Monday, November 15, 2010

More work

The work fun continues. I'm being stretched, dusty neurons that have been asleep for years are firing up again. Most nights I'm exhausted by it all, I think I've pulled a muscle in my head a few times.

I'm loving every moment of it.

Also I've been there just over two weeks and I've no had an affair with ANYONE. Well done me!

It's not thought want to suitable people mind you. I was in a morning meeting and I realised I fancied every woman in the meeting. I'm such a slut sometimes.

Well actually I've sort of changed tactics. I have my eye on someone but it's a long shot. A very long shot. It will require tactics, cunning and more luck than I've ever had before.

Let the games begin.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

We need to talk about velvet

So I'm back in London. Yeah. The new job is bloody amazing. It's such a delight to be in the warm bosom of a women's magazines.

The first week was well a bit stressful really. It was aces fun but I was so tense that I gave myself stress headaches. Fool. A early night combined with running again helped sort that out. Also I relaxed a bit.

I had my first Friday in the pub with the gang, it was excellent and I was invited onto the newly formed 'Style Council' by the fashion desk. We have had our first theme day velvet and on Thursday the theme is tweed.

There will be feature on how velvet is coming back in a future issue of the magazine, and that is my fault. I'm not just fashionable, I'm setting the agenda!

Also I'm going to get a make-over. I have a gang!

It's so great to be back it doesn't feel entirely real. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up or get sent back to the Wilderness...

Let's hope not eh?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

London Ho! (possibly)

Yes. I know it's has been a while, but I have news!

I've moved back to the ghetto, it's a just a stepping stone though, one surrounded by burnt out cars and needles. Actually it's not that bad. I doubt it will ever impress a girl, but it is warm and cheap.

The reason I'm not that bothered about it is that a return to London is more than on the cards, it's in motion.

Someone has left one of the London magazines. I found out via Facebook and contacted their old boss to say I'd like to be considered. You have to do stuff like this because London jobs are often just mysteriously filled without ever being advertised.

They were shocked that I would even be interested in the job, but very interested in the prospect of getting me in. I had to explain that I would be delighted by the prospect of moving back to London rather than fretting over it.

I've already met the editor, and a couple of other key people so now I have a trial day coming up next week. The only skill left for them to test me on is funny writing. I could have done some today but since I have near-fatal man flu (annoying headcold) I didn't think I'd be on top form.

Also I want to buy some new clothes for my trial day so I look suitably cool, and get a haircut. Eek! I need to organise that. The standard of dress in the London office is astoundingly high so I'll have to up my game a bit.

Which I'm actually really looking forward too.

As for places to lives. In a sort of miracle, one of my best friends has got hold of a lovely house in London for free and I've got a room reserved. It's like the cottage, but warm, with furniture and in London. Hurrah!

This would mean moving house twice in a month, but I think it's worth it. For a start most of my stuff is still in bags so I won't have to do much packing.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moving on.

Well I'm nearly done. I got a bit frantic because I had so much stuff but actually it's not as bad as I feared. I still haven't managed to get a suitable home for the sofa or the fridge which means they are off to the dump. I just have to destroy a bed, clean a kitchen and scrub down the cottage. Simple.

Moving house is horrible but it will be over soon and I'm feeling really positive about the move now. This is definitely the right thing to do and if everything goes to plan, just a first step back to London.

So yeah, feeling good about it all. Coolie has it covered

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Freecycle, moving, and things.

Freecycle is amazing. I have furniture I don't need and I really, really don't want to take it to the dump, because it's perfectly good furniture. So I've put it on freecycle.

The response has been great. Hopefully by the end of the day I'll have got rid of most of my stuff. The only minor glitch is people being really fussy. It's a free table, I'm sorry if the the colour doesn't quite work for you no need to get so stroppy.

Also freecycle has quite a lot of people asking for unrealistic stuff. I doubt you will get a new top of the range laptop, people don't tend to give those away.

So this weekend will involve a lot of frantic scrubbing of carpets and a sort of reverse evolution of the cottage. The washing machine is going in a bit, the fridge will be later and the sofa is going to disappear too. It's a little bit sad until I think of my bank balance.

Then it's the best thing I've ever done.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cancelled, cancelled, cancelled.

I've been cancelling loads of stuff because I'm leaving the cottage. Water, council tax, phones, all sorts. It's very satisfying to realise that these huge chunks of cash aren't going to be flying out of my bank account on the first of the month anymore. Even more satisfying is the fact that I'm due some refunds.

I've not been getting my 25% of council tax for being a poor lonely singleton and so I'm getting that back. It's like a government organised saving scheme. I've put a away a little every month and now I've got a reasonable wodge of cash that I didn't expect to get.

You know, it might just be the thing that inspires me to start saving, once I've paid off my debts. They have to come first. Actually maybe I'll just use the wodge of cash to pay off some more of them. That would be a bit more sensible.

This new cheaper lifestyle is like getting a massive raise and it should allow me to do things again, like go on holidays or take nice girls out for drinks. Is this downsizing? If so I love it.

Maybe I could turn into a vacuous feature for someone? People who are moving to cheaper digs to improve their lifestyle.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The move, well at least thinking about it.

In less than a week I will be moved out of the cottage. EEK. I've done almost no packing, which is at least true to form. To be fair though, I've still not unpacked some things from when I first moved so it does balance out. I just move the bags around.

Hopefully this next move will be a short-term one. Just a little step on the hop back to London, or perhaps America. Anyone want any furniture? I've got tables and sofas and all the other things that people need. I think I'll just phone up the recycling man and get him to take it all away.

I need to cancel lots of direct debits too. It's annoying how signing up for a phone and things can be done in moments online or over the telephone but cancelling it requires letters and 28 days notice. That's just annoying, and slightly sharp business practice if you ask me.

Still it will be worth it. I'm looking forward to not paying £50 a month for water, which given that I shower at work and use about a kettles worth a day seems a bit much. I suppose that's the thing people never say about living on your own. It's all 'oh it's great walking around in your underpants (in the summer) and being able to watch what ever telly you like (that bit is good)' they don't mention the absolutely crippling bills, or vague sense of loneliness that makes you seriously consider cats.

