Archive for Summer

Tennis Lessons and Waco Texas

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 04/09/2010 by arabrhizome

So, after the disgracefully short post of yesterday, I have decided to try and provide a longer post today. Now we all know this might not work out. It can not work out in many ways: It could just be long enough but be so boring that you would wish it was shorter, or it could go into unwanted details that leave you feeling a little bit dirty, or simply not be long because I don’t have much to say. So let’s go on this merry adventure of discovery, filled with risks of boredom.

Well today was interesting because I signed up for tennis lessons. Yes I am officially middle class. I will be taking tennis lessons for the next few weeks. It’s funny having discovered this, let’s face it, summer sport at the end of summer. But I am excited about it. I’d like to learn how to keep the ball in the court. Also, I’d like to learn how to direct it, because at the moment it kind of decides where to go on it’s own. I’m like an active spectator. I see the ball coming towards me, I move my hand in it’s direction and then it goes somewhere. I don’t really have much choice there. Anyway, hopefully the lessons will help me there.

I’m quite worried that the people taking the lessons with me, because it’s in groups, will be old ladies, but hey you never know I might discover that I am actually a gerontophile. I am hoping that the people there will be cool, or geekey like me. I mean geekey like me, I know I’m not cool. Oh and I’m not saying that so you tell me I am cool, most of you are geeks too. Face it, you read my blog, you can’t be cool. The thing is the lessons are for adults, so at least there won’t be any children there. Although there might be some young people who have their pants showing from under their trousers. Why can’t they just pull them up? Idiots.

Anyway, if you’re still reading after I have ostensibly insulted you and said quite explicitly that you are not cool, you should know that I am lashing out because I’m a bit tired. You see after registering for the lessons, I went and played some tennis. I was a little bit better than last time and I was able to have a few exchanges with my partner, which made the game actually more enjoyable. I’m still only passing the ball around and haven’t actually played an actual game of tennis, but that’ll come after I become a great player from my lessons. I like starting something new, because it’s all potential. So right now I could potentially be a fantastic player, or a horrible one. I will most probably end up being quite mediocre but I don’t know that yet. The possibilities are endless… Well the possibilities are in fact quite finite but they are still possibilities. In a few months I will know, right now I can dream.

In other news, I have registered with lovefilm.com, which is quite exciting. I get to have dvds delivered to my mail box. The first film they’re sending me is Moon. I heard a lot of good things about it and can’t wait to watch it. I am also looking forward to watching Agora, but they said that there is a long wait for that one. It’s good that I can catch up on movies because for the past few years I haven’t watched a lot of them. I will also get a few tv series that I missed in the past, like Life On Mars for example. I am quite excited about this new subscription.

Well, that’s all I can think of that has happened to me today. However, I can hear your disappointed voices in front of your screens muttering that this post was in fact quite short. I am hearing these voices whether you are actually saying something or not. I have always heard voices and so I tend to attribute them to people in order to make it sound less creepy. I am not insane! So I will answer your pleas for more. I will tell you a story from my past. So gather round the monitors everyone and be ready for a tale of courage, cowardice, divine inspiration, and mainly social awkwardness. Some of you know this story, but I think you might enjoy reading/hearing it again.

It was a few years ago, back in Lebanon. I was at my old university with Z. We were hanging out by the main gate. I had my guitar with me. Z went to the loo and I was playing my guitar to myself. My mind was wandering and I had my eyes closed. Then I felt a few shadows around me. So I opened my eyes and was confronted with three American men. Now I knew they were americans because they were wearing the typical westerner going around the world outfit, with the backpack, sandals, short trousers and ‘ethnic’ bracelets/necklaces. But also, because they were clearly surprised that we had buildings and roads and that the main means of transport wasn’t the camel. Also, Z and I had a sort of gift for attracting Americans, sometimes it meant that we made great friends, but mainly it meant that we had to deal with some weird and awkward conversations that were mainly patronising.

