Wednesday, 12 December 2012

It's the little things that make me so happy...

A few weeks ago I posted a blog stating my current top 11 annoyances. I thought this week I would counter balance that by talking about the little things in life that leave a smile on my face or I have to do in order to feel at peace. These are like my little fetishes, not in the same way a guy would spread peanut butter on his nuts, just normal things that leave a warm glow.

As I was compiling my little list, which took a few days, I realised that more of the little things in life annoy me as oppose to please me, which is a worry as I seem to be on a one way road to hell as a grumpy old man!

The list also served the purpose to make me realise I am a little too OCD, more than I imagined!

Coffee Jars
This isn’t about the actual jar and I am not really a coffee fan, but I do have coffee in the house. The little thing here that gives me a skip in my jump is the foil lid. Or more specifically breaking the foil lid with a teaspoon. It’s the satisfaction of that first hit on the foil when you take the lid off, the pleasure I get from the little popping noise. In fact if I know there’s a new jar of coffee in the house and I am not the one breaking the foil it can really damage my day. Trust me on this, try it next time, just spend a moment with a light jab with the teaspoon onto the foil and just realise how satisfying that really is!

Shocking Babies
This isn’t a gushy Dad moment here; generally babies do my head in. Other people’s babies do my head in even more. The thing with babies that I used to get a kick out of, but is a little cruel, is blowing air, from my mouth, like you are cooling something down on top of their head. It makes their hair move, if they have any, but it also makes them gasp really loudly and look stunned! Their eyes widen and they stop wiggling for a second trying to contemplate what is going on. They would look stunned! This worked a trick when my two were younger and thoroughly entertained me! I do not know if it works on all babies though. I am not a weirdo going round blowing on random people’s children! Maybe I should have thought this one out before writing it!

Weird Comfort Foods
People have chocolate as a treat or spicy foods every now and again. Me too in fact, I have the Evans sweet tooth that prevents me from walking past a confectionary without dipping in. However, growing up I also liked three other treats that most people wouldn’t entertain. The first is banana sandwiches, I loved them! I know some others that also like them too, but not many. I used to sprinkle a bit of sugar on there also for good measure, then slap between two slices of bread and away I would chomp. The only problem is that it always made my teeth itch afterwards for some strange reason! The second food choice is raw potato. When my Mum was making tea as a youngster I used to nick a few of the chopped potato pieces to crunch on – my Granddad inspired me with this one! When people see this they always seem to mention the high starch content – meh! The third choice would be buttered Weetabix. There was no better way of watching Quantum Leap on an evening as a kid than with two buttered Weetabix!! My idea of heaven back then, putting right what once went wrong with a dry Weetbix for company! As a side note, how good was Quantum Leap?!?!

Volume OCD
Whether it is in the car, on my stereo, the TV or the surround sound I have to have the volume set on an even number. If a mate or family member comes in and plays with the TV or car stereo and turns it up or down and leaves it on an odd number and I can see this then it will play on my mind and I won’t truly relax until I can just knock it up or down a notch so that it’s on an even number. I do not know where this comes from or why I am like that, but it really gets to me. In fact it’s that bad that if I am in someone else’s car or house and notice their sound is on an odd number I have had to get up or lean across and change it! I imagine if people that know me read this now they will be knocking it onto an odd number on purpose – please don’t though, I could combust or go on a rampage like Michael Douglas in Falling Down!

Superstition
Much like my OCD with the volume I am quite superstitious. For example if I see a single magpie I have to salute and spit - and this is awkward in polite company or close quarters like in a car. I just turn, salute and spit. It isn’t a huge gob of spit, it’s more the noise you make, but others don’t necessarily appreciate that you haven’t spat and think the worst of you. My other superstition is when getting ready for football – I have to put on my left shin guard before my right shin guard, my left boot before my right boot, then put my shirt on, then finish off the ensemble with a Chelsea wristband (sweat band type thing, like tennis players wear) and kiss the badge. Totally bizarre, but I have done it for ten years now and if I do not do it in that order, which rarely happens, I have to start again! I used to not "step on a crack and fall and break my back", but avoiding cracks in pavements nowadays is hazardous and can lead to bone breakage so I quit that one a long time ago!

Feet in Bed
I love a warm bed, but the issue with a warm bed is my feet get overly hot. My feet are strange as they are the first thing to get cold but also the first thing to over heat. So in a warm bed I have to find the cold spot with my feet. When they start getting warm again I have to move them to another cold spot or have them stick out the duvet. Then they get too cold and I bring them back under the duvet again, but then they warm up and I have to find a cold spot once again. This can go on for a while and I imagine I am a nightmare to sleep next to! And that’s if I decide to sleep under the covers as even in winter I get too warm and sleep on top of the covers, then wake up in the early hours shaking like a shiting dog because I am cold!

Labels in Underwear
This used to be a big thing for me, not so much now. All labels in underwear as a kid I used to get my Mum to cut out as it irritated the hell out of me – god help her if she put my name label in any of them! If the label was really well sewn in I used to wear my underpants inside out, all day, no matter if I had PE that day or not. It didn’t bother me that people saw the fact I had them inside out as long as I was comfortable. Luckily I have grown out of this or at least bought better quality underwear!

Senior Managers that make brews
There is something hugely satisfying about a senior manager who is making a brew and asks if you want one. For that instance, that tiny nano-second, they are your bitch for a change and loudly and proudly I always say yes. I never waste this opportunity for Senior Management to run around after me. Even if I have had ten cups of tea I will still fit in that extra one, even if I have one on the go I will risk 3rd degree burns and down it in order for a Senior Manager to make me one. It is one of those little things that on the inside I get great satisfaction from.

The Toilet Seat
My best thinking is reserved for the bathroom where I get to sit and ponder, occasionally writing things down or reading stuff online for inspiration. However, before I sit down to think I thoroughly wipe the toilet seat with reams of tissue. Now this isn’t anything unusual when using public toilets, but I have an en-suite bathroom that only I use and yet still do it. It has become a habit, a ritual almost, of my toilet behaviour. It serves several purposes though. Firstly it wipes away any spillages from the previous user. Secondly it takes that little bit of cold off the first time you sit down and finally the tissue can be put down the toilet and prevents any unwanted splash upon entry! You know what I mean. I will move swiftly on now…

Dwarves/Little People
Now I don’t want to offend anyone here and if I do I apologise greatly, but those that know me know that I have a massive soft spot for little people. Anything to do with midgets and dwarves I am in awe of. I am not one of those weird people that pick them up and hug them, in fact I keep a distance; everyone has a right to their own personal space. I am just fascinated and can’t help myself. I nudge mates or family members and subtly let them know that there’s a small person in my vicinity. I own films like Time Bandits, Willow and The Borrowers (not technically dwarves I know!). I was fascinated by the TV show Seven Dwarves all about 7 small people living together during panto season. I want to meet Warwick Davis!!!! I am unsure when this obsession started in my life and whether I will ever grow out of it, but small people just make me smile. There just seems something happy about them. I even became an Elf & Safety Officer at work because of my fascination!! Although there are no elves to look after, but we do have some small people at least!
So these are just a few of the little things that are no doubt a nuisance about me to others, but at the same time allow me to relax. There are no doubt more than what is on the list, but we all have our little idiosyncrasies. We all have our little comfort blankets.

Next week will be the last blog of 2012 and I think at this time of year many in the media do a little review of the year. I think I shall work over the next week on my own little review… but I may do it in a rhyme style…

I am now off to kidnap a dwarf and make them butter my Weetabix!!