Christmas brings out the usual crap drivers. While we were away we saw one idiot on the A6 south of Stockport. He was driving along perfectly normally then, without warning, he would swerve violently from left to right for a few seconds, then get back to driving normally again. It looked a bit like when racing drivers swerve to warm their tyres before a race. We couldn't decide whether he was a moron, was drunk, or just thought it was funny.
On Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson has commented on how 'cocks' have started driving Audis instead of BMWs. We saw a prime example of this too. We were driving through a village where there was a 40mph speed limit. A knobhead in a black audi decided that the speed limit didn't apply to him, and he was swerving past the other cars in his haste to get past everyone. We saw a similar moron on the motorway driving a silver Ford Focus, changing lanes every few seconds because he didn't want to drive sensibly behind people at a junction.
We encountered our final knobhead of the season (so far) on our way back home, driving along Holyhead road towards Coventry. A moron in a crappy little Renault was tailgating me. I braked in an attempt to force him to slow down and increase the gap but it didn't work. We finally lost him at a junction where he went a different way. At our last sight of him, he was still driving like a knobhead, tailgating a taxi.
I think I'm being stalked by unfunny Christmas Cracker jokes. I was at a Christmas Dinner last week and all the crackers had exactly the same joke. The very same joke turned up again today:
Q: How do you make an apple puff?
A: Chase it round the garden.
It wasn't funny first time around.
Watching crappy films on TV is something of a Christmas tradition. Yesterday we watched the last of the Friends box set, so we're reduced to watching whatever films are on.
Right now, High School Musical is on TV. It's surprisingly bad, worse than I was expecting. I was expecting some level of naff cheesiness but I wasn't prepared for the painfully whiny singing voices and the really bad lip-syncing.
Other film's we've watched include:
- Elf. This was the first Christmas film we saw this year. It had some good moments but on the whole it wasn't as funny as it thought it was.
- Oliver Twist. There has to be at least one version of a Dickens story at Christmas. This was the 2005 film version.
- Alien Autopsy. The Ant and Dec film based on the hoax alien autopsy footage. It would have benefited from more Harry Dean Stanton and less Ant and Dec.
Before we decorated our tree, we decided to see what a Christmouse tree looked like.
The tree with proper decorations.
Tree with Mice.
I have just completed a survey on a website. It was a really badly designed survey where the next question would not use the information provided earlier.
I had already said that I use my mobile phone to make calls several times in a typical week. I then got a question asking why I rarely or never use my mobile to make calls. Another question asked my occupation then asked me to confirm it on the next screen, but gave a different occupation to the one I selected.
Towards the end of the survey I was asked if I had Internet access at home or elsewhere. I was answering an Internet-based survey. Of course I had access to the ****ing Internet! I should have clicked 'No' and seen what happened.
I can't believe the size of the portions they serve at The Bear in Berkswell. For my starter I had the Baked Camembert. I was expecting a few of the breaded cheese cubes on a bed of salad but it was an entire 250g cheese, served in the small wooden box, with toast and a very tasty onion marmalade.
It was good but it was far too much cheese. People would criticise a fast food place if they sold a meal with around 60g of fat but somehow a fancy pub restaurant can get away with it.
The main course followed the trend of large servings. My Lamb Suet Pudding was a decent size. I probably shouldn't have chosen another meal where part of the name was a type of fat. The suet pastry was a bit too thick but the filling was fine.
The meals were good and were reasonably priced, which probably explains why the place is usually busy.
Ikea had sent us some vouchers for a free hot meal from their café. That was enough to tempt us into the shop and get us to do some Christmas shopping there.
Emma had the fish and chips, I had a bit of difficulty deciding what to have but eventually chose the meatballs and chips. I was going to buy a dessert but in the end decided to wait until I'd eaten the main course. That was a wise decision because the meal was fairly large.
We went around the main shop and the food shop. The free food might have been a bit of a gimmick but it worked on us. I think we spend enough for them to get their money back.
Earlier today in work, we were discussing radio listening habits. I mentioned that I sometimes listen to Radio 2 but never in the car on the way home because I don't like Chris Evans.
That may have influenced the dream I had tonight where I came 2nd in a 'Beat up Chris Evans With a Baseball Bat' competition, and won a pile of cakes. The winner cheated by claiming they hit him more times than they actually did.
I was walking back to the car this evening and I saw somebody walking along the path towards me. There was a small dog trotting along a few paces in front of him. As we got closer to each other, the dog turned to one side and ran into the field. I then realised it wasn't someone out walking his dog, but a fox which just happened to be walking in the same direction.
I stopped and watched the fox for a few seconds when I saw a second fox on the other side of the path. It stopped and watched me for a short while before it scampered away into the night.
Some photos of Stevenage. They were taken on my phone, trying to hold it steady for the long-ish exposures, so the picture quality isn't very good.
New Town is very concrete and has no redeeming features.
The High Street in Old Town.
Middle Row - a medieval alleyway running alongside the High Street.
Old Town is much better and is where all the night life is - most of the bars and restaurants seem to be around here. After the training course today, a few of us went for a curry in one of the restaurants on the High Street.
I'm in Stevenage for a few days, on a training course.
The train journey down here was ok. I only had to wait a couple of minutes for each connection. At King's Cross Station, I had a long walk to platform 9 for my train, although I did pass the famous Platform 9¾ on the way. My train was at the platform ready to leave so I didn't have time to stop and take a photo.
Stevenage town centre is a bit of a concrete dump. It's like the worst parts of Coventry town centre, only darker and more desolate.
Last night we noticed that one of our hamsters was making a wheezy breathing sound so we decided we ought to take him to the vets, as a precaution. We were given some antibiotic, which came mixed with a sweet pink vitamin mixture. He seems to like it. We are supposed to give him 2 drops, twice a day. He sucked the dropper dry, then licked around the outside to get as much as he could.
I'm not sure whether I can trust Morrison's food labelling any more. Earlier in the year we bought some fennel which was labelled as an avocado. Last night I bought a 'Steak and Stilton Pasty' which I ate for lunch today. While I was eating it I noticed it contained a lot of potato and a few lumps of brown stuff which might have been meat. A few more bites and I realised it was a bit more spicy than I was expecting.
I wasn't really paying close attention while I was eating it so I was halfway through before I realised it was actually curry flavoured. I then found a large lump of chicken in it. So out of the steak and stilton and pasty elements, the only one the shop got right was the pasty bit.