Just when you get used to something….

Fixing the Money Pipeline
Photo by ShellyS
…it all comes to an end.

No, no, this is not a maudlin post about breaking up or getting some sort of terminal disease.   I am referring, of course, to my removal from the unemployed masses and placement directly outside them again.   I have indeed gone and gotten myself gainfully employed again.

I am actually rather pleased about it.   Sure, it is an entry level position and doesn’t pay an awful lot more than the money the Arbeitsamt were giving me, but the entry level side of things is causing me a serious amount of joy at the moment.   I won’t have the levels of stress that I had before and this means that my quality of life can improve to the level that I want.

I will indeed be answering phones and logging calls…the very job that I ran a team of guys doing previously.   A “Phone Monkey” if you will…and frankly I like it.   The company seems really good, and, when I get myself onto the shifts I will have time to do private study…they are pretty relaxed and the team that I met on my trial day seem like the kind of people I can get along with and more importantly, work with.

The best news for me, however, is of course the increased opportunity for blog fodder.   Hence why I have yet to (and won’t) name the company.

The last few months have given me a much needed break, a chance to recover from my stresses and didn’t get me too bored – I was (just about) able to get used to having less money around…which means the salary at the new place won’t be a problem to manage and did I mention the lack of stress?   Sure, there will be pressure…it’s a busy environment and has very tight deadlines…but little stress.   No more bringing work home, going in hours early to get things done.

As a certain PM mentioned, I will also be able to drink again (in moderation of course ;-) )

Enough about my re-entry to civilised society.   It was ZS’s birthday the other day, and IP organised a BierBike.   I made a brief mention of this amazing thing before.   16 of us made the short walk to pick up the “bike” and we were on our way.

I must admit, I fully expected there to be substantially more gears and less actual effort to move the thing…it was pretty hefty as it goes.   The beer becomes more of a requirement than tool for getting drunk.   As we got close to ZS’s place, IP made the call to get him outside…the rest of us stopped pedalling and tried to keep 3 tonnes of BierBike quiet.   It would have worked too until, halfway through IP’s conversation with ZS, W decided to shout at us all to pedal more.   Meh, ZS was still pretty impressed…and so began an alcohol fuelled (literally) whistle stop tour of Frankfurt.

I should point out that after 20 minutes or so of pedalling, someone came up with the idea that we should switch seats at each red light…which would give everyone a chance to rest on the non-pedalling seats from time to time…leading to huge screams of REEEEED (if you were pedalling) and GREEEEN (if you were resting) in an effort to change the lights into your favour.

We took in all of the main areas of Frankfurt…including the Red Light district.   That almost caused a problem with our rotation scheme…. ;-)   Also, whilst we got a decent reception from the girls who try to entice you into the strip joints…one particular lady of negotiable affection didn’t take kindly to our rendition of “Ruby” by the Kaiser Chiefs and decided to flip us “the bird” with a snarly grimace type thing on her face.   Again…meh!

It must have something to do with the consumption of alcohol when combined with exercise, but I was wrecked when we got back to drop off the bike…although I like to think it was the 2 shots of Jagermeister personally…honest…no, really!

Rest assured, even with the nightmare of pain and torture that was heading up hill and over bridges, I still want one for my next birthday….only I think there should be a “Birthday Boy Doesn’t Pedal” rule.   It’s only fair ;-)

The Italian Job

Kraftwerk / Autobahn
Photo by 96dpi
Now I am not talking about Mini Coopers, gold heists and blowing the bladdy doors off.   I am talking about a short, 2100KM, drive from Frankfurt to Alassio and back.

Ah yes..a journey starting with amazing autobahns and ending in the land of Ferarri and Lamborghini.   The problem, though, was that a good portion of the journey was through the land of cuckoo clocks and toblerone…

Let me begin, as they say, at the beginning.   As I have written about before, it is not unknown to me to be the driver of a series of white vans from old abode to new abode for various people.   In this, at least, I find some consistency…at some point every few months, someone will pop up and ask me to help them move.   Like some kind of drug addict, I swear that each time will be the last…in reality I am just giving up until the next time.   Anyway, I digress.   Some time ago, GB asked if I would be willing to help him move from Frankfurt to Alassio in Italy..doing this would give me a couple of days chillaxing in Italy.

