Showing posts from March, 2012

The Ultimate Geek

I have been busy with another one of my "little projects" over the past few days. Now these little projects I don't normally make "public" as I often wonder whether I may have crossed a line. Not crossing a line, as in a certain conversation that took place on Sunday evening which involved brown and red sauce, which has left some people who may have thought themselves previously unshockable scarred for life. No this line I am talking about is the one from being an enthusiastic fan to a total geek. In my case, a sci-fi geek, more specifically with my life long interest (some would say obsession) with Doctor Who. So what constitutes crossing this line - having all the DVD's? Being able to name every story and what year it was broadcast? Dressing up as the Doctor and going to conventions? Stumbling wild-eyed and panicky into a crowded room shouting "what year is this?" You decide. (NB: I have only done the first two of those but the other two soun

The End Of The Affair

Cruelly taken away from me, without warning... It's all over, our love shot down in its prime. And I never even got a chance to say goodbye. Yes, as Rihanna sang "we found love in a hopeless place" - this place being Tesco in town. And in that same place, my feelings of hopelessness and despair grew this week as the slow dawning realisation hit me that I was never to see my beloved Eastmans again.  Gone but not forgotten I first began to notice something was wrong when I turned up for our usual Wednesday morning rendezvous and she was not there. OK, I thought, she's never let me down before, perhaps there's a plausible explanation. Maybe the lorry that normally brings her was stuck in traffic or broke down. Let's not panic. I waited and waited to no avail but she did not come. All sorts of dark thoughts went through my mind...surely, she could not be giving her love to someone else. How could she even think of ever needing another lover after th

The rest of my life

What a very profound title. Really though - what to do with the rest of my life? Tomorrow marks a significant development. You see after almost 5 years of having at least one child at home all day, every day, I make my first steps back to independence when my youngest (Jamie) begins spending every Friday with a childminder. Why am I doing this when it is not like I have to go to work, you may ask? It's not like I've got anything better to do all day? Wrong. As anyone (mostly mums) will tell you, when you have full time responsibility for young children in your care, your life is effectively put on hold for a few years. Yes, obviously you are not completely isolated, there are still nights out, still holidays, day trips, etc, but the simple fact of matter is - well in my case at least, I am no longer contracted to a company for 40 hours a week and can do what the hell I want the rest of the time. I am on constant call to my children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 day

OCD Heaven

I'm feeling really excited today. I've thought of an exciting new way to organise my DVD collection. Having it alphabetically in order across several shelves is all well and good, but not the most exciting method. Now I've hit on a new idea - have it arranged by genre, and then alphabetically. So I can have a sci-fi shelf, a drama shelf, a comedy shelf. I haven't worked out all the categories yet but that's a lot of the beauty of it. I've got at least 3 hours child and wife free tonight where I can indulge myself to my heart's content. This is going to be fun! Watched the first episode of yet another new show to come on to JTV last week, this one is called "Skins". It's about a group of late teens at a sixth form college. Very similar concept to the In-Betweeners but with the emphasis much more on the drama rather than the comedy - though there were lots of amusing moments in it. My latest OCD fest was in part inspired by this epis


What an awesome night I just had. Let's wind back a few days. I've had a really nice week this week. Now as you all know, I am a big racing fan, and racing does not come any bigger than the Cheltenham Festival, the great annual festival where all the greatest horses come to race for the greatest prizes. And there's gambling - a lot of it. All I will say on that front is that this year went rather well. Bestie thinks I am pissed, well bestie, grammatically this blog entry seems reasonably up to scratch so far. Let me tell you about some friends of mine. Bestie's lost her way. I don't need to tell you the back story, if you are around us, you know. She's got life changing decisions ahead of her. I can't tell her which way to jump, we all must make our own choices. I seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to sensing what's a good choice and what's a bad choice for people but I can't tell her what to do. Alex and Jo are engaged. I'

Past Lives

Here we are at the end of another week. Strange how a week or a month can go by, and nothing really seems that different, we don't look any different, and may do the same things. World turns, we go to bed, get up and go about our daily lives. Looking imperceptibly different to how we did a day, week, or even month ago. Yet, change, surely we must do, none of us were here 100 years ago, there were all different people living in Bicester then, living completely different lives. As I walk through the churchyard each morning taking Ollie to school I glance at the gravestones and wonder about the people that they were. A man who died in 1870, in middle age. Just a name on a stone. Could anyone even tell me who he was, and what he did? No mobile phones, TV, or any mod cons like we have. What was his life like I wonder? You see they are not just names on stones, they were people who loved, lost, felt intense emotions from the most soaring heights of love to the desperate lows of r

