God’s Gift

I don’t know what it is lately, but all of a sudden I’ve been getting  friend requests from countless stunningly beautiful women! Perhaps they dig my pale skin, or they’ve heard about my flat feet…maybe huge wonky noses are now thought to be attractive? I’m not really sure what I have been doing differently, but whatever it is – it is working!

Some like the very lovely Krista are just looking to have fun, which is absolutely fine with me…I mean who doesn’t like fun? She hasn’t really put forward any ideas, but I thought we could go to see Logan on Tuesday when it is half price – would be nice right?

Or perhaps she is more of a home-bird…so we could stay in and play a board game? Charades? Whatever. I suppose it doesn’t matter, as long as there are good people, good company and good laughs.


But not all have been as cool as Krista: some seem slightly deranged in fact…as if they have had a few significant heavy knocks to the head and have been taught butchered English by highly sexualised versions of Yoda and Jar Jar Binks:

I mean I’m flattered and everything – certainly don’t want to seem ungrateful but; “narrow vagina and fragrant”, and “white liquid of boyfriend”…not exactly the best way to make pals online. Most people lead with something about their lives (this does not include news of vagina freshness) like where they have travelled to, or where they would like to go…music preferences, what they like to eat and drink. (Again, leave the white liquid of boyfriend off that description too.)


On a not to serious, but a bit more serious note…I get quite a few of these a DAY – at first it was amusing but now it is slowly driving me insane. I hoped this blog post would help me vent.

Jogging into the Abyss

It was the night before jogging and all through the house, my excitement was stirring – maybe soon I’d have a spouse. But then I awoke and with the toll of the alarm…my body was unwilling – getting fit, had lost it’s charm.

I’ve always been full of half-good ideasyou know; spontaneous expensive trips abroad instead of sensibly saving, new unnecessary shoes instead of paying the council tax bill, pizza for both tea and breakfast whilst still expecting a six-pack to materialise – that sort of thing. The sort of things that can be somewhat cute and quirky when you are younger, but unfortunately start to seem silly once the boring grip of age takes a hold.

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Now any choice I make seems HUGE; so huge that I often feel anxious even thinking about the what-ifs and the maybes…so huge that I occasionally feel like reverting to childhood where most decisions are made for you – so huge that I put huge in big massive capital letters so you know I’m not fucking around. Yeah, that huge. 

Leaving South Korea last year was one of those choices as it meant I was essentially hanging up my travelling boots and strapping on something a little smarter – simply put, I had loved it but it had run its course. And yet still I felt unsure of what would be, and there seemingly wasn’t much in the way of helpful articles out there other than people stating stuff like: “you will feel like a stranger in your own town”, “no one will understand you”, and “you will never ever feel like you have a home ever again”…

Great, fab, brilliant – shall I shoot myself now, or is that also a service you offer through your delightful blog?

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But listen it’s not all doom and gloom – so don’t for a second start believing those dreamy lost fucks online. You are still you after all…in fact you are the best version of yourself that you have ever been, it’s called growth and experience people! Those big choices define who you are and mould you into the person you will be…sure they take some getting used to, but it’s worth it in the end. Your life is irrevocably different as a result but that doesn’t mean it’s suddenly total dog shit:

Case in point I thought it was a black and white sort of choice I was making by returning to the UK after adventuring around the world. You know, leaving the “traveller” lifestyle behind and getting a “proper job”, aka trading in a vibrant and fun life for a boring and tedious one…as if I was fully expecting that the powers that be were readying the  drill to forcibly redesign me as a droid devoid of human emotion, and in doing so erasing all of my weird and wonderful memories…such a cartoonish way of looking at things!

I’m still me, and I’m still making stupid choices – trust me you don’t trade in your motivations at the door (just this year I’m going to Germany, Spain, France, USA, and potentially Canada…) How’s the saving going? Piss off, pal. 

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What’s my point? Oh yeah, choices. Life is what you make it people..sure I wallowed for a bit (I am a complainer first and foremost), but now I’ve got a terrific job in content writing and communications for an amazing little charity who do tremendous work (worth checking them out here)…and you know what? Things are pretty great. I’m not a stranger in my town, in fact I love that I know people and that they know me – this is my home, but being away and coming back makes me recognise that home can actually be potentially anywhere. I love that fact, it makes the future a little blurry…just as it should be.

Don’t worry I’m never going to stop with the stupid choices – I mean if I did, what would I share with you delightful chaps on my site…movie reviews? Come on.

Actually…that would be less stressful for me – as my most recent stupid choice means I am set to run a half-marathon in support of my charity  this year. Hence the 6am wake up call, and aching limbs. Urghhhh if legs could cry mine would be moaning like Myrtle – and I’m only two days in. SEND HELP. 

