All entries for December 2004
December 26, 2004
Christmas day with only three other family members was a weird experience. Normally there's at least 237,936, all shouting at once and demanding more turkey. So this year I got the leg and delicious it was too.
So it's been nearly two days and now the realisations are setting in. I now have two scarves which means I have a choice in the morning about what to wear. I don't want choice, it scares me. Me and my brother both got mp3 players, his has been charging since yesterday and still shows no sign of having a full battery, mine takes an AAA battery and I've been using it all day cos I can. I'm a nice sister.
Anway the point of this entry (the point is…?) is too show off my new gallery of lovely snowy pictures, called, imaginatively Snow. It snowed here which it rarely does at Christmas and this made the landscape magical, driving dangerous and my life cold. Me and mum had to drive to Liverpool so she decided I could de-ice the car whilst she sat in it with the engine on and heater going. The small, hand held ice scraper was never going to win against 2 inches (5cm) of fine, dusty snow. All I was doing was moving it around the car. So I got a brush instead and acted like a curler on speed. Car clear and off the Liverpool.
So here's a preview of Snow. He's so cute, yes he is.
December 25, 2004
December 20, 2004
Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/suffolk/4109411.stm
This is subtitled to help those who can't speak crappy Spanish
"¡Eh! ¿Holly?" [Hey! Holly?]"
"Las dos días pasados has dicho, a cada miembre de tu familia a quien dijiste, que no sabes que quieres ser cuando dejas universidad [For the past two days you've told every family member who you spoke to that you don't know what you want to be when you leave university]"
"Delia ha se jubilado. Puedes ser una estrella de la cocina por la tele. [Delia has retired. You could be a kitchen star on the TV.]"
"Estos son drogas muy poderosos, soy hablando conmigo en Español sobre se haciendo una jefa de cocina por la tele… no es un idea mal. [These are strong drugs, I'm talking to myself in Spanish about becoming a TV chef... it's not a bad idea]".
Holly's Guide To Student Cuisine
Students like things simple. This is simple. Delia has shown you how to boil water and cook eggs. I do not even ask this of you. All you need firstly is a kitchen:
Here's one my parents prepared earlier.
You also need a chef's hat. Mine is modelled on the Russian army hats. It can be worn flaps up or flaps down.
Now you need ingredients-bread, cheese and a CD to listen to:
Put the CD in the CD player and press play.
Excellent, now remember to consider those around you who may not like the music you listen to whilst making food. Work out how well soundproofed their rooms are. Play CD at appropriate volume. Or you can tell them to get stuffed, you have great taste and it'll be just like it was with the Killers and Starsailor and Snow Patrol and soon everyone will like this band and they have no taste criticising you now. You are a tastemaker and trendsetter… and a hungry one at that.
Now you must grate the cheese and put it on the bread. Don't eat all the cheese straight away. Greedy student.
Now add something to taste. Search a cupboard or fridge. Don't use marmalde. It's wrong. Try BBQ sauce. Nice.
Put the concoction in a preheated grill. Don't ask me how to operate a grill. Ask someone you live with. If they all hate you then you're a nobhead and you probably deserve it. Or they're nobheads in which case glue their doors shut and melt their keys. Then get the number of a takeaway or something.
Change CD. It'll keep you occupied whilst the food cooks.
Make youself a drink. You're a student so Tesco's value juice is luxury for you. Mmmm…
Whilst you may have seen cute images of small children in 1950s sitcoms being allowed to lick the spoon clean once mommy has made chocolate cake, this is not appropriate here. It's unhygenic and anyway who wants to lick a cheese grater. They feel like cacti to touch.
Take the concoction out fo the grill before you smell burning. Serve with the juice and a copy of the Guardian (Observer if it's a Sunday).
Time to change CD. Is this better or worse than the original? Why do I feel indifferent?
Now for the confident student you can attempt dessert. Not desert cos that's all wrong. Maybe a combination of two childhood treats- Jaffa cake and Muller corner yoghurts (known in my youth as 'Tip-overs'). Or if you're really lazy/desperate to get fit/not Niamh then you could try some fruit.
Oh yeah, new Delia here I come.
Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view
James has spoken, we must obey.
Number 1 Why did I bother to write number before the 1, given that it is very obvious to all that "1" is a number?
Why do people insist on saying PIN number when the N already stands for number? Such is life.
2 What is the most keyboard-shaped thing that you brought with you to university?
I didn't bring my cheap Yamaha keyboard with me as I grew bored of the bizarre sounds it creates a long time ago. Except the one that claims to be a trumpet. That sound is sitll funny.
3 Would you centralize all industry, and replace the pound with chicken feet?
Yes. Except for the chocolate sector which must remain independent to encourage competition and the futher reduction of prices.
4 Whose brain would you most like to eat? Why?
My brother's. That way we can consolidate the family intelligence into one easy location.
5 What have you found that you'd most like to throw at Elton John?
6 What's your favourite shade of yellow?
Golden. Duh, like there's a choice there.
7 If you had the power, would you eradicate poverty from the world with a few nukes to certain countries?
No, I'm lazy and if I were to acquire nukes then Bush would invade Leamington and lots of innocent students and chavs would die.
8 What are some things that make people nervous around you?
My habit of talking to them. Scares the hell out of most people on the train.
9 What's the best thing you've ever eaten? (this one was too good to change)
Not going there.
10 What is your favourite Emu's name? What about Coyotes?
If I had an emu I'd call it Weddy in a bizarre and convoluted reference to the defining moment in John Major's ill fated leadership of this country. And Wiley for the coyote. Childhood role model and all.
11 Why oh why did you choose the course you're studying?
Too lazy to do a science.
12 What's on the walls in your room? Why? (again, needed no changing) Holes. I play with power tools when bored/horny/sleep walking.
13 Why does Mathew Mannion's blog page slow my computer down to snail's pace? Anyone?? That's the computer's equivilent of a moment of quietness as it ponders the big questions.
14 Which body part of your friends would you most like to own?
Spanky's legs. Don't ask.
15 And which would you most like to destroy?
Gitface's evil, black heart which works with her mouth to get me to do things which are so wrong and degrading.
16 Who's funnier - Pontius Pilate or Josef Stalin?
Stalin. Pissed myself the whole way through my Russia In The Twentieth Century module last year.
17 Have you ever won a trophy? If so, why are you blogging? Do you have a personality defect? Or have you been struck with a crippling disease?
I'm on antibiotics.
18 I'm getting tired of writing these questions. Umm ... ?
Are you a Buddhist?
19 If you won £5 million, how much do I stand to gain?
A question many will ask themselves.
20 What is your favourite time of day, to the nearest minute? Why?
Time is an illusion and all those we are slaves to it are fools. This is what I tell my mum when she asks why I don't go to bed before 2am anymore.
21 What is the best place to live - Jupiter, a snake-pit, or Swindon?
We were arguing about where exactly Swindon is today. I know Spanky was born there but that doesn't narrow it down. Is the snake pit Slash's? Cos my mate who I met at the dentist today looks like Slash. Nothing has happened today to link me to Jupiter.
22 List your top ten tips for a budding power blogger without using the words "blog", "the" or "blood".
1) Be male. There are very few female powerbloggers and even those don't blog that much compared to the guys.
2) Don't have a life.
3) Live in a craphole. Therefore in the holidays you will blog your way to fame as there is nothing else to do.
4) Actually, don't bother, this is my patch.
God I'm so bored.
December 18, 2004
"If you're not to keen on going out but you do anyway, those are the best nights out ever" Spanky, 2004
I have an infection which manifested it self as a medium sized and painful to touch lump. Fine, except it popped up in my armpit. When you have a family history of breast cancer this is possibly the least amusing place to find a painful lump at 2am on a Wednesday morning. No sleep then, and straight to the doctor's at 8am to get told it was an infection and I needed more powerful drugs. I got a HC2 form last December. It's a little beauty which entitles its student holder to free perscriptions (as well as dental treatments and eye tests). Get one. I'd be broke now if I hadn't had mine.
Anyway, the drugs are giving me awful indigestion. I mean really really bad. So, unable to move without burping and unable to burp without feeling sick, I didn't really want to go out tonight. But I was even mmore unwilling to waste £26 which I had spent on a ticket… to see the Manic Street Preachers. Now I always see the Manics, every year, and I am not missing them for anything as lame as some side effects.
