Posted by: spicyeggnog | July 4, 2012

The Cat returns!

What ho! Cannons blast, drums roll, cymbals clash, trumpets trump! Spicyeggnong is back to end the dull monotony that is your lives.

“Wherefore hast thou been?” I’m glad you didn’t ask. My adventures since my last inane scrawlings have involved:

  • the annual Christmas trip home
  • the best Valentine’s dinner ever
  • freezing my giblets off in Stockholm
  • a trip to the Opera with the Queen of Spades
  • toasting my giblets in Portugal
  • the project from hell
  • a baby as this season’s must have accessory

I may go into these in more details, I might not. Depends on demand.

In the meantime the net continues to keep me amused. Game of Thrones satisfies my need for medieval murder and bonking

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Other net rootings about have revealed a new TV series about “Lupin the Third” – those of you familiar with the monkey faced vagabond with a heart of gold will know all about the 60s style of this slap stick crime caper series but this series “A woman called Mine Fujiko” is a decidedly dark and disturbing affair, very different from the romantic feel-good “Castle of Cagliosstro”. 

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Lupin is like a dashing version of John Le Baptise I think, without the Yorkshire urchin air. You won’t look at owls in the same way again for sure.

Ok, you’ve had your audience with your Cambrian lord. As a parting gift wrap your ears around this:

Now be off with you. Shoo!

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Posted by: spicyeggnog | October 9, 2011

“More porn, please!”

You love Nog, you want Nog, and now he is back from his summer sojourn. Behold my awesomeness and tremble motherfuckers!

Summer has treated Nog well here in Norway. I have been most fortunate to see some of what this country has to offer. First up was the small city of Ålesund in the north-west for an away rugby match. The city is most impressive, nestled amongst fjords as they meet the sea. It is built on several islands and some suburbs are only reachable by bus. The locals queue up for the ferries like others would for the bus. The pitch was a half hour boat ride from the city centre. I was pleased to go as many of my Norwegian friends hail from this part of the world but unfortunately a stomach bug struck me down so I was unable to take part in post-match celebrations or light sight seeing.

Next up was Trondheim, the last stop of civilisation before the “true north” begins. I went for a friend’s wedding but stopped off a night in the city before heading to the wedding venue the next day. I met up with my old sweet heart Weegie-Aussie pal (sigh) for a meal and some drinks. A uneventful evening  soon became a night of excess, true to form whenever I am with this chick, and we met her pals and ended up in a bar scoffing some delicious burgers and the entrertainment was provided by what can be best described as a female version of Elton John. Disturbing as that was, it was made worse when she took a break from her piano, but not informing all the punters her intentions first by singing “Mary’s gotta go and pee” to the tune of “Mary has a little lamb”. Groo.

The next day I woke up with half and hour to catch the train from Trondheim to the old mining town of Røros, where the wedding was to take place. I made it with 5 minutes to spare and once on board I pushed my luck by napping. If I had fallen into a deep slumber I would have woken up in Oslo, 5 hours away from where I wanted to be.  Røros is a pleasant enough town, but visitors should bear in mind that this is a Norwegian town – meaning it is tiny and I literally saw the whole thing in 10  minutes by walking up the high street. It’s still worth a peak though – the old wooden mining buildings are still preserved and lived in to this day, with many buildings around 200 years old.  Norwegians must have been much smaller in those days too with many homes close to the mines being only suitable to more discerning hobbits. The whole town is also a UNESCO heritage site, which includes the slag heaps which dominate the town. I’m sure the slags cover a greater area than the town.  The town also has the distinction in my mind of being the first place where no bar was open at 9PM on a Friday night and we had to make do with a hotel bar instead.

Stick it in your bagend!

