Archive for May, 2010

Look Before you Leap

Friday, May 28th, 2010

I saw an advert for car insurance in one of the caravan magazines. Insurance cover included free roadside recovery for car and caravan, 24/7, 365 days a year.

I think their website is

In other news, yesterday I went to a work-related conference in a different area of London to my normal haunts. I –
Found a cache I’d previously failed on.
Found a multicache I’d never looked for before.
Found the first stage of a multicache near the conference venue.

Went to the conference:
Blah blah waffle COFFEE
Blah blah waffle LUNCH

Went for a walk and found the next stage of the multi, then went back to the conference.
Blah blah waffle FINISHING TIME

Then I finished the multi, and before going home I started another one – only being defeated when the plaque at the third stage was obstructed by roadworks :-)


Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

So anyway – last week’s little Haiku question. There were three responses:

LITF offered “I think it’s taken from a haiku: “You only live twice: once when you are born and once when you look death in the face” or something like that.”;

Sally-J suggested “Do I get a bonus point for saying that (according to Fleming) Bond’s Haiku doesn’t scan when translated into Japanese? Or is that knowledge just a little too sad… even for me???”

…and Stu – because he’s Stu – said “Actually, the pure Japanese form of Haiku does the … oh”.

The funny thing is, LITF’s quote – from Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice – was exactly right, something I only realised when I Googled the phrase to check my facts. I’d completely mis-remembered what happened, and in my mind Ken Tanaka praised Bond’s haiku and told him it did follow the haiku rules both in Japanese and English. So there we are :-)

Needless to say, Sally-J – being by her own admission a 007-obsessed qualified librarian – went above and beyond and knew all the detail!


Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

…I haven’t blogged for so long. Over the weekend I was too busy having fun to tell you about the fun I was having, and I meant to blog last night – but some train related entertainment, combined with a rather long job that I had to do last night, meant I never got to it.

The train was late. In fact, due to a number of signal-related problems, nearly every train in the south of England was running late. And then when I did get on it, I wasn’t thinking straight and sat on the wrong side, so I was by the window that had the sun all the way home. And the cooling on the train wasn’t working. And by the time the train got into Southampton, it was late enough that Southampton busses were on the “one bus whenever we feel like it, which isn’t very often” timetable. It would’ve been quicker to walk, but it was still warm and I was wilting, so I bought a litre of water from the Co-Op, and drank it before the bus arrived.

Cool dudeAnyway, as this fabby picture (taken by m’lovely Purple Fred, whom I continue to love in increasing amounts) shows, we had some fun at the weekend. Saturday was my Luvvly Mum’s birthday, so we took her out to lunch. Sorry by the way to the excellent Bel, whose surprise party I couldn’t attend – I’m afraid my Mum got first dibs on me being at her birthday!

Then PF and MiniFred and I went to the beach and found a geocache, and I came home with half the beach in my socks. I wasn’t wearing them – they were being used as handy bags to carry the stones and shells that had been collected on the beach.

And on Sunday I was being a Raynet person at the Marwell 10k race, so while I was working hard, PF and MF looked round the zoo, and tell me they had a lovely time. And then we rounded the weekend off with stuffing envelopes for the next drama group production mailshot.

I received a letter from the drama group today with a mailshot in it. There’s one envelope we needn’t have stuffed!

You Only Live Twice

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

I did a London cache this evening which requires, not only that you find and log the cache, but that you include in your log a “Doctor, doctor” joke. My own effort was a bit feeble, but original – and if the cache owner has to read it, so do you:

Doctor, doctor, I
Can only express myself
in Haiku: Please help!

Wait your turn, young man.
These folk are just the same, so
queue, and form three lines.

And before anyone (Stu) says it, I know the pure Japanese form of Haiku does the 5/7/5 structure in a single line – but it’s an English joke so you get the English Haiku form!

I did another cache which was much easier and only required finding and logging :-)

Oh, and five points to anyone who can tell me (without recourse to Google), the relevance of today’s title. Sally-J gets the points automatically ‘cos I know she’ll know!

