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January 30, 2005

I've got some exciting news!

Of course I haven’t, that would be far too exciting. But that’s exactly what the national lottery tell me about my ticket every so often.

It’s probably my fault. Maybe it would help if I got off my arse and actually went to the shop and bought my ticket. But then again, maybe not. The thought of standing in a queue behind six people buying their whole weekly shopping, remains just a thought as it will never become reality. Even if I managed to get past the ‘doing my weekly shop in a 24 hour store when it costs ten times more than the supermarket’ brigade, the whole painful process of buying a lottery ticket would still remain. I would inventibly have to watch aunt Sue being told to fill in her boxes again, as for the fifth time, she had circled, not crossed, seven numbers, not six. I would also probably have to hear the delightfully endearing conversations like “Oh, yes, I always pick those numbers, they are my grandsons ages!”.

So that’s why I do the lottery online, I can buy as many tickets as I want, for as far in the future as I want and, whenever I want. I don’t have to worry about my ticket getting wet in the rain, I don’t have to watch the incredibly boring Lottery Show every week and, most importantly, I don’t have to go back into that 24 hour store to get my winnings.

Which reminds me, there are a number of people that actually do that. As I’m rushing in to get some chewing gum whilst rushing for the bus, there always happens to be a character who is unearthing crinkled lottery tickets from their pockets, passing them sequentially to the shop assistant and saying “Has that one won?”. “No Sir. “What about this one? “. “No”. “And this one”. This normally goes on for about five minutes, at which point I feel like saying “Statistically, you chances of winning the jackpot are 14 million to 1, in fact the chance of winning the smallest prize is 40 to 1, in that case, the chance is that none of your have stained, half chewed, lottery tickets would have won, just let me pay for my chewing gum and we can forget this never happened, why don’t you just watch that annoying lottery programme to find out for yourself anyway?”. Of course I don’t, I give him the ‘better luck next time’ look and proceed to miss my bus.

So, bearing in mind the statistics, when I do get an email from the lottery after the draw, it is quite exciting. What could this exciting news be? A million? Or even just a tenner? That will do. It was the sort of ‘exciting news’ that your boss has for you on a Monday, like the air conditioning has been fixed, or the ‘exciting news’ that your mum used to say to you, “We’ve got sprouts for dinner tonight instead of Cauliflower!”. Yes, the exciting news that Camelot were so keen to tell me out my ticket? It was…………”I have been given a free ticket for the next draw”. Wow. All my Christmas’s had come at once.

Between seeing the ‘Exciting news about your ticket” subject on my email, and opening the email, a mere twenty seconds, I had prematurely planned what was going to be happening with the money, which shade of blue for the Aston Martin, who was getting what in the family, that I would tick the ‘no publicity’ option on the box, I would stick out my job to the end as a matter of courtesy, where I would be buying the house, deciding which football club to buy. This was followed by the countering thoughts “of course they would never email if I won big”. Besides, I wouldn’t be writing this if I had won, I would have long gone by now.

January 27, 2005

Lessons learned from first full week at work


Ok, it was meant to be 'dress down' day on the Friday, well that's what they told me. Just to be safe I wore a shirt over my jumper. Good move. When I arrived, I peeked through the door and realised everyone was smart. I went into the nearest toilet and started getting changed in the cubicle. Well, that's fine, apart from hearing women’s voices at the sink. Yep, I had walked into the ladies loos after being disorientated and in a rush. I had a choice, wait for the women to go and be late, or get very strange looks and fuel office rumours. I took the late option


Why? Surely it's good for the circulation. What isn’t that good is pulling the plug out of the socket, causing the person who sits opposit to lose all the work that they were doing. A quick "You just can't trust computer's" from me and no-one suspected a thing. Also, unintentionally playing 'footsie' with the woman opposite is not really recommended, after thirty five minutes in your new job


