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Adventure Divers La Manga
I know me t'interweb two point nowt and I want me chuffin' Big Fat Feed of RSS fed to me.
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Like Forever

We are in dire need of a Larrectomy.

I believe I alluded to The Man Who Invented PADI somewhere in the vomiting monologues. His name is Larry. He is, as the name suggests, American. Imagine Bob Fossil from The Mighty Boosh (if you can’t imagine it, Google it) except wearing one of three t-shirts depicting option a) a stingray, option b) a turtle, or option c) Bob The Fish: the fish with attitude. The t-shirts are badly faded and the former two bear corporate-sounding logos like “Mastering others is power, mastering yourself is true strength”. He had them made himself. He didn’t make Bob The Fish, though. Bob The Fish is the fault of another human being entirely. Bob wears sunglasses. Because he has attitude.

Larry, unfortunately, decided to accompany us on the long train, taxi and boat journey to the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia. He has some sort of fixation with Cozumel and specifically, the underwater visibility in Cozumel, which, he has led us to believe, is quite good. A sample conversation, which took place whilst waiting for the boat in Koh Tao, at the beginning of the long, long journey, follows:

Larry (flicking through photos on his iPod): See this guy over here: he’s at least a hundred feet away.

Rob: Yes.

Larry: But you can still see him really clearly.

Rob: Yes.

Larry: Because the visibility is so good.

Rob: Yes.

Larry: The visibility was SO good that in my logbook, where it asks you: “visibility”, I just put “forever”.

Rob: Yes.

Larry: See this one?

Rob: Yes.

Larry: See that rock over there?

Rob: Yes.

Larry: That rock is probably a hundred twenty, hundred thirty feet away.

Rob: Yes.

Larry: But you can see it really clearly.

Rob: Yes.

Larry: Because the visibility is so good.

Rob: Yes.

Larry: The visibility was SO good that in my logbook, where it asks you: “visibility”, I just put “forever”.

Rob: Yes.

Larry: Look at this one. You see that bommie over there?

At this point I will afford you the luxury that we don’t have by writing “etc.”

Larry informed us on several occasions on that long, long, long journey that his philosophy is basically just to “mellow out: I’m a mellow guy, you know, anything that’s mellow? That’s me right there. Mellow”. Unfortunately, some of his actions have given us recourse to question this. For example, the aforementioned boat from Koh Tao was three hours late which meant we were in danger of missing the train. Larry spent most of the three hours that he wasn’t telling us about the visibility in Cozumel, hectoring the Thai staff in the boat office. Grilling them for information, which they didn’t have and then returning to report the bad news to us and anybody else within earshot of his loud, urgent, Californian voice. He has a habit of helpfully punctuating these pieces of news by reminding you that the boat was due three hours ago and that you have a train to catch. Then he revises his plans in the face of any contingency, but not in his head of course; no, he does it out loud. To be honest, I don’t think he’s used to travelling in Asia. He often appends footnotes to the above observations, helpfully explaining how things work differently in the US and that this sort of thing wouldn’t happen there. I feel that might be because it’s the US, and not Asia, but I’m only guessing. Then he’ll sit down and tell you he’ll just deal with it, because that’s the way things go and he can’t do anything about it so he’ll just be mellow. Moments later he’ll be back in the office.

When the boat did arrive, he seemed to spend most of his time asking fellow passengers what train they were hoping to catch and pointing out that they might be out of luck because the boat was three hours late and it was supposed to be here at four. But it didn’t arrive until seven. Because it was three hours late.

We missed the train. Fortunately, there was one two hours later. We had to pay £15 extra each to get a ticket, but Larry was able to deal with it. Because he’s mellow. Around this point Marina berated me for smoking too much and my standard response that in fact it is she that is smoking too little didn’t cut it as well as usual, so I pointed out that I was hoping that if I smoked enough, I’d be dead from cancer before the night was through. She seemed to sympathise with that.

