Loch Ness

While in the Highlands we went up to Loch Ness and I took some piccies….

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Happy Christmas

I'm currently in the highlands at the in laws but am sending all the lovely people on Vox the very best for christmas, hope you all have a fabulous christmas, the turkey is delicious and no one misbehaves! Remember some simple rules:
1) If your uncle behaves inappropriately ignore him. Karma will get him in the end.
2) For god's sakes don't give the dog left over sprouts. You'll regret it for the rest of the night and quite possibly boxing day too.
3) A reindeer jumper in day-glo orange IS a good present. It is. Somewhere in the world it will be fashionable, you just have to find that place.
4) Too much port really hurts in the morning. It might seem like a good idea at the time but believe me, it's not.

Have a brilliant day, all of you, and I'll be catching up with everyone's news on here when I get home on the 27th.


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Why can’t anything just be simple?

In theory it was simple. The christmas tree would be dropped off by my dad, we'd put it into the christmas tree stand then I'd go into the loft, get the decorations and put them up. Time to accomplish task entirely – approx 1 hr. Unfortunately things didn't go quite according to plan.

The first bit went fine, my dad dropped off the christmas tree. It was at this point that 'the plan' and 'the reality' parted company. This was because the bloody christmas tree had a wider stump than I had anticipated, meaning it wouldn't fit in the damned stand. "Ah", says my dad, "You'll have to saw a bit off the side of the stump so it'll fit it". Then he fucks off home, leaving me with an overly stumped christmas tree and no idea what I'm doing.

How hard can it be to saw a bit off the trunk of a christmas tree? I decide to find out. It's dark, it's cold and I can't be arsed going out to the shed to find the saw so I start with the first serrated edged item I can think of – the spare breadknife. After 15 minutes of hard work I am left with a blunt-as-buggery knife, a sore arm and a christmas tree trunk exactly the same size as when I started. I have however managed to remove a 2 inch square piece of bark. Well done me.

So I abandon the breadknife and trek out to the shed. Even getting to the shed is a challenge because I'd forgotten that I'd had the washing out a few days before and the sodding washing line is still strung across the garden. After nearly garroting myself with the line and letting rip with some choice language I reach the shed and realise I can't see anything because it's dark. This is not only a problem because it'll take forever to find the saw but also because now I can't see them, in my head the shed spiders are the size of cats and they are just waiting to jump on my head if I venture into the shed. Clearly I need a torch. So back across the garden I go, not concentrating because I'm thinking about the shed spiders. This time I miss the washing line but hit the patch of slippery moss, sliding 4 feet and then landing hard on my arse. Cue some more fruity language. I collect the torch, go back to the shed (this time without injury), find the saw and head quickly back to the house, hoping no one in the neighbourhood worked out where the swearing came from.

So I begin sawing, taking great care not to saw off my fingers. Unfortunately I'm taking such great care with the end that's near my hand that I don't bother to look what the other end is doing. By the time I think to check where the other end is I've sawed a bloody great gash into Lou's newly wrapped present which is next to the prone christmas tree. Fuckity fuck fuck, stupid DIY. I've been sawing like a demon for bloody ages and again all I've managed to do is remove another curl of bark. How is it that I managed to buy the one and only bionic christmas tree? Clearly the saw is a no go so I need another idea. I sit back to think about it and go and get a glass of wine.

After the second glass of wine I've hit on a new plan. People make sculptures out of wood don't they?  So maybe I can 'sculpt' the end of the christmas tree into the shape I want. Brilliant. So I refill the wine glass and set off to find the neccessary tools, returning with an icepick and a hammer. I work in health and safety and am VERY sensible at ALL times so I decide that this could be dangerous and I need eye protection. My work protective glasses are in my car, which is in a garage somewhere being mended after a lorry broke it so I need an alternative. Hmmmmm…..I know, I'll use my sunglasses out of the car I've borrowed. So when the husband gets home I am sitting on the floor of the living room, half pissed, wearing sunglasses, surrounded by sawdust and bark chipping, hacking away at a christmas tree truck. And it would be at that precise moment that the fucking head comes off the hammer wouldn't it? Of course it would.

He quickly ascertains that my efforts have been largely fruitless and I'm now getting pissed off so decides to bring out the big guns. Apparently upstairs we have a small angle grinder. Who knew? Fortunately not me because even I know that dry Muscat and an angle grinder don't mix well. Sadly we don't have a blade that cuts wood but maybe one of the other blades will work. He fixes one on and gives it a go. There's a hideous screeching noise, a lot of smoke, the dog shoots under the table and after a minute or so he shuts it off. No, it won't work. So now not only is the christmas tree STILL too big for the stand but the dog is having a nervous breakdown and the house smells of burning. Marvellous.

So what else can we do? It's my dad who finally comes up with the only sensible idea yet to emerge, cut the bottom foot off the tree because it tapers and a foot up it will be thinner. So the husband duly cuts the bottom off the tree and hey presto – it fits. 2 hours and 3 glasses of wine achieves bugger all but 5 minutes of sawing straight across gets the job done, even if I do now have a 5 foot tree instead of a 6 foot one. And this is why I'm not a carpenter. Take my advice – if you need something practical doing, don't ask me to do it.   


