Sunday, April 20, 2008

One down...

Further to earlier pigeon related discussion, it is with some delight that I have found this in the gutter outside my flat.

And it wasn't even anything to do with me. I think there must be a Good Samaritan in the area, intent on performing good deeds for other residents. As for the pigeon, if you take a nap in the gutter what do you expect? I particularly like the fact its body has been flattened but the head remains intact.

Monday, April 07, 2008

It Aintree-ally all it's cracked up to be

As a general rule, there can be few spectacles greater than that of horses running for the pleasure of humans. A day at the races frittering away petty amounts of cash is a long-standing source of pleasure for me, and can rarely be matched in terms of a great day out. But when I went to Aintree on Friday, the day before it hosted the Grand National, it sadly failed to meet my high expectations.

With over 50,000 visitors there that day it was by far the biggest racemeeting I've ever been to. It was awful though. It seemed that 95% of the crowd had never been to a racecourse before, let alone studied a form guide, and were so detached from the real event that the whole thing passed them by. Instead they were too obsessed with sporting what can only be described as a hideous dress sense and a total disregard for humanity. It was also 'Ladies Day' and there were some real sights on show - the amount of fake tan smattered about the place made me feel something of an albino. I've decided I'm not cut out for major sporting events and in future would rather do the low-key circuit, like Saturday afternoons at Uttoxeter. Which is exactly what I'll be doing this weekend. Kiss my face.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Since the start of February when I began my new job, which is so secretive and sensitive that I can't talk about it, I've been on a number of pointless training courses. The latest one took place on Tuesday this week, when I was called to a secluded hotel location in order to learn how to 'value diversity'. It was exactly the sort of human resource development claptrap I'd always hoped I wouldn't have to be subjected to, but it seems even in the public sector you're not safe from 'innovative and edgy' private companies delivering 'behavioural skills training' bollocks.

Aside from the fact I learnt what can only be described as nothing, the two women leading this day-long session were surely on steroids. They bounded around the room, gesticulating and screeching while speaking, as if they were petrified of losing the attention of those present (ha! As if). I was, quite literally, a fish out of water, but thankfully the 'executive de-stressing instruments' they'd put on the desks in the room saved me from lasting insanity. I spent a good forty minutes destressing with a miniature sponge globe in what can only be described as my right hand while watching the two women act out cringeworthy role plays about diversity in the workplace.

My favourite bits of the day were probably all the times we were asked to stand up, split into groups and gather around flip charts for 'thought showers'. I'd heard of brainstorming, and even blue sky thinking, but these thought showers are new to me. Mind you, I suppose they must be considered more hygienic than thought baths, where you become so submerged in contemplation that you're effectively sitting in your own dirty thoughts and your skin ends up going all wrinkly. Anyway, what a load of nonsense. I don't even need telling about diversity - I invented it. I am it.