Sunday, January 31, 2010

Last night I met up with Nick, Gilly, Ian and Bruce, we went to the John Millington for drink. We didn't stay there long though after 10 minutes stood being ignored at the bar we decided to decamp to the Governors house for a few drinks. Managed to get served quickly there, though the Neil Diamond impersonator wasn't doing much for the atmosphere, we did however manage to bad a table near the back.

Nick left round closing time giving us a lift into Bramhall to continue drinking at Beluga then Nappa. It was pretty dead but we had a goo old chat about life the universe and everything else inebriated people talk about.

I felt awful this morning, nights out with Ian and Gilly do that. I looked out of the window to find everywhere covered in Snow. I tried to pull myself together as my dad was coming round to help me finish the spare room. Just got the curtains to hang up.

I had to pick up something from my parents, they were out but Storm was crazy so I took him out for a walk. It was really clear and cold playing catch, we both enjoyed it. Afterwards I went and rejoined total fitness. They had a promotion 14 months for £345, which seemed like a great deal to me. I went swimming and sitting in the sauna finally cured my hangover.

I got home and made myself tuna steak with a baked potato, asparagus and salad. I even made a lemon chilli drizzle to go on it and I am proud to say I even impressed myself. I sent Kath a picture (she likes to make sure I am not just eating junk food) and she was really impressed. It is amazing really I never much cooked for myself when I was living with my parents, but I have found there are loads of healthy, tasty things that can be made really quickly.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Safe from harm

I always wondered why it took GPS devices so long to acquire a signal given a clear sky, maybe it has something to do with the extremely poor definition of the protocol as described here I was speechless :|
I miss Kath, evenings feel empty without her around and its not a nice eating alone. Fortunately last night Martina came round to keep me company. I tried to make Spiced rice with prawns [NB without the bacon as Martina is a vegetarian]. It turned out pretty tasty though I think we ended up putting in too much curry paste so ended up more like a Chinese / Indian fusion food.

After dinner we had a chat and a catch up, she told me about her trip to Scotland and her recent relationship. I told her about Kath's new job and moaned about mine.

This evening I went to B&Q with my dad to get the 10% discount on a few bits I needed. I havent really done any decorating since moving in, working and day to day life seem to eat all my spare time. Saying that I have spent the last few hours watching Pulp Fiction. I really love this film, its clever well acted well scripted pretty much everything I could ever want in a film. I cant believe it was released in 94 I doubt Avatar will be anything more than a curio in 16 years.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

If I Had a Heart

Following last nights shenanigans I had a very lazy morning basically not moving from my bed until afternoon. To compensate when I finally got my act together I decided to do some cleaning and get the kitchen a good going over. Stainless steel looks great when its clean, not so good covered in dirty marks!

Spoke to Jo, he was asking me some advice on ow to get his tv working post digital switchover. I found him a cable to fix up his old NTL box upstairs. He and Holly were taking a trip to Ikea which was great for me as I was able to get them to pick me up a laundry basket and a side table.

I went round to Bruces this evening, we upgraded the Server room to the latest version of ISPcp. It went fairly painlessly except for one heart stopping moment where the upgrade failed. Fortunately we were able to work out that in editing one of the files I had inserted a misspelling which stopped Apache from restarting. It is now all up and running.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I got the train to Manchester to go to the desperately seeking Alex event. I did not know what to expect, it promised fabulous evening of poetry performances and open mic, musicians, burlesque dancers, classical quartet.

I arrived to find a very packed green room, having missed the string quartet in time for the poetry reading / open mic. I found some of the poetry hard going, I can appreciate the clever writing, but some of its was a bit too arty for me, I suppose that I am just a philistine.

I stood and had a chat to a few people including Holly back from her backpacking adventures. Unfortunately it transpired one of her friends contracted Dehghi fever which had rather coloured the last part of her trip. Hopefully her friend will recover soon and then I suppose the she can focus more on the good memories.

