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March 1, 2001

After briefly trying to scan

After briefly trying to scan in some new pics for the site today, windows insisted on showing me the blue screen of death and crashing repeatedly, so I was forced to abandon technology and go for a walk. Where we are in Copenhagen is surprisingly close to the countryside (or 'the nature' as Danes and Germans like to call it), and in less than an hour I found myself on top of a hill looking down at the city.

It got me thinking, and so I gave Andrew in Glasgow a call, and after chatting, arranged to go and visit him in a couple of weeks. Andrew mentioned that Colin is talking about having a party for his dreaded three-zero sometime around then and maybe I'll time it well. So expect to see / hear of me in the UK in a couple of weeks, and I do plan to get down to Guernsey this time as well to catch up on the drinking culture there!

March 2, 2001

Nina woke me up this

Nina woke me up this morning to tell me everything was white outside. Finally some snow! Its five years since I last spent the winter somewhere cold, so I enjoyed sliding around and kicking it at people today. Copenhagen looks so much nicer covered in snow too. I was expecting the sea to be frozen and people to be going around in dog sleighs before I spent the winter here, but its not like that at all. Well, not yet

March 5, 2001

Sitting in the library in

Sitting in the library in the centre of Copenhagen down by the canals right now. Think that I have to go and find some caffeine soon, and leave this place. Yesterday I watched Nina's team play basketball; they have to be the shortest basketball team in the world, but they seem to make up for it in anger.

March 9, 2001

I've spent a lot of

I've spent a lot of time lately trying to scan in pictures for bronek.org before I leave next week. After working on the Italian section most of yesterday, our service provider here decided to down their servers and cause me major crashes and stress at 0400 in the morning while I was trying to upload it. As I was half asleep and very low on caffeine I failed to realise this for an hour while I tried to fix my pc! Why does downtime always have to be in the middle of the night?

Yesterday, Clarins were doing a demonstration in a shop window in town. A girl, clad in only a towel, was getting a massage, and most of the drunks in Copenhagen had gathered around the window to watch and shout encouragement. She didn't look like she appreciated the attention though. As I continued through town, I was stopped by two hippie bible-bashers who tried to enlist me into their Danish cult. I lied and told them I went to a Catholic church. Must be time for another haircut.

This is a photo of a group of underwater statues in the canal in Copenhagen. People keep running into them in boats, hence the bouy.
underwater statue

March 10, 2001

I've just come back from

I've just come back from the supermarket, and because it's Saturday, the Danes are primarily buying beer. As you walk down the street you pass couples carrying crates of beer between them, and because cans are banned here for environmental reasons, you have to buy bottles. Hence the average beer drinker in Denmark gets his exercise on Saturday when he lugs two dozen bottles home. Some have turned to innovation though, and modified their bikes (cars carry 200% tax so many people cycle) into dedicated beer carriers that will take anything from one to six crates. Carlsberg tend to have a monopoly on this market and they advertise that it's "Probably the best beer in town." Indeed, Danes are never happier, and often only happy, when they have a beer.

March 13, 2001

Just finishing the last of

Just finishing the last of my packing right now. I have to get up at 0600 to get the train over to Sweden, then the coach to the airport, flight to London, flight to Glasgow, train... After about 12 hours, believe it or not, I get to where I'm going in Scotland! Better get some sleep now...

March 15, 2001

Glasgow, Scotland Yesterday's trip went

Glasgow, Scotland
Yesterday's trip went quite smoothly. It took a while to get through the security check when I left Sweden as the woman in front of me decided it was a good idea to stash a bunch of knives in her carry-on bag. The security people didn't really agree with her and took her off for interrogation. In Stansted I sat down to watch a dvd on the pc, and shocked everyone in the cafe when a big sex scene started on screen. I'd seen the film before on tv and there hadn't been anything dodgy in it, but I guess that's what they mean when they say it includes extra scenes! After making a hasty getaway from the angry mob, it was time to board the flight up to Scotland. The plane had been specially modified for this route, and had Chinese seating configuration (i.e. less legroom) as Scottish people are naturally so short. Upon landing we were guided through disinfectant baths in case our shoes were suffering from the current outbreak of foot and mouth disease, and everyone proceeded to slip around on the wet, tiled floor.

