Wendig, schnell, ausdauernd und robust. Ihr zuverlässiger begleiter.

Speak as I find

1:04 am : Tuesday, 15 May 2018  |  , , ,

On Sunday we visited a couple who lived on the premises of the prestigious Oundle School. This was to collect the aforementioned Ikea Hemnes day bed for the outstanding price of £100. Taking it apart was relatively easy - taking about half an hour - to then cramming it all in the back of a Berlingo. The ride home would then involve me sat with my head bowed neath the longer parts of the bed!

Getting it all together in a freshly-painted spare room took a while, but the result is most satisfactory. Three colossal drawers underneath to hide all manner of crud, and therefore keep this room in order, and a good firm foam mattress to support this pile of Ug. Dress it all up with a mountain of cushions, and it's girly enough for Hannah. So job done.

Yesterday (Monday) we visited the recycling centre in Corby to dispose of the old single bed and a couple of knackered mattresses. Whenever we have visited there, I always caught sight of an area where anything still usable could be left. This time I chose to investigate that area, and my eyes opened wide and my mouth started to salivate. A pair of Mission M73 floorstanding speakers in jolly good condition. Then a man appeared and let me know that nothing was to be taken. Everything left there - including those speakers - was to go to auction. I was aghast. Someone decided to offload some £400 high-end speakers, and they immediately become Council property. I am guessing that whatever they sell for will go straight into the Council's coffers. It is painful to think about. I was very upset, and will probably remain so for a considerable amount of time!

Bedding down

10:01 pm : Thursday, 10 May 2018  |  , , ,

When we moved to our current home, we realised there would be a fair amount of downsizing required. Those two huge Italian sofas had to go as they were beyond practical there, let alone here with a narrower hallway. Hannah's beloved table and chairs had to find a new home. My large office desk was just too large for this room, so a smaller example is in use now.

One thing Hannah tried to do in our last home was inject a little femininity into my office/spare room. Never mind it was my retreat from a home of shabby chic. Can a bloke not have his blokey pit? Well, it would seem she is getting her way here! This Sunday another piece of bargain furniture enters our home - a thoroughly luxurious Ikea Hemnes day bed. Normally priced at £239 without mattress or £409 with, this is costing us £100. Hard to let this one get away.

Before it arrives I had best take the opportunity to do some painting in this room. I was never quite taken by this apple-white shade in here, so I will be turning it brilliant white, with the window wall painted duck egg. I have already succeeded in properly putting up four floating shelves in here. These require ten screws each, which is not too easy when you have rock-solid walls. Nothing shall beat this Ug! I will succeed in making this office/spare room look sizeable, while giving Hannah the femininity she so vehemently desires.

On the subject of painting - why do we still have to put up with oil-based paints? I would have thought that in this day and age it would be possible to come up with a more environmentally-friendly alternative. I have been applying anti-mould paint in the kitchen (and will also have to shlop some on in parts of this room), and the smell just causes aggro for all of us. I get a headache while using it, Hannah feels sick even when the kitchen door is firmly shut, and the cats would rather not come indoors because of this petroleum honk that has commandeered the property! And a small tin of the stuff costs £20. Robbery encapsulated.

Sitting on a fortune

11:58 pm : Monday, 30 April 2018  |  , ,

We moved home back in January, and prior to that move we had to make a painful decision. Of our two sofas, we would only be taking the two-seater one with us. The three-seater sofa would have to be sacrificed. And by sacrificed, I mean cut up with a jigsaw and disposed of at the dump, with a generous sprinkling of sawdust. Both of these sofas were oversized Italian ones, with the larger one originally requiring four men to get indoors, along with the removal of our front door. They were true big b@st*rds. Even getting the smaller one into our new home was a three-man struggle.

Recently we decided that this lonely two-seater was not enough, even for the two of us. The hunt was now on for a chair or something. And this is where those trusty Facebook buy-and-sell pages come into their own. Essentially this involves wading through a selection of thoroughly knackered-looking offerings, and ones that simply would not be able to get through our doors or hallway. And brown sofas.

A post appears - with someone offering three two-seater sofas for £20 each, but these are a fair distance away, and would cost dear to transport. Another post avails itself - this time offering two two-seaters for £150. While much nearer, it causes me to worry about the money! Then, as if sent from up above, a post appears from someone six miles away, offering two two-seaters for free. "WHOA! SNAP IT UP QUICK! BE THE FIRST TO RESPOND!" This morning we succeeded in cramming two two-seater sofas into our home. Both of them in fantastic condition - possibly even unused. Looking thoroughly fresh in their cream/white loose covers, and managing to brighten up the living room.

