I don't seem to be very good at using up all my alloted holiday days so I was left with 5 days leave from last year to use by the end of the month. A plan was needed, I wanted to have 5 days that I will remember for being the best week I could have this year.
I needed this to be great, so I invited my brother to come up and stay for a week as it's sod all use having a great time on your own, Alison was at work this week. Now we just needed events.
Ok fine, Monday was not that great but we did get to go see Hot Fuzz at the cinema. Hot Fuzz is of course the new movie by Simon Pegg, Nick Frost et al. You can't help but review it without mentioning the previous movie created by the cast, the sublime Sean of the Dead. Hot Fuzz is an action/comedy, which sets it apart from Sean of the Dead by genre so it's quite suprising to see a lot of stunts performed. The film has a good plot and good laughs on the way. Pretty much does what it says on the tin and I hope the crew keep bringing out a movie of the same calibre every 2 years.
My Brother had never seen the Scottish Parliament building before so on Tuesday we went through to Edinburgh. During the afternoon we had a guided tour (by Alison) around the parliament building and the parliamentary offices. After that we went to a cocktail bar so I could figure out the recipe for the best apple/vodka cocktail I've ever had (thanks Jordan/Steve for showing me that place). This led up to the main event of the day which was seeing Bloc Party and the Corn Exchange.
Bloc Party have just released their new album A Weekend In the City. It's a slight change of style from the previous album, a bit more of an epic sound like U2, Radiohead etc. It's got some good songs on it but the lead singer does have a tendency to lyrically kneecap them in some way.
The gig itself was pretty good, the band looked quite scared as at the previous 2 gigs they had performed in Scotland the crowd started a mass brawl (Glasgow) and threw a coin at the lead singer (Aberdeen). They started their second song by jokingly asking "Does everyone in Scotland hate us?". Eventually they got into their stride and had the crowd going after slagging Aberdeen crowds, that always goes down well. The Corn Exchange is an alright venue which reminds me of Glasgow's awesome sweat inducing venue to end all venues the Barrowlands Ballroom. One thing that annoyed me about the Corn Exchange was that there was no cash machine inside and they didn't take cards so I only had £10 during the whole gig.
After the gig we went to some more pubs around Edinburgh city centre including one which was a series of interconnected small rooms, it was very strange like being in someones living room and the girl doing the table service was quite obviously high on something.
Some days go down in your personal history as a great achievement that you will never forget. This was one of those days. Some of you will know that Glasgow has an underground train system that goes all round the centre of the city. I happen to live above one of the stops. Some more of you may know that there is a drinking challenge to go to every pub on the underground and have a drink at each stop. This my friends in known as a Subcrawl, and on this day we managed to complete the 15 station challenge in 7 hours 15 minutes. Right in time to watch Liverpool give Barcelona a stuffing on their home turf.
We started out the day by getting 12" subs from Subway (the takeaway), this would be the only food we would have till the end. So at 1pm we embarked on our wonderful journey. We did the south side first as you don't really want to be around there when the locals were around. Some highlights on the south side leg of the journey were going into some Rangers pubs to see the Rangers wallpaper and pictures of all the former Rangers captains. One pub even had ties with a Vietnamese branch of the Rangers fan club.
We decided that vodkas were the best option to get round quickly on the south side. Once we hit the north side of the underground (the nice part) we quickly switched to pints. We got quite lucky as we didn't really hit the drunk state till about 13 pubs round, so despite nearly getting thrown off the subway at Hillhead by a member of staff, we did manage to make it all the way.
Special mention has to go the the Honours Three pub off Shields Road, it was really hard to pull ourselves away from it's medieval weaponry, £1 pints of Stella and great Glaswegian banter.
For some reason I always think exercise is a great idea while hungover. Somehow it exonerates you from what you did the previous day. This meant that we went and played 5 a sides at Kelvinhall. The game was pretty good but I wouldn't recommend it after a huge drinking session the previous day. We used the rest of this day to catch up with our regular TV programmes (24, lost) and watched shed loads of Curb your Enthusiasm.
By Friday we were pretty shattered mentally and physically from all the events we'd been attending. So on Friday I taught my brother bass (basically how to use a shoulder strap and hit strings, bass ain't that complex). We then merrily worked our way through Pixies, Weezer and Nirvana's back catalogue of easy sing along songs. A bottle of Jack Daniels accompanied us later in the night.
Alison arrived home with a bunch of friends later on and we had a guess the song I'm playing game and managed to get rid of some of the nastier vodka that we have accumulated over the years.
By Saturday my brother was off home and I entered a period of mourning for what my body had been subjected to from a week of alcohol, sport and music. But it surely was a week to remember, and I definitely recommend every one else tries to have 5 days like this sometime this year. You won't forget it.