Ok, I'm a bit of a prankster. I give as good as I get. Admittedly I was done like a kipper two years back whilst shopping in a supermarket at lunchtime. The guy who sat next to me managed to put a leopard skin thong in my shopping basket, which then made it onto the conveyor belt without me knowing. The long queue behind me gave me some funny looks. It was outrageous, I mean why would I buy a large leopard skin thong? Of course I wouldn’t. Everyone knows I'm a medium and I prefer them in blue. Anyway, I digress (the scars are still fresh even now), I played my first mind game this week. Someone's birthday, I have to sign the card. "To Liz, looking forward to seeing you soon, from Trevor". The point of this is to sign every card from 'Trevor', everyone is the office does not have a clue who he is or where he sits, but after a year people think he actually exists. This trick caused a ten minute office discussion on 'who the hell is Trevor' this week.


In a follow up on my previous post 'how do you know which way to move when approaching someone in the street' I have realised this is ten times worse in a narrow office corridor. There seems to be no 'left' or 'right' protocol and I've already bumped into three people, causing three spilled coffees, one embarrassed smile (it was worth it, she was cute) and one brushing of arms.


So, I am on a course. The trainer for the first 4 hours calls me 'Rich'. Then, for no reason, starts calling me 'Chris'. Instead of correcting her straight away, I let it go, thinking it was a one off. Now, she calls me Chris, but I haven’t got the heart to tell her as she will be embarrassed. So, the only option now is for me to change my name by depole. A small price to pay to save her blushes


Flashing the security guard your library card by mistake will not get you into the building, it just makes you look stupid.


My office is full of gossip mongerers. I've seen photos, whispers, rumours galore this week after the big office bash last week


Well, I thought it was off.


"Oh, so, what did you do before here then" was ice breaking question. "Well", I said, "After getting released I had to do some community work, once the judge was satisfied I was in a fit state of mind to be returned to the community, I started applying for jobs with false details, so I haven’t worked for a while". Yes, people are gullible, you just have to work out the ones before you scare them

January 25, 2005

I just hope he doesn't ask for it back

We have all done it. Borrowed something off our friend and forgot about giving back to them. Well, then you remember you have got it, but they haven’t asked for it back have they? So you tend just to keep onto it for that little bit longer.

I’m not that bad. Okay, I still have a U2 album that I borrowed from my mate Gareth in 1995. I still owe a kid called James Lawson one pound from 1989 after I forgot my school dinner money on the first day of senior school. But then again I have got things to claim back. The eight man used once that I could never put up tent that I lent out last year, or my best ever jumper that I lent some guy in 1999 but I never got back, I’m not bitter.

So, when I went to Frankfurt for a mates wedding in August, I made a promise to myself that anything I borrow, would get back. And sooner than a ten year period. As I was leaving to catch the plane back to England, Andrew was skimming his impressively stocked bookcases. As a student of English literature, he liked his books. “Ah, have you read the Da Vinci Code?” he asked. “Errrr, is it fiction?” I replied. “I don’t read fiction, what's it all about”. Andrew had this amazing ability to make you like songs, comedy shows and videos. If he says something is good, it probably was. “Actually, I’ve been meaning to give it to my brother, once you have read it, can you pass it on to him?”.

Now, borrowing something from someone in a different country seemed easier. There would no pressure to give that something back, especially as I see him once a year. But he had entrusted me to pass this book onto his brother, so that’s what I should do. I took the book. With nothing to read on the journey home, it seemed like a decent bet.

Three months later. Still untouched. A three day stay around my parents, a chance to relax, maybe read a book. Get away from the television with programmes that only old people watch. I had a choice, the Gardeners Monthly, Top Knitting Tips 2003, Jamie’s Kitchen, or nestled in my bag, the Da Vinci Code. The choice was made for. Twelve hours later the book was finished. Twenty Four hours later my dad had finished the book, for the first time in our lives, we had both read a book that we agreed on.

