A History Of Great Mistakes

A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt5
February 21, 2009, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

(be sure to checkout part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 first)

I lay on the wet concrete floor, looking up at a darkening sky. My eyes glanced down to Sky’s text again. I couldn’t believe I’d done it again. There was no other solution for it – I was going to have to man up and call her to apologise.

Shaky fingers scrolled through the phonebook for Sky’s number as I stood up and dusted myself off. Cautiously, I pressed the call button.

“Hello? Where are you?” said Sky, picking up almost immediately.

“…I’m really sorry – I’m up on Penglais hill. It’s a long story, but could you come up to meet me instead…?”

There was a moment of silence. I ached for what seemed like years, searching in the vacuum of sound for some indication of any remaining interest.

“…fine.” said Sky, to my eternal relief. “But I’ll be awhile, I bumped into Matt earlier and convinced him to have a drink when you didn’t turn up. I’ll be there in an hour or so.” So that was where Matt had been – getting the other half of the story.

“That’s great! Really, I’m sorry again. I truly am. I’ve not really done all that well here have I…”

“Just be there in an hour” sighed Sky.


Sky hung up the phone as I reached Jay’s front door and rang the bell. Sandra had taken housekeys with her, but after she stormed off post fall / breast grope, I thought it wouldn’t be on good form to ask her ‘if she could leave the door on the latch’.

“You dude – need a beer” said Jeff, beckoning me in. “Sandra has a bruise on her forehead, you know that?”

My face turned a deep shade of crimson. I looked away. “Is she around…?”

“Buggered off into her room as soon as she got back, well, after a bit of f-ing and blinding of course. Something about having to use foundation to cover her eye, blah blah etc. I laughed so hard I could barely hear her after that…

I was completely stuck for words.

“Let’s get you that beer” said Jeff, smiling.

We sat in the living room drinking more 1664 and listening to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.  Sandra walked in with a slight black eye (which I can only assume she got from my reverse headbutt) and stared at me.

“B@$tard!” she shouted.

I gulped the last mouthful of my 1664. It was going to be a long evening. ‘Better have a Fosters and slow down a bit’ I thought. Don’t want to make another tit of myself.

More beer seemed to be the best solution

More beer seemed to be the best solution

Four Fosters and a few more party goers later, I was up on the dancefloor popping a groove. The fact that I was up there on my own didn’t really bother me, although a little company would have been nice. After Zombie Nation – Kernkraft 400 had finished, I breathed a sigh, and threw myself into a chair near Sandra.

“Really am sorry Sandsie” I slurred. “Didn’t mean to give you that shiner…”

“It’s fine, really.” smiled Sandra. “I was angry before, but now… Well, it was just an accident wasn’t it?

“It was!” I agreed. “Friends again…?” I said, smiling a bit of a drunk smile and stretching out my arms for a hug.

Sandra looked at me. “Friends” she said, giving me a handshake. “Anyway, changing the subject, have you met Anne?”

‘No I haven’t, how the devil are you Anna on this fine humid evening in the land of my fathers that we call Wales?’ is something like what I would like to have said. Jay told me the morning after that I’d just smiled and giggled a little. Which, I think Anna must have liked, as she smiled back at me.

The beers were certainly doing their job, giving me a huge warm fuzzy feeling of love for my fellow man. And woman. Women. Actually, just a huge love for all two of the women in the room. They were beautiful. And Sandra had a nice left breast. I’d confirmed that by accident earlier.

“Hey! Let’s play a game!” said Sandra.

“Bokay!” I replied, adding a ‘b’ to okay for no reason other than making myself laugh.

“What could we play?” Sandra asked the party.

“Risk!” “Drinking Game Monopoly!” “Snakes and Ladders!” suggested various people from around the room.

“…bokay…” I snorted, nearly wetting myself laughing.

And then Anna made a suggestion. “Why don’t we play Twister?

I stopped laughing.

“I’ve never played Twister before” I said to Anna. “Is that the game I’m thinking of…? The one with the coloured dots, people, etc…?”

“That’s the one! Come on – it’ll be fun!” said Anna, grinning. “Hey! It could be you, me, Sandra and Ja–”

“Ok – let’s get this show on the road!” I said, cutting her off and making room on the floor by moving a table that didn’t need moving.

