Mixed Messages.

Work is being weird. I got my contract, a few days later Tesco’s bought us out, so we were scared of being replaced by Eddie Stobarts drivers. Then last week, less than 3 months into my 3 days a week, 6 month temp-to-perm contract, they asked would I be interested in a full time contract.

Hell yes!

Even if it all goes tits up when the merger finally shakes out, at least I’ll have a year (say) of full time and a better contract when the axe falls. 

To clarify, I’ve not been offered a full time job, just asked would I be interested as there as some coming up. Even if I’m at the front of the queue for one of the jobs I might not want it,it could be nights or something. I want a full time contract but not that badly. I can get 5/6 day weeks on days as it is.


We (I say ‘we’, I mean me) had a spending spree which we are now paying off. I painted the bedrooms and made a right mess of the carpets. They were the cheapest we could find when we moved in which was 11 years ago so I wasn’t that arsed. Until I priced the replacement. £180 for underlay, £750 for carpet, then a Dyson as our generic hoover was crap, £220 for the car MOT and repairs, a few other outlays, suddenly shitloads of debt. All of that seemed to happen at once, but I wasn’t bothered as I’d landed my super job, then Tesco’s, now it’s a flat out race to pay it all off, just in case.

One bit of debt I’ve added was totally the right thing to do.  I was obsessing about the soprano sax as it’s small and portable, then I got the smaller alto case and it made the alto a better proposition. But that cheapo, own brand sax I had was inconsistent. It kept squawking on the A note. I could play A, move up and down a few notes, come back to A and it wouldn’t play. I tried a stiffer reed, a different ligature, (the device that holds the reed to the mouthpiece)  loads of different embouchure positions, still patchy.  Bad workman and all that, but it wasn’t happening on the tenor. I read some more about Gear4Music and the reviews were not kind. “box shifters, not a music store” in other words they just ordered it in from China and shipped it out to the customer. No checks, set up, etc. Pig in a poke.

I started looking around and found a 10 month plan on a new Yamaha alto. It’s a learner model but the reviews say it’s so good they are wondering why people would spend twice as much for the intermediate. The thing was, I was getting frustrated with my cheapo and not playing it. If I got the Yamaha I knew the problem was all me being crap. Wendy encouraged me, so I got it.

I was selling the cheapo on ebay but I wanted to hang on to it to try a side by side comparison, to see it it really was worth the extra.

The Yamaha arrived and blew perfect straight out of the box. The sound is, well, incomparable. I didn’t even bother to blow my cheapo, it wasn’t even a question. The sound is so good I’m thinking of getting a Yamaha tenor, when everything else is paid off, to compare it to my beloved Bauhaus (then sell the inferior one.)

Which is not to say I’ve suddenly stopped being crap. It’s just I’m crap on a way better instrument now.


The weather is warming up so I’m going to strip the paint off my replacement W650 engine (dropping the back-breakingly heavy bastard out of the frame. Again.) and repaint it. Clean everything up, polish it to with in an inch of it’s life then get it sold. That will put us firmly back in credit again.

Talking of motorcycles, you know I pointed out the Triumph Speed Triple as an example of a godawful ugly, watercooled, lump of an engine? Guess what? I’m thinking of getting one. They are the original class of “hooligan bike”, naked, powerful, purposeful. They go like stink, mostly on one wheel, handle and stop. If you change your criteria from how it looks to how much fun it is, it’s a shoe-in. And, as they’ve been out for ages, you can pick and choose a good one for a quarter of the price of the Triumph Thruxton.

Anyway just a quick catch up as it’s my day off. Getting another 6 day week in.



PS, editing the day after, just remembered Storm Bastard Doris. It hit the North West today. I was riding in to work, lashing down rain, blowing a gale, 80, banked over into the wind, when I hit a puddle/ lake the whole width of the lane. I’d been riding through the rain all the way in so I didn’t worry, then the front end started juddering and skipping! On a bike you can handle any amount of rear end locking up and sliding out, not a problem, if the front goes the first thing you know about it being in shitloads of pain. It probably only lasted a second or two but that is an eternity when you are in the fast lane, 6 foot from the crash barriers. Crash barriers are posts to hold up a car level metal barrier. Or, for a sliding biker, lethal posts planted every few feet.

Needles to say, I shit bricks. Sod all I could do about it, just cling on and wait. Somehow I stayed upright. So that was me wide awake by the time I got to work. As they say, what doesn’t kill you just delays the inevitable.