Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Car Share

I’ve spent the last 20 years driving to work on my own, until I recently offered a lift to a colleague who’s just moved in to the next street.

Well, I couldn’t just head off to work every day while watching them standing in the pissing rain by the bus stop or leave the office with a jovial “cheerio” knowing full well it would take them three times as long to get home.

Now I have inadvertently found myself sharing my personal time and space while trying to ensure I don’t make any etiquette faux-pas. This also has its drawbacks.

I have to make polite conversation. I don’t want to make polite conversation at 7am, even with my own family. Silence is very uncomfortable in a car with a relative stranger.

I can no longer sing along to the Radio at the top of my (very poor) voice, although I did find myself almost bursting into the chorus of Florence and The Machine this morning, before hurriedly muting myself.

I, like many other drivers sometimes pick my nose. It is a disgusting habit, I know. But who was I offending before – no-one. Now I have to be sure that little scratch of my nose, doesn’t lead to a wayward digit entering my nasal cavity.

In the mornings, I may be partial to occasionally breaking wind. In my own little environment, it would only be me suffering from last nights chile con carne. Now if I feel something brewing,  I have to hold it in for 30 minutes.

I have also found my morning commuting time very useful for running through scenarios in my head, talking to myself and orating examples of how I would introduce meetings etc. Now I will arrive for morning meetings unprepared or without my usually polished and pre-planned quick witted ripostes to the bosses demands.

On the return journey I quite often called my wife via the built in blue tooth system, to check if milk or bread was required on the way home. However, I’m very wary of this now as to be honest there have been occasions where cross words may have been exchanged. Can you imagine my passengers thoughts if on phoning home my wife starts ranting at me for leaving my boxer shorts lying in the bathroom or has a hissy fit about the fact I’m running late?

I like my music. I have good if not eclectic taste but appreciate that not everyone may share my passions. Do I just play Echo and The Bunnymen’s complete back catalogue all week regardless?

At this point, I should also probably confess to being particularly aggravated by others bad driving which usually results in me swearing at the dickhead doing twenty miles an hour in front of me to hurry the f*** up. Do I just enrol in an anger management course now – or buy one of those car machine gun accessory buttons to reduce my use of expletives?

I could be at risk of being misconstrued as a nose picking, foul mouthed, unsociable, wife hating, bad tempered bloke who farts, talks to himself and listens to thirty year old music.

Shit....Was that the sound of a penny dropping?

By the way it’s only day three of the car share. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Third Degree

@ageingmatron - The intriguing writer and vicar’s wife has tagged me to take part in a Q&A session. As always, I am happy to oblige.

Where do you do most of your writing / blogging?

Well, to be honest I am writing this at work. Now I know I shouldn’t be, but in my defence the defective network drive is down...again. So technically it’s the ICT department’s fault that I have resorted to skiving. That, plus I’ve also already spent half the day on the internet. At least this way people think I’m busy knocking up the latest business strategy. I may even make a random pie chart on my other screen.

What books were your childhood favourite?
I recall reading all of Enid Blyton’s twenty odd famous five books and somehow wishing my council estate had fields, gypsy caravans and lashings of ginger beer instead of concrete, a vandalised swing park and diluting Ki-Ora.

The Lord of The Rings also provided a fantastic backdrop of escapism with almost the same level of hideous creatures and villains that roamed the estate.

Who is your favourite fictional character?
The name’sh Bond... Jamesh Bond. Anyone who has the magnetism to attract Honey, Pussy and other exotically named women, gets to drive an Aston Martin, drink Vodka Martini’s and travel the world while dressed in a nice suit really has it all.

Have you ever googled yourself and been surprised at what you’ve found?
Well because I write under a nom-de-plume, this doesn’t really apply. I could divulge my true identity, but then I’d probably have to kill you – or wrap you naked in a fur coat and exchange espionage tips if you are a female Russian counterpart.

What is your favourite time of day and why?
Without a shadow of a doubt it is 3pm (or 2.30pm if I can get away with it) on a Friday as I turn up the stereo and zoom out of the office car park. Still living for the weekend.

Who would play me in a movie of my life?
Tom Cruise...however I would insist he wore heels, not that I’m a transvestite but I want to ensure my 5ft 10” is not undermined in any way. Actually he might not be too happy at being directed by me to stand up straight, but he’d be on the short list.

One material possession I could not live without?
Tech is so indispensable these days, my smart phone is so important whether it’s to interact on social media or listen to my favourite tunes on the go. I’m not saying I couldn’t live without it. I could. In fact I would be happy leading a simple life, back to nature so to speak.....but there had better be a bloody good wi-fi signal.

Have you ever been naked in public?
Think I fessed up to being drunk and naked in an earlier blog post, only to be relieved I hadn’t actually been running up and down the street, like my “friends” had pretended for a few days afterwards.

What is your dream car?
This has changed as I’ve aged. It used to be a Ferrari. Then it was a Porsche. Then an Aston Martin. Due to the current economic downturn, it’s now anything that runs on chip fat, is cheap to insure and doesn’t have holes in the floor. So, I guess I’ll stick with my Mondeo until the recession is over, then I want a Buggatti Veyron.

What/Who/where was your first proper kiss?
Apart from snogging my own arm....go on admit it, you did the same. I actually started pretty early and remember full tongues and everything with a girl in Primary 7 after the school disco. In the words of the verve “She knew my feelings were jangled and frayed, she took me into a wind blown alley way, she showed me a world a boy should see, I’ll thank her till the day I die”

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Treat or Trick

Had my first ‘festive’ turkey lunch today (1st November)....wonder how many I will manage between now and actual proper Christmas dinner. God it really is starting earlier every year. The hollowed out pumpkins haven’t even decomposed to mush yet.

Speaking of which or should that be witch. Halloween came and went without too much incident. Daughter dressed up as a blood soaked bride and went around with a deranged look that can only be described as a cross between Jack Nicholson in The Shining and a zombie. I think she’s setting her stall out early for future husband persecution, probably aided and abetted by my other half’s leading example.

Son, being typically autistic, did not want to dress up in any ‘normal’ outfit and bizarrely designed his own costume which consisted of a plain black helmet, a plain back chest plate and a sword. While you have to admire this creativity, I have no idea what any of the neighbours thought he was dressed as and am only grateful that my aforementioned wife had to craft this creation from nothing more than cardboard, paper-mache and black paint to his exacting standards. This is doubly difficult when you consider many of these images and specifications are pictured absolutely clearly in his head and can be misinterpreted and cause meltdowns of epic proportions because the back of the helmet is two inches longer than it was supposed to be.

I thought I had escaped any involvement, only to be told he was expecting a Minecraft pumpkin to be carved. This sent shivers down my spine. How many times would I have to try to get it as he wanted? Would it even be possible to carve some extravagant creation with my limited kitchen knife set and power drill? Luckily for me a Minecraft Creeper is a very simple block character shape, so disaster was averted once again.

As my own brood left for their trick or treating expedition. I was left to dish out the sweets to the masses of little spooks, ghouls and witches arriving at our door, while trying to control our monster Labrador from going berserk every time the bell went. Still, at least I got to stuff my face with Haribos and mini bounty bars.

After listening to the usual Halloween based jokes and pretending to laugh, one eight year old completely surprised me when I asked if they had a joke to tell.

“Yes”. “Why do Squirrels swim on their backs?”
Err, I don’t know.

“To keep their nuts dry”

Tonight it’s back to IKEA assembly following six weeks waiting for a blooming carpet to arrive. No rest for the wicked.