Monthly Archives: January 2016

Richard’s 2016: Week Four

(Read up on what #Richards2016 is all about here.)

Week Four, baby! That’s like.. an entire month! But not quite though, it was only 29 days! How four times seven equals twenty nine is just one of those goddamn mathematical mysteries those egghead boffins are never gonna crack.

It’s been another strong week. The haters are growing quieter, and my supporters are maintaining the same level of ambivalence. This is basically just ALL ABOUT ME at this point. HELL YEAHHHHH

January 23rd: Measure Your Feet Day

So easy! C’mon January, gimme a challenge already.

A healthy ten inches! This is info that would have been really helpful when I was busy buying shoes that didn’t even fit two weeks ago. But oh well.

Ironically, ten inches is two short of an actual foot. So my foot isn’t even a foot! Foot for thought, indeed.

January 24th: Peanut Butter Day

Good thing I didn’t have a peanut allergy or not like peanut butter, eh? I went on a bit of trek for this one, cycling all the way down a winding brook to Rhode Island in Cherry Hinton. It’s a lovely spot, like a kind of English version of a diner. Great burgers, great beers and, most importantly, great milkshakes.

It’s out of focus because we were shaking with excitement and flavourful enjoyment. Yes, they crushed up a load of Reese’s Cups of something and mashed in a real milk bottle with a load of milk and ice cream. It was so thick I almost went blind. 10/10.

January 25th: Opposite Day

I didn’t do anything for Opposite Day? Or did I? Maybe in doing the nothing on opposite day I was actually doing the opposite thing to what it was that I should have been doing, and in so doing perfectly fulfilling the purpose of opposite day, unknowingly therefore failing to truly live up to the spirit of opposite day. IF ONLY I HAD A DEGREE IN PHILOSOPHY OR SOMETHING TO HELP ME WITH THIS.

But realtalk, it just came down to a load of lame opposite day jokes.

It didn’t go well.

January 26th: Peanut Brittle Day

Another peanut one?! What is this, peanut month?! (Just kidding, we all know of course that March is Peanut Month).

By the way, it was a little thing called Australia Day too apparently. I strayed (*straya-ed) from my course to enjoy my favourite Tim and Eric thing.

But don’t worry, I did peanut brittle day too!! Turns out it’s super easy. I followed the recipe suggested by Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Their recipe is hilarious because they keep trying to sell you stuff IN THE RECIPE. Like this –

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 13.53.05

Like guys, I’ve already bought the syrup! Job done. You can stop advertising it to me now. Anyway, after figuring out just what the hell “hard ball stage” means, I ended up with something like this. Well, exactly this:

YUM. Like an hour or so in the fridge later and it was ready for smashing.

I can confirm it was incredibly delicious.

January 27th: Chocolate Cake Day

I spent most of the 27th eating all the peanut brittle I’d made on the 26th. So I didn’t really fancy eating a whole chocolate cake, à la Bruce Bogtrotter.  It’s hard to find things that are chocolate cakes without being huge. But one supermarket sweep later and I’d found these.

Note my funny joke there. As you can see from the description, they’re “melting double chocolate cakes smothered in Cadbury milk chocolate.” Perfect! Also delicious.

January 28th: Kazoo Day

Remember when the kazoo was seen as a rare and exotic instrument? Like you’d see one every two years or something? Well, these days you can buy a basic Kazoo from any old tatty toy story (in my case, Hawkin’s Bazaar) for as little as £4! What a time to be alive.

Kazoo in hand, I opened up Spotify and played the song of my people.

Turns out I was playing the wrong end all along. But I think it’s a pretty decent job considering I’m 100% self taught! WORLDWIDE TOUR IN 2017 MAYBE?!

January 29th: International Fun At Work Day

I don’t know what makes something specifically “international fun” but it just so happened we were having an office party on this day anyway. Yay.

In this photo I’m drinking both Spanish and English lagers, which is international enough for me!


WHAT A WEEK. CAN ANYTHING TOP THAT. I BET IT CAN.

Coming up in the next seven days:

  • Croissant Day
  • Backward Day
  • Decorating With Candy Day
  • World Wetlands Day
  • Carrot Cake Day
  • Thank A Mailman Day
  • Chocolate Fondue Day

Thanks for following. Only 336 days more to go!

ps. I have yet to receive the new fridge we’ve been promised. But the power cuts have also mysteriously stopped. What the hell is happening?

Richard’s 2016: Week Three

(Read up on what #Richards2016 is all about here.)

