Saturday, December 31, 2005

Challenge #12: SONGS - Complete!

And another challenge tumbles. I'd set myself a task to write and record 10 new songs this year. 10 was a fairly arbitrary number, but it made for a better target than just saying "write some songs". As of three days ago, Wednesday, I had got to four. Yes, in nearly 12 months I had squeezed out just four drops of musical juice. Not very impressive.

In fact, I'd pretty much written off the whole thing. There was no way I was going to get another six songs done in the days I had left. If I'm honest, I'd been thinking the same thing for months anyway. It wasn't going to happen.

But over Christmas, I was chatting to my Brother-In-Law and he pointed out a useful thing to me. They don't have to be good songs! So far I'd been relying on those flashes of inspiration that sometimes come along. Unfortunately these had been rare and some of the better ones had never been noted down at the time and so were forgotten forever more. But if I were to just sit down at the computer and write... anything... that could get me the six I needed! It would still be a bit tight, six songs and three days. This would need a small effort on my part.

But I only gone and done it!

Now I don't bring false illusions to this party. I ain't no Chris Martin. I ain't even no Kris Kross. The songs I've ended up with aren't going to set the charts alight. My guitar playing and singing are strictly amateurish. But that's not important. I've created. I've made. I am an artist.

Here's a brief description of the songs:

1. Busted Are Dusted
This is the tribute to Busted I wrote upon hearing that they'd split up. I published the lyrics back in January. Arguably the best song about Busted breaking up ever written by a Northern Lad with little talent.

2. Falling in Love Song
This is about realising that you're falling in love with someone and being a bit scared. The title lacks imagination. Interestingly, I have no memory of writing or recording this one at all. I just found it when I loaded up Garage Band one day. But it's definitely me. The voice and lyrical undeftness are a giveaway.

3. Fantasy
A song about not being rejected. The title's a small joke. Good chorus though.

4. Cover My Ears
Sometimes people say things that they don't mean because they can't or won't say what they really want to say. That's because people are crap. Maybe if they thought I couldn't hear, they'd say what they really meant. The title could also be taken to be what other people might think upon hearing this song. It works on several levels.

5. Two Weeks
Sadly, this isn't a follow-up to the Bare Naked Ladies' One Week. Instead it's about having to wait two weeks to see someone again and that seeming an awfully long time. Three hundred and thirty six hours, the song tells me.

6. Pizza Girl
This is about a guy (me?) who orders pizza one day and then falls in love at first sight with the girl who delivers it. In the hopes of seeing her again he starts to order more pizza. But it keeps being delivered by blokes, not the foxy girl. "Next night I ordered a pizza from my computer, In the hope of seeing the girl on her scooter, Pepperoni and chicken with extra mozzarella, I was praying it wouldn't be brought by a fella.". This goes on for months, the bloke gets morbidly obese, is admitted to hospital where he dies without ever having have seen the girl again. Quite tragic really.

7. Millions Shining
I felt like writing a song about the stars. I actually wrote this one a few months ago but I rejected it because it was shit. However, I resurrected it yesterday out of desperation!

8. Station
This is about standing in a cold train station on a dark Sunday night waiting for the train that would bring a girl back to me. A bit soppy, but it might appeal to people who like train stations. Or waiting. This is another one where I could maybe have thought of a better title.

9. Sleep
A song about lying in bed at night, not being able to sleep but not minding because I'm sharing the bed with someone wonderful. (I still end up sodding tired in the morning, mind, but that part isn't in the song).

10. I Wish I'd Told You
The final song is fairly simple but structured a bit differently to the others - it's one of those ones that starts with the chorus rather than the verse. It's about wishing the opportunity had been taken to tell someone how I felt before saying goodbye in case I never saw them again (ie in case they died in a freak whaling accident or something. That shit happens. I saw it on telly).

