What a Week: #Hollyoaks, #Cult Pubs, Cheap Laserjets, The Wolverine #Trailer, #Podcast Imminent

hollyoaks-logoWhat a tiring last couple of weeks it’s been. I finally recovered from two weeks of un-easily earned IT work up in a rather affluent part of the North (Chester, you know, where Hollyoaks is set, but not actually filmed, apparently).


The next day; more driving, this time up to Milton Keynes. Before tackling the journey back, being a little road-weary, I stopped at a random pub and, low-and-behold, it was the Crown pub where a portion of Withnail and I was filmed; in the same village, Stony Stratford, as the famous teashop too (see YouTube Trawl: Withnail and I).


I was kindly given “The Tour” by a barman and shown framed stills of Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann and Richard Griffiths. And this only a few days before Richard Griffiths died. Weird.


This isn’t the first time something like this has happened either. The last time was when I met a friend at the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford, the same place that Tolkien and his Oxford literary cronies (the Inklings) used to meet (see Oxford, Inklings, J.R.R. Tolkien). Even to my ears this all sounds terribly contrived, given the nerdy nature of this blog, but honestly, both instances were only happy coincidence. Synchroncity. Something seems to be drawing me to pubs. Odd, or maybe not.

But finally, I did indeed reach home and hearth, but was so tired that I forgot to put my residents’ permit on the dash and got a ticket for parking in my own spot! It really is joyful living in dense urban areas, isn’t it? Maybe I’d put up with it if this was somewhere cool like Trantor or Coruscant. But Redhill? Come on!

The rest of the week was spent variously tidying up, fiddling with paperwork, Anti-Social Networking, hunting and gathering supplies and generally (and to my lasting shame) procrastinating rather than finishing the damn books, short-stories and other fiction lying around mouldering. And, on the subject of supplies, namely food, I am sorely tempted by the chip shop which is unhealthily located only five minutes walk from the Black Tower (my wizardly abode). I need to live in some galaxy far, far away… from chip-shops.

But, forget chips (mmm… chips… stop it), I bought some tech today because I’m sick of Redhill Public Library charging me 15p/sheet. The cheapest choices for mono-laserjets locally were either a Samsung ML 2168 or a Brother HL 2130, both priced at £49.99 at PCWorld. The salesmen recommended the Samsung which was smaller and lighter, but horribly glossy and I’ve had a Sammy before and, boy, was it whiny. Against his advice I went for the breeze-block shaped, matt-toned Brother. Having tried it out, yes, it prints well and, important for my sanity, it is very quiet too. Next on the shopping list is a budget monitor because staring at a 10 inch Netbook screen for about 10 hours a day is PAINFUL.

On the way out of the shop, the friendly bloke behind the till noticed my Uncanny X-Men tee-shirt and asked if I’d seen the latest The Wolverine trailer.  I said not (shamefully) and trying to say something relevant and interesting and failing, I pointed out the, oft moaned at, cloyingly inappropriate handsomeness of Hugh Jackman. Embarrassingly, the till-jockey agreed vigorously about Hugh’s lovely looks and I was forced to nod and smile and it soon turned into a Hugh love-fest about his princely beauty, a train I was red-facedly trying desperately to alight from. But no, the Hugh bromance spiralled and spiralled until I almost ran from the counter in order to preserve what semblance of straight-maleness was left to me. So here’s the damn trailer of the movie based loosely on that Claremont/Miller 1980s graphic novel:

I also have a growing list of movies to watch, a podcast to produce and a new job to procure, along with one or a million other tasks creeping up the ToDo. It should be called the “ToDoMyHeadInList”, shouldn’t it? Oh, and tomorrow, or at least by Sunday, you can finally expect the latest epic episode of Roy’s Rocket Radio.


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