Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Weird dream 

I dreamt I was having a fight with Phil Mitchell from EastEnders. Actually, what I was doing was trying to prevent him from hitting me by pinning him down against a bathroom door with one hand on each of his arms.

With a spare hand (where did that come from? who writes these things?) I grabbed a red biro and started to write "killer" on his forehead but ran out of room, which is amazing as he has plenty of forehead.

I wonder if maybe I have been watching too much EastEnders.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Fun" size 

I'm not the only person who has questioned the term "fun-size" when applied to food. Fun-size chocolate bars have been around for decades but today is the first time I have seen fun-sized bananas.

Why "fun-sized"?

What is fun about a banana that is slightly smaller than an ordinary banana?

Some people need to get out more, especially if they work in marketing departments.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Stupidity! Part Two 

This is a bit late but I thought it was worth mentioning now because not only was it stupid but it was also bloody dangerous.

Last week, Bromley Council had some people replace the pedestrian traffic lights at the bottom of Station Approach that allow people to cross Station Road. Station Road is very busy and has to be crossed by many people going to and coming from the station. This includes school children.

The lights were out of action for three days. In all that time, do you think there were temporary traffic lights to make sure that people were able to cross the road?

That's right, there weren't.

Every one of those mornings, men, women and children had to take their lives into their own hands and dash across the road.

What were Bromley Council thinking?

Were they thinking?

Doubt it.

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Stupidity! Part One 

This happened last year but I was still surprised, not to mention completely dismayed, to see that we had a large group of teenaged Japanese tourists on the train this morning AND on the train home.

I was unfortunate enough to be in the same carriage on the way home.

Who in their right mind thought it would be an enormously good idea to stuff an extra 20 people in an already packed commuter train in the heat of summer?

Not only were there 20 extra people on the train but they were very very loud. I was trying to listen to an audio book but they made it impossible.

Surely they could have gone into London and back out again at other times?

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Hot weather = no sleep 

Last night I slept like a log. That is a hot, damp, sweaty log that sticks to its sheets and doesn't get much sleep because of it.

It's nice that there is hot weather at last but it really is too warm to sleep.

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One thing I hate doing is accounting for the hours that I spend every day at work. I know it's necessary and that we can't charge our customers properly if we don't account for our time but it is such a chore!

I hate it so much that I have to get it out of the way and put in my time as soon as I can, i.e. at the end of every working day.

I find it amusing therefore that the timesheet system hasn't worked since Friday afternoon and I seem to be the only person who has noticed.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Husband and husband? Not in Islington! 

I read about this in the paper the other day. I didn't pay much attention to it other than to think "silly cow" and turn the page. Then someone sent me an article from the Independent which I read and became a little annoyed.

In essence the story is that an Islington registrar has refused to conduct civil partnership cermonies on religious grounds. The council took action against her but she has had her views upheld by the court and can now legally refuse to conduct civil ceremonies.

The reason the Independent article made me annoyed with this woman is that she claims that she objects on religious grounds and yet is a registrar who, on a daily basis, marries people who have been married before and straight couples who have been living together before deciding to "make it legal". Both types of wedding should be just as objectionable in religious terms as a civil ceremony, which is, strictly speaking, not a wedding in any case.

She seems to have no objections to secular straight ceremonies and yet does object to gay unions.

Homophobia? Looks like it to me.

Legally permitted homophobia? Looks like that as well. And that's worrying.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Trains! Grrrrrr! 

Now, I haven't blogged about the other passengers on my train for a long time but tonight was exceptionally annoying.

Chair-kicking children and three people chatting on their phones in harsh-sounding languages that I could hear over my iPod, thank you very much.

I won't go into details. They're not important. Suffice to say I became rather miffed.

The icing on the cake came when I tried to get through the barrier and the man in front held his Oyster card on the barrier for a little too long. That usually makes the person after (i.e. ME) have an error with their card.

That nearly made me miss the bus.


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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Perfectly full-frontal 

David and I are perhaps the only men in their forties who are fans of Louise Rennison's series of books for teenaged girls, The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. We were first attracted to the books when we saw that OneWord, a now defunct broadcaster of audio books, had something with the title It's OK, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers in it's listings for the month. How could we resist a title like that?

Big Knickers turned out to be the second in the Georgia Nicolson series.

Since then I have read all the books and get the latest one for my birthday each year. We also have listened to all of the audio versions of the books in the car on long journeys.

