Planes, trains and bouquets

wedding bouquet

Hola. Hope you are well and apologies for this post being a day late.

I’m currently writing this from my new southern base, in that there London. I’m still settling into my new surroundings but I’m sure it won’t be long before I get my bearings.

I actually had a busy few days last week, largely involving travel. Last Thurs I was doing a full day writing workshop at a school in Leeds, meaning I had to get up at 5:15am to catch my train at 6:54. The odd nature of modern travel meant, that my train to Leeds (booked in advance) was cheaper than my taxi from Leeds train station to the school. It’s a little bit like going to a restaurant and your starter turns out to be more expensive than your main course.

After the workshop, I got on a train London weighed down by some of my possessions. Here’s a little bit of advice, London is no place to be with a big bag on your shoulder. It doesn’t mix well with crowded tubes et al.

The following day (Fri) ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ and I headed to Florence for my uni friend’s (Yin) wedding. This meant another early start and due to the nature of budget air travel meant we went via Pisa airport. But due to time constraints, we weren’t able to visit the leaning tower. This means I’ve now been to Pisa and not seen the leaning tower and been to Paris and not seen the Eiffel tower. My next trip will be to Egypt where I won’t see the Pyramids. Feel free to let me know if you’ve been to places and not seen the main tourist attractions. After landing at Pisa airport we had a long train trip before finally getting to Florence.

The wedding itself turned out to be a really nice occasion and we met some really nice, but don’t ask me about Florence as due to circumstances out of our control (partying) we didn’t see much of the city. I could however tell you about the inside of an Irish, karaoke bar. The wedding itself went smoothly and ‘HWOPJ’ even caught the bouquet, which was a little surprising as before setting off to Florence I’d texted Yin and said to throw the flowers anywhere but ‘HWOPJ’s direction. I have a feeling I was set up on this occasion and anyone who says women can’t throw, should have been at the reception because that bouquet went to ‘HWOPJ’ like an arrow. American fighter pilots could learn a thing or two from my friends accuracy. Don’t worry I will be having words with Yin on her return from her honeymoon.

And Finally… I was watching This Morning last week and there was a feature about botched DIY teeth whitening. All I can say about this, is what kind of idiot tries to whiten their own teeth? Wouldn’t you just go to a dentist, a trained professional, rather than trawl the internet searching for half-baked remedies. Some people eh!

Til next week (mon), stay safe (+ warm)!

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My friends in the north

Wills and Kate

Hola. Hope you are well.

It’s been a week of wrapping things up before my move to London. I played my last 5-a-side game, I did my last radio show and had some drinks with my friends. I felt a bit like Jack Duckworth before his passing in Coronation Street. I think the only difference between me and Jack Duckworth is that Jack was going to a better place.

Talking of lasts, at the end of the radio show some listeners texted in wishing me luck, which was really sweet. I say they were wishing me luck, I think they were also using it as an opportunity to have a bit of a go at our southern friends. (You can listen to the comments here 2hrs 54mins)

On Sat I had some drinks with some of my friends. I was explaining to one of my football mates (Pete) that I didn’t see this as proper leaving do, cos I’m not really leaving as my mum lives in Manchester and I am planning to make regular trips back. He replied by saying, “I don’t see it as a leaving do, as I don’t see it working out in London”. I have to admit that genuinely made me laugh, I think it’s the fact that you rarely hear that level of honesty from people. To be fair, it’s nothing that I haven’t thought myself. Let’s face it I’m an unknown comedian in Manchester, so I’m only going to be more of an unknown comedian in London. A place my friend (Adam) described as being, “the most expensive city on the planet”.

But who knows what will happen, there must be some opportunities out there, for example, there’s a vacancy on The One Show couch, since Jason Manford‘s departure. So if any producers of The One Show are reading this, please note I am a northern comedian, like Jason, I’m cheaper and more importantly I haven’t got a Twitter account. But what I will have very soon will be nice white teeth.

Talking of which, I only had two cups of tea last week but not only that I discovered, thanks to the internet, that Bicarbonate of Soda is good for cleaning your teeth. And because I am a sucker for this kind of thing, I went out and bought a tub, and what’s even better it only cost 60p. It certainly beats going to America for specialist treatment, in your face Simon Cowell.

