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Posts from 01st Aug 2006 to 31st Aug 2006.
Summer Holiday
   at 18:23 on Thu 17th August 2006
Hooray. Today it's been thundering, lightning and generally pissing it down. But I'm not phased by this at all, for I am journeying across the globe for my Summer Holiday shortly.

Having popped into a branch of Thompson for a mostly unhelpful search for holidays in the Agaean Coastal regions of Turkey or Greece, we were a little worried our meagre budget of 250 for a week somewhere sunny with a beach was almost unattainable.

After a quick break to grab some quality lunch from McDonalds we tried popping into Thomas Cook. What a lovely bunch of staff they were; all in jovial chirpy moods. Rebecca browsed through dozens of package holidays throwing most options out of the window because either a) the destination didn't have a nice beach or b) it was above our price!

We exhausted Thomas Cook's options and went on to look through the First Choice packages... On about page 4 of their suggestions was a 43 holiday. Too good to be true we thought.

It was to Turkey (Gumbet in fact, near Bodrum) - just where we wanted to go. Too good to be true we thought.

It was flying out of Birmingham International - precisely where we wanted to fly from. Too good to be true we thought.

The travel dates where perfect for us! Too good to be true we thought.

The accomodation was a named hotel, not one of these silly assign-you-a-crappy-appartment-in-a-building-site-on-arrival schemes! And not only that, it was a 4 star hotel! Too good to be true we thought.

So having rushed through the booking process, Andrew and I are off for a week in Turkey for an incredible 103 (there are fuel suppliments, airport passenger tax and transfers on top of the 43).


Seven comments
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by mad_gemma at 19:16 on 18th Aug 2006
wicked dude! total bargain!
have a great time :D

by Andrew at 04:42 on 19th Aug 2006
Total cost 115 each + spending money.

The manager of Thomas Cook (solihull high street) insisted that Rebecca phoned up First Choice to confirm that the holiday had indeed been really really booked at that price, and lo & behold it had been.

Rebecca (the nice lady who was dealing with our rather vague request for a holiday) and the rest of the staff got rather excited at the price, and in fact one of them found the same holiday even cheaper... If we had flown from East Midlands airport (nr Nottingham) and the plane had flown via Humberside it would have been 23 + taxes (giving a total cost or around 90-95 -- however it would have been hard for us to get to East Midlands and back for 20 and the "via Humberside" bit made the extra cost worthwhile

We must remember to send them a postcard to confirm that it wasn't a building site or mega-mosquito season or anything like that
This is of course assuming that they didn't all take time off, in which case we'll see them on the plane :)

by Andrew at 00:55 on 22nd Aug 2006
Matt moaned at me, so I should point out that he said 103 and I said 115 for the holiday each.

I was including the 12 (per person) charge for meals on the flights (103 + 12 = 115 etc)

Sorry if that caused any confusion.

by Matt at 20:37 on 22nd Aug 2006

by Chris at 09:30 on 30th Aug 2006
1 week? Turkey?


/me wanders back off towards the mountains and vineyards looking forward to this weeks winery tours and last weeks skiing.

Oh, anyone got any money? I'm skint :-/

by Clare at 07:34 on 06th Sep 2006
Sounds super! Enjoy! (Or maybe, by this point in time, enjoyed...)

by Angela Bionaki at 10:25 on 11th Mar 2007
Kogda nastanut holoda i belaja doroga ljazhet

The Lodge
   at 16:14 on Mon 7th August 2006
Little Richard, Evil Richard, Andrew and I all went round to the Lodge for the Sunday Quiz last night.

It's a popular quiz - there were just 2 teams. We've only been the once so we're not sure if it's always that quiet, but if so what happens most weeks when we're not there?

Anyway, disregarding this absolute twat interrupting, it was a good quiz. Laura, one of the bar staff had politely asked a group of people to stop being rowdy and for this idiot to stop cycling around the pub. One chap from their group took a disliking to this and was shouting a stream of profanity at Laura, threatening to "fucking smash her face in". That kind of behavious really really angers me. I was so pissed off that someone can be like that, especially unprovoked and to a member of staff at a place like a pub where she has an obligation to defend the pub and stand her grown. She had no way of walking away from the situation. I want a licence to harm. Killing would be a little over the top, but I want the Government to issue me with a warrant to chainsaw people's faces off or to remove this chaps tongue and bollocks (he shouldn't be allowed to breed).

