How to make friends and influence people

cheryl cole

Hola. Hope you are well and had a good Bank Hol weekend.

I went to support ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ who was running in a 10K race yesterday (Mon). Despite being a hot day she recorded a good time beating her previous best. One thing I did notice was the lack of wacky outfits, there was one or two but most people decided to stick to traditional running outfits, probably for the best. I also didn’t see anyone running with a fridge on their back or anyone running with bleeding testicles (that’s one for the long time readers of this blog) for newcomers click here.

Some people ran with their names on their shirts, I think this is so spectators can shout their name when offering support. A few people around me did do this, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I think it’s a bit creepy to call somebody you don’t know by their name, I like to wait until I am formally introduced. I was however a little taken aback by the number of people called BUPA, I didn’t realise it was such a common name.

I’m currently on half term, woohoo! I have to admit that behind regular income, the best thing about working in schools, is the number of holidays I get (that and shaping the lives of future generations, of course). For some reason I’ve felt knackered this half-term, so tired I decided I would check how many days I had worked this half -term, the grand total was… 17. That’s seventeen, I shouldn’t be tired after working seventeen days and when I say seventeen days it’s not as if it’s seventeen consecutive days, there were weekends in between. There’s only two possible reasons for this lethargy either I’m a pussy or I have an illness that I don’t yet know about. My instincts lead me to the former.

Talking of schools, Barack Obama was in this country last week, so was I. He was also in a school in London last week, so was I, he was more specifically in a school in Southwark last week, so was I. Unfortunately this is where the similarities stop as he didn’t visit the school I was in. If I’d got to meet Barack Obama I think it would have more than made up for having to work 17 days this half-term. If I had met him I would have definitely given him one of my business cards. To be fair he is already a reader of my football blog as can be proved when he commented on my blog post a few months ago. It’s only a line but it’s still a comment (see here, scroll down to comments).

Now on to a little bit of showbiz news and it was announced last week that Cheryl Cole had been dropped as a judge on the American X Factor. At first I have to admit the news did fill me with some pleasure and then I thought about it a little more and I felt my reaction didn’t show me in a good light. Then I thought it must be quite bad for her as not only has she missed out on this great opportunity in America in quite a public way, because she’d already said she wouldn’t be doing the UK X-Factor, she was somewhat snookered. I read in a couple of newspapers that she was in talks with Simon Cowell and ITV about other projects. But ITV only have a handful of big programmes, she’s ruled herself out of one, I can’t see her in the jungle, so that only leaves one. So expect to see her walking down those famous cobbles and maybe drinking a pint in the Rovers any day soon and when she does remember where you heard it first.

And Finally…. in The Guardian last week they compiled a list of the top 100 most influential people in music. It surprisingly (to me) put as Number 1 , Adele and her team. This lead me to question what am I influential in, Comedy? No, Poetry? No, Blogs? No. Having thought about a bit more I came to the realisation that I’m not even the most influential in my flat.

Til next week, stay safe!

Are you a professional singer?

hoddle and waddle

Hola. Hope you are well.

Congratulations on surviving the apocalypse. Thankfully I didn’t do anything drastic thinking the world was going to end on Saturday. The amount of times someone has predicted the end of the world and it hasn’t happened makes me think it’s either really hard to work out or people are making it up as they go along. It’s almost as if you are a preacher in America and you want attention, all you have to do is predict the end of the world or threaten to burn a certain holy book.

Besides still being here, I’ve had another varied week. I was briefly in Manchester over the weekend with the intention of meeting up with my dad only for him to ring and say he was stuck in Trinidad. I doubt anyone else had that happen to them this weekend,( except my brother).

I was also in a primary school last week, where I got complimented on two of my shirts, one by a co-worker and one by a child. And after singing along to a song two girls had made up, one of them said, “are you a professional singer”? I don’t think in all my time on this earth, I have ever been complimented for my singing, I’m not sure why as I fancy my self as a vocalist. I freely admit I’m not the best singer ever but I’m not the worst, I fall somewhere between Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan, admittedly more towards Bob’s end of that scale.

This compliment reminded me of when I was having a kick around with ‘Her With One Permanent Job’s’ 6-year-old cousin,and he said, “how can you be so good at football and not be professional”? This is something I’ve thought about in the past and it was nice to know someone else thought that, even if they weren’t old enough to know any better. It would appear that if the world was run by 6 year olds, I’d be both a singer and a footballer. I could have been the new Waddle or indeed Hoddle but unfortunately (or fortunately) the world is not run by 6 year olds.

Talking of work, it looks like I will be in the school I’m currently at until the end of the summer term, working 5 days a week. Before I get lambasted for being Nick Clegg like and going back on my manifesto of only working a 4 day week,  I feel I must say, “I’ve had to make some tough decisions due to the previous regime leaving my life in such a mess”. I do however think it’s a little ironic that someone who has been quite ambivalent to work and has always tried to do his own thing work wise has ended up working full-time in of all cities LONDON. The couple of things I have discovered by doing a ‘proper job’  is what things I like and don’t like. In the latter case, that’s mainly doing a proper job.

