Scribbler's Laid A Big Juicy Log

Curing insomnia since November 2000
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This blog has been following the ups and downs of my life since November 4th 2000. Amazingly, it's still going.


Archive for the ‘Drink or drunk’


The most predictable post in the whole of 2014

Bugger. Unlike recent years, I appear to have forgotten to automatically post a happy and successfull new years message. Plenty of mead and good freinds prevented me from doing this. Actual people being around my house is much more important than a throwaway post on a website, eh?

I’d like to personally wish both of my readers a hapy and prosperous 2014

2012, the shittest year on record, part 1

It’s hard for me to describe just what an absolute abomination of a year 2012 has been. Anything that could possibly go wrong, has gone wrong. For instance, after staying in the same job for nigh on 11 years, in 2012, I’ve had three, and at the end of 2012, I lost my third. However, two of them at the same place, but we shall touch on these as we go through the year. If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, you’ll pretty much know how this works. If you’re not, then I blabber on about that’s happened in the past 12 months. 6 in this part, 6 in the other part. Along the way, I’ll add photos where relevant…

So, let’s start of with January….

JANUARY 2012

And what a sodding month that was. Most of you know that I was one of the unfortunates who provided outsourced technical support for a rather large computer games company. Well, I found out in January of this particular year, that after over 10 years, they were terminating the contract. It’s fair to say, that when we found out, it was in the top 5 most devastating moments of my life. This was confirmed by the fact that I pretty much disappeared for a couple of weeks. I didn’t tweet for 10 days, eventually breaking my silence with…

No longer giving a fuck (@ The Ward Jackson (Wetherspoon)) http://t.co/yf4ROVMP (2012-01-14 23:24:52)

I wasn’t fooling anyone. I quite clearly did give a fuck. This was the perfect start to a devastatingly bad year.

As for the photos, well ,it wasn’t just me whose future was in doubt, as the local branch of Ugo close its doors…

Ugo somewhere else

A good friend worked there, and with sights like that, the only news can only be bad news. Thankfully, she was safe, as Poundstretcher took over the store. My job, however, never looked more doubtful.

FEBRUARY

I’m struggling to find anything that actually went on in February that’s worth discussing. There was a night out on the 2nd. It snowed a bit on the 5th. My life was collapsing around my feet, and I decided to close this blog. I’d thought about doing it for a while, mainly down to the fact that I knew what my posts were like on the dole. Plus, if I was to be looking for a new job, an online presence such as this probably wouldn’t help. I’d also needed to cut corners when it came to money going out, so when Andrew D informed me he was no longer interested in having the gallery on the site, there was a saving right there. There was actually more to the closure going through my head than I made out. I may discuss it one day.

Dick Brown, at some point, gave me a winning lottery ticket. I cashed it in and made £2.60 Woooo.

Although we had been informed that we were definitely losing our jobs, due to a bug in a certain product, we were to have our busiest month in the entire history of my 10 years there. The atmosphere was, as you can imagine, frosty.

In fact, most of us were trying to work out what TUPE meant.

MARCH

All things considered, it wasn’t that much of a bad month. The game bug had fixed itself, to a point, so work went back to normal levels. I went for one of only a handful of walks in the year, to Osmotherly. March was the best month of the year for weather, as odd as that may seem, and was quite surprised I managed to get the most out of the good weather. The rest of the year was to be cloudy, in more than one sense of the word.

The highlight, pretty much of the entire year, came at the very end of March, as I went to see Chris Rea at the Metro Arena. I almost lost it when he began to sing “Stainsby Girls”, which just happens to be one of my favourite songs ever.

Please flush well...

I didn’t write that… wish I had.

APRIL

April was to be the beginning of the end, as on April 8th, I was to lose my job. It was the first time I was to be out of a job since I was 21. Needless to say, there was a piss-up to end all piss-ups, and for that very reason, we all wore an iTeddy on our heads…

IMAG1546

It’s a long story why we still had it. Probably one which will be never be told in text. There’s a hell of a lot of stuff that I can tell you about the way I was made redundant that will never make this website.

My job disappeared down the drain. That bit was inevitable. We all knew that. A small bit of redundancy would help temporarily, but for how long for?

