Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Meerkat Muse! November is here, which means shorter days and colder nights. Before we get to that, what of the end of October?
A Nocturnal Trilogy
I had a sequence of highly unusual dreams the other night, none of which were especially linked to one another. Up first was a dream featuring a former colleague from my office supply retail job, and we were on a construction site. Together, we were climbing higher and higher on this half-finished building, and when we had gotten very high up, we decided we needed to come down, only I think there was something we needed, or something we had to do, that complicated the entire procedure of getting back down. There may also have been phone calls to my old boss from that job, as we tried to figure out what to do.
The second part of this trilogy seemed to take me back to my school days, albeit the end of my school days, and some sort of parents’ evening, only I had to get a lift with a woman I didn’t know, and for some reason, I was convinced she would die if she gave me a lift. She didn’t, we arrived at school for the parents’ evening, and discovered something that definitely didn’t happen in real life: a huge buffet had been prepared for everyone. This would have been hungrily received in real life! In the dream, I started to eat a delicious chocolate chip cookie. I could actually taste it, and it was good. Before I could finish it, I had to have a meeting with my English teacher, though it was a relaxed, friendly affair.
Finally, I had a dream that was definitely inspired by the stories my new colleague has told me, as well as drawing inspiration from recent research into mythological creatures. I’d been invited to his place for dinner, only it turned out we were going to his parents’ place, which was a huge farm. We had to walk through some banana trees (this is where the myths come into play), then I was briefly accosted by a playful dog, before meeting a large extended family. This was followed by a game of ‘catch the fireflies’ only the fireflies were crickets in my dream. We followed this up with glasses of wine, then I woke up.
Each dream was different to the last, and for them to all unfold across one night… who knows where my brain was at?
And Then There Was One
On the 21st of October it was announced that Sir Bobby Charlton, the engine room of England’s triumphant 1966 World Cup side, had passed away. Sir Bobby had a glittering career with Manchester United, winning a trio of league titles, a European Cup, and an FA Cup, over 17 years at the club, but it was the 1966 World Cup that many football fans will remember him for the most. He was a giant of the game, and also a very humble figure off the pitch, so it makes sense that he was well-loved.
With his death, there is now only one player from that team of legend left alive. Sir Geoff Hurst, who was also the first man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final, is the only survivor of that victorious side. At some point in the not-so-distant future, all the players of that great side will have taken on a mythical status. After all, they are the only group of England players to ever go all the way at a major tournament.
It’s a sobering thought. Momentous occasions – be they good or bad – are held in the memories of those who lived through them, but sooner or later, everyone to have experienced those events leaves this mortal coil. It becomes of vital importance that later generations remember on their behalf, lest that history and wisdom be lost with the legends.
Rest in Peace, Sir Bobby.
Time is precious. That’s certainly true of our new clock! The previous clock had survived many years, albeit it had also been knocked off the wall on numerous occasions, and the accumulative damage eventually took its toll. The Miss Minutes clock is something of an inside joke, based upon how my wife likes to shout ‘hey y’all!’ at me to scare me, be it by hiding around corners or hiding in cupboards. The backstory to that is the jump-scare moment from the Loki TV series, involving Miss Minutes suddenly appearing out of nowhere! Now I get the dubious pleasure of being confronted by this clock, every single day.
I was alerted to a news story, concerning my immediate local area, that strained my faith in humanity. A man was spotted pleasuring himself in the bushes, not far from my home, near a route that my wife and daughter sometimes use to walk to and from town. I am, to put it mildly, horrified and disgusted at this news.
What goes through the mind of someone like that?! I get the desire to, um, please one’s self, but even at my most desperate, I would never ever imagine a scenario where I would do such a thing in public, and especially not near a school (which is another vile element of what this guy did). I don’t wish to make assumptions, and nor do I wish to fall back on the trope of mental illness (which is not remotely fair on people with mental health issues), but to masturbate in public, and to not care if your act is witnessed by children, would surely involve either some kind of issue, or a lot of depravity.
It’s important to celebrate wins, in whatever form they take, and the other day I had a great day, in terms of new orders at work. I put over £7,500 of new business on the books, and counting the day before as well, put on just shy of £9,500. October had been a slow month for all of us, so that little burst was useful, for me and the showroom. I can only hope this trend continues!
I had another anthology of crazy dreams the other night, but the only one to stick in the mind was the airport dream. I was travelling to Canada, that much I knew, but in the course of getting through check-in and security, I had wound up being quite far ahead of my companions. I had a chocolate coin, wrapped in silver foil, and I wanted to take this through one of the scanners, only to be told I had to unwrap it, and thus eat it, because the metal would set off the detectors. I feel like I knew this in the dream, but wanted to try it anyway.
Eventually our group was assembled, and we boarded our flight, whilst admiring the rail links to the airport (well, I admired the rail links, I don’t think anyone else did!).
I believe this dream was inspired by a recent trip my parents, brother, sister-in-law and their kids took to Turkey, so why the destination shifted so abruptly to Canada is beyond me. From the sound of things, Turkey was good, and quite warm, unlike the utter lurch in UK weather, which is now relentlessly wet.
