A Travellerspoint blog

Get your buttocks out of my face!

Right.. it's been a while, again. I apologise.

Here's the deal.
I didn't forget you but nothing happened that was interesting enough to write about. Either that or I was too lazy.

Now before I start to write about my weekend [I spent the weekend in London], I will tell you about something that happened at work today.
In came a lady. A woman, she could hardly be called a "lady", she was female, that's all, scurried into the shop. It was raining outside, quite dramatic and wet and it was pouring it down and it was horrendous. That being said, she was looking for some dry trousers.
She bought them and only after that process being fulfilled, she went into the changing room to try them on hence put them on for future use.
Any other person would close the curtain...

..[do I hear brains going raving mad?]..


I was walking about the store when suddenly this huge pair of buttocks looked me right in the face! Blummin' 'eck would be appropriate here. The old female was not wearing pants, no, she was wearing a thong. Yay! I've been traumatised - and I want to share it with all of you, because I know a nice picture has formed in your cute little heads. I'm not sorry. Enjoy the thought! Ha! Dream about it! Wake up screaming! That's it!

That's all about today. I'm sitting on my bed now with a glass of Baileys. In the cupboard stand clean dishes and in the dryer spin washed clothes. Everything's in order. Time to write.

So.. London..

I got the 8.23 train from Stafford to make my way to London Euston - a 2.5 hr journey. Very nice prospect indeed. Having arrived in London I was to get a tube ticket, get myself to King's Cross and meet up with Solvej there, to then make our way to the hotel. For starters the line at the tube ticket machine was so long it was just horrible. Eventually I got there anyway and found Solvej wandering about King's Cross' main hall. We had failed to look up how exactly to get to our hotel, so we made a picture of a map and used that - we still made a *huge* detour on our way there. Having arrived, the door of the hotel wouldn't open. We pushed the button, randomly put all our weight against the door, but it wouldn't budge.
Solvej called the reception. Somebody came to open the door.

[I'm just gonna fetch my washing from the dryer. I'll be right back.]

[I've returned.]

He looked like one of those shabby Russians. He told us to wait two seconds, came back with a few computer parts in his hands and escorted us upstairs, to the office. He had nothing prepared and just jotted down all the details with a felt tip pen. We left our luggage there [minus *everything* of value] and said we'd be back at about nine in the evening. We left with wrinkled foreheads.
Then we went to meet up the rest of the group, which turned out to be quite a challenge. A lot of calling and texting, saying I'm here, I'm there, can't you see us? Eventually all was sorted. I knew all their faces, but I had yet to learn their names and get an idea of their personalities.
So - we went to Buckingham Palace and then walked on to Hyde Park. Then we were all hungry and got some food and then found some benches to sit on and then started the making-funny-pictures time. I haven't got them (except the phone booth one) yet, as I have yet to copy them from other peoples' Facebook pages and then pretend they're mine.
We also went to Trafalgar square, where I had my first go at trying a pipe. Solvej had brought a pipe and vanilla tobacco and started puffing along while we were sitting on some national heritage. So I had a go. It was really smooth somehow. Now I can see how my dad likes the smell of cigars. I'll have a pipe with vanilla tobacco, thank you very much.
We went to have dinner near Leicester Square, in an Italian restaurant. When we got the bill we had all paid our part, and then we discovered we were quite some pounds short. Turns out they had charged us 15 pounds for .. what? The bread and olives? Mean mean people. Then the search for a pub began - we found enough pubs, but there was nowhere to sit nine people, so out of pure agony we all retreated to our chambers.
We arrived at the hotel after having called the hotel to tell them we were coming. Somebody else received us. Two minutes.. [two minutes later] two minutes! We sat on the stairs all tired, waiting for foreign man to finish with the other people. We asked, he was Italian.
He showed us to our room and that was it. Later we had to go ask where the toilet and bathroom were [and can we get some toilet paper?]. We seemed to have ended up in some sort of Italian community. Italians all over the place. We were the only non-Italians. Whenever we left our room (right next to the computers), we'd be looked at funnily by the collection of Italians watching the one or the other. Solvej and i went out to get some milk for the morning after and then went to sleep. It was really noisy out and I didn't sleep all that well.
There's this guy I know in London and all the while I'd been trying to meet up with him, but no luck. Anyway, in the middle of the night he started calling me by accident. The first time Solvej started shaking my bed [or me, I wouldn't know] while I was asleep. In my sleep I thought there was some huge lorry driving past, causing the whole building to shake. The second time I got what was happening, so I turned the sound off on my phone.
I eventually fell asleep and later on Solvej and I both woke up before the alarm went off. The shower in the hotel was bliss as you could turn it up to whatever temperature you wished it to be - something I hadn't experienced for a very long time. [It's still possible!]
We went to have some breakfast somewhere and then made our way to Camden. The others would come a few hours later, so we'd have some time to shop by ourselves, since shopping with 9 odd people is not really feasible. We both bought some stuff and felt very happy and content. Along came the rest and we walked around Camden some more - although Solvej and I lost the others all the time. We went on to Leicester Square and spent the rest of our time in a pub. People came and went and the group got smaller and smaller. Eventually Solvej and I left to collect our luggage at the hotel and I made my way to Euston. I arrived there at 6 and found out my train wouldn't leave until ten to seven. I passed the time talking to my parents and sister on the phone [how else?].
The trip home was really boring and it took ages - it's worse when you're sitting in a train and it's dark, there's nothing to look at.
What I found nice was that when I got home, it really felt like coming home. Finally, my own humble abode, my own bed, my own mess.

