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Saturday, 26 January 2013

Chapter 3 - A story about ice and a gas called Mercaptan

It has been a mental week without many actual events if that makes sense? I’ve hurt myself (in more ways than one), I’ve been challenged, I’ve laughed hysterically, I’ve nearly finished writing the final track on my album (and yes – I realise that last week I had also “nearly finished it” – but this time I have – I promise) and I’ve danced on ice (sort of).  But there will be more on some of that to follow…..
I’m going to start this week by answering a few of your questions:

What is your worst habit? (Asked by Keely & Hayley in the office)
I’m sure that Cass could suggest any number of things….. One example would be leaving the toilet seat up – something to which I’d respond to by suggesting that always leaving the toilet seat down is sexist and that a rota system should be discussed…..

But no. My worst habit is probably farting in really inappropriate places (and then giggling like a school child about it). Occasionally (and I’ll openly admit this to you) if the smell borders on vomit inducing I have been known to blame the dog….
Incidentally – Heinz Chilli Beans + Wholemeal Toast + Kiwi & Lime smoothie = A smell that cannot be devoured by any amount of air freshener. You have been warned.

What are you scared of and why? (Asked by Jason over email)
Insects. Definitely Insects. There are thousands upon thousands of different species most of which are very small. And the idea of really small creatures climbing over your body and sneaking up on you is not cool. Especially when some of these creatures are very very poisonous. Small creatures that can sneak up on you and poison you. How is that not scary?

I went to Sri Lanka once with some other friends and one of them woke up with loads of bite marks on his back. We cut the side of his mattress open to discover a mass of red ants inside. Not cool at all. On the same trip I inevitably had “some stomach problems” which resulted in me constantly needing the toilet. At one point I was so desperate that I ran into an outhouse to go to the toilet. I lifted the lid up and out of the toilet bowl crawled the biggest spider I had ever seen in my life. Picture the scene in slow motion. It was like a countdown to an explosion whilst my mind figured out what was happening. 3. 2. 1. And….I screamed like a girl (admittedly not my manliest hour). The giant earth eating spider ran away and still desperate for the toilet I kind of hovered over the toilet bowl (obviously in case some form of hybrid mutant jumping spider emerged…..) and positioned myself just in time for the rapid fire pellet gun in my body to start firing. A feeling of relief came across my body as I finished. Until I realised that I had forgotten to take toilet paper with me……

I should also mention that balloons terrify me (which doesn’t work quite so well when you work in an office which has regular events). I hate the noise they make when they explode. I hate the sound they make when being blown up. And people rubbing balloons against their body seems a bit like Russian roulette to me. Why would you want to risk something making a massive noise and startling you? Why risk something exploding in your hand? Crazy. “I’m going to pull a pin in and out of a hand grenade to see if it explodes. And I’m going to do it for fun”. Makes a lot of sense…..

I’ll try and answer some questions each week – so please feel free to email them to

Anyway. About my week…..

Continuity note……
You might remember that in the last chapter I gave away a hint suggesting that two resolutions were going to come head to head. Well in fact – the current situation has meant that they haven’t ended up doing so (yet) – which is just as well to be honest – because I had no idea how I was going to get around not giving the game away on both of those resolutions. I’m sure that there will be more on those resolutions and an explanation of the situation to come in a later chapter though…

Cast List

Wayne Berry
Throughout the coming weeks and months I’m sure that I will mention some nights that I (along with loads of others – more on them at some point as well) promoted in various venues across Cheltenham and Gloucester called “the Faction”. Well – one of the doormen at my favourite venue (The 2 Pigs) has returned to my life over the last couple of years but in a different role….As the partner of Cass’s oldest friend Apryle. Fun loving, strong, dependable and with a heart of gold – Wayne is great to be around – even if he is a Chel$ki fan.

Apryle Newbery
Cass’s oldest (Not age wise. Just clearing that up) friend and someone that whenever I see her is smiling (Something which amazes me as she has 4 children and after spending an afternoon with all 4 last week – I was exhausted – so I’ve got no idea how she does it. I’ve got so much respect for her for it though!) Lovely personality and fond of a bit of a party…Annoyingly though is completely immune to hangovers…..

