The Gym – Satan’s Second Home

Writing

Not much of the athletic type, the only way you’ll get me running is in the opposite direction from you if you start going into a long-winded spiel about the weather or how you’re deeply madly in love with your cousin twice removed for that matter.

With that being said, I think my wispy body has been in desperate need of a bit of toning up, my mind continuously screaming out for a hit of dopamine, the kind only garnered after you’ve expelled every drop of blood, sweat and tears out of every orifice in thine very body. In other words – exercised.

With the intrinsic pep talk echoing in my ear one evening after I found myself binging my way into a diabetic coma, I decided to finally muster up the courage to face the embarrassment and shame of my noodle arms shaking under the tremendous pressure of a 5 lb dumbbell, (heaven forbid I tried deadlifts). I remember that first night as if it was yesterday (really it was a week ago but who’s counting), entering the gym felt more like entering an amphitheatre full of lions. Men built like bison, muscles bulging through their over-washed teeny weeny v-neck vest tops. I couldn’t place a bet on which would be first to rip, their crop tops or the vein in their thick thick necks from the gargantuan amount of strain which could have only surmounted in weight to easily 102.5 of my very self. A double take at that weight-lifting carry on was enough to have me retreat as any gym newbie does, by scuttling to the corner of the gym and onto a treadmill. From which I’m reaching for the oxygen tank like a chain smoker on death’s door, after all of 10 mins on the thing. I’ve gotten better though in my 5 days of attendance so far. I no longer use the treadmill, I attend the classes, which is the best solution if you’re like me and don’t have a clue how to use any of the gym equipment and don’t feel like losing a limb in the process of trying to use a weight machine only to find out it has a second calling as a modern day guillotine. If you don’t believe me watch the move – Final Destination 3, I’ll say no more on that front.

So far I’ve done yoga, and a spin class, which tallying it up now sounds pretty lame, but considering the most exercise I ever did prior to a week ago was holding the door open for a tailgater in my apartment block, then I’m doing quite well, don’t you think?

Next up is barre and Afrobeats, the dancer truly truly lost within me will be be buzzing for these. I better bring my sweatbands. Wish me luck………….

Review: The Aeronaut

Writing

Not to be confused with ‘the astronaut’ this eccentric public house also doubles up as a theatrical extravaganza. From circus to stand up comedy and everything inbetween, why be on the moon when you could be poking somebody in the neck with a pickled frankfurter?

 

Atleast this is what I came to realise on my recent escapade to the Acton based watering house this Friday passed. Voted ‘best pub in west London’ by event ticketing website ‘design my night‘, I thought I’d pay it a visit to see if it really did stand up to this accolade.

 

Strolling up on that dark Friday evening with my lovely friend from university – Leo, we entered with great anticipation. Inside, it appeared to my eyes to be something similar to, if you know the scene, in Harry Potter when Professor Slughorn holds a glorious Christmas party in an outdoor tent. Well, this place, with arguably the same amount of magical enchantment donned a similar decor. With crimson and canary pinstripe material draped  throughout the walls of the main theatre area. And as if the outdoor beer garden wanted to adopt this lively pattern too, a continuation of the vividly coloured striping within each heated little cabin in the garden area took form also.

In the main bar section to the left of the theatre area was a spooktacular salute to all things Halloween. I could see clouds of cobwebs as thick as smog, so dense it put my own home’s to shame. I also spotted pumpkins carved into everything under the sun, from self-portraits to spinal cords. Stumbling further through the zany labyrinth I became aware of the volume of two mens’ voices, they were becoming distinctively louder, also equally alarming to the volume was the words they were saying with such conviction. Something like ‘shoot em’ again, shoot em’ again’ I almost froze in fear, if curiosity hadn’t got the better of me I probably would still be standing there now. With my beady eyes and increasing paranoia I turned the corner of the corridor of the pub expecting to see a crime scene infront of me, yet instead the real crime was done on my eyes as I seen before me the cumbersome movements of two grown men banging into the walls and eachother in such animated fashion. Turns out they were wearing VR (virtual reality) headsets playing what looked like some simulated version of Call of Duty.

