Sunday, March 19, 2006
Good To Be Back
Hello and welcome back to my little niche in webland. I've been away from the blog for a full week; a sustained period of absence longer than any other there has ever been, not brought about by holiday or illness.
For this I apologise. But much has happened. And there is much to tell.
When I left you last Sunday I had just "enjoyed" a day wallpaper stripping in my bedroom. What followed was a week of ups and downs, twists and turns. I shall try to encapsulate the spirit of all that is relevant in this time, while attempting to avoid the mundane. This is, after all, the ethos of what this blog is meant to be about.
Monday was the start of the downslope. All throughout the day I started to feel like I was wearing an internal balaclava. My head started to pound and my eyes felt strained. When I got home the only thing I could do was fall into bed with aches and pains, a thumping brain and choked sinuses. A solid cold had arrived.
Later, when I reflected on everything, I realised that using a steamer in the bedroom with only a t-shirt on, the window open and snow falling outside, was not one of my better ideas. But then it does get damn hot using those machines.
I also remembered several people walking about the office last week with the same symptoms and in some cases worse. Our office has the highest sickness rate in the entire estate of this company. Why? Crap ventilation, air-conditioning and general working conditions. We have ants on the carpets and sometimes you can see lines of them tramping along the desks for Christ sake! And don't even start on me with the state of the lavvy!
The place is a god damn cess pit.
I stayed in bed for the rest of Monday night - and the following day. I slipped in and out of a horrible sweat-soaked sleep all day and evening. I took time to force-feed myself soup, vitamin c supplements, water and tea. With my appetite gone and my aching body, it was all I could do not to go out of my mind.
By Wednesday morning I had no choice but to get up. I was feeling a lot better, but still not one quite hundred percent. I was meeting Craig and Mikey for drinks in the evening and I decided to put the medicinal qualities of Guinness to the test.
During that test I had an interesting discussion with some bloke who at first, we all thought was in a show or something. He had make-up on his face and was wearing odd robes while sat at a bar on The Mile drawing crosses.
Not being bothered abotu this kind of think I decided to just ask him. I've forgotten his name now, but it turns out he was a Pagan. He was also a tattoo artist and was preparing designs for one of the bar staff. For the next half hour I heard all about the intracies of living as a Pagan with a Christian girlfriend, Voodooism, Hoodooism, and I discovered he is friends with two friends of someone I know from my writing community - Sandra and D! If that makes any sense whatsoever, then you'll know who you are. I keep meaning to go into The Wyrd and say hi.
It was fascinating stuff, but I think my unfaltering ability to walk up and sit down next to him rattled him as he glanced nervously around him to see if I had my mates with me in waiting to beat him up.
It's not everyday a large skinhead with a gut-full of alcohol sits down and starts asking you what religion you are, I suppose.
And do you know what? The Guinness did the trick. It washed away the final feelings of stuffiness, blockage, sniffles and twangs.
I was feeling pretty good again by Thursday, albeit with a slight hangover. Not wanting to return to work in a non-fully-functional capacity, I took an extra day just to make sure I was back to my normal healthy self. It would have been irresponsible to return so soon and risk a relapse.
On Friday I returned to work and immediately start to feel like crap again. Health-wise I was fine, it's just the state of this place and the inbred patronisation and hypocrisy that gets me down. I shared pizza and a film in the evening with the family and on Saturday morning I boarded the train to Glasgow.
I spent the day with my youngest sister, Lindsay. We had lunch and went out to watch the rugby, which made it a very exciting day. Scotland beat Italy in the last game of the Six Nations Championship. This meant although we never won it, we did beat France and England (to win the Calcutta Cup) at home and managed our first away win for four years against Italy. The final score was 13-10 in Rome.
Wales played France next and were leading right up until a few minutes left to play. They lost a try in the dying moments to France, which meant France won the Championship. Had Wales held on to win, England and Ireland would have battled it out to see which one of them would be Champs.
The England versus Ireland match was a classic. Ireland led most of the game then with minutes to go England scored. It looked like they were going to snatch a lucky victory right at the death, but with seconds to spare, Ireland scored an amazing try. This meant that with Ireland winning the Triple Crown by beating the English, Scotland finished in 3rd place - and above England (still the Word Champions?) in the rankings. Not a bad year considering the Wooden Spoon is our usual prize.
It was great to be back in Glasgow again. I never realise just how much I miss the place until I get back and all the memories and feelings come rushing back. I've grown to love Edinburgh and enjoy living here, but Glasgow's where my heart is and always will be.
Yesterday was a day of relaxing. I tried to be smart by getting an early train home in the morning. I wanted to beat the football traffic going to Hampden Park for the League Cup Final, but forgot about the early kick-off between Rangers and Hearts in Edinburgh. The train was mobbed and I couldn't sleep for the twenty or so lads returning from a Stag weekend. Some poor bloke forced to wear an ill-fitting dress for everyone to laugh at. Still, it made the journey go quicker.
So it's been a long - very long - week. In amongst it all was the writing. I did a bit of reading but obviously I got nothing written during the early part of the week while I was sick and then Friday was spent with the family. Saturday was spent away so I only managed to write during the gaps afterwards I was sick and also today. Now that things have returned to normal I can get back into things with a steady mind and solid pen.
For more information about Fringe Fantastic, please go to the website: http://fringefantastic.colingalbraith.co.uk