A History Of Great Mistakes

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 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.


“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.

A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt8
February 24, 2009, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

(wait – stop – hey – back up there fella – don’t read the below unless you’ve checked out part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6 and part 7!)

It took me nearly an hour and a half to undo the damage done to Dad’s PC from his stray click.

I looked at my watch. 1:45. ‘Lewis and Gez will be pulling up soon’ I thought to myself.

As if on cue, Lewis’ horn sounded.

‘Or, they’ll be arriving right now’ I heard a voice say in my head.

It was very unlike Lewis, being early. As I went outside, he even seemed to be in a more chirpy mood than normal. A cheeky smile crossed his lips as he looked at me.

Gez, was the polar opposite. He sat in the passenger seat, arm out of the window, staring at the floor.

“F@£ker.” I heard Gez mutter at Lewis.

“Oooooooh!” said Lewis, mockingly. “Big bad Shearer gonna kick my candy ass was he?!?”

Man United had won.

And Lewis, was loving it.

As I picked up my golf clubs from the doorway, I watched Lewis orchestrate the finest mocking I had seen since my ‘painfully honest’ moment with Steve a year ago.

Steve – was the younger brother of our friend Dave.

Dave, was a top bloke. Funny, a laugh a minute, and more than a little bit geeky. There weren’t many people who didn’t like Dave. And I couldn’t help but shine to him instantly when I heard his brummie accent. Turned out that his family had come from a town just a few miles outside Kingshurst, and that we went to some of the same places while we were growing up.

He was just like me – another man displaced in a foreign land.

Steve, on the other hand, was a little different to Dave. A nice bloke – don’t get me wrong – but just… a little different. We liked Steve. He was a year younger than Dave (almost exactly), and he’d hang out with us from time to time when we were all together.

Occasionally however, Steve would get on my nerves.

To him, general things that we enjoyed doing were “boring”.

Going down the shop to get lunch and shoot the breeze was “boring”. Talking about life and ladies on the side of a hill was “boring”. Listening to us talk about Newcastle and Man United was “boring”.

Everything was “boring”.

To our eternal dismay, at the age of 17, Dave chose to leave Ysgol Penglais and attend Coleg Ceredigion. We were honestly – gutted.

And to my eternal dismay, one year later, Steve chose to stay at Penglais.

We saw a lot of Steve in our final year. It was one of the most boring years of our lives. Or at least it was, according to him.

On the final day of sixth form – I’d had enough of everything being boring.

Steve walked up to me in the crowded common room, turned, and dared to look at me and say “Hello.”

His brazen acknowledgment of my presence was all the justification I needed to scream at him.

“I don’t f@£king CARE!” I shouted at his bemused face. “Do you hear me Steve? I don’t F@£KING CARE! ALL B@£$TARDING YEAR I’VE HAD TO LISTEN TO YOUR S*IT!”

I paused for breath. Steve let out a small smile and looked at me. This, enraged me.

“Listen Steve – let me make this plainly clear.” I whispered. “I DON’T CARE! YOU! YOU! ARE THE SINGLE MOST BORING MAN I HAVE EVER HAD THE MISFORTUNE TO MEET!

I took a deep sigh. ‘That felt good.’ I thought.

But then it very quickly started to feel very wrong. I’d just publicly humiliated him in front of his friends. Steve looked at me in utter shock.

I looked at him, and began to mentally prepare myself for a very public apology – when something completely unexpected happened.

Other people began chipping in. “I can’t stand it anymore either!” shouted Rich. “Shut the f@£k up! I’m sick of everything being boring!” heckled Adam.

I’d started a chain reaction of honesty around the room. Everyone had the same opinion as me, but I’d never noticed it before.

The impromptu (and somewhat malicious) group therapy session lasted for roughly five minutes, but Steve’s issues arising from his public flogging – may have lasted years.

I felt terrible, and had neglected to think about two key points:

  1. Lewis, Gez and I all still saw Dave outside of sixth form – a lot – often with Steve, and;
  2. I was due to come back to Penglais for my A-Level exams, and I was going to have to share the common room with Steve (who was still going to be there) from time to time…

The following weeks were very quiet for me. When Steve did approach me, little more than a nod was given or returned. My relationship with Dave suffered dramatically because of the public humiliation I had subjected his brother to.

