Sunday, July 27, 2014

A lost child is quickly found

On Thursday I got on the bus to go home after Yoga. A woman with three children got on the bus and started talking to the driver. She looked too old to be mother, so was probably the Grandmother. She seemed excited. One of her children had not got off  an earlier bus and she was thus lost. Given that the child was a five year old girl, this was not good.  The bus driver rang control, who tried to call "control" to get in contact with the other bus.

The woman kept saying that each of them thought that the missing girl had got off with an another. The bus driver drove them to the bus station, which was not on his route. Five minutes later the driver got a call to say that the child had been found. So panic over.

As the two little boys got off the bus. I tapped on the window and put my fingers to eyes and pointed them at the two boys, just to let them know I knew that that they dumped their sister on the bus on purpose. God is watching you guys.

On Friday night the same woman got on the bus with children and two adults. A pretty blond girl walked to the back of the bus. Not again I thought. A woman walked to the  back of the bus and started talking to the child.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Guard

Last night I watched the film called The Guard. This was a very funny film set in Ireland. The central character is an Irish sergeant, who both cares and doesn't care about his job as a detective.

The main character is played by Brendan Gleeson, who is very funny.

Gyms and some night time bus sexual fantasy

After work on Friday I dragged my weary body to the my Gym in the centre of the city. I wasn't really in the mood, but I wanted to get into the rhythm of going and working out. It was hot yesterday and it was hard to drag myself past the people drinking beer in the bright sunshine.

I did a light work out. I did a set on the exercise bike, followed by some light weights and kettlebell work. My legs were still tied from the yoga workout on Thursday.  There were a lot of toys in the Gym, such as medicine balls, which I need to learn how to use. There is a sauna that I am building up courage to try.

I then went for a beer in The Walkabout pub. (Well it was Friday). Then the bus. The woman I am secretly in love with sat in front of me. I now think she works at Marks and Spencers, but why does she get the 20:10 bus, when the shop closes at 18:00. I am going to have to go into the store to look for her. Is that going too far?


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Smelling nice

As I get older I find I am spending more time on personal grooming. More is a relative word, because my starting point was doing nothing more than combing my hair. This morning, while in the shower, with water in my eyes, my fumbling hands opened a new bottle of body wash. When I smelt it I realised the lotion smelled of lemons.

I do occasionally like to eat lemons. I particularly like the sharpness, but I usually have to eat them with something milder such as a fruit salad. Hopefully my new smell will remind women of crystal blue lazy summer days on the beach in Cyprus. I think the smell of lemons is an exotic manly smell.

The Balkans

As part of my Bulgarian holiday I purchased a real physical copy of "The Balkans" by Mark Mazower. I had to buy a real book, because you are still not allowed to read a kindle when you land or take off in a plane -- but I believe that rule is slowly changing.

The book was a good short overview of the history of the Balkans. It is no longer clear why these small states started to exist. The book explains there were geographical reasons for the original countries to come into existence. At some stage many of the people of the Balkans just thought of       themselves as Greek. The idea of national states in the area is relatively new and has caused a lot of bloodshed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More bad weight news

I thought I had cut down on chocolate and beer. But when I weighted my self I was now 108 kgs. Grrr. It is weird because I feel less bloated, but still numbers never lie.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Not stalking just vaguely hoping

I went to my Gym in the centre of Plymouth yesterday for the first time. After some light weight lifting, I left and drank a couple of beers, while I waited for the bus. I need to work a bit more on this fitness  thing. On the 20:10 bus I saw the woman I often see. She was so slim and carrying a bag of treats for her family. She has the focused look of a family woman. She sat in the seat in front of me, so she could smell my beery breath. It is fine line between a fantasy future and stalking.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Would I be happier person if I was abducted by aliens?

There was an article in the Guardian about the end of personal blogging.

Would I be happier if I was abducted by aliens? Below are some of the possible advantages of alien abduction:

  • It would give an interesting story to talk about on Monday lunch time at work.
  • The medical  experiments the aliens might make on me,  might fix my ankle, or improve my flexibility. 
  • I might learn some useful physics from the aliens, which I could use to write some papers, and maybe win some prizes.
  • I could convert the experience into a science fiction book.

