Friday, May 26, 2006

On Tuesday I took and passed my motorbike theory test, which was a result, because despite revising for four weeks, beforehand, I'd been taking the test on a computer programme all weekend and kept failing!

In just over a week's time, I am going up to Brum for the week to do an intensive training course with the test on the Friday: the final day.

But the thing that really sets this all off is that on that same day work is flying me to Milan, to race sports bikes around a circuit. I'm going to be wearing something like this:

No prizes for anyone who can spot the danger in a novice (to say the least) rider haring around a race track at speeds in excess of 100mph. I guess at least I'll look brutally hot in my leathers, as I'm stretchered off to hospital.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

My name is Christopher. Nice to meet you.

There are two specific things you can do when you first meet me that are both guaranteed to get up my nose and ensure that we will never, ever be friends.

The first is to shake my hand so hard that I find it hard not to yelp as I feel the bones crush and a couple of fingers dislocate. Granted, no ladies have ever done this to me, but plenty of guys have. I've often thought that those guys either a) don't realise that their handshake is a pathway to a whole other world of pain, or b) that their handshake is some kind of neo-Neanderthal attempt at proving an alpha-male status. Seriously, either learn to take your handshake down a notch or two or the next time you crush my metacarpals I'll stab you in the heart.

The second thing you can do which will make me despise you with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns is to call me Chris ... immediately after I just introduced myself as Christopher!!! (The caveat is that it is ok to call me Chris if I introduced myself to you by that name, which would have been at any point prior to 1996.)

The fact that I used to be a Chris is irrelevant. I always preferred Christopher to Chris, but my parents started the trend immediately after I was born and for a long while it stuck. A bit later in life, when I began my career, I decided to adopt my full moniker. So it's not me being precious or anything like that. It's just that I have a nice name and I prefer it to the shortened version.

And I'm sorry, but just immediately shortening someone's name is rude and overly familiar. Do you think it's acceptable to shorten Catherine to Kate, Elizabeth to Lizzie, Marilyn to Maz, or John to Jack (never really understood that though. Isn't the idea of shortening someone's name supposed to make it, er, shorter?)

So, just to summarise, if you do this:

"Hey Chris! Nice to meet you!" *crushes hand in vice-like grip*

... I may very well stab you in the heart. Twice.

Unless you're really hot, in which case I'll just be all giggly.