Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Losing my mind through the medium of cheese

Last night I was in a little village out in Yorkshire and I went into a corner shop to buy some cheese. I wanted some of my favourite cheese - a hardish white coloured one. The problem came when I tried to order it and found that I couldn't actually remember what the cheese was called. I knew it wasn't Wensleydale, that's much crumblier than my favourite cheese. But other than that I was drawing a blank. The information had just been completely removed from my mind.

Even looking at the cheeses on display didn't help. I couldn't spot my cheese, even though I had a certainty that it was there somewhere, possibly hiding behind the Brie. The shop assistant was trying to be helpful. "Is it White Leicester that's your favourite cheese sir?". "No!". "Then is it White Stilton that's your favourite cheese sir?". "No!". And so on.

Eventually I had to leave the store slightly embarassed and go back to what I was doing, cheeseless.

Later in the evening I predictably remembered what the cheese was called, but sadly the shop was shut and so I could not go back there.

Now I have again forgotten what the cheese was called.


Now the above story is blatantly not true. It is in fact part of a dream I had last night. And I definitely did remember the name of the cheese and I definitely now can't.

But then it gets strange: Whilst writing the above, "White Stilton" wasn't the cheese I wanted to use, I wanted to use another cheese. But I couldn't (and can't!) remember what the bloody thing is called. I tried www.cheese.com, a very good cheese site, and was unable to spot the cheese I wanted in its alphabetical list of cheeses.

Weirdly, it has gone from my head, and now I'm not even sure if it's a real cheese I was thinking of. I have a feeling that the dream cheese wasn't a real cheese and had the name "Anne" in it. But I could be wrong.

So now I'm thinking: Is this what it feels like to lose your mind? Do you have dreams that foreshadow reality? Dreams that purely by the fact that they were dreamt, then cause a reflection of that dream to actually happen? You dream of forgetting cheese and then in real life a part of your mind that used to have a cheese name in it has now become blanked? Am I going mad?

And of all my dreams that could come true, why does it have to be the one about forgetting cheese names!!! Not fair!

A missed opportunity

I got home from work and sat down to watch last night's Big Brother. There's a chap in there called Derek who's rather posh and very camp. He's a Tory and used to write speeches for Margaret Thatcher. He has a bizarre habit of talking to himself when alone (hard to tell whether this is just an affectation for the cameras, or if he really is like that) and today he made the following comments on fellow housemate Lesley (aka The Fat Slapper):

"That Lesley. What do you make of that Lesley? She's rather frightening. She's the authentic fishwife - tits hanging out, effing and blinding, knickers up her arse. Gosh. Hard to believe that in this day and age that they still produce people like that."

Hard for him to belive, possibly. Not so hard for me to believe since I see tons of girls just like her around York on any Friday or Saturday night. Often vomiting on street corners, or possibly just shrieking. But then Derek gets to the heart of the matter and identifies the real problem with Britain's chavs:

"She said she'd never eaten a parsnip before!"

Yes, the most offensive thing to him about the girl is that she's never taken parsnip. I can't believe the Conservatives missed that on their posters at the last election:

People in the UK aren't eating enough parnsips: Are you thinking what we're thinking?

That would have changed things.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Someone likes yoghurt!

I went to see Richard Herring last night at a local comedy club. To describe him as a personal hero of mine would be pushing things a little, but I have been following most of what he's been doing for the last ten years or so. Or back as far as Fist of Fun, whichever was earlier.

I therefore had a pretty good idea that a large part of the show would be about yoghurt (though I didn't have the details). Despite having this knowledge myself, I'd decided not to share it with the person I was going with - "Hey, do you wanna go and see a slightly chubby man do a show about yoghurt?" is not often going to meet with a favourable response. Luckily the yoghurt routine was actually pretty funny. And really wouldn't work well with any attempt to explain it more here.

It was funny watching him deliberately try to wind up the reviewer from the local paper by making absurdly obscene suggestions to his girlfriend. I assume it was deliberate, or else it was a spectacularly bad choice of audience member to offer his single trout sized sperm to. Which again doesn't really make much sense here without a lot of explanation.

