Meaning Of Loaf

       Taking the easy road through life

Friday, September 29, 2006


I've finally caved in.

After weeks of the "Switch to Beta" option sitting there, enticing me, begging me to click it, I've given in to the pressure and gone all beta. Plus, so many other blogs have made the switch now, and posting comments on beta sites when you're not a beta yourself is still not completely bug free. Here's hoping I won't regret this.

Other than that, it's been a really quiet week for me, mainly because I'm still making up on sleep from the weekend and am just too tired to think or do anything at the moment. As such, I'm going to borrow ideas from other sites for today and go with the theme of music and lists.

So, I give you: Top 5 tunes that had my dancing like an idiot in my car this week

1. Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancing
2. Elton John and Kiki Dee - Don't Go Breaking My Heart
3. The Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger
4. The Futureheads - Hounds of Love
5. Queen - Don't Stop Me Now

Another thing I noticed this morning; a new billboard poster has gone up on the M25 advertising Spearmint Rhino, and the traffic seemed considerably slower today. Coincidence?

Unless I can whip up something else over the weekend, this is probably the last post until next Friday when I get back from holiday. Can't believe how quick that's come round, my plan to learn some basic Italian has failed completely, but hopefully I'll be able to get by with wild gesturing and charades.

Keep the place tidy while I'm gone, and no wild parties while I'm away. Have a good weekend all!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Coming soon...

In case you're wondering, I am still alive.

It's just taking a little longer than expected to write up everything that happened over the weekend and do it justice. Plus I'm waiting for peoples cheques to clear before surpressing some of the tales from the weekend.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Half Day!

Today is a good day. Not only is it a Friday, which is always a good day, but today I've got a half day holiday booked, so I'll be skipping out the door at 12.00.

I've got a good reason, and not just the fact that it's been such a soul sucking week that I feel I've earned a half day, but this afternoon me and several others will be heading South and taking a trip across to the Isle of Wight for a long weekend, which will include; drinking, kite flying, drinking, walking and drinking.

I'm not going to bother making any promises about not drinking too much, it would be pointless, however, I do promise to not only take my camera, but actually take it out of the bag and use it this time, as I'm seriously lacking in pictures at the moment.

Not much else to report today, so that just leaves me to say have a good weekend everyone and see you on Tuesday if I survive!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


To be rich and famous. For now just a dream, but last night I did have a taste of what it could be like.

The re-opening of M1NT in it's new Mayfair location was certainly popular last night, squeezing as many people as they could into what I thought was a pretty small bar, but I couldn't fault the look and style of the place.

When we arrived, we were greeted with champagne which was regularly topped up for the first hour, and even though I'm not a great fan of champagne, I just can't turn down a free drink, and the young lady seemed so keen to keep me topped up.

Looking around the room, sadly, I didn't see any celebrity presence, or anyone I'd recognise for that matter, but I now know where all the rich and good looking people hang out, and I felt so out of place! An example of some of the conversations I overheard:

"...well I'm not sure what this is going to do for my property investments in Thailand..."

"...after that we'll spend a few months cruising the Mediterranean..."

Somehow I felt discussing how I'd re-decorated the living room for a very reasonable price would not capture their interest. Likewise with the women there; they were glamorous, classy and obviously lived the high life, and although I'd love to have a shot, I had the feeling it would take a small mortgage to entertain these women for one night, in the style to which they're accustomed.

Despite this, I sipped my drink with all the dignity I could muster, and smiled for the cameras, although I can just see them in the editing room this morning: "Who's that? He doesn't look rich or famous? Perhaps he's one of the cleaners". I was however, saved from a hangover this morning, partly by a vague memory of the last hangover, but mainly due to the bar prices once the free drinks had finished. £15 ($28) for a beer, a vodka and a glass of water? Don't expect me to be getting drunk there anytime soon.

Was it a good night out? Yes. Would I splash out on becoming a member? Probably not. I think if I'm choosing an exclusive club to become a member of in London, I'd probably look for somewhere a little more spacious and down to earth. For now, The Swan will do me just fine.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Passing Time

Wednesday. It's a slow day, and I need some excitement.

