Thursday, May 31, 2007

I can't sign this

because I'm not a UK citizen (yet), BUT YOU CAN!!!

Petition to ban plastic carrier bags

I realize that plastic bags aren't the worst problem facing the envirnment, but they are a problem, and one of the most easily fixed, at that. Pick up a couple re-usable carrier bags the next time you're at the supermarket, keep them in your car so they're always handy (if you drive) or by the back door. Plastic bags are just unnecessary. There's no excuse.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jesus Christ - The Musical

Dudes. Check this out. But don't have liquid in your mouth when you watch it unless you really really want to spray that coffee out your nose onto your keyboard!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bring on the Yeasty Beasties!

or: Confessions of an Inadequate Drinker of More Than Adequate Beer, and the Unfortunate Consequences,
or: How I Made a Right Tart of Myself on Sunday Night

UPDATE: (at bottom of post)

This is pretty personal and pretty detailed, which is why i didn't post it right away, but i've decided that it was an emotionally significant event and i could really use your thoughts. Sadly, in order to fully convey my horror at what transpired Sunday evening, I have to give you some pretty grapic details. Sorry. (Warning: disgusting details and whinging inferiority complex imminent!)

I have never been so embarassed in my entire life.

Sunday the Pirate's cricket game was cancelled because of the rain, which gave us the whole day to do whatever the fuck we pleased. Rainy sundays are great. Rainy sundays when i'm on the rag are considerably less great. So much for the usual Olympic marathon bedroom gymnastics. Bah. So we had to find other ways to amuse ourselves indoors.

So we did pleasant Domestic Things. We went to the outdoors store and got ourselves some necessary bicycle bits and parts, went to the grocery store for milk and toilet paper (that most necessary accessory for modern life), and stopped by the pet store to procure me a new fish (photos to follow shortly, after i get my camera batteries charged). That killed half the day.

So I rang up some pals to see if anyone wanted to go bowling. i managed to get flatmate B, former flatmate Welsh Cake, and her boyf the Yorkshire Pudding on board. (Me, i'm the American Pie, and Pirate is known in these parts as my Lancashire Hotpot. Getting the Hotpot and the Pud together is always great fun; they can spend hours insulting each other's heritage -- it's brilliant!)

We had So. Much. Fun. The bowling alley is shite, and the laminate floors (as opposed to polished wood) mean i get absolutely no slide, so my scores were shite too, but that wasn't the point. The Welsh Cake is the worst bowler I've ever seen -- bless her cotton socks -- so when she finally got a strike we all jumped up and danced like Muppets. Not muppets in the generic sense, i mean Muppets, those wonderful creations of Jim Henson's with their very distictive dancing style (head thrown back, arms straight out in front, hips and hands girating back and forth). Even the Pirate got in. Actually, he started it. and i LOVE that he is the sort of man who will go out in public with his girlfriend and her friends and has no compuntions whatsoever about looking like a complete tit and dancing in a bowling alley. god i love that man. he's more man than any man i've ever met, and he's still a complete kid inside, too.

We had so much fun we didn't want the fun to end, so after our 2 games we piled into the car and went to The Mall in Clifton Village, my favorite pub in Bristol. It's got a great vibe, great ambience, great music, comfy furniture, and the best selection of Belgian beers on draught of any pub I've seen (in a country other than Belgium).

I started going there for the Hoegaarden, but one day when they were out i discoverd the Leffe. Oh sweet mother of god that's good beer. And very strong. They normally only serve it in half pints, but the (Belgian lesbian) barmaid who served me (and tried to chat me up) was perfectly happy to pull me a pint. Whee! At 6.5% that went down too fast and too smooth. So i moved on to a pint of Fruli -- a strawberry wheat beer that actually contains strawberries, and not just strawberry cough syrup. That's good beer, too.

Then for some reason i decided I wanted a half pint of the Schneider Weisse, another lovely brew. Except aforementioned lesbian Belgian barmaid pulled me a whole pint. Did i only drink half? Did i fuck.