So I say hi and start conversing with these people, not pre-judging the outcome of this chance meeting. The conversation started innocuously with a discussion of my guitar abilities and our tastes in music. So they asked me what kind of music I liked and I asked them what they liked. They answered by telling me that they liked things like Dave Mathews Band, Pearl Jam, praise music, and folk music. The first clue to the direction of that conversation and the rest of the encounter is in there. And then I Honestly don’t know how the conversation became about Jesus.

At this point Z got back and as soon as she sat down with us three or four American girls appeared out of nowhere, introduced themselves and then started talking to Z. We were separated, the boys talking to me and the girls to her. They kept telling me about how they found Jesus and talked to him. It was quite creepy especially when I found out that they were actually from Waco Texas. I told them quite quickly that I am in fact an Atheist and that I’m not really interested in religions. Z was quite nice to them, but was still firm in explaining her lack of interest in finding Jesus in her. In fact, at some point one of the girls told her that she could see Jesus in her, to which Z responded quite masterfully by looking down at her stomach and saying wow is there a hole there?

Anyway, the boys kept trying to get me to say that we are all born with the original sin and that we should repent. I kept quoting Nietzsche to their faces and using the argument from evil to counter their claims that there is a loving deity out there. They kept telling me about how when they spoke to Jesus last night he told them that they would meet someone who is lost and needs to find his way to him and that they should help him. The problem is that before we got to talking about Jesus, I had given them my phone number. I know rookie mistake.

So after a while we got rid of them, or left more likely and went back home. They told us that they were around for another two or three weeks so we decided, like the courageous heroes that we are to just avoid uni for the next two or three weeks in order not to run into them. We were mainly successful with one hairy moment when we saw them from afar and had to hide by going inside a restaurant. But the story doesn’t end there.

A couple of weeks later I wasn’t feeling too well. We were at my place when my phone rang. I didn’t recognise the number and so answered. It was one of them. He was calling to see if we could meet up before he leaves. Fortunately I didn’t have to lie and told him that I was in fact a little bit ill and so would not be able to leave my house. He said that he felt sorry for that and asked me if I wouldn’t mind if he prayed for me. I said ‘oh thanks that’s nice.’ At that point this is what he said, on the phone:

– ‘Dear Jesus! Thank you for everything you have done for me. Also, thanks for letting me meet such a cool guy as H. He is a great guy and I hope you can help him feel better and not be ill anymore. Amen’

I was flabbergasted. He had just prayed at me over the phone. I was in fact so shocked that the only thing I could say was ‘thanks?’. In a very small and inquisitory voice. We said good bye and I was left feeling a little bit violated. I was happy though that I didn’t say amen back to him and felt that at least I had this small victory over him. It was quite a disturbing encounter. I was targeted by crazy Waco Texas born-again Christian missionaries.

Anyway, I think that now this post can be seen as long enough. I hope you have enjoyed my little tale of the weird Christians who prayed at me. I am now going to watch something on my lovefilm online watching thing and then shower and sleep. I will try to have some kind of adventure tomorrow in order to have something to write about. Otherwise I might have to think about another crazy story from my past to recount to you.

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No Weight Loss

Posted in Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 02/09/2010 by arabrhizome

So I’ve been going to the gym for almost two weeks now, and I’ve been watching what I eat for almost a month and still no result. I haven’t shifted a single kilo. This is quite annoying. I know it should take time, but I’d like to see at least some result. I have decided to buy myself a proper set of scales, cause the ones I have are just completely wrong and start to weigh myself in the mornings.

A and I speculated that my apparent lack of weight loss could be due to the fact that I’ve been drinking a lot of liquid while working out, so that it masks any loss of weight. I know it’s probably not that, but it’s all I have people so don’t judge me. I am getting fitter though and I’ve been building up my endurance a bit. Hopefully I’ll be able to run for 20 minutes, not walk and run, by the end of September.

