Avatar Culture in the workplace

Flushed with success at my recent foray into workplace safety, I decided to take more steps to improve the lives of my colleagues.

I noticed a long time ago that one of the bathrooms I regularly use at work has a small A5-sized frame with a glass front that faces you as you enter. I assume it was out there to hold notices from our facilities department – maybe a sign saying “we clean these toilets regularly” or “if you’re unhappy with the state of this bathroom you should see some of the others on this floor”. But as far as I know, it’s always been empty, possibly for years.

What this frame needs is a picture, and I have just the thing. I printed one out and stuck it in the frame. Now, instead of a joyless beige bathroom, toilet-bound staff members are greeted with the sight of one of the world’s finest artworks, placed there by me to lift their soul.

I don’t know how many of them have noticed it yet, but they are very welcome.

Avatar House

There will, I expect, be more posts from me on this subject in the near future, because it has become a very large part of my life. But for now, it is probably enough to say that getting yourself a house is an enormous process that takes up a lot of your time and energy, and has far reaching consequences for the whole of your life. It is difficult and tiring.

On the other hand, though, it’s one of the best things ever, and it has made us this happy.

Normal service will resume in February. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be trying to find something in a box that is under three other boxes at the back of a room full of boxes.

Avatar Underneath my car 2

It’s almost two years since we all joined hands and took an emotional journey underneath my car. Two years of laughter, tears and general wear and tear. Two years of usage in all weathers.

There has, naturally, been a clamour from people of all nationalities and faiths to know what’s become of the underside of my vehicle in the intervening time. And who am I to stand in their way? So a couple of weeks ago, I returned my car to the same garage who made the first weird video and asked them for a full service.

Service completed, another weird video of the underside of my car was duly texted to my phone, and I have spent an afternoon trying to download it from a website that has been very specifically and cleverly designed to prevent videos being downloaded. I then set it to stupid music.

Here we are then. Join me once more as we go… underneath my car one more time.

Underneath Chris’s Car 2020 FAQ

Q. The tread depth looks a bit low on the front tyres, is that OK?

A. Yes, I know. But they have at least another half a year on them so it’s fine. I’ll get them sorted later.

Q. Why was there no Underneath My Car video in late 2019/early 2020?

A. I don’t know. My car had a service but they didn’t make me a video. I was genuinely a bit disappointed about it.

Q. How did the MOT go? This was its first MOT wasn’t it?

A. Yes it was. You’ll be pleased to know that my car passed with flying colours.

Thank you.

Avatar Spying on nature

Ages ago, we got a transparent bird feeder that attaches to a window with suckers. When birds come to have some lunch, we can see them. It’s nice. 

Lately I’ve been on a quest to get a picture of one of them and it’s harder than you think. If you move too much, they dart away, so you can’t just grab your phone and walk over. And if you’re not up close, they’ll be too small in a picture anyway. 

Anyway, the other day I left my phone propped up by the window and set it recording, and then just left it for about 45 minutes. The downside was that, half an hour later, I spent some time swearing copiously and scouring the flat for a phone I thought I’d stupidly lost. The upside was that (once I remembered I hadn’t lost it and had deliberately left it recording) I found that I’d captured our robin friend paying a visit. 

So here’s the video of our robin. It’s not very funny or silly but I think it’s pretty cool. I like him. I’m glad he enjoys dining with us. 

Avatar Happy Slick Voles Day!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have woken up this morning, looked at your Pouring Beans Calendar 2020™, and been absolutely thrilled to see that today is Slick Voles Day.

A very slick vole

Sometimes known as St. Vole’s Day (Scotland), Slick Vole Sunday (Australia and New Zealand), Voling Sunday (Canada) or even Slickvolesday Brought To You By CitiBank (USA and Argentina), this is the day when we join together to reflect upon and celebrate the life of St. Vole.

I’m sure you have your own plans to smother some voles in warm butter, so I don’t want to take up too much time when we should all really be with our loved voles, but I did want to take a moment to share with you my favourite Slick Voles Day Carol.

O Besainted Vole

O Besainted Vole
Thy dark eyes quick
And tail darting fa-ast
Hail to you, O Vole

Seek thee holy slickness
O Vole, slicken thine self
Slicken thy-y se-elf

From owl, hawk, falcon flee
From fox and racoon do go
With footness fleet and fur so slick
Evade coyote and bobcat

Seek thee holy slickness
O Vole, slicken thine self
Slicken thy-y se-elf

Of marten and bobcat do hide
Of snake and weasel take flight
In safe burrow revel in oils and butter
Slip thee from cat’s claw and lynx

Seek thee holy slickness
O Vole, slicken thine self
Slicken thy-y se-elf

Take thine golden teachings
Saint Vole, at the Lord’s right paw
Take thi-ine go-o-olden teachings
And slicken thine self

O Vole
O Vo-o-ole