Saturday 4 December 2021

Even More Penpals

Greetings from a rainy and miserable day here in South Manchester. December is upon us and with it all of the horrible weather that comes with it. The days are getting shorter and colder but at least we are approaching Christmas, a time of year that helps to haul me from the doldrums that winter usually inflicts upon me at this time of year. I only have nine more days at work before I can take a couple of weeks off. That too will raise my spirits.

Enough of those winter blues – shall we answer some silly questions from Sunday Stealing

1. What are your plans for December

As I said above, I have two more weeks of work, give or take a day or two, before I take a couple of weeks off. There are no official Christmas parties this year again but unlike last year, the annual work pub crawl will be taking place. Also, I will be out and about a few times with friends and pending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Blackpool with Mrs PM’s parents. I will see my two lads in between Christmas and New Year. I just need to get some Christmas Shopping done – something I don’t really like doing but has to be done. I also imagine that I will be overindulging on food and drink and putting on weight as a result. Finally, I will start to plan what I want to achieve in 2022 – that will be fun as I have big plans.

2. How do you celebrate your wins/success

I usually celebrate with a beer if I can. I’m not really a fan of wild celebrations these days because, as I get older, I prefer things to be more low-key. I still have fun though.

3. Are holiday movies only for the holiday season

Yes – definitely. Call me Scrooge McMancunian if you want but I am not really a fan of Christmas films. There are obviously a couple of exceptions like Die Hard and I quite like Bill Murray in Scrooged (until the gushy ending that is) and It’s a Wonderful Life but mostly I don’t watch them.

4. What would you consider a waste of money

I consider anything that is a normal item but has a colossally ridiculous price because it is a “brand” a complete waste of money. On our last trip to London this year, I took Mrs PM to Harrods because she had never been there and we walked around the shop gaping at the crazy prices of normal everyday objects. A lot of the goods on offer didn’t have any price tags on them – you had to ask. And to be honest I didn’t want to ask. Some things “on offer” were ridiculous. 

I know some people who splash out large sums of money for things like handbags. I’ve just asked Mr Google about overpriced items and it has come back with some that are just crazy:

£645 for Gucci trainers.

£1890 for a Gucci handbag.

£14,900 for a Hermès handbag.

£15,500 for a Pierpaolo Piccioli gown

And there are zillions more examples.

5. What do you like to eat for breakfast

It depends on the day. Monday to Friday I have fruit for breakfast, usually a banana, an apple and either a coupe of plums or a nectarine or peach. At the weekend, I usually have bacon and eggs with toast and it I am feeling like pushing the boat out a little, I have sausage too.

6. How do you feel about poetry

Bizarrely I just wrote a terrible poem as part of my daily freewriting routine and, no, I am not going to share it with you. I wrote a blog post about poetry once and in that post, I kind of half-criticised poetry, which is perhaps unfair. I love song lyrics and they are a form of poetry but I hate pseudo-intellectual poems that are meaningless. I love funny poems though. I will reproduce a couple of poems from that post that I actually wrote.

The first was for a birthday card for an old friend of mine who had turned 50:

A new decade's upon you; it's your 50th today.

The little hair that you have left will soon be turning grey.

You still play squash and cycle, to cling onto your youth.

But soon your muscles will give way, along with every tooth.

And when your gums are toothless (and chewing is a chore)

The only food you'll manage will be sucked up through a straw.

You take your lady dancing (Mimi is her name)

But believe me, waltzing's tricky when you use a zimmer frame.

Your pension is approaching more quickly than you think.

But forget that for the moment - we'll buy you lots of drink

To wish you HAPPY BIRTHDAY and, if I may be so bold,

To make sure you remember, Bill, that you are VERY OLD.

The next one is a pseudo intellectual piece of crap called The Loquacious Figment:

I contemplated the torso of a despondent galactic masterpiece

And my heart thanked my voracious sight.

I hastened my swiftness, disoriented by my awareness

Yet somehow did not submit to fright.