I was asked to drive a 7.5 tonner (4M tall…we will get to this later) and was happy to do so as, let’s face it, 90% of the journey would be motorway…and that’s pretty easy to do.   The plan was simple, we would get started at 06:30 on the Monday morning..be away by 11:00, head through the Gottard   Tunnel in Switzerland, and be in Alassio by 22:00.   Nuff said.

As has often been recited “The best laid plans of mice and men ‘aft gan aglen”.   CW and I were intent on going to bed early on the Sunday night, to allow me the slumber that the journey would undoubtedly require.   Washing was washed, tumbles were dried and everything was on track for a 21:00 sack hitting…until I realised that we needed towels…and the towels (of course) needed washing.   Cue getting to bed for 02:00 after waiting for the washing machine and tumble dryer to complete one cycle.   The plan to get up at 05:00 to get ready…well…failed.   We managed to get out of bed at 06:20, just before GB arrived to collect us.

A rapid wash and dress later and we were on our way to collect the van.   The rest of the morning went pretty much to plan, and we got on the road at around 11:15.   So far, so ordinary.   Not long before we set off, GB informs me that there has been a small plan change.   A train from Goppenstein (I shit ye not) in Switzerland has been discovered that will save us around 300KM, and therefore GB a load of cash on the rental.   Fine with me, says I and we begin to wend our merry way to Italy.

GB and ‘er indoors start the wonderful process of cleaning the old apartment, with the intention of catching us up later.   They do indeed catch us up and our mini-convoy heads to the Germany/Switzerland border.   ‘er indoors (who speaks German and understands Swiss) goes to the various offices to get the paperwork sorted, GB gets shouted at by the Swiss border patrol woman for parking in the wrong place and I try and play chicken with trucks considerably larger than mine by going the wrong way along a one way system.   Eventually we get parked, and ‘er indoors is still running between the German and Swiss authorities.   Each time being told that she needs a slightly different form.   Over 2 hours later, we believe that everything is in order and drive to the gate that gives us our entry to Switzerland.   At this point, the gate monkey (possibly gate Silverback Gorilla) tells us that we, in fact, don’t have the correct paperwork..and that we better hurry as the offices close in 5 minutes.   After a minor meltdown that followed the suggestion of “Why don’t you go through France”, a kindly soul (on his way home) tells her to just let us through as, and I quote, “The Italians will turn them back, so they will be back”.


Still, we head into Switzerland and head for the train…the motorways start getting narrower by the minute and eventually we arrive at the serpentine mountain roads of Switzerland.   I am immediately struck by the beauty of nightmare that is; getting a 7.5 tonne truck up the side of a mountain around bends that would cause slalom skiers to head off the to lodge for a shot of something strong and numbing.   Still, CW was getting an amazing view of the scenery as I wrestle the truck up and around the (seemingly) never ending twists and turns.   She was ooing and aahing all over the place, exclaiming “Isn’t it amazing…Dave, have a look at that view”….my response was “Yup, the tarmac is bloody lovely….trying not to kill us all dear”..Had I chosen to look at this wonderful view, I am pretty sure that it would have ended up with a rapid descent and a rather close up and personal “view” of the mountains.

Eventually though, I see a sign that tells us we are around 5KM from the train.   Unfortunately, a few hundred meters beyond said sign, another sign appears…this one says “Low Bridge – Max 3.7M”..those of you paying attention will remember that the truck is 4M tall….letting the tires down is not going to help…I rapidly take another road and pull over.   GB and ‘er indoors head off to see if there is another route to the train and I am able to take in the beauty of the area for a short while.

Around 15 minutes later, GB arrives back carrying a sheet of paper from the train…that says the maximum height is 3.5M…so taking the bloody wheels off wouldn’t help us at this point.   Left with no other choice, we go back down the frickin’ serpentine roads and head off on the very long journey back to the route that we originally said we would follow.   Imagine our collective joy, as we pull into the Swiss/Italian border at 03:00…to discover that we need to go through customs….which doesn’t open until 05:00.   No cafes, no comfort…no real chance of sleep, but we try.   CW basically gives up sleep to make sure I get some sleep…a very sweet gesture and in no way suggestive that I may actually kill us all if I don’t rest..honest :-P

