Friday, 1 October 2010

OKAY - SO? - It's been a while

It's been a while since I sat here. I've been in the studio recording some new material.

Nasty difficult things studios, have to keep chasing duff notes out of guitar solos and modifying my voice so that you cant tell that I cant sing one jot. Well the latter never hides the fact anyway, but I'm past caring...

I set off with the idea for eight or nine songs, and end up with three recorded, the rest have fled into the heavens to escape being captured on tape...

So, its back to the writing book, as I need just a few more tracks before a CD will see the light of day again. Never mind, it passed the time...

Meanwhile back in reality the house remains a tip while I re-decorate, but the task is nearly finished, there are just two rooms left to do. My study was last week. I am now in a clutter free zone with far more space.

I can stretch out to type this and the carpet smells of carpet again.

It used to smell of prawns after an "attack" by a certain teenager while I was away on holiday once. Amazing what they get up to. My electric drill that he had borrowed, but had never seen, amazingly re-appeared, after being missing for two years, when he moved out as did my missing tools from under his bed.

The smell of sweat and vomit disappeared after a new paint job in the room, but the prawn smell prevailed. It survived him leaving to act as a reminder to think twenty seven times before having kids.... Finally he's gone!

And in a week or so the house will be a clutter free zone as well. Just in time in fact for me to move in more clutter from my late mums house. Is this a vicious circle or will it all be alright on the night?

Thursday, 22 July 2010

LyinAir? Thieving Air??

You know the ones....Flew in from Katoviche just now, already depressed having seen the end of the line for the 1.1 million at Auschwitz, i really just wanted to get home.

My first mistake was to order a pannini. In fact my first mistake was to order anything at all as the cabin crew had no change. I wanted to pay in zlotys or whatever they call the local currency. That confused the buggers, first they converted it to Euros then to pounds and thus worked out the change in sterling. Having done so they then didnt give me it as they didnt have any!

So I had ordered this pannini. They should use the change they thieved to teach the staff how to recognise a pannini. Actually its quite easy there is a picture of one on the menu card! What they brought was called a baquette. It said so on the label although it wasnt even a baquette as it wasn't made with french flour. Indeed it was a normal white bread roll!

Has anyone ever microwaved a bread roll? Doesnt work does it.!!

So they offered a refund. They calculated that into Euros, then into zlotys and then gave me some zlotys and some sterling. However they managed it the refund left me a further £1 out of pocket as their calculations appeared erroneous.

A debate ensued between senior cabin crew and me as he claimed that this was in fact a pannini since it came from France and of course the French only have french bread and not Italian bread? That lost me the will to live, and since the plane hadnt been to France and wasnt even flying over France didnt explain anything. Including why it was a microwaved bread roll and how they continued to fail to understand that.

So I stayed hungry and out of pocket until the the plane landed. It landed 15 minutes late but they still played the bells and announced how this was yet another flight that was on-time and how 99% of all their flights land on time. I guess that's when they dont cancel them instead.

Why the need to lie about such trivia is beyond me.

On landing the plane swerved viciously to the left, and had to be corrected before the air brakes were applied. As a result I also failed to understand why the entire plane burst into applause.

This is something which to my way of thinking is usually reserved for pilots who demonstrate exceptional skill or do something heroic but it seems to have become a normal sport on Lyinair, such that the passengers feel obliged to heap praise on the pilot for simply landing at all!

Anyway they didnt charge me to get off which I considered to be a bonus, and there was no charge to use the steps down from the plane either. Missed a trick there Michael!

And on a slightly more sobering note, the airport bus that took some of the passengers to our plane tonight had blacked out and boarded up windows. I noted with dismay that Polish workers were ferrying people about in boarded up transport crammed in like sardines. I'd heard quite enough of that behaviour earlier in the day.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Its been a while

In fact its been a long while. I have no excuse except that I have been trying to put my life back together. Crikey a serious post.

Trouble is that every time I go somewhere someone in the family dies, It's not deliberate and some of them should definately not have gone yet, but I cant bring them back although I would very much like to.

So to avoid thinking about it I throw myself into redecorating the house, attacking the jungle that was once my garden, trying to restore three weed beds that used to be lawns, well you know how it is...

Then there was the pond, well there used to be, it was there last year, i expect it will appear eventually somewhere.

The house though is starting to look better, i have knocked out walls, windows and doors,painted liberally, mostly on myself, papered and mopped up paint, it is starting to look worthy again. In fact downstairs in nearly completed as is bathroom, hall and stairs, so just the bedrooms to go.

