December 05, 2005

Its been a while....

Hello! blimey, its been about 3 months since my last blog!
why? well, the things is you may remember that I was talking about finding a nw job and a new life. So thats what I've been doing. I got a new job, have moved to London and am living with the girlfriend! It all happened in October, I had an interview for a promotion and they turned around and offered it me! So I took it and then had to deal with not only starting a new job, sort out renting a new flat, find someone to move into my old flat and take a weeks holiday in Prague, as well as work my normal 40 hour week. It wasd a busy old time. So no chance for any bloggin I'm afraid- maybe some info and photos from Prague coming soon!
So with all the possible questions you have in mind, let me answer the most pressing one: What celebs have I seen in the street?
Number 1:
Diarmud Gavin- TV Gardener

WHERE? Kings Cross Train Station

Number 2:
Kim Newman- Journalist, Cult Movie Expert

WHERE? Coming out of Highbury and Islington Tube Station

Number 3:
(Possibly) Lynn Fauld Wood- TV Presenter, Consumer Champion

WHERE? walking past the bus stop outside work. It might not have been her though, I only got a fleeting glance.

Number 4:
Sean Paul - Musician, Idiot

WHERE? In Camden Market, surrounded by big black bouncers and about 15 twelve year olds going "Ohmgoditssaulpaul!!!"

Number 5: Julian Barratt - Actor, Comedian, Genius

WHERE? Drinking in one of my "locals", on Upper Street. Like a real person, sitting in a pub! Wearing a jumper much like mine and tapping his fingers wildly. The best spot so far!

And thats the celebrities seen so far. I'm sure there'll be more- well there'd better be. Fancy London and all!

September 05, 2005

a quick RGIS

Finally and Good:

Big Gap

My computer is really annoying me. I havent blogged for over a week, after I'd just announced my plans to blog more often, and the reason? My bloody computer has decided to throw an eppy and is having what I call 'emotional issues'. Its rather strange, it keeps crashing and resetting to its factory settings but i don't lose my files (thanks god) and it resets while its on. Yup, it stays on when it does it! I've never seen anything like it before.

I mean, I haven't even been able to tell you all about the fantastic bank holiday weekend I had in London last weekend or the very poor week of training that followed it (just the one run!) or the busy Saturday I've just had cramming in looking at 3 flats for the missus- she wants to move; taking photos of the Birmingham leg of the Tour of Britain cycle race; watching the footie and seeing England trounce, ahem, our closest rivals Wales 1-0; and the full-on fun that was a cracking nite out at Snobs.

All of these wonders have passed you by. I'm having to do all of this at work (tut tut), so I can't even upload the images from the cycle race or the 'London Bank Holiday extravaganza' weekend. (I'll have to post them later with some more details.)

I can say tat I've got a job interview tomorrow in London which could mean some big descisions having to be made in the near future (or not depending how it goes). Wish me luck!!

August 24, 2005

More Isle of Wight photos

Rob has got his pics from the Isle of Wight developed. You can find them here.In the mean time here's me having a brew with my much missed long hair:

Another week gone by

I have been lax, I fully admit it. I've gone and not updated the Blog in over a week again! Well, sorry, I've been busy. Kinda. So whats happened in the last week?

Work. I have been to work, like every other week. This week has been rubbish, not particualy hard but its been one of those weeks where nothing really seems to happen and I realise that I'm not overly stimulated in the job. This has been happening more and more lately, I'm thinking of "looking at my options". I've started actually reading the Top Job email alerts that I recieve, I've even had a sneaky peak at the immigration laws of New Zealand, its another option after all!
Whe nnot in work this week I've been watching Pete and Pete- the greatest kids program america ever made- think Malcolm in the Middle but more surreal and clever all bedecked in early ninities guitar music and you've nearly got the picture. This is a picture of Big Pete and Little Pete:

My sister has all the episodes ona dodgy DVD that she got online and I've borrowed it for a bit. It really is fantastic.

