Category Archives: Random
I must apologise to my followers for this moment of silence. I know there isn’t a need to do this, however I want to. I am extremely proud to have over 80 followers and I feel the very reason you followed me has been put on hold, well this has ended tonight.
As I appear from the shadows it is at the time of year the world we live in takes on a festive holiday filled feeling. So what have I been up to and how is 2014 concluding as we head into the final throes of the year.
I’ve had some fantastic weekends and day trips away with my fiancé which included a fun weekend exploring Leeds for a family members birthday. Leeds is a fantastic city and one that we both love. Who knows what the future holds with regards to this awesome city….
Last Tuesday we went to London and visited the Tower of London Poppies. We tried to go a fortnight ago but couldn’t quite battle our way through the crowds. This time around we were able to walk right around the tower and saw some amazing sights.
I witnessed Northampton Saints lose against Exeter last Friday which was slightly surreal. It’s the first time I’ve seen them lose and now the disappointment that Leeds United provide has been mirrored at Saints.
Towcester Mill has had a handful of visits as the nights draw in, it’s very cozy inside. It’s a shame we can’t quite enjoy the long evenings in the amazing gardens. It’s a good job the Winter Beers are on tap, there will be some reviews coming up soon!
Our hedgehog who became our fourth family member has gone into hibernation. I do have a photo from last month below as he made the most of our feeding station. We also seem to have a new kitten who visits our garden. It’s all go round our neighbourhood!
Work is going very well. I am into the fourth month of my new job and so far so good. I’ve always wanted to be a Branch Manager, now I have it, I won’t be letting go of it!
Ummmm oh and my Dad ran his first half marathon. He is running 2 more and his first Marathon as he raises money for Cancer. Please check out his sponsorship page and if you feel generous then please send him a message or even better a donation.
Phew! I promise I’ll write again soon! It’s far too hard trying to fill so much in one blog post!
A year ago I decided to start my blog, over 80 posts, 5,000 views and 70 followers later I have never felt more accomplished than I do right now.
I must once again place my thanks on record to my friend Jaki Jelley whose similar minded approach to her blog gave me the final push I needed to start my own. So what has happened this year and have my random ramblings really entertained my readers or drove you to despair? I’d personally like to think it’s been a mixed ride with many different topics covered.
So what have been my highlights? Well this year I’ve written about Leeds United on quite a few occasions, I am still hopeful that I will get a piece published by one of the fans pages this season. I’ve had some fun adventures and holiday trips with my awesome fiancé, mainly involving the tent.
I’ve written about my travels, gardening and nature stories including our ever so near attempts to get a blue tit nesting in our garden right through to creating a hotel for our bee to lay it’s eggs in. I’ve cooked pickled Beetroot, attempted to grow tomatoes and even written up a couple of my favourite recipes.
I’ve managed to get an article on the Autumn Towcester Beer Festival published on the about my area website and have written further blogs about my love for local ales. There have been some exciting pieces on Music Festivals including the surreal In The Woods Festival.
I’d like to thank you all for taking that little bit of time out of your busy days to read my blog and I promise that this second year will see even more stories from my crazy world and the life I lead.
On one final note I’d like to share some awesome news with you all. I secured my promotion at work and have finally become a Branch Manager. This is something I’ve wanted these last three years and from the beginning of August I’ll finally be there. This is a big deal for me and I am so proud of myself and also would like to place on record my thanks for the support my fiancé has given me throughout my career.
So as we embark on another adventure this weekend in Snowdonia, I can already feel my next piece formulating together in my head. Here is to the future and the exciting times it promises to bring.
If ever there was a show to watch at nighttime before bed, it’s Channel 4’s latest “what if?” Drama called Blackout. It’s a drama constructed of different stories from people caught up in the scary and unthinkable situation of a week long power cut. The drama itself is well written and highlights all the stages along the way from curiosity and excitement right through to fear and survival. It basically comes back down to animal instincts and those who act on them the most will survive it. The drama is certainly worthy of the positive comments and reviews it has attracted and it has confirmed in my mind, that we as a country would be well and truly tested if put in this frightening situation. From the story of a Mum and her 10 year old daughter traveling from Hampshire to her Mums in Sheffield right through to the self sufficient Dad and family who resorts to looting Kwik Safe and leaving a guy for dead, it makes edge of the seat viewing.
