Saturday, July 30, 2005

A day in the life...

Planning to leave at 12.00 for the two and a half hour journey to an interview I had at 3.00, I was cursing my habit of leaving everything to the last minute when at 11.55 I was still putting the finishing touches to the presentation I had to do.

12.00 came and I was ready though. A little bit rushed and a little bit unprepared, but that's par for the course with me and nothing I can't blag my way through.

Where's my bloody car keys?

Losing my car keys isn't normally an issue, I've lost them before but usually trace steps or something and find them within a few minutes.

At 12.15 I was getting a bit twitchy. They were nowhere to be seen, the house was relatively tidy so it didn't need a lot of turning upside down, but they were nowhere to be seen.

A quick call to Young Watski who was luckily in the area secured the loan of his car for the rest of the day. As one minor obstacle was surmounted another one appeared on the horizon in the shape of my suit jacket and the fact that it was looking at me from inside the car that I couldn't get into.

With no time change into my other suit, which would have been a problem anyway as it was at the dry cleaners - the smaller framed Watski Jnr stepped into the breach again.

Rushing down to the interview unprepared, with a tighter, not exactly the same colour jacket, in a car that wasn't mine. I was wondering, not for the first time, and probably not for the last, why I continually put myself in these positions.

And that's not the end of it....

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Well you may have noticed the distinct lack of activity around here lately. It's not because I haven't got anything to say, I've got loads of stuff swimming around. It's because I dont know how to or if I should say it.

My life has been pretty much turned upside down in the last 2 weeks and I've thought some pretty deep things which may have been better for me to write out and make sense of rather than think about, but I always intended this blog to be about observations rather than feelings.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Pigs in space....

The BBC report that

“China is planning to study the effects of outer space on sperm by sending the semen from pedigree pigs into orbit.

Some 40 grams of pig sperm will be taken on board the Shenzhou VI spacecraft for its October launch. ”.

Now. If it's really necessary to test the effects of sperm in space. And it's debatable, but you have to assume that it is. Surely there are easier ways.

A couple of jazz mags in the lavvies would have sufficed surely.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Hey ho

Sorry for the lack of activity lately. Things are a very shit shade of shit round here at the moment.

I haven't even got the enthusiasm to talk about the downside of the heat being that you have to have the bedroom windows open, which means you get woken up at all hours by the slightest noises outside.

Friday, July 08, 2005

A thought...

There have been so many indescriminate atrocities over the last few weeks, from assasinations to bombings to assaults and murders outside shops. The world we live in is wicked.

Is the only reason I'm able to write this today not through device or judgement or planning - but merely down the simple luck of never so far being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Let the train be a pain

Dear person in charge of the railways.

I had cause to visit our great capital city the other day. Yes, I did have all my innoculations and carried all my valuables in a mugger proof container strapped to the inside of my thigh. I did however forget the gas mask and translation booklet.

My visit was purely business. For an interview. For a company based in Ealing. My driving route from Gods vegetable patch in the Midlands was: M1, A43, M40 and A40 for your information.

The problem was that my interview was at 8.30am. On a Monday morning. No, I am not mad, yes I know it was early, yes I know the traffic would have been a bugger, yes I did try to change the time. Thanks for your concern.

Getting there for this time meant me awaking at 4am, as the journey could have taken anything from 3 hours upwards. This is not taking into account the time difference and any potential hold ups at passport control.

I'm not good in the morning. And 4 am is pribably not even considered the morning.

Which made the brainwave I had whilst taking my shower all the more remarkable.

"Why not try the train?" I thought.

After drying myself I hopped downstairs, carefully checking the windows to ensure that no-one was about to see my near nakedness (I shouldn't have worried really, most of my nieghbours dont get up until after Trisha has finished and then make a bee-line for the town centre to harass people) and checked for the times of trains to London on the interweb. Oh this was a good idea - I could slide on down to London letting the train take the strain. I felt free.

Feel free to use 'let the train take the strain' in any Marketing bumpf that you may produce in the near future that will no doubt end up being posted through my letterbox. If I'm going to read random advertisements for services I will never use that have been placed through my letterbox then I may as well have written them in the first place. I'd hate to think of you paying extortionate costs for copywriters when your customers are blessed with much more inspiration. And come for free. Most of the time.

So I looked on the trainline website - there was a train departing from Grantham at 6.17am or thereabouts getting into Londinnium at 7.30ish. Grantham is about an hour from me so that wasn't a problem. A quick hop, step and tube across the City and I would be in Ealing in good time. It was getting better.

