Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'm stumped

I've developed a new skill. I can type using only the power of my mind. I'm doing it now. It's great. I just think of a word and it appears on screen without me having to touch the keyboard. I think the word "Jamboree" and it appears. I think the word "Jambaroo" and it appears too. I can think them together if I want (Jamboree-Jambaroo) and they appear, just like that. I am brilliant.

It's quite lucky that this skill has just developed though because I lost both arms today in a horrendous industrial accident involving a whiteboard, a middle aged man and a bread-making machine (please don't ask). The stumps are still stinging somewhat.

I'm not sure how I'm going to clean my teeth.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Everything's different, everything's the same

I can't believe nobody ever told me (convincingly) that regular exercise and only drinking twice a week could actually make me feel good. Not actually less miserable, on the whole, but mentally and physically ok.

[Did I just say that? Has someone kidnapped the real me? Can I have him back please, I'm scared]

So let's talk about my day. Let's look at some of the things that I can't generally be bothered to mention. Because I'm in the mood to share.

I got out of bed at half six, as I have (at the latest) every working day for the past five weeks or so. This is something that I think has really got out of hand now. Last November, I decided that I was getting a bit tardy and I forced myself to get in to work before 9am every day. That felt like quite an achievement at the time. But this year I seem to have done the same taken to an extreme and I've been in well before half seven. When I set my mind to something I'm unstoppable boardering on barking.

I've decided that tomorrow, as the final day of November 2005 will be the last continuous day I do this. On Thursday morning I'm lying in. Until 8am! It's gonna feel good. And perhaps more importantly, a little bit naughty :-)

It's been useful being in work early though. I currently sometimes feel like I'm trying to do two completely separate, unrelated jobs at a time at the moment - mainly because that's exactly what I am doing. There's my normal actuary role, and my secondary, let's just see if we can squeeze it in, role which whilst enjoyable is taking a bit more time and giving a little bit more stress that I'd ideally like. I can't really talk about it here though since I'd quite like to not be sacked.

And then today has just been one of those bloomin crappy days where I haven't got any of the things done I was supposed to, due to RUBBISH happening and using up all my time. Trying to clear up some issues when every single person who has been involved is either on holiday, on a course, sick, skiving or in some jail cell for impersonating a baboon. Perhaps. So all I want to say here is UMMFF.

Anyway, after all that, I was ready for my planned run this evening. I even turned down an offer of a drink from a friend girl (as opposed to girl-friend) in order to get my dose of leg-action. But then that got cancelled due to other friends also seemingly having a crappy day and not being able to get away from work early enough. Now it's nice that it's not just me having a crappy day, but when other people's crappy days start interfering with me being able to improve my crappy day, I can get a bit UUUUUMMMMMMFFFFGGG!

So with the run cancelled, I thought "Sod that sock and nonsense - I'll go out for a drink after all. I might choose to peruse the non-alcoholic menu, or maybe I'll have a beer instead. After all I am an a-dult and can have a pint of the foamy if I wish to". I mentioned my changed mind and the drink was back on. But then it turned out that said friend-girl was only wanting to go for a post-work drink because she was going on a first date later in the evening and had some time to kill.

Now if there's one thing that's generally going to make me a miserable person to be with, it's going out for a drink with someone when they're about to go off on a (potentially, at least) fun time to which I'm not invited. Especially if it means they're gonna get some love-action when I'm still a single, miserable arse. I might pretend to be happy for them, but behind their back I'd be pulling rude faces and crying into my pint of foamy. Possibly only metaphorically but you maybe see my point.

I didn't really want to go out and end up even more miserable. So I rainchecked the beer and said I'd be better off going for a run instead. Now, thankfully, I'm still at the point where people are so shocked to hear me say something like that, that I can use it as an excuse to get out of pretty much anything. Family wedding? "Sorry mum, I've gotta run some relatively small distance". "Oh that's fine - go for your life - I'm sure she'll get married again". I won't be able to do this forever but I'm never averse to abusing a good excuse when I have one.

So I missed the drink, went home and went running. I'm definitely better in the evening than in the morning. I expect this is because of my perpetual lack of breakfast.

