Posted by sean on October 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm in Fun At Home, Life In Bath with No Comments

Unless you’re that Manchester City player, Mario Balotelli, who lets fireworks off in his bathroom for a laugh, it should be illegal to light fireworks prior to November 5th. For the past two weeks there have been explosions outside my flat all evening. It sounds like I’m living in Kabul.

I don’t really get fireworks anyway. They cost too much. Do those people who light them actually realise they’re basically burning their own money? They’ll argue it’s tradition, celebration or something rubbish like that. My argument is half the neighbourhood is letting them off. You can have your own free firework display just by looking into the sky at someone else’s.

Then you get all the fuss about safety. When I was a kid, there was an advert warning against the perils of picking up old sparklers because they might still be hot. While you’re at it, be careful not to touch the oven, coffee can give you third degree burns and the hot tap in the bath gets a bit warm too. If you’re that scared about your child’s safety, don’t let them hold a thin stick of metal, spitting out flames inches away from their face in the first place!

We were also told never return to a firework once it’s been lit, even if it doesn’t go off. The fireworks we bought were rubbish and most of them didn’t work. Had we followed that rule, there would still be hundreds of old fireworks sitting in the back garden of a house in Bristol somewhere.

Finally, bonfires. If ever you had a bonfire, you had to check to make sure a hedgehog, cat or missing child wasn’t hibernating in the leaves. I grew up in the 1990s. My understanding of hedgehogs was that they were blue, collected rings and were very fast, so would probably be able to escape fire. I kicked a pile of leaves over in a park once looking for animals. An old man, who presumably had spent all afternoon raking them into a neat pile, went ballistic. I tried to explain I was trying to save Sonic, but he was having none if it.

The country went absolutely crazy in August during the London riots with many people declaring that any 12-year old found guilty of looting a bag of rice should be hung, before being gutted with their entrails fed to the Queen’s corgis. Those rioters were basically chavs who had drank a bit too much Mountain Dew and went hyper. People hate chavs too – and rightly so.

Why is it then, that on the final day of October every single year, people welcome children behaving like chavs to their front doors, with the promise of sweets and chocolate? Many claim they may look cute dressed up like little vampires, zombies or Pete Burns, but those children who are given handfuls of Skittles will be back years later with a baseball bat demanding your pension book.

Everyone who has been to the seaside has seen the signs asking that visitors refrain from feeding the seagulls. This is because it encourages them to come back for more and become aggressive. The same with trick or treat. Bah humbug!

Posted by sean on October 30, 2011 at 11:19 pm in Bath City, Geek Stuff, Movies with No Comments

I know last week I said I would be boycotting the Jurassic Park Blu-ray boxset until a single disc with just the first movie was released. However, following an online Tesco shop, I was outraged to find the delivery driver had slipped the boxset into my shopping, alongside my Monster Munch and Uncle Ben’s Microwave Rice. I was going to call up and complain. However, while reaching for the telephone, I tripped, accidentally opened the boxset packaging, only for the disc to fall into my PlayStation 3 and start playing. Don’t think I can return it now. Damn you, Tesco!

My laptop is crap. It is old. Far too old. If it was a human it would have died of natural causes a long time ago, been burnt and be sitting in an urn next to my telly and Freeview box. Instead it is still going. Being kept alive by an AC power supply. I installed the latest version of AVG antivirus on it yesterday. The software basically put the laptop into a coma. It wouldn’t do anything. I’ve taken AVG off now and am running it without any protection, which is a bit scary. Anything could happen. The laptop could become pregnant or catch crabs. I think it’s time to get a new laptop and make the one I am blogging on now go the way of Sir Jimmy Savile… too soon?

I’m seriously considering not going to watch Bath City away any more. Not because they’re having a crap season, but because I am a jinx. I have been to loads of away games this season and haven’t seen one win. I felt ill on Saturday, so missed the FA Cup game away to Dover. In my absence, Bath City won. I suspect my intimidating presence on the terraces must put the players off their game and cause them to lose. Either that or I could be inadvertently cursing them like a gypsy. I don’t think I’m a gypsy. Saying that, I do like the smell of heather and have always held a secret desire to own a caravan. I could be a gypsy and not even know it. Who else have I cursed? The next away game is also in the FA Cup – Dagenham & Redbridge. The only thing I know about Dagenham is that Stacey Solomon comes from there, so suspect all the fans to be very bubbly, sing a lot and eat jungle insets.

