Archive for August, 2009

Killing time

Hi again, it’s been a funny old week and no mistake. I’ve hardly done anything really, just been off, got back in to my Taekwondo, read books and waited on the thrice damned postman.

A week off work is not to be sniffed at. It’s been nice just relaxing. The weather has been consistently appalling, so I’ve not been out doing stuff, but it’s been lovely not working, dossing around and sharpening my ninja skills by outwitting the postman.

I was off last weekend, in Monday, and then off until next Tuesday. On Monday I went into HR to see where my warehouse to wheels thing was up to, as they said they’d have an answer for me this week. I wasn’t expecting an answer on Monday, and in that respect I wasn’t disappointed. I went in prepared for such an eventuality. I had a piece of paper with my name, what it was about (warehouse to wheels) my landline and mobile numbers and my email address, which I handed in. I said I was off this week, but if they wanted me to go out with the drivers as part of my training I would be happy to come in.

Not a word. Not a sausage. Jack.

I’ve been ringing around some of the jobs advertised on jobcentre plus, but in a half-hearted way. They are mostly agency, and those that don’t turn me down flat are saying it wouldn’t be worth me leaving a full time job. It would still be best if I could get trained at my works then work for them, but failing that a ‘no’ would be better than this.

At least then I could throw myself into getting some work. I was told yesterday that although as a new driver the agency wouldn’t be able to insure me as an artic driver they could get me work on rigids. But not enough to make it worth my while leaving a full time job. The good news there being them willing to give me a class II job, in principle.

Tomorrow I have somehow agreed to go to Manchester, to see a fight, I think. I was at my TKD class last night and Sah bum nim asked me if I was doing anything on Saturday. I thought she had arranged an extra lesson, or a fitness session, as I’m on 2-10 next week so might not be able to make class I jumped at the chance. Said I wasn’t doing anything, she said something about do you want to come, I said OK, so she said ‘right, you can get a lift with Jim, it’s £10 for the ticket, we’ll split the petrol money.’

What?

I asked Jim what we were going to see (he’s a black belt, and second in command) he didn’t know. I asked when, again he didn’t know.

So we had both agreed to do something, for some money, at some point, somewhere.

I managed to find out that we are going to see a fight in Manchester. It had better at least be a TKD fight. If it’s boxing I’m going to be a bit miffed. A bit more miffed that is. Not how I wanted to spend my weekend off. I will ask questions in future, and await comprehensible replies but committing to anything.

The other theme running through this week off has been my battle of wits with the postman. I wait around for ages then the minute I nip the shop he strikes. I get back to find a note saying ‘pick up your own parcel, fatboy! PS, LOSER!’ Then the other day I went up town to do the damned postman’s job for him, got there at 9.30 and he told me I would have to come back at 10.00! Just too long to make hanging around up town a viable option, and just about long enough to drive home, not quite have a brew, then drive back. So I did my shopping then went back at about 10.30. They’d closed off Cromwell Ave for roadworks! I was sat for over ten minutes in one spot, a few hundred yards off my turning. Then I had to double my distance and treble my time on the way back to get home another way. That was all for a parcel that he couldn’t get through my letter box. It didn’t have to be signed for, he could have just left it in the blue bin, but then I wouldn’t have had to traipse to town and back, and again, and tour all around Warrington. Bastard!

The last parcel I missed was at 11.20, this one was 1.20, today I had to wait in until 2.45 before I fooled him into thinking I’d gone out so he attempted to post it. Any later and it will be the next day. I am thinking of hiding in the freezer like Kato (in The Pink Panther) to fool him into coming earlier. I tell you, standards have dropped since I left the Royal Mail. I thought at the time that it was only me keeping the place going!

The good news being that I did outwit him today and now have a rather natty pinstripe suit! When my funky shoes arrive (after I’ve been up town to pick them up, doubtless) I’ll put a picture up of the ensemble. Tres bloody chic, I trust you’ll agree.

Toodles,

Buck.

