Saturday, 11 October 2008

Social life

This blog has been a bit heavy on the university stuff for a week or two, but after such a long holiday I felt I had to put everything else on hold to focus back on studying. I'm enjoying it as much as last year, so that's good too.

Life goes on outside university, though. I wouldn't like you to think that's all I've done. I've played in a badminton match, for example. Mr A and I have been to the pub. We've watched some DVD's at home. Both of the car headlight bulbs had to be replaced, and unfortunately not at the same time.

Badminton matches with my current club are not very successful. While everyone at the club is lovely and there's none of the unpleasantness I've encountered in other clubs, it has to be admitted that the general standard is pretty low. I played a few matches for them last season, and I think my partner and I won just one game altogether (each match contains between six and nine games per pair). I doubt that this season will be any better - my partner dropped out unexpectedly shortly before the match; his replacement hadn't played at all for a few weeks and this was his second match ever. Needless to say, we hadn't played together before. A whole season of getting beaten in every game can be quite dispiriting, so I set us the target of getting 5 points in each game - and we even managed it in four out of the six games.

Street in June 2008I haven't said much about the pub recently, but it continues to be successful. There are regular music nights and quiz nights, wine tastings and other events, most of which we avoid in favour of a quiet pint. One evening a clairvoyant had set up shop in one corner, but had no customers at all in the hour or so that we were in the pub (she should have known that would happen...) Smurf continues to take care of a small range of very good beers, currently Timothy Taylor's Landlord, Wells' Bombadier, and Saddleback beer from the local Slaughterhouse brewery in Warwick. Of course there's always a bit of sport, and Smurf warned us that for the match against Kazakhstan today he will be wearing a Borat-style mankini. I sincerely hope that he won't.

Our subscription to Lovefilm provides as many DVDs as we need - and we have over 150 titles on our online waiting list - they are sent through as we return previous titles. Mr A's choices are either black and white classics or war films or both, and I encourage him to watch them when I'm out. My choices are more suitable for both of us - we've recently watched The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (good), Mississippi Burning (very good), The Bourne Ultimatum (good), Wait Until Dark (OK) with Audrey Hepburn playing a blind woman, and Sweeney Todd with Johnny Depp. Actually, Mr A didn't hang around for Sweeney Todd, too much singing (it's a musical). I liked it, although there was a bit too much graphic throat-cutting. We're also getting through all the episodes of M*A*S*H, right from the very first season.

And I've been to an aerobics class in Leamington, which was great fun, even if it seems to have crippled me further. To be able to use the campus gym I now need to buy silver sports membership rather than bronze, and even though the price is subsidized for students, I'm not there for half the year. If I can play badminton once or twice a week and go to an aerobics class every week, I'd much rather do that than sweat on a treadmill or static cycle.


aims said...

You cracked me up with the clairvoyant thing!

I imagine university life these days is very different from when I went. Still - the atmosphere alone is exciting. Always instilled in me the desire to learn as much as I could. It made my mind fly all over the place with that need.

I think it might be keeping you young Lola. I love the idea of badminton matches etc. Treadmills! Bleah!

I'm wondering if Smurf ever gets beers from Canada? I know there is a brewery in Guelph, Ontario that is making a comeback and is doing very well with its beers. Let me think a second - the name will come to me.

Dammit - had to google it - Sleeman Breweries.

An interesting story here. Back in the 50's my parents looked at a mansion that had belonged to the owners of Sleeman Breweries. The company had gone under when the owners died - leaving this house. My mother told me that the front walkway was the bottom of beer bottles. The bottles had been upended and embedded in the earth to form this walkway.

The mansion was up for taxes. My father was very keen but the place gave Mom the willies. They didn't buy it in the end because it sat just outside the city limits and therefore the fire department wasn't easily accessible.

The place was turned into a hotel which eventually became a strip joint. The mansion was built on to and its architecture dissolved into this sleazy hotel.

Mom remembers the chairs around the huge dining table. The tops of the chairs were carved beer bottles.

This young chap has restarted the brewery and his marketing techniques are paying off. You can even buy Sleeman beer out here in Alberta. Smart man.

Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if my parents had bought that mansion. My mother felt that it had to be haunted. In the end - the house that they did buy? Was haunted. Go figure. (and I remember that very well)

Brett said...

Ah Lovefilms, waiting for them to mail me with an other tempting offer as i canceled last month, 3 months for the price of one is what they normally offer.