A Travellerspoint blog

Scheduling mix up

In Downton Abbey the week before last one character was lampooned for putting something akin to boot polish in his hair to look younger and it sort of reminded me of myself because this year I’ve taken half-hearted steps to arrest the signs of age. The face I look at in the mirror is every bit 38 going on 39. For years I cheated age. Every year I’d get the students to guess my age and in aggregate they thought I was in my early 20s when I was in my mid 30s. Even Westerners got caught out. I remember being at a friend’s place in Beijing about 3 years ago and his American flatmate being shocked when I told him I was 35. He thought I was about 23. But I’d say in the space of two years it’s now all caught up with me. The hair is now greying and thinning, the skin less elastic, the eyes sunken so that a second bag is clearly defined. I don’t look a bad 38 but certainly not a good one. There are much better specimens-née 1975- out there than me. David Beckham, Russell Brand, Enrique Iglesias. Their far better diets and better genes make them look great at 38 but my body is showing clear signs of middle age. So what is to be done? Well I’m grateful to my body for the reminder that life is short. But that said there are 2 ways of approaching the 40s, 50s and beyond. Like a pot bellied aging man who has some sort of ceasefire agreement with the aging process or like a rock star. You are eternally under 40 if you are a rock star. Rock is a young man’s universe. So rock stars, as you know, dye their hair. Rock stars wear Converse All Stars, jeans and t-shirts. Where do I see myself in all this? Neither here nor there. My anti-aging regime this year has to been to buy a hair max comb and not use it, join the gym and stop going, buy a bottle of Grecian 2000 that I forget to apply, to take my vitamins only sporadically. And not eat 5 a day. I am definitely an unemployed, poverty line 38, not a prime of life, power citizen 38. Of course, I could do the gym and the diet without resorting to fakery. There’s something about laser combs and dye which is just not me. Your hair is supposed to fall out, that’s why it happens. It’s like leaves falling off trees in Autumn. It’s a beautiful thing and I dig it. It’s all part of the wheel of life. Trying to ignore middle age is like sun bathing in November. But here’s the thing. There’s been a scheduling mix up here. Middle age, I'm all for it, but I wasn’t supposed to look this age ’til I was 41 or rather, I’m not quite ready. I’m still in my 30s for goodness sake. So all I’m contemplating doing is slowing things down somewhat so that they happen at the right time. I’ll let you know if I use that comb again.

Posted by safemouse 01:59 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

Stepping up

Saturday met Sue in Folkestone, then Burlesque in the evening. But what is there to say? Ok,bigger stepped in dog turds in Folkestone than Margate and a busker playing ‘Love in song’ by McCartney was a surprise. Would definitely not have thrown 50 pence in his guitar case if he’d been playing BOTR or JET. Sue claimed town centre was 25 minutes walk. Wasn’t even 10. Little things like that baffle my logical side. I don’t think it was reluctance on her part. We chatted about the ghost venture in a cafe. She wants to do a stake out at Pluckley Woods. Shook her left hand with my left hand as her other had a cigarette in it. Limp shake, possibly limp meeting. She sounded a bit like David Beckham. “As I say, Folkestone used to be better than it is now,” she said with small variation several times. Added on Facebook. Her profile pic is one of her holding a cigarette but not possible to say which hand.

Burlesque was a bit brash. The entertainment for the masses version. Burlesque body, Panto chassis. There was a Chinese woman all dressed up in 20s finery on my table who throughly enjoyed it, tho. One joke from the compere: ‘This is my mother I’ve got something to tell you outfit.’ There was a topical joke about Scotland and Rolf Harris but I forget what they were. One that applied to me, calling Margate ‘Housing Benefit Office on Sea.’ The Winter Gardens theatre is another legendary theatre. Beatles played there 3 nights in a row and Gerry and the Pacemakers playing in October. Very grand interior, over looks the sea. Blah blah blah.

So to last night, I think I had a realisation. I had a bit of time to think because my door continuously slamming neighbours downstairs were having a party and it ran ’til about 4.00 AM. Then the fire alarm went off and didn’t stop until about 8. The realisation has been churning for a few weeks but last night it really felt settled. In a sense, I’ve always lived in a fantasy world. I’ve imagined that a life that feels like it’s got underway will materialise. But it hasn’t. It’s true that as unemployed layabouts go, I have some exciting projects on the side. A novel, a film, an album, a documentary, two GCSEs, a bit of Chinese self-study, 50 odd short stories on the go and this blog to name about half the things I’m working on. But these can break as much as make me. My refusal to focus on any particular one, but instead switch between them and Yahoo cat videos and hours of Youtube hasn’t helped. But where is it all going? The realisation was- I suppose- that I’ve got to step up a gear. I know I can do it. It will take a level of maturity and concentration that I’m not exercising as yet. It’s a bit like Liverpool. They can either step up to the plate or they can watch one of the real contenders hold it aloft. But whichever way I slice, dice it, mince it or marinate it (to use the full expression taught me by Rev Q) I can’t rely on psychics, a sense of entitlement or hope to see me through. I’ve got to focus diligently and patiently on hard stuff and not expect results this season. James mentioned me getting sucked into tarot. No, not really. I see Rev as a life coach, not a magician. It's good to have someone pushing you. Not just a guy saying stick it in the net, like some Northern Irish managers do, more of a tactical Dutch approach...

