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Hold on to your hat

Entries in this blog

 

WINNER!

Having survived the Edinburgh Fringe this year, I thought I would tell a couple of stories of winning in weird circumstances. First off, a group of us went to see the 'Circus of Horrors' in the Big Top on the Meadows during the last week of the Festival. On the way in we were asked if we wanted to put our names and emails on a sheet to go into the prize draw for a bottle of Jagermeister. I did. And promptly after the show restarted for the second half, the draw was made and it was me! I went down in the arena of the Big Top, kissed the buxum woman, shook the hand of the compere and took my bottle away grinning cheek to cheek. Now, at the end of the show after all the cast had taken individual bows, the buxum woman appeared on stage in a massive foam 'fat suit'. The cast started singing 'Who ate all the pies?' and gravitated towards me on the third row from the front - shouting 'He ate all the pies - you fat b***** etc.', (you get the idea). Payback for winning it seems. I grinned and held my bottle in the air happy that at least I didn't have to have a needle shoved through my x like one of the acts had done earlier. And then yesterday evening. An impromptu drinking session - amongst all the University Freshers that are swarming round town at the moment in packs of 46. Ended up really hungry having gone out straight from work - and landed on a pizza eating competition. Thinking 'I'm hungry, it's only £5 and a pizza will make a nice tea, even if I don't win', I duly entered. There were only four other contestants. All seemed to be politely munching away at their 12" cheese 'n' tomato feast. I thought half way through 'I can win this - you don't have to eat, chew and swallow the pizza, you just need to get it all in your gob'. The strategy worked, the £25 was mine and I was satisfyingly full. And then had to leave at 11pm due to incurable hiccups. Payback again. Now, they say these things come in threes? I might buy a Lottery Ticket later

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GAS!

So there we were - in the flat, getting ready to go out to our friends' house for dinner on Sunday. Dressed, booted and suited - and I noticed a smell of gas in the kitchen. Hmmmm, I thinks. Says to Jim - can you smell gas? Of course, silly question, he can't smell a slippery dog turd at 10cms. So me and my sense of smell goes investigating. Nothing on at the cooker - no smell from the meter.... Hmmmm. Central Heating boiler fine (and I don't mean Flaggy ). What could it be? So I instigated gas smell alert level 2 status and started opening cupboards etc. And there it was in the washing machine/utility cupboard - a strong whiff of gas. Funnily though - no pipes in there whatsoever except for water. So we discussed it and we remembered that that particular cupboard backs onto the block of flats' ventilation shaft that vents into everyone's bathrooms. So it must be coming from a neighbour's flat. Waited 20 mins - opened door again, and yes... pong city. So I dialled Gas Emergency. The lady was very nice. Talked through the situation and she patiently waited for me to turn our gas off at the meter - even though we both knew by now it wasn't our supply that was a problem. 'Will be there within an hour. Don't light matches, open all windows, do not turn lights on or off' blah blah blah. After about 20 mins (by which time we should have been on a bus to our pals' for steak pie and roast tatties) - we went downstairs and out of the front door for a smoke. On the way we knocked on neighbours' doors on our side of the building - but no-one home in all five. Stood outside in the pouring rain for ten minutes - and who should turn up, but our next door neighbour. Now, the flat next to ours is used by the council as a temporary housing solution for emergencies and no-one ever stays for more than six months. Currently the occupier is a 18 yr old lad, who is living in his first house. Entretaining is a good way of putting the goings on. Anyway, he rides up on his 'Monkey Bike' (one of those miniature hair-dryers that make lots of noise and are illegal to ride almost everywhere) - straight up the street in the dark. 'What's going on here lads' he asks. So we explain and he turns all sheepish... He led us into his flat - and there in his bath are lots of tools and open containers containing petrol for the Monkey Bike. Stank to high heaven - and as that backs onto our bathroom and washing machine cupboard; it didn't take an Inspector Clueso moment to fathom out what the smell was. Ten minutes later - he's carrying the bike back out 'Taking it round to a mate's garage' and the gas boy turns up. Quite cute too in his riggers and luminous jacket. We explained the situation and he did his checks and agreed it wasn't gas we could smell but petrol. He chapped the door next-door (who was out taking his bike round to his mate's) and stuck his probe throught the letterbox - and was a bit concerend about the methane readings, but agreed not to batter it down whilst the boy was out as it was most probably the petrol. Mystery solved. The smell had gone by next morning and the boy next door's learnt his lesson. But we were two hours late for dinner and ended up paying £7 in a taxi to get round to my pals' house... Oh the joys of living on an Edinburgh Scheme!

