Thursday, 26 July 2012

My little trip to Kos

Above us only sky 

Why do airports seem to bring out the worst in people? I made a school boy error, by putting my aftershave in the hand luggage. My bag was put to one side on the machine to be checked. I had no idea that I'd made the mistake, but I was about to find out. I was waiting patiently for my bag to be checked, when a very large bearded, overly zealous security official made me move about 3 centre meters, over some sort of line;  think Metallica fan/biker...vroooooooooom!  After he'd got me to move the minuscule amount that appeased him; I began to think about what a sterling job he'd done; and I was wondering if he was going to finish work that evening, safe in the knowledge that he'd done his job to best of his abilities, not counting good old fashioned customer service...obviously; maybe sitting off in wetherspoons telling his mates about his ace day? I'm sure he had lots of friends, I'm sure of it.   Just as I was winding myself up about people of this stamp; I was immediately confronted by an Asian couple; who had failed to realise that their bag was being thwarted because it needed to be searched; and that it was in a que, and ques in their very essence, have fundamentals...such as an order; usually chronological. They were sure that waving their boarding passes frantically in the security ladies face was going to get them seen quicker. There were sure of it.  Just as I was awaiting a light house in the proverbial fog, to redeem humanity for me, I struck a concealed iceberg of cunt-ness. There was a vile, freckled, narcissistic, ginger Irish woman, with an exhausted look on her face sighing very deliberately...about as deliberate as one could sigh; even more deliberate than the sighs that I was throwing out, in my head, at the beardo loon, '"I've got a plane to catch!" she said.......

Then I boarded the plane, and as usual, I was a little nervous, as I am scared of flying.  You know when you arrive at the airport, and you see a gang of tit heads at the bar? You think 'I hope they're not getting on my plane'  - well, they did, and they sat right in front of me. The "G-star raw" T shirts are an instant indicator of moronary.   If you wear one of these, chances are, you're a moron; or possibly a middle aged man trying hopelessly to to appear which case, you're also a moron. They were chatting up a few young damsels, one of which was wearing a shockingly terrible wig; which was so bang on, it was funny. The lads were also aware of her tragic hair-cumstance; and were silently communicating via a series of raised eyebrows and smirks. I knew what they were thinking. They were total dick heads. Loud, football chanting, obnoxious little shits, with little spatial awareness- they were ignoring the seatbelt light, sitting four on a three row. At this point, we were well into the flight, and I was hardly even aware that I was in air- the fear was replaced by G-star raw rage; thanks to a gaggle of yorkshire nitwits (one had a Leeds United tattoo). I've always wanted to go abroad, on a 'lads' holiday, but the company I have kept over the years has been a little skeletal to say the least, and has dictated that such embarkings' have been restricted. If, I ever did though, I'm sure I'd be liable to slap someone in my party for  any of that sort of behaviour. I had exhausted all avenues of thought, pertaining to my moronic fellow travellers. I drifted off into a day dream, only to be snapped out of it by a blue bottle, buzzing energetically around the cabin; 'how lucky is he?' I said to myself. 'Was he a Greek fly? Was he Liverpudlian? Perhaps he was from elsewhere? Was he missing his brothers back home, to busy to even send a post card back?' Personifying and flying. That's how it's done.

The plane landed, and we went our separate ways from the fly, and the fuckwits. We made our way to the resort of Kefalos. I won't bore you with the details of it. It's a holiday resort at the end of the day. They're a pretty much a standard formula where ever you go. Junk for sale, half full with tourists, nice beaches, and loads of cars and quads to rent, pretty standard really. Ants galore!  The room we checked into was every bit of a prison cell that I imagined it to be- two tiny windows and a door. Maritsa studios, ran by a lady called Maritsa. We had about 10 feral cats outside who were very tame- although the black ones were much more sheepish than the brown or white ones- I'm not sure if this is just by chance, or maybe a scientific reason. There was one kitten in the clan, and she was very very cute.
View from our room

Breakfast time..