Paul, Righni, Jo and Ian were to play with a Gypsy's playground revival gig as part of the show. Paul looked very tense as they were getting ready, and sounded surprisingly nervous talking to the crowd. Fortunately as they kicked into a version of old school which was awesome. They also played another funky number, which I didn't get the name of but was good.

While it was all in a good cause we felt hot and crowded so we decided to move on to another bar. Paul, Ian, Myself Dave, Claire, Paul Righini, Danny and Nick headed to Space. We sat and had a couple of drinks before heading to the the Bridge. Nick gave us a lift there before heading off home.

After warming up in the Bridge we headed to Mojo by which time I was already feeling a little drunk. Someone had the idea to move to corridor which we did, it was nearly empty, I think we were going to leave but Dan had already bought a drink and got a bit stressed. So we stayed had a few more drinks before finally getting a cab home. The cab ride was amusing we were one too many so Woller sat on the floor trying to look inconspicuous!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Since starting the new year work has been crazy. I feel like I just spend my life fighting fires, figuratively speaking. I feel like I am lost at sea most of the time, no matter how hard I work there is always something else, some shifting priority or new task, I just feel tired and de motivated. Due a general lack of foresight I ended up having to work well into the evening several night this week which was especially annoying tonight as I had arranged to meet up with Ian, Paul and Dan for a quiet drink.

I did manage to get out of the house on time just to pick up Ian and Paul just after 9. After wishing each other a happy new year we crawled through the ice to Bramhall where Dan was waiting.

We had a sit and a chat, Dan was telling us about his new romantic interest. Paul told me an interesting story along the 7 degrees of separation scenario. The previous boy friend to my ex girlfriend Jenny, was Robert Bud. He also used to go out with Paul's sister and is now married to the first girl Ian kissed (which ironically was in Paul's house about the same time he would have been going out with Louise!

We also got to talking about holidays and raised the potential for a boys excursion to Amsterdam. Sounds like fun, just no Pedalo adventures after Ian's experience I would give that one a miss.

Dan was in a very boisterous mood pleased about his new relationship, upcoming kitchen installation, and impending bonus. It did feel a little like his exuberance was spilling into arrogance though, and I don't think Paul was impressed with the number of digs he made at him, I do think sometimes he goes too far, I was really getting worried when he broke into a rant about the life Paul is lead. I think that he doesn't realise how angry Paul was getting, empathy is not one of his strong points.

Overall it was a nice evening, I enjoy their company and our meet ups seem to be fewer and farther between. Fortunately tomorrow we are going to Manchester, Gyspys Playground at playing at the Desperately seeking Alex event so I'll watch that then go for a few drinks.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Phil managed to get to the Woodford British legion and book the next Lan, it will be number 20!

I went to the pub tonight with Nick. We had some documents to exchange and after that went to the bulls head. We were chatting and realised it 6 years since we went to Mile and Alis wedding. I haven't spoken to either of them in such a long time either. Amazing how quickly time has flown. So much has changed yet somehow so much is still the same for me. I guess I like a certain amount of stability.

Kath sent me a couple of recipies to try, a chilli and a wrap. They both look great I cannot wait to try them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Work is crazy at the moment, it is really sapping my energy and making me feel pretty down. If it wasn't for Kath I think I would go crazy. I cant wait to see her again.

Since moving out I have been trying to teach myself to cook. In fact I have prepared the majority of meals since movnig out. Including make sandwiches for lunch (a great way to save money as well). It has been very empowering to be able to prepare and enjoy tasty home made food.

Today I made a bacon mushroom and tomato pasta dish using up a load of leftovers. It was very tasty. I would like to improve a bit more then maybe I can host a dinner party or two in the not so distant future.

Jo came round this evening, we had a chat and a Left for Dead 2 session, its nice and relaxing slaughtering zombies.

I put up my curtains, they actually belonged to the previous owner and were very dirty but fortunately a trip to Harry Berger has brought them up really clean and nice. They seem to hold the heat in pretty well too. I also found out that they can dye the set from the spare room for me to fit in better with the new décor.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I got back from Poland on Monday, pretty lucky really as the big freeze started Tuesday I don't think I would have made it back.

