“They Tap And Rap, And Clip And Clop”

Many years ago, even before me or you were even particles of existence, a terrible tragedy took place in my local town.

I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I live in the Lake District, and to be perfectly honest, I’ve been lying to you. One reason for this is because if I actually told you the name of where I live and you were from say, London, you’d give me a funny look and go “eh?”. Another reason for this is because when you say you are from the Lake District, people associate you with being posh, but as I said, I’m not. By that I mean from the Lake District, I’m definitely posh… I’m joking… Well…

The little fishing town called Whitehaven is where I have lived for all my life, it is mostly known for being a harbour, as it was a key stop for large ships and boats over the slave trade period, and if my facts are correct, also a town which had a role in the making of sugar? I could be wrong though, so don’t quote me on it.

When you talk about Whitehaven to anyone who may not have heard of it before, I guarantee you they will click into autopilot and think 12 miles South, to the large-scale nuclear facility; Sellafield, they may also think of men in tight clad lycra who dip a back bike wheel in the town’s harbour on the start of the Coast-to-Coast ride, Mr Bean also schooled here! Hated it apparently.  But I assure you, this is not the original look the town has always had…

Whitehaven is, I think, best known for being a mining town, the phrase “jam eaters” originated here, although people from the area hate to admit that, they love, however, to blame it on the next town, which is Workington. This ‘insult’ goes back to when the mines were up and running, workers down the pit would work for hours on end, and for lunch, eat a jam sandwich, again, nobody is exactly clear if that is Whitehaven or Workington, and I’m not sure if we ever will.

In 1947, one of the worst pit disasters ever to take place, made its mark into the history books, sadly resulting in 102 men and boys losing their lives, along with two from the rescue brigade. All in the name of their town, their lives were stolen, but now thanks to a local music lover, he ensures they will not be forgotten.

A musical was written following the event by John Marcangelo, known best for writing the song ‘Clog Dance’, which became a huge hit in the film ‘Brassed Off’. John has previously appeared on ‘Top of the Pops’ with his band Violinski, and if you read my blog a few weeks ago, he also appeared in the Necomandus return.

To commemorate the disaster, the musical ‘Clog Dance’ was written by John Marcangelo, and in 2017, the musical is celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary. Yup, the show was originally performed in Whitehaven Civic Hall in 2007. Since it was a huge success, to mark its 10th birthday, the team (or some of them) have come back together to resurface the musical again, with some old faces along with some new ones (INCLUDING ME!), the show will be tapping its way back to Whitehaven’s Civic Hall Stage from 24th-28th October (that’s October half term!), if you would like to take a trip down memory lane… or just a lane if you weren’t here in 1947, then this show may just be for you, or just if you want to see a great musical, which is bound to entertain. Not that I’m biased or anything…

“Say Clogs!”- Cast of Clog Dance 2017: Picture Tom Tyson

The show is based mainly on the pit disaster, which clearly is a huge part of history of this little coastal town that we can talk about, however, also looking at the history of clog dancing, without giving too much away, the author of the production based the show on his experiences growing up in a mining town, but also walking past the clog makers shop everyday, he also felt that it too should play a part in helping to tell the story of the town he loves and grew up in, but more importantly, grew apart of.

In the words of the Mr Marcangelo, “all of us living in this area owes a huge debt of gratitude to those miners and their families who shaped the history of our town, which is why this musical is dedicated to their memory.” I couldn’t agree with John anymore here either because this show gives us the opportunity to portray a major event which happened in our town, and the fact that is able to be seen through the medium of song, dance and drama helps bring locals together to remember the tragedy of the people that shaped Whitehaven into what it is today.

So, if you strip away the nuclear power plant, men in tight nit clothes and Rowan Atkinson you get something real and original, and it’s all something that has been here for centuries on end… TALENT!

Now I’m at the end of this blog, I know that on Tuesday, I said I’ll be going away for a while to catch up on some ideas and free time, so I’ll be back for a one-off on October 24, until then, which I believe is about two weeks away.

Until then, take care,

Thomas

*You are able to buy tickets for ‘Clog Dance’ at the Solway Hall website, or alternatively, the Solway Hall desk in Whitehaven, they are very helpful! Tickets are selling fast, so get yours today!*

Advertisements

Prepare For A Bumpy Ride

Firstly I’d like to say I am honoured to be Thomas’ first guest writer on ‘Tom’s Chit Chat’. To be completely honest, he hasn’t stopped nagging me for this for two whole months. But it is finally here! The first Guest Writers Article!

In Summer of 2017, I was presented with a wrath of opportunities. Having recently qualified as an Aerospace Instructor for the RAF Air Cadets, I was well prepared for what was to come.

My adventure began with a five-hour train journey to Dover, mostly seated within a train vestibule…‘Some adventure’ I thought to myself. I’m not sure if you have ever experienced a journey from Penrith to London Euston on a packed Pendolino with the only space available between the carriages so allow me to describe this to you in one word: uncomfortable. I knew I should have driven! -1 point to public transport. Upon arriving at Dover I met with 20 other cadets from across the country, all of which I had never met before, I then had to board a bus. A bus that only made me wish I was back in my vestibule. Only it was my home for the next 10 hours en route to Sennelager, Germany.