I’m no wedding expert but it went well enough I suppose; a small yet cosy affair. It was certainly the most religious ceremony I’ve been to but the groom’s family apparently are from a strong Christian background and so the couple wrote the programme to keep them happy. I still associate Norway with liberal secular values so I am still suprised by the strong Christian presecence you find in some areas. Indeed where I live in south west Norway, the region is known as Norway’s “Bible Belt” though in the main towns and cities this is not so noticeable. The reception was held in a conutry resort in Sweden, just a few minutes drive from Røros, and was pretty sweet. Delicious food and pretty Swedish waitresses – hurrah! The night finished with a Nachspiel, a German term used in Norwegian for after-party drinks – called me old fashioned but I can think of some other things I’d rather do on my wedding night than get pissed up with my friends like I normally do on any other night. Like showing my bride my stamp collection for example. Celebrations ended when the groom stripped off and dived into a strategically placed lake mere metres from the honeymoon suite at 7AM while pissed as a fart. We fished him out and put him to bed, no harm done.

My more recent travels took me to Bergen. Now over the summer I have been entertaining the attentions of quite possibly the two most lovely Russian girls I have had the pleasure of meeting. However I do not like to make things easy and have taken a liking to both of them and to really up the ante, they have become best friends too. I think I have made up my mind now and have already made my intentions clear to one of them – though the charming little idiot doesn’t seem to understand that I want to take her on a proper date and insists on bringing the other girl (let’s call her Tiger) along. Either that or she is avoiding the subject with more skill than a pack of McCoy’s crisps.

Back to the topic in hand – I took the charming little idiot for a weekend in Bergen. Tiger had to work that weekend. It all went pleasantly enough, decent weather, some interesting fish meals, and we went for drinks in the University district. All in all it proved a lovely break from Stavanger. On Satruday night she showed me an insect bite which didn’t look too seriuous so we carried on. After returning, I went to work on Monday and mid-morning received a distressed text from her telling me she was covered in bed bug bites. The hotel had appeared clean enough and the site I booked the  room through didn’t indicate anything untoward in the reviews. However she had found several reviews on other sites which documented the additional guests in the hotel – needless to say she was pissed, especially seeing how I suffered no bites myself (now I can’t help but smile there). She was narky with me for a while but last weekend I brought a seasonal bouquet of flowers for her as part-apology, part commencing of some serious wooing.

That same weekend, I went to the cinema with the pair of them. They were dressed to kill with plans for a ladies night on the town. Cue me in scruffy jeans and trainers, oblivious of this plan and getting some odd looks from passers by. Unfortuantely some work colleagues had heard of this and apparently spent the evening hunting me down in order to catch a glimpse of these girls. They even went to the extent of checking the different screens of the cinema (much to security’s concern) and when the film would finish. The exits were placed under observation and I suspected as much so we left via an adjoining cafe where the exit was unwatched.  Ninja Nog was feeling pretty pleased with himself, taking the girls to a cocktail bar (a step up from the sushi bar with nominal cocktails they normally go to), but the I ran into my rugby club. Shit.

This saga continues; I plan to spell it out to the little idiot on her return from a family wedding. Chicks dig the honest approach so I’m told and I am operating on the assumption that these two will tell each other everything.

Posted by: spicyeggnog | June 4, 2011

Entre los gatos

News of my death has been greatly exaggerated. The Nog has been quiet of late, coping with the loss of my heart’s desire, sweet maidens from Mother Russia, and doing battle with the farmers and fishermen of southern Norway resulting in a mild concussion for our Celtic hero.  The extra long days are in full swing, screwing up my sleep patterns even more.

But that will be the subject for another posting dear readers, for much more news worthy has been a long awaited break from work, lemmings and and stupidly priced goods.  I finally took the opportunity to make my way once more to that most capricious, tempting and passionate of ladies, Madrid.

Words and my slobbering maw fail to express my eternal love for this city; true, it does not have the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Barcelona, or the romance of Granada or Sevilla, but Madrid cares not. The original “leech” capital city, founded because the Spanish court couldn’t be arsed anymore to travel around their vast realms, there appears little to recommend it but once you take those first tentative steps into the blazing sun, or sit back on a plaza with a cool beer in the middle of the night, you will be ensnared. And the girls, by the devil! The girls!

15M Protests

Hotel was not quite what I expected...

During this trip I did absolutelty nothing – no museums, cathedrals, nada. I have already seen most of what Madrid and it’s surroundings can offer.  Activity was limited to drinking, eating, wandering and meeting up with long lost pals in a relaxed, if not lazy, manner.