So that's all of them! And no, you can't have a CD.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Festive 20 - 2005

It's that time of year again when I compile my list of the best 20 tunes of the year, under slightly arbitrary rules. 2003 was topped by The Crimea, 2004 by Thirteen Senses. Who will have made this year's official Best Song? Find out shortly. Now! Take it away Top Of The Pops music:

20: Start Wearing Purple - Gogol Bordello
19: Sixteen Military Wives - The Decemberists
18: Portions for Foxes - Rilo Kiley
17: Living for the Weekend - Hard-Fi
16: What a Lovely Dance - Hal
15: Remain - Kubb
14: Forget Myself - Elbow
13: Jerk It Out - Caesars
12: Further - Longview
11: The Bright Ambassadors of Morning - Pure Reason Revolution
10: Please Stand Up - British Sea Power
9: My Drug - Cherry Falls
8: Lay Me Down - Crosby & Nash
7: Love Steals Us From Loneliness - Idlewild
6: Wires - Athlete
5: Katie - David Ford
4: Other Side of the World - KT Tunstall
3: Landed - Ben Folds
2: 1000 Bulbs - Four Day Hombre
1: Joe's Kiss - Amsterdam

Artists who just missed out this year include Art Brut and Coldplay. Bad luck boys. Try not to lose too much sleep over this tragedy. The Crimea also lost out this year because the songs I would have put in here were actually in the 2003 list.

I was quite surprised to see Crosby & Nash make an appearance in the list. I know it's my list and I therefore really shouldn't be too surprised by its contents, but nevertheless I was surprised.

If there were any utterly brilliant songs I've missed, then I apologise and blame my pot of clerical errors. And if any of the songs in the list are actually crap, well then that's your problem for being wrong. Because they're not crap, they're all fantastic.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Challenge #8: PUB - Complete!

I've managed to finally knock another challenge on the head. I am now claiming that I have visited all the pubs and bars within the city walls of York. Here's a Slide Show of me in them all. It's a bit scary to see them all in quick succession, especially the ones where I am pulling some really strange and amusing faces. There are 82 photos in total.

I did the final one, The Blue Bell, earlier today all on my ownsome. Here I am:

The Blue Bell

Can you see how happy I look to have finally finished this ridiculous task? See the joy on my face?

There is potentially some room for argument about exactly which venues should have been included in this task. I'm aware of two places (Flares and Macmillans) that I haven't been to, but in my head they are both more like clubs than bars and can hence be excluded. And also they are sh*t-holes. I think I've got everywhere else though. And if I haven't, tough. My challenge, my rules. And it's over when I say it is, which is now.

Snow picture

I think there's a tradition or an old charter or something that when it snows you have to take a photo. Just to prove that the transient snow is real and not just a figment.

So here's a picture of the snow we had in Sheffield after Christmas.

WInter Snow

It was night-time and there weren't any people about to leave footprints or snowmen. It looks peaceful. Also, interestingly, Sheffield is genuinely only available in Black and White after 7pm.

Ice and Tea

Bloomin' 'eckers. It's cold and icy and horrid out. Just been out for lunch but am happy to now be back home with a hot cup of tea. Blackcurrant tea to be specific. It smells good.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Starting to get quite bored now...

When I was arsed enough to get out of bed this morning, I looked out of my window to discover a light coating of snow. This was news to me, but not to most of my family since they'd all been up for hours already. I don't think of myself as lazy though, it's just that I'm enjoying having a break. And it wasn't really that late, only a quarter to eleven.

I headed off to the local chavvy shopping centre to buy a birthday card. Since it was a bit slippy out and I haven't got my boots with me (due to a lack of suitcase space) I wore my running trainers. But it was still a little slippy in places. The main change to the shops since I was last there is that there's now no sodding newsagents. GT News was the only useful shop there (it sold newspapers, magazines and crisps) and now it's gone, replaced by nothing at all. I had to go to Sainsburys to get a paper and that was just annoying.

I think that other people's supermarkets are one of the most irritating things in the world. My own Sainsburys at home, I know where everything is. I know that inevitably the first thing I'll get to is the tea. Here, I don't have that comfort. Although they lull me into a false sense of security by having the fresh fruit and vegetable produce in the same place as I go in, after that all bets are off. It takes twice as long to do anything because you waste minutes and minutes trying to find a pork pie.

