5 Stages to a Job Search

To those who don’t know I am back in the UK:

Now this is as wonderful as you may expect; I’m seeing family and old friends, walking around familiar streets and experiencing our tropical climate – however it is also becoming increasingly frustrating. This is for one reason and one reason only: I’m on a hunt for a job, and a good one if you please.

So for your entertainment and my own catharsis I thought I would note down some of the stages to this job search so far – perhaps it may curse me forever, or perhaps (hopefully) the universe will decide to cut me break after this divine offering to the Blogosphere Gods.

Well we can always hope…anyway, here we go – in at number one:

1. Looking through the amazing opportunities:

(ENDLESS SCROLLING AND FUCKING CLICKING)

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This is great at first as you can look through all of the wonderful positions and delight at how many there are! “I thought there were no jobs?” you chuckle with a moronic sneer to yourself, as if everyone was over-reacting and that somehow you are a genius who will slide into one of these roles so easily it’ll be as if you were always there…

Very quickly you begin to picture yourself in these roles – aaah yes there it is…an amazing image of a suited you dancing merrily in your mind’s eye at a workplace where everyone thinks you are hilarious. Unsatisfied you continue to design this world with further complexity…you will no doubt become a high-flyer, there will be lots of managers saying you did a great job, and everyone will just give you constant high fives for no real reason other than they want to be best pals, and…

But you have to stop your daydreaming at some stage or you will never get to the application process (this takes longer than others to get around to…)

2. Writing out the fine tapestry of your life:

(RE-WRITING YOUR RESUME AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN)

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I blasted off 15 applications on my first day back in the UK…how? Well it was easy, I just found the jobs I liked and sent them a resume – case closed, that’s that! I then slapped my hands together and congratulated myself on a job well done with a sugary tea and a few chocolate brownies. Sounds great so far, I know. 

But this isn’t always the case – actually it usually isn’t for any of the jobs you truly want. You see these corporate devils don’t want your CV (they are allergic to the sight of Microsoft Word I suppose), and instead want you to fill in the exact information that is on your existing resume into their own little boxes. Cue typing, and scrolling, typing and scrolling – until you are so bored of your own life story that you begin to wonder if you should bother in the first place. And you probably wouldn’t if it wasn’t for the whole needing money to feed, clothe and shelter you thing. 

But eventually you get to the next hurdle…albeit with a sore clicking finger.

3. Patiently waiting for your dreams to come true…

(EXPERIENCING BOREDOM, EXHAUSTION, AND RAGE AT THE SAME TIME)

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It is a well known and scientifically proven fact by the University of Job-Seekers Anonymous that time passes by at a tiny fraction of the rate it would ordinarily when you are waiting for a response about the job interview you just went on. Of course while you are waiting for the answer to what could be a huge section of your later best selling autobiography the people at the office will just be milling around…making cups of tea…talking about weekend plans and whatever else. You are not their priority. Hard to get your head around, but a sad reality.

This information doesn’t particularly help. You are still sat there stressing out and unable to focus on little else, thinking over all of the stupid things you said and all the tremendously impressive things you would have said if you were to be given a second chance…you also eat and drink constantly with little to no enjoyment, in fact grazing would be a better word.

This leads you to begin feeling like a big fat fucking moose as you fucking…argh, why are you such a big useless loser who – OOH AN EMAIL! YES! HERE WE GO FUTURE! 

4. Not getting the job this time around…

(BEING TOLD IN A LOVELY WAY THAT YOU SUCK AND SHOULD NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE)

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Perhaps you weren’t right for the position, or you weren’t qualified/experienced enough, maybe the owner got someone they knew in or they hired internally…there are many reasons you may have not got it this time…but only one sticks in your mind and torments both your living and sleeping mind.

YOU ARE THE WORST LAHOOOOOSER EVER – IF YOU WERE TO SHOWER FOUR TIMES A DAY YOU STILL COULDN’T WASH THE LAHOOOOSR-ISHNESS OFF YOURSELF!

