Count no chickens.

After me going on about how much money I was going to be on and how this could be my job for life it’s all gone a bit Pete Tong.

The shifts are too short. You’re lucky to get a 9 hour shift (paid, plus 45 minutes break) as a driver you expect at least a 10 hour day. Then I was stood down for one day one week, two days last week. Admittedly I had to take an extra day without work/ pay to do my driver training (CPC) course, but still, a 3 day/ 27½ hour week is no good to anyone.

The CPC thing is a new hoop the government have introduced through which drivers have to jump. You have to do 5 days of training every 5 years. Not practical training, just classroom stuff. Without an exam. You just have to attend. And it’s so badly arranged you could take the same class five times and still get your card. The one I did was designed for Walkers and was based around safe, fuel efficient driving and pre-op checks.

One bit had me in bits. The trainer was explaining the two main groups of defect; minor and serious. Minor being that which you could legally drive with (radio not working, dent, etc) and serious being that which grounded the vehicle (VOR, Vehicle Off Road).

He asked one guy, who he obviously knew well, to give an example of a minor defect. The guy said “Flat tyre.”

The trainer said “FLAT TYRE? A minor defect? You’d drive that would you?”

He continued “Of course, if you’re not sure you can ask someone more qualified.” (To the guy) “In your case a passing dog. ‘Ere, mate, put down that turps for a minute, what do you think of this?”

I hooted.

But back to my point, unless I can start to whack in some hours I will have to start looking for work again. This is a total bummer, as the job remains the easiest and best paid I’ve had. And the best treatment I’ve ever received. Before I got into this gig I thought people liked drivers. Not even. Most places they are tolerated as a necessary evil.

It might work out. Perhaps this has just been a blip. It’s still a lot of money for what I’m actually doing, just not enough hours.

However, if it doesn’t work out, Asda and a few other companies are currently building *massive* distribution centres (DC) right next to the M62 junction 9 (Ikea) exit. Right on my doorstep. I know I can pass the driving assessment, I think it’s supposed to be good money and lots of hours. And as they are opening a new DC they will need new drivers. Lots won’t relocate or commute.

Anyway, I’m just saying if this doesn’t work out there are other options. I would really like this to work out though. As it stands this job would pay the bills, but not bring in the megabucks I thought. *sad face*


In other bad news, I got a wake up call this morning. The Outlaw triathlon posted on Facebook “20 weeks to go!” *panic attack*

I’ve not swum in 6 months, not ridden in at least 3, and done one run in the last 5 or 6 weeks (since I started nights.)

I went out for a 10 mile test run this morning. I started off too fast (sub 7 m/m for the first mile) then died. By 2.3 miles I had to stop to get my breath back. My lungs were on fire and I had a massive stitch. I limped on at a truly pathetic pace but turned back after 3 miles.

20 weeks to go and I’m in the worst condition I can remember. My plans for a sub 3 hour marathon in April have all gone to shit. I’ll be grateful to get a steady marathon by then.

Back to the training. Constant tiredness is no excuse.

My sleep patterns are totally buggered now. Two days off, gone to bed at midnight, wide awake by 04.00. I can get back to sleep about 10.00 then sleep through until 16.00. Wendy was worried I might be getting depressed, sleeping my life away. Nope, not depression, just buggered sleep pattern. A whole day wasted trying to get some sleep. Today I woke about 04.00, got up at 06.30 and I’ve stayed up. Then I got a text saying they want me in tonight at 23.30. Super.

I’ll have to get my head down in a bit. Next door is rattling around in her garden though. Grrr.


(Tuesday) I now have a counterpoint to my above griping. I worked on Sunday night, then had to go to the vets on Monday morning (the cat’s fine. Lead-swinging furry bastard.) While I was waiting I worked out my pay. It was a crappy 7½ hours (paid). But at Sunday rate of £13.75 p/h that’s £103.12. *disappointed face* Then I thought about it, at Ceva, (which I did for nearly two years at £8.75 p/h) that would have been nearly 12 hours work.

When I’m on pay parity (another 7 weeks) I’ll actually be on slightly more (£13.82) Monday to Friday, then £17.52 for Saturday or Sunday. Even a crappy 40 hour week, if one day was at the weekend, would be £582.40, or 66½ hours at Ceva rate. That’s ‘only’ £28k a year though.

