A History Of Great Mistakes


The luck of the Irish – pt 3
March 3, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Dublin | Tags: , , , , ,

(Wait! There’s a part 1 and a part 2 to the below – check them out first…!)

Having never been abroad before, I was excited, intrigued and completely hyper during my train journey to Holyhead.

My little mini-disc player had been crammed full of party music and podcasts for the journey, but for the most part it sat untouched in my coat pocket.

I was totally made up that I was going abroad. To Ireland. With my mates.

There was no other conclusion to reach in my head – it was going to be a brilliant time.

As I got off the train and threw my rucksack over my shoulder, I spotted Lewis and Gez out of the corner of my eye. It was a moment of true man love when I ran up to them both and hugged them senseless. In slow motion, I imagine it would have been quite a sight. Especially as Gez didn’t see me coming, turned around at the wrong moment and very nearly decked me.

“So, Lewis!” I said, adjusting the straps of my rucksack with one arm around his shoulder “why the sudden about face?”

Lewis looked at the ground. “It’s a bit difficult to explain see…” he said, slowly turning away and walking towards the station exit. “Essentially…” Lewis said, pausing as he walked, “…I didn’t budget well enough, and was a bit broke.”

“Riiighht…” I replied, wondering what was new information out of everything he’d told me previously.

“So… You see…” continued Lewis “…I couldn’t really afford it when it came to the crunch like…”

“Essentially Pete – what Lewis is trying to say, is that he went on a few trips over the past three weeks” said Gez, jumping in. “Apparently, three of those involved 150 mile round trips to see friends in South England. Each, because of Lewis’ car, costing somewhere in the region of £80 each. Add this to the rent arrears he owed his landlord, his credit card bill and eating, and you’re left with no holiday.”

“Aaaahhh…” I said, beginning to understand. “But what changed?”

“That” answered Gez, “was an option that apparently was always open. He borrowed the money off his Mom and Dad.”

“Option always open?” I queried.

“Yeah. Apparently it was on the table before he called us, but he didn’t want to go for it, as it would mean paying it off with work on their house…” said Gez, looking at Lewis.

I turned to look at Lewis. Are you telling me that all you had to do was paint a few rooms and mow the lawn to get the holiday?!? And you had us thinking that there were no options left?!?” I said, scowling.

“Erm…” replied Lewis, sheepishly.

After a short walk to the port (pretty much in silence), I put my bag down onto the floor by the entrance and took a deep breath of sea air. I loved being by the sea. My thoughts drifted back to living with Dad in Borth, and how I used to listen to the sea crashing against the shore in the evening before slowly drifting off to sleep. I’d always been so calm when I lived with Dad. Back then however, I would be anything but calm at work.

I took another deep breath. ‘Time to leave work in England’ I thought.

And as if by magic – simply with that idea – I completely relaxed.

“Hey Gez” I said, smiling “where are the ferry tickets?”

“Good question” he replied, turning to Lewis “I left him in charge. So where are they Lew?

“Erm…” said Lewis.

Gez and I looked at each other. I felt my eye twitch.

“Now don’t be mad boys…” continued Lewis, backing away slightly “…but I haven’t exactly bought them yet.”

“You… What…?” I said, spasming sightly. “The ferry is leaving at 10:30 for Dun Laoghaire, the world and his dog appear to be around us, it’s 10 now – and you haven’t bought the tickets yet? The one lone simple little job that we asked you to do while Gez sorted out accomodation and I sorted out insurance and the Euros? THAT ONE LITTLE JOB?

My shoulders tensed up and I felt myself growl.

“Erm… I’ll be right back…” said Lewis, joining the ticket waiting line.

After managing to get three of the last tickets going – we ran over towards the ferry and jumped on board.

The ferry – was a very strange place for me, filled full of wonder. It reminded me of a small casino, nightclub, bar, shopping centre and hotel all rolled into one – but with a little bit here and there missing from almost every section. The bar however – had nothing missing.

Lewis, Gez and I sat down together and enjoyed a pre-Ireland Guiness.

“To the first of many!” said Gez, raising his glass.

“Cheers!” said Lewis and I, touching glasses with Gez.

