Monday, 31 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 31-10-2016: Halloween

There’s an ALMOST slip!

I’m just listening to the news: on Radio 4.

And the newsreader’s just almost described a man accused of murdering four people, as ‘plead not guilty due to demonic possession.’

But managed to correct himself, and use the phrase, ‘dimished responsibility,’ instead.

It’s a shame, really.

Demonic possession would’ve been entirely appropriate

Especially when you consider the date … 


Sunday, 30 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 30-10-2016

Right … 

It’s official.

Here in the UK, the clocks have gone back!


I’m grateful.

After finishing work at 10, last night, I managed to catch the rail-replacement bus.

And finally get home at about 11:30.

So, getting to bed, late, and getting up at six, to get to work?

The extra hour’s sleep’s appreciate.

So is something else, actually.

Frankly … on my phone, TV and compute, the process of putting the various clocks back is automated.

Means I don’t have to worry about doing it manually!


Saturday, 29 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 29-10-2016

I didn’t know if I mentioned it, but I’m a bit of A Status Quo fan.

I’ve usually had something by the band lurking in my record collection for most of my life.

I’ve even had the pleasure of seeing them live, a few times.

So a sad bit of news has floated across my news feeds, this morning.

Rick Parfitt, one of two of the band’s members, has decided to retire from touring: as a result of his health.

It’s sad.

Mind you, I can’t say I blame him.

He suffered his third heart attack, only a few months ago.

Still: the band’s going to be a different beast, without him!


Friday, 28 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Friday Question Set — 28-10-2016

Right … 

Right now: I’m vaguely rushed.

As I’m off to my new job, in a minute or.

But … ?

I’m not letting that stop me putting up this week’s Friday Question Set.


Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 28-10-2016: Prospero’s Books

Right … 

It’s official: today, I’m back to work.

And, in all probability, it’s ALSO pay-day.

Which means paying bills, and buying train tickets.

OK, bills aren’t good.

But being able to pay my own way, is.

Did I mention my two sisters, Anna and Ruth, have managed to book a few days holiday in NewYork?

Complete, of course, with my nephew, Jude.


New York hotdogs are the best.

I might just have to ask my sisters to bring some back with them.

Although, frankly?

I think one of the new MacBook Pro’s would be a NICE present for an ageing uncle!

I’m SURE Jude can persuade someone … 


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 27-10-2016

Well … 

Well, what, I hear you ask … ?

Well, I’m tired, I’d have to reply.

I think missing my alarm, yesterday was annoying … 

Buy also mildly beneficial: it meant I got some more sleep.

Saying that … ?

I was up relatively late.

Watching a film, believe it or not.

I don’t know if you say the first one?

But The Conjuring 2 really is worth catching.


The Conjuring 2 — Still Nice … !

26th October, 2016.

I have something of a confession to make.

It’s a relatively simple confession to make.

A relatively simple confession to make … about movies.

It’s quite simply this.

I, usually, don’t watch sequels.

I’ve up grown, over the years, with the impression that they’re usually not a patch on the film they’re a sequel of.

With one or two exceptions, I think.

The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi were improvements on their predecessor.

Aliens — in going in an action direction — made very a very different film from the original.

And Star Wars: The Force Awakens … ?

A VAST improvement on The Phantom Menace trilogy: themselves a major argument that sequels aren’t necessarily a good thing.

A few months back, now?

A few months back, I managed to sit done with the James Wan directed, The Conjuring.

And came away thinking two things.

That The Conjuring was enjoyable.

And that The Conjuring was enjoyable enough to make me want to invest my time in its sequels: the imaginatively named The Conjuring 2.

OK, the name might be unimaginative.

The film itself … ?


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 26-10-2016


I hate doing that … !

I forgot to set my alarm, last night: and managed to get up late.

At nine!

I’m just glad I’m not rota’d to to work, today: I’d be REALLY worried!


