Monday, 23 February 2009

2009, Week 7

For a few hours this week, there was a big chance that I had been horribly killed. Well, at least from my from Mum's point of view, as there was a car accident in Loughborough and she happened to hear about it. I'm not complaining, it's nice to know that someone is thinking about you. I do feel sorry for my sister who lives in South London, she must get the 'just checking you're not dead' answering machine message twice a day.

Talking of the afterlife, it turns out that our potential wedding venue, Leicester's Guild Hall, is the most haunted building in Leicester. So haunted in fact that Yvette Fielding and a bunch of morons paranormal researchers have paid it a visit (you can watch the footage on youtube, although you really must have something, anything better to do, don't you?). There's also 'The Best Paranormal Evidence' which was shot at the Guild Hall, which is essentially sped up footage of sun light moving across a floor. These ghostbusters would shit themselves if they ever saw a disco ball in full swing. Oh, and if you really do buy into most haunted, you really have to read this expose of Derek Acorah, it's hilarious.

There's a weird looking monument that we drive past everytime we goto Loughborough, and I really wanted to go check it out this weekend. It's called the 'Temple of Venus' and sits solitary on a hill next to the A512 (picture here). I know it's on the Garendon Park estate which has partly public grounds, but there are no noticable footpaths near the monument. The only useful bit of information I could find was from the knowhere guide:
the venus temple, ... the farmer. whenever u try to cross his field to get to it, he fires his fucking gun! wanker.
Unsurprisingly, I rain-checked the idea and watched The Wire instead. Me being shot dead would only upset my mum and put a real downer on the weekend.

This weekend I really wanted to fix the floorboards in the bathroom. At the moment standing on them feels like being on a ship in stormy weather. It turns out this is because they're badly fitted and dangerously thin. Basically, until I fix them we need to introduce a weight limit on the bathroom. Until normal service resumes, fatties will be redirected to the shed with a bucket. As usual though, I procrastinated upon this all weekend and got absolutely nothing done.

My little sister was annoying me with compliments this week. She'd been listening to my 6th form band demo CD and asking why I don't record songs anymore. Buoyed by her encouragement I restrung my guitar (previous strings were 4 years old) and wrote a song about how I shouldn't write songs anymore. Unintentionally, It was actually a meta-song in that the song itself proved the point of the lyrics. Nevertheless, I ordered a shiny new 88 key 'stage piano' (i.e. keyboard) to try and start learning piano again, something which I started a year ago and quickly abandoned, blaming my previous keyboard and its sticky keys.

Plan next week? Putting some good time into procrastinating about floor boards and pro-actively planning my excuse for giving up on the piano again. After all, you've got to plan if you ever want to get anything done.

CNPS: 15 (stuck)

Monday, 16 February 2009

2009, Week 6

Good news! Somebody is reading this blog. In fact, possibly two people are reading this blog. I've always insisted that this is a personal exercise but now I have 'followers' I think I need to up my game and do more interesting things to write about. For example, the most exciting thing that happened this week was our bin being nicked by some Sulo stealing son of a bitch.

Sam, my future Brother in Law, has started blogging. You can read his Blog here. I hope he keeps it up. I think the more friends you have blogging increases the chances of having interesting intersections between blogs. For example I can blog about how funny I was when I last saw Kim & Sam and Sam can blog about what an insufferable twat I was when he last saw me. Light and shade, Truth and Lies, Sam and Dave.

I've started getting to the age where I understand the concept of nostalgia and given that most of the quizzes on facebook are nostalgia based (do you remember these 90s films? etc.) I think everyone else my age does too. I do think the internet ruins nostalgia though. It's great looking at the case of an old spectrum game, squinting at the tiny screenshots on the back remembering the hours you wasted trying to clear a screen. The problem is, with the internet you can boot up the game or watch a video in seconds and pretty soon you realise that Jet Set Willy really was just fucking annoying and that He-Man was a badly animated stinking pile of incoherent shit. Anyway, enough ranting. This week I stumbled across something that I never thought I'd see again, Chocolate Cigarettes. I was shocked; How is this possible in the politically correct 21st century? Should a post office of all places be selling such things? And 8 for 39p a packet! No doubt most of the 39p is going to Brown's pocket under the guise of funding treatment of chocolate based diseases on the NHS. Luckily, it was my brand (Coronation), so I bought a pack and had me some chocolate inhalation. Here's me doing my best Deniro

It was valentines this weekend. Jen got me a cool Robot t-shirt (see pic) and hotel chocolat√© goodies. I've been overdosing on chocolate this week. Round Scott and John's we had some absolutely amazing chocolate from Mary, a Belgium based chocolatier. I never really believed the phrase 'orgasm in your mouth' before (well, wrt. food) and I think these chocolates are the closest I'll ever come to that. They are £79 per box if ordering online though, which is what I think you'd expect to pay for non-coitus chocolatey climax.

