Will You Always Be What You Set Out to Be?

The smell of oil, I do love that smell. It portrays a man who mends things and we all love a man who mends things don’t we? Of course today it could be a woman but I love them too so I’ll be forgiven for my lack of Diversity because I’m talking memories here and until Kylie (Charlene)appeared as a mechanic in Neighbours there weren’t any women mechanics, well apart from the War, but the Princess said I wasn’t to mention that! 😂

When I was four years old I chose to be a different tradesman everyday. I could be an Electrician, Plumber, Carpenter whatever took my fancy. There was a system on the farm, I would knock at the door and my mother would answer it. She must have been quite adaptable because she never knew what disaster had befallen her until I announced which particular tradesman I was that day. Then she would take me to the electric or gas meter or show me a door that needed repairing and explain the aforementioned ‘disaster.’ I had a clip board (made from cardboard) and forms for her to sign (cut from the Grattan catalogue) and upon completion of my task she had to pay me, this was always pretend money, I suspect the same money Dad paid into the bank, as poor farmers money was a commodity in very short supply.

I sometimes wonder why I write a Blog. I always digress and now I can’t remember what the original theme was. Oh! yes…. Isn’t it wonderful how we rarely ‘be’ what we set out to ‘be’. I always wanted to be a Motor Mechanic; of course this was after I had fused the electrics, flooded the farm and blown up the house fixing the non-existent gas leak. (metaphorically speaking) I was only a mechanic for about five years but that smell is still so comforting. I’d gamble not many of you are still doing the job you set out to do but there is a smell or sound from a previous life that makes you feel all yummy. Just a thought. 😘

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Becoming Fifty

The moon has a strange way of placing me in a reflective mood. Apart from the itchy teeth and nails and of course that kooky feeling of hair growing down my spine, the past frequently haunts my thoughts.

The moon_Moment

So there I was the other night, gazing up at the clouds as they flew past our aforementioned sphere when my 50th year entered my head. When you turn 50 things change (apparently). People and companies you have never heard of materialize. The first was a company called the Canadian Pharmacy who offered me half price Viagra. I block these emails on a weekly basis and have done for 12 years now. I’m not promoting my virility here, I just think Viagra would probably give me indigestion.  The second materialization was a plethora of young ladies who, via email, want to have sex with me. I don’t mean over email, they actually want to meet me and have sex. Some of them live close by (apparently) I’ve never spotted any but I guess they are busy entertaining all the other 50+ year-old men in my neighborhood.

As well as this I get bombarded with life insurance offers but to be fair if I’m swallowing Viagra at an alarming rate and bonking a superabundance of voluptuous young damsels? I would probably need it. Finally there are the offers for online Bingo, to be honest that is probably the most attractive offer except I’m skint most of the time. So if you’re under 50 there’s a few things to look forward to. Have a lovely week my fellow bloggers X.

Posted in Blogging, Humour, Life, Opinion, Over 50's | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Oh Well, too late now

I thought about doing the ‘Happy New Year’ thing but it’s a bit late now and I’m too early for Easter, so it’s just another post. Do you ever have an idea and get really excited? I don’t mean, you know, down there, although there’s nothing wrong with getting excited down there, I just meant…… okay putting the shovel down 😉. I mean excited in your chest. You think wow this is going to be monumental. So, I had this idea to cease working and write. I must admit I have had this idea many times before, but I thought if I don’t finish ‘the book’ I’ll be laid on my deathbed wishing I had. Here ly’th the big mistake. I told people!

Apparently, now I’m retiring and everyone says either: “What will you do?” Or – “Now you have all that time you’ll be able to go to the gym etc.” You see writing is not a job in my family, or if it is other people do it. So, after spending most of Christmas trying, in vain, to explain my decision, I decided to lie and announced that I’ve changed my mind and I’m staying at work. Much to everyone’s relief and joy 😂 Of course this means I might be posting more often, sorry guys x, now I’m secretly retired 😂

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The OFSTED Visit

Do you want to know a secret? Our instructions are: “Do not tell anyone about the OFSTED visit on Social Media.” Sorry this is England not North Korea. If you’re not English, notice I don’t say British, that’s because the Scots and the Welsh are preparing to leave the Union and because we’re dumping Europe to be Mr Trump’s friend. I know, it’s like a Carry On Film, laugh if you want, the rest of the world is, so I’m preparing to be English. Anyway if you’re not English you might wonder who OFSTED are? We used to call them School Inspectors. They say that an OFSTED inspector is akin to a Eunuch, they know how it should be done, they see it done everyday but they can’t do it themselves. As former teachers they interpret Animal Farm as an instruction booklet rather than a novel.