I had an amazing trip and met so many new people. Starting at Warsaw airport I met Kaths friend Mike (Goofy) who was kind enough to Pick me up from the airport. I was so nice to see Kath again. It took about 3 hours to drive from Warsaw to Białystok, we chatted about many things. The drive was a bit longer because we got a bit turned around on the way out of Warsaw and we had to stop for fuel. During the drive I got a chance to look out at a lot of snow!

When we arrived at Kath apartment I got to meet her family, including her Mum, Sister, Brother and Grandmother. Kath myself, her brother and sister ate a nice dinner of brie and chorizo toasts with salad. After which we headed to bed, I felt tired after travelling, it was great to go to sleep.

Second day in Poland, Kath had to go to her work to pick up some documents. After which we took a walk through a nearby park and around Białystok zoo. Probably the smallest Zoo in the world certainly the smallest I have been to, but then it was free and I did get too see bison and a Polish horse.

It was pretty cold walking around so we went into a Pizzeria for a coffee and a ricotta cake. Then it was off to do the food shopping round two of Białystok's malls. Like every other mall I have ever been in apart from the Polish writing you could be anywhere similar shops, brands. In the evening it was a big family dinner at Kath's house. I met her cousins, aunt, and uncle. We ate a lot of food, including herring, and a sort of cabbage stew with pork sausage called Bigos, soup called Flaki, baked meat olives, pickles, we drank some vodka and fruit juice. Like the people I met in Belarus the Poles don't mix the Vodka into the fruit juice, rather we drank shots neat then washed it down with a sip of juice. Everyone was very nice but it was a bit overwhelming and not for the first time I wished I could understand some Polish.

After the meal Kath her brother and cousins went out for drinks, meeting up with her other friends at a bar called Rejs. Kath's brother got quite drunk which was very amusing. Also there was Kath's other cousin Agnes, Goofy and his girlfriend Ela and Kath's friends Sylvia and Wojtek. It was a farewell for Agnes too as she was about to leave for university in Tallinn.

Next day was New Years eve, Kath and I would be spending the evening at her friends finances parental home. Before that though we had to prepare some food for the evening. We made turkey wrapped in ham stuffed with mozzarella. Kath's friend Mike was going to pick us up and take us to the party, but before that we managed to sneak out for a coffee together at a lovely coffee at a little coffee shop near her apartment. It was wonderful to have some alone time sitting drinking wonderful coffee and eating a cake.

Mike picked us up about 14.30 and after a short stop to pick up some beer and Caroline's friends and college Magda we were on our way to Monki. Mikes girlfriend Caroline greeted my at the door saying "Welcome to Poland fucking cold isn't it". We then met Caroline's Mum a very happy woman who didn't seem to mind her house being invaded at all :) Apparently the trick to drinking Vodka is to intersperse drinking with eating food like Bigus. Everyone prepared some food and while we waited for Goofy, Ela, Sylvia and Wojtek we prepared the table. We had a beer and a chat, Mike told me I had a phone which was a call a cue to start drinking vodka. We were waiting for the other Mike aka goofy to arrive, he was slightly delayed as he had to stop off and buy tampons for Kath! The Caroline talked good Mike into going out to buy tights and to pick up her dress. Goofy arrived with his dog and another guy Paul aka the Goat. He also brought his home improved Vodka mixed with black current. I drank and ate and chatted, and drank, laughing taking photos of each other. Our food went down really well with everyone the turkeys disappeared quickly while Wojtek made short work of the salad. The cuisine here was a mix of traditional Russian, Ukrainian and Belarussian cuisine after midnight we had Potato Babka.

After the initial eating Wojtek played some Russian songs and the girls were dancing, while I drank some more Vodka, the Mike's determined that I would get a taste! The gin we brought with us ended up going spare;unfortunately by 11 drinking from 6 was taking its toll so I had to go have a lie down for a few minutes. Fortunately a power nap was refreshing enough to get me up in time to see in New Years Eve, stood on the porch watching fireworks and drinking sparkling wine. Kath and I cuddled and watched.