The club is in the basement of the local arts cinema and takes place on some Sundays. I haven't been for a couple of years since it normally sells out in advance and a lot of the names playing aren't immediately familiar unless you know about these things - though that obviously doesn't mean that they aren't funny. Sunday's normally a school night too :-)

The bar can be a little slow but only because most people going up seem to be ordering four pint pitchers of beer - normally between two or three people, but I did see one person having one on their own. It seems slightly wrong to me to order four pints for your own consumption all at once, if only because the lager will have gone warm and flat by the time you get to the end. Not nice.


Note: If you want to go and see a slightly chubby man do a show about yoghurt, then why not go and see Rich at the Edinburgh Festival this year? I'm sponsoring the programme!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Here we go again

And Big Brother returns to the telly. It must be summer.

Seems like they've done well at finding some new freaks for us to stare at for the next few months. It's quite early to have a view on who is the most freakish, so I think I'll stick with "all of them" for now.

For the first time, I have access to 24 hrs a day (ish) streaming TV from the house, since E4 has now become available on Freeview. I've got it on now. It's kind of dull. The most irritating thing is the regular advert breaks because they only seem to be advertising two seperate things - Ringtones (mainly that frog thing) and debt consolidation services.

I thought at first that these adverts were aimed at quite different audiences. But having seen how much the ringtones cost, I suspect that people could end up with quite hefty debts if they subscribed to them for a few weeks.

Actually, I think I'm going to have to turn it off. The ringtone adverts are starting to drive me mental.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Where are they?

One thing I noticed today is that there are much less swamps in the world than you might think there were if all your knowledge came from films. In films, charaacters enter dangerous swamps at least once a day. In real life, I can't recall ever even seeing a sign pointing to one. Or more likely, warning me not to enter because of the dangers.

There aren't many bogs around either.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Farewell to arms

I used to have a sword at work. It lived on top of my small drawers and was useful for poking the air conditioning when it broke.

As of yesterday, I no longer have a sword.

We were on a fancy dress pub treasure hunt and I was dressed as Angel. This didn't look too weird because I look exactly like him most of the time anyway. My sword was an addition that I figured would be handy for demon slaying should we find any.

There were no obvious demons and somehow I got away with taking the sword around with me all night. It's amazing what you can get past bouncers if you have a long coat. But when it came to going to a nightclub later I figured that enough was enough - the sword would have to go. Although it would have been interesting to find out what charge would have been made for sword cloakroom storage. 20 pence?

So I dumped the sword. I stabbed it into a dumpster outside a record shop. It was sticking out like in King Arthur stories. I like to think that later on some kid came along, retrieved the sword and has now become King of York. All hail the new king.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Shock News

Occasionally you hear some news that just seems so strange, so outlandish so wrong that for a moment you just freeze. News that is quite simply, unbelievable. For the bit of news to be true, you'll have to rearrange your entire worldview, change expectations and live your life in a slightly different way.

I had some news like that recently. I'll share it with you.

Take a deep breath: Fibbers (York's finest gig venue) is having air-condtioning installed!! Yes, actual air conditioning that makes the place cooler when it's hot. When I was in there the other day there was evidence that they'd begun the installation process. By now it may all be ready and functioning.

I've been going there for many years now, and the heat is something that you get used to. It's part of what makes Fibbers the place that it undoubtedly is.

This could be the end of huge sweatage when it's busy. Or when it's hot. Or when I've taken a big coat and a jumper along and am too lazy to take them off and too tight to put them in the cloakroom (Cloakroom! That alone was a radical enough change when they installed it last year). But I'm slightly worried that a cool Fibbers won't be a cool Fibbers any more (see what I did there?). That it'll lose some of it's charm.

Or maybe it'll just make it much nicer and more pleasant for everyone.

I'll let you know.


Update, 1927 25/05/05

The Fibbs website confirms that the A/C is now live. And they've used the same "cool" "joke". Great minds and all that...


