Saturday 27 August 2022

Upstream Life Part Two

Welcome to South Manchester on a warm and sunny afternoon. 

Shall we answer some silly questions from Sunday Stealing?

1. Your favourite sport.

My favourite sport is football, not the game that Americans play that is like rugby with armour, but proper football, known as soccer in America. In the UK we rarely if ever call the game soccer – it is football!

The team I support, Walsall, are languishing in the fourth tier of the English Football League. They are my home town team and I handed my football soul over to them when I was too young to know any different and I have supported them ever since. There have been highs and lows over the decades, mostly lows if I’m honest, and the last two seasons have been a terrible low point. They finished in the lowest league position in my lifetime the season before last but have started this new season a little better. The club has acquired a new investment and there seems to be some money knocking about. Consequently Walsall have made a reasonable start in the early days and I hope that we actually get somewhere this season. 

2. A quote to live by.

“Try to be good. And if you can’t be good – be careful”

3. A city in the US you would like to move to.

The city I would give the dubious honour of accommodating the Plastic Mancunian, should I choose to ever uproot and go across the pond is San Francisco. I have been once and spent a very enjoyable four or five days there on holiday (or on vacation as an American might say). 

I wanted to go there ever since I watched Steve McQueen in Bullitt:

I was a total tourist; I went up the Transamerica Pyramid, ate a meal in Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf, took a trip to Alcatraz, had a ride in a car up and down these amazingly steep hills, had a ride on a cable car, had a trip to Sausolito, visited Golden Gate Park and even managed to find time to do some wine tasting in the Napa Valley.

I would of course have to change my blog name to The Plastic San Franciscan – a bit of a mouthful but I think it works.

4. 3 beautiful little things in your life.

Mrs PM and my two kids, I reckon.

5. What made you laugh today?

Last night I recorded a TV show called “The Last Leg” which is a comedy show that takes an irreverent look at the news, presented by Australian comedian Adam Hills. I watched it this morning and as usual it made me laugh. Here is a taste of it what it is like:

6. A good deed you did today

I’ve haven’t had much of a chance to do a good deed today. I’ve fed the cats though – I guess that’s a good deed.

7. Activities you like to do when you are bored.

If I’m bored, I tend to watch a bit of TV or sit at my laptop and either write jibberish (like this) or watch funny videos on You Tube. I sometimes also play a football game on my PS4.

8. Are you a procrastinator?

I’m less of a procrastinator than I was a few years ago. These days I have various techniques that push me into doing things that I need to do. 

Sadly, it doesn’t always work though.

9. Your thoughts about dying

I plan to live forever.

10. What super power would like to have?

I would like to have the ability to become invisible and I would use that technique to go places where I shouldn’t like to a gig or a football match without a ticket. 

I would also like the ability to teleport. That way I could travel to a foreign land in the blink of an eye and be back home for tea.

I think I’d also like to be able to read minds. I’d be a bit worried about what I may find in there. 

11. Top 3 Netflix series

Stranger Things is absolutely incredible. Mrs PM and I have recently binge watched season 4 and we simply can’t wait for season 5 (which I believe will be the last one sadly).

Squid Game is also brilliant. 

I’m currently watching the Umbrella Academy which is also very good:

12.  Things you want to do before you die

I’d just like to travel to as many countries as I can and also write a novel (even a crap one).

13. Your biggest fears

I’m terrified of heights, which is odd because I never used to be.

In terms of what is happening in the world, I’m a little worried about what is happening and the way we as a world are sleepwalking towards oblivion. 

The UK itself is also sleepwalking into disaster with these two pillocks fighting to be the next Prime Minister. I don’t want either of them.

14. What makes you angry?

Many things – for example the two people I mentioned in the last question.

15. Do you listen to podcasts?

No but I want to start doing that. In fact, I did once consider creating my own; I don’t think that is going to happen though.


Saturday 20 August 2022


Welcome to a cloudy but warm afternoon in South Manchester. The threat of rain is there but hopefully it will stay dry.

I’ve managed to nuke my own laptop, which is quite annoying. I don’t know what happened; I think it was a hardware fault. The good news is that I have retrieved everything I need off it and now I am piggybacking off Mrs PM’s superfast laptop. It is much better than my old one which, to be fair, was slowing down anyway.

