A History Of Great Mistakes

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.

The luck of the Irish – pt 5
March 8, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Dublin | Tags: , , , , ,

(Well hey there! You’re new to the place aren’t you? I’m sure I haven’t seen you around here before… Hey – insider tip, before you read the below you should check out part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4…!)

As I woke up in the morning, the world seemed to spin. My head pounded. I had no idea how I’d arrived in the tent after our trip to the pub, and I thought it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to ask.

‘How much did I drink last night? And what the hell is that smell…?!?‘ I thought to myself as I unzipped the tent entrance, desperate for air. ‘Something rotten and horrible has slept in this tent with us – and it may have died’.

I scanned the tent in a sleepy, hungover, state and scratched my head.

Lewis let out a fart so dense and pungent that I could taste day old beer on my tongue.

I gagged and instinctively stuck my head outside to take a deep breath of clean air.

Lewis farted again in the background.

Gez clambered over Lewis’ body and hurriedly stuck his head out of the tent.

“What a bastard” said Gez, groaning and rubbing his head as ‘Mr Methane‘ produced more toxic gas in the background.

I nodded.

Breakfast awaits all ye who enter

Breakfast awaits all ye who enter

After Gez and I had bid Lewis good morning by punching him in the ribs and performing a move known as a ‘3D’, we made use of the campsite facilities, got dressed and headed into town on the bus.

Riding into Dublin on the bounciest bus known to man gave me a feeling slightly akin to something magical. I tried to describe it to the lads as we traveled, but found that it was quite hard to sum up the emotions that our surroundings had stirred within me. To say it was unlike any experience I’ve had before or since, wouldn’t even begin to cut the mustard.

I could only draw a parallel with a feeling of coming home after a long time away, but not quite knowing where home is, how you got there, or why you ever left. Plus, you’ve never actually been to your home before.

Describing it’s aesthetics however offered no such problems, as it was little more than one gray mess after another, occasionally broken up by a tree or power pylon – ‘concrete jungle‘ seemed to fit the bill.

Still, epic nonetheless.

As we got off the bus nearby O’Connell Bridge, we followed signs to the Temple Bar area and I found my spiritual home.

The Irish Breakfast in The Oliver St John Gogarty was a heavyweight contender for the title of ‘the best hangover cure known to man. Irish sausages, bacon, eggs, black pudding, white pudding, and builder’s tea (or orange juice) all melded together into a headache busting cure-all for our morning after ‘the night before’.

This is living” said Lewis, raising his cup, taking a drink of tea and shuddering. “Why on earth don’t we hang out like this more often?” he asked, looking at Gez and me.

“Probably… No – definitely because I’m nowhere near you guys, and I’m always tied up in one mess or another” I replied, taking a sip of my tea and coughing.

“We’ll have to make more of an effort when it comes to staying in touch” said Lewis, dipping his sausage into a smidgen of tomato sauce. “I don’t want to lose touch with either of you lads.”

“Aye, me either” said Gez.

“Or me” I said, tearing open two sugar sachets and stirring them into my tea. “But anyway – enough of all that – what shall we do after breakfast?”

Heaven Is A Place On Earth

Heaven Is A Place On Earth

Our trip around Dublin on one of the many topless buses proved to be interesting, but not as inspiring as we’d hoped, so we elected to dismount after half an hour of local sights.

As we got off the bus on the opposite side of the Liffey to the Temple Bar area, we looked at a strangely well kept graveyard and pondered what we should do next as we stayed at the shelter.

“Er… Lads… Are our tickets for the entire day, or just one journey?” I asked, looking at the bus timetable on the wall opposite.

“Just one journey” said Gez.

F@£k. Tactical error lads – we got off too soon – next stop was the Guinness factory

Eighteen Euros to upgrade our tickets, three red faces and a driver who laughed far too hard at us later – we’d arrived at the gates of heaven on earth. Standing by the entrance, we breathed in the air, fragranced by hops and century old cobbles.

It’s a scent worth bottling – ‘Oh’dour Alcoholique’.

An hour later, yet more Euros and six crowds of Japanese tourists intent on taking our picture as we were ‘from Dublin’ (I learned to stop correcting them after the third time), we sat in The Gravity Bar with our shamrocked pints of Guinness, and looked out over the city we were visiting.