So not all bad. Of course the abduction would totally suck if it was for an extended period of time.
So, dear young person, this is what  a blog is for. A private space to write some random thoughts.
Of course if you take the view that I am trying to basically monetize my alien abduction, then this blog post  is just entrepreneurial.

Springsteen versus metal machine music

The BBC Iplayer is down at the moment, so I have been unable to listen to radio 6 or plays on BBC 4 extra. I have been reduced to buying music or listening to books on libervox (thanks)

One album I recently got was Bruce Springsteen first: Greetings From Asbury Park Normally I hate boss.

OK, hate may be a bit strong. I was aware some of the older albums were interesting. Marc Riley played its hard to be a saint in the city from his first album. So on the strength of that I got the album. I do like it, but I can see the style that would become his standard stadium rock style. The live version I have embedded above is really great though.

So as a comprise after listening to the boss, I also finally purchased Lou Reed's, metal music machine, which I love, but I can only listen in 10 minute segments, before I go a bit insane.


I had meaning to take some yoga classes. For years I have been feeling very stiff. I try to do some light  stretching about twice a week. If I don't do that then I walk even slower than normal.

There is a place called the yoga loft which is close to the Drake's Circus and University.
I went to the beginners class obviously. It was a strange evening weather wise. It was both hot and the air was full of thunder. I started to sweat like a pig. I had most problems, both flexibility and strength wise with the leg stretches. There were some very useful yoga bricks which helped with stability.

I am not in the photo below, but you see it is very good place to practice.

Friday, July 18, 2014

10 years of blogging

I started this blog on July 18th 2004. So whether the f*ck has the last 10 years gone. I started the blog while I was working in Liverpool, and continued it  while I worked in Glasgow, Wuppertal and finally Plymouth.

Looking at the first post,  it seems as though I was tired and exhausted.  So what has changed? I didn't post that much in my first year, but got more into rhythm. I think the earlier posts were more fun, because I was doing more fun stuff then, than now. Of course I had more time for fun, when I only had a small TV, rather than a 42 inch monster of a TV.

I was thinking of writing some flowery prose for this post with some symbolic pictures from around Plymouth. For example, there used to be a small hole in the wall to the Freedom fields park close to my flat. Now it had been bordered up. Perhaps there is a body inside. There was a pub called "Friendship" on one of the routes I can walk to work. Now it is bordered up with metal over the windows. A picture would have made an ironic photograph.

I want to try to do more writing (both physics and non-physics), but maybe this is not the place to discuss.

Perhaps this should be the new direction of this journal.

To celebrate 10 years of incoherent  blogging. I present to you 5 years by Davie Bowie, because after all:  5 = 10 /2

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Late Monsieur Gallet: Inspector Maigret

So while on holiday I read another detective book: The Late Monsieur Gallet: Inspector Maigret 
At the time I read the book, it seemed so important to finish at once, but now a  week later, it took me a while to remember what happened. Still a great book.

shopping for love in Sunny Beach Bulgaria

There were a lot of small shops close to Sunny Beach. Many sold T-shirts, towels and trinkets. I ignored most of these shops. I did finally see one which sold, knuckle dusters, batons and blades of various lengths and sizes. I did my best to resist the temptation, but finally I decided to get a pen knife.

The guy selling the weapons was tattooed (of course) and was wearing shades. I pointed to what I wanted. He picked it up, hit a switch and the blade came out with a pleasing swish. Up to this point, I thought I was being pretty cool, but I blurted out "no I don't want a flick knife, because they are illegal." What a wimp, but he showed me a lock knife. This will be useful for my new hobby whittling, I thought, so cash was exchanged.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life

On holiday I speed read the book: The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life by Andy Miller.  Amazon's robots recommended  this book to me. Andy had a young son, and was feeling in a bit of rut. He no longer had time for reading, apart from the long train commute to London, but he just pissed the time away. His background was in English literature and he was working in publishing, but he clearly felt he was being creative enough and had lost contact with books.

Anyway he got back to reading "classic" books again.  In the past he had even claimed to have read some of the books, he was now reading. Like many people he had a huge collection of books.

It was kind of strange, because he was reading "classic" books and then reading Mr Men books to his son. Like many people he worried that all this book buying was just "shopping." It was interesting that he didn't worry that he could not write any novel, although he had written two earlier books.

