Probably should have updated this every year but its still interesting. Twelve Days of Christmas
Monday, 21 December 2009
Friday, 11 December 2009
This has to be one of the best travel tools you could ever have in your pocket. Within the small confines of the sweet innocent Nintendo DS lives the heart of a dirty perverted beast just waiting to rub up to you while stood in the line for the checkout at the supermarket.
Pictochat amused myself and my friends while on the journey up to Stoke last weekend. Either for chats that were pointless, endless drawings of dicks or the chance to write in big letters 'C*NT' while the ticket inspector was getting lees ticket.
Which reminds me of something i forgot to mention. During Geordies banishing of old women from the comfort of a seat with a table, lee decided to just sit comfortably on his own table with two girls, one of which who was quite pretty. This is also how the joy of Pictochat amused us, as like small children, we could speak to each other, about people in our surroundings, and have them not be any wiser.
So to you pretty pink loving girl on the way to stoke, you were pretty. And to the ticker inspector, you weren't a 'C*NT' or Bald.
Pictochat. Better than the DS.
Monday, 7 December 2009
This outing is sponsored by The Hangover Cure. More about that later.
So for this last outing we trekked to Stoke. Yeah i know people say "Why would you go to Stoke" and i say "for a friends birthday".
So supplies packed we met at the train station and board the train to Stoke. That was the first mistake. We had pre-booked our tickets so we could have a table seat to ourselves to drink and play cards and what not. Unfortunately there were 3 old ladies sat all comfortable in our place. Now unsure what to do i stood there with mark behind me looking at each other, trying not to laugh and also embarrassed that our northern friend Chris decided to turf them out with no remorse, i think i also saw him tapping his watch as these frail women eased themselves out of the chairs. Not only was there lots of embarrassment going around there was also a queue forming behind us. I quickly shuffled into my seat and sat looking out the window as to not make eye contact.
Shortly after we set off the cans were cracked open, by myself, and the Cards/Nintendo DS's and Laptops were broken out. Train was fine, though got really busy towards Birmingham.
Got the bus to Stoke city centre and went to my friends sisters club that's being done up. Looks amazing and cant wait till it's finally finished as it will be a great venue, especially when the other elements are completed.
So we went back to their house, got showered and changed, had a drink and whatnot and got a taxi to Stafford. The taxi ride was one of the funniest i have ever had, i was crying with laughter on numerous occasions. It doesn't help when sisters laugh the same and at the end let out a sigh which then starts the laughter again.... OK maybe you had to be there.
Started the night with a nice Subway to settle the stomach and went to Chicago Rock Cafe (Which isn't a real Rock bar Geordie) and had quite a few 2-4-1 Cocktails, though the barmaid was slow and just didn't give a fuck about serving people. So we moved onto the second venue. Second venue was pretty good, had a few drinks of various nature including two bottles of champagne, sambuca, beer and vodka. Only problem is the bar proved a bit too pretentious, bringing out the champagne in a bucket with a fucking firework flare attached as if to scream "Hey EVERYONE, look at these guys buying champagne, aren't they complete dicks". Anyway drinks drunk and laughs had we moved onto a new club that had opened and thanks to Chris, who knows everyone there is ever to know, we got in for free and scouted out the new club which had something like £1mil budget.
Now this club was amazing, but you'd expect that from £mil. Though it was abit too big, i got lost a few times not knowing if i was upstairs, downstairs or where. The pluses being that they had Guitar Hero, Rambo and Pod Racing machines in a side room, LED dance floor, a giant Disco Ball (At least 9 feet high and as much wide and about 3 other dance floors. The uniforms for men where red waistcoats and for women were red corsets. More drinks where had, mainly beer, though strangely no dancing was had, well the odd Geordie scuffle dance though Chris and Sol (my friends sister and her husband) had a Dance Off. In true movie style too. There wasn't anyone on the LED dance floor and a song came on, so Sol went on and danced as Chris watched from the sideline, then went and did his dance. This went on for a good 5 minutes with the crowd watching and cheering too. So bizarre but excellent to watch!
Our Taxi was booked for 3.30am so we made our way to get something to eat, Chips and Gravy, and jumped into the taxi back, again an enjoyable taxi ride was had. Got back to the house and me, mark and Geordie took sofas to sleep on. Though my bed was a wavy chair, like a psychiatrists. Brilliant to sit on but a nightmare to sleep on.
Now before i went to bed i had one of Drink THC's Hangover Cure. Pint of water and one of these before bed will apparently cure a hangover. Now I've always had the notion that drinking a pint of water before bed will help prevent a hangover because of the dehydration that occurs when you drink alcohol. But DrinkTHC has vitamins and electrolytes and other things that mean something to some science guy. All in all it is meant to replenish all the vitamins that are lost due to alcohol consumptions (Like Vitamin B12 to name but one). Anyway drank it and in the morning i felt fine, i mean i hadn't drank tons but i did mix a lot of drinks as that always gives me a stinking hangover. I had a dull headache, though mostly from lack of comfortable sleep, but looking at the other guys pale faces i think i came out better. Only problem with a hangover cure is it takes away the "OMG what a night that was, i cant remember much and my head hurts" which i kind of like. Its like a badge of honour. Plus i wouldn't remember to take one of these each night i had been drinking as all i want to do is stumble in and up the stairs and fall into bed.
All in all, if you can remember to take one of these mixtures before bed, you won't regret it as you'll feel fine in the morning.
We went for a massive breakfast in Stoke and a walk round some shops before getting the train back to Reading. Again people were sitting in our seats so me and Mark just decided to sit away from the guys and play on our DS's and beat Geordie at Mario Kart, over and over and over again.
Got back to Reading about 5.30pm and went home to veg out. Brilliant time had in stoke and amazing time in Stafford.
Here's hoping we go back when the club is finished, possibly for New Years as that will