Sadly, there doesn't seem to be much happening at the moment, pretty quiet round here, and actually pretty quiet round a few of the blogs I frequent, perhaps everyone else is in the same lethargic mood, or perhaps just having too much fun to stop and blog. I'm hoping it's the former, otherwise why is everyone else having more fun than me this week?

Hopefully that's all set to change tonight, as I've been talked into going along to the re-opening of M1NT in Mayfair. I'm not sure what to expect; it's a club which you become a member of by buying shares in the club, and as such, it's members are apparently millionaires and celebrities, so I don't think jeans and trainers will cut it. How did I get to go such a place you may well ask? I'm no celebrity and far from being a millionaire, but I do have a friend, who's has a friend who obviously knows the right people. Now I just have to see if I can pass myself off as someone rich and famous.

Hopefully more to report by tomorrow morning, providing; 1) I drink sensibly. 2) I don't get lost on the underground (again). But I'm not holding out too much hope on either point.

And one final thing; I've made another re-organization of the blog links, following the Cherry Ride Management System. I know about 2 weeks ago I said I'd be spending 24 hours re-designing the site, and that 2 weeks later the only change is a flashy new $1 header, but the thing is... ah, I can't think of a good excuse, I'm just lazy. I'll do it tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I really thought this was a wind up, but no, it's official, today is International Speak Like A Pirate Day!

So for today, all us landlubbers can hoist the jolly roger, and enjoy a flagon of grog, brought to us by comely wenches!

And don't forget the 5 A's:


Monday, September 18, 2006

Some lessons you just never learn

Another weekend wrapped up, and at least it was a memorable one.

My friends 30th birthday celebrations on Saturday night was a real hit, even despite the hangover that wiped out most of Sunday. The fact that I managed to suppress hurling on the underground the next morning was truly heroic. I know I should have learnt my lesson after last weeks hangover, but if I didn't learn from the many hangovers of the past 14 years, I'm certainly not going to learn now.

However, there were some things I did learn this weekend:

1. London underground, humid weather, a tuxedo and overcrowding, combine to create the worst traveling experience.

2. Champagne, Cosmopolitans and Vodka Martini's should not be mixed within the space of a few hours.

3. When hungover, don't start listening to the drunk outside the underground, prophesizing the end of the world, it won't improve the situation.

More detailed memories of the evening are still a little hazy, but so far highlights include;

  • Mixing cocktails, which was a chance for me to demonstrate the Dirty Girl Scout (I seem to remember using the phrase "I'm off to knock up a girl scout").
  • Vague memory of trying to chat up one of the women, but failing, probably due to the earlier Dirty Girl Scout.
  • Singing along to the musical episode of Buffy towards the end of the night.

I'm sure there were also pictures taken throughout the evening, and if any turn up that are not too offensive, I will try and post them later.

Next weekend; a trip to the Isle of Wight to celebrate another friends 30th. I swear I'm drinking in moderation this time...

Friday, September 15, 2006


2 hours and 24 minutes until my weekend officially begins. Not that I'm counting or anything.

Just keeping my fingers crossed that we'll have another power cut like yesterday afternoon, and get sent home early. It was amazing to see how quickly people were lost without electricity or the internet:

1:27pm - All the power goes, everyone sits for a few seconds staring at their blank screens, trying various buttons, just in case.

1:30pm - Someone shouts across to the other offices and finds the whole estate is out of action.

1:32pm - People attempt to remember how to communicate with each other without the use of instant messenger or e-mail.

1:33pm - The full gravity of the situation hits us when we realise the coffee machine won't vend and the kettle won't boil.

1:35pm - The wet floor indicates that we can't use the toilets without lights. Several bets are lost.

1:38pm - MD's secretary announces that if the power doesn't come back in half an hour we may as well head home.

1:48pm - The laws of time are briefly changed and we decide half an hour has passed.

1:50pm - We realise the car park barrier is electronic and will not go up.

1:51pm - Barrier has been forcibly removed. Everyone rushes home to the safety of electricity and internet.