Now I find myself back in front of the computer writing crap for no good reason except that it kills time and I can't be bothered to pick up a book and turn on the telly. I think I might have rambled too much already. I'm starting to bore myself.

I want a beer. Except that I don't.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A new release from the Daleks

Possibly the funniest thing I've come across (if you'll pardon the expression) today was a news story about the BBC seeking to ban a new porn DVD featuring the Daleks, Abducted by the Daleks.

Quote from the Dalek owners: "The reason the Daleks are still the most sinister thing in the universe is because they do not make things like porn. They weren't ever intended to be sexual creatures. It's simple, Daleks do not do porn.".

Thing is, I think they have missed a trick here. "Debbie does Daleks" would have been a much better title.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Footwear for rambling

You could possibly make a case that Ugly Kid Joe's cover of Cat's In The Cradle is the greatest rock song ever recorded. I'm not sure how such a case would go but you could make a case. I'm pretty sure it would be wrong though. I think it may have as much claim on being the greatest rock song ever as I do on being the best shoemaker ever.

I've never tried making a pair of shoes or even a single shoe. I don't have the right tools, the right materials or a suitable workbench. Even if I did have these things I wouldn't know what to do with them. I never took shoemaking lessons at school. My best method for turning the shoe parts into shoes would be to go to bed and hope that the elves come like they did in the story.

I'm thinking of "The Elves and The Shoemaker" here by the way rather than "The Lord of the Rings". Tolkien could have had his elves making shoes but he instead chose to have them poncing around being too aloof to get into the footwear trade. I won't try and knock the man, it was his story after all. I'm just saying that if Galadriel had offered to treat with Sauron and arrange an exchange of good-quality elf-made slippers in exchange for two hundred years of peace, then a whole lot of mess would have been avoided and The Dark Lord could have sat by the fire (of Mount Doom), in his comfy slippers, and perhaps have found contentment.

I'd certainly be happy with a night of contentment, but then I have neither slippers nor a fire and so I feel that will not be happening tonight. Ah, sweet boredom. I'll have to return to listening to some tunes and wondering if it's still too early to go to bed.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I'm evil. And so is my cat.

On Thursday night York was terrorised by an evil genius and his cat:


Oh the evil schemes that were wreaked that evil evening.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Challenge #11: EBAY - Complete!

I set myself a challenge at the start of the year to make £200 from selling things on eBay. I am now deeming this challenge over, with total money made of £205.52. Whoooh, I'm rich! Huzzah.

To get to this total I've sold about 30 items. Here are the things I sold and the prices people paid. They are a mixture of bargains and madness.

1. Franz Ferdinand - Darts of Pleasure CD single. £5.50
2. The Bluetones - Fast Boy / Liquid Lips CD single. £1.00
3. The Thrills - Santa Cruz CD single. £1.00
4. Keane - Everybody's Changing CD single. £2.70
5. Keane - Somewhere only we know CD single. £2.79
6. Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out CD single. £1.00
7. Mickey's Racing Adventure - Gameboy Color. £4.20
8. Metal Gear Solid - Gameboy Color. £14.00
9. Warioland 2 - Gameboy Color. £7.01
10. Deja Vu 1&2 - Gameboy Color. £1.00
11. Bust-a-Move 4 - Gameboy Color. £4.80
12. Pokemon Red - Gameboy Color. £3.70
13. Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot CD single. £4.00
14. Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare - Gameboy Color. £2.20
15. Wild Arms - Playstation. £16.00
16. Alundra - Playstation. £12.00
17. Grandia 2 - Dreamcast. £9.00
18. Zelda - Oracle of Ages - Gameboy Color. £10.00
19. Zelda - Oracle of Seasons - Gameboy Color. £10.00
20. Coldplay - Brothers and Sisters CD single. £4.00
21. Black Box Recorder - Child Psychology CD single. £0.50
22. Duke Nukem Advance - Gameboy Advance. £9.10
23. Skies of Arcadia - Dreamcast. £12.00
24. KT Tunstall - False Alarm EP CD single. £8.01
25. Animal Crossing - Gamecube. £20.51
26. Amsterdam - Does this train stop on Merseyside? CD single. £1.00
27. Pure Reason Revolution - The Bright Ambassadors CD single. £3.75
28. Pokemon Gold - Gameboy Color. £13.00
29. Farenheit - Xbox. £14.03
30. Dead or Alive 2 - Dreamcast. £2.21
31. Baldur's Gate 2: Dark Alliance - Xbox. £5.51

So a various mixture of CD singles and computer games. But it's fairly clear that the best money was to be made from flogging old RPGs.

