Thursday, 25 August 2011

On the road

This is yet another attempt to try to blog using my Nokia phone. I have to say it's a nightmare. I firstly used the Opera browser which crashed on me after spending 30 minutes typing! Then, I tried using the default web browser that doesn't allow me to see what I'm typing before I save it. Both methods failed miserably, so I'm now trying to blog by emailing blogger. I'm not sure about the outcome so please bear with me.

The thing is that it's after 3 in the morning and I'm at Gatwick airport. In a few hours I'm flying to Greece. I have to attend my cousin's wedding and I thought it would be a good idea to visit my parents as well. So, I'm extending the bank holiday weekend. For financial reasons I've booked a cheap easyjet flight which means I'm flying really early in the morning. So, I'm kind of stuck in the airport during the night.

I'm not complaining though since I'm on holiday! I managed to survive my first month at my new job! I still feel some stress but it's not like before. Now, I feel some pressure to prove to them that they did the right thing by hiring me. That minor pressure might go away soon though.

Now, it's getting closer to 3:30. Not many shops here are open and I definitely not feel like some greasy McDonnald's breakfast. I fear that if I snooze I might lose my flight!

Thursday, 18 August 2011


I usually don’t like to complain and I don’t usually swear. I was however on the verge of doing unspeakable things yesterday!

Let me start from the beginning. As most people do, I don’t like waking up in the middle of the night if I don’t have to. Especially to annoying or loud noises. I still remember being 10 years old and waking up once frightened in the middle of the night when the phone starting ringing. It sounded so loud in the middle of the quiet night. On the phone, it was my aunt telling us that my grandmother passed way. I remember these days vividly because it was the first family death I ever faced.

Anyway, I was happily sleeping yesterday night when something woke me up. Don’t ask me how I knew I was happy. Let’s just say that I do enjoy my sleep time. Anyway, the sound that woke me up was a dog barking, really close to my window and the time was 4:00am! At first I got annoyed with the stupid dog! Why did he have to start barking like that in the middle of the night?

I noticed however that he wouldn’t stop and that no human voice tried to calm him. Also, the way he barked wasn’t normal. He didn’t sound like he was trying to protect or attack someone. He sounded like being in pain. A few minutes later he started wailing, so I had to take a look. From my window I could see that the dog was alone, tied closely to the nearby traffic light and he was in distress. He was looking towards the four possible directions of the junction and was barking towards them. Someone obviously simply abandoned the dog there and left him.

I felt so sorry for the dog. He was a white English Bull Terrier and he seemed young. He kept on making circles barking in every possible direction that people might come. This specific breed of dogs are mostly bought from people who are generally, (how can I say that politely?) not respected in the society! Some people call them chavs, white trash etc. I generally find them very cute though.

I started getting very annoyed about this and angry to the person who abandoned their dog like that. I was thinking of possible ways of helping but I couldn’t find a good one. I’m not sure if there is a charity doing 24 hours service that would collect him. I wasn’t feeling very confortable taking the dog myself. I live in a flat and I didn’t know where to put him. My brain wasn’t functioning too well that late at night anyway. Thankfully. The neighbours after a while from across the street went to check on the dog. A lady brought him a bowl of water as well.

The moment the dog saw them, stopped barking and sat down on the road, in complete submission. He whelped a bit and then stopped making any sound whatsoever. He kept on looking at them waiting to see his fate. The people on the street started talking to one another. They were probably trying to decide what to do. After a while, one of them probably suggested taking the dog to his place till the next day.

So, the crisis was over. It was getting 4:30 in the morning though and I was awake. I felt angry at the old dog’s owner and frustrated that I couldn’t sleep. Is it just me, or there are times you want to have learnt a little African voodoo magic to curse some people. Not seriously do them harm, but just a little bit…

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Rumbling Wednesday…

Some years ago I went on one of these dates from hell! He was a Greek guy so I thought that we could easily find some common ground to talk about. Furthermore, I found him from his online pictures cute which is always a plus. Unfortunately the date was anything but good. For a start, the guy didn’t look anything like his pictures. I found out that with the proper light and photo angle you can hide your (very) thinning hair and 20 kilos. I am a gentleman though, so we went for coffee and dinner.

The conversation wasn’t exactly flowing. He didn’t have many interests and he wasn’t too good in small talk either. In general, there are some topics that most people can comment or talk about. These can include cinema, hobbies, travelling, maybe a theatre play or a museum visit or even talk about living in a foreign country. Unfortunately, he didn’t go to the cinema, to museums or to the theatre, he didn’t like travelling since he finds it too much of a trouble without any gain and he found living in London not that exciting! The only thing that he was passionate about was a female Greek singer. He was obsessed with her. He totally loved her. He’s been to almost all her concerts, he believes she’s the most beautiful / talented / extraordinary person on Earth. He was even a creator of a fan club and believe this: He even met her ONCE backstage! Needless to say I wasn’t very impressed but total bored. Apparently, his only friends were the other (crazy) people of that fan club and they organised gatherings to passionately talk about her, create t-shirts, find photos etc.

