Saturday, 20 March 2021

Blog Challenge


Welcome to a cloudy but warm South Manchester on day 371 of the Covid-19 restrictions. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring and the weather is improving every day. I was quite warm on my morning walk today and had to take off my coat at the end of the three mile stroll.

It’s frustrating because at this time of year we are usually planning our trips abroad but the ongoing pandemic is putting this in jeopardy. I have prepared myself for not travelling for the second year in succession but we may get the chance towards the end of the year – maybe. 

Still, infections are low in the UK and vaccinations continue at pace and I can see then end coming soon.

Shall we have some fun with some silly questions from Sunday Stealing

1. An unforgettable day in my life.

There have been a lot of unforgettable days in my life and it is difficult to pick one to be honest with you. Most of them involve travelling to places and seeing or doing something amazing. 

Perhaps, visiting the Kremlin in Moscow and then getting drunk with a work colleague in a Mexican restaurant with tequila later the same evening. 

Or perhaps catching a train to the Great Wall from Beijing and walking up and down this immense and magnificent undulating structure. 

Or maybe climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge (something I did despite my fear of heights). 

Or bringing in the new year in Times Square, New York City in temperatures of 15 degrees Centigrade below zero and then walking back to the hotel via an Irish Bar and eventually wobbling home at 3am with the streets full yellow cabs flying around. 

Or maybe just seeing my son graduate from university.

Or perhaps seeing the birth of my two sons. 

See what I mean? Too many to consider. 

2. My favourite snacks

I love cheese on toast, nachos with hummus, flame raisins, sour cream and onion Pringles, cheese on crackers, a banana, plums, nectarines, Granny Smith apples, peaches – again too many to mention.

3. My biggest fashion accessory

I don’t really do fashion accessories. I’m a grumpy 58 year old git. 

4. My biggest celebrity crush

Actually, there have been a few recently. We’ve started watching Modern Family, the American sitcom and I have to say that it is probably Sofia Vergara at the moment.

5. One hobby I would like to learn

As I close in on the end of my career, I shall be looking closely at new hobbies. A couple are out there; 

Improve my creative writing and finally write that book that is inside, learn a guitar, learn a piano, become fluent in Spanish, or maybe even take up IT as a hobby when I finally do leave it as a career (just concentrating on the fun side of it and things that I want to do rather than those chosen for me).

6. My OCD habits

I am slightly OCD partly because Mrs PM can be scatterbrained. I always double check that doors are locked when I go out or go to bed for example. The same with the car – make sure that it is locked. The pandemic has also made me a little bit of a germophobe. I have washed my hands so much over the past year that I have had to use Mrs PM’s moisturiser to deal with dry skin that has appeared.

7. If I could eat one last meal

It would have to be a traditional Sunday roast I think. 

8. Working on my fitness

When I was younger, I was very fit; I used to swim, run, play football and any other sport that I could. I gave most of that up in my late thirties and eventually started again with gym work before stopping (I find gyms really boring). 

These days I walk a lot but I could do more I think. Several years ago I set myself a target of 6000 steps a day but increased that to 7000 in order to force myself to get out there and do stuff. I have achieved that every month for the past two or three years, sometimes exceeding that for some months. I might just add another 1000 steps to my target next year. 

9. What I spend money on

Nothing at the moment. In the past year, I have only bought things like CDs. During a normal year though, I will have a blitz with clothes, or spend my money on travelling and everything else associated with that. If Mrs PM had her way, a lot of money would be spent on the house but thankfully that doesn’t happen that often.

10. My favourite recipe

I can cook but I hate it. My favourite of the ones that I attempt involve pasta, probably meatballs and spaghetti. 

Mrs PM is an excellent cook – she can make a wonderful curry and her paella is incredible.

11. The best part of each season

Winter – There is nothing good about winter at all apart from the weeks leading up to Christmas. January and February are the worst months of the year. 

Spring – It is almost spring now and the flowers are out and the buds are starting to appear on the trees. I just love the fact that winter is over and the weather is improving.