In truth, I was also slightly nervous as Marina had made the mistake of checking the Australian Foreign Office website for travel info in southern Thailand and northern Malaysia. The British one is excellent, suggesting things like “Probably shouldn’t head into Kabul just now, old chap. Give it a day or two for Johnny Foreigner to calm down a bit and go for a jaunt then”, doubtless whilst wearing a Panama hat and tucking into a G&T. The Australian one, as Marina pointed out, is a bit more along the lines of “Do not open your front door under any circumstances: there are terrorists out there waiting to kill you”. The trip itself was fine though, obviously, and it’s always calming to share a carriage with a teenager in uniform, snoozing on the barrel of his machine gun. I asked him if I could borrow it at one point to shoot Larry forty-seven times (he wouldn’t mind, because he’s mellow), but I think he’d already tried and discovered it wasn’t loaded.

Once over the border, Larry’s lack of communication skills delayed us again. The ATM machine claimed he’d typed in the wrong PIN so he couldn’t get cash and opted to see if he could make a counter withdrawal. However, instead of walking into the bank and presenting the limited-English-speaking Malays with the card, smiling gormlessly and saying something like “Can I get money?” he said “Yeah, I just tried my card in the teller machine outside and it’s telling me that I typed in the incorrect PIN, which I did not, so I’m wondering if there’s maybe any way I can use this card or one of my others, because I have a couple, to get some money over the counter here or whether I need to change some US dollars in notes because I got some of those as well.” The clerk pointed in a random direction and said “other bank”, then carried on taking 45 minutes to cash my traveller’s cheques.

When we finally got here, it seemed there was not a room on the island spare. I know this because I spent half an hour looking after the bags on the taxi boat, sitting on the engine fuel and smoking cigarettes, watching Larry storm from guest house to guest house, gesticulating wildly whilst Marina wandered in his wake. We were lucky though and got the last two rooms going.

It would have been far easier in the US but Larry wasn’t worried, even though the vis is better in Cozumel, because he’s mellow.

Dive Worldwide PNG
Comments on this post:

I am enjoying the story so far.

LOoking forward to the next instalmen. Oh damn my spelling s going silly I need DRINK.

Is Larry for real or is he a figment of your drunken brain?

Rob's mum (3 bottles of wine)
Blue O Two

Sadly, mum, Larry, the face of America, is indeed real.

I'm trying to recruit him for the photostory, mainly because he has no sense of humour. I know this because he thought I was taking the p*ss out of him the other day (amazingly, and despite all the odds, at that particular moment I wasn't) and he said:

"We're you ragging on me? 'Cos if you were that's totally OK because I have a great sense of humour."

He wasn't smiling.

Adventure Divers La Manga

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Tysontanic Hangover
Clean my sink, you bastard.

“Triggerfish blocked my sink”, Meryl Streep, A Cry In The Dark.

My lack of cooking skills was sadly highlighted on Marina’s Advanced Open Water Deep Dive yesterday when I was required to crack an egg at 26m so that we might all observe the effects of pressure on poultry. I had a Rubik’s cube with me and I believe that Marina and the Dutchman (another student) expected me to use that in lieu of a frying pan to release the contents. Instead I tried to use my thumbs and crushed it with my stupid moron hands.

So, the thing to do was ignore their looks of incredulity and get on with the dive. We were in a sandy area about 50m from the Green Rock that gives the site its name and I rather cleverly (using a compass) guided us to it. I then spent a couple of minutes trying to find something of interest to look at on the rock (which is green), without realising that I had inadvertently led us into the ghetto. I didn’t notice this fact until I received what felt like a solid punch to the top of my skull. At first I assumed I had rather cleverly (using a compass) swam into the rock (green) but when I looked up I saw a frankly massive specimen of the titan triggerfish species chewing on a piece of my scalp and looking somewhat agitated.

