Sunday, July 28, 2013

Still Alive...

A lot has happened since I last posted here!

For a start, Amateur Transplants reformed for a several more years... but we finally split in 2011.

Since then I've become a father and completed my Anaesthetics Fellowship exams.

And now I'm back performing again!

I'm taking two solo shows to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year from 18-25th August;
one featuring old Amateur Transplants favourites, and another show of completely new parody songs.

(I've also got a preview show in London on Monday 5th August at the King's Head Theatre.)

Um... what else...?
I'm on Twitter - @amateursuman.

And I have my own website with lots more info, songs, photos, etc.

To be honest, I'll be surprised if anyone still visits this blog anyway - but if you do, please say Hi!
xx Suman xx

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Growing Up

Well guys,

after two years & over two hundred posts,
I'm sad to say that this blog is closing.

But... before you commit hara-kiri,

let me explain that it is because
Adam & I are writing a NEW realtime blog on our brand-new website.

So thank you for being such rabid avid readers over the years
- copy your bookmarks across and continue reading at

Love Suman

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thank You

The Anaesthetist's Hymn has had more than 1 million views on youtube!

(and only one of those views was by me... maybe one person's watched it 999,999 times)

Anyway, to say thank you, have a new flashy flash website:


PS there's even a new blog...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Gig: Amateur Transplants & Enemies

Amateur Transplants are proud to announce a forthcoming gig:


It starts 7.30pm
on Monday 21st April at

The Bedford,
77 Bedford Hill,
London SW12 9HD.

Tickets are limited to 200 and are only available online,

More info here on Facebook invite your friends (and your "friends"... 'cos you don't really know all of your Facebook buddies, do you?)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Friday, March 28, 2008

Faux Pas King

I went to my car in the car park this morning... and it had been vandalised! But by some kind of surrealist!

They put a sticker on the windscreen... on the INSIDE!

And, goodness knows how or why, but they'd installed a baby-seat!

Shortly after that, I realised they'd also somehow moved the car a couple of spaces to the right and repainted it a very similar colour...


Monday, March 24, 2008


I've just found out a friend of mine has Chinese symbols tattooed on her lower back - I tried to guess what they might mean and came up with:

- "No entry"

- "Gullible tourist"

- "Sweet & Sour Pork"

- "If found, please return to..."

- "How's my walking? Call 0800 000 000"

- "If you can read this, one of us is upside down"

- "I went to Beijing & all I got was this lousy tattoo"

There are lots of awesome (geeky) tattoos on this site.

I don't think I've ever seen a brown person with a proper tattoo... maybe I should get one?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sign o' the Times

Yesterday a stranger came up to me and told me I was a Prince* lookalike.

* presumably the singer, as opposed to a member of the Royal family...

Monday, March 17, 2008


I've just discovered that there are now 1500 members of the Amateur Transplants Appreciation Society on Facebook!

Watch this space, there will be more Facebook news very soon...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Le Weekend

"I know it's been a while since I have talked to you..."
- Oh God, Jamie Cullum*

I've had a heavy week - I've been back at work on the shop floor after two weeks of relaxing study leave and I'm knackered. Maybe it's being exposed to anaesthetic vapours again after several weeks away...

In any case, I've made up for it by having a truly efficient weekend:

When I got home after work, I was gonna start writing my Monday morning presentation then go to a party. But I was really tired and ended up in bed asleep by 10pm.

(Turns out if I'd gone to the party I would have caught up with five friends I haven't seen for over 4 years. Bugger.)

Before starting on the presentation, I had a bit of a play on the new computer. Magically, it suddenly became evening; I escorted a friend across town to her mate's birthday drinks in a pub. Scarily, the birthday boy was more like me than I am... We got on brilliantly, could predict what the other would say & do and ended up getting very confused. (I didn't get any presents though)

Afterwards I wandered back across town. I got impressively sodden by the rain considering that it was only drizzling (OK, I did get a little lost... I reckon London changes shape after a few drinks. I'm sure I crossed more than one river...)

