Friday, 6 May 2011

OK then I admit I'm a bit scared.

Been a funny couple of days. Firstly I have been offered a few months work driving through an agency which is great. Its for a "high end" kitchen company delivering their wears so all in all should not be too bad. Theres a weeks worth of training so I presume they are very customer focused!

Now driving is not my first choice as I had a couple of years driving an artic but didnt like it that much as its such a lonely existance but beggers cannot be choosers eh!

Now today I have been to the doctors because for the last few weeks I have been having chest pains that end up down my left arm and heading up into my jaw. Turns out I have slighty high blood pressure and have been reffered to a cardiac clinic as an urgent appointment due to the amount of heart problems in my family.

The barrage of tests the clinic want to run is daunting to say the least and the fact Im the grand old age of 37 scares me more because lets face it im not old! So first things first...I HAVE TO STOP SMOKING and loose some weight (i've got a little tubby over the winter and not working alot) and I have to admit Im a bit scared about all this. We stumble along on a daily basis wrapped up in our little problems and then something like this comes along and whacks you out of the blue. I mean this is me! This sort of stuff happens to ther folk not me!

Im starting to think I may not be either indestructable or immortal anymore....

Monday, 2 May 2011

Well yet another update. Theres not been a great deal going on hence why not alot posted from me. I applied for a job as a transport manager and ended back for a second interview which was looking promising as there were only two of us left at this point.
After an hours grilling I took my leave and was called later in the week to be told that neither me or the other chap got the job as we were "overqualified".

What a load of crap that is! Surely they would have known we were both overqualified from our CV's before the interview process had started?! But hey ho its all done so the job hunt continuies in vain. The rate the work is coming through I may be better off starting up my own business again because if I put this much work looking for work into it it should take off pretty quickly!

I suppose I should mention the royal wedding. There you go thats done then.

My neighbours are driving me mad, well their kids are, when they are out in the garden daily. The noise is unreal honestly so you have to close the windows to block it out. We are now activily looking for a new house because I am not spending another summer listening to those animals.

So as I said at the start theres nothing of real interest going on....hang on ive just turned the news on.

Looks like Bin Ladens been killed overnight. Good show at least thats only taken 10 years to do and I bet his followers are not dancing in the streets now are they?????

Im sure it wont take long for another attack to happen now and some other nutjob to take over his place.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Back in the UK

Well after getting over my jet lag I can now put fingers to the board again and give you an update on all thats happened latley. Firstly many thanks to you all that voted for my daughter in her modeling competition. I am happy to say she came third overall which is not a bad achievment at all and a good learning curve for her to boot :) Now onto the last of my time in the States. The journet homw was hellish. The second plane, the one that you spend hour upon hour on crossing the pond, was delayed for an hour or so whilst they fixed a technical problem with the engine. Well with that sorted we all boarded a very very hot plane sat on a very hot runway. After half an hour of sweating away with 200 other folks the Captain came on to tell us that he was sorry that it was so warm and this was due to the engines not running at the moment so the aircon wont work but not to worry because as soon as they get a JUMPSTART all will be well and we can be underway. A JUMPSTART?????? A BLOODY JUMPSTART??????????? Its a plane for gods sake I dont want to hear that after the delay with engine problems as well!!!!!!!!!!!! So after another 30 minutes of sitting in the sweatbox the engines fire up and we get some long awaited cool air. The plane then taxied away and took off for the long night ride home. I just have to say that United Airlines are the Ryanair of international travel and if you are going to America book someone else! The stewardesses are rude and in their eyes all of us cattle are nothing more than an inconvinience. Now back to my last few observations and goings on in the states. I got to drive a Mustang!!! I love those motors and have always wanted to have a spin in one so a 100 mile drive was superb! They are basic, noisey motors but what a noise that engine makes! The power is raw and unrefined but it brings a massive grin to your face! It did remind me of an old Capri in the handling stakes with all that power just thrown into the rear wheels and no traction control what so ever. I bet its a scream in the wet! American advertisements are like nothing I have seen before. They actually call the competitions products crap and name them! Can you imagine that in the UK!??? My god there would be lawsuits and complaints through the roof lol! But the best and I mean the best adverts are the ones for medication of every type. They tell you how wonderfull it is for 30 seconds then spend the next 60 seconds telling you the side effects very quickly. Beleive me you wouldnt take anything there due to side effects especially when popping a pill for easing your joint pain "May result in DEATH" !!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had a good look around a couple of cities but more on that later. 17 days I was away and got a real insight into American life. It wouldnt be everyones cup of tea but I enjoyed it very much.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Harry Connick Jnr & Hooters