I took the usual evasive action (ie. trying to kick him in the face whilst he tried to bite my fins / legs / nuts etc.) and gestured frantically at Marina and the Dutchman to swim away from the sand and over the coral mount behind them. They did this both commendably and quickly, possibly due to the fact that Tyson’s missus, Angel, had joined in the fun and was trying to take chunks out of them too. This was the main impetus behind the post-dive decision to purchase some proper fins for Marina, since the comedy ones she was hiring have the propulsive power of damp paper and make it very difficult to kick the heads off animals.

We saw them again about ten minutes later. I thought it would be funny to give Tyson the finger. If you ever get set upon by thugs in the street and chance upon them later the same evening, I would suggest not crossing to their side of the road in order to make rude gestures at them, because what happens is they set upon you a second time. As I fought a running battle with Tyson, Angel went at the Dutchman again and took his fin as a trophy. At that point we all agreed we’d had enough fun for one dive and made our way to the anchor line for the ascent.

Years ago, I remember some snorkelers on a boat we were working on being attacked by triggerfish and receiving injuries so severe they had to be airlifted to hospital. The next day we returned to the site and a couple of the DMs tried to spear the offending hooligan. I felt sorry for the triggerfish since he was only defending his territory. Now I can see why Cousteau went about dynamiting reefs left right and centre. It’s terrific fun. Also all triggerfish must die.

Anyway, Marina finished the course and we went out to celebrate and get over the Tyson incident with a couple of beers, some margaritas, a few gin and tonics and a couple of buckets of Sangsom whiskey and red bull. There followed an incident which I haven’t dared tell Marina about, as I believe it best if she learns it here like everyone else. The evening became sketchy. I remember I couldn’t talk properly and was making good sport of falling over things; invisible things mostly. I spoke to a man who invented PADI. We got stuck on the beach, which was particularly treacherous that night because it was covered in sand. Then it rained on us and we made it back to the room, where Marina passed out with great skill. I brushed my teeth. I think I put the toothbrush too far into my mouth because I started vomiting copiously. The problem was that quite early on in this endeavour I blocked the sink, so I had to keep scraping shards of vom into the shower, which kept bringing on fresh attacks. Sadly, it soon transpired that the sink was irrevocably blocked. It was a problem that stretched beneath the plughole. But the thing is, you see, the sink was now full. I crept into the bedroom and found a small plastic bag which I used as a kind of excavation device to transport matter from sink to shower. It took a while. At one point I was sick on myself; on my pants, as it goes.

Marina tried to unblock the sink this morning (I told her she was the one that blocked it: “Don’t you remember?”). It didn’t work but it did make her spew in the shower.

F***ing triggerfish.

Diving Chamber Treatment Trust

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Extremely athletic deep water exit.

Oh, I forgot: Marina qualified as an Open Water Diver today, so well done her. Her main problem is that she doesn't use enough air, which makes me look bad.

Actually, the only two things that medical science knows about girls is that they use less air than boys and they have tits. Doubtless the two are related, but despite many theories, nobody really knows how.

Ocean Visions
Comments on this post:

Congratulations to Marina, long may she keep


From an early age girls just whimper flutter their eyelashes get attention and so do not need to scream thus using a lot of air. boys however scream very loudly use a lot of air and deafen their mothers. this is why the mother of boys has the tv volume turned up.

Rob's mum (3 glasses of wine)
H2O Dive

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Peter Reid
Taken by Marina, who, unlike me, actually knows how to take photos.

Alright, I take it all back. Well, most of it: I think Instructor A is actually very helpful. I'm sure he's seedy, manipulative and evil as well, but he's a nice guy.

Instructor B still has a massive heid, however, there's nothing any of us can do about that. God knows, I'm sure he's tried.

I might just have to pick on the restaurant staff instead, who are shiftless and moody to a man, well, boy: I think they may be the victims of child labour. Which is good, because it will teach them not to be so lazy. For the most part they hang around in a pack (there can't be more than 160 of them) around the kitchen, giggling relentlessly and flicking each other with things. Then when you ask them to do something vaguely unreasonable, like prepare some food for you, they shuffle over, throw a menu at you and sulk whilst you make your order, doubtless berating you in Thai for your poor taste.

