Monday, 27 February 2012

Success, Worrying Suspicion, Above & Beyond, Natural Irony, Motoring Coincidence?......and Talent

I start today's blog with good news: I have successfully passed the first of my three British Sign Language assessments. Not only that, but I got the maximum marks possible. Now I have to prepare for my second assessment, which is in two weeks time. As part of my preparation, next weeks Sign Language class will be strictly "Voices off" - no talking allowed, only sign language.


My personal email account is worrying me slightly, as I'm beginning to think it knows something I don't. Every day, my Spam folder is inundated with emails offering me Viagra at amazing discount prices. Now I know it's been a long time since I - you know - but I'm fairly confident that when the time comes for me to rejoin the living, I will remember - and so will the parts of my body concerned. I'm assuming it's like riding a bike - you never forget. However, unlike riding a bike, you can't offer your mate a 'backy' home. I nay be 40 years old, but there is life in this old dog yet!


If you want great Customer Service, buy Tea. Or rather, just enquire about Tea. I contacted Twinings last week about a loose leaf version of their Everyday Tea, which a friend of mine had said he enjoyed, but couldn't find it in loose leaf. After checking the Twinings website, I emailed them at their "Contact Us" address and enquired after this loose leaf Everyday Tea.
I got a response from Twinings later that day, saying that they no longer made the Everyday tea in a loose leaf variety - but would I like to try their Breakfast Tea in a loose leaf, with their compliments? I accepted this kind offer, and duly received two boxes of loose leaf Breakfast Tea on Saturday in the post. This morning, I emailed Twinings Customer Service to say thank you for the Tea, and I joked that I had forgotten to buy a tea strainer in anticipation of receiving this Tea. Well, I got a reply almost immediately, apologising for not sending me a tea strainer out with the tea, and offering to post one to me overnight. This was really much more than I expected, and I kindly declined the offer stating that it wasn't Twinings place to ensure that I had the right equipment with which to fully enjoy my tea. I haven't come across Customer Service of that level in a long time; and I will write to Twinings to sing the praises of their Customer Service representative who helped me so much. There's a good chance that if I say my kettle broke before I got a chance to sample the tea, they might send me a new one...


You know the saying "like a red rag to a Bull"? Well that is actually a Myth (not the saying - that exists -, but the idea behind it) as it is the movement of the Matador's cape that causes the reaction from the Bull, and not the colour. In fact, most mammals are Red-Green colourblind. But that is not the only quirk in the animal kingdom; there are many others - some of which are quite ironic. For example, did you know:
• Some species of Puffin have been found with symptoms akin to Vertigo.
• Albatross are prone to bouts of paranoia.
• Squirrels have a very mild nut allergy, which is why they store nuts rather than eating all they find and building up fat reserves like a bear does before hibernating.
• Owls are prone to Glaucoma.
• Ants colonies have been known to spontaneously destroy themselves after what can only be described as widespread outbreaks of claustrophobia.
• The Patagonian Mountain Mallard is allergic to its own feathers.

Natural selection may be a well respected theory or fact even - but you can't tell me that nature doesn't have it's own sense of humour.


Now, Top Gear - the long running motoring programme on the BBC. Gas anyone else noticed that whenever the presenters are chatting to each other or a guest on the 'sofa', in every camera shot of the presenters or guest with the audience behind them, there is ALWAYS a pretty girl in view. Is this coincidence? Or is it deliberate? I think it's the latter - before each broadcast the producer must work through the crowd, picking out the fittest women to stand in shot, whilst sending all the hunchbacked, snaggle-toothed, single eyebrowed wart infested hags to the back of the crowd for fear of terrorising the Stig. You check this out for yourself - next time you watch Top Gear, keep an eye on the audience when they have that "Star in a reasonably priced car" bit on. There is definitely something going on........


I stopped off on my way home after parking my car at work to visit the local
Open Mic night. I got there just in tone to see a very highly rated band called Stopgosixty (www.stopgosixty.co.. They were closing the evening, and were very good. And this made be realise that if you can play any instrument, or have any talent of any description: words, dance, music, painting, sculpture - anything, then you have a gift the rest of us can only dream of. A great deal of my relatives are talented musically, and I just think that having the ability to bring such joy to so many people, is a rare gift indeed and it should be nurtured, and allowed to grow.

And to all of you out there who have a talent, or who are able to bring joy to others in whatever way you choose - I salute you; you are the angels here on earth because what you can do, affects so many other people.


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