A History Of Great Mistakes

Interactive Intermission: To redesign, or not to redsign?
March 12, 2009, 8:34 pm
Filed under: About | Tags: , ,

So after a bit of web work today, I’m left with the feeling that maybe the blog needs a bit of sprucing up.

It was all pulled together very quickly with a WordPress.com template and a slight bit of widget modding – but generally, I haven’t put my ‘stamp’ on it – just my writing in it.

What do you think? Redesign or keep as-is?

Let me know below!

(sorry about the skulls by the way – it was that or pink love hearts…)

The luck of the Irish – pt 7
March 11, 2009, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Dublin | Tags: , , , , ,

(Bonjour! Ave-e-vu read part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6? No? Then you’d better have a butchers and get yourself upto speed!)

We ducked and dived through the night crowds as I struggled to keep her in sight while holding on to Gez.

“F@£king SPORTS BAR!” shouted Gez at the doormen of a random pub as we walked past.

“And there goes another place we’re not getting into” said Lewis, pushing Gez forward.

In the distance I saw her enter through a well lit doorway.

“Where are we going?” asked Lewis.

“…I want to go back to the Sports Bar…” grumbled Gez.

“Lads – we’re going there” I said, pointing towards Busker’s Bar.

A classy joint - Buskers Bar

A classy joint - Buskers Bar

As we arrived, we took a moment to look at the outside of the pub and peer through the windows to check out the people within.

It was a pretty classy joint. And obvious that they’d recently done it up to make it even classier. Spent a lot of money on it too from what we could see.

Almost as if via a common telepathic understanding, we all checked our wallets.

The object of my desire walked past the window, stopped, turned and looked out into the dark distant Dublin sky.

She didn’t notice me as she looked up, but I noticed how she was looking tired and lonely.

‘I’m going to be the man who makes sure she isn’t tired and lonely anymore’ I told myself, checking my wallet again.

“Right – best behaviour and no more Red Gerwyn” I said to Gez, verbally wagging my finger as we walked towards the door.

The doormen looked at me, and waved me in. ‘Result!’ I thought, mentally high-fiving Lewis as he joined me just inside the doorway. The curly haired girl was finally within my reach.

We turned to look back, and in slow motion watched Gez be denied entry to the third pub in a row. I watched his face slowly mouth ‘YOU FU- –‘ just before we both bolted for the door.

As I woke up the morning after to the sound of more farting from Lewis, I sighed and held my hands over my eyes. It had become pretty obvious that we should just call it a night as we’d dragged Gez away from Buskers’ doors kicking and screaming.

I rubbed my eyes, turned away from the entrance and looked at the contents of Gez’s bag (which was piled up in a corner). Sports tops, shorts, tracksuit bottoms, one pair of jeans and a shirt.

The contents of my bag were no better really. Based on the night before, my idea of shopping first thing had gone from ‘a good idea’ to downright essential.

Lewis farted again in the background.

I threw my shoe at his head.

After a fairly quiet bus ride in (Gez was rather poorly after his Budweiser experience, and unwilling to talk about the previous evening’s events) and a spot of breakfast, we went shopping. A store selling cheap clothing was quickly found, and we set about getting ourselves something reasonable on a 20 Euro budget.

It didn’t take long for me and Gez to find a few decent Hawaiian shirts and a couple of long sleeve t-shirts for relatively nothing, but unfortunately I couldn’t find a passable pair of jeans for similar money. And at the same time, our bling bling shop assistants were making me feel that my footwear was in need of some ‘sprucing up’ (thanks to our muddy campsite).

For the first and only time in my life, I bit the bullet and walked with Lewis and Gez into River Island. Before I knew what had hit my wallet, I’d left with a pair of red jeans and some very comfortable tan leather shoes for somewhere in the region of 120 Euros. The shoes and jeans were pricey – and I had to use my new ‘emergency only‘ credit card to get them both – but man alive did I feel the business when I was trying them on.

‘It’s worth it’ I thought to myself.

As we walked around Dublin we couldn’t help but drift back towards the Temple Bar area to check out the local talent and scout for the evening ahead.

Lewis and Gez didn’t notice me doing it, but every now and then I’d peer through a window to see if my love interest was anywhere to be seen.

Sadly, she wasn’t

But I did catch a glimpse of a tattoo shop, and a barber. I toyed with the idea of getting something small and Celtic to remember Dublin by, but quickly changed my mind when I saw the prices and artwork on offer.