We get through Swiss customs relatively easily and are then met by Italian customs.   Now, ‘er indoors is actually Italian, so we theorise that she will definitely be able to get us through.   The Italian customs guys look suitably imposing and authoritarian..’er indoors is explaining the nightmare we had at Swiss customs and for a little while it looks like we might get turned back.   They look in the back of the truck and proceed to inform us that the problem is that they can’t see inside the boxes….who knew that everything was transported in clear PVC boxes these days…not us, that’s for sure (/sarcasm).   Their point made about how unorthodox this is, and how we should have done it differently etc etc…they let us through.   GB and I do a Smokey and the Bandit and “Put the pedal to the metal” to get the hell outta there, before someone changed their mind.

This brings us to Italy and, to be honest, we were all feeling rather good.   We stopped at the motorway services that the 60’s forgot and carried on.   The mountain tunnels in Italy were mucho fun though…3 lanes where no other country would put more than 2…narrow tunnels that the truck could barely get under and lunatic truck drivers vying for “King of the Tunnel” bragging rights.   We came out of them just about unscathed, except for Luca requiring a change of underwear when a weaving (and possibly drunk) Italian truck moved just enough into my lane to cause the wing mirror to hit the side of our truck like a frickin’ bomb going off.

We arrived in Alassio at 11:15..a mere 24 hours after we set off and a mere 29 hours awake.   Fortunately, GB had arranged for people to unload the van and get everything in the apartment…so CW and I went to the cabin on the mountainside and promptly collapsed until around 19:00.

We spent an evening and a day in Alassio.   What a place, absolutely idyllic…in the evening we went for a meal and then wandered around the town.   As we were heading for the cabin, the strains of music could be heard around the corner and we went to check it out.   What we discovered was an Italian choir singing When The Saints Go Marching In…although what they were actually singing was “Oh whhen tha sayns go marching eeeen”..which was nice.

The journey home was fairly uneventful, but I have to say that the German motorways are by far the best in Europe…I have never been so happy to cross a border in my whole life.

So there you have it, my latest White Van Man experience.   I will definitely be visiting GB and ‘er indoors in Alassio again, but I won’t be driving a 7.5 tonner to do it…Easyjet anyone?

Electricity chafes…

I nominate these guys for this year…tis true. Years ago, I was working for a software house in Cheltenham.   During this time the company were undergoing some major changes, including shutting down an office in Surrey and moving operations to Cheltenham.   This meant getting 2 new buildings and setting them up from scratch.   During this time we had mucho fun getting everything ready, and very little sleep was had by myself and Matt.

I point this out as, at some point on the Sunday, Matt and I were checking all of the PCs and printers etc to make sure that everything could login and would work as expected.   The move had actually begun at 17:00 on the Friday and everyone was expecting to begin working as normal at 08:00 on the Monday morning.   Not a lot of time to move some 300 people and all of their equipment.   We managed it…barely.   Anyway, back to the checking of PCs… I think we got to the 3rd floor and went around as before switching everything on.   Matt notices that one of the PCs didn’t fire up…so as we are taking a break, he decides to whip the case off and take a look.   He didn’t take the usual precautions of unplugging the machine, grounding himself etc, but no matter…generally these things don’t pose an issue.

We are chatting away and pretty much trying to stay awake when he asks me for a screwdriver.   On hindsight, I should have questioned why, but as tired as I was I passed one to him.   There then followed this set of events:

Matt:   “Thanks, I think I see what’s wrong”
Matt: THUD
Matt: Slide
Matt: THUD
Matt:   “AAaaaaaaaargh”

He ended up about 10 feet away from where he started, with a hairstyle not dissimilar to Yahoo Serious of Young Enstein fame.   In a moment of genius clarity, he had noticed that the power supply fan was not spinning, decided to jab the screwdriver into it and wiggle around, hoping to dislodge whatever was causing the fan to stick.. Only he went too far, jabbed the screwdriver a little too deep into the gubbins of the PSU and gave himself something of a shock.   The shock sent his body hurtling backwards like something out of a film, the force of this caused him to smack his head into the desk that he was underneath, drag his hand through the gubbins of the PC and eventually smack his head into the wall 10 feet away.