Week three. In the words of Jon Hendren: ohh hell yeeeeaaah babyyy… OOHH HELL YEEEEEAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!! OOHHH HELL YYEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

It’s been a good one. I’ve come close to failure. To losing steam. To packing it all in and calling it a day (as if ‘calling it a day’ wouldn’t be a great title for this project actually). But I’ve persevered regardless. Anyway, right to it. Here’s how I got on.

January 15th: Strawberry Ice Cream Day

This one was easy. Strawberry ice cream is easy to purchase and consume.

Double cornetto joy.

January 16th: International Hot and Spicy Food Day

Even easier. Hot and spicy foods are easy to purchase and consume.

THREE SPICES. That’s right I can handle the heat.

Maybe I should have tried a bit harder. Maybe I could have actually gone to a genuine Cambridge curry house and tried something I’ve never tried before. But I work hard enough already just to bloody stay alive. So, a ready meal it had to be.

January 17th: Kids Inventors’ Day

Not having kids myself, I found this one a bit tricky. It wasn’t clear what I could do to take part. I considered going up to kids in the street with lots of wires and bolts and demanding they invent something there and then. But obviously that was a terrible idea. So I just watched this Simpsons clip about kids inventing stuff instead.

It’s from the Frank Grimes Simpsons episode, which I happen to have recently written about here.

January 18th: Thesaurus Day

Made the obvious joke.

Ha ha ha.

January 19th: Tin Can Day

GOT THE TINNIES IN LADS!!!!!

They were consumed.

January 20th: Disc Jockey Day

All I could think of for this was a composition I made years and years ago when I thought making music might be something I’d be any good at.

As I listened back to this, I reflected on how close to the sun I had flown here. I wouldn’t call it awful though. Just kinda misguided. (As in, it lacked any guidance or direction whatsoever).

What was annoying on the 20th is that it was Penguin Awareness Day too, and everyone on Twitter was buzzing about it. I didn’t take part. Firstly, I know what a bloody penguin is. Secondly, I HAVE A PLAN AND THE PLAN IS GOOD AND I MUST STICK TO THE PLAN AT ALL COSTS.

January 21st: Granola Bar Day

You’d think this would be easy. So did I. It wasn’t though???

I started off the day with a literal bowl of granola from good ol’ Graze.

I then expected to follow this up with a granola bar at the office. I’m lucky enough to work somewhere that provides snacks like this for us to enjoy. But we were out of granola bars that day. I even raided the stock cupboard in search of an oaty fix. But it was not to be.

I also forgot to buy a granola bar at the shops later.

So I didn’t actually eat a ‘granola bar.’ You wanna call that a failure? Huh? You wanna call ME out? You’ve got some frickin’ nerve and I don’t like your attitude one bit.

BESIDES, I ate enough granola for breakfast for it to count. There was certainly at least one bar’s worth in that bowl. It just so happened to not be in bar form.

And I make the rules so shut up.

January 22nd: Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day

By far the greatest day yet. Just the title alone is spectacular.

think the day is basically supposed to be some kind of ‘pay attention to your cat day.’ Like take some time to see if your cat is happy and comfortable, buy them a new toy or something. But I chose to take it literally.

I have a cat back at proper home. My cat is called Splat. Here is a picture of Splat.

Blue Eyed Cat by Richard Cook

Thankfully, Mother has made a Facebook page for the cat. Add Splat Cook as a Facebook friend today!

Splat had some questions for me.

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 13.05.52

And I was more than happy to answer them.

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 13.06.29

This is good. Very good. Good job me.


COMING UP IN THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS:

  • January 23rd: Measure Your Feet Day
  • January 24th: Peanut Butter Day
  • January 25th: Opposite Day
  • January 26th: Peanut Brittle Day
  • January 27th: Chocolate Cake Day
  • January 28th: Kazoo Day
  • January 29th: International Fun At Work Day

It’s gonna be great! So see you then.

ps. House power cut update: They’re sending us a new fridge. I hope that fixes it. I really hope that fixes it.

Richard’s 2016: Week Two

(Read up on what #Richards2016 is all about here.)

It’s Week Two, baby! To all you haters out there who said I wouldn’t make it, guess what? I made it! Hahaha. Yup, screw you all the literally zero people who said that. Hahahaha.

Here’s just what the hell I got up to.

January 8th: Show & Tell At Work Day

Easy! I brought my LUCKY COIN into work.

2016-01-08 09.11.29

Except it turns out that lucky coins aren’t very interesting. Good thing then that I happened to be wearing REALLY COOL SHOES. Here’s my showing them to my amazed co-workers!!