PS, it turns out the event was something on the lines of a qualifying event, or ranking event, for the Olympics. To sort out how good everyone was to see how they would be ranked for the Olympics. Hmm, now I try and write it down I realise I’m still not exactly sure what it was. Six fighting areas, loads of judges, electronic body armour to score powerful contacts in target areas, and teams from all over the world. Korea, France, Netherlands, Poland, Canada, even Scotland! All black belts, on their national teams I think, and pretty damned good. Those guys were fast as lighting, to quote from Shakespeare (or some such). The chicks too. A bit too fast; trying to watch two or three fights at once, nothing happening, nothing happening, glance at the next door fight and bang! Someone’s just got a head kick right in the chops. I enjoyed it, but it would have been better if it was on telly, so I could have watched the good bits in the replay. Human eyes are crap; no zoom, slo-mo or replay.

Apparently Warrington won in the rugby final as well. Big up those rugger chaps, or whatever it is they shout on the terraces.

Whilst I was out the postman failed to come with my shoes. Damn his eyes. Bank Holiday Monday so now it’s going to be Tuesday before I get them. Luckily Wendy is off on Tuesday (she only works Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Alright for some!) so I shouldn’t have to go and pick them up. Unless the wily posty hangs on to them until Wednesday of course. I can’t get too mad at the shoe shop, they said they make have to make them, which could take up to ten days. The way they are shaping up I think they are currently waiting for a cow to die of old age.

Two more glorious days off. Tomorrow I am going to have to start training in earnest. The one thing I noticed today was that everyone started each three minute round full of fight, then after a minute they were knackered and catching their breath. I’ll have to set up some training scheme where I do three minutes of constant kicking, (whilst moving forwards and back) rest for a minute, then repeat. There are three, three minute rounds in a fight, with a minute’s rest between each. Even those potential Olympiads were knackered doing it!  It’s one of the many prerequisites for black belt grading that you have to have competed. I don’t want to make an arse of myself when I do. The people who were going in and launching a massive attack of kicks were scoring heavily, the ones who were just trying to land a single kick then catch their breath were not doing so well. Every time they scored a point it seemed their opponent was scoring one back. So, fitness and practise stringing together lots of combinations of kicks. Ideally, I want another martial art as well.

Well, that’s for later.

For right now, another drink of lime, and chill with one of my new books, then sleep. Simple pleasures.

Toodles again,

Buck.

New Kit (Buddha’s got me bang to rights)

Hi y’all, we had an eventful time of late.

In a spree of uncontrolled consumerism I’ve been virtually shopping until I virtually dropped.

The push-bike I mentioned previously:

with it’s narrow tyres and raised ridge thereupon to decrease the contact patch with the road still further:

and I mentioned my new hat:

here modelled with another recent acquisition, a Chinese Kung Fu / Tai Chi top from Hong Kong.

Then from the States we have some new ‘cat eye’ sunglasses for Wendy

They really are some bad-arse sunglasses!

Here’s the handsome couple;

Now then, I put captions on these photo’s when I uploaded them, but in case they were missed I’m going to reiterate a few points here; the first being that that is a loose fitting, kind of stiff, linen top I’m wearing that naturally hangs loose at the bottom. (The camera adds ten pounds! How many camera’s were on you? As the saying goes.) I am actually at my lightest weight for, well possibly years. This damned ‘no sweet stuff’ diet is doing the trick, I’m down to ten stone five pounds (with five to go).

I suppose I should also mention that Wendy has lost a bit as well. Three stone two pounds, to be exact. She been hanging on to that dress for years and years, vainly hoping that some consumptive illness would make her slim enough to wear it again.

Now she’s done it all by herself (by starving for half a year).

Respect is due.

Kudos to the Wendster.

As though all of the above spending wasn’t enough I then filled in the gaps (well three of them) in my Sci-Fi Masterworks collection, and I’ve ordered a pair of shoes!

Also today, as Wendy finally got her first pay packet last Thursday, I acted on an idea I had the other day. We’ve been living here for about three and a half years. We have a bath with mixer taps and a shower pipe jobby. It wasn’t until last week that I realised that the shower kept flowing at Full strength even at head height. Therefore, if I just got the attachment that holds it up, and a shower curtain and rail, we could have a functioning shower. For buttons!

Then I thought we’d better paint the bathroom as well. Then it turns out you have an adjuster pole the shower head hangs from, a matching shower head, and it costs ninety nine pounds ninety five pence! One hundred bloody pounds! So much for cheap and cheerful!