Next I just had to watch the Xfactor episode I had missed Saturday and after that I could go to bed in peace, which leaves my day at work and then my evening, spended doing house work and typing a blog, which is taking ages already.
Not that I mind, don't get me wrong.

In any case I'll leave you now, watch a new episode of the Vampire Diaries whilst I crawl away underneath my blankets.

Write to you soon my floffeh sheep.

Posted by miekj 13:13 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

It's been too long


Hello again, long lost readers.

How've you been?
First off, as a result from a comment I got the other day I'd like to say I don't mean to be offensive in any way, I'm just jotting down the things I experience in daily life - things that surprise as well as horrify me, two of the reasons that cause me to write things down.

Let's start with my fish and chips experience.

Meanwhile I'm sitting downstairs in the common room with friendly mister older man and we have a big lack of remote control. We just turned the lights on and took the whole room apart but it's nowhere to be seen. Sound the alarm bells! Now we have to take turns in changing the channel or something.

I was to work up in Littleworth together with Carla last Thursday. I took my bike to cycle up there and my bike was allright. There was this one stretch of road where you could just go whooooosh, which felt amazingly good. It turned out we had no volunteers [it's funny, because I'm working fulltime I'd almost be considered a fellow manager]. Carla was bummed out because she thought the volunteer could have taken care of the shop floor whilst we could spend time in the back sorting everything and have a chance to chat for a bit since in the Stafford shop it's always busy and there are too many people around to have some decent conversations - especially when on the shop floor, it's hardly appropriate to discuss ones personal life with random customers around.
In the lunch break Carla went to get my fish and chips and we sat in the back room munching away. We put a little bell on the counter with a notice: Ring for attention.
Instead of mayonaise I had a little pot of mushy peas and they were actually quite enjoyable [which I had not expected]. The whole thing was really filling though, and we were both happy we wouldn't have to worry about cooking tea, we'd just have a sandwich or two.
Then the phone rang - it was Carla's boyfriend. He wanted to know if I'd like to come over for my tea. So me and Carla made some plans. I'd go home after work, freshen up, she's go to ASDA and then walk to Chris's place and pick me up at time x. The time came 'round and I was escorted to Chris's house. He had a small apartment, but it was all you need really when you're living by yourself. Appearantly his house was so well insulated he could use his oven as heating when in trouble. The meal was really lovely. He had made some sort of pie out of the oven and afterwards we had apple crumble with custard. There's me thinking custard was supposed to be something special, but it tasted exactly like the Dutch vanille vla. A pleasant surprise somehow.
Carla and I were unable to move afterwards.
A little while later, after a feeble attempt to solve a crossword in the newspaper, they walked me home. An ever so pleasant evening.

Then came Friday, my day off.
First things first, I went to post my dad's parcel.
And who did I see lingering about in the streets of Stafford? Will!
To refresh your memories: take a look in the blog posts from the beginning of my stay here. He practically squeezed me to death at seeing me, which was nice. So we had a bit of a chat and I carried on with running my errands. I did some laundry and it took me ages to get my rent paid. I was texting back and forth with Martin for ages. When I was available he wasn't and the other way around. That's bound to keep people busy.

Mister friendly older guy just stumbled up to the tv, using his cellphone to light the buttons on the side of the tv to turn the volume up. Funny sight alltogether.

