Thursday, 28 February 2008


... on last weekend.


We cried.

There, Blar - you happy?

Actually - you were, you old drama queen. Especially for the music night, where everyone chanted 'Devil Inside, Devil Insiiiide' in fair imitation of you, and secretly wished you were there.

(For those puzzled by this - Devil Inside is the name of one of my songs, not, as you may justifiably imagine, one of Blarney's nicknames).

Wednesday, 27 February 2008


What a beautiful day! Sunny, clear and mild - it's freaking me out!

Took the pooches to West Sands and gave them a quick run. Unfortunately there was a class of beach sailors there, who kept threatening to run us all over, so I couldn't give them the romp they deserved. Still, better than nothing - and then I went to the gym. I only did 30 mins, including:

1 mile on treadmill at 9.33. I actually did .5 of a mile in 4.33, but had to slow down.
2 x 12 reps lat pull-down, on 7 (45kg)
1 x 12 reps lat pull-down, on 6
2 x 12 reps chest push, on 8 (40kg)
1 x 12 reps chest push, on 7
10 mins on bike, hill setting. I do not have any idea how Phid can stay above 80 rpms when it goes up to 18 (I didn't put it up to 20 this time), but my respec' goes out to her. I did 2.75miles in 1o mins, which is 16.5mph. 3.64 minutes per mile - whatever that is in seconds. If my maths is correct. Which is almost certainly isn't.

Anyway, by then my half hour was up and I had to slink out, unfeasably tired, before the sexy girl in the rowing top noticed how utterly fagged I was (no pun intended). I was immensely cheered to see 4 women in the gym, all of whom were working very hard, with no make-up or silliness in sight. Makes a change.

That brings me pretty much up to date. Now I'm off to have a bath and fall asleep.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Glory, Glory Tottenham Hotspur!

It's been quite a week, with a lot going on - but while there's been disappointment in not getting the house we wanted (in the end it went for £100,000 more than we offered - nearly 25% over the 'offers over' price), it was made up for, in my case, by Spurs winning their first silverware in 9 years!

Ok, it was 'only' the Carling (or league) Cup, the least glamorous of all the trophies up for grabs, but it's saved our season. Spurs are languishing in 11th place, with a lot of ground to make up if they want to break the top half of the table, and chances of finishing in the top 7 - thereby qualifying for a UEFA cup place - are very, very remote. Winning the Carling was our only ticket to Europe, and with Chelsea as our opponents it didn't seem all that hopeful.

It was quite a game - at least for Spurs fans. I'm not sure how interesting it would have been for the neutral. After having the best of the play, Spurs went behind to a Didier Drogba free kick, well taken from 20 odd yards - but where the hell was Paul Robinson? Terrible positional play, and Spurs had to go in at half time trailing by a goal. But the second half saw Spurs come out the gate flying, ably helped by Ramos's clever change of Lennon to the left, and Tom Huddlestone coming on in the middle. Chimbonda chucked his toys out the pram when substituted and stalked down the tunnel, silly bugger. The tactics paid off, and just under half an hour into the second half Wayne Bridge handled the ball in the box and we got ourselves a penalty. Berbatov was immensely cool, easily sending Cech the wrong way as he slotted his penalty into the bottom left corner. 1-1, and over 15 minutes left to play. Could we hang on and force extra time? Could we get another?

It looked like we were going to win it when Didier Zokora beat the offside trap and was clear on goal. His first shot was parried by Cech, but he got another bite at the apple - only to send his shot tamely over the bar. Terrible. In fact, Zokora pissed me off immeasurably on several occasions - not least when he squandered a good bit of build up play by taking a shot from 20 yards out that went into row Z. He's never scored from that far out in all the time I've watched him, so what the pissing hell was he doing?

It was a tense finish, but we didn't manage to get a winner and the game went to extra time - 15 minutes each way. Ramos had brought Tainio on in place of Steed Malbranque, giving us a more defensive edge which seemed ominous to me at the time. Were we just going to try and hang on for penalties? That would kill me!

Not so! Under 10 minutes into the first half of extra time saw Jermaine Jenas float an excellent free kick into the box. Cech came out to punch it clear, only to have Jonathon Woodgate head it onto his outstretched arms. The ball cannoned off Cech, back onto Woodgate's face ... and into the goal. A touch of good luck, to say the least - but not undeserved. Spurs were playing better throughout the entire game.