Normally 3 pints, even three strong pints, wouldn't be enough to make me more than slightly tipsy, so i didn't worry too much. I'm Polish, remember? But i had forgotten about dual facts that a, i havn't drunk much in the past several months, so i don't have much of a tolerance, and b, all i'd eaten since lunch time was a 6" sandwich at Subway, and that was several hours past already (pre-bowling). So i had NO food in my stomach to sop up the deliscious yeasty beasties.

When we got back to my place and bid the Cake, the Pud, and B goodnight and closed the door, then did i begin to realize how far gone i truely was. i told the Pirate i wanted to clear my head, and went downstairs to walk around the block. It was raining, but i jogged 4 laps around the block anyway, hoping to speed up my metablolism and process the alcohol a bit faster. (I never get drunk when I'm dancing no matter how much i drink, so i figured this should work.) It didn't. I was drunk and wet. I went back upstairs where the Pirate had laid out the air mattress and sleeping bag for me (it was my turn on the floor -- he's had it the past 3 weekends), along with my teddy bear and feather pillow and filled 2 pint glasses with water, which he ordered me to drink.

(Warning to male readers: details of menstrual condidtion imminent!) Now, because Aunt Flow was visiting we hadn't had any nookie all weekend, and because last weekend we were so fucking sick and and exhausted, it had been a while. I was randy. really, really randy. But the good news was that i hadn't had a drop of blood since the previous night. I had considered jumping the Pirate in the morning, but decided to give it another day just to be sure. By sunday evening when i was still clean i decided the coast was clear and announced such. Someone was very happy indeed. Two someones, really. (Attention male readers: you can open your eyes now.)

This is where my memory starts to get a bit fuzzy, but i remember most everything. I hope.

We started kissing, but every time I closed my eyes i got really dizzy and nauseous. We tried to lie down on the bed but being horizontal was a Bad Idea and my equilibrium told me so. So we stood up and i tried to go down on the P, but after a few seconds the nausea became too great and i had to bolt for the bathroom, where i threw up three times.

The Pirate asked if i was OK, and i said that honestly yes, i felt much better having emptied my system, and i did. So we carried on, standing up. It was all going terribly well, and we had a lovely time. After everyone was satisfied, tired, and happy, i got off and...

(warning: gross bit coming up)... there was blood everywhere. I was mortified. I have never made such a mess in my life. I'm not opposed to shagging while ragging in principle, and have done it before -- taking appropriate measures, such as a thick black towel on the bed -- but the Pirate is not a fan. This is ok with me, and i respect his feelings on this matter. But even i have never seen such a mess. It was disgusting, and it was everywhere.

Pirate went into the bathroom to clean up, while i sat on the bed amidst a pool of sticky embarassment. When he came out i went to get cleaned up, was overcome with nausea again (i was still rather drunk) and proceeded to throw up again. and again.

I honestly don't know which embarassed me more, the blood or the puking. Either one would have been enough make me want to move to another country and never show my face again, but both in one night is almost more than i can bear. Pirate was incredibly understanding, and wiped away my tears and told me everything was fine and he didn't care and just wanted to make sure i was OK.

The following morning (managed to dodge the hangover; i think the yakking helped there), i was still crying from embarassment, and again Pirate told me to stop being silly that everything was fine, and gently wiped the tears from my face, told me that of course he forgives me when i asked him, and kissed me.

But (in a stupid, backwards, totally illogical way) this just makes everything worse!

He's so goddamn perfect! if he would do something assenine, just once, he would be easier to believe. Even if he said something like "yup, you really fucked up, and there is nothing sexy about a bleeding, barfing drunk woman, but you are still a wonderful person and i still love you," i could take that. But he doesn't even acknowledge that i did anything wrong, which makes me wonder "What is he really thinking??? What is he not telling me???" No one can possibly be that understanding.

Can they?

That's the other possibilty: he really is that sympathetic and understanding, which makes me feel all the more inadequate. He's just too good for me. He's the most wonderful man alive, treats me like a queen, and how do i repay him? By bleeding and barfing all over him. Fucking great girlfriend i am.


