Floating My Boat

I chanced upon a website a few days ago called I Found Money Today. Owned by George Resch, the website is dedicated to his social experiment in anonymous giving. The premise is simple: he leaves small amounts of money in public places with the idea that someone will find the money. He has no control over who finds it or what they do with it. However, just by initiating this random act of kindness he makes a difference to the lives of other people – changing their mood, giving them a spike of emotion and maybe providing them with a sense that they’re not alone in the world. I think we can be sure that through his social experiments he has affected a number of people in a positive way, and who knows what might have happened as a result of that. It’s not just about George either, through his blog he has inspired other people to try it.

Creme Egg In Lift

As part of my fabulous life (something I count myself as fortunate for having) I like to engage in random acts of kindness. From simple things like leaving a Creme Egg in a lift at Easter to giving away bunches of flowers to random strangers, these acts always give me a sense of belonging. Having visited George’s website, I decided that I wanted to have a go of my own at anonymously leaving some money. So I did…

I spent last night brainstorming my plan. Rather than leaving a note hanging to a tree or attached to a building, I wanted to try something a little different. So I built a boat. Do you want to see it? Of course you do. Here it is…

The First Boat

Lovely isn’t it? Even though I say so myself. On the side of the boat I wrote ‘soy tuya‘ which, for those of you who don’t know Spanish, means “I’m yours.” I considered it a nicer message than “up yours.” Attached to the boat was a 100 Peso note (roughly about £5) and, for artistic effect, I crafted a sail out of a (non-used) cotton bud and some paper. So what was my plan for my little boat of money (HMS Ally)? Well my idea was to take it to the shopping village next door and place it in the water fountain in the middle of the main square. There it could be chanced upon by literally anyone. Although, saying that, the odds were slightly in favour of those people living in Mexico. It was highly unlikely that an eskimo would be finding it, for example.

This morning I set about constructing my boat. Everything went smoothly and as I finished attaching the sail I sat back to admire my creation. Just a quick photograph and I’d be ready to go… or so I thought…

I took the boat outside to photograph it next to the pool. The first photograph was good. But as I moved in to get another, a gust of wind hit the sail and sent the boat catapulting into the water in a scene slightly reminiscent of The Perfect Storm. It was a disaster. A maritime disaster.

Boat Capsized

After rescuing the money from the boat, and discarding the wet shipwreck into the bin, I grabbed another sheet of paper and began to build HMS Ally II. Once again I attached a sail and fastened my (now dry) note to the mast. All was good – my boat was in ship shape and ready to go. There was just time to get some photos by the pool, this time holding on to the boat. Here is the masterpiece…

The Second Boat

and from the other side…

The Second Boat - The Other Side

Boat in hand, I made my way to the shopping village with my friend Christian. Sitting down, we scoped out the location. As we did so, we noticed a security guard keeping a watchful gaze. Timing would be crucial in this attempt. As the security guard moved from his position, it was ‘go for launch.’ I went for it…

Setting Sail

The attempt was successful. HMS Ally II was afloat. It was time to retreat and leave my little boat to float on until some unsuspecting passer by saw it and took their opportunity. As I looked back, only the sail was visible…

From a Distance

So who ended up with the money? Well who knows? My only hope is that whoever picked it out of the water ended up with a smile on their face as well as 100 Pesos in their pocket. One thing’s for sure – by George, it was fun.

When Panic Buying Goes Wrong…

I thought I was being clever when I visited my local supermarket at midnight on Friday. With snowy weather forecast, everyone in the entire country was hitting the supermarket during the daylight hours to pack their house, garage and garden shed full of bread, milk and carpet shampoo. So, to compensate for this, and to ensure that I didn’t go without clean carpets, I decided to make a quick stop to my local Tesco on my way back from a night out on Friday. It was shrewd thinking – the supermarket would be empty and I could get in and out of the store really quickly. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, tiredness and hunger meant my decisions were slightly skewed. I managed to buy Easter eggs for the entire street, enough cereal to feed a small African village, 24 bags of of cat litter (I have no cat) and 15 boxes of tampons thanks to a special offer that I just couldn’t find the energy to turn down. So, ladies, if it’s that time of the month, you’ve got a cat with mild bladder weakness and you like cereal, mine’s the place to be…

Note: Please let me vacate my flat before you arrive, as I can’t bear to argue with you over which Easter egg you want most…

Teenage Love… In The Middle Of Costa!

