Archive for January, 2006

Congratulations, Mr and Mrs Lloyd

Ian and Manda Lloyd's first dance as newly-weds
I was honoured to be invited to celebrate the nuptials of Ian Lloyd and Manda Chan, and as I set out for Swindon with shaved chin and a tie round my neck, Nongyow cryptically said “every English guy should marry a South-East Asian girl”.

Now, Lloyd’s a nice-looking lad – and he scrubbed up well – but Manda looked absolutely stunning and he is indeed a lucky bugger. It was a good bash, too – lots of gorgeous bridesmaids, nice grub with some Asian dishes (wonton and satay; I’m not still on about Manda’s cousins) and good contingent of geeks: Chris McEvoy, Simon Willison, Tim Parkin, Drew McLellan and Rachel Andrew.

Congratulations to the Lloyds. May all your troubles be little ones (tee hee).

ps: To the Ibis Hotel in Swindon: it is criminal to try to charge £5 for a sachet of Nescafé, a bowl of tinned grapefruit segments and a croissant. And not having proper coffee at breakfast is barbarism.

pps: Word to Swindon council: your town has way too many dual carriageways and roundabouts. It even confused my new SatNav. If I were you, I’d do an insurance job: torch the place, collect the insurance money and build a new town. Bung me a few bob, and I’ll do it for you.

Happy Friday 13th!

A lot of people dislike Friday 13th, but as my birthday is on a 13th, it’s been inevitable that some of those have been Fridays – and they’ve always been splendid. In fact, every Friday 13th has been good for me…except Friday 13th January 1995, which shall forever haunt my nightmares…

Thursday 12th was good; my brother and I boarded the sleeper train in India after a deliciously spicy curry in Hampi. We were enroute to take up our Bollywood acting roles twenty hours away in Bombay.

At 6 a.m. on Friday 13th, I awoke on my top-berth sleeper to find us half an hour away from Bombay, with that rumbling feeling in my stomach that travellers in India know and dread. In the half-light of the carriage I charged towards the single toilet, knocking sleepy fellow travellers out of the way in my mad dash for the stinking cubicle. Which was occupied. ARRGGGH!!

Disaster struck. As Charlotte Brontë would have said, Reader: I shat myself.

And then, the humilating climb to the top bunk to find a clean set of clothes from my backpack. The soiled clothing went through the hole-in-the-floor-toilet and onto the track, where for all I know it still lies, a pungent little monument to a bad Friday 13th and Bombay bowel belligerence.

What’s your best Friday 13th disaster?