Saturday 9 October 2021

Journal IBuddies

Welcome to a cloudy but unseasonably warm south Manchester on day 83 since restrictions were lifted. The weather is cloudy but it is pleasant.  

It was my birthday yesterday so Mrs PM and I are venturing into the city later to have a couple of beers and an Italian meal.

My date of birth makes me a Libran, the same star sign as Margaret Thatcher who was born on October 13th. The fact that I share the same star sign as that horrible woman, for me at least, destroys the very idea that people with the same star sign have the same traits, foibles and behaviours. 

Anyway, I could spend the entire blog post talking about how much I disliked Thatcher but in the spirit of beauty, congeniality and fun I will desist and chat about some silly questions, as usual from Sunday Stealing

Let’s dive in …

1. Who is your favourite singer?  What do you like about him or her? 

I have many favourite singers and in the interests of harmony I am going to single out two – one male and one female. It is difficult for me to select my favourites and if you were to ask me tomorrow I might select different ones. 

Anyway – today’s male singer is Devin Townsend. He is a Canadian singer whose genre of choice is mainly progressive rock/metal but also sings ambient rock too. Why have I chosen him? Because his voice range is spectacular, from low soothing ambience via plain rock singing to the ability to scream like the best screaming rock singers. I love the guy. Here is a wonderfully eccentric song that incorporates, ambience, choirs, Hawaiian, rock, metal and even a little dance and shows his vocal range as well as showing what a fun guy he is. The video is amazing and funny.

The female singer I am going to pick is Charlotte Wessels, a Dutch symphonic metal singer, formerly of the band Delain who has now started a solo career. She has an incredible voice and is at home singing metal as she is singing anything else. I have seen her live a few times now with Delain and her voice is as incredible on stage as it is in the studio.

Here she is in action and you will hopefully see what I mean.

2. Write about your first memory of going to the doctor.

I was about seven years old and I had an ear infection. I remember screaming all night because my ear felt like it was on fire and the doctor took a look and immediately diagnosed the problem. I was given penicillin and it cleared up really quickly. The relief was immense.

3. Write a poem about writing poems.

A poem? As long as it is just the one ...

Poetry is tricky; I’ve tried it many times.

The words can be found quickly. I just can’t find the rhymes.

It’s stories that I want to write. I’ll never be a poet.

Prose is king in my mad world; if only I could show it.

4. Write a poem about vacations.    

What – another poem? Are you serious? Okay – here goes.

I want to go on holiday, I’m bored here stuck at home.

A trip to France or Germany, perhaps even to Rome.

A visit to a foreign place can truly make me whole

Such journeys really cleanse the mind and liberate the soul

5. What is something interesting that no one knows about you?    

So after two poems, you want to get personal now? Is that it?

Okay – let me think. I can say “hello”, “thank you” and order a beer in the following languages:

English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, American, Australian, Czech and Portuguese. 

6.Why is it so important to help other people in need?   

The way I see it is that if something bad happens to me, then I would expect somebody to help me. It’s human nature. For that reason, I will always try to help people if I can because you never know when you are going to need help yourself.

7.Would you rather finish a project early or do it at the last minute?  Why?    

I would much rather finish a project early. My work is subject to deadlines and I always strive to complete it before then so that I have time to polish it – or maybe make some progress on the next chunk of work that will have its own deadline. 

People who leave things to the last minute suffer more stress in my experience. I hate stress.

8. If you had three months left to live, what would you do?     

I would travel the world if I were fit enough to. Or if I wasn’t fit to travel I would do my best to brain dump my thoughts into a book.

9. If you could be a flavour of ice cream, what flavour would you be?  Why?    

That is a surreal question – the kind of question that would be asked at an interview to get into Oxford or Cambridge university. Also it is the kind of question that a pseudo-intellectual would revel in because it may make people believe that he is a smartarse.

Me? I refuse to answer it.

Oh, go on then.

I would be vanilla because I have pale skin, light hair and I also like the flavour.

10. What is the hardest thing about being a kid?

Not being an adult. When I was a kid I always wanted to be grown up because I was sick of people telling me what to do “for my own benefit”. Every adult tried to boss me around whether it was my parents or teachers or the old woman down the street who though that she was my boss because she was older than me. 