Sennelager is a British Overseas Forces training area primarily used by the British Army. We stayed there for just a week but it was honestly one of the best weeks of my life! I think one of the monumental moments was driving a Challenger Two Tank on a multiplayer simulator which had 140 vehicles that could be connected together! It was like a massive game of Call of Duty! Our task was to capture the opposing team’s flag without being first being shot to death! The action replays made for some entertaining content.

But this was nothing on the week which was to come! Upon returning to Dover it was back to my vestibule once again for the journey up to Newark. My next temporary home was to be RAF Syerston, home of the RAF’s central gliding school. The camp itself had 230 cadets in attendance plus around 25 instructors – of which I was one! I spent several days instructing on the Radar Air Traffic Control simulators before being rudely disturbed by some loud wacka wacka noise. I couldn’t hear a thing! I looked out of the window to see a Royal Air Force Chinook Helicopter!After a short safety briefing; which I had to stay awake through, we were loaded into the aircraft.The flight itself was amazing! I was hoping that they would actually shut the back door of the aircraft, especially before the in-flight meal service which was non-existent, but no… That would be far too boring! We flew around Lincolnshire being held in by nothing but a flimsy airline type seat belt, slightly disconcerting!

The flight itself was amazing! I was hoping that they would actually shut the back door of the aircraft, especially before the in-flight meal service which was non-existent, but no… That would be far too boring! We flew around Lincolnshire being held in by nothing but a flimsy airline type seat belt, slightly disconcerting!

Upon landing back at RAF Syerston I had the absolute honour of meeting Group Captain Carol Vorderman – Honorary Ambassador for the RAF Air Cadets and ex-Countdown host! It’s true what they say, she definitely is better than Rachel Riley! After a cheeky snap and a quick chat, it was time for departure.

img_1253
 RAF Ambassador with Air Cadets

I can honestly say that this summer has presented me with some of the best opportunities I could wish for! I’ve made new friends, of which some I would honestly call brothers. I just can’t wait for next year! To which, I hope to share my experiences with you again.

Till next time,

Charlie

Guest Writer for ‘Tom’s Chit Chat’

 

Special Announcement

I’m in a very good mood at the minute, and you’ll understand should you decide to keep reading.

If you read last week’s blog, then firstly, I hope you enjoyed it, if you haven’t, your in the wrong place, sod off and read it now. Secondly, because I feel that it was me writing at my best, I don’t understand why, but it just was, I was over the moon with myself, as I felt I had written a great piece, which I was very proud of. I suppose it was because I had funny parts, and just interesting parts too, which is why, if I was the reader, I would be reading it again, and again, and again. I’m joking, I’m only trying to make myself feel gooey on the inside. And boost my ego. But seriously, I was writing about a great experience I had, and I felt that the writing last week was me back to my best standard.

This is a very big week for my blog this week, partly because my ‘Guest Writers’ page is officially launched later on this evening, and partly because I have a big announcement to give out, which I’m going to leave you on the edge of your seat for.

I’ll talk to you first about the page that has been a blank canvas for the last few weeks and months, and why I have chosen today for it to be launched, the writer in question, did actually want to have his blog uploaded before mine, but I said fat chance, I make the rules here, which is why you are reading mine first. Unless you’ve just waited until five to read it all in one sitting… Anyway, if you haven’t, then please do make sure to check back later and give it a read, I have been proofreading this story for some time, and I wanted it to be absolutely perfect, so it’s taken its time.

I have also been chitting and chatting to some people who wouldn’t mind writing something for me every so often, and after I bullied them into it, I decided I had a team of people that were willing to make it work on a regular (ish) basis. Also because some of my friends have told me recently that I should perhaps change the name of this site from ‘Tom’s Chit Chat’ to ‘Tom’s Shit Chat’, but now they can’t as other people are writing for me too, and ‘Tom’s Shit Chat and Friends’ doesn’t have as good a ring to it. So, after that title had worn a little bit thin, I decided to launch it today.

I am extremely excited for you to read the blog, it features funny and interesting stuff, and I promise, that if you don’t like my writing, then you will love the writer that I have for you later on. We have poured over every single word for, I was going to say weeks, but it’s actually been months for this first Guest Writers piece, and all I can say is, I hope that you find it as interesting to read, as it has been for me to interestingly edit.

That’s another reason I wanted my blog to come out before the one that you will read this evening so, that I could give you a guided tour of what it has been like to oversee the whole process, I now know what it feels like for my Editor at the newspaper I occasionally write for to look at my work, it’s amazing because it has opened my view to a different style of writing which I could maybe adapt in the future. Also because I’ve had to change bits so that it fits with the ‘Tom’s Chit Chat’ style. If you want to know what I mean by style, then I go by rules of when writing about numbers, the format I have chosen to go for uses writing the numbers one to nine in word form, and 10 and above as numbers. I don’t know why I just do, among other stuff too.