UPDATE: All afternoon while i've been sitting here writing this and feeling like a giant disgusting shit, do you know what the Pirate was doing? This was our text conversation:

P: Having a productive day?... [stuff about his day]
me: Hullo! I'm fine. I got my bike back from the shop. Whee!
P: Good stuff. I'm off out to pick you a carrier bag of wild garlic. How long does it go in the oven for?

That's right. While I've been sitting here feeling like a monster, he was out wandering the wild woods of Wiltshire to pick me loads of wild garlic for my cooking.

I can't get over how sweet that is. That's right up there with the omelette for thoughtful gestures. He's not going to use it -- he hates cooking! He's doing it entirely for me! It also sends the message of how much he appreciates my cooking, and wants to do something to contribute.

He's too good for me. I don't deserve him. I bleed and barf all over him and what does he do? He spends an evening gathering me a bag of wild cooking herbs. I don't think I can ever be good enough for him, but i desperately want to spend the rest of my life trying.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pirates of the Carribean: At Sequel's End*

Saw "Pirates" on Friday. It's long.

Very long.

Almost 3 hours long.

And when you consider that the movie didn't begin until after more than 30 minutes of commercials and previews, and that it takes 20 minutes to drive to the theatre (and back), plus time for standing in line for tickets and then again for snax, you're looking at -- conservatively -- giving 4 and a half hours of your life to this endeavour. (I wonder if Jerry Bruckheimer actually watches the movies he makes? I bet he doesn't have to wait in line for snax. I bet he cuts to the front.)

It's also wierd.

Very wierd.

Very, very wierd. Which is why I liked it.

All three 'Pirates' movies did very different things. The first one was your basic, Disney, action/adventure swashbuckling flick (although not as good as The Three Musketeers). The second one was a spoof of pretty much every other movie ever made. This one got way more into the supernatural. It made the boundaries between this world and the next more fluid. It was (a bit) more pshycological. It even tried to have emotional/psycological angst between Kiera Nightly and Orlando Bloom. (Here's a tip, kids: stick to looking cute. Neither of you could act your way out of a wet paper bag.)

That's not to say it proffered any great philosophical viewpoints, but I will give it this: there were parts of it that were really, genuinely original and creative. Stuff that made you think where the fuck did they come up with that??? And of course Jonny Depp is still the King of Entrances. Him and Miss Piggy. Ruling monachs of campy cinema over-the-top theatricality. I confess there were parts that actually had me stamping my feet and squealing with delight, like when (warning: tiny tiny insignificant spoiler approaching) he appears on the screen at the helm of a ship that is sailing on dry land. It was just so damn cool on so many levels.

And there were a couple really memorable lines.

But that was about it. It had superb elements: quotable lines, wierd and creative imagery, and camp theatricality, Keith Richards being The King of Asss-kicking Cool, but there was little more. Plot-wise it managed to move quite swiftly throught its 2 hour and 48 minute running time, and it managed to do it without me even once looking at my watch to see how much film remained, but I can't actually remember much of the plot. It was fairly forgettable. There were good guys and bad guys (who swapped roles a few times), there were disguises and sword fights and shipwrecks and the annoying guy with the wooden eyeball, but most of the film was pretty ho-hum once the buzz of the Dolby surround sound system died from your ears and in the cold light of morning you actually tried to recall what about the previous night's adventures had been so great, even though you're sure you were having fun at the time.

So I guess my verdict is this: it's worth seeing on the big screen because some of the imagery was really spectacular and would truly lose something on TV, but wait a month until the crowds have died down, there aren't as many commercials at the beginning, and take your own junk food. I'm giving it 3 sticky Junior Mints and an unpopped kernel.

*we hope

Thursday, May 24, 2007

In Splinters

After 3 days in bed with the Pirate's man-cold I'm feeling better and can now tell you all the extraordinary goings-on of the past week. (You'll like this, really.)

The Pirate had 5 cricket games in a row this week, from Saturday to Wednesday. Sunday's and Monday's games were both on the outskirts of London, so it made sense to stay overnight rather than drive back to Bristol Sunday night and all the way east again on Monday morning. I managed to find a nice B&B in Aylesbury for just 30 pounds for the night (which basically paid for itself, since that's how much the petrol to drive home and back would have cost).


