Have you missed me?
I have been drunk and dazed for four days and for some unknown reason everything in the middle of summer has made me tired and glum and grey. Pizza, a feeling of sweat and a strange sweaty-pizza-kind-of-a-smell is permeating my inner being.
Just the time to write a blog to confuse, amuse, and generally distract me from myself. How gorgeously pretentious.
Marmite in squeezy bottles. Sucks. Because I like Marmite. And because I like Marmite I like to be able to access the stuff. Once I have exchanged my hard earned dollar pounds for the happy, sticky, black, succulent devil-tar I want to eat it in mind-bogglingly huge quantities. I like it on toast, half an inch thick, so when you chew the skin of your soft pallet burns. The squeezy jars just don't work for me. After about two thirds of the way through the plastic jar starts farting and dispensing air. And happy, sticky, black, succulent devil-air on toast is not nice.
Now for the science bit. When you have a squeezy ketchup bottle you can give it a shake and ketchup will always obey the force you apply. It is sent obediently down to the bottom of the bottle, ready to be emptied over your low grade meat and rusk sausage. Marmite is an altogether smarter enemy. It is like it doesn't want to be eaten. You shake the squeezy bottle and the Marmite reacts with a stubborn amount of inertia and stays put. In the bottle. Not on your toast. The result is margarine on toast and a single tear running out of the corner of my eye at half past seven in the morning.
Boo the Marmite design engineers. Its not even like their glass jars were best shape anyway! How about tubes like toothpaste?? Huh?? You could even do the gimmicky push-button-style toothpaste tubes if you want to charge loads of dollar pounds. Brand identity blah blah blah. You suck. I wish you could still buy imitation Marmite but the supermarkets seem to have phased out that little puppy.
Now to fuel the whirligig of my mind-pool with some acid like white wine.
What has been good (or at least worth mentioning) recently...
Well C.S. Lewis seems to come in good forms (books and radio adaptations) and bad forms (Hollywood's 'Prince Caspian' and the better, but still wetter than a squid's ink diluted in a swimming pool that kids wee in, BBC 'Chronicles of Narnia' TV series).
Newsradio - American sitcom first introduced to me by the mighty Mat Lewis. So good I have watched over twenty episodes in two days. And I want more. And I could swear I have done binge watching of Newsradio before.
Ale in glasses with handles. And one-and-a-half-pint glasses.
Toothache. Ironically this has only occurred after seeing the dentist the last two times I have been. Last time my front tooth was chipped by the lady who polishes all the brown stains out of my teeth because I'm worth it. This time its my wisdom teeth slowly and painfully making their dash for freedom. Could it be that dentists are like those dodgy mechanics who drop a few nuts into your gearbox so that you come back again? Either way the only cure for the pain in full swing is whiskey held still against the gum for a few minutes. And tragically all I have for this affliction is single malt Isle of Jura. Woe is me.
Nagatha Krusti. Wow. Hold on, I'm not blowing anyone's trumpet here, let alone me own. Its just that last band practice Chris and Lenny had touchingly learnt my favourite song. They played "Black Leg Miner" for me as a sexy little treat. If you're unfamiliar with this tune it is an anonymous folk classic about strike braking miners and the terrible punishments visited upon them by the community..... And apart from that the Steeleye Span version from their first album is an AMAZING piece of music. You'll tap your feet. And your one-and-a-half pint glass resplendent with handle.
I am going to listen to it now.
Now people, that is my bestist audio object what I own. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. I will happily make a CD of this for anyone who asks me. Even though this would be a terrific waste and the rest of the CD would have to be blank, or better still, would be that song over and over until you've gone mad.
It is good though.
I have handed in my notice at the bike shop.
Big whoop. But then again you don't care and probably shouldn't have read this far anyway.
I was suddenly very tired of doing it and have really, really, really worried about handing in my notice. My guilty feeling was compounded by forgetting to go into work last week. I know that sounds weak but I really thought I had booked it off. Anyway I mustered up the courage this morning and faced my boss with the attitude of a school boy caught in the act of being really very naught indeed, all red handed and red faced. Anyway, to be nice I will stay on till September.
Seriously, I woke up today dreaming of a confrontation with the aforementioned boss, thankfully reality was more mundane. The worst said was "you have left us in the sh___ really" which, although not ideal, I can deal with.
I think that when your job enters your dreams accompanied by a feeling of dread it is time to move on.
Anyway it seems that I'm writing this all backwards so how about a little description of what working in a bike shop is (soon was) like. Ok? Yay.....
Now I love bikes. I mean I really like them. I think they are the pinnacle of human engineering thus far. I see beyond the function and form, and on to the affect on mind and body and soul. I am in touch with the world immediately round me in an intimate way for miles and miles via my bike. They are simple, efficient and using one will keep you young, fit and able to deal with most things for a long time. So you see they are a passion of mine.
Just setting the scene OK?
Now I am not the most practical of fellows (like my phraseology?) so mending stuff has never been my forte. Wow, I just made me being a bit 'cack handed' sound sophisticated. Anyhow I got a job in a bike shop mainly because it would train me to fix and assemble bikes. And it paid more than the Star - but thats not saying much (oh er.. I still want a job if your out there Andrew/Rob). And over and above all this it would encourage me to drink less. Well here is the rub:
I am miserable. I'm drunk as ever (yes drunk right now and even writing this is becoming tricky, so god bless the spell checker). I am still untrained and unskilled in any practical way. I have shown no real affinity for learning the art of setting up gears, straightening wheels or any real hands on stuff. I simply haven't had time to learn every single bike sold and their corresponding 1000s of accessories, or how to fit them, or how much they cost or the myriad of other things I need to do to work there properly. All in all I have found it eye opening, humbling and I have renewed respect for the mechanics and staff of bike shops* generally. But it is not for me.
Forcing myself to get up to work on saturday mornings is bad, bad, bad after a few months. Trying to describe what this is like on top of a self imposed training regime that sometimes brings you happiness and sometimes does not is tricky. Lets just say I am actually really, really tired right now. This is periodical, interspersed with immense energy, vim, vigour and optimism. And sometimes all vim and vigour leaves you. Well me anyway.
Next I want to try my hand at A-level biology tutoring now because I think I could do it well and get paid loads. Hmmmmmmmm. I wish my tooth was hurting because I need an excuse for that Isle of Jura.
Anyway just so as not to end on a downer........
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I did. Jokes on you.
* this applies to all bike shops, except 'Bicycle King' on the Cowley Rd. These people don't sell bikes but misrepresent the word 'bicycle' with hunks of junk made to look good for a couple of minutes and then rust for eternity. I hate them and all they stand for.