Pastry Tales

23 Aug

On a miserable Wednesday daytime, during which I have been relatively productive, I thought I’d use the time available and my current motivation to write another post.

“Cripes!” I hear you (singular) shout, “You haven’t written anything for about 5 months!”. Well, don’t get too comfortable in that seat of yours, because this won’t take long (I am saying this without any knowledge of how long this post is going to be, so please feel free to call me a liar/deceiver/blaggard should this go on for too long….which it may already be).

Well, dear Reader (singular), follow me on this journey into the realms of my mind and hopefully we will both learn something….

The productivity that I grandly asserted was currently in my possession has involved the completion of a number of exciting jobs: Getting the rear passenger tyre on my car replaced with another (same shape), calling the landlord of the flat above us and getting him to agree to pay for the leaking ceiling we have in our boiler cupboard, washing the work shirts I need for the rest of the week, and dropping off some donations to the local charity shop, which have been hanging around the flat for far too long.

I can tell that you believe the excitement in my story is building.  Hey, keep reading and you’ll find an incredible punchline that will have you rolling around the floor with tears in your eyes, and possibly a little bit of urine in your pants. This dramatic reaction may come from the stark realisation that you have wasted a few minutes of your life (depending on how fast you read) in absorbing all the inanity that has come and all there is to follow.  You will never get those minutes back and I’m afraid there is no benefit whatsoever, to me or to you (singular).

Well, the main event of today was that, during the time in which my (offside rear) tyre was being replaced, I hit a baby.

Not on purpose, of course, but I thought that creating a new paragraph would increase the impact of that sentence.

And that one.  I thought I’d spend the 30 minutes that the mechanics were working on the car to have a coffee and read my book, or at least a few pages of it.  The problem with entering the café, was that the door was a one-way external-to-internal push door (in doorman’s jargon).  This in itself was not the problem, but the baby in question was standing up (OK, it was a toddler) staring out of the lower window pane, with its hands on the glass, seemingly mimicking Dustin Hoffman at the end of ‘The Graduate’, but with a little less gusto and/or power of speech.

Before you say anything, I didn’t just push the door and knock the child sprawling….I pushed the door, sent the child sprawling and knocked over the pushchair that it was supposed to be in, sending a clatter of plastic toys across the the parquet flooring.  No harm was done; the child was scooped up by its mother, who barely listened to my apologies, seeming to realise that her lack of concentration whilst choosing pastries had resulted in a potential situation that could have engendered in her the beginning of a feeling of life-long guilt.  Her penchant for pains-au-chocolat could have resulted in the maiming of her child and had I not been the meek, British, gentle door-opener that I am, afraid of imposing my presence as a customer to the nations shopkeepers, the situation could have been much worse.

As a brief aside, I would just like to mention that none of the above encounter is true.  The child was standing by the door window, but I didn’t open the door until the mother had scooped her up.  She apologised to me and I was the one that chose a baked good and sat down with a coffee.

I will have to ask myself why I feel that fabricating a not-that-amusing-and-frankly-a-bit-worrying story is a good thing to do.

feet are made for walking

21 Jan

i currently have cold feet.  Yes, this is a reference both to the literal weather outside and to the idiom related to my procrastination about applying for a new job.

My feet are easier to talk about, so i shall begin with them: The UK has seen ‘treacherous’ snowy conditions for a few days now, and so I thought, rather than complain about the current ‘snowmaggedon’ that the news keeps on telling us we are experiencing (which we, as a country, seem to be surprised at every year), that I would be better suited talking about something that I thought was caused by the cold, but in fact wasn’t.

No, apparently the nerves inside my body (rather than outside?) are behaving like the badly-gritted M62; not getting the traffic they are carrying through to their destination effectively (I thank you).  The traffic being electrical impulses saying that my feet are not cold and numb and the destination being my brain.

Despite dunking them in a bath of hot water, wrapping them up in many layers of socks (minimum three) and shaking my legs constantly, making myself look like a beached Mer-man, I cannot get my feet warm and the feeling is not coming back.  it has been 4 days now, and the doctor has today confirmed to me that this is an MS relapse.  This is, first and foremost, an annoyance, but also a motivator to make my health the most important thing for me to deal with within my life.  I have already been granted certain changes to my roster (I work shifts; already known to be detrimental to health), but I need to make my hours still more like regular office hours to regulate my sleeping patterns and to negate any stress caused by fatigue, by which I am sure this current is issue is at least partially caused.

I cannot deny that my natural tenacity in getting what I want has never been high, leading me to follow the course of least resistance through much of my life so as not to cause offence to, or problems for others, to the extent that I have been unsure of what I myself have wanted from life for a very long time.