I mean, what kind of idiot puts pork pies on the right hand wall just beyond the fruit?? Pastry products should be at least four aisles in. At least. And as for where they'd put the dolly mixtures... words fail me.

But I survived. I purchased my minimal basket of goods and left for home where I then wasted too many hours doing the puzzles in The Guardian's 27th December Puzzle Special. But god, they are a waste of time. You finish a Sudoku and then what do you get? Sod all. Just the thought of there being 14 more of the buggers still to go. None of which will bring any real satisfaction when complete. I really reckon I'd get the same ultimate enjoyment if I just ripped them out of the paper, cut up the little squares with scissors, threw them in the air and then danced naked underneath singing about the joys of pork pie.

I didn't do that though. It would have scared my little nephew.

Back to York tomorrow, as long as I don't get snowed in here. That would be bad

Monday, December 26, 2005

The UK's Christmas Top 10 Singles

Here are my thoughts on the 2005 Christmas top 10 singles. In reverse order:

10: Coldplay - Talk.
C'mon lads, this isn't very Christmassy, is it? Next year I want to hear a proper original Coldplay Christmas song with bells and reindeer and arguments all over it.

9: Girls Aloud - See The Day. 8: Madonna - Hung Up. 7: Pussycat Dolls - Stickwitu.
This part of the chart is where all the girls are hanging around. But again, we need more bells. Christmas music = bells. Is that a hard concept to grasp? Phil Spector understood that perfectly. Just because he turned out to be (possibly/allegedly/maybe not) a murderer doesn't mean that his views on Christmas should be ignored. In fact, my advice for Girls Aloud is for the five of them to head around to their local high security prison and for them to ask some of the more dangerous inmates exactly what they'd like Girls Aloud to do next Christmas. They might have to ignore some of the more lugubrious suggestions.

6: The Crazy Frog - Jingle Bells/U Can't Touch this
Now if you did get the loopier inhabitants of Dartmoor Prison to actually create a single, this might be what it would sound like. Why would anyone sane ever consider doing a cover version of an MC Hammer song? I accept that the "anyone" here is possibly not sane since they are a short cartoon frog with a blurry penis, but it's still wrong, wrong, wrong. I mean, who actually buys this stuff? Is there a large outlet within Dartmoor itself? Do the inhabitants each buy several copies with the cigarettes that they've been saving up? Anyone involved in making or buying this gazelle-doo-doo should be locked up themselves, forever-ever. And when I become Prime Minister I will make that happen. That's my goal.

5: Eminem - When I'm gone
I wonder if when Eminem is actually dead and gone, he'll just keep putting out single after single like Tupac did?

4: Westlife feat Diana Ross
If I was actually listening to these singles whilst writing this, it's at about this point I'd be reaching for the letter opener with a view to opening a vein. Preferably the jugular vein of all of Westlife. I'll leave Diana alone, she's probably old and senile with no idea what she's doing any more.

3: The Pogues - Fairytale of New York
Best. Christmas. Song. Ever.

2: Nizlopi - JCB Song
When I first heard about this, I was sceptical. A song about a five year old and a digger? I assumed it would be a Bob The Builder type novelty song aimed at five year olds who like diggers. But it's not. It's actually a gentle, innocent song about how life is much simpler when you're a kid, with your father there to look after you. And about how at that age, anything seems possible. You're not constrained by the standard limitations of reality that adults get hung up on. If you want a T-Rex to eat up all the bastards at school, then it might just happen.

It's a great little song and it should have been number one. And Optimus Prime is in the video.

1: Shane Warne - That's My Goal
Goooooaaaaaallllll. Quite why Australian cricketer and X-Factor winner Shane Warne has felt the need to release a crappy song about football, I may never know. That's My Wicket would have been more appropriate. It would still have sounded crap though.

And that's all I have to say.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Have yourself a Christmas

It's Christmas! Again. So Happy Christmas everyone (unless you're feeling down, in which case Miserable Christmas to you!).