While we sailed away from England, I learned three things:

  1. Gez, does not like boats;
  2. Lewis, Gez and I can all drink four pints of Guiness each in under two hours, and;
  3. Gez can vomit up four pints of Guiness in approximately 15 seconds over the side of a ferry.

As we arrived into Dun Laohaire, Gez wasn’t looking 100%.

“I’m not feeling great lads” he said, walking slowly off the boat. “I think we should have a bit of a lie down before we do anything tonight.”

Lewis and I looked at each other and nodded.

After a short walk from the port over to the Dart station, we boarded a train headed for the city centre and sat down.

“We’re here lads!” I said, grabbing Lewis’ shoulder. “We’re in Ireland!”

Welcome to Ireland

"Welcome to Ireland lads"

“Now all we need to do is get ourselves checked in to the hotel, have a bit of a break and go out on the town…!”

“About that ‘checking in’ thing…” said Gez.

It had never occurred to me to question why Gez had brought two large bags with him. At the time, I think I’d just assumed that he’d come prepared for every eventuality.

Looking back however, the fact that one was large, green, and held together with elaborate ropes really should have tipped me off to what was in store for the week ahead.

As the ridiculously expensive taxi from the Dart station dropped us off at the camping site (some 20 minutes outside of Dublin) the heavens opened up. Wind and rain howled towards us with great and furious anger the like of which I have never seen before or since.

‘If this is going to be our week in Ireland, I’m ready to go home’ I thought…

Advertisements


The luck of the Irish – pt 2
March 2, 2009, 11:35 pm
Filed under: Dublin | Tags: , , , , ,

(hang on – you almost missed the first part of this tale – don’t read the below before you’re up to speed!)

It was the Wednesday before my week off, and I was beginning to get more than a little nervous.

As I sat in my bedroom, I flicked through the brochures I’d picked up from the local travel agent, and wondered where I’d be ‘this time next week’. I stared longingly at pictures of snowboarders catching big air and girls grabbing the sun in skimpy bikinis.

For a moment I imagined my Thai waitress in a skimpy bikini.

Lost in thought about Thai waitresses in bikinis

Lost in thought about Thai waitresses in bikinis

I lay down on the bed and looked up at the ceiling. ‘What the hell is going on?’

My mobile went off – Lewis was calling.

“Hello mate” I said, “was a bit worried that everything was off – we haven’t heard from you in awhile!”

There was a familiar silence from the other end of the phone. I knew that silence well. It was the vaccum of guilt.

“Yeah… Listen mate, I’ve got some bad news…” replied Lewis.

And so, Lewis proceeded to tell me for the next hour how he’d planned to budget for the holiday, but had to replace the engine in his car, paint the house, wax his legs, buy some diamond shoes and many other excuses about how he had no cash. I stopped listening after a short while, and started to get very very very angry.

This week away with my mates was meant to be the stress relief I was in dire need of, and it was being snatched away from me in front of my ears. All I could think about was the new pair of swimming trunks I’d bought on the off chance we were going somewhere warm. I’d been hoping to pull in them. Or at the very least strut my stuff.

I looked down at my stomach. ‘Perhaps that was a bit of a lofty ambition anyway’ I thought, calming myself down as Lewis continued talking.

The phone call lasted for nearly half an hour, and many apologies came in my direction before it finished. Lewis, before hanging up, apologised profusely for the umpteenth time and vowed to make up for it in the near future.

And just like that, my week away was off, and my ear was red hot from excuses.

I sat up on the bed and shook my head. ‘Rat b@$tard‘ I thought. I let out a small sigh, resigned myself to my fate, got up and knocked on my brother’s door.

“Looks like the holiday is off” I said to the back of Dave’s head.

“Eh?” said Dave, spinning around in his seat, temporarily tearing himself away from Command and Conquer.

“Well, Lewis just called and basically said he’s broke.”

Before Dave had a chance to respond, my mobile went off again. This time it was Gez.

“Hello mate” I said, answering his call in a slightly crushed tone.

“CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT THAT F@£KING B@$TARD HAS DONE?!?” screamed Gez down the phone.

“Not so much, no… Right royal f@£ker isn’t it…” I replied, walking out of Dave’s doorway.

“YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT IT’S A F@£KER! A F@£KER FOR HIM – I’M STILL GOING!” said Gez, still screaming.

My eyebrow raised slightly. “You’re still going?” I said, quizzically.

“Damn straight!” said Gez, now shouting. “Coming Pete?”

Now, there are times in your life where you’ll have to make tough decisions.

Whether you should try to fix a failing marriage, or leave and try to find happiness with someone else.

If you should tell your son or daughter the truth about their conception, or give them a more comforting image of love and forethought.

Tough decisions requiring great thought.

But this was not a tough decision time for me.

It was, in fact, the simplest decision I ever made.

“God yes!” I said, practically punching the sky.

“Right then!” said Gez, now only raising his voice slightly. “Where shall we go? I quite fancy Turkey… Very nice ladies in Turkey…”

Gez and I talked for a few minutes about different places we could go and hit upon a few ideas, most of which revolved around beer, sun and ladypersons. It was – to quote the great Bill and Ted – ‘a most excellent conversation’. At the end of it however, we were no closer to a destination.

“Hang on a minute mate” said Gez, mid boob discussion, “got another call coming through on the other line. Give you a callback in a moment.”

As I hung up the phone, I walked back towards Dave’s room, uplifted.

“Looks like it’s back on, but only me and Gez!” I announced in Dave’s still open doorway.

“Wahay!” said Dave, spinning round in his seat again. “So where are you off to?”

But before I could answer, my phone went off again.

It was Lewis.

“Hello Lew!” I said, strolling out of Dave’s doorway and back into my room. “How’s things?”

“Mate” said Lewis, in a slightly firm tone, “tell me you’re not going away with Gez. I’ve just spoken to him. Tell me it isn’t true.”

“Well,” I began “I’d love to tell you that, but…”

Lewis groaned. “I can’t believe it! It was my bloody idea and you’re both buggering off without me now!”

“To be fair mate… We were both more than up for the holiday with you… Just kind of happens that we’re also up for a holiday without you!” I said, stifling a small laugh.

“There must be some way around this… I mean… What about a holiday in Wales instead…?” pleaded Lewis.

“Yeeeeaaaahhh… Not really going to happen mate.” I smirked. “Still, if you could find some cash… I think we’d still be okay with you coming along with us…”

Then there was another familiar silence. A silence that felt a little like ‘there’s something I haven’t told you’.

“…I’ll see what I can do.” said Lewis, to my surprise. “I’ve got to make another call.”

I hung up, and wondered what Lewis had been holding back.

Roughly 25 minutes later, the phone rang. It was Gez.

“I have no idea what’s changed” Gez said in a quiet tone, “but now, he appears to be up for the holiday again. He’s even suggested Dublin, which isn’t a bad idea for the cash we have.”

“Dublin? Land of Guiness and Irish ladies?”

“Aye” said Gez.

“What a good idea.”

An hour or so later we’d arranged via interweb messenger to meet in Holyhead on Saturday and catch a ferry, on which Lewis had promised to explain his sudden about face…



The luck of the Irish – pt 1
March 1, 2009, 11:46 pm
Filed under: Dublin | Tags: , , , , ,

Huddled next to the fire, I sat in a nameless pub over the Liffey on the bad side of Dublin.

I looked around me.

There wasn’t a single person I’d known for more than a day nearby. And there appeared to be an ever increasing crowd of people who were focusing on me, convinced that I was an Englishman on their land, drinking their beer and talking to their women. I’d spent the last hour trying to convince them that I was Welsh, but I didn’t get the impression that they were buying it.

Didn’t help that I’d occasionally slip into my brummie accent either.

A sound of smashing glass came from outside. Somewhere in the background of Dublin a corner shop was getting turned over. Everyone cheered as the Guarda ran down the street past the window.

Everyone, that is, except me.

It was Wednesday night, I’d been in Ireland since Saturday, and I had no idea where I was or how to get back to the hostel we were staying in.

This wasn’t what I’d had in mind when I’d said yes to a holiday with Lewis and Gez a month before.

It had been roughly a year since my ill-fated date with Sky, and life had just about managed to get itself back to normality.

Which, in other words, meant that I was stressed out of my mind at work, and still single.

