Friday, January 28, 2005

where are my snow-chains??????

I really really do need them this weekend, dammit.
Might have to go buy new ones. humpf!

Weekend worries

So, here I am with streppy-throat and lemsips all a steaming, and feel like shit and worried for my liver. How the hell come is it that everything that has some sort of action beneficial to you in an analgesic or anti-inflammatory way shafts the liver well and proper?

I have become a little more aware of my liver in recent months, ever since the SGPT and SGOT and the gamma GT jumped and caused me a little concern. I mean what the fuck are all these numbers and letters all about anyway? I’ve done my reading, oh yes, and now I know what the numbers measure. I also know I can live with much higher numbers than those I am currently scoring on my "to what extent have the interferons fucked your liver" scale.

So I am all throated out and fluey at the moment.

Nevertheless, I am still going to lead a rag-tag fugitive fleet to Pal - no wait, that’s something else, I’m in charge of a group of cavers, not a Starfleet. So we going to Pal tomorrow morning. Oh yes.

Between Vityna and Marko's junction there is settled snow on the road. Marko's junction is where the hairpin bend is after Zatouna. Mother had trouble getting as far as Zatouna yesterday, although the sunny weather should have made things better for today.

The plan is to set off at 06:30 hours tomorrow morning from the club and meet at the kiosk at 07:00 hours. From there we scoot to Pal as fast as we can, to meet the mayor who will give us the 4x4 and someone to take us to the holes. Temperatures in Paloumba are currently at about 7 degrees.

We have about 110m of rope - three twenties and a fifty. We have about five little ropey things and six belts plus some wire rope, got about twenty anchors and plates for rigging, but hope to do most of it without having to hammer the rock anywhere.

No idea what we’ll find - so quite excited. Worried about how all the team will sleep and how they’ll be accepted by the villagers, etc.

Generally got a whole bunch of worries on my mind.

And now a quote from his Bobness:

For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Cultivate their flowers to be
Nothing more than something
They invest in.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

talk about going to eleven!!!

So I get home yesterday, and there's a big 12" square envelope waiting for me with big magic marker letters on it in the instantly recognisable hand of Jockey.

All the way up to the flat, I am thinking to myself, what this is... obviously some vinyl, otherwise no need to write DO NOT BEND in big letters on it: but what sort of vinyl? and should I worry that there seemed to be a bit more 'give' in the envelope than there should have been?

Once this was noticed, the possible gift came to me in a cascade of recognition... what vinyl would Jockey be sending me? what vinyl is not perfectly round? what vinyl is shaped like a megalithic monument? how much better a birthday present could this have been?

None - none, more better...

Thanks, Jock man.

Below, a photo of my shaped vinyl copy of Spinal Tap's "Bitch School"

Oh - and as an extra treat: two photocopied photos of the moocher!!!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Birthday trip to -90m

So 32, eh? Well, it's not all that bad.

Spent the day with family and not too much hoo-ha, then spent yesterday out at Vouliagmeni. It has what we term a Gruiyere consistency - holes everywhere. Not exactly my cup of tea. Very hot too - up at 26 C inside which makes you sweat just from standing there. I must have lost a few K in sweat yesterday.

Next weekend, we go exploring in Paloumba - finally!

Monday, January 17, 2005

and who are these cheeky chappies??

Find out soon, when I write up the Venice trip...

Where the hell are my snow chains????

and all the channels, scum-suckers that they are, are trying to induce mild panic in the population about the oncoming bad weather. And I'm sitting here thinking weather/schmeather cos like they always go over the top and tell us there's going to be a flood and it doesn't even rain, and when they say nothing, that's when the snow comes down, oh yes.

I have never needed to put on my snow chains. The car does just fine, even on snow, without them. Still - it's good to have them in the boot, you know - so where are they? Who wants to own up and let me know what they done with the snow chains?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Neek's birthday and other things

So it’s neek's bidet and we're still at home and we'’re meant to be buying shit - like useful shit like ice for the party and that'’s all a little stressful - but at least I have managed to cross the "scan Helidorea photos" task off my list. So now we can show everyone the entrance to the cave:

It's all of about four feet wide, oh yes.

And there's Eri, too!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Blogger sacked for sounding off

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Blogger sacked for sounding off: "Blogger sacked for sounding off"

Hmmm - not good. They say the first in UK, which probably makes it the first in the EU...
Rather funny to see what it is exactly he got fired over. Tame stuff.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Photos looking good...

Just went and got my prints back from Stelios on Soutsou street.

They are looking good, with only 2 unprintables on the 260+ potential frames, and only about ten which show more camera movement than is acceptable.

Most of the photos were taken in difficult conditions, either hazy / misty or inside with hand held shutter speeds of 1/30 or less, so I am not complaining. I'll publish some along with a text about the trip.

In an unrelated bit of news:
My caving side-site got 300+ hits over the past two days, after someone sent the address to the uk.rec.caving group...

Monday, January 03, 2005

Going to Byzantine Italy

It all started about three weeks ago, when we realised K would have a full week off after the new year. Usually this is not the case - schools open in Greece the feast of St. John.

What to do with a week? We said it would be nice to go to Karpenissi for some mountainous fun and I started all the planning. It all looked a little expensive for me - high priced rooms and what have you - so I met K's suggestion to surprise her with a whole lot of excitement. I had already gone and looked at costs for going to Venice and it seemed to be about within the same budget scale as Karpenissi for a week (what does that tell you about post-Euro prices, huh?).

The idea was to plan this whole thing without her knowing. Not too tough, as it turns out. I made some clues, which Ill put in here: "space for clues" when I get back. The clues all point to the destination, and whatever I don't care what anyone has said to me about the obtuseness of them all, but she got the destination without any help and not too long after being given the clues. Qualia? Talia est mihi, I am happy to say.

I am currently on a cross-Adriatic ferry that bears absolutely no relationship to the ferries of my memories from childhood drives from the UK to Greece. The only thing in any way similar to the ferries of the past are the slot machines - and these are only superficially similar as the older ones were hand-cranked and not push button affairs.

The plan is to stay on the Lido for two nights, leaving after the conclusion of the Befanio Regatta for Ravenna, and to leave there on the Saturday for Patras again.

While in Venice the plan is to see St. Mark's, possibly the Accademia and Torcello. Anything else is left up to whatever fate has in store for our feet and legs. We may go up to Murano to look at the glassworks - childhood memories I think are enough, although a fresh look now may not be too bad.

I have not been in Venice since about 1987, maybe one or two years (but no more) later. I have not been on a ferry across the Adriatic since about the same time - although I did cross the straights to Brindisi in 2001.

Ravenna should be good - I have never visited and it has definitely been on my wish lost for a long time. K and I have been giving the old wish list a good going over these past 6 months...

One thing I'll say about the ferry before I close is that it ain't half hot in the rooms. Far too hot for a fatman in my condition.

I doubt I'll be able to post again before returning, but check back, just in case, why don't you?

I'm on the Adriatic

Yes yes!!!

I am currently on route to Venice. Full news when I get back - around the 12th of January. Happy new year and happy travelling to all those reading.