Where to start? its only been a few days since my last post but so much has happened in that time its quite hard to get it in order! My friends are now in their new home, I would like to say settled but you know what its like when you move with boxes everywhere even after you have filled the new cuboards to capacity you are left with a stack of boxes and wondering where you fitted it all in in the last house. I have to say the new place is impressive. These yanks do know about space! A map to get around in here would be an advantage compared to what most of us in the UK are used to but hey its their way and I for one can see why! On Sunday a perfectly good concert ticket was wasted upon me. Now this was a treat for which I am thankful but I had no clue who the chap on stage was. I am reliably informed it was Harry Connick Jnr who is a big music star who has done some acting as well. A local priest had convinced him to come to a small church (St Marks Catholic) in a small town (Richmond, Kentucky) which for a "big star" is something they rarely do...especially for free! It was a fundraiser for the church's school so a good cause and was full of the full range of suitably doe eyed women along wih boyfriends and husbands who would have rather been somewhere else. Now hang on I think I may be being a bit harsh there as most were having a really good time. In fact I only met 4 other people outside sneaking a smoke whilst the gig was on and out of a capacity crowd of 500 that really is impressive. In fact a capacity crowd of 500 hundred for this level of star in the US is unheard of as its so small so it shows the dedication and persuation of the priest. I was more inclined/amazed with the church itself. I dont think I have ever seen such dedication of religion within a church which is a poor reflection on the state of and lack of faith that now rests within our UK based society. Alot of those followers do pay for the priviledge I have since found out up to 10% of their wages monthly to the church so it does beg the thought of what reasons you may have to buy your way into the great beyound. BUT who am I to judge on what peoples faith is and what brings them comfort even if its at such a cost. The gig went well and I have to admit the band and the singer (The Harry chap) were very good and my friends enjoyed it immensley but the most positive point was $40,000 raised for the school!! Still dont have much of a clue who he was though! Now today was my friends youngest daughters 11th Birthday. How did she want to mark the passing of this day????????? A trip to eat at Hooters! Now of course neither myself or my male friend had no complaints of passing a few hours surrounded by 20 something busty women in tight clothing so off we went. My admition here is that I have never been to a Hooters before. Well the food was good (another american first of a steak Philly sandwich) and the view was most welcome, in a strictly male getting older sort of way remembering your youth whilst convincing yourself that the waitresses really like you even though they see you as their Dads but are being sooo nice because you WILL give them a good tip, and the waiting staff were all very good looking. Apart from ours.... who in all honesty looked like someone had locked her in a cuboard for three months without food and then had dragged her out and backed a pick up truck into her face for good measure! Now being the male Adonis that me and my mate are we were a little dissapointed in this situation but put up with it because A) The British would never like to cause a scene and B) she was very friendly just doing her job to earn a crust with her very big breasts. This paints us out to be letch's but we most definetly are not. We looked at all the breasts in the place and even compared notes so one poor waitress didnt have to put up with all of our attention. All jesting aside the service (food nothing naughty) was superb and the staff sang their version of Happy Birthday to my friends daughter which is a converted clean army song and we all had a very pleasent evening being served "Pitchers" of beer. Theres another American first "a pitcher". You want 3 beers? Have 5 in a pitcher instead!! Suprisingly it never went flat or got warm????????????? How I have no idea but it couyldnt be the rate at which we were drinking it surley ;) I had the pleasure of picking up a few DIY bits from the local store and can report that all DIY stores across the pond look like any DIY store back home. In fact I think they share floor plan designs because everything was also in the same place within the store as at home. Suprisingly the costs are about the same as well. Food update: I have had a Wendys, Starbucks, Subway, Mcplastic, Steak & Shake, Dominoes and a chinese in carboard square boxes. I have had waffles for breakfast which were not sweet like I expected. The full on takeaway menu is of course because of my friends move and the lack of a plumbed in cooker. We are all looking forward to some proper home cooked food now as no one can live on take out for long LOL. I have been to an American sports bar and these guys love their sport!! The atmosphere resembled that of a capacity crowd in a football stadium!! I wish I had their passion! So all in all having a great time with plenty of time left to go. Plans for the weekend are seeing my other friends upstate so I will see some more of this state and report accourdingly.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Jet Lag

Well heres a new experience. Jet lag.

After 32 hours of travelling with the total of 3 hours broken sleep over that time I mentally had sorted out the time differewnce between the UK and Kentucky. (Kentucky are 4 hours behind at the moment but at the weeknd will become 5 hours behind as we enter British Summer time)

I awoke this morning well slept and refreshed with about 6hours sleep, my usual, under my belt. Come lunchtime though my body decided that I had turned quite mad and why wasnt I sleeping more, feeding it more and totally confused with the whole situation! A couple of hours kip seems to have sorted it though and I am quite surpisingly finding myself ready for yet another good nights sleep. Now I am sure that is more an age thing than anything else!

