Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Fine Dining Experience

I wasn't sure if it would be a good idea to retell this story, but two texts and a phone call to Loz later, we've decided we should. So I'll apologise now before I start.

So on with the story......

There were nineteen of us (or there about). Nineteen males on a skiing holiday in France.

We all decided that we should treat ourselves to a nice meal out for a change. Any other night it would have been kebab, burger, home cooked spag bol, chilli and such like.

We booked ourselves into the poshest restaurant in town. It was the sort of place proper posh people would go to dine. We arrived and were greeted by the maƮtre d' who took our coats... All very posh. We're all impressed before we even sit down. We all get shown to our table with the utmost of politeness. Sat down, we then proceed to give the waiter our drinks order.

I may be exaggerating the truth a little here (although I doubt it), but it was something on the lines of nineteen pints of lager, ten bottles of wine, several shorts etc... you get the gist?

We then proceeded to place our food order along with a repeat drinks order. It's still all very posh, and everybody's all very polite. The starters arrived, along with another encore of alcohol. We then commenced, in true English fashion, to barter.... "can I try a frog leg? I'll swap it for a snail.", and such like. It was all becoming very jovial as you'd expect from a large group of men who are out for a meal. There's more alcoholic encores....

And probably some more.

The main meal arrives and we all tuck in.

Up to now, the conversation had been sensible (ish), but inevitably, once fuelled with alcohol, things can very quickly go horribly wrong.

What you as readers need to know here is that we were sat at a big long table. Nine or ten of us were sat with our backs to the wall facing everybody else in the restaurant, and nine or ten of us were sat facing the wall with our backs to the rest of the restaurant.

Big D was in the middle of the table (not literally sat right in the middle of the table), but sat in the middle, facing the wall, with his back to the rest of the restaurant.

"I love bumming women.", he informs the party.

OK, so he's got our attention.

"Really? Did you bum ex girlfriend L?", someone pipes up.

"Yip, bummed her", he proudly announces.

And so it went on. The next ten minutes were spent running through all his ex girlfriends to establish what had gone where with each of them. With every proud affirmation, "Yip, I've bummed her too", he was getting louder and louder.

Of course, when you've had a drink, it wouldn't occur to you that there might be loads of other English people in the same restaurant trying to enjoy a fine dining experience. Well OK, it might to those nine or ten of us with our backs to the wall, that could see people's faces sat at other tables.

In a moment of major triumph, Big D places his knife and fork down to address, what has now become, unbeknown to him, half the restaurant, including Mrs Really Really Really Posh Lady and her husband, who are sat right behind him...

In an alcohol induced louder than required outburst, he announces, "In actual fact, you know what? I . HAVE . BUMMED. THE . FU . KIN . LOT . OF . THEM!!!"

Big D's side of the table roars with laughter.

Our side doesn't! . . .The restaurant's gone silent!

Our side of the table can see fine diners with jaws on their dinner plates....

And Mrs Really Really Really Posh Lady's eyebrows are stuck to the ceiling.

Her eyeballs on stalks.

Monday, January 29, 2007

What Should Have Been An Easy Job

I finally got round to changing the oil in my bike yesterday. After twenty minutes or so wrestling a fairing, I was left with a half nekkid Winnie.

So far so good.

I rummaged around the garage, eventually finding an old washing up bowl, the ideal recipient of used engine oil. Then, carefully aligning the bowl under the engine, I unscrewed the sump plug, stood back and admired the old oil depositing itself into the bowl. Satisfied with the job so far, I disappeared into the house to make a cup of tea.

Half an hour later I returned.......

"There is no oil in the bowl!!!", I muse.

"The oil has migrated!!!", I further mused.

Why the hell didn't I check to make sure the bowl didn't have a three inch crack in it?

Do you have any idea how far 3.9 litres of warm engine oil can travel across a garage floor?

Friday, January 26, 2007

There's a Dilemma

Although the guestbook has been used as a guestbook with reasonable effect, I think it's fair to say, it's a bit of a free for all, whereby it's not just used as a guestbook.

This is a good thing!

