Sunday, August 10, 2014

General Summer Musings

Roger and I sat in the pub a few weeks ago and discussed doing a sports blog about the aftermath of the World Cup; sadly, outside of creating two new FIFA initiatives: The Best Dressed Goalkeeper Award and the World Challenge Trophy (not Cup, trophies aren't as prestigious) we didn't come up with much. 

This new WCT would be a competition entirely for the 16 teams that get eliminated at the group stage of the World Cup. They will go into a new competition where they are split into four groups of four and play each other once until the winners and runners up of these groups qualify for the first knock-out stage. The 8 teams left then are joined by the 8 losing teams from the 1st Knock-out stage of the actual proper World Cup, who then split into a further four groups of four and the winners and runners up of those then enter a draw with the losing Quarter, Semi and Finalists from the actual World Cup, plus one Wild Card entry (probably Barcelona) in a knock-out competition. 

The winner of this Trophy (remember trophies are not as good as cups) will then play yer actual World Cup winners, in Qatar, during June, at midday. However, even if the winners of the World Challenge Trophy win this play-off, they won’t be classed as better than the winners of yer actual World Cup; who then go onto play the winners of the Universe Cup… which as we all know is usually played between all planets that aren't gaseous giants. 

This was one of the more lucid conversations we have.

It seems we might be witnessing the death knell of one of our favourite haunts. We have been using Pooja, the vegetarian Indian restaurant in Wellingborough for well over 10 years and despite question marks over service, hygiene, illegal immigration statuses and language, the standard of the food has never really dropped. Yes, occasionally you’ll get not so good food, but even chefs have to have holidays. However, the last couple of times we've been there I haven’t been impressed with the food, the service or the general feel of the place – despite a lot of these things never having been that good to start with. We went there last week and I fear it may have been the last time. Everything was … not right. The food was adequate; the service inadequate and the level of understanding between us (seasoned Pooja aficionados) and the waiter was wholly inadequate – our starters arrived followed promptly by our mains - yes, all at the same time. Not good and likely to be the final nail in its coffin.

I was tempted to have something with potatoes and went for a dosa - it was disappointing; i could have done better with the right tools. Speaking of right tools...

My potato experiment yielded probably the same amount of spuds as my standard year would – not brilliant, but free and at least a month of divine chips and roasts. The quality of these potatoes is pretty fantastic and it makes me want to send a bunch of photographic, videoed and written testimonials to the ‘heritage potato specialists’ Carroll's, where we originally got the spuds from. Back at Christmas, we bought 25kg of Mayan Gold potatoes for our Christmas spud treat (yeah, I know, sad) and they were bloody awful and barely usable. I ended up dumping most of the box in the shed and by February they had pretty much turned into seed potatoes, so I planted most of them. I now feel as though I got my money’s worth. Oh and the chips really are to die for.

What’s been happening in the road now that Fishwife has disappeared?

I feel the new neighbours don’t deserve nicknames, although Sam is ‘funny man’ to me. This is because he’s actually a very funny bloke (honest), even with the comedy moustache… We've pretty much hit it off with them, but I can’t help feeling we've become something like surrogate ‘parents’ – looking after the dog, being invited round for food and generally acting with these neighbours in a way we've never really interacted with them before, but also imparting the kind of wisdom that has allowed us to be relatively comfortable in our home ownership. It’s also good to make new, young, friends, it makes me feel less old first thing in the morning when I look at myself in the mirror and think I'm looking like some old bit of weathered leather.

However, this morning I woke up with a teenager’s spot on the end of my nose! How? I mean, I have a big hooter, but big yellow blobs surrounded by angry skin is something you see on a boy of 15 not a 52-year-old man. It’s gone, but it’s still … there and visible and I'm quite vain about that kind of thing…

I am growing increasingly agitated by Fuckwit's deception of the DWP and as their neighbour I’m oddly privy to things that normally I wouldn't be; like for instance last week when he was charging around like a 20 year-old in the morning, came waltzing down their garden, while I was out here on the laptop, and was stopped and told by Fat Lady she was not alone in the garden – their personal gardener was doing some work – suddenly he’s walking like he needs a fucking zimmer frame and acting like the 30 foot journey had just about killed him. When the gardener was gone, he was back to normal and that is just lazy deception and it should be found out.

The new people across the road appear to building an extra world and I've been reliably informed that the Lithuanian family, next to them, also have some kind of expansive summer house out back. The work going on at the two houses seems never ending – hot tubs, bricks, cement, fence panels. I also noticed that the woman formerly known vaguely as the Sexually-Explicit woman appear to have a job that involves her wearing expensive evening gowns, low-slung dresses and a general sexiness that loses its impact the closer you get to looking at her face in any detail; and she rolls back between 7 and 8:00am and pretty much disappears until the early afternoon. Casino worker? Hostess? On the game? I'm such a sexist…

We've had about four new families move in around the vicinity in the last few months and I'm losing track of everything – the street is changing and becoming a young and energetic place with kids and stuff.

Watched Godzilla tonight and was impressed with it to the point of ‘would watch again’. I'm probably influenced by the fact I think Monsters is the best film I've seen in the 21st century and that was directed by the same person.

I discovered I had WiFi. All I had to do was switch it on. My phone bill appreciates it; the wife has started to use the laptop (mainly to enter competitions). I suggested to her that before long she'd have a Facebook account and would be posting cute animal pictures. She called me a cunt and tried to knife me...

I realised recently why very old people actually like the sound of death.

On October 18th it will be 25 years to the day since I opened Squonk!! It has been suggested that I do some kind of reunion or get together. However, I am actually working - at a comics convention - that day, so if some kind of Squonk party was planned it would have to be on another day. The thing is I've been looking at the number of people from those days that I have had some contact with in recent months (and the fact that others are regulars at the Northampton comic shop) and it would seem that this is an idea that appeals not just to me. So, if you were an ex-Squonk person and have had no reason really to get in contact; do it now - let's explore the possibility of a bunch of comics and ex-comics fans having a piss-up and talking about Mr Fantastic's bizarre sex life with the Invisible Woman - it makes hide the sausage something completely different!

This has been written over the space of 19 days between July 22 and August 10.