Second Annual Review

19 Apr

Hello all!

Bit late with this years edition of my annual update on how I’m doing and all that. Sorry; I’ve been letting the blogging go a bit (which, in a sense, isn’t necessarily a bad thing), truth is I don’t really ever find the time. I felt bad about not updating you all on my Netflix usage over October like I said I would; turns out Breaking Bad is very good, but I found it a struggle to just watch telly all day, so I just gave up. I envy telly critics – they seemingly have the easiest job in the world, but watching any serious amount of TV must send you totally fucking crazy.

This being a second annual review, stands to reason there must have been a first at some point, roughly a year ago. And indeed there was! You can read it here. Not a very long post, and remarkably difficult to write – I was very emotional, possibly even crying at points when I wrote that. However, I set myself relatively low standards for the year. Let’s see how I got on…

WORK: “Well, compared with two years ago, I am happy enough in my work. I now work with people of roughly my own age again, the job is tolerable, and I can survive on what I’m paid. This said, compared with last year, it is a huge step back, and I would like to continue the forward momentum I had built up at some stage… I expect to be in a similar job (or worse, or unemployed) for at least the next twelve months.”

I’ve pretty much nailed this one. At time of writing, I have avoided unemployment. I went for internal promotions, and a few other jobs, all knocked back, but I’m still in the same job. For someone who (unfairly) has a reputation for changing jobs on a regular basis, it’s encouraging. The company I work for have a career development scheme which they’ve put me on, which is a positive. I hope to make the best of this over the coming year, and move on up within the company rather than look for work elsewhere.

Hopefully a pay rise will follow in the next year; I won’t disclose precicely what I earn, but it’s less than the first ever job I had after university, and that wasn’t a lot.

Taken about an hour or so ago (April 2014). No beer :-(

Taken about an hour or so ago (April 2014). No beer 😦

Out at the Bier Halle, Gordon St, Glasgow, with some pals from work

Out at the Bier Halle, Gordon St, Glasgow, with some pals from work. June 2013

On the plus side, not having a lot of money has it’s fringe benefits (see right):

Work was only one worry I had back in 2013. At time of writing, I’ve been single for I forget how long. Scarred mentally by previous relationships, last year I was as pessimistic as usual. I done wrote this:

FRIENDSHIPS: “Well, I don’t honestly see a difference really in the last two, or indeed several years really. I am fond of a lot of people, just as I hope they are fond of me, but I am not particularly close to anyone. This does seem to be a continuing frustration in my life. I hope this gets better. Love-live is still zero, and sadly I forecast that to be the same over the coming year.”

In a sense, I fear that this has gone backwards in the last twelve months. I don’t see my pals as often as I used to, and I am, in a sense, spiralling into the same old depression that has plagued me over the years (see blogposts passim, and my twitter feed on a drunken Friday night). I would say that I literally do not know how to make friends. Over the last couple of years, I have joined a couple of organisations (namely the Lib Dems and CAMRA), primarily with the intention of meeting people with similar interests. I don’t think I’ve made a single friend whilst being a member of the Lib Dems, likewise CAMRA. (Important caveat here: Most people I know in ale drinking circles I knew prior to joining CAMRA; If you’re reading this then you’re more than likely one of them, and I don’t mean you!). Now, one could be cruel at this point and state that membership of Britain’s least popular political party, coupled with membership of a very narrow-focused consumer campaign was never going to be a winner as far as popularity goes, but at the moment it really does feel like I’m going backwards when I didn’t think that was even possible.

As for (sexual) relationships; I won’t be in one over the next twelve months. That’s a cast iron fucking guarantee right there. No point in analysing the last twelve months because nothing happened, and nothing will. So let’s move on, shall we?

FAMILY: “Compared with a few years ago, my relationship with my own family has improved slightly; though with the exception of my mother, I don’t really speak to them all that often. In fact, the primary communication tool these days seems to be game requests on Facebook games. This is a definite area for improvement in 2013.”

