Saturday, February 18, 2012

2012 - 8

Lumpy Pee

Yeah, I know. I said I wasn't going to talk about my health as much; but this one is worth telling, even if it is a touch gross...

My week has essentially been how I wanted it. I spent an even amount of time between things I needed to do and things I wanted to do and Thursday was going to be a busy day, one which would result in me pondering the slight irony of the situation.

We had the new plumber, George, coming to fix some new taps. I got up at 8am; not particularly a great time when you're on holiday, but it meant I could, with some judicious planning, possibly do all the things I wanted to do. I did my morning ablutions, had my breakfast and George turned up at 8.45. He set about doing his job, interspersed with conversation. As he was coming to the end of the job he turned to me and said, "You feeling okay? You look a bit green."

The thing was, I wasn't feeling very good at all. I needed to go to the toilet quite badly and I started to feel very very sick - as in vomit sick. George disappeared, I sprinted for the toilet and made it just in time. No vomit, just something that resembled the title of this vignette. I sat on the bog and shivered a massive, soul rattling shiver and was doubled up with a stomach spasm. I had the shits.

The thing was, I was due to go for a pint with One El to discuss our rugby arrangements for today and I was also supposed to be meeting my old work colleague Tony. I had this ideas that perhaps we could merge the two together, but Tony's plans put paid to that idea; but by 10.30am I was thinking that I was going to have to cry off and that wasn't an option really - I'd missed meeting with Tony three times since November and I like the guy; I was going to meet him regardless of the bottom problem.

Two more visits to the loo and by midday I was feeling like I'd cleared myself out and didn't feel so... electric. I parked up and walked into town, feeling dodgy but working on the principle that the company, conversation and a half decent pint would put it to the back of my mind. I met with Tony at the Moon on the Square in Northampton, explained to him briefly that I was suffering from an upset tummy and our session might be a little curtailed. Tony got through his pint and I'd barely touched mine, but gamely drank half a pint so he could top it up.

The beer tasted horrible and left an unpleasant after taste. We continued to talk and at 1.50 I started to feel really bad again. I could feel sweat breaking out on my forehead and Tony looked at me with concern. I started to say that perhaps we should call it a day, but I didn't get past 'day' when an eruption from my stomach splashed all over the floor in front of me. ½ a pint, a bowl of porridge, half a cup of coffee and whatever was left in there came hurtling out faster than Superman changing his underpants.

Tony helped me back to my car, where I sat and shivered for ten minutes until I called the wife to tell her what had happened. I got home a little before 2.30; spent another 20 minutes doubled up in agony on the bog before curling up on the sofa and sleeping for best part of the next four hours. We sat and watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I kept dozing through most of it and I crawled into bed by midnight and slept until 5.20am when my bowels needed emptying again. By yesterday afternoon and a trip to Sainsbury's, I was feeling myself again and this morning the only thing I'm bringing up is the residue of the blasted cold I've had for what seems like the last five years.

However, the wife has come down with a cold - itself as rare as rocking horse shit - and that probably means I'll get it as well...

Deaf Head

I've embraced the fact that my hearing is a bit faulty; because it allows me to chuckle at the things I thought I heard and that gives life a slightly surreal aspect.

This morning while emptying the dishwasher, Saturday Kitchen is on in the background showing a clip from an old Rick Stein show. I wasn't paying any attention to it at all until I heard Stein say, "Just squeeze it until it craps." This, as you might understand, intrigued me, so I walked into the lounge, saw that Stein had a prawn in his hand and had obviously said 'squeeze it until it cracks'.

Or did he?

Sporting Chance

Today I go to see my first ever rugby match. Northampton v Sale. It might rain.

Divided Loyalties?

Tomorrow, in the FA Cup 5th round, the team I have supported all my life play the team from the place of my birth. Tottenham vs Stevenage. The match is being played in my home town and expectations will be high because they beat Newcastle last year. The focus will also be on Harry Rednapp, because he's had very few real upsets since he's been in charge of Spurs and this has potential banana skin all over it, especially given Spurs' propensity for taking lesser opponents to lightly.

