Sunny Days

As the sun gets stronger through the year and the days get warmer and brighter, our thoughts turn to outdoor pursuits. Walking, picnicing, nose picking, porn foraging and, most popular of all, barbecues.

Now, I’ve got a thing about barbecues. I used to love ’em. Nuked meat Russian roulette. You either get a charcoal cinder or a black and crusty raw and bloody surprise. Love em.

However these days I realise the horror of having barbecues. The hours of slaving over red hot coals ensuring your guests have ample mountains of food (most of which you’ll either under or over accommodate for) knocking back beer after beer in an attempt to keep up with the guests who are getting merrier by the minute because they are sat down in comfort while you serve their every whim.

Then you get to sit down. You get the cold soggy left over bits that nobody wanted. The suspicious looking burger. The dodgy looking kebab. The insidious looking chicken wings or quarters that will no doubt still be raw in the middle even after being on the heat for what seems like 30 years. The limp lettuce. The flaccid overcooked sausages. All the good, tasty looking bits have gone. Your feet ache. You’re not as pissed as everyone else there. It’s clouding over. People are starting to make “Lets go home now” motions.

Yeah. Thats fun.

Isn’t it?

No. The thing I like about barbecues is going. Sitting there while my host slaves over hot coals. Getting merrier and merrier because I’m sat down chatting old toot with the other guests. Getting plied with food, nibbles and drink by my host and his/her partner. Relaxing. Enjoying the time. Getting the nice juicy steak. The right looking sausages, the burgers that don’t look too over or under done. The chicken pieces that aren’t still squarking. Getting them all for myself. Leaving the other less attractive bits to the chef or what other poor sod turns up just before I get to go home.

Then once my gizzard is full and I am fully sated with beer and meat. I can then yawn. Make some shit excuse about having an early morning, and go home. Leaving the host to clear up.

Yeah. I like barbecues.

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Man

I have been thinking about this for some time now but I’ve come to the conclusion that I have an inherent need for something.

I need a man.

Not in a gay way you understand, but in a rugged male companion kind of way.

I have been lacking in male company. Sure there are a few of the lads from Uni but they’re young, carefree and untarnished by the rigours of life. What I need is a male figure for bonding, beer, discussions of minor trite and the occasional trip away doing man things. Like frowning, looking gruff and sitting in the sun admiring Mayspheres.

These things are lacking.

Women have it so easy. All they need to do is take up some craft or join the local WI or something then find a local group. Us men…well yeah we could do a sport, but let me tell you something…..not all men like sport. And I fall into that demographic. Besides, groups run by men end up becoming too political or committee led organs that just end up being really annoying. Maybe I’m wrong but in my experience and observation (and I’m pretty good at observation) that is what happens.

Of course being an anathema and not being sporty or owt means that I also find it difficult to discuss things with other men. It’s like sport becomes this fail safe conversational thing and often conversation falls flat.

Him – So yeah did you see the game last night?
stegzy – yes I see it every night, it sits on top of my wardrobe, never played. People don’t seem to want to play Monopoly these days….
Him – Oh…right….is that the time? I must go….I’ve left the outside on……

Ok yeah, there are those that like music, but I find that the males I know who are musicians tend to be a bit too “boisterous” and so I compensate by having more female friends, which itself leads to complications.

Him – So yeah man, I was playing this gig and I ended up with these chicks and they were like all over me and so I shagged them and it was like ace
stegzy – But don’t you find that sort of behaviour is just degrading to women?
Him – Are you gay?
stegzy – No. Honest.

Then there are the nerdy computer geeks who constantly vie for some sort of superiority. Constantly arguing about which operating system is better or how many gigs of RAM they managed to cram into a desktop last week, they’re usually either gay, obsessive or have that strange musty “just wanked” fragrance pervading their CAT5 cable crammed home. Which they share. With their mum. Still. At 40.

Him – So yes I think that Windows 3.1 is far superior to Ubuntu but I managed to put 5 gig back onto my dual partitioned Linux box by removing the kernal and replacing it with one of my own coding.
stegzy – Really? Well….is that the time? I must have left the outside on…….

It really doesn’t get any better. It doesn’t get any easier. As age develops it becomes harder and harder to break into social circles and so there must be bedsits, apartments and houses full of men like me out there. Men like me that have a low idiocy tolerance threshold, a high distrust of sport and it’s homosexual connotations and an urge to just sit in some pub somewhere, talk shite for a couple of hours each week and maybe share some sort of non-sexual male bonding experiences that don’t involve running up and down a field in underpants chasing after a ball.

Men like me, scared of speaking to other men in case they are seen as some sort of weirdo, uncool person or sexual predator. Or worse, some sort of fascist meat head who once involved would do unspeakable things to sisters and other female relatives.

Think I’ll just stay at home.

Hasp

Our visit from Nick & Sarah was most enjoying. We headed out to Wintersett and the Anglers Retreat Public House which appears in the Good Beer Guide. A pleasant enough place filled with yokel types but only serving 3 very well kept cask ales (Tetley, John Smiths and Samuel Smiths). They don’t do food though which is a shame as it would probably do really well. It was the kind of pub you half expected the local poacher to enter at any moment laden with pheasants and trout. However the lack of pub grub forced us out to New Miller Dam where we had a fine feast (me opting for the all day breakfast, it being one of the only dishes that didn’t have potato) and had a casual stroll round the dam.

In the evening, the wife and I headed out to Lindseys for a take away from Aagrah and home again for an earlyish night. Sundays activities involved trying to fix the hinge on the garage door (the old one had rusted and snapped) without nipping out to B&Q for a hinge only to give that up as a lost cause and nipping out to B&Q.