I then let curiosity get the better of me, and went on the net to look them up, and see just how much they are really worth. The Tetrad "Havana Petit" sofa: £1,350. Two sofas worth a total of £2,700 - and they were given to us for free! All we paid for was the van to move them. The previous owners clearly have money to play with, and were prepared to let go of two near-pristine luxury sofas for nowt. That is generosity beyond all measure. And for us? Well talk about luck! How often are we in the right place at the right time? Not often, that is for damn sure.

Of course, getting two sofas indoors was not my only task. I then had to get to work on that filthy old sofa by way of a jigsaw and a Stanley knife, because it was the only sensible way to get that Italian beast through a standard width door!

To earn a crust

12:56 am : Thursday, 22 February 2018  |  ,

We have been in our new home for almost four weeks now, and things are falling into place in their own time. The office/spare bedroom is smaller than at the other place, with my desk slightly overhanging the bed, but it's still progress. The fibre broadband is running at 34 megs which is very pleasing - up from the 28 megs we achieved last week, so that has settled. We did get 38 megs at the last address, but it would be petty to whine about that!

Getting a smart meter to cooperate is another matter entirely. Our electric meter is located in an outside cupboard that appears to offer the insulation properties of a wartime bunker, thus ensuring that no smart meter will be able to communicate with the outside world. Those anti-smart meter sods would love this place! So it is back to the dumb variety for the time being.

There is also another thing to contend with, and one which sadly provides Hannah with sleepless nights. Squirrels in the loft. Last week we observed scratching noises coming from the disused chimney stack. A couple of night later, and there is scratching and scurrying above the bedrooms. I may be fortunate enough to have the mindset of: "They cannot get us", and manage to sleep unhindered, but that is sadly not the case for Hannah. So a call to the council's pest control department has been neccessary. Rats? They do bring to my mind a certain lyric by The Prodigy. You know the one - it goes: "I got the poison, I got the remedy!" But fwuffy wittle squirrels? Don't hurt them!

For this video, allow me to welcome you to the wonderful world of breadfacing. Unfamiliar? Then get acquainted if you will. This sordid practice is summed up in the very name - ie. pushing your face into bread-based product. And why not? Normally the domain of beautiful young women, this video seeks to demonstrate the male equivalent, by utilising crusts. A cheeky little Carole Bayer-Sager tune assists things somewhat.

Bread Face Man - Crust edition

Keep on moving

12:43 pm : Monday, 5 February 2018  |  , , ,

Last week we moved to a nearby village. There is still much chaos, but walls are painted, carpets have been laid, and two unwilling cats have been successfully settled. It was painful being sat in the back of the vehicle with them in their cages, whining mournfully. One of them also vomited and shat in the cage, and we thought her back legs had packed up too. But all is well after all. Just waiting for the phone and broadband to be activated, which they say will happen tomorrow, but I will only believe that when it happens. Until then we are making do with a dongle for our internet, which is about as fast as ye olde dial-up.

On Friday we were in that emporium of good nutrition known as McDonalds in Peterborough. Hannah sat down while I went to order. It was worrying. Youths loitering with no intention of buying, and one crowing: "I'm from East Ham bruv! You wanna take me on yeah?" While we were eating, the Justin Timberlake music got replaced by classical music. It was most wonderful, and I explained to Hannah why they were doing this. Two minutes later she was highly amused at the sight of numerous youths clearing the premises. The simplest tool in the box - classical music. They must have been thinking: "Nah man I can't deal with this bruv, ya git me!"

Saturday saw me present an 80's disco for a charity event. That was a joy. Guilty pleasures were worn with pride that night. To have an audience appreciate Scritti Politti and Haircut 100 was truly wonderful, and to close out the show with the Kane Gang was just beyond measure! The 80's was a decade of variety and colour, and should be worn without shame.

Dotty Christmas

2:57 pm : Monday, 25 December 2017  |  

The big day itself, and the cock is in the oven. The yearly juggling act that is managing to prepare two plates of yum. And the gifts of course. I usually have a bottle of scent at Christmas - invariably Aramis New West - but for this year I decided to go back to 1992, when those dollies behind the men's fragrance counter were forever trying to push this "gorgeous" scent on me. I was in my twenties, and I did not really appreciate something that smelled vaguely of curry and tobacco. 25 years on, enter Herrera For Men. Still packaged in her signature polka dots, and smelling a bit better than I interpreted it back then. To Hannah I smell like a man. Whatever that means.