Fifteen minutes later, my shoes were next to the Twister mat, and I was intertwined between Sandra and Anna, who were both contorted around Jay. I was having a pretty damn good time. And I had an excellent view of Anna’s breasts thanks to my ‘left hand yellow’ move.

Jeff spun the wheel and called out Jay’s move. “Left leg green!” Jay had been precariously perched before that call, but that was it – he moved – and we all tumbled to the ground laughing.

I laughed more than most, as I went face first into Anna’s cleavage.

Relaxed and happy, I breathed a sigh of relief, picked myself up, and looked towards the door.

“Oh… Hi Matt… …Sky… Um… How long have you both been there…?”


A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt4
February 20, 2009, 5:46 pm
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

(make sure you read part 1, part 2 and part 3 first)

Everything was going great in my head. We had Matt, there was Jay, and I was going to pick Sky up at 7. Now all we needed to make the party work was a bit of food, and a lot of alcohol.

The walk up Penglais hill has always been a bit dodgy on the best of days, but on that day, weather as it was – it was damn near deadly.

After a very cautious climb, we reached the halls that Jay and his housemates were living in – just in time for the sun to come out. ‘Now this was what I was promised by Michael!’ I thought to myself, as I looked out of Jay’s kitchen window.

“Right – we need to grab a bunch of beer dude” said Jay.

A woman walked in and grabbed a t-shirt from the dryer in the corner of the kitchen. “Won’t be a minute and I’ll be right with you Jay” she said, before walking off again.

“Errm… Dude? Who be she?” I asked, using the best English my sobering brain could offer.

“Oh! Sorry, I forgot for a moment that you don’t know everyone!” said Jay apologetically. “Hey Sandra, come meet Pete!” he shouted towards the door.

Sandra walked back into the kitchen wearing the Supergirl t-shirt she had dashed in for before. “Hey Pete” she said, “I’m Sandra!”

‘Well hello Sandra, I am Pete of Warwick, it is a great pleasure to meet you in such a wonderful green land as this’ I said in my mind. I was told later that my actual words were more to the effect of “…er… Hi.” Smooth.

“So – shall we get a bit of beer and food for tonight?” she said.

“Going to have to” Jay chirped from the background as he looked through the fridge, “Mother Hubbard’s cupboards are all bare, and her brewery has been drained.”

The Co-Op was only a short walk away, so we (with a lad named Jeff) trekked over.

Jeff had a good banter with Sandra, but seemed to be resisting her subtle advances ever so slightly. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it all. Especially as Sandra was a bloody funny lass.

Back then I had a tendency to float towards the funnier lady. Truth be told, that tendency is still there.

So, at 5pm on hot and humid Aberystwyth afternoon, walking back to the halls loaded up with beer and chicken wings in overflowing plastic bags, I began to float towards her.

It was pretty obvious that Sandra was interested in Jeff. But I couldn’t help myself from doing a little bit of flirting with her anyway. Especially as Jeff didn’t seem to be that interested in Sandra.

“Fancy another beer before the party starts?” Jay enquired as I sat down in the living room. I looked at my watch. 5:30. Plenty of time for a bottle or two of beer before setting off to pickup Sky.

“Sure – hey, pass me one of the 1664 will you?” I rarely drank Kronenbourg. I’d had what can only be described as a ‘very bad experience in a field’ a year or so beforehand, which had taught me that I get very drunk and very silly on the stuff. But I’d temporarily erased that part of my conscious thought process, as I was having a laugh with Sandra, and seeing as she was drinking 1664 – I was going to follow suit.

Good heavens was I drunk.

'Tipsy' me

Time passed, and I spent it well, getting tipsy and laughing with Sandra, Jay and Jeff.

“I thought more people would be here by now” said Jay, looking at the slab of beer and bucket of chicken wings on the table. “That beer isn’t going to drink itself. I wonder where Matt is?” Jay looked at his phone to check for missed calls.

“Dude! Idea!” boomed Sandra. “I’ll round a few people up from the other halls! Hey Jeff, you up for comin’ along to do that?”

“Nah, you’re alright. I’m going to have a bit of a look for some more music instead.”

Sandra looked a little peeved, turned to me, and with a smile said “how about you Pete? Gonna let me down too?”

“No” I said, without a moments hesitation – “let’s drag them in kicking and screaming!”

“That’s the spirit! See that Jeff? Pete’s up for it!” said Sandra, smirking.

“Good for him.” Said Jeff, getting up to look for music.