So, my second big announcement which is even more exciting than my Guest Writers column, and it’s the title of this piece which I’ve been trying to drag out for this amount of time, just to keep you reading. I’m doing it now, see…

I AM OFF TO AFRICA!

Yes, you read that correctly, in the early summer of 2019, I’ll be jetting off to the deprived areas of Tanzania. I’ve wanted to visit this continent since I’ve been old enough to know that Africa is a continent, and now that the opportunity has arisen, I’m grabbing it with open arms and not letting go.

So, your wanting to know the important information now, some of which I can give you, some of which I can’t. Not because I’m not allowed to, but because it’s still, as you can tell from the date, very early days, since I only found out a number of weeks ago, I’ve tried to keep it quiet until now. I’ll be in Tanzania for a month (four weeks altogether), and in that time I will be offering my hands to help local communities. Some of this may include building huts, schools, medical centres and other important stuff which would help the people in the different villages I’ll be visiting. Teaching in schools could also be in the mix. The organisation I’m going through is a group called ‘Camps International’ a trained team of expert who know lots of things about sending volunteers into the field.

I’m very excited as you would probably imagine, but there is a slight catch, nobody organised a typical trip to Africa two years in advance, and the reason I know now is that the price of the trip isn’t just something anybody could reach into their back pockets and produce. I don’t feel brave enough to tell you the actual figure, but please know that if I put a paywall on this blog for you to read it, and it was say, a pound, I would be writing blogs until I’m about 90. So, I have between now and then to do the fundraising, and I’m appealing to you the reader for any ideas you may have, if you would like to suggest anything, please do either comment or use the ‘Contacts’ page to get in touch with me. I’d be eager to know your ideas.

That brings me onto my next point, today doesn’t just mark the opening of the ‘Guest Writers’ page, it also marks the beginning of the temporary page that I have set up called ‘Tom’s Tanzania Treky Tripy Thingy’, I don’t know how much alliteration you can fit in one sentence that makes sense, but if your reading this and write for the ‘Guinness Book of Records’ I’d be happy to take that reward. So, that page can be found on the navigation bar, and it has been published at the same time as this blog, it’s fairly blank at the minute, but I hope to update it as often as possible with current information, so watch that space.

Now sadly comes the slightly bad news. I’ll be taking a break for a few weeks from the blog, to catch up on some ideas for the weeks running up to Christmas and into the New Year, as my ideas book is blank after today’s title. So, check back here this Friday for one of my unusual write-ups, where I’ll be doing a sort of mash-up between an opinion piece and old-style newspaper article, I’m here on October 24 at my usual time of 10 for a one-off special, I’ll be making my return in mid-late November for my normal weekly run. I suppose you could call this the end of series one. It’s gone down so well, I’m off to plan a second series. Except for this Friday, and a few weeks after that too, where I’m back again to tell you about something else. So, till then, see you soon! BYE!

Thomas

*Please Note: Thomas will be back with more explosive writing on November 21 for a second time around at his already successful blog, until then, stay tuned, and take care*

I **** Myself…

People talk about supercars and hypercars nowadays in the way they used to talk about malaria. It is a much talked about topic, whether you hate them, or love them, it’s a thing you can’t escape.

I’ve kept it very quiet, but the other day, I was given the opportunity to soil myself, not once, but many times.

I get “the fizz” like many other petrol heads simply by looking at a supercar, but what about pelting down a runway in Yorkshire in one at 200MPH?!?

I’ve had a busy sort of weekend, it’s all been really hectic. On Friday night I travelled down to Harrogate, along its horrendous roads along with the terrible wind and rain. A present I got from my Mum and Dad was a car experience at a racetrack of my choosing, in a car, of my choosing. So, obviously, I went for the one which has more history than any other racetrack ever… (I made that bit up)… But I did choose one of my favourite racetracks, specifically because the one I chose used to be the home of the RAF’S Harrier Jump Jet, The Red Arrows and other big

But I did choose one of my favourite racetracks, specifically because the one I chose used to be the home of the RAF’S Harrier Jump Jet, The Red Arrows, and other big airliner stuff… But in car history, it is best known for nearly being the burial ground for presenter and journalist Richard Hammond in September 2006, as he crashed the Jet-Powered Vampire Dragster at a speed of 288MPH, so obviously, a big thing happened here, but not a thing I was eager to recreate during my time there. Elvington is a former RAF and USA airfield base, full of history, and very soon, it would have a line of my excrement along its main runway.

With its history, in the weeks and days leading up to my lap, I was very nervous, however, I knew that this was a very rare opportunity, and being a lover of cars; one I would have to take.

The car I decided to take my run in was the Lamborghini Gallardo, made in Italy in 2003, it was at one stage the fastest Lamborghini ever to be produced, the last Gallardo rolled off the production line in 2013, so I was doing this lap for the history books and as a tribute to this astonishingly fantastic car.

