31 Mar 2009
After spending a week with D and his swanky iPhone I’m getting to think that I may like an iPod Touch. Would be useful for the long Australia flight and other travels.
Are they worth the money? Are there any other options that do the same job but aren’t so tied to the DRM and Apple brand?
Would be most interested in hearing opinions.
29 Mar 2009
That’s yours that is.
Back from Belgrade after a visit with D to see Ana again.
Was ill last weekend hence my lack of Ballring attendance (proper grumpy about that) and things haven’t got much better.
Tonsillitis just got worse and worse over the week to the extent that I was proper ill on Wednesday. If I’d been that bad the day before the trip I seriously doubt I’d have gone.
But no matter. I went and fun was had despite struggling to talk at times.
Sunday was an early start so I was proper drowsy and managed to forget a bottle of water in my bag which got pulled as I went through security. This was fun as I was asked if I wanted to drink it. If so then I would have had to go out again and drink it there. Apparently water is unsafe to drink in the security area.
A further note re packing: My bag weighed a total of 6kg. D’s was 18kg. This was remarked on repeatedly throughout the week by an amused Ana.
In fact we did well with security. My bag was rescanned at Brum, both my coats were rescanned at Zurich. D was pulled aside at Zurich on the way back and was also asked “Is that a coconut?” when his bag was scanned. The answer btw was “no”.
Oh yes and I managed to completely forget that my penknife was in my hand baggage on my return. Luckily I remembered whilst dozing in the terminal before we’d said bye to Ana and tried to go through security. Belgrade airport has a marvellously handy post office tho so I got it posted to me. Phew. I’ve had that for years and it would have been a proper loss. Thanks to Ana for stumping for the postage too.
Back to the travel.
Bumpy flights both ways. Not scarily bumpy (nowhere near as bad I’ve had in the past) but uncomfortable at times.
Once met with Ana we were off for food and a walk in Belgrade. Got my first mushroomy burek as well as a hammy one too. Very nice indeed.
Serbia still has the ludicrous rule that foreigners have to go and get “signed in” at the police station so we tried that but our first attempt was stymied when the owner of the place we were staying at wasn’t handy. So we ended up having to go to Ana’s parents’ village and get signed in there a day or so later.
After that we visited the folks. Only odd thing there was being offered juice and getting Fanta in return. Not that I’m complaining.
Ana waved a coffee frother at D at this point and he was asked “Do you want it or not?” He said no. D’oh!
The second day was spent doing little before heading out for a walk and then to Ana’s dance class. It started with a long and quite scary warm-up which had me scribbling notes for a future “how not to do exercises” feature one day. Lots of bouncing on stretches, not holding stretches at all long enough to be worth bothering with, double leg lifts, spine twisting whilst flexed and many more examples. Not to mention the pointlessness of the warm-up in the first place.
But the folks there can dance. Was most impressed. Specially with the singing (totally unexpected) and the guy who managed to high kick his outstretched hand. And the woman who led the warm-up didn’t half move well – I do like to see someone move well.
Third day we headed to somewhere that was oddly familiar. Place is called Sremski Karlovi. I’d been before (about 8 years ago) and I didn’t have a clue we were heading there until we pulled into a town square that I immediately recognised. Odd feeling.
At one of the local caffs we had the experience of a waitress bringing us an ashtray as we sat down. An awfy long time since that happened to me.
Sadly the local sights were pretty much all shut so we didn’t hang around long before heading to Novi Sad.
Again I’ve been here before, it was raining that time too.
After a while of tourist sites we hit the city centre for dinner at somewhere called “Foody”. The only caff I’ve been at which was sponsored by a shoe shop. Lots of food though for not a lot of cash.
Day 4′s notes are started by “Sitting in an illegally parked car listening to Lisa Stansfield ffs!” No more information will be forthcoming.
We’d met one of Ana’s pals (Tamara – that’s Tam-a-ra, not Tam-ARRuh) and the 4 of us went to some town or other to meet a couple of mutual friends Ivana and Dragan. A nice afternoon spent with very nice people.
