Breath Of Life

The life and times of Mr Mark Allen....

Monday, October 30, 2006

Obituary for Common Sense (what a good name for a band?)

We mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a six-year- old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Panadol, sun lotion or a plaster to a student - but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

He was depressed by people living in someone else's country started trying to take it over by saying the native's own customs were 'racist', because they didn't agree with them...

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral be cause so few realised he was gone....

Friday, October 27, 2006

Party Pics...
If you took any yourselves PLEASE send me a link so I can add them to the collection!

Friday feelings...

Hello Bloggestanians,

I am still manically preparing for my Korean friend's visit....I can't remember most of the Korean I learned over there.....But I can still read it! I wonder if she will be able to use a knife and fork? I remember a lot of people out there can't....Just like we are crap at using chopsticks.

I SO hope she isn't disappointed by the food over here. Perhaps I worry too much. Anyway the itinary changes by the day...I now have to find a hotel in Cambridge for us to stay in.

I may book into the hotel the rest of my volleyball team are staying at - I initially didn't because I thought I wouldbe staying at a friends. Perhaps they will still give me the competitor's discount!

Well then...another day another dollar (I wish I got that much!) Thanks for the emails about the kittens...they seem to have become something of a cyber cult!

They came back form their op and were a big wobbly and stretchy but were soon running about (if falling over a bit) and were eating like a North Korean beggar in Waitrose.

They are not allowed outside for a couple of days which they are finding frustrating - but they'll survive. They are getting extra love and snuggles from everyone.

I have been at Walsall Council the last couple of days which is allowing me to get my olive fix from the nearby Morrissons...I hope someday they will find olives are a superfood...

Yesterday was good. After work I met up with Ak (we got back to way back when) in the Wharf Bar, next the new art gallery, and chatted about old times...( Then I had to leave to play badminton and only 7 turned up....So we didn't even use al the courts we had paid for.)

Ak and I can never remember when people we knew lives where and when and what year we all went to France/Holland or wherever...But we did work out Nathalie has now been in the UK for 10 years and that must be an excuse for a party.

So what news? Apart from the norm.... I am off to Newcastle on Wednesday for outpatients. I want to get it over so HOPEFULLY I won't have to take any time off when I start the new job. I will go up on Wednesday, see Sarah and stay in High Heaton and come back Thursday...

The people at Halton Council have been an ad on the intranet for me (I'm looking for a cardboard box to stay in.).....

Friday night....have a lovely one...whatever you get up to.
Oh yes....If anyone wants to sponsor this site let me know and I will put a link on each entry in return for a donation to charity.

Oooh talking of which here are some links HALTON COUNCIL

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Takeaway and Tactics...


Hiya.....Well I am still trying to sort out which present was from who....(or more exactly which bottle was from who as I seem to have got a lot of alcohol - you folks know me too well!)

I hope you had a great time on Saturday.

I think it went well - apart from Simon buggering up the music (after I had spent hours getting the playlist timing right) and Simon starting a fight with Adam. Well we can always rely on one of the Griffs can't we?!!

I still can't believe I have been kept alive by someone else's lungs for a year now....

The Christening was good on Sunday but my actual b'day on Monday was a bit of an anticlimax - after all the people at the weekend......I just had a takeaway....

Busy week. Today I had the IT class and the gym. Tomorrow I have an IT class, am taking the kittens for their 'big op', going to Lichfield and having my flu jab.....oh the fun.

Thursday and Friday I am working in Walsall...I really need to brush up on the IT system they use - as its the same one as is used in Halton...I don't have my own passowrd at Walsall so have to get someone over before I release a release - if you know what I mean...

I have recovered from the weekend. Monday (my birthday) was an anticlimax because I didn't do anything.....I had done everything the two days before...

I didn't really think about it until a friend called and said: "Doesn't it feel lonely after two days of being surrounded by people to be eating a takeaway and chatting on MSM?"

Well it didn't until you reminded me my dear!

The week starting Thursday 9th November just gets worse! (In terms of 'help where am I?')

At the moment the schedule looks like this. (Although tactics are subject to change)

I will pick my Korean friend up from Heathrow, (9th), meet friend in Edgware and stay with another friend in Guildford.....

On the 10th we will spend day and evening in London, hopefully meeting a couple of you en route. (I hope so as I have no idea how London works!)

Saturday 11th will see us go over to Cambridge for the volleyball and stay with a friend there that night before driving back to Cannock Wood on Sunday. (Park Gate here we come!)

The rest of the week will be taken up with visits to Lichfield, Stafford, Stratford and a day at an outpatients in Brum..

On the Friday I will be going to Oxford to stay with friends and taking Jen back to Heathrow on Saturday evening before driving back to Staffordshire for the cricket club annual do.

If my medical checks are cleared I may be starting work in Widnes on the Monday! Of course I may come in a bit the week before if everything is cleared to start off.....WHISTLESTOP.

Why does EVERYTHING come at once? It could be worse....I could have an empty life!