Sunday morning we set off for the cricket match. I had a tickle in my throat, the first symptom of the cold from which the P was recovering. I knew I was doomed.

It was a lovely day, and after watching the P bowl the first 6 overs I fell asleep in the grass with my new friend, Carter,* and napped until lunch. The day passed pleasantly. The Pirate's team lost, but the P batted decently and bowled superbly, so he was reasonably satisfied. I spent most of the afternoon dozing in the sun or making friends with the horses in the nearby paddocks.

The most exciting moment of the day came during lunch, when one of the player's brown pointer discovered a lamb that had somehow got onto the field from the adjacent pasture. The lamb had been sitting in the corner all morning, quietly minding its own business and watching the match. Then the dog found it.

I really didn't know lambs could run like that. It actually out-ran the pointer. We were well impressed.

After the dog was re-leashed, the lamb was escorted back to its proper side of the fence, and the last of the tea had been drunk, the atmosphere returned to pre- predator/prey calm and the game resumed.

Come the evening we (the P and I) were both worn out, me becuase I was getting sicker by the minute and he because he bowled 12 overs while still recovering from his own cold.

(Bear with me; this is where it really starts to get good.)

We hopped in the car, and after lending assistance to an opponent who needed a jump-start, made our way to the Duck-In Village Inn in Aylesbury. I highly recommend it. We had a huge en-suite room with two giant french doors leading out onto the garden. The room was clean and nicely appointed, the staff was friendly, and the food in the restaurant/pub was very good indeed. We could have cheerfully spent the whole weekend there, rather than the 12 hours we had from our arrival sunday night to our early departure Monday morning.

It was our first time away together at a location other than one of our parents' homes. Being the sentimental female, I wanted to make a big, romantic to-do of it. I packed my prettiest satin night gown and my laciest panties. I even took a votive candle and holder (bonus points for remembering the matches, too) and a bottle of massage oil. I mean I pulled out all the stops, kidlings.

After dinner in the pub the Pirate had to run out to the car to get something he forgot. I took the opportunity to set the mood. I brushed my teeth, lit the candle, got into my delicates, and waited. When the Pirate came into the room he exclaimed "Why the hell are the lights off?! I can't see a thing!" and flipped the switch back on. Then he saw what I was wearing, and got the message. Off again went the lights.

I flopped on the (queen-sized) bed to test the mattress (flopped, mind you. I did not jump). There was an almighty "CRACK!" We both froze.

"What the hell was that?" I asked.

"That," he replied, "was the sound of possibly the funniest thing you have ever done in your life."

He flipped the light on and we looked under the bed. The main 2x4 timber running from the head to the foot of the bed had properly split asunder, and was in splinters in the middle.** Do you have any idea how much force it takes to break a 2x4 in half??? I didn't think I weighed that much!

So there ya go. Our very first night together in a hotel, and we broke the bed. :-)

*a very mushy, lovey, Staffordshire bull terrier. He belonged to one of the other players, but was very content to have his belly scratched by anyone and even happier to have a nap-buddy.

** if you should ever find yourself staying at the Duck-In Village Inn in Aylesbury, ask for a room other than room 3. The bed in there isn't very strong. ahem.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Too sick to blog

but so much to tell you! I got the Pirate's nasty head cold and I feel like shit. Perhaps tomorrow I'll be in better shape to relate to you all the crazy shit that happened over the weekend.

The follow-up to the Personality Test, however, you've been waiting paitiently for for a long time, so here's the decoder.

1. Favorite color: (supposedly) reflects how you view the world and your outlook on life

2. Favorite body of water: reveals how other people view you.

3. Favorite animal: how you see yourself.

Now go back and read all the previous comments and laugh at people.

Also my toilet is broken. Bah.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Unconventional Conventionists and Rodent Requiem

I'm back! Yay for you.

Last monday week the Pirate and I went to see the Rocky Horror Show. The tix were by birthday gift to him since we'd been trying to see it for over six months but stuff kept getting in the way.

So there we were, walking around downtown Bath in our knickers.

