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The Daily Mumble December 2003 Archive

next monthJanuary 2004, England,  UK

December 2003 was pretty full on. Battles with Orcs, my TV debut, mad dreams, alcohol, an anti-Christmas... all part of the fun leading up to the end of a very difficult year for a Tame Gone Wild. Read all the sordid details right here in The Daily Mumble!

 

 

December 2003 Highlights: Karma strikes again, where do ice creams come from? My national TV debut, Joseph all dressed up nice and sexy in his schoolgirl gear, Control Arms, What is the Meatrix? Lurgie and mad dreams, drunken post-sushi stunts, my ideal girlfriend, Milk Sucks, Moor Trees, resolutions fo next week, Meet my new girlfriend! Lord of The Rings III is out! Man of the Year Awards 2003, What planet are AOL on? You wanna do WHAT with me? Adventure of a lunchtime with Natalie and co, Christmas 2003, Bah Humbug to Christmas, New Year and the excitement of life, the end of an era as we say goodbye to The Office, end of the year resolve.

Saturday 6th December 2003 -10:50 GMT At home, Bristol, England

It's karma

I have been so EXTRA nice to people recently (as opposed to my usual nasty self RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA) that I knew that life had to shine on me sooner or later - and wadda you know, this weekend life's very sparkly & shiney! This is resulted in me being in a very silly mood as can be seen in this video (80kb MPEG).

Last night I met a dear friend called Francesca. I've known her many years, she's an artist from Peru.

We met in a bar in Bath. She wore a dress woven from a fabric of fallen autumn leaves, their fiery glory preserved by a coating of the natural secretions of the Bilbao tree of her mother country.

After several hours spent musing over the eccentricities of life we returned to my home, where our camomile teas went unsipped as we laughed and smiled and celebrated the joys of companionship.


This afternoon I'm going to go to the cinema with a friend from college to see the film Love Actually. I've warned her that I'll probably cry or end up emerging from the protection of the dark theatre with an intense desire to fall deeply, madly, passionately in love. Just like they do in the movies.

Last night, just before heading out to Bath, I got a call from one of my two bestest bestest friends ever, Jo. She and Boy Joe (her boyfriend) are coming to Bristol tonight for a party just down the road from where I live, and would I like to join them? yes please! The only thing is, it's a School party, i.e. everyone has to dress up as school girls. Selene - can you send over your gear please?! I think I might have to trawl the Gloucester Road Charity shops for a short black skirt later! I haven't been to a party for literally MONTHS! Oh, well, since last month's fancy-dress party actually. So, needless to say, I'm looking forward to it! Tee hee tiddly pom!


My national TV debut

So, Thursday night, 9pm on BBC3, the widely advertised "Body Hits" episode on love was broadcast.

I'd already seen it having received a copy a few days back. ...or at least I THOUGHT I'd seen it.

Turned out, when I got the tape from the BBC it wasn't rewound to the beginning, so without realising it I'd only seen the program from halfway through.

*IMAGINE MY SURPRISE* when, on Thursday night, I turn the TV on just to check that it really is being broadcast... and see a whole load more footage of me me me that I didn't know they were going to use. I mean, I'd given the BBC permission to use it and everything, but had assumed that they'd just decided not to use those bits. It was the video I'd shot in the toilet of the Boeing 747 whilst 33,000ft above Russia that was particularly embarrassing. I was in floods of tears, could barely speak, and my nose looked soooooooooooooooooooooooooo big. Now I know I have a big nose anyway, but on this video, well, it was MASSIVE! I think it was the camera angle.

The other complaint I have, which is no-one's fault but my own, is that I'm sooooooo serious throughout. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I come across a complete depressive! I only get one joke in! Ugh ugh ugh. Everyone'll think I'm a miserable bastard that takes life far too seriously!

Despite these bad points however, I think that overall it wasn't too bad. The BBC cameras were pretty kind to me.

So what's it like being a celebrity then? Erm, well, so far I've only had 1 sort-of stranger approach me. Last night in the pub. I don't know his name, and I've never spoken to him before, but he was in my cultural studies class until recently. I could tell that he really DID want to ask for my autograph but was too embarrassed to do so. Well, it's understandable really, when in the presence of such a media icon as myself.

My agent has been so busy since the broadcast. I've had to turn down offers from several multinationals on ethical grounds, but am considering a request by a local dating agency to star in their next advertising campaign.

