EDitorial ± 27-Feb-2007

TT0607, Week 21

Week vingt-et-un, in which Arvind proved himself to be fallible. After playing like a dervish last week, powered and pumped up by his plenty positive perspective, he lost his first to the ambidextrous canny Ken, failed to fire against Walk Away Rene, then went 9-5 down to their third man, his sometime practice partner, in the deciding fifth end. Didn't look good. And yet, and yet, he came back to scrape a point. Phew. Else who knows what KC, ousted from tonight's line-up, might say?

Which left the old pros (that's me and AC, in the team 'cos we always are) to gain our doubles and secure our doubles places. Won that one too to make it two wins on the trot -- go Defiants -- then off for celebratory mochacino milkshakes at the Tiles. Plus, shines table, the inevitable reflections on the night's performance. Did Arvind get fooled by Ken's half-hearted warm-up? Did he play them in the wrong order? Was he put off by their loud self-congratulations? All of the above.

In danger of analysis paralysis, we sunk some J2Os and called it a night.

EDitorial ± 26-Feb-2007

Guess Where Ipswich

It started innocently enough. Brief email arrived on Tina Turner's birthday from an online acquaintance, saying "Do consider joining Guess Where Ipswich and posting some of your own."

Off came one sock and in went one toe, and it felt good, like home. A series of snaps snapped in The Town with the simple proposition of identifying the location. What could be simpler for a simple local chap like me? I got one or two straight off, as I'd expect. Others I knew but couldn't exactly place. Still more were a puzzle wrapped in an enigma deep within Chantry.

Wasn't long before I'd assembled my very own set of entries, themed around the notes Do-Re-Mi:

  • Do from Dog's Head Street
  • Re from The Regent
  • Mi from Live At The Mill
  • etc.

Great fun watching the guesses roll in, all of the opening collection being id-ed in the first couple of days save for the "Fa" from Fat Bob's Tattoo Emporium. And that went soon after too. Then came set 2, set 3, and so on. That good an idea must be milked dry and flogged hard.

Three months later and I remain much like one of those suckers on the latest NHS quit smoking posters -- I am hooked, visiting several times a day:

The rush you feel when you visit GWI is not pleasure, but simply the relief of satisfying a craving.

Much of Saturday was spent in town on the pretext of paying in cheques, buying bin bags, blah de blah. Actually, in between these vital micro tasks, I was searching for (a) a weathervane near Christchurch Park, (b) an art deco rooftop ornament, (c) an unadorned flagpole and (d) a dental surgery with an arched window. (All of which I found, yielding a Henman-esque clenching of fists.) And merrily pointing and clicking my own pocket Canon.

Now, my next set to be uploaded is based around ... well, wait and see, but it's a cracker. So that's Guess Where Ipswich: I couldn't give it up tomorrow.

EDitorial ± 22-Feb-2007

TT0607, Week 20

Into this evening's game against top-of-the-table Capel -- played 14, won 14 -- thinking that we'd do well to grab a point. Mentally prep-ed on the way by slamming Muse on the car stereo with Knights of Cydonia at volume 12 (Two Louder, patent pending):

The time has come to make things right
You and I must fight for our rights
You and I must fight to survive

A tad OTT for an Ipswich and District table tennis division two game, but hey. Arrived late, not the best of starts, then both myself and Arvind (still waiting for workhorse AC at 8:45pm) played and lost our opening matches to tough opponents. And those were the only points we gave away. You may want to re-read that last sentence before carrying on.

Scarily, shockingly, surprisingly, team Defiants -- played 14, won 1 -- thrashed 'em 8-2. That's eight-two, for those watching the mini-printer. AC showed some teeth to land a maximum, I won my other two, and Arvind played like a man possessed to beat the guy who'd beaten me. Which left AC to go into the doubles by rights, and the toss of a coin gave the other place to Arvind: we won that one too.

We were gobsmacked, they were gobsmacked, though I have to say that they were incredibly gracious about the result. What a performance.

EDitorial ± 20-Feb-2007

Dolmio, January 2007

That Boy had a wobbly tooth tonight: he wasn't impressed that this prevented him from licking his lips. Put him to bed after a quick run-through of Harry The Dirty Dog, who changes from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots. Then out the tiny tooth popped -- actually extracted by G. -- and placed carefully under pillow. But no pound coin to hand so I "borrowed" one from The Boy's money jar. While you're tutting, here's last month's Dolmio (Doings Of Last Month Innoparticular Order).

That is to say, an attempt to capture past(a) events before they slip... my... mind. January 2007 was spent:

And that was January 2007.

