Mental Couple of Months.

10 08 2012

Ahoy, it’s been a while (again). I make no apologies, because I have been really busy. Here are some of the things that I haven’t had time to write about.

Firstly, my Wedding (I got married on the 27th July) and the amazing day that we both had. I know that everybody says that about their wedding, but it was true.

Secondly, my Stag do(s). The first to St. Davids in Wales, where a group of my best friends (women included) organised a weekend getaway. The second was to 2000 Trees festival, which I loved despite the mud and having to leave early. 4 of us went to that.

After the wedding came the honeymoon (or mini-moon as we only went for 3 days) to Paris. We did the usual touristy stuff, but also some other bits and pieces that we wanted to, like the Catacombes under Montparnasse cemetary, and Pere Lechaise to see the graves of Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and Modigliani.

All of this is on top of the busy period in the office with graduations and new student admissions.

It’s still going to be busy for the next few monts, but I will try and write a bit more. In 3 weeks we are going to The End of The Road Festival, which is our wedding present from my group of excellent friends. Then in 7 weeks, we have the honeymoon proper, which we booked yesterday. We are heading to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam for 21 days. Which will be amazing.

All in all, I’m having fun at the moment. I hope that you are too.

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Thoughts on Le Tour 2011

22 07 2011

I have been a bit slack posting things on here of late, with lots of things going on to distract me.  One of them being Le Tour De France.  Pretty much everything stops while this is on and the 7pm nightly highlights become part of my life for 3 weeks in July.  It has been this way since the eighties. Phil Ligget, Paul Sherwen, Gary Imlach, Ned Boulting and Chris Boardman provide the soundtrack of 21 Days. 

This year has been something special for the armchair cycling fan, I can’t ever remember a tour that has been this open.  With 3 stages left any of the top 5 riders could conceivably still take the yellow jersey in Paris on Sunday.  So through the flat stages and the dominance of Mark Cavendish  (what a legend now with 20 Tour stage wins), the 2 stage wins for Edvald Bosson Hagen (who rides for Team Sky, so is an honorary Brit in my eyes), World Champion Thor Hushovd taking 2 breakaway stages, Andy Schleck taking the mammoth stage to the Col du Galibier and a huge chunk of time out of the current leader Thomas Voeckler.  There is a lot that you can say about little Tommy V’s heroics this year, keeping the Yellow through the Pyreneese and into the Alps and keeping himself in contention still.  The effort has been amazing and I hope he keeps a place on the podium.  He won’t win, but I hope he is there. All of this has gone on to make this a great version of the greatest stage race.

The final 3 stages will shape the Tour’s podium and an Alp d’Heuz finish today and a time trial tomorrow will provide the Yellow Jersey (please not Cadel Evans).  The final stage to the Champs Eleysee in Paris will provide the ideal stage for Cav to claim the Green Jersey, providing he gets over the final mountains.

This month has provided more sporting excitement than any football/rugby/cricket/F1 season than I can think of and is an ideal armchair sports fans viewing.  Allez Le Tour.





France

24 05 2011

I have just come back from a week in France, but to be honest, I don’t really have that much to repot.  It was nice and relaxing, apart from the first day (after a night on a ferry with no sleep) where we rushed around the D-Day beaches, to give H a brief over-view of what happened.  To be honest, touring those sites is emotionally draining, especially after no sleep. 

After that we went down to our farmhouse in Hirel on the Baie de Mont St Michel.  Just across the road from the beach, the house was large enough to sleep about 20, and incredibly comfortable.  We went to Mont St Michel on one of the days, but the main thing was the food and wine.  We ate far too much (mainly seafood) and drank too much too, but we were also quite active, going for long walks on the beach and bike rides.

We had oysters straight from the quayside at Cancale, and mussles from the bay, as well as the best piece of Pork that I have ever had (the cheek, cooked in local cider). 

All of my Photo’s are on Flickr, and I will add some to my photo blog in the next week.