I stayed with Colin last night. In fact we were quite lucky to make it to his flat, as we stopped off in a pub directly across from the station after he met me. Sense prevailed, however, and we took my luggage back to his place before continuing our pub crawl, eating incredibly greasy fish and chips, and finishing the night off in the Bierhalle, my new favourite pub in Glasgow.

March 17, 2001

Thursday night was spent in

Thursday night was spent in the west end pubs of Glasgow with Colin and Andrew. So once again, I woke up feeling very hungover yesterday morning. I had to get the train through to Perth for a dentist appointment, but at 0920 I realised that I'd been told the wrong train time and had only 20 minutes to make it to the station. Off I sprinted in my fragile state, only to sit in the station for 15 minutes as the train was late. Finally, it turned up, but only got as far as Stirling before it broke down and we were sent to another train at the other end of the station. Still, I made it to my appointment, which lasted exactly 3 minutes before he told me to come back again on Tuesday! It was strange to walk around Perth, where I hadn't been since the day I left Dundee, so I sat and had a coffee there before getting bored, realising how bad it all is, and jumping on the next train back to Glasgow. Now for some unexplained reason, I attract screaming children. It doesn't matter where I sit on a plane or train, but screaming kids will gravitate towards me. So, on the train, a woman with a screaming child moves, yes moves over to the seat in front of me, where not content to aggrivate my hangover, she proceeds to change the child's nappy!

I'm staying with Andrew right now, and last night we took it easy. I'm hoping to have a nice peaceful time tonight, but Ged is trying to persuade me to come through to Edinburgh for some mammoth drinking session.

My hosts, Andrew & Cathy,

My hosts, Andrew & Cathy, have obviously been doing some work on their internal doors. Not realising this, I managed to lock myself into their lounge earlier this evening before discovering that the internal door handle had been removed. And so I found myself trapped in the room watching a television programme called 'I Love 88', which basically was about 1988. It's was very interesting, but also sad in a way, I realised that when we talk of our formative years, we will only be able to recall classical artists such as Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, and Bill and Ted (who apparently were discovered in McDonalds).

Well, things change all the time... Colin has just called and I'm about to head into town to meet him and go off clubbing, so I have to leave you now...

March 19, 2001

Just got off the last

Just got off the last train back to Glasgow after spending the evening with Ged through in Edinburgh, and I'm writing this from an internet cafe. Now I just have to manage to walk back to Andrew and Cathy's flat without getting mugged...

March 21, 2001

Yesterday, I took the train

Yesterday, I took the train through to Perth again to revisit my dentist, then enjoyed walking around town randomly drooling due to half of my face being anaestitised. In the evening, Andrew, Cathy and I went down to their local, the Ubiquitous Chip, where we met up with Colin and Kevin for some drinks and after that, went off to buy rubber microwave kebabs, so we were obviously not sober people.

March 22, 2001

So far I've spent much

So far I've spent much of last night and most of today trying to install Linux onto my pc in the hope of making it more stable, but have had little success. So I am by now desperate for some caffeine, and am off to Starbucks to be revived. I've also booked a flight down to England for next week to visit Chris before he moves to France for three months to practice his French accent. Whenever he's drinking in foreign bars, he automatically shifts into the local accent. Often though, the natives are not impressed and I have to drag him out before they start beating him up.

March 23, 2001

I've just arrived in Edinburgh

I've just arrived in Edinburgh to meet up with Ged, and it's a horrible, cold, grey day outside. I'm writing this from a huge Easyeverything internet cafe that has 500 online pc's. Last night started off respectably enough, but went downhill fast. I went over to see Colin with some wine, then we went out for 'one' beer. Several bars later we found ourselves in an underground club where ironically the dj insisted on playing Tiffany. Finally I got back to the flat at 0300.

March 26, 2001

Friday night of course turned

Friday night of course turned into a mammoth drinking session with Ged, who then persuaded me to eat my own body weight in McDonalds. I stayed at his house, but woke up after about 2 hours half expecting some form of chicken nugget creature to burst out of my stomach. In the morning I nursed my hangover in an Edinburgh cafe before catching the train back to Glasgow. Scotland were playing Belgium there and so the train was packed with singing, drunken football supporters. Just what you need with a hangover.

