Mums and prams

Did you know that the only people in the world that are allowed to walk side-by-side down the pavement are a pair of mums with their prams?

Due to recent legislation changes and a new by-law in the highways and walkways act of 2005 chapter 8, you can now be fined for not complying with…

8.9 Lone pedestrians must walk in the road to avoid on-coming collision with mums and prams in a side-by-side formation.

I had wondered why pram users hadn’t adopted a single-file method of travelling. It seems like I would now be in the wrong to assume it easier and safer for all parties to share the pavements equally.

Of course there are some mums that don’t realise they have priority and will travel at their leisure in single-file pairs. I always try to inform them of their new rights when I see this happening.

As an addition for all pavement users, perhaps following clues from vehicular road travel and sticking to the left side of each pavement would be sensible. This gives advantage for the person travelling towards the on-coming vehicles earlier sight of large vehicles or dangerous road hazards. The person travelling with the flow of road traffic should be more safe on the far left of each pavement.

I’ll write to the appropriate agency to see if this can be added in the next version of the pedestrian walkway code.

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The bee museum

I saw a sign the other day for “The bee museum”. This caught my attention because a) it was a nice sign, and bee) that’s a pretty odd museum.

Here is a list of things that you should never say out loud when you visit a bee museum, because they are not amusing to anyone but yourself:

  • I bet that’s a hive of activity
  • I hope it’s not just a honey trap for tourists
  • The news was buzzing with good recommendations for this place
  • I hear that the tour guide is a bit of a drone
  • How much is it to get in? I don’t want to get stung with a bill
  • I hate honey
  • Bees are rubbish
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“How’s your tart, Sir?”

The varying levels of waiter attentive-ness and the imaginary reactions they create.

You aren’t asked for your drinks order for over 9 minutes

The first drink of the evening is often the most sought after. 9 minutes is the exact time it takes a man to drink his first pint. Therefore to make a man wait over 9 minutes for his drink is a crime against humanity.

The waiter asks how everything is before you order any food

This is just a test of your manners. He knows that you haven’t ordered, it’s just interesting to see how you will react. Maybe you’ll be a sarcastic twat and try a witty retort, and then maybe your food will come out all crap.

The waiter asks you how everything is as you move food towards your mouth

Your brain goes into overload. Your mouth wants the food, but your larynx wants to say “Fine, thanks”. You end up saying something inaudible and then you shove the food in as quickly as possible. Then you nod at him like an idiot.

The waiter asks you how everything is just as you start chewing your mouthful of food

Now is the time for The Super Chew. You try hard to chew faster than you have ever chewed before. The steak takes longer than you wish to break down. You end up smiling and nodding at the waiter whilst the mash that you put on top of your steak oozes out between your teeth.

The waiter asks you how everything is towards the end of a mouthful of food

You rush to finish the delicious food between your cheeks. You manage to swallow a whole potato and a sideways carrot, but ultimately you end up smiling like a weirdo and saying “Fine, thanks” with food around your face.

The waiter asks you how everything is, but you’ve eaten all of your meal

You feel as if the tepid nature of your runner-beans warrants an official complaint, but the lack of evidence and trivial nature of your feelings means that you go home in a sulk. Inevitably, your feelings reveal a secret of your past in which you was force-fed cold food on a school trip to Swanage.

The waiter fails to ask how everything is

This is the perfect outcome, but only if you had an acceptably average meal.

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The problem with fancy dress parties…

… is that I hate them.

I really, really hate dressing up in any way. I don’t like pretending I’m someone else, or even appearing to look a little bit like someone else. I have never, ever deliberately dressed to impress. I hate wearing things that are obviously trendy. I rarely wear anything considered  a suit, although they look great, they just aren’t comfortable enough to sit about in. I’m also worried about ruining it the whole time.

I hate spending more money than is required to celebrate an event. How can I show you that I mean it when I say “Happy Birthday”…. should I dress up as someone else? Spend £30 on a costume? Yep, that one.

I hate trying to think of a costume that is different enough for people not to think of, and also good enough for people to recognise. I hate it.

I hate hired costumes. There’s usually a “Best Outfit”  contest at parties. Last one I went to, the winner was someone in a hired Jim Carrey “Mask” costume. That’s cheating! No thought, no effort, just hire the whole thing.

At the same party, I decided to go as “an idiot”. I wore terrible clothes, some terrible glasses , a terrible woolly hat.  The hat was red and white. For this single item, I had people coming up and saying, “Oh nice! Where’s Wally!” It wasn’t a Where’s Wally outfit! The only bit that even resembled it was the hat.

Was it that easy to get away with a bad costume? Do you only ever really need one prop and the whole outfit is a success?

I have also been to a 1970′s fancy dress party. I decided to wear typical 1970′s clothes. As in, real vintage clothes that people actually wore, and not some pretend “groovy” outfit. When I got there, everyone was wearing “Disco” clothes. They were all in afro wigs and funky dresses and stuff. I should have just gone down the lazy route.

I’m going to a fancy dress party tonight. It’s an old friend from when I was a kid. As much as I want to celebrate his birthday, I have really dreaded the build up of the whole process.

