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Showing posts from October, 2003

Sorry, what?

Tonight has been weirdo night at work. Okay, when you work in catering you get fairly used to dealing with one or two oddballs every now and again, it's one of the joys of the job (and an enormous help with writing), but we've had loads tonight.

First up there was Michael. He's a nice guy in a don't ask him what he does for a living and be polite kind of a way. he lives in the flats next door and treats us as an extension of his living room. Keeps his spare keys, wandering in and borrowing stuff unannounced, that sort of thing.
Tonight, before we'd actually started work he'd sauntered in with a couple of his mates, ordered his food (none of which, needless to say, bears any resemblance to what's actually on the menu) by going in and telling the bewildered chefs (who rarely meet Actual Members of The Public) and sat himself down. He then couldn't be bothered eating, threw some money down and left. But not the front door for Michael, oh no, he wandered …

Busy, busy, busy...

Well, sort of. I am getting a lot of displacement activity managed today rather than what I should actually be working on. But I can live with that. There is more joy in the small accomplishments after all, even updating this blog will give me a small glow (especially now that I actually know that there are people reading it).

Minor things I have accomplished today:

Further refining my recipe for chilli mussels.
Convincing sceptics of the joy of fish pie.
Writing a letter to my Nan.
Sorting some really minor admin jobs out.

But what's that? A monstrous pile of work looming over my head? Think I'll just catch up on my emails.....

An Odd day

The capitalisation of the word odd was deliberate. It's been a weird one.

So I started the day by learning that Elliot Smith had killed himself, this set in motion a chain of thoughts which have led me to be sat here at three in the morning with a perfectly conceived novel idea in full note form saved, blinkingly to my hard drive.

I wasn't a big fanboy of Smith, but I liked his stuff, most of the day I have been thinking about what happens when somebody you're mildly interested in dies. The huge fans get to grieve to long and stultifyingly dull effect (speaking as a survivor of grunge I think I speak for all of my peers when I state that Kurt Cobain dying was THE MOST BORING THING THAT HAS EVER OCCURRED, "Yes but he understood me!" cries disaffected teen of Leighton Buzzard. Understand this, teenagers of the world, all you are looking for in a rock star is a reason not to tidy your room. To feel that you, if you were like them, could be a rebel too, and not tidy …

The graft starts here...

So I turned 26 yesterday. Kind of a nothing age really, and I greeted it accordingly (the lengthy tale of the Birthday Dinner I shall save for interested parties - poor old Roe was too unwell to enjoy it, I, on the other hand ate like a man possessed, and very fine it was too, thought tinged with guilt being the only party enjoying myself, then again, we had driven across the country to go there).

Anyway, as one does I reveiwed my situation as currently stands, and I'm fairly happy. Relationship wonderful, Debts clearing slowly, Steady job, growing reputation as a writer, all told plenty to be happy about.

And yet....not enough. Call it the urge to make my mark whilst still young, call it the utter lack of patience with being in debt any more, call it a mid-twenties crisis if you like (in fact go ahead, write a book, there's probably a niche market for mewling twentysomethings who want a nice terminology for their inchoate angst, so's they can complain about feeling unful…

Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating in shit.

I'm not going to rant about how much I hate Christmas just yet, all y'all are going to have plenty of that to read over the festive period. These are just the preliminaries, the bone-crushing detail I'll spare you until December itself, brace yourselves.

No, this is the month of faxing menus, posting menus, and dealing with phone calls from my currently most hated caste of people. Company secretaries.

"It states here that you have a roast sea bass as the fish option on your menu"

(Quick side note, due to the sheer volume of custom we get over Christmas everything is set menu. Five starters, five mains. That's it, for the sake of the poor dim chefs who have to order the stock that's the way it must be. We'll stretch a point for vegetarians, as is only reasonable, but beyond that, forget it, anyway, back to the conversation)

"That's right yeah, Sea Bass Brodeto, roasted with garlic and parsley"

"Mr Brinslow doesn't like Sea Bass&q…

En-ger-land

Okay, I'll be honest with you all and come out as a footie fan. This may offend some Coastalblog readers and loses me all manner of credibility with other writers but hey, I like football, and I'll go to the pub and chant along at England games with the best of them.

