Sugar gives you cancer.

Update on the job front. Manager has accepted my resignation gracefully although at this stage she still thinks she can persuade me otherwise. Nope. However I have cunningly averted her rage by suggesting that I might resume working there on a new contract after resigning this one. That is a possibility. I could consider working Saturday and Sunday just to get me out of the house. Working alone for long periods can drive you nuts.

The weekend would be the hard part for her to cover since the (mostly) youngsters she is likely to get applying are not going to want to work weekends. I can have Smoky-Drinky on Wednesday, the weekend means nothing to me. However I am going to let the resignation take full effect. I want to see how the company handle my final pay before deciding whether to go back. I have not heard good things on that score.

We are now at the stage where Mopman works mornings to mid afternoon and then I work the rest to closedown. It is far too much for what they are paying. Food grade cleaning is not a trivial job and if the company want the best, they are not going to get them on the wages they offer. Especially not at this workload.

On Panoptica, I have settled on the main character being 10538, with a quote from ELO’s ’10538 Overture’ as a starting credit. That song was one of the things that set the story in motion, a long time ago. Everyone has a number, not a name. Nobody needs a name when every interaction involves your ID number. That’s all the identification you need. It also reinforces the ‘prison’ aspect of Panoptica.

Watch for that becoming law soon. Every time I say something about Panoptica, the Mail has the story the next day.

Right. Digressions out of the way, here’s the meaning of the title.

Now that we are to give up carbohydrates, especially sugar, the Church of Science has unearthed new scriptures to support their latest fatwa.

And… it’s crap. At least, the report on what is actually likely to be real science is crap. The real science does not look like it’s all that good either.

One. They used mice. Mice are not human. They do not react well to human diets.

Two. They used mutant mice who are genetically predisposed to a hereditary form of colon cancer. If you are part of a family where this cancer is hereditary you will need to take more care of your pipework than someone who is not at such hereditary risk. The findings can only apply to those who have a family history of the botty-lumps and strictly speaking, only if you and your family are genetically mutated mice. I don’t think they have WiFi in those cages but you never know. Perhaps the mice do read this. Perhaps there’ll be a comment one day of ‘Eeek, eek eek’.

If you do have such a history, get the arse camera inserted at the first opportunity. Caught early, this one is easy to snip out. Caught late and you get your arse sewn shut and the unfashionable version of the bum-bag on your side forever – if you’re lucky.

Three. Butyrate causes gut cell proliferation. This is very, very old news. It does not necessarily cause cancer but if you are genetically predisposed, it can make the lumps grow faster. Normally it just causes rapid gut cell shedding and replacement. In an environment permanently coated with digestive enzymes, decayed food, shit and bacteria, this is actually a good thing. Especially since many pathogenic bacteria start out by sticking to the gut surface. If you are rapidly shedding and replacing the surface cells, bye-bye pathogen.

The whole ‘butyrate causes cancer’ bollocks was comprehensively shattered at least twenty years ago. Here it is again, back to see us like the one that won’t flush.

Now it is linked to carbohydrate. It can’t be directly linked to sugar at once because free sugars are not going to make it to the colon. Starch will, especially retrograde starch (heated and cooled, as in frozen oven chips) but mostly that’s a good thing too. Well, unless it’s too much, in which case the gas production could get you banned from elevators and enclosed spaces, in case you burst them.

You need that butyrate from your gut bacteria. It encourages your gut to shed and replace its surface cells, and shed attached pathogens and orther nasties from the surface at the same time. If you have a family history of colon cancer you’d need to be a bit more careful about it but if you don’t, get them chips in the oven now.

In Scotland they send you tests for botty-lumps on your 50th birthday (happy birthday, please shit on the card and send it back) and every two years after that. In England and Wales they don’t start the poo tax until you are 60 (we want 10%, squeeze it out and hand it over). For most of us this is fine. For those who have families with a history of the botty lumps, get to a doctor at the very first sign of a red-spattered pan and demand the arse camera. Do not wait for their crappy birthday card.