Play Up, Play Up, and Play the Game

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Well, as anyone interested will know by now, Pompey didn’t win the FA Cup. Although given the quality of our penalty taking, even I have to admit we didn’t really deserve to.

On a more cheerful note…PF and I had a BRILLIANT time last night! We did something we’ve been doing as a hobby, when we could afford it, for a little while – only this time we got paid for doing it! It was our first time on that side of the fence, and it was the best fun ever, we definitely want to do that again!

To save speculation…I’m NOT going to say in this blog what it was! It’s nothing odd or mucky or anything, it’s just there are some things that we don’t want to be possibly connected to by a Google search! Although there’s a clue in today’s title…

And while we were there, we found my 100th geocache of the year!

Play Up, Pompey

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

I had an e-mail last night from Portsmouth FC Online…apparently “Pompey are only days away from winning the 2010 FA Cup Final”.

Now I’m a supporter of The Mighty PFC, as many of you will know. But I’m also a realist, and while of course I’d like us to win, I’m not optimistic – although Ladbrokes are only offering 10/1 on a Pompey win, so maybe they know something I don’t. Annoyingly I’ll almost certainly have a punt even at those carp odds (update – I actually got 9/2, tight sods).

To make it worse, I’ve heard back from my footie trivia consultant: In response to my questions of a couple of weeks ago, Chris tells me that no team has ever won the FA Cup and been relegated in the same season, and no team has ever won the Cup and gone bankrupt in the same season. While “theres always a first time”, I’m not confident of bucking the trend.

Ah well…another 48 hours will tell…

Hair Today…

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

100512a.jpgI spotted this poster at Southampton station this morning.

It’s a crap phone cam picture so the text isn’t very legible, but it says “For your nearest salon and 20% off your next hair service, text ‘pretentious prat’ to XXXXX”.

Hair service? What the heck’s a hair service? I suppose given the 80’s ‘do of the bloke in the picture, it might well be an oil change, but even so, who calls it a hair service?

On which subject, I went and saw the Misses Mungoze near work at lunchtime today, and for sixteen English quids they cut my hair and trimmed my beard. I bet I’d have paid a lot more than that, even with 20% off, at a hair service establishment.

Gone Gone Gone

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

So the Broonster has stepped down as Prime Munster and leader of the Labour party: David Cameron is, at the time of writing, at Buckingham Palace being invited to form a government.

I can’t help thinking that if Brown had resigned a year ago – when more than half his cabinet were pleading him to go, for the sake of the country and his party – Labour would’ve done much better in the election, and the LibDems more willing to coalesce with them. But that’s in the past now one way or the other, and we have what we have. What can’t be missed is that for the first time in three years, Brown looked relaxed and happy on the news tonight.

There’s much talk about electoral reform and which flavour of proportional representation (if any) would be best for Britain: it certainly looks like we’ll have a referendum at some point in the next year, and I hope people will make their choice after a sound study of the issues, rather than a knee-jerk support for whatever alternative to first-past-the-post we’re offered. This election has had its problems, but they weren’t all caused by the electoral system and wouldn’t all have been solved by a different system.

And on a personal note, for the first time in my life I’m older than the Prime Minister.

No blog today

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Sorry chums, no bloggy goodness today…

However, I’ve updated the caravan blog with a couple of pictures of last weekend’s trip, so why not click on “My Caravan” under “pages” to the right, and see what a lovely site we found?

Late Night

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

At one o’clock this morning, I was both very tired, and a bit cheesed off.

A couple of weeks ago, m’lovely Purple Fred – whom I love very much – forwarded me an email inviting applications to be in the audience of a new TV quiz show. She couldn’t go but thought I might like to, so I banged an application in – and heard nothing more.

Until Thursday, when I had a phone call from Tessa at the production company asking if I was still available. I said yes, and after a few return calls to correct my email address, I had my ticket.