Or something like that. My point is your mind can be a cruel cruel thing…it is unrelenting and with each email and phone call your resolve only weakens and your lack of confidence grows. It’s pretty grim, but you should…

5. Recognise you are a great person, and that the right job will come along soon.

(HATE YOUR LIFE, AND ALL YOUR PAST CHOICES)

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This is where I am at right now, or at least somewhere between these two polar opposites – things look bleak, and despite the fact it is sure to work its way out somehow/someway eventually…this offers very little comfort. 

So drop some inspiration in the comments…a stage 6 if you will – it’s really what I need to hear right now! And who knows, we could help some others feel better about their job search at the same time!

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Bombing Innocents in the Name of Peace

“…the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

– Hermann Göring in an interview during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18th April 1946)

A mere few hours after the UK parliament voted to authorise airstrikes in Syria – British fighter jets have returned after bombing the first of presumably many Islamic state targets…evidently Cameron and his applauding war-hungry cronies were readying the big red button even as the “debate” was going on…more than ready to flex and pose in order to keep up with big brother of the US:

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In a world in which there are so many detractors that are more than happy to speak out against the disgracefully unfair and obvious propaganda driven politics which encircle the likes of countries such as North Korea…why then is it not as apparent that our political representatives are employing the very same offensive rhetoric as them? We have David Cameron bumbling away claiming the bombing and consequent loss of innocent lives, is the only way to keep the “woman raping, Muslim murdering, medieval monsters” of Isis at bay…and that they are “plotting to kill us and to radicalise our children right now.” This is obvious emotive political tactics dispatched with the sole intention of hoping people rid themselves of their logical faculties and instead devolve to caveman-esque reasoning: “UGGG…don’t take baby and woman – they my baby and woman.” 

But no. Many are falling for it – and with 397 MPs voting FOR, and only 223 AGAINST airstrikes it appears even the political elite are just as easy to convince. 

I find it especially odd that our dear sworn and trusted protector, David Cameron, is suddenly displaying so much compassion towards the British people when in the past it has lacked so heavily. The claim that he just wants what is best for us and that his main aim is simply to “keep the British safe” will likely be news to the millions of people currently suffering as a direct result of his strict and uncompromising austerity measures. Let’s not forget for a second that back in 2010, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government announced the biggest cuts to state spending since the Second World War…hacking away at social security and the NHS without a degree of sympathy, cutting a potential of 900,000 public sector jobs between 2011 and up till 2018…add to that the tax and welfare changes implemented between 2010 and 2014 which saw the poorest tenth of the population hit the hardest by far, (38 per cent decrease in net income for 2010-15), whilst by contrast the richest tenth, Cameron’s BFFs, lost the least: it isn’t surprising that many are baffled that he could ever say he wants what is best for us with a straight face.

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But yeah, thanks so much for keeping us safe mate, you’re a real diamond! What would we do without you?

Despite the self-patting on the back, high fives, and raucous applause after Hilary Benn’s speech, which would likely make any sane non-bloodthirsty person weep whilst also being sick – I still feel that his empty and overly simplistic words only further cement the idea that adding our own stamp to the  3,000+ airstrikes against Syria since 2014 is likely a bad idea…apparently they hold “our democracy in contempt” – but so do the MPs on our own turf when they choose to go against what their constituents want, instead choosing to side with superpowers and mega corporations.

Oh, and in totally unrelated news: the targets of the airstrikes will largely be focused around the lucrative gas and oil fields Isis are holding on to at the moment. Just saying, sure there’s no link…but, thought it was worth mentioning. Who will hold on to those once this battle is finally over I wonder?

But let’s not focus on facts, we don’t need those that’s what has became obvious. Case in point in what was a rather grimly ironic announcement, Cameron cited British intelligence (something which appears to be severely lacking in the House of Commons) to put forth the claim that there are  approximately 70,000 non-extremist Syrian opposition fighters who are available on the ground to potentially help overcome Isis. But here’s where the intelligence runs thin and the pig-headed (no pun intended!) stupidity comes in…you see even if we were to believe these numbers – they are still not sourced from one unified group; in actual fact they are a mad mish-mash of over 100 smaller ones, most of which are too preoccupied with Assad’s Syrian army to be open to the distraction of putting their lives on the line against Isis to help out the west.

