Friday, November 27, 2009


Ever since the Psychic Barber went back to Cypress, I have been a bit stuck for someone to cut my hair. He was great and would trim my beard exactly the way I wanted it without me having to tell him and not cost too much either. The barbers I have tried out since have been okay but none have come close. They’ve either been cheap and quick or good but expensive.

It’s amazing how the price of a haircut can range from £7 at Mr Topper’s to £30 or £40 somewhere else.

Today, I decided to have a trim. Following a very cold day a few weeks ago I decided to regrow my beard and, at the same time, allow my hair to grow out of the summer no.1 crop (or shorter) I had been keeping to. For the past few days both have been looking a bit “tufty”, for want of a better word, and it was time to have them tidied up.

I found a nearby barber on Yell.com and popped in. It was a nice experience; he actually used scissors! Can you believe that? I thought I would never see scissors used on my hair ever again. He trimmed my beard neatly and tapered it at the bottom without defining a line and took great care with the stray hairs that had grown a lot longer than their fellows. He washed my hair as well.


A little more than I was expecting. Certainly more than Mr Topper’s and the Psychic Barber but it was good. I probably will go back. Just not very often.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

BBC Headline: Banks 'should disclose number of workers earning £1m' 

That should be a very short list. Very few people actually earn that much money.

A list that detailed the people that were paid £1m or over would be a lot longer.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Trains, bags and smells 

I know full well that I have blogged about all of these subjects before. I will undoubtedly blog about them in the future. You will just have to live with it.

This morning’s train was short by a couple of carriages so there was a bit of overcrowding by the time we got to Elmstead Woods. Instead of people just standing near the doors they were standing everywhere, including in the aisles. What annoyed me about this was that the woman who chose to stand next to me had a handbag that was poking me in the shoulder for the entire journey. She didn’t notice, of course, because she was very busy talking with her friend.

We got to Charing Cross a little late so I took the tube but I had to get on hurriedly and found myself crunched up against some woman who was wearing the rankest, strongest perfume I have ever smelt and I knew I would be sneezing (or suffocating) if I breathed it for too long. I was trying to work out if I would be able to hold my breath until we reached the next station or if it would be possible to discretely put my nose inside my coat when I noticed there was a bit of a breeze so I was able to orientate myself so that my nose was in the draft and I wasn’t able to smell her. At the next stop, however, I jumped off the train and ran up the train a few doors.

Didn’t she have a sense of smell?

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Under Pressure 

A few weeks ago, concerned about the weight I have been piling on since I left the gym all those months ago, I went to my GP’s surgery to have my blood pressure tested by the nurse.  I have been keeping half an eye on it myself with a little monitor thing I bought from Boots but I wanted it checked by a professional and to anything needed to be done about it.

She ended up using the manual method known variously as sss-sss or jumpy spider (http://www.auntiemomo.com/cakeordeath/unrepeatabletranscript.html - scroll down to Cats and Dogs). Basically she pumped up the cuff by hand and listened to my pulse in a stethoscope. I’m not sure that was accurate as, while the systolic reading (the bigger of the two) was about what I was getting on my home kit (150), the diastolic reading was way off at 100 instead of 90-ish. Anyhow, I have to go back in a month to see if it has decreased.

In the meantime, I have improved my eating habits (fruit for breakfast, salads for lunch and, the worst one, no salt on anything) and returned to the gym. I went three times last week and four this week so far.

I have a week or so to go before I go back to the nurse but I think something is working. My home BP readings have reduced a bit AND I think I have lost about half a stone in weight. That’s about 8 pounds for any American readers and three and a half kilos for anyone who’s feeling a bit metric.

I can also comfortably get into jeans that previously were on the tight side and had my stomach hanging over the top in a rather unattractive way.

I don’t know why I have been able to make progress with my diet and exercise regime this time when I haven’t at others. Not without help anyway.  Perhaps knowing that there is a measurable detriment to my health is spurring me on and knowing that it is starting to produce an improvement is also helping.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Silly question 

I just asked someone who is going on holiday in a few days the cliché question of “going anywhere nice?”

If you think about this, it is a bloody silly question.

You are going on holiday – why choose to go somewhere horrible? Even if it is not the most scenic of places or the hottest or the most interesting. It’s somewhere you have chosen to spend time and money getting to – it is somewhere you want to be.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Working gentleman 

I have, for the second time in my life, just been asked if I am a “working gentleman”. Why do I find this such a strange phrase?

The first time, many years ago, it was asked of me by a prospective cleaner so that she knew whether I was at home all day or if I was at work. Bit irrelevant really as I wouldn’t be needing a cleaner if I was at home.

This time I was asked by a receptionist at my doctor’s surgery as I was asking about Saturday appointments – something that has recently been introduced at my local surgery for “people who are working”. Fair enough, I suppose. People who can be seen at other times should be seen at other times.

I just find working gentleman an odd way of asking whether I work full time and would prefer a different phrase. I don’t know what but something that didn’t make me sound like an elderly rent boy would be a start.

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