So what did I do? Did I pass the book on the person I was meant to? Of course not. I sent it to Canada for a far more interesting journey. Anyway, I knew that person wanted to read it. Maybe one day it will make it’s way back to Frankfurt and find it’s original owner. P.s, don’t tell Andrew.

The ‘book crossing’ clubs exist in small pockets all over the world. Books are left in public places, with “Read Me” on the front. Each book has it’s own unique identifier, when you find the book, you register on the website where you found the book, when you read it, what you thought of it, then you it in a café or park bench. The journey starts again. It’s just like a world wide library, just a lot more interesting.

As for my book, from Frankfurt to Canada via London, who knows will get it next.
Andrew Walker, Frankfurt (original owner, still thinks I’ve got it)
Rich Cooper (Bournemouth)
Maurie Cooper (London)
Alison Janzen (Vancouver)
Jennifer Jansen (Vancouver)
...........who knows where it will end up next.

Web Links.............
  • The book crossing website

  • A short BBC video about the idea

  • Coops Blog Homepage

  • January 22, 2005

    The wonderful world of classfied ads

    Now, I have never put a classified ad in the paper. But if I ever do, I'd like to think the following would give me some good tips. There are some strange members of the British public out there.

    This is my fav.. for the non- British an 0900 number is a premium rate number.

    January 21, 2005

    Now and then

    When I was away, the only thing that was predictable, was that it would be unpredictable. Everyday was different. Every hostel was different. I got up at different times and used different bathrooms. Different people would walk into the room at different times. One day the light would go off at nine, the next at eleven. Sometimes I got the top bunk. Sometimes, to be different, I choose the bottom. Sometimes I would read a book to fill the gaps, other times a magazine. If I felt like leaving that day I left. If I wanted to stay, I stayed. The time was not counted in minutes, more by hours. The weeks were not identified by day. Sunday could be Monday, Tuesday felt like Thursday.

    The music starts, it’s seven am. Twenty minute snooze till phone alarm. Not a minute less, not a minute more. Ten minutes for the shower, then minutes for toast. Ten minutes to get changed. Ten minutes to get out.

    The forty five minute to work. I pass the kid with her dad. Different place today. Am I late or are they early? Along comes the car with huge exhaust about half way on. He must be early, I hope he’s early. Past the school, it’s quarter past. Rushing kids. I walk towards the mum being towed by her kids, the look of recognition we give each other. Into work, same again. It’s the work party that I missed that’s the buzz today. Who did what, was it true? Did James really sleep with Sue? Who’s got the photos? Who said what?

    Onto lunch. Same old queue. Some go at twelve, others at two. Five minutes here, five minutes there, means the world to those that are aware. And before I know the routine has got me.

    January 19, 2005

    371 days later

    After 371 days, finally, I guess, it was time to start working again. They say that starting your first day in a new job is just like your first day at school. And with those words of wisdom ringing through my ears, I was quite looking forward to it. That day seemed like yesterday. So, my mum would be getting me dressed, I would get a lift to work, I would be surrounded by girls playing ‘kiss chase’ with me, I’d get to have a free bottle of milk at lunchtime, have a run around in the afternoon, a bit of doodling later on and, at three o’clock, it would be time to go, with a cartoon watching fest until bed time. I was going to love it. Okay, maybe a few eyebrows would be raised when I turned up with a bowl shaped hair cut from my ‘thinks she is a hairdresser’ mum, or when I took my bright blue Superman plastic lunch box out with pre sliced, triangle wedged, cucumber sandwiches, or maybe, and more significantly, started to chase the women around the desk in a chase of love.

    And so I turned up. “It’s smart casual dress code” they stated. As I stood there in shirt, tie, and my finest tailored suit from Bangkok. As I looked around I realised why. All the managers and directors were wearing the suits, maybe a little premature on my behalf.

