Archives for the month of: August, 2012

pretty much the same thing

I’ve been working on a theory recently, and as such have been conducting many experiments. The results of this experimentation have made me laugh more often that not. Sometimes they have just made me shake my head in disbelief.
The theory I am developing, all in my own time and at my own expense I might add, is this; that if you tell someone something – anything – with a straight face and what seems like genuine honest self belief they will probably take whatever you have said as the truth.
You really can have some fun with this.
It started when I was out walking the dog one day.
I am lucky enough to live near a wonderful area of National Trust woodland that allows me to go on long rambling dog walks through glorious forested areas and crop fields and over all sorts of terrain. You meet lots of people on these walks, many of whom have there own pooches of certain shapes and sizes. I like to call it the dog-walking fraternity; my friends just say “been dogging recently?” because they are immature.
Secretly I wish I had thought of this first.
I have a black labrador, who at time of writing is five years old and daft as a brush. I love him to bits and wouldn’t change him for the world. Okay, I’d stop him eating EVERYTHING if I could, but I can’t. He had, in his younger days and prior to the sensible purchase of a rugby ball, a propensity for carrying sticks when out on walks. Some of these are done an injustice being called simply sticks; logs would be more accurate in most cases and more than once the word tree could correctly have been applied.
On an occasion when Stanley (the aforementioned black labrador) had hold of a stick (one of the aforementioned logs) I passed three women out with a selction of about five or six dogs of varying sizes. I make an effort to say hello to people when out and about. It’s only polite, even when I follow it up by mocking them just a little.
After exchanging hellos with the ladies one of them chuckled and pointed out to the others the size of the branch being transported by the rather proud and daft looking black labrador.
I seized the opportunity.
“Yeah it’s funny; he’s always done that. Ever since he was really small. I’m not sure why. (so far this is true) But he’s always liked watching TV programmes about elephants, and you know how they move trees rolled up in their trunks? Maybe he’s just trying to copy them?” (this last bit is total bollocks).
“Really?” said the woman who had pointed it out in the first instance. “that’s amazing”.
“No of course not really. Think about it for a minute.” (Me again)
“Oh”. said the woman. They looked at each other and walked off.
But for that little moment in time they believed that a dog not only had the intellect to enjoy nature programes, specifically those about pachyderm, but could also manage to turn the TV on and change to the relevant chanel. Idiotic, really.
I have followed this up with many other similar loads of old crap, some of which has been believed, some of which has been laughed at, some frowned at and some just plain not understood.
I’m enjoying myself.
Another of my favourites is when I’m at work and people come to the till to buy a whistle I often say “you know they play different tunes, yeah?”
You’d be surprised by how many people blow them to check it sounds okay or to check what tune it is. Terrific.
So if you have the misfortune to meet me just make sure to dis-believe anything I say.

I’d like to add that I am not actually a dishonest person. I like honesty. This is all just for fun and all my made up nonsense is just for laughs. I promise.


I have balked from using the O word. I don’t want to get in trouble.

The expression “Olympic legacy” has been bandied around for, it seems, the last few years. Initially I thought it meant just the physical legacy – the buildings and infrastructure in London and other areas of the country that would outlast the few weeks of sporting endeavour. But I have learned, as the Games have slowly overtaken all televisions in the country, that it means so much more than that.

I have a bit of a confession to make, before I continue. I have never been a massive fan of the Olympics before. It has never grabbed my attention or fired my enthusiasm. But I cannot stop watching this one. The unstoppable behemoth that is the Olympic Games has steamrolled into my life and is refusing to budge. And I’m loving it.

I’d always considered myself a sports fan; but now I’m not sure if that has been true. Up until this year. I have immersed myself in the show and I can’t get enough; late nights to sit and watch “just one more event” are now the norm in my house. I have watched sports I never would have dreamed of watching; tennis (I’m watching Murray in the final as I type this), canoe slalom, rowing, athletics, hockey, volleyball (yes, beach volleyball – the game of kings). And it is fantastic to see Team GB doing so well.

The tag line for these games has been “Inspire a Generation” and I firmly believe that they will fullfill that legacy and more.

I’m even a little bit proud of how our generally cynical population has been so welcoming, friendly and enthuisiastic. Everywhere I look I see outbreaks of national pride. It’s infectious, it would seem.

But for all this my favourite story so far has been one removed from the sport itself. A beautiful two minute story that appeared on one of the early morning shows. Or possibly it was a late night one; I can’t quite remember.

A woman in London had been homeless, jobless and without hope for two decades; living under a bridge in the city. She had fallen on hard times and had, it seemed, nowhere to turn.

Then the Olympics steamed into town and she was moved on from where she had taken shelter, as many homeless people have been I’m sure. She was offered a bed in a homeless shelter which she took, and she used this small but significant step to help her get a job. As she had a permanent address in the form of the shelter she applied for a job serving food somewhere within the maze of Olympic venues and she got this job. So the Olympics may serve to help and inspire more people in more ways than was intended.

I know this may not sound like much as a one off story, but it touched me. Hopefully this will be the true legacy of London 2012, but who knows?

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a link to the story, I’m sure it must exist somewhere. I think and hope the few facts I have put in are true, they are certainly true to my memory.

Anyway, I’m off to watch more sport; inspiring me to sit on my bum probably wasn’t the idea, but never mind.

One of the first things I notice in the mornings when I look in the mirror is that I am not, infact, called Mavis.  The second is that I don’t have a beard.  Unless something has gone weird, both of these will remain true.

It is a matter of deep personal shame that I cannot grow a succesful, luxuriant beard.  There are people who I attended school with who, at the age of thirteen, could grow better beards than I can in my mid thirties.

I am unsure why this bothers me so much.  It really shouldn’t, but I can’t help it.

Anyway, as I am unlikely to actually change my name to Mavis in the near future the name of this site will continue to be, at best, a bit irrelevant. It is of no matter. The content is as likely to be as unconsidered, unthoughtout and possibly utter rubbish as the name.

I started a blog on another site not long ago, and got caught out by the sudden introduction of charges after 30 days. Either they didn’t tell me of this, or in my usuall “bull in a china shop” attitude I didn’t read it. I tend not to plan much, or research stuff.

So maybe this will be a complete waste of my time, as well as yours. There is the small chance I may on occasion be funny and, if we’re really lucky, relevant.

I’m going to work on the look of the site slowly. I haven’t a clue what I am doing, so sorry about that. I’ll get there though.

Anyway, I’ll leave you to it for now.

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