To make myself feel better about my lack of a personal life, I’d take each opportunity I could to chat with attractive customers. And I’d take particular care and attention with one customer, a waitress from Totally Thai, a local Asian eatery. Good heavens was she a picture of loveliness. I could have spent hours staring at her smile.

My ogling from afar was frequent, and incredibly pathetic. I hung on her every word, but I couldn’t muster up more than a few bites of conversation with her. She taught me how to greet people in Thai (khok un khrap – almost certainly not spelled correctly, but close), and brightened up my day on more than one occasion.

But, she was out of my league (or so I thought back then), I’d had another failed date with a girl who was very pretty (but more in touch with God than dating), and a very small part of me was still hung up on Sky.

To cap it all off – it had been well over a year since I’d been laid. A painful fact that wasn’t helped by regularly hearing about how well Lewis was doing at Cardiff University.

I’m not sure if it was the Indiana Jones link in people’s minds, or just that Lewis stepped his game up into overdrive after sixth form – but man alive was he swimming in women when they found out he was training to become an archeologist.

Each and every week I was hearing about someone else that he was dating.

He was an utter bastard, and I was incredibly jealous.

My plan of ‘not going to university to avoid wasting my time’ had backfired completely into making me waste my life. It was an incredibly low period for me.

On a hot Tuesday summer night much like any other at the time, mid waitress thought and internet porn browsing, I got an unexpected call from Lewis.

“Hello mate! How’s you?” said Lewis, obviously beaming down the telephone line.

I looked at the discarded pizza boxes, crusty socks and flickering desk lamp around me. ‘Life is terrible mate – I’m thinking of jumping off a cliff somewhere, or emigrating’ I thought.

“Yeah, not too bad” I said, deciding to not burden him with my thoughts. “Everything alright with you? Been awhile since I’ve heard from you and Gez…!”

“Indeed!” said Lewis, still beaming “That, my friend, is because we have come up with a plan. How do you fancy a holiday? Just the thr–”

“God yes!” I said, cutting him off mid-word.

Lewis laughed. “Well, I guess that’s settled then! Gez is thinking of somewhere cheap, maybe somewhere like Spain, Greece, or somewhere else like that. What do you think?”

I’d never been abroad before. Well, unless you counted Wales, in which case I’d been abroad for four years of my life. “I don’t have a passport mate…!” I said, putting a slight dampener on the conversation.

There was a brief pause. “Mate – I can sort that. We can get you a passport in a few weeks. Well, that is if you’d be up for a holiday abroad…”

My bank account had taken a right royal beating over the past few months. A misfired attempt at learning to drive and building a nice gaming computer had both eaten away whatever savings I’d squirreled away, and I was close to penniless. But, I did work at a bank. And I had just the other week been offered a staff credit card. Which was gold. And I did like the sound of having a gold card… “Mate – I’m up for it” I said, thinking ‘to hell with it’.

“That’s all I needed – leave it with me and I’ll get all the balls rolling! In the meantime, get yourself a passport application, and get in touch with my Dad, he’ll vouch for you, and then you can get yourself on a fast-track…!”

“It’s a deal!” I replied.

Lewis said that “time was of the essence”, wished me well and hung up.

‘I’m going abroad! With my mates!’ I thought as I closed down the porn window and opened up a holiday search engine. ‘This is going to be great!’

Lewis, Gez and I arranged a good week that worked for all of us via text the following morning, and I booked a week off in the afternoon. I grabbed a passport application the next day, and sent it off to Lewis’ father for a reference. Within two weeks, I had my passport, my credit card, and a theoretical expenditure limit in my head.

My mood picked up at work, and whenever my favourite Thai waitress would come in, I’d even find some time to drop the odd flirt into my conversations with her.

And from time to time, to my surprise, she’d drop the odd one or two back into her conversations with me.

These were happy times.

But with a week to go before ‘our big adventure’ neither Gez or I had heard from Lewis.

We were both starting to think our grand plan may have just been a pipe dream…



interactive intermission – result
February 28, 2009, 1:28 pm
Filed under: Aberystwyth, About, Dublin | Tags: , , , , ,

The votes are in! Thank you to everyone who voted on here, on facebook, and offline. Because of you, from tomorrow, you’ll be reading about…

Unexpected surprises lie in store for you...