Food later was at a renowned Italian place in town – nice too. Followed by sitting in a smoky coffee bar with a crap waiter and loud music.
This was the day my tonsillitis hit its peak so conversation wasn’t an option either here nor on the drive home.
Next day was quieter with a walk round the local park (photos taken at last) and then to pick up Ana’s older niece from school. The next hour or so was spent playing with the kids and having a grand old time. And I finally got to meet Milijana (Ana’s sister) again after 8 years. Totally lovely woman. Top to see her so well and happy what with 2 kids n’all.
Friday was Ana’s birthday so pressies given and then back to the village to get “signed out” and to meet mum and dad again.
In the evening we headed to a “club”. It turned out to be a restaurant/bar by day and they had a live band on at night. Band was doing decent enough covers of modern dance and pop staples, D was even singing along. Not my bag though and was so loud that I could neither hear anyone at all nor speak loudly enough to make myself heard. But never mind that, the girl they had singing was extremely sexy.
So off to the next door place where the house band was doing ska numbers. Much better. Sadly they they went on to doing serbian faves which weren’t quite so fun for me. The locals seemed to love it though. Including the unfeasibly sexy girl at the next table – this seems to be a theme.
Occasionally both of these bands did some english language songs which did lead to some Ken Lee moments. Most entertaining. Except the butchered version of “Another Brick in the Wall” and “Love is in the Air” which were both a disgrace to music (the former for it’s wreckage by the band and the latter just because).
After this rather pleasing end to the trip I could no longer speak and to be frank breathing was quite awkward too.
Saturday was basically home trip day. House untouched, hurrah!
And photos here.
Just back from my hols.
Found a very odd news story that seems to have blown up recently.
It’s the one about some minister asking for expenses to include a couple of movies on pay per view.
Now there’s a discussion to be had (maybe) about whether expenses can include such things but the story seems to have been reported really very oddly.
Here are some headlines from off of teh internetz:
“The Home Secretary’s husband apologises for embarrassing his wife over an adult films parliamentary expenses claim.” – BBC
“Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s husband has apologised for causing her embarrassment over an expenses claim which included adult films he watched” – Yahoo
“Blue movies on expenses: Jacqui Smith’s husband apologises for watching porn… paid for by the taxpayer” – Mail
Now it took me ages to figure out what on earth was going on here.
In all of the detail I saw it looked like there were 2 films of note. One being Ocean’s 13 and the other being “Surf’s Up” – the latter of which is PG rated in the UK. And Ocean’s 13 is a crime fillum nicht wahr?
So very very confused…
…for a while.
Talk about poor writing by the journalists involved. It took until the times website before I figured out it was 2 adult fillums plus these 2.
I think Charlie Brooker has it right when he talks about journalists getting worse as all they do is package up news wire copy and PR fluff nowadays.
But then it may also be that I’m tired.
21 Mar 2009
Been a busy week at work this past week. Lots of patients to see and tons of other stuff to get done.
On one of my rare and all too brief breaks I was “treated” to a look at an article in some women’s mag thing. You know the sort of thing, all fashion tips and celeb breakdowns. Thrilling.
But the article wot was pointed at me was “Can you tell us a man fact?” where 40 men state a “fact” wot men know about men and women should.
Out of the 40 I think I agree with about 3 of them. Clearly I’m not a real man.
The 10 absolute disagrees for me were
- We actually love to spend money on clothes.
- We’d like to try on your underwear.
- We worry about how our hair looks almost as much as you do.
- We love it when a woman looks well groomed.
- The FA cup final is more important than any anniversary.
- We don’t understand how girls don’t like sport.
- We like heading out on a shopping trip.
- Blokes do discuss their relationships with their friends.
- We’ll do anything if it makes our mum happy.
- Everything in life is a competition for us.
Just how much is wrong there?
Love spending money on clothes? Worry about our hair? What planet are these blokes inhabiting? Idiots.
