Monday, 11 May 2015

Y is for YOUR FACE

So what does your face say about you and how much does your face affect the way other see you?

I really think a face can make a big difference in the way people are treated and that's pretty scary considering the fact that we have no control over it. It's genetic. So what kind of face do you have and how has it affected your life?

Personally I have a sneaky feeling that I have one of life's slappable faces. It's not the best face to have and it's nothing to boast about but it's just a conclusion I have come to. It comes from having 44 years of experience living on this small rock, smack bang in the middle of our solar system. I think I have one of those faces that screams out

Slap me

Laugh at Me

Go ahead, poke me, take the piss out of me as much as you want.

I am older now and balder and wrinklier than I used to be but basically I think I have the same Slap Me face that I have owned ever since I was a 6 year old. I have had to fight my corner for a long time but I think I have ample evidence that points to the fact that I have that face that people want to take the piss out of.

But there are other kinds of faces. Only a few hours ago I was out walking our Dog with my wife and we saw something that we both automatically pointed out and it started me thinking all about faces. We saw a women with a crying face.

Now what is a crying face?

Well I'll try to explain. A certain percentage of unfortunate people have a face that looks like they are about to burst into tears at the drop of a hat and most of them look like they are crying when they are talking or even laughing. It's a remarkable face really and it you look carefully the next time you are out in public I'm sure it won't take you long to find one. They pretty much stick out like a sore thumb. I don't have a crying face. I don't think I do anyway but maybe you have one? Nobody tells you what kind of face you have but it's one of those things you can work out for yourself.

Or you could have one of the other faces. You may have a pissed off face.

I feel sorry for pissed off faced people. They can't help it ( just like I can't help having a slappable face), but they have one and there's not a lot they can do about it. It's just that their normal, relaxed face, looks pissed off all the time. This kind of face is usually long but I have also seen small ones. They come in all shapes and sizes but I'm sure they are the type of people that  get asked all the time questions like

'What's up with you?'

'You okay?'

or they get the old nutshell

'Cheer up, it hasn't happened yet.'

The funny thing is they are usually not pissed off at all. They just have a naturally pissed off face. Poor bastards.

So if you get asked those questions a lot, the chances are that you have a pissed off face.

But the list is endless. There are smiley faces. Startled faces. Jack the Lad faces. Mean faces. Soft faces. Baby faces. Serious faces. Worried faces. To some extent we can all control our faces but most of the time we can't. We have no control over our resting face. Whether your resting face is a Slap Me face or a crying face like the girl we walked past earlier.

But one thing I'm certain of is that our faces probably have a big impact on the way we are treated and on how successful we are and maybe also on our chosen career pathway. When was the last time you saw a politician with a Slap Me face or a school teacher with a mean face? Or a vicar with a Jack the Lad face? So the next time you feel like a round peg in a square hole think about this for a moment?

Does your face literally not fit?

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

X Marks the Spot

Wouldn't it be great if we had a treasure map for our lives with a big X marking the spot?

Just like the birds seem to need a big X in my back yard so that they will eventually find the food I have provided for them! Yep they still haven't come anywhere near apart from one bird yesterday that was scared off by next door's cat. Maybe that's the problem. Next door's cat. She's hungry and cold half of the time. I am sure the poor thing isn't getting fed properly.

Okay back to the X. For the last few years I have felt lost. Completely lost. I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard stone. It's not a nice place to be. It's a lonely place, even though I have a supportive wife who doesn't really hassle me. I have the choice of either going back into nursing or staying hopelessly under employed. I have been trying to avoid going back into nursing but I don't seem to have a choice. Nobody wants to employ a guy in his 40's. It's either nursing or nothing, I can't really see an alternative. But I bloody hated it. I always felt like a square peg in a round hole but I can't see any way out. Nobody is placing a big X anywhere else. I have had a few opportunities over the last few months but they have all ended unceremoniously. So do I stay unemployed and miserable or go back into nursing and be miserable? Fucking great choice.

I took a leap of faith by getting out for the sake of my health and my sanity but it has backfired. I don't know how many people have ever been in the same position as me but it's horrible. Searching for a way out. I'm trying to work out whether to turn left or right but I'm going around in circles.

