Friday, 24 February 2017

Threads and Bins

For the last twenty years, most of my wardrobe has consisted of promotional T-shirts that I get free from breweries. I have a couple of pairs of jeans or shorts in circulation depending on the season and for bar work I generally wore walking boots all year round. I also own a suit for christenings, weddings and funerals.

Basically, I have no clothes of the sort of mid-level formality I associate with the modern office worker. 

I am practising getting up early this week, so I went into the city in the morning to buy some clothes. Having not bought any clothes for the last couple of decades, I didn't really know where to go. I know that Primark is the cheapest, but I'm sure I read that all their shirts are made by children in Bangladeshi sweatshops, so I wandered into a shop called 'H and M' (The sign didn't seem to say what the letters stand for - Haberdashery and Something?)  and bought two shirts - one in olive green and one in burgundy. 

Clearly, I have an eye for colour. But I've been a bit worried about some of the other functions of my eyes - so while I was in the city, I nipped into Specsavers to have them tested.

I don't know when you last had your eyes tested, but there's a bit during the health check part when they shine the light in your eyes to check for tumours or something. Whilst this was happening I experienced a vision of the interior of my own eye - a coloured veiny web in green and red - the whole thing was a bit trippy. I said as much to the optometrist.

"That's perfectly normal that is exactly what I can see," he said.

My point was that it is not normal for me to have a vision of what the person next to me is looking at. I wanted some kind of explanation of the perceptual phenomenon - what was causing me to see the inside of my eye projected across my field of vision? But he didn't seem interested in explaining this to me. 

To be honest, he seemed a bit cross with me - apparently I kept giving contradictory answers about how blurry things were through various lenses. Also, when he was testing my right (bad) eye, he asked me if I could tell him what the letters were in the bottom of three rows. I told him I could tell him exactly what they were because he had just tested me on the same letters with my left (good) eye and I had committed them to memory. N O A H Z. I asked if I could have a new sequence of letters and he said no. 

All in all a successful morning. I own a pair of shirts and I will soon own a pair of glasses. I let the lady in the shop choose the frames, she seemed to know what she was talking about.


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Time at the Bar, Thank You

I suppose you are all familiar with the old Westcountry saying: "Nobody goes to a bartender's funeral." I figure that it can be read in one of three ways.

  •  Bartenders are immortal. Much as we may want this to be true, it is not. If it were true - I imagine a lot more people would consider bartending as a career.
  •  Bartenders are unloved. Demonstrably false (or people are very good liars).
  •  Bartending is a job generally filled by younger persons who in most cases move on before they die.
I quit my bar job. This may seem like an odd thing for a philosopher poet bartender to do. There are some things I'll miss, I suppose:

  • Never having to start work before midday.
  • The comradery of tackling a particularly tricky cryptic crossword.
  • Having a cheeky pint towards the end of a shift.
  • Ringing a bell and shouting (only bartenders, town criers and lepers get to do this).
  • Reading the newspaper at work.
  • Chatting to randoms who are in town only briefly but are your best friend after five pints.
  • Getting Tommy to watch the bar while I go for a smoke.
  • Stealing the ham and Tuna sandwiches on pool night.

Other things, I'll be glad to see the back of:

  • 2am finishes.
  • Finding someone has already done the crossword before my shift starts.
  • The smell of the glasswasher.
  • People who say "How much?" and pretend that they are not going to pay when you tell them the price of their pint. This happens at least twice an hour and these people make the same joke every time they order a drink! And their friends always think it is the funniest joke they've ever heard. 
  • Sport - I am the Chinese Room of sports conversation. I just repeat things I don't understand that other people have said. If you accidentally find yourself watching the Six Nations on Saturday, try saying: "England have got nothing after the third phase."
  • Making the ham and tuna sandwiches on pool night.  

Finnginn - philosopher poet bartender. I developed this blog as an outlet for these three facets of my personality. I suppose the question is: does Finnginn still serve a purpose now that he no longer serves a pint? 

I'm not much of a one for existential crises. I think we'll just keep the Finnginn nom-de-plume going on the flimsy premise that I can still think like a bartender even if I'm not actually being paid minimum wage to act like one anymore.