It was entertaining to see the smoke and mirrors appear, even more entertaining to see the inspectors turn up with a fan and a hammer. The plan was that they visit for two days and if it looks like you may be Outstanding they stay for four days and bring in reinforcements. Our inspectors left after two days. When they got to our construction department they kept saying they didn’t understand how we linked one subject to another. Now if you’ve been following me for a while you know I’m not the cleverest fairy in the forest. I mean FFS I teach kids how to knock nails in wood, y’know? It isn’t advanced Maths. So now they have gone, we are officially a Good College, the chickens appear to have regained their heads and have stopped running around in circles, peace is returned and its nearly Christmas. Hurrah!!

Posted in Blogging, Carpentry, Education, Freedom, Humour, Life, Opinion, people | Tagged , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

The Darkness

No, not the band from the naughties with the caped screaming singer.

The darkness within your soul or whatever you choose to call it. The one that crawls out of the night, usually around 3:30 – 4:30 am. What’s that shit all about? And it’s starting to get more frequent. I remember when my biggest problem in the early hours was an erection (no pun intended 😂) And definitely no pic.

Anyway, back to the plot. I have these massive rows or I am fighting for survival at work, it generally gets nasty, then the alarm goes off and none of it matters anymore. I mean, honestly, most of it is fabrication, my head makes it up while I’m asleep? Maybe I should just buy some Viagra 😂

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Band of Brothers (and Sisters)

The sun rises over the plain as the band of volunteers trek resolutely to the gathering place. They have an hour to prepare before the invasion; at which time a horde of combatants will descend upon them, not quite as scary as the peasants outside Frankenstein’s castle but descend they surely will.

These volunteers who choose to awake from their slumber in the early hours of Saturday morning, after, in some cases, a decadent Friday night are all sizes, all ages (and I mean all ages), all genders and share a common goal – to prepare. They take what is basically a field with hills and convert it into a five kilometer, challenging arena for the horde. Two hundred to four hundred combatants  face the challenge every Saturday morning at 9 am.

This is the phenomenon known as Parkrun of which there are now 585 in the UK, each one set up and run by 12,527 volunteers every Saturday morning at 9am. I am one and love my Saturdays, be it a fast hard run or volunteering it’s just a feelgood factor that is now part of my life.

The recent rain has taken its toll but we still like a laugh and after all its just a 5k run round a field, isn’t it? 😂

Posted in Athletics, Blogging, Humour, Life, Lifestyle, Opinion, people, Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Melting in Mombasa

We passed a small truck with animal carcasses swinging in the rear and a cart strapped down with vegetables. The carcasses were ravaged by flies and I realised I was looking at a butchers van. I tried to experience a culture shock, I tried, honestly I did but I guess I’m not the culture shock type. Our bus weaved it’s way through the busy streets as it transported us from the airport to the hotel so I sat back and admired the colorful vista of the Mombasa streets. It’s pissing down here and has been for a week so I’m reminiscing on a trip some years ago to beautiful Kenya.

The heat was tolerable, if you don’t mind being in a constant state of ‘wetness’ hmmm… sounds wrong but hey ho 😉. We had a chalet, well more of a posh hut –  it had air conditioning and the sweat dried once you manage to crawl in there. The staff in the hotel were so…. lovely and the breakfast ‘Egg Chef’ was a real character, a born entertainer. For some reason later in the day he told me about his grandfather who had been part of the Mau Mau uprising and hanged by the British. “What a fucked up world” I said.

“It is what it is,” he said and shrugged. I attempted to speak Swahili but only really managed to get as far as ‘Jambo.’ They told me it means hello but also ‘how are you doing?’ (not in a Joey from Friends way) it has many uses depending on how you phrase it, so I kinda stuck with Jambo. The hotel was a little dated but really comfortable sadly it was closed not long after we were there due to inter communal differences, that’s the British of saying, ‘shit storm.’ Take a look at before and after.