There was no improvement in 2013. Me and my mum still speak once a week on the phone, I may occasionally get a text message off my eldest younger sister, a facebook message off my youngest sister, and hardly any communication off the other two. Me and my dad will email each other occasionally… that’s about it. That said, looking back on what I typed up last year, my relationship with my family must have been a bone of contention – I’m not sure that it is now. I love my family dearly, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve never been all that close to them, and I can’t for the life of me think why I put this down. Naturally, I hope that I am able to continue cordial relations with my parents and siblings into 2015, but I don’t necessarily want closer ties. I like that we are a relatively independent, free thinking bunch. Closeness will just lead to unnecessary drama and squabbles, and I’m best off out of that.

Lastly, but by no means leastly, was the vague category of “Hope”.

HOPE: “Unfortunately, this is the one area which scores particularly badly; unfortunately, having considered all things, I see last year as a bit of luck coming my way for once; sadly, I see my general trajectory heading south.”

HA! Boy, was I wrong on that one?! I was overly pessimistic last year. All in all, it’s been a mildly positive year – the job I do, due to an organisational change, became a lot more tolerable. I have lost a lot of weight which I wasn’t expecting to do. My health has probably never been better. However, it’s not all been a positive year. I feel a lot more fragile than I used to. One of my favourite character traits is, as a kid/teenager/young adult, no matter how many times I got knocked down, I would get up again. I had a bit of fight in me. Not any more. These days I just want a quiet life. I avoid conflict and, in doing so, people. I’m a lot lonlier than I was last year, and that was an area that I thought I’d hit rock bottom.

So what for next year? Well, again, I’m going to end on a pessimistic tone, sadly. I think my job (touch wood!) and my health will continue to improve over the coming months. I am aiming to have a size 32″ waist by June the 25th (my 32nd birthday) – I am currently a size 36″. We will see how that one goes. If I am successful, I will have gone from a size 42″ to 32″ in twelve months. Still, I’m not going to starve myself. My health, as it were, is the most important thing; there’s no point in wearing smaller trousers if I’m in a fucking hospital.
However, I don’t envisage 2014 being all plain sailing; even if I do lose further weight and get a better job; this is all about my overall quality of life, and I fear that I am not far off rock bottom at this point. I fear that I am in danger, a real danger, of relapsing into the mindset I had late 2010/early 2011 (see earlier blog posts) – and that’s not somewhere I want to be. 2014 will be a year where I perilously straddle the tightrope of having suicidal thoughts and not succumbing to them. I hope I remain as successful in the year to come as I have been so far.

And don’t mention the fucking football.

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Angela Eagle, Hypocrite.

8 Dec

Here’s Labour Shadow Leader of the House of Commons on Danny Alexander visiting a foodbank.

All good points, perhaps Danny should’ve been a bit more sombre. Not his best photo.

But wait, hold on a minute, what’s this?

Image

That wouldn’t be Angela Eagle, MP, visiting a food bank and SMILING, would it? Well, no. Technically, this is a distribution centre for many food banks in the North West of England. You can read more here, on her own website (presuming she doesn’t take it down).

Shameless plug

24 Oct

I have been interviewed (or should that be Anterviewed) by Twitter chat show host @MillwallAnt. If you follow the following link, you get to hear us talking about the Catford Cat, Glaswegian cuisine, and Schrodinger’s Rugby League Football Club, amongst many other things! What’s not to like?

You can listen here.

Netflix October

29 Sep

I know it’s been quiet around these parts of late. Fact is, I’ve not had a lot to say recently. I still don’t, to be honest. Wanna know what’s happening right now? Well, I’m not sure if I’ve got a hangover, a cold, or both for starters. I’m going off to work in a bit. Might make a cup of tea in a minute – but then I might not! That’s the kind of care-free life I lead.

However! All this is about to change. For one month, this will become a diary of sorts. 