Now at risk of dribbling on like a teenage girl at a Busted concert, they were absolutelyfuckingunbelievablyamazinglygreat! Support act Razorlight were good value, even if their singer had to run off stage at one point to "cough up blood", and this got me going. Forgetting the desire to burp/vomit wasn't easy (especially as I'd had to dose myself up again on the train on the way there) but I did.
The MEN Arena is not a great venue. It's a big soulless barn which hosts England international netball matches and Ronan Keating concerts. I am indisposed towards it and have been since I was forced to sit through a set by Toploader there once against my will (the price I paid for wanting to see Idlewild and Catatonia). It's cold and you wouldn't want to be sitting as the seating is miles from the stage. We were standing. Phew.
Lights up, an intro track starts. The big, impressive visuals kick off. And then they're there. James looks like James as ever. Sean looks like the lead singer of Embrace. Nicky's wearing tight trousers and a big leopard print fur coat. Mmm, nice…
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next Argh, I love this one. It soudsn huge which in a barn like the MEN takes some doing. But the sound is nice and clear. Ok, I'll give the MEN that. The screen shows those disturbing people with no faces from the song's video. Weird.
Faster Wooooooo! Loud and angry. Spirit of '94. The moshpit is bouncing but I still don't feel up to it yet.
1985 New one. Kyle turns to me and says "you were born in 1985". I was born in 1984. He should know this as he's my brother. Awesome visuals including big scary Margerat Thatcher shot. Traumatised.
No Surface All Feeling James fluffs the intro. Twice, once verbally and once on the guitar riff. Sounds really massive though. Finally a song fills the MEN.
You Love Us Cocky buggers but they are right. I attempt some minor boucing and don't burp my brains out. Promising.
Cardiff Afterlife Very poignant and obvious track about Richey. Audience subdues as it is throughout some of the new stuff.
Yes Dedicated to Razorlight. Copious swearing and a big sing–along. Nice.
Kevin Carter Kyle's favourite song. I talk him out of lobbing his packet of crisps across the crowd. Not sure why as he was planning to throw them unopened. Kyle debates whether he should ring his mate Carter, but decides not to. Mild dancing. I feel fine.
The Love Of Richard Nixon A popular new one. Sounds very good live. Nice bassline but the MEN's big problem is the bass can only be heard not felt. I want to feel the bass. That's why I learned to play it myself.
La Tristesse Durera Strangely subdued, I've heard this one done better.
Die In The Summertime Very loud. Kyle is impressed, he doesn't know this one and quizzes me about it. Conclusion: heavy=good. He's such a bloke.
Solitude Sometime Is One of my least favourite tracks off the new album. Sounds better live but I don't know the words so big sing–along Holly is not in evidence.
Australia This is more like it. Jumping around now, no problems. Drugs and side effects completely forgotten.
Archives Of Pain (acoustic) Probably one of the least likely songs to play acoustic ever. No one's entirely sure what to make of it but we like it.
Small Back Flowers That Grow In The Sky (acoustic) I agree with the girls stood behind us who were gazing into space, arms around each other. This was haunting stuff. Truly great and even those people who obviously only knew the singles (and were a bit scared by Die In The Summertime and Yes) were captivated.
You Stole The Sun From My Heart Proper jumping around now. Nicky had by now changed into something more comfortable, a plain white top and a pink, fluffy miniskirt. He showed this sartorial masterpiece off by high kicking his way across a speaker stack. Nice underpants, Nicky. Considered calling Housemate:Els during this song as she once sent me a very bizarre text incorporating lyrics from this song but I forget cos I'm having too much fun.
This Is Yesterday A nice slow one but we want to be jumping round now.
Empty Souls Gorgeous new single rendered strangely flat. The first time the MEN effect kicks in and neither subtlety nor volume can be discerned. Disappointed as I like this one.
Tsunami Woooooooo! Rock on! I unleash the Holly dancing. This is basically just me jerking round like an idiot and jumping occasionally. I once pulled a muscle doing this at Top Banana and suffered for a week through football matches and training without admitting why I was hurt.
