keresaspa: (Seagull)
It's ate bread now given that I've been home since Sunday and, as I suspected, the Dreamwidth exodus seems to have killed this journal stone dead but the tenth annual London extravaganza probably needs to be recorded anygate.

Ergo )

Murder

Mar. 6th, 2017 10:25 pm
keresaspa: (Default)
*Insert weak joke about visiting Edinburgh lots before waffling for ages about most recent visit*

Therefore )

Nedderbury

Oct. 8th, 2016 12:33 pm
keresaspa: (Gus Goose)
Such is the regularity with which I go to Edinburgh these days that it hardly seems worth mentioning.

But let's anyway )
keresaspa: (Diggory)
The short version of this is that London was rather good apart from the going and the coming, which were hell on earth. On the off-chance that anybody is still reading this (and I note in my extended absence that I am now down to one person submitting regular updates on my friends list) I shall expand at some length about what took place.

The Austrian stork nurtures the kites )
keresaspa: (Cartman)
Every time I post to this now I seem to begin with a note to excuse my absence due to the paucity of updates. What can I say, less than auspicious days recently. In the meanwhile however a standing engagement in Edinburgh took me across the sea once more and, as ever, I shall betell the events.

Lay on, MacDuff )

Hello

Oct. 10th, 2015 10:14 pm
keresaspa: (Obelix)
Such is the regularity with which I visit dear Edinburgh these days that it hardly seems worth kicking this thing into life just to describe the latest visit. Still, it's a pattern I've established these last twelve years or so and as such it must continue. If there is a moral to this story let it be thus - don't walk backwards, it gets on everybody's tits.

Mulch )

Paris

Aug. 29th, 2015 11:07 pm
keresaspa: (Seagull)
Hello you *waves*. Yeah, just back from Paris and that, which, of course, means I have to go on at length about the last week. Apologies in advance if this gets a bit incoherent but you should all be used to that by now.

Lundi )

Mardi )

Mercredi )

Jeudi )

Vendredi )

Edinburgh

Sep. 27th, 2013 09:52 pm
keresaspa: (Wil Cwac Cwac)
Given how rarely I update this now I suspect my occasional extended absences draw little attention but this one can be explained away by an impromptu post-birthday break to possibly my favourite city - Edinburgh.

I'll leave off details about the flights. Suffice to say both reasonable as flights go, but I still hate flying. My base for the trip was Motel One on the corner of Market Street and Cockburn Street. A very central location thankfully although it was a peculiar place to say the least, with rooms having no wardrobes, only two badly positioned electrical sockets and a television that only worked properly when it felt like it. Seemingly it was part of a German chain as all signs and handouts were primarily in German but the rooms were certainly well designed, if a touch minimalist for my taste. The inevitable problem of keeping milk cool also struck (as it does it nearly every hotel) and my twin solutions - filling the bin with cold water or thrusting the milk bottle into the toilet - both proved unsuccessful with the remains of one Poundland effort even ending up curdled. Still, I didn't come here to talk about milk, did I?

So after arriving at the hotel on Monday I set off on my travels, with the Gorgie area of the city my destination. I had no previous dealings with that side of town but had designed a route from Google Maps and was surprised to find that, for once, my plans proved fool-proof. I arrived at Tynecastle in good time and got my ticket for the forthcoming League Cup match between Heart of Midlothian and Queen of the South. The Hibernian-Stranraer game was also an option but I figured I had previously been to Easter Road and that match was on Tuesday, for which I had other plans. The rest of the day was spent arseing about the familiar old streets, battling with an unseasonable heatwave and struggling in vain to find any supermarkets. Is there a law in Scotland banning supermarkets within three miles of the city centre or something? A nice haddock supper made for a fine repast that evening although it left the room ponging somewhat. Such is life.