And on the tube home, there was a signal problem & we were stuck underground not moving for over half an hour. In desperation, one bloke went round the carriage collecting empty bottles & then peed in them, much to the embarrassment of his poor girlfriend. Thank goodness we weren't in there longer or he'd probably have killed someone & eaten them.

I eventually turned up to my friend's house party at half one in the morning. Immediately I was ushered upstairs to where several people were tending to the hostess who had suffered a minor head injury. Soon as I arrived, everyone who had been looking after her vanished. It was just like being at work, the anaesthetist arriving in A&E... (sigh)

I spent my time at the party trying to work out why some people were wearing togas & others looked like they'd been in a big fight. My friend has complex fancy dress rules...

I beat my hangover into submission with steak. (It's the only thing it would listen to.)

Back home, I finally opened up Powerpoint...

...then of course I spent the afternoon watching Sesame Street songs on YouTube (eg James Blunt singing "My Triangle" & R.E.M. doing "Furry Happy Monsters" (genuinely cringeworthy); but you have got to watch Stevie Wonder's version of Superstition on Sesame Street... it's excellent!)

It was getting dark when I eventually started writing the presentation.
I did the title page.
I found a few funny pictures to put in it.

And then I went to church. Obvously.

My old uni were having their Easter concert and a few of my old friends were going. So while the fresh faces were performing their little hearts out, we veterans were sitting at the back thinking - ooh, it were better in our day...
The second half finished with music from Last Night of the Proms. And like the Last Night, there were drunks at the back singing along very loudly.
(I apologise to any blog-readers who were in that audience.)
Having said that, eight of us outsang an entire choir. Bring it on.

Which takes us to now, late Sunday night.
I have finally got round to posting on my blog. I will post again soon.

But first, I've just got to write this presentation...


* "Oh God" is the name of a great Jamie Cullum song.
Admittedly, Oh God, Jamie Cullum is also some peoples' reaction...

Friday, March 07, 2008

mmm... Grapes

So I wanted to write something hilarious today about the lectures I've been to on my revision course & about taking the Tube every day and being a student again... but I'm too drunk. Sorry.
Normal service will resume soon.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Blind Assassin

I've played a few games of poker recently. And I've been doing bloody well.

That's because I have a special gift that none of the other guys I'm playing against have.

I'm rubbish.

If you'll pardon the card-game-related pun, I'm crap.

I genuinely do not know what I'm doing. I have almost no clue what's going on. Obviously I have some idea - I know a pair is good; and three of the same is better. But now we're pretty much at the limit of my knowledge already.

Therefore I'm not encumbered* by being able to calculate that the cards that I've been dealt give me, say, a 17% chance of making a straight or that I have odds of 1-in-however many of making a full house.

I'm having a GREAT time!

I've played half a dozen games against people who would call themselves "Poker Players". (Think about it - you can probably play football... but you're unlikely to call yourself a "Footballer" unless you're of a certain standard)

But every single time, I've wiped nearly all of them out.

They've even nicknamed me "The Assassin". And they're properly scared.

And so they should be. An analogy is how you would feel if you handed a monkey a loaded gun. The monkey doesn't know what it's doing, but it could still quite easily kill you.

I think part of the problem is that I'm not really in it for the cards. I like to sit there piling my chips up neatly according to colour in nice piles or 8 or 10.

Maybe I have an element of autism.

The pressure can get quite heavy. These guys take their poker very seriously. They are really good. They tend to find it off-putting, waiting for me to do something with my cards when I'm giggling like a small child distracted by playing with the stacks & stacks of chips in front of me. One guy keeps losing to me solely because he's really stressed about losing to me again.

I'm not quite sure how I do so well. My naivety of what's good & what's bad certainly help me along no end. But there must be a massive element of luck. There just has to be. I could do with channelling that luck elsewhere in my life...

I've been up against some very good players. They can be seriously intimidating & there are times when I really don't want to play 'cos of the glares I'm getting. It can all get so much that sometimes I just play whatever my cards are just to get the other guy off my case. But then I go & win & he gets more wound up.