But then came another 20 minutes of play, and I saw very little of it. By this stage I was hiding behind the sofa - and no wonder. It was like watching England play. Spurs completely gave up on retaining posession, and simply allowed Chelsea to attack and attack, relying on the defence to bail us out. With only a few minutes to go, Kalou cut inside the defence and blasted a shot goalwards - only for Paul Robinson to have his Cup Final Moment and make a terrific save with his feet. Then followed a period where it seemed Chelsea battered our goal, winning corners and taking pot shots - all to no avail! The ref blew for full time in the middle of a Chelsea attack (Kalou hit the post anyway), which meant Chelsea, led by Drogba, finished the game berating the officials in a display of petulance only to be expected by top players nowadays.

Spurs went wild. Robbie Keane showed just how Spurs through and through he is by bursting into tears and flinging himself on Berbatov. Gor' bless 'im. It was 'only' the Carling Cup - but silverware is silverware, and we're in the UEFA cup next year! What has been a disasterous season, in comparison to last year's 5th place finish, has now got some serious silver lining. Well done, fellas. You made my week. Nay! My year!

Still, apart from the nonsense of looking at a house that proved far too far out of my budget and spending a fucking GRAND on a survey when the sellers had no intention of selling within my price range, we've had some good times.

The laydeez came up for the weekend, arriving on Friday night and partaking of some beef Wellington, lovingly cooked by these fair hands. We drank a little bubbly, as it was on offer at Tesco, and I sang Koios her new song - a silly little thing in no way worthy of her.

Next day, Fisher left for house-sitting in Northumbria while Koios, Phid, Janus and I set off for a 7 1/2 mile walk up by Dunkeld. It was great. We started off in the little town of Dunkeld, which is truly picturesque place, north of Perth. Koios fell instantly in love, especially when I took everyone into Menzies' Grocers - a little local deli. Koi and I shared a baguette to keep us fuelled, and then we were ready for the off.

The walk started with the ruins of Dunkeld cathedral, then set off along the river, into woodlands and away. We went past the Hermitage - an 18th century folly, built to allow walkers a great view of the Fall of Braan, where Dorothy Wordsworth once visited. It was very pretty, and I think I may actually have taken some pics on my crappy camera that aren't awful.

The walk then took us out to Rumbling Bridge, allowing a close up of one of the numerous waterfalls. I took a photo, after giving Phid both dogs to hang on to, and a car promptly turned up. I turned to see Phid struggling with both dogs, trying to get them out of the way while the old lady in the car patiently waited. I viewed Phid's struggles with mild interest and general dim-wittedness, until I gradually managed to tune in to the quiet words she was muttering, amidst the rumble and roar of the waterfall. (The clue's in the name 'Rumbling Bridge.')

"Ohh!" I said. "You're saying 'help!'"

"I'm trying to get your bloody dogs out of the way!" she bellowed. Funny how they suddenly, and very pointedly, became my dogs. Anyway, before I actually needed to do anything, the old woman realised she actually had about 3 acres of room, and deigned to cross the bridge and get her car the hell out the way.

"But you were doing so well!" I told Phid guiltily, under her accusing glare, before relieving her of Bridie and, a few paces on, suggesting Janus might like to take a turn with a pooch. Phid had clearly had enough and was pretty close to breaking my neck.

Our path then took us out into the open, gradually climing up to windswept fields which afforded a beautiful view of Glen Garr.
Glen Garr
After a mile or so, we headed back into woods and descended to Birnam village, where a rather pathetic Beatrix Potter Garden, with a couple of interesting information boards, allowed us to have a quick breather from walking. I didn't actually know that Beatrix Potter spent childhood holidays in Perthshire, or that the area was her inspiration for her books - but it makes sense. Anyway, beyond Birnam, we re-entered woods and took pictures of ourselves lounging against what is thought to be the only remaining oak from the Birnam Wood in Macbeth.

It's big.

Birnam Wood. Didn't go to Dunsinane.

Alas. As Koios was taking her photo, I leaned back rather heavily against the massive trunk - at which Phid cheekily chuckled and said:

"I'm just waiting for this ancient oak to go 'creeeeaaaak' and topple over."

