Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Is Shit

Only Valentine’s Day tops Halloween in my experience in terms of loathed moronic celebrations.

But it isn’t just the pointless aberration of the day itself – the impact of an allegedly scary day did impact upon me very significantly:

1. Someone sat on the train seat that I wanted to sit on.  He looked scary so I chose not to start a fight with him.
2. Morrisons didn’t have any Goldenfry Gravy.  Any.  They look like they have stopped selling it.
3. Ok I am struggling now but you get my point.    

Halloween is an event designed to encourage child begging.

Further to that it is full of people doing fancy dress.  I hate fancy dress.  I avoid all opportunities for fancy dress and hence will be avoiding all social events vaguely related to Halloween (though one day I may surprise you all with the ultimate fright - perhaps as a schoolgirl with a Gordon Brown mask...if that image does not scare you then google images of blue waffles).

This is a festival of witches, ghosts, spiders, blood, vampires, socialists, Jimmy Saville lookalikes and more child beggars.

Why celebrate such ghastly things?  Do you see anyone celebrating the existence of Slough?  No you do not.

On the bright side we had some scary Waitrose chocolate bites at work, brought in by the best financial controller that I have ever worked for (yeah I think she reads my blog occasionally).

Anyway to Halloween I have one thing to say to you, and not just because I haven't been invited to any house parties:

Do one.

Probably The Most Disastrously Worrying Event Of My Adult Life

Today is payday.

Some people will treat themselves to the finest steak they can locate.  Others will upgrade frm 613 Oxford Road to a more refined Ascot hooker.  Others will eschew their usual 5% pure Colombian for their dealer's special £100 Bolivian (the only reason I know about this is because I read an article in the Economist).

I know how to live, and am always looking to take the minimal techno'n'roll lifestyle to the next level so I decided to pop by Morrisons in Bracknell so I could stock up on chicken Goldenfry Gravy.

Do you see any Goldenfry?  No.  Do you see anywhere to put any Goldenfry?  No.

This is a disaster.  FML.

If you are my true friend or simply just in love with me then you will help me get over this tragedy.

What the hell am I going to do?  Apart from complain, obviously.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fat And Limping

I don’t do enough moaning and ranting on my blog.

I weighed myself this morning.  The shocking but unsurprising conclusion after a week of binge-eating was the fact that I have put 3kg of weight on and have reached a new morning weight record of 94.6kg (I have weighed more a few times but that was in the evening).

What the fuck?!  3kg in one week?

Very annoying as I was gradually losing weight this year and at one point had lost nearly 5kg which is quite reasonable for someone who does fuck all exercise except some walking and going clubbing once in a blue moon.

I was in a miserable fucker kind of mood last week post-Ibiza and couldn’t stop eating – every breakfast I had sausage rolls (plural) or sausage and bacon sandwiches, eating cakes before bed, eating 8 sausages for dinner on two occasions, even had gravy for breakfast once, loads of huge meals, lots of chocolate at work.  I used to get drunk when I was miserable but don’t tend to drink an awful lot nowadays – so I binge eat instead.

There is nothing more guaranteed to make me down that feeling fat and putting weight on as I do find it really difficult to lose weight so this is a negative virtuous circle.  Except for the sugar/gravy hit which of course gives me instant satisfaction.

Anyway, enough moaning – look what I have found :-)

Overall I am less miserable this week, I might even scrape a below-average 3 out of 10 on the happiness scale.  I expect that I will be thinking more rationally as the week goes on and may even crack a smile.

Annoyingly I seem to have developed a slight limp as I have a bruised right foot.  No idea what I have done to it and it seems to be getting slightly more painful every day.  If it is still like this come December then I might have to consider a trip to the doctors.  For now I will soldier on like the tough Northerner that I am.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ibiza 2013 - The Review of My 11th Trip

Ahh Ryanair.  It is amazing how many morons are on the Ryanair flight to Ibiza.  Can anyone answer if other destinations have such a high proportion of nobheads on their respective budget flights?

I decided that it would be more fun to fly with Ryanair from East Midlands…first going south to Basingstoke, then west to Bridgend before ending up near Derby…as you do.

Ryanair don’t make things easy so why should I?!

Anyway, I wasn’t planning on going to Ibiza this year due to finances but there was an excellent offer available that I just could not resist, a few weekends of staying in and I had scraped enough spending money, albeit only enough for one proper night out.

We got to our villa and were shown around by a beautiful stunner – the villa wasn’t bad either. 

