Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Olympic Torch Relay: Day 10

On the morning of May the 28th 2012, Roadrunner's hand shot out from under the duvet and grabbed her mobile phone from the bedside table.  "Hello?"  Silence.  "HELLO?!"

"It's your alarm."  Coyote sniggered.  Roadrunner isn't a morning person.

Two coffees and a gallon of Berocca later, and they were on the road.  The Olympic Torch Relay was arriving in their neck of the woods and - although not particularly stirred by the event - they figured that they might be able to make a few pennies from it with the help of Uncle Monty and Auntie Pentax.

Using a bit of local knowledge they found a parking spot in the historical town of Machynlleth.  Actually, that makes it sound a bit easy, doesn't it?  It took them a while to get to the sneaky little parking spot due to a stream of school children crossing the road with all the speed of a granny with a Zimmer frame wading through treacle.  In that time, they were captured on camera...

Once they'd looped back towards the end of town, they popped into a local shop for vital supplies: a huge bottle of water and a chocolate bar.  Then they waited.  And waited.  In the meantime, Coyote calmed Roadrunner when she spotted a rival photographer with a Nikon and a baseball cap, and somehow managed to keep her from severely maiming a member of the crowd who decided to perch on the fence ahead of her, thus completely ruining her view.  Luckily for said onlooker, he decided to step down just before Roadrunner did something painful involving a window box.

Eventually, a fanfare of sirens and a blanket of blue lights appeared.  Metropolitan Police bikers slowly trundled down the street, heralding the arrival of the Olympic Torch convoy and Roadrunner lifted her camera, capturing...

...a police officer doing an impression of a teapot.  Or Graham Norton.  One or the other. 

Then she snapped two random men jumping about on top of a bus:

The rapscallions.  Shortly after they passed by, the convoy came to a halt.  Coyote thought for a moment before providing a logical reason for the hold-up.  It was quite possible that they forgot to stop waving when they came to the railway bridge, the oversight resulting in the loss of a few limbs.  Roadrunner looked towards the railway bridge, wondering if she had time to capture a few blood-spattered shots...but decided against it.  It was too hot to walk that far; and besides, severed limb photos are two-a-penny in Machynlleth.  Especially on a Friday night.

It was a wise decision.  The crowds began to cheer further up the high street as Machynlleth's own Stephen Doyle proudly sauntered through the town, holding his glimmering torch aloft:

*Click...click...*  Done!

With a cunning diversion through the railway station, they jumped back into Monty and headed north.  What they were going to find there, they didn't know.  Apart from slate.  There's lots of slate in North Wales.


Clear blue skies spread over the hills of Blaenau Ffestiniog as Coyote and Roadrunner parked on the outskirts of town.  Braving the greyhounds in Burberry sun visors and the very strange accents, they gallantly strode into the thick of the action once more; Auntie Pentax glinting in the hot sunshine.  Down the steps to the railway station they headed...then decided they both desperately needed a pee.

The Queens Hotel was their target.  In they went and relieved they were!  Back outside, they scouted around to see what was happening.  Just then, Coyote tapped Roadrunner's back and looked down at the fencing below their vantage point by the back door of the hotel.  Roadrunner followed his gaze and her face paled.  She staggered backwards, bracing herself against the plaster; almost as if she wanted to disappear into the wall.  "It's okay," Coyote reassured her as he looked down at the lady he'd spotted.  "I don't think she's armed.  I can't see any citrus fruit anywhere.  Go on; take a shot!"
"I don't know..." Roadrunner said, her back still flat against the wall.  She peered at the lady who was holding a microphone not four feet away from them.  Panic flashed through her mind as she remembered her brief foray into the paparazzi world earlier this month.  
"Come on, Roadrunner," Coyote urged.  "There's a fence between us.  Even if she has got satsumas, you won't be hurt!"
Roadrunner swallowed hard.  "Okay.  I'll do it."  She took a deep breath, stepped forward one pace, clicked her shutter and immediately retreated to the shadowy safety of the wall.  Once again, she'd papped Louise Elliott:

Beads of sweat appeared on Roadrunner's forehead.  "C-c-can we go now, please?" she stuttered, tightly gripping Coyote's arm.
"Of course we can.  You bloody wuss."

They descended the steps and crossed back over the railway station.  Just as they were about to beat a hasty retreat, however, people began to trickle into their previously void car park and a shining torch could be seen above the heads of the crowd.

A quick pause and...

Torchbearer Elin Owen was committed to memory card, just before she escorted the flame to Porthmadog on the Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway.

Satisfied with their pixel haul, Coyote and Roadrunner smiled at each other and nodded.  In cloud of slate dust, they vanished.

*Meep Meep!*

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

BOF Warriors in Training

The War on BOFs has stepped up a gear.  Our army is growing, with people sending us photographs and videos of sightings...and one Warrior (thank you, @MistyWood1!) has even designed a car sticker for us!

However, a Warrior is only as good as his/her training.  With this in mind - and with the safety and sanity of all innocent road users hanging in the balance - we've decided that we need to hone our skills.  That's why we've acquired a couple of our own BOFmobiles to unleash fury upon:

See them as jousting dummies; only made of metal and likely to explode if we microwave them.  (So no - we won't be microwaving them.  Just to make that clear.  Besides - we need our microwave for melting crayons.  We like melting crayons.)

The thing is...we don't really know where to start.  The only viable mode of attack that we've come up with thus far involves frozen sprouts and a catapult.

That's where YOU come in.  Can you think of some suitable ways to inflict punishment on these albeit-a-little-bit-smaller-than-the-real-thing BOFmobiles?

