Monday 31 March 2014

BolingTravelBlog Sunday

On Sunday we drove up to Snoquamish falls (where the opening sequence of Twin Peaks was filmed) and enjoyed the scenery and a very good meal. We drove round Microsoft's Redmond campus - It's enormous. When we got back to Seattle we bought souvenirs in the Freemont market and a chocolate factory.

In the evening I had my second date with the harpist and I fulfilled my objective of eating a crab. I'd like to tell you how far I got with her, but I don't understand the American first-base, second-base system and this diagram doesn't really help. I think I've ended up with my first (and probably the world's first) "pen-pal-I'd-like-to..."

Fuck me! that pocket knife was expensive to replace.

Richard "My - well that is gratifying" B

Sunday 30 March 2014

BolingTravelBlog Saturday

On Saturday we had lunch at the Renaisance Cafe in Tacoma. According to xkcd I should tell you that the service was quick and efficient and the food was excellent. We then visited the American Car Museum, it was fascinating and the buiding was as impressive as the collection, sadly we had to hurry and suffered a kind of car-snow-blindness.

For some years I have carried a very small pocket knife, the blade of which was made, hardened, tempered and ground at home. I had to throw it away to get into a football (soccer) match on Saturday night. Part of the experience was completely alien: There were pyrotechnics and instant replays when a goal was scored, the singing and chanting was clean and professionally lead, and the flag waving was so incessant that I missed a lot of the action. Part of the experience was monotonously familiar, we stood in the rain for nearly two hours and for most of that time we were watching the home team with 10 men desperately holding for a draw shouting for the referee to blow the fucking whistle.

The best innovation in American soccer is the use of shaving foam to mark a temporary spot and 10 yard line during a free kick.

Richard "austenite phase" B

Saturday 29 March 2014

If it's not a Boeing, I'm not going!

BolingTravelBlog Friday

On Friday morning I went back to the EMP and saw the guitar exhibit, it was fascinating to me. I then carried coffee and pastries back to the apartment through a rainstorm. Friday afternoon we went on the Boeing tour. It was brilliantly organised and very interesting. The message boils down to: "Jetliners are large and complicated, we needed a big factory to make them in." On the frustratingly slow drive home we stopped at a Seattle burger institution called Dick's. It was cheap, quick and very tasty.

On Friday night I went on a date with a yank. It was a date, she did like me, she had been flirting with me in the shop and she thought I was handsome. I've never been on a date that progressed so quickly (through music theory). By the end of the night I was back at her place desperately trying to remember what chord the 7th triad out of the Ionian gives you and what note you have to start at to play the Mixolydian with no sharps or flats.

I'm sad to report that she seems perfect. She's pretty, bright, musical, likes me, and reads a lot (including sci-fi and fantasy). With any luck I'll fuck up our next date and I won't have to decide what to do about her.

Richard "halfway between her house and mine is the southern tip of Greenland" B

Friday 28 March 2014

BolingTravelBlog Thursday

My Thursday in Seattle was as unlikely as winning a unicorn on the lottery. I did a walking tour of professional audio supply companies and made a date with a pretty American woman. All I know about her at this stage is that she plays the harp works in a music shop.

On Thursday night we ate at a Mexican restaurant and drank mediocre cocktails at a bar that sent my pretentiousness-o-meter off the scale. We went to a famous music venue - The Crocodile - and heard our friend's friend's band Knast. They were good, they sounded to me like they wanted to have been The Stone Roses but they didn't have a John Squire. Knast supported The Strypes, a hotly tipped bunch of Irish children. They were very good, but I wasn't blown away.

Richard "I think it's hot the way she loooks left a lot" B

Wednesday 26 March 2014

BolingTravedlBlog Wednesday

On Wednesday we took a long scenic drive from Seattle to Vancouver, stopping for a delicious meal in Fairhaven. Crossing into Canada was easy and the border guard was very impressive - he understood our whole holiday after about three carefully chosen questions. We accidentally toured the many bridges of Vancouver, visited the tourist and beggars district, a Tim Hortons, a closed science museum, and a cruise ship terminal carpark. crossing back into America was slow, unwelcoming and badly organised.

Richard "the Lookout Tower has nothing on the Space Needle" B

Tuesday 25 March 2014

BolingTavelBlog Tuesday

Tuesday morning we visited my friend's work. It's a shared office space in an old factory building right in between the stadium district and the electric-bike-and-skateboard district. We went to a museum of the Klondike goldrush, and had hand-shaved noodles for lunch. In the afternoon we walked through the skyscraper district to the tourist-tat-and-beggars district, and we caught the monorail home.