Jen and I were watching the funny 'Free Agents', in which they were talking about magpie based superstitions. There seems to be quite a few of these. In Free Agents it was that you had to hop on one leg whenever you see a magpie. Apparently on Jen's first day at work at her previous Job somebody walked into the room and saluted her, blew her a kiss, and then walked back out again. This threw Jen a bit, obviously, but it turned out that she wasnt saluting and blowing a kiss to Jen, but a magpie outside.

I watched 'Night of the Hunter' this week, another suggestion from the good but brief 'Rough Guide to Horror Movies'. Although I think the film went of the rails at the end with its Saccharin Hollywood ending, the cinematography was outstanding and genuinely creepy. I've been quick to write off older (i.e. pre 1970s) films as over acted, but I think that they were more about escapism then the hyper-real movies we are used to now. Night of the hunter was surreal, almost fairy tale like and some of the shots were enfused with the threat of the titular hunter. Check out some screen grabs i've found on the nets...

CNPS: 15

Monday, 9 February 2009

2009, Week 5

Monday morning we woke up to the most snow we've had in 18 years. For the whole week snow kept falling, freezing, and almost causing Jen and I to have a minor car crash. On Monday we both left work early (for safety reasons, obviously) and because the snow was still novel we made a frosty guitar hero, which was soon David to the Goliath that was built by some neighbours over the road. Being cosy inside when it's freezing outside is amazingly relaxing, and thanks to flexi-time I can leave and return home early, get in a sleeping bag and watch The Wire. By Wednesday we were both fed up of the snow wishing it would get back to good old miserable rainy february.

All week The Met Office were advising people not to make non-essential journeys. What the hell is a non-essential journey? Going to work isn't strictly essential, getting out of bed isn't essential, brushing my teeth isn't essential, washing at least a week isn't essential, well, you get my point. Simon at work pointed out that all week had been like that magical time between Christmas and New Years, when the office was only half-full and it didn't feel like you have to work at full capacity (or in other words, it felt that staring out of the window cheering on minor car crashes was a legitimate use of time).

My sister met Prince Harry, Neve Cambell and Matthew Lillard this week. She meets alot of legitimately famous people working in a leading costume hire shop in central london. To be honest I think she goes on about it too much. I saw Tim Vincent at a service station 4 years ago and you don't hear me going on about that! show off.

Kim and Sam got me a Munny for Christmas. My Munny's accessory was a Baseball bat, so I decided that the Munny had to be a Droog. Here he is. Don't fuck with him, he'll break your legs.

droog munny
Jen's been doing some cooking this weekend and it's been tasty. First up an 'Onion Soup au Gratin' (Soup with cheese on toast on top to you and me), sounds weird, tastes lush. Then a chocolate beetroot cake. Apparently the beetroot makes the whole thing moist. Again, sound weird, tastes lush. Here's a picture of the chocolate cake being dominated by my naked Munny:

naked munny on cake
We decided to go see a potential wedding venue on Sunday - Leicester's Guild Hall. Despite the fact that the hall is a minute walk from the Shire's shopping centre, we'd never been past it before. More to the point, it's directly opposite Leicester's Cathedral, which we'd also never been to before. The hall is wonderful. Built in the 16th Century it looks almost untouched (apart from a neat visitors centre). Assuming it doesn't cost too much (which it shouldn't, as it's owned by the council), we've pretty much settled on it as our wedding venue. Also, a lovely hotel Jen found weeks ago for the reception is a minutes walk away, how good is that?

guild hall leicester front

guild hall leicester interior
On the way back from Leicester it started snowing again so we decided to go up Beacon Hill and take some photos, here's a few:

beacon hill in snow

CNPS : 14

Monday, 2 February 2009

It's Snowing!

I especially like the solar-powered lights for arms

Sunday, 1 February 2009

2009, Week 4

It seems that I've got into the habit of starting my weekly diary by moaning about the weather, and there's no change this week. It absolutely freezing. Colder than a cold thing in a freezer. I guess that means it's colder then than frozen peas. What a crap metaphor. Then again it doesn't help that I was walking around Bristol on Saturday night in a t-shirt getting blasted by the 'Siberian' gales. It was like having someone throwing frozen peas at you. Oh i give up...

