserated with your what if, laughed out loud at the comedian thanks for that. Ha! to the headmaster... celebrated your achieving a 7 year long goal!

zippiknits...sometimes said...

The bad situations always have a side of comical. Good for you for poking fun at the sloths!
Orange Goblin! lol!
Thanks for all that you sure. And when you retire we will all expect to read your comical take of governments in an exposé!

CountryDew said...

I am sorry you lost your cat. Losing a pet is difficult. I hope you soon get back to traveling, and congrats on writing your travelogue! Great work, that. (And I knew someone would be on top of the they're their there thing and though it might be you!)

The Gal Herself said...

You and I are seem to be feeling the same way these days: TRAPPED! Remember "Starting Over" by John Lennon? I hear his voice in my head, "Let's take a chance and fly away somewhere ..." Of course, I won't because I believe the virus is a real threat.

Cathy Kennedy said...

It was nice meeting you & yo read your responses. I hope you have a good week. :)


Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

As I said - nice to prove them wrong, eh?




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lori,

It is hard losing a pet. Sorry to hear about your dog.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

Fear not - there will be more cats.

My birthday is in about a week and a half.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

Jasper was a fat lazy laid back cat - Liquorice was a psychopath - Poppy was timid but really cute. Amazing how different they all are.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi LeeAnna,

Yes - if that headmaster is still alive, I would like to tell him "I told you so!".




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Zippiknits,

I would love to write a book about our woeful government. Others are doing so at the moment - believe me.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

I can never resist such things. Their they're to poke fun at.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Gal Herself,

That's the bad thing - we can't go anywhere to escape the virus. Sadly...




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Cathy,

And thanks. Have a good week too.