I liked the quote from the philosopher .
Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.

The story of my life.

Boohoo I am fat again

Can it really be two years ago, when I got my weight down from 104 kgs to 92 kgs. I just weighted myself this morning and I am now at 106 kgs. I have been weak, with too many bacon baps for breakfast, and chip and pie suppers. And of course stopping of for a pint of beer on the way home, now doesn't seem like such a good idea.

I also went out to buy 38 inch waist trousers -- just before my holiday, when I no longer fitted into my some of my 36 inch trousers. Not the kind of thing you want to know before going on an eating, drinking and sitting around holiday.

Monday, July 14, 2014

In praise of Robert Silverberg after reading Musings and Meditations.

On holiday I finished off a collection of essays, called   Musings and Meditations,  by Robert Silverberg. The essays were mostly written for Asimov's science fiction magazine. The essays cover a wide range of subjects. Not all the subjects were strictly speaking science fiction, but many of the non-fiction elements would help a writer designing stories and plots. He did seem to be very well read. I learned a lot about the history and craft of writing science fiction.

Bob really likes the culture of science fiction. He goes to the Science Fiction convention every year and really cares about awards, such as the Hugo. (I should add he doesn't just care about him wining awards, but rather also people who have written important work.)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The War Games

What was Craig doing in Bulgaria rather than drinking until 3:00 in the morning? I watched the DVD: The War Games. This was the last Dr Who story with the second Docter: Patrick Troughton.

This unusually was a 10 episode story. I was too young to remember any of the Troughton story lines, but he is both very different and similar to the modern version of Dr Who. I particularly liked the messaging system that he uses to contact the Time Lords. Who needs email?
This explains part of the Dr's Wife episode.

I know  I should get out more...


I read Mogworld  while on holiday. This was a very funny book about a gaming world. I really enjoyed the first part of the book, but I thought the end was too predictably ordinary.

This Book Is Full Of Spiders: Seriously Dude Don't Touch It

After watching the film: "John Dies in the End" I decided to read the sequel in book form: Spiders
This Book Is Full Of Spiders: Seriously Dude Don't Touch It
By any standard, it was a fairly strange fantasy novel, with monsters and government plots. The heroes of the story were standard American slacker types, but the plot  had a maniac energy.

Drinking beer and the odd shot at Sunny Beach Bulgaria

I did drink a fair bit of booze while I was in Bulgaria. I didn't stay out after midnight and usually went back to the hotel before 22:00. I didn't drink  much in the evening.

I did drink beer with and after lunch until tea. I was on holiday right?

One of the bars I went to had this pole, which was used for dancing after 21:00. I used to go for  a beer and an Ouza, before I went back to the hotel in the afternoon. Also they had a young woman dance on the bar top as well. Note this is all open air, so is not a strip joint. I wasn't too keen on the music, otherwise I would have had a beer there in the evening. I like the music in the video.

One afternoon I did watch one woman learn how to use the pole. It looked a bit dangerous, especially when the dancer moves high up/

One afternoon I was in the bar. Some old sun tanned English guy starting talking to the barman. He claimed to have a big family with children and grand children. He had purchased some big apartment close to the sea with 20 rooms. For some reason he thought the flat was a brothel, because of the way the mirrors were hung.

At the end of afternoon I would go the hotel bar near the small pool. The picture shows the bar, when it started raining. It only rained for about two hours. As soon as the rain came, everyone left, but me.

Summer reading from the Guardian

I thought that I had done well to read so many books on holiday. The list of books that the Guardian put together for summer reading is depressing, because I have only heard of a few of the books.

Quirke: Christine Falls

I hav just come back after a heavy reading holiday in Bulgaria. I thought today I should really do some stuff, you know like plan or clean. In the end I spent most of the day reading: Christine Falls -- a Quirke mystery. I started reading it on the train last night, but I was keen to finish it today.

I know it has been on TV recently. As usual the Catholic church is to blame. The central character has difficulty showing emotions and drinks too much, but he still gets a lot of sex. I have difficulty showing emotions and like beer too much, but it doesn't work out so well for me. The prose style flowed well. I see that the author has won the Booker prize for his non crime fiction.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Talking about Bulgarian history in a bar

I was sitting in a bar in Bulgaria, with a beer and a shot of Absinthe in front of me. I was reading my kindle. The bar was essentially empty in the hot mid-afternoon sun. The only other customer seemed to be a well built Russian, who kept coming up to the bar to get more ice to refresh his cocktail.