I was quite excited to see that a film was coming out of the first book, Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging. I wouldn't go and see it, of course. It's one thing to have the bottle to read a pink hardback decorated with flowers and lipsticks than it is to be the only man in a cinema full of teenaged girls. I might as well wear a full length dirty macintosh to complete the seedy image I would have by proxy.

I was also excited to see the first poster for the film this morning but immediately disappointed to see that the title of the film is Angus, Thongs and PERFECT Snogging.



I can only assume that the title had to change to get it past the board of censors but, honestly, how are the words "full" and "frontal" going to corrupt the girls who are going to see the film? They will already be fans of the books and, gosh, know the full title and a whole lot more.

Blimey O'Reilly's trousers! I would have expected that sort of thing in Hamburger-a-gogo-Land but here? Billy Shakespeare would have a nervy B.

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Monday, July 07, 2008


For some months now, I have been seeing a personal trainer when I have been to the gym. He has made a world of difference to my training regime and, more importantly, to how I feel.

I know it is no measure of fitness but I am a lot stronger than I used to be and my arms are starting to bulge at the right places. I've caught myself thinking "nice!" (in a very non-ironic way) when I have seen myself in the mirror as I am working out and have spent rather longer soaping my arms in the shower than I used to.

All I need to do is remove a stone or two of fat from my stomach and change my name to Narcissus.

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Friday, July 04, 2008


The evening before last I planted out the remainder of the bedding plants that I had bought for my garden. It took me longer than I thought and it was getting dark before I finished. It was a warm night so I wore shorts.

Unfortunately, some insect took a liking to my left leg and I was bitten. I actually did notice at the time but it was only a slight prickle and so I didn't do anything about it.

Yesterday afternoon the bites became very itchy and sore and I have taken to using hydrocortisone cream and upping my dose of antihistamine. Neither have had a great effect just yet and my leg feels horrid. I didn't get much sleep either.

Nasty horrible biting bugs!

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Off the buses 

I am not a great fan of travelling by bus. I usually find them too hot and too subject to the whims of traffic. I will only travel by bus in London on Friday evenings when I am on my way to the station after my Alexander Lesson.

I have, however, fallen into the habit of getting the bus home from Orpington station. This is not a new habit; I have been doing it for years. I am going off the idea though.

There is the ever-present problem of teenaged chavs boarding the bus in Orpington High Street, or the loony who collects newspapers and usually makes a beeline for the seat next to me, or the very very masculine looking woman (possibly) who smells of smoke but now I'm starting to be aware of how bad the drivers can be.

Normally, the drivers of the R8 or 358 are no strangers to putting their feet down. This can be a problem but, as long as I am prepared, I can ride it out safely. Last night, however, the 358 driver had "problems".

He was late setting out for a start. Orpington Station, for those of you who don't know it, is a terminus for buses as well as trains. The 358 starts there and makes its way to Crystal Palace via a very circuitous route that takes it very near to my house.

The drivers are supposed to take a fixed-length break, I think. This one arrived late and sat there for his statutory period before racing out to the bus-stop. After taking us on board, he shot off down the hill but fell foul of a van in front and kept having to apply his brakes. Stop-start-stop-start-judder-judder-judder. My neck didn't feel very good at this point.

When we reached the bottom of the hill and turned into the High Street, I was thinking that the driver needed to take his driving test again and, across the aisle, I heard a passenger say the very same words to someone else.

We did the turn round the roundabout near The Walnuts and headed back up the High Street towards Orpington Hospital and my house. The driver kept the rapid acceleration and braking regime in place throughout.

At the stop for the hospital, the passenger across the aisle got off and had a few words with the driver. I can't remember the exact words used but there was a bit of swearing but essentially he told him that he really did need to take his test again and that he should not be driving a bus. Then he walked off, leaving our driver shouting at him.

About a minute later we were still stationary and the driver decided that he was going to go "off sick" (his words) and that we should all get off.

Not one of us moved. No-one got off. Nobody even got up. It was very strange.

A woman at the back said that he shouldn't be like that as she had to get the kids home and a few minutes later the driver, without a word, shut the doors and drove off.

I was very worried that he would go all the way to the garage but fortunately, he did answer the bell and stopped the bus for me to get off at the next stop.

I was proud of the passengers not getting off and I was also proud of the man speaking to the driver. All the same, I didn't feel safe.

I don't think every bus driver in Orpington is like that but I will try to avoid buses where I can from now on. The walk will do me good anyway. If I do need to get a bus (like I will tonight as I have an evening appointment) and the driver is driving like that again, then I will just get off.

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