The only other thing that happened at the school worth mentioning came about because they had a dentist in. This lead to a 5min class discussion about why we should brush our teeth, how we should brush our teeth, what foods and drinks are good for teeth. After all of that, the children sat down to listen to a reading of … Charlie and the Chocolate factory. You couldn’t make it up, well you could but people would think you made it up. 

And Finally… The Queen made a historic trip to Ireland last week. She became the first reining British monarch to visit Ireland for 100 years. It’s been seen as a successful visit, she said all the right things, she went to the Guinness factory and she didn’t get blown up.  But if you read the papers all this still pales into insignificance, compared to Pippa Middleton’s ass.

Til next week, stay safe!

Human Rohypnol


Hola. Hope you are well.

I’ve had another varied week. For starters, I performed my comedy poems for the first time since moving to London, but typically of me, I wasn’t doing them in London where there are numerous places I could perform them but 100 miles away in Norwich.

I was performing as part of my friend Tom’s show, ‘Normal Service will be Resumed Shortly’, in fact I headlined the show. I think partly because I chose to stay over in Norwich whilst the other acts on the bill had to drive back to London and so had to leave early. Although when I come to update my biography I won’t mention this fact about the other acts and will just put ‘headline act at the Norwich Fringe Festival’.

Whilst at Tom’s flat, he cooked me a nice vegetarian curry, which meant I’d had 4 vegetarian meals in the same week. including 3 in a row. This from a man who used to have a slogan, ‘no meal is complete, without meat’. It started on Monday when ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ was planning on making a Spinach and Chickpea curry, but because we had been out drinking (separately) we ended up having something simple, Pasta and Pesto. Then on Tuesday, we had the Spinach and Chickpea curry. On Wednesday we forgot to take any meat out of the freezer, and because we didn’t have much food in, we had to cobble together a dish, which included the vegetables we had, rice, baked beans and a fresh chilli. I promise you it tasted better than it might sound. So if this week you see chickens and cows aimlessly walking around where you live, that might be the  knock on effect of me having four vegetarian meals.

On last week’s blog I mentioned how my work situation had changed, well last week I did 3 days in a college which caters for children with Special Educational Needs. I was working one to one with the pupils and out of the 3 days I was there I had two pupils fall asleep on my watch. Personally I blame their medication. When it happened on the first day I wasn’t sure what to do, or whether this was accepted behaviour but at the same time I didn’t want to wake him if he was sleeping. So what I did was let him sleep, until someone with authority came near and then I’d nudge him so he’d wake up. It probably didn’t aid my plan to keep his sleeping hidden by the fact he was snoring quite loudly.

I must admit that I have a bit of form with this, as once when I met my female friend (Yin/Jackie) in a pub after she’d had a long day at work, she ended up dosing off, which is never a good look, as people either think you are either really boring or you’ve slipped something into the woman’s drink. She now calls me ‘human rohypnol’ which is not necessarily the best nickname to have attached to you.

And Finally… Onto something bound to make you doze off and that is Eurovision. I’ve not watched Eurovision since I was a child and even then I don’t think I really watched, I was just glad to be allowed to stay up late. I’m not sure how I’ve got away with not having to watch it, but my good fortune ran out on Saturday. All I can say is it was a long 3 and a half hours and after all that, what did I learn? Not much, except Jedward are officially better than Blue.

The only other thing to note about Eurovision was that ‘HWOPJ’s male ‘heterosexual’ friend won money by betting on Azerbaijan to win and yet lost money on the FA Cup Final by backing Stoke. Seriously, what kind of ‘heterosexual’ man knows more about Eurovision than they do about football??

Til next week, stay safe!

Onwards and Sideways

susan boyle

Hola. Hope you are well.

I am writing this blog at this time on a Monday because I am not in work today, this reason being I was laid off. Apparently it was due to financial reasons, maybe I shouldn’t have demanded £100 000 a-week. In all seriousness it did come as a shock. The first incline I got that something was up was at the end of  school on Wednesday when the teacher told me that the school had hired a woman on a permanent basis who was replacing me in her class. My teacher wasn’t happy as it meant the class would now have 3 women leading it and she wanted a man in it, someone with authority. I did at this point have to clarify she was talking about me. She said she would have a word with the powers that be and see if they would consider keeping me in the class. When I came in the next day (Thurs) the teacher confirmed that I would not be continuing in the class. I did at this point wonder what that would mean for me, knowing I was there til the end of the Summer term I naively thought they might put me in a different class. It didn’t take me long to find out this wasn’t true because when I turned on my phone during my morning break there was a txt waiting for me from my agency saying as of Monday my services were no longer required. As I famously didn’t do Fridays at this school, it meant that this would be my last day there.

