Good day to you, readers! It’s the post vacation, post Bank Holiday, back to work edition of my blog. Some might, however, call it, the ‘about bloody time edition, Lee’! I would, however, prefer, if I may, use the more modern and fashionable phrase, the ‘just in time edition’.
Buckle yourself in, folks. Take a deep breath and start the uniquely mysterious experience of a Onein300 post!
But this week, beware. Expect some redacted expletives and a real life ongoing manhunt for an absolute scoundrel and bounder!
Like many of you, we have been lucky enough to get away on some short mid-pandemic travels and of course planning is advised. Well, it is at least for the sensible amongst us! I am sure some people would forget their own head if it wasn’t screwed on!
Checklists are central to an enjoyable, stress free and above all, good spousal relation’s time away. If one manages to get to the end of the road still talking, that’s an achievement, I say! That’s why I always take a belt, braces and string approach. I even have a last minute checklist before rollating out the back door and the final lock up! Here is a segment of my most recent list…
Similar to yours? No?! Why not? Disorganised, are we?! I’ll let you mull over the fuzzed out item, and perhaps even the security cup! All I would say is a security cup or two is the done thing these days!
The eagle-eyed of would have spied the ginger nuts! These vital things are a new addition to my lists recently. Why?
Well, with my MND, I do choke now and then or get food stuck at the top of my throat. I have discovered the best way to ‘chase’ down these pesky and nasty remnants is with a nice biscuit and a drink! And ginger nuts are the perfect texture!
Although not comical really, I can be heard occasionally blurting
I…… neeeedrdd a ging, gi, ginger…….nu…. Nu…. Nut, no …GIVE ME A ******* GINGER NUT NOW!
So ginger nuts always make the first team sheet.
One of the great joys of life, and frankly going away on vacation, is the art of people watching. Come on you lot, we all know you love doing it? As we get older, wiser and frankly more smug, what others say in public certainly keeps the laughing muscles working!
So many stories. It’s truly the gift that keeps giving and it is good for my own mental health I needed to get back to the joy of watching others make complete fools of themselves! Often when we go in a cafe, for example, I can spot the interesting ones to watch a mile off and we are drawn to them, like flies. Recently in London we decided to stop for a coffee in an obscure area of Covent Garden. We sat down near a guy who was obviously interviewing someone for a job. It was to be an absolute classic of people watching and we were duly rewarded with lots of hilarious statements by the loud interviewer. So much so in fact, that we had to order 2 coffees for an extended entertaining stay!
Can I get you anything else?
2 more coffees please, but shhhhhhush please, we are trying to listen to those two guys!
All this talk of coffee and biscuits takes me back to my working days in the tech industry, visiting clients. I had favourite and not so favourite accounts. I knew a meeting would go well depending on the offer of coffee and biscuits and, of course, their quality. It was a great predictor.
No coffee was almost a guarantee of no deal! After a 6 hour round drive, yes, that used to be frustrating, but hey, you win some, you lose some! It was real character building stuff.
I remember once, a lovely client bought me a giant coffee in a takeaway cup which I then juggled along with my laptop bag (huge things back 20 years ago) to his desk. His table, a typical 1990s circular affair was covered in his hard work for his early start, books and papers. I took my laptop bag from off my shoulder, skilfully handling the giant cup of coffee with the other. Or so I thought. The lid was blooming loose and the whole thing fell on to his table. It might as well have been a trash can of dirty rain water for the carnage it caused! What a mess! From that day onwards I have always had a small cup!
Keeping on the subject of coffee. When in London recently we did wander into the Nespresso shop in Piccadilly Circus. It’s is a beautiful work of art, and as an Ambassador client, and effectively the local ‘county lines dealer’ for the South of England I was welcomed with open arms.
They even cleared the shop of the hoi polloi, so we could have a personal shop. One hesitant customer resisted. He was quickly and sharply, whisked into the room containing a giant rotating capsuling machine! We then heard the device start up and this awful, awful wailing. Sounded like it needed oiling, perhaps? We never did see the reluctant customer again and then the boss man suddenly appeared saying…
Señor Millardo, welcome!
We left with some complementary new, strangely vermillion coloured, capsules!
That’s it for this week. Back soon with more tales from hopefully a more truly post pandemic world. But if not, just tales.
Oh, the deleted expletives?! I nearly forgot. I have toned this down a bit, as yes it was a rant, but it needs to be said. I have also deleted the deleted expletives! Apologies for that! But why not play a game and guess how I first wrote this section, words used etc?
The following story is the real reason why this post is titled ‘taking the biscuit’!
Before going away recently, I had the extreme displeasure to meet possibly the most miserable person in the world!
Oh! I hear you all say, man of supreme calmness, please tell what got you into such of a lather?!
Well, as a lot of you are probably aware I ride a recumbent trike because of my MND. Here it is to remind you. Yes, it is a sun lounger in summer!
Part of my regular circular route is on a beautiful and wide sea wall, on which, yes, strictly cycles are not really allowed. However, I have ridden the route many times. The trike is effectively my wheelchair. I always go at a snails-pace on the wall and very often get into fascinating discussions with walkers regarding my bike and what a marvel it is for disability.
However, on this day I was out cycling early at about 8am. It was quiet. As I was going on to the wall, with my MNDA water bottle on full display, this oldish, grey haired, grey bearded sea faring type gentleman suddenly stood in my way, crossed his arms and told me I should not be on the wall. I politely explained about my disability, terminal disease, creeping paralysis etc and yet he still said..
That’s no excuse!
Anyway, I made the comment all of you would have expected me to make (but with no expletives, I absolutely promise you) and carried on my merry way as that strange guy on the odd velocipede! Such ignorance is like water off of a duck’s back to me these days. However, a few days later I received the same treatment from the same guy!
To cut a long story (as it’s not yet complete) short, I have decided to hunt down this varmit and challenge. I am a stoic type but a lot out there in the disabled world are not and on encountering such discrimination and plain right nastiness might be really upset.
Let’s start with with what I know;
Grey hair, grey beard, shabby, unkempt and unpleasant.
I asked an acquaintance, who will remain nameless, if he knew anyone who matched the description as I believed my friend belonged to the same local recreational club, associated with boats, as the culprit.
Sounds like half of the current members!
was his response!
Despite this devastating knowledge, my hopes were revived when I was suddenly offered a lifeline.
I was sent a photo of a person that could be a potential suspect. After very close analysis, the image was actually of a man who I now understand to be a gent apparently named Gandalf, played by an actor, Sir Ian McKellen, from a moving picture reel called Lord of the Rings or something or other! It was a very good lead at first as this guy had the same evil piercing stare. The complete absence of the shimmering lance in real life should have warned me, and so the search goes on………
Breathe, calm and I am back in the room.
I am determined to bring him to onein300 justice or at least arrange a brisk, but gentle, keelhauling, as I think they call it in seafaring lingo. But, readers, I will have probably settled down before then and accepted him as a friend who has just transgressed and needs to be shown some love, given a good shave and trim! On the other hand…….?