I usually play with a friend of mine who is properly poker-mad - I'm convinced he will give his first-born a name like Jack or Ace. He gets a little upset when I knock him out (usually by accident) - and then later on in the game, if I play a hand at random, and the other players are saying something like "interesting, good call" or whatever, he's jumping up and down going "No! No! He doesn't know what he's doing!".

But it's a good thing we don't play for money. I never win. Last week there were 33 of us playing; it ended up with just me versus one other guy on the top table head to head, hundreds of chips piled up in front of each of us. I tried to build a small fortress. Four hands later, all the chips were in front of him. Ho hum.

Funny thing is though when I played at New Year against some school friends - who are as bad as I am - I lost every time, very very quickly. Ironic

Or perhaps not. Maybe we're all monkeys with guns...

*If you're wondering where you've heard the word "encumber" before, it's in the lyrics to "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother".
You're welcome.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oh what a job it is....

So there's this big lump of land over to the west of Ireland... and the rules say that you can't have the same idiot in charge of it for more than 8 years so now the people who live there have to pick someone new to start all the wars. The newspaper people are very happy because they won't have to try hard all year to get any news stories.

There are two main teams, and there are lots of games to play to see who will be the leader of each team.
One side are being very brave because they want to pick someone who's a bit different to all the other leaders before; they are going to choose between a man who's daddy is from Kenya and woman who's husband used to be leader. So really it's kind of a competition to see whether the country is more racist or sexist.

Both of the people who want to be in charge of the team travel around the country and talk a lot. Meanwhile the newspaper, telly & internet people try & make the whole thing more exciting by finding old pictures & stories and by pretending they said or did stuff that they didn't.

The other teams are boring. But the leader of the other big team will probably win overall because everyone will be fed up by the time they have to choose. Or too confused.

Anyway, that's the backstory.

There's a big news website over there that was trying to explain the whole thing a few weeks ago... and must've got bored because by the end of the article they were talking about Amateur Transplants!!

Here's what they wrote.

Maybe we should start a petition going...

Saturday, February 23, 2008


There aren't any more tickets left for the Leeds Ball next week.
(In a good way I presume.)

The next few gigs will be advertised when I have the details.

Not before.

It's awfully nice of people contacting me & asking about gigs, but I can't say anything for sure until the details are finalised, so there's no point; but when gigs are properly confirmed then I'll put all the details up here for everyone to know about.

eg. I don't have any more details about the Leeds gig in May; in future I won't mention a gig until tickets are on sale...

On to other news...

It was bloody man-flu.

The feeling-like-death (sorry if I've gone too medical for you) settled after 5 days and now all I have is an annoying loud cough. And a lot of partially deaf colleagues.
I spent most of the week wearing disposable surgical masks. And trying to moonwalk.

I'm going to fiddle round with the websites for a bit so bear with me...


Monday, February 18, 2008

Leeds The Way

Our next public performance will be at the Leeds Medics Spring Ball on March 1st 2008.

It's open to everyone (but obviously Leeds Medics primarily). Tickets are £45 and include a champagne reception, 3-course meal and lots of various entertainment.

And Amateur Transplants. Email Lucy for more details & tickets.

We're doing an entirely separate gig, but also in Leeds, on May 2nd.

So that's two opportunities for you Northern birds to come by and try to prove me wrong.

By which I mean prove me right

Thursday, February 14, 2008

High Hopes (& Aspirations)

I'm ill.

But no-one seems to believe me.

I started coughing suddenly on Sunday afternoon & haven't stopped. I think I accidentally inhaled something minor, and that triggered off a chest infection. Since then I've been feeling a bit rough, coughing up gunk, I've been running a decent fever & my pulse is a fair bit higher than normal.

Man-flu, everyone tells me.

(Apart from one medical registrar friend who wants me to have a large number of tests... but I don't think my chest sounds abnormal enough to warrant an x-ray, and while I'm happy to stick all kinds of needles into all kinds of places in other people, if I can help it I'll avoid having a "sharp scratch" (ie. metal spike) myself, thank you very much - although a benefit of having tests at work is that they would be processed more quickly than at the GP and I could interpret the results myself... in fact, I could probably put them on here for you medics to have a look through...
Although needles... meh...)