Unexpected surprises lie in store for you...

…my time spent in Dublin with Lewis, Gerwyn, Zoe and the man-woman (option A).

If your opinion of me is (somehow) still good – prepare for it to be demolished in front of your eyes over the next couple of weeks.

For the record – I was really hoping that you’d pick option C – so whatever you read about me now, is completely of your own doing…

In the meantime however – feel free to let me know what you thought of my shameful weekend with Sky, stalk me on Twitter, or drop me a line to ahistoryofgreatmistakes@googlemail.com to tell me about your great mistakes! If you want me to, I’ll even post some of the best ones up online.

Speaking of which – Anjii already did that last week, so one from her will be coming shortly…



A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt10 (the end)
February 27, 2009, 7:53 am
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

(Wait! This is the last part of the story – so don’t read the below unless you’ve checked out part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, the (soon to be closed [28/02/09]) interractive intermission, and part 9!)

For the first time in months, I had a dream as I slept in the doorway.

I dreamed of the sun shining down on me as I walked along the beach with Sky, listening to the ocean crash against the shore and feeling the water’s spray on my face.

My inner soul felt at peace as Sky looked at me and smiled. She was so beautiful, and this was the first time I’d really noticed it. Sky moved towards me and whispered “it’s been worth the wait” in my ear, before looking me in the eyes, moving closer towards me and licking my lips.

Then she licked my cheek. And my neck. I started to laugh as she licked my nose before passionately locking tongues with me.

My blurry eyes opened mid tounge-lock, and I felt the chill of the night air again. I smiled and closed my eyes to enjoy my kiss with Sky. ‘What’s that familiar smell?’ I thought, letting out a peaceful sigh.

I opened my eyes again.

Not quite Roxie - but not far off

Roxie

Roxie stared back at me, drooling.

“PFFPT!” I blurted as I pushed him away from me.

Dog spittle covered my face and most of my neck. Roxie, Sky’s dog, had been licking my tongue.

I hacked up spit on the doorstep, coughed out several small black hairs and wiped my tongue on my sleeve. There were a dozen new and different taste sensations present in my mouth. None of which were welcome. I tasted something resembling lamb, something I hoped was chicken, and what I can only imagine being canine testicles with apple and walnut rissoto.

“Thought you were going to put your arms around him at one point” said Sky, smiling at me.

I scowled and used my sleeve again.

She laughed and outstretched her arm to help me up.

As we walked towards her house, I tried to make polite conversation, but couldn’t think of much to say. Well, beyond how much I wanted a toothbrush and some mouthwash of course. I hadn’t appreciated just how tired I really was. The weekend had taken it’s toll on me, and if I was going to make things up to Sky I was going to have to focus. I desperately needed coffee.

Sky, graciously gave me a fresh toothbrush and directed me towards the bathroom a short time after we got into her house. Just in case, I brushed my teeth three times, and swilled listerine until my gums burned. Never having been over to Sky’s house before, I was a little surprised by the layout. As the house appeared to be on the jointing point for two different mini-hills, and the inside had been built with an S-shape ground floor – one side of which was just under a foot lower than the other.

It confused me no end. I was used to straight, flat, floors. At that point, before I’d moved down to Warwick, I’d been living in a bungalow. And just before that (for a week, to clear my head after Jill), I’d borrowed a friend’s flat in town. I didn’t like all these ups and downs in houses.

‘I wonder if there’ll be any ‘ups and downs’ later’, I thought to myself.

“I’m bound to have worms, consumption and mad cow disease” I muttered as I walked towards the kitchen where Sky had been making me a drink. “Thanks for the coffee” I said, clasping the cup in both hands, enjoying the warmth and sipping quickly from it. “Think I really need it” I continued, “I can’t believe I fell asleep…”

Sky smiled. “So, what time’s your train?”

What with golf, the food mix up and being hit on by Roxie, I’d completely forgotten that I was meant to be getting back to Warwick. The weekend was almost over, and I needed to be at work tomorrow.

I looked at the clock on Sky’s wall. 9:15. My hands fumbled around my coat for the timetable I’d grabbed from New Street on the way up.

