Happy Monday?

Brick Lane

Hola. Hope you are well.

You should be, as it is ‘Happy Monday’ the happiest day of the year (so far). Eagle eyed readers may have noticed that merely 2 Mondays ago, I wrote about ‘Blue Monday’ which was the most depressing day of the year (so far). It’s almost as if the people behind this are making it up. I’m not sure what has happened in the last 2 weeks that has made us go from being depressed to being happy. If you have any suggestions feel free to share it with the class. Cheers.

On last weeks post I put up a poll about Keira Knightley. Cheers to everyone who voted. The poll will remain up for the forseeable future, so if you haven’t voted yet feel free to get involved. At the time of writing Keira is faring quite well, 47% like her, 13% don’t like her and 40% aren’t arsed.

Naturally I will remove the poll if I become friends with Keira. I know you might think this is far-fetched but as regular readers of this blog know, since moving to London I’ve started playing football with actors, including James McAvoy. And cos we aren’t sexist, we regularly play with at least one female and sometimes 2, so there is a chance she might turn up for football. Please note, I didn’t mention playing with women to make me look good, I mentioned it for no other reason than I want Andy Gray’s £1.7m job on Sky.

Last week, I did a few touristy things, including having a curry on Brick Lane. For those interested, the curry didn’t take me as long as the book, but I also thought it was quite long for a lane. In fact it wasn’t anything like a lane. When I think of a lane, I think of a country lane. This was just a street, it really should be called Brick Street, although that probably doesn’t have the same ring to it.

I also took ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ on the London Eye as a birthday treat, which as she’s not the greatest with heights possibly wasn’t the most of sensitive of gifts, but I think she enjoyed it. It beats the time I took her to a restaurant for her birthday and unintentionally ordered raw meat. As for the eye, it was good, it was like the Manchester Eye, except you could actually see historical buildings as opposed to the Manchester one where you can see scallies getting slightly smaller and smaller.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how I saw the film ‘The King’s Speech’ and summed it up by saying it was a film about a Prince with a stutter who became a King with a stutter.  It’s now gone on to receive 12 Oscar nominations and 14 Bafta nominations. As my actor friend Adam pointed out, it’s reviews like this why I didn’t get the Film 2011 gig, missing out to Claudia Winkleman.

Also last week whilst checking through a few websites (clean ones), I saw that one of the learning institutes in London were putting on a series of lectures, one being how you can get your dream job. It was however £30:30 and rightly or wrongly my initial reaction was, for that price I’ll stick to jobs I mildly like doing. It’s probably attitude like this that has made me an unknown comedian.

And Finally… I was watching a repeat of The Graham Norton show and he had the actor Vince Vaughn on and during the conversation Graham flashed up a pick of Vince’s 70-year-old mum. All I will say is she’s looking good for 70 (see some pics here) http://sheavaughn360.com/photos.php . Feel free to send any pics of hot 70 year olds. (That sounds a bit wrong). Obviously I will be keeping this paragraph up until I start playing football with Vince Vaughn.

Til next time, stay safe!  

A-Z of London living

oyster card

Hola. Hope you are well.

I’m not too bad but I did have a bit of a wobble last week, contemplating what I am doing in London. It probably didn’t help that I got lost twice last week, once going to a job interview and once to meet my friend Claire.

It probably didn’t help that I saw this headline on the front page of the London Standard.

It probably didn’t help that the Oyster Card system on London Transport seems to actively work against me. I’ve not been in London for a long time but I’m constantly having to ring them up to get money put back on my card that they’ve taken off me when they shouldn’t. The latest reason they gave for taking the money off me was because “I got timed out” of my tube journey, so the system just charged me again. What does ‘timed out’ even mean, surely it’s up to me how long it takes before I make my next tube journey. They shouldn’t be able to time me out, it’s not a race, it’s not like boxing when you’ve got a count of ten to get up after a knock down. Unless Transport for London are trying to point out travelling by tube is similar to a boxing bout.