Changing lives

Been ruminating the last few days on all the different life choices we make and how they affect our lives - for better or worse. At Nielsen we used to categorise people into demographic groups by age, which mean I fall in to the 35-44 year old age range. As do the vast majority of my friends. With people generally doing things later these days, it's by no means unusual for men to enter this age group still living the single life, but find their lives completely changed by the time they reach the other end. I always wanted to settle down and have children, but at the same time I was so busy having a good time, out drinking all the time that it was easy to put it off. At 30, it was "yeah, I'll do it when I'm 35", but by 35, it was, I want to do it, but is my partner the right person? No - she wasn't, our relationship was foundering and ended when I was 36. Now this was a crucial time for me, a lot of life changes going on, and I was becoming increasingly

Seven Deadly Sins

Well, last night I had the strangest dream... I found myself in a courtroom, up on a charge. It must have been something to do with writing that letter to the school last night preaching about "Christian Values" triggered off something in my head. The prosecutor, a stern elderly looking gentleman, glowered at me and said: "Mr Ayres, you come before us, accused of trying to make out to the public you are some sort of Saint. We hereby today try you on the subject of the seven deadly sins. If we find that you guilt of the majority of these sins, you shall be cast into the burning fiery pit for an eternity". Pretty worrying stuff, this. So on we went. I was allowed to give my defence first, before the prosecution summing up, and then a verdict on each sin. So off we went. LUST Me: Well, I'm a red-blooded male, and I enjoy a bit of nookie as much as the next man, I mean it's not a crime is it? If there was no sex there would be no children. It's

The Scales Of Injustice

No particular subject today, so may not be one of my most exciting blog entries, but I shall do my best to entertain as best I can. As the last few days, in my life at least, there's been plenty of the mundane. About the most exciting thing to happen in the last 48 hours was the purchase of a brand new mop system from Wilkinsons! That's my life - but elsewhere, my heart goes out to certain friends who are going through difficult times right now. I am sure many of them would swap many of their current traumas for something so mundane as choosing a new mop. People can't always help the situations they get into - no-one should apportion blame, we've all got feelings, and so have those around us. We can't help who we fall in love with or what the consequences might be, we also can't control how other people will behave or react around us. For every one of us in a good and stable place right now, there may be another facing huge life changing decisions - which

It's the small things...but the sun still shines...

They say it's the small things that count. And I think they are right. Take relationships. Large lavish gestures are all well and good, we all like to be wined and dined, presented with lovely gifts, send the wife a bunch of flowers and all those "big ticket" things that relationships are about - or do we? It's the small things that count, the kind word here and there, little thoughtful things, that might seem tiny, like remembering which cup you like, or bringing you a drink or buying you your favourite chocolate bar just as you fancied it. A gift costing 50p can mean more than one costing £50 if it comes from the heart. What other small things can your loved one do for you. Well when you are sitting on the toilet having stunk out the bathroom after a heavy night and you realise with horror there's no toilet paper, well, if you're comfortable enough with your partner to call them and ask them to brave the stinky atmos to bring you a roll, and they are w

Jay's Dilemnas

A number of people have suggested to me recently that I would make a good agony uncle. Now over the years, indeed I have been a confidante to more than a few troubled souls and continue to be so to this day. Mostly women. Now when I was younger I was told many times that I was a "good listener". However I never took this that seriously as it usually went hand in hand with various other stock phrases that women use such as "I really value you as a friend", that in fact are just nice ways of saying "I don't want to shag you". But over the years, I have been there for many people in their hour of need and people do genuinely seem to believe that I can help them. What I do that's different to other people, well I have a few ideas. Firstly I try to avoid using cliches that everyone uses that don't mean anything, e.g. "don't worry" when clearly there is everything to worry about, "it will be alright" - er, no, it won'


The calendars flip over into March and thoughts of Spring are upon us. Daffodils - and Sunday lunch. Can't be bad. Now everyone has their own ideas of when Spring starts. Some will stick rigidly to the official calendar dates which state that it starts around 21st March, and continues on to the summer solstice. I have never been that happy with that definition myself. I think if you were to conduct a straw poll of the man in the street on say, June 16th and ask him what season it was, the vast majority would say summer, even though technically it is Spring. Others will say "Spring's in the air" on the first warm day or when they see the first daffodils in bloom. Me, well I think the easiest way is to divide the calendar into neat 3 months chunks. So Spring to me is March, April and May. So on my theory it is now Spring. There is a beautiful song about Spring which is my song for today, it's by Saint Etienne, it's 20 years old but I listen to it all