After I stopped laughing, I checked to see if he was ok.   He was…although he had a lump on his head and his hand was bleeding like a good ‘un.   All that was really needed were a small flock of birds to circle around his head, throwing stars up in the air and for smoke to come off his head.

The PC started working though, so it just goes to show …mind you, his watch was never the same again.

This was the company that is essentially responsible for the Fester’esque black circles around my eyes.   Thanks to working an average (honestly) of 21 hours per day, 7 days a week for 9 weeks.   Part way through this, they tell me about the impending closure of the southern office and send me down there to arrive just as the meeting is called.

It was all very cloak and dagger, and not at all pleasant for me.   I had to wait outside and, when the meeting started..someone gave me the signal to get into the building, where I had 25 minutes to lock down and protect the data, admin accounts and even the comms rooms.   This was simply following due dilligance as instructed by the insurance company, but still…I felt like an arsehole.

It worked out ok in the end, but there were a lot of upset people there, not least of all the guys that reported in to me.

Heh, just remembered a trip back with the head of facilities.   We were driving back from Cirencester to Cheltenham in ridiculously thick fog.   It was one of those where you couldn’t see much past the front of the car, so we were driving appropriately slowly as the situation demanded.   Pete mentions that we have to be really alert, as there is a new roundabout around here somewhere..with that, a car goes flying past us and had to be travelling over the speed limit…2 seconds later we realise we are on the roundabout.   I forget the exact chain of events, but Pete points out of the car, up in the air…where we can see red lights…as we come around it is obvious that the red lights belong to the car that had gone past us a couple of seconds earlier…and is now about 30 feet in the air and falling to the ground after hitting a lamppost across the other side of the roundabout.

Pete, being the kindly soul he is…starts calling the guy all sorts of names as we wend our merry way at 5-10mph.   In fairness, we did check that the guy got out ok…but then left him to it.

I think he learned a valuable lesson right there….

That's a bit personal isn't it?

~Woman Seeking Prince Charming~So…when you put yourself out there and write for the whole world to see (if you count the whole world to consist of 3 people), you get slated (a lot), compliments (a lot less) and requests.

I can handle being slated, have trouble taking compliments (a British thing) and am slightly bemused by requests.

It is the requests that I want to deal with here today.   My other request is still in development, and honestly…may never see the light of day.   Normally you write what you write with little or no regard for other people, you write because you find the subject matter interesting, funny, rantable…whatever.   Writing because you have been asked to tackle a particular subject makes it considerably more difficult.   What if they don’t like it? what if you took the piss a little too much…or not enough?   What if, what if, what if?

My latest request is not even for the blog.   I have been asked to write a personal ad for a friend.   She would like it to be funny (I think I see the first problem with asking me then) but also genuine, as she honestly intends to use it to find a partner.   No pressure then 8-O

If I am completely honest, within a couple of seconds of being asked, I already had possibilities running through my head..but I needed to research.   What are people putting in online personals these days?   Is it all GSH, WE, BB, RHD, ABS etc etc or is there actual substance?   Does the site she will use allow for the kind of wordy nonsense I usually write, or is it 4 lines and no more than 50 words like in the newspapers?

So I signed up to the site she mentioned to get some ideas.   The first thing you notice is that it is all in German….damnit, will have to search other ad sites.   Let’s see what we have then…

Craigslist:   Oh dear god, are these people serious?   I won’t go through the usual blog route of copy/pasting examples here…but christ on a rope…45 year old man seeks toilet sex…that, right there, was enough to stop me using Craigslist for ideas.   Also, an ability to spell the disgusting perversion you have would surely increase your chances of finding a likeminded soul.

OKCupid:   Much better quality of profile overall, although they want so much information that I don’t see a way to get ideas.   I wrote less at school…and certainly less in this blog on a (semi) regular basis.

Then I started to fall down, too many of these sites are pay per play (so to speak), meaning you can only see limited profile information unless you cough up some hard earned moolah for the privilige.   Gone are the days of SWF seeks WE man with GSH and own car/house…etc.

The other issue is that what I say will be translated into German.   I therefore have to be careful with any clever (or not) puns and statements.   Seeing as German humour is essentially Benny Hill….I could have my work cut out here.

Still…Fun loving, large breasted woman seeks fastest milkman in germany for delivery of 3-4 pints a day..

