All entries for Saturday 29 October 2005

October 29, 2005

20 hours in Milan and ridiculousness of travelling – Part 1

While I'm busy procrastinating from doing more DIY (I've already literally melted a hack-saw blade already though so I'm feeling pretty happy) so I thought I'd just write a quick entry about my latest little excursion.

Monday night I flew to Milan for some training for work (on an automotive communications protocol if anyone's interested! I didn't think so…), landed at approximately 8pm after undergoing my usual embarrasing searches and things at Birmingham airport.

I am not suited to air travel, I love the act of flying and I will still fight for the window seat at the age of 21 (but then again so does my Dad who is 56…). I just seem to have one of those faces that must scream



Every single time I travel by plane I get searched, not just a quick pat down but taken to one side and almost (but not quite) strip searched. Now I could've understood it with my previous passport photo, I had a #1 haircut and was wearing a leather jacket with a very sullen face on me… Not that I was any different a person then but I could've understood people thinking I might have been a bit of a thug (despite that being about as far from the truth as you could get).
Now however I don't have any "distinguishing" things that could mark me as someone liable to be carrying plastic explosives in his socks (or whatever else they might have been searching my socks for) but none the less even without the machine beeping I get frisked and questioned. The best occasion was in Manchester airport where both my Dad and I got called over to one side just in the waiting lounge after the security checks and were questioned for about 5 minutes by a man in a suit and looking very serious. He took our entire itinery, almost right down to addresses…

The thing that gets me is, are terrorists that stupid? Insane, bigoted maniacs yes, but stupid? I don't think so…
Airport Security Man: "Reason for visiting?"
Terrorist/Me: "Oh, assasination of your Prime Minister and maybe a spot of genocide if my schedule allows"

No, it just isn't going to happen. I applied for the RAF a couple of years ago and one of the questions on the security questionaire was, and I shit you not:

"Have you ever planned to overthrow parliamentary democracy?"

And then the real killer, "If yes, please give details.".

Bollocks, yes you've rumbled me – November 5th, under the houses of Parliament with an obscene amount of gunpowder… Damn these questionaires!

Okay okay, I'm sorry. I understand and appreciate these rules and things like that and I'm all for them really. I'd be far more concerned and have far more to say if I wasn't checked at airports. Questionaires like that just tickle me and somewhat puzzles me as to the rationale behind them. And anyway – do I look like a terrorist?! Is this the face of a man who you should be afraid of!?! Obviously hiding WMD in my beard…

Anyway, I digress – I was initially planning on writing this entry about just my whirlwind trip to Milan and instead wandered onto the topic of my bad luck at airports. So back to Milan!

I speak no Italian, not a sausage. Not even a number! When I attempted to speak Italian I ended speaking in French for reasons which still aren't clear to me. I wanted so badly to thank people by saying merci. I wouldn't mind but it isn't as if I can even speak French that well!
I managed to blunder my way from the airport to my hotel (a 40 minute train journey away) and manage to check in obviously due to my fluent Italian and nothing to do with the fact that everyone there speaks English…

No time to explore unfortunately because by now it is about half 9 and I've got an early start in the morning. Bed. Excellent. Hmmm… itching slightly, must be a mosquito in the room or something (first thing I did upon entering the room was open the window).
Woke up in the morning covered in bites, I stopped counting at 25. A guy at work later gave me the nice mental image of the possibility of it having been bed bugs that did it, nice. Cheers Paul.

Right, am bored now and need to make food! I'll probably write part 2 of this ever growing treatise tomorrow when I get bored of DIY, didn't expect to have so much to write about this!

When is 45 degrees not 45 degrees… Revisited

Follow-up to When is 45 degrees not 45 degrees? from Tongue in Cheek

When the angle is in this house! Nothing is straight, the whole house is pissed, even the bits I had nothing to do with!

I swear I should start charging people to walk around it like those haunted/crooked houses you get in theme parks!

Lethargy… Ugh

Why is it that after a couple of months of a project, lethargy sets in? Whatever it is that you're doing after a certain amount of time (which obviously depends on what it is that you're doing) you just can't be arsed any more and its as simple as that.

No matter how important the job is, how much better life would be if it were done or how many extra marks you'd get when that assignment is submitted you just think to yourself "meh", roll over and have another hour in bed. Or write a blog entry!

I'm writing this sat on a camping chair in my semi-finished kitchen, I so badly want this house to be done yet at the moment I'm leisurely sat drinking my coffee, having my breakfast and browsing the internet without a care in the world.

I've started working 4 day weeks, basically doing 9:00 – 19:00 Tuesday through Friday and then getting Monday off work. This is good for me in a number of ways;

  • I work better in long stretches, I don't like starting and stopping something. So working a long day makes sense because I can get more done

  • In theory I can get more work done on the house in a full day than I can in an evening after a normal days work. Getting back at say 17:30, cooking & eating my tea by 19:00 then "meh" as I like to call it. Nothing constructive can be done in 4 hours, especially since me being the considerate neighbour I am I won't do anything that makes any noise like drilling or hammering.

  • I get a three day weekend if I ever want to go back to Manchester to visit family

  • I get a three day weekend, 'nuff said

But now I'm thinking to myself, what do you actually do in an evening once you've eaten? Mess around on the computer and drink beer for a few hours sat on your camping chair!... Why not use that time to tidy up areas of the house and prepare them for working on at the weekends? Once it is all done it will be a much more pleasant atmosphere for the important things in life such as beer consumption.

Why can't I get this into my thick skull and get past the laziness and do something in an evening, why can't I hit the ground running straight from bed to working hard until I drop from exhaustion like I did in the first month or so of having the house.

I need my zest and enthusiasm back!

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