Monday, March 28, 2005

games without frontiers

Kirsty Gallacher and Danny Foster at the Don Valley Stadium yesterday.

We'll it's been a miserable old Easter. The gloom has scarcely lifted and the Family Backroads has not ventured beyond the bounds of the village. The house buying process is stuck due to a porridge-like combination of the market being about to turn, crappy viewing weather and intransigent vendors who don't really seem arsed about selling... not to us anyway.

On the upside I resumed my running schedule last week following a period spent sorting out a knackered calf muscle. Yesterday I went for a scoot round the block and knackered said muscle again. It's me age.

At least there's a new New Order record to look forward to... plus another Kirsty to lust after support.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

the butterfly collector

I remember when I was at junior school my best friend's birthday was exactly one week before mine. David Hampson. I was in awe of him. He was my hero. Once he told me that his Dad had explained the solar system to him, including the asteroid belt and the possibility of planets beyond Pluto. I said 'does your Dad know everything?'. David looked at me, thought for a few seconds, then said 'not far off'. I was impressed.

Anyway, one year I asked him what he'd got for his birthday and he answered 'a stamp collectors outfit'. 'Wow!' I thought. How cool is that. I had an image of a smart jacket with flashy epaulettes, trousers with a stripe running down each side, a rakish hat perhaps a little like the little gendarme's from the Pink Panther cartoon, and the possibility of maybe a little machine on a leather strap.

'Mum, David Hampson's got a stamp collector's outfit!'

I wanted one.

I asked for one for my birthday.

On the big day I got a plastic envelope. Inside it was a sort of exercise book with little empty squares printed one each page, a tiny plastic tray, some tweezers, a packet of odd greaseproof paper stickers and a dozen crappy used stamps from places I'd never heard of like Magyar and Hellas. I'd love to say that they opened up a magical world of far off places, animals, plants and undiscovered races, but the truth was less romantic than that. Yes, some were pretty, but I couldn't use them to write to Grandma...

...and definitely no hat.

Monday, March 14, 2005

from the gut

Suddenly the Family Backroads is back in the midst of a house purchase/sale wrangle. This has to be one of my least favourite pastimes. It's only when you enter the fray that you are reminded just what duplicitous immoral vermin estate agents actually are. Due to their lack of awareness and mercenary interfering the odds of us getting the house we're after look slim... but we'll keep going for now.

Oh and if any of you guys reading this are estate agents. Er, well nothing. Nothing at all.

Monday, March 07, 2005

gut of the quantifier

Mrs Backroads has been taken rather badly. Like the rest of the UK we went out for a Mother's Days lunch yesterday which, I have to say, went fairly well. Apart from the restaurant having lost our booking, then finding it, then putting us on a table other than the one we'd requested. Anyway we all got sat down and the food was, y'know, OK for a generic chain... or at least we thought it was until we got home last night and Mrs B's Lamb and Rosemary Suet Pudding made a surprise guest appearance during Fame Academy. We thought we'd seen the last of it but it continued to surprise us all night by appearing in a whole host of surprsing venues.

Anyway, she's feeling better now, but my trip to the smoke today has been shelved.

One more thing. I went to order drinks yesterday when one the of bar staff was taken to one side and given a bollocking by his manager. I wasn't particular impressed by the way he got spoken to so I took the manager aside and had a word. Bear in mind that my point was about the way he spoke to the staff member rather than issue being discussed, it fell on deaf ears as the manager tried to impress upon me how it was like talking to a brick wall.

So big up all the underpaid undertrained underlings on the busiest lunchtime of the year.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

live and dangerous

Next door have got ferrets. They live in a hutch on the drive outside their house. Does this constitute a health hazard to Snicket and Boo who are bound to want to prod the red eyed vermin at some point? Should I call someone? Russell Harty (rip)?