Nice to have that one over and done with. And I'm glad I didn't have to resort to selling my complete collection of Star Wars Tazos. Mainly because I don't think I could cope with the disappointment when it turned out to be worth only twenty four pence.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I'll sing it one last time for you

Well, I'm quite pleased with myself. I started running less than two weeks ago, and I've just gone out and done 3.2 miles without taking a break (except when I had to walk up and down the stairs at either end of a bridge). It was a bit cold though so I was glad of my wooly gloves and hoody. The time for this was about 31 and a half minutes, which while not quite up to the standards of the late Sebastian Coe, is still better than say a small two year old child might manage. As long as they weren't being chased by a scary bear!

I even sped up at the end like a prisoner on the run who suddenly realises he is being chased by a scary bear and thinks "Shit!!! BEAR!!!! RUUUUNNNNNN!!!!!".

Go me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Gift For You

Are you fed up of typing into your browser? Well, just for you, I have taken the time and trouble to set up a new, much shorter and easier url for you. is a whopping 4 characters shorter and by using this you can save yourself literally seconds of work each time. Possibly as many as two seconds!

This means that in a year, the average user that visits World of Lint once every five minutes throughout their waking day, say 16 hours a day, will save a massive 1.6 days per annum! Yes, you'll regain 39 hours of your life each and every year.

This, is my gift to you. Be sodding grateful.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I read the news today, oh boy

I bought the local paper today. Not because I wanted it, solely because the woman in the shop gave me two free Kit-Kats (worth twice the cost of the paper). I didn't really need the chocolate either, but hey, a bargain's a bargain. I didn't realise at the time but the paper also contained the autumn issue of a glossy Yorkshire wedding magazine. It features lots of pictures of brides in wedding dresses, that sort of thing. I wasn't too impressed with this until when flicking through I found that it also contained lots of pictures of hot girls in bridal lingerie. Result. Good articles too. Ahem.

I thought I'd give you a summary of some of today's local news. I promise, none of this is made up. In no particular order:

1. Mike Tyson was due to be visiting York today. "Roman soldiers were planning to greet the boxing legend" at the Minster. It doesn't mention whether they were due to spar or not. "The boxer's trip to York was set to include a visit to the Minster, York Dungeon and the City Walls" - yes, Mike Tyson is going for a fun day out in York Dungeon. Perhaps a fake torture chamber is the only local place where you can acceptably bite off someone's ear.

2. A baby has been born. Its idiot parents have named the child "Bodicea".

3. From a story about local con-artists being put away: "Another York con-artist - Louise Winskill, formerly of Thief Lane - has started four years behind bars...". Like, hello! She lived on THIEF LANE. Of course she's a f***ing con-artist. It's bleeding obvious. It must have taken the police years to find her. Hint, guys. If you're looking for a murderer, check out Death Row (*).

4. The next meeting of the Huntingdon Over-55s will be on Thursday, at 2pm. There will be a bingo, and a raffle, followed by tea and mince pies.

5. Bingo is obviously popular in Huntingdon - Huntingdon Rovers Football club have a bingo night tomorrow from half seven.

6. A very positive review of The Crimea: "The Crimea's sound is similar to The Crocketts' intoxicating brand of apocalyptic folk-punk, hushed and introspective one moment, fierce and lacerating the next. Macmanus's voice sounded better than ever, all husky soul and strangled yelp.". I wish I'd managed to write that, rather than "It was a pretty good gig".

7. My horoscope: "Aries: Do be careful how you speak to the younger generation, as they might take the advice you give more literally than you think". So here's some good advice from me: Are you a teenager? Go and kill yourself, you useless little shit. You'll never amount to anything and the world hates you and itself.