"Cruel!" I cried, aprreciatively offended at such a crack about my weight. She then added to my indignity by attempting to push me over. I gave a girlie squeal ... at which Baffie and Bridie, presumably thinking me a goner, set upon one another in an immediate bid to eliminate each other and become Alpha. Phid and I separated them with, luckily, no harm done - although Bridie had, as usual, come off by far the better. She's a dirty fighter. She had Baffie's paw in her jaws at one stage - and also her nose. Baffie, of course, sat looking terrified with one paw up, meaning everyone fussed over her and ignored Bridie, who stood between my legs, barking, snarling, and wagging her tail with savage joy - like the fiend from Hell she is. If she could talk, she'd have been saying:

"Lemme at her! Lemme at her!! Kill!! Kill!!"

At least, this time, Janus didn't separate them by sticking her arm in Bridie's mouth and getting badly bitten. All in all, I rather regretted bringing the pooches - who first attempted to set Phid against me, then, having failed in that, tried to kill each other.

However, with pooches settled we had no further incidents and returned to Dunkeld with satisfaction high, legs aching in a good, life-affirming way, and bellies ready for another trip to the deli. There we stocked up on cheese and bread before heading home and preparing for the night ahead.

The night ahead saw the arrival of Brave Bird and Minstrel, who'd brought his guitar and was badgered into playing, and also Arrow and Lubentina. I cooked up a chicken and quail casserole thingy, involving most a of a bottle of white wine, and we had a very chilled, pleasant evening of song, chatter and light boozing. It finished early, by our standards, and that was no bad thing. We were all pretty tired and ready for our beds.

Next day, I cooked a roast pork Sunday dinner, ably helped by Janus and Koi as Phid was off on a 12 mile run. I had wanted to go with her on my bike, but the girls wanted to leave by 2, so I didn't have time to cook and ride. And, despite Koi's protestations that I could have left them with a list of instructions, I'd feel it was pretty cheeky to ask people to Sunday lunch then get them to cook it themselves!

Without Fisher's light hand, the roast potatoes were distinctly inferior - but perfectly edible - and I was happy with the pork. I even managed not to screw up the gravy. Leek and asparagus veg, fried in butter, accompanied - and was followed by leftover cheese from the Dunkeld Deli. After our leisurely lunch was done, the ladies helped my clear up and then, in the blink of an eye, were packed and ready to go. It was perfect timing. The Carling Cup final started very soon after they'd left, and I also got to watch Aston Villa play Reading - so it was a Sunday from heaven, as far as I was concerned.

The only other thing to report is the 5k run I did yesterday, at Tentsmuir, which was slightly odd. I thought I was flying, and was convinced I'd do my fastest ever outdoor 5k. I did it in 32.25 (again, officially a minute slower than that, but only because of the sat nav's inconsistency), which is definitely one of my fastest times - but hardly record busting. There was a pretty powerful head wind as I ran back, but I can't use that as an excuse as my time out was 16.30 (ish) so I ran back just as fast. Anyway, despite thinking I'd gone faster than I did, I was pretty pleased - and the pooches loved it.

So that's that. It's a beautiful day today, and I should really take the dogs for a walk up the hill - but I can't be bothered right now. Maybe later.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Staffordshire, Running and Houses

We've had quite a busy few days of late, which makes a very pleasant change. First of all, we took a trip down to Edinburgh to celebrate Valentine's Day with our great buddies - minus Janus who, despite being a vocal Valentine-basher over the years ("Oh no - even when I have a boyfriend I won't want to celebrate" heh heh heh) decided to go for a lovey-dovey night with her recently affianced. And fair enough. It was a lovely evening of wine, women and song, at Café Marlayne on Fishmarket Close. (Ok, not song). The service was a bit dodgy, with long waits for food, and one French waiter who positively yelled the orders at you when he brought the long awaited plates, regardless of whether you were in the middle of a conversation or not. Most annoying. But all my food was good, and with such amusing company it was fine to be leisurely. I haven't giggled so much since the last time the Cheese Board were congregated, reminding me that the true heart of our little band lies in those 5 other girls with whom it all began. We toasted Janus in her absence, then got down to serious chuckles.