Let me tell you a little bit about the car, it is a two-door roadster, capable of reaching just over 200MPH. It is fitted, as standard with a V10 engine from an Audi, and produces an enormous 562bhp, it has a top speed of 206MPH, meaning it can go from 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds. So, this car is no slouch.

Race day came, my time slot was around 12:30, so I got there early to prepare for what was to come. I met my car, to which, if I’m honest, I have never really liked. I’ve always thought that the Gallardo didn’t really look very nice, seeing one up close is completely different, however. So, I signed myself in and read through all the paperwork which basically said that the company were not responsible for the loss of sight, limbs or life and ticked all the boxes, to say I was happy for this. All I had to do now, was wait for the car.

I heard the engine rev from afar, a cold shiver ran down my spine. My name was called, they were ready.

Some men help me find the seat

Now, before I go on, I should point out, that I am a little bombastic, and by that I mean six foot, so getting into a low-slung car meant dislocating every bone and ligament from my waist down, but eventually, I managed to get myself in and we were off.

The first thing I said to my driver was: “Is this quick?” to which he very quickly replied with “What do you think?”, at this moment I realised my driver had a lead foot because he planted it hard on the accelerator. I did actually enjoy this, but the force of the V10 engine did have its impacts on me as it threw me back into the sides of my seat. Luckily, it was the bit of runway that had a straight on it, but this is no slow coach, it did not take long for to reach the end of this stretch, where I was shown the full reach of this epic car I was starting to fall in love with, the brakes were applied hard, and I was given the chance to see how it handled it’s four-wheel drive, again from an Audi, on the first bend. My face was contorted a little during this, but I was able to readjust it in the short time I had where the car slowed to 60MPH, and speed back up again.

“Hi! Soiling myself”

I did get a chance, between the 200MPH bursts to speak to my driver, I couldn’t really figure out what I wanted to say, so my first question was; “So, how long have you been driving these?”, to which I got an answer I’m still wondering was sarcastic, “Erm, about 20 minutes.” Now, you understand if he was being sarcastic because even I highly doubt that a man who has been driving for less than 20 minutes, (unless he is The Stig) can do a perfect turn, slide the back out, get a little bit of tyre squeal and smoke is beyond me.

Which one would you take home?

So, that is my story, I did get to almost max one of the best supercars ever to roll out of production, and still, come out in one piece. I loved it.

Watch out Jenson Button, I’m coming!

The last part of my blog, I would like to take a minute or two to write about a huge inspiration to me, because he is exactly like Jesus. Earlier in the year, my mate Martin Barrass suffered an almost life-threatening crash when his motorbike collided with a Vauxhall Astra, and with thanks to the amazing team at Leeds and York Hospitals and Air Ambulance, he lives to tell the tale. You may have seen the stories of the accident in newspapers and the evening local news, but it was a big deal. Martin has previously appeared in ‘The Railway Children’ in London’s West End, been a presenter for BBC Radio York and various other film and TV shows, so he’s an all-around legend, and he made my trip to Yorkshire even memorable, when this time last year I didn’t think I’d get to see him again. The man is a trooper.

 

And they say cats have nine lives…

We talked about this earlier, I am tall, and Martin is not so tall, but anyways, we can gloss over that.

That’s it for this week, join me next week where I literally do shake things up on ‘Tom’s Chit Chat’. BYE!

Thomas

 

Rock And Roll Is Back! Now, Give Me Some Ear Plugs

I have always considered my personality to never really fit, with the idea of rock and roll. The whole idea of people who drive about on Harley Davidsons, wear bandana’s on their heads and leather jackets, have never really taken my fancy. It’s even worse; I thought when these people go to rock and roll gigs because the headbands and leather jackets come off, and are replaced by long, curly-haired men who wave their heads about in a back and forward direction and wear hippy trousers that look like pyjamas.

Boy, I was completely and utterly wrong.

I was given the chance this weekend to visit a local gig, a band which had disassembled 40 odd years ago were back and ready for action. In the weeks leading up to this night, people in my area had been going nuts for this band making a return, there was that much of a fuss, I actually asked if Brian Johnson would be making a return with ACDC. They weren’t. A local rock band had recently released a new album after hiding for 40 years in the shadows; Necromadus is a rock band from Cumbria, it consists of a singer, guitarist, bass player, keyboard player and the best drummer I’ve ever seen in the history of everything. They re-established themselves in 2016 and decided to make a comeback, with some changes. Unfortunately, some of the original members passed away, however, there are still some old faces and new ones too, and that didn’t stop them delivering a great set on Friday night.

New and old songs were played, and it was an epic chance for lovers of the band and old time rock and roll fans to come together, and talk about their love of this type of music, and motorcycles; probably. Yes, the leather jackets, long and curly hair, head waving and headgear did make an appearance, but it wasn’t that bad because there wasn’t a motorised bike in sight.