I mean everyone from Jeremy Corbyn to Vladimir Putin has pointed out the blatant discrepancies in just about every part of the west’s role in this conflict…but when it comes to actual answers he’s a slippery man to hold down:

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This is Cameron’s third large scale intervention, Libya, Iraq and now Syria…and despite this he was still so quick to ask “if not now, when?” as if it was a foregone conclusion that at some point we would definitely be dropping bombs on innocent houses in the mad campaign against a limited terrorist group. But my question would be, when will we learn? If not now, then when? Because so far we haven’t learned a single thing…anyone with a single brain cell can work out that none of the wars launched by the UK and US from Afghanistan in 2001, Iran in 2003, or Libya in 2011 have ended – as millions still suffer from those reckless and ill-advised decisions – and the recent vote and airstrikes will make that number even more…but who cares when we stand to make such a ginormous profit from a false imperialistic war?! Just as we always do…selling on weapons, and plundering countries for resources.

Well only the people seem to give a shit, or even spare a second thought for the innocents trapped in the middle of this terrifying nightmare. But it’s more clear than ever that the politicians are only in it for themselves. I feel entirely diminished and powerless due to this harrowing news…and have no idea where to go from here…I used to think that we were the good guys – now I’m not so sure.

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Oh, and finally I must add that Bridget Phillipson the MP from my hometown (Houghton & Sunderland South) voted FOR airstrikes and I am utterly ashamed. I am however, relieved to see that her views do not reflect that of her constituents…or at least none of which who are my friends anyway. 

Fringe Benefits (Scotland)

Scotland ~ Edinburgh – 2014

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the entire world – the thing is huge! It has over 250 venues that are jam-packed with over 45, 000 varied performers! It is truly a colossal occasion that triples the city’s population in that single August month…year in, year out! So if you can put up with shuffling at a snail’s pace behind old fogies desperate to take a photo of every lamp post they see (WHY, GOD WHY?! IT IS A LAMP POST!!! MOOOOOOOOOVE!!!!), then it is certainly worth a look in!

Disclaimer: Some people think of it as a version of hell.

Continue reading “Fringe Benefits (Scotland)”

BRITISH TEA (RIP)

Well my dearly beloved…I had prayed the day would never come – and yet…here it is…I’m saddened to report that I have indeed…sorry I promised myself I wouldn’t cry…

…ahem, I am saddened to report that…I have ran out of tea, and with this dagger to the heart – I have also ran out of hope, I am absolutely beside myself. 

Tea

RIP.

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Escaping a Braying

A friend of mine recently created a lovely little video of my hometown, Sunderland. It’s the place we both grew up in, and the place we know as “home” no matter where we are in the world. The clip mainly follows through the countryside and coastal areas of the city- rather than the inner-city terraces that I grew up in – but I found it charming all the same, and it soon had me reminiscing of my past life there, and the many friends and memories I still deeply treasure to this day…

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Mind, that’s not to say that life there is always smooth sailing! And I think this story from the childhood archives should prove that! But you know what? You’ve got to take the rough with the smooth, and the good with the bad – and always, always make sure you laugh at the negatives later…

I’m going to stop my rambling and just get on with it, so without further adieu, here it is; ‘Escaping a Braying’:

          Every Wednesday without fail was “Mamoo and Grandar” day. So on days off we’d be there from morning to night, but if it was school term time then we’d have to wait for the bell to go…and it was only then that we could make our way to their home, and their sofa. You’d desperately want to be the first one there to get a proper seat, and dibs on the stuff we weren’t normally allowed; the stuff that rots your teeth and makes you fat – the stuff that other kids had in their lunchboxes every day – you see that’s the kind of stuff that was in Grandar’s biscuit tin. 

