I was thinking about Christmas shopping and going into the Percy the other day, and remembered this old beauty, The Haymarket pub, which used to be in the Haymarket area of Newcastle, on the same side as The Percy. It was pulled down in 1987 to build a car park for the University (bloody town planners and students). What a pub it was, very rowdy indeed, with some excellent bar staff, a 'couldn't give a fuck' attitude, great juke box, and even a space upstairs for bands to practise in. It's a real shame when places like this (and The Broken Doll) get torn down, they are part of the towns history. Forget all these chrome and plastic pubs that are everywhere, some of the old ones need preserving. Probably my favourite time in The Haymarket was before the Rolling Stones gig at St James' Park in 1982. A load of us crammed in there (all pretty drunk), loads of spare tickets, and l also met a guy who called himself 'Telegram Sam' and was a huge Bolan fan. As you can imagine, the conversation was very geeky. I also managed to get some passes for the gig and stole a huge advertising banner from up the scaffolding inside the ground, borrowing a knife off a hells angel to cut it down. I am surprised l didn't kill myself climbing up the scaffolding drunk, but it was worth it (later sold in London at auction). Happy days indeed.
Right, that's Christmas pretty much out of the way for another year. Everyone has been visited apart from my brother, and now it is time for relaxing and eating. Called round to my sister's yesterday, then on to Joe's and had some whiskeys with him. Not in the FPO's good books afterwards for staying longer than agreed at Joe's (and probably drinking too much whiskey), and had to go back to work today, but l have taken tomorrow off. Going to chill out all day and do bugger all, just reading, watching TV and stuffing my fat face. Bliss.
Good do last night. The FPO went to bed early as she was unwell, then Kerry also went up as she was knackered. That just left myself, Robbo, Rook and Deb drinking and talking crap. Rook and Deb left about midnight and me and Robbo stayed up chatting for about another hour. l know l went to bed at 1.30am, so it wasn't too late. We also stayed in all night as Robbo was also a poor little wounded soldier and said he didn't want to go out (although l bet he regretted saying that, as he called into The Wine Bar for 15 minutes on the way here and had a great time). Ponce.
Up early this morning as Robbo and Kerry stayed over and they got up early to stick in their goose (a bargain at £58). We all swopped pressies and had some bubbly and drinks, then we left them to burn the house down as we went to Stockton to Ann and Ken's for Christmas day. As usual, got loads more presents (including the new undies and socks). l took a load of photos while there but they are on the internal camera memory and l don't know where the lead is to get them off. Little fat head was quiet all day, mostly asleep, although l don't know how with all the noise. Lots of bottles of red wine was drunk and the FPO drove Debs car home so Rook could have a drink as well. Time for the old Christmas TV to work it's magic now, as l managed to phone my brother and sister earlier in the day, so l have bugger all to do now.
That's it for now. Finished my work for a couple of days and am now waiting for guests to arrive for a Christmas Eve get together. The FPO has been preparing way too much food (as usual) and is still ill. l am still ill but shall overcome it. The guests tonight are Robbo and Kerry, and Rook and Deb. Dazzer and Louise have backed out, probably too scared of the killer virus we have. l remember Dazzer having his (so called) swine flu a while ago and crying like a girl "The lights are hurting my eyes etc". Amateurs. More booze for us l say. Let the mayhem commence!
Went off to sunny Newcastle today with the FPO to do the Christmas shopping. It took bleeding ages getting into the car park by the Haymarket, as there was a traffic gridlock for some reason. It was also freezing, but luckily l knew what l had to get so it did not take too long, plenty of time for a swift ale in The Percy Arms, one of the few old pubs in town that is still rough. To tell the truth, l felt like being sick when l was swigging my drink, but traditions have to be adhered to. Went to The Tyneside Theatre cafe for lunch (on the FPO's orders), and then she left her eggs on toast. Pah! Back home and wrapping up pressies, both coughing and a spluttering. Nice. Last day at work tomorrow for at least two whole days! Can't wait.
What a pain this flu is (or whatever Godforesaken illness it is). Back at work again today and everyone is ill. Thought l would be a good lad and show my face to prevent other people skiving (as l would usually have done). Now the first one to be off will look like a right girl. Going Christmas shopping tomorrow in Newcastle, so that had better not be too cold, or l am writing a strong letter of complaint. early to bed tonight methinks.
I have been in bed all day (well, till 2pm, then in a hot bath, as l have a bad case of the swine flu again. Luckily (or not) l was off work today anyway, so l have just been suffering, dozing, watching TV and reading. Back in at work tomorrow, cant wait. The only bonus is that a lot of other people are also ill with the same thing - HA!
Still struggling on and going to work, although no-one else would manage it (l actually feel a bit better today). Still busy as anything, still going to the hospital all the time, l am ploughing through everyone's supervisions and l have also had to make another visit to the cop shop with a client.