Given a direct threat to my lifestyle and, in effect, my whole existence (and of course the acceptance of this being a threat of this sort, rather than the denial of its effects) I am becoming more and more motivated to do things, rather thasn to let things happen to me as has been my wont in the past.

I do, however, still find myself having to fight the urge to do nothing and to give excuses for my failures.  I am currently in the midst of looking for a new job and have found quite a number of vacancies that I would be suitable for given my skills and aims in life, but have not yet applied for a single one.

This is where I’m supposed to begin exploring the reasons for my lack of activity on this front,    but I am not sure that this would be helpful; interesting, perhaps, and good writing practise, definitely, but I am a little worried that it would very quickly become a list of self-castigating events that would be of no practical use to me whatsoever.

So, unsatisfyingly for the reader, I will not be discussing any further; I prefer instead to get on with addressing these issues and actually applying for these jobs.  I promise i will try and make this blog more of a discussion point for other readers soon, but as you can probably tell, I’m using it as a tool for myself primarily at the moment.  I’m sure that I can also make it a bit more fun and interactive, rather than just a drawn out list of the issues that concern me, but if anything has been of relevance to anyone else, please feel free to comment.

Karma bait

16 Jan

The quote in my previous post and the explanation of it may have been a little bit extreme, but I am feeling angry at the moment due to issues at work, so I may be prone to, let’s say, more exhuberent ways of expressing myself at this time.  I’m sure I’ll calm down in a while, however long that may be.

I suppose starting this blog, in addition to my personal journal/diary (that you will not be able to read!) is an attempt to channel a little of this raw and directionless emotion into something a little more creative and possibly a little more useful to myself and possibly the outside world, whoever that may contain.

Maybe people who are also feeling anger or other feelings of general frustration at their current situation can seek some kind of solace in blogs like this which try to emphasise the fact that people in this situation are not on their own, although it may feel that way.

Oh God…I just thought… maybe am the one who is on his own, talking into the void without the possibility of anyone listening or existing to be able to comfort me.  That would be irritating, to say the least, but at least if there I receive no response at all, I can still believe that there are people like me who would be sitting reading this post without any intention of commenting or sharing their experience, even if they have been affected by what has been said.  You could say that this would be some sort of karmic justice, meeted out by the spiritual, quantum powers that control the universe and everything for not ever leaving any feedback about my Amazon purchases.  This obviously, would not be completely fair as sellers on Amazon at least receive the validation of the money received for their item; if i receive nothing, I have exactly that. *wipes solitary tear off cheek*

But why should I need something?!  Am I not writing this for myself?  The answer to this is ‘obviously not’, or else i wouldn’t be sending it out to a place where anyone in the world can read it, rather than keeping it in my aforementioned private journal, where i can talk about people and things specifically, and not be so circumspect about the content of what I am writing for fear of upsetting or offending anyone.

No, I suppose I’m writing this to give some sort of succour (still a funny word, even at 33 years of age) to other people in my situation; that is, men (or women) of an age where they feel they should have progressed further with their lives/careers but have reached a point where the only way of getting what they want from their lives is by changing it in quite a drastic way.  Possibly they believe, like me, that they have wasted some of the potential that they had earlier on in their lives by, for example, not listening at university (despite inexplicably still getting a 2:1), waiting too long for ‘things’ to ‘get better’ and procrastinating about doing the things that they want to do for fear of getting it wrong, whilst some people who have just done it seem to have remarkably little talent whilst still getting paid for it.  Maybe they feel that their current work environment is not allowing them to use the skills that they believe they have, but that the expectations that their family has of them, or the expectations that they perceive their family to have of them, means that taking a risk in their job would jeopardise any sort of standard of life that they have been able to accrue over the course of their ‘careers’ so far.

So as not to make last paragraph sound like a ‘my friend’ moment (eg. ‘my friend would like to know how to remove a bottle from his bottom, doctor…he doesn’t know how it got there’), I would like to confirm that, if there was any doubt, I was talking about me (but not with regards to the bottle).

Writing is quite a cathartic process at times such as these (again, I’m not talking about the bottle).  If anybody would like to comment, then that would definitely make me feel better, but also hopefully give the opportunity for someone else to relieve, to any degree, any anxieties they may have about their life/career/anything.  As soon as I figure out how to promote this blog, I hope some of you will.

Thanks and good luck.


“Well, I guess …

15 Jan

“Well, I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn’t have anything to regret for the rest of their life. Well good luck to you Peter. I’m sure this decision won’t haunt you forever.” – Lance Armstrong

On the day after Lance Armstrong has admitted to cheating throughout his career, this at-the-time light hearted pseudo-inspirational quote from ‘Dodgeball’ (IMO one of the greatest comedy films of all time) shows us how everything about life is just a FUCKING ILLUSION.