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Class: Series 1 — Episodes 1 and 2 - For Tonight We Might Die and The Coach With The Drago Tattoo

April (Sophie Hopkins)

Ram (Fady Elsayed)
25th October, 2016.

Charlie (Greg Austin)
Over the years?   Over the years, I’ve liked watching TV shows.

Tanya (Vivian Oparah)
You’ve possibly noticed, haven’t you?

Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly)
You’ve possibly also noticed I’m something of a Dr Who fan: ands, when it was aired?

I was glued to it’s spin-off, Torchwood.

With the latter cancelled — or, at least, on permanent hold — Dr Who’s suffered a little: for the want of a darker and edgier sibling show.

Something that the BBC — along with Dr Who show runner, Stephen Moffat — announced they were to remedy.

Announcing, in October of last year, a new spin-off, called Class, would be aired this year.

The first two episodes?

Were released on BBC 3, the BBC’s online TV channel, on 22nd of October of this year.

Saturday, just gone, in other words.

I’ve just watched them.

I think I’m impressed … 


Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 25-10-2016: The Battle

Phew … 

A day off!

And a day off … with a little spending cash.

I’m just thinking … 

Should I shop … ?

Or get a haircut?

On the whole, I think the shopping’s the big thing.

I like to eat!


God GOD … 

I’ve just noticed something floating across my social media feeds.

Pete Burns, former lead singer of Dead or Alive, has died: of a massive heart attack.

Back in the day?   He band the band did some great pop tunes.

Sad day, that … !


Monday, 24 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 24-10-2016

Oh, now I hate that when it happens!

I suffer with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: which, at it’s worst?   Can be both crippling and painful.

It hit, yesterday.

When I was due to do an eight hour shift at work.

A job I like … ?

And my internal organs let me down!


On top of that … ?

Yesterday was something of a sad day for comic book fans.

As it saw the death of comic book artist, Steve Dillon.

Something that left me feeling very thoughtful: the man not only was a favourite of mine, drawing a lot of strips for 2000AD, but also for Dr Who Weekly.

But ALSO died at the age of 54: only a few years older than I am.

Intimations of mortality?

You betcha!


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Irritated Bowels

Oh, now, don't you just that?

I've started a new job, recently.   And was due at work, today.

Except my IBS flared up.

Leaving me in too much pain to go in.

Yes, you're right.

I AM bloody annoyed about it.

Granted, there's things I can be doing indoors.

After spending time in bed, letting my stomach calm down.

But, frankly?

I'd rather have been working

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 23-10-2016

Blimey … 

I was let loose, yesterday … !

I’ve started a new job, recently: as I’m sure regular readers will realise.

It’s for a company in Chelmsford: that handles the out of hours calls for various social landlords.

Well … 

Yesterday saw me me unleashed on the phones on my own.

Very nervously unleashed onto the phones, on my own … !

I think I did ok.

Once I got into the swing of it.

One thing I do know?

You know how, sometimes, a day can drag?

For me?

Yesterday seemed to be over, quite quickly.

That’s possibly the nerves talking!


Saturday, 22 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 22-10-2016: The World According to Ussher

You know, I’ve done dafter things.


That things I’m not going to talk about, here, but daft, nonetheless.

One of the (possibly) less daft things?

Is getting up at four in the morning to write a blog post.

But there you go.

That’s what happens when you have to be at work at eight: you have to be up early, to catch the train … !


Friday, 21 October 2016


Just as a quick thought?

Right now, I’m in Brentwood Library; tapping away on a post on a cheap Android tablet.

Something I’ve picked relatively cheaply.

Yes, I’d rather have an iPad.

But I’m portable, so not complaining.

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 21-10-2016: The Metre

Oh, lord … I am officially yawning … !

Mind you, I was up late, last night … !

I had my sister over: and was helping her set up her new iPhone 7.

Which mostly went well … 

Apart from being held up … 

By a bad signal from my router … 

Wouldn’t you know it … ?


