Sunday, July 26, 2009

Up for Review

I've started a new blog, it's for reviewing things; restaurants, bars, clubs, markets, delicatessens, gig venues, hair-dressers, etc, etc. Basically whatever I fancy.

For now I'm going to update it quite a lot, to get a bit of content in there and make it worth looking at. After a while this will drop to one review per week. Before then, though, this place is probably going to get neglected again. Not much, just a bit - I won't be looking for things to write here, I'll be looking for things to write there instead.

Have a peak at the new one if you're bored and have the time, and feel free to leave a comment. I'll put a permanent link to it in the links section later, once it's been running a while.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not My Genes

A couple of weeks ago, when we first moved into the hell hole, it became obvious that I would need some clothes I didn't really care about that I could do extreme cleaning and DIY in. This was a problem. It turns out I don't own any clothes I don't like.

If something is to old I either throw it away or give it to charity. If it's too ugly I don't buy it in the first place. If it's the wrong size the same is true, and since I've been the same size for clothing since I was about 14 the only way anything might not fit me is if I managed to shrink it in the wash. Too large isn't a problem for DIY, too small is.

However, I do own a lot of clothing, so after much deliberation and rooting-through of my wardrobe I discovered a couple of items that I don't wear much and wouldn't really miss. Especially if their destruction produced an opportunity to go shopping.

Among these items was a pair of dark blue, plain, straight leg jeans. From Gap. I worked at Gap for a while last Summer, and the discount they provided me means that it's not unusual for the odd piece of their produce to be in my wardrobe, even if it's not the kind of stuff I'd normally buy. So finding them did not shock me, I even seem to remember buying them.

What is shocking is that they're plainly not mine. They're about 6 inches too long (I like my jeans a little long for me, but that's just silly). They're too wide at the waist and practically skinny fit at the calf (I assume they're made for someone who's a weird shape, rather than assuming that I am, and I'll thank you to do the same). They're also suspiciously... male-feeling. There seems to be more than the necessary quantity of fabric in... certain regions.

Now, I don't know many guys who wear that style of jeans. I'm certainly not good enough friends with any to have them drop by my flat and change, or to borrow jeans from them. I'm not in the habit of borrowing clothing from guys anyway - I might borrow a belt if mine broke, or a pair of gloves if it got cold, or maybe like a hoodie or something, but always with the intention of washing and returning the next time I saw them.

But Jeans? No. I almost never leave the flat without jeans or the equivalent (read: skirt, trousers, shorts or whatever). So I now don't know what to do. I have somehow acquired these, I am quite certain they are not mine, and I have no idea who they belong to.

If you left a pair of jeans at my flat, or know someone who did, or indeed, if you're in the habit of breaking into people's flats and hiding your clothing in their wardrobe, like some kind of demented fashion-cuckoo, then tough. I wore them for painting, as such, they have been painted.

Guys jeans are weird though. It gave me an unusual perspective on what it must be like to be a guy. I suspect it feels a little...unbalanced.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Third Circle

So, I moved into a new flat about 10 days ago. It's around twice the size of the old one, the bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and hall are all much larger - which is excellent. Naturally I was pretty excited by the prospect.

However (if you've spoken to me at all in the past few days, you'll already know this) the previous tenants were all completely insane. They lived there for two years, and I don't believe they ever cleaned. Ever.

There are signs that they planned to. There was a cupboard full of recycling, behind which we found cleaning products. This tendency to start with good intentions and excellent plans, and then just give up on them is evident throughout the flat. For example, it seems they were into their music, abandoned speakers were in every room, and they'd all been wired up so you could control them from a single point in the kitchen, or individually. They'd started the wiring well, it was neat in some places - in others they'd pretty much dropped the wires on the floor and pinned them to the nearest wall.

That's another point leading to the suggestion of insanity actually; they've left behind tonnes of technology. As well as the speakers they abandoned a classic mac (complete with floppy drive, but no usb ports), an unused 3-in-1 printer, a projector, a handful of amps (if you happen to have massive hands), a tv, and much more!

It's like a shit treasure trove. We even found a couple of lobster creoles. I quickly vetoed the guys suggestion that we keep them as conversation pieces. I reckon I can talk about lobster creoles, even if I've thrown them out. Hell, I'm blogging about them.

After spending a full week cleaning and working our way through the general carnage that was our new abode, we were in a position to use it without breaking into screams of despair every few minutes. Which was nice.

We're now on the DIY stage. Having thrown out most of the broken furniture (no idea why the last people wanted to keep it) we're sanding down and staining the good items. Not doing so would have resulted in splinters. We're also painting walls, ceilings, skirting boards, doors and any other surface that requires it, read: all of them. Soon we'll be able to sand and varnish the floors.

So, I'm asking myself two questions about this place.

Firstly, how exactly did the "people" who lived here before not get extremely ill from living in their own filth and die? Instead of moving away, did they in fact simply "move on?"

Secondly, how much money can I get out of my landlords for leaving the place in such a state? If we didn't have a week's overlap where we had the keys to both the new, and the old flat, we would have needed them to put us up in a hotel for a few days. If we all worked full time, we would have needed them to employ cleaners, joiners and painters.

I'm thinking that we probably deserve the deposit the last tenants paid when they moved in. At least. So, I'll be visiting the landlords at their office next Friday afternoon. I'll be asking for a long list of things, and I won't leave until I've got all the ones I actually want. Could be a looooong day.

P.S. Sorry for neglecting the blog and not being especially funny lately. What with moving, work and study there seems to be little time. I promise to try harder in future ;-)

Friday, July 03, 2009


My excuse for not blogging much lately:

I've been working and organising a flat-move. The new flat is huge. The last tenants were apparently completely insane. Also probably quite ill.

Don't ask me about the move unless you have time to hear me rant. Trust me, I'll be ranting about it here soon.