Posted by sean on December 7, 2015 at 4:08 pm in Too Random To Categorise with No Comments

I know I shouldn’t like it, but I really love this mug. If whoever has me as their Secret Santa at work happens to be reading this, you could make me very happy…

Posted by sean on December 7, 2015 at 3:26 pm in Bath City, Life In Bath with No Comments

On Friday night, we went down to Twerton Park for a quiz night. Our team comprised of me, Claire, her mum and Mike York – a die-hard fan, who has been following the club for years… probably since its formation. The other quiz teams looked good and appeared to have people that knew stuff. I stayed optimistic, hoping they would have ‘X-Files’, ‘Nursing’ and ‘Bath City in the 1950s’ rounds.

Our quiz team was called ‘The Best Keeper in the League’, in honour of Mike “Yorkie” York’s catchphrase; used to describe every opposition goalkeeper Bath City have ever encountered. I wanted to be named Aston Villa, as like the beleaguered football team, I predicted we would finish rock bottom of the league table.

We started off very well, which surprised me. Bath City won the first six games of the season and have been utter dog shit since. I like to think that our quiz team’s performance resembled Bath City.

One of the questions was ‘what country gives a Christmas tree to England every year?’ Everyone, apart from me, thought the answer was Norway. For some reason, I had got into my head that the German Royal Family gift it to our country. I am sure I was taught this in junior school. After much thought, we did the cardinal sin and changed our answer from Norway to Germany. I was wrong. The answer was Norway. I was very unpopular and my school teacher from 1991 is an idiot.

I redeemed myself by knowing that Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is the sequel to Chocolate Factory and Brian Deane was the first goal scorer in the Premier League. A childhood of reading Roald Dahl novels and vast knowledge of past Leeds United players, finally paid off!

We began to feel our age, as had no idea of the title of Adele’s new album and were equally clueless when it came to Ed Sheeran’s discography. Claire was annoyed at failing to know that Marie Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Mike won much respect from everyone at recalling the name of the bent policeman in Only Fools and Horses. He took half the length of the quiz to remember the answer, but considering I have never seen one episode of the sitcom in my life, Yorkie deserves a lot of credit.

As I expected, our team finished bottom. We did, however, do a lot better than I thought. There were a lot of other very strong teams, and had the boffins from The Chase taken part, even they would have been given a run for their money. Unlike The Chase, the prizes did not consist of thousands of pounds in British sterling. Instead, the winners were awarded wine and beer. Despite finishing rock bottom, we didn’t leave empty handed, as there was a raffle, where we won some candy canes – which ironically, Claire’s mum had bought earlier that day in town and donated to the quiz.

Posted by sean on December 4, 2015 at 4:31 pm in Bath City, England with No Comments

During my week off work, I attended three football matches. I can’t say I enjoyed any of them. In fact, all three filled me with misery.

The first involved Bath City travelling all the way to London for a game against Wealdstone. Yes, Wealdstone is the home of “The Raider”, and yes, I did see him. He was drinking in the clubhouse. There were no selfies with him this time. That’s so 2014.

The Raider would have been more happy than me with how the game went. Bath City dominated from start to finish, but lost the game. How they didn’t win, I don’t know. They couldn’t even score one sodding goal.

It was cold in London. Very cold. So, not only did I have to endure Bath City losing, I had to do so while getting frozen to the bone.

The following Saturday, I made my second trip of the week to the seaside (the first being Weymouth). This time, I would not be bringing my bucket and spade. It was not a holiday. Far from it – a journey to a very wet Bognor Regis in the FA Trophy.

City got so close to reaching Wembley in last season’s FA Trophy – missing out on penalties (how very English). I was hoping for them to go one better this time. Sadly, I was left disappointed. Like a inbred horse, having the audacity to enter the Grand National, they fell at the first hurdle, shattering their legs and getting shot.

The term “inbred horse” is harsh. Like the previous week, we were the better team! This will no doubt sound like a broken record, and you’ll all be laughing at me, but did EVERYTHING but score a goal! As the fulltime whistle approached, the game remained goalless. The highly unappealing prospect of a replay on a Tuesday night looked inevitable. That was until the referee decided to award Bognor a penalty in the final minute of the game. Cheers. Of course, they scored it, which meant we were out the Trophy. Season over. Unless we get pulled into a relegation battle. It was just a five minute walk from the football ground to the stadium. It should have been 30 seconds, but for some reason, Bognor Regis Football Club don’t have a place for coaches to park. This makes it even more embarrassing that we lost to them. In this five minute walk, just to compound my misery, I got absolutely soaking, as it pissed down. I think God was crying that we were out of the Trophy.

It was Claire’s birthday the next day and I had just about dried off from my trip to Bognor. We had decided to go to Bristol City’s ground to watch the England women football team. I have a lot of respect for the England women. They did really well in the World Cup, reaching the semi-final. The last time the men got that far, I was barely out of nappies. They also seem to care about the fact they’re playing for their country, and not the fact that they may not get their £500,000 a-week contract, or if a team mate is shagging their wife.

