Archive for October, 2014

Things I dont care for….

Posted: October 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Things I just don’t care for (AKA – things that get me vexed, sad or fill me with contempt).

I suppose, being a man of 37, there have been a whole lot of matters which have royally peeved me off over the years, and I guess I have been the catalyst to many others’ state of vexation, sadness and contempt too. Can one simple sorry, right now, clear my conscience?

I’m sorry….

The first thing that springs to mind is the delight that is Viber. Now, as I’m abroad at the moment, Viber actually IS a godsend. I get to speak to my nearest and dearest at home without incurring wild and extortionate charges. However, trying to speak to my dearest on the phone when they’re on 3 or 4G on the move is frustrating as hell. It dips in and out of connectivity all the time and turns normal people into robots, aliens or underwater conversationalists. But chatting on the move seems to be the only option, so I have to put up with it.

Secondly, and on a similar route here, is when my son doesn’t answer his FaceTime invitations to talk. That really is our only conversation tool at the moment, so aarrrgggghhhh.

Next on my list is wearing my heart on my sleeve. I don’t like it! It makes me seem like a wussy pillock or an obnoxious aggressor. If I begin that long trip down the yellow brick road, I may be able to persuade some chap dressed in green to make me a new one, so I can start again. I’d make him build me one that was a little less easy to break every time I thought about a certain scenario.

Tardiness! People who are late, know they are a tardy person by nature and who clearly couldn’t give a flying monkey’s. How do you people live with yourself? Hehe. I can laugh about that because I am always early for things and that too annoys people. Ipso facto I guess. As a footnote to this point, I am annoyed that on a recent reference from a previous employer, I scored 5 out of 10 for punctuality. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I read that nonsense since I have always been in work 2 hours prior to my starting time, so I can’t really do the maths on that one. Must’ve been a typo…! Hmmmm.

Me

I annoy myself royally… by overthinking things really. I wish I didn’t because it drives me bananas. This links in to my heart one because the things I over analyse are linked to raw emotion or the perils of the seven deadly sins.

Next, people who cannot express themselves. Well, maybe they can, but clearly not to me.

Things out of my control. This is a biggie for me. I am currently trapped in a conundrum that I cannot escape. It’s a sensitive matter, and I have to play the waiting game. I feel my life at the moment is out of my control. I have to do things by the book for the immediate future and build this notion of a real life utopia. A paradise – an ideal world, yet whilst building this world, I’ll be without the one thing I want in the world. And even when utopia is complete, I still might be without the one thing I want in the world. Now, if all that is confusing and cryptic to you, you’re lucky because it’s a heart mangler and body crippler for me.

Pizza – lol. My gas has gone in my apartment, so I ordered a pizza last night and they had a special on, so I got a pizza free. Clearly, I can’t eat two full pizzas in one sitting, so now I have a full pizza sitting in the fridge and after devouring three slices, just now, I feel sad, angry and like a fatty. And there’s still loads left! I can’t waste it, so I’ll be on pizza tomorrow too. What makes it doubly worse is that I have broken ribs at the moment, so I can’t even exercise to burn of the crap I’m digesting!

Finally, loneliness. This is very sad. Living in Egypt, in probably the least action packed area in the entire world of boring places to live, things get a little lonely. I actually find writing this really ironic because anyone who knows me will know I love time to myself. However, time alone is usually a choice I make, not one that is thrust upon me. It’s a good job I have 7 series of The Big Bang Theory and copious movies to fill the void otherwise I’d be testing the powers of human flight off a tall building! However, this weekend I will enjoy the company of great friends who will be visiting me. Whoop whoop.

That’ll do for now. I’m annoying myself. Hehehehehe.

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Here’s a romantic notion… You’re miles from home, and missing your peeps back home. Look up. We share the same sun, so as long as you’re in a handy time zone, you can share that with the people you miss.

Yes, I’m in Egypt, and the sun is a little kinder here and out a darn sight more than back home, but if you look hard enough, and the cloud cover dissipates for long enough, it’s up there somewhere in the UK. Two friends, family members or lovers could share that joint feeling where they can share something together and embrace the moment.

Works for the moon too.

So wherever you are in the world, and if there’s someone you miss, look up in the knowledge there’s something out there you can still share.

Life!!

Hmmmm,

Do you find yourself getting stressed out on a frequent basis?

Do you find you are the causes of stress on others?

Well… Don’t come to me to wave he magic wand. My life epitomises both of the above… apparently.

I get stressed quite quickly and easily. My tell tale sign is an horrendous pressing on my skull above both eyebrows and somewhere around my occipital lobe. It’s active right now.

I let my emotions run too high, and I get upset easily by things or people who mean so much to me. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t get stressed. Stressful situations need to be addressed and in this instance, it’s someone, not something that has caused my headaches. Well, maybe a situation too. I’m currently not in control of a situation that could make my life better, and it bugs me to the core. I want answers that I’m just not getting and because I want these answers, and I’m pushing for them, others are becoming stressed because of me. It’s a vicious circle, and I really am trying not to let the situation get to me, but when something bugs you to the core, its impossible to switch it off.

