Monday, August 29, 2005

Back To Work *

25 days ago, I started my leave. It all comes to an end tomorrow morning. Fuck, shit, bollocks and arseholes! Oh, well, I suppose all good things have to end at some point.

Anyway, this series of pics has certainly cheered me up - particularly as my footballing mood had dipped in the last hour or so as a caught the news that Millwall have suffered yet another defeat. They lie rooted at the bottom of the table with one point from six games - tossers. Posted by Picasa

*All the following artists have recorded a song by this name: Ericke; Swamy; Skoidats; Pmd; Deftones; The Wonder Stuff, Johnny Corporate (what a great name); Nando Boom; La Sonora Porvena; Barbra Streisand (whose website contains a great deal of anti-Bush and general anti-neocon material).

Friday, August 26, 2005

Oh My Golly *

John at Counago and Spaves (sorry, blogger not allowing links today for some reason - click on his link on the left) brings us news of a possible sighting of Aurora Borealis over Ireland tonight. It made me wonder whether there was any connection with this and the strange events in the skies above south-east London on Wednesday night, which 'er indoors told me about last night . . .

. . . the boy runs into living room around 8pm on Wednesday to tell his mum that there is something strange going in the sky. 'er indoors had, she tells me, thought that there was something strange going on with the light coming from outside. I'll just put in here that it was absolutely pissing down with rain at the time. 'er indoors looks outdoors and thinks weird shit is happening. 'er indoors and the boy go outside where they find half the street also out looking up at the sky, with stunned silence all round, with the exeption of the rain falling. The sight taking everyone's breath away is the "yellow sky", according to 'er indoors, along with dashing lights across the sky, while the clouds are "lower than I've ever seen them in my life," she says. Her first reaction is - and no laughing at the back - there has been a nuclear explosion and "this is the end of the world." Of course, she doesn't pass this information on to the boy, for fear of panicking him into a suicide bid before the facts have been uncovered. At the same time, a helicopter can be heard not far overhead, but, because of the low clouds, remains out of sight. And, a few minutes later, it was all over. No explanation was offered up by any of the witnesses to this strange event and everyone went back indoors.
The only reason for all this that I can think of is that, taking into account the time of the evening (i.e. the sun setting), coupled with the rain, it may simply have been some weird sort of distorted rainbow which couldn't be fully seen as a result of the low clouds. Other than that, I can think of nothing other than the northern lights coming down south for the holidays. Maybe someone out there can offer the real explanation - come on, try!
The reason I didn't witness this incredible sight was that I was ensconced in the pub for a post-five-a-side-drink, nursing my wounds. Getting beat 9-7 was bad enough against a team that we should really have stuffed, but I also felt the full force of the ball hitting me square on the nose from the boot of a really strong bloke who blasted it from about five yards away from me. I temporarily blacked out, before coming to my senses to tend to the blood gushing from my very large honker. It's still a bit tender 48 hours later. And, as for my legs, because I hadn't played for a few weeks as a result of holidays, I can hardly walk while getting up and down the stairs and from the chair is hard work. My whole body aches actually.
As well as an aching body, I've also had to put up with a bruised ego the last day or two as the boy has suddenly decided to take the piss out of my dress sense. This morning he even called his friend into my bedroom at which they both doubled over in laughter due to the fact that my t-shirt was tucked into my trousers!!! "You're such a geek," the boy says, while his friend mimics me by tucking his top into his jeans and chortling that he "can't believe that anyone would choose to look like that." Needless to say, t-shirt is now well out of the trousers and will never reside in those parts ever again!

* The Pixies

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The view from our campsite, looking north towards Palamos. Posted by Picasa

One of Gaudi's towers at Parc Guell, the homage to his then patron, in Barcelona. Posted by Picasa

Reidski and the lads looking over the bay at Tossa del Mar, which was quite a lovely place for a tourist resort and where we sat was on the fortress high up from the beach.  Posted by Picasa

The day thunder and lightning came to the campsite. Posted by Picasa

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona - the most amazing of Gaudi's creations in this amazing city. Posted by Picasa

Reidski weaving and climbing his way through the narrow lanes of Girona. Posted by Picasa

The pic doesn't do these ice creams which we had in Palamos justice - they were fucking massive! Posted by Picasa

The rather nice Girona cathedral - we should really have taken some pics of the view from top of steps which overlooked the city and the Pyrennes in the distance. Posted by Picasa

The view south from the lighthouse atop Cap de Sant Sebastia looking over Palamos and Sant Antoni de Calonge and the mountains beyond. We were very high up here and, once again, Reidski couldn't quite hack it. Posted by Picasa

the boy looking miserable in the beautiful city of Girona. He was miserable cos he was awoken from his sleep in the car by friend who bashed him in the face with his bag - but that was 45 minutes before this pic was taken. Posted by Picasa

On the way to Tossa del Mar for the day, our trip took us over some amazing coast roads. This is the view looking south on top of a mountain. Reidski, needless to say, enjoyed the view from the car (Reidski suffers from vertigo). Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 22, 2005

Back Home *

Arrived back home yesterday following a two-week holiday on a campsite just outside Platja D'Aro (or, as the Spanish would put it, Playa D'Aro,), which is, as I expect one or two of the folks over at Counago and Spaves can confirm, about equidistant from both Girona and Barcelona. It was a very nice campsite and the town itself was okay as holiday resorts go. It's a very rocky coastline round those parts so there were very very few beaches which could run for much longer than a few hundred yards, which made it all the more lovely, as the beaches were split up into individual alcoves. Many hours were, needless to say, spent lounging about at either the beach or outside the mobile home reading. Holiday reading this year consisted of the always brilliant Ellmore Leonard's City Primeval, Joseph O'Connor's Inishowen (flat ending to what had been a pacy read up to that point, I thought) and, the highlight, Alexander Dumas's Count of Monte Cristo, a classic. Coincidentally, a recent adaptation starring Guy Pearce was on the box last night and wound me up as it bore very very very little relationship to the book. In fact, while I'm on the subject, I don't think the very complicated and detailed plot can be managed in one film, that's why the five-part French TV serial with Gerrard Depardieu that was on British TV a few years ago worked so well as it offered the opportunity to delve into the intrigues and plots the Count undertook.