It probably didn’t help that despite having an up to date CRB certificate, which allows me to work with children and vulnerable adults, I needed to get a new one. Apparently the one I have is not ‘portable’. I think this means the one I have, I can use in Manchester but not in London. It would appear some CRBs are portable and some aren’t, in that aspect they are like TVs. It all depends which umbrella organisation processes it, but they don’t tell you that at the time you pay your money. The upshot is I have to pay for a new one and wait for it to be processed which could take up to 6 weeks, which does put a bit of a spanner in my job search, which has primarily been focussing on jobs in schools, where children go.

It’s not been all negative as ‘Her With One Permanent Job’, being the practical one in the relationship, got on the interweb and bought me a London A-Z so I shouldn’t get lost again, providing I’ve got the A-Z on me and I’m in London. She couldn’t do anything about the CRB but she is eyeing up a nice bin for me.

In other news, I think I may have made Andy Coulson resign as David Cameron’s spin doctor. On last week’s blog post I made a subtle reference, to the whole phone hacking scandal and then a few days later he’d gone. As my mate Marvin would say on such occasions, “You do the math”. Feel free to let me know who next we should bring down, this blog has that power.

I also read in the Saturday Guardian, that the average couple argues 312 days a year. That seems a lot, that’s close to one row a day. Does anyone else think this is a lot? I think that if you’re having more rows, than ‘adult cuddles’ you probably need to question your relationship. And if you argue whilst having ‘adult cuddles’ you should end the relationship, unless of course it kinda adds to things, if you know what I mean.

And Finally… it’s over to you. I’ve recently noticed that when I mention Keira Knightley to people, I get a negative reaction back about her. Personally I’m not fussed either way about her but it did make me think is this negative view a universally held one. So I’ve decided to conduct a poll, (the first for this blog). So here goes, all you need to do is click on one of the options, it will only take about 10 secs. Cheers

Til next week, stay safe!

My old man ways

glass menagerie at the young vic

Hola. Hope you are all well.

Apparently today (Mon 17th) is ‘Blue Monday’ the most depressing day of the year, so far. People are supposed to be down today because of the dreary weather, because credit card bills have come in after the Christmas spend, plus people generally think about leaving their job in January and also the fact you have probably broken your resolutions. It probably doesn’t help when people repeat these things in their weekly blog. What I do like about ‘Blue Monday’ is the caveat of ‘so far’, as if to say, you might be depressed now but wait a few months time and then you’ll know what depression is. You will look back on Jan 17th as the good old days. Anyway, hopefully I can lift the spirits of the nation. (or not)

I had quite a cultured weekend, I went to see the Tennessee Williams play, ‘The Glass menagerie’ on Saturday afternoon and the theatre was packed. I did ask ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ if the TV transmitters had gone down in the area, but no, people in London go to the theatre even when the TV is working.

On Sunday (yday) we went to see the film, ‘The King’s Speech’. It will no doubt win lots of awards and maybe win some Oscars but it is essentially a film about a Prince with a stutter that becomes a King with a stutter. Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the film, and it was made even more enjoyable by the fact we got free tickets. I say free tickets, we did have to buy two copies of the Sunday Times at £2:20 each, which is still a lot cheaper than the £13 people here pay to see films. As much as it was good to get  in for free, a part of me now feels in debt to Rupert Murdoch and his media empire. I feel he now owns a little of me. Maybe for £2:20 I will allow one of his journalists to listen to a nano-second of one of my phone messages. Just as long as the editor has no idea this is going on.

As some of you regular readers will know, I’m a little bit old school in some of my ways. For example, I still have a Walkman, I’m not on Facebook and I still write the odd cheque (odd as in occasional). I’m also wary of Internet food shopping, to me it’s just a crap version of Meals on Wheels. At least with Meals on Wheels, you get a meal, with internet food shopping you just get the raw ingredients to make a meal.

