There’s a restaurant near us that we sometimes go to, which is in an old building. You’ve been in places like this before: it was an ancient thing to begin with, all wooden beams and low ceilings and big oak beams everywhere, but then it’s been extended by knocking through into bits of other buildings and there’s more bits taking it through the back into what used to be an outhouse of some kind. Now it’s a rambling maze on the inside, full of little rooms and cosy nooks. It’s nice.
Anyway, there’s one table tucked away in a little space of its own, surrounded by oak beam walls and artfully exposed ancient masonry, and whenever people go to sit there, they find themselves having to go up two steps and then go back down one step again. It’s like a little barrier on the way in that is a positive invitation to trip up and go headlong into a table full of unsuspecting diners. The floor level on both sides is barely any different, so it’s just in the way.
Anyway, I’ve noticed this several times and always thought it was odd. Turns out they must get asked about it a lot, so they’ve put a sign on the step to explain why there is a step in this eminently stupid place.
Back in February, you might remember I found myself in a terrible situation, and had to make three posts in a day. To warn everyone about this daring and hazardous act, I posted an Emergency Bean Grab Warning. It was only fair.
Ian was unimpressed, telling me in the comments that it was the worst fairytale he’d ever heard. But I took his criticism on board, and together we workshopped a much better fairytale about my February bean. He then insisted that I draw some pictures so we could get it published and make our fortune.
While I haven’t yet started negotiations with publishers, I am now pleased to share the finished artwork, which includes everything in Ian’s fairytale wish list: Medieval Europe, savagery, a misogynistic male Prince character, a plucky young sidekick named Ian, reaction shots of Ian, a friendly animal helper, bad weather, and some sort of woman.
I present to you Crich5156’s February Bean Grab: The Fairytale: The Graphic Novel.
I woke up the other morning and felt genuinely sad that the dream I’d just had wasn’t real.
It was about a TV show, you see. I think in my head somewhere was the memory of my recent discovery that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is now being remade as a serious Netflix-style drama called Bel-Air, now in its second series of ten glossy hour-long episodes with spectacular production values, grappling with issues of racial tension and culture shock. Well, my brain said, if you can make a big-budget serial drama out of the Fresh Prince, you can do anything.
Do you know what it isn’t any more? It isn’t April. And that’s a shame, because April is traditionally the month in which we Four Word Review the heck out of a Christmas album (see Mahalia, Barbra Streisand, Michael Bublé), and right now I’ve got another Christmas album burning a hole in my CD collection. So let’s throw tradition to the wind and have a listen to Joy: A Holiday Collection by Jewel, even though it’s May and May is nowhere near as inherently Christmassy as April.
It didn’t even have a title until I sat down to scan it in, and now here it is: the book recording possibly our most chaotic and disrupted silly weekend away together, the time that you were both supposed to see my new house and instead we all went to Portsmouth, except I wasn’t even in Portsmouth for some of the time.
Still, this one is an absolute joy to peruse. Among many other things, you can delight yourself with:
Wabs McKenzie in the “snuggle hole”
How boats really work
Tad Kensington and his “unique process”
Ian in da Club (covered in monocles)
Chris sings the Backstreet Boys
You can either try to remember it in vivid detail, or you can cheat by visiting our Books page.
This month hasn’t been a great month for posting stuff, but luckily I had some stuff in mind so I’m just spamming the Beans with it tonight. The next one is some genuinely good content, but before we get to that, here’s something from a musical project we’ve all been trying to forget.
I still have hours and hours of this that we never even watched, let alone turned into something. Maybe this year I’ll do something with it all.
The other week we put our bin out as usual. The black bin, which is recycling, and not the green bin, which is landfill. I would like to meet the person who chose that colour scheme and ask them why they have to take their problems out on the rest of us.
Anyway, we put it out, and when the binpeople had done their thing, we brought it back in. Except now it had a lid that didn’t work properly – it was attached only at one side and flapped around in an unhelpful manner when you tried to open it.
Luckily there’s an easy fix. Amazon will sell you new hinge pins for wheely bins, and for reasons I don’t fully understand it will sell you a pack of eight. Who needs to repair that many wheely bin hinges all at once?
When the new plastic things arrived I opened the pack and fitted one, which resolved the bin problem. I then noticed the label on the packet.
“QOPAHI”, it said, this being the sort of mindless collection of letters that makes up every brand name on Amazon these days. “Enjoy your comfortable life”.
Can you believe that one of the defining moments of my life, and probably of yours too, was ten years ago today? The New Beans didn’t exist back then, so I didn’t record this for posterity as a blog post. The ten year anniversary seems like a good time to put that right.