Thursday, March 31, 2005

Easter Weekend

I had a fantastic Easter weekend with Row.

On Good Friday we had one of our special cooked breakfasts in the morning (cooked to perfection by my good self) and then we went and sat in Preston Park in the afternoon sun. I had a Mivvy Ice Cream whilst Row had a 'Water Ice', whatever the hell that is. On our way home we popped into the Druids for a drink before going home for a scrumptious dinner (again prepared to perfection by myself).

On Saturday I had to work. Bah!

On Easter Sunday I dragged Row around the regular Car Boot Sale at Brighton Station and then around another boot sale at Hove Town Hall (sorry Row). We then went for a lovely roasted lunch at the Cooper's Cask before wandering back into Brighton along the seafront. In the evening we watched The Incredibles on DVD. It was pretty good which was surprising as I have been left sadly disappointed by some recent animated movies (Shrek! was decidedly average).

On Easter Monday, we wanted to visit Seaford Head but got up late and were then thwarted by some shoddy bus services. After waiting an hour at the Bus Stop to no avail (for StageCoach read StageCunts) we decided to fuck the bus off and walk instead to Rottingdean and back along the undercliff, which was a fine alternative.

Overall, a very enjoyable and relaxing weekend. Not sure about the whole easter theme. I prefer to leave my thoughts on that to the great Bill Hicks:

"I was over in Australia during Easter, which was interesting. Interesting to note they celebrate Easter the same way we do: commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus.. by telling our children a giant bunny rabbit left chocolate eggs in the night. Now, I wonder why we're fucked up as a race. Anybody got any clues out there? Where do you get this shit from? Why those two things? Why not goldfish left linkin logs in your sock drawer? As long as we're makin' shit up, go hogwild, you know? At least a goldfish with a linkin log on its back going across your floor to your sock drawer has a miraculous connotation to it. "Mommy, I woke up today and there was a linkin log in me sock drawer!"... "That's the story of Jesus!" Who comes up with this shit? I've read the Bible, I can't find the word 'bunny' or 'chocolate' anywhere in that fuckin' book. Do y'all have different books of the Bible than I do? Are y'all Gideons?"

Rowski at Rottingdean on Easter Monday Posted by Hello

Job Vacancies for Urban Youth in Lewes Posted by Hello

AJ Fit For Middlesbrough

Andrew Johnson is fit to face Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Brilliant news!

Up the Palace!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


AJ is injured.


Saturday, March 19, 2005

Dome Rangers Posted by Hello

First Football Match for 3 years

I played my first game of football for three years last Sunday.

My body ached for three days after and I still have a huge purple bruise the size of a plate on the back of my right leg where I recieved a dead leg not once but twice.

But I think I played quite well and can be proud of my performance.

You can read a report of the match written by my work-mate Phil here.

Homeward Bound

The remainder of our trip home was fairly uneventful.

We were lucky enough to avoid the annoying English folk that had made a difficult time for us even more difficult the day before. We had happily sat with the Spanish folk during our extended visit to the Airport as we found the few English passengers booked on our flight to be obnoxious, whingeing racists. I refer particularly to the blonde whiny woman and 'Chav-boy'.

The Spanish on the other hand were much more personable, particularly the football team from Benidorm who were in high spirits for every minute we were stuck at the airport. Constantly laughing and joking I wondered what it would have been like if it had been an English team stranded rather than Spanish. They lifted our spirits at times when we were both really fed up and the round of applause and cheers they gave a cleaner carrying a ladder whom they thought might be the arriving engineer still makes me chuckle now.

But we were both really glad to be going home. We had had a truly fabulous trip and it is hopefully something that we will do again soon, if funds allow.

the offending wing Posted by Hello

Still at Valencia Airport

The situation at Valencia Airport was chaotic to say the least. Without any formal inforamation being given it soon became apparent that we were going nowhere fast. And with the cancellation of the Stansted flight because of snow in Essex, the delay of the Bristol flight also due to bad weather and our own delay, the poor lad behind the only Easyjet help desk was working flat out.