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 20-10-2016

Right … 

Today … is a day off!

And frankly?

It’s one where I’m going to be busy, I think.

After all, I’m heading for my local community hospital’s radiology department: for an x-ray on my shoulder.

Lord knows what I’ve done, but something’s not right.


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 19-8-2016

Hmmm … 

That seemed to go nervously … 

As you possibly know, I’ve recently started a new job: in a call centre in Chelmsford.

Last night, for two hours?

I was taking calls: both fielding incoming ones, and doing the various bits of logging required.

According to my training buddy?

I did well enough.

Although, right now … ?

I still feel rather nervous about it: although I seem to be handling more calls than my fellow trainees.

Which seems a good sign.

Here’s hoping … !


Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 18-10-2016

Well, blimey … !

There’s a thing!

As you know, I’ve recently started a new job.

At a call centre over in Chelmsford.

It’s the past few days?

I’ve been in training: so that I can handles those calls, myself.

Last night … ?

Saw me handling my first call.

Which — going by the co-worker I’d been buddied up with, last night — I’d handled rather well.

Hopefully?   That’s a good sign.


I have to admit, though?   I was really nervous handling those calls.

But one thing that — sort of — put a smile on my face?   Was the PC I and my partner were using, crashing.

Turns out one of us had kicked the thing: which meant both the power cord, and mouse had been disconnected.

And also meant I spent about five minutes on my hands and knees, reconnecting everything.

Well … 

It got a cheap laugh, if nothing else.

Now … what am I always saying about getting a Mac … ?


Monday, 17 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 17-10-2016

Right, that’s useful … 

In theory … ?

In theory, today’s the day I get paid the benefit money I’m due: for the weeks I’ve spent out of work.

I’m looking forward to it.


It means I can pay my bills.

It means I can get some food shopping: after all, who doesn’t like eating?

And, just as importantly?

It means I can get the train to work.


That’s VERY helpful!


Sunday, 16 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 16-10-2016: World Food Day

Oh, but that’s something … 

I’ve had a good night’s sleep … after watching a movie.

Which sounds … less trivial than it actually was … 

But … ?

Well, frankly, I’ve been meaning to catch Deadpool for some time.

Can I make a confession … ?

I was in a bit of a grumpy mood, last night.


With its fourth wall breaking, wide-cracking main character?

Was a very good remedy for that.


Saturday, 15 October 2016

Deadpool: How to Have Fun … !

15th October, 2016.

You know … 

I DO like to sit down with a movie, if I ever get the chance.

No, really.

If you’ve been paying attention for the past few years?   You’d’ve probably noticed!

I tend … to go for … well … 

All sorts of things, actually.

But usually don’t watch the Marvel franchise, or the X-Men films.

They’ve not usually grabbed my interest.

I’m not going to tell you they’re bad.

They’ve just never especially appealed, that’s all.

One that had, though?

Was the film I finally decided to catch, tonight.

Yep … 

I’ve FINALLY sat down and watched the 2016, Tim Miller directed, Deadpool.

And, yes … this posts title really could be misinterpreted.


Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 15-10-2016: Boom Bang-a-bang … 

Hmmm …

I’ve actually got today, off.

Which sounds odd, coming from a chap that’s literally just started work.


Today, though?

Is different, because it’s a Saturday off … for someone who’s a working man.

Unlike last Saturday, where I was an unemployed parasite, leeching off the state.

The fact I’ve not been paid my first week’s wages?   And really can’t afford to do anything about it … ?   Or actually, I don’t know, maybe take a friend out for a coffee?

Really has nothing to do with it.


Friday, 14 October 2016

Nik Nak's Friday Question Set -- 14-10-2016

Can I make a confession, here?

I’m actually writing this post at my local library.


Well, mostly because I wanted to get out of the house.

You know, get some fresh air, possibly some exercise as well.

