Monday, May 30, 2005

30 Pieces of Silver

An uneventful Bank Holiday, my actions restricted by the deepening crisis that is my wallet. Still, a day off is a day off I suppose. I'll just spend it playing Football Manager. I get paid tomorrow, which is really fucking useful after a holiday weekend, thats what you get for working for accountants I guess, they hate parting with their money. What's more the Sky has been cut off, so I won't be able to watch the play-off final later this afternoon (come on North End).

Repetitive, overexposed and extremely irritating, I'm so pleased that the Crazy Frog got to number one yesterday instead of Coldplay. (HONK!)

I thought I'd share some links, to the stuff that has been entertaining me of late. Google maps is great, and there are extensive satellite images for North America, the best of which are recorded on this blog. Hopefully they'll do Britain next, as once you've seen one baseball ground you've seen 'em all. Merk sent me this link a while back, Tube Gossip, I can't work out if they are all genuine or not, but there is some great one-liners and the lack of context makes it all the more entertaining.

England wrapped up a innings victory over Bangladesh before lunchtime on day three. They were thoroughly professional, and the Banglas were thoroughly out of their depth. The evidence for two-tier Test sytstem grows by the series (21 innings defeats in their 37 Tests to date). I suggest they are relegated along with Zimbabwe to a second level with Kenya, Scotland, Ireland and Holland. They could play meaningful and challenging first class five-day matches against each other, and against the likes of England's and Australia's 'A' teams. I agree they shouldn't be cast aside, but how are these young Bangladeshis going to learn by being battered around the ground by Trescothick or being peppered by Harmison's chin music?

So France have said non to Europe. Well I suppose it's been devalued now that Liverpool are champions (double HONK!).


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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Take It Easy

It was a famous weekend in Aberystwyth. The weather was perfect, the beers a-flowing and the company was spot on. The B&B was a cosy place, with Merk's snoring as a soundtrack. The Wetherspoons provided a useful day-time meeting point and served VB too. After we checked in on Friday afternoon we played about on the beach waiting for late arrivals Macca and Merk, skimming stones and pushing each other over and checking one or two of the promenade joggers. Off to the Varsity for a couple as we got ready for the evening in instalments, a few games of pool in Bar Essential, watching Macca take photos of girls and Rich banging his head on a low roof again and again. Over to the Cambrian for the now obligitory Ewoks. We gained two Antipodeans to our party at this stage. I'll say no more. Off to Rummers for the rest of the evening. Outside it was a bit fresh by this stage in the night, but the beer coat was cosy. Merk had an argument with a woman on stilts about performing elephants. Things getting hazy. Must be the sea air. Or the booze.

Saturday morning wasn't too bad. Well not for me, I don't know about Fulla, he looked a bit worse for wear. Wondered down to Andy's Records with Fulla and Austin. Strolled up the street to meet Macca and Bacon fresh from the arcade on the Pier. Found Macca the tat shop for some tea towels and rock. Back to the Wetherspoons. Few pints in the afternoon sun, Coronation Chicken baguette from Spartacas and an afternoon nap. Saturday night started for me in the Chinese on Pier Street. I wasn't very hungry so I made do with the dregs of Merk's mushroom soup and an unwanted wanton from Bacon. Up to The Academy. Nice views but dreadful music. Most of us were just starting to feel 'in the zone', so back down to The Bay we went. Sweaty, noisy, loud, perfect. Some great music in here, all of us dancing, Rambo most impressive dancing to The Streets. After closing we cooled off on the prom, watched a little fight and talked to a Dutchman.

Again no hangover on Sunday morning, and again Fulla seemed to suffer for us all. What a hero. Cup of tea in the Wetherspoons, the train come just as the bar opened at midday. Rowdy journey home, especially me and Macca. We arrived in Wellington and descended on The Beacon for a welcome home pint, must have still been in holiday mode. One pint turned into four, but it was time to go home.

I was so knackered I phoned the gaffer up and asked for the Monday off. I've got to get back there now. Back in August when me and our kid went, it was pretty quiet in town, not quite it's usual lively busy self. This was the first time I'd been in term time for some four years. And that is a long time. Too long. It won't be another four till it happens again.


