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Somebody .. December 28, 2006

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france-may-02_054.jpgIt was the 40th Birthday of a good buddy last night and he had a gathering at one of the spit and sawdust pubs in town. It was really nice to see lots of faces out to wish him well, and equally good to see that the organising party hadn’t embarrassed him with school pictures and strippergrams .. I think he would genuinely have died .. He is one of the nicest people I know, easily said, but in this case very apt ..Happy Birthday Jamesy .. look at his face!

Also happy news that all came out for Xmas .. Somebody got engaged on Xmas Day & Somebody got pregnant (not date specific) .. tis’ the season to be jolly ..

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Crimble .. December 27, 2006

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I had a really nice Xmas. It was the first Xmas I have not had my kids on Xmas eve for many years, and .. I think .. the first Xmas I have woken up alone <cue violins> .. not my norm, but not downbeat at all ..

I had a really good Xmas Eve, house visiting and drinking a weird Spanish Liquor that tasted like Mouthwash and had grass in it, but kicked arse .. oh and playing a game that came in crackers where each of the eight crackers had a whistle of differing tone .. the conductor then orchestrates an Xmas tune or 12 .. very amusing after consuming too much grass liquor..

I then woke on Xmas Day at 10.15 .. fantastic .. I don’t think I have ever done that before. It felt great, no hangover and still a full 45 mins to get up, get out, before lunch. Gorgeous Xmas Lunch with my Brother and Sister In Law, his Ma and their Dog .. then picked the kids up in the afternoon, mad present and happiness frenzy .. ‘Dad, you are great’ etc .. who said money can’t buy you love ??!! It was great day, ultra stress free, some neat gifts and complete avoidance of television ..

Boxing Day with my Mum and kids and indulging in the Xmas Booty .. we danced through the Indie Hits comp I bought George .. I’m getting much less of a music snob as I get older .. I even put the Rakes on repeat! Mum and George cleared out for the evening and me and Dylan snuggled up to watch Garfield 2 .. not the most awe-inspiring movie ever, but I did laugh a fair bit, and Dylan ended up convincing me that he could sleep in my bed as his brother was out ..

I love him soooo much .. he went to bed 20 mins before me and was spread out angel like across the bed, snoring like Father Ted .. I woke up with him dribbling on my shoulder 🙂

Xmas Sales, coffee stops today and 40th Birthday Party tonight .. it’s a surprise James honest .. oh and roll on the weekend .. woop woop ..

I Won .. December 27, 2006

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I had a package attempted to be delivered to my house last Friday and had assumed given the proximity to Xmas (and the fact that a relative living abroad had said expect a package) that Xmas was coming ..

This morning the same courier turns up at the door with a big box of expensive men’s Toiletries to the value of £150 – not an Xmas gift though, but a competition from a magazine subscription that I entered back in October for Eyre .. woo hoo .. I’ve never won a real competition before .. hear ye, hear ye .. it all looks too nice to use though ..

Let’s hear it for the boy …………..

Fat Goose .. December 24, 2006

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I’m celebrated out now. Too many Xmas gatherings in too few number of days, all good in their own way, I got to go dancing 3 out of four too .. well, officially it might not be classed as dancing, but it was on a dance floor post alcohol, so it’s a moderately appropriate title.

Friday night a gathering of former work colleagues and associated hangers on, managed to crawl round a host of bars that I wouldn’t ordinarily choose to frequent, and end up in a nightclub that shames me to utter its name .. but above all that, we sang and danced and it was all a fine time, we even got into the club for free ..

Last night was familiar surroundings, real ale .. some really nice Cherry Beer too .. Mmmm .. but ended up the evening with Luna Junkie and some old friendly faces .. free beer and northern soul .. plus a Smiths sing-along that I must have won out right if there was such a thing as a ‘sing-off’ .. James pretended he didn’t know the words, but seemingly mouthed the vast majority .. I even visited a burger van <aaagghh> for the first time in 10-12 years .. it really must be Xmas..

I have switched to some Pacific Time Zone I think .. I slept from 4.30 – 11.30 last night and felt fine when I woke up  .. I took my Mum out for lunch today, I love my Mum. She was eating a Bell Pepper Salad, as was I .. very nice peppers stuffed with Cous Cous .. she ate the Cous Cous and left the peppers .. I said ‘don’t you like them?’ and she replied ‘you can’t eat that bit can you?!’ in a genuinne look of horror .. bless her .. in her 70+ years she had gone through life thinking that Peppers were merely decorative .. yeah, I love my Mum ..

It will be a mild Xmas Eve. I hate waking up Xmas day with a hangover. Fortune struck with an invite to a house party yesterday, so I’m being picked up soon by my Butler in his Aston Martin ..

Foot In Mouth .. December 21, 2006

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At work, Xmas celebrations, banter and idle chit chat .. Topic of conversation switched to James Bond and Casino Royale, a work friend stated his dislike for the product placement, something that I shared .. ‘especially Bond driving a Ford’ I chipped in, and preceded to a mini drink fuelled rant about the stupidity of the situation ..