Anyway, I digress...

Catalunya really is a beatiful region/country with lovely green hills and mountains as far as the eye could see. We visited various little towns around Platja D'Aro and spent a day in Barcelona, with Parc Guell, La Ramblas, Placa de la Catalunya, Bari Gotic all featuring on the itinerary of a busy day in that most exquisite of cities.

'er indoors and the boy and his friend flew out from Girona airport on Saturday afternoon, so we took advantage and spent the morning in the city and wished we had spent more time there as it was totally gorgeous around the Cathedral.

As I'm shit scared of flying, it was hop on bus to Barcelona for me, spent another nice afternoon there and got the overnight train to Paris, but that part of the journey started off badly as I received a text message informing me of Celtic's defeat to the forces of darkness earlier in the day. The only thing of note about my couple of hours in Paris were the two controlled explosions in the Gard du Nord while I was there - probably only someone's dirty washing or souvenirs which are now no more. And then it was back home yesterday afternoon.

All in all, a very nice and relaxing couple of weeks were had by all, with the only problem during the holiday being the boy and his friend having the same designs on a girl at the campsite which caused a few tense discussions involving all concerned. I didn't look at any news or newspaper all this time, apart from taking a peek at a paper last Thursday morning to check out the England score - ha ha ha!

I now have another week off work, during which I intend to do absolutely nothing and I'm particularly looking forward to the watching the fourth Test starting on Friday.

Oh, by the way, I note that all my favourite bloggers have been really busy over the last week or so, please keep it up!

* The 1970 England World Cup Squad

Friday, August 05, 2005

Relax *

A good day. Done shit loads of work, got a haircut, had, for the first time since I started in my current job two and half years ago, a pint at lunchtime, got shortchanged, didn't notice until pint was finished and started walking away from pub but returned and got my tennner back without much fuss, done more shit loads of work and, when bell went for end of day, breathed a huge sigh of relief.

I'm now on leave until the Tuesday after the August bank holiday - yes, three and a half weeks. Off to Paris tomorrow to catch a train to Barcelona to catch a bus to Platja D'Aro (or, in Spanish, Playa D'Aro) and into campsite where I will catch up with the boy and 'er indoors and the boy's friend. Can't wait. Love long train journeys, love drinking on long train journeys and love being on my own drinking on long train journeys.

I'll be back blogging in two weeks - promise!!! Missing you guys already!

* Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Numb *

We nearly nearly nearly done it - so close but, then again, so far!

* Portishead

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye *

And it wasn't any way to say goodbye to tnr and the wife. After weekend visit, last night, which had comprised of game of Cranium and then Balderdash (the latter being tnr's all-time favourite), finished with said tnr slumping asleep on my dinner table, but, hey, maybe that is the way to say goodbye. For obvious reasons, neither he, nor thewife (although not a drop of drink passed her lips the previous evening) were up when I set off for work at 7.15am this morning. So, hey, no way to say goodbye. Now that I think about it, there was an obvious reason why thewife of tnr didn't drink last night and that's because she was stoshis drunk on Saturday night when we met up with he delightful Father Bell (contributor to tnr blog) and his partner in a lovely alcove at the stupendous Cork & Bottle wine bar up town. It can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable being the odd one out when very very old friends meet up, but I certainly didn't feel left out in any way on that night and had a great time. Seeing tnr and thewife sound asleep in cab on way home was a particular treat. Not a treat was the fact that thewife of tnr found me asleep on the couch when she got up on Sunday morning.

That was a good day out and so was Sunday afternoon at Spitalfields market.

What is also good is the fact that I've been listening to the Frank & Walters tonight. Who remembers them? Who, in fact, has ever heard of them? Classic early '90s guitar band, hailing from Cork, they made some of the most beautiful pop songs of their day. Tune in and enjoy. What I loved about them was that I could imagine they were singing about people they knew personally and situations which had actually happened. I think this geezer in Happy Busman existed and I like him:

Andy James drives a bus for the lonely
He cheers up everyone everyday
Andy James loves them all like his family
and I think he's sent here by God.

Lovely lovely lyrics. And now I've just put Christy Moore on the turntable - yes, vinyl is making a comeback in the Reidski household.

Oh, and, while I'm listening to music downstairs, upstairs sees the boy and friend watching Napoleon Dynamite - I'm jealous, cos I've been wanting to see this film since it came out and just not got round to it.

Busy as fuck at work today and I will be for the rest of the week - then, IT'S HOLIDAY and Costa Brava here we come. The entourage, minus Reidski, fly off on Saturday and get to Girona where hired car will take them to destination. Reidski, meanwhile, being a shitbag and too frightened to fly, gets train to Barcelona and then bus from there to Platja D'Aro.

* One of the greatest: Leonard Cohen