World Pasta Day
These days, it seems there is a day to celebrate anything and everything, and why would pasta not be included?! I am very fond of some forms of pasta, and ambivalent towards others. I love spinach and ricotta ravioli, especially with a cheese sauce, though a tomato and basil combo works well with it too. I dare say this is my absolute favourite pasta dish, though I also quite enjoy mac ‘n’ cheese, and I don’t mind spaghetti bolognaise (though I don’t go out of my way to have that). A simple pasta bake also works for me. To honour World Pasta Day (the 25th of October) I had a plate of plain spaghetti with cheese, because I had had a long day at work and could not be bothered to do anything more elaborate.
That day at work was in many ways very productive for me, with another nice order, and a quote with the potential to become a very juicy order. It also featured an early start, thanks to a rather cheeky request from a fitter who had already been told no by my manager. This is the pitfall of fitters having your personal number; after being told no, the fitter phoned me on my day off, to ask if I would mind starting early, so he could take some stuff off display. It so happened that this was during half-term, so I didn’t have to be up quite so early, though Wednesdays are bin collection days in my neck of the woods, so I would be up, dressed, and ready to leave well before I actually needed to. There reaches a stage where I am twiddling my thumbs, waiting to go to work, so I might as well go to work!
Still, to circumvent my manager, who had already said no, was bloody cheeky!
Blasts from the Past
Overlooking for a moment how I suddenly have two tails, it is fair to say this meerkat is captivated by nostalgia trips, and one such moment took place the other day, thanks to Facebook. The first ever episode of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon (originally the word ‘Ninja’ was substituted for ‘Hero’ in the UK) was available to watch, and I started to watch some of it. I didn’t get around to the end, but it was such a blast to see, um, a blast from the past. This show is one that had me hooked for a long time. There have been endless remakes and films, but the cartoon show is where my heart is at.
I’m a dopey meerkat. The other day, I got up for work, prepared my lunch, got myself ready… and left my lunch at home! D’oh!
Staying on Target
Despite a number of stressful moments across the past couple of weeks, I’ve managed to hit my intake target at work, and I managed this with a few days to spare. This is despite some challenging circumstances, and a couple of orders that had to be cancelled or transferred through no fault of my own. This is very pleasing for me, and marks three out of four months where I’ve hit my goal.
I am not easily given to stress, but recently there have been some trying events in my life, the details of which I cannot currently disclose. I am doing my level best to remain level-headed, and tackle one issue at a time, and that’s the best way, isn’t it? It’s all too easy to bite off more than one can chew, and I am not going to do that.
When the Signage is Ignored
Some of the products on display in the showroom – in fact most of them – are there to be tried. We encourage customers to get in the baths and shower enclosures, and we even encourage customers to – within reason – try out the toilets! However, there are one or two products that cannot be tried out, due to how they are fitted to the wall. One such product is a fold-up shower seat. It is not secure enough for people to use, and is for display purposes only. There is an A4 sign above the seat, clearly stating the seat is not to be used. On Sunday, a customer completely ignored the sign, and with an almighty crash, off came the seat. Fortunately, the wall tiles remained intact, and the shower tray the seat fell upon doesn’t appear to be damaged.
To be fair, the customers were apologetic, but all it takes is a bit of observation and awareness to spot the obvious, and then as a store, we’re not having to fix the problem.
Sunday brought something else, something rather peculiar. One of my colleagues noticed a man duck down by our back gate, and leave a bag down there. Now, currently there is a huge skip outside the neighbouring store (they’re having a refit), and plenty of public bins, so why duck around the corner, to our back gate, and leave a bag there?
I had to nip out to get milk for the store (which proved fruitless, due to a broken chiller), but as I headed out, I took a look at this mysterious bag. It was a Happy Birthday bag, filled with boxes of chocolate, or at least, the packaging of a brand of chocolate. I had my quick look, then headed off for the garage to get the milk, and as I did, a man appeared, virtually out of nowhere, and took the bag. They walked off with it, and… well, that was that.
My immediate, albeit completely unprovable, is that this was some kind of drugs exchange, because who leaves loads of chocolate in such a location, in such a manner?! Very, very odd.
My wife phoned me on Monday, to pass on some sad news. One of our former neighbours, a lovely woman who kindly looked after our cat on more than one occasion, passed away over the weekend. The details are not yet known, and to be honest, I wouldn’t publicly share them anyway.
This lovely lady was only a few years older than my wife, so hardly old. Her untimely passing is a reminder that life is precious.
The spookiest time of the year is finally here! My daughter loves Halloween, and to be fair, I have grown to love it too. My costume… Well, I’d like to believe it will be among the more creative ones within our street! After a few stress-filled occasions, the opportunity to get out there and truly unwind is much-needed, and I will enjoy it!
As to what early November will bring… I have some theories on that, but I can’t really dare voice them, not yet, and predicting what’s going to happen… well, assuming makes an ass out of you and me! I wish you all a good early November!