Category: Blogs

Old man in skyrim – Part 4

The Premise

Skyrim is a vast sprawling game, you can pretty much do anything you want, so I decided to live in Skyrim, to see how an old man coped with the harsh environment and bizarre folk that inhabit this land. This is my tale!

The Rules

80 year old man in Skyrim.

Only doing what an average 80 year old can do.

No constantly running, using shouts (special powerful magics), magic or fast travel.

No murder or stealing or anything unethical, should always try to run away from a fight.

Read part three here – https://radiothax.com/2013/09/09/old-man-in-skyrim-3/

Day 5

I’m up bright and early without a hint of hang over. If anything I feel more refreshed and rested than any sleep I’ve had here. It must be the lack of bards! I get up and have some breakfast of a baked potato and set off on a nice gentle stroll.

Nice walk first thing in the morning
Nice walk first thing in the morning

As I walk down the cobble road, I pick poesy and herbs. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the river roars next to me in a soothing manor, I even find a handy bridge to allow me to cross said river to the main bit of land I need to be on. This is a perfect wonderful day. Nothing can go wrong!

Something went wrong!

Oh god, I’m presented with an horrific scene!

Murder on the Skyrim express
Murder on the Skyrim express

There is a cart here, in front of it, a horse is slumped on the floor, dead! To the rear a woman is also similarly dead! There are arrows all over the floor, cart and corpses. I inappropriately think that ‘The cart and corpses’ is a good name for a pub. The scene is truly horrific, I do the only honorable thing I can do, I walk away from the crime scene without stealing any of their clothes.

A short distance away, as I walk up the road, I see some movement on the horizon. I get closer and can just make out three figures in the heather. Are these the murderers? Will they fill me full of arrows? In the name of justice and curiosity I try and get a little bit closer to them, suddenly two of the three go into a crouched position. I back away, they stand up! I need to go down this road, but to my left are sheer cliffs and to my right is the fast deep river, this seems oddly familiar. I’m literally paralyzed with indecision for two hours, I just can’t decide what to do!

Friend of foe?
Friend of foe?

The only other option I have is to turn around and walk the other way. Unfortunately that other way is over a mountain and I certainly don’t have the clothes or strength for that. No, I must try and sneak passed these people!

I crouch down and crawl behind the bushes and manage to get a bit closer. What are they doing? They look like they’re doing some impromptu mime! I hate mimes more than bards! I stand up and try to walk away, but as soon as I’m erect, one of them rushes over to me! This is it, death! Death by mime! I always knew it would end this way! Please make it swift!

I hope they're not flashers
I hope they’re not flashers

But death does not come swiftly, the only thing that comes swiftly is hospitality and friendship! The man has run over to me to offer me a drink! I of course partake!  The men are having a party or some kind of celebration, the more the merrier they say!

The best way to start the day
The best way to start the day

The party is over, the men wish me well and then begin to walk away. That was their first mistake. You don’t offer Cecil Thax a beverage in a strange hostile land then abandon him. No, he’ll clings onto you like a drunk limpet.  So as the men walk away, I tag along! They seem happy enough with this, assuming their silence is anything to go by. All we need is a tin bath and they could make a rudimentary go kart.

We walk for about 3 minutes when we happen upon a fort. 2 of my new chums go and investigate, before I can figure out what’s happening one of the men runs away with the other shouting “You call yourself a Nord!”. I take a look around the corner to see what the fuss was about, maybe he had sexually propositioned him or asked to touch his wife’s bosom. No, it was the giant man shooting arrows at him that’s caused the upset!

That's not a fort, this is a fort!
That’s not a fort, this is a fort!

Arrows clatter around my feet, I begin to run as fast as my old man legs will carry me, I rejoin my drinking buddies and we all run. Unfortunately we manage to run right into the front gates of this fort and into the swords and arrows of the bandit’s encamped there, very quickly 4 become three then three just become me!

Drinking buddy 1, NNOOOO!!
Drinking buddy 1, NNOOOO!!

The slaughter was horrific and quick. I turn and run in the opposite direction but a woman is hot on my heels and swinging a dagger at me. I try and run but she keeps pace with me easily, she gets too close!

Get away from me you bitch!
Get away from me you bitch!

I run near the river and fall in. I get swept along by the rapid current but luckily get pushed over to the other shore. I’m safe! I take 2 seconds to catch my breath. The stupid cow woman comes running out of the water at me, with her dagger in hand! I try to run but my legs are old and weak.I just make it past the rapids in the river before I stumble and fall back into the water. The current is much slower here, so I swim to the other side and watch as the woman is attacked by two of the biggest crabs I’ve ever seen. They make quick work in murdering her.

I’m finally safe! I take 2 second to OHSHITNO the crabs are coming at me now, they quickly swim over to my side of the river and start chasing me. Luckily they are quite slow, but so am I. I can just keep out of their reach while I walk down the road. I eventually make it back to the dead horse and woman and avail myself on their cart. Crabs can’t climb right?

You can't get me up here!
You can’t get me up here!

I’m somewhat safe, they can’t reach me, though I am trapped. If they made such quick work of that bandit woman, they would kill me in a matter of nano seconds. As I’m contemplating a plan of escape one crafty crab starts climbing up the rock that I climbed up to get in this cart. I back away from it only to get too close to the other which nips my leg. It really really hurt!

Ok, so they can climb, but they can't jump, right?
Ok, so they can climb, but they can’t jump, right?

After a few minutes of moving around the cart to avoid these bastard crabs, I realise I have to make a run for it, though the crabs are slow and so am I, so when I stumble down from the cart the crabs give chase while I walk away, the slowest and deadliest game of tag begins! I back track all the way back to the dragon bridge, surely someone there will be able to dispatch a couple of giant crabs with ease.

Dragon bridge citizens, save me!
Dragon bridge citizens, save me!

The two citizens of Dragons Bridge I meet do indeed leap to my aid. Unfortunately, they are killer crabs, before I can even get my dagger out of my tunic they murder a lady!

Murdering crab bastards!
Murdering crab bastards!

Moments later a man kills one of the crabs, the other crab avenges his crab brethren and kills the man. Crabs 3 – Humans 1.

Fist Vs claw!
Fist Vs claw!

The remaining crab comes at me again, I finally get my dagger in hand and go knife to claw with the crab. Luckily for me the woman had done massive damage to it, so it only takes me two swipes to kill it! 2 citizens of Dragon Bridge, I have avenged you. A small child walks into view, he is the son of the dead woman, he takes a look at his mother, it seems like he can’t comprehend what his tiny child eyes are seeing. He just walks away with his goats.

Clinton Lylvieve, recently orphaned.
Clinton Lylvieve, recently orphaned.

I turn to hear a dog whimpering, it’s laid over its master crying, the dog prods the man with its nose and howls. In a way I feel a little bit responsible!

Which is sadder, orphans or an upset dog?
Which is sadder, orphans or an upset dog?

I walk out of town and vow never to return, I doubt they would take kindly to me. I make camp just over the bridge and have a restless sleep.

Next time – An old mans best friend

Old man in Skyrim – Part 3

The Premise

Skyrim is a vast sprawling game, you can pretty much do anything you want, so I decided to live in Skyrim, to see how an old man coped with the harsh environment and bizarre folk that inhabit this land. This is my tale!

The Rules

80 year old man in Skyrim.

Only doing what an average 80 year old can do.

No constantly running, using shouts (special powerful magics), magic or fast travel.

No murder or stealing or anything unethical, should always try to run away from a fight.

Read part two here – https://radiothax.com/2013/09/06/old-man-in-skyrim-2/

Day 4

Come morning I stagger out of the pub, not because I’m drunk, how could I afford that? No because my legs are numb from sitting all night on that wooden bench.  When I’m rich I’m investing in a chaise longue! I find the stall holder and tell her the wine will arrive shortly. So how does she repay me? Surely she gives me my 62 gold back and an extra 50 for my troubles? Yes? No! She gives me 2 bottles of her wine, worth a whopping 7 gold each. So I’m down 48 gold for helping this woman! I resist the urge to test out my new dagger on her.