Number 4 is fun. I know I’m possibly the odd one here but I reckon the problem with (many) women is they worry far too much about looking right. Besides usually killing any individuality in their appearance it also cakes them in dust and wax. Hardly nice. Oh and I’ve found it usually makes them look worse than if they’d never bothered and just got on with it. And it tends to lead to lateness to events which is frankly just rude. “Oh I’m sorry we’re late my girlfriend wasted 30 minutes making herself look less attractive than when she woke up this morning wearing nothing but a large shirt and a sleepy smile”.
8 is a weird one for me. It’s something I try and avoid doing. Yes I talk about stuff but it isn’t the same as the stuff I hear women discussing at work. I couldn’t dream of letting slip the personal and private details of what 2 people get up to. It’s just not on.
And competition? Hardly. Annoying people with too much to prove to themselves.
Just weird ones were:
- 9 times out of 10 we’d like to sleep with your best friend.
- We’ll wait 2 days after a date to call.
- We love to get naked any time, anywhere.
- We’ll do anything for beer and kebabs.
- It’s vital that we match our mates pint for pint.
1 is just a freaky one. Girls if you’re with a bloke like that then don’t please wonder why you always get tret like dirt.
2 is just bizarre. Why?
And finally some I agree with:
- When we leave the loo seat up it’s actually to annoy you.
- If we say there’s no problem then there’s no problem.
- We’ll say what we think, if it’s important.
1 is only true for those women who witter incessantly about something so buttock numbingly tedious as worrying about what bloody position the toilet seat is at when they wander into the bathroom. Really girls what is the problem? They are designed with a hinge at one end. It means you can change the position of it yourself – it’s easy, basic engineering. Move the end that the hinge isn’t at and magically you can put the seat down. Now go and find something worth complaining about.
2 is oh so true for me. Those of you who know me well know that hassles get aired not hushed.
So out of 40 there are only 3 that I agree with. I do pity women if their men are anything like the majority of these dullards and imbeciles that the mag seems to have canvassed.
17 Mar 2009
16 Mar 2009
This weekend continued the theme of eating well whilst away.
After the ok curry with awful service on Thursday we had a proper burger on Friday aft at Wannaburger. Very nice for a cheap meal. Recommended.
After the day juggling we wandered back via Rainbow Arch Chinese restaurant. Now this was lovely – the first chinese I’ve been to that has 3 different kinds of veg spring rolls. Nom.
Saturday was steak day being the 14th and all.
We’d decided to hit McKirdys for a proper, not cheap steak. Bloody lovely it was. Recommended again. Great service too.
Sunday was special day. We’d booked a table at The Witchery. Stunning place at ace location and frankly way too posh for us. Well me anyway. Rebecca can carry off posh, what with her high falooting accent and that.
Lovely decor and proper waiters doing things properly. You know, people who know which side of you to pour the wine from. That sort of thing is nice but frankly I’m more impressed with something a little less pretentious. But it’s an experience I guess.
Food was bloomin’ gorgeous. I had some charcuterie thing followed by pork belly. Very very good indeed.
But a good job that they do a light lunch menu. The 2 courses were only £13 whereas the main meals were nigh on £30 each. I didn’t look at the wine list but I’m sure it made Rebecca blanche a bit.
So yes. Go to The Witchery when their cheap menu is on, McKirdys is fantastic and worth a visit for steak, Rainbow Arch was worth a look and is open until 3am so it’s an ideal after night out food place. And if you just want a decent burger you’d do worse than eating at Wannaburger.
The standard of food at these dos remains high. Wonder what Brum can show off next Saturday?
Well it’s a bit late but frankly I had no wish to type after a long drive yesterday.
Sunday started late. Me and Rebecca stayed in for a while before packing up and driving into the city to have lovely food. This was followed by driving to the convention site and then driving to the coach station and then driving back to the site and then driving home.
Once home I sort of just fell into bed and worried about the noise that my car is now making post-journey.
There wasn’t much in the way of juggling. We got to the site pretty much around the time that the games were starting. We left during them and returned to find them still ongoing. And then me and Mats left.
Apart from the distance involved the event was act wasn’t actually too bad.
The site was too small, it’s a good job the orgs didn’t sell it well as any more folk would have been too many.
