Author Archives: Brian G Ross

What I’ve Done This Week #37 (and #38)…

Unsurprisingly, I did not do any actual writing while I was soaking up the sunshine and scenery in Croatia. I say actual writing because there were quiet people-watching moments when I tried to absorb a lot of what was going on around me. That kind of thing always comes in handy when I least expect it.

I’m back on track now though, and that story I was working on before my holiday is my current priority. I expect to finish it in short order – probably around the 2000 word mark – before getting back to my growing list of stuff in progress.

It is still without a title, which is a little concerning because usually by this stage in the process I have that part nailed on. I don’t think I have ever reached the end of a piece and still not known what to call it. I have a couple of ideas but they are either too on the nose or trying to be too clever, but as long as something comes to me by the final run-through, it’ll be fine.

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Fatal Extraction, Part V…

PrintI went in for the second tooth to be taken out a few days after the hygienist had been in my mouth cleaning the rest of them, which is why I was a little taken aback when the dentist – after having looked again at the tooth she was going to remove – asked if I had perhaps changed my mind about the scale and polish that had been booked.

It had literally been only a few days since I had was in that same chair, shrinking back into the leather while the hygienist pressed down upon me with her tools, and I had done my best to keep my teeth in tip-top shape since then. To be honest, I think the dentist was just trying to promote my purchase of another £55 cleaning session, but I wasn’t about to open my wallet again.

The dentist told me once again that this extraction would not be as difficult as the previous one – an assurance that I was very happy to hear… except, after a few minutes trying to get the thing out, her words began to feel like the kind of empty promise a parent tells an upset child, just to shut them up and keep the tears at bay.

Just as I did the first time, I heard this one break too. But unlike the first time she then asked her assistant to go and get a different set of tools. I’m guessing bigger tools. Sharper tools. I kept my eyes closed because I didn’t fancy seeing them as they passed my eyeline. While I was waiting she told me to rinse my mouth out with that horrid red liquid they had sitting beside me, and I think I spat out part of my tooth along with the juice, which was a little alarming.

Next thing I know she was back in my mouth, ripping that bugger out. Thankfully this second part of the process was relatively quick and – given that most of my face was entirely numb – completely pain-free.

She let me go with a warning not to let it happen again, and on the way out I got the £50 bill for the two extractions. I was too doped up to argue the amount, or to bemoan the fallacy that is free dental care in this country, so I just handed over my credit card, grabbed the microscopic tube of toothpaste the receptionist offered me, and went on my way.

Potted Film Review: Let’s Be Cops (2014)

Let's_Be_Cops_posterStarring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr.

Jake and Damon have chemistry together, in much the way that two old friends would have. This is undoubtedly at least in part as a result of their time together on the comedy show, New Girl… which was probably the thinking behind throwing them together in this movie.

The basic premise of Let’s Be Cops promises more than it delivers, but the plot goes exactly where you think it will, so you’re unlikely to be too surprised. There’s not a lot in this movie that’s fresh, and not a great many big laughs either, but it is amusing enough for the time that it is on screen: just doesn’t expect it to distinguish itself from the pack.

Recommended (slightly)⇑

Croatia – Coming Back…

It’s been a long day, and we have just landed in Edinburgh. Of course, it’s a lot colder here, but thankfully it’s not raining, as it was when we left here this time last week.

I have had a dodgy stomach for the last couple of hours. At first I put it down to the tired ham and cheese sandwich I had in Split Airport before we boarded, but on second thought it is more likely to be a result of the mussels and octopus stew I tried last night for dinner.

So, holiday over, but a highly recommended destination. Croatia is an exceptionally beautiful country with stunning scenery that wowed me every day, and I would gladly visit there again.

But now… bed.

Croatia – The Island of Krapanj…

Today was a fairly lazy one. It’s our last full day here so we decided to take it easy. We had been wondering about the assortment of buildings on the opposite shore for most of our time here, and after a little investigation last night we discovered it was a village called Brodarica, just a few miles away.

We took the short taxi ride there this morning, but there’s not much to see beyond the crystal clear waters we have been spoiled with this week. What there is though, is an island 300 metres away called Krapanj which is renowned for its sponges. Yes, sponges.

Now, we had intended to pay for the five minute ferry ride to go check it out, but before we got to the dock an old guy with a taxi boat offered to take us across for the same price. Come on, it’s a taxi boat – of course I said yes!

There’s not much on Krapanj either, except one hotel (where we enjoyed a really good lunch) and a couple of souvenir shops that specialised in sponges because, you know, that’s their thing.

Cars are not allowed on the island which is quite nice and gives the place a more old-fashioned feel, and there are no bridges connecting it to the mainland, so once we were ready to leave… we had to wait for the ferry or that same dude with the little boat to show up.

Well the old guy showed up first, so taxi boat it was!

Croatia – Kornati National Park…

It took us three hours on a boat to reach the small dock at Kornati National Park, but – as with every other destination this week – it was a trip worth taking. It was the hottest day of the holiday so far, so the cool breeze we felt while we were moving was welcomed.

The focus of the trip, beyond sailing between the 89 protected islands and witnessing the stunning sea views, was the salt lake just ten minutes from where we docked. The Fiancée© gave it a miss, but I was happy to get in and see what all the fuss was about.

I had never been in a salt lake before, and it’s really quite the novelty. I lay on my back, hands behind my head, closed my eyes, and just drifted away, with no intervention on my part. It was very calming and the closest thing to truly floating I have ever felt.

The journey back took a slightly different – but no less visually appealing – route, but I think the salt water sapped my energy to see it as I was quite tired by then. Of course, being under the heat of the sun for several hours probably added to my lethargy.

Croatia – The Wonder of Zadar…

I had been advised (shame on you, internet) that Zadar was one of the hidden gems of Croatia, because it was largely undiscovered by tourists, so this seemed like a good way to spend our Thursday.

While I soon discovered that the ‘largely undiscovered’ part of the recommendation was horseshit, it didn’t matter, because Zadar is a great place to visit, with a lot of character and an unending maze of side streets that always lead to a plethora of souvenir shops, ice cream parlours, or restaurants…

… and on that note, despite the fact that there were at least a thousand places to buy a cappuccino, and a thousand more to buy a pizza, there was apparently only one place to get a sandwich for lunch. Zadar has a lot of things going for it but the ease with which you can find a cheese sandwich is not one of them.

The Fiancée© and I listened to the strange sounds of the Sea Organ, and watched the lights of the Monument to the Sun once the real one had set – a sunset which has the reputation of being spectacular. I have seen the sun go down in many places, but I have never seen such a large crowd gather to watch it happen.

A great end to a great day.