Category: Me me me (page 2 of 4)

Shop Smartish

I always do the weekly food shop.

This is because, if Mrs M does it, it takes twice as long and costs twice as much.

And, I don’t mind doing it really.  It’s an hour or so, on a Saturday morning.

Mrs M used to write a list for me, but nowadays I just go up and down each aisle, and normally when I see something, I’ll know whether I need to buy it or not.

Then, with my full trolley, I’ll make my way to the tills. I have my favourite tillsters: there’s David, he’s a chatty old boy; there’s Sandra, she’s my mate’s sister and there’s Rachel, who’s a lovely girl, with a great sense of humour and a chin you could get pickles out of a jar with.

But, I no longer need to visit them. This morning, I ‘checked out’ in little more than a minute, because I had already scanned and packed everything, because our local Sainsbury’s has now introduced Smart Shopping or Scan & Go or whatever they call it.

At this stage, I’m not sure whether I like it, because I kept forgetting to scan things and then I’d struggle to get it all in the bags – definitely easier to pack at the till. It’s hard to tell in the picture above, but I had a mixture of stuff in the bags – they weren’t packed to my usual OCD standards.

We will see how it goes though.

 

… a drink with jam and bread

Pinch punch an’ all that.

I am working from home today (OK, I’m on a break right now).

I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home most Fridays.

“Work”, for me, in the main, involves having my head stuck in my laptop for much of the day. At work, this is punctuated with meetings.

Many, many meetings.

Obviously, when I am at home, I can’t attend any meetings, so the day is peppered with phone calls, instead.

But, whether I am working at work or working from home, one thing remains a constant.

Tea.

White. No sugar. I will easily drink six to eight cups, during a working day.

And then I wonder why I have to get up twice in the night for a wee.

The cup of tea you see in the picture above, was taken about five minutes ago, so I’d better go drink it before it gets cold.  I have some lovely shortbread biscuits to dunk in it somewhere, too.

Oh, and this post comes to you courtesy of young Mr Jones’ Banal Blogathon challenge, which I stupidly agreed to do, so be prepared for some pretty mundane stuff heading your way.

Hooray, hooray, the first of May. Again.

Today – as young Bren was keen to point out to me, ridiculously early this morning – is my birthday.

So, how old am I?

Very old.

At least, that’s what my kids are always telling me.

But, age is just a number, apparently.

However, it’s a number that my head disagrees with and my knees complain about… constantly.

I do exhibit many of the tell-tale signs of advanced age, though:

I have no idea what is number 1 in the charts and I doubt I would recognise many of the artists. The best decade for music, of course, was the eighties.

We all know that.

I have no idea about many of today’s ‘celebrities’ – they’re just unfamiliar faces on the front page of the tabloids, as far as I am concerned.

And I fondly remember sloppy disks; diskettes; Compact Cassettes ; VHS, Betamax and Video 2000; Laser Disks; Walkman(s); Fred Housego; Anneka Rice; Kenneth Williams; The Goodies and Bless This House; Stingray and Joe 90 and much, much more.

Better times, I reckon.

Maybe.

I am blue

I recently did a personality test at work: the – apparently, very well-known and respected –four colour test.

Although everyone was doing it, I resisted it for a long time… because I’m a Taurus and, of course, we don’t believe in such mumbo jumbo.

But, the boss wanted the whole team to do it, and so I fell in line and completed the questionnaire.

The results put me firmly into the blue square, meaning broadly, that I am a Thinker and an Introvert. I’m task driven.

Fair enough. Sums me up fairly well, I think.

But then we dug into it a bit deeper and I hate to admit it, but I would say it got most of my character traits and key drivers correct – although I won’t go into them here.

Interestingly, most of the rest of the team were in the yellow square: Feeling and Extrovert. People driven.

Apparently, being diametrically opposite the blue square, the Yellows are my nemesis! Nemisi? Nemissesesses.

So, that should make for an interesting team dynamic!

Being a menace

I took the mutt out for her evening drag, last night.

It had just got dark. In fact, with no cloud cover and a half-moon, it was very dark indeed.

And bloody cold.

We took a common walk through the park and alongside the woods.

I carry a small laser pen with me when I walk Saber at night, as she likes to chase the bright red dot up and down the path. Easy exercising for me!

As we walked along the unlit path, heading toward the woods, I noticed three others walking along another path, that intersected with ours. They were easy to spot, as they each carried a torch and were talking loudly and excitedly.

I quickly realised that we were on a collision course and would meet at the intersection at the same time… which I didn’t want, as I’d have to put the dog back on her leash.

I could walk a bit quicker and get in front of them… but then they would be close behind us. Again, I didn’t want that as they would be a distraction and Saber and I like to walk along in peace and quiet.

