Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The Jolly Fat Bloke Came To Visit

Look at that, it came and went in the blink of an eye. Already as I write this it is 4 days after Christmas, all the hype, all the build up, all the excitement and its gone again. So its only 361 days until Christmas 2010, how long will it be before people start getting excited again?? So hopefully this still finds everyone well and I hope that all of you had a great day / weekend, I know I did.

Drinking Christmas Spirits
As we are buying our house, Lara and I have had to take out life insurance to cover things should the unmentionable happen. One of the questions we need to fill in is the number of alcohol units we drink on average per week. Well, I’m not a big drinker at all, I mean I will have the occasional drink but lately I haven’t been going out much at all to try and save money. However, with the last few days being Christmas and all that, I feel I have now bumped my average by about 3 units per week for the whole of 2010. Christmas Eve it was out with all my old school mates for drinking and a curry. Christmas day we started early in the afternoon and continued into the evening with a few quizzes and FIFA with Joe (I will come to that later). Boxing day I was over at Laras for another Christmas dinner and as I had taken a bottle of Courvoisier I decided to try Brandy and Coke for the first time, something I will definitely be having more of in the future. Then on the 27th it was back to my Mums as it was Roys Birthday for more drinking. I think I can safely say that I will not need to drink again for a while. Then again, there is New Years Eve to come in 2 evenings time…. Liver – Prepare yourself!!

Excited Over a Chopping Board
So, did everyone have a great Christmas Day? I know I did. Dylan was fantastic to be around and I think all the adults got just as much enjoyment out of playing with his toys as he did. He had loads of presents, but he was very polite and so thankful with everything, such a legend. I was back to the good old days of getting large boxed presents to unwrap rather than the small blatant socks / jumper combo which, lets be honest, is never quite as exciting to have plonked on your lap. Although this time the large boxes were not the latest and greatest toys picked off the shelves at Toys ‘R’ Us, they were your everyday essentials for getting your first home and I couldn’t have been more chuffed. I know Lara was also just as pleased when I told her what we had been given. We got pots, pans, a chopping board, an iron, a cheese grater, a load of kitchen utensils, a kettle and too much other stuff to list. I don’t think I could have been more excited each time I opened something, just made the whole moving in thing seem more real.

One thing I have to mention, Guinness is correct ‘Good Things Come To Those Who Wait’!! I have been an extra good boy and not bought Call of Duty Modern Warefare 2 or Assassins Creed II since they came out to save some money for the place. Santa obviously saw that I had been a good boy and advised family and friends buy them as Christmas pressies for me. It was brilliant. I haven’t had a chance to play on them yet and I have to work this week so wont get much time for now but it was worth the wait. I even got the Formula 1 game for the Wii which comes with its own Formula 1 style wheel to clip your controller into. Awesome. Come and play anytime!

All Fun and Games….Until I Lose
As with most Christmas breaks there is always plenty of time to play some games. This year we played a Movie/TV quiz on Christmas Day. The teams were Boys Vs Girls – Katie, Joes wife Shelley , my mum Sanj and Joe (as I said, Girls) against My sisters husband Tom, my mums fella Roy and me. Long story short, Boys rule and by a long way when it comes to TV and Movies haha. Then came Sundays fun and games. Toms Mum, Dad and Sister were also over and we played the old faithful that everyone loves to hate, Charades! The teams were once again Boys Vs Girls. The game started and every time someone stood up you could see their face drop as they had no idea what it was they had to act out, obscure things like ‘The Vortex’ or ‘Educating Rita’ how do you act those out?? Although as the game went on the items became more recognisable and the Boys stormed into the lead. My personal favourite was Toms dad Gary acting out ‘Ballet Shoes’ and doing a little dance, haha. Somehow and someway the girls managed to win with a last minute flurry but I’m sure that there was some cheating in there somewhere as no way are boys are better than girls!