The final piece of crap is another pseudo-intellectual’s dream called The Enigmatic Equation:

The imperceptible formula, cloaked in derangement,

Struggles to reveal its worth.

Yet the analyst blindly persists in frustration

Anticipating its Caesarian birth 

I hope you agree that they are absolute garbage.

7. Are you shy

Yes. I am shy. You wouldn’t think so if you were to meet me because I am in a constant war with inner shyness and these days I take it on charging in like a man possessed. What you would experience from me would be a smiling, happy and inquisitive chap who will ask you lots of questions about how you are, trying his best to keep the conversation flowing. Underneath that façade is a man who is in constant fear of asking the wrong question, worried about offending you and nervous about what you will ultimately think of him.

It is a constant battle dear reader – but at least on the outside I am winning.

8. Do you take time to reflect on your goals

Yes – usually at this time of year. I will, as usual, write a summary of 2021 in a couple of weeks and you will see what I wanted to achieve this year – whether I failed or not. I do okay though.

9. Something you are curious to know more about

I am naturally a curious person (in both senses of the word) and I want to know more about anything that I am not an expert in. To be fair, I am not an expert in a lot of things, which makes me keen to learn about a lot of things. If something grabs my interest, I will pursue it in order to find out more.

10. Something that makes you feel fancy

I guess wearing a penguin suit – like this one take in 2010.

11. How you’re still handling the pandemic

In the UK we are largely restriction free although with the arrival of Omicron we now have to wear masks on public transport and in shops. I am enjoying the relative freedom compared to this time last year when we were fully locked down. Also, I have had three Covid-19 jabs (Pfizer) so the hypochondriac within me is asleep for now. 

I am missing travelling though and we have started making tentative plans for 2022. I just hope that Omicron doesn’t spoil the party.

12. A close friend you’ve never met in person

I have met all my close friends. I have encountered many people online via the blog and various places I frequent – I would be quite happy to meet them in person, subject to the limitations of my answer in question 7 of course. 

13. Do you get in on trends early or later

Usually later because I think some trends fizzle out. This is particularly true of electronic devices. I am a huge technophile but you will never find me queuing for the latest devices. I prefer to let them bed in and become established because I know that sometimes the first versions are poor and you have to wait for all the wrinkles to be ironed out.

14. What is something you do on a regular basis

I go for a walk every day if I can, I write jibberish in my freewriting journal, I try to learn a little Spanish every day and I try to learn something new every day.

15. Do you enjoy spending time with family

Yes. In fact I am going to the city centre to go for a meal with my eldest lad and his girlfriend. I don’t see my youngest son that often but I will be seeing them both over the Christmas period.


Elephant's Child said...

Big plans for next year?
I hope we will hear about them in the fullness of time.
Enjoy as much as you can of the festive season.
I am also shy and can, mostly, conceal it.

Bev Sykes said...

We are similar in our shyness...except I think you are able to overcome it better than I am.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

I will probably spill the beans in time.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

I just ask myself "what's the worst that can happen"? And the answer is nothing to worry about.




Lori said...

I hope you enjoy your time off; I am looking forward to my time off too. I cannot wait to hear about your upcoming plans. Loved your answers! Have a nice day!

Kwizgiver said...

Very dapper photo in your penguin suit! :)

Lisa said...

I liked your birthday poetry!! I actually googled "is a zimmer frame the same thing as a walker" . . . and yes, it is. We call those things "walkers" and my mother-in-law who is 96 has to use one. Have fun with your sons!

CountryDew said...

I think the beauty of poetry is always in the eye of the reader. I've read good and written bad, and the other way around. And there was something I wanted to say about 15 but it has completely escaped me. Short term memory issues, I guess.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lori,

Yes - really looking forward to it. I hope you enjoy yours.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

It was ten years ago - it still fits though.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lisa,

I think I've heard the term "walker" but we sometimes abbreviate it to "frame".




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

I agree about poetry - it can be very good and very powerful. I prefer it to be funny though.