A Makem and a Geordie go for a job

Had to give you this joke:

A makem (man from Sunderland) applied for a job at a factory in his home town. A geordie (man from Newcastle) applied for the same job and since both applicants had similar qualifications, the manager asked them to take a test. When the results were in, both men had scored 19 out of 20.

The manager went to the makem and said, “Thank you for coming to the interview, but we’ve decided to give the geordie the job.”

The Makem said, “Why? We both got 19 questions correct. This being Sunderland and me being from Sunderland surely I should get the job.”

The manager replied, “We have made our decision not on the correct answers, but on the question you got wrong.”

The makem said, “And just how would one incorrect answer be better than another?”

The manager said, “Simple. On question number 7 the geordie wrote down, ‘I don’t know.’

“You put down, ‘Neither do I ‘”

Lifted from Of course, I could be wrong…..


Sorry for not posting. This week has been so incredibly busy and I am very much looking forward to the weekend a relaxing a bit on the beach.

Of course, this is before the BIG DAY on Monday, for it is on Monday morning that we shall go and collect Piero and bring him to his new home.

And, in celebration (and also ‘cos he did a Guardian interview), you have to check out this blog from a dog!

Stuff I have done and not done.

Well, let’s see what I’ve done.

Firstly all the windows have curtains now. Well, except for the kitchen, they had curtains before. What they now have, in addition, are nets. It means I can walk around naked without anyone seeing :-)

Not that I do that – it’s just that now I can ……… if I want to :-)

The bedroom has dark blue nets and the lounge, cream-coloured nets – floor to ceiling stuff (well, not ceiling, but top of windows). It makes the flat seem more private. I like it.

The kitchen used to have a cross between nets and blinds. These have been washed and are now back up. I leave the shutters open all the time in the kitchen and although no-one can see in unless they crane their necks, it’s nice to have that feeling of privacy.

And I have a printer/scanner/copier – and it seems to work, well, the scanner and copier work anyway. This means I can give people the stuff from my lessons without having to do stuff at work. Or, at least, when I’m not AT work, I can still give them stuff. OK the quality is not the same high quality but at least it doesn’t stop me or mean I have to do a ton of scanning when I get back. I must try out the printer, of course.

And it’s all wireless stuff so it means I can move it so it’s out of the way – but that’s a job for tomorrow, or Friday.

I say tomorrow or Friday because I need to move some stuff to make room for it. And moving some stuff means moving some other stuff. And that means trying to sort out the bedroom …. a bit. And that’s not for now.

I also tried to watch Black Swan again. But it kind of fell apart when I had to sort out the printer and so, halfway through, I gave up on it. I don’t think I actually like the film very much. I took note of TSM’s comments abut it being a psychological thriller but, you know, at that level it just fails so badly.

Tomorrow is shopping and lunch with FfC. Or the other way around. I don’t mean nice shopping – just grocery shopping. I was going to do my favourite pasta today – pasta with broccoli – I have broccoli but, horror of horrors (considering the country I live in) – I HAVE NO PASTA! To be honest, I was a bit shocked. How can I have used the last bit of pasta and not got some more? I was devastated and somewhat embarrassed. But I have a lesson tonight so not really enough time to go out and get some and come back and cook it (AND get the printer working). So on a priorities basis, pasta will be got tomorrow. Well, not cooked tomorrow ‘cos I will be out to lunch. But Friday, maybe. Not Thursday because F HATES broccoli. And cauliflower. He is a bit strange, sometimes. Thursday I might do a Shepherd’s Pie for him – as I know he likes that a lot. And, maybe, Rice Pudding, which I haven’t made for ages. Or we use one of my Groupon vouchers – else they will have run out. Yes, probably that. It’s a holiday, after all.

