Category Archives: Ways to earn money whilst writing

Live From The Booth 7 – If You Like Pina Coladas… (I do not anymore).

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Live From The Booth 7 – If You Like Pina Coladas… (I do not anymore).

Today I was testing Pina Coladas for my food tasting job. At first when I saw ‘Pina Coladas’ I thought yay! Then I saw that it was non-alcoholic and I thought boo! I have a special hatred for non-alcoholic drinks. It is not because they lack alcohol (but seriously, who would drink Pina Coladas with no rum?) but rather that they are stealthed in with the proper alcoholic drinks. They don’t even give them a special stand separate from other proper drinks so people can know to avoid them. And yes, I once bought a bottle of wine that was non-alcoholic by mistake and spent the evening wondering why I was not get squiffy as planned.

But back to the food tasting. I had 32 shots of non-alcoholic Pina Coladas, which equals one litre of the stuff. They were placed on my table in rows of eight and I felt like that scene in Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark where his love interest is doing shots with a guy to win money.  In essence I was earning money, but it lacked the tension of drinking with gun toting bad guys. The drink was essentially pineapple juice and coconut cream. Lets just say it got a little much by sample 12. On the plus side, the pineapple juice has to count as one of my five a day right?

It was a weird test too. We had to hold the drink in our mouths and press start on the ipad. Then we had to say what the dominant flavour was. In all cases, it was pineapple. We then had to swallow and click swallow and say what the dominant after-taste was. Again, in all cases, it was pineapple.

I am sitting here feeling quite sick and wondering what this food tasting malarky is doing to my poor tummy. The things I do to earn a buck. One final thought for you. If water biscuits are used in food testing to cleanse the palate between samples, what do they use to clean the palate when it is water biscuits that are being tested?

Take care buddies,

David.

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Live from the booth 6 – Supercharged David.

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Live from the booth 6 – Supercharged David.

Today is a double food tasting session day. I had one this morning and have another one this afternoon. Oddly enough, I am actually losing weight at the minute. That might be the gardening work though.

So, for breakfast today I had chicken and mushroom pie followed by three different chewable vitamin tablets. This was a absolute improvement on the brussel sprouts and five desserts breakfast I had last week. I have to say that I am fizzing with energy so I think the vitamin tablets were very effective. Is this my super-hero origins story? Will I Hulk out and be super strong because of the tablets? One sec, let me try something…

Nope. That really did not work. I just tried to lift a small kitten and it defeated me quite easily. Drat. I was so hoping that I could get super-strength without going to the gym. Oh well. I am looking forward to this afternoon’s session, but I am little worried too. I am completely convinced that one of the women there really does not like me. I know right? What is there not to like about little ol’ lovable me? I am surely quaint and my personal hygiene is impeccable, so what gives? Anyway, I will hope the lady running it is the one that likes me.

One final thing. If you type in David M. Beecroft into google images then the picture of a booth used as the featured image in this post comes before a picture of my actual face. Thanks Google! If anyone is confused, I am the one with the face. The booth is the one with, erm, boothiness? Just in case you get the two of us mixed up.

Take care buddies,

David.

Gardening job – Day three.

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Gardening job – Day three.

Today has been flat out weird. I woke up too early and mooched around the flat for a bit. I chatted to Dora Argh and John Rapp who are two of the funniest people I have had the pleasure to meet. I often wonder what project I will be working on with each person I meet. I imagine creating the weirdest sit-com ever with Dora. I just want to hear John do audio books. His voice is like treacle poured over the lungs of a chronic smoker, but in a good way. 

So, anyways, I was gardening today. I am an expert with the leaf blower apparently, according to my boss. I am really not, it is just blowing leaves in a certain direction. I realised that, if cowboys rustle cows, then as someone who pushes leaves in a certain direction, then I am a leaf rustler. Yes, I have been waiting to make that stupid joke for over eight hours, but damn it felt good. 

Then as, I came home, I saw that the mega-super-awesome Dr Kirsten Slater had nominated for a Liebster Award. Oh, man, you have no idea how much I love you for that Kirsten. It was such a cool thing to do. You didn’t need to, but you did. So thank you.

I guess I just want to express how much small kindnesses mean to me. I will repay that kindness a hundred fold. 

Take care buddies, 

David. 