The ceilings weren’t too high either. But never mind. The amount of high stuff I wanted to do was minimal.
Show: Hmm. They also didn’t have a stage. I don’t like this, you know that. The lights were non-existant so acts performed with the house lights on.
Games? Meh. The people who like games seemed to like them though. And the “how many haggis can you balance on a single person” game looked quite gigglesome.
Worth the trip and major thanks to Rosie and Tom for lending me and Rebecca their flat for the weekend. A shame we didn’t have them around to spend more time with.
15 Mar 2009
Day 2 in the Scottish Juggling House.
Slow start as expected of hanging around and getting hair cut and eating a bit.
Rebecca decided to hang round some more so I headed off of my own. The only odd bit of the walk was when I wandered past some bloke who told me to fuck off as we passed. Nice. Friendly people up here.
I’m being harsh, obviously. The locals at the event seem pretty friendly. Is this another example of the superiority of jugglers?
Any road. Got there to meet a few more people including Parit and Dr Alice. Spent some time passing and then sitting and drinking. Main problem with this was that the rugby was on in the bar. This meant that the clientele were loud, obnoxious and boisterous. Basically subsuming their homoerotic tendencies by hiding them behind a bluff and overtly laddish exterior. And after yesterday I am more convinced of that now.
More sitting and chatting at the site and then they kicked out for an apparent parade whilst the show was being set up. I stayed at the gym and helped set-up and sat and watched the tech stuff.
- Canadian Duncan came on with his ludicrous diabolo skillz. Smooth and he seemed to be enjoying himself somewhat. Nicely done.
- Matt DS was up next. He didn’t know he was in the show until the night before so turned in a last minute not fully rehearsed effort but his devilstick schtick has been honed to be able to manage pretty well despite the lack of expectation to perform.
- Acro duo. (sorry I don’t have their names). Acrobalancey goodness.
- Mats with his balls. Actually looked like he was enjoying himself – hurrah! Up to 7 balls with some very nice tricks and that.
- Donald Grant with his diabolo routine. Well it’s Donald Grant with his diabolo routine.
- ?Keith. Dreadlocky poi-monger. Not my bag but went down well with the locals.
- Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! [just thinking about Bungay...sigh] Baws and rings done with style, tricky stuff too.
- Donald Grant 2 with his short act (as seen as Chocfest). He’s a funny chap.
- Colin E. Bless him! He arrived on Saturday for a day at a convention and ends up as the headline act. No real rehearsal but never mind. Excellent club stuff with ball bouncing thrown in. Very sweet stuff.
Well done to Sarah for getting anything together at all. It was a short show but considering the hassles she had to get it together I reckon the quality was high enough to be proper impressed rather than simply sympathetic impressed. Cool job teh Biskupz.
The comperes are worth noting. I didn’t get their names (something like tea and biscuit) though. Comedy material with audience included. They made us laugh and got on with the show when they needed to. What else could you ask for from a compere?
And then home via food.
14 Mar 2009
Just had my hair sliced up here in Edinburgh.
Incidentally the barber was most dismissive of my “well it grows and sometimes it’s too long so I get it cut” attitude. He told me off and then sort of insisted I get it cut every 6 weeks. The cheek.
Anyways. He had a radio on playing tedious pop music and then inane banter between 2 hosts. The thing they were wittering on about was learning to drive and whether you’d prefer to be taught by your dad or your mum.
The second host then said summat like:
“Well my mum can’t drive so it wasn’t her but my dad who taught me to drive around Asda’s carpark in Scunthorpe.”
I used to drive around that when I was learning and the day I passed my test I drove there to pick my mum up from work!
13 Mar 2009
Event starts later today and the following sentences have been uttered:
“Does your camera have a strap on?”
“Well I’m sure I will implode again shortly.”
No doubt more sentences will be added over the weekend.
“Ooh I’m definitely having pounded rump”
“Well I’m sure your pounded rump will be tender and succulent.”
and from this evening:
“Bist du satt?”
“I was satt before I started.”
From the show:
“She’s wafting pubes across the stage.”
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