The flea market? On a Thursday?

For the long-time followers, you may remember that I used to enjoy my regular Wednesday trips to the Hartlepool Flea Market. I’m afraid to say that they will never happen again.

This is now a view that will probably never reoccur, for you see, the fleam market and the regular market have been combined to form one large market. A “supermarket”, possibly? Well, with some of the tat on offer, I’ll not use that phrase.

Today was my first visit to the afore-mentioned “merged” market. The whole day started off extremely un-promising. Thursday is our bin day, so imagine my disappointment when I go and collect the bin, only to feel the depressing feel of cold rain on my balding head. It looked that I’d be missing out on another week of erm.. new market activities. Thankfully, the rain disappeared instantly, and after a shit, shave and shower (only one of those is true), I donned my replacement phone headset, and headed off in the general direction of the town. It’s the first time I’d been out early enough on a Thursday morning to see everyone’s bottle/can recycling boxes full. It would appear that quite a lot of people on this estate have a lot of parties or alcohol problems.

By the time I’d reached the town on foot, the sun was beginning to break through. I had the misfortune of watching a seagull devour a pigeon to within an inch of its life, in the middle of one of the busiest roads in the town. This thing was going hell for leather on this poor pigeon. Traffic eventually forced the seagull to fly off, leaving a mangled, barely alive columbiform in the dead centre of the road. It was one of those “Wish I had my camera” moments. I’ve never seen anything like it before, and I’m assuming, neither had that bloody pigeon.

Shaken up by this whole ordeal (not really), I yoinked some money out of the cash point, and headed in the general direction of the market. I wouldn’t say I’m overly impressed with the whole layout. There seems to still be a great divide between the “flea” and “standard” markets, yet the flea market feels horribly crowded. I can’t be the only one who thought this. While I was exploring the new CDs on Erics’s stall, Andy the Iridium Fan (ATIF) stood right alongside me (plus bike), and didn’t even recognise me until I uttered “Not talking to me, then?”. I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or not that I’m not instantly recognisable from a distance…

Anyway. I got some “classics” from Erics stall, including Mike Oldfield’s “Music of The Spheres” for £1. I’ve been after that album for a while ever since I “heard” an “advanced” “copy”. It’s not my favourite of his, but it has its moments. I remember almost paying £14 for it in the now defunct Zavvi store in Middlesbrough, but I thought “I’ll come back later”. I never went back.

In all, I spent £10 on Eric’s stall. I got some absolute garbage which only I remember, such as “Sacred Spirit / Chants and Dances of The Native Americans”. I remember it for its classics such as Ly-o-Lay Ale Loya, and Yeha-Noha. Honestly, I’m not shitting you. I know these tracks. Imagine my shock when ATIF knew them also, as his dad had it on LP. After purchasing the CDs and departing with ATIF, I headed into the town centre. I decided to miss out on my usual pastie, and instead headed to Iceland to see if they had started stocking the “Birds Eye Essentials” chicken curry again. The answer was negative, and left the store empty handed. I turned my attention to Heron, where I picked up 4 rasperry Ribenas for £1, and two Ross chicken curries for £1. The latter curry is, if I’m honest, diabolical. Small, hardly any rice, full of peas, complicated instructions which suggest the use of the “Defrost” section of the microwave, and they almost always come out drier than a nun’s (Don’t go there -Ed). The Ribena, however, was awesome, despite the fact I drank three of them, and then realised I’d hit my recommended sugar level for the day. No, seriously.

A 288Ml serving of Rasperry Ribena contains 30 grams of sugar. A 500ml can of Carling contains 11 grams. You’ll forgive me for sticking with Carling, then.

Home Bargains was my next stop, where I stocked up on Wispas, cherry coke and rice. Oh, and handwash.

I decided that I couldn’t take the town anymore, and grabbed the next bus back to Mercuryvapour Towers. It arrived in only a few minutes. Unfortunatelty, a phone malfunction meant that I couldn’t listen to music on the way home. Instead, I was left listening, and unfortunately, taking in the conversation from the two old biddies in front of he… “Eeeh, well you shouldn’t let her upset you…. that’ll be what she wants…”. I clearly never got the full conversation. I didn’t particularly care. Hopefully, typing it in here will help me forget.

