Hmm, I haven't written in here for a while have I?
It's not like I haven't been doing anything and decided against writing a lengthy bore-piece about the sofa, I’ve actually been quite busy. Recent weeks have seen an entertaining wedding reception of Dave from work, where Nige and I seemed to end up dancing to Grease megamixes whilst pissed. We also had the fun of Karl's 30th birthday, followed the next day by a trip down to Bedford to see a Mr. John Woodhouse.
There's been plenty more as well, so why haven't I written about any of it? Well, the prime reason is laziness. It was always going to rear it's ugly head and even though I’m still very bored at work, it all seemed so much hassle to type a hundred or more words joined by erratic punctuation, for the interest or enjoyment of nobody. I'd rather stare into space or play with my collection of desk toys - you can have hours of fun with a plastic spinning top.
Then there is my mood. A couple -one in particular- of the events I would normally write about left me in a bad mood. If I’d have written about it, it would have been horrible; embarassing, unfair and likely to lead to trouble. So I didn't. I get disappointed in people really easily, I bet it grates hard on people’s nerves, so I feel I should tone it down sometimes. Sell out!
So why am I writing something now? Well, we returned from Paris on Sunday and I’d like to write something down about what we did, mainly for my own purpose. The mind is going, in a few years time, I’ll only be able to recall the price of booze in Paris by reading what I've put in here.
I'd arranged with Mimoun to fly at 9:10am. Yet the tickets were lost in the post*, so we had to pick them up from Manchester airport. We decided to get there early enough to leave us time to get the tickets and check-in so we'd picked out the 6:40am train from Preston, as the one to be seen on. So we missed it...
Hee hee, I should have known that would happen. We are such a pair of "Glenn and Marie"s. Therefore I had to bomb it to the airport in my car and leave it in the long-term car park. Please note this for later. We got the tickets and checked-in easily enough. Please note THIS for later.
We got entry to the Air France executive lounge, which was nice, especially seeing as all the drinks, including the alcoholic ones, were complimentary.
Now, I don't like flying. I'm not really scared by it and will happily fly places, it just worries me doing something that doesn't make much sense and which I have no control over. How do they fly? THEY'RE BIG BITS OF METAL! Sparrows can fly, that makes sense, big fuzzy bees, they're a bit fat so have problems with flying. PLANES ARE MASSIVE! Madness! It was quite a good flight there though; it's only an hour from Mancland to Paris, so we were there before I had chance to study my "Big Book On The Physics Of Flying".
Hotel was a bit basic, but then again it was quite cheap, so what do I want? The moon on a stick that's what. It was tidy enough and thankfully we were only on the third floor. The bathroom looked like a set from The Mummy, it was done out in a tasteful brown mosaic, and was so small that you could have a shower, poo and a shave all at the same. The light went in the bathroom after a day or two, meaning you had to have the door open but I never got the courage to shut the door fully anyway. It would have triggered off my claustrophobia like mad. It was okay really, the hotel was very central and they had copies of The Grauniad which we could steal. I think I’m just used to the 4-star class hotel, when the scummier side of hotels is a bit more suited to my scummier side of human being appearance.
We spent the rest of the day wandering around Paris, the sun playing funny tricks with my head. Big yellow bastard! There was a supermarche' just round the corner which could be used to fill us up with cheese, bread and fizzy wine. Hmm, fizzy wine. I decided to develop my annoying attempts at being funny early on, you know, to keep us entertained. So I started pre-fixing everything with 'le', using French words wrongly all over the place and being obviously "over-English". Hil-ar-ious!
One other thing to note is that paying 10 euros (about 7 quid) for a pint of lager leaves a bad taste in the mouth. We learned from that mistake though and resorted to cheap supermarket booze for most other alco-moments.
*Mimoun was the guy I had to phone up to sort out our complimentary tickets. He was a lovely, friendly Frenchie but gave off an odour of incompetence. He told me he'd put the tickets in the post but they never turned up. He told me he'd send me confirmation emails of our flights but they never turned up either. We ended up having to pick up our tickets from the airport on the morning of our flight.
On Furzdee, we went to see the Eiffel tower. It's an impressive structure, really big and imposing over the surrounding skyline, the decision was obviously made to restrict the height of surrounding buildings to emphasise the magnitude of the trifle. Marie was a bit wary about going to the top but decided to give it a go, so dodging the numerous water and souvenir sellers, we went up to the second viewing floor and then to the very top. The view is stunning, Paris still has a historical feel to it; the skyscrapers are all stuck together in one or two business districts, leaving an unspoilt view of most of the city. We got lots of pictures of things which seemed very impressive when viewed from a giant tower with the naked eye, but I’m sure which on film, will look like a picture of a miniature model village.
The Eiffel tower was probably the best place for tourist watching. The American tourists were really loud, annoying, with the cocky aura of people with perfect white teeth. Brits tended to drag their feet and appeared only to brighten up when there was some good old queuing to do. Other Europeans don't tend to like queues, and tended to try and manoeuvre themselves nearer the front of them, especially the kids. Tactical knees to the head could be used to prevent this unfortunate event occurring.
We then went to the Pompidou centre to look at art de'moderne. Or something. Anyway there were some really good pieces there, some that looked like they'd taken a minute to do, and some quite amusingly odd things. Sadly, only one Mark Rothko painting. It passed a couple of hours and for every picture of fairly meaningless paint splatter, there would be one that would elicit an "oooh", an "aaah" or a "blimey". It was interesting to see how the design of items such as office furniture, chairs and tables for example, has come about from singular art pieces made early last century. There was a Red Setter outside the centre having a shit, trying to be a rather crude art critic methinks.
We then had dinner outside at an Italian restaurant and some expensive wine before retiring to the hotel to drink some fizzier and cheaper stuff.