The prices in the barber’s shop were much more reasonable however. I booked an appointment for the following day, and decided to have a think about what I wanted later in the evening.

Dublin Zoo?” said a Japanese tourist to Lewis as I walked out of the barbers.

“Erm… Babylon Zoo?” said Lewis, making a reference completely lost on the Asian gentleman in front of him.

“Dublin Zoo?” repeated the man, pointing to a leaflet with a mini map.

“Dublin Zoo… Dublin Zoo…” responded Lewis, nodding and looking at the map. “Ah – Dublin Zoo” said Lewis, pointing at one side of the map “not Temple Bar” he continued, pointing at a nearby street sign.

“No Dublin Zoo?” said the man, somewhat crestfallen.

“No, no Dublin Zoo” replied Lewis, making a sad face.

“No Dublin Zoo…” said the man, leaving to rejoin his party. “Ahhhh… No Dublin Zoo…” said the crowd as they walked past us.

“Hey lads! Dublin Zoo?” asked Lewis.

“Dublin Zoo.” said Gez.

If only Dublin Zoo were this interesting

If only Dublin Zoo were really this interesting

Dublin Zoo reminded me a lot of the Borth Animalarium.

If you’ve ever been to the Animalarium, you’ll know that a comparison like that isn’t a good thing for Dublin Zoo.

When I was much younger, my mother took me to Dudley Zoo. I was fascinated by the gorillas, meerkats and kangaroos all living together in close proximity.

Looking back on the visit, it conjoured up thoughts of comical conversations between animals, and situations not unlike the plot(s) of the Madagascar films within my four year old brain.

In my nineteen year old brain however, it all looked a bit bleak, more than a little lifeless – and overwhelmingly sad. ‘None of these animals want to be here’ I thought to myself ‘I bet they’ve not even enjoyed themselves since they arrived, being poked and prodded left right and centre…’

I pressed my face up against the glass of the tiger enclosure.

“Poor tiger‘ I thought ‘all alone in this world…” I said to Lewis.

Without warning, the tiger leapt for me with his claws outstretched, and came crashing into the glass I was pressed up against.

“…but that b@$£ard can stay right the f@£k where he is…”

A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – update
March 10, 2009, 11:15 pm
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: ,

(Wait! This won’t make much sense unless you’ve checked out part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9 and part 10 of ‘A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky‘)

So, as I was chatting to Rach on MSN a little earlier, when who should pop up – but Sky.

Now – I’m going to freely admit that as I was writing about Sky, I took the decision to avoid all contact with her… …just in case she might stumble across the website and hate it.

But as it happens, I was feeling a little brave tonight, so I said hello – and told her all about Helen’s great idea, the site and her story.

SKY says:
Pete, was it meant to be a proper date???
PETE says:
lol… Well, in my head it was – but if you didn’t think so it’s ok with me…!
SKY says:
I don’t mind – either way…! lol

It was encouraging to see she’d associated the same level of importance to the date as me.

Twenty-five minutes of silence and reading followed, with the odd comment here and there before…

SKY says:
My dog was called Cariad!! How rude! And she doesn’t dribble…
PETE says:
lol… Sorry – I couldn’t remember her name…!
PETE says:
So what do you think?
SKY says:
SKY says:
It’s good
SKY says:

So, happily, she loved the story (apart from the Cariad mistake – sorry again Sky) and my great idea…!

But the conversation didn’t end there – we got to talk properly for the first time in ages.

SKY says:
Why didn’t you just say Pete?
PETE says:
Tell you about the writing? Or about everything that happened?
PETE says:
Or just sorry?
SKY says:
lol… About what was going on!
PETE says:
Ah… It was a bit hard to say “hey, I’m just nodding off here because of all the partying and twistering I’ve done…”
SKY says:
God! I remember that we just had a new puppy who peeed on the sofa seat before you came over! lol
PETE says:

I badly wanted to impress you – but I failed miserably

PETE says:
SKY says:
Ahhhh, I don’t need impressing
SKY says:

SKY says:
So what made you change my name to Sky then?
PETE says:
Well, honestly, I treated you pretty badly that weekend
PETE says:
And I didn’t want anyone to think badly of you
PETE says:
(not that they would, the way i’ve written it, but still….)
PETE says:
So – ********* became Sky
SKY says:
SKY says:
SKY says:
Soooooo… Can I share it with friends?