To get to Warley Hill, and to Brentwood High Street, where the library is, I have to go down Saint James Round: the small Street that connects mine road — Rollason Way — to Warley Hill.

Saint James Road is something of a battleground.

As I and others have long since campaigned against any extra building on the small patch of ground left.

On a personal level?

I believe such building work would seriously impede emergency vehicle access to my road.

I've gone past the area, today.

And there’s a digger clearing the ground in that patch.

I think, despite the protests of residents?

Brentwood Council’s approved plans for that last remaining green space.

And residents will be the worse for it.


Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 14-10-2016

Hmmm … 

Sorry … That’s just a thoughtful ‘Hmmm,’ acting as a kind of … well … um … 

Yeah … 

An opening note … !

After getting home at quite a late hour … !

It has to be said, that actually think rather good.

It’s not THAT often I’m out of an evening.

Simply walking from one place to another, in the dark?

Can be quite nice.

Vaguely romantic, even!

Either way, it’s quite a nice situation to be in.


As a different point … ?

I’m actually eyeballing things.

Looking at stuff, if you’ve not heard the term, before.

Right now?   Right now, I’m thinking I’ve a disposable income.

And, yes, I know Christmas is coming up.

But I’m ALSO thinking I’ve heard good things about American Horror Story and Stranger Things: it’d be nice to explore them.


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 13-10-2013

Right … 

I’m nervous … 

I’m back at work, tonight: and tonight … ?

I think I’ll be going live and answering the phone.

I’m nervous: as, for all the training, this is where we get down to brass tacks, and see if I can do what we’ve been trained for … !

I just wish I’d made more notes … !


On OTHER fronts … ?

On other fronts, the weather outside?

Is stupidly ungood.

It’s raining.

Which means heaving my rear up to the Council — with more paperwork relating to my Universal Credit claim — all the more fun!


And thirdly … ?

Thirdly, it seems Tesco has taken various products from its shelves: in a price row with Unilever.

Including Marmite.

I like Marmite.


I’m just glad I don’t need to walk up the hill to my nearest Tesco to get one.

Well … Not in this weather … !


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 12-10-2016

Hmmm … 

I’ve just started a new job: and, obviously, worried about the state of my finances.

New job, commuting, and all that … !

But … ?

Last night was my first night buddied up with someone, seeing how the phones operated, and how the logging systems worked.

It actually seems a lot simpler than it sounds in training.

Incredibly detailed simpler, but still, simpler.


This is a job I can do, earn money at … 

And do some good with, helping people … 


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 11-10-2016

Hmmm … 

That’s seemed to go well.

As you know, I’ve started my new job: yesterday, in fact.

There’s possibly a story or two, there.

The actual training … ?

Seemed to go well enough.

The only problem with the day … ?

Was the trains.

I got myself out of the house on the dot of two in the afternoon.

Plenty of time to get to the station, get the train to Shenfield, get from Shenfield to Chelmsford, and then walk from Chelmsford station to the office.

Only to get to work, half an hour late.

Because someone had killed themselves, by jumping in front of a train, at Chadwell Heath.

Now, I’m sympathetic.

I’ve suffered bouts of depression for many years.

But frankly?

That’s not the thing I wanted to hear on my first day at work!


Monday, 10 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 10-10-2016

Right … 

Today is — technically — the day.

Firstly … ?   And frankly … ?

I start work, today: at least, I start the initial training period.

I’m nervous about that: as I’ll be working in an area that’s completely new to me.

Wish me luck, folks.


The one other thing I want to do, today?

Assuming I get the chance, of course!

Is relatively simple.

Phone my landlord to let them know what’s going on.

I’ve been claiming Housing Benefit for many years.   And?   In the wake of leaving KFC, I’ve had to change from Housing Benefit, to Universal Credit: and claiming the Housing Cost portion of the new benefit.

