Month: <span>June 2006</span>

I wonder if Dire Straits would have been as famous if they had called their song that… Value for money, and the chicks are free… and entirely different proposition.

Thanks to all for some wonderful suggestions on how to spend &10. Ohh and I see some people have posted similar on their website, have I FINALLY started a meme? Is that all it takes?! Yay. Feel free to pilfer, it’s all free anyway (but be nice and link back!).

[cue man in shed from The Fast Show]

This week I will mostly be posting silly things as there ain’t much going on with me at the moment*.

Now, this has never really stemmed the flow of my bloggings (although I hear you can get a cream that will clear up the associated rash) and so whilst I would love to be able to predict what I’ll be rambling on about all I can say is, as ever, turn up and see. Nowt new there, eh?!

Ohh how rude of me, did you all have a good weekend. Bit damp in Scotland yesterday but we still managed a BBQ on Saturday. A good traditional Scottish BBQ. Cook outside, eat inside. Ohh and of course you have to cook the last few pieces of butchered cow whilst juggling your beer in one hand and an umbrella in the other. It’s tradition!

How was YOUR weekend?

* not strictly true of course, but it’s mainly work stuff. Ohh and the small matter of my wife’s birthday on Thursday.


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If you only had £10, what would you order?

1. Must be ordered online.
2. Post and packaging cannot take the total spend over £10.
3. Must be able to deliver to UK.
4. ANYTHING goes.

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To say that nothing of note has happened recently would be a lie, to be more accurate nothing of note THAT I CAN MENTION HERE has happened, entirely different things.

So, what CAN I talk about? And more to the point what have I mentioned in passing that I’ve forgotten about .. honestly, my memory.. sheesh.

Well, have I mentioned that Louise and I have decided not to have kids? We’ve discussed having them for quite a while but have, separately, come to the realisation that not having them isn’t going to bother us… we just needed to realise that we both felt the same way, which we finally have.

That sounds bad. It’s not like we don’t talk to each other, quite the opposite, but people in a relationship will know what I mean when I say that some topics just ‘sit there’ and only come around as viable every now and then. So, when the topic of children came up a few weeks back we talked about, thought about it, talked about it some more and made our decision. We, of course, reserve the right to change our minds (accidents will happen and all that) but for our own sanity and general ‘life direction’ we thought it’d be better for us to make a decision and stick it out.

The reason I didn’t mention it here is that we wanted, obviously, to tell friends and family this news first. We finally got around to telling the last of our friends on Saturday there so now it’s common enough knowledge that I can tell you lot (don’t feel bad, I do love you all just not THAT much.. ok?).

What else?

Oh yes. I need to get back on the diet/exercise kick again. I’m figuring that having your BELT break on you isn’t a good sign…

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The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Excellent. A simple enough story, about a husband who randomly time travels and his wife, which takes you through their relationship and various events in their life and not once stoops to patronise or indulge itself. Once you get used to the format — every chapter starts with the date and age in which the two main characters appear — the story flows well and is suprisingly gripping and moving.

I’m pretty sure this was a recommendation, and it was only after I was halfway through it that I realised that it was, deservedly, on bestseller lists. At times the book leaps along, dragging you through time and dumping you slap bang in the middle of a situation, and other times it takes a soft approach and almost moves you to tears.

In turn I’ll recommend this, hugely original and well written, book. If you want something a little different for taking on your holidays, something that remains easy to read yet FEELS a lot smarter than it looks (if that makes any sense) then get yourself a copy.

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Like most people over the years the things that I value, the things that make me happy, have changed. Despite appearances to the contrary here — specifically my gadget lust — I’m not particularly materialistic these days. I used to be much MUCH worse.

Whilst I was never particularly fussy about labels, I was certainly fussy if things weren’t of a certain standard. The phrase “you get what you pay for” is fairly key to this, and whilst I still hold it true, I’m not half as fussy as I was even a few years ago. Or am I? Thinking about it, it might be that I’ve lowered my expectations, decided that I can “put up with” things of lower quality as they are cheaper and easier to replace?

Is it false economy to live this way? To evaluate things, and issues, and assign them a minimum value below which I won’t stoop, but above which I find myself uncomfortable? The expectation when you pay top dollar for something is that you receive top dollar quality. As this hasn’t always been true in the past I no longer stick rigidly to this maxim… but I digress. Quite badly as it turns out.

Because I don’t want to talk about things. I want to talk about feelings, emotions, connections, and other wispy, ethereal items that are hard to tie down, hard to define, but which are becoming more and more important to me.

Thing is, by their very nature, they are hard to discuss. An example in the form of a question then: How much of the value you place on your workplace comes from the NON-work side of things? The social interaction, location, etc etc..

If you asked me that a few years ago I’d probably have said that it wasn’t hugely important. These days, particularly looking back over the past couple of years, I have to admit it’s a lot more important to me now.

