Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Well, I survived !

We've just had a long family weekend at CenterParcs ( it still offends me writing about this patently American joint ! It should of course read CENTRE PARKS UK ! )You know the place ,,, the forest in the Lake District where all the hidden log cabins are almost identical and all the activities are almost un-affordable !!
The place where drinks and food cost a bit of an arm & a bit of a leg as well !
The Cp marketing team seem to have thought up every possible way to screw as much out of every last customer as is humanly possible ,.,.
Take a family of say, 2-adults and four kids and let them try, say half a dozen activities each over the period and guess what ? ,,, Yeah you need to re-mortgage the house to pay for it all !!
Anyway it went remarkably well considering ,,, considering what you might ask ?
Well, there was a LOT of us ,,, 11 to be exact ! .,,. and being closly tied together for a longish period of time like this did have me a little concerned ,, I worried I might kill one ( or more ) of my beloved grandkids ?,,, or would I fall out with, or fall foul of, one of my beloved children or their spouses ? Would I take all my frustrations out on my dearly beloved wife and make her weekend a misery ?
Well amazingly No, on all counts ,,, the weekend went pretty well .,,. none these things happened ,, no disagreements, no hysteria, kids all had great fun ,, the most affordable activities seemed to keep the kids happy ,, ( the sub tropical pool complex is wonderful ,,, and FREE ! .,,. sadly the only freebie on site !! ,.,. well apart from the Baby Basketball !! )
And even the wife is still talking to me so ,,, a result I guess !
Maybe we'll do it again one day ,..,., ? or maybe not !!! :):):)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hey, It's me ,,, I'M Officially ... The Professional !

Me & the wee wuman went to a wedding on Friday .,.,
It was wan o' thon "duty" doos that ye generally don't really fancy but the bride's Maw & Da are oor pals so ,, whit kin ye dae ?
We went, naturally ,,, ( cost me a wee fortune as well, whit wi' a cheque tae the Bride & Groom and a brand new outfit fur 'erself .,,.
Aye, fae the drawers oot !
Whit aboot me yur askin' yersel ? Naw, I just shifted masel intae the same auld suit, shirt, tie, shoes ,, oh and ma Douglas soaks ! )
Aboot a day ,, mibbie two, afore the weddin', the Faither o' the Bride 'phoned us ,,,
Dae us a wee favour he says tae ma better hauf ,,, get Dougie tae bring his camera and take a few pictures fur us.
Och, Nae problem says she ,, he'd be bringin' it onyway ,, he'll want tae take a few fur us tae !

So along we go ,,,
It's all happening in the Glasgow Registry Office in posh Park Circus ..
A select number of the more "important" guests have been invited to witness the proceedings here in the Poash Hoose, you know, Brothers, Sisters, Mums, Dads, Granny ,, Best Man ,, Bridesmaid ,, the usual lot !
Oh aye, and us ,, me & the beloved !?
I wander into the place after the happy couple arrive, camera in hand, doing my thing !
The Registrar Lady approaches me as we go up the stairs to the chosen suite for today's extravaganza ! Ah, she says, you're the Official Photographer I believe ?
Who, me ? ,,, Naw, naw, naw, I'm just a family friend with a camera !
Oh, she says ,, I thought ,,,,,, Mmmmm ....
Well anyway, she says, when we get to the "I Do" room ,, I'll show you where you'll get the best vantage points for your photos ,,, ???? Oh thanks says I .,.,., So I'm all set ... "Here comes the Bride" music starts and there I am ,, at the ready ,, best position in the room !! Hey, wait a minute, me-suddenly-thinks ,,, where IS the Official Picture Taker for this do ??
Wee Jim, a brother of the Bride ( and hey what a misnomer that has turned out to be ! He's only gone & turned into Johnny Vegas since I last saw him ) is huddled in a corner with a tiny little hand held camcorder .,., doing his thing, one handed ! ...
so there's him ,, or there's ME !!

The Registrar wuman does her bit .,,. the happy couple are pronounced M & W ...
and I'm invited to photograph them signing the log-book ! ( Is this the first MOT I wonder ,,, Married on Time ? ) & then to come upstairs to the photo balcony !!
I'm still trying to come to terms with my role here when I sense I'm being shouted at ,,,
Can the Official Photographer please get up here ahead of the newlyweds .,,.,.
I'm still looking about me when I'm grabbed from behind by the self same Registrar ,,
C'mon she says ,, Upstairs ,, quickly ,,, Yvonne ( the Bride that is ) tells me ..
YOU ARE HER OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER, and there you were, trying to kid me on that you weren't ,, !! Ha, she tells me, the Nikon gave you away !
Honest, that's how it all turned out .,., I was IT !! The Official Professional .,.,Gulp !!
Well after that what could I do ,.,.? I just got down to work .,.,.,
A Photo Album in my day was maybe 20 photos ,,
This one turned out some hours later, and with a full compliment of pals, work colleagues, neighbours etc, at the evening affair, to take shape at about 350 photos !!
All edited, enhanced, cropped, red-eye removed and burned onto discs ,,,,
by my able assistant, The Beloved ,..,,. and all supplied to the happy couple ( 4-copies please ) FREE of course !
That's how they do things in Clydebank obviously .,., but hey, did I mention ,,,
It turned out to be a brilliant day ,, great wedding, good dinner, loads of fun, dancing, singing, craic, and drinking of course ,, a fantastic DJ & late night Buffet for afters .,.,
Really glad we went. We had a ball !

