Thursday, June 24, 2004

Judge Dredd

Well it seems like Italian judges are a law unto themselves. We were assured that our purchase of the Hovel in the Hills would proceed this week in front of the Judge, the Notary, and representatives from the vendor's creditors. It would appear that the judge has other ideas and will not be available until at the earliest the 9th of June. He could have told us before we booked our holiday but it seems that Italian Judges do as they choose. Instead of working on the new holiday home, cleaning and junk clearing, we will have to revert to Plan B - eat, drink and have a good time. Even so it is a pain: no progress and we will have to make yet another trip losing time and money.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

What's so unpleasant about being drunk?

You ask a glass of water. *

Had a great time at sister Jane's 25th Wedding anniversary bash last night. Saw some old faces that I had not seen for ages (hello Heather, Cheryl, Andrew, Ros, Jane & Brock and others who I hazily forget this morning). I felt sorry for Jane and Pete's neighbour to whom I rambled drunkenly on about who knows what. But he smiled a lot, he must have realised I am the harmless kind of drunk. Gave some folks a laugh by taking along my photos from the original wedding day including me in my Marc Bolan / Roger Daltry curls era:

Today we are off to Italy for 12 days so I will be maintaining radio silence - unless I can get to use the cyber terminal in the corner of the bar in Cisternino main square.
* Douglas Adams

Friday, June 18, 2004

You - just scream with boredom *

It has been a quiet week. Mostly working on my own, with the client in meetings and workshops. Reminds me how much I need people to talk to in order to keep my brain working. Off to Zurich airport now for home and the weekend.

* Time by David Bowie

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

and tie in a double bow at the side

I consider myself a frequent flyer. OK there are plenty of people who do fly more but I reckon I fly two weeks out of three on average. Since September 1999 when I went freelance I reckon I have done 300 take-offs and landings. Having heard the safety announcement that many times I am sure my lips move unconsciously like a parent whose toddler has made them watch Toy Story a thousand times and so they know every line of the script.

A friend Colin who works for Parity training says the first thing he does on hotel check-in is suss out where the fire escapes are so if there is an emergency in the middle of the night he does not have to mess about wondering how to get out of there. Inspired by his example all I do is "check the location of the nearest exit as it may be behind you", then get back to my book.

Now I don't know about you but I reckon that if a disaster happens and the plane takes a dive into the icy waters of the Potomac River or head-butts the lower slopes of some misty mountains then having "placed the mask over my nose and mouth and breathed normally" or "adopted the brace position" will be sod all use. Basically, if the plane crashes you are f****d.

Friday, June 11, 2004

A clove of Dalek

There is b****r all to do in and around the apartment where I am staying here in Zurich this week. The only English language channels on the telly are CNN (arrgh, I am war-zoned out), the cartoon channel and BBC World. Mostly decades old "classic comedy" like "Open all hours" and re-runs of day-time TV rejects.

However, last night, they had a double bill of Jamie Oliver - the naked chef - which passed a pleasant hour. Only I am sure I heard him say "a clove of Dalek" which conjured up wierd images of an animated tin can zooming about the kitchen chucking in a splash of olive oil, a couple of cloves and saying (in strangulated, universe-dominating tones) "Luv-er-ly, jub-er-ly!"

Thursday, June 10, 2004

In the UK 390,000 Jedis there are

I always what happened as a result of that urban legend that if enough people put Jedi as their religion it would have to be officially recognised (see Google). Well in the UK 2001 Census 390,000 people did just that according to UK National Statistics Online. That is seven in every thousand. Excellent :-)

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Vanity thy name is MSM 52

Call them what you will, vanity plates, cherish plates or personalised numbers. I have said elsewhere that my ambitions were: To have an ambition; to be rich enough to buy the cherish plate "MSM 52".

Now if the latter ever came on the market it would cost thousands and thousands of pounds. Fortunately thanks to DVLA Personalised Registrations tapping into the public's ego (OK - mine, I admit it) you can buy cheaper alternatives:

So after years of Mary having a succession of cherish plates (P2 MMG, S2 MMG, X5 MMG, and now XX04 MMG) I decided to treat myself to this one. Unfortunately my current car is too old. This plate is September 2002 and you cannot, by law, make a car seem younger than it is. So it will have to wait on retention until I can afford to change to a car that date or newer.

Unless the raffle ticket I bought yesterday at Heathrow T4 is a winner. In which case MM52 MSM will look very nice on my brand new Ferrari 360 Modena. Well, I can dream can't I?

Monday, June 07, 2004

You ain't no friend of mine *

Mary and I went to the Salisbury Festival on Saturday for an excellent concert, picnic and firework display in the cathedral grounds. I over-enthusiatically pulled on the handle of the corkscrew known as "The Waiter's Friend". Instead of smoothly removing the cork it snapped the neck of the bottle and tried to slice my finger off. I went to the St John's Ambulance for an Elastoplast® with the words of Woody Allen ringing in my head "Blood! That should be on the inside!"

* Hound Dog by Elvis Presley

Sunday, June 06, 2004

We don't have to take our clothes off to have a good time

Ever since I wrote about taking a skinny dip in the splash pool I cannot get the song "We don't have to take our clothes" by Jermaine Stewart out of my head. It is like I have a juke box in my head, it's on infinite repeat and I cannot find the off switch. Maybe the plug is around here somewhere and I can just unplug the d**ned thing.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I love to cook with wine

I am currently being amused by our kitchen roll. This paper towel oeuvre has three pictures and accompanying witticisms. They are:
* My house was clean last week, sorry you missed it
* Many people have eaten in this kitchen and have gone on to lead normal healthy lives

And my favourite
* I love to cook with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Wascally wabbits

I have just built Stalag 17 round the sweetcorn in our vegetable plot. Those "wascally wabbits" just love tender green shoots. Unfortunately our rabbit-catcher-in-chief, Oscar, is confined to barracks because he also tries to catch our neighbours' kitten (apologies to Will and Sue). Normally Oscar brings us several spring bunny corpses per week to leak blood all over the bathroom carpet. What is wrong with the tiled kitchen floor I want to know. So instead I have gone for jury rigged concoction of chicken wire and bamboo poles. So much effort for 16 plants but when you have that few every one counts.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Brass monkeys

We have a splash pool in the garden which I refilled the previous weekend and adjusted the chlorine level so we could have a dip this weekend just gone (weather permitting).

It was so sunny we decided we had to go for it and, at Mary's instigation, went for the skinny dip option as we cannot be seen from the road. The thermometer read 23°C (73°F) but it was bl**dy freezing despite what the thermometer said. Having mixed up the cold water from the bottom the reading dropped to 17°C (63°F), I can tell you we were not in there very long.