A year mostly absent of social media

Hmmm…I’ve been a naughty boy, haven’t I?  All of my internet stalkers must have hated me over the last year as I haven’t left much of an internet trail.

Yes, I’ve logged into my bank account and paid my bills (well, most of the time) but I’ve not done too much on WordPress, Google+ or Twitter.  In the last month I’ve done a little bit on Twitter and in the last couple of weeks a little dash on Google+ because the posts on these two places are only a few words (usually).

So do you want an explanation?  I won’t give too much in that regard; only that there was a big issue that I needed to deal with in the family and I didn’t feel much up to social media.  All of my posts would have been quite depressive – and that’s not the way I wanted to go.  I’m no Robert Smith or David Byrne – The Cure are quite good at songs of depression and Talking Heads are phenomenal with music describing about nervous breakdowns (“The Overload” from the album “Remain In Light” springs to mind).  Anyway, the good news is that I didn’t feel that I needed to listen to Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of The Moon” that often.

My life now is…oh, I don’t know.  Remarkable?  Boring?  Insignificant?  Yes, all of those and a few other adjectives.

Financially, I don’t feel like I’m living hand to mouth so much any more.  What I mean by that is that it takes me the whole month to spend my monthly wages at the moment.  This is wonderful progress for me and for that I am thankful to God.

Chicken and Chorizo Bulger with Flat Peas
Chicken and Chorizo Bulger with Flat Peas

So, what has changed?  I bought a cookery book that specialises in simple recipes.  I cannot cook at all (remember my MyOpera confession that I set the smoke alarm off while making a salad?) but this book has enabled me to turn out things that are reasonably tasty.  All you do is slice ingredients up and through them into the pot in the right order and – like WOW! – out comes something really nice.  I suppose a quick plug for “One Pot Wonders” by Lindsey Bareham is in order.

My car, oh yes, my car famed throughout the MyOpera years.  My old Honda Civic became quite a feature of my posts for a time.  Unfortunately, it is no longer in my possession.  When I had my MOT in 2013, I was given a list of advisories that filled the page.  I knew from reading them that these repairs all needed to be done within three years at most if I was to continue driving the Honda Civic – and they all looked quite pricey.  Also, the last Labour government had increased the age that a car needed to attain before being exempt from road tax.  No longer would a car get that treat at the twenty five year old mark but now needed to be forty.  The last Labour government had, in effect, billed me over £100 in August 2014.

So, I bought a new car – sorry, I mean a newer car.  I trawled the basement priced used car adverts and telephoned after a cheap looking thing from a nearby dealer.  That car had gone but he said that I might be interested in something else that he had.  Where was he?  Well, down this side alley near the train station where a taxi firm traded from years before.  Their battered old sign was still hanging off the side of the building.  I turned up and was greeted by a locked gate that held back a ferocious barking dog.  A tough guy walked up and asked who I was.  He wasn’t the dealer but he called through to the guy who was.  The dealer was another tough looking dude.  He put on a tee shirt and showed me two well used motors.  I grabbed one of them that had a sunroof (yay! A sun roof!) and he then agreed to take my car the next day as part exchange.  I gave him £50 deposit and then went home and ran a check on the car.  If I was to pay for the car, I wanted to be certain I was not taking on something with outstanding finance or was written off in an accident years ago.  The car was legitimate and so the next day I was driving a green Vauxhall Astra.

Well, that’s enough excitement for today.  I know for sure that this bedtime story will help me sleep well tonight.

Good ol’ 2014

You know, I really have nothing too much to worry about.

I mean, yes, I was in the Accident and Emergency department last week following a very bad fall when walking to work – boy, the pavement had this slippery film of mud running across it. I’ve also had to take Yasmin to and from hospital for an operation and Gloria is ready to book a back massage session as her back pain is getting worse. There was also the sudden bill of buying a new cooker when our previous machine developed an electrical fault – it was not in warranty as I got it second hand from a friend. Oh, and the Honda will need a new starter motor at some point…But, things are actually okay.

