Readers' Submissions

Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head

  • Written by Phet
  • August 22nd, 2012
  • 32 min read



Firehouse


I was a little late getting into my local pub “the Welded wallet” last Friday night. It was fortunate that the gaffer was not in as I would undoubtedly have had to supply a doctor's certificate for my absence. I stand at the bar as Sarah my favourite pisshead's labourer pours my beer and notice my friend Colin and his wife Lindsay sat at a nearby table. I was surprised to see them as they usually only come in on Saturdays when they participate in the karaoke. I collect my beer and join them. As I take my seat I am greeted with the enquiry from Colin “Weern yow bin till now yow ode bob howler?”

Oops… I realise I had better turn on my universal translator. I engage the “Black country to English” setting which interprets my friends enquiry as “you are rather late old chap, pray do tell where have you been and what has delayed you so?"

I was a little surprised at his curiosity. I suspect it was due to a need for a new conversation having spent all evening exclusively in his wife’s company. I explain I had been with my eldest son having dinner at the Thai restaurant in his town.

“I might have known it would be something to do with Thai women” he ejaculated. “What is it with you and tiddlywink birds?” At this point his wife decided to join in and exclaimed, “Those Thai girls only want you for your money” and continued, “What is wrong with you going with English women?”

This is the question that is dreaded by all Thailand aficionados and gentlemen afflicted with jasmine fever. This enquiry is particularly distressing when posed by a respectable middle-aged English lady whilst in polite company. The dreaded reference to Thailand invariably evokes a violent reaction amongst otherwise rational white woman. In these situations I always sense a tirade of abuse looming. The invective usually involves vitriolic descriptions of dirty old men cavorting with poor Asian prostitutes who only want them for their money etc.

Now whilst I quite like this couple I have only known them for a year or so and then I only see them at the karaoke on Saturday evening, I can not claim to know them too well. I am therefore somewhat reluctant to reply. I always consider this query on a par with the legendary question “have you stopped beating your wife?” a YES suggests although you have stopped you are admitting to having previously beaten her, a NO implies you are still beating her. In other words…you can not answer it without incriminating yourself.

One is tempted on these occasions to launch into a misogynist sermon about the invisibility of ageing western men, the vagaries of the new breed of liberated womanhood and their distorted sense of entitlement. The rant would conclude with the assertion that all women are inherently prostitutes it is merely a matter of degree and opportunity. Fortunately discretion and prudence usually prevails and I always resist the temptation.

I quite like my inquisitor Lindsay and enjoy her company so I take a deep breath, adopt a humble demeanour and reply with the customary self deprecating response I have prepared for such situations “It would appear I am no longer attractive to English ladies anymore, I clearly lack the essential social skills for the modern woman”. This almost always deflects the imminent tirade. If it is pitched right I may receive a response “but you are an attractive man, with an agreeable personality (which is what you want to hear). You are intelligent, humorous, dress well and are admired by all who know you “(that’s enough…you are now kidding yourself. Ed).

Fortunately on this occasion I do receive the desired reaction from Lindsay. “But you are still a good-looking bloke, you are smart and amusing. I don’t understand why you can not find an English woman… there are plenty about.”

I wave my hand expansively at the people in the pub and with a smirk ask “where?”

“Well you won’t find them in a place like this!” she asserts.

My reply “but the libraries and animal rescue centres are closed this time of night” prompts a smile from her. I continue “As a matter of interest do you know any nice available ladies you could introduce me to?”

She thinks for a moment before declaring “I don’t actually have many female friends and the few I know are so bitchy and self-centred I wouldn’t wish them on you”. After a short pause she continued “in fact I don’t really like women at all… I prefer the company of men every time.”

