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 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andouillette - (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 - http://www.woodystattoostudio.com/Tattoo%20Gallerys/Jammes%20Galleries/JAMMES9.html - 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