Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Delayed Catch Up

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago but just haven't had a chance to post it yet.... So here is a, slightly delayed, blog catching things up a bit....

Happy Wedding Day!!!
Blimey, I realised the other day that it’s been a while since I have written one of these things. There is no way I am going to remember everything that has happened so I will just have to do my best on that one. Lol. The biggest thing to happen since the last blog was my cousin Dan getting married, which happened last weekend. It was a brilliant day and I will get on to that later – but with every wedding comes a stag do, and that is where I will start. 

At the beginning of June, 19 lads headed up to Newcastle to check out the local nightlife in honour of Dans Stag Do. The majority of us got the train up on the Friday, which was brilliant by the way - apart from the fact they ran out of nice alcohol before they got to where I was sat as the trolley passed a couple of tables of the other guys first. We got there, checked in, got changed and headed out to the pub, as you do. The Friday evening was pretty heavy in the end, with shots being taken left, right and centre and just general late night binge drinking. Well I say late night, I had to make a quick stop off at the hotel at about 12:15 to take Dan back to our room as he was as drunk as I had ever seen him, haha. I went back out and we partied until the early hours of the morning.

Saturday was a different story though - Dan was feeling fine, but I was feeling like death warmed up! I think I managed to eat half a slice of toast and a tangerine at breakfast before feeling like I was going to throw up. Not good considering we were going go karting that day. Off we went to the go karting track and it was excellent, a great little indoor track with really fast karts and a good set up to keep people moving on and off track quickly in a grand prix competition. There was another group there as well so there were 34 of us in the competition all in all. We all had some good races, some bad, then the final came around and 5 of us had qualified from our group for the 8 spots available. I was starting fourth behind Andy Shannahan in 3rd, one of the other guys on our do Steve in 2nd and one of the guys from the other stag group who was starting 1st. Starting 4th I wasn’t holding out much hope as it was really hard to overtake on the track with how fast the karts were. The race started and on the second corner Andy Shannahan crashed into Steve who crashed into the bloke in first place so they all got tied up which left a nice little gap for me to sneak around the outside and take the lead. I managed to win the whole bloody thing!! Steve came 2ndand Andy came 3rd so we had all the podium places haha! Awesome. I think a couple of the other guys in our group came 4th and 5th as well so we dominated the final in the end. Haha. Saturday night we went out again but it was a little quieter than the night before, although we still had a great fairly heavy night. On the Sunday we made our way back on the train again, feeling hungover and tired.

Dans Wedding
Page Boy & Best Man
Lara and I at Hampton Court for the Wedding
If there was a stag do that means that there was a wedding coming up, which happened on the 23rd June. It was a brilliant day and I didn’t lose the rings which was handy. Seeing Dylan as the page boy was also brilliant, he walked down the aisle with Dan and Helens little girl Ella and they just looked so cute! There was one point in the ceremony when Ella was running about and everyone was trying to get her to stand still but couldn’t – Dylan just held out his hand and she came straight over and sat with him! As the Best Man I had to make a speech which I was nervous about all day. Lara managed to record it though and here is the link – (I did plan to put the link to it here but until I figure out how to rotate the video it will have to wait, anyone have any ideas?).  I think it went pretty well and the practicing definitely paid off. The evening went really well too and there was a lush hog roast to keep us topped up with food. All in all, one of the best days I have had.

Other than that I don’t think I have done a massive amount lately, although I had my tattoo finished yesterday and it now looks amazing. 4 months, 3 sessions and 15 hours later my arm holds a piece of art that I am extremely pleased with.

The Final Tattoo
I haven’t seen many movies at the cinema lately although I did see Prometheus which I was really disappointed with at first but have slowly started to come round to and really am starting to like how they did it all now. It’s a film that makes you think, and at the time I didn’t realise that there was going to be another couple of films to follow it up. But after realising a few things which I didn’t when I first watched it, it’s a pretty good film.

I also saw Thor last weekend at home which I was really surprised about. I thought that it would be ok, maybe even good, but it was brilliant. I loved it. I would definitely recommend checking it out, even if you aren’t a fan of comic book movies.

