Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall

I felt different when I woke up this morning. My bed was warm and cosy and I felt the same despite knowing that a biting breeze and a 3°C temperature waited for me outside the front door. I sprang out of bed, glided through the house and into the shower. Even the shower seemed to be in a good mood as it decided to spray water on me with considerably more vigour than the usual sensation of being pissed on by a mouse. Back in my bedroom I looked in the wardrobe for something to wear and for a few seconds I was indecisive - my decision was made when a glance in the mirror led to me spotting a warm sweater complete with t-shirt still inside from the day before, not giving a fuck had won me over again. I pulled on the t-shirt/sweater combo and smiled to myself in the mirror before setting out.

I opened the front door and I could almost see the delight in the face of the cold weather as it tore into my face. Unfortunately for the weather I was listening to my current favourite track (Wooden Heart by The Duke Spirit) on my mp3 player. The wind numbed my ears and it had the rather pleasing effect of making me feel as though the earphones weren't there at all and that Leila Moss was inside my head singing only to me. I smiled to myself again as I walked along the street, a girl wrapped up in her scarf and winter coat caught me smiling and she smiled too.

I love this time of year.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Internets

Annie is wandering around the United States of the USA at the moment, having a great adventure with her pal Wies. Something she said really struck a chord with me this morning - "Getting to meet people off the net is the best bit, I recommend it"

Meeting people off the net is great, as I read that my mind drew up a list of people that I've met through this bl*g....

I've been drinking with Huw on numerous occasions (including a romantic date), I've slapped girls butts with Lanette, been on countless adventures with the (quite incredible) Astrid and walked through the park with Léonie (And felt sad when she left). I really enjoy quiet pints in London with Deanne on a Sunday afternoon whilst Will's adventurous taste in music led to a gig with me and he's also shown us around some of London's pubs. Formerly the only American in London (Monica) has been to watch rugby with us (Previously Unknown to me Prince William was there too, causing much excitement in the girl), I stayed with Cleavers in Toronto for a few days earlier this year (An incredible piece of hospitality), I've bought kebabs and talked nonsnse with Afe, watched Los Campesinos! with Mair, pubbed with Rhys & Geraint and only last night I shared a few beers with Cope (the conversation starting with micro-fiction and ending with girls) - I'll never, ever forget the incredible spread that Cope and the Child Bride have put on for thanksgiving over the last couple of years. The only person that I actually knew at the start of this particular adventure was a man named Owzy O, who got me into this whole thing.

As my bl*gging intesity has declined, so have the chances to get out and meet all these people who only used to appear to me as words on a screen but now phone me, socialise with me and introduce me to their own friends. Never once have I had a bad experience of meeting someone over the internet, I've enjoyed spending time with each and every person.

Agreeing with Annie, I recommend meeting people over the net too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Barcelona

I excitedly jumped down the hotel steps and stood on the street outside, taking in my first sights of a Spanish city. I surveyed the alien colours of the buildings, listened to the heavy traffic and to the different languages being spoken all around me "I'm going to like this place" I thought to myself. I took a deep breath and my lungs filled with the warm air - I suddenly coughed and spluttered as the serenity was broken "What the FUCK is that?" I politely enquired as a foul smell entered my nostrils, "The sewers, you'll have to get used to it" a friend answered.

We sauntered across to an inviting cafe and I prepared myself to practice my non-existent Spanish, repeating phrases taught to me on the plane over and over in my head. The barman walked over to me and I opened my mouth only to hear French tumbling out - which took me back a little as I can't speak French either. I got what I had ordered , thanked the barman in Italian and returned with a few cold beers for my friends.


After six hours spent sitting on the main drag (You should have seen the smile on the waiters face when he brought us the bill), Las Ramblas, someone suggested that it may be a good idea to have a look around the city. Although utterly un-entertained by the majority of street entertainers and bored stiff with the human statues, moving around Barcelona at a very leisurely pace was an absolute pleasure. The highlight for me was the huge indoor market where food of every description seemed to cover every inch of the buildings. People bustled and jostled around in a hive of activity, which was great to get amongst but it made me reach to check that I still had my wallet every couple of minutes.

The night drew in and we made our way along winding streets to find our booked evening meal. The food was delightful but I felt very sorry for the staff at the restaurant who had to put up with 150 drunk British people, that was until I had reached the same stage myself. The eventful night finally came to a close at 5am when the few of us who had survived until that point stood on the street arguing which direction our hotel was. Two of us became fed up and just jumped in the taxi "À l'hôtel s'il vous plaît" I said in my best Spanish accent, the driver laughed and we sped off. Less that two minutes later and I was back in my room, exhausted but knowing that I had to fly home later in the day and prepare for a trip to Norway 50 hours later.