And Finally….. you may have seen this news, but if not Prince William is to marry Kate (Katherine) Middleton, next year. To mark the occasion he gave Kate his mum’s engagement ring, which I think is a little weird. Not because it’s his mum’s ring but because it wasn’t as if Princess Diana had such a happy marriage. (Let me know if this scenario has happened to you, have you passed on your engagement/wedding ring to your next partner or have you received someone else’s ring).

One thing that has been mentioned , is whether we will get a day off work for the wedding. The way the country is heading and the state of the job market, by next year I think people will be having more days off from work than they are planning.

Til next week, stay safe! 

Keys or Pirates

house keys

Hola. Hope you are well.

I’m currently writing this in London, don’t worry I’ve not made the move south just yet, although it is less than 2 weeks away. I’m here visiting ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ and dropping some of my stuff off at the new flat. It’s a bit weird being in the flat because although it is ‘our’ flat but ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ has been living here since early Oct so I’m playing catch up. I feel a bit like a guest in my own flat. I imagine it’s similar to when soldiers are away on duty when their child is born, only to see that child for the first time when it’s 6 weeks old. Not that I’m comparing children with flats, although I wonder which is cheaper, buying a flat in London or bringing up a child to the age of 18.

I have an apology to make. Last week I updated my blog on a Wednesday, this was unintentional. I typed it up on the Mon as usual, but due to a technical error or human error (I’m erring towards human error) it got saved as draft and didn’t get published to the world. It was only when ‘HWOPJ’ mentioned she couldn’t see the post that I was alerted to the situation and rectified as soon as I could (after 3 trips to the tip as it happened). I apologise for any stress caused by the delay of my weekly update.

Last Monday I did however manage to go and see some comedy at ‘Mirth on Monday’ at the Iguana bar, Chorlton. The reason I mention this night is because the mate I was with, who I’ve known for almost 10yrs told me something about himself that genuinely surprised me. Prepare to be shocked. He lives with his family, his mum and two sisters, all adults and yet they only have 2 sets of house keys between the four of them. I couldn’t get my head around this, to the point I think he got annoyed by my continued questioning. He also reckons that it makes his family closer as they have to keep in touch with each other to check about the whereabouts of the keys. He maybe right and they may have stumbled across a formula for happy family life, but I still think it’s weird but I’m willing to be proved wrong. So please let me know if you’re an adult and you don’t have your own set of house keys. (Feel free to get in touch via the comments button).

Onto what some would say is weightier issues and kidnapping. I was glad to see that the couple Rachel and Paul Chandler have been released after being captured by Somali Pirates 13 months ago. Not much is known about the release but we do know a ransom was paid, either by the family or someone on the families behalf. What I would like to know is how you set up such a transaction, would you need to set up a standing order/direct debut with the pirates? If you’ve ever had to hand over money to pirates, feel free to let us know what the procedure is. I wonder if we are more likely to hear from an adult without a house key or someone who’s had to deal with pirates?

Now onto something that the nation is quite clearly talking about and that is my tea drinking habit. Regular readers will know that I’m trying to cut back on my tea intake. Two weeks ago I only had 2 cups of tea, but last week however I had 5 cups of tea. The week started badly as I had one cup on Mon, Tues and Weds, I then had one on Fri and yesterday ‘HWOPJ’ talked me into having one even though she knew of my self-imposed rationing. I plan to be more disciplined this week, but who knows what will happen.

And Finally…. I just thought I’d let you know that this coming Sat (20/11/10) will be a historic date in radio as it will be my last appearance as the regular reviewer on Sam Walker’s BBC Radio Manchester breakfast show. You can catch me between 8am-9am on 95:1Fm (in mcr area) on Digital radio (in the mcr area) or online (if you are in the world and have a computer). If you do miss it there is always the listen again facility on the BBC Radio Manchester website. But don’t worry if you don’t get to hear the show as we won’t be doing anything out of the ordinary.

Til Next Week, Stay Safe!

My mate Barack

Carol Bone

Hola. Hope you are well.

I start with some exciting news. I’ve been contacted by the President of the United States of America, Mr Barack Obama. When I say contacted, it wasn’t directly but he did comment on my football blog, (click here and scroll down to comments section). I have to be honest, I’m not 100% sure it was actually sent by Barack but by the time I keep telling and re-telling this story and hyperbole meets exaggeration, it won’t be long before people are asking, “Aren’t you good friends with Barack Obama?”

