When I Was Johnny English

In the year of our lord, (Or whoever you choose) 2000, a good friend made the family a computer, I think it was a Duron 750 (Which meant nothing to me then and actually, means nothing to me now) All I know is that it took him about 2 months to build the bloody thing, but when it arrived, it was pretty fast. That was the year I, we as a family, went online.

I knew nothing about the internet and the world it had the potential to open up, but I dived headfirst into it like a prawn into a piranha pond. One of the guys I worked with tried to explain the wonders it held, but I didn’t really get it, I merely thought of something and searched for it on the ‘Net’ and voila, up it popped.

It was he (Mark) my workmate, who told me about something called a chatroom, a place that he used to chat to women but a place where anyone could talk to anyone about anything, anywhere in the world.

With the wife’s knowledge and ‘Permission’ I went into this crazy, virtual world, where talking to people on the other side of the world became almost instantaneous, quite enjoyable and commonplace. I remember getting to know a chap who lived and worked in a mountain range in Mexico. I can’t remember what he was working on up in the mountains, but he was isolated for weeks at a time and used a chatroom to prevent himself from going stir crazy I guess. He sent quite a few photographs too me of himself sat outside the small building he was stationed at, casually smoking a cigarette whilst looking down at the stunningly beautiful scenery below him. He also sent me photographs of himself with his wife and child during their vacations. He was very friendly and seemed genuine, very unassuming, and interested in most topics, especially the cold stash of beer in his fridge. He talked about American football and football in England and seemed genuinely interested in English heritage and history. Lovely chap. Wonder what he’s doing now.

It was whilst I was integrating into the chatroom world that I realised I was the only person who didn’t have a catchy name. Maybe that was why only a few people spoke to me! Stupid idea I know, but I thought about it and became Johnny English, and a whole different world opened up to me regarding the amount of people who wanted to talk to me and the type of people who wanted to talk.

It’s worth noting here that I was Johnny English 2 years before the movie of the same name hit the cinemas. When the movie came out I recall saying to the wife “That’s my name, they’ve stolen my name “!!

Of course it was just a coincidence, but it instantly caught my attention.

The world became bigger almost instantaneously, and my next post will detail my unbelievable adventures concerning my time in the chatroom.

Bloody hell!!!

I never thought I’d say this because never in my wildest fantasies did i ever consider anyone would actually read the rubbish I write and/or follow my blog.

But, I was notified that I’ve hit a milestone. 1003 followers.

Thank you, I’m very humbled.

Lost Holidays

It seems like a holiday we booked a year ago and have almost paid for is under threat as a result of this bloody coronavirus.

TUi are cancelling their cruises for the foreseeable future, so views like this from the vantage point of the top bar onboard ship will probably not be enjoyed this year.

We’ve all been looking forward to witnessing scenes like this.

Bugger!

The Life of Steven

If you’ve followed this blog over the last couple of years, I feel very humble. If you’ve taken the time to read the stories about my life and my up and down adventures thus far, I’m extremely lucky, so thank you.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts what I do for a living at the moment. For those who don’t know or can’t remember, I’m a care/support worker, helping to look after several gentlemen with very severe learning disabilities. However, this post is not about the gentlemen I help to support, it’s about one of the chaps I occasionally work alongside. His name is Steven (Stevie babe) and he’s not just a working colleague, he’s also a friend.

Steven spent the first 45 years of his life in his native country Nigeria, but he’s lived and worked in England for the last 20 years. When I first started working with him, it actually took him over 6 months to really talk to me properly. All he could muster was a very high pitched “Hello” without any real indication that he wanted to speak to me.

I must admit, when I first heard him speak, I thought he was deliberately making a weird sound with his voice. If you can imagine the British comedian Joe Pasquale’s voice after being smashed in the nuts several times, then you can imagine Steven’s voice! After a couple of months I began to refer to him affectionately as ‘Helium’. He seemed to take my name for him in good spirits because every now and then I would see him try to hide a smile as he ‘Dismissed’ me with a waft of his hand, ordering me to go away.

As I said, after a few months of trying to coax him out of himself with gentle quips, he suddenly warmed to me, unexpectedly telling me I was a nice man and that he knew he could trust me! In fact, after becoming comfortable with me, he often fired back at me by saying, in his helium fuelled voice, tinged with echoes of Nigerian ” You are educated man, yet you clean bottoms for a living”! and then he laughs at me until we laugh together.