At the gym today my calfs(calves?) were aching a lot (on the legs, not the little cows I bring with me in my bag)....apparently the oxygen is not getting to them fast enough.

This is frustrating as I am getting tired on the tradmill before my lungs give out. Perhaps I should concentrate harder in the yoga classes with my breathing exercises...

Talking of yoga I don't think I will be able to make it this week - another opportunity to look at pretty girls goes down the pan lol.

Luv ya and leave ya...

MUSIC: William Orbit (How good is his version of Barber's Adagio for Strings?) Jenny Lewis.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Saturday Night (hums Whigfield)

Hello Sparkly People (and Mozza),

THANK YOU EVERYONE who came to my new lungs/b'day/return from travel party at the Park Gate, at the edge of Cannock Chase, on Saturday night.

I think everyone had a good time. The drinks flowed didn't they?

After more Magners on Sunday night after taking Sarah to the station I think I will sweat cider for weeks......(that and Champagne daaarlings!)

The only downer was having to be at a Christening at the ridiculously early time the next day! But I hope the people staying over didn't mind our exodus too much.

Well I will put the pictures online sometime this week (the unoffensive ones) and fill you in on allt he goss. But thanks for all the presents.

Some tags came off but I more or less know who most were from. But if I thank you for someone else's don't worry....I liked everything.

People came from as far away as Ireland, Bristol, Newcastle and Southampton. It was great to see poeple like Jo and Carmel who I hadn't seen in years and years....

And it seemed to go smoothly - apart from Simon being a dickhead and the buffet being crap....

Anywatyy in a big overblown gensture I want to say 'I love you all' - but some (the good looking ones) obviously more than others (the ugly ones!)

Its actually my birthday today....but I still feel a little wasted and after a half-hearted workout at the gym will be getting myself a takeaway...3 night out in a row just is a little much.

AND I have an IT course tomorrow morning - oh the joy. I am stil trying to find out if I can transfer to Widnes College for the evening classes without paying again....

MUSIC: My Chemical Romance, Hop Chip, Red Box
For my photo site CLICK

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cheese Roolz!

Hiya Bloggettes (I think it should be double 'b')

I am waiting to hear if I have to have a medical for the new job. But I have increased my physio/gym sessions just in case. I want to be on top form if I need one.

I also fitted in a yoga class yesterday. I love the end bit where the intructor really relaxes you. It is damn hard not to fall asleep.

I went to Adam's to make sure my iPod works through his decks for Saturday night. My gosh I think those sheep and cows in Cannock Wood are in for a shock!

I have printed out the playlist and it includes lots of cheese at about 10pm for when people are drunkish. It is very camp and very dark in places but that's only the venue! lol

Oh yes....Perdita and Portia have something to say: "Mark has booked us into the vets next week for our 'big op'.

"We don't exactly know what this means but we get a sleep a lot which has to be a good thing doesn't it? We are getting in practice for sleeping a lot so we are ready.

I had a call today from Jo, who was my penfriend when I was a teenager! It was great to hear from her. She is all married and kidded!

When I went back to my PC I had had a message on my photosite from Suzy, a friend I haven't heard from in about 12 years!

I am really looking forward to catching up with so many faces from my past on Saturday and seeing the Miles and West clan at the Christening on Sunday....

Oh yes I had a call from mum in Portugal to say Jo Blank has broken her wrist - get well soon!

What else? Well I had loads of work to catch up on today. But there was a powercut and then my broadband was down! I think it was God's way of telling me to go shopping.

So now, thanks to the Midlands Electricity Board anyone staying over on Saturday will get well-fed. (And yes Sarah you DO get tea because you are arriving early!)

Time to feed those kittens........

Oh yes....Did you hear William Shatner has opened an underwear shop? Shatner Pants!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Widnes and Working Out

Hiya Folks/Folkettes,

What to report? Well Jen is definitely coming from Korea the complicated week. The next three weeks are SO complicated its unreal.

I think we will spend the first two nights in London - then go to Cambridge for the tournament - then go home from there and spend a few days in Staffs.

But if anyone has any ideas (clean and otherwise) on how to amuse a Korean friend I haven't seen for four years, answers on a postcard.

I hope to see a few of you in London and Cambridge anyway.

I went down (up?) to Widnes on Monday (I would choose the day the M6 was turned into a car park by a fatal crash!).

Hey I think Windes is cool. It has a massive Morrisons, big ASDA and an indoor market where half the stalls seem to flog Beatles stuff..... AND its cheap and cheerful (just like me!)

I met my colleagues to be at Halton Council and they seem a friendly bunch. I got invited to the Xmas Party - but its the day I get back from Prague, so I will have to look at flight times.

It is a gangsters and molls/moles (?) do. The mind squabbles !

They are even going to keep their ears open for accommodation. How cool is that?

If I am only going to be in Staffs at weekends I need a gym I can pay-as-I-go. SO have had an induction at Burntwood Leisure Centre. I think the Cannons subscription if far too much if I am only going to use it once a week.

