Saturday, September 10, 2005

Nostalgia & Comics

If Coningsby and Tattershall aren't thriving, Boston is more than making up for it. Coming into the train station this morning, I thought for a moment I'd somehow ended up in the wrong town - they've finally built the new Asda on Sleaford Road, the one that had been in the planning stages for as long as I can remember! They've knocked down all the old derelict buildings that used to greet train visitors to the town, added a new road and made the whole place look a whole lot prettier!

And that's not all. In the less-than-two-years since I was last there, they've also done the Pescod Square development thing that had been talked about for years! Now there's a lovely little pedestrianised area with lots of shiny new shops, with Pescod Hall sitting prettily in the middle. As opposed to the scruffy old car park and building site there was the last time I saw the area. And Boston now has not one but two bookshops! If you'd told me that a couple of years ago when I was living there, I would have called you a raving loony of some kind. Admittedly one of them is a Works, which doesn't really count, but the other is Ottakar's, which definitely does.

And what's more, the 2006 comic annuals are out. It's getting silly, nowadays. Soon they'll be coming out two years in advance of the cover date. But I got the new Broons book and the latest collection of old Broons and Oor Wullie strips, which is great. The latter even contains handy information like the name of the current artist, so now when I complain about his rotten art and campaign to get Ken H Harrison back, I can refer to him as Peter Davidson instead of "PD". And he was the same one who drew the strips, unsigned, in the eighties. I thought he was, but then it might have been someone else using his character designs and style (as opposed to Harrison's VASTLY superior ones).

It rained all day, alternating between downpours and constant drizzle, which made the football pitch a bit heavy going for the poor players. There was no mud, because they're really looking after the ground nowadays, but there were huge puddles dotted around the pitch, despite the best efforts of the people who were out before the game prodding it with rakes.

Rochdale's mascot is a dragon, and a very friendly looking one, too. I don't know his name, but I'd imagine it's Dale. I gave him a quick wave, although it's bad form to cheer on the opposing team's mascot, because us dragons have to stick together. He looked much cooler than BosCat, although the two of them seemed to get on quite well - rather than going around entertaining the crowd before the game, they stood around chatting in a corner of the field most of the time. Makes you wonder what giant cartoony animals talk about when they get together.

As for the actual game, it was great! Noel Whelan put us ahead with an excellent shot early on, but they equalised a couple of minutes later with a soft lob over the head of Nathan Abbey, who'd wandered out of his goal to watch the action. In the second half Rochdale went ahead with a scrambled goal after the ball slipped through Abbey's hands from a corner, but then we got a penalty somehow (I didn't see what the referee had found fault with, but I'm not complaining), which Whelan converted.

Abbey made up for anything he'd done with a couple of great saves, and then Alan White popped up out of nowhere to get the winner. Twenty minutes of somehow not conceding another goal later, Boston had their first win of the season! And all because I went along to watch! My cheering and occasional abuse-shouting made all the difference.

So, a great day all round, although I must get some new shoes. The hole in the sole of my right boot is inconvenient when it's wet. My sock gets soaking wet if my foot goes anywhere near water. Still, it was worth it. I'll have to go to another game or two this season if we're going to avoid relegation...

Friday, September 09, 2005

Golden Jubilee

I've just noticed that yesterdays entry was my fiftieth! I should have had a party or something! It doesn't feel like fifty blogs' worth of time since I started, but come to think of it, quite a lot has happened in that time. I think it's stopped being summer since then, if it ever really started in the first place.

Anyway, I haven't really got anything to write about. I've spent the last week formulating a story called "Don't Bring Me Down, Bruce", about an escalator designer called Bruce Bryce who refuses to build escalators that go upwards, for religious reasons, and the consequences this has for the world when he is hired to rebuild all the escalators on the London Underground. But it's not very funny, and I worry that someone's going to take it for an allegorical comment on the state of the world today. I'd hate anyone to think I was trying to make a serious point.

Oh, and Michael Page are putting me in for another job. In Burton-on-Trent, which seems to be the only town in the world with job vacancies at the moment, but with Nord Anglia, the company that runs nursery schools, which would be a bit different, and probably fun. It sounds like a zoomy kind of job (although it's a management accountant role, and so probably not involving, say, playing with squeaky toys and watching cartoons all day).

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Back to the Future!