On my previous trip through, the ticket inspector had refused to sell me a day return ticket; the same ticket that I'd bought twice that week already on the train. After a long argument, however, he'd relented, but this time I went to the ticket office to buy it. Upon enquiring about this strange event, I was told 'in confidence' that the inspectors are now on commission, and hence, don't want to sell you the cheap tickets when they can sell you an expensive one! Just what we need, mafiosi ticket inspectors.

I met up with Colin on arrival back in Glasgow, and once more he dragged me off to the pub. Feeling a bit fragile from the previous night, I managed to resist his suggestions of going on to a club, and I had a reasonably early night.

Chris and I are hoping to get over to Guernsey this coming weekend after I get down to Bristol where he lives. It would be good to see everyone over there again as I haven't been there for over two years.

Glasgow, Scotland I'm in town

Glasgow, Scotland
I'm in town right now, and just about to meet Andrew and Colin in the Bierhalle. Tomorrow I'm planning to go off skiing in either Glencoe or Glenshee as there's perfect skiing conditions there right now and Cathy is letting me borrow her car for the day. Then on Wednesday, I'm catching the morning flight down to London where I have to take care of a couple of things before heading up to Bristol to see Chris and probably get dragged out partying for the rest of the week. He already seems to be getting quite a reputation at work; as one of his colleagues shared with me the last time I was there, "It's not that Chris is an alcoholic. He just REALLY likes a drink!" Anyway, I better go to the pub now...

March 28, 2001

I've just got back to

I've just got back to Glasgow after spending the day skiing with Colin in Glenshee. The snow was fantastic, but we did have snowstorms almost all day long. It was a few years since we'd both been skiing, but after two runs on the nursery slopes, we decided to head up to the top of one of the highest runs at 1000m. As we got to the summit a blizzard hit and took visibility down to almost nothing, blowing ice into our faces. It was probably one of the coldest times I can remember, and we had difficulty seeing the run, but we made it down and went to the cafe to recover. There we discovered that the run had been closed just after we had got up.

Later in the day I did a spectacular fall on a very steep, icy patch on a red run. I somersaulted down the slope with skis and poles flying everywhere, and landed on my head. I lay there for a second checking if I was dead / paralysed / injured, but soon came to the conclusion that I was reasonably well, and gave Colin, who was looking concerned from further down the slope, the thumbs up. Things carried on like this for much of the day, and I even managed to get a (very) little bit of snowboarding done before they kicked us off the slopes and told us to go home.

Later, we paid a visit to my cottage in Balmerino, which Colin has kindly offered to provide professional services for, and then went onto Dundee. It's always fun to visit Dundee. Usually because it reminds me of how much better everywhere else in the world is, but today was especially good as Colin's sister made us dinner and saved us from ending up in McDonalds. Unfortunately for Colin it was chilli as he had to endure the full wrath of my digestive system in the car back to Glasgow.

I've just packed, and tomorrow morning I have to drag my aching body to catch a flight down to London, then onto Bristol to stay with Chris.

Just arrived in London and

Just arrived in London and I'm writing this from one of the new touchscreen payphones in Victoria Station. Heading into central London for some lunch now and I've just heard there's a tube strike starting in a few hours!

March 31, 2001

Bristol, England After spending the

Bristol, England
After spending the last couple of days here in Bristol, Chris and I are off to Guernsey tomorrow. Which means that I have to get up at 04:30 - is it worth going to bed? According to Mark, who I spoke to today, everyone on the island has been warned about my impending arrival and been advised to make other plans. Quite looking forward to getting over there again, apart from the imminent lack of sleep for tonight.

Apart from that I'm starting to feel not quite so permanently injured from my skiing fall this week; most of the internal bruising seems to be disappearing, and I can walk without being in pain again. I've just got an email from one of the companies that were working on the boat in Florida, saying that they've got some parts in for me and can I come over in the next couple of weeks. Right now it's the last place I want to go though...