I thought it would never happen but it has. I have binned the Iphone and moved to Android. To be specific, I now have a Samsung Galaxy s3 and initial impressions suggest I am going to be very happy with it. Its a lot bigger than the iphone but I wanted it to be because I intend to use the new phone as a satnav on my bike as well as a phone. I’m actually writing this post on it which I have to say is going splendidly well. The immediate install of the app SwiftKey is probably helping here too but nethertheless, this is just pure writing ease. The ease of writing on this thing has had a rather unwanted side effect though in that I don’t think I actually need my Google Nexus 7 anymore. So that might be appearing on ebay very soon. Astonishing. I got the Nexus 7 so that I don’t have to lump a laptop around me all the time when I want to go and write in a cafe and also to read on but if I’m honest, reading was always more pleasurable on the kindle. Maybe it’s bye bye Nexus, hello kindle?
I live in a very cold house. We have heating but no insulation, anywhere. The windows are single glazed, half the house has tiled floors and we have a big open fire with an enormous chimney. This is all makes for a sub-zero environment. If I put the heating on for ten minutes it will stay warm for ten minutes before all that lovely heat disappears and it’s cold again.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, my wife does not like putting the heating on. It’s a waste of money apparently she’ll say and why can’t I wear a jumper? A jumper?? What another one?? Shall I wear that over or under the one I’m already wearing?
Today presented me with an excellent an example of our feud. She went out so that she could get on with some farm chores. The second the front door closed I was up in a shot and cranking the heating up to the max. Ahhhh, it was all lovely and toasty for all of half an hour when she returned. Why is the heating on?? It’s like a bloody sauna in here says she. Well, it will be for you I reply, you’ve just been outside working. I mean of course she’s going to hot right? She’s just worked up a sweat.
So, now she’s turned all the heating off and it’s cold again. I even had a dual zone put in to help with this sort of thing. For example, I work upstairs so I can have the heating on up here independently of downstairs where she’ll be sitting, probably browsing a knitwear catalogue or putting a third pair of socks on.
To clarify, I can only have the heating on if I’m already wearing my three jumpers and its still cold.
I need to come up with a plan so that she’ll relent and let me have the heating on with maybe just one jumper on. Open to ideas…
I am one exceptionally lucky chap. Did I ever mention that before?
As I write this I am sitting by a pool in Borneo. Here to be precise. The temperature is a cool 28 degrees Celsius and after I finish writing this I might have a dip in the refreshingly cool pool, or I might go and have an ice-cream. Hell why don’t I do both? Check this out…
Okay, its not a great snap but I’m using a Google nexus 7 and it has no back facing camera but you can get some idea of the kind of place I’m in right now. Palm trees, the sea just a stone’s throw away, cocktail in hand. Yup, it’s pretty damn nice.
This holiday is my birthday present from my wife. She’s good like that. Oh wait… Before you go off all ‘lucky sod, I hope you choke on a coconut’, I am paying for something. It’s a self-catering holiday and so I am paying for all our eats and drink. Oh, and souvenirs. I won’t equal the amount she has shelled out, but I’ll certainly feel I have contributed well. In fact, if you consider the fact that I bought her a really nice camera for Xmas then we won’t be far off being equal.
It’s been a truly awesome holiday and I’ll certainly be slinging up a kick ass review on trip advisor in the near future. Ever considered holidaying in Borneo? Stop considering. Just stop and go pick up a brochure. Then book your trip. We’ve seen some amazing sights including orangutans, crocodiles, fuckoff big lizard things and sea turtles to name but a few. Awesome. The landscape is simply spectacular too. You can look at pictures of a rain forest all day long but you’ll never understand what it feels like until your trekking through one – as we have – in search of those wonderful creatures listed above. But on top of all that, what has really been made this holiday great is the people of Malaysia. They are a really lovely, but genuinely friendly people who will go out of their way to assist you in anyway they can to make your visit something special. Alternatively if you are the sort who does not fair well with your space being intruded upon, they understand this too and will leave you to it. Regardless, I have yet to see one Malaysian fail to smile, even in passing. Fantastic people. Many speak excellent English (it is taught as a second language at school here) in fact, most signs and business display their information in English first before anything else. This makes getting around Borneo incredibly easy. They drive on the right too and even have roundabouts. I could easily think of this place as a home away from home.
Anyway, it’s quite clear I’ve enjoyed my stay. But holiday aside, getting away has been good in other ways too. Before coming out here I had been getting increasingly frustrated with my writing – I think mostly through weakness. The call of the procrastinator is a seductive and alluring melody that calls weaklings such as I to spend my time like currency browsing time sinks like YouTube and Facebook or all manner of other forums. I found I frequently had nothing to show for hours of time spent in front of a computer. Out here, I have had no access to Internet (this is actually untrue as I did not discover the free wifi by the pool and in the lobby until the last day of my holiday – which is today) and so I have had nothing to soak up my minds valuable story producing energy or to lead me astray. The result is that I have not one, not two but three stories outlined (on paper lol!) and ready for typing up into a something awesome. Well, it’s a plan. I’ll let you know if they come of anything or if I am actually just riding a high at the moment and dreaming…. again.