One highlight of my trip was meeting a close friend, Esther Claudio, contributer to The Comics Grid, who is very interested in comics and she has even gone as far to study and write about them most academically.  It may well be the basis for a thesis in her upcoming Masters Degree and soon she will be organising a comic convention in the Madrid suburb of Alcala de Henares in November. If time and money allow, I shall voyage again to  Iberia.  She has also had the dubious pleasure of meeting John le Baptiste, and she inquired about him and his activities:

“He’s been working on some teaching gigs recently and looking to publish a book.”

Really? Great! But I’m so jealous! How I hate him! He’s dead to me now. Does he have a girlfriend?”

“Yep, he’s recently moved in with her”

Tell him he’s gay as well

To me this is a great example of the Spanish way of combining passion with crushing logic.

Cafe Central

Cafe Central, Madrid

My appearance being the polar opposite of most Spaniards, as well as my ability to go pink when exposed to any light stronger than what is emitted by a fridge, I do somewhat standout in Madrid. Thus I am somewhat an item of curiosity by the locals when I purchase goods and services in their own language, and occasionally, dialect.  This does have advantages, learning recipes for some good gazpachos, local night life tips, and even a glass of vino on the house. Compared to the mute Norwegians, whose sole aim when provided with alchohol is rapid self destruction, it was very refreshing to deal with chilled out and open madrlienos. But make no mistake, the people of Madrid can party hard when they want to.

I revisited on of my favorutie Madrid haunts, Cafe Central. This place near Puerta del Sol is famous for its Jazz nights  and I still remember my first concert there: a packed joint bopping along to a bunch of Spanish scruffbags whoes lead singer barked liked a dog. I still sing “bow-wow” occasinoally to this day. This time however it was a Basque group who performed music inspired by thier area and took Thelonius Monk as their role model.  I sat there lost in the music, sipping good wine, and whether it was extreme pretention or just too much fire water, I was struck by an epiphany: Here all is well. I am at peace. Dear readers, as the tuba player crooned his solo into the night, a tear came to my eye and my love affair with Spain was reignited.

I have promised myself to visit Iberia (for Portugal is also worthy of a gander, Porto is next on that list) to rejuvinate my soul and be a soothing balm for those long, quiet Nordic nights. I’ll upload some choice photos too.

Posted by: spicyeggnog | March 5, 2011

LateNightNog

Eagle-eyed Nog fans and any passing eagles will have noted my declaration of “Like” for the compilation series Late Night Tales. Suitably inspired and with nothing better to do on my bill and a limited cash flow until pay day, I pen forth what would go into my compilation if asked. Rules are only 1 track per band, there must be at least 1 cover track, and tracks already used in the series are barred (though I can’t be arsed to look them up). Here goes:

Prelude – Bonobo

Prototype – Outkast

Baba O’Reily – The Who

Venus & Serena – Super Furry Animals

Giu’ la testa – Ennio Morricone

Bonnie and Clyde – Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot

Hurricane Jane – Black Kids

Me gustas tu – Manu Chao

Heroes – David Bowie

Team Zissou – Seu Jorge

Hometime – One eskimO

Hjerteknuser – Moi

This Time (I’m gonna try it my way) – DJ Shadow

Dawn – The Cinematic Orchestra

Arlington Way – Cerys Matthews

Sparks – Royksopp

Kumomi – Nujabes

I don’t know – The Beastie Boys

Voyager – Daft Punk

Lucha de Gigantes – Fiebre

Across 110th Street – Bobby Womack

Staralfur – Sigur Ros

I like to ski – Polkabjørn and Kleine Heine

Look them up on Spotify or YouTube; I especially recommend that last one. I saw them play live earlier this week.

Posted by: spicyeggnog | March 3, 2011

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!

A belated happy Saint David’s day to my Welsh brethren whether they find themselves scattered around the globe or at home in the Land of our Father, scoffing some Bread of Heaven while contemplating How Green is their Valleys. Iechyd da bois!

