Monday, March 28, 2005

Easter trip

Traditionally, me and John go off to John's parents for the Easter weekend, but this year they have gone to Costa Rica. We went anyway, since their house is quiet and free of bad influences.

We had intended to leave home quite early on Friday morning, but due to Mirage related fun, I didn't get out of bed until around 11.30, and then we needed a detour to McDonalds. We arrived in Aberystwyth at around 5ish, and then chilled about, eating curry, drinking wine and watching The Bourne Identity.

On Saturday we lounged about, went to town, had lunch at the National Milk Bar, watched England win (but not Wales lose, surprisingly) and then lazed around drinking wine and watching Dr Who and The Bourne Supremacy.

On Sunday, we met up with Ceri, a school friend of John's. I was expecting to keep up the theme of 'lazing' and 'lolling', but it seemed I had to go for a 17 mile* walk over cliffs instead. Still, we were rewarded with a Sunday Lunch containing half a cow and 12 tons of potatoes. It was tasty. On Sunday night we idled about, drank wine and ate Easter Eggs.

Today we headed home, stopping off on the way so John could have a look at a canal. John, are you aware of where we live? Anyway, we also had to stop in Telford for lunch and to do some impulse shopping. Tonight I expect we will be relaxing. And possibly drinking wine.

*Ok, two mile

Friday, March 25, 2005

Trip to Chav Central

Believe it or not, up until yesterday, I hadn't drunk any alcohol for four days. There was no reason for it really, I just wanted to see how long I could last. Anyway, I decided that I should put an end to that madness and go out and get drunk.

So me and John, neighbour Steve, Paul , Gary and MC went off to the Townhouse, and there were some vague plans to meet up with other people later on. We moved onto the Newbold (where we played the easiest quiz machine in the world) and then to the Jug, and then Steve and I decided we would like to go to Mirage. The others were too old/ill/tired to come, and the other people we had meant to meet up with had gone to Mumbai Bluu (why?)

So off me and Steve went to Mirage, and my extensive network of Leamington contacts came in useful as one of my students works on the door and so we got in for free. Not only that, but we didn't have to queue. Not only that, but when the security woman wanted to check my bag, Tony (head-doorman, my new friend) said, "No, they are our guests" and we strolled straight in. Steve said it made him feel special. Steve, you are special.

It all gets a little blurry after that (thanks, £1 beer!), but I do remember: Mirage being full of Chavs, Steve shouting "Chav" and pointing to everyone, trying to shut Steve up before he got beaten up, seeing a couple of old students, seeing Adrian from upstairs, flailing around, getting injured in several ways, buying chips from Viallis, talking to someone ginger in Viallis, hardly being able to walk home (me because of shoes, Steve because of beer). All in all, it was a fitting end to not drinking I think.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Happy Birthday Tom!

Last night was Tom's birthday celebration in the Jug and Milleniyummy. Ajay and Iciar had come from London to help Tom celebrate, but unfortunately they had brought keys to their flat that didn't work and so couldn't get in to their own house. Since we couldn't allow them to sleep in the gutter we offered them our spare bedroom. It was the least we could do, and Ajay rewarded our kindness by buying us lunch today. Gary Barker: take note.

So out we went drinking and a whole range of people came out. Its all a little blurry, but I remember talking rubbish to many people, getting a 41st birthday shoutout for Tom in the Jug, giving him the bumps on the street outside, eating tasty curry and going back to ours for water and orange squash (honest!) I also thought I saw Steve drinking beer, but I must have been drunk/mistaken as he had vowed not to drink for 2 weeks. Some people just have no willpower.

St Patrick's fun

On Thursday night, John and I met up with Paul and Simon to celebrate St Patricks day by going to some Irish pubs and drinking lots of Guinness. Tracy came out too, but only stayed for one drink before becoming scared at the idea of going to the Pig and Fiddle, and ran away to Mumbai Bluu instead.

Sticking to a strict 'one pub one pint' rule, we crawled our way around: The Bowling Green, The Townhouse, Pig and Fiddle, The Hope, Kelly's, The Railway, before finally ending up in the Jug. In the Jug we tried to order Guinness, but they didn't have any. To be fair, who could have foreseen a rush for Guinness on St Patricks Day?

On Friday morning I felt Ok - a bit tired, but generally fine. The same could not be said for John who couldn't get out of bed in the morning.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Useless Warwickshire Police (Part 4)

Warwickshire Police today, doing the shopping, not fighting crime.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Powergen - pure evil

I opened a letter from Powergen today, assuming it was either a bill, or one of those annoying offer things you get from these kind of people. Instead I was intrigued to find a letter with "NOTICE OF DEBT COLLECTION VISIT" on it in big capital letters, like the example earlier in this paragraph.