Another example, if you’ll indulge me, which would you prefer – £1,000 to spend in (and only in) your favourite shop, or day out with all of your closest friends?

Such are the quandaries of life, and I reckon most of you will choose the latter. But THAT means you are putting a value on you friendships? No?

Hmmm I’m losing my train of thought on this one… over to you lot… if you’re not too busy “pondering” and “daydreaming” that is…

Personal Musings

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It’s a difficult time of year to remain focussed. As I walk to work I look up at the blue sky, enjoying the morning sun on my face, and ponder the greater things of life.

Why am I here? What is it like to be a seagull? Like that one flying overhead right now… what’s that falling from the sk… awww shit.

And then, when you get to work, you try not to spend hours daydreaming, staring out of the window. You get your work done, try and leave sharp so you can get back outside into the air.

The next problem arrives when you get home. Sit outside and have a nice cold beer, or troop into the darkened living room and watch football.

Honestly, it’s a wonder I get out of bed at all some days. Especially at this time of year.

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Friday evening. Beer, pizza and the opening game of the World Cup.

Saturday morning, a quick trip into Hamilton in the morning then off to Ashton Lane in the afternoon. Of the two beer gardens we chose the wrong one, completely and utterly chock-a-block. Still, it’s nice to have a cold beer (Budvar) or five whilst enjoying the sun. Tapas for dinner – with a heavenly chorizo and black pudding dish – and then a few more shandies before we headed home.

Throughout the day I had the occasional glass of water, and had applied some suntan lotion before we had gone out so I was neither hungover nor bright pink! Phew.

Sunday has been a day of lethargy, aside from washing the car and the odd spot of tidying up it’s been Formula One and footie all day.

And the best part of the weekend? Tomorrow, cos I’ve got the day off!!

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Finally, it’s here!

Now, before I start, I’ll point anyone not interested in this to head over to ScaryDuck’s place.

The World Cup kicks off today and with that in mind I thought it would be good to make sure we are all aligned and in agreement with some basic rules during this busy period.

So, and this is specifically for the (non-footballing) ladies, may I suggest you read, digest and ensure you understand the following rules:

Rule 1: From 9 June to 9 July 2006, you should read the sports section of the newspaper so that you are aware of what is going on regarding the World Cup, and that way you will be able to join in the conversations. If you fail to do this, then you will be looked at in a bad way, or you will be totally ignored. DO NOT complain about not receiving any attention.

Rule 2: During the World Cup, the television is mine, at all times, without any exceptions. If you even take a glimpse of the remote control, you will lose it (your eye).

Rule 3: If you have to pass by in front of the TV during a game, I don’t mind, as long as you do it crawling on the floor and without distracting me. If you decide to stand nude in front of the TV, make sure you put clothes on right after because if you catch a cold, I won’t have time to take you to the doctor or look after you during the World Cup month.

Rule 4: During the games I will be blind, deaf and mute, unless I require a refill of my drink or something to eat. You are out of your mind if you expect me to listen to you, open the door, answer the telephone, or pick up the baby that just fell from the second floor. It. Will. Not. Happen.

Rule 5: It would be a good idea for you to keep at least 2 six packs in the fridge at all times, as well as plenty of things to nibble on, and please do not make any funny faces to my friends when they come over to watch the games. In return, you will be allowed to use the TV between 12am and 6am, unless they replay a good game that I missed during the day.

Rule 6: Please, please, please!! if you see me upset because one of my teams is losing, DO NOT say “get over it, its only a game”, or “don’t worry, they’ll win next time”. If you say these things, you will only make me angrier and I will love you less. Remember, you will never ever know more about football than me and your so called “words of encouragement” will only lead to a break up or divorce.

Rule 7: You are welcome to sit with me to watch one game and you can talk to me during halftime but only when the commercials are on, and only if the halftime score is pleasing me. In addition, please note I am saying “one” game, hence do not use the World Cup as a nice cheesy excuse to “spend time together”.

Rule 8: The replays of the goals are very important. I don’t care if I have seen them or I haven’t seen them, I want to see them again. Many times.

Rule 9: Tell your friends NOT to have any babies, or any other child related parties or gatherings that requires my attendance because:
a) I will not go,
b) I will not go, and
c) I will not go.

Rule 10: But, if a friend of mine invites us to his house on a Sunday to watch a game, we will be there in a flash. Yes “we”. You will be taken along only to make sure HIS partner is obeying these rules.

Rule 11: The daily World Cup highlights show on TV every night is just as important as the games themselves. Do not even think about saying “but you have already seen this… why don’t you change the channel to something we can both watch??” as the reply will be: “Refer to Rule #2 of the list”.

Rule 12: And finally, please save your expressions such as “Thank God the World Cup is only every 4 years”. I am immune to these words, because after this comes the Champions League, Italian League, Spanish League, Premier League, etc etc.

All clear? Good.

Ohh and don’t blame me, I got this from him.


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