Saturday 26 February 2022

Luna Nina


Greetings from a sunny South Manchester on the last weekend in February. I like this time of year because the weather starts to improve and the coldest and darkest months of the year are behind us. The days are getting longer and the weather is improving.

Let’s be positive and dive in with some silliness from Sunday Stealing  shall we?

I say,......and you think...

(1) Casino


When it comes to gambling, I am very cautious, whether I am going to a horse race meeting or a casino. I thoroughly enjoy both but I am very sensible when it comes to parting with my money. For example, if I go to a horse race meeting, I decide to put the same small amount on each of the races even if I win a lot of money on one of them. That way, I know I will spend a certain amount but may actually end up spending less or actually winning some money. I approach casinos in the same way but I prefer to watch others blow their money on roulette, black jack etc.

As a mathematically minded person, I know that in all gambling the odds are stacked against you, so if you win and continue, you will end up losing ultimately.

That said, I had a great time in Las Vegas when I was there and watched a lot of people throw away a lot of money. Mrs PM approaches life the same way and she actually left Las Vegas with a profit – I didn’t but I still had fun and only lost a small amount that I had budgeted for.

(2) Bone


As a child we had a scruffy old mutt called Paddy. He was a lovely, friendly little pooch and whenever my mum when to the butcher, she would get a bone for him. He used to love them and would spend ages chewing it.

(3) Painting

Bob Ross

Okay – that is two words but I don’t care. I was recently watching TV and “The Joy of Painting” appeared and I just kind of got sucked into it. Bob spoke really softly and basically spent half an hour painting a natural seaside scene with mountains, waves crashing over rocks and a sunset vista. His voice and his skill really relaxed me and I watched the entire show. In fact, it is still on sometimes and I watch it if I can. I am not a great lover of art but his presentation and talent was very enjoyable.

(4) Shocked


I don’t want to dwell on this but what Vladimir Putin is doing at the moment is absolutely terrible and unforgiveable. I am shocked that in this day and age we have a dictator waging war in Eastern Europe. It is really frightening and I wonder where it is all going to end.

(5) Quieter


As I get older, I want a quieter life. Don’t get me wrong, I still like to go out and about, but these days I favour quieter pursuits. For example, rather than going to a noisy pub, I prefer to sit in a quieter one where I can chat. Of course, there are exceptions, such as going to rock concerts, which are noisy. But even then, these days I wear ear defenders. In fact, I am off to see an American rock band called Halestorm tomorrow night – that won’t be quiet.

(6) Feed


Our two cats Ziggy and Star(dust) go through cycles during the day and we always know when it is time to feed them. After food, they run around like lunatics and spend a lot of time expending there energy inside and outside the house, sometimes turning our quiet little abode into a racing track as they gallop from the garden thought the house, up the stairs, around the rooms and back again. It’s fun to watch. After the lunatic period, they settle down for a long nap and then become really friendly, sitting on our laps, lying on my keyboard as I work (Star managed to send a half finished email to my boss last week – he though I had gone mad). This friendly period is basically saying “TIME TO FEED US!”. So we do and the cycle repeats.

(7) Song


My current favourite band is Polish progressive rock band Riverside and there just happens to be a song by them on my computer as I type. It’s called Feel Like Falling and here it is:

(8) Glass


There is nothing like a cool glass of beer on A Friday night after a long week at work.

(9) Boat

Boaty McBoatface

This is why I love the UK. When the nation was asked to name a boat a few years ago, the organisers were presumably looking for a sensible name like “The Queen”. Instead, they got the name “Boaty McBoatface”. Somebody suggested it and the rest of the country loving a good joke and a silly name voted for “Boaty McBoatface” in their droves and it won by a huge margin. Of course, the organisers ignored it and went for a reasonable (and boring) name. But it just shows what a fun-loving nation we are and how silly we can be.

(10) Junk


Mrs PM says that I am a hoarder and that I hold on to a lot of what she considers “junk”. The truth is that I am not a hoarder at all; she just hates holding onto things that, in her eyes, are “over”. This includes music, books as well as certain keepsakes. Over the 20 or so years we have been together we have reached an understanding and my possessions and things I want to keep are still here. She always asks me before she decides to get rid of “junk” and in return I try to have a clearout occasionally.

(11) Sheet


Not sure what else you can think of other than paper.