OK, I expect all you rich people are laughing at a mere hundred quid, but it nearly broke my heart at the checkout. I was envisioning a thirty or at most, forty, pound project.

Then we had Luke returning to the nest like some six foot cuckoo after a domestic at home. (Domestic at home. Tautology? Discuss.) That appears to have been a storm in a teacup as a day later he’s back with his chick.

I’ll have to do this anon, Wendy is wanting her bed, and apart from food, nothing makes her angrier than the lack of sleep.

Toodles,

Buck.

Bad Bucky!

Turn and about.

Well, it’s all change again. I went into Human Resources again today, but the HR chick I spoke to a few days ago had been off for two days and by all appearance had forgotten about me. She took my name and number and said she would see the main manager then contact me. This was in relation to my request to have a bit of help in my  driving progression.

The company boasts of it’s initiatives for its employees, one of which being the ‘warehouse to wheels’ scheme. It’s on a big board as you walk into the main building, yet when I’ve asked the transport hierarchy all they’ve done is provide excuses why our site doesn’t run the scheme.

So I asked the HR bint the other day if, now I’ve paid for the expensive bit out of my own pocket (getting the training and licenses) if the company could put me on the final part of the scheme.

I wasn’t placing any great hopes on getting a reply, but as I was having a shower (typically!) she rang me. She said she’d talked to the MD of the site and he’d told her to contact the site that does run the W-T-W scheme to find out if it was practical for it to be implemented on our site for me!

Apparently the person responsible at the other site is on holiday until Monday, but my new best-mate has sent them an email and has told me to get back to her Monday dinner time, when she can tell me more.

That’s not a no.

Hope springs eternal.

We have qualified driver assessors on site, a whole fleet of trucks and the truckers to man them, what more do they need to get me up to scratch? I’ve passed the bloody test, all that’s left is experience.

Yesterday at work, at 13.50 hrs, ten minutes before my shift ended and I was due to speed home with a glad heart and start making ‘phone calls about the jobs advertised on the interweb, a siren went off at work. As is common practise, everyone ignored it.

However this time it was for real. We had a major ammonia leak from the cooling system in the freezer. Apparently that’s bad in a terminal way. The fire service and police were on site in minutes, they closed off main roads around the site and banned us from returning to the building until we weren’t going to die.

17.54 they finally let me go back inside to get my keys out of my locker so I could go home. My sinuses had kicked in again so I was suffering from a progressively worsening headache, I was sat outside for the four hours, with no idea when I was going to be allowed to go home.

Less than fun.

Today, as soon as I got home (without headache, hurray!) I set to ‘phoning around. One of the jobs was a flat out ‘no’ (needed two years experience, not stated in the advert) another was supposed to get back to me but hasn’t yet, and the third was the surprise; an apparently honest agency!

The chap asked me if I was in full time work, I confirmed I was, then he told me he couldn’t in all conscience get someone to give up a full time job for what he had to offer. He said that his agency were still working there way into this new contract and the work they had at the moment wasn’t  sufficient or sufficiently reliable to warrant leaving full time employment. He took my name and number and told me he would let me know if anything worthwhile turned up. He reckoned that contract should have stabilised in a few weeks.

It’s the first time that has ever happened to me though. Usually the agency tell you they have a ten pound an hour job but before they can give you the details you have to register with them. Then when you’re on their books they say "that job doesn’t start for another few weeks, so will you do this minimum wage job for now?" The good job doesn’t turn up because it never existed, but now they have another body on their books if they have a position to fill.

Also I was talking to a Stobart’s driver today, he confirmed that they do take on newly qualified drivers, said they preferred them, as they like to mould them into their way of doing things.  I said I was mould-able. Malleable R us, that’s me.  Anyway, he said that Tesco’s are building a distribution centre in Warrington, that Stobart’s have most of Tesco’s contracts, and that therefore Stobart’s will need more drivers presently.

in conclusion then, I have potential irons in the fire, my works first and foremost. If they could come through for me it would be perfect. Train at the job, whilst in a job, to get the job.

Also the joy of being able to walk up to that union rep and say "There. If you ask they will train you. Off my own back I’ve sorted this. What use are you, you tosser, and why have I been paying union subs?" (OK, so I’m not about to say any of that, but I can think it!)