Christmas day was made complete however by 2 games of FIFA against Joe. The first one was won convincingly and the second was well on the way (3-0 by half time) before Joe had given in again. Lol. We then played a little bit of Call of Duty which was good as neither of us had hardy played before but that seemed to go better on my part too. Haha. God I love beating Joe. Lol. Tally now..
Grazy – 8 Wins
Joe – 1 Win

I will leave this for now, we have New Years Eve to look forward too. As I have said before, 2009 has been very up and down for me, it is currently on quite an up so lets hope that 2010 continues that trend. To everyone that reads this, thanks, I hope I keep your attention and you all have a great time on Thursday night. Roll on 2010.


Monday, 21 December 2009

A Brief One Before Christmas

I’m not too sure if I will have the time to write again before Friday rolls around so thought I would post a quick update to wish everyone a Happy Christmas!! I will do that at the end though as I need to do a blast of writing first.

The Most Incredible Film I Have Ever Seen
Last Thursday night I made a trip to the cinema to see Avatar. I have been waiting for this film since early this year as it was the first film in 12 years by James Cameron. If you aren’t sure who James Cameron is try to remember films like Aliens, The Terminator and Terminator 2, True Lies, The Abyss and of course the highest grossing film in the history of cinema Titanic. They were all directed by him! That’s some list. I sat there in the cinema with the highest state of excitement about a movie I have had in a very very long time. The film started and Bam – you are immersed in a 3D world that makes you sit in pure awe. I will talk about the film as a film, the story etc. Put simply, Its is very good. I wouldn’t say the story amazing or truly original but it is more than adequate to keep your attention and make you want to know where things will go. The characters are all interesting, there didn’t seem to be one that you got bored of seeing which was a pleasant surprise. Once it had finished you didn’t sit there feeling like there were any loose ends or feel cheated in any way. I would say that even as a regular film this would have been very good indeed. However, this is no regular film. This is breakthrough technology in 3D and movie making. It is not the gimmicky 3D that makes things pop out and feel like they are right in front of you, it gives everything a true sense of depth, as if you are looking into a perfectly clear window. I read a review over the weekend and it said ‘I came out of the cinema actually having felt like I had visited Pandora and experienced a journey rather than seen it from afar’. This I can completely relate to as there were a number of occasions throughout the film where just for a split second I felt as if I was there before realising ‘don’t be silly this is a movie’. That’s the impression and feeling you get, its quite extraordinary while at the same time still being spectacular. The impression I have from people that are sceptical about seeing this film is that it is bundled into the Sci-Fi genre or just boxed in as a ‘looks like loads of fighting’ film. Yes it is Sci-Fi, there are aliens and it is on another planet but to judge it like that would be wrong, it is also a film about acceptance, growth, love and pride. In the same instance, this is not a movie with constant fights and battles. Yes there is about 20 mins where everything kicks off but with the way it is shot and in 3D you cannot help but sit with your mouth wide open and thinking WOW! For those of you who know me, I love my films, I have a massive collection and have seen quite a few in my time. Is it my favourite film of all time? No, it in fact has only made No. 3 on my list, The Green Mile and Good Will hunting take No’s 1 and 2 respectively. These 2 have been way ahead of my No 3 (The Shawshank Redemption) with nothing ever coming close to them. Until now…. This has joined the front runners that are miles in front of the rest. You may not think it is your type of film, you may not think you will like it, but I cannot stress enough how much you NEED to see this film, especially in a cinema. Not only will it surprise you by how incredible it looks, but for those of you who don’t normally enjoy that sort of film I think it will surprise you because you will really, really like it!

Merry Christmas
So…It is now only 4 days until the big day. Snow has fallen and hopefully it will stick around to give us all a proper white Christmas. I have bought the majority of my presents and started wrapping them last night, something I am useless at. To top it off I bought 6 rolls of wrapping paper that seems to be Sellotape proof!! How stupid is that, it doesn’t stick to it. Haha. Ah well.

So I hope everyone has a great day and the Fat Man brings you loads of pressies, lol. Im sure I will write before New Year but if I don’t –

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone…..ENJOY!