Never help this ungrateful woman
Never help this ungrateful woman

It’s now lunch time, what delights shall I satiate my hunger with? Blue cheese soufflé? A rack of slow roast ribs? Smoked salmon? No, two raw potatos! Though while I’m stuffing the last one in my mouth I suddenly know that they restore health, don’t ask me how I know, I just do! This begs the question; do other plants have palliative properties? Maybe this is how these potions are made, dock leaves cure nettle stings, so why shouldn’t a thistle branch give someone a slight resistance to frost, it’s basic chemistry!

So like a beggar in a class room I start frantically mixing together all the plants I’ve found into every possible combination. Bugger all happens! After picking some more plants and accidentally grabbing a few innocent butterfly’s I have a combination that makes a potion that helps someone resist magic. I don’t know how tempting magic is, but hopefully this will stop someone craving it.  I rush to the nearest shop woman and sell this for a whopping 10 gold. 10 gold! For a days work and that’s the only potion I can make, one resist magic potion! Another day utterly wasted!

I’m utterly furious with my lack of progress so I storm out of the shop, out of solitude and head out to get this bloody poem. I march down the hill and reach the saw mill. I’m now not quite so furious and also very cold.  The man asks me again if I will chop some wood. In my anger and frustration I release my pent up energy on 6 very small lumps of wood.

You wood bastard!
You wood bastard!

Then my wrists, arms, shoulder, upper and lower back all give out and I have to stop, I take 10 minutes to get my breath back then sell my firewood for 30 whole coins of gold. I’m utterly flabbergasted! If I were a much younger and fitter man I could do this all day and make a comfortable living wage, but as it stands I’m not young, and can’t stand!  I need a damn good rest, all I have to do is walk up those steep hills again. The thought of going up those hills fills me with a deep rage, the likes of which I’d not felt since I’d been given 2 cheap bottles of wine as payment for a job well done! I decide to funnel this rage into chopping 12 more very small lumps of wood and selling from for 60 gold.

I'll cleave you all!
I’ll cleave you all!

I make my way slowly up the hill, only stopping for half an hour to chat to a farmer, to whom I accidentally sell my last 3 potatos.  By the time I get back to the inn I’m exhausted, but saints be praised the inn is quiet, the bard has gone! Sweet silence! I pay the barman for a room and he very kindly walks me to it. The room is oddly messy, the maid service here is terrible, the en suite bard is top notch, because for some reason known only to herself, the bloody bard is in my room waiting for me. I don’t want singing to sleep!

Mess, Bard, Barman!
Mess, Bard, Barman!

I throw her and the barman out, close the door, mess up the room some more then jump on the bed, I then tuck into the cheese I bought and drink my hard earned two bottles of wine.  I can’t remember what happened the rest of that night!

I'll fight you all, not you though, I love you, you're my best friend
I’ll fight you all, not you though, I love you, you’re my best friend

Day 5

I decide there are not enough plants in this town to let me get enough money to buy enough leather to make a small tent, there aren’t enough honest jobs in this town either so I have to do the only think I know will earn me enough money. I shall become a lumberjack!

After cutting 12 blocks of wood I retire from my long and arduous career as a lumberjack!  This isn’t a job for an old man, and I’m an older man that when I started this job and by god I feel it! But I’ve done my time and as a golden handshake I’m given 90 gold for my wood.  I feel rich! I buy the required leather. I feel poor.

Location, location, location
Location, location, location

I might feel poor but I’m on the property ladder now, I own one fancy new tent and bed roll. Finally a place to call my own, and it’s so tiny there’s no room for any bards. The wanderlust get the better of me and before I can do anything wise like say, stock up on food and warm clothes, I head out on my quest, to find this pesky poem.  My major problem now is finding a way across this huge river.

Old man river
Old man river

There has to be a bridge somewhere, right? Right! Not far down the road I come across a small hamlet and a big scary bridge. That was easy, I think this quest will be simple, relaxing and fun. I decide to celebrate finding this bridge by popping into the local pub and having a nice mug of ale. I enter the darkest pub I’ve ever seen.

An inn in Skyrim at midday.
An inn in Skyrim at midday.

I find my way to the barman, buy a drink and some cooked meat (I’m not sure what animal it’s come from or how fresh it is, but its edible and better than raw potato). The pub is dingy, dirty and dank but it’s shining, redeeming feature is that there isn’t a single bard in the whole building!

After I’ve had my fill of ale and mystery meat, I make my way over the bridge, as it’s getting dark I decide to make camp roughly 50 feet away from the pub, just in case I need to have an emergency mead.

One last wee before bed
One last wee before bed

As I lay in my tent and the sun sets on yet another day, I contemplate my existence in this world. I’m 80, weak, homeless, nearly pennyless, tired and maybe on a quest that will kill me from exhaustion or exposure, but do you know what, as I lay there, my head poking out of the top of this tent, the aurora dancing in the night sky, the moons slowly making their celestial march through space, I decide that I’m enjoying myself, things could be worse. At lease I’m out and about!  This life’s all about getting out and about!

Sky magic
Sky magic

Next time – Booze, friends, death!

Old man in Skyrim – Part 2

The Premise

Skyrim is a vast sprawling game, you can pretty much do anything you want, so I decided to live in Skyrim, to see how an old man coped with the harsh environment and bizarre folk that inhabit this land. This is my tale!

The Rules

80 year old man in Skyrim.

Only doing what an average 80 year old can do.

No constantly running, using shouts (special powerful magics), magic or fast travel.

No murder or stealing or anything unethical, should always try to run away from a fight.

Read part one here – https://radiothax.com/2013/09/03/old-man-in-skyrim-1/

Day 2

Not a fun way to spend a night
Not a fun way to spend a night

Sitting in the open air next to a giant fire is not doing my buttocks any good at all, I need sleep, so if the bards college want me to spend days hiking across the countryside to find a poem for them, they can damn well let me have a kip in one of their beds. So I walk through the college and find the dorms. Not only are all the beds being slept in but when a man gets up in the night to go for a wee I try and sleep in his bed only to be told its owned by him and I’m forbidden from slumbering in it. I hope their songs are better than their hospitality!

In the end I resign myself to spending the night sitting on one of their benches. This wouldn’t be too bad if not for the fact that every conscious bard in the building is singing at the top of their voice. And then a bard guy comes, joins me on my sleeping bench and sings right at me. I hate musicians!

I ‘wake’ up at six (or rather stand up from the bench, I didn’t get a moments sleep in this damn place) then I notice there is a terrifying rumbling sound, like an angry bear or some kind of ferocious otter. I contemplate it for a second and realise it’s my own tummy rumbling, things aren’t going my way. There is food on many of the tables here but I would literally rather die than steal someones food, which the way things are going may very well happen!

Looks so appetizing
Looks so appetizing

I leave the bards college and walk through the town, the fresh morning air smells sweet and warm, I notice there are wild flowers growing out of every nook and cranny here, they are free for any wily old man to harvest, so I take everything that is in the public domain with the hopes of making a delicious broth or soup.

Oh god my hay fever!
Oh god my hay fever!

After an hour of gathering I find out the names of the plants I’ve picked, ‘Deathbell’ and ‘Nightshade’. Not exactly healthy sounding herbs. I forget any notion of eating these and happen upon a shop willing to buy them from me, for an impressive 184 gold, for a day’s work of picking flowers, I consider it a good return.

I spend my gold on some bread and roast chicken boobies. I save some money because my feet are bloody freezing thus shoes or some fashionable clogs are required, so I walk over to a different shop, look around, it’s full of weapons, so I leave quite scared and find a haberdasher. I buy myself some fetching shoes and gloves, and with some money left I treat myself to a very handsome belted tunic.

Sexy and handsome? Why, thank you!
Sexy and handsome? Why, thank you!

As the children say these days ‘I look radical, dude’, if by that they mean I still look like a hobo but now a hobo with warm hands and feet. I have some money left so I head back to the weapon shop and buy myself a little dagger, it’s the only thing I can lift in the shop, my wrists are so weak when I tried to lift a broadsword I fall over and hurt my bum.

I take a mid-morning repose on a bench to think about things, life, the universe and how comfy my bum is. I should probably head out to find this damn poem, so I check my map.