I had decided to make leek and potato soup, a dish a lot of my colleagues had been talking fondly of so I decided to give it a try. After getting my ingredients I walked past my work and found Rosemary and Tracy waving enthusiastically through the window so I stepped in. Hugs all around and Bridget missed you and hello, nice to meet you Tracy #2. A new face, another manager who usually works up in Littleworth. She seemed nice enough. Time came to start cooking and I had enough food for 3 days. It was very tasty!

Along came Saturday. I worked and I worked and suddenly Daniella appeared at the counter! I was pleasantly surprised and she asked me to come 'round to her work some time, which is what I decided to do that very evening. I took a pen and some paper and went in. It was huge. Much bigger than I had imagined anyway. So I got a glass of wine, said hi to Daniella, who said she'd be with me in a sec, and sat down at a table. After writing a letter and having talked to Daniella for a bit I decided to leave again. Wasn't even gone for an hour, but at least I saw what I'm living next to I suppose.

Then it was Sunday! Time to change the clocks. I had run out of milk, but I felt like a coffee so I got dressed and started walking to the supermarket and then I saw that one of the other charity shops was actually open today. After hesitating a bit I went in anyway. Who was there, pricing some books? A guy I've seen in my shop a time or two - one time asking about a really old bible we have in the cabinet, earning my approval. So we had a bit of a talk. His name's Adam, he's learning Chinese to, in the future, go to China and teach English to people. I'll see him tomorrow I guess because he's coming to my shop to take a look at a few first edition Terry Pratchett books.
The rest of today I spent baking pepernoten. This time they actually did what they were supposed to do. I turned the oven up 50 degrees higher than advised, and left them in 10 minutes longer. That did the trick.

And that leaves us where I'm sitting right now, perfect timing for the xfactor results of this week. 9 minutes to go.
Next weekend I will be going to London for the weekend! Whoopeee! I'll leave you to it for now.

Blessed be.

Posted by miekj 12:53 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Smew good!

Another funny Sunday.
I should have taken my bike out for a ride, but eventually I didn't. I quite enjoy just having a Sunday at home. Clean up, do the laundry and spend some quality time in the kitchen.
Today I made my first attempt at cooking pea soup. I cooked and I cooked and spent hours in the kitchen and it resulted in a very succeeded, tasty pea soup! I called Tom out and we spent a really long time in the kitchen eating soup and talking. Then one of the Chinese walked in and I think, just for a change, he felt like the intruder. Usually it's me walking in on them chatting and eating. Finally the other way around!
Now I have enough soup left to eat for a few more days. I'm pleased!
Then I went downstairs to see if I could find Daniella by the tv, and I did find her there, which was good. She sprained her wrist. Appearantly she fainted at work and then smashed her wrist into something. She was babbling along about something and I couldn't follow everything she was saying but there was something about her wanting to fetch me to accompany her to hospital, which made me feel good. But obviousely she couldn't as she doesn't have my phonenumber nor did she know my room number at the time.
Then she left and I watched an episode of Friends together with an older Asian guy who's always in there with a bag of McDonald's food. We had a good laugh and then I handed the remote over to him and said bye and I retreated to my quarters.

And another thing.
Chinese people eating noodles...
It sounds horrid. And here I'm going to have to use the Dutch terminology - BLAAS BLAAS SLUUUUURRRPP SMAK SMAK SMAK.. swallow. A whole bowl full! Can you imagine! I hurried out of the kitchen.
But you have to hand it to them, they *can* cook.

As of today, though, I'm in the game too!
The pea soup meista!

Still no heating.

Anyhow, it's time for bed.

Sleep well, floffeh sheep.

Posted by miekj 15:48 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

So? Tell them to piss off!


Today little Angie and Carla were in as managers. I told them about my bike. Later that day Chris walked in, Carla's boyfriend. Carla mentionned something about my bike and Chris immediately responded. He told me to call them and ask if it could be done by the end of today and if somebody else could pick it up for me, because he was willing to go fetch it, living near to the garage and everything - it's quite a long walk from the shop.
They said yes, and gave me a time.
Chris would take care of it.
A few hours later he came back with my bike. They hadn't charged him a penny [not a dime, see? I'm losing my Americanness]. He had said are you sure everything is allright? Because she wants to use it tomorrow! If it breaks down I'm coming back and I'm not going to be happy! They said yes yes, off you go now.
So I do hope it works. If it doesn't I have somebody who's willing to kick some ass for me. [Excuse my language.]
- Kick some buttocks, better? -
Furthermore Carla cleared out the kitchen and now there's actually room to walk around.
At a certain point there was a customer asking for a refund. So I went into the back and said sorry to interrupt your little break buht somebodeh wants a refund and no I won't tell them to piss off! [Since that's what they usually tell me to do.]
Resulting in laughter and Carla and Angie saying they've taught me well - a response I get after every time I start cursing [which is not very often, shh shh].

