Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A l'étrange?

Well, tomorrow, folks, I commence my year abroad. I'm getting pretty sick of saying where I'm going now and what I'm doing, and that it's a compulsary part of my course, but, just for you (in case you didn't know), I'm going to Rennes, in Brittany (Bretagne) tomorrow, until Christmas, and then in February, I'm going to Girona, in Catalonia (Catalunya) until July. I'm going to study in those places too. I managed to get into their versions of student accomodation too, but my hopes are low for Rennes.

Well, I'm already here. I forgot to finish this blog before I went. Here is the link :

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

I really, really wish I could be somewhere else.

Well, trabajo called, and had me working at V Fest. The one that Oasis didn't pull out of. "Hurrah", I hear you cry. Oh no. This is not "hurrah"-worthy. On a burger van, next to the main stage (you may "hurrah" here) which got hammered. Ridiculous hours, for (adult) minimum wage, with staff on drugs. I just despise it. I despise everything about working there. I despise the bosses mainly. Well, just one of them. Greasy Ian. He's just a tosser. I also discovered that seeing Oasis at V the other week, makes me one of the few people present (in relation to the rest of the world) to have seen their last performance. Yay me.

This weekend also involved working at Leeds Fest. A comletely different experience to V. Totally not my cup of tea. V has something for everyone, whilst Leeds is rock. I'm not a huge fan of rock, but I can stand it. I cannot stand noise. The Horrors are a prime example of bands that just make noise. Actually dreadful. That said, I had slightly more fun working at Leeds, just because once we'd finished our shift, we wandered round, judging drunks and going on the Waltzers. I enjoyed it.

In other news, I go on my year abroad on THURSDAY! Actual 3 days away. THREE! From then, I will be transferring to my "Martin en France" blogg. Don't say I don't give you notice, people.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Mr Potter. Our new *celebrity*.

Well, these past few days have been full of many stars for me. No no, not the celestial type (that means stars in the sky, Ruth). I mean, of course, the famous type. I'm gonna be honest, it's not changed me one iota. I'm also gonna be honest about iotas. I don't know what they are, but I assume them to be a very small unit of measurement of some sort.

Anyway, anyway, anyway. On Friday, word had reached us that Stavros Flatley (one of the finalists from Britain's Got Talent) were to perform at Xscape. Naturally we were excited, cos they're fricking awesome. Well, they were. We got there relatively late, compared to all the mothers who lack jobs. We thought we'd got a reasonably reasonable place in which to see them. This was before chavs and tall people pushed in front of us. Then Davie got told off for pushing in front of some vertically challenged children and their vertically challenged mothers. He hadn't, they just couldn't see and blamed the nearest tall person. Well, one hour late, proceedings commenced with some man from Radio Aire (96.3) asking us if we were ready for Stavros Flatley. We were. Which is exactly why he sent on some bint to sing. He did this another two times before they came on. Turns out our position was poor at best. We couldn't see anything except their heads barely. They did the same routine they did on the telly, and then some bint from Calendar (ITV's local news. Ugh.) went to interview them and got them to show her their signature move. Then we left. In disgust.

Celebrity number 2. Yesterday, I had work. And, as Wakefield were playing some obscure southern team (Celtic Crusaders, I believe. Lost 21 games out of 24.) they had gotten Diversity (winners of BGT) to come and perform, and meet the kiddies. Now, I have never been so glad to be working. Maybe. I wasn't especially over excited. Like I pointed out to Jacqui, they'll have disappeared into obscurity by this time next year. Hopefully. Anyway, Mavis jumped straight in and went round them all getting their autographs. We can beat this. Well, Jacqui can. They decided they wanted some of our burgers. They are brave like that. And Jacqui, useless agency person and myself served them. Jacqui got autographs for herself, and I just got bored. I honestly didn't care. It felt weird not caring. But, as far as I'm concerned, they're not proper celebrities. If you went to see a panto, you wouldn't wait at the exit to get the autographs of the chorus, would you?

Saturday, 15 August 2009

"No matter where I are, they say 'Hey, sexy'"

Oh, where to begin.

Recent points of irritation:

#1. The Sugababes.
#2. Get Sexy. [See above]
#3. Poor grammar. [See #2/title]
#4. Traffic lights.
#5. Jamie Oliver. [Constant]
#6. Railway crossings.
#7. Stavros Flatley
#8. Work.
#9. Next door.
#10. Next door's builders.
#11. The elderly.
#12. Chavs.
#13. Big Brother. [merely for existing]
#14. Primark.
#15. Parking.
#16. The Punto.
#17. The phone.

