Further Updates on My Life

26 05 2010

This first part was written on 16th of Feb 2007, and the 2nd on the 13th August 2008

1997

For some reason I was thinking what I was doing a decade ago:

I was at college studying English Language, P.E. and Law.

I had a part-time job at Homebase

I was listening to Radiohead OK Computer, Blur by Blur, the Fat of the Land by the Prodigy.

I learnt to drive and had a brown Mini, with a tape player that I used to make tapes for

I rode my mountain bike, that summer I was doing 200 miles a week

I used to play roller hockey with my mates Lee and Nick

I first went to the pub

I got mugged

I  lived with my parents

2007

A decade has gone by now and what the hell has changed in my life.  I finished College with 2E’s and an N.  I lost all faith in the English legal system as a result.  I went to university and started studying forestry, which I then changed to get a 2:2 in Geography.

I work for a charity called the Tropical Forest Trust, having left Homebase after 8 years.

I have actually just listened to tracks off of all of those albums on my mp3 player

I still have no claims and now drive a Ford Fiesta, I long for the day that I can afford to buy a mini as a 2nd car

My mountain bike hasn’t been out of the shed for 3 years

I had to get rid of my blades, and Lee and Nick are both married.  Lee lives in Chichester and Nick lives in Aberdeen.

I still enjoy going to the pub

Haven’t been mugged since

Due to a series of unfortunate incidents I am back living with my parents

So have I developed as a person in 10 years, I really hope so.  Who knows!  Am I better off?  Yes, but i’m buying a flat, so that’s going out of the window.  I’m certainly more world wise, I know that.

So why am I thinking all of this?  I have no idea, it just seemed like a good idea at the time.  That and the fact that im sat at home on a friday night alone is also a kickback to 10 years ago.,

13th August 2008

After problems at work, and my role changing I have left the TFT, and am currently temping in a metal factory.  I have an interview today for a job that I don’t really want and am not that confident of getting anyway.

I havn’t bought any music since May, which is really sad, and it’s probably been that long since I went to a gig too.

I still have no claims and now drive a Ford Fiesta, I long for the day that I can afford to buy a mini as a 2nd car.  My car is however gradually falling apart.

My mountain bike is on the landing, and I ride it regularly.  I am in the early stages of training to ride from Lands End to John O’Groats (or the other way around).

I had to get rid of my blades, and Lee and Nick are both married.  Lee lives in Chichester and has a Kid called Evelyn Louise, and Nick lives in Aberdeen.

I still enjoy going to the pub but haven’t been for a while.

I own my own flat with the housemate, although depending on finances in a few months I may have to move back in with the parents and rent out my room.

So there you go, just a quick update, not sure what will happen in another 18 months time.  I will keep you informed.

26th May 2010

I am now 30.  Woo hoo, where did that time go.  The last 18 months has flown by.  The biggest thing in my life is that I am engaged to H.  This came as a bit of a surprise to me, but I really couldn’t be happier about it.

I have been working at the University of Portsmouth doing Admin work, I don’t particularly enjoy it, but in the current economic climate a job is better than no job.  I also really like the people, which helps more than you can imagine.

I am still buying Music, most recently that fantastic High Violet by the National. 

Still no claims on the car.  It is however still falling apart.

H and I go out on our bikes whenever the sun is out, and we are enjoying getting fitter together.

For a year I had a decent quiz team that would go to the pub every Tuesday, however that has tailed off now that one has moved to London, the Boy Lord has moved to Korea, and Ahab is going back to sea.

I didn’t have to move back home, but a move is on the cards as H and I look to move in together before the wedding.  We have set a year, so 2012 it is. 

I have taken up photography as a hobby instead of more energetic pursuits.

All in all I can conclude that my life is pretty darn good now.  Much better than it has been in previous years.

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Montage Populaire

25 05 2010
I went to see Chapel Club at the Joiners last night, who were very Joy division-esque.  Very talented, but also absolutely wasted.  Their set was about 25 minutes long, which is about half of what I wanted.
 
Easily the best band of the night were Montage Populaire, a Southampton 5 piece (according to Myspace).  Now the first bands on don’t normally get much of a mention from me, but these were outstandingly good, and I hope that they will be headlining their own shows soon.  I would definitely go to see them again.  They were everything that I like in a band, quirky, catchy, energetic and they have trumpets.   The only thing that I didn’t like was the guitartists trousers, but then again I think that Rolled up skinnyfit jeans should be banned.
 