I'm watching it at the moment. One of those films that you can watch over and over again without it getting old. I'd love to travel in time myself, although I'm never sure whether I'd want to meet my younger self and change the course of history. I've admittedly had some experiences that I'd rather not have had, over the years, but I think I'm pretty happy with myself as I am right now. I wouldn't want to change anything, in case I ended up making myself worse, if you see what I mean.

I must admit, though, I've always had a secret code that I've never told anyone, ready to exchange with myself if any kind of time-travel scenario occurs in which I need to convince myself that I really am me, if you see what I mean. Time travel can be a complicated business. Maybe I'll just go back a bit further and adopt a dodo.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Come on England

As I write this, they're losing 1-0 to Northern Ireland, which is absolutely ridiculous. They're a good team, but they haven't come together right tonight at all somehow. It'd be a shame if they ended up not qualifying for next year, as seems a real possibility now. Scotland slightly improved their strictly mathematical chances of qualifying tonight, so it'd be fun if they got to the world cup and we didn't...

While I'm in a footy mood, it's worth mentioning that Boston Utd have now managed four draws and three losses from their first seven league games. They're at home to Rochdale on Saturday, which they'll almost certainly lose too, but I think I might go along and watch. It'd be good to see what's changed in Boston since I moved away.

In other news, we're now finishing work at 5:00 instead of 5:30. Yay! Just seven weeks to go. Must get that CV sorted out.

If I go to Boston on Saturday, I'll spend Sunday practising memory. I'm still surprisingly in the mood. Wonder how long it'll last?

Ireland have won, the commentators are blaming Sven and his system. That's probably fair enough - it's true that Owen never really did anything and Rooney didn't get anywhere near the ball, to his obvious frustration. Instead of passing to them, Beckham was kicking it to Wright-Phillips, who's rubbish. Nobody really played badly, as such, the whole was just a lot less than the sum of its parts...

Extra bonus all-about-me thing

Like everyone, every now and then I get these email surveys designed to clog the inboxes of the world and bring the internet crashing to a halt. I decided to fill one in for a change, seeing as Crispy told me to, and I thought I'd post it here too, just so that the whole world can see my favourite colour...

How much do we actually know about our friends? This
is a questionnaire to get to know them better. Read
through the comments below about you friend and then
make sure you read the instructions at the bottom.
Have fun!
What time is it? 8:59pm
Name as it appears on birth certificate: Benjamin George PRIDMORE
Nickname: Zoomy!
Piercings: Eww
What is the most recent movie you've seen in the
theater? The Incredibles. I don’t go to the cinema much.
Place of birth: According to the birth certificate, Pilgrim Hospital, Fishtoft. Everyone else in the world would tell you that the hospital’s in Boston, but you can’t argue with the General Register Office.
Favorite food: Anything sweet.
Ever been toilet papering: Do I look like an American trick-or-treater?
Love someone so much it made you cry: No.
Been in a car accident: A couple, involving my motorbike and not looking where I was going.
Croutons or bacon bits: Bacon
Favorite day of the week: Saturday
Favorite restaurants: Burger King
Favorite flower: Crocuses
Favourite sport to watch: Footy
Favourite drink: Squashed frog!
Favourite ice cream: Thorntons peach flavour that they don’t do any more.
Disney or Warner Brothers: WB. And Daffy, not Bugs.
Favourite fast food restaurant: See ‘Favourite restaurants’
What colour is your bedroom carpet: A sort of dirty beige, that used to be a sort of clean beige.
How many times did you fail your driver's test: None at all! But then, I’ve never taken one.
Before this one, from whom did you get your last
email: A German fan who wants to know how my memory system works.
Which store would you choose to max out your credit
card: Toys R Us
What do you do most often when you are bored: Eat sweets.
Who will respond to this email the quickest: Crispy, because I told her to.
Who is the person you sent this to that is least
likely to respond: Pretty much everyone, really. Let’s face it, nobody in their right mind responds to these things.
Who are you most curious about their responses to this
questionnaire: Everyone! I’m quite giddy with anticipation!
Favourite TV show: At the moment, Codename: Kids Next Door.
Who is your boyfriend/girlfriend: Everyone in the world.
Ford or Chevy: Neither. Some kind of bubble car.
What is you favourite colour: Green!
What are you listening to right now: Droning football commentary. Now Owen makes a run across the box, Beckham picks him out…
Lake, Ocean, or river: Ocean.
How many tattoos do you have: Eww.
which came first the chicken or the egg? The egg. Dinosaurs laid eggs before there were chickens.
How many people are you sending this email to: Nine. I’ll stick with the mailing list I’ve got.
Time you finished this email: 9:14pm
*Return directions: Now, here is what you're supposed
to do..Don't spoil the fun.
Copy (Not forward) this entire email and paste it onto
a new email that you will send Change all of the
answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to
a whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person
who sent it to
you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of
little known facts about those who know you. Remember
to send it back to the person who sent it to you.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