It looks like a long walk
It looks like a long walk

Bastard, it’s half a world away. I take another look through my things, somehow I’ve acquired a human hip bone. How the hell did that get in there? Is it mine? Did it fall out of me when that  broadsword fell over on me? I check my journal. Apparently I’m to return it to the Blue Palace for some reason. The blue palace? That sounds like a sexy and rude palace to me, so quick as my newly shoed feet can carry me, I walk there.

As it turns out I’m meant to return this bone to a sealed off wing in the Palace, to a ghost. So as is now my custom, I turn and walk away, refusing such a ridiculous and terrifying request. My old ticker wouldn’t handle the stress of meeting a ghost.

My ensemble is complete!
My ensemble is complete!

On the way back into town I collect some plants that I missed and funnel the money I make into buying the very finest hat my money can buy. Then as if nature is mocking me, the heavens open, literally tons of freezing cold water begins pouring down on my head and the environs. A thunder storm, is this a bad omen for my poem quest? But surely my hat will protect me.

I decide walking so far in the pouring rain will be the death of me, so with the last few coins I buy some food and a room at the local drinking establishment with the hopes of getting a good night’s sleep. So of course as I make my payment for the room a bloody bard starts beating a drum and singing, what is it with trying to sleep and these bards?!

The soothing sleepy sounds of drums
The soothing sleepy sounds of drums

I get to my room, it’s lovely, there is food and wine laid out for me, I didn’t expect hospitality of this calibre for only ten gold. And as it turns out I don’t get hospitality of this calibre, the food does not belong to me and if I took it, it would be classed as stealing, it must just be display food. What kind of bastard leaves out display carrots?

Day 3

I sleep till 6 am and just because I’ve woken up in a bad mood and because that bloody bard is still playing her drum I wreck the room. It’s still raining! I am not a happy fellow!

Carrot nightmare!
Carrot nightmare!

There’s no way I can walk all the way to this Dead Men’s Respite in the pouring rain, I’d die from exposure. So I have two choices, either walk in the day and hopefully find inns on the way or buy/make a tent and camp on a night. I then look at my money situation. Much as I’d love to slowly walk the wilderness all day and curl up with a mug of ale and a wedge of cheese in a nice bed at night, my funds dictate that I spend my nights in a cold tent, probably lying on a soggy bedroll while spiders nest in my shoes.

So I need to buy enough leather to make a tent, I spend some of the morning picking the remaining public flowers that I missed, but don’t harvest anywhere near enough to buy even one lump of leather. So I ask some of the residents of solitude if they have any odd jobs they need doing. Almost everyone asks me to break the law for them, no wonder this place is called solitude, no one want’s to come here, it’s full of criminals.

Why the long face?
Why the long face?

I finally find a lady who just wants me to pop down to the docks for her and ask for her shipment of wine to be released from the port. A simple messaging service, I can do that. Though it does mean a walk up and down those very steep hills, but it’s got to be easier than trying to give a ghost its hip bone back.

It takes me 40 minutes to get down the hill, but at least the weathers nice, I actually quite enjoy the walk, it gives me time to think, I try writing a song about my time in solitude but can’t think of anything positive to say about bards, so it probably wouldn’t go down very well at the their college.

Not quite the bustling port I expected
Not quite the bustling port I expected

When I get to the docks I meet Vittoria Vici and she has the nerve to charge me 2000 gold coins as a tariff to release the wine from the port. Do I look like I carry that kind of money on me? I know my hat is fancy, but it’s not that fancy.

Her parent's didn't know how to spell Victoria
Her parent’s didn’t know how to spell Victoria

I try to persuade her, I give her my best puppy dog eyes, this falls flat, in fact so flat she stops talking to me and walks away. The only other option I have is to bribe her with my last 62 gold. This she accepts, the nasty cow, I was going to spend that on food, clothing and erotic parchments, she’s just going to spend it on her wedding apparently. I hope it doesn’t last. I snort in derision and leave her to her precious docks.

The stall holder better reimburse me for my gold,or I’ll throw the mother of all hissy fits, though thinking about it I didn’t get a receipt, Damn!

I start the long walk up the steep hills back to solitude, it takes me an hour and 45 minutes. When I get back into town, everyone’s gone to bed! Having had all my money taken I can’t afford another night in the soft warm bed of the inn so I do what any self-respecting homeless penniless 80 year old would do and spend the entire night sitting on a bench in the pub passed out, while yet another bard continually plays throughout the night, I’m used to it now, I don’t think I could sleep without people singing about a dragon born. Can I make a request? Yes, insert that drum in yourself and sod off!

My request is you sod off!
My request is you sod off!

Next time – Great vengeance and furious anger

Old man in Skyrim – Part 1

The Premise

Skyrim is a vast sprawling game, you can pretty much do anything you want, so I decided to live in Skyrim, to see how an old man coped with the harsh environment and bizarre folk that inhabit this land. This is my tale!

The Rules

80 year old man in Skyrim.

Only doing what an average 80 year old can do.

No constantly running, using shouts (special powerful magics), magic or fast travel.

No murder or stealing or anything unethical, should always try to run away from a fight.

Skyrim

It begins – day 1
I’m an average 80 year old man, I’m frail, small and scared of youths. I have no knowledge of quantum entanglement or particle physics, so imagine my surprise that I find myself in a strange land, a cold, mountainous land. I’m Cecil Thax and I’m an old man stuck in Skyrim!

Cecil, a proud and chilly man
Cecil, a proud and chilly man

I’ve no idea how I’ve appeared in this land, where I am or what’s happening. But being a get up and go sort of fellow I immediately decide to just accept my bizarre new fate.

In the distance I can see a town on an amazing stone outcrop. Unfortunately between me and this settlement is a series of steep cliffs. The other direction is a large, very fast flowing river. I’m not a strong swimmer by any means and it looks very cold, so I’m not about to go for a quick paddle if only for the fact I’ve always suffered from severe penile shrinkage in cold water.

Signs of civilization
Signs of civilization

The only direction viable is towards a large waterwheel. There must be civilization there, I decide it’s a good a place as any to get some information about my current situation. I begin my quest, to discover the inhabitants of a water powered building of some sort. As I make my way towards the wheel something seems wrong, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’ve noticed something isn’t right, it’s more than being deeply worried that I’ve just appeared in a strange land with no knowledge of the who, what, whens and whys of how I got here. It’s more a general feeling of intense cold. Intense cold all over my body.

I realize I’m naked!

Thank god for the modesty flap
Thank god for the modesty flap

Save for a small modesty loin cloth, all my bits and bobbles are exposed to the cold mountain air, severe genital shrinkage has occurred. I need clothes, though there’s nothing I can do about it, I’m no thief. Even if I wanted to steal clothes, the best I could cobble together at the moment would be a wood pile and cobblestone suit, and that would probably chafe more than my old skin would be happy with. I walk around the water powered building and come to the conclusion that it’s probably some kind of water powered saw mill. The piles of wood everywhere are my first hint, also the giant saw cutting up wood is a clue.

A prude at 10am
A prude at 10am

It’s here I come into contact with my first inhabitant of this land.

The only thing he says to me is to put some clothes on! Despite my continued questioning, all he is concerned about is covering up my chest, in a way I admire him for his concern for my well being. In a way. In another way I wish he would give me a tunic or just some jodhpurs, my bum’s really cold.

I walk around the saw mill until I meet another gentleman, who asks me to chop as much would as I can. Me? A man of my age? I doubt I could even lift the axe he’s offering me. He isn’t too concerned about my undress, he just seems interested in me doing manual labour for him. I’ve not been here five minutes and I’ve already been offered a job, he didn’t even ask for any references. I ignore his requests and begin the long arduous walk up several steep inclines to the town I saw on my arrival.

As I walk up I’m joined by a knight or guard, it’s hard to know what he is exactly because he refuses to talk to me at all. Then again if I met a nude old man half way up a steep hill, I’d be hard pushed to think of areas of small talk. When I finally reach the top of the hill, I see a man with a horse and cart, a quick chat later and I find out he’s willing to drive me anywhere I want to go. Where was he when I was at the bottom of this damn hill? Though he quickly withdraws his kind offer when I inform him I haven’t got a single penny to my name, you’d think my nudity would have given him a clue, where did he think I was hiding a coin purse?