    With my reputation preceding me, it did not take long to make my mark. Literally. As I produced my hand to shake the first member of staff it drew a strange look. Was my hand abnormally large? Did I have six fingers? Relief, I had a blue hand. Still, despite the looks, the pleasantries were exchanges, the coffee machines were directed…….. hold on, I’ve got a blue hand! Not only was there streaks of blue running down my hand, there were a series of blue fingerprints on my freshly pressed white shirt. Reaching inside my pocket I found the offending leaking pen, with stained blue passport, defaced and new acquired security pass and a newly coloured ten pound note. The Queen was looking on with a fresh blue rinse haircut.

    And then I sat down and looked around. The office life came flooding back. I knew who were the characters, I knew the girls the blokes fancied, I guessed the people that were avoided, I worked out the ones that had been here far too long, the ones that had not been there not long enough. I remembered why nobody drank coffee from the coffee machine, the combination of powered instant milk, wholesale coffee in a plastic cup, providing as much pleasure as tasting your hair gel on a pouring wet day.

    Taking my first lunch break at a new company was a mixture of relief and bewilderment. Amongst my uncertainty was others routine, finding where to eat, looking where to go, trying to understand how to get through barriers. Everything was secure, much more secure. The barriers needed your pass to be swiped. Security men looked on with menace. A far cry from before. I had made it my job a couple of years previously to see what I could get away with, to test security. Showing my badge with an altered Mickey Mouse face and carrying a box labelled “Do not touch, Bomb inside”, they never raised an eyebrow.

    And now on to tomorrow. Blue stained hands and all.

    January 15, 2005

    Flashback to hostels

    It’s 1.08am. I haven’t been out, I’m saving that for tomorrow. But I cant sleep. I’m watching celebrity Big Brother live on the t.v. Well, more like Celebrity C-list Big Brother. Now, despite the fact that I am a reality t.v watcher, something else is grabbing me this time. Amazingly it’s not seeing Bridget Neilsons face after being shocked with the new ‘havent spoken to for twenty years since splitting up with her son Sylvester Stalllone’ housemate Jackie Stallone. No that can wait. It’s the concept of sharing a room with six complete strangers. Flashback time. I couldn’t imagine the concept when I was going travelling, nor can I imagine the concept now. But somehow, when I was there, it all seemed so normal.

    ‘You have 1 new email’ hotmail is telling me know. And there is confirmation of the bizarre world I once lived in. It’s from a person who I met for a day, we shared the same dorm, they have just returned from Australia. And then I looked at the television again, and then a multitude of flashbacks enter my head again. Here we go…….

    1) The weirdo room Room 406 (that’s how vivid it was) Wake Up Hostel, Sydney

    Waking up in the middle of the night with someone tugging at my bed sheets. Then realising that someone had their hand on my shoulder. Hearing some strange grunting noises. Knocking this person to the floor after they sniffed my back. Realising that this bloke had serious problems. Realising that this bloke was in this dorm for the long term. Reception being unable to change my room till the next day. Spending another night with this weirdo. Seeing this freak in the lifts the next week.

    2) The smelly room, Room 16, YHA, Cairns

    Going into our room after spending the day out. Nice, a new room mate. Wait, what’s that smell? A mixture of nappies, sick, farms, you name it. Leaving the door open, attracting the attention of security. The conversation went like this “Why is the door open?”. “It stinks in there”. “Let me have a look”. “which great gala made that smell?” We point to the new roommate like naughty school children to an angry teacher. We get moved, the room was closed for two days for ‘industrial cleaning”.

    3) The two fuckwits from London room, Room 406, Wake Up, Sydney

    Two tossers from London enter the room. I hate them already. Say hello they grunt back. Come in at 4am, turn the lights on, shouting. Still provides me with a giggle, I revel in their stupidness. They have spent their entire three week holiday spending money in a strip club. The reason? A stripper got them to buy her bottles of champagnes after she promised to call them. When they get back they realised they haven’t got a phone number. Priceless. They were in that room for two days too long.