Talking of my mate Barack, it was a bad week for him and the Democrats in the mid-term elections. They lost control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans, it would appear Americans have very short memories. The US do seem to have an odd system, where you get elected for four years and then 2 years in, you have another mini election that changes how you can govern. It’s like leasing a house for 2 years with your other-half and then a year in the landlord moves another couple in, without your say so. That could be a little awkward, or a whole heap of fun depending on how open you all are.

I was reading the Metro newspaper on the bus the other day and saw an article about Carol Bone (See here). Carol is a 62-year-old woman who according to the report has slept with 200 men in the last 2 years, even though she has a bad back and suffers from arthritis. Apparently her favourite age group are those men in their 30s and 40s. I have a few things to say about this story. Firstly, her surname is Bone, can that merely be a coincidence? Secondly, I’m not surprised she has a sore  back, I’d be more surprised if that’s the only part of her body that’s sore. And finally, I’m in my 30s, am I supposed to be having sex with this woman? I sincerely hope not (no disrespect Carol).

Now onto fellow Manchester comedian Jason Manford and according to reports he had been exchanging flirty tweets (private messages) with a fan Debra McNamee. Apparently he asked her to send nude pics of herself, so in the end she did, as you do. In the article I read, she said she was surprised a famous person had got in touch with her. That might be true but you don’t have to send them nude pics, just cos they ask. I can’t imagine how famous a person would have to be, for me to send them a pic of my c*ck. Maybe Paul McCartney, he is a Beatle afterall. Feel free to let me know which famous person you’d be prepared to send a nude pic to.

And Finally… I mentioned last week that I am cutting down on how many cups of tea I have. Well last week I only had 2 cups of tea, which I think is quite impressive. Despite this my teeth don’t seem any whiter. Anyway that’s enough of my exciting life. I’m off now to see if Paul McCartney’s on Twitter.

Til next week, stay safe!

Prison and Stripping

peter stringfellow and lady friend

Hola. Hope you are well.

Last week, I spent most of my time in prison or stripping. When I say stripping I do mean wall paper, don’t worry I’ve not started working for Peter Stringfellow.

Aswell as the wall paper stripping I was also hack-sawing a 10m gas flue tube, that the chimney sweep (mentioned in last week’s post) pulled from up the chimney. All this domestic chores coming in the same week Russell Brand got married to pop singer Katy Perry, in India, watched by his showbiz friends, whilst being entertained by P.Diddy does make me question whether I am in the same profession as Russell.

On Thursday I was in a prison all day. I got in at 8:45am and left at 7:45pm and because you are not allowed to take mobile phones into prisons (along with ammunition, explosives, firearms et al) I turned my phone off. When I turned it back on, guess how many txts, missed calls or voice mails I had waiting for me? I’ll tell you, a big fat zero! Not that I mind, as it’s only ever people wanting something from me. The worst thing I can see when I switch my phone on is the voice-mail symbol. Firstly it means I’ll have to pay to retrieve it and secondly someone has not only tried to contact me but what they have to say is important enough to leave a message.

In other news, I’ve been trying to cut down on drinking cups of tea. This is purely on vanity grounds as I’m trying to avoid when possible things that stain my teeth. It’s actually quite hard not drinking tea, it is after all a staple of the British diet. Fortunately for me, I’ve never had to come off cigarettes, alcohol or drugs, but if it’s anything like coming off tea it must be hard. Because once you cut down all you can think about is drinking tea and then you’ve got the pushers offering you ‘cuppas’ all the time.

Some sad news now, as the world of sport and sea creatures, mourns the passing of Paul the Octopus. If you are unsure as to who Paul the Octopus is, he was one of the big successes of the World Cup.  He correctly predicted the results of the Germany games but last week he was no more. I do feel a bit sorry for Paul, as he was just a simple creature going along his daily life happily before being thrust into the public arena. In many ways he’s the Alex Reid of the sea world. RIP Paul.

And Finally…. After the radio show on Sat, the guest Shaista took me out (not in a Mafia way). I must add she is the first guest to do this. She like me is a comedian although she only started doing stand up comedy 4 months ago. Yet she has already played in front of a crowd of 20 000 and was invited to perform in Hong Kong. I on the other hand have been involved in comedy for a little more than 4 months and have not performed in front of a 20 000 crowd. To be honest if you added up all the people I’ve ever performed in front of, I doubt it would tally 20000. As for Hong Kong they’ve yet to call. So if it wasn’t bad enough being overshadowed early on a Sat morning by a newcomer to comedy, I also had a cup of tea at the cafe.

Til Next Week, Stay Safe!