I have been also thinking of taking tennis lessons. They’re not that expensive, and that way I can play properly with Z and maybe with A later. Because at the moment, I am not able to keep the ball in the court 7 times out of 10, and I’m being generous. So I’m hoping the lessons do happen.

All of this exercise is getting me happy though. My endorphin levels are clearly high. I’m happy and smiley. Hopefully that’ll mean that my work becomes more consistent and productive. I am going to try Uni tomorrow. Hopefully I can get some work done there and be able to get underway with what I’m working on right now.

So the Gym itself was quite fun. It was mainly empty while I was there, which was a nice change after all the leering and showing off of the last few times. I had fun pushing myself a bit more every time. In fact,I almost had a stitch today but was able to modify the speed of my run in order to avoid it. It was quite funny as I can’t remember the last time I had a stitch. It must have been about 10 years ago or something. I used to be fit and athletic, but then I discovered rock and roll and decided that sport is not cool. Which to be fair, compared to smoking and playing music, isn’t that cool!

In other news, A is back and came over to hang out, as you might have realised since I mentioned him a few times. I had to show him Resonance of Fate. It really is an excellent game, I highly recommend it for any JRPG fan. But probably not for non-JRPG fans or non hardcore RPG players. It does get repetitive (haha I said tit) and if you’re not used to that it might be quite boring in places.

Anyway, it’s nice that A’s back. Now I have to wait for B to come and visit. She is coming soon so that’s something to look forward to. I’m hoping not to have too much to do while she’s here. I know she’ll be busy with her friends and stuff, but it would be nice to hang out with her a bit. Anyway, time for me to go and attempt to sleep, even though I am not even a little bit sleepy.

Tennis

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 01/09/2010 by arabrhizome

I played tennis today for the first time in 10 or 15 years. I had played once back then. So I was approaching this as a bit of a virgin, or at least one that wasn’t sure if the time before really counted as the first time. Luckily Z was with me and she hasn’t played in a bout 10 years, but played for a while then, which meant she was the experienced one. So she took me by the hand and made me feel comfortable and taught me a few things. She was nice to me when I made mistakes and kept pointing out what I needed to do to improve my technique.

Anyway, now that I have made you all laugh with the double speak of the earlier paragraph I can write a bit more seriously about it. I enjoyed hitting the ball around quite a bit, even though we found it hard to have a long exchange going, as I kept hitting the ball over the fence or into the net. I’m hoping that I will keep getting better and that I will soon be able to hit the ball better. I am looking forward to that.

I sweated a lot while playing, one reason is that I am fat and so any exercise will make me sweat profusely. The other reason was that tennis requires a lot of energy expenditure. And finally, it was quite hot today. But all in all it felt like a nice alternative to the gym. It is a bit of a shame that we only really started playing at the end of summer, and so will probably have to stop soon and wait for the sun to come back out in order to play again. Unless we’re able to get an indoors court during the winter.

The experience was very enjoyable and I am looking forward to the next time we play. It would be nice for me to vary my exercise routines and introduce other sports. I need to start swimming again very soon. I just feel a bit self conscious about going to the pool in ostensibly my underwear when I look like I do. But then I keep telling myself that if I am serious about losing weight then I should swim. So my psyche is a bit fucked up. I think I will attempt a go this weekend and see how much I can do.

Well that’s pretty much all I have to write about as I’m exhausted. I need to sleep and wake up early tomorrow and do a lot of work. Also, it seems that my use of the imperative in my last post was taken seriously, as I have lost a good portion of you today. I was only joking, please read my blog and procrastinate. It only takes a few minutes, and it makes you kind of happy, or at least I hope it does. Come on, read my blog and I will help you to forget about the inevitability of death for a few minutes.I am not mentally ill.