Well last week I felt a little vindicated for having ‘my old man ways’, as we had a little problem with our internet food shop. The main problem was the shopping went to the wrong address. And when I say wrong address, I don’t mean it was sent to a flat around the corner, or the next suburb. I mean it was sent to the wrong city. Plump up your cushions and listen to my tale.

So I’m waiting in for the food and then I got a call from the driver saying he was outside the flat. I was looking out of the window and could see no van. At this point my natural distrust of people kicked in and I thought he was pulling a fast one. He went on to say, he was outside the flat and that he rang me because we placed a note with our order saying our bell doesn’t work. All this was true. Then he mentioned the road he was on and I instinctively knew something was wrong, mainly because it was where we lived last year. I tried to play dumb and not mention the fact we used to live at that address, until he said, “Did you used to live there”? And so I had to sheepishly admit that it looked like the mistake was ours and our default address must have been last years address. To be fair to the driver he took it in good spirits and said, “it was probably too far for him to deliver the food”. Which is probably true

All’s well that ends well  as the crisis was averted and we got the food the next day, so we didn’t starve, which is always a good thing.

Til next week, stay safe! (and check your internet shopping details)


Corrie stage play


Hola. Happy New Year! I hope 2011 is treating you well and that you have a great year.

The first thing I would like to say is that I’ve decided not to pass on the VAT increase on to you the reader. I know I’m too generous.

It’s also the time of year that I do my annual joke, so here goes, “I wonder if in 9 years time will we all have perfect vision”?  Don’t worry I will put that in a box only to re-open next year.

I had a nice Christmas and new year. I didn’t do much, but then everyone says that about their Christmas break. I did return to Manchester and even though I’d only been living in London for 3 weeks it felt like a big homecoming event. I hung out with my family and met up with friends. One friend (Howard) did say, “Are you still in London? You’ve exceeded many people’s expectations”. With friends like that hey!

I met up with another friend (Kim) and at one point our conversation turned to what books we were reading. I mentioned how I’d started reading, ‘Never Let Me Go’ by Kazuo Ishiguro and then she pulled from her bag a copy of ‘Never Let Me Go’ as she was about to start reading it. When I say about start reading it, I don’t mean there and then, whilst she was out with me. My conversation wasn’t that bad

Anyway this set off a number of coincidences, firstly in the same pub, I bumped into a couple of guys (Nev and Phil) who I used to play in a football team with in the mid-naughties and hadn’t seen for a good number of years. One of them Phil has even moved to South Africa, so the fact we bumped into each other was even more remarkable.

Then when I returned to London, I resumed playing football with my new-found actor friends, on the opposition team was none other than Hollywood actor James McAvoy. Which I have to say is very London, in all my time playing football with my mates in Manchester (about 20 years), we’ve never played with a Hollywood actor and yet it only takes 4 games in London. But what is coincidental is that ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ had previously met Mr McAvoy in her previous permanent job. And although you might think we lead a glamorous lifestyle in all honesty we very rarely meet famous people so to meet the same one in totally different settings is quite coincidental.

And then earlier today (Mon) I bumped into an actress friend of mine (Jo) at London Bridge Station. I say friend, she’s more of a friend of a friend but let’s not be pedantic. The last time I saw her we accidentally bumped into each other at the Edinburgh Festival of 09, so it took me by surprise that we should accidentally bump into each other in London, especially as I learnt it was her first day here. She was here to rehearse for the stage production of Coronation Street, which rather put me to shame as I was just coming from registering at a recruitment agency to work in schools. At least one of us is still living the dream.

That pretty much exhausts my brush with coincidence. Please let me know of your tales of  coincidence and chance meetings etc… You can contact me via the comments button. Cheers

Til next week, stay safe! 

