Thursday, December 29, 2005

Cornish yarg and Littlemore goat

I've been going to the gym - 4 times in the last 10 days. For me, that's impressive.
Also not touched a drop since Boxing Day festivities at godkids', and no plans before Russian New Year.
Went running-jogging-walking to the top of Primrose Hill via the canal yesterday.
Ah, the gym - a Moorish pool is empty, as is the steam room, and the jacuzzi - today I went from one to the other just to experience the beauty of the still warm sensations. Like the ultimate onanism! But without the cuddles afterwards.
So each time I go to the gym, I stop at the Bloomsbury cheese shop on the way back and buy £1 of cheese - my locker room money.
Hence the title, yesterday mild cow's cheese and today a soft mild goat's cheese from Somerset. When I've been to the gym 50 times, I will be fit and have eaten all the cheese...
Liz has had a few issues that prevent - yet again - me getting my hands on any Christmas presents this year...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas strike at my flat!


So that's Ta Zu and above the van is my window - the satellite vans are there for No.39 and the Rail Maritime and Transport Union HQ. Train strikes, tube strikes - it's just like New York!!

Cricket!!!

Saw Al and Kenny B. on Tuesday - the Old Reptilians (come on, you snakes!) are now an ex-lizard, deceased, gone from this world...
We had a few beers and saluted ex-Reps including Pete, much missed, and Si Bates, crying off with exhaustion.
Hope to make it an annual reunion - based around watching at Lords perhaps?!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Perfect day!


Yesterday:

1. Joined a gym,
Cannons at Mecklenburgh Place - and could swim in my own pool, use my own jacuzzi, use my own steam room and then my own sauna. Joy! £25 a month...
2. Watched some criii-ckittt...
3. Ate a delicious full English breakfast for lunch! Choice of 3 cafes within 25metres of my front door:-)
4. Had a lovely siesta
5. Spoke to Greggo, Daffy and Pro - 3 of my favorite people and reminders of [1] Hebrides at Easter and Lake District and Manchester and Hampton Court Palace; [2] Barcelona, wine tasting and the one that got away; [3] Tokyo, London and soon Norway!
6. Watched
'The Constant Gardener' - Ralph Fiennes in good form, bit PC as a film. Delightfully empty cinema.
7. Had a lovely Vietnamese meal of won ton soup and Saigon pork curry with green tea.
8. That set me up for
'King Kong' - fabulous!
9. Wandered home and had some textual intercourse with Elena M. - I wish! Audrey Hepburn meets Miranda Cohen.
10. Slept a solid 8 hours...
Yup, birthdays can be better when you don't plan to see anyone. Am I a misanthrope?

Monday, December 19, 2005

20 New Years

A good test for the old memory - 20 disasters or non-events:
1986: 1st year at LSE, don't remember! Maybe Southampton?
1987: Trafalgar Square with a Yugoslav, then Irish nonsense on walk back to Clapham
1988: Glasgow? Ian McCall's Rangers party. We were drunk, Kev more than me...
1989: Cairo? Just after the Christmas office party trio of mistakes.
1990: Edinburgh: John's girlfriend. Freezing cold!
1991: Bondi, Sydney; Ronelle after Christmas Eve Danes
1992: Chiswick? Just back from Pakistan - my first chavette.
1993: Israel; prototype Lena
1994: Astrid left me with instructions to put some muscle on. I don't recall New Year.
1995: Copenhagen breaking up with Astrid, then on to see a sick Marie and heartbroken Ylva
1996: Sacha came over to go out, I stayed in while they went out. She pulled!
1997: New Year in Galveston, party at Ricky's flat.
1998: Heard from Yseulys that she was pregnant (guess that means we'd broken up!), in Austin
1999: Millenium in Auckland - declarations of undying love to bruised Lena in Austria
2000: Recuperating from the hernia op, Clare breaking up with me.
2001: In Bayswater, Marie messing me around. She's got in touch with me after seeing me on Swedish TV being rude to the presenter on a dating show. They'd interviewed me outside Embankment tube when I was waiting for Clare, the last time I saw her. She'd not eaten for 3 days after her car got shunted on the M1, I was going to Cambodia, funny meeting. Even stranger that Marie should contact me and that she STILL managed to mess it up.
2002: Barcelona, messed around by Monica from Medellin.
2003: Barcelona, with Lara the Indian-Canadian from Geneva. Went over to France to see her next day, didn't work out.
2004: Barcelona, in my given-up stage. Ate myself silly instead!
2005: London after Alina.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The village of Marsden



This is lunch in Marsden, West Yorkshire in summer 2003 - yours truly pointing to a lovely plate of F&S. Mel and Carol (sorry can't remember) are doing their usual giggling along as we later went round the graveyards finding 18th century Marsdens. I'm publishing it now because I just had birthday dinner of Harry Ramsden's F&S, and I'm approaching 200 years old...

