Sunday 21 April 2024

Too Far?


Welcome to a very sunny April day in South Manchester. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and the temperature is pleasant. The trees are blooming as are the flowers. Spring is definitely here. 

Let’s answer some more silly questions courtesy of Sunday Stealing

1.    What was the best toy you ever owned?

I’ve owned a lot of toys over the years but the ones I loved most were those that allowed me to enact major stories that my weird imagination conjured up. For example, I had a robot that buzzed, beeped and walked and made noises as if it were firing death rays from its chest. This coupled with an army, ranging from World War 2 British and American model soldiers, characters from Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds, as well as various other soldiers from British history (like civil war soldiers, Saxons and Vikings), cowboys and Indians from the Wild West, allowed me to stage battles and wars in my own bedroom using a variety of props. 

It was epic, I can tell you. 

2.    When in your life have you felt the loneliest?

I’ve had bouts of loneliness over the decades, usually when doing something brand new or life-changing. The loneliness has stemmed from being thrust out of my comfort zone and surrounded by strangers, especially when I was younger. I struggled to combat my shyness and realised that I had to do something – and I usually did. I still feel lonely from time to time (everybody does) but it is a rare occurrence these days.

3.    What is your strongest emotion

I would say that it is anger. I rarely get angry and I always try to walk away before it builds up. If I feel myself getting angry, I try to take a step back. It usually works and I can honestly say that I haven’t been really angry for years now. 

I avoid arguments, especially petty ones, and I try to reason with the other person. If they continue to escalate things I just walk away. That works a treat. 

Of course I can’t control certain things that make me angry like the antics of politicians but even now I largely just step away. At the end of the day there is little I can do about it, so why bother? 

4.    When were you the most disappointed in yourself?

I’ve done okay over the years and although I’ve disappointed myself I try to think positively and not dwell on such things. I think it is best to move on from past failures think about the future. I do sometimes still disappoint myself, usually when I fail to do something constructive in the day, like losing a battle against procrastination. 

5.    Which law would you most like to change?

In the UK there are loads of ridiculous laws that could do with a review, too many to mention in one post. 

6.    Who is the person you have hated the most in your lifetime?

I try not to hate people. If I really don’t like a person, I try to completely avoid them. “Out of sight out of mind” is a mantra worth following.

Sadly that is difficult when it comes to public figures who regularly appear in the news. Current people who I really struggle with are the architects of Brexit for example Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg, but in the case of Boris Johnson, he only supported it to oppose then Prime Minister David Cameron, which means he deserves more contempt than most. And of course there are the right-wing nutjobs that make up the extreme part of the Conservative Party like Suella Braverman and Liz Truss, the failed Prime Minister who seems to be becoming more a frothing lunatic as time passes. 

Internationally, people like Valdimir Putin, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un deserve a mention. 

Surely – SURELY – Donald Trump cannot become the president again. 

Come on America … sort it out. 

7.    What has disappointed you the most?

In terms of UK events, Brexit was so disappointing that I ended up being very angry about it. I am still angry deep down but I try not to think about it. 

World politics disappoints me on a daily basis, particularly when it involves war. 

8.    What's the best possible attitude toward death?

I aim to live forever. 

Actually, joking aside, that’s the best way to look at it. Death will happen to everybody so the best thing to do is to try not to think about it and enjoy your life. If you worry about your inevitable demise, it may actually bring it on sooner. 

Life is there to enjoy – so try to do it. 

9.    What's been the longest day in your life?

A day is measured from the time you wake up to the time that you fall asleep. 

With that in mind, it is one of the following (I’m not sure which).

A time in Zurich when I had to upgrade a computer system and I put in an 18 hour shift that started after I had been up for 8 hours already. 

A flight back from Kunming in China to Manchester, that took me via Beijing and Amsterdam, with at least a three hour wait in both airports. I cannot sleep on long-haul flights. When I boarded the flight in Amsterdam for Manchester, I finally fell asleep and I don’t recall the take off at all, only being awoken when the aircraft touched down in Manchester about 40 minutes after take-off. 

 10.  What is the biggest coincidence in your life?

There have been a couple. Here is one I wrote about a couple of years ago:

A couple of years ago, Mrs PM and I decided to have a long weekend in London. Mrs PM wanted to be a total tourist in our capital. We took Friday off work and checked into our hotel on the south bank of the river Thames at about lunchtime.