Second place would be Stobart’s giving me a full time job, and better than a kick a teeth with a steel toe-cap would be that agency letting me drive and getting my experience for a real job that way.

All of this plus not being dead from ammonia and not in pain from my sinuses. Good day! Now if only my foot would go down (it feels stretched to capacity around those popped blisters) and stop hurting all would be rosy!

Later,

Buck.

Believe nothing that you hear…

…and only half of what you see. As they said in the army.

That union rep I said about a few weeks back, the one who spontaneously announced that he’d been in the office and sorted out a training programme for me, is full of shit. I went into the transport managers office today and whilst I was waiting for some drivers to sort out their business (so I could get to see one of the managers) Nick (the rep) walked in. I collared him and asked what to do next, and basically he told me to go and get some experience elsewhere, then apply for our place. Thanks for nothing, Nick.

Why, though? I didn’t stress him, or even ask, he said to me he’d been in and sorted it out. Did he think my license would never get back from Swansea so I’d never realise he is nothing but a bullshit merchant?

I just don’t get it. If he can’t do anything for me that’s just the way it is, but why get my hopes up? What purpose did it serve? I do not understand why he would do that.

So I’ve been scouring the interweb looking for work. Surprisingly I may have found some.

There were about five jobs that didn’t categorically state ‘no new drivers’ and one that actually said ‘new drivers welcome’! OK, so it’s all agency work, crap pay, and two of the jobs state that it’s only for thirteen weeks, but I’ve got to get the experience somewhere.

The two thirteen weeks one will be my last option, that would mean they are just wanting agency cover until xmas, then I would be on the dole in January, when there is no agency work.

Wendy pointed out that I will have to take a chance at some point. If I end up taking one of those it will be with a goal to secure other work ASAP, well before the thirteen weeks is up. Once I’m up and running, already a driver, surely it will be easier to convince other prospective employers to give me a go.

Off my own back I have been in and seen HR at work, to see if there is anything they can do for me, I’ve filled in an online application for Eddie Stobart’s, and I will be ringing about those jobs tomorrow.

Also I will be tracking down all the local supermarket distribution centres to put in speculative application forms. Th’Asda, th’Safeways etc.

Bugger.

Anyway…, other stuff.

It wasn’t just that I’m fat and old and lazy, it was also that damned mountain bike! (I KNEW IT!) Tried out my spiffy racing bike this morning and it was so much easier. The riding position is right, you’re not sat upright with all your weight squashing down on the saddle, your nethers are more or less in the air, and instead of having a contact patch of about three inches of soggy tyre, I have a little tyre with an even smaller ridge (about a quarter of an inch or less) that stands proud in the centre. So minimal contact and good riding position, I flew. I took a slightly different route, but even so I knocked about six minutes off my previous time and didn’t arrive lathered in a muck sweat. It was cool.

The not so good news is that when I went for that first run the other day I did so on the spur of the moment, just threw my trainers on and set off. I didn’t bother with socks. Mistake.

My feet blistered and then the blisters burst. This was not a problem while I was off, I wasn’t doing that much. Today has been a different story.  I think they may have got a bit infected, they’ve swelled up around the blister patches and have been really sore. I’ve been rubbing salt into them (to teach them a lesson if nothing else) and have been barefoot since I got in to try and dry them out.  I’ve dug out some plasters for tomorrow but I’ve got a feeling this is going to be an uncomfortable week.

I can’t make any off the TKD lessons next week (2-10) so I wanted to get as many as possible in this week, with my feet all manky it may not be so easy. I missed tonight’s lesson because of it, hopefully I can sort it out a bit for tomorrow. 

In conclusion, racer: good, socks: excellent, Nick: tosser.

Later,

Buck.

The Device and other achievements.

I’ve been trying out my purchases whilst I’ve been off. I went for a run (my first run in months, prior to that, years) and decided to try out my ankle weights!

Can anybody guess how that went?

First run in ages, with a kilo strapped to each ankle.

Not well is the answer, in case you were wondering.

I managed to miss the road I was aiming for so went on a much longer circuit, I completely outpaced myself and by the time I got back (only twenty minutes or so later) I thought I was going to throw up.

Not an unqualified success then.