I discovered over time that stevie babe is a very private man, rarely talking to anyone at work in the same way that he talks to me, in an open way that reveals his fun loving personality. Over the last couple of years, he has confided in me and told me about his life back in Nigeria and his family, all of whom, apart from his wife still live there. I am only writing the following account because he has given me permission to do so, otherwise I would never break his confidence.

We were sat in the living room, trying to stimulate one of the residents by talking to him when Stevie baby turned his attention to me and started to tell me about his past. We had the television on in the background, mostly for the benefit of the residents. News about Brexit came on and one of the people discussing it mentioned that British democracy was dying. Steven laughed at the comment and said “This man has no idea about democracy”. It was then that he started to talk about his country.

He told me this.

In 1993, he was sat in his house listening to the radio for the results to come through concerning Nigeria’s Presidential election. As the news came through about the ridiculous win for the party who could never win if the election was not rigged, he knew trouble would quickly follow. Steven explained as he turned his radio off, he could hear running and shouting out on the streets. He walked to the open door of his house and was met by his neighbour who asked if he had heard the result? When Steven replied with yes, his neighbour urged him to pack his things because “They will come”.

Steven went back into his house and heard guns being fired and people screaming in the distance. Steven told me that he had only just started to throw clothes into a bag when his window shattered and three armed militia came into his house and started to beat him with their rifles. He told me he didn’t think they were going to stop beating him, but they did. They ordered him to stand up, and as he struggled to his feet, all three of them jabbed the barrels of their rifles into his face and told him to beg for his life.

I didn’t know what to say to him until he said he begged them not to kill him. When I replied that I didn’t blame him for wanting to live, he nodded and said they hit him in the face several times and dragged him out into the street, where they forced him to get into the back of an open top truck. He explained there was nowhere for him to lay down because the truck was full of dead bodies and people who were in a similar state to him, bleeding from their wounds. He laid ontop of a dead body and waited for a bullet to end his life.

The bullet never came.

The truck was driven for hours until it stopped outside a township that he didn’t recognise, partly because blood was still pouring into his eyes.

He said for some reason he was dragged onto the dirt road, along with the other survivors and the truck drove away, leaving them alone, but alive.

Steven hasn’t explain to me yet how he made his way back to his home town, but when he arrived, most of his friends and neighbours had died in the carnage or had left everything behind them to survive. His father and brothers somehow survived, and it was from that moment that Steven thought about why he was allowed to live. He put it down to devine intervention.

His struggles went on for years after that ordeal until he came to England.

Ever since that day, Steven has believed completely in God. He doesn’t preach to anyone, but he believes in the existence of God. Maybe if I had been in that nightmare situation and survived it, I would have believed that someone or something was on my side, I don’t know.

He knows I have no faith or no religious belief and he accepts it, and I also accept that his belief is something real to him because I realise it gives his life meaning.

At times, he’s starts to talk to me about god and jesus but I gently remind him that I don’t believe in anything like that and playfully cover my ears with my hands and loudly hum a tune. He laughs with me and tells me he wants to save me from going to hell, to which I reply “I’m already unsavable, so save your breath and make us a cup of tea”! We laugh and he gives up.

If only he could make a decent cuppa.

Seriously, when he told me about his life, I realised that my life and the trials I have faced are nothing in comparison to his life.

I like him, I like his unbeatable spirit and the hope that burns in his eyes.

I’m proud to call him my friend.

Update on my previous post about Egyptians, the pineal gland and bones!

Some of you may or may not remember a previous post about how I decided to but some vitamins K1 and K2 to try and help the wife with her joint problems. It was also supposed to help wake up the pineal gland, which according to Egyptian legend, opened up their third eye!

I can now report that the vitamins are having a remarkable effect, despite the fact that she hasn’t actually taken any!

She now seems to know about absolutely everything in the universe and appears to know what I’m thinking before I actually think about it!

In fact, she let’s me know when to think and what to think about!

K1 and K2, remarkable vitamins!

Interview Done !

I went for the interview at 11.30 this morning. It went well, but after it was over I could tell that It wasn’t for me. I rely on my instincts more and more as I get older, and instinct told me I would probably become very bored, very quickly. The lady who interviewed me explained that they would let me know their decision in a few days but she said she was more than happy with how it went.

I thanked them both and walked out of the hospital, feeling satisfied but empty, if you get my meaning!?

Strangely enough I decided before the interview had finished that it wasn’t for me, so when they ring me up to give their decision I will say thank you but no thank you!!

As if fate had leant a hand, I was informed an hour later that a position had become available in a different job, not connected to the hospital.

I’m going to ring them tomorrow and make enquiries.