But it leaves me with a problem. It can no longer be called just a guestbook, since it is no longer just a guestbook.

So we need a new name. Anybody got any bright ideas?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Matt and his Birthday

Matt's forty this year, forty in May to be exact, and for part of his fortieth birthday experience he'd like to go on a bike camping weekend to Tenby.

Whilst drooling over Russell Davies's excellent blog, entitled eggbaconchipsandbeans, I've found what could be our best bet for breakfast; Denis Cafe, situated in a fine spot overlooking the beach. The trouble is, I can see Loz kicking up a bit of a fuss about this one with the argument of "What's wrong with cooking the breakfast ourselves on our stoves?"

Nothing is wrong with cooking ones own breakfast, but unfortunately my tent doesn't come equipt with a cappuccino machine. And when one's on holiday, one is entitled to have a cappuccino along with ones breakfast.

What what what.

"James, would you mind washing the Bentley, dear boy? And could we have a couple of lartays when you've finished?" (They would definitely be pronounced lartays)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Blah Blah Blah, Derr De Derr De Derr

I have absolutely nothing of interest to talk about so I'm quite looking forward to Neil getting back from The Dakar, not just because it will be nice to see him, but also because he's bound to have some great photos he'd like to share with us on here.

Most of the country was hit by strong winds last week and it would appear that the wind has done for Loz's shed/garage/workshop what Jade Goody has done for race relations. And like Chris Tarrant's affair, it would seem that the lid's been blown off the whole thing.

It's not just Loz, I've had a bad week too. The freezing of my jacket in the hope that I could scrape off (in snappy chunks) the remains of what was once two toffee apples didn't work. I've since stuck it in the washing machine but it's still sticky. Stubborn old beasts are these toffee apples.

I went into Cannock on Saturday to buy myself a new oil filter and some oil so I could give my bike an oil change. Motorcycle Essentials has a great range of gear and the staff are extremely friendly and helpful. I cannot praise them enough.

That's it, I told you I had nothing of interest to talk about.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Sticky Situation

Until last Friday I hadn't ridden my bike since early November. That was the day some kind, caring and thoughtful friend of mine gave me a couple of lovely toffee apples for my kids. I carefully placed them in the inside pocket of my bike jacket and rode home looking forward to presenting the above mentioned lovely toffee apples to my kids.

A bit of amnesia kicks in!

Two and a half months later they somehow don't look quite so appetising as I spot sticky, smelly brown and red ooze dribbling through the lining of my jacket onto the garage floor.

**Update - Friday 19th Jan**
I've emptied out half my freezer and refilled the empty space with my sticky, smelly brown and red ooze dribbling jacket and winter liner (squashed dead flies included).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Cheesy Tale

It was 13.5 degrees celcius yesterday afternoon and the roads were dry. I finish work early. I'm going out on my bike (I have a big cheesy grin on my face). Garage door open. Bike wheeled out. Bike started. Helmet on. New gloves on. Me on bike.

I'm going out on my bike! (I have a big cheesy grin on my face)

I'm away. 25 minutes later I'm back home (with a big cheesy grin on my face). Engine off. Gloves off. Helmet off. Garage door open. Bike in garage. Garage door shut.

I've been out on my bike! (and I have a big cheesy grin on my face)

14 missed calls!!!

In twenty five minutes!!!

14 missed calls!!!

The phone rings. It's the fifteenth call from the same person.

Me: "Hello"

Concerned Parent: "Michael, are you out on your bike?"

Me: "Errr, nope"

Concerned Parent: "Let me rephrase that. Have you BEEN out on your bike?"

Me: "Errr, nope"

Concerned Parent: "Well somebody who looks remarkably like you on a bike that looks remarkably like yours has just shot past us like A . BAT . OUT . OF . BLOO . DY . HELL"


(Yeah but one with a big cheesy grin on his face!)

Friday, January 12, 2007

We have a Winner

It's that time of year. It's the 12th January. Today is an important date in the diary of Jangle Jangle. Today is the day we reveal the winner of our Christmas Photo Competition (big drum roll).