It was our little haven, just a few rooms that offered so much. You could have sugar in your tea as long as you kept it a secret, and if there wasn’t anything on the television Grandar would always have old cowboy films he was keen to show us…we could take or leave them usually, but he added a whole new dimension; giving running comedic commentary, and repeating the dramatic lines in even more dramatic voices…“DYAAAA FEEL LUCK-EE, WELL DOOYA – PUNK?!” He was, and still is – the funniest man alive, so sometimes I’d laugh so much at his little routines that I’d spill things on the floor – but it was never a big deal: “these things happen” they’d say. And Buster would probably eat it right up anyway.

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Eventually my Mother or Father would pick us up, and then we’d moan and ask to stay longer – so sometimes they’d sit to have a cup of tea and ask them how’s it going, but sometimes they wouldn’t. As we drove away we’d turn back and Mamoo would be waving us goodbye,  and she’d keep waving and waving until we couldn’t see her anymore. Mamoo is what we called my grandma, although we didn’t ever call her grandma unless we were talking to other people outside of the family…friends at school and others like that who would demand an explanation…it was just more bother than it was worth, so many why why whys and it always came across as weird for some reason. But to my siblings and I, she was undoubtedly Mamoo. Which is pronounced “Ma-maw” by the way…a baby’s mis-pronunciation that stuck forever.

 I remember one of the Mamoo and Grandar days more clearly than any other. I was walking over there, and was already late – probably detention for something that didn’t even really matter; laughing with friends, talking in class, not doing homework – something stupid,  that somehow  translates to a heinous crime at school. I was so late that all the other kids had cleared out from the streets and were nowhere to be seen; I was happy about this as I had to pass by another school to get to Mamoo and Grandar’s house and they didn’t take too kindly to St. Aidan’s lads, or Bent Aidan’s as they fondly referred to us as thanks to our all-male make up. Problem was there was no hiding my allegiance to this suspected homosexual club as the uniform marked me out…in black, white, and the gold stripes of my tie.

Anyway, I was late so hopefully nothing would happen this time arou-

“YA FUKEN BENDER!! OI…OI…OI, YA FUKEN BENDERR! OI!”

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Spoke too soon. There were three or four voices behind me, but I didn’t turn to look – all I knew was that they were advancing quickly, but some way away yet. “HEW! HEWWW! SCUSE ME?!” One of them suddenly remembered his manners, but I guessed that it wouldn’t change the possibility of him booting me in the face with his Rockport boots. “OI YA FUKEN BENDERR MAN!!” It was the same voice, but with a significant change in tactic. I hurried my pace, but didn’t want to run…if I ran it would be like attacks on those nature documentaries with the lions and the gazelles, running would encourage more running, and I was no runner. So I just moved a little faster, but tried to move my arms at a normal sort of speed so as not to arouse suspicion…perhaps it wouldn’t look so obvious and I’d be out of sight in no time! Or maybe if I got around a corner, then I could sprint, and just zigzag zigzag zigzag the streets in the hope of losing them? Well yeah, maybe. Maybe.

“ARNLY WANNA TALK TOOYA YA GAY FUKEN LIDL CUNT!”

I wasn’t so much in the mood for conversation, I just wanted to get to Mamoo and Grandar’s house – it was puddings in the corner day, and there’d probably be ice cream. I reached the end of the road and turned right…and started fleeing just the way I had planned – they didn’t seem to give chase, or if they did the adrenaline of sheer fear powered me beyond measure. I looped back around, and headed on a different route. When I’d caught my breath I took some time to reflect on how I could have probably taken them, and how I shouldn’t have ran – I mean, so what if they were older? I should have whipped out some karate moves, and used makeshift weapons out of things I could find around me…a brick as a hammer, a FOR SALE sign as a spear…I’d send them flying through windows – they’re lucky really, I let them off lightly. Next time they won’t be so lu-

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“WHYAYEE! LOOK HUU IT IS!! FUKEN GAY BASTAARD!” 

