Sunday, 31 August 2008

I hope that's not 2 girls 1 cup Bearemy...

The roast-ess with the most-ess

What’s the best way to fight off a hangover, and the dread of not really remembering the sins of the night before? By making an enormous roast dinner. We stuffed the stolen sausages into the chicken, and hid our guilt.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Allotment, Barbecue, Burglary

I went to the allotment first thing. Well, after Football Focus.

To prepare for Vicky’s birthday barbecue, I brought potatoes and blackberries from the allotment. The potatoes went into a potato salad, and the blackberries came with us to the party to be used as the base for gin and blackberry cocktails. The barbecue was absolutely brilliant - I had a wonderful time. I think the blackberry cocktails went down better than the potato salad, but both were a success. Lots of Liz’s friends from Uni were there, some of whom I’d met – Kinsella the fella – some of whom I hadn’t – Becca, Youlande. I’m always nervous about meeting Liz’s friends, as I really want them to like me.

Pervy and I found some hard hats in a skip when we went out to get cigs, so we put them on as we came back into the party. What an entrance! Or maybe we looked like massive losers! Who cares! We kept ‘em! They got passed around for a little while, then discarded. So we took them home! They’re in the dining room at 46! Yeah!

The night ended in carnage, with Lucinda deciding to take what we’d brought home with her, and Laura and Liz toppling and tumbling over on more than one occasion. We stole from the barbecue. Sausages. Pringles. Twiglets. Kronenbourg 1664. We were bad. Very bad.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Dress Down Alibi

The best thing about dress down Friday is that your colleagues are none the wiser if you’ve been out the evening before, spent the night on your friend’s sofa and then come straight into work wearing the clothes you’ve slept in.

Today Liz bought me a Moleskine notebook with squared pages. It’s brilliant!

Thursday, 28 August 2008


My sister Caroline is one of the most amazing women I know. She had Ashleigh eleven years ago when she was 14, and has been best of parents to her all on her own. Ashleigh’s father is a Mancunian, and he’s got other children that he doesn’t take responsibility for across the city. Earlier this summer, the mother of two of these children got in touch with Caroline through Facebook because her kids were asking about Ashleigh. Ashleigh has also been asking about her dad. Caroline explained the situation to Ashleigh, who has subsequently been writing back and forth to her half-sister in Manchester. They came up today so that Ashleigh could meet them tomorrow. Caroline is 38 weeks pregnant.

We went to Croma in Chorlton for a swanky but laid-back pizza meal. Ashleigh is a wonderful young lady, and it was a real pleasure to hear her talking about the things that she was interested in – scout camp, for example – as well as to hear her surprisingly mature and balanced views about meeting her half-sister and half brother for the first time. We had dough balls and garlic bread to start, pizza for the main course, and cheesecake to finish. The easy service was a real pleasure, and I was overjoyed to be able to share it with Caroline and Ashleigh.

After the meal, we went to Chorlton Water Park and took a dusky walk around the lake. Canada Geese landed in hordes as the light drained out of the sky. As we got to the car, it started to rain lightly. Perfect.

After I got home, I went to Sol’s and met Kate, Lisa and Dunk. Kate’s new housemate Megan seems very nice, and it was a real thrill to hang out with Lisa again. She seems very happy in London, living with musicians and playing softball. Lisa was very much where the party was at, which hasn’t changed at all. I was surprised that at 3a.m. she went home. I crashed on the sofa.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Top shelf material, jerk chicken, jerk fish

My new phone arrived today, but it didn’t come with a back. Rubbish!

Not rubbish, however, was dinner at Miriam’s house. Spicy fish soup! Jerk chicken! Tasty bread! Yeah! Kier, who I’d met at the Green Man, came too, and it was brilliant to catch up with him again. He’s very easy to get along with. Jos, on the other hands, ground my gears a bit. I like him most of the time, but he was being a bit of a show-off, in my opinion. Oh well, we all have bad days, and that was one of his, I guess.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Chicken Satay Pot Noodles Suck Ass

Laura: “Dr James, can you have a look at this rash on my wrist.”
James: “Sure”
Dr James looks.
Laura: “What do you think it is Dr James?”
James: “It’s weird.”

On the way back from dropping James at the station, Liz and I drove past an old Asian man hungrily eating blackberries from the side of the road. I gave him a thumbs-up, and he smiled. There was purple juice all over his chin.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

I Am Shit

After another Liz breakfast special – poached eggs and sausages on toast – and a quick rock out to Stairway on Rock Radio, I headed to Spinningfields to meet my old school friend James. Town was very busy because of Gay Pride. A small stage next to CafĂ© Rouge hosted some local bands, but as we couldn’t drink and watch the music at the same time, we chose the pub. Louise and some friends came and joined us, with Paul, Guardi, Pippa and Liz not far behind. Pippa and Liz hit it off straight away, and James charmed everybody with his posh accent, noble vocation and tales of his well-travelled last decade. Guardi was a grumpy fucker, no change there. We sat in the sun outside HaHa bar and laughed and drank. I love it when friends that don’t know each other get on.