A very good chum has moved to London and has spare rooms, or will have them soon. So the vague plan is to land a job in that London and live with him a bit. The house is quite remote, but I think living with him would be amazing. I'm really quite looking forward to it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Made of Rar! Bad week, good week.

Last week was a tricky one.

On Monday a bike got stolen while in my care. Arrgh etc. Just after getting my wheels back, for the first time in over a year allowed a bike over the weekend and BANG. It gets stolen. I was furious.

As you can imagine this rather messed up my week. I don't know if I'm going to be banned again because of the bike disappearing. On Thursday night I thought 'enough was enough'.

And so did something a bit bold. I emailed a publish with a pitch for a non-fiction book. Something to do with work. It was a fairly short email, focused if you will. I sent it across first thing in the morning.

Twenty minutes later I had a meeting arranged to go in and talk to the publisher about the idea. GET IN. I just need to tell my agent about this now, I hope he isn't upset.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


My brother his here visiting which is aces. It was a last minute thing so I couldn't get time off work which is less aces but the whole situation is still aces.

When I have guests it's one of the few times when having the cottage pays off, just about. I'm going to be so glad to be no-longer shackled to the vast bills of living here. I suppose I have learned an important lesson - living on your own is bloody expensive.

My brother brought some beans up with him. Lots and lots of beans. I'm not really sure what to do with them. Any ideas?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Days Marching by

In the past week I've been to a great party in London, passed a riding assessment with flying colours, ridden about a dozen new bikes, flirted with more girls than I should and resolutely refused to ask for any of their numbers, gone out to local bars and had fun.

It's been really rather good. I mean surprisingly good. I still miss London desperately but work up here has been about as good as it can be in the last week or so. I'm still moving on, but this is definitely helping make the days march by.

I'm only in the cottage for a few more weeks now. It seems a bit sad, but any time I start to have regrets I just think about all the cash I'm going to save by moving out. Cash I can use to do fun stuff.

I'm going to get some new clothes too. I need a new waistcoat that fits and I'd like some new shirts too. I'm not sure what exactly, but I'll know when I see it. It will be a new beginning shirt.

Friday, July 30, 2010


I had my feedback review at work, or what-ever it is called. This one was a weirdly pleasant experience. Well pleasant in parts.

Given that I don't want to be working there anymore that allowed me a bit of freedom in what I said. So we went through the usual areas of things I could improve. Annoyingly writing came up again, which is annoying because I've not written anything in almost year.

I did point this out, and the point was conceeded. The other 'area for improvement' was on the production side of things. This I think comes down to a lack of explaining and communication. People want you to write plans down rather than juggle them in your head.

The big, and slightly shocking feedback is that one of the chaps I work for doesn't think I do anything. He has been acting weird ever since his engagement was announced, which might go to explaining this outburst.

I dealt with the issue, in my feedback but I sense a clash is coming up. Not as a counter attack or anything from me, but he is just getting so fiery towards everyone.

The big moment in the feedback session thing was when I told my boss that I wanted to move to London. I said the job wasn't going anywhere, and that I've lived in the wilderness for nearly two years and I don't have a single friend outside of work. I said I'd been talking to the London office about jobs.

He took it rather well I think, thanked me for my honesty and said he'd would also see if anything came up. I imagine at some point the editor will take me to the side and have a chat with me about it, but I'll just be honest too.

Thing is, I don't want to spend the rest of my life in the wilderness and while playing with motorbikes is fun, it isn't everything to me.

So yes, very productive feedback thingybob, I think, but I doubt it's over yet. I'm sure there will be aftershocks, but since the lease on the cottage over and I'll be moving back to tiny little gigs that cost nothing. Well if I got asked to leave I'd just contact a direct competitor and said 'Would you like to win the battle over the internet?'

I'd bet a bottle of gin that I could do it too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gym of death

The gym mission continues. I'm starting to get a bit bored of it though. I think I need to move to a new gym, or find someone new to lust after.

Actually that's a bit of a weird one but I'm not really in the mood for girls at the moment. The last one wasn't awful or anything but I just can't see the appeal. That's a bit of a sign isn't it?

Anyway, I was in the gym yesterday doing my now traditional Monday spaz out. I'm usually a bundle of energy on Mondays so I have to go extra bananas to sort of use up that energy.

This took the form of the tread mill. Which I've not really used much. I put it on 14, which might be 14kph but might not. Either way it was a pretty solid gallop, not a jog by any means.

At 7 minutes I stopped and measured my heart rate which was 181bph, or just shy of a heart attack according to my chum the medic. I think this means I'm not allowed to run that fast for that period of time, or perhaps I need to work up to it first.

My heart rate dived afterwards, and I felt fine so I don't think I've killed myself or anything. Still it's quite exciting to reach the limit of something. On the plus side, and this is a mega plus my knee wasn't weird or anything. It's a bit tingly today but fine which is excellent.

I'll be spending all of today in a van in Wales which is less excellent so I suppose that shows that in everything there is balance.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Work tries harder

Work has been surprisingly skill in the last week. Shockingly so. It's as if 'work' knows I'm planning to leave it and it's doing a last ditch attempt to keep things together. You know, fancy underwear, flowers etc.

The main example of this is tests. I work at a magazine based around a specific hobby and it's products. It's a big, hobby shared by quite a few chaps. Anyway. On the magazine we have a few people who are employed to test these products. They get flown around to hot countries to test new things and are constantly sent new things to test. It's amazing the life style they lead. I think only A grade rock stars get treated better. They still moan about how hard things are for them.

Anyway, sometimes they need other people to help test these things. Which means a day out of the office doing the hobby and having a nice time. I've never been invited on one of these tests, but I've helped film one or two.

On Monday I was selected to take part in a three-part mega test which will be inspired by a well known TV show lets call it Highest Ratio. This TV show features three chaps who are into a method of transport messing about and completing challenges.

I'm going to be working on a three part feature like that, which will also be filmed. Two senior testers are involved and they want japes and misadventure. I'm a bit nervous, just because I've always stayed behind the camera in the past because I'm a bit too posh for our beloved readers.

