Tuesday 29 September 2015

Are you dancing?

file under: embarrassing social situations

One morning last week, when I arrived at work, one of the women was outside the building smoking a cigarette. A loud motorbike, earplugs, and crash helmet meant that I couldn't hear what she was saying, but she was gesticulating wildly above her head. It looked like she was telling a story about being a rugby referee and emphatically awarding a try, or bringing a jetliner up to its stand, or being a victorious Mexican desperado and firing a brace of revolvers into the air, or being taken hostage at gunpoint, or maybe that time she climbed into the exoskeleton loader to fight the alien queen.

I sarcastically asked her if she was showing off her dance moves. She laughed and smiled.

I wear a heavy leather jacket with very tight cuffs. I have discovered that the easiest way to take it off is to vigorously waggle my arms until the cuffs slide over my hands. I probably look a little bit like a penguin would if it had got something sticky and distasteful on its flippers.

It was at exactly this moment that the woman walked past. She said "nice moves" and clearly didn't mean it.

Richard "Got the moves like Pingu" B

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Chin Up Fatty

file under: uncategorized

This weekend I visited my friend and old bandmate in the deep south (of London).

I haven't seen him since spring so I had to tell him about splitting up with "Wonkyeye". Living on the same continent would have necessarily involved our getting married and I wasn't confident enough in our long term prospects to commit to it. I thought it was kinder to call the whole thing off earlier rather than later. I've been pretty miserable about it, she's been absolutely distraught.

My friend offered me two pieces of advice which individually are pretty meaningless, but in concert seem to become sage and helpful.

"Just because you thought it was the right thing to do, doesn't mean that it isn't sad."
"Just because it's sad, doesn't mean you’ve done the wrong thing."

Richard "sage and onion" B

Wednesday 16 September 2015


file under: Embarrassing Social Situations

Despite having a physique akin to a stick insect I think I need to lose a little bit of weight. I ordered a pair of leather trousers for motorcycling and although they were fine in the leg and the waist, they were too tight in the seat. I sent them back and the company sent me their most suitable replacement pair which I could sit in comfortably, but which are now loose around the waist. They might as well have sent me an affidavit saying "you sir, have a fat arse, and we don't make a pair of trousers to accommodate it".

More recently I went zip wiring. As well as strapped them unsympathetically into a plum-crushing safety harness they weigh each of their guests and shout the numbers for all to hear. My weight has been stable for the past 20 years, but I’m now suddenly 4kg heavier.

I have removed cream cakes from my regular Wednesday night entertainments schedule, but other than that I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. Regular exercise? Drink less? They don’t sound very realistic.

Richard "Middle Aged Low Calorie Spread" B

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Start at the Back

file under: Engineering boasting

When my dad was alive, there were a couple of jokes that he always made. If he ever saw anybody laying turf, or if it came up in conversation he would shout "Green side up!". Similarly if he saw someone painting a floor he would shout "Start at the back!".

The weekend before last I either painted a garage floor or played the worst game of Towers of Hannoi ever. I thought that I had taken everything that I needed out of the garage, I mixed up the paint, and I did start at the back, painting with a roller on a long handle. When I had done about a third of the garage and I couldn’t possibly stop, the roller broke. The first thing that was the wrong side of a large area of wet paint was the rubbish bin to throw away the broken roller. I did have a spare roller with me but it turned out not to fit on the extension handle. All the tools, screws, tape and everything useful was now inaccessible. I just avoided having to do the whole job on my hands and knees by sacrificing a garden rake and quickly whittling its handle down with a penknife to form a temporary extension handle.

While the paint was drying I tried to mow the lawn. I had brought the mower, the fuel, the oil, the mixing bottle and the battery booster with me. Of course the main jet was blocked and the whitworth spanners were on the other side of an acreage of wet paint.

Richard “RIP Rico” B

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Hobby Rotation

(file under: Musical boasting)

For the past few years I have been the permanent soundman for an Oasis tribute. I still get on with them just fine, but because <reasons> I have given it up. This weekend I did my final two shows with them. I'm not going to miss the late nights, the hanging around, or the heavy lifting. Nor hearing the same songs, week-in week-out, in the same order with the same limited dynamics and wavering tempos. I'll be glad to see the back of the troublemaking drunken wankers and the self-appointed experts in the crowd.

I'm certainly going to miss the pocket money that it brought in, and the little adventures we had together.

To my surprise I think the thing I'm going to miss most of all is the lads in the band. Before their last song, on my last show they thanked me seriously and sincerely for my hard work, skill, and support. Not only did the whole audience applaud me, but the band stood on stage and clapped for me.

I don't think I have every felt so moved and appreciated in my life.

Richard "Thankyougoodnight!" B