Bosses Boss gets up and leaves the table, a very Senior Manager with a incredibly dry sense of humour and a paralysing stare .. person next to me says ‘you do know that xxxx drves a Ford don’t you?’ .. he was smiling from ear to ear ..

I died .. no payrise, no bonus, no favours ..

Service Sir .. December 20, 2006

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I had my first Car service yesterday .. just checked the bill .. 5l of Oil = £57.50 plus VAT .. Am I alone in thinking they are laughing at me? Reassuringly Expensive perhaps!

Life & Liberty .. December 20, 2006

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With Xmas upon us and New Year looming, it’s that time period when everyone thinks about where am I, what am I doing etc, there is always a lot of change going on at the start of the year .. I can sense it already with the conversations people are sparking up .. I was reading an Economist article the other day where they counted the cost of new year – apparently 45% of divorces occur in the first 3 months of the year!

On a similar note, I had a liberating phone chat with a friend of mine who is soon to meet his 40th birthday. It’s usually a milestone that is marked by a mid life crisis, financial cash piling, pension plans and sports cars. Thankfully none apply. Said friend has a pay and go mobile phone that runs out of credit on very regular occasions .. he isn’t bugged by it in the slightest & any amount of consumerist clap trap isn’t going to catch up with him .. he spent Saturday afternoon, watching art movies and getting stoned .. naturally I applied sufficient sarcasm, but step back from it and it’s great that modern life hasn’t grabbed him by the genitals and thrown him into growing up..

I had my works Xmas night out last night. We ate at the Salthouse.. a great location and really nice food .. a fair few drinks beforehand, and the waitress informing us that there was a table full of female teachers sitting next to us. It was with huge amusement when they turned up for me to find that it was my Son’s School night out! I reported to the headmistress – she scared me when she pointed her finger and beckoned me over, it was like being 8 all over again.. A wander into town, still fairly deserted after recent events, but clubland was kicking in .. Both myself and a colleague were mistaken for MET Officers and denial had no effect .. everyone out was either a journalist or police .. apparently I have the right hair?! Minor hangover, happy me ..

The Christmas tree is finally up .. I’m getting very excited now.

Clicquot .. December 18, 2006

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We had two visitors last night, lots of chatter and catching up to do, very pleasant. Both spooked me though and bore gifts, as though it were Xmas or something .. a nice bottle of wine (my favourite in fact) and a rather expensive looking bottle of Champagne. How very nice of them.. I was touched.

I’m not a Champagne connoisseur by any means <states obvious>, but I am reliably informed that Veuve Clicquot is the business in a P Diddy kind of way. It just seems such a shame to drink it when my palette resigns Champagne to toasts at weddings, a minor blip on the way to getting to the bar afterwards. There are so many much more deserving recipients that would probably salivate wildly at the receipt of such a gift – even the box it comes in smacks of class. I need to change my ways.

I think it more likely that I will put it on display somewhere and gaze at it in an inane way that I would treat a design object .. that is until I next return home pissed ..

Bert .. December 16, 2006

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After an unexpected night on the town after Ma Stagedive invited the kids round to sleep .. I have memory loss from last night & the bits I remember included a fit or two of the hysterics .. a very pleasant evening .. today brought the kids back with a skip and smile ..

Dylan has a couple of friends over to stay this evening, its a great habit they have gotten into including Pizza, Movie on the big screen and a couple of friends along for the ride. The funny part came when their Mum called to chat through some stuff and recalled the tale of a nightmare kid that stayed round hers who wouldnt eat, was rude and disruptive .. we chuckled through it and both declared that we’d make sure to pick the well behaved kids .. lets call that kid Bert for the sake of this verbage .. I couldn’t remember the names of the kids staying tonight at that point, but I was sure one of them wasn’t Bert.

So the call came and went and then 10 – 15 mins later the phone rang .. “Hi, it’s Bert’s Mum, just calling to check arrangements for tonight” .. doh .. oh the irony .. I composed myself and continued the conversation and laughed a little on the inside.

As it turns out, Bert is on best behaviour so far, I managed to steal back the PC for 5 mins, and the gun battle of outer suburbs continues on the landing .. so far so good ..

Serial .. December 13, 2006

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Ipswich has gone mad. I can remember the new reels from the early eighties when Peter Sutcliffe was on the loose, it stays with me to this day. Now an almost copycat approach is taking place very close to home. The tragedy of the individual cases is evident, but also coupled with the effect it is having on the community .. you can feel the tension in people as you go out, with everyone looking around in case they spot something sinister .. it’s horrible.

I caught a train to London this morning and there is no parking in the Town Centre. My regular car park is a crime scene, not from the killings on the news, but from a murder outside a nightclub last Friday. Where did it all go wrong? This time last week it was a sleepy suburban backwater. It’s like the man upstairs playing Sim City on us.

I parked further into town, causing me to walk through the Red Light district .. it wasn’t a nice experience ..

I feel for the police, they now have the eyes of the world upon them, and one simple human error could be the cause for another life. I spoke to a police woman outside the train station, she looked knackered .. theres lots of thoughts for lots of people ..