With the crisis averted the conversation takes a new direction with Lindsay supplying examples of the cupidity and selfish behaviour of the women she knows. She even expressed the opinion that liberation had gone too far and the women of her generation had been badly let down by feminism. This disillusionment is becoming rather common with many ladies I meet and although it confirms my prejudice, it is really quite sad.

xxx


I have been following the recent debate on the site about western women with interest. This was initiated by the Professor with his question Do Stickman readers hate women? With subsequent submissions from eminent contributors as Korski and Airmail and the excellent “Biology 101” there is little to add. I have already written far too many rambling dissertations on my experiences with western women to contribute further, although this will not deter me from doing so again.

I am one of those chaps who does have real problems with western women particularly their inflated sense of entitlement and their inclination to give gratuitous and unnecessarily cruel putdowns. But I will also admit that I am not without fault and have undeniably contributed to my own situation.

I certainly don’t hate all western women but there are definitely a number of dogmatic men-hating harridans to whom the sobriquet “Feminazi” is eminently appropriate. The vast majority of British women however have merely been miss-sold a bill of goods by the few fanatical extremists who seem to control the British media. It is distressing that so many intelligent women have swallowed without question the message that men are inferior and can be treated with disdain.

I am fairly tolerant of female body shape and can appreciate the charms of a Junoesque lady. I accept that diet, gravity and of the ravages of time affect both men and women alike. However I do find it amusing when I am out on Friday night observing corpulent middle aged women clad in miniskirts and skimpy tops emulating teenage pop idols. I suspect in their minds they look like Britney Spears or Rihanna. If you have an arse like two bags of shopping a mini skirt is never a good choice. The kindest description I can tender for their attire is inappropriate. It begs the question did they give even a cursory glance at the mirror as they came out?

But it is not the issue of being fat that I find so irksome but the issue of attitude. Inappropriate dress and uncouth behaviour that would shame an African mercenary are only the symptoms of an attitude problem. The dismissive and superior demeanour I often see defies explanation. Some of the offensive and insensitive conduct I witness from women even in business or social situations beggars belief.

However much can be explained by Briffault’s law a concept introduced to us by fellow stickmanite Old Fat and Bald in a submission last year.

“The female not the male determines all conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male no such association takes place.”

Even in a normal social situation if a woman can not see a personal advantage in being civil to you she feels she can dispense with the social norms of civility because she is now empowered to do so. Civilised good manners often seem a thin veneer and the default to rudeness is always imminent. If you don’t believe me try disagreeing with their opinion or mentioning the dreaded word Thailand In the company of empowered white women.

xxx


I still have my profile on a couple of UK dating sites and when bored occasionally peruse them although I often despair at the fantasy world many British women seem to live in. But I recently came across an interesting profile of a 50-year old lady who seemed disheartened with the process of internet dating. She was bemoaning the conceited attitude and shallow behaviour displayed by the men she corresponded with on the site. Her photos suggested a passable appearance and her profile commentary exhibited a nice sense of humour which is extremely rare on these sites. Her entreaty ended with the enquiry “are there any ordinary decent men left out there?”

I felt some sympathy for her so I dispatched an eloquent and witty memo to demonstrate that yes, there is at least one decent ordinary man out there. The next day I received her reply which was surprising as the reply rate is usually less than 1%. She thanked me for my communication and said it was refreshing to receive a well constructed and amusing note. She declared she had seen my profile and I appeared to be an interesting and well-presented man. She exchanged a couple of amusing comments but concluded with ”On a more serious note, however, I have to be totally honest and say that in my search for the person I'm actually looking for, this means someone at or above 6 foot tall – after all, a girl has to wear stilettos when looking the part. Naturally, this means that I doubt we would be a match but I do wish you lots of luck in your search for a partner. In the meantime, take care, Wendy”

You couldn’t make it up. It did however finally explain the obsession of short women with men above 6’ tall that had bemused and infuriated me for so long…it is all about wearing high heels.

The fact remains although I enjoy platonic friendly relationships with many agreeable (but unavailable) English ladies I have all but given up on having a meaningful relationship with a western woman. As a 56-year old man any woman below the age of 40 is completely off limits and any approach made would invariably involve her summoning the local constabulary insisting I be incarcerated for my temerity in even looking at her under the “Not looking like Brad Pitt Act 2005”.

