Wednesday 3 February 2010

A bitch of a week so far

This week has been crazy: work has been nuts; a presentation of the communications plan to all the managers at the college last thing tomorrow; an email inbox that won’t stop growing; too many meetings; the car failed its MOT, got an expensive repair, had to have the re-test abandoned and go back to the garage for another expensive repair, which has meant running around like a blue-arsed fly; I'm stressed; I’m tired; I haven’t written; I have nothing to write; I’ve been washing up, washing clothes, ironing and packing all evening; I haven’t spent enough time with Lauren; I’ve spent too much time looking at beer lists and Beer Week events; I don’t know what’s for dinner tomorrow; I can barely tell my arse from my elbow; I’m almost certain I’ve forgotten something very important; I have no cereal for breakfast tomorrow; I’m worried about taking pencils on the plane in case they are judged as weapons and I have to throw them away; I have discovered that I only own four pairs of white socks; I have a headache; I can’t decide which books to take away with me; I don’t know what the MUNI is but I expect to spend a lot of time on it in the next week; I’m going to miss Lauren a lot; I’m going to miss sitting at my laptop writing a lot; I don’t know what to have for breakfast tomorrow instead of cereal; what if the bottles in my luggage smash; how many notepads do I need; should I shave; have I got enough clean pants; what time do I need to leave for the airport on Thursday; how many pairs of shoes do I pack; what can you do on a two-hour lay-over in Frankfurt; what if my hotel is in a dodgy area; what if I get drunk and lost; what if I forget to tip a barman; what if I meet a bunch of internet beer-nutters who just want me for my Penguins; what if I don't sleep on the plane; what if someone steals my money; where is...; what’s the best way...; what if... Oh dear... I’ve just realised I’m a bad and nervous traveller.

Thankfully, I’ve just finished a Flying Dog Raging Bitch which has got me in the mood for awesome beer. It’s incredibly fruity, like dunking your nose in apricot jam or a bowl of fresh peaches; it’s juicy like pineapple; esters swirl around beneath bitter hops; something phenolic lingers. I thought it’d be better than it is (it had hype), to be honest, but it’s still good. The spoiling factor is an elastic-band twang. It makes me want more beer.

FYI: This will probably be my last post before San Francisco (did I mention I'm going?) but I will be blogging daily via email on my blackberry, so expect it to be an extended version of twitter complete with blurry photographs, terrible grammar and woeful, drunk spelling. Still, at least it’ll be a fair reflection of a beery travelogue.


  1. Well as a nightcap I've just had a Revelation Cat Woodwork Series Acacia - what a fantastic beer - 11%, 70IBU, Nelson Sauvin, warming alcohol. Mmm Mmm.

    And a suprise treat at National Winer Ales - on the foreign beer bar. De Molen-Revelation Cat Triple Hop Bock! Just £2.90 a bottle - me and the Marble guys stocked up.

    Have a great time Stateside - look forward to your postings.

    Cheers, JC

    PS - just stocked up on Marble Decadance Kriek and Frambozen. Those cheeky little numbers now safely stored in the cellar.

  2. Well I've just about survived a bus journey back from Rochdale. The driver did well considering he'd clearly never driven a bus before. If I'd been a little less sprightly - and sprightly I am fucking not- I'd be dead or maimed. That bastard shouldn't be allowed to drive a bus.

    Will I complain? No bloody point.

    Oh.And stop being such a wanker and go and enjoy your trip Mark.

  3. What about spoons, will they be classified as weapons too?!

  4. This blog won a beer writing award???? REALLY??!!! Michael Jackson must be spinning in his grave!

  5. Mark, the TSA thinks all Brits are Alan Rickman, so the spoons will likely be confiscated. I still haven't forgiven that bastard at Boston who had my jar of Marmite...

    Have a good trip laddie - you'll soon wonder what you were stressing about.

  6. As a nightcap I had a hot chocolate low cal options drink and then rattled the squeeze. Triple hop bock? good god.

  7. I know the feeling. As soon as you leave the front door though, it's done. If you've forgotten it then you've forgotten it.

    If it helps, the last two times I've flown, I've brought bottles back and they've been fine. Wrap them up in clothes and they'll be difficult to break. I've had my suitcase bent totally out of shape by the handlers before, but the bottles inside were fine.

  8. Relax mate, im sure all will be fine!

    Have a cracking trip and dont forget to bring me a stick of rock back!

    I know what you mean about raging bitch, it does leave you wanting more beer...luckily i had a pliny afterwards, or maybe that wasnt so lucky as i wanted more after that and didn't have anything that came close to either...

  9. JC, sounds bloody good! I NEED to get those special Decadences - Dominic told me to drink them fresh.

    Mark, shit, I completely forgot about spoons! To be honest most of the food I'll be eating with my fingers so I think I'll manage.

    Monsieur, not everything I post can be shiny and award-winning!

    Sid, they stole your marmite?! Unbelievable.

    Chunk, I've got them wrapped up in loads of bubble wrap and in between clothes, so they should be fine. If not I'll smell pretty disgusting for a week! LOL!

    Andy, mmm Pliny... I'll be getting that fresh pretty soon :)

    I think I was a little stressed, tired and emotional last night (can you tell?!). I am now bloody excited and raring to go - bring it on!!

    FYI - I had toast for breakfast and I still haven't decided what books to take...

    Anyone want any beers brought back?!

  10. Private Poontang3 February 2010 at 09:50

    You're beginning to sound like Adrian Mole instead of a hardened beer blogger.
    Get a grip of yourself you big pooftah although you'll go down well in San Francisco !

  11. No beer, but I do have a tip. When I went to SF a few years ago, we visited Alcatraz and it was awesome.

    A total touristy thing to do, but fun none the less. Well worth checking it out if you can.

    The other thing I remember is Fisherman's Wharf. Awesome Clam chowder and you can watch the blokes preparing shelf fish.

  12. And breathe.........

    Don't panic, you can use the 2 hours in Frankfurt to buy socks, pants, notepads and call Lauren so nothing to worry about.

    And toast is much nicer than cereal so that counts as a result in my book.

    Have a great trip!!!

  13. Dominic, Marble Brewery3 February 2010 at 10:27

    If you get in trouble, just get in touch with me and I'll send my brother and his wife to come get you and cook you a prime rib roast before dropping you off safely at the Monk's Kettle.

    Have an awesome time, I know you will.

  14. Chunk, I booked my ticket this morning! Looking forward to that trip a lot. Plus it'll give me a little brea from beer for a few hours and I'll undoubtedly need it by then!

    Kristy, toast sucks compared to a huge bowl of muesli! I was starving by 11.30.

    Dominic, with that kind of offer I might deliberately 'get in trouble'!

  15. Man Up Dredge!

    You will be fine. If you change your mind about going last minute, you know i'm always willing to take your place on the plane.

  16. Have a good trip Mark, and make sure you drink plenty of awesome beers. Btw, don't worry about bringing bottles back in your luggage. Like Chunk, I've never had any problems with breakages, just wrap them up in plenty of clothes (socks are good for this, but then wrap them round with T-shirts. Just make sure they are in the middle of you suitcase.)

    Grab a couple of beers as well, during your stopover in Frankfurt; hopefully there wil be something a bit more interesting than Binding on sale there!

  17. Maybe someone can teach you about sentences and paragraphs while you're in the US.