I also saw Crash at the cinema on Saturday,I didn't know that mucg about it apart from having it highly recommanded and I must say that its a right good'un. Racial dramas aren't exactly my usual fodder but it was very good and made you think about the owrld we live in and I'm in danger of going being supercillious suffice to say its a good film.

At the Sunflower Lounge quiz on Monday, the team - Too Orangey for Crows - came a disappointing 4th, but Rob won 20 quid (just) so its wasn't all bad. i was heavily knackered and wasn't really in the mood for it but hadn't been out for a couple of weeks - saving the money for Prague - so made the effort. Andy I found out had passed his driving test - well done you!

Training last week was also rigourous. 3 good outdoor runs totalling 18 miles! No gym visits but its the running outdoors which needs to be concentrated on now! Only 24 days to go!!!! And i guess thats about it, apart from a drink out of Friday night, (not a meal as previously planned- oh well, never mind) thats the sum total of my week really.

August 16, 2005

A Proper Run

Yesterday I ran outdoors for 8 miles! 8 miles! It took an hour and a quarter and now my legs hurt! Particularly my left leg, its the same that ached after the 13 mile trek,I hope its not a recurring problem. But still, 8 miles! i am very proud of myself today, and am having a day off (obviously).

Smethwick Locks, part of the running route

A Bit Of A Do

It was Mree's mate Anne Marie's wedding on Saturday, and it was a very nice evening, once we got there. You see the problem was going to the wrong Golf Club! It was a bit like the sort of thing that happens in stuff on TV, the tiny 'village' of Little Aston, two golf clubs- Little Aston Golf Club (where we went) and Aston Woods Golf Club (where we should have gone!). We means me and the missus' sister, the missus already being at said Golf Club wondering where we are, walking miles unneccesarily. Combine that with a poorly planned journey there anyway meant a total journey time of 3 hours! Meant to arrive at 7.30, actually arrival time - 9.45! Poor Helen, her feet were ripped to shreds. But after all of that, buffet and drinking fun was had. So, the tally:

6 pints of Carlsberg. Simple.
The Do itself was the usual fayre- cheesy dj (a bit blue tho), drunken people falling into bushes, a blushing bride, forgotten gifts and a taxi home.

They take care of the greens at Aston Wood Golf Club, or is that Little Aston Golf Club?

Friday night was a quiet one, Mree wanted to stay in before the big day, she was chief bridesmaid afterall, so both ladies came around and wine was drunk whilst watching the Big Brother finale on the tele. Thankfully, Makosi and Kinga went out straight away.

Sunday was spent chilling out and recovering from the night before (but not hangover related) and consisted of mooching about town, eating noodles and drinking coffees. And then watching 2 and a bit episodes of Lost on E4. Nice, relatively quiet weekend really.

August 13, 2005

A quick RGIS

Conference and Return:

Self Image

There's a great website where you can Make Your Own South Park Character. I had a go about a year ago and promptly forgot about it. I then had another go this week because there was an email at work doing the rounds so we all knocked one up. I then realised that i'd got two, each about a year apart. So what could this show us about self image and the change of perception over time? Well, you decide:

Last Year

Note: the beard; short scruffy hair; erm... the knife.

This Year

Note: longer, scruffy hair; stubble; stripey jumper; trendy little walkman.

August 12, 2005

A Wedding Day

Tomorrow I am going to a wedding, well, not the ceremony but the do afterwards. Its a friend of the missus's and have only met her a couple of times so am not sure what to expect, in fact, I'm only going to know 2 other people there: the missus, and the missus's sister. And the missus is a bridesmaid so will be off doing bridesmaidy type things.

So how will the evening plan out? I don't know, but should be good fun, both of them are staying over at mine for the weekend, it make the logistics of the whole weekend much easier so the flat is going to seem rather full. Note to self- buy some food!

