Monday, 31 May 2010

Living and Learning

Well. How the devil art thou? It's been a long time since I updated this little baby hasn't it? A month and a day if I'm not mistaken, and rather shockingly, quite a bit has happened in my social-wraith-like existence.

Went camping in South Wales during the second weekend of May. I went with my better half to the idyllic, shining beacon of industry known as Swansea...and it rained. It wasn't actually Swansea town centre that we camped in - it was a place called Clyne, a bit further down the coast, and had it been as sunny as it was when I decided to book the campsite, I wager it would have been a pretty spectacular weekend away. As it was, we got there on the Friday evening and had a little BBQ in the brief spell of sunshine that the Gods granted us...before the heavens opened and unleashed Dante's vision of Hell upon the campsite. And there said vision presided - through the night, into the Saturday and then on into Saturday night. The weather was, happily, the only shite thing about our little excursion. We had a nice walk into the town centre, ate a fucking enormous meal in a pub, and walked around some ornamental gardens. All in all, a rather enjoyable weekend. Shame the tent was fucking tiny and the rain came through in one corner, but you can't have it all.

Which is pretty fucking weird, considering the weather has been pretty damn fine throughout most of the rest of the month. Ah well. Speaking of the fine weather, I have made the most of it by resuming my running. My knee has finally decided to stop pissing me about and sorted it's act out. So no more ridiculous pains and no more painful feet when out pounding pavement. I, as previously documented at great length, had reverted to using a cross-trainer to get my exercise done whilst my knee was out of action, but in recent weeks it seems to have fully recovered and as such I'm back out in the wilderness again. Not to the excessive levels I was previously, you understand, but out there nonetheless. As such, last week I bought some new running trainers: Saucony are back in my life.

Saucony are, without a shadow of a doubt, the best running trainers I have ever used. I was previously wearing Nike, and the physio I was seeing advised that I get some dedicated running footwear in order to lessen the effects of my injury. Alas, I couldn't afford any new trainers at the time and that's where my love affair with the cross-trainer began. Last week though, I pooped into the new TK Maxx store in Weymouth and spotted a pair of (gasp!) size 9 Saucony Grid running trainers for the meagre sum of £29.99 wedged in between the hideous bright blue pairs of Converse basketball shoes (who the fuck buys those?!). As soon as I spotted them, I knew they had to be I handed over the card and purchased them. And as predicted, they are every bit as comfortable as both of my previous pairs - the first of which fell apart after so much use; and the second which shrank after I washed them and tried to dry them on the radiator (as previously documented here, on this very blog folks).

Also been doing a bit of reading. After the marvellous Frankenstein, I have acquired a copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula, and it is superb. Far better than the film adaptation, but then that's to be expected these days. Not finished it yet, but getting there.

Remember how I was going on a few months ago about trying to find somewhere to live and then deliberating about how I was thinking of moving out? Well, the decision was made for me earlier this week by my landlord: I was evicted via text message. Seriously. The reasons are still a little cloudy, but the story leading up to the aforementioned text message are as follows.

On Sunday last, my dad and cousin ventured down from Manchester to visit me in my shared house for a few days. I had previously asked the (live-in) landlord if this was OK, and he was quite enthusiastic and had said it was fine - they could use the spare room. He even went to the trouble of making up beds etc. Which was very good of him. When my guests arrived on Sunday evening, I had already arranged a bit of a BBQ for them and a few beers in the extensive garden, and also strategically arranged the seating etc in an area as far away from the occupied bedroom windows as I could in order to a) prevent smoke going into open windows from the BBQ; and b) prevent anyone being bothered by noise. Furthermore, I invited several of my housemates to come and join us. None of them did, but the landlord and his partner (he's gay) came out to chat with us for a while. It was all fine, up until half eleven that night when the previously jovial landlord came storming out of the house in his dressing gown to tell us, quite abruptly to shut up and keep the noise down. It was news to us that we had been making an inordinate amount of noise, but with that we decided to call it a night and went to bed after tidying up our mess. The next morning, I spoke to him (the landlord) and apologised for the 'noise' and that was the end of it...or so I thought.

That same night, after being out of the house all day showing my old man and cousin around the town and the beaches etc, we went back to the house end ended up sat outside again, as we had the previous evening. Not long after we had got back, one of my housemates appeared with his girlfriend, a crate of Budweiser and a bottle of vodka. Cue much merry making, but in greatly hushed tones due to the previous night's chastisement. We finally retired at around 2am, making sure as not to disturb any of the other people in the house. And so the night was done. Until the following morning, at about 8am when the landlord decided to boot my bedroom door open (while I was still asleep and thus waking me up), and go into a raving tantrum about how we'd kept him up all night with our 'yapping' and how we'd left the garden looking like we'd had a 'festival.' Don't know how many festivals the tit has been to, but if any of them looked like how we'd left the garden, they must've been pretty shit.

I got up, went downstairs and tidied up the beer bottles and ashtrays that had been left on the table. It was done in under 3 minutes - just to illustrate the scale of the debris. Landlord then flounced off to work. After this (and after also, unbeknown to me, being rude to my dad and cousin), neither of my guests wanted to stay in the house and cut short their visit by a day. I avoided the landlord for a further two evenings by staying one night in my room and then the next night at my girlfriend's house. By this time, it was Thursday morning and I still hadn't seen or heard from the melodramatic twat. I decided to try to clear the air by sending a text message to him asking if we could sort it out. He responded by saying he thought it would be best if I moved out by the middle of June!

For a bit of fucking noise!

I'm actually working for most of June, and won't be at the house very much, so decided to move out there and then, humping all my worldly possessions back to my previous residence at the military base I sometimes (but once again, exclusively) called home. In some ways, I'm a bit disgruntled because there are some people living in that house share who have done some pretty shocking things whilst lodging (one guy held a fucking knife up the throat of a previous resident, for example...but still happily resides there); but in others I'm quite happy to be out of the place as I no longer have to give a chunk of my wage away just to live a lonely existence in a town where I know nobody whilst sleeping in a room the size of a shoebox. Silver linings and all that.

Other events that have littered May are: a cricket match that turned into a piss-up that nearly turned into me pissing in my girlfriend's wardrobe; a visit to a tapas bar that, again, turned into a piss-up; a day's temp work on a building site that saw me dig a ditch around a building with a pick-axe; nearly getting citizens arrested by a Community Support Officer (a fake cop, basically - with no real powers of arrest) for riding my bike along a coastal path that didn't have any signs stating that I wasn't allowed. At 7am. When said path was deserted (what the fuck was the jobsworth doing down there at that time anyway?!); being recognised by somebody watching a Navy recruiting video; meeting my girlfriend's parents (I was shitting myself, but it turned out to be a great day); and then, at the death of the month, having a bit of a fall out with the aforementioned lady in my life. Not a great end to May if I'm honest, as both that and the eviction episode occurred in the same week, but we live and learn don't we. Well, most of us do.

Lastly, yesterday I purchased a used copy of the much-hyped Modern Warfare 2 for my 360. Got it home and popped it into the drive to be confronted with the 'disc unreadable' message. Upon closer inspection, it appears that the disc is cracked in 3 places. Which means I've got to drag my ass back to the shop and get an exchange. Not impressed, CEX. The moral of the story is to check your game discs before you leave the shop, folks.