What a bastard! l was really looking forward to the Chelsea v Manchester United game today, but it has been called off because of the snow. To top that, l am either getting Swine Flu or l am allergic to Tubbs being in the house, as l am pretty damn snotty. Anyone else would be dead but l shall struggle on - nearly holiday time again!
Those crazy Japanese have only gone and done it again, it's a restaurant that has a toilet theme in more ways than one. The only thing that spoils it being about those crazy Japanese is the fact that it is the Merton in Taiwan. Damn!
No great change at the moment. Nozzer's still dead and in the garden, Tubbs is still shocked and making me sneeze a lot, and l still have to go to Northallerton (although an operation was performed yesterday, so it's not for much longer).
I took these pictures on the way back today, not a bad day really, although by Christ, I live in the middle of nowhere.
So, Nozzer is now dead and buried in the garden, and l am back at work going to Northallerton hospital every day. At least the views are nice.
Tubbs has now come indoors, as there is meant to be a cold front arriving, so there seemed no point in delaying it. He is currently looking stunned, that's for sure. l also bet he is red hot compared to being out in all weathers. In a couple of weeks there will be moulted rabbit hair all over the place. who knows, it might even hide the rest of the dust and crap that is already there.
This is the last night little Nozzer is going to have, as he has an appointment at the vets tomorrow morning, and will more than likely get put down, unless a miracle happens in the meantime. I think Jacko must be suspecting something as she has been lying with Nozzer in the living room. Nozzer just can't walk anymore, is shitting phlegm and we feel as though we are just dragging his last days out, so want to stop him suffering. Not looking forward to it at all, but at least l have the day off. Hope the ground is not too hard, as l will be on the old grave digging duties again. The garden will be full soon at this rate.
Watched this tonight with the FPO. It's a black and white German language film set in a small village just before the outbreak of World War One by Michael Haneke, originally intended to be a TV series. A series of events happen in the village, a doctors horse is tripped up by a wire, kids are beaten and abused, and someone dies after an accident. The film lasts about 140 minutes, so the FPO was getting a bit restless near the end. At the close, you are still not sure who has done stuff, but l am fine with that. It is meant to represent the ways terrorism, religious doubt, intolerance, authoritarianism and fear can grow and mutate. Superb.
What a crappy turn of events. Little Nozzer, my favourite pet recently (no, l haven't forgotten Mowgli), has suddenly gone downhill, and looks as the though he might die in the next couple of days. He has been to the vets this week (not by himself of course), but cannot walk or stand up straight a lot of the time and is also pooing phlegm rather than proper rabbit poos that can be eaten (and lord knows l've tried).
He has been ill in the past with his puss and operations (see the photos above), but never as bad as this.
l love the little boy and he upset me tonight by making strange noises and licking me a lot when l picked him up. He does usually lick me, but never straight away when l pick him up. To me, it seemed like he was doing it while he can. Obviously l might be anthropomorphising his response, but l do know the little boy well. What a bastard, l will be so upset when he goes.
Tubbs will benefit by coming indoors and getting a lot of love (and he deserves it as well), but little Nozzer has been great, and l will really miss him.
Because a lot of people have managed to climb Mount Everest, it is sometimes thought to be easy (especially by loud-mouthed braggarts such as my good self in the ale house). It may well be easier to do nowadays, especially with the guides and new fangled equipment, but it still takes a mighty heavy toll on some people (mostly rich ones, so it's not all bad).
One of the people l support has been in hospital in Northallerton for the last four weeks following a stroke. They eventually decided to take him for an operation on Friday, so l went there before the operation, saw him taken away to be operated on, and said l would be back after the operation.
When l returned, he still seemed pretty cheerful and said he was not sore or sleepy, which l found a bit odd. l then went to find out more information, and was then told that the operation had not gone ahead, as one of the medications he was taking would make it too risky, therefore they were changing the medication, had to give it a week to get out of his system, and then do the operation after that.
What a waste of time for everyone involved, you would think it would be somebody's job to check whatever medication he was on well before he was in the operating theatre, after all, he had already been in the hospital for four weeks and they were the ones that prescribed the medication to him. His family were not happy, l can tell you that.
While l have been visiting, the snow has been pretty bad, but l struggled through. It has just buggered off in the last day or so, let's hope the bastard stuff doesn't return, l hate it (bah humbug!)
I had a long day at work yesterday (8am until 11pm, then sleepover), but at least l survived the night. With my depression about having to go back to work in the first place, that was a bleeding miracle.
rather sadly, l woke up about 5am and couldn't sleep, so l put on my ipod to listen to stuff. Nothing unusual in that, apart from this time it was audio books of horror stories by HP Lovecraft. Pretty good they were as well, he is one hell of a fine writer, and the stories were read in a way that did not annoy me. That, trust me, is always a bonus, as l am so easily annoyed by these things.