August 07, 2005

A weekend Away

Its Sunday afternoon as I write this and I'm a bit bored. I got home a couple of hours ago from an unexpected weekend away. I had forgotton that an old friend of mine, Hayley, had invited me to a BBQ, or more accurately a Ska-BQ (which is basically a BBQ with the promise of Ska music being played).
I'd forgotton all about it because she sent an email about it a couple of weeks ago and I have a short attention span and promptly forgot about it. So, yesterday afternoon whilst wondering what to do it popped back into my head and plans to get there were arranged, well I skanked a lift of Emma and Mike.

Hayley lives in Wirksworth at the moment which is a small village on the edge of the Peak District and is a lovely little town. She and her fella are renting a literally tumbledown cottage which seems to have come straight out of Postman Pat and is absolutely beautiful (as is the rest of the town). Also there was a good crowd of people there, some real good friends I haven't seen for a good while, and new people who we'd never met but made good drinking companions.

picture postcard country- Wirksworth

Highlights include: funny looking dogs in a pub; a man having a very public dispute about the colour of his shop on the High Street, complete with bright yellow petition in the window; blooming gorgeous weather; Hayley's lovely spread; having a slightly drunken singalong complete with guitars; trying to play the bagpipes; Ped's toy guitar (as ever); a number of funny hats; Camping, Camping, Camping!; Kate falling over a wall while she says "I'll probably fall over this wall"; the coldest tent in the world at night; the hottest tent in the world by daylight; silky football skills; "Gateau at the Chateau" and England beating the Aussies at Cricket.
Despite the promise of Ska, we actually got 'Rave 92' and 'Rap to the Max' on the stereo but it was OK because of the irony of it all and the fact our drunken singalong was a bit louder than the stereo. Some pics were taken by members of the group sio hopefully I'll be able to get some up here at a later date.

August 03, 2005

Quiz Time!

Today I recieved an email from Becca asking me to take a quiz she had devised which was all about her. Also Bob has put on his Blog a link to a quiz he has devised which is all about him. It's obviously a craze that is sweeping the net, so not to feel left out I've gont and done one which is all about me. So, Take my Quiz! and then Check out the Scoreboard!

Also check out Becca's quiz and Bob's quiz.
My scores were: 70% for Becca's and 80% for Bob's.

August 01, 2005

Walk Walk

Sunday saw a very long walk take place. How long? Well, 13 miles to be precise, as preparation for the Great north Run, me and my fellow Team Tiger Teammates (minus Dan) did a 13 mile walk down the canals of Warwickshire. And very good it was too, despite the twinge I've acquired in a muscle in my thigh. Rob gives a good account of the days events, along with photos, at the TEOTT blog here.

But some other facts of interest include: seeing an old man with the highest waistband in the world on a bench; a woman who found a bridge too steep to walk down until the promise of being caught by her husband if she fell down it; assorted dead animals in the canal; a cracking pub lunch (steak pie and chips) at The Black Boy in Knowle (SG's dinner - sausage, beans and yorkshire pudding looked rubbish mind you); conveniently timed rainfall; a village shop with a staggerlingly large supply of alcohol and pornography; hot(ish) girls with bikes; The Boot Inn; The Boat Inn; a new Bentley parked up with its windows left open and 2 large bottles of expensive champagne within knabbing distance on the seat (idiot); saying hello to passers by; and some lovely scenery. Not to mention a good team bonding session. Needless to say I felt a bit tired when I got home 10 hours after setting out.

July 30, 2005


I had been looking forward to Friday night. After a crazy week at work the chance to get out and let (whats left of) my hair down loomed large and it should have been a crackin night. But it wasn't and I'm not sure why. All the factors for a good night were there:

The lads? Check. The venues? Check. The availability of alcholic beverages? Check. Money in pocket? Check. But it just didn't click together. I think the main reason for the washout was being incredibily tired. As anyone for knows can tell, the only time i really get in a "mood" is when I'm tired and this week I'd burnt the candle at both ends a bit too much and I could tell. (You know its bad when you're out and you realise you'd prefer to be in bed asleep rather than out looking at the ladies dancing). Also the beverages were having zero affect. Not just from an alcholic content point of view but also the desire to have a drink. Half way thru my 2nd lager I realised I wasn't actualy enjoying it at all and that feeling was compounded when the next pint (the first in the Academy) was rank- I don't think the tap pipes had been cleaned. I couldn't manage more than about a third of it and just left it.