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Dyeing/dieing

Hair dye is really nasty stuff. Had an evening in last night - and got down to bleaching and dyeing my hair for the first time in about 6 weeks (you should have seen the roots). The bleach I made up was same as usual - and left it on for about 20mins. But it bloody stung so much - it felt like my head was under the grill. Then it was time for the red dye. Have decided to try out a new brand and colour - 'Stargaze' and it's a sort of maroon (Jambo's red for the footy fans). Well, it got everywhere - my fella dropped the comb on the laminate flooring - red stain. Bathroom - stained the enamel red, and splashed on the paintwork and knackered a towel. The taps are red, the hose thing that links to the taps is red and as I type my hands and under my nails are still - wait for it - red. And then this morning - I wanted to die in a completely different way: My camper van has been off the road for about 5 weeks. It was doing fine - and the last time I used it was to go and fetch a huge plant from a friend's house to take to work and pop into our Conference Room - as it is too big for the flat and the room here at work could really do with brightening up. But then suddenly it wouldn't start the next morning, and it seems to have dropped an alarming amount of oil onto the tarmac. Anyway, for 5 weeks this poor plant and poor van have been stuck outside on the scheme (estate) car park - sitting in the forst and being buffeted (personally I like a good buff) by the weather. So, the road tax reminders arrives and we chatted in the house last week about how we resented paying road tax and not having an operational vehicle. So I resolved to go to normal garage and see if the mechanic wouldn't mind popping down to the flat to see what's going on. And this morning he duly arrived at 9.15. So, we turns the key - it turns over very nicely, but simply won't start. Looks at thte oil level - surprisingly fine. Sprays WD40 on the points, starter etc. - still won't start. And then he asks me - is there any petrol in it? It was at this point I wanted the ground to swallow me up and for everything to rewind 5 weeks - indeed that Life Restore tool would have been very handy. So he goes away to get some new points (it might be them apparently - although I think he said that out of kindness) and also get a fivers worth of unleaded... Looking on the bright side, at least my van should be working again very soon.

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Winter Wonderland

Well, what a beautiful morning to wake up to and make my way to work. First real hoar frost for a long time - everything white. Grass, mounds of leaves, cars, buildings - and a record-breaking low temperature for November to boot. Was outside earlier watching Mrs Blackbird forraging around the bushes - I wonder what she makes of it?! There's a very ugly strip of pollution over the city at height though - indicative of a temperature inversion: browny/yellow and thick. Not very pretty on an otherwise beautifully sunny morning. The sun is starting to get to work on the frost in the open now - but it's going to stay in the shade all day. And thankfully it's Friday - which means a long lie tomorrow morning; just what the doctor ordered. Apparently the decorating has now been put on hold - as my fella has decided that we need to go out and celebrate one of his pals' birthday Sat night instead. We're now going to dicuss and think about decorating. Suits me! Had a bowl of frosties for breaky - first time in years. They're quite nice aren't they?!

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Endless...

So it's been a while since the last entry - and the reason for this is work. Have been so busy - it's unbelieveable - even been coming in for 9am on the dot and not leaving til 6pm or even 7pm in the evening. Even taking work home. Now I know that many folk working in 'proper' jobs in the private sector or running their own business will scoff. However, I chose a career (well a job) in the Voluntary Sector, working for a local charity, and one of the drivers behind this decision was the work/life balance, to give it its trendy hip name. But oh no - not any more. Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining though. I love my job, think it is very worthwhile and see the end result in the local community; it's just that the last couple of weeks have come as a bit of a shock to the system. The other main reason for the unaccostomed busyness has been the 11 birthdays to celebrate amongst friends in Edinburgh since the middle of Septmeber. Not a week has past when school night drinking in the pub has been required - or a proper weekend session, that requires four recovery days afterwards. But at least this has now come to an end and people seem to actually want to stay in and save money - probably for xmas. Am thinking about decorating at the weekend. Our bathroom needs a touch-up. It's a lovely bright yellow atm, but what with a couple of years of hair dye splashes and various other bits and pieces staining the paintwork - it really could do with a refresh. I'm thinking light blue. My partner, howveer scoffs at the very idea of blue - but doesn't seem to have another suggestion. I shall put money on me getting my own way. Fiver anyone? Moan of the month however, has to be Lothian Buses. I get the fabled No7 cross-city route to work every day - and they're quite frequent at 10 min intervals. So how come on every occasion in the last two weeks have I had to stand for at a minimum of 22mins (27mins being the record) in the cold, at 8.30am for one to turn up? This morning - 3 (three!!!) came together. And it's always the day when I have to get to work at a certain time to discharge a phone call/meeting/setting something up etc... Tum tee tum....

