Friday, February 22, 2008

Farewell til they stretcher me from the mount

If I was sensible I'd be catching a nap right now. In two and a half hours, I'm due to get a taxi to Manchester airport, thence onto Chambery, thence onto Courcheval, thnce to go skiing. Most of that journey will be relatively short trips without good sleep opportunity.

And by the time we get there it will be lunchtime Saturday with a good many hours before bedtime.

So am I sleeping? No! Sleep is for the weak.

I'm wondering whether to have another cider or no.

See y'all in a while.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nearly Ski Time

I've got one more proper sleep until we go skiing for a week. Packing is about 80% complete and I haven't yet got too much fear in me.

Frankly, I'm looking forward to going somewhere where the weather is likely to be a bit warmer than it is here at the moment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


York's Pizza Express has just been reopened after a refurbishment and in the main it's not too different inside. It used to be a nice old building and now it's still the same nice old building just with different tables and chairs.

We ate there last night and the most significant change I noticed was that Peroni is now available in Big bottles as well as regular ones. Saves reordering.

More strangely, they've done an odd thing with the urinals. The gents' ones at least - I can't comment on the ladies' urinals. Because I didn't go in there. I'm a gent not a lady.

But the gents' ones, they used to be these big porcelain jobbies. Clearly quite old as they were a bit cracked and they don't make em like that any more. About 5 feet high from ground to the top, against the wall and with dividers between where different gents would wee.

They're still there now but you can't wee in them because there's kind of a dark glass screen in front of them. You wee on that instead. At first you think the old ones have gone but then you realise you can see a kind of reflection in the glass that looks like the old urinals. And then you realise that it's not a reflection, but a transparency and that the old is still there, behind the new. And then you realise that whilst you've realised all this you've forgotten what you're supposed to be doing and have wee'd all over your shoe.


How are you supposed to spell wee'd by the way?

Other than all that it's business as usual. I had a good Diavola, very nicely spicy. And a big aforementioned Peroni.

Also on Tuesday nights at the moment, the Pitcher and Piano are doing two pints for the price of one on all pints after 6pm. That almost makes it criminal to not go there on a Tuesday. I'd have taken more advantage if I hadn't had to get the seven o'clock train to Peterborough this morning.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Various Vegetables

I've discovered a new vegetable that I like - asparagus.

I think I must have somehow avoided it all my life, certainly until last week I don't recall actively eating any. But we got some mini(ish) ones from M&S last week and I fried them up and they were delicious. So at Sainsburys we bought some normal size ones and fried them and they were delicious too!

I think they are perhaps the single vegetable best suited for the frying pan.

Apart possibly from Onions.

I wonder if there are other common vegetables out there that I've never given any of my time to but that would reward me if I did? For the record, the following is a list of vegetables I know I've had. I've had a couple of ciders so I may forget a few. And I may or may not include several so-called salad-vegetables.

Here we go:

Potato, Leek, Onion, Asparagus, Mange Tout, Pea, Swede, Carrot, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Runner Bean, Misc. Other Beans, Broccolli, Baby Cabbage, Sprout, Bean Sprout, Baby Carrot, Red Onion, Red Cabbage, Sweet Potato, Parsnip, Tomato (don't even think it!), Lettuce, Cucumber, Radish, Spinach, Okra, Celery, Celeriac, Fennel, Sugar Snap Peas... I'm out.

Maybe a good challenge would be to eat ten new vegetables....?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ballot Failure 2008

The entry ballot for the 2008 Great North Run has now taken place, and I haven't got in. This doesn't mean that I won't be doing it, it just means I'll have to do it for charity. I was planning to do it for charity anyway so this isn't a huge hardship but it does mean that I have a slightly more limited choice as I can only run with one that will give me one of their guaranteed places.

And then I have to raise money again.

And actually start training properly. I've been quite lazy recently, not really getting out more than once a week (apart from the mental week where I went out before work twice).

But it's good for me. That's what I keep telling myself.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Return Of The Trolley

Today was the start of potentially a new (yet old) era at work... the return of The Tea Trolley! Yes, that's right, as a pioneering move, we're having a trial run of an at desk trolley service like what you'd get on a train or in the 1950s.

It's only a trial so initially they're not going to have much of a schedule and are just going to wonder round and try and see where the demand is. Future schedules will then be built to go more often to places where they'll sell more.

So when I spied the lady this morning I made damned sure I bought a coffee. I want them to come round my area lots, as I want coffee! And chocolate!

And was it my imagination or did it taste better than the stuff I normally get from the work cafe?

Downsides to this idea:
- I can go to the cafe any time I want, whilst the trolley is only intermittent.
- I don't get stamps on my loyalty card from the trolley.

and most importantly...

