Fish Fingers

I was eating fish fingers and couldn’t think of a title ok? FYI they are best eaten in large quantities (6+) with a nice pinkish swirling of ketchup and mayo. *Burp*

Moving on; I was in quiet repose with a cup of coffee this morning when I had a sudden wave of guilt for not posting for a while. This usually passes as this one nearly did. That is until I sat down with a stack of the aforementioned and went through my email to find that a friend had sensibly upgraded her domain to direct to her blog, when I see that Idleness is listed as a suggested read.  Interestingly I reside beside my ex’s blog. She is a far more accomplished writer IMHO so if you have stumbled here from Moon Landings (another ex from long long ago and a very sound lady. Employ her, you won’t regret it) then I suggest you read some proper decent English and go to Musings From The Sofa.

Still here? Right then, a small catch-up. Car sold to Harold and Albert. Heard of dirty money? This lad paid nearly ten grand in the dampest, stinkiest twenty pound notes. You know how the bank counts notes by weighing them? No chance as these were too damp. And smelly. Really really smelly. The cashier was not thrilled at having to hand count the entire lot.

Uni starts in less than a week and I am apprehensive and anticipatory in equal measure. Like most things I have imagined they rarely turn out to be as elaborate as that which I have designed and constructed in my mind. I am expecting to be surrounded by a load of Marxists who think that the Labour Party is a load of centre ground sell-outs. This view has been based upon one meeting I attended where there was a proper swivel-eyed loon who was too easy to goad (I resisted). Good value in small doses as he firmly believed that PR companies, whatever their size, existed solely to put a glossy spin on the exploitation of a firm’s workers. All points were made with much finger jabbing, bulging eyes and a final, if repetitive, verbal flourish of advocating revolution as the only credible answer. To everything. I then got a reading list, which contained some *ahem* interestingly presented arguments. Finally, the list for societies to join during Freshers week has a certain bent. I have no truck with the People of Palestine yet nor do I wish to overtly show friendship by enrolling with the Friends of Palestine. I can only imagine the meetings; The People’s Front For The Liberation of Judea anyone? Still, Freshers Week proper is the following week. I’ll see if there is a bourgeois socialists Porsche driving wine appreciation society, or similar. Additionally I can’t wait for my Bod Card as it means 1yr of swimming is £80. Bargain. All that aside I am looking forward to it immensely and wondering about the right time to deploy red trousers and moleskin jacket.

Living life in reverse is what I have dubbed my existence now. I am a bicycle only student with a bar job where I am surrounded by beautiful people half my age that seem to live a work, drug and alcohol fuelled existence. It’s a funny mix as I refuse to live in the typical student hovel, my girlfriend is a grown-up with a proper job and a dog, I look at drugs and think “yeah, been there, not anymore,  thanks for your kind offer” in a genuinely polite way as offering ones stash to strangers is nothing if not generous and costly.

Am five days away from another juddering change of direction. To put it all in perspective Heloise casually asked me during breakfast the other day, “Daddy, where is the edge of the universe?” We jointly decided that our entire universe was but a single atom in the universe of another little girl.

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It’s Toofer Tuesday

Eh? What? Toofer or Twofer- adj. When you get two for the price of one.

I thought I may amuse and delight my sudden surge of followers. (For my purposes a sudden surge is more than three) with two posts in a day.

Usually a note appears in my inbox telling me so and so has liked a post. I am then subject to various entreaties to look at their blog, which I duly do. Usually I have just been spammed and their blog is a wave of bollocks trying to sell me shite or share with me the profound effect that various deities have had on them. The former are just rubbish sales and the latter are deeply deluded.

Imagine my delight today when four separate  “Likes” were all for this morning’s post. Turns out that all were worth a read. In recognition of this I list them here. In no particular order they are:

One Thousand Single Days

Waynes World Of Blogging

Turtle And Robot

Definitely Jenny

Managing Life And Self  Ok, ok, this was a day or two ago and I am unashamedly trying to swell my numbers by 20%, or is that 25%? I want a job in finance.

A couple of friends that write well and are worth a shufti are:

Hands Of A Climber – Eddy is funny even if you aren’t into climbing

Musings From The Sofa – think you are well read do you?

Anyhow, read them and enjoy. I have research to do. Am buying a car so I can tick one more thing of my bucket list. Poop Poop.

Hands on Hardware Porn

At Last:

I am typing this on my new Macbook Pro with Retina display and SSD. Never used such a nicely made piece of kit. Could go on and on but will end up sounding like those über annoying Apple Weenies. It’s cool. I’m glad I’ve bought it. Moving on…

Other Stuff:

Carluccio’s Caffe – were exceedingly cool a few weeks ago. I Tweeted a pretty minor complaint to @Carluccioscaffe whilst seated in the Euston Station outlet. 30 min elapses and their PR was all over it like a rash. Bam! – please email me with the problem. Pow! – we are very sorry. Ooomph! – please have dinner on us. MFTS and I had a very agreeable evening at our local branch. A lovely bottle of wine was given as a parting gift.  Talk about exceeding expectations and cementing customer loyalty.