Since I was a kid I have had a problem with people telling me what to do but now I can simply refuse or at least decide for myself whether their goals meet mine. 

11. Would you rather be tall or short?  Why?    

I am about average height for a male at just under six feet tall and that is pretty good. The answer is therefore tall because you can see more. There is nothing worse, for example, than being at a gig when the tallest person in the building decides that he wants to stand in front of you. I have had some interesting chats with taller people under such circumstances and most will allow me to stand either just in front of them or just to their side. 

Equally, I am always happy to let a shorter person stand in front of me as long as it doesn’t impair my view of the stage.

12. What is the greatest challenge facing people in our world today?    

Global warming. There are people who think that it is a myth and continue to turn our world into a toilet. Personally, I think that it is too late – we are attempting to shut the stable door after the proverbial horse has bolted. 

It doesn’t help that we have world leaders who are complete climate change sceptics. Boris the Clown, for all his faults, at least has the wherewithal to realise what is happening and has set some targets. 

And thank goodness the Orange Goblin is no longer in power. We just need to get rid of people like Bolsonaro in Brazil.

13.What is the scariest experience you’ve ever had?    

I would say climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was my own fault. I am scared of heights and still I did it. I must have switched my brain off. Three hours I had to endure this torture – a torture that I stupidly volunteered for and actually paid money for too. 

What a stupid bloody idiot I was.

I’m glad I did it though – I will never do anything that stupid ever again.

14. Write a poem about music.    

Not another poem please! Oh go on then!

A song from many years ago, with lyrics built to last,

Can conjure up old memories from the dim and distant past.

A melody’s a mind machine that draws things back through time

Remembering a life gone by, a feeling so sublime.

15. Write about a favorite memory of something you did with your best friend.

My best friend is Mrs PM and all my memories with her are brilliant ones. She shares my passion for travelling so the best memories involve visits to weird and wonderful countries, such as Japan and Vietnam amongst many others. The best ones are always in Hong Kong because that’s where we got together.


Elephant's Child said...

Smiling. I quite like writing poetry some days (of the non rhyming kind).
I have been both short and tall (for a woman). I prefer being tall. I grew eight inches the year I turned fifteen and another two the year after.
And I am a chronically early bird. For everything. As witness it is just after four a.m as I type this comment.

Bev Sykes said...

I want to t ravel with you whenever I go to a foreign country! (Can you also ask how to find the bathroom?)

I get scared just THINKING aobut climbing the bridge!

You're a much better poet than I am!!

Pandora Behr said...

Happy birthday for the other day, PM.
Well done on the poems.
Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge wasn't that scary (but I'm not scared of heights)
I can order a beer in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Indonesian, Greek, American, Australian, Thai and Hindi, at a push.

Me, Myself, and I said...

Isn't it great having a spouse who is also your best friend? Hubs is mine. Your poems are good, I think you put much more effort in than I did, lol.

Kwizgiver said...

Happy belated birthday!

Your poetry is great.

CountryDew said...

You did a good job with the poems. I was surprised by those questions as well!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

I tend only to write funny rhyming poems - usually for birthdays or when people are leaving the company.

It's not something that really floats my boat, if I'm honest.

I too am an early bird - 4am is a little TOO early for me.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

I can find the bathroom with the aid of a phrase book. I can say it in French, Spanish and German but that's it.

If you are in those countries and I am too, I will help you out.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Climbing the bridge was scary for me - Mrs PM was fine and doesn't understand why I freaked out (behind my "Yes, I'm fine!" mask).

You've plugged a couple of the language gaps - I've been to Thailand but never ordered a beer in anything but English. I have a mate who speaks fluent Hindi - I'll have to learn that one.

Thanks for the birthday wishes.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Me, Myself and I,

It is good when your other half is your best mate.

Thanks for the kind words about the poems - I didn't spend that much time on them if I'm honest.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

Thanks for the birthday wishes and the kind words about the poetry.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

Thanks for the kind words about the poems. I still don't fully get poetry.