It was not a moment to remember.

I shook the memory off and threw my clubs into the boot.

Waving goodbye to Dad, we set off towards Capel Bangor golf club. We liked playing at Capel Bangor. It was cheap as chips – and they weren’t fussy about the clothes you wore.

Capel Bangor Golf Club - heaven

Capel Bangor Golf Club - heaven

A useful thing on that particular day, as Lewis appeared to be wearing crotchless shorts.

“I’ve got to ask Lew – what the hell happened to your shorts?!” I queried.

“Erm… Short story… Dog ate them.” said Lewis. “Long story… Well… There was this mouse running around the house… One thing lead to another, etc, etc…”

Gez and I looked at each other. We could determine no possible link between Bella (dog), a mouse and his shorts. Except, perhaps within the confines of a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

We brushed it off.

“So how’d the date go?” asked Gez.

I cringed. “Er – had better dates…” I said, before recounting the last 24hrs to them both.

“Wow.” said Lewis as I finished. “Pete – she has to really like you. I don’t know any girl that I’ve dated who’d have stood for any of that…”

“Well, she doesn’t know all of it…” I replied.

“That’s probably why she still likes you.” said Gez.

I nodded.

Golf, was just what I needed. Two hours to relax with my mates, shooting the breeze and catching up.

Lewis downed a bogey on the final hole to come in just below myself and Gez, and continued the irritating streak he’d developed throughout the day by proceeded to rub his win in our faces.

We swore at him and when his back was turned secretly plotted to leave cuts of fresh fish in his car over summer. I had faith that Gez would come through for me in my absence.

“Hey – fancy a bite to eat and a quick drink back at the house?” asked Gez.

I looked at my watch. It was gone 4, and I hadn’t heard from Sky.

Nervously, I checked my phone. It hadn’t turned itself off, which was positive, but it also hadn’t received any calls or messages from Sky, which was not.

It was a little too quiet for my liking. My internal ‘spider-sense’ suggested that Sky may still be a little angry. But after last night, and my voicemail earlier, I was too much of a coward to do anything about it.

Food would be good to take my mind off things.

“Sure.” I said. “After all – nothing wrong with a condemned man having a last meal is there…”

A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt7
February 23, 2009, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

(because this was one of the longest dates in history – you might want to check out part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6 before reading the below)

It had taken Dad a whole five seconds to ask me about a computer problem since my arrival. ‘I don’t mind helping him with his queries, but five seconds…? No hey Pete, how’re you doing?’ I thought to myself.

My body involuntarily let out a small sigh.

“What’s the problem Dad?”

“Well, I’m getting pop-ups left right and centre… I think I must have clicked on something, but I’m not exactly sure what… Maybe I should show you the PC.”

As we walked towards Dad’s new study (which had been converted from my old bedroom almost as soon as I’d left) I couldn’t help but notice a strange flicker on the wall opposite the computer. ‘What is that?’ I wondered, as I continued forwards.

To this day, that still ranks as the highest number of breasts that I’ve ever seen on a computer screen all at once. It was a sight to behold. I had no idea what he’d clicked while he was browsing around – but man alive had it done something bad to his machine.

Every button I pressed seemed to take me to another shocking video or despicable website, filled full of ‘women in my area that wanted to ‘meet me tonight’. It was all I could do to watch several scenes of depravity and email some links home before beginning to fix the computer.

A new virus package, two cups of tea and a couple of hours or so later, Dad and I finally got to shoot the breeze.

“So how’d the date with Sky go?” asked Dad.

I didn’t quite have the heart to tell him that instead of going on the date as planned I’d gotten fantastically drunk, accidentally felt a girl up, and fallen into the breasts of another during a game of twister.

“Yeah, we rearranged to tonight.” I said, completely sidestepping the past 24hrs. “To be honest Dad, I think she might not be that keen on me anymore.”

“What?!? Not a chance! You’re a good lad son – and any girl’d be lucky to have you! I’m sure it’s all in your head. And hey – don’t forget about how good she was when you were going through the whole Jill thing.” said Dad, in a reassuring voice.

