Saturday, April 28, 2007

Windows, at all?

There are some things about Boston that are going to stay the same forever. The double-glazing saleswoman in the market who has spent every Saturday since time immemorial trying and failing to hand out flyers to passers-by with a forlorn, muttered "Windows, at all?". The graffiti on the wall behind Kwik-Save ("R.N. BOASTS WE SANK TWO IRAQI TANKERS") which has been there since the first Gulf War. The May Fair, on its way next week (notices already up telling people, all of whom must surely know already, that the market will move to West Street while the fair's in town. If people don't know, the complaining market traders will soon fill them in without the need for notice boards). George the friendly mentally-handicapped old guy who can always be found in the town centre somewhere on a Saturday, cheerfully saying good morning to everyone whatever time of day it is. The dishevelled exotic birds in the shabby aviary in the park. And a football team who can't win a home game against the worst team in the league who've had a player sent off in the first half.

When you support the second-worst team in the league, there are few occasions when you can look forward to a win with some trembling confidence, but this was one of them. And the omens were good - we had a whole eleven full-time players to choose our team of eleven from, Torquay had already been relegated and had nothing to play for but pride, the home fans had turned out in droves for once (attendance about 2600, roughly eight of whom were die-hard away fans who'd come all the way from Torquay) - and the Pilgrims started brightly. We could have had half a dozen goals in the first half, it's a long time since I've seen them look like they could actually score. David Galbraith in particular had an amazing curling shot from outside the area that Wayne Rooney would be proud of, which was tipped over the crossbar by an equally Premiership-worthy save from the Torquay goalie. Three or four more times the ball was somehow cleared off the line by their defence at the last second. Then one of their players was sent off for hitting Ernie Cooksey while the ball was at the other end of the pitch and he presumably hoped the referee's eyes were too. Still nil-nil at half-time, but it looked hopeful.

When a team comes out after the interval and plays much, much better, people tend to attribute it to an inspirational manager's speech. So I can only assume Steve Evans delivered the exact opposite in the dressing room, because the Boston who came out again for the second half were woeful. Torquay were still awful too, so it shouldn't really have mattered, but then they got a goal out of nowhere, to everyone's surprise. Another of their players was booked for shoving Cooksey in another off-the-ball incident (he's not much of a player, but he must be great at annoying people). The crowd, who'd been enthusiastic all the way, switched to yelling abuse at the Boston players, especially the defenders who seemed very reluctant to tackle the opposing strikers, or even move at all unless it was absolutely unavoidable.

But Drewe Broughton got an equaliser in the 83rd minute, and it ended up 1-1. Which could have been worse, I suppose. Basically, this means that it all comes down to the final game, away at Wrexham next week. If we win that, we'll avoid relegation (at the expense of Macclesfield or Wrexham themselves). If we don't, we won't. Goodbye, football league. And it's five years to the day since we won promotion, too. I personally don't think we have a chance of winning that game. I know it sounds disloyal, but bluntly, we suck. I'll keep supporting them to the last, but... gah! Maybe I'll switch to Derby County.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Movie star, a movie star...

I've been talking at great length just lately with Ravinder about this documentary. It does look like it's definitely going to happen, and it's really definitely going to involve filming me and everyone I come into contact with in Cambridge next weekend and Bristol the weekend after. And probably elsewhere, too. Actually, it's only really occurring to me right now that this might get annoying pretty quickly. It probably won't - I could tolerate Nick following me around, and Ravinder's more fun to talk to (and I'm not just saying that because he reads this blog). Although it is going to be a director in charge of the filming, rather than Ravinder himself, and I might not like her. And then there's the worry that I'm going to end up looking bad, and the billions of people watching the documentary will be thinking "gor, lumme, what a complete eejit that Pridmore person is". I'm assuming all the viewers will have a sort of cockney-cum-Irish accent, naturally.

I was actually thinking of emailing all the friends I can think of to see if they want to be filmed hanging out with me, working on the theory that the less of me and the more of other people in the film, the more watchable it'll be. But then last time around the VPS people were all rather reluctant to be taped at one of our get-togethers, just because they generally involve drunken and unseemly behaviour. I suppose we could hang out and be sober and seemly, but then it would just look boring.

