Sunday, September 25, 2005

There and Back Again

Here is an artist's impression of how tired my eyes feel after the 9 hour draft back to the City of Cheese and Curry. I didn't get past Jedburgh until 3pm, and was unfortunately unable to procure Jethart Snails owing to the establishment that sells them being closed.

The M1 was especially hellish at 7pm, and I think next time I may go via the M74 on the way back. It certainly seemed quicker on the way up.

It was good to be back, even if it was only for a fortnight, but I especially enjoyed my sojourn to the Real Real North (tm) as well as my explorations in the Real North, before returning to the alleged North of the Midlands. Unfortunately I didn't see everyone to dispense puffin poo and Shetland ales but they will be distributed or consumed in a responsible manner back down here. Burp.

Coming soon: Post Number 250!

Friday, September 23, 2005

2,500 hits and counting

I notice the site has gone over 2,500 and at least half of those can't be from me. It's been a wild ride, with some rants, good news and of course my all-time favourite thread complete with a whopping 19 comments and a subsequent thread.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Shetland Gallery

My Shetlands Gallery is now online. It's big and may take more than one sitting, plus I've more to add tonight!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Home James

Made it back to good old Dundee last night. I was anticipating the journey from hell, with the plane being 30 minutes late and the train being early etc. and me being stuck in Aberdeen but none of that happened. The flight was even early so I managed to get an earlier train.

Amusingly when I was pulling up at Sumburgh Airport last night I had to park in the staff car park so that Alex could get his car back. One of the staff took exception to this until I explained it wasn't my car and I was just returning it to its rightful owner who worked in the airport and thus could park it there. She later turned out to be one of the x-ray machine operators in the airport and apologised profusely while scanning my dirty linen in her x-ray machine. I also got called up by name by the boarding chappie - I was expecting them to stop me leaving Shetland as I was smuggling out too much ale but it turned out they just wanted to write a different seat number on my boarding pass.

Today's excitement is a trip into town. I've got to dump off a box of papers my old boss asked for. It's a bit akward as they've all got a new building and the box is pretty big. Above and beyond the call of duty.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sizzling Pigs, Lighthouses and Jarls!

I've had a sizzling pig at Osla's, which by the way is the best place to eat. It's a pancake with cheese, bacon and maple syrup. Part of me died when I ate this artery hardening treat, part of me never left my usual seat in Osla's.

After this and dropping A. off at work I proceeded to Sumburgh lighthouse. A pair of dutch hikers looked at me oddly as I drove all the way up the hill, proving how lazy (and short of time) I was.

I also went to Jarlshof, a set of ruins covering 4,000 years of life near Sumburgh Airport. They had a pretty neat audio tour-guide. I also purchased copious amounts of alcohol to take back to the mainland. Oh, and most of the postcards I've sent should've turned up.

It's been fun, but I thought I'd end with a nice piccie of a sink full of Shetland water.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Gonna Need a Montage For All This!

So I've been on the Shetlands a few days. It's been great - real calm and quiet. Agent Dale Cooper of Twin Peaks fame would describe it as a place "where yellow lights mean slow down instead of speed up". People outside of Lerwick don't need to lock their doors and a man trapped in the toilets is a big news day.

So far I've done the following:-

1) Been in a wind power generator while there's been actual wind.
2) Gone on 4 ferry rides.
3) Been to the northernmost point of the northermost island in the north. I've sent some postcards from the northern most UK post office. Let me know if you get one. If not someone else in your city probably has a postcard and is scratching their head in disbelief.
4) Driven L. and A.'s car - which was scary for everyone concerned. It's not the same as driving my car!
5) Eaten puffin poo*.
6) Discovered the above is very very nice actually.
7) Discovered the greatest restaurant ever, Osla's, who do meatball pizza. That's meatball with pizza. That's 2 meals for the price of 1! Grrreat!
8) Bought loads of Shetland beer.
9) Visited Scalloway castle. And been given the key for the castle. I even have a humorous movie of me opening my castle with my castle key.
10) Visited Scalloway museum.
11) Watched Team America and started quoting it incessantly (hence the title).
12) Remembered how to spell incessantly.
13) Taken far too many photos for my photo blog to upload in this sitting.
14) Discovered Shetland tap water is suspiciously yellow. I have a wonderful photograph of this to show later.
15) The picture er... pictured above is of Unst Bus Shelter, the most northerly bus shelter in the UK. And it has lots of cool facilities you don't find in an ordinary bus shelter. Mostly 'cos people would nick them, but not in the Shetlands.