At B&Q I got:-

  • Expanding foam in a can
  • Electric Screwdriver
  • 2 x T Hinges
  • Tape measure
  • A cheese burger with onion
  • Lost trying to get back to Brierley from Stairfoot Roundabout.

The nice chemical burns on my fingers from the expanding foam make it look like I haven’t washed my hands in weeks.

15 days and no potato. Jerusalem Artichokes are a suitable replacement though….:-D

Morning

I am fairly certain Friday started twice this morning. I distinctly remember turning off my alarm and getting out of bed to get ready for work…but then the alarm went off and I was in bed again. Hmmm…..

I don’t feel sufficiently cured enough nor strong enough to go to the pub after work tonight. I’ve not smoked since Sunday and I know if I go to the pub I’ll want a ciggy. So I wont go. Instead I’ll just sit at home and potter about.

Tomorrow the Nickster is visiting with Sarah which I’m quite excited about.

Sunday I need to drill things. Which means I need a drill. Which means going to B&Q. But I can’t be arsed.

No.

Seriously.

My skin crawls at the thought of it.

Reports

First off, from London, storm1jet2 texted and is ok, and my big high-flyer solicitor friend Tim (whom I see at Christmas) also let me know he is ok. We are still waiting to hear from “Little gay” Chris. But he’s probably in Singapore or Paris making clothes for someone famous. I don’t really want to go into anything about the bombings, mainly because I don’t know anything other than what I hear, see and read. In times like this its best to keep an open mind as to what’s gone on and not speculate or swallow all of the media we are fed.

The chaps in the office have Radio 2 on who are broadcasting bulletins nearly every 5 minutes. Yet little has changed. Nothing new to report, although occasionally someone will speculate on something and then moments later get their speculation disregarded because of something else. I’ll probably be flamed for saying this but there are other things going on in the world, G8 protests etc. yet the bombings seem to have blanketed most of the other news. Big news I suppose. But there’s only so much you can report without repeating yourself incessantly.

In the pub at lunch time they had the TV on Sky news, I heard and saw the same items being read about 4 times in 30 minutes, pictures of the damaged bus and live footage of a street where these guys were pushing these cages up and down the street. Cage pushing being completely newsworthy. Pointless news coverage! Yes I know people are concerned and worried about loved ones and things, I’m not going on about that. I do have compassion (despite what some people may think about me). What I am going on about is the 24 hour media circus constantly braying on about the same bits of news until something happens like an investigator farts or someone spots a box in a doorway and we end up with 2 hours of footage of a box, professors from the University of Bangladesh discussing boxes and parliament footage from right wing back benchers demanding a ban on boxes. The same treatment was given to the 9/11 events, the 12/27 tsunami and the death of the Pope. Endless…tiresome. Almost akin to 1960’s psychological torture. It got so bad that Ifan, the Landlord, flicked over to the cricket.

Another, unrelated, example is BBC breakfast. Yesterday when I turned on Breakfast (at about 7:55) it went like this.

Tail end of local weather
Graphics and music
Cue Dermot Murnanhahnehanmanan
Dermot (wearing a huge fuck off grin) Hello the Olympic committee results will be announced at 12ish today so I’m in Singapore and you’re not! Look at me! I’m in Singapore! Wooo!! Now back to Sian in London
Sian Fuck off Dermot you lucky bastard

Like why send him all that way to Singapore? What the fuck can he do there that he cant do from here other than grin his big “Look at me” grin? Ok at least Natasha Kaplinski (who secretly fancies me honest) in Kenya is curiously interesting for a brief angstroms of a second before she ponces about showing off her tan and talking to a bloke who milks elephants or something. But all Dermot seemed to do, from his studio overlooking the Singaporian skyline, was link to reporters at the venue itself!

A final example, is like when someone gets shot or sent to prison for stealing a cat they sometimes show the outside of their house. Why?! Like knowing where someone lives makes an ounce of difference as to what’s happened. Local BBC news is bad for this and also for using stock footage. Either that or there’s this couple that walk up and down Blackpool Promenade at the same time everyday for the past 5 years and just happen to time their passage passed the camera perfectly!

Why is it that these news corporations feel the need to report on things like this with tiresome repetitiveness? I know just watching a pretty face reading out the news while some background graphic changes is not very interesting. But neither is repeating the same thing over and over again. Really? Is it?? I mean like just think about repeating the same thing over and over again? It gets repetitive repeating things over and over really doesn’t it? I spoke to a professor here at the University of Liverpool who has written many books about repeating.

stegzy – Prof Proff Proph would you like to explain why we need to go into close detail and repeat ourselves time and time again?
Prof Proph – Yes I think I would like to explain in detail why we have the need to go into detail and repeat ourselves. We like to repeat ourselves because we like to know as much detail as we can about things. This is normal and I have in the past gone on about detail and why going into detail is important and crucial to our development of detail and incessant repeating of the same facts over and over again.
stegzy – I’m sorry I have to interrupt you there as we go live to the House of Commons where we have a motion raised by Daley Maylereadr MP for somewhere in Surrey
Cut to House of Commons
MP I suggest to this house that repetitiveness and fine detail should be banned and so should fine detail and repetitiveness. In fact I raise the motion that fine detail and repetitiveness should be made illegal as it only assists the rise in terrorism and repetitiveness. And should have an ID card too!

Anyway, I’ll shut up about it now.

If you know someone injured, missing or killed then you have my sympathy and thoughts. I don’t want to go on and on like BBC News 24. I’m going to have a news break for a couple of days I think.