Saturday 11 December 2021


Welcome to a cold and wet South Manchester. Christmas is drawing ever nearer but, sadly, so are the short days. 

Our resident clown has surpassed himself this week and the good news is that his popularity is dropping like a stone.

First of all, last year we were all locked down for Christmas having a miserable time but it has since been revealed that there were several unlawful parties for various government departments, including one at Number 10 Downing Street itself. Somebody leaked this and Boris the hybrid clown scarecrow mutant creature denied it. And then a video was released that proved the party had taken place. 

It was one rule for the government and one rule for the rest of us and, as you can imagine, the people are livid.

What did our incompetent clown do? He still says that a party didn’t take place and that all rules were followed. How can that be?

Basically he is a liar. 

And then he announced that more restrictions would be imposed because of Omicron. We now have to wear masks in cinemas and theatres and you need to show proof of vaccination to enter places like night clubs.

Having been found out for being a total hypocrite last year when his people partied through the night while we were sitting in our homes locked down unable to see our loved ones, he now announces more restrictions – thinking that it will make us feel better and distract us from the lies.

I am loving watching him squirm and there are a few people calling for his resignation. Even members of his own party are starting to rise up and criticise him.

His resignation would be a great Christmas present.

Anyway, I don’t really like discussing politics as it is too divisive so I shall dive into some silly questions from Sunday Stealing

1. Have you ever been caught outdoors away from shelter during a thunderstorm?

I mentioned this before on this blog. I will reproduce it here for your enjoyment:

I was in Trinidad and staying at a hotel on the outskirts of Port of Spain. It was a Saturday afternoon and I was bored. I decided to go for a walk around a park. Dressed in a T-shirt, shorts and trainers, I started wondering around. In the distance I saw a huge black cloud approaching over the hills and figured that if I started heading back I would avoid the storm. Sadly, I was about two miles away from the hotel and I realized with horror that the cloud was part of a massive fast-moving thunderstorm. The rain came within about five minutes and with the thunder and lightning it looked like the end of the world was suddenly upon us. I stood sheltering under tree with a young Trinidadian lad and seriously contemplated allowing Jesus to enter my life. 

The rain was so heavy that all of the crap from the tree simply fell onto us. The young lad apologized to me because he thought that my day was being ruined by this bizarre apocalyptic storm. I told him that I was here with work so it didn’t matter. In the end, I sheltered under that tree for about 20 minutes and the rain continued and, if anything, started to get worse. I worked out that I was about Twenty minutes away from the hotel so I shook hands with the young lad, wished him luck and made the sacrifice of trying to get back to the hotel. He watched me as if I were a soldier embarking upon a suicide mission into no-man’s land.

The rain was probably the most intense I have ever been in. The temperature was still very warm, as you can imagine in the Caribbean, and my glasses let me down. Within minutes they were drenched and steaming up making it almost impossible to see. I felt like I was walking under Niagara Falls. 

Eventually I reached the hotel and walked into reception looking like a drowned rat. I walked up to the desk to ask for my key and the two female receptionists stared at me as if I were an alien that had just walked off a spaceship. 

“Can I have my key please?” I asked politely. 

They were struggling not to laugh as they handed over my key. 

“Oh by the way – it’s raining our there!” I said.

That was the catalyst. The two women howled with laughter, one of them gripping the reception desk so that she didn’t fall over. 

The other said “It’s not funny. I’m so sorry for laughing,” as she continued to roar with laughter.

I just smiled as the two women guffawed for Trinidad. 

When I got back to my room, it took me 10 minutes to peel my sodden T-shirt off my back and my trainers were so full of water that I had to empty them into the toilet. 

I looked at my face in the mirror and I was covered in dirt from the tree – I looked like I had had a swim in a swamp. No wonder the women were laughing at me.

I enjoyed that incident despite the trauma of the apocalyptic storm. I can still picture the laughter of the two wonderful receptionists, who were still struggling not to laugh when they apologised to me later in the day.

2. Did you ever build furniture forts as a child?

Yes. I lived near to a building site where they had demolished some old houses ready to build some brand new ones. There were lots of doors piled up from the demolished houses so we used to use them to build what we called “dens” rather than forts. Nevertheless we kind of used them as forts as we split into two groups and tried to conquer the other group.

3. Do you use any medicines daily? 

Not at all. I’ve had the odd prescription in my life but my only medicine at the moment is normal food.

4. When was the last time you used a disposable camera?

I think that would be at a wedding I went to quite a few years ago. Each table had about three disposable cameras with instructions on them to “take as many photos as you can”. I think it was a great idea and I can imagine there were some amazing photos of the guests and happy couple.

5. When was the last time you flew on a plane?

Oh dear – that is a depressing question. It was back in September 2019 when we were returning from the lovely Greek island of Kefalonia. I am determined to go abroad in 2022.

6. How many first cousins do you have?

I only have three first cousins, all of whom still live in Walsall, the town of my birth.

7. What’s the longest period of time you’ve gone without sleep?

The nature of my job means that I have, in the past, had to work overnight in some far off places, meaning that I have a combination of jet-lag and night-shift blues. I think my record, way back in the mid-2000s is about 30 hours. 