* Puffin poo is made with coconut, white chocolate and sugar and stuff. It's not real puffin poo.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


I'm now in the Shetlands after one of the most turbulent flights I've had in a while. Maybe I shouldn't have seen Red Eye last night with Steve. Or maybe thinking about Lost all through the flight was the problem. Or maybe there just was a little more turbulance than usual.

Additional note - why does Aberdeen have the worst airport bus service from the train station. Missing the hourly bus I took a taxi for a very kingly sum. But it allowed to do some shopping in Aberdeen and get some out of print WFRP books.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What I Did On My Holidays Miss

I was so preoccupied with packing and not running around at the 11th hour I forgot to post an entry saying I am away. Which I am. I'm in Dundee you see.

After a 7 hour slog up the M1 pausing only briefly to see chums, read for an hour straight in a service station and have the old junkfood combo of pizza and chips I've had a pretty good time.

So far I've caught up with ma famille, been to Arbroath to visit Mr. T. of this parish, dressed up as a monk with Mr T. Jnr. and done as much touring and wandering about as time will allow. Photos to follow but the dratted ancient laptop doesn't like my digital camera.

Today I went to Edinburgh after I had the car in to get its horn actuator repaired under its warranty. Driving without a 100% functional horn hasn't been a lot of fun but the Stu Mobile has had total hooting success since the Arnold Clark mechanics got their hand on it.

Didn't buy anything in Edinburgh except a copy of SFX to read on the return trip. And renew my young person's railcard, which is good because I don't feel I am a young person anymore, but the harassed young lady didn't need to know that. I did umm and ahm over the price of the attractive £40 Islander sword (which looks suspiciously like the Macleod Highlander sword, photos coming eventually once I work out how to get stuff off my phone). I went into Edinburgh on the train around 11am and wound up strangely rushing to get back to Dundee before 5-30pm owing to the wonderful train system. One would think that the 3pm train would get you the 1 hour journey back to Dundee by 5-30pm but owing to Scotrail's computer being on the blink, a train from Bristol becoming a bus and the destruction of Dundee's link-bridge between the station and the city centre in the name of progress I had to play a real-life combination of Frogger, Super Mario Brothers and Prince of Persia to get from the train station to Arnold Clark in 15 minutes before it closed.

With the petrol crisis looming I'm loath to take my full-tank of petrol anywhere tomorrow in case I need it to get back to Leicester. Unlikely, but I intend on catching a movie this week and hopefully seeing Land of the Dead before I go back to the land of cheese. And of course tune in for some Shetland adventures.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Yes Indeedy

We've all been there mate.

If I Had a Hammer

Ran my first WFRP2 session last night. It was good fun, though there was little by way of action, which is a shame because I had a great cliffhanger in mind. You can read about it on this blog by er.. me.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


This would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad.

Curry, Beef, Hammers and New Orleans,

I've been organising a leaving do for one of my colleagues. He's leaving and not being replaced which means one less ocean of sanity in my workplace. A certain other fellow point-blank refused to do it when asked, claiming it was not his responsibility as he'd organised the office Xmas 2004 lunch. Ocean of sanity I said.

This also means unfortunately I'm most likely going to have to eat curry for lunch, which is not a good thing as I don't like curry or spicy food, and I've broken by diet after losing 3/4 of a stone or so in the past 6 weeks. I don't plan on restarting until after my hols. I'm off to have some cheap roast beef in a minute downstairs in preparation.

I've also drafted myself into DMing Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Wednesday nights. I'm planning on running the Enemy Within campaign, since I've been raving about it for so long and it saves me having to write something original on the fly. This is replacing our Shadowrun game which was set in New Orleans and thus seemed to be in poor taste.

On the subject of New Orleans, it is sad to see New Orleans in such a terrible state. Horror stories of all the suffering (including most strikingly to me, the vast number of pets simply abandoned in the evacuation) aside this was one of the few places Stateside I really wanted to visit. I'm going to avoid planning any other "must-see" trips anywhere in case this becomes a trend though lately I've considered learning Italian and going to Rome.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Thursday, September 01, 2005

TV Cream

My new fave website. Be wary of the "Save Doctor Who" Band-Aid mp3.