As we put our coats on and walked out the front door, a disturbing fact became apparent to me. I was very very drunk. That damn 1664 had done it again. I looked down at my shoes and hoped Sandra hadn’t noticed any swaying. My head raised just in time to watch Sandra fall over her shoes and faceplant the front lawn.

I had nothing to worry about.

We walked around the campus chatting about nothing and exchanging the odd flirt here and there. I was beginning to get the impression that this girl liked me. Which was fine with me. I was starting to like her too.

Sadly, almost no-one was home. And when they were home, they seemed to be either hungover or disinterested. We weren’t impressed, but we’d given it our best shot. After a few ‘maybes’, we decided to call it a day and walked back to the halls.

“Ooh! Hey Pete, are you good at piggybacks?” said Sandra, randomly.

“I’m… Not that bad…?” I replied, a little confused as to the context in which the question was being asked.

“Yes! Jeff’s good too, but he doesn’t like giving me piggybacks anymore.”

I looked at her, with an expression on my face that can only be summed up as ‘….aaannnnddd…?

“Well, I was just thinking…” she murmured, looking at the ground and scuffing her shoes a little “…maybe you could give me a piggyback? My legs are dead tired…

Now, I liked Sandra, but – she was slightly curvaceous, and I’d recently put my back out. I pondered the situation for a mini-moment, and looked up at the sky. “Go on then…” I said, in a slightly gruff tone, rolling my eyes.

“Yay!” she squealed, jumping up and down.

I turned around, and arched my back a little.

Sandra took a mini run up, jumped on and quickly locked herself into the most comfortable position. ‘I don’t know what I was worrying about’, I thought ‘she’s as light as a feather…!’

I started to walk back with Sandra’s arms around my neck. Felt kind of nice. Sandra kneed me in the rib. “Giddy up horse!” she said, playfully.

‘Cheeky little…’ I thought to myself, while I laughed. I broke into a slightly faster ‘trot’. “Faster horse! Faster!” she said, laughing. I trotted a little faster. “No – faster!” she said, nudging me in the ribs again.

I began to run.

Although the day had warmed up and there wasn’t rain falling from the heavens, the ground had yet to recover, and was still sodden. Trees had been dripping water onto us as we’d been walking around together, and neither of us had paid that much attention to it when we were going from door to door earlier. I certainly hadn’t paid any attention to the wet concrete walkway I was now running down.

But when I slipped backwards mid-stride, threw Sandra to the floor and backward headbutted her (while twisting my knee and accidentally groping her left breast in an attempt to steady myself) I was acutely aware.

“You f@£king idiot!” shouted Sandra, as I lay ontop of her, crushing her chest with my weight. “I’ve landed on my b@$%arding ass! That’s going to give me a f@£king huge bruise!” she said, pushing me off.

‘That. Hurt.‘ I thought, as I lay on the floor, watching Sandra storm off.

My phone beeped at me.

“Where r u?”

It was from Sky. I looked at my watch.



A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt3
February 19, 2009, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

(Have a read of part 1 and part 2 first)

I stared at my mobile. How was I going to explain being late? And how could I get Sky to come to the party?

My throat went a little dry, and the world seemed to slow down for a moment.

I began to text.

“Hi – sorry I’m late – hey do you fancy switching the lunch to tonight instead?”

I pressed send.

‘Crap.’ I thought to myself. ‘If I were her I’d have been miffed at that. I need to make it a bit better…’

“…bugger! Just noticed my last text didn’t send until now! I must have been out of signal. Are you ok for tonight?”

‘Yeah, that’ll do the job’ I thought.

A few moments past, I had another sip of my pint and chewed on a bite of my steak lunch. The medley of chips, onion and prime rib were delicious. Or I imagined they were. The taste of hops had somewhat taken over my taste buds on the last pint.

Sky texted back.

“K. When / where?”

Over the years, I’ve learned a few things about women. Whenever – and I mean whenever – women give a short reply to a question, you sir, are in the doghouse.

At this point in my life however, I had yet to learn this lesson. And I was pretty clueless to the fact that Sky was more than a little hacked off with me. Yes, I did have a little inkling. But… Well… I was a little too drunk for it to be in the forefront of my mind.

“Remember Jay? He’s having a house party at the top of Penglais hill… Could do that? Maybe meet you in town around 7 and walk up together?”

There was another pause as I waited for Sky’s response and chewed on more steak.