What was once kitchen and conservatory is now kitchen/diner, the old dining room is now a recording studio, the office is now an office but with some spare space and the playroom is now half full of junk removed from the house. Freecycle will get most of it, those charity bags that are really eastern block traders have had most of the easily portable, and all the junk furniture has gone to the tip. The tip tried to charge me rent I took so much!

The bedrooms are cleared and ready to paint. That will remove that legacy and quite frightful smell of sweaty teenager, well i hope it does anyway, otherwise I will have to rebuild!

So there is light at the end of the tunnel, I may even get finished before retirement overtakes me at this rate.

I shall then perhaps have time for a social life!

If there is anyone left to socialise with....

Have fun...

Depressed from lying under a large girder.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

I came accross this and decided it is a worthwhile franchise opportunity

*pple announced today that it has developed a breast implant that can store and play music.

The iTit will cost from $499 to $699, depending on cup and speaker size.

This is considered a major social breakthrough because women are always complaining about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Casa Luis' Restaurent, Guardamar, Spain

Casa Luis is a restaurent that is run by a mad spaniard. He speaks no English, is half blind, but he loves making out he is the "perfect host". Faulty Towers has nothing on this place.

There is also usually a Mrs Luis who runs the place.

The place is full of antiques, they hang everywhere. Piles of pre war radios, strange implements and canisters of all shapes and sizes. Wines from all over the world, lie in dust in spaces around the walls. Its sort of like an old farm/pub but nothing like that at all. There is hardly room for the few tables that manage to sit inside. There are faded pictures of Luis with various celebreties dating back years, everywhere.

I thought Luis would probably be dead by now. I have no idea why.

There is a sign in the window that indicates all is not well, the place is up for sale or something, we fail to translate it correctly. My friend still wants to risk it.

The bar was in darkness, no lights in the kitchen, just Luis behind the bar and one other bloke. We walk in.

This year there was no Mrs Luis, just Luis, looking not a day older than last time we met. He shakes my hand profusely and makes lots of noises in Spanish, some of which I translate into greetings.

Luis makes a fuss of us in Spanish and wants to know what we will drink, before we can choose two beers arrive. Cloudy fizzy beer. It actually tastes ok so we determine it must be German wheat beer. I ask if they are open for food, Si, Si, Si, says Luis... Luis gets menus.

We sit down. No waiter, so in the end I go to bar to order. I order by numbers as Luis cant see the menu properly! I ask who is chef tonight, Luis points at this bloke in the corner who I thought was a customer! I'm sure he is a customer...!!!

The customer goes to kitchen and puts the lights on, he doesnt take our order with him. He stands in the kitchen looking out of place. He was. The "Chef" stares at the appliances in turn, he hasnt a clue!

I ask where is Mrs Luis, Senora Luis?. Luis points at the telephone. I says "is she alright". Si, Si, Si Senor says Luis. I sit down again. Luis says "Mrs Luis is the other end of the telephone" in Spanish of course....

Ten minutes later our order is still on the bar, Mrs Luis walks in. Kisses for customers is a bit over the top but for some reason she is genuinely happy to see us. She takes our order off the bar strolls to the kitchen and the kitchen springs into life. The "Chef" returns to his beer.

We run out of cloudy beer, I decide against another and order red wine. A bottle of 1997 vintage Rioja El Coto crianza appears. I suspect this is dangerous given I hadn't seen a price list. Luis breaks the cork in half and then somehow manages to extract the remains with a table knife without corking the wine, quite amazing in fact. It tastes great.

I had ordered a Tuna and a salad for main course. The salad arrives first. A very nice salad indeed. We share it.

Next comes "tapas" which we hadnt ordered. Sort of potatoe cakes, also pleasing. Then came Octopus Gallentia, juicy octopus in paprika and a light sauce. Excellent. But we had ordered that as a starter.

Then came my Tuna, (with chips) and other main courses. Oh and some bread and ali oli. We usually get that first!

I run out of that fine wine, and Luis promptly brings 1998 Rioja. Extra Special he says. Well it is still a crianza, but I've never heard of the vineyard. It is actually better than the first bottle. Luis says "on the house"... Restaurent's dont normally donate £50 wines, but I wasnt arguing... The food is all excellent.

