Dr Frankenstein of the Wine World

I got the equipment at Christmas, and dear me it’s taken long enough to get cracking on it, but I eventually brewed up my first batch of wine today.

It’s a fascinating little bit of Science when you think about it. mix together liquid, add yeast and a bit of heat and it’s bloop, bloop, blooping away in the corner turning into something hopefully tasty.

A little bit too much of a ‘finger in the air’ approach to preparing it if I’m honest. I need a separate thermometer, a funnel and to mark up the Carboy with litres. But as its busy blooping away I obviously didn’t do anything too drastic. I did think for a moment that I’d either killed the yeast or not activated it after all.

So, in 28 days and a few more steps I’ll see if it’s actually drinkable.

Deeply Irritating

I love Twitter, I like its real-time stream. I don’t use the Notebook Twitter account as much as my personal one because I haven’t figured out how to manage two … don’t have that many thoughts that I feel the need to share with the World. But the one thing that deeply irritates me about it is the feckin “Please RT…” morons. I’ve switched to a Twiiter client that lets me filter those, because even though it’s quite small in the whole scheme of things, IT DRIVES ME FUCKIN MENTAL

The Grey

Liam Neeson seems to be morphing into a bad ass in his movies, but he pulls it off and I like it. ‘The Grey‘ – I didn’t know what to expect from this movie apart from the screen shots of him readying for a fight. The premise is not new. X number of people hunted by a deadly foe. It’s the same formula you’ve seen in a dozen other movies at least. But Liam brings just an awesome presence. The direction and look and feel of the film give it a hard, cold edge which also just adds to it. I really enjoyed it.


The Morning Papers

“Why are there no Paper Boys anymore?” I thought to myself this morning while lying in bed. I felt the urge to not move, making my way through a few hundred cups of tea pouring over the papers. That’s what (some) Sunday mornings are about. Nowadays though you have to get up, get dressed, put enough coffee in you to function and head down to the nearest shop. When it’s cold and windy it’s a pain in the arse.

“You could go and get the papers” said MBH hopefully.

“Fuck that it’s freezing and it would require far more energy than I’m willing to spend right now”

My first job was a paper round. It was practically medieval back then. I remember it took three loads of the bag to get all the papers delivered. That bloody nylon strap cutting into my shoulder. Lashing rain or blizzards and two foot of snow didn’t stop the papers being delivered either (I caught Bronchitis from the two foot of snow scenario). But it was glorious to work hard for your own money £5 a week plus £1 bonus if I didn’t screw it up. At that age it was an absolute fortune. Definitely not the major leagues of child labour though. That crown sat with the ‘Milk Lads’. They’d hang off the back of the Milkmans truck and jump off to leave bottles of milk on the doorstep. Remember when milk was delivered? Rumours flew about that they got at least £15 a week. They did have to be up at around 05:00 though. It was a closed shop however, you only got the job by knowing somebody who was already doing it and if a spot opened up. Very union-esque.

None of that now though. The mere thought of it would probably give some EU busybody coniption fits.

Anyhoo, so I’m lay in bed this morning wishing somebody would deliver my paper. I’d already gone through Twitter and my RSS feeds. But I still like reading the papers. Hate the bloody Independent, want it banned from the house as it’s just utter shite. I do like the Times though. I know it’s part of the Murdoch Group but all reporters and columnists aren’t all bad. I decided I’d give the Sunday Times app a go for the iPad.

Surprisingly it’s not too bad. Everything is there as it is in the paper – some of these apps have edited and selected content. I enjoyed it so much I decided to subscribe. So for around €10 a month I get access to the Times, Sunday Times and wedbsite all automagically on my iPad. That makes me happy.

My virtual paperboy.


We had quite a bloody good trip to London. It was MBH’s first time she’d spent more than an hour there and the first time I’ve spent any social time there for around 20 years. That was the slightly weird bit for me – so many memories that seemed only a little while ago, but when I thought about it and looked around so much time has passed. I wondered what happened to all the people I knew back then. Most of them were from the four corners of the Globe. This was before everybody had mobile phones, email was just beginning to take off and to keep in touch you had to write an actual letter. The problem with that, is if you moved or they moved and forwarding addresses weren’t passed on – well you lost touch with people. Now you’d just connect on Facebook or swap email addresses and you’d pretty much be in touch for life.

Bittersweet really. Smiling at remembering all the faces and occasions, but probably never going to catch up with those folk again.

Romantic illiterate

I have a huge weakness for all things writing related. What I mean is the tools and materials. I get all “Oooo!” and “Ahhh!” over pens, inks and really good paper. I miss the days when everybody wrote letters. There was nothing better than getting a personal letter in the post. It’d be a shame if it really died out, but I think it’s heading that way.

Valentines Day and MBH’s Birthday are coming up next week (just awesome timing). She loves cards herself and spends ages picking the right one. This means that there’s always a huge pressure on me to at least get a card – no matter if there isn’t a present with it, the card is very important. I forget the card about 70% of the time. I’m an arse that way.

Greetings cards leave me amazingly nonplussed. Never mind all the made up ‘occasions’ whose sole purpose is to sell more cards. I think it’s amazingly lazy. An off the shelf verse and a bit of art that you scribble your name on.

But she loves getting them.

So I decided to do something different this year. Use some of my collection of good writing paper and write her little notes/letters for Valentines and her Birthday. I’m an old romantic at heart and she bloody deserves some effort. Problem is I’m romantically illiterate as well.

Thank God for the Internet seeing as I don’t have an extensive library of works from history’s greatest poets and writers. I actually found something I sort of liked from my mate Yeats. I’ll let you know how it goes down on Tuesday:

Wine comes in at the mouth,

And love comes in at the eye,

That’s all we shall know for truth,

Before we grow old and die,

I lift the glass to my mouth,

I look at you and I sigh.

Pretty fucking suitable me to you sort of thing if you know me, hehehe.

London bound

Tomorrow we fly out for a four day trip to London. I’m uncharacteristically bloody excited about it. MBH has only been on a flying visit and didn’t get to see too much. I used to live there so I’m actually really looking forward to showing her around my old haunts – but then I realise that I used to live there TWENTY YEARS AGO so there’s a good chance it’s not entirely and exactly the same. Well, I’d say a very good bloody chance. A quick look at Street View and two of my local pubs at the time seem to still be there so I’m utterly content right now. I’ve been back to London tonnes of times since I lived there of course, but always on business trips where the agenda was very tight. So no real time to relax and just wander about.

It’s going to be fun.