Terrifying windows, stupidly high up

Terrifying windows, stupidly high up

“What a beautiful place” said Gez, looking out of the window.

“Yeah” I replied, sitting well back from the glass. Heights, I have learned over time, are not my strong point. They are in fact rather a weak point, and utterly terrifying.

As anyone who knows me will tell you – I hate tall structures. And I completely despise attractions that involve extreme height with lots of clear glass.

This, was no exception.

“I really do want to go lads” I said in a mousy voice, pinned down on the seat Gez had guided me into.

“Yeah yeah, in a minute…” said Lewis, pressing his face against the glass.

My stomach churned. I looked away from the windows and towards the lift.

The doors opened and a vision of loveliness walked into the bar, gliding almost as if on air, curly hair flowing freely. Her physique was sporty, but not muscular, and her face was angelic.

Stop the press – who is that…‘ I thought, quoting a film in my head. ‘Maybe now is the time to overcome my fear of heights’ I pondered, imagining myself walking over and saying hello.

I clutched the sides of my seat and brought my legs forward to stand up.

Slowly, but very surely, I stood up and smiled.

“Piece of p*$s” I said to myself, laughing.

I took a step forward, and the room began to spin. Quickly, I stepped backward and threw myself down into the seat.

‘Maybe I’ll just watch her from over here instead’ I thought.

Quick News
March 6, 2009, 7:54 am
Filed under: About | Tags: , , , , ,

Hello again!

Because I’m a terribly nice chap, I’ve promised to help out with a bit of removal work for Anjii this weekend. So unfortunately, part 5 of the Ireland tale (in which our hero stands at the top of Dublin, has an unusual idea for something to do and meets a woman who will cause him incredible physical pain later in the week) will be coming this Sunday…!

In between now and then however – here are a few links you may (or may not) find interesting:

And a picture to let Lewis and Gez know what’s coming:

I was very very very happy


Intermission – Apology and Mini Facts
March 5, 2009, 11:22 pm
Filed under: Mini Fact | Tags: , , ,
I sorry I eatd rong Robin


So, as you may have noticed – there was a bit of a ‘blip‘ yesterday when the post I wrote didn’t actually make its way up online.

Or, maybe you didn’t notice (in which case – you really should visit more – shame on you).

There is a very good reason for this – but rather than tell you all about that (as it isn’t remotely funny), by way of an apology – here are some quick true facts that will one day be elaborated upon:

  • A spur of the moment kiss lead once to ‘funky things’ behind an old workplace (which were cramped, but brilliant);
  • An ex ‘girlfriend’ once cheated on me with three guys in the same night (multi-tasking at its worst), and;
  • I’ve turned down [insert undisclosed popular male fantasy here] on two different occasions (both times to the utter amazement of other parties).

Oh, and in a quick unrelated thing – two big “thank you”s to:

Helen – as without her telling me about some of her life stories (and talking about how she wants to write a book one day in the future) – this website probably wouldn’t have happened, and;

Alison – as I have taken your excellent idea from last weekend (which I had first, dammit), and made it my very own (more on this coming shortly).

The luck of the Irish – pt 4
March 4, 2009, 9:26 pm
Filed under: Dublin | Tags: , , , , ,

(Wait! There’s a part 1, part 2 and a part 3 that all come before this bit – have a butchers if you missed ’em the first time around…!)

I sat just inside the opening of our crumpled green tent, and watched the rain pour down outside.

“So this is Ireland” I said to Gez, sighing. “Looks more like Wales to me.”

“Ah it’s not that bad mate! I mean, at least we know all about rain right? Rain we can deal with!” he replied, smiling enthusiastically.

“I suppose you’re right.” I conceded. “So what’s the plan for tonight lads? Taxi into town and see how it goes?”

“Sounds good to me!” said Lewis, poking his head outside of the tent to check out the surrounding talent.

A bolt of lightning flashed in the field opposite, and the sound of thunder enveloped us.

Lewis retracted his head cautiously and looked at me.

Hail stones the size of gobstoppers began to batter the tent from all sides.

Gez stopped smiling.

“I spy with my little eye…” said Lewis.