As you’re possibly Aware, the DWP have told me that the evidence I’ve given them — the Tenancy Agreement and Rent statement they themselves have asked for, along with confirming emails — were insufficient.

They’ve told me to get in touch with my landlord: something I’m going to try and squeeze in, today.

If I get the chance?   I’ll be getting in touch with them, AND the Job Centre, too!


Sunday, 9 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 9-10-2016

Oh, for God’s SAKE!

If it’s not one thing, it’s another!

I’m between jobs, at the moment: and due to start work on Monday.

I’m also claiming help from the relevant government: I’m claiming a benefit called ‘Universal Credit’.

Part of that … ?   Replaces an older benefit: that’s supposed to help me pay my rent.   The older benefit was administered by the local council, and went to straight to my landlord.

The newer one?   Is supposed to come straight to me, then get passed on.

And hasn’t, technically, started yet: as the Job Centre’s in the process of passing the various evidence I’ve given them on.

They had it, what … ?   Tuesday?   Wednesday?   The middle of the week, at any rate.

Yesterday?   I get a polite letter from the Department of Work and Pensions, the government department that handles these things.   (Dated 5th October: Wednesday, in other words)

Telling me I’d given them ‘Insufficient Evidence’ of my rent: that they’ve written to my landlord, and wanted me to discuss it with them!

This is, I should add, despite my given them my tenancy agreement, and a rent statement.

Before I go to work, tomorrow?

I’m going to have to get on the phone.

In all honesty, though?

What on EARTH do these departments WANT … ?


Saturday, 8 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 8-10-2016

Well, THAT’S a relief!

I’m job-hunting … No, I’m between jobs at the moment.

And was having a bit of an issue, yesterday.

I start a new job on Monday.

And was having trouble finding funding for a first weekly season ticket.

At least, getting the funding from the Department of Work and Pensions’ Universal Credit line.

Thankfully … ?

Thankfully, my local Job Centre were able to access the Flexible Support Fund: to help me buy the ticket I need.

I think I’ve only got one to to say.

Phew … !


Friday, 7 October 2016

The Evil Dead — More Hmmm … 

7th October, 2016.

You know … *yawns* … I have to admit to being a film fan.

A tired one, at the moment: put the blame on stress.

And bad food!

Long story, there.

At ANY rate … 

I’m a tired film fan.

One who’s just seen Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead: and isn’t necessarily stunned.


Nik Nak’s Friday Question Set — 7-10-2016


That’s THAT sorted … !

I’m job-hunting at the mo.

Although I start a new job on Monday: in Chelmsford.

Which could have gone hideously wrong: if, as things looked like they were going to do, this morning, and I was not going to get help for the first season ticket to work.


I’ve not got that sorted out: as the Job Centre’s decided to give me a one off grant.

It’s all good!


Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 7-10-2016: Lucky Sevens

What the actual HELL?

As you know, I’m job-hunting.

And, as you possibly ALSO know … ?

I’m due to start work on Monday.

Not a problem, you might think.

Oh no … 

Until, a couple of days ago, and as I’m need help with the initial season tickets?

I had to phone the relevant government phone number that lets claimants get help for these things.

I got told by the Universal Benefit line that I was eligible for one form of help, a budgeting advance: but that different help, from what’s called the Flexible Support Fund, would be a better match for my needs.

The department made an appointment, yesterday, for the Job Centre: today.

The Job Centre, meanwhile?   Gave me a call, yesterday.

Apparently, I’m not eligible for the Flexible Support Fund grant: so would have to phone the Universal Benefit people, again, to follow up on the Budgeting loan.

According to the woman who THEN dealt with my case?

I’m not eligible for the Budget loan/advance … as my income for the past six months is too high … !

In other words?   I’ve been unemployed for too short a time.

Right at the moment?

And unless the Job Centre itself can do something, today?

I’m may have to cancel the job … because the appropriate Government agencies won’t help me get to it!

Brazil, anyone?