What?!?   It could work…. ok, back to the drawing board

What are friends for?

IMG_8118Taking the piss and general abuse apparently.   I mean, I know that my usual modus operandi is just that, and I am pretty good at it generally.   I also know that you shouldn’t dish it out if you can’t take it, but still…

On Friday night at the bar, a good and merry time was being had by all.   Much drinking and frivolity were abound as they generally are down in my living room.   The dynamic duo were heading off to warmer climes for a short while, so everyone was in good spirits..and I think it is also fair to say that good spirits were in everyone.

So at some point, I am told that Bohemian Rhapsody has been requested in a fit of Old Skool nostalgia…of course, nostalgia isn’t the reason.   A number of years ago, I got into a comedian called Lee Evans, and he ended his first (I think) live show with Bohemian Rhapsody, and did a “routine” to go along with it.   It was genius and I have never forgotten it.   Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I try and recreate this routine when the song starts playing.   So, on Friday night I am being asked…ney told…that I have to do said routine again.   Here it is for the uninitiated (not me doing it I hasten to add)

Just as I start getting into the actions, I get accosted by a lady of Norwegian extraction, who decides that she wants to slow dance to this…and wanders right through all of my “audience” to grab me.   Being the fine friends that they are, everyone shoves me towards her and thus begins the strangest slow dance in the history of the world.   I am of course, deeply embarrassed but trying to get it over with.   It wasn’t helped by a chant going up…that seemed to get taken up by the entire bar..lead of course, by Z.   I believe it went something like this…”MILF MILF MILF MILF MILF MILF”.   I hope I remembered the words correctly.

Now, having 30 people chanting MILF over and over, and clapping in unison, really doesn’t help with the embarrassment factor and I tried to extricate myself from the situation as quickly as possible.   However, it was like the fight scene in a hollywood movie, everytime I tried to get through the crowd to my cigarettes and beer, I was shoved back towards “she who will forever be known as MILF”.   Resistance was futile, especially when Z started passing over free shots in an effort to “help” me, by saying they were from me.

I have also been informed, by the dynamic duo, that this embarrassing scene was well deserved thanks to my deciding to throw a condom at a couple that really needed to get a room, and inspiring a round of applause at another couple that actually thought that they had found a room.   In my defence….it was bloody funny.

I eventually get back to my beer, and the redness of my face starts to dissipate as the embarrassment leaves me, when I get accosted by a second woman.   Now this rarely happens, so I am only recounting the story for it’s strangeness in relation to how I am generally percieved.   Now, on Thursday and Friday night, there is a woman in the bar..an asian woman, with quite a strong face (read jaw)…I was guilty in my mildly inebriated state, of asking people if it was a guy.   All of the women in the bar were convinced that she was in fact a she, so I chose to agree with them.   Anyhoo..a few moments after getting away from “MILF”, I am leaning on the bar to get another beer.   Up walks the asian woman and grabs me for a cuddle…simultaneously telling me that she had seen me the night before, and that I was “Much fun and very funny”.   Being British means it is difficult to accept a compliment, so I return the hug as it looks like she is leaving and mumble a “Thank you” before trying to get back to the important act of beer acquisition.   At that moment she full on kisses me, and sweeps out the door.   Someone said something to me but all I could muster was “I am not sure how I feel about that”.   It goes without saying that I am now absolutely convinced she was a woman…the alternative just scares the crap out of me ;-)

This was also the night where DB was introduced to the joys of my living room, and after a few bevvies, was telling me…every 5 minutes…that it was the best bar he had ever been to.   DS genuinely thought he had pulled SL, despite her telling him very clearly and slowly…to his face..that it would never happen.   DS is also responsible for the best drunk walk since John Cleese did “The Ministry of Silly Walks” in Monty Python…oh, and for actually managing to embarrass Z when we ended up in Club Keller.   Club Keller was actually great on Friday night, it had so many people that it actually reminded me of the opening scene from Blade…I kept looking up and half-expecting there to be showers full of blood ready to pour down on us all.   Also, what is it about Rage Against the Machines “Killing in the name of” that makes a place go insane?   Seriously, properly insane.   There aren’t many songs that are 16 years old that can do that….

