A Diary in 53 Parts: Part 8: Week 7

A week in which i won 70 quid and do a fair amount of cooking.

Sunday 12th February.

Went for another run today, exactly 5k down and around the town and back up. Hips are sore, feel like an old man. Also feel like a fat man so gonna have to put up with the pain. At night I watch Zambia upset the odds and win the African cup of Nations against favourites Ivory Coast (or Cote D’Ivoire as its also know) Cote D’Ivoire is also the subject of maybe my favourite fact ever. That fact being that its illegal to call the Ivory Coast the Ivory Coast while in the Ivory Coast, if you do call it that then its an affront to the King. Now, a few things from that, for one i dont really know if they have a king or even a royal family and it was a while since i was told that gem so maybe using the term fact is a bit of a stretch.

Was delighted when Zambia won, always been a Cameroon man myself but since they never qualified and the Copper Bullets beat other big guns along the way and i am a big fan of the underdog it was a no brainer. Plus Zambia used to be called Rhodesia and Killie toured there back in the 60s so that tenuous link was enough for me to put my support behind the Copper Bullets. I just hope they dont have some sort of horrible record of human rights violations or something….

Monday 13th.

Natalie isnt too well today, I feel fine. I make the dinner, pasta (its those wee pasta parcle things, this time with walnut and gorgonzola which was weird) before heading out the the Trust board meeting.

Tuesday 14th.

Ah Valentines day, the patron saint of buying cards and flowers, both of which i did yesterday. We dont really go in for Valentines much neither we do, Natalie isnt too bothered about it at all which makes me happy becuase for me its a load of old bollocks. The thought of struggling to get a table in a restaurant or a seat at the pictures on the 14th of february becuase a bunch of akward folk are doing a valentines date and are sitting across from each other hardly speaking and finding out they have nothing in common fills me with dread. No, i feel i can take my beloved out any day of the week or month and i think she agrees. instead of all that i augment a frozen magharita pizza with hot sauce, frozen peppers and wee bacon bit things while the wife lies with her feet up watching Hollyoaks. She is still not better and coughing like an old motor but she manages to eat my delicious meal. We finish the night watching those horrendous Gypsy wedding folks which amuses me as the bride has the biggest ears i have seen in ages. The look like the kind of lugs you see on old men in the bookies.

Or any place old men frequent i guess.

Wednesday 15th.

On my first break at work i recieve a text asking if i want to paint the kitchen on Saturday, my kitchen to be exact. Strange how this hasnt been mentioned before that minute. Also, its not as if its a question, more a statement that “you’re painting the kitchen on Saturday”. Its nice to have my weekend planned out.

For dinner i made macaroni cheese from scratch. Top cook this week.

Thursday 16th.

Finally watch the new version of Pointless, its pretty much like the old one except its in HD and there are a few changes in the rounds they play. Not sure i like it, but most likely it will be like the facebook changes where you initially hate them but learn to accept them and forget the old way after about an hour. Need to apply to get on. Also tonight i sort out the arrangements for getting cup final tickets and put plans in place to get back on the Burns bus too. A trip back to the Phoenix club looks likely. Natalie takes control of the cooking duties again and trys to dupe me by saying were getting chicken but actually giving me turkey. She must think i am an idiot. I eat it anyway. She apologises. No big deal. We have golden syrup cake and custard for a wee dessert which is ok but as soon as i taste it i realise it was probably jamaica cake i wanted. Thems the breaks though. As they say in The Wire, “s’all in the game, yo” though admittedly its not the same circumstances.

Or even particularly relevant now i think about it.

Friday 17th.

After work i play in what was probably the best game of 7 a sides i have played in years. Now that i write that i have jinxed any other games i will play but it was nice to have that high point to look back on. Never more than two goals in it and everyone trying for the full hour, cant ask for more. To balance out all the running around i did during said “best game” i had a full pizza supper with grated cheese and curry sauce drizzled on top for my dinner. Havent had such fine cuisine for a good while and fair enjoyed it. Cant beat a chip shop deep fried pizza i dont think, though its pretty likely that calling it a pizza is against the trade descriptions act. I managed to refrain from getting the pizza dipped in batter before cooked so it could be argued i took the healthier option all things considered.