It might only be haemorrhoids. Unpleasant but not dangerous. If the lumps are in the family, do not assume.

But butyrate does not cause cancer. It might make it worse if you have the wrong genes but it does not cause it.

When they get around to ‘sugar causes bowel cancer’, as they will, remember that your gut is a very long pipe and it’s grabbing everything it possibly can absorb, all the way down. The sugars are gone long before they get to the colon. Any not absorbed have been used by bacteria (which are present along the entire gut, yes, even in your acidic stomach).

The last paragraph of the article, a direct quote from the research paper, is true. They foiund that a lot of carbohydrate makes bowel cancer worse in mice genetically predisposed to bowel cancer. That is all the experiment could conclude.

Now sit back and watch it spin.


The smoker war.

A light hearted interlude to begin…

If Mrs. Queen gets to the age of 100, do we all have to send her a telegram? I will, if everyone else will.

What about His Royal Hubbiness? He’s nearly there. Picture the scene on Phil’s 100th birthday -

Mrs. Queen: “Happy birthday Phil. Oh, you must have heard that a hundred times before,” (girlie Royal giggle).

His Royal Hubbiness: “Never mind all that, woman, where’s my bloody telegram? Every Tom, Dick and Harry gets one. Where’s mine? No, hand-writing it on a napkin does not count. Get down the post office. Now.”


And now the serious stuff.

War in Syria, in Ukraine, in Israel, in Iraq, anti-Semitism on the rise everywhere because the Lefties want to kill all the Jews in the name of peace, civil unrest reaching global levels… and what is the pressing concern of the UK government?

That someone should fire up half a gram of leaf in a car carrying children. Seriously. That is their primary concern.

Children are one of the most distracting things to have in a car if you’re driving. There is a strong case for building in a soundproof screen between the front and back seats or for buying a pickup truck and a large cage to fit in the back. Then they’ll get fresh air delivered at 70 mph and won’t have to worry about the adults smoking in the front. The young are fast-moving so will have no trouble dodging the odd thrown-out butt.

There are many other things that can take a driver’s attention from where it should be – the road ahead. Handsfree phones do not work. I have been in a car with someone chatting handsfree and while both hands were indeed free to control the car, their thoughts and concentration were on the conversation. It was scary. Then there are car radios which are not like the ones of my youth (bolted under the dashboard with two Meccano strips and with no more than six huge buttons and dials to deal with). Now they can even pop up TV screens and have a million atom-sized buttons labelled in writing only ants can see.

Just a few examples of the things that can distract a driver. Should we really be adding a £10,000 fine if anyone burns a bit of a leaf in their car to all the things that can distract them now? This is just like the pub smoking ban. Unpaid enforcers.

Soon smokers will not be allowed to drive at all. We’re apparently at a high risk of suicide so we might just drive our child-free car into a school bus to end our misery and give at least fifty children cancer at the same time.

I have never, ever, contemplated suicide. Murder, often. Suicide, never. I could rewrite Omega Man as Marlboro Man. The last man left alive finds someone else alive. “Do you smoke? No?” Bang.

Oh, but the best bit, the ultimate, is the ‘third hand smoke is everywhere’ scare. I would love to claim credit for the idea that all grey dust is tobacco ash which started accumulating in the late 1500s and never degrades. The Mail does not mention my part in that game.

Even if you don’t smoke and never have – gotcha. Your pets and children are tracking four hundred years’ worth of smoking into your home every day and so are you. Every time you open a door or a window, the poison of smokers past gets in there. This is better than Freddy  Kruger. It’s not a dream. We can terrify you long after you have killed us all. And you antismokers will do it to yourselves.

Naturally, this will develop to where no smoker can sell a house or car to one of the Weak in case it gives them cancer. No matter. I’ll buy a smoker house and/or car. There are still enough of us to have our own economy. Hell, we already have homegrown and Man with a Van and have had both for years. The Smoker Home and Smoker Car dealerships are just waiting to happen.

