Easy Come, Easy Go

Hola. Hope you are well.

I’m going to start this blog post by mentioning I have a rare Manchester gig, this Thurs 31st May. Here are the details:

On Thurs 31st May, I will be the special guest performer at Bang Said The Gun poetry night in Manchester. I will be doing 20 mins of my funny/silly poems. It takes place at The Old Nags Head, Jackson’s Row (off Deansgate) Manchester M2 5WD. It starts at 8pm and is £5 on the door, £3 NUS and with a flyer. If it’s anything like the London shows it’s bound to be a fun evening.

I am also on BBC Radio Manchester on Saturday 2nd June, on the Andy Crane Breakfast Show. You can get BBC Radio Manchester on 95:1FM (in Manchester) On Digital Radio, (in Manchester) and Online. I will be reviewing the newspapers, my bit will start after 7:30am.

Away from plugging my gigs, I’m going to take you back to the start of last week and show you how Boyfriend points can be easily won and easily lost. Last Monday evening whilst ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ was having a Skype meeting (look at her), I hung up her washing, as I didn’t have much to be getting on with. She seemed impressed that I had done this. A little too impressed, it was only a matter of getting the clothes out of the washing machine and hanging them on a maiden. So I was in her good books. However by Tuesday morning the good work had come undone and all because I left talkSPORT on a little bit past her natural tolerance threshold. It just goes to show a fool and his boyfriend points are easily parted.

On to job search. I was looking at a job last week and the salary was written as pro rata. This made me wonder, what is the point of pro rata? Why can’t the companies just tell you how much you will earn for the amount of hours they want you to work, instead of hinting at a higher salary only for you to take home a lesser amount. In many ways pro rata is the Wonderbra of the salary world.

Last week I mentioned how I set up a second Twitter feed dedicated to football @viewfromthetrev but I also have my other Twitter feed that complements this blog @anunknowncomic. Each Twitter feed follows the other, as you would, and despite me being the author of both I still get freaked out when I see one of my comments in the others timeline. If this isn’t bad enough, I have on a couple of occasions re-tweeted one of my football comments to the follows of my other twitter feed. I have to be honest, at first it did feel a bit weird, a little egotistical, and a little sad. I also imagine re-tweeting yourself is something that could break the internet.

And Finally… I went to see the Buzzcocks on Sat. I have to put my hands up and say I’m in no way a fan, but my friend was going and asked if I wanted to go. I did think it was clever of them to do an hour and a half of the same song plus the one song I know. Feel free to let me know when you tagged along to watch a band. Apart from the gig itself the only other thing to report, was that the bouncy squeezed my banana, and when I say banana, I mean a banana, I’m not using banana as code.

Til next week, stay safe!

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It’s all relative

A cat

Hola. Hope you are well.

I’ve had a relatively busy week since my last blog post.

Last Wednesday I compered a poetry event, my first compere gig since moving to London. Like most poetry events it was friendly. After the gig, the man who booked me said “I’d worked hard for my money”.  I suppose it’s all relative as I didn’t think it was that difficult. I’ve definitely had tougher compere gigs, plus even though the money wasn’t loads it was still more than my daily pay  as a Teaching Assistant, even though the hours in school are longer than my compere duties. It’s things like this that reaffirms my belief that I don’t understand money and that the wages people earn are quite clearly made up.

On Thursday, I met up with Prong 2 to sort out our set for yesterday’s gig (Mon 26th). We only had 2 pints but by the time I got back to the flat it was after 10pm and I had to eat and do some washing up as I was going back to Manchester on the Fri after school, and didn’t want to leave the flat too messy for our return. No one likes to come back to a messy home (unless of course you do). This meant I didn’t get to bed til after midnight and was up again at 6:45 am.

I got back to Manchester at 10pm after a 4 and a half hour coach journey, then I went to my mum’s house, had a little catch up and before I knew it, it was past midnight, which was not good as I was on the BBC Radio Manchester breakfast show, which meant getting up at 6 am. You can hear my appearance on the show here, my bit starts at 1hr 41 mins in and will be available til Sat 1st Oct.

There was no early start on Sunday but I did go to a christening where the priest’s opening gambit was to tell off  congregation for not respecting the church, I don’t know if  he was referring to the level off chat when he first appeared. He then went on to tell off the parents of the children getting christened for not going to the mass prior to the christening and for not handing in some forms, what a way to strip any fun from the proceedings. This priest might want to consider going on a course to work on his personal skills, after all he didn’t do a good job on selling his church. Maybe someone needs to have a word with his boss.