Anyway, I wasn't feeling brilliant, but held it together enough to perform safely at work (I wore a mask whenever I was near anyone, etc, etc.) rather than just sit at home coughing and leave the department depleted.
But rather than drive home between shifts (an hour each way), I thought it'd be better to try & get hold of a spare on-call room & sleep over at work.

So I rang up.

They wanted to charge me £70.

Seventy quid! There are hotels nearby that would charge less than that. And they'd give you complimentary tea & coffee. And a telly.

And a trouser-press.

So, bollocks to that idea.

When I was chatting to some of the doctors working overnight, one told me he never got to bed, his night shift was without exception always too busy - and if it did get quiet, the rooms were too far away; instead he would sit somewhere within the hospital in case of emergencies. So he gave me the key to his unused on-call room.

The room was clean; but I want to tell you about the en suite bathroom... it was the size of a phone booth! One side contained a toilet and sink; and on the other side of a shower curtain was a shower head (the water emptying into a drain hole in the tiled floor).

This shower was bizarre. Invisible water came out of it. I don't know if it was especially designed by NHS engineers or whether it was just faulty... but even on full volume, the spray was ultra fine. It was like a mist - the water was just... there.

The water pressure was immense and I soon learnt that there was a major time delay with adjusting the water temperature too (so I'm guessing... probably faulty then). I thought the temperature had settled when I got in, but a minute later, I suddenly felt a searing pain like my back was being pierced with fine needles... this was the high pressure water jets finally reaching boiling hot temperatures.

Still, I was rested & clean and in a better state to work than I would have been had I tried to drive home & back too.

Thankfully I had today off.

As a break from tradition, this year I've spent most of Valentine's Day coughing...

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Almost a lifetime ago...
... I was trying to make sense of friendly shapes that turned out to be called "Mum" and "Dad"

Half a lifetime ago...
... I was doing exams (at school)

A decade ago...
... I was doing more exams (at Medical School)

Half a decade ago...
... I was a qualified House Plant Officer, examining patients of my own

A year ago...
... I was in love

Half a year ago...
... I was in also love... (but with somebody different)

A month ago...
... I was preparing to go to Toronto

Half a month ago...
... I was already back...

A week ago...
... I was having a great night out, surrounded by mostly older people and really loving the music

Half a week ago...
... I was having a great night out, surrounded by mostly younger people who were really loving my music!

A day ago...
... I went to sleep worried sick about being the most senior on-call anaesthetist in the hospital

Half a day ago...
... I put someone sick to sleep (being the most senior on-call anaesthetist in the hospital)

An hour ago...
... I left work a second time, after going back with take-aways for my hard-working friends on-call overnight

Half an hour ago...
... I thought I'd post something simple before I went to bed!


Wednesday, February 06, 2008


We performed a gig in Warwick yesterday... my God, it was the best time we've had in ages!

It started off with a road trip. We picked up Mike, a mate of ours who does stand-up (and, of course, is another doctor), who was going to warm-up the audience for us... hmm... we'll get to that later.

It was a bit of an uncomfortable drive getting there from London - Adam's car is not being designed to fit more than one person.

I folded myself up across the back "seats" and slept for most of the journey (I'd just done a night shift) and left the navigation to the psychic satnav (which had shown me up earlier by somehow knowing that the shortcut I'd suggested would be blocked by a van. Bastard).

The Warwick Uni campus is massive. We eventually found where we were playing in the student union, where lots of techie guys (and one girl) were preparing the stage, sound & lights. The venue was called The Cooler, and had a reasonable-sized stage, massive speakers and a bar at the back. And was freezing.

Adam & I did a bit of warming-up (no pun intended) & prepared our props (oh yes, that bin wasn't there by coincidence... ). Then we went and had dinner with the rest of the crew. Within minutes, we'd managed to offend everyone at the table.

We were ready.