This will also mean that employers will come under pressure to not employ smokers. Well, there are employers who smoke and who will have the pick of the intelligent, non-suicidal, non-psychotic, non-pompous and non-lumpy staff. They will do well but the government will pretend that the businesses full of hysterical girlie-men are doing better. Probably by propping up the hypochondriac horde with the tax money taken from those who think it’s all such a brilliant idea.

As with all wars our government think they are well prepared to win, they will lose.

Because, basically, they have no idea what they are doing.


Let’s stay clear of the conspiracy theories, of which there are innumerable. Let’s ignore the theory that the earlier Malaysian flight was some kind of practice run, that the Americans or the EU did it to force Putin into a corner, ignore it all.

I don’t think Putin or Russia are to blame. The ‘Russian separatists’ in Crimea are a rag-tag band of rebels, most of whom are barely under any kind of control from their ‘generals’. If they get hold of a missile launcher they are going to want to fire a missile. It is quite possible that Putin has supplied them with some equipment but he has no more control over how they use it than we had over Saddam’s chemical weapons (that we sold him) or what those Syrian rebels do with the guns we send them.

I’t akin to the antismoker argument that tobacco companies sold something they knew was dangerous so are responsible when those who buy the product get sick. It’s the same as arguing that the car dealer is at fault when someone flattens Granny – and if they were drunk, it’s the drinks industry’s fault too. When you sell or give something to someone else you no longer have any say in what they do with it.

I gave away an air rifle a while back. If it is later used in an armed robbery, am I to be held responsible? I have sold toy trucks on eBay in the past. They are covered in easily detachable small parts so I made clear that they should not be given to small children. That is, I stated that I knew they were potentially dangerous. If some idiot gives one to a child and they choke on a wing mirror, whose fault is that?

If Putin has supplied those rebels with weaponry, he did so expecting the weapons to be used against their local enemy. He, I am quite certain, did not say ‘Yeah, shoot the Westerners and if any of those Malaysian jets fly over, get them too.’

The Mail had identified the type of missile used and the launcher it came from almost before the plane hit the ground. Nobody outside Crimea has had a good look at that wreckage as yet. The investigation is yet to happen but the Mail, and most of the English press, talks as if Putin himself aimed and fired it.

So now we have the Cameroid calling for sanctions against Russia. Where does this idiot think most of our gas supplies come from? Then he demands that France break a 1.2 billion deal with Russia over some helicopter ships they have built for Putin’s navy. Is France so cash-rich it can afford to scrap whole naval vessels, all the cost that went into building them, just to make a petty point?

It was not Russia who fired that missile. They just made it. If the Russians use those helicopter ships to shoot down an American plane, will that be France’s responsibility? It doesn’t work that way.

Today the Mail is claiming that only 200 bodies were recovered. ‘What happened to the other 98′ they howl, among claims that those showing signs of shrapnel were hidden away.

A plane crash is a very messy thing. A plane hit by a missile at 30,000 feet will come down in bits. Not all the bits will land in the same place. In fact, if the plane was hit by a modern anti-aircraft missile at that altitude it is impressive that they have already found two-thirds of the bodies aboard. Wreckage and bodies will be widely scattered and hunting for them in a war zone is not the easiest of tasks.

There is no point throwing blame at those who cannot have known about this tragedy until after it happened. Blame lies with a man or a few men. Not with a country. Someone brought this plane down but it wasn’t Putin.

Those responsible for firing the missile should be brought to trial and then shot. Calls of ‘But it’s a war’ only redefine the crime as a war crime, which makes the penalties available to the court that much higher. Should we demand Putin hands over the men responsible? How can he? He does not command those rebels and will have no idea who was pressing which button.

Someone does. Someone knows.

Someone has the power to avert a third world war.

But do they have the courage?


Damn those early mornings. The last one was Saturday and I’m still jet-lagged. Last night I conked out before the whisky was finshed! Gradually re-acclimatising.

Resignation letter is written. I will leave it at work tomorrow and send a copy by Email tomorrow night. I anticipate pleading followed by rage followed by telling everyone I’m no use anyway. That’s how it goes when someone resigns. She is going on holiday with her husband who also works for the company from this weekend. Note that there was never any question of that particular holiday being cancelled due to short-staffing. This will ruin her holiday. Watch me not care.