Tuesday, as stated, was already earmarked for a specific purpose and that was a day's excursion to Glasgow. I am by no means a strong road traveller but the relatively short coach journey between the two cities played severe havoc with my stomach and a boak was avoided by the skin of my teeth. Glasgow is a city I have criticised on here before and I stand by those criticisms - it is horrendously ugly, having obviously been smacked about by town planners in a similar fashion to Belfast (if you must put new buildings beside old, at least try to match the architecture styles a bit) and the frankly ridiculous levels of drunks and junkies wandering about, regardless of the time of day, is very tedious and makes the whole place seem rather unsafe. However I still enjoyed my time there as it has greatly improved as a shopping venue and I could happily have killed a couple more hours there, even if the habit of checkout people saying "first, please" instead of "next, please" struck me as rather odd. One big gripe though - my God, have the accents ever been diluted! I'm a big fan of the Scottish accent in general, it being one of only two British isles accents I like, but a lot of the Glasgow kids sound like they're from the East End of London these days. Such a shame; you have a lot to answer for Eastenders!

My old stamping ground from 2011, Leith, was my first port of call on Wednesday and I meandered down that seedy old road nostalgically, notwithstanding the incessant pishing rain. Keeping on the two years ago riff, I spent the afternoon knocking about what I believe is called Newington (an altogether more refined area than the run-down republican interface area of the same name in Belfast) before heading back to the hotel. My plans to get a self-made salad for lunch were again thwarted as, just like two years ago, self-service salad bars are still absent from supermarkets despite being as common in Ireland as drunk people. Still, to each his own I suppose. That evening was the match and thankfully the rain had finally done one as I didn't fancy taking the relatively long trot out to Tynecastle in the middle of a downpour. As I took my seat in the Main Stand near the halfway line (always the best spot) I drank in the scene. Tynecastle is more dilapidated than Easter Road, although to be fair Hearts are in dire straits financially so it's only to be expected. Still it's a grand old ground nevertheless and credit to the Queen of the South supporters, who made an ungodly row throughout despite being only a small section of the 8,000 strong crowd. As to the match itself it was, quite frankly, bloody brilliant. Hearts played below their capabilities and the Doonhamers inevitably raised their game making it a blood and guts affair in which Hearts lost the lead three times before going through on a penalty shootout. They both went above and beyond in the entertainment stakes and I left the stadium exhilarated, having watched what was probably the best match as a spectacle that I had ever attended. It was well after eleven before I got back to Princes Street but, as always seems to happen at Edinburgh matches, an unofficial walking bus of supporters ensured total safety in numbers.

Thursday brought a welcome return to fine weather and I decided to get a bus day ticket and explore a few places I didn't know. My first port of call was Corstorphine, a suburb near the airport, and a pretty place the former village was. I killed a while there before returning to the main drag and boarding a bus for Musselburgh. I fancied a spell by the seaside and it seemed as good a place as any, although after nearly three quarters of an hour on the bus and still nowhere near the place I gave up and decamped at an out of town retail park by the name of Fort Kinnaird. As a monument to capitalist consumption it was slightly unnerving and its complete lack of facilities played havoc with my suddenly weak bladder but still, it was somewhere different and I had been mixing Musselburgh up with Helensburgh anyway. My third port of call was Ocean Terminal, which I felt compelled to investigate as it seemingly had a bus running to it every thirty seconds. When I got there it was yet another shopping centre, although this time a vast one nestled in a gentrified area reminiscent of the horrific Titanic Quarter in Belfast. My only thought was that a lot of fine historic dockland must have died to make way for such a monstrosity. To finish the day I partook of the local delicacies by devouring a haggis supper, which I was amazed to find consisted of a long sausage shaped slab of haggis bunged in batter and deep fried. Like haggis isn't fatty enough on its own! Probably not a good idea to eat offal with my blood problems but what the hell, I'm getting needle-stabbed next Friday so they can worry about it then (expect ferritin levels in the mid hundreds).

Home today, albeit with a little time for wandering around in Greyfriars and the surrounding area. All in all though it was a wonderful little break. I don't visit Edinburgh that often but whenever I do I'm always reminded why I'm so fond of the place. A wonderful city and the perfect place to dawdle a few days away.
keresaspa: (Brigitte Bardot)
Frankly I wouldn't normally dream about mentioning anything so flippant but if this vile creature believes that this is a heifer then frankly stick a set of horns on me and call me a bull. Good Lord, you couldn't make these morons up, could you?