I enter what I find out is the town gates of Solitude. Before I get my bearings I hear and see a hubbub in the town square. Is there a gymkhana or jamboree?

Short back and sides sir?
Short back and sides sir?

Oh no, it’s just a public execution. A PUBLIC EXECUTION?! What the hell kind of country is this? I’ve no idea why this man is to be murdered or why the town’s people seem very keen to see this man become one head lighter.

For some reason I decide to watch the whole thing from the front row. I hope public nudity isn’t punishable by death. The people in charge shout his crimes, referencing people and places I’ve never heard of. I find it quite hard to follow, also my nipples are very cold.

And don't do it again!
And don’t do it again!

I need clothes badly. But I have no money and refuse to steal any. So I need to get a job, but who’s going to employ a naked old man? Well, a saw mill worker but as I’m too weak to lift an axe I’ve had to turn down his generous offer. If only there were some clothes just lying around. Just lying around not being used anymore. Just lying around not being used anymore because their owner is minus one head.

I’m not proud of myself but after all the town’s folk and officials leave, they leave the headless corpse there, just lying on the plinth letting a nice outfit go to waste! I figure the dead man’s ownership of clothes is somewhat of a legal grey area, so I ‘borrow’ them. I now sport a fetching cloth sack outfit!

The height of fashion!
The height of fashion!

I sit a while in a nearby public garden. Night is slowly falling. I’ve no idea where I’m going to sleep or how I’m going to eat or drink. Where would I go for my weekly bingo games? All very important questions and none that I can answer right now. Then as if to add insult to injury I go through my newly acquired (and still corpse warm) pockets and find a book telling me that the cold is fatal here. Even getting wet will make me poorly, and how important it was that I wrap up warm. It looks like my fetching new garments won’t be good enough.

To keep warm I decide to walk through Solitude. I talk to a few people, a strange lizard gentleman asks me if I will steal things for him, I cut him off mid-sentence and walk away from him and his nefarious life style, tutting in derision as I do. Though I quickly stop this when I realize he has a massive sword.

After a while I spot a nice fountain in the distance, I go closer to take a look. There’s something about this fountain I like but I can’t put my finger on it.

Fun for all the family
Fun for all the family

I go close to take a look, and before I realize it I’ve slipped and am standing in the full flow of the water, getting utterly drenched! I get out and try and dry off, not an easy task. Quickly flicking through the book I was recently reading, I turn to the page about being wet. Yes, it will eventually kill me!

I walk as fast as I can to find a fire to warm myself up, when I happen upon a young lady, who enthusiastically starts talking to me, maybe she has a thing for 80 year olds in dripping wet cloth sack outfits. As it turns out she is a bard, and her collage is looking for other people to join their ranks. I’ve always been keen on taking some further education so I ask more about this ‘bards college’ she mentions ever other word.

Bards, those musical type people who wander the land singing tales of heroes and heroines. I am a musician too, I work in the medium of Blues, so the chance to work with other bards, writing sonnets and music interests me greatly. I’m in the town of solitude, which seems like it would be perfect for blues, both sound self-pitying and depressing. After speaking with the woman more, she asks me to go fetch a poem for her. I can do that, I love a good library. Then she tells me that the poem has been misplaced in ‘Dead Men’s Respite’.

Maybe it’s just a name? It might be lovely inside.

I sit by a roaring public fire, drying off my tunic and contemplate my options.

Smart, handsome and warm. I'm one of those three!
Smart, handsome and warm. I’m one of those three!

Maybe it’s just a name, maybe?!

Part 2 here – https://radiothax.com/2013/09/06/old-man-in-skyrim-2/

German Holiday Part 7

29th September

Watch the visuals of today here!

We were up at whatever time it is before the sun gets up.  About 5am.  We had a mad dash round and got the main luggage’s in the bus, then had to wait nearly an hour before they opened up the restaurant for breakfast.  Dad was not happy.  He’d been asleep all night snoring like a gibbon and keeping me from slumbering.  I don’t know how mum sleeps in the same room as him.  Not only does he snore but he speaks in his sleep too.  He said “there’s mince on the valance” 4 times in the night!

When we finally got to get breakfast there was a whole plate of salami and no other ‘meats’ so I just took the whole plate.  But a nasty Scottish woman challenged me and I had to take it back.  I did help myself to 10 slices of it and 5 of cheese and 2 buns with poppy seeds on them. I hope I get drugged tested because I will test positive for opium, unless that’s an urban myth.

After breakfast we all sat on the bus and waited.  We waited for half an hour and then Ian and Linda turned up. Clearly they had no breakfast and had slept through their alarm.  Linda had a face like an angry German after she’s just heard they are all out of wiener schnitzel.  They stormed to the back of the bus and we set off late. Bigglesworth was not happy!

We were on the bus for nigh on 5 hours until we had a stop at some services in Luxemburg.  We couldn’t afford the sandwiches, they cost 5 Euros each and they all had salad in them.  So I got some crisps and a bar of chocolate, but I was too sleepy to eat them.  I had been drifting in an out of consciousness all morning on the bus.  I kept seeing giant spiders; I think I must be very tired.

We set off from the services and almost immediately hit a traffic jam.  Quite literally!  We were slowing driving along with the traffic when some foolish person decided that they couldn’t be bothered sitting in a traffic jam so they reversed up the hard shoulder, trying to reverse passed us.  The only problem was they had a trailer and as they reversed it went off at an angle and crashed into us as we were travelling about 15 miles an hour.  There was a huge scraping noise and all the old ladies on the bus screamed.  Bigglesworth shouted “agh ya French imbecile” and he stopped the bus and stormed out at the driver who had crashed into us.  I couldn’t see the damage and still haven’t seen how bad it is, but several of the old men got off the bus and went to be nosy while Bigglesworth was taking the insurance details of the crasher.

Crash, ahhh! Scraped everyone of us!

We then sat in a traffic jam for about 3 hours.  No one said anything for ages, until it became apparent that we might miss the ferry back to Hull because we were so delayed.  But good old Biggleworth broke all the speed laws and he got us to the ferry on time!  With almost 10 minutes to spare!

We got on the ferry with little bother, save for Dad got stopped going through the passport thing while 2 people had to come and look at his photo.  I knew his weird expression on it would get us into trouble!  When we got on the ferry it set off almost instantly.  It’s not the same ferry we came on but it’s virtually identical, except that this one vibrates a bit more.  I am terrified that we will have a repeat of Dads vomitothon tonight or that I will get sick too.  No please don’t Neptune, I’ll be good!

We went for tea, it’s buffet all you can eat style but the prospect of sicking it all up again made me not want much.  I only had 2 pizzas and 4 ice cream tubs.  We sat in the bar for a long while, Cecil just looking off into the middle distance.  He was apparently contemplating the whole ‘[SPOILER’] situation.  Though he came to no conclusion.  And also he kept having flash backs to being in the navy.

Were both in bed now.  Not the same bed, I’m in the top bunk while Cecil is in the bottom bunk.  My bed is again incredibly narrow, I just know I will fall out of it tonight.  Not only that but our room is surrounded by German teenagers. I can clearly hear every word they are saying, unfortunately it’s all in German so I don’t know what they are talking about.  Probably what’s hip, cool and ‘with it’ in the mean streets of Berlin (that’s what Dad thinks they are talking about).   I wish they would shut up or sod off, preferably both!  There is a gap of about 2 inches under the door so sound travels.  They may as well be talking in our room.  The whole boat is vibrating, it’s like sitting in a giant erm thing that vibrates.

I’m going to sleep now, I fear what the next 10 hours will hold!!

German Holiday Part 6

28th September

Watch the shenanigans here


Today was our ‘free day’ I asked the driver if we get some money back if the day is free. He just walked away laughing. What it meant was that they were serving breakfast from 8am till 10am so we got to sleep in! So of course Dad was up at 7 am as usual, faffing about doing god knows what. I managed to get back to sleep till about 10 to nine when he started thunking about the place on purpose to wake me up. We went for breakfast at 9 o clock. All the meat and cheeses had gone! There was 2 ‘sweet rolls’ left. I had them. Dad had melon. It only took us 8 minutes. If only tea would take that long!

