Sunday, 20 November 2022

Hodgepodge Part Two

Welcome to a sunny but cold South Manchester in November. 

This month really is miserable, isn’t it (unless you live Down Under of course) but I am pleasantly surprised by the blue sky and sunshine today I have to say. 

One good thing about November is that it drifts into December so there is an element of Christmas cheer about the place. For example the Christmas Markets are in full swing in the city centre. Mrs PM and I went into the city yesterday and had a wander around the markets. The whole city centre was packed full of shoppers and people just mooching about. We enjoyed it.

Anyway, Christmas is a month or so away – there will be more of that to come later, I don’t doubt. 

Shall we answer some daft questions from Sunday Stealing

1. What’s your favourite childhood memory?

I’m not sure to be honest. Leaving school was great – though I wasn’t a child then (I was 18). I guess it would have to be one of the holidays I took with the family in England and Wales. In those days, international travel was reserved for those with a lot more money than we had, so we ended up at the traditional holiday resorts such as Brighton, Blackpool, Skegness, Rhyl, Minehead, Bournemouth and other places like that. Basically we would go away for two weeks at a time and spend quality time with our parents and actually dare to walk into the freezing cold sea off the coast of England. 

Summers in the UK can be quite hit and miss because of the weather – but when it is hot, it can be really hot and at such times, especially in the 1970’s the beaches would be full of people. 

I’ll pick our second holiday to Brighton because I remember we met an Italian family and we got on famously.

2. Do you sing in the shower?

I have been known to on occasions, usually when there is nobody home. Sadly, the neighbours can probably hear my renditions of classic rock masterpieces, which is making me feel a little self-conscious actually. I wonder why sometimes they have a puzzled look (with a slight snigger) when we chat.

3. What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

I would say a trip to Australia from Mrs PM’s mum. It was her 60th birthday and she and he other half wanted to travel with seasoned travellers, i.e. Mrs PM and I. Australia is an expensive place to get to and so we politely refused – but they insisted and Mrs PM decided to accept. Basically she paid for the flights and some of the accommodation and we tried to pay her back on the trip – at least some of it. 

It was a great holiday and of course I want to go back again. I will do one day if I can, now that we can afford it more easily.

4. Do you prefer being indoors or outdoors?

It depends. During the summer or on holiday I spend a lot of time outdoors. Now in November it is colder and more rainy so being outdoors is less pleasant, which means that during the winter I tend to stay in more (though I do go for a 4 mile walk almost every day, whatever the weather).

5. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

I spoke to somebody at the bank last week. It was a tedious chat.

6. What do you keep in your bag or handbag?

I don’t own a handbag but I do have a rucksack that I take to work. It contains my work laptop, an umbrella, a couple of notebooks, my work pass, a few pens, a set of headphones and a few other bits and bobs, including an exploding umbrella (a small one that opens up magically when you press a button). 

7. Can you knit?

Absolutely not. I may strive to be creative but knitting looks difficult and extremely tedious (apologies if you love knitting).

8. How many hours do you sleep each night?

I sleep seven and a half hours on average. Last nightf or example I went to bed about midnight and I woke up naturally between at 7:45. I can get by on less if required but I usually catch up by falling asleep in front of a football match on TV.

9. Who is your role model?

I don’t have a specific role model at the moment. I do look at other people I know and analyse their strengths. For example, I have a few friends who can just walk into a room and make people laugh, even if they don’t know them. I sometimes try to emulate that myself with varying degrees of success. Basically if I know somebody with a trait that I would like to improve in myself, I try to learn from them – even at my age. 

10. Who was your first ever pen pal?

My only pen pal was a German girl whose name I have completely forgotten. I tried writing to her in German and she wrote to me in English. It worked for a while but I got bored of doing it as it became a chore.

11. What has been your favourite job so far?

I have been in IT for 38 years now so you may think that my chosen long term career is my favourite job. 

You would be wrong. 

While I was at university, I had three stints being a postman, delivering letters and parcels around Walsall. I have to say that I loved it. The introvert within me was delighted walking around the streets with a bag full letters and parcels. It was very peaceful and relaxing (apart from walking quite a lot – but I was really fit in those days so it was no hardship).

12. What is your favourite go-to recipe for mid-week meals?

I hate cooking but I can actually cook. When I do cook I usually go for something that is quick – I would say chicken pasta. It tastes good too.

13. How often do you eat in a restaurant?

Fairly often. We tend to go once or twice a fortnight, usually on Friday or Saturday. Today we will be having Sunday lunch in a restaurant, washed down with a pint or two of the finest ale the restaurant has to offer.

14. Are you close to your family?

Physically no. 

My nearest relative, my eldest lad, lives in North Manchester. The rest of my family are scattered with some living in Walsall, others in and around Blackpool and also in Harrogate and Whitby in Yorkshire. We can get to each other within an hour or two if necessary.

However, we are all very close as a family. We all get along really well and to be honest we don’t see them as often as we should. I think I will be seeing all of them at some stage over the Christmas period.

15. Which phone app could you not live without?

The ones I use most are Chrome, Duolingo, mail, Whatsapp, Googlemaps, You Tube, Google Calendar, my camera, and the various banking apps, oh – and my habit app, and notes. All of those really.

16. If you could afford to volunteer full time for a charity, which would it be?

I don’t know to be honest. There are a lot of worthy causes out there and choosing one would be difficult.

17. Do you have any siblings?

Yes – I have two sisters. Sadly, one of them passed away last year, which was a total shock. It has brought me and my other sister a lot closer (we were close anyway). 

18. Who is your favourite YouTuber?

I don’t do influencers or any of that nonsense. I guess it would have to be Jonathan Pie who is a comedian pretending to be a newsreader who gets caught off guard when no longer broadcasting, during which time, in the foulest language possible, tells us what he REALLY thinks of the news. I’ve actually seen him live and he is hilarious. 

Here he is talking about the resignations of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. 

Be warned – if you don’t like strong, bad language please do not watch them. 

19. Have you ever been a bridesmaid or a groomsman?

I assume by groomsman you mean “best man”? That’s what we call them over here in the UK. No, I haven’t been a best man – and I’m quite pleased about that. There is a lot of pressure to be funny at the wedding speech and I have never fancied that.

You will be pleased to know that I haven’t been a bridesmaid either.


Roger Owen Green said...

I'll have to try Duolingo again. I have a NEED...

Elephant's Child said...

I am so glad that you enjoyed your trip to Oz - and do hope you can return.

CountryDew said...

I'm really glad you weren't a bridesmaid. I've seen pictures of your hair and that would have been horrid for the bride, I suspect. (JK).

River said...

Even Downunder, November has been miserable, gale force winds ripping up trees and tearing roofs off houses, rain in torrents, thunder and lightning with over 1000 lightning strikes per night (not every night). Truly It's more like winter than our winter was.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Roger,

It's good actually. I am doing quite well I think.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

One day - when I can find the time - maybe when I retire.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

Ha ha - a lot of women DO like my hair.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Crikey - that sounds more like a UK November.




Rajani Rehana said...

Super blog