Not even a sighting of the Real Madrid squad arriving for their weekend match in Valencia (which we would have missed if I hadn't gone to find a cashpoint) could lift our spirits for anything other than just a brief period.

The first sign that we would be staying an extra day came from my own observation rather than any official announcements. At 2130 the luggage from our flight was unexpectedly dumped in the Departure Lounge by the Baggage handlers and no one seemed to see the significance of this apart from myself.

From looking at the departure board I could see that the last flight scheduled to arrive or leave Valencia that night was at 2145. The next departure or arrival would not be until the 0645 the next morning and it was clear that this was the day's final gesture from the Baggage Handlers. I estimated that they probably finished at 2200 and as such they were offski (and quite rightly so). As there would be nobody to load the baggage back on to the plane for its new scheduled flight time of 0030 (yeah, right) the baggage handlers had effectively decided the fate of both us and our flight.

Unfortunately, it would not be until gone 0200 that the decision to formally delay the flight until 1100 the next morning would be made. And only at 0230, after nearly 13 hours at Valencia Airport, did Easyjet relent and send us to a (rather nice) hotel for the night (well, for 5 hours at least).

It was even more chaotic at the Hotel as the recetionist and security guard tried to cope with the Hotel Receptionist's worst case scenario - the unexpected arrival of 175 guests at three in the morning. It seemed like we'd have to wait another hour to be given a room but thank the lord for the silver haired Palace fan we'd spoken to earlier. He pushed right to the front past all the Spanish folk and got a room very quickly. Row was equally quick of mind and passed him our passports to blag us a room too. I don't condone pushing and shoving but I was willing to excuse it on this occasion.

So we were safe, warm and oh so very relieved to be in a lovely room. Under different circumstances it would have been a brilliant place to stay (90 Euros per night) but not tonight.

We had four and a half hours to sleep before getting the bus back to the Airport.

Our Last Day in Valencia ... Or Was It?

Our last morning in Valencia didn't start well when we discovered that there was no hot water for our shower. The water was so cold that it was almost unbearable, so it was only very lightly washed that we checked out of the hostel and headed to the Cathedral.

The Cathedral was just down the road from our Hostel so it seemed like an ideal place to visit on our way to the Airport. Those of you that know me might already be aware that I find all castles, cathedrals and churches mind-numbingly boring and that they leave me absolutely cold. As such it should come as no surprise that I can only describe the Cathedral's interior as 'churchy'.

I was also singularly unimpressed by the Cathedral's main claim to fame, The Holy Grail. For a start it was really difficult to find and when we did find it it seemed rather small. And it might not even be the real Grail as there are another five elsewhere in the world that are claimed to be the real one. Tsk. *rollseyes*.

After visiting the Cathedral we mooched around town for a bit before heading to the Railway Station to begin our journey to the Airport. Our plane was due to leave at 1635 and we arrived at the airport by 2pm leaving plenty of time spare to cover all eventualities.

As it transpired, we needn't have rushed to the airport. Our plane was struck by lightning on its outward journey from London Gatwick and it would not be allowed to fly again until it had been thoroughly inspected by engineers. Unfortunately, the only engineers at Valencia were employed by Iberia, Spain's national carrier, who were very unwilling to help out a budget airline down on its luck. So unwilling that, on hearing of our delay and of the cancellation of Easyjet's flight to Stansted that day, raised their ticket prices for London flights to 350 euros one way.

So, Easyjet had to fly two engineers out by private plane from London to inspect and, as it would soon become apparent, repair our damaged Airbus. This meant we had to wait at Valencia without any real information as to when we might leave. The situation was chaotic to say the least and after the initial novelty of the situation began to wear off it started to be become a real pain in the ass.

To relieve the boredom we started to make video diary of the experience using my digital camera.

Well, there was fuck all else to do...

Valencia - Part II

It's been a few days since my last post so I'm going to finish off talking about our lovely trip to Valencia before anything moving on to anything else.

After visiting L'Hemisferic we walked back along the old River Turia to Valencia's Modern Art Museum. The museum was interesting without being remarkable but it was certainly nice to wander around without the hinderance of huge crowds of people. In fact, it seemed that apart from the security guards, we were the only people there.

