Death usually comes with a jingle. The jingle of a breaking news alert from the BBC, Guardian, Washington Post or Sky News apps on my phone. I’ve not monitored this enough to make a scientifically based assertion, but I sense that the BBC is the quickest at bringing bad tidings. News flashes are almost always bad news. Today, the news was that Anthony Bourdain had died. Tragically, at his own hand. I imagine you would know who Anthony Bourdain is. If not, he’s a chef, a writer and a travel/food show presenter. I’ve never had the pleasure of feasting on a meal served up by the great man, so I cannot speak for the quality of his cooking. But I love his writing. His television shows even more so.
Here’s one of my rather infrequent self portraits. I’ve been missing in action longer than Melania Trump, but no one seems to have noticed. Regardless, here is proof that I’m still alive and kicking. I’m wearing my currrent favourite t-shirt, a snazzy green number by SuperDry. I like the brand alot. It’s good quality and fits nicely. It’s not cheap, but I shop once or twice a year in the sales, using any extra vouchers I can find. I prefer the stuff which has minimal branding, which prevents me from buying about 50% of their clothes due to the foot high logos stamped on them.
I like my job. It’s the best job I’ve ever had, actually. From both a job satisfaction and a financial point of view. Sure, I don’t love it so much that I’ll keep turning up if they stop paying me. And I’ll never be a millionaire even if they do. It is, after all, a job. That said, I like it. It doesn’t sound a particularly thrilling job. I sell train tickets. Sometimes I refund unused train tickets. And there’s plenty of other odd jobs around the station that need doing. Usually I work alone, but sometimes I work with others. It depends where I am on any given day.
Let me tell you a story. It’s about that photo up there. I took it just a few minutes ago. That cat has been hanging around the station for a couple of weeks. Today it got bold enough to wander inside and sit on my till. I gave him some milk, and he likes the attention he gets from customers. I reckon he’s going to become a regular fixture in here. Which is a good thing. Every station should have a cat. But the story isn’t about the cat. It’s about the photo in a more general sense.
Don’t worry, he’s not ours. He is a newly arrived nephew. He has a first name and two middle names, all in homage to his recent ancestors. All of whom are now sadly deceased – great grandfather on the maternal side, and grandfather on the other. Sort of. It’s complicated. On my blog, we will call him simply Master J. He’s a cheery, chubby little fellow, isn’t he? He’s about eight months old now. Mrs P, being a good Mexican lady, is needless to say over him like a rash. There are many worse rashes he could have at his age.
Today, I am the quiz master. There is only one question. If we take a walk down through the fog to the end of the pier, what will we find? Give it some thought. There are so many possibilities. We can brainstorm a few of those possibilities. Perhaps we’ll find the sea. Or the sand. Maybe there’s a dead body there. Or a fisherman, trying his luck. There could be a boat, moored up. Or a flock of gulls. What do you reckon? I think it is reasonable to suggest the question will provoke different responses from different people, depending on their life experiences.
That’s Mrs P, strutting her stuff in the mid 30s celsius midday sun at the observatory in Jaipur. Signs of the time indeed. Why did I not think of that title for a post before? I rather miss India. I enjoyed it. This may come as a little bit of a surprise to anyone who read my opinions of India shortly after the holiday. You’d expect me to add a caveat, at least. But no, I shan’t. Pick any point of my life, a high or a low point, and I have only fond memories. Positive recollections of people I’ve met, lessons I’ve learned. Happy memories of places I’ve been Nothing negative lingers in the soft grey matter betwixt my ears.
They’re after my jobs, the ba****ds. Not the eastern Europeans. Nor the Indians. Nor the growing population of Latin American emigres. Those guys, up there. The machines. The dreaded, job eating machines. They are the new competition. And they are tough. Relentless. Remorseless. It’s a new world, and they are determined to make it their world. We feeble humans are having to adapt in order to compete. The 21st century resume will need to be reworked if we are to stand a chance.
Tis the first of February. And I found a photo from February, way back in the past. All the way back to 2005. It is the oldest known photo of Mrs P and I together, thirteen years ago. She had arrived in the UK for her first trip to Europe at the end of December. Her original plan was to stay less than a month, with half of it spent whizzing around Europe. First stop Paris. Then to Berlin. And finally to Rome, where she stayed with a Mexican friend who had Continue reading
Do you like my new shoes? I love my new shoes. Mrs P was initially dubious about my new shoes. Aren’t they awfully orange? I pointed to the pair I was wearing at the time, the ones that were to be replaced. They were bright pink. A bit of orange wasn’t going to deter me. My new shoes are a pair of Clarks, an old and well respected English firm that is Continue reading
One of my first jobs, perhaps my first ever job, was as a paper boy. It’s most boys first job. It didn’t pay a fortune, but it could be done in about an hour, early in the morning before school. It was a much better job on a warm summer morning than on a wet, dark wintry morning. I quickly worked out that I was better off leaving my BMX bike at the newagents and running my round. When I was a kid, I could run like Forest Gump. But further. I’m Continue reading
What can I tell you about this photo? Well, I know it was taken on a boat trip out to a reef in the Red Sea. I’ve been to the Red Sea twice, in 2000 and 2002. I went on boat trips both times and I’m afraid I can’t tell you with any certainty which trip it was. I would guess at the first one. Continue reading
I recently stumbled across a trio of old photos, which has me sorted for three weeks worth of Throw Back Thursday material. This is the oldest one, taken in the early 90s. Can I provide a more precise date? Well, that sofa belonged in the family home in London before my parents upped sticks and moved to the south coast in late 1993, so the shot was taken before that point. The sofa didn’t go with them because the rather adorable German Continue reading
It happens to most railway men and women eventually. Be they ticket office clerks, platform staff, revenue inspectors. If you work on the trains for any length of time, there is little you can do to avoid it. Your turn will come. The railways, by their very nature, attract people who want to get from A to B. It’s unfortunate, and very tragic, but for a few people the chosen destination does not require a ticket and is reached by Continue reading
Perhaps the anonymous moniker of Mrs P is getting old and in need of a revamp. I liked the turn of phrase that came in Dana’s comment, a post or two ago. Mysterious P is a much better name. Here’s a photo that’s a suitable attachment to the name. Will it stick? Probably not. Mrs P is much easier to write. Continue reading