Saturday, 27 May 2023

Even More Miscellaneous Questions

Welcome to a beautiful sunny day in South Manchester. The forecast for the next week is brilliant – sunshine and cloudless skies. 

I enjoyed a reunion with three of my best friends from university last weekend in Amsterdam and it was amazing to catch up with them. We had a lot of fun and it was like being transported back forty or so years. 

It’s been a good week; yesterday I went to horse racing at Haydock Park and actually made a profit instead of a loss. I’m not really a gambler but betting is fun if you realise that you are more likely to lose than win and if you are careful and stick to the same size bet for each race even if you win. 

Shall we answer some more silly questions from Sunday Stealing

1. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive through?

I rarely go to fast food places. The one I am most likely to go to is the local fish and chip shop and, because of the pandemic, I am most likely to just order the food online and get it delivered. We have drive throughs in the UK but not that many. The only ones near to where I live are both McDonalds and I haven’t been there for years. I guess the answer to this question, even though it wasn’t an option, is that I am most likely to just order online.

2. Have you ever lost anything down a toilet? 

No, but I know of people who have dropped their phones down the toilet and effectively rendered them useless as a result (which counts as a loss I guess). Most new phones are waterproof so I think now your phone would recover if you were clumsy enough to drop it into the pan.

3. Do you have a dog?

No I don’t; I have two cats. As a child I had three dogs, one of which lived until the ripe old age of 21. He was a lovely friendly little mongrel who was called Paddy. The poor thing went blind and died long after I had left home to move to Manchester. I think it’s unlikely now that I will ever get a dog. I do love them though and I know that generally dogs tend to like me too. 

4.  Ever go camping? 

I’ve only camped once and that was in a friend’s back garden as a child. It was a novel experience but I was quite cold during the night even though it was in the middle of summer. Mrs PM hates camping so again it is highly unlikely that I will ever do it again.

5. Have you met anyone famous? 

I have spoken to a couple of band members of rock bands, most notably the guys from Thunder, a good old British rock band. I have certainly seen a lot of famous people. Of course when you go to a gig you are there to see them in the flesh. Outside of gigs though, I have bumped into a few famous people in Manchester in various places, at airports, in the street etc. 

I would only speak to them if they invited me too, that is if they were specifically there to sign an autograph or something like that. I once found myself on a flight with a breakfast TV presenter sitting next to me but I appreciated that he wanted to fly home in peace and not have a pillock like me pestering him while the plane flew home. 

Besides, I am guilty of being starstruck sometimes and I think if I met a famous actor I would probably be too scared to say anything to them.

6. Any plans today?

I’ve been catching up on household chores and also spent a couple of hours in the garden enjoying the weather. I have a couple more things to do, and then Mrs PM and I will probably return to the garden later this afternoon and have a beer or two while enjoying the last of the weather. I love this time of year because it doesn’t get dark until after 9pm. 

7. Are you happy? 

I am delighted. The only thing that ruins my days is work and now that only happens four times a week. Also, the next four months are my favourite of the year and I am looking forward to having fun, travelling and just being a happy chap. Life is good at the moment.

8. Where are you right now? 

I am sitting in my back room at my desk, typing this blog post.

9. Biggest annoyance in your life right now? 

Work. I am still debating what to do about retirement, whether to stick to my plan or just bring it forward. The next couple of months will be crucial to help me make a choice. 

10. Last song listened to? 


11. Last movie you saw? 

I think it was John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum. 

It’s very violent and also you have to switch off your brain while watching it. But it is tremendous fun and I am looking forward to seeing Chapter 4.

12. Are you allergic to anything? 

Yes – whatever pollen is around in June. I have suffered from hay fever all my life but my resistance has built up over the years so that I don’t have to take any medication for it any more. Unfortunately, sometimes, I still end up with itchy eyes and sneeze a bit during the month of June. I love summer but June can be annoying sometimes because of my allergic reaction. 

13. Favourite pair of shoes you wear all the time?

I have a pair of trainers that I usually wear when out and about (that’s sneakers to my American friends). They are comfortable when pottering around. However, if I go for a longer walk (say my daily four mile walk) I wear a stronger and more resilient pair of walking boots that are also very comfortable.

14. What do you think of when you think of Australia?

I love Australia and Australians in general. 

My immediate thought is that I am looking forward to spending a day at Old Trafford in Manchester later this year watching England, hopefully, beat Australia at cricket. 

