Thursday, June 30

audience with the hotheid

Yesterday I stumbled into a serious substance session. When seeking an audience with the hotheid it's quite usual to have to wade into the addiction pool, but this one was a topper, a real guinea pig test lab.

Three hours later I escaped, downstairs. Thanks to the passive drug inhalations, I couldn't recognize the street I was in. To get home, I had to ignore my surroundings and navigate from the internal street map. Slept till 11 this morning.

This afternoon the heid blissheid was free so we did what I believe you might call a walking meditation, if you were a fraudulent guru milking gullible Americans. Most enjoyable.

- iPhone post

Wednesday, June 29

nanny state thinking

The dumb Brit phone company is blocking my access to comment pages, until I can prove I'm over 18.

So I'll have to put my comments here.

Hotters, re - I know what you mean about being thankful for the allotments. Yesterday they were great for dumping a gross of incontinence pads. Unused. Not literally in the allotment. There was a row of council bins on the roads outside.

Could you have used them?

- iPhone post

Sunday, June 26

winter coat

In amongst the gold bars I found a navy coat, probably wool. Too big for me but if you're a fat blissheid it might fit. Italian tailoring so possibly too stylish for some.

- iPhone post

Saturday, June 25

not even my round!

I passed by the hothouse with the mother of all carry outs - Sainsbury's own brand 2% lager. Four for a pound!

The blissheid was either too blissed to open the door, or away being mother of all Teresas.

I may have to drink the lot. Don't say I didn't offer.

- iPhone post

Friday, June 24

weather balance

Summer in Scotland:

Winter down under:

Tuesday, June 21

second impressions of Salzers

Eating out really is poor, you'd do better with a supermarket picnic in the room, thank goodness for Lidl.

The TV has over 100 channels of crap, which makes it even worse than German telly, not a phrase I thought I'd ever say. At least they only have 20 channels.

But the place is picturesque, and dramatic like Edinburgh, with at least one castle soaring above everything else.

There's a tour party of Japanese ladies staying at the hotel. This morning at breakfast, I nodded to one of them as she left, and she bowed in return, I think it was just a level 1 bow. But then each of the other ladies in turn had to bow too, so we were at it for some time while my eggs got cold. Not my personal eggs. In German, the word for eggs is also a slang term for goolies.

One of the official sights is a tour of the local weissbier brewery, with sampling. So maybe I won't boycott all the tourist stuff after all.

And I found out that tomorrow night there's actually a serious concert (rather than a face-stuffing cabaret for people who'd like to like music if only it wasn't so boring without food). So I'll go to that. Better still, it's in the Michael Haydn (Josef's bro) Museum. I've always liked what little of his I've heard. A chum of Wolfie's.

While I'm here I should acknowledge my wee old Scots spinster auntie, whose vices included chain smoking and tea. When she was alive she used to holiday here every year. She loved me unconditionally, a great thing to do. She refused to wear a seatbelt in my car because she trusted my driving.

- iPhone post

Saturday, June 18

first impressions of Salzers

First Salzburg impressions (without having been into the centre yet): dirty, tacky, overpriced, muggy climate. But at least there's a Lidl with weissbier round the corner. Just woken from my first full night's sleep in weeks. So that's what sleeping feels like!

There are dozens of sights to see but I still have to pace myself and choose the ones I actually want to see. There's a palace worth a tour. And the two Mozart houses. But castles with actors in medieval gear are not my thing. Do they Disneyfy Edinburgh castle nowadays?

There are several "concerts", most of them actually overpriced candle lit dinners, with a string quartet in wigs. Tacky as eff.

I only planned visiting here because with the cellmate it could have been a romantic adventure. Now I'm just going through the motions to use up the hotel and flight. It'll be okay so long as I refocus on what I need for myself. Rest. Food. Fresh air at last after 6 days in aircon. Yoga. More rest. Might even try some more of that breathing stuff that was so helpful when I was stressed. Maybe when you're not stressed it can lift you to another plane.

- iPhone post

Frankers to Salzers

By booking our train tickets several months in advance, I got first class seats cheaper than the second class price. I'm on the train now. Trouble is, they're letting absolutely anyone go first class these days, so the ambience is no better than, say, the London train back in the days before they introduced special fares.