On Tuesday night we went to the English pub for tea and didn't win the pub quiz. We scored particularly poorly on the round of questions about the dairy industry of Seattle.

Richard "Home of the brave, land of the wasteful" B

BolingTravelBlog Monday

Today I are mostly been eating at a diner, looking down from the Space Needow, wearing a space needle hat in a souvenir photo, visiting the EMP museum - where the guitar gallery was closed - and playing Bocce-Ball at the bavarian bar.

Chunky Ginger managed to insult the friend of a stranger in a bookshop. I was buying a map, and in the local section there were two very unappealing guidebooks: "Stairway Walks of Seattle" and "Extreme Hiking in Seattle". Chunky Ginger said "can we please not do 'Stairway Walks of Seattle'?" and a woman in the shop said "Hey my friend wrote that book!". We tried to apologise and explain that we only weren't interested because we weren't very fit. She didn't accept our apology and insisted that it was a popular book.

Richard "make sure it speaks bocce-ball" B

Space Needo

Monday 24 March 2014

BolingTravelBlog Sunday

Just got back from a couple of days on Whidbey Island. We stayed for a couple of days with friends of our friend in a very luxurious waterfront house. We watched eagles, shot BB guns, played ping-pong and we ate drank and smoked like kings. We were well entertained and looked after.

Richard "Lesbian Pleasure Palace" B

Saturday 22 March 2014

Weird Hat Club

Chinese penguin - USA

West coast update - on Widby Island and playing Ladder Ball. RJB experimenting with a hitherto unseen technique he has dubbed Chinese Penguin (aka cupping the balls).  Actually being quite successful and beating locals. Please note the old style riding hat being modelled by RJB and the fact that he is struggling having put his boxers on back to front this am.

Brits and BB's

BolingTravelBlog Fri/Sat

I've been awake for twenty six and a half hours, I've travelled five and a half thousand miles,and I've been drinking for most of them. I feel like Keith Richards. But not as good at playing the guitar, or as wealthy, or as attractive to women, or quite as unlikely to be still alive.

Richard "can I pass out now?" B

Adam forces Richard into the world of social media

Friday 21 March 2014

BolingTravelBlog Friday

Arrived safely in Seattle.

The off-site airport parking was rude and abrupt but also very efficient. The flight couldn't have been better: The captain had a clipped upper class accent, one of our stewards was an old queen, the stewardess was hot - and our Boeing 777 didn't go mysteriously missing.

We were let straight into the country with very little queueing, no threatening questioning, and nobody groping our balls. Our friend picked us up at the airport, the weather is beautiful, the apartment is comfortable, and I've already looked up at the Space Needle and touched a fountain.

Richard "GMT-7" B

Tuesday 18 March 2014


At the end of the week a couple of my friends and I are going to Seattle to visit an old school friend. It's important to have goals in life, and our goals for the holiday are:

  • To spend time with our ex-pat friend.
  • To look either up at or down from the Space Needle.
  • To visit the Boeing factory.
  • To eat a lobster.
  • To smoke some legally-bought medicinal weed.
  • To drink some of the local beer.
  • To visit Canada.
  • To try to understand what the hell our friend does for a living.

Richard "Mission Impossible" B

Tuesday 11 March 2014


Several weeks ago it became clear that I had taken a wrong turn with my guitar playing. My guitar teacher actually told me to stop playing and put the instrument down before I crippled myself with repetitive-strain-injury. On that same weekend I was lucky enough to talk to a virtuoso guitarist, a very fast drummer, and a kung-fu expert. They all said roughly the same thing, and that is that you can't be fast and dexterous unless your muscles are relaxed and your movements are fluid. You have to perfect your techniques slowly before you start speeding them up.

I now spend hours practicing songs at quarter speed, concentrating on fluidity, posture and muscle tension, and my playing is very slowly improving. Give me another year or two and I think I'll really be starting to get somewhere.

Richard "I wish this were a montage in a film" B

Tuesday 4 March 2014


  • Yes. I know it makes me look like (even more of) a weirdo.
  • Yes. I realise that it hasn't been fashionable to have a heavy keychain hanging out of your pockets since the 90's
  • No. I'm not one of those "steampunks"
My favourite watch had to go to the menders and when I got home I found that my spare watch had a flat battery. The watch that my grandfather was given when he retired also had a flat battery and I have been reduced to telling the time with a 130 year old pocket watch and to lugging around a few ounces of silver chain.

Richard "Victorian Stationmaster" B