And speaking of all things bovine (as I suppose I was in a roundabout way) am I alone in not seeing what all the fuss is about with regards all this horse meat nonsense. The crux seems to be that people who enjoy eating a huge dead animal with red flesh are absolutely repulsed by the thought of eating another huge dead animal with red flesh. Nonsensical. People baulk at eating horses for purely cultural reasons and frankly who doesn't look at a Shire or a Clydesdale and think that there would be a few decent cuts of meat in such an immense creature? Due to haemochromatosis and its large iron content my consumption of red meat is very low anyway but were I to find out that one of my few forays into being a beefeater actually meant I could eat a horse I wouldn't bat an eyelid. Frankly if they told me my last lasagne actually contained giraffe, antelope, elephant or any other big mammal I wouldn't give a monkey's toss (even if it contained monkey). Now can we stop flogging this dead horse and move on? Thank you.
keresaspa: (Squidward losing it)
It being Saturday the mountains bent down and beckoned me to their side, meaning that it was time to return to the theatre of dreams that is Glen Road Heights to witness the titanic struggle between the noble and true Sport & Leisure Swifts and their nefarious foes, the malevolent Lurgan Celtic.

The Lurgan lot make DC look original in their shameless attempts to ape that shambolic mob from Glasgow. It's not just the horrendously unflattering green and white banded shirts that they wear but they even sport the very same badge. Try to have even a little of your own identity, chaps. From the kick-off Leisure looked an altogether better prospect than the old rubbish that had been so mercilessly humbled by the PSNI a fortnight ago. Lurgan Celtic were, inevitably, a clearly better side but the home boys gave it a go and maintained a decent shape throughout. About half an hour or so in Lurgan took a lead that, whilst hardly undeserved, was not a sign of any dominance on their part and even then it lasted all of a minute anyway as Leisure hit an equaliser almost immediately after the restart. Finally I can say I have witnessed those mugs actually score a bloody goal!

The culchies were mad for their number seven, whom they referred to constantly as "Buckshot", a mean-spirited and petulant little man whose diving would have rivalled that of Greg Louganis but who admittedly was probably the best player on show. As the game wore on "Jazzer" and "Fitz" also received the praise from the travelling several, although as they weren't talking about Jim Bett and Robbie Coltrane I can offer no more on those two. Admittedly, like myself, Robbie probably carries a stone or seven too much for the rigours of even the IFA Championship 2 but that didn't stop Lurgan's keeper from having a go, a man whose belly and man breasts bounced and jiggled hypnotically every time he trotted out to take a goal kick. And in other news - the pot calls the kettle black arse.

A while into the second half a penalty was awarded to Lurgan Celtic although, to quote Arsene Wenger's mantra of yesteryear, I didn't see the incident and so can offer no thoughts on whether or not the decision was correct. I think it was for a handball although I list track as a section of the Lurgan crowd (I say crowd, the entire game had about thirty people there, nearly all of whom were Armagh men) yelled "handball" practically every time a Leisure player got near the ball. Perhaps they were just fixated on the notion of hands and balls, who knows. Inevitably the penalty was converted, with penalty saves at this level about as likely as a sensible haircut on Donald Trump.

Surprisingly given my tendency towards a Niagara of sweat regardless of the weather, and the fact that it was a pleasant 16 degrees, the match was bloody cold and the atmosphere wasn't helped by the constant crackle of electricity travelling between the pylons that flank the ground. OK to play football in apparently but the sort of place where you might have to be prepared to meet the grim reaper if you brought a kite or a frisbee. Mind you it's difficult to go anywhere in west Belfast without being surrounded by searing, naked electricity pulsating forth from huge phallic Eiffel Tower-like contraptions so at least it is in keeping with the politico-cultural geography of the region. Still, I was able to kill my fears by partaking in a mini Soreen, consoling myself with the thought that a pocket sized version of the sainted malt loaf is perhaps the single greatest invention since the Bohemian ear spoon.