Here’s some embarrassing pictures of my previous attempts…

I might update this with a picture later of tonight’s outfit. Then again, why would I?

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A run-down of my favourite TV programmes

In no particular order here are my favourite TV programmes.

  • Police Camera Action
  • World’s Wildest Police Videos
  • Traffic Cops
  • Police Interceptors
  • Road Wars
  • Cops with Cameras
  • Street Crime UK
  • Sky Cops
  • Police Stop!
  • Emergency Bikers
  • Brit Cops
  • Come dine with me
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Blood donation + alcohol = irresponsible

4 months have passed since my last blood donation and yet again I took myself down to Gorse Hill to donate blood.

I was running early from work so I had to wait around for 20 minutes. There were a few people there waiting too, but I couldn’t be bothered to talk so I put on my iPod and ate a plum outside. (I already had the plum with me, I didn’t go scrumping.)

In doing so, about three additional people came in and I lost my place in the queue. They knew I was there first, but I guess that’s my loss if I want to walk around instead of lurking outside the room. “MUST GIVE BLOOD AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE!”

I’d misplaced my forms, so I had to start over and fill out a new questionnaire. I had an iron test and the blood drop blobbed and floated in the right direction.

“Are you ok having a plaster?”

Yes… :/

What is it with plasters? Are people really allergic to them or something? (Yes)

The nurse went through all my questions and yet again they have to double check I’m not a malaria risk. I will definitely make a little list of countries I’ve been to so they at least write it in the correct order. It’s an effort to list every country in the right order and then have it questioned.

“So you went to Australia in between?”

No, we went the wrong way round and then went there last.

“Oh… ok. Anyway, that’s fine, thank you.”

I had some water and ignored the bloke next to me. I could tell he wanted to say something, but I just didn’t want to talk blood. Opening line at the blood bank… “Is this your first time?” It’s a winner. You can then go on to talk about how many times, and whether you was sick or anything, or your favourite blood-bank.

I was then led to my table. The nurse (she’s a nurse right?) caught my surname and it turned out she was the mother of an old school friend. Apparently they are doing well, with children, which is nice to hear. (Honestly, I’m not being funny. I’m not trying to be anyway.)

The donation took 7:02 minutes and I gave 470ml (like everyone does).

I felt fine afterwards, had some complimentary tea, Penguin chocolate biscuits, some crisps, and a Special K bar.

I made my way home as usual. A pretty uneventful and boring blog.

Should I mention I had 5 pints of Guinness that night? Had a great time talking Street Hawk, Airwolf and Knight Rider… and Jeremy Beadle.

See ya.

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Yes please, I’ll have another annoying dream tonight.

So every night I guess I have about 5 different dreams (or chapters of dreams) that I can remember quite clearly. I either remember most of the dream, or I remember that it happened.

People claim that dreaming helps to sort out all the information from the day and it’s either remembering something or forgetting something when you experience it in a dream.

So why do I dream every night about pretty much the same things that all happened 15 years ago?

Here’s some brief descriptions of some regulars:

The paper-round
It’s a Sunday morning and I’m in my old house from the 1990s. I get a phone call or I wake up realising that I have overslept and am late to do my paper-round. Sometimes I haven’t got my bike handy so I’m running up to the shop and end up doing the whole round on foot. Due to it being Sunday, all the papers are mixed (Mirror, Mail etc). I end up getting the houses mixed up and inevitably mess up the whole lot because I’m papers short at the end.

I’m my current age of 29 years old in this dream. Why do I care about my paper-round after all this time? I did a paper-round for about 5 years, morning and afternoon, and Sundays. Is it now a permanent nocturnal occupation?

Old school mates
I’m going about my normal day and suddenly there’s an old friend from primary school. They look exactly the same as when they were 10, but they are like 5 foot 11 tall. We’re really good friends. Like really good.

I’ve not seen or heard of these people for nearly 20 years. Why are they in my dream?

Bald
It’s a normal day, just happen to look in the mirror and I’m bald or really thinning on top. I panic and try to check the hairline. the more I check the balder I appear.

This seems like an obvious one. I’m nearly 30, I’ve pretty much got all my hair, but I’m sub-consciously worried about losing my hair. Obviously. Except I’ve been having this dream for 15 years. Why?? I’m not worried about it all the time.

Teeth
Pretty much the same. I check in the mirror and I have a wobbly tooth. The more I check, then more teeth fall out. Some are dangling off of nerves or blood veins.

Again, I must be worried about losing my teeth. I wore a brace for 3 years or so at school. Not just a normal brace, but at night I had to wear this strap that went around my neck. The strap would put the teeth backwards to correct an overbite. I didn’t really mind this and I’ve got a pretty decent set of teeth. Why must I be bored by this recurring dream every other week?

Paralysed
I suddenly realise that I cannot move, speak or breath properly. I tell my self that I need to wake up and I start to struggle. I fail at first, but I eventual wake up after a panic.

This one’s just annoying. I usually just fall straight back asleep though. Why do I think I’m paralysed or smothered in this dream. I don’t get this one so much any more, but it was happening every night a few years back.