Anyway, the weekend is certainly holding some promise of entertainment, as we have a friends 30th birthday celebrations. She's decided to make it a black tie party, which is great for me as I have an excuse to break the tuxedo out of storage, and once again justify having bought one rather than renting. And if the tux doesn't cut it, there are some other stylish alternatives available:

or possibly

Not sure I have quite enough grey hair or the stylish glasses to pull off either of these.

Have a good weekend all!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Is it paranoia if I know they're watching me?

Meaning of Loaf is still in it's infancy, and while it's just a toddler learning to walk, I'm still at that stage of checking my sitemeter stats each day, just to see how many people are coming here to read this stuff.

Last night I found the following hit on my blog:

United States Government? National Institutes of Health?? Going back though the previous posts now to check none of them are a health code violation...

Also last night, I was listening to the radio on the way home, and picked up on the story that there is currently a shortage of sperm donors in the UK at the moment, and in particular a shortage in Scotland, where there is apparently only one person for the whole of Scotland who is currently donating. To that one guy, good job! Keep it up.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Lost in Music

I'm in a happy mellow mood this morning.

There's a couple of reasons for this; firstly Apple has just released version 7 of iTunes for Windows, and the new version is looking really good. Even if most of the new features are mainly to the look and feel, I'm easily won over by something with a flashy front end.

The second reason is that I celebrated this new look and feel by downloading the new Diana Krall album, which has just put me in a warm and fuzzy place. I do have an wide range of taste in music, and if asked what kind of music I regularly listen to, I couldn't tell you. Some days I'll go with the likes of Muse, Razorlight, Dirty Pretty Things, and then other days I'll go for Frank Sinatra, Diana Krall and Madeleine Peyroux. Today is definitely a Diana Krall day as her smooth jazzy style is just as good for easing me into the day, as it is unwinding at the end of the day with a good glass of wine. Thanks for the music Diana.

While on the subject of music, I should apologize for my bashing of Rick Astley a few posts ago; while the first reaction to hearing him and other 80's cheese is one of shame, it's probably due to all the associations with the 80's that it brings back; arkward school discos, the fashions, the fads. However, to be honest it's a guilty pleasure, and being brought up in the 80's, I'll still find myself singing along when they come on the radio, and if I'm being totally honest, there's no keeping me off the dance floor if Chesney comes on. There, I said it. All dignity gone.

And one final music related question; what gets you up in the morning?

I have a playlist of music that gets me up and going, but I'm getting a bit used to it and need something new, so I'd like to hear what other people listen to that I might be able to add to my own selection. Here's my current playlist:

Make Your Own Kind Of Music - Mama Cass
You're No Good - The Swinging Blue Jeans
What A Difference A Day Made - Dinah Washington
This Is Your Life - Switchfoot
Cherry Blossom Girl - Air
Digging Your Scene - Ivy
Island In The Sun - Weezer
Mr. E's Beautiful Blues - Eels
My Doorbell - The White Stripes
Weapon Of Choice - Fatboy Slim

So, what gets you going?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Last of the summer?

Yesterday saw what will probably be the final BBQ of the year, something which was both fun, and in some ways sad, as for me it now feels like the end of summer, which means time to start wearing a jacket to work, turning the lights on for the drive home, and digging out the thicker duvet.

Still, in all fairness, the BBQ was a good one; bringing together most of the people from the office at the house of one of the directors, where we had several platefulls of burnt offerings, potato salad and crisps. Sadly, I was still not drinking, as I felt I should let my liver recover a little more from the thorough workout it had a few days ago, so I was just on the root beer, but who needs alcohol when there's a bouncy castle! Ok, it was for the kids, but you're never too old for a bouncy castle, and once the small children were sufficiently tired out, we ruled the castle.

Another highlight of the BBQ was the attractive mousy blond girl who caught my eye. After a little asking around, I found she was actually the Austrian au-pair of the director, who was over here working for the year, and also that she was only 20. Now this presented a moral dilemma; she would be close to 12 years younger than me, which is, in my opinion, is a larger gap than I can reasonably get away with. On the other hand, it's been while.

Thankfully, I was saved from this moral dilemma by my old friend, social arkwardness. Put me in a room of people and I can keep up a pretty reasonable conversation, but make one of them an attractive female, and all topics of conversation decide they have somewhere more important to be. This left me with the following awkward moment:

Me: So, I hear you're from Austria, how are you enjoying England?