Update to the update, 2341 25/05/05

I've just got back from Fibbers. The A/C is definitely installed. But it ain't turned on yet. It was hot.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Hanky Warnings

I've just finished watching series 4 of 24. Like Revenge Of The Sith before it, it should have come with a warning about viewers needing to have hankies to hand.

Kleenex could have got a good Star Wars sponsorship thing going - selling little boxes of big tissues ("Wookie Size"?) in cinema foyers before the film. And they'd sell if they put a Hanky Warning up. Let's face it, us Star Wars fans will buy anything with a lightsabre on it. Twice.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Buy! Don't Buy! Buy!

Belle and Sebastian put out a compilation album (Push Barman To Open Old Wounds) today featuring all the songs from their first 10 or so EPs. An utterly fantastic collection and most of the songs aren't on any of the albums. I wanted to buy it, especially as it looked to have nice packaging.

It wasn't even that expensive - £10 would have been more than sufficient.

The only problem was that I already own all the tracks (more than once in a couple of cases - there were a couple of the eaaly EPs that I liked so much I bought them twice!) so I really don't need to buy them again. Having a song on one CD should normally be sufficient. But I wanted to buy it anyway. I held it and fondled it in the shop for a while.

See, I could actually justify buying it - I could keep it in my bedroom and listen to the CDs in bed, whilst still keeping the originals in the living room (as well as on the laptop. And the iPod). So it wouldn't be just like I was completely wasting money. And it does have nice packaging.

Somehow I managed to restrain myself. But I'm not sure if I'll be able to do that for long. I had to buy two other CDs today instead, just to distract me. There's a certain sense of inevitability here. And B&S are the best band in the world. Ever.

Yes, they are.

Fi-Lo who?

Back at the real Fibbers last night, rather than the fake one in the centre of town. It looked like they hadn't had chance to put the black backdrop back up on the stage yet though.

Fi-Lo-Beddow were playing. Not a particularly well known band, but it's actually just Mark Morriss from The Bluetones with an acoustic guitar. He was quite apologetic at times: "I'm not the best guitarist in The Bluetones. I'm not even the third best.". Well, he sounded alright to me.

Quite a mix of songs "Some old, some new, some borrowed and some... Blue". A reference to his band there rather than implying that he was going to start playing some dirty rugby songs. So what did we have? Starting with Keep The Home Fires Burning, he moved onto a new song which was followed by an old Teenage Fanclub track and Gouge Away by The Pixies. And then more songs.

The new solo songs actually sounded pretty good to me. Better than some of the more recent Bluetones material. He played a couple of tracks from his as yet unreleased and unfinished CD (ie using a CD player) towards the end and they're recorded with a band rather than just solo so they could easily actually be Bluetones Material if you weren't paying attention. Which I think I mean as a compliment.

So a pretty good gig. Finally, it should also be mentioned that Mark is currently sporting much shorter hair than usual. This confused me a little at first, but once he started speaking it was clear that he wasn't an imposter.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

There's Good Music And There's Less Good Music

Yesterday was quite a musical day.

In the afternoon, there was a free gig in the city centre as part of York Live 2005. York Live is described as a "music festival" though to be honest that description is pushing it a little bit. I'd really only gone down to see Four Day Hombre, but it was a sunny day, I had a couple of tinnys and I wasn't on my own for once so it was all good.

It's the first time I've seen the band since they finished recording the album (out later this year) and thankfully they were still great. Shame the set wasn't longer but since I'll be seeing them again on Wednesday I shan't complain too much.

Here they are on "The Big Stage":

Four Day Hombre - Parliament Sq

As far as I'm aware, there wasn't a second "Small Stage" anywhere about. Although given the size it would have had to be, it would have been easy to miss had it existed.

The evening held further musical delights since it was the annual Eurovision Song Contest. 24 slicings of Euro-pop live from The Ukraine. Since last year's winner, Ruslana, had gone for a tribal drum feel, this year everyone seemed to have gone for a tribal drum feel (with 2 or 3 notable exceptions) which made a lot of the songs feel even more samey than normal. But overall the contest was perhaps a little unexciting this year. Which is why we have wine.