Yasmin was twenty-two this week and Gloria and I spent the evening with Yasmin and her boyfriend. Yasmin is moving out at the end of February to a place nearer to where she works so this will save her a lot of travelling time each week – something like four hours in total each week. Her boyfriend is also moving in with her but he will have a longer journey to work. Oh well, I don’t love him but I love Yasmin so I’m happy with how that’s turned out! 😉 She also has a brand new car which she chose a month ago. She took me along with her to help her decide. She’s asking me a lot of things: nowadays, my opinion on everything is important to her. Two years ago it was the opposite. About five years ago I was ruining her life, or so she said! It all works out in the end.

20131005_photo 5Anyway, must stop wasting your life with me saying that life seems okay at the moment. I always wake up happy, anyway. I believe that if I’m going to be miserable then the day has to have earnt my misery. :sherlock: <- Gee, I miss those MyOpera smilies. 😦

Seeing JLS at the O2 Arena and other December stories

As a number of you are aware, I am one of the last defenders of good music. (A bit less heckling at the back, please) Yes, I savour the delights of Talking Heads, Slipknot, Ryuichi Sakamoto and The Cure. And so, it seemed a big sacrifice when I agreed to accompany Gloria to see the penultimate performance by her favourite (boy) band JLS at the O2 Arena.

Well, the day arrived on the Saturday before Christmas. It started impressively for Gloria when I drove to the O2 Arena in London guided by the Navigation App on my ancient Android smartphone. I eventually slipped up to the carpark barrier where I had prebooked a parking spot – valid up until 10am the next morning – and the barrier greeted me by name and opened automatically. She was really impressed by that automatic number plate recognition thing. As I work in IT, I took it in my stride.

We were at the front of the queue waiting to get in and Gloria needed to go off to find a toilet. I had in her absence started speaking to a lady and her ten year old son. This was in spite of me being the only person in the whole of the O2 that day to be wearing a Slipknot tee-shirt. Being the wind up I am, when Gloria rang my mobile ‘phone to say she was just coming back I told the boy that it was Marvin from JLS ‘phoning me to say he had just finished his tea of sausage and mash and to ask whether I could still drive him home after the concert. He didn’t believe me, but the girl behind me – who I guess was fifteen years old – did!

There were three support acts – the best of which was a lady called Hatty Keane. However, she ruined it all with her scanty clothing and provocotive dancing. Predictably, she kept calling her act a show of girl power. Why do women dance in a come-and-get-it-boys way and then call it girl power?

Oh, check out what it looks like when a load of JLS fans hold up little lights that are not cigarette lighters! 20131221_201700

Well, I did enjoy the JLS show. In fact, I will say that had I never heard them before I would have enquired about them afterwards on the strength of ‘The Club is Alive’. The original single is very annoying but live it sounded fabulous. This was definitely a track that should never have been recorded and only ever performed live.

On Christmas Day, we entertained my stepdaughter’s boyfriend for lunch. He came bearing gifts of snacks as his mother decided that he should not turn up empty handed. I managed to set off the smoke alarm at one point making a Christmas Day cooked breakfast – I know that you’d all expect nothing less!

Saturday was babysitting with my Mum at my sister’s house and playing with my great-niece who was also there. I’m in my element with young children and I’m especially happy to have more nieces than nephews. Somehow, children talk to me on my level!

And how will I see 2014 in? With a glass of something alcoholic and Gloria, of course.

Thank you all for being my friends in 2013. Unfortunately, I’m still hanging around next year. You can’t get rid of me that easily.

From MyOpera to where?

‘Bye ‘bye, MyOpera.  For a few years MyOpera has been the place to be.  It was there that I posted into the World famous “Depressing Music, Dark Literature and Positive Thoughts”.  My elderly Honda Civic became an international star and I topped the Google searches for slot-o-bronze arcade machines.  It was there where I both blogged and enjoyed some very entertaining blogs from a group of witty and humourous people.  However, recent months has seen the MyOpera platform wane until the inevitable announcement came that Opera have given up on us.  They will shut MyOpera in March 2014.

Well, they can take our blogging platform…but not our souls (or something like that).

So, here is the initial post of my new blog.  Not very exciting yet as this first blog is not very much more than a place marker.  Hopefully, a few of my old buddies will find me on WordPress or Google+.  For the time being I will be publishing much the same thing on both platforms.  After that…we’ll see.