I feel I should stop now.

"Y a une capote de protection quand même! lol"

Here are a few things that are currently concerning/troubling me:

#1. The prospect of living in a foreign country, on my own, until Christmas.

#2. The prospect of being regarded as a foreigner in said foreign country.

#3. Swine flu.

#4. SARS. I just don't think we gave it enough attention!

#5. The prospect of a swine flu vaccination become globally available when I'm in France, and me not being able to have it, because I am not French.

#6. David Cameron.

#7. David Cameron winning the next election.

#8. Tuition fees rising.

#9. The problem of where to live in my final year at Lancaster.

#10. The attitude of the French towards their gardens. "An englishmans home is his castle", this clearly includes the garden. A frenchmans home must therefore be his toilet. I have witnessed a man urinating in his own garden through a friend being tagged in the same album on Facebook. Disgusted.

#11. The same album (mentioned above) also contains one frenchman being anally penetrated by another frenchman with a giant whiskey bottle. Technically the whiskey bottle is doing the anal penetration. But, this is not the point. "There's even a condom! lol". This is what today's blogg title is.

#12. My lack of Euros.

#13. My independence on my year abroad.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Accidents devastate lives.

This is according to one of those insurance adverts on daytime TV. They are right though. Only the other day, I accidentally brushed against a nettle. The events which followed are too traumatic to recount to you today. I accidentally got my car washed at a shit car-wash place. Traumatised. I accidentally fell up the stairs and got a carpet burn on my knee. My life hasn't been the same since. I think these TV "adverts" need to specify what kind of accidents devastate lives. I shall list them some options to choose from:

Accident #1: Accidentally on-purpose.

These are quite simple. "I accidentally cut her face open with a knife, cos she was bad-mouthing me", for example. Or sticking your leg out infront of someone you dislike; "Oh, I didn't see you there", when we all know you did.

Accident #2: Trivial.

These are everyday accidents. Paper cuts, walking into lamp posts, missing a step. "Argh! Bastard! Bloody paper!" Also included in this category are less everyday ones, such as brushing past nettles, being scratched by brambles or other nature related incidents. "Fucking nettles! Where's the fucking dock leaves?! What do they fucking look like?!", for example.

Accident #3: Grave.

These differ from #2 as they are more serious. They are rarer, but not as serious as #4. Examples include: missing a step, and falling down the stairs; a chair breaking; tripping on a pavement. NB: accidents in this category are most likely to qualify for annoying insurance claims.

Accident #4: Grave and deadly.

These are, as the name suggests, similar to #3 in the sense that they are grave, but differ in regards to their effect, namely their main effect is death. TV insurance companies LOVE these kinds of accidents. Not as much as they love #3.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Ouais, 'otpot.

I don't know if I've blogged about this before, quite frankly (my dear), I don't give a damn. I love it too much. I'm sure you've seen it. A lot of people have. I'm talking about Blackpool's attempt at boosting tourism, by branching out to France. Voila le link:

Actually hilarious. In other, French related, news, I found old letters from my exchange partner from my first ever French exchange. From my first year of French, way back in year 8. Unfortunately, I don't have what I assume to be my piss-poor attempts at French, but I do have their attempts at English, and funnier still, my mother's attempt at French. I shall put them below.
Letter #1

Anthony PRINCE
fait le 6th January 2002
Hello Martin
I'm twelve. My Birthday is a eight july. I live in Semusac. I've got green eye, and brown hairs and short. I've got a one Brother. His name is Jonathan. He is seventeen. He has got blue eye and blond hair. I've got one dog. I haven't got computer but I sometime a bike. I like petanque and watching télevision. I like laugh and marrant. good-bye

friend Anthony

I feel bad for mocking his level of English, but I'm sure he'd do the same now, as I imagine his english to be much better.... I like "I sometime a bike".

Letter #2.

Hello Martin

I'm anthony. I had a letter. I fine than you. The France is a beautiful country. We are going to the "Ile d'Aix). In London, we went to museum of synse. I was encounscious. Do you like a dogs?
I have got a big dog but he is beautiful, clever but very old we play to the playstation. bring the code for GTA and bring crash bash please

Good at the familly


They are a special bunch.