(12) Knit


What a strange word to associate with “knit”, I hear you cry. Why? Because during the lockdown, Mrs PM took up knitting and the second thing she created was an octopus. Here it is:

Not bad, eh?
(13) Gift
I still have three gift vouchers that I need to spend from Christmas.
(14) Small
I would like to win a small fortune so that I could retire. I have already taken steps and from April, I am reducing my days from five to four, having Fridays off. It would be nice just to stop now.
(15) Title
There are some amazing song titles out there and I have a fair few in my own collection of music. Here are some of the weirder ones:
Alice Cooper – I’ll Bite Your Face Off
David Bowie – ‘tis a Pity She Was a Whore
Deep Purple – Weirdistan
Faith No More – Woodpecker from Mars
Gillan – I’ll Rip Out Your Spine
Ginger Wildheart – Can’t Drink You Pretty
Joe Satriani – Luminous Flesh Giants
Judas Priest – Eat Me Alive
Mute Gods – Tardigrades Will Inherit the Earth
Porcupine Tree – Last Chance to Evacuate Earth Before it is Recycled
Riverside – Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened by a Hat?)

Saturday 12 February 2022

New York Times


Welcome to an overcast South Manchester where the weather is typical of what you would expect to see on television when winter in the UK is depicted. There is rain in the air, light and dark grey clouds obscuring the blue sky and sunshine and the temperature is a mild 7 degrees Celsius, good for a walk but ultimately slightly depressing, as winter is here in the UK. 

January is over and we are approaching the middle of February which means that spring is around the corner, a time of year that makes me feel much better.

Sorry for the stereotypical British opener (apparently all British people like to talk about is the weather); let’s answer some silly questions.

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

I think I would choose Billy Connolly simply because I know that he would be “wind-swept and interesting” and would make me laugh throughout the whole meal.

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

I wouldn’t like to be famous at all. I am a little introverted and being thrust into the limelight for whatever reason would be a little overwhelming for me. I don’t mind short episodes of extroversion (I guess you might call me an ambivert) and they can be quite enjoyable. However, deep down I think the introvert within is the strongest part of me and living in the public eye is just too much. 

I often feel for famous people who can’t even pop into a coffee shop without being recognised. 

I guess if I were famous it would be like the artist Banksy whose identity is not really known (although some people probably do know who he is). 

Maybe a writer who hides behind a pseudonym.

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

It depends on the phone call. If it is an official one, I prefer to know the points I intend to cover and rehearsing is a good way to avoid forgetting something important.

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

I guess it would be on a trip abroad with Mrs PM, starting with a nice breakfast followed by a leisurely walk, preferably along a sun-kissed promenade next to the sea on a day with a gentle but cooling breeze. After the walk and a little rest, I would enjoy a leisurely lunch and then do some exploration in the afternoon, before relaxing by a pool with a good book and/or some music and finally going for a drink or two and enjoying a lovely dinner before retiring for the night. 

That will finally happen in 2022, I promise you. 

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

I sing to myself all the time – in fact I have been doing so while writing this very blog post (a song by progressive metal band Opeth in case you are interested). My voice is terrible so I would never inflict it upon anybody – with the exception of Mrs PM who sometimes has to endure this (sung by me in a very silly way):

She can speak French and so it seems weird when I sing:

J'en perds la raison dans la mer du Japon

which means 

I’m losing my mind in the sea of Japan

She thinks I am mad but it makes her laugh.

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

I think the answer to that question is “both”. My mind was sharp when I was 30 and I was probably the fittest I had ever been, playing 5-a-side football and swimming on a regular basis.

It would be incredible to have that for 60 years.

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

I plan to live forever.

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

We are both total geeks, although our geekiness doesn’t match exactly. We both love science fiction shows and movies, both work in similar jobs and chat about technology sometimes.

We both like to travel and have been on holiday to some amazing places together. 

We have a similar sense of humour and enjoy the same forms of comedy.

There are many more but those are the first ones that appeared in my head.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

I’m generally quite content to be where I am in life right now, so I am grateful for everything that has lead up to this moment.

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

I think the only thing would be to have had more money. My parents were from a working class background and worked hard to give us what we needed. But sometimes times were hard, particularly in 1970’s Britain, and we had to do without some things that other kids had. It is a minor thing really because ultimately I haven’t done badly.

11. Describe your life in one paragraph.

I am a working man who is approaching the end of his career and will soon be searching for new hobbies. At the moment I am thinking about where I am going to travel next, as the pandemic starts to wane and looking forward to where my life takes me next on this adventure.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

I would like to suddenly be able to play an electric guitar. That would be amazing.

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

Absolutely nothing. I hate spoilers.

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

Lack of finances. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely fine when it comes to money but I have this weird idea that one day I can travel around the world writing about my experiences. Such an endeavour would cost a lot of money. But when that lottery win comes in …

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

That’s not an easy question to answer. I have travelled to many countries both with work and pleasure and experienced many different cultures and had a lot of fun doing so. I have also brought two sons into this world and both are doing well. It’s not been too bad so far.