To say I haven't followed Stevenage over the years would be a lie. They have, deep down, always been my 2nd club, despite leanings towards both Northampton and Rushden and Diamonds. If I follow my own rules of supporting, I should not support Spurs, but the team they face; but my family was always generally Spurs supporters, so that's probably why I support them.

Whatever the score is tomorrow, I can be proud of one; hopefully I can be proud of both.

Out of Time

I've resisted switching over to Timeline. I can't say I've resisted the urge, because there hasn't been one. It looks awful and appears to be about as far away from the original concept of Facebook as is possible without inventing an entirely new concept.

I also appreciate that I'm way outside the demographic that will switch and that eventually it will be switched for me and when that happens I shall have great fun inventing a completely fictitious and downright offensive timeline.

The thing is and I've said this before, but maybe not here, what Facebook needs is to use some of that information it has about us and offer everyone over a certain age the option of trying to be hip and trendy or using the interface in the way that attracted them in the first place. As someone who falls into that list, if I was ever going to be tempted to spend any money anywhere on the net, frivolously, then it's likely to be in an environment I like and trust. Not something that just confuses me.

That said, the BBC has beefed up its Sports web pages or maybe that should be custardised. Not only is a putrid yellow colour, but half of it doesn't work properly and the other half is really difficult to navigate around. It looks literally like a brought up dog's dinner.

What I really liked about the Sportsday and Live Football updates was the basic feel to them; a bit like a cross between a videprinter and ticker tape, now it's all big type; fancy graphics and pointless headlines. It's awful.

And as an extension to a review I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the new-look Guardian. The jury is now in and I don't like it at all. It now feels flimsy, the sports coverage is less, G2 is pompous and pretentious and if I can persuade the wife I'm going to look at an alternative... Problem is there is only one alternative and I know she hates that paper.


I really like the band Amplifier. I have become a dedicated follower and have seen them when I can. But, I allowed my fondness for the band to overshadow my new found desire to be shed up collectors' mentality. I bought the special edition of their last album The Octopus despite it not fitting on any of my shelves. It now lies down with the other couple of dozen ridiculously shaped CD packages I've collected over the years.

Now the band are releasing The Octopus 2.0 which is a repackage of the original in an even more pointless package, with lots of extras, a bonus CD, blah blah blah. It costs a lot of money, is limited top 750 and for a split second I was tempted. But why? I have access to everything on the album apart from the extra comicbook artwork, which didn't really electrify me. I should have just bought the jewel case version in the first place, at least it would have fitted on the CD shelves next to the other Amplifier albums.

The other problem with fancy packaged CDs is that after a while, they get lost on shelves and you never play them as often. Lost Cities by Doves is the least played album I have of their - yes, it's a bit naff, but I might have played it more if it had been on the shelf.

The Dream of Retiring When You Are Young

It was always our dream for many years to buy a place on the west coast of Scotland and retire; but then the reality of it started to sink in as we got older.

The midges, the remoteness, the weather, the long nights, the lack of warmth, very few real ale pubs all soon outweighed the good life, excellent roads and healthy living and that idea changed into having enough money to buy somewhere in remotest Dorset - maybe a nice lottery win would help us buy a shed. We still want to retire to the seaside and we'd both like to be able to do it so we're fit enough to enjoy it.

I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that my old age is either going to be riddled with arthritis or chest ailments, but the wife is still a young, attractive and relatively fit 46 year old, so she should get benefits if our dream actually happens.

The problem with retirement is that for the average person it's just not about getting out there and enjoying things; it's about survival, especially as things do go wrong as you get older. I'd retire tomorrow if I could afford it and there was a coastline, some dogs and fine weather to keep me happy!

Back to School Boogie

Was a song by Jon Anderson and Vangelis back in the late 1970s. It is as awful as it sounds; but in this context it is correct. Another 6 weeks span now and Easter and I shall be ticking a column every time one of my colleagues mentions the number of weeks before the next holiday. I have a horrible feeling that I might be just as guilty as the rest by the time the end of March comes around...

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