Anyway, the quiz... It wasn't sport or celeb's related at all. Which is refreshing. In fact, we were made speechless at the end when we were told that we'd won. Yes, that's right. For about the second time in my life I've been on a pub quiz winning team! Haha! 8 pints to us!

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by lil rich at 10:39 on 27th Aug 2006
I joined the techie team at the I28 pub quiz and we somehow won. (well came second but the team that won was EA/ubisoft/multiplay staff so ignoring them)
got a total of 6 each which wasn't bad.

TV Quiz Channels
   at 16:02 on Mon 7th August 2006
Oh dear. I have a confession to make... This is a serious breach of sanity and self-control. Last night, after our weekend guests had departed, Andrew and I were watching telly. We were flicking through various channels and realised that these days those silly quiz channels are all that's broadcast at night.

So with little better to do we decided to work out what they were all about. The idea is that they have a question (Who are the top 10 popular film villains?) or a crossword (Instrument or Bird themed, for example). They entice viewers with hundreds of pounds to ring the premium rate number (with a small chance - it's not guaranteed) to get through to the studio. Then you get to state your answer and if you're right, win loads of cash.

Now I'm not proud but we did some research into which competitions were best to enter. The crossword style ones are, of couse, great because you can see all the answers on the screen rather than having to guess which villians they're looking for. So having had a number of beers, we kind of - accidentally I stress - called up. In just one night it's got to the stage where we have a money pot specifically for throwing coins into when we call these channels so we can pay the phone bill.

Someone save us!

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Beautiful Pretty Music
   at 02:57 on Thu 3rd August 2006
Occasionally I get those evenings when I'm just in the mood to listen to music. Which is why I'm up so late posting on my website. The reason I wanted to remark about this evening was that it struck me listening to random tracks through my stupidly large collection that generally I remember what I was doing or where I was the first time I heard most music.

For example, I'm currently listening to Weary We've Been by Peatbog Faeries and I can tell you that it was a sunny late afternoon/early evening and I was playing the computer game Trackmania: Sunrise waiting for friends to come round to go to the pub.

Now Winamp has randomly Save Tonight by Eagle Eye Cherry. For this I doubt my connection is when I first heard it, but for some reason I remember Tom's bouncy castle party on the evening of 22nd June 2001.

Does anyone else have this ability to recall particular situations and settings by listening to music?

Four comments
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by James at 10:43 on 03rd Aug 2006
Yes, anything popular from the April/May area of 1999 reminds me of being in our form room at school when I brought a radio in for our form to use in break and lunch times. For one brief moment I was a "popular kid"!

So i'm talking songs like B*Witched - C'est La Vie, Britney - Hit Me Baby One More Time etc. The joys of local radio!

Fond memories...

by Karen at 11:36 on 03rd Aug 2006
Yes. I have this all the time. Can't listen to certain songs without being reminded of certain ex's and stuff. The yellow Euphoria also reminds me on summer night when "our little group" would hang out together.

by Bob at 23:21 on 04th Aug 2006
Who's "our little group"?

by Matt at 15:56 on 07th Aug 2006
Those days were great Karen, yep! :) Life seems to have so many more complications and it's really not as innocent as things seemed back then!

Excuse me, sir.
   at 11:43 on Tue 1st August 2006
The film industry is wondering why there is a decline in cinema-goers and an increase in piracy. Now I'm taking the wild assumption that any of the big wigs at the major film corporations around the world have not been to a cinema themselves in the recent years. I'll tell you why...

To begin with you arrive and the sales office asks you to empty your wallet, hand over your card and pay an anormous amount of money to get into a film. I mean... 6.50 for an adult these days. You can rent the film for that much! And if there's a group of, say, 6 of you going, that's almost 40! You can fly to Hollywood and watch the movie being filmed for that! Christ!

You attempt to enter the screen and are foricibly stopepd from taking a bottle of mineral water into the cinema. Instead you, of course, are allowed to get a cup of tap water for free from the concessions stand. Someone, please dear God, explain the logic of this to me. Of all the pain and suffering around the world and all the things that matter, some pathetic fool in a non-descript managerial role decided that "No, let's not allow our patrons to provide their own alternatives to our free refreshments." It just makes no bloody sense what so ever.