For Now No Sorrow

I tuned into Radio Derby for some reason last night. I'm not what you'd call a regular listener - they've interviewed me twice, and this is probably only the second time I've ever listened to them, which seems profoundly ungrateful of me. But my radio that I never listen to has been tuned to 104.5FM since the builders were in here last year when I was away, so that's what came out of the speakers when I turned it on. And the song that was playing has been stuck in my head ever since. It's called 'For Now No Sorrow', by George Papavgeris, and I'm going to have to check out more of his stuff.

It's folk, I should warn you, and according to his website he's written so far 147 apparently very similar-sounding songs, so it might get old quite quickly, but this particular one is somehow really catchy, and I just love the lyrics. You can find them here, if you're so inclined:

Also, there was a really good episode of Codename: Kids Next Door today - 'Clues'. Maybe not the best episode ever, but the first few of this new batch were a bit lame, so this one was a breath of fresh air. It takes definite skill at cartoon-writing to set up a murder mystery with six suspects all with their own motives, throw in a batch of brilliant character moments with some of KND's best supporting cast and bring it all to a conclusion in an 11-minute episode.

Monday, September 05, 2005

I feel like I should be doing something

Well, actually, I know I should be doing something - finding a job. But that's not what I mean. I seem to be between ambitions at the moment. I need some kind of driving obsession to consume my mind, and none of the various ones I have on the back burner at the moment (winning the WMC again, collecting every Looney Tune and Merrie Melody, learning to play othello properly, writing books, learning music) are really firing me up right now.

I'm never quite satisfied unless I'm on a quest of some kind. I'm sure one of the ones listed above will come to life in my brain again shortly, but it would be nice to come up with a new one to pursue in the meantime.

I sold some of those RNIB raffle tickets to work people today, after leaving them lying around untouched for however long it is. They don't have to be back till September 23rd, so there's plenty of time yet. Work continues to be slightly irritating, which you'd think would motivate me to find a less doomed job, but I'm just not in the mood.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

If music be the food of love

I own an electric keyboard which I use for the sole purpose of propping open my bedroom window. I'd never considered this worthy of comment before, or listed it among my eccentricities, but my brother (who's used to my strangenesses and indeed shares many of them) noticed it this weekend and pointed out that this is somewhat unusual.

To be fair, I didn't buy it for its window-holding-open ability, it just happens to be the right size. But I don't play it, and never have. I bought it back in early 2002, or maybe 2001, with the intention of learning to play it, and have made very occasional attempts to do so ever since. The problem is that I have no patience, and can never admit to myself that I'm not good at something. So rather than starting from the beginning and trying to learn the basic principles of which notes are which, chords and octaves and things, then moving on to playing some simple tunes, I get a piece of complicated sheet music, sit down and try to work out how to play it. Then when I keep going wrong, I give up.

I would also like to be able to play the guitar. I have dreams of being in a pop group some day. And I'm not quite ready yet to accept that it's unlikely to ever happen. As a wise but fictional man once said, if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything. So all I have to do is get my mind to cooperate with my dreams.

I'm Back

By which I mean that I'm still here, but I'm back to being the kind of person who lives on his own and has nothing better to do than blog.

Anyway, I haven't really got anything exciting to talk about. Work has been a bit of a drag lately, and is probably going to carry on in the same vein - showing the people taking over our jobs how we do them. If there's one thing I hate, well, it's probably not that, but if there's a whole pile of things I don't really like, then telling someone how I do my job is pretty high on the list. I'm not very good at it, and I always have the feeling that a) I'm doing something in an extremely stupid way, or b) someone will notice that I don't really do anything worthwhile. Just paranoia, you understand, but it's disturbing.

Also, I still haven't got round to fixing my CV. I'll do it some time this week. Or maybe I won't, we'll see.