Still, it’s hard not to dream with a view like this…
Well, it’s time for me to go. I have this to devour…
* there was going to be a picture of an enormous cheeseburger here, with warm cinnamon apple crumble to follow…. But I ate it before remembering to photo it. It was very nice indeed. *
…. on a balcony overlooking that fantastic view.
A year ago I had central heating installed in my house. I can tell you, the day that was switched on was a truly happy day indeed. No more wearing two jumpers indoors. No more listening to your shit land with a slap on a sheet of ice. No more blinking through your own piss steam. Oh, good times.
Anyway, I digress.
The engineer who installed the system was up for review by his accrediting body last week. The assessor came round and basically told him he would have to change a few things if he wanted to keep his registration. One of those changes was the replacement of a sewer access panel for an airtight, fire resistant panel. Obviously it’s not going to be a simple change is it? No, that would make everyone’s life easier and leave much time for drinking buckets full of tea. No, a chamber has to be constructed to accommodate the new lid. You see where this is going don’t you? Yup, the sewer was open and exposed for most of the morning… and I needed a poo since 9am. By 10am I was convinced I was actually sitting on a poo. Seriously, you couldn’t have called that a turtlehead. A dog’s head would be more accurate.
Anyway, after a happy inspection I discovered no shit in my pants. My glee was shortly replaced however by the simple fact that I just had to go. A pressing need to give birth to this ‘brown baby’ meant I could no longer avoid the toilet. My genuine fear that the workmen outside would not only hear my flush, but also watch my poo float by was soon overtaken by a sudden contraction in my lower gut. The baby was on its way.
I’ve had many scary poo’s in my life but this one takes the biscuit. There’s something particularly invasive about a workman, working on your property, who is also a friend, laying eyes open your poo as it sail past. I did think about wrapping it up in tissue, but I didn’t want him to consider for one second that I had taken the time to gift-wrap it.
I’ve no idea if they did watch my faecal matter slither past, and frankly I hope they never mention it if they did.
On that strange thought, I shall adjourn for the time being and go and make a bacon sandwich. Oh, and a cup of tea.
Unbelievably, I finished everything I wanted to today.
Well, almost everything. I didn’t get anywhere near the word count I hoped for. Instead I achievied a miserable 1000 words in the end. I can’t write anymore today as I’m off out for a bite to eat with the wife because she’s arranged for us to have a dinner out with friends. A shame I know but take note… take your wife for granted at your own peril. She has the power and an inherited devious-ness (passed down on a genetic level from Eve herself) to make your life a living hell for at least a week should she so desire. A little bit of wife maintenance tonight will give me the next few days burden free. Oh, and I’ll also have a rather nice steak too. Om nom nom.
Yep, all in all, a surprisingly good day that deserves a victory dance. Behold!
Oh, is ‘devious-ness’ even a word?
I can’t be arsed with blogging this morning so I apologise in advance if this entry is riddled with errors. I’ve got just too much ‘shit’ to deal with today and so I’m just going to bullet point a list of what I absolutely have to get done.
• Go to the farm and start up one of the tractors. This is one really grinds my shit. We contract out the crop spreading aspect of the farm business. You’d think these guys would know how to start a bloody tractor. I mean, they drive them for a bloody living! No, that would make my life easier if they could do that. Apparently our tractor is ‘temperamental’ and can only be started in a particular way. This is bollocks. I just turn the fucking key. Retards.
• I have to be at the farm to take delivery of six tonnes of poultry feed. I called up this morning to ask what time I could expect the delivery and was told it could be some time between 1pm and 5pm. So basically anytime this afternoon then? Wankers! I’ve been up since half past six already – because that’s when they usually come in.
• I am expecting a delivery at home today too. This one will definitely need signing for and wouldn’t you just know it? It’s coming this afternoon. Now I need to figure out how to be in two places at the same bloody time.
On top of all this, I had planned to write around 4-5000 words today. It was meant to be that all of my farm duties would have been completed before 8am as that is what usually happens. Typical that today, when I really needed things to go to plan so that I could sit down and write, that it all goes to hell. I fear this blog entry will be all the writing I actually get done today. Bollocks. I’ll try and find the time to bash another entry out tonight and let you all know how I got on.
Just had an awesome weekend away at the Black Library Weekender 2012 in Nottingham. Seriously, it was awesome. In fact, awesome is a word that is entirely inadequate to describe said event.
