Friday, 18 May 2012

Shedding skin like a snake watching a flying ferret

Thanks guys. 66% of you who expressed a preference accused me and Sid* of  stealing the kitchen cabinet doors....Harsh and as it turns out not fair...The doors were rather unexcitedly sent away to be re-sprayed.

* You would have to have read last blog’s comments to understand this particularly obscure reference...

So, after almost six gruelling months our  kitchen revamp is finished, cue  big celebration ......

Only it’s BlackLOG and if you are a regular reader you will not be surprised to learn that the Champagne has had to go back on ice......  

Yes you’ve guessed it, not everything has gone entirely to plan.  The kitchen cabinets and door are looking good, the spray company arrived on time, were polite and tidy, took the doors away and returned them as agreed, they even laughed at one of my jokes** what could possibly have gone wrong....?

** I asked them how they wanted their coffee – the reply very Strong

“That’s good” I said “I have one that goes all the way up to11” (This probably will soar over your head, like a ferret shot out of a Howitzer, unless you happen to be familiar with the Rockumentary film “This is Spinal Tap” )***

*** Please note that for artistic purposes I had to lie.   The coffee I used was the Nespresso Limited edition Kazaar, which is in fact rated a 12 not 11.    A bit of anomaly when the intensity scale for Nespresso coffee capsules only goes from 1 to 10.   I’m guessing this is Nespresso’s attempt to raise the bar even further than Spinal Tap..... 

In order to re-spray the cabinets they had to mask off the rest of the kitchen – the result was that the kitchen ended up looking like it was a scene straight out of Dexter (if you are not familiar with the program – shame on you, it’s absolutely brilliant****).  The spray company  did a meticulous job and everything was going really well until they went to dismantle the killing room covers...    

Excuse me while I take you back about 2 months – 

We had our kitchen walls painted..... 

Nothing went wrong......  

We should have guessed that this was odd 
and would come back to haunt us ....

I return you to the present, although by the time you read this it will, I’m afraid, be the past.  Despite my best endeavours I haven’t yet learned to project my writing into the future so that you can read it  in the here and now....if you are that worried try reading quicker...

As the killing room came down so did the wallpaper  paint but not in little flakes,  entire chunks – if they had done it carefully I’m convinced they could have got the whole lot off in one piece – 9 out of 10 snakes said they would be proud too shed their skin like this – the 10th was too occupied watching a ferret shooting across the sky, too pass comment***** .......  For some reason the paint has not adhered properly to the wall -I guess it was too busy sticking to itself....

***** Please note no ferrets were hurt during the production of this blog.....

Well not until it splattered into the ground that is (ferrets are not renowned for having good landing gear).

The same for snakes...

eeerr,  except the one that was so mesmerised by watching a flying ferret that it failed to slither out of the way.....

They have decide to combine their talents and can currently be found on display in the Natural History Museum as the only Living examples of the legendary snarret (half snake, half ferret) and ferrake (Half ferret, half snake)....

McG does his best snarret  or is it a ferrake impression....


The kitchen looks like it has some horrible infectious skin disease and we can’t get it fixed until our decorator and the paint manufacturer work out what has gone wrong and how to resolve it....Deep joy... 

**** Dexter is a serial killer who works by an honour code  – he only kills people who deserve to die – Wow!  How good would that be? 
  • Middle of the road drivers – permanently relegated to the hard shoulder 
  • People who drop litter – recycled 
  • People who don’t acknowledge you when you hold open a door – shown the door for the very last time.... 
  • People who are obsessed with themselves -  Get an entire service and party dedicated just to them . 
  • Smokers – incinerated 
  • X-factor fans  - voted off the planet (harsh but fair,  it would be a mercy killing) 
  • Anyone who has ever purchased anything from the shopping channel.....sorry just checking my credit card statement in case I have to top myself...No I'm good....
OK.  Rather disappointingly I just remembered Dexter only kills criminals, who literally get away with murder (damn it, it would have been good to at least get rid of those pesky middle of the road drivers).

The Cribs at the Troxy

The last time we saw the Cribs it was about 5 years ago at the V-festival – Their album “Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever”  had just been released and they were great..... The lead up to this week’s gig was such a disaster it just pointed to being a brilliant evening–

First I booked tickets at the Troxy as it was just around the corner from Mrs B’s office so it would be easy for her to get there.  Only when we got to the day itself, Mrs B’s office had been instructed as a test of Olympics contingency planning, to work from home....OK.......we can work with that.

Second – On the way down the M11 the road signs came on to tell us there was a blockage on route and Sat Nav told us the time to get to the venue was increasing dramatically.  We worked round that too and took a different route, still managing to get  to the venue in good time....