The last train was at 10:55. I needed to leave the house in just over an hour to make it. My face fell. ‘This weekend has just kept on getting better and better, and this is how it ends’ I thought.

Apologetically, I explained my situation to Sky. I wasn’t quite sure what to do after I’d stopped talking. Should I sit down in the living room and spend a very small amount of time with her? Or should I just call it quits and walk down to the station now?

Neither decision was ideal, and my reason for coming was slowly evaporating in front of me.

“Why don’t you just stay over?” said Sky, completely out of the blue.

“Errr…”

“Get a morning train” she suggested, “and hang out with me tonight.” Sky smiled at me.

I looked at the timetable again. There was an early train that would get me into Birmingham with (just) enough time to get a connecting train to Warwick in time for work, but it was going to mean that I’d have to leave Sky’s house at 4:30 in the morning. Still… It was a very enticing offer…

“…go on then.” I said.

Half an hour or so later, Sky beckoned me towards the sofa in her living room, and we sat down next to each other.

“So Pete, what would you like to do?” She asked, leaning in towards me, suggestively.

I’d spent the weekend getting to this stage, but I wasn’t quite ready to lean forward myself just yet. I was sure I could still smell Roxie on me, and frankly, I had a feeling I pounced on her like I wanted to, I’d have wound up head butting her mid kiss. I was a little nervous.

My eyes glanced towards the television in the corner which had been on since I’d arrived, but turned down low. The opening credits for The Green Mile popped up on the screen.

Sky’s body was still leaning in, her eyes staring into mine.

We… Could watch this movie together in the dark…” I said, thinking that a little stall would give me time to check again for post-dog odour and relax into things.

Sky smiled, got up, turned off the light and sat down next to me closer than before. The movie began.

Intently watching The Green Mile

The Green Mile

A year before, on an impulse (after hearing good things), I’d bought myself a copy of The Green Mile on dvd. Though bad luck and a general lack of time, I’d never been able to sit down and watch the film before that evening with Sky.

I had never been so enthralled and hooked by a movie. Yes, I was a fan of the cinema, but I watched trashy films with B-list actors and dodgy sets. Not epic, thought provoking period pieces such as that.

My eyes witnessed John’s journey along The Green Mile and my soul cried out against the injustice suffered by him for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I shed a small tear for him, and those who had guarded him, as the film closed on a low note.

Looking upwards, to hold back the tears as the final credits rolled, I turned to Sky, intent on asking her what she thought of the film.

Sky, stared right through me.

I paused.

It was suddenly very warm in that room. ‘Maybe it’s the central heating’ I thought.

But then I realised – I’d been sat next to Sky for three hours in a darkened room, and I hadn’t placed a hand on her once or given her a single kiss. In fact, 20 minutes after the movie had started, I’d moved away from Sky on the sofa, edging closer towards the screen instead so I could hear the dialogue and take in the incredible cinematography.

I gulped.

There wasn’t much to say to Sky. I’d spent the weekend saying sorry for getting drunk, playing twister and missing messages. Another sorry just wasn’t going to cut it. I looked at the clock. 1am.

I looked at Sky.

It was pretty obvious that I’d blown my chances, and the evening.

Sky took a deep breath and left the room for a moment. I heard a slam somewhere in the background, and she came back in with a small tub of Haagen Daas, ripped off the top fiercely and began eating.

We sat, in silence, for over an hour.

Eventually, I couldn’t bear it any longer. I’d come here for her, ‘and damn it’ I thought – ‘I’m going to do my best to salvage whatever I can.’

Mentally aiming for a lone kiss in my head, I opened my mouth, and began to tell jokes.

It took a solid half hour to even begin to dent the shell that Sky had built around her, and things were looking bleak as she offered me another coffee dryly.

After accepting, once Sky had left the room, I sat back on the sofa and thought about the best jokes I knew. ‘I have to come through’ I thought, ‘I have to be of sole mind and purpose to achieve my aim. I have to be focused!’

I set my mind on Sky.

And as I thought about it more, I felt a little better. I surveyed my surroundings. My living room ‘battlefield’ was tidy, her sofa was comfortable, and we were going to be plenty warm as the heating was excellent. I turned my head to look out of the window, and then back towards my watch. It was just past 2:30.