Banter with Buddha

New year’s resolutions are often mocked for how ridiculous they are….after all they are the result of arbitrarily linking the end of the year, and the start of a new one, to the thought that you will suddenly metamorphose into a bigger and better you with close to 0 effort. You’re not a Pokémon, and as a result such a thought process is doomed from the get-go. The sad reality is that real change comes from…real…change, and that’s that:

‘Everyday feel like the one before. Hunt the money, don’t hunt the hoe…if you do what you always done then you get what you always got, you dumb buffoons!’ – Gunplay (Gangsta’ Rapper,  and gardening equipment enthusiast)

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Well said Gunplay, and that’s exactly it – as hacky as it is to joke about, resolutions are going to remain as fickle dreamy ideas if we don’t institute real changes in our lives. Which is exactly why I made the leap last weekend of buying 4-ply toilet paper as opposed to 1-ply…I just thought; “John – you can do this…you deserve this. You owe this to yourself – pick it up.” And I went for it, I pushed through the pain barrier, and intend to keep it up for the rest of the year.

Not inspired by that? Okay…hard to please, jheez…what about this instead: last night I visited a Buddhist centre to attend a meditation class. You see to speak seriously-ish for a second I hate the idea of just plodding through life, with horse-blinkers on; simply living out your allotted days until you expire, never really experiencing things, or for that matter enjoying what you actually have in the first place. Groundhog Day, Groundhog Day, Grounhog Day – DEATH. Yeah, no thanks.

So I wanted to try new things…at first I thought of horse riding! I would be like Aragon stomping around the place – striding across the open plains of…Sunderland. I even Googled local stables in my area, and there was one close to my work which came well recommended. Ideal! I would finish work and then go play with-ah-shit…you have to be under 12 stone. Back to the drawing board you HUGE FAT GIMLI LOOKIN’ CRETIN!

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Ahem…so the next idea was meditation – and as there is no weight limit rule for sitting on a cushion on the floor, I figured it was ideal for me. Regular readers of my articles will probably protest this, but I am a little bit of a hypochondriac. No, no…come on. I get stressed out easily and then exaggerate about the severity of my situation, I can’t sit still, I tell people about my toilet paper habits. I mean objectively speaking I am strange sort of guy! So anything which could help de-stress me would likely mark a positive step in the right direction.

I went along with my sister, my friend, and his girlfriend – who at the last second decided it wasn’t for her. She didn’t want to talk to people, didn’t want to do the meet and greet, didn’t want to have to introdu – “WAIT…WHAT?!”  I hadn’t even thought there would be any sort of social element – I don’t want to be in there doing trust exercises with my genitals alongside total strangers (or whatever the hell they get up to in there). She was going to go off to a cafe instead, de-stress with a book and a good cup of coffee. What the hell was I doing? Why wasn’t I doing that? I don’t even like the smell of incense this incen-

I went anyway. You know I used to think that sitting was the best thing in the world, aside from maybe lying down…but let me say this, it was one of the most uncomfortable sitting sessions I may have ever experienced. It actually makes me wonder whether meditation classes are just a bunch of people packed into a room pretending they don’t have pins and needles the whole time: “Think of a looooved onee-send your love to them” YOWWW MY BIG TOE IS RINGING – “feel the energy of the universe pulse through your body” – ARGH IT’S TWITCHING AND TWITCHING – “let your body float into a state of pure posiiitivityyy ” – RIGHT THAT’S IT – LOST ALL FEELING – WILL NEVER WALK AGAIN.

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I have been back a couple of times though, actually I think I am going again tonight – so somehow the feeling that I would never ever get to walk again wasn’t enough to put me off. There must be, after all, some good to it, ey? So what if whenever I close my eyes and try to think of waterfalls instead it’s just flashes of painful childhood memories, peppered with looming doubts about the future – that’s great, that’s normal, that’s…I like that, it’s great…it’s…

…off to cry now (whilst standing up), tah tah! 

Love you all, old and new -and I truly hope you have an absolutely magic 201, are any of you try anything different this year? Going to try and get more articles out for you whenever possible. Shout out to Meagan for giving me a nudge!

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Bloodthirsty Seagulls

I honestly don’t know what to think. I don’t know how to feel. I don’t know what to do…I just…I don’t know. 

I truly believe we are witnessing something huge, a seismic shift into a re-ordered food-chain, and yet still no one is talking about it, no one cares. Then again maybe I am the only one who sees it, perhaps I am the only one not jacked into the Matrix, and everyone else is just waltzing through life watching Game of Thrones and eating various types of sandwiches, oblivious to the darkness that is slowly seeping into our rosy top of the food chain lives…

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DON’T YOU SEE IT, HUH?! DON’T YOU?! GAAD YOU’RE BLIND. LOOK OUT THE WINDOW AND HEAR THE BLOODCURDLING CRIES!