As I said in my introduction, I have never really been into old school rock and roll, now before all of you start thinking of your complaints, I’ll explain why. I have never really liked the idea of having your eardrums beaten to a pulp, beaten again, and then beaten again. To use a metaphor, I suppose it’s like a school bully kicking you until you feel you can’t move anymore. I won’t lie either when I went, it wasn’t like going to my sister’s recorder recital when she was six. Nor was it like I was sitting next to the exhaust of a W16 engine from a Bugatti. It was awesome. Mind you, my ears are still ringing as I’m writing this, but I absolutely loved it. In fact, I loved it so much, I took a copy of the album on the way out.

I had heard of the band before the gig, obviously, and was sort of, semi-interested in going, but the only thing that put me off was the main factor of it featuring rock and roll. Please don’t get me wrong, because I believe that bands such as ACDC and The Rolling Stones turned a page and created a whole new chapter in the history of music, and I do like some of their songs. All I am saying is that I just wouldn’t like to listen to them live because I think my ears work fine as they are, and don’t wish to fit them with hearing aids. However, I thought that since I never really have listened to this music live and loud before, I would have to make an exception.

I loved it. It was properly, properly epic, it felt scary but great to feel each loud and booming note slowly diffuse through my chest. I just had a great night, and a great time just chilling, and actually finding out why this great band has come back, more about the people that listen to this genre of music, and more importantly, why people were listening to this music 23 years before I was even a particle of existence.

If you want to get yourself a copy of the new Necromandus album; which I strongly recommend you do, then it’s available at Amazon, and all good CD selling shops in the UK NOW! Get one!

Some of my write-ups have either been a little short, or late over the last few weeks, and I’ll tell you, that it is driving me up the wall, because as I hope you know I love to write, previous engagements have kept me on my toes, with piles of work right up to the balls of my… (I know what you were thinking)… eyes. I’m trying to think of it as at least something comes out for you to read within the week, but I am aiming to have longer articles which are posted to the page on the correct day at the correct time. But that’s a blog on its own.

Depending on me surviving this coming weekend for reasons which will become clear next week, I have a great feature blog coming next Tuesday, so please keep your eyes out for it. The views of this blog over the last few months has boggled my mind, I’m getting numbers on my stats page I didn’t even know existed. So, thank you, you have no idea how reading the stories of my life each week mean to me.

On that note, I shall leave you hanging on for next week, see you then, take care.

Thomas

Take Cover. Kim Jong Un Fires Missile. Really? Has He?

You and I both know that Kim Jong Un isn’t going to fire a missile anytime soon or form a new regime of people that look just like him or start world war three. So what is all the fuss about?

The fact that the whole world has gone into hiding with the idea that, this funny little man plans on launching a huge scale nuclear attack when, we all know that, there lies a much stronger force, a little north of the Mexican border, called The United States of America.

Even if he did, his much talked about KN-08, would simply go up a few metres, wobble about a little and crash into the sea. Or not even take off at all. And Mr Donald Trump is definitely not going to launch the first strike. Nor will I think he would retaliate if North Korea were to make the first move. Because why bomb someone who, in all probability has just bombed himself.

As much as I and, many other people think that Donald Trump is absolutely bonkers, he may not be as stupid as he looks.

This is the reason we all get up to work in the morning, this is the reason we all carry on with our lives so that some evenings, we can sit down with a glass of something refreshing and watch the news and scare ourselves with what could happen. But I seriously think that pigs will fly before either of those two make a move. A game of chess happens quicker, and that has to be saying something because the last time I watched a game of chess, or even played it, I had to think about also packing a suitcase and pitching a tent first. I assure you, Kim won’t do anything.

According to a newspaper, I happened to be flicking through the other day, (it wasn’t the Daily Mail), all Kim Jong Un wants is respect, now I’m not completely sure of his idea of this. Threatening all of America and its allies won’t get him any respect what so ever, just a deathwish. Even though I have seen this, I still don’t believe that Kim Jong Un wants all of the Western world to be a larger scale Chernobyl. I seriously don’t, it’s simply to keep newsreaders in a job and give people like me something to write about.

It would also mean that he would go to financial ruin, as China would stop supplying oil, which is also what he wants too. Probably one more than the other, but still. But this, this is what he wants, people like me to write about it, I’m going to use a quote now, I’m fairly sure it came from the Monty Pythons, and they said “Any publicity is good publicity”, and Kim needs this on a flag, or a t-shirt, or a mug, either way . I mean that too, he’s getting talked about, and be that good or bad, he is making news stories. This must be a good thing.

I’m actually glad, that this column is delayed because if you watched the news the other day, Trump made a speech to the UN, and actually threatened what seemed like all of North Korea. WOAH. That must be scary, I mean together they are both equally as bad as each other. Who would win in a boxing match? Trump would point the finger and Kim Jong Un would get out his pencil case to reveal his small sharpener to refine the point on his newest cruise missile. That would probably sum them both up best.

