Sunday, May 31, 2009

School days

Thanks to Chris for reminding me about my first few days at school and being taught by nuns.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bulls 2 - 0 Humans


I've finally recovered enough to be able to talk about it. I woke at 5.00 this morning and couldn't stop thinking about it. (Most normal people have other things on their minds at 5.00 am in the privacy of their bedrooms - Ed)

The Champions League Final should in theory represent the best two football teams that Europe can produce. The anticipation of last Wednesday's game between Barcelona and Manchester United was mouthwatering.

What a huge disappointment. To see the so called best that England can produce so comprehensively outplayed, outmanoeuvred and outclassed was embarrassing to say the least.

Barcelona took football to a new height. They played with a skill, flair and commitment that you can only dream about. It's difficult to imagine seeing football played better. They made MU look like the bunch of bloated, overpaid, self congratulating wankers they are. Alex Ferguson has some serious thinking to do, and he'll start by getting rid of Christiano Ronaldo. What an immature idiot. Every time the camera panned onto him you caught him looking up at the stadium screens to see if he was on camera. Compare him to Messi. Messi made him look like a preening amateur. The thug Scholes should have been sent off. He was at his leaden footed, thuggish best. Bringing him on smacked of desperation. He reminded me of the time when we wore ankle high football boots, smothered in dubbin, with laced up footballs that weighed a ton and left an indelible imprint of the laces on your forehead if you were ever stupid enough to try to head the ball.

Gone forever are the days when you could say, ' hey Miguel, dos cervezas and make it quick.' Waiters around the world are now saying, 'fuck off and get it yourself you eenglish peeg.' Serves us right.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I've been working out!

Do you like my new swimming costume?

Le Darling

It was day two of the Feria de Pentecote in Nîmes last night and, like in previous years, the place was heaving. Having said that the event seems to have been taken over by the young (I know, I know, I sound old) and it wasn't a particularly good experience. Bar after bar, many of them side by side, were trying to outdo one another with the sound level of drum and bass type music. The noise was deafening and not too pleasant. Having said that you didn't feel threatened and everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves.

We, on the other hand, were out celebrating a friend's birthday with a meal at Darling, rue Madeleine, which happened to be in the thick of it all. This was our second visit in as many years so we didn't know what to expect. Overall the food was good. There were two menus, three courses for 42€ and four courses for 45€. The choice was good and the food was well cooked and beautifully presented. Good wines could be had at 26€. There were also lots of interesting bits served in between courses. Service was friendly, deft and professional. Jan thought that there was a little too much style over substance, but in my opinion, if you want an interesting meal in the middle of Nîmes in stylish surroundings, not overpriced, then I think you'll like it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bulls 1 - 0 Humans

What with some lovely visitors, the last few days have been hectic (hectic, the new word for drunk? - Ed) to say the least. Apologies for not posting more.

Anyway, apart from meeting up with some lovely people, we all popped over to watch a Course Camarguaise at the arene in Nimes.

This area is steeped in things 'of the bull', and as the bull lives to fight another day, I thought that it might be interesting for our vistors, not only to sit and watch a spectacle in a 2000 years old Roman arena, but to see another side to bull culture. Even though it's quite exciting it can be a bit boring after the first few bulls. That's what you might think sitting in the stands. It is however very dangerous. This link should give you an idea.

We'd decided to leave after the fourth bull, which turned out to be quite a tricky character. The razateurs were actually getting the whistle at one point because they were obviously concerned about this particular bull.

With the bull chasing a razateur, the fanfare to end the contest blared out and the razateur slipped as he launched himself out of the ring. The bull gored him three times in his thigh. We left feeling quite dazed.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Now there's surprising

Y'know" said the Scotsman, "I still prefer the pubs back home.
In Glasgow there's a little bar called McTavish's. Now the landlord there goes out of his way for the locals so much that when you buy 4 drinks he will buy the 5th drink for you."

"Well", said the Englishman, "at my local, the Red Lion, the barman there will buy you your 3rd drink after you buy the first 2"

"Ahhhhh, that's nothing", said the Irishman. "Back home in Dublin there's Ryan's Bar. Now the moment you set foot in the place they'll buy you a drink, then another, all the drinks you like. Then when you've had enough drinks they'll take you upstairs and see that you get laid. All on the house."

The Englishman and Scotsman immediately scorn the Irishman's claims, but he swears every word is true.

"Well," said the Englishman, "did this actually happen to you?"

"Not me meself, personally, no," said the Irishman, "but it did happen to me sister."

Thanks to Will for this.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Byetta again

Whilst I think it's slowing down a bit, since I started injecting with Byetta nearly two months ago, I've lost over 6 kilos (14 lbs). All without actually doing anything much different.
It's a strange sensation. You approach food feeling really full. Quite often the thought of food makes me feel vaguely sick and ironically I can face sweet things better than savoury.
The beauty of all this is that as weight decreases other medicines can be reduced and you also become even better looking. Good eh?