Next day, Fisher and I jumped in Helga the Golf and headed south, via a house we thought had some potential. It didn't, and the fact the woman was desperate came across very strongly in her offers of tea, coffee, then food, then her first born. None of which we wanted. It was all rather sad, as she had a husband in a nursing home and was clearly only selling because of straightened circumstances. It was a big, old family home, abounding with memories, and the sour face of her daughter as we poked disinterestedly around showed just how miserable it all was for the family. The daughter did perk up when we mentioned we had two cocker spaniels in the car, but only for a brief moment.

Anyway, with house a no-go, we headed for the M6 via a very fine traditional Scots café in Lanark ('Blethers') where we fuelled up with full Scots breakfast and tolerable coffee. Lorne sausage is a very strange thing, though. Give me haggis any day.

It was a long but straightforward drive, and once we got off the M6 we were able to take in the true delights of the countryside in which Brother and Gaura have bought their new house. The peaks came upon us unawares. We drove up a long hill, cackling at the cyclists and feeling their pain, and then, at the brow of the hill, we were confronted by a great, jagged peak of dark grey rock, sprouting from the hilltop like a crown. A few miles further on we found the new pad - a traditional 3 bedroomed farmhouse, with stunning views over the surrounding countryside. At about 500m above sea level, the first thing we noticed when we got out of the car was just how arse-achingly cold it was! A piddle to the fact we'd just travelled some 250 miles south - it was Baltic! We shivered our way from car to front door, remembering with some horror that Brother had been having some problems with the heating ... but no worries. It was toasty warm inside, and after fond greetings, we settled in to have some 'poo, give the dogs a run in the field, and yammer. We then went out for supper at a nearby pub, and were confronted by the American-sized portions now becoming prevalent in England. I could only manage about a third of my sirloin steak, as the chicken liver starter had been enormous and I didn't leave enough room - as usual.

That was the start of us eating our way round 3 counties. Next day began with breakfast in Buxton, at an amiable café where they seemed to add scrambled egg as a flavouring to butter - which tastes divine, but is far too rich. We then did a little shopping at Leek market, in search of a plug to fit a Belfast sink and some beds - neither of which were forthcoming. We had some coffee in a scary pub in town, then pootled back to the house. Brother and Fisher had a ride in Elsie the Merc (only 2 seats), to pick up coal and logs (neither forthcoming - something of a theme for the weekend) while Gaura and I chatted. Then followed a long spell playing Backgammon, reading, and falling asleep in front of the astonishingly efficient gas fire, which didn't exactly meet with Brother's approval.

"Let's go on a pub crawl!" he suggested. This was greeted with dead silence, followed by me saying "hmmmm ..."

I didn't exactly fancy going round the countryside, one of us unable to drink, the other getting steadily more sozzled, in a succession of Staffordshire/Derbyshire/Cheshire pubs (their house is right on the border of all three).

"Riiiight," Brother grumbled, and proceeded to fall asleep in front of the fire while Gaura and Fisher played backgammon and I read the dreadful but compelling Simon Scarrow book 'The Generals' about Napoleon and Wellington.

Some hours later, fuzzy-headed from being indoors too long, we headed out to the Three Horseshoes for grub and a pre dinner drink. ("Shall we go out and get a pre-dinner drink?" I suggested, at 8ish. "Oh God let's get a drink," Brother responded, like a drowning man grasping a passing strand of bamboo.) The Three Horseshoes proved to be quite a large place, with a pub, buffet, and bistro all under one roof. We went for the bistro, and had a very good meal with a bottle of Sancerre. After much conviviality we returned home and went to bed.

Rock on!

Sunday dawned (yeh ... right! When was the last time I saw a dawn?) crisp and sunny, much warmer than before, and we were glad we'd decided to save our walk for the last day. Fisher took the car down to The Roaches Tea Room (I know! Who'd call an eatery that? I know it's after the nearby rocks, but still!) and ran back. She had to walk up some of the mighty hill, but fair play to her, I say.

I gave the dogs a romp in the field, while Gaura and Brother fielded a neighbourly visit from some locals, who'd brought them a welcome cake (home made!) and then kicked them out. (Brother and Gaura kicked out the visitors, that is. Not the other way round. That would have been a bit forward.) While we were enjoying the beautiful sunshine and view, Fisher came jogging up, so after she'd showered and changed we were ready for our walk.

