The world’s in a state of chassis Juno

Tiger mothA couple of nights ago we were settling down for the night when this thing on the left started dive bombing the bed. With no clue as to how an insect managed to survive this long into the winter or even that night, when the outside temperature was a couple of degrees below freezing we assumed that it came back with us from a week’s holiday in Malta. Turns out it was a Peacock Butterfly and was probably asleep in a cupboard somewhere but thought it was spring when the heating came on.

I’m nervous about what else might be lying dormant…

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“And then they bring out Maria…”

fitness torture
Image by Olivier Bareau via Flickr

Angharad has been going to the gym for a couple of months and in some sort of masochistic way has
started enjoying it. Of course, when one enjoys something the first thought is to share it with your friends and loved ones which is why the little darling gave my name and phone number so I could have a free trial.

I found out about this today when Roberta, the peppy Spanish fitness instructor, called me to bully me into going down.

Me (confused because my phone is ringing on a Saturday afternoon):

R.T.P.S.F.I: Hallo Mr. Ryan, this is Roberta from L.A. Fitness. You have been referred by a friend who thinks you need to go to the gym. How about a free session to see what you need to do.

Me (battered by the joint attack of peppiness and Spanishness):
Uhm. Yes. That sounds like a good idea.

R: Great. Can you come down in five minutes.
Me: Woah there lil horsey. I can come some time next week.

R: I don’t think that’s enough motivation, why don’t you just skip along right now.
Me: No. Really. Next week.

R (Showing her true alien side, for all fitness instructors are
from a dying alien planet come here to steal our
hard-earned flab
: Now really Mr. Ryan, don’t you want to be
fit. It’s in your best interest to come down tomorrow.
Me: But it’s a three-day weekend. I’m being lazy!

R: That’s not good enough. You have to make an appointment now.
Me (starting to sob): Okay okay. Tuesday evening.

R: That’s better. We’ll see you at 6pm on Tuesday. Don’t forget, we know where you live…


Kinky Serenity

Kinky Boots (film)
Image via Wikipedia

A while ago I saw Kinky Boots, a very British comedy set in the north of England about a shoe factory saved from bankruptcy by changing their product line from quality mens’ brogues to womens’ boots that could hold the weight of a man for transvestites. While the film was very simple and had some quite sweet moments, it was made all the more odd because the transvestite in question was played by Chitwetel Ejiofor, who had previously played the Central government assassin in Serenity.

It’s not every day where you see someone as an assassin one week and a very convincing transvestite the next.

As if that weren’t strange enough, Stephen Hawking was in the front row and appeared the enjoy the movie quite a lot.

Only in Cambridge.

Cantab Redux

Corpus Christi College
Image by Bjørn Giesenbauer via Flickr

Some photos from the Cambridge MonkeyFilter meetup.

It wasn’t as strange as I would have thought and we did get some nice insights into Corpus Christi college. I’ve been here three and a half years and I’d never been in there before. For shame.

Monkey meetings

Nerd 87
Nerd 87 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


If I’m going to go along to the Monkeyfilter meetup in Cambridge on Saturday, does that make me an out-and-out nerd?


No comments from the peanut gallery, thank you. You know who you are.


Driving Test

Image by kaysha via Flickr

Yesterday I had my first driving test – I know it’s late in life to be doing such things but growing up in Dublin city centre meant that there was never a need – and like a high percentage of people I failed.

I wonder why the DSA go out of their way to make the process as daunting as possible. I failed on what it called a ‘reverse bay park’ which means reversing back between two parallel lines without touching them. Of course I went over a little but corrected it twice and meant I was considered not in control of the car. I think driving examiners are failed headmasters akin to John Cleese in Clockwise

On the plus side my re-test is this day two weeks. Wish me luck.


Shuffling forward

Twenty-eight years on the planet today, though some would say that I’m really from Mars.

Perfect excuse for a curry I’d say.

Strange moments in Pub Toilets #1

A urinal from California
Image via Wikipedia

You’re standing at the urinal minding your own business while doing your business when you hear someone say, “Mmm wooo.” At the further urinal away a dead ringer for the lead singer from Hot Chocolate has just made strange noises. Ever feel like life is one big rabbit hole?

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It’s been Five Years

on stage with polyphonic spree
Image by legdog via Flickr

I approached last night’s gig with much trepidation; The Polyphonic Spree could either have been very good or absolutely terrible but before going onto them I have to describe the first band we saw.

Mull Historical Society, a Scottish band, were really happy and chirpy. Even though the lead singer’s mike was plagued by feedback problems for the first couple of songs, he just carried on with the keyboardist’s one and made light of the roadies running about the stage. They put on a very happy, rocky, almost 80’s sounding set which left me feeling uplifted and happy that I went to the gig regardless of how The Polyphonic Spree were.

A bit of a break later while more setup was going on The Polyphonic Spree came onto the stage. If you don’t know anything about the band, just imagine twenty five Texans in robes singing, jumping, playing instruments, and just being infectiously happy. Every song was just a glorious multi-layered mix of Pink Floyd, the Flaming Lips, and a gospel choir. Backed by videos of some of their bigger gigs, the dream sequence from the Big Lebowski, and Disney’s Robin Hood they weren’t so much a band as an experience. And as if all that wasn’t enough to sate, they did an encore in their spiffing Glastonbury red robes, finishing with some beautiful harping to make us sleepy. Wonderful.

E pur si muove

Mill Road: Cambridge UK
Image by Prisoner 5413 via Flickr

When renting in Cambridge there comes a time when the owner wants to move back into the house and this brings the soul-destroying task of finding somewhere new to live. It’s amazing just what homeowners are trying to get away with in this town. I ended up looking at five houses and only two were habitable.

The worst was a four bedroom in town which held seven people (not including two children). The window faced a wall and with a double bed in the room there was maybe a postage stamp area to walk around in. £200 a month? No thanks.

Another one seemed okay, if a bit grotty, but it happened to be in Arbury which is supposed to be a dangerous area. It’s not the nicest place in the world, but not a patch on the heroin-sodden Liberties where I grew up.

Finally settled on a place off Mill Road. A nice attic double room with enough space for me to sprawl and feel comfortable. Now it’s the task of moving the material possessions I’ve managed to accumulate over the past year up three flights of stairs.