Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I believe I can fly

Alright chumps?

My very first blog post in November 2011, was to announce that I would be taking part in NaNoWriMo (http://nanowrimo.org/). That is, the challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

In fact, the entire point of this blog was to track my writing progress.


It's not really my fault that my real life is more comical and ridiculous than any fiction I could produce is it? If people would stop throwing ketchup at me from their car, letting me fall over, taking photos of my weird running face and sleeping on the tube, I'd probably be a renowned author by now.


But just in case there is a remote chance that I'm responsible, I'm going to do NaNo this year. Yet another attempt to see if this writing lark is for me or not. Probs not.

I really do need a new dream, just in case, a set of aspirations waiting in the wings.

GingerBeard once got a bit annoyed that we were getting too old for certain jobs:

'I can't be a professional football player anymore.'

Me: 'Yes, but you never wanted to be one.'

GB: 'And I can't be an astronaut anymore.'

Me: 'Since when did you want to be an astronaut?'

GB: 'No, I don't want to be either. The point is that if I wanted to be, I couldn't be.'

And this is why I don't understand Gingers.

Just to spite him, my back-up dream will now be to conquer outer space. On the NASA website, it explains that their correct name is space sailors, which I prefer. I think it would give me instant cool at parties. I am always searching for instant cool.

Basic requirements for an Astronaut Pilot include the following: 

1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics. An advanced degree is desirable. Quality of academic preparation is important. 

What's quite annoying, and very surprising, is that Ginger has achieved the first basic requirement. I don't think I'm far off with my Creative Writing degree, because I have probably written stories which include maths etc.

2. At least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Flight test experience is highly desirable.

Now, initially that sounds like a lot of hours, but I've worked out that if you fly constantly, you can do this in 41.6 days. It also says that you should be in command, but does not stipulate that being asleep stops you being in command. Maybe you can just hang around in the cockpit of an Easy Jet flight looking serious for a bit?

I don't know what flight test experience is, but I think it's testing if you can fly. I would be prepared to do this, which is desirable.

3. Ability to pass a NASA space physical which is similar to a military or civilian flight physical and includes the following specific standards:
  • Distant visual acuity: 20/100 or better uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 each eye.
  • Blood pressure: 140/90 measured in a sitting position.
  • Height between 62 and 75 inches.
I don't really understand a lot of this bit, but I'm pretty sure my eyes aren't up to scratch for NASA. This is not, as Ginger had previously stated, due to being old, but because I read a lot of books as a child in poor light. My Mum told me this and says I therefore brought it on myself.

Ginger does not wear glasses, and so I reckon that his visual acuity will be at least 99/100 or better uncorrected. Phew!

In summary, it doesn't seem that hard. It really is a lesson in thinking before you speak. I think that I will save up for laser eye surgery, just in case I decide to go for it.

I keep asking you guys for money and I never receive any. But I guess that because I have now been able to demonstrate the feasibility of me becoming a space sailor, you will reconsider.

Thank you in advance.

Friday, October 24, 2014

They call me Wallflower

I bet you'll all be relieved to know that my inexplicable injuries from Saturday are on the mend.

I say on the mend, but the wound, that's right WOUND on my knee will, without a shadow of a doubt, scar.

And in years to come, concerned strangers will gasp, put a comforting hand on my shoulder, and knowingly ask, 'Shark?'

As if things couldn't get any worse, in all probability, I will never be a leg model.

Those who are close to me will know that this was my back up dream.

Yes, if it turned out that I could not woo the world with my fiction, and win the Man Booker Prize five years in a row, I was going to get my legs out.

Probably for upmarket gigs, like Primarni, or Matalan.

Shattered dreams folks, shattered, tiny pieces on the floor at my feet (which are also a bit cut up) dreams.

As you may have come to expect from me, in times of trouble and despair, I would like to make a request for money. Money always makes me feel better. Give generously, holding onto the image of my horrific right leg, clad in a pair of reasonably priced shorts, being told by execs at Primarni, 'Shark bites just don't sell shorts.'


Absolutely brutal.


Last night, me and GingerB were in the bathroom, going through the motions of our bedtime wind down. Beards were washed (mine), teeth were brushed. As is tradition, Ginger B would leave first, arms laden with his array of beauty products, and I would remain behind to floss.


However, last night, right, last night, he left the bathroom, and turned the light off on his way out. Then moments said, 'Oh sorry, I forgot about you.'

Moi, forgettable?

You'd think all of my recent clamouring for attention, i.e. despite spending 70% of Sat evening in complete darkness, managing to fall over twice in the 30% of complete viability, would infer that I was stuck fast in the memory of many.

Apparently not.

It does however make sense now as to why I was mowed down by a runner in Covent Garden, who's flabbergasted face accused me of coming out of nowhere. I think we had a fundamental disagreement about the speed involved in walking Vs running.

