August 31, 2004

Aqua non-aerobics

Frankly, I’m exhausted. What an action packed bank holiday Monday.

It all started with an intensive lie-in when an invisible force (hangover) kept me in bed until about half past one in the afternoon. It was hard work, I tell you. Very hard! But very nice indeed!

This was followed by an emergency phone call from a friend, hereafter referred to as Hope, who requested my assistance at her luxury gym in the city. So I packed my kit, limbered up in the garden and headed out to meet her by the river.

Sensibly we bypassed the gym altogether and headed straight for the pool. My friend, obviously under the spell of some evil force, swam lengths non-stop for half an hour. I, on the other hand, fannied about underwater, did a few sub-aqua somersaults and sneaked in a perfectly executed handstand when she wasn’t looking. The three-year-old with her dad seemed most impressed and so my acrobatic exertions were all worthwhile!

I got a bit bored of the old swimming thing so Hope suggested I check out the Aqua Beds while she carried on with her lengths (the fool). These are unbelievable. Basically you lie on a metal frame just below the surface of a warm pool, your head resting on a little canvas pillow-type thing. You press a button and then WHOOOOSH-BURBLE-SPLURGE, a hundred million jets bubble up from underneath you, pummelling your body and turning your muscles to jelly. I sweated it out admirably, bobbing around until Hope coaxed me out with the prospect of an hour and a half in the gym’s luxury spa. Torture!

So off we went for some hard-core “hot-tubbing” (NB: Hot-tubbing has yet to be recognised as a sport by the IOC, but we’re working on it). It was a harsh test of our endurance, sitting in a jacuzzi for over an hour, chatting away and staring into space. Thankfully we survived the ordeal.

As you can imagine, I'm exhausted today but at least the prune effect has worn off... nearly.


August 26, 2004

Ms Jones and the Doors of Destiny

So, we’re still harping on about doors are we? We’re still wondering what the hell I was on about a couple of days ago? I don’t blame you… it was cryptic and veiled and it didn't make much sense to anyone but me. You see, half of my family and nearly all of my friends read this blog. I don’t mind that, because it isn’t supposed to be a personal journal where I talk about my feelings etc. This place is supposed to be light-hearted, fun and entertaining.

It's just that every now and then something pretty big happens and I'd like to be able mark it in some way without having to go into any detail. I don’t much like the idea of sitting in the pub with my mates wondering if they’d read the blog and if they knew about this, and that, especially if this and that are personal and intimate issues.

However, I reckon I can elaborate on the door thing without giving too much away so, my friends, read on for the tale of Ms Jones and Doors of Destiny.

Ms Jones is a happy go lucky girl who enjoys the good things in life, but much like everyone else, she has her fair share of demons who try their hardest to trip her up, pull her down and hold her back. Over the years, Jonesey has wasted a lot of energy fighting all the little bastards as they nip the back of her legs, fly round her head, crash headlong into her stomach, slap her round the face and land heavily on her shoulders. Furthermore it appears that she’s been trying to fight them with a weapon closely resembling a wet lettuce leaf.

To further complicate Jonesey’s dilemma, she didn’t know until recently that all the little niggling bastard demons were merely puppets dancing to the orchestrations of a big, mean and nasty Demon King who has been hiding in the shadows cackling like only a Demon King can. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

So, there was Ms Jones stuck in a room, trying her best to enjoy life and doing a pretty good job of it on the whole, but all the while she was having to hold something back in order to keep those pesky demons at bay. As you will all appreciate, that can get a little bit tiring at times.

But then suddenly someone turned on a light and Jonesey spotted a door with a sign that read:

Easier Life This Way --->

But lo! The Demon King emerged from the shadows, blocked the threshold with his mighty frame, and dared her to pass. Now there is nothing Ms Jones relishes more than a challenge and so she narrowed her eyes, sized up her enemy and discarded the useless lettuce leaf she was brandishing vainly. With a deep breath she darted forward, right-hooked the Demon King in the Jaw, side-kicked him in the belly, roundhouse-kicked him in the head and threw him to the ground where he lay limp and lifeless.