I'm sure people used to have better manners. I remember in the 60s you could travel back on a cheap day return from Murrayfield in a first class carriage and vomit on the floor, and nobody was rude enough to complain, as far as I remember.

Across from me the cellmate's seat is empty of course, but I'm enjoying defending it from folk without reservations. Don't these people realize that good Germans reserve their spaces early?

- iPhone post

Friday, June 17

diversion in Frankers.

Inspired by this Aussie artist's painting:

Thursday, June 16

letting go

One good thing about travel is it can force you to let things go. Right now, if the house gets burgled while I'm away or eaten by termites, or burnt to a cinder, it doesn't really matter that much.

And yesterday I had an important project to work on, which further put things in perspective. The challenge was to find a Lidl and fill the backpack with their excellent 20-pence bottles of weissbier. I'm pleased to report complete success. I've moved the overpriced hotel beers out of the minibar to make room for weissbier.

I had the second free dinner last night, sitting out in the sun. They refuse to bring you tap water so on the first night I had to work hard to munch my way through the food with a bone dry mouth. Last night I almost toyed with the idea of taking in a Lidl beer up my sleeve. But I bit the bullet and ordered the ripoff bottled water, allowing me to give my full attention to the food.

Bavarians make some great smoked fish. But their vegetables are at best an afterthought. It all balances up.

PS. From now on I'm using this system: knock back Lidl beer in the room just before dinner. That way you get to the restaurant just as your knees are going. Then you can enjoy watching other beer drinkers paying 30 times the Lidl price.

- iPhone post

Sunday, June 12

luck turning

After the torture flight I reached Singers, where I had 20 hours to kill. I stayed in the airport, not even bothering to go through immigration. The whole city's much like the airport anyway, one great big shopping mall (but done with great taste and efficiency). Safe. You can leave your wallet hanging out your back pocket, and leave your bags unattended. There are no thieves, or if there were any you'd recognize them by their missing hands.

I rented a cell in the transit area, initially for 12 hours. A bed and no windows, and nothing to do. Perfect! I did breaths, and yoga, and I dozed. Occasionally I'd go out for fish and rice soup. I could happily have spent a whole week like that. As it was, I extended the room rental for 6 more hours. By checkout time, the next plane was waiting just along the corridor.

I got on the plane feeling almost half human again, and the thing was half empty! Yip-effing-pee! Suddenly the 12 hour flight turns from an ordeal into a luxury.

I colonize a row of seats and order a Singapore Sling. Top right in the picture. Not exactly a man's drink, but tropical and strong.

The Singapore stewardesses are even more radiant than usual, happy to have so few passengers.

After a great lunch and some free booze, I lay down across several seats for a snooze. Reminds me of my old man, who used to get paid to get drunk in the morning and to sleep it off in the hospitality lounge in the afternoon. He worked as a tour guide in a distillery. The ideal job, for him.

Next stop Frankers, where there's a 5 star hotel room booked for me and the cellmate, a treat for us that I'll do a good job of enjoying without her. Two mammoth meals a day included, so I might put back some of the weight recently lost. I must remember I'm eating for two now, with an amoeba to support.

Frankers is a dud town, so once again there should be plenty of time for staying in and doing nothing. If I want movement, there's a gym and a pool. I'm getting some insight into the old dear. When she came over to visit me and the cellmate last century, she and her hubby spent almost the whole time in the hotel, happily practicing their Spanish on the south american chambermaids.

After Frankers, there'll be the romantic week in Salzers, again minus the cellmate but we'll be in daily contact via online Scrabble. Then a train to Munchers, the flight to Edders, where I hope to catch up with various retired folk. Then on to Glazzers, where I'm borrowing a Loch Lomond farmhouse from my former landlord and now dear friend. There, I'll be entertaining a couple I know from New South Cal. They've always wanted to see two things: Loch Lomond, and highland cattle.

At some point there may be some grief, but it's all good.

And eventually I'll have to face the trip to Piddledorf, but by then I should be fighting fit.

By the way, I've found out that the source of Germany's e coli has been traced to a bean sprout factory in Piddledorf. Putting it on the world map at last.

- iPod post

Saturday, June 11

the song remains the same

Now I'm not usually one to complain. But the country and westernisms have kept coming.

