Crumbs #7 – Crumbs! (Consider it done!)

I’ve just realised that instead of calling these quickies ‘Quickies’ I could have called them ‘Crumbs’, which would have been a humorous allusion to the ‘Biscuit’ part of my over-considered pun-based blog title, as well as an accurate metaphor for these minimal joke doses and a cheeky nod to the heritage of my particular brand of Brit wit.

I have also realised that by voicing this thought I can’t out it into practice, because then I would have a post called ‘Crumbs #7 – Crumbs!’ and that would make me look like a blithering imbecile.

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The First Post Post Freshly Pressed

Eep.

I have been Freshly Pressed. It’s lovely. Hello to any and all new readers!

Middle Finger Salute

Even your blog stats are capable of giving you a middle finger salute.

It’s an honour and a privilege to be included amongst the pantheon of actually-good writers out there, even if the success of my contribution was mainly due to being at the right place at the right time in a good mood.

I shan’t let this achievement go to my head – ego can be a horrible beast – however, I think it’s fair to say now that I am definitely The Best. The view from the upper echelons is spectacular. I can see my house from up here, which makes me realise that anyone can see my house from up here, which makes me want to move.

On Monday at stupid-o-clock-in-the-morning, I received an email from a lovely lady at WordPress HQ telling me how much she/they liked the post I’d penned about the Olympics, and that more people should see it. This was a very nice thing for her to do. She even gave me a day’s head start to purge the grammatical errors, spruce up the necessary links and put out drinks and canapés and assorted nibbly bits for the influx of guests.

As well as being quite flattering, this alerted me to the thought I’d not previously entertained about the WordPresidents. They’re reading everything you write, and judging you accordingly. Whilst that’s legitimately scary, the flip side is that it’s someone’s job to read everything you write, poor thing, which means you have an obligation to make it interesting for them. Let’s all raise our collective game.

To my new followers, hello! Thank you for following! You are more than welcome, but I shall leave your jackets by the door for your inevitable swift exit when you realise that I’m not actually very interesting. You’re my favourites. Henceforth you shall be known as ‘Team A’.

And to my old followers, nay, to my friends. You’re my favourites as well. You can be called ‘The A Team’.

Anyway, thanks to everyone. There’s a post about the agony of social networking going up in a bit, just as soon as I’ve waded through all your notifications, comments and blogs to return the favours. You’re all most welcome.

International Relations

Last night I spoke on the phone to Best Friend Dan.

Dan: …So, how’s the blog going?

Me: Well you could read it, then you’d know.

‘Sounds like effort.’

‘Well, I’ll have you know I’m blog-famous now. I’ve won no less than four awards. How many blog awards have you won?’

‘How does one win a blog award? Was there stiff competition?’

‘Never you mind. I’m a lovely, lovely, versatile blogger. In that order. And I’ve got plenty followers. So there.’

‘Oh really? Who follows you? Anyone we know?’

‘Nope. They’re all lovely, and I do mean that, even though this is a conversation between two friends and nobody else will ever hear that part. And I am moderately popular with actual bona-fide ladies. One of them even said I should go to the States and use my British wit and accent to my advantage.’

‘Hang on, did you get a booty call?’

‘No. It was a joke. A good one, but a joke. You know that sort of thing doesn’t happen to me.’

‘Stop. Go over the whole thing.’

‘I did a post about England, and in a comment she mentioned how British men would be exotic in America, and invited me over to California, where I could simply speak English and be swamped in women. She said to bring a snorkel.’

‘WHAT? (Dan explodes with laughter at this thought, and also the word ‘snorkel’, which in his defence is hilarious)’

‘I think she means that I’ll be deluged with babes, and hence might have trouble breathing.’

‘You don’t think – ‘

‘NO.’

‘So, tell me more about this girl.’

‘She calls herself the Silly Girl.’

‘I suppose she’d have to be. What’s she like?’

‘Funny, sweet, a bit neurotic. Pretty eyes. Apparently the rest of her looks like Gollum though.’

‘Just your type then. Has she seen you?’

‘No. She thinks I might be Hugh Grant though.’

‘Wow. You do realise you have to do this? You’ll never get this opportunity again.’

‘Do you know what, Dan? I don’t think she was being serious. I think she was being charming and lovely and a little bit flirty, but not serious. I think it was just a nice gesture. Showing up in California with a snorkel and saying ‘IT’S ME!’ in a British accent and a Union Jack thong would be tantamount to some sort of assault.’

‘And the point of this is your sexy English accent? But you only speak English don’t you? Or don’t you speak French as well?’

‘I speak un peu.’

‘The language of lurve…’

‘And fromage.’

‘She’s a lucky, lucky lady. This is going in the sitcom.’

And that’s how we wrote two lines of dialogue.

NOTE: Title changed to an amazing pun.

Officially Lovely

In my absence I have been nominated for not one, not three, but TWO WordPress blogging awards. Obviously it’s an honour, but I wish I hadn’t already squandered such a stonewall belter of a title as ‘The Award‘ in a previous post that was mainly about design and being lonely.