Wesołych Świąt! Wub

Pull a cracker

1:55 am : Thursday, 21 December 2017  |  , , , ,

Christmas is coming, and we are preparing to move home. Not too far - just five miles away to a nearby village. It will be quieter, and there will be fewer shops, but I will appreciate the quiet and the greenery. Part of this ex-Londoner still craves the nearby 24-hour shops, and nipping out at 3:30AM for Red Bull and 20 Davidoff Classic, but there you go. We will have our usual quiet Christmas with just the two of us and two cats, and then begin the preparations for the move.

Video time, and this one is from the Christmas of 1984. Warwick Records released budget-priced albums in the UK, and this one showcased four of them. I always wanted The Sleighriders one! Yes I know, a medley of Christmas songs in a disco style - some many years after disco's heyday...

Pull a Warwick cracker! 1984 Christmas advert

Snow joke

2:23 am : Monday, 11 December 2017  |  , , , ,

My partner Hannah has a bit of a love affair with snow. She does love it when "there's tinkles". I don't, because it's cold and it hinders. Nevertheless, it was her birthday yesterday, and she awoke to see her beloved tinkles falling from the sky and covering absolutely EVERYTHING! So easy to please! I just made sure the home was warm enough.

We have two cats, and for some unknown reason, they chose to stop using the litter tray and instead leave their deposits outdoors. One of them even does the unheard-of and poops in HER OWN garden. This of course gives me the task of venturing outdoors to pick up these mini-roundabouts. With the snow on the ground, I elected to pouring some cat litter into a shallow storage box, so that they could serve up their doings in the warmth of their own home. Waste of time. When I stepped out the back door to smoke, she came darting out onto the snow-covered lawn, and faithfully plonked her 1 and 2 in the snow! The other cat was sensible enough to do so indoors.

Iain Lee sadly did not win on I'm a Celebrity..., though he did come a respectable third place. Tonight we had the pleasure of watching him tasked with having to consume a pig's v@g!na - which he dutifully did! He would eventually be rewarded with Pigs In Blankets, which I can only imagine would be more flavoursome than a chunk of hairy noo-noo on a cocktail stick. If one thing has been achieved from all this, his Twitter follower count has gone from 55,000 to over 100,000!

Bushtucker Trial: Iain Gets a Final DISGUSTING Mouthful
Iain's Sister Surprises Him in Camp - I'm a Celebrity


12:35 am : Tuesday, 5 December 2017  |  , , ,

Radio and TV presenter Iain Lee is currently doing a stint on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, and all in this household (all two of us) are rooting for him. It was his radio show that brought us together after all! I have this tendency to meet my partners vicariously through talk radio presenters. One partner was a fellow Nick Abbot listener.

Frozen food store Iceland are running this TV advert at the moment, and it has driven me to changing my mobile text alert to some bloke uttering the words "Gilded turkey". The power of advertising! Watch it and you may sympathise.

Iceland Christmas Advert 2017 - Luxury Gilded Turkey

Honestly guys, it is this bad!

You're spoiling us, Ambassador!

12:04 am : Wednesday, 29 November 2017  |  , , ,

Christmas is upon us whether we like it or not, and with that comes all of the adverts on TV. All the major companies bringing us their epic-length ads about monsters under the bed etc. The only one I really care about is the Ferrero Rocher advert that features that wonderful song by Jasmine Ash - entitled Starlight. Seriously, if there was such a thing as a song covered in polka dots, it would be this one. This is fluffy and colourful and dotty beyond measure!

Jasmine Ash - Starlight

Adverts can throw up some wonderful tunes that we may never have heard of. This one from the Pets At Home ad - You Make Me Happy by Sophie Madeliene - is another bundle of happiness.

Sophie Madeliene - You Make Me Happy

Ukulele's are clearly a popular choice when choosing a song for an ad. As with the last one, this uke-based cover of Little Things Mean A Lot by Little Shoes Big Voice was given some welcome airtime by Axa Insurance.

Little Shoes Big Voice - Little Things Mean A Lot

It's not uncommon for advertisers to seek out unheard-of songs by unheard-of artists. Magnet Kitchens did just that by using a song written by 14-year-old Australian schoolgirl Lucinda Nicholls. Her song Inside And Out was used to great effect, even if they were showing us kitchen layouts that would NEVER fit into ANY common small kitchen in the UK! I guess they meant well.

Lucinda Nicholls - Inside And Out

And to finish off, an oddity. When Airmiles decided to rebrand themselves in 2011 as the somewhat Spanish-sounding Avios, they needed something to accompany their Anything Can Fly advert that featured a flying washing machine. I cannot help but wonder what those guys had been smoking when they came up with that one! Iranian artist Leila provided the soundtrack with her ethereal Underwaters.

Leila - Underwaters

For further reading, see my post of Friday 19 August 2015, entitled Pump Up The Reggae. That was the first instance of the Listening Post, and it has only taken me over two years to write the follow up!