    4) The Swedish love nest, Room 1, Great Aussie Backpackers, Kings Cross

    I shared this room with seven ants and a growing number of Swedish people. The highlight was the couple that stayed in bed for four days, and kissed constantly, for four days. I never have seen so much constant kissing in my life, nor will I ever see again. When I walked in on multiple Swedish massages the next day, I left.

    5) The funniest room, Room 212, Beech hotel, Surfers Paradise.

    Two girls who managed to survive on nothing, making ends meet by flirting, getting sacked from jobs on a weekly basis, but overall, just genuine and funny. Add later a ex army NZ tattooist, a lying but cheeky English guy, and one week of pure laughs. Unforgettable. The highlight? Two American girls move in. One sleep walks. She is on the bunk above me. 3am Thud. She falls from the bed, breaks the table, goes to the toilet, we all burst out laughing. She does not remember a thing. Not a scratch.

    6) Scariest room, Room 4, Nadi Bay Hotel, Fiji

    On my own. My first ever hostel. Probably the most uncomfortable day in my life. Looking back it makes me cringe. I didn’t have a clue.

    7) Best Day, Room 408, Wake Up, Sydney

    The relief. Moved from scary man. Wow someone is actually being friendly for once. They even want to read my book, must be just whacked with the time zones. Go for a stroll, see the sights. Know Sydney like the back of my hand now, but today is different, same sights, same routine, but just a bit different. And for once I’m so completely engrossed in everything I don’t even stop to think why. Wow, someone who knows an awful lot about an awful lot of things. Someone who understands my humour. One of those days that I never looked at my watch.

    And there are so many more to mention. Every dorm was a different day, different smells , different people, different noises, different thoughts, different books, different bunks, different bed times, random door closing, random light switching, random conversations, different everything, randomly.. just random.

    And how about those people who find it tough when they get back home after staying in hostels, well here are some guidelines I’ve drawn up…..

    1) Replace your bed with two or more bunk beds, and every night invite random people to sleep in your bedroom with you. Ensure at least once a week a couple gets drunk and shags on one of the top bunks. Remove beds one by one as symptoms improve.

    2) Sleep in your sleeping bag, forgetting to wash it for months. Add some bugs in order to wake up with many unsightly bites over your arms and legs.

    3) Enlist the help of a family member to set your radio alarm to go off randomly during the night, filling your room with loud talking. This works best if the station is foreign. Also have several mobiles ringing, without being answered. To add to the torture, ask a friend to bring plastic bags into your room at roughly 6 in the morning and proceed to rustle them for no apparent reason for a good half an hour.

    4) Keep all your clothes in a rucksack. Remember to smell them before putting them on and reintroduce the use of the iron SLOWLY.
    5) Buy your favourite food, and despite living at home, write your name and when you might next be leaving the house on all bags. This should include mainly pasta, 2 minute noodles, carrots and beer.

    6) Ask a family member to every now and again steal an item of food, preferably the one you have most been looking forward to or the most expensive. Keep at least one item of food far too long or in a bag out in the sun, so you have to spend about 24 hours within sprinting distance of the toilet.

    7) Even if it's a Sunday, vacate the house by 10a.m., and then stand on the corner of the street looking lost. Ask the first passer-by of similar ethnic background if they have found anywhere good to go yet.

    8) When sitting on public transport ( the London Tube would be ideal) introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you, say which stop you got on at, where you are going, how long you have been travelling and what university you went to. If they say they are going to Morden, say you met a guy on the central line who said it was terrible and that you've heard Parsons Green is better and cheaper.

    9) Finally stick paper in your shower so that the water comes out in just a drizzle. Adjust the hot/cold taps at regular intervals so that you are never fully satisfied with the temperature. Because of this frustration, shower infrequently.

    1.58am. All the Celebrity Big Brother housemates are asleep. Maybe I should join them. Well, not literally. If only I could russle a plastic bag in their room first though and switch on the light looking for a toothbrush. That would make me feel better.