I finished reading Michael McIntyre’s book – Life and Laughing which I really enjoyed. I was reading it on my iPhone which made things a lot better as in parts of the book it would mention about a set that he did or a particular song and the words would be linked to the video of what he was speaking about or the song on YouTube which really added to the whole reading aspect of things.

The weekend just gone Lara and I headed down to the New Forest to stay with my mum and Roy for the weekend which was really nice. The Saturday we went to Southampton for a bit of shopping, Lara bought some things but I stayed purchase free this time. On the way out we were up on level 9 in the car park, and everyone must have been trying to leave at the same time as the cars were at a standstill for a good 25 mins. I decided to have a wander to see what was going on and it was just carnage, there was about 2 or three cars getting out of the car park every minute because of the traffic outside which made things slow, then add in cars trying to get in to the out queue on each level on the way out and that meant that basically all the cars above level three were not moving, let alone the level we were up on!! So I hatched a plan, by wandering to the other end of the car park (where the up ramps were). I walked back up to our car on level 9, which still hadn’t moved at all, and said that we could be cheeky and go down the up ramp as it was empty! Lol. Roy didn’t really want to do it so I jumped in the drivers seat and off we went. I got down to the level above the exit before thinking it would be enough and joined the out queue from there. We were out after about 10 mins from that and saved loads of time. Then we had a lovely meal at a pub round the corner in the evening (with the biggest puddings in the world). On the Sunday, Katie and the kids came over so it was great to see all of them. Archie was smiling away, Mia was talking away and Dylan was playing away so it was great.

But that’s all for now I think. I shall leave it there for now.


Friday, 20 April 2012

Tattoo Update and The Easter Bunny Is Mad

Mia on her egg hunt!
Blimey, it has been a month already since the last time I wrote one of these things! Where in the hell is this year going?? Seriously?? It’s almost third of the way through the year already…. How is that? haha. Anyway, as the last post was a bit of a serious one I thought I would give an update on Muamba – as of this week, he was discharged from hospital showing pictures of him smiling and words of thanks he has given to all the assistance he has received to be where he is now. Its absolutely unreal that his heart stopped beating for 78 minutes and he is still around to show off a smile! Incredible news.

Well what has been going on in this cauldron of chaos that was the last few weeks of my life, lol.

Old Mates In New Places
Over the last month or so I have met up with some people that I hadn’t seen in ages, and I mean ages. I met up with an old mate I played football with from about age 11-16 Rob George down in London, where we had a nice Thai curry and a bottle of wine (I will come to wine later as well). It was great to have a catch up after not seeing him in about 12 years. The last time we saw each other we couldn’t even drive, now Rob is getting married later this year and we are all grown up, mental. One thing I found funny, and interesting in a way, was that when I was going to meet him I was driving down a road and recognised instantly from distance that it was him just by the way he was walking. He doesn’t have anything odd about his walk or anything I guess that it’s just another specific thing we do that we don’t really know. I think I could pick a few people that I know out by the way they walk now that I have thought about it, lol.

Then a few weeks back one of my friends Kevin from New York was over on a business trip which meant he was staying down in London for a while. We met up and had a good wander around London from Marble Arch to Piccadilly which was cool. We had some awesome burgers and then headed to a sports bar where there were about 10 football matches going on at once. It was great to catch up with him as I used to go to New York a couple of times a year a while back to see stay with friends, back when they were all around from college and it was basically party season which was great. Hopefully I will get back out there at some point soon but everyone is all over the place now. So yeah, overall it was good to catch up with old friends.

Tattoo Is Taking Shape
After Main
After Inside
So last Friday I was in for my second day session with Jammes at Woody’s tattoo shop in High Wycome to get some more work done on my left arm. It was pretty much a solid day of tattooing with me sitting down at 10:45 and finishing at 5:20 with only a 20 minute break for lunch in between. It was all work on shading and detail and now I only have a couple of hours left of highlighting and a little bit more shading before it’s done. I can’t wait.