I yawned.

‘It’s very warm in here’ I thought.

I closed my eyes and listened to the music playing on the television.

A loud thud woke me. I shot up and turned towards an angry Sky. Behind her, the clock read 3.

I gulped. “Guess I really needed that coffee…!” I joked.

She didn’t laugh.

As we left the house after another prolonged period of silence, I thought through my situation. The only thing still salvageable was a kiss goodbye. So, like a soldier on a mission, I mentally picked myself up and dusted myself off as we walked.

I had 40 minutes left to change her opinion of me – and I was going to have to bring out some class A joke material.

Luckily (and partly thanks to my ability to mock myself), after 20 minutes, we were both laughing.

‘This is great’ I thought, ‘maybe it happen!’

We were only five minutes away from the train station when I decided to play my ace. A joke so funny that I could rarely tell it without laughing before, during or after. I felt it was sure to secure me my elusive kiss.

As I recounted a short story about and English man, an Irish man and a Scottish man, I kept myself together well. No laughing before, or during the delivery.

I threw the punchline out, and mercifully, she laughed. And she smiled at me for the first time in what seemed like ages. I could feel myself smiling on the inside, and my heart warmed to the ‘moment’ we were having.

And then I laughed.

Laughed so hard that I let out the most prolonged fart you will probably ever hear.

Sky’s face fell, and I’d swear I saw her nose ‘twitch’. We walked the small part of the journey left in silence and Sky hugged me goodbye before I stepped onto the train.

I sat down and stared at the plastic grey seat backing.

“…f@£king hate Aberystwyth…” I said to myself as the train pulled away.



A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt9
February 26, 2009, 2:07 am
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

(Well hey there – do you come here often? You don’t? Then hold fire – don’t read the below unless you’ve checked out part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8 and the interractive intermission!)

Gez, Gereint and I dined on the finest roast chicken lunch known to man as we watched the football highlights and drank Budweiser. Lewis, because he was driving, (and because he’d rubbed Gez’s face in it when he’d won at golf earlier) had to make do with coffee and a lone stuffing sandwich.

“Payback’s a bugger isn’t it Pete?” said Gez as he took a bite of chicken.

“That it is Gez, that it is…” I said, smiling at Lewis as I took a sip of beer “…that it is.”

I hadn’t heard from Sky since I’d left a message on her voicemail earlier, and it was beginning to worry me.

“What time are you meant to be hooking up with Sky?” asked Lewis, finishing his sandwich and eying my dinner.

“That’s a really good question.” I replied, reaching into my pocket to retrieve my mobile. ‘Still nothing’ I thought. “I guess sometime soon, I mean it is…” I looked at the clock on the wall, “…8? Already? Have we been talking and watching football for that long?”

‘Oh God – there’s no way around it – I’m going to have to ring again.’ I thought, wincing.

“Better make a call.” I said, excusing myself and handing my half dinner to Geraint. “Don’t let Lewis near it!” I shouted as I walked out of the room.

The mobile lay in the palm of my hand. My body rested against the hallway wall. I paused. ‘What on earth am I going to say?’ I thought. ‘I can hardly be mad at her for not getting in touch. In fact, I’m a little glad she hasn’t – my nerves probably would have been shot if she had…’

I shifted towards the stairs.

My hands began to tremble as I flicked through the phonebook for Sky’s number. I hovered over the ‘call’ button, gulped, shook myself to my senses, and pressed it decisively. It was high time I manned up and spoke to her directly. The phone began to dial.

I looked at the photographs on the wall in Gez’s house. ‘Maybe it’s time to be a little more direct and to the point. Perhaps I should take control and tell her what we’re doing. Yeah. Hell, maybe I should tell her that I’m coming over now. And maybe I sh–‘ mid thought-rant, Sky answered.

“Hello!” she said, in an unnervingly chirpy tone. “So are you going to be here in a bit?” asked Sky.

“Err…” I looked at my watch “…can be…?”

There was a silence.

“Did you listen to my voicemail? You did listen to the voicemail didn’t you?

“Errmmm…” I had a sinking feeling about her tone. “Listened to the one from earlier… Tried to call you back, and left you a message…” I replied.

