Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day time fun

So without much to do over the past two weeks of unemployment I've had to stagger activities through the days. The first week was okay given I had to prepare for interviews and do a lot of reading. However, the second week has been more difficult to fill.

The Ashes has helped, as has organising my trip and an empty gym to go to, but now that winter has kicked in there's not much more you want to do than sit at home, eat and watch daytime TV. Particularly in this:
Yep, an all in one tracksuit.

Why would I resort to such lengths? The typical UK December blizzard of course.
What gets me every year is without fail all essential services in the UK shut down when the snow kicks in. And every year the people running it say 'we weren't prepared'. The only surer thing will be that in March they will then say they have learned the lessons of the past and improved...only for the same thing to happen the next year.

How can this keep happening when the rest of Europe snows heavier, for longer, and with less resources - Poland is minus 16 for God's sake. How? British blame culture.

As I've said in the past, I haven't lived anywhere where 'it's their fault' is more used. Blame will go in circles for 2 months before there's no one left, and then they give up. Take the below for example:

No trains departing (especially lovely after several weeks of strikes) and the milk-less corner store. You order milk everyday, how can you run out?? It's not as if the four days of snow and news that people stayed home rather then went to work should surprise you there's a greater demand.

So anyway, trapped inside has given me a lot of time to simply watch day time TV and surf the net. That's where I discovered a very unusual facebook ad. You know the ads that appear down the right hand side? Well, a recent one was advertising virus protection. Take a look at the ad - have they used an image of The Hoff??
But tomorrow it's off to sunny South East Asia for two months where these problems won't follow me. Don't miss me too much and I hope to regale you with stories of intrigue, mystery and amusement on my return.

Hope I can wear my onesy there.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Parting is such sweet sorrow

They say music is food for the soul, and while it may be, I think food is love. Well, not so much that but more if you've got the love thing down, all you want after that is food.

I’m baffled when watching people in a relationship that everything becomes about food. But not so much when people get together, but more when they move in. The conversations around my house now days are constantly about food - not me - my flatmates. It's 'what are we having for dinner' and 'what’s for breakfast', the supermarket is the new nightclub, the kitchen top is a defrosting machine, and the constant sound of grazing is heard by everyone in sizzling, popping, crackling distance from Clapham Common. In fact, MasterChef is the most watched programme, with Come Doine with Me being second.

It’s not unusual I guess. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs established that the base things that people need in order to he happy are food, shelter, procreation. So when your missus moves in you’ve got two (albeit one drops off a little) so you may as well go gang busters on the third – num num num!!!

Why am I on about this? Well, I've just gone through a break up myself. It was my decision, and there are no hard feelings. In fact, I would even go back one day if the opportunity was there. Yes, after nearly four years, Lloyd's and I have gone our separate ways. 'That's not a break up' you say, but I disagree. For many years I've been married to my work and putting it first in most circumstances - in fact ending proper relationships when they got in the way.

I've been loyal to it, spent all my time with it, gone out with it and taken it home with me. It quite ironic that the Who's song (below) played on my iPhone in shuffle mode when I left..spooky.
But now time for a little break in my relationship with work. Why - because it's frigging freezing and I'm going to Asia to warm up! It's so cold that people are lighting fires in the middle of parks and letting off fireworks in the name of Bonfire night.

'Remember, Remember the fifth of November'.

For those that don't know, this is the rhyme taught to kids to celebrate the plot by Guy Fawkes to blow up the houses of parliament many moons ago (can you imagine celebrating this now?). Some know it as Guy Fawkes night, others know it as Bonfire Night. I know it as Let's Burn Shit.

The premise is that everyone crowds in to a small patch of grass to watch fireworks, usually put on by the Borough (or council for others), who then don't pay for anything else for the rest of the year despite charging what's called 'Council Tax' - yep, even the local council gets slice of your income. When I moved to Sydney, we saw fireworks nearly every second day - we thought we were being shot at, but the English go nuts for them

And how typically English was it that on Bonfire Night (called that due to what occurs, obviously) that the London Fire Brigade decided to go on strike. Yep, the day when they are needed the most, it's time to lay down the hoses. In fact, right now there are a few strikes.

Take the tube for example, they're always downing tools, but they do it in the strangest way. Some lines on the underground, and even some sections of lines, operate under different unions. This means that catching the tube during a strike is like Transport for London's big game of Snakes and Ladders.

Get on at Clapham South on the Northern Line, go passed three closed stops, Stockwell up, Central Line back, pass Bank and end up at London Bridge... the Tube should pay Mattell royalties!

And I ask you, what are they striking for - it's not as if they pay attention when they are are working. Here's the update on their website which monitors where the trains are (check out the top one)!!

We've got a rogue locomotive!!!