Daddykins was out when I got home. I ate my curries, and spent the rest of the afternoon in a vegetative state. One thing I was looking forward to was Wimbledon. I never thought I’d say that on here, but I was hooked on what was the most historic day of tennis ever.. I was more interested in the fact that the day before, I’d noticed that the scoreboard had crashed at 47-all. It was something that should never have happened. It did. History was made. It was the first time a flip-dot display had made the news since… well, Chad liked my last post, I can’t have that happening twice.

Scoreboard glitches were rectified, and eventually, the match ended with Isner winning. The final score was something stupid.

England V USA. My live commentary

Much Longer After: Well, I think that draws this post to a close. I don’t think I’ll be writing too many more of these!

Adverts after: Heh. They must have filmed loads of those carling ads.

90:00 4 added minutes… just enough time for me to finish this can.

78:36 With just over 10 minutes to go, I can’t help but wonder what I should order from the indian – 15% voucher for just-eat.

61:37 Main vein drained, no goal scored. Hurrah. Fly is still bust though.

58:09 I’m going to the toilet. I’ll bet there’s another goal.

51:32 England are still… um… kicking the ball, along with USA, who are trying to get the ball into a net, but there’s a bloke trying to stop them. Occasionally. Why don’t they let the guy in the yellow shirt have a kick? He must feel so left out.

More half time shite Oh god, I’ve just saw that 3D telly advert, and now I feel nauseous. What an awful thing to show.

Half time shite I do like that “Waving Flag” song on the Coke advert. I first heard it thanks to someone singing it to me during a hoaxcall several months ago. Wait. I’ve just remembered. When I was tidying under my desk, I found a cigarette lighter from a car. I don’t smoke, and I don’t have a car. Wo where has it came from?

44:16 Almost half time. Thank god. Maybe ITV will get their act together.

39:56 Goalie drops an absolute clanger. ITV show this one, but not in HD.

38:06 This is what happened for those who didn’t see… – I’m still pretty annoyed by this!

22:36 I’ve lost interest in the match, unstead laughing at some of the stuff posted on twitter about this almighty fuckup… I like this:-

10:58 “Hope you all caught the start!”, says the commentator. Yes, I did see the start, but because of your company’s fuckup, I didn’t see the pissing goal.

08:36 Peter Dickson, voice of everything telly, also missed the goal. I love Twitter.

03:00 I do not fucking believe it. I’m annoyed. England have score, and guess what, I didn’t see it. Some fucking idiot at ITV pressed the “advert” button just after the throw in. It plays the stupid fucking sponsor advert, black-screens for 5 seconds, and by the time it goes back, the goal’s gone in. I hate you ITV.

01:01 Well, as mentioned, I’m in on my own watching this. Not that I’m bothered, because the fly on my jeans has just broken….

Some blokes are kicking a ball around a bit.

It’s big, it’s red, it’s chewy

Still on the subject of red, I’d just like to publicly thank my German friend Rosi for bringing me back a little gift from Germany. Back in the late 1990s (I think), Wrigleys brought out some chewing gum to the shores of Blightly, known simply as “Big Red”. Regular viewers to my blog will remember my trip to Berlin in 2007. I rediscovered this particular confectionery on a shelf in a branch of Woolworth in Spandau. Unfortunately, this epic discovery only managed to accumulate 2 lines in the blog. It really should have gained more.

“Big Red” was a cinnamon flavoured gum, and I thought it was truly epic. Clearly, nobody else did, and after being around for only a short preiod of time, the product was withdrawn, and it was forgotten about by everyone in the country, except me.

I had always held fond memories of it. Unfortunately, despite my love for it, I’d totally forgotten to bring any home with me. I returned home with about half a packet, which I made last until one particular post where I quite clearly snapped, or chewed my last piece of it. I can’t remember…

(Excerpt from
A quick thing I will mention is that if anyone either goes to Germany, or the US/CANADA, you MUST bring me back at least 5 packs of Big Red chewing gum back. It’s awesome.