Other than that there has been Easter which I spent down at my mums with Lara, my mum, Roy, Katie, Tom, Dylan, Mia and Archie which was awesome. There was an Easter egg hunt which we did for Dylan and Mia and it was hilarious, they were running around picking up eggs with Dylan saying ‘The Easter Bunny has gone mad!! He's Gone Mad’ and Mia saying ‘Lot-Lot’ which was her version of chocolate for every egg she picked up. All in all that was a fun day.

Dylan while the Easter Bunny was going MAD!!

Future Wine Connoisseur
Now, I mentioned wine earlier and here’s why. I have always disliked wine growing up so never really thought much about it but lately I have developed a bit of a taste for it - I think I mentioned about it in my Paris post a while back. I think it’s because I only ever tasted wine at parties where it was bought in bulk and not very good stuff. I went out with some friends and we had a couple of nice bottles of wine a while back and I realised that I quite liked it. Then when I was in Paris I drank enough wine to kill a donkey but enjoyed it all too. So I have decided that I am going to open up a bit to wine and try a few to try and get a bit of an idea about things. Strangely enough there is a wine shop in Ampthill about 2 minutes from where I live, which I either haven’t noticed before or its new (I think its new), so I went in there yesterday and bought four bottles of wine – two red and two white. I have a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand (Marlborough), a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile (Casablanca Valley), a Pinot Noir from Chile (Casablanca Valley) and a Pinot Noir from France as well so I can compare a couple, lol. I will let you know how it goes.

Other than that I think that’s about it. I have my second concert of the year coming up on the 28th April. It’s completely different to Rammestein and Im going with my cousin Matt (@TheTilley) and another mate Ahmed (@Ahmedozman) which should be awesome!

Take it easy.


Monday, 19 March 2012

Sometimes You Are Reminded

Today’s blog is a bit of a different one, not a diary as such but more of a putting some opinions and thoughts down – so a real type of blog really, haha. The reason is that this weekend has definitely been one of the most extraordinary I have experienced in my life…. and here’s why…

Usually on a Friday night on my way home from work I give my mum a call for a catch up, just to have a check in and see how things are going with everything. This week when I spoke to her I found out that our cat ‘Roo’ had been put down that afternoon. Now I say our cat as even though I haven’t lived with my mum for four and a half years we had that cat since I was about 12 (I’m 27 now) so it was very much a family pet. It’s always sad when a family pet goes, everyone knows it will happen (unless you have a tortoise that will probably outlive your grandchildren) but it’s still sad when it happens. Roo was old and to be fair had a great run as a cat, but he was getting old and things were starting to be noticeable that he was on last knockings, so it was nice in a way that it was over before it could become painful for him. So yeah the weekend started on quite a low note.

Saturday was a fairly normal day, I popped into Milton Keynes to get a few bits and then home to settle down to watch the FA Cup match between Spurs and Bolton on TV in the evening. This is the main part of this blog as it wasn’t your regular run of the mill football match.

Everything started fairly normally in the game, Spurs went 1-0 down and then struck to make it 1-1 before starting to really take control of the game…..then it happened. About five minutes before half time the camera briefly cut to one of the Bolton players, Fabrice Muamba, lying face down and looking in some distress in the middle of the pitch. The cameras cut away and it became clear very quickly that something serious was happening. Physios from both teams rushed on to attend to him and from that moment on Football was no longer important. You could tell from the players reactions, some in tears, some holding their face, some turning away, players from either team comforting each other, this was something that nobody wanted to be experiencing. The crowd fell silent, and when 35,000 people fall silent it is an extremely eerie sound. They could all see the CPR being given and after a minute or two a defibrillator was bought on to try and assist in the resuscitation efforts which showed the severity of the situation on the pitch. As the crowd started to realise that Muamba was fighting for his life you could see the concern in every single face. It didn’t matter if it was a Spurs fan or a Bolton fan, at that point sides didn’t matter, there were even Bolton players standing with the Spurs crowd. Quiet chants of Muambas name were starting to break out, then it could be heard from all areas of the stadium. As long as I live I will never forget that sound, it wasn’t a specific sound but you knew it was there – it was the sound of 35,000 people pleading for him to live. The treatment on the pitch went on for around 10 minutes, then he was taken off on a stretcher and the rest of the players left the field straight after. Then we waited……