Posted by safemouse 04:20 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (2)

And I didn't say anything about Tinder

Ah, Friday night with Radio Jedna and a cup of tea. Things could be worse. But still, High Fidelity is a getting-ready-to-go-out-show and most Friday nights I’ve stayed indoors. So it’s never without a tinge of regret that I’m not in Prague when I listen to it. Going out somewhere. I lived in Prague for a year and I’ve been back many times since. So many that I’ve now lost count. Where am I now? I’m in a holding pattern. I’m in a decompression chamber. I’m in a cocoon. And when I emerge I’ll flutter my wings- show the girls how bright the colours are- earn revenue, pay my taxes- die.
Ok, that depressing thought over with let’s get the news flash going. Rev Q is back on board. He had to be, I had to swallow my pride, ‘fess up, I had been a little hasty. I started chronicling the comedy or errors yesterday, but there was more to come. I don’t have the will power to tell about all of them, I’ll just paste this evaluation of a Life Purpose Reading that was given to me by Althea.

Hi Althea,
Thanks for your lovely reading. I'm figuring you might be curious to know how accurate it was. I'll take you through it.
You are an artist. A highly creative person.
Correct so far. Most of my time is taken up with creative pursuits.
I see you as creative in:


I have no time for cooking, I'm far too busy with projects that mean something to me. If I could just eat a pill each day I would. I'm not a bad cook when I put my mind to it but it takes me about 3 times longer than anybody else. I've taken lots of photos in my time but I mainly don't see the point in it and just follow the crowd posting the odd pic on Facebook. It's one of the artistic pursuits I put the least store by.

And also, you live near some expansive, beautiful land. (Since I get readings from all over the world, I’m not sure where you live.) But I do see a ranch, horses, just land that expands for miles with dots of homes, rather than a congested area like New York, or suburban sprawl like Atlanta. It’s like the ranches in Texas, or flatlands like in Australia.
I live in Thanet in England, which is a highly congested area but I'll award one mark because it is by the sea and I suppose you could say that that is the expansive bit. However, dots of houses, no. Ranch, horses, no.
That’s the kind of place you need to live. Living in nature will inspire you to take your skills to the next level. Become a professional. Do videos. Publish your own books.

In short, start your own business, combining all of your passions. And spend A LOT of time outside. Nature is what inspires you, and increases your spiritual connection to God.

This is not really nature. Thanet has bits of nature and I do appreciate them but it is mainly urban and suburban. Does nature inspire me? Not....exactly. I love nature but l love architecture and cities too. Artistically nature is not particularly inspiring, spiritually it isn't my first port of call either- music is my first love. Yes, I've had a special experience in a beautiful place and the setting helped but it was a holiday romance so... for me who I'm with is the most important thing. I like what you said about starting a business that combines my passions because I have a big problem with consolidating my 30 or so interests. However, most of these require me to be indoors.

Your life will only get better with age. That, I can promise you. Your 40s are going to ROCK. You are going to wish you had been born at the age of 40 .
Hope so! :-) But I cannot comment on this as it's a prediction.

Overall, 4/10
Thanks again for the reading,

Hugs, J.

Perhaps Althea's reading will make more sense with the passing of time but for the time being Q is my kind of guy. I’ve studied his faults but now I’ve learned to let them pass. This time I won’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. His let’s make lots of money philosophy doesn’t sit with me as well as might with his other clients but I am lazy and I need some one to kick me. I am glass half empty, I need someone glass totally full. Rev Q is outrageously optimistic. He seems to think I can get a job that pays 3500 pounds per month by January. Actually I don’t think he thinks that at all. I think it’s all an act to get me off my butt and see how far I go. But we did spent quite a bit of time last night going through jobs on British websites. If I tried to shoot something down, he’d say- you can do that- you have transferable skills. And he got a text from one of his clients saying she’d just got a job as an exec, so it seems he has a track record. He said all his clients are successful and I wasn’t going to fail on his watch. He asked to look at my CV and quite rightly identified things about it which “suck" and gave me homework. Make fifty pounds by next week, and fix my CV. Then I'm going to apply for 9 jobs a day.