He went as Rocky for a change, instead of his usual Frank getup. We spraypainted his underwear and sneakers metallic gold, sprayed his hair gold, and put gold sparkles all over his muscly chest. It was pure class, people.

I did a Janet, and wore a lacy white virginal bra, white knickers, a very short white slip, stockings and heels. and that were it. We had such a good time despite the fact that most of the boring, middle class people in Bath showed up in boring, middle class clothes and refused to do the Time Warp with us. What a bunch of squares.

The following morning I was off to America, where I attended the 42nd Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo and gave a paper on my recent work. I got some good criticism and feedback and made some good connections. I also bought over $500 worth of books, including an antique set of the complete works of Chaucer in 7 volumes from 1899 in beautiful condition. I had to have them.

The highlight of the convention was Miss Melville, long-time fiend who recently finished her BA in English. She had never been to an academic conference and when she came along to hear my paper she was enthralled by the whole setup. So the following day she came with me and gate-crashed.

Let me repeat that in case you missed the implications of that statement. She gate-crashed an academic conference on Medieval studies because it was fun. There's nerds and then there's nerds.

I had a lovely week at home with my parents and wonderbeagle. Daisy Doodle is still plugging along (albeit very slowly), but since I won't be back home again for a year I know I'll not see her again. It's very sad.

The other extremely sad news is that Bluto died while I was away. This does not come as a surprise. He had been losing weight and getting thin for some time, and I suspected there was a problem with his mouth. I observed that he was only storing food in his left cheek pouch, and never his right. When I saw uneaten sunflower seeds in his cage I knew it was serious, because only terrible pain could possibly keep him from his sunflower seeds, such was his love of the crunchy little delectibles. Unfortunately when these things happen there's nought to be done. I made an effort to give him more soft, fatty foods, but it wasn't enough. Poor little blighter. He was a most excellent and admirable rodent.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Personality Test

This is a personality test we used to give each other in school. It's wierdly revealing. Answers in the comments, please!

1. What is your favorite color, and WHY?

2. What is your favorite body of water, and WHY? (This can be anything, from a puddle to the Pacific, from the toilet bowl to the oceans of Titan. It can be real or fictional.)

3. What is your favorite animal, and WHY? (again, real (extinct or extant), or fictional/mythological.)

The most important element to these questions is the WHY.

I'm going to be gone for the weekend, and as soon as I get back I'm taking off for America, so it's going to be a while before I can get around to responding to these and tell you what your answers are meant to reveal about yourself. But that's ok, because the longer I'm gone the longer it'll be before we all laugh at you.

Ta, my darlings!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Deja Loo

The meds I'm on are making me pretty foggy. Here's a prime example.

Yesterday I forgot to take my happy pills fisrt thing a.m., so I took them later in the afternoon. Normally about an hour after I take them I get hit with a wave of heavy drowsiness and need to lie down a bit, so instead of getting my drowsy burst at 10 am, it came at 5 pm instead. There was no point in trying to work through it so I caved in and crawled in bed.

I woke up an hour later and looked at my clock. (It's an analog face.) It said 6:00. Now if you think about this, 6:00 on an analog clock is one hand at the 12 and one hand at the 6. In my haze I was convinced it said 12:30. And I panicked.

Normally at noon on a Thursday I have to go to a lecture at noon and take notes for a disabled student. I freaked out, believing I was half an hour late, and by the time I got to uni the lecture would be nearly over. How was I going to explain this to M?! She depends on me to be her hands for her.

I leapt out of bed and looked at the (digital) clock on my computer. It read 6:03. "That's odd," I thought. "I wonder why the clock on my computer is off." I looked at my (analog) watch just for good measure, and it confirmed what my alarm clock had already told me: half twelve.

I started to put shoes on and stuff the necessaries in my backpack. Everything I needed was already there. "How clever of me to pack ahead of time," I thought. I stumbled into the bathroom for a wee before dashing out the door, and while I was sitting on the loo it struck me: I've already done this today.

Yes, lardies and gents, earlier that day at noon I had, in fact, gone to the lecture and taken the necessary notes. It really was 6 in the evening, but despite being fully dressed it took my exceedingly foggy brain a full 10 minutes to figure out that I wasn't getting up for the first time that day, and I was panicking about being late for something I had already done.