Victory was hers and she ran to the door, pushed it open and emerged into a brighter, lighter room. It took her a while for her eyes to adjust and when they did she saw to her dismay that a few of her demons had followed her through. On closer inspection she realised that the demons were much smaller and weaker than they had been and they looked lost and disorganised without the leadership of the Demon King. She relaxed and as her eyes adjusted further she spotted another door in the distance. Its sign read:

No Demons Beyond This Point!

She eyed up her demons who were dozily lining themselves up to block her way through.

“Won’t take me long to deal with those little bastards,” she thought, wiping the sweat from her brow. “Just need a water break! Now, where did I put that Lucozade?”


August 25, 2004


It’s not that hard is it?

Is it???

I mean all you need to do is pull the old one out, wrap it up, unwrap the new one, rip off the plastic bit, give it a shake and then put it where the old one was.

I dunno! He drones on and on and on about building kit cars but he can’t change a fucking toner cartridge!



August 23, 2004

And Along Came a Spider

It's been a busy few days for Jonesey and so I've been looking forward to spending this evening vegging out and watching some quality Olympic Action. (As an aside, any of you girls spotted the Spanish men's hockey team? Ahem!). I got home, made a mozzarella and tomato salad, heated a quiche up in the oven and washed it all down with a cold glass of pear juice. Lovely!

I turned on the telly to Olympic Grandstand and was lucky enough to catch the latest news from the Bad Hair Event. Tune into tomorrow's final when Craig Doyle will go head to head with Sue Barker for the gold. It'll be a photo finish!

Then it was on to the gymnastics where I watched these incredibly skinny young girls parade around in disastrous leotards with some of the worst make-up displays around. Oh, and they did some twirly stuff on a beam thing too! Bargain!

I gritted my teeth through the warblings of that incredibly irritating brunette who covers the sailing events. For fuck's sake, she should pull herself together and just ask that Ben Ainsle out on a date. It's getting a bit embarrassing!

All in all, it's been an entertaining evening and I was becoming at one with my sofa once more - lovely. But then, just as I was really getting comfy with the decathlon, I saw a movement from the corner of my eye and turned to see a big fuck-off spider running up the wall towards the ceiling. I didn't panic as it was still some distance away, but let's just say that I wasn't feeling quite so relaxed anymore. But I soldierd on keeping one eye on the medal ceremonies and the other on my new friend Jack Spider who was having fun exploring the plasterwork.

To my dismay, Jack suddenly changed direction and headed for the point in the ceiling directly above my head. Now I know that spiders can stick to ceilings but I also know that gravity is a pretty strong force of nature. I wasn't going to take any risks and so I moved from the sofa to the armchair, all the while keeping track of Jack Spider's precise coordinates.

And then Paula Radcliffe's press conference came on and I lost my focus as I got swept away with the emotion. This was a mistake because when I turned back to check on Jack's whereabouts, the damned arachnid was nowhere to be seen. If there's one thing worse than a spider on the wall, it's a spider that WAS on the wall and now ISN'T.

So, that has marked the end of my chill out session. I'm now locked in the computer room waiting for my sister to come home, find Jack and banish him the airing cupboard where he belongs.

She's still not here yet. Maybe I'll just go to bed.


August 20, 2004

Doors and... stuff

There will be a few significant occasions when a door will open for you and you will have no idea what lies on the other side. You can choose to stand still and tread water or you can take a deep breath and run through it.

If you choose to make the break, don’t worry if at first it all seems a bit dark and the shapes around you seem vague and unfamiliar. Don’t panic! Just relax, keep breathing and let your eyes slowly adjust.

Doors generally open for a reason.


August 18, 2004

My Inner Teddy

My counsellor told me recently that I need to “get in touch” with my “inner child”. Once I’d stopped laughing at her, she cocked her head to one side, looked at me seriously, put her palms together, and explained:

“You see, Ms Jones. If you’re not going to be nice to your inner child, then who else will be? Hmmmmm?”

She had a good point, I guess.

“And so I want you to find something that symbolises you as a child, it could be a flower, a picture, whatever you identify with, and I want you to spend some time appreciating it in your own way, however you feel comfortable doing so.”

