Wednesday, 24 August 2011

about three quarters of the way up the street actually

The whole moving house thing wound up being being pretty easy, largely because we seem to have some of the best friends in the world.

The Pixie hadn't seen the house at all until the day we picked up the keys, so it comes as some relief that she doesn't hate it and that we we are all settling in quite nicely. So far the only unforeseen horror has been in the cupboard under the stairs, where we found an old wooden box containing a single child's slipper and a rusty saw.

Which is hardly horrifying at all, actually; and far less disturbing than our pet Frenchman's collection of sinister foreign foodstuffs.

Soupe?! What the hell's that?

Those labels could say anything, and there is literally no way of finding out.

Thursday, 18 August 2011


Went to see The Death Of Her Money at The Croft last week. I didn't get to see them straight away, of course; there were the obligatory support acts to wade through first.

First up was Pus, who were loud. Loud and to the point. Loud and to the point and thuggishly sludgy. Thudgy? Sluggish? Probably the second one. For the first thirty seconds it made some sort of terrible brutal sense, but after a minute or so it was starting to get tiresome. Then they played for another twenty minutes.

But then came Winston Egbert, who were charming. Self-proclaimed underdogs of 80s thrash, Winston Egbert are a boy/girl duo where the girl plays drums and the boy plays guitar and they both do a bit of singing. Kind of like The White Stripes. Except that they sound nothing like The White Stripes. Because they play 80s thrash.

Jesse Ventura (not to be confused with Jesse "The Body" Ventura, American wrestler and 38th governor of Minnesota) were apparently playing their first ever show, but looked like they'd been doing this kind of thing for years. It was all very reminiscent of Gay For Johnny Depp's homoerotic hardcore - they even had a song dedicated to "a man that's important and influential in all of our lives, and surely all of yours too; Patrick Fucking Swayze." Ones to watch.

And finally The Death Of Her Money, who were of course spiffing. I first/last saw them almost three and a half years ago, in what used to be The Junction, and dimly recall them sounding a bit like Isis and/or Pelican. On reflection their seismic riff dirge is more comparable to Godflesh without all the mechanical sounding frippery, but in truth they don't sound like they're trying to sound like anyone else; TDOHM have carved out their own doomgaze niche, and are bloody masters of it. Good stuff.

Meanwhile, it was my last day at the Big Gay Department Store last weekend. It is, in every sense of the word, the gayest place that I have ever worked. I think that I shall miss it slightly... but I start my new job at the end of September, and in the meantime I could use a few Saturdays off for things like sitting around in beer gardens, going on holiday and moving house.

We got keys to the new place on Tuesday, but don't have a van until tonight - so there has been very little moving of stuff. Instead we have been playing an odd version of Tetris using bits of squared paper cut out into the shapes of items of furniture.

If only we had spreadsheets and gantt charts to go with it all, Matt would be really proud of us.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Of course, it hasn't all been cocking about with toy soldiers. Although it has mostly been cocking about with toy soldiers.

There was also some cocking about with the track slag, which at the last check had a few issues with brakes. The scale of the problem became apparent when we removed the old pads.

For the uninitiated, the shiny bits show where the pad itself has worn away completely and the metal backing plate - which provides almost no stopping power but is very good at ruining brake discs - has ground itself away on the brake disc. As might be expected, the discs themselves were also a bit of a state.

I sure pity the sucker that had to drive that home from the track. (thanks Laura...)

So, new pads and discs all round. We decided after the last jolly that uprating the brakes was probably a smart idea anyway, and so after a day of excessive hammer usage we now have bigger discs and fancy red brake pads. These will make the car go faster, because they are red, and everyone knows that red 'uns go faster.

There was also a lot of cocking about with graduation ceremonies. Because graduating was less interesting to me than essential car maintenance, I took fewer photos. In fact I took only one photograph the whole day, of the bread boat captained by a grapey pirate that Dr Sister constructed using only bits of her ploughman's lunch.

So you'll have to invent pictures in your head using the power of mental thinking to accompany the following bullet point summary of the day.
  • Apoplectic scheduling anxiety in the morning, despite going through everything the night before using a D20 to determine how punctual/sober/clothed people would be. Miscellaneous toy soldiers were used to represent all the important people, with coasters used to represent key locations and pieces of shortbread used to represent pudding.
  • The Pixie looked delightful in her summery dress.
  • I shook some old geezers hand, and now I'm qualified to do stuff.
  • Lunch, beer, etc.
  • We went to the aquarium. There were lots of fish, but no oversized pencils in the gift shop.
  • Big Chinese dinner, beer, etc.
Essentially, the day started stressfully; but got immediately and immeasurably better once the ceremony was done and complimentary booze and cakes was made available .