Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Human flu

I visited the Westcountry at the weekend and brought back some kind of horrible cold/flu bug. I was too embarrassed to call in sick to work as everybody knew I had been away for the weekend so they would assume I was just hungover. With the assistance of Lemsip (max strength) to stop my nose running and Hennessy (vsop) to soothe my throat and take away the taste of the paracetamol I struggled through. 

I noticed my corner shop still sells the original standard strength Lemsip. I was too ill to do a compare and contrast experiment on myself. But if I had been feeling better, it would have been interesting to do a blind experiment whereby I got someone to make me either a Lemsip (max strength) and Hennessy (vsop) or a Lemsip (standard strength) and Hennessy (vsop) or some kind of placebo e.g. Hot Lemon squash and Hennessy (vsop) and I could keep notes about how often I sneezed or whatever.

I tried explaining this to someone at the pub and they said it would never work because I would never find someone willing to make me hot drinks all day.

I've just googled it and apparently paracetamol and alcohol are a really bad mix. Next time I've got a cold I will have to take ibuprofen with my brandy.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Sports Thoughts

The Rugby World Cup starts tonight. I quite like rugby fans as there is never any trouble when they are in (because they are all massive so nobody would dare start anything). Fans of opposing teams sit all mixed in together and all clap a good try or conversion regardless of which team scored it. What's weird is the same people who are so good-natured when they are watching say Scotland play rugby turn into sectarian arsehats when they are watching Celtic play Aberdeen in the football.

The crowds gather outside the Temple Bar in anticipation...

Football fans are so partisan. I find it funny that a fan of the losing team can be seriously convinced that every referee decision for them was valid and every decision against them a travesty of justice and never doubt themselves. Another favourite is when they claim that they played better despite losing as if the score was not the final determinant in such matters.

I have difficulty with my pronouns when talking about sport. I always forget to say 'we' when talking about England. People are generally kind about it and don't tend to pick me up on it, or perhaps they assume I am Scottish because of my ginger hair.

The first time I drank beer and enjoyed it was during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. It was Stella Artois out of a stubby green bottle on the 18th June, the day England lost to the All-Blacks. I've basically never looked back...

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Strange noises in the night

Charlie, Spike and I have settled into our new house together and it is all set up rather nicely except for the fact we have no curtains (which Spike rather likes, him being of the photosynthetic persuasion and I can't stand, being of the have to wear an eyemask to sleep in at the bottom of a coalmine persuasion) or bookshelves.

Spike enjoying the natural light.
Then there is the strange noise whenever it rains. I have a habit of moving into houses which make strange noises. I'm sure you all remember how I solved the mystery of the singing freezer using the methods of Karl Popper. Well the new noise is a kind of a cross between a  doink and a thrum. It has the characteristic random pattern that you might associate with windchimes or rather a single wind chime because it has a non-musical but sequential structure to it. Oh and it only happens when it rains.

We've been through and eliminated all the usual explanations: pipework, neighbours, poltergeists etc. Why would pipework be affected by the weather? Why would neighbours make a strange sound when it was raining? Why posit a supernatural entity when reason and experience would indicate that there are natural explanations for most phenomena?

Then I happened to leave the house one day when it was raining. (I know, crazy life, huh?) Some guttering has developed a crack and when it rains the water makes an intermittent waterfall that falls directly onto a hanging basket support that is insufficiently tightly screwed to the wall. Doink and indeed thrum! Mystery solved. Now all I have to do is purchase a screwdriver... (it can live in the drawer with my hammer)

For those of you who are following my new career writing the internet for money, here is a link to the latest uncredited Finnginn blog to go online. You can tell it was me because of how I manage to shoehorn Johann Walter von Goethe into an advert for a printing firm.


Monday, 7 September 2015

Why I won't be voting in the Labour leadership election...

You can imagine my embarrassment when I applied to be a supporter of the Labour party so I could vote in their leadership election and was accepted. All the lefties I know have been barred from voting. The Norfolk People's Alliance drink in the pub sometimes on a Thursday and at least one third of them didn't even bother applying for a vote, so certain was he that his activism would be flagged up. 

Is it too much to expect some lowly intern who dreams of one day becoming a spad to trawl through my Facebook Profile, clicking on all the links to this blog and carefully reading them for clues to my latent anarcho-syndicalism? Could nobody at Labour HQ hack into my Amazon account and see how many Noam Chomsky books I have bought over the years? Surely there must be a police file somewhere containing photos of me marching against the Iraq war in 2003 with all those friendly Muslims and dangerous old ladies holding signs saying "make tea not war"? 

When the Labour Party doesn't reject you as a Trotskyite entryist, you have to ask yourself where you have been going wrong.

Of course, even though I haven't been barred from voting, they haven't actually emailed me my ballot paper yet. So unless they get their act together, that is why I won't be voting in the Labour leadership election.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Selling Out

Victoria Wood has an early stand up sketch about muesli, where she compares the hard work involved in eating the cereal to having two jobs. As a child, I found this funny because I appreciated the hard work involved in eating muesli, even if I had no experience of the second half of the simile until last year - when I decided it would be a good idea to get a second job. I'm sure you all remember my disastrous attempt at operating guided walks for the local language school. A job that I was not invited to take up again this summer.

This year, I thought something more sedentary would suit me. So I got myself a job blogging. I've been blogging for free for years to entertain myself and my nine followers (hi folks!). But it turns out you can get paid to do it. As long as you want to blog about, say, conservatories or patios - which I don't, obviously or I would use my own blog to talk about them. I'm just selling out. 

But knowledge has an annoying way of sticking and now I find myself in a situation where I know a lot about conservatories. Previously, I would look at a glass and brick construction attached to the side of a house and think, if I thought at all, 'that is a conservatory.' Now, not only do I know the difference between a conservatory and an orangery, I also know how to distinguish between Victorian and Edwardian designs and gable-ended and lean-to structures. I know what is wooden and what is u-PVC and which is better in which circumstances. And don't get me started on glass...

I can't share any of this knowledge of course because I don't know anyone who wants a conservatory. 

Some of the spiked copy I have sent in has started to go up online, so if you are in Norfolk and need a conservatory or patio or loft conversion, you might find yourself reading a blog that has a familiar style.

Link for the truly dedicated Finnginn (or patio) fan.