I Live To Fall Asleep After teasing with a snatch of Sleepflower they play this instead. The audience noticably would have preferred Sleepflower but this will do.
Motorcycle Emptiness Now here's a song which can't go wrong. Brilliant and thay play the long version which is still not long enough. Everyone's bellowing along now. And why not, this is their second best song and let's face it, their best song is my favourite song ever and, oh look, here it is…
Design For Life Call Niamh and leave this on her answerphone. Awesome. Completely brilliant. Singing along, jumping like a loon. I would sit through Toploader and Ronan Keating to hear this live. Go home completely ecstatic. Rock on.
Marks? Seems a bit, y'know, pointless and… 10/10
December 17, 2004
Everyone else is doing these weird questionare things so who am I to follow the corwd (baa)?
What's the strangest thing you've brought with you to university?
Torch glasses. Glasses frames with two torches, one on each side. Very very useful despite being ridiculous.
Would you renationalise the railways? Why (or why not)?
Yeah probably. I just want the trains to run on time. I like trains and it pains me that they aren't as good as they could be.
Whose thoughts would you most like to read?
My mum's cos she's psychic. Or Housemate:Els cos then maybe I could understand the madness.
What have you lost that you'd most like to retrieve?
My penknife. It was an impulse buy but it served me so well and I want it back. I also want to money I've earned this winter which was taken as emergency tax back as I kind of need it to live.
What's your favourite red thing?
A Manchester United shirt with Cantona 7 on it being worn by the man himself scoring many wonderful goals.
If you had the power, what laws would you make, or change, or repeal?
More tax to be paid by the stupidly rich, less sending to jail of drug addicts (more treatment) and more moeny into research to find a chocloate which isn't bad for you.
What are some things that make you nervous?
Standing up in front of groups of people and giving presentations. Mind you I do like the adreniline kick I get from it as well…
What's the best tasting food you've ever eaten?
Chicken Korma from the Shazam in Rusholme, Manchester. Mmm…
What's your favourite boy's name? Girl's name?
Mmm, I think I blogged this one once before
Why did you choose the course you're studying?
I love history. I love it cos it's basically a chance to listen to stories about the past and learn random facts and this is my idea of happiness.
What's on the walls in your room? Why?
Oooo, big one this. Ok, One wall has posters of bands and pieces of art I really like, I guess this is an attempt by me to show off my taste. One wall has a huge variety of newpaper cutttings, cards, tickets from events and the like, this is so I can either read something entertaining or remember a cool event, it is also a way of showing people what I think about. One wall have two large flags, one English and one Irish cos I have a dual nationality and love both countries. One has a huge display of photographs so I can see exactly what my friends, family and randoms look like and what silly things they have done in the past.
Name a CD you own that's a guilty pleasure (one you adore, but pretend not to for fear of irreversible negative social consequences). Why do you like it?
Mel C- 'Norther Star'. The title track is superb.
What item of your friends' would you most like to have for your own?
Housemate:Els's scanner so I can get my art onto my laptop with no hassle.
Where will you be in five year's time?
Dunno, here probably or in the area. I do history, no one on my course knows where they're going.
What one thing would you most like to accomplish with your life?
See above but whatever it is I want someone somewhere to be glad I was alive.
What's your favourite scary movie?
I don't get scared by movies but I thought Alien and Aliens were superb pieces of filmmaking.
Who's funnier, Jim Carrey or Bill Murray?
Mmm, overall Murray, but 'The Mask' is the funnist film I've seen either of them in.
Have you ever been in a school play? Was it good? Were you good?
I bloody wrote two in primary school! I would have ideas and occasionally be able to persuade my fellow pupils into doing them. On a couple of occasions we got so into it, rehearsals in the playground and such, that the teachers gave in and made them official. One was about the history of our hometown and included a battle scene between the Romans and the Celts, and the other was a comedy about our departing headteacher for which I had to drop my trousers in a kung fu scene. Rock and roll!
What's the furthest place you've ever travelled to?
Chicago but I want to go to Japan.
Have you ever won a trophy? What for?