We strolled to Tower Bridge and mingled with other tourists taking photos of one of London’s most iconic sights before crossing it and having a late lunch in a nearby pub. After that, Mrs PM decided that she hadn’t seen the Crown Jewels so our next destination, just over the river, was the Tower of London. We spent the rest of the afternoon looking around one of our most historical buildings, culminating, at the end, in a queue to see the Queen’s jewellery box. 

After that, we were about to leave when Mrs PM told me that she just needed to answer a call of nature. I decided to try too because it was a fair walk back to the hotel. Of course, public toilet etiquette dictates that men are not supposed to talk to each other or look at each other while doing the business, so in my blinkered cave-like world I just answered the call as quickly as I could. 

On the way out, I walked behind another man and a thought entered my head: “that guy in front looks just like Ben from work.”

I was unsure so I didn’t say anything. When we left the loo, the guy walked over to his wife and kids who were waiting for him. It was Ben after all.

I had taken a day off, come to London, decided to visit one of the thousands of attractions in that city at precisely that time and decided to relieve myself at exactly the same moment as him.

I stood waiting outside the ladies toilet for Mr PM and watched Ben and his family walk towards me. I stared at him with a huge grin on my face. I don’t think I have ever seen a better double take in my entire life.

He glanced at me, glanced at his wife and then stared straight back at me, with recognition dawning on his face.

“What the PHHAAARKKK are you doing here?” he asked incredulously. Just at that moment, Mrs PM came out of the ladies and I saw my second favourite double take. Mrs PM saw Ben, looked at me and then stared at Ben and said “What the PHHAAARKK are you doing here?”

11.  What's the oldest you'd like to live?

As I said above, I plan to live forever.

Realistically though, I am 61 years old and I do not even concern myself with death. When it comes, it comes. 

12.    Who is the most amazing woman you know personally?

Every woman I know is amazing. Mrs PM is the most amazing though.

13.    What was your best experience in school?

I didn’t really like school but leaving with a load of qualifications counts as something on an achievement, I guess.

14.    What's the most meaningful compliment you've ever received?

That’s a tough one. Some customers have asked for me by name and also I’ve been told a few times that I’m a “go to person” when it comes to resolving certain types of problem. 

15.    What is the most you've spent on something really stupid?

I’m very careful with money and I tend not to buy stupid things. That said, back in the day, I’ve done things like buying DVDs on impulse that I have only watched once or twice before putting them in the loft. I should sell such crap items to be fair, to show Mrs PM and that I am not really a hoarder for starters. 


Bev Sykes said...

First of all, the link you used on this week's entry just takes you to the Sunday Stealing home page. I had to go to your previous entry to get the link to this week's entry.

You're 61 and don't think about death. I am 81 and think about it all the time, when I see death notices of people who are my age or a year or two older. My mother lived to 102 and when she died, she had lost all of her family and friends, who died before her, and she had Alzheimers. No way I want to live that long.

CountryDew said...

I think humans are little hoarders at heart, it probably goes way back to before civilization when we never had enough, whatever that is. I enjoyed your coincidence story.

Roger Owen Green said...

As an American, I'm afrraid that djt, currently on trial, COULD get elected in November. Cults are hard to disassemble.
In 2017, I got REALLY angry at work for what considered a good cause, 10 months in the making. My boss wanted me to stay and talk about it. He was wrong; I needed to go for a walk for about 20 minutes until I was no longer enraged.

Elephant's Child said...

That was an amazing coincidence - and I love the synchronicity of Ben's and Mrs PM's responses.

Lisa said...

Your coincidence story is great! Politicians annoy me, too!!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

Yes - I messed it up. I did add another link. It was a case of cut/paste trauma/incompetence.

I daresay I will consider death more as I get older - I try not to though because, being a hypochondriac, it will give me sleepless nights.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

Mrs PM says I am a hoarder - but she horads too and I often point this out. She doesn't accept it though and I find that amusing.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Roger,

You sound just like me when it comes to coping with anger.

Oh yes - I am fully aware that Trump could get elected. I find that incredible.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

Yes - it was hilarious. Both were equally shocked. The best double double-take it has ever been my pleasure to witness.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lisa,

It was funny. There are others - coincidence is a weird thing, isn't it?