In the end I gave in to the tiredness, tired of fighting it, and left early at about 1:30am. I don't think the others lasted much longer. Rob agrees. It just wasn't right- shame.

a quick tally then for what its worth:
1 pint Carlsberg
1 pint Guinness
1 pint Carling
1/3 pint Rank Carling
4 vodka and coke
3 double vodka and coke
1 pint water (very important)

And a RGIS to boot:
understand and rare:

July 28, 2005


Wa-hey! I've just booked a holiday. I'm going to Prague. With the missus. In September. And get this, it only cost £30 for the flights! thats including the taxes and charges! The flights themselves only cost about £2 there and £6 back. How crazy is that?? Not that I'm going to complain, now to sort out some accomodation....

How excited am I?

Cat Sitting

This week I am cat sitting. My good friend and nieghbour KC is lucky enough to have gone on holiday and I am looking after the cat. Well, I say looking after, she's not at my house or anything but I am going around to KC's and feeding and watering her, and giving her a bit of fuss to boot. Regis, or Reg for short, should have recognised me from a year or so ago but I think she ws a bit cagey to begin with.

In fact on Monday, Day 1, I didn't even see her, presumably she was sculking in the wardrobe like she has done in the past. On Tuesday she was mooching about but a bit weary, letting me give her a bit of a stroke before wandering off. Then yesterday, Day 3, she was right there around the bowls, chomping down the Whiskas so soon as the bowl hit the ground and enjoying a bit of a fuss. Today, she was much more concerned with trying to get out; mewing at the door and rubbing herself up against anything there was, its understandable, she usually goes out quite a lot and has been cooped up for 4 days. I had to coax her onto the window ledge and run off out the door so she couldn't get out.

i must say, I'm quite enjoying it, looking after a cat, ok so it only takes about 5 minutes a day but its still quite a responsibility. So far, so good- But what will happen tomorrow??
This is Reg. All together now- Awwwww!

July 24, 2005

The Random Google Image Search (RGIS)

The Rules

Simple. Simply type in two totally random words into a Google Image Search. (preferably heard on the TV or Radio to improve its randomness). Then choose your picture from the first page of results. If there are no results found you must change your second word. Thats it.

Chimney and Street

Mist and Next

1400 and walls

More coming soon...

Happy Flying Ant Day!

Yesterday was Flying Ant Day. As is customary, may I wish everybody a 'Happy Flying Ant Day'.

What is Flying Ant Day you ask? Well, it's that special day of the year when suddenly there are flying ants everywhere; the day they all swarm up from their underground lairs and take to the skies. Ants don't usually have wings but after a particuarly hot spell of weather it means those that have been growing them come out into the heat to fly off to start a new colony (or something like that).

I know it was Flying Ant Day because I went to my parents house yesterday and in their garden they have a large patio which is very nice. Looking out of the lounge window I saw flying ants, millions of them, surging up from under the patio slabs. Now there are usually ants here on Flying Ant Day, but yesterday there were millions and millions, no exaggeration! It was quite disgusting actually, cos when we were in the garden the air was teeming with them, getting stuck on clothes and in hair and everything. So, its was up to dad, the alpha male, to fight against them and use the ultimate enemy of the flying ant: the kettle. 3 boiling water loads later, and there were still a lot of ants arounds but not as many as before.

Funny BBC article about Scottish Flying Ants from last year - here.

More about ants.

Bloody flying ants.