Images of Sky’s crestfallen face flashed through my mind. Then a few images of my ex girlfriend Jill popped into my head. A shudder ran down my spine. God in heaven – was I glad to be out of that relationship.

“Yeah. Well we’ll see eh?” I said.

The next hour or so was well spent time catching up with Dad and the recent goings on in Borth. Our favourite neighbour was still up and about, consistently deifying doctors who said his health would be declining years ago. He only ever seemed to go from strength to strength in our eyes.

Dad popped to the kitchen to grab us another drink, and I took a moment to sit in a comfy chair and look out of the window at the garden. That man did love his geraniums.

There was such beautiful silence in Borth. I’d missed the silence of Wales. In England everything is hustle and bustle. And a bit chavvy. Or at least it seemed to be. That probably had something to do with me working for a bank however.

I took a deep breath of sea air and closed my eyes. A random neuron fired inside my brain and I began to wonder why my phone hadn’t beeped at me yet. It had been such a hateful little creature the day before, but at that point in time – it was behaving itself. I reached into my pocket and pulled it out.

‘Oh how you mock me at every given turn’ I cursed under my breath as I looked at my phone. It had turned itself off.

I turned it on.

My phone powered up, and then there was a silence.

A silence, which lasted.

Dad came back in with a cup of tea, sat down and looked at me with a smile. “So what else is new with you?” he asked.

“W–” I began to reply. Then the little creature roared me. Or, beeped in this case. And then it beeped again. And again. And again.

Two texts from Lewis: “Hey man! Still up 4 golf today? Was a bit wrecked last nite!” & “Gimme a bell – think I just saw you at a bus stop – have parked just around the corner by the Co-Op, let me know is you / you want a lift?”

One from Gez: “Dude! Lewis and Pete off to golf – the trio returns!!”

And, because sod’s law just isn’t fair, one from Sky: “Just tried 2 call – got your vmail. Avoidin’ me again?”

I looked at my watch. Time had flown by again. It was nearly midday, and by the date-stamp on her message, Sky had tried to call nearly two hours ago.

“Sorry about this Dad, I need to make a couple of calls. Be right back.”

My head began to ache as I dialed Sky’s number in the kitchen. Her phone rang. And rang.

Eventually it went to voicemail. “Hey it’s Pete! Sorry – phone died – gimme a callback when you get this!” I chirped in my best ‘not my fault this time’ voice.

Secretly, I was quite glad that Sky hadn’t picked up. I was still pretty ashamed about the night before, and I didn’t quite know what I was going to say to her when I saw her. A day to think about it was a bit of a blessing really.

I called Gez.

Gez (Gerwyn)

Gez (Gerwyn) at 3am in the morning

“Hello mate! Waay aayyye!” shouted Gez down the phone. Gez came from Neath, and didn’t have a northern bone in him – but we both supported Newcastle, who happened to be playing against Manchester Utd today. I could hear the game in the background, along with the cries of his brother, Gereint, who was shouting at Shearer for ‘not giving 100%’, and Lewis who seemed to be laughing at how well the Neville brothers were doing against the toon.

Lewis had been a Man U fan all of his life – but we didn’t hold it against him. Much.

“F@£kin’ losers.” Gez said, talking to the television. “So what’s the plan for today? Up for a bit of golf?”

“Yeah why not” I said, “got the clubs here still – didn’t take ’em with me! What time were you thinking of?”

“Oi! Glory supporter!” Gez shouted at Lewis, “golf with Pete at 2?”

Lewis told Gez to ‘go somewhere unpleasant’ in the background, but agreed to 2.

“2 sound good?” asked Gez.

“Fine with me – Lew going to pop over in the Rover?”

“Aye” said Gez “after the toon kick his candy ass of course.”

“Sounds like a plan.” I said, laughing. “Do I want to know the score?” I asked.

“Best not, it isn’t good – we’re throwing it away – I’ll tell about the decimation later.” Gez whispered under his breath.

“Fair enough – I’d better get back to Dad before you come over – see you a bit later mate!” I said, ending the call.