Liverpool Part 2

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Food, Me, Silly Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 19/08/2010 by arabrhizome

Well I am starting to write this post on my laptop in the train back from Liverpool. Since I don’t have internet access I’m writing it on Word and then will copy and paste it onto wordpress. I know! Don’t you love admin details? I will be sprinkling my posts with such fascinating info from now on, it’s important I think to introduce a bit of boring detail in order to counteract the excitement created by the new trailer feature that I have introduced. The point is I don’t want you all to burst too much with excitement, otherwise you might die of a heart attack and I’ll have one less hit on my blog. Anyway, later on today’s post: skinheads in a graveyard, untouchable participative art, Great food, all of that was done yesterday, and stay tuned to find out weather I’ll get to talk about what we did today as well or will there be a Liverpool part 3? You’ll have to wait and see, there will be a Liverpool Part 3, I will not tell you if there will be or not, there will be one, just wait to find out.

So I’m back on wordpress and at home now. So I talked about the cathedral yesterday and how nice it was, although I was pissed off at the fact that they get more money then they should. I didn’t talk about two things that happened: One, I pooped in a cathedral… In the loo not on the altar or anything! I am an atheist but not that militant! Second, there was an appeal thing from a group called ‘families fighting for justice‘. Now, I’ve never lost a family member or a loved one to a homicide, so I am talking from the outside (I must also mention that I have never committed any homicide of any sort, just to be clear). I was disturbed by their slogan ‘Life should mean life’. I don’t really know what that means. Is it a call for capital punishment or for life imprisonment? I am hoping it is the latter as that would be less disturbing. However I’m still not sure I would agree with a life sentence. I’ll probably blog about it in more detail at a latter time, but the main reason is that I hope prison would be rehabilitating rather than punishment. I am aware that it isn’t at the moment and that the whole institution should be rethought and restructured. Of course that would go hand in hand with a proper social critique and rearrangement that would deal with the reasons and causes of violence rather than the symptoms. But as I said this is supposed to be a light hearted-ish post so I’ll revisit this issue latter.

Anyway, when we got out of the cathedral we noticed that there was a nice looking and peaceful looking graveyard right next to it. So we thought we’d go down and look at the old gravestones, something Z and I really enjoy doing. I know it sounds a bit morbid, but it’s very interesting to see gravestones that date back to olden times. It’s a cheap and not real way of time travelling. Anyway, as we were going down the small footpath that leads to the graveyard, admiring the gravestones that were put on the sides we were passed by three emo looking teenagers and a man with a shaved head who had a dog. I remember thinking that when we were kids we used to think that going to drink at the cemetery was very cool, I thought the shaved head man was a little scary but I didn’t stick to it too much. I wonder what will happen? I didn’t give it away with the trailer… oh wait I did.

So as we got to the end of the winding footpath we saw two very drunk men (also with shaved heads) staggering up the footpath with a huge bottle of something (cider or beer I didn’t look too closely as drunk men with shaved head can become stabby in this country). Then we saw that what we though was a nice and calm graveyard was in fact full of men with shaved heads getting drunk and probably shooting up, there were some weird looking women as well. At this point we realised that this was a large group, or smaller individual groups, of skinheads who were using the graveyard for their inebriation. We quickly turned around, although not in a very obvious way as if we were running away from them, and slowly started going up the footpath back to civilisation and away from skinheads.

As we were going up there was a bit of commotion behind us. I had a quick look and saw that a man was shouting while a woman was egging him on. He started to walk quickly up the footpath, and I almost touched cloth (if you don’t know what touching cloth is google it and be prepared for a nice surprise). Then I heard what he was saying ‘if (someone’s name) drank that bottle I’ll fucking kick his head in the fucking bastard’ or words to that effect. I felt a bit better as his ire was clearly directed at someone else, probably one of the two men we saw staggering up. At the top of the footpath we saw him and the lady who was with him join the two men and have a laugh with them. We considered following them for a bit to see what wacky adventures they would have, but then thought that these adventures might end up with our photos in the paper next to a headline reading ‘Three fatal stabbing’.