    With Isa and two random girls from Israel, still shocked after hearing them talk about compulsory military service

    The Arts Factory, Byron Bay one strange, but fond, memory

    Looking across the balcony feeling ontop of the world

    The hundred bed dorm on Beachcomber Island, crazy and amazing. three of my 99 neighbours with my now good pals Fred and James

    January 09, 2005

    Songs, what are they all about then?

    I’ve just watched a programme for an hour. Okay, not that impressive in itself, maybe impressive for someone with an attention disorder syndrome (they would be seriously chuffed), but what did impress me was what they were talking about.

    They got the brightest sparks from Oxford and Cambridge, some of the most high brow music people and a couple of psychologists into one room , and talked about one of the most popular songs of all time. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. After an hour of debate, discussion, analysis and interviews, they found out, that, nobody had a clue what the song was on about and why Freddy Mercury wrote it.

    So to be regarded as a truly great song, do the lyrics have to be great and meaningful? Well, obviously in this case, no. But having felt slightly guilty that I really didn’t know what my top ten songs of all time were trying to say, my plan for 2005 is to become slightly more lyrically aware.

    So, I’m going to take my current top ten favourite tracks (the ones that I play over and over again) and try to understand them a bit more. They are my current top tunes, because I love the way they sound. In truth they could be singing about murder, differing exchange rates, dog names, shopping lists or double entry book keeping, the truth is, I don’t know.

    #1 Counting Crows - Holiday in Spain

    Ok, I can guess by the title, it’s something to do with taking a holiday in Spain. That’s a good start, I’ve been to Spain on holiday many times, whether I would write a song about it would be another thing, maybe he had a particularly good holiday, I don’t know, and that’s not that important now. Before I get sidetracked about the pros and cons of a cheap package to Spain, I should look at the lyrics.

    Let’s start with the first verse:-

    ‘Got no place to go, but there's a girl waiting for me down in Mexico’

    I’m confused already. He said he was taking a holiday in Spain? I know they speak Spanish in Mexico, but surely he couldn’t get Mexico and Spain mixed up. Maybe his head is so screwed up by this girl, he thinks she is in Spain?

    “She's got a bottle of tequila, a bottle of gin, and if I bring a little music I can fit right in”

    Okay, it’s definitely Mexico. Spain must have been a typo. No she seems to have a bit of a drink problem which he seems to be uncomfortable with. We have all turned up to parties late where you have been sober and everyone is drunk. The thing is my solution would be to try and get drunk before I turn up, bringing a CD would not really make me feel better. There’s normally one person who hogs the CD player all night anyway, so it maybe difficult for him to put his music.

    ‘We've got airplane rides ,We got California drowning out the window side’

    Now you are confusing me. Who is ‘We’. ‘She’ is in Mexico. So it cant be her. So he is in a plane with a mystery person, flying over California. He must have a window seat, I’ve tried peering over seats B-D to get a look, and it is difficult. But I get the jist so far, he is on a plane with a friend and going to Mexico.

    ‘We've got big black cars , and we've got stories how we slept with all the movie stars’

    Hang on. I was starting to feel sorry for this guy. Now he is starting to tell me about his big black cars and his sexual escapades? Maybe he is just nervous on the flight and is trying to impress the person next to him on the flight. We have all done it. After all you can lie a bit if you are never going to see them again. I’ve done it. I lied to this nice young lady next to me on the flight to Singapore that I was going there on business and that I was not a scruffy backpacker.

    ‘I may take a holiday in Spain , leave my wings behind me’

    Oh no. Not Spain again. Just go to Mexico first. What wings? First he gets confused about where he is going, now he thinks he is a bird. I just hope he doesn’t try and walk off the plane mid-air and thinks he can fly, but then again, he did just say he had left his wings behind so he must rememeber. But would you trust the mental state of a person thinking Spain was Mexico.