I have been nominated twice for the same award; the Lovely Blog Award, which can only mean I am especially lovely. I mustn’t let this accolade go to my head, but I am Officially Lovely now, and you can’t take that away from me.

Thank the person/people who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
Share seven possibly unknown things about yourself.
Nominate fifteen or so bloggers you admire.
Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know and link back to them.

My thanks go to the irrepressibly wonderful Dating Bitch, or as she’s now known, Another Rolling Stone, who has had a hell of a time of it and is well-deserving of your love, and the fantastic Teala Mangano, whose witty insights into her year of singledom are at once hilariously sitcom worthy and a damning report on just how pathetic men are as a gender. Sorry ladies, I’d like to say that we aren’t all that bad, but we are. Thank god you love us anyway.

In fact, Teala nominated not just me, but the entirety of Britain. This is the first time I’ve ever been asked to represent my country, and whilst it is another honour, I will surely never be asked to again. On behalf of Britain, I will supply the seven obligatory little-known facts as necessitated by any recipient of the Lovely Blog Award:

1. The stereotypical Brit differs from country to country. Americans may like to think of us as a foppish, well spoken chaps, perhaps with monocles and fine moustaches, always up for a spot of rugger or cream teas and cucumber sandwiches at the cricket pavilion. Europeans know us as loutish, alcohol sodden xenophobes, exporting ignorance and bad sportsmanship to anywhere a cheap package deal flight will take us, and calling it ‘Britishness’. INGERLUUUUND.

Sadly, both stereotypes are true to an extent, although the majority of the populace are neither. Our Prime Minister comes from an incredibly privileged background and – I cannot stress this enough – does not represent in any way a good 90% of the population. He has had every advantage from birth, and was bred for power, and still couldn’t win full control of the government. (Our voting system is ridiculous).

On the other end of the social ladder, our football hooligans are world-renowned. Whilst some are born with status, and others earn it through achieving stuff, glory can be obtained vicariously through ‘sport’, or to give it its full title, ‘drinking heavily, wearing a coloured shirt and abusing and fighting people who wear a different coloured shirt, regardless of how well come overpaid men kick a ball around for an hour and a half.’ There’s a reason why Europe hates us, and I can’t help but feel it’s got something to do with our readiness to divide the continent geographically and then get our statistically most racist citizens to shout at each other. No wonder we never win Eurovision.

2. On that note, drinking age here is 18. In America, you’re actually have made reasoned decisions by the time you taste alcohol, and in many European countries they drink throughout their teens, but here in the UK it’s just the right amount of time for arrogant immaturity to dive smoothly into alcoholism, enabling the British to go forth and get merry, and make a fool of ourselves on the international stage. We let the country down, we let the Queen down, and most importantly, we let ourselves down. Maybe we’re trying to drown the memories of our once great empire…

3. Not everyone from Britain knows the Queen. Whenever a Brit goes to America, they tell the same story of how they were asked if they know the Queen. They always recount the question in a stupid sounding valley-girl accent, which I know is about as accurate a stereotype as all Brits knowing the Queen, and doesn’t do either populace any favours. Could the one Californian bint who keeps asking if we all know the Queen please pack it in, as she’s giving you all a bad rep. I assume you all know her.

4. The reason Brits are perceived to have bad dental hygiene is because most of our healthcare is on the NHS (National Health Service) and is hence free. (Or paid for indirectly via taxes.) Our dental stuff is paid for by us though, which means there’s a subconscious division of values. In the States, everything costs you, so it all gets paid for in equal measure, but here, a broken arm is financially less of a problem than off-white teeth. Please try to hide your disgust when we smile at you or else we shan’t want to smile for you at all.

5. Our finest export is our wit. You’re welcome.

6. Not all Brits drink tea, but those that do drink enough of it to perpetuate the stereotype.

7. Contrary to what our exported entertainment may lead you to believe, the British public does actually have taste. Whilst we currently can only offer you One Direction, Jedward and Piers Morgan, please don’t forget that we once produced such talent as The Beatles, The Smiths, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, The Office (U.K.) and Hugh ‘Dr. House’ Laurie. I cannot apologise enough.


In accordance with the other set of seven facts as denoted by my other award, I will also be happy to answer the first seven questions posted in comments, although I reserve the right to deftly avoid awkward or compromising details.


It simply remains to nominate fifteen (fifteen!?) bloggers what I like, so here’s that;

Lux’s Love Letters Are Dying – Lux’s blog itself is a great insight to the in-progress writer; book chapters and soliloquies sit easily alongside testing and tinkering with the written word, and it’s her evocative smut that the world should be going nuts over. She gets top billing, however, because her comments are always a welcome addition to anything I write.

Carly Beth’s Cloud – As bloggers go, Carly Beth is easily one of the most fascinating. It takes a certain type of person to live their life so openly, (I couldn’t do it, obviously) but few write it anywhere near as well. Carly’s pieces are so wonderfully satisfying, structurally; each post, whatever it explores, has a denouement where everything comes together. They’re funny, they’re poignant and they’re inspirational. Bravo.

Jane’s Wonderwimp – Jane is probably the most consistently hilarious blogger I’ve met. Her lists are a particular highlight, but what’s most endearing is the self-awareness and wicked sense of fun she’s built into her online persona. Always goes down easy.

