Friday 2 February 2024

Me Me Me

Welcome to South Manchester in a crisp and sunny day with blue sky and clouds. January, the worst month of the year, is now over and we are in February which will be a good month, not least because the Six Nations rugby union tournament is about to start, my first gig of the year is happening tomorrow night and our first trip abroad of 2024 starts on Tuesday. 

Here is Florence Black, the band I am going to see on Saturday night.

Exciting times and the year will only get better.

Let’s answer some silly questions from Sunday Stealing, this week about me me me.

 1. What three words best describe you?

I think other people would pick lots of different words to describe me but I am on the inside and as such am totally aware of the person that I am. That means the three words I would use are:

Content – I am happy with my current life and what the future holds. I know there will be ups and downs but generally I am content.

Nice – Somebody once told me: “Nice guys aren’t nice if they have to tell people that are nice.” I totally disagree with that. I think that some people don’t appreciate it when you are a nice guy. I may not always show it but I care a lot about people and things and I simply don’t understand anyone who doesn’t. I think that makes me a nice guy.

Realistic – I have moments of optimism and moments of pessimism and that largely comes from the mood that I am in. However, I tend to try to step back and look at things realistically because if you can take your mood and emotions out of the equation, you get a clearer picture of things.

2. What makes you unique?

Am I unique? 

I know for a fact that I am not the only “Plastic Mancunian” for example as there are a lot of people in this great city I live in that don’t actually come from here. I may be the only person who calls his blog The Plastic Mancunian.

I have a name that is fairly common; I share it with an actor, an author, a photographer and many other people. There are lots of people who look like me, for example, The Proclaimers. 

I am a bit of a weirdo – and the UK is full of weirdos. 

Perhaps my taste in music might be unique in that I like a wide range of genres – but even then I have met lots of people who share 90% of my taste. 

Perhaps I am the only 61 year old person, born in Walsall in October 1962, who went to Liverpool University to study Computational and Statistical Science, before moving to Manchester and living here for about 40 years. And I am the only male human being who lives in my house. 

Okay – that’s probably one thing that makes me unique. Maybe there are other things too. 

3. Who is someone important in your life?

There are lots of important people in my life but as, usual, I shall single out Mrs PM who is my soulmate and is mad enough to have put up with my antics for over 25 years now. Personally I don’t know what she see in me – but there you go. I am delighted that she sees something. 

4. What is something that always makes you laugh?

Things like this:

5. Who is someone who can always cheer you up?

Sorry to be boring about this but Mrs PM can usually cheer me up. She’s funny and clever and makes me laugh.

6. When was a time you were really proud of yourself?

There have been a few occasions when I’ve made myself proud. Sometimes little things like finally managing to play a tricky tune on the piano, to doing something that I really shouldn’t have achieved like climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge despite being terrified of heights.

7. What is something that is difficult for you?

Doing anything that is creative in the world of art. 

I cannot draw, paint or sculpt anything. Whenever I watch an artist at work I am in awe of them - as long as they are not creating something that looks like a dog’s dinner or a piece of vomit hanging on a wall under the banner of “modern art”. I am talking about people who paint landscapes that look like landscapes not those charlatans who splash pain haphazardly on a canvas and then claim that the mess that has been produced is actually meant to be something and that people should pay millions of pounds for it. 

I’ve read that people can be trained to draw. That is something I might actually try to do – just to see if they can make somebody like me create something. I very much doubt it.

8. What three places would you love to travel to?

I would like to go to the three Scandinavian countries that I haven’t been to: Sweden, Norway and Finland. I have been to Iceland and Denmark and I really enjoyed them both. We almost went to Sweden last year but ran out of time. Maybe this year? They’re not too far away from the UK.

9. What is a fun memory you have with your best friend?

Well I’m going to be boring again and tell you that Mrs PM is my best friend (though I do have a couple of really close mates too). Every time Mrs PM and I go back to Hong Kong we have an amazing and fun time. We both love the place. We are heading there next year on the way back from our trip to Malaysia and I already know it will be fun.

10. If you could have dessert for breakfast, what would you eat?

Dessert for breakfast? Yeuchhh! I rarely eat dessert so that sounds likes something weird to do even for a weirdo like me. 