We watched I Am Kloot at the end of the evening. I Am Shit, more like. Next!

Next it was on to the Sand Bar, where Super Bruce tried to poison me with strong lager, and then to Big Hands. James loves Big Hands. Pippa loves Liz. Liz loves Pippa. James loves Liz and Pippa. I love my friends. And I really love my girlfriend. She’s the guitar solo in my life.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Where the fuck are Punt and Dennis?

I watched my first Olympic events today. The Spanish and Russian creative synchronised swimming was amazing. I remember sarky gets like Punt and Dennis spouting off when team synchronised swimming was made part of the Olympics in ’96. Twelve years on, sychronised swimming is still entertaining millions on the telly. Where the fuck are Punt and Dennis?

Liz and Gemma came with me down to Old Bedes to watch Paul play his first game of rugby in fifteen years. Gemma and Liz get on very well, which is good for two reasons: one, it’s good that they get on because it’s good when ANY two people click; two, it meant that they could chat to each other, and wouldn’t get too bored whilst I watched the game. It was a gorgeous day, and I was really in the mood for booze, so I hit the Strongbow straight away. A good move!

After the match we met Miriam in the Red Lion, and then all headed over to 46 to rustle up a Bolognese. It turned into an epic session, with Pervy and Paul getting on like a geek house on fire(fox) – interfacing, someone said – oodles of drinking, and loads of fooling around. I think Lu was a little embarrassed that Pervy pumped up Miriam’s tyres, but it was a well-intentioned move, bless him.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Led Red Roll, Zep Wine Ups

I spent tonight drinking red wine, listening to Led Zep and smoking roll-ups.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

1268 x 1024

I've got a new monitor. It's got an arm. Alright!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

One Lounge, Many Jerks

I didn’t want another crummy day for Liz, so at lunchtime I went to Venus around the corner and ordered her some flowers. I left them in the reception of her office with a note: "I hope you have a better day today."

In the evening, we went to One Lounge for Gemma’s 21st birthday. Gemma looked very glamorous, as did all of her friends.

As the evening drew to a close, Liz asked me, “Do you know first aid?”
“Yes,” I replied. “Why?”

A girl had collapsed on the floor behind us. Oh shit! I scooted over, and went through normal checks. She wasn’t obviously injured, and was definitely breathing, and had more or less fallen into the recovery position anyway, so not too serious. Drunk? Yes, her and me. We found her phone and tried to call her friends. She was unconscious, but not really at risk. We couldn’t wake her up, and we couldn’t get through to her friends, so Liz rang for an ambulance. “Tell them that the casualty is breathing,” I remembered to say to her. I was glad that the paramedic was on the way – I think I was too pissed to do CPR. I waited outside, he arrived, and I showed him in.

Weird, and wrong, was that almost all of the jerks in One Lounge were just getting on with partying on down as if the poor girl on the floor wasn’t even there. Boozy boys were almost stepping on her as the paramedic tended to her. It made me quite angry, and I was glad to be given something to do – go and wait outside for the ambulance, please – to keep my fury at bay. They came and she went. Surreal.

Back at my house, Liz and I smooched to the Longpigs then went to bed.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Two pints takes the edge off things

Today was a bad day for Liz, so we met for a quick pair of pints on the way home and a chat. There’s a stupid phrase that I never really understood, “Things will get worse before they get better,” which – stupid or not – seems to apply at the moment.

I watched Maestro on my own. Goldie was brilliant again, chatting back to the ballsier of the female judges. Lesbian Sue’s Simpsons theme was the real winner on the night though, excellent to watch. I want Goldie to win. I think it will be Sue though.


After I’d scrubbed the Green Man out of my skin, Liz came round. I’d been thinking about her and Alex all weekend. Alex is Liz’s ex-boyfriend from Uni. They met on the first day of Freshers’ week and spent more or less every single day together for the next eight years. Things ended under difficult circumstances. Alex had been in India since before Liz and I met, and came home the day I left to go to the Green Man. I don’t understand all of the details, but Liz has explained that Alex is a fragile soul. Liz feared she might demolish him by explaining that she is seeing me now. Happiness isn’t a zero sum game – one person’s happiness shouldn’t mean someone else has to be unhappy – but Liz knows Alex, and was scared that the news was going to really hurt.

I was both eager to find out how everything had gone, and nervous because I was scared it had gone badly. And it had gone badly. Very badly. Liz was visibly upset. Quieter. Slower. Somehow far away and still by my side all at once. I felt bad because I wished that I could do more. But it isn’t about me. My sadness at not being able to help is tiny compared to how sad Liz is at hurting somebody that she has loved, and loves. No amount of my embraces, my kisses will make Liz feel better about the pain Alex is in. I want to be the one, “that looks on tempests and is never shaken.” I want to help. I don’t know if I can.