Attractive Austrian: It's ok.

... Awkward pause

Me: But looking forward to getting back home?

Attractive Austrian: Oh Yes.

... Longer awkward pause

Me: Ok, well I'd better check on those burgers...

The actual exchange was a little longer than this, but you get the idea, and I wouldn't want to make you cringe through the rest of it.

So, that's me single for a while longer, and in this instance, probably for a best. As I'm being pulled further into the 30-something camp, those young, attractive 20-something girls are slowly slipping beyond my reach.

But hey, I'm not going to feel bad, it's only 4 weeks until the trip to Florence, and perhaps there's some gorgeous Italian ladies over there just waiting for some dashing Englishman to come over and sweep them off their feet. I can dream.

Hope everyone has a good week, only 4 hours to Monday in the UK. Bracing for impact.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition

The time has come.

I'm actually getting people visiting the site (and even linking to it, thanks Cherry!), so it seems about the right time to break away from the standard template and use what little artistic skills I have to try and brighten up the place a little.

So, for the next 24 hours, expect a mess. I'll be playing round, experimenting, and randomly changing things until I find something I'm happy with, so bear with me, a shiny new loaf is on the way!

Friday, September 08, 2006

The morning after

I'm suffering.

I'm sat in the office, holding on to the desk because it's the only thing stopping the room spinning out of control, and also trying not to blink to much because it's way too loud. If you're going to have a hangover, the office is really not the place to be. If you must be in the office, you'd better hope your office is not right under the Heathrow flight path. I swear they're coming in lower today on purpose.

Although I'm still piecing together last nights events from a collection of hazy memories, stories recounted by others, and photographic evidence on mobile phones, here is what I've got so far:

On the drive from the office to Windsor, I announced two things: "I won't drink too much, as I don't want to feel like the living dead the next morning, and I won't be going to a nightclub after the boat ride, for similar reasons". Much like so many New Year resolutions of the past, I really believed I would stick to these simple rules.

So after dropping things off at the B&B, and grabbing a quick pizza on the way, we gathered with the crowd, ready to board the boat. But something was wrong. These people were smartly dressed, and were not telling crude jokes. After a few minutes, and some strange looks from people I didn't remember seeing round the office before, it became apparent that these were not the people we worked with.

After finding the right boat, we jumped on, tapped some of the managers for free drinks and gathered on the deck. It was not until we'd made it a reasonable distance from the dock that they started playing Rick Astley and other cheesy 80's music, and now the only escape was diving overboard and swimming for it. Of course, there was one other escape; just maybe, if we had enough to drink, it might become bearable. The first part of my vow was already breaking down.

So after a couple of beers to warm up, I decided to "take it easy" by switching to whisky. Honestly, I last a long longer on the whisky than the beer, or at least that's what I've convinced myself. And so, after the fifth whisky, things were definitely getting going, especially after pressuring the DJ into playing some Queen, which never fails to get a reaction from our group, much to the dismay of the others on the boat.

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful, with just the usual mix of drinking and dancing, and by the time we arrived back at the dock, we'd successfully cleared most of the supplies of booze on the boat, leaving us with a sense of achievement and the inability to walk. It became clear that most people were not ready to call it a night yet though, and since I was sharing a room with two other guys from the office, one of which is my manager, I had to pretty much go with the flow. The following conversation decided the next step for the evening:

Friend: Club?

Me: Nuhhhh

Friend: Yehhhhh

Me: Uhhhhh

Friend: Yehhhhh!

Me: Yehhhhh

And so with this eloquent exchange, the last of the promises to myself was shattered.

We got to the club, and decided to switch back to the beers, because nothing was going to save us from the hangover now, and headed over to the dance floor, to dance in ways that would probably embarrass my parents. That was until a few minutes later when a bouncer came over to my friend and told him to stop dancing, as he'd been whipping everyone behind him with his hair (which is a close to half a meter, despite our best efforts to make him cut it). Of course, being asked to stop dancing on the dancefloor of a nightclub seemed highly amusing to us at the time, but as the bouncer didn't seem to share our amusement, so it seemed like the right time to move on to another club.