On Friday afternoon and evening I went out on something of a pub crawl, taking in along the way some of the less illubrious (is that a word?) pubs of York. The Brown Cow was a particular highlight - as we arrived, in the later afternoon, there were some police outside who looked like they were breaking up a fight between some drunks. We slipped inside, drank a swift half of bitter and then quickly left.

Round the corner from there we found a man shouting and swearing at his car.

But we had a good time.

Since then, I've spent some time in bed, some time out of bed, the usual. For the first time in my life, I went out running on Christmas morning today. I hadn't really intended to, but my sister suggested it and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Since I'm in Sheffield at the moment, I didn't do one of my standard York routes - the 100 mile round trip would have been a little further than I could cope with whilst having a mild Christmas hangover. Instead, there are some lakes nearby which I was able to run around. It was really rather pleasant. There were a hell of a lot of people out walking their dogs. Big dogs, small dogs, plain dogs and spotty dogs. All sorts of them.

But clearly the most exciting and anticipated part of today will be the Doctor Who Christmas Special, now only two and a half hours away. I think most people are just as excited about this. It's gonna be fabby.

And finally, I haven't really mentioned it here so far, but a young lady has entered my little world recently and has been making me smile. I might write more about her soon, but I'll have to think of a name for her first. I'm missing her a lot. :-)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Running Late

It's Christmas Eve and I'm running late. I have a huge pile of presents to wrap, a bag to pack and a train to catch. I should get on with it. And not write this.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Out of office

Well that's working finished for another year! I think I'll go back again next year though. If they'll have me...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Yo-yo, dude!

Today at work I was given a yo-yo. How cool???

I used to have good skills at the yo-yo. Though they have now weakened somewhat from years of neglect, I was still the best yo-yoer in the department by some margin.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Just let me sleep...

What does a guy have to do to get a good night of uninterrupted sleep?

Yesterday I bedded myself nice and early with the intention of sleeping straight through until morning, without interruption or disturbance, when I would wake up refreshed and ready to face the final push to Christmas.

This didn't quite happen.

At some time after midnight, my door buzzer went off. It is quite loud and it woke me up - this is a good feature if for example the postman is delivering an important package in the morning. The postman rarely comes in the small hours of the morning though (ahem) even in these days where the postal service seems under constant degeneration. I ignored the buzzer, figuring it was probably just some drunks.

A short while later it went again. I ignored it again.

Then it went again, so I got out of bed, grabbed my dressing gown and went to reply. But there was nobody on the other end of the door-phone. So I assumed it was either a) just some drunks who had now run off or b) my imagination.

I went back to bed and tried to get some shut-eye. This predictably lasted mere seconds. I started to be able to hear noises from around the other flats and from the corridors. I figured this was likely other residents who'd also been awoken my imaginary door buzzers and had been more active in trying to find out what was going on - possibly including them heading outside with sharp sticks.

I thought "grrrrr".

Then I had a knock on my door. I thought "oh stuff and nonsense. what now. who can that be a-knockin' on my door at half past the witching hour?". I was too tired to think with appropriate capitalisation. I got up again, re-put on my gown and went to answer the door. Looking through the spy-hole I saw two police-women.

I thought "oh bugger, they've finally come for me. i always knew this would happen one day. i'm off to prison forever".

I opened the door to them. They observed that it looked like they'd awoken me. They had the gall to sound surprised at this, despite it being way past a sensible school-night bedtime. I confirmed that they had awoken me. They smiled. They were actually quite attractive.

However, since this was real life and not a pornographic movie, they then explained what they were doing. They'd been given some kind of bogus address and were looking for a bloke whose name I didn't recognise and who certainly does not live in my flat since, as far as I'm aware, I live alone. They were doing flat-to-flat calls to try and establish what was happening. I said that I knew no such person.

They then went away and let me go back to bed.

It took ages to get back to sleep.

The only good thing that came out of this was that I got the phone number of the attractive police-women. 999!!!! Booom Boom!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Do I get a wish?