And yesterday I did the aforementioned 3 Prong Attack gig. It was in a pub in the area of London I live. Doing a gig in your area can be a dangerous thing because if it doesn’t go well, you are sure to keep bumping into everyone that was there. Of course if it goes well, the chances of bumping into anyone who was there is minimal. As it happened we had a good gig and got plenty of laughs, which is good considering we don’t do jokes. ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ said it was our most surreal show so far, she didn’t go on to clarify if this was a good thing or not.

Talking of the 3 Prong Attack, we are doing another show this week, 2 in a week, what will the neighbours say? Any way if you are in  Sreatham this Thurs, 29th Sept then pop down to the Railway pub, 2 Greyhound Lane, Streatham, London SW16 5SD, Doors 7:30 pm Show 8:00 pm and it’s FREE. Nearest stations are Streatham Rail St and Streatham Common Rail St.

And Finally… I was reading in the Observer newspaper that the top 3 words people use for their computer passwords are password, arsenal and pussy. Which if nothing else shows we are definitely a nation of cat lovers.

Til next week, (Mon) Stay Safe!

As seen on TV

The nutty professor

Hola. Hope you are well.

I am good if a little achy as I’m back from Newcastle and more specifically back from doing the Great North Run. If this was ITV I would string it out before telling you what time I did it in, but this isn’t ITV so I can tell you I did it in 1hr 40:21, which placed me at 2884, which isn’t bad considering 54000 people ran. I have to admit that I am genuinely surprised at the time. As regular readers will know I was hoping to do it in around 2hrs if only to beat Fearne Cotton’s time from last year and throughout training that was the kind of time I was looking at getting, so when I turned into the final section and could see the clock, I couldn’t believe the time it was showing.

I wouldn’t say I was lucky but on the day everything seemed to go for me and I felt good all the way round, except right near the end, although when I crossed the finishing line my body packed in. It was almost as if it was saying, “I’ve allowed you to run these 13 miles without a problem, but now you will pay for it”. But all in all it was a satisfactory experience and quite addictive, already I’m considering what my next sporting challenge will be. ‘Her With One Permanent Job’  started talking about doing a triathlon, although I’m not sure that is going to happen as she is not good with bikes and I don’t do swimming. I struggle in a pool where there are sides and no waves so I’m not going to swim in the sea where there are waves and a real chance of drowning.

One final thing about the race and a regular reader and contributor to this blog (Simon) thought he may have seen on the TV coverage, which is good news as it means I can advertise myself as ‘as seen on the BBC’. It might not have been ‘Live at the Apollo’ but it was still a BBC programme.

You might have thought the race would have been the true test of endurance this weekend but no, that was the coach journeys to and from Newcastle. The first took 7hrs and the one back 6hrs. But in defence of the coach companies at least they didn’t bump their prices up like the train companies did. Sixteen pounds is definitely preferable to two hundred, even if at times you lose the will to live.

Despite only being in Newcastle for 2 nights it was enough time for a drunken man to shout, “Oi, The Nutty Professor” towards me. In no way is this a reflection on the people of Newcastle but in just over a year I’ve been told to “Butt out MC Hammer” outside a gay club in Edinburgh and told, “I’d taken all the sun and left none for the rest of the people” by an old Spanish lady on a beach in Valencia. As insults go they are not too bad, but it has made me wonder why this keeps happening to me. I’ve come to the conclusion that because I’m not an intimidating looking black guy, people feel they can direct their insults in my direction, rather than a black guy who looks like they might kick their ass. Tis just a theory.

In other news  I have a few gigs and one radio appearance coming up. Tomorrow, Weds 21st September I will be compering a poetry event at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, it’s Free and starts at 7:30pm. More details here.

On Saturday morning, 24th Sept, 7:30am, I will be on BBC Radio Manchester reviewing that days newspapers.

On Mon 26th Sept, I will be performing as part of the 3 Prong Attack. We will be at The Hob in Forest Hill. It’s a new act night and is £3 in, Show 8pm . Due to this gig being on a Monday and me also working earlier that day, next week’s blog will most likely to be on Tuesday. I hope you can wait for it.