Rightly so, the match was abandoned after what happened, there was no way that any player on that pitch was in any state to continue playing the game. There wasn’t a murmur of disappointment from the crowd when it was announced either, they knew this was serious…. and this was one of those moments that shows you how insignificant and unimportant sport really is overall. From that moment on the rest of the evening was a waiting game, everyone waiting to hear something positive about Muambas condition. What happened shows how little the majority of people cared about the football when a young man – he is only 23 years old – is fighting for his life. There were thousands upon thousands of people sending messages of hope on Twitter, professionals from all teams and all over the world showing their concern and just willing for a positive outcome from it all. I think Kyle Walker (Spurs right-back) summed it up perfectly, he said ‘Doesn't matter who you support. Doesn't matter if you aren't a football fan. Doesn't matter if you aren't religious. Pray for Fabrice Muamba’. For the majority of that evening, not knowing what was happening I think that’s exactly what most people were doing. To quote ESPN, who were covering the game, everyone was ‘fearing the worst but hoping for the best’.

Later that evening news filtered through that the club physios and emergency teams had got Muamba breathing again. It was the best news that people could have hoped for. Since then I know I, and many other people I’m sure, are keeping as up to date with things as they can and hoping that he pulls through. As I write this he is currently in intensive care following what was confirmed as a cardiac arrest on the pitch. I think what happened has really bought home how precious life really is to a lot of people, I know it did with me. When something like that happens to someone so young and so physically fit then it shows how delicate things can be. There has been an extreme amount of good come from the situation as well as the bad. Seeing the reactions from fans of all teams, players of all teams and people not even involved in sport shows that it is just a game and when needed, the game gets forgotten. When you get past the surface of the rivalry’s, the bad feeling and anything else like that, everyone unites together at a time like that and sport is the last thing on people’s minds. Last night the Real Madrid game was on TV and before the game the players were wearing shirts with ‘Get Well Soon Muamba’ and ‘Animo Abidal’ written on them. Eric Abidal is due to have a liver transplant following diagnosis of liver cancer last year and plays for Real Madrids fiercest rivals Barcelona, which once again shows how little football matters at times like this. It was such a small gesture by Real Madrid that showed enormous class.
Complete class from Real Madrid
It was just such a bizarre situation, something I never want to go through again, and it really does show you how precious every moment you are alive is - you just don’t know what is around the corner. It reminded me of the first boxing match I ever watched, Nigel Benn Vs Gerald McClellan. At the end of the fight McClellan collapsed in the ring and was rushed to hospital with a blood clot on his brain. He survived but sadly he is now blind and suffered some brain damage also. I was quite young and it was a moment of my life that I will never forget and I know that this is one of those moments as well. I know terrible things like this happen every day all over the world and it was another reminder on Sunday of this weekend of that too. Kilmarnock had just won the Scottish League cup final against Celtic but the celebrations were cut short as one of the Kilmarnock players father had a heart attack as the celebrations were going on and sadly passed away. What I mean is that yes terrible things happen every day but when it’s something so prominent and brings home how fragile life can be it can really touch a nerve with a lot of people. I’m certain that anyone who was watching on TV or especially all the people at the game will never forget what happened this weekend and I’m certain that none of them will every want to go through it ever again. Even though I don’t know Fabrice Muamba, the whole situation made it one of the worst 10 minutes to experience. Everyone now and then something will come along to remind you - Don't take life for granted, it's just too precious