When we came down from dinner, the venue had started to fill up. There were security guards & even first-aid people (which was handy 'cos it'd have been a shame to have to interrupt the show to do some work!)

We were performing as part of a project to raise money for the Prince's Trust charity and the show had been well-advertised - there were probably already 250 people by the time Mike came on and they kept coming.

Mike's intro was filthy. But he's so well-spoken you can't help but forgive him. Even when talking about his penis. Continuously.

To me he looks like a certain character from the Harry Potter films...

By the end of it, the audience were pretty ready for some real comedy (only kidding Mike!). Mike got them to practice their booing. Seriously. Of all the noises you can get the audience to make, he wanted to make sure the booing was the clearest. Bastard.

(But it was better than some of the intro's he's done for us in the past - "Please welcome... a fat, vegetarian Jew... and an Asian")

Anyway, we came on & opened with something a bit different and did the 1st set. Highlights included my spectacular recorder playing, much use of the c-word, the Anaesthetist's Hymn and Adam once again ensuring I never get a girlfriend... by pretending that he & I are a couple. Bastard.

I also made the mistake of trying to eat a whole apple during one of Adam's songs which was shorter than anticipated. Nearly choked.

I went mingling during the interval, which was bizarre. Met a few people who read the blog - some of them even wished me a happy birthday!
Aw... you guys!*

It was also quite amusing that, despite being on stage in front of them for the best part of an hour, some people didn't recognise me! Others did a double-take when Mike came on to bring us back on again after the interval and I was still standing next to them at the back (I like to leave it as late as possible!)

Our second set went really well too. We tried quite a few new songs, all of
which went well. I also accidentally emptied a bin over a poor girl at the front, and Adam nearly killed someone with a coathanger (you had to be there).
It was amazing to see so many people joining in with lyrics we've written! I feel like I've achieved something in life (though what that achievement is, I'm not quite sure.)

After we'd finished the show, lots of people came to the stage to say hello/ask for autographs/money. It was really nice to meet you.
(well, most of you - one girl had a go at me for being offensive - fair enough, but this was the 3rd time she'd come to see us! she had a go at me the other times too... I reckon she fancies me...)

I also met these two lovely people who travelled all the way from Manchester just for the gig - I LOVE the t-shirts. (Incidentally Adam & I already have some designs for official Amateur Transplants merchandise in the pipeline when the next album is ready...)

Only managed to hang around in the bar briefly, mainly trying to talk to nice, shy people (while being accosted by embarrassingly drunk ones!) but sadly we had to leave and start the long journey home.

The drive back was... tricky. The ever-reliable satnav refused to accept that the A45 was closed and kept trying to get us back onto it. I kept dozing off, only to jerk awake suddenly, convinced that Adam had also fallen asleep and we were about to crash.

But we didn't. And Adam managed to drop me home in one, terrified, piece.

And so, the end to a great evening. Thank you to those of you who came to see us. Hope you were suitably amused and offended. (If not, get over it, it's for fucking charity.)

If anyone has any good photos of last night's gig, please let me know!

Right, I think the next gig might be up North... uh oh...

*Yes, I did pull out a camera & take photos of the audience during the show.
No, I have no shame.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Piss up in a...

Went for birthday drinks last night - I'd contacted loads of friends saying to meet from 7pm at a particular bar that I'd liked when I went there a few weeks ago.

Despite some problems with the buses (no, I'm not going to write a song about it), luckily I was the first to arrive. Unluckily, the bar had closed down since I was last there.

(Actually, when I rang them to check if they were definitely open, the phone wouldn't connect - in retrospect, I could've taken this nugget of information a bit more seriously...)

The frustrating this is that this has happened to me before on my birthday a few years ago. You'd think I'd have learnt...

But there was a good place a few doors down so we went there. And ended up in a club with light up dance floors playing old-school cheese. I have an old-school hangover to match. Perfect.

It's my actual birthday tomorrow & we're going to my local pub for lunch.

Funnily enough, they're not picking up their phone either... but that's just cos pubs don't open in the morning, right...?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Beadle's About

Not any more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Charity Gig

Amateur Transplants are doing a gig at Warwick University in aid of The Princes Trust on February 5th 2008!