Posted by sean on October 24, 2011 at 10:29 pm in Shopping, Trains, Ventures Outside Of Bath with No Comments

I had a 3 day weekend. Saturday was a break from football. Instead I went up to Walsall to see Claire.

I experienced the joys of train journeys. It wasn’t too bad to be honest. During the trip up to the Midlands, I was sat on a carriage full of Bristol Rovers fans. While the Gas Heads drank Natch cider and raved about their chances of promotion, some child played a game on his dad’s iPad. I have no idea what the game was, although it was very loud and very annoying. I was tempted to pick it up and throw it out of the train window (the iPad, not the child). A scary looking notice on the train wall, warning of a £500 fixed penalty fare for anyone throwing anything out of the window was enough to put me off. That notice may have frightened me, but not as much as the one on the escalators – “You will be fined £200 if you stop the escalators for a non-emergency”. The big red button looked so tempting to press!

The trip back was surprisingly easier, despite being warned of the perils of Sunday travel by Simon. There was free WiFi on the train, so I just sat back and streamed the Man United/Man City game on my iPhone. The free internet was the only thing that was free. Even the toilets at Birmingham New Street cost money to get into. 30p! That’s right, thirty pence to have a piss – whatever happened to the phrase “spend a penny”. I would sooner wet myself. Judging by the state of the platform, it looked like a few people already had. Apparently there’s no fine for that.

Today was my day off work. After getting up late, I went into town. Big mistake. It was the half time holiday and every single child from Bath was there with their mothers. My God, they were annoying. They either seemed to be extremely posh and arrogant, or the other extreme and more chavvy than a scouse druggie with 20 kids on The Jeremy Kyle Show.

I was also annoyed during my visit to HMV. I really wanted to buy Jurassic Park on Blu Ray although was unable to find it for sale without the two sequels. Like the follow-ups to Jaws, I like to pretend The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 don’t exist. If anyone knows where I can buy a copy of the original Jurassic Park movie on Blu Ray, without forking out for the shit spin-offs, please let me know.

After being terrorised by of minors, their parents and HMV sales assistants trying (and failing) to sell my crap dinosaur movies, I treated myself by visiting Krispy Kreme. Those who have visited the place will know how amazing it is. Those who have not haven’t lived. Krispy Kreme sell doughnuts. Not just ordinary doughnuts, the best doughnuts in the entire world. They make all other doughnuts taste like dog poo – they’re THAT good. I enjoyed a ‘Chocolate Sprinkles’ doughnut and a coffee (the hot drinks are also excellent). Another also found its way into my bag, which I ate when I got home.

It’s back to work tomorrow, so I suppose I had better get myself to bed. Hopefully I’ll dream about watching Jurassic Park in high definition while eating at Krispy Kreme; although I‘ll probably have a nightmare about watching The Lost World in a station toilet with football fans and being charged 30p for the privilege.

Posted by sean on October 19, 2011 at 10:38 pm in Bath City with No Comments

Bath City 0-2 Stockport County
Conference National
Tuesday 18th October 2011 – 19:45

Twerton Park is a famous old football ground. Its illustrious turf has been graced by thousands of players and mangers over the years, some of which have won such honours as the Les Phillips Cup, FA Vase and even the infamous Setanta Shield.

Always one to catch a celebrity, I was particularly enthusiastic about the visit of Stockport County and their German manager Dietmar Hamann – a UEFA Champions League winner and World Cup Finalist. Sure, those tin pot competitions are not be as highly regarded as the Somerset Premier Cup, but when I saw him standing in the cold Twerton Park car park, I thought I would wander along and say hello – or “guten tag”.

He wasn’t really the chatty type. He even stole my pen and scribbled on my match day programme. Blatant vandalism. That’s £2.50 Didi owes me!

I bet I found it easier to get Hamann's signature than Gerard Houllier did

My Jim Rollo autograph is far more prestigious

Bath City were running a promotion on the evening’s game – ‘Take a Mate For Free’. Did Dietmar take advantage of this offer? I doubt it. I didn’t see Steven Gerrard or Stefan Kuntz wandering around… hehehe Kuntz.

