25 August 2009

Scuba baby!

In an uncharacteristically adventurous move, Chris and I tried scuba diving on Saturday. It was great! We both really enjoyed it. Although we didn't manage to get photos of ourselves in full scuba gear, behold me in a wetsuit:

We would never normally have thought "I know, let's go on a scuba taster session" of course; it was a present from Chris' Mum. She bought Chris one of those 'experience gift' things where you choose from a selection of activities to do like driving a racing car or clay pigeon shooting or whatever. We picked scuba diving because most of the options were a bit manly and not that interesting to us.

It was at a scuba diving centre near Gatwick, and kicked off with a bit of (quite scary) theory in a classroom where they tell you what would happen to the airspaces in your body if you didn't equalise the pressure on the way down and up. Saying "your lungs might explode, but of course that won't happen today" always fills you with confidence! And then we had about half an hour in their diving pool, starting off just with putting your face in the water and breathing through the mouthpiece thingy, and building up to swimming around at the bottom and removing the mouthpiece from your mouth for a minute then putting it back in again.

It was a really nice gentle introduction to see if you like it, and then if you want to go back and do a proper course to qualify you as an Open Water Diver then you can. It was a lovely feeling being able to swim around without needing to go back up, and I didn't find it difficult at all to get used to breathing underwater. I wish we could have had just a little bit longer in the water really.

I don't know if we'll go back and do the course. Maybe. It's not that expensive, but it's only worth doing if you're planning on diving somewhere like on holiday, and it takes two days to complete it. Chris really liked it lots, so we'll see. It would be nice to go and dive somewhere exotic with coral and fishes and things, even if I would be a bit scared of being mauled by sharks. I've seen Open Water you know.

20 August 2009

Feeling a bit peaky? Well never mind you're a criminal, off you pop home

I have been appalled recently by two cases of people being released early from prison 'on compassionate grounds', i.e. because they're probably going to die quite soon. The first was Ronnie Bigs, the Great Train Robber, and the second today looks set to be Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.

I fail to see why the fact that they received life sentences for their crimes no longer matters simply because they are ill. That's the whole point isn't it? You give someone a life sentence so that they live out the rest of their life in prison, because their crimes were so serious.

Ronnie Biggs being released is particularly galling. He was sentenced to life in prison for his part in the Great Train Robbery, but after 15 months he escaped from prison and then spent the next 30 years on the run. So as well as stealing £2.6m of money that wasn't his, he stole back 30 years of freedom that weren't his to live simply because he didn't feel like staying in prison, and probably had a lovely time living in Australia and Brazil feeling very smug. He only came back to the UK because he was getting old and wanted medical treatment! What the fuck?? Medical treatment that he's paid no taxes during his life to pay for!

And Ali al-Megrahi killed 270 people in a terrorist bombing, but now has prostate cancer. Well boo fucking hoo - that's 270 people who had their lives stolen from them, why should he enjoy even his last few months in freedom?

Being ill and being old do not negate your crimes. These people forfeited their right to freedom when they decided the law didn't apply to them; their sentence should be fully carried out and they should die in prison.

17 August 2009

Blogging catch-up

It's been ages since I wrote something on my blog, so I thought I'd better make the effort to post a little something today. Largely it's because I haven't been at work, where I'm sat in front of a computer all day with nothing better to do than bore you all with my daily doings.

I've had quite a nice week off, and I've done quite a few things, although as always it feels like the time has gone really quickly.

I've been camping in Essex, which was quite fun. I'm still not hugely keen on sleeping in a tent though, particularly as I was nearly asphixiated at 5am by it. I was worried that we'd be cold, so I closed all the flaps up apart from the "vent" in the top, not realising however that the vent did absolutely nothing at all. So after four hours of sleep our oxygen had been entirely depleted, and I started to have an odd dream where I was breathing but nothing was going in. And then I woke up with a start and found that I could indeed inhale quite happily, but was still nearly on the point of passing out from lack of oxygen. Stupid tent. A few minutes of panting on the grass after ripping the door open and all was well again, but it still wasn't much fun.

I've also had a couple of nice nights out, accompanied by the obligatory not-so-nice mornings after. We actually managed to get to Pop Kraft, Boogaloo Stu's new Brighton night, this weekend and it was really good! Great pop music, porno badges, and free jelly beans, what more could you want? I'll definitely try to go again, especially to the Saturday special they do sometimes. I'm not sure I can handle clubbing on a Thursday night any more.

