Category: Me me me (page 2 of 7)

Food, glorious food

We went out last night, for a meal.

It was my niece’s 18th birthday, so about thirty of us gathered together in this restaurant for a big birthday dinner.

It was meant to be a surprise, but of course, she recognised all the cars in the car park.

We’d not been to this particular restaurant before – in fact, it’s only about five miles away, but I never even knew it existed.

It has quite an impressive menu, featuring gastronomical delights from Italy, Mexico, America, India and – of course – Britain.

Now, when it comes to choosing from a menu, I’m not one for hanging about. I’m not one of the “I really fancy this… but that looks nice too. Oh what shall I have?” brigade.  If I take longer than one minute to pick something, then I just get annoyed with myself.

Because it’s all nice, so just pick something for chris’sakes!

But this time, it must have taken me a good five minutes. I was REALLY annoyed with myself. But I think it’s because there was TOO much choice.

I’m quite partial to a Chicken Jalfrezi and I love a well cooked, proper Lasagne.

Chimichangas are delicious and there are times when only a burger will do, of course.

So what epicurian feast did I plump for, from this exotic and eclectic menu?

Gammon, egg and chips.

And it was bloody lovely!

 

Happy Friday

Well, my journey to Dartford yesterday was OK: I made the meeting with ten minutes to spare.

The drive home wasn’t so good, though. As soon as I approached the the M25, I realised that going through the hole wasn’t an option and so instead, I navigated my way to the clockwise carriageway and went the long way round, thereby completing a complete circumnavigation of the London Orbital Motorway.

But today, I have none of those commuting worries, as it is Friday. Yay!

And on a Friday, I usually work from home.

This isn’t something that is built-in to my contract, but rather an unspoken agreement. Should I be required to go in, then I will. No problem.

But Friday’s tend to be quieter days anyway, with fewer meetings, so it’s an ideal day to work from home and catch up with stuff, without too many interruptions.

An additional benefit, is that over the course of a year, that will be about 3000 fewer miles that I will have put on my car. That’s a fair bit of wear and tear saved, over the lifetime of the car. And the resulting fuel savings are an added bonus, of course!

On top of that, I will spend less time behind the wheel, getting frustrated. Roughly 120 hours less.

That’s nearly five days!

That’s gotta be good.

But, there is a perception that working from home can be less productive, and I’ll admit that I often take the opportunity to get other non-work related stuff done during the day – I mean what’s the point of having this perk if you don’t take advantage of it?

But, it IS a perk, and perks can be taken away if they are abused.

So whilst I may take advantage of my ‘working from home’ day, by also doing some housework; sorting out some personal paperwork; updating this blog; having a twiddle round the radio dial and drinking more tea than should be humanly possible, I will also make sure that I get some actual, proper work done. And, sometimes, I’ll even find that I actually get a bit more done at home than I possibly would have done at work.

So, it benefits me financially by paying less for running the car, and it benefits me mentally, by spending less time on our horrendous motorway network.

And the company still gets the work done.

That’s a win-win situation, in my book.

Friendly February

I mentioned last week about Time To Talk day.

Well, we were given a sheet of things to try to do, to help with our own mental wellbeing, throughout the month.

So far, there have been ten things to try. I think I have succeeded/tried maybe about half of them.

Today’s challenge is to involve others and get them joining in.

So come on, both my readers, join in!

Else, next Monday’s challenge will be particularly difficult.

Although, I must say, I’m not looking forward to the 26th… I’ll probably end up getting my face slapped.

You’ll like this…

I met up with some people from work yesterday, in Reading, and we went on a bit of a pub crawl.

For charity.

I’m not sure how many pubs we visited (I think it was six, maybe), but by the end of the night, it’s safe to say that I was pretty well pissed.

To be honest, I can’t really remember how I found my way back to my hotel room.

But I did.

And I stopped off on the way, to get a burger and chips… by the looks of the detritus in my room this morning.

But one thing I do remember from last night, is magic.

Those of you who read this drivel, will be well aware that I have been a follower of magic and illusions for many, many years. Since I was a teenager, really.

And when I say I follow magic, I don’t just mean that I watch it on the telly. I have learnt how to do several tricks; I have become adept at one or two sleights of hand and I have practiced and practiced until I have got it right.

For years, I have performed a few card tricks and the like, for family and close friends, but I’ve never had the bottle to perform in front of others… in case I make a mess of it or give the game away.

Last night, was a turning point.

At various points throughout the evening, I produced a deck of cards and a couple of other props and performed several tricks in front of about eight or nine people from work.

And I was a hit!

It all went very well.

Apart from the one I fucked up, right at the end.

Mental note to self: after your seventh pint, Masher, put the cards away!

Mindfulness

If you didn’t already know, yesterday was national Time To Talk day.

At work, cakes and doughnuts were supplied in the canteen and people were encouraged to come along and chat.

Of course, most people just came along for the confectionary, but several did take the time to discuss their problems with a Mental First Aider.

Me?

I just went for a doughnut and a cup of tea.

And then a slice of fruitcake – not very apt for a forum discussing mental issues, I thought.

But all in all, the event seemed well attended and my little counter box with the blue buttons was put into play for the first time and showed that 75% of those who attended, felt it was a worthwhile exercise.

The remaining 25% just wanted more cake.

You must be joking

It annoys me that I can never remember jokes.