EDitorial ± 13-Feb-2007

TT0607, Week 19

Stupid decisions made recently:

  • last Thursday: biking to work in the snow
  • Saturday: assuming that she'd phone me when I should have phoned her
  • tonight: popping a Zammo-esque max strengh ibuprofen before the game

Lowlife lowlights first. Twisted my ankle in today's footy and tumbled over, not even gaining a penalty. Joint noticeably swollen like someone's inflated my Admiral sock. Even so, should have won my first game, going 5-1 up in the fifth end. He came back and claimed an edge (which hit the side, and that doesn't count), and that was my spirit broken. I played worse in the next match, and later threw away my final game in a painful teeth-pulling encounter. I left with nothing.

Step forward new recruit Arvind: he's Indian, you know, in case you were onshore. Geddit? Moving on, his nerves did for him initially before a storming second match, winning the first end from 3-9 down and going on to secure a precious point. Top man.

Kev was his usual below potential self up to his last singles when suddenly a transformation took place: out with the pat-pat, in with winners, fore and back, and ... what's the word? ... concentration. Shockingly he won the third end; amazingly he triumphed in the fourth end; unsurprisingly he lost the fifth, but quite a performance. More than enough to earn a place in the doubles with Arvind leaving yours truly to score. Like the ankle, ouch.

EDitorial ± 8-Feb-2007

TT0607, Week 18

Braces for me and AC (third week in a row) on a slushy night meant that team Defiant have gotten themselves, for the first time this season, an unbeaten run. Like Shakira's hips, those results don't lie: two draws on the trot. Go us!

Tonight's opponents, as I'd told KC beforehand, included someone he could beat. Not the guy who flips his bat so that your return dutifully dollies the ball up for him to wallop away. And not the chap who performed a flip of a different colour, going into a major sulk when one too many of AC's inevitable nets & edges drove him over the, erm, edge. But the other manny.

Kev could, and as wannabe Arvind pointed out over a pint of Explorer later, should have won. Apparently KC needs some yoga training to gain a more positive outlook. Or the carrot of a place in the doubles.

EDitorial ± 6-Feb-2007

When You Need An Orange Ball

Tuesday, 12:30pm, footy, and without fail the weather is on our side, so quite a shocker to make the short stroll to the changing rooms in the snow. No-one in too much of a hurry to open their kit bags. Concensus was for a pitch inspection. Here now, I thought, may as well have a runaround if only for five minutes.

Pulled on my two white T-shirts and headed outside: man, that's cold. Group decision not to play but found one of the opposition ready and willing to kick my Mitre Calcio back and forth. And waddya know, slowly joined by another madman, and then someone else, until we eventually had most players on the snowy pitch.

As the none-too-serious game went on, I slowly lost most sensation in my hands, entering Touching The Void territory. Not a good time to then discover one of my laces had become untied. Clunk, went my memory banks: I remember turning out for my cub football team at the local rec, getting similarly frozen and being unable to tie the lace on my boot.

Forward several hours and The Boy is telling me about running around in the snowy stuff at morning break, singing this song:

Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you?
I'm halfway down the loo now
If you flush the chain
I'll go to Spain
Flying on a chocolate aeroplane

Makes him laugh.

EDitorial ± 5-Feb-2007

Living On The Ceiling

Way back when, we bought some new ceiling lights. To go with the new fitted cupboards. To go with the new fitted dishwashwer. To go in the new fitted kitchen. Fitted up, we were, fittingly enough.

Over time there's wear and tear and knocks and scuffs and the dishwasher fails to dissolve the Powerball and the cupboards don't always shut and the fancy halogen lights take turns to conk out. Two pairs, four 50W GU10s in all, until the one directed at the kettle pops and won't even work with a fresh bulb. So now there's three wheels on our wagon but heck, you acclimatise to the lower light conditions like a Morlock from AD 802,701.

Until last week when one of the good remaining twosome decides that it can't ... take ... it ... any ... more -- you go on without me, leave me here --- and goes pop. Now down to 50% luminosity and resorting to opening the fridge for light.

Tonight the super trouper lights are gonna find me
Shining like the sun
— Abba, Super Trouper

Like that midday film with Gary Cooper, there comes a time when a man has to act, ideally when his wife's away for the weekend and can't point out the obvious dangers of dealing with live electricity. Middler had to be dragged to the big orange behemoth, but The Boy said "I Love B&Q!" and raced to put on his trainers. And we returned from the hunt with Middler-approved "3 light bar mirrored spotlight", times two. There now follow edited highlights:

  • successfully turned off mains power with natural light fading fast
  • off with old bad light, wiring new good light when Eldest nosebleed started
  • tested and working then dropped and lost tiny retaining screw
  • disconnected second fixture only to find not three but four wires
  • fiddled and finally secured new light, torch in mouth, so why dining room lights no longer working?

Dunno what was more of a miracle: that the new spotlights worked or that Eldest's nosebleed stopped.