Tales of daily life from a 20-something Student from London.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Aberdeen, keep 'em keen.

First off, hope you're enjoying the proper shit new background of spilt beans. I loved it (well, it was the only file I could find under 300kb that had beans, unless I had an African man hoarding coffee beans) so I hope you share my sentiments. Good? Good.

The Dying Scotsman

In my relatively short life, I've not had much experience with Scottish people. I know two. They're lovely, but I doubted it represented the whole of the Scottish populous. I was more keen to think of them as crude 90's sitcom character Rab C Nesbitt (don't bother looking that up, the gag wasn't worth it). Sitting in The Punch and Judy in Covent Garden with my buddy Bean'ed, things were about to change. 

As Bean was buying another round, a round Scotsman was strolling along, slowly. The Flying Scotsman he was not. With nowhere to sit, I offered him my seat, as I was convinced the battered Mars Bars had destroyed his circulation. 

"Oh ayee, thank you me laddy" (ok, so he wasn't that stereotypical, but it's just better if I make him sound like Lorraine Kelly). We began chatting, as you do, and Bean rejoined us, as did Ally's (no, that really was his name) mate Ian. Turns out Ian was a diehard West Ham fan. From Aberdeen. So we got chatting about the in's and out's of Ally and Ian's lives, and Ally offered us a pint each. Then two. Then three. Until we were really feeling it. As far as random encounters go, this was a top one.

And before this goes any further, no they were not gay, or 'trying to experiment'. Their wives showed up and I gave them directions to a top Chinese in Greenwich and we got on our way, feeling a little bit merry, and more knowledgeable about Land Rovers, Scottish Football, and the price of a flight down to London (don't do it, go via Leeds).

Dog Days Aren't Over

I don't know about you guys, but to me, and also Bean, having a dog in a supermarket is a strange concept. After getting a tad merry thanks to Ally 'n' Ian, we went to M+S to grab a roll. A woman was strolling around with a Jack Russel in her arms, to which Bean declared 'Who brings a dog in a fucking supermarket?' I looked back to see her glare, furiously. Oh dear.

"You got a problem with my fucking dog?"

Oh god. How do you respond to that? By saying "yes, I do have a problem with you bringing an animal that rolls in excrement for fun into a place that sells fresh food?"

No, apparently.

"I just think it's a funny concept, that's all" Bean said. I was in agony through laughter. This went back and forth a tad until she 'gave up'. We left without rolls. When we saw the dog outside, Bean was convinced it was staring at him. I told him it wasn't. 

I was a bit scared, though.

Over and out.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Three Piece Shoot

As some of you may have guessed, I have had a lot on my mind recently, across all sorts of subjects. Thankfully, I won't let this blog turn into lyrical inspiration for My Chemical Romance's next album, and instead carry on with the same true to life stories I'm known and thought to be a bit better than average for. 

Hailed a cab?

Whenever I need to think about something, I go out into London and just stroll around, and see what I find. Often, I'll get out at a certain station and give myself a target to get to, and see what I encounter along the way. Today, I got off the Jubilee line at London Bridge, and decided I'd get to Oxford Street to buy a new hat (mainly as it was pissing it down with rain, which I thought was gods way of telling me I'm not the only one who's a bit down. So thanks, big guy). I walked the length of London's South Bank and stopped for lunch, which many people were doing. The rain made it unpleasant to be outside, even for a short period, so people were scurrying into the closest cafe' they could find. Along the South Bank are various winding streets, dating back hundred's of years. Although picturesque, they aren't exactly very safe...

I was about to cross a road when I saw a taxi zipping along far quicker than was safe (the green cross code hedgehogs taught me well), so I stopped, waiting for it to pass. Then, I noticed a man in a suit flicking through files and papers and all sorts of business related stuff step out into the road. I didn't overly want to shout, as he'd probably just turn around and have even less chance of noticing the taxi, so I ran after him, grabbed him, and dragged him away, to the tune of a loud beep and a Spanish tourist shouting at the taxi, much like a Spanish football commentator (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IivUVo4V1Wo&feature=related). 

At this point, I was feeling mildly heroic, and a little bit shocked, but not as much as when the man turned round to look at me, pushed me, and exclaimed 'don't you fucking dare try and mug me, you yob!', before briskly walking off (still without looking, hedgehogs need to find this guy and teach him!). I didn't know what to say and stood there a bit puzzled. People walked by as if nothing had happened, and I considered for a minute whether they'd have rather pulled him out of the way, or sat with him whilst the ambulance arrived and have an excuse to be late to work. Maybe that was my negative mindset thinking. I hope so, anyway. So off I strolled, not sure whether I should feel content, or offended. 

