Sunday, 11 December 2011


Friday looks to be a good day.

Reason 1: I’m not going to be at work

Reason 2: I’m going to be on the official start boat for the second stage of the La Solitaire Afflelou Le Figaro race instead. (Portsmouth to Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie)

Reason 3: The weather looks like it’s going to be great!

Rock on. High society darling, sailing, ra, spinnaker, random, mwah, mwah.

Results day

A-Level results day, 1997.

What a scary day, scary, scary day. We woke up at her house on that bright sunny morning. It was usually such a busy house, single mother, huge house, 5 kids running around – but not today. All of the family were on holiday, it was just me and her in this big empty silent house, sitting around the kitchen table waiting, just waiting.

Killing time until 10AM was one of the most difficult things we had ever done together. With no one else in the house we usually would have made like the rabbits, but today neither of us felt like it. The acid in our stomach getting stronger and stronger with each passing minute, neither wanting to talk, both focusing on what would happen if we failed.

Finally we rounded the corner into college. We said hello to our friends as they brushed by, entering the hall where people were standing in groups, some smiling, some crying. Random shouts of joy and despair broke the monotonous drone of the hub. Recognising people from our classes by their shoes, their hands covering their faces.

I opened my envelope. I got exactly the opposite of the results I expected. My best result was Chemistry. Chemistry! I was crap at Chemistry! I pulled off getting an A in the exams, B overall – thrashing my predicted D grade. Physics and maths didn’t go well. They were modular courses so half of the marks were gained in the first year, the year I had tonsillitis all the way through. I had achieved B grades in my second year (as predicted), but these did little to cancel out the poor first year.

I was distraught. Would Southampton still accept me? I had met Leicester’s offer, but they were my second choice, I wanted Southampton.

The girlfriend did excellently, she always did, one of those people I guess. She was celebrating, I was anxious. It was horrible. More waiting. More phone calls. More stomach acid.

Southampton took me.

I’ve now got a BSc degree in Physics with Space Science. I hated that results day too, but I got the result I wanted then too.

Golllld, I want gold

It was great to see Great Britain (just) get the gold at the coxless fours rowing. Ha! Eat that Canada!

We are still nowhere in the medals table despite the massive financial investment made in this country in sport, which is truly depressing. In our defence, we (I support GB in the Olympics, SA in rugby) are shite at swimming, which kills us in the first week’s medals table. You look at most other events; boxing, rowing, hockey etc – you can only compete for 1 gold medal at each Olympics. In swimming and to a lesser degree track events, athletes can go to one Olympic games and come away with 5 golds. Not fair.

In my hugely biased (and not to be taken too seriously because I’m clearly jealous) opinion, there are too many medals available and far too many medal ceremonies in swimming, perhaps they should make it a team event like gymnastics, where the team win gold overall but get points per race? But, the Olympics should recognise individual achievement and if an individual is better than everyone else at a number of events, then why shouldn’t that be recognised with multiple gold medals? Then why not change gymnastics to match?

I’m also worried about Denise Lewis. She has come back from both injury and childbirth where there was a battle between the baby and her phonemically strong abs, the baby won and ripped her abs – apparently it was more painful than the labour. That must be tough to come back from.

Looks like Darren Campbell is out - bummer

Undercover customs agents

Hmmmm, what a weird weekend. Well no, that isn’t quite right.

Hmmm, what a normal weekend with a weird bit in the middle.

On the one hand, it was very relaxing. I didn’t have to cook or wash up one-handed, I received presents, all my washing and ironing was done by mum, I went out in Wimbledon (just to the cinema because wild nights are out of the question at the moment due to the hand) and I met up with a good friend of mine.

And that was where it all got a bit weird.

You see, I’ve known this friend of mine for years and I also know that as far as the opposite sex goes – he was naïve and inexperienced, primarily due to his short stature and campness, not for lack of trying though, the slut. I’m hardly Don Juan, but this guy is shoooort. (Incredibly charming tho and a top bloke)

However… It would appear that the new girlfriend is somewhat more, more, well more experimental than his previous ones. For instance, I would have never of expected my good friend to say,

“You should ask her to put a finger up your brown eye just as you’re about to come – it’s fucking great”

Now who feels naïve? It's not that I haven't heard of it before, a couple other friends of mine have raved about it and the effects it had on their boyfriends, and I’ve politely declined such an offer more than once in the past (the words, ”I’m not into that sort of shit, thanks” can be used politely I assure you) – but I never expected this particular friend to come out with those words. Ever.

I’m of the belief that such things should be discussed by friends, but it really put me off my pint. For one thing, I’d never like to finish off the post-coital embrace hearing the words, “I’ll just go and wash my hands”. You never know, he might start getting a hard on whilst walking through customs :-)

Another rant - sorry

I watched Chris Ryan’s Terror Alert – Could you survive? last night.

What a heap of shit.

Last night’s programme was all about how to survive in a mass blackout, it was full of half-truths, some good advice and some absolutely terrible advice.

For instance, they had an, “Urban survival expert” who would have fitted in to the cast of Spaced quite nicely. First off he was advising us on what we should store in our homes….

“Get a hexiburner stove and a heat-proof tile to cook off, if you don’t have a heat-proof tile then you’ll burn your carpets, I’ve burnt mine several times.”

For one thing, hexiburner stoves are shit, and definitely not to be used indoors. They give off acrid smoke because the hexiblocks are diesel soaked firelighters on a metal base. They’ll put a nasty soot on the bottom of your pans (that you’ll want to use again when the power comes back on) and they’ll set off your battery powered smoke alarms in seconds! The fact that this “expert” has used them indoors more than once doesn’t fill me with confidence. Don’t use hexi-blocks indoors, ever. Promise me.

In fact, hexiburner stoves are so shit, I can’t even find an online store that still sells them, including Silvermans – the UK’s largest army surplus supplier! I’d much rather store and use a gas camping stove, but maybe that is just me? I still have a hexiburner knocking about from the days when I had to use them, along with some puritabs and non-dairy whitener - hmmm, diesel + chlorine + plastic shite flavour tea... but it is strictly kept to remince over! The hexiburner's only saving grace is that it is light and compact - not two features that would bother you if you're in your home.

This "expert" then went into a grocery shop to point out what we should take when we raid the place.

“Leave the biscuits, they go off to quickly, leave the perishables go for the tins!”

He ignored all the bottles of water, cans of soft drinks etc.

Biscuits last for months – we’ll have power back within a week! There was also no mention of not taking chances with food, as dioherria or food poisoning could be fatal if the NHS is over-stretched.

After that twit was done embarrassing himself, I switched over to the Sopranos – safe in the knowledge that my flat is better prepared than most, joy!