This is actually the flight home, as I never got a window seat on the outbound flight

My visit to Kos was one with ulterior motives, i.e, not just to holiday; but was somewhat of a recon' mission to weigh up any potential marinas to put my yacht, when I eventually get around to buying it. Unfortunately for me, when the Greeks misunderstand you, they do it on a colossal scale, and after asking a few different people, I downed tools on that plan. I basically got the impression there was a lot of forms to fill in, and taxes to pay.  I took a boat trip out to Nisyros, and fell for the place in a big way. I'm pretty sure that when I get my self a yacht, I will be mooring it in the vicinity of the Aegean. There was no sign of cap in hand begging, or anything like that; which our media, with it's own little sinister agenda would like us all to believe! I'd had "why are you going there?" "Greece? Isn't that place in the shit?" from various outlets, in the weeks prior to leaving. My advice to these people, so eager to lap up anything from the mainstream media mammary gland; would be to unplug your television, open your back door, and throw the thing to fuck. Stop reading tabloids as well. While we're there, stop reading magazines. Why do you need to be told what to think? I realize listening to me would make my initial request a paradox; but; I'll let you off, as long as from this point on you DO AS I SAY. 

A few shots from Nisyros
Me inside a crater, looking like a typical British Tourist. 

Christine, snooping for bargains.

I had a wonderful time, and the island of Kos won me over, granted, not as much as Nisyros did.  With friendly people, and fantastic food, if I ever do go on a holiday again, I'll be heading out to Greece..but in all honesty, it'll probably be in the boat rather than on a holiday! It was everything I imagined it would be, and more. 

Spot the cyclist.

The road up to the the highest point, I biked up, then rented a quad to get some photos. Was getting some strange looks off locals in cars and on bikes, as I hauled my fat ass to the top rep by rep. 

Photos do not do the gradient any justice. 

No, they still don't...

The view from the top

Quad biking!


My faith in humanity was restored on the way home, and the 'G-star raw' pricks were not to be seen. I met an old guy, at the airport; I let him get in line before me, just after check-in opened, as we were waiting at the front. I got talking to him, and he told me that he'd flown out to Crete, and was simply going around all the different islands finding his own way, rather than booking anything. He instantly became my new hero!  I suspected that he was a widower, until he mentioned that his wife had booked him the flight home- he then told me that his wife was severely disabled, and that for 4 weeks of the year, his kids look after her and he goes on his travels. I said "I'm sure you're glad to be going back..." he jokingly looked in disapproval, as if to suggest he wanted to carry on island hopping forever;   "don't worry, I haven't got a camera, I'm not wearing a wire" I said- he laughed, and made a comment about 'Merseyside humour' - I spoke with him again twice; as he was offering to get us drinks- as the cafe wouldn't take card payments, we refused his kind offer obviously,  and again at the baggage collection place; where he told me of all the places he'd been over the years. He was a well travelled man, but I did wonder about what his life might have been like for the other 48 weeks of the year. I bid him farewell, and good luck and he did the same. It was one of those encounters which will hopefully stay with me for the rest of my life.  

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

In my mersey paradise...

I went to see the Stone Roses on Sunday at Heaton Park. I remember the first time I ever heard brother was playing them, over and over, in his room, that I wasn't welcome in, and his spotty mates used to regularly visit, listen to the roses and other shit, like the prodigy, and drink 'special red' a budget cider that was around at the time.  I did not like the stone roses one bit; I was nine though, and thankfully, not long after deciding that I didn't like them because, what the fuck is a garage flower? (critical of lyrics even then) I realised that 'this is the one' was a great song and that I did like them, slowly I began to appreciate the rest of the catalogue; propelling The Stone Roses to be one of my favourite bands. So, I'd been waiting 19 years or so. I don't really do "music" any more. I don't like to talk about it with anyone, because it infuriates me, on so many levels, and I most certainly don't do gigs. In the weeks prior, I was making very sweeping assumptions in my head about the calibre of ball bags that I would be submersed amongst, and categorised them, as follows

Middle aged acid casualties 
The mother load of the audience, at least from where I was standing. Terrible oral hygiene as well- Colgate representatives, if you're reading this, your marketing over the past 20 years has failed to reach Stone Roses fans.  Get along to the next stone roses gig with some free samples.

The 'everything is cool man' indie crowd
You are not Liam Gallagher. You look abysmal putting that walk on. Stop it. Cut your shitty hair, take yourself down to the job centre, and get it sorted. Quite a few of these spotted.

Festival Slags
Massive sunglasses that makes them look like flies...usually packing timber, big hair, loads of makeup.  You little knobheads enter the arena thinking that you're on the front of Chat magazine or something. It's boss seeing you at the end, covered in jizz, piss and blood, crying your eyes out. Die.

People who read the NME
....and use it as some sort of melodic mammary gland. Perhaps the worst people on the list...possibly the planet.  Fleeting interest in bands. No real sincerity. More about the image, and getting laid than the music.