Clearly I was unfit to be upright. I went back to bed.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Things that annoy the piss out of me

People who walk slowly.

People who stand on the pavement 5 a-breast having a conversation and don't move when asked politely to do so, so that I actually have to walk on the street to get around them.

Chuggers. They all need to DIE!!!

People who claim atheism is just another religion.

Shitehawks breeding on the ledge under my window.

People who chew with their mouths open and make loud, smacking souds with the food.

Students who don't shut up and pay attention when the lecturer begins to speak.

The price of replacement ink cartridges for my printer.

That's it for today. I'm sure tomorrow I'll have more.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Unceasing Wonderfulness of the Pirate

Last week was shit. It was worse than shit. It was the bacteria on the shit. It was the shit from the shit-muching bacteria. (Hence the lack of posting.)

"Why was your week shit from shit-munching bacteria?" I hear you all ask.

Let me tell you.

Largely, it was the pain issue. Since December my back had been getting a lot better, and only popped and hurt occasionally. I was even doing some light sculling. (This was back in March.) Then, a couple weeks before Easter, things started going downhill, and fast.

By last Tuesday I was in constant, splitting pain. It was as bad as it had been back in November at the time of the initial injury. I had gone all the way back to square one.

Phyically, I was less than useless. I couldn't sit at a desk, which made working impossible. I couldn't bend over, which made everyday life impossible. And I was in constant agony. None of the painkillers I had helped. Wednesday I actually called in sick to my temp agency and told them I couldn't do the job they had scheduled for me. I felt like a complete heel.

And psychologically I was falling to pieces.
  • I hadn't rowed or been on the water for ages, which was making me miserable.
  • I hadn't been able to do any other significant exercise as a substitute, so I wasn't getting my usual regular doses of seratonin endorphins or whatever the hell the brain chemical is that's stimulated during exercise. That stuff is critical to my mental health, and I bloody well know it.
  • My inability to go about my daily life without assistance has been making me fell broken and a burden to those around me, espeically the Pirate. I've been fearful that he might leave me because he deserves a woman who is strong and healthy and who doesn't need looking after. I know this is irrational, but knowing it's irrational doesn't make the feeling go away.
  • My inability to sit and work for any long period of time was making getting research done difficult to say the least, and when I was sitting I was in pain which was making it all but impossible to focus.
  • Falling behind in the work was stressing me out.
  • My aunt fell and broke both her feet. She's 74 and morbidly obese. This is a problem.
  • My dad has just been in for surgery (well, you already know about that bit).
  • My other aunt has a lump and has to have a biopsy to determine malignancy.
  • The kid in the flat next door to mine dropped dead in the shower last sunday. We were friends. He was 23. Heart attack. No one saw it coming.
  • Did I mention my back hurts?
So not the best week of my life. All the things that have gone wrong are things I can normally cope with just fine, but my coping mechanism is not functional as a result of my lack of exercise. I've found that whenever I'm left alone I burst out into tears. I constantly worry about what people think of me, that they resent me, and because I feel weak, that they see me as a weakling. I'm eating too much and sleeping too little. I'm an emotional train wreck.

(Ironic aside: the people at the office where I work every Friday told me the love because I'm always so cheerful and sunny, unlike the girl who holds my post monday through thursday, who is apparently depressed and does nothing but whine all the time. It seems I manage a pretty good facade.)

I've been afraid to share these feeling with the Pirate because I don't want him to think I'm a nutter as well as damaged goods.

Friday I finally went for a mental health evaluation. I decided there was no point in living like this if I didn't have to. I filled out their forms and told them everything I've told you (and then some), and my GP's conclusion was that I am "significantly depressed."

Finally the NHS gets something right!

So now I'm on happy pills! whee.

Are you wondering about the title yet? So far this has all been "woe is me," and not much "hail the Pirate."

So Friday night the P came over, as usual. He knew it had been a rough week, (he even brought me strawberries to cheer me up) but he really didn't have any idea how bad I was. He found out pretty quickly when he arrived and I burst out into tears. I told him everything, including being on anti-depressant meds, which he seemed ok with.