I don’t know why but I kind of felt sorry for him, so I agreed on a second coffee. During that second meeting, he told me that the next day, it was his birthday so lots of people would go out to celebrate! I thought that it might be a nice opportunity to meet new people and broaden my social circle. Unfortunately, by lots of people he meant two female colleagues and another Greek guy, ‘C’, who he also met on two dates before that night, exactly like me. I wasn’t expecting this but ‘C’ became a very good friend of mine.

I remembered this story because I saw ‘C’ yesterday for dinner and some drinks. He works for a multinational top end technology company with offices everywhere, including of course California. He’s already started the process of being transferred there. He was in San Francisco earlier this year and he told me some really nice stories about some ‘underground’ bear parties he’s been to. Exciting stuff. On one hand I’ve been thinking it’s been long since I went there and on the other hand I was thinking of giving ‘C’ my CV. You never know.

My friendship with ‘C’ has good foundations. We don’t see each other that often, even if we live in the same city, but I like catching up with him from time to time. He’s more of a night-to-early-in-the-morning person than I am. He likes his night life and he’s into the good parties. I do go out at night but I generally wake up when he goes to bed. I used to follow him a lot in various night clubs some years ago. That was before moving out from the city centre and ‘settling down’ with JJ. It’s funny but I’ve never been out dancing like I used to with ‘JJ’. The few times I went out dancing the last couple of years, I did it without him. Don’t ask me exactly why. ‘C’ has already arranged in which club he’s going on Friday. Maybe I should take ‘JJ’ and go along…

Are there things you used to do and then stopped when you entered a relationship? And I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I’m just thinking that it’s a normal way of how things evolve. In the future I might start going on couples’ holidays that I’ve never done before for example. I’m becoming one of the ‘we’ people that Carrie Bradshaw used to hate so much.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Reading letters

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I regularly read a UK magazine called ‘Attitude’. It’s not like I appreciate that much its high quality. There are some articles like what ‘Jedward’ see in their mirror or the fashion section that leave me amazingly indifferent if not sick. However, once in a blue moon there are things there that trigger my interest, like Ewan McGregor’s latest interview. I am a book worm so I really have a need to browse through magazines and read some of them each month.

In the latest issue, there was a letter from a ‘reader’ (who knows if he really exists) worrying about his age difference with his lover. He mentions that he is in his late 50s, divorced with an ex-wife and maybe children (I can’t remember at the moment). His partner is nearly 30 years old. Although they do manage to find some common ground and communicate they are in different stages in their lives with the older man living a much quieter life and the youngster still clubbing with everything included like drugs and alcohol. The writer of the letter would like to know if the relationship is doomed anyway and that he shouldn’t even try to make it work.

Although this type of letters I generally find pointless, even idiotic, since each case and individual is different and there is no point in generalising, I went through the reply. No one can say to you whether you should or shouldn’t stay in a relationship and judge your case like that. The reply mentions mutual understanding, communication and the various other vague things. It states that the chances are the same for each relationship no matter the age difference.

What caught my eye though is the fact that the reply talks about a minority of youths who are not interested in drugs and getting drunk all the time, who he mentions as ‘old souls’! I’m not exactly sure how much of a minority these people are but anyway. That statement made me think that I am an old soul as well and I’m totally fine by it. I don’t know if that makes me a boring person but I don’t really care. Last month, when I was in Santorini, for JJ’s birthday we took the catamaran around the islands. We met there two American married couples, one of which was gay. From the two, one of the gays was the extravert, social one. He was the one doing most of the talking with stories regarding drunken nights and past experiences. After dinner, he took out a small medicine bottle and offered us some pills! As simple as that. I immediately said no, as did JJ and the girl from the third couple. Her husband however accepted one. He did mention the name of the pill, which was some kind of a nerve relaxing drug as JJ later told me.

Since we didn’t accept his pills, we were instantly categorized as the uncool people. He generally stopped addressing to us any questions and gradually excluded us from the conversation. It’s not like I felt offended or anything, I simply felt that it was rude and laughed about it with JJ later. As a person I don’t think I would ever accept an unknown pill from someone I’ve just met an hour ago. I don’t know if that makes me a spoilsport or reasonable. Even when I was younger, the rare occasions I got drunk, I never did it without a safety net, some close friends I trusted that they could take care of me. I’ve never done ‘proper’ drugs and I never thought I’ve missed anything. Maybe I am an old soul. Maybe it will come and haunt me later, becoming a crazy man during my midlife crisis…

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Day at the museums…

You see what I did there? The title is the exact opposite of the ‘Nights at the museum’! Really funny… I know! (I’m so pathetic sometimes).

Anyway, this Saturday the way was fairly nice so we decided with ‘JJ’ to walk around London. We met in the tube station called ‘Embankment’ and we walked on the South Bank of the river Thames all the way to Bermondsey. It’s not that great distance but it’s a nice area to walk with great views of buildings like the ‘St. Paul’s Cathedral or the skyscrapers of the City.