As it happens I wish we hadn’t bothered as the Cribs :–
  • Were out of tune;
  • Were like caricatures of Northerners. All “Eee-up chuck” and “Luv a duck”.  It was as if George Formby had been renamed Jarman and been resurrected as triplets – I’m only thankful that none of them had a window to clean, a lamppost to lean on or, god save us, a ukulele....;
  • Only played for just over an hour – with no encore (Mrs B appeared very grateful);
  • last two albums (even the one with Johnny Marr, ex Smiths’ guitarist) were pants....Maybe I was wrong about the ukulele, it could not have made them sound any worse.
On our way home we passed the road that was still closed from earlier,  the traffic sitting impatiently going nowhere – I have a feeling Mrs B would have preferred to have spent the evening stuck in the queue as long as I didn’t play her any of the Cribs ....

On a more positive note we were fans of the Troxy (despite the name, which sounds like some 18th century disease).  

T-Rextacy (T-Rex tribute band) 
When I contacted the leader singer Danielz for a photo pass, I got his long as the band’s manager was happy.

The tour manager was happy as long as the venue agreed

It was looking good for my second photo pass

....only the Venue (The Rhodes Centre, Bishop's Stortford.  Surely it is only a matter of time before it changes it's name to the Zimbabwe centre....)  didn't...ouch. 

Who would have thought that a small, provincial theatre would prove so uptight about photography, especially when they could not even provide a proper ticket.... ? 

Apparently they employ handwriting experts to sort out fake tickets 
I made up for my disappointment by watching  an OAP on security duty at the venue.  It was fascinating  seeing her tirelessly work the room (curlers, wrinkled stockings and I’m sure there was the profile of a rolling pin under her jacket) reprimanding anyone who even glanced at their phones, let alone got out a camera ...I’m rather glad I didn’t try and sneak in The Beast – she would have gone mental and probably put me on the naughty step for the rest of the evening....

The show started with a couple of slow, more obscure T-Rex numbers (well, they were to me anyway), I glanced across at Mrs B and our friends Mark and Lisa who I had persuaded to join us – they all had that same glazed expression of “What the hell have you brought us to...?” Fortunately after this, T-Rextacy  moved up the gears and started to bring out all the T-Rex classics.

20th Century Boy
Telegram Sam
Children of the revolution
Solid Gold Easy action
Metal Guru
I Love to Boogie
London Boys
Ride a White Swan
Hot Love
Get it on

The leader singer Danielz not only looks like the late great Marc Bolen at the height of his powers (Since I have no photo’s you will have to take my word for it)  but does an excellent job with the voice and guitar playing (T-Rextasy have been playing together for 20 years – as with most successful tribute bands much longer than the original, who in this case only managed 10, before Marc Bolan wrapped up his career around the base of a South London tree).

I was a bit worried that the band might lose (to the grim reaper) some of the older members of the Bishop Stortford posse audience, who were strutting their stuff  like a bus load of penguins who had crashed into a 1970’s fancy dress shop (So quite up-to-date by Bishop’s Stortford standards)  but they all seemed to survive their over-exertions.  I just hope that Danielz avoided the grim reaper as well and turned down that lift home in a Mini.....

Watch of the Week 

The regular section in support of Joe (Stunt Cock) and his growing watch business Xupes. Joe mentioned that they had been getting a number of hits via the BlackLOG. Xupes has been trading for over 2 years and Joe has recently developed some great contacts in the trade which enables him to pick up surplus stock and sell them at great prices. Mrs B is a regular purchaser from his jewellery section, going self-service once she finally realised that her husband is not the jewellery buying type…

Hublot Big Bang 18k Rose Gold Titanium 

Ceramic Carbon Fibre Chronograph  

Hublot Big Bang 18k Rose Gold Titanium Ceramic Carbon Fibre Chronograph
Excellent condition Hublot Big Bang 18k Rose Gold Titanium Ceramic Carbon Fibre Chronograph watch. Black Rubber strap, with 18k Rose Gold Deployment Buckle. The dial is black. Box, Manual and Guarantee card dated January 2012.

Record of the week

19th nervous breakdown by The Rolling Stones - Every time we have any work done around the house remind me to book up a session with a psychiatrist to help Mrs. B and I get over the inevitable trauma…..

Ride A White Swan by T.Rex

Metal Guru by T.REX

Bang a Gong (Get It On) by T.Rex

Ride A White Swan by T-Rextasy - I managed to track down some footage of Danielz and his band – you can tell it is not at the Rhodes Centre as people are holding up their phones without being clubbed to death, like Chinese dissidents at a Tiananmen square reunion party ..... If I happen to disappear in the next few days you will know that the OAP enforcer that the Rhodes Centre employs has tracked me down and done for me with her rolling pin....

Photo finish

This weeks is split between shots of work being done on our kitchen - taken with The Beast and shots of the Cribs at the Troxy - taken with The Mega Mini Beast....neither proved successful events for us....

With Christmas only 7 months away
we decided to make a start on
the wrapping....
Environmental health officers seal off
our kitchen as an outbreak of  the
deadly 18th Century virus "The Troxy"
wipes out most of our paint particles....
The new snakeskin paint range
suffering a few unexpected
technical issues....
I guess that will teach us to rent paint
by the hour rather than just buying it....