As you may remember, Duncan did the judging with a little bit of support from Loretta, his long suffering partner. (nb I must remember to have words with him for not, at the very least, signing our guest book) This is what he had to say:

On Gaz and Cara's picture - "I really quite liked this picture, it's every boys fantasy living room. It's what the youth of today aspire to achieve in life. Quite frankly, it's rock and roll man. I'd have chosen this picture as the winner if it wasn't for the helmet spoiling the shot".

On Mike's picture - "Seriously, I should bloody well report you to the Health and Safety Executive for trying to electrocute your kids".

On BLSB's picture - "Both Let (Loretta) and myself liked this picture, but I suspect for different reasons. I liked it for its dynamic colours and design and also for the quite obvious hard work that had gone into creating it. Very clever. Let, on the other hand, I strongly suspect, chose it because she quite fancied the ponce in the Santa hat. But for which ever reason, we both think it's a clear winner".

So there we have it, a thoroughly well deserved winner!

Congratulations to BLT from all at Jangle. Email us and let us know in which way you'd prefer to receive your prize; cash, cheque etc.

Note - Duncan's quotes may not have been quoted word for word and might actually have been completely fabricated in parts. But in my defence, I was only trying to make him sound witty, which quite frankly he's not (only joking Dunc)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Three Cheers for Matt

There was no point Loz building a Givi mounting rack for Matt without Matt having a Luggage box to fit. Luckily Christmas morning arrived and with it came a right posh box! According to Matt, it has a carrying capacity of 52 litres. The way I see it is, when we go camping on our bikes, it's nice to have a couple of beers at hand upon arriving at a campsite. As Matt has an extra 7 litres of space, there's no excuse why he can't carry the beer supplies. By my rough calculations, 7 litres equates to approximately 12 pints which is plenty to be getting on with while we erect our tents. So lets all raise our glasses to Matt (our new best friend) for having absolutely no choice in the matter of becoming the all important beer courier.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Dakar (Stage 1 & 2)

Today is the third day of the Dakar Rally and so I thought I'd give you an update on how the Edmondson KTM bike campaign, ridden by Colin Askey and spannered for by our matey Neil is getting on.

On the first stage from Lisbon to Portimao they finished in 184th place out of 243 finishers, and on the second stage from Portimao to Malaga they finished 217th out of 242 finishers. This gives them a current overall position of 187.

The other bike in the team ridden by Malone is doing slightly better, finishing the first stage in 147th place and the second stage in 98th, thus giving him an overall position of 134th.

They're also racing a truck which Neil is riding in, and I'll give you an update on how it's doing as soon as I get the info.

Next update - Thursday morning

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Cornish New Year

I went to Padstow in Cornwall for the new year, and for five days I saw more rain than the entire amount Staffordshire has had in all of 2006. But looking on the bright side, the food was good, if not a little pricey in some places. Fish and chips in Rick Steins Seafood Restaurant will set you back around £17.50, and before you ask, no I didn't eat there. The local beers were of fine quality and most importantly of all, the surf was huge. That would have something to do with the near gale force winds that blew for most of the five days.

Whilst in the area I decided to pay Bodmin Jail a visit as it's become a bit of a hotspot for ghost hunters, probably because of its dark and sinister past. I'm not one for believing in ghosts but was quite looking forward to seeing one. Sadly I didn't, and I strongly suspect they were all scared of me. The moment I shouted "show yourselves yer yellow bellied pussies" at the top of my voice must have had them fleeing in all directions. It certainly got rid of my relatives. Next time I go I'll try the other tactic of "Here coochy coochy".

Anyway I've rambled on enough, time for a shower, followed by a late entry into work. Ahh work, what a great word, work. With Christmas and new year over with, I've never looked forward to getting back to work so much in all my life.

I'll leave you with some photos.

Padstow inner harbour

Some pub in Padstow

Fistral Beach, Newquay

Fistral Beach, Newquay (again)

Somewhere just outside Port Isaac

▲ Polzeath - fine surf ▼

▲ Bodmin Jail ▼