The Moldovian entry was my favourite mainly because it was utterly bizarre. A man kind of sang a shouty song about how his grandma likes to bang a drum. Then his grandma got out of a rocking chair and banged a big drum. Really. It's possible that the song may have a had a subtle meaning that I just didn't pick up. But I don't think it did. I'm not even sure if the Moldovan people go in for subtle meanings. I'm not even sure where Moldova is. Or what it's for.

But at least the Grandma Drum was a different drum to the jungle drums that everyone else had.

The UK entry didn't do so well. Not last place, but not far off. I don't think anybody likes us.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


I'm waiting for a taxi to take me to Eurovision. It'll be here soon. Bye!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Have you cried today?

Yesterday, I had a great idea for a post. Then today, today happpened, and it slipped my mind. But I have remembered it now, so will maybe ressurect the idea one day.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Excellent, the film is

Just got back from SW3, and... it's great! Really, it is! I'm happy :-)

I shan't say more now, since I don't wish to spoil anything for those of you going over the next few days. But...


Beware the hooded top, my son

I heard this morning that Bluewater shopping centre in Kent has reported a noticeable increase in customer numbers since it banned people wearing hooded tops. The reason for the ban was that hooded tops apparently turn young people from sweet angels to despicable troublemakers. And gangs of these troublemakers had been hanging round the shops making trouble – shoplifting, swearing at old people and spitting gum on the floor. The usual.

I'm not quite sure of the mechanism by which the hooded top is supposed to alter the behaviour pattern of youngsters in this way – a mind control device in the hood is the obvious one but I have no evidence to prove this. Clearly it's inconceivable that these could just be "kids gone bad" who would still hang around and cause trouble regardless of whether or not they are wearing a hood?. No, it must be the hood controlling them (or maybe it's The Hood from Thunderbirds?).

But this is only the start.

Hooded tops are not the only item of clothing that have the power to control minds and alter behaviour. There is another.

I'm referring to the cult of the armband. Everywhere I look I see people wearing tiny little coloured rubber armbands. If you look closely at these armbands you can see that some of them have writing on them. They say things like "Make poverty history", "Stop bullying", "Cancer is really bad" and "Bring back Busted".

These are thoughts that are so radical and so outlandish that they would never have even crossed the minds of most sane, rational people. Who ever knew that poverty was a problem?

And this is where the armbands come in. Simply by being worn, they emit signals which make people aware that there are poor people, that strange kids will get bullied (possibly by people wearing hooded tops) and that cancer is really, really dangerous. Things that they just hadn't thought of before. And then because people are aware of these things, they'll go out and change the world. The poor will be fed. Fat kids will be able to eat lunch in peace. Cancer cures will be cooked up in kitchens around the land. And Busted will reform in time for Christmas.

That must be how it works. Armbands – signals – mind control – better world.

Yeah, right.

In reality, the armband does absolutely nothing. All it does is salve the conscience of those people who wear them, fooling them into thinking that they're making a difference. Or at least fooling them into thinking that they'll fool the world that they're making a difference. They're a fashion statement. No more, no less. And the people who wear them are idiots.

I however am not an idiot. I am actively making the world better. I recently went for a whole week without bullying my staff at work. And last year I bought a book from Oxfam.

Stick that, armband freaks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Babies vs Star Wars

There's a chap I sit with at work whose wife is currently heavily
pregnant. The baby is due tomorrow. He mentioned that with a bit of luck, he'd be seeing his new child tomorrow for the first time and that this was quite exciting.

I tried to get one up on him by saying that I'd be seeing Star Wars 3 tomorrow for the first time and that this was even more exciting. I was obviously a clear winner in the "seeing something exciting for the first time tomorrow" stakes.

He however, wasn't convinced.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Faster, faster!

I've had my broadband speed doubled today. It has made some things faster:
- Internet
- Downloading stuff
- Looking at pictures

Unfortunately, it hasn't improved some other areas of performance:
- Cooking times
- Creative ability
- Feelings of wakefulness

You can't have everything, I suppose.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Third time's the charm?