I should probably start my journal from this week by mentioning that thanks to this “small cock up” I haven’t really done that much besides working, sleeping, perfecting a new art of sleeping in the shower (cleverly combining getting ready for work and napping) and increasing my dislike for France. So I’m just going to mention one day from the week

Friday 18th January saw me wake up to snow (and quite a lot of it for this country). It’s fair to say that I love snow. It looks amazing and unlike other people – I will try my hardest to be out in it.  I’m like a big kid. Walking through untouched snow is such a great feeling – and I like it so much that I walked to the cinema to watch Django (incidentally – great film – but poorly edited).
In the evening – Wifey and I took a trip to see our friends Apryle and Wayne. After mocking Cass for deciding to wear wellington boots on the walk over (it’s fair to say that at this point the snow had turned into an ice rink) I promptly slipped over and broke a bottle of wine in the process. Cass was amazingly concerned for me and my wellbeing – perhaps unsurprisingly I was more concerned about the rest of the bottles in the bag. Luckily – the rest were intact. The rest of the journey was uneventful (ish) and then the chaos began…..

I LOVE spending time with friends. I love it even more when there is wine and beer and games and Apryle’s AMAZING lasagne involved. Unfortunately my memory of the evening is somewhat blurred (and in later points blotted out completely) as wine and beer evolved into wine and beer and shots and gin. It shouldn’t surprise you to discover that I got slightly (understatement of the year so far) merry. After falling into a lamp and (by all accounts) ruining a number a card tricks we left to go home. I got out of the door and walked to the road. My legs slipped and I landed with a smack on the floor. I led there and refused to get up. In fact I led there and refused to get up whilst giggling to myself hysterically. At this point I remember no more until waking up the next day….I know that Wayne walked us home (I now know that it took us an hour and a half to travel what should be a 20 minute journey – how he had the patience to do that is beyond me – so words cant describe how grateful I am) and I also had a late night phone “conversation” with another dear friend – but you’ll find out more about that conversation and the friend as chapters progress I’d imagine……
Needless to say that I woke up the next day with a few injuries (both physically and to my pride)……my elbow for instance still hurts slightly when I put weight on it (as well as having a small gap where I’m sure some bone should be). I also woke up completely ashamed that I’d got myself into that state and that for the first time in a long time I’d needed to be looked after. I’d also woken up with questions burning from my conversation with my mystery friend – but again – more on that at a later date.
The inevitable question that you may ask though is that if writing this part of the chapter caused me pain – why include it? It’s a question I admittedly asked myself. But as I said back in Chapter 1 – I want to be able to learn from mistakes as I read back over these stories. I can’t do that if I filter out my mistakes into what I want you to know about me – for by doing that I could always choose to simply show you the best side of me. Perhaps writing these stories for you can show you more of me - A guy who makes mistakes and (hopefully) learns from them.
I love to have fun and it’s so important to do so – but this time I went too far. I’m lucky and eternally thankful that I had some friends and a wife to look after me when I needed it most. They all set an amazing example of what friendship should be that night by being there for someone (me) in good times and bad. I wonder how often I forget the second part of that in my relationships with people - and how often I must have been forgiven in the past because of it. If you’re reading this and I have at some point let you down – then please accept my apologies and thank you for showing me such grace. I’ve learnt my lesson.

Driving To Safety…..
On my way back from the cinema last Friday I saw a curious thing. In Gloucester we have a shop called Go Outdoors. You might have seen them advertised across the nation. They basically sell every form of outdoors thing ever. Things like tents and skiing equipment and gadget style things that turn urine into fine wine. They were also advertising their offers on winter safe driving equipment (presumably taking advantage of the weather) at the front of the shop, in the local paper and (as I later discovered) on the internet. As I walked past a massive queue of people DRIVING into the car park on the iciest and snowiest day of the year to pick up this safe driving equipment I couldn’t help but wonder if the whole thing was slightly self defeating….

And Finally….

In a potential heads up on next week’s cast list I can finally reveal (I’ve been sitting on this for ages) that Dan and Christine Flynn are due to have their first child in July. How do they fit into my life? I’ll explain next week but I am very excited……..
Last week I also mentioned that a couple of people had finally got engaged…..congratulations then to Adam Legge and Hannah Cooke who I’m sure will be in my cast list very soon……

Oh – and I’d also like to give a shout out to everyone in my office. It’s been a mentally busy week (mainly thanks to the French) and I’d just like to thank you all for making me chuckle along the way.

I’ll leave you with this story….it should make you smile – oh and this one should remind you of the dangers of texting whilst walking....

Have a great week – and follow me on the twitter: @andifoster

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I messaged you a while back-did you get it?