January 2003 Archives - wibbler.com

Bloody Weather

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It was my weekly visit to Head Office, a 128 mile round trip from Guildford, and as I got ready for work, I was very pleased at my timekeeping. Regular readers will be aware of my struggle at getting to work on time – even the best planning can go wrong with the slightest error in my daily routine, or simply forgetting to charge my shaver the previous night. But happily all was going well this morning.
And then Mother Nature decided to throw in a googly.
The crunch under my feet signalled the start of my troubles. Snow simply refused to budge from its new home on my windscreen, and it completely confused my automatic windscreen sensors so much that the wipers seemed to have a vehicular fit every couple of minutes. Oh well, I thought as I slid my way through the blizzard along the main road towards the first major town on my journey, I’m half an hour early – it’ll be fine.
Thirty minutes later, I was 100 feet further along the road. Every car was straining to keep themselves on track. The queue for the M4, the motorway I needed, started 12 miles away from the junction, and I had handily started queueing just as a double decker bus careered into an innocent VW Golf. Then the local radio station summed up the situation: 21 schools had closed, the whole of Surrey was gridlocked, and every road I would be using waas declared an ice rink.
After 3 hours, I’d got 25 miles from Guildford. I passed the time by working out my average speed. 8.3 miles an hour. If things didn’t improve, I would arrive at Head Office at around 11pm. Terrific. Trying to raise anyone at Head Office was rather difficult – not only could many of them not get in, but many were still nursing the effects of the previous night’s Christmas party. It was when I saw people ahead pushing their cars up the hill that I took the immensely easy executive decision to head the hell home again. I phoned Nick; he was most amused by it all. As I write, he’s still battling home, having abandoned all hope of getting to his office.
I thought, as I imagine you do, that that would be the worst of it. It was while I was beginning to overcome severe drivers cramp and the frankly useless tyre grip that the thunder and lightning set in. Flashes arched across the sky, while snow fell, cars skidded across the road, and thunder rumbled through the clouds.
No sign of the locusts yet though.

Strolling Along…

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I’ve been a little sparse (good word) on here of late, having been as busy as a blue-bummed fly. Between booking holidays to Dublin, tickets to Matchbox 20 and Bon Jovi concerts, rugby tickets to see England vs Italy in March, and running my work department on half the usual number of people, it’s been a little hectic. Still, a few things have happened to it would be rude not to mention. First was a free trip to Woking cinema with Michelle, her brother and his fiance (Michelle had won 6 tickets, the lucky tyke) to see City By The Sea. It was more of a private showing really – the first 20 minutes we were the only people in the cinema. Then there was the first visit of the New Year to The Drink nightclub, where we met Alex and Milly for the first time in ages. Alex seems to be still the man to know around town – Champagne flowed freely while he implied that he could get cheap deals for anything I wanted. I took full advantage, and decided to meet him again on Wednesday for a meal. Cracking.

Trophies

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The FA Cup is technically a mug, and the World Cup should be referred to as a vase.
Discuss.

Dublin and Simcity

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Tum te tum. It’s been a fairly standard week so far, with the only real excitment being when Michelle, bless her, not only bought me some longed for socks (I’m easy to please, me), but also the simply superb Simcity 4 game, something that enabled me to stay up until 1am this morning. She’s also finally got Jac, Nick and I to commit to a 3-day trip to Dublin on my birthday, an idea which almost wrecked Shunta’s relationship. And all this while managing to get 2 weeks off work. Bit of a result for her this week…
I would rant about the bloody useless car garage, but I’ll save that for tomorrow…

Cheap month

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My New Year economy drive is in full swing. January’s always an awful month – you’ve spent all your money on presents and pubs, and you have to survive an extra week before you get paid… In the last month, I’ve been to 3 parties – one work do paid for by the nice people at Head Office, and two house parties, where I rudely brought no alcohol and proceeded to drink everyone elses. Of course, thing’s never go to plan, and my car decided that now would be a good time to bring up its two bald tyres, broken cooling fan and dodgy rear brakes. Bless it though – got the tyres fixed yesterday, and it bombs along now. Chessington Tyres, I love you. Kind of.
So, what have I been doing without spending money? Well, I’ve been visiting Head Office, which put expensive lunchtime Marks and Spencer sandwiches well out of reach, and carting Michelle and workmates around for their Christmas do, earning ?20 in the process. I combined my chauffering job with a visit to the Cranley Hotel for a long drink with Jac and Shunta for the first time in ages. Jac managed to discover he could balance his beer on his stomach while standing up (previously he could only manage it sitting down – it’s sad, isn’t it), and the evening ended with a beer towel fight. Jac, as ever, has a full decription of the night here.
While Jac and I wondered out of the pub at about 1am, Shunta stayed at the bar till 4am, no doubt informing everyone how his pus-filled abcess is getting on…