That was a one off, and I volunteered to do it to sort things out. I have never done it since – nor would I.

8. Did the house you grew up in have a big yard?

The house I lived in from the age of about 9 until 19 had a long back garden that my dad turned into a huge vegetable patch. He grew so many different vegetables that he had to give them away to friends. 

9. What has been the most difficult class you’ve ever taken?

I think that honour goes to a pure maths course at university called “Rings and Modules”. My degree is in computer science and statistics and I was really keen to ditch all maths modules. Sadly I couldn’t and, because I was very good at maths, I was thrust into two courses that were quite hard. “Rings and Modules” made no sense to me, even when I was revising it for the exam. In the end, I managed to somehow scrape a pass – but it was so hard.

10. What’s something that’s much more difficult than a lot of people realise?

I would say creative writing. Some people have told me that “writing is easy” and writing a novel would be something that they could easily do. However, I disagree and having read some written work by these people, I think that they have discovered the hard way.

11. What are some things a house would need to have for you to purchase it?

That depends where I am living. In the UK I am quite happy with the house I have at the moment. It has three bedrooms, a lounge and reception room, kitchen, bathroom and garden. If I won the lottery I would want something bigger with more rooms available for specific things, like a games room, an office room and perhaps an extra bedroom. However, deep down, I know that I wouldn’t need that so I am quite happy to stay exactly where I am.

12. Would you ever go out in public wearing pyjamas?

No. I have answered the door in pyjamas but with a dressing gown on.

13. Have you ever had a lemonade stand?

No. We don’t do that in the UK.

14. Do you think you look older or younger than your real age?

I definitely look younger. Here is a recent photo so judge for yourself. I am 59 years old by the way.

15. Where have you lived throughout your life?

I sent the first nineteen years of my life in Walsall, followed by three years in Liverpool. I then moved to Manchester for a year and then the small town of Altrincham (about nine miles south of Manchester) for about fourteen years. I then moved back to Manchester and have lived here ever since.


Elephant's Child said...

You do indeed look young for your age.
Love your caught in the storm story, and am glad that you were not offended at being laughed at. I would definitely have thought worse of you if you were.
Our Prime Minister is also a world class fibber. Which I hope more people are realising (we have an election coming up).

Bev Sykes said...

Loved your Trinidad story!

And I agree completely with your creative writing. I am a good writer, but can't write fiction to save my soul.

River said...

The trouble with so many questions is I have to write down my answers, then try to remember what the question was.
1- yes and got as soaked as you did, but thankfully no tree fell on me.
2-yes, sheets thrown over tables mostly. My kids hung sheets from the top bunk and had a fort in the bottom bunk.
3- blood pressure pills, pills for cholesterol and pills for the heartburn I get from the blood pressure pills.
4- 1998 at my daughter's wedding. There were disposable cameras at my grandsons wedding, but I took my own instead and used that.
5- 2013, when I flew to WA and back again with a week in between flights, visiting my brother and his wife.
6-zero first cousins for myself, close to twenty first cousins for each of my children.
8- yes, we had big back yards in all our homes, with the section nearest the house being lawn with a rotary washing line, and the back half of the yard fenced off and planted with vegetables. Front yards were lawn surrounded by flower beds.
11- a linen closet!! an extra bedroom, and a decent amount of yard space. My current tiny one bedroom flat has no storage at all apart from the few kitchen cupboards, I've had to buy chests of drawers to store sheets and towels, so of course they take up valuable space and I am sick to death of constantly manouvering around furniture. But I have nowhere else to go.

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed your story about the storm in Trinidad!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

People laugh at me all the time - in fact I laugh at myself. You should always see the funny side of things. It makes life so much happier.

Well I think most politicians are liars - but some are far worse than others.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

It's difficult isn't it? I find non-fiction easier too.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Bunk beds would have been great for a fort. My sisters used to have one but I was banned for abusing their beloved bunk bed.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi "unknown",

Yes -t was quite funny looking back on it - not pleasant though.




Donna. W said...

We got rid of our village idiot in the white house, but don't be surprised if he shows up again. All the people who voted for him before still idolize him.

Me, Myself, and I said...

The maths course sounds confounding.

Lori said...

You do look younger than your age.
The same thing is going on here with government rules vs. our rules. It is ridiculous. Loved your answers! Have a nice day.

Kwizgiver said...

Your rain story is quite funny.

I have a large family compared to you. Our reunions are a hoot!

CountryDew said...

You have a good sense of humor, and that's a fine attribute. Creative writing is hard, you are correct. But most people can write a sentence or two, or a letter, so they think they can then write a book. It doesn't work that way. I know a few bits of HTML but that doesn't make me a coder. Or a smart computer person. Whatever you call it.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Me, myself and I,

And I am good at maths too. I should revisit it maybe - no - that would be stupid!




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lori,

I think it's probably the same everywhere - ours got caught though (or somebody spilled the beans).




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

Ours are good too - just smaller.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

Yes - I totally agree about writing.

And IT is also very difficult too - I'm quite good at it but that's because of years of experience. When I retire I will ditch it and forget fairly quickly I think.