Shit. They were only a few feet in front of me. I span on the spot and belted away as quickly as humanely possible despite being knackered as it is. A glass bottle spun past my head and shattered on the jagged pavement – as a strong odour of cheap vodka temporarily filled the air. One of them grabbed at my shoulders with grasping heavy hands, but I shrugged free and darted across the road, not sure of where I was heading. But they were faster. I felt a heavy club to the head, not sure what – and then a boot up my behind. I pushed away in every direction, and one lost balance…falling to the floor in a pile, with a dumb expression stretched across his face. This surprised the pack temporarily, and spared me a few precious seconds…

I was still some way from Mamoo and Grandar’s. There was no way I could run all the way back without them catching up and slamming my head off a lamp post several times, or whatever took their fancy this particular day. So I made a split-second decision, to use this space for an impromptu theatrical performance…I really hoped they would enjoy the show and would refrain from heckling…

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I opened a stranger’s gate, and walked up a stranger’s pathway through a stranger’s garden, and then knocked at a stranger’s door. I heard the lads follow me, and caught a reflection in the front room’s window…they looked unsure as to what was going on. I rapped faster at the door and began Scene 1: “Maaaaammm! Maaaaam!” I knocked again, harder this time – “Daaaad! Daaaad!” Open the door man, I’ve forgot my key!” The lads were stood in the middle of the pathway with a shared puzzled look glazed over their faces. I moved to the window and tapped it while looking around the stranger’s house, it was pretty nice and well decorated – I wasn’t sure what I’d do when I met the actress playing my Mam, or the actor playing my Dad…but this was true improv, and I was out of options. “Maaaaaam, Daaaad! Can you open the door?” I shouted through the letterbox this time…catching a whiff of a scented candle as I peered in…

I felt a small rock hit my back. “FUKEN GAY BASTARD MAN, YA LUK-EE. Awer man…let’s go…” I guess he was the leader and had made a collective decision for the group.  Thank God. I carried on with my little one man play until I was sure they were out of sight…then I double checked the area before continuing on my way to Mamoo and Grandar’s house…

Puddings in the corner were waiting in the microwave, and they’d left me some gravy too. Later we had caramel Rocky bars, but I’d missed out on the ice cream. “Why were you so late?” they mused as the television flickered…

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“Detention” I muttered, as I stood up to fetch another cup of tea with two secret sugars.

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Broke? Travel Anyway!

I often get emails, and messages from people – asking the same question – “how do you afford travel? Are you from a rich family? Do you have connections? Did you get some crazy compensation deal – and have decided to blow it all on roaming the world rather than making sound investments?!” 

Well, no. No to all of those. I wish it was something as easy as being in a car accident – and getting free money, but it isn’t. It’s kind of like The Wizard of Oz…it looks like a spectacular vision until you see the cogs turning behind the curtain. Yes, the actual facts of the matter are a lot less glossy – and  whilst this may be hard to take for some…I actually work. 

Take my first major trip on my own, for example. My year abroad studying in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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For two years before that I worked at an electrical store, moving televisions around, and trying to sell people outdated SCART cables they didn’t want…taking overtime whenever I could, whilst also taking shifts at my Aunt’s pub on the weekend…all the while squirreling away money whenever possible. With no disrespect intended, I wasn’t like the others that were accepted on to the study abroad programme (Newcastle UK – Atlanta USA) there would be no money from my Mother, or Father…I’m one of five children, I would feel rude even asking.

But I made it – and before I knew it I was in the midst of my own travel scrapbook! Carving out new memories for myself…whether it be visa worries at passport control, attempting to make the transition to the different pace of American life, or dancing insane jigs with Waka Flocka, I had flew from the ordinary day-to-day, and was living out these once impossible fantasies!

Sounds dreamy, dreamy – I’m sure? But the truth was my budgeted money soon ran out, and there were a couple of very hairy months – I recall that after weeks of eating next to nothing I sent my parents a whimpering email explaining the situation…and I received something along the lines of – “you’ll figure it out.” And I felt it was harsh, but the fact is…you will…if you want it that badly – you will. (And I’m still alive, so I guess I did!)