Oh, yes, and it’s still raining. This is exactly why I didn’t want a holiday now. Grrrr.

p.s. My student for tonight, M2, just Skyped me to ask for the meaning of quadrifoglio. I looked it up and the answer was four-leaf clover. I thought it must be wrong and he means something else but he was happy with the answer. Now, why on earth would someone want to know the English for quadrifoglio? Why? What sort of conversation is he having that he needs to know that?

Rhetorical Questions

I love my new computer! It means that, whilst I write this I can listen to some greats, like Melanie’s Ruby Tuesday.

Now, I ask you, what shall I do? I mean to say, really, it’s a rhetorical question, since, even if you gave me any advice I’d still go with my gut at the time.

However, the dilemma is this: Gordon has made it very plain that this ‘thing’, if we have one, has to go slowly. He needs the time to think through his feelings and he doesn’t want to be hurt nor hurt anyone else (which, I guess, would be me). This ‘thing’ cannot be rushed.

He is, absolutely, right, of course. One cannot tell if, after a number of weeks or months, one actually finds that the person that initially seemed so appealing, is, really just annoying or, worse, not attractive (either physically or mentally). It’s a risk, of course. Jump in now and take the risk that within 1 week/2 weeks/1 month, etc. It’s all over.

On the other hand, my view is considerably different. Firstly, the person that you are ‘with’ is not perfect. There will be things that annoy you, frustrate you, make you mad or sad or bad. They may not get on with your friends, your parents, fit in with the way you want your life to be, etc. What one does, of course, is some sort of compromise, something where there is give and take. You find the things you don’t like and, if you really want to, you either put up with it or the other person, if they really want to, adapt their behaviour accordingly.

Many times, these things are, in reality, trivial. Things such as the infamous ‘leaving the lid off the toothpaste tube’, throwing dirty clothes on the floor, etc. Many times, the person won’t even know that it annoys the other person. Sometimes if it is just pointed out to them, they can and will modify their behaviour.

At the end of it all, it’s about living together as a unit, as a couple.

The trouble is that, in my mind, it really doesn’t matter if it’s 20 minutes, 20 hours, 20 days, 20 months or, in my most recent experience, 20 years! So, at what point do you consider it ‘safe’ to try?

See, for me, the fastest and most secure way, is to get together immediately. OK, this is really for me. If I am ‘attached’ to someone, I stop looking at anyone else. I don’t even notice them. They mean nothing to me. My whole being is focused on the person to whom I am attached. They get my complete and full attention.

And, in this situation, I am at a loss as to what to do. What if Gordon decides, in, say, 1 month, that we should just remain friends? And if I have dumped all the ‘potentials’, I have to start all over again. So, I am trying to keep the channels open without committing. Really, in my head, I want to tell them all that I’m no longer available – but, that’s not necessarily true.

There is another option. Tell Gordon. Be upfront with him. Explain the situation and how I feel and what it’s all about and ask him how I’m supposed to cope with this; manage it or how we move forward, without jeopardising it all. However, when to do this? I mean by that, what is the right time? Now, tonight? When I am alone with him, in the car? It’s not perfect – after all, he will get out of the car and start to think about it all.

Of course, I know the perfect time. The perfect time is in bed. This is when you hold each other close and is the closest that you can be. This is the right time. But that’s not for a few days, at least, maybe, even the weekend. Will this be too late?

I don’t want to start something with lies and half-truths. I’m not good at that anyway. He must know that (well, he kind of does know) I am actually looking; we have discussed that anyway – what we are all looking for.

I could do it in a way that seems as if I am asking his advice. Leaving him to take the initiative.

Oh, but I know myself too well. I can’t afford to wait. Although, right this moment, there is only Gordon, tomorrow is another day……..and I don’t want that, I don’t want to see someone else, see someone that I think is better. I want only Gordon.

I’m sure (really certain) that Cecilieaux would say that I should take it easier……..but I am dangerous on my own, without having someone to focus on

So, having written this, I do need to find a way to explain and tell him. I also need to decide when and I don’t want it to ruin tonight – but tomorrow night I am supposed to be seeing someone else (this was arranged a little while ago). I want to cancel tomorrow. I want to cancel them all – to wait for Gordon but it may not be wise to do that.