Details here.

I'm going to it... why don't you come too?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Toronto Diary #1

I went to Toronto in summer 2001 on my medical student elective and have wanted to go back ever since.

Finally I found a mate who wanted to come too & we booked. It was only after everything was sorted that I realised that, unlike last time, I was going in the height of winter. Canada's lovely in summer. But in winter it's fucking freezing.

Oh well, wrap up warm, stay indoors, it'll be great...

Another New Year's resolution this year was to go back to being my old, highly-organised self (having lapsed big-time over the last few years).

And so we fast forward to the night before the flight. Of course, I hadn't packed yet.

But it only took me a few minutes to load the case up (I knew where most of my travel stuff was post-African trip). I left out clothes to wear the next day, booked a cab, checked in online and went to bed.

4 hours later we were at the airport, ready to fly, 3 hours early, and wishing we'd got a couple of extra hours kip. Oh well.

On the plane there was a small creche of children around us taking it in turns to do shifts of crying, running around & being snotty. It was 8 hours of pure, migrainous joy...

The cab from Toronto Pearson Airport took us to our flash-looking hotel downtown and we checked in, tired & skanky, wearing hoodies & jeans.

The first thing I did, OK, second thing - first I switched on the TV; 64 channels, nothing good on. Though I saw on the news that a plane had to crash-land at Heathrow a few hours after we'd taken off. So then I had to ring home to say I'd flown safe otherwise my parents would assume the worst.
And throw away all my stuff.

Third thing I did was ring up a place I knew and booked a nice meal for our first night. It was lunchtime in Toronto but we'd been up for 14 hours eating only plane snacks, so dinner at 4.30pm was perfect.

I can't recommend The 360° Revolving Restaurant at the CN Tower highly enough.

More than 500 feet up in the world's tallest building, the restaurant rotates once every 72 minutes with the most spectacular view of all of Toronto. At sunset it's even better; you can watch the city light up as it gets dark.

And it's not expensive. It normally costs £12 each just to visit the viewing galleries - for less than £30 we had a 3-course meal and a better view as well.
Could've been a nice end to a fairly long day.

But then came the walk home.

On the way there, I was fine with just a shirt and jumper. But now it had started to snow. And my warm coat was where I had left it so that I could not possibly forget to bring it with me... by my front door... nearly 6000 miles away in London.

It was cold.
Bloody cold.
Bloodlessly cold in fact. I could not feel my fingers. Then I couldn't feel my nose. And when I couldn't feel a certain something else, I insisted we went into a shop!
I bought the warmest looking coat in the whole wide world ever. And I would've worn it for the whole of the snowy walk home but I was too hot.

In the hotel I slept really well but woke up every few hours, my confused body clock trying to deal with the new time zone.

This morning, my reliably inaccurate in-built sense of direction found us "Fran's diner", the amazing 24-hour place that I often frequented last time I was in Toronto after a night's clubbing.

I had corned beef hash, 2 eggs, homefries, toast, pancakes & a chocolate milkshake (um... the other New Year's resolution is on hold this week). Actually, I've only seen one fat Canadian so far, and it's possible that she could've been:
a) just carrying a grey armchair, or
b) American.

Anyway, I'm typing this on the coach to Niagara Falls, on my new phone (there will be blogs aplenty about the phone another time). It costs an absolute fortune for me to go online with it here - I even got a text from Orange in the UK telling me that, which, seeing as they usually want my money, surely can't be a good sign...

I'll probably type more & blog it next week when I get back*.
Enjoy the (relatively) warm weather wherever you are.
- Suman -

*unless I drop the phone into the Falls...

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Going on a little holiday.
Back in a week.
See ya

PS. Could you please feed the cat? Ta...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Year's Stories

Now that Xmas & New Year are a distant memory for most people, I'd like to tell you about my New Year's "celebrations".

Turning down the offers of going clubbing with a couple of student nurses or to a house party in the centre of town, instead I went to a cottage in a sleepy village in Dorset, with friends I've known for more than a decade.