And so, I decided to let them get in front so that we drop back a reasonable distance.

Saber and I came off the path and walked up to the treeline of the woods, where I stopped and waited for them to pass by. As I said, it was very dark and I was wearing dark clothing, so they wouldn’t even know I was there.

I stood and waited as they made their way up the path, swinging their torches as they went. Two small beams lower down and a very bright one higher up, had me guessing that it was an adult with two children, It wasn’t long before they were in earshot and I was proved right: a mother and her two kids, all out playing with their shiny new torches.

I stood stock-still in the shadows; my hands pulled up into my coat sleeves and my shoulders hunched against the cold. “Just bloody hurry up, willya”, I muttered.

They stopped and started swinging their torches again. The very bright one, from the adult, made its way along the treeline and dazzled me slightly as it passed. And then it swung back and centred on me.  I’d been spotted.

I stood there motionless, muttering quietly under my breath: “Oh, just fuck off will you. Go away”.  The light stayed on me for about thirty seconds, but I couldn’t quite hear what was being said as they had lowered their voices. I doubted they could see the dog, as she was a few feet behind me, sniffing in the bushes.

Eventually the light swung away and they moved on.  I waited a minute before following, but when I got back on the path, there was no sign of them.

Saber and I continued our walk along the path and when we reached the end, where it joined the road, I put her back on the leash.

We turned left and walked along the pavement.  A police car rounded the corner at speed and headed toward me. He slowed right down and looked at me intensely. I looked straight back at him and smiled. He sped up again and continued down the road.

Hold on! Had I just been reported to the police?

Had Bright-torch phoned them and reported a dark-clad and ominous looking figure lurking in the trees?

Possibly so.

I realised that to them, I probably looked a bit menacing, just standing there… rather like Gort from the film The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Maybe I should have got my laser pen out and really acted the part.

Mother Hubbard

I quite like shopping.

There, I’ve said it.

Out loud.

 

Of course, that’s only if certain conditions are met:

  1. I’m on my own
  2. I know what I want to get.

Which I usually do.

I always do the weekly food shopping, for instance, and I don’t even mind doing that.

It normally takes me about an hour on a Saturday morning. Unless, for some reason, Mrs M decides she wants to come along. In which case, it’s going to take twice as long.

And cost twice as much.

But, on my own, I can whizz round.  I don’t make a list, I just go up each and every aisle, remembering what I need as I go and grabbing anything that’s on special offer.

I have my regular bit of banter with Hazel and Carole on the Deli counter, and Suzanne knows exactly what to make for me when I approach the pizza section. “The usual? It’ll be ten minutes.”

And if I have time, I’ll start the whole process  with a cup of tea and a toasted teacake in the cafeteria, first.

Shopping. What’s not to like?

Tell me.

Doggy Style

Having a dog again has made a significant difference to my life.

Some good differences and some not so good.

Of course, overall, the good outweighs the bad, or we wouldn’t bother having a dog.

Just like with kids, I s’pose.

There are the negatives:

  • like having to take her out for a walk twice a day, whatever the weather
  • or not being able to go out visiting people so much, because we always “have to get back for the dog”
  • or being woken in the early hours because she’s growling at someone who had the temerity to just walk past the house
  • or every coat that I own having all the pockets permanently stuffed with poo bags

But there are also positives:

  • like taking her out for a walk twice a day –  if it wasn’t for that, I’d probably just be lounging on the sofa watching telly 
  • or not being able to visit people – sometimes that can be a blessing
  • or being woken up because she’s growling – let’s face it, twice she has been proven right
  • or every coat that I own… actually, I haven’t found a positive for that one yet.

Yesterday, I drove like a twat!

This week has been school half term and, as such, I was fully expecting the roads to be much emptier than usual.

I was fully expecting my commute to and from work, to be a doddle. Because it normally is when the schools are off.

But not this week. Oh no: this week, the roads have been as bad as usual.

Nay. Nay. And thrice nay, I tell you, the roads have actually been worse!

The mornings have been slow and torturous, thanks to broken down lorries and accidents. 

But the evenings have been worse. Much worse.

No word of a lie, every night this week, I have been caught up in stationary traffic on my way home, thanks to accidents on the motorway.

Every.

Single.

Fucking.

Evening.

Some have been worse than others. Tuesday night was pretty bad, thanks to a lorry shedding its load of portloos across the M25.  That was quite possibly a real case of the shit hitting the van.

But yesterday evening was truly awful.  Stuck in stationary traffic for ages at the Hemel junction, I found myself starting to get frustrated.  I spend so much time in traffic nowadays, that I’m kind of used to it now and it’s like water off a duck’s back. But, being stuck in stationary traffic for the fourth day in a row, meant it was starting to get to me. Please God, just one day! Just let me have one decent journey home!