A realisation has dawned. If I am ever going to make a living as a writer I have to give myself no other choice. Writers are masters of procrastination. As long as the bills are paid we will diddle around with half-formed ideas and not concentrate on any one thing. It has to be Writer or Not Writer. There is no Writer-ish.

And so I return, gradually, to comfortable nocturnality. No need for sunscreen in my world. I have none in the house. I do have skin moisturiser since the incident with the chemicals just over a year ago, and I have Germolene which cures everything but that’s it. No sunscreen.

I would never trust myself to make a lotion out of strange concoctions found on the Internet and then rub it all over myself. It would end with scales, antennae and a tail, knowing my luck. Yet many people are now doing this.

There’s no need. As a child, if you could get hold of Factor 10 sunscreen you were at the cutting edge of sun protection and were pretty much using white emulsion paint. Now it goes up to Factor Holy Crap which I suppose must be like painting yourself invisible since no light can possibly reach you at all. Yet thousands of farm workers down the ages have never used any sunscreen, despite having jobs that keep them outside all day. During harvest time they’d be out in the sun from the time it rose to the time it set. They’d get every single ray. Is there a massive contribution from farm workers to the skin cancer figures?

No, it’s the silly buggers who spend 50 weeks of the year in an office or in front of the TV, then two weeks in a place hundreds of miles nearer to the sun than they’ve ever been before. They spend those two weeks lying about on beaches, trying to persuade their bodies to produce melanin in a matter of hours when it’s been out of the sun so long it’s forgotten what melanin is made of. That’s where the skin cancer figures come from.

Last time I was burned was quite recent. I went fishing for three hours on a very sunny day. A terrible idea. Since fish can’t close their eyes, they hide at the bottom when it’s really sunny. Also, warm water holds less oxygen than cold water so fish are avoiding too much activity when it’s hot. In hot and sunny conditions, fishing is a waste of time.

Also painful. It took just three hours to burn my face to the point where the cracks bled. This helps reinforce my conviction that nocturnality is natural. It also allowed me to explain at work that the horribleness of my face was because I failed to get back in my coffin before sunrise.

Even so, no sunscreen for me. I prefer to avoid the sun altogether. When I go out to smoke I do it in the shade because sunlight gives you cancer. Try telling the drones that one. The discordancy makes their eyes melt.

Well, knackerdness has caught up again. Later this time. I’m adapting to a real life again. This week Mopman is covering Gadget’s second week of holiday. He wasn’t supposed to be but he got railroaded into it as I was for the first week. No wonder he is also looking for another job – he now has two interviews lined up.

So I leave you tonight with a song (well, a sort of talking to music really) that amused me when it appeared many years ago. Maybe I still have the CD-single somewhere.



I like this YouTube version because it says it has English subtitles but doesn’t, and because the ‘about’ tag has a bit of history in it.

Big kids.

At last. The early starts have ended. Balloon Woman has done something that has brought my resignation forward a week but more on that later. Tonight is a return to whisky.

I have a bottle of Ben Bracken, not the finest of vatted malt whiskies but pretty damn good for the price. The label suggests that it isn’t really a vatted malt, but is a malt blend that is mixed when the malts are young and then aged in oak as a blend. Seems an odd way to do it and a risky way – you can’t taste whether your blend has worked for 12 years! What if you end up with a warehouse full of crap?

Well those supermarket own-brands have to come from somewhere I suppose.

Anyway. Suitably fuelled at last and with the red mist of rage now subsided into the freezing fog of vengeance (much better for the calculated approach, I find), I can set my mind to other things. This will be incomplete because I still have day-lag.

I have noticed that the young are pretty much allowed to do as they please these days. Fortunately most of them have not succumbed the Thug Life temptations and are pretty decent. You never hear about all the decent ones, just as you never hear about the majority of white men who are neither rapists nor paedophiles.

