Eight bucks even buys a folding chair

It’s like being on holiday this week, apart from all the work.
On Tuesday Holly and I hung out all day, I took her into see the folks at an engineers merchants that Jimmy and I have known forever and there was much fussing from the girls in the office. Then there was lunch at Tiso (where they make a mean babyccino) and a visit to the Xscape where we marvelled at the snowboarder gear in the Ellis Brighams. The colours, the mental patterns (orange and purple tartan), the sheer fun designed into some of this kit is so uplifting. Then you see the dull walkers and climbers gear in the regular EB store round the corner and your smile is removed by the notion that you’ve landed in a shop on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain in 1971. Why must this be? They did have the new version Black Diamond Raven Ultra ice axe, now with sparkly orange shaft, so there is hope.
There was more fun and games, and we met up with Joycee too, when I got home I was knackered. That was the best day I’ve had for a long time.

The fun continued last night with Alice Cooper at the Armadillo in Glasgow. It’s a rubbish venue for rock’n’roll, but it got better as the show went on and from the third row we had a face and ear full of all that was happening. The sight of Alice singing the lovely wee ballad “I Never Cry” with a noose around his neck standing in the gallows was just wonderful. He was sharp, his voice was great and he played songs I’ve never heard him play, some of my favourites too. Joycee and I missed his last show in Glasgow as Holly was being born as his support band were on stage, so this was kinda right for out first proper night out since (!?).
It was just brilliant.

The interest continued outside where the aftershow melee in the carpark was at full throttle. There’s a strip of no-mans land in the SECC grounds where a few cars can fit and claim free parking, but it tapers away from the pavement leaving a drop of a couple of feet onto the old dockside cobbles at one point. As we walked out to where we’d parked towards the city (walking is free, laziness costs about a fiver) with the rest of the merry punters, we were all intrigued by the loud banging noise coming from a brand new Beemer parked at this sketchy cheapskate zone. As a crowd gathered to peer around the back of the car we saw the driver trying to lever up his rear wheel (which was hanging in space, the car lying on its chassis at that corner) with what looked like bits of broken packing case. The car at this area was starting to look a little creased shall we say.
Whether or not the assembled group had grasped the real story of how this came about (he’d spent two years wages on his car and couldn’t afford parking or intelligence/ was just a cheapskate bastard) I don’t know, but sympathy was unforthcoming. One passerby quipped “If you’d bought an Audi you could driven out with your four wheel drive”. All we could hear was laughter and sarcasm until we got out of earshot. I do wonder what effect that episode will have had on both the car and the mind of the driver.

I’m not claiming any vehicle superiority here, Joycee’s Renault Nogaun is in the garage again. The quicker we get beaming technology the better, or replace all the cars and roads with a huge Scalextric style system. You just press “Go” and your wee transport bubble sets off and you can sleep, eat or whatever and you don’t have to operate machinery to get somewhere.
Anyway, that’s getting into the realms of David Essex as the infantryman from War of the Worlds, “…I knew I’d have to leave this strange dreamer…”. Well said Richard.

Carry on.

20 thoughts on “Eight bucks even buys a folding chair

  1. A day with the little ones is the best there is. It must be said though that gear shops with my two at the moment are very dangerous as they both head in different directions to find the brightest and/or sharpest things they can. Neoairs are obviously OK, but the climbing gear can be an issue…

    I’m also most impressed you’ve managed a proper night out so soon ;-)

  2. Holly at the ice axes: “I no like it”. I’m safe for now.

    Granny stepped in to babysit, and it was so strange being out, just the two of us. There was definitely something missing all night. There were plenty texts of course!

  3. I remember days out with my Da when I was wee. It was on such days that I grew to love the outdoors and the smell of petrol around Knockhill circuit. He’s busy with my sis and the two boys these days.

    You know i think those days out kinda influenced me without me even realising. Sundays were mostly spent with us driving around the countryside in our wee navy blue A reg VW Polo (the kind that looked like a wee estate car!). Carron Valley, Callander, Crianlarich – up the hills in a car basically. One day we ran out of petrol and he had to free-wheel it into Callander to get petrol… but it was only a fiver’s worth mind, Mam never let him put any more in than that :o) (In them days a fiver could half fill your tank!)
    Ach it was good though.