I walked back into the living room and spied the half drunk cup of tea next Dad’s chair.

“Oh BOTHERATION!” I heard Dad shout from his new study.

As I walked in and turned towards the computer, I saw the second highest number of breasts that I’ve ever seen.

A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt6
February 22, 2009, 8:30 am
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

(be sure to checkout part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5 first)

“Sooooo… This is… Awkward...” I slurred, giving a small smile towards Matt and Sky.

Sky walked out of the room.

I looked at Matt. Matt looked at me.

“Hey Sky! Wait up!” shouted Matt. “Don’t worry mate, I’ll fix this.” he said as he dashed out of the door.

“Who was that?” asked Anna.

“Errr… My… …date…?” I said, sheepishly.

Anna and Sandra both stared at me.

I sat just outside of the living room as the party continued, watching the front door like a hawk. ‘What a tit I’ve been tonight‘ I thought. I wasn’t surprised that Sky walked out on me. ‘In her position, I’d have done exactly the same thing.’

Too much 1664 and Pete just didn’t mix. ‘Am I ever going to learn?’ I asked myself.

My phone beeped at me again.

Lewis - 'sober'

Lewis - 'sober' - being carried by Gerwyn (Gez)

“Hello m8! I just heard ur back in town! What r u up 2? Fancy a pint with me and Gez?” read the message from Lewis, a best mate from school.

I wanted nothing more right then – but I knew that if I left, I’d be blowing my chances why Sky forever.

“Can’t do tonight – could meet up tomorrow?” I replied.

The doorbell rang. I jumped out of my seat and over to the door. It was Sky with Matt.

“Alright, I’ve explained how you were looking forward to seeing her, and how you’ve just had one too many, but now the two of you need to sort things out between you” said Matt, looking me squarely in the eye.

“Thanks Matt” I said, as he left me with Sky to rejoin the party. “So… What next…?” I asked.

“Let’s talk outside” Sky replied.

We sat under the stars for an hour, and I apologised profusely. Sky, because she is a wonderful person, didn’t rip me a new one like I knew she wanted to – she instead listened, and tried her best to understand me (I did leave out the whole Sandra flirting / groping incident however, which I thought may have been a step too far). After the stars began to disappear a little, Sky gave me a chance for a do-over the following evening.

“No pubs this time” said Sky, “and no mates either – just you and me.

I nodded.

“Come over to the house tomorrow night. Don’t set a time, let’s just play it by ear. Let me know about an hour before you come over and we’ll see how things go.”

I really couldn’t have asked for any more at that point. More than pleased with the outcome, I gave her a hug and agreed.

“Right – well, I’m going to get off I think. The party looks like its dying down. Where are you sleeping tonight?”

And then a thought occurred to me. I’d promised Dad that I was going to see him, and stay with him this weekend. And I’d completely and utterly forgotten about it. Along with the million other things I’d erased from my mental to-do list during the day.

I desperately needed some sleep.

“I’m… Not all that sure. Here maybe? Or if I can get a taxi, maybe my Dad’s house. I’ll have a chat with Jay and see if he’s got a spare bed.”

Sky nodded. “I’ll see you tomorrow” she said, before giving me a peck on the cheek and turning to walk off towards the bus stop.

She had been right, the party was definitly coming to an end. As I walked back into the halls through the doorway (I’d left it on the latch – wasn’t going to get caught out like that again), I shuffled past stumbling inebriated party goers hurriedly exiting the building to vomit somewhere hidden in the bushes. Sadly, all too many missed the bushes, choosing instead to pebble-dash the potted plants by the door.

Jay switched off the music as I entered the (essentially) empty living room. “How’d everything go with Sky?”

“Not as bad as I expected it might. Think I’ve got Matt to thank for that. He still around?” I asked.

“I think he left a little while ago. Might have been miffed that you got to play Twister and he didn’t. He suggested a second game with Anna and Sandra, but they seemed to have gone off the idea.” replied Jay.

“Yeah…” I said, picturing the look on Sky’s face as she walked in on me with my head in Anna’s cleavage, “…I bet the girls weren’t in the mood for Twister after Sky turned up…”

“Not so much, no.” said Jay, patting me on the shoulder. “Hey, where are you staying tonight by the way?” he asked, looking at the time. It was 1 in the morning.