MAY

Almost the whole of the month was a write-off. I was on the dole, so actually doing a load of stuff wasn’t possible. My boredom turned to addiction, as I’d stockpile CDs wherever possible, as all of the free time meant I could easily rip them and catalogue them, safe in the fact that I really didn’t have anything better to do. It wasn’t until the 22nd of May, that things would change. I’d been to Middlesbrough, with Jamie S, and thanks to a strange argument about who was going to order the food (we take turns, y’see, as petty as that sounds), I end up staring at my phone for a bit.. Suddenly, a text message pops up from a former colleague who had left Employment Palace several months before all of this shit kicked off. There was a job going.

No sooner had I got home, my CV was winging its way over to their HR department, who also featured someone who I used to work with.

A few days later, and the shortest interview I’ve ever had, meant I’d got the job. Good lord. I knew it would only be temporary, but with a chance of it becoming permanent.

JUNE
At some point, I did indeed begin work at “that place”. I don’t remember the exact date. This is because I systematically purged this place from memory, and any historical records I may have happened to keep.

I do, however, remember I didn’t like many of the people there. Some of them I got on with, and would quite happily give the shirt off my back for, but some, I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire. Unfortunately, one of the people from the latter category happened to be my “boss” Oh dear. There was also the safety equipment…

IMAG1889

Things were about to take a horrible turn for the worse. I know I’ve walked about this in previous blogs, but the worst bit was…. the medical.

A load of things came back clear. I can breathe, see things with my good eye, but fuck all with my bad one. Some things didn’t. Apparently, there was glucose in my piss, and my blood pressure was through the roof. Fuck’s sake.

The doctors would be my next call. It’s the first time I’d been to the doctors since my tonsillitis outbusrst in 2007. Three blood samples were talken. THREE. I didn’t know I had that much in me.

I didn’t know where these samples were going, but hours after leaving my plasma in three equal-sized portions, my mobile rang…

“Get yael doon the One-Leefe, pet, a think ya liva’s fucked or soomit.”

I can’t remember if she was Geordie or not, but it came from an 0191 number, so to me, she was. I’m trying to shed light on one of the lowest points in my life. Oddly, at the time of typing, December 2012, I still don’t know whether I am or not. In fact, I don’t even know if I’m supposed to be breathing… Either way, I do know that the tablets (Metformin) were taken off me immediately, I had to fast for a bit, and since then, no doctor has mentioned diabetes to me. therefore, let’s raise a glass to my pancreas… oh, wait….

Part 2… coming right up…

Cherry Pepsi

Just a quick one while I remember, just in case you haven’t found it yet Marko, Cherry Pepsi does indeed exist down here, and it’s actually really quite awesome. It’s infinitely better than the awful diet cherry coke, and it’s just as good, if not better, than normal cherry coke….

Oh, and I had another “brush” with the fox at work today…

Oh dear, I’m making vulpine-related puns, this writers’ block must be bad. I’ve always wanted to take a photo of a fox. some of you may have saw the really shitty one I put on facebook, which could have been mistaken for a small dog, Well, this is a slightly better example, albeit still taken with the camera on my mobile. Alas, I don’t think I’m allowed my camera at “new” work.

In other news, by non-drinking is still going well. I did go off the rails slightly on Friday night, I went for a curry, and gave into temptation. Still, 2 pints in 4 weeks is hardly alcoholic standard, and an immense improvement on the shit I used to throw down my neck on a nightly basis. I also played table tennis in Sheffield city centre. Videos may, or may not be forthcoming.

Music you’d usually skip…

A little bit of a musical self indulgence shall follow. Chad’s not around to criticise my posts, so I feel like I can write about anything I want. Not that it ever stopped me before. This time I’m going to blog about a song I could have possibly missed out on.

I was out for a walk last Monday, before I went and got my hair butchered, to the Headland. It’s a walk I take with startling regularity.

On Monday, I was listening to music on my phone, as I always do, and, happened to be walking up Thorpe Street, as the junction of Marine Drive approached. The name suggests that it would give you a lovely view to the sea, and indeed it does. I stopped paying attention to the music I was listening to, and instead grabbed the camera out of my pocket in order to take some shots, escpecially as the weather was as gloroius as this…

IMGP5505

The song which I had previously paid no attention faded out, yet I still continued to walk along the sea front. My mind, still wandering, partially ignored the slow violin introduction of the song that was playing, until I saw a bench, looking out to sea, with a decaying bunch of flowers tied to it. This sad sight caused me to pay attention to my surroundings, and the music I was listening to, which happened to be the slow, solo violin intro to “Vagabonds” by New Model Army. It’s a song I’ve probably skipped over many times, and never noticed its full spendour.

