Monthly Archives: February 2008

Guilty displeasures..

This weekend heralded the notional last night of freedom for a certain Andrew “The Lothario” Best, but I’m going to start with a bit of a moan first.

As part of our plans, Rich had pre-booked (and paid) for tickets for ‘Guilty Pleasures’ being hosted at a club called Koko in Camden Town.  The tickets stated that if we could arrive before 12:30am – we duly did so at 12:25am and were refused entry by a bouncer.  The bouncer (as t’wasn’t his fault) summoned the promoter, who was a class A twat who made up a load of bollocks when basically they’d just let more people in and not allowed for tickets they’d pre-sold.  We did get a refund, but it left a sour taste – so if you’re thinking of going to a Guilty Pleasures night, don’t bother – it’s run by a bunch of twunts.

Andy with some new friends!

Anyway.  Aside from that, the weekend was brilliant!  It started with a slight concern as a migraine suffering Rich texted me to say he was stuck in Lincoln ’til he was fit to drive the night before – fortunately he recovered sufficiently to get back down to Nottingham as planned, from where we drove down to Henley and caught the Tube to Camden to meet up with the rest of the boys.

After checking into a grotty hovel of a youth hostel, we hotfooted it back to the Tube to get across to Leyton where the mighty Reds were playing Orient.  The game wasn’t the best, but a fortunate goal from Junior Agogo was enough to get us a much needed away three points – so the weekend was certainly getting off to a good start!

We headed back to Camden with a few cans – which caused a few problems for Tim on the tube as one of them decided to empty itself into his bag – and then headed out in Camden to the quietest curry house in the world, which was very amusing for all manner of reasons, although the most important factor being the food quality – and this didn’t disappoint at all!

After this we went around a few pubs in Camden – Camden’s a great people-watching place, full of people desperate to be ‘different’ by basically dressing in strange clothes, which are available in abundance from the market stalls and shops on the high street.  A few of our party were interested in catching the end of the egg-chasing, so we found a pub showing that… I saw Jonny Wilkinson miss a couple of kicks and score a drop-goal, as well as a try – I still don’t get it.

Then was the fateful walk to the Guilty Pleasures night.  After a pointless argument with the charismaless bastard running the night, we headed back into Camden Town and ended up in a place called ‘Underworld’ – which played some great tunes, but didn’t have the friendliest clientelle in the world – not sure that Andy mooning them from the stage repeatedly helped in the ‘making friends’ stakes, mind!

A strangely accidentally arty pic of Andy in action in Underworld!

It was here I succumbed to a banging headache – I spent an hour or so alternately trying to drink my way through it (initially with alcohol, then with some water), dance through it or just sit down near an aircon unit and hope it went – but it didn’t so I escaped back to the hostel to get some much needed sleep – probably a good job I did as Rich was in no fit state to drive back, so I ended up doing that this morning with him kipping on the back seat!

A top weekend, though – really enjoyable, given my usual dislike of all things London!  Rich and I are heading back down to the capital next month so I can have my didgeridoo lesson, which should be a laugh!  There’s a few photos here, I’m sure more will appear on Rich‘s site too…

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Who let the dogs out?

I forewent my usual Sunday morning lie-in to take a trip up to Warrington of all places, with Ma, Granny and Cat along with the houndfolk of Milly and Sam in order to visit new-dog-to-be, Heidi.

Me with Heidi, Milly and Sammy

Heidi’s a collie whose owners decided, upon acquiring her by whatever means, that they couldn’t be arsed with her – so despite being perfectly healthy and with a lovely nature, they decided to try to get her put to sleep… or, that makes it sound too nice, they wanted to kill her.

Fortunately she was rescued – and will shortly be travelling down to Nottingham to take up residence with Ma, Dad and Milly. Today’s trip was a chance to test her out with Sam (who would get on with any dog on the planet) and Milly, who is a little more highly strung.

However, upon getting ’em all in a park it transpired that there wouldn’t be any problems – the only snapping and barking that went on was very good natured indeed, and Heidi provided a nice reminder at how a younger Collie can zoom all over the place for ever if given the chance! At 14, Sammy’s a bit too old for those kinds of shenanigans these days!

So we’re heading back up there on 3rd March to bring her home, Ma and Dad have an unfortunate holiday timed between now and then otherwise we could’ve brought her back sooner – but she’s being well cared for where she is.

