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Christmas + Sales = Done

Posted by captainbeaky on December 29, 2007

51ni5wrtbal_aa240_.jpgSo christmas is over, which is relief to be honest. To be fair though, it wasnt as bad as I was expecting, but I dont really know what I was expecting. None of this seems normal to myself anyway, as I dont usually spend this much time at my parents house. I just fear that when my life does get back to “normal” its just gonna hit me all over again. No point worrying over it anyway. I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it. 

Managed to get some good stuff for Christmas and in the sales. Got 3 new 360 games (Assassins Creed for £30, Conan for £20 and Tomb Raider :anniversary for £15), a couple of DS games (Nintendogs and Touch Darts) a some DVD’s (some Ray Harryhausen films like Jason and the Argonauts, and Sinbad films) a new set of headphones, and a couple of books (Karl Pilkingtons new one and the Viz Profanisaurus), or which the Viz book has had me in stitches. Its basically a very thick Thesaurus type book, explaining the meanings of words, or phrases that have comedic significance. For example, an Airburst is a fart, a Dreadnaught is a large turd, but the best description is the description for the following….

 Anne Franks Drumkit – Used to describe something utterly useless that merely takes up space!

Superb! Maybe its an acquired taste, or childish fascination with new words, but I think its great! Anyway, sale shopping was mental. Wolverhampton on the 27th was not so bad, but Birmingham today was a bit mad. Its not so much the people walking the streets, its the shops. It makes you realise that 90% of the shops in town are ridiculously small. Not only that but theyre chock full of stuff that would still fill a shop twice the size. Ive enjoyed having a “half-time” break for coffee/beer but Im pleased that I dont haveto put up with any more moronic windowlickers staring skywards and just generally getting in the way.

Just got a few remaining things to do before we return, in just over a week. Going to take Becca to Dudley as she’s never been there (the lucky girl!), got a Birthday party to go to in Moseley on the 2nd, and wouldnt mind seeing a few friends again before we go. Seems mad that we’ve been here for nearly 6 weeks now. Looking forward to getting back home in the sun though – the darkness here is shocking!  

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Posted in Games, UK | Leave a Comment »

Friends, Jobs, Rubbish Banks & Kettles!

Posted by captainbeaky on December 20, 2007

coffeemaker080607_468x545.jpgIts been a long time since my last post and a lots happened. Firstly, we had a great weekend with friends. Had a nice meal in, on thursday night (tasty croutons laura!) and a great curry on friday night. Hired out Sunshine from Blockbuster on saturday (very good film – recommended) and stayed around another friends for “super-sunday” and caught both of the big footy matches. Had a really good time just being around our friends again, chatting and catching up. Its certainly one thing we REALLY miss about being in Australia. Have such a great bunch of friends over here and it will be hard to leave them behind. Again!

Whilst spending time over our mates, we sat and lost our selves in the mind sapping gaze of QVC, the shopping channel. Shockingly, we saw something apparently great on there, called the Tefal Quick Cup. Basically, its a hot water boiler crossed with a kettle. You fill the back resevoir thingy with water, then whenever you want hot water, you press the button, and an element in the neck, heats the water there (as you can see from the diagram above!) and then and into your cup. I mean, for me, its completely revolutionary. No more waiting for kettles to boil. No more hanging around while it bubbles away. If you want a cuppa, its as quick as getting water from the tap. Well…….that was the plan! After finding it £15 cheaper than anywhere else at Argos, we bought one. And, it kinda doesnt work. It DOES boil water on demand. It DOES fill your cup up to a level of your setting. It DOES actually boil the water and not just leave it tepid, as some reviews have suggested. However it also DOES splatter boiling water in a 15cm radius all around the cup too. Not the most clean OR safe thing ever! Tried cleaning the nozzle, changing the filter, leaving it to cool down. Nope! So took it back to Argos today and got a replacement which while better than the 1st one, STILL splatters boiling water everywhere. So….the dream is over! Back to Argos for a refund and wait for Tefal Quick Cup 2.0!  The dreary monotony of conventional water heating awaits….