The hotel people were putting on a tour of the local village but as the local village is only 2 churches and a stream and some houses we didn’t go on it. All the other biddies went on it though, we could see them all lined up waiting from our window. They all seem to be making friends. But they all ignore me and Dad, were outcasts! And that’s how I like it! If there is one thing I hate, it’s making small talk with old people for 2 hours on an evening. So they can all go jump from a long pier onto a short road. Or whatever the saying is!

So this morn we took ourselves off on a nature hike. I don’t know why I agreed to it. Probably because Dad said he would buy whatever I wanted from the little shop. I hadn’t even seen a little shop, but there was one. It was a bit quaint and they didn’t have much stuff, I made Dad buy me some crisps, chocolate and a magazine I thought would have naked ladies in. But it was just full of German crosswords. The woman also tried to sell Dad a tin of red cabbage because it was dinted, he refused but she kept asking him ‘You buy? Very taste!’ Dad nearly walked out, but she shut up and just charged us for our lunch items. I asked Dad for a pretzel, he came out with a bread bun and a mini croissant. Though I didn’t know that at the time or again I would have refused to go on the walk.

We began our ‘walk’ by following some yellow diamonds painted on trees; these are like public footpaths back in England. We enjoyed walking down a nice path along a sheep field, all the sheep came and baa’ed at us. Dad stroked them on the nose. I thought that was dirty! He agreed and tried not to touch his face or food with that hand for the duration of the walk.

Cheeky little squirrel

We then followed the yellow diamonds up a bit of a hill. And when I say ‘up a bit of a hill’ I mean we walked for 2 hours almost vertically up the side of a mountain covered in trees. It was the single most exhausting 2 hours of my life. Every bench we came to I had to sit down and have a rest. Dad said we couldn’t have the lunch until we got to the top. But we never seemed to get to the top. Though we did have great fun spotting the local insects. And by fun I mean I flinched at everything. There were beetles flying at my face, cobwebs across the path, caterpillars floating in midair somehow, crickets jumping around us and the biggest ant hill I had ever seen. It was like the one the old German man and young German man sat on in the program I saw last night. I told Dad to go sit on it. He slapped my arse.

Finally we reached the top. Dad got out the food from the shop and I got to see what else he had bought. He had bought the crisps, the pretzel/breadbun mix up, his tiny croissant, the chocolate which turned out to be full of fruit and a square of yeast for some reason. So we shared the crisps and bread products then I tried to have a little sleep. I was nearly nodding off when I heard “ahhu waths thus nuuu, oh hallo ya wee babby”. It was a Scottish or Geordie couple from the coach. I don’t really the difference they all sounds incoherent to me. They came and sat with us on the bench and even helped themselves to our cube of yeast.

After about 5 incredibly awkward minutes of small talk (neither me or dad could understand a word they were saying), Dad said “ahh well we must be getting back to the hotel” so the bastards joined us on the walk back down the side of the mountain.

Linda and Ian they were called I think, they walked with us and kept talking but we couldn’t tell what it was about. We came to a fork in the road and none of us knew if we should go left or right. Both looked like they went down so we took the road on the right. This was the wrong road. After a while the road became a path, then the path became a narrow path, then just a tiny track, then it just looked like where the rain water travels down the hill. It was incredibly treacherous to walk down. I kept slipping as did everyone else.

We got to a bit which was just mud going almost vertically down. Linda had a mini freak out and said she was going back, Ian had an argument with her in scotch, I couldn’t understand him. But shortly after Linda stormed down the muddy bit with no bother, Ian then followed but he slipped right at the top and fell down, then rolled down then skidded on his face. Once he came to the bottom of the hill he just lay there, we were convinced he was dead. Linda didn’t even look back she just kept walking, leaving me and Dad to deal with him. We took our time and got down the slope to Ian. He was awake but apparently he had broken something, we weren’t sure what. He got up and started walking, so it wasn’t his legs. He shouted at Linda at the top of his voice, she ignored him. He was covered in wet mud from head to toe, and he had ants on him apparently.

We took another 3 hours to get back to the hotel via scary paths and tracks. Dad kept saying there were bears in these woods. And I don’t know if he was kidding or not. Once we got back to the village Ian ran away from us. He’d not said much since Linda had run ahead. This is why I hate people, they are all confusing bastards.

Me and Dad have just been sat in the hotel room all afternoon with our feet in water because they ache so much. I never ever want to walk up a mountain again! We’re going for our final tea here in an hour and a half. I dread to think how long it will take to be served tonight!

A miracle has happened! Its twenty to eight and were back from tea! I have never seen service like it. Well that’s not true, I have seen relatively slow service many times in hotels, but for this place it’s practically light speed. As soon as we had finished our soups, the wait was only about 10 minutes for our main course. Which was massive sausage! It was quite nice but Cecil kept getting lumps and spitting them at me because he had, had a beer he was quite merry. It was almost enough to put me off my food. But it didn’t. Then for pudding it was bright green jelly. I haven’t had jelly in decades so it was a nice surprise. Though it did take them 32 minutes from us finishing our main meal to them serving the pudding.

Semi set jelly

Were back in the room now packing like beavers going away for the weekend. We have to be up at stupid o clock as usual on these things. I’m going to get in the breakfast room early and eat all the damn salami this time. I can’t believe I’ve only had it once this holiday. Dads shouting at me to stop writing this and come and help him pack. I won’t, he can sort out my socks and pants, I ain’t touching them!

German Holiday Part 5

27th September

Watch the whole thing unfold here

Breakfast was at 8 am this morning as usual. Too bloody early for me. I struggled to get up at 7:50am and as a result I was frightfully grumpy all morning. I snapped at Dad when he offered to brush my teeth for me. Not something he’s ever done before and I think he was just saying it to wind me up actually, but it just made me laugh, also he offered so I let him do it, he made me retch twice.

The hotel owners had obviously been shopping because the protean ‘meat’ slice was back along with a friend. Salami had been purchased. I had 12 slices! And 8 slices of the holy cheese! And some relatively nice bread had been provided too. So that put me in an even better mood!

Today in the morning we went to Baden Baden. I thought it would be a quaint market town with little shops selling trolls and cuckoo clocks and the what not. I was once again very much mistaken. It is the poshist place I have ever been. We couldn’t even afford an ice cream! Every shop was either 7000 Euro a pair shoes, posh woman’s clothes or jewelry shops that didn’t even have prices on, though I did see one ring for 123,000 European dollar pounds! We didn’t get any lunch. We didn’t stay long. Which was good because street performers were coming out of the woodwork. There was a chap dressed as Charles Chaplin who came and stood very close to me. I avoided eye contact and walked away, he didn’t follow me thank goodness.

We got back on the bus after Cecil bit the expensive bullet and bought some incredibly expensive cheese straws. He won’t let me try, he’s saving them for Christmas, the swine!

Very expensive
They cost about 4 pounds!

We got back on the coach and went to another town, which I don’t know what it was called. I shall have to look at the literature later. It was apparently mostly destroyed in the war and then rebuilt to exactly how it was. They should have put in less jewelry and clothes shops. That’s all they seem to sell round here, overpriced thin biddy clothes and jewel based adornments.

Cecil was moaning about being old and tired and just stormed off and went into a café, I followed because I was also hungry. We sat down and a German waitress came up and asked what we wanted to drink, Cecil did his usual trick of blankly looking at the person serving us, then shaking his head, looking confused at me and saying “what?!”. I guessed she had come to take our order and not quiz us on European socio-political issues so I told Dad to tell her what he wanted to drink. We also pointed at someone else’s pudding and asked for two of them. When she came back with our drinks and cakes, I was given the cake we ordered, Dad was given some strange thing which had fruit in it. He tried to make me have it but I was tucking into the cinnamon Danish which didn’t sport fruit, so I just ignored him!