I have googeled them so that I can put a link on here, and found some brilliant reviews, especially this one from Artrocker, who also placed them at number 67 of the top 100 records of the year for 2009.  Not bad for an unsigned Demo. 
Check out Montage Populaire, but don’t dismiss Chapel Club.




Relaxing Weekend

24 05 2010

I guess as some of you will know, I am getting married. My wonderful (now) Fiancee said yes, even though I was drunk and had not planned anything (Riga Black Balsam has a lot to answer for). We haven’t set a date, we have barely set a year (2012).

Since this happened nearly a fortnight ago in Riga, we have been crazily busy with things going on, so this weekend was nice and relaxing taking pleasure in being out in the sunny weather. We went out on our bikes and the picked up the engagement ring before going out with some of H’s friends to a pub and drinking again.

On Sunday we went to Queen Elizabeth Country park for a walk so that my sister can wear in her new hiking boots before she hits the Himalayas. For the afternoon we sat in my parents back garden with a BBQ eating and drinking away the rest of the day lazily. It will be the most relaxing weekend that we will have for a while.





Riga Pt 2.

19 05 2010

Thursday in Riga was cause for celebration.  It was my 30th Birthday, a day that I cannot believe has come around so quickly.  In fact the whole reason I was in Riga was because my Parents had paid for mine and H’s flights (thank you) and the hotel (Hanza Hotel by the way is very nice, and fairly cheap.  I would recommend it).

Hannah had bought me an amazingly cool Watch to add to my growing collection.  Dev, KP and May-Z had found me a spectacularly crap commemorative Prince William and Harry mug.  Bimbo and Fat Bob bought an oil burner to help me sleep, which I am a bit scared of trying incase I set fire to my curtains.

After a leisurely breakfast we made a plan to walk to the TV tower which is on it’s own separate island.  This meant that we had to walk over one of the massive bridges.  Which built during the Communist era is now crumbling and doesn’t look particularly safe, but it has some brilliant graffitti on it.  

The tower started looming large as we walked towards it and only got bigger.  It is the tallest structure in the Baltics at 328m.  We paid our money and travelled up in the weird slopey lift to a height of 92m where we got a great view and a tour in German.  I think that we understood a lot of it and found out the Riga has a population of One Million, that the windows are covered in Rust and that the tower is on Rabbit Island.  Exciting stuff.

After scaling the tower we headed towards the old town for a drink and a look around the Occupation Museum, which despite being incredibly interesting also throughly depressed me.  It depressed me so much in fact that had to go and have cocktails in the Cuban Bar.  Followed by more, posher cocktails in the Skyline bar on the 26th floor of a hotel, with fantastic views over the whole of Riga.

Dinner that night was a medieval feast in a 12 century cellar restaurant called Rozengrals.  All of the recipes that they use can be traced back to the 12th or 13th century.  The wine comes in Goblets and the beer in tankards, and your bread comes in a hessian sack.  I partook in the French Onion soup and then the Rabbit Stew.  Both were amazing and well worth the money that we spent on them.

Friday was slightly sad as none of us actually wanted to leave the un-seasonably warm city, and we had a slow mooch around the old town and ended up in the Sun museum, which is a collection of images of the sun from around the World.  This was made better by the fact that we had a great guide who talked us through the whole collection and afterwards we could go and paint our own suns. Mine was terrible, as I have no artistic talent what so ever, but we all had fun designing ours.

I loved Riga, and although I try and go somewhere different every time I go away I would go back there.  I suspect though that this will become more and more touristy as cheap flights go there.  This was already evident as we saw a couple of Stag and Hen parties there, letting the country down with their drunken behaviour (you shouldn’t be falling in a ditch at 2 in the afternoon).

I am putting more photo’s up on my photo Blog and as always there are more on Flickr.





Riga Pt 1.

18 05 2010

Waking up at the crack of dawn last Tuesday the 5 of us, H, Bimbo, Dev, KP and I headed to Stanstead airport and boarded an as usual crowded plane. We did appear to be the only English passengers on the plane, with the rest being Latvians returning home to Riga. This may explain why that, when we landed a round of applause broke out… It wasn’t actually that bad a flight and I have definitely had worse landings.