Gardening job day 2 – Panning for gold.

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Gardening job day 2 – Panning for gold.

Well, ye haw (fires pistols into the air). Welcome to rootinest, darn tootinest post about my work day you ever did see. I found gold I tells ya, Gold!

(Clears throat). My apologies. I do not know what came over me. Oh actually, I do. Some American friends said ‘my English speaking ways sometimes confuse them’ so I felt I should roll out the welcome mat and give it a little yankee-doodle flair. By the way guys, I confuse many people with my English speaking ways, including other English people, so don’t feel bad. I confuse myself a lot of the time now I think about it. 

So, second day on the job and I was sifting soil from stones. I honestly expected to find gold as I panned the soil. I even cleared it with my boss by saying ‘If I find gold, it is mine right?’ He just laughed and said yes because he thought I was making a joke. I was so not making a joke. I didn’t even want the gold for the money. I just wanted to be able to do my Terrance and Phillip impression from South Park and say ‘Oh look Phillip. I have found treasure.’ Sadly, there was no gold. Only rocks. Lots and lots of rocks. 

I also imagined myself in a Rocky training montage as I carried around buckets of rocks. I fast-forwarded to the bit where I am super ripped in my mind, instead of the slightly flabby guy I am now in reality because, eurgh, the actual getting there is going to be really hard. Maybe, if I do enough Rocky montages in my mind, my body will respond and get ripped by itself. Yeah, that makes total sense to me. Eye of the Tiger baby! Joking aside, I do feel a little slimmer though, and it is nice exercise. One sec, there is a really weird noise coming from outside and I have to see what it is. 

Be right back. 

Holy shit. I do not know what sort of bird makes that noise but it is terrifying. I have shut the windows to be on the safe side. Now, where was I? Oh yes, I cocked up my post gardening bath. I used up all the hot water and put too much cold in. So, I just lay in a cold bath for a bit as I didn’t want to waste the water. Now, I am off for another food tasting session. The things I do to keep writing.

Take care buddies, 

David.

New gardening job aka How much fun can a guy have with a leaf blower?

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New gardening job aka How much fun can a guy have with a leaf blower?

Oh sweet lord the answer is a guy (well, a guy like me) can have way too much fun with a leaf blower.

But, I am getting ahead of myself. My new job as a gardener left me sweaty, achy, green fingered and feeling like a man. However, my fiance would object most strongly to me actually having a man, so I contented myself with a quick thought about Ryan Gosling and moved on.

Warning – To all my female followers. Prepare yourself for the picture of me with my leaf blower. Or at least sit down before seeing it. It is pretty racy as you can see.

My first job was blowing leaves. As a child in a man’s body, I giggled at the blowing and sucking options on my bad ass leaf blower and then set to work. Visions of every 80’s action film I have ever seen or every fps I have ever played filled my mind. I was Arnie in Terminator 2 with the gatling gun shooting down helicopters; I was Ripley from Aliens melting eggs with a flamethrower; I was Max Payne shooting out the back of the crashed bus in Max Payne 3. And yes, I did pretend to bullet-time the leaves.

One interesting thing about leaves; for things that are designed to blow in the wind, they can be stubborn little buggers when confronted with a leaf blower. Some of them really wanted to hang out under the trees with their other leaf buddies, but I chased them away like a lady with a broom chasing away kids that are playing too loudly near her house.

Due to health and safety reasons, I had to wear ear protectors. There is a strange feeling when everything around you is making no noise and you are in your own bubble of silence. Odd thoughts crossed my mind. I had a Homer Simpson moment akin to when he discovers something new and uses it in every facet of his life. The only thing I could think of was making Gauri’s hair go crazy when I surprise attack her with the leaf blower as she comes through the door. I still might do it, just for giggles.

Then it was time for raking up the leaves, so I took the chance to practise some of my more deadly ninja moves with the rake and spun, and twirled and cut and slashed at imaginary enemies. When I had finished, I ended up in a total Bruce Lee pose, with the rake behind my back and my palm face out Tai Chi stylie. It was then that I noticed that some people from the business park next door had come out for a cigarette and were looking at me. So, I spun my rake around, slipped it through the handle of the bucket I was using, lifted it, and as it slid down the handle of the rake I caught it. Hmm, I wonder if I really am a ninja, but I am not aware of it. Like Jason Bourne.