While we sat in there it began to rain heavily. We tarried in there for a long while; another couple from the bus came and sat down next to us. They were having a conversation to each other, but we were so close we couldn’t help not hear them. Then dad started doing his usual trick of talking to me, about the conversation he could over hear. It was so embarrassing. I think he thinks they can’t hear him but it was so obvious he was listening to them. Then when we left dad said ‘goodbye’ to the couple and the Geordie woman gave him a cold, almost snooty ‘yes bye’ back.

It was very nice, Cecil was jelous

We marched around the town some more, I even went into a shop and almost bought some booze but then chickened out when I saw it cost over 20 Europes.

Nothing of interest happened, on the way back the driver put a cd of Irish style songs. The biddies sang along, I did not!

Were just about to go for tea now, I fear what horrors they will provide us with tonight. I fear cabbage based food!

19:38 pm o clock
Freudenstadt is the town we went to this afternoon, I just found the info!

There was no cabbage for tea but there was once again a ridiculous wait. We got our soup based liquids at half past 6, then 40 minutes later we got our boiled beef in a white sauce. Then I waited for half an hour for some alleged pudding but I couldn’t stand to wait anymore so I came back to the room without Cecil. I think you can guess what I did. Yes that’s right I ate all the expensive cheese straws! They were delicious. He will be furious!

Bully beef?

It’s ten past eight and he still isn’t back. I don’t know why it takes them so long to serve tea, you’d think they want to get us in and out as rapidly as possible so we can get back to chain drinking, as these Scottishers and Geordies seem to. I’m just watching German TV. It is very odd, I don’t know what they are saying but there was a young man and an old man in a forest sitting on an ant’s nest getting covered in ants and getting bitten. Having experienced being bitten by loads of ants I don’t know why anyone would chose to do it.

Dads just come back from tea apparently the pudding was out of this world and everyone got a free set of erotic postcards, but dad gave his away. I don’t believe him. Tomorrow were aren’t going anywhere, so dad wants to go for a walk through the black forest, which were are in. There better not be any bears or wolves. I bet there are!

German Holiday Part 4

This post contains reference to a silver key, it is because of things that earlier in the year regarding a silver box. Don’t worry your pretty little head about it! or your hideously ugly head depending on its appearance.

26th September

I have absolutely no faith in our bus driver, I’m sure he is trying to kill us or himself. He mounted the curb 8 times today!

Watch a video of today’s shenanigans right ere 

First thing this morn we got up and had breakfast. They didn’t even have any of the pink protein meat (they had another meat slice but it had clear gel and lumps in so of course I didn’t try it) so I just had 2 sweet bread roll things and I put cheese on them. The Germans at the next table gave me some very odd looks. I guess it’s very wrong to have cheese on sweet bread stuff. Sod them all. Dad wanted to see how much he could eat. He had

  • Boiled eggs (6)
  • Slices of toast (4)
  • Slices of cheese (8)
  • ‘Meat’ slices (1, he didn’t like them either today)
  • Bowls of cereal (2)
  • Yoghurt (3 bowls, it was the same yoghurt from last night)
  • Slices of bacon (6 but it looked like it had been boiled so I refused to even try it)
  • Scrambled egg (one mouthful)

The second he tried the scrambled egg he had to run off and find a toilet to be sick in. Apparently it was off and also it had the consistency of an ‘egg custard’ which Dad hates almost as much as I hate tomatoes. He sicked it all back up (it took 14 ‘sicks’ before he stopped), then he came back and had another 2 boiled eggs and toast. I just sat there all the time astonished he was trying to eat so much, given he hasn’t poo pooed yet.

At 9 am we set off for Strasbourg. Both me and my father (and grandfather) thought this was in Germany however we were moronic idiots, because it’s in France! And if there is one thing Cecil hates more than egg custards, it’s the French! He’s always had a deep distrust of them since some of them stood in our way when were trying to catch our bus when we went to Austria. Father was furious, but he had to come to Strasbourg to find the key, so into France we went!

We got off the bus at 10:30am and walked towards the huge church thing. Notre dame or something I don’t know, though I thought that was in Paris, but it’s the only French church I know of so get off my back! This had to be the church granddad talked about. Opposite it there was a hotel, the one Granddad lived in for a while with Mimi! We got into the church and began looking around for gargoyles that looked like a young Bruce Forsyth. It took us 52 minutes but we found one by a door. The only problem was there was a thick piece of red robe in our way. How could we get passed this and through the door? There was only one thing for it. Someone would have to make a distraction, while someone very brave snuck through the door.

Chubby cherub

We flipped a coin. And 5 times out of 5 it came up as me having to do the distraction. But I refused. So in the end Dad had to go and pretend to fall over while some guard type people went to his aid I snuck through the door.

I looked up. I wished I had done the distraction. There must have been at least eight thousand and ten stairs, then two or more! I climbed them all. It took me 35 minutes. I finally reached the top. It looked like it hadn’t been cleaned for decades. I had no idea which way east was. So I just pulled at bricks near the floor near windows, finally a few fell away and behind them was another leather folder. I grabbed it, but also checked all the other windows just to be absolutely sure I had the only hidden folder at the top of the tower. It was.

I ran down the stairs and through the door. A man gave me an odd look but he didn’t say anything. I went outside and met Dad by the hotel as arranged! We walked down the hill to the river out of the gaze of CCTV and MI5 should they been peeping on us. We opened the folder. Inside was a piece of paper and a cube of stone and a lighter. I read the paper, which had these words written on it

“To whom it may or may not concern. Within this cube is hidden a key. The key belongs to a silver box hidden in my writing bureau. Within the box are artefacts which if discovered by the wrong people could destroy all of humanity. If you need this key the only way for you to access it is by melting the stone it is now encased in. To do this …..”

Then the paper had gotten damp and was unreadable. Dad then got quite angry. He just picked up the cube and lighter and started to try and burn it. Amazingly it worked. The stone got very hot and started to disintegrate. After about 10 minutes the key was visible. After another 5 minutes the rest of the cube disintegrated and the key fell into Dads palm. He grabbed it and went to hug me with joy that he finally had the right key. But then he started screaming. He flung his arms up in the air. They key had been red hot. The key shot out of his hand. The key flew through the air. The key went ‘plop’ into the river. The key was never seen again. Dad wept!

For 20 minutes he just sat there crying, clutching his hand. I didn’t know what to say or do so I just sat next to him looking at the boats going back and forth. It was a busy and filthy river. There was no way we were going to get the key back. Dad then grabbed me by the shin and said “shit, Paul look!” I looked down at his hand and he had a bright red mark in the exact shape of the key. It was a simple key so Dad thought someone could make a new key from just looking at it.

Amazingly we walked 50 yards down the road and found an English speaking key cutter! We went in and Dad showed him his hand and told him he needed a key cut to the exact shape. The man was very helpful and took several pictures and drew the exact shape and size of the key. He said it would take a few months to make a key from a scar but it was possible. Dad was happy again. We went into a restaurant and Dad had a knuckle of ham. It looked revolting but he made me try some and it was delicious salty bacon type meat! I had ordered a well done beef burger. When it came it was pink in the middle, still bloody even. If that’s well done I dread to think what ‘rare’ is!

Vile half raw burger with crunchy off bread base

It was bland and also hidden underneath it was a slice of tomato, loads of onions and lettuce. It was an abomination of a burger! And I think the bun was off because it was very crunchy on the bottom. Another 12 Euros wasted!

Dad said to me not to mention the key business to mum as it was going to cost £325 to get a new one made. I asked Dad why it would take so long for them to make a new one but he didn’t know. It should be ready for Christmas apparently.

Later in the afternoon we walked around shops. It was quite boring. They only seem to have poncy clothes shops here. I don’t know where these people buy their DVD’s or crisps. We got back on the bus, but not before seeing an old man fall of his bike and land on his face. The place is riddled with people on bikes, and they just go where ever the hell they want, even worse than in Austria. Luckily this time no cyclists crashed as a result of me. We also saw a man so drunk he crossed a road and fell over between 2 cars. I thought I would see a third accident, and that accident would be our bus crashing. But he just mounted the pavements several times.

We got back to the hotel at 4 o clock, so now were just sat round waiting for our dinner. Which apparently is mushroom soup. Followed by another hours wait then chicken and noodles. It better be worth the wait. I bet it isn’t! I’m going now to fill up on crisps that are a bit like Wotzits but made with peanuts. I assume they will be foul!