I'm fading away. I'm becoming a watermark.

All those mean people calling me 'Casper,' have finally cursed me. Once it existed as only a passing comment on my translucent, occasionally reflective skin tone, but now it has gone even further.

At least Casper had a castle, and a sort of girlfriend who never forgot him, and he was never assaulted by skinny men with massive backpacks (at least it was never documented in the films.)

I might see you soon, but you won't see me. It's been awesome (in parts).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Reasons not to dine in the dark

I really want to tell you what happened.

If nothing more, it will serve as an educational piece. 

But I don't think I can handle the truth.

It would be inaccurate to believe that what happens in the dark, stays in the dark, and much more accurate to say that when you leave the darkness, you find yourself changed in horrible ways and forever damaged.
No, this is not a Guillermo del Toro film.
Goddamit, this is my life.

Basically guys, don't think it's a good idea to get intoxicated and then head down into the pitch black with twelve of your friends, and your blind guide Christina, for a three course meal. And if you take nothing more away from this blog, at least take that.
The most significant sign that you're making a mistake, is if you fall down the stairs of the restaurant, when the lights are still very much on. I'm not going to say who did that, but it definitely wasn't me. I bruise like a peach.

I've devised a list of what not to do, if you're stupid enough to attend this event:

-After falling down the stairs, don't sit at the table silently, until your neighbour says, 'Are you okay?' and say, 'Well I've been crying for a bit, but I think I'm nearly finished.' 

-Don't down wine like it's juice, just because the experience of not being able to see anything is closer than you've ever felt to your own inevitable death.

-Don't decide not to eat the food, just because it tastes disgusting. You will pay £75 for this evening, and all that wine on an empty stomach leads to some pretty humiliating decisions from you later. Eat up.

-Don't encourage the men getting their penises out at the dinner table. Or submit to the kiss rapists, running around trying to get some. In fact, don't even notice this is happening, until debrief the following day.

-Don't fall over in the road. Again, this wasn't me. Who could fall over and cry twice in one night? Someone else, that's who. Don't let everyone crowd around you while you hysterically howl and then to the question 'Is it one of those things where your upset at the shock, and you're actually fine?' admit 'Yes, I think you might be right.'

-Don't get taken home by an equally paralytic GingerBeard, devastated over your skinned knee (are you ten?), sob for the full journey, alternating between shouting 'There's something wrong with me!' and 'My tights are ruined!'

-Don't throw up on the platforms of three different tube stations.

-Don't walk around the flat you share with six strangers in your bra and pants.

-Don't spend all of Sunday throwing up and trying to understand the story your cuts and bruises are telling.

-Don't admit the above to your mother. Then don't write a blog so that everyone else knows about it as well.

In my absence, the below occurred, and I think you can agree that without me, the night went downhill:

A dwarf was rescued. I don't know from what. I've only got second hand snippets for you. Presumably one of them had to rescue the dwarf from another one of them.
They tried to break into a pub.
Laundry was done
Someone developed amnesia
The depravity which was born in the dark, continued into the light, inside numerous taxis and bars.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spending time with Ginger

I stepped off the tube with GingerBeard last week and he said:

'I can't believe that guy just told me to shut-up.'

Me: 'What?'

GB: 'This guy wouldn't let me get off to the tube, so I said, "Step back", and he went, "Shut-up, shut-up. shut-up."'

Me: 'Tall guy, white shirt, sunglasses?'

GB: 'That's the one.'

'Don't worry,' I consoled, 'I hit him, hard'

Because he wouldn't let me get off the train either, so I used my sports bag as a weapon, and went for a thigh shot.

And that's why we are the best team ever. I like to think that as a rule, Ginger antagonises people, and then I come out of nowhere, and take them down.

Only one person gets to bully this Ginger Beard, and that's me.

Although it's a tad worrying that he seems to be imitating my behaviour with relish.

Par exemple (that's French):

Yesterday he elbowed a sitting man in the face, whilst trying to take off his coat. Said victim cradled his head, but didn't look up.

Me: You didn't apologise.

GB: I know. He's sitting forward.

Me: So?

GB: Everyone has their allocated space, and he has chosen to invade mine.

Me: Wow.

GB: Exactly.

I saw him in a different light. Like, previously I've stated that if he went to prison, he would quickly become the girlfriend of not one, but several men. I'd like to revise that, and suggest that he would be the guy scrambling across the cafeteria benches to stab someone in the eye with a plastic fork. That's certainly who he's becoming at any rate. I guess it's good for our relationship, in the sense that he would likely retain his sense of masculinity and stay faithful to me, but bad in that he would have several back to back life sentences and I'd never see him again.

Lots to think about there.

It looks like this rampage of harm, doesn't just stop at others. This happened earlier:

Me: You look really nice.

GB: Thanks. I guess I won't kill myself today then.

What a catch.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Crowd control

Something bad has happened in London.