I never made the connection between a friend / work “colleague” (I hate that word) going on regular visits to her family in Germany, and my ability to acquire the afore mentioned tasty mastication device until very recently, say the end of last year. Rosi mentioned she was returning home for the holiday season (another phrase I hate! It’s Christmas!). Something clicked in my head. Maybe I was chewing some bland, mint flavoured UK gum. either, I asked her to bring me some “Big Red” back. I think she thought I was mad.

Unfortunately, she didn’t remember my request, but I was still hopeful that in a future trip I could convince her my love for this product was genuine.

Several weeks ago, she mentioned that she was going back to Germany…. every five minutes! This allowed me to build up a catchphrase of “Don’t forget my Big Red!” I was hopeful that she would remember.

Several weeks passed, and I returned to Employment Palace, with my usual look of a half-inflated and slightly manic-depressive beachball, only to have my spirits lifted by the sight of the following on my desk…

There were 2 sealed packets containing 15 sticks, and one that had been broken into, but I could hardly complain. The sealed packets contained 15 sticks, and there were only 4 removed from the open one. I gave a couple of more sticks away to the people who were curious what the fuss was all about (they also agreed that it was awesome), which still left me with about 36 sticks of the stuff.

Considering my wish was for someone to bring me 5 packets back, which I based on a 7 stick pack, 7×5+whatever was left = 35+. I was, and still am delighted. I’ve not seen Rosi to thank her yet, but I sent her a text as soon as I recieved my collection.

Unfortunately, I know that she doesn’t read this site, making the previous 539 words completely pointless,but if you approach me, and my breath smells of curry, rotting teeth and cinnamon, you now know why.

True fact: “Big Red” chewing gum isn’t actually red.

This doesn’t need explanation.

Just click play.

It’s called ‘The Golden Age of Video’ by Ricardo Autobahn. It’s a copyright minefield, so I’m surprised it’s not been deleted yet. I’m so glad it hasn’t.

I got out of bed at 5:50 just to play it because I woke up with it going around my head. Anything that has Short Circuit, Rainbow, The Fast Show, Anchorman, Naked Gun, South Park, and Family Guy in the same video, with a recurring chorus featuring Ghostbusters and Freaks MUST be good… and this is brilliant.

Goodbye my trusty friend…

Oh, I can’t believe this has just happened. In fact, I have a little lump in my throat as I type this, but I have broken my trusty little Acer camera, which has been the stalwart of my photography since winter 2006. Over those 4 years, it’s not been far from my pocket, capturing the entirety of my trips to Edinburgh, Paris and Berlin over those past 4 years, along with many thousands of other images which have resided mainly on my flickr account since then.It’s even seen uses in situations where my main camera is a bit too bulky to carry around

Unfortunately, as quickly as it came into my life, and filled it full of wonderment, it exited, and has already left a gaping hole. I was taking some random photos earlier, mainly of a delicious curry I’d made, complete with incredibly undercooked chillies, when the batteries ran out. “Gah”, I thought as the lens retracted, and the power went off.

I slapped it in my trouser pocket, and proceeded to take the charger upstairs with me. As I bent over, to plug it in, I heard a shuddering crack. Knowing that there was only one thing my pocket, except for my keys, I knew something had gone horribly, horribly wrong.

And, indeed it had. My faithful little Acer, had, for some reason, switched itself back on and the lens had fully extended while in my pocket. I’d say that I’d accidentally switched it on with my massive penis, but these jeans are quite thick and the “on” button is quite small, meaning that any accidental button pushing with my enormous phallus is highly unlikely.

I removed it from my pocket to find the lens jammed in partially, After switching it off and back on, the lens motor sounded particularly unhealthy, and the lens got stuck halfway. I was presented with a “lens error”, and the camera switched itself off.

I’ve enjoyed using it, and have put it through probably more than it was designed for. The case is scratched to hell and back. The lens cover itself would occasionally get stuck when opening, The screen’s cracked, and there’s dirt on the sensor, as shown here…

The dirt is that little dark patch on the left, in case you didn’t know, or are thick. As can be seen in that photo, however, is that even after that amount of time, it still takes a good picture.

The batteries are on charge, so hopefully after a small amount of charge, it’ll be good to go again. It’ll be a sad day when it finally enters that little bit of drawer space in the sky.