December 29, 2003

greenhamster: now with pictures!

There's been a photolog in the pipeline here for a while, but it never really got off the ground. Fortunately, all this holiday time sitting on my arse has finally promted me to get off it and put some pictures up. As promised there are some pictures from the meetup in Camden, and also sickeningly cute ones from Christmas day.

Weighting for 2004

The first new Monday morning after new years and I really should be more concerned with losing the Christmas pounds from my waist than the pounds in my wallet. But even as I sit here I hear the January Sales calling. Actually, they've been calling for a week now, and I'm not sure I can resisit much longer.

I look at it this way: Sales can start early, but without a series of unprecidented government directives, January can't. Resolutions are what New Year is all about. Besides, I can always buy some bigger trousers. Now, where'd that Dairy Milk go?

December 28, 2003

Setting Saturday's scene

I had to be careful. The man sharing the corner booth was clearly better prepared than I was, with the next round of drinks already patiently bubbling on the table between us. Later I was to discover that he had left a message as to his whereabouts with a third party. Had something happened to him, retribution would have known where to find me.

But that was to come. Right now all I knew was that either he knew something that I didn't, or he knew that I knew nothing he didn't already know. Or did he? I couldn't be sure. I thought I could feel my arms flailing helplessly as I drowned in a sea of semantics. And beer. I rested the half-full glass back down, trying to conceal my trademark pessimism.

How we'd come to be here is probably more interesting than the situation that we were now immersed in, but the days events did not lend themselves to conventional journalism. Only now as we rested in this approximation of privacy did our surroundings begin to describe themselves.

Someone else had decided some time ago that the focal point of this scene would be a tiny white vase of flowers cornered by condiments at the end of the table. So long ago in fact, that by the time either of us noticed, they were already as cold and dead as the bench I was sitting on.

As the evening went on the discussion turned to writing. The subject matter was bizarre: what would happen if a writer tried to capture a discussion about writing about a discussion on writing? After a few minutes I could feel the weight of words dragging me under again. I reached for my glass, but the first was now unambiguously empty. The source of my drinking partnerís foresight became reassuringly clear. He was the writer after all.

The Saturday night crowd was muffled by the unexpected arrival of an old friend, one that hadn't been seen in these parts for some time. His handshake hadn't changed since we last congratulated each other, and his face, while older and arguably wiser, remained very much the same. He joined the table and together the three of us shared some high school memories that we didn't realise we'd brought out with us.

The scene, like so many before it, was entirely inconsequential. It added nothing to the story and, was it not for this passage, would be as easily forgotten as the barmaid that served me earlier that evening.

Or was it a barman?

December 24, 2003

Paws for breath

I feel bad. I feel bad for several reasons. Firstly, this is the first chance I've had to take a break for five days and frankly I'm shattered. I've been surfing a wave of yuletide joy across the country, and I washed up on the shores of the Isle of Wight just last night. It was a good run, from a Christmas reunion up in the midlands to a fantastic meet up in London on Monday where I got to meet all these lovely lovely people.

I also feel bad because I now realise forgot to buy emergency presents this year. Christmas is a time of fellowship, and I never forget my friends. Occasionally though, I don't remember to buy them things, and this year I have no way to cover it up. Please don't put me in that position. My response will be...unexpected.

And finally, I feel bad because I just dropped a can of furniture polish on the white cats head. It's not speaking to me now, which is the shame because out of the two cats here, he's the festive looking one.

Anyway, there will be photographic evidence of Monday night here soon, so keep em peeled. Now if you'll excuse me, there's a glass of Christmas spirit waiting for me at the pub.

December 22, 2003

Love at first bite

I had to leave the comment spam left on the post with the killer bunny. When someone called Generic Viagra (married name?) has a rabbit that falls in love with a demon hell hare, something's getting missed.

I'm off to Stu's for coffee, and then I'm off to London (for coffee with Stu).

December 21, 2003

Lessons to learn, and when not to learn them

'If it ain't broke, don't fix it', right?

But when you know something's going to break, sometimes you have to 'help' it on its way (so that you have an excuse to get a new one). Like when milk teeth dangle by their roots, and you 'accidentally' happen to buy a packet of toffees.

That kind of stand off has been going on between me and a button on my winter jacket for the better part of a year, with it just hanging on by a pathetic little thread while being on the receiving end of a bit more aggression than a nice garment like that deserves.

Yesterday it finally popped, on the platform at Southampton Central. Which wasn't good: The closest I've ever come to sewing a button onto anything is reading about it in the 'survival guide to almost everything' that someone bought me for Christmas one year, but being as I wasn't going to be home till today I had to learn fast. On a fast train to Cheltenham. By the time I hit Bristol by finger felt like a hedgehog's deckchair and my eyes were punched up into little squinty-fists. Do you have any idea how long it takes to thread a needle on a moving train?

I do. 23 minutes.

Where were you?

Who, me?

You all deserve an explanation as to why I haven't been around. But you're not going to get one. Ner.

Back in the saddle now, and just in time for all the festive fun. We have a packed programme, and I'm already late starting.

Tomorrow I shall shall be getting the pre-Christmas haircut. You know, the one you get done just in case all the hairdressers in the world get wiped out in some massive freak rogue clipper accident during the two days they'll be closed for.

Stu's already had his. We'll probably not recognise each other when we meet up after work tomorrow. Don't worry: As usual, I'll be the guy who's fringe doesn't realise that the rest of his hair was kidding about doing the mexican wave.

December 03, 2003

Take it away

The cat has my tongue to the grindstone at the moment. A couple of pants days at the office combined with a family christening on the weekend have left me a bit lost for words.

The christening unfortunately kept me from joining you folks at the UK Bloggers Christmas bash. The trade off was well worth it though, as I got to see a whole load of people from back home that I haven't in ages. Oh, and the best part was I got to answer 'yes' to the question, 'are you the Godfather?'. Sad.

Still, I'm sure I'll get another chance in the new year.