Travelling tittle-tattle, tall tales and shameless name-dropping by Jon ‘Don’t Call Me’ Norman

About Me

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The opposite view of things

Prior to heading off to the Caribbean I was forced to shell out £136 to fix my camera. It’s a camera that has served me well over the last three years and this was the first time I had to pay out to repair it. However the thought did cross my mind that I should just buy another one as its technology had finally been overtaken by cheaper, smaller brands. The sheer bulkiness of its size being the other drawback and meant I had in the past missed out on several photo’s simply because I couldn’t be bothered to rummage around getting it out of my bag.

So the following is a selection of photographs featuring events that I may have mentioned in previous posts or that needed evidence to render them worthwhile to talk about. Some were taken on my camera-phone but mainly they are Marks and which have only been put online.

So let’s start at the bottom because any country that sells something called Crack Butter is all right by me.

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Regular readers will remember Mark’s decision to eat a roast lamb and potato pizza in New Zealand. Well this time round he went for an apple crumble and ice cream dish served in the shape of a flower. Beautiful.

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One of the ‘colourful’ characters from the Aussie tour was once again in attendance. And true to form Chardonnay spent the entire tour off his head. Whether shouting inane ramblings at unfortunate fielders stationed in the deep, staggering around various Barmy Army events or falling asleep in the outfield during the celebrity Twenty20 match he kept everyone entertained in the worst possible way.

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And here’s a photo of the type of car that kept all inhabitants awake for the duration of the election season in Antigua. Great memories.

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The Windies tour was an opportunity, for want of a better word, to fly in a propeller plane for the first time in twenty years. My journey was soothed by the presence of West Indies legend Colin Croft who sat next to me throughout the journey. It meant my freak out moments were reduced considerably and I almost enjoyed myself.

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Here is a photo of one of the many frogs that lived peacefully outside our accommodation in Barbados. Let’s hope it wasn’t an epileptic.

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I had noticed the amount of red-eyed people that inhabited the West Indian isles and had put this down to the common use of the dreaded weed. But after seeing this advert I was forced to rethink my shoddy stereotyped views.

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Whilst in Antigua we spent a legendary night with a group of top Bristol lads and we ended up spending most of our fun times out with them in Barbados too. So here’s a picture of us behaving reasonably well

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And here’s one of us behaving badly.

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And here’s one of Dave helping Stuart climb a palm tree.

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It was with the lads that we spent one fantastic day, one of the best of the entire holiday, doing exactly what everyone should do in a foreign country. Mixing with the locals playing beach cricket and football.

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The following Friday we went to a local haunt for fresh seafood, reggae and locals and we got all of them and plenty of rum to boot as we celebrated Mark’s birthday.

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Great days and great photos that bring it all back and make me want to head home and open the expensive bottle of rum I bought in Trinidad. The only problem is that I honestly can’t work out how to open it. Answers on a postcard please.

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Last night a gasman saved my life

Last night the gasman saved my life

Ever since getting home my house has proved to be nothing short of a nightmare. It’s almost as though it’s getting back at me for leaving it on its own for six weeks by throwing a hissy fit and breaking down all over the place.

First we had the fire, which ruined the kitchen, destroyed several appliances and burnt the blinds. Then instead of washing clothes the washing machine just let them sit in a bit of water for a while. Then the shower unit fell off the wall and the toilet seat cracked. And after waiting quite a while for the washing machine to be replaced we ended up with two of the buggers as the deliverymen decided it would actually look nicer in our living room.

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Then just as I was waiting for the bookshelves to fall off the walls, a family of rats to move into the kitchen and for the TV to get stuck on Channel 5 the boiler packed in.

At first it seemed there was nothing more afoot than a distinguished pilot light to blame and I went through all the logical solutions I could think of to try and get it working. All this involved was me ringing my dad and pressing a couple of buttons. Neither of which brought it back to life.

So the gasman was duly called out and within ten seconds of looking at the rust covered poor-mans Battlestar Galactica space station he asked me whether I had a carbon monoxide detector. When I replied to the negative he immediately said ‘Get One’. The manner in which he said this scared me slightly.

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So the following Monday I spent forty quid at the shop down the road that seems to sell everything and took it home. After battling for some time to cut through the stiff plastic packaging I undid the battery case and popped the duracells into the back of the device before a sudden high-pitched scream made me recoil away from the boiler and out towards my balcony.

After regaining my sense of balance I figured I must have pressed the wrong button or something and once the detector had ceased its deafening din I ventured back into the kitchen. But no sooner had I come within a couple of feet of the boiler the detector started going crazy once more and I was forced to bid another hasty retreat.

Another call to my dad ensued followed by one to the gasman who was round within an hour. He took one look at the boiler and told me in no uncertain terms that it should never be used again. Carbon Monoxide was spilling out of the contraption and being blown throughout the house. It seems the gasman saved my life.

All of which began a round of finger pointing that ended up being directed squarely in the faces of my landlords. But in fairness to them they realised the seriousness of the situation and reacted in the same manner as they had after the fire. So we’re now waiting for a completely new central heating system to be installed which will mean our entire house is out of bounds in much the same way as the kitchen was after the fire.

But it’ll be worth it in the end as the kitchen is now completely decorated and back to how it was before I left for the Caribbean. However with a nod to the blaze I kept our clock, which not only managed to survive the blaze but also kept on ticking away. As has been noted it also now resembles something out of a Picasso painting.

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