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Sunday 7th December 2003 -10:50 GMT At home, Bristol, England

aaggghh... my brain hurts

What was in that punch? Was it anything BUT rum, vodka, tequila and meths, diluted with a healthy dose of white spirit?

Why did I listen to my friend when she said, "oh, don't bother with those small plastic cups. Here, have a pint glass"?

Why didn't I remember the last time I had a horrific hangover and vowed never to drink that much again?

Last night then was Becci's housewarming party. Getting my schoolgirl-gear together didn't take too long. Skirt: £3.99 from Age Concern. Shirt: £2.50 from Sue Ryder. Hat: £2.99 from Mind. Tie: 50p from the RSPCA. Tights: £2.99 from Peacocks. Lacy bra thing: £7.99. Yes, I know, way too expensive, but just as I was about to buy a bra in the only charity shop that had any, I noticed that the girl behind the counter was someone who I'd had a disastrous blind date with back in the summer. (Must tell you about that sometime). Well, anyway, I just had to leave the shop.

The skirt was actually about twice the length seen here, but I thought that no modern school girl in her right mind would be so conservative, so I got my needle and thread out and hitched it up. Not having any pants was a bit of a problem: my boxer shorts were showing at the back.

Do ya think I'm sexy?

Course you do.

I was a bit worried about getting raped walking down to the party, so my friend Jo (not to be confused with Jo pictured left with me, Joseph, or her boyfriend Joe pictured in my December photo album) kindly gave me a lift. She did my eyeliner and mascara too. I don't think she was expecting that. We haven't known each other long. There she was thinking we were were just going to the cinema, when in the end she found herself having to do up my bra when we got back.

I'm a wreck today. Headache, sickness and toxic poos. Haven't really managed to do anything. What a waste of a day. I like Sundays though, because it means that tomorrow's Monday and I love Monday's - college you know.

I liked Love Actually. Made me cry with happiness and sent my bottom lip off into a spasm of sadness as I identified with some of the character's misadventures. *sigh*.

Ah, here's My favourite animated gif of the week.

Ok, I'm losing the plot now. Head hurtiness. Tarra.

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Monday 8th December 2003 -20:56 GMT At home, Bristol, England

 

Click here for the Control Arms homepage

 

What is the Million faces Petition?
Add your face to the petition here

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Monday 8th December 2003 -20:56 GMT At home, Bristol, England

Meet Moopheus.

Blue pill or red pill?

 

What is the Meatrix?

 

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Wednesday 10th December 2003 -09:41 GMT At home, Bristol, England

I have the lurgie

It's my own fault. I was warned before I saw my friend that I should keep away from them, but I didn't listen. Yesterday I was at the runny nose stage. Today I've got cold-sensitive-tingly-skin syndrome, acheyness and am snorting like a wilder beast. Luckily I don't have to go out until about 5pm - I've got two end-of-year Japanese exams tonight. Wish me luck.

Bizarre dreams last night. I was going to Japan, but upon arrival at the departure airport I was told that as there weren't many passengers that day (nine in fact) we'd be flying in some kind of solar-powered glider. I know where that notion came from: I was reading about a plan to circumnavigate the globe in a solar-powered glider the other day. Anyway, my pilot, who was the daughter of an army sergeant, wasn't terribly skilled (I think that's because the other day my psychology lecturer told me that Jim Davidson once refused to get on a plane because it was piloted by a woman, his argument being connected with their ability to park cars). She was continuously crash landing and after several hours we'd only reached Belgium. Whereas most passengers were sitting in standard aeroplane seats (which had been fitted following the removal of the glider's two showers - I remember musing over where the water tanks were and why one shower cubicle had only had hot water and the other only cold), I was told to sit in the tail of the glider to balance it for take-off. Unfortunately, the window at the back opened at one point (it was the kind of window you'd find in a Swiss chalet as opposed to a modern 747), and all of my belongings were sucked out and strewn across the European countryside...


3 hours later...

Why is it only my left nostril that's getting blocked up with snot? My right is perfectly clear and has been all morning, whilst my left is attempting to imitate Niagara falls just after the whole of the Pacific Ocean has been emptied into the river 2 miles upstream.

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Saturday 13th December 2003 -16:59 GMT At home, Bristol, England

Drunken post-sushi stunts

I dreamt last night of returning home from a Japanese restaurant, and being so drunk on sake (rice wine) that I decided to do a lap of honour on my mountain bike around the cricket ground down the road, right in the middle of an internationally televised horse race that for some reason was being held there. Having completed my stunt I returned home, and woke the next day to remember nothing of it.