I hate causing stress on others – it factors in with my fear and loathing of disappointing others. Since I have caused stress, I assume they think less of me for it, and that increases my stress levels.

I just want to be happy. Make me happy. Please.

Take away my potential for stress.

Do you know how? You can always ask – I’ll remind you.

My stress goes away – your stress goes away. You scratch my back and I’ll rub the hell out of yours.

A week back home…

Posted: October 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

A week back home…

Well, it was the Eid holiday in Egypt, so I took the opportunity at the half term break to fly back home and visit my family and friends back in England and also to relax a little.

It wasn’t the easiest week of my life since I knew I was coming home to some personal issues. I anticipated the stress, but I never quite envisaged one major problem, which I won’t go in to as it involves someone very very close to me, and you don’t need to know the ins and out anyway.

I write this on the aeroplane back to Cairo, and I honestly wish I wasn’t going back. There is so much for me in England, but I return in the hope of earning a little money before my eventual and permanent return to the country I love.

I returned to the UK last week at the turnaround in the weather, apparently. The Indian summer has been and gone, and to tell you the truth, I was chuffing freezing. My body has gotten used to the hot hot sun of Egypt, but it is autumn back home and there is no greater season.

The weather in Salford was cold(ish) – wind and rain – but it was warmer outside than in my parent’s house at times. I wish Dad would put the heating on! Bloody Jim Royle eat your heart out. ‘Cold my arse.’

Thanks Mum and Dad for the Sunday roast… That has been well and truly missed. Mum bought sprouts for me just for the occasion. Food of the gods. Gotta love the little green fellas.

Seeing my two best friends in Worsley was awesome… I can’t wait, for them and their two girls, for their extension to be completed. Their house is going to be huge. They’re a fantastic couple and the epitome of two people in love.

I also got to spend some time with some other friends, and it was great to catch up with the comings and goings of life in Manchester.

I had to purchase a new laptop… Not ideal as they are pricey, but my other one is ridiculously slow and as a result, darn frustrating. I need a laptop as a writer. Having a rubbish laptop has demotivated me to write in my blog and, more importantly, not to write much for my second novel. I need to find that buzz again for writing. The buzz I got from writing ‘Checkmate’. The sequel, ‘Cat and Mouse’ is going ok in the planning phase, but now I need to bang those chapters out.

One thing I forgot to do whilst home was to go into Waterstones (other book sellers are available) and buy the fourth novel by Lars Keplar. I reserved it months ago! It’s a book I must have in hardback to accompany the other three. I love the series. I wish I could write as well. If you haven’t heard of Lars Keplar, look them up (it’s a husband and wife team). Fantastic Swedish crime.

Seeing my son was fantastic towards the end of the week. We went to the driving range to hit a few balls and we had lunch. I do love him and miss him tremendously. At 13 years of age, you’re lucky to get more than a grunt out of him, but when you do, he can be very personable and charming.

I miss home. There’s no place like it apparently. It’s a shame I can’t just tap the heels of my ruby red slippers to make the instantaneous return there.

It’s a tough decision to make in some aspects. The potential to get lots of cash on the hip by working abroad, or returning to the delights of home. Nah… No contest really. I know what I want in life and I’m gunning for it. I hope I can get to that magical place with EVERYTHING in place. Prove my worth to myself and to anybody else sitting up and taking notice. I’ve got a target to aim for and I’m going to hit the mark.

Back to work on Sunday. That leaves me with one day in Egypt to get some shopping done and to get ready for work. It’ll be nice to see my friends and colleagues from school: Chris, Greg, Cory, Nina and to see my neighbours where I live in Rehab: Sally, Deirdre, Judith, Morgan and Anna and co. I hope they’ve all had a good break for Eid. And more so, I hope they’re ready for the 10 week stint till Christmas.

I know I’m not!

I’ll get through the next three weeks, see out October and move forwards from there… That’ll do for starters.

Holy hell…!!!!

Posted: October 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Holy hell – Is that an Oxymoron?

I guess it is, but anyway, that’s not what the post is about.

Holy hell is a term I could use with regards to a recent direction giving episode…

Giving directions to a plank – this isn’t what I was doing… wait… no, I definitely wasn’t… That would have been easier.

Now, I wont mention the gender of the recipient of my ‘holy hell’ expletive (by the way, it wasn’t ‘holy hell’ I was actually using, but for my blog, I have to keep the language semi decent), but you can imagine.

When giving directions over the phone, all the recipient needs to do is listen and follow instructions.

Listen and follow instruction…

If I was to tell you, Mr or Mrs reader, to stay in the left hand lane, what would that mean to you???   ???   ???

Probably the same as it would mean to me – that is… get in the left hand lane and stay there. Not to query which one of three possible lanes is the left one!! And ask me several times what I could possibly mean by the left hand lane.

Me “Get in the left hand lane and follow it round to the left.”

Recipient “But there are three lanes.”

Me “Left hand lane – just get in it.”

Recipient “But there are three that go to the left and two straight on.”