Hail stones from The Land Of The Giants

Hail stones from The Land Of The Giants

After three hours of ‘T for tent’, ‘G for grass’ and five million green bottles on a wall, the hail and rain mercifully subsided.

I looked at my watch. “You know what? It’s 4 o’clock lads – and I’ve, frankly, had more than enough of this. I signed on for a relaxing trip – and so far I’m cold, I’m bored and I’m stone cold sober. I’m going to the pub. Anyone joining me?”

“Aye!” “Yep!” said Lewis and Gez, grabbing their coats.

“Right…” I said, assertively standing up and exiting the tent “…where is the pub exactly?”

A local pub, for local people

A local pub, for local people

As was to be expected, the pub we were directed to (by the owner of the campsite) was even further away from Dublin, and so remote that it was only reachable by a bus running every two hours. In the first spot of luck we’d experienced all day – it turned out that one was just about to arrive, and we had almost the exact change leftover from the taxi ride.

Clambering up to the top deck as the bus set off, we sat down at the front to see the sights of Dublin’s surrounding areas.

The journey was quick, but beautiful. We twisted down small lanes, onto hidden estates and along a small section of motorway before reaching Mulligan’s Inn.

We bounced towards the front door as we got off the bus, and laughed as we walked in, expecting to be greeted by a crowd of merry Irish men and women.

The bar, apart from a very drunken man in the left hand corner, was empty. We looked at each other with puzzled expressions.

It was, without a doubt, the quietest Saturday night we had ever seen. ‘And in an Irish pub – of all places‘, I thought to myself.

“Where is everyone?” asked Lewis as he walked towards the bar.

A small barmaid dressed in green appeared from a doorway to our left, and smiled at us. Then a larger barman appeared from a doorway to the right, and grimaced. “Anything I can do for you lads?” he said in a menacing fashion, rolling his sleeves up to show skull and crossbone tattoos.

“Errr… Three pints of Guinness please…” I said, stepping towards the bar. “So – what do you do for a laugh around here…?” I asked, attempting to break the ice.

“We–” began the barmaid – – “Enjoy cards and board games” said the barman cutting in and pointing at a pile of boxes in the corner.

“Right… Nothing else?” I asked.

The barman looked at me.

As we sat by ourselves playing poker in a hidden room just off the back entrance, it slowly became obvious that a holiday ‘plan of action’ was in order.

Rather than working out what we were going to do and when we were going to do it, we aimed instead for a list of things to tick off as we went along.

After extensive debate and another pint or three of Guinness – we had our draft list.

  1. Get laid.
  2. Visit Guinness factory.
  3. Do trip around Dublin.
  4. Go out in Temple Bar area.
  5. Nightclubbing.
  6. Grab a musical. (Gez’s idea – crossed off after Lewis and I mocked him)
  7. Catch a film.
  8. Eat local cusin cuisne food.
  9. Search for cheap hotel.
  10. Get laid again.

Now all we had to do was start somewhere.

The small barmaid came over to clear our glasses as Lewis put the finishing touches on the list, and peered over his shoulder.

“That a list of your plans for the week lads?” she asked in an incredibly sexy Irish accent.

We all looked at her.

“…Yes…” said Lewis, slightly nervously.

“Well then lads, you’re going to want to knock some of these off the list quickly…” she said, looking Gez in the eye “…to get right down to the important things.”

“…Yes…” said Lewis in a hoarse voice.

“…Any ideas…?” I said, looking at the barmaid’s shamrocks.

“Oh I have a few” she said, still looking at Gez. “But I’d start with the trip first…” she continued, looking at the list again “…so you can figure out where the real action is quickly…”

“Yeah, we’ll see how it goes” said Gez, turning away. “Have to work out for ourselves what’s best, but cheers for the advice.”

Lewis and I looked at him in stunned silence.

The barmaid smiled and caught Gez’s eye. “Well lads, don’t forget if you ever need any advice… I’m always here.”

She turned her back to us, picked up our glasses, and slowly walked away – turning briefly to look at Gez in a fashion that I can only describe as ‘longingly’.

“What the… f@£k… was that?!?” I said to Gez, slapping him. “Get yourself up there and talk to her!”

“Yeah… Maybe later” he said, collecting the cards up and putting them back into their box. “The week is young lads – plenty of time for all that…”