Sunday, February 20, 2005

Devon Guide - Day Two

Back in November I promised to write a guide to my week in Devon. Unfortunately after writing up Day One my hard drive died and I lost all my work. However I’ve decided now is time to try and carry on this look at our week down South.

On Day Two we left Exmouth again to journey to Paignton. I had visited this small town with my parents in 1995 and looked forward to returning. Our first stop was Paignton Zoo. I was sceptical at first, the last Zoo visit with my girlfriend had been a sheer disappointment however Paignton Zoo was far far superior. The animal enclosures were large and sprawling with good viewing areas. The animals seemed happy and there was plenty of information dotted around the park. The park itsself was modern and tranquil, a haven for wildlife and a novel approach to exhibiting the wildlife meant you could actually walk through some enclosures.

The zoo was established in 1923 and in the last 10 years has changed dramatically to display animals and plant-life in six different naturalistic habitat areas. What also amazed me were some houses that backed right on to the zoo. How amazing must it be to throw open your bedroom curtains every morning to be greeted by grazing camels or the chatter of monkeys!

Following our Zoo tour we journeyed into Paignton. It seems my childhood memories of a sunny smiley seaside town were somewhat hazy. We were greeted with a grey dreary rundown town. The main street I remembered as a parade of shops topped of by a railway cutting past Woolworths turned out to be row upon row of tacky novelty shops. When I was 15 it seemed cool to have a train blocking the top of the road every ten minutes. Now it seemed an annoyance. We trekked through the town and found the watering hole, The Inn On The Green, that I fondly remembered utilising with my parents. Sadly they didn’t serve afternoon meals so hunger forced us to the nearest KFC.

As the skies open and fatigue from the long walk around the Zoo took a hold we decided to head back to Exmouth. A flash of inspiration halfway home found us journeying into Exeter in search of the Megabowl. We spent a fun hour bowling in a very nice bowling centre before returning to the hotel for a boozy evening in the bar.

Saturday, February 12, 2005


Happy birthday today goes to my girlfriend, Jenny! Much love to you, but why oh why so close to St Valentines! Grrr!


Please, please, please for my own sanity when you knock down all the pins on your first bowl it is called a Strike. When you do it on your second ball it is a spare. It is not, never will be and never has been an 'half-strike'. Got that? Good. Oh and please stop dumping your stinking shoes on front of the reception desk right in front of my nose - put them on the side of the desk, yes that's right the side. Next to that sign that says 'please return shoes HERE.'

Life would be so much simpler would that customers follow these two simple rules.

Oh and today - good news I finally made my own Mocha that tasted equal with that of Starbucks. Perhaps my Irn Bru cold turkey will be easier to handle.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Barrs Barred

There has been an ironically cruel twist of fate…

The company that supplies mine with its Irn Bru announced this week it will ‘de-list’ the product when its current stock runs out. This means, in turn we will no longer be stocking Irn Bru!! Arrrgh!

One of the technicians, another manager and I are the only ones bothered by the situation. We want to start a revolution (ironically the name of the ride Irn Bru sponsors at Black pool Pleasure Beach - the same ride that famous Jim'll Fix It was carried out on for a group of cub scouts!) but it seems we are being punished for such thoughts. Oh well as long as Tesco doesn’t decide to end sales of Irn Bru I suppose I will have to suffice.

Dumb Question Of The Week;
Perhaps you had to be there but I did have an embarrassing fit of the giggles upon my weekly KFC visit today. A customer came in walked straight up to the counter and asked. “Can I have some chicken please?” The look upon the staff members face was priceless and the look that only a restaurant which sells nothing but chicken could give in return to said request.

Friday, February 04, 2005

It's about time...

Hosted by


Yes I am still upset about Enterprise being cancelled but as one visitor pointed out I should be happy that the other great Science Fiction franchise is returning this year. Yes in Mid-March Dr. Who returns to our screens, and how cool do the Daleks look! It's like Pimp My Robot with all that bling!


Thursday, February 03, 2005

Boldly Gone...

It really is the end of an era – especially, if like me, you’re a Trekker.

Yesterday it was announced that Star Trek: Enterprise will be finishing at the end of this, its fourth season. Okay, that’s not so bad. Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager all finished. What’s worrying is that this time as Enterprise finishes nothing will replace it. It is the first time since 1987 that no new televisual Star Trek will be in production. That’s 17 years and over 620 episodes coming to an end.

Part of me is glad. In the last few years the franchise has been looking tired and Nemesis, in my view, is one of the worst Trek films. It is the fact that I’ve been following the voyages of the Enterprise, Voyager and Defiant since I was 7 means that it’s going to seem like a void not to have a regular dose of new episodes. Yes I have the DVDs and I will relish the opportunity to really get to know the old episodes as I don’t have to worry about keeping up to date and despite a certain amount of relief that the tired voyages of Captain Archer have now ended I’m already anticipating the time that Paramount announce the return of Star Trek.

Live Long & Prosper.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Reviewing The Fockers

I’d been looking forward to Meet The Fockers for sometime. The first film, Meet The Parents, was thoroughly enjoyable and after numerous DVD rewatches I was highly anticipating the sequel. It was great to see the characters in a fresh story but sadly it didn’t seem as pleasant as the original. The pace slower and there seemed to be a lot of missed opportunity. Also there was the introduction of Jack’s grandson. While he had mild comic value the youngster soon started to grate through overuse. Why does Hollywood feel the need for cute kids in films and TV shows?

Gaylords parents, played by Dustin Hoffman & Barbara Streisand were brilliant – in fact all the acting was great it’s just the film seemed slow and overlong. Also it seemed to lack a purpose with the movie stopping rather than ending. I hope the rumoured part three, ‘Little Fockers’, never materialises as it will serve to only further dilute what was a wonderful original.