Wow. This time last year, my family and I were in Menorca. The weather there was usually above 30C every day. Even here in the UK, we had a few occasions where the weather touched 40C in August, and it was generally quite hot all summer long.
Flash-forward to this latest Meerkat Muse, and things are a bit different!
Finding my Way
I had a very peculiar dream (nothing new right?!), featuring assisting another store within my company with a delivery. The oddity here is that this other store was literally right next door to us, which of course it isn’t in reality, but dreams do like to mess up reality! We helped the staff there take in a rather large delivery, then our team went back to our store, only I got lost! Somehow, the two stores were no longer next to each other, and I had to negotiate heading under a bridge and being trapped by spiderwebs (ew), some sort of… possibly a coastal adventure, and walking through a dodgy part of town, where I listened to a woman on a station platform plead not be be robbed.
None of it makes a lick of sense, but then, why should it? Dreams rarely do, least of all mine!
Another dream related to the Terminator franchise, where the T-800 was charged with protecting John Connor, and somehow, we managed to completely evade detection from the T-1000, and then we all had dinner at a Mexican restaurant. However, nefarious schemes were afoot, and someone crashed the world’s currency markets by interrupted the transfer chain (whatever that meant). It also turned out that money was transferred not electronically, by via sending coins in small clear tubes across the bottom of the ocean, and damage to one of these tubes was the mechanism for this evil plot.
No, I don’t understand it.
The other day, I re-signed to a popular survey site here in the UK, in the hope that I could make some extra cash/get a few freebies. I had been a member some time ago, but I grew frustrated with the site’s inability to properly store passwords, and got tired of having to constantly reset it. My hope was that I could devote a little more time to this endeavour, but after a few days, my new account was frozen out, and I feared the password problem was back.
I contacted the site via email, to be informed my account info had triggered an alert around false information.
My hope was to get some clarification as to precisely what this erroneous information is. I’m pretty sure I entered in all my details (the usual fare, address, DOB etc) correctly, but the owners of the survey site would not tell me. Is there any point in pressing further? I doubt it.
The Premier League Returns
Football is one of my passions, and there are few leagues as glorious and intense as the pinnacle of the English game. The return of the Premier League starts some 38 or so weeks of joy, frustration, love, fury, heartache, and ecstasy.
My expectations for Liverpool glory are quite low. After a few years of ups and downs, I don’t look upon Liverpool’s squad and see the sort of quality that’s embedded within reigning champions Manchester City. As if to emphasise the point, in the opening game of the new season, City’s talisman striker Eric Haaland scored within the opening five minutes, in a demonstration of precisely what he and his team are capable of. I’m more inclined to pay closer attention to my old hometown club, Stevenage, who got promoted last season, and now ply their trade in League One. My football dream would be for both clubs to win their respective leagues, and I’d probably take that ahead of England winning something, because for all the difficult challenges ahead for Liverpool and Stevenage, it’s still far more realistic for them to win something than it is for England!
I am trying very hard to contain a rage I didn’t believe I was capable of feeling. Without going into details, someone I love has been treated in a cruel, cowardly manner by someone else, and without any justification or explanation. I am not given to hate, but I can understand how it can arise.
The trouble with hate is that nothing good comes from it. Just look at the saga involving the author of a certain, fanatical religious site who has plagued me and my friend Bruce Gerencser. I swore to myself I would not devote air time to him anymore; his latest hypocritical attack on Bruce is an outrage, and the author’s claims to not despise Bruce are a desperate lie, amidst a sea of lies from him.
Constantly twisting – and to turn a well-worn if mis-used phrase of the fanatic, distorting – the words of others to suit whatever rhetoric he has in mind is a go-to trick of the fanatic. They recently attacked a post I wrote about science; his inability to understand science is the problem, but you can guarantee he won’t take the blinkers off and be reasonable. He whines a lot about others attacking him, but despite my efforts to ignore him, he still attacks me. He lectures on truth and honesty, yet his own history, if true, is a demonstration of lies and hypocrisy.
I don’t necessarily like publicly dredging up someone’s past in order to shame or hurt them, but then again, if you go after others, over and over and over again, misrepresenting their words, accusing them of dishonesty, and harassing them constantly, you are reaping what you sow. We are all adults here, including the fanatic (despite their efforts to persuade me otherwise), free to make our own choices, and our own mistakes. The easiest way for the fanatic to stop any talk of him that he doesn’t like would be for him to stop distorting the words and positions of others, and to leave others alone. In other words, practice what you preach.
A much-needed escape from all the drama ensued last week. My wife, daughter and I went to Great Yarmouth for a week, returning to a venue we’d been to all the way in 2015. On that occasion, we celebrated my daughter’s fifth birthday; what might we get up to this time around?
Well, first, let me get my train geek on…
This unique sight waited for our little troupe at Great Yarmouth. Along the way to our destination, we also absorbed a few other sights…
Opportunities to observe other unexpected railway scenery also emerged…
Say hello to our home for a week!