General Dickheads
Like, people who just listen to the radio all day in work. You can see them, when bands play their singles, and they go mad.

They were all spotted, and noted.

When we entered the arena, the first thing I seen was a little knob head in a north face tracksuit, sporting birkenhead-esque pencil moustache throw a glass vodka bottle, as he waited in line, at someone just going through the security, right in front of the 'security' who actually let him in after witnessing him throw it! Actually, rewind; the first thing that infuriated me was seeing loads of 'literally blantantlies' (generic middle class students) - I forgot to add them to my list, sorry. Anyway, I seen loads of them drinking, and throwing their cans into a rather picturesque lake, which was full of Canada Geese, Moorhens, and Coots. Is it that hard to have a little bit of respect for your surrounding, and bag your shit? Then I seen droves more doing the same. What is wrong with people? I feel like I am alone sometimes.

We arrived in the Arena as The Wailers were playing; there didn't seem to be that many people interested in them. They were very tight- it was essentially them playing the best of Bob Marley, and audience appreciation depended on the song, and if had been played on an advert recently.... I told my brother and his mate, that the flight case to the left of the bass player, actually had a ouija board on it, and that Bob was there, logged on via the supernatural highway.  Plan B, I knew would infuriate me to new heights, and they didn't fail to deliver. Well done dick heads.  I heard 30 seconds of their 'music' a few weeks prior to the gig. It was a bit surreal really. Like a mixture of everything that is bad about music, all combined into one performance. It was like a wedding cover band had been hired by someone who had a soft spot for modern day 'RnB' - Lots of references to 'da street' and 'my crew' mid set outfit changes (why?) and shite rapping. "Why are they even playing here?" My brother asked. "Well Carl, it's because they are signed to Mercury records, which is one of the  subsidiaries of UNIVERSAL, who the stone roses are signed by. I highly doubt the Stone Roses wanted them, or Professor Green, who played yesterday. They're on the bill because the record company says so. It's all about sales, and brand awareness." Fuck the music industry.

I think, for me to enjoy gigs in future, I'm going to have to get myself some horse tranquillizers. Or just stay at home. I felt, for the money I paid for the ticket, like I was bent over, and fucked with a very long scaffolding pipe. Ian Brown can't sing good. Musically, the Roses were awesome. I particularly loved 'where angels play'. I'm amazed that they managed to get him to sing in key in the 80's when they recorded. I know they didn't have auto tune then. I hope they record  a new record; I really do. 

I started my new job last Monday ....well...I'm not really sure what my official title is, as I've not been officially told. I never had an interview, I just got given a number from a friend- a mobile number at that; "Sound, fuckin' sound, we'll get you on the phones, and if you're onto it then fuckin' sound". So far, it's been "fuckin' sound"- I work on an outbound dialler; and I ring people, regarding motoring accidents from nearly three years ago. The bad news, is that most people think you're scamming them, tell you to fuck off or just hang up, the good news is that there's a small percentage of people out there; who didn't claim at the time of their accidents, didn't know that they could, and are willing for me to take their details, and pass over to our "legal team" and I get ten round pounds for each of these that go through. I've been doing pretty well, I've managed to get 10 in my first week; meaning a cool £100 for me...although I am highly dubious about ever actually getting this money....I love getting these smart arsed pricks accusing me personally of being responsible for everyone's car insurance being so high. I had one guy asking me if I drove (after telling me he'd been left immobilised as a result of his accident) - I knew right away he was lying and about to blame me for his premiums being high, so I politely told him "No, I don't have a car, I personally think they are too expensive to run, harm the environment, are dangerous, and I can sleep at night knowing that I have got to where I've needed to be using sustainable transport!" The line went dead.   I don't really care about motorists and their fucking premiums. The more you cycle (I am someone who regularly exceeds 100 miles per week), the more you despise people in cars. They're all just part of the monster; the big sweating monster that makes the green grass, grey concrete, and clear blue seas murky and polluted. 

My European Health Card Arrived, which is something that I need to finalize all my paper work for starting my merchant navy training in September. My Dad passed comment: "Wow, look at that, another card for your wallet...for you to lose! Welcome to the real world, you tosser" Some of this shit my Dad comes out with is solid gold.  I have 62 days until Fleetwood. 7 of those will be spent on the Island of Kos, the rest will be spent chasing ambulances over the phone, and cycling and sighing at idiocy.

Over and out until September.