Teenage Couple

Today, I have decided to work from Costa; as a break from being at home. I’ve got my coffee, I’ve got my sandwich and I’ve got my berry muffin. Unfortunately for me, I’ve also “got” a teenage couple sitting on the table next to me. These two teenagers have clearly just discovered the delights of kissing (they’re sitting there sucking each other’s faces off). Now, anyone normal would find a corner somewhere to engage in this private and newly-exciting activity. But, no, they’re literally sitting right in the middle of Costa.

I could move all my stuff (laptop, jacket, bag, coffee, sandwich) onto another table nearby. But, instead, I’m going to sit here, moan lots and think up some mischievous ideas for what to do next. I could:

  1. Tell them to get a room at a hotel (one that allows children!)
  2. Tut loudly
  3. Do nothing (and plug my earphones in)… far too sensible, that one!
  4. Hit them. Lots.
  5. Start singing. Perhaps a song such as “it started with a kiss…” by Hot Chocolate. I wonder, is there a song called “f*** off and do that somewhere else before I strangle you with my scarf and bury you both in a plant pot!!”
  6. Find the nearest supermarket, buy a can of beans, scoff the lot and… well, you can probably guess the rest…
  7. Take photographs, threaten to tell their parents and then blackmail them for everything they’ve got (£2.43 in pocket money and half a packet of Chewits)

They clearly think they’re invisible to everyone and that everyone in Costa is hard-of-hearing. I am, at this very moment, wondering whether such a public display of teenage passion is a decent motive for murder.

Maybe I’m just jealous. Do you think I’m jealous? When I was a teenager, I was just happy for a girl to notice me (usually followed by a face of disgust or a comment of “why are you standing outside the girls’ changing rooms?”). I’m not bitter… 😉

Oh crap. I’ve just noticed. I’m looking around at the other tables in here and EVERYONE is a teenager. I’ve accidentally walked into the local puberty asylum. There’s only one thing for it, I’m going to have to put on some tracksuit bottoms, spray myself with 13 cans of Lynx deodorant and don a baseball cap.

You know what, I’m going to be a bit nicer to this couple. I mean, we were all young once. I haven’t eaten my muffin yet, so I could give them that… in small pieces… projected with velocity at their faces!! No, you know what, I’ll go and buy them a present… do they sell Chlamydia Test gift tokens in Boots? 😉

The Joy Of Text

Girl Texting a Friend

Whether you love it or hate it, texting has become a major part of our daily lives. From keeping in touch with our friends to competitions and promotional offers on television and radio, these days we struggle to be away from our mobile phones for any length of time.

I saw a classic example of the promotional use of texting today whilst watching daytime television. A quiz was sponsored by a de-congestant and they were enticing people to find out more information by texting the word “mucus” to them. Lovely! What next?…

Latest offer: Win a pair of underpants. Simply text the words “I’ve soiled myself and my spare pair are in the washing machine” to 63352

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had numerous discussions with friends about frustrating text message conversations. Based upon those stories, I thought I’d write a post listing some typically frustrating types of text chat. You’ve probably been involved in some of the following types of conversation before:

Textual Harassment

This label applies to those people who bombard us with text messages. I’m sure you’ve been in the situation before where you finish writing a text message, hit send and a reply arrives back on your phone before you’ve even had the chance to put it down and take a sip of your tea. By replying, you’re signing a mini-contract to waste the best part of your day engaging the other person in pointless chatter. What a waste of bloody time!

Textual harrassers will, invariably, end up becoming stalkers and/or participants in late-night radio phone-ins. Continue reading

Supermarket Self-Checkouts

A list of the most stressful experiences that anyone can go through in their lifetime will include events such as the death of a family member, divorce and moving house. I think that supermarket self-checkouts should be added to that list…

Supermarket Self-Checkout

When approaching the checkouts with your three items of shopping, there are usually two choices open to you. You can queue up behind the hoards of families putting their monthly food shop through the tills of the spotty trainees or you can risk your mental health by using the self-service checkout systems. The world of personal shopping really has gone out of the window, to be replaced by a form of torture only previously seen on bad Japanese game shows. Still, it can’t really be that bad…. can it?

A few days ago, I gave the self-checkout a try. My first challenge came with deciding where to queue. There were three rows of checkouts and other customers seemed as perplexed as me about choosing which queue to join. They were all milling around looking like they were mentally building complicated mathematical algorithms to decide where to go. I found myself joining in with this pointless exercise…

“Should I opt for the queue with the fewest people or should I also take into consideration the number of items in the basket of each shopper in each queue? In addition, should I factor in the likely intelligence of the people in the queues?” Continue reading