So, yes, I must find a way and must do it and must do it soon. Maybe tonight, if the time is right………..I just didn’t want it to be rushed, to be without holding, without a closeness that will not be there tonight.

After all, it is really my need, not his and it has to be something that comes across in the right way……

Relationships – bloody difficult – which is why I said, some months ago, that I wasn’t going to do them again…..but, of course, that’s not really me either, is it?

Again, a rhetorical question. Thanks for listening.

Apparently, it’s not like in the films at all……

A ‘great’ post here although not one for the squeamish.

However, I highly recommend it as it is very informative and, I suspect, accurate.  It is also a little amusing in places, for instance, this bit:

…..after any on-screen death, the deceased is looking as clean and sanitised as a made-up corpse in a funeral home. They do not poo in their pants of fill their mouths with Kraft-Cheesey-Pasta-Esque strings of phlegm.

They definitely don’t leave one eye steadfastly stuck open no matter how many times you demurely pass your hands over their face, leaving you with the dilemma of “I wish I could close that lid, it looks bad, but the only way to do it is to poke this dead man in the eye…I’m pretty certain I’m not supposed to do that.”

It’s all about protecting you


I wonder, at what point will the British people rise up and revolt, really, against the changes being made to supposedly protect them?

There has been talk before (depending on where you read, of course) of Great Britain becoming a ‘police state’ and yes, it seems that there are some laws or changes that have been made with do cause some disquiet.

However, reading a couple of the latest stories (here and here), as well as numerous blogs (e.g. here), I find it hard to understand what is going on if it’s not turning into a police state.

From what I understood, the police work for us and so do the government (who make the laws upon which the police act). But something seems quite wrong, really, if innocent people, doing things that should> be fairly innocent, are surrounded by coppers thugs, handcuffed in the street for some time and then told, in the end, that it is for their safety.

I’m afraid (and I mean that in the true sense of the word) that, sooner or later, there will be a backlash. Certainly something has to happen. If nothing happens and no one cares enough then it seems like the terrorists won out in the end, destroying the freedom that we enjoyed in the UK by allowing the government (and their strong-arm boys, the Police) to make the UK resemble an old-style Fascist/Communist/Dictatorship state.

However, I’m sure this only happens in the bigger cities, so that’ll be alright, then, won’t it?

Finally, death!


And, finally, we talked about death. And it seemed fitting as it was the end of the conversation. We had talked about death before – about how he was living in the flat of a woman who had died not twelve months earlier and, whether it was true or not, how he had hoped that she may not have died in her bed – the very bed that he was now sleeping in. We came to the conclusion that it was less likely, these days, as everyone seems to go to hospital or an ‘old people’s home’ to die.

But here we were, at the end of a very pleasant afternoon, saying goodbye, in that stretched out way that one does when, in reality, one doesn’t want it to end but is unsure how one can keep it going, one of us having already said we must get back, as if that were really important, which, of course, it really wasn’t, but how one doesn’t want to ruin something that has been going so well and, in order not to ruin it or run out of conversation or say something that will annoy or upset the other person, although neither of us would have said anything, I’m sure, we cut it short but then linger over this goodbye, by adding some question, which, of course, is normal and innocent enough.