My ignorance did not last long however, as Tim had a video of the previous night’s broadcast. Wow, I was incredible. You should have seen the stunts I’d pulled in my drunken unconsciousness. Standing on the handlebars as my bike whizzed around the track. Somersaults and oojimaflips, I did them all with stunning accuracy.

Despite his initial fury at having had the race interrupted, the owner of the racetrack soon came to appreciate that my actions had boosted the TV ratings considerably, and so rewarded me with a place on the national English cricket squad.

It’s Saturday afternoon. I’ve just woken up. Garfield Villa, the home within which I live, took us out for supper last night to Budokan, a Japanese restaurant in the centre. I got incredibly drunk on sake (rice wine). It was all so good. The sushi. The ramen. The music. The atmosphere. The company. The waiter. he was cute. The waitress. She was cute too.

I just hope Tim hasn't got a video to show me...


6 hours later...

I so wanted to be back in Japan. My friend called me this morning from Tokyo. We must have talked for over an hour. Didn't really have anything to say to one another, but it was what we didn't say, it was the comforting silences that felt so natural, it was those minutes that reassured us that we're still "here" for one another in our shared loneliness. That's what loving friendships are all about.

I'm tired, sleepy. This morning I watched the first of the three Lord of the Rings films. This evening we watched the second, the special extended edition with about 30 minutes of extra scenes that really do help explain a few bits and bobs missed out in the cinema and rental editions. The third comes out in a few days.

Those films give me hope. There is hope. There's always hope.

my ideal girlfriend

I am of the opinion that in 2004 I will meet someone very special. Perhaps that's a foolish expectation to have. After all, expectations invite disappointment. Perhaps I should rephrase that sentence: "I bloody hope I meet someone very special in 2004!" 2003 has been a self-inflicted outright disaster for my love life. I hope I don't have to go through all that stuff again. ...but it was self-inflicted I guess. Why the changing of the calendar should make any difference I don't know. Well, of course it doesn't, as it's merely the representation of the continuation of the passage of time. Here's me thinking though, "Well, I'll be starting uni in the autumn, I'm bound to meet some lovely people there". Then I turn and think; "Autumn?! I'm not waiting for ANOTHER 9 months!!! Bollocks to that!" Thing is, here in Bristol I really limit my chances of meeting new people. It's a kind of self-inflicted, self-protection thing I think. I've made very little effort since my return from Japan to get out there and make lots of new friends, that is, apart from the madness of the summer - when I was far too tied up with my former partner to face anything new.

Eight months of non-voluntary abstinence (with 3 notable exceptions when it was voluntary tee hee!) have given my ego a real bashing. I guess I was spoilt in Japan, being an exotic foreigner etc. On top of the problem of women not finding me attractive, is the additional problem that since my return from asia I find only a small percentage of English women attractive. I've become so sizeist, it's shocking. My landlady was pointing this out last night: "you're missing out on some absolutely lovely people by disregarding them due to their physical appearance alone."

I find people over 5 foot about as attractive as giraffes, whilst big bums and big boobies are also out. Shocking, isn't it? I think I'm scared of big breasts actually. Scared of being bullied or whacked by them. My friend Stuart, who now lives with his Japanese wife in Tokyo, always used to say, "small but firm, think long-term".

Perhaps it is due to the reasons I have outlined above that I love my teddy so much. No, I do not have a sexual relationship with him, but he is just the right size to cuddle (he's about one metre tall, small breasts, small bum, very cuddly and warm).

At the end of the day of course none of this really matters. I found myself in a compromising situation with someone who's about as tall as me a while back, and I found them as sexy as sexy can be, and that's a hell of a lot sexier than even the most sexy giraffe. Ok, so I did suggest that she try walking around on their knees for a while. She wasn't too impressed.

Crikey, it's 00:50am, I gotta go to bed.

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Sunday 14th December 2003 -12:03 GMT At home, Bristol, England

Milk Sucks

Am I just stupid or what? How could I be so ignorant?

Yesterday, I read an article in the Guardian Newspaper's Weekend magazine about milk.

It's shocking. The bad-for-your-health aspect was not altogether surprising as I knew about that anyway, and the involvement of profits-before-ethics Monsanto in ensuring that all American milk contains GM products (thankfully banned in the EU, Canada, Japan and 100 other countries) came as no surprise.