So, in all fairness, what actually is all the complaining and worry about? Although I have just made a blog on a completely controversial topic, the nutter and the man with no sense of realism won’t really cause a nuclear war of the worlds, probably just a small parade.
So on that potential nuclear bombshell, I shall leave it there,
I will see you for definite on Tuesday,
Thomas

Back To School, Work, Knitting… ETC…

Well, we all went back to doing whatever it was we usually do on a regular basis this week.

I’m sitting down writing this, with my annual cup of Lemsip, loaded with a head cold. I honestly think that I would rather have a large open wound, and be struggling for breath than the horrendous suffering I’m going through at the minute. My head is pounding all the time as if the Monarch’s marching band is doing their weekly practice. My nose feels like it has been stuffed with paraffin, and whenever I talk it feels like a knife is cutting through from the inside of my throat.

What can possibly be worse than that?

Other than those mild problems, I’m all well and good, and have had a great week in Sixth Form.

I think September does that to us though, we all seem to hate the beginning of the month because we know that school, work, and knitting begins its annual term. I see September as a time to start a new slate with everything that went to pot previously. I don’t know why but, I always seem to associate September as starting again- possibly because it’s quite near Autumn.

I have been immensely busy over the last few days (as well as ill), and I’m actually writing this at the very last minute; the night before. Due to me doing some last minute English Language about determiners and stuff.

Back to my original topic anyway, which is the title of this blog, we all went back to doing what we do best this week, and if that means driving a lorry, going to University, the last lap for your GCSE or A-Levels, or just knitting a woolly jumper for your Grandson, we all have our leaps to jump. And we did that this week, by going back to work.

Everybody always seems to be really miserable in September though when then return to work. I think it’s all because we all go on holiday, come back like the toasties they do in Costa, and complain that it’s raining because it’s nearly Winter. I hate Winter though, it brings out the worst in me. I get really unhappy, and really miserable really quickly, I think it’s the cold. I hate it, I’d sooner go to St Tropez from the end of August and emerge again in February when all the flooding levels have receded. Then return again in July through to the middle of August for a holiday. I’d just live in the South of France really.

It’s not just me though, in August everybody has a conversation about where they are going on holiday and it’s all well and good, but come September, everybody’s foul, and I mean absolutely foul, and it all seems to happen overnight too, it really is the weather. I’d say it’s like getting out of the wrong side of your bed, but mine’s next to a wall, so there only is really one way out, so that doesn’t work. Which leaves it all down to one thing and it’s the weather. It’s cloudy, wet, dark, and damp, and everybody walks around folding their arms in duffle coats trying to conduct heat, like a copper rod.

There is no need for it either, other than people like me, who currently think that instantaneous death is better than a blocked nose, sore throat and constant cough, we should all be friendly. In saying that, the misery doesn’t last long because, by the middle of September, people start acting like it’s only three days away from Christmas. Which is ridiculous. But I think that’s a story for nearer the time, like actually in December; provided my cold hasn’t killed me by then.

I do apologise for the shortness of this weeks blog, I love to write it too, but sniffling and coughing doesn’t put me in a creative mood, I think I’m also close to losing my voice, so that should be interesting. If you excuse me, I’m due another cup of Lemsip, I’m off to pop the kettle on.

See you next week, take care,

Thomas

Life’s Telling Us To Fill Up Our Memory Box

September has arrived, and I sit here writing this looking out of the window, thinking, the start of September has given us the best weather we’ve had all summer.

I mean, if we think about it, at the minute we have all the EU emission regulations, and people telling us that if you have your bath 0.5 degrees higher than it already is, then Paddy the Polar Bear will have no ice to call home. It really is getting silly, but what if they are all wrong?

Personally, I question the thing we call “global warming”, simply because as I have just stated in my introduction, all summer it’s been absolutely freezing. I blame all of this down to one person and one person only, and that’s God. I mean if we think about it, he is the worlds best weatherman. He can basically decide our deaths, if we freeze, or burn to a crisp, and this is something that has been in his hands for a very long time, all those environmentalists that think the countdown to the end of the world has reached its final stage, are just wrong, because it’s actually all down to the big man upstairs.

People who have taken to eat like a budgerigar, and worship the sacred eating habit of vegetarianism just to allow a horse five more minutes in a field are also wrong. I have never really seen the point of eating like a rabbit. If my theory is right, and our fates do lie in the hands of God, then every animal will die with us anyway? We need meat to have a healthy diet and survive because as a wise man once said, it’s survival of the fittest, and if a cow can’t run fast enough to avoid the chop, then in it goes, and burger it becomes.

People who eat seeds and plants aren’t tasting the full range of things that life has to offer them. Sod it and try it.

Please don’t take me the wrong way, I’m not trying to offend people who don’t believe in eating meat because I’m not, what I am trying to say is we need a range of things to survive and by not trying a mixture of those, where else do we get the equivalent from? We only live once, and I live by the motto of going for things because who knows when the opportunity will arise again?

