Monthly Archives: August 2008

Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues

Thinking is under-rated.  I had one of those days today, where travelling gives you time to think, at least on the train anyway, but first, lets have  bitch about a couple of things.
I listened to a report in the BBC News website about a Ryan Air flight that lost cabin pressure at 30,000 feet.  The pilots made a rapid decent to 8000 feet and then went on to land the plane safely, with all passengers and crew surviving.  The news reporter was giving a grilling to the owner of Ryan Air, i guess, he was trying to make a name for himself, claiming that the passengers were not kept informed of what was happening.  Some so called arctic explorer who was also on the plane also claimed this was the case.  Here’s the thing.  At 30,000 feet, there is not enough air for you to breath.  At that height, you will pass out within 12 seconds.  At 8000 feet, you can breath and survive without cabin pressure – anywhere in between, the cabin crew, pilots and passengers are all breathing from their oxygen masks to remain concious – how the hell are they meant to make P.A. announcements at the same time? – if i was a passenger on that flight, i would have dragged the pilots out of the cockpit, into a pub and bought them both a guiness.  I am a bit miffed with the BBC – i always trusted them for integrity and truth in their reporting, not sensationalising to make headlines.
Now to Portugal
This morning in Lagos, the woman in front of me at the ticket office in the train station asked if the man behind the counter spoke english.  He said ‘No’ and then ignored her.  she walked away , dazed and confused.  I asked for my ticket in my best portuguese, and the ticket man answered me in english when he asked for the money – what a wanker!!!  I went over to the girl and asked her if i could help her……..all she wanted was to know the cost of a ticket to Faro.
On the upside – a one way ticket from Lagos to Tunes (an hours train ride) cost less than 3€ – stick that in your british shag pipe and smoke it !!!
Now to the good stuff
I just really dig going on the train.  I got on at Tunes and got my ipod out and hit the playlists.  As we chugged out of the Algarve and into the Alentejo, the sun finally came through the clouds, at about the same time that Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues came on – If you know the song, you will appreciate the perfect timing.  If you don’t know it, click the link –
Then, as if by magic, the waiter appeared and gave me food and beer.  And this is when it gets even wierder – my first sip of beer was also acompanied, in perfect timing, by another song – ‘Novocaine for the soul’ –
Watching the countryside flash by is very comforting.  sometimes i would realise that i had a great big grin on my face, and wonder if the other passengers thought this would be a little wierd?
I was also treated to ‘Everlong’ by the foo’s – if you dont know that song, you must be dead already….not the perfectly balanced acoustic version that Max so kindly sent me, but the full on foot tapping stomper –
 Crossing the bridge into lisbon, the perfect companion, Dido, sang Mary’s in India while i stared through the metalwork to the water below.
I was massively distressed earlier this week when Meredith Grey died………i was of course completely shocked, somewhere along the lines of when Dr. Green died in ER but i guess life goes on…… thing is for sure though – for a profession that saves a lot of lives – Doctors do seem to die a lot!!!

The hunting continues

Someone is looking for gary lineke still………….
she has been warned
Lisbon tomorrow – England on friday

Finally – it happened

The Jehovas witnesses found me this morning…………all the way down here.
Ok, it has been a long time since i last spoke with them, so long infact that i was living with fat pat at the time.  I remember the sunday morning well.  Around 10am there was a knock at the door, of course, me and fat pat were entertaining ourselves in ‘certain’ ways at that time on a sunday morning.
To protect my rigid modesty, i put a pair of boxers on and went downstairs to the door.  I stood, with the door fully open and confronted the two female witnesses who looked me down and then back up again and simply said – ‘we can see now is not a good time – we will come back later’.   They never did – the wholesome girth had frightened them away.
Anyway, two more found me this morning but this time they sent two men.  By the time i reallised who they were, i tried to pretend that my portuguese wasn’t good enough to understand them – so they switched to english – the clever bastards! 
Finally, after what seems like two weeks of being sick, today i actually feel like i want to surf again.  I did try at Ponta Ruiva a couple of nights ago but it was shit.  This afternoon i am going surfing with two extreme german chicks – i will be taking my camera with me.
England next week for a whole month – man, that is gonna hurt.

Sagres Surf Festival

The aftermath of the biggest summer weekend here in sagres………
It is unbelievable.  By now most of the weekend tourists that came for the festival have gone home – thank god!!! Not without leaving their mark though.  The cash machines have been empty since wednesday afternoon, some were still empty this morning.  I stopped for diesel this morning at my local filling station and it looked like the place had been robbed – empty shelves!  It’s the same in the supermarket too, yesterday was the first day since last wednesday that i could find burger buns for my BBQ.
This little town just cannot cope with the influx of fashionable wankers that ‘must be seen here’ over the summer season but then again why should it ?  Lets face it, the place gets busy for about 2 months of the year.  The rest of the year, it is blissfully devoid of wanky tourists, lisbon attitudes and spanish pikeys, and that’s when i like it the best.
I promise you now that this is absolutely the last time i will be here in august – even if i have to go to england for the month.  Massive attack played here this weekend.  Ten years ago i would have liked to see them – for now, i could’t even be bothered to buy a ticket.
yours sincerely
tired, sick and grumpy



I figured something out yesterday.  I often wondered why so many people in England wash their cars on Sundays……….it’s because they are bored shitless and there is nothing else for them to do.


I have been sick now for 5 days and yesterday I decided to clean my car in the solitude of my own garden.  Those that know me well, will realise just how bored I was to do this.


First, I vacuumed it out.  This is something I don’t ever remember doing in the three years that I have owned this car.  I am now expecting improved acceleration, fuel economy and top speed after removing around 5kgs of sand and gravel ballast from the carpets and seats.


I also found 2.85€ that I never knew I had, so with this new found fortune, I took a trip to the jet wash and hosed it all down.  I am sure the locals considered me crazy as I opened the doors and tailgate and hosed down around the door casings and door frames.


I was so astounded at how good it was beginning to look that then I went to Lidl and bought some window cleaner.


It’s been a real bastard having a Lidl so close to home.  I always come out with some special offer tools under my arm – yesterday was no exception.  I paid 10€ for a tap and die set from M3 upto M12, including an MPT taper tap – I haven’t even seen one of those in years.  Ok, I am sure it won’t last long but I I get just ½ an hour work out of it, then I feel it would have paid for itself anyway.


The windows were bad – so bad infact that I had to at least double clean each one in turn, some even took a third clean to finish them off.


I did find my missing running shoe under the front passenger seat though, I was quite chuffed about that.


Late on Saturday night, I couldn’t sleep so I got up and watched some of the Olympics on TV.  I was in time to watch the ladies marathon.  I missed the start by around 20 minutes and sat watching for around 10 minutes.  After those long ten minutes, I again realised how boring a marathon was to watch.  Ok, maybe the start might give some excitement (maybe) and the end a little more but the 2 ½ hours in between is complete tosh.  Despite the local camera crews trying to get some new angles on the race – it just didn’t do it for me – so I started flicking.


I came across an old Robert DeNiro film.  I say old because he must have still been in his 20’s, at a push , early thirties.  The film was weird so I watched it.  Cameo appearances from Harvey Keitel as a pimp, Martin Scorscese ( I hope I spelt that right) a very young Cybil Shepard (if you remember ‘Moonlighting’ ) and an even younger Jodie Foster – sporting her original nose of course.


The film finished and I still had no idea what was going on – so I went to bed.



Always remember – Déjà vu is just a glitch in the Matrix




Donnie Darko & Fred Dibnah

Unlikely companions i know, but they both sit side by side in my DVD collection.  OK, it’s not much of a collection but that is because i am rarely moved enough emotionally to spend hard earned wonga on DVD’s, only when the subject matter is as riveting ( did you like that Fred?) as these two classics are.
I have been treating Marple to the delights of Fred Dibnah over the past weeks.  I know, before you say it – i sure know how to treat a woman – but Fred is the stuff that legends are made of, and of course from an engineers perspective, a marvel of how to get things done – old school!!
For many years, i pondered the act of climbing a 200ft chimney with just wooden ladders, hemp rope, metal spikes and a good head for heights, and now, finally, it is explained in something of a wonderful Lancashire accent.  It is fair to say that i near shat myself watching Fred casually sitting on the top of a ladder at around 175 feet, his ladders gently wobbling in the breeze, one leg hooked over the top rung while he had a ‘chat’ with the camera man in the hydraulic lifting platform next to him – and i was in the comfort of my 1970 stylie sofa!
At the end of the DVD, the film closes with a shot of Fred, specs, waistcoat, pocket watch and cap.  A man with terminal cancer, living his last dream, the last shot, Fred with a small yet fully knowing grin on his face.  The pinch in the lips, the wrinkles around his eyes, the light facial shudder of a man that is saying a big and satisfied ‘ OH Yes!’ without muttering a word – a man that did with his time, all that he wanted !
And how does that compare to Donnie Darko? It doesn’t really.  Donnie Darko continues to be a mystery to me.  I also treated Marple to the complete head fuck that is Donnie Darko but not before telling her that she could not ask me questions while watching the movie.  This i did so that i could then get her own opinions on the film without my prejudices.  As expected, we then entered into a confused debate about what we had just watched, even flicking back to certain scenes in a vain attempt to clarify arguements – but no joy, confusion reigns supreme with this movie.
If you havent seen it already, go and rent it, but be sure to get the directors cut.  If you can’t find the directors cut, ask me and i will send you my copy provided that you return it.  I have watched this movie more than 20 times now, and until this morning could still not make head nor tail of it.  Then i found a plausible explanation here on the net.  If you have seen it and remain confused, click the link below and all will be revealed.
Sadly no longer appears to work, either hacked or the domain name has been sold – an end of an era – just like Fred!!!!! 

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