Job news is that interviews HAVE started back up again for the Boeing position. The agency guy is still hopeful that I will have a good chance of getting one of the jobs on offer on my return, and Boeing are willing to wait for me to get back for an interview. So weve spent a few stressful hours today trying to get a flight back home for a reasonable price. And failed. the resonable price that is – we did get a flight but at a ridiculously extortionate price. Managed to get one from Birmingham, with Emiriates again, on Sunday the 6th of Janurary. Pained me to give them my card details, but if it means I have a shot at this job, I suppose theres nothing I can do. Just a hard pill to swallow.

Went to see the doc a few days ago and he told me my blood test results are fine. Cholesterol, blood pressure, blood fats and sugars etc…. are all well within limits.  However, my family history for heart trouble is terrible so Im trying to see if he will refer me to a specialist. Thanks to a friend (cheers Mark!) a cardiologist is ready to go, but the GP is whinging on about having everyones medical records involved. Knowing how fast these people work, I dont hold out much hope of this happening until well into 2008, which is too late for me. Oh well, I sent the GP an email yesterday pleading for him to send the referral letter ASAP, but Ive had no reply yet. Nevermind, if I cant get it done here, I can always get it done in Melbourne. At a price though :o(

Im sure Ive probably forgotten a ton of other stuff thats gone on, but my mind is drawing a blank at the moment. If I think of anything exciting, I’ll be sure to post it.  Oh – I managed to pick up an awesome buy at HMV – 3 Ray Harryhausen, Sinbad films on DVD for £9! Superb – it isnt Christmas without a Harryhausen movie or 2!

And another thing I forgot. Barclays bank  – avoid. Ive recently had a terrible experience in the Wolverhampton Centre branch. Cutting a long story short, it took 45 minutes, £20 and much frustration just to give Becca some of MY money from MY account that Ive had for nearly 20 years. Who would have known that its common for Barclays to require you to queue in the Foreign Exchange area to transfer money from one UK account to another UK account!?! Backwards Bank more like! Bank transfer cost £20, but a bankers draft costs £10. Want one of those instead? “Sorry, you’ll have to see one of our personal bankers for that”! Of which there is only 1 present. And they already have 3 people in a queue waiting for them. Also, for whatever reason, they also decided that multiple passwords werent safe enough for their online banking service. No sirree! Now, theyve sent me out a stupid farty little calculator thing that I have to put my card in the top and it gives me a password. WHAT!?!? Is this the 1940’s? Is this the new Enigma Machine? Is this what 50 odd years of passowords/code making has come too. Pathetic little calculator bollocky things?!? Grow up! Barclays can stick it up their backwards arses – the accounts are closing. Get your money from some other sap so you can make more Enigma calculators.  They’ll be sending all my statements out by pigeons at this rate. 

See how the idiots in this country make me cross again! Grrrrrrrrrr!  

Posted in Film, Friends, Gadgets, Health, Job, UK | Leave a Comment »

New Toy….Confirmed!

Posted by captainbeaky on December 11, 2007

mobile-phone-with-camera.jpgNot much really happening here right now. Just trying to help my Mom with the healing process. Although Im finding it much harder than anticipated as we are both very different people, with different outlooks and beliefs, I havent lived at home for longer than a few days for close to 12 years and its so hard to try to analyse day to day routines and work out whether theyre normal or not. Its hard, but it will all work itself out, Im sure. 

However, I have made it out to Wolvo today and picked up a few things. Im surprised at how easy it is to just turn Christmas off in your head. I know Im looking at decorated tree’s and fairy lights but its like Im not actually taking it in. Ordinarily Id be getting excited and hyped up by it all , but it really is like Ive decided that Christmass isnt happening this year, and all of a sudden….its true. Its like Halloween for me. I know its going on, and the shops are full of cards and masks and all manner of tat, but because I choose to ignore it as a “holiday”, I dont see any of it.  