5 bedrooms, several toilets, a freezing cold pool, BBQ area, real grass, leather sofas, the all-important microwave (though didn’t come as useful as planned), a proper BBQ area, quite an authentic look inside with the obligatory selotaped plug sockets found all over in Spain.  And a do not go area upstairs.  Which of course was the first part of the villa that I checked out.  Always good to check out these things whilst relatively sober instead of when hammered (it was a staircase to nowhere other than an 8-foot drop onto the marble floor).

Hotel Tarba from my first visit in 1998 this was not.

Saturday night, the 8 of us (I think - it varied through the week) just had a night in.  Good potential for noise prior to midnight and we made good use of it.

Sunday was going to be all about Space but I saw the line-up to DC10, knowing I could only afford one night out so I changed my plans.  Those that went said it was really good and not too packed.

Monday was the slow process of persuading others to go to DC10.  It did get to the point where I may have been going by myself but slowly as more alcohol was consumed, more were converted and we were on our way by 1am.  Except there were 500-1000 people outside and absolutely no chance of getting in, plus quite a commotion at the front of the queue.  Not quite sure what went on but it didn’t look like a scene of joy.

There were other parties still left so we went back to the villa, cracked open more bottles of vodka and the next thing I know it is 7am – why not try DC10 again?  So we woke up our driver, negotiated cheaper entry (you don’t ask you don’t get) and we were there for the last few hours.

I have been to DC10 only once before – because I always go to Cocoon as it is my number one love in Ibiza, and the only time I did DC10 I found it a bit frustrating and left early.  3 hours was not enough but the effects of all night (and day) drinking were taking their toll so it was enough.  Tale Of Us were excellent, the back to back between Jamie Jones and Seth Troxler was good (Seth is by miles my preference musically to Jamie), the crowd were really good and I had a great time.  And by 9am it was busy but not overcrowded.

The rest of the days did go into a drunken blur but highlights included a visit to Destino for their closing party.  I don’t really do these pretentious gleaming kind of places – fabric is about as up-market as I get but this place was really nice – half of it was VIP but I wouldn’t do VIP even if I was a millionaire, fuck that shit.  No idea who was DJing but music was really good, there was a nice vibe, the sun was shining and unlike Ushuaia you don’t get chucked out for going in the pool.  Would definitely go again.  Free entry though €10 a beer.

A lot of time was spent around the villa and the pool.  Too much for my liking as I like to be out doing stuff, we did go for a drive to the north of the island (which was my first time in 11 visits), and around some twisted roads in the hills, really enjoyed that.  Could see the damage that previous fires have left on parts of the island.

There were the obligatory visits to CafĂ© Mambo for sunsets and their closing party (not especially busy), and a visit to Linekers closing party (the football was on and it was €1 a drink – about an 8th of the price of Mambo!  Forgive me).  And not to forget the delicious Tapas Bar & Restaurant.  Amazing pork belly, one of the nicest things I have eaten all year.

Probably my most chilled out Ibiza holiday ever, and I didn’t spend quite as much as I expected so I could have gone to Space after all.  A bit more clubbing would have been ideal – it was strange seeing the island so quiet though the clubs certainly were not.  I still dream of living and working in Ibiza one day.

In fact it was so relaxing, it was almost like a normal person’s holiday – I came back wanting to get on it!  Still I don’t have long to wait – fabric’s birthday on Sunday.

Overall a really enjoyable holiday, really nice holiday partners, good weather and not too hot (though more cloud that ideal), oh and not forgetting these amazing Ryanair chicken nuggets on the way home.

One of my goals for 2013 was NOT to go to Ibiza.  Sometimes it is good to fail.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ibiza Blues

I was convinced that I would not get post-Ibiza blues.  There was a point during my holiday that I was quite looking forward to coming home – too much laying around and I was getting restless.

Even a soaking downpour from the aeroplane to the terminal did not dampen my spirits, I remained in a good mood for the remainder of the weekend back in Reading.

Arriving at work on Monday morning to 358 unread e-mails was a relief as that is not too high a figure, and I was happily working my way through them.  I was convinced that I was right, that I had escaped the Ibiza Blues.

But then out of nowhere on Monday afternoon, they struck with a vengeance.

Ever since I have been miserable, irritable, at times angry and daydreaming of violence.  Not to mention the binge-eating, large cumulative lack of sleep and distinct lack of motivation.

It was when I was working through my accounts at work, realising it was the same old problems, same unresolved issues, same colleagues/customers that I keep chasing to resolve issues that are frustrating me in my attempts to meet and exceed my targets.