What did shock me though was the inhumane aspect of dairy farming. I'd just never considered it before. It had never occurred to me that a cow has to get pregnant in order to lactate. And I once worked on a Swiss dairy farm...

For a long time, those concerned about animal welfare seemed magically to exempt milk from their preoccupations. They suffered from what Richard Young of the Soil Association calls "the vegetarian fallacy": non-meat-eaters who still drink milk and so perpetuate the cycle that ends in crated veal calves destined for European dinner tables. Now many of them have begun to contend that, organic or not, there's no such thing as humane milk. For in order to lactate, cows - like humans - first have to get pregnant. Calves are essentially the waste by-product of the industry. What happens to them once they've done what they were created to do - stimulate a cow's milk production by the very fact of their being conceived?

Male udderless cows are of no value to the dairy industry, so if prices for male calves are low and the veal route unprofitable, most are killed within a couple of weeks for baby food or pies, to make rennet, or sent to rendering plants to be turned into tallow or grease or, in other countries, animal feed. Female calves, on the other hand, are bred as replacement stock for their mothers. The provision of beef essentially originates in the dairy industry: if we didn't drink milk, we wouldn't have all that extra meat to get rid of.

Though a male calf's life is unenviable, its mother's is no better. To ensure almost continuous lactation, she endures annual pregnancies. Her calf is removed from her within 24 hours of its birth. Calves hardly ever drink their mother's milk.

Like agribusinesses everywhere, milk producers have tried to increase output while cutting costs. The victims are the cows. Today, from the age of two, they're expected to produce up to 10,000 litres of milk during their 10-month lactation stint (before they dry off, are re-inseminated and the whole process starts up again). Milked once or twice (or even three times) daily while pregnant, they produce around 20 litres a day, 10 times as much as they'd need to feed a calf.

<read the full story here>

Thankfully, I don't feel at all hypocritical as I rarely consume any dairy products, being in a vegan household, and when I do it's usually only Yeo Valley yogurts, whish is totally organic. They've got a nice website too. Mind you, I have been known to slip up when drunk. I was really very embarrassed and ashamed the other day. It was the day after the schoolgirl party. We were all eating supper together, when Tim asked me what was on the top shelf in the fridge. Somewhat bemused, I told him that I didn't know... and went to find out. Shock Horror Embarrassment and Guilt - it was a KFC bag with a half eaten chicken in it! It just goes to show how strong that punch had been - I'd lost all sense of right and wrong and stooped as low as supporting the colonel.

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Sunday 14th December 2003 -23:43 GMT At home, Bristol, England

Resolutions for the coming week

1) Get a girlfriend. Can probably pick one up in a charity shop if all else fails, although it's likely she won't be much under 60-years-old.

2) Either go to the barber and ask him to shave the annoying whispy bits of hair off the back of my head OR go to an electrical store and buy a shaver, then do it myself using two mirrors. On second thoughts, if I do that I'll probably end up having to go to the barbers afterwards due to an unfortunate mishap which will necessitate the removal of all my hair again to within 1mm of my scalp.

3) Enjoy every day.

 

Reason for enjoying tomorrow: college (seeing friends, getting involved in lively banter with my tutors, being nice to people).

Tuesday: More college fun. Hand in my sociology assignment that is not due in till 19th January 2004. Feel incredible sense of self-satisfaction and general superiority over everyone else in class. Make sure I hand it in quietly so that my classmates don't notice, otherwise I will get a reputation as being a brown-nosing teacher's pet who has no life outside of essayland; the truth must be kept hidden. Get back the floppy-disk drive I leant to a friend and feel even better about myself following their words of thanks and appreciation. Debate whether to set them straight regarding the shortening of my name from Joseph to Joe. I know they don't realise what effect their unintentional mistake has upon me, and so far I have been too concerned about not making them feel bad to say, "If you call me Joe one more time I shall have to bite your elbow".

Wednesday: Meeting a friend who is soon due to return to Japan. Probably go for an afternoon drink with them and make idle chit chat of an idiotic nature as is my usual manner. I pity her for having met me. Poor thing had to listen to me winge on and on when I first got back to the UK about this that and the other. As a result of that I have felt guiltily indebted to her since. Hopefully I'm getting over that.