And Finally… Last Friday I got stung on my ear by a wasp or bee. I presume it was a wasp or bee as I didn’t actually see it but I did it hear a buzzing news right next to my ear. I admit I panicked a bit as it felt so close, it was almost as if it targeted me (I’ll resist saying it made a bee line for me). In all the commotion, which was basically me flapping my arms around and yelping, the so and so stung me. I do think there’s something a bit wrong about an adult getting stung, surely that is the preserve of children. Feel free to let me know if you’ve ever got stung as an adult, it might make me feel like I’m not alone. Luckily for me I didn’t suffer any severe reactions to the sting, of course if I had swelled up, then the Geordie lad would have had more justification in calling me The Nutty Professor.

Til next week (probably Tues), stay safe!

In your face George Osbourne

pete digby

Hola. Hope you are well.

I’ve had a pretty good week. On last week’s blog I mentioned how these could be the most important 2 weeks of my life. Well I’m a week in and I wouldn’t say it’s quite lived up to this billing but I have managed to do a few productive things, mainly involving money.

Firstly I sorted out my tax code, as since I started working in February I’ve been on Emergency tax, I’m not exactly sure what the emergency was. So now my tax code has been altered to represent my small earnings, so much so that on this week’s payroll I noticed the tax man has paid me, albeit £1:60. It maybe on be £1:60 but I’m claiming it as a small victory, all I’d like to say at this point is “In your face George Osbourne”.

On a similar note, as well as sorting out my tax code I also I did my self assessment tax returns. The deadline to do this online is Jan 31st 2012, and normally I would leave doing it until mid January but because I know I’m owed some tax back, I was right on it in April. I know, I’m a whore.

And the third thing involving money that got sorted out was our council tax.  We’d been having a little trouble with our council tax bill, mainly because when ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ moved to London, she was living in the flat alone, so had a single person’s allowance, when I rocked up we required a new account. A couple of months ago we paid off some of our council tax bill but unbeknown to us we paid it into the single persons account and not the joint account as we intended. This meant we started getting letters saying we owed a certain amount on the joint account and if we didn’t pay it we would receive a court summons. Not once however did we get a letter saying you’ve paid too much into the single persons account, here is your money back. Bloody typical!

Last week I mentioned how ‘HWOPJ’ took me around IKEA, well this Saturday I think things evened themselves out, as she came out to the pub to watch Man City vs Man Utd in the FA Cup semi-final. At times I looked over at her and the look of boredom on her face accurately encapsulated how I felt in IKEA. At least after you watch football in a pub you don’t have to take a bit of the pub home and then assemble it to the annoyance of your neighbours (see last week’s blog post).

Talking of ‘HWOPJ’, she helped out at the London Marathon yesterday (Sun) and saw a man (Pete Digby) running with a washing machine on his back. He was the same man who ran last year’s race with a fridge on his back. It does make me wonder what will he have on his back at next year’s marathon, maybe a small caravan. She said she also saw a man who was bleeding from his testicles. That’s dedication to his charity. It did make me ask myself, which would I prefer, to run the marathon with a washing machine on my back or to run the marathon with bleeding testicles.  I’m still undecided. Feel free to let me know your thoughts, you can comment via the comments button.

I’d like to flag up the fact I will be on BBC Radio Manchester this coming Sunday, 24th April. I will be on the Andy Crane show between midday-2pm, talking about the stories making the news. I should be joined by a politician and musician. You can also receive BBC Radio Manchester, online, a Digital Radio (in M’cr) and on 95:1Fm (in M’cr).

Also next week, this blog will probably be published on Tuesday as I will be travelling back from M’cr on the Monday.

And Finally… The news the nation has been waiting for. Back on 28th February I mentioned how we had 77 fish fingers in our flat, well this Saturday, 16th April we finished the last of this batch. It’s been truly emotional. I feel like an X-Factor contestant in that I’ve been on a journey. In many ways I think we’ve all been on a journey. I think my next food based project will be to let you know how many grains of rice we have in the flat.

Til next week, stay safe!

Excuse me ladies

Greenwich planetarium

Hola. Hope you are all well.

On last week’s blog post I mentioned I would be working in a local school for 3 days. Well that 3 days turned into a full week, and I was still in the school today and will be there tomorrow, but that should be my last day there. It’s been an interesting experience. ‘Her with One Permanent Job’ said to me, “it must be good shaping future minds”, the truth is I’m not so much shaping the next generation but more tying their shoe laces, sticking things in their books, telling them to sit down and icing biscuits with them. All the things you would expect from an unknown comedian.