The next one was no better than the first, but since we didn't want to pay to get into another club, we decided to stick with it. More drinking, more dancing, and they seemed a little more accommodating about someone with a whirlwind of hair thrashing around on the dancefloor.

I don't really remember much after this, apart from trying to find our way back to the B&B, randomly trying a few doors once inside until one opened and happened to have our stuff in it, and listening to my friend having some colorful conversations with the toilet throughout the night.

So while I may be sitting here, vowing never to drink again, and trying to dispel the image of my manager walking round the bedroom in underwear, farting, I still consider it to be a pretty successful night out!

Now, if I can just get this desk to stop moving....

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The morning before

Thursday morning, and the weekend is closing in fast, but before I get there I still have to survive tonight's riverboat party on the Thames, where we'll be cramming 90 people onto a boat, and heading off down the river with a mixture of predictably cheesy music and overpriced booze.

This will be the first one I've been on, as it was only at the start of the year our company was bought up by the current company who organizes this event, but I'm sure we'll be doing our best to liven things up. After all, our team did make quite an impression at the New Year party a week after we merged; an impression which has prompted them to reconsider their 'free bar' policy next time round.

My only doubt is about having it on a Thursday night? Do they really expect any kind of productivity on Friday? A few of the others have suggested the management might just get some perverse pleasure in watching us struggle to work with raging hangovers. If they decided to test the fire alarms tomorrow we'll know for sure.

Hopefully more exciting news to report tomorrow after the night out, although I doubt there will be post until the monitor stops spinning. To be honest, I just had to get a quick post in now, to move down the previous post containing Dan's picture, as due to it's position, he seemed to be gazing up at my picture, which was a little unnerving.

See you tomorrow if I survive...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Save the Dump!

I'm not a morning person.

There's about a 2 hour gap between waking up, and arriving at work, and within that gap I've somehow managed to make myself presentable and drive to work, I just don't remember how. So, this morning when I tried to focus on the screen through my morning cup of coffee, I assumed the latest post on The Daily Dump was just part of some weird dream I was still having.

2 Hours later, and I now find that it was not a dream, but the cold, harsh world of reality, and it sucks. It looks like Dan (Belligerent Intellectual) has decided to take a step back from blogging, and has made his last post to The Daily Dump, and in the 10 hours since his post, the 66 comments from readers already shows that I won't be the only one to miss his well written and humorous posts.

I have to say it was not until reading his blog that I decided to start blogging myself, and although I'm a long way from reaching his level of writing, or following of readers, I would say his writing has been a huge influence on my own site.

I do sincerely hope that we will see him return, either to the Dump, or to a new blog in the future. And if you've not already visited the site, pay it a visit; there may not be more posts to come, but there's still about a year and a half of posts that are well worth reading.

We'll miss you Dan!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

An overreaction?

On my daily crawl along the M25 this morning, between screaming at the radio to play some music, and for the presenters to stop their inane gossiping, I did pick up on one story that caught my interest.

It seems there is a new advert out for Kelloggs Frosties, featuring a kid who is seen dancing along, singing a repetitive song about said cereal, something I've thankfully not seen due to the wonderful invention of Sky+.

Now I accept that most TV adverts are annoying; I could believe there several advertising agencies set up with the sole purpose of producing annoying adverts. However, it seems this advert has ticked off more people than usual, and has actually triggered death threats against the child actor in the advert, forcing him to go into hiding. My initial thought was that this was just a massive overreaction, as after all, it's just an advert, how bad can it be. Then after a quick search on YouTube, I found the advert, and well....I'll let you decide for yourself.

I also managed to track down a more detailed article here. Sorry for linking to The Sun, it was the only online version of the story I could find. I'm very, very sorry.

Ok, so death threats are over the top, but still a good cautionary tale about considering the parts you're going to play, before you make yourself an international target.

Friday, September 01, 2006

To the cute brunette...

...who gave me a smile as she drove by on the M25 this morning; you've made my morning! Same time tomorrow?

And to the old man in the BMW; it's Friday, there's good music on the radio, and I've just been smiled at by a cute girl, so yes I will dance in my car and you don't need to give me that look.