Dance, food, Health, money, Religion, strangers, Uncategorized

…guest speaker/bible/5Rhythms/ballet/£3,700…

Week 10

Day sixty-five

…been a guest speaker

I Day 65was invited to be a guest speaker at the Greenwich Series, an informal evening where speakers talk for 10 minutes.  The other speakers were from Amnesty International and Talk To Me London, an organisation making strangers communicate better – both worthy causes, unlike my self-centred adventure.

I had no idea how much I was meant to prepare.  Was it best just to get up and speak? Prepare a PowerPoint presentation? Printed hand-outs? Or perhaps an interpretive dance?  I decided just to talk.

As I started speaking my nerves took an unexpected hold on me.  The audience, gathered in the top room of a Greenwich pub, stared at me intently.  The more I talked, the more I was unsure what was coming out of my mouth, but I think something along the lines of “Blah Blah Blah”.  At the end the audience asked a few questions, which was kind. I probably should have done the dance.

I’ve been invited to talk again at the end of these 365 days. I just hope I’m not dead by then. Or in jail.

Day Sixty-six

…tried to read the Bible

I discovered it takes between 50 to 100 hours to read. I was expecting the bible to be easy to follow, considering how popular it is. I managed 17 pages.

At least I tried.

Neil’s book Review:
Title: The Bible
Publisher: Various
Price: free from most good hotels.
I was slightly overwhelmed by the numbers of characters and felt this book could have been shorter, however I certainly liked the snappy title and couldn’t argue with the price.

Day Sixty-seven

…tried a 5Rhythms

The basic idea is to move to the music however you feel, a bit like jumping around in a club without any alcohol.  At occasional points, a somewhat camp man whispered into a microphone in a slightly creepy way to “just move like the sea” or “feel like the wind” or “set your mind free”

At the end we all sat around in a circle, with a candle in the middle (not sure why), and were invited to talk about our feelings.  We sat in silence for a few minutes staring at each other until one woman whispered the words “thank you” whilst touching her heart. Yeah.

However, one middle-aged gent was rather disappointed.  “It’s not as good as my usual one in Oxford,” he sighed. “People seem to be less into you being touchy feely here in London”.

Day Sixty-eight

…had lunch at a members’ clubDay 68

I spent the whole time speaking in a gentle mannered voice.

I also kept looking around to see if there were any celebrities, wondering “who’s that guy?”

Perhaps everyone else was wondering that about me…

Who am I?

Day Sixty-nine

…Been to the BalletDay 69



Day Seventy

…eaten a whole scotch bonnet chili, twice

having not learnt a lesson from my experience with the Phall curry on Day 28, I tried a Scotch Bonnet Chili.  It wasn’t as hot as I thought it would be, so I immediately popped another in my mouth – once again, I spent the whole night clutching my stomach just for the sake of a new experience. Idiot.

Day Seventy-one

…bathed in £3,740.Day 71

No, it wasn’t mine (in case the Inland Revenue are asking)


…tried Reflexology

Day 29Day Twenty-nine

After my previous day’s unpleasant experience with an unnecessarily hot curry, I felt my body deserved some love.  A friend had suggested I tried Reflexology. I knew little about this type of ‘ology’ except that it involves having your feet poked a bit.

I, once again, turned to the Chinese community to help me.  Incidentally, I’m still taking the free and easy wandering pills the Chinese medicine man sold me on day sixteen and have noticed little change; if anything I’ve recently felt trapped and a bit uneasy.  I wasn’t sure where I could go for reflexology, but was sure the Chinese would have the answer.
I browsed around London’s Chinatown for a while to find the best price for my foot calming treatment, until eventually I entered a shop that offered Oriental medicine and massage.  It wasn’t until I was led downstairs to a little room, complete with a bed, that I suddenly feared it may not have been the type of massage service I was expecting – the words ‘happy ending’ played around in my mind.  The masseuse told me in broken English to take off my things and then she left the room.  I’d definitely asked for reflexology and was sure that meant foot massage, I took off my shoes and socks and lay on the bed hoping I was right.  The masseuse returned, dropped to her knees and started working on my feet – I was honesty relieved it wasn’t a ‘special massage’ as I certainly don’t have the money for that right now.

As the Chinese woman oiled up my feet for a good old poking, I wanted to find out more about reflexology so I asked her to explain it to me, unfortunately it seemed the only word she knew in English was “pain” which she kept repeating, I found this a little disconcerting so thought it best just to keep quiet.

When the session came to an end I left the shop with a limp, I felt a bit wonky, my feet were covered in slop and I was down £22.

To sum up: if you have a trained therapist I imagine Reflexology to be a very beneficial treatment, unfortunately I may possibly have visited a brothel by mistake; where they are a little less qualified.

Health, Uncategorized

…visited a Chinese Medicine Shop, panicked and bought something I probably don’t need.

Day 16Day Sixteen

Here’s a transcript of my exchange with the Chinese Medicine Man on my first experience in a Chinese Medicine Shop (in Brighton, not China). I hope this doesn’t come across slightly racist on my part, but honestly these are the exact words:

Chinese Medicine Man: Hello sir. What you want?

Nervous Neil: Hello. I’ve never been to a Chinese Medicine Shop before, can you tell me more about it?

Chinese Medicine Man: What your problem?

Confused Neil: Sorry?

Chinese Medicine Man: What your problem?

Still Confused Neil: Sorry I don’t understand

Chinese Medicine Man: WHAT YOUR PROBLEM??

It was at this point I realised the man was not trying to start a fight with me, but more get to the bottom of my medical problem.  I guess you can’t really go into a medical shop without a medical problem. I had to think fast. I remembered I have twitching fingers on both hands, something I’ve always ignored but deep down have thought I should get checked out.

Twitchy Neil: I have twitchy fingers but there’s probably nothing you can do about it.

Holding out twitchy fingers

Chinese Medicine Man: You been drinking?

Twitchy Neil: Sorry?

Chinese Medicine Man: You been drinking?

Confused Again Neil: Pardon?

Chinese Medicine Man: You drunk?

It was at this point I realised the man wasn’t suggesting I was drunk but perhaps the twitching was from drinking in general.

Understanding Neil: Yes I drink

The Chinese Medicine Man looks disapprovingly.

Being Judged Neil: But not all the time, just a little.

Chinese Medicine Man: You have stress?

Yes, at this point I did have stress, I was starting to feel stressed.

Stressed Neil: Yes

Chinese Medicine Man: You sweat at night?

Stressed Neil: Er…yes

I don’t really sweat at night but for some reason I was panicking from the interrogation so was just answering whatever I thought he wanted to hear.  Bit stupid really.

Chinese Medicine Man: You hot at night?

Lying Neil: Yes, I suppose so

Chinese Medicine Man: Okay you take these pills

Relieved To Be Coming To End Of Interrogation Neil: Okay

Chinese Medicine Man: That’s nine pounds please

Shocked Neil: Nine pounds? Okay

The man had sold me JIA WEI XIAO YAO WAN, which is a little less catchy title for some medicine than say Nurofen or Rennie Rap-eze, apparently in Chinese it means free and easy wandering pills.  I’ll take them until they run out, or I drop down dead, and see how free my wandering becomes.