And so it continued. A Lurgan player got a very late red card for two fairly innocuous bookable offences but, despite some effort, Leisure just couldn't get any urgency going and the game ended in a 2-1 defeat. Overall this was a much improved performance by Leisure, even though the defeat left them adrift at the bottom of the table due to Killymoon Rangers managing a draw with my alma mater in Cookstown. Lurgan Celtic were only marginally better and there was some neat passing at times from Leisure, with the two full backs in particular looking a hard-running, progressive duo in the mould of Cafu and Roberto Carlos (well, almost). Up front however there are serious issues. The number nine puts himself about but his lack of height is a big problem for a level where hit and hope cloggers are the norm. The Irish League is far from the land of the giants but this diddy man is about five feet tall and gets smothered by centre backs. It also doesn't help that high balls keep getting launched at him when he has as much chance of winning the aerial duels as Andy Fordham has of winning Mr Tight Buns. His strike partner on the other hand is a much larger young man but is cursed with a timidity that holds him back so as he misses out on the ball far too often when he really should be asserting himself and dominating the penalty box. By the standards of this league he is big, strapping boy but he plays as if he's made of porcelain. With proper coaching they could form a half-decent big target man/little nippy centre forward partnership but at this level coaching is practically non-existent and so they seem destined to continue playing a pair of strangers who each seem to be playing the other man's natural game.

And is if that wasn't enough I arrived home to find that Albion have been thrashed by Fulham. Is that the sound of the bubble bursting for Coach Clarkey? I certainly hope not and obviously we were never going to stay in the top four for very long but let's hope it was a one-off off-day (a one-off-day if you will) as Fulham and Albion should be mid-table rivals, even with Berbatov in their side. The hard work starts here Clarke, so it's up to you to turn things around in the next game against Reading and build on your good start. Might I suggest returning Chris Brunt to the starting line-up tout suite in order to do so? Thank you.
keresaspa: (Boycie)
That's me back from England then. I'm nursing an injured right leg for my trouble but it was a fun time as I shall now elaborate upon.

TL;DR )

Me again

Sep. 30th, 2011 08:19 pm
keresaspa: (Mrs Mack)
Sorry about the sudden break in communication there (like you even noticed) but I have been out of town since Monday. Yes as a late birthday present I hit the road and spent four night in Edinburgh. And a fine time it was too.

It is fair to say that if somebody is at an airport there is an overwhelming probability that they will be either a numb-nuts or a poop-nose. Certainly that is very much the case at Belfast International Airport and my intense hatred of flying was not altered by either experience this time. It's not just the flights themselves (even though they are extremely unpleasant) it is the whole rigmarole that goes along with them, be it having to turn up for a journey a good two hours before it happens, the fact that airports are never anywhere near the places that they are named after or all the unnecessary security fascism that continues a full ten years after the Twin Towers. I mean we can board buses without all that rubbish and they get blown up all the time. So as a consequence of flying being generally crap it was well after four before I arrived in Edinburgh proper and that meant a mad dash from my hotel to Easter Road to get there before five. Yes, for some reason I decided I would go and watch the Hibernian-St. Johnstone match and so I had to get to the ticket office before it closed. No problem in the end leaving me a bit of time to knock about Greyfriars and Cockburn Street where a hipster record shop proved a surprisingly good source of Turkish psychedelia. I managed to explore bits of Leith in the evening before settling down to a fish supper. Kudos to the Scots for continuing to use "supper" rather than the English invention of "and chips" but a big thumbs down for the choice of condiments. Salt and vinegar are, of course, a must, but brown sauce on a fish supper is wrong on so many levels that I don't even know where to begin. The hotel itself was reasonable but I was forced to rescan their Freeview box as it wasn't giving me Challenge TV, which is obviously essential viewing.

On a whim I boarded the train on Tuesday morning and spent the day in scenic Glasgow. Some decent shopping was had but I must say I found the layout of the city very confusing and the fact that a good percentage of the population seemed to be permanently pissed was a little disconcerting. Not a bad day but I'm glad I decided to make Glasgow the city for the day trip and Edinburgh the city to stay in as I much prefer Auld Reekie to Glesga. So about five o'clock I was ready to mosey only to find that my ticket kept being rejected. Consulting with a guard I was told it was an off-peak ticket and as such was invalid until half six unless I paid a bit extra to upgrade. Checking with the ticket office I found out that the "bit extra" was actually £8.40. What a rip-off! Suffice to say I told them to shove it and arsed about for an hour and a half.