Good times

Like a kid again…

Peek-a-BooJust a short, sentimental post today, as I am out for a birthday party later and will not be in any fit state to write anything tomorrow…unless something happens of course.   SP was out last night, rumour has it he may be out tonight too…rest assured I will be taking my notebook, just in case.

So my Dad visited for the last couple of days…and except for not going outside and playing catch, I was like a kid for the whole time.   Admittedly, I would be a kid drinking copious amounts of beer with his Dad…and he was never that kind of Dad. We even went to the cinema…to watch James Bond.   What am I?   12?

We had a some great chats and I managed to get a little bit of blog-fodder too.   Dad has some great stories and I can honestly say that I am very lucky to be able to chat with him like I can.   We take the piss out of each other…admittedly he is better at it than I am, seeing as he taught me my sarcastic ways (even though he refuses to claim it).   We can drink together, tell dodgy jokes and we share a love of sport (mainly football).

We talked for hours, never ran out of conversation.   I was able to admit to certain regrets I have about my behaviour as a teen..which, Dad being Dad, completely dismissed.   I think he quite likes the confident Son he saw before him, the group of friends I have and the life I am living.   He gave me some great advice about the future, words of encouragement and a frickin hangover.   I rarely get to just go out for a bevvy with my Dad, so this couple of days were superb.   Thanks Dad :-)

While I remember, a few things from last night:-

I managed to cockblock LM on a highly skilled walk-by cockblocking.   It’s amazing what a giant Uncle Fester clone, giving you a hug and stroking your face can do..I may also have called him bigboy….sorry LM

I beat Z in an arm wrestle (admittedly, he had just arm wrestled a monster like 5 minutes before…but still, I am totally claiming it)

I also beat PM immediately afterwards with my considerably more girly left arm.

My lasting memory though was from the lovely PS.   She gave a genius raise to what little kudos I have these days.   As she walks past, I say hello…she turns, looks at me dead in the eye, calls me a bastard and slaps me.   I am laughing now, but it was a proper slap.   She turns away, walks two paces…turns around and tells me that the sex was amazing though.   Some of the looks I got were well worth the pain…thanks PS :-)

More ramblings when I sober up enough to type…

Bambi Platter

BambiSo I went out last night for Hs birthday.   We went to an olde worlde German restaurant where a number of us were instantly of the opinion that we must eat Bambi.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not an emotionless vessel of hate (not right now anyway)….I can get upset at films, books, people on the street even.   I do find it difficult to get upset when an artist stops drawing something though, even if he does get overzealous with the eraser.

Unfortunately, they didn’t have any Bambi available as we should have ordered it in advance.   It left me with visions of phoning up, asking for the Bambi Platter with the reservation and having the guy hang up the phone..and yell “We need more Bambi!”.   Whereupon the Chef sighs, gets a gun from the wall and, with an apologetic shrug to his children, walks outside…..fade to his children looking forlorn, tears streaming down their faces as they dry cry the words “why daddy why?”, over and over.

That left us with, basically, serious steak or Pumbaa…. Being the Disney hating real men that we are, we decided that Pumbaa was the choice for us.   A delicious bowl of…well it looked like a pot plant I gave to my grandmother a few years ago as a random gift…turned up.   Being as it obviously contained no Disney characters that I could discern of, and appeared far too healthy…I passed.   Plus, I had chowed down a seriously good muffin (fnarr) provided by KH and MK.   I am not sure if it was for me or for H, but I only stopped to consider that halfway through…. ah well.

Many starters were delivered, much old style German beer was brought to the table.   Then came the vegatables, spaetzle and … well … warm, soft sugar puffs, sans sugar.   I chose to pretty much ignore these things in view of the impending Pumbaa explosion.

Turns out that the rule that TV adds 10 pounds is a lie, either that or Pumbaa has been on a serious diet recently (or eaten too many healthy bugs/grubs, or whatever it was he ate in the Lion King).   A positively anorexic Pumbaa was brought to 5…count ’em (I know you won’t) 5 full grown men.   Some of these men were considerably more grown than others….ok 1 of these men…ok me…dagnabit.

Still, what there was of it was fantabulous.   Cue complaint from one of the other guys regarding the size zero Pumbaa and we get free pudding….Result!   I don’t know what it was, but it was nice.   Halfway through, it was established that the fruit on the plate were cherries, beyond that I am not so sure.