Our first visit was the Gallery @OXO. There’s an exhibition there called ‘Distracting the Colour’ by a very sexy artist called Russell Scott-Skinner. I know that he’s very sexy because he was there and he greeted us while working on a painting which is going in silent auction for a charity. I find quite invigorating watching a focused passionate talented man working like this. It’s the same thing I see in ‘JJ’ when I see him painting. Russell’s work is quite interesting. You can check it out here.

After that we walked towards the ‘Shard’. That’s a new building that will occupy London’s skyline. It looks massive already and they still haven’t built it to the maximum height. I think it will be the tallest building in the city. It looks, well, interesting. When it is finished the pointy top will make it look like a broken piece of glass.

The Shard under costruction

On the way towards the ‘Shard’ we came across the ‘Old Operating Theatre Museum’. At first I wondered whether the museum was about an old theatre that was still operating or regarding an old operating theatre. There was an interesting ‘sculpture’ in the entrance as seen by the photo below, so we agreed that it was the latter. Since we both have an interest in gruesome things we decided to pay it a visit. Generally the museum is small but interesting. Its consists of two rooms, one of which is the old operating theatre. The first room is big and is separated in categories. It has old medicine bottles, pharmaceutical material, old manuals and instruments from the mid 19th century. It explains how they used to amputate patients in the old times and you can see the knives, saws and other various scary looking sharp things.

The entrance of the museum

scary / interesting stuff

The operating theatre is exactly like the ones you've seen in the movies like ‘Jack the Ripper’. It’s small but with an eerie feeling to it. The operating table itself is tiny but it’s obvious how they used to operate on people. According to sketches from that time they even allowed dogs in it to feast on the fallen organs. Generally, I have to say that the museum is interesting. It has a fake feeling to it like the organisers were trying too hard to make it scary. However, it is not bad visiting.

The operating theatre

Our last stop before heading back was the London Design Museum. JJ had never been there and I wanted to take him. The museum is right on Thames, after the ‘Tower Bridge, in a very nice area. It is not that big but it hosts some very nice exhibitions which. You can take a look at the pictures below on some stuff we saw. We ended our daily excursion having lunch in a nearby pub overlooking the bridge and the river. It was a very nice day out.

The outside of the museum


While leaving the museum the clouds began to gather

Saturday, 6 August 2011

5 on the Fifth

Welcometo the '5 on the fifth', a posting where you share 5 photographs taken on the days leading to the 5th of each month. It's organised by Stephen from 'The State of the Nation UK'. This month's theme is 'MY TOWN' and here are the photos from my area,

The Hammersmith Bridge, 5 minutes from my place

Walking by the Thames

My road...

A weird looking restaurant called 'Robin Hood - Zorro'! I really don't know what the owners were thinking when naming it. I've never been inside...

At the local pub on a nice warm day sitting outside...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Random thoughts…

Have you ever thought how nice it would be if your mind had a ‘print screen’ button? You know, the button that locks a mental picture in your mental clipboard that you can store and view anytime you want? Wouldn’t you like to be able to print your memory ‘Kodak’ moments? That is what I was thinking this Sunday at the gym… Yes, at the gym but I can’t go too much into detail… The story is a bit x rated. It includes a sexy straight Middle Eastern man who had the bright idea to go to the sauna in just his white briefs.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday on a very warm night. It’s supposed to be 24 degrees Celsius outside, which is very warm, especially for London, after 10 at night. However, instead of a cold drink / beer / white wine, I’m having a very warm, almost boiling drink. I’m having some Lemsip, because I’m feeling a bit under the weather. It’s probably the time of the year / humidity / viruses / air conditioning / suit wearing that caused this. I can’t afford though to stay in bed so I’ll try to get all the help I can get from the pharmaceutical industry while drinking lots of fluids. I hope I’ll be fine in no time…

I’m turning into a very boring person. I’m being consumed by my new job. For the time being I can’t help it though. I truly feel exhausted after a normal swift and I can’t be my normal social, active person. I had a session with my personal trainer and I wanted to choke him out of frustration. I had no willingness or power to follow him. I hope this will pass as well…

I’m beginning to lose readers of my blog already…

I have the suspicion that my nearly-axe-bearing-Tolkien-hero of manager I described on my last post is a homophobe. It could be because I am slightly more sensitive on the matter so I am still giving him the benefit of the doubt. It includes a story about how his previous boss had a filthy mouth and the worst phrase he used to say was: ‘fucking homosexual’! (Can I say fucking in an r-rated blog?). The verdict regarding him is not out yet…

Changing subjects again, which internet browser are you using to view this website? I’m sorry to say that if you are in Internet Explorer, according to statistics, you are not the coolest beer in the fridge, or the fastest bunny on the fields, or the… you get the picture. That’s all based to this study…