Wednesday, December 31, 2008

... time for mayhem... Happy New year everyone!
... mental prep for tonight's festivities...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

... open fire, glass of red wine, 200g of twiglets... what more could you want?
... my Vibrox is making me feel all stiff and odd...
... just had a chest x-ray: Eastern European nurse, "so, do you have any...", smiles, raises one eyebrow, "...nipple piercings?"

Monday, December 22, 2008

... thinking that now seems like a good time to mull some wine...
... drinking strong coffee and wondering why I'm working at all?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

... Oh dear, my first xmas hangover. At least i avoided the lounge though :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

... feeling well enough to party, just a little bit :)
... waiting in vain for coal
... butter-fried potato rosti topped with mature cheddar and chillis for second course of lunch... mmmm
... ah, xmas is great - drinking coffee laced with rum for lunch :)
... feeling the power of beans on cheese on marmite on toast coursing through my veins

Thursday, December 18, 2008

... just had Kettle Sweet Chilli Chips for breakfast, this seems wrong, somehow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

... drinking cold chocolate, without rum :( but with chilli kettle crisps...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

... drinking hot chocolate laced with rum. This should help...

Monday, December 15, 2008

... finding this particular Monday rather long and tiresome :(
... It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

... mmm, Sri Lankan roasted spice coconut curry with rice and dal for lunch...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

... given in and put the heating on... try to defrost my brain and get some work done...
... is not off ill with man-flu (the words of my boss). God I hate that phrase.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

... just unblocked the sink, quite an unpleasant task - amazing the stuff that decides to stay in the u-bend...
... mmm, curry... there's nothing like getting a good curry sweat going on a lunchtime...
... hungry, cold and procrastinating...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

... I think the time between 2.30pm and 5pm should be used as an 'inspirational siesta' work period. Perhaps hammocks could be used...
... having a busy, stressful morning, which I'm not too keen on really.

Monday, November 24, 2008

... cauliflower soup... first time for everything...
... gah, insomnia again - I blame the last film of the night - the one that was disturbing in all the wrong ways...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

... Numb after a late one, an attempt to see the great outdoors will be made, but only after a great deal of coffee and food...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

... hmm, what next? A nice bowl of leek and potato soup with toasted, buttered mustard bread I think....
... the day is looking up - now it is time for a nice pizza slice...
... eating Dan's apple pie and drinking a nice cup of hot tea, in my cold, cold home...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

... time for lunch - saag panir, tarka daal, brinjal bahji and rice... oh yes!
... time for some Danish chocolate-chip sponge cake and a cup of steaming-hot Assam tea...
... *sigh*

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

... Today is 8-8-8 ... Hmm ... 888? The year that Charles the Fat died...?
... For me? Really? A dead bird? Why thanks, Enki, my ever-generous cat...

Friday, July 25, 2008

How much does a shot of soda water cost?

In the Waterwitch, Lancaster, it costs 50p!



Oh, I feel a rant coming on.



As the Grue said yesterday, muttering as he emerged from the pub,



'It's like pulling teeth, getting a pint in there.'

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Healthy diet?

'So you have a healthy diet, it says here,' says the nurse, looking at my form.

'Yes, very healthy.' I tell her.

'So, lots of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish?'

'Well, no, I'm a vegetarian.'

Silence. 'I see. Do you take any supplements with that diet?'

Wtf? What supplements? I think.

'No,' I answer slowly, 'I cook.'

She looks at me for a moment and then moves on.

Do you think that the billion or so vegetarian Hindus are faced with the 'supplement question' when they visit a doctor?

I think not...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Potato wine, false cream

'Do you have any real cream?' I ask, as I put the tub of Elmlea on the counter.

The young girl looks as me with suspicion - this is obviously a trick question.

'Um, that is cream?' she tells me, which she manages to turn into a question right at the end.

'No,' I sigh, 'it's a mix of vegetable oil and various E numbers, not cream at all. Look,' I point to it, 'it doesn't say cream anywhere on it.'

'Oh, right.' She laughs a little bit. 'No, we've just got that.'

I don't know why I bought it. I never tried Elmlea faux cream before. Maybe it isn't too bad, I think to myself. Perhaps all those E numbers make it taste just like the real thing?

So, it's pretty awful. The wife whips it up. We taste it and pull faces. It tastes very false.

'I'll add honey and vanilla,' she says, 'maybe it will help?'

'Hmm.'