And, it didn’t start off as death at all but rather holidays and then drifted into one of those conversations; a conversation that had been going all afternoon, through life, through love (both now and past), through politics, through everything, in a flow that was not forced or stilted and rambled on, much as this post is doing because we were busy (or, rather I was busy) finding out more about a person that I liked (and here, I thought about the word a lot because, in reality, it was a person that I had fallen in love with, not in a way that I was in love with V but only for the words that we had between us because, until this point, there were only words and, like being in love, I have found, over the time, a strange yearning, like I would have for a lover but, instead of this desire being for the body and a physical thing it was the yearning for more of the words and I eat each one as if I haven’t eaten at the table of literature for many years just like the insatiableness (I don’t even know if that is a real word) one has for a lover’s body and so, in the end, love would be better than like but I didn’t want you (my dear reader) to get the wrong idea) and wanting to say things that I don’t say to others because he knew me but in a way that no one else really does, since he had a perception of me that came only from this, this here, and wanting to explain myself (as if, by explaining myself, he would quickly see the things that I may have missed or, even better, that others may have missed) and the reason I was here and not having enough time and rushing through explanations in a terrible way.

And, holidays led to one thing and another (but quickly so that it wasn’t something deliberate) to death and, in the main, other people’s deaths, or, rather, lingering deaths that, because of the health care and drugs and such-like, is now more common than, perhaps 30 or 50 or, certainly, 100 years ago (see the link above) but, as a conclusion, we decided that a quick death was preferable, like a heart attack or a stroke that was so debilitating that death was swift and, one would hope, less painful. Worst was the death of the mind, since the mind is the person and that is what counts.

And that is what counts.

And, lest you misunderstand this post, the hours we had spent talking and laughing and so on, about the important things and the trivial things was, and I hesitate to use this word as many people consider it over-used, nice but I will as it fits. Again, I thought about the word a lot. I wanted to say wonderful or fabulous and they fit too but, again, it gives the wrong impression when, in reality it was comfortable and made me feel warm and was, well, nice (although I could have added ‘really’ in front of it).

And, even though I know that he will probably read this and may be disappointed that, given all that I said during the afternoon, what I did fail to add, was that I understood (or, at least, I thought I did) the person who was convinced that they were going to die, as I have and have had the same feelings except that, in my case they haven’t yet come true and, perhaps because I don’t have anyone to tell them to, I’ve never mentioned it and, in any case, it seemed crass and presumptive of me to say anything, like someone who knows you’re gay and says things like, oh I have a friend who’s gay, as if that makes it alright and gives them a green ticket to understanding me, which, of course, it doesn’t and is what I hate people doing to me and, therefore, there was no way that I was gong to do it to him.

So, just in case you (my ‘word lover’) read this rubbish that I have written, please don’t think that I was being disingenuous or secretive or closed. It just didn’t seem right. And I didn’t want to spoil an afternoon that I had enjoyed and felt so comfortable with, in a way that I don’t often feel and for which I want to thank you and have found it so difficult to explain using words which is what, after all, we both love.

When is a question not a question? When it’s asked by an Italian!


Sometimes, I just love Italians and the way they think. It’s like living on a different planet.

Having been to Mantova’s Festivaletteratura a number of times I have found that, given the opportunity to speak in public, they really don’t know when to stop or, worse, get to the point.

This is particularly true when they ask questions.

The night before last, I was honoured to be invited to my good friend Stef’s graduation, for he has worked very hard over the last two years and got his MBA. As usual, when he is pleased with himself (as he has every right to be), he just can’t stop grinning.

Of course, before the actual handout of the certificates, there had to be some speech by some guy and then he was asked questions from the panel of lecturers. The last question though, took about 3 minutes to ask and then, at the end, the question failed to materialise! They are a strange people, these Italians.

There was another guy who, I think, was actually doing the handing out – he actually started his speech by saying it would be brevissimo (very short). Of course, he was Italian so that was his own special joke and he continued to talk for over 15 minutes!

Anyway, aside from that it was a very nice evening with drinks and apero food afterwards. N & I managed to get quite a few prossecco’s down us and I met Stef’s parents and younger brother.

There was only one thing, and this is one of those little things that still smart after all this time – if V & I had been together and there, after the event, it would have been nice to go for a quick pizza. But we’re not together and even though I really fancied it, I didn’t go on my own. I did resist calling him which, I thought, was good, as it would have felt far too needy – at least from my point of view.