One of them is wearing a t-shirt that reads "Happy Girl" today. We can only assume it is ironic. A bit like Instructor B's Mekon-like heid.

London and Midlands Diving Chambers

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Brad Thai

Finally made it to Bangkok and Khao San Road. People say things like this about Khao San Road: “Oh God, yeah, it’s just so Western, yeah, it makes me sick...” But before they can go any further you say: “And how much Thai do you speak, you godless hippy?” and then you tie their dreadlocks to their canvas pantaloons and thrash them with their own beads.

I love Khao San Road; there’s nowhere else like it on Earth. Sadly, its reputation will eventually eat itself. Already there are a couple of big hotels there, where presumably you can sample the authentic Khao San Road atmosphere in luxury. Soon, bars will open designed to look like what you’d expect to find in Khao San Road except much cleaner, like in tropical resorts (eg. the one I’m in now) where they remove all the tropical stuff because it’s inconvenient and replace it with fake tropical stuff intended to make it look like what people expect from the tropics (ie. tropical stuff). One only hopes that before it becomes a caricature of itself entirely, the Americans staying in such hotels will be provided with telescopic rifles to enable them to pick off hippies from their balconies.

We’re in Koh Tao now, which, if you’ve been here before, inevitably isn’t like what you remember (see above). I’m teaching Marina how to dive. The other instructors here (A and B) are exactly what you’d expect to the point of actually amazing me. Instructor A was very helpful when we were buying a mask and snorkel for Marina, mostly by dismissing everything I said on the subject and giving exactly the opposite advice. The same routine continued as we sized her up for rental equipment. It got to the point that I was finding it so amusing, I helped him out by suggesting giving her an extra-large wetsuit, despite the fact that she’s tiny, just so he could disagree whilst elbowing me aside.

Actually, we had an argument about wetsuits: she claimed vehemently that she didn’t need one, despite my advice. As she started turning blue during the Confined Water session, I suggested we go back in but she denied being remotely chilly, even though she did so through chattering teeth, so we persevered. When we returned to the dive school later, Instructor A came bounding [prancing] over saying “Oh, you must be SO cold. You really must wear a wetsuit next time” as he elbowed me aside. Sadly, she did. We’re on the boat with him tomorrow.

Instructor B has a massive head.

Marina, in her childlike, naive way thinks that Instructor A is just being helpful. I can’t properly explain why I know that not to be the case without disclosing some information about my Brad-shaped past that I’d rather remain secret. Not that it matters as Marina has said that at times, when I’m teaching her, I remind her of Brad. Sadly, though, one can’t help wondering if I’m just a fake Brad, designed to resemble exactly what you’d expect from the real thing, but cleaner for an American audience. Nice t**s.

Diving Chamber Treatment Trust

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The Spirit of Sarf Landan

I think I mentioned somewhere before in this blog that one of the most endlessly fascinating things about diving, and indeed the world in general, is baggage: this is why the pages of dive forums are so rightly obsessed with it. As a result, I feel duty bound to mention that I was charged £175 in excess baggage fees by Qantas at Heathrow. Previously, I only hated Qantas for the same reason that everyone does: they appear to be missing a “u” from their name, but now I hate them because of Debora [sick]. This is how our conversation went at check-in:

Debora: That’s £350? [sic again. Debora said everything in a South London sort of way with appropriately aggressive rising inflection.]

Me: Sorry? (Also a rising inflection, but in this case acceptable as I was actually asking a question.)

Debora: £350?

Me: Erm, what for?

Debora: The excess on the baggage?

Me: You want me to pay £350 for the excess on the baggage. (No rising inflection required here as I was making a statement, albeit a moronic one.)

Debora: You’re 14 kilos overweight?

Me (in my head): So are you, you fat c***.

Me (in the real world): What’s the allowance?