The barman came over to ask "why I was reading?" As Bill Hicks has said, "that is  strange question." I told him, I thought it was quiet. It turned out that he only worked the tourist season in Sunny beach, but lived in the second largest city in Bulgaria. I had just read a history of Bulgaria. I told him, that I might visit Sofia next time. He didn't think there was much to see in Sofia, but recommended his home city, with 6000 years of history. 

I then made a mistake by asking whether there was much Turkish influence in his home city. He then said, "well no, my city has 6000 years of history.", so clearly I had said the wrong thing. After some grovelling back tracking from me, he admitted the history of the Balkan states was confusing.

History lesson over, I finished my beer.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Damnation Alley

One of the books I read on holiday was Damnation Alley by Roger Zelanzy.
This was a great pulp story about a bad driver who has to drive from LA to Boston carrying an anitedote for a virus in Boston.  Trouble is after a massive nuclear war, the road is filled with peril from nuclear fallout.

It is a great adventure story, perhaps not very deep. There has been one film made about the book, and a number of fills copied the idea. The first name of the main character is Hell, so you have to love him, though he is a bad man.

At the end of the book I had the feeling I had read it before..

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thoughts on Sunny Beach in Bulgaria

I have found it too hot in Sunny beach to be able to function. It is not the most interesting place to explore, because of all the nasty concrete hotels. The central area by the beach seems quite small.

The 5 minutes I managed to stay on the beach suggested that the beach was nice and clean. Unfortunately, it was full of people on the beach which freaked  me out and I had to get off and get on the concrete pavement.

After watching the TV program: "What stays in Sunny Beach", which showed a bunch of young people getting trashed and shagging, I was ready for some hedonism. But the place seemed full of families and old people soaking up the sun. Perhaps I should have stayed out past 11:00 to see the wild side, but I was tired.

All the Bulgarians were super friendly.

A typial day in Bulgarian on my holiday

So I would get out of bed at 8:00, read the Gardian newspaper, and then go down to breakfast at 9:00. Then back to my room at 9:30. I would then read on my balcony until lunch time.

At lunch I would go out for lunch followed by a couple of beers. Then back to the hotel for more reading. Also I watched a box set of classic Dr Who episodes.

Then around 20:00 I would go out for some fast food, such as a slice of pizza. I didn't stay out long at night.

So you can see I was living the dream!

My main complaint was that it was difficult to get a cup of tea. I am down from 9 cups a day, to a mere 2 cups at beakfast.

Judo in my sleep

Last night I was trying to sleep in my hard Bulgarian bed. I had not drunk enough alchol to suppress my dreams. At one stage I was wresting with an ex-Chelsea football player. He was going for my rear foot, we struggled and he swept my foot.

I woke up on the floor. The Judo move had thrown me out of bed. I was happy that my head had missed a bed side cabinet. Still I have not fallen out of a bed for many years.

Penultimate night in Bulgaria

So I am nearly at the end of my Bulgarian holiday. I have enjoyed doing nothing for a week, but I am starting to get bored. This evening I went for a Mexican meal at a restaurant. I wasn't feeling that hungry, so I just ordered Nachos and a beer.

The bar was filling up with women drinking shots. This was a little bit exciting, but it was still only 22:00, so no one was wild. I ordered a Touquila
with a beer, but the beer never turned up. The shot messed with my head a little, so I decided to leave. At this time of night, it is still mostly families on the streets.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Bulgaria day 1

I arrived late last night in Bulgaria. This was the first time I have booked a holiday with a package company. I did this for two reasons: one it is cheap and the other was there was a free bus from the airport to the hotel.

I am staying in the Sunny Beach area near the Black Sea, It is very touristy, but not as wild  as the TV was claiming. At 18:00 I went for some food. I was going to have a couple of beers as well, but all the bars were empty. Everyone was leaving the beach with their children to go back to the hotel.

It was incredibly hot today. I am not a great sunbathing person. There isn't enough shaded places to read. I am enjoying the books I am reading, but that is another post.