Study abroad programmes can be a great way to get away, and experience a different culture first hand – there are often great schemes, and incentives – with mine I was actually reimbursed for any costs throughout the year. Which meant I had thousands to play with at the end of it all – long story short, two weeks in Greece with some of my best friends from back home. 

My second major trip came just after I graduated university- although I was recruited before I had even been given my degree…and a month after I flew out to Beijing, China.

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Again I had saved, and saved working some terrible job – this time around it was a sportswear store, selling people trainers, and trying not to touch their sweaty feet as I assisted them with trying on their shoes. Not ideal – but a means to an end. This was just so I had some initial spends, as the programme actually flew me out at no cost, and many of the site-seeing trips, and other interesting adventures were paid for, or massively subsidised.

Either way, there I was again – in a totally foreign, and unknown environment…forced out of my comfort zone…but that’s what it’s all about…I was experiencing all of the weirdness, that was so different to anything the 9 to 5 version of myself would be encountering…whether it be bizarre disputes over taxi fares, relaxed views to public pooping, or trying to sample local dishes without being sick (such as dog) – I knew these were memories that would last a lifetime.

And thanks to the cheap day-to-day living China affords, I was able to save a little for the NEXT trip…you see, that is important – always have the next trip in mind. 

My third major trip to Scandinavia came unexpectedly…but was well worth it…

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My sister – someone who has worked all over the world with nothing more than a can-do attitude, and flexibility – found a two month long  job in the Arctic Circle at a remote lodge…it was placed right between Sweden, and Finland. Did I fancy it? Well…OF COURSE I DID! There was a catch though, we had to fly out (again at their expense, so no worries) the following day! You see, sometimes the opportunity comes abruptly, and if you ponder over it too much, it will go to someone else – you sometimes just have to grab it, and say YES! 

And I certainly did. Before I knew it I was crashing snowmobiles in Sweden, experiencing The Shining effect first hand in Finland, and after I finished my contract – experiencing the raw natural beauty of the Norwegian Fjords first hand.

The work was often not pretty; six day weeks, with long hours – and if my boss was ever pissed off he would make me scrub toilets for an ungodly amount of time…but still…huski racing? The Northern Lights? Spending a night in an igloo? You can’t tell me that wasn’t worth it. 

For my next major trip, I was off to South Korea! I scraped together the last of my meager savings – put up with the horrendous visa process…and then went on my way!

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And I couldn’t have asked for more! Yet again I was flown out at my employer’s expense, provided with a cosy home to stay in for free, and continue to live very comfortably – whilst also having an amazing time, with some amazing kids, in a truly amazing country! And, using Korea as a base, I have been able to save very efficiently, which allows for a great many adventures; including a  Christmas trip to Vietnam,  an interesting excursion to North Korea’s border, a heat-stricken jaunt to Nepal…back home to England, and Scotland – then on to Italy, Hungary, and Austriathen…well, you get the picture – the world suddenly doesn’t seem as hugely inaccessible as it once did!

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You see it’s not difficult, you just make it difficult. If you really want to travel, like really, really want to…then be willing to work, and be willing to take every opportunity. Rich, or not – you’ll get there – so stop just posting random sunset photographs, with “W A N D E R L U S T” etched over them, and start planning that next trip…and start filling up your passport, and with it your little book of memories. 

~

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UK vs. USA

UK VERSUS THE USA!!!! WHO WILL WIN?! WHO IS BETTER?! BATTLE ROYALEEE! LET’S GET REAAAAAADY TO RUMMMMMMBLEEEEE!

Okay, it’s not as dramatic as all that but still…in this video I look at the differences between the UK and the USA…were are we similar? Were are we COMPLETELY different?!

I only name  few that I have encountered firsthand…did I miss any major ones? 

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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The Illusion of Choice

I am often saddened by the fact that in the adult world, imagination and pure magic seems to be overlooked, or even forgotten after we make that unsure step (or are dragged kicking and screaming) to adulthood. It is unveiled that Santa Claus is not real, soul mates are strictly for movies, and that putting cheese on everything will eventually kill us. In short the magic of life becomes a much more grey, boring affair. 