Once fed we took a trip down to Prestwick to visit Natalies old neighbours Joan and Davie who she has always called aunt and uncle. Lovely people who have been very nice to me ever since i met them about 8 years ago. Back then i was still a cinema student and Davie name dropped Eisenstein into the conversation which i picked up on and we still mention it now. Finally saw in his computer room he has told me about for years tonight, his camera collection lining the walls and his imac switched on we tried to find his photos fo our wedding to have a wee look at, never found them though, maybe next time.

He regaled us with stories, most of which i hadnt actually heard, one of which was about his visit in the mid 60s to Kilmarnocks German twin town and the subsequent visit back to Kilmarnock. A great old guy (also a socialist as he likes to point out) and his wife Joan (a tory he tells me quite regularly) keeps him in check. Smashing folks.

Saturday 18th.

A day i fully expected to spend painting my kitchen listening to the football on the radio and trying not to trip over my bottom lip while in a huff about my Saturday activities actually turned out to be a great day. We never actually had any rollers or brushes to do the painting, or any actual paint for that matter so that job has been rainchecked till next week at the earliest. Instead i spent the morning farting about while Natalie heads off to Irvine with her sister before taking in Killie glorious victory over crisis club/tax cheats Rangers by means i dont really want to admit to on here. fair to say it was a steady “stream” of activity for the afternoon. Before I watched that though i stuck on my Saturday coupon and while i basked in the glory of our 1-0 win i checked my bookies lines and found out i was 70 quid to the good on one of the lines. Thats two in three weeks which sounds like a rich vien of form but like all statistics its all about the depth of focus and if you look at my record over the whole season it still stands at two winning lines. However, i dont care, a wins a win.

Head up the road after football the wife and I are visited by our friends and their young kid. The wee fella is going to be a year old at the tail end of April and it strikes me how quick a year it has been for them. A bright wee thing he is as well too. When they leave we take in the best Saturday night telly has to offer, Take Me Out and Johnathan Ross. Both passable for entertainment when you cant wipe a football/coupon win smile off your face.

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A Diary in 53 Parts: Part 7: Week 6

Sunday 5th February

The prospect of a trip to Ikea with a hangover leaves me in a quandry, on one hand the drive up could be to much for my fragile state and on the other the prospect of a hot dog party if and when i get there to soak up the booze is tempting. Ultimately the decision isnt mine and the wife decides that we are going so we go and i get filled up on Ikeas wonderful cuisine. Dont know if i have mentioned it on here before but just in case i havent, i think that ikea have upped there game again on the hot dog front after a spell where they were rotten. My only gripe is that the mustard always seems to be on the blink or almost done when i am there, even though its not as popular as tomato sauce. Just an observation. qwhat they need to do is get in touch with Ikea in Etobicoke, Toronto and find out how to get sweet green relish over here because that stuff is the bloody bomb. In fact Toronto for me is the hotdog capital of the world but maybe i will elaborate on that in a seperate blog post….anyway, another thing i noticed walking around ikea is that some of their staff have some stoating hairdos. Real belters which would take some amount of blow drying and product to produce, but then they are teamed up with that weird yellow colour their uniform and you wonder why all the effort.

Its Super Bowl Sunday today which means its two years since i made a complete show of myself at my one and only Super Bowl party i have ever attended over in Canada. I dont know whether I am ready to own that particular story just yet by writing it down, though I did tell someone it last week for the first time and the version (story included roaring “cunt” at the top of my voice in company, not eating, guys getting grabbed by the throat, boozing a lot, waking up with no memory and other vignettes) i told got a laugh so maybe its time to get it down, however i did use the word “version” which may allude to the fact that maybe i hold some details back and to be honest i did. On the Super Bowl, i went to bed to to watch it with the plan to fall asleep with the tv on so that if i fell asleep then woke and caught five minutes here and there it would class as watching it. I saw Kelly Clarkson sing the national anthems and fell fast asleep mind you, woke up to the tv off.

Monday 6th.

Wake up for work at my usual time and instantly regret my laziness and not going for a Sunday night shower. Feel horrible but dont like my morning routine messed up so decide just to grin and bear it, man the fuck up and just wash my face and douse myself in deodorant and go to work like an old fashioned savage.*

*maybe an exageration in terms of description of pretty much everything.