Shall we dive in with some silly questions from Sunday Stealing

1.  I am currently obsessed with new music.

I am kind of old school and still buy CD’s because I like to actually own the music I am listening to rather than “borrowing” it from Spotify. I listen to Spotify but the main reason is to look for new CDs to buy. 

Here are two songs that I have particularly liked from recent purchases. The first is Zick Zack by German nutters Rammstein – a song about cosmetic surgery (In case you were wondering):

The second is Shattered Memories by Michał Łapaj, the keyboard player from one of my favourite bands, Riverside.

2.  Today I am happy because I am going out to meet some friends to play Junkyard Golf and have an Indian street food meal.

I’ve never played Junkyard Golf before but it has been recommended. Basically I think it just Crazy Golf but modernised. 

I also love Indian food and there are a lot of new “Street food” places opening up in the city. 

3.  The age I am is 59 and the age I feel is 21.

In my head I am still a stupid 21 year old but my old body sometimes makes me realise that I am not a kid any more. I don’t care; if you are young in your mind that is a positive thing, at least in my humble opinion.    

4.  My favourite place outside the UK is Hong Kong.

I’ve mentioned this a lot before but the city of Hong Kong is an incredible place where east meets west. I have spent well over a year of my life in the city and I intend to revisit the city again, hopefully in a year or two when we head out to Malaysia.

5.  Something I have been procrastinating is writing the novel.

I’ve made several attempts at writing a novel and finally I have a good idea that I can stick with. I won’t tell you what it is about but I think it is a good idea. I am improving since I went part time. I try to attack it on my extra day off but I have found myself doing other things instead. To be fair, I spent about an hour on it yesterday and plan to do so again this week. I am generally winning my war with procrastination these days thanks to turning everything into a habit and shaming myself with habit recording apps when I fail. Turning things into a habit consolidates everything in your head and it is a massive weapon in the war against procrastination.

6.  The last thing (big thing) I purchased was a tablet.

I have bought a Samsung tablet to use when travelling, now that the pandemic is over. It is great for watching movies on flights and entertaining myself on the days when we decide to be lazy on holiday. It has been very useful so far on my trips to Spain and Beligium.

7.  The thing I love most about my home is its location.

I live in a great little suburb of Manchester that has amazing travel links to and around the city and also has a lot of great pubs, restaurants and shops locally. I like the house itself of course but the location makes it really special.

8.  My most prized possession is my house.

Of all the things I own, I can’t think of anything better than the house I live in. 

9.  If I could be one age for the rest of my life, I would want to be 35.

I really enjoyed my life when I was in my mid to late 30’s. I still looked young and I was fit. At the time I was swimming and playing football regularly and I actually felt good within my own body. I still feel good now to be honest but I am aware of the limitations that age is starting to impose upon my creaking old physique. 

10.  My outlook on life is summed up by this song:

11.  If you want to annoy me, start praising the current British government.

There is nothing on this planet that annoys me more than politics and at the moment in the UK we are in the depths of despair. I appreciate that some external factors have contributed to this but in the past twelve years, our government has been to blame for the new depths to which we have sunk. I have to walk away these days rather than talk about it. I have friends who support them but we never ever talk politics. 

12.  I am completely defenceless when it comes to cats.

I love cats and we have had six in our house for the past twenty years. Our original two cats, Jasper and Poppy, were later joined by a cat that adopted us called Spike and then one we adopted called Liquorice who was a psychopath. Even though Liquorice turned our house upside down when she arrived, creating cat chaos, I simply couldn’t get rid of her. She was ferocious but actually liked me best of all. Those original four cats are sadly no longer with us and when our house was a cat free zone, the void was too much – so we now have two more called Ziggy and Star(dust). They wrap me round their little paws and I am their slave. I have no defence.

13. The bravest thing I’ve ever done was to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I am terrified of heights and Mrs PM persuaded me to go with her when we were in Sydney. It was the most traumatic three hours of my entire life. 

14. Something that keeps me awake at night is coffee and beer.

I rarely drink caffeinated beverages these days because of their negative affect on my sleep. Alcohol has a similar effect but nowhere near as bad. 

15. My favourite meal in the entire world is too difficult to tell you.

I love food and I have many favourite dishes, far too many to put into a list and rank. Sorry.