I've just booked my ticket to go and see Star Wars on Thursday. I've managed to go on the day of release for the last two, so figured I may as well do the same this time. If anyone wants to join me, it's the 1645 showing at The Odeon. You can book online and stuff and so avoid having to deal directly with the freaky people that staff the place.

I hope it's good...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Things to do.

I'm intending to spend a large part of today marking exams, which means that I am constantly simultaneously seeking displacement activities. Or indeed any other activities at all. I'm already building up a list of (Really Important!) things that I can do rather than marking. But then I have to ration them. Mark script, do a thing. Mark another script, do another thing. This way I break up my day into nice manageable chunks. Activities I have done so far include:

- Fill in the home energy survey
- Try my new blackberry teabags

Activities for later in the day include

- Pay my credit card bill
- Put some washing on
- Have some more tea
- Throw away some old newspapers
- Ironing
- Have some more tea
- Learn Mind Control

See how exciting it all is!

Saturday, May 14, 2005


The council sent me a survey about Home Energy. I'd be tempted to ignore it but there are prizes ("for example, a washing machine" (got one) "or fridge freezer" (got one)):

"There will also be 10 runner up prizes of a new kettle"

That is the sentence that has drawn me in. A new kettle.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I'm not gay

Me: "Right, I'm going home to mark."
Colleague: "Who's Mark?"

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Race me!

I've been to the races today. And thence to the post-races curry. On pure racing, I think I'm £11 up. But I spent money on a ticket, a race card, some beer during and some beer after. And a curry. So overall, way down. Darn.

On more of a plus point, I did manage to blaspheme in front of a monk!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Modern Life? Rubbish!

It's been sunny for the last few days, which means: Sunglasses out!

But this brings yet another difficulty into my life. I have to remember to take them off when I enter a building. It's bad enough arriving at work and having to remember that it's my ID card and not my house-keys that I need to take out of my pocket to enter the building. Now I also have to do this whilst attempting to remove glasses. Or forgetting to do this and looking like a pillock for wearing them inside. If I try to remove earphones at the same time I'm likely to utterly run out of limbs and just fall over.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Crabstick Tales

In the sandwich shop at lunchtime there was a woman in the queue in front of me. Initially she queued normally. Then when it was her turn she asked "Do you have crabsticks?". As far as I'm aware, this particular sandwich shop has never sold crabsticks. It's not even sold crabstick sandwiches. I'm not even sure if anywhere sells crabstick sandwiches. And she didn't want crabstick sandwiches. She just asked for plain crabsticks.

The answer she received was a resounding, yet polite, No. There were no crabsticks available for purchase. So the crab-woman paused for a long while appearing to consider her non-crabstick options. I half expected her to leave in disgust without buying a sandwich. But she didn't. She instead chose Coronation Chicken. Then she left.

Now, as anecdotes go, this hasn't been a great one - it was neither particularly funny nor particularly interesting. It wasn't even particularly well related. In the slightly smaller field of crabstick-related anecdotes, it doesn't do much better. And for this I can only apologise: Sorry.

I think I have learnt an important lesson from this.

Sunday, May 08, 2005



Say what you like about the new series of Dr Who, I don't think these new Daleks are as scary as the old ones...

Black is the Colour

I've been in Sheffield this weekend to visit the olds, and also see my little nephew who is now a whopping eight months old. Soon he'll reach that juncture where he'll have spent more time outside of a lady than inside one. He's grown a bit since I last saw him in January but he's still easily liftable.

It's also my mum's birthday in a few days (she is well past the juncture mentioned above) so we went out for Sunday lunch at a local country house/hotel. I hadn't been warned that we were going out for a smartish lunch so I had nothing really appropriate to wear. Me and the brother-in-law therefore resolved to visit the local shopping centre and purchase a couple of shirts (maybe with a kind of buy one get one free, matching vibe). As shopping centres go, it's not a great one, since it lacks any good shops. In particular it lacks men's clothes shops. All it had was a Burtons. The main style of shirt sold in Burtons at the moment appears to be "Gay Frilly" which wasn't really what I had in mind.