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One word answers….

I pinched this from Spidermonky, I like these funny little thingies, they give me something to do that isn't writing my shitty essay.


Where is your cell phone? Desk
Where is your significant other? Unknown
Your hair colour? Brunette
Your mother? Generous
Your father? Eccentric
Your favorite thing? Sleep
Your dream last night? Forgotten
Your goal? Patience
The room you're in? Carnage
Your hobby? Bitching
Your fear? Spiders
Where do you want to be in six years? Writing
Where were you last night? Home
What you're not? Tolerant
One of your wish-list items? Conservatory
Where you grew up? Manchester
The last thing you did? Essay
What are you wearing? Knickers
Your TV? Elsewhere
Your pet? Geoffrey
Your computer? Functioning
Your mood? Nuclear
Missing someone? Nope
Your car? Broken
Something you're not wearing? Codpiece
Favorite store? Boots
Your summer? Sneezy
Love someone? Indeed
Your favorite color? Green
When is the last time you laughed? Today
Last time you cried? Saturday


Tomorrow I have to remember to write abouth the fiasco that was the christmas tree. What fun that was. 

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Utter wanker – fact.

I'm driving down the road and I'm in the middle lane but I need to be in the right hand lane. There's a space in front of a lorry so I indicate right and start to pull across. So what does he do? He leans on his horn, shoots forward as fast as he can and destroys the electric mirror on the driver side. Utter and complete wanker. Because he couldn't possibly let a car in could he? I mean if he did that then the world would stop turning, Armageddon would begin and the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse will come through his front wall and commandeer the remote control for his telly. Or, more likely, he's some cocky wanker with a power complex who thinks he's Johnny Big Spuds because he's driving a truck. Badly. And did he stop and acknowledge that he'd broken my car? No, he fucked off down the road at 60mph, nearly carving up some poor cow in a Nissan Micra who happened to be occupying the space on the road that he wanted to be in at the time he wanted to be in it. So now I'm sat here waiting for someone called Bill from to call me from their insurance company and if Bill doesn't come up with a solution that involves them paying for the replacement wing mirror and its fitting then I am going to get cataclysmically angry. I hope the truck driving tosspiece gets a proper strip torn off him by his superiors for being a wanker and that he is made to pay for my wing mirror out of his own money.

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Unremitting Loathing.

There aren't words to describe how much I loathe and detest the vile stretch of tarmac-covered purgatory that is the M60 motorway. I could go through my entire repertoire of obscene and descriptive insults and it still wouldn't come close to expressing the level of loathing that I have for the M60 motorway. Chris Rea once wrote a song called "Road to Hell". You can tell he wasn't writing about the M60 because the title mentions a destination, something that visitors to the M60 can only dream longingly about while listening repeatedly to the traffic reports telling you that the motorway is stationary along all the junctions to the place you'll never ever reach. Fucking hideous.

This evening I was supposed to be going riding, at 6pm in Plumley, Cheshire. This is a journey along the M60 to the M56 and then along an A road to the stables. In light traffic it takes 30 minutes, in rush hour traffic, about 50 minutes. Today however, things were working a little bit differently. Unbeknown to me, on the M62 a half witted bint, an utterly fuck-witted, useless, hairy arsed, horse-faced, horn-toed trollop had managed to drive her lorry across the central reservation onto the opposite carriageway and over someone's car, killing them. This meant that the M62 was closed in both directions. It also meant that everything that usually travelled along the M62 to the M6 both North and South, plus the usual rush hour M60 traffic was now pouring down the one motorway, the M60. And yes, by pouring I do mean sitting there with the engine idling wondering whether dehydration or lack of will to live would be the one to take them. This situation was not helped by the fact that both Manchester City and Manchester United are both playing tonight and the motorway was also crammed full of people who have more chance of impregnating the Queen than getting to the match for kick off. After 2 and bit hours on the M60 I managed to reach the turn off for the M56. Which also turned out to be stationary, As was the M56 itself. By this time I was dying for a piss which was just adding to my joy and my delight at being on the road with so many of my fellow human beings. So I decided to head for home and carried on, with the intention of doing a full lap of the circular M60 and getting back before I reached retirement age. At which I point I discovered via the medium of local radio, that the queue was now so long that it had backed up right past my home junction up, coincidentally, where I was now. And yep, there it is, the fucking queue again. I've managed to end up back at the end of it again. Oh happy days, that's just fucking perfect.

By the time I got home I had been out for over three hours and nothing to show for it but a noticable lack of petrol, a foul temper and a bladder that was quite possibly holding more water than the Hoover Dam. I loathe the M60. I loathe queues but most of all I loathe lorry drivers who are too fucking incompetant to keep their truck on the correct side of the road. And I am not alone in my loathing of her, there are thousands upon thousands of other motorists out there feeling the same, most of them still in their cars. If there is any such thing as karma she will be reincarnated as a dung beetle, destined to spend her miserable existence pushing balls of elephant turd across the African Plains and getting pissed on by hyenas.

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