Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Things to do when it's raining

A day of rain in Paphos made me think ponder this problem.


Manchester

Drink tea

Smoke roll ups

Think about having a shag
but don't bother cos the
kids might walk in

Don't walk dog

Read papers

Sit in window and watch rain

Sleep

Watch police helicopter
chase car thieves
Paphos

Drink 7-up

Smoke camel shit

Think about having a shag
but don't bother cos the
the chambermaid might walk in

Don't walk dog

Read yesterday's papers

Sit on balcony and watch rain

Sleep

Watch sightseeing helicopter
take mugs for a ride

Saturday, 25 October 2014

We’re Home


We’ve actually been back since the early hours of Thursday morning but it’s taken me until now to get over the ridiculous flight times… and the shock of spending so much money in a single week.
Cyprus is a beautiful country, plenty to see, and we had a wonderful hotel, but as usual when Flatcap is in town, things didn’t always go the way they should. For a start off the hotel tried to bill me for two beers we hadn’t had from the minibar.
“No offence lad,” I told the reception clerk, “but I wouldn’t wash your feet in this muck, never mind mine, and the missus never drinks anything but expensive cocktails.”
They scrubbed the eight euros (eight bleeding euros for two small bottles of fizzy lager. I can get four cans for a pound at Asda) on the assumption that the people who were in the room before us nicked them as they were leaving.
We went shopping to one of the local malls. It’s not a lot different to going to the Trafford Centre, and I never go to the Trafford Centre. Aside from costing me fifty nicker for a bottle of scent, Her Indoors kept looking in jewellers’ windows.
“How come they never put the prices on in the window?” she asked.
“They need you to go inside,” I replied.
“So they can try to high-pressure you into buying?”
“No. It’s because they keep the defibrillator under the counter.”
We were in the Adonis Wing. Logical enough. Where else would you put a man like me? Anyway, as you entered this wing of the hotel. They had a statue of Adonis and I commented on how tiny his todger was. 

Her Indoors said, “He’s still bigger than you.” I was so incensed, I rushed back to our room, threw off all my duds and took a picture through the bathroom mirrors. I dumped that picture but I’m concerned that Her Ladyship may have taken a copy, so if it turns up somewhere online, I’ll have to protest to the Sunday papers.
We had just one manky day weather wise. It rained for about 5-10 minutes. That’s not bad. In Manchester it rains for 5-10 days.
The final shock of the holiday came as we were checking out. I’d been signing for odd drinks during the week and I needed to settle the bill. A hundred and fifteen euros. Taxing the car didn’t cost that much.
Note to self: next time, pay for your booze as you go.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Suitcases


It’s half past eight here on a grey and chilly, October morning in Manchester, and I’m up to my neck in it, as usual.
A little over 48 hours from now, we shoot off down to Manchester Airport, hop on a Boeing 7-something-7 for a five-hour flight to Cyprus and some much needed sunshine and downtime.

(The picture, by the way, is not Manchester airport. It’s one I took at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, but it’s only clear photograph of an aeroplane I have, so you’ll have to make do.)
For most people, the thought of getting away for a week fills them with heady excitement. But most people don’t live in our house. Most people don’t have to contend with Her Indoors packing suitcases.
We all know that airlines have weight limits for your baggage. When The Empress has done packing we need a low-loader to shift the casers to the airport and a 747 cargo plane to carry them. Inevitably, then, we need to pack and repack and double repack until we get somewhere near the 20-kilo limit.
And it annoys the hell out of me. I went to Filey for a holiday with an Asda carrier bag which held a pair of clean socks, a pair of clean Y-fronts, and the latest James Bond. What more did I need, aside from open pubs?
And I’m the same when I go abroad. We have a tiny case, one which would pass muster as cabin baggage. It’s big enough for me. When it comes to the missus, a pantechnicon (that’s a posh word for a furniture van) isn’t big enough.
Why does she need a dozen dresses? We’re only going for seven days, and the kind of bars willing to serve me don’t care how you’re dressed as long as you are actually dressed. And some of them don’t stop to worry about that, provided you can still get to your wallet.
What is the point of carrying three swimming costumes and a bikini only to cover everything up with a knee-length wrap because she’s worried everyone will think she’s too old to be showing all that flesh.
Why does anyone need three pairs of sunglasses? You can only wear one at a time. She carries more T-shirts than Primark on sale week, and I daren’t go into the number of pairs of knickers she takes with her. (I daren’t go into them metaphorically or physically. I have a bad enough reputation as it is.)
Still and all, we’ve managed to get the job done and it only remains for me to get the dog to the boarding kennels, ensure all the electrical gubbins are fully charged, then clear off to the Mediterranean sun for a week.
Naturally, it doesn’t end there. Just as I’m coming to terms with the outrageous cost of this jaunt, Her Indoors comes up with fresh demands, as a result of which we’re going to Whitby for a few days after Christmas.

