Shiny, happy people – REM

I never really knew what the song was about…but its fun and the music video that REM carefully crafted seems to make good use of a children’s tv programme set, a box of old clothes and a man cycling on a bike that goes nowhere. I love this song but I don’t really know why. 33 Million people have watched it on You Tube so I guess they like it too. Have a search for it and a listen if you are too young to recall 1991 !

So what is the relevance to this post – actually not a lot, other than the song title. I only have gone down this track because of a chance conversation with someone who I think of also as one of life’s Shiny, Happy People in more ways than one. Jess is an aspiring nail artist – I met her professionally but to put minds at rest, it wasn’t because I needed my nails doing, but at one of the other roles she has an equal talent for in the world of marketing. Funnily enough though Jess is not the first nail designer I ever met – a few weeks earlier I met someone who travels the world to paint (and I am grossly underselling it by using the word paint) the nails of the worlds top magazine models . But back to Jess , it is she tells me a tough and competitive world out there for nail design – even when you are a shiny and happy person with an instagram page to match. (User name is root_to_beauty) She asked me to refer her to my friends and contacts so here it is. She is based in London, but I guess if you live in New York, Paris or Milan and willing to pay her air fare she is open to offers!!!

Tell me again, why are you doing a blog?

As a teenager on being asked this question as I skulked out of the front door ‘where was I going?’, I would give the standard teenage answer of ‘out‘. In a way the same applies here on being asked why the Blog? …..the answer is ‘because I want to’.

There are however lots of reasons that don’t apply. It’s not to be an Amazon top ten author producing a series of novels with apparent ease..got one of these in the family already; nor to be a highly followed you tuber – ditto for that as well. It’s really just to have somewhere to put this stuff. In the same way that every house has a drawer full of miscellany…this is that drawer. A literary alternative to short pieces of string, a key for a missing padlock, an incomplete set of playing cards, some rubber bands and some saved tissue gift wrap that may be useful one day. So why not just say the stuff? Context, relevance and tolerance all play a part here. Sharing my thoughts today on our current political pantomime might amuse me but not have the same wow factor for the rest of the household avidly ensconced in watching the Andy Murray tennis comeback, or the latest happening in Coronation Street. I know my abilities and I cannot compete with Murray or the Rovers Return pub. Finally and most importantly it’s about doing something new and different even at a later stage of life. A literary mid life crisis? Possibly but it doesn’t involve the purchase of a bright red sports car, or the company of a floozy! So no people, animals or bank accounts were harmed in the making of this blog.

Socks appeal or sex appeal

A rather famous politician always seems to have the misfortune to be bagged by the press before his morning run. Now let’s be positive here….running is good for mind, body and soul. I go running a few times every week, as a minimum to Parkrun on Saturday mornings. If you don’t know about Parkrun then Google it. It may just change your life. Now when I exit the front door on Saturday morning generally I am not pounced on by BBC News, Sky News, CNN, or even the milkman. However I still try to ensure that there is nothing of note about my attire. The trick is to choose the clothes with the lights on and go subtle. However I think this basic rule of cool has not reached the leafy residences of these men of power. The look adopted ironically is only seen in Bermuda..dark socks and light shorts. Not sure if the streets of London are ready for this, or maybe I need to adapt.So where are my black socks?

Frothing for the planet

I am not the world’s biggest coffee drinker, in fact for me as a Brit, it really has to be tea and coffee is only for when outside UK territorial waters. For us Brits ‘foreign’ places either don’t have the right quality tea or fresh milk that has been anywhere near a cow this year. But of late and in tune with my European leanings, I would enjoy a mid morning Latte Machiatto or Campucino..depending on which I can pronounce that day at my coffee vendor of choice! So what about at home? Some years back I was given an electric frother which at best makes some noise, a few bubbles and consigns some more nickel cadmium batteries to an early end to useful life and a whole new life as pollutants. But Fathers Day presented a new alternative from Barista & Co. No batteries but lots of bubbles said my daughter…saviour of the planet. What can I say other than, even this was underpromising and overdelivering. For some reason it just works! A clever device finally to be embraced in our home. Must sign off now, time for coffee.

..where has it been hiding these past years?

Self Service Dog Wash

I went to Bermuda recently and came across this. Now I actually know a lot about Self Service technology but this was a first. My real regret was not following the arrow to see how this works. Bermuda doesn’t actually have many dogs . I hope there is no correlation between this statistic and this cleaning method. As a dog lover I am now having nightmares of dogs losing reproductive capacity due to over zealous rollers or air drying!

One of Dad’s Life Hacks ‘What to do with your free priorities/rewards coffee from your mobile provider’

I credit this entirely to my daughter – someone with the social conscience that would put many of our politicians and celebrities in the shade!

Quite simply whenever those nice people at O2 or Vodaphone message her to say there is a free coffee to be collected at Costa, Cafe Nero etc. she will always claim it and give to a homeless person on the street. Now if we could all just do that..that would be nice. Simples!

Pantomime or Game show? UK chooses a new Prime Minister

If you don’t live in the UK at the moment you will be escaping the bizarre times we live in. Due to this thing called Brexit, our Prime Minister has been , err, well asked to leave by her party. So we need another one. We are not like the US where everyone has their say; we do it a bit more like a TV game show. The party in power get to choose the PM. Just to add to the farce the current party in power doesn’t have a majority! Are you still with me so far – good you are doing well. So, first all the wannabes (or is that wallabies) put their name forward..they do need some other support but not that many. A few swift promises of jobs for the boys or girls secures this. Then the game show stuff happens – Like Love Island, Blind Date, or Naked Attraction there are a series of elimination rounds down to the final two. Fortunately they do all keep their clothes on. This first stage is just voted on by the 300 or so party members with seats in parliament. Just to add to the fun there are live TV debates where they all have a bit of a ‘love in’ …determined not to upset whoever the winner is so that they, a loser , might still get a top job with the winner as Prime Minister.

On these tv programmes they all excel in promising everything and maligning what hasn’t been done by the previous government (yes, you are right…the government that they were in!)

Finally for the last two candidates, the 160,000 party members get to choose the outright winner. Yes that’s right only less than 1% of the whole UK population get a choice in this. Anyway, all very entertaining. Thinking of cancelling Netflicks – this is far more fun.

Finally I’m here..please start on the word finally!

I am somewhat late to this party! Blogs have been around for years and at the last count, there were as far as I know quite a lot of them. In the millions I believe. That however is not really important, but what made me create one is quite simple really. Sainsbury’s (or in fact any supermarket) had previously been my outlet for sharing my words with the captive audience of the cashier unable to escape from me in the way that family and friends can. However out of pity for these people and also the driving advance of self service, I felt a blog may be a more humane alternative. So here we are…just think of this as ‘unexpected item in bagging area’

And about me

I am not your average blogger, but do enjoy sharing life experiences, the funny stuff, the good that that people do. And the name Tockwith? Tockwith is a village where we used to live…I like the name Tockwith. It actually means Dairy Farm in Old English….so there you go! Everyday is an education………

So what next?

More to follow about me, and my life, if you are interested. If you like what you see, please let me know, if it’s not for you, that fine too, I’ll get over it. And there a million other Tockwiths just waiting for you.