I think I've found the X but it's not where I want it to be. I want somebody from up high to move it somewhere else. So I can be happy. I want to be a round peg in a round hole.

Monday, 4 May 2015

W is for Who shot all the birds?

So come on hands Up. Who shot all the birds?

We live on a busy town road and I've been trying to attract birds into our back yard. We have our fair share of countryside around our town but essentially we live in an urban town where the only wildlife tends to wear short skirts, red lipstick and leggings. Our yard is tiny and so any prospective birds are going to have to put up with a makeshift bird table ( an outdoor shelving unit that I rescued from a skip), a bird feeder filled with seeds, some bread crumbs and a bowl of water. But I kid you not, I have not seen one bird anywhere near my 2 star bird cafe! In fact I think there are less birds now than there were to begin with!

Okay it's only been a few days so maybe I will get some eventually. I have read that it can take a few days or weeks to get birds to feed in a garden. But I am guessing that the main road at the front of the house is a stumbling block. So today I am waiting and waiting. I saw a few starlings nibbling on the ground in the back alley a few hours ago but my bird cafe is being ignored. What are they waiting for? Caviar? Worm soup?

But I'll hang in there. I will change the bread crumbs every day and wait for them to bite. Rome wasn't built in a day and I'd be happy with a pigeon. Anything is better than nothing.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

V is for Vanishing Spray

I'm a big fan of football. It started out out in 1981 when me and my Dad had a 50p bet over the F A  Cup Final between Man City and Tottenham. Before that I used to carry my Manchester United bag to school and back but I didn't really understand football at all. But that 1981 cup final changed my whole life. It went to a replay and I lost the best. Tottenham won and I was gutted but I couldn't sleep at all that night. I was too excited. I was kicking footballs around in my head.

But football has moved on a lot since then and I hate Manchester City now but love football more than ever. Even though in many ways the beautiful game is going downhill. I am sick of watching English football teams full of foreign players. Don't get me wrong, some of them are fantastic but I want to see our own young players playing for our top teams. And I'm also sick of seeing footballers rolling around like pansies every time somebody taps them on the shoulder. The game has changed but not always for the better.

And now we have goal line technology and hopefully soon we will have more technology introduced. But the best things are the simplest things. We now have vanishing spray. A new innovation so that referees can mark out the correct distance for the opposite team to stand when a team is given a free kick. It's been a wonderful but simple addition to our game.

But it got me to thinking. What would you do if you had a vanishing spray? What if you could disappear for a while?

I'm sure there would be lots of amazing uses. Would you nip into your local shop for a free loaf of bread or would you help yourself to the contents of the till? It would be incredible. It would probably be the best superpower ever. Invisibility, but just for little while. You could slip through the turnstiles of your favourite football team without being noticed or you could take as many free bus journeys as you wanted to.

I'm sure there are many seedier uses of a human vanishing spray. But where would you go? What would you do with it? Would you use it for the benefit of mankind or would you sneak into the nearest and most convenient women's changing room?

Would you be good or bad with your very own can of vanishing spray?

If I had a can of vanishing spray there are lot's of things I would do. I would watch Manchester United every week (I'd have the best seat in the house) and I'm sure I would help myself to a few free pints of lager and some nobbies nuts when nobody was watching.

I'd definitely be a little naughtier that I am now. Would you?

U is for Useless

Do you feel useless?

I do a lot of the time. I don't have many special talents or skills. I guess writing is the only thing I'm any good at but I don't know if I'll ever be good enough to sell any of my work.

Apart from that I don't know what I'm particularly good at.

I can't dance, I can't sing. My singing is so bad my electric shower needs an autotune attachment. I can dad-dance of course but that's as far as it goes for busting a move. I have always had this fear of dancing in public. I have more chance of busting a blood vessel than busting a dance move. I think it's hereditory. I come from a long line of bar stool foot tappers. If anybody was giving out prizes for that one I may stand a chance.

But I think I have this fear of doing anything in public. Leave me in a room of my own for a year and I will happily do anything but add a few people and I tend to lose all use of my legs and my arms and any other body parts that are needed. In a room of my own I can have a go at anything. But sadly we don't walk around with our own room attachments. If we did I'd be a lot more successful as a human being.

