Tuesday 3 February 2009

February snow

Originally uploaded by A Simple Man
February seems to bring a lot of snow. Allegedly, when I was born, the streets were knee high with snow for two weeks. I thought I was born in Edgware, North West London, but my parents paint a picture akin to the Arctic.

We've had a lot of snow in the last 36 hours. Sunday night saw the first flakes before we woke up to a sea of white.

Being Britain, the country was closed was all of Monday. Not a single London bus ran for yesterday's rush hour, 1 in 5 people took the day off work, tubes were down for the morning and thousands of schools were closed.

God bless Britain.

That meant I had the day off too. In my defence, I did get up at my normal time, showered, got ready then looked out of the window and thought that there was no way my car was leaving the end of my street, let alone getting up the hill beyond.

So, after a flurry (geddit!) of phone calls, official confirmation came through that if it was too dangerous to get into school, don't come. Later that day, we were told not to bother coming in today either. I'm not complaining.

I spent yesterday building a snowman with my dad and brother. Three grown men rolling huge spheres of snow up the street wasn't something I thought I'd see when I woke up that morning. The result was well worth it.

Luckily, we live well off the main road so any young rapscallions looking to kung-fu kick the newest addition to the family will be hard pressed to find him.

Right, time for a cuppa. Phil and Fearne are genius on This Morning. I wish I could cackle like Phil...sigh.

Monday 10 November 2008

I'm useless - it's official

Please, don't argue the point...I said, don't argue the point. Sod you, then.

I'm finding the whole concept of blogging incredibly difficult to keep up with. How do people
a) find the time?
b) find the time?

I mean, for example, I'm busy watching Time Team at the moment and am forced to type at the same time as Baldrick's making a very interesting speech about some mud, or something. I still love this show.

We're currently rehearsing for our 'Seasonal Entertainment' at school right now. (That's Political Correctness for 'Christmas show' - sssh, I don't want to offend the Grinch's of the world.) Yes, I know it's November 10th. And yes, I know we started preparing for this way back in September, but the ruddy show will be shown to parents on Friday.

I can't remember the last time I taught an English lesson, what with all these rehearsals. I miss English lessons.

Thursday 31 July 2008

And the beat goes on...

Greenford Road disco
Originally uploaded by Route79
It's always a privilege to see others thinking of my rather mundane life. Over the last few months, I've had a couple of people say that they're enjoying reading this ramble on life. I thank you for your kind words, although I am worried for you as you really should have better things to do with your days than read this random muck.

I've had a few readers come through from my Flickr site, too. Flickr is a photo and video uploading site that enables you to (it's obvious when you think about it) share photos and short video clips with the online community (see, told you). If you haven't seen my page, why? Here it is, you lazy sods: http://www.flickr.com/photos/asimpleman/

The video I've posted here has been filmed by the inspiration for my Flickr photoset, Route79. (He's strangely obsessed with the Route 79 bus service that runs here in North West London. Don't worry, he is normal. Ish.)

The clip is based on the fact that Route79 takes the same route as I do to work and that I have now made it my mission to look out for this random man carrying out his filming whilst on my drive in.

Here, he has chosen to video the last section of the journey I take, added The Whispers' 60s disco classic 'And The Beat Goes On', highlighted the beauty of Greenford Road (most particularly the Texaco petrol station - a must-see for any tourists in the area) and even sped up the video a tad in order to catch the road I turn into.

If anyone else wishes to pay homage, I'll happily accept cash gifts.

And to see how a real blog should be written, check out Route79 and his Flickr site:

Wednesday 30 July 2008

Pointless pursuits

Which club to use?
Originally uploaded by A Simple Man
There are many things that happen in life, for which there seems to be no rhyme nor reason...

such as why your queue in Asda is always slower than the one next to you. Switch queues and your old queue goes faster;

such as why men feel the need to show off their podgy, pasty chests with the merest hint of sun;

or why someone ever told Shane Richie that he could turn up on my TV screen. The man's a lemon.

Another one to add to the list is the whole point of the game of golf. I do not understand it.

Every few months, I feel the need to brush down my brother's clubs and take them out for a round. My reasoning is always based around the fact that it's a lovely day, so I should make the most of it by spending a few hours with just greenery and me. I'd be better off sitting in Homebase.

From the moment I tee off (look at me with my technical speak), I see people hurriedly putting up umbrellas to prevent themselves from being permanently maimed by the projectile lumps of earth that I carve out of the ground with every shot.

I usually take along a friend to make me feel even worse about my lack of aptitude for the game. Whereas they seem to have an invisible fishing line reeling their ball towards the hole, my ball always seems adamant on exploring areas of the green that man hasn't set eyes on for the last millenia.