With the investigation solved, Leo and I returned to the theatre. No sooner had we entered than were we greeted by a granny named Maggie, conversing with us in a thick brogue straight from the highlands of Scotland.. Little did I know soon Maggie would be taking to the stage to do her comedy act.

Before Maggie was to crack a few knock knock jokes, another lady came round to the table Leo and I claimed as our own for the 2 hour performance about to unfold. She asked us how exactly we were related to Maggie. At first her question bewildered me and then I realised oh it’s an interactive comedy, and that’s when the meatsweats started. Maggie the old bat, was part of the onstage comedy trio who would be performing a sketch inwhich the objective of the storyline was that some of the geriatrics would compete against eachother to be lead event organisers of their carehome, and it was our job their audience, soon to be mock family members , to take part in the ‘competition’ also on behalf of our elderly relative.

Leo naturally piped up saying with great conviction that we were to be Maggie’s grandmother, which is obviously a realistic family member to be to an 80 year old. So no sooner had we taken our seats than had the show began with the aim of the game being Maggie’s family would compete with Arthur’s family (the other old guy) in a range of interactive tasks in a bid to help their elderly relative win the coveted role of event planner.

The interactive activities included seeing who could wrap their partner up in a full roll of cellotape the fastest, guessing whether sausage or a finger poked you in the back of the neck (I had the pleasure of taking part in this one,  getting poked by some stranger’s sausage), putting tights on your partner without them using their hands the fastest and then consequently seeing how many objects you can stuff down those tights on your partner (someone got a chair leg in and suspended the chair in mid air, that must’ve hurt the crotch).

The winning team at the end got a bottle of Prosecco, and the fact that we went away empty handed is evidence that Arthur’s team won.

Would I go back again for a rematch? Definitely!

 

The only thing is, which is both good and bad about The Aeronaut is that their lineup of performance acts can vary so you may not see the same act twice. I guess what they give is a taster, an exhibition of quality talent, that if it impresses you enough you’ll go see them again wherever they perform.

I’ve booked my tickets for their upcoming comedy night, called ‘sketch n scratch’. Reminds of another saying involving scratching……

If you’re ever in Acton give them a chance to make a fool out of you, I’ve no doubt you’ll thank them for it!

 

When Will This Nightmare End?!

Writing

I feel like the whole world and its dog has chewed me up, sh*t me out and then sh*t on me that little bit more this last month. Yes, I  don’t just want you to cue the violins, I want you to cue the whole damn orchestra.

 

I think we all have times in our lives where life itself can momentarily get ontop of us. August has been a fine example of this for me. From moving homes, to fallouts with foes and everything inbetween, if ever I believed I was cursed, this past fortnight has been the time to prove it. Honesty, I thought this to  myself on several occasions inbetween the grossly overt wailing I would sporadically and wholeheartedly break into throughout random moments of the day. Sometimes even waking in the middle of the night to shed but a tear on my bedroom pillow before falling back to sleep by counting on my fingers the amount of money I owe relatives who pitied me in my debt-stricken days of 2019. 

 

Have I walked under a ladder, looked at a black cat the wrong way? I really wondered wtf have I done? You may think I’m being overdramatic but, you try having a month of the following:

 

Dusting Away Cobwebs Is Costly Work

Can I just start by saying this is animal cruelty, anyone who wants to whisk up a cobweb with a feather duster like it’s candyfloss on a stick needs to check themselves. Anymore cleaners try and eradicate the spiders, I’m calling animal rescue. You’ve been warned!

So basically having recently moved out of the other property I lived in for 2 years, we had to pay for professional cleaners, which definitely wasn’t my choice, but a contractual obligation put in subtly by the landlord and co. 

Anyhow, I know I’m not the tidiest but one thing that can be said is that I did everything humanly possible apart from clean the floors with my tongue when it came to making the place we were leaving look ‘presentable’. With this thought ripe in my mind I get a report and invoice quote from the cleaning squad or shall I say money launderers (hehe see what I did there).