Wednesday night: Meeting up with all my classmates from my part-time Japanese course which finished last week. Party at Sensei's house. Will attempt to convince myself that I am totally not interested in the girl who is possibly the cutest girl in Bristol (partly because she's about as tall as a hobbit) due to the fact that she is far too posh for me as she wears shiney pointy black high heels and the most daring tops. I guess the fact that she has absolutely no interest in an unfashionable poverty-stricken rough-cut country bumpkin like myself might help influence my thinking. Mind you, there may well be some sake on offer, and I'm not driving.

Thursday: Hangover not a problem as there's another party to go to, this time during the day. It's the day before the Bristol branch of my company closes, with many multi-decade staff being made redundant. A large buffet will be provided, complete with miniature vegetarian pizzas, plus a few cases of wine and beer. As our computers will all be in crates there's not much we'll be able to do but drink, eat and weep. I wonder if the telesales team from upstairs will be joining in? They're all pretty young and lively...

Friday: Down to the Exeter branch of EDF Energy for a proper day of work. Friday night? No plans yet; we'll see what happens...

Saturday: Likewise.

Sunday: Winter solstice party at my brother's place in Totnes. That WILL be fun, especially if Mother Solstice turns up in her welly boots as she has been known to do in previous years!

Resolutions for Christmas week

1) Make mad passionate love all day, every day, with my new girlfriend.

2) Stop day-dreaming so much.

3) Accept the reality of the situation, i.e.that I'm working on the Monday and Tuesday, and that I'll be single for the rest of the year and well into the 27th year of my life which begins in one month yesterday, and in fact will probably be single until I leave England in 2008 due to my complete inability to promote myself effectively on the mysterious UK market.

4) Remember to take teddy with me wherever I decide to spend Christmas.

Bah humbug.

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Saturday 20th December 2003 -08:36 GMT At home, Bristol, England

I'm falling in love!!

Meet my new girlfriend, Smeagalina!

She calls me "My precious" and is ever so good at catching fish with her bare hands. Admittedly she is a bit smelly, and her table manners aren't the best, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.

www.lordoftherings.net

Wasn't The Return of the King just fantastic?!

Wednesday saw the first time in my life that I've been to the cinema before the sun's even risen. There I was, in the queue at 8am (you know how we Brits just lurve to queue) for the first showing outside of London (probably).

Having watched Parts 1 & 2 at the weekend, I was well into LOTR mode, all ready to dive back into the mad world of hobbits, men, dwarves, elves, orcs, wizards, trolls and ents.

Boy oh boy it was fantastic. What an emotional ride! There were tears, there was laughter, there were goose bumps and nail biting battles. Perhaps THE most dramatic part was when, just as the major onslaught of orcs on Minas Tirith was about to begin, the film suddenly ground to a halt. Our initial thought was that this was the rumoured interval - but on heading for the toilets we were told that the fire alarm had gone off, cutting the power to all screens, and could we please evacuate the building via the emergency exits at the back of the building. Twenty minutes of standing around in the morning sun later we were let back in, with the clockwork projector having been brought down from the attic to ensure an uninterrupted 2nd half.

If I have any criticism of the cinematic release of The Return of the King it would be that it was too short. Yes, I know it was over three hours in length - but the original was over 5 hours long, and the unfortunately necessary heavy editing was sadly noticeable. Still, when the DVD comes out all will be forgiven. The story will be told in it's entirety and I will be happy. Still, that's no excuse to not go and see it in the cinema now; if you haven't already done so make sure you do before the year is out!

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Saturday 20th December 2003 -09:36 GMT At home, Bristol, England

Nominations now being received for the Man Of The Year Awards 2003...

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Saturday 20th December 2003 -09:42 GMT At home, Bristol, England

What planet are they on?

For unfortunate technical reasons I have to suffer the indignity of relying on AOL for my internet connection. Although I try and ignore this fact, now and then I can't help but glance at the sign-on page. Occasionally they come up with some fantastic suggestions on how to improve all sorts of areas of your life: here we have an extract from their guide to making sure She has a fantastic Christmas.

Bloody hell I'm freezing  my tits off! And what's that  perv doing here with the camera. Crikey,  he can't even frame a photo right...

Hang on a sec, this is the UK version of AOL I'm using isn't it? - or have I inadvertently clicked onto the Australian site? Let's have a look at the 72-hour forecast for maximum temperatures in the UK shall we?