So this might work. And besides, the guy gave me a 90 minute session last night, it was supposed to be 7-10 minutes. This is dedication, no?

Posted by safemouse 15:44 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (4)

Sold my star player

Sacked my tarot card reader (reasonably nicely) and immediately felt it was a mistake. I’m not too concerned as to whether the REV Q is ‘genuine' or ‘fake', or something in-between: he was great to talk to. You’ve got to take the rough with the smooth and I didn’t take the rough, which is that he is very poor at the little courtesies like replying to messages! I ordered a 25 dollar gig to keep him sweet- rather than a 5 dollar one- which is really all I wanted and he messages me to suggest Friday. So I message back to suggest a time and then days later nothing and when Friday comes nothing and so I go on Skype and he’s not there. As he’s already marked the gig delivered I mark request modification to keep it live and he immediately messages on Skype to say he is going off into the mountains with his boyfriend, he’ll do the reading in 2 hours when he gets there. 3 hours later, nothing. Next morning no message of apology. Of course, he has an excuse, he was miles from anywhere with a signal, wifi etc which is very plausible in the big ole US of A with its millions of square miles of wilderness. Now as this is a repeat of the first gig when he didn’t answer my message and I had to request a modification to get his attention. I’m beginning to see in the cold light of day that he doesn’t check his inbox and maybe that’s because he’s very busy or...fill in the blank... and it should be weighed up against how great he is when you actually get to talk to him. I guess I was also a little wary of him because in my first (and last, as it turns out) session with him he said to me that my next gig would be a money tree reading, which I could order off his website. I checked out his website and saw the reading would be 99 dollars and for a while this put me in a quandary. He was trying to up sell from 4 dollars (his profit on Fiverr) to 99 by the power of suggestion through Skype. Well it didn’t work. I’m too cynical.

So, having lost my talisman I was flush with cash (25 dollars) but unlikely to plug the gap with a player or players of commensurate calibre. Two I ordered had to be refunded when the sellers said they couldn’t deliver. One was a Lenormand reading. Only allowed to ask one question. Ok, my question was ‘When will I meet my next girlfriend.’ Seller replies she can only give advice on how to increase my chances of meeting. For the most part I can advise myself on that. Gig cancelled. Other gig was a woman who promises to increase your confidence around women. 15 minute laser session. Having advertised that she does Skype readings she says she’s not allowed to do them. Gig cancelled. I had a time-management coaching session with a woman in Dallas which felt amateur but something good may come from it if I follow her suggestions.
They amounted to, check out the The Pomodoro Technique, (wonder if she googled that as lesson prep), dig deep inside yourself to ask yourself why these things are so important and take some time out to go to a bar and be around people so you can charge yourself creatively. Rev Q where are you when I need you? I was hoping she would take charge and talk some sense into me like Alex Ferguson. She left me feeling a bit ermmm, ok. Like Alan Pardew?
(My sympathies to him). Ok, enough football metaphors. I’m not even that into football anyway. Bottom line is, I don’t want to knock her confidence or damage her business so 4 and a half stars. Plausible deniability.

Ok, one iffy deal. Four to go.

Posted by safemouse 05:29 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Maybe possibly

Sister came down for the weekend with niece, nephew and other half. It was heritage open weekend and we visited a bunch of places including Margate’s oldest theatre, which was built in the late 1700s and is the second oldest in England. Our tour guide is a techie who has worked there 20 years and he really did show us the ropes, so to speak,because we had a go at pulling the cloths up on their poles amongst other things. And we heard about the ghosts said to haunt the place. There are reputed to be at least three and one of them is not seen but their presence is known because they sits down on seat 21 for some reason. As seats go, it’s not very well positioned, but I suppose there’s no accounting for tastes. Helen reckons I should join an amateur dramatics group. I’d been thinking about it but she’s added impetus to that thought and I’m going to try and join the Canterbury Players. We also discussed my single status. My sister thinks I should hang around the middle class bit in the Old Town- i.e the Greedy Cow cafe and also the Tate Gallery. Honestly, I don’t think I’m going to score there. Not least because art galleries aren’t really me and therefore the women that wonder around them probably wouldn’t suit either. My problem is, I don’t fit into any sub-culture that I can think of. I take bits of different ones but I always feel like an outsider in any particular...
Overall, Helen was impressed by Margate but she said it needed cleaning up and I think she was talking about the doggie do. Margate has a lot of dog owners and many have not yet acquired the doggie bag. I leave you with a photo taken in a tunnel of the mysterious shell grotto. (Nobody knows who built it or when). I didn't notice the green orb until later.

Posted by safemouse 15:24 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

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