Blog vs Girlfriend

anita anand & sam walker

Hola. Hope you are well.

Eagle eyed readers will have noticed that I posted last week’s blog in the early hours of Tuesday morning. This was because last Monday  ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ was keen to meet up after work, which put me in a dilemma, finish my blog or meet up with her. And as I don’t live with the readers of this blog, I went for the easier option, after all it’s not easy justifying not meeting your other half  because you’ve got to finish your blog. As I couldn’t sleep on the Monday night I got up at 4:10 am and finished my blog.

It’s never ideal getting up at this time of the morning but more so as that day at work, we were taking the children out on a day trip and as a ‘responsible adult’  I needed to be on my guard even more so than when they are contained in school. You certainly don’t want anything to happen to the children you have been designated to look after. Of course, it would be bad if anything happened to any of the children, but it would definitely be worse if it was one that was on your watch.

Talking of work, it was my last week in school, this academic year. As it happened I never got to say goodbye to the children as I had to do an errand just before the close of day, and when I got back to class they were filing out, which I think is quite typical of me. I did however get a card off one of the children, not cos she knew it was my last day but because she was also away for the last week of term. I thought it was quite nice that she took time out to write a card for me, although in no way did I think I deserved a card as I’d only been there 6 weeks. Although having said that the other TA also got a card and she’s only been in the class a month, so on that basis maybe I should have got a present in addition to the card.

It’s definitely been an interesting 5 months of working in schools. If it had been a reality tv programme, at this point I would be saying how I’d been on a journey, how I’ve worked harder than I’ve ever done before, met some great people and then I would return to my normal, probably cushier life. Unfortunately my life is not a reality tv programme which means I will be doing this all over again starting in September.

Away from work, I have been trying to listen to different radio shows, mainly on Iplayer and mainly recommended by the Guardian/The Observer. So in recent weeks I’ve listened to ‘Everybody quite likes Justin’, written by Justin Moorhouse, who years ago I did a couple of shows for at the Manchester Comedy Store. I also listened to the ‘Sinha Test’, written and performed by Paul Sinha, who has links to the M’cr comedy scene. Both programmes were on Radio 4, which does make me worry a little. Have I become a person who listens to Radio 4? As it’s only on podcast, I’m saying it doesn’t really count.

Almost as an antidote to Radio 4, I listened to a programme on 1 Xtra, (you can tell it must be cool and hip because they spell extra wrong). The programme was about why there is no and never has been  any high-profile gay rappers. It did make me think that there aren’t that many professions where there are no gay people involved. It would appear it’s just hip hop and football. So what I suggest is we get all the footballers and rappers in a room (a big room) and leave them all in there until someone says they are gay.

I also listened to a new show, Double Take (Sunday’s 9-30-11am) on 5 Live, co-presented by Sam Walker, who I worked on BBC Radio Manchester. It’s nice to think that I am only one step away from being on national radio. I don’t expect it to happen but it’s nice to think it.

That’s enough of other people’s projects and back on to me. I will be performing as part of the 3 Prong Attack next Weds, 27th July at Ruby’s Revenge, 168 High Holborn, WC 1V 7AA. Doors: 7:30, Show 8pm. £3. Nearest Stations Holborn, Covent Garden, Tottenham Court Road. We have a couple of gigs coming up, for more details, click here.

And Finally… Next week’s blog will be on Tues, not because I am meeting ‘HWOPJ’ but because I won’t be near a computer on Monday.

Til Next Tues, 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!

Losing my religion

debit card

Hola, hope you are all well. I’m good.

On last week’s post I half joked about how being absent from doing the radio show I do was dangerous because in this business there’s always someone willing to jump into your position. Well this became a reality when I got an email from someone who works on the show who said my stand-in, had her eyes on doing the show full-time. I could understand if she was trying to muscle in on replacing Jonathan Ross, what with his £6m a year wages. But I’ll be honest, I get paid significantly less than £6m a year, and I have to get up at 6am.

On other radio news, I recently found out that BBC Radio Manchester has a Facebook page, see here. So if you are on Facebook (I’m still not) you can become a friend and if you have any positive comments about any shows you hear you can always pass them on. In some unrelated information the show I do is Sam Walker’s Saturday Breakfast and my section is called the Paper Chase. cheers

Let’s move on from that blatant call for positive feedback. Last week, I lost my bank card, I have no idea what I did with it. The worst thing about losing something, isn’t the realisation that it is actually lost. That is bad but the worst thing is that it is your fault, there’s no one you can blame and that’s what’s so annoying. It’s only when you’ve lost something do you realise how much you rely on that thing. Without a bank card, I had to physically go into the bank and write a cheque to get cash. For any young people reading this unsure what a cheque is, ask your parents.

Yesterday, I compered a Father’s Day event. I was arguably the least qualified person at the event, for starters, I’m not a father and have no intention of becoming a dad anytime soon, plus none of my writing has anything to do with fatherhood. I mentioned this to the organiser (Akiel) and he said, “but you have a dad“, which is an easy way to get someone to an event about fathers. It’d be like someone asking me to speak at a dentistry convention, by saying, “but you have teeth”. As it turned out the event turned out to be very pleasant. Ps. I am available to speak at a dentistry convention.

And Finally… I must tell you something I did last week, before I disclose what it was I did, I don’t want you to judge me, after all, we are all adults. With this in mind, I must confess to buying a razor with just ONE BLADE. I know it’s truly shocking. If you feel like you have to confess to anything you can do it on this blog, without judgement.

                                                       Til next week, stay safe!
(original post 21/6/10)