This could be a bit of a turning point, it will give me a great portfolio piece and for the first time in about five years an up to date show reel.

Blimey eh?

Monday, July 19, 2010


My time in the cottage is nearly over, and hopefully by extension my time in the wilderness. Hurrah.

Slightly less hurrah is the break-up of the thing with the hat. It was the right thing to do for a whole range of reasons. I won't go into them but the fact there was a range of reasons is fairly telling. Ho-hum.

I'm going to be single for a bit. It's a life choice, no really it is. Okay I'll list some reasons why things ended.

* She told boring stories
* She hated The Flight of the Conchords
* She didn't like my suits
* Or my fancy underpants
* She wanted me to call her a few times every day
* We spent some time apart and I was perfectly happy.

So there you go.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

George Orwell's haircut

I've got a new haircut. I LOVE IT. it's a sort of 1930s haircut, short back and sides but messy on top. It's great. George Orwell would approve.

I can't remember that last time I was so pleased with a trim. To add to the fun, if I apply a bit of Brill Cream I can sport a proper Chap Magazine approved hairstyle. Ding dong.

Speaking of hairdressers. Has anyone noticed that the can have a wealth of nicknames that make them sound so dangerous? For example:

'Oooh who is your stylist? That look is fabulous?'

Can become

'Nice barnet, who is your scissorman?' Or my personal favourite 'I like the new look, who is your cutter?'

It makes it sound a bit Guy Richie.

I celebrated the new haircut by going and buying some new fancy pants and another tight t-shirt. They are my new weakness. I've still got to shift a few more pounds, which isn't helped by me needing a near constant supply of chocolate while I write, but still. I'll just hit the gym harder next week.

I've also been playing around with vegatables a lot. Not in a sexy way, but with my new grill machine. Courgettes are amazing grilled. So good that when you eat them you have to do a little dance. I eat them a lot now.

The cottage is far more pleasant in the summer. You can forgive it a lot more. I'll be almost sad to see the back of it now. Although not so sad to see the back of the garden. The hedges needs more attention than my girlfriend. Also concrete is no replacement for grass. I don't think anyone would consider and afternoon lounging around on the concrete with the Sunday papers.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hay dogs

It's hay making season and unfortunately I've managed to be in the countryside at the same time. Luckily it was only 190 hay bales that needed to be picked up from a field, loaded onto a trailer, taken off the trailer and place into a barn.

I hate hay baling. It's heavy manual labour, I've done it for years and yet I've never been paid. Oh the joys of growing up on a tiny farm. A tiny farm that still isn't mechanised really.

It's been restful, slightly more tense because my brother has his exams, I have to work on a re-write of the book and my mother is talking about breaking up with her live-in boyfriend.

I can manage but only with the help of gin.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I'm on holiday at the moment. I've returned to the ancestral hall which means I'm spending my days being glared at by geese and holding ducklings. I love how angry geese are. It's like they are made of rage. The five geese are currently engaged in a territorial battle with the drake. The outnumber the drake and are larger than him but he just won't give up. It's terribly impressive and the resulting battles have carpeted the gardens with a thick layer of feathers.

The weather here is amazing. Not roasting hot but sunny and warm. Ideal for walks and eating cucumber sandwiches. I've not done the latter yet but perhaps today is the day.

Mostly I've been running. I hate running. I really, really hate running but there is nothing like it for getting a chap into shape and I've been forcing my brother to do it too so it seemed only fair for me to stumble out into the fields with him and wheeze away. It's been a very healthy break so far and I'm feeling very relaxed.

I've made a point of not checking my work emails which is a first for me. Also having a smashed up phone means that work just can't get hold of me. That is very relaxing. It also means I have time to write, or at least that is the plan.

Instead I've been cleaning and fixing things. Not 'fixing' like the phone was 'fixed' although trying to sort that out is part of the mission.

I should be writing now but instead I'm messing around on the Interspaz. Some things never change.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Lost without Phone

Dear all. I am in London. I am sat in a warm office in Soho. I'm drinking Gin. In short I'm in my spiritual home. I'm only here for a weekend visit but it is lovely all the same. I'm sneaking down most weekends to see the girl (things still going well) and for various work reasons.

I'm dressed unusually. A work mate said I look like a 'Jewish Action Man, a gay one'. I think I can rock that look, but it is a sign I need a haircut, and possibly some new trousers.

London is melting slightly, which I rather like. It's terribly good to be back.

I also destroyed my iPhone today while trying to fix it. It had a cracked screen which I managed to fix but at the cost of breaking the special button and the sound. So it's not really a working phone anymore. This is quite exciting, it means you can't contact people while moving and you have to arrange to meet people at VERY SPECIFIC TIMES.

I'm sure it will annoy me in the end but for now it's an adventure.

Monday, May 17, 2010

London and motorbikes

Last weekend was eventful. I had a bike for the weekend so I went down to London to catch up with old friends.

I'm sure I've spouted on about it before but riding a bike in London is something that might make you believe in a higher power. Riding a car in London is stressful because it's too busy and everyone is so aggressive but a motorbike is entirely different.

Motorbikes are slim so you can squeeze through spaces that a car can only dream of fitting through. Filtering means you can overtake almost anywhere and motorbikes can accellerate really fast, you will always get away from the lights first.

London is especially good because it's not really planned so the streets are all wiggly and strange. It is great fun to ride. I can happily spend whole days whizzing from one side to the other.

I was riding to see a chum on Sunday when an old lady dropped her handbag when leaving church. She hadn't noticed, so I pulled over to let her know and then stopped the traffic so I could get it for her from the road. This got me a nod from a policeman and made me feel like Batman.

On the way back from visiting this chum I stopped to see another chum and parked the bike up in a street. Some kids were watching and seemed a bit interested in the bike so I got a bit paranoid. I was only at my chum's place for about 5 or ten minutes but I kept looking out of the window to check on the bike. This was the right thing to do as I saw someone fiddling with it. The little git was trying to steal it.

We shouted from the window and they ran off but they had cut some wires so I was stranded in London with a broken bike. I let work know but got stupidly stressed about it all the same - I've only just been allowed to ride bikes again and I really didn't want to get told I couldn't anymore.

