Saturday 11 June 2022

Unconscious Mutterings


Welcome to South Manchester on a cloudy, windy but warm day. Today we are on the edge of a tropical storm that has headed north after presumably causing havoc somewhere else. Thankfully it missed the UK and the only side-effect as it dissipates are some fairly strong winds. There will be no rain today which is a bonus.

Shall we dive into some Sunday Stealing chicanery?

I say ... and you think ... ?

Hurry! ::

Fifteen years ago I would be the one saying “Hurry” if I’m honest because I hate being late for anything. These days I still hate being late but I have slowed down to a more leisurely pace of life. It’s not just about getting old; it’s about trying to enjoy life. 

When somebody tells me to hurry up, I will judge the situation and decide whether it is worth it or not. I am definitely less likely to comply these days – or ask somebody to hurry up.

Dumb ::

There are so many dumb people in the world that I despair – I really do. In days gone by I have ranted mercilessly at the stupidity of some people who say and do stupid things without thinking about the consequences. 

By the way I am not talking about people who simply don’t understand difficult things. I have a lot of patience when dealing with people through work who aren’t technical and struggle to understand the concepts of the work I do. I usually tell these people that there is no such thing as a stupid question. 

I would be in a similar situation if somebody was trying to teach me about quantum physics; I wouldn’t have a bloody clue.

But what I am talking about are people who think that the Earth is flat, or people who still think there is no need for gun control after yet another mass killing in an American school.

Fudge ::

I love fudge. Yum! That’s all I need to say.

Sturdy ::

I have a sturdy house made of brick – and thank goodness I do on a windy day like today.

Printing ::

I used to do a lot of printing at work; documents, program listings and all manner of tree-destroying nonsense. These days in the office I rarely print anything. Everything is electronic – even signing documents. I have a printer at home and I only need that now for printing and signing important personal stuff – and that is rare. 

Even concert tickets don’t need to be printed any more. Mrs PM and I are going to see the new Jurassic World movie this afternoon and my tickets are on my phone – which is great. We can even check in for flights now without the need to print out things.

It’s a good thing and is yet another small step for combatting climate change.

Itch ::

June is hay fever season for me and thankfully it is improving year after year so these days I don’t have to take any medication for it. When I was younger, this allergy used to make me itch in places that I thought it was impossible to itch. My eyes were red raw and itched so much I felt like plucking them out. And my nose – how can the inside of your nose itch so much? 

I was a mess; streaming eyes, snot running from my nose like a waterfall, constant sneezing (once so much that my nose started to bleed) and a constant terrible itch up each nostril and around my eyes.

Thank goodness that this has largely disappeared now – one of the benefits of getting older. 

I still itch occasionally but it is well within my tolerance levels.

Creaks ::

My knees creak sometimes. I never expected that to happen. I walk a lot (an average of about 8000 steps a day) and sometimes I hear and feel creaks. No pain yet (thankfully) but I guess this is one of the bad things about getting old.

Paste ::

The word “paste” goes along with the word "cut". I write documents and move things around by cutting them and then pasting them somewhere else. 

I haven’t used real paste for decades – and that was to put up wallpaper – a really horrible chore. I pay somebody to do it now in about 5% of the time it takes me (and they do a much better job).

Waste of time ::

Listening to any words spoken by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the clown prince of scarecrows. Every word that he utters is a lie and total bullshit. I’ve heard him speak and I won’t get any of that time back.

Let down ::

I try not to let people down; as a rule I hate doing so and even when I have to I feel terribly guilty and try my best to make it up to them.

Cancellation ::

There have been a lot of people in the UK suffering from flight cancellations and as a result have had their entire holidays ruined. 

Next weekend we are jetting off to Spain – my first foreign trip for over two and a half years. If anything gets cancelled I will be livid. I am praying that I can get there. No doubt you will find out soon enough because if my flights are cancelled there will be a very irate ranting blog post about it.

Suspect ::

I suspect that Boris Johnson has never told the truth.I may be wrong about that actually because when asked his name he usually gets that right – or does he? His real full name is Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – I mean – come on – de Pfeffel? 

Fireplace ::

I have had to buy a fireguard in order to stop Star(dust), the smaller of our two cats, from climbing up the chimney. In winter, she sat watching the fire with a puzzled look on her face and then actually tried to swipe the flames with her paw. She can’t do that now. Ziggy, the other cat, has more sense and has never been as daft as Star(dust).

Spring ::

Spring is almost over in the UK and summer starts very soon. Officially this is in ten days but the weather is pretty good at the moment – warm and pleasant (with the odd bit of rain). July and August are usually the hottest months in rainy old Manchester.

Commute ::

I’ve been working from home during the pandemic with the odd trip to the office but starting next week we have been told that we have to go back into the office for two days a week. I actually achieve more when I am working from home because I get fewer interruptions and I can pick and choose who I talk to. 

I like the guys I work with and it will be good to see more of them but my work rate will go down – that’s for sure.