And Topman didn't even have any decent hats. 

Oh, and I just want to urge everyone to check out a band called 'Stornoway'. Saw them at V at the weekend, and they had a really tight set live, so I was unsuprised to find the album was a real good one. If you enjoy Mumford and Sons, you'll like these, as they're just as folky, but a bit more chilled out.

And one more quick thing, if you're interested in crime fiction, let me know over facebook or twitter (@_JackHart). Yeah, that's it for now.

Over and out.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Knight Train

"Shit...I'm so tired...It's only at West Ham, I'll just shut my eyes, easy 40 winks before Upminster"

Why the hell I thought this was a good idea, I do not know. Upon waking up to a loud beeping noise, indicating the doors were closing at Upminster, and about to leave, I was mortified. I have missed my bloody stop. Oh shit. What does this mean? Where am I headed? Why am I still drunk? What a nightmare. This is the first time this has ever happened to me, and I was unprepared. No cab numbers. Phone out of battery. This would be a long night. 

The train arrived in West Horndon. I got off, alone. Nobody was about, nothing was open. It was a ghost town. I found a bus bench, and sat down, contemplating my next move (This is where things get very strange, but trust me, like everything else in this blog, this actually happened).

I saw some sort of building over the road, with a small cabin outside. Inside the cabin was a security guard. I'd go over, get a cab number, use his phone, and I'll be fine.

*knock-knock* "sorry bro, can I use your phone?"
"Yes, come in!"

Ok, this is creepy, I thought, but persevered. I explained my dilemna, to which he produced an ipod charger, and began charging my phone. With the little battery I had, I managed to text my buddy Bean and, thankfully, he was still awake, so headed off to come pick me up.

"Fancy some food?"
"erm...yeah, if you're offering"
"Peri Peri Chicken?"

No. Way.

"That sounds great"
"There's coke in the fridge, too"

For the next 30 minutes, we had a mini feast, with Ravi throwing some food in the micro ready to dine, and discussed Ravi's work life, and where I had been that night. Ravi and I were now best buds. I was considering just staying for the night and watching his anthology of late 80's action films he had on the laptop but alas, Bean and Jason had arrived. I bid Ravi adieu, and got in Beans car.

Only this morning did I realise how strange that was.

Over and out.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Empire BigScreen Convention: A Lesson in Anger Management Part 2

So, if you enjoyed the awkward escapades that yesterdays entry brought to the party, I'm sure you'll love/cringe even more, at what happened to me on Sunday. I've opted to skip Saturday as, unlikely as it sounds, nothing bad happened to me! How about that! Anyway, on with the rest of the entry so you can all laugh at my misfortune.


After two days of pretty tiring work, everyone was at their wits end. More screens needed to be filled, and with Jason Momoa (the guy from Game of Thrones and Conan), David Tennant (Who?), and Warwick Davies, the dwarf from Harry Potter and Star Wars in attendance, it was sure to be absolutely Sergio Ram-os. 

It certainly was. Regardless, most of the day went well, until, just as we were about to retire home (/pub) we were called for one last job. Feeling a bit like Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon 3, I reluctantly agreed, and was sent to screen 6, with instructions to 'fuck off anyone who tries to wait outside for the next screening'.

Within minutes I had an overfilled screening of Cowboys and Aliens and a group of moany ten year-olds calling me a 'melt' because I said they were 'like, 2' (although one did get up in my grill and say 'actually, I'm 8', so top marks for him). I decided to take my life into my hands and confront the screen.

"Ok, so anyone saving someone else a seat, you're not anymore"

I thought that was perfect and I would silence the crowd, filling the screen and seeming like a hero to those people who otherwise wouldn't have got to see a shoddy action movie.

"What if they've gone to get food?"

...oh god...what if they have gone to get food? That's a perfectly legitimate reason.

"or the loo", another shouted.

I was crumbling. What do I say?

I won't repeat what I said, but my actions were commended, and the film was re-projected next door. Everybody was a winner.

Then I got very drunk as rounds of drinks were purchased, and sadly, mixed.

Just about getting over that hangover.


Ok, so being a film convention, I did meet some stars, so here's a rundown I'm calling 'Cock-Or-Not'. I'd also like some views as to whether that does sound like coconut, which was the gag.

David Tennant: Cock - Ignored my calls of 'DavTen' and looked unhealthily skinny. 

Dominic Cooper: Not - Had time for fans, and remembered names. Top boy.

Idris Elba: Not - Same as above, but absolutely stacked to the rafters making him nice and threatening at the same time.