July 20, 2005

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Bad pun aside. today I bit the bullet and got a hair cut. It has been 7 months since my last one. My hair had got a bit long and it needed doing. Problem is that I'd got used to long hair and quite liked it despite the impracticalities. But i was more than happy to get it tidied up. I originally was going to go to a new place that opened a couple of weeks ago and was offering 50% off for new clients. Great! i thought, so i rang them up only to find out that all the staff were holiday for a week so it wasn't open! How does that work then? Open for 2 weeks and they close down for a week? Hmmm. Still it meant going to the one I went to last time which I have know quarms about.
So the lady set about cutting it and got it into some sort of order I liked. But then she kept going and before I knew it my hair was a helluva lot shorter than i wanted. Its bad enough trying to get used to the new do when its how you want it so I'm kinda getting paranoid about it. Hoping it will grow on me.
And also, before i forget, the place charged me £3 extra cos my hair was past the ears! Extortionate!

July 19, 2005

The drinks tally and random picture!

Ok, this weekend involved 2 nights drinking. Bob gives a good account of the frovolities of Friday night here, although I left the Academy and went home, not ending up at a random house in Stechford. Ok, so the tally:
3 pints Budvar
1 pint Carlsberg
1 vodka and Red alert
Numerous pints of Carling
I also managed to bag a free T-shirt, a Magic Numbers poster, a Kaiser Chiefs poster, a bottle opener and 2 badges. Sweet.

And as for Saturday night more frivolity occured at the Thai karaoke place I've mentioned before. It was a meal with the missus and her "crowd", some of whom I've never met. So how do I make the best impression? Get nicely bladdered and sing my lungs out until I'm so tired I stomp my feet and demand to be taken home in a sulk. My rendition "Mack the Knife" was particuarly memorable. And I must mention the fact that in the bar beforehand we saw a woam nfall into the canal, it was very funny and a man jumped in to "save" her and looked about as bad as she did.( in fact this is as good a time to mention that despite this blog turning more and more into a "drunken weekends" blog you should drink responsibly, theres nothing worse than people who think getting trollied all the time is fun. I only mention it because I like a good story.) Despite that, heres the tally:
2 pints of foreign lager
1 bottle of Corona
numerous glasses of white wine.

plus a random picture:
google image search on: Friendship Soup.

More Phone Misery

Over the course of the weekend i noticed a couple more predictive things:
"I'LL" is "H'LL"
"SO" is "PM"

July 12, 2005

'And' not 'Cod'

This phone has rubbish predictive text. That is a fact.

Ok, I'm gonna have a gripe. I use my mobile phone quite a lot, even though I've got a land line, I tend to use my mobile even when at home. The reason? I text more than I ring. Its took me a few years to realise the benefits of texting, I was always one of the you-might-as-well-talk-and-get-everything-said-in-one-go brigade but then i realised I could keep in touch with people but not have to be bothered to talk to them!

So whats my gripe? Is it that stoopid kids not are growing up unable to spell bcuz thy r txtn n sA gr8 n l8r n lol instead of actually writing?? No, although the more i think about it, Yes. My original gripe is about my phone and how ridiculous the predictive text is. Becasue I H8 that kiddie text language I always write things out properly, so predictive text SHOULD be the prefect answer. Its not, not on my phone, because my phone has decided that any words I want to use won't come out instead it'll say something stupid. For example: And, a common word, a word I use alot, possibily more than any other. Does my phone come up with 'and'? No, its comes up with 'Cod'. COD!! When do I ever want to use 'cod' in a sentence unless putting my order in down the chip shop? Not very often. So what happens? I either send off a message that makes no sense making me look like a right fool or a have to press a load of buttons to make it say 'and'. What a hassle! No wonder kids are saying 'sod it' and typing something else. I've come up with a short list of other words where the same thing happens:

IF is IE
HE is IE
ME is OF

And so on and so on. These are only the ones I can remember. I might put others on as I find them. ARRGGGHH!!

July 09, 2005

the last few days

I haven't posted for the last few days. As many are aware the events of the last few days have been surreal. I'm not going to sit here and blog about what happened, I dare say you know that already and if you don't then the BBC can tell you more. But theres a part of me that needs to simply tell people about whats in my head. Its only now, three days later that I've been able to sit down and try to comprehend and put the events into some sort of perspective.