I think I had my first mince pie of this year's Christmas season today. A bit late, but it tasted... good.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Three for two (and two for tea)

I tried to buy a Christmas present today. I was in town early (for a Sunday) and so the shops were quiet. If I'd maybe give more thought aforehand I might have had a really productive session. What actually happened was that I wanted to buy a book. It's a very easy book to buy, all the bookshops have it. It should have been very incredibly easy for me to walk into a bookshop and buy it.

In fact, I'm sure that Waterstones, Borders or even WH Smiths would happily have sold the book to me had I managed to move it from a shelf to a counter. I'd have given the kind person behind the counter some money, I'd have taken the book home. Capitalism would have worked its wheels once more.

None of this happened, because I got hung up and stressed over a 3 for 2 offer. This book was in such an offer in one of the shops only - let's for the sake of argument, call it Waterstones. This was bad because it meant that the book was technically cheaper there and straight away I'd be mad to buy it elsewhere. That would be like giving money away for no reason.

So my choice of purchase-shop was made. All I had to do was buy the book. But now I was stuck in a three for two and to save money I would have to find at least one more book I wanted. Two would be good, but I could make this work with one.

Could I find any other books though? Of course I sodding couldn't. They had hundreds of books in their offer but any that were remotely good I already had. I could have found other books elsewhere in the store but they would have been no use.

So I had a dilemma. I could either buy the book at full price, knowing that I was being messed with and ripped off, with my mental health suffering accordingly, or I could not buy it. Option two won out. I left the shop empty handed.

So, Mr Tim Waterstone (or whoever owns the chain now. Sorry, Tim, if it's not you) here's what trouble you've caused today with your love of multi-buy offers.

1. I nearly lost a proportion of my mentalness, and I don't have much of that to spare.
2. One of my FriendsOrFamily is incrementally less likely to receive a present this Christmas that they might have liked slightly. Can you live with that?
3. You lost an easy sale that you could have had.
4. Not only that, all your competitors lost a sale too because I was sulking.
5. Imagine the effect that this will have upon the English economy. Can you live with that? All that extra unemployment and crime and illicit backyard sex?
6. I may now lose an extra part of one of my lunchtimes in the week, whilst I attempt to resolve this issue. This will reduce my overall productivity and that of my employer and hence that of England too. This might lead to more illicit backyard sex (maybe).
7. Can you, really, CAN YOU LIVE WITH THAT MR W (or whoever the appropriate person to address is now, as discussed above)?

Waterstones? Wankerstones more like. I'd bouycot them but I always have trouble spelling the word.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Maybe I'll write something interesting tomorrow

Tonight is a big night on TV for people without lives since it features the finals of both The X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing. I'll be watching SCD. I'd like Zoe Ball to win, mainly because her dad is the legendary Johnny Ball.

In contrast to last Saturday, I've managed to actually do a couple of useful things today. I've had my hair cut (too late for most of my Xmas parties, but it still needed doing...) and also bought some Christmas cards and stamps. Now I just need to write the bastards.

I nearly bought a Christmas present too. But in the end I was put off by the queues. I've still got loads of time for that kind of thing.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Don't listen to that

One thing I've recently noticed is that whilst iPods are great, iPod headphones are rubbish. Really quiet.

Just thought I'd share that.

In other news, :-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Watch out ladies...

I'm looking hot tonight...

I look hot

Badger Week Continues

Last night I went for a curry at The Akash. Good curry house, I'd recommend it despite its lack of size.

After dinner they gave us all an inflatable badger! After my experiences of the past couple of days, this struck me as inconceivable! On closer inspection the badgers turned out to be calendars for 2006. When we looked at these in the dark last night we thought they featured pictures of Yorkshire, lovely Yorkshire (you really should visit).

Upon more close inspection this morning the pictures were actually of places like Bangladesh and Chittagong. Arguably the paddy fields and oxen should have been a giveaway.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

No Badgers Here

I was back in the fancy dress shop at lunchtime. Whilst I was in there, not one person asked about the availability or otherwise of inflatable badgers. After my experience yesterday, this disappointed me. I shan't return.

Monday, December 12, 2005


True story: I was in a fancy dress shop at lunch time when this guy walks in. He goes up to the counter and says "Hi. Do you have any inflatable badgers?". The shop assistant replied "No, sorry we don't. I've never even seen an inflatable badger.". And then the first guy left, badgerless. If this hadn't been a true story there would have been a great punchline here.