After that we thought of going to the Beatles story, but the last entry was at 5 and I had to pee, so we missed it. We decided to go to the Tate instead. We were too late to go to the special exhibition, but had time to check out the actual permanent exhibit. The stuff that they have there is very very nice. But, and it’s a big but (and you know that I love big buts and I cannot lie… hahaha, I am funny), there were many pieces that were clearly meant to be interacted with they were behind glass or surrounded by rope with signs that say please do not touch. I was very cross about it. There was a door, that was clearly meant for the spectator to pass through, close and open, and generally interact with. However, we couldn’t even get near it, I passed through it a couple of times while the guard person was looking away. She was none the wiser. Haha I stuck it to authority, look at me and my anarchist rebellious acts.

One of the pieces that was behind glass (or plexi-glass) is a metal object that was created to be handled and made into different shapes by the audience. I was very cross that it was behind plexi-glass, especially when the description of the artist and piece made it clear that this was meant to be participative art. There were also two or three more pieces that should have been touched and interacted with, yet were behind glass or rope. That is just wrong. When this art was created, it was interesting and important because it was questioning the relationship of the artist, the art, and the audience. Yet by putting them in a traditional context of exposition behind glass the whole point is lost. I wanted to ask why they did that, and maybe even write a letter, but then decided not to do it. I think that writing about it here is nice, but I don’t know if it is enough. I still might write them a letter to complain.

After the Tate, we went to have a drink and then went to eat. We ate at the Jamie Oliver restaurant. Z and I are big fans of Jamie, as we love his approach to food and his engagement with various worthy political efforts. His quest to make school food better is a very worthy cause I think. Also, the fact that he gets the people who work in his restaurants from deprived areas and teach them useful skills is fantastic. The atmosphere at the restaurant was great. The staff looked like they were having the time of their lives working. They all had smiles on their faces and were joking around with each other. They kept dancing around and playing around when they were waiting for something or doing nothing. It felt like a great group of friends who happen to work together.

Then came the food… It was excellent. We had the selection of Italian breads and the wild boar salami at first. The breads were drizzled with olive oil and had some rosemary thrown on, a wonderful touch. The salami was more like saucisson sec and was full of flavour. Then, I had the lamb chops, they were gorgeous. The lamb itself was magnificent and it was cooked to perfection. Z had the fish in a bag, it was one of the best things I have ever tasted. The most interesting thing about this whole experience is that all of these foods are doable at home. They are all from his tv programs and books. I will try to recreate that fish in a bag because it was just unbelievable. I then had some ice cream at the end, and that was great as well. The ice cream was clearly made without any artificial colouring as the strawberry was barely pink, yet tasted just like the fruit. In the end, this lovely meal came out to 50-ish £. I think that’s absolutely fair enough. I would have been happy to pay more for such high quality of food and service.

Well, that went on for longer then I expected. No one can complain that I phone these posts in. Now that I’m thinking about it. I don’t think I have enough stuff to talk about in the next post. Oh no I’ve given it away there will be a Liverpool Part 3. Well I guess we’ll have to wait and see if I can manage to wriggle out a story or two about the whole day we spent in Liverpool. To be honest I don’t think I’ll be able to, yes I will, I guess you’ll have to tune in tomorrow to arabrhizome and find out. In the mean time I hope you all have a good night as I am getting ready to go to bed and have a rest from the very busy day I’ve had. Oh no I gave it away, it was a busy day, so a lot of things have happened, so I will be able to write a good post tomorrow. Anyway, good night.

Deer and Rowing

Posted in Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 15/08/2010 by arabrhizome

So today we had a long and fun day out. First we went to uni and walked around there. It really is a lovely campus. We showed A around and he loved it. After that we stopped by the lake and had a coffee at the lakeside cafe. We then decided to take a rowing boat out, even though none of us have ever been on one. We decided that I would start rowing because I am the one with the most experience, since I use the rowing machine at the gym. So it came down to this, my skill at using the rowing machine would be tested. Also, the accuracy of the machine at reproducing the actual live action would be tested. I got on the boat last, as the boy there ominously said: ‘who’s rowing?’ I replied that it was me, so he said ‘well you get in last.’

