Just a quick "hello" to anyone passing by who might for some inane reason be worried that this blog may actually be dead; it isn't! Huzzah, rejoice, etc.
Key requirements for a blog: 1) write little; 2) write often; 3) write interesting(ly); and 4) engage your audience.
I'm proud to be able to tell you today that I excel on no less than zero out of the four of the above principles.
Not only am I too scared to look at the date of my last blog post on here, but I've completely forgotten what I wrote about. You could wave a copy of my last entry under my nose and I'd have trouble distinguishing it from a hole in the ground, although that probably says more about my goldfish-capacity memory.
Here's a lightning-quick, probably-not-as-interesting-to-you-as-I-think-it-is recap of the last 12-ish months of my life:
- Stopped smoking;
- Left job and England behind and moved to Ibiza;
- Got bored of not using my brain after 1 week and came home;
- Went back to my former NHS job;
- Bought 'spensive suit at Marks & Sparks. Felt (and walked) like a pimp. Got funny looks from other commuters;
- Visited parents for xmas. Ate too much;
- Took some photos of some things;
- Wisdom tooth snapped in half. Still managed to avoid seeing dentist for two months;
- Went to dentist. Dentist pulled tooth out. Asked me - with evil glint in eye - to come back next week. TBC;
- Took some more photos of some more things (to be posted to Flickr sometime);
- Visited the Better Half's parents in Belgium, yet wasn't kidnapped by MI6 operatives, didn't experience extraordinary rendition to a far-away corner of Russia to answer "questions", didn't enjoy a polonium milkshake in a Belgian Maccy D's, and wasn't even punched in the face by BH's father. Highly disappointing...;
- Did some coding with this Drupal interwebs thingbob I build websites with. Very fun (for me; highly boring for normal people, I know); will be releasing three Drupal modules - probably to perpetual dev/alpha - just as soon as I figure out how to do so on drupal.org;
- Noticed slight draft in "downstairs area" and stifled giggling behind/below me as I ascended escalators at London Bridge station one morning. On arriving home, found fist-sized hole worn through crotch of suit trousers. Suspect hot pink-trimmed boxer shorts may have been complicit in giving the game away;
- Took trousers to M&S today and begged lady to help me fix my suit in time for next week's job interviews. I was prepared to use begging, pleading, and offers of bribery with freshly baked goods from Greggs, but in the end only had to resort to being polite. Turns out she was a Very Nice Lady indeed, as I got a full refund on trousers and jacket and headed straight downstairs where Frank the Suit Fitter, the BH and I picked out a hella-nice new suit;
- Tomorrow I'm taking back my shoes which have also fallen apart. What's the worst that could happen?**
- Oh, and did I mention I'm looking for a job? Yes? Then I shall shaddap now.
* Sorry, there's no talk of proportional representation here really; I only said it to get you to read the rest of this blog entry - I know how politics can be sexy. Ahem... ;o)
** Yes, I have seen the Dr Pepper adverts :o)
Thanks for reading! See you all in 12 months...?
... or, more accurately, on your back - click through the image to buy the Very Reasonably-Priced (and possibly abuse-causing) hoodie:
"So you know where all these hostels are, yeah?" said the PR girl as she handed us €5,000-worth of club tickets and pocketed our passports.
"Sure," Steph and I nodded uncertainly as we scanned a printed list of hostel names I'd only ever seen before in Lastminute.com searches for hotel accommodation in San An, and the thought ran through my mind that I was about to become the latest willing victim to one of the oldest identity theft scams in the world as my passport was whicksed away from me, maybe never to be seen again...
Steph and I are sitting in the air conditioned offices of an Ibizan PR agency-cum-workers' accommodation office-cum-internet café, about to be sent off around San Antonio to sell club tickets to people in their hotel rooms. Well... That's the idea anyway. If nothing else, pretty much everyone comes on holiday with one piece of advice from their parents - "be careful who you answer your door to, and don't give them any money. You don't know what they're really up to," and I for one wouldn't buy tickets from some sweaty English bloke who comes knocking on my door in the middle of my siesta asking for several hundred euros in exchange for some bits of paper. A good start, then.
"One other thing," continued PR Girl. "If you get caught, don't say who you're working for." Get caught? People are likely to be chasing me? "And," she continued, "don't do business in the corridors or the streets. Always ask customer to do the deal in their rooms." At this point, I carried out a quick mental inventory to check whether I'd inadvertently wandered into a prostitution ring. Probably a very low-class one if they'd have me, to be honest...
Anyway, as you can probably imagine, things didn't go amazingly well for me. After walking around for almost three hours without much more than a gruff "no thanks" , I started to seriously doubt my ability as any kind of salesman, with my main problem being that I personally wouldn't buy my tickets this way, so how could I encourage someone else to buy from me?
I was grateful, then, that I could take a break at 9pm to go and meet with Luis - of Foto Luis fame - who I grabbed on Sunday night in the West End while he was wielding my Nikon's older brother (a D80, for the lens perverts among you). This meeting had been arranged earlier in the day over the phone with Luis, a Spanish speaker with heavily accented English, and me - barely an English speaker at the best of times, I was further stitched up by loud traffic noise in the background, so it took some time for us to organise a rendez-vous outside the West End's Tropicana bar.
When he turned up at our dodgy-feeling meeting, Luis took me round the corner to another bar where one of his photographers came out, and they held a conversation in rapid-fire Spanish which I took to be, "where did you find this dickhead? He doesn't even look like a photographer, and all he's done since I met him is smile and nod at me." Well, it was probably something along those lines. I was too busy smiling and nodding and hoping I wasn't about to be kneecapped.
I'm going back to Foto Luis tonight at 7pm to be trained how to turn photos into keyrings and prints, and then hopefully - assuming I don't blow the printer up or maim anyone - I'll be cast out into the West End with my camera to go and get lots of lovely photos of unsuspecting bods. I have no idea what the pay is, although it's probably 100% commission and €0.20 per photo sold, so I'll probably have to take a second job as a beggar even if this one works out.
After that, I pretty much gave up trying to sell tickets. Even if I had felt ok about the job, €1 commission on a €50 ticket isn't the best motivation for anyone, and by the time we finished after 5 hours and several miles of walking, Steph had only managed to secure enough commission to pay for a small pizza and a coke.
Still, work's not a major drama at the moment as there's some money left in the bank. We looked at two apartments yesterday, one of which costs a bomb and is miles from anywhere (but was very plush - everything was brand new), and the other is a workers' apartment right above the fabled Ship Inn at the top of the West End strip, sharing with three other British workers. If everything goes to plan, we'll be putting down the deposit on the second flat and getting the keys today.
Steph & Al
This is very random, and very cool - web 2.0 at its best?
Right now it seems that everywhere I look, Canada is a hot topic of conversation as a potential place to emigrate, the latest must-see freshly-emerging cultural hotspot, or "miscellaneous other" place of interest.