I think that's my real problem. People. There's just too many of you bastards out there.

Anyway back to what I'm not good good at.

DIY. I am particularly useless at anything connected to DIY. I just don't think my brain is wired correctly when it comes to anything that involves a saw or a plug or a plank of wood or a hammer. I am particularly useless as operating a drill. If you ever see me holding a drill, be scared. Be really scared. I think it boils down to the fact that I'm not very Blokey. I've never understood the fascination with blokey things like cars or chainsaws or fart jokes. Maybe I'm a woman in a man's body in many ways. That's a scary thought. I'm not even really a tit man. God help me. If somebody gave me a screwfix catalogue you may as well give me a Vauxhall Astra maintenance handbook written in Latin.

So what am I good at? I'm okay at writing up to a point and I car drive a car without crashing it into the nearest lamp post. And I guess I'm a good listener and I can juggle with four balls. But I guess we are all useless at some things and okay at a few things. Maybe the trick is to stop thinking about the things you can't do.

I'm sure I am good at more things than I give myself credit for. So what are you good at?

Monday, 27 April 2015

T is for Thank You

I'd just like to take this opportunity to say thank you to some very special people. Saying thank you is cathartic don't you think?

When me and my wife first started out we lived on a council estate in an area of Wigan called Worsley Mesnes. Now Worsley Mesnes has always had a stigma attached to it like most council estates probably do. But that's not always fair, there are lots of wonderful people who live in council estates, it's just the odd few morons that give them a bad name. But I'd like to give a big shout out to some of the people that helped me when I lived there.

I met so many helpful people. I always remember the amazing scrap metal guys that lived in that area and how helpful they could be at all hours of the day and night. They would do anything for you. They don't limit themselves to removing old refrigerators and washing machines they even took our family car a couple of times. And both of those times were in the middle of the night. That's pretty dedicated. I mean I didn't even ask them they just came and took it away for me. The second time it happened they even left it in a field for me and redesigned the wing mirrors and took all the CD's that were always getting in the way. So a big thanks to them.

There were also a lot of artists in Worsley Mesnes. Often they would come along and write urban poetry on our walls and a few times they added special features to our windows for free.  I especially liked their cracked cobweb design that they did for our kitchen window. All for nothing as well. I can't thank them enough really. Where we live now we get none of that. My car sits on the side of the road and no bastard will take it for a night-time spin and not once has anybody even bothered to dent the body work for me. Lazy bastards around here.

Finally I'd like to thank all the guys at school that used to give me cool nicknames. I particularly loved being called Gay Lord and Snap and Puff. I was so lucky to have been given such cool names when most of the kids were just known by their surnames. They made me feel special. I also remember all the times they used to help me to look mean and moody. Looking mean and moody was important in that school, so a few bruises and plenty of black eyes really helped and it set me in good stead. So thanks.

Thanks a fucking bunch.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

S is for Smell

Noah is dead.

I want to fold myself up like a napkin until I can deal with this.

The dove is selfish and hasn't come back. She has thrown all the words into the sea and they have drifted to the bottom. Unlike me they don't have to hold their breath but are now useless and soggy and all the letters have been merged into a squiggle. It's just me and the animals now and I haven't got a clue how to steer this thing. I don't know how it happened. Maybe I left the book closed for too long and he died of starvation or some tropical dream disease. The animals are fine but they know what has happened and are in mourning. They haven't folded themselves up like me. But they didn't love Noah like I did. He was my life.

I think this boat is going to sink. I remember learning about a boat called the Titanic that sunk killing many people. I cannot remember how I learned it. It could have been in helmet or in the watching zone. We learn about lots of things without knowing we are learning them. It's how things work. But I know lots of people died and there weren't enough life boats. I think I am going to need a life boat for me and all the animals. We'll have tom leave Noah behind or I may have to throw him overboard because I can't leave him on board. He will start to smell and I don't want to remember him as a bad smell. maybe when I wake up he will disappear from this book, this dream, whatever it is.

Part of my WIP written for the A to Z challenge