It turned out okay at work, I mean I did stop a bike being stolen. That's the thing to focus on. Still I got stupidly stressed about it all and had a massive head-ache all afternoon, so much so that I went and got some painkillers.

I really need a new job.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bodyweight Strength Training

I've been learning about Bodyweight Strength Training. Which is sort of like super manly yoga, in your pants.

I stumbled across it on Metafilter and now I'm going to try and do it. It's supposed to take months to build up your strength but I am very taken with the idea of being able to do single-hand handstands. That's a stupid goal to aim for, perfect.

I've also been applying for more jobs. No joy yet, but I think it's like dating website. You have to apply to lots before you find something really special.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Back in the saddle

Riding motorcycles is fucking scary. No seriously, they are weird and wrong.

I was all wobbly and inelegant, everyone was out to kill me and it all felt very unsafe.

I stopped for petrol and had a word with myself saying things like 'you love this' and 'this is the reason you got this job'.

After that things got a bit better, and over a long weekend of riding I got mostly back to where I was before. I say mostly because I can spot areas that I'm still not riding very well.

It was a nice return to riding, and it was also nice being able to ride down to London to see the girl. I handed the bike back after a weekend of riding. I'd covered about 550 miles which is pretty good going and it didn't have a scratch on it.

I think we will mark that one down as a win.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The joy of packing

I can't believe it but I really, really enjoy packing. Moving house is a nightmare but I love packing for adventures.

Today is a good example. I have to pack three seperate items.

1) Gym bag for three visits to the gym
2) Weekend bag, that will keep me presentable until Monday
3) Overnight bag for today, with a laptop and champagne

The gymbag will live at work so that is the easy one. Although I'm going to the gym today. So I need to put at least one days worth of sexy pants in that, for the date tonight.

The weekend bag is tricky. I've got a work event so I need to wear a range of styles of clothing and then I'll be in London so that's a different dress code. I need the absolute minimum because, as ever, space is limited. I'll be presenting awards, hanging around with the 'salt of the earth' and walking a beagle. So yes, quite a range.

It's like a complicated logic puzzle of clothes and I love it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The spaz rides again.

Tomorrow will be a big day. Not because it means pay-day is less than a week away but because I will ride a motorbike for the first time since the crash about seven months ago.

I've had to get a new helmet since the last one is now being used as presentation aid of what happens when you crash. The company who made it are delighted that it worked so well. The new helmet is white (nice and visible), I used to only wear silver helmets but it's time for a change.

I'm excited to get back on a bike but also a bit nervous, my last ride was well eventful and it's taken about six months before I can kneel again. I doubt the circulation in my foot will ever fully recover. I'm not dead though, and I can walk and run nd things. let's focus on the important stuff.

I've only got the bike for a few days - I'm being loaned it to ride to a work thing, so this is a test really, and a blessing. A blessing because having suddenly increased mobility means I can whizz down to London to see the girl. The girl that things are going very well with.

So well that I'm going to see her on the weekend too. Blimey, that's like a few days in a row. What ever next?

Friday, April 16, 2010

In which Louche and his possy win an award.

I won, well my team and I won. So that's good. We deserved it.

The awards were fun, they looked and acted like the awards off the telly but with terrible presenters (The MD and some head of digital lady) and far more drunken tomfoolery.

For a while it looked like we weren't going to get any awards, we didn't even get nominated for some catagories. People started getting a bit fighty and then we won some stuff and it calmed down a bit.

I got drunk, made some good contacts in the London office and danced. Chuck came over and talked to me which was a bit awkward but I managed get involved in an arm-wresting contest with a co-worker and she went away. Phew.

We nearly got stranded in London - the coach back tried to leave without us. But the Hat had already said I could stay at her place if I wanted.

It was a terribly kind offer, which I wanted to take up but I thought I should really hang around with my award winning team. You know celebrate with the darling little nerds.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Which one is suitable?

I'm applying for more jobs now. I'm going to try and apply for at least one a day. The company awards are on Thursday, and I'm going to use them to chat to loads of London people and pimp myself out.

I need to think carefully about what to wear. I have my trusty pinstripe suit. It's brilliantly cut, has served me well and gets compliments.

Or I could dig out the lilac suit, it's a bit mad so people won't forget me, but well it's quite loud. I suppose I shouldn't buy loud suits if I'm not going to wear them. It's a tricky one.

The Lilac suit will cause a scene (if I still fit into it) but will it make people think 'gosh I need to give that chap a job'?

Also I'm not sure how I'm going to get home from the awards either. There is a coach back to work, but then I'll have to get back to the Wilderness.

If I'm going to be stuck in the middle of no-where I think I'd prefer to be in a faintly normal suit, although in hindsight stumbling around the countryside at 3am dressed as a dandy makes a better story.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Job Fail

I didn't get the job, I didn't even get an interview for the job. Bah humbug.

Can't give up though. I must be resolute, I must get a job in London and that's just that. No turning back. V. annoying though. This job would have been terribly convenient, and probably good fun. Bah again.

Right, back to the hunt.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Waiting and running

Tomorrow is the closing date for applications for the job. I'm rather excited, even though I know it's decidedly dangerous to get too excited about these sort of things.

I can't help but day dream about life in London again, a life where I bump into chums in the street and people call up and say 'I've got a spare ticket to X, fancy coming along tonight?'

I miss meeting friends for lunch but most of all I miss the seasons of London. Not just the different times of year, but the different times of day.

The white heat of post-work Soho, to the eery silence of early morning Knightsbridge. Lazy lunch times in Hampstead and even the frantic bustle of Picadilly.

These used to be part of my day, I could go and see facinating art, or stare at dinosaurs for free, and walk there and back. Many bizarre adventures to strange parts of London were undertaken with the warming comfort that if it all went wrong I could just walk home.

I once got lost in the city after drinking with a strange mixture of people and had to use the river to navigate. I found it, got on the North side and then bimbled my way home.

To some people that would sound like a nightmare, but to me it's now a fond memory.