Seagulls are taking over. They are everywhere, not just the sea – in fact let’s change their names to Everywheregulls, it would make more sense. A little bit of a mouthful, but still.

With every passing day they rise further and further, gaining numbers and strength, and before you know it they will infiltrate your perfect little Dairylea Dunker life…it won’t be long before it’s all be over.

They have wings, there’s advantage one. We don’t have wings, so that’s our disadvantage…err one. Also they have beaks. Yes I have a large nose, that is jokingly referred to as a beak by hurtful people who were never loved as children – but the truth is it is not an actual beak so would not be much use in combat. That’s 2-0 for Team Seagull. And I know what you’re (probably not) thinking, but even if I could fashion some sort of beak-looking thing out of bits of cardboard and tin foil they would outnumber me massively. Also they get to publicly defecate on people’s heads with little to no repercussion. It is highly frowned upon for humans to do this.

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Basically it’s all over, we had a good run I guess. But it’s all over.

Ever since my return to the UK I have realised only one thing. Actually no two – the first one is that British bacon is just the best in the world, and my goodness do I enjoy that lovely goodness. Preferably in a Greggs stottie bun along with HP brown sauce. Heaven on earth. Ahh, it’s just so great.

Sorry – getting distracted from serious things due to bacon, as per usual. But the second is that there has been a horrible adjustment to life as I used to know it…seagulls have inflitrated where they once did not wander, and we find ourselves in a sort of Planet of the Seagulls type of grim situation. Don’t dare steal that name Hollywood, because if we survive this I will be making that movie.

Why do you people always want explanations?! Can’t you just believe whatever I am saying without any sort of…fine. Well just this past week I have witnessed first hand two things which emphasise my point:  firstly I was held hostage in my own home by a crazed dive-bombing family of seagulls, and then just a few days later I witnessed a savage seagull ripping into a pigeon – feasting on its innards, and then… and then it laughed and was all “hahaha, what are you going to do John, huh? Fucking nothing you worthless little human. Run home. Fucking run home.” 

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Just joking. He was eating the pigeon’s face, not the innards.

Now call me a stickler for the facts, or maybe even a person who overreacts at any given thing – but…seagulls…they are supposed to be close to the sea doing sea-related things, like stealing ice cream cones and shitting all over public landmarks. Not hanging out in a terraced street terrorising the locals, or enjoying an all you can gobble pigeon buffet outside a Tesco Express. So this suggests that they are looking to change the status quo. They want a shake up. And as we slowly but surely move into the future predicted in WALL-E they will easily be able to achieve their goal.

Please join with me in my resistance. And bring sponges please, my windows are a horrific sight at the moment.

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6 Things School Didn’t Teach

It will undoubtedly surprise you to hear that there are numerous things I don’t know…in fact, I would go to say that I don’t know many things at all. So yeah, I don’t know most things. That much is true, at least I know that.

When looking for someone or something to blame (rather than just accepting I am a brain-dead oaf, or lazy slacker), I have landed on school as my main source of ignorance to date…

So with that in mind, here are six classes and six lessons that I wish school had taught me…

1. Social Science: Making excuses for being late:

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Oh yeah, great idea! Teach me all about how alcohol, drugs and sex will turn me into a hollow husk of a human devoid of any and all trace of hope – but neglect to teach me how to make even the most basic of excuses! Clearly this has a profound impact on every single day of your adult life…and is something which should be taught in schools from a young age.

Less is more, remember that. So claiming you were late to your best friend’s wedding because you are actually an elf who had to assist in a battle against the hordes of evil who threatened to enslave all of Middle Earth…his new wife included – is probably a little too much. You should go for nothing too ridiculous, but also something they can’t argue against for fear of looking like a horrible person; so maybe you helped a blind person across the road, or you helped a crying child find his lost mother, or you have diahorrea (no one ever contests that).

You could always try the truth I suppose: “I am late because I really don’t want to be here, and was honestly hoping to cancel but couldn’t come up with a good enough reason. Also I hate your face, it grosses me out.” Although it should go without saying that use of this method should be attempted sparingly, and with extreme caution.  

2. Languages: How to talk to people without looking weird:

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It’s taken for granted that we will just magically pick up these skills as we go along, thatching together what we think is a presentable personality and manner, but really having no clue at all. Like how much grunting and hair smelling is acceptable around strangers? No one ever told me!

I, like everyone else – just do my best with severely limited proficiency…there’s a lot of smiling and nodding…a lot of “haha, yeah”s, and even more deafening silence – that is until I can’t take the charade any longer and decide to let loose. Aka: be myself…and it is in that moment that I am considered weird – ah well.

