Sunday, 17 January 2021

A to Z


Welcome to an overcast South Manchester on day 310 of Covid-19 restrictions and just into the third week of lockdown number three in England. I’ve been out for my walk in the rain and my head is clear enough to partake in Sunday Stealing’s A to Z questions

Let’s hurl ourselves into this.

A - Annoyance:

I have several things that annoy me – I shall tell you two of them. The first is the fact that I still have to work for a living. I am fed up with my career and the fact that I can’t leave just yet is annoying. The day is coming within a couple of years though; I just need to be patient.

The second is the current UK government, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson in particular. He is an incompetent egomaniac who is responsible for Brexit (a colossal mistake that has made us a laughing stock worldwide), a terrible reaction to the pandemic that has left us sitting in fifth place in the world in terms of deaths and filling his cabinet with nasty sycophantic yes-men who are the personification of ineptitude. They are a perfect illustration of the Peter Principle.

B - Bestest Friend[s]:

Mrs PM is my best friend but there are a few guys out there who are amazing friends (you all know who you are).

C - Car:

Yes – I have one. I am not really a car person so as long as it gets me from A to B without any bother then that is fine. It is just a normal everyday four door family hatchback.

D - Day or night:

Can I say both? Of course I can (my rebellious streak is still there, folks). It’s a pity that we have to sleep because I would be very happy pottering around for 24 hours if I could.

E- Easiest person to talk to?:

That has to be Mrs PM. Nevertheless, once I get to know somebody, I can talk for England. In that sense, I find almost everybody I know well quite easy to talk to (if they can put up with me of course).

F - Favourite Month:

It’s a toss up between May, June and July. I will go for June because by that time, summer has kicked in and, if the weather is good, it is a great month. The days are longer and the whole country seems to be happier.

G - Gummy Bears or Worms:

Neither. I’ve heard of gummy bears but I have no idea what worms are. 

H - Hair Colour:

My hair is a light brown with streaks of grey at the side. I used to be blond but as the years of passed it has become darker. I fully expect it to be grey in a few years.

I - Ice Cream:

I rarely eat ice cream to be honest but I do like it. We always go for some when we are in Italy or France. In Nice there is a great ice cream store in the Old Town area and I have some every day when we are there. I love Nice – I miss travel.

J - Jewellery:

I don’t wear jewellery – in fact I don’t think I own any. I did wear a neck chain when I was in my twenties – I’m not sure why – perhaps they were fashionable for men at that time.

K - Kindergarten:

It is a German word that literally means “garden for children”. 

L - Longest Car Ride:

That would be when we drove from Brisbane to Sydney in Australia in 2005. I remember as we were leaving Brisbane I saw a sign saying that it was 1000km to Sydney. We obviously didn’t drive it all in one go – it took six days in total. Mostly we stopped at places on the way but there was one day in particular when we seemed to spend the entire day on the road. I enjoyed it but that was the time I realised just how huge Australia is.

M - Most missed person:

My parents. I lost my dad in 1981 and my mum in 2017. 

N - Number of Siblings:

I have two younger sisters, aged 56 and 53. They are both extremely strong women and we always have a lot of fun when we are together.

O - One regret:

What – just one? I have many regrets but I am genuinely quite content now that my life has settled. I will say perhaps not learning more languages. I can speak passable French and a little German and I have spent the last couple of years trying to teach myself Spanish. When I retire I intend to put that right. I aim to try to learn Spanish to fluency.

P- Part of your appearance you like least?:

My hair. I think I have said this numerous time on this blog and dedicated at least one post to it. As a reminder, my hair is a sentient creature that hates me. I control it by keeping it short because if it is long, it is totally unmanageable. At the moment, in lockdown, Mrs PM is cutting my hair every few weeks with some clippers that I bought for that purpose. I have to say that clippers are brilliant and I used them on New Year’s Day to take off the beard that I had spent six months growing. 

Mrs PM then said “You look weird without a beard; I think I prefer you with it.” 

So now I am growing it back – just for her. And, like my hair, it is actually growing back quite quickly. Maybe having a beard and then saving it off is the best way to grow a beard quickly. It took six weeks last time; I think it will take about four at the rate it is growing back. 

I only hope that I don’t suddenly start hating my beard; I aim to keep it short and well trimmed.

Q- Quote:

“Be crazy, be silly, be weird. Be whatever, because life is too short to be anything but happy.”

R - Reality TV Show:

I hate them as a rule. But I do like the UK version of “The Apprentice”. I love to see arrogant egomaniacs shot down in flames.

S - Shoe:

I have two pairs of shoes, two pairs of boots, a pair of walking boots, a pair of walking trainers, a pair of everyday trainers, a pair of beach shoes, two pairs of summer sandals and a pair of slippers.

T - Time you woke up:

This morning, I was rudely woken up by Ziggy who parked himself on my pillow right next to my face. He was purring like a car engine. The time was 08:30 (I usually have a bit of a lie in at the weekend). Approximately three minutes later, Star noticed that my foot was hanging out of the duvet cover and decided to attack it. I was downstairs feeding them at 08:34.

U - Unpredictable?:

One of the things I am going to try to do in 2021 is to be more unpredictable. Mrs PM may or may not like that – we shall see. It will have to wait until we are released from lockdown and Coronavirus restrictions, sadly.