We eat it with Strawberries and crushed chocolate biscuits. It's like spooning foamy vegetable oil into your mouth. We finish, as we're distracted by TV as we eat it. Then we feel sick. Very sick. I have stomach cramps for godssake.

So, remind me why this stuff is made and / or sold again?

What else happened? Well, the Colonel came round and ate 11 of my pickled chillis, desite my warning that more than 10 could lead to complications.

Cue much later grasping of belly and moaning.

On Friday night we went to an after-party, the first that has happened in months, pretty much. Well, weeks anyway. I had been pretty restrained in the pub, apart from the unaskedfor whisky that the Colonel bought for me. So arrived pretty fresh. And probably a bit over-excited.

With a bottle of home-made potato wine.

Ah, 12 year old potato wine too. Yes, it *did* taste and look like Sherry, and normally, well, who would drink a load of Sherry at a party these days? You only get drunk on Sherry once in your life, usually when in your early teens, and usually it was from your parent's drinks cabinet. Once is enough. Really. Sherry drunk is not pretty. And it hurts, really hurts the next day.

So, I drank the Potato sherry. My father had been keeping it in his garage for the last decade or so. Very nice of him.

Due to uncontrollable forces, I was full of life until about 7am, when I was escorted home, oblivious, by two nice people. They probably stopped me from staggering into the canal, something that is not worth dwelling upon.

Next day was a noon-eye-opener. Blank periods swirled around the void that was my mind. The house was empty. I made a potato rosti before I even woke up and stuffed it, at burning temperature, inside me with the coffee. Numb all day, I did little...

Saturday, July 05, 2008

DrC's B-Day

Rather surprised to find that people have actually been reading my blog. People I know. Yes, I know who you are. Well, a useful Lancaster resource at last...

Last night was DrC's birthday so a mob of people turned up and rearranged furniture outside the White Cross. I drank weak bitter, knowing full well that it would be a long night. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Then splintered and most of us headed for Mint to drink overpriced, under-powered cocktails. Still, compared to most cocktail bars (not that we have many to choose from here) it's pretty cheap.

I had a Long Island Iced tea, recklessly, but as it turned out it wasn't so foolish as it was rather tame. I mean, how can a drink with five spirits in it turn out weak? You put a mini-dash of each in, that's how. I complained and received a shrug and an offer to replace it. So I just drank it.

Outside, smoking fags, talking to strangers. Felt like being in Europe somewhere, somewhere nice, I mean.

Drank a mohito, which was better. Then wanted a daiquirí, which was only on the menu in banana format, which sounded horrific. The barmaid happily made us a strawberry one though, which the Colonel and I accepted.

As we sipped our bright pink cocktails in our oversized, ornate glasses, a woman came over and said, 'I hope you don't me asking, but are you two gay?'

Hmm.

Another mojito. Oh dear, I'm definitely feeling reckless now.

As we're kicked out, the wife drags me to the bar where DrC is ordering a massive one-for-the-road line of shots. The wife encourages me to have one, so I do, foolishly.

I thought the barman was just incompetent, as he mixed a fruit and cream type of shot, which simply curdled (flashback to Japan, story for another time). So I spent the rest of the night saying this to anyone who would listen. Today though, the Colonel tells me that he must have done it on purpose, as he said, 'This'll make you vomit' as he poured them.

Classy.

The shot made my head whirl (yes, we all drank them anyway) and we headed to The Lounge, despite my protests. The lounge was dim but not too busy, downstairs anyway. I ordered Fosters, the weakest thing I could find, as I was a bit unsteady by this point.

I took pictures of a young couple (at their request, I hasten to add), chatted to whoever sat near me. Things started to get a bit hazy.

We left after an hour or two, who could say really? The Lounge only actually closes for 1 hour in every 24 to clean up. I shudder to think who stays in there that long.

Outside a man was being pinned down by a bouncer. His face was pressed against the road and his arms pulled wide and held. The man with his face in the road was saying, very well spoken,

'Look, I have no problem with you. Now, why don't you let me up.'

'No chance mate.'

We gawped for a minute, then walked home.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Very odd dream

So, Gilbert "Gil" Grissom of CSI fame was pottering about in his lounge.

(I was a mere fly-on-the-wall in this dream, watching the drama unfold)

He looked like he was getting ready for bed - turning off the TV, lamps etc when I noticed a large body bag on the floor.

Gil turned to the bag and said, 'Goodnight'. Upon which it started to move a little. Then a noise came from it - muffled, mumbling, throaty singing.

'..ho.. me ..eh.. way ..o go ...ome... I'm ...ired an.. I wan.. ..o go ...o bed...' Sang the bodybag.

