London Olympics 2012

Just before I headed off from Glastonbury, I got an email from the London Olympics confirming the tickets that I had got.  I had ordered £1800 worth and got £260 worth.  I thought that I must have got 4 or 5 of the more niche events I had applied for; probably some combination of canoeing, synchronised swimming, tae kwon do, mountain biking and basketball.

In fact, I only got two events; tae kwon do and athletics.   I was really pleased to get the athletics ones, this was an event that BeetMum and BeetDad wanted to see, so I applied for tickets for them as well.  Like most people, they didn’t get any tickets from their own application and they were pretty disappointed.  My Dad especially as he really wanted to go to the athletics stadium.  So I was very pleased that I’d got them some tickets.

The session that I got includes:

Women’s 10,000m Victory Ceremony
Men’s 400m Hurdles Semifinals
Men’s Shot Put Victory Ceremony
Women’s Discus Throw Final
Women’s 100m Semifinals
Men’s Long Jump Final
Women’s 400m Semifinals
Women’s Heptathlon 800m (come on Jessica Ennis!)
Men’s 20km Walk Victory Ceremony
Men’s 10,000m Final (hopefully Mo Farah will get to the final and do well)
Women’s Discus Throw Victory Ceremony
Women’s 100m Final
Women’s Heptathlon Victory Ceremony
.
Since BeetDad got no tickets from his application, he got the opportunity to re-apply and he got us some canoeing tickets, so that’s another event.  I don’t suppose much will be left in my price range after this second batch of applications, so I think that will be my lot for the Olympics.  Applications for the Paralympics open in September.

The Golden Lovejoy

I’m going to award a Golden Lovejoy, for services to thinking of the children, to a marshal trying to keep the bus queue in order at Glastonbury.

“Guys can you all stop pushing forwards and spread out.  People could get squashed and there were some children in the queue earlier.”

Forget about the actual adults currently in the queue getting squashed, please think of the hypothetical children who aren’t actually here but could have been and who might be getting squashed in a parallel universe.

WTF? 20

I had to go the family planning clinic to stock up on pills for my round-the-world trip (my new GP has a rule that they will only prescribe 6 months’ worth – the clinic takes a much more sensible view).  I had to fill in the form and was slightly puzzled by the question:

“Are you aiming to:

(a) avoid a pregnancy?

(b) achieve a pregnancy?

(c) both?”

I’m not sure under what circumstances somebody would tick (c).  Maybe if they were trying to achieve some kind of quantum Schrodinger’s foetus, a la Amy Pond.

Glastonbury 2011

Firstly, apologies for the blog silence over the past few weeks.  I have been working like a bastard and then for the past few days I’ve been enjoying myself at Glastonbury.  Here’s my review:

Wednesday – arrive in slight drizzle, but with so many people trooping through that’s all that’s needed to turn the site to a mudbath.  We don our wellies immediately on getting off the coach.  Inexplicably, some people seem to have not come equipped with wellies.  White plimsolls and a maxi dress?  That’s just ill-advised.  Set up our tent as close to our usual spot by the John Peel tent as we can manage, then have a nap in it.  There’s no bands on the Wednesday, so we explore the site, which we’ve never seen in this muddy condition as we’ve been spoilt with very good weather two years on the trot.  We locate the Honeybuns tea and cake tent, which is my happy place, read the line-up and get excited.

Thursday – some bands today, but only very few and nothing we fancied, so just more wandering – there’s lots to see even when there aren’t any bands on.  Like Eskimos have dozens of words for snow, we develop an extensive and descriptive vocabulary to describe the different kinds of mud – milkshake (easy to walk in, but beware splashes), gelato (looks bad but ok to walk in), clay (sticks to your boots and weighs them down) and the most dangerous plaster which is the one that gets you stuck and tries to separate you from your boots (especially if yours are two sizes too big, like mine).

As mentioned, I have been working very long hours recently, so I spend large parts of Wednesday and Thursday snoozing.  We traditionally go to the cinema tent for a film on the Thursday night, so we go to see Source Code, which was silly and entertaining.

Friday – 

The Master Musicians of Joujouka – traditional Moroccan music, half-way through – their version of Bez came out and started dancing and that man had stamina!

The Naked and Famous – New Zealand indie band on the Other Stage.  It was still wet and either we weren’t in the mood or their set was a bit underwhelming.

Since it was wet, we hid for cover in the circus and cabaret tents.  Mr Beet watched a sword swallower (I have my eyes closed throughout) whose big finale is to juggle a chainsaw, blindfolded, on a 10-foot unicycle.  It reminds me that I have not yet mastered more than 5 feet on a regular unicycle, and give him the biggest round of applause I can muster.  We trek through the quagmire along by the Dance Village to get to…

The Coral – and re-live a bit of our youth.

We don’t go to see U2, but we fortuitously happen to be crossing the field at the bit where Bono was duetting with an astronaut from the International Space Station.  This briefly makes us consider watching the rest of the set, but we figure that’s probably the highlight and we slope off, so we’ll never know if he did three-part harmonies with the Pope and Obama for a finale.

