Just to say the Beth lasted all of one Kung Fu lesson! She went, loved it, then cried off the next lesson citing lack of money. I’ve told her the offer is still open.
I went to the second class and Sifu was having a self-defence lesson, specifically how to deal with knife attacks.
You grab the attacking arm, grip the hand that is holding the knife, elbow them in the face, carry it through so the knife cuts their throat, reverse their hand then gut them.
So that was fun.
He explained that way you are never losing control of the hand holding the knife and, as an added bonus, never putting finger prints on the knife. If you’ve just cut someone’s throat then lent into them (to stab into their guts) you’re going to be covered in blood anyway, so the finger prints might be superfluous.
If someone has just tried to attack you with lethal intent the first priority is stopping them. Legality comes a very distant second.
So that was what Beth missed. Good, clean fun.
Also, whilst I’m here I should mention an incident from last week. (I mentioned it on Twitter but omitted it from my last blog.)
Wendy, her brother (Pete), his wife (Emma) and I(Buck!), went to see Avatar 3D at the local flicks. Which I should mention in passing was rather spiffy, first good 3D I’ve seen. Plot was massively predictable, but really well done.
Anywho, it was still in the midst of the snow and ice. I gave Pete and Emma a lift to the flicks. Apparently they really are gay about my driving! All the slipping and sliding, which I thought was fun, was a bit unsettling for them.
After I’d dropped them off and they were self medicating with stiff drinks, Wendy and I came home. I was chugging up to the lights on Cromwell ave which were on green, so I put my foot down to make it, then, as I had to do a right turn through the lights, went to brake.
Not a bloody sausage.
Micra locked up, slithering all over the place. I said to Wendy "We’re going to crash, sorry." Then by some miracle of mighty Micra mastery, I managed to save it!
That was a hell of a rush. More so for Wendy, I suspect.
I returned to my sax lesson.
Wish I could just get the basics down so I can quit the lessons for a while and learn by practising all the songs I like. That will be more fun and less pressure.
Damn these baby steps I am forced to take!
I did a work out at home yesterday, my first for two months, and how it shows! My tendons were a foot shorter! I ended up totally done in, and today my legs are really sore.
Then to add to my joy I had another headache. I woke up with a bit of pressure in my head,it got worse all day, (despite all the painkillers) so that by seven o’clock I had to go and lie down and that was me for the night. Not how I wanted to spend my day off.
Fine and dandy, hale and hearty today.
Wish it would go away though. It’s every few days I have some form of headache, generally at least once a week it’s so grim I just want to lie down with a eye mask on in a dark room.
Not lying under a building in Haiti.
So that’s it, just a quickie. It’s because of Twitter. It happens, I put it on there, then forget to put it here.
Momentous milestones! We’ve all made it into 2010, it’s my first blog entry of the year and my one hundredth entry on MySpace.
Welcome to the new century!
I thought I’d summarise 2009, as pertains to Wendy and me, but first let me tell about last night.
Our neighbours, who, in fairness, rarely hold parties, told us they were having one on New Years Eve. Fair do’s again, if you can’t party in the new year, when can you?
Then they said they’d hired a DJ! A feckin’ DJ! Ours is a block of three houses, this neighbour is the one in the middle, so to all intents and purposes is in a terraced house. And they were hiring a DJ.
So we expected loud, and as they are into their cocaine, we expected it to go on a bit.
Happily Wendy’s brother, Peter, invited us around to see in the new year. This was welcome as Wendy gets really stressed out about noise nowadays.
We set off to Pete’s and Emma’s (his wife) at about eleven pm. (The ability to jump in the car whenever we feel like and the feeling of moral superiority are the best consolations for not drinking!)
We came home at about half past three, and next door were still at it! We went to bed by four am, and the music was only quiet, but because they were all coked up they were unaware of how loud they were being every time they went outside for a fag.
After a fitful sleep we got up at twelve noon and they were still going!
Respect to the quality of the product, but shit!
They started to disperse before one in the afternoon, now all is quiet.
We are tired and a bit miffed with them, but in the small mercies column, it’s only the fact that my day off happened to fall today that stopped me from having to get up at ten to five this morning.
OK, whinge over, back to the review.
Let me paint a word picture of this time last year; I was working in the De-kit department, I was still paying for training towards my HGV class II license having already failed the test two or three times, I was training in Taekwondo and Kung Fu but was having to decide between them because we were so poor, Wendy was still a volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureau and we were unmarried.
Phew, how times change!