I was frightened of dropping Z and A into the horrible murky, dirty, bird-poo filled waters of the university lake. I didn’t mind falling in myself, since I would have brought it on myself, but having two innocents fall in was really disturbing. Anyway, so I started rowing. It was strange and quite unlike anything I’ve done before. More importantly, it was very counter intuitive: I had my back to the direction I was steering my boat towards. It was really weird. After a few minutes I was able to get the boat moving in roughly the right direction, it wasn’t fast but at least it was moving. So we moved along the lake, more or less, for a while surrounded by ducks and geese (the geese looked quite vicious), while my technique kept improving a little.

We then decided that A would have a go. So we awkwardly changed places, trying to rock the boat as little as possible. The exchange was successful and I was happy to see that A had just as much trouble as I did keeping the boat moving in the right direction. In fact, if I am being honest, he did slightly worse than me, and I was slightly satisfied by this, I am a horrible competitive idiot. After he rowed for a bit Z wanted a go and so we had a go at the awkward-changing-places-without-falling-in-the-water dance again, and Z took control of the boat. She was able to move it forward as well, but again didn’t do as well as me, which I was very pleased about, more pleased than A because I know how competitive she is so it was doubly pleasurable.

The I had to row again, because we wanted to go back to the people with the same person rowing, so they think that I rowed the whole time. However, this time I was somehow able to row quite well. I finally figured out the right movements and the right position to put my legs in, and my rowing was great. I was able to control the boat and move properly. Also, I realised that the rowing machine is actually quite accurate in its reproduction of real life rowing. And so after I understood how to row properly I suddenly felt very empowered. It had a bit of a primordial caveman sense to it. I can only explain it by comparing it to the way I feel when I successfully start a barbecue fire: ‘I am man I start fire!’. Today I felt like that except it was more like: ‘I am man I make boat move on water!’

After this successful first day of rowing I decided that I will do it every possible opportunity I get from now on. By it I mean rowing not sex like you dirty minded people are thinking… Get your minds out of the gutter, you disgust me. We then went to town to have lunch, our bus was diverted and so we couldn’t go where we first wanted to go. We ended up having a nice pub lunch in a place we like quite a lot.

After lunch feeling all full we decided to go to Wollaton Park and walk around there a little bit. As soon as we walked in there was a deer in front of us. She seemed to be pregnant and was grazing next to the footpath we were going to walk on. So we spent a while taking pictures and just marvelling at the fact that it was merely feet away from us. We’ve been to Wollaton a few times yet have never seen a deer this close. Yet on A’s first visit, here it was grazing next to us. We saw another deer a few meters further along. It was quite pleasing.

We then walked around the park. After getting back home I’ve realised that I haven’t actually done the work I’m supposed to do and should get my arse moving in that department. I tried to work tonight but wasn’t able to concentrate. Anyway, I have decided to take Tuesday to finish my chapter off. I hope it is enough time.

Seaside

Posted in Culture, Food, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 02/08/2010 by arabrhizome

Today we went to the seaside, Skegness to be more precise. It was lovely. I really miss the sea and it’s nice to know that I can get there and back for less than 15£ whenever I need a bit of a fix. It’s my first time at the proper seaside here in England. I’ve been to South Hampton before but it doesn’t really count as it is a gulf and looks more like a closed space. This was the open sea. It was also my first time seeing the North Sea. All in all it was a nice day. The whole place felt like the holidays. There was plenty of very colourful candy shops, vans selling ice cream, rides, shops that sold trinkets for a fortune, and of course kids screaming, shouting, and being high on sugar and high fat foods.