It was a long day so it was, mostly due to the dawning realisation that this was the second half of a two day hangover, but once the working was done i got home, had a shower and settled down for the last fifteen minutes of Pointless. In that fifteen minutes i managed two pointless answers and my chest swelled with such pride. Time to get in on that action i think and application to get on the show is going in, as much for the chance of winning the dosh on the back of my knowledge of obscure answers to regular questions as it is for the opportunity to be in the same room as the guy who has all the answers and prove to some folk that we look nothing alike.

Tuesday 7th.

Cant remember.

Wednesday 8th.

Watching Pointless again today and a round based on boyband members names strikes a blow to my plan to take home the cash. With that being used today its unlikely to be used again if and when i get on which is a shame as i pride myself on hate myself for my knowledge of the subject. Its just one of those things that has came out of reading look in as a kid (then Smash Hits (slaps hand over face)) and having a younger sister who liked boyband music growing up. That and a strage ability to hold info like that in my mind like they are football players and still be able to draw on the knowledge. Spike, Jimmy and Lee are 911 and whether you beleive it or not, i knew that without checking wikipedia. I have that sort of thing in my arsenal. Its quite a weapon.

Thursday 9th.

for breakfast i ate Red Berries Vitality which is asdas own Special K. Its quite nice but next week i am going back to my old favourite of Kellogs Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes (now just called Crunchy Nut for some reason). Before i got into the vitality i got something called snow puffs. if your not aware of this delight then i shall explain, it is the Honey Monsters favourites Sugar Puffs with some wee dods of meringue scattered in for a white look. Absolutely rotten. The meringue i hoped would be like the wee colourful bits in Lucky charms so would go soft and be a nice wee sugar rush in the early morning, sadly it wasnt and those wee white bits stayed hard and felt weird on your teeth as you chewed them. Big thumbs down. i actually tried eating round them after a few days which wasnt as easy as i thought to begin with.

Apart from that cereal excitement it was a quiet day.

Oh, apart from the fact that i watched Mad Dogs in real time when it was on the tv, an achievement in itself.

Friday 10th.

Down in Liverpool for a funeral. Was in two minds about trying a pint of mild in pub after it, ultimately i bottled the opportunity and so it will be next time in England at the earliest i try it..

Saturday 11th.

This morning i found myself in Kilmarnocks forgate for the first time in years. While i was there i did some things i havent done in an eaven longer time. 1. I used an actual butchers and 2. i went in the pet shop. A few points from these two things, the sight of that watery blood in the empty and half empty trays in the butchers gives my the boke but at the same time i cant avert my eyes, the butchers sells everything (you can buy a big lump of pork and a can of red kola at the same time), the pet shop isnt as good as it was when i was younger, mostly because i am certain they had dogs and cats back then which i suppse were wortha  look at. Now its just wee tiny snakes, fish and gerbils, rabbits and hamsters. A hamster costs a mere £8.50. I kind of think that seems weirdly cheap, like if you lost one or dropped it down the stairs it can be easily replaced for under a tenner. sobering thought. While up in that neck of the woods I also found out that the Queens cafe is no longer called that. A regualr haunt back when i was in first year at the academy even all these years later i remember the old italian lady with the drawn on eyebrows selling me my friday chip roll. Golden Arrow is still called the Golden Arrow though and we got fritters.

Went to the football in the afternoon, was a good game.

A Diary in 53 Parts: part 3: Week 2

Where I tasted Marmite for the first time and signed for delivery of a frankly massive fridge freezer.

Late again, but is it actually late because i have yet to post one on time? Something to ponder there.

Sunday 8th January 2012

Went to Irvine Asda for shopping this morning as we had a wee job to do in the Rivergate centre so two birds and such things plus i wanted home to watch Man City v Man United on the TV. The shop we needed was shut though so that was a result and so we just did asda. Quite disconcerting is Irvine Asda, they operate right to left instead of left to right like every other Asda i have ever been in (Killie and Ayr that will be) if i moved to Irvine (heaven forbid) i think it would take me quite a bit of getting used to. Strange thing is both Tesco and Morrisons in Killie have you shopping right to left so I have no idea why it fucked with my head as much as it did.