I was left wondering two things:
1. What on earth did he want with an inflatable badger? Was he putting on a special blow-up version of Wind In The Willows?
2. Why didn't the assistant try to sell an alternative animal? Something more conventional, like a vole or an aardvark. I expect they have a backroom full of inflatable marmosets. He missed a good sale there.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

My Weekend

That's the best title for a post, ever!

I haven't managed to do some of the things I was supposed to have done this weekend. These would have included:
- Buying Chistmas cards
- Organising a 60s/70s themed costume for the Christmas dinner on Wednesday
- Have a haircut
- Buying a newspaper
- Other things that are even duller than that last one
- And maybe some other things that I've forgotten

On the other hand, it's been a good weekend. So far anyway. There are still five hours of Sunday left...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Bah Humbug

Whenever I take part in a Secret Santa I'm sure that I always end up down on the deal. We had one yesterday, with gifts worth a maximum of five pounds - I got a black and white Santa Hat with the words "Bah, Humbug" on it. It doesn't even have an exclamation mark. I suspect that whoever bought it may not have understood the instruction that gifts could be up to five pounds. Or maybe they were just tight.

I wore it though - it kept my head warm.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bad me. Bad!

I think I might have done something naughty this morning. Whoops. Ah well, so sue me.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Music Items 1 to 3

The following post is mostly about music. If you don't like music, I suggest you read yesterday's post which was mostly about snowmen.

Music Item Number 1
Last night I went to see The Electric Soft Parade at Fibbers. Haven't seen them play for a couple of years - but now they're back and still great, even though the sound wasn't brilliant at times. There were supposed to have been six of us going, so I bought six tickets. Unfortunately, three of them dropped out due to illness/laziness/perhapsitwassomethingisaidness leading to there being more spare tickets than is normal. It worked out ok though because I was able to sell the two spares I had on me to strangers outside the venue. I felt like a dirty tout, but I got the job done. The third ticket was not in my possession but since I had already received money for it, the fact that it remained unsold was Somebody Else's Problem.

More interestingly, at the end of the gig, the drummer got up and I thought: "Hmmm, I don't remember ESP's drummer being a fat bloke". My memory was correct. The drummer yesterday was in fact, Matt Priest, ex of Dodgy (Unless it wasn't and I was just lied to by a band, and I believed it like a seven year old. That can happen).

Music Item Number 2
Many years ago, Belle and Sebastian recorded one of my all time favourite albums, If You're Feeling Sinister. It's great. Earlier this year, the band played the whole album live from start to finish at a gig in London. The gig was recorded and has now been put out as an album (which I think is only available on iTunes). I've listened to it a couple of times now, and suffice to say, this new version is great too! The same but different. Like all live albums, it suffers slightly from annoying clapping in places but generally, yes it's great. Warm fluffy smile, Happy face.

Music Item Number 3
And finally, I realised whilst out running yesterday that I hadn't ever put a single one of my Toad The Wet Sprocket albums on to my iPod for some reason. This evening I have remedied this. I think Fear is still my favourite. Is it really 14 years old? (yes)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Death of a Snowman

Whilst slightly bored on Sunday night I started playing with a computer drawing program, and this is what I made:


It might be funny if you're an actuary or then again it might not be. I think it's amusing but I also quite enjoy Ben Stiller not being able to turn left in Zoolander so I'm possibly not a good judge.

What it definitely does do, is draw out the tragic, mayfly-like life of your average English snowman. Each year, thousands of snowmen are born here in England. How many of them make it past their first year of existence? None. They fall prey to all sorts of ends - meltings, beheadings, avalanches and plain good old fashioned cholera. The only certain thing is that come 1 year later they are all gone, as if they were never there.

I feel that these passings go largely unremarked. Where's the large memorial for them in a London Park? Where's the minute's silence? Where are the armbands, the ribbons, or the paper flowers? Does nobody care any more?

It's a travesty.