We had one option left to us. Just over the road there's a retail park with a TK Maxx. It's not a shop I've ever really used in the past so I was willing to give it a go and see what they had.

If you've never visited a TK Maxx before then I will describe it for you. Pikey Jumble Sale. It just seems to have rails and rails of random mixed up clothes. Most of which could rival anything Burtons had for sheer crapness. But in amongst the jumble I was able to find a simple black shirt. I figured it would go well with my black trousers, black shoes, black socks, black underwear and black coat. The good guys dress in black, remember that.

Behind the payment counter it's almost like they freely admit that a lot of the stuff they sell is crap. They have bins to put different types of clothes hanger in. These are labelled "Trouser Hangers" for hangers that hold trousers; "Small Hangers" and "Large Hangers" for hangers that hold small and large things respectively; and "Rubbish Hangers" presumably for hangars that held trash. I was interested to see which bin the little man would put my hangar into. Would I be deemed to have bought a Large Shirt or a Rubbish Shirt? If he classed it as rubbish would it be too late for me to change my mind and go and find a different, less rubbish one?

Well, I was worrying without reason. The hanger went in the "Large Hangars" bin. My shirt was officially not rubbish (well it's about time I bought one that wasn't).

I also bought a new belt. My old one was beyond tatty and should have been replaced years ago but it's been one of those things that I never quite get around to doing. I bought one that was as similar to the old one as I could find to ensure that my life was not confused with over-the-top amounts of change.

And that was that.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


I wonder how much of the world's resources the Green Party use up by standing for election when they haven't got a cat in hell's chance of being elected. All that printed material, space on ballot papers and so on. Someone should do a study.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Prospective Politician Spotting

I stayed up to watch the election results for a while last night (Labour won again). I find the programme to be a strange combination of Very Dull and Quite Compulsive. There was also a strong sense of inevitability about the whole thing. Pretty much nobody appeared to think anybody else had ever had a real chance of winning.

The best telly bits are when they announce the results of each constituency. Get all the little men up on stage and then humiliate most of them by reading out the pathetically low number of votes they have received. After watching a few of these, I started to spot a pattern in the appearances of the various MPs and wannabe-MPs of the main parties.

It's easy to stereotype, so here we go:

Conservatives: Generally the best dressed, but they manage to look like stuck-up, up-tight, tight-assed assholes. A bit smug, with public school hair, they also tend to look somewhat younger than their rivals (possibly because they bathe every morning in the blood of virgins?).

Labour: This lot are well past 40 years old, slightly overweight and look like they are constantly fighting against breaking into a heavy sweat. They look uncomfortable in the suits they've put on for the night. Style is an alien word. The exceptions are the ones who want to be like that Mr Blair fella - for their description see "Conservative" above.

Liberal Democrat: There is more of a variety within the Lib Dems, but there is one unifying characteristic - they all look like school teachers. I'm sure I spotted one of them throw a piece of chalk at another candidate at one point.

Green: They look like hippies. Because they are hippies.

BNP: Mean looking skinheads. Not too surprising since that's one of the entry requirements.

After a while it became a fun game to try and work out what party people work for, just by seeing what they looked like. Unfortunately most of them wear coloured rosettes which makes the game easier.

City of York (I found out what it's really called!) remained Labour, with a rather large majority of ten and a half thousand (20%).

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I have an Election

It's been votey-day today, where we all sit around and elect the same government again (best of a bad bunch and all that). No results have been called yet. I have three, very dull, predictions:

1. Labour will win.
2. Labour will also keep York (or York Central, or whatever it's called. How am I supposed to remember the name of my own constituency??!)
3. It will rain here tomorrow.

I can barely contain my excitement.

Good Advice

A quote from the paper today that struck me as spectacularly good advice:

"Never assume that data exists unless you have at least two copies."

Right on. I'm off to do a backup.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

See what a discount can get you?