I also now find myself invisible to women below the age of 65. One of the facets of the paradigm change in the behaviour and expectations of western women is that they now seek men at least 10 years younger than themselves. This means that any female with a discernible waistline or a modicum of sexual allure has no interest in gentlemen of my vintage. I still attract the attention of women aged 65 plus but to be completely honest they hold little attraction. Now I acknowledge there are numerous mature women like Helen Mirren and Joanna Lumley who have retained their sexual appeal even when drawing their pensions. But in my social circles I never see those genetic rarities. The pensioners I meet all resemble my Aunt Gladys. They are looking for a handyman and certainly not interested in “physical unpleasantness”. They let their dogs sleep in their beds and have vacuous opinions on everything. If this is all I can look forward to… please put the pennies on my eyes now.


xxx


My preference for Asian womanhood is well documented and a source of amusement amongst my friends and family. In general I favour a darker skin in my females than on offer by white western women. I almost said I prefer my meat on the darker side but realised this would be misconstrued as I believe it is a euphemism for arse banditry. I have realised one must always be careful with the phraseology employed as many words and phrases have differing connotations across the English speaking world as explained to me by my American pal Jay C.

I have often thought about my penchant for darker skinned ladies and attribute it to the experiences of my youth. I grew up in the 1960s in one of the first multicultural communities in the UK. The street I lived in housed many families of Caribbean descent. The family next door consisted of a white mother with 8 kids of various hues and long departed Jamaican fathers. The middle boy was my best friend and his younger sister Linda my first girlfriend. Reggae and ganja were common fare to me in those days. Linda was a rare beauty, slender and graceful with soft light brown skin. She was model material and would cause heads to turn wherever she went even at 16. I was always aware I only ever had her on temporary loan. By the time she was 18 she had inevitably outgrown my attentions. My place as her suitor was eventually taken by West Bromwich Albion’s star striker at the time which was actually a source of great pride to me (he later traded her for a younger model). But we remained genuine pals and she introduced me to a number of her black and mixed race lady friends many of them incredibly exotic and exciting creatures.

In particular was Amelia, a nurse at the local hospital who would sneak me into her room in the nurse’s accommodation on Saturday night. She initiated me into a level of carnal delight I was totally unprepared for. She was “mans work” and me a mere boy. I recall she locked the door behind me the first time I stayed with her. I joked that it was unnecessary as I had no intention of running away to which she replied if you did you wouldn’t be the first. This should have rung the alarm bells but when you are 20 you are in a permanent priapic condition and have no sense of discernment or fear.

Her carnal demands were both imaginative and challenging. They were also long and exhausting. After one 3-hour session at the point of total exhaustion I declared “I have had enough now let me catch my breath” her reply was “I will tell you when you have had enough” I feared I would expire that night and what remained of me would be carried away in a small bucket. These marathons continued every Saturday night for two months until she found a new suitor, a very personable black sprinter who was on the verge of the British Olympics team at the time. Much as I cherished the delightful Amelia I was secretly relieved as she was not beneficial to my health. I had lost so much weight I had taken on the appearance of a Changi prison inmate. The athlete eventually married her but unfortunately never made the Olympics. It was rumoured a mystery virus had sapped his strength and stamina before the national trials as it took him 35 seconds to run the 100 metres. I suspect the voracious demands of the enchanting Amelia may have contributed.

I continued to occasionally date West Indian girls for a few years. Young black and mixed race women are amongst the most magnificent physical specimens on the planet, you only have to think of the three magnificent ladies from my hometown, the singers Jamielia, Beverly Knight and the athlete Denise Lewis to confirm this Black women are exotic exciting and adventurous with a tremendous sense of fun. No matter how black their skin is they are always pink on the inside.

Black women are the alpha females; if they are interested in you they will tell you so. They can however be extremely strong willed, bossy and domineering. The list of requirements and expectations they demand of a suitor would make the shrillest white feminist look like a subservient geisha. They can be quite terrifying creatures and I began to understand why educated black men avoid them preferring less demanding white women as partners.