Right, bearing in mind that the top temperature is going to be a wopping 7°C in the south-west, do you think it really would be a clever idea to tell Her to get her bikini on because you're taking her down to the beach to pretend to be an aeroplane, as a special treat after all her hard work in the kitchen over the festive season?

"Oh thankyou my love, hypothermia is just what I wanted for Christmas".

Tip 6 from AOL's "8 Ways to Make Her Xmas" is another gem:

That reminds me, must write to AOL and ask them how to make a cup of tea whilst the wife's out delivering coal next week.

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Saturday 20th December 2003 -10:20 GMT At home, Bristol, England

You wanna do what with me? What are you?

I received an email this morning from a relatively new internet-aquired friend.

"I was wondering if you use YAHOO messenger? ...i'd love to be able to just shoot the shit with you every now and then. I'm an inInternetunkie, so i'm onon line lot.

Shoot the shit with me? Well you're certainly not doing that round MY house thanks all the same, sounds really messy. You're an inInternetunkie are you? I know what kind of lines you're onon a lot!

I haven't heard from my Philippino friend for ages. You know, the guy who wanted me to visit so we could take a nap naked on his bed. I miss his mad declarations of "brotherly love".

Mind you, I did receive quite an interesting letter from a stranger in Uganda this week - he'd read a magazine article I'd written about talking fridges in Tokyo (if you leave the door open for a little while a pre-recorded message asks you to please shut it).

...Joseph, I have some terrifying question that don't make me sleep unless I get to know what kind of technology!!

What if you shout to the fridge that I need your door open for some time?

Does it shout in the presence of a human being or even in the absence?

Doesn't it have effect on some one's feet?

I'm not quite sure what he's referring to re. the feet (it's a talking, not walking fridge). Still, I shall reply to him asap and seek to reassure him that this technology is really quite friendly (if not utterly ridiculous).

Mind you, he has prompted me into thinking, does a fridge talk when there's no-one there to hear it?

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Saturday 20th December 2003 -10:45 GMT At home, Bristol, England

Stuff

This week's been really busy and pretty stressful. I've been subjecting myself to endless dollopings of stress by half-avoiding an assignment that needs writing. I'm feeling a bit better today as I got quite a bit done on the train yesterday, despite spending most of the Taunton to Exeter stretch playing peek-a-boo with a little lad sitting in the seat opposite.

I had a great time last night which is another reason for my somewhat relaxed mood today: I went to bed at 7.30pm and didn't wake up until 7.30am! Ah, now THAT'S what I call a good Friday night! I did get a drink in at lunchtime though; a whole bunch of us piled out of the office and into the local pub to celebrate Pete's retirement.

Pete was a victim of the closure of the old head office of the company that I work for. I was supposed to be a victim of that too, but my manager, wonderful lady that she is (kiss kiss) has agreed to extend my temporary contract until the end of January, meaning that every Thursday and Friday I'll be continuing the 4-hour round trip between my home and my desk. That's great, as I don't have to worry about finding another job just yet.

Here's a fantastic going-to-the-pub-in-Natalie's-mini action shot.

NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!! SLOW DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWNNNN!!!!

Natalie has the fortune of sitting at a desk positioned so she can look at me all day long from less than two metres away. Lucky girl. Hope she appreciates the placement of this photo of her looking like a octopus that's got it's tentacles stuck in a cheese grater on the infamous Daily Mumble.

Well, I'd best get on. Breakfast to eat, shower to have, essay to avoid. Flapjacks to make. Bjork to dream of.

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Friday 26th December 2003 01:00 gmt - My brother's place, Totnes, Devon, UK

We wish you a merry Thursday and a Happyyyy Friday

I had a really nice day today, Thursday 25th December 2003. This morning, I got up around 9am and had breakfast. Four slices of cold, hard, thin white toast with a coating of white vegetable margarine. Oh, and a smattering of caviar too. After that I spent a while doing the washing up, recording some absolutely classic 90's britpop, and playing with the plastic Lord of the Rings action figures that belong to one of the boys. I considered making a Flash animation with them, but figured it would take hours and there'd be no time to eat. Besides, Gandalf couldn't stand up properly.

After I'd done all that it must have reached midday. An old friend came round to see us. I cleaned the cooker, and dropped a spatula down the gap behind it. One of us had been given a copy of Hello! and OK! magazines to celebrate this Thursday, so I then spent an hour looking at the photos of all those attractive celebrities. It struck me how the majority of the hot sexy babes featured in it were at least 4 years younger than me, yet they seemed much older. The same went for some of the men too, like Jonny boy. Decided I will definitely have to become a celebrity before I'm 40.