While in the queue at the bar, a group of elderly Stockport fans arrived. They couldn’t have been more northern if they tried. I know many of us speak funny down here, but they amused me. It was like an episode of Last of the Summer Wine *

The queue to the bar was long “I’m gonna ‘ave to get my binoculars out to see t’bar” shouted out a loud Stockport fan named Wallace at the rear of the line. “It’s gonna be t’alf t’time before we get t’drink” replied his mate, Gromit **

They sounded like what Manchester United fans would sound like if they supported their local club. Instead your typical ManYoo fan sounds like this.

* Yes, I am fully aware that the sitcom is based in Yorkshire and Stockport is in Greater Manchester. Please take this as a light hearted joke (like most of my blogs) and don’t be offended.

** OK, slight exaggeration there. Don’t be mad, remember, we speak funny too (“ooh arrr”)

It’s wasn’t “t’alf t’time” before we were served. We were all drinking Thatchers like members of The Wurzels by 7.

and as for Ian Holloways... more sought after than John Lennon's

The match. Poor.

The referee. A woman. She had  a poor game. That isn’t being sexist – “Some of my best friends are women” (see Monday’s blog for that reference). She just missed a few things… like a blatant penalty. Most referees annoy me, even the male ones, so the fact she was female didn’t piss me off, it was the fact she wore black and blew her whistle too many times.

A few Bath City supporters were not as politically correct as me, however. During one particularly bad decision by Amy Fearn, a loud voice bellowed out from behind me “Watch the game, you silly bitch!” I looked behind, expecting to see Andy Gray or Richard Keys. It wasn’t Keys or Gray, it was some abusive City fan. Believe it or not, he calls all referees who come to Twerton a bitch – even the male ones. He may be a moron, but he isn’t a sexist moron.

In case you were wondering about the match result. We lost 2-0. No doubt beating Bath City was a greater achievement for Dietmar Hamann than winning the European Cup.

Posted by sean on October 17, 2011 at 10:25 pm in TBA, Ventures Outside Of Bath, Work Activities with No Comments

No work today. I had a training course to go to. It was a bit of a disaster in all honesty. The course was fine. It was everything that happened before and after which gave me a headache.

First of all, the outward bus journey. I boarded the bus. It was full of students. There were no seats left and loads of people standing. It was like a cattle transporter and I was a cow.

As I stood, clinging onto a bus rail for dear life as the X39 sped down the Keynsham bypass, I overheard some stupidly posh and annoying students discussing life. I have nothing against students. Using an excuse borrowed from a racist Daily Mail reader, “some of my best friends are students” However this particular bunch of college-goers was very annoying…

“How old is Tarquin?” one asked their friend, who responded “I dunno. I guess we should ask people”. Quite frankly, I couldn’t give a shiny turd how old their posh friend was. I doubt anybody else on the bus did either. Another removed their iPod earphones to join in the drivel “I think I’ll change my birth date on Facebook every month – that way I can get presents throughout the year”, before breaking into an eruption of laughter and snorts.

I considered praying for a fatal bus crash. There would be broken, severed limbs everywhere. OK, I would be dead too, but I wouldn’t have to listen to their shit.

The bus didn’t crash. Instead it stopped outside a college. The bus emptied. I stayed onboard. When I did get off it started to rain. I had to make the rest of the journey on foot. I got wet. A great start to the day – already I was wet, pissed off and had wished death upon a group of teenagers.

The course went well.

Home time. The route to the centre where my training took place was hard to find. Therefore in the morning, I walked along an embankment, next to a busy road. This was mainly due to the fact it was raining and I didn’t have the time or patience to work out a safer course. Coming back however, I found the footpath – down some steps behind Tesco. Then I became lost. After walking for ages down a small lane, being careful to look out for drug addicts and chavs who would no doubt try to steal my iPhone and rape me, I found my way back onto the main road. Trouble was, it wasn’t the main road I was on this morning. I was lost in Bristol. All I wanted to do was go home, crawl into a ball and cry. Eventually, thanks to the GPS on my phone, I did find my way home, which is where I am blogging from now. Oh, and in case you were wondering, there were students on the bus ride back, but no annoying ones, so I did not have to force the driver to crash into the river.

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