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You Call That Work?

Sitting at my desk, Typing up some notes, When out came the blackbird, And poo-pooed on our coats. We thought it rather funny, And it didn't half cause a stir, Especially when young Hazel, Said that her's was fur. The moral of the story, Is plain for all to see, Blackbird solids are dangerous, But worse is cat's wee-wee. Oh dear.

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Gosh

Well, that was one hell of a weekend. :o :lol: It all started Friday evening - people arriving in cars, planes and trains to be put up in various people's houses/B&Bs/Apartments (the posh folk!). And we were off. A quietish night out Friday til 1am (normal closing)... Had to wait up for a car load from Manchester; who didn't arrive until 3am and then insisted on heading into town for kebabs. Sigh. Up Midday Sat - and to the pub for the darts championship of the year. Absolutely fantastic. The Guiness up here now is from St James' Gate, Dublin - none of the Park Royal, London rubbish anymore - and by golly it just slips downt the throat like well-oiled milk. Nipped out of said pub at about 6pm to get food then PARTY!! Ended up with about 170 people there we reckon - bar took £3400 - so no problems (hopefully) about getting the deposit back. Although there were a couple of incidents with the silly manager ont he night not knowing what was going on and an over-zealous bouncer (at a private party - who asked for him?!) throwing some punks out cos they had they audacity to be too drunk. :o Got in at 5am - and then partied in the house til about 9. Spent yesterday in bed. Except for ordering a curry. I am slowly remembering how to speak. Don't think I'm going to go drinking again. :o

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More Ramblings...

So, I had to clean half the house tonight as 'we have got visitors at the weekend'. The thing is, knowing my pals, it will be a complete state within an hour of their arrival, so if I had my way we would do it on Monday. But I do as I'm told! :o Sweating now.Went shopping to ASDA and spent £50 on Hallowe'en decorations for my joint birthday party in a local pub's function 'hall' on Saturday night. They've got some amazing gear and so cheap - all made in China mind. You can buy these plastic see-through sheets to hang from walls that have blood goo inside that slowly trickles down - amazing and a wee bit trippy! So that should be good in UV with a punk rock karaoke and the cider flowing! :lol: Got college tomorrow - doing a 'Management Course'. LOL. I think if you can string a sentence together you'd pass. But work's paying for it and it means a day away from my never ceasing workload - so can't complain too much.Bring me a microphone and some Strongbow!

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Tittle Tattle

Had a second night of tossing and turning in bed. Getting quite knackered now; seem to have a lot of nonesense on my mind that needs a good sort-out.Already today seen two beautiful big rainbows. One was between me and Arthur's Seat (no jokes please). The croc of gold was somewhere in the estate I live in - but slightly too far to the right to be my house. Shame.Watched QI last night - wonderfully random programme and planning sausage casserole for tea. It's such an exciting life eh?! :o

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Birthday!

Raining and cold once again (only 7C this afternoon on an E'ly - urghhhhh).Woke up hungover to breakfast in bed - bacon and egg butties. Had a few cards and a couple of pressies from my lover :lol: ; a pair of Converse basketball boots and another pressie that I can't describe on here ;)It struck me today that I am an expert at Binge Sleeping. No matter how awake and up around 10am, I have absolutely no trouble at all at getting back into bed 15mins later and sleeping til 2pm - and then really struggling to get up once more. I want to be a bear and hibernate for 5 months. :o

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Weekend

So, I've woken up at 10.30am and it is cold and raining. Hmmm. About sums up how I felt on waking. My partner on night shift, and silly dreams all night. Ended up fighting two neds at a railway station, sitting on them both to stop them attacking me. That did the trick mind.Why can't I have nice dreams? :o

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