So what I hoped to do with this piece of art is to first make people laugh like they've never laughed before. But then maybe they'll think: "That snowman cartoon was really, really funny, funnier even than Derek Zoolander's inability to turn left. But now that I give it more thought, there was a very serious point being made there too. I've never considered the plight of the English snowmen before but that picture has made me rethink. In fact, it's made me see the whole of my life with a different perspective. I feel renewed, reborn and remade. I am a better person. I care, and I will do all in my power to aid the Snowmen and ensure their need is recognised by the wider population. Oh yes."

If just four hundred people think this way then I, as an artist, will have succeeded. I will have Changed The World For The Better.

And that has to be a great thing.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

0.05 miles per hour

This evening I finished my first marathon! Yep, in just three and a half weeks I have run over 26 miles and hence I must qualify for some sort of medal and a big shiny metal cape. I expect they're in the post - I was a little disheartened when there wasn't a man outside my front door wating for me with said items when I got home. Am I supposed to have called someone first to set that up? Aren't they just supposed to know? Who are "they" anyway? And why aren't they watching me?

Saturday, December 03, 2005


My parents came up to visit today and I took my mother shopping in town. The way I take my mother shopping is that she tells me a shop she wants to go to, I take her to it and wait outside and she goes in and does whatever it is that mothers do in shops. It seems to take a long time.

Today I was waiting outside Duttons for Buttons. A young couple came up to me and asked if I could point them in the right direction for the Jorvik centre. I could indeed do this - they just had to go back the way they'd come about twenty metres and then turn left down a pedestrian street. They'd have been there in about a minute.

Unfortunately for them, I appeared to have a brief mental seizure and forgot where I was standing. I thought I was up the other end of the street I was on. I pointed them in what I thought was the right direction, but sadly my instructions will have taken them to a completely wrong place. I'm wondering how far down Walmgate they will have gotten before realising they had been misled.

The funny thing was that as they walked off (in the wrong direction), I overheard the girl saying to the boy "see, I told you it was down here". For a short while the boy will have felt useless. But soon they would both have felt useless, perhaps thinking that they had been too stupid to follow the simple directions that that nice man had given them.

Maybe they'll have had an argument about it, ended their relationship there and then on the spot (outside Macdonalds the furniture shop, not to be confused with the other one) and then both comitted suicide by tossing themselves into the septic waters of the River Foss. Maybe.

Ah well, I'd like to say sorry to both of them that their sad pathetic lives had to end that way.


I didn't really expect to see much of this morning, and I sort of wish I hadn't because a) It's miserable and wet outside and almost certainly cold too; b) It means I don't have the hangover I'd fully intended to have (which is actually a bad thing).

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Miracle Of Tea

I'm starting today with a mug of Earl Grey. That's not interesting but it is information. Since information is knowledge and knowledge is power, then each and every one of you is a little bit more powerful today than you were yesterday.

I said earlier in the week that I was going to have my first lie in (until 8) on Thrusday for well over a month. Sadly that fell through and has now been postponed to Monday. But then it will happen. Even if I have to strap myself to my bed with leg-irons. I had some installed a few years ago for just such an occassion as this.

But back to the Earl Grey. I wonder if the human race would have advanced so far without the miracle of hot drinks? Normal Tea, Odd Tea, Coffee in all its many forms, Lemsip, Mulled Wine and Fresh Urine - all these drinks have advanced mankind to its present state. I could dwell on this longer but I Have To Go.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Christmas starts here

Since today was the 1st December, the Christmas season has officially started, in my book. This means one thing: tinsel around my computer monitor at work. I've got a piece that I've had for a few years that I've taken with me from role to role. It's a good piece of tinsel and has always served me well.

It sparkles like silver sparklings. It wasn't long before the rest of my team got jealous and they dug out the official team box of decorations, a slightly sorry collection of more tinsel and a single christmas bell which we stuck on the boss's door. He was happy when he saw it. Yes.

Tomorrow is the 2nd of December and will contain my first Christmas Dinner of the year. From then on it's Christmas dinners every week, possibly until next June.

Merry Christmas everyone!