I don't know if I'd mentionned that my heater broke down? I've been in the cold for a few days now. This one morning it was ever so blummin' cold. I crawled out from underneath my three blankets and I instantly got into my dressing gown and my slippers and I put a scarf around my neck - it was still cold.

In half an hour the X-factor is starting. I'm wondering if I'll go watch or just watch it in the morning, without commercials. Time will tell.


Time has told. Somebody is downstairs, watching Merlin. Tomorrow morning it is.


Posted by miekj 13:03 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

Lichfield Cathedral


Time for another day in Lichfield. I was to meet Gene at time x at the bus stop outside of Wilko's and we'd then take the bus to Lichfield. We missed our first bus, which was good because the driver in our actual bus was really nice. When we were driving along a random street he suddenly slowed down a bit and opened the door. He yelled at a pedestrian : You're not headed to the bus stop, ar' yeh? Unbelievable xD
First thing me and Gene did in Lichfield was go to the cathedral, since that was the main goal of the day. I had really high hopes because everybody had been like oh yeaaa the cathedral! You didn't have to pay to go in, but you had to buy a permit to make pictures for two pounds. That's why I made so many pictures, also of things that could have been left unphotographed. It was just out of pure principle. I paid, so there!
For personal use only.. buhh.. this is personal!
The cathedral was nicer from the outside than on the inside - we couldn't see half of it though (from the inside) because they were doing restaurations.
I've seen nicer ones anyway. Still, it's good to have been inside.
Afterwards we went for a bite to eat, which was nice and then we had a quick run around all the charity shops. We discovered one that I hadn't seen when I was in Lichfield the first time. It was the Oxfam charity bookshop! I had missed books in the normal Oxfam shop. So we went in. Two lads working there. I was looking around a bit and eventually got a Black Books DVD. So one of the lads starts talking about Black Books, saying he's been watching the series to grow into his role of person working in a book shop. So I said don't you be like Bernard! "No, I'm more the Manny type." Could have given him a hug right then and there, but didn't, obviousely. That would've only been ok if I'd pretended to be a drunk Fran.
Then we went to B&M, which is an absolutely fab store. If I were to get my groceries there, I'd have saved enough money to buy the bus ticket to Lichfield.
We got the bus back quite early so I would have the chance to get my bike to the repair shop.
So I went to the repair shop and the guy just started working on my bike and I stood there and I stood there and I stood there looking stupid. Came time to close the shop and they told me to come back the day after, being today.
So I arranged to leave work early and started walking to the shop.
I walked in and saw they were working on my bike.
So one of the guys gave me a chair and a cup of tea and I sat there watching the guy working on my bike. While I was sitting there, a bunch of children walked in. Now, in the shop there's a line and a sign saying: Beyond this point, staff only. They put my chair right on my side of the line. The kids were like oh sir, sir, can we have a look at the bikes back there? We have money! We have MONEY! So the guy said no, you can't.
But the other one always let's us! It's not you! The other one! He always lets us. Come on! I see one I like back there.
I could have flipped right then and there. Leave him alone, he's fixing my bike!
Then another member of staff came along and said the *holy* words: HEALTH & SAFETY! [If anything's not allowed, be certain that Health & Safety are the curse words required.]
As I said in Lichfield : It's as if all mankind can't think for itself anymore.
I also learned what the word "simony" means.
In the mean time the shop was about to close again so I told the guy I could come back another time so he wouldn't have to hurry and be hasty. So basically I just went for a random visit, got served a drink and then said allright cheers and see you next time.

This whole week at work has been really weird, in a good way. The days are going by really quickly and today we had cake at work because Tracy's celebrating her birthday this Sunday. Two delicious M&S cakes for just 3 quid, how about that. We had a good laugh about some random things and we got to the subject of me leaving, back to Holland, and it actually made me a bit sad.

This blog is taking ages. In the mean time I've spent some time downstairs in front of the tv and everything. No Daniella though.
Oh, I got headphones! They're ever so nice. Finally sound as it was meant to be, not like the bad speakers in my laptop. I'm really enjoying this.
I'll wrap this up for now.
Before I forget to post.

Posted by miekj 14:05 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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