Saturday – 

It starts off overcast, but the weather forecast says it will be glorious sunshine by late afternoon, and it’s been spot on so far, so we keep the faith.  We go to the cabaret tent for some comedy first thing, then off to see…

Lau – chosen because their name’s like my name.  (We are simple people, we just booked our first hostel in Tokyo for our round the world trip and went for Kimi Ryokan because it sounded like a formula one driver).  In case you’re wondering what my band sounds like, very folky acoustic tracks light on lyrics.

The Undercover Hippy – are not a billed act, but one of the little acts all over the festival which you can stumble upon and we really enjoyed their set and nearly dance all the mud off our boots.  After them, we are about to leave the Park stage area when we notice that people are getting stopped from coming in.  We therefore deduce, correctly, that someone really good must be playing a secret gig on the Park stage shortly.  Well, Mr Beet does the deducing, I have already fallen over one and a half times by this stage so most of my brain power is being used attempting to keep myself vertical.  The “special guests” turn out to be…

Pulp – I know these things are usually the worst kept secrets, but we never know about special guests so we are thrilled that we managed to be there for their set and if I stood on my tiptoes I could even see some of Jarvis Cocker’s more expansive flourishes.

Did we want to see Coldplay….hmmmm…not really so we went to the Cabaret tent for some comedy from Angelos Epithemou, Phil Kay, someone too stoned to be allowed on stage (and I was fine with Phil Kay, so you can imagine) and two actors dressed up like Alice in Wonderland being proper freaky.

Sunday –

It’s a scorcher, but drizzly Friday is still fresh in our minds so we daren’t complain but it really is too hot.

Fisherman’s Friends – sea shanties from burly Cornishmen in the Pyramid stage novelty slot.

Noisettes – great, high-energy performance with much climbing and dangling off stuff from the frontwoman.

Bellowhead – Mr Beet particularly wanted to see them and they gave good raucous folk.

The Vaccines – we couldn’t get in the tent to see them, so Mr Beet listened from outside and I had a little lie-down in the shade.  Five days of mud and baking heat looks like this…

Hurts – really good, intense songs and I recognised their backing singer – I used to work with him – he was belting it out opera-style underneath their 80s-esque tracks.  They covered Kylie’s Confide in Me, which is a sure-fire way to my heart.

Beyonce – the only headliner we wanted to see and you just know that she’s going to give it some welly and she didn’t disappoint.  She kept saying she couldn’t believe she was playing to 170,000 people.  I don’t think she realised that was the total number of people in the whole festival and that there was a bunch of other stuff going on.  Still, don’t tell her will you?  I wouldn’t like to steal her thunder after she did so well.

WTF? 19

Weird ad copy just hit my inbox:

“You have to feel sorry for those Tudor types, wandering around in flowing robes, tripping over their skirts with nothing but a flickering candle to guide them in the dark. Thanks to the miracle of electricity, candles can now be used for fashion rather than function, freeing up wax to perform a much more valuable service…Brazilian waxes” 

It’s 5.30 and I’ve been up all night/morning working, so I’m wondering whether this is as bizarre as I think or whether it’s just me being a bit spaced out.

Wedding Mania

Considering my feelings in relation to weddings, it is somewhat ironic that by far and away the most popular posts on this blog are my wedding drinking game and my thoughts on gypsy wedding dresses.  They both have 4 times as many hits as the third most popular post. 

So hello wedding enthusiasts! 

To those searching for a wedding drinking game; apologies that my one is really just a bit of a gag about common things that happen at weddings and is probably unplayable unless you can be bothered to print off and refer to the list during the day as you get steadily drunker.  There is clearly demand for a wedding drinking game though, so I will endeavour to create something more user-friendly.  How about: – take a drink every time you want to crack a joke at the silliness of it all, but can’t, because it’s not socially acceptable to demonstrate that you are anything other than overcome by the sheer romance of the couple’s special day. 

To those searching for gypsy wedding dresses;  I expect a lot of you just wanted to scoff at the ridiculous dresses.  Yes they are ridiculous, but if you’ve ever worn a regular wedding dress then to my eyes you look equally ridiculous.  At least those gypsy brides are committing to their chosen look, whereas you were probably ridiculous and boring.

Attention Facebook Parents

Yes, babies are cute.  They have to be, or we’d just dump them – evolution, innit.  And yes, when someone I know has had one, it’s nice to see a picture on facebook, maybe even two or three pictures.  But let’s not forget that:

(a) babies all look the same;

(b) a baby’s full modelling repertoire is – asleep, awake, yawning, crying.

Why on Earth do you therefore think it is appropriate that the time in that person’s life when they are going to be the dullest subject for photos, is the time when you publish dozens and dozens of them?

If you want to publish dozens of pictures of your kid – then put some effort into it. 

Oh and, by the way, your new-born baby does not look like its Dad, it doesn’t have your eyes and its Grandad’s nose.  It just looks like a new-born baby.   They’re all virtually interchangeable at this stage.