Once for the school Laureatte Award. Our English teacher told us to write an entry for homework on the theme of 'How to deal with exam stress' but I didn't want to so I did a cartoon instead as a protest and won!
Name a book you'd recommend to a friend. Why?
'Mrs Dalloway' cos everyone should read it.
What's the stupidest thing you've ever done?
I started breathing before I was born and was therefore born with two lungs full of gunk. This resulted in me spending my first ten days in Great Ormond Street Hospital.
What's your favourite cartoon? Why?
Anitmated-Simpsons cos it's the best.
Written-'Watchmen' cos it's a classic.
Satirical-Steve Bell in the Guardian, cos it's true.
Which animal do you most resemble in both appearance and habit?
Some of my friends have me in their phone books as "Magpie". Appearance-wise I have almost black hair and the palest skin you will see on a person, and I wear black and white a lot. Personality-wise I am irrrationally attracted to shiny objects as my sliver football training shoes will demonstrate.
What mesmerises you?
Which other universities did you apply to? Why did you choose Warwick?
York-Rejected me. Tossers.
King's College London-Lost my application. Rejected me. Tossers.
Durham-I refused to apply to Oxbridge so applied to the next highest grade uni just to see if I'd get in. Got an offer. From the all-gilrls college. Tossers.
Leeds-Not overwhelmed despite lowest grade offer. Local residents hate students. Tossers.
Nottingham-Very nice, was a close thing between here and Wazza. Came to Wazza. Notts women's football team then beats us a lot at football. Tossers.
Name something about yourself that people don't expect.
I am actually quite a talented freestyle rapper but I don't like rap music much and rarely do it in public. This is true, I'm not joking this time.
What's your favourite place on campus? Why?
In spring, before the weather gets too hot, there is nowhere better than on the Cryfield ptiches playing football. Nowhere.
If you won £5 million, how would you spend it?
Holiday with friends, pay off parents' margage, buy car and save the rest.
If you could invent a piece of technology that would improve your academic life, what would it be and why?
A book-ike tablet which can change its layout to look like the page of a book onto which you can download every book you need for your essay without having to fight others in the SRC for the only copy of the text.
What everyday item is the most well designed? (Fit for purpose and aesthetically pleasing.)
My waste paper bin is stylishly simple but elegant and works.
What's your favourite time of day? Why? Late at night/early hours of the morning when the lack of sleep makes everything that bit more magical and all the streetlights are so fascinating. And shiny.
Describe what you consider to be the most beautiful view in the world.
Looking out over a large urban area at night and just seeing all the lights. That the view in question is usually ugly as hell in the day makes it more impressive. Best example? Vienna from the hotal I stayed in up a nearby mountain about 4 years ago. Hence also my ambition to go on the London Eye at night some time.
What are your strengths?
I'm good at drawing, I have an incredible memory for facts, I'm a nice person, I am willing to learn, I can speak Spanish.
What is your favourite artwork on campus? The big, ugly bugger by the busstop. Fun to play on.
Which issue would make you want to become a politician?
Racism and inequality. There aren't amny people in this world I actively dislike but Nick Griffin from the BNP and Ian Paisely from the DUP are two.
Which union society would you make every other student join?
The Boar, they they'd stop bitching about it. And RAG cos that makes sense.
- What is the best place to live: Leamington, Coventry, Kenilworth or on campus?*
Leam, but I like campus too.
Which book has helped you most with your work?
So far this term the best one has been A. Pettegree's 'The Reformation World' but there'll be others.
What is the best thing you have done in a seminar?
A presentation on Irish politics in the late 19th century. I have yet to do anything at uni which matches my A level repsentation on the Ranters (16th century religious sect in England) which included stickmen pictures to demonstrate such sins as swearing, drinking and orgies.
What is the best moment you have had in a lecture?
The time Patrick Major pulled out an antique gun in a lecture. Or Sarah Hodges waving a model dinosaur at us whilst imitating a stuffy Oxbridge don.
What would convince you to choose a specific career?
It would have to show me that I was required to both think and move. I will not be happy in an office, but I will not be happy doing something which requires no thought. Plumber looks good.
Which module would you make compulsory?
Languages. We should learn other languages.