I’ve just looked at the Jobcentre site and done a quick online search, the best one I came up with was agency work for Morrisons, £9.15- £15.00 p/h. Again it’s how much work you would actually get, and it’s travelling to Northwich every day. And it’s still not as much money per hour, just probably more hours.

Arguing myself back and forth here. Not really getting anywhere.

Actually, I’ll stick with this for a bit.Just been playing with the calculator. Say I got the Morrisons gig, and say it was 10.50 normal night rate, that would still be a 55 hour week for the same pay. The idea was; less pay per hour but more hours so more pay. If it’s the same pay, for 50% more work, there’s nothing to gain.

Screw that.


One other thing, finally weighed myself today. 11 stone 4 pounds! Diet it is, then. I’ve got 19½ weeks to fit into my snug*-at-10½-stone wetsuit. (*Asphyxiatingly tight)


Right, off for a run then I’ll fill you in on Twitter. Brb.


Oh deary me. That was bad. I went out for a 10 mile run, with no energy gels, then as soon as I set off changed my mind and ran down the canal. I ended up doing a 13.17 miles run, ie just over a half marathon.

Remembering that 2 days ago a 6 mile run killed me. And gave me massive blisters on my insteps which duly burst during the run. Well, guess what? More blisters, more bursting, this time a layer deeper and more sensitive. Ace.

Ow 001


Anyway, terrible time, awful gait (if I’m getting such bad blisters) but over twice the distance. So, progress. And, according to the Runner’s World calculator, that’s 1,577 calories burned. I can’t believe I’ve got so bad so quick.

Enough of my whining, I promised Twitter;


The DMreporter had:

YOUR COMMENTS: Reader Ted Baker urges you to read his lips before warning that… his cousin says Muslims like prison…?

YOUR COMMENTS: Reader Ted Baker urges you to read his lips before warning that… his cousin says Muslims like prison…?

ROYALS: Fury as Prince William takes baby George to his first game reserve to hunt gruffalo.

PRAY FOR THEM: Join our crusade to spend the foreign aid budget on the survivors of the Clapham Road pipe burst.

FINANANCE: RBS defends £576m bonus pot against £8.2bn loss – “fuck off or we’ll raise your mortgage” said a spokesman.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: Increased aurora activity blamed on Romainan migrants ‘coming over here and smuggling in non-polarised magnetic particles…’

UNFAIR: Fury as EU demands migrants enjoy the same rights in Britain as British migrants do abroad. We say, where is the justice?

POLITICS: YouGov poll gives Labour a 9-point lead. We ask, what are numbers anyway? And how will this affect UKIPs victory?

MAX HASTINGS: "International Women’s Day should be renamed International Margaret Thatcher and Those of a Similar Gender Day."

NATURE THREAT: Is a shoal of freshwater carp about to invade Britain? Fear as trawler reports "seeing some fish" in nearby waters.

AFGHANISTAN: Ed Milliband spends entire trip explaining who he is and what he does during unannounced visit to Camp Bastion.

HEALTH: Smiling occasionally and enjoying life ‘is as dangerous as living in Chernobyl’ say experts.



In Politics/ Tory scum we had:

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Tories and Ukip voted against a new EU fund today which could provide £3m to food banks in the UK.

(But let’s concentrate on cutting aid to starving foreigners.)

Public: "Cut gummit spending!" Experts: "Like what?" Public: "Foreign aid!" Experts: "It’s only 1% of budget." Public: "Then cut it a LOT!"

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Statistically, you’re never more than 6 hours away from a Nigel Farage BBC appearance. #marrshow

How close was Patrick Rock [arrested for child porn] to the Prime Minister ? Mr Cameron has only a single political adviser – Patrick Rock.

In same month govt imposed a £26k cap on benefits it fought off a £260k cap on landowners’ benefits (farm subsidies)

Lewes #UKIP councillor says businesses should have power to turn away women and #gay people …

UKIP; unelected bigotry for those who can’t find the time for religion.

I’m shock SHOCKED I tell you that the government would suppress data which doesn’t back up their bullshit

A pensioner dressed as Elvis beats the Lib Dem candidate in a local council by-election

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Wonderful articulation of the difference between fascism & capitalism

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And as ever, the bestest bit, General:

This Hyde Park flat has become the most expensive rental in the country at £200k/month

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Two hundred thousand of Her Majesties pounds. Per month. On rent. For a flat.

People talk about the Daily Mail supporting the Nazis. It’s forgotten that the Nazis thought the Daily Mail was ‘a bit much’.