The last black girl I seriously dated was when I was 25. Leona worked for a prestigious marketing company in Birmingham city centre. We met at an exhibition at the newly opened National Exhibition Centre. I was working my way up the greasy pole of management at the time and for some unknown reason she responded to my corny chat up lines and agreed to have dinner with me that evening. She was elegant educated and quite exquisite. She exuded an animal sensuality in everything she did and I was besotted with her. But as our relationship developed it seemed everything we did was always on her terms. Whenever I exerted myself and tried to establish some boundaries to her behaviour she would accuse me of being unreasonable. She would invariably proclaim I was displaying the outdated attitudes typical of the Black guys she had left behind.

Over the years I had became increasing aware of a developing gulf between the values and mores of the English and Caribbean cultures in Britain despite the initial integration. This was something I had not noticed in my youth. After six months I finally tired of Leona’s capricious behaviour and cut her free.

The split was not amicable and involved a fair degree of histrionics and violence on her part which was quite sad as I don’t believe she ever really cared for me. I always suspected she saw me as a useful accessory on her arm when we attended the numerous business functions she constantly dragged me along to. I was quite presentable in those days, always good for an amusing anecdote and her boss liked me. She was acutely ambitious and I believe she thought my presence at her side enhanced her status and prestige in her company. I was infatuated with her and if she had compromised just a little on her control fixation we may have still been together now…or maybe not. She eventually became an associate partner in the company and moved in with a huge tattooed black guy who worked as doorman at a night club in the city centre.

Since that experience I gave Black women a wide berth despite my natural affinity for their charms. I was drawn to the phrase coined by Bernard Hap Kilban the cartoonist for Playboy magazine, “Never eat anything bigger than your head” I felt this entirely appropriate and should be kept in mind before one considers engaging in a relationship with a black woman. They are not for the faint of heart.


xxx


It was almost 30 years before I dated a black woman again. Edwina was a chef at the casino I use as a working man's club. It boasts an excellent restaurant and me and my eldest son would regularly partake of Sunday dinner there. I am an inveterate flirt and it will come as a no surprise to those who know me that I would practice my charms on the ladies in the restaurant. I knew Edwina had a pleasant face but her chef whites and head scarf obscured her figure and made her look quite dumpy. She responded to my flattery and flirting and the special service we received was often the cause of complaint from other customers.

After a month she asked me to take her out for a drink. We met the following Wednesday evening in a local pub and I was pleasantly surprised to see the transformation once she had divested her uniform. She was only about 5’3 tall but had a well proportioned figure and her tight jeans showcased a lovely round ass that is a feature of black ladies. In her mid 40s she had a pretty face, good skin and a pleasant lopsided smile. Our first date was a success; she had a vivacious and bubbly personality and a genuine and natural sense of humour that is rarely seen in women. For the next two months we would meet once or twice a week. At the time there was a strict rule of the casino that employees should not fraternise with customers. I suspect that the fear of her dismissal if we were seen together provided a certain frisson to our meetings. Unfortunately she rejected my carnal advances and our relationship remained platonic but I enjoyed her company and was confident she would eventually succumb to my charm.

One evening she told me she had applied for a chef’s job at a hotel in London and was very excited about it. That weekend she upped and went without a word and I have had no contact since. This was a resonance of what my Thai wife did a few years later. She also upped and went to work in London with hardly a word.

Three years on Janet began using the casino. She is a West Indian lady in her early 40s. She would come in around 9pm every second Sunday to play the slot machines near the entrance for an hour or so. I would often chat to her as I was waiting for the taxi to take me home. By this time of night I was invariably as “refreshed” as a newt and three sheets to the wind. I could never recall much about the lady or my inebriated conversations other than she had an attractive face and an unusual haircut. I have vague recollections she always seemed amused by my unintelligible tales. Then a few weeks ago to my great surprise she interrupted the incoherent account of my recent trip to China and asked me to take her out for a drink on the following Tuesday. Arrangements were quickly made and phone numbers exchanged as the doorman helped me through the doors to my waiting taxi.