It is because of this, that as soon as the final credits rolled up our TV screen in a darkened front room our collective minds got thinking WHAT IF?….. It is because of the hard hitting writing and production of this drama that you can’t think about doing anything else. What would we do if we were thrown into this scary and realistic situation? What if cyber terrorists disarmed our National Grid and we were stripped of Electricity? It’s quite an interesting topic of conversation and by the end of it, some quite constructive and devious plans were formed.
These plans were based on prior knowledge of the length of time this Blackout would last for. I know if thrown into this situation we wouldn’t have this benefit, however after 10 minutes of a Power Cut it would seem rather dumb and cavalier to be launching an attack on Waitrose behind our house and raiding their fridges and legging it out without paying just to see the power restored and the normal world carry along as before. We drew up a list of things that we’d do if put in a week long Blackout situation, it goes something along these lines:-
Day 1 – Go to Waitrose and use the money in our food jar to stock up on bottled water, tinned cold food and a bottle of Jack Daniels (the latter is my wish!) Remember the cash machines will have shut down! Strip our camping box of Gas Stoves, Pots, Pans and the cans of gas we have and move all of this to our top floor. For those not aware of our house layout we have 3 floors. Drive to the Christian Builders Merchants in our town and convince them that The Lord would want this and “borrow” 18mm sheets of Ply and nails to board up our ground floor windows. This would be done on both sides. Put big lock on our side gate in garden and prepare to head into lock down mode. Get through the night and hope that everybody else thinks this is still a novelty.
Day 2 – Head out into the world and see what’s going down. I’m pretty sure that our High Street would be intact but it’s worth using this opportunity to see what else could be purchased or bartered for in our local Hardware Shop. Return visit to Waitrose and see if there are any Ian Rankin Irish Soda Farls remaining and sneak them out whist distracting the Security Guard. Under no circumstances will I be having a BBQ and inviting the neighbors, nor disclosing I have a wind up generator that runs on Beetroot Oil in our cupboard. All Beetroots, Beans and tiny potatoes will be harvested and stored under the bed upstairs. Toilet will comprise of Poo Bags from camping trips and the bath will be filled with water for emergency. Survive the night taking it in turns and hoping the distracting noises outside are nothing more than the local drunks, blissfully unaware of what’s happening in the world.
Day 3 – A few noises and an obvious visitor in our garden suggests they were hunting for our Beetroot. Nothing is broken however it is evident that Waitrose is now populated by the local youths of our town. No longer an option it’s a relief I didn’t open up the Soda Farls. Temptation to venture out is still there. Wander down to find the Town Hall is open for a Book Fare confuses me, but what am I to question. Morale seems ok and it won’t be long before the novelty of reading wears off. Discover my cars still where I left it minus two dust caps, strange! Mobile Phone main battery is dead after watching You Tube videos last night, onto back up charge pack. I think we will play Scrabble tonight under Candle Light. Disruption outside and a broken window means we will block up the doorway and stairs to our first floor in the morning. Just got to survive the night yet again. Strange note to self, the sparrows have stopped singing in the evening.
Bizarrely as I tried to upload this photo our Broadband stopped working, slightly eerie!
Day 4 – We’ve had a break in and our Seed tin has been stolen. It’s also evident that someone has swiped our Magnet collection from the fridge. It’s not safe anymore. We board up the back door best where entrance was forced and roll the fridge against it. Apart from this everything else is intact. We have inherited a copy of All Creatures Great and Small, which suggests to me that this intruder was at the Book Fare yesterday. I shut the door on our staircase and block up the stairs with furniture and various bulky items. We are not leaving the house anymore, Poo Bags thrown out of our windows and the Ian Rankin Farls devoured, we set out to check our security efforts. It looks good but we just can’t get comfortable. There is a strange air of unrest outside, a trolley somehow sneaks past the metal security grid and rolls past our house. It’s not nice and as the dusk settles we think to ourselves, only one more night to survive! Of course we don’t really know this, but it it gives us an edge over everybody else.
Day 5 – We’ve survived the night and are relieved to find our secure doorway and staircase blockage is still blocked. Noises come from down below us but it could be anything. Noises appear amplified from around and because of this it is near impossible to identify where from. Gas is running low and water is down to what’s in the bath. It’s at this point I really shouldn’t mentioned I cleaned myself in it! The days goes slowly as every second a new threat appears. This bizarrely includes a Traffic Warden checking the cars opposite our house. God they work every hour including the Bank Holidays! Good to see our Councils trying to make some money in these challenging times. As this thought passes I realize it was a looter wearing a uniform, that’s more like it! Final night tonight, just gotta keep on going. Blog is updated and as I prepare to see through our final night I think hurry up please!