Watched the football when i got home before giving the conservatory another wee coat. At night i finally fired the Christmas decorations up the loft, this might seem like a right lazy bastard type of thing waiting off to the 8th of January however if you consider i never bothered putting them up the loft last Christmas and just left them in the spare room for the year its actually pretty proactive and the sense of pride i felt seems justified.

Monday 9th.

I am so glad Chris Evans is back on the radio 2 breakfast show. I dont grudge him the Christmas holiday or anything but I cannot fathom why they think that Richard Madeley is a decent replacement. he is such a wet lettuce and always comes up with twee and crap links to different things. He says stuff like “we all like cats, so lets get all your favourite cat stories emailed in, or hey drop us a tweet” like anyone really wants to hear about cat stories ya plum! He seems to get the regular stand in job and it does my head in, especially that early in the morning. Chris Tarrants insistance on playing fucking Pink Floyd every day when he steps in for Steve Wright is almost palatteable in comparison.

First full week back at work so its more or less a case of get your head down and hope for easter. Usually my holidays start again in January and the year is rife with opportunities for a wee day off. However from last year we are tying in with financial year or something and that along with my extended break for honeymoon last november means i have only two days to take before April first, which is depressing.

Tuesday 10th.

No much happened.

Wednesday 11th.

Dont know whether i should actually write this down and make it public but I decided today to apply for one of my holidays to be taken on the 19th of March. This is the day after the League Cup final which Killie will play in if they beat Ayr in the semi final later this month. This seems very arrogant and also pretty much tempting fate but the way i see it if i dont get in early some windae licking “hinger oan” will get in before me if and when we do go through and I would have to go to work sans final. No better this way i think, a bit of support for my team that i believe in them.

I will hate myself if the worse happens.

You know that dont you?

Thursday 12th.

Just another Thursday. Just another Thursday i forgot to take notes on.

Friday 13th.

Friday the 13th indeed. Started with a bang as the hangover of Irvine Asda kicked in when i realised my complete confusion resulted in me not getting any cereal and subsequently eating the last of it on Thursday. Fear not i thought, i will have toast and i have just the very thing to put on it. Marmite. We got it in the sales for 10p from BHS or Marks n Spencers or something, a little Christmas gift thing complete with a toast rack emblazoned with the Marmite logo. Never tried the stuff before so no time like now.

It was absolutely disgusting. Urgh. I dont know how anyone can like the stuff. For me there are two people in the world. Those who hate marmite and those who lie to themselves every day of their lives becuase the stuff is rancid, the work of the antichrist. They are like roast chicken crisps, another food of the antichrist. Its hard, i find, to see where you could possibly go wrong with crisps. Take something people like and flavour crisps with it. Tomato sauce – good. Crisps – good. tomato sauce crisps – fucking dynamite. Its easy. But with roast chicken it doesnt work. roast chicken – good. Crisps – good. raost chicken crisps – the work of the devil.

A funeral in the afternoon compounded the feel of the day post marmite. There was however some rays of hope. Radio 2 played an Etta James cover of welcome to the Jungel by Guns n Roses which might be my favourite cover ever and i got promoted again at the head to head fifa league thing on the ps3. Got promoted the night before also but never thought it newsworthy until it became a back to back thing. funny how things work like that. heres Etta James.

Saturday 14th.

A phone call at 7.48am kicked the day off as the Currys delivery guys were phoning to say they would be there in ten minutes. When i asked for a Saturday morning 8am to 1pm time slot i didnt expect anything other than the usual of getting dicked about waiting in all morning so i guess this was a nice surprise. I then sat down to the task of picking out my coupon for the days football as I have pretty much picked it out my arse for the past few months and throwing away money like that is pretty fucking stupid. A wee bit of studying is required, some home and away form noted and acted upon, league tables consulted and used as a basis of choosing some winners. While i did this the BT man came to fix my internet connection. Busy morning.