Then it was time to pack up and finish for the day. I am only doing five hours a week, and I literally am working where I live, so that is very cool. Gives me time to blog and write and do whatever else it is that I do these days.

Oh, I nearly forgot. I found a shiny five pence piece. I pocketed it. Later, when I was racing for pink slips on Thunder Road, I dropped it and as I picked it up, someone opened the door and knocked me clean out. Luckily, Danny Zuko took my place and…No, I do apologise. I was thinking of the film Grease. I often get my own reality and that film mixed up.

And on that note,

Take care buddies,

David.

Live from the Booth – Brussel Sprouts are not the Breakfast of Champions.

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Live from the Booth – Brussel Sprouts are not the Breakfast of Champions.

I was back doing my food testing this morning. It was in a different room than before. It was huge and held fifty people. The tables were divided by a white screen of wood. Quite why this was, I am not sure. It really did not stop me seeing the person sat next to me. And its not like I was in an exam and someone could copy my answers. Talking of the person sat next to me, I discovered a new game to play. It is called chair roulette.

When I got there, the chairs were half full. I naturally sat at a table with two empty chairs. Even though I am engaged and have no intention of hitting on anyone, I make it a point to never sit next to a girl, because, well, who wants to be that creepy guy? (except for that actual creepy guy). So, I was alone at my table and in one of those moods where I just want to be left alone and do a bit of writing in between tests. So, obviously, someone sat next to me and started to chat away. Now, I am not here to judge, and he was actually a pretty cool guy. He did tell me however, that he leaves messages on the ipads we use for the next person to read. One the messages he left was ‘I am watching you.’

So, I carried on writing and thought about how chair roulette works. I heard one guy behind me chatting away like mad to a young girl who was clearly trying to exit the conversation, but utterly unable to do so. I guess the trick is to either pick an empty table and hope for the best. Or sit next to someone who doesn’t look crazy. Then again, what if the person I sit next to thinks ‘Oh jeez. Chair roulette has screwed me this time with this guy.’

The first test was brussel sprouts. Now, brussel sprouts are not the breakfast of champions and are no way nice to start my eating day with. However, I soldiered bravely on. There was a long break between tests, so I got to thinking about the other people at the testing. A section in my book reminded me of the situation. 

‘The train carriage, Emillina noted, was curiously busy for mid-morning on a Monday; it was almost full.

‘They can’t all be off to save their fathers from old age and retrieve a very unusual watch from a nasty old lady.’ she said to herself. ‘Then again, if I am off on an adventure, then there is no reason that they aren’t off on an adventure too.’

Emillina thought that if it were happening to her then it could easily be happening to anyone else and wished them all good luck on their individual adventures, whatever they might be.’

It occurred to me that I knew why I was there, but what about everyone else? What were their stories? I really got hooked on this idea. Why was the girl in front of me fingering a ring so much? Was she regretting the decision to say yes when she was proposed too? Did it have sentimental value? I should add here that my imagination tends to run away with me. It can be great for stories, but it can be a problem in real life. I saw people reading papers or books. I am guessing that the people playing candy crush had given up on life (lol, I know that is going to annoy people, but relax, it is just a joke). 

Then, a serious thought came to me. It came from watching one guy eat everything he was given. I mean all of it. You don’t need to finish the samples, but he did. I then thought about the rise in people using food shelters or soup kitchens in the past few years. I wonder if people were there to earn some money, but also to be fed because they couldn’t afford food. This idea bummed me out, because it is most likely an actual thing. Sad times. 

Two side things. One, I sat under the air-con so I was low level shivering for the entire session. Which is also probably why I have a cold now. But fear not, no cold will stop me from blogging (but perhaps it should will be the retort from some). Two, we now get metal cutlery instead of plastic. I know; ooh la la right?

Oh yeah, I got asked the most mind bending question. I was asked to describe the texture of cloudy lemonade. How do you describe the texture of a liquid? It was a ‘there is no spoon’ moment and I just did not know how to answer. 

Oh, and to end on a good note, there was a problem in the kitchen so they had to cancel some of the tests. I worked till 11.30 and got paid until 12.00. Good times. 

Take care buddies, 

David.