There’s no such thing as easy money

justin bieber

Hola. Hope you are all well.

I’ve survived another week here in London and the good news is, I’m over my cold, Woohoo!!!. Getting over colds is one of my few skills, maybe I should put it on my CV.

Talking of which, I managed to cobble together a CV this week as I’m seeking to get a ‘proper job’ to see me through these austere times. On a previous blog post, I said I was going to do a 2 page CV but on reflection this proved to be a little ambitious. I must admit it is a little disheartening when acts like 16-year-old Justin Bieber can bring out autobiographies and I can’t fill 2 pages of A4 with my career history.

I’ve also been checking a few recruitment agencies to see what jobs are out there, which has been an eye opener. I’ve seen a number of jobs that from their job titles alone I wasn’t sure what the job was. I recognised and understood the individual words but put together, I didn’t have a clue. I have that same feeling when ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ makes me watch University Challenge and I don’t understand many of  the questions, nevermind knowing the answers.

In addition to the whole job search, I have been trying to make some easy money. Firstly ‘This Morning’ were giving away £120 000 as part of their Christmas competition, so I thought I’d have a piece of that. I even told my mum and sister to enter the competition. They better give me some money if they win, or I will be properly gutted. In fact I would disown them, but only after they’ve fed and housed be over the festive period.

I also turned to gambling, as this is a sure-fire route to financial security. I thought I would bet on something I know about and I know about the X Factor and I know how it works, so this will be to my advantage when I take on the bookies. So I put £10 on ‘One Direction’ to win, thinking the little girlies would vote for them ten times, meaning they would amass the most votes. They finished third! Cheers for that pre-pubescent girls. Has the recession hit so hard that children haven’t got enough credit on their phones to vote on the X Factor? Or are  the young people in England so politically savvy that they are already saving for their university education. Either way I am £10 out of pocket.

And Finally…. The big event of last week, for me anyway, was Coronation Street, especially the live episode, which I genuinely thought was great. It was so good that about 15mins in I remembered they were doing it live. For those of you that don’t watch Coronation St. (shame on you) a tram came off the tracks, down the viaduct and onto the residents of Coronation St. I suppose that’s what happens if you persist in running tram type vehicles above the ground. Has no one in Wetherfield thought about putting them underground like all sophisticated places?

In the aftermath of the crash, a lot of stories began to unravel, including the fact that Kevin’s wife Sally, found out Kevin had fathered Molly’s baby. This did make me think, has Kevin developed a very specific fetish where he’s only sexually attracted to women whose names end ‘lly’.

Anyway, I could talk Corrie all day but I have to think up an answer to the question, ” where do you see yourself in 5 years time”.

Til next week, stay safe!

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)!

Colour Blind

Sophie Amogbokpa

Hola. Hope you are well.

Just to let you know that I haven’t heard from ‘This Morning’ about paying my rent for a year. I can’t help thinking, no news is good news. This week they are giving away £30 000, so this time next week, I should have some good news (The answer to this week’s question is ABBA, should you be interested). Aswell as ‘This Morning’ not being in touch, I’ve not heard from the Queen or Duncan Bannatyne (see last week’s post) but ‘Her With One Permanent Job’  and I have found someone to rent our flat. It had more to do with the power of Gumtree than the efforts of our letting agent.

It did mean that ‘HWOPJ’ and I had to 2 days to move our things out of the flat and to do some intense cleaning before the flat inspection. Here’s a little tip, if you are cleaning with someone else and you have the choice to clean the blinds or not, DO NOT!!! Take your chances with anything else, because cleaning blinds are so time-consuming, as you have to clean each individual panel. I spent  about an hour and a half attempting to clean the blinds in the kitchen. My efforts were hindered because the grime and the steam from cooking over the years had mixed to form an almost impenetrable combination. It didn’t help that I had to clean them whilst leaning precariously over the sink.

At times I have to admit, I did lose the will to live. To gauge how long it took to clean the blinds, I did them in two stages, divided by a sit down fish and chips in a cafe. There can’t be that many things in life that have fish and chips as an interval.

When it came to the inspection, we passed with flying colours, apart from one thing. Can you guess what that was??? Yes the blinds in the kitchen. Bloody typical!!!

