Sunday 11 March 2012


I do have a bit of an issue with the Welsh. The voice does my head in a little bit. This is just someone who sees himself as a complete liberal trying to justify not liking a person based on their nationality. It’s not really it is just the voice, well what else would there be to form an educated opinion on?

As far as I know, these are the facts about Wales and the welsh,

  • Wales was built in 48 hours as part of a Challenge Anneka Christmas Special
  • Winking was banned in all Welsh cities until 2009
  • In Uruguayan the concept of Wales is interchangeable with speedboats, depending on whether you are from the North or South of Uruguay the meaning alters somewhat.
  • The national food is a charcoal sketch of a catapult on Ryvita bread.
  • Their national sport is rugby.

Abergavenny for Your Thoughts

I am tragically out of my depth finding my way anywhere. I was clearly built to be living in a generation or two’s time when everyone will have a satnav built into their large heads. I have no sense of time or direction. It can make finding my way anywhere very difficult. I don’t seem to get any better at knowing where I am even when I have trod the same path numerous times.

So, why (oh why) did I remember every inch of Abergavenny? From stepping off the train to walking into the hotel, ten minutes away, it was like I had done this journey…oh I don’t know..nine times this month when in fact I have only done it ONCE before. In this life anyway.

I arrive at the hotel to be told “you are eating in the dining room shortly”. I am confused. I am writing in the present tense recounting events in the past because that’s what Rob Lowe does in his autobiography and I am finding myself echoing it. Why is the receptionist at the hotel describing something I wont be doing in the future in the present tense? Breaking the obsession with  the present tense (apart from describing my actions) I tell the receptionist, “No, I wont be doing that.” He accepts my decision not to follow up 3 hours on a train of drunken, Welsh United fans with a meal making small-talk about red wine and walking holidays with the people I shall be in a meeting with all day tomorrow.

I don’t see avoiding this meal as anti-social. Then again I don’t see anything wrong with me spying on the men in the bar from the window in my room, so I can wait until they have gone to go for a cigarette without the prospect of small-talk. This involves a two hour wait for a – frankly dissatisfying – cigarette.

By this time the front door is locked and I feel stupid about asking if I can go outside for a cigarette: not wanting to be seen as some kind of junkie. I justify leaving the building, to the night porter, by pretending I have to get something from my (non-existent) car. I realise that I have no idea where the hotel’s car park is as I walk away from the hotel. This proves unproblematic as I remember I don’t have a car in the car park: I start to worry that I will have nothing with me when I have to ring the bell to get back in.

I consider going to a shop so I will have something, but its 11.10pm on a Sunday night in provincial Wales – all the shops shut in 2008, save for a Tesco Express in Cardiff. Ultimately I gamble that the old man working the night shift at a small hotel will not really be monitoring my person for evidence that my story checks out. The odds must be about a million-to-one but he doesn’t seem to give  a fuck that I am not carrying a pair of smart shoes, a binder or the instructions to an LED pointing device back from my non-existent car.

Comfort Zone

Why did I avoid the evening meal? It would not have been comfortable for me. Here are some things that make me comfortable, in no particular order:

  • Watching many episodes of comedy series that I like and have probably already seen before
  • Watching films
  • Watching Bikini Beach (RIP Bikini Beach)
  • Talking about TV shows and films
  • Facing the door when I am in somewhere (feng shui  or a fear of assisination? A little from column A, a little from column B)
  • The being drunk between a bit tipsy and being too drunk
  • Being too drunk
  • Reading (verb – not the town that shares a music festival with Leeds)
  • The act of becoming tipsy-too drunk.
  • Watching football (only with friends or alone, not in a crowd – specifically not watching England in a crowd, unless the crowd or not English. I do support England)
  • Having a laugh/Talking Shit
  • Talking to my friends friends (this is not as easy as it sounds; I am quite fussy about who I befriend and people get bored of being my friend somewhere between 12 seconds and 12 months. What gives? Who wouldn’t want a coarse, superior, narcissistic-yet-self-loathing, antisocial, foul-mouther, overweight midget as a friend?)
  • Arguing when I am pretty sure I am right
  • Dancing
  • Arguing when I am pretty sure I am wrong
  • Figuring out what is wrong with something technical and mending it
  • Writing a daily blog (can’t explain this one)
  • Being sat on my own
  • Assembling an IKEA DVD/CD tower
  • The third-to-last-day of being on holiday (long enough to be able to relax in the surroundings but not near enough going home that I just wish I was at home)
  • Walking somewhere with my iPod on
  • Having my hair played with
  • Playing football
  • Watching most sports (not basketball, baseball or F1 – though I do watch them all, just uncomfortably)
  • Writing a lists of things that make me feel comfortable.

Room Service

Here is my inadequate tea: it costs my employers around £22.

£3 for that 'side' of chips....

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