A pre-planned route, drawn with the aid of Google Maps some time earlier, was followed on Wednesday, taking me up North Bridge and that as far as Salisbury Place, along the Grange Road and stuff before eventually jigging down Brunsfield as far as Fountainbridge. Inevitably on Google Maps things like that look a straight run that should take about 45 minutes. Inevitably in real life however street signs go walkabout, turnings appear out of nowhere and 45 minutes turns into three hours before you know it. The baking heat, apparently the hottest 28th September on record, didn't help but it was a pleasant enough way to spend the afternoon. Never in my life have I seen so many people who look just like Michelle McManus and I was equally overwhelmed by the ratio of branches of Greggs to supermarkets with salad bars (the mystery of those table-topping performances in the world heart attack leagues becomes less mysterious) but it was a fine way to spend a day nonetheless. The evening was spent at Easter Road in a weird mix of summer and autumn with shirt sleeves temperatures combining with floodlights from the word go. Having not been in a big stadium for around a decade I was initially overwhelmed by the size of the place and took a brief dizzy spell. Before long however I got used to it and I actually seemed very close to the action when it kicked off. The game itself was a belter. In quality terms it was well short of the English game but streets ahead of our local scene and it was interesting to see how inconspicuous the referee was. Challenges that might have brought a red card in England were ignored and the game flowed better for it. Approaching the game as a neutral I soon got caught up in cheering on Hibernian and they didn't disappoint, scoring a couple of excellent goals and a penalty and even conceding a late one to set up a grandstand finish. Top stuff, the Hibees were worth their 3-2 win and Ivan Sproule looked a hell of a player, one eye or not. Magic!

The scorching heat continued on Thursday as I spent the day wandering around the city. I've been to Edinburgh plenty of times before but have never seen a lot of the sights and so I rectified that by taking in the Parliament, the castle, a bunch of old churches and graveyards and the punishing Calton Hill, where I found myself feeling somewhat overcome by heat stroke. By that stage the early darkness was arriving again, combining once more with scorching temperatures, a combination that seemed almost otherworldly. But it was good stuff either way and I thoroughly enjoyed my time catching up with this fine old city again. The journey home was hellish to say the least, involving as it did four hour waits, pissed-up loyalists and standing in the lashing rain for half an hour waiting on a bus but who cares about all that as everything else was just dandy. Good show.
keresaspa: (Colonel Blink)
A dodgy gut has plagued me these last few days but at least I can rest easy with regards to the whole e.coli thing as it seems beansprouts are the real killers. And to think I had Professor Plum with the spanner in the billiard room. Who would have thought that such a little/large/medium, round/flat/long vegetable/fruit/pulse could cause so much trouble? Actually I don't think I have ever eaten beansprouts in my life so I can say little except "naughty beansprouts getting cucumbers into trouble like that".

And speaking of naughty I see that serial granny-botherer and expensive tab smoker Wayne Rooney has got a hair transplant. Hey, nothing but the big stories round these parts. My dislike of Rooney is well documented but now about the only thing I could respect him for has gone. As someone who has been cursed by early onset male pattern baldness (it started when I was 17 and then began in earnest at 24 - a side-effect of haemochromatosis I reckon) seeing the bald pate of the boy Rooney shining was like a beacon of hope to me and my fellow (relatively) young slapheads. Now our leader has disappeared and we are forced to nurse our bare swedes in shame, looking to the wholly less prestigious likes of Pepe Reina, Andy Johnson and Paul Konchesky for inspiration. Cheers Wayne, you vain git!