I met a lovely family from Geordie Land (they’re all lovely up there) the father didn’t believe in Sun Tan lotion and yes, we did explain that Sun Tan lotion is different from Father Christmas. Anyaways eventually we convinced him that 40 degrees in Africa is different from 20 degrees in Newcastle so he acquiesced. We didn’t see him the next day, his wife said he was in bed. Never having used any protection he didn’t really see the difference between Sun Tan lotion and After Sun.

One night we were visited by the local Masai tribe who danced for us. It was quite a spectacle and I had a go but I did feel uncomfortable that such an ancient proud people had to perform in hotels, there again maybe they thought it strange that westerners payed to see them doing something they enjoyed doing anyway?

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One night we had a bit of a gathering and one of the women placed a drink order with the waiter, something like five beers, two Gin and tonics, two Pina Coladas and two cokes. He looked at her and nodded. You know what? We never saw him again 😉 Oh well nice to remember the hot days in these days of rain and wind.

Posted in Blogging, Humour, Kenya, Life, Travel, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , , | 38 Comments

The Indian in the Airing Cupboard

Living in Delhi or Mumbai you may be puzzled by the title but the Indian I refer to is what we now call Native Americans.

When I was 4-6 years-old Native Americans didn’t exist, well they did but they were Indians and they fought cowboys. I spent many happy hours riding my Palomino (mum’s old bike) around the plains (abandoned aerodrome) slaughtering said Indians Native Americans in defense of the fort (dads farm) or ranch (dads farm) My best friend was Johnny (imaginary) and my true love June (also imaginary) always at my side. Life was good. Until:PTDC1555

To quote Meatloaf, ‘Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night,‘ you awake for no reason you can explain. The bedroom door is ajar. And, illuminated solely by the moon’s glare, like Judy Garland in the spotlight, is the airing cupboard door! For the uninitiated: An airing cupboard is where a hot water tank was situated, before the days of combi-boilers. It was Mum’s domain with clothes folded in an impeccable fashion and no male was allowed in there. So where else would a revenge seeking Red Indian  Native American hide? I stared at that cupboard night after night. I was terrified because I knew he had a Tomahawk and was waiting to jump out to slaughter me. He never did (in case you’re wondering) But I guess it taught me that every action has a reaction, in a strange way 😘😘

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Observations by the Pool

Splash, laughter, splash, laughter, scream. They’re all having such fun but you know there’s going to be tears at any moment. Then it happens and you nod cynically to yourself, thought so. The hysteria eventually ceases as little Johnny realises that when his sister splashed water in his face the world didn’t end, he isn’t blinded for life and his sister is so very sorry. And so the splashing and laughing resumes.

For two little tots though, it has been different. They have cried for two days as their parents endlessly adorned them with Batman/Spider-Man swimming costumes, armbands and rubber rings. These ‘tools’ of floatation have been accompanied with constant words of encouragement “Isn’t this fun?” And lots of oooohs and ahhhs in that wonderful baby talk that we adults adopt when talking to small children and animals. But to no avail, “No, no want to get out!” The toddlers cried and sometimes screamed.

Then, today something in the universe changed. Today, the father, who in all honesty has the tenacity and patience of a Highland Deer Stalker, manipulated them into the baby pool whereupon realising they could stand they commenced to jump up and down now he can’t get them out 😂😂

Photo’s WordPress Free photo library

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Roasted Yorkshireman

Makes a difference to Roasted Beef I guess. I love roasting in the sun and I know all about skin cancers etc, but you know me by now? Totally irresponsible when it comes to that stuff. What I do love about this break though is the Cyprus cool (ish) mornings, well at 06:30 at any rate😂

Thunderstorms have been forecast but unlike England where it’s going to piss down all day the Cypriot Gods only allow them at night. This leaves beautiful fresh mornings for running and blistering days for roasting, (thigh? or breast? 😉) Although this morning was a trifle precarious and stilted 😂

Posted in Blogging, Cyprus, Freedom, Humour, Life, Opinion, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments