Saturday, 30 August 2008

The Knack


I wanted to find a way of fitting this into some kind of narrative. But I couldn't (be bothered), so here it is anyway.

Week 1599: Good or Shit?

  • There was so little work for me to do this week that on Thursday, my greatest challenge involved photocopying and stapling.
  • I have suddenly and inexplicably started to be bombarded with spam, offering genuine replica R.O.L.E.X. watches and cheap viagra.
  • I left it too late to buy a ticket for the Warhammer Grand Tournament heats, and the whole thing is now sold out.
  • I am frequently so tired in the evenings that I cannot stay awake long enough to get drunk.
  • Reuben are on an indefinite hiatus.
  • It turns out that our tenancy agreement runs until May 2009, not December 2008 like I thought... so no Utopian House of Good Clean Fun in Exeter for me and Charlie Cat.
  • Urge to kill rising.
  • I have mice.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008


This shows the extent of our dedication to the concept of impromptu tea breaks.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

I was looking for a job, and then I found a job

I started my placement last week.

It started with a two hour induction focusing mainly on health and safety; How To Pick Up Boxes, How To Not Get Run Over By A Fork Lift Truck, that sort of thing. There are apparently a million and one ways to get horribly disfigured/lightly killed in this place, and as such I have been issued with a dizzying array of personal protective equipment; shatterproof safety glasses, tasteful blue helmet, snazzy high-viz waistcoat, ear plugs that look like delicious sweets, and metatarsal protecting footwear that feels like a lump of steel wrapped in leather, with a little hole for each foot. Neat. Attending the same induction were five other new starters; two of whom were also called Ben. Hardly confusing at all, actually. Once we were done with that, we got taken to our relevant departments; in my case Plant Engineering, where I met the outgoing placement student, who is also called Ben. At this point I began to wonder whether there was maybe some kind of bizarre recruitment policy at play...

Anyway, I've been doing this placement malarkey for a week and a half now. It's okay I guess, I just wish I had more to do. Also, the travel kind of sucks; I'm driving over 160 miles each day, having to get up early and get home late; and every two days I have to put another £50 of petrol in my car.

On the subject of my car... (collective gasp at effortlessly seamless transition) ...I got a new one. And yes, it is a bit of a tosser's car; but this particular tosser is jolly pleased with it.

Anyone who knows cars, knows what it is; and anyone who doesn't, won't care. So I will not go into tedious detail about it (there's a time and place for such geekery).

It goes a little way towards making the daily commute to and from Exeter that little bit more bearable; unlike that ghastly VW I've been trundling about in since the end of May, which offends me with its ruthless German efficiency every time I drive it.

Even so, I'm pretty sure that I need to be moving to Exeter sooner rather than later. The initial plan is to find somewhere cheap to stay Monday to Friday, coming back to Bristol for the weekends; my tenancy agreement here doesn't run out until the end of November, and I know of no-one who would want to take my place in the meantime. Plus, I still work Saturdays at The Big Gay Department Store (the wages almost pay for half my petrol from the rest of the week...).

Might still move before then, though. The vivacious Charlie Cat finishes her summer job at the end of October, and has said that she would be more than happy to run away to Devon with me...

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

The most inept that ever stepped

And so, after a couple of months of solid painting, I got to attend half of the tournament that was the point of it all in the first place.

I only attended half of it because apparently two and a half months isn’t sufficient notice for a single days holiday from The Big Gay Department Store; and although there was briefly the possibility of some guy swapping shifts with me, he waited until the very last moment to decide that he couldn’t. Or couldn’t be arsed, one of the two. I’d like to think that he had something important to do, and didn’t just spend the day playing computer games in his underpants…

So I had to work the whole day Saturday, and whizzed off to Nottingham (’00-’03 gun crime capital of the UK) that evening. Half of the tournament had already happened, but there was still plenty of drinkin’ time. After meeting up with Rich and Beautiful Steve at the nerd mecca that is Warhammer World, we went to the hotel to check in and grab a quick shower, then bimbled into town. As per usual, we started out in a cheap pub, where we drank cheap booze and debated where we should go next. Quite we have this debate is something of a mystery, because we always end up in the Cookie Club anyway. I don’t mind, because the music is good and I get to dance like a fool; and Rich doesn’t mind because the place is full of young women that he can prey upon. Beautiful Steve gets to do a bit of both. We met a very lovely girl called Clare, who invited us back to her flat for a cup of tea and a game of Trivial Pursuit after the club closed. This was not some awful euphemism, we really did drink tea and play board games until the sun came up. Good times.

We said our goodbyes, and got a taxi back to the hotel so that we could grab our stuff and check out. Day two of the tournament was thus a very drunken and sleep-deprived affair, which almost excuses my profound inability to even come close to winning any of my games (although most of my fellow nerds know that this would’ve happened even if I was rested and sober). At the end of the day the awards were handed out; Steve won Most Bloodthirsty General, Rich won Biggest Massacre, and I won nothing. I should have won Best Army, but the nominations were made on the Saturday, before I got there… ho-hum.

Still, it was a fun weekend, and I managed to get all the way home without falling asleep at the wheel and crashing and burning. Just.