8. In the small ads, it seems that Bunny Girls Escorts require additional staff. A number is provided for interested parties to call.

Wasn't that totally fascinating? I could make this a regular feature if they keep giving away free chocolate and soft porn.

(* It's in Copmanthorpe)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

If you want to see my happy side...

I went to see The Crimea at Fibbers on Friday night. I've been a fan of the band for several years but have never had the chance to see them live before. I was also a bit of a fan of the singer's previous band, The Crocketts. Back then, he went by the name of Davey Crockett, which is frankly a silly name unless it's your real one.

The Crocketts never really hit the big time, which was a shame because they had some great songs. I think my favourite was Will you still care?, a song as radio-friendly as they come, apart from the excessive swearing in the chorus. Though the swearing was fully justified within the context of the song, (kind of an update of The Beatles' When I'm 64), it did make it hard for the song to garner much radio-play. Oh, well this was eight years ago - I should move on and get over it.

But if you can track down the song, it'll be worth your while. I recommend the version from the Hello and Good Morning EP rather than the re-recorded album version. It's better.

So The Crocketts got through two or three albums before disbanding. I never got to see them live, though they did play Norwich whilst I was living there. Unfortunately I was in Bristol at the time so couldn't go. I should get over that too. After disbanding, some time passed (probably. I'm guessing some of this) and Davey made a new band and started to use his proper surname of MacManus.

The Crimea put out a few great singles back in 2003 (two of which made it into my super-fantastique Top 20 of 2003. Then a while later I tracked down the album, which was a self-recorded one which may have been personally mailed to me by band member or a friend of a band member. That must have been in late 2004? Now, nearly a year later, they've just put out a re-recorded version of the album (with a partially different track-listing) and so I had to buy it again, but at least they are also touring, and hence I was able to witness their goodness on Friday:

The Crimea at Fibbers

It was a pretty good gig in the end.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Toiletry dispensation

I don't think I'll ever get used to bars where they have little men in the toilets to give you soap and spray things on you and then expect to be tipped for doing something that you can do perfectly well youself. It's something that should only happen on television - not in real life and certainly not in York.

I'm going to have to be a bit of a NIMBY here, but I don't want this sort of thing to go on here in York. I don't mind if they want to build a nuclear reactor down the road or if they want to build a sex-offenders institute next door, those things are fine. I just don't want people washing my hands for me.

The guilty establishment was The Parish. I wanted to go to the toilet for a second time but chose instead to hold it in rather than have to pay another pound.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Oh, you, harbinger of food

I don't want this to turn into some sicko exercise diary, but...

I'm not entirely sure why but I decided to sneak in a sneaky post-work run tonight. Only 48 hours since my last run, I think I nearly killed myself. Not literally.

The beer afterwards was sweet. The pre-beer water was way better.

Now: I sleep until the reckoning.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Why you need mums in an emergency

I've just been to an Extraordinary General Meeting of the management company for the development which I live in. It had been called in order to explain why we had recently changed managing agents from CPM (who had been utterly rubbish, I pity you if you have them as your agents) to a local company. The main reason for changing was because we wanted an agent who would actually bother to do things. Like collect money (off people who wanted to pay money as well as those who were indifferent either way), cut the grass or fix the light that loudly buzzed for weeks outside my front door.

Anyway, we have changed agents and all is now fine and dandy.

The meeting was held in a little church hall just up the road. Clearly the church hall was mainly used for things like toddler groups but it served well enough for an EGM. Technically since there were only seven of us in attendance we could have done it in my front room and all had a cup of tea too but I suppose you have to allow for the possibility that more people might take an interest in affairs. And I'm out of milk at the moment in any case.

On the wall of the church hall were some instructions for what to do in case of an emergency (eg a fire). They were handwritten, possibly in felt tip or crayon, and read something like the following:

"In case of emergency: one mum to go and phone the emergency services. Two mums to take the children safely out to the front of the building. One mum to check toilets and the upstairs rooms are clear." etc.