In January I passed my class II, to the relief and surprise of many. Then over the year I set about the class I (articulated lorry) training and tests. Many tests. There was the moment of high drama when it looked like we had run out of credit and I still hadn’t passed, then miraculously the credit card doubled our limit unbidden. (God bless those unscrupulous bastards!) Finally, in July, I passed.
The relief has never been so great! £ 5,615 to get both licenses. Worth every penny just to be free from the terror of having to take one more bloody test. Then from July to now I have been strung along by work that they would employ me as a driver. Five months!
On the subject of work, in January we in the de-kit department heard a rumour that we were being kicked out and being replaced by agency workers. This was dismissed by the management. We took unofficial industrial action and in the end they came clean that everything we’d heard was true. Thanks for the graft lads and screw you.
Back to order picking then for the rest of the year in ambient and, although they’d sworn it would not be the case, in the freezer.
Our works then is managed by lying bastards who’ll tell you anything to keep you sweet. Which is why I am applying for every driving job I see and not waiting for them to sort me out.
Wendy decided that 13 years was long enough as a trial and wanted to get married, which we duly did. We were still poor (still paying for the driver training, Wendy still unemployed) so it was a cheap and cheerful affair. That was fine by me, but it later transpired that Wendy wanted to make it something of an occasion.
Forgot to mention, Wendy was plump at the beginning of the year. She saw the wedding photo’s above and went on a diet for the best part of the rest of the year, losing three and a half stones! Go Wendy!
This is her now.
We took a week’s holiday in Scotland for a honeymoon, paid for out of everyone’s kind gifts of cash at the wedding. That was lovely.
I had a walk on part as an evil eco-bastard in the Gardeners World peat special. They asked me at the flower show if I used peat based compost, to which I replied that I just used the cheapest as I am poor. They aired it!
Ho hum. Evil Bucky.
July was a double celebration for us, I finally passed the bloody HGV test and Wendy got a paid job with the C.A.B. as a trainee debt advisor, her favourite subject.
That was bloody splendid. I didn’t have to run up any more debt in the truck training (once you’ve started you can’t afford to stop until you’ve passed and have a means to recoup your outlay) and Wendy was raking in some decent cash. Huzzah! We could start paying off debts rather than accruing them.
Shortly thereafter I ran afoul of a speed camera. Bugger.
In the martial arts sphere I had to give up on the most expensive one (Kung Fu) early on in the year but by November, when money was no longer such an issue, I realised that I’d backed the wrong horse.
I want a martial art that will win fights. At a Taekwondo lesson they said to me that I was supposed to do this spinning whip kick and land it with my back to the opponent so they couldn’t score points off a return kick to my chest armour. Land it with your back to your opponent! That is a quick way to get a knife stuck in your back on the street.
That was the moment I knew that however much I liked kicking people in the head, it wasn’t a serious martial art. I gave it up in November, and will be returning to Wing Chun Kung Fu on the 12th of January.
The other highlight of this year was remembering a teenage ambition of learning to play the sax. The good thing was we were finally in a position where we could afford for me to indulge my whim.
Note also the winklepicker shoes. Suddenly finding yourself with expendable income is such a nice feeling! It took some doing, mind, it wasn’t gifted. A few years back I had to stop drinking, Wendy had to prove herself worthy of a really demanding job. We are reaping the rewards of our effort. By all the people who go on holiday every year, own their own homes, have savings etc, we would still be deemed pretty damn poor, so I’m not boasting, just saying for us this is solvency and bloody welcome it is too!
We are into 2010. Wendy is going great guns, her diet has paid off, she’s up to speed at her job (she’s bagged her man ) and she’s a happy bunny. I’ve got loads of stuff, have cleared a load of debts and am clearing more. I have my licenses and have applied for jobs (including driver in the T.A.) and I reckon this will be the start of it.
2010. By the end of it I will be a professional driver and, with the cash that comes with it, we will be able to be debt free and minted!
It was my day off today. Huzzah! I’m on my 6-2 week, so it was rather lovely to have a lie in. I get knackered getting up at five in the morning so was going to have a lengthy lie-in. This was not to be. My nan had taken a funny turn and was in hospital so I visited her on Tuesday. She looked all frail and done-in and confused. I felt sad for her. Then it transpired that my mam and dad were going away on holiday (yesterday) and my sister and her husband were away until this weekend. So my nan would be shipped back to her flat and not have them to attend her as they usually do.