I really home I get this job.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The joy of drains (no really)

I just spent three hours unblocking the drains. They aren't perfect but they work now. I know absolutely nothing about drains so the first hour was spent timidly poking things with a stick.

Then I started taking the drain covers off, each progressively more disgusting than the last. By the time I got to the third cover, at the end of the garden I was feeling rather lost. The poking wasn't working and I was thinking about calling for someone who actually knew what they were doing.

Then the miracle happened, the drains sort of went 'bloop' and they started, well, draining and this caused a chain reaction. It was excellent. All sorts of vaguely disgusting things started moving around and disappearing.

I like it when you try and do something you don't know how to do and then after a good amount of challenge you beat it.

I think I'll check in on the drains again tomorrow, and hopefully if I have another shower I'll stop smelling quite so bad - which would be nice because I feel well macho and I am tempted to go out boozing to impress girls with my rudimentary maintenance skills.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


A great job has just appeared. A job that would be almost perfect for me. Well perfect actually but you know what I mean, it's in LONDON and everything.

So now I must frantically work my C.V. and update all those dull statements. Also I need to write a covering letter to make someone laugh. Argh, etc.

I should probably work on that then, instead of messing around on here. But you know how it is, you have something important and hard to do and so you spend ages moving chairs around and writing on blogs.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Recipe: Louche Potatoes

A snack for people who are too busy to sit down for a proper meal, or the Earl of Sandwich types who want a sandwich style snack without using bread.

Step 1: Take a reasonably large potato. Microwave it until it is cooked.

Step 2: Cut a slit in the top and push some nice cheese inside, as much cheese as you like. Add some Worcestershire sauce if you like. More than one slit can be cut and cheesed but try not to make the potato fall to pieces.

Step 3: Leave for a moment so the cheese melts and the potato calls enough for you to hold with your fingers.

Step 4: Eat.

Friday, March 19, 2010

House spaz

I need a housemate. I am shocked by how expensive living on your own is. The rent on the cottage is very reasonable, a steal by London standards, but it's all the extra stuff that is crippling. My council tax is vast and relentless add to this water (also huge) and I'm basically spent. It's a godsend that my energy usage is minimal.

It makes one wonder what the point of working is? When the bar to supporting yourself is so high. I suppose it's taught me that living on your own is far more expensive then you think and you should really do some sums before considering it.

Instead I had a sort of knee-jerk reaction to a relationship falling to pieces that I thought I could repair with a cottage. It didn't work and now this admittedly very pleasant house is a huge weight around my neck.

What a spaz I am

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Becoming Zoolander

My jeans are now so loose that I can slip them off without undoing them. I've only just noticed this. I'm hoping this will perhaps save my life if my trousers catch on fire while I'm wearing mittens.

Mostly it just makes it looks like I've just inherited my big brother's trousers and I'm hoping to grow in to them.

I should point out that I'm not wasting away or anything like that. Quite the opposite. One thing I have become is more complicated to draw. What was a slightly doughy shape now has definition and lines to it. It's very compelling to slowly turn into an anatomical diagram of muscle groups.

I'm looking forward to showing my 'project' to the girl I'm sort of seeing. I say sort of there have been dates, with more on the cards. Not quite 'dating' but potentially the beginning of something. I'd be seeing her far more often but being in different counties rather makes things more complicated, not to mention expensive.

to try and resolve the situation I spoke to an editor in London about jobs but sadly there was nothing suitable, this will be the first of many enquiries. I've decided every day I have to do something job related, as in find another job in London.

I am done with the wilderness and it is time to return to my beloved city.

Tough Tuesday

That's what yesterday will be known as from now on. In one day I was denied a raise, not give a motorbike (when everyone else in the office got one) and found out I wasn't getting a travel assignment I'd previously been told I was getting.

So yes, I understand all of these things are perks and one should be glad of what you have but still, it stings.

I knew I wasn't going to be getting a bike, due to the work ban so that's the least surprising one. Think of it as a little angsty cherry on top of the cake of woe.

The raise is annoying. I did ask my direct boss, how my job could have gone any better? I've massively exceeded every possible target and even though it's not a part of my job, I'm bringing in extra cash to the company, quite a considerable amount. These are all the reasons why I'm being put forward for an award. Gah.

The travel trip would have been lovely and the person charge of it had previously emailed me to say I was 'top of the queue' for the trip.

All in one day! Gah! It's as if you devised the perfect storm to make me update my C.V. then this was it.

I suppose today can't be any worse, that's a plus right?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Moob pride

I've got norks. Get in.

Yup I've grown man-breasts. I can't wait to tart them about. I'm totally going to let some girl feel them up behind the bike sheds if she buys me a can of cider or some penny chews and tells me I have nice eyes.

I was going to try and just hit at my new norks with perhaps some low-cut t-shirts but that's too classy for me. I'm a man nork slut.

I could justify wearing a bra now, probably. Well, I could justify wearing a bra if they made man bras for pecks. I bet they do on the interspaz but for now I think I'll stay natural and stuff. Operation Hollywood Tits is a success.

Operation six pack is going okay too. In the right light I have one but I need more work before I can become a stand-in for JLS.

I also need to eat less chocolate but I'm addicted to the stuff. Why is that? < SEXIST JOKE > Is that because of the norks? < / SEXIST JOKE>. Either way I just have to have some of the stuff at least once a day.

I would totally flash my man-melons for chocolate.


Tuesday, March 09, 2010


I have been ill. Nothing fatal, just man flu. It saps the soul a bit though and is boring. So very boring. Also when you ill alone it just means your house gets messy.

Sadly the NHS doesn't extend to having someone deliver chicken soup to your house. It really should though. That would have definitely helped.

Aside from being ill there isn't mcuh to report really, oh I finished the third draft of the book and sent it off to my agent so that's something I suppose. I'll hear in a bit if it made the grade or not. The nice thing about having it with him is that for the first time in ages I don't have a feeling that I should be doing homework. That's nice.

It's only a few weeks till the company awards now. I've been put up for one - I'm not sure if I'm a finalist yet or anything but I'm going to hang around till that is over. I am looking at other jobs but I won't make any moves until I find out if I get the award. It would look good on the C.V.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

London, reprise.