Winter slowly relinquishes her chilly grip on the North, the sun peaks over the horizon now on my way to work and it is still reasonably light when I get home. Thoughts turn to sojourns with a summer trip to Liverpool, Sheffield and Wales already booked.

Manpower's most successful recruiter

Manpower's most successful recruiter

Last week I was texted by a former colleague to send him my CV so he could pass it on to his new boss. I have never been approached to take on a job before, my lot in such circles I suspect being like the majority, hours spent preparing CVs and cover letters like wordy Bonzai trees with much stress and anxiety, only never to hear from the prospective employer. I know no details yet, I was meant to be phoned this week but still nowt. I am trying to be level-headed, especially while being extremely busy recently and not being too happy with recent decisions, but I am balancing “The grass is always greener…” against having to look after number 1. Whilst I am grateful to my boss who got me my gig here and wish to do right by him, the corporate machine is ever-ready to drop me like a slapper’s pair of knickers on a Saturday night.

Last weekend was a drunken blur, Friday saw a lads’ curry night and approx 1000NOK (£100 of your quaint sterling) blown that evening alone, with a round of 4 Velvet Pussies (Guiness with a shot of Port – dee-lish) costing £70! The inevitable hangover was spent the next morning on a flight to Oslo for the Nordic Skiing World Cup, where upon arriving in the city centre I was greeted by thousands of Nordic types ringing cowbells as their champions hurled themselves off and around mountains with bits of carbon fibre on their feet. That said cross-country skiing does look like a lark so I may try it next winter. Sunday was spent at the national AGM for rugby where pizza was readily available followed by a few more rounds while watching the medal ceremonies for the weekend’s events. Norway are cleaning up at their home event in what they see as their sports so the mood is jolly, though the women’s double team cross-country lost to their eternal Swedish rivals today. I sensed thunderclouds when my colleagues returned from the TV set up in the canteen.

May I take a moment to present the offerings of my friends, comrades, fellow ne’er do wells and general associates, who, despite all efforts to prevent them from doing so, have managed to publish their respective works on the Web. FIrst up is the usual suspect Old Rope, whose newly commissioned header adorns this very blog. He has decided to inflict upon the world via YouTube a most narcissistic collection of photos from his time in Argentina. It does indeed look like he had a jolly good time and only fuelled my own desire to go there myself. I have recently watched The Motorcycle Diaries and the excellent Separado! as well and am now speaking with my cousin about when he next plans to go there with his wife and newly born nena. Driving across the desert from Puerto Madryn to Trefelin in a banged up old car looks ace.

Puerto Madryn Flag

Second helpings come in the form of an article written by Esther Claudio, a one-time fellow student during my adventures in Spain, Ergodic Texts: In the Shadow of No Towers. She is truly immersed in comics to a level I can scarcely imagine and can be found travelling around Europe attending various comic conventions and academic events. Esther is not the one I think who would go to such events in cos-play, but then again I would not rule it out either. But the effort she has put into the article is readily apparent and opens new aspects of comics, authors and artists I would normally never consider.

Following my recent rantings against the corporate world, I found myself on Monday writing a report that was truly full of the most cringe worthy managerial shit speak. I had to step away from my PC in disgust and while munching in a raisin bun found myself wondering if I could pack in the office slog, and cursing my lack of will, materialistic things and downright laziness.To top things off, a girl who I recently got to know and have become quite fond of plans to pursue her bohemian dreams in Australia this year, stirring emotions of impending loss, jealousy and respect for her in ol’ Nog’s heart. I sincerely wish her luck in the endeavour but for now I cling to this capitalist security blanket.

Posted by: spicyeggnog | February 13, 2011

Fat Cats, Hobbits and intergalactic sex-pests

Whenever I look at the media at home, it is difficult to not imagine that the land is being torn apart with jihadi Islamists and closet Nazis under every rock while the true terrorists squeeze every last penny and minute’s effort out of the working man to maximise their revenues before squirreling them away in citadel tax havens circled by Kafka-esque tax regulations.