Anyway, I'm going to the football tomorrow. An even more crucial, must-win game than the numerous other crucial, must-win games I've mentioned so far this season. If we win this, and it's only against Torquay so we darn well should, it'll lift us out of the relegation zone with one game to go. Woo! Now if only we can find eleven fit players, we're sorted. We'll survive for another season and then get relegated next year (about to go into a voluntary arrangement because of the huge debts, which will mean a 10-point penalty).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Noone know what I do, but everyone calls me "boss"

For some reason, everybody in the world has emailed me about the Cambridge championship today. Okay, partly my fault since I posted on the forum to confirm that the event is being filmed for a Channel 5 documentary (woo!), but also Aubrey has volunteered me to organise the rest of the Cambridge MSO event on the Sunday (he's somewhere exotic prolonging the human lifespan). It's just a case of telling the other competitions where to go, but that's liable to make me unpopular, because there's the big sports hall and a separate room, and I'm having the latter for the memory competition. However much the go and shogi players complain about having to share space with backgammon and chess. There's only a separate room at all because I pestered Aubrey into arranging one the other day when he sprung it on us that he'd only arranged the sports hall. If there was a bit more time before the event, I'd find another venue in Cambridge, but at a week's notice it'd be hard to come up with a cheap, quiet and small place. I hate being in charge of things. How did I end up in charge of things?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Creative fervour

I've spent the whole afternoon doodling. That comic strip I was artist's-blocked with last week - I suddenly had the urge to sit down and draw and not care how bad it looked, so I did. And once I'd started, I obviously didn't want to stop in case the enthusiasm evaporated.

Also spent an hour and a half talking on the phone with Ravinder about this documentary, and he specifically asked me to mention him in my blog, but I'll go into more detail about that tomorrow, because all that scribbling has taken up too much of my time.

Oh, and I don't think I'm quite ready to actually SHOW anyone what I've been drawing yet.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tradesmen and the scraper still troublesome

I'm watching "The Diary of a Nobody" on BBC4. It's not a dramatisation so much as Hugh Bonneville reciting edited highlights, Talking Heads style, and I don't think it entirely works. It's not a book that really lends itself to TV adaptation (although it has been done before), but it seems pointless to do it like this. It's a lot more enjoyable to read the book yourself - this version doesn't really add anything and takes quite a bit out. It's part of the Edwardian season on the BBC, although I'm not sure what definition of "Edwardian" they're using, since the diary dates from the late 1880s. But on the other hand, that's the kind of pedantic observation that Mr Pooter might have made himself, so I probably shouldn't say anything.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Curse my clumsy great clodhoppers!

I trod on a video tape and now it doesn't work properly any more. It's one of the ones with cartoons taped off the telly, and there are some good ones on it too. The most irritating part is that I have a feeling I could maybe fix it, but that if I tried to do so I would almost certainly ruin it for good. The tape itself is all fine, it's just the plastic casing that's cracked and sort of pushed in a bit, and not in a way that I can just pop it back into the right place. Now when I try to play it it stops after a few seconds and starts rewinding.

I suppose this might be a lesson to me to store videos on a shelf or on top of the telly or somewhere other than just lying on the floor, but I don't have a history of learning this kind of lesson. But darn it, what if I want to watch "Go Fly A Kit", or "Johnny Smith and Poker Huntas" or "Scaredy Cat" or "High Note", or about 40 other classic Looney Tunes? I'm annoyed now.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Supermarket Sweep

Doing my shopping at Sainsbury's today, I found myself at the till behind a large, elderly woman whose credit card was declined. Obviously, this is an embarrassing situation for anyone to be in, so I did my best to pretend I didn't notice anything as she rummaged through her handbag looking for money. When she only turned up a single two-pound coin, I decided to volunteer to pay for her stuff myself. Random acts of kindness are always good. But while I was considering whether that was really, definitely a good idea, she was looking through her groceries to find the most important item and came up with a four-pack of cans of stout. This cost £3.29, and she asked if she could just have two cans for £2. When the woman behind the till said no, she demanded that another shop assistant go and fetch her a single bottle of Guinness, and wasn't prepared to listen when the assistant told her they don't sell those in singles either. She eventually stomped off to get one herself. I decided to save my money for a worthier cause. Having paid for my own shopping, I was just leaving when I saw her coming back with a single bottle that she must have pulled out of a six-pack, and contemplated hanging around to see the rest of the story, but decided to beat a tactful retreat.

Another consequence of me entirely running out of food items last night was that I had to go to McDonald's for breakfast because the supermarket doesn't open till 10:30 on a Sunday. I burnt my tongue horribly on a cup of tea and it still feels all burnt now. Perhaps I should sue them. Or perhaps I should just get into the habit of drinking tea more often, so that I can judge how hot it is without taking a full mouthful.