Since I pay all such bills automatically, I thought that maybe my bank had messed up, so I checked and found that the last payment was made on 17th February, with the next not being due until 17th March. In no way was my payment overdue. I phoned Powergen to sort it out, and after being put on hold for approximately 7 hours, I was told that they had sent me the wrong letter. They were very sorry, it wouldn't happen again. Well that's OK then*. They also asked me if I considered buying gas from them. Funnily enough, no.

Anyway, the supervisor is supposed to be phoning me back tonight as I have requested compensation for my valuable time and stress caused. Free electricity for a year would be just about fair, I think.

*Actually, it isn't.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Weekend report

I know there's people out there who want to be kept up to date with my every move. I call them stalkers (Hi Steve!), but for everyone's benefit and general entertainment, here is how I have spent my weekend.

Friday. John had been getting beered up all afternoon since Douggy Fresh was leaving IBM. Although he was a little the worse for wear when he came home, we agreed to go for a curry with Steve. John then came home for a nap - he's 31 years old, you know - while Steve and I remained in TJs drinking beer and talking rubbish. I can't remember exactly what we talked about, but we giggled like girls so it must have been funny.

Saturday. Lunch up town with Laura in 'The Sausage'. Its been done up and has fab wallpaper with bookshelves on it. We had a good feed and then perused the charity shops of Leamington before meeting up with Laura's two gay dads for a quick drink in the lounge. Then home for citrus chicken, Alien Vs Predator (my opinion: very good), CSI:NY and wine.

Sunday. John needed a new jacket so off we went to Solihull. We bought: a jacket, some new coasters and a salt pig (for putting salt in, apparently). Tonight we are thinking of watching Midsomer Murders.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Happy Birthday Rich

Last night we went up Leamington town to help celebrate Rich Headworth's birthday. It was also someone else's birthday whose name I cannot recall.

The turn out from G-International was quite poor (I remember the days when anyone who was anyone was out on a Thursday), but we moseyed up to the Old Butchers where we ate food with Gary and MC, before Rich, Steve and their cronies and then JV, Tracy and Ian joined us.

We sensibly (a bit too sensibly...) turned down a trip to Rios, and instead went to the Jug with a drunken Ian who told us what was what and set the world to rights.

I'm all for the return of large scale Thursday night drinking. Getting to bed at three thirty and up at seven thirty was fun. Going to Mirage kept me in with the kids. Laughing at other peoples' hangovers was funny. When did everyone get so sensible?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Never been so cold in my life

Last weekend we went on a canal trip, organised by Paul and Simon (thanks!) and attended by lots of nice people. I skipped work on Friday afternoon (don't think the kids cared too much) and John and I met Paul, Simon, Gav and Mandy at the Boat Inn over Stockton way. The weather had been raining, thundering, lightning and snowing during the morning, but we were confident that the weather for the rest of the weekend would be hot and sunny.

After a few beers in the Boat Inn we went to meet our boats - Richard John and Samuel James - and were soon sailing (and crashing) along happily. I even had a go at driving, I was brill. We navigated through a few locks and were soon at The Folly where we were to meet up with Gary, MC, Suzanne and JV. Since we had been freezing on the boats we were looking forwards to being toasty warm in the pub. Unfortunately, the pub was freezing cold, but it did serve a tasty pie, so I forgave them.

On Saturday it snowed, rained and hailed, but we wrapped up warm and met up with Nicky, Ed and their boys for lunch. I also wrote a true description of the trip in the boat's logbook, but since my brain froze a little I may have made a bit up. At one point, John fell into the canal, probably due to horseplay, but sadly I did not capture the moment on camera. Dinner on Saturday was at The Wharf in Fenny Compton, where I had a nice steak and then almost fell asleep into my beer.

On Sunday we had to sail all the way back to Stockton, which meant an earlish start (up at 8am on a Sunday!) Captain Barker sailed our boat most of the time on Sunday, while me, John and MC worked the locks and John almost fell in the canal again. We arrived back in good time, and performed some car related shenanigans before me, John, Paul and Simon went for Sunday tea in the Boat Inn and everyone else cleared off home. After a good feed John and I went home where I slept for 10 hours non stop. Its a tiring business this canalling lark.

Oh yes, there are photos here.