Just makes you realise what bastards some people are to consider having an animal that could bring so much pleasure to people put to death.

By the end of the walk, it was all too much for poor Milly – she tried desperately to keep up the pace with her little legs but was absolutely shattered by the end of it!

A quick pub-lunch delivered needed sustenance and it was back down to Nottingham and home – a different but very interesting way to spend a Sunday, and we’re all now looking forward to bringing Heidi into ‘the pack’ and seeing if Milly will let her have any toys/chews/a bed!

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Crime and punishment..

Today being Cat’s birthday, we took advantage of a day off work to head into Nottingham, principally to grab a spot of lunch – as well as take the opportunity of getting an elevated view of the city from the ‘Nottingham Eye’ – a temporary Ferris Wheel that’s currently operating in the Market Square.  Definitely well worth a fiver of anyone’s money if you want to see the underrated Nottingham from a different perspective.  I took a few photos which are available here.

I’ve fiddled around with the photo above, using the principles of ‘tilt shifting‘ which is basically a photographic techique that works well on elevated photos like these, and through a process of tinkering with blurring at the boundaries as well as adjusting the contrast and saturation, basically leaves you with a picture that looks like a toy!  I quite like the affect, although the pigeon crap above Schuh an the proliferation of people wandering about the Square perhaps make that less than convincing!

After the ride, which basically saw you go over the wheel four times – once while they were ‘loading everyone on’ and then three times uninterrupted, we opted to head over to the Pitcher & Piano for a spot of lunch, which was rather nice – decent food, decent service and great surroundings.  Rather than head off immediately we decided that we could take advantage of a free afternoon to do some of the cheesy tourist things that folk tend to ignore in their home town.

So, like the true romantic that I am, I suggested we pop to the Galleries of Justice, which is basically a museum of crime and punishment opposite the Lace Market Hotel – and is the site of Nottingham’s old county court, and scene of many executions and imprisonments.  It’s quite a morbid place really.  I thought £9 was a bit steep to get in, but the tour was really good, and lead to a revelation I will come on to later – as it bears in depth discussion.

You are initially cleverly handed between tour guides – starting in a Victorian courtroom that was in use until the late 80’s, before descending into the cells below and discovering the joys of being emprisoned at this particular time.  After a brief walk out into the exercise yard, where some gallows stood menacingly, you’re back inside and on your own to learn about the transportation of prisoners to Australia before regaining your freedom outside again!

Definitely worth a visit, I can see why it gets such good reviews – probably better in a large group rather than as part of a collective of couples/families as the guides do like to interact with people, and being amongst strangers naturally makes most people clam up a little.  But should you fancy something a little different of an afternoon, then it’s definitely an hour that you should find interesting.  But anyway, I made mention of the revelation that I would return to – and I most certainly shall.

The first tour guide described Nottingham as traditionally a ‘Rebel City’ – indeed, it’s not hard to imagine given our associations with the likes of Robin Hood.  However, he made mention of something even more amusing – us Nottinghamians, it seems, are not to be messed with.  Back in the 18th Century, during Goose Fair (which at this time was pretty much a big market, and hosted in – funnily enough – the Market Square), the visiting traders had put the price up of cheese by around 3p.

This caused outrage amongst the good folk of Nottingham, who – rather than boycotting the rip-off dairy produce – proceeded to overturn tables and riot, hurling the large round cheese all over the place.  The Mayor of the time was quickly on the scene to try to restore the peace, and was promptly flattened by a rolling cheese heading down Wheeler Gate just off the market square!  The great cheese riot of Nottingham, I feel, is a hidden gem of an event which should be commemorated by some kind of eccentric event in Nottingham.  Maybe a big cheese-fight in the Market Square?

So there you have it, Nottingham from above, some nice food, rioting over cheese and reflections on crime and punishment!  Not a typical Valentine’s day list of activities, perhaps, but quite entertaining nonetheless!

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Soccer AM shenanigans…

Rich writes much more eloquently than I could about our revisitation of Soccer AM. I’ve not gotten around to watching/encoding most of the show, but here’s the bit where we’re introduced near the start of the show. Before it gets removed from YouTube, anyway!

And that’s why if you type “pompey shorts” into Google (with the quotes) the number one result is a discussion thread on the Nottingham Evening Post website about us by some semi-literate Forest fans!

Oh aye, and there’s some photos here.

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