“When two tribes go to war”.. Frankie goes to Hollywood.
Hi there girls and boys, I hope you’re well.
At uni, I owned a Windows laptop. At that time is was Windows XP, before the strange thing that was Vista. Although I can use a computer, I have next to no knowledge of how they work. I’ve never had to as there are lots of people I can give them to if they fail at what I want them to do, when I want them to do it. Of course, there is always the danger that they’ll discover my stash of naughty pics on the hard drive… A girl has to keep her chocolate biscuit images somewhere! That lappy served me well for four years, but when it came to the point where it was as slow as a Tory MP after lunchtime, I was open to offers. Of course I went to the dire PC World to mooch about, but their staff are only there to sell you what they want, not what you need. “You need a desktop machine, aye this one does everything, video editing, a huge hard drive, 21 inch display, video card is a Wonderful9000, producing 10 wobblies per second AND it’s got Superhot technology..blah blah”, all the while ogling my cleavage. He may have well told me that it was filled with jam. I’m the same now. Even though I try to keep up with what’s inside my two Macs, I …just…don’t…care. If it works then that’s all I need to know.
An iMac had been suggested by a uni friend, so I had a play around with it. In those days there were no Apple stores nearby but I managed to get a look at one of their lappies as well, and that sold me. Since then I’ve used them so much that when I have to go to a Windows machine, it’s a slight learning curve. I’m not saying they are better than a PC, I’m sure gamers around the world will have my eyes if I even suggested that. Can games could be played on Mac..a quick Google tells me they can. Ah but better and more intensive games can be played on a PC… yes, but all I do is a little chat, lots of spreadsheets and emails, and maybe watch an art video or two.
Nowadays we have an Apple store in Newcastle and at the Metrocentre in Gateshead, at which the staff are specifically trained to be as much in your personal space as they can be. Just back off a bit. We don’t yet have one in Durham, not an official one anyway. I see on the news today that 5 million pounds worth of Apple products have been hijacked from a delivery in Northampton. That’s a lot of cider.
There are a few things I don’t like about Apple, but mainly it’s the the sycophants. Yes, I’ve an iMac and a Macbook, but you would never catch me wearing a tshirt emblazoned with their name, or any brand, (excepting Arena, see later). No, it’s not the ridiculous prices or the overblown statements, it’s the launches for these products. They fill a room with the most unhealthy bunch of people imaginable, whipped up into a frenzy, a whoopin’ and a hollerin’, somewhat reminiscent of certain rallies. I’m pretty sure most arrive like that, eager to see a bloke on stage tell them about the latest in phone tech, even though it’s all been done before. Music was digital before the iPod. “Why, what are you doing out of your room, Marvin, it isn’t mealtime yet? “Imma gonna see the new iphone launch momma, they gotta new operating system an’ colors an’ everything.” ‘Ok, you can go, but first put your pants on and wipe that drool from your chin.”
I’m fairly sure the audiences at these things would react in the same manner if the announcements were just rubbish. “This fall, the new iPhone!” Cue mass applause, slight seat wetting. “We’ve given it another camera!” Woohoo, elevated signs of arousal. “It comes in pink!” People begin to faint. “AND it’s full of sand!!!” Spontaneous combustion occurs.
It’s a fucking phone, you sad cunts. Is that too strong? No, it isn’t. When you queue all night for a device that can make a phone call, then you have to look at your sanity.
Much the same way as people queue for hours to get that latest games console…why? Must you be the first in your group to have one? That’s the attitude of a five year old. Today, as I type, Apple are releasing their latest operating system, Big Bollocks or something. I’m not gagging to get it. Yesterday I bought a coat, but I wasn’t there on the day it arrived in the shop, nor would you see me camping outside the arena for tickets to a gig. Why does everything have to be now now now? The DVD will give you a better view, you won’t have a cold arse all night, nor will you have to smell like a public toilet after weeing in a bush.
I see this “first” thing on internet forums or Youtube comments. Pathetic. Grow up, and learn restraint, before they put you in one.
Some time ago, somebody somewhere must have signed me up to a mailing list for a certain sportswear company. I receive a package every six months from them, swimming costumes, bikinis, and the like. I’ve contacted the marketing department who know of no reason why I should be receiving this, but as the man said, why worry, its free! They do produce some nice gear though. Last summer there was a onepiece of the type I prefer when I’m lifeguarding, red, sexy looking, (as if) cutaways at the side. When I went onto the website, it seems they don’t sell one like that. Looking at the rest of the stuff, it’s the same… have I been put on the experimental clothing list, to act as a sort of tall blonde guinea-pig? Or maybe some alternate reality has occurred? Maybe someone if making these up just for me? They are all my size, all fit beautifully. I’m no complaining, you understand, but a little note would be nice. “Hello Anne. We are Erene, and wish you to try on these garments, tailored for you in our factory staffed by blue creatures from our local area, but in your world, the movie you know as Avatar. In our reality, the leader of the free world is a strange colour.” Maybe not so alternate, then.