What makes my shoes so special you ask? And why are we all wearing white shirts in that video?! Well, the answer to one of those questions is that they’re special Wes Anderson shoes. Here’s a closeup.

View this post on Instagram

ZISSHOES

A post shared by Richard Cook (@cookywook) on

They’re a replica model of the shoes worn by Steve Zissou in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou so of course they’re incredible.

Only problem is that they’re a size too small!!! So I didn’t wear them for very long. I’m trying to get a replacement and/or refund because, my friends, these shoes were not cheap.

January 9th: Apricot Day

I’m not a big apricot fan. I don’t think I’ve ever actually sat down and eaten one to be honest. But if this life project is about anything (and I’m not saying it is), it’s about trying new things. So I bought a big bag of dried apricots and munched the hell outta them.

NOTE TO READER: Do not eat lots and lots of apricots if your body is not accustomed to a high-fibre diet.

January 10th: Bittersweet Chocolate Day

I’ve had some criticism that all of these just boil down to me eating things and that this isn’t a hard thing to do at all.

I guess it’s a fair point.

January 11th: Step in a Puddle and Splash your Friends Day

Didn’t eat anything on January 11th! Well, I did eat lots of things. But nothing related to the day itself. No, this challenge required a physical effort on my effort. Physical effort, skill, and cunning:

At the end you can see my slapping Matt there. I wish it had perfectly fit in because it would have been some beautiful comic timing. But Vine is a pain in the arse to work with at the best of times so I had to shoot this whole thing live. I hope you enjoy it.

January 12th: Pharmacist Day

Tough one. Because a pharmacist is technically a person. And I wasn’t able to find one. And I was in meetings and work stuff all day so I couldn’t run out and find any.

I went to the comments on the Pharmacist Day page for ideas. Check out how crazy they are:

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Shoutout to Donald Robert Buetow, aka ‘Don down the street!’

Instead, I did a couple of compromises.

  • I listened to some Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. ‘Me and Mia’ is an incredible song.

  • Tweeted my love for pharmacists to the world:
  • Took a picture with a PHARMACY. Which is good enough for me.
    (“A pharmacist has been here!” I thought to myself.)
  • Enjoyed the Limmy pharmacy bit (via my friend Ed).

All in all, a victory for pharmacists everywhere.

January 13th: Peach Melba Day

A peach melba is a very specific thing. If you don’t know, it’s “a dessert of peaches and raspberry sauce with vanilla ice cream.”

My office doesn’t really have any of those things. And I had no idea where I could get one in Cambridge. So I went for the DIY option:

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients

1 tin sliced peaches from the Tesco Express
Greek yogurt from the office fridge
Raspberry conserve you found in a cupboard
As much sugar as you can sprinkle on top

Method

Assemble ingredients in a bowl.
Eat.
Try to get past the disgusting taste and texture.
Repent sins.

Eugh. Probably the day I’ve enjoyed the least. Truly disgusting.

January 14th: Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day

I was worrying about how to do this one. But then I heard that by a massive coincidence, a local sicilian cafe would be providing lunch in the office that day. Result! So I chomped down on a plate of this:

2016-01-14 11.42.08

However, I wasn’t 100% sure what I was eating was pastrami. And no way am I gonna let a day pass that I’m not 100% satisfied with (peach melba day aside), so I also went and bought some and had that for dinner!

2016-01-14 19.38.53

Sure, I know that for it to qualify as a true Reuben-style pastrami sandwich, it ought to have been drowning in mustard. But I used sriracha sauce instead, which is basically a more delicious red version of mustard. YAY.


Here’s what’s coming up next week:

  • January 15th – Strawberry Ice Cream Day
  • January 16th International Hot and Spicy Food Day
  • January 17th Kid Inventors’ Day
  • January 18th Thesaurus Day
  • January 19th Tin Can Day
  • January 20th Disc Jockey Day
  • January 21st Granola Bar Day
  • January 22nd Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day

Less food-based ones than usual in there! Particularly looking forward to the 22nd too…

Thanks for reading! See ya next week???

ps. Power situation in my house still not sorted. If anyone from Leaders Cambridge is reading this, please help I am so cold.

Richard’s 2016: Week One

Happy new year! It’s 2016 and my “big dumb life project” is officially up and running.

To recap: I’m living each day of the year according to the ‘day of the year’ it is.

It’s not been the most spectacular start, but here’s the rundown of how the first week has gone.

January 1st: Copyright Law Day

Yay! Copyright Law! Way to start on a high note, 2016.

