Sunday, January 11, 2004

The Beat Goes On

Well I wonder what's in store for 2004. I'll tell you one thing, there's an extra day in this year. I'll use it wisely and get pissed probably, why treat it any different to any other day, hey?

The New Year's do was a good 'un, to say the least. Negatives were few (Rat Pack tribute band weren't on for long enough, and my brandy came in a Carling branded tall glass). Positives were plenty: dancing, the new jacket was actually comfortable; table service; Grolsch in four-pint jugs; good company; comedy 'Dave Wicked'-style DJ (though I don't think he was being ironic!); some rather ropey photographs (courtesy of BDM).

Monday was my Nan's funeral, and I have to say it was a good service and a great turnout. The church was lovely, but the crematorium was like Ikea, and lacked any character, identity or soul. Merk spotted that the crucifix was detatchable, and there were probably a Hindu wheel, Moslem crescent and a star of David in a broom cupboard somewhere, reminding one that while religion still has an ever-decreasing role in people's lives it is Commercialism that is the real daddy! Where are you in your time of need Karl Marx?

After the wake in the Swan on Watling Street, me, Merk and Fella decided not to waste the afternoon we had off work, so we went on a bit of a crawl around Wellington's more esteemed establishments. We walked up the road to (ahem) Ye Olde King's Head (née Sugar Ray's, née the King's Head). My companions had spent a lot of time in this place a few years ago, when they were all at college, but I missed out on that, and to me it's always looked, smelt and sounded like the scruffy place it was. No more though. Gone are the threadbare furnishings, gone are the fag-stained floor/walls/ceiling/staff, gone are the crusty types sitting by the door feeding their dog Fosters from an ashtray, gone are the ropey birds offering to dip their nipple in the beer for an extra 15 pence on topless barmaids night. Sadly it seems, gone too are the punters. There was a lot of pine, but also some daring animal prints and left-field funiture and some half-arsed sixth-form abstractism on the walls too. The pool table looked and played as if we were deflowering there and then, and the beer was cheap and it wasn't bad neither. Sadly for us, just as we were settling, they closed. So off up the street in search of an open pub, which wasn't as easy as it as it was supposed to be. After a few in Rasputin's (which is really looking scratchy these days), it was off to that new Beacon, which is very 'Varsity'. It's a lovely looking place, and is huge. I couldn't really tell you much else about it because by this stage (about 5pm), I hadn't eaten all day, and the booze was starting to do strange things to me! In fact I asked the bar staff to make up an Ewok cocktail (vodka, midori, grenadine, apple juice). They told me they didn't do cocktails, and so it might be quite expensive. Instead of walking away, I reached into my pocket and extracted another two-pound coin from the depths within. She finished making it and handed it over, then played with the till for a bit before coming back and asking me for £9.40! I paid, necked it, the went home for some much needed nourishment.

Back at work, things seem a little strange. The gaffer seems like she can't be arsed, and I'm having to do her jobs at the moment. I'm not complaining though, I like the responsibilities. By the end of 2004 I will have her job. Shaz, the marketing lass, has moved downstairs and is sitting next to me as a result of some masterplan reshuffling of upstairs. I thought she was a bit aloof, but she seems pretty cool, and at least she talks, which is far better than the alternative. I hate working in a silent environment. It's probably because I'm an attention seeker, and it's hard to be centre of attention in silence, at least it is with your trousers on.