We do have reps from various companies contacting the pool, asking if we and the gym bunnies will wear their clothing, but we say no. We don’t want to be seen to be sponsored by a brand. The management leave it up to us as to what we want to wear as long it’s the gym/pool’s colours of all red. We do have official t-shirts and the like, for front of house staff. The lifeguards and swimming instructors can wear what they like.
I tend to wear a bikini top only rarely at work as they can, sometimes, attract the wrong sort of attention. I understand what young boys must be going through, I’ve outlined my own puppy eyes stage before, but please don’t just stand and stare. Come and say hi, but remember, my face is up here…
Bikinis can also cause offence. I teach swimming as well as the guarding, got proper certificates and everything! NPLQ, OWL, IPLC, SEQ 1 2 3, STA2, blah blah ..basically, I can swim! Also that all-important DBS check. Useless. “This person has not committed a crime in the past few years”. No, but they have had that killing spree in the time taken to ask for the report and receiving it.
I have a class of three and four year olds every week with their mums and dads, and they are better at listening than the parents. In another class one woman was adamant I was not teaching her daughter while I was in a bikini top and shorts. The 15 year old girl didn’t seem to mind and gave me her full attention throughout the lesson, but her mum tutted loudly and told everyone that could hear that I shouldn’t be dressed like that. My manager, a young graduate type, and so laid back he’s almost horizontal, asked if next time I was due to teach her if I would wear something less provocative. I did, but only after arriving in a lesser and more revealing bikini top than the previous lesson, before slipping a t-shirt over it. (Wet t-shirts…mmm. No, uncomfortable.) Are we to go back to Victorian bathing costumes because it offends somebodies sensibilities? We’ve found out this week that what you think offensive may not apply to everyone. Isn’t that right, person on Lush that reported this blog? Twat.
The boys I teach, well, what can I say, I’ve seen erections, had them bump into me “accidentally”, even had one ..erm.. pleasuring himself in the jacuzzi. So I tend to wear the one piece at the times I know they will be about. It’s not about looking sexy, although the lycra sometimes leaves little to the imagination. The times I’ve had to get into the pool to tell a girl that the thing she’s wearing is almost transparent. They must realise this. And it’s not just the youngsters, we have grown women that have this as well. I know we are a private pool but it doesn’t say “come in and exhibit yourself” at the entrance.
The actual lifeguarding can be and usually is fun. On the few occasions where I have had to actually save someone, all but one were a success. That single time still wakes me up sometimes. I wasn’t on duty but was there to pick up something, when there were screams from the pool. I ran in fully clothed, dived in and with the help of the guard who was supposed to be on duty, managed to pull the wee lad off the bottom. We worked on him until the paramedics arrived but it was plain to see this was useless. We closed the pool and had a heated discussion about what happened, in which I was perhaps a tad over-zealous in my beration of the lifeguard on duty. It wasn’t until three days later when it hit me that the lad had died, in “my” pool. The parents were ever so nice about it, at least to me, and didn’t want it in the media etc. The guard who’s job it had been to watch the pool at the time had been chatting up girls, and not noticed the body which had been under the water for five minutes. He was arrested but no charges were brought. To me, this is not right. He was sacked, though. The family kept in touch and now have their other son with me for swimming lessons. It does feel so good to be trusted.
There are the few I’ve saved. The most memorable was Daniel, a Canadian boy visiting with his parents. I was guarding in Malta at the time, at a beach. He was 12, boisterous, a typical young lad. When I noticed he was getting into a bit of trouble I went into the water and got to him but then he started thrashing about, which took us both under. I managed to get him back to shore but he was unconscious. I gave cpr, kiss of life, at which point he woke up and asked why I was kissing him. Happiness all round. Last year he was married and I was there to see it, in Vancouver. His wife had heard all about this English woman that had been kissing her man, eight years ago. He never shuts up about it, so they say. A happy ending for all.
I seaswim when in Tynemouth or in the river here at Durham, but always with others. The North Sea is cold, so usually I wear a semi-wetsuit. I’ve tried surfing and paddle-boarding. The area of Tynemouth, Cullercoats and Whitley, known locally as Cullerfornia, has a great surfing community, but I spend more time in the water than on the boards. Followed by chips. I can’t resist. Hi Riley’s!
As ever, thanks for reading.