Usually I avoid all unnecessary contact with people. I find people to be like salt; pleasant in moderation, unpalatable in excess. It’s a selfish, anti-social, and in all honesty fairly loathsome trait. Yet one that affords me a quiet life. Buddha would be quick to point out the ‘me’ in that sentence.
To cut to somewhere near the chase, I said I’d pop round yesterday to make sure she wasn’t short of anything. It turns out she lives in old codger paradise. It’s a series of flats built around an enclosed complex. Shops, hairdressers, library, internet cafe, all under one roof. All carpeted, with wheel-chair and scooter access, carers all about, wheelchair friendly lifts, and bedecked with doddering denizens.
Back in her natural environment my nan was fairly compos mentis, still not to hot on her feet mind, but not the pitiful, confused patient from the hospital. She thought she had been diddled with her bank account and was saying that when my mam came back off holiday she would get a lift to Birchwood (about five miles away) to her local branch. It being my day off today I said I’d take her, but that I had a sax lesson at two in the afternoon so it would have to be in the morning. I suggested eleven o’clock she said ten thirty, then we could go to Asda and get some lunch!
Bloody hell. No good deed goes unpunished (Oscar Wilde).
So I had to get up at half eight, get the washing out, straight to Asda to do our big shop for the week, charge back, unpack, round to my nan’s (late) where she was waiting for me in the foyer (!) back up to her flat so she could change wheelchairs and dither about, then bank, (where she tried to give me loads of money and I refused) charity shop, (where she had a moan at the woman she knows there about me not taking the money she wanted to give me) Asda and cafe. I said I didn’t want anything to eat, just a coffee. She pointed to a big roast of meat and asked what it was (turns out it was turkey) and said it looked nice, what was I having? I said just a coffee. She said I had to get something. I said just a coffee. By now there was a queue forming as it was dinner time. She said she’d have turkey butty, make it two so I could have one. I said I wasn’t hungry, didn’t want anything and was a veggie. About four times I said I was a veggie! It must have been five minutes to get her that bloody turkey butty. Five minutes of telling her I was a veggie, with an impatient queue behind us, and her getting rattier and rattier.
After that it was just a quick trip to Aldi (running late, tick tock, tick tock) then back to her flat, through the complex, up in the lift, then go and get the paintings she had in the storage area and bring them into the flat (aaarrrrrggghhh!) pick up the bag with the ice-cream she’s bought me from Asda and she’d put an envelope of cash in it! Had another quick exchange of views, and gracelessly accepted the cash. Bit pissed off about that to be honest. Kind of turns a selfless and (for me) commendable act into a mercenary deed. Again it’s turned around to how it relates to me. Perhaps it did, as the woman in the charity shop maintained, make her happy to treat her family with her cash, but we’ve got enough, and I don’t want hers. Yeah, it’s all about me.
I forgot to mention, last week when I went for my (hour long) sax lesson there were no spaces left in the hour parking bit, and after three laps of the one-way system around town realised there were no others to be had. I decided to park in a half hour space, thinking no-one would notice such a minor transgression. I got back to the car and they had put a parking ticket on my car after thirty five minutes! That will be twenty five pounds, please! Bastards!
This week, being a day off and therefore not being in a rush I was going to go on the bus, it gets you there twenty minutes early, but right outside the shop and no parking worries. No chance. Came charging out of my nan’s, rushed home, picked up sax, straight out, no parking spots again, had to go to the multi-storey across town, late again, ran through town carrying a bloody great sax case and arrived ten minutes late.
Pete, my sax instructor, had my funky new mouthpiece for me though, supposed to be a hell of an improvement on the standard one, and had no pupil after me so said we could run the hour from my arrival.
He said I had a good sound. Better than some of his pupils who’d been going for a year! The internet said that this sax was a good one, fit for learning on or gigging with, that’s why I went for it. So either it’s the natural sound the sax makes, or he was bulling me up. Apparently some people start unable to blow more than one note without taking a breath. Sounds iffy to me. I don’t even know enough to know what he means by a good sound, or conversely a bad one. I’d have thought that if you hit the note it was job done. Who knows?
I have a good sound. For some reason I went to pieces when trying to read the sheet music. The stuff I’ve been doing all week went totally to crap. Possibly because you don’t like making a fool of yourself in front of someone who knows what he’s on about.
So it’s been a full day. Again I didn’t go to Taekwondo, though. Just wanted a bit of my day off when I wasn’t rushing around doing stuff. I would have loved it if I’d have gone.
I’ll have to go every available day next week (I’ve booked the week off so I can) as it’s my grading a week on Sunday.