And no, I'm not talking about the zillions of bad, commonplace things that happen every day (someone please get me out of here). I'm talking about the rain.

And not just any rain.

But rain that seems to have nourished the filthy London streets, encouraging the rapid growth of more bastard Londoners.

Where have they all come from?

Cyclists. Cyclists who are afraid of a little water.

I say, that you are only allowed to have one mode of commuting transport, and that you must commit to it, come rain or shine.

Either that, or every year, there's a series of obligatory tests, and if you fail too many, you die.

Did someone say, Hunger Games?

I mean, it's not like I watched the first and second film, thinking, wow, what an ingenious method of population control. But, think about it.


Because I'm concerned that I'm on some kind of internet watch list for overuse of words like 'die, death, murder, stabbing', and my much cherished phrase, 'punch them in the face,' I'm going to quickly try and save myself by writing:

Kittens, sunshine, tupperware, peace, cuddles, M&S and love.

There, that should do it.


I overheard this great conversation between a Putney Posho and her young son. I've given her a name but I'm pretty sure it's her real name.

Marabelle: 'Tell me Ridley, what is the presentation actually about?'

Ridley: 'Well, we each have to talk about a charity we believe in, and convince others to believe in it too.'

Marabelle: 'And what's your approach?'

Ridley: 'I'm going to talk about how rubbish the other kids' charities are.'

Marabelle: 'That's ridiculous. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.'


Marabelle: 'What's your charity?'

Ridley: 'Old people. Because loneliness is the most terrible thing that can happen to a person.'

Marabelle. 'It's really not. And I don't think children care about old people. They only care about animals, so I think you should change your charity.'


I mean, not in a creepy way, but in the way that I would throw my TV away if they promised to move in, and be invisible and quiet apart from the times that I request them to entertain me with their conversations.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Murder me this

So I went for a hungover run at the weekend back in my hometown Shottingham. It's the best kind of run going. Mostly you just drag your dry retching self around for 3-4k, have a bit of a cry and take numerous, almost constant breaks.


I passed a girl who was having a nose bleed onto the reeds. A bit later on, she lapped me.

But it's alright really, because from what I've seen, there are only two other runners in Shottingham, which means I win bronze.

And it's great, because they have this thing there, called space. It allows you to move about without being struck by an over-excited dog/child/cyclist/person. Come to think of it, I've been hit by all of those things.

On the way back, when I was walking, my mum pulled up in the car, and I was like, 'Hey, you've just caught me during my warm down, my post run warm down.'

And she was like, 'Sure.'

Because she knew, that my purple face was more a product of the numerous French Martinis, than of actual, physical effort.


Also, I've started fighting with some of my flatmates, because they are being complete tards.

Partial tard, I could handle. But you can't continue to be a complete tard and expect nothing to happen.

It started when I reached for a kitchen knife and got:

Chump:Oh, you can't use that knife.

Me: What?

Chump: We will be using that knife in a bit.

Me: Honestly, I can use any of the knives.

Chump: How long will you be?

Me: I'll just use another-

Chump: How long with the knife?

Then I stabbed her twice in the gut, wiped the blade on her apron and said, 'All done.'

I'M JOKING. It's called wishful thinking guys. In this specific example, what I'm saying is that I would really like to commit a murder, but I'm restrained by the criminal justice system and a fear of being too pretty to be safe in prison.

Last night, we went to put some fish in the oven and:

Chump: Oh, can you not put that in, because it will make my food smell.

Me: No it won't. It's covered.

Chump: I'd really prefer-

Me: It's fine. *Put fish in oven*

Chump tutted at length. But I think she could tell that I'd had a bitch of a day, and was willing to forgo previously mentioned fears of stabbing fallout.

 Then Chump got her chumpy boyfriend to empty the bins whilst we were cooking.

Luckily, Ginger and I were heading out to watch Gone Girl, in which there is a significant amount of actual murder and staged murder. It really helped ease some of the tension within.

It's making me think - maybe I shouldn't be around knives, like, at all. Can someone please sedate me before I cause harm to others/myself?

Or pay for me to attend a meditation retreat?

Or kill for me?

Friday, October 03, 2014

Still firmly in the zone

The zone face is back!

It's a bit of a surprise really, because it was a fun run.

Am I having fun here?

Or here, where I've decided to close my eyes?

It's hard to say.

From the low quality of these pictures, it appears that I have horrendous sun burn, or (one could assume) I am red faced from the sheer exertion. It's just paint guys! No one has ever called my physical fitness into question!

Maybe my little glum, pissed off face is simply a reaction to a shit event. I bet my good friend Carly wasn't enjoying herself either.

Oh, guess she was.

Luckily, I pull it back right at the end, and they have caught my 'I will not die here today, not like this' expression perfectly:


It's a shame about my disfigured hand. I wonder what happened there. My hand looks alright at the moment.