The one who played Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter: Cock - Pushed passed me in a corridor, and didn't acknowledge my childhood crush I had on her. Yes, she was expected to know about that.

Jason Momoa: Cock - He may have been a nice guy, but wearing a shirt that's so far unbuttoned I could see his bellybutton, combined with Morpheus glasses and hair down to his bee-hind is not a cool combination. I had a nickname for him, which was Samoan Joe, but was too scared to mention it to him. 

And that concludes this two part venture into my weekend. I'm off to V Festival this weekend so you can guarantee I'll have an equally awkward weekend on my hands. 

Over and out.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Empire BigScreen Convention: A Lesson in Anger Management Part 1

I guess first off, I should explain A.) What BigScreen is, and B.) Why the need for anger management. Well:

BigScreen is a film convention that occurred the weekend of 12/14 August at the o2 Arena, with lots of new film footage, star interviews, panels, and exhibits. I offered to work there as a volunteer, and got the job, giving me free access to do (a little bit of) work.

Working at a convention like this naturally has it's downsides. It's a big thing to organize and is the first of its kind in the U.K, on such a big scale. This creates problems as not everything is going to go right. 

In my case, very little went right. Good for this blog, not so good for me.


I was put on the door to the largest screening. I had no idea what to do, and nobody was around to ask. Naturally, this instantly presents itself as an opportunity for utter chaos. It was. In this screen, there was a balcony, for the customers who paid looooads more for their tickets than anyone else. Ignorant to this, I began seating balcony viewers downstairs with the paupers. Within five minutes, it was looking like a throwback to 'Nam with people shouting and a petrified Vietnamese guy (he wasn't really Vietnamese, he was just the tech guy). Having realised my mistake, I thought that anyone with 'Kings row' on their tickets would have the best seats in the house, which I presumed to be the front row.

Now, at the age of 20 I should have realised I should never presume anything, as I sent 100 people to the wrong area. 

"Ok, so everyone I just sent upstairs...you need to come back downstairs...and all of you I've just seated...you're actually upstairs"

It was not a good start to the weekend. Nor was handing out 200 pairs of '3D' glasses that weren't 3D, but just dark goggles. 

More coming tomorrow

Over and out.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I need a new Muse

No, not the pretentious rock band, but something new to write about. If you read this blog regularly, you'll have noticed my average posting schedule was every few days. And recently, I've had trouble sticking to that. Which is totally my bad. But also the fault of the world. So here is a bumper blog of all the things I've been building up to talk about over the past week.

Changing Rooms

If any of you work in clothing retail, you'll understand the joy of changing rooms. A guy brings in a t-shirt we all know won't fit and professes 'I'm a medium though!', when in reality he was a medium two months ago before he discovered a deep love of KFC, Mountain Dew, and liquidised fat. Then we have to go and get them the size up. Or maybe two sizes up. When working the changing rooms at work, I like to keep them quite tidy, so I often go around and open all the curtains to ensure nobody has left a hanger, t-shirt, ripped-off-a-tee security tag, or something else of the sort around. Only, last week, they hadn't left anything in there as such...being as they were still in there.

I ripped open the curtain to find a slightly chubby Asian lad trying on a pair of jeans, where he was in the mid-way point of taking one pair off and re-applying the new pair.

(Basically, he was naked)

I was so shocked that I paused before closing the curtain only to hear him cry "...can you get me a size up" shortly after. I returned with some larger jeans and we never saw eye to eye after that. Eye to bum only. Oh dear.


Ok, this was definitely a necessary talking point, so haterz of the beautiful game, scroll down now. In particular, I want to discuss the idea of Fantasy Football. 

And the crudest team names possible.

Here are some favourites I've heard over the past week, and the teams they represent:

Fritzl Palace (Crystal Palace)
Raul Moatdrid (Real Madrid)
Werder Breivik (Werder Bremen)

Inter Me Nan (Inter Milan)

and my personal fave

Real Betty's Hotpot (Real Betis)

If you here any gems, let me know!

London Riots

They're bad. They're evil. As far as bad stuff is concerned that's as far as I'll go. But good stuff? Seeing the people of London come together to clean-up and fight off the hoodlums? Great stuff. People on Green Street were apparently holding off attackers this morning, all banding together to protect what they believe in. And they succeeded. It shows how people can be strong when in the face of danger, which is something we all need now.

It's still worrying though. But, unlike every other shop in Romford this evening, Superdry didn't close. Apparently they were worried, but not enough to close. Instead they sent along a man who looked like Bubba from Forrest Gump and had a broken foot. Really instils confidence in you.

Over and out.