There is simply one way to end this blog

Pray For Muamba   -   Animo Abidal

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Greatest Concert Ever

The awesome wings from 'Engel'
As with Paris, I had to write a special entry on the Rammstein concert I went to last Friday as its was absolutely incredible! Seriously, it was one of the best things I have ever seen in any shape or form, wow! Yes its heavy rock, yes it’s pretty much all in German and I don’t know what they are saying even if I do know the words – but Christ, it is one hell of a show. They have always said that they need to be a spectacle live as 99% of people don’t understand what is being said in the songs. They have a reputation for putting on an incredible stage show and they didn’t disappoint. There was fire, and I mean a load of fire – coming from the floor, the ceiling, the wings that he put on in ‘Engel’ (see the main photo for the blog) and facemasks the guitarists wear when they play ‘Feuer Frei’ that shoot flames about 20 feet. There was also, smoke, more explosions than you can imagine, foam being fired over the crowd and the keyboard player crowd surfing the whole way round the standing area in a rubber dinghy! Here's a quick little video of that and a good photo below!..... 
Flake crowd surfing in the dinghy!
I have been a fan of Rammstein for a long time, but they very rarely play anywhere outside of Germany so when I found out about the show at the O2 I just had to go. The tickets sold out within the first couple of hours but I was going to make it there somehow. Then as a big surprise I was given the tickets by Lara (@laazarini7) for my birthday and WHAT A PRESENT! I went with my mate Sean (@seanieboy86) who I have been to a few Download Festivals with. We were down in standing rather than in the stands as that is where all the major action and rocking happens. Everything went dark and as we had just been at the bar we were about halfway back in the standing area, still with a great view. This great big walkway was coming down out of the roof and we were just waiting to see what was going to happen. They didn’t appear on stage but came right out of one of the stand entrances at the side, walking down and through the crowd. When it happened we were literally two or three people back from where they walked through the crowd. I have a video of the intro but this one someone posted on YouTube is much better as it’s from a view up in the stands right next to where they walked out!! You can watch for 5 seconds to see the big walkway, then skip to 2mins in when they enter! Please stick with it, it’s worth the watch! They kicked off with Sonne (also in that video) and the place went nuts!
Gradually we worked our way forward through the crowd and ended up about three people back from the front. You could really feel the heat of things from there! As I mentioned above there was loads of fire throughout and I would have taken photos or videos of Feuer Frei, as it looked amazing, but I was far too busy rocking out like a lunatic with Sean as that is one of my favourites.
Fire from the facemasks in 'Feuer Frei'
There was a great bit during ‘Du Hast’ where the lead singer, Till Lindemann, fires a shotgun into the air and fireworks go screaming through the O2 before everything goes crazy and fire starts shooting from everywhere on stage. I have a good video of this from where we are stood at the time.

One of the best performances of the evening was for ‘Engel’ where the lead singer comes out wearing a giant pair of wings, but these aren’t any wings. They fire flames out of each end and explode the whole way up and down them – Awesome.

They played on stage for about two and a half hours in the end so it wasn’t exactly a short show either. The last song was accompanied by Till Lindemann sitting on a massive foam firing machine painted like a mans private place! Lol. The first 10 rows or so were just covered in foam. Once again I have a video of this too

Sean said that he would give up on a weekend at a festival just to see their show again and he’s not wrong, they were just amazing! So Sean and I have Lara to thank for getting me the tickets for my birthday and all in all it was a great evening. Grabbing some food at the O2 before watching possibly the best live concert I will ever see. Take a bow Rammstein – they probably would, and then they would throw in some fire and explosions for the hell of it!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Bonjour Paris

Very pretty at night
I had to write a quick something on Paris before I forgot some of the details as it was such a great weekend.

On Saturday morning I was up stupidly early to catch a train from Flitwick into London. Lara was a legend and got up to give me a lift to the station which, on a weekend, is a quality thing to do at that dark and cold time of the day. It was a nice easy journey into London but checking in through Eurostar was a big mess. They had people checking your tickets, baggage security and then passport control all within about 20m of each other which made a real hash of any order. The worst thing is that they were rushing people through who were turning up late for their trains and it was just bunching everyone up in a tiny space. Not good on their part that!

In the departure lounge I thought I would have a coffee and a Panini so headed to a Costa, ordered my Panini and coffee before sitting at a table. I got my yummy all day breakfast Panini and started drinking my coffee and was sitting nice and happily. After finishing my food I heard one of the guys behind the counter saying ‘did anyone order a Panini?, your Panini is ready’ after about 10-15 seconds (a time I feel reasonable to claim some food if you are standing waiting for it) nobody had said anything so I thought, screw it, claimed the Panini and shot out of the shop quick as you like, haha. I haven’t done it before and I doubt I will ever do it again but if that happened to be you waiting for a Panini that never came on Saturday morning – I’m sorry - it was very tasty if it makes you feel better.

