Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Toy

Boardman Team Carbon Road Bike. Hot damn!
Upgraded Shimano bits and bobs.
Computer training doohickey.
First time I've been road riding in twenty years. Ten miles to the orifice. Starting out at half-an-hour each way; average 20mph. That's gotta improve.
The thing weighs about as much as a rice cracker. Fuck, it's fast on a good road.

Yes, I know it's in my living room and not my garage. It's my new baby and I want to cuddle it and talk to it.
And no, I do NOT wear lycra (sheesh).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

At Last!

Sheesh! It's been hanging there in my sidebar for months (even longer than I've been suffering blogger's block), but at last, the splendidly literate Altadena Hiker (hi, Karin) of Petrea's Pasadena (and thereabouts) Posse has solved the Sidebar Quote Quiz.

Yes, "A way a lone a lost a last a loved a long the riverrun …" is indeed Joyce, being the end and beginning of the everly oroborosness that is Finnegans Wake (no apostrophe).

So now I'd better set another one …

Friday, June 27, 2014


Woah Nellie!
Summer's here …

Hailstones the size of fricking ice cubes,
Lightning like a goddamned rock band's light show,
Flash. Crack, BOOOOOOM …
Road a raging river.

But just get outside and breathe in that air …
Ain't nothing like it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Breakfast of Champions

Teeny tiny little lemon curd tartlets made by the girl behind the counter at Jarrold's bookstore coffee shop. Intensely lemony. Washed down with a couple of ristrettos from my favourite of their roasts: fresh Honduras beans, short roasted to leave a glorious fruit tang and a complex aftertaste to the coffee; perfect with the tarts.
Little things that make life worth living.
How was your morning?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ray Gun

Well that was fucking weird …

Hokay, so you may recall I had a cataract op in my right eye a couple of years back. Well things were beginning to get a little fuzzy so I got my eyes checked for new glasses and they told me I didn't need them; instead I had a disc of scar tissue built up behind the pupil (something common with cataracts).

My optician referred me to the hospital's eye clinic and Saturday morning Phil drove me there to get it sorted (yay free healthcare).
There were three of us sitting there at eight-thirty, a couple of older guys in for the same thing (David and Mike) and your's truly, chatting up a storm and laughing with the nurses. I like the temporary friends you get in hospital waiting rooms; everyone comforts one another by telling the most horrific medical tales they know. Weird but somehow helpful.

So anyhoo … Doctor S-, a lovely young Indian woman, dilated my pupils and tested my eyes thoroughly, explaining what she was about to do and giving me the opportunity to run away if I didn't want to go through with it.
Hell, it sounded fun and I was getting annoyed with the fuzziness in my right eye, so let's do it.

Right … Next room. Dr. S- sits my chin on one of those doohickeys you see in opticians, where they shine lights in your eyes while you look at the optician's earlobe.
Doctor S- has really cute earlobes.

So … if any of you have to have this procedure carried out and are worried about it, read on.
We got my head positioned correctly (after Dr.S- had to go back to her office and get an adjustable chair as I'm tall and she's somewhat petite) and then she opened fire.
You know that scene in the original Star Wars, where Luke Skywalker is in the gun turret of the Millennium Falcon firing laser beams in all directions? It was a little like that.
What she had to do was shoot lots and lots of tiny holes into the disc of scar tissue from around the edges (avoiding the lens) until it broke apart and floated off into the eye-jelly where it will eventually dissolve (though I've got some pretty spectacular floaters at the moment).
The machine even makes a kind of pow/zap/zing Space Invaders noise as she lets off volley after volley of laser beams into my eye. Fun!

The mountain of tissues Dr. S- had stuffed under my chin and right cheek now came into their own. What happens is your eye tries to defend itself from the ray gun assault by making a waterfall of tears. Sheesh! I mean a real waterfall! I didn't know I had that much water inside me. The tissues were mush in minutes.

Five minutes was all it took. Then she stepped back from the ray gun and asked me what I saw.
I covered my left eye and could see bugger all: a faint grey around the edges but totally black across most of my vision, decorated with a scattershot of bluey-grey splodges where the laser had punched holes in the scar tissue and temporarily overloaded the cones in my retina.
So if that happens to you (and it will if they do it right), fret not. After a couple of minutes my vision began to clear and after five minutes I could read every word on the fire extinguisher across the corridor. I can see better than I have in years. Woohoo!

Phil picked me up from the hospital and - because I'd missed Breakfast Club - Dawn (being an angel) bought me a prezzie of my favourite cave-aged Gruyère and my regular Saturday honey and walnut sourdough from the baker.

Of course, everything was painfully bright with my pupils dilated so I've been away from the monitor all weekend, but now things are returning to normal I'm taking the week off to hang around in coffee shops and bookshops in the mornings and watch Wimbledon in the afternoons.

So how was YOUR weekend?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

What was YOUR Teen Bible?

I was at the Blickling Hall Rare Book Fair today and - blesséd be the hairy red arse of the god of all things cool - found me one of the original pre-publication bootleg copies of the daily Bible of my teenage years, Dylan's Tarantula.

Rubber stamped and mimeographed and rusty-stapled and cool as fuck.

So now that I'm happy, let me know what was the book that ruled your teenaged years back in the days when we knew nuthin' about nuthin'?

Sunday, June 01, 2014

I'm Still Here; Just Too Crazy Busy To Blog

Just so's ya know.

Hokay, so actually, today I'm sitting on my fat butt watching the French Open tennis on TV, but as I can't think of anything to blog about I'll leave you with a choice:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Smear That Shit

Honey and walnut sourdough from my new favourite bakery.
Smear that shit with bitter orange marmalade.
Brew up a good coffee.
Breakfast of champions.

Friday, May 16, 2014

You Might Want To Rewrite That A Little More Carefully

Email from the boss this morning:

"The plumber has been in to investigate our toilet problem.
New parts are required, so he will be back with them next week to resolve.
The toilet therefore remains out of use.
It is however ok to continue to use the shower."

I told him "But I don't WANT to pee in the shower."

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Yay, Eurotrash

Eurovision last night and I indulged in my usual drinking game: a shot of scotch for every gratuitous key change in a final chorus. I gave up three songs in; I'd have had to drink pints of the stuff had I carried on.
Watching Pilou Asbæk camp it up as host was decidedly weird after Borgen, but on a night when the same old same old includes a bearded drag queen as winner, gratuitous boobage on an epic scale, glitter, bad frocks, appalling dancing, atonal shrieking, execrable songs, cringe-inducingly embarrassing ad-libs and political bitching and xenophobia nothing really surprises any more.
Roll on next year.