Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the Olympics kicking off. Feels like ten minutes ago I was tottering away from the Blackheath big-screen sporting a massive grin and rampant feelings of general potential. My travel plans were only in their fledgling stages, a group of foetal concepts washing around the amniotic fluid of my think-box. Ah Past Rik, what wonders await. Also, nail kickins. Lots of nail kickins.
It’s odd how things regress to their old ways so quickly. Less than a week of home and already habits have returned like so many old friends. Probably not the most accurate simile there, friends general being entities you’re glad to see again. These habits not so much, especially when they include barnstormers like “falling asleep on the couch halfway through a TV show” and “going for long walks wondering exactly where everything went wrong.” Blackpool, god bless it, tries it really does but when you’ve seen the Lost City of Colombia and sandboarded down a 45 degree decline 6 hours after your insurance ran out, donkey rides and perennially polluted beaches don’t quite cut it. Not that they ever did really. Ho hum.
I have had a fairly interesting week! Yay! More than enough to justify a blog post these days. When your only alternative is slipping the next series of The West Wing into the Blu Ray knowing full well you’ll have drifted off by the time Leo makes his first drunkard reference, you tend to take any opportunity that comes your way. Such are the reasons I found myself in Denmark, a country that before now I associated primarily with bacon and Peter Schmeichel. I was lucky enough to be invited over by another veteran of El Parque, Nur, and after a surprisingly small buffer period I practically bit her hand off to get out there.
So, in Denmark I…
– saw the Little Mermaid statue which was, unsurprisingly, very small.
– learnt that everyone, everyone, speaks perfect English. This gave the rather odd impression I was visiting a Danish themed amusement park.
– visited a Danish themed amusement park and was coerced, nay forced, to ride a frankly fucking mental inverted centrifuge/swingy arm type ride and almost lost my brain through my nostrils.
– ate several of the finest street hotdogs I have ever experienced. There was a party in my mouth, complete with strictly enforced dress-code and canapés. Only the most exclusive clientèle were invited.
– noticed completely offhandedly how 90% of the people were extremely attractive, but only in a “oh god that girl looks like a fucking supermodel” way.
– was reunited with wee Hugo, my long term companion from Colombia who came all the way from Sweden on the train. It involved three days of arduous travel and numerous close calls with the ruthless Eurozone border guards. I have not heard from him since his attempted return. Godspeed Hugo. Godspeed.
– had the ride of my life in a miniature antique car.
– had the nicest host in the whole of Copenhagen who was extremely forgiving with my typically British lack of decency or politeness. Kudos Nur, truly you are a queen among mortals.
It was fantastic, a real relief from the often cloying normality of my British locality. Not that I returned there immediately you understand; a globe trotting member of the In Crowd such as myself barely has time to quaff their quiff before setting off once more to climes exotic. A brief stop in London, notable mainly for the fucking insane pub food prices on display, led to a stop in glamorous Cardiff, capital of Britain’s third favourite vassal. Time here was spent reuniting with family, most of whom thought I died in a guerrilla action several months earlier, and watching The Boss himself Mr Bruce Springsteen go positively supernova with his E Street Band.
Like the Eagles and Crosby, Still and Nash before him, old Bruce had been consigned to my mental “uncool” pile due to a particularly thickheaded bout of teenage rebellion. Any music my parents listened to in the mid to late 90s had to be, teenage me assumed, the most reputationally challenged collection of artists possible. It was impossible for my parents to have good taste. Unlike the latter example there, Bruce did seem to have something of a dad-rock reputation for the rest of my generation too, a reputation that came crashing down in 2009 when his headlining Glastonbury set introduced this bunch of moaning adolescents to his startling brand of showmanship and pomp. As I found out last week, this spectacle is even more towering in person. Three and a half hours he played, and not once did the atmosphere dip below electric. One particularly amazing set-piece to a song unknown to me, Bring My Money Down, could quite easily have been the finale to any other concert. But for Bruce, it was merely a footnote. Amazing scenes.
So what now, I hear you scream. Well, for now I am purgatorially stranded here in Chez Godwin whilst my most significant relationship of the last few years crashes down around my ears. Yes, my passport she is expiring. Like middle-aged men the country over it’s time to swap her for a newer model, this one with biometric data capability and a photo that doesn’t have me as a chubbier version of that guy from Keane. That metaphor sort of fell apart at the end there didn’t it? Alas. Until then, here I shall remain. Any suggestions for interesting things to do that are a) interesting b) close to Blackpool and c) free would be greatly welcomed.