We are supposed to be starting training sessions on Sundays now the TKD classes have been cancelled so I thought I’d get a head start. Apparently you need to be able to run a mile in under twelve minutes (OK, stroll a mile in under twelve minutes) before you can qualify for black belt. I could do that now. But to do it with élan I really need the practise.

So I got back, tried to get my breath back, then carried on with the rest of my work-out. When I’d finished I tried out my latest invention: The Device!

As you can see it’s just two home-made ankle loops attached to a length of rope that passes between two eyed screws. The pulley does the rest. Pop your feet in those loops, pull the cord on the pulley, then weep like a little girl.

It’s a home-made substitute for a £150 device you can buy. Mine cost about £20 or so, and I have enough rope and screws to build another.

That’s the crowing over, the question was: will it work?

Oh my sweet lord, yes.

I tried it out yesterday after my work-out, when theoretically I’m as stretched as I get, and it stretched me further.

Today I was so stiff, with the leg weights and the stretching, that I had to do a quick work-out. This promptly turned into another run in weights (much better this time, thanks for your concern) a work-out and back to The Device! This time I managed to pull another nine inches or so through the pulley. (I marked the pulley cord to give me a record of my progress.) This is not as impressive as it sounds, my feet did not go nine inches further back, there is a 6:1 ratio on the pulley. I’m here to tell you that when you feel at full stretch, then pull another nine inches of cord through, it feels like you are being torn in half, however insignificant the actual improvement is in inches.

I have placed it behind where my kick/punch bag usually hangs (I only took it down for the sake of clarity on the photo’s) usually it looks like this:

The benefits are many. It hides most of the mess, and more importantly my girly, sobbing face when it is in use and when I have become more flexible I can use the bag as a backrest, thus increasing the angle of stretch possible.

I’m having a splendid few days off, what with the extremes of pain and exertion. It don’t get any better than this.

I was outbid on that really nice touring push-bike. I was willing to go up to £76, (though in the heat of the moment I did bid up to £82!) it sold for £125. Bum.

However, I have finally got myself a racer, for £40. It has long mudguards, a rack, and ten gears. I’m going to pick it up after tea, if everything works as it aught, that will do me nicely.

I’ll take it for a spin tomorrow, if all is well use it for work during the week, then next week maybe go for a ride for fun. Seems an odd concept, but I used to do it all the time.

Oh and as an added bonus, my license got back from Swansea yesterday. Sunday today, Bank Holiday tomorrow, so there will be none of the top brass managers in work until I return on Tuesday, so I’ll take it in then. Hopefully get the ball rolling in my driving.

All is peachy, time for tea,

later,

Buck.

PS, just picked the racer up. It rocks, I’ll elaborate tomorrow but I went for a quick spin to the top of our street and back, and she flies! Have to adjust the seat height, the angle of the handlebars, tighten the headstock, and swap reflector and lights from my mountain bike to the new beast, but I think I’m going to like this one!

Kicking back (is Lily Allen the new Bowie?)

Ah, sweet days off. Done loads of jobs today, all of them rewarding, a few of them fun.

I trimmed my box hedge around the grassy knoll. Apparently that’s the last trim I can give it this year as it has to have time for any new growth to toughen off before the first frosts. It doesn’t look that much different, a bit tidier, but the main thing is in trimming the top branches it will make the growth below fill out. It’s so nearly there now. This time next year I will have to go around with my spirit level and level it all off (it strikes me now, too late, that is how I should have gone at it in the first place!).

Also I trimmed all the grass with the same shears as the box. I had one of those strimmer jobbies but I couldn’t get the hang of it. I was chopping out lumps of earth and butchering plants left right and centre. So I sweat and it takes ages, but the majority of my plants survive.

As today was actually summery I stripped all the covers off the sofa and gave them a wash, and did the bedding. Yes I really am that sad. I get bored very easily and even jobs that aren’t fun, once done, can be fulfilling. If nothing else they save Wendy having to do them and that’s got to count for something. Not that she showed any signs of actually doing them herself mind, but in principle she might one day have considered doing them.

I did the shopping and got a new ‘phone this morning. Obviously the devious postman seized on that window of opportunity to claim he’d been around with a parcel. Left a note saying I can collect it from the main office in town in twenty one hours! How big is his walk? (Round, in non-posty talk) No wonder these posties are all minted if they are out for twenty one hours a day! Damn the Royal Mail!