London was good again. Not excellent but definitely good. I went out far too much again. I just can't resist it. The fact that London is packed with interesting strangers I've not met yet is just so hard to say no to.

I think I had about 5 hours of sleep over the whole weekend. I caught up with some old chums (but not enough) and I had a date or two. The latter events were rather confusing. (A date that was a bit anodyne and a 'just be friends' who was acting weird)

I'm not good at reading if a girl is in to me or not and so if a date doesn't end with a girl either telling me to never call her again or demanding I take her to bed I'm at a loss.

I'm sure it will resolve itself in time, these things usually do. Until then I'll concentrate on work and the gym. At the moment I'm working on macho-moobs (going well) and a sixpack.

Sixpacks are extremely hard work, stomach muscles take ages to build up. Also it's very easy to do sit-ups wrong and have almost no effect. I was told by the gym chap that if you can do more than 20 sit-ups in a row you are doing it wrong. He has shown me how to do them correctly and after about ten I feel like I've been punched in the gut.

I'm making progress though, and that's all I need really. Just enough progress to keep me interested. I've still not got the hang of learning when to stop in the gym, yesterday I ruined myself again by trying to do two whole cardio routines in a row.

Note to self: don't do that.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The quest for Hollywood tits

It's only a day till pay day. Hurrah for pay, and days with pay in them!

In other news I'm actually really enjoying work at the moment. I don't know why but that week off really refreshed me and so I'm going at it like a trooper at the moment. This hasn't actually had any effect, it's more like I'm banging my head against a brick wall with gusto rather then vague disinterest.

The only other thing of note to happen yesterday is that I briefly wore a t-shirt in public (post gym) and a workmate said I looked like a pugilist. So I suppose that's a sign, I've now reached the point that if I wear anything even vaguely skimpy people comment on my figure. So there you go, it takes about 3 months and you have to eat differently. That's been the biggest surprise that food makes such a difference. Not more, not less, just better.

The next step in the gym plan is 'Hollywood tits' this ridiculous pectorals that you see in films. I want to see if I can grow some of them. It's like gardening but with your own body.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gym member of the month

Yes I finally did it. I am gym member of the month. I was 5 days clear of my nearest competitor, the LOSER*

I think this is another sign that I'm turning into a gym bunny. Anyway seeing I was member of the month I decided to do a post-week off work out. It was a hardcore one because after a week of not working out I had loads of energy. Also since I was member of the month I had to show the lesser mortals in the gym how things were done.

To add to the fun the air conditioning was broken.

And so I worked out so hard that I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening feeling really quite sick. So sick that I had to give myself a bit of a talking to. I was about to fall asleep but I'd promised a girl that I'd call her to arrange a second date. The talking to worked and so that was sorted out *phew*.

Morale of the story, when you are starting to flag at the end of the work out stop and think 'okay time to calm down' instead of thinking 'FEEL THE BURN COME ON YOU CAN DO ANOTHER TWENTY MINUTES'. Or put another way, I am a spaz.

I went to the gym again today but took it easy (for me) and instead feel rather marvellous this evening. A big improvement I feel.

I'm going to celebrate by not eating brown rice. Good times.

*who probably has a social life.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Office

I now have an office. It's because I have to finish this book soon. Have to. I will finish it if it kills me.

Through experience I have learned that writing means cleaning. When I have something difficult to write I clean a lot to put off doing it for a while.

I used this pro-actively by moving my laptop into the small spare bedroom. This room is where I put mess, mess and motorcycle gear. So it's in a bit of a state. Or at least it was. I started writing, and it went well. Every time I was stuck on something I did a little bit of cleaning and organising. I found so many lost things it was like I'd been shopping.

The room is now mostly organised. There are still a few more things to sort out but it looks much better. I think I'll do some more writing in it again tonight to finish off the cleaning.

I'm gearing up on the book writing even more now, I've covered a wall in post-it notes with various plot-holes, questions that need to be answered and a whole column that is just 'need more'.

The only slight problem is that I've constructed this installation downstairs and my new 'office' is upstairs. Oh bum.

I think I'll leave it downstairs though, so it's in my face and not hidden away in a room. I can't put it off any longer, I have to finish it. MUST MUST MUST. Yes, I've entered the madness stage of a writing project, so it was a week off well spent.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chat Roulette, a review

I thought I'd have a go on ChatRoulette since people kept tweeting about it. I went on it and saw a lot of winkies. I mean really quite a lot of winkies.

Old winkies, small winkies, dark winkies. I got rejected by stranger's winky. So that's a new experience. You are randomly paired up with people and then if they don't look like fun you press F9 to get a new person. It seems that if you let the world communicate with each other at random what you will see is a lot of wink wonks.

I only managed one brief actual conversation with someone, who said they were 'inteviewing for a paper'. They didn't show me their winky and for a tiny moment I sort of saw what the website was supposed to be about, random people talking about things via video chat. Then I saw some more winkies.

The users of Chat Roulette seem to fall into a few groups

1) A disembodied winky being touched. Or a close up of some awful underpants, which I assume contain a winky.

2) Lone man, badly lit probably with a beard and a hat on. He is probably thinking about showing you his winky.

3) A group of giggling girls who will demand to see your winky.

That's it really.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snow walks

Walking is good, walking in the snow is pleasingly dramatic to say the least. We were technically lost a few times. I say technically, I was pretty sure where we were but since we couldn't see very far it was based on a gut feeling rather than anything else.

I don't think I've been on a snowy walk before but I'd definitely recommend it. It was pretty exhausting. I also got to really test my 'high performance walking coat' I got one in a sale, it's like no other coat I've ever owned. It's made of light, strange fabrics and looks terribly modern. I find it pleasingly focused. It worked well and I definitely looked the part while stomping around the hills. I like the pouch in the front, more clothes should have a pouch

Afterwards we went to Waitrose (it was on the way back) and bought cake to eat when we got home. We had a soup waiting for us, yes you can make excellent soup in the slow cooker. Who would have thought? I'm going to have to do that more often.