These areas largely consist of pointy branched trees, stinging nettled patches of grass and the bottom of ponds. Bill Oddy, eat your heart out mate.

I'll get to the end of a hole, which should have been completed in three shots, swearing under my breath as my attempt was closer to fifteen. And even then I chose to give up as the pair of golfers behind us had resorted to pitching up a tent and starting a camp fire because I'd taken so long.

It really is a pointlessly frustrating game. So frustrating that I'm not going to get back those hours spent rooting around in undergrowth.

So frustrating as that lump of earth has now been been projected into space, to orbit the Mir Space Station, never to fit into the patchwork of green from which it once came.

So frustrating that I'll find myself trying to get the better of it very, very soon...

Saturday 19 July 2008

Six weeks to get back on track

Right, this is pathetic. My blog was meant to be interesting, up-to-date, humorous and a generally nice way to pass a minute or two.

So far, it's succeeded in being poorly maintained. That's about it.

I've got six weeks to put it right. That's because it's summer holidays!

For those of you who don't know me (and quite frankly, not many people do. I'm somewhat of an enigma. Or should that be an enema?), I'm a primary school teacher.

Six weeks holidays are what every teacher looks forward to after busting a gut to get the kids through the year. All those early starts, late evenings marking and preparing and weekends lost due to flippin' paperwork all melt into insignificance when you have this time on your hands.

What to do with it, though? Well, being completely disorganised, I haven't actually booked a trip anywhere. As I scan the holidays online now, it seems as though I'll be paying through my bottom to actually afford anywhere overseas that at least doesn't have a chavvy family in the room next door, or where the streets don't smell of British wee and vomit. Tenerife, that means you.

I'm in work on Monday though. Tidying up and prepping for next year. Those six weeks are never what it says on the tin.

Saturday 29 March 2008

Hair today, gone tomorrow

I went to get my hair cut today. That's usually quite a traumatic experience for me. Over the last three years, I've probably visited about fifteen different barbers/stylists in order to get a cut that I like.

Some places are cheap, others expensive; some places take four hours for a cut, others take seven minutes; some places use only scissors; others use nothing but clippers.

I work in a school and my colleagues regularly comment on the amount of effort I put into making my hair look good. Note: colleagues, not five year olds, before you start getting all smart.

Some would call it vanity. So would I.

I believe that hair says a lot about a person. Hair should look good. Just because it's a load of dead cells protruding from the top of your head, doesn't mean you shouldn't care for it.

Which is why I wash and condition my hair every day. Sometimes twice a day for the sheer hell of it. I live life on the edge.

Then, I spend a good ten minutes getting it to look semi-decent (as long as the cut's done a good job) by manipulating it with a tub of 'Matt Paste', that costs the ridicuously exorbitent amount of £19.99 per tub.

However, today I saw that this excessive amount of effort with my hair could be starting to show. In today's financially astute world, I would liken what I saw today to 'negative equity'.

As the barber pulled the right-hand side of my hair back, I believe I saw a...I can't even bring myself to say it...a receding hairline.

I haven't checked again. I'm too scared.

This could be due to the excessive amount of attention that I pay it. It could be due to age - I'm 29. Almost past it, as many of my younger friends regularly say. The gits.

Either way, I'm worried. I'd rather have the Ebola virus than lose my hair.

To deny the symptoms to myself is the only way that I can live with this condition. So, from now on, I shall only be concentrating on looking at the left hand side of my head of hair.

The right hand side is evil and doesn't deserve any attention whatsoever. Evil, I tell you...

Monday 24 March 2008

Best Men shouldn't have to write. We're the best.

My best friend's getting married in two weeks. I'm joint best man, with one of his friends from his work-days.

I spent four ruddy hours writing a speech today. I thought the internet would help. It just gave me dodgy jokes that Jim Davidson would have used, circa 1984.

The trouble with using the internet for something like this is that everyone uses it. Therefore, you run the risk of regurgitating a speech that people have heard in drips and drabs at all the weddings that they've ever been to.

I, however, have never been Best Man and this is only the second Christian wedding I'm going to so it's all new to me. Even if I heard jokes from Bobby Davro's stand-up act from 1987, it wouldn't make the blind bit of difference to me as it'd all be fresh material to my ears!

Writing this speech has been difficult as I can't be rude, nor can I mention any of the groom's past 'misdemeanours'. It's like I'm writing for someone who doesn't really exist.

This must be what it's like when you work for a politician.

I'm going to test the water with the speech with colleagues at work this week. I expect quite a few re-writes as even I'm cringing at some of the gags that have been thrown in there, and I wrote the ruddy thing...