Our family took a day to remember my Granda the other day since it was 11 years since he sadly passed away. I tell you there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think of him, and how proud he must be of his loving wife, daughters, and grandchildren. I was only very young when he died, six actually, but I still have fond memories of him, I’m told he’d be very proud of the person I have become, and as long as I know that, then I’m happy.

I sit here writing this, eating my lunch with a chilled can of my favourite drink; San Pellegrino, thinking to myself how are you the reader going to get the message of this blog? Well, it’s very simple from the title, don’t ponder over things that give you the opportunity to do what you want to do, go for it! If that is your goal, then aim, and aim even higher.

But there are so many people now who think that the world ending is almost imminent, and that, I think is the wrong way to live life, we should be happy that we are all here, very shortly, if things don’t pan out with the current affairs of our friends in North Korea and America, then things may turn very bitter very quickly. So, forget about the cares and worries of the world and do something you want to do.

I have used the title of this blog as a metaphor because imagine the memory box being your own experiences. Take life in your stride and get the most out of it. I think that is my message, I’ll leave you to think about it.

Thank you very much for reading, I’ll see you next week.

Take care, bye bye,

Thomas

Government Can Stick Exams (GCSE’s)

As most of you will be aware, the education test monkeys went through their GCSE exams during May and June earlier this year, and I have been doing my upmost to avoid covering them in a blog.

The collection of the results was August 24th (last Thursday), and I was in with the hamster test too.

Some of you may be reading this thinking what on Earth is he on about, so I’ll tell you. Last year, our brilliant government decided to mess about with the future of 15 and 16 year old as of 2017, and boy did they do a good job.

They decided that going back to the difficulty of the 1980’s O-Levels would be the best idea. No prizes for guessing who thought that up. The new system would be slowly introduced to all subjects as of 2019, but beginning in English and Maths. They would be graded one to nine. One being useless and nine being just above an A*. You can probably imagine how the rest of the country was feeling if I’m ranting in this manner to you now.

People had mixed opinions on how they thought each exam went, some finding it a breeze, and others thinking they would rather do something else.

It did, however, have to reach August 24, and not do what I hoped would happen, which was I fall asleep (or try to) on the 23rd and wake up hoping it would be the 25th. Sadly, my wishes were dampened on when I did actually remain awake throughout the night of the 23rd, right up to the 24th, where I looked out of my bedroom window to find it was raining.

Great start to the day I thought.

I had a very quick bath and began to get dressed. I think I took the longest time to get ready since I was about three. Unintentional; obviously.

My Dad and I drove over to the school to collect my results. My stomach churned, it felt like the drum inside a washing machine on a strong cycle. I felt sick. The actual feeling was worse than sitting my very first exam back in May. We drove up ensuring we had purposefully missed the photo shoot for the following day’s papers. I wasn’t in the mood for attracting attention.

I left the car on my own, and slowly began the walk to the results room, my head was spinning, my stomach churning, and my emotions all over the place, I didn’t know what to feel or expect. I was completely alone. And I wanted to be.

As I approached the hall, my heart sank. Everyone was standing outside, to what looked like thousands of happy faces, and smiles a mile long. I didn’t really know what to do. My first thought was to walk back to the car and tell my Dad they had lost mine or the head teachers dog; Fidoe had eaten it. I didn’t think that would wash, so I took a few steps up to a smiling teacher who handed me a brown envelope, with my name and candidate number on it. I walked out, saying nothing to nobody. It felt like a surreal drama where everything passes really slowly as faces go by.

I walked back to the car and got in the back seat to find my Dad, turning round ready with his reading glasses on. I’d never seen him that eager in all my life. He seemed to be jumping in his shoes, waiting for me to read my results to him as if it was the National Lottery.

I couldn’t do it. I sat there and just looked at it. All in all, it took me about two minutes to realise that by procrastinating, my exam results would not open themselves, and I would have to do it sooner or later. Just how though?

I slipped my finger along the fold of the envelope and opened it. It took me a while to take it all in, as I said I wasn’t concentrating at my best, I was all over the place with my train of thought, emotions and all the rest of it.

Since I am one of those students who have to really work hard to get what they deserve and one of those students who despise individual results going in local papers, I won’t give you a breakdown of my grades as I am a strong believer in that they are private and belong to you. But, I can say that hard work does pay off.

I can also say I’m moving on to the next stage of my life with the grades I wanted (and actually didn’t expect) with a firm stand to hopefully do what I want to do in the future, which funnily enough is this- write!

My personal story really is a great advert and plug for the saying “hard work pays off”, and I wouldn’t be saying that if I didn’t have the amazing support from my family and friends. I would specifically like to thank my Auntie because without her pushing me and guiding me in the right direction, this could have been a completely different blog. Perhaps the last one? Because it does take up a large part of my time, thinking of ideas and writing them up. So, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to redo school and this. But, going into A-Level English Language with a Grade seven (an A to you oldies), I think this may be good for keeping up my creative writing skills.

