Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Day 100 - The end

So it’s the last day of grumpy and it seems that the gods of grumpy have colluded to give me a hundred and ten choices to write about on this last day. It’s only 8.24 but already all of my favourite bugbears, if that is not a contradiction in terms, have appeared making this grumpy spoilt for choice.
I could write about dogs, or more specifically dog owners; no it is not okay to let your dog sniff other passengers on the tram and yes I know you think your dog is different and friendly but I see all dogs as inherently evil, sorry.
Or I could write about train passengers who on a crowded train take up more seats than necessary. There are different places for bags and for bums, please don’t put bags where bums should be you selfish bastards.
I could write about pictures of babies on facebook, I wish you could filter out pictures of babies or I wish parents would put those pics on a blog and then point people in that direction. I know you think your baby is cute and friendly but I see all babies as inherently evil, sorry
I am sure on any other day the heavy breather next to me would get a mention. This guy makes the elephant man sound normal. I am scared to make a phone call in case people hear the guy next to me down the line and think I am some kind of pervert.

Smelly trams, dying apple batteries, using my phone too much, early morning alarm calls, all could get a revisit. But no, today it is this blog, or its demise that is making me grumpy. 
100 days is a long time. Today is November 5th, this blog started on July 29th. For 100 days this blog has been a large part of my life, it will be tough to let it go. One would think finding a grumpy thing per day would be negative but it has been strangely cathartic. Being able to vent, to share, to rant, while trying to put at least a slightly amusing spin on the thing that is depressing me has actually made life bearable. A negative thing has become an opportunity, a reason to write. So although at times the need to do this daily has been a burden, although arguably my short story blog has suffered, I’ll miss this little side project because strangely it has made me happy.
But on the bright side I guess Steve and Johnny will be back on the blog after a  near 100-day break.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Day 99 - Leaves

Some people go all the way to the USA to see the autumn colours. Fall in New England is an institution, a must see, a bucket list mainstay. It is the tree equivalent of swimming with the dolphins. But why travel all that way when the train journey between Prague and Usti is a smorgasbord of colour and light at this time of year? The end destination is a rather run down, desperate place but the journey is breathtakingly beautiful The way the colourful mountains reflect in the river as the train trundles through the countryside is a sight to behold. It’s a myriad of colours, a multitude of delights. It’s an annual journey I am lucky enough to take for work and I always look forward to it. But this year I took it one month later than usual, which ruined my trip. It meant that by the return journey darkness had fallen and the colours were shrouded in cold night air. Is a beautiful golden leaf still beautiful if it is too dark to see it?

Monday, 3 November 2014

Day 98 - Superpower

So I spent all day Sunday boasting to anyone who would listen to me that I had beaten jetlag. Jetlag fetlag, I’d say, telling all and sundry how I’d slept 10 hours straight through. No staring at the ceiling while my body clock thought it was US time. No staggering through Sunday barely able to function due to acute tiredness. Nope not me. I’d discovered my superpower, I was 'no Jetlag man'. I was immune to Jetlag. Or so I thought.
Boy was I tired when I went to bed on Sunday, that was not surprising, it had been a long, tiring week and even though I’d had 10 hours straight through, I still needed to catch up on some sleep. So I closed my eyes as my head hit the pillow and allowed myself to drift off into a blissful sleep, my last thought before I was away with the fairies was that this jet lag really was a myth. Then I was gone, unconscious, a deep delicious sleep… that lasted 12 minutes. Then I was awake. Wide awake, simultaneously more tired than I’d ever been while being more awake than ever. Tiredness dripped from my pores while my mind zipped through thoughts and memories refusing to let sleep close. When I finally fell asleep my sleep was disturbed by my alarm signalling I had to get up and my head thumping like I’d drunk a gallon or four the night before.

But my jetlag induced sleepless night and groggy day is not the thing that is making me grumpy. What’s making me grumpy is the combination of how smug I had been and the realisation that I had not discovered my superpower.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Day 97 - Doomed to Staycations

Before I went to NYC, I wrote three imagined diary entries, for my short story blog. Find them here, here and here. In these I imagined certain parts of my trip and wrote the diary entry from my imagination knowing I would find out for real in a few days time. 
My problem is they were too good, I mean too close to the truth, what I imagined would happen, did happen. They were uncannily accurate. This depresses me somewhat. Those who know me will know there is a certain miserly part of my brain. So next time I decide to go somewhere on holiday, San Fran, Tokyo, Rio, my miserly brain might argue it's not worth spending the money when I can live the experiences vicariously through my stories. It's quite a compelling argument really, why travel half away around the world when you can sit at home and experience it? After all you travel for work, staying home might be nice, see now the tired of travelling part of my brain is getting in on the act. Hey think of the cholesterol you wouldn't eat - aargh my health conscious part of my brain is weighing on the side of old miser too. And think how tired your ankle was - oh god the anti-holiday coalition is taking over my brain, I’m doomed to staycations for the rest of my life.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Day 96 - reflections on New York

New York, the big bad city, a city of crime, gangsters, violent thieves and violent cops. A city so scary that 25 years ago I was convinced I was going to die there, and even stuffed 4 dollars down my sock just so  I could get back out to New Jersey in the event of a horrific, violent attack. How disappointing then to find a friendly, well policed city, with helpful people and a sense of community. How sad to find the guns had been replaced by gardens, the gangs with gladioli and the grime with gastronomy. There was no threat, no thrill, no tension. I wasn't murdered, pick pocketed or robbed at gunpoint. I didn't see any police brutality, or witness any violent crime. It was like the big bad wolf had grown up a bit, become vegetarian and was now renting a room from one of the three little pigs; huffing and puffing and blowing your house down had been replaced by pipe and slippers and comfy dressing gown which is all very nice but doesn't make for a great story.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Day 95 Birthday tongue twisters.

So today I turn 44, which is a nightmare age for me.i am not a big worrier about age - 30 passed without fanfare, I was not too perturbed to be moving out of my twenties, after all I was healthy and happy and doing fine. Then people said ooh forty getting old, it's all down hill from here, but again I survived. Despite the fact I was in a weird place in my life, I managed to enter my 40s healthy and wise, (wealthy has never been my thing). So why is 44 such a problem for me? Well it is mainly because I live in the Czech Republic. That means sometimes I have to answer questions in Czech and they are often personal info questions, like name, age etc. the word for 44 in Czech is čtyřicet čtyři. Now if that looks like a nightmare to say it is because it is. Any word with a ř is a tongue twister for me, an insurmountable tongue twister that my poor mouth can't get around. Trying to say it can lead to jaw dislocation as I try to contort my mouth around the alien sounds. That or suffocation as I swallow my tongue trying to roll my rs. So please Czechs don't ask me my age for at least another year.