And there you go, the dawn of a new day appears, the sunshine glows red and the sparrows are singing. My phone lights up and a network signal appears. The lights outside our house spark up as if to tell us, fear not this ordeal is finally over.
It was pretty fun creating our diary and plan to survive this ordeal if presented with it. On a more serious note though, it’s scary just how quickly human nature changes and how public services we rely on heavily will start to falter if this situation happened. Please watch this Drama if you haven’t already done so, it’s easy for me to make it sound light hearted but it drives home some scary facts and truths.
So what would you do if you were in the same situation? I’d love to hear your stories.
Imagine a world where choosing what you do is restricted. Lets say in a lifetime you were limited and could only do a certain number of things. For the sake of this scenario and to make it more interesting this wouldn’t include the decisions you make in your working life nor the things we do by habit i.e sleeping and eating. I am talking about the things that make our life pleasant and enjoyable, the life changing choices that give our life meaning and direction. So picture this, what if the system had crashed and you were told you had to make your choices. There are half a dozen choices and decisions remaining. These could be taken at any time during your life, but they would need to be specific. Some hard decisions and choices to be made one would say, I’d think that was a slight understatement.
So what would I choose if placed in this fictional and totally unlikely situation? Here goes…….
1. Get Married – I’m very lucky that I’m engaged to the person I know was meant for me. You could say this makes this decision easier, however Marriage is something I strongly believe in and one of the choices I’d choose.
2. Live In Australia – It’s an amazing country and somewhere I’m very lucky to have spent 2008 living in. This is certainly a choice I’d happily make and once the right point arrived in my life I’d be on that plane ready.
3. Arrange that Dinner Party – I’ve always wanted to have a dinner party with people who are famous and be in a situation where I could just chill with them over dinner. They would have to be alive (no time travel) and I’d choose Derren Brown, Jimmy Carr, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Fry. Hilarious banter awaits!
4. Space Travel – it’s something I’d love to do and it fascinates me. I’d love to be in a spaceship and see our planet from space. I’m not talking about living on Mars but having the chance to travel into space would be worth using one of my choices up for.
5. Experience Glastonbury – One festival I’m desperate to say I’ve done and to experience its magical atmosphere. Sadly the way in which you can apply and purchase tickets for this festival will never improve so because of this I’m using one of my valuable choices to ensure it happens.
6. Start a Family – Family is so very important to me and even though this is a strange scenario to be in, I’d feel guilty for depriving others from having the same choices. I’m a family person and because of this I’d be so determined to start another generation of my family. I’d love to experience a family unit and because of this, that would be my final choice.
Wow, that was actually quite enlightening and certainly puts the fact that we have every opportunity to live our lives the way we want into perspective. I’m certainly going to continue enjoying what I do and make the most of every day I have. You never know when the system may crash one day!
PS – I’m totally aware that this has many flaws in it and my hopes of becoming a film writer have finally been written off!
Now I for one appreciate it when people or companies make things simple. I am the first to find it a relief when faced with something that has the potential to cause concern if there’s an instruction close by.
My first experience of blind panic came when I was heading to the exits in Tesco. It was as if the technology changed overnight and I found myself presented with a Self Service Till for the first time. I do find the concept of self service redundant when it’s constantly manned, however if it wasn’t for their presence I’d have been stuck. Trying to find a loose bagged bakery product with no barcode is not simple! It was at this point I knew that people would either get it and till attendants would be a thing of the past or they would be an unpopular second choice. The jury is still out!
Tonight I have experienced the complete opposite, where instructions appeared overdone. it has made me question the extent of guidance certain people require and how they could possibly do this a different way.
As I approached the Drive Thru in McDonalds I was directed to the order point with arrows. It was at this point I noticed a big sign with a number one on it which said “Order” After placing my order I drove to the next window to see a sign with an equally as large number two followed by the word “Pay”
It was after this that the counter assistant that took my money instructed me to head to the next window. As I approached I was then in view with a sign with a number three in it saying “Collect”
This is pretty self explanatory and by going back to my earlier point, I’m trying to see how this process could cause confusion without the three step signage. It was at this third point I was advised that my order wasn’t quite ready and asked to pull into the Order Bay on the left hand side. Strangely enough there was no sign for this!
My lovely fellow blogger and Twitter friend, today nominated me for the Liebster Award. I’ve never had this before so I was quite excited to accept it and take part. I’ll tell you a little about it shall I?