We then head back to my living room so that H may enjoy a birthday cigar (thank you German smoking laws) and I get home around 01:30 this morning.

The moral of this story?   There isn’t one….other than be careful which Disney character you try to eat, there may not be that much of it.

Karma is a bastard

Fun…for the win!

A Quick Fuck with a Well-Greased DwarfSo let’s face it – My social life is pretty good these days.   I have a lot of friends and I live above the best Irish bar in Frankfurt.   Well, I claim that they are all my friends, as they spend most of their drinking lives in my living room…..

My capacity for beer has reached astronomical proportions recently…to the point where I went out for nearly 12 hours a couple of weeks ago and went home sober…..SOBER.   Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t have driven a car – But I felt like I feel when I go out for a single beer.   Now, a few years ago, this would have peaked my young and proud hormone…but that frickin scared me.

That said, it was just a blip and I was merrily wrecked in 2 hours and much less booze a few nights later.   Thank fook for that.

For a long time now I have been the sterotype stay indoors geek.   I don’t really know why I did it…I certainly had plenty of excuses for it, but I am out more than I am in…exploring Frankfurt, meeting with friends.   My PC is a glorified TV now with added internet surfing.   Hence the reason for the blog posts being relatively few and far between…

The best thing is, I am enjoying it.   Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to have a refuge sometimes…but living where I do, it is a rare weekend when the doorbell isn’t ringing or the phone isn’t going.

I just realised that this post totally undoes my healthy post, but I am determined to maintain the balance of considerable drinking prowess AND lose some weight/get healthy.

I think the best thing about the Anglo is that it is one of the few bars left in the world (that I know of anyway) where you start off in a group and end up in an entirely different group by the end of the night, having spoken to everyone in the bar at some stage.   Don’t mistake that for the bar being full of regulars either, sure regulars exist (I am case in point), but the atmosphere is something else.   The bar staff are superb, the music is great…I don’t really need to comment on the beer and the shots are dangerously good.   Plus it shows the football.   This bar just has it all.

I do go to other bars and places fairly often, but the phrase “All roads lead to the Anglo” is pretty much true.   Everyone ends up there at some point during the night.   It helps that it stays open until 5am I suppose :)

Frankfurt seems to have a ‘Fest of some description almost every week and they all center around drinking copious amounts of beer…..I am sure there is some culture thrown in there somewhere to these things…but seriously…beer.

Like this weekend they have arguably their biggest Fest, absolutely huge, different music being played on various stages all over the place.   Tens of thousands of people.   I arranged to meet everyone at a Brazilian Cocktail bar…let’s just say they were pouring generous measures.   Many different drinks were consumed, then we made the mistake of heading into the main area to find somewhere else – Spent 45 minutes getting shoved along and ended up at the Anglo to get trollied there instead….

My current fave Anglo tipples are (in no particular order)

Licher Pils…German beer – Genius
Springbok – Green minty shot thing
Baby Guinness – Looks like a Guinness, tastes like nectar of the gods
Caramel Vodka – Made by the fine barstaff themselves :-)

I will not under any circumstances drink JaegerMeister…that is just an alcoholic Benolyn cough medicine and I want no part of it….there are very few drinks in this world I will run away from, jaeger is one of them…especially if some numpty decides to do Jaeger Bombs with my beer…MF!

Most of these things are consumed with monotonous regularity and most evenings finish at around 6am…often later if people fancy the few minutes it takes to walk to the Club Keller.   Germany, where 24 hour opening hours actually means something :)

This is another one of those rambling..go nowhere posts. (I know, they all are right?).   Just an unashamedly happy post about my recently adopted social life.   I had heard good things, so decided to give it a try…

Interesting thing happened on Saturday night – Someone who I don’t know that well came to the bar at some point, and was trying to pull a friend of mine…who ran away (possibly screaming) at the first opportunity.   I decide that I have had enough and make to say goodbye and go home….where this person stops me and very pointedly says “I am not going upstairs with you for a quick shag”

Either the worst pickup line in the history of the world, or she remembers our conversations a damn sight differently than I did.

Alcohol is bad


SP comedy gold..

A typical American Marine?So, whilst SPs decline from the dizzy heights of casanovadom continues at a rapid rate of knots….he does still have his moments.