For those who choose thuggery there is little to dissuade them. Parents who have taken on the Progressive Message believe they are giving their children a good start in life by trying to reason with them while they eat the curtains and lacerate the dog with cheese wire. No punishment beyond ‘Tut-tut, little Lucifer, you know, I don’t think the dog really much likes being flayed alive’.

Then those same parents act all surprised when they wake in a bath of ice to find their offspring has sold their kidneys to the local butcher for a bag of sweets.

As these Ferals grow and target non-family members, the courts take the view that well, he’s just a child, he doesn’t understand that a knife between the ribs can actually hurt people. It’s all the fault of video games and fast food.

These days it must come as a nasty shock to turn 18. Suddenly you cannot smoke where you please any more. You have to pay for booze and you have to abide by limits. When you get arrested they actually send you to jail! You’re not a child any more. You’re an adult now. Where the child has the freedom to do as they please, the adult is tightly restricted by rules from all sides.

I remember when it used to be the other way around.

Digression: It occurred to me that in the Satanic version of the Bible, the last book is probably called the Book of Regulations. In which the Four Horsemen appear in hi-vis vests and write out fixed penalty notices. End digression.

People no longer grow up. They grow down.

I saw a child recently, I suppose about nine or ten, out with her mother. The child was dressed in a onesie. This seemed reasonable, she was just a child and children like to dress up. I had a Dalek suit as a child, fully equipped with a sink plunger and a painted stick. “Die, shitface” was followed by a sudden pain in the side of the head and the instruction that the correct term was ‘Exterminate’. That’s a big word for a little council estate kid but I learned it anyway. Maybe the Daleks originated in the Penllwyn estate. I wouldn’t be at all surprised. The whole Dalek thing could well be my father’s fault. It might also explain why the head-parts of the final Daleks were not made of easily belted PVC.

Now there are adults in these onesie romper suits (that is what they are, let’s face it) proudly strutting about like three-year-olds with a new dress-up toy. They drink from trainer cups, plastic lids with a hole in so they don’t spill it all over themselves, or from those babies’ bottles renamed as ‘sports bottles’.

Adults now accept every regulation thrown at them and demand more. They want to be controlled. They want to know the limits of their lives whereas real adults have no limits (beyond the obvious ‘harm nobody else’ limit). If a real adult wants to ignore the warnings on a product and enjoy it anyway, then a real adult can do so. A child cannot.

Any antismokers who are about to say somethng along the lines of ‘your rights end at my nose’ can go straight to Hell without passing ‘Go’ at this point. If thy nose offends thee, cut it off. Then you will have no more problems. Well, apart from the problem of finding someone who likes you but if you’re that rabid, you already have that problem anyway. So there’ll be no change. Nose removal renders you immune to second hand smoke and if you ask the NHS for it and tell them why, they’ll do it. Because they are just as stupid as you.

Children look for boundaries. We all did it. We pushed at the boundaries until something hurt and then we stopped pushing. This far and no further. This is a comfortable thing for a child, to know where the boundaries are. To know the limits of what you can and cannot do.

There are still parents who instil discipline and there are children who accept that for what it is. A boundary. There are parents who go too far but there always have been some and always will be. Those parents are just rotten people.

It seems to me that the modern rise of the progessive parents are worse than the drunk and violent ones. The progressives teach their children that they can behave as they please while the parents follow every rule and regulation to the letter. Is that preparing children for adult life?

Being knocked about is, I think, a much better preparation for adult life than being told that nobody will ever be better than you. Not that I think walloping kids for no reason is a good thing, it is not. Yes, children want some boundaries but set those boundaries too narrow and you are nurturing a future psychopath.

Have no boundaries at all and you are growing a sociopath.

Speaking – erm,. writing – as a biologist, it all looks to me like the domestication of a species. Every successive generation is more compliant and more easily trained than the one before. Paying the stupid to breed is all part of it. The human race is being turned into cattle and the human race is clamouring for it.