Caught it this morning

Had a big drink last night. My head hurts - think I've got wine flu.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Be careful out there


If you receive an email from the 'Department of Environment & Health' saying not to eat tinned pork because of swine flu, just ignore it -

it's SPAM !!

Baise moi

A piece this morning on BBC Breakfast, about promoting Blackpool as a French tourist venue, reminded me of a French chap whom I met a year or so back. In his prime he was a vaudeville foot juggler and he met his English wife whilst on tour. He loved Blackpool. Said it was one of the best places he had ever visited.
Anyway, at one point the reporter doing the piece put on a 'Kiss Me Quick' hat. This made me wonder what the French equivalent would say. The French for 'to kiss' is baiser but baiser has other meanings.

I remember Jan once saying to a Frenchman during the traditional three kisses greeting, that he shouldn't kiss her because she had a cold. What she actually said in French was, "Don't fuck me because I've got a cold."

As an aside, whilst writing this, I asked Jan (cos she's got an o level) for the correct French spelling of the title above. She told me that it should be baisez until I pointed out that when you ask someone to take you to bed that you had probably moved into a tu relationship.

(By the way, he came back later, when I was feeling better - Jan).

A scientific study

I hope think there might be something in this.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Swine flu fatality

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Wire

Having heard good things about a programme called The Wire I decided to record the series. Apart from anything else it isn't shown until well after midnight our time and even if I tried to stay awake, because it goes on for an hour, it means that I'd never finish an episode.

Anyway, with nothing on television the other night we decided to start watching it. Hell it's good. The content is best described as 'gritty' and not for a young audience but it does feel very realistic. It probably helps to have the subtitles on if you want to understand everything that's being said. Much better than some of the silly cop rubbish around at the moment. (You do realise that it's been around for ages. Keep up! - Ed)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Greatest Prank Call Ever

Bee Eaters

The bee eaters have arrived. Hoopoos seem to have come and gone but, as usual, the bee eaters use the wires coming into the village as a hang-out. I can't say that I'm much of a twitcher but these birds are so pretty and brighten up your day.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


A blood curdling shriek from the main room disturbed my lazy, almost somnolent, surfing yesterday afternoon. My immediate reaction was that one of the dogs had attacked Jan. Such was the anger and sorrow in her wailing. As I rushed into the hall Jan came skipping towards me obviously unharmed but in some distress. "What's the matter, what's the matter?" I shouted.

"There's a bird in the house and it flew near me," she said.

"Fucking hell, get a grip woman. I thought it was something really serious" I said.

Anyway, yours truly, or Superman in some peoples eyes, found the little thing sitting on the floor in the dining room. It was obviously stunned, if not totally deafened and disoriented by my beloved's screams. I picked it up gently and cupped it with both hands as I took it onto the kitchen terrace to let it go.

As if the whole episode wasn't ridiculous enough, as I walked out of the kitchen onto the terrace my shorts slipped down to my ankles. Not wanting to let the bird go until I was outside I kept going until the bird could fly away free.

Can you imagine what anyone watching me exit the house would have thought?
'I saw this man come out of his house, struggling to walk, with his hands joined in prayer and his trousers around his ankles. He's probably a nutter.'

Funny or what?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Quantum of Solace

The world has gone mad, or rather the movie studios have. They should be pleased and flattered that anyone would want to copy their bloody films.

We watched Quantum of Solace the other night and I thought that it was unmitigated rubbish.

The actions scenes were so jerky, flashing way to quickly from one scene to another, that it made me feel sick and, as usual, the dialogue was barely discernible. When not feeling sick you had to concentrate hard to listen to what was being said and to understand the plot. JB kept turning up in different parts of the world and I've no idea why (this could be related to your age - Ed).

In my opinion it was a poor film and, if you've got nothing better to do, then go ahead and waste your time and money copying it.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Skype again

For some reason, which I never got to the bottom of, I couldn't use Skype on my previous computer, so I stopped using it and haven't used it for several years. It now works fine on my new machine and, whilst fiddling with it (Skype), I realised that you can send text messages.

Now, I don't know about you but I hate texting using my mobile phone. My fingers are too big for the bloody buttons and, because I rarely do it, it's a cumbersome process. As some of our kids use text quite a lot and, with Skype you can type using your keyboard, it means that you can more easily communicate. Sorted.

Friday, May 01, 2009

One for English football fans

Alan Shearer - Britain's worst caretaker since Ian Huntley.

In bad taste

This is a spoof video called Jesus Christ the Musical. I think that it's very funny but I concede that it might offend some, so watch at your own risk.

Not today mate!

It seems to me that the French take their holidays a little too seriously. They are happy to get out of bed to demonstrate or to strike but not to play tennis. (Maybe they just don't like you - Ed) There I was, dressed and waiting to play but no one turned up. What gave.

'It's a public holiday today,' said Jan, 'so they might not want to play.'

I have to say that I didn't quite go along with the logic but she was proved right. Bugger.

Good friends