I've become slightly obssessed with Twitter, having to check up on who I'm following at least every hour. I'm pretty sure it's one of those crazes that everyone will do a few months and then give up, like Tamagotchis, Myspace or being nice to each other. I'm current stalking following Graham Linehan, Stephen Fry (who isn't?), Peter Serafinowicz, Charlie Brooker and Jonathan Ross who are all pretty active.

We went to see Flic and Martin in Bristol this week. Half way down the M42 Jen realised that I hadn't replaced my tax disc and my current one was due to expires that day. Being the pathetic worrier I am I immediately assumed that if I got caught my car would be crushed, they'd put 6 points on my license and repossess my house. I had to pull into the next services, panic a little, breath, and then ring my Dad to convince me that everything was going to be OK, which of course, it was.

As soon as we got to Bristol (late) we were off to the city centre for a mini pub crawl. We start off at Goldbrick House a multi-story cafe/bar/restaurant. Each floor seemed to have a bar and with all the stair cases it was all a bit reminiscent of Relativity by Escher.

OK, that made me look more cultured then I am. What I actually thought it looked like was that bit at the end of Labyrinth when Bowie's chasing Jennifer Jason Leigh with his crystal balls, which I knew to be influenced by some mind-fuck picture. Talking of which, I vividly remember my Doctor having Ascending and Descending by Escher on his office wall. I'm guessing that it was intended to reflect the ongoing carousel of patients that is the medical profession, that how ever hard he was to work, he's really fighting a loosing battle against nature. Basically, he was saying 'everybody dies' in pictorial form, which is a pretty dark statement for a GP's office. Or maybe he just liked fucking with kid's heads with weird optical illusions.

Back to Goldbrick House. I had the first of a few weird toilet experiences in the pub. I went in to a cubical and started having a cheeky cubical wee when I noticed that my stream was not making the normal splashy noise. After checking and adjusting aim, I noticed that the toilet bowl was full of ice. This threw me. Is this normal? Maybe it's a mechanism to stop splash back? I then started questioning whether I was actually in a toilet, thinking that maybe I was actually as close as I'd every be to literally pissing in someone's champaign. Despite convincing myself that it was a real toilet after I finished I sheepishly ran out of the toilet hoping no one saw me.

This has lead to the weirdest Google search I've done in a long time. It turns out that ice cubes in urinals can provide a 'continuous flush' effect; ice cubes in bars tend to have more bacteria than toilet water and there is a myth that if everyone flushes 3 icecubes down their toilet it will cause a snow day. No word on icecubes in toilet bowls though.

Next pub was Llandoger Trow, famous for influencing Robert Lewis Stevenson when writing Treasure Island. We got asked for cash by randoms twice in the pub, the first a homeless 'need money to get to hostel' type and the second a charity collector selling badges. We reckoned that the second guy was also a homeless, guy, just one with a plan. Although the effort of creating a charity (who's patron was Jo Brand, he told us, nice embellishment), ID lanyard and a collection of attractive metal badges probably would of cost more then the quid I gave him. Ha, idiot!

Then came the second weird toilet experience. I walked into the toilet to be confronted by 10 men all cheering on one fella with his trousers round his ankles pissing into a urinal five feet away. As usual I assumed the 'play with phone until weirdos go' position.

Next up was Start the Bus, which seemed like a cool place and had Hoegaarden on tap (whoop!). Disappointingly the trip to the toilet was without event. lame. We had some food in Pizza Express, where
the second or possibly third weird homeless guy of the night tried to take my seat whilst I was in the toilet (OK, you can probably tell by now that I have a bladder the size of a Panda Cola bottle).

Finally we went to the Hatchet Inn an alternative pub orginating in 1606 (The pub that is, not that it started being alternative in 1606*, don't think there were many tudor emos).

After getting back to the flat we played a bit of Guitar Hero world tour with dual guitars. I haven't been so drunk in a long time, probably years. I remember thinking that I couldn't see the screen so I put my glasses on. Because I still had double vision I decided that my glasses were broken (?) and sat about a foot away from the screen and proceeded to fail everysong because I arrogantly kept setting it on expert. What a douche. Awesome night though.

CNPS: 12 (how many people have a number plate with 13 on it?)

* Not actually tudor period, that finished three years earlier. Plantagenet Era didn't sound quite so good.