I wanted to chuckle again but she shot me a serious look. Anyway, I was only laughing because deep down I knew she was right, no matter how “touchy feely” the whole thing sounded.

After much thought, I decided that my childhood teddy was the perfect symbol. I usually keep him stuffed in the top of a wardrobe (there’s symbolism right there if you think about it) and so I took him out, dusted him off and put him on my pillow where he’s been most of this week.

I got home after a shitty day yesterday, got straight into bed and gave Teddy a massive hug. I dozed off cuddling him, listening to The Doves' Lost Souls album. When I woke up half an hour later I felt quite nice and I thought, “maybe she knows what she’s talking about, this counsellor of mine”. I decided to keep Teddy with me for the rest of the evening in order to “bond” further. I zipped him up inside my comfy top thing so that his head was poking out from just under my chin, and I set about cooking dinner.

Ten minutes later Jones Junior came home and when she saw Teddy sticking out of my top she laughed.

“You’re nuts!” she giggled.

“I know,” I smiled and explained what Teddy was doing nestled in my bosom.

“That’s cute”, she said as she disappeared into her bedroom. “I think it will work!”

I wandered back to the kitchen and started chopping some vegetables. Five minutes later Junior walked in with her own Teddy stuffed proudly down her top.

“Well, if it’s good enough for your inner child,” she said, “it’s good enough for mine.”

We had a hug, teddy bears bumping their noses, and then she ran the water for the washing up while I returned to the potatoes.


August 17, 2004

TV: The Opiate of the Masses

My sister and I are both feeling out of sorts. I’m not allowed to play football for a while and am becoming increasingly restless and irritable as time goes by. She is suffering from the world’s worst dose of PMT and is therefore… well you all know the score on that one.

Yesterday we were vegging out watching the telly. After the 456th repeated episode of Friends on E4 we took to channel hopping in the vain hope that something remotely interesting would catch our attention.

Jonesey: *big sigh* There’s absolutely fuck all on.

Jez: *big sigh* I know.

Jonesey: For fuck’s sake I’m so fucking bored, I’m going nuts!

Jez: Me too. Shall we turn the telly off?

Jonesey: Yeah, go on.

Half an hour later we’re both staring blankly at the wall.

Jonesey: Jez…

Jez: Yes, Jonesey?

Jonesey: Let’s never, ever turn the telly off again.

Jez: It’s a deal.

I wandered off to bed to read my book and she turned on the computer.

The moral of the story: watching telly is better than having a discussion about the relative dysfunctionality of your family.


August 13, 2004

Crumbs, where's my blog?

I'm guestblogging over at Crumb's place today. Oh, yes! So go and take a look and while you're there, read some of his stuff as he is very, very funny!


August 12, 2004

Bagel Shame

Over the past year I’ve developed a good rapport with Colombian Pablo and his staff at the local sandwich shop. I go there nearly every morning for my marmite toast and builder’s tea. They keep an eye out for me and when I turn the corner onto the street they start making my breakfast so it’s nearly ready by the time I get there. They make the best tea, the kind that takes you by the ears and shakes you awake, and now that I’ve told them I prefer my toast well done there’s no better breakfast in London.

The trouble is that every now and again I really, really fancy an egg and bacon bagel from the place in the tube station. And yet when I succomb, Ifeel so guilty, like I’m casting their kindness aside for the sake of a measly hangover cure.

The route to my office goes straight past the shop. Usually I manage to dart by unnoticed, but not today! No! Today, for the first time, Colombian Pablo caught me sneaking past with an Oi! Bagel bag in my hand. I’ll never forget the look of disappointment, sadness and betrayal in his eyes as I walked by, head bowed in shame. I’m dreading going back there tomorrow. How will he ever forgive me?


August 11, 2004

Sparks will fly

Electricity and water, they don’t really mix, do they?

The bathroom in the flat upstairs from us sprung a leak a few weeks ago causing water damage to our bathroom ceiling and the electric wiring encased within it. This caused the fuse to blow regularly, cutting out all the lights in the flat. We called an electrician who changed the fitting and advised us not to use the light in the bathroom until the damaged wiring had been repaired. He then recommended that we get the landlord upstairs to send an electrician round to fix it and so we got in touch with the management company who represents him to set things in motion.