"Bum-nosed thrillah"

The CEO of my company, being an open bod an’ all, keeps a regular blog on our internal internet where he voices his thoughts and invites opinions on various issues that are affecting the company. He recently went to the big Swiss chin-wag at Davos where he observed that big business felt unfairly demonised for the world’s problem (Nog rustles in his pocket for the world’s smallest violin and a vial of crocodile tears) and that big business should be welcomed and viewed as a positive force for society as it create jobs and provides tax revenues.

Whilst sat at my desk, I struggled to contain my fury and spew my bile across the office. I agree with this to a point but if the jobs are merely accelerating the race-to-the-bottom and undermining a worker’s right to a decent living wage, are outsourced anyway to start a new race somewhere else, revenues hidden away in tax havens with armies of accountants hired to exploit every regulatory loophole – then this argument is no longer valid as the big business which should be welcomed becomes no more than a parasite on society.

Whoah – this politicking sure takes it out of a guy.  I received as tribute for the anniversary of my hatching a curious album. Spaced Out! – The very best of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. I would not buy such an album myself but that Comicbook Guy of Sheffield, John Le Baptiste, does nothing but expand my musical horizons.  A quick study of the track listings show 7 of the 24 tracks being sung by Shatner, making our pointy-eared minstrel the true heavyweight in this duo.  Nimoy gives his songs a fair go and while not outstanding, they are not terrible either. Of course many songs draw on his cold emotionless persona, first up is Highly Illogical.  The highlight for me is The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.

Spaced Out!

While Nimoy makes this compilation curious, Shatner, true to form, gives it a terrifying element. The reference to him singing above is made very loosely indeed and the cover sleeve even quotes him: “…and the bane of my life is I really can’t sing…” No shit Bill.  Shatner honks, beeps and squawks his way through the top songs of the era along with snippets of Shakespeare. After hearing his interpretation of Tambourine Man, you’ll never jingle jangle within ear shot of a Star Trek convention again:

I think Chekov’s expression sums it up nicely.

Posted by: spicyeggnog | January 31, 2011

“Holy Nog on skis!”

…it’s our Holy Nog on skis! Yes  noglings,  your intrepid hero has realised another ambition, this time resuming his love of hurtling down alpine pistes with nothing but a pair of giant ice lolly sticks on his feet and kebab skewers on his hands. We and a few pals rumbled up the coast and inwards a bit to the resort of Røldal. There we rented a typical Norwegian wooden cabin and then proceeded to the slopes which echoed with the delighted “wheeeeeeeee!” of yours truly. The first day was quite hard, my body bruised and beaten after a couple of rough spills. The first saw me slam face first into powder which felt like I had been punched by Mr. Freeze while the second involved a deep snow drift which initially I was unable to dig myself out of. 20 minutes later I escaped and reached the safety of an apres-ski cafe to find the rest of my party slurping away at hot chocolate and ready to hit the snow once more. By day 2 I was back in my frosty groove and whizzed down the mountain like a chilly Elvis. I was disturbed to see how steep some runs actually were in the clear sunlight, having careered down them blindly in thick fog the day before. I plan to get another trip in next month to another resort called Sauda which can only be reached by boat apparently. Sounds like another adventure!

Nog gets some big air

Nog gets some big air

I need to invest in a helmet to keep Nog’s noggin in one place and stop my brain juice from leaking out but just need to find one that goes with my dapper ski threads. Thankfully they keep me super toasty and the Saturday night provided reward in the form of beers which I supped down like pop.

In other affairs of state, my ear has been bent in the direction of the Late Night Tales compilations. I have been vaguely aware of these albums over the years but only really took an active notice in them recently with a release by The Cinematic Orchestra.  The idea is various music artists and bands are invited to compile tracks which they themselves would listen to after a hard night’s tiddly winks or whatever it is these hip youngsters get up to these days. In addition they have to provide cover of one track by themselves and the final track is a spoken word short story read by the likes of Will Self and Brian Blessed.  The covers are quite interesting with New Sensation by Snow Patrol for example (as I write this I see Spotfiy have removed The Cinematic Orchestra album which I have enjoyed listening to at work – the dog fucking egg suckers). Worth a peek is the Belle and Sebastian album. It is coffee-table music and unashamedly so and it spurks my nurffle to quote Winston Churchill. I might even splash out for the full set of albums. Has anyone ever spent so much on music in one go?