Mrs Luis appears with her coat on. More kisses for customers and profuse thank you's and off she goes into the night leaving Luis in charge again. She was "honoured" that we had requested her to do our meal. I hadnt really! Clearly Luis thought I had that was okay...accidentaly!

Luis makes the point that he is back in charge by bringing strange looking glasses full of black stuff. Its chocolatey? Caramel? dammed strong anyway and thick like treacle...We have coffees to neutralise it. We have more treacle to neutralise the coffee. I am getting seriously over the limit...

I dare to ask for the bill. Its a very reasonable 75 Euros, and that lovely wine had been 24 Euros. For what we had just consumed it was a complete bargain.

Luis' is a mad restaurent. For what it can deliver, it deserves to survive forever, but worryingly it was empty, and when reserve summer chef is working the food can be terrible. Mrs Luis however makes the place what it is, perfection and a great night out.

You take a chance when you walk in, but it can be the experience that makes your week....or not...

The update

And so the great day dawned, the court had approved the final settlement and I am now a free man with no financial obligations.

Of course that's just as well as I've just been fleeced of £90,000 but in return i get to keep the house and the kids are not made homeless by the random behaviour of the ex's solicitor..

Main problem was that the court actually decided this in January but forgot to tell me, so by the time i received the warning i only had three days to pay. Has anyone tried to transfer that amount of dosh in three days? I had the fraud squad on the phone the first day.
Now Sir, we cant permit this sort of thing

Er, but the court insists.
We dont care you have to transfer less than £9,999 we cant handle the paperwork otherwise...

So I can do three transfers and the rest by cheque?
yes but only if you must, and we will have to report you for money laudering
And so it was made so, and I am free but skint...The ex can answer the fraud squad questions on where she suddenly found £90,000 from.
"Under the bed madam?, ehhem, I think not"

I thought I had kept some back for house repairs but in fact I had used it earlier to keep my company shares...oops...Now the repairs will have to be botched...but they will still need to be done...

And so to socials. I tried to go to the folk club last week, but it had closed. They must have heard I was thinking of playing some Pink Floyd songs and gone home to Cork...

Well in a way that would be a welcome thing, but some of the music was actually ok (sometimes), the trouble was that there was only enough ok stuff for one performance a year, not every week, so the locals had tired of attending.

Some enterprising spark has created a new club called Pheonix(genius) that now just meets every second friday in the month. I suppose they may have more ok stuff but I will have to wait until this week to find out. Anyways if you are near the Red Lion in Whittlesford, pop in and try it out. We should support these enterprises...

I will now have to wait and see if Pink Floyd is acceptable to the new owners!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

and then there was HELGA!

Helga, now theres a name, it conjures up images of Russian weightlifters from the 1970's....Well Helga isnt her real name, thats obscured for legal reasons, but the images are right enough!

Helga is where the doctor sends you when your liver tests have failed. She is supposed to put you on a diet to stop you becomming a diabetic, it's all in good faith. The problem is Helga.

A dragon would breath less fire and brimstone.

Helga says she invented diets, she lied.

Her diet has a get out clause, eat "as much as you like" of these foods.. God help you if you invoke this excuse for not losing a stone a day though, again she lied, she didnt mean that at all....

Helga tells me that thin people are people who "always feel hungry" but they "put up with it". I do not know any thin people that tell me they are hungry when asked, except sometimes at meal times of course. She lied.

Having lost 29 pounds in three months and having to address the issues of clothes no longer fitting Helga tells me she is not satisfied and that I am clearly not getting the message. My mental approach is all wrong...I think she is lying again...

She suggests I should stop eating real food and drink strange pink liquids that costs a bob or three. I suggest that her family must have shares in said company. Serious mistake, i feel the dragon breath on my arms...

Now, I must go to meetings like the AA, I am apparently addicted to bad stuff called food...I suspect she is lying..

Helga tells me I must not eat any food or drink for 15 weeks and take these strange chemical substances instead. They may allow me to have some food afterwards if I'm good enough, but maybe not ever...

The very thought of Helga fills me with dread, 60's seaside landladies were less scary, and the fact that she cant tell truth from fiction just makes it all the worse...

Helga weighs me again, she has new scales. They show I have lost one pound. She throws another tantrum, ignoring my plea that by my home scales I've actually lost three, and the problem isn't me its her new scales....She tells me her new scales are 100% accurate. She lies again.

So fried on one side by dragon breath I depart, suitably lectured and completely mentally unstable, so unstable I follow her orders and make another appointment for two weeks time.