England were playing a team called Bosnia and Herzegovina. I would say “try saying Herzegovina after a few pints of Thatchers,” but I struggled to pronounce it sober. Apparently B&H aren’t very good. To be honest, they didn’t look it. They put every man, I mean woman, behind the ball and defended for their lives. They were desperate to get a draw. It felt like watching Bath City and I ominously predicted that Bosnia would get a penalty in the 98th minute and win the game. Luckily, I was wrong. In the second half of the match, England finally scored. You would have thought that this would wake Bosnia up. It didn’t. they seemed as determined to hang onto their hard-fought 1-0 defeat.

England did win (woo-hoo), but there were no winners in Ashton Gate. It had rained for a vast majority of the game. Not just any old rain. Sheets and sheets of the stuff, combined with gale force winds, which blew all the water into the stands. I was soaking. Had I fallen into the River Avon on the way home, I wouldn’t have become more wet. It was horrendous. We were planning on going for a meal in Bristol after the match. This was of course cancelled – I don’t think Wetherspoons would have appreciated us all descending upon them and soaking all their tables and chairs… although incontinent alcoholics, who turn up for their daily 10am pint of Guinness have probably already soiled the furniture.

Posted by sean on December 3, 2015 at 4:50 pm in Christmas, Shopping with No Comments

When my work colleagues told me the date of this year’s Black Friday, I thought “SHIT”. I had already planned to visit Clarks Village, with Claire and her parents, to do Christmas shopping, on that day. I envisaged the small town of Street, where Clarks Village is based, being awash with tens of thousands of bargain hunters, all fighting over a half price pair of jeans in Next.

Luckily, my worries about Black Friday were unnecessary. Street was relatively quiet and I enjoyed a nice walk around the shops. This is some statement for me, as I usually hate shopping. There are many things in life which I prefer to shopping, which include having a filling at the dentist and unblocking the toilet with my bare hands. Street was nice, though, and I ended up buying some good presents for other people… and some treats for myself from the Cadbury store and Body Shop!

Halfway through our shopping trip, we went into Pizza Express for lunch. This is always a popular place to go. After all, who doesn’t like pizza? The food was as amazing as always, but the cleanliness of the seating area left a lot to be desired. What appeared to be tomato sauce was smeared all over the table, where I was sat, and up the wall. It was as if there had been a pizza fight. I should have really said something to the waiter, but was feeling all Christmassy, so let it go. I was also too embarrassed to get my mobile phone out and take a photo.

The vast majority of my shopping has been done online. Amazon has done very well indeed from me this year – their shares have no doubt rocketed. This has resulted in loads and loads of parcels being delivered over the past few days. I am sure the poor chap who delivers my packages, hates me right now. I think I annoyed Claire a bit too, as she has days off in the week, due to working night and weekend shifts, so had her rest disturbed by frequent bangs on the door from delivery men.

Now all my shopping is complete, I’ve got the unpleasant task of wrapping the gifts I have bought. I don’t know why, but I am totally useless at wrapping. When I hand presents out on Christmas morning, it looks like they’re from the dog. Claire, on the other hand, along with most women, wrap gifts perfectly. Basically, women can wrap presents, men can’t. I have no idea why that is. Clearly something to do with evolution.

Posted by sean on December 3, 2015 at 12:05 pm in Fun At Home with No Comments

Every few months, somebody from our letting agency inspects our house to make sure we’re not using it as a brothel or to raise farmyard animals. Prior to these inspections, Claire and I frantically clean the place from top to bottom, to make sure we get good reviews from the inspector and the landlord likes us. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t live in filth the rest of the time; our house is relatively clean and tidy. However, for an inspection, we do our best to make it look like it’s a show home.

Last time, we got poor reviews for the state of the bathroom, which was a little upsetting. It wasn’t like we had wiped poo all over the walls. In fact, the main issue was mould on the walls. This is a bugger to get rid of, as bathrooms get hot and steamy when we shower. Condensation sticks to the cold wall and mould grows as a result. Wow – this is more like a science lesson than a blog! Anyway, we got marked down for that (possibly fairly enough). This time we made damn sure we got high marks. I therefore approached the bathroom with a huge array of cleaning products – including a bottle of bleach – the entire contents of which were emptied onto the shower walls. This killed the mould and probably anything else which will live on it for generations to come. It was basically Chernobyl.

After nuking the shower, I had to tackle the mould, which was on the walls, high up beneath the ceiling. Now, I’m no Warwick Davis, but I am only about 5 foot 5, and would therefore struggle to reach the great heights of the bathroom. Granted, I could use a stepladder and stand on tiptoes, but this would probably end up in me losing my balance and falling into the toilet bowl. I had to find a contraption which would reach the mould and allow me to clean it off. In a genius move, I discovered an old curtain rail and attached a dish scrubber to the end of it with insulating tape. The curtain rail is about 3 feet long and bends in all kinds of directions. My homemade tool allowed me to stand underneath the dirty wall and clean it, with ease. After 33 years on this planet, I’ve finally invented something! As soon as Duncan Bannatyne is out of the jungle, I am booking a place on Dragons Den. I could make millions!

I vacuumed the rest of the house… poorly. Claire cleaned and tidied the living room and kitchen very well (I have to say that). After many hours of back breaking work, we were left with a clean and tidy house. We haven’t had the results of the inspection yet, but I hope the results show we live in a lovely home and not a crack den (I hid my needles and pipe).

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