It was a lovely 2 mile stroll, with only a couple of map moments and some stunning scenery as we went over the brow of the hill. Below is a picture that is not our walk - but is of the area, so you get the idea.

We saw rock climbers tackling some of the peaks, and it looked pretty easy, even by my standards. God, it's been ages since we went to A Vertical World - we really must go back.

The walk finished at the Tea Rooms where we had Sunday lunch. I had decent enough lamb, while Fisher wasn't so lucky with her beef. I think they used a silverside, so it was tough and dry. Still, the starters were nice - if basic, and my banoffee pie was just gorgeous.

We rolled ourselves out of the tearoom, into the car, and went quickly back to the house to pick up our stuff before heading back home. It was a terrific weekend, and a truly beautiful area.

Back home, I avoided the scales like the plague. I'd managed to knock off 6 pounds before leaving, but having eaten my way through 4 counties (if you count Edinburgh) I was pretty sure it would all be back on again. Determined to get myself back on track on Monday, I headed to Tentsmuir and ran 5 miles - the furthest I've run for a very, very long time. It was tough on my knees as they don't appreciate supporting my juddering bulk over any kind of distance, but I was relatively pleased with my time of 57 minutes. (Officially, according to Fisher's old and bollocks sat. nav it was 59 minutes, but it measured exactly 2.5 miles out, then decided to cut me short on the way back, so I ran a bit extra just to make sure - and I'm pretty positive it was right on the wy out, so I'm taking my time ...

... aaaaag. Booooorrrrriiiiiing! I did it in 57 minutes, all right?!!??)

Anyway. I was ver' ver' pleased and proud of myself, even though my knees creaked like an old galleon on the high seas all the next day.

Speaking of the next day - we went to see a house! And we loved it! So, today, we've got a note of interest in, and will hopefully be making an offer before long. We've got the survey going ahead tomorrow, fingers crossed, which will tell us how much the place is worth. But fuck me! It's almost a grand to have a survey! If we don't get this place, I'm not sure I can cope with paying any more surveyors. I'll be too poor to actually buy the house.

We also went to the gym. I did 5k on the running machine, although I had to stop and have a rest after 1.5miles because my lower tummy was killing me. I suppose I had 3 or 4 minutes rest, then went back to it. The first 1.5miles I did in 14.30, the second in about 16.30. If I'd not had the rest, it would be my fastest ever 5k, but I can't exactly say that, can I? If I'd not had the rest, I wouldn't have kept up the pace, and the point would be moooot.

Moot is such a good word. I should use it more. Even when it's moot.

Aaanyhoo - after my run, I did 6 miles on the gym bike. 5 of them were on hill setting, going from 5 to 20. The last mile was on 5. Maybe 4. At this point I was gasping pretty badly, and a girl in a pink top and perfect make-up came and sat on the bike beside me. As I gasped, a great cloud of nasty, cheap perfume swirled into my lungs and I nearly choked. Or chundered. Not sure which was closer. Anyway, after five minutes of light cycling and fiddling with her iPod, she decided she'd had enough and moved on to the running machine, leaving me to breathe once more.

So that was today. Put a note of interest in for a house, went for a run, walked the dogs, did a supermarket shop, wrote this.

I'm off.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008


Had a truly delightful weekend with Spartan, Blarney, Ceegar and Northern Lass, who turned up as I was struggling with a migraine on Saturday, but whose presence certainly helped it depart. We went out to Sangsters in Elie for supper - one of my favourite restaurants for its intimacy, excellent food and brilliant policy on wine (they only add a maximum of £10 to a bottle). I had delicious scallops to start with, good fish for main (although I found the sauce a little vinegary for my taste - while Fisher loved its tartness) and cheese for dessert. Also had great Cullen Skink as an intemediary course, washed down with a bottle of house champagne (Deutz), a lovely pinot whose name I forget, a glass of port, a glass of Remy Martin, and two whiskies on our return home.

Unsurprisingly, I wasn't all that happy the next day. A fab night, though, and next day we had a walk on the beach and were kindly treated to a baguette lunch from Cherries in St Andrews, which I scarfed while watching some sub-standard footie on telly. Man City beat Man U 0-2, though, so that was exciting (if irksome from a fantasy footie point of view), and then Liverpool drew at Stanford Bridge in one of the most mind-numbingly dull games I've seen in my life. It was English football at its absolute worst. No drive, no passion, and too much hoofing the ball long. Dreadful. Couple this with the fact Torres was out injured and scoring me no fantasy points, and I was cheesed to waste an afternoon with such tripe.