“Hey Pete – fancy being a mate?” said Jay.

I gulped down my mouthful. “What does it involve…?” I cautiously responded.

“Just drumming up a bit of interest for the party tonight. Walking around town, letting people know about it and so on…”

I looked out of the pub window. The sky crackled and the rainy Welsh weather transformed into Eastern monsoon rain before my eyes.

Sky replied to the text. “K – meet me in town @ 7. Spoons?” It was back on! Sky was coming, which meant that it would be a little rude to not help out with a few pre-party preparations…

“Sure… I’ll help you drum up a few people.” I said to Jay as I texted Sky back to confirm.

As we walked out of The Academy, I immediately regretted not bringing a coat. I didn’t think I was going to need one when I’d come down. Michael Fish had said that it was meant to be a lovely clear day – in fact it was supposed to be the hottest of the year! So what was with all the sodding rain? ‘Still, he didn’t get everything right when I was growing up‘, I thought to myself.

“I’m going to have to get a coat” I said to Jay, my teeth chattering as we walked in the rain.

After picking out a fetching little rugby raincoat from The Don, I walked around with Jay and his mate telling people about the party. I wasn’t sure if he knew all of the people that we were stopping, or whether he was just trying to drum up interest from some of Wales’ most delightful ladypersons, but most invitees seemed a little disinterested.

“We need a party starter.” Announced Jay as the rain died down. “Think we’ve missed an obvious trick here lads. We need Matt.”


Matt - "arr Jimlad"

Matt - "arr Jimlad"

Truly, one of my favourite people in all the world.

The only person I’ve ever met who sustained an eye injury so serious in the middle of an elastic band fight, that he had to leave work and be rushed to accident and emergency with a torn cornea. Which, by the way, is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. To make it slightly worse, the elastic band fight was with me and one other (Kev, another top lad). And to make it even worse, I thought he was joking, so I rushed over and pounded Rowntree’s Fruit Pastels off the back of his head as he lay on the floor clutching his face.

I felt terrible when Matt came back to work in an eye-patch. It didn’t, in all honesty, stop me from laughing all the way home mind.

“Blimey! Matt! Where is he these days?” I questioned, eager to see if he’d stayed the same as the bright eyepatched lad I remembered.

“At the moment he’s working in Argos I think. He might even be on shift…”

Before Jay could finish his sentence – I was heading towards Argos.

“Hello mate!” I beamed as I saw Matt.

“Bloody hell! What on earth are you doing here?!” Said Matt, looking more than a little surprised.

“Well, I’m’ here in Aber’ for a date with Sky, but…”

“Hang on a minute! Sky? From Dorothy Perkins? Used to work with us Sky?

“…yeah, but…”

“How’d that come about?!?”

“…well it’s a bit of a long story, but…”

“Dude. Tell. Me. All.

“…er, well…”

Jay jumped in. “Fancy coming to a bit of a party tonight mate? House party up on Penglais?”

“That – sounds like a plan.” said Matt, pausing for breath before turning to me. “Tell you what – you can update me a bit more on the Sky thing tonight eh?!?”

“Job done!” I said.

And with that, we had our party starter.

Now all that remained was to grab a few party favours, and make sure that I didn’t cock up the evening with Sky…

A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt2
February 18, 2009, 8:14 pm
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

(Have a read of part 1 here first)

I got into Aberystwyth on a rainy Friday morning, tired and harrowed after my trip on the ‘delightful’ trainline from Birmingham New Street, which on that day was jam packed full of life’s diversities. All of which, sadly, appeared to be interested in me.

What it is about me I’ll never quite be able to say – but I’ve noticed as I’ve grown that I have this amazing, and completely unwelcome, ability to attract intrest from the most surreal people.

I (usually) don’t go out of my way to approach or engage such people, but they always seem to have a way of ‘homing in’ on me. Why, I know not. On this particular day, some of them followed me off the train and began to engage me in ‘conversation’. Or something that probably resembled conversation to them.

After distracting the surrealists long enough for me to escape the train station, I hurriedly walked towards the town centre, and stopped at the traffic lights near the local greasy spoon.

I took a deep breath of the sea air (and sausage fumes), and put my foot out to cross the road.

“Hey! PETE!” Boomed a little, but powerful, voice.

My head turned mid-cross to see my mate from Burtons – Jay.