Oh, and there would also have to be a module on oversharing, and how it is something that is best avoided…I mean, just because it is happening to you doesn’t mean you need to tell the whole universe about it…we get it you are at the zoo, we get it you really don’t like cranberry sauce, we get it you are an attention seeking drama-queen intent on boring the entire global population to death – jheeez.

3. Geography: How to locate and deal with a knobhead:

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I like maps, erosion, and sediment charts as much as everyone else! But to be honest there are more pressing and more problematic problems we must contend with! And they are more often not fuelled by knobheads…or assholes, dickheads, douchebags, mean poo-poo heads – whatever you want to call them! So if there were some way in which we could locate such people then we would all save a lot of time and heartache in the process…

It sounds a little too Nazi for most people, but perhaps some kind of badge or brand could be applied? Then it would make it easier to locate those who are up to no good…so we’d know not to hire that guy to fix your dear old grandmother’s sink who will inevitably try to steal money from her purse (he has the knobhead brand on his forehead after all) – and we’d take on the guy without it instead. We wouldn’t get in the relationship with the serial cheater, or mistakenly go on a date with a violent racist…we would actually see a lot less of the annoyance on social media too…

With that said, any school who was to teach this…yeah, shut that thing down immediately. I don’t want to be responsible for Hitler mark II.

4. Physical Education: Movie style fight scenes:

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It is everyone’s dream to enter into a Fist of Fury type of altercation…where you go all Matrix on the bad guys and pull off an amazing Mortal Kombat type of finisher that has everyone in awe…

But the sad reality is that normal people don’t get much practice beating people to death in unusual and fascinating ways…largely because they are law-abiding citizens who are just trying to get to work, pay into a pension, or get to Starbucks before it is too busy. So it’s the criminals who get all the practice, hence why they are so damn good at it!

But the world is quite a horrendous place at the best of times, and many people are rightly scared…however if there was even the most basic self defense class taught in schools people would stand a better chance defeating those which disgrace humanity; muggers, rapists, and people asking if you want to do a survey.

5. English: When and where swearing is applicable:

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I find it rather odd that schools come down so heavy on swearing as far as I can remember…but are so dogmatic when it comes to doing monotonous and drab lessons that demand the use of such language – it’s almost like a test in itself; which one will say “fuck this shit!” first? Hmmm…double maths and then a chemistry lesson, yeah let’s really mess with him!

Personally I think language is just a collection of words. And words can have many different meanings, and it is really how you use it rather than what exactly you are saying – just go to any English football game and watch tearful men with shaven heads screaming “you beautiful cunt!” at a player who has just netted a hat-trick for their team…are they trying to ridicule and humiliate him? I don’t think so.

So I guess what I’m saying is that swearing is okay most of the time! It adds spice and humour – enthusiasm and passion; and I didn’t really need school to fucking teach me that. (Perhaps refrain a little around your mother, kids, and old ladies – don’t be the aforementioned knobhead).

6. Mathematics: Removing yourself from awkward equations: 

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My struggle with mathematics is well documented – and continues to be a great source of difficulty. Well actually no, it would be if everything wasn’t automated, and done through electronics these days…

“John you won’t always have a calculator with you, you know?!” Well, how wrong you were Mrs. Martin! Even if I am a little bit sorry that I didn’t pay more attention…

Anyway, the lack of ability in coping with awkward situations is much more detrimental to our mental health and quality of life than algebra and long division ever will be. That guy at the bus stop asking which type of cheese is best to put in your bath…the stranger massaging your back out of the blue on the subway…or when a kid asks you where babies come from – all of these and more are a constant struggle. And one which I still feel ill-equipped to deal with at all…if only there had been a lesson to steer me in the right direction…

And that’s it! My top six things I wish school had taught me! But what do you think?  Is there anything I missed?

Oh, and if anyone has tips regarding the above I would be very thankful – if someone doesn’t point me in the right direction I am likely to be a fool all my life…cheers in advance!

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How to NOT do Halloween Make-Up!

So I tried to follow one of those ‘How To Do Halloween Make-Up!’ things…and well, it didn’t work out great…it wasn’t as easy as they tried to make it seem – BELIEVE ME! Check this out for proof, I’m sorry in advance…

Oh, and 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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Wacky Races

It seems that in Nepal, like a lot of the developing world, road safety takes somewhat of a backseat. And by taking a backseat I mean it is kicked out all together and is basically nowhere to be seen…like honestly, you permanently feel like you are in a episode of Wacky Races…except in this case if you smash into a wall and burst into flames you are a lot less likely to be ready to shoot the next scene, real life is restrictive like that! What a bummer!

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Actually come to think of it, it was the exact same in China when I went on a trip to see the Three Gorges Dam…you wanted to be excited for your destination, after all you’d invested so much time scrolling through Wikipedia, but were more focused on saying your hail marys and promising yourself that if you make it through you will become a missionary and set up your own orphanage…

Continue reading “Wacky Races”