Football
There’s a group of us playing football in a match that seems really important. The game is set in a normal field, but along the way the surroundings change a little and sometimes it’s mixed up with a shop or something. The game seems to be a matter of life or death. At times I’m really good and scoring the odd goal, at other times I realise that I am either bare-foot or wearing some really clumpy shoes. If I’m wearing clumpy shoes, I usually end up punting the ball miles over the goal and lose the game.

I rarely play football, and I rarely even think about football. I’m pretty rubbish too. Since the age of about 13 I stopped supporting my local team and don’t really even care if England win or lose. It’s just another sport to me, the same way badminton is. I couldn’t care less about the results, but I’ll happily watch it. So why do I play football more in my sleep than I ever have in real life? And are my shoes clumpy….?

Anyway, good night.

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You are a scav…

Here’s a list of things that make you a scav. (Some of which I do)

  • Eat hot/smelly food in the office
  • Shout between rooms or floors in a house
  • Lazily run out of credit on your phone
  • Have ketchup on a roast dinner
  • Swear in the presence of strangers
  • Drink a fizzy drink in the morning
  • Have audible music coming from your headphones
  • Eat your lunch before 11:00
  • Use a phone in a bathroom or toilet
  • Eat food in the street
  • Swear at work
  • Wear your outdoor shoes indoors
  • Drop cigarette butts in the drains
  • Jump queues
  • Drink coffee to wake up
  • Drop litter or fly-tip
  • Use your phone during meal times
  • Don’t recycle or even try to recycle
  • Touch TV screens with your dirty finders
  • Bite your nails
  • You are on first name terms with a take-away
  • Use any type of tape to permanently fix car panels
  • Have the colour settings too high on a TV
  • Drink really strong orange squash
  • Have more than a spoon-sized amount of ketchup
  • Drink alco-pops when you are 25
  • Scuff your feet every step
  • Have all brown food at your buffet
  • Use the lift for 1 floor
  • Leave your old TV in your front garden
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More blood and biscuits

Today, for only the second time in my medium sized life, I went to give blood. They sometimes host a session at my work, but I left it a bit late and booked in at Gorse Hill Community Centre instead.

I had already completed my lifestyle and travel questionnaire,  so the nurses could quickly get on with checking my eligibility.  I wasn’t grilled or accused of any unprotected act, paid for or otherwise. They checked the countries I had been to last year.  There was a quick iron test and then I was lead through to the donors’ area.

On the way through I was asked to drink a pint of water. Due to the treats we had at work for Children in Need, I wasn’t really hungry enough to neck it.

“Just pretend it’s a lovely cold lager!” , she said.

The universally accepted assumption is that everyone just loves alcohol. I’m not offended or anything, just amused that a nurse would encourage such mentality. If it was indeed a lovely cold lager, she shouldn’t be making me binge drink.

I was asked to sit up on the hospital bed thing, so I swung my winkle-pickers up and lay back awaiting instructions. The donation went through in about 15 minutes.

“Are you ok to have a plaster?”

Yeah, should be fine.

I sat in the recovery area (a small table) and was offered a cup of tea. Yes, please.

“The thing about tea, is that everyone likes it different…..”, he shared.

Not strictly true I thought. I know he was just filling the grumpy silence I give off, but it’s an odd thing to open up a conversation with something so obviously false.

He went on to talk about roadworks, traffic, complicated payslips, and how many miles he does when he’s working in Oxford.

“Contraflows scare me….”, he added.

To be honest, when I’m giving blood, I’m not there to make friends. It was 5:30, so I’m not judging him badly for just being friendly. I could chat all day to a mate, but I’m not going to waste it on a stranger.

Next time a stranger wants to chat, I’m going to invite them out on a date. Male or female. That’ll learn ya.

Christopher Mark Whitlock
A) White – British
Blood Group : O RH Positive

This is a sequel to Blood and biscuits

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Would you like any cashback?

Good morning, how are you?
Do you have the correct change?
What seat would you like?
Do you have a moment for Oxfam?
Can I interest you in a free sample?
Ice and lemon?
Would you like to go large for £1 extra?
After this call could you spare a minute to answer some questions?
Did you know that these are on 3 for 2 at the moment?
Are you OK with your packing?
Can you spare any change?
Do you have any proof of age?
Would you like to upgrade your mobile phone?
Can you put your card in the reader?
What type of bread would you like for your sub?
Did you bring your eco bags?
Are you collecting computers-for-schools vouchers?
Would you like the meal deal with a drink for 50p extra?
Do you have a Nectar card?
Would you like your receipt in the bag?
Did your trousers fit?
How was your weekend?
Table for two?
Can I interest you in a catalog?
Did anyone help you with your purchases today?
Would you like a hand and nail scrub?
Do you have any smaller notes?
Big Issue?
Chilli-sauce?
Can I see your ticket?
Would you like to top-up your mobile phone?
Do you have the time?
Would you like to save 10% with our store card?
Single or double?
Would you like cashback?

Yes, actually. Can I have £20 please?

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