It wasn't clear what to do in the event that there were not sufficient mums there to carry out these tasks. Would fathers have been sufficient? What if the people using the room were childless, either voluntarily, from natural causes or from compulsory sterilisation? Tonight for example, I'm fairly sure that we were short of the number of mums that would have been needed to carry out a full evacuation. Luckily we didn't have to but I'm sure that we must have invalidated the church hall's insurance for the evening. Sorry vicar.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Holding onto one another's hand

I've just been running again. I was amazed at how much I seemed to have improved since last week. We did the same route, but about five minutes faster and I felt much better at the end of it. Reasons for this may include:

1. I bought some proper running shoes. Last week I was wearing some cheapy crappy old trainers I've had for years. They were ok, but possibly not the ideal footwear. So at lunchtime today I went into town and bought some proper running shoes. Now, I know that you're supposed to wear shoes in a little bit before going out running for a few miles in them, but I didn't have time. I did try them on in the shop to check that they fitted, so it's not like I was being stupid or anything.

2. I had more confidence, due to knowing that having done running once, I wasn't actually going to die at the end.

3. I was running in front rather than at the back and so was able to set a pace more suitable for me. This actually turned out to be a bit faster than the girls would normally do, so I was running on my own for most of the time...

4. ...which didn't really matter because I'd decided to take the iPod Shuffle along. Finally I was able to use its lanyard! Tunes it gave me included "Run" by Snow Patrol (quite appropriate!), "Underneath the sky" by Oasis, "She's an Angel" by They Might Be Giants, "Shine On" by The House of Love and "E-Bow the Letter" by REM. It would have been nice if all the songs had been as relevant as the Snow Patrol one, but also a little bit scary.

Also, for those of you who thought I was diving in a bit too quickly last week, I added in an extra stop so that I did four 8 minute (ish) stints rather than the three legs I had last week. Although, as mentioned above, they were a bit faster.

At the end I felt significantly less dead. I might even go as far to say I felt ok and could have gone a bit further. But it's probably best that I didn't because my right little toe was starting to hurt a bit due to the new shoes. I might have a little blister tomorrow. Souvenir!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Here's what you could have won...

I won a secretary at work today. Not forever, just for a day. An as yet undisclosed day sometime in the future. She was a prize in a prize draw.

Unfortunately, I don't really have any use for a secretary. I have no idea what I will do with her. I suspect it will mainly involve cups of coffee.

If I'm honest, I'd have preferred to win one of the bottles of champagne that were also up for grabs. I know exactly what I'd do with one of those. It wouldn't involve any coffee.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Clouds of smoke obscure my view...

This weekend has seen the final wedding (#4) of the year, or at least the final one which I will be attending. This makes it sound like there are several other weddings that I won't be attending. This is almost certainly true, but I haven't been invited to them and it's rude to crash.

Here's a photo of the bride and the groom looking all married, to prove I was there:

Helen & James

With all these weddings out of the way I can sit back and analyse them scientifically. Here are my findings:

1. Religiousosity is clearly in decline. Only half of all weddings take place in churches. This is in comparison to the combined 2003 and 2004 period where around two-thirds of weddings were church-based. God must be quite irate.

2. White is still the most popular colour by far for brides. 75% of all brides choose this colour to get married. All remaining brides wear red.

3. Most couples these days choose not to wait until the wedding night to consummate their relationship (Ok, I'm only guessing this one, but I reckon it's true all the same).

4. Nobody gives you free whisky when you get to the reception. This is clearly an area for development.

5. There doesn't seem to be much bouquet tossing going on any more. Possibly it is just happening when I'm not looking.

And that concludes the detailed statistical anaylsis.

To end the wedding topic for a while, I think most brides would look cooler if they wore sunglasses. Just a thought, but it's a totally true fact that all girls look better if they wear sunglasses and smile.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Another Blatant Plug

I should mention that Four Day Hombre's debut single, 1000 Bulbs is finally out in stores this week. HMV, Virgin and the indies should have it (though HMV has been a bit crap - try the others) so go out and spend a couple of pounds to help this baby into the charts (and to get your hands in a couple of well decent songs too)! Or alternatively, you can load up iTunes and get it from there.

You can see the video on either the FDH site or alternatively, on T4. Help a sad pirate!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

And if I only could...