I had forgotten all about this until I received a call from her the next day confirming the arrangements. I met her on the Casino car park the following evening. She arrived in a well presented Renault Megane convertible which put my battered 12 year old Mondeo to shame. She emerged from her vehicle and walked towards me. As I had always been bladdered and she was sitting down on previous occasions I had no idea of her stature. On seeing her walk towards my car with a feline grace I was totally mesmerised. She was like an African goddess, over 6 ‘tall with a figure that would not be out of place on a catwalk. She gets into my car and the power of speech instantly leaves me.

I took her to a pleasant and popular out of town pub. Heads turned as we walked in. As she towered over me I asked if the difference in our heights was a problem to her. She declared because she was so tall it was unlikely she would find many men taller than her so she had therefore begun to appreciate the charms of shorter men. I have heard this before; it would appear it is only ladies shorter than 5’5 that are fixated on being with men taller than 6’. The conversation was difficult at first but she slowly relaxed and told me about her job in a local hotel and part time job as a barmaid in a social club.

She ordered the most expensive steak on the menu which she devoured as if she had not eaten for days. We talked about our respective families and she was inquisitive to hear about my nomadic assignments and particularly probing about the money involved. I was also amused when she complained about the number of Polish and Eastern Europeans now in the town that she considered were destroying West Bromwich. Her comment “I don’t want to appear racist but the Government should stop all immigration” did appear incongruous coming from a Black lady.

I dropped her back at her vehicle to a friendly kiss on my cheek. We are still friends but the relationship did not progress. A couple of remarks she made left me with the distinct impression she saw me as a potential “sugar daddy”. In another life I would not have been averse to this arrangement I am realistic enough to appreciate that this is the only way a bloke of my age could keep an exotic woman 15 years his junior. In my current circumstances she would have been extremely disappointed as I hardly have two brass farthings to rub together. I am also a tight fisted git.


xxx


Birmingham and the Black Country have seen many waves of immigration. It began with the Irish during the Industrial revolution, then the West Indians after the Second World War. The 1960s saw the arrival of Pakistanis Bangladeshis and Indians from the Punjab. All were gradually integrated into the community. The 1970s saw a further influx of educated Sikhs and Hindus when the legendary African despot Idi Amin threw them out of Uganda.

It was this influx that turned my attention to Asian girls. The early immigrants from the Indian sub continent initially kept very much to their own communities so you would very rarely see their women in public. The Ugandan Asians were different. They were predominantly middle class professionals or had small businesses. They were educated with good English skills and joined the business community with relish. The appearance of slender dark skinned Asian beauties dressed in Western style was a welcome addition to the landscape and I was immediately smitten.

At that time there was still a great deal of bigotry amongst the white community, most of my friends could not understand my tolerance of Asians never mind my fascination with their women. I had a few dates with the new breed of Indian girls but many of them still appeared nervous of being seen in public with a white guy. My first serious Indian girlfriend was Rashmita who worked in the offices of a small engineering company in my town. My mother was the receptionist at the company and was friends with Rashmita which was how we came to meet.

She was the sweetest natured girl I have ever met. Petite and painfully pretty she was absolutely delightful. Although she had a very strict and traditional Asian upbringing she loved everything British, the countryside, music and fashion and soaked up the culture like a sponge. She worked very hard to retain her image of purity and chastity to her community and although we were practically joined at the hip for months we had to pretend we were just nonphysical companions. But in private she was a little hellcat and would lose her virginity to me at least twice a week.

Her father was not too keen on me but it was understandable that he would want his daughter to marry within his community. When I moved away to college we slowly moved apart, she was not one for writing letters and the pressures of her community prevailed. She eventually married a nice Indian lad and ran a corner shop with him.