Even now, i've just flicked through all three 24 hour news channels that i've got thru my Freeview box and all of them are still providing the latest coverage regarding the event. Life seems to have temporarily put on hold but also things seems to have been dealt with and life is moving on following the events. Its a strange position, the type that follows any major incident of this nature i guess, on one hand theres the wanting to know what happened, finding the answers to the questions but then also a certain amount of getting on with things and continuing to get on with life.

It was a normal day, i dont usually write about work but I've got to here. in the office we have BBC news 24 on and saw that there were reports of a blast at Liverpool St. nothing really alarming, I even rang our London office to pass on the info in case it was going to affect the train services!! Little did we know what was really happening and as time went on the true horrors evolved. It meant that not only was I aware of it as it happened but i was actually having to deal with it because thats my job, I couldn't just turn myself off, it was constant. I ended up having to work a 13 hour shift, could have been worse i know, but thru the day i was just running on adrenaline and when i got home i just wanted to turn off, clear my mind. i didnt want to think about the roads and trains and how commuters were going to get home or the advice people who meant to be going to London were getting. yet alone the fact that i know a lot of people who live in London. As far as I'm aware theyre ok.

And only the day before everyone had been celebrating the fact London had won the Olympics for 2012. what a difference a day makes as they say.

July 06, 2005

I've done it again!

Oh God I've gone and done it again! I say that I'm going to blog more and more and then I go a week without doing any. The reasons? Ok, so I've been a bit busy but its no excuse, More blogging from here on in.
This week, lots happening, firstly Live 8, saw the concerts on the big screens at Cannon Hill Park, it was a really good day, me and the missus and Mrs V went for a picnic including tip tops, Pringles, posh tomoto bread and dip and lots of beer. Me and the missus drank 11 cans in just a few short hours. Sweet. And we were hungover from the night before which was spent boogie-ing down the Academy.

This bloke was hammered but got the crowd going

I really enjoyed Live 8. I know some people have knocked it, but when is some thing like that going to happen again? I tried to get tickets but lost out, so the big screens in the park was the next best thing i guess. And it was for a good cause, I've got 2 'Make Poverty History' wristbands, one off-white one from glasto and the regular White Band. I've also got a band on this site (look up).
Sunday saw a big run in the park with the rest of the team (minus DB no surprises), a good strong run as had by nearly all and I was felling really good about my chances of not only finishing the GNR but doing it in a decent time. Problem is now tho that my leg REALLY hurts. It started aching Sunday night so I decided to take Monday off from the gym but went to Tueday. The planned 5 mile run was stopped after only 2.5, I simply couldn't run, it wasn't so much painful as my leg just wouldn't bend like it should. So I've also taken today off from the gym, I don't want to do any real proper damage to any muscles or ligaments. It's got a bit better today, so hopefully I'll wake up in the morning and it will all feel normal again and I'll attempt and easy run to get back into the swing of things.
Also on Sunday I made my mum cry simply by my general appearence. Which was nice. Ok, so I haven't shaved in the past couple of weeks, (oh yes the beard is back- but for how long?) and the hair is quite big at the mo. Still, to be able to trigger tears on sight is still quite an achievement.
Today was exciting, I went shopping in Sainsbury's (a rare treat) and dusted and hoovered the flat. Rock'n'roll.

June 29, 2005

Sad day

Yesterday I heard the news that Richard Whiteley had died. For those who don't know Richard, he's a TV presenter, known mostly for his bumbling links, terrible puns and loud ties on Countdown, one of the best TV progs ever made. I was actually quite sad when I heard the news, after all, this was a man who'd been in my living room (albeit on my TV) every day for the past 20 years, I remember getting home from school quickly specifically to watch Countdown. Apparently he's presented over 2000 editions of Countdown over 23 years, was the first person on Channel 4 and has racked up more UK TV appearences than any other person.
He was almost like a friendly uncle type of person and seemed to genuinely be one of the nicest people you could ever meet. It's a shame I never met him, I'd never even imagined a world without Countdown! Don't know whether the show'll continue, i hope so but it'll never be the same. So goodbye Richard, and thanks.