The rest of the evening was a bit of a blur until we headed to sleep, we were just drifting off when I very drunk Mike appeared and warned me to watch my back in case I got "a big dick and balls in my ass", I think it was his way of saying Happy new year! Fortunately I didn't suffer any such intrusion, however Mr Goat did decide to come an sleep in the living room rather close to us!

I woke up in the morning feeling surprisingly good considering the amount of vodka, Kath and I had a cup of tea and woke up. We took clipper for a walk around the town, it was pretty refreshing walking in the snow, but I could really feel like a shower. Unfortunately for some reason the water stopped flowing. So we sat stinky and hungover drinking tea chatting waiting for Goofy to wake up. Caroline's mum made some Pasztet a kind of a meat pate and we finished off some of the leftovers from the night before. I really had a nice time with Kath's friends, it was so nice to meet them and be a part of the new year celebrations.

Caroline decided she wanted to check if she was able to drive so she went to the Police station to get a breath test. Apparently they weren't very nice about it but eventually we got underway back to Białystok. Kath's mum and gran both gave me such a wonderful New years greeting it was so touching I was really happy.

It felt so nice to take a shower! We had a nap and a nice meal of beet root soup with French pastry stuffs. Afterwards Kath and I took a walk throw the blizzard into the city we had a look around her University and at the Cathedral.

Kath's mum and family left the next day, the flat felt pretty empty without them. We had a lazy day sleeping in late and tagging the photos, finally heading out to the shops to buy food for tomorrow train ride. We also bought tickets, first class it only cost 20 Zloty more which in hindsight was too much.

In the evening I took Kath out for a meal at a lovely restaurant called Lejdis. I had lemon sole which was delicious, they did something slight batter underneath which was just lovely. Kath had a salmon pie with a spicy sauce which was also very nice. After the meal we met up with Kath's friends for a quiet drink before getting an early night in order to be awake for the train in the morning leaving at 6.48am.

Kath and I took a train to Gdansk travelling on the train in Poland was an experience. The journey took 7 hours 45 minutes, the train resembled something out of the ark. First class appeared to be exactly the same as second class just with 2 less seats per cabin. There was a hole in the window which let in an icy draft, but that was nothing compared to the toilet! Someone had left the window open so it was an icy frozen place, I was glad I didn't have to sit down!

I was so glad to Arrive in Gdansk and get off the train! Kath's cousins apartment was close to the station so we walked through the big shopping mall to Anna and Maciej's apartment. Maciej had some tasty mushroom soup, and local beer :) Their daughters Aleksandra and Lidia were so cute, Aleksandra let us borrow her room, and gave me a tour of the apartment. She also brought Kath a stack of books and proclaimed she could read them all tonight! Maciej knew so much about the city it wsa interesting to listen to him. Unfortunately I was exhausted after travelling and it was so cold it was sometimes difficult to concentrate. We had to have a cup of tea to warm up before heading back.

In the evening we all went out for a tour around Gdansk. It seemed a lovely city I wish we had more time to look around and see some other parts like the dock where the solidarity movement started.

When we got back to the apartment I got to try a drink called Goldwasser, it actually had little piece of gold in it.

The next morning I had a 6am flight home, Maciej was kind enough to give me a lift to the airport. For anyone wish to travel to Gdnask the airport is tiny and disorganised, not recommended! I was sad sad to leave Kath at the security gate, we had such an awesome time together.

Back to the UK and back to work, due to the snow I ended up working from home which meant I barely saw another person until the weekend. Friday night Phil and Caroline came round, we had a few beers and played Wii. I realised that I don't really enjoy Mario Brothers Wii very much. After the initial excitement wore off I realised its just Mario 3 with better graphics. It has all the things that irritated me about platform games, really what is the point of lives and continues this isn't an arcade, I'm not feeing twenty pence pieces in.

Bruce came round Saturday night, I made a stir fry and we watched a couple of films. He had a hard week in Gloucester.