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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Time Longer Than Rope

Thank the Lord, a weekend in Aberystwyth starts tomorrow. The way work is at the moment I hope I'm not on the train home on Sunday. So many of my muckers have left, are leaving or are being moved around the office. It's getting so dull I feel as if I'm leaving my brain at home. My mind is being anaesthetised by payroll. My only releases are a bit of daily gambling and copious amounts of Ska and Rocksteady when I get home. It is against this background that the main plot is being acted out, and the protagonist is going to be played by my beloved Mid Wales seaside town. Hopefully it's going to be like The Monkees featuring Withnail & I on Brains SA. The Castle, Andy's Records, the harbour, The Cabin café, Galloways bookshop, Rummers, Bar Essential, Yr Hen Orsaf, Inn on the Pier, The Bay, old friends all, and I shall be enjoying them with other friends. Nine of them to be exact. I hope I can get some time to wander around, with memories and plans for the future, maybe a trip to the Job Centre? I'll let you know when I come back. Hopefully our kid will have some nice photos.


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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Ring The Alarm

Election night was a good laugh, me and our kid sank quite a few beers and a bottle of wine, supping inbetween playing cliché bingo and booing and or laughing at the UKIP or BNP candidates. BBC's coverage was entertaining, except for the backstage party thing with Natasha Kaplinsky and that bloke from Dead Ringers, that was just surreal. I went to bed before my constituency went from red to blue on Peter Snow's map despite my best efforts, damn Post Office must've misplaced all two thousand of my postal vote slips. I could have watched it all night, and would have done if it weren't for that vortex of fun they call 'work'. I was over an hour late anyway. I can't remember the last time I was at work before nine. Or half past nine thinking about it.

We are going upThe Bucks Head was bouncing today in the nervy play-off final. Biggest crowd of the season, drums, ticker tape (ripped up Shropshire Stars), Claxons, fancy dress clowns (creepy) complete with horns and bells, there was even a flare like at the San Siro. Visitors Kendal Town scored first after about 5 minutes or so, sending the couple of hundred Cumbrian fans wild, and turning four thousand locals gloomy. Only for a while though, the atmosphere never really relented, and just before half-time AFC Telford equalised, keeping the dream alive (which incidently was just one of the songs murdered by the Stage School at half time). The second half was all Telford, they worked hard and Kendal were never in it after the home team took the lead early in. Post match celebrations included the aforementioned flare (I didn't realise quite how much smoke comes off them things) and a good natured pitch invasion. New season new league then. Wonder what exoticly named teams will visit the Bucks Head after the summer.


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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Two Sevens Clash

Eating Cadbury's Buttons and drinking Grolsch, half-watching AZ Alkmaar versus Sporting Lisbon on Eurosport (it's that or The frigging Bill). Just waiting for the best bit of telly since Shameless finished, I love election night, even in years when I've been too young or not been too arsed about politics, I think it makes fantastic television, all them maps and swingometres and graphs. All the results, like the interesting bit in the Eurovision Song Contest when Wogan's pissed and Greece give full marks to Cyprus. Quality. It's like a precurser to all these lazy text-for-the-winner programs such as that I'm C-List Get Me On That Fucking Jungle Show. Messrs Dimbleby and Snow = PJ and Duncan. Or summat.

Birthday weekend was great, but heavy on the wallet and liver. Friday, Saturday and Sunday all saw some heavy drinking, dancing and more drinking. I was also out the following Tuesday night at an impromptu work's do in a room above the Oddfellows Arms on High Street. That involved some kareoke, and anyone who was there will recall my heart-warming rendition of Hey Jude with moist eyes, I'm in no doubt. Doing YMCA in a Beastie Boys style, complete with improvised lyrics questioning the sexuality of a work-mate, was probably not the best idea I've ever had though. We laugh about it now of course... I think.

Dey do dough don't dey, dough?Liverpool in the European Cup final?! A few posts ago I mentioned that we were re-entering the Seventies, well you just watch in a few weeks when Stevie Gerrard and Jamie Carragher go up to pick up the trophy, they'll have grown perms and moustaches à la Graeme Souness and Terry McDermott. Now that the FA have said Liverpool won't qualify for next year's Big Cup without finishing fourth in the League I hope they win. I know it'll be woodwork and bandwagon time for the countless millions of plastic scousers but it'd be funny if a footballer of Djimi Traore's quality (ahem) would have a winner's medal. He'd be right up there with Kenneth McNaught and Jesper Blomqvist. Maybe next year it'll be Lee Carsley, well who knows, it won't be Titus Bramble though. Not next year anyway.


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