Summer – my favourite season by a country mile. Warm and long days, plenty to do both here in the UK and abroad. The UK is a green country but the whole place comes to life in summer.

Autumn – autumn is good because the leaves change and produce wonderful colours. Usually at the start, the weather is still warm, thanks to the summer and, of course, my birthday is in the autumn.

12. A life lesson I’ve learned

Do not let stress get the better of you. Push back and try to be happy. Always smile at people and try to do a good deed when you can.

13. My inspiration to blog

I have always loved writing (even though I write nonsense and am not very good at it) and the main plan is to eventually write a proper book (not a travelogue like the couple I’ve written). Basically the blog has given me an opportunity to write and get it out there into the world. I don’t really care whether anybody reads it or not. I just find it cathartic. 

14. What’s inside my closet?

I don’t have a closet. I have a cupboard under the stairs if that counts. What’s in there? A vacuum cleaner, coats, electricity meter, lots of books, notes and photos and quite a lot of junk.

15. Let me brag a minute.

I don’t like to brag at all. I am just a modest guy who like to make people feel happy, with a wise crack or just a little conversation. If I can make somebody smile then I am happy. 


Bev Sykes said...

Well, whatever you think about your writing, I love reading it. I'm glad you post here each week.

Elephant's Child said...

Admittedly our winter is milder but it is one of my favourite seasons. Indeed I like them all with the exception of the sweaty season (aka summer). Summer this year was cooler and wetter than usual - and MUCH improved.

River said...

#14: what's inside my closet? Everything that doesn't have a home anywhere else. This place has very little kitchen and bathroom storage and NO linen closet!

Pandora Behr said...

I loved the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb too - magnificent, wasn't it. I forgot about flame raisins - we don't see them over her very often. Sometimes I think we're very similar. If I ever get to Manchester we will have to go a beer (I have a mate in Rochdale...)


Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

You are very kind, but I don't think I'm ever going to take the literary world by storm.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

Our winter is usually mild to be fair. I spent 6 weeks in Moscow in the middle of winter and it was truly awful. I have never seen so much snow and the temperature was -20 degrees Centigrade. I have never worn so many layers.

It's just cold and dark and I hate being cold in the dark.

I don't like mad summers either. My record is 45 degrees in Las Vegas and 46 degrees in Muscat, Oman. I thought i was going to melt.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

We don't have a linen closet either. We have one of those beds that you can lift up to reveal the storage underneath and that's where our linen goes.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

I'm glad I did the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb but I would never do anything like that again. I have never been so scared. The views were magnificent though I have to say. I loved Sydney and Australia in general.

I have an Aussie mate in London who is from Melbourne actually. It would be good to go back with him and his missus. I didn't make it there when I travelled Down Under but I've heard nothing but good things about it.

Of course, if you ever do come to Manchester, we will definitely go for a beer. Rochdale is on the opposite side of the city to me but easy to get to. The city is far more interesting though.




Kwizgiver said...

I would love to read your book--you have great insights and your travel adventures are always fun.

Lori said...

I enjoy writing to get my thoughts out too. I enjoy visiting your blog and hearing what you have to say. Loved your answers! Have a nice day!

MedicatedMoo said...

Write that book - we’ll all read it!

CountryDew said...

I think you have lived a life well-lived, and that's saying a lot. I enjoy your writing and I suspect you will write a fantastic book.

songbird's crazy world said...

Your travels sound interesting. I’m a New Yorker and I’ve never done Times Square on New Years Eve. Too cold.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

If I ever get round to writing it, I'll let you know.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lori,

Wiritnng's a good thing to do, whether you are good at it or not. I try to write every day (mostly garbage it has to be said - but it is MY garbage).




Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

One day. One day ...




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

I hope so - I do intend to have a go.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Songbird,

It was bloody freezing.




OJM said...

What a great read. I agree with you on winter-cold can be painful. Even as a kid I hated it.

Plastic Mancunian said...


I loved snow as a kid - but I quickly grew out of that madness.