Ich bin der upper class  princesser und du bist ein  bear...

This afternoon we watched "the original, uncut version... digitally remastered from the original negatives" of the fantastic German 1957 film - Das Singende Klingende Baumchen ("The Singing Ringing Tree"). If you haven't seen it yet, you must; the 50-yr-old special effects put the Matrix to shame, whilst the Dwarf's magic powers make Sauran look like a little boy who's just been given a Fisherprice "My First Magic Kit".

Thursday Lunch, which I think we had at about 6pm ish, was really nice. Stephen had cooked the traditional Thursday dinner - Goat Curry - (Louise and I opted for a vegee version), followed by raspberry yogurt, chocolate ice cream, clotted cream, cheese and biscuits.


Friday 26th December 2003 -10:20 GMT At me bruver's place, Totnes, England

You know what I say?

As you may have noticed, I don't have much time for Christmas. I was brought up a Roman Catholic, but at the age of 13 or so had a strong reaction against the whole guilt thing and the manner in which it was drummed into me during services which I simply found to be... dull. I have no objection of course to others practicing any religion whatsoever, each to their own. Anyhow, my agnostic views, in conjunction with the experience of living in non-christian countries, have helped to remove any culturally influenced obligation that I may have previously felt to celebrate christmas. On top of that, I have my anti-consumeristic streak (after all, I bought all my gadgets last year and can now feel comfortably unhypocritical when criticising it!). I don't know about you, but this past month I've been really shocked by hard hard we are pushed into consuming all manner of crap for christmas. I don't remember it being like this... it's just sick, and it makes me feel sick when I see friends around me buying into it. The present thing doesn't seem to be about giving and receiving gifts with love anymore, it seems to be about how much money you've spent. As you may know, I opted out this year. I haven't bought a single present for anyone, I haven't sent a single card. I've made some flapjacks for the family, and very happily received the most lovely rug handmade by my brother and his partner. I've written letters to those who have sent me cards, and I did the washing up both yesterday and today. Oh, and took about three buckets of compost out. I know I should do those sorts of things anyway, and I do, although not normally here in Devon because it would take over 5 hours to empty the compost if I had to come down here to do it. That's a lot of travelling to empty the compost.

The other thing I want to rant about is the TV, and the food thing. It was so perilous yesterday... I could feel myself teetering on the brink of wanting to switch the TV on and watch all the crappy christmas TV, because that's what we do in this culture. Thankfully, I had family and friends around to support me, and in the end, apart from the Singen Blingen Tringen Tree the TV was only on for 15 minutes to catch Nick Park's classic Creature Comforts. And as for Turkey... well don't even get me started. It's an apalling industry worthy of having it's willy choppped off. RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

So, to sum up all the above, I say

and all the smelly cheesy culture around it although I must admit the cheese bit is rather nice. Ate loads of Stilton yesterday.

No, you could argue that I'm a misreable old git, just like Charles' Dicken's character that I played back in the early nineties...

Bah Humbug

...but I'm not, because I can only be classed as a miserable git if I'm assesed in the context of modern popular culture, which I have opted out of, so NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA you can't label me as such ah ah ah (evil laugh). I am the ghost of Christmas google...

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Friday 26th December 2003 -17:20 GMT At me bruver's place, Totnes, England

Life is really really exciting

It really really is. Really. Ok, ok, so I've been single for like 9 months now, and that is a major problem. Don't get me wrong, I'm not obsessed with being in a relationship, but I will just say that the only reason that I'm on this planet is to indulge in some lurvin. I feel like a Beagle 2, my 9 note signal is just not being picked up by any receiver on this planet.

Anyway right right right life is really really exciting because like I'm really lovin being at college and learning stuff and interacting with people who even after a whole term are relative strangers apart from Jo who being a member of the Steiner gang iI feel I can instantly kinda get where she's comin from.

Other reasons why life is wonderful:

 

I live with the most lovely people in the whole wide world. My landlady should be made a saint, despite the fact that I discovered the other day that the extractor fan from the downstairs loo doesn't actually extract fumes out of the house - no, it just disperses them into the ground floor ceiling space, which accounts for the fact that my room always stinks after someone downstairs has done a poo.

Friends. Be they in England, Japan, Australia, America, Austria or Orcop, they are utterly wonderful and really, well, what would you do without friends. My friends definately win the "Most wonderful people of 2003 Award 2003".