Banging my head against metaphorical brick walls.  The only never-ending issues in Ibiza were which sunbed should I use.  Do I have a beer or an absinthe.  Which nightclub do I go to.

Bracknell is not Ibiza.

Sometimes it is better to be pissed off than complacently accepting life.  Being pissed off and miserable right now is probably the trigger I need to change the scenario.  I need to channel these negative emotions into something positive.  Perhaps the issue is being in Bracknell as opposed to not being in Ibiza?  I said something very similar last year.

But enough moaning.  It is fabric’s birthday on Sunday.  Just look at this line-up.  Monday is booked off work.

Though I actually need another whole week off work.

Next year I am taking my holiday in Slough.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Daily Express Weather Headlines

Little is more perturbing to the amateur weather forecaster, and certainly will be to those professionally qualified, then the spurious sensationalist weather headlines in the Daily Express.

Weather forecasting is actually rather important, not only to the individual but to many businesses across the country - people will make decisions based on such sensationalist drivel that will cost businesses up and down the country, especially but not only in terms of the impact on tourism.

The latest came on Saturday:

The usual suspects have contributed to the article, notably Jonathan Powell of Vantage Weather Services, and James Madden of Exacta Weather.

They also take effort to quote more reputable organisations such as NetWeather and the Met Office in such stories, but rarely do they actually back up their original headline.

May I remind you of an earlier front page in May?

How did that one go?  Note who again was quoted - Mr Jonathan Powell.

Remember those 100'F temperatures this summer?

No didn't quite happen did it?

Express Bingo is a good website to show how often they come up with sensationalist forecasts - of course some of them are right, make enough and some will come true.

For what it is worth, there is a good chance in my view of a significant wintry spell in the latter half of November, going into December, with potential for some disruptive snowfalls.

But mostly mild after that until spring.

I do not totally rule out the worst winter for decades, I do believe a near-repeat of 1962/63 winter will happen before 2020.  It could be this winter but the models are not suggesting this is likely in my interpretation as it stands.

In fact my headline suggestion would be - "Rather mild at times this winter - less likely to die from cold".

Not quite sure it would sell enough newspapers though.  You know where to go if you want a reasonably reliable outlook.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

James & Kathryn in London

Firstly I would like to thank the European Union for granting me as a proud European citizen a minimum holiday allowance.

Every year I allocate some of these days to actual holidays (in other words, Ibiza), some to travelling to and from Hull, some to recovering from nights out at fabric, some to just random chilling out days and a handful are very special unique days.

I missed my sister’s birthday party due to my superstar DJ career (well, she didn’t turn up to mine – what kind of excuse is snow???) so I promised a day out in London full of surprises.

Last Wednesday I instructed her to meet me near the Victoria & Albert museum.  For those who have never been, probably the majority of my English friends and the minority of my immigrant/tourist friends, this is one large collection of historic artefacts from all over the world, with exhibitions such as UK Medieval ages – but also some more unexpected exhibitions such as 1980’s club to catwalk shows – which was probably the best part (sadly photography was not allowed in case people started dressing like that again).

History is not a massive interest of mine but I could not help being in awe of what was around me.  And free to get in too.  FREE!

It was one seriously impressive building, both inside and out – easier to get lost than fabric is due to the bewildering amount of rooms.  I hope we stole it all during Empire.

This is how they made joints in the old days.  Very educational.  Would get proper stoned.

Actually the best part was the amazing scone.

Part 2 was a canal trip through London – from Little Switzerland (not far from Paddington – very nice area!) to Camden Lock.  Neither of us had been on a canal boat before so this was a new experience, the lady gave us the history of the canals which was interesting, though seemed to have a particular obsession for the rope marks on the bridges, pointing them out around 10 times.  Sometimes it is better not to talk when you have nothing new to say.

It was really good.

Got to love a horse.

Part 3 after a few drinks in Camden was my mission to find excellent fish and chips.  I did my research on the internet, and this place came highly recommended by someone from Grimsby (a luxurious seaside town near Hull).  If Grimsbians know about anything, it is fish.

The waitresses were sexy.  Have you ever seen a sexy waitress in a fish and chip shop/restaurant?  Go to Hull (or Grimsby) if you want an education.

But the haddock was even sexier.  Just look at that beast.  This was amazing fish and chips.  Oh so good.  The best I have had for years.  Relatively inexpensive for a restaurant at £13 for the haddock.

But the highlight was still to come...

An original Crapper!  Wow.