Those of you who have known me for a long time may find the following post a little hard to swallow. This evening I turned down an invitation to go to the pub in order to go running instead. Come to think of it, there may be two separately strange things in that last sentence...

I don't think I've really done any running since cross-country at school and that would have been at least 13 years ago and so probably is close enough to "never" as you can get. In fact, I haven't really done any exercise at all ever. I climbed the steps in work once but that was only because the lifts were out of order.

But tonight I did some actual running. I'd call it jogging but jogging sounds so middle-aged and I don't want to sound middle-aged. There is a reason for this Mr Hyde style turnabout, though it's a pretty tenuous one. I'm going skiing in February for the first time, and I was told that it might be a good idea to do some exercise in the meantime. I can't quite remember why, I wasn't paying too much attention. But in the same way as I seem to say I'll do absolutely anything these days, I said I'd come along for some weekly running sessions. There were a couple of girls starting running at the same time so I figured that we could all be crap together to start with and it would be easy and straightforward.

Darn it turns out I'd been slightly misled.

I'd missed the first session last week due to having said "yes" to another, completely unrelated, stupid thing. So I thought that this week, I wouldn't be that far behind. I wouldn't be starting from a Being Good At Running position too far behind the girls.

We ran for about forty minutes (possibly around three miles? - it was hard to tell because I didn't take a trundle wheel with me) altogether. About two thirds of the way round, the girls said I was doing really well for my first time. I said that likewise they were doing well for their second time. But it turns out it wasn't their second time at all. One of them has been running for a year, and the other I think for longer! Bloody girls. They always mislead you. Can't be trusted, the lot of 'em.

Anyway, I kept up all the way (with only two v short breaks) and I don't think they were going slowly for my benefit (though I wouldn't have complained too much if they had!) and finally we got back to the start where we stopped.

And then I died. Or at least wanted to.

Overall, I was quite happy with myself that I'd managed to do it. I have this vague feeling that you're not supposed to just go straight from doing no exercise at all to doing a three mile run. You're supposed to build up to these things slowly. But I say, sod that. In for a penny, in for a pound. Help a sad pirate.

It's funny the way that had I been doing it on my own, I don't think I'd have pushed myself anywhere near as much. I'd have taken many more breaks and not gone as far. Realistically I wouldn't have gone at all. Having other people there just makes the whole thing more... not sure what the word is. It's not "enjoyable". Well, it just makes it more.

So that was my introduction to the crazy world of exercise. Next session will be next week. Which will probably be easier. Hopefully.

It would have been nice to have gone to the pub as well though. But maybe the running will make me sleep well.

I can imagine that to many of you reading, this will all sound a bit pathetic. But isn't that what you come here for?

I wonder if I'll hurt tomorrow?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Pirates in Need

I'm a little worried about the problems that avian-flu might cause for our pirate community. Their lovely parrots could end up being knocked out by the hundreds, leaving lonely pirates with an empty shoulder and a birdy memory. I was so worried that I declared today "Pirates in Need Day" and I drew a campaign board to help the cause:

Pirates in Need

The pirate pictured is one I met in the pub last night and his story is heart-rending. In his own words: "Shiver me timbers. I am utterly downtrodden at the loss of my favourite parrot, Jim, to this dastardly avian-flu. Ahoy and Avast! I will kill myself out of pure despair". It's totally tragic. He did kill himself too, there was nothing I could do. Except start a campaign.

I didn't raise any money as such. This might be linked to the way that only about ten people saw the board and they are all tight arses.

Help a sad pirate!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sleep.... and one day thou shalt awake a king

Last night I slept really craply. Tonight I'm going to sleep better. The power of positive thinking and a glass of wine. And being really f**ing tired.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Bush returns. And is still mad.

Kate Bush (God bless her) has a new album out today. It's called Aerial and I think that may be a reference to Aerial washing powder. Sample lyric:

Washing Machine
Washing Machine
Slooshy sloshy slooshy sloshy
Get that dirty shirty clean
Slooshy sloshy slooshy sloshy
Make those cuffs and collars gleam
Everything clean and shiny
Washing Machine
Washing Machine
Washing Machine

I'm honestly not making this up. I know she's always had a reputation for being a little bit barking, but... "Slooshy sloshy slooshy sloshy"???