 Any how I managed to pick up a cheap (£22 new from Tesco) copy of the new Legend of Zelda game for DS, a very tasty dark minty Terrys chocolate orange, and the seasonal variety of Covent Garden Soup (white onion with stilton and white port). Im not sure about the soup but thought Id give it a try (results in teh next update!). Got myself a “Tipton Pasty” to eat too, which was a bit yuk. The detail: (mainly for Laura!). 

  •  It was completely made of puff pastry
  •  It had a side crust
  •  It had very small bits of steak in
  •  It had FAR too many peas in it
  •  It had sweetcorn in (WTF!?!)
  •  It tasted like a cheap chip-shop pie

So as you can guess I was less than enamoured with it. I would give it…..3/10 knockers!

On a more positive note, I managed to buy myself a new phone today (hence the photo above). Decided on the Sony K850i over the Nokia N82 for a number of reasons. I really dont like teh Symbian plaatform. My existing N73 was my first ever Nokia phone and I found it horrendously slow, far from intuitive. I know the N82 has sat nav and wifi (which the Sony doesnt) but the Symbian factor really turned me off it. So, I managed to pick up the phone on eBay for £250, and luckily the seller was really patient and heplful as paypal did some strange things with unconfirmed addresses and echeques. But everything panned out and I should be getting the phone by Wednesday. 

Weather is pretty crap. In fact, Enlgand is pretty much how we left it. Weather is shit. Its as dark as a cave. Its always grey and miserable. Public transport is fundamentally broken. The banks are total arseholes and its “service with a scowl” at all of the shops and cafe’s. However, it IS reaffirming to know we made the right decision to go to Australia. What IS good however is British TV. Dragons Den, Top Gear, Ramsays Nightmares, Peep Show, Father Ted, QI, Have I got News For You and the upcoming Extras Christmas Special.  Beats “The Chasers” in Australia – awful immature rubbish. 

Posted in Food, Gadgets, TV, UK | 2 Comments »

Back

Posted by captainbeaky on December 1, 2007

Well, after a week thats seemed to last a month, I thought I would try to start this up again. Im back in the UK now (and will be for the next few weeks I think) and while I dont really have any news as such, I thought I would start up this blog again, if only to try to get back some kind of normality. 

Those of you who are close friends already know the details about the sudden death of my Dad, so I wont repeat them now. It was his funeral yesterday, which thankfully went without a hitch. In a week of crap, grey rainy weather it was a calm, sunny day which we were pleased about. The turnout at the crem was huge. All of the pews on both sides of the hall were full, and people were having to line up along the sides and the back. It was a testament to how many people loved and respected my dad, and how well liked he was.  Everyone from friends, family and neighbours right through to the librarian, the nurse at the local doctors and shop floor workers at my Dads company were there. It was something to really draw strength from, and since then Ive felt really calm. I hope it doesnt seem insensitive of me to be posting on here at the moment, but not only is it somewhat thereputic for me to get my thoughts down, I want to “get back to normal” as soon as I can. Dad was always someone who looked on the bright side of everything. The glass was always half full. He always thought, and saw the best in people. I owe it to him to continue his positive way of thinking, and hence, here I am.

Continuing the positive theme, our house has sold and completed today. All the money has gone through, Ive cancelled all our gas, water, electric etc…. and its all finished. Its such a weight off our minds to know thats one thing we can draw a line under. Its just that it seems a bit hollow that Dad isnt around to see the end of what he started. He came around viewing houses with us, he helped us buy the property, helped in nearly EVERY bit of DIY we attempted, and he sold it for us when we left.

Thanks Dad xxx 

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Numb

Posted by captainbeaky on November 21, 2007

This blog will be closing down for a while from now until whenever. I received news this morning that my Dad has passed away. It may sound strange to make a blog post at a time like this, but I just dont know what to do. I feel so helpless and lonely out here right now.  For what is worth, his name was David, and I’ll miss him more than he’ll ever know xxx

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Im Melting! MEEEELLLTIIIIIING!