After a crowded bus ride from hell we got to Riga old town and tried to find our hotel using two of the worst maps ever produced. We didn’t actually have too much trouble and dropped our bags off before we went in search of some food. We eventually decided on a little place near a church and has a superb meal for a few quid.

Feeling full we had a look around the town and got our bearings before we headed back to the hotel to check in, have a bit of a snooze and then go to the restaurant for a few beers and some food. This turned out to be a mistake, as we discovered Riga Black Balsam, a 45% proof beverage made of 24 different herbs, including Wormwood which gives Absinthe its weirdness.

This led to 2 things, the first being KP getting into an argument with a Finnish racist and Me proposing to H. What is even more surprising is that H said yeas, and so now I am getting married, which is really awesome (I won’t write any more about that here).

The next day with hangovers and in my case, a slightly wobbly stomach we headed out to go up the tower of St Peter’s Church where we would get a great view of the city. We also headed around to the Powder Tower and Arms museum and had a walk around some of the art-deco style streets and had a sit in the park.

We went to look at the Freedom monument, a potent symbol for Latvians who have had a horrible time at the hands of larger neighbours. Feeling incredibly tired from our walk around the city we went to the Riga Black Magic bar, where everything is Black Balsam based. I can recommend the cocktails and cake.

Going back into town in the evening we at a nice meal and a few beers before turning in for the night.

I will post more about Riga and my Birthday tomorrow.





Random Diary

17 05 2010
This is a bit of a catch up Blog, as I have been on Holiday and got lots to tell you, about all sorts of different things.  I am going to do it diary style.
 
Saturday 8th of May – Celebration of Steam at the Historic Dockyard.
 
H and I decided that we would go down to the Celebration of Steam, not sure what it would entail, but we had a great day.   Our £12 ticket, got us entry to HMS Warrior, which I had wanted to go on for ages, a Harbour tour on a

Traction Engine

boat, where we got to see part of the British Navy that is docked in Portsmouth.  As well as this there was a collection of traction engines and steam powered memorabelia including the world record holding fastest steam car in the world, which took the record by going nearly 150 mph.

 
There was also an Ale and Sausage Festival where we had a local tipple and an Ostrich burger.  Which I can say is very nice.
 
Monday 10th May – Natural History Museum – London
 
As we were flying to Riga Early on Tuesday we had decided to stay at Stanstead the night before which gave us the opportunity to go to London.

The Natural History Museum Dinosaur

  We had wanted to get to the Natural History Museum for ages and it didn’t disappoint.  It is spectacular but we could have done with having more time. 

 
After a swift meal in China Town we headed to Wimbledon to meet with May-Z who unfortunately wouldn’t be there for my birthday.  We had some great conversations about professional quiz-masters among others.
 
Tuesday 11th May – Riga
 
We flew to Riga from Stanstead on Ryan Air.  It was ok.  It was also my Dad’s birthday, so happy birthday to him.  I will write more about Riga in another Blog, but it was great fun.
 
Saturday 15th May- FA Cup Final
 
Pompey were in the FA Cup final, after a turbulent season with Relegation administration, numerous owners and players jumping ship, we had battled our way to Wembley. 
 
We defended brilliantly in the first half and were saved by the woodwork on 6 occasions and went in at half time 0-0.
 
Daring to dream in the second half, we had a penalty, which Kevin Prince Boateng scuffed and was saved, and then Didier Drogba scored the winner.  Not what the fairytale deserved.
 
Sunday 16th May – World Twenty-20 and Gigs.
 
Well done to England, World T-20 champions.  It was a brilliant final, with all parts of our team on fire.  Bowling was economical, Craig Kieswetter and KP were on fire, and we were finally steered home by Paul Collingwood and Eion Morgan with 3 overs to go, a huge margin in this form of the game.  To beat the Aussies was the icing on the cake.
 
As soon as this had finished I rushed out the door to go and see North Atlantic Oscilation at the Joiners. The Sarah Griffin Band were great, the Rebs were average and NAO were probably the best band that I had seen this year.
 
There you go, brief, but good.  I will catch you up on Riga later.  




Innis and Gunn

9 05 2010

I was brought a bottle of this ale for my birthday. It is probably one of the best real Ales that I have ever drank.  This is Innis and Gunn Original.

It apparently has hints of Toffee, Vanilla and Oak, which gives it a sweet taste, it really is very nice.  You can get it from Tesco.