On to Paris, the Eurostar is pretty damn quick, and surprisingly smooth! There was even a plug socket to charge my iPhone ready for the day after playing / reading on it all the way there. We had a delay along the way as someone jumped in front of a train at the station while we were en-route but other than that it was a nice and easy journey. I met up with my mate Nico, back to his to drop off my stuff before heading out to see the city. First port of call was lunch so we headed to a lovely French restaurant where I had some snails for a started. As I have developed a bit of a taste for wine lately we had a nice bottle of Bordeaux red with our meal too. I had steak (cooked perfectly) and Nico had Andouillette which he couldn’t explain what it was in English. It was extremely tasty and full of flavour. Here is a link to what it is - - (basically bits and bobs of intestines and stuff made into a sausage, was lush though).

I loved the snails
Andouillette - Surpisingly tasty
After that we did some tourist things, the Louvre, Camps Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and I saw the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night which was really nice (Blog Photo) then back to Nicos to relax before a night out. Now, in England pre-drinks usually consist of either some beers, ciders or some form of spirits, but in France its different. Three of Nicos friends came over to meet us before heading out and they all bought a bottle of red wine with them. So there we were drinking wine and having some bread and cheese before our night out – how sophisticated! We didn’t leave the apartment until 10pm to head for dinner which is perfectly normal in Paris, when we got to the restaurant at 10:15pm there were still people arriving after us. In here we had some more wine and then I had some duck that was just absolutely amazing, it was just seared and the sauce was just delicious. The French certainly know how to cook!
The most amazing duck I have ever tasted

Off to some bars now and they were doing some crazily cheap deals on 10 shots so we had a ridiculous amount of them, including some absinthe and a load of Jager Bombs. The absinth felt like someone had walked into the bar and smacked us round the face with a bat, god it was strong. I was drunk enough to be telling people that the matrix tattoo on my arm meant that 'I have one cat, one horse and a dog with the library being on the right and left down the road' but I was saying this all in French of course! About 3am we thought we would head to a club…. At 3am!!! Most places in England are shut at 3am! Partied the night away with some champagne and more jager bombs before leaving the club at about 5:30am. Now, my one hate for the weekend were Taxi drivers, it was like they weren’t interested in doing their job. None would stop, the ones that did stop said they weren’t going where we were going (I’m sorry what’s your job again?) and it took us absolutely ages to get home! But other than that it was a great night.

Sunday we were feeling a bit rough but we headed out for some more tourist stuff. We had some lunch (amazing burger with the tastiest orange juice ever!) and saw the Notre Dame Cathedral, the city hall which was massive and then the Sacre Coeur. There were some street performers but one football juggler that was immense. I will try to get a video up on YouTube of him, but he was doing keep ups hanging from a lamp post and everything! After that it was back to the station for the long journey home - What an experience.

So yeah, the food was just out of this world incredible, the wine was just delicious and Nico and his friends were just brilliant company. It would be nice to be able to do something like that again sometime, maybe Lara will get over her dislike of being in France and we can pop over there sometime - I will certainly miss eating the proper French food until then!


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Tattoos, Birthdays and Nearly Paris

First stage of the tattoo, lots of work to be done yet though
Less than a month since the last blog, check me out!! Lol. There has been a few things going on lately and I suppose I should put them down on paper (or parade them on the internet) for people to have a look at.