This report was submitted to LW headquarters by our roving field reporter GF.

The location:   Daves living room (AKA the Anglo Irish)
Those present:   SP, GF and a random American Marine

Details are sketchy as to how the introduction came to pass, but before I start, let me give you a little back story of the inimitable SP.

SP is a former member of the British Paratroopers, largely considered to be a Special Forces Unit in their own right, even though they are regular army.   Now, over various “visits” to the worlds hotbed of arsehole activity, SP has encountered many American Marines, and has formed his opinion based on these many encounters.   Now, in an effort to avoid the inevitable death threats…I need to point out that I am sure that not all American Marines conform to the stereotype that SP places on them…that said, he has his experiences.   I won’t drink fizzy water for example….case closed really.

So, back to the introduction…

The SP is introduced to a random American that looks like he overdosed on steroids…referred to as your typical person of this type.   On discovery of the random Americans profession, SP makes the following statement:

“Oh are you?   A Marine?   All Marines are gay”

Cue rapid ascent to the heavens and cartoon’esque steam coming out of the guys ears.   He starts to rise from his seat in a, dare I say it, slightly aggressive manner.

At this point our roving reporter GF decides to intervene…

“hahahahaha – He is only joking around…. hahahahahah – Just kidding man”

SP, without batting an eyelid, responds thusly.. “No I’m not, Marines are all homos…admit it, you suck cock” and then walks away.

Genius I tellsya.

When questioned about this almost pavlovian response by me later… I discovered part of the reason for this *ahem* opinion of the American Marine.   SP tells of being on tour, I think in Kosovo (he will no doubt correct me) and meeting up with a number of American forces.

During one of these meetings, an interesting discovery was made.   The American forces were all presented with a small credit card sized information card that said the following:

DO NOT drink with the British
DO NOT gamble with the British
DO NOT fight with the British

You will lose!

I think that adequatly sums it up.   SP is actually trying to find me one of these cards as, let’s face it, they sound like the stuff of urban legend.

A special shout out to our newest field reporter GF….nice start sir :)

Normal failure based service will be resumed shortly on “The Life and Times of a Failed Casanova”


Dog or Hydrant? (feat. SP fails again)

I don’t remember where I heard that phrase, but it is true don’t you think….sometimes you are the dog, other times you are the hydrant.

I was making myself the hydrant until recently and that has all changed now – So all of the passworded posts have gone and I am on the hunt for material….which will put anyone that knows me on alert….Especially SP.

I have to tell you about his most recent spectacular fail.

We were out at the weekend, when a Hen party turned up at the bar…fairly early in the night.   Now, there is a tradition out here, that Hen Parties (and some Stag parties) get the bride to be dressed up in some bizarre clothing and normally a T-Shirt with embarassing photos or slogans on them.   It is also traditional that the bride to be (with the assistance of the hundreds of other women with them) sells various bits and bobs to fund the evenings festivities.

Things they sell range from sweets through condoms, shots and even kisses.   Now most groups of this type, storm up…spend 5-10 minutes trying to persuade your group to part with cash for various things and when they either get your cash, or realise it ain’t happening, they disappear into the night.

This particular group were fairly unique, insofar as they seemed to genuinely be having a good time and decided to stick around for a laugh, well after they realised we weren’t giving them any cash.   Invariably, most of them were swarming around SP like ants on a picnic table, so G and I leaned back and watched the action unfold.   A pathetic attempt to get SP to remove his shirt by spilling a drink on him later and one of the party starts whispering to SP and then disappears.   5 minutes later, she is back and glaring at SP from the other side of the bar.   Eventually they all leave, run back in a minute later to ask if we are staying all night and then run off again.

It turns out that this particular lovely lady was inviting SP to meet her in the toilets (not the most romantic place, but still)….he didn’t show and she got annoyed.

Later, they came back and he didn’t even notice….

SP – FAIL – Spectacular Fail some might say (yes, the capitalisation is required).

I think the funniest thing for me is, by the end of the night, SP was saying things like “There has to be some women in here somewhere”…. I don’t know if he realises what a comic genius he is sometimes.

Also, a Stag party went past on this…


Genius, it’s a fully functioning bar that everyone sat at pedals and moves along – I want one :)