'Bill?' Said Gil, opening the bodybag quickly. Inside was a dead, grey face, with a gag on it. He pulled the gag off and the dead face opened its eyes. It looked confused, tears welled up.

'Gil... help me...' It gasped.

Gil unzipped the badybag to the waist, showing that the corpse has been tied up too - arms, legs, with a thick rope. Gil didn't untie the body, but helped it sit up.

'Bill, I thought you were gone.'

But Bill wasn't listening. He had managed to get a hand free and now grasped for Gil with it, he became wild, tearing out his other hand, lunging, trying to bite Gil's leg.

Gil backed off as the zombie rose and grabbed a knife from the counter...

That's all I remember. What on earth am I doing dreaming about CSI stars? I haven't even seen the show for weeks...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Last weekend of June

Quiet weekend with the folks, did little except eat, drink a few beers, and visit the local Aldi. Car made it fine up and down the M6, which is very good. Now have a car stereo too, but it is too complex for me to fit (hmm, I don't seem to have a panel light wire, I wonder if that matters, etc...)

Trip to Majorca is being planned. Looking forward to some sun, sangria, sol, siesta, sea and um, stuff.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Saturday Night Party

The proposed shindig at Clougha was rained off, so people went to the Brit instead to drink more alcohol than is sensible and listen to one-chip-tatty play. At 8pm. I mean, these days, who goes out at 8pm? *and* the had a late license for some reason... So that's 6 hours of drinking time. *sigh*. I started quite well, in the beer garden, as the pub was jam packed and I didn't feel for that much. I sipped bitter, avoided spirits, shied away from rounds. But in the end the time gets to us all. By 1am I was sloshing them back with everyone else, but things didn't get out of control. Not really. The police came, of course, but just to investigate a noise complaint from the usual irritating neighbours. When the police arrived there were three of us sitting outside, quietly smoking our cigarettes. The police looked nonplussed. The wife and I didn't want people back to ours, the sheer amount of people and the excessive alcohol made the prospect vaguely bad. So DrC and the Colonel pimped out their house for the evening. Off we go then, I get carried away and invite more people along on the way out. It takes the Grue and I some time to get to the party as Tintin is feeling belligerent, but we manage, in the end. Things start to get a bit more hazy at at the party. I talk at people quite a lot, then simply sit in a chair and interfere with the music for a while. Then it's 5am and time to go. All manner of interesting things occur after we leave, of course... Sunday was a write-off. A non-starter. I padded around the house all day, read books, took a bath, ate, little else.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday night in

A night in, oddly, for a Friday. Chilled out with the Colonel, played some Go, drank some beers. Cooked a Thai curry with mock chicken and sticky rice. Pudding was made, but didn't set due to arrowroot amount issues. Tried to watch a DVD but it died 20 mins from the end, very frustrating.

Now it rains. All night, all day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Full Thursday

We managed to cram quite a lot into that Thursday - first I went to Morecambe and back to drop off the Nissan Micra for Bay View Cars to check out, then drove home the long way in a large, shabby Purgeot (which was full of left-over food, the windows don't work, had no petrol). Then we went to eat Tapas at the local bar (great, happy hour meant £20 meal for 2 inc a bottle of Mateus(!) rose - the Orzo was fantastic). Then off to watch Persepolis at the Dukes (pretty good, worth seeing for sure) whilst sipping a rum and coke (good old Dukes). And finally to the Brit where a birthday gathering was happening, where a few pints of Bomber were drunk. A good day...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vist to the vets

Yearly cat vaccinations seem to be quite contentious these days. We decided to go for the 1-year booster and then wait for a couple of years before the next one. We took the car, one of the last uses we'll get from it before it is scrapped, so, sombre on the way there. The vet, however, was a very jolly, big man - his huge hands pulling the jaws of our little cats open is oddly disturbing. They get weighed, peered at, injected, wormed and then the wonder flea-dirt test which I have serious doubts about - they pull a very fine comb through the cat's fur, then peer at it on some tissue paper. 'Ah yes, there's some flea-dirt there.' Which means, your cat has fleas, you should buy our de-flea lotion at only £27 for 10 week course... Ah... We have some flea lotion that costs £24 for 3 months (this is for 3 cats), and the vet said 'Sounds too good to be true, speaking as a vet.' *sigh* I always feel like the vets are trying to extract vast sums of cash from us, no matter how pleasant they are. They try to sell us worming tables, and usually some extremely expensive food (after telling us that cheap food will give your cat all manner of illnesses). Anyway, £120 lighter, we bring the groggy cats back, who then sleep furiously for several hours. Just like me.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Medium Sunday