- I sit 20 seconds walk from the cafe, so it's not like it's an effort.

But still, it's good stuff. I'm hoping that next week they reintroduce the use of small boys as "chimney sweeps".

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Capitalist Pizza Scum

They say hard times are coming. They say standards of living are going to fall. They say recession. They say inflation. They say lots of hard things I don't understand.

But today I found hard evidence that we're going to need to tighten our belts. We ordered a couple of pizzas from Dominos and their prices seem to have jumped by over 10%-15%! Large pizzas are now about two pounds more than they were a couple of weeks ago. I could barely believe my wallet.

Apparently it's linked to unprecedented rises in the world price of Mozzarella or something. Bollocks more like.

Didn't stop me ordering the yummy pizza though ;-)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

See You Another Night

I went into HMV yesterday lunchtime and bought the new album by One Night Only. As far as I can tell (from what I've heard) they are a bit overrated - a good band but nothing out of the ordinary.

In the evening, in that same store, they were going to be doing an in-store appearance involving (probably) a short set and a signing session. Entry would be by pre-obtained wristband only.

Since I was buying the album, the shop-lady asked me if I wanted a wristband. I said no-thanks. She seemed a little surprised by this and must clearly have assumed that I was a fan since I was buying the album (with cash) on the day of release. Even though I was wearing a tie, which isn't very rock and roll.

She checked what I'd said - "You don't want to see them play?". I said, no thanks, not tonight. She still looked puzzled but let me be. She must have assumed I was just a misery-guts. My reasons for refusal were two-fold. Firstly, I had planned to go running after work. Secondly, I have tickets to see them in a couple of weeks at Fibbers and so I figured I could wait until then. I didn't want to have to explain all this to the shop-lady as I had a sandwich in my other hand and I wanted to return to my office desk so I could munch on it.

It was lucky she didn't push the subject and I'm happy for her to consider me a misery-guts if she wishes.

Monday, February 11, 2008

57 Channels....

Having only got satellite TV relatively recently, it's taken me a while to start remembering I have it and to turn it on from time to time. It's amazing how much old telly is on there, repeated over and over. But I don't think the repetition is necessarily a barrier to enjoyment. The key is to only ever watch it whilst you are slightly drunk and doing something else. That way it always seems fresh.

Hence I'm currently enjoying Shooting Stars whilst writing this.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pokemon Swearing

It's no wonder that today's kids are nightmares. I was playing Pokemon this morning and was SHOCKED to see the following dialogue:

Inappropriate Pokemon Language

I wouldn't be surprised now if Mario turned out to head of the Mafia.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The following post may give you nightmares...

There's an advert for Radio 2 on the telly at the moment in which Terry Wogan goes up into a loft, finds an old fiddle, plays a bit of The Verve on it, gets excited, knocks the light out and then falls through the loft floor into the house below. The advert then says "Amazing music. Played by an amazing line-up".

I started to imagine what it would be like if all music on Radio 2 was actually played by Terry Wogan. And I got scared because the clip below is what it would be like.

Gotta love the 70s.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Early Run? Yes.

I did go out for a run this morning. I was out of bed at half six and out of the house at ten to seven for a three miler (with bits of walking cos I'm starting from a low base). I think I'm converted - it's much better than going in the evening.

Five reasons why running in the morning is better than going in the evening:

1. The roads are quieter - it's much easier to cross them when you need to.
2. It gets it out of the way so you don't have to worry about it all day.
3. You can work late if you want to.
4. It's better preparation for the Great North Run when you have to get up earlier.
5. It's better for the world - you don't need to have an extra shower.

I suspect it's crap if one has been drinking the night before though.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Early Run?

I've been finding it hard to find time to go running recently. The weather has been pretty awful (either cold, wet or Cold & Wet) and I've been working lateish quite a lot. I'm therefore seriously contemplating going out for an early morning run before work tomorrow. I reckon if I get up at half six I can go out for three miles with loads of time to spare and even get in to work early.

But at the same time, I'm not sure I want to be one of those people who does exercise first thing in the morning. I quite like being the sort of person who gets up early to watch Prison Break before work. That feels like me. But not running.

I'll see how I feel when the alarm goes off and take it from there.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Strange places for gigs

We went to Liversedge last night for a gig. Four Day Hombre were playing a low-key show in an old church crypt, the same one where they've been recording the new album. An excellent show and it was good they had installed a (can) bar and portaloo in there! Most of the new songs sound excellent, and I especially liked Red Red Rose and San Francisco. I am looking forward to the album when it's ready.

I don't think it was the strangest place I've ever seen a gig. To my mind that crown is still held by Ash playing in the entrance to Castle Mall in Norwich. That was just odd Anyone seen anything stranger than in a church crypt or a shopping mall entrance?