Now if you'll excuse me I must go and rub olive oil and onions into my shiny dome in a desperate attempt to do a cheapo home version of the transplant.
keresaspa: (Harry Cross)
Snow has, of course, been the thing that is getting everybody hot and bothered this last week or so. Now, we did get some nigh on a week ago round these parts but by and large that was it. No seven foot drifts, no winter wonderland, no canitude or any such nonsense. Nope, the snow was over after little more than two days last week but, this being Belfast, it hasn't gone away you know. Instead the snow has turned into ice and has lay ever since, making the street I live in and the surrounding environs about as treacherous as wearing Lady Gaga's meat dress on a midnight raid in Battersea dog's home. The inevitable trip to the hospital yesterday to give away my life blood like so much cheap wine resulted in more near pratfalls than an uninsured Norman Wisdom and made dignity an impossible commodity to come by. The hatches have now been battened down although penarious concerns mean that it must be braved again tomorrow, lest I am reduced to eating tins of celery hearts topped with cat food for supper and even I draw the limit at that. Probably.

Meanwhile I present this quote from a Mr. D Beckham, referring to a Panorama investigation into widespread corruption in FIFA and after a meeting with Jack Warner, a man who personally made millions illegally selling his federation's allocation of World Cup tickets - "I think what we made clear to him, and what he already knows, is that, if we were to get the World Cup in our country in 2018, our media will be right behind it". Good stuff. Now I attach no blame to Beckham for this statement, cast as he is in his usual role of pawn in big boy's games, but doesn't it give a fine insight into the mind of our esteemed leader David William Donald Cameron that he is happy to ignore glaring corruption in order to grub a bit of money from FIFA and is even prepared to manipulate a supposedly free press in order to have his way. Heck, the whole bid wasn't even his idea in the first place and should surely have been one of the first wastes of money culled by his cuts-happy government given the unlikelihood of it actually succeeding. Still, if World Cups were awarded for brown-nosing I'm sure Call Me Dave's schmooze-fest in Zurich over the last few days would have won it hands down. As a spectacle I always enjoy the World Cup but, let's face it, the whole thing is as bent as a nine-bob note and seeing the supposed great and the good effectively saying that they don't give a rat's arse about corruption as long as they can get their snouts in the trough is about as sickening a sight as I have ever seen.

And finally I was wondering if anybody else was having an issue with goat-acting by livejournal these last few days, specifically with regards to fonts. All the words on the various pages seem to have changed font to something decidedly bland and I am now left to wonder if it is just my laptop being its usual gittish self or if it is rather livejournal being its usual gittish self. Rotten lot.
keresaspa: (Idi Amin)
Enough work for one day I think. Actually a surprisingly productive day after yesterday's unexpected absence (of which more later) but I feel I how now reached my limit and do not wish to continue. Rather, and in direct contradiction to what I said on Monday about not boring you all with the details, I will provide an outline of how I spent the weekend. Cut for the benefit of those of us who wince when somebody turns their journal over to describing a bunch of random events that happened to them recently (a category I sometimes include myself in, so excuse the hypocrisy). Anyway:

InFest 2008 )

So there you have it. A good time all and all and great to catch up with a number of you and meet various new people. On the negative side I was struck down late Tuesday night by a rather debilitating stomach bug (hence yesterday's absence) but luckily it now seems to have passed so i can concentrate on clearing up the work. And those of you who hate travel reports can come back now!
keresaspa: (Default)
So Albion are back in action tomorrow and it's a nice easy start to ease us back in. OK, maybe not. As a matter of fact tomorrow could be very painful indeed considering Tony Mowbray's success last year was built on trying emulate Arsenal's quick-passing style of play and thus, by trying it against the masters with a much weaker team, we could well be ripped apart. Anyroad, seeing as the season is more or less underway I shall, as is customary, do a brief predictions preview of my own. Bear it mind so as you can take the piss come May or skim over completely if you hate football.

The coming season )

Oh yes and being something of a gourmand I couldn't ignore this thing I saw over on [livejournal.com profile] ishkhara, now could I?

Food meme )
keresaspa: (Shakuni (Gufi Paintal))
So, London then. Well, late morning start on Sunday which was good and sorting out the flight was very easy which was even better. Tube ride from Heathrow to King's Cross was surprisingly painless, although it was very hot and this soon became the defining characteristic of the week as I do not believe that I stopped sweating even once. Indeed I feel that I accomplished something in not taking a heart attack! Found the hotel, the Crestfield, easily enough and was able to get my room as soon as the all-Spanish staff worked out how to understand my accent. Oddly enough the hotel had a Scottish Terrier that appeared to have severe breathing difficulties, perhaps brought on by being constantly kicked by oblivious Germans as its dark fur disappeared into the night.