-There were no street lights for miles.
-I had no phone reception for 3 days.
-I drank practically no booze at all.
-There was no reason to get up in the morning.
-We sat around all day & played parlour games.
-There was no chance of a midnight snog on NYE.

And the sad thing is... I really enjoyed it!

It was really chilled, the company was great, relaxed; there was no stress - one guy did all the cooking, a range of celebrity chefs' recipes!

I had a really good time.

Bloody hell, I must be getting old...

For NYE we went to the pub (as in the only pub); the locals all looked a bit odd... but I suppose being from Civilisation, we all probably looked odd too.
We met a hippy mother who'd brought her baby along. To send it off to sleep, she held it upside-down by the feet and swung it gently from side to side; she was surprised it didn't go off to sleep as quickly as usual - I reckon it was because I moved the chair & table out of the way so she wouldn't bang its head...

For my New Year's resolution, I vowed to be healthier.

So for lunch on New Year's Day I had
-garlic bread
-a bowl of mussels
-a bowl of chips (the mussels' sauce is wasted otherwise)
-and, er... a roast lamb, roast potatoes & vegetables.

Oh well, I'll try again next year...

Better than my resolution a few years ago - I decided that I wouldn't swear unnecessarily any more.
Come midnight, the first thing I said was "Happy fucking New Year"...

One word. I only lasted one word...

Friday, January 04, 2008


It's my birthday in a month.

For those who like to be prepared when it comes to presents, please don't buy me this lovely Amateur Transplants DVD, or this fantastic Amateur Transplants CD (as I've already got one of each).

But feel free to buy several for yourself & all your family/mates/colleagues/fellow inmates, etc. They're really good.

The next CD is also in production... watch this space...

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Not wishing to open up a can of worms, here's a truly excellent piece by Marcus Brigstocke about Religion.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


This morning, after opening the presents that Santa brought, we held an impromptu auction - my bro, my Dad & I ended up with several presents intended for one another.

Then there was a large "Rejected" pile in the middle of the room, including all the books Mum bought for my brother (I told you!) and most of the clothes they bought us (I explained years ago that I wasn't going to "grow into" clothes any more but Mum remains optimistic...)

Don't get me wrong, we are grateful. It's just that we accepted years ago that we're rubbish at buying things for each other.

We take a gamble on the presents we choose for one another, and if/when we get it wrong, we take the receipts and go shopping for the stuff we like - almost like a lottery ticket and gift certificate rolled into one.

Here's a song called Christmas In Africa.

Hope you're having fun
(although there's probably a reason you're online at this time...)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Bollocks

So, seeing as everyone else is full of Christmas cheer and I'm currently really fed up with pretty much everything apart from Christmas, I was going to go on a major rant about having to work & exams & being single & getting older, etc...

But, rather annoyingly, I just had a bit of a moment and realised that they can all be good things & I shouldn't grumble.

I'm working nights tomorrow - but that means that at least I get to see my family tonight & spend some of Christmas Day with them, and we can still do the presents thing, have a nice lunch together, talk all the way through the Queen's Speech... and by the time we get to that part of the day when everyone's tetchy and overloaded on turkey, I can say "Sorry, gotta go, see you in a few days." (Actually, I might try this next year too, even if I'm not on-call...)

Everyone at work will be in the same situation too - it might even be quite fun.

Exams... well, I gotta do them I s'pose. Anyway, I kinda enjoy being a bit geeky sometimes. And I love teaching, so I might as well make sure I know it all perfectly before trying to pass on the knowledge and hitting a wall.

My plans for where & with whom I was originally going to spend Christmas were very, very different, but sadly that all fell apart a little while ago.
Hey ho... things change all the time. What can you do, eh?

And we're all getting older...
So what? It doesn't mean we have to grow up ;o)

Have a great Christmas you guys.

And if you think you're having a bit of a rubbish time, have a look around and appreciate what you do have. You never know how long you'll have it for.

Right, enough psychobollocks - here's the awesome Xmas song I posted last year.

I love you guys.