The Cribs at the Troxy  

The Cribs attempt to play the Blues...
"I'm leaning on the lamp-post at
the corner of the street.... "
"When I'm cleaning Windows"
Ryan Jarman is forced to play in B&W 
with his back to the  audience, after 
accidently singing a note in tune.... 

 Hope to catch you next time.....

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The weirdest burglary

We have become the victims of the world's strangest robbery. Nothing was taken except our kitchen cabinet doors .... 

Our kitchen auditions for page
 three of  the Sun newspaper – sadly 
they turned it down.  While they were 
happy with the  topless look,  they 
drew the line at showing innards.. 
who  would have guessed the 
Sun had standards.. 
The current suspects are 

Gunther von HagensI deduce that having got bored of plastinating 
bodies he has moved onto plastinating kitchens. It would have been 
nice if he had waited until our kitchen had been declared legally dead......

Mrs Bwanting more shoes and handbags to fuel her 
consumer designer lifestyle has sold them to raise the funds

MeI removed them in order to justify  my recent acquisition 
of a Dremel (Mini-marvel tool used for drilling, sanding, polishing,
 shaping etc...) and a new electric screw driver.  I was challenged 
by Mrs B as to why I had purchased them.... Before I could even 
formulate a reply Mrs B countered with

“You don’t do D.I.Y and when you do you're rubbish at it....”

Harsh but fair....

All that I was left with was a rather lame  - 

“My inner-man needed them, he hasn’t told me 
why yet but he was in no mood to be argued with...”

Mrs B just rolled her eyes – a nice trick if you can manage it, I bet if I tried it one of mine would get stuck under the bed and the other one would get eaten by the cats (a blinding result)........

I’m a bit suspicious as to why I wasn’t pushed further on the Dremel subject.   Is Mrs B in the process of purchasing something really expensive (requiring additional funds and an instant “well you bought a Dremel” excuse)?  This is why I’m moving her to the top of my suspect list, ahead of even Gunther.... 

OK – so using your skill and knowledge of all things BlackLOG (What do you mean you don’t normally read it, just look at the pretty pictures?  Well you have only yourself to blame....There is nothing stopping you delving into the rich tapestry of  BlackLOG back issues) can you work out which of the three suspects is responsible or can you think of an alternative reason for the missing doors????

....tune in next time for the mysterious truth

C.A.C.T.U.S (Cheap As Chips TUeSday,  at our local cinema)
The choice this week was "The Hunger Games"  – Now I’m all for teenagers being taken off the streets and forced to use their youthful energy and skills to decapitate, slice, shoot, burn, blow each other up etc....  but I object to this being called an original concept – The Japanese film, "Battle Royal", did this 12 years ago with more blood, gore and finesse .... I did not see the incentive for the kids in the Hunger Games to kill each other (district pride – are you kidding?  Most kids today can’t be bothered to stretch their hand out to drop litter in a bin to keep their own street clean) – at least in Battle Royal they had exploding collars  to keep them focused on the butchery.

So while I enjoyed the Hunger Games I’m fed up of loads of fat youff’s being interviewed from their couches (get out more)  claiming this was the most original book and film idea ever. Now here is an original idea - why don’t we drag them out (since when has exercise been a bad thing?), stick them in the arena with a load of Battle Royal fanatics and see who comes out on top.... OK, so in this case the exercise will probably end in their death but, on the bright side – as they say “What does not kill you only makes you stronger” but with possibly a side order of homicidal  tendencies.... I didn’t claim there wouldn't be side effects.  

Watch of the Week
The regular section in support of Joe (Stunt Cock) and his growing watch business Xupes. Joe mentioned that they had been getting a number of hits via the BlackLOG.

Xupes has been trading for over 2 years and Joe has recently developed some great contacts in the trade which enables him to pick up surplus stock and sell them at great prices. Mrs B is a regular purchaser from his jewellery section, going self-service once she finally realised that her husband is not the jewellery buying type… 

Jaeger LeCoultre

Master Compressor 18k Rose Gold Diamonds
Price  £17,995 
RRP  £36,780 
Saving  £18,785  
Excellent unused condition Jaeger le Coultre Master Compressor Ladies Ltd Edition 18k Rose Gold Diamonds automatic watch on white crocodile leather strap with 18k rose gold deployment buckle. This is the ladies size measuring 36.8mm. The dial is white. The watch is in excellent unworn condition with original boxes and manual only supplied from a UK authorized dealer on 1st November 2011. This particular model is still sold in Jaeger le Coultre Boutiques Worldwide but was manufactured in very limited numbers.

Record of the week

Listen Like Thieves by  INXS - I would have thought is should be either "listen like ears" or "steal like thieves" but since I'm not a long dead international pop star (with erotic autoasphyxiation issues*) what do I know...

* Would it be insensitive to say that Michael was said to be a well hung individual...

The Bartender and the Thief (acoustic Version) by Stereophonics - I'm assuming that the bartender purchased our stolen doors and has flogged them to one of his customers....

Kill The Director by The Wombats - Try as I might I could not get a song called "kill the teenager" or even "kill the Hunger games fanatics" so this will have to do....  

Hope to catch you next time....