7:39pm

We have just got back from the evening meal. They actually had the soup, main meal and puddings all done and served within an hour and a half of each other i.e. it took an hour and a half for all three courses. Ridiculously long really. Mum would be furious if she were here. But it’s still faster than any other night. But the best/worst part about it was a chap was playing the accordion all the way through the food. So while I struggled to eat red liquid with 1 ‘bay’ leaf Cecil was bobbing up and down to ‘When the saints’. When out mail meal came Cecil got so carried away with singing along to ‘She’ll be coming round the mountain’ that he spat out a lump of chicken which hit an old lady on the back of the head. She looked round but Cecil didn’t realise what he’d done so he wasn’t even looking at her. I however was looking at her; she assumed I had done it. She gave me a filthy look. Most of the people on the bus are Scotch. And the Scotch are very quick to anger. Not like the Irishers or the Welshies. Well its about 70% Scotch and 30% Geordies. So a volatile bunch to be sure. But they do love a good old accordion sing along. I found it all quite amusing and embarrassing at the same time. A strange mix of emotions.

The Scottish woman who had the chicken hit her on the back of her head told her husband. He didn’t say anything to me or give me a dirty look. Maybe he hates her.

Tonight me and father watch a DVD, its ‘The toy’s story’ a rip off of the Disney ‘Toy story’ but it looks like a fun romp anyway!

German Holiday Part 3

25th September
View the video of yesterday and this morning in this video here

Finally we both had an uneventful nights sleep! Until 7am when dads alarm went off.  This was actually 6am back in England but they are an hour ahead of us over here for some reason.  Just to be different I think.  Dad farted around for an hour (breakfast was at half past 8).  God knows what he was doing, I tried to get some more sleep but the silly old sod was bumbling.  He even put the TV on, and watched the weather reports for Austria.  I don’t understand what goes on in his confused head.  Ever!

I finally got up and got dressed, then we went for breakfast.  Cue disappointment #37 their selections of meats and cheeses consisted of one highly processed pink circle of ‘meat’ which tasted like just protean slices, i.e. no flavour. And the cheese was just yellow, it had no taste either.  The breads were only one type and that type was crusty and dry!  All in all it was yet again, a disaster!  And their orange juice had bits in it!  The only ray of sunshine was that we got to eat it all on the table by ourselves again.  Thankfully this was due to some quick foot work by Cecil.  A pair of particularly grumpy biddies were attempting to come and sit at our table (even though I had already put my jacket down) but Cecil nipped in front of them and reclaimed our spot!

Today, in the morn, we went to Freiburg.  It wasa town or city I’m not sure which.  There was a market but it only sold fruit and veg, I was disinterested.  Cecil bloody loved it, he kept going up to the veg and touching, saying how big they were compared to ours.  He held up a particularly huge radish and told me to come and feel it.  I did not!  We walked around streets, the shops were too posh for us to go into apart from we had lunch at a McDonalds.  Dad wasn’t happy about this, he hates them and normally refuses to have anything to do with them, but I just marched in and demanded we have a burger, also I needed a poo very badly so I had to use the toilets.

We walked a bit more, never going in a single shop.  There was a woman, dressed in bright orange, being a statue, both me and Dad freaked out a bit and crossed the road and looked in the window of a gun shop.  We bought nothing at all.  There was a big church or something but Cecil was scared of the gargoyles so we couldn’t go in.

We then got back on the bus and went to the most amazing sounding place in the world (after the Isle of Lesbos)!  It was Lake Titisee! I prepared myself for wall to wall boobies.  And by prepare I mean got an instant erection.  Dad hadn’t said anything about coming to this place, I guess because if he had, he would have known how exited I would have been.

Spot the boobs

It took the longest 40 minutes of my life to get there.  But when we did, I jotted down holiday disappointment #40: There was not a single mention of boobs anywhere.  I was sickened.  If anything it should have been called Lake Disappointment and cuckoo clock.  Because there were about 10 shops and every single one of them sold cooku clocks.  And pretty much nothing else!  Dad wanted one and nearly bought one until he saw it cost over 1000 Euros!  For a clock!! Dad added it to his disappointment list.  We walked around every shop.  Until we came to the best shop I had seen so far.  It had an upstairs dedicated to Christmas decorations! It was a magical land.  I got so excited I even bought 3 things and took them to the till and paid for them myself.  And the person I bought them from was a woman.  At least I think it was a woman.  It was dead grumpy whatever it was.  How you could be grumpy working in a shop that not only sits on a beautiful lake side, in the heart of the Black Forest and also you’re working with Christmas things all day, I’ll never know.  Unless she was currently in an abusive relationship or something I guess.

Bland sausage

For lunch we had giant sausages, I assumed they would come in some kind of hot dog style bap/bun.  But no! The sausage was places next to 2 slices of dry thinly sliced brown bread, and we weren’t provided any butter.  It was a chore to eat.  Then when we went and paid the really grumpy woman ignored us for a while then took our money and didn’t even look at us.  She wouldn’t last long at Tesco!

We then started to walk back to the bus stop, but Cecil saw some weird booze in a shop so he went in.  There were a lot of open bottles on a counter top and several tiny glasses.  Cecil obviously thought you could taste the booze before you made a purchase so he started pouring himself a wee dram of some weird drink.  Then a man came running behind us shouting in German.  We didn’t know he was talking to us at first.  Then he grabbed Cecil by the shoulder.  Dad jumped and knocked a big bottle of something on the floor.  It smashed.  The German man violently pointed at a sign on the wall saying something about it not being self-service.  Dad made some gesture as if to say “I don’t understand” and he walked off.  I looked at the angry German man, who was just stood there looking stunned.  And I walked off.  The German man shouted something at us while we were walking but we didn’t care, we would never be back here again!

Cecil gave a wry smile, and said “I read the sign, I just didn’t think they would dare tell me not to drink, so I dropped the bottle on purpose” the naughty old scamp!
Watch the video of it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDUWV44__1Q

We got back on the bus and drove back to the hotel, on the way back the driver thought it would be high-larious to play a cd of a Scottish radio person doing phone pranks on people.  The biddies thought it was great fun.  But it was just an hour of Scottish people very angrily screaming at a man pretending to be someone demanding money or something who then said he was from the radio so the Scottish people then laughed.  I did not laugh!

We finally made it back to the hotel and had 20 minutes to get ready before the evenings meal.  We rushed and got ready.  And by got ready I mean Dad changed all his clothes, while I sat on my bed and ate a giant pretzel.  Then we went to tea.  The soup today was string, green and water.  I kid you not!  Cecil says it was probably celery, herbs and cream.  I had one spoonful just in case the pretty waitress was looking.  She didn’t so I spat it out into my napkin.  I then put the napkin in my pocket.  It soaked into my trousers almost instantly!

Then we waited.  We waited and waited.  We had sat down to eat the soup at 6:33pm.  Out next course wasn’t delivered till 7:29pm. The main course was semi raw pork, round potato things and a big pile of veg.  I left 80% of it.  The meat scared me, I have never seen pork that isn’t dry and like cardboard so I was scared of it.

Then we waited, our pudding was served at 8:19pm.  Dad was livid.  He hates waiting for food and to keep him hanging round for nearly 2 hours was almost enough to make him complain. He didn’t (apart from to me, almost constantly) but he said he would if it happened again tomorrow!

Then we had pudding, on the menu it was “Vanilla ice cream desert pudding” when it finally arrived, it was yoghurt with 3 small round dark berries in, I don’t know what.  Purple berries I guess.  I gave it to Dad.  He finished it in about 40 seconds; it was the smallest bowl you have ever seen.  Think of two egg cups combined to make one small bowl and you’re there.  Maybe, if you’re imagining the exact thing that we had our puddings served in.  Dad slammed down the bowl and got up and walked back to the room without thanking the waitress.  I tried to smile at her but only looked at my feet and mumbled something so inaudible I couldn’t even hear it.

We both sat writing our diaries now.  Well Dad wrote his usual one line which is “If I don’t find the key this will have been a giant waste of money and effort.  I hate Germany.  I love you Margaret”.