You'd think that losing the stepfather and the old dear, the cellmate doing a runner, and then having to shoot the dog, was enough to be getting on with. But then 3 days before leaving New South Cal, the dentist decided on a surprise root canal job. Drilled two holes: the usual one going in from the top, and a bigger one going in from the side. He'll fill it when I get back in July, and meantime what remains of the tooth shouldn't snap off as long as I remember not to eat with it.

The next day the doc called to say I've got amoebic dysentery (piece of cake compared to the black spot of course). The treatment's worse than the disease, and often doesn't work anyway, so enlightened opinion suggests leaving the wee critter alone if it's not causing much trouble. After all, the flatulence is only a problem for other people. And I could do with a new pet.

I got to the airport with three hours to spare, so I was looking forward to catching up with some sleep in departures. But a merchant bank owns the airport, and they've taken out all the seats you could lie down on, and the new ones are uncomfortable even to sit on. They want to keep you on your feet and shopping. So I lay down on the floor with a jacket over my face, and did the amateur bliss breath. Almost as good as sleeping. Eff the bankers.

Now, ever since the PPP went into receivership I'm having to pay my own flights and travel in sewage class. The plane to Singapore was packed, and I was standing a lot of the time, for lumbar reasons. Whenever I got out of my seat, the fat woman beside me would unload all her stuff onto my seat. And when I wanted to sit down again, with a sigh she would pick up her stuff again, in passive-aggressive slow-motion.

Then when I sat down again she would try and engage me in fatuous conversation. I understand now why some blissheids get the murderous feelings about flatheids. Eventually I just closed my eyes and did the breathing. I realised she had me marked as the opposite of her strong silent hubby, so she thought she could grab some rare girl talk time with a mug new age guy. Forget it sister, if you hitch your wagon to a man of stone, live with the silence, don't pester me.

The veggie meal deal was appalling. But I knew my luck was bound to change. "The darkest hour is just before dawn" - Mama Cass.

- iPod post

Sunday, June 5

animal lover

In Edinburgh a man carried out an indecent attack on a lamb which was later found dead.
It happened in a field near Silverknowes Road, on a Sunday morning in the middle of winter. The Aussies do that sort of thing all the time, but at least they've got the hot weather as an excuse.

Thursday, June 2

dog's life

The dog went smoothly this morning, and I kept her distracted so she had no idea what was happening - thanks to all the treats I kept pulling from my pockets, she thought it was Christmas, and continued wolfing food from my hand even when the needle was in. The last mouthful she ate, about 1 or 2 seconds before passing out, was her all time favourite, a liver muffin from the neighbour across the road.

I'm gutted of course, yet full of love and admiration for her character and physical grace. Half Australian collie, she was tough, stoical and eager to cooperate. She loved adults but considered children a waste of space.

She wasn't interested in starting fights, but if another dog or three wanted trouble, she was merciless.

A couple of hours after she died, the mother outlaw across the water was all prepared for her fifth operation, not realising it had been cancelled because the previous patient took too long. Nobody thought to inform her until late in the day. The dog had the more humane treatment.

These nights I'm waking about 2 a.m., and having to get up and do yoga, but there are worse ways to live. I haven't eaten for days, but that'll change now. The mother outlaw hasn't eaten in 4 months, and that's unlikely to change if you ask me. Dearie me! The dog's had the best deal.

Suddenly, the TV seems full of dogs. Even Bullitt The Dog is back in episode 5 of Ra Scheme. He has a better life than any of the schemies.

By my next post I hope to be happy as Larry - could not be happier.

- iPhone post

Wednesday, June 1


To the clients who rummaged around in this phone while I was out of the room for half an hour, and as a result may even have my blog address: what a way to repay my extra efforts on your behalf! Will you at least man up and tell me what data you got?

Yesterday afternoon it was Piccadilly circus in the back yard. The neighbour across the road brought her hound over to say goodbye; and the guy next door came over to dig out a couple of shared fence posts that are falling over. I didn't help him - I do his computer stuff sometimes, it all balances out.

Fortunately the triple strength blissage is kicking in, in plenty of time before the big sleep on Wednesday. On my days off, as long as I remember to start drinking at lunch time, I can now look at her and think "it's unfortunate but there you go".

The mother outlaw, a real trooper, is having her 5th operation on Wednesday, and if that doesn't work they'll put her out to grass. My brother lives in Switzerland, so maybe when my time comes I can use one of their checkout clinics.

- iPhone post