In summary, the main issue with the cleanliness of the flat came down to ‘dust’, and the bill was over £350. I’m sorry but the last time I checked, a bit of dusting may give you a touch of tennis elbow but it certainly doesn’t warrant making you £350+ richer! Can I just add, before you start thinking I’m some filthy tramp, that dust was a common feature of the flat. This was due to the fact that, how can I say this, in comparison to this flat you would say there’s more ventilation in a vacuum. I’m surprised my lungs haven’t collapsed yet from the lack of air, thanks to the shitty perspex panel which basically prevents the opening of all bar one window in the living room. Hence dust gathers. You could dust the place at 9am tomorrow and by 1pm it’s looking like Pompeii.

Not because you’re a diabolical duster but because dust bunnies love a lack of oxygen. 

So at the mo I’ve basically got the boxing gloves on against the money launderers, demanding they reduce the cleaning fee. Wish me luck with this one, will ya!

macro photography of brown jumping spider

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

Late For Work Everyday This Past Fortnight

It’s one thing being late once or twice while trying to figure out your new route to work when moving homes, but it’s another thing making a habit of it. It’s not like I’ve actively went out of my way to sashay into work 20 mins after I should’ve for atleast 8 of the last 10 working days. I just didn’t realise that I’m such a slow (stroller) walker when it’s a sunny day and my route to the station involves a meander through a leafy park. I definitely need to pull my finger out with this one or I won’t have a job much longer. Then I definitely won’t have time to stroll through that pretty park as I’ll be queuing at the job centre instead seeing the not so pretty sight of the unpolished bald head infront of me in line. 

 

woman wearing white tank top sitting on bench

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

How The F*ck Do You Work The Hot Water?

One thing I hate more than loud neighbours when moving into a new place is trying to figure out how to use the heating system, be it for radiators or hot water. The manuals make me more confused after skim reading them than before. When it comes to electricity and bills I always have this unshakeable paranoia looming over me, like a dark cloud, that if I fondle one too many buttons on this heating system I’ll be forced to sell a kidney on the black market just to pay for the bill I’ve racked up by somehow setting the system to ‘on 24/7’.

 

My hair has never been as greasy, honestly it felt like I’d dipped my head in a vaseline tub for the past week. But not to worry, I managed to get the hot water working, I dont think its working correctly but at least I got hot water out of the boiler. Can’t wait to see the number of noughts on the electricity bill at the end of this month. 

Image result for royalty free picture of surgery

Good Will Jobhunting

So I’m currently doing maternity cover, from March this year till December. Great timing I must add, just in time for Christmas. Which means my family are getting f*ck all from me this festive season. 

Back on the grind I go, making my CV look painfully eager in demand for attention to match an overtly egotistical cover letter.

I don’t know what the most challenging element of the jobhunt is. Is it wording a good lie to make it semi-truthful on the CV? You know the one we all do like – ‘I spent a week watching others make pie charts on excel in my aunt’s workplace‘ that somehow evolves to the suped up statement on the CV of ‘advanced proficiency in all microsoft packages including excel, powerpoint and word.’ Hahah we’re all a bunch of Bullsh*tters! Or is it the cover letter which catches you out more? It’s one thing writing big bollocks sentences in bullet points onto a pdf, but it’s another finessing those words into a narrative which screams as the tinder version of the job world –  ‘you want me’.But before you make your choice, let’s not forget the old faithful to alot of employers – the job interview. Asses clenched, palms sweaty, we’ve all been there. I always hate when they ask – ‘so what attracted you to the role’ – ‘eh money you f*ck’ we all think to ourselves as we force out the blatant lie that we have a deep subliminal connection with this no-name startup.  

 

Speaking of awkward job interviews, I came across this poor geezer’s excerpt on reddit saying the following:

 

 “In a job interview I shook the employer’s hand and said ‘Hi, how are you?’ (exercising my assertive social skills) which would’ve been fine except that I said it at the END of the f–king interview.” — brend0ge

I mention this one and others on my radio show, if you wanna check those embarrassing stories out click here.

