2 Years Gotcha

It’s been over two years since I have myself a kick up the arse and smartened my business up.

The first step was I tidied up my appearance by visiting the Turkish barbers and getting them to shape up and trim my beard and hair.

Weight loss was already ongoing – I didn’t want to become that fat old guy with the belly sticking out from under my t-shirt.

Finally, I took the financial plunge and got a new van. SAF 1 as I call her. I didn’t want to signwrite her so I decided to opt for a personalised numberplate.

Happy 2 years together. One more left before the lease runs out and I replace her. I think it’ll be another Transit Custom.

If Brexit doesn’t fuck the country and we all end up licking moss off rocks. Of course.

We’re gonna lockdown again, aren’t we?

Led by a clueless Government who seem to be using a scattergun approach to COVID-19, and alongside some pretty horrible people who consider that wearing a mask doesn’t apply to them; I am seeing an impending lockdown again.

Manchester locked down again last week. Thursday to be precise. I was supposed to be spending the night working on a music project with one of my band mates, but that didn’t happen. The lockdown prevented me travelling to Manchester, and prohibited me from entering his house. Staying overnight was totally out of the question.

So why do I think we’re going to lockdown?

Well the British “way of life” seems to be an alcohol fuelled tirade of “ladding around”. Normal behaviour for too many people is “going out and getting absolutely mortal”. Not me.

With beer comes removal of inhibitions and a loss of lawfulness. This in turn leads to the lapse of Social Distancing, and the wearing of masks, well that’s just not cricket!

On my way home from work on Friday I drove past 3 pubs; 1 a large chain one, one a micro pub, the other a Free House. All three had packed beer gardens (it was, after all, rather nice on Friday), and all three beer gardens were absolutely rammed with people. None of whom were practicing any form of social distancing.

This happened in Manchester and there was a spike in new infections. Based on the COVID infection timeline I suspect by Friday we will be locked down also.

So, what to do?

Well nothing really. Perhaps enjoy the quieter roads again – after all they have been absolutely ridiculous for the last few weeks.

But as a key worker and an essential worker I can just carry on as normal. Nay, I have to carry on. My job is to ensure fire detection systems work correctly and fire shuttering and smoke ventilation systems also work as they should.

So that’s my rant done. Wait a few days and see if I’m right.

Physiotherapy

At the request of my physiotherapist I got a 1kg weight. It’s for stretching exercises for my injured lateral epicondyle.

The exercise involves putting my hand holding the weight palm down overhanging the edge of a table and then pulling my hand upwards with my other hand and then letting it drop back down over 30 seconds and resisting gravity. It hurts like hell but pain is good on this occasion.

Wrapping up the week with an amazing storm.

A stunning storm passed over us just now. We don’t often get really violent thunderstorms in the UK, but this one was very powerful and energetic.

The wind really got up at one point – such that I actually thought there was a small tornado nearby.

Excuse the state of the garden – we’re in the middle of a major redevelopment project (photos will follow in a month or so).

Just wear a mask, you idiot.

I’m feeling really annoyed at the moment. I don’t particularly like stupid people and as someone who was considered an essential worker by the government and thus obliged to work through lockdown I am now feeling as if we weren’t actually appreciated at all.

All the clapping in the world for the NHS is just a token gesture when idiots think the rules regarding the wearing of face masks doesn’t apply to them. The “Keep Britain Free” movement are quite frankly, nutcases. The same type of people who think a no-deal Brexit is the way to go. Looking at them sharing their rants on Twitter I can only feel sad that such brainless idiots are allowed to share our oxygen.

Just last week on the first day of the new mask rule I had to tell someone to get a mask on. Her response? “I didn’t know”. She then proceeded to think it was funny and started giggling like a child scolded by the teacher at school. Where has she been for the last 90 days?

Even consider that special guy thinks it’s great walking into different shops without a mask on and flouting a law put in place for all our protection. Bragging on Twitter about his own lack of intelligence whilst openly revealing himself to be an absolute knobhead. I presume he also thinks we should have drink driving days? Perhaps we could introduce a special “eat the mould” day for him?

If there is a God, I think now is time for a flood. We could share a conspiracy that high ground is getting hit by 5G beams from space. Yeah. That’d work.

15 years. I’ll never look back.

When this photograph was taken I was not a very happy person. I had just finished my last day at Midgleys Ltd. (Now defunct) after being there for just over 2 years. It had started as a very happy job, and for the first 18 months it was great. I was the general manager. I often looked after the business whilst the other had his “business trips” all over the world.

Then it all went wrong. First he told me he was starting to outsource production to Pakistan, at the cost of jobs in the UK (5 staff were finished). I wasn’t happy with this and I didn’t like doing the processing work to get this done (including the customs paperwork). I didn’t like dealing with the company in Pakistan because I found the finished product to be extremely variable quality and the owners of the company over there didn’t appreciate that we had certain standards to adhere to.

The boss decided to get an agency staff member on to deal with the shipping. I didn’t like her. I kept a really good audit trail as I realised I was being shoved out. I made sure all communications were done by email and I refused to discuss important matters with her at desk meetings as she would deny I’d said what I had and try and get me into trouble.

The final nail in the coffin was when the owners son decided to leave the army and join the company. He was a horrible person. He was promoted straight in above me and my job was to show him my job. Yes. I was being paid to teach someone else my job so they could make my position redundant.

After a couple of days of dealing with this shit I handed in my two weeks’ notice. Unbelievably they made me work it, but thankfully as the VAT return was due I was called on to that job instead and didn’t have to deal with the dickhead.

My final day came. It was mid November. Instead of wearing my usual suit and tie, or smart casual chinos and polo shirt I dressed from head to toe in my usual leather and headed into work – shocking all the staff.

It was one of those days when the clock seemed to run backwards, but eventually it ended and at just before 3pm (my usual finishing time) I paid the staff wages for my final time and walked out of the door with no plans, no job, but a slightly better mental state.

I took this photo just after I’d left.

After a few horrible agency jobs to get me over Christmas I started my own business in January 2005. I’ve never worked for anyone else since. I never want to again.

I recognise now that I was extremely depressed at Midgleys. It took a few monthss for my state to lift but now I’m definitely happier.

No excuses. Wear a mask.

If I didn’t wear the correct PPE I would not be allowed on site. My own risk assessment and the HSE guidance say that I must wear appropriate PPE for the task in hand, in this case height work with overhead hazards.

The mask?

Well there’s a fucking pandemic destroying the lungs and other organs of a very sizeable portion of those who catch it. Two masks; one on you, one on the other person you’re with; is the safest option.

No excuses. Just wear one.

Plastic? No thanks!

Our co-op has Coke in glass bottles. I will happily pay a premium to get these as there is nothing quite as delicious on a hot day as Coke drunk from a cold glass bottle.

Even diet Coke is acceptable in glass!

I’m so pleased there’s a war against plastics. All pop should be in glass.