Posted by captainbeaky on November 19, 2007

weather.jpgJebus Christ, it was hot today! 37 degrees hot!!! By comparison, it doesnt quite look (thanks for the photo Andy!) that hot back in the West Midlands! I cant believe its snowing there already, its obscene! On the flipside, everyone is quite surprised just how hot it is here. The only downside is that the hot weather, and Southern winds have blown in a load of Flies from New South Wales. Its not so bad when you first go out, as the insect repellant shoo’s ’em off, but that only lasts for 4 hours. Gets very annoying after that! However, 37 degrees with flies is preferable to snow and misery! Its meant to rain a little tomorrow and teh day after, but back up to 33 degrees by the weekend. 

Feeling better today too. Still fed up of not having a job, but just trying to be positive about it. Keep on looking, keep on waiting. Went into town today and braved the heat. Picked up a George Grill for cheap, and got a copy of Mass Effect for the 360, which I’ll be taking for a spin in a bit. Just let my tea go down. A VERY tasty tea I might add, of dim sum (which for whatever reason is called dim sim over here) but we got some separate gyoza (pork dumpling type things). Damn tasty, as I said. All washed down with an ice cold Magners! 

Not sure what are plans are for tomorrow, especially if its going to be wet. Our internet should, and I say SHOULD, be sorted tomorrow, so I will have chance to play online, and download the months worth of UK TV we’ve missed. But thats all assuming everything will be sorted, and based on my experience with telecoms companies here, I dont think it will be.  

Posted in Gadgets, Games, Oz, UK | Leave a Comment »

Things…

Posted by captainbeaky on November 17, 2007

all-good-worf.jpg

First off, the only reason youre seeing the picture you are is because I put a search into Google Images for “Things” and this is one the items that cropped up! Looks like he’s doing the “mashed potato”!

Gonna be a short one as Im pretty tired right now forma  day walking around, and its 1am here. Went out to meet the forum folks and had a really good night.  Both of the folks we met (Jen and [great Aussie name]) Bruce were really nice and friendly. Easy to talk to, and both liked food and drink. Learnt a bunch of stuff, amongst which, we found that Grange Hill was shown over here in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Bruce remembered Bronson, Mrs McClusky, Zammo, Gardener, Big Trev et al! Superb! Probably be seeing them soon for some amusing nights on around St Kilda. Above all else, it was just great to MEET people. Feels like such a weight lifted now, as not having met anyone for so long, you start to think about whether your some sort of social leper. I feel much happier now.

As for the house stuff I mentioned in the previous post, its still kind of up in the air but I can at least elaborate on whats gone on. Everything has gone through fine up until now, when some environmental report was requested by the buyers solicitor. As we had no info on this, we asked the council for stuff about the land. They have nowt either, so the buyer refused to sign the completion papers. Cutting a long story short, My Dad is having to pay for this survey to be done on Monday (19th) and HOPE that nothing has been discovered by it. It thought it would be ok, but apparently, Kings Heath was built on a former brickworks so there may be some landfill issues. I dunno what that means, I just know it jeopordises the sale of our house so Im worried. On one hand, we’ve lived there for 7 years with no issues but on the other hand, Im almost 100% sure that an environmental survey was NOT carried out when we 1st got the house. Whether this was because we had a crap solicitor, or whether its a new requirement, I dont know. I just know I will be on tenter hooks until next Tuesday (Wednesday our time) until the reports due.  Fingers crossed eh?

