A big weekend blog post

I’ve had a rather strange weekend. It ended last night with me getting a severe dose of man-flu, which I’m still suffering from this morning. Emily seems to think it’s just “a bit of a cough and a sore throat”, but only us men can know the real pain of full-blown man-flu.

On Friday I watched “Road Wars” – a fantastic programme on Sky One which covers the pro-active team at Thames Valley Police. They cruise around in unmarked high-specification Vauxhall Vectras while Lee Boardman (who used to be Jez Quigley in Coronation Street) does some hilarious narration. There’s a similar show on BBC1 called “Car Wars” that covers a team in Manchester who drive around in unmarked Subaru Imprezas. Both are good, but Road Wars is on more frequently.

Here’s some of the rather excellent chases I watched. The first features Officer Rosie Boser. She’s a lady not to be messed with. One minute she’s saying, “That Audi would be a good pursuit wouldn’t it?”, then the next they’re sliding around traffic lights with the back end twitching everywhere, chasing the Audi as fast as they can. Nice work lady!

There’s some other good clips, like this biker who fails to spot the cops as he bombs down the motorway…

..or this kid, who decides to make a new contra-flow system…

On Saturday Emily wanted me to clear out the garage. The reason for this is that we’re moving house and Emily wanted it as tidy as possible for the big moving day (I’ve not mentioned much about our house move yet as so much has happened, then “unhappened” recently). Now, as far as I’m concerned the garage is definitely a “mans place” and I’ve got to take responsibility for it. We’ve been round quite a number of houses and one thing I’ve noticed is the state of the garages. They’re either very neat or incredibly messy. Some of the garages we’ve seen were immaculate – I can only assume the man of the house has been banished to the garage as punishment .. or perhaps they’d rather be in there than the house itself. Either way, my garage definitely falls into the “messy” category. It’s a tip, an absolute tip. I know of only about two people that actually use their garage for parking a car – me, I dump stuff. The old satellite dish, bits of old decking, old chairs and tables plus more junk has been living in our garage for years – we even have the original “SOLD” sign when we bought the house !

So we got started. I started sawing bits of the old decking so it’d fit in the car while Emily donned her rubber gloves and put bits of old curtains, paint and damp cardboard boxes into bin bags ready for the dump. As Lichfield (our Council) is one of the top recycling councils in the UK, we had to make sure that everything was sorted ready for the trip to the dump. Wood in one pile, metal in another pile, cardboard in a bag etc etc. We did several trips to the dump and on each occasion we noticed the “recycling advisors” (bin men) hanging about to tell people which skip to put stuff in. Now, although each skip is clearly signed with “Metal” or “Card and Paper”, there’s often confusion about the difference in “Wood” and “Chipboard” etc, so these guys hang about to ensure that nothing goes where it shouldn’t. Whilst I don’t doubt their ability, they’re not portraying a good image of the council as they lean on the metal railings and leer at the women. One guy, who was smoking a cigarette (again, something I’m not sure he should be doing whilst on duty, especially next to the “paper and card” skip), kept more than a close eye on Emily but never offered any help. We started calling him Peter Perv after the second or third trip back to the skip, and I made sure Emily didn’t go near his skip again.

After a bit more work we’d finally finished, and now you can actually walk around in our garage again. I don’t think it’s been as tidy since we moved in over three years ago!

On Sunday we went up to see my parents. Recently people have been buying bungalows in their area and converting them into houses or dorma-bungalows. A lot of the bungalows were owned by elderly people, but now more younger people are buying them and doing work to upgrade them. One bungalow in particular, which is just a few doors down from my parents, had a lot of land behind it – I think it was owned by a farmer and they used to have animals in the extra ground at the back. However, it was sold a few years ago and then…………..demolished. In it’s place appeared a huge five or six bed home and several very expensive cars parked in front. Now, however, the owner of this house has gone and bought………… a helicopter …..(as you do) and has started to land it in his back garden.

It was a very weird sight. We saw him hovering over the field and my mom mentioned that, “Oh yeah, it’s that guy from down the road”. Now, this isn’t something you see every day is it? You know what most neighbours are like – you buy a car, then your neighbour buys a better one, so you buy a newer one, then he does, and so on. This, though, will definitely put a stop to the “my car is better than your car” arguments pretty swiftly. I ran up the garden and took a quick video of it. Unfortunately there’s not much of a zoom on the HTC S710, so you’ll have to wait until about half-way through the first video to see any real sign of the helicopter itself. :) I think the guy spotted us watching him and hovered for a bit to show off, however you can see him landing in the second video.

I also watched the BBC Glastonbury coverage this weekend. The interactive service was spot on and I continually hopped between the various stages and I’ve got to congratulate the Beeb for their rather splendid work in the mud.