Eventually, things started moving again and we all slowly crawled past the five-car shunt that was surrounded by the flashing blue and red lights of the emergency services and in unison we all shouted “Learn to drive, you bastards!”
Well, I shouted it.
In unison with myself.

I have rarely felt so frustrated and I decided to put some music on.  Normally, a bit of Mozart or Bruckner will smooth the waters for me, but, so pent-up was I, I needed something with a bit more oomph. I needed to let it out.

Once past the accident, the road was clear. I put on some AC/DC, turned the volume up and put my foot down; singing at the top of my voice. Well, I call it singing, but it was more like shouting really.

At junction 11, the end of the slip road divides into three lanes. Two are for turning left and the third is for going straight on or for turning right. They are marked accordingly. But, very often, impatient drivers will get into the middle lane and then cut across to turn right, forcing the vehicle in the right hand lane to give way or risk hitting them. It happens to me quite often and normally I will let them in, just to avoid having a prang in my car. “Tsk”, I’ll say.

But, it happened again last night and this time I didn’t give way.  My still pent-up frustration, boiled over into anger and -fuelled by Brian Johnson screaming at me that I was Back In Black – I refused to let this opportunist get eight feet in front of me.  But, having flown down the middle lane at speed, he had a speed advantage on the roundabout and I was ultimately forced to brake and let him in. 

Where normally I would have tutted and let it go, this time I let him know he was a twat. I flashed my lights at him and then I followed him round the roundabout at speed, just a couple of feet off his rear bumper. We headed up the short stretch of dual carriageway at a quick pace and then took the first left turning.  Still I hung onto his tail lights. We blatted down the road together, completely ignoring the 20mph speed limit… until I suddenly realised what I was doing. This bloke was driving like a complete twat, but I was too.

I slowed down and let him speed off down the road. He was probably chuffed with himself for having left me behind, but I didn’t care.

I turned the music down, slowed to within the speed limit and took a deep breath.

My first ever bit of road rage. 

I didn’t like it.

Ringing in the changes

It’s that time again.

It has been two years since I got my current mobile phone and the contract runs out next month.

Now, I am on the Three network which, whilst it has been quite reliable, just hasn’t quite offered the coverage that I get with Vodafone on my company mobile.

And so, I am thinking about jumping ship to another provider, despite having been with Three for a number of years.

And my Sony Xperia phone has been as solid as a rock for the past two years. I’m still very happy with it and would happily stick with it, really.

Except.

Except it is two years old and the battery is knackered. And you can’t just change the battery, because the phone is sealed, because it’s waterproof.

And besides. It’s two years old and I suppose I fancy a change.

But, this is the bit I don’t like, because now I have to choose a new phone and there are just so many out there now to choose from (not including Apple, of course, because… it’s Apple).

And once I have chosen my replacement – which should be easy in theory, considering my minimum requirements – I then have the rubbish task of choosing a network to go with.

Again, that should be easy, because they are all the same.

Well, nearly.

Finally though, it’s the confusing and time-consuming task of choosing a package to suit my needs, without it costing the earth each month.

I think I want unlimited minutes, 4GB of data and 12 texts.

Or maybe I want unlimited minutes, unlimited data and 14 texts.

But, y’know, looking at my current usage, I can probably save money and get away with just 200 mins, 500MB of data and 10 texts.

I just don’t know.

What I do know though, is that hours of surfing the net and scouring mobile phone websites, lies ahead of me, before I lose the will to live and eventually just walk into Carphone Whorehouse and let Johnny No Stars talk me into a package I’ll inevitably regret later on.

B&B

The erudite Mr Jones mentioned in a post earlier, of how much he enjoys taking his morning tea back to bed with him.

I think he has also mentioned previously, the joy of having breakfast in bed.

You are sadly mistaken, my friend.

Many claim this as an enjoyable little luxury, but does anyone really enjoy having breakfast in bed?

Really?

You know already that I don’t!

I’ve never seen the attraction.

Firstly, I don’t see how sitting upright in bed, propped up with pillows and balancing a bowl of Rice Krispies – other breakfast cereals are available –  can be more comfortable than sitting in a chair at the dining room table. Let’s face it, it’s not.

And then there’s the tray – if you have one. Again, balancing a tray containing a bowl of cereal and/or toast; a cup of tea/coffee; a glass of juice etc, isn’t easy. One wrong move – a sudden burst of hiccups – and it’s all over your 10 tog, duck-feather duvet – of course, other tog values are available.

Then there are the crumbs – especially if you have toast.  Doesn’t matter how careful you are, there will be crumbage. Which you won’t find until you get back into bed later that evening, when it will feel like half of Yarmouth beach is in bed with you – other, stonier, British beaches are available.

So please, tell me, where’s the luxury in that?

Or am I missing something.

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