Marsden memories 2003


This was Daffy's hen party- except as her friends were utterly rubbish, I was with Lucas, Ivan and Sam and some Basque girls he knew, in a tapas bar in Madrid - I'm wearing Daffy's wedding present. I know, class is permanent...

Merry Christmas your arse - scumbags and maggots



Thursday 22nd December Brixton Academy - we'll be DRRUNK!!!

Russian para hat and Frost Fair




Two stories - I bought this genuine ex-military paratrooper hat in Warsaw's famous Sunday flea market in March '04 - and on Saturday in London it was cold enough to wear it! I'm in front of the Frost Fair by the Tate Modern, a photo taken by Mattie en route to our brunch in Borough Market: venison burgers; frankfurters with rotkohl; fabulous chocolate-pecan tarts; cheeses especially Cheshire...The old Frost Fairs were on the frozen shallow filthy Thames, now broad fast-flowing and with no 12-arch bridges like the old Father Thames. Very pleasant - and look at the sunset!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Friday, December 16, 2005

Birthday weekend continued...

But there's more. This means I can see Matt-Matt-Mattie tomorrow after a good night's sleep (nearly went out on the piss tonight, but best not with that bug).
It also means I can see my old flatmates from Chiswick 1994, whom I haven't seen for at least three years - Neil an expectant dad, Simon back en famille for Christmas from New Zealand, Clare still with her brood of 3 living in Salisbury. That's tomorrow evening after I see Mattie.
And hopefully Sunday I'll feel fit. Monday I was taking leave with a luxury hotel in Derry in mind - might take it off anyway to do something nice.
Answers on a postcard please...
Off to watch Alina's DVD of 'Love Actually' (another sarcastic title, thanks Vampira) and eat her Christmas present Belgian Pralines...

Birthday weekend

A dramatic start - as Cliff Morgan watching the Lions might say...(1973 Gareth Edwrads against the Barbarians).
So I had planned the weekend in Derry with Alina - whom I very much liked. And that's despite having all the distractions of Elena in NY and London, R. in Budapest and various others, like the punk barmaids. But I was a good boy and looking forward to seeing my girl again.
A week ago, she says we're incompatible - our phone conversations apparently involved me making fun of her and not being serious ('are you serious? you cannot be serious?').
Then when I'm in Brussels - with R. - she emails again to say she's too busy and better if I don't come. Ever tried telling Ryanair that? And too busy? Per-lease!!! My birthday weekend.
So Marsden decides, bugger that, still going to Derry, girlfriend or no girlfriend. I'd booked a nice hotel for Sunday night already for the two of us, so I booked a lovely B&B.
Last night - I'd had a bug since last weekend, too much Christmas and no sunshine, worn out - I had a quiet Christmas party with friends - particularly as Alina's emails were getting increasingly offensive in the face of my Charge of the Light Brigade approach to inappropriate amorous brush-offs. I had 'won' an iPod Shuffle and the fucking thing of course kept crashing my computer yesterday and this afternoon.
In consequence, I'm late for the train I want, to get to Stansted by 6.45 or so. I get the tube from Kings Cross to Moorgate - where it stops indefinitely for signalling problems. Bollocks!
So - iPod Shuffle blaring out noise - I run from Moorgate to Liverpool St, only 500m or so, and make my train.
Except - train cancelled. Get this one, they say, only takes 15 minutes longer. On I get to the sarcastically named Stansted Express at 5.40.
At 6.45 it arrives via lots of stops, official and unofficial, at Stansted. By now I am punching the carriage walls in frustration, so deep in the Incident Pit that I need to stop digging.
At 6.47 I run to the counter - closed! Why with 33 minutes left? Two jobsworths inform me that dispatch just closes at 40 minutes prior and that's it - doesn't matter if its domestic, they don't care. Ever heard of domestic flights closing that early? You have now.
So its £40 more to get the flight the next day or - claim back the train fare, cancel all the hotels and give it up as a bad job.
Yes, you're right, I finally admitted defeat.
What a start to a birthday weekend!