Thursday, 6 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 6-10-2016

Oh, would you believe it … ?

I’ve got MORE printing to do.


Yesterday, I completed what I thought was the last bit of printing I need to do.

I had.

Or, at least, I’d done the last bits of printing … for my new employers.

That was done … 

But frankly?

I’m now off over to my mother’s, to borrow my sister’s printer … to do the last bits the Job Centre needs … !

Oy vey … !


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 5-10-2016: Meet The Beatles … AGAIN!


I forgot to put my alarm on!

I hate not putting my alarm on!

It throws my whole day out.

Right at the mo?

I’m glad I’ve not started work, yet: that could’ve gone all over the place!


Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 4-10-2016

Do you remember me saying — on Friday — that I had an interview?

In Chelmsford?   For a call centre that handles out-of-hours calls for social housing: and for private landlord.

One that that saw me GET to the place … an hour early.

Which I needed up kicking myself for: but ALSO saw — superstitiously — as something of a good sign.

Well, I bagged the job.

Once I’ve sorted out various bits of paperwork for it?

I’ll be getting the start date for it!

Here’s hoping!


Monday, 3 October 2016

The Darkness — Could Be Better … 

3rd October, 2016

You know, I’ve something of a confession to make.

I’m …

Well, not job-hunting, per se.   I’m now officially between jobs.

I got the rather good phone call, this morning: the interview I went for was successful: I start … as soon as I fill in the paper work, and email it back to the agency.

With that done … ?   In the morning, when I get to a printer!

With that done, I’ll be looking forward to a weekly income!

At any rate … ?   I felt I had an excuse to celebrate.

With no spending cash?   And NOT being a drinker?

Spending a little bit of credit on renting a movie from iTunes seemed to be the thing to do.

The film in question … ?

Was the 2016, Greg McLean directed, The Darkness.

Right here and now?

Yes, the title of THIS post … is accurate …


Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 3-10-2016

Right … 

It’s Monday morning.

Which means it’s time for me to go … well, back to job-hunting.

And frankly?   I’m thinking that maybe wondering around to Brentwood Job Center, to make use of their facilities, might by an idea.

Although it can be done just as easily as home.


As I write … ?

As I write, I’ve got a documentary on: that I recorded last night.

It’s one by Louis Theroux:  following up on his original documentary about Jimmy Saville, in the wake of the truth about the man coming out, after his death.

It has to be said … Saville fooled both Theroux — a documentarian known for his intelligence — as much as he fooled the nation.

I think, if you can … ?   I’d watch that on the BBC iPlayer.

It’s possibly the most uncomfortable thing to watch.   But that makes it all the more compulsive.


Sunday, 2 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 2-10-2016: Gandhi

Did I mention it was my sister’s birthday, yesterday?

I’m sure I did.

At ANY rate … ?

At any rate, it meant ending up at a mildly posh restaurant in Billericay.

Or was it just outside Basildon?

The latter, I think.

At ANY rate … !!!   I think we can say Ruth enjoyed herself.

AND that everyone had a good meal.

Although frankly?

Frankly, this morning, I’m thinking I could do with more sleep!


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Nik Nak’s Daily Teaser — 1-10-2016

Hmmm … 

Well, that’s that interview done with.

I had an interview, yesterday: in Chelmsford.

Nice little university town, Chelmsford.

And I’ve got to confess, if seemed to go well.

If I do get the job?   I’ll be happily thankful.


Frankly, the interview offers are starting to dry up, right now.   I’m expecting them to go quiet for the minute.

Which is … 

Well, par for the course, from what I’ve come to expect.


As a bit of pointless trivia?

Today marks the birthday of Jimmy Carter, Julie Andrews and Theresa May.

And my kid sister, Ruth.

Which means we all get to celebrate, with a posh meal.

If I know my nephew, Jude?   He’ll come up with something silly to celebrate Mummy’s birthday.