(several more of these followed before the phone cut out)

How hard is it to comprehend a left hand lane – if there are three lanes and you are asked to stay left, wouldn’t the normal person get in the left hand lane of the three…??

After re-establishing connection, the conversation (now flustered and with me getting louder) continued… The left hand lane saga was safely negotiated.

At a tricky junction I was trying to speak to the recipient when suddenly I was asked about a police van with hawk eye technology. The question (paraphrased) was something like “why do police need birds of prey?”

I mean – Holy Hell..!!! I’m trying to guide a potential lost…. soul… and I get questioned about birds of frigging prey in police vans. Just focus on the road!!!!

( I was later asked the question again about hawk eye, but this time is was referred to as eagle eye or something)..

The recipient in this fun filled convo has no concept of how long a mile is either… Everything must be time based, but its hard to call when the direction giver cant see the traffic situation…

By now, ten minutes in, I was having a mare with the phone’s reception and with the dumb ass seeking my guidance… Frustration was building.

Bear also in mind that the roads were busy at this time, so roundabouts are always fun to guide around.. but it went to plan.

Now… when the recipient knew where they were, I still offered some advice, only to be met with a verbal barrage of “why when I say I know where I am must you not believe me and still give me advice of where to go?”

Well, reader, my response to that is simply ‘read the above again- evidence is all in the blog.’

The recipient of some expertly given guidance found their destination… Was I thanked for my help. Was I f… Erm, no I wasn’t – just criticised for being patronising… and threatened with a punch in the face if they saw me…

Holy hell…!!!

pumpkin-crepes-with-beer-and-cinnamon-apples-and-a-chocolate-drizzleWho the hell would possibly want pancakes in October?

Well… me as it happens… and i’ll tell you something for nothing, I’m not even a huge fan.

They sell these thick, rubbery and bleugh, pre-packaged all American style pancakes in the shops. They are rank! What I mean is the thin, golden brown, home cooked styleeeeee crepe type pancakes.

Flour, eggs and milk… Simples.com, yet without the perfect kind of pan or a wrongly heated pan, it can go pear shaped (or ball shaped or even more specifically ‘slop shaped’) based on prior experience.

My son has asked for pancakes on that proper day for eating pancakes, usually in February or March – Shrove Tuesday, and I’ve failed once or twice. Now, as an OK home chef, failure to make a pancake is a hard pill to swallow. I’ve made the mistake of buying pre mixed batter packs from shops… Not bad, but I’d rather make it from scratch. I’ve used the wrong pan in the past and I’ve had it too hot or not hot enough. I have made a good pancake before – thin, golden brown and utterly deeeelish…

Sweet or savoury is the next question. I love the ones at the Manchester markets at Christmas time… Loaded with either banana and chocolate spread OR the savoury option (which is certainly my preference) – filled with cheese and onion or ham or something equally scrummy.

Anyway, the simple breakfast option is lemon and sugar.

But my initial question was: Who the hell wants them in October? Hands up if you’re that weirdo!!

I tentatively raise my hand aloft…

PS. I found an interesting crepe recipe, which will go down well towards the end of this month:

Pumpkin Crepes with Beer and Cinnamon Apples and a Chocolate Drizzle… Lushhhhhhhhhh (pictured in blog)

Well… What is your preference?

I think I like to be nice more than naughty… Some reading this may disagree and claim that I’m a complete ass! Well, I guess I can be at times; like when I’ve woken up on the proverbial wrong side, or when I am not in control of situations and they go a little or a lot awry, but being nice is something I like to do.

Nice and naughty can mean a plethora of things, but I essentially mean good or bad.

I think it comes from my desire to hold the hero status and (as per a previous blog) my fear of disappointing people.

I hate when people think badly of me… It gives me a sickly feeling, but sometimes I’ve deserved to be labelled as bad or nasty or naughty. It cant be helped sometimes. There are times when you are going to upset people – that’s life!

As a total pluck from the air guess, which has no provable accuracy whatsoever, I reckon I’m sporting good percentages of 80%-20% of being nice against naughty. I think that’s not a bad proportion. Essentially, that means to me that in every 10 situations where a decision to be nice to someone or not, 8 times I do the right thing. That means 2 out of 10 times I am not nice. Is that really a lot? Nah, I think that makes me a good guy really.

If anyone who knows me reads this – I wonder if anyone would agree with that or would they email me and say I was a nasty barsteward to them more than 20 % of the time… Jeepers, I hope not.

On the other hand, would there be people out there who would say ‘80% – more than that Ste.’ Hmmmmmmm – a possibility?

You know what drives me nuts? The bad boys who are like chocolate magnets to girls. I’ve never understood why women are attracted to these types of fellas… but c’est la vie. God luck to one and all on that front. It takes all sorts I guess.

Nice or naughty… Nice or naughty. Could you give yourself an accurate guess, probability wise, about how far down the spectrum you fall.  Does that halo shine right now, or do those horns begin their protrusion.

Be nice to the people who love you.

Be naughty to those who disrespect because they aren’t worth your niceties.