It’s a bit a bummer because I was pretty settled in that job, I knew what I was doing there, I knew how the class worked, what the children were like, how to get there and what was expected of me. And now I’m back to working day-to-day, where I wake up in the morning not sure if I will get a call off the agency, not knowing where I will be  sent or what the children will be like. In many ways it’s like going from being in a relationship and then suddenly being back single and having to go on dates with randoms and having to be nice and pay compliments. The only positive I can see from this situation is that I won’t have to go swimming any more. So it’s onwards and upwards for me, or more likely onwards and sideways.

In other news, ‘Her With One Permanent Job’s family was down this weekend, which was good as we got two meals paid for us (and of course it was nice to see them). We also all went to see Les Miserables. I have to admit I didn’t always follow what was going on but it was enjoyable. More importantly I managed to stay awake during the show, there were times that I thought I was about to drop off  but at the price of the tickets I was determined to stay awake. One thing I did notice is that the show properly rips off Susan Boyle’s song, ‘I Dreamed A Dream’.

This week I also got a blog comment on my football blog (A View from the Trevor) from a certain Alex Ferguson, see here, of course I have no reason to think it’s not the Man Utd manager but I have some suspicions it might be a friend posing as him. I don’t know if it’s just the people I’m friends with but I’ve narrowed it a down to a possible of about 4 people.

And Finally… It was the ‘big’ AV vote on Thurs and not content with being a couple who jog together we also vote together. We did work out whilst walking to the polling station that if one of us voted Yes and the other voted No, it would be the most pointless walk of our life. My favourite story from the elections came from Bury, where the council was decided by picking straws, see here. It wasn’t because people in Bury haven’t got the capability to count up the votes, it was because it was a dead heat. It does seem a rather unsatisfactory way of resolving something as important as this. What next, deciding who wins the General Election by using Rock, Paper, Scissors? Now that would be an alternative voting system. 

Til next week, stay safe!

staffroom conspiracies

sir henry cooper

Hola. Hope you are well.

Firstly I feel I should apologise, for posting this week’s post on a Wednesday. A number of things conspired to scupper my hopes of posting sooner. In theory I could have written the blog on Sunday and saved it as draft and then published it on Monday or Tuesday but as there were 3 football games on back to back on Sunday and I watched all 3 of them in the pub meant that course of action was unlikely. Then on Monday it was a Bank Holiday and so ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ and I ended up in Brighton and then in the evening we had a couple of friends staying and it would have been the height of rudeness if I stopped engaging with them to do my blog. On Tuesday I was back in work, which took up many potential blog creating hours (but does pay the bills) and then in the evening I was doing a rare comedy gig, as one half of the 3 Prong Attack, which meant I only had time to eat before I was heading out of the flat again. That ladies and gentlemen is why this blog is being published today, Weds. At least not much has happened since my last blog post, unless of course you count the Royal Wedding and the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

Talking of which, did you watch? (the wedding, not the other thing). On last week’s post I said I would watch if I was near a TV but in reality I was always going to watch. The main conclusion I reached from the whole thing is that weddings are generally boring events, even with all the pomp and ceremony (and Fearne Cotton) it was still a dull affair. There did however seem to be plenty of interest in Kate/Catherine’s dress. I think the general consensus was that it was nice, at a reported cost of £250 000 you’d like to think it was nice. For what it’s worth, I agree that it was nice, if a little titty for our future Queen and with it being figure hugging, it showed how slim she is, I just hope now she is royalty she’ll  now be able to afford to eat.

After watching it on the TV we ventured into central London just to see what it was like, and at one point something weird happened, people started singing on the tube. I could only assume they were tourists, because people who live in London don’t act like that. Since I’ve been in London I can hardly remember seeing commuters crack a smile nevermind start singing.

And now on to the killing of Bin Laden, which has led to a number of conspiracy theories, mainly in the staffroom of the school I’m working at. One of their theories is that the only reason America did this was because the eyes of the world were on England due to the wedding so they had to do something to get one over us. I know Obama didn’t get an invite to the wedding but I find it to believe that since then he’s been sitting around thinking of ways he could get  back at Wills and Kate/Catherine and came up with killing Osama. Having said all that, it doesn’t help quash the conspiracies that when news first broke, it was reported that Osama was using his youngest wife as a human shield and was firing at the American soldiers. It also stated that the wife had died in the raid. The very next day it came out that Osama was unarmed, he didn’t use his youngest wife as a shield and that she didn’t die but did get shot in the leg. These do seem like contradictory stories, call me old-fashioned but dying and not dying are fundamentally different things.

The person I feel sorry for in all this is Sir Henry Cooper who passed away in between the Royal Wedding and the killing of Osama. There’s probably never a good time to die but if you were hoping your death would generate lots of column inches then this was surely not a good time to go. At least he got a mention on an unknown comedian’s blog.

And Finally… it is the vote on electoral reform tomorrow (thurs) I can’t see it capturing the nations imagination in the same way as the 2 big news stories of the past week. If it does, I can only imagine it’s because Nick Clegg has shot David Cameron through the eye and dumped his body in the Thames, whilst Sam Cam limps away after being shot in the leg.

Til next week, (hopefully mon) stay safe!