    ’Drink my worries down the drain, and fly away to somewhere new’

    Well I worried about this person. He’s probably on a first class flight and is getting free drinks. I would drink if I was in his position. Can’t blame him there. But I haven’t seen too many drains on airplanes. More worryingly, and confirming his ever growing confused state of mind, he thinks he can change where the plane is going. Okay, he is in first class, but there are other passengers to think about. Just because he does not want to go to Mexico anymore, it does not mean the other passengers are the same. Plus, and more importantly, modern international flight plans can only be changed by emergency situations.

    ‘Hop on my choo-cho, I'll be your engine driver in a bunny suit’

    If I was sitting behind this man, I would be pressing the ‘air stewardess’ button right now. Not only does he want to fly somewhere different, he wants to drive a train dressed in a bunny suit? Is he mad? He will never get past security. And does he really think that he will impress this girl wearing a bunny suit? I hardly think spending a day on an old train will take her fancy anyway. We already know she likes Tequila, give the lady something she likes.

    ‘If you dress me up in pink and white, we may be just a little fuzzy 'bout it later tonight’

    Fetish alert. So he likes to dress up as a bunny rabbits. Well each to their own. He obviously isn’t that proud about it though, needing drink to have the courage.

    ’She's my angel, she's a little better than the one that used to be with me’

    Charming. This guy has got a real way with the words. He is basically saying she is only a little bit better than her ex-girlfriend. We all know that women do not like to be compared to their other half ex’s. I bet he told his ex she was an Angel, they probably broke up because of his bunny rabbit fetish, who knows.

    ‘Cause she liked to scream at me, man, it's a miracle that she's not living up in a tree’

    Come on, you just compared her to your ex and said she is a little bit better. You can’t be that surprised. Okay, I know you said she was an Angel, surely she should be sitting on top of the tree, not living up it?

    ’I may take a holiday in Spain, Leave my wings behind me’

    …..still confused/

    ’Drive this little girl insane, and fly away to someone new’

    I’m starting to fell sorry for this lady now. You had me at the start, you wanted to get on a plane and fly and be with her. Now you just want to dress up and make this girl insane. What’s wrong with you?

    ‘Everybody's gone, they left the television screaming that the radio's on’

    Ha ha. Are you surprised? Looks like they saw you coming.

    ‘Someone stole my shoes, but there's a couple of bananas and a bottle of booze’

    Well they probably stole your shoes for a laugh. Getting the right size would be lucky. I can understand the bananas as well, I mean if I’m in a rush I always think “Right, keys, wallet, phone….. what have I forgot? Ah, yes, the bananas!”. Just count your lucky stars mate, they left the booze, you said you wanted to drown your sorrows down the drain, there you go.

    ‘Oh, well happy New Year's baby, we could probably fix it if we clean it up all day’

    Clean what up? There are only a couple of banana’s and a bottle of booze. Hardly going to take you all day to clean up is it? And you want her to help you clean up as well? You are really pushing it now. It seems they had a New Years party without you, just deal with it.

    ‘Or we could simply pack our bags, and catch a plane to Barcelona 'cause this city's a drag’

    Ah talking about Spain again. Well at least you know Barcelona is in Spain now. Just because they left you, don’t get all moody about it. Who says she wants to go with you anyway?

    ‘I may take a holiday in Spain , Leave my wings behind me’

    …yes you have told us already

    ‘Flush my worries down the drain, And fly away to somewhere new’

    …change the record please

    ’Take a holiday in Spain, leave my wings behind me’

    Barcelona by any chance?

    Drive this little girl insane, Fly away to someone new, Fly away to someone new , Fly away to someone new

    ……….I just hope I don’t sit next to you on the plane.

    So, What was the point of the song? In his own words......

    "I was sitting around, flipping through my songbooks, looking for lyrics to cover songs, when I found the lyrics to 'Holiday in Spain.' I had written them about a month before; they were all mixed up, out of order. I had forgotten to record the music or write down the chord pattern, so I didn't have any idea how the song went. I was exhausted, but I started playing this really pretty chord progression, and I started singing that melody with those lyrics. And this song, which had been a dumb song about going out and drinking, turned into this really sad, beautiful song about having a hangover. All of a sudden, it made total sense."