After the Museum we popped back to the Hostel for a well-earned nap before going out for a really lovely dinner at a restaurant in the old town. This was the first time ever that Row had ever been taken out for a romantic dinner and to celebrate this she said, for the one and only time she insists, "Wallop!". For the record, Row had the lamb and I the chicken. Both dishes were exceedingly tasty.

After dinner, we went to a really lively bar on Calle Cabelleros where most of the locals were smoking weed rather than drinking beer. No real problem here, but we did see some lads using a beer-filled Bong. Again, we had no problem with that other than that after using the bong the lads then drank the beer.

Anyway, it was a really cool bar apart from the shocking toilets. Row had been thoroughly impressed with the standard of Spanish loos but I managed to talk her out of visiting these ones. In my opinion they were worse than those at Barnsley FC's Oakwell Ground but not nearly as bad as the Thai Motorway Cafe I stopped at on my way from Bangkok to Koh Samui earlier in the year.

Those toilets were really bad.

Really, really bad.

Me at L'Hemisferic Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Skittles Posted by Hello

This is the last handful of Skittles. These yummy sweets sustained us on our long walks around Valencia.

And Row bought me some the other day when I was feeling fed up.

'Taste the Rainbow' indeed.

I love 'em.

La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
Posted by Hello

La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
 Posted by Hello

L' Hemisferic

L'Hemisferic, La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia
Posted by Hello

After visiting the market, as it was such a warm spring day, we decided to walk along what was once the route of Valencia's River Turia to the La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.

This exciting architectural project houses amongst other things an aquarium, science museum and an arts centre with several theatre spaces (currenty awaiting completion).

The above image is of L'Hemisferic, which contains a cinema and a planetarium. It also has a cafe in which Row received some rather distressing and disturbing news.

There was some egg in her sandwich.

We are both still receiving counselling.

This is the roof of the Market in Valencia which I rather liked.  Posted by Hello

This is a picture of my beloved Row at Valencia Market. As you will no doubt agree, Row is the most divine creature that ever walked the earth.

I am indeed a very lucky boy.  Posted by Hello

After spending breakfast with our friends we strolled round to Valencia's Central Market. I don't know what it is about markets but I just love wandering round them and looking at all the colourful and varied foodstuffs piled high. Row was a bit squeamish about the fish and shrimpy-things that were all a bit too wiggly still. And she wasn't particularly impressed with the pig's and sheep heads on display either. But it was still fun just to wander about looking at the people buying stuff. Posted by Hello

This picture is of our new Spanish friends on the day of their 53rd Wedding Anniversary. We met this charming couple in a cafe in Valencia. The cafe was almost full and the only spaces left were on our table and they asked to join us. We had a lovely time with them even though we spoke no Spanish and they no English. Communicating only through our phrasebook and notes scribbled on a napkin, we even managed to share some jokes with each other.

It was a really fantastic way to start our only full day in Valencia. This couple were so sweet, kind and friendly and it was a real honour to share just part of their special day. And they insisted on paying for our breakfast too.

Happy Anniversary to our new friends.
 Posted by Hello

Monday, March 07, 2005

Good News, Bad News...

The good news is that my trip to Valencia with Row was fantastic. We had a wonderful time with only once small drawback - our flight home was delayed by 18 hours. Zoinks! I will upload some pictures from the trip in the next few posts but suffice to say it was a truly fabulous trip.

The bad news is that my wages will not be backdated. In truth, I'm not surprised. I've worked for this organisation long enough to expect the very least of everything and the decision not to back-date my pay had a creeping inevitability about it. But I remain firm in my conviction that I am right and that I am owed money. I have been treated incredibly shabbily, nay shafted by these people and I will neither forgive nor forget.

I'm still too fucked off to talk about it in detail but I will soon. And anyway, at the moment I have far more important and exciting things to think about, like my brilliant trip to Valencia with my brilliant girlfriend. That trip was a real insight for me into what is important in life.

'Love, is all my crippled soul, will ever need...'

Can't claim the above for my own - it's The Rapture.

But it says it all for me right now.