University – I didn’t really expect to make the cut when the talking was over but I managed to secure (blag) an offer of a place to read history at Ruskin College in Oxford. I started off on the English and creative writing route and rather cheekily changed horses mid-stream during the Open Day. The more I heard about that course the more I knew it wasn’t for me. I got talking to one of the Profs on the history course and it took about 15min of chatting before I knew that was the correct path. I need to decide between now and September. Get the strong feeling that if I don’t do it now then I never will and will regret an opportunity lost forevermore.

Portraits – MFTS bought me a really neat birthday present. She has commissioned an illustrator called Kate Madigan to draw me and Héloïse. Today we met Kate in Blackwell’s so she could take a load of reference photos of me and H to work from. She then draws directly into Illustrator using a sophisticated pen and tablet arrangement. I like Kate’s style and am looking forward to the end result.

Oil Changes – that’s right, you heard me. I was so impressed by the mobile mechanic that came to service my car. I have never seen an oil change other than get under the car, unscrew the sump, try not to get covered in old hot engine oil and stop it going everywhere. Chris from Mobile BenzTech rocks up, opens special hole on top of engine and shoves a pipe down it that is connected to a cylinder that looks like the Hozelock pump sprayer and hooks that to a compressor in the van. Moments later the oil is being sucked out. No mess no fuss no drama. I was really impressed. If you’re not you ought to be.

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A Long Time Coming

As I now live with a terribly intellectual person in the form of MFTS my mind has turned back again to something that has nagged at me for 20+ years. And that is the fact that I didn’t go to university. I haven’t got a single set of groovy post salutation letters to my name. That saddens me. Really, the letters are everything 😉

At traditional time that everyone normal goes to uni to do a degree I was crippled by some heavy enough burdens.

To whit;

  • at 18 I was extremely fortunate insofar as I KNEW EVERYTHING. What could uni possibly teach a young and obviously gifted person like me? Strangely, as I get older I seem to know less and less. Most puzzling. MFTS manages to highlight this without ever trying to specifically do so.
  • I don’t think you could have met a less secure or emotionally mature individual if you’d run a specifically focussed and anthropologically guided investigation. I was so impressionable I’d be in jail by now, no doubt.

So what does a newly separated and shortly to be officially divorced 43y old male that is currently unemployed and flailing about for some direction in life do?  Thankfully I live in a country that despite all its niggles, faults and other things I’d change (the scandalous mixture of Church and State for starters) has this phenomenal institution for people like me. It’s called the Open University.

I think I’ll do a degree. Primarily this will be so I can learn to think in a structured way, make cohesive and less rambling arguments and learn the tools to methodically analyse and interpret information. It’ll take 6 years assuming I stick at it and is damn good value.

Watch for updates. I imagine that as the workload goes up they’ll become less frequent.

Blovember #30 – Under Duress

Finally we’re here. 30 back to back posts and I am still none the wiser regarding what makes the best stats. As I am constantly reminded, “it’s not a competition”. We’ve covered this before; it is.

I am sitting on the sofa with my ten year-old daughter being forced to watch complete mind pap called Strictly Come Dancing – Take Two. Brucie – mercifully absent –  is bad enough but this is milking the brand a step too far imho. As far as I can work out it is dissecting the past performances and future chances of the contestants. The alleged celebrities that have spontaneously dropped into the studio are actually there because they all have something to plug. Otherwise the entire program is a ghastly saccharine luvvie fest.Boring. Barf.

Reflecting on the last month, this self-imposed discipline has actually marginally improved my writing by making me more concise and I am grateful. Radio Silence now.

Thanks for directing me towards this, Miss Musings From The Sofa.

NaBloPoMo 2012

Blovember

So it’s a cheap an easy title? I am sitting in bed when I remembered that I was talked into once a day blogging in November by Musings From the Sofa. This is for NaBloPoMo – stupid sounding name imho. Blovember, much better.

Day 1 and there is project slippage. Hi ho. We’ll see what gives in a week. Nothing of note today apart from staying in touch with friends and recovering from yesterday. I bought a pair of orange and blue trainers for £25.The orange is so bright I can find them in the dark as they seem to emit their own energy. Most odd. They didn’t have a Chernobyl glow in daylight.

Yesterday was pretty cool. I stepped into something I hadn’t done for 10 years and it came back more naturally then I had hoped. My old boss from 14y year ago is the CEO of a firm with one of those – picked from the air, sounds kinda tecchie and most importantly the domain name is available – names. Flexiant. I really enjoyed it as it was especially challenging as it was a seasoned and experienced audience. If you don’t get credibility in the first 5 minutes the next 10 hours are hellish. I did, they weren’t.

Off to bed. More tomorrow.

Getting motivated

I have been spurred back into action by reading a funny and thought provoking blog. If you want a neat blog to follow then www.musingsfromthesofa.wordpress.com . I blame RC 100% for my poorly written return to the blog-o-sphere. Given that I am now actively house searching (for me) then if dealing with banks, a 10y old daughter and estate agents ought to provide me a rich seam to talk about under the heading of What About The Customer. I will post separately but I have had a fantastic experience w. my bank – First Direct – and pretty predictable and disappointing experiences w. Estate Agents. My brother has a good expression about them; “lying *bastards* (my substitution on the grounds of taste) with wide-angle lenses”.