“And you got the one I left for you after that?”

“…you left me one after that…?” I asked, with a slightly shaky voice.

More silence.

“Tell you what, why don’t you have a listen and ring me back.” said Sky, sighing and hanging up.

“Erm… Ok…” I said to myself.

I stared at my phone. That was it for us. We’d been together since I’d left school – but that had been the final straw between me and my phone.

The second I touched home, I was going to throw the hunk of junk in the bin.

Holding down ‘1’, I dialed my voicemail, which hadn’t indicated any new messages on screen or via text.

“You have TWO new messages” said the automated woman, coldly.

“…b@£$tard f@£king phone…” I muttered under my breath.

The first message had been from Dad about how nice it had been to see me again, and how grateful he was for fixing my computer. He hoped everything would go well for me, and offered me a shoulder if I ever needed to get things off my chest. Then he screamed “Botheration!” at the top of his voice. Shortly after I heard the sound of familiar pop-ups on his computer. His messaged ended asking for a callback.

I thought he’d be ok to figure it out on his own.

Sky’s message was plain and simple. “I’m going to be cooking tonight, so don’t eat anything! Come over about 8:30?”

My stomach was practically stuffed. I’d already worked my way through half a chicken dinner, two bottles of beer and some pre-supper snacks. I burped as she continued, “And hey – you have a do-over from last night, okay? Just don’t waste it!”

I hung up and headbutted the wall.

After a short period of time spent looking at my shoes, I called Sky back.

Five long minutes later, I walked back into the living room and reclaimed my dinner.

“I’m going to have to go in a bit lads” I said, slowly prodding at a bit of brocolli. “Might have fluffed the Sky thing a bit again.”

As Lewis drove me towards Penparcau, I thought over the conversation with Sky. She had been mighty p*ssed to learn that I’d already eaten. A special shopping trip with the girls had been undertaken as we’d been off playing golf, and a Jamie Oliver cook book had even been purchased especially for the occasion.

I would have been eating apple and walnut risotto with gorgonzola if it hadn’t been for that phone. It was the first good thing it’d done for me all weekend…

Lewis didn’t know Penparcau all that well, and sadly nor did I or Gez, which meant that we drove around aimlessly for a short while looking for Sky’s house. In the end, we lumped for dropping me off by the Spar and asking Sky nicely to come grab me.

Happily, she agreed to walk down to meet me. She needed to ‘walk the dog after his risotto anyway’.

The cozy Penparcau Spar

The cozy Penparcau Spar

I gave Lewis and Gez quick ‘goodbye’ hugs in the car, and got out, waving as they drove off.

There was a terrible chill in the air. Because I’d been inside a centrally heated house for the past few hours I hadn’t noticed how cold it’d become. Or how dark clouds had started to spit down onto the roads. Now that I was stood on the kerbside however, I was feeling it from top to toe.

Looking around I noticed that the doorway to the Spar seemed to offer some shelter with it’s overhanging roof, so I carefully sat down on the cold concrete step.

It had been such a long weekend for me. I’d partied well, golfed poorly, drank too much, and eaten enough chicken to feed a small family, and it was beginning to catch up to me. I was shattered. I tried to remember how much sleep I’d had. ‘Not much’ I thought.

I closed my eyes and felt a warmth rush over me from head to toe. Slowly, as the rain pitter pattered on my face, I fell asleep in the doorway.



Interractive intermission
February 25, 2009, 2:02 am
Filed under: About | Tags:
Because you demanded it - more boobs

Because you demanded it - more boobs

As you might have guessed, the incredibly long story of my sorry date with Sky will be drawing to a close in the near future.

But – I have had many other dates go wrong – so another tale isn’t far away, and in fact will be starting up almost right after the end of this one.

Now here’s the thing.

As I’ve had many other dates go wrong – I’m a bit clueless as to which one I should talk about next.

So here’s where you come in.

Let me know if you would like to read about…

a) a previously undisclosed incident that happened in Dublin over the course of 24hrs that in which I ‘went missing’;

b) a tale about how you never can know who you’re dating, especially if you meet them online, or;

or c) a date in Northampton that left me bedridden and alone for three weeks;

…simply by adding a comment below!