The first day was fairly uneventful, save for one particularly, um, colourful moment. We decided to venture to the holiday park’s swimming pool, and after briefly queuing to get in, we started to enjoy the water. So far, so good. Our little family unit splashed around a bit, allowed the decently warm water to sluice away the icky feeling that sometimes comes with travelling, and started to relax, until one of the lifeguards announced there had been an incident, and we all had to get out of the water. The incident? A kid had been sick in the pool.
I overheard a conversation that seemed to suggest this was the second occasion that very day where a kid had puked in the pool. If so, it was a rather unfortunate start to everyone’s week!
To round off the first day we took ourselves to an on-site restaurant, where I indulged myself with a 10oz sirloin, medium-well. Still juicy, but with that lovely charred exterior. It was glorious. I don’t have steak often, so naturally when I do I want it to be good, and this was very good. A strawberry ice cream sundae chased it down, and we all retired to our caravan for the night.
Day two brought an early attempt to go swimming again. This time we had success, and enjoyed a nice morning swim, before my wife and daughter did some pottery painting, and a truly terrifying sight greeted me:
Afterwards we had lunch back in the caravan, then headed back out, where the arcade caught some action. Here, the machines yield tickets which can be used for prizes. The more tickets, the better the prize! Between us, we ended up with 395 tickets on the Tuesday. Not too shabby, but a long way off the totals needed for the best prizes. Next came a game of pool and a round of darts, though neither was taken particularly seriously.
I haven’t mentioned the seagulls yet. They are enormous. I am tempted to say they’re bigger than my cat. In fact, I’m sure of it.
Wednesday brought the brood into the town of Great Yarmouth proper. Great Yarmouth shares similarities with Southend, but I’d wager Great Yarmouth is bigger and grander, and has a thriving alternative shop scene. There are also several examples of old and beautiful architecture to be found.
After returning home, an evening swim was in order. Swimming on a warm day is always a pleasant experience, and one should always take full advantage of a pool!
Thursday was our last full day on the Norfolk coast, and despite predictions of slightly cooler weather, things continued to be quite warm. For our final day, we had lunch at the on-site restaurant, and I opted for one of my favourite things: a bacon cheeseburger!
Following the cheeseburger, a rather large ice cream found its way into my belly too. It was gooooooood!
Following lunch, we had a go at the mini golf, where all three of us demonstrated we’re not destined for the green!
Then followed a bit of quiet time and TV in the caravan, and then we ventured to the venue’s nightlife scene. Here, we watched a talent show for kids where most of the acts did gymnastics, and then had a go at the bingo.
Bingo is a game of pure utter chance. The caller, um, calls out numbers. On your line, or lines, you cross off a number if the caller calls it out. The first person to complete their line calls out ‘bingo!’, and is the winner. In this instance, the game involved other holiday parks within the company, so there were a lot of players! The prize? A weekend break in December.
I do not consider myself to be a lucky person, and my wife would say the same. So, as we crossed off the numbers (with a faintly silly pom-pom pen I’d bought a few minutes earlier, whilst in a mild state of panic), and slowly they dwindled, I expected someone else to make the cry of bingo, and before too long, someone did, and the hopeless dream was over. Or was it? Their ticket was declared a false claim, and for us, it came down to the number eight.
We waited, though we dared not hope, but then, the caller cried out ‘eight!’ My wife and I made the sacred call of bingo, and our ticket was accepted! By some miracle, we’d won a weekend break! Topping off this almost-scary set of circumstances was that the trip would involve one of the company’s best resorts, down in Dorset, and we’d be staying in a wooden lodge, rather than a caravan!
So, the final day of our holiday ended with a dramatic, and very unexpected high!
Friday was spent travelling home. We were all up early, and whilst we didn’t need to check out until 10am, what was the point in hanging about? Off we went, back on the rails by 9:20.
Our return home was brief. On Saturday, our little trio packed another suitcase, and took the bus to the nearby historic town of Chelmsford. Our purpose? The wedding of one of my cousins (the brother of my cousin who got married in April). It would be fair to describe the journey as stressful! I am not a lover of being packed onto a bus, crammed in with strangers, on a service that conspires to stop absolutely everywhere. To top it off, we had to change buses too, and that’s even more aggravating! Still, we did eventually make it to the hotel!
One pleasant aspect of an August wedding (despite the UK weather’s recent inconsistencies) was that the occasion was warm. However, warm whilst in a suit is not always ideal!
My cousin and his bride managed to have an outdoor ceremony, and before their gathered witnesses, became husband and wife. With the conclusion of the wedding service came drinks (which were very welcome on such a hot day!), nibbles (mini fish and chips!), and a wonderful setting for a wedding reception!
Good times, with loved ones, is about the best I can ask for in life.
The Final Frenzy
On Tuesday I returned to work, whereupon a wee bit of chaos was unleashed. Without going into too much detail (because I can’t), there’s going to be a lot of activity in the coming weeks. Whether that will benefit me… I don’t dare spectulate.
I did get a nice sale on my first day back, which is nice 🙂
On that note, I bid you adieu, until the next Muse, which if my numbers are right, will be early September!