I guess I could possibly manage a fruit cocktail I guess (because I do actually eat fruit for breakfast fairly often). 

11. If you published a book or wrote a movie, what would it be about?

It would be a science fiction epic that involved an indomitable alien force invading planet Earth and the aftermath of that invasion. I am not talking a nonsensical load of rubbish like “Independence Day”, it would be more like “War of the Worlds”, which is one of my favourite books/films. Yes, I know it’s been done to death but I love stories about alien invasion and I also love post-apocalyptic science fiction too – so the book would have elements of both.

12. Which is easier, maths or English?

Maths is definitely easier. 

I am okay with English but I am one of those lucky(?) people who can resolve mathematical problems with relative ease. To be honest I am a little out of practice so it would be good to revisit the subject. 

I took my maths O-Level a year early because I was so good and managed an A (the top grade). I then repeated that success with the advanced mathematics O-Level a year later and also I passed maths A-Level with the top grade too. 

It was only at university that maths started to get a little harder and I managed to drift away from the subject in my second year there – having passed the exams though. By my third year I was purely working with computer science and statistics (though both still required maths really). 

I loved maths so much that I used to do past exams for fun. Yes, I was that sad geeky kid who was at home solving differential equations and immersing himself in trigonometry and calculus. 

I should rekindle that love really.

13.What three things make you the happiest?

A couple of beers with mates down the pub.

Travelling anywhere abroad, especially to new places. 

Relaxing in the company of Mrs PM and the cats. 

14. What is an event in your life that has shaped who you are today?

Many things have contributed to the person I am today and it’s difficult to judge which could be the most important one. 

Perhaps graduating from university which set me off on a career in IT. 

Or agreeing to travel to Amsterdam and Munich with one of my old university friends way back in 1983 – which ignited my love of travel. 

There are more – but those two will suffice.

15. Which is more important, being kind or being honest?

That’s a difficult one. I would say kind because sometimes it is necessary not to be absolutely honest with people, mainly to protect them. Being kind is always a good thing. 

What am I talking about? I will say both because it’s my blog and I can.


Bev Sykes said...

I have always been jealous of people who are comfortable with math. i can barely add 2 and 2 and come up with 4...that's right, right?

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

Yes - 2 + 2 = 4.

But I can blow your mind and "prove" that 1=0 if you like.




Roger Owen Green said...

I didn't note it this time, but you do NOT want me on your Pictionary team because I... what's the technical term? ... SUCK at art. Others have told me about training but at 70, it's just not a priority.

Lisa said...

I enjoyed learning more about you!! I would love to travel to some of the places you mentioned.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Roger,

Ha ha - I'm terrible at Pictionary too. I have played it in other people's houses but I would never buy it myself.

Learning how to draw is not high up on my list of things to do either.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lisa,

The Scandinavian countries are the most laid back and happiest on the planet, I've heard. I will get there eventually.




Annie said...

My daughter worked for a Norwegian company and often travelled to Norway with side trips to Moscow where they also had an office. She liked Norway a lot but said it empties out on the weekends as everyone goes to their summer home or skiing for the weekend. She often had Oslo all to herself!
Fawlty Towers was always sure to make me laugh and I think it might be because he said things we were all thinking.

Kwizgiver said...

I love how you describe yourself--we're all weirdos, though, aren't we?

CountryDew said...

You should check out Bob Ross videos if you want to learn to draw. I hope they're available for you to see over there.

Susan said...

Math was my worse subject. Both my grands are excelling in HS math. Glad your Mrs. is your #1!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Annie,

I've been to Moscow three or four times. It's actually a really good place to visit, despite everything. Oslo is the place we would probably head for or take a cruise up the Fjords.

Basil Fawlty is a comedy legend.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

Weirdos are the best people. I think anyone who says "I am NOT a weirdo!" is lying.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

Oh I have checked out Bob Ross videos. "The Joy of Painting" appears on TV over here scattered on some of the more art-oriented channels. I love wathing it - it's so relaxing and he has a great voice.

I wish I were as talented.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Susan,

A lot of people struggle with maths - but usually they excel in other subjects.