I saw her a few weeks ago in the local Building society with her two young grandchildren and we had a very pleasant chat. After 35 years she had not changed greatly. Her hair was grey but she was still petite and pretty and had retained her sweet nature. I still felt a twinge of fondness for her.

For a few years I supplemented the diet of vanilla with mocha and the occasional dark flavours until I held up my bat and declared at 36 runs. I married an English girl a few months short of my 30th birthday. She was a vivacious red head of Irish heritage with looks reminiscent of the singer Lulu. Unfortunately she metamorphosed into Hyacinthine Bucket (pronounced Boo-kay) before my very eyes. For almost 20 years I remained faithful, my diet remained milk until she left me for another bloke.
xxx

It was my first visit to Thailand that reactivated my innate affiliation for dark skinned women. In Thailand I had found my nirvana and in Thai women the zenith of physical perfection. Thai women were the culmination of all my affections. The array of shades of skin from the paler girls of Chaing Mai to the dark skinned lovelies of the Issan, there was enough variety to satisfy the most Catholic of tastes. They displayed a demure and graceful femininity and a wonderful sense of fun, an aggregation of the best features of Indian and black women. Over the years on my visits to the kingdom I would regularly see on the streets of Suhkumvit, Thai facsimiles of the mixed race and Indian girlfriends of my youth…it was like travelling back in a time machine.
Michel Houellebeq in his novel about sex tourism “Platform” speculates that the increasing predisposition of white men for darker skinned females is driven by “Darwinian miscegenation”. And no, I didn’t fully understand it either but I believe it has something to do with the concept of spreading the white gene with the assumption that cross breeding is gradually improving the human species. You only have to look at the Luk krueng offspring of western and Thai couples to see what beautiful children are produced. The Cape coloureds of South Africa or the Moreno of Brazil are further examples of the attractive people produced by inter racial couplings. It is the concept of the “Melting pot” immortalised in the 1960s in the song by Blue Mink, which talked of turning out “coffee coloured people by the score”.

I began to comprehend why I found darker skinned females in general and Thai girls in particular so irresistible. It is programmed in my DNA.


xxx


My continuing search for love is probably a classic example of optimism over experience or hope over reason. I still occasionally check the Asian dating sites such as Thai love links and Chinese love links but can not report any interest. I am beginning to get a little pessimistic about my prospects of ever finding a Thai or Chinese woman already living in the UK. I also suspect I have now missed the boat in bringing an Asian woman back to the UK after my last venture with a Thai wife. At present I certainly couldn’t afford one. I can not help but be reminded of Einstein’s definition of Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I clearly need a new approach or maybe I should just hang up my boots and curl up with a good book every night.


xxx


Talking of books I put the Kindle application on my mobile phone. I love the concept as it is so convenient to pull out of one's pocket and read when on the toilet or when waiting for your girl to come out of the shower. When I was recently in China android phones were blocked by the authorities (along with Facebook, UTube etc) so I could not download any books. The only unread book I had on my Kindle was Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. Now I do not deny it is a work of great merit but this tale of quaint sensibilities and old world manners did not provide adequate distraction to a man ensconced in a factory dormitory. I have since downloaded a huge and wonderful selection of reading material from Chekov to Christopher Moore. I strongly recommend the three new Thailand short stories by Stephen Leather. They are in the same vein as “Private Dancer” but extremely witty and the very pinnacle of the genre.

The phenomenal success of the book “50 Shades of Grey” had not escaped my attention. Keen to see what the fuss was about I joined the other 5 million who downloaded it. It concerns a young naive girl who is introduced to the world of mild sado- masochism by an implausibly handsome (but anally retentive) millionaire. As “mommy porn” it is not totally without merit but written in the bodice ripping style reminiscent of Barbara Cartland and Mills and Boon I had to check my kindle several times to ensure it had not reverted to the Jane Austen story.

It is the highest selling book in Amazon's history and the subject of conversation amongst most of the women I know. What does it mean? Does it reflect a social change amongst its female readers? Have they all developed a taste for sado-masochism? I know a few women a good spanking would do some good. I have found many women claim they want to be dominated…until it comes to actually doing as they are told.

