Friday, May 26, 2006

Czech this out

I have wanted to go to Prague for quite a bit. I don't know why. I think I saw it on TV and just decided that I had to go for myself. Well, now I have and I wasn't disappointed. Prague is a wonderful city to visit. Full of beautiful architecture, impressive churches, bridges, narrow cobbled streets, little street cafes and bars, a wonderful castle, museums and plenty of history. There are loads of shops selling Czech goods such as crystal and wooden toys and puppets. In one such shop I was insanely happy to be reaquainted with a blast from the past when I found a toy Mole which was a Czech cartoon character that I adored as a small child.

The first evening I was there, I dumped my stuff at the hotel as I couldn't wait to get out and see the place. Every corner turned was a new discovery and I just wandered around taking everything in until it clouded over suddenly and I got caught in a big electric storm and torrential rain. I wasn't bothered though. I was in an exciting foreign city and the storm just added to the adventure. I spent the next three days walking miles looking around and taking it all in. The view from the castle across the red roofs of the city is amazing and I also went on a lovely boat trip down the Vltava river which runs through the city. All I can say, is the pictures don't do it justice. Go and see it for yourself but avoid the weekends - as I was leaving I saw several stag parties lurching through the airport about to be let loose on Prague so it was the right time to get back on the plane.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Definition of fun

I don't enjoy shopping. Dodging random shoping trolleys, trying to ignore screaming children running around, trying not to make eye contact with the mad old lady in the pet food aisle, the surly staff who communicate in grunts or worse still the chatty check-out operator who talks to you about Eastenders even though you have clearly indicated that you would rather chew off your right foot than watch it! I usually try the 'Viking Raid' approach: Go in, grab what I want and leave as quickly as possible, though I must say that I don't usually kill anyone or burn the supermarket afterwards no matter how tempting.... I have tried going out of hours but invariable you can't get down most of the aisles because of shelf stacking and the fresh produce left on the shelf looks like it is long past time for it to be laid to rest in the fruit graveyard. I have also tried having my groceries delivered which is OK for produce but not great for fresh stuff. So, every week I find myself in one of these hell holes letting my mind wander, as it doesn't want to be there even if my body has to be. On one such occassion it occurred to me that 'Fun Size' items are often smaller and more expensive. Now, I ask you, where is the fun in that??? Also, how are bananas, oranges, apples etc. fun anyway? I suppose it's what you do with them? Quite frankly I think chocolate, cheesecake, syrup pudding and anything else "bad for you" is far more fun but there's no accounting for some folk. Some people actually enjoy shopping!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Something in the woods...

So...what did you do this weekend? I found myself running around a wooded area south of Salisbury dressed in camouflage and armed with a nice big automatic G36 BB gun. Yep, this was my first airsoft experience and I had fun. Lots. Well, most of the time I did anyway. I did get bored a bit whilst sitting in the middle of a bush waiting for the enemy to strike and then they didn't get as far as me. I did have a moment of madness however, when I agreed to rush a village hut complex with M. Others agreed to follow us but what we thought would be a sizeable ambush turned out to be a two person Kamikazi mission... except not one BB hit me. It was like that scene out of Pulp Fiction where the bullets miss John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson. To be fair I think M took most of the fire but I know one or two whistled by very close indeed. M was covered in little red marks and surprised me on the way home by emptying a BB from his ear.

The airsoft site was run by Ground Zero and was pretty huge with about 250 of us there. The place looked like a boot camp and just needed some cool sixties music to make the scene complete, though South England could not be mistaken for the jungle of Vietnam. I felt like a bit of a novice as I only had one gun and a DPM shirt and helmet while some folk were completely kitted out and looked like walking armouries. I was glad to however, to see some people in jeans and trainers so I didn't look totally green (apart from the DPM!). Now all I have to do is get some decent kit and go again. Anyone know where you can get decent DPM to fit women? :-)

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Highway Cod

OK, is it me or has the standard of driving in the UK dropped dramatically in the last few years? Driving around the city where I live I often see:
No indication - what are those pretty lights at the corner of the car for anyway??
Parking that makes the car look like it's abandoned or has been left at the side of the road by a "hard hitting" cop in the line of duty in a hollywood movie
Running red lights!! - what are those pretty lights on sticks for anyway??
Sporadic lane changing on roundabouts. I'm sorry folks but you never move into the center of a roundabout once you have joined it and you don't whizz around on the outside either hoping that centrifugal force will spin you off in the right direction.
Cars being cut up all the time
Middle lane hogs on the motorway
Aggressive driving
Cars being driven at a 'safe' 40 mph no matter what the speed limit, be it 60mph or 30mph...
...the list is endless. The thing that gets me, is that if someone cuts you up or tries to inhabit the same physical space that you are already thoughtlessly inhabiting then you end up with a truck load of abuse hurled at you. Just this morning I had someone nearly pull into me out of a junction because they weren't looking and apparently I am a "stupid f*****g bitch" (accompanied by some very imaginitive hand gestures) for daring to be there. Someone needs a copy of the highway code as their driving skills and social behaviour seem a bit fishy to me....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Wot no adventure?

Is it just me or are the films being released this year a bit on the boring side for the most part? Being interested in film I have just been on the web site of my local cinema and as usual I am unexcited about what passes as a "choice" of films to see. For the large part I am unimpressed to say the least! Where has all the adventure gone? Where are the big characters doing exciting things? Bring back Indiana Jones, bring back Star Wars (Episodes 4-6 at any rate, Jar Jar Binks sucked big time!). Where is Arnie in our hour of need?

All I can see are so called 'chick flicks' (a phrase I positively loathe so don't even get me started on that!), socio-realist dramas, horror movies designed to top trump each other on how shocking they can be (such as Hostel - a film I will not be going anwhere near), kids films (about the best of a bad bunch - witness the fab Narnia, though don't mention Harry Potter), and the resurgence of films starring blimmin' animals!! Now, don't get me wrong I like penguins and I quite like huskies but I do not want to watch a film starring them. That would have to be one heck of an entertaining penguin / husky! I got a bit excited recently when I saw the trailer for Tristan and Isolde (also an excellent opera by Wagner) but it turns out that the leads are a bit wet (according to CQ) although the fab Rufus Sewell is apparently excellent in it. I was hoping for more action. Looks like Pirates of the Carribean 2 will be the most adventure we are liable to get this year. Ho hum.