Tuesday, February 03, 2004

A delightful weekend in the country.

For those who have never rented a Landmark property, and I believe there are many of you out there, take it from me; if you're not comfortable with being on the right side of middle class and just a trifle bit smug about it then you're going to have a really peculiar time. I am so it was OK. That is of course apart from the weather. Serious wind and even more serious rain; horizonatal driving rain through to just a fine drizzle, but I think it's reasonable to say it didn't stop bucketing down all weekend long at Woodside Priory.

This however was not really a drawback for me as it was never my intention to bestir myself all weekend long anyway. Probably more annoying for those with babies who no doubt wished to inculcate them in the ways of the British weekending classes. I.E. walking miles and miles to see a stone bench dedicated to the Culloden Society Re-enactment Festivel (1923), or similar. However this was ruled out of bounds as children, it was widely agreed, need to be at least 2½ before being able to really appreciate a 4 hour slog through horizontal sleet to look at an out of season car park.

And speaking of car parks Mac & I discovered a corker. Take Kewstoke road through Kewstoke and follow the road down the hill. Just as it bears to the right into Beach road, which runs behind the beach on Sandy Bay (no, really) take a left at The Commodore Pub & Bistro next to the convalescent home and you'll find a perfect little example; tussocks of grass, gravel, mysterious ditch for no good reason and nearby a nice ivy choked wooded escarpment, just perfect for the secretion and discovery of elderly jazz mags.

After we'd admired the view for a moment and noticed that every other car was also occupied by people attempting to peer through their streaming windscreens I took a quick stroll down to the sea and found :-

1) a rather nice rose quartz pebble
2) that the wind was so strong you could lean 20ยบ into it
3) my left boot had developed a crack in the sole
4) that the wind had whipped the froth up off the sea to such an extent that where it hit the shallows the foam was snaking like Antarctic ice dust over the surface
5) a large turd from a seemingly rather ill dog, which I stood in.

As car parks go it totally wailed on the Weston-Super-Mare NCP Car Park.

Although a fine example of neo industrialist brutalism in a fetching shade of 'wee on grey concrete' the WSMNCPCP's charms were insufficient to hold our attentions long, a criticism which I fear may be reasonably levelled at Weston in general. Weston seems to consist chiefly of teashops, hobby shops, depressing guest houses (bagsy me stay at the 'Weston Rose - All Welcome') and scowling demoralised unhappy looking citizens. If anyone can enlighten me as to the purpose or function of the shop 'Daisies Don't Tell' which eluded me despite a full minute gazing in it's window, I will be in your debt. And as if that wasn't enough of a cross to bear already Weston's most famous son is of course Lord Archer of Lying Scumbag.

We did though take a turn along the wind blown seafront even though it was starting to rain heavily again. This was however done from the comfort of our cars. Oddly enough the sea at Weston was a raging, churning angry thing under a glowering sky and capped with foam and dancing sea horses. It was also yellow. While sensible counsel indicated that this was due to the amount of sand and silt that had been scooped up during 3 days of non stop grinding action Von A's answer felt truer : "It's yellow because it's full of shit."

Q. As your punishment for being an insufferably smug urban know-it-all the judge informs you that you are to be fitted with a David Blunkett Nicey-Nasty Elctroshock Tag™ and forced to open a 24 hour garage, video and general convenience store in a suburb of Weston Super Mare. It will be called "Cigs 'n' Things". Do you :-

a) Lock yourself in a coffin which is then thrown over a cliff.
b) Asphyxiate yourself quietly in a rusting Montego parked behind the forecourt at 3.13am.
c) Lock yourself in a coffin full of broken glass and catshit which is then thrown over a cliff.
d) Overdose on anti-depressants and prescription diet pills in the back of an unsold 4 berth caravan.
e) Lock yourself in a coffin full of broken glass and catshit which is first set on fire and then thrown over a cliff.
f) All of the above.

But apart from the slight inconvenience of it being rather wet and windy the weekend was very entertaining - good company, good food & booze and nothing to do most of the time except ensconce oneself on the sofa with the papers and read every last word written about that numpty Hutton. The priory itself was also amazing - comfortable, warm, and architecturally fascinating to boot with lovely open fires and a particularly lethal spiral stone staircase with a good sized chunk missing from one of the steps. In the true manner I managed to lose my balance and slop claret all over the wall, but nobody noticed after I'd given it a quick sponging down.

- - -

I'm soooo tired today. Dunno why, got plenty of sleep over the weekend, tho admittedly only 6 hours last night. Played quite a lot of Halo yesterday afternoon. I've had it for ages, but somehow never got into it, then at a loose end yesterday started playing again, and pretty blinding it is too. Am beginning to understand what all the fuss is about now. The graphics are just stunning, not least because you always have this amazing ringworld arc above your head. I need hardly add that this is a major trigger finger workout - it's cool when the cannon fodder aliens get scared and try to run away pleading innocence. Unfortunately the guys on your side sometimes do the same thing. Safe to say that everyone gets pretty much the same amount of mercy. ie NONE AT ALL. DIE ALIEN SCUM! ARRGGGGHHHHH!!!

How come you don't seem to see so many games outside the Sim / God genre where you have to win people's hearts and minds etc instead of killing them / pounding them into a quivering jelly / humiliating them in the eyes of their pagan Gods? I mean good games - none of yer suitable for the weenies rubbish. Having said that the Sim / God genre is pretty big, and after you add simulators and the odd puzzle based game there's quite a bit of entertainment for the non psychotic.

Back in the Sega Megadrive days Sonic didn't kill things either - he just used to liberate the fluffy forest creatures from their robot enslavement. Sonic 2 rocked my world (and a great many other people's) big styleee. Plus there was Ecco The Dolphin. This underwater epic was actually rather boring to play but fantastic to watch while you were relaxing sprawled out on the sofa - soothing music, dolphin echo noises, a spot of light flippering about and the subliminal sound of the surf. Mmmmmm . . . dude . . .

There's a PS2 version but I never heard if it was any good or not . . .

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