V - Vegetable you hate:

I am not a fan of artichokes, parsnips or turnips. I can eat them but I really don’t like them.

W- Worst Habits:

Where do I start? Okay – it is procrastination and I am winning the war slowly but surely. 

X - X-Rays:

The only X-rays I have had have been at the dentist. It was interesting discussing them with him afterwards as he pointed out how he was using them.

Y - Year you were born:

I was born in 1962. Harold McMillan was Prime Minister and it was the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Marilyn Monroe sang Happy Birthday to President Kennedy before dying later in the year. Also born in the same year were Evander Holyfield, Demi Moore and Jodie Foster.

Z - Zoom:

Where to? Oh – you mean the software? Yes – I have used it quite a lot in the last year but then again I have also used similar applications such as Microsoft Teams, Lifesize, Slack, Whatsapp, Skype and even Facebook for the same purpose.


Stacy said...

It's always interesting to read the answers from those who live across the pond. I enjoy seeing how we are the same and how we are different. I think one of the biggest things I see that makes us different is how globally minded you are...maybe because you all are so many countries all jumbled up in close proximity and travel across borders as a regular thing, while we are rather isolated over here. That is probably the reason for the second thing that always amazes me...that you not only speak a second language, but multiple languages and you are learning another! Most days I am doing well to not mangle my native tongue. Anyway, I enjoyed your answers. Have a great week!

Lori said...

We have been able to do meetings and trainings through zoom and other platforms at the school. I have enjoyed it. Loved your answers. Have a nice day!

CountryDew said...

I am a year younger than you. I think people around our age are sort of a lost generation - not quite old enough to be baby boomers, though that is where they place us, and too old to belong elsewhere. In the United States, we were the latch key children who came home to empty houses, fed our younger siblings a peanut butter sandwich, and watched too much TV (although I read a book instead, I am not a big fan of TV).

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Stacey,

I wouldn't say I "speak" three languages; I can ask for things in a restaurant/shop etc. in the three of them but I can't have a proper conversation. I have met a few Americans on my travels worldwide, so some of you guys do get out and about. It is definitely worth travelling and ging further afield too, not just on your doorstep. I feel Europe is "local" which is why we like to go to places like in the Far East and of course across the pond to the US. I haven't been to the US for a while - I think that needs to change.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lori,

I use Zoom and Whatsapp at home - the rest are for work. They all work in pretty much the same way.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

That's a very good point you make actually. I was always the babysitter for my two younger sisters. And I watched too much TV - that's for sure (though I do like a good book).




Kwizgiver said...

I'm with you about your first annoyance. I would LOVE to retire today. I have another couple of years until I hit the 25-year mark of teaching, but will still be "too young" to get full retirement benefits. Such a dilemma--do I take the financial hit and retire early or struggle through to the end?

Me, Myself, and I said...

You must be enjoying the drama here in the U.S. ... although particular egomaniac isn't in enough flames for me. Crisped to a cinder would suit me just fine, lol.

Elephant's Child said...

Those cat alarms (particularly the ones involving tooth and claw) are effective aren't they?
That Sydney to Brisbane trip IS long. We have done it (or a little less because we weren't in Sydney itself) by motor bike in a day. A long and very uncomfortable day. And it has never taken more than two days. Which I think is a mistake.

LA Paylor said...

boris trump boris trump... oy vey....

kittens have you under control so that's good

we're almost the same age. I"m your older sibling lol... I was in first grade when we sat under our desks during drills from the missle crisis in florida, as if that would save us

zippiknits...sometimes said...

You don't like Boris, do you? heehee I don't either! *fist bump*

Ah, to Sleep, perchance to dream... I've always gotten by with six hours of sleep but no it's down to four or five hours of sleep, so there's nothing for it but to take a nap. I hate it.
Our daughter tried to get her old foggie parents to do zoom but I think she's given up.
You are going to LOVE retirement.

River said...

I think Boris and Donald must have evolved from the same slimy gene pool.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

I have a similar dilemma because it it were up o me I would go tomorrow (well when I can work out my notice). I do have patience though and am being sensible about it.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Me, Myself and I,

I wouldn't be enjoying it if I were American but it is quite entertaining having never seen this kind of anarchic behaviour in the States before.

Trump was amusing at first but once he was elected president I feared for you guys. Thank goodness common sense has prevailed.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

Oh yes - they certainly are. Ziggy walked across my head this morning and I honestly thought he was going to sit there.

Oh my God - you did that in one day? What stamina. We wanted to see what lay in between. I think I would fly if I did it again to be honest.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi LeeAnna,

For some reason I thought you were younger - Don't really know why.

Don't get me started on Boris again




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

The thing is Boris said he hated Trump a few years ago - then said he liked him.

This is typical of Boris - a two-faced lying clown.




Pandora Behr said...

What do you mean you didn't drive the 1000 km from Brisbane to Sydney in one hit? Wuss! I know that Australians are much more used to driving long distances. I'm off to Adelaide on Saturday - 800 kms - will be done in the day. At least the roads are good.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Well in my defence we did want to see the places in between and a great time we had too.

800 kms is also a long way. I don't doubt I could do it one go, of that I have no doubt, but I find driving tedious, so I wouldn't really enjoy it.