…and with that – I think she liked it…

(thanks for the weekend Sky)

The luck of the Irish – pt 6
March 9, 2009, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Dublin | Tags: , , , , ,

(Stop stop stop! Backup there fella! If you’re new to the site, chances are you haven’t read part 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 yet – be sure to read them first – the below will be so much better if you do…!)

I sank into my seat and stared at her as she approached the bar.

Her beauty was comparable to a crisp summer’s morning, radiant but slightly chilling. I had to find some way to attract her attention before my confidence faltered.

I swiveled the chair round to face Lewis and Gez, who were pretending to fly next to the window. My stomach churned again. I turned back.

‘How can I get her attention…?’ I asked myself, looking at the world with a MacGuyver-esqe slant. My eyes scanned the small table next to me. I spotted Lewis’ wallet, three spots of Guinness, a half empty glass and Gez’s backpack (clipped around the table for security).

‘If I can just hook the arm of the backpack… I can bring the table closer to me, slowly reach down to grab the half drunk pint, and try to catch her eye…’

My foot reached for the backpack’s dangling arm, and on the third attempt – I hooked into the strap.

Slowly, I began to pull the table towards me. Going too fast would have made me spill the drink, but going too slow could have meant her leaving before my grand entrance.

It was a precise art – but as it was only an inch away, I felt confident I’d succeeded in getting the timing just right.

Then one of her bumbling friends walked by me to look out of the window.

I say bumbling in an uncomplimentary manner because as she walked, she accidentally knocked the arm of a man by the bar, elbowed a girl in the ribs – and most importantly kicked the table I was moving – setting in motion a most unfortunate series of events.

The table jolted forwards, and with it, the half empty glass.

Instinctively, I quickly moved forwards to grab the glass, but missed.

The glass ‘bounced’ slightly on the table and ejected its contents onto the crotch of my jeans.

“AHHH! COLD!” I shouted, flinging myself back into the seat as Lewis and Gez sat down next to me.

I clutched the seat arms and looked up.

A room full of people stared back at me.

The angelic lady looked at my face, then my crotch, then my face again, and began to laugh.

Half the room joined her.

“Lads – I want to go now” I said, closing my eyes.

It may as well have been a rope bridge for all I cared

It may as well have been a rope bridge for all I cared

As we walked back towards the bus stop, Gez and Lewis cackled like hyenas.

“Mate… Best fail ever…” said Gez, patting me on the back.

Lewis turned to me as if to offer some words of comfort, but took one look at my crotch and burst out laughing again.

Just before we left, I’d made a quick trip to the gift shop for something to hide the damp patch.

In my haste, I’d grabbed a golf towel and a rugby top to cover the watermark on my jeans and replace the t-shirt I was wearing (which had also caught some ‘splash damage‘, and now smelt like – well – exactly where we were, the inside of a brewery).

As it happened, the top I’d chosen seemed to accentuate the patch instead of hiding it, almost directing the eye towards the dark blue embarrassment in between my legs. This, unfortunately, left me with no other alternative than to tuck the golf towel into the front of my jeans.

I traveled around Dublin for an hour looking like an extra from Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, a mess of different types of clothes and colours, before the patch was no longer visible. It still stank though.

When we decided to head back and get changed to go out later in the evening – I was a very happy man. Although Guinness is a lovely drink, having your crotch smell of it for a few hours will turn you right off the stuff. ‘Perhaps the genius idea of bottling a designer Irish brewery scent, isn’t quite so genius after all’ I mused to myself.

As sod’s law would have it, the bus dropped us off on the opposite side of the motorway to the campsite, and I had to face my second man made (vertigo inducing) structure of the day.

The thin, wet, metal motorway bridge.

When we’d been traveling back, there had been a small downpour that had created several tiny little rainbows, each (no doubt) with gold encrusted leprechauns at the end of them.

Lewis and I had loved the sight of so many in one field to the left of us, but Gez had been less impressed, choosing instead to look out of the other window – towards the direction of our rural pub from the evening before.

We knew he was running over ‘should I’ and ‘what if’ questions in his head. And most probably he was mentally running over the seam of her tights too.

I took a few cautious steps towards the bridge, and I felt my legs begin to buckle. Closing my eyes, I grabbed hold of Lewis’ shoulder and walked across the bridge, terrified. Coming to the other side, I scampered down the stairs and bolted towards the gravel path leading back towards our camp site.