The only other thing to say about the move is that I had some stand up banners at the flat that belong to a writing organisation (Commonword) in Manchester City Centre. I did think about taking them back to the organisation as opposed to transporting them to my mum’s house but in the end I decided against this. Not only because of the time constraints, but when the banners are packed in their cases they look like they might be mini missile launchers. And with the Labour Party conference happening in M’cr, I didn’t want to be walking round with two suspicious unidentifiable items. It might be paranoia on my part but I didn’t want to end up tasered, because one thing that you could be sure of is that the tasers the police would fire on me, would definitely work. No faulty ones for this ‘unknown comedian’

Talking of the Labour Party conference, congratulations to Ed Miliband or Red ED as some newspapers have nicknamed him, largely you suspect because it rhymes. On ‘Question Time’ last week, an audience member asked the panel if the Tories will attack  Ed because he isn’t married to the mother of his child (and one about to drop) and because he is a Jewish Atheist. It did make me ask myself, can you be both Jewish and Atheist, aren’t they mutually exclusive terms, like clean living smackhead, a 4×4 driving ecologist or mature student. (feel free to add your own examples via the comments button).

And Finally… Those regular readers to this blog (HWOPJ, Simon et al) will know that in the past I’ve taken many opportunities to slag off Cheryl Cole. Well the battle resumes. Anyone who watched y’day’s  X-Factor will know what I’m talking about. Basically Cheryl put through two performers to the Live shows despite them breaking down and being unable to complete their songs during their audition pieces. This meant that more accomplished performers didn’t go through, including one of the favourites a girl named Gamu. There’s been a lot of speculation as to why Cheryl did this, but I think  Cheryl’s decision had nothing to do with ability but maybe Gamu reminded Cheryl of the toilet attendant she assaulted a few years ago (see pic at the top of the blog) . Who knows???

Til next week, stay safe!

Hello Ma’am

The Queen

Hola. Hope you are well.

After the last couple of weeks, when I’ve spotted Johnny Bramwell and Carol Ann Duffy, this week I can’t say I’ve spotted any semi-famous people.

This week gone, has been the usual varied affair. ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ and I ventured down to ‘that there London’ to view flats. I imagine normal people allocate a reasonable amount of time to do this, we gave ourselves one day to find a flat. I imagine in the very near future, ‘Find a Flat in a Day’ will be an ITV programme. Just remember where you heard it first. Anyway, against the odds we found a flat to rent, so hopefully the paper work will go through without a hitch. All we need now is someone to agree to move into the flat we currently live in, cos paying two sets of rent would be ridiculous, even for us.

The move is a little disconcerting, especially when you consider that the Queen is struggling to make ends meet in London (see here). If she is struggling, what chance has ‘an unknown comedian’. Having said that, we will not be living in a palace. If you are reading this Ma’am, there is a one bedroom flat in Sth Manchester that’s going. You may not be able to bring Philip or the Corgis and you may need a reference but the costs will be significantly lower.

With money issues at the forefront of my mind, I’ve set out to change my finances for the better. Firstly, I did something I wouldn’t normally do, I entered a competition on daytime TV. I entered ‘This Morning’s’ Pay your rent or mortgage for a year competition. Thankfully I was able to identify, Home is where the ‘Heart’ is, as opposed to the other options, Stomach and Hand. I’ve not heard back from This Morning yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know if and when I win.

The second thing I did was to start writing up a CV. Doing a CV isn’t as easy as it sounds, for a start there are conflicting views on the Internet. For example, do you do a 1 or 2 page CV, do you write it in the first  or third person. (I’m going for a 2 page and in the third person should anyone care). It’s also not easy trying to describe how the skills you’ve learnt as an unknown comedian are relevant in the modern workforce.

And Finally… my fortunes maybe on the up. I was at the bus stop on Sat morning, on the way to the radio show and glanced down. Something made me look more closely at the pavement, I don’t know what. Anyway I picked up a tightly rolled up piece of paper, unrolled it and to my surprise it was a ten pound note. Why it was tightly rolled, I’ve no idea.

I’m sure most normal people would have just pocketed the money and been happy with that, but here are some of the thoughts that went through my head. Firstly, I thought has someone just dropped it, but no one else was at the bus stop, so that wasn’t likely. Then I thought had I dropped it, but I don’t roll up my money in such a way. Then I thought, is it a fake. Then I got happy, thinking I’d found a tenner, but then I felt a bit bad thinking someone had lost ten pounds. My final thought on the matter was, I wonder if I can make a living from finding money. What other mid-thirties man thinks that finding money is a viable way of making a living. I doubt Duncan Bannatyne would invest in such a business, let me know for sure, if you’re reading this Duncan.

I wonder who will contact me first Duncan Bannatyne or the Queen.

Til next week, stay safe!