Good stuff.  I did add another couple of books to my reading list though:

Cant be Arsed by Richard Wilson

The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell





In Defence of Kaka

21 06 2010
Kaka, one of the Worlds best players, a religious man, and one that you would never do a dirty thing was unjustifiably sent off because of a cheating dirty trick from an Ivory Coast player, during Brazil’s 3-1 victory.  The only surprise to me is that the diving Ivorian in question wasn’t Didier Drogba (who scored a great goal, but I still don’t like him).
 
The referee was shockingly poor anyway (allowing Brazils 2nd goal that was quite clearly 2 handballs), but there was no excuse for the 2nd yellow card shown to Kaka.
 
Not even seeing what had happened, he was conned by the feigning Kader Keita, who went down like he had been punched in the face.  In reality he had ran into Kaka’s shoulder at chest level and then proceeded to writhe around in (faked) agony.   
 
If you watch the replay, the ref only saw the aftermath of the Ivorians surrounding Kaka and a scuffle starting (handbags really, it all came to nothing).  Kaka was then given a 2nd yellow card for Violent conduct.
 
This is what I hate about football, the cheating and the gamesmanship to get other players sent off, especially one as good as Kaka who would have been a star of the next Brazil game, but who could now be banned for up to 4 matches (on seeing the replay there is no way this will be any more than a 2 match ban).
 
Keita, the other player involved will get off with his misdemeanour when in fact he should have been booked for simulation.
 




Things To Do Before I Die (Updated)

1 08 2008

I wrote this about 2 years ago one night when I had just come back from the pub. This was on my myspace page, but I thought that I would update this and repost it here.

Things to do before I die

Walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Climb to Everest Base Camp

Go to Tibet

climb Kilimanjiro

Go to Easter Island

Drive the Nurberg Ring

Go to the Galapogos Islands

See The Scream by Munch

Drive Italy in a Ferrari

The Trans Mongolian Railway from Moscow to Shanghai

Visit the Great Wall Of China

See Red Square (Moscow)

See Victoria Falls

Learn to Fly

Become Fluent in another Language

Learn an Instrument

Go to New Zealand

have a tea ceremony in a Japanese Teagarden in Tokyo

See the Terracotta Warriors

party at the Rio Carnival

Either drive or cycle from Lands End to John o Groats

Visit every Country in Europe

Visit every Continent

Build my own house

Get a Masters

Live for a Year in Paris

Cycle to the mediterranean

Go to Ankor Wat

See the Northern Lights

Stay in an Ice Hotel

Party at an Embassy

Be evacuated from a warzone

Go to the Vatican and see the Sistine chapel

So far in my life ive done some cool things, here are my favourites:

Seen the sun come up over the rain forest from the top of a Mayan Temple

Eaten a Conch as soon as it had been caught

Been amazed at the sound of a Hummingbird

Had a bizzarre experience on a ferry in Fiji

Driven round Europe in a Campervan

Seen Michalangelos David

Been to Monets Garden at Giverney

Whatched the sun set over the pacific

Seen a Tornado form and Hit land

Walked on a glacier

Showered under a waterfall

Been on a hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings

Taken part in the Pamplona Bull Run

Ok, I know that most of my choices involve travelling (Infact all of them do as my house is boring), and some people would probably criticse me for not putting have a family or get married on the things to do list. This may happen, it may not, Im 28, and its not happened so far, its not even on the cards so im not overly expectant in the next few years of having a sprog. Anyway im digressing, on the list of things to do, nothing is unachievable, expensive yes, but not entirely unrealistic. I dont see the point in not wanting to travel in my humble (drunk) opinion, a global sense of place is much more of a desirable trait in people than never having been out of the country but having a sprog. I like the fact that I have more in common with an Australian than I do with my niece who has never had a job, but has 3 kids.

To be fair, im not entirely sure of the point that im trying to make, im sure there is one. I like my life and I like the fact that I can go anywhere, any when and not answer to anyone. However I wouldnt change the fact that I know how a hummingbird sounds for anything, even if someone may find this dull.