The pals all left after the footie, leaving Fisher and me to look glumly at each other and give in to the call of hangover food (namely a repulsive Chinese from Leuchars, best forgotten). Then to bed, and on the morrow I weighed myself in trepidation ...

... and discovered I'd put ON every single pound I've lost over the last 3 weeks! All in the space of 2 days! Monstrous! So, before I could think twice about it, I put on my sports stuff and went for a run up Quarry Road before Koios and Pro arrived for yet more fun. I managed 3.5miles in a hideously slow time, but all that Chinese food was weighing my legs down. Then, to celebrate my energy levels, we went to The Fish Restaurant in St Andrews for a long, leisurely lunch. Koios and Pro were in good form, the food was wonderful, and I didn't feel too evil as it's only fush! In fact, today I'm down to being a pound more than I was before the weekend, so all is - if not well, then not as disasterous as I thought.

The bad news is that Pro is ducking out of our Valentine's evening like a big coward. He was going to be the only bloke there with 6 girls, and I was going to insist he wore a pimp suit and we all handed him envelopes of money as we sat down, and called him Big Daddy throughout the evening. Now he's bottled it - God knows why - and the opportunity of freaking out all the fellow diners (who deserve it for being sucked into the nonsense that is 'Love Day') is lost. Boooo!

Other news is that I've been accepted to do a therapeutic massage course, beginning on 6th March at 7.30, in Peebles.

Yes, Peebles.

So, anyone in Edinburgh reading this blog - any chance of a bed on these evenings:

Thurs 6 March
Sat 12th April
Sat 10th May
Sat 7th June
Sat 23rd August
Sat 20th Sept
Sat 18th Oct

Booo! That last one is an exam weekend, which means my birthday will be a total bum-fest. Never mind, I'll just celebrate a week later.

Quite excited! I'll be able to ease some of the aches and pains of my idio ... brave friends running the marathon in May. Wahay!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Yay! Mud!

I love it!

Just come back from a 6 mile bike ride to Tentsmuir, where I then ran a mile (1.2miles, to be exact) - and although the times were by no means great, I loved it! Why? I hear you ask. Since when have you enjoyed such torture, and not done it solely in a bid to Not Die Of A Coronary Before 40?

Well, I shall tell thee.

It's cos it's really, really muddy out there - and there are no mud guards on my bike! I'm covered from head to foot in mud spatters, my face freckled like an egg, and my hands staining the keyboard even now (I'm getting in the shower in a second, promise). There's just something about getting truly filthy that makes me feel like a 9 year old again. I recommend it to everyone, no matter what age. Go on - get out there and get grubby. It's marvellous.

Anyway, I did the 6 miles in an average of 5 1/2 mins a mile - which is utterly rubbish in comparison to the gym bike. What is it - about 11 mph? In the gym I try and do about 15 or 16mph. This suggests to me that the gym bike knows not its arse from its elbow - or else, riding a mountain bike makes a huge amount a difference to road speed.

The running mile was more satisfactory, at 11.03 mins - which I'll take. 5k at that speed would be very respectable, for me.

Now I'm off to have a hot shower. Say bye-bye, mud!

TV Characters I Hate

So, I've been thinking of late that there are quite a few TV characters I absolutely can't bear - some of whom seem to be considered heroes, much loved by the general populace. I wonder whether this means there's something deeply wrong with my morality?

I want to come up with a top 10 of loathsome characters, but actually I could just list the entire cast of the Sopranos. I'm watching the whole shebang on Channel 4 right now, and the only way it can end well, for me, is if they all die, slowly and painfully, having realised what horrors they've inflicted on people and experiencing agonoies of remorse. But something tells me that's not going to happen.

Anyway - here's my top ... well, 7 actually ... of TV characters I hate.

7. John Carter, from ER (the latter years). I can't stand that blue-eyed American boy shit. Could he possibly be more holier-than-thou?
6. Elle Greenaway from Criminal Minds. A face like a slapped arse, deeply uninspiring as a character, and completely and utterly punchable on sight.
5. Josh Lyman from the West Wing. By all that's holy, could there be a more irritating person? Smug, self-satisfied, one-dimensional, arrogant, selfish - a true politician. He's not fit to lick Toby's boots.
4. Jack, from Lost. Why do people consistently look to him for leadership? He's about the worst example of leadership on the whole programme, and in real life he'd have been consigned to minding his own business until someone needed a doctor. Aggressive, entirely convinced his own opinion is correct, patronising, sexist wanker.
3. Joel Fleischman from Northern Exposure. At least this is an example of good characterisation, and fine acting, because Dr Joel isn't supposed to be likeable (I sincerely hope!) Utterly self-involved, selfish, whingeing, narrow-minded, weak and pathetic - whoever thought he would make a good lead character deserves a medal. How I love to hate him. (On the other hand, the fact he and Maggie get together is just a nonsense. She's pretty prickly herself, but at least she's not utterly anti-social and self obsessed.)
2. Tony Soprano, from The Sopranos. This man kills people in order to make money. There really isn't anything more loathsome. He also cheats on his wife, and should be castrated.
1. Chris Montesanti, from The Sopranos. Not only does he kill people, but he has a deluded sense of grandeur and, as was ably pointed out early on in the series, looks like a camel. But most appalling of all, he had his fianceé killed just because he didn't want to become a bored father. Drug addict, woman-beater, utterly repulsive individual. May he die, feet first, in a wood-chipper.

Well, that's that off my chest. Anyone with other characters worthy of putting on the list, let's hear 'em! Come on now - don't be shy.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Quick Note

Feel quite virtuous - sent a letter to Baffie's Boy in the States, rather than an email. I love getting personal snail mail and nobody ever sends any anymore. There's a real art to writing a good letter - one my grandmother had down pat - but it's sadly dying out.

Went to the gym - turned out to be a bit of a palaver as we had to wait until a)it quietened down and b)a gym class finished, so even though we arrived at 5.30 it wasn't until 7 we got into the gym. Once there I did this:

1.5 miles on treadmill, 15 mins.
2 x 12 reps on pull down, 40kg
1 x 12 reps on pull down, 35kg
3 x 12 reps on chest press, 40kg
1 x 12 reps on bicep curl, 40 (or 20) kg
1 x 6 reps on bicep curl, 40/20kg
1 x 12 reps on bicep curl, 35/17.5kg

And that was that. Home for bits 'n' pieces for supper and a ridiculous amount of TV. Really should start reading more and watching less.

Looking forward to the weekend! Going to Sangsters in Elie for nosh with Spar 'n' Blar, Ceegar and Northern Lass.

Monday, 4 February 2008

I Hate Dogs

After a lovely Saturday night out with Lu and Arrow (we went to the Cellar in Anstruther, which was most fine) we've had a bit of a bitch of a week, thanks to the 2 dogs we've got staying. They've turned out to be incredibly destructive, and have wreaked this much damage:

1 x pair sports socks, gift to me from Janues
1 x Athlete CD
1 x Five for Fighting CD
2 x mix CDs
1 x pair beautiful deerskin gloves, gift to me from Koi
1 x skirting board and wall beside fridge, chewed
1 x kitchen floor, lino ripped up in 1m square

Naturally it's the last 3 I'm most furious about, and I really don't know what to do about the lino and wall. To be fair, the wall is just a small patch of chewed destruction, and won't be that noticeable if it's painted - although it will be patchy. The lino is a different matter. Seeing as we want to rent the place out, we'll need to have the whole floor re-lined, but can we charge the owners the cost of the whole re-flooring? It would be about £200 - which seems excessive for a 1m square bit of destruction. But if it's patched, it'll be very noticeable, and ruin the sleek look of my lovely kitchen, where lies my heart.


Plus - my gloves! I love those gloves. Koi gave them to me for my birthday and they were soft as anything, as well as an almost tailored fit.

The good news is they go home today, and with any luck we'll never see them again. Fucking Springer Spaniels. I've never met one I like - and these are only half springer. The rest is black lab - not a dog I'm fond of, either, for that matter, and is the reason they moult black hair all over everything, driving Fisher insane.

All in all, I'm looking forward to the little shits being picked up and taken far, far away.