Sunday, 13 June 2010

Stu's visit

One of my oldest friends, Stuart Monteith, left yesterday afternoon after spending four really, really nice days here. I'd say the two of us spent roughly 83% of the time sneezing and blowing our noses but it was great all the same. I first met Stu at the auditions for my Popular Music college course. He was waiting in the canteen with an orange Fender Telecaster and I sat on the same table. Another lad joined us on the table and got talking to Stu and it became apparent that this lad was definitely a bit mad and it also became clear that he smelt of vomit and I think that was because he might have had a little bit of vomit perhaps on his jumper or maybe on his shoe, I don't know. Anyway, he asked Stu if he could have a go of his guitar and Stu politely told him that as he had to use it for an audition in 5 minutes he'd rather not, but the guy insisted assuring Stu that he would be super-careful with it. Stuart reluctantly passed the guitar over the table and our vomity little friend starts absolutely thrashing out Wonderwall by Oasis as hard as I've seen anyone play the guitar. It was the angriest and smelliest version of that song I've ever seen and heard and smelt. Stu looked on in sheer horror until inevitably a couple of strings gave way and snapped violently. I don't think I'll ever forget the look on Stu's face at that was kind of a cross between disbelief, panic and murder and disgust.

First night was boss - we just got a load of sausages in and had a little BBQ outside on the balcony. it was a really warm and balmy night and we stayed up for ages just catching up. In the morning I took Stu around all the usual sight-seeing attractions and what have you and we spent pretty much all day just walking around Berlin. Edda, the poor little kitten, had been sent home from work ill so we briefly met her up to give her the keys and then left her to sleep in a park where shortly after we left her she would be circled by a strange child.

I had to leave Stuey to his own devices on Thursday as I had been offered some work as a stage hand at the Olympia Stadion, helping them set up the 'fan meile' - the public viewing screen for the world cup games. It was fairly tough going, mostly because from 7.30am until 4am we were all totally exposed to sun and it was so freakin' hot and sunny and all day. I pretty much burnt myself and came home looking like somebody else. Stu had spent the day in Berlin Zoo and showed photographs of all the animals when we met up later that day. I want to go to the Zoo because they've got a shark. We had an awesome pizza at one of mine and Edda's favourite Pizza places in the evening. It's called Due Forni and it's on Schoenhauser Allee. It's a little bit like the record store from the film High Fidelity if it sold pizzas and not records - the staff are aloof at best and it takes an absolute age to both get served and have your pizza on the table but it's absolutely worth the wait if you're into pizza. We spent the rest of the evening just sat outside an off-license drinking for a few hours...that's not as scummy as it sounds though. It's not like buying a bottle of White Lightning from Bargain Booze and sitting on the steps of the bombed out church in Liverpool, they had a few couches outside with a table and inside they serve over 140 different bottles of beer really cheap so it's a totally acceptable and civilised way to spend a super warm evening in Berlin.

On Friday Stuart and I went to play International Super Soccer Fussball down on Tempelhof - the old airport place I was on about and I played pretty rubbish but that's mostly because I couldn't stop being a massive snotty mess due to my allergy to nature. Boss BBQ ensued with sausage, chickens in a delicious marinade made by Nick and Mic (footy founders and all round good eggs), small pieces of steak and pretzels. We then watched the first game of the 2010 world cup on some screens in the park which was nice and we also ate loads of haribo and shared them with a child who consequently went nuts because of all the sugar we were feeding him.

We said ta-ra to Stu on Saturday afternoon after getting some photos done in the photoautomat on Kastanien was really good to see him and I think he enjoyed himself alot.

That night Edda and I (edda had recovered from her illness by this point) met up with Ronan, Ilene and her daughter Paula, Vitaly and Matt to watch the England v USA game in an ace bar which had a big screen outside which allowed us to bring our own booze. Afterwards myself and Matt and Edda went to this MTV party somewhere or another which was full of more booze and added dancing. Unfortunately, I recently seem to have regressed to my 15 year old self when it comes to drinking and I was so drunk that yet again I had to leave due to feeling like I might vomit upon some hipster.

I think I may be working at the ACDC concert next week and I've also got some more bits of manual labour work coming up. I quite like it to be honest, it means I don't have to go to a job every single day so I still have time to do things like write and record and play footy and all that type of stuff. Hopefully this work will be fairly consistent now.

My knees are super-sore today after playing soccer yesterday with a load of german guys who were definitely a little bit hostile toward me at the start of the game but I think they warmed to me a bit as we played more...apart from one guy who just point blank refused to shake my hand after the game! What a nob'ed!

Whilst Stu was over I listened to the Ted Leo and The Pharmacists song 'The Unwanted Things' alot. I've been listening to a lot of Ted Leo recently actually. Ted Leo, Weezer and Elliot Smith have been played to death almost exclusively. Actually, I listened to Low whilst cooking yesterday. Mega.

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