"Son, the lamp is getting away again!"

"Son, the lamp is getting away again!"

The night lights  they sell are pretty cool too.

This week sees the return of the Six Nations and first up for Wales is a home match  against the dastardly rose-wielding  Saxon foe.  Things are not looking to good for the boyos with many top players out injured but it could be the chance  the up and coming youth players tp prove their worth. I will head down to the local Irish bar with a few Weegie friends  who have decided, annoyingly, to back England.

Continuing with the sports theme my and a couple of pals had a beer-fuelled Champion of the Universe Wii tournament  playing various Wii Sports games. Needless to say I crushed all opposition, excelling at combat sports and bowling but  clinching the gold in the golf event.  However I need to brush up on my jet ski, archery and World War I fighter pilot  skills to defend my title.

I also hope to work up the courage to ask a young lady out for a date. No concrete ideas yet but I thought a spot of ice  skating followed by a meal would prove more “interactive” and sensual rather than a trip down the kino. Being a film  writer in her spare time she practically lives in the cinema anyway. And I’m shit at ice skating.

Let me leave you with this groovy track. Later dictators!

Posted by: spicyeggnog | December 22, 2010

Hark! The Nog doth sing!

Yuletide greetings Nog-fans! (and to none-Chrimbo observing types “Allright?”) Time for yet another post from Norway’s hottest lump of ginger lovin’. Ah yeah.

December has been a busy month, excluding the traditional Xmas berserker rage as one tries to pilfer the last must-have “Operation! – Lumberjack edition” for Granpa. I toodled of to Oslo to drop in on some friends who introduced me to the warmest pair of woolen socks ever. This toe-based nirvana was suddenly broken when I realised I have taken one giant step towards becoming my Dad.  I console myself with the fact my little brother still looks like my Dad when he was a nipper (albeit my brother is now 26 and 17 stone of mountain-bred Welsh war elephant).

I also helped organise a friendly international match in rugby between Norway and Hong Kong. I came up with the posters which were duly spread about the town in a manner Goebbels would have been proud and also produced programmes. However the cost of printing the bloody things meant the club was down by at least 2700NOK (roughly £300) which  put a dampener on things for me. Never mind, I was voted “Club Man of the Year” at the julebord (Norwegian Christmas party, literally “Christmas table”. As a prize, I was forced to sing Jingle Bells on my lonesome in front of  the whole pub. Nog prefers to pull strings from the shadows.

Perusing the UK papers I could be forgiving that my homeland is slowly imploding in the most painful manner and therefore not bother returning for Christmas. I should stay here and ski and feast upon pinnekjøtt, ribbe, and lutefisk (mutton, beef ribs and fish so old it acquires gelatinous consistency. Norwegians understandably consume the latter with vast amounts of akevitt – scando-vodka). I think the following picture sums up Blighty’s situation well:

Martin Rowson: 29.11.2010

Snow Event

Whilst sitting this I sip at some juleøl, praying to whatever dark deities who may be scampering by for no trouble with my flight home tomorrow. If I make the crossing of the North Sea, I still have to navigate England’s green and fertile land that is the M4 before hopping onboard the sherpa express for another 3 hours drive into the Welsh mountains. Seeing all I have is one suitcase and a back pack soon to be filled with duty-free good, Scott and Amundsen were pussies I tell you. I spent last week caught out in Copenhagen and Malmo in Denmark and Sweden respectively – the point of the trip was to go to the Tivoli amusement park in Copenhagen with some old friends. However as soon as I had made it to Malmo, just over the water in Sweden and where I was to stay, the snows kicked into overdrive, sealing us off from our prize for the entire weekend. The white stuff here pisses over what is being recording in the hysterical British media yet people here usually plod best they can – if they can’t travel, so be it.