Debora: 23 kilos? (she was suppressing a giggle at this point. I was suppressing panic.)

Me: Couldn’t you have advertised this at all? Like somewhere in the environs of my ticket perhaps?

Debora: And, you can’t fly to Bangkok with that ticket?

Me (quietly, close to tears): But it’s a ticket to Bangkok.

Debora: Yeah, but you are staying there for over four weeks? And you can’t stay there for over four weeks?

Me (quiet, despairing): What can I do about my bags?

Debora: You can take them to the shipping company downstairs? They might be able to ship them for you?

Seeing I was being fobbed off, I leapt over the desk and punched Debora repeatedly in the face, smashing her head into a shattered, brain omelette whilst the good people of the airport cheered. Then I shuffled off to another desk where a nice lady helped me pretend I’d altered my ticket. As Debora was no more, ‘pon my return I had a different check-in agent who fetched me a bag and helped me move things around until my fatness was reduced to a mere 7 kilos and £175. Quite why I didn’t just throw 7 kilos of the tat I’m carrying into a bin is beyond me, but I blame Debora. It’s her fault I couldn’t get a vegetarian meal on the plane as well since she probably scoffed it?

KLJ Diver Travel

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Te Gusta Supergrass?
Pete Doherty.

I don’t generally listen to any music less than 20 years old because it gives you a rash on your willy, but Marina and I were tempted into attending two days of the Bilbao BBK Festival last week, because it was cheap, and also because it didn’t cost very much. The headline acts were: Depeche Mode, Basement Jaxx, The Kaiser Chiefs, Placebo, Primal Scream and someone else; none of which we saw because we had to leave at 9pm on both days to get the train back to nice, quiet San Sebastian. Rock and roll. However, there follows for your delectation an account of the bands we did actually manage to see.

1) Vetusta Morla. For those of you who haven’t heard of them (ie. for anyone reading these words), VM are currently acclaimed as being the best band in Spain. They certainly were that day, although their lyrics seemed to be comprised of nonsense words or Spanish or something.

2) The Ting Tings. Marina told me the girl is quite young and the bloke is quite old and it is thus an odd relationship that they have. What I saw was a gay bloke and a girl dressed very inappropriately for a young lady, but I persevered and decided that her attire was agreeable, even though it was provocative.

3) The Editors. I had no idea who these chaps were before the gig, and have no idea now, but that’s hardly surprising given my knowledge of celebrity, as we shall see later. The festival guide listed their influences as Joy Division, REM and Echo and the Bunnymen, and as these are all bands that can be listened to without being be-rashed, I can confirm that their first song was exactly like a cover version of a Joy Division song and their second an exact replica of any REM track. Guess what their third song sounded like. Wrong: it was just boring so we left.

4) Supergrass. I wanted to enjoy this first band of the second day, but in the end you have to wonder whether even the band themselves actually like the music that they play.

5) Babyshambles. They came on stage and announced they were a man short. I asked Marina if the man they were missing was Pete Doherty. She said the man that made the announcement was Pete Doherty. I asked her if Kate Moss would be backstage. She said it was unlikely because they don't go out anymore and Kate Moss is seeing the lead singer of The Kills. I asked who The Kills were. She told me to shut up. She was probably expecting me to ask why Michael Jackson wasn't playing.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the band. Your man, Doherty, was playing guitar, which I'm not sure he usually does: he was either playing it quite badly or very well. It worked though.

6) The Dave Matthews Band. Utterly tawdry.

7) Some bloke. We left at this point.

We had to be up early the next day for the 6 hour journey back to Madrid, so we had a quiet night of tequila and beer and gin and tonic.

An old man accosted me in the bar and harangued me for half an hour in old man Spanish. I could tell that he had some very strong political opinions with regard to the Basque Country, but I couldn't understand enough to tell which way he was leaning. This is very much like finding yourself in a bar in Northern Ireland and talking to someone with extreme political views, but you don't know whether he's a Republican or a Loyalist. For some reason this seemed to wind him up.