Wild dogs rarely bark, they communicate with low grunts. Wild cats do not want their tummies rubbed. Try it, but don’t bill me for the bandages. The young of those species do those things and domestication means keeping them child-like. They see you as a parent and in a terrible cycle of despair, people with dogs and cats now see themselves as the animal’s ‘dad’ or ‘mum’. And the progressive ones treat those animals as children and try to reason with them when they eat the curtains or flay Auntie Ethel with teeth or claws.

Wild animals can see the advantages of domestication. Free food and a warm place to sleep. What are the government offering their favoured ones?

As for me and those who read here, well, what does the domestication breeder do with the failures?


The gates of Hell are open…

…and I’m nearly out.

Two more hellish early mornings to deal with. They wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t coupled with the late finish.

New job is now a certainty. I will have left this one by mid-August even if it means a spell of eBaying between jobs. Idiot Area Manager seems determined to push both me and Mopman into saying ‘screw this’ so we are both preparing to jump ship. Today we had A Note, stating that she wanted to know who was covering Saturday morning since her idle swine of a temp can’t (be bothered to) do it.Not ‘can one of you cover?’ but ‘who is doing it?’ As if we are obliged to drop our real lives for pennies at her whim. I will refrain from a detailed description at this point but if you imagine a partially deflated beach ball with a badly drawn face on it, you’re pretty much there.

I am working the early Gadget Shop and then the afternoon Local Shop – she has no problem with me working the morning at Local Shop on the same day. Three shifts, one day, no way. As for Mopman, it’s his one day off this week so he’s said ‘no’ too.

Any more crap and I will, in leaving, bring her comfortable little empire crashing around her ears. I am somewhat miffed.

funny-pictures-history-i-dont-always-eat-grapes-but-when-i-do-theyre-made-of-wrathWell okay, the red wine of wrath. I left the grapes too long.

There are posts on the antismokers and on infantilisation of the population in the works but without whisky, and with the requirement of early slumber, they’ll have to wait. Normal service will resume Sunday unless I die of sobriety in the meantime.

This week I am seeing the woprld as it really is. Next week I return to the whisky, because  the world as it really is, well, it’s pretty weird.

And mostly disgusting.


Dammit. This was right at the beginning of Panoptica. It’s how the authorities first take notice of the poor bugger who gets his story told.

I’m still ahead. I have implanted chips in the book, not phones and wristbands. Not far ahead though. Certainly not far enough.

It seems my central premise concerning the rise of Panoptica was right on the money. None of this control-gadgetry was forced on the drones. They raced to the shops to be first to buy it all. When it is offered as implants (it will be) there will be a race again, to be first to be able to open a door by waving at it, or control a TV by looking at the panel beside it. What else will those chips do? Nobody will ask.

Well, second shift will start soon. Last double shift is Saturday and I’ll be getting a good malt whisky on the way home, for writing inspiration. There will be no extra shifts next week because this week is totally dead as far as writing goes, and paying the bills while giving me writing time was the whole damn point of the job! There is no likelihood of any improvement in the situation so a new lackey-job is the only sensible option.

There is a new idea brewing too. Recently I read that something like 50% of modern children have no idea that potatoes and beans are grown on farms. This means they will have absolutely no idea about the toxicity of foxglove or corn-cockle or giant hogweed. No idea what is safe to eat or handle and what is deadly.

I already know adults who don’t believe that the plums, raspberries, gooseberries etc that I grow are edible without some kind of further processing.

So when civilisation collapses, I’ll be well fed while the drones hunt for plastic packaging…

What’s happening behind you, right now?

Your attention is focused on your computer so you have no idea what’s going on behind you. Have a quick look. I’ll wait.

I bet 99% of those who looked behind them said ‘nothing is happening’ and the other 1% said ‘not much’.

Those who didn’t look around are those who were already certain there’d be nothing to see. They are the ones the monsters always get.

It’s how stage magic works. While you watch the fancy moves of the left hand, you don’t notice the casual slip of the right hand into a pocket. It works on everyone although once in a while, someone spots the sly move of that right hand.

Cunning, eh?

Well, another flypast tonight. Sleep beckons at this unnatural hour. Only four more redeyes to go.

I hope to catch up on comments at some point.

Drive-by blogging.