My sister called them last Thursday and spoke to a Gormless Twat who assured her that he would let us know when he was sending someone round. By Monday evening we had heard nothing.

So yesterday morning, when a thousand turbo-volts of electricity shot out of the light fitting in the bathroom while my sister was in the shower, you can imagine that we were all more than a little concerned about the safety of our ablution environment. I offered to chase Gormless Twat up given that I had very little work.

Twenty phone calls yesterday and three phone calls this morning got me absolutely nowhere with the Gormless Twat who, instead of calling on the services of a qualified electrician, sent round a colleague with a digital camera.

He called me up to tell me that the photographs showed absolutely no evidence of flood damage to the ceiling.

“And you’re a qualified electrician?” I asked.

“Well, no,” replied the fucking insipid and vile Gormless Twat.

“So, in that case you’d agree that you wouldn’t really be able to tell whether the wiring was faulty just by looking at a photograph of the ceiling, a) because you’re not a qualified electrician and b) because the wires are in fact IN the ceiling and you can’t actually see them at all in a photograph.”

“Erm, well I guess not, I erm, suppose that I couldn’t really, no! Ah, but don’t worry, I’ve just this minute received an email from the landlord in Ireland who has authorised me to send round an electrician”.

Well halle-fucking-luiah to that, I thought!

“And when will you be able to send someone round?” I asked, not unreasonably.


“Not good enough.”

“Okay, let me call you right back. What’s your number again?”

Sweet Jesus Christ!!!

An hour later, I call him back.

“Ah Ms Jones. I was just about to call you.”

“I’m sure you were!”

“We can send our guy round tomorrow morning.”

“What time?”

“I’m not sure but it will definitely be in the morning.”

“Well that will have to do then."

By 11.30 this morning no one had been round and Gormless Twat had ignored all my calls. Little did the poor bastard know that I had a doctor’s appointment just around the corner from his offices and I took the opportunity to pay him a personal visit.

I walked up to the receptionist.

“Hello, I’d like to speak with Gormless Twat please.”

“What property is it in connection with?”

“Number 58, Faulty Wiring Road.”

“Take a seat. He’ll be with you in just a moment,” and with that she bustled off behind a partition from where I could hear some urgent whispering. Some five minutes later out strided Gormless Twat with his pushy and aggressive manager, Bulldog Bitch.

“You must be Ms Jones," sleazed Gormless Twat, who was about 12 years old. "So this is what you look like, eh?”

“Indeed it is, Gormless Twat. Now, I’ve just been on the phone to my tenant who says that no one has been round yet.”

Bulldog Bitch wasted no time and butted straight in.

“We took some pictures and there is no evidence of flood damage to your ceiling,” she barked.

“Ah, and who exactly took the pictures? A qualified electrician?”

“No,” answered gormless twat turning to Bulldog Bitch. “Kevin and Paul went round.”

“And are either of them qualified in any way?”

“Nope, not really.”

The Bulldog Bitch was about to have another pop but I pre-empted her. I was in the zone and chomping at the bit.

“Frankly I cannot believe the laxity with which you guys have handled this whole affair. I call you up to tell you that there is water getting into our wiring from your bathroom, a potentially lethal situation. 26 hours later and you still have not managed to get anyone round to take a look. Now, I've made it as safe as I can but I’m not a qualified electrician. Doesn’t it make sense that if we are getting sparks in our bathroom, then these sparks can travel in the opposite direction back up into your tenant’s bathroom? What if one of them is having a shower? For 26 hours you have put the safety of your own tenants at risk. That amounts to professional negligence on your part. Don’t you have a duty of care towards them as paying tenants? Have you even told them of the situation?”

I was greeted with silence until Gormless Twat ventured a weak defence.

“Well, he was going to go round this morning but he was called away on an emergency.”

“An emergency? There is water and electricity mixing right underneath where your tenants shower and bathe and right over where my sister, myself and our tenant bathe. What do you call that if you don’t call that an emergency? And is he the only electrician in London?”

Bulldog Bitch looked like she was about to mount a defence but she seemed changed her mind.