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

10 Years after the Millennium Bug

Can you believe it? It has been 10 years since we all danced and sang our back sides off at the stroke of midnight to bring in the new Millennium. 10 Years since everyone thought the world was going to end as every computer and electrical device spontaneously combusted in front of us. 10 years since the Sega Dreamcast was released (look at things now with PS3 and Xbox!!). Also who can forget the most important event of 1999 – The release of Will Smiths Willennium album!! Here we are within 3 weeks of 2010, blimey.

So what of the 49 weeks of 2009 so far? Well for me it was definitely a rollercoaster year. From trying to find work after returning from travelling smack in the middle of the recession to finding work and then moving out to a whole new area of the country, then at the end of the year buying my first house with Lara as you know. For now I’m going to leave off from the highs and lows of the year and talk about what I have been doing, using and seeing over the last week or so. Here goes……

I May As Well Get a Walking Stick and Slippers
Well that’s it, I have officially grown up. Lara and I spent a Sunday wandering around DFS and other furniture stores looking for a sofa. Think back and remember the days as a youngster when you got dragged along with your parents to have a look around places like these. It was torture as a child, there was nothing to do but sit on a sofa for 1 minute before your mum pulls a disapproving face and moves on to the next one. You weren’t even allowed to jump on them!! After seeing one on the internet the night before we headed straight to DFS (there was a sale on……surprisingly). Here we were looking round for a purchase for our new place and I was absolutely loving it, haha. I really did feel for the poor kids I saw in there as we were looking around though. We sat on a few before finding the one that caught our eye on the internet, it was brilliant, a nice leather corner sofa in black and white. We couldn’t buy it straight away out of principle so we kept searching, I think we sat on around 100 seats that afternoon. After 4 or 5 different stores and an hour or so of searching, we decided that the black and white one was still the best. So back we headed to seal the deal and introduce our bums to the best friend it will have for the next few years. We also bought a really nice glass 4 person dining table along the way too.

From a review point of view - I suppose I should do one as I said I would at the beginning when this blog was started - the DFS experience was a simple and easy one. You wander around sitting on whatever sofa / chair you like, each set in their own little section of a very open giant living room. You have the occasional sales person rattles off some ‘special offer’ spiel about whichever seat you happen to be sitting on at the time they walk past. Then when you say to them ‘I’d like that one’ their eyes light up and you are sat down (on the sofa you chose) with a pen and paper signing on for order before you know it. They have up to 4 years interest free credit which, lets be honest, is bloody brilliant in this day and age so you are paying no more out for spreading the cost over 48 months. That makes a major difference to people like us as we cant just splash out a grand here and there on the basics for a house, spreading the cost without adding a penny makes the more desirable more affordable! If anyone happens to be buying a sofa I would say to just go there. The range is bigger than pretty much anywhere else, its all customisable so you can have the colour you want and the deals are so good as, for some very strange reason, the sale always ends tomorrow. Haha.

Competition Update
Just to keep you updated on the FIFA rivalry that I have with Joe. We got the chance to have 4 more games the other evening which was cool The first one I am afraid to say I lost, I just couldn’t score!! Then normal service resumed and I beat him 3 times in a row. The last game I was 3-0 up at half time and taking him to school so he decided to give up. He will say that one doesn’t count but everyone else knows it does. So tally is….
Grazy – 6 Wins
Joe – 1 Win
What I really miss is the competitions we used to have on first person shooters like Gears of War and Call of Duty. They were always great, trying to make each other jump and kill each other in the most inventive of ways. Hopefully we will still have some time to do that once I’m moved into my place and he has the little Mini Keefe around.

A Question
Right, I need to do like a ‘reverse review’ now please. I need your help. As this is our first place we don’t have a lot of stuff to take there. When I say we don’t have a lot I mean we have 2 beds and clothes – that’s about it really. We have ordered our sofa and dining table as I said earlier, but I need some advice. Where is best to shop for all the bits and bobs that are essential like cutlery, a toaster, kitchen utensils and other things like that? Somewhere that isn’t going to break the bank but is still nice.
Also colour schemes?? Whoever thought it would be so hard to pick a couple of colours to put in a room and base things around. The living room is sorted, we are going with Black and White. The main bedroom I am leaving to Lara (I think she will do a better job) so it’s the Bathroom, Kitchen and Bed 2 that need some ideas. If you think of any either message me on Facebook or post on my Twitter @FuzzyCoyote.