When the internet man went away (having not fixed the problem) I had toast and beans (and cheese, essentially a cheesy beano though i am always reluctant to use that name for some reason) for the first time this year. A perennial favourite for me and something i think i would incorporate into my last meal if I ever find myself on death row in the state of Florida one day. (touches wood)

The wife and I spent the afternoon swanning around Silverburn and I ended up with a nice new pair of trainers and Justice’ second album. Got Natalie Beyonces latest album too even though it will probably mean I am going to have to listen to it from time to time when in her car. Its nice to be nice though and she has to put up with all my shite (her word) music in my motor, plus i usually have mine loud and she just uses it as background. When home I realise that Take Me Out has started back up on STV, i bloody loved that show last year so watched a bit of it, its definately a show you need to watch when its on on the Saturday night. I have tried taping it and watching it on a Sunday afternoon or when you get in from work on a Monday but its just not the same. Its probably because the great feeling of watching all those desperados on a saturday night when your pumped up for the weekend or whatever is diluted somewhat when you are the saddo desperado on a Monday.

Coupons crashed and burned in a spectacular fashion.

A Diary in 53 Posts: part 1: 2011

Decided for the umpteenth time to try to keep some sort of diary. Makes sense really because my life is from day-to-day jam-packed with fascinating stuff. I mean take today, I went the food shopping (though I call it “the messages”) then spent over an hour on the phone with sky trying to get my broadband speeds up. Its action like that that I think should be documented and here could be the place to do it.

Though i have been here before, i have written about four days worth and gave up or forgot or such but as i am now 30 i feel my maturity at such an age brings with it the discipline to keep it up, and my plan is simply to write once a week on a Sunday about the week prior, what with the year kicking off on a Sunday it all seems to fit. One post a week for 52 weeks, year done.

Plus this one which will point out all the “pure mazing” stuff i did last year and whet the appetite somewhat, you know like this photo.

So without further ado and in no particular order….

  • Got married in November to my favourite girl of the past 8 or 9 years.
  • went to Cuba on honeymoon and saw more Lada’s than i thought i ever would.
  • While in Cuba felt more out of my depth in a cigar shop than i ever have in a lingerie shop.
  • Bought fifa 12 for my ps3.
  • Turned 30 and had a barbecue to celebrate.
  • Saw Scotland dick around on the same pitch as Brazil at the Emirates.
  • Travelled to London for said Scotland game on a bus filled with folk from Greenock.
  • Went to Magaluf for three days for my Stag do.
  • Got dressed up as a horse one night there (along with 14 pals dressed as jockeys) and was sat on by countless holiday making fat lassies.
  • Drove my shit heap car down to Biggar for a wedding.
  • Listened to the last five minutes of the Champions league final in my ship heap car in Biggar because wedding was same day as the game.
  • Bought and happily wore on a few occasions (says it quietly) chinos.
  • sacked my ESPN subscription when they lost the licence to show NHL ice hockey
  • Gigged twice at The Stand Comedy club in Glasgow.
  • Gigged at The Sports Bar at Rugby Park and had a great chat with Scottish comedian Stu Who? who gave me some career pointers.
  • In two of these three gigs i got folk to laugh at my fear of seagulls.
  • Met and had my photo taken with Subo ie. the photo above.
  • Had my first night out in Edinburgh.
  • went off roading in a big Land rover discovery which i was brilliant no bad at.
  • won a fancy glass from Tennents lager for having a sly dig at the tayside polis in their great cities competition.
  • Got Wham!’s greatest hits on CD.
  • Played my first game of 11 a side football in years and scored a goal.
  • Had a can of Dragon Soup.
  • Well, half a can, that stuff would rot yer teeth as soon as look at ye.
  • Watched Man vs Food for the first time and vowed to get my picture on the wall of some eating establishment due to my eating prowess.
  • thought long and hard about writing a book about my love of beans on toast.
  • Took my then fiance to see the Bluetones in their farewell tour.
  • Turned my backdoor from a dumping ground apocalyptic site of ruin into something a bit tidier.
  • Did i mention i got married?

Plus hundreds of other stuff, basically you get the gist, got married and turned 30. If i think of anything more i will add it in, not that anyone will notice or care but for totality, for completion i will come back and throw it in. It’s just what i am like.

All this serves as an introduction to my ho-hum life in 2012, it now remains to be seen how many weeks i manage to report back on……I wish myself the best of good luck.

Cheers for reading.

John