I’ve sidetracked, so Auntie Alison, I’m now writing directly to you. Thank you for all your hard work and efforts, in the end, it paid off. And I’m bloody chuffed! You are amazing in every way, and without your help and guidance, I honestly don’t know what I would have done.

I would also like to say a massive, massive, massive thank you to my sister Rachel, I don’t know if she reads these, but she also pushed me to do the best I possibly could, and I hope I did you proud in the end Rach! Thank you.

My final thank you goes to you, the reader, I don’t know if you’ve just joined me, or been with me from day one, but I would like to thank you a thousand times, because without your continued support by reading about my piddly little stories, I wouldn’t be doing the thing I’ve always wanted to do… Write my own blog. It’s a small home and escape for my brain to dump its ideas.

I don’t need to say this, because you probably already know, but thank you, thank you, thank you.

On that rather uplifting note, I’ll leave it there. Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Thomas

BUMP… OW!

I did originally want to finish with my holiday stories with my last blog, however, I thought that I could make an exception, and tell you of the horrific time I had on the plane coming home.

Firstly, my family boarded fairly early, but when they were supposed to, since unlike the UK where you usually board 45 minutes before your flight leaves, in Spain it’s about half an hour to fifteen minutes. So we all got comfortable and sat down, I got myself tucked into the in-flight magazine, which I always like to read and laugh at the constant, obvious spelling mistakes or incorrect use of specific words. It’s my entertainment for the majority of my flight.

I was interrupted by a man and his wife with their four-year-old son. And I could tell he was going to get on my nerves. And straight away, I wasn’t wrong. I could just tell, from the loafers with no socks, the cream shorts and the pink dress shirt with sleeves rolled up and sunglasses tucked away in the collar that this man was a… I can’t use that word on here, but I think you know what I mean.

The guy gets on and was one of those people who was as tight as a… (Again, can’t use the word) and he didn’t pay for his luggage so all their stuff was in two small cases that could fit in the overhead lockers.

They were also that stingy, that they did not book their seats. Which clearly meant that they would either be sitting apart or, expect normal people who had booked their seats and paid in advance, to move for them so they could all sit together. Well, he kicked up a fuss.

“They can’t expect me to sit apart from my seven months pregnant wife and away from my four-year-old son!”

He went on and on and on. His four-year-old son in question came on as loud as his ignorant father, with his kids ‘Burger King’ meal and sat next to my Nana. His Mum sat opposite, feeding him chips upon request, and mouthfuls of burger whenever he demanded. Sips of his lemonade would also be provided. And the safety film hadn’t even started yet. I just thought to myself, (not what a wonderful world, Louis Armstrong) I just thought to myself, I can’t put up with this. I have to sleep, and this kid is going to make the next four and a half hours hell. I genuinely thought of feeding his food to him. Only all at once. It may have shut him up.

Just as I was about to unbuckle my seatbelt, and make a first-time attempt at how many burgers, chips, and lemonade would fit into a four-year-olds mouth, one of the air hostesses. who the angry and annoying man had complained to, waved over three seats that the family could have. So they took them, and peace and tranquillity were restored. Finally. We got airborne, and I slept, right up to the moment when I was rudely awoken by a large bang and flash in the sky. Twelve minutes before landing.

So, I’ll be honest, it was not the smoothest of plane trips. In fact, to use a simile; it was like riding the “Wild Mouse” at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, there was that much turbulence. Not to mention the light thunder and lightning storm that decided to make an appearance upon landing. I genuinely thought I was about to become part of a tree, tarmac or one of Manchester’s very high buildings it was that bad.

I had my very frightened Nana sitting next to me, so obviously, I did not want to end her days by telling her of the horror I was looking out into, from my left window. But even she began to wonder what we were doing circling 17,000 FT from the ground with flashing lights every 10 seconds.

We were, in fact, circling due to the bad wind 17,000 FT below us, to which the plane wouldn’t have settled, but I do happen to know the odd thing or two about aircraft, so when my Nana asked, my reply was “there is no space for us on the ground, so we’re waiting.” Possibly the stupidest response anybody could have given, so it only suited that it came from me.

Eventually, the storm got worse and worse, and I think something happened that wasn’t supposed to…

We suddenly stopped circling and began to make a very quick and very steep descent to the runway. That’s when I felt my heart sink.

We quickly made a decent, and touched down, then lifted, then touched down, then skidded very quickly but subtlety to the left of the runway. The pilot then realised he was not Lewis Hamilton, and corrected his oversteer. We came to a sudden halt and taxied to the gate. I was relieved to still be in one piece.

The window of opportunity for danger was very brief, but still there. And the fact that it was still there did make it frightening.

It’s not exactly what I expected to land into at the end of August. But then again, this is Britain. And the weather doesn’t like us here. Not at all.

We got through Border Control, and baggage reclaim relatively quickly and got a taxi to the hotel. Which were the pits. But that is a story for another day.

One that nutshell, thanks for reading, see you soon. Take care.

Thomas