Now, biggest news and the thing I was most excited about last time was my latest tattoo, so this had to be my main photo for the blog. On the 4th February I headed to Woody’s Tattoo Shop in High Wycome to have a tattoo done that I have been waiting a long time for. I booked it in November as the waiting list for the artist I wanted was so long, so it was a bit of a wait but I didn’t mind the delay though. I figured that if I was going to have such a big art piece done that had a lot of detail and input from the artist needed on the design then I was going to make sure that I had a brilliant artist to do it. The artist is called Jammes and he has done a couple of tattoos for my friend Sean before so I know that his work is a bit special. The link to his page on the Woody’s website is here - - you can actually see one of Seans on the left below Laurel & Hardy. Anyway, I went in there on the Saturday morning with the pictures / writing and after a good chat with Jammes we changed the whole set up of the tattoo, completely for the better though. I especially like his idea to invert the writing at the bottom of the tattoo. I was getting tattooed for about six hours and I have to say that god damn it hurt. The first couple of hours weren’t so bad and it was just a bit of a sting but towards the end of the day it was taking its toll and my whole arm was feeling sore and throbbing. The most painful parts were on the inside of my arm and on the top inside of my shoulder (the top of the shoulder might have been because it was the last thing he did and I had probably hit my limit by then). But anyway, what I have already is an absolutel masterpiece but I have the second session booked for April to finish it off. Jammes thinks there will be about another five hours to do in the second sitting which will probably hurt again, haha. There is a lot of filling in, shading, highlighting and shadows to be done to what I already have so the photo above is not near finished yet. I can’t wait to get it finished off.

The Saturday I had the tattoo was a part of one of the best weekends I have had in a long time. On the Friday night I headed down to Maidenhead to meet up with my friend Sean (the one with the tattoos above) and we headed to the gym before chilling at Pizza Express for a while. We played some FIFA into the night and I lost the first game but currently have a winning streak of about eight or nine games going, which is awesome as Sean is pretty damn good at it. Saturday all day was tattooing and then off to Joe and Shelleys in the evening for a nice dinner and hanging out which was nice as we don’t get to do it as often as I would like. I was feeling completely drained after the tattoo though which was a bit of a shame. Then on the Sunday morning after the snow we were mucking about in the garden with their 1 yr old son Josh which was a laugh. About mid day Joe and I went to meet up with our mate Nick, who we have known for years but I haven’t seen in quite a while. It was great to have the three of us hanging out as it was like old times. Hopefully we can do that again soon. Then back up to Bedfordshire where Lara and I headed out for a Yo Sushi (again, we love that place). So all in all a quality weekend.

The weekend before that was my nephew Dylans 5th birthday so we drove to my mums on the Saturday to stay the night, played a game (Which I won, Booyah!!) and then headed to my sisters on the Sunday for the birthday party. There were kids everywhere and it was completely mental but it was such a good day. I loved watching Dylan opening his presents and to top it all off, the whole day he was wearing the onesie I bought him for Christmas which was awesome!

I mentioned last time that I might be going to see my mate in Paris, Nico, well I booked that up and that is this weekend actually so I’m pretty excited to head out there and see him. We used to live together in Hemel Hempstead for six months and got on really well so Im looking forward to seeing him again. Also I am looking forward to doing a couple of touristy things and seeing what the Paris nightlife is like too.

Other than that I have the Rammestein concert coming up on the 24th Feb which I know will be absolutely out of this world. Hopefully I will be able to get some photos / videos but to be honest I will probably be so busy throwing myself about like a lunatic that I will probably forget, Haha. There are a couple of photos below to show why they are just an incredible live show!!

I think that’s about all for now, Fringe has started back up again and is becoming more incredible with every episode. Do any of you watch that? If not, you should.

Take it easy

Thursday, 19 January 2012

2011 Review & Happy 2012

Family Football - Immense
Happy new year to everyone!! How far into the year can you go before saying happy new year becomes just a little bit daft? I’d say at the end of the first week is when it's really ok to still say it so yeah, in writing the Happy New Year at the start of the sentence, I have made myself an annoying twerp, haha.

Christmas Jumperama
So hopefully everyone had a brilliant Christmas, mine was awesome. Christmas eve I went out with the guys I went out with the year before although this time we didn’t have a megaphone with us. This year we all went out wearing Christmas jumpers which just looked hilarious. We ended up having a fair bit to drink, meeting up with the girls through the night and having an awesome time. Roll on Christmas Eve 2012.