Places ::

I am going abroad at least three times this year (hopefully). The first place is Estepona in the south of Spain – I’ve never been there before. In July we are going to Brussels and Bruges in Belgium. I have only ever been through Belgium on a train and I am looking forward to sampling some of that wonderful Belgian beer and also Belgian chocolate. Finally in September we are going to Zante in Greece. There may also be a university reunion in Amsterdam too – that needs to be arranged depending on when my mate can get across from America.

Fraud ::

I am so wary of fraud and it pays to be totally paranoid. We are constantly getting warnings about this at work, and a lot of it is common sense. Be very careful and trust nobody – you will probably not suffer from fraud if you take that approach.

Adoption ::

I don’t know anybody who is adopted – apart from my two cats.

Election ::

Somehow Boris the Clown is still in power despite lying about breaking the law during lockdown (if you don’t know about this look up Partygate to get all of the gory details). I wish there was an election right now because maybe then we can finally get rid of this Worzel Gummidge lookalike.

Moving day ::

I don’t ever plan to move house again. Of course, circumstances might change, for example if I were to win the lottery and buy a huge house somewhere, but I am happy to stay where I am and not have to go through the pain of moving house.

Saturday 4 June 2022

Peculiarly Platinum


The UK is a peculiar place at the best of times but this weekend it is crazier than ever. 

In the past we have stupidly voted ourselves out of the EU and also elected a clown/scarecrow hybrid as our Prime Minister but at the moment, we are spending a hell of a lot of money to celebrate the fact that a 96 year old woman has reigned over us for 70 years. 

We have been given two extra days off to go mad – and some people have been doing just that.

Yes, it’s that time again in the UK where we can forget the fallout from the pandemic, the cost of living crisis that is making a lot of people struggle and insteead we can spend tons of money on a four day party to celebrate the 70th anniversary of a woman called Elizabeth Windsor ascending to the throne. 

Some people in the UK go absolutely bananas about royal festivals such as this and we’ve had our fair share of them over the past few years, with her golden and diamond jubilees and a couple of royal weddings thrown in for good measure.

Watching television at this time is absolutely dreadful. We become so jingoistic that I struggle to believe it. Every street has a Union Jack flapping in the wind and some pubs are covered in bunting to remind us all that we are British and eccentric.

So far I have largely managed to avoid the excessive coverage of the events, some of which Elizabeth cannot attend because, at the age of 96, she is feeling her age. She was out and about on Thursday for the ceremonial nonsense that she has to endure but she felt “uncomfortable” so she is missing the remaining events and her eldest son, the next king, will be attending as her representative. His name is Charles Windsor and he is an odd fellow but people seem to like him.

Now you are probably reading this and thinking that I don’t like the royal family. You would be wrong; I simply don’t care about them and if it were up to me I would just pay them off and let them live in peace and quiet somewhere, allowing them to escape the constant attention of the press under the proviso that I never have to hear about any of them ever again.

I know people who love them (they are called “royalists”) and these people become over-excited whenever a royal event like this happens. These are the people who dress up in Union Jack clothes, gush about the family saying things like “Oh aren’t they just WONDERFUL”. 

Such people queue up for days on the Mall in London just to catch a glimpse of Elizabeth and her family. If you ever see one of them being interviewed on TV, it is quite funny – and sad – to see them fawning in a sycophantic way that makes me want to throw up in a bucket. These people line up for days outside hospital waiting for a royal birth and then gush about the event as if the child were related to them.

Elizabeth is arguably the most famous person in the world and probably one of the richest. My feelings for her are the same feelings I have for any other 96 year old woman. She has done really well to still be compos mentis and mobile at her advanced age, and she has been on the throne for so long that I have never known another monarch. I guess that will change soon and we will see another bout of madness as royalists mourn her loss. 

I don’t wish her ill but I have to say I just don’t get it. I don’t understand why people seem to worship Elizabeth and her family. Some fellow Brits reading this might agree with me but I reckon that royalists will pour scorn on my words, even though I have not actually said anything bad. Why I should feel subservient to a woman who is where she is because of what she born is beyond me. I have no desire to ever meet her or any of here family and if I did I wouldn’t bow or prostrate myself in front of her. I would not call her “Your Majesty” or “Ma’am” and I may even ask her if she minded being called Liz or Betty.

The good thing about this mad weekend is that British people love a party and we have taken advantage of the time off work to meet family and friends and raise a glass to ourselves, rather than the monarch. Also, our lying clown/scarecrow hybrid of a Prime Minister was roundly booed when he arrived at a service yesterday – which shows me that the moron is as unpopular as ever, especially having lied to the British public so consistently over his period in office.

Anyway – there are still two days left of this craziness and it will hopefully be back to normality on Monday morning and we won’t have to listen to lots of old twaddle from royalists – well maybe we’ll still have to endure some of it I guess – it never really goes away. 

Anyway – for those of you who haven’t seen anything, here is a taste of the madness that has engulfed my country over the past day or two.