In a nutshell, I am taking a month off work  as I have hardly used any annual leave this year, and I’m weary that if I don’t use it, I’ll lose it. That said, I don’t have anything amazingly pressing to do this month, save a couple of weekend breaks down to England that I’m planning (hello Liverpool and London). So, I’ve decided to do the only sane thing that you can do with a month off work, I’m going to join Netflix, take advantage of their free months trial, and fill me proverbial boots.

It’s been a long time coming, frankly. Too often do I find myself at work finding myself having absolutely no opinion on any tv or film because I haven’t seen it. Star Wars? Not a clue. Breaking Bad? Something about crystal meth. Arrested Development? That’s the story of my life! (but seriously, never seen it.)

I have a lot of catching up to do, and I plan on spending next month doing that. What I hope to do is post daily updates detailing what I’ve watched. I might pop in a review or two as well, who knows?

To all my friends, family and colleagues in the real world, I will leave my flat occasionally. Please note that I am not dead, but watching a classic movie or something. If you need me, my mobile will be on. 

See you all on the other side!

*I say I’ve got a month off. It’s October 2 to October 31 that I’m actually away from work. However, I will set up Netflix from the first and do a mini-post after work.

Video

Will Vs Hamburger

18 Aug

I’ll be blunt. I hate these new fangled burger joints, and the fact that these gourmet burgers cost about a tenner and are cold by the time you get to eat them. As such, I have recorded a short instructional video on how to make your own burgers at home, for a fraction of the price (about a pound per quarterpounder). Enjoy!

*EDITORS NOTE* Due to technical issues, the video cuts out towards the end. All you need to do is split the big lot of meat into two (or four!) smaller lumps of meat, and then flatten them. Flatteners are available from most good high street retailers for about £79.99 if you don’t have one at home.

Having eaten the burgers now, I can confirm that they were good, but I recommend shallow frying them, as the George Foremanator made them dry and rubbish.

A Brief History of Science

20 Jul

c. 3500 BC – The first known recording of a wheel and axel style device.

c. 700-200 BC – The age of the Greek Philosophers. An era of methodological truth seeking, from which the natural sciences would later be born.

c 150 AD – It is discovered that the Earth is the centre of the universe. Hurrah!

13th Century – we found out why rainbows *really* happen

14th Century – Occam’s Razor – often bastardised to “the simplest solution is the most preferable”, this is the idea that when a phenomenon has two explanations that are equally valid, the shorter one is better.

1543 – it is found that the earlier assumption, that everything revolves around the Earth, is bunkum. Whoops. Rather, the Earth and other planets rotate about the Sun. (other Solar Systems may vary)

1675 – Micro-organisms are observed for the very first time.

1687 – Isaac Newton publishes Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, detailing amongst other things, his theory of universal gravitation. It is unknown when (or, indeed, if) Newton saw an apple fall from a tree leading to a eureka moment.

1751 – Benjamin “Benny-Boy” Franklin discovers that lightning is actually electricity that comes from the sky.

1831 – Michael Faraday discovered that, as well as from the sky, you can get electricity by induction, leading to work later on electromagnets, hence dynamos, and from there generators and power stations.

1859 – Charles Darwin hypothesizes that we are descended from apes, and that rubbish species die out.

1929 – The Big Bang theory for the creation of the universe was devised by top Belgian Georges Lemaitre, who ironically was also a Catholic priest. 

1953 – DNA was invented. That’s right, invented.

1997 – Dolly the Sheep, the worlds first cloned animal, was born (or produced?)

2001 – After only 48 years, the human genome is fully mapped.

2012 – The Higgs-Boson, the so-called “God Particle”, is discovered underneath the Switzerland-Italian border in a pipe.

2013 – I fucking love science on Facebook finally drives me to complete fucking distraction, causing me to set fire to my laptop and throw it out of my window onto a passing bus.

Hello!

1 Jul

Is this thing on?