If so, drop me (Roadrunner) a tweet here: @Goleudy; or pop a comment at the end of this post.  Your best, most creative and downright ridiculous suggestions will be deliberated upon and - more than likely - followed up, videoed and posted here for everyone to have a laugh at to learn from in the very near future.  Come on, folks...imagine the carnage!  We'll probably end up setting fire to the sofa and needing urgent medical attention.  Woo hoo!


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Sam and Sybil on the BBC

Last Sunday, Coyote and I were cwtched up on the sofa watching Planet Earth Live on BBC One.  Have any of you seen it?  It's quite spectacular; real-life animal dramas from baby elephants in Kenya, macaque monkeys in Sri Lanka, grey whales in the pacific, lions of the Masai Mara...and black bears in Minnesota.

It was the black bears that grabbed our attention.  The team are following an experienced black bear mum called Juliette and her three cubs - Sam, Sybil and Sophie! 

Of course, when Sam and Sybil were mentioned we smiled.  Although Samuel and Sybil Slate are foul-mouthed, uneducated and generally uncouth buggers...they're our dear friends and we love them.  In a purely platonic way, of course.

Naturally, we'll be watching Sam and Syb's progress very closely.  We hope they teach Sophie a thing or two about slate and BOFmobiles...

...or just teach her how to eat tourists.

The next episode is on BBC One tonight (10th May 2012) at 2000hrs.  Enjoy!

Monday, 7 May 2012

A Load of Pap

Hi folks, Coyote here.

I know it's unusual for me to do the wordy bits (I'm usually busy pondering what bird is on packets of Stork), but I thought I'd tell you about what happened recently.  Roadrunner would tell you herself, but she can't muster up the courage to recall the events.

For some reason, her photographic career briefly veered off in an unusual direction.  A bit like when we see a BOFmobile; there's no telling where we'll end up in our clamour to escape.  You see; she usually takes photographs of landscapes, seagulls and dinosaurs in hedges.  However, recently she wandered into the realms of the paparazzi. 

'Ooh, glamorous!' you're probably thinking.  Er...no.  You see, she seemed to only photograph Welsh celebrities.  She wasn't at all interested in those plastic-types you see on TV these days; nor those puffed-up singers that invade our charts with soporific crap.

Just the other day, for instance, she was lurking outside a big marquee when HRH The Queen staggered out, drunk off her skull on gin.  Her Madge then proceeded to pick a fight with a nearby pigeon, loudly blaming it for her crown not fitting while throwing her shoes at it.  Was Roadrunner delighted to be presented with such a golden opportunity for shutterbugging?  No.  She was looking the other way and snapped...

Jamie Owen.  For those of you who don't know who he is, he's a Welsh newsreader, radio host and author.  He actually writes books about Wales, now I come to think of it.  Maybe we should introduce him to Wynford Vaughan-Thomas.

I thought it was just a blip.  She was, after all, a novice when it came to the cut-throat world of competitive photography.  Sadly, it happened again.

This weekend we were out and about stalking BOFs with our new sprout-launcher when we happened upon a large crowd.  We wrestled our way in to see what all the fuss was about...and found Alan Sugar and Simon Cowell playing naked tiddlywinks while Katie Price served drinks that were balanced on her exceedingly large bosom.  Not only that, but Boy George was riding about on a unicycle wearing a sombrero and singing Army drinking songs.  I turned, expecting to see Roadrunner snapping away with  glittering pound signs in her eyes...but no.  She was on the other side of the street photographing...

Derek Brockway.  As I understand that we have a worldwide audience, I appreciate that many of you won't know who this is.  Derek is a well-loved Welsh weatherman who makes forecasting look like ballet while wearing interesting ties.

Perhaps Roadrunner was just distracted by his fluffy microphone.  She does rather like fluffy things - like kittens and Brian May's hair.  I was willing to put it down to that; believing that she would get the hang of it eventually.  

I was wrong.

We popped into town yesterday to buy the newspapers.  We don't read them - good god no - they just make cheap fire lighters.  Especially The Daily Mail; and that's probably because of the high volume of methane emitted from the bullshit on the pages.  But I digress.

As we walked up to the newsagents, we heard a loud, blood-curdling scream on the other side of the road.  An elderly lady was beating someone over the head with her handbag, shouting obscenities while onlookers egged her on.  Upon closer inspection, it became apparent that the lady was thrashing ten shades of poop out of David Cameron.  He cowered at her feet, rambling something about being 'only economical with the truth' while she called him things that not even Samuel and Sybil would repeat.  Where was Roadrunner...?  She was facing in the opposite direction capturing...

Louise Elliott.  Another Welsh radio host, journalist and bunion expert.  I was going to tell Roadrunner that I thought she should give up the paparazzi lark, but just as I opened my mouth I noticed the expression on Ms Elliott's face.  Then I noticed that she was striding towards Roadrunner.

As I legged it faster than you can say 'cheese', I don't quite know what happened.  When I returned, Roadrunner was lying on the floor with her camera wrapped around her neck, croaking something about satsumas being 'surprisingly painful'. 

Since then, she hasn't taken a photograph of anyone else.  She hasn't taken a photo of anything, actually.  In fact, when I moved her camera from the kitchen table and went to hand it to her, her eyes widened and she paced backwards, twitching and crying.

I think, in time, she'll get back to photography.  I just don't think she'll be pointing her lens at any Welsh public figures any time soon.

Lord knows what Louise Elliott did, but Roadrunner now faints every time she sees a satsuma.