28 January 2006

Time flies

I just realised that I've had this blog for over a year. When I started it, I was on holiday in Key West and didn't want to go back to work. I wanted to get on a plane to St Kitts and get a job on the set of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. Life didn't quite work out like that, but it's all still good.

A year.

Time is relative - Einstein was right. It goes faster as you get older.

sublime to the mundane and back again

Thought 1:

Exercise is excruciatingly boring. This is not a new thought, but one that's crammed my cranium recently so I'm airing it out. I use a cross-country machine called a Nordic-Track. It's pretty old. Maybe a decade or so. It still gives a good workout, so that's a plus. But I'm not actually cross-country skiing. In fact, I'm in a shed, surrounded by garden impliments, a host of empty boxes and the skeletons of old furniture from a life on another continent. It's here that my imagination runs wild, and if it's a good day I'll get ideas for the book. If it's a bad day I use it to batter out any poison head that may be kicking about. In a funny way, it's much harder than sitting down and writing as instead of seeing the words appear on the screen, I'm just staring out the door of the shed. Sometimes I picture what I'll look like after another month on the machine. It's pretty close to what I see in the mirror at the moment. In any case, the work-out seems to be as much mental, shutting out the monotony of what I'm doing, as it is physical. Would love to have a tv to watch. But not actual television. DVDs of the Simpsons. I think that would make exercise bearable.

Thought 2:

Electronic crack. I've had a problem for the last week or so. I've been playing a game every free second I have, maniacally. Civilization III. This morning I've taken the first step in going cold turkey. I deleted it from my hard drive. I wanted to hurl the CD into the Thames in an effort to permanently expunge it from my life, but that would littering. So I resisted the temptation and it's adrift amid the flotsam of my desk. A terrible fate, I assure you.

Thought 3:

My drivers license arrived yesterday. With my picture and signature on it and everything. I've been looking at it a lot. Not in a self-obsessed way - or at least not in any more of a self-obsessed way than normal. And I'm sure if I'd passed my test when I was 17 it wouldn't have been that big of a deal. But at 29 I'd kind of resigned my self, in part, to the life of a pedestrian. So there's a bit of lingering disbelief about the whole thing. So I suppose the license is there to get rid of that disbelief. And I'm so unbelievably chuffed that I have to keep looking at it.

Thought 4:

I didn't win 100 million £s in the lottery last night. Ah well.

Thought 5:

Carly Simon's Nobody Does it Better, from The Spy Who Loved Me, is the best Bond song ever. I made this discovery recently and the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced. If Bond is the man that every man wants to be, then this is the song that every man wants sung to him or about him. It's kind of genius. And ironic. And everything really.

Thought 6:

I finally have my nano back. Well, actually, it's a brand new shiny nano, which is nice. You see, the first one they sent me was caput as well. And so I sent that one back and now I have a new shiny one. I going to try to keep this one shiny. So I'm using a felt case I nicked from a mate (well, he left it at my house and hasn't asked for it back).

Thought 7:

Time to exercise.

Thought addendums:

Bought the new translation of Don Quixote. It just seems like something I should read.

Does a litre of Innocent smoothie really count as my 5 fruits for the day? I know it says it does, but they would say that. Just cuz their name is Innocent doesn't mean they are innocent.

I need more natural light when I wake up. The Belfry bedroom is dark. Very dark. And still all those creepy noises from the surrounding trees.

Don't eat more than 1/2 of a large Firezza pizza. Just one more slice will put you over the edge. I know of what I speak.

Watch My Name is Earl. It's funny. Big giggles.

Don't watch the news more than twice a day.

Unless something earth-shatteringly terrible has happened.

25 January 2006

More party pics

Malia tries to tame the savage shirt.

Malia & Christina decide that dancing is for tables. Mind the chandelier, girls.

Pete W, Ben McC & Kirsty D with big fun drunken grins.

From Norway with Love, the inimitable Jon E - grimace aside, a legend for not only making the trip, but enduring a 6am departure the following morning from Prestwick. For those who know not what that means, imagine having to taxi, train & bus for 4 hours to get a 1 hour flight. Sucks huh? Oh yeah.

From Nigeria with Love. Imelda (right) and Neneh (left) are a mother and daughter team who easily liven any party at which they arrive. It was not the first time they brightened up the West Port, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

24 January 2006

magnums and velvet

I returned from St Andrews today to an actual letter. Letters are brilliant. Handwritten and everything. So that was cool. All the other post was from banks, and that's never cool.

St Andrews was amazing. Andy's leaving do was very much a Luvians' Greatest Hits, with most of the great customers, friends and staff from the last ten years making an appearance. Many of whom by surprise. People came from as far as Germany for the event. Though, that said, Sunday nights in Germany probably aren't worth sticking around for. Sunday nights most places aren't worth sticking around for. So, you know, if you have the chance, go to a big party in St Andrews. Magnums of champagne flowed and then some was mixed with Guinness and so the black velvets were flowing. Now, I'd never really had black velvet before. It works quickly. The drifted into dancing and laughing and kissing and hugging and eating and drinking more. I went to two flat parties and found my bed at 4am. Here are some pics that show the event.

The party man himself, Capt. Cook, with the lovely Malia and Kat. That shirt was louder than the tunes that night, I assure you

Yours truly with the fabulous Christina - in fabulous and happily married form and looking gorgeous. She was somewhat less jovial the next day.

The lovely Veronica, who has a wonderful smile. Someday, Luvians could all be hers, but without myself and Andy there, why would she want it?

Ben and Malia towards the end of the night. Malia was just making sure that every single last drop of Taittinger was really gone.

Myself and the fantastic Helen, flatmate of the lovely Veronica and a new addition to this party crew. Not an easy crowd to fall into but she handled herself brilliantly. A firecracker from Armagh. We're both drinking TVRs in this picture. That's TVR spelt S-T-U-P-I-D.

Tim Butler, one of Scotland's foremost restauranteurs. Seriously. You wouldn't think it, would you? Me neither. Food's pretty good though.

Big Mac & Kirsty D. I've drunk so many cocktails in the company of these two, prepared by the former, it staggers the mind. And erases it over time.