I have considered emulating its success and writing “50 shades of Beige” which relates the adventures of a boring old fart that goes out to paint the town beige and gets the occasional good hiding in Black Country pubs on a Friday night.


xxx


I have been back in blighty for two months but my assignment in China and time in Thailand certainly lifted my spirits. My doctor was astonished that with the weight I had lost my blood sugar, Cholesterol and blood pressure levels were at their lowest for years. I can also report I have not experienced any repeat bouts of the black dog.

There has been a slight increase in activity in some UK foundries but the companies enjoying this upturn are still not engaging or recruiting technical personnel. They are doing it with their existing staff working overtime and using unskilled immigrant labour. I don’t feel depressed but occasionally feel defeated.

I knew I would experience difficulty finding long term employment in a conventional job so have been looking for a new direction. In my last missive I mentioned the new developments with the industry attempting to resurrect technical education and apprenticeships after more than 10 years of doing nothing. I saw this as a real opportunity especially if I could get in at the ground floor. As you can appreciate these initiatives always take time to materialise so in the meantime I have been working (unpaid) helping my professional institute to develop the proposed courses and taking on any small training jobs that come my way in the course of doing so.

Two weeks ago I went to Germany with a consultant pal to help him present a two0day course on Health and Safety for a large corporation. There were 18 engineers from 6 countries in attendance. It was a good experience for me and provided me with a few quid. We stayed in a pleasant family run hotel with excellent food and our hosts were friendly and supportive. I can not help but admire the Germans who have retained their unique culture and their manufacturing industry, unlike the British. The presentation went well and we may get further work from this company.

Last week I gave a day-long presentation to the design and engineering staff at a large bathroom fittings manufacturer. They buy castings and wanted their staff to gain an appreciation of the casting process.

Although at present the jobs are thin on the ground and there is strong competition from other consultants there are a few enquiries in the pipe line via my institute activity. I anticipate the new academic intake in September will provide fresh opportunity. The local college have expressed genuine interest in employing me freelance and have offered to help me obtain the requisite teaching and assessor qualifications. Once I have these there will be other horizons to explore. I also have an opportunity in Southern China suggested by my friend and fellow Stickmanite Wilhelm.

I consider the avenue of education and training presents a real opportunity for me in the long term I appear to be reasonably good at it. I believe it is a direction that gives me a sense of purpose at last. Educating a new generation is certainly preferable to working for myopic foundry proprietors to feed their insatiable greed. I do however worry at times if there is actually a living to be made from it.

I am just keeping my head above water; the money I made in China has almost run out. I can not sign on for unemployment benefits until the dispute I have with the authorities is resolved and I have been told the tribunal will not sit until the end of the year. The threat of prosecution for benefit fraud remains the sword of Damocles above my head. In the meantime I must keep my nerve, continue networking and grasping every opportunity that materializes. I appreciate my confidence is probably a further example of hope over reason…but I do remain positive.

I acknowledge the money may have stretched further if I had not stopped over in Thailand for a mongering misadventure. I must however declare I have absolutely no regrets about doing this. I feared it may have been my last opportunity to do so. Before the trip my spirits were extremely low but the visit to Thailand certainly contributed to my current equilibrium and feeling of well being… just as it did some 8 years ago when the Brokenman was first repaired.

I suspect it may be some time before I saunter the salacious sois of Suhkumvit again. In the interim I will continue to get my Thailand fix with weekly visits to my local Thai restaurant and reading the submissions and weekly column on Stickman. I will undoubtedly continue to write the long pointless rambling dissertations that often amuse and occasionally annoy the readers of the stickman congregation. So please continue to watch this space


Xxx


Stickman's thoughts:

In the face of adversity your spirit remains intact, and as long as you have your spirit, there is every reason to remain optimistic. Here's hoping that the permanent job that has eluded you soon lands in your lap.