Being one of the few Golden Ticket holders, our fun and games began on the Friday. Truth be told, the Friday was the prime reason I bought the ticket as it gave me twenty minutes (which ended up being closer to thirty minutes) with an editor. Obviously I took a lot away from the weekend as a whole, but I think its fair to say that it was this meeting that the majority of Gold Ticket holders were really interested in. I came out of that meeting with an entirely new perspective on how the whole process works and have a much clearer idea of where I should be focussing my writing energy.
My story submission appears to have been well received too – which came as something of a surprise to me, although perhaps it shouldn’t have. I worked bloody hard on it after all. When the meeting was over many of us couldn’t wait to get back to the keyboard and start bashing out our next submission, myself included. My notebook is crammed full of new ideas, some of which came about through chats with established authors, others that just seemed to seep into my brain as I mingled in a crowd of collective awesomeness. I predict my fingers are going to be worn down into stunted nubs come the end of this week.
So, all in all I came away from the Weekender feeling pretty damn good and fairly optimistic about the future. Sadly, karma’s a bitch.
While I was away and submerged in awesome, my wife was at home on her own having a pretty shit time. It was always going to be a hard weekend for her. We live on a farm and share the duties. When one of us is away for a day, the other really feels the extra workload. Top this off with the fact that we both also work as paramedics, we’re pretty busy people. So its fair to say she had enough shit on her plate without the damn electrics in the house failing. I tried to talk her through fixing them, but I may as well have been speaking Mandarin. I just could not believe that the fault was anything serious. How wrong could I be?
The ring main had failed. I have disconnected everything but it’s still screwed. Hmmm, perhaps one of the sockets is wet? Nope. I know this because I have had the cover off every socket in the house. I especially know this because the last socket was hidden within a built-in cabinet. It took me three hours to dismantle that cabinet. The fact that the cabinet is now damaged beyond repair had me hopping mad for a almost a full minute when I realised how badly I had destroyed it. That anger however was soon replaced by a higher form of rage upon discovering that my built in cabinet had obviously been used as a toilet by my cats for some considerable time. How could I not smell that? Well, I live on a farm remember? I’m kinda used to living and working in shit.
All in all, the scales of inner happiness are still tilted in favour of my weekend of awesomeness making me surprisingly, well… chuffed. I really like that word, chuffed.
Until next time.
Danny threw the response bag down and slumped heavily into the attendant’s chair. He looked bitter and thoroughly pissed off as he swung his booted feet up onto the stretcher. I sat down in another chair and waited. I could sense a rant coming on and knew Danny well enough to know it was imminent. A long sigh cut the silence like a knife as Danny finally lost his rag.
‘Dude, I’m so sick of this job. Today is the first day in two weeks that I’ve actually been put on a shift with a paramedic. I’ve had nothing but drivers for eight shifts!’
‘Really? That sucks.’
‘Tell me about it. It’s just shit at the moment. We get sent to crap all day long, then I have to do everything because my driver is just so useless its offensive, and when I get a sick patient and I ask for paramedic backup I get told there aren’t any available.’
I nodded without saying anything. I knew there was more to come.
‘It’s just not fair. How am I supposed to develop as a clinician in my own right when the only two people on this bloody ambulance are the driver and me? Who do I learn from? Or am I just supposed to make it up as I go and learn from my mistakes, because I’ll tell you this… patients don’t like mistakes.’
I smiled. ‘You’re right there mate.’
‘Yeah! I know!’
‘So why are you so upset now? You’ve got me today.’
He sat and thought, a confused look etched on his face. ‘I don’t know really. I guess it’s because even though you’re here and you can deal with the sick patients, it’s still going to be me doing everything, all the dog’s work I mean.’
‘I see. Well, I don’t mind doing everything mate. Seriously, pop your feet up. Actually, you just drive me around and I’ll sort the shit out as it comes.’
He sighed again. ‘Thanks mate, but you know me. I won’t let anyone shoulder my workload. That’s not me.’
‘Things aren’t going to get any better you know, what with the cuts coming.’
‘Easy for you to say mate. You could drop out of here anytime you want and go and work on your farm instead. I’ll be here till I retire.’
‘Bollocks mate. What did you do before this?’
‘I was a pharmacist. Well, I worked in a pharmacy, as a pharmacist’s technician.’
‘So you could go and do that again. You’re not trapped mate.’
He started to pack things back into the response bag. Where things were date stamped, he’d check it. I couldn’t remember checking a date on any consumable in over five years. He found a number of cannulas and needles that were out of date, and I’m guessing, no longer sterile. He threw them away and went back to his systematic check, pack, check, pack routine. Danny was good like that, dependable. You knew if you took over an ambulance from him it would be spotless. Nothing would be missing. No patient would suffer because a piece of equipment wasn’t available or it wasn’t cleaned properly. Nothing got past Danny. His movements slowed and he stared off into the distance as he spoke again.