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But I am here to tell you that there is some magic in the world! Sure it’s not all unicorns, and magic gnomes – but it is still confusing, bewildering, and at the same time vaguely impressive! Just like a good magic show! 

Better yet this magic act is free for all citizens of the UK! (if you are over  the age of 18). And how does it work? Well, all you have to do is register, and you are good to go! Simple as that!  Just write your name down, cross some boxes, and watch as the wonders of ‘The Illusion of Choice’ play out in front of you! Behold the beautiful intricacies of  the illusionists’ system as your vote goes in, and disappears into irrelevancy! WOOOOSH – AND IT’S GONE! NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T! 

Think the ‘sawing a person in half’ trick – except it’s not a person, it’s your country’s future, and your standard of living being madly hacked into…not as showy sure, but still stupefyingly well orchestrated. But how do they do it? Well I’ll tell you! Or at least try…

I’ll start off with a bit of background. Okay so there’s these parties, right? But not like fun parties with alcohol, snacks, and memorable stories to recount the day after. No, no. They are groups with so-called shared interests, that club together under the same banner. So in theory you pick a group which matches your views, and then roll with them…maybe you are a business owner and think there should be tax breaks in commercial industries, or perhaps you place importance with family values, or the environment, or immigration – or whatever the hell you believe in. You match yourself up, and make your decision!  (BLANK) I CHOOSE YOU!

I Choose You GIF

But here’s the really clever bit…IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER WHICH ONE YOU PICK, EVERYTHING IS ALREADY PREORDAINED! Just like the  “pick a card, any card” trick bit!

You see my blessed green land isn’t quite what it used to be…gone are the days of moral value, and ambitious hope that will ever be even partially fulfilled – instead every election is like waiting up for Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny and finding there is nothing there at all…and that it was basically all a very well manufactured lie. So believeable…such a strong back-story…but wait – where are the presents, where are the chocolate eggs they said would arrive?! WAIT – and who has taken all of our possessions and smeared human faeces all over the walls?!

It seems that my so-called United Kingdom is more disenfranchised than ever…and serves as a rather senseless vehicle – with only one forward motion that helps only bolster the privilege of the unfathomably wealthy global elite. It fails the ordinary muggles on quite literally every level – ensuring that social progress (or at least social progress that will assist them) is made impossible thanks to the difficulty of gaining any form of useful employment, or decent education, or even a life that doesn’t revolve around a cycle of debt.

Even when you get a non-lizard looking type…they are just high level mages, and that is it. The Liberal Democrat’s Nick Clegg for example…oh boy, did he have me fooled at one point along with the rest of his band of merry men. But no, silly me – they were just like the rest of them – with a wave of their magic wand away went all of their commitment to literally everything they had once opposed/been in favour of, instead shape-shifting into a Conservative guise as if it wasn’t a big deal. Mind blowing stuff. 

Apologies for the cynicism…but it is well deserved. It really doesn’t matter that the Conservatives won, they would all have fucked us over regardless.  

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Stay Another Day ~ North-East 17

Move over One Direction, introducing your new favourite boy-band: North-East 17. Here they are performing their breakout hit, which is sure to make them the next big thing!

Sponsored by Budweiser, kinda…

ARE YOU SEEERIOUS?!? (England)

England ~ Sunderland – 2014

So I’m back to England at long last, and slowly but surely I am getting around to meeting up with my nearest and dearest – it’s always great to be back, but very, very weird…it’s like nothing changes, but at the same time everything does…I don’t know.

Anyway, so last week it was a friend’s birthday, so we got together and celebrated in a suitable fashion – I was excited, it would be good to meet up and reminisce on the old days. And I wasn’t wrong! It was like no time had passed at all, and soon we were back to the usual thing only best friends can get away with…calling each other deeply offensive things, and making fun of each other through a series of brutally embarrassing “did you hear about what happened when he…” tales. You will probably cry yourself to sleep later on while dwelling on these things…and it will all probably lead to deep issues that’ll require a psychiatrist in later life…but never mind, ey?