I was in no condition to cook, so he took me for dinner to an Italian restaurant I like. Unfortunatley something I ate had a violent arguement with my stomach because I had barely finished my cappuchino when the churning started. I almost didn't make it home before the trots began.

Not being able to bend over, I had difficulty getting myself undressed, so the P helped me out of my clothes (he's got some experience at that), and got me into some loose, comfy jammies. Every Friday we listen to replays of our favorite radio programs on my computer (available from the BBC Radio 4 website), so he put on some soft lights, got the programs playing (The News Quiz and Genius), and settled himself on my bed where he let me lay against his chest, all propped up with pillows to make me still and comfy. And for 2 hours I just lay there, stomach churning, back aching, half-listening to the radio and crying quietly while he stroked my hair and kissed my forehead. Eventually the meds took hold and I fell asleep in his arms. At some point he got up and laid out the bedroll and sleeping bag for himself and went to sleep on the floor, but I was long since unconscious.

The following day, Saturday, was much better. The muscle-relaxant really seemed to help and for the first time in a week I wasn't in pain. Pirate had a cricket match, but I wanted to stay in Bristol to watch the Varstiy Boat Race between Bristol and UWE.

It was a glorious day to be down by the harborside. The sun was shining, there was a light breeze, conditions on the water were excellent, and University of Bristol Boat club kicked ass. We won 4 out of 5 races, the senior women being the only Bristol crew that lost. (I maintain this is becuase I was on the bank and not in the boat where I should have been.)

I felt wonderful. I could move and bend and stand and sit without stabbing pain. I shouted myself hoarse cheering for my team mates, and saw loads of friends I havn't spoke to in ages, some of them in years. I even ran into a old team mate of mine from Manchester, Speedy. I havn't seen Speedy in over 3 years. What a coincidence! It was a great day. I was only sorry the P couldn't be there with me to share it.

Then I set out on my bike to the P's house. It's about 23 miles, but it's a really nice journey. Unless of course you get two punctures in your rear tire, you realize that your rear wheel is so warped that the brakes can't work properly. (See previous post.)

When the Pirate came to collect me I felt really guilty. (When I called he was hanging out at the club watching the world cup final on the big projection TV.) He was so cheerful about it, though. He pulled up to the curb, kissed me, and gave me an orange and a banana to much on while he futzed around putting the back seat down in the car and loading the bike in.

As we headed off home he said, "Right! Here's the plan: when we get home, you're going to get in the shower and get cleaned up while I unload the bike and put the car to rights. Then we're going back down to the club to watch Sri Lanka kick the Australians' smug asses on the big projection TV."

Problem: I hadn't packed any clothes!!!!!

I knew I'd be arriving late in the evening, and that I'd be leaving first thing in the morning for the boathouse, where I'd just be wearing my stanking cycling clothes again, and going straight home from there. So I didn't see the need to pack real clothes. All I had was my pyjamas.

"No problem!" came the reply from our cheerful hero. "You can wear mine! Lucky we're the same size, eh?"

So there I was at the Pirate's local cricket club wearing his black track-suit bottoms and a T-shirt that's slightly tight on him. They fit pefectly. Scary.

When the (disappointing) outcome of the match became apparent we went home and looked at the bike, where the (disappointing) state of the bike became apparent. Time for bed.

Sunday promised to be another lovely day. I was still feeling pretty good, not much pain, but the combination of the valium and co-codomol at night make it pretty hard to come awake in the morning. It doesnt' help that the happy pills i take in the morning also make me groggy. It's a bit like walking underwater all the time.

Normally when I have to get up early and the P doesn't I just get dressed, fix myself some breakfast, and sneak out. This time the P got up with me and fixed me an omlette for breakfast.

The significance of this is not to be overlooked.

In the 9 months we've been together, the number of times he's cooked for me can be counted on one hand, and he's never, ever made me breakfast. (Unless you count slicing the bread for my toast for me.)

But sunday he made me an honest-to-god omlette. It's the little things; it really is. That omlette said "I love you" more than a fancy gift ever could.