So as you can see from the above, life is going swimmingly, yes swimming in treacle really is a great way to pass the time. The above scenarios are  just the tip of the iceberg, and I’m sinking faster than the Titanic, infact faster than Jack did in the Titanic as he let go of the floating piece of plywood (we all know he could’ve held on let’s not kid ourselves). 

I hope your life is going well, that you aren’t in the middle of a job hunt or worse racking up a heating bill that forces you to sell your soul to the devil in a months time! I really do!

 

Why Are We So Messy?

Writing

If you’re a messy son of a b*tch like me then you should be shouting that fact from the rooftops, hilltops and every other kind of top out there. Wear your messiness like a medal of honour my friend. Let me tell for you why:

1. It boosts your immune system

Yes mouldy pots and pans are breeding grounds for bacteria. Which means sparring grounds for your little friend – the immune system. Exposing it to all types of bacteria will do you a world of good. If you’ve never had food poisoning in your life then thank your messy kitchen habits, don’t blame them!

Moving on!

2. You have time to do the important sh*t  

Why scrub the floors in your marigolds when you could be throwing ball with your son or catching up with old friends? Leave the spillage where it is! If someone falls on their ear, fate made it so, not you!!

3. Your blood pressure will thank you 

Anytime guests come over you won’t be running around like a headless chicken picking up the crumbs of the all butter shortbread you’ve just gave them with their cup of tea. If they drop a crumb it’s all good, the dust bunnies will nibble on it later. 

4. It feels more homely

 A home is meant to be a home not a live-in museum! Why would I want any guests feeling like they have to walk on eggshells for fear of accidentally knocking over my 16th century antique crystal? I want them to put their feet up and relax, nothing says relaxation like an already stained sofa, right?

“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

We All Do This…

Writing

Creatures of habit, copycats, primitive minds, call us what you will. The bottom line is that there are just some things we all can’t deny we’ve done atleast once in our lives, wouldn’t you agree with the below:

 

  • We’ve looked away so abruptly that we’ve almost given ourselves whiplash, so to make it obvious that we aren’t watching the person ahead of us at the checkout entering their pin number into the card machine.

 

  • We’ve let one go out in public and purposely played it off by giving our neighbour daggers so nobody thinks it was us. 

 

  • We’ve scurried around the supermarket aisles like some badass ninja playing peek-a-boo, all to avoid that formidable awkward encounter with the person from work/school who we don’t really like.

 

  • We’ve agreed in our own minds to completely avoid a person for eternity all because we didn’t have the balls to ask them to repeat their name for the 3rd time, so we’ve concluded that ever having to say bye to ‘mr. anonymous’  would just be too awkward.

 

  • We’ve all had to reread what we’d just read because we weren’t paying attention to what we were reading.

 

  • We’ve all been freaked out at night when home alone, don’t deny that you haven’t checked the doors are locked and looked under your bed for the serial killer. 

 

  • We’ve all used our fingers to do simple arithmetic.

 

  • We’ve all followed google maps on our phone, only to quickly realise it’s bringing us the wrong way. Haven’t you tried to play it cool by pretending to look in a shop window before abruptly making a u turn? Or are you one of those people who just attack the right-turn with conviction while muttering how sh*t google maps is under your breath?

 

It’s safe to say you’ve done at least half of the above, if not you’ve lived a very sheltered life and I feel sorry for you. 

 

Poem: A Human

Writing

A Human

A subatomic bunch of laughter and woes,

From our nose down to our toes,

We either grimace or glow.

Why are we here on this planet of blue sea and earth?

Does it own us?

Or do we own the world?

Brief is the time we get to embrace it.

You blink your eye,

and it’s gone, you’ve missed it.

Decades of memories have gone, they’ve passed.

All that’s now left,

a subatomic mass within grass.

 

How morbid am I?! Although it’s true, life is so precious because it’s so short. So as Horace so eloquently put it ‘carpe diem’!