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It'll NEVER happen !

My wee Tuesday night drinking girlfriend, Connie, is very down at the mo'.
His beloved old Ssangyong Musso Jeep , involved in a recent mishap, (not of his making he insists !) has now finally been "written off " .,,. far too old at almost 7-years and with some 60,000 miles on board, to even be considered for a £4900 repair !! Ouch :( ,.., new doors required from dealers down South, wings etc, from far away Korea ? and heavy labour charges made it completely non viable to the Insurance Co.
The garage assessing the damage have told him the car will not be returned to him for it's now in an illegal state and cannot be driven ( although he's been driving it for nigh on 3-weeks since the accident ! ) They've also now sent an engineer from the garage to take back the courtesy car they had loaned him !
He removed all the parts near to his heart yesterday ( including his personal number plates ) and said a tearful goodbye to his old pal in the junk yard .,.,.,

Now here's the real rub !

He now has to get up at 6-30am to WALK to the station to get a train into town that gives him time to then WALK to his office .,,. and of course the whole reverse procedure at night .,,.,. and for this privilege he gets to pay the train company £5 PER DAY ! That's £25 a week or £100 a month ,,,
Now for that amount of petrol in the jeep ( which incidentally was a Gas Guzzler ) he could travel all month ANYWHERE and at a more suitable time of day !! ( remember this is a guy that REALLY likes his kip ! )
So this is the Government's idea of environmental awareness, carbon footprinting, saving the Planet ,, in practice ?
They want us to stop using the convenience of the car and instead use their brilliant new Public Transport system ,..,,.
at un-Godly, un-reliable hours and laughably ridiculous expense .,,. oh and sharing with mobile phone users, breakfast munchers and lap top junkies !
Aye that'll work .,,.,. NOT !
In politics, absurdity is not a handicap. - Napoleon Bonaparte

Monday, September 01, 2008

I've just experienced the Tesco Experience !

We, my lover wumin and me, went into Tesco today to buy some CHEESE !
A need for a wee selection of nice cheeses to nibble on prior to my next DIET was gnawing away at me .,,. I just had to have some ,,, I also thought ,, a few biscuits for cheese wouldn't go amiss.
Now a bit of cheese and a few biccies, you'd think, would hardly be beyond a pair of dottery old fools ? Well mibbies aye and mibbies naw ,..,
However, as always, we fell into the carefully set traps in this bloody Megasupermarketestablishment ,,
You know, you could actually spend your summer holidays in this place ,, it's such a bloody ENORMOUS EMPORIUM of Ultra Fine Goodies ...
Anyway we did comparatively well considering the temptations put in our way ,,,
We only added a few extra, really "necessary" items to our trolley !
A few quick meals, some bread, toiletries etc ,,, hellish little else really ,..,
There was the wine of course ,,, to go with the cheese :) ,, then we also needed some mixers ,, ( for the spirits, hic ! ) cokes, lemonades, tonics ,, that sort of thing ,, oh and our other National drink, Iron Bru ,.., Hey look, the Iron Bru people are giving away free glasses with every bottle ,.., we'll take a couple then !
We reach the check-out and find we have (again) racked up a wee bill of just £50.50p .,.,
Well there's a bit of luck says I, spying the "Spend £50 and get 5p a litre off your Petrol" offer that's back on !! As it happens I do need petrol ,, in fact I did say on the way in that I'd stop at the Filling Station on the way out .,., Very fortuitous then !
Not only that, for our bill we also get lots of Club Card points on our new Tesco Club Card !
We get back to the car .,,. me clutching my receipt to get my fillup at ONLY £1-09p less 5p per litre !! Herself has the detailed half of the receipt checking that we have received all the correct discounts .,,.,.
Whoa ! she shouts just as I'm about to drive off into the sunset .,.,., the buggers have charged us £1 each for the FREE Iron Bru tumblers !
So off she trots back to the Customer Service desk ,..,
"Oh dear" they tell her ,,"that offer is off now ,, please show us where you picked the glasses up" They wander off, the beloved and the customer service rep ...
"Oh jings, there's no notice telling you anything here" he tells the missus .,,. "this is a real mess ,.,.I'll need to talk to them about this "
"Here's your £2 back and for your bother ,, here's another two tumblers !"

Of course having this two pounds extra on our bill meant that our goodies were really only £48.50 .,,. a couple of quid SHORT of the necessary £50 to entitle the "cheap" petrol :)
I then filled up, with full rebate ,.,. only to be told by the garage attendant that my purchase also entitled me to a further 50 free points on my Tesco Club Card !
Don't you just love these people .,., Long Live the Tesco Experience !