“Well, I had an offer from my Dad, b–” I began to say.

“Nah…! Mate it’s too late to get a bus out to Borth now and a taxi would cost you a mint. Stay over. I’ll grab a pillow and my sleeping bag for you. You don’t mind sleeping on the floor in here do you?” asked Jay.

I looked around the devastated room, chicken bones and empty bottles were as far as they eye could see. Anna was curled up in an easy chair in the corner, softly snoring. Someone had written ‘tits’ on her forehead in black marker pen.

“Mate, I think this would be just fine.” I replied. “Oh! I meant to find Sandra and see – did her eye go down any?”

Jay burst out laughing. “Well, her eye was still swollen the last time I saw her, but as for whether she went down any… Let’s just say Jeff and Sandra wound up getting pretty friendly after you left.”

I smiled. At least two people had wound up having a good evening.

As I lay in the sleeping bag, carefully placed over bits of discarded chicken, I gazed upwards at the ceiling. Nothing had quite gone as I planned. ‘Maybe there’s time to make up for it tomorrow’ I thought.

My phone beeped at me again. I was beginning to resent that hateful noise. All it had brought me that evening was damn messages about things I’d forgotten.

“HaY! – Gez and I have had a Gr8 iDea! Up for GoLF at CapL tomOZ?” texted Lewis, obviously three sheets to the wind at this time in the morning.

“Sure. Midday?” I texted back.

The phone sounded off again.

“DoNE!” replied Lewis.

I sighed and adjusted my head on the pillow. My eyes looked at the ceiling again, then down at my watch. 2:15. I’d been gazing at the ceiling for over an hour. I turned off my phone and went to sleep.

– – –

My eyes opened slowly the next morning. ‘Good lord that’s loud’ I caught myself thinking as the birds outside the living room window chirped in the bushes. I moved my head on the pillow and wondered if they were shouting ‘where the f@£k has all this puke come from?’ to themselves. Probably.

I yawned and looked over at Anna. She snorted in her sleep and wiped the dribble from her mouth. Classy.

7:30 in the morning. Or so my watch informed me. If I was going to play golf, I was going to have to get up and catch a bus to Dad’s house soon. I’d promised him that I’d come over, and I’d broken far too many promises already that weekend.

Hurriedly, I threw my clothes on, wrote ‘Anna, someone wrote ‘tits’ on your head – it’s pretty funny actually – thanks for a good night – Pete’ on a post-it note which I stuck near the easy chair in which she rested, and made an exit.

“Thanks for a great night mate and a place to stay – will have to do (some) of it again soon!” I texted to Jay as I traveled to Dad’s house on the 512 bus.

The trip to Borth is something of beauty to a guy who grew up in Kingshurst. Long sweeping roads. Deep corners, rich green hills. Stunning.

I’d strongly recommend that anyone travelling to Wales take a moment to find that road and drive down it. It’s truly something you’ll never forget.

Especially as it ends up in the arse end of nowhere – Borth.

The bus stopped and I exited.

I looked out at the sea in front of me. That was the most beautiful thing in Borth. And it was also the only thing that had no choice but to be there by default. If the ocean had, by some cosmic intervention, been given an opportunity to be anywhere else apart from Borth – I expect it would have jumped at being a hundred miles away from the poor man’s zoo, deserted train station and hideous yellow chip shop.

Borth Chip Shop (in putrid yellow)

Borth Chip Shop (in putrid yellow)

Still, it didn’t have a choice. And I was quite thankful for that as I walked along the beach road towards Dad’s house.

A mile or so later, I crossed over the road, turned down a side lane and knocked on Dad’s front door. I wondered if he’d be mad at me for not calling. He seemed to be so keen on me coming over to stay. Hopefully he wouldn’t be too upset about it. I yawned. I’d had around 5/6 hrs sleep, and I was really feeling it.

The door opened.

“Pete! Hey, is it that weekend already?!? I’m glad you’ve come over – I’m having this problem with my computer…

It was going to be a long day.

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.