Post soup we ate cake with hot chocolate and looked out of the window at the increasing drifts of snow. It's still snowing hard, if it keeps it up my brother will be unable to go home. Hurrah!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Booze drought

We have run out of booze. For someone who never drinks on his own, having my brother around has completely switched my attitude to boozing in the evenings. I'm not sure what we are going to drink tonight, we only have novelity drinks left, you know the sort that you only buy as a joke. Dark times indeed.

I'm trying to do some writing today, which means I've already put the bins out, cleaned the front room and think I'll do the washing-up next. I have to put more gloss on the children's book, well it's a bit beyond gloss. It needs a fresh coat of paint, and a bit of bodywork done, and perhaps a new engine.

My mother read it and said it was 35% there. 35% is a bit lower than I would have hoped, still I suppose that is 35%. So a third of the way there, so I will continue the slog, or at least I will after I've done the washing up.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Walking with family

We are on day three of the brother visit. It's going well, we get on brilliantly so it's not really a challenge by any stretch of the imagination. I think the only challenge is doing things, whole days can go by messing around on computers or reading books without even realising. So to counter this we are going on long walks, yesterday we had a two hour stroll that absolutely exhausted us afterwards.

I like that feeling of mild exhaustion, it helps a chap sleep at night. Also any activity where you end up with muddy trousers afterwards is definitely to be approved of.

I'm trying to do some writing too while he is here (so he can moan at me if it's not done) but we shall see how that goes. Still it's lovely having him here. He used to go to our fathers every half term so I think it's important for him to be able to have roughly the same experience, just with fewer goats and less awkward conversation with second wives.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Grown-up tea

My brother is visiting, I know that eternially he will be my 'little brother' but he is almost as tall as me now and in the evenings we drink beer together. I suppose that is the nature of things, in my head he will always be about 7 and want to play with lego.

This hasn't actually changed really. I still think if I had some lego we would definitely be playing with it. As we don't we are up playing computer games and having a breakfast composed almost entirely of chocolate.

I am using the teapot though, which always makes me feel grown up so it balance it's probably quite a mature meal.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

If we hold the stationary cupboard, we hold the office

There is a coup at work brewing. The top chap is fine, but one of his lieutenants is a berk. Historically he has been a harmless berk but when something didn't go well he blamed it on the team.

The thing was so bad that the top chap came down to gave the leaders of the team a good telling off. After quite a big verbal bashing the team leaders eventually said 'hold on a minute, he told us to do that'

That was day before yesterday. Yesterday there were a few frantic meetings, with the berk storming about trying to find out who said those things. I'm only getting snippets of this but it's quite gripping.

It should be said that this berk has always been a berk, and he has no real skills but nothing seems to stick to him. There are a few people in the company like this, ones that amaze you that they are still employed.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Puppies and ghosts

Doing well in gym is a weird experience for me. I wasn't that sporty at school, not in the traditional sense. I used to sail a lot outside of school but that's not really football is it? So I never really had a P.E. teacher going 'well done' at me.

Which makes this sort of mid-life crisis towards fitness all the more strange. I spend a lot of time talking to the gym chap about how I can improve my times and things and then like a puppy getting a reward I get praise for beating my targets again. For some reason I find this terribly compelling, even when praise for my professional work makes me cringe.

So what is that all about? Or is it one of those things one shouldn't question too hard.

It was another day of rowing practice, this time I managed 7.10 so an improvement, but I could have done better. I ran out of steam towards the end and then my technique went all wonky. I was on course for a sub 7 minute time before then.

Also I pushed myself so hard I felt a bit weird for the rest of the day, which is against the point of going to the gym in the first place. I go to the gym to feel excellent, not like a ghost with a hangover.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Rowing to ruin

The car is gone. Hurrah. I spent a whole evening trying to find the keys but I couldn't. I also never managed to get hold of the document to prove I owned it. Even worse, I also didn't manage to be around when the scrap man turned up.

So that means a car disappeared, a car that I had absolutely no proof I owned. Just gone. All they had was my mobile phone number. This opens up all sorts of opportunities for revenge towards bad people with cars.

I don't really know anyone with a car who I want to get revenge on that badly but it's something to consider for the future.

In gym news I began the rowing challenge. 2000m in the shortest time ever. I managed 7.15 in my second attempt, which if I were a woman, would put me at the level of representing Great Britain.

I've got to knock another minute off that time if I want to get even close to where the Olympic chaps are but I think for my second attempt at doing it ever, it was a very respectable time. I have awful rowing technique, so there is definite room for improvement there.

Last night I watched 'The Age of Stupid' a film about climate change, it was cheesy and slightly hackneyed in parts but it scared me witless so I suppose it had the desired effect. It's a film about climate change, made up from documentary footage taken today. This doesn't sound terribly gripping but it gets across the point that a dystopian future isn't science fiction.

It made me very glad I don't own a car.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Bye bye car

Today the car goes. It's been broken for a while but today it should disappear. I say should because I can't find the bloody keys. I've waited so long to get rid of it because I have also been waiting for the documentation and it's never arrived.

So yes, this is going to involve some sweet talking to get the chap to take it away. I hope I can manage it. I mean, it's not anything criminal I'm asking him to do, I think, or I hope.

Also I've decided I don't want to cycle to Spain but I'm not sure how to get out of it. I think the problem is that it would end up being a very, very expensive holiday and if I was going to spend that much money on a week long break it would be to go somewhere pretty amazing.

I'm not sure how to get out of it though. And yes, I admit this might be connected to Lycra's behavoir, but if I decided to do it because I like her then it seems okay to chose not to because I don't so much anymore.

10 Lessons learned this weekend

1) Never enter a quiz about a sports subject when the other team in the quiz is made of people who are WORLD CHAMPIONS of that sport. Not knowing about the subject but actually doing it. You will lose.

2) Apparently going on lots of dates with girls makes you HOT to other girls. So people like Lycra say 'can we go on a date sometime?'

3) If you have run out of money to get home, it is possible to barter with cab drivers.

4) It is possible to have lots of dates in an evening, but it does mean you spend rather too much time thinking about clocks when you should be gazing into their eyes lovingly.

5) If a girl at then end of the date asks you when you are next in London, this might be a clue that she would like to see you again. If you don't pick up on this until you are on the train home you are a spaz. A Spaz like Louche.