In conversation with one of my friends while conducting some quality control exercise of local Malmo ales and wenches I was reminded of one of the better ideas I have had the fortune of being associated with: Club Glitteris – me and John Le Baptiste though of running a night club, probably in the Med, open to all and sundry. Our scouse flatmate would drag up to pull in the clientage while I would serve up the King of Cocktails; the Slobbering Pussy. Anyone who has seen the Drag Queen edition of The Weakest Link will know those Transylvanians can rack up serious cash. Definitely a contingency plan.

I came home last night after a heavy session on the juleøl (equivalent to an ale); miraculously getting off at my stop (such nights usually end up in me falling asleep and travelling around my island comatose for an hour until the driver realises I’m still there). Feeling good about myself I then slipped in some ice and fell into possibly the only unfrozen puddle in Northern Europe – Boom! Instant sobriety. A bit of karma after meeting a couple of cool chicks who will be my New Year’s resolutions for sure. I would have laid on some think noggy lines but afternoon of recreating the merriment of the halls of Valhalla can impede a man’s speech function.

Bold Stoat has already seen this; a most wicked tune from one my favourite DJs, DJ  Shadow. It gives me a feeling of a new beginning somehow., though apart from the impending New Year, I don’t feel I am at any crossroads waiting for the Devil.  One friend pointed out I have been in Norway almost a year now, so that’s as good a reason as any to post this:

Nadolig Llawen and God Jul pigs!

Posted by: spicyeggnog | November 21, 2010

Target sighted

Gadzooks and a thousand thundering typhoons! That rarest of steak, John Le Baptiste, has been seen lurking and streaking about the cyber-savannah. This creature, when seen, is normally presumed dead, but in fact is actually to lazy to do anything, by which I mean everything.

 

Nelly the Elephant packed his trunk

Nelly the Elephant packed his trunk

 

Should you be fortunate enough to catch the beast, then many possibilities are opened to you as to displaying your latest game.  You  can have him stuffed and mounted (it’s what he would want, really) and used as a coat rack or just his  head grinning at you from above the fireplace.  Or maybe a Baptiste-skin rug which the kids can also wear when playing their games.  Those with an admiration for Paco Camino could also use his ears and tail to woo a lady-in-waiting though this tradition will also involve the consumption of his wee love-eggs. Groo!

Baptiste’s natural habitat is his blog, but it is suspected that he has learnt that predators will await him or that he is simply lost in Topshop and can’t find his way out. He has also been spotted in the Pampas worrying cattle and in the Nordic tundras molesting lemmings. Latest reports indicate that he is now nesting for the winter with his mate and this shall be his first nesting. So why not pop round and wish him well by letting him have it with both barrels? Good luck in your new home you scally wag!

 

Posted by: spicyeggnog | October 27, 2010

“At least I got chicken.”

With the inevitability of a glacier, I have finally made another post on my Nordic Nog-Blog. Unfortunately I have acted with all the speed of one too seeing when I last actually wrote something; the powder-puff snowflake that has triggered this wordy avalanche is none other than the Old Rope, seeing out his last days of llama-rama on the River Plate.

Another snow flake was my reading of various Guardian articles today but that mate-slurping goon has already beaten me to the punch with a posting on Paul the psychic uber-octopus. Many of the responses to the various article in the Comment is free pages had me in stitches at work today with political extremism seemingly only matched by man’s potential for sarcasm.

As long-term pals of mine will testify, I am often not only behind the times – I often occupy my own plane of existence – and so career through life oblivious of what is down with the kids, despite the inordinate amount of time I seem to spend online. The latest example of this is Leeroy Jenkins – why the deuce was I not informed before?!?  A video was posted on the Internet roughly 5 years ago on a World of Warcraft forum and rapidly achieved fame well beyond the speccy, acne ridden, geeky community:

This warband, the terrifying “Pals for Life” are either supreme voice actors or planet Earth’s Master gimboids (I suspect one member is trying not to laugh at Mr Jenkin’s brashness for fear of attracting the wrath of his brethren). I love how Leeroy completely disregards the meticulous plan and strikes one for jocks everywhere in the nerds’ own domain. Apart from the now trademark battle cry and retort about KFC food products, other love Leeroy’s sulky retort “It’s not my fault” and one wimpy warrior’s whimper “Has anyone got a Soul Stone?”.

