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Ring ring

A while back, I wrote about the need for a new mobile phone and my trials and tribulations over what to get and which network to switch to.

Well, here is what I plumped for: the Sony XP1 Ultra.  Sticking with my preferred brand. It has a six-inch display; Android Dairy Milk Crunch (or whatever the latest version is called); fast processor(s) and the all-important camera. Well, two cameras – like most phones today, it has a camera on the front for taking selfies. Not that I have ever taken a selfie, but, you never know.

I got it for a bargain price too, thanks to Mrs M having a voucher for sixty quid off!

And – following advice from a couple of you – I opted for giffgaff as my network provider. Quick and easy to set up, and pretty cheap.

So far, I am most pleased with it.

It’s good to talk

My journey to work – as I’ve oft mentioned – is a horrible one and takes far longer than it damn well should.

Generally, to while away the time, I listen to podcasts.

But, a few weeks ago, I fitted a VHF/UHF radio transmitter in the car (that’s it in the picture above). This allows me to converse with other like-minded idiots as I travel.

And it’s amazing how much quicker the time flies when in conversation with someone.

I wish I’d done it years ago.

 

Not parched

Hydration is a big thing nowadays. It’s most important – apparently –  that we stay hydrated.

You’re not allowed to get thirsty anymore, apparently, so now everyone carries little bottles of water around with them.

At work, whenever we go into meetings, half the desk space is taken up by bottles of water because, it seems, no-one can go for an hour without needing to have a drink.

You could say I’m being hypocritical here as, whenever I go into a meeting, I’ll always take a cup of tea in with me. But I do  that, not because I might get thirsty, but because it’s tea. And of course, one should always take tea into meetings. It’s social etiquette.

And besides, someone might bring biscuits.

In the Gents toilet at work (I daresay it’s similar in the Ladies) we have a poster as shown, at reading height above each urinal.

I sometimes get strange looks as I stand there having a pee and say rather too loudly (and on purpose, of course), “Oh yes! Pale straw! Result!”

Aaaahhhhhtchoo!!

It’s that time of year, again.

As a child, I never suffered from hayfever and I would ridicule any of my school-friends that did: “C’mon”, I’d say, “It’s only a bit of pollen!”

When I reached adulthood though, it suddenly hit me and I fully understood the torment that my friends had gone through.  I then suffered with it for many years.

As I got older, the symptoms started to reduce slightly each year, and nowadays I only really get it if the count is high and I am on my bike: pollen up the nostrils at 60mph, is bound to have an effect!

This year though, I have started suffering from it quite badly again.

And I’m not alone, as both kids also have it pretty bad.

Today, I have made the first of – what I am sure will be – many trips to the chemist, for some much needed relief.

The price of these medications seem to go up each year, but, as I’m sure any fellow sufferers will agree, it’s a price well worth paying.

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

It’s been a tiring old weekend, with lots getting done and we needed to kick back a bit.

So, this afternoon, we had some family over for a barbecue and a few drinks.

And then a few more drinks.

Now, I’ve liked whisky for a long time and our sideboard has many bottles in it, that have been bought me over the years.

And whilst I’m partial to a nice scotch, I find Irish that bit smoorther.

This one was unopened and was shouting out to be uncorked… Mick and I didn’t want to let it down.

A fair afternoon’s work, I’d say.

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.

ShackBox

I’ve been busy over the weekend.

Doing the usual weekendy stuff: cutting the grass; cleaning the bathroom; fixing the stupidly-expensive cordless hoover… that sort of thing.

And also, building this little project from April’s Practical Wireless.

G0PJO’s wonderfully simple design was a joy to build… and cheap too!

I think total cost was about 22 quid and that gives me a highly accurate clock, along with Latitude and Longitude coordinates; temperature and air pressure readings and a Maidenhead Locator too! It will even show WAB squares… if I wanted it to, but I didn’t, so a quick tinker with the very well-documented code switched off that particular function.

If you are looking for a quick and simple – but worthwhile – project to get the soldering iron going, then I can heartily recommend this.

 

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.

The times they are… have changed

“Learn anything good at school today?” is a question I ask the kids almost every night when I get home from work.
Most of the time, they can’t remember what they learnt and reply just with a surly grunt.

“Learn anything good at school today?” I asked thirteen year-old Harry, when I got in, this evening.  “Yep”, he replied promptly. “I learnt how to put a condom on”.
Well, that stopped me in my tracks, I can tell you.

“That’s, er, good” I said, trying to look unfazed and be cool about it. “I take it you didn’t actually put one on, but used a banana or cucumber?”

“Oh no”, he replied, “we used a dildo” Again, that stopped me in my tracks and I decided to leave it there.  The current Mrs Masher, however, was keen to hear more and pushed for more details.

“Well, we also learnt about various sexual diseases, like…” and he rattled off the names of several STDs.

“Anything else?”, Mrs M asked.

He thought for a moment. “Oh yeah, they showed us a femidom and showed us how that should be used and also, they showed us a plastic sheet that you put over your bum if you want to have anal sex.”

I got up out of the chair and went to make a cup of tea, leaving Mrs M to continue the interrogation.

I can remember the sex education that we got at school, back in nineteen filthy-lie. 
We were made to watch a video (a short film on a projector, as it was back then) in a darkened school hall, where we all giggled as naked pictures of men and women were shown to us, each with arrows pointing out their respective sexy bits.
Then, back in the classroom, we were all allowed to ask just one related question – anonymously, to save any embarrassment – by writing it on a piece of paper for the teacher to read out. I can’t remember exactly what my question was… something to do with breasts.

But I do remember the teacher reading it out and then looking straight at me as he answered it! 

And I remember going bright red with embarrassment.

I think I would have just curled up and died, if I’d been told to put a condom on a dildo!

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