The Compostual Existentialist

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I felt your presents

Or so said Darth to Luke.

Presents are a funny old game. Not being someone to want to appear ungrateful, normally I’ll smile and thank who ever got me what ever and appear interested or passionate about what ever they have got me. I think, generally, it is possible to classify presents into ten categories. These being:-

 

1 Corker – An absolutely fantastic present. One that has been bought with great forethought and careful selection. They tend to be a bit of a surprise though they need not be expensive or nastily cheap. Typically they would be the type of item you didn’t even know you needed or existed just that now you know they exist and you just can’t wait to take it out of the box or package and utilise it.

2 The Wow – A present with surprise. They’re the sort of gift that makes you exclaim “Just what I’ve always wanted!” and you actually mean it. You’ve hankered after one of these items for ages and you’d promised yourself that one day you would treat yourself to one. Again, they need not be overly expensive or cheap. The kind of item that makes you beam with contentment for hours.

3 The Ooh – Another present with surprise. You’ve been aware of the items existence but you’ve never really been passionate about it. One of those things you’ve put off getting because you couldn’t be arsed about really, but it’s still nice now to have one. Now you’ve got one you exclaim an ooh. Still saves you going out and having to choose one for yourself

4 The Ah – A item which you typically already own. But no matter you could do with a new one because the other is now a bit tatty. It could even be a better model of whatever the item is, but your sentimentallity for the original is strong and you’ll probably hold onto the old one for spares.

5 The Mmmm – Typically these items are things you already own but the gift is an inferior one. But, not wanting to seem ungrateful you accept it graciously and with thanks.

6 The Oh dear – You’ve already got one again. In fact you went and got one for yourself only the other day. Still the thought was nice

7 The Gah – You never wanted one. If you did you’d have gone out and got one and probably got a better one. Still you smile graciously and secretly plan on taking the fucker back to the shop for a refund. If you’re not careful your feeling might just slip and the benefactor, who is watching you intently to see your reaction, could just spot your disgust.

8 The Eh? – These tend to be bizarre gifts. Like what was the benefactor thinking? Did they think you’d really enjoy this? Still again, you don’t want to appear ungrateful. Then in a few weeks you’ll shove it on Ebay or swap or flog it to a mate down the pub for something you need more because there’s no way any shop in it’s right mind will take back whatever the item is. Hell shops probably don’t even sell them.

9 The Fuck me – Similar to the “Eh?” only with the added embarrassment of you actually involuntarily expressing your reaction. Typically these are items where the benefactor has more than likely just ran into the shop to buy on their way to give it to you. They’ve probably gone “Oh fuck I never got so-and-so a present. OMG What shall I get them? They’re typically the kind of thing that are left in shop’s aisle bargain baskets in February this time marked down or even on offer (eg 2for1). They are a clear indicator that to them (the benefactor) you are just an afterthought.

10. The What the Fuck is this? – The benefactor is obviously trying to palm off items that they have been given last year. Things they never wanted. To them they are probably Gahs or Ehs though occasionally they might even be Fuck mes. Such gifts are indicative of strained relationships. Surely they’d have been better off getting you a gift voucher….

Of course this list is not exhaustive. There are probably further categories that one can define but I like my taxonomy (it was a gift) and I’m sure you’ll agree with most of them. Indeed, you may have your own similar taxonomy (which I would love to hear about) but then you might not.

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An apology and a ride on a cushion of air

Such a shame I didn’t have time to continue the advent calendar thing. The run up to Christmas became far too manic for me to do anything regular and weekend after weekend just had me doing non-internetty things (like World of Warcraft). Anyway, a Christmas and birthday was had during the hiatus. Which was nice.

So today I used the birthday present that Amazing Wife of the Future bought me. It was a Hovercraft Experience at High Cross Hovercraft in Leicester. Aparently hovercrafting is much more popular than you think and there are competitions and courses all over the UK. Someone asked whether you could use a hovercraft on a canal which would be really cool if you ask me. Sadly you can only use hovercrafts on tidal waters/estuaries and privately owned bodies of water.