That’s about me for now. Have an awesome week and I will speak before Christmas!


Friday, 4 December 2009

Anyone Would Think Christmas Is Coming

Hello Again, Not quite as quickly delivered as the last few blog posts but still not leaving you waiting for an update for too long. Surely everyone was frantically checking their computers every night hoping for the new post………weren’t they?? Haha. OMG its December! Where has this year gone? Finally people will have reason to sing Christmas songs and put up decorations. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Christmas, what I don’t like is people making it a 2 month issue. Why not just make the whole of Winter season Christmas so we are all on the same page, lol. So what has gone on in my little world lately….

The Newest Ninja Turtle
This weekend just gone Lara and I drove down to Kent to see my sister Katie, her husband Tom and my amazing nephew Dylan. Dylan is turning 3 in January so he is at the perfect age where he knows exactly what’s going on but is still a great big child inside obsessed with bubbles and simple things that we forget about when we grow older. When I say he is clued on, boy is he clued on!! He has known how to work my iPhone for around a year now, remembering how to play each game and learning new ones in seconds. He was showing me the CBeebies website on the laptop the other day and HE was showing ME how to get around it and play games! He is a boy genius! The one thing he is really into now is Turtles, which makes me sooo happy as I was a huge fan when I was a kid. I think maybe an outfit may have to be bought for him for Christmas. That would be brilliant to see him in a Michaelangelo outfit (hes Dylans favourite). I shouldn’t really put that on here as in all honesty he is smart enough to find and read this blog! I can just see it now, Katie out doing the shopping with little Dylanangelo running around the supermarket in a Turtles costume shouting Cowabunga and fighting crime. Awesome!

At Katie and Toms we played Call Of Duty – Modern Warefare 2 (I will touch on that later), which is beyond amazing by the way, and Dylan sits there with his deactivated controller watching the screen and playing along as if he is controlling whats going on. Its brilliant to watch. Every kill is followed by a ‘Yeah I did it’ or a ‘Ohhhh Noooooo’ haha. I cant wait to see him again.

Well On The Way
Everything is in full swing with the house buying now. We have had surveys carried out and the Mortgage accepted. It’s getting pretty serious now. Haha. I know we are both really excited to be moving in, we haven’t got a date yet though so that will be nice when that is known and we can plan bits around it. There isn’t really that much to update on with the house this time, so this is going to be a brief section for now. Hopefully there will be some more development by the time it comes to me writing again. We are both a bit oblivious as to what we are expecting to come next, what should we be doing and things like that. But for now, this rollercoaster is still suitable for kids and not a brown pant affair.

Holding Myself Back
This whole house buying is quite involved really isn’t it. Its not just a case of sorting out the main things, there are fees coming out of our ears for everything. We even have to get a Church survey done of the local area to find out if we are within a certain distance of one. I did wonder what that was all about but its due to the locals having to pay for upgrades or repairs. Did you know that if you lived close enough to a Church and it needs a new tower or something you could have a bill fall through the letterbox asking you to contribute. Bugger that! There are other ones here and there that catch you by surprise too. So with all of these fees I’m being an extra good boy and not spending on personal things that I would normally treat myself too.

The two main items here are 2 new Xbox games that have recently come out. Assassins Creed II and Call Of Duty Modern Warefare 2. I have been waiting for these games to come out for at least 10 months, with the thought that I would be buying them on the day of release like the uber geek that I am. Little did I know that I would be making the biggest purchase of my life and have to resist in order to keep the money for more serious matters. I mean a total of around £60 spend on the 2 isn’t exactly excessive but I cannot justify to myself that it wouldn’t be better suited to things for the place when we move in. Things we will need but don’t really have in mind yet – like a toilet brush or a cheese grater – you know, the important stuff. So what do you think, aren’t I being good? I ask you this, could you resist something you have been anticipating for 10 months? And what kind of things could you not resist? Answers on a postcard to the usual address!!