Family Football
I have to write about the Christmas Eve football match with my family too. As I mentioned before, we had arranged a game where our whole 11-a-side team and subs would be made up of family members from my dad’s side of the family – cousins, uncles, brothers, dads. It was just amazing to be on the same pitch as everyone, some who had never even played football before but did really well! It was a real shame my dad was away on business as it would have been amazing to play in a game with him too. Some were in their 60s and there were 16 year olds too. We played against a proper team and ended up losing 6-5 but the game was great. You could see some of the older players were definitely decent when they were younger as they were a step ahead even while being slow. I managed to score as well which was a great feeling. My uncle Jon videoed the game too so I have been able to watch it back which is nice. Overall it was one of the best experiences I have ever had and definitely the most enjoyable game of football I have ever played. Brilliant! Obviously this had to be the main photo for the blog this month, haha.

Presents and Stuff
On the Christmas day Lara and I woke up and did our pressies which was cool, then we started the long drive down to my mum and Roys place in the New Forest. Katie, Tom, Dylan and Mia arrived just after we did so we had most of the day with an extremely excited and happy four year old and an 18month old that seemed to love getting clothes (who would have thought that?!). One of the best things was Dylan picking up a present from me and Lara and then coming to say thank you with massive hugs, BEFORE he had opened the present, lol. We got Dylan some HexBugs which are such a laugh to play with, we played for about 2 hours and made up stupid rules and stuff. Mia was really lovely on the day too, she kept coming for cuddles which was nice, although she did bring me a Brazil nut which would effectively close my throat but I’m sure she meant well, haha. So yeah, Christmas day with everyone was absolutely amazing, and I got two Onesies which are just the best things since sliced bread!! We even played some games after my sister and the clan had left.
The Onesie with Dylan in his too and Mia

Christmas week was fairly manic too, we went to Lara’s dads on Boxing day and had some nice food, some games and watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I wasn’t sure about this movie at first but after watching it I was thinking that it was one of the movies of the year. Such a great story, paced well and as it is a prequel it really does a great job of setting everything up for the movies made before. It’s not all action so don’t let that put you off watching it, it has real depth and is well worth your time. Later in the week we headed to Lara’s mums place for some amazing curry cooked by James. Some more drinking was done and it was another great day over the Christmas break!

Goodbye 2011
Then New Years Eve rolled around and we had another house party at our friend Katie’s house which was the scene of the dog food eating / drunken state from two years before, haha. I even had a special bucket ready for me with my name on, haha. This was another great night and I managed to get through it without being a mess or sick which was nice. Lara let the team down with a visit to chunder town though, haha. There were drinking games with the big glass where Pat managed to beat his six minute record with a time of about five minutes and 30 seconds – keep improving!! The New Year rolled in and we danced to some Scottish stuff too which was a laugh. Good times.

The Graham bucket

Now it’s pretty much back in the swing of normality again. Back to work which has turned out to be busier than ever, although that does make the days go fast which is nice. I have started the wheels rolling on booking up Dans stag do for June which should be great – off to Newcastle! I have just over two weeks until I get the tattoo so I will be putting photos of that up when I have it done. I might be going to see my French mate Nico in Paris at some point in March for a weekend so that should be cool, although the Eurostar is a cheeky mo fo and charges three times more to get back from Paris than it does to get there….

Last year I did a ‘Top Things of 2010’ list so here is my one for 2011:

Top Album: Ed Sheeran - + (Plus)
Top Song: Labrinth featuring Tinie Tempah – Earthquake -
Top Film: Super 8 (Rise of the Planet of the Apes in a close second)
Best Actor: Kevin Bacon – In X Men First Class (brilliant old school villain)
Best Actress: Elle Fanning (The young female actress in Super 8)
Top Xbox Game: Gears of War 3
Top Playstation Game: I haven’t played any this year so I’m just saying Heavy Rain because of how incredible it is!
Top TV Series: Fringe
Top TV Show: The Young Apprentice

Top Moment of 2011: The Christmas Eve football match with the whole 11-a-side team, and subs, made up of my family members. What an absolutely incredible experience that was!

Other than that I think that’s about it for now. Have a few things to do over the next couple of weeks so I will try and write a bit more often (as I always say, haha)