Monday, 24 August 2009

Back now from a week-long holiday on a narrow boat. It was a pretty good little break… chugging along the Grand Union at 4mph in ridiculous sunglasses and all that stuff. 100 locks, 100 miles… that’s what the man said. I got through three packets of fig rolls - which, I think, is a personal best over that particular timeframe, although it would be quite easy to smash the record should I ever choose to attempt it. I mean, you could probably do a solid 8 to 10 packets a day if you were deadly serious. With a sensible training regime, who knows how far you could go. But I wouldn‘t bother. The only real downside to the week was travelling through Birmingham. Visually it was very interesting - I love looking at those old factories that line the canals, and the way that they’re gradually crumbling away - but it just didn’t feel safe. You feel somehow threatened… what with the hordes of kids gathering on the bridges and hurling abuse (and saliva) at boaters. I think we got something more akin to abuse, but we later met a family who received the full-on saliva from a great height experience. Very nice. I think we saw a total of one other boat on that day, and it was going in the opposite direction.

I devised a new method of feeding ducks which I christened the Breadbomb. I’ll be utilising the Breadbomb from now on, whenever I have the opportunity to do so. It came about as there seem to be so few ducks doing the rounds - at least in comparison to the Norfolk broads - that you find you‘ve stockpiled a shit-load of bread in your hand. You were preparing for an onslaught of ducks but they never came. Eventually I became so frustrated by the lack of ducks that, when I finally found one, I would throw a handful of bread at it. Not to it… at it. I would launch this handful of bread at tremendous speed. Shock and awe. The poor little thing didn’t know what hit it. The breadbomb. Everyone’s a winner with a Breadbomb.

I suppose that’s all really. But here are a few small excerpts from my journal thingy, hot off the press:
  • “I can’t shake the nagging fear that they might be planning on dropping a breezeblock or a trolley. Having said that, there have been no breezeblocks thrown onto our boat. No shopping trolleys either.”
  • “It was the most depressing atmosphere I have ever eaten a bacon sandwich in.”
  • “I instantly recognised that it was a mistake and that, no matter what happened, I needed to get that tool back. The boy momentarily placed it on the ground and I felt a rush of euphoria as I realised that it was my moment to recover it. But I didn’t act on my urge quick enough and, before I knew it, the podgy little tyke had it back in his grasp. I’d blown it. And then I realised… the bicycle! If I stood by the bicycle I’d have some insurance - if the little git tried something clever I’d nick his bike. Whether or not I‘d actually have gone through with it, I don‘t know... Fortunately he too made a mistake, placing the tool on the ground for a second time. I knew there wouldn’t be a third, so I pounced on it. The tool was safely back in my hand. But he wasn’t prepared to give up on it… and so I found myself grappling with a child over a spanner.”
  • “The only pub nearby is a Harvester - which is disappointing in itself.”


It was a good holiday.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Nearly checked up on the spider today. Thought better of it.

Monday, 10 August 2009

As far as I'm aware the massive spider is still inside the hoover. I'd like to think it was dead by now, but the reality is that it's probably been feasting on all the dust & crumbs and become something altogether more terrifying instead. I fear it may have mutated into something resembling a crab. It may have become a crab-like form.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Last night...

It was the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life. There was a struggle. I fluffed two attempts to capture it, and then became a little hysterical. Eventually, after it had evaded the packet of guitar strings I threw at it, and after it dodged the cardboard poster tube I tried to roll over it, I resorted to the hoover. It made sense at the time, but now I realise that it was one of those situations where you solve a problem by creating another. So, even though the spider is no longer able to scuttle around freely, it's now inside my hoover chamber. I can see it in there. I'm too scared to empty it just in case it escapes. I had to tape the nozzle up to make sure that it wouldn't find a way out. I don't know what to do about it. I can never use the hoover again. Frankly I'm not happy with this.

On the subject of spiders; I'm having to dispose of money spiders like there's no tomorrow. They just keep appearing all over the place. I'm using the kitchen roll method - which is a method I devised myself specifically for the task. The kitchen roll method consists of two sheets of kitchen roll, folded over to make one extra strong square, laid in the palm of one hand, and then used to grab the spider. Once you're confident that the spider is in the kitchen roll you can neatly fold it up and deposit it into the bin. You have to make sure that the kitchen roll doesn't unfold itself though. They need to be tucked in tight. One glimpse of escape and they're on it. Generally speaking, I don't mind the money spider though... they are no threat to me. It's just I'd rather they weren't there. An inconvenience. But those nasty, thick, meaty bastards with a bit of bulk to them... they really get me down. There's something inherently evil about them.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Haven't posted one of these for a long time. Thankfully blogger tells you that you've deleted your account but secretly keeps all your posts hidden away somewhere. Somewhere where you can't get to them and then you become all depressed about all those lovely little words you typed being lost forever. Anyway, a lot has changed since the last time I wrote stuff here. The most major thing ~ though not the most exciting in my opinion ~ is that I've moved in to my own place. It's gone ok so far & I've managed to get a grip on all my finances and stuff like that... despite setting up all my direct debits, feeling very pleased with myself, and then realising that I'd given the wrong bank details for every one. I had to phone back each one and explain what a twit I had been, before giving them the right details. I maintain that it was my bank's fault though, as they have never (never!) ever (ever!) sent me a paper statement for my loan account. I mean, I've had this account for the best part of a year, and they've never sent me a statement. Yet, for some reason, they'd sent me one and I picked it up automatically assuming it was my normal account. The thought of checking these details never crossed my mind.

One of the highlights of the place is the fire escape. I mean, I'm talking about a structure so dangerous that you'd be tempted to say you know what, I think I'll take my chances in the fire. Seriously, if the fire doesn't kill you, the fall will. Heh. That being said, I'd rather there was to be no fire at all. I could do without that.

Enough about that though. In other news I caught a particularly virulent strain of swine flu from a particularly virulent strain of sausage roll, and our little musical project has now become a fully-fledged four-piece band thanks to the addition of a phenomenally gifted drummer called James, and a real general of the bass (& a phenomenally gifted guitarist who seems inexplicably happy to let me and Lance take care of shredding duties) called Antony. We've done two rehearsal things now, last night and the previous Thursday. I know I shouldn't go on about this because nobody benefits from it, but it's very exciting... you know, for us to be in a room with these two guys who are so intuitive and autonomous... and to finally have the songs translate from the recordings into something else, something tangible... it's just a complete headfuck. Sorry for that last word, but it kinda feels appropriate. I can't believe how great some of the songs sound, and how they're changing... new sections being improvised, other bits being chopped or re-arranged. So exciting, problem is that I'm wishing the days away now until the next session. The plan is to make it a regular thing ~ maybe once every three weeks or so ~ and then try and play somewhere, to people. I think it can happen.

I've been off work for three weeks now. Not exactly sure when I have to go back. I'm not going to moan about it, but, great as it is, getting six weeks off isn't quiet as brilliant as you'd think it would be. At least it's not for me anyway. I find it hard to fill the days, what with pretty much everybody you know being at work. And so I've been filling my days with a steady diet of Homes Under the Hammer and various other antiques or boot sale-based shows. I hate them, but I can't help it. To be honest, my main grievance isn't with the format, but with Lorne Spicer. She's vile in every way imaginable. My heart sinks when those opening titles end and she toddles out onto the screen. You always hope that it's going to be anybody other than Spicer. I dread to think how she got to where she is. She's just a horrible, horrible (horrible) woman. Homes Under the Hammer though, now that's made of stern stuff.

I'm going on a narrow boat soon.