Cleared out the back yard, loaded the little car up with smelly and / or heavy bags of rubble, garden waste and more and drove them to the ever-busy dump. The wife then drove about for a while, practising roundabouts. Home to a magnum in the yard, looking at Loot to try and replace the little car. The little car's days are numbered - it failed its MOT and will cost too much to get put right, so is being scrapped on Saturday. Quite infuriating, as we only bought it 6 weeks ago. Very angry with being ripped off, but trying to remain calm. No cars caught our eyes. Evening meal was momo-fillings inside steamed won ton dumplings with soy and chilli sauce. Great. Blade popped round a a Guinness for a couple of hours, then it was suddenly late, though still light...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tibetan night

A 4am finish, or so, from a Tibetan evening round with DrC and the Colonel. We had thenthuck (my meal), momos (the wife) and 'greens' (the Colonel). DrC kept us supplied otherwise whilst we cooked. Great, simply great food, we stuffed ourselves, but not to the extent of the Thai evening last week. 18 bottles of beer, two bottles of wine, the end of some Port and a bit of vodka later (plus whatever else we could find to consume) we called it night. But not before the start-at-midnight pudding which involved boiling carrots in milk and sugar to make fudge. Simply fantastic, at 3am, when in a terrible state...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dogonastring

A night at the Dogonastring, as we used to call it all those years ago. The usual suspects drifted into and out of the beer garden, the heating light was pressed by numerous fingers, drinks were poured over knees, into shoes, too much alcohol was drank too quickly - the usual sort of affair. I was talked into a Jagermeister by Dnt , who said it tasted like dentist mouthwash. 'Not like Listerine, but you know, kind of antiseptic.' I relented. It is served in a test tube, and the colour is not one found in nature. Why a test tube, we wondered? So you have to drink it right away and can't put it down perhaps. I drank most of it. It tastes a bit like the absinthe I made. It's not all bad. Half an hour later, I feel drunker than I was, a kind of head-crack drunk which makes everything thick, like wading through water all the time. I blame the Jagermeister. I talk to a man who seems to take a perverse pleasure out of the fact that he's barred from most of the pubs in town, I never work out quite why, he seems so mild-mannered. There's then the usual outside-the-pub dither as people hope for an after-party, but no-one was in the mood to have a gang of drunken strangers trashing their house until 5am tonight, it seems, so we splinter and many head to the Lounge, which often refuses me entry for some reason. So I wander home instead.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Placenta and a buffet

Another party, and another late night loomed. The talk at Vulcan and Xo's place was of placentas, mainly, with Xo being pregnant and all. There were a range of terrible things done with after-births - freezing, eating, burying etc. 'The after-birth is very psychedelic,' says Fiddler. Xo agrees - 'Men are more interested in the placenta than the baby.' I find this fairly hard to believe, but who knows - strange changes come over people the minute they experience birth, so it seems. The talk wanders to all manner of other gory talk, as we eat the bountiful buffet they laid out (including odd but interesting elderflower fritters) - to a cat that ate its own testicles after having them removed (and finding them in a sink shortly after coming around); the act of sex to bring on labour; the child-birth video that was shown last night (see previous entry); and another after-birth story about a guy who accidentally defrosted someone's afterbirth whilst looking for a meaty snack (better labelling discipline was required, we decided). Wife was driven home by such chatter and the need to record Grey's Anatomy. I followed, thankfully, early.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday 12th June

Deathly tired today after a medium-late night with DrC. We started at the Gson for the latest anti-evil event, which was a surreal affair featuring a slideshow of adders and a graphic birth video (which I missed, thankfully, being outside). DrC was in jubilant mood after landing his new job, so ordered unwise whisky chasers with every pint. Something I joined in with, but with less gusto, somehow. Afterhours there was the usual angst and panic over the prospect of returning home, going to bed, and hastening the next work day, when all that is really desired is more consumption. So we head back to our gaff and crack open the wine and beer and smokes. The whisky combo soon has an effect on DrC though, and just slightly over the music we can hear the sounds of violent diaphragm action upstairs. So, night cut short, just as well, given the morning I'm having...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Buzzing noises

A few things, okay then, a lot of things, can wake me during the night, being such a light sleeper - the wife's phone, dying on the kitchen table, forlornly in the early hours; the cats playing with a spider near my feet; rain; wind... You get the idea.

