October 2005 Archives - wibbler.com

Happy Birthday Me

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So this is it – my birthday has arrived! I woke up late this morning, spoiling any plans to get up and open presents. I stumbled into work a few minutes late, and am currently having the busiest day on record at work. Things, as you can imagine, are not going to plan – but at least I’ve got something to look forward to – cakes this afternoon (it’s a tradition, apparently) and Simon H’s last quizmastering at the Cranley Hotel tonight.
Now, back to work…

Great Balls of Pain

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“Would the birthday group please stay behind – the rest of you can go off and get changed.”
The words hit my ears like a juggernaut. We – Michelle, Lucy, Simon H, Jac, Shaun, Nick and I – had been fighting it out in the paintball battlefield somewhere in Horsley for the best part of five hours. Earlier in the month, Michelle had had the brainwave while trying to think of a birthday present for me, and knew that I’d loved paintballing when I’d been before. We’d arrived on time that morning – well, nearly. Jac had had “a hell of a night” and managed to arrive still drunk, still with most of the clothes he had on the night before and “unable to remember much before Junction 11 of the M25”. Still, it provided amusement for the rest of the group, if not for any policemen reading this…
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Escaping to the wilds of Kent…

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It was the first sneeze that gave it away. It was a particularly hearty one, full of purpose, menace and foreboding – one that dared to utter, “You think THAT’s bad – what and see what’s coming!”. And so it was that, on the very morning that Michelle and I set off for a week in a converted barn on the coast, I disappointingly discovered my worst-timed and most annoying cold to date.

Why were we off to Kent? Well, we’d discovered an amazing hotel in Turkey. Bear with me, there’s a link here. You see, we wanted to go to it – but it was so amazing that we decided that we’d need two years to save up for it. And it was at this point that the idea of a “minibreak” was born in the living room at Wibbler Heights – cheap, cheerful and nowhere near home. We’d go on a minibreak this year, the posh Turkish hotel next year. Sorted.

We sourced a holiday cottage catalogue and rested eyes on a top-rated converted barn in Alkham, just near Dover. The white cliffs beckoned this Monday, and after a visit to Tesco to stock up on food, we sped on down to the barn.

It only took two hours – and by that time my nose was in full flow. The cold was taking hold – and stayed there through the next four days. Nevertheless, we managed to fit in several trips into Dover and a trip to France – where the Cite Europe-based TescoFrance superstore took a battering. Our kitchen bar has never looked fuller, and we also can eat popcorn everywhere now, with our microwave stand we got at DesignsAuthority.

Cold aside, it was a good rest in a great cottage – in the middle of nowhere. And now we’re back, preparing for my birthday outing tomorrow. We, ladies and gentlemen, are going paintballing – so expect a full bruise report tomorrow…

Your worries appeased.

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Don’t worry – I know what you’re thinking. It must be an awful strain for you – sleepless nights, furrowed brow, the whole works. You know it’s my birthday on the 26th – but you’ve no idea what to get me. Well, if you think cash or vouchers won’t wash, I have a couple of hints for you. Hint number 1 is sitting snugly in the menu on the left – snappily titled “Buy Me Stuff“. And hint number 2 is here. There. You can relax.