6) If Lycra asks you for a date, don't get too excited because the next day she may say 'she needs a few months before she is ready to date'.

7) The way to cure the bafflement over this is to ask out the nice girl from the night before for another date.

8) This is extra cool if you realise that Lycra and the other girl (known as 'The Hat' from now on) are walking down the same street as you call them, only meters apart.

9) If you go out in a public place in a tight t-shirt after months of working out, strange women will come up to you and squeeze your arms. This requires a set of social skills that I'm not equipped with, yet.

10) Don't start a list of ten lessons learned when you haven't thought of all ten.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Operation T-shirt

I did it. I burned 1000 calories in less than 30 minutes, and afterwards I was fine. A bit tired, okay very tired but I didn't feel sick or anything. This mean the hunt for the T-shirt is on. I'm not sure where I'm going to find it but by jove I'm going to look for it.

Operation T-shirt is go, although judging by the photo I'm going to need to do some more work on my arms to really carry it off.

Lycra has told the chap to bugger off, after my chum the art dealer gave her a good talking to. The art dealer was someones mistress for five years so she was able to speak from experience about this sort of thing. It seemed to have the desired effect. I'm still unsure about Lycra, but this is positive.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

John-Paul and terrible women

I want to burn 1000 calories in 30 minutes this week. I managed 900 in 26 minutes on Tuesday so I think I'm on my way there. The gym chap said this was about what Arctic explorers would burn so that was interesting.

If I manage to hit the target I'm going to celebrate by buying a stripey top like the sort you see in John-Paul Gaultier adverts.

Most of my wardrobe doesn't fit anymore so I'm searching for a new look, I don't think 'camp sailor' is going to be a big part of it but for some reason I really, really want a top like that.

It's slightly troubling.

Oh and Lycra is taking the chap back, and with one stroke has removed herself from the list of people I admire. The chap said he was going to fly over to see her (dramatic) but missed his flight (less dramatic) so they spoke on the phone (lame).

During this phone conversation he said two things
1) That he had already moved into an apartment
2) If Lyrca split up his family he would destroy her.

Now these two seem mutually exclusive to me, but it seems Lycra can't see that. The problem is there is a whole section of women who seem unable to be happy and beat themselves up running after utter shits like this chap, and I've had more than my fill of them already.

People like that definitely don't deserve to see me poncing about in my new t-shirt.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Men are shits

I had a frantic phone call this morning from my chum the Art Dealer. Lycra had discovered that her chap was in fact married with two children. She found this out through Facebook.

Not the fact that she saw a picture of him WEARING a wedding ring with two kids. No he managed to talk that away with 'oh sometimes I just wear a ring for fun'.

It was when Lycra contacted a mutual friend and said 'sorry if this sounds mad but is X seeing someone?' the person called back and said he was married.

The shit. What makes it worse are the following two facts

1) When he was with her he was constantly talking about their future and how they were going to get married

2) Once found out he has threatened her with 'mercenaries' if she tells anyone about the affair.

I mean seriously, is there any need for this behaviour?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

'Lets be friends, redux'

What a weekend. Not seriously, what a weekend. Why can't ever weekend be like that? I mean I'd be dead in months but my corpse would be smiling.

It started quite late, I got a haircut (good haircut, annoying hairdresser) chucked some clothes into my beautiful luggage and put on some very smart shoes. I was going to wear my waistcoat but I discovered that it doesn't fit anymore. I've put on too much chest muscle and now I can't put on my favourite item of clothing anymore. This caused quite a bit of swearing.

After a frantic last minute wardrobe re-think I stomped down to the train (in new shoes) with 30 seconds to spare. Some time later I arrived in London, met up with Ben and then jumped onto the tube.

Lycra was on good form and we had a very pleasant meal while drinking too much plum wine. There was laughter, truth and a some interesting statements. Lycra has a chap at the moment who is clearly messing her around and I suspect, married. More on this later. Anyway it was a nice meal, and then we joined some chums at the bar.

Lycra stayed only for one drink but had time to meet Pencil Skirt. Yes, the two objects of my unrequited love met briefly.

In the bar was Piqued, his lady friend and even Ra-ra appeared. It was marvellous. A bar full of my favourite people. London is so marvellous. We talked, laughed, said things we shouldn't have an basically had a grand old time.

I've come to accept that things with Pencil skirt are never going to be anything but friends and so I relaxed into the evening of laughter. She was impressed by my new shape though, as was Ra-ra, and suddenly all those hours in the gym seemed worth while.

Some people left, others arrived and I before I realised what was going on it was 2am and the bar was kicking us out. Oh, and one other thing. Pencil skirt and I kissed. I'm not sure how it happend, but it definitely happened and I'm still in shock.

What is going on? Are we know friends who kiss?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dialogue from the office

Here is some dialogue from lunch time. One of the chaps from marketing had just waltzed past.

M (Best chum at work) - 'What do you think of GB?'

L - 'I can't stand him. He is a heady combination of smug and useless'

M - 'I hate him more'

L - 'Would you pee on him if he was on fire?'

M - 'No'

L - 'What about in the eyes? That probably wouldn't put the fire out'

M - 'Yes, I'd pee in his eyes if he was on fire'

L - 'You've got a meeting with him later haven't you?'

M - 'Yes'

L - 'Better drink some more water'

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hurrah for pay day

I have money! For a few brief seconds I am a man of means! Rejoice! Buy coats I don't need! Invest in champagne! Live!

And then blow most of it on council tax, rent and various other bills.

This weekend I'm faced with a choice. I could either spend a normal weekend, working away doing quiet things in a way to try not to spend too much cash. Or I could go down to London, have some misadventures with Ben and probably spend far too much cash so I have to live off cold rocks for the next 30 days.

After much umming and aaahing I decided that I NEED to go out and see people and so well, after getting a much needed haircut I'm going to go to London to have lunch with Lycra, see a film with Pencil skirt and go on no less than TWO dates.

I'm sure cold rocks are pretty tasty provided you've got some nice sauce to go with them. Note to self, buy tasty sauce before money runs out.