The way there was a bit of a pain though. The carriage we were on was full of children. They were very excited because they’re going to the seaside. They didn’t shut up for the whole two hours there. Between the shouting, the crying, the shouts of ‘are we there yet?’, and the constant smell of poo, the ride could be described as uncomfortable. There was one family in particular that stood out. I think it was the grandmother, or great grandmother (who was in her late 40s or early 50s), Her daughter (30s), her daughter (late teens or at most 20) and son (mid teens), and the son of the daughter (a toddler). At some point the teenage girl just got up, and in the middle of the very busy carriage and in my full line of sight, fixed a frontal wedgy she was suffering from. For the last 40 minutes of the ride the toddler was throwing a tantrum and they all decided to ignore him. He was screaming, crying, and annoying all of us, but they chose to just ignore him and continue as if nothing was happening. Now that might work in the privacy of one’s own home, but on public transport I find it is better to just shut the kid up.

However, the discomfort of the train ride quickly subsided when we stepped into the colourful carnival atmosphere in Skegness. We walked to the beach and saw the donkeys that are used for children’s rides. Donkeys have a real sadness in their eyes I have noticed. It’s not these particular donkeys who seem sad, but all donkeys I find. They just look like they carry the weight of the world on their backs. We had some cockles (I always want to call them cuckolds for some reason) on our way. And then we had some fish and chips at probably one of the worst places to have fish and chips in the whole of Skegness. My mom insisted we sit there as ‘they have seats outside so I can smoke’. Anyway, the point is that being around the sea made me feel incredibly good. I feel energised and happy. I really miss the sea.

You see my whole life it’s been very close to me. Did I write about this before? I feel like I have, so I won’t keep going until I check my earlier posts and see for myself. I’ll continue the description tomorrow. The point is though that living in Nottingham, which is in the middle of England is not the best thing for someone who has lived within a few minutes of the sea his whole life. But  like I said now I know I can be by the sea within 2 hours and for less than 15£.

The way back was a lot smoother as the train was clean and quite. I think the kids used up all of their energy at the seaside. We got back and had a nice Chinese wanton soup and just relaxed. Tomorrow will be a bit more relaxed, although it will involve some walking and a few bus trips to town. Wednesday and the dreaded supervision are approaching fast though. I really can’t wait for it to be over.

Weird

Posted in Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 10/07/2010 by arabrhizome

Today was a not so productive day thesis-wise. I did however do the laundry and do some clearing up. My flat is still quite cluttered and in need of a big clean. I will do that very soon. I went shopping as well and got a few nice things, mainly for the pantry.

Other than that my day was not very eventful. I did however see the Beeston Carnival when I went to do laundry, and let me tell you it was… oof… yeah… hmmm… eeeeh… Weird. When I first got there there was a lady with a tiny karaoke machine hooked up to a huge PA system. She was singing something mawkish and ballady as you would expect. She was surrounded by people who seemed to be not so much entertained as bored out of their minds. It looked like they would rather be anywhere but here. Yet they didn’t move as if they were held hostage there. It was quite weird. A few 12 year old girls were singing along though, again as you would expect.

I walked beyond the karaoke lady and her unwilling audience to go in the carnival proper, and let me tell you it was… oof… yeah… hmmm… eeeeh… Weird. There were many stalls but non of them seemed to be carnivally. There was an HSBC stall, as well as other banks, a few insurance companies, some charities, and that was basically it. Weirder still the stalls were empty. They didn’t even have flyers or anything.

As I walked further in things got a bit better, there was a bouncy castle, an ice cream truck, and a burger van. The atmosphere was very strange. I would describe it as gentle depressive resignation. The sun was out, which tempered the usual bleakness of Beeston. The people seemed resigned to the fact that this carnival was the best thing they could expect, with its bank stalls without any flyers. Apart from children who were bouncing away, no one was really smiling, which weirdly made me smile. It was really funny to see the juxtaposition of the bleakness of the actual event and the colourfulness of its name “Beeston’s Carnival”.