“Look," I softened (but only slightly), "I’ve had an electrician round who says the damage is caused by your flooding. I’m merely giving you an opportunity to send one round either to confirm or deny it. If it’s not caused by the flooding, then of course I’ll replace the faulty wiring myself. I just want you to send someone round. Why is it taking you 26 hours to do anything about it? Even the landlord has given you the okay. What is stopping you?”

“We’ll get someone round right away,” said Bulldog Bitch.

“Thanks,” I replied. “And then can you let me know what the score is?”

I got a sheepish phonecall from the Gormless Twat twenty minutes ago.

“Erm, Ms Jones? It’s Gormless Twat here.”

“Hello Gormless Twat. How are you?”

“Erm, well, fine thank you. The electrician just called, and well, it seems the damage was caused by flooding from the bathroom upstairs.”

“I see. So when will it be repaired?”

“Well, he’s made it safe for now, and he’ll have the parts by Friday so he can fix it properly then.”

“Thank you, Gormless Twat.”

“Sorry for all the hassle.”

“That’s okay, Gormless Twat.”



PMT - sometimes it's great!


August 10, 2004

So, you think you're funny...

The Old Girl is sick again. Sick, I tell you! Frankly she sounds like she has a panic attack every time I take her over 20mph. I don’t drive that badly, surely!

Denial is no longer an option. Her symptoms drown out even the crotch-moistening tones of Michael Hutchence singing Never Tear Us Apart at full volume. I must face facts, turn off my Best of INXS tape and listen to her cries for help.

Today I called the garage to book her in for a check up:

Scott the Mechanic: What’s the problem this time, Jonesy?

Ms Jones: Well. When I take her over 20mph she makes a funny noise and the noise goes faster as I speed up. So I reckon it’s something to do with the wheels.

Scott the Mechanic: Sounds about right that. What sort of noise?

Ms Jones: A sort of buzzing noise.

Scott the Mechanic: What sort of buzzing noise?

Ms Jones: What sort of buzzing noise? A buzzing noise. You know…

Scott the Mechanic: No, I don’t know. What sort of buzzing noise.

Ms Jones: Well, sort of like “Bzzzzzzzzzzz” but a bit more throaty.

Scott the Mechanic: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (machine gun fire, rat-a-tat-tat type maniacal laughter)

Ms Jones: What?

Scott the Mechanic: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Ms Jones: What are you laughing at.

Scott the Mechanic: You didn’t really expect me to be able to tell what's wrong from that, did ya?

Ms Jones: Then why did you ask me what it sounded like then?

Scott the Mechanic: Windin’ yer up, Jonesy. There’s always one that falls for it. You can bring ‘er in tomorra if ya like. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I’d have told him to fuck off then and there except he knows my car and he never charges me full whack for his labours.

Still a wanker though!


August 09, 2004

Flat pack, schmack pack

What a piece of absolute piss. I built this on my own yesterday (in imitation beech with fake chrome handles… mmmm, nice choice sis!) and frankly I can’t understand what all the fuss is about. The hardest thing was lifting it upright so that I could hang the doors. I'll admit it took me a little while to figure out that the hinge thingummy-doodahs sit over and not in the dooberry-wotsits, but apart from that it was all pretty straightforward.

Which is disappointing really, as I’d hoped to have funny tales to tell you this morning. Perhaps I had the only set of intelligible instructions ever produced. Or maybe I’m just exceptionally gifted. Who knows?

The only ever so slightly disconcerting thing is that I had eight screws and four tacks left over at the end. I can’t for the life of me think where they should have gone. Doesn’t matter though; I gave the thing a massive shoulder barge this morning, the only test that any item of furniture should be required to pass, and not so much as a wobble. Job done!

(NB: I can't get that link to work. It's getting on my tits!)

(NNB: Three cheers for Ray who fixed the link!)


August 06, 2004

Flat Pack Pressure

I’m pleased to report that the flat pack furniture erected last week by my sister and Dutchie is still standing, although I did notice a teeny-weeny-ickle gap between the drawer and the top of my bedside table. Still, nobody’s perfect, eh?

But I really shouldn’t stir things up like this for there is one more piece yet to be assembled and guess whose job it is to assemble it. Yes, after having cast my critical eye over the work of my two flatmates, it is now my turn to be judged.