What was your biggest mistake in your first year?
Wasting my first term and a half through disoragnisation. It's a mistake I appear to be repeating.
List your top ten revision tips.
1. Don't get a blog.
2. Don't revise with friends.
3. Erm… dunno, just take regular breaks and keep it organised and be flexible. If you remember something straight away you will not need to go over it so revise something else.
Phew, I don't know why I did this, I just did.
December 15, 2004
Dear Santy Claws,
I have been a very unhinged and emotional girl this year (please read elsewhere in this blog cos I ain't typing it out again) but I have also been a (relatively) good girl. For Christmas I would like you and Rudolph and Donna and Blitzen and Barry and Rigoberto and the other reindeer to bring me:
New Knees Cos I damaged my old ones playing football and I'd had them for ages anyway and I want some new ones cos the Nike Knees 2005 look so cool and I want them in Pale Irish colour to match the rest of my legs.
A Zane Lowe Filter When I'm at work I like to listen to Radio 1 in the evening. They play good songs. But the DJ is very annoying. Please can I have a Zane Lowe Filter so I don't have to put up with him when I'm listening to good songs.
Jen and Jimmy's Greatest Hits 27 1/2 classic tunes and one unnecessary cover of 'House Of The Rising Sun' with a Euro-Disco beat backing track.
A Microwave We need one in our house. As it is we are risking death whenever we reheat food in the oven. Except the vegetarians in the house who only eat stuff which doesn't give you food poisoning.
The List by Sam Boulby Everyone else on the train was reading it and I was feeling illiterate and left out with my copy of 'War and Peace'. I would like the hardback edition so I know I am replacing 'War and Peace' with another book which can be used as a weapon if needs be.
Smaller Feet Size 7 please.
A Nodding Dan These are cool. You put one in your car and he nods up and down and comments on everything instantly! They are cool.
Some Edam I like cheese.
The Other Other Other Natalie Oh come on, I know everyone wants one and they're all selling out (to mysterious guys with goatees it seems) but pleeeeeeeeeeeease can I get one? Everyone would be dead jealous… and I'll be responsible cos an Other Other Other natalie is for life not just for xmas.
A Laser Gun Replacement for my left hand Actually I don't want that but my brain does. Stupid brain…
Thank you Santy and if there's anything I have forgotten I will ask for it from my friends who are real and not just myths based on old saints from years and years ago. Except Niamh who is fictional.
Holly Crooooooz (aged 20 and a bit)
December 14, 2004
So much profundity and yet no one asked the obvious… am I an insomniac?
I'm wondering about this on the basis that it appears that, for the last two weeks me, my normal bedtime has been 2am. Except last night when I was very good and went to bed at 1.15am… and couldn't sleep. Even going to bed at 2am means I'm not actually going to get to sleep for another 30–45mins as my brain, utterly and hopelessly inactive in the day, usually takes advantage of me to spring its lastest ideas (no, we are not replacing my left hand with a laser gun, I want to sleep). Even getting up in the morning is not hard and usually the process has begun when one or more members of my immediate family will stick their head round my bedroom door and say "Holly, are you awake?". I am now. At 8am. Nurgh.
But I don't feel too bad for the average 6–7 hours I get. Some of my housemates need decades to recover form even quiet nights in, spent playing Halflife 2 for hours on end (I told them not to get it). It is a form of bemusement to them to find me trying to write essays at 2am even though everyone knows that this is when you reach a state of purity and genius that renders all essays written at this time to be works of art. Sometimes literally if my brain wanders and I doodle all over the essay (look, I've drawn us a diagram of how cool we'd look if we replaced our left hand with a laser gu… shut up!).
Here's what you sleepyheads are missing:
Midnight This is when all TV shows abandon common sense, decency and, often, English. If it's not in English it is not porn. If it is porn I don't want to watch it cos most porn I've seen has been far too graphic (yeah yeah I know, that's the point…). This is more a reflection on my friends than me y'know. Also blogging becomes easy and all blog entries are brilliant if worryingly profound…
1am Suddenly any food where the cooking instruction is 'Add boiling water and simmer' becomes inifinitely desirable. Pastas, rice, sauce, omlettes (I can't cook omlettes but anyway) all loom large and tasy and inviting. 1am is also the perfect time to visit a 24 hour supermarket. I wish I still lived near one. I miss Westwood.