Seriously, I almost considered packing the whole idea in right away with this. What a terribly boring day. But there was good news. The website I use (daysoftheyear.com) had this advice for celebrating the day:

The best way to celebrate Copyright Law Day is to think of a way to show your gratitude to the creators of some computer program or work of literature, music or art that you particularly enjoy

Easy enough. So I tweeted some content creators!

Some good likes and stuff in there I guess. Hooray. A New Year’s Day success.

January 2nd: Science Fiction Day

Great, I love science fiction. So this was a bit easier. First up, I whipped on this Bender t-shirt:

Then I went over to the Cambridge Computing History museum. I did stuff like this:

“But wait!” you say, “Computing isn’t science fiction! It’s just plain old science!”

First of all, shut up! Secondly, I took the time to have a go on an original Commodore 64 version of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy video game. It’s one of the best and funniest text adventures ever made (I died SO much). Play it yourself here.

In the evening, I watched Attack the Block. It was very science fiction and quite good.

January 3rd: Drinking Straw Day

I attempted to drink everything through a straw. However, I don’t actually own a straw so literally had to go to a pub and make an arse of myself for this one.

January 4th: Hypnotism Day

By this point of the year I was quite ill. Too much Christmas celebrating and not enough sleep I reckon. Drinking a pint through a pub straw probably didn’t help either.

Thankfully, Spotify has lots of self hypnotism albums! And I found one that promised to make me feel better: Hypnosis For Pain Relief And Mind Body Healing, Chronic And Acute Pain Control. So yeah, I gave that a listen.

It did not make me feel any better.

January 5th: Bird Day

Harder than you think. I tried birdspotting (well, I looked out of a window for a bit). But I didn’t really see much. Instead, I decided to eat chicken for lunch AND dinner.

McNuggets for dinner. (Not McPictured).

In retrospect, I should have had an EGG for breakfast. But c’mon it’s early days still. Besides, there’ll most likely be an egg day at some point.

January 6th: Three Kings Day Bean Day

Ok, so the website I’m basing this on said that January 6th was Three Kings Day aka Epiphany aka Twelfth Night. However, on the 5th I went to see a splendid production of Twelfth Night in London.

2016-01-05 23.15.14

It was a charity production full of comedians I like and was really good.

It wasn’t really fair for me to celebrate the same day again on the 6th. So I kinda cheated and opted for Bean Day instead.

I struggled through the whole day trying to find beans. I couldn’t find a bean bag to sit on, nor was anyone willing to call me “old bean.” Instead, I just settled on having beans on toast for dinner.

I didn’t take a picture because you know what a 26 year old eating baked beans looks like. Maybe you even are one.

January 7th: I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore Day

Today! So I’m guessing this one is a reference to that Network movie, right?

But I didn’t fancy a full-on breakdown at work or shouting at anyone.

Instead I focussed on an actual problem in my life: my house. My house has been having power cuts pretty much weekly for years. I’ve reported it to my letting agent, and they’ve done nothing about it. Recently, I managed to get them to send an electrician round – but he had absolutely no idea what was causing it.

This morning I was woken up at 5.30 by yet another power cut (yes, I can hear power cuts). Mad as hell, I wasn’t going to take it anymore. So I emailed my letting agent AND the electrician to complain.

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 19.40.16

All my letting agent did was forward my message onto the electrician. That’s kind of annoying, as I basically called the electrician useless. Long story short, he gave me a call in my lunch break.

Given the nature of the cuts (random, happen at night) they reckon it’s either my fridge or the boiler as these are the only things that are always on. BUT they can’t narrow down what it is. So they want me to either turn off my fridge or my boiler and see what happens.

Obviously this is terrible. Turn off my fridge and all my delicious food spoils. Turn off my boiler and I lose all my radiators and hot showers (by the way, I’m still quite ill). My housemates don’t really fancy either option. So I’m stuck.

Power vs. Food vs. Hot Water. A true trilemma. I really don’t know what to do. So I guess I’ll have to take it for a little bit longer until I figure something out. Grr.


What a week, eh! What’s next week got in store for me?

  • January 8th: Show & Tell At Work Day
  • January 9th: Apricot Day
  • January 10th: Bittersweet Chocolate Day
  • January 11th: Step in a Puddle and Splash your Friends Day
  • January 12th: Pharmacist Day
  • January 13th: Peach Melba Day
  • January 14th: Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day

Erm, cool. A lotta food in there. And some tough ones.

Tune in next week to see how I get on, I guess? Or follow the action on Twitter with hashtag #Richards2016.

ps. I discovered another fine fellow on Twitter doing a similar project to me. Follow him here.