Monday Musings. 15/2/16

It has been a bit touch and go as to whether there would be a Monday Musings today. I normally write it on Sunday afternoons in a bid to combat the back-to-work anxiety but I spent most of yesterday in a car, shivering and trying not to throw up which wasn’t conducive to writing a blog.
 I’m still a bit knackered now and an easier option for tonight would be to switch my brain off, listen to the Leeds game and play FIFA, something which for better or worse, I have started doing again. Quite a lot.
 I used to frequently play on my PlayStation in Hong Kong, sometimes long into the wee hours, which probably says something about my social life? I have turned the spare room in our new house into, what I suppose could be called a man cave. I don’t really like the term — it’s the sort of phrase that is preceded by ‘cheeky’ by an idiot on Facebook. However, my PlayStation, guitar, seldom-used dumbbells and a world map where you can scratch off countries you’ve been to have very much left my personal mark on the room. Just in case there was any doubting my influence, there is also a shelf full of, as yet, unsold copies of my book.
 I’m still undecided as to whether playing on the PlayStation is a fun, easy way to spend an evening or a monumental waste of time. I seem to lose most matches on FIFA and some of the abuse that you get from other players online can be quite hurtful. After being thumped by someone called JOHNNY_RAIN, I received a private message saying: ‘You are shit. Die.’ That this was likely from a spotty teenager in a foreign country means I probably shouldn’t take it to heart. I chose not to reply anyway — his opening gambit did little to open up conversation.
 I’ve had a good few months off playing on the PlayStation as my controller broke and the chunky, fake replacement unsurprisingly didn’t work properly. It was only the circle button at fault. Whenever you touched it, the players booted the ball as high and as hard as they could, making it nigh-on impossible to score a goal. Infuriating.
 I probably shouldn’t have trusted the shop I bought it from as I’d already had a bad experience there. I’d taken in my laptop as the e-key had stuck. Again, just one button but unluckily an important one. J — not the end of the world. F4 — no problem.
 I thought I’d found an ingenious solution in copying and pasting a letter ‘e’ from an old document from back in the heady days when the e-key worked. This was not actually all that clever and an incredibly irritating thing to keep doing — a short term fix. 
 The guy fitted a whole new keyboard — apparently the only available option — for £120. Three days later, I was typing on the brand new keyboard and the same e-key stuck again. Unbelievable. The guy who runs the shop is extremely affable with a winning smile and I like him despite his rather poor 0% success rate in fixing and selling things. I should have complained really but it was too long ago now. I bet JOHNNY_RAIN would have had no problem telling him what he thought.
 The reason for my delicateness yesterday was the wedding of one of Louise’s cousins on Saturday, which was a great day. (Congratulations if either of you are reading this by the way, although that is probably a bit presumptive.) The wedding was in Essex and I drove (a bit of the way) down, which was my first experience behind the wheel on a motorway. Massive trucks were initially a bit scary and I went the wrong way twice but we made it through unscathed and there was no incident of note really. Actually, I tell a lie; I saw a woman working in a Little Chef near Nottingham who looked quite a lot like Guus Hiddink.
 On the Friday evening, some of Louise’s family and I went out for a pre-wedding dinner to a Harvester. My second Harvester in two weeks no less. Prolific. Louise has a massive family but I have just about worked out who everyone is now, which I’m pleased about. In fairness, my cause at Harvester was helped by the fact that three of the four other men who were there were called Tim. That’s a lot of Tim’s. 75% of men that weren’t me were called Tim. I felt like an outsider. 
 In the midst of the wedding celebrations, I had some luck. Everything came together as I realized that I had won a bet on the football just before the DJ put on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune. The only thing preventing pure euphoria was my disappointment when I realized that I do not, in fact, know all of the words. That tricky extended verse which was only on the early episodes of the show my downfall.
 After we got home yesterday I managed to crawl on to the new sofa, which you may remember played a starring role in last week’s musings. As nausea coupled with a sinking feeling that I may well have made a complete idiot of myself in the latter stages of the wedding, I needed to do something to take my mind off things. I opted to put a small percentage of my modest football winnings on another bet — a good diversion for my sore head.
 It was all going well and I was on course to win £200. All I needed was for Lionel Messi to score 2+ goals for Barcelona. After he scored in the first half, it felt nailed on. Even more so when Barcelona won a penalty. 
 In case you haven’t seen it, he decided to do this so I didn’t win.
 It felt like a personal slight. What have I ever done to annoy Lionel Messi? Is he a big Fresh Prince of Bel Air fan, appalled by my lack of knowledge of the words?
 Just think what I could have bought with my winnings? At least one laptop keyboard with a broken e-key for starters.