Dragging my other jeans out of my bag, I quickly rifled through my possessions are created a makeshift inventory:

  • Three pairs of jeans (one now requiring a wash);
  • Four t-shirts (one also requiring a wash);
  • One smart shirt;
  • Two towels (one beach – wet, one golf – dry);
  • A brand new rugby shirt (that I was becoming quite fond of);
  • Several pairs of socks;
  • Plenty of boxer shorts;
  • One pair of causal / smart shoes;
  • Half a bottle of Lynx deodorant, and;
  • A box of condoms.

A small bit of mental ‘acceptable body odour‘ calculating later, I suggested a shopping trip as an item for the following morning.

Taking the bus back into town after changing, we spotted advertisements for a friendly Ireland vs Australia football match later in the week.

“We’ll have to find a bar with Sky to give that a watch on Tuesday” I said to the lads.

“Definitely – grab a few beers and our put our feet up I reckon!” agreed Lewis as we arrived at O’Connell Bridge again. “But first – where to now?”

We wandered up and down the Temple Bar strip, meeting the strange people of Dublin’s sidewalks and taking every opportunity to peer through windows and check out bars to plan the week ahead. Stopping in a Sports Bar, we sat down, grabbed a few Budweisers and ordered ourselves some dinner.

Steak and chips was the dish of the day for all of us – and soon after our meals arrived, we tore them to pieces and devoured all but the plates and cutlery. As you can probably guess, our chosen Sports Bar did an excellent steak.

Exiting the bar more than a little stuffed, we headed towards a nightclub that Lewis had spotted earlier in the day. Waiting patiently in the queue, we were anything but happy when Gez and I were declined entry for wearing ‘sporting apparel’.

Neither of us understood why a Newcastle shirt and a Guinness rugby top would cause offense in the heart of Ireland, but we turned away nonetheless (admittedly after a stunted ‘conversation’ with a bulky balding doorman).

“Back to the Sports Bar I guess” said Gez, heading in that general direction.

Upon arrival, we again waited patiently in a queue to get in (it had become surprisingly busy in the space of a very short time) and found that we were yet again denied entry because of our clothing.

“You are f@$king kidding me” said Gez, looking a greasy little bouncer in the eye. “We were here before. This is a SPORTS bar. SPORTS. Get it? SPORTS.

The bouncer stared Gez in the eye and told him to do something rather unpleasant involving a spatula and no lubricant.

Luckily, Lewis and I saw the look in Gez’s eye and carried him off just as ‘Red Gerwyn‘ began to rear his ugly little head.

“F@£king c@$k sucking f@£king b@$tards!” he shouted as we hurriedly dragged him down a side alley.

Budweiser really doesn’t agree with you does it mate” I said, clutching Gez’s arm ‘just in case’.

“…f@£king SPORTS bar…” grumbled Gez.

And then, from the corner of my eye, the picture of loveliness from earlier reappeared, walking towards Fleet Street.

“Okay – so where to now?” asked Lewis, who was also holding onto Gez’s arm.

“Follow me” I said, watching the the curly haired vixen from afar…

3.5 incher gives joy to three people
March 9, 2009, 6:54 pm
Filed under: About | Tags: ,

So over the weekend, Anjii and Tim moved into their new flat somewhere secret in Moseley, and had help from four of us to shift, lift and clean along the way.

When Anjii and I got back from grabbing lunch for everyone at a local eatery, we noticed a disturbing smell of gas in the kitchen.

To cut a long story short – Anjii, Tim and Chris’ dad popped off to Ikea to grab some furniture and pickup any remaining bits and bobs from the old house (including, importantly, the television and PS2).

While they were out, the gas supply was turned off and Becky, Chris and I waited in the flat for an engineer, drinking giant mugs of coffee and cleaning whatever we could.

Chris' hands were clean before starting on the cooker

Chris' hands were clean before starting on the cooker

Roughly two hours later the gas man (or men, in this case) had arrived, fixed the leak, spoken to Tim on the phone and left.

After making sure that the flat was as spotless as we could make it with Fairy Liquid and scrubbing sponges, the three of us sat on Anjii and Tim’s mini sofa and wondered what we could to do without a TV or radio.

Then Chris had an ingenious idea…

iPhone 2.0 - now with cardboard stand

iPhone 2.0 - now with cardboard stand

iPhone = best phone ever.