Then I checked availability. Yes, spaces were available on the outbound and inbound services. Which was good as I only needed the one space. This was seeming too good to be true.

My illusions were quickly shattered when I went to check the prices.

The figure seemt to say £78. In fact there was no 'seemt' about it. It did say £78.

'Obviously some mistake' I thought to myself. So I decided to ring the National Rail Enquiries to get the truth.

"Ive just been checking your trains to London" I said to the pleasant man answering the phone.

By referring to this man as 'pleasant' I do hope you realise that I'm letting the side down. My Mother was employed at National Rail Enquiries in Derby shortly before you (probably not you exactly) decided to outsource this service to the moon, and she'd be horror struck to find out that her replacement is actually 'pleasant' and not a murderer.

"There's one leaving from Grantham at 6.17" I continued. Telling him information he already knew.

"Only there seems to be some mistake with the price - it says £78"

"No. that's right Sir. £78. It is peak time"

"Well I'm aware that it is peak time, but surely that's the exact time that you should be encouraging people to abandon more environmentally destructive forms of transport by offering fairer prices. It's going to cost me about £25 to get to London and back in petrol, and I'm prepared to take a £50 gamble on the traffic"

"Yes, I see your point Sir"

"I'm talking to the wrong person about this aren't I?

"Yes Sir. I don't do prices."

So I left the pleasant man in the moon to his pleasant job and got in the car and drove to London. After I'd got ready obviously. And you know what? The roads were clearish and the weather was nice. I was there in plenty of time too.

I know you'll tell me about the cheap day, early riser, egg shaped fred saver ticket, or whatever the password for it is nowadays. But I didn't even know I'd got this interview until the Friday before and I only considered the train on the very morning I was travelling. So not much good. And who books train journeys weeks in advance except old dears going to spend their life savings watching Phantom of the Opera?

So if you'd like to explain the brainwave behind the strategy of charging lots of people lots of money to travel on a full peak time train whislt at the same time charging a few people not as much money for travelling on an equivalent sized but mostly empty off peak train, then I'd be ever so grateful.

In the meantime I'll be putting the £53 I saved into my 'driving to London' fighting fund and not feeling guilty about a thing.

And if ever I see 'let the train take the strain' in any Marketing communication then I'm going to be in contact again.

Yours Faithfully

Mr Watski.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Mixing in the wrong circles

I've never met that many famous people in my life. Other than probably Arthur Scargill, oh and Neil Kinnock - if he's considered famous now. But other than that it seems that famous people have never wanted to meet Watski, they probably cant afford the security that comes with it.

Shed Seven were my early 20's heroes, I saw them live loads of times and bought everything they ever made, I was a real fan. Then one day in the window of the local HMV I saw a notice saying that they were going to be signing copies of their latest album at some point in the future.

Now, I'm going to tell you a secret here - between me and you, so don't tell anyone: my first name is Mark. As a tribute to me, Shed Seven made a record called 'Mark'. And as the song was written for me about me, I thought it would be a shame to deprive Shed Seven of the chance of meeting their inspiration. I was so cool at the time, I was also going to let Shed Seven quote a line from the song as the 'cd signing'. I was pretty pleased at being so cool.

So I turn up at the signing in my lunch hour in my oversized suit and am disappointed that I'm made to queue behind other people, and that I'm not being ushered to the front whilst girls scream and throw phone numbers at me. I consider telling the security guy that I am actually the Mark, but decide that it's best not to make a fuss and draw attention to myself - and it's probably best to take in the last few minutes of anonymity before being flung into celebritydom.

An hour later I'm at the front of the queue and I've been rehearsing the cool way I'm going to ask Rick Witter (the lead singer) to sign the line; 'Mark my words'.

"Can you sign it 'Mark my words' please Rick?"
I said in my rock and rollest way. And stand back waiting for the start of the rest of my life.

"Sure, one of my favourite songs - are you a Mark?" Rick replies

"Yes I am" I reply, so pleased that Rick knows my name and wants to be my best mate.

"I want to swop you for another" Rick added

Now this is another line of the song. I'm so overwhelmed by it all that I'm totally oblivious to the significance of what Rick has just said to me - the fact that Rick is talking to me in the special code that only we know has passed me by. The special code in which he has invited me to be his best mate, to also be part of the band and tour with them has gone unnoticed by a star struck kid in a big suit on his lunch hour.

So instead of accepting his kind offer, I instead acknowledge this invitation with:

"Oh thanks, bye".

If I'd have looked back I'm sure that Rick would have had his head in his hands and shedding a tear.

Or he probably thought I was a right tit.