2am Essays now a doddle. Everything you write and draw challenges the greats of the genre, Jane Austen, Vincent van Gogh, Albert Camus, Geogria O'Keefe… actually I read Camus' 'The Outsider' and the prose was shite. Porbably best disregard him…
3am Now you're cooking with gas. Which explains why you have a disgusting pasta based dish in front of you. Mmm, probably should have eaten it at 1am when it was a good idea. Anyway, 3am is the perfect time to listen to drunks sobering up or to have indepth heart to hearts. Or you could listen to that 'Really Unsettling Music' playlist you made the other day. Spooky.
4am Wheeeeeeeee! This is the best time to go driving (stay sober). The roads are virtually empty, there's just the lorries and the demented milkfloats (which do not obey the laws of the road) to contend with. This is from personal experience. Bloody milkfloats.
5am Ok, by now even I'm usually thinking, "This is past my bedtime". Time to find a bed (not important who's) and sleep in it. I recommend a bed with lots of duvets as these insulate against both cold and those horrible sounds which idicate the day has started and you should get up and go to your European World (1500–1700) lecture. Or not.
December 08, 2004
In one of the few moments me and my brother have actually spent together seince I got home, over a week and a half ago, we remembered the games we used to play in the car during the many long, tedious car journeys our parents subjected us to. This was their own fault as they moved from London to Cheshire when I was four, forgetting that this would mean that we'd have to trek back to the Big Smog regularly to see old friends, relatives and godparents. 3 1/2 hours in the car. Both ways. So games were needed. Maybe you would like to play along too…
What Did You Say?
For this game the ideal number of children under the age of 16 required is 3.
Find a song. This song must contain a rude word roughly half to three quarters of the way through. A song with lots of rude words like Super Furry Animals' 'The Man Don't Give A Fuck' are no good. The song must have one in the latter half of the song. For some reason Catatonia's 'She's A Millionaire' is perfect.
Familiarise the parents with the song. Play them the album a few times (although beware that 'She's A Millionaire's album 'Equally Cursed And Blessed' is a bit lame). Make sure they know there's a naughty word to be had but don't let on that you know it's there. They'll think you don't know. This is how my parents justified playing the Pogues to me from a young age. It's also where I got my foul mouth from.
When the parents are familiar then you can play What Did You Say? Start the song and all the children under 16 must sing along. In time and with no variation, no Mariah Carey style vocal aerobics and no cracking up at what's gonna happen. Eventually you will reach the line with the naughty word ("The ad begs buy bottled water but we know that it tastes of piss"). Sing the line but don't sing the naughty word. Continue singing afterwards. You get 10 points if a parents says "What did you say?" You get 20 points if you can reply "Nothing but the tape said "piss"" without getting told off. Repeat with other songs.
The Bryan Adams Bone Game
An acapella game this. Simply sing a song by weirdly popular Canadian song meister Bryan "I gargle gravel to sound like this" Adams, but randomly stop half way through to shout the word "bone" repeatedly at the top of your voice and in time with the other players for a few seconds before returning to singing hits like 'Summer of 69', ''Everything I Do' and 'Cloud Number BONE BONE BONE BONE BONE BONE Nine'.
The Bohemian Rhapsody Game
How many times can you sing Bohemian Rhapsody acapella before the parents tell you to stop? Ours quite like the song so it can take up for six or seven. Try and work in clever vocal arrangements on the "Galileo" bits. You must immediately stop the game if a parent joins in.
The Middle Seat Belt Game
Best played if you are one of two siblings. Simply the winner is whoever batters the other into submission using the unused middle seat belt. This was quite difficult in my early years as my mum's first car was a Hyundai Pony which had no back seat belts at all and was therefore slightly illegal. And crap.
A recent game this as I have not studied French since I was 14 (six years ago) and my brother has done an equally good job of forgetting what he learned up to two years ago when he did the sensible thing and quit.