Anywho's, the best bit was nearly falling asleep to The Statement of Randolph Carter, with it's
early calling from the depths (l won't spoil the story). Just what you need as you try and drift off into the land of nod. I could feel my body kind of reacting to it, feeling scared in a kind of hairs rising kind of way, but was also aware of what was happening and being fascinated by it and trying to encourage my body/subconsciousness to carry on being scared, although l know that is not a really feasible thing to do (still worth trying though).
Look at the size of that bastardo. Nothing more to add really.
Oh shit l have just remembered - the guy is breeding them for food. What a twat. Get a cow, food and milk whenever you want, and if you have enough space, get chickens (food, eggs, and sex if you want it).
It was pretty interesting and showed the effects war has on it's participants, but the main thing l was bothered about was the way the troops treated the Afghan elders.
There was an incident when a cow was killed (and then eaten by the troops). The elder (or farmer) wanted compensation for it, which he quoted as about 400/500 (not sure if this was dollars). This was then turned down, and he was offered sugar/tea etc but he then seemed to go away pretty dissatisfied. Don't the troops realise how much bad feeling this will provoke, probably costing extra lives in the future. The way the elders were spoken to was also out of order, with lots of swearing and a lack of respect. That is no way to win hearts and minds. The troops could also do with learning a few simple phrases such as "sit down", "come here" and "thank you".
My own view is the troops should have just launched a propaganda war, dropping information leaflets, medicines and supplies to the population. That would have been a lot cheaper in the long run, and it is the only way of winning the Afghans over. The war will turn out to be unsustainable or winnable and the troops will eventually pull out, leaving the region to go back to how it was. What a waste of lives.
This war is not like The Second World War (or The First). These people do not feel as though they are being rescued, and will have a lot of resentment against the Americans (and other troops), especially when innocent family members have been killed. This will just encourage the Afghan youngsters to continue the fight (and so on, and so on..).
This is pretty damn cool. When houses have been getting done up in Paris (If I remember correctly, although it could be Spain), they have been covered with sheets to disguise and hide the work. The sheets look amazing, and as a long time fan of Salvador Dali (I have been to his birthplace and various museums), I would be sorely tempted to try and nick one.
God knows what l would do with it afterwards (no suggestions thank you).
Recent films l have just seen, with an emphasis on foreign ones.
A Serious man (2009) is a Coen brothers film about someone who's wife has an affair, his kids don't respect, and is in fear of losing his job. It also questions the church and religion. Pretty bleak all the way through, but good.
La Femme Infidele (1968) is about another man who's wife has an affair, only this time, the husband kills the other man. He then takes the rap for it as the wife realises how much she loved him (her husband) really.
In Apres Vous (2003), a man (Daniel Auteuil) saves another man (Jose Garcia) from hanging himself, then takes responsibility for his life. It's a black comedy and also really well done, enjoyed it a lot.
Ohayo (1959, also known as Good Morning) is about a small community in Japan, focussing on how petty the neighbours are, and the two young boys taking a vow of silence because they are desperate for a TV. Nothing really happens in it, but it is a pleasant enough way to spend an hour or so.
The Death of Mister Lazarescu (2005) shows the last hours of the eponymous man, a person the hospitals do not want to admit as they are either busy, or because he has been drinking and is about to die anyway. Long and bleak, it is a Romanian film and is meant to be a black comedy, but there was not a lot of laughs in it, that's for sure. Just up my street.
I really don't just watch these type of films to be different, it's just that l much prefer them to the Hollywood blockbusters that star (for example) Bruce Willis in a vest, or Arnie destroying things. Foreign films, when they are good, are a relaxing way to spend some time, also giving some kind of insight into the countries they are based in. Who knows, l may even improve my knowledge of foreign languages (and let's face it. l have a lot to learn).
The bloody weather and the airports have let us down big style.
After finishing work on Wednesday (early because of the weather), myself and the FPO travelled to Middlesbrough to meet up with Kerry and Robbo for a holiday to Berlin.
We were meant to be going top Paris first, then onto Berlin, but a lot of the flights were getting cancelled due to the weather, as there was a lot of snow about. We tried changing the flights on the internet and also ringing KLM, but to no avail. Then we thought "Fuck it, lets go to Newcastle Airport and sort it out there".
After setting off at 2.30am to get to Newcastle, we were then put onto a flight which went to Amsterdam, then onto Berlin. Sadly, this flight did not leave until 5.30pm, sop we had a long wait ahead of us. No problemo, there was a bar open, and we could also crash out at the airport and get some shut eye.
The girls then had an idea about 1pm, to check if there were any cancellations on earlier flights, in the hope we could get on them. Unfortunately, that is when they discovered all the flights were cancelled. Bummer (to say the least).
we then got a taxi back to Newcastle (as everyone was too drunk to drive by then), and booked into the Malmaison hotel for the night.
What can l say, we made the best of a bad situation, had lots of food and drink and then set off back home the next day. Still have the holiday money we have not spent, have time off work, will get flight money back and some insurance money back, but l would still rather have got to Berlin.