I arrived at TV Centre and the first person I saw was my mate Gerard – whom I hadn’t known was going to be there, so we had a quick conversation and then went in to sit in the BBC Audiences cafe for an hour or so. We were called through to the studio, where we sat for another age before recording started – apparently they were having a few technical problems. The programme was a pilot for a new comedy quiz called “Don’t Get Me Wrong”, and the presenter was Rhod Gilbert, a particular favourite of ours. Sadly being a pilot, you’ll never see it on TV – although if they do make it as a proper programme we apparently get invited back.

The main problem – and the reason I was later cheesed off – was that it over-ran by an hour: This left those of us from outside London with a sprint for the Central Line, to get back to our trains home. I didn’t think I was going to make the last train, but luckily there’s an 11:39 – which stops at every station and doesn’t get back until ten past one – hence my lateness, and my cheesed-offedness.

Still, it was fun, and I’ll apply to go again…I might have a backup accommodation in London plan ready though!

Parking Problems with Pungent Pong

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

My plans to produce an all-singing all-dancing photo blog of the weekend’s activities took a bit of a knock when I had a phone call today from the storage place where the caravan lives:

“Hello, Mr Gottle? Your caravan looks as if it was parked by Stevie Wonder, and it’s blocking the space next to it. Please come over this evening and put it right”

OK, she didn’t quite phrase it that way, but having gone back this evening and had a look, she’d have been justified if she had. So the caravan is nice and straight, and I’ve collected the sugar and toothpaste that I forgot to bring home last night, but with travelling there and back, I lost more than an hour of the evening, which wasn’t what I intended.

So to summarise the weekend:

Went to Krap-Fit1 to get a new tyre fitted on Evie B, after I found a nick in one of the treads that was spreading into the sidewall. Then collected the caravan, and in company with PF and MF went to the caravan site in Chertsey.
Where having set up, we went to a lovely local pub for a late lunch, and then spent the rest of the day geocaching, before returning to the caravan so one of our number could watch Who Wants to be a Dorothy?

The weather was vile and not forecast to get much better, so a day of indoor activity was decided upon: We drove into central London and visited Tate Modern, a gallery full of piles of dirty washing, and latex sheets covered in foam resin. Normally when we go somewhere like that, the joke is that PF looks at the art, and I look at the fire extinguishers – Tate Modern doesn’t have any fire extinguishers. Nuff said2. Luckily for me, there are still places where you can see what a magnificent piece of engineering this building is, so I didn’t miss the extinguishers too much. And if I’m honest, I’d have enjoyed it almost as much as PF and MF did if I hadn’t had a steaming headache I couldn’t shift!

And then – by request of MiniFred – we went to Hamleys, a huge toy store in Regent Street. Although PF and I agreed that it was much smaller than we both remembered it, from when we were taken there as wee ones. That was much more like it – and I have to confess, I could’ve spent a fortune there meself.

And then, we ended the day with a chinese takeaway :-)

The caravan site was emptying, so the wardens allowed us a late stay (you normally have to be off by midday, but if they’ve got room they often let you stay later). We played on the swings at the site for a while, then spent the morning doing a couple of caches chosen by PF before a pub lunch, packing up and going home.

I’ve missed out on some of the incidents of the weekend – like where at one cache, we were heading for the final location when an old man outside the pub said to his friend “Ooh look, geocachers” – and another where we were caught in a thirty second hailstorm, but suffice to say we had a nice weekend, had loads of freash air, and saw some new places.

1 If this doesn’t ring a bell, see this blog
2 If I was being uncharitable, I might suggest that this is because there’s nothing in there you’d bother saving if it was on fire

The Problem of the Pungent Pong

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

PF and I, accompanied by MiniFred, spent our Bank Holiday weekend in the caravan!

As you can tell from today’s blog title, something in the caravan has got damp over the winter, so sorting that out goes on my job list…but more importantly I’ve logged the caches we did over the weekend, most of the pictures are on the computer (just the ones on my phone to go) and the washing is in the machine.

More detail tomorrow!