To be honest, I’m daunted. The piece of furniture I must construct is not a single, not a double, but a TRIPLE wardrobe. I’ve seen the one in Dutchie’s room. It’s really is quite big and it has drawers to build as well as doors to hang. Drawers AND doors? What’s going on here then?

I’ve been putting this off for days now but there’s only so long you can live with your clothes in a big heap on the floor and your shoes scattered randomly across your bedroom. Well, if I’m honest, I could live like that for weeks but I’ve heard that a tidy room is a tidy mind and a tidy mind is constructive mind and a constructive mind gets more done and so build the wardrobe I shall!

Let’s just hope I get it right or I’ll never live it down!


August 04, 2004

Pour Les Trois Madames

News from the wedding I went to in France last month was somewhat dominated by my disastrous journey homeward. I thought I’d expand a little and give you a taste of the mood of the occasion.

Twas a drunken affair, and while the bride and her maids danced with choreographed abandon to Steps’ version of Tragedy, I smiled benignly from the edge of the dance floor… until I joined in, that is.

The first reception, for indeed there were two, is nothing but a haze of red wine, lots and lots of speeches, more red wine, some food, more red wine, a little more red wine, some dancing, more red wine, and some more, and a little more, and… well, I think you get the picture.

Sunday morning dawned mercilessly with the entire cast of Riverdance rehearsing in my cranium. I dragged myself to breakfast where I managed a croissant and a bowl of tepid hot chocolate. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one who looked like shit on a stick, green faces being the theme of the morning.

Bolstered by breakfast, a (cold) shower and a few hours of relaxing in the sunshine, we made our way to the bride’s parents house for reception number two, an all day barbeque next to their swimming pool. I could live with that, I reckoned.

The blood content of my alcohol stream was so low it took but two glasses of (yes you guessed it) red wine for me to reach that familiar merry feeling once more. By evening time a small band of us die-hards were left and the bride led us through a glorious rendition of Tragedy. Not once. Not twice. But three times.

Once her husband had prized her away from the “back” button on the CD player, some good party tunes inspired us to start boogying in the grass. Boogying soon turned into athletics as one by one we displayed daring feats of gymnastics. Handstands turned to cartwheels, cartwheels to diving forward rolls… this was serious stuff. But then the boogying resumed in earnest and I found myself singing as I danced.

It was at this point that a bohemian photographer friend of the bride danced over and told me I had the voice of a jazz singer. Oh how I beamed with pride. No one had told me this before. How could all my friends and family have failed to notice this blindingly obvious fact? I’d known all along that I could sing and now my talent had been confirmed.

And I sang, dear readers. Oh, how I sang. I sang with the confidence of Madonna, the soul of Aretha and the range of Dale Winton. I danced up to people singing wildly at them. I sang my little heart out, safe in the knowledge that I had “the voice of a jazz singer”.

It wasn’t until the next day that the thought occurred to me. In the state of inebriation I had reached at the barbeque, I reckon I could have easily mistaken Lily Savage’s voice for that of, say, Maria Callas. And if I were that pissed then surely the bohemian photographer would have been that pissed too. I took this argument on to its only logical conclusion: that I didn’t in fact sound anything like a jazz singer.

Was I disappointed? Of course! I love singing and I’d probably love it even more if I could actually sing in tune. Was I embarrassed? Clearly! I’d just sang at all my mate’s wedding guests, forcing my less than melodic renditions of classics such as “I’m every woman” and “Grease Lightening” upon their sophisticated ears.

But I don’t mind really. For two hours I believed I could hold a tune. For two hours I thought I had the voice of a jazz singer. For two hours I was up there with Dusty and Aretha. For two hours it felt great! And do I blame her for deluding me so? Do I blame her for building me up just so that I could be knocked down again? Not at all, for she gave me those two hours of joyful abandon. In fact, as it goes, I think she’s the best bohemian photographer in the world. Probably.


August 03, 2004

Make it so.

I was reminded of my closet geekiness the other day when, round my friend’s house, I found myself exclaiming, “Wow! Your flatmate has all the Star Trek films on DVD. Cool!”