Talking about violinny-type music, I’m not sure if I’ve blogged about this recently, but seeing as I’m here, and talking about musical shit, I might as well post this…

I now have the original, 1982 version of Darryl Way’s “Little Plum”.

“Little Plum” was a little instrumental tune released by Curved Air member Darryl Way. It has had two releases that I know of, and neither of them charted. It was made famous in the North East of England, however, by Metro FM Talk Show host Alan Robson, who for many years has used the second release of the record as the theme to the “North East Night Owls”.

Neither version of Little Plum have ever been released on CD or LP, meaning that the only way to get hold of the tune is to track down a copy of the 7″ single, which really isn’t easy!

Well, this’ll be my last posting on the subject of as I now have all three versions that I know about. The last one to enter the collection was the 1982 version…
IMGP5387

It’s a much simpler arrangement than the later version, and after hearing it, I can see why this earlier recording was “abandoned” in favour of the later release. It’s… different, let’s just put it that way.

Some of the violin stuff from the 1982 version was used in the 1984 version. A certain section near the end of the 1982 recording matches up exactly with the 1984 intro. There’s a lot of processing on the later version, but it’s definitely the same bit.

Mere weeks after I got the first version, I did a search on ebay and found the 1982 French pressing…

Darryl Way - Little Plum (French pressing)

Not only did it sound cleaner (less scratched) than my 1982 version, it had an infinitely more interesting sleeve.

I’m a bit upset that Darryl Way has completely disowned this song… as I mentioned before, none of the recordings have ever been released on CD, and Wikipedia doesn’t have an entry for it, though it is mentioned in his discography. Maybe it’s time I changed all that…

*UPDATE (the following afternoon)* Jesus, this was a terrible post. Don’t drink and blog.

Paris, Day 3 – high!

Ahh, now we’re starting to get into the swing of things. We knew where all of the eateries were, and we knew where we can stock up on supplies, we knew how much it was to get into at least 3 of the attractions.

Today was the day that we’d all planned to get up early and attack the Eiffel tower queues. It looked as if you really had to get in there early, or not bother getting in at all. Now, I knew, if we were going to attempt this, we really WOULD need supplies. Definitely water, for a kick off. Thankfully, Shoppy came in handy again, and I picked up three bottles of water. We also had the breakfast this morning. Now you may remember yesterday I mentioned La Terasse, where we’d stopped off for something to eat on the night. Well, that’s where we went for breakfast too.

I forgot to mention we also went for breakfast here on Day 2. I think. See, my mind doesn’t record every single detail on mornings. I just remember getting confused over the following…

Me: “Parlez vous Anglais?”
Him: “No, only French.”

You will just have to imagine my face at that point. No, in fact, imagine my face about 30 seconds later when I got his “joke”. Anyway, one awesome breakfast later, we head off to the Eiffel tower, and joined the queue, at 9:43, and didn’t get into the actual tower until 10:29. There was then a 7 minute wait until we got into the cable car at 10:36 to take up up to the first floor. The question was, would the view be worth it? I don’t think I’ll bother answering that question, as I can assure you, the views are absolutely amazing. Oh, wait. I just answered it.

Seriously though, it’s not until you get up to a high point that you realise how big Paris is. Here is a view of the hotel we were staying in, from the top…

Paris 2008 D3 - Going Up The Eiffel Tower (39)

See that “wedge” right in the very centre? That’s where the hotel is.

We stayed up there for ages. It was surprisingly warm considering we were on the top of a ~1,000 metre high structure. After spending quite a while at the top (mainly because there was a queue for the lift approximately a mile long), we went back down to the second level, and began the long walk down the stairs to the 1st floor. It was less busy than getting the lift, obviously, plus it offered a more entertaining view.

The first floor is a lot different to the other two floors, as it has bars, exhibitions, etc. After a quick look around them, we settled for something to eat and to drink. I went for the croissant and a “pint” of Heineken. And although it was reassuringly extortionate, must say, it’sn the most picturesque beer I’ve ever had…

Paris 2008 D3 - Going Up The Eiffel Tower (87)

Edit: oops, correctified image.