Anyway, here is a picture of me looking at a hovercraft with a bunch of people, because, dispite knowing that the event was today, I didn’t remember to charge my GOPRO+3 and Amazing Wife of the Future’s iPhone 5 ran out of battery as did my iPhone 4s. Such is life.

Looking at how to pilot a hovercraft in the rain.

Driving (or should that be piloting) a hovercraft is a difficult thing to do really. First off you’ve got to put your weight into the turn you want to make. I suspect this didn’t matter on the old cross Channel hovercrafts that ran from Dover (if you went on that can you confirm that passengers didn’t all have to lean into the turn?) but on the smaller individual hovercrafts you have to kind of do the opposite of what you might do with riding a motorbike, that is, lean into the direction you want to go.

Following a bit of training I did two loops of a circuit in the pissing down rain which was great fun before returning to a drier but bored Zoe. A good day, a fab experience and another thing off my bucket list.

Let’s see….Modes of transport I have done:-

Helicopter
Hovercraft
Car
Motorbike
Push bike
Pram
Scooter
Sit on lawnmower
Cruiseship
Airplane
Surfboard (partially)
Rowing boat
Bus
Train
Cable car
Rollercoaster


Christmas Music – Day 7 of 24

Walking in the Air – Various Artists

Another song that does my head in.

Written by Howard Blake for Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman in 1978 and played ad nauseam ever since. Covered by all and sundry. Even the film does my nut these days.

Walking in the Air has as much to do with Christmas as Ding Dong the Witch is Dead in that the only connection to Christmas is that it is part of a film traditionally shown at Christmas. But still it invokes the imagery of the festive season. For some.


Christmas Music – Day 6 of 24

Baby it’s Cold Outside – Various Artists

Creepy older guy sings to younger impressionable female who is trying to get out of the guys house. Older guy tries his best to dissuade her from leaving and going on her way.

Continue reading


Christmas Music – Day 5 of 24

Winter Wonderland – Various Artists

Oh my pants. This song is so cringe-worthy I can’t believe that people still play it.

Nobody walks in an atypical winter wonderland per this songs lyrics. When was the last time you walked in snow? It’s not so much a walk, its either a trudge (deep snow) or a bit of a flail (that icy bollocks shallow snow) as you try to maintain your balance.

Nobody walks in snow. Sure when it first falls it’s nice and crisp and glisteny. Yes its fun to chuck lumps of it at passing people. It’s fun to build androgynous phallus shapes out of the stuff. Fun also to try and pass the effigy off as a snowman by  dressing it up in an old hat and sticking a carrot in the bit that passes off as a head.

But calling it Parson Brown? Is that a euphemism? Then you’re asking it to marry you?? My pants, this is turning into some weird snow based death cult isn’t it? This is where you clonk me on the head, bury me in the icy slush and try to pass off my corpse as a snowman. Isn’t it? Sort of a snowy version of the Wicker Man.

I’m out of here.


Christmas Music – Day 4 of 24

Rocking’ Around the Christmas Tree – Mel & Kim

This didn’t get enough air time. Something to do with someone having Parkinson’s Disease putting up a Christmas tree…I think…

Anyway, Mel Smith behaves inappropriately with Kim Wilde by being suggestive and lewd. Back in the day I suppose it might have been acceptable. These days…no….


Christmas Music – Day 3 of 24

Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Various Artists

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 18.30.41So some creepy old guy with a beard and a beer belly is stalking your kids. He watches them when they sleep and knows when they’re awake. Worse, he has compiled a list containing your children’s behavioural difficulties which he checks frequently. And yet you still don’t report his suspicious activities to the police!

No. You give him alcohol and cake and dress your houses up with icons devoted to his form.

And you wonder why the world is so fucked up?