He stared at me in shock.

You see I like to think that I don’t come across as much of a geek. I don’t think I look like one and I don’t display many geeky characteristics. As such, people tend to be a little surprised when they come round and stumble across my replica Tricorder, bought for me by my brother one Christmas.

I’m not sure how I feel about owning this. Don’t get me wrong, it makes some very cool noises as it “searches for life signs” or “analyses the safety of a ship’s Jeffries Tube.” It’s just that it feels a little too geeky for comfort, as if by owning it I’ve passed the geek checkpoint of no return.

I keep this item in its box, hidden on my shelves. Very occasionally I find myself “coming out” to friends and lovers as I get closer to them. It’s like a bearing of the soul, an ultimate leap of faith as I show them this testament to my geekhood. Inevitably they piss themselves laughing and mercilessly rip the shit out of me for, well the duration of our relationship.

It’s all very well displaying certain geeky characteristics in front of people in your close circle. They will forgive, if not forget. But sometimes geekiness overcomes you, takes control, and a little bit of it seeps out for all to see.

Take the time I dragged by brother and sister along to see Star Trek, Generations. To be fair it didn’t take much persuasion, each of them being comfortably nestled somewhere on the geek scale themselves. To say I was excited is somewhat of an understatement. I was buzzing, bubbling, and hyperactive as I anticipated what was to follow. I mean Captains Kirk and Picard? In the same movie? Could it get any better?

We settled in, munched on popcorn and watch in awe as the film unfolded before us. Maybe I should say that I watched in awe. My siblings watched in mild fascination. The suspense built up as Kirk and Picard battled with a crazy silver haired pshycho with delusions of divine grandeur.

As the film drew towards its final battle scene, I was entranced. The tension was palpable as Picard’s ship was taking a proper beating, with Ensigns leaping valiantly across consoles as the camera men shook their cameras to make the whole thing look convincing.

Things were looking bad for the Starfleet Flag Ship. Commander Riker ordered all non-essential personnel to their quarters and led the rest of the crew to the emergency brig situated just above the warp nacelles. This spelt real trouble. This was last resort stuff.

Sadly it was all too much for me as I realised what was about to happen. Grabbing my sister’s arm on my left, my brother’s on the right, I raised myself out of my seat to loudly exclaim:


I came to my senses as I was still levitating just above my seat. Everyone had turned to stare, some looking just as excited as me but most just looking amused. I looked at my brother and then at my sister. As I lowered myself back down I muttered, “That wasn’t very cool was it?”

My sister put her hand reassuringly on my forearm. “No,” she said.

“Fucking funny though!” my brother said as he popped a sweet into his mouth and turned back to the screen. "Really, fucking funny!"


August 02, 2004

Floored by Friendship

Perhaps it took a little longer than expected, perhaps it was tricky, fiddly and frustrating at times but I’m glad I tiled my kitchen floor rather than paying to have it done for me.

I can stick two fingers up at a number of people who looked at me and laughed when I said I could do it myself. Step forth uncle and brother. I have some freshly made humble pie for you. You can eat it off my floor if you like.

Alot of it has been about the challenge. I had absolutely no idea about tiles, adhesive, cutters, grout and the like, but now I do. Now I can tile a floor, something I couldn’t do before. There were problems to solve and obstacles to overcome but we dealt with them all in our stride.

The sense of satisfaction as we wiped up the last bit of grout was unbeatable. We were buzzing with achievement as we lit up a fag and stood back to admire our labour.

Most importantly, I've learned more about the value of friendship. Trigger, one of my best mates, helped me with the whole thing. She didn't miss an afternoon.

She’d never tiled before either. It took us six weeks, working the weekends. For every hour of tiling, we spent two in the sunshine putting the world to rights. This made the experience fun rather than a chore. The garden became a sanctuary where we could get away from it all, the tiling gave us time to get lost in our thoughts and the whole experience brought us closer together as mates. For me that’s priceless and I think I'll actually miss it.

Thanks Trigger. You are one in a million.



August 01, 2004


... it's a bit like smearing mud all over your floor on purpose and then wiping it up again with a small sponge. Bizarre.

Quite therapeutic though.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?