Monday brought the trip to the British Library to get my pass and have a look at the things I ordered. My plan to cut a fine dash in suit and tie went to the wall as it was much too hot for a jacket or tie but otherwise a reasonable start as, although there was quite a bit of queuing involved, it was easy enough to get the pass. Problems came when I went to the reading room and found that I could not bring in pens so a mad dash back to King's Cross tube station was needed to pick up a set of pencils from the WH Smiths therein. Got through quite a bit of work that day, although spending the day reading nought but BNP propaganda was a harrowing experience to say the least and, whatever falafel is, I must remember never to eat the bloody thing again as it tastes like armpits.

Tuesday was more British Library. By this point BNP propaganda was driving me to madness so I thought "sod it, let's go balls out and finish this lot today". So I wired through the remaining copies of Identity magazine and then had a bit of a job seeing a microfilm that was needed. With any luck I won't need to bother with those bloody things again. Anyway that was the Library done and dusted after two days, rather than the five I had allowed myself, which was odd. A quick stop at Burger King left me feeling relieved and allowed me the chance to read those silly papers that they hand out for free. Before going I had never heard of either Agyness Deyn or Kimberley Stewart but I suspect that without them London Lite and The London Paper would collapse into the sea for both were on every bloody page seemingly. I soon became equally bored hearing about David Miliband, a man who I would trust about as far as I could throw, not least because he and his brother bear more than a passing resemblance to the Maxwell brothers.

As such, come Wednesday I was at a bit of a loose end as I had seriously overestimated the time I would need to do the work in question. Still, rather than waste the time I decided to take a tube into Covent Garden which [livejournal.com profile] queenmartina had told me was a good shopping area. Personally, I was rather unimpressed by the load of old tat on offer, although I did wander into Charing Cross Road and found myself surrounded by some good bookshops where a fair bit of money was frittered away. Having left the hotel without a map I soon became hopelessly lost, wandering into Chinatown (not a lot going on, although nice arches) and seemingly passing the Ivy and Stringfellows about a thousand times. Liquor was consumed at the Nag's Head and the Crown before finally getting my bearings and stopping into some silly perfumey shop for [livejournal.com profile] queenmartina where a helpful Goth sort was able to find what she wanted. By the time I got the tube home I was done out.

Thursday saw a trip to Oxford Street, which started somewhat difficultly as I headed up the road to Euston station in order to access Tottenham Court Road (I'm sure you could go straight from King's Cross but I could not see how and did not want to take any chances). Oxford Street itself was a fussy old place that was somewhat dominated by rain but the HMV was really rather good and turned up some interesting rarities. By and by I wound back up in Covent Garden where the Marquess of Anglesey, the Nag's Head and the White Lion provided suitable libations to get yours truly somewhat merry. Nice to just sit around and waste from time to time, although the preponderance of silly Pete Doherty wannabes wearing them hats was a slight irritant. Equally mystifying was the extreme difficulty in getting holding of an ordinary packet of Berkeley. I did not realise that these were so scarce in England (nor indeed that Lucky Strike were so common) but it forced me to smoke Benson & Hedges which, whilst a satisfactory substitute, lack the extra length of a nice Berkeley. Tube back to King's Cross was a no-no for some reason so I went buck mad and got a taxi before partaking of the most welcome Kentucky Fried Chicken I have had in my life.

I was unsure what to do for Friday, although ultimately I settled on the mysteries of the Northern Line to go into Camden (which proved somewhat fussy at first as I had been pretty much sticking to the Central Line). I'm not altogether enamoured of Camden as I find it a bit too much of that odd mixture of posy and slum but it's one of the few areas I know so I thought "why not". Still a bit of dump to my eyes, although I did manage to get some decent music there and was able to booze it up a bit in the Dev and the World's End. I did consider hanging around a while but sense took over as I wanted my wits about me for the trip home the next day so I headed back early and took to bed.