And now, the piéce de résistance. The following is something my mother (somehow) prepared in case she had to ring Anthony's house whilst I was in France. I find it funnier than you probably will.

Bonjour Je suis ^Karen la mere
Je voudrais parler Martin.

I'm pleased with her attempt. But it should read "Bonjour, je suis Karen, la mere(with a back accent on the first e) DE Martin. Je voudrais parler A(accent)/avec Martin." Silly things, but it's chuckle-able...


It was Saturday. I know this, cos on Saturday evening Katie, Ruth and myself (I know I'm meant to be last in that list, but I'm unsure what to do if there is more than one person. I went alphabetical. Let's hope I'm right...) went to a random pub somewhere between (not beterrn as I tried writing) Pontefract and Ferrybridge. I think Ferrybridge must be a new place to you blogg readers. My dad works there, at a powerstation. I have actually no idea what he does there, but he has reassured me that he is no Homer Simpson. Anyway, it was for a group called Tragical History Tour, who played (I wanted to write plaid... What is wrong with me?!) Beatles songs. If you didn't know, I fricking love the Beatles. Not as much as I love Muse, obv, but they are quite high up my list. Anyway, they were most good, I was impressed, and barely drunk. Ruth was quite tipsy. On 4 pints. She should be ashamed. We went to say farewell to her friend (not fried), who with her two other friends had gotten through 5 bottles of wine between them. This is quite a feat (feet?) bloggettes. She was incredibly drunk, and declaring her love for Ruth and Katie, and myself who she had just met. Drunken love, you understand: "I fucking love these two." etc etc. This got me thinking, what are the kinds of drunk?

Drunk #1: Happy.

These kind of drunks are just generally happy. One of the best kind of drunks. Superceded only by #2. Characteristics involve general declarations of love: e.g. "I fucking love you" "Aren't you lovely?". Their happiness spreads (usually) to others. Best enjoyed: in a club environment. Least enjoyed: never.

Drunk #2: Funny.

These kind of drunks are the best kind of drunks. Pretty much the same as #1, except with humourous antics. Best enjoyed: when sober. Least enjoyed: when #3.

Drunk #3: Angsty.

One of the worst kind of drunks to be with and to be. To avoid this state of inebriation, avoid drinking whilst slightly down. Other methods to avoid this state involve #1 or #2. Various degrees of #3 involve "I have to go home now" at midnight to the worst kind, the "I'm fine" with a fake smile. I personally like to think I have perfected this art. Best enjoyed: never. Least enjoyed: when with others.

Drunk #4: Angry.

An equally unejoyable drunk to be with. Differs from #5 as lacks violence. Generally angry, mostly at drink-spillers, queuers (people who queue, not queers, silly), and anyone and everyone. Best enjoyed: when there are others to block them out. Least enjoyed: most occasions.

Drunk #5: Violent.

One of the most unejoyable drunks to be around. Differs from #4 due to addition of violence. Level of violence can vary from not very (i.e. pushing, shoving etc) to very (full blown fights). Best enjoyed: never. Least enjoyed: all occasions.

Drunk #6: Comatose.

These are an odd kind of drunk. Often found at house parties, as opposed to in public, they still occasionally make it into public. Known most for just sitting there, apparently asleep. For the record, they are not in a coma, they are more than likely asleep. Or dead. More commonly the former. Provide entertainment for those not comatose. Entertainment usually involves permanent markers and/or a cup of cold tea. Best enjoyed: house parties. Least enjoyed: clubs/bars.

Drunk #7: Collapsible.

Anyone who says that they have never been a collapsible drunk, is a liar. This generally involves falling over anyone and anything. Collapsible drunks have two forms: violent (which often involves attempting to hit something and falling on the floor) and happy/funny (which often involves falling on the floor, and realising minutes later "I'm sat on the floor, aren't I? How did this happen?". This is followed by much laughter, and possible reoccurence of the incident). Best enjoyed: at the end of a night. Least enjoyed: by the sober.

Now, I cited "loud" as a style of drunk, but I think this comes under #1/#2. I think these are the basic types of drunks. Any more suggestions, let me know :D

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Argh! It burns! It burns!