Idiot-Prufs – This catalogue of lessons learned through idiocy is probably the nearest a blog gets to stand-up comedy. There’s a wicked sense of anarchic humour prevalent in all posts, and being an already-famous blogger, I’m sure you’ve noticed the same stellar quality in comments too.

Carrie Rubin – There’s only one way to say it; Carrie is an absolute pro, and her endorsement is a badge we should all wear with pride. Her insights into indie-publishing are particularly worth a look-in.

Speaker 7 – I’ve only been following Speaker 7 for a short while, but she is currently reading that Fifty Shades of Nonsense so that you don’t have to. It’s beyond refreshing to see somebody treat bad literature with the contempt it deserves; the contempt, indeed, that the author and publishing house obviously have for their readers. As well as this, she’s hilarious.

What a Silly Girl – If you enjoy my ramblings, firstly: thank you, and secondly, give the Silly Girl a try. You will find her loveable, salacious, candid, funny, and most importantly, needlessly analytical. Hi-five.

The Very Single Girl – A girl after my own heart; it seems many single people turn to WordPress to fill the void in their lives with the ramblings of strangers, and to convert our continuing gloom into humorous anecdotes for you romantically functional people to enjoy. This isn’t a very good plug is it?

Val’s The Vain’s World – I must admit, I had not expected someone who happily denotes themselves as ‘vain’ to be interesting, but Val is quite disarming in her casual charm.

Lace’s Life of Cards – I only discovered Lace’s blog this morning, but am already enjoying her irrepressible joie de vivre, as well as her (tarot influenced?) metaphor for this multifaceted existence we call life.

Joe’s Shitty Ideas – There’s an addictive mix of perplexity and contempt in these ever-worsening flashes of genius from the friend of a fool named Joe.

La Vie Selon Emily – Emily was one of my first blog chums, and as a linguistics student has a refreshingly playful way with words. She also helped me to come out of the Hipster closet, resplendent in my flannel shirt and figurative beard.

Stephanie’s Listful Thinking – She had me at ‘I believe that everything can be categorized and listed’. At the risk of sounding over-familiar, if more girls had her insatiable appetite for the meticulous, I’d be a happy man.

Subtle Kate – Another new acquaintance, but a welcome one. (Not that any new friends are unwelcome – the more the merrier! Come in, make yourselves at home.) Kate’s writing style is serene and breezy, which makes reading her darkest thoughts an absolute joy. I bet she’s in Australia now, holding a helium ballon with a smiley face on it and skipping merrily through a morgue.

If you don’t like Le Clown then you’re a fool.

Admin – A Note of Absence

Last week my four year old MacBook finally gave up.

Although it may not have seemed like it, I was absent from these shores for about two weeks. I had some posts scheduled, and even managed to knock out out a quick one at work (not a euphemism), but I fear that this made me appear that whilst I was happy to publish my nonsense, I was not willing to actually interact with any of you.

This particular anxiety displays not only paranoia but also arrogance of the highest level; that I dare to assume that people are constantly checking up to see why I’m not reading their posts but posting my own. Perhaps they’ve worked out a ratio system. Perhaps there’s a graph.

There’s always a graph.

Anyway, whilst that might be a glaring example of mental instability, at heart it’s because I, like everyone else, seek the approval of my peers, and look forward to interacting with you all.1 I had all sorts of lovely emails from blog chums old and new that I was able to read but not respond to, and I’m going to do that right now.

I had a week with no digital designing work, no recreational writing, no internet browsing, and no iTunes. The Mac’s backlight went, so I didn’t lose any of the files, but they’re there, just below the surface, taunting me, like a fish with a bad attitude. I have instead shelled out on a new machine that I can’t realistically afford. It’s approximately eight times as good as the ol’ Macca, and I’ve just noticed upon signing in how vehemently purple my blog is. Sorry about that.

Here are some of the things I filled my unexpected free time offline with:

  • Read three books.
  • Counted out all my small change in my change jar and paid it in.
  • Did a bumload of sketching and storyboarding for both work and the sitcom-that-will-never-happen.
  • Cooked properly.
  • Sorted out my finances so that I could actually afford a new computer.
  • Orchestrated what began as ‘gardening’ but rapidly became ‘ant massacre’.
  • Watched the Tintin film – the opening sequence was awesome but if they want my five-star review they need to put Professor Calculus in it.
  • Talked to a very pretty girl in a book shop about Hemingway, Kerouac and the guy who wrote The Perks of Being a Wallflower which made me feel clever and attractive and debonaire, before sneaking off because I couldn’t afford any new books and a new Mac, which made me feel ashamed to have wasted her time.
  • Exercised properly.
  • Watched a lot of tennis and saw my cousin on the telly and in the papers because he was dressed in an enormous Union Jack.
  • Discovered that WordPress has an app that I could have been using all along.

1 People may say that they don’t care what people think about us, but if that was true people would be rude, nothing would get done and nobody would put anything up for review (e.g. blogging). Social convention and the disapproval of strangers keep egos in check, and anyone who truly doesn’t care what people think of them is an idiot.