‘The thing is,’ he said, ‘you forget the reasons you left in the first place. I feel like it would be taking a step backward if I was to go back to working there.’
I thought about that for moment and then, with a smile I said, ‘Not unless you’d taken a step forward into a hole. It would only be right to extricate yourself in that case wouldn’t it?’
He laughed. I laughed.
‘I see what you’re saying. Thing is though, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.’ He looked sad again. ‘For me though, it’s a case of old grass or no grass.’
Today, whilst being chauffeured about in an ambulance by my ‘driver’ I took in the sights as we drove through my local town centre. Some of the highlights included:
- A queue of people waiting outside the job centre, not looking for a job, but collecting their dole money.
- A queue of people (well, more of a disordered rabble really. Well, actually they looked more like swaying zombies to be truthful) waiting outside a premises to get their methadone fix.
Does this look fun to you?
- Several groups of eastern Europeans dancing in the street, chugging on bottles of cider and whiskey. Note: this observation is not specific to eastern Europeans. The English are just as bad, only they tend to only come out at night or else they stay behind closed doors and drink themselves stupid.
A typical ‘Benefit’ party.
Now, I may be about to get controversial and so let me state that these are only observations of a few people, and do not reflect my views on entire cultures, ethnic groups, race etc. That is to say, I am not intending to tar a group of people with a large brush, only a minority who for all intents are shit bags.
So, I got to thinking about how I ‘if I had the POWER’, would deal with these problems. This is what I would do:
- I would make every single person claiming dole, benefits, job seekers allowance… whatever, provide a urine sample on the premises. If you’re drunk, or under the influence of drugs, you can bugger off until your clean. There are people who work certain kinds of jobs (on oil rigs for example) who cannot work and therefore cannot get paid and thereby pay taxes unless they provide a clean sample of urine. If they have to be clean to earn it, so should every other fucker be.
- Ah, the heroin addicts. What to do with them? I say, let them have their drugs. But… add a little something to it. Something that will give them, I don’t know, a severe groin itch that lasts a week. They take these drugs because of the hit it gives them. Trying to block drugs entering the country won’t work. A real addict will only turn to crime or seek his drugs from dubious sources. In my view, the only way to combat this is to make the drugs undesirable, and I think an itchy groin will make a few think twice.
- Also, cigarettes… I’d add something that makes their head glow fluorescent green. (Oh, I used to be a smoker, but now I am cured. I’ve seen the light.) I think many would give up immediately if they had go round looking like a Martian for the day. Thinking about it, I’d add this head glow thing to all drugs. I know drug addicts are fairly easy to spot anyway but I say shame them. Make them glow. Make doing drugs so un-cool that its cooler to avoid them altogether.
Well, I think we can all agree that none of these things will ever happen. There’s probably some mad law that would mean this sort of thing violates Human Rights or something. Almost as mad as say, paying these people benefits and handouts so that they can go out and buy more drugs.
What a crazy world.
Shamelessly pinched from someone else….
“As he approached with those pasty white arms hanging out of his Gola vest, his smile told me it was benefit day and I knew my velour tracksuit would be hanging off the lampshade tonight” “ It was Wayne’s birthday. I was preparing his special tea of Findus pancakes and pot noodle. I would let him take me any way he wanted tonight. His favourite position was what he called the dogs of war. Where he took me from behind and played call of duty at the same time” “our 6 week anniversary was approaching. This would be my longest relationship without becoming pregnant. I thought of this as he lay on top of me making love. His skinny arms straddled my head like breadsticks either side of an orange. As I rubbed his whiter that white back I imagined every mole I felt was spelling out Braille for “ I Love You” As I stood in line at the job centre thinking of reasons I couldn’t work, a sweet smell drifted past my pig nostrils. It was a mixture of weed, BO and Lynx Africa. I turned around and there was Dwayne. Our eyes met and he was soon lifting me onto the wheelie bins behind Iceland. He had tied up his staffy to block the ally way so we wouldn’t be disturbed. There was a tramp watching but it just added to the mystery. I knew it was love and my life would never be the same.” “My mum told me to leave Dwayne many times due to violence but I knew he loved me as he always took his rings off before he hit me. Tonight though he was in a foul mood, I had **** his tea up after failing to de-frost his prawn ring I had nicked from farm foods. He picked up a power lead from my kids mega drive and whipped it across my doughy ****. It stung but I liked it. I shouted again and again so he carried on. I thought my shell suit would rip into a million pieces. As I looked over my shoulder I saw his Weetabix toothed smile. He even had a semi-on which is rare as crack normally played havoc with his erections…………………..”