Maybe it's actually genius. But more likely it's total barking bonking madness.

It sounds more like the sort of thing you might expect George Bush to have written. Maybe they're related

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Third wedding of the year...

I've been to an old schoolfriend's wedding this weekend. I think she must hate everyone because it was in a very out of the way, hard to get to place. Or maybe she's giving gentle hints that it's really time for me to buy a car.

The wedding was just outside Hawes, a nice enough little village if you can actually get to it. The nearest train station is however 6 miles away in Garsdale - a small place notable mainly for its complete lack of anything useful like pubs, shops, taxis, sunshine or mobile phone reception. Luckily I'd been organised enough to pre-book a taxi otherwise I'd have been pretty stuck. I'd possibly still have been there now, so a big thank you to Steve the Taxi who was ferried (taxied?) us around all weekend.

Boy it was wet. Not great wedding weather - arguably though if you're going to get married in November in the Yorkshire Dales you have to plan for a degree of rain. It did at least stop for a little while before dinner to allow some fireworks to be set off from a nearby farmer's field. The hotel itself, Simonstone Hall, wouldn't allow fireworks to be set off within the grounds - presumably for health and safety reasons. They were quite happy to allow two sixty year old men to climb into a wet and muddy field in the pitch dark to play with explosives though. That was fine. No safety issues there.

The wedding was good - plenty of food, wine (standard and mulled) and whisky. And cigars (which weren't even my idea for once!) too.

And here are the happy couple, all married. Or possibly not quite married yet. I'm not sure where the registrar has gone...

Ele and Adam

The groom is a young actor (he was on TV recently in Love Soup. I didn't see it) and some of his friends were actors too. This meant that I had to be extra careful when people asked me what I did for a living and make sure that I pronounced actuary clearly so that people didn't think I was an actor by mistake. Most people there seemed to have jobs beginning with A. Actors, actuaries, accountants, archivists. I don't think there were any ambulance drivers there but I can't completely rule this out because I didn't speak to everyone.

Best thing... the name tags on the dinner tables were little gingerbread men with our names iced on!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

An Haitus


There will now be a short hiatus whilst I go and do some stuff.


I anticipate normal service being resumed within a couple of days or so. Don't worry, all is good.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Favourite song this week: Coles Corner by Richard Hawley. It sounds like it's from another time and another place (possibly Sheffield in the 1940s). Fantastic.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Crack Of Dawn

For the last five (working) days I've been doing something which seems odd even to me. I've been in work at around a quarter past seven in the morning rather than my normal nine o'clock. To do this, I've obviously had to get up earlier than normal but this hasn't actually been too hard. As long as I can hit the snooze button a couple of times I don't really mind what time the alarm actually goes off. I get the illusion of having had a lie in.

It's very quiet in work at that time in the morning - mainly because most sane people are still in bed pressing their snooze buttons. The quiet is nice though. A quiet office is an office in which I can sit around and listen to some tunes whilst having a bit of a think, tidying my inbox or just drinking coffee.

It's also saving me a small amount of money since the in-work cafe doesn't open that early. Whereas I'd normally buy a (Regular Black) coffee on the way in at nine, I can't do this at the early time. 85p saved straight off. It's like having a pay rise! So I have to get coffee from the machine instead which although not as nice, is at least free (and it's still better than instant coffee).

Early mornings are ideal times to return phone calls to people you don't really want to talk to. You know that they won't be there and so it's safe to call them. You can leave the phone ringing for a bit and then hang up and not have to worry about it any more because you've done the thing you had to do which was call back. It's hardly your fault that the other person isn't there to pick up the phone.

I don't know how long I'll keep this up for. I'm surprised I've managed five days. Perhaps I'll wake up one morning with my sanity back. Or perhaps my alarm will do the thing it sometimes does to annoy me: ie not going off.

In the meantime, I'll see you at seven (or just after).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Taste my wine

There's a good story buried here tonight. Sadly, I've had a couple too few glasses of laughing water to make it worthwhile decanting here.