My new ‘phone has a camera! No film in it mind, to borrow from the excruciating Rob Brydon in Gavin and Stacey. I had some mad idea that that was what I needed to make my life complete, apparently not. It’s just another bloody mobile and you get a thousand texts pestering you about all the things you should be doing to be down with the kids. I don’t even know any gullible schoolgirls! (Topical joke, don’t put me on the register!)

I’ve been on 2-10 this week so today was my first chance to go to TKD, bloody hell what a lesson! It was so hard that at the end, when we were doing spinning back kicks my pony- tail was so soaked in sweat it was whipping me in the face and spraying sweat everywhere. Unpleasant for all concerned.

Good lesson though, showed me what I need to concentrate on (they have a name for the bit I’m poor at, it’s called Taekwondo).

My life isn’t the sad completion of to-do lists, as it would appear above, but that will have to wait until tomorrow, Wendy has to be up for work and is waiting for me to stop typing.

later,

Buck.

OK, it’s later. As I was saying before the Wendster put her foot down, my life is not all about ticking boxes as ‘done’, it also includes…, well,…, thinking of new boxes to tick for one thing. Which is another worry.

I was reading a rather interesting article the other day on this Buddha-for-Dummies website (http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/index.htm   if you’re interested) where it was saying about levels of being human, (just to give you the gist, it’s not how it was intended to be understood.) one of which was a greedy materialistic one. Being an internet based study site it gave the example of PC hardware, saying you spend all of your time looking for a shiny new piece of kit, get it, then as soon as the novelty has worn off you are looking for the next piece of kit. Soon you haven’t even got it out of the shrink-wrap before you are wanting your next fix. It was saying that it is a self-perpetuating hunger for the acquisition of  goods, not the goods themselves.

Guilty as charged. That stupid ‘phone is a case in point. For what do I need a mobile? I don’t like calling people, can not see the joy of text, and am really put out if someone contacts me. Yet because my old ‘phone had a knackered screen (that made reading the very infrequent text I received difficult) I had to have a shiny new one with a camera. I’ve taken a few snaps to try it out and don’t know what to do with them. When am I ever going to say "I really wish I had my ‘phone camera right now."

Never, that’s when. Yet still I crave my next consumer fix. Currently I have set up an eBay sniper programme to bid on my behalf at the last second (well, six seconds before the end of bidding) on a pair of boots and a brilliant push-bike. It is a bargain, and ideal for what I want and need. But will it continue to be so when (if) I own it?

Buddha was a wise geezer.

The other state that applied to me was one of anger. You find everything everyone says or does makes you angry. Hmm, I can’t express it either as well or as succinctly as the website so here is the paragraph:

The hell realm is characterised by acute aggression. We build a wall of anger between ourselves and our experience. Everything irritates us, even the most innocuous, and innocent statement drives us mad with anger. The heat of our anger is reflected back on us and sends us into a frenzy to escape from our torture, which in turn causes us to fight even harder and get even angrier. The whole thing builds on itself until we don’t even know if we’re fighting with someone else or ourselves. We are so busy fighting that we can’t find an alternative to fighting; the possibility of alternative never even occurs to us.

For anyone who’s not seen me shouting at the inane tripe on the telly that is me to a T.

These are just our attempts to impose control on an arbitrary and constantly changing universe. We expect constance and fool ourselves into believing we can control things, the first I would suggest, is an attempt at a control mechanism, the second is the reaction to constantly finding you can’t control anything.

To overcome it all Buddha says you just have to realise it’s but an illusion. You can, apparently, be free from it all by accepting you own nothing and control nothing.

Who can change their nature, or more over, who wants to? Am I scared of what I would lose? Nothing, I’m sure Buddha would say, as in truth I have nothing.

I need to get to a temple and find a path I can follow.

At the moment it’s all "video meliora proboque,deteriora sequor", which, as we all know, translates as "I see the best and approve, I follow the worst".

Right, enough of my spiritual malaise, on to something a tad more controversial. The Lilster. I can’t help feeling there has been a widespread condemnation and patronisation of  young miss Allen. The view of the radio DJ’s is that she is a light-weight. A superficial flibbertigibbet who’s songs are just audio fluff.