    ...... so I was completely out on that one.

    January 08, 2005

    The New Year

    New Years Eve in Brighton.........

    quadrable vodka redbulls for pre-club drinks. Wearing my brown striped shirt for the first time since I bought it for way too much money, when I had money (a couple of years ago)

    slightly more drunk with Matt and his girlfriend Leah and her friend

    All photos.....
  • All photos

  • Objectives for 2005

    Get a job, save up and assess options in July
    Work and live abroad
    Go to Canada
    Meet someone nice
    Stay in touch with people
    See my baby nephew for the first time
    Take more risks

    Objectives for 2004

    Objective 1 – TAKE MORE RISKS

    Quit job, go round the world on my own (Complete, well for 3 months anyway)
    Bungee Jumping (Complete, does a dual one count?)
    Sky Diving (Complete, although more peer pressure to be fair)
    Scuba Diving (Complete, well could hardly say no, nearly died though)
    Take up more hobbies like writing (Complete, well didn’t plan to)
    Get published (TNT Mag) Complete (well they were desperate for articles)

    Objective 2 – PERSONAILITY

    Be less sarcastic (Failed, was sarcastic when I said it)
    Say ‘No’ more (Complete, ‘No’)
    Speak to more random people on night s out (Failed)
    Make more effort (Complete, well sort of, tell you later)

    Objective 3 – HEALTH

    Give up smoking (Complete, April, well illness caused it)
    More exercise (Complete, 50 miles a week, turned into Forrest Gump according to friends)
    Lose weight, belly (Complete, from 14 stone to 11, belly gone)
    Lift own bodyweight (Complete, a few close crushing shaves on way)

    Objective 4 – FRIENDS

    Meet more people (Complete, loads of them)
    Opposite Sex (Complete, Better than last year, and have met some great people)
    Become better with people I don’t know (Complete)

    January 06, 2005

    Too much space

    7.6 Days, 2509 songs. And still it’s only half full. Yes, I got an ipod for Christmas. And it seems my mum got talked into buying the big one, with more space than some peoples computer. I thought I had a big music collection, but now I just feel inadequate. It’s like hiring a hall for your birthday with a thousand person capacity. And only ten people turning up.

    And then I found a sub culture. A secret society, that well, isn’t really secret anymore. Seeing someone with white earphones immediately identifies them as an ipod owner. Some exchange smiles of acknowledgement, some take it even further:-

    "She walked right up to me and got within my comfort field," Crandall stammered. "I was taken aback. She pulled out the earbuds on her iPod and indicated the jack with her eyes."
    Warily unplugging his own earbuds, Crandall gingerly plugged them into the woman's iPod, and was greeted by a rush of techno.
    "We listened for about 30 seconds," Crandall said. "No words were exchanged. We nodded and walked off."

    Of course, not all exchanges are this frank. And wearing the white headphones does have it’s drawbacks. It is basically saying to people “I’ve got a couple of hundred pounds in my pocket, come and get me”. So the white earphones club is like a mouldy banana, it’s starting to turn black. People are starting to realise that maybe it would be safer to pretend you don’t own an ipod. Still, maybe that’s a little difficult, they glow in the dark when you press the buttons.

    So what does my ever growing two and a half thousand song personal duke box do for me? Well, as I walk along, I am constantly surprised by the random button. One minute it will be Nine Inch Nails, followed by classical, followed eighties music.
    Then there are the songs that you download, the songs that said one thing, but are actually completely different. It’s the feeling of uncertainty. Of course you can press the next button, but that would take far too much effort.

    Some times I hear songs that I have never heard before, even though they have been sitting on the shelf for ten years. After an hour of walking, the random songs have played a complete history of my life. For every song has a meaning, a picture in time, it’s better than any photo.


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