The Liebster Award is given to new, up and coming blogs who have less than 200 followers. Awards like these are a fantastic way to spread the word about new blogs who may be struggling to make their name amongst other blogs. Liebster is German for dearest, kindest, sweetest, lovely, valued, endearing and welcome. Sweet, huh? We all know that blogging is all about sharing, connecting and building a community. And these kind of awards are a great way to help promote smaller blogs, and to get to know the person behind the blog.
There are of course some rules, these are as follows…
1. Show your appreciation by linking back to the person who nominated you.
2. List 11 facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.
4. Nominate another 11 blogs, preferably with less than 200 followers, to pass the award on to.
5. Compile 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
6. Notify the bloggers you have nominated.
As I said at the beginning, the lovely Jaki nominated me and you can find her over at http://stilettosstarsandrocknroll.wordpress.com or on Twitter as @Jakstweet. She is the reason why I finally got my act together and set my blog up. It was certainly something that I had been thinking and even talking about. Because of that it’s only fair that I nominate her back for this award.
Shall we start then? Here we go!
11 Facts About Me…
1 – I’m 33 years of age and have a very vibrant, adventurous and busy lifestyle. I love writing and having the opportunity to do this in the form of a blog is so very awesome.
2 – I applied to be on the Apprentice when I was 25 and made it through the first 3 rounds before bowing out before the auditions in London.
3 – I gave up my life in the UK when I was 29 and decided to spend a year travelling Australia on my own.
4 – I have found the perfect person to share my life with and am very very happy.
5 – I have six tattoos and still have a craving for more.
6 – I have an amazing ability to ignore television shows and discover them once there is more than a couple of series or seasons to watch. I do however have a bad habit of starting too many and forgetting about them. I have made it through Lost though!
7 – I get so very frustrated by people who don’t realise that they are annoying me. A great example is when people bumble around Supermarkets as I just want to get my things and get out.
8 – I love camping and will take every opportunity available to get the tent packed up and escape, even for a couple of nights.
9 – I started playing Baseball a couple of years ago for a team in Milton Keynes and haven’t looked back.
10 – I tried playing the Guitar as recently as 3 years ago and just couldn’t get my head around it.
11 – I completed a Diploma in Construction and Surveying this year in a dramatic attempt to learn and develop myself further.
11 Blogs I Nominate for the Liebster Award…
Well I feel really bad as I only have 6 so I will nominate them as follows, these people have followed me and shown interest in my blogs so far which I appreciate greatly. Obviously I have already mentioned Jaki at the beginning who has kindly nominated me.
My 11 Question Interview…
1 – What’s your favourite kind of blog to read? Anything that has variety in it, a blog that keeps me interested and one I can either relate to or find it gives me motivation and makes me smile.
2- Why did you start blogging? Because I have an active imagination and wanted to find a way to document it and give others an insight into my life and what interests me.
3 – Where do you find inspiration to blog? From my many day to day experiences. I have a busy life and it certainly gives me the inspiration to blog.
4 – What’s your guilty pleasure? It has to be those little White Choccy Bars called Gold, they are yummy!
5 – First song or album you ever bought? First song on Cassette single for Billy Joel – River of Dreams.
6 – Best childhood memory? Driving up with my Dad to Elland Road for the first time. We played Liverpool in 1990 and I remember us driving all the way and not being able to get a ticket. As we left the ground we were losing 5-0. During the drive back we pulled it back to 5-4 and nearly drew the game. The drive and experience was awesome, despite not getting in.
7 – What’s the one thing you can’t go a day without? It has to be my IPhone for materialistic value but a kiss from my partner certainly starts the day perfectly.
8 – Who would play you in the movie of your life? Tricky one, I would have to say Josh Radnor from How I Met Your Mother.
9 – What song would feature as the credits roll in that movie? Romeo by Dire Straights.
10 – Where would you like to see yourself in ten years time? Married, Two Children, Living abroad, Business started and looking to build on my success.
11 – What is your biggest regret? Since I came back from Australia in 2008 it has wiped out any I may have had previously.
11 questions for my chosen bloggers…
1 – What is your favourite TV Show? 2 – Why did you start blogging? 3 – Have you ever won anything unique? 4 – What is your favourite artist and song? 5 – Who would play you in your movie of your life? 6 – What is the next thing you intend to buy? 7 – If you could change anything in your life, what would it be? 8 – 10 years time, where will you be? 9 – Next year, where will you be? 10 – Do you have any famous friends? 11 – What is your idea of a random adventure?
Thank you everyone. I look forward to reading your answers!