Yeah…just like the old days! Sob.

After eating at a rather nice Italian restaurant, we were lumbered with a novelty cake that no one wanted to eat…it had seemed like a good idea at the time, but after a big stodgy feast, it was something of a nightmare – which meant that we either had to carry around a Batman box in every pub and club we decided to go to…or pop back and drop it off at the house so we could boogie down without, well, no, with less, embarrassment. It fell to me and a friend to make ourselves useful, so we made arrangements to meet up with the rest of the crew later.

As we bounced back we were both in high spirits! The night was going well, the birthday boy seemed happy, and the reunion with old friends was going as smoothly as ever! But, no, that was soon to change…when we met with – her…

She was a total, and complete stranger. But decided to walk up to me in the middle of the street, and say…

“Are you fucking seeerious???? Are you…like come on…are you serious???”

She stopped in her tracks – staring at me in disbelief, her eyes popping out of her head – gesturing with her hands, pointing up and down in front of me…

“Are you serious, excuse me – like really???”

“Errr…what? Errrr…are you serious? What’s the…”

Awkward Glance GIF

I looked over to my friend and shot him a Professor X mental message of “what the fuck is going on here?!” He shrugged and shook his head. She continued her line of questioning…as her group looked on laughing. I was still confused, but began to walk away…WHAT HAD JUST HAPPENED?!?!?

I asked my friend if what I was wearing was laughable in some way…perhaps I had made some huge fashion faux-pas without realising it…maybe it was like The Emperor’s New Clothes, everyone else was telling me I looked great, but I was actually walking around stark-bollock naked and anyone with a brain was sick in their mouth as soon as they laid eyes on me…I mean, I had actually put a lot of effort into something completely to the contrary – I didn’t want to be the guy who went away for a year and came back looking like an absolute train wreck…with a big untamed Gandalf beard with rotten food from a month ago still lodged inside, and scruffy sandals that were now worn down paper thin! So rather than that, it was a fresh white shirt, navy blue blazer, mustard jeans and some brand spanking new Nike Air Maxes I was pretty proud of. I mean, I had never been able to afford them as a kid, and was forced to miss out on that trend in place of Mother bought Diadora trainers instead. My friend reassured me that I looked fantastic. So the question remained…”what the fuck was her problem?”

I looked at myself again – perhaps something was off – perhaps someone had put a huge “WHITE POWER” badge on my blazer without me realising, or draped a dead baby over my shoulder as some sick practical joke, or maybe my fly was open revealing my whole penis for some unbeknown reason…something…anything!?

Nothing.

Anyway, it got me thinking about manners a little bit – and social etiquette. Because when I had glanced up and spotted her coming towards me my first thoughts were a mixture of “oooh, she’s a larger lady/her hair makes her look like Honey Boo-Boo’s Mother a bit/is that a dress or a curtain/ewww, look at how yellow her teeth are…”

Honey Boo GIF

but you see, this goes through the machine of the mind, also known as GOOD MANNERS AND COMMON COURTESY, and amounts to nothing more than a pleasant smile and a friendly nod. I mean, yes, it backfired and launched this confused inquisition into what the fuck I was doing, and whether or not I was serious about it…but still.

I would never dream (I mean this sounds crazy to even say as a hypothetical!) of running up to her unannounced and asking her just what the fuck she thought she was doing – “Are you with your friends having fun, or are you auditioning for a remake of Mrs. Trunchbull for a Matilda remake?! You stupid bitch, are you serious?” Some would say that would be a tad rude, am I right? Maybe a little uncalled for? Out of line, perhaps?

Mammy Taggart always taught me that it is nice to be nice, and you know what guys? That has served me well so far – so that is my message to you too I suppose! After all, the old stereotype of the Englishman is supposed to be that of the city slicker, the gentleman, RIGHT?

So with all that said…my message to the lady is this…FUCK YOU! Ooops…sorry Mammy Taggart…


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