Last night at 3am a buzzing noise woke me from a deep, deep sleep. I immediately dismissed it as a text message emanating from my jeans across the room, and turned over. But the damage is done. Woken from a deep sleep, there is rarely any return for me. So I lie awake for an hour, turning with large sighs, cursing the person who texted me at 3am.

I fall asleep again, only for the same thing to happen at 5am. 5am is a horrible time. If you are awake at 5am then you are either up too late, or up to early. There's no reasonable reason to be awake. This time I'm awake until almost 7am, when I have to get up, feeling awful.

First thing I do is check my phone to see who I shall spend the day hating, but there's nothing there. No messages, no missed calls. Likewise on the wife's mobile. What it was remains a mystery...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday morning, again

Feeling truly awful this morning. An entire weekend spent in bed, or snoozing on the sofa, coughing and self-medicating with red wine, codeine and Benylin. Head feels like it is being squeezed with a large, troll-sized hand. Eyes hurt when I look anywhere but straight ahead. Sinuses burn with each breath. I should really take the day off sick, but think I'll try and do a little bit anyway, as I'm ever-so-slightly behind in my current project schedule.

Also not helping is the fact that we were woken up at 6am by Nimba who brought us a little brown mouse from the garden. Cue some early morning shrieking as I catch the mouse.

'Eeee! There's another one!' Cries the wife. But it's just a curled up stereo earphone set.

I drop the mouse out of the bedroom window, fully nude as I stand on the widow ledge, and it drops down into the kitchen gutter and twitches on its back pitifully.

'Ah.' I say.

I try to get back to sleep, but feel a bit guilty about the twitching mouse outside. Especially after yesterday... I'll get to that in a minute.

At 7am, the real time for getting up, I have another look in the gutter, and happily the mouse is gone. I'm still ill though, but stagger downstairs to prepare breakfast anyway.

Yesterday I was summoned to the dining room by some frantic shouting from the wife. This time it's Enki who has a prize - a tiny brown bird. It is still alive, but barely. Most of its feathers are gone, chewed away, it has blood under it's throat and it seems to be able to twitch just one side of it's body in a rhythmic, non-too-healthy kind of way.

We spend some minutes wondering what to do. It's going to die pretty soon, we think it should be put out of its obvious misery as soon as possible. But how to do it? I suggest drowning, via the toilet and flush, but the wife wants the neck-break or head-bash instead.

Now, I'm a vegetarian, so have little call or experience for killing animals. I have killed some fish in my time though, as a boy angler, and remember the technique seemed quick and fairly humane - you would take the metal 'priest' and bang the fish's head with it. Simple as that.

So we take the twitching bird into the back yard and place it on a stone slab. I find a suitable, heavy rock and take aim, warning the wife to look away.

Okay, sorry bird, but it's for the best. BANG!

I wasn't prepared for the splat really. Bird heads appear to be a lot flimsier than fish heads. The head basically flattens and some unpleasant matter spreads out around the area. The bird now starts writhing with some energy.

'Shit.' I mourn, and hit it again, twice. Messy, nasty, it finally stops twitching.

Was that a painless, humane death? Sure as hell didn't look like it to me.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

SuperNoodles are horrible

In desperation, in the madness of hunger, I found a packet of SuperNoodles at the back of my cupboard. Sweet and Sour flavour...

Into the pan they went, I forgot to measure the amount of water, but just slooshed some in. After a few minutes I tasted the brew - oh my god, wtf is that? Chemical sensations linger on my tongue for a few moments and then fade, leaving merely a sticky, tacky, metallic one. I actually shudder at this point.

What can we add? What can we add? Ah! Here we are, soy sauce! Splash! And chilli sauce! Splash! Cook, cook, taste, shudder. Hmm, I know, some cheese, I like cheese. I imagine a thick, rich cheesy sauce with noodles in it. Chip chop! In the cheese goes. Cook, cook, taste, oh my god, it's bad, bad, bad. The cheese seems to have separated into thin yellow liquid and sticky solids... Not good.

Must thicken sauce up to make it into the delightful cheesy pleasure I imagined. In wades the cornflower. Not one to pussyfoot around, he adds himself liberally (after mixing in a little cold water of course! Ha, I've done that trick before) and we Cook, cook, taste, shudder.

Well, damn it, I've invested too much in this now. So I eat it. Every chemically, cheesy, thick mouthful of it.

I feel a little ill...

Thanks, Batchelors SuperNoodles, what a great lunch. (The SuperNoodle catchphrase is 'you are what you eat')

Thursday, January 17, 2008