His conversation with Marina when I excused myself to buy cigarettes was apparently much easier to understand, involving as it did a series of reasonably straightforward sexual mimes.

Marina wants me to make it clear at this point that he was the one miming, not her.

LDC Training

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In the Bum
You know what I like?  Drinking.

We went to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona today.

When we set up the Midlands Diving Chamber, we (by "we", I mean "Simon" - El Dictatador Generale de la Camara Hiperbarica) spent about 34 years filling in risk assessment forms for the Healthcare Commission. In order to get approval, we (Simon) had to ensure that, for example, the door frames were painted a different colour to the walls, so as to avoid someone mistaking a wall for a door and accidentally killing themselves trying to open it.

The conversation between the organisers of the Running of the Bulls and the Spanish Health Authorities must've gone something like this:

"So, we release ten bulls into the street and hit them with sticks so they get angry and run really fast."

"Sounds like fun."

"Yeah, there'll be a couple of hundred people on the street that they run down. They have to try and get out of the way."

"And if they don't?"

"They get gored."

"Of course."

"We're only expecting serious injuries every three or four runs."

"And it's an annual event."

"Yeah. But we do eight runs every year."

"No problem. Just try to make sure everyone stays up all night beforehand, drinking heavily."

"We'll do our best."

Whilst there was clearly no way either of us was going to set foot in the actual street and run with the beasts (and the bulls), and so no danger of anything actually exciting happening in this blog, we watched the violent highlights of previous runnings on Spanish TV the night before, and I confess I got slightly nervous.

Marina helped quell any worries by telling me a story from her early nursing days. To put this in context, I'll relate the story she told me on the day I had a chest exam for my Australian visa (I had to have one because I once glanced at a foreign country and might have TB):

"We had to have a chest exam to work in the chamber in Melbourne", she began, "yeah, it was really good because one girl turned out to have a massive tumour she didn't know anything about." I waited for more but there didn't seem to be any.

"So... what happened? Did they operate? Did the x-ray save her life?" I enjoy the odd cigarette twenty or thirty times a day, which hasn't escaped Marina's attention since one of our hobbies is her berating me about it, so it was in my interests to find out.

"Oh, I dunno", she replied, "I never saw her again."

Anyway, early in her nursing days, Marina attended to a man who had been gored by a bull on a farm. She said its horn went straight through his abdomen. "I'd been hoping people would be slipping around on guts", she added, "but in the end it was pretty boring. There was a lot of blood, though." Then she told me about her last "amusing animal story", as she put it, from her days in a Melbourne hospital: "A guy got kicked in the head by a kangaroo", she laughed, "he survived but he had pretty severe brain damage". I lit another cigarette whilst she chortled away to herself.

It's impossible to find accommodation in Pamplona during the festival, so you either have to stay there all night drinking with 12,000 Australians, or pay €112.92 to get a taxi at 5am. I insisted on the latter as one Australian is enough in anyone's life.

Since we had to get up at 4.30am, we resolved to have an early night, starting with a quiet dinner at 9pm accompanied with a splash of red wine to help us sleep. By splash, I mean bottle, and by accompanied with, I mean preceded by. After the bottle, we wandered out for a spot of tapas and washed it down with another glass of red wine or two. Then another bar for more tapas and wine. In the next bar we dispensed with the tapas as it was distracting our attention from the wine. In the next bar we tucked into some gin and tonics, a couple of beers and the odd tequila. We got to bed at 4am.

At 5.10 this morning, we were woken up by the sound of our taxi driving off in the street below. I made a panicked call to the taxi company and knocked things over whilst Marina disappeared to "not be sick". Fortunately, when the driver reappeared ten minutes later he took pity on us and drove at 140km/h down the winding pre-dawn darkness of the Basque country roads to get us there on time. I tried to apologise to him, but my Spanish wasn't at its best: "I'm sorry because of... late" I croaked.