I'm going to college the week after next, and I'm going to uni in September. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO excited.

I am healthy

It's new year oh so very soon, and new year is such a wonderful time. It's full of newness and wonderfullness and I hope to be spending it with friends. Happiness laughter love.

I might fall in love again in 2004. Falling in love is so exciting. The down of course is the bit where it all goes haywire, but I think it's worth it. I think the hurt's worth it, don't you? The last time I fell in love, I remember I was so so sos os so so happy - do you remember that? I don't mean the last time I fell in love with you, cause you might be one of those really hairy guys who ride motorbikes in Detroit with pierced bodyparts that really aren't designed to be pierced, and I really didn't fall in love with you. And if I did, it wasn't me, I was drunk, it was my twin brother, you were on drugs, I was a vision sent by meatloaf.

New Years resolutions, been thinking of them recently. Been trying to come up with some good ones, some that I have a realistic chance of actually achieving. My problem is though, is that I can't think of any parts of my life that I particularly want to improve. I mean, everything is just so wonderful as it is (with the exception of being single) - how can one improve upon perfection?

No, really can't think of any. Any suggestions?

Yo wiggy! wiggy wiggy waa waa stephen's cooked me sme ffod, I'm off to eat.,..

RAAAAAAAAAAA

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Saturday 27th December 2003 -00:35 GMT At me bruver's place, Totnes, England

Skimmin' over the ocean liks a stone

I was thinking, this past year, at least this past 6 months or so, I've been skimming aross the ocean like a stone.

Propelled by the energy of a dream and a strong desire to pursue my passions, skipping along the surface of life, only occasionally making contact with the reality of it all. The momentary contact, whether it be in the form of a brief encounter of the emotional kind, or the weekly viewing of The Office, is just enough to give me renewed propolsion up and onward as the time flies by. It's feels great - and there's the excitement of knowing that sometime in the coming year I will plunge below the surface and into the riches of the deep blue below.

[for more on stone skimming, visit the website of the world stone skimming championships]

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Saturday 27th December 2003 -23:15 GMT At home, Bristol, England

Did you see it?

David and the crew
Tim and Dawn - together at last

I love it. I hate it. I can't bear it. I can't get enough of it. You know exactly what I mean if you've seen The Office. Possibly the best thing to be broadcast on television anywhere in the whole world in the past 200 years. You've never seen anything like it before, and chances are you'll never see anything like it again.

Tonight was the final episode - it will not be returning. I could barely watch, but I had to.

It's so realistic you can't help but be dragged into the lives of the monkeys who work at Wernham Hogg. Everyday people, who really do exist in the office where YOU work. No canned laughter, this is fiction that barely passes as such. I know of friends who have to leave the room when it's on, hide behind the sofa - I never watch it without my scarf which can be used to shield me from the sheer horror of it all.

Post credits I felt at a loss. Yes, I guess those people do still live on... but that knowledge alone is not enough. That's why I've just spent the last 30 minutes downloading video clips, models for paper aeroplanes with David's face on, desktop wallpaper and screensavers. I even downloaded a big image of his tie and facial hair, designed to be cut out and stuck on for the camera.

Is this obsession?

Click here for your downloadable cutouts

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RESOLVE

As the dead year is clasped by a dead December,
So let your dead sins with your dead days lie.
A new life is yours, and a new hope! Remember
We build our own ladders to climb to the sky.
Stand out in the sunlight of promise, forgetting
Whatever the past held of sorrow or wrong;
We waste half our strength in a useless regretting;
We sit by old tombs in the dark too long.

Have you missed in your aim ? well, the mark is still shining;
Did you faint in the race ? well, take breath for the next.
Did the clouds drive you back ? but see yonder their lining,
Were you tempted and fell ? let it serve for a text.
As each year hurries by let it join that procession
Of skeleton shapes that march down to the past,
While you take your place in the line of progression,
With your eyes on the heavens, your face to the blast.

I tell you the future can hold no terrors
For any sad soul while the stars revolve.
If he will stand firm on the grave of his errors,
And instead of regretting, resolve, resolve.
It is never too late to begin rebuilding,
Though all into ruins your life seems hurled,
For look ! how the light of the New Year is gilding
The worn, wan face of the bruised old world.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

 


Goodbye 2003.

 

The Daily Mumble December 2003 Archive

 

 

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