My secondary though is casting my mind back to 2005 when I visited that amazing country. We had a great time and for those that have never been, you would enjoy it immensely. The people are like British people with perhaps a less reserved outlook on life. I was in Hong Kong once when England had won the Ashes and found myself in a lift full of Aussies. 

“Good result in the cricket, eh?” I said (I couldn’t help myself). 

“Oh no! said one woman. "Just what we need – a BLODDY POM!”

It was all good fun and we were chatting happily until we reached our destinations. I would love to go back there – and it may well happen in future (though I can’t promise). I was a bit concerned when I visited the country because they have the most venomous spiders and snakes down there as well as crocodiles. But the people are brilliant and the friendly rivalry between our nations is amazing.

I won’t forget the guide who took me up the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was a scary experience for me but he was a funny guy. In our group there was Mrs PM and myself (two Brits – or “Poms” as they call us), a Japanese couple, about four Aussies and two Americans. After he had asked us where we came from (and called Mrs PM and I “Poms” – which puzzled the Americans), he said:

“So we have two Poms, four Aussies, two people from Japan and two Americans” and then he said to everyone but the two Americans:

“Sorry about the Americans, guys!”

We all laughed, including the Americans – and then one said to the other – “Did he just insult us?” which made us all laugh even more. 

We share that same sense of humour – and I don’t mind being called a “Pom” or being the butt of an Aussie joke – after all, we give as good as we get.

One day I will find out what Pom really means. There’s a lot of speculation and some are more believable than others.

15. Do you use smiley faces on the computer a lot?

I use a smiley face in a lot of my emails to send across my best wishes to whoever the recipient is, be it a colleague or a manager. I think they help to reinforce a friendly tone to an email and I would encourage people to do it. Sometimes people can get the wrong “vibe” and a smiley or a winking emoticon can help to lighten the mood for even serious mails.


Bev Sykes said...

I have loved horse racing until I read a book about what happens to horses who don't win. It was pretty shocking. i still watch the Triple Crown here in the US, tho. But I feel guilty.

I was in Australia in 2003 and loved the country. if Trump gets reelected, I might consider moving! (Not really...but I'd sure think about it)

Lori said...

I don't like camping either. I like showers and being comfortable. I live in a beautiful area for camping though. I am super scared of snakes too, so that doesn't make me want to camp either. Loved your answers! Have a nice weekend.

Annie said...

I would enjoy visiting Australia sometime. I've known a few Australians in my life and they are great people.

Roger Owen Green said...

As an American, I'm glad the Americans were well-behaved in your story. Some of us are not!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

I can understand why you feel guilty. I've seen a horse put down because it fell - it wasn't a pleasant sight.

Will Trump get re-elected? I hope not for your sakes.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lori,

Snakes - ugh! That is a great reason NOT to go camping in America or Australia.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Annie,

I have an Australian friend who lives in London - he's a great lad - and very funny.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Roger,

Most Americans I have met outside their own country are wonderful people. I seem to be lucky I guess because most AMericans love my accent and we always end up talking about the UK.

There are arses in every country - including my own.




Lisa said...

I would love to visit Australia! Someone told me that one of the reasons Americans are often disliked in other countries is because we are soooo loud . . .and I am, so I'm guilty. I was going to ask what Pom actually means but I see you don't exactly know.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lisa,

I think Brits can be loud. Americans probably are too; I think sometimes if we can't speak the language we seem to think that shouting louder in English will somehow help.

Pom is either a shortened version of "Pomegranate" because we apparently turn red in the sun or it is short for "POHM" which is "Prisoner of His Majesty", because we used to send criminals to Australia centuries ago.

Who knows?




**Syl said...

When I was in England for the first time I was amazed people gambled and betted so much.
We were taught not to use our money that way.

Then my "aunty" gave me a pound. We were in some game hall in Dudley and they wanted the girl out of the way. So I played the machines and lost and lost... then used my last 5 p and won!! I still can remember all those coins tumbling down and how rich I felt!!

Enjoy your week!

Kwizgiver said...

Your reunion in Amsterdam sounds like a great time!

Since this was stolen from my blog I'm not playing this week... but I had to see your answers!

CountryDew said...

Nice, well-thought-out answers. I love my sneakers.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Syl,

It's a fairly big thing here but I don't normally gamble - just a bit of fun once or twice a year at the horse races.

As a statistician I know that the odds are very much against me.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

It was fun. I love the place. I've lost count of how many times I've been there.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

Yes - trainers (sneakers) are really comfortable.