My trip to Portugal was what the shaman ordered with 30 degree temperatures and spending time away from in Lisbon and shacking up in a friend’s beachside apartment in the more picturesque region. A friend has posted a photo of me in a small side street poised next to an old Vespa – it makes me cringe and the wench insisted I pose for photos every 30 seconds. Pesky shutterbug.

Back in Norway winter is coming with a vengeance and Jack Frost is no doubt picking his frosty cockcicle out of the freezer for another season of ice-bumming all and sundry who risk not wearing the right protection (eeep!). On the other hand I shall earn a brief respite, such as it is, to watch the American Football match taking place in London this weekend. I am a Chicago Bears Man myself but will watch the Denver Broncos take on the San Francisco 49ers with my old man. Ma Nog is also tagging along though will spend her time ploughing through the great unwashed in Oxford Street.

Correll get his buck well and truly halted

Winter also brings the intrigue of skiing which I plan to resume after a 7 year absence from the pistes. It is an expensive sport with few items costing less than 3-figure pound sterling sums so this season I will focus on getting the clothing to keep my giblets snug and warm. Hopefully I can bag me a Snow Queen and take her to Narnia – truly a tale of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

I have encountered some foods which, even with my iron constitution, I will stay clear of. Crayfish are simply too much effort with time and strength needed to get at the measly morsel within. Gammelost ( old cheese) lives up to its name with a hint of sweaty feet and has the texture of cobwebs. People have been executed for less.

Most sickening of all is Dundersalt, a brand of Norwegian sweets (candy to our yankee chums). Now Norway has accomplished many things – peace prizes, mediating violent conflicts, most gold medals in Winter Olympic history, one of the highest standards of living in the world, considered to be one of the most egalitarian societies on Earth – but one thing they have fucked up is the concept of sweeties. True – one can find broad equivalents to chocolates and boiled ‘sweet’ sweets and even the sour ones that make your mouth shrivel up like a cat’s arse – but Norwegian sweets are dominated by liquorice and other salty tasting offerings. Now I like it sweet as well as savoury and on the whole will indulge in this perverse inclination myself but Dundersalt is where I draw the line.

I was offered one of these sweets innocently enough and my adventurous self took one. On contact with my tongue however it felt like someone had snuck in a Bolivian salt flat into my gob along with a shift’s worth of sweaty chulo miners. I was barely able to not spit it out and afterwards had the same sensation on my tongue that I get after sipping a hot drink and burning the tip of my tongue. My Malaysian colleague described it as “what I imagine eating ammonia might be like”. The packaging itself does not help the accursed boiled sweet’s case:

Willy Wonka never really recovered after Charlie left him

Willy Wonka never really recovered after Charlie left him

Note how the troll invites you to the door between his legs – it can be reasoned that this is where the “sweets” come from and that shortly after completing a Tour de France in the tightest spandex, the troll is castrated as part of the cooking process.

To ease the trauma of this troll-based food group, a friend lent me their Nintendo DS and among the games he has is Professor Layton and the Lost Future – really it is a puzzle game no different from those puzzle books your auntie  always seems to have or you end up buying while on a caravan holiday. But the puzzles form part of a quite an engaging and charming story with a very well-chosen music to supplement the atmosphere of the game. Not quite Halo (“Steal his eggs!”) or Grand Theft Auto (“Bye Piggy!”) but I can do little worse than while away a few hours with this. I am now tempted to purchase a Wii and have a crack at the latest incarnations of Mario and Sonic, both of which seem to have returned to their 2D platform roots for their newest games.

Anyone seen John le Baptiste? We did think of keeping radio silence to fool Old Rope into thinking  he was all alone in the blogosphere but we soon realised that this tinterweb thing is used by at least 4 more people than just us. Has JLB been a victim of the UK Coalition’s cuts? Damn it! They can introduce child labour, ration all foods leaving us with gruel and use the elderly as a cheap fuel source but this time, those blue blood bastards have gone too far!

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