Even the good ones.

I heard one yesterday morning on a podcast: a nice quick two-liner. “Ahh, that’s a good one”, I thought, “I’ll tell that to the kids when I get home.”

Fat chance!

Could I remember it?

Could I ‘eck as like.

I was doing my food shopping in Sainsbury’s on Saturday, when I bumped into an old fellow as we both went for the free-range carrots at the same time. We explained niceties for moment, apologising to each other in the way us British do, and then he said to me – apropos of nothing – “Did you hear the one about…” and he proceeded to tell me a joke.

I smiled and gave a little laugh as I tried to back away toward the weighing scales. I remember thinking that it was actually quite a good joke… even though he telegraphed the punchline.

But, I’m damned if I can remember it now.

Then, as I was rummaging through the broccoli, there was a tap on my arm and I turned to see him standing there, smiling at me, although his trolley was still over by the carrots. “Two nuns walk into a bar…” He was evidently enjoying the opportunity to try his material out on someone other than his grand-kids and he told me three jokes in all… none of which I can remember now.

I laughed politely and continued with my shopping, aware that he was only a few steps behind me as I walked on.

I think I lost him in the next aisle, somewhere between the onions and the stringless beans.

He might still be there now, accosting any shopper that will listen.

“My wife’s so fat…”

Too Much Cotton Wool

Unless you’ve just had a fortnight’s holiday at Ice Station Zebra, you can’t fail to notice that we’ve had our first dumping of snow.

I’m not a fan of the snow: too cold; too wet and… too cold.

But it does look pretty when it’s been freshly laid (there’s a joke in there, somewhere).

I took the mutt out for her morning walk yesterday, bright dark and early.

She loves the snow!

And, much as I hate the damn stuff, I do always get a frisson of excitement when it’s my boots that are making the first prints in the virgin snow; the whump whump as I trudge through it all is quite satisfying. I’ll often turn back, just to see the trail I’ve made, meandering off into the distance, before it gets churned into a mess by a hundred other pairs of boots.

A little later, the wife went off on her merry way to work: a five-mile journey that caused her no problems at all.

I then spoke to a friend on the radio, who travels up from London on a daily basis. His commute was also free and easy.

And then, whilst I had my breakfast, I noticed the dustman making their way up the road… at exactly the same time as they usually do. No delays.

Y’see, we’d had plenty of warning and the council had sent the gritter lorries out in preparation. The roads were absolutely fine, such that no-one should have any problem getting to work.

Why oh why, then, was every single High School in the town closed?

“Duty of care” and “Health & Safety” reasons, is what we were told.

It was possible a child could slip over in the snow and hurt themselves.

You know: just like we did, when we were growing up.

Code

I have a dirty, stinking one!

The current Mrs Masher has been on her death bed all week with man-flu, and I was feeling well pleased with myself that I was managing to avoid it.

Because we sleep together (and I use that in the literal sense of the word, not the euphemistic one… because we’re married) I was convinced that I was gonna go down like a sack of spuds, after she’d filled the bedroom each night with her germs.

But no, I managed to hold out until it was a much more inconvenient time to catch it: a time when I need a clear head, so I can write down a month’s worth of drivel for you both to read.

So yes, here we are on Feb the wunth – WTF happened to January, by the way? If it carries on at this rate, it’ll soon be Christmas!

Anyway, pinch punch,  here we go again.

Sniff.

Britain Has Got Talent

Some years ago, I went to see (hear) The Planet Suite by Holst, being played at the Royal Festival Hall.

It was bloody brilliant.  And I found myself slightly star-struck, when I realised I was sitting just two seats away from Julian Lloyd Webber.

Recently I’ve been longing to go and see (hear) it again… although I doubt Jules will be there this time.

And so tonight finds me searching the internets for tickets.

Tickets to see (hear) The Planet Suite.

All of it.

By Gustav Holst.

I couldn’t find any though and somehow I ended up just listening to Jupiter on YouTube.

Which was great.

But, then the ‘YouTube sidebar of time-wasting’ sucked me in, and I found myself clicking on all sorts of videos, only to emerge two hours later, bleary-eyed and finding that everyone had gone to bed.

But, I thought I’d share a couple of favourites that I found, with you… they’re fairly short.

I would love to have been there for this one, but being a southerner, I missed out. I very much doubt it’s ever going to happen in our shopping mall in town.

And this one just made me jealous: the talent of this fella! It’s scenes like this that make me wish I’d paid more attention to my music teacher at school.

 

Telescope or horoscope?

Flicking through the BBC website t’other day, I saw a link which said “Space Calendar: What’s Happening In 2019?”… or something like that.

It turned out to be on the Newsround site – aimed at kids – so it was very easy for me to understand 🙂

I enjoyed the read, until I got to November, where I found an error (which I have highlighted in the picture above).

For some reason I found myself incensed with this and tried to leave a comment on the site, to alert them to their heinous blunder – I mean, how could they confuse celestial mumbo-jumbo with proper science?

Unfortunately, my BBC login wouldn’t allow me to do so, saying that I was way too old to comment on the site – like I was some kind of space-nerd paedo, or something.  This incensed me even further and I started composing a a strongly worded email to the Beeb… before something else caught my attention and distracted me.

And then I lost interest.

Us Taureans have a short attention span, y’see.

Anyway, I’m pleased to see that they have now corrected it.

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