I’m already up later than I should be. I arrived at Local Gadget Shop at a quarter to eight this morning, expecting a 15 minute wait and therefore armed with sufficient ciggies and a can of chemical fizz. No bugger showed up until 8:20. Apparently I was supposed to be doing 8:30-10:30, not 8 – 10. Stupid bloody managers.

Okay. so what the hell is Cameron up to? Currently embroiled in rumours that the whole of Wastemonster is full of leering men who prowl the streets saying ‘Want to see some puppies, small boy?’, what does he do? He hides all his middle aged men and replaces them with young women. Priti Patel, okay, she has spoken some sense in the past so promoting her is a good idea. But what about Fester McFey? Nobody seems to like her very much. As for the swimsuit model (phwooar, but can she run a country?) and the apparently anencephalic lawyer woman who is Ozzy’s choice to help run the economy, what is their track record? Never heard of them. Is Cameron initiating a pogrom? Can’t accuse him of running a government of dirty old men if there are no men in it (he doesn’t count).

Then there is Wee Willie the Hague, who has announced that not only has he dropped out of the Cabinet, he is dropping out of politics entirely.

Some commenters have made the obvious connection even though there might not actually be one. Still, the connection is there to be made and many will make it. Will some of those now exiting in a hurry find that they are the scapegoats of the future?

Watch how fast you run, old white men. The mob is looking for runners at the moment.


The Rise of the Shattered Man.

Tomorrow the Horrible Earlies begin. I will be covering the Local Gadget Shop cleaning in the early hours and working in Local Shop until 9 pm, every day for a week.

The hours aren’t so bad. I’ve done worse – but I did it for £300 a day, not a fortnight. This does mean that Local Gadget Shop cleaner gets at least a week of his holiday and lets me know something very important.

If the manager can do it to him, she can do it to me. I too have holidays and flights booked, for the middle of August. I know she has given no thought at all to who will cover my time when I’m away and will – as she did this time – phone around the week before I leave desperately trying to find a mug to do it.

Local Gadget shop is easy. Two hours a day and pretty much all you do is hoover the carpet although there is at least an hour’s worth of carpet in there. No cafe, no bakery, no food spillages since they don’t sell food. The staff area and toilets – half an hour, maximum. The hoovering can be leisurely. And I get to look at what’s available in gadget land while I do it.

Mine is different. Six hours (variable) with spillages all the time because they refuse to insist on manual dexterity testing of customers and will not allow me to hog-tie every child entering the shop. Getting cover for me is a lot harder than getting cover for Gadget. I know she hasn’t tried.

So she has made my decision for me. It was time to think seriously about moving on anyway, I should really have done so after the first year but general laziness prevented it.  If she decides to cancel my holiday within a week of it happening, I cannot then work out the two weeks’ notice required on the contract (when I sign a contract I take it seriously). There is only one solution. I will have to hand in that notice at the beginning of August.

I’m on the lookout for a job starting in September. Nobody is going to hire me and let me take two weeks off at once but as I am visiting the parents for the holiday, it’s cheap and I can easily survive two weeks. Especially if I look to go a bit upmarket. With my newly-acquired retail experience I can take the game up a few notches now. Also I know that many places have been running on students who are all going to vanish back to colleges and university in September. Many places will be fighting to fill vacancies around that time.

Doesn’t have to be in a shop. There is a funeral director in town and I have the perfect demeanour for that kind of work. Hangdog gloom with a face to match. I bet all funeral directors start their day by reading the Daily Mail from cover to cover so they are actually envious of their clients by the time they get to work. Or maybe in an office where I can show them what office politics was like in my old world. The scheming and backstabbing at university level where IQ starts at about 140 makes every other office-politics game look almost childish.

There are many options available, more if I learn Polish.

I will, of course, warn Mopman of this decision since if he wants a week off he’d better take it before I vanish. However there will be no early warning for the area manager. Just that two weeks of notice.

The funeral director thing would be a real option if I could only get a suit made of this stuff.


Blogging will be light for a week, as will whisky consumption. I will double up next week.