Well, I'm nearly caught up blogging. Thankfully. Last Friday I went to Whitby (pronounced Wit-bay if you are of the French persuasion...). It was most pleasant. Ridiculously sunny. More importantly, my car managed to make it there in one piece. And we beat Kathy's (sat-nav) original estimated time by about 20minutes. 'Hurrah', I hear you cry. Oh, no. This naturally meant that on top of being naturally early (force of habit), I was even earlier. Combined with Katie's lateness, and traffic encountered by Katie, this meant I had a good 45minutes waiting in my car. As I hadn't expected it to be a sunny day (they are so rare in summer in Britain), I had no suncream on my bare arms. They burned. Over the course of the day, two wet bums, and much sunburn later, the day ended. Not for good, you understand. Not in an apocalyptical way, we just went home. Whitby is nice, but it would have been much nicer if we hadn't sat and ate our fish and chips on the wet part of the beach. As a result of such foolishness, we had to endure wet bums for the rest of the day. It was most unpleasant. Over the course of the day, my face burnt too. For the first time. Ever. I never burn. EVER.

The following day, perhaps, I got bored, and decided to get my car washed. In fact, it was Sunday. Or maybe not. I really cannot remember. Anyway, I took it to one of these places that charge a fiver for a wash and for painting your wheels black, you know the sort. Actually, if you don't know the sort, where have you been? There are loads everywhere nowadays. I know of at least 4 within 3 miles of my house. Anyway, anyway, anyway, I took it to the one on Parkside. Obviously, this means nothing to you, unless you is local. Either way. It was all looking good and professional, despite the lack of english spoke there. Just a series of gestures followed by "here, please?" and "five, please". Anyway, anyway, anyway, I was quite impressed initially. I got a free smelly in my car. You know the kind, the kind that smell of "strawberry". The smell you know to be strawberry, even though it smells nothing at all like real strawberry. Upon further inspection later on, and when I say "further inspection", I mean looking at it, I noticed that they had failed to wipe of various bits of bird shit. Actually not amused. Naturally, I did nothing about it, but still. Later that day, me and Ruth tried to find somewhere to go walkies. We settled on the Old Coach Road near us. It's an old road, from a long time ago, and it goes through fields. It's about 3 miles round trip. If that. The first stretch was fine, nice normal farm public path. The second stretch was proper country lane. Muddy, and nettle-y. I wouldn't have minded so much if it had been brambles, but I fucking hate nettles. Naturally I was in piss-poor shoes and shorts, so the mud was a challenge, and in the art of avoiding nettles, I am now an expert.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Dysgu'r diwylliannol o Gymru gan Martin: Gwlad o Dduw (ac y Wlad o Ddefaid a Glaw)

Don't be alarmed, I've not gone crazy and just typed any old tripe as my blogg title. It's welsh. Hence the excessive amount of consonants. And y's. They do like their y's, don't they? All being well, it says "Martin's cultural learning in Wales: land of God (and the land of sheep and rain)". Fingers crossed. I asked a real welsh person how to say it(hence the 'Land of God'.) Well, not say it. As an Englishman (Actual fact. Quite Yorkshireish, and Sunderlandish so far. That's another story...), I lack the glands to produce enough spit to aid me in my speaking of such a lovely language which pronounces every single letter. Except Ll. And oe. These are pronounced respectively as "hiss" and "oi". That's not pronouncing every single letter. LIES! The same applies to the French actually.

"Yoo eengleesh, wiz yur seelee silen' lettairs. We pronarnce evuree lettair in Frarnce."

Whatever. Let me tell you something, France: je joue is pronounced, zje zjou. You ignore the poor 'e'. And, Ils jouent is pronounced exactly the same. This is the same for every single verb ending for 'they'. It must get pretty sad being a 3rd person plural conjugation.

So yes, back to my cultural findings from Wales. They are bilingual. I discovered this when I passed the "Croeso i Gymru" sign. Then began the barrage of lovely english names forcibly 'Welshed-up'. I cannot think of any examples of the top of my head. But there were lots. Another example of said bilingualism, for the whole 16.5% of speakers of the language within Wales, was to be found in Tesco. Yes, Tesco is bilingual in Wales. They don't wish you "goodbye", they wish you "pob hwyl". You don't buy lemonade there, you buy lemonêd. Instead of bread, you buy bara. Where the large potato section is in an English Tesco, you find a ridiculously disproportioned leek section.

Having said that, I saw not one sheep. I was a little disappointed to be honest. But, the rain held true, and helped my experience retain the true Welsh feel. I like Wales. Honestly.