Tuesday, April 22, 2003

With A Holiday Like That, I'd Rather Be At Work


As you will have probably gathered from the paucity of updates lately, I've had rather an excessive and interesting week. In the end, I didn't end up playing that many games, because of a few warning signs of impending carpal tunnel syndrome or RSI in my wrists and forearms, and wanted to give my arms and fingers a rest from the keyboard. Instead, I watched a few DVD's, including Black Hawk Down, which I picked up for £9.99 on sale in Smiths.


I really like Ridley Scott, and BHD is an awesome film - totally unrelenting in its action and violence, and it just doesn't shock, it truly appalls, because despite the pace and multitude of characters, you're never emotionally detached from the people on show. When people die, you care. You don't think "cool 'splode!"


I don't say this about many films, but BHD made me want to cry, at several points in the film. Whatever you may think of the American government, this film shows that the training, courage and integrity of these soldiers is second to none.


One of the most moving scenes in the film is when Shughart and Gordon, two Delta Force snipers, go down to the second crash site to secure the perimeter. They *know* that there's a couple of hundred militia descending on the place, but ask to be inserted anyway, because there *may* be someone alive down there in the wreck. That's fucking heroism. Real fucking heroism. Their courage and dedication saved the pilot, at the cost of their own lives, but they weren't willing to stay out of the fight when lives of their comrades were in danger and they could do something about it. I don't think I could have said I'd have done the same thing in their place.


If you've not seen this film, go rent it - it'll change the way you think about soldiers.


Also, as expected, I managed to be late every single day last week subsequent to Fleur's departure. I expect the same to happen this week too. Despite the double alarms. Fleur's off to Lincoln tomorrow morning to see her god-daughter. FOR CHINESE TAKEAWAYS AND BEER! Oh, I mean, FOR FREEDOM!


Easter Weekend passed off quite peacefully until yesterday, when it all went pear-shaped, though there were two bright spots in a day that started badly, and got progressively worse. I rarely see my parents for a couple of reasons - one; the distance involved with driving up to Bridlington to see them, and two; they're not the most interesting of people. I know it's cliché to hate your parents, but my Mum and Dad are more angsty and fucked up than I am. At least there's always lots of beer and wine on tap when I see them - that at least makes it tolerable. That's a terrible thing to say, but it's true. We're not a close family at all.


Things started out well, though - a trip to a stately home down the road with a lovely art collection, we watched a couple of half-decent films (well, from a chick flick point of view, anyway - Harry Potter The Chamber of Secrets, Bridget Jones and Moulin Rouge), I ruled in our annual game of Trivial Pursuit, and all was well.


Then came Monday morning. I ran Dad to the local garage to get the papers, and pulling back out onto the road, I nearly get clobbered by two police cars steaming down the wrong side of the road with lights on, but no sirens, that would've tipped me off to their presense. This was the first near miss of the day.


Fleur and I call it a day just after narrowly avoiding a family feud with my sister-in-law, after my nephew Ryan blasts a football at the full power his little legs can muster directly into my face from about three feet, mangling a £150 pair of glasses and nearly taking out my right eye.


The misaligned lens causes my right eye to ache all the way home. As if that wasn't bad enough, some teenaged fuckwit in a 10 year old Astra decides that I don't belong in the outside lane of the M18 at 75mph, because he has this God-given right to proceed unimpeded at 100mph, and woe betide anyone who gets in his way. So he tailgates me as I overtake a Mercedes A-class, and then chops infront of me at about a distance of 2 feet, at well over 80mph, in a deliberate attempt to get me to crash my car. That little fucking mutant is a marked man. If I see him again, I'll put his face into a wall, and fuck the insurances costs. If Fleur hadn't been asleep we could have taken his license plate and reported the fucker for dangerous driving.


It gets worse, too, as I'm so incensed that I miss my turn-off for the A1, and have to take a detour down the M1, which is choc-a-block with Bank Holiday traffic, adding time and distance to a trip already scheduled to take four hours. We stop off for lunch at a service station on the M1, to plan a route back to the A1, and finally, we reach one of the bright spots of the day. Who should I bump into coming back from the Sheffield Utd/Leicester City match? My old university tutor, Doctor Lester. We have a brief chat, and catch up on a bit of gossip about my fellow tutees, one of whom went on to get a doctorate and marry the trendiest lecturer in the department! It's an unexpected bonus to brighten up a very bad day. You never know who you're going to meet at a motorway service station.


Resuming our journey, we bail out of the M1 just short of Nottingham and a load of roadworks that was about to bring the carriageway to a complete standstill, and cut back to the A1 down the A52. The A52 is dead, and we make really good time, before getting back into all the traffic on the A1, where I get balked, cut up and pissed off by incompetent driving on at least another dozen occasions. It was actually a relief to hit the M25, which was quite placid by normal standards.


A full six hours after we leave my parent's place, we pull up outside the Golden Jade in Lightwater to purchase the second bright spot of the day. A special fried rice and House Special Curry. I wash it down with a couple of glasses of wine, and relax for the rest of the evening, playing a bit of Deus Ex, and watching Leon on BBC2.


Weekends like that I can do without.

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