But if I hear one more "Stuff Turkey" pun I am never watching another game again. And I solemnly promise to kill the person who makes it. I mean it.

What the fuck was that?

I may give up drinking. I quite like drinking. But when you wake up in the morning and your girlfriend's gone to work and you have no recollection whatsoever of her leaving, it may be time to knock it on the head.

In other news this week has seen a huge boom in my enjoyment of all things work related as well as popetry related. I'm sending tome work off to Alan Kent for an anthology of Anglo Cornish poetry (by a bizarre coincidence he is also the man who taught me A level English). There's a couple of readings coming up, including the massive free for all for National poetry day, so what am I doing writing this blog? Back to work!

Good morning world

I love Saturdays. I may be working, it may well be the hardest day of the week BY A MILE but there's always something optimistic about them. Plus that, and it's the last day of my working week.

Tomorrow myself and the lovely Rowena will be dining at Bispham Green's excellent Eagle and Child, wherein there may or may not be pints. Which'll be nice. and today I'm skipping the gym and making a nice and complicated lunch instead.

And a great big hello to Katey, just settling into her new place in France. Hope it's all good, honey.

scapula please, vicar

So a new girl started tonight. I have yet to bother learning her name as most of 'em don't last more than a week or so. This makes me a Bad Man.

Other things which have made me a Bad Man today:

Staring at a man who had an enormous warty, lumpy, growth on his forehead and then stage whispering "Have you ever seen How to get ahead in advertising?" to my boss.

When a customer ordered his wine, replying "The cheapest red? Very good sir"

Making many references to an affair that the cuckold of has no knowledge of in front of someone else who shares my privileged information. Oh the giggles.

Why am I such a shit at times? This isn't meant as a "Oh look at me, aren't I interestingly confrontational" sort of a question, more a head scratching "hang on, I bear this person no ill will, why am I being such a dick to them?" sort of a question. Answers on the back of a cheque, please.

In othe news, my lunch today consisted of Oysters and Bubbl…

How many footballers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

None, they only screw in hotel rooms. So N3wc4stl3 Un1t3d are allegedly about to lose three quarters of the first team. Did they? Didn't they? Insert your own "It's the only way Craig Bellamy could score" joke here.

Meanwhile this evening has restored my faith in the catering industry. Lots of lovely customers smilingly handing over moderate sums of money. And they didn't hang about either, which was nice. Thus giving me time to come home to lull myself to sleep by listening to Jimmy shooting up some pixels in the room next door.

Even better than that an email arriving this morning from my personal poetic hero Bill Griffiths, giving me his kindest permission to link to his endeavours. Which I shall now attempt to do. Where's Cel, when you need her? Oh, that's right, at home, asleep, like normal people are at this hour. Gotta love my job....

Fear and loathing in Le Frog Bistro

So I've discovered a reason for Coastalblog in this, only it's second day of existence. As an outlet for PURE CATHARTIC RAGE.
God worked sucked today. It was one of those situations wherein you stand back and realise. It doesn't matter what I do here, it doesn't matter how hard I work or what I do, we're going down in flames regardless. Hoist that flag to half-mast boys, we're all dead.
So a perennial problem at work is being understaffed, normally you you can stretch to accomodate, and we do. But combine being understaffed with a bunch of inexperienced staff and what follows is five hours of utter trauma.
Hell hath no fury like a restaurant goer after a cheap meal and maybe a free drink. If I had a fiver for every time someone's said to me "You see we eat here all the time" with that peculiar half-apologetic, half-belligerent tone in their voice which tells you THEY WANT SOMETHING, I would have in the region of four hundred quid from tonight alo…