The old age home gets ugly.

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Man accidentally kills self with gun during demonstration on gun safety

(This is a wonderful, poetic, article, do give it a go) Why Bourne is the greatest action hero of our time:

Hot singles are in your area. Signal’s clean. Range 20 metres. Definitely inside the barricades. 12 metres. Remember short controlled bursts

Optical illusion: This floor is completely flat

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2000AD Celebrating 37th birthday with:

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Free Republic responds to [senator] Jan Brewer decision [to veto ‘right to refuse service to gays’ bill] : ‘Only freedom of religion in America is worship of the anus’

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The only clean mug in the office kitchen was a "KEEP CALM" one. I am sipping my coffee from cupped, scalded hands.

#CAPRICORN: Inspiration. Motivation. Determination. You have none of these. Your death will be a welcome relief.

#AQUARIUS: You secretly plant explosives into someone’s camera. It’s best you learn what photo bombing is before more people get hurt.

#GEMINI: Don’t be sad because of people. They will all die.

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A delicate situation has taken a nasty turn.

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DON’T bother with the Kindle editions of colouring books.

I hate casual racism. If you’re going to call me a Paki WEAR A TIE.


The Ukraine/ Crimea thing as I understand it, is America waited for Russia to host the Olympics, then, while it would look bad if Russia did anything, destabilised Ukraine. (US senator recorded organising it). The CIA organised ‘protesters’ and worked with puppet politicians (also recorded as having organised snipers to kill civvies) to force a regime change.

Russia waited until after the Olympics then sent in ‘peace keeping’ forces to quell the ‘protesters.’ 1-0 Russia.

Repeat after me: Armed protestors taking over govt buildings in Kiev= v.good ‘pro democracy’; in Crimea: v.bad, ‘Russian interference’ #BS

Putin heads to #Crimea to personally oversee military intervention…

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Obama has already threatened more "costs" for what may/may not be a 24 hr long Russian invasion than a 47 year Israeli military occupation.

I know Russia’s behavior in Crimea may be upsetting, but to be fair, Americans, you did invade Iraq.

Meanwhile in Ukrainian City of Donetsk: "In Russia we have brothers, in Europe we’re slaves!"

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"Outrageous! Where on earth did Putin get the idea he could use military force on another country?" say architects of Iraq War

Things we’ve now decided that we don’t like – Official lying & scaremongering; unilateralism; violations of sovereignty; bypassing the UN.

Say what you will about George W Bush, but he wouldn’t have stood for Russian aggression in Ukraine. He’d have invaded New Zealand by now.

Only six countries have military bases in foreign countries. US has 700 Russia had 12 UK has 6 France has 6 Turkey has 1 India has 1

We’ll be OK here in Manchester if it all kicks off. We’re in a Nuclear Free Zone don’t you know. I think Islington’s immune from nukes, too.

The signs were never posted in Cyrillic script, were they? Can Russian missiles read the Roman alphabet?

We’ll all remember where we were when World War 3 broke out – pissing about on Twitter.

US politicians and pundits newfound commitment to state sovereignty and non-interference in other country’s affairs is admirable.

Advocating for US intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere puts you on shaky ground when you suddenly defend Ukraine’s sovereignty.

The way the #Ukraine saga is playing out, anyone who invested in a nuclear bunker is probably feeling pretty smug right about now..

Serial wimp, Prince Edward, is pulling out of the #Sochi Paralympics. << What’s his disability? Crippling irrelevance?

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Royal Naval fleet to muster at Plymouth….thank god we refloated "The Mary Rose" #Ukraine

48 HOUR Russian occupation of Crimea = immediate US sanctions threat 47 YEAR Israeli occupation/colonization of West Bank = Unending US Aid

It’s as if everyone has agreed to forget that they heard the Victoria Nuland phone call organizing coup.

80% of #Crimea citizens support Russia’s action. That, my friend, is called Democracy.

Today President McCain invaded the Ukraine, getting into a land war in Asia, before then going against a Sicilian with death on the line.

Estonian FM tells Ashton in leaked call Kiev snipers hired by Maidan leaders …

#Crimea speak mostly Russian, mostly support Russia. Dave say’s that’s not good enough. Bye bye #Falklands then.

Who would you trust to babysit your 2 yr. old: A) Tony Blair B) Vlad Putin If you picked ‘A’ you’re an insane baby killing psychopath.