My review of 2010

Me. Pic by Darren Reynolds

As promised in my last blog post, I’ve taken time out of my hectic schedule to write my review of 2010. It is a review of just some of the things that happened to me during 2010. All the things mentioned have previously been written about in my weekly posts throughout the year. But just for you and at no extra charge I have stripped everything down to the bare minimum. All you need to know is ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ is my convoluted way of saying girlfriend. I hope you enjoy!


I fell out of bed but was cushioned by the pile of clothes I’d cleverly thrown down on the floor beside the bed. 

I watched ‘Clockwork Orange’ for the first time and enjoyed it. However with the general violence, rape, police brutality and murder, I did think  it could quite easily have been an EastEnders Christmas special.


Due in no way to public demand, I decided to start a football blog.

I tried to make the phrase, ‘Dipping my beak’ (a euphemism for sex) from the book ‘The White Tiger’ popular in common speech. I don’t feel I managed it.


I bought a 58p bottle of shampoo. My hair is gleaming but I’m currently walking around with a labrador and white stick. (For legal reasons I have to say I made up the last bit).

Someone stole our Christmas tree. Admittedly we had left it outside our flat covered in bin bags for a couple of months but we did intend to re-plant it.

I think I saw Molly (Vicky Binns) from Coronation Street in Chorlton Library. We looked at each other and I could sense from the look in her eye that she knew we were both part of the Manchester glitterati.


I tried muesli for the first time and it was quite nice. I never knew sawdust could taste so good.

I got out of jury service due to the fact I associate with known criminals. I do writing workshops in prisons before you come to the wrong conclusion.

The horse I bet on, Black Apalachi finished second in the Grand National. I only chose it because a parrot and a goldfish tipped it. Unfortunately I had it to win. I learnt a valuable lesson from this experience, next time you get tips from animals make sure you find out if they mean each-way or to win.


I took it upon myself to amalgamate the names of the leaders of the two coalition parties, and try to get it in popular usage. I took my inspiration from Jedward, so I took the ‘D’ from David and the ‘ICK’ from Nick to create ‘DICK’. It’s yet to catch on but let’s wait til the cuts hit.

We had a gas plumber/electrician at our flat and by the second day of knowing him, he had stripped down to his boxers whilst having a conversation with me.


I fell a sleep at an outdoor theatre in Cornwall. (It was no reflection of the production, Metamorphosis by Kafka)

I bought some razors with ONE blade. I know, I’m bonkers. What will I do next, make fire with sticks and start living in the woods? As this is a retrospective I’m able to assure you I did neither.


I thought about changing my name to All the Best Julian after taking inspiration from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

I got jealous that an octopus was having more success than I was.

My coat was used to help a collapsed man. Don’t worry he was ok, as was the coat, should anyone be concerned.


I got in the bad books of  ‘Her With One Permanent Job’s’ Nana, after I appeared in my local newspaper described a single.

Some Warrington Rugby League fans ruffled my hair and ‘HWOPJ’ hit them with a rolled up Observer.

I did 4 nights at the Edinburgh Festival with Marvin Cheeseman and Steve Rooney. But possibly the most notable incident was when I got told to, “Butt out MC Hammer” during an incident outside a club.


I took a £5 kettle back to the shop when it stopped working. Luckily it was still under guarantee. You buy top of the range stuff and it doesn’t last a year, what is the world coming to?

I also found a ten pound note in the street. I’m not sure why it was so tightly rolled. Answers on a postcard.


A bus drove past me whilst I was at the stop.

And I found out Shane Ward’s mum Philomena shares my birthday.


I cut down on drinking tea.

I had dealings with Barack Obama (sort of)

I started using Bicarbonate of Soda on my teeth.

‘HWOPJ’ caught the bouquet at my friend Yin’s wedding, which can only be described as a ‘proper stitch up’  created by the pair of them.

I moved to the sleepy village that is London.


Not much happened in December, it is the end of the year after all. Even unknown comedians wind down at the end of the year.

Til next time stay safe! And look out for my weekly posts throughout 2011 (usually every monday)