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Post Office Scum Mk2

Posted by captainbeaky on August 31, 2007

So it seems not only are the folks on this side of the counter the only stupid pricks in the building.So I go in (after standing for another 15 minutes with the pond scum that resides in there) and ask if their travel insurance covers one way trips. The lady goes away and says “I dunno, best have a look in this book”, so she fishes out a leaflet. After a minute of flicking through the manual she says “oooo I cant find it, best ring this number or have a look online”. So now I tell her that the online page for the travel insurance has 2 DIFFERENT sets of terms and conditions, one that tells me its ok for one way travel, one that tells me its not. She replies “oooooo yeah…..they can never get it right online, can they” WHAT? Are you fucking kidding me? ITS THE SAME FUCKING COMPANY YOU WITCH! So now Im left with the only remaining option – to ring them AGAIN. I already rang them yesterday and they told me “dont worry, the one that tells me its ok for one way travel is the right one”. Right. Thanks. How reassuring – there is plain black and white legally binding text on the screen, telling me to tick a box to say that its NOT valid one way, and its now superseeded by some thick-ass phone jockey who says dont worry – bunch of fucking ingrates. So there you go – to all you dim, mentally challenged dole scum out there, if you DO want to get a job, get one at the post office – it seems you’ll fit right in with the rest of the thickies!

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I hate people!

Posted by captainbeaky on August 30, 2007

The truth is slowly starting to dawn on me….I hate the public. I had 2 simple tasks that involved interaction with the public today; Go to the post office to post a couple of parcels, and catch the bus. Turn up at the post office – full of dole scum! Despite the fact that it has one of those annoying “rats in a maze” style zig-zag queuing barriers thingies, the line was still out the door and onto the pavement. As I held back the rising chunks, I decided to give it a go. What a stupid decision – after 10 minutes of waiting with the dolies, the queue had moved 2 about a metre. Probably because they were all ill educated chavs who dont work…or bathe – god the stink in there was horrendous. So….fuck that, I’ll get the bus instead. Well, after waiting 20 minutes I’ll get the bus (whos incredulous timtetable simply states it will arrive “every few minutes” – thanks fucking very much!). Bus eventually turns up and the orderly queue that existed at the bus stop degenerated into a Primark Sale type free-for-all. And because the bus is late, its pretty full. And because the bus is late every stop on its route has at least half a dozen folks who want to get on. Now, Im a tall chap and cant sit facing forwards in the seats – I have to sit kind of diagonal on because of my long legs. Still, doesnt stop the pricks who sit next to me from looking at me (and probably tutting themselves to death, but seeing as I wear my headphones to block out teh shit rap music coming from  the back of this bus playing through somebody’s “awesome” non-tinny mobile phone, I couldnt say). So what am I supposed to do, fucking take my legs off? Kneel on the floor? Twats. I really dont know if its just Kings Heath that suffers from these sub-human scum. Is it Birmingham, or England? Either way I wont have to put up with these shits any longer. 

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Fuckwit Update!

Posted by captainbeaky on August 28, 2007

Now some total cock has bought my item, but then emailed me to say his son bought it in error, can he have a refund?!? Complete fucking prick!!! Got my refund but now got ebay dispute payment form crap to fill in. Bloody waste of time. 

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erm……stuff!

Posted by captainbeaky on August 14, 2007

A nice quiet day today (which surely is wrong considering we’ve only got 25 more days in England!). Cancelled more gubbins for when we leave. Had a look for more jobs, but not really anything that appeals. Well….not yet anyway. Give it another few weeks and I’ll apply for anything!Games stuff (for anyone interested….I guess youre the only one Andrew!). Finished The Darkness game, and started the Bioshock demo. To anyone who has a 360 or a PC, get the demo now and play what could possibly be the best game of the year. Amazing stuff. Yet another day goes by where folks who are meant to show up to have a house viewing FAIL to do so. But I’m not so mad today as the estate agents had to deal with it. 