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John Kerry: "You do not invade countries on a phoney pretext" Here’s the USA’s bombing record since WW2 …..

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#Ukraine signed a $10 billion shale gas deal with US energy giant @Chevron

What are the chances? US destabilise a democratic govt, hire snipers, oust PM and install a puppet just before $10 billion gas deal. #lucky

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Pretty sure your plant is already legal

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GET involved in a big game of hide and seek by becoming a member of staff at B&Q.

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No matter how hard you try, you will never be as cool as this duck.

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Best use of hay ever?

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AVOID identity theft by simply changing your name to Piers Morgan.

LINO! I said get some Lino…

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Imagine what would have happened if Noah had gathered two tribbles for his Ark before setting off.

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"Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened" DOES NOT APPLY TO WW2. Or Two and a half Men.

The thing I’m noticing about stupidity is that it is apparently without limits:

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My five year old: future books editor.

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Happy Pancake Day! Today marks the birthday of St Pancake, the patron saint of eggs and flour and shit.

Remember, it’s only milking the system if they’re poor

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Young Communist’s face says he liked firing squads before they were cool

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(If that’s true it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!)

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bedtime BUT I need to leave you with this video that I don’t want to find hilarious BUT CAN’T HELP IT. EVERY. TIME.

England are currently 33/1 to win the World Cup. For those who don’t understand gambling, that means if you bet £20, you will lose £20.

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Ten tell-tale signs that you’re Middle-aged..

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NHS to offer unemployed free Cremations and Burials as alternatives to Primary Health Care

"Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

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My cat is sad because the only landline calls he gets these days are from people trying to sell him dodgy policies.

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"When six corporations control more than 90% of media communications, the media does not inform, it indoctrinates."

There IS an International Mens Day – it’s 19th November. You could have Googled that, you div! #InternationalWomensDay

Why do Men need a day? In what way are they oppressed, paid less, sexually victimised/violently abused on a regular basis by women? You div.

The other 364 days of the year that aren’t #InternationalWomensDay are ruled by men anyway. Shut up you div.

We think of them as a relatively new concept but circumstantial evidence suggests that women have been with us since prehistoric times.

First they came for the people who tweeted about International Men’s Day. But I did not speak out, because I was pretty cool with that


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Not the best graphic on a German sign.

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It takes 72 muscles to frown but only 14 muscles to smile and all the strength in the world not to scream at the empty, uncaring sky.

THIS IS WHAT BEING A FEMALE COMIC means "My comedian friend @Jenjencollier just got this email from a club.

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Israel cuts off water supply to 45,000 Palestinians

Israel cutting water to 45,000 Palestinians? The World Police will be all over that shit! America? America? *tumbleweed*

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Wondering what YOU can do to help address the grossly exaggerated negative stereotyping of the police?

Stop murdering black people? Don’t do mounted baton charges against strikers? Stop taking bribes in murder cases? #topofmyhead #yourwelcome

(Next day…) Here’s a policeman who peppersprayed me and my mates 2 years ago punching a woman in the head 3 times …

Yesterday’s Q "What can we [the police] do to counter the grossly distorted public perception?" Today, pepper pig punches woman in head x3.


This. Is. Sparta!!!

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Woman accidentally joins search party looking for herself …

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There’s a new account called @PicPedant who does what it says on the tin and calls ‘bullshit’ on all those faked pictures or pictures with a fake cutesy story that circulate. This example made me lol.

Inconsistent illumination of Earth & Unicorn. MT @xtaldave: RT @TheXXCorp: Here’s JFK riding robot unicorn on moon.

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"Make it look like natural selection."

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It’s such a double standard that when a girl has sex with lots of guys she’s a "slut", but when I have sex with lots of girls I’m "lying".

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KEEP meet-and-greet small talk to a minimum by licking your hand after shaking theirs, while maintaining eye contact.

Hooray! @BBCRadio4Extra is streaming the original 1978 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio shows. Episode one: …

Most people aren’t actually anti-social. They choose to be alone because they hate spending time with stupid people.

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Bob Crow memories: on night he was elected (2002) he refused to come on Newsnight, or even to phone, as was “down the pub” with RMT members

Bob Crow refused to accept the mantra of the "race to the bottom" and he was hated for it. Honour his memory: join a trade union

When taking your goods home from currys, always make sure they are safely secured for the journey.

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And on that note, I’m out of here.