It has surpirsed me how much further your cash can go here the the USA. The average price of a 3 bed home in the UK is now £160,000 but here for that you get a mansion that that would cost in excess of £500,000. Now I know its all relative on the local economy but my god what a difference in standards of living. Yes, it would seem, that here in the USA the old adage of "everything is bigger" would stand true.

All of these observations are of course coming through a first time visitors eyes and I will of course only see the more positive and impressive side of things to start with. But I hope that as im here for a while the novelty will wear through and I will see the true way of the day to day living here.

I am taking great pleasure in ripping the micheal out of my friends new yanky accents, they have been here for 4 years, but the locals are convinced they still have a UK accent which is laughable. Poor buggers talk about getting the pissm taking from both sides!

We have spent the evening in a typical American sports bar where the food and beer is plentiful along with 3 minute intervals of being asked if "is everything ok?" These guys do customer service to the extreme!! Could it wear thin quickly?? I expect so but not in a bad way...they want a good tip!

So so far what I have seen about America in films and on the box is standing true. People seem to think im from Australia but thats apperantly is not uncommon!

There will be pics soon well as soon as I have taken some but give me few days because we start my friends big move in the mornijng and that will take a few days.

So with that in mind im signing off, having a brew and hopefully a full nights sleep in preperation for the hard day ahead.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Off to America!

Well I sit here at Gatwick Airport at a stupid hour in the morning after having to travel down by train last night. I have spent a wonderful night propped up on a plastic chair that must have been designed so you could not sit in it for more than 3 minutes at a time so you will wander the shops a bit more and hand over your hard earned cash.

Why spend a night at Gatwick I hee you thinking??? Well it was all very last minute but some friends in America are moving house this weekend and called and asked if I would like a free holiday in return for humping a few boxes around! After checking with wifey to see if I was allowed how could I say no!???

So it was a mad dash to sort out insurance and the visa to get into america as well as realising the cheapest way to get to Gatwick from Nottingham was on a train but because of the early morning flight I would have to spend the night at the airport and with hotels at over £100 for the night there was no way I was stretching to that for what would have been about 4 hours!

So with book in hand I spent the night awake switching between reading and the strange going ons of an airport at night. Now I have to say most work at an airport is a thankless task as us travellers take no heed or notice of how well the place is kept clean and maintained, in fact I would go as far as saying we only notice when something goes wrong or is broken.

The whole airport ran down to peace from travellers at about 1.30 am and started filling up again at 4.00am so not much of a window for the amount of work that gets down including their current refurbishment work!

It also surprised me how many people actually spend the night waiting in an airport! I thought I was the only tight bugger who would put up with the discomfort to save money but there were loads of folk!

Went to check in this morning and the airline had no record of my ticket but found it in the end after much scrabbling about on their computer systems and they grilled me on why I only bought my ticket yesterday? What difference does it make when it was bought? A bus driver doesnt ask if you want to get on his bus "Now???" when you buy a ticket so why an airline? I figure of course its because in their eyes we are all potential criminals which is now a sad presumtion of life. Innocent until proven guilty?? My arse!

Anyhow Kentucky here I come and seeing as I have never done America before this should be good.

Monday, 14 March 2011

The Pleasure of Kids.

Of course I am being sarcastic here. Thankfully my tribe are old enough so that they entertain themselves alot of the time so no more tripping over toys or having a kid stuck to my hip. But with age there has been a new and improved side that comes through via larger circles of their friends.

Im talking about sickness bugs. My youngest went to stay overnight with her friend on Friday night and unbeknown to me until I collected her on Saturday morning her friends Dad was down with a sickness & squits bug. Well that took all of 24 hours to hit my youngest who spent most of yesterday and last night alternating between her bed and the bathroom.

Being made of sterner stuff I of course was not in the least bit worried about catching a bit of a bug until I arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed to the noise of my alarm clock this morning. It took all of 15 minutes before I was sat proud the King upon my throne with my daughter knocking on the door desperate to be in the same place.

Well it seemed to pass quickly enough and off to work I went which is thankfully only just over a mile away. That didnt last long in fact I was there for a whole hour and twenty minutes, mostly in the toilet. I was then sent off site before I infected the other lads LOL so here I am babling on endlessly to whoever reads this wondering what I will do with the day???

Whatever it is it will be with 15 feet of the toilet!