Kicked out of the hotel at 11 on Saturday which was not ideal for a half three flight but needs must and so I tubed it back to Heathrow and arsed about a while. The flight itself took off over half an hour late and was marred by a constantly screaming child with an overenthusiastic father and a mother who looked liked the whole married with children thing had been a mistake but otherwise was relatively OK and I only had one brief "oh shite" moment over a bit of turbulence which is quite good considering I'm afraid of flying. Glad to be home, mind and finally get my own bed.

Well, that's that then. Apologies for boring you all with the details but it gives me the perfect excuse to avoid work as my head is not really back in the game yet.
keresaspa: (Strawberry Switchblade)
Never have the words of Vietnam's favourite paedophile been more apt as I have been consigned to the house for the guts of four days due to Christmas falling so close to a weekend and I am almost insane as a result. No real complaints about the day itself. After getting up relatively early to be a fenian I mucked about with my presents (which included a load of sudoku stuff, sweets and, from [livejournal.com profile] queenmartina a flail of all things) then noshed on turkey (original, aren't I?) followed by a Phillie Blunt. Sweet! For the first time in probably my whole life I also managed to avoid the horrors of a Christmas Day Coronation Street, as well as other horrors such as Doctor Who, by wasting a lot of time on the new WWE game on the Playstation 2, which also ended up in my stocking. Finished the night off marking essays, which was a little surreal but I did get a good lot of them done. Yesterday was a bit of a stinker, mind. I could feel a bit of a flu developing, was out of cigs and the telly was so crap that I was approaching teeth-grinding mode. So all in all, fun while it lasted but by God am I glad that it's over for another year.

OK then, I'm not really up to much in the way of deep and meaningfuls so I'll end with this one swiped from [livejournal.com profile] queenmartina which thankfully demands one word answers. Feel free to ignore and I should be back with something more substantial tomorrow.

Just one word )
keresaspa: (Mister Magoo)
Manys-a-year ago a chap (whose name will not be mentioned to protect the guilty) felt the need to record for the ages (on my A-level Ancient History, no less) a quote that he came out with during particularly inclement weather. "What a f*cking shitty oul day" it read, albeit in a non-bowdlerized form. The sainted words of the long-departed (as in I haven't seen him for ages, not as in dead*) Rico, as he was known, resonate fully on this rain-sodden vicious pet of a day. Although this will rise a sigh of "poor little dear, I don't think" I was forced to get up at 8:30 this morning to come in here. As mercifully long-forgotten Scottish indie no-marks the Supernaturals opined when I was young and still able to function "I wasn't built to get up". Certainly not in weather as lousy as today, anyroad. On the plus side I was up in time to catch a bit of Lorraine Kelly, which is as good a way to start the day as any. On the negative side I had to endure the crawling bus because of the rain and got squeezed in standing by a lad in a parambulator who looked at least two years too old to be in one and was eating a fish finger which, at that time of the morning, made me want to gag (even though I generally enjoy a nice finger of fish). Still, despite the rain verging on the diluvian I nonetheless feel the need to go into town and spend some of that sweet dough-ray-me on things not really needed. Still, a day in the pissing rain makes one appreciate the finer things in life like a nice bowl of potato and leek or my current album of choice Velvett Fogg. Anyway, enough of this hoo-ha for now as sitting here doing this doesn't get me the soaking I have coming. Until tomorrow, thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.

*At least, not that I know of anyway!
keresaspa: (Piggy Banks!)
You often heard about the bread queues in Soviet Russia. Having waited ages to get into the library and then another lump of my life to actually get a computer I now know how that feels. Not long out of that information morning thingy that I mentioned earlier. As I suspected it was a procession of mumblers being overshadowed by rattling tea-cups and passing fire engines who had about as much to say as a rabbit chewing on alum. Still what the Hell, if I hadn't went no doubt there would have been something so at least I know first hand that it was rubbish.

Have finally come to the realisation that bacon is a waste of time as a food. Had bacon sandwiches this morning for breakfast only to find myself starving again about half an hour later. I'd say I have a tapeworm but appearances dictate that such is impossible. Off to find grub.

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