So I'm cooking frozen pizza for tea (yeah, I know, but I can't afford to order Domino's every night) and there's a 50p coupon to get a discount off my next purchase. This would be a good thing - like finding a coin down the side of the sofa, or winning a small and slightly rubbish lottery - but there's a catch. A normal coupon would be printed on the box (inside or outside) ready to be cut out using scissors. Don't run, adult supervision recommended.

But not this pizza box. Not this coupon.

Inside the box is a frozen pizza, wrapped in shrink-plastic. Stuck quite loosely to the side of this is a sticker. On the sticky side of the sticker is the coupon! Complete with barcodes and instructions to the retailer. This coupon will stick to any paper or substance it comes into contact with except for the plastic it was originally stuck to. I can't put it in my wallet, I can't put it in my pocket, I can't put it in a bag. I could stick it to my trouser leg if I wanted to.

So what the f**k am I supposed to do with this thing? Walk up to the checkout, peel it off my leg and slam it on to the checkout assistant's forehead? That might work.

But really, it's ridiculous - they've given me a coupon I can't possibly use. Even if I were to get it to the supermarket without it becoming covered in fluff, then any attempt to put it in the checkout drawer would be farcial. It'd just stick to things.

But it might prove fun. I'd pretend to be all "Oh I'm sorry, look it's all sticky!" and the foxy checkout assistant would be like "That's ok sir, oh! Look! It's got stuck to my leg!" and I'd be like "Oh, let me help" and I'd peel it off her and accidentally let my hand linger too long and then she'd say "I've never had a coupon peeled off me like that before" and I'd make a witty remark about peeling and we'd end up married with kids and every night I'd peel coupons off her and she'd say "Peel me again" and I'd say "Ok - let me go and grab another pizza from the freezer first".

Sometimes these posts don't end up where I intended.

Flower Snow

I just looked out of the window and for a second, I thought it was snowing.

But it was simply blossoms, falling and being thrown around by the wind.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


This weekend I travelled up to Scotland to join Chip for his 30th birthday celebrations. He'd got hold of a house, a very big house, in the country, somwhere west of Dumfries. I visited Dumfries briefly on the way home and found it to be a very wet place. Constant heavy rain. I'm told that it's like that the whole time. I pity the poor inhabitants of that sorry town.

The place we stayed in was named Shennaton House and it was a fantastic building. Huge living rooms, massive bedrooms, a snooker room, a cellar and plenty of places to hang out with the others or just to go and find a bit of peace and quiet. Big gardens too, and I'm sure I saw a red squirrel at one point.

Shennanton House

The main feeling I had at the house (on the first night at least) was that someone was going to die. This is because it was the type of house where murders always happen on televsion. This feeling was not allayed when after I'd set 20 places for dinner, only 19 people made it to the table. Had the 20th been mysteriously strangled? Poisoned? Lead piped? Or had I just laid an extra place "just in case"? It was indeed a mystery. I think they probably died and the body was quickly buried somewhere in the grounds. I'm sure I also saw footprints in the rose garden.

On the Sunday it was misty. And windy. A fine time to go walking in the hills then! Climb a big huge hill and what can you see at the top? Mist! Cloud! Wind! A brief glimpse of a loch as the wind briefly blows the mist and cloud away. Not much of a view then, but it was at least better than the "Wells O' The Rees" that we encountered later. Just go left at the sign to get there.

A sign

The wells themselves are less interesting than the sign. Small mounds of stones with a mossy puddle at one end. A promise of instant death were one to sup from them. It wasn't too surprising that we were the only people visiting them, what with it being so misty windy and with the wells themselves being rubbish. I tried searching for them on Google to see if I was missing something. I only found one reference. At least we found them!

But even though the landmarks were a bit on the rubbish side it was a fun little walk. And it was great to see some real Scottish haggis in their natural habitat (though they seem quite shy!).

I've got a mild cold now though. It had been coming on for a few days, and then got a bit worse. Bit sniffy. I'll live :-)

Monday, May 02, 2005


Just got back from Scotland - will write about that properly tomorrow. But since I'm starting the new job tomorrow it'd be a good idea for me to go to bed at not too late a timeslot. Possibly after having a nice soothing cup of tea.