I will probably join the council -run gym in Widnes - it will be useful, especially as I won't know anyone when I first arrive. At least I can get fit.

Back working full time will be knackering. So the gym will be more needed than ever.

MY NEW LUNGS PARTY IS ON SATURDAY - 7.30pm onwards at the Park Gate Inn. I really should pay for the buffet soon.

Well my lovelies I have some stuff to do for nest weeks' local papers so will love you and leave you.

The Levellers tickets are booked. (That is not a secret code for anything by the way!)

Porita and Perdi kittens say they will write the next installment of their blog asap. Their fine motor skills leave a lot to be desired.

BOOKS: How To Breathe Underwater - Julie Orringer.
MUSIC: Beautiful South, Scissor Sisters, Shit Disco, Pet Shop Boys, PWEI

My pics CLICK
My choons CLICK

Friday, October 13, 2006

Freaky Friday (the 13th)

Hello Bloggettes,

Well a week may be a long time in politics. But it seems like a lifetime in my life sometimes... They have increased some of my medication.

It seems my immune system is doing what it should too well and there is always a risk of lung rejection. So my white blood cells are being numbed a bit more....A bit like my brain after Magners!

I have been keeping myself off the streets organising and sorting, ducking and a divin'. I have been sorting out all my qualification certificates for the new job. My Clait Plus qualification has not arrived - almost a year after I completed it. So I got a letter from the college.

I went to my computer course (ECDL Advanced) this morning - I need to get as much done as possible before I move in case I can't transfer to another college. I am doing the mocks in an hour - but that is only after practicing them several times. I need to speed up.

I have put together a play list on the MP3 player for the party next Saturday. It includes some surprises, tacky tunes for dancing and even the theme from Scooby Doo. Watch this space. It has been fun, but hard to time so the tat comes on when people are drunk but before they start to leave - oh the strife of a superstar DJ eh?

It will be one of those weeks again next week and the week after (repeat ad lib to infinity). I am a little confused but may have a Korean visitor. My friend Jen will be coming.

I am really hoping she hasn't booked her tickets because the week she wants to come is SO busy...I really won't have any time for her.

The day after I think she is arriving in London I have to play volleyball in Cambridge. So may have to drive from London to Cambridge, but I can't take her with me as I'm staying with Hannah. It is a real dilemna...

The documentary lady came this morning to do more footage for her programme on me. It was slightly bizarre because we had to work round breaks in the builders' noise.

Tonight is the village quiz, which is not a quiz about the village but a quiz for people from the village (if that makes sense!) I am intending to be with alcohol before/during and after.

Someone asked me how the gym's going...I am almost back to the point I was before the cricket tour - that's how long it has taken me body to recover form the abuse! I must keep going however to get that lung capacity back where it belongs....

The increase in meds made me feel really lethargic today....So 'yawns' time for an hours of shut-eye before the kittens need food (They are like Gremlins sometimes...go figure!)

MUSIC: Lou Reed, Communards, Ramones, Depeche Mode

Monday, October 09, 2006

Michelle, Notts, Katrin and Rotherham.

Well my lovely Blogetted ones,

Yes you guessed it - its been a busy one again.

I spent a fun evening in Nottingham with Mandy and Tim and the lovely Michelle who is one of these sparky people whose enthusiasm is infectious!

Then I picked German Katrin up from East Midlands and we had a great week of sightseeing and chit-chat, punctuated by my trip to Newcastle (thanks for the food Cecille!)

At Newcastle my lung capacity was up - but not as much as they would have liked so I am to return in month for more tests...booooo!

AND of course I witnessed a very marvellous gig by the wonderful Sparks who played their last album in total , in order, before taking a break and coming back with a blistering greatest hits set.

Ron was as cool as only a middle aged man with a Hitler moustache and fine grasp of off-beat songwriting can be and Russell was well too energetic for his own boots....

Katrin and I did Lichfield, Stafford and Cannock Chase as well as Louisa and Andy's wedding in Rotherham - conducted by an official who sounded like the 'computer says no' woman in Little Britain.

I met Helen and Neils (sorry if I spelled your name wrong) who I knew in Australia and I got home bored to death of the A38!

It was a real back to earth day today. Katrin has gone and therefore my life is normal again. (Not a good thing!) I went to yoga, the gym, my computer class and tried to make a playlist for my do on the 21st Oct.

I have created a playlist but don't seem to be able to change the order of it - so when it gets to my iPod it will not be in the order I want it to be in - if this makes!

That will be a manic weekend. The day after my 'new lungs' party I am going to a Christening. (Erik and Diana's son Mark)

The start of November will be busy . I am playing in a volleyball tournament in Cambridge, I have a Korean friend staying, there is a Levellers gig (beard-fest) and of course my trip to Prague at the start of December. It is a good job I have some NRG back.....

I will also have to find somewhere to live in Widnes....I have a contract to work there until March 08. How I am expected to work with all this happening I don't know! lol

Well its time for a face pack and a bath...snuggles to everyone....