I’m worried.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Colin's shed

We helped Colin clean out his shed tonight.

"Do you have the capacity to help put up another shed?" he asked. I hope I can say, "Yes!" to him.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Another monster hangover was soothed in part by Paul’s hilarious guitar playing and in part by Liz going out and bringing back muffins and coffee. And then we were summoned. Lu put out the bat-signal: “Lime tree?”

I’d never eaten at the Lime Tree in West Didsbury, and so could be forgiven for thinking it was a camo cargo shorts kind of place! (Cheers Fashion Phil!) Oh no! Time for a quick change! The food was brilliant, although our waitress was a right grumpy moo! We had a wonderful time, going over tales of the night before with ABBA whilst Liz shamefully smiled back, trying to work out what we’d sell on Wigan Market (thanks Laura!) and gasping at the ever-growing list of films that we couldn’t believe that Lucinda hadn’t seen.

Afterwards we went to the Met – Paul (Macbook) met Pervy (Thinkpad) - and they had a geek-off! Gemma loves Liz and vice versa. Liz was very funny, massively charismatic in fact, so much so that she charmed a TV presenter in the bogs, with whom she ended up swapping make-up tips and phone numbers. It's easy to see why I love Liz.

Meet and greet

Liz met and impressed 57, Steve and Sean this evening. I hadn’t spoken to Keck about his recent hook-up with Zoe, nor with Steve about his recent hook-up with Chubb, nor with Woody about his recent hook-up with Clare. What a long-missed pleasure: gossip! Liz and Milney got on particularly well, which warmed my heart. It’s that Aquarian spirit, right?

Liz really impressed everybody, especially me. We were hammered, but she kept up being funny, charming, and intelligent. That’s just her being normal though.

Falling out of a taxi happened too…

Saturday, 9 August 2008


L - R: Lucinda, Bearemy, Big Milk

Friday, 8 August 2008

Are these marketed at the right people?

"I'm going to make this pencil dissappear."

I learnt how to use MapInfo with Diane at work today. And I couldn’t stop thinking about Batman, or more specifically, the Joker.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

"Why so serious?"

The Dark Knight is fucking cool.

Afterwards, Liz made a gorgeous prawn and avocado salad, and we vegged out in front of Batman Begins. Bliss!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Friday on Wednesday

I’m going to be on The Nation’s Favourite Madonna Songs. They recorded it today. Afterwards I met Liz in Odder, and we pub-crawled our way via The Temple, Sam’s Chop House, Odd, and Common up to The Northern. I was trying to show Liz off to Pippa and to Kate, but neither of them were working, so the plan was foiled. We drank white wine, lager, red wine, more lager, double scotch with a pint chaser, and then another double scotch with another pint chaser. We were blammed!

I love mid-week Wednesdays.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Emma has moved into a lovely new flat in the city centre, opposite Guardi’s. I went round for Chilli con Carne, very tasty. The flat is beautiful, even if it’s a funny shape. It made me want to live in the middle of a city one day. Not yet, but one day.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Sunday Shopping

We went out to find the ingredients for Fish Finger Blingers first thing in the morning. We came back with white chocolate Fish and Chips, The Sunday Sport, and very nearly a nice new dress from an exclusive West Didsbury boutique.

I think we might have still been pissed.

Saturday, 2 August 2008


This reminds me of school, and of folding painted paper in two to make the matching wings of a butterfly. I'm glad I could show it to Liz before it flew off to hide on a door frame. And, of course, to you, my loyal army of readers.

Trevor Dulcimer

I’d always got on pretty well with Liz’s housemates Lucinda and Laura, and with their fellas, Pervy and Phil respectively, but we’d never all been out for a pint. Until tonight, that was. I was quite nervous – lots of Liz’s uni friends were coming out too, including some who were or are close friends with her ex-boyfriend. There was massive potential for me to slip up and show myself to be a much bigger wanker than anybody had thought I already was. But it turned out a lot better than I thought it would. What a riot!

Liz drove us to Chorlton. We sat outside the Trevor, and chatted as we drank. Poor Pervy, Liz and I were drinking pints, whilst Lu and Sonicka were on shorts and mixers. Poor us, in that the natural time it takes to drink a pint and the natural time it takes to drink a vodka and tonic aren’t the same, and that the pint drinker is always behind, and is subsequently always rushed. I moved onto double whiskies. Pervy vanished.

The evening blurred after seeing Chau, and although I remember Dulcimer, and dancing with Lucinda, and sitting outside on the bench with Liz, I can’t entirely grasp the details.

On the way home I stopped the taxi, and spent £8 on flowers from a garage for Liz. Romantic or what!