But you reluctantly agree to leave your bottle of water at the ticket checking person - who by the way, is always grumpy and never greets you with a warm welcome - and you enter the cinema room and take your seat. You are now subjected to 30 incredibly drawn out minutes of advertising - beginning at the scheduled start time of the film itself! If I wanted to waste half an hour of my life watching adverts that offer nothing of use to me, I'd sit infront of a cable TV channel at home - not pay through my teeth for the priviledge of doing so infront of a big screen.

Then just before the film starts, you're subjected to a short propaganda piece about how piracy is bad, how you will go to jail if you record or download movies illeagally and how you will become a lower class citizen. Fine, protect your intellectual property by asking people to kindly refrain from activities such as those, but you don't do it through fear and paranoia that "they're out to catch you". And you also, whilst we're talking about it, don't lie. The claim that pirated films have low quality shound is just bullshit to be honest. Anyone with an ounce of sense can find DVD quality picture and sound quality film downloads!

So, you get over your frustration at being told you're going to jail and you sit happily watching the film. That is, until 10 minutes in and someone is bored and has lost interest. Those arses that start talking, or crunching on popcorn, or fidgeting or pushing the back of your chair. Then a little later into the film, having forces those noises into the background, someone stands up to go to the toilet and blocks the screen during that vital plot scene. All the while you're struggling to keep the blood flowing through your legs and prevent DVT as you have less leg room than if you were on an international flight.

And if you get a backache or you need the toilet yourself, you're in a cinema and can't, of course, pause the film. Nor can you alter the volume from some defening level, or adjust the air conditioning so that you don't shiver.

So, pray tell me, what on earth is the benefit to watching a film in the cinema. Large televisions are cheap nowadays and films come to rent within weeks of release (rather than months back in the 90s). You can eat cheap pop corn and take your own water, you get to sit in a huge comfy arm chair, start the film when you want, pause it and go to the pub half way though, rewind bits if you don't quite get what happened or want to see that amazing explosion once more. All the advantages to film watching are at home!

And disregarding all of this, surely the top dogs at the film companies can see that the quality and enjoyment factor of the films they're throwing out these days is sub-par. People just aren't interested in the crap that they're releasing. I ask you... think of your favourite film in the world, ever. I bet you it wasn't made in the past 5 years.

[Edit: By the way, Cars isn't the best Pixar film. It's too long but does have a few funny bits. It's most certainly not a genre progressing or changing film.]

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by James at 20:33 on 01st Aug 2006
"By the way, Cars isn't the best Pixar film. It's too long but does have a few funny bits. It's most certainly not a genre progressing or changing film."

Well there goes my Orange Wednesday plan for tomorrow! Any other suggestions?

(By the way the plan is to SMUGGLE the water in, it adds to the thrill of the cinema experience, making you think you got away with something you shouldn't! I managed to sneak a Burger King meal in once!)

by Matt at 20:46 on 01st Aug 2006
Haha, I wrote that about Cars after having a rant, it's not too bad to be honest. It's lovely to have Jeremy Clarkson and Michale Schumaker in it!

And haha, next time I shall smuggle - if I ever find myself in the situation of the majority of friends wanting to go. I wonder what the biggest thing you can smuggle into a cinema is! :)

by James at 01:12 on 03rd Aug 2006
Cars was good. Just got back from Ashford Cineworld. So funny, I never have a problem with idiots at the cinema, but guess what, 5 14-year old girls at the back had other plans for me! Grrr!

It must just be this film that attracts the wrong crowd! Ah well, they left about half an hour before the end and never came back, they probably didn't pay to get in or something.

I was the first to notice Jeremy Clarkson in our group! Hehe :)

As for smuggling, I didn't this time, I was shafted 5.90 for a medium popcorn and medium Pepsi. Rip off merchants.

by Matt at 02:34 on 03rd Aug 2006
You know when some distant relative dies. You never knew them so it doesn't make you cry. But you still get that sinking feeling deep in your heart?

That's the feeling I get knowing you spent a fortune on some deep fried corn and coke that will have cost them pence, not pounds. :-(

by James at 10:49 on 03rd Aug 2006
I know. The worst part is i only ate a third of the popcorn. Finished the drink though so that's a plus I guess.

by James at 12:11 on 03rd Aug 2006
Random bit of trivia about Clarkson in cars from Wikipedia:
"In addition to television, Clarkson also has a role in the Pixar movie Cars as the voice of Harv, Lightning McQueen's agent, but only in the British release Harv is played by Jeremy Piven in the North American release."