The chairs, however were a little bit “rustic”. They were made entirely out of old bits of tree, and not very sturdy at all. I think the person that was on the chair behind me almost went arse-over-tit because of them.

Anyway, we ate up, drank up, and began the descent via the stairs again. Unsurprisingly, there were once again vast swaithes of souvenir sellers trying to sell you stuff from their big black bin liners. Sigh.

We headed back to the hotel temporarily for some reason, and headed off to the Arc De triomphe. Now, it’s only 1.4 miles from the hotel On our previous trip there, it certainly didn’t feel like it. It felt a hell of a lot more. Therefore, we decided to use our €16 ticket on the boat again. Now, the only slight flaw in this plan, was that in order to get up to the Champs-Élysées, the boat had to make its way all the way along the touristy parts of the Seine, and then back again This was something that took 90 minutes.

Meh, it gave me an excuse to break the camcorder out, but by the end of it, even I was all camcordered out.

Eventually, we heard the words we wanted to hear… Next stop, “Champs-Élysées”. Awesome. This is where we wanted to be.

Off we jumped, only to realise that we were nowhere near where we wanted to be. In fact, we were still 1.2 miles away from it. Gutted. That means that we’d taken a 90 minute boat trip in order to save one fifth of a mile. I suddenly knew how this guy felt.

As we continued our walk down the Champs-Élysées, we walked past the preparations for the Wall-E premiere. It is unknown whether anyone famous attended, but there were a lot of security and cameramen about.

Eventually, after what felt like a fortnight, we made it to our final destination. It was €9 to get in, and no, we didn’t take the lift. Therefore, it is a climb of 284 steps to reach the first level, which is a sort-of museum. Unfortunately, this turned out to be very sparse indeed, with only a few exhibitions in it. I really thought they’d make more of a song and dance about something that looks so impressive on the outside.

So, after a quick look around, we went up yet more stairs and reached the top of the monument. Again, the view was great.

Paris 2008 D3 Inside and on top of arc de triomphe (12)

You also get a great view of the comedy roundabout while you’re up there. It looks even madder from above. I’m honestly surprised we didn’t see a major incident while we were up there, though there were plenty of brake screeching and blaring of horns.

We headed back down, and made our way along the road we should have came in the first place. Once again, we attacked The Shoppy.

Now, imagine the scene. you enter The Shoppy, and pick up a basket, only to find that one handle on it is broken. I attempt to place it back on the top of the baskets. Next, a small woman walks into the store. She thinks I’m actually getting a basket for *her*, and she takes the broken one I was about to put down… She thanks me with a cheerful “Ah! Merci!”… now, although I did French in school, we didn’t learn the words for “this basket is broken”, and I have the documentation to prove it

I tried to explain to her in sign language that the basket was well and truly fucked, and I was simply putting it back in order to get another one.

It failed miserably.

She looked away, and muttered “oh, non merci” under her breath as she grabbed a working basket. It was all so hilariously embarrasing.

First stop after the water aisle was, of course, the beer aisle. Now, you may remember the 7.9% beers I’d bought the day before. Well, I stocked up on these again, and got a few more to last me through the night. I did spy some 9% Leffe, but steered clear of this for the time being.

In our quest to find a cheap pub the previous night, we noted a few eateries to try out. It is unsurprising that we wanted a taste of home, and therefore resorted to choosing a Chinese.

As the night was getting on by this point, we retreated to our approriate rooms, and got ready for the night. On the way down, we had a special guest in the lift…. yes, a bloody wheelie bin…

Paris 2008 D3 - Sharing a lift with Hans Sulo

We entered the Chinese, and found it to be a very nice place. the staff were friendly, spoke perfect English and it was overall a very welcoming atmosphere. You’ll be unsurprised to find that I ordered a chicken curry. Sorry.

SIDENOTE: I know I stated I’d eat horse while I was out there. I didn’t. Though, this was mainly because I could only find one place that sold it, and at €15, I didn’t want to risk that amount of money in something that may have been horrible.

Right, with that out of the way, back to the meal. It was top notch. Me and Chris had the chicken curry, and Jonathan had Chilli beef and noodles. it was all very nice, and although yes, the beer was still expensive, we didn’t mind paying it if we were getting something to eat.

After that, it was getting late so we headed off back to the hotel to talk about the days antics, eventually retiring to bed at approximately 1:30AM.

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