As we pulled up at 6.10, the first thing we saw was a youth trying to sleep by standing upright and resting his head against a lamp post. We emerged from the taxi into scenes of carnage that closely resembled a Sheffield United home game. The narrow streets were filled with filth, beer, sticky wee, smashed things and hordes of people dressed in red and white, singing, dancing, micturating, trying to walk through each other, waving their genitals about and screaming. As we wandered through the mobs down the street destined for the run, which still smelled of bulls from the previous day, I couldn't help but wish I was either safely tucked up in bed or as drunk as I had been two and a half hours before. Mostly the latter.

Trying to find somewhere to stand was utterly confusing, and in any case all the places where you might actually see something were already taken. Finally, we stood behind some Americans at the end of the route and waited for time to pass. As it did so, the tension in the air became palpable. I contemplated asking Marina what would happen if the excitement provoked a heart attack in me, but decided against it because I knew she'd tell me. Finally, the starting rocket went off and the bulls were thus released. Two and a half minutes later the runners and the bulls passed in front of us.

I nearly saw a bit of a bull.

Fortunately, I had my camera running in video mode and was holding it over the heads of the three people in front of me, so I got some excellent footage where you can nearly see almost 40% of a bull.

As we wandered off for an 8.15am beer, our misspent adrenaline was slightly rewarded by the sight of a man lying face down on a stretcher, with his trousers at half-mast, having the gore wound in his botty attended to. I wanted to take a photo but I got bored of shoving the paramedics out of the way who were selfishly cluttering up the shot.

An hour or so later we had the quietest bus journey I've ever known, back to San Sebastian. Like everyone else on the bus, I slept through most of it. Everyone except Marina that is. Marina and the bloke next to her who was quietly vomiting into a bin.

Dive Worldwide PNG

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

Where are you Travelling to Next?

If you were in a backpackers' place, to pick a random example, and needed to use one of the three bathrooms, would you a) use one of the two with the door open, or b) repeatedly try the handle on the only one with the door closed, thereby making me unable to poo?

People that like bongos and street dancing are likely to choose a different answer to everyone else.

Denney Diving

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Not my Fault
Nice street.  Shall we just burn it?

Met up with Marina on Sunday in Madrid, which is excellent because I haven't had an argument in a while. Fortunately, we only argue about really important stuff like why jazz is pretentious twaddle served up by men in slacks to people with exciting specs, or why I'm a twat.

One reason might be because we spent an hour looking for Plaza Mayor before giving up in favour of a jar of sangria, because I refused to ask for directions or look near a map.

Another reason might be because after the sangria, which took us an hour to drink, I observed, directly over Marina's shoulder, Plaza Mayor.

A third reason is because of boring solos followed by "Ladies and Gentlemen, Joshua 'Cardigan' Pube on tenor-keyboard" and ecstatic applause.

Yesterday we took a seven hour bus journey to San Sebastian, which allowed me to watch the in-bus movies: Transformers and Mamma Mia. My Spanish is somewhere between laughable and deportation but I believe Transformers had something to do with quite big robots and was mostly set somewhere abroad. I have no idea what Mamma Mia is about as I was found whimpering some time around the opening credits, and made a solemn promise to throw myself out of the emergency exit if I had to watch any more.

The place we're staying at in San Sebastian is a bit too nice. Marina picked it. I picked the one in Madrid, which had a lot of character. Character, bedlinen containing hair from previous occupants, and some interesting filth.

I'm not allowed to pick places to stay anymore.

I asked the owner of our San Sebastian lodgings, what the name of the street we're on, "31 de Agosto", was all about. She said that was the date the English took it upon themselves to defend the city from Napolean's forces by burning it to the ground.

"I'm English", I said.

"I know." She replied.

"Sorry." I said.

"He's a twat." Said Marina, to the owner.

"I know." I said.

"Sorry." Said the owner, to Marina.

Dive Worldwide PNG
Comments on this post:

Good blog, twat

Dan what looks like Ian Curtis
50 Reasons to Hate the French

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