Have a good one

(Now get off the Internet and go spread the love!)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christ! Mass hopping

Xmas shopping, with a hangover, with my mum.
What I thinking...?

I genuinely like several Xmas songs - individually. But hearing them non-stop from October somehow isn't the same.

BTW, did you hear that in "Fairytale of New York" Radio 1 censored the words "slut" & "faggot"- for one day, until the complaints rolled in. And have you noticed that everyone's only playing the original Band Aid (Do they know it's Christmas) rather than the remake from a couple of years ago...?

In one shop yesterday they were playing dance remixes of old Xmas classics. We have a new Number One. I officially hate this style of Xmas music more than any other.

Anyway, I wasn't feeling too clever, and Mum was dragging me round looking for books for my brother.
He's notoriously difficult to buy for, being the intelligent one in the family (ie the one that doesn't work for the NHS).
Mum, on the other hand, tends to choose presents purely based on the colour & design of the cover, rather than, oh I don't know, the author or subject matter.
So as usual, I have to reject a huge number of books she suggests because they are, say, girly romantic novels, or for children. Or are utter bollocks.

After a while, she tells me I'm being "grumpy". And doesn't seem to notice that, the more times she calls me "grumpy", the more grumpy I get.

I got very grumpy.

Eventually, I stopped vetoing books - and now my brother's going to end up with stuff he doesn't want on Xmas morning and somehow I'll be to blame. Sod it, he'll love the present I got him, I spent ages choosing it and it cost a fortune!
Otherwise I'll murder him with it.

Shopping with Mum is usually difficult anyway. She is a more than a wee bit shorter than me (or almost anyone else in the world) but insists on holding my arm, so I have a constant stoop when I'm walking with her. And every now & then she vanishes like a small child; something shiny out of the way having caught her eye, she scurries off. So I end up like a distraught father trying to find a toddler in a crowded shop at Xmas.

Only worse, this toddler has a credit card and no taste.

Then again, shopping on my own is rubbish too sometimes:
- I always seem to look like I work there, whichever shop I'm in.

I don't know if this is a common phenomenon and that maybe everybody gets assumed to be an employee; I haven't conducted any kind of detailed survey yet. But this always happens to me, almost every time I go shopping. It's not the same as asking a passing fellow-shopper for a bit of help. That's fine. I'm usually very nice and will give someone a hand, especially if they're elderly and infirm.
Or if she's my age and attractive.

But I've checked. I'm not wearing a name badge that says "My name is Steve, I am paid to work here. How can I pretend to help you?"

Likewise I'm not wearing anything that could be mistake for uniform in that or any other shop.
(Schoolboy error - if you're Indian and eating in a curry house, don't wear a white shirt or people assume you work there.
I once took an entire table's order (including any bread or naan). Then I sat down and ate my dinner.)

But even if the staff in the shop wear shirts, ties & name badges, and I'm wearing a jumper, scarf & overcoat, people assume I work there. Why is this? Is it my face? Do I look too confident? Too grumpy?

I like to avoid shopping on purpose but buy things by accident. This is why I have racks of t-shirts I almost never wear (this is true sadly, as anyone who's ever visited my flat will testify; they even used to be in colour order, it's a bit OCD really, I probably should throw them all away... but they look so pretty there on their hangers...).
I've been trying for years to persuade any female friend to throw out 2/3 of my wardrobe and then take me shopping but no-one's ever risen to the challenge.

Then again, if you see how some of my friends dress, I look positively normal...

I'm working over Christmas, but I'm doing nights. That way, I have to work when everyone else in the world is off, but I still get time to argue with my family. Double whammy.

If I don't blog in the next few days, I hope you all have a fantastic winter holiday, spending it how you want, with the people you want to be with.

Take care
- Suman -

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bloody Hell It's Christmas!

Just like that! It suddenly appeared out of nowhere...
No warning, no adverts, nothing... Not even a hint of it on the radio... crikey...

Perhaps I've been at work too much...
Today one of the silver cordless phones at the other end of the desk was ringing...
I walked over and answered the stapler...