I think my favourite part of the week was when I got to use the wall stapler and put up a display on healthy eating. If that wasn’t good enough, the teacher left a note for me to pick up the next day, saying she liked the display, woohoo! The note also contained the things I had to do that day, boo!

After a hard week at work, I had a quiet Friday night in. And with ‘HWOPJ’ out, I thought I would get out the lap top and settle down to…. Question Time on Iplayer. Rock and indeed Roll!

On  Saturday I was on BBC Radio Manchester Sport, talking about funny stadium names. This is the kind of things that happens to you when you are prepared to chat about everything and anything on air. I was going to put a link to the show but it’s not on the Iplayer but let’s just assume I was charming, witty and insightful.

Also on Saturday, I went to a planetarium in Greenwich, to be honest I wasn’t sure what one was until Saturday (it’s like a cinema, where the only film showing is one of the stars and the planets) but we got free tickets, thanks to ‘HWOPJ’s friend, which was just aswell as I fell a sleep through most of it. But in my defence it was dark in there. But this isn’t why I mention the planetarium, it’s because as I was sat next  to ‘HWOPJ’ a man tried to pass by and before doing so said, “Excuse me ladies”. Ladies?? The last time I checked I was a man,( not that I have to check to know this). Never in my time on this earth have I been mistaken for a woman. I don’t even think I’m very feminine looking. After giving the whole thing some consideration the only reasonable explanation I could come up with, is that the karma police were seeking revenge for me mistaking a boy for a girl at the school earlier in the week. But in my defence he had way too much hair and looked like a girl. Feel free to let me know if you’ve ever been mistaken for the wrong gender.

And Finally… onto what the world has been talking about for the last seven days, forget Colonel Gaddafi, forget Charlie Sheen, forget Ashley Cole shooting a student (what a twonk), the big thing everyone is talking about is how many fish fingers we have in our freezer (see last weeks post). The answer ladies and gentlemen is 52. Now you can all sleep easier knowing this fact.

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!

A state of flux

carol ann duffy

Hola. I hope you are well.

I’m writing this week’s post in a state of flux, (this isn’t in America) everything is currently up in the air. The reason being ‘Her With One Permanent Job’  has a new permanent job, but this time in the sleepy village that is London. So we are in the process of trying to find a flat in London, whilst trying to sort out the flat we are in, in the hope someone will move in soon, so we can stop paying rent on this place.

With moving it will mean giving up reviewing the newspapers on Sam Walker’s BBC Radio M’cr show, which is a shame, but the good news is that I should be on air til Nov 20th as I will be remaining in M’cr til Nov as I have work commitments this end. Like most things in my life I didn’t plan this move, but I did always joke that in my search to remain underground, that as soon as the BBC moved to Manchester, I would move to London, Little did I know this would actually happen. If I knew the things I said in jest would come true I would have thought harder about the things I joked about.

In other news, I think I saw 2 famous people in the last week. I definitely saw Carol Ann Duffy earlier today, walking in Didsbury. To any poetry fans who viewed this it must have been very exciting to see the Poet Laureate and someone else who does a bit of poetry in the same eye line.

The other famous person I saw, or thought I saw was Johnny Bramwell, the lead singer of ‘I am Kloot’, in a bank in Chorlton. I was transferring money from one account to another and he was paying some money into someone else’s account. I was alerted to him when I heard the bloke at the next counter say, “I’m a musician” then I heard him spell out his surname and I think he spelt out Bramwell, (I’m not great when people either spell their name out or say their tel no. quickly) so I’m presuming it was him. It may be a long shot but if you are Johnny Bramwell and you are reading this, then feel free to let us know if this was you. Cheers.

And Finally… Last year we bought a cheap kettle for the flat (under £5). We did spend about £50 in total at the supermarket so don’t think we are proper cheapskates, even if we are. Anyway just a few days before the year’s Warranty/Guarantee (I never know which is which) was up, the kettle stopped working properly. It would boil the water but would not switch off. Luckily we still had the receipt, so I took it back to the supermarket and exchanged it for an equally cheap kettle, but because I didn’t have the original box, the woman at customer services said she would have to take the new kettle out of the box and I would have to carry it home in my bag. The stupid thing is didn’t really care about the box until she said I couldn’t have the box and then all I could think of was, why didn’t she just give me the box.  The good news was she struggled immensely with the sellotape when opening the box. So overall I think I shaded this exchange on points. 

Til next week, stay safe!