He’s been a right grumpy sod.  I don’t know where we’re going tomorrow or what we’re doing, Bigglesworth tells us nothing.  I think he said about 9 words today, which were “be back on the bus by 8:30am please, thank you” though I suppose he did say “be back on the bus by 4 o’clock please” so there is some variation there.

German Holiday Part 2

24th September

Watch the days events here

What a horrendous 4 hours it had been.  It is now 5:54 am.  Dad woke up about 4 minutes after I finished writing this diary, he stood in the middle of the room swaying, I thought he was asleep.  He was not.  He turned round to me, shouted at me to turn my light on, so I did.  He was green!  He rushed in the bath room and sprayed forth a volume of vomit the likes of which I had never seen.  He hadn’t shut the door so I saw and heard the whole thing.  When he had finished being sick (luckily all in the bowl of the toilet) he came and stood in the middle of the room, just looking at me.  “Oh Paul, I’m going to have a shocking night, I just know it”.  We had gone from the relative calm of the Humber estuary to the north sea and the waters were rough. Very rough.  Up and down, side to side and other combinations of movements.  Cecil was running to the toilet every 15 – 20 minutes.  To my surprise I didn’t feel in the least bit sick, but every time Dad retched I had to jam my fingers in my ears and wriggle them about so I couldn’t to hear him, but that didn’t really work.  He had a travel sickness tablet at about 4 am and felt ok and got to sleep.  Unlike me!  The sea was still so rough I felt like I might be thrown from the bunk at any moment.

I also feared the ferry would tip over in a Poseidon adventure style.  I have been mapping out the ships ceilings in my mind and I think I could get out.  Maybe.

This may be one of the most ‘on edge’ nights sleep I have ever had.  Literally with the pathetic width of this bed.

9:47pm

Well we didn’t drown or die of vomit.  I got about an hours sleep in total. And I had a splitting head ache all day.  We got up at 7am (6am English time) and staggered to the restaurant for breakfast.  Though I wasn’t really hungry for once.  Dad was absolutely starving and ready for a meal.  The boat had gone into calmer waters and was smoothly sailing along.  I could only manage 20 slices of salami and that cheese with the holes in.

Our coach driver hadn’t told us anything about what we do about getting back on the coach when the ferry reaches the port so we bumbled around confused, frightened and nauseous.  As it turned out everything was announced by a robot voiced woman and we just followed the crowds.  Though at one point Cecil walked off ahead and people started following him and he was going the wrong way.  But how was he meant to know, there were no signs!

Eventually we got back on the coach and set off at 9:30am.  Nothing happened for 6 hours!  Then we stopped at a service station in Luxemburg.  Everyone who smoked rushed inside and we followed out of curiosity.  In the shop were buckets of tobacco.  You could buy actual buckets of the stuff.  Unbelievable!  But also there was the biggest jars of Nutella I had ever seen, they cost nearly 30 Euros.  They were as big as my head!  I really wanted one but Dad said we couldn’t afford it.  So we just bought some smaller exotic looking snacks, such as chocolate covered waffles, some Milka thing with vanilla centers in, various crisps and mini salami type snacks.

Then we were on the coach.

Nothing happened until 6:12pm.  And I’m still shaken by it now!

Our coach driver (Bigglesworth, yes that’s his name, he is very posh) has never done this coach tour and he didn’t know where the hotel was, so he was blindly following the sat navs directions to the letter.  This would nearly cost us our lives!

We got near to where the hotel was, so the driver turned up this country road which wound up the side of a mountain. Everything was going well for 20 minutes or so, when the road ran out of tarmac and became a gravel track.  That was the first hint that we should have turned back.  But Bigglesworth pushed on.  The track was about 1 foot wider than the coach, to one side was a steep bank leading up the mountain covered in trees, and to the right was a very steep drop down the mountain, with no trees in the way to catch us should the coach fall.  Then some idiot shouted “oh God that’s one steep drop, are you sure this is the right way?”.  This must have thrown Bigglesworth because he swerved and the whole bus tipped over.  It had fallen into a ditch on the other side of the track, away from the shear drop, leaning towards the mountain side, but now we were stuck in mud.  If I had to guess an angle the bus had tipped over to I would say it was now at about 30 degrees.  People, mostly the old ladies, started screaming, though if the bus had tipped over it would have fallen against the trees and no one would have died.   Bigglesworth did something with the gears and eventually got us free from the ditch.  A big cheer went up, but there was no way to turn round so we had to press on up the mountain.  After a while (and several close calls due to shear drops and bad road surfaces) an old woman screamed at Bigglesworth to let her off.  She had a mini freak out and he asked everyone to leave the bus.  Some of the old chaps directed him and the coach when he reached a field and he managed to turn round.

The ditch the coach fell into

Cecil had gone as white as a sheet and silent.  Once he was off the bus he explained that he could see just how close to the edge we were (he was sat next to the window).  Dad refused to get back on the bus as did several other biddies, so we had to hike down the damn mountain!  It took us an hour, Cecil’s ankle started playing up so I had to find him a stick to rest on.  Some of the other biddies started singing hiking songs.  Dad joined in.  I felt embarrassed.

Eventually we got down the mountain and the bus was waiting for us.  We got on and were met with foul looks from those who had dare stay on the coach.  Sod them all the stupid silly old bastards, I hate them all!

After another hour (Bigglesworth really hasn’t a clue) we made it to the hotel.  Dad went and sat on a bench while I had to go get the suit cases.  While I was stood waiting to get ours, a moronic blimp of an old man knocked over a rubbish bin at me (he bumped into it with his fat arse).  The top was full of cigarette butts and water, so it all splashed over me.  It stank of rancid water (egg) and rancid cigs.  He didn’t even say sorry, or look round and see what he had done.

I dragged the bags to our room which was of course on the very top floor (third) and looked out over nothing but a tree and another tree.  There was also a massive spider in the shower which I gave a powerful wash.

Then it was half 7.30pm and time for tea.  By this point we didn’t know if we were coming or going.  We staggered into the restaurant and had to sit on a table for 6.  I waited for the horrors of other old biddies joining us.  I hate people at the best of times and this was one of the worse days I had had in quite some time.  So the thought of having to make small talk with 4 old strangers was deeply unpleasant.  So I sat there with a foul look on my fat face. Dad wasn’t talking, I think he was drained both physically and emotionally.

That’s when we finally caught a break, the first of the holiday.  All the stupid old bastards buggered off and no one sat with us! It was the happiest meal! I have never had a better meal in a foreign country.  No small talk, we just sat there eating the salty meats.  God knows what it was; it was slightly pink meat in bread crumbs with salty chips.  Though pudding was some fruit in jelly so I gave that to Cecil.

Both me and Dad are now sat on our beds writing our diaries.  Though Dad had to stop because he said he felt like he was still at sea, as soon as he said it I also felt like I was bobbing up and down.

I’ve just had a peek at Dad’s diary, it just reads “god, Germany hates me.  I wish I was back in Blighty.  Margaret, I love you” oh how touching!

Our room is quite nice, but compact.  There are 2 separate single beds but they have very thin duvets and the weirdest pillows I have ever experienced in my existence. They are about a meter square, but filled with feathers.  Your head just sinks in them, I had to fold mine in three and it still went weird.  The bathroom and toilet are all in one, there is no shower cubicle it’s a ‘wet room’ as Dad keeps calling it, “I’m just popping into the wet room to do a poopsicle” he keeps saying.  What this means basically is that the floor of the room is all tiles and almost always wet and cold.  I’ve gone through 3 pairs of socks (Dad’s socks) going in and out of there.

There is a tiny TV in the room, it gets German TV obviously and also Sky News, though Dad has forbidden me from watching the news because he doesn’t want to think about England while he is away.  There is also a hair dryer.  I had to dry Dad’s socks with it, it was quite powerful!

We don’t know where were going tomorrow, Bigglesworth hardly speaks, I don’t know when we go to Strasbourg.  We have never had so little information from a driver.  Normally you can’t shut them up. This holiday feels like it’s going to be very different, and mostly so far it’s tried to kill us thrice.  That is if you can die from sea sickness or missing a train!

What next?!