    Nice one on the night out. Its good to get a wee break from the norm every now and again.

  4. It’s okay, an essay without red pen picking out the mistakes it is always good :o)

    My childhood memory is full of wee stories like that. I don’t think it’s the passage of time that makes those days out seem more like innocent fun, I think it really was a simpler time. I used to scoff when parents or grandparents said things like that, but it’s true. You see a little of the magic of childhood being eroded with every generation that’s born, and I’ll be fighting to the death to preserve as much of it as I can for Holly.
    Not having a computer anymore feels more and more like a benefit. As much is it’s a wonderful tool and a window on the world, it’s also the rock on which the ship of social development is nudging its bows upon in a storm.
    But that’s a whole other essay…

  5. .. a whole other essay! It’s a dissertation waiting to happen here in my Sociology department. I have about 65 final year students and not one topic on ‘the sociology of social networking / internet’ instead they prefer to do youth crime or poverty, which is fine but you read the same thing every year. But I digress…

    Times were much simpler back in the day. :o)

  6. Those were the days…………. For me it was bike shops, taking the bus into town fae Wishaw which was an adventure in itself with sweeties and everything :-)

    I also had a visit to EB yesterday, Bob says hi, and a purchase of footwear was made. Wandering about the hoose just now seeing if they will venture outdoors this weekend

  7. Ange, I often digress. It’s to be recommended.

    Alright Blondie, noo shoes!

    I too have more footwear news incoming in the next few days.
    Er, LaSportiva’s sending me b**ts…

  8. Let’s just hope they are really ‘big’ – I need some new boots for Scottish winter and the Alps…

  9. Trango S Evo’s? 700g per foot or thereabouts they say, and they’ll take a Grivel G12.
    Could be a case of having your cake and eating it, or I could pop my knees out in half an hour. They’re all flexi at the ankle, so we’ll see. I’ve done bendy footwear quite happily for the past two or three winters, so it’ll be nice to see if I can be “trad” but still keep it light and comfy.

  10. Been using Trango S Evos since the tail end of ’06 as my winter boots (plus some scrambling, Cuillins and such). Pretty impressed overall. I wouldn’t want anything heavier or stiffer for what I get up to – a full B2 boot would live in the cupboard 362 days a year! My pair are surviving quite well although I’ve just noticed a little bit of peeling developing at the sole edge – hopefully, given the amount of time I spend in lighter footwear, I’ll get another season or so from them yet…

  11. Great stuff – I’ve been wondering about these. I’ll be interested to see what you both think on how warm they are – I do wonder if they might not be quite up to 4000m in the Alps. There is always the insulated version I suppose! Also what is the Mulaz sole like? It seems a bit shallow for British mud/slush.

  12. Guys, those points are all pretty much what I’ve been mulling over.
    I’m glad to hear that they’re looking durable, anything with that amount of external stitching and detailing is going to vulnerable unless it’s done right, and the warmth aspect is something that is an unknown and I’ll be watching.
    I’m hoping that a combination of winter Thorlo’s and the bit of flexibility in the upper to keep the blood circulating will balance out the lack of insulation. They do look like a proper fast and light alpine boot.
    Jeez, I hope they fit or this is all academic :o)

  13. You’re not wrong there! I rather fear their tapered shape might not fit my rather square-fronted feet. Oh well, I’ll just have to have a trip out to try them on…

  14. I’ve found the S Evos ok in the snow for keeping my feet warm enough using Smartwool Hiking (medium cushion) socks inside, and with a Paramo shorty gaiter covering a fair amount of the upper which I suppose must help too.

    Aye, durability-wise mine have been fine, the stitching has shown no problems, it’s the sole that is beginning to struggle. But TBW trashed her uppers with a single descent of the Great Stone Chute! She needs to look where she puts her feet!! ;O)

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