I would like to present the contention that she is the new David Bowie.

Discuss.

OK, her work is pop, and is, at first glance, all cheerful, chirpy cockney. But take a minute to consider the artfulness of the superficiality. Not since the Bowster declared "my heart’s in the basement, my weekend’s at an all time low", has shallowness been so  self-aware and used so incisively. The list of examples is comprehensive, and I’m not familiar with any but the most frequently aired of her songs.

To whit; when she was banging on about the perception of success and the route to fame, she references a song in which some bint is ‘Dissing’ *cringes*  her chap for showing off the diamonds on his Rolex, asking how many Africans had to die to get them. All serious and up it’s own backside. Lily turns it on it’s head, adopts the callow perspective, and says she wants diamonds, though she’s heard people die trying to find them. She is adopting a chav persona, in my opinion, for the sake of her songs. She couldn’t write them, and they certainly wouldn’t be as clever, if she was as simple as she presents. From the same song, she says she’s not a saint, nor a sinner, but everything’s cool as long as she’s getting thinner! Sublime. Side-steps morality and replaces it with yoof culture’s definition of what is important to a woman. I use the word ‘culture’ with full awareness of the oxymoron-ic nature of it’s juxtaposition with ‘yoof’!

On which note, the getting slimmer, I have lost three pounds, so everything is indeed cool.

Let the kicking commence.

Buck.

Over myself

Cancel last, as the command went from the artillery. Turns out that feeling of malaise and ennui has gone again, as it did the next day the last time. Which leads me to suspect it may actually be nothing more than a dread of going back to work. This is strange, as although I don’t wake up and leap out of bed shouting "whoopee, it’s time for work!", I certainly don’t (consciously) dread it. I said it was probably nothing, being all brave and stoical, turns out it was nothing and I was being a mard-arse. Less than laudable.

Moving on, head hung low in shame, I forgot to mention yesterday that whilst practising my head kicks I had yet another super idea. I am so full of them (or it!). I had the brush propped up to make sure I was kicking horizontally at the right height, but I still couldn’t be sure I was doing the technique right, as it happens too quick to watch and do at the same time. My cunning idea then was to film it. O.K., not quite the master-stroke of genius that I may have previously implied, but a good idea none-the-less. That way I could transfer it to the computer and play it at a slower speed to observe the kick.

So there I was, in just my sweat pants (whatever they are called) doing these kicks.

There was a triple whammy of badness though; I had positioned the camera on the top of the cooker facing across the kitchen (to get the height right) but that had it pointing toward the sunny window, so it was a really dark picture, my kick is wrong in a way I can’t put my finger on until I get better footage, and, worst of all, I looked like a flabby, sweaty, un-cool porker!

That was not my self-image. Words like ‘buff’, ‘toned’, or ‘ripped’ did not cross my mind, for fear of being run over by the herd of words like ‘bloater’, ‘porker’, ‘fat-boy’ and ‘lard-arse’, presumably.

‘Diet, chunky’ were the thoughts that quickly followed. However I still had my banana in cereal before I went to work, a cooked breakfast at work, then a pack of biscuits when I got home. And I mean a pack. A whole pack. They are so dunky-licious. Quick dunk in your brew, soft, sweat mouthful, then quickly on to the next. I eat them that fast that I don’t have chance to get full before I’ve eaten the lot.

That was excessive, a whole pack, but I can eat half a pack when I’m not even hungry, just as something nice to have. I have no beer or other drugs to reward me for a hard days toil, so I have a nice biccy or several.

Then Wendy went and spoiled it all by finding how many calories there are in a pack. 1,150! One thousand, one  hundred and fifty calories. A whole day’s calories in a less-than snack.

That would seem to explain why I work like a Trojan, sweat for an hour a day on my push-bike and/ or work out for an hour and still am not losing weight.

So ends another good thing. If I just cut out my sweet treats I should be able to slim down to lean in no-time. Have to at least go into trucking with a waistline!

Anyway, I’m not any more loony, and now I have a plan.

Later,

Buck.

PS I later had my tea with garlic bread, and thanks to the draconian nature of the day’s dieting I have lost a pound today! Wendy is less than amused! The biscuits alone were more calories than she eats in a day. Larf!