In terms of understatement, describing Whitby in December as cold is like describing the Canary Islands in August as a bit warm. But will that stop Her Indoors packing the swimming cozzies, the bikini and the sunshades? Will it hell as like. And this time, there’ll be countless thermal undies and a full range of overcoats. And even though we’re only going for a few days, the bus driver will get a hernia lifting the case into the luggage compartment.

There won’t be a Monday blog next week. I shall be sitting on a beach thinking about how we’re gonna get the cases under weight for the return journey. So while I’m gone, be good. If you can’t be good, be careful. If you can’t be careful, try undersealing the car instead.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Why Are Mondays Still Grim?


I retired early due to ill health. That was almost five years ago. In that case, why do I still feel Mondayish on a Monday morning?

Back in the days when I grafted for my bread and butter, knocking off time on Friday couldn’t come too soon. The weekend and complete freedom beckoned and I had grand plans; the pub, the bookies, the pub, the football results, the pub, and a lie-in on Sunday before going to the pub.
Course it never happened. Our typical Saturday was the supermarket, the football results and the pub. The rest was just a haze, and Sundays were even worse. The lie-in never seemed to materialise, and I couldn’t go to the pub on Sunday night because I had to be up for work at half past four on Monday morning.
That last point was the cause of Mondayish syndrome. It was always safer not to speak to me until about lunchtime on Monday. Any time before that and heads would be bitten off.
I worked with one lad who had it so bad, he was wound up about Monday morning as he finished work on Friday afternoon. I told him he’d be better off getting out of it while he still could.
Now I’m retired. I don’t have that ever-present threat of Monday morning hanging over me. Why, then, do I still feel so grim on a Monday morning?
A clue might be in the aforementioned routine. We don’t do anything different with the weekend now than we did when we were both working. It’s still the supermarket and the pub every other week, and the rest is a haze. And if we don’t go to the pub on Sunday night it’s not because we have to be up early on Monday, it’s because there’s nothing different happening in the pub on Sunday night than there was on Saturday.
We need a change.

Trouble is, the next nearest pub is nearly two miles away.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Monday Mumbling: Blackpool and Bond

Her Indoors fancied a day out on Saturday, so we hopped into the wreck and shot over to Blackpool for the day.

On the way round the town we bumped into Darth Vader outside a shop. As you can see from the picture, he was looking a bit depressed, so I had a bit of natter with him and we came to an agreement on the way forward when we take over the world.



I get West Yorkshire, Manchester and Tenerife (with travel facilities) and he gets the rest.

While we were there, I also picked up a paperback copy of the James Bond novel, Goldeneye.

Regular readers will know that I am Bond fan and I have read all of them… written by Ian Fleming. I haven’t read any of the others and Goldeneye is written by John Gardner. What’s worse, it’s based on the movie.

I soon learned I was being as elitist as Bond himself. Gardner doesn’t go into the same tedious and often unnecessary detail as Fleming did. To this day, I’ve never understood the relevance of sea island cotton shorts and shirts, other than to demonstrate that Bond was a sartorial snob.

Gardner, like any modern novelist, prefers to keep the action moving along. In his favour, he hasn’t stuck religiously to the plot of the movie, which is just as well because some of it was plainly idiotic; e.g. the absurd free fall dive to get him into the cockpit of the aeroplane at the beginning of the film.

I haven’t finished the book yet, but what I read so far, is good without being too far-fetched.

I do, however, have one observation, and it takes me back to the old problem of suspending disbelief.

I read my first Bond novel (Dr No) in 1962 and in it Bond was supposed to be in his mid to late thirties. He was the same age throughout the whole of Fleming’s books. If we assume him to be about 35 when Casino Royale was first published in 1953, it means he was born in 1918, and he is now 96 years old. Even when Goldeneye was published in 1995, he was about 77.

And yet, here he is chucking himself about, beating the S-H-one-T out of the bad guys, shagging the girls just like he did when I was a lad.

Whatever his secret, I wish he’d bottle it and sell me some.