Posted in Games, UK | Leave a Comment »

Estate Agents = Pond Filth

Posted by captainbeaky on August 8, 2007

What the fuck is it with this “breed” of sub-human scum and idiot housebuyers? First we were supposed to have a viewing at 10am this morning, which was then cancelled. Then, the muppets ring me just as Im about to leave the house (to visit solicitors for emigration stuff)  and tell me there is a woman in the office who wants to….well…heres how it went.Stupid Fucking Estate Agent Representing A  Stupid Fucking Housebuyer: Hello Mr Hickinbottom, its Fuckface at Bairstow Eves. We have a woman in the office who wants to come around now to view your house. Me: Well I was about to pop out. Can she make it first thing tomorrow. S.F.E.A.R.A.S.F.H.: No. She can come around tonight at 7.30?Me: My parents are coming around tonight. How about Friday morning first thing?S.F.E.A.R.A.S.F.H.: No. Can she come around Saturday?Me: No. Ive got friends down on Saturday. Look, if she really wants to see it now, I’ll stay in for half hour or so, but then i REALLY have to go out. S.F.E.A.R.A.S.F.H.: Ok she will be over in 5 minutes. Queue me frantically tidying the house up, washing up, quick going over with the dustbuster, washing away etc….. then the phone ringsS.F.E.A.R.A.S.F.H.: Hello Mr Hickinbottom, its Shithead at Bairstow Eves again. the woman now said she cant make it right now after all. I’ll rearrange it for next week. Bye. WTF!?!?! Why do I even bother with these cretinous retards? Its probably just as well she didnt come around – if she cant be bothered keeping a timing schedule then she doesnt deserve my house. Useless slag!

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Scary!

Posted by captainbeaky on August 7, 2007

Well, everything seems a bit more real now. Having seen all of Beccas family (except ma and pa) for the last time, we’ve just booked the tickets for our emigration flight. Now its all set in stone, its bloody frightening! Flying Emirates from Birmingham, 9:30pm flight on Saturday September the 8th. So 1 month to go!!!! And a shitload of stuff to get done in between! Next step = aussie bank account, next step = book the removals people. Well at least this blog will be going to catalogue my stress for you all to mock me with! 

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Good News Everyone!!!!

Posted by captainbeaky on August 3, 2007

WE GOT OUR VISAS THROUGH!!!! woop woop wup wup wup wup!

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A sad day…..

Posted by captainbeaky on July 30, 2007

Mike Reid, who played Frank Butcher in Eastenders died today, from a heart attack, aged 67. While Im not a fan of Eastenders now, back in its hey day Frank was the king! Got all the greatest lines, was a cheeky cock-er-ney who’d give you a dry slap if you crossed him. And who can forget him appearing in the buff on Pats doorstep with nowt more than a spinning bow-tie and a smile on!!Some good Frank lines included, “What do you take me for? Some kind of Donut?!”, “Ricky, you pilchard!”, “What do you take me for? Some kind of ice cream?”! Class!

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Dead or alive, youre coming with me!

Posted by captainbeaky on July 27, 2007

well, its 1:13am and im just back from a works do. the place where we had the meal was great (fantastic food and relatively cheap drinks). Held a karaoke night later on after the meal which was great. much amusement and embarrassed faces! A good time was had by all. However – it was ruined by a suggestion of going to Rosies in Solihull, which I was informed was doing an 80’s night a la reflex. However, upon turning up at Rosies, it was playing utter shite house dance music and the place was full of copybook slags wearing A.N. Other top and crappy white hotpant style shorts. I thought house music didnt exist any more!!!!! Or am I just showing my age? It seems shitty 90’s dance music is alive and kicking in Solihull unfortunately! And now, the front room smells strangely of peas and the pastrami and rocket I asked becca to buy are not in the fridge (but black noodle thingys are!?!?) ho hum – im sure things will make much more sense when i wake up!ps – fan-bloody-tastic!!!! The end of robocop is on!!!!!!! I’ buy that for a dollar!!!!!!!!! Just at the but where emile get rammed into the toxic waste!!! superb! Now…….You have 20 seconds to comply!!!!

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Useless Fucking Homebuyers

Posted by captainbeaky on July 25, 2007

if youre going to the estate agents to try to buy a home, and they make an appointment for you to look at a possible new home for you to buy, you might want to actually turn up at said home INSTEAD OF WASTING THEIR FUCKING TIME! for shits sake, this has got to be the 5th time its happened. if you dont want to go around, fucking say so!!! 

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