The beginning of my downfall

Jay in Aberystwyth (looks so innocent doesn't he)

Should some omnimpitant being one day ask where things began to go wrong, I’d have to say that this particular moment was the beginning of my downfall.

I hadn’t seen Jay for months, and man alive did we have some catching up to do. He was a top bloke, and it seemed like his life had certainly had some interesting twists and turns since we’d last spoke.

But it was 10:30 – did I have time for a pint with him and his mate in The Acadamy before my lunch date with Sky at 12…?

As we walked up Great Darkgate Street towards the pub, I nervously (and very secretly) peered into the Dorothy Perkins window. Sky had made a real effort for our date, and she was looking pretty good. This, was going to be a great date. I could feel it in my bones.

But heavens above was I nervous. There was only one thing for it – best get a pint inside me. That’ll calm the pre-date nerves.

Sometime after my fourth pint with Jay (and more laughing than I’d done in a long time) I looked at my watch.

F@£k buscuits. It was 11:55.

I was meant to be over the other side of town for my lunch date with Sky in five minutes. And I was still nervous, a little bit pissed, and not the slightest bit hungry. Probably, on reflection, something to do with the steak and chips I’d bought to ‘soak up the beer’.

There was only one thing to do. Rearrange. And quickly.

But how? I was only in town for the weekend! What on earth was I going to say? Should I come back another time?

A%$e crisps – a text from Sky!

“Where r u?”

Bugger! It’s 12:15!

I’d faffed about deciding on what to say for so long that Sky was texting to ask where I was! What the hell was I going to do?

“Hey Pete, I meant to ask you earlier – fancy coming to a party tonight?” said Jay.

“Errrmmm…” I thought about it for a moment. A party with Jay in attendance would be, frankly, excellent, and I really shouldn’t turn it down, but…

“It’s like a houseparty, well, like my house party” he said. “A bunch of us from Uni.”

And then, the clouds parted for a brief moment, and I saw a ray of sunlight fall on a road to a happier place.

“…can I bring Sky?”

A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt1
February 17, 2009, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

Something occurred to me last night as I went to bed, all buoyant and happy from creating my new blog. I actually still know a lot of people that I’m going to be writing about. And there’s a pretty good chance that if they visit the site… They might not like what they see.

Well, that is – if I’m honest with you all…

…which I will be (wherever possible).

Now – a good case in point here, is my mate Sky.

Sky is a wonderful person. Now – I’m not just saying that – she really is. She’s one of the most forgiving, good spirited people I know – and it’s to my eternal shame that I begin the rocky road of misadventure with a tale of a failed date – which was completely my fault.

I used to work at Burtons Menswear in Aberystwyth when I was (not much) younger, and Sky used to work in Dorothy Perkins, which was just below us in the same building. Now – from what people told me, Sky had a bit of a crush on me when we were working together. But, I never acted on it, because I was in one of the worst relationships of my life (a story for another day).

Frankly, looking back, I should have ditched the person I was seeing and gone on a date with Sky as soon as I twigged that she liked me. But hey, hindsight is 20×20.

So, as you can probably guess, I didn’t act on anything, and wound up leaving Aberystwyth shortly after to live with my brother in Warwick.

But, a small part of me always regretted that decision. I couldn’t help but think – “what if I had gone on a date with her?”

A few months passed by in Warwick, and life slowly ebbed away as I passed from one meaningless waste of a job to another.

Then, one evening, I logged onto msn and got chatting with Sky. And before I knew it – we’d set a date for the weekend, in Aberystwyth. I was about to get my answer to that tantalising “what if” question…

So – I pitched the idea to my brother…
February 17, 2009, 9:59 pm
Filed under: About | Tags:

…and it turns out that he quite likes it. And not only that – he’d quite like to have a go at adding some content on himself from time to time. Which – seeing as I know a few of his stories – should be mighty interesting.

Oh crikey – here we go…
February 16, 2009, 11:58 pm
Filed under: About | Tags:

This seemed like such a good idea at the start.

Plan was –  tell the world a few jokes, make yourself laugh, meet new people, make friends, etc. As it happened, plan turned into – “what on earth was I thinking?!?”

What possessed me to even think of this? Who in their right mind would want to know about the worst date I ever had (which left me bedridden for three weeks), how my first girlfriend used to get chronic nosebleeds at the worst times (blood was literally, everywhere), or the time I threw myself off a hill (…)?

…hopefully someone…?