All you have to do is say things in French until someone can't remember any more French. At which point you must make stuff up. Useful phrases include "Ou est la guerre?" "Je suis unpetit-déjeuner" and "J'habite dans un pomme de terre". My brother and his friends can play a fun variation on this game called Spanish but unfortunately my enjoyment of this is ruined by my fluency in Spanish. Es muy triste.
Start an argument with a member of your family. See how many of the other members can be persuaded to join in. See how many sides can be formed. Everytime a resolution appears to have been reached start a new argument. Or a game of Eye Spy.
I Want A Weewee
A popular one. How many times can you persuade your parents to stop on the M6 whist you go to the toilet? Warning: Do not indulge in method acting for this role. If you parents are like mine and won't stop even if you geniunely do need the toilet and have been holding it since Manchester (and it's now Watford) then you may be in for an uncomfortable ride.
There is a variation on this called I Want A Poopoo but that's immature and vulgar and would only be played by someone who went to Coventry University. And do you go there? Do you? Eh? Eh?
I hope these games keep you entertained.
December 03, 2004
"What? Nurgh… I wasasleep"
"Are you awake?"
"Mum… m… um… What t…ime is it…?"
"Half seven in the morning, I'm off to work soon but there's a few things you must remember."
"Ok, now put the clothes in washing machine in the tumble dryer in the garage…"
"There's a pork chop in the fridge for your lunch…"
"I've left you the car keys so you can drive to work, but remember it'll be cold and foggy tonight so be careful on the roads…"
"Fold and coggy… gotch…a…"
"And if anyone calls take a message. Ok, love I'll see you later."
On reflection I probably should have listened to the above conversation but I have yet to shake the student lifestyle which renders call pre-9am conversation as pointless (moreso post Score when myself and Housemate:Els have such gret conversations as "Morninnninin" "Wha…?" "Nurgh"). Mum and the two male units in my family are gone, dusted and out of the door by 8am. I'm ususally still investigating the inside of my eyelids.
So anyway, after last night, when in a sickening display of withdrawal symptoms I dreamt about being at Score (God help me) I woke up with some vague mixed messages (there was pork chop in the garage?) and remembered that I had to drive to work. This wasn't too hard despite Cheshire County Council having spunked most of the budget for the next 87 bazillion years on an unnecessarily complicated set of traffic lights on the two round-a-bouts next to where I work, the Royal Mail sorting centre. Now I've signed the Official Secrets Act so I can't tell you all the exciting adventures and scrapes we get into at RM. I also can't tell you because bugger all ever happens except lots of letters appear and we sort them. Rock and indeed Roll.
But it was the return journey that was much more fun. Now mum had been wrong about putting the tumble dryer in the fridge for lunch but she was right about the weather. It was so fold and coggy, I mean cold and foggy, it was absurd. I spent ages trying to persuade the ice to get off the windows of the car (xmas present for mum idea no.1: an ice scraper) and when I eventually managed it through a combination of air-con and pleading, I set off over the two expensive, Blackpool Illumination style, round-a-bouts and straight into… the dark.
The fog was so thick I could barely see 10 metres in front of me. I'm not joking, there were bridges over the road which only became visible at the last possible moment. It was scary and I know these roads, I've been up and down them a fair few times over the last 15 years. But In the dark nothing could be seen and in the lit up areas, by round-a-abouts and petrol stations, it was even worse as the fog took the orange light and turned it into something utterly impenetrable. At least in the dark you could make out headlights and road signs, in the orange you could see nothing except the orange and the car in front… thank god for the car in front.
I got into a convoy of three cars, me at the back. I followed them even though I didn't know where they were going. It didn't matter, one of them must have been going somewhere near where I live and all that mattered was that I wasn't the one in front. I folllowed them even when it occurred to me that I may have missed my turning, when I eanrly went onto the M6 instead of the backroad which I know is 10 seconds further down the road from the M6 turning. I followed the car in front (was it a Rover? A mini perhaps?) when it turned suddenly down what turned out to be the backroad I wanted. I consider it great luck that this car went right into my hometown. It was a Vauxhall Astra. You'd never have known in the fog.
Tonight it's still circling around the house. I'm gonna dream about fog in SCore now, I just know I am…