Let’s not speak too soon… remember a couple of years ago, and April to be more precise – when the snow returned and ground the country to a halt? If you don’t…
… then this Hayling-orientated video will remind you (not that you could forget what snow looks like after the winter just gone…).
But, it has certainly been milder and nicer this week – enough to warrant the first day out excursion since… bloody hell… possibly twelve months ago in Southampton. Foxton Locks was the location, a place only around forty-five minutes from here, near Market Harborough. And, as the name suggests, there are locks there. Ten of them, to be precise…
(It was actually a heck of a lot nicer than the dark nature of the photo suggests – the sun decided to do one for a few minutes! The rest of the photos are available here, incidentally. All nine of them.)
Summer can wait until the traditional time of the last Saturday in June. Just a small request…
Well, it seems the half-planned Sweden trip is postponed.
After being faced with a £500 bill for getting the car up to tip-top shape at the top of the month (in fairness, it had been a while since a proper service), plus the local gob mechanic extorting me to the tune of £160, the bank account was left looking a bit of a sorry state. So, it’ll be potentially rescheduled for later this year. Maybe October.
What this means, though, is that all effort is now focussed on a third Skytower roadshow tour. 2008 focussed on Minehead to Hayling, 2009 on Burnham-on-Sea to Lepe. 2010? Well, probably more of the same – venturing slightly into the south-east too with a bit of luck. Haven’t visited Eastbourne in yonks!
Three months to go yet – and if it resembles last year in any way, the second half won’t be planned at all.
Oh my life, there could be a lot of Sweden-related stuff on this site over the coming weeks, and yet I’m not even definitely going to the bloody place yet – though the forthcoming service on the car (and, naturally, how much it costs) will dictate the answer.
Anyway, back on thread. Here’s “Inga from Sweden” (as she’s properly known):
As you know, Sweden is reknowned for its’ musical heritage. Abba. Roxette. Ace Of Base. Bodies Without Organs (or BWO for short). Yes, you’ve heard of them…
And, clearly, Inga is no exception when it comes to the high quality musical output of the country:
See what I mean? Look, you can even buy the above single, “Mama Paparazzi”, on iTunes. Oh, and there’s also Inga’s group and page on Facebook. There’s even details of how to make an Inga cocktail on there. How fabulous!
Let’s leave you – belatedly – with her festive offering, in which (allegedly) she’s been a “bad, bad girl”:
Although it’s no doubt meant as a serious article, this item on Digital Spy gave me the biggest belly laugh of the day. Yes, it’s true – sexual intercourse may cause wrist ache, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome. Good news for the lazy bastards amongst us (i.e. me), as it’s a great excuse to make sure the woman’s on top… “sorry luv, my wrists are aching today”.
Having said that, it might give off the impression you’ve been wanking too much, so be careful…
Apologies to anyone (or possibly everyone) for whom the RSS/Atom feed for this site is stuffed up. I’ve only just noticed myself that it doesn’t appear to be working, and it’s clearly only since the templates were switched, natch.
Can’t find the fault right now, but give me time – I will!
Despite not having lived in Nottingham now for around eight months, it doesn’t stop me keeping up to date with the neighbourhood news there.
And, it seems, if you live in the Radford area, there’s a new hazard to be aware of. Never mind who’s lurking around the corner, you now need to be aware of what might be coming from the skies. Or, to be more precise, the high-rise blocks.
Yes, be wary of televisions being launched from balconies. Okay, so maybe Ant and Dec had been on telly once too often, and it sent this particular goggle-box viewer to distraction – but mind the contractors fixing their vans outside, eh?!
Amusingly (and picked up on by one of the more astute commenters on that article), the guilty woman was forbidden from…
… threatening to cause a nuisance or annoyance and from assaulting or threatening to assault others in the Pine View block of flats and adjoining car park.
She is also forbidden from damaging any Nottingham City Council premises.
So are these things normally okay, and accepted? Just in case anyone feels like assaulting their neighbours, or damaging any council premises, or causing a nuisance – bear in mind that launching a television out of a tower block will get those privileges taken away…
Further on in that article, in a separate incident, someone who launched a bin bag from their balcony (narrowly missing a caretaker) was sadly traced, due to being dense enough to leave letters identifying them inside the bag.
So, what plans are there for 2010, you may not be asking? Well, not many, as usual – I’m not one for saying “I’ll do this, I’ll do that” – but there are a couple of things that I’d like to achieve, certainly over the next few months.
The first, and foremost, is the one previously mentioned – to regain the weight lost, plus a bit more for insurance. The second – with a provisional target of April (i.e. to neatly coincide with my birthday, although knowing my strike rate with timing, probably September), is to visit Sweden. For some forgotten reason, it’s been an ambition for a good few years, alongside New Zealand (although the flight time would seriously put me off the latter) – and it’s one of those where it’s high time to break with tradition (i.e. either Hayling Island, or going on holiday at the end of June).
Some have suggested that this video bears some relevance…
… although I dispute that! It just seems like a nice place, with plenty to see and do there. The Ice Hotel seems like a must – which is why visiting the place in the summer would be futile – and of course there are package deals to incorporate staying at the hotel into your time there.
Time will tell, and it all depends on how much money can be accrued over the next three months.
(Oh, and for those wondering, the title of this post is Sweden, in Swedish. So, now you know…)
Nope, not that sort. Nor the cricketing sort, for once – and given the performance turned out today by the England team, it’s probably best to move on anyway.
Instead, two interesting, if unusual, examples of people’s enjoyment of the recent snow. All I will say is… hasn’t it bloody melted yet? Go away, you evil bastard white stuff…
Exhibit 1: Riot police in Oxford make novel use of their riot shields, in using them to slide down a hill. The footage was captured, and stuck on YouTube for all to see – and seemingly approve, it seems. Except for, that is, their superintendent. Maybe they should have stuck to snowballing each other. (PS: if you click the linky, you get to see footage of them in action…)
Exhibit 2: From the “not the most intelligent move in the world” file (i.e. pretty fucking stupid) comes the 4×4 owner who decided that his kids were possibly too good to slide down a hill, and instead tied the sledge to the back of their vehicle. Then again, it was in Mansfield. I’ve lived there, and anything is possible.
Supposedly, the temperatures will rise to a meteoric +3 degrees celsius tomorrow. There’s a slim chance we might actually rediscover what the roads and pavements look like…
A bit of a facelift to the site: a change of theme, a bit of a lick of paint… and long overdue.
Depending on what time you’re viewing this, I’m either still working on it (with bits coming and going every few minutes, complete with a totally naff header and weird flowery bits), or I’ve run out of coffee and am sound asleep (and will thus finish it off later).
It’s nothing elaborate, but pink had to be the colour of choice, naturally.
So, 2010 is eleven days old already. Christmas already seems like ages back (thank god), the country has taken on the truest look of winter imaginable (can anyone remember what colour tarmac is?), and the date is yet another binary figure (11/01/10… next one will be 01/10/10, dull fact fans).
Any resolutions that may have been considered for the new year period were, as ever, either undertaken before or after the first day of the year. Never on the day for me, because that’s too obvious. Thus, the most recent (and brief) smoking stint came to an end on the 20th of December, and drinking ceased for the time being on the 25th. Neither were planned, they just happened.
Christmas Day in itself probably gave the strongest indication that it was time to stop drinking, after perhaps the most surreal 25th in memory. Spent, unusually (and perhaps for the first time) not at home – due to having had an invite elsewhere for some rather unknown random reason. Spent, expectedly, consuming mass amounts of Guinness and whisky; extolling my woes (or perhaps “woe”… I’m pretty certain it was a single problem) to – well – not a “complete” stranger, but someone I wouldn’t consider a close friend (but then, that’s what the booze does!). And, come 9pm, with eyesight failing, a taxi home was taken. Straight to bed, only to wake up at 3.30am on Boxing Day feeling right as rain, but realising that the previous day was perhaps an error of judgement.
Anyway, moving on. The third “resolution” – to start putting weight on again – also began before the new year. Stopping the cigs and the booze obviously increases the appetite, and after a year where my weight seems to have suffered at the hands of personal problems (more about which in a future post), it seemed like a good time – now the karma has been restored – to set weight gain targets. This has since progressed to a calorie monitor – yes, it seems I’m deadly serious this time!
Chateau Skytower’s conservatory, where most of the “boxes that need sorting” are stored, has become a no-go zone since the big freeze set in. Conservatories, eh? A fantastic idea, but only accessible for a couple of months of the year – for they’re either too bloody cold or roasting hot. Said “boxes that need sorting” are therefore staying put for the time being, until such time exists that I don’t have to don six layers of clothing to venture into there.
On the whole, though, things are good at the moment. It’s nice to experience the reality of life again, without the beer (or whisky) goggles getting in the way. People, however, have already voiced their concerns about a “dry” Skytower… mainly those who have experienced it before and were quite scared. See, alcohol tends to calm me down – without it, I’m unusually hyperactive and invariably more random than normal. Yes, it is possible. Last time around, the sober spell lasted nine weeks (that was around 15 months ago, I seem to recall). It has, of course, lasted for thirteen months before. So, place your bets this time…
Whatever you’re doing, have an enjoyable one, anyway. The whisky’s open at Chateau Skytower; not sure whether my carriage is on the way yet or not, but it bloody better be, since at this rate, mine won’t be an option.
I’ll leave you with a quote borrowed – and adapted – from Peter Simon: “No matter where you are or who you are, on this Christmas Day, you might not know it, but somebody loves you.”
Well, Christmas at the all-new Chateau Skytower isn’t a great deal different from recent Christmasses – except for the tree being up. Astonishingly.
Yes, it was erected (oo-er missus) to fill a corner (not now) very early on in December – literally two or three days after moving into the new place. It’s probably, since then, been plugged in twice. Aside from that, there are three Christmas cards on the mantelpiece (I’ve sent next to none, so in fairness I don’t expect to receive many)… and that’s yer lot. Not even any honeyed ham or eggnog grace the place.
Unfortunately, though, tradition takes a back-seat this year. I was genuinely hoping to make it the third successive pie ‘n’ mash Christmas dinner (saving the obvious turkey roast for very early January) – but a spoke has been bent out of place, and instead I shall be spending Christmas day dining with a group of comparative strangers. No, it’s not down the boozer, or meals on wheels. It’s a genuine invite, from a friend; though by the sounds of it, it’s more a ploy to be roped into being a children’s entertainer for the afternoon. Any signs of a multicoloured wig, and I’ll be gone like Dobbo’s rabbits.
One other slice of tradition remains. The obligatory nature of working Christmas eve and new year’s eve, thus avoiding a) spending loads of money by having to go out, b) midnight mass, and c) hangovers. Within that, somewhere, is logic…
All views expressed are the author's own, unless otherwise stated.
Some articles may contain strong language and/or sexual references.
The author is not responsible for the content of external websites.
Please contact the author (via the comments form on the relevant page) in the event of any issue or query over copyrighted material.