I went to Revenge as well recently, the first time I've been there in ages. It was only okay I have to say. They have a nice new roof terrace now, which is quite pleasant when you need a rest, but consequently you can no longer leave the club and get stamped to come back in. We used to like that, because then you could flit around between Revenge and Vavoom and anywhere else that took your fancy without being pinned down in one place. It also seems that Revenge has become very lesbian in recent months. Not that I mind lesbians as a general rule of course, I know some very nice ones, but there's a certain kind of lesbian that Revenge attracts in droves that really REALLY pisses me off. They're generally of less than average height, and they seem to have developed the notion that everyone is going to persecute them. They therefore exhibit an unnecessary level of pre-emptive aggression in order to ward you off, and it's fucking annoying! There's just no need for it. Often they take up far more than their fair share of the dance floor, they dance wildly, and they SHOVE if you get too near them. But woe betide you if you should shove them back, oh no, because then you get an earful off an overweight cluster of snaggle-toothed sweaty faced little dwarves. And if Pink comes on, the apparent music of choice for these marauding herds of wildebeests, you better run for it because then they flail and mosh and elbow even harder than usual.

So it put me off a bit to be honest. I'll probably still go occasionally, but I don't rate Revenge any more really. That doesn't leave many options for clubbing really though: Legends is alright but I don't like the smug pug-faced man who owns it and it's generally quite an old crowd in there; Charles Street is only open certain nights; and Ghetto used to be very good but seems to be dead all the time now. So er... that's no good gay clubs left. No wonder people aren't going out like they used to.

Anyway, I'm back to work tomorrow after my week and a half off. I've just waded through my emails and deleted the most twatty and irrelevant, and my backlog doesn't look too bad. It's amazing how quickly I can get annoyed with work again though, when I'm not even there yet! "Oh this webpage still says this, that's really wrong now, it should have been taken down a couple of weeks ago". Er did you ask me to take it down? No! I'm not psychic dear.

Still, I at least only have a three-day week again this week. I'm then going on an introduction to scuba diving (yes, you heard me!) next Saturday, followed by another wedding reception in the evening, so that should be quite good.

I shall try to blog more often in the interim, as I don't like to think of you all forlornly clicking on refresh every ten minutes to see if I've posted anything new and being disappointed.

05 August 2009

A damp and drunken Pride

It was Brighton Pride last weekend. While I always enjoy it, I'm not quite as mad on it as some people seem to be - looking forward to it all year, updating their Facebook for the month before it with "13 sleeps to go until Pride!", and then running round ejaculating "Happy Pride! Happy Pride!" at everyone on the day. It's quite fun, but it's not THAT good...

This year it was slightly spoiled by the very ill-timed weather. Friday? Lovely. Sunday? Lovely. Saturday? Heavy rain on and off from 1pm until 8pm. So not great, I have to say.

It stayed dry for the parade at least, as it would have been rather miserable to see the rain slowly dissolve people's papier maché outfits into sloppy goo. They said it was the "biggest and best parade ever", but they always say that, and I found most of the floats rather mediocre. Lots of the gay bars who normally do floats didn't even bother this year, so it was primarily political parties, public services, and a couple of banks.

The Conservative Party excelled itself though by having some of the fittest boys on their float, including a rather nice one in red shorts. He spotted us taking lots of photos of him (and then catching up with the float later on and taking some more) and he waved lots in an appreciative manner.

I was rather disappointed to see that the Labour Party parade people, aside from being exceptionally sub par in appearance, were wearing stupid red t-shirts that proclaimed "Never kissed a Tory - never will." So pathetic! What has that got to do with Pride? And they clearly hadn't seen the boy on the Conservative float before making that commitment... I'd kiss him. I'd kiss him good. But honestly, it's ridiculous the amount of negative campaigning Labour supporters indulge in - half the time they don't even mention their own policies, they just campaign on a platform of 'You have to vote for us or the mean old Tories will get in'. Tsk. Anyway, I digress.

We did go up to the park for a while, but after sheltering from the rain in the Wild Fruit tent for 40 minutes we decided it wasn't really worth the effort and we bailed out.

The street parties in the evening are always much more fun anyway, and as usual ours was one of the roads they closed for it. It's ever so convenient to live just upstairs from all the action, and it's rather economical too as you can just bring your own drinks from home. So we spent a fair bit of the evening just wandering around Kemp Town checking out hot boys and emptying out our drinks cabinet.

The mixture of champagne, wine, vodka, cookie dough-flavoured shots and cider did take its toll on me though, and by 1.30am I was rather out of it. I remember being sat on the kerb on my road for quite a bit, while a girl angrily told me that the pollips up her nose were preventing her from taking her coke. I didn't really like that, so I staggered off to bed, and was fortunately too drunk to care about the remaining noise from the street.

On Sunday I felt really rather ill, but I did manage a walk in the sun, and an alcohol-free hour or two in the daytime street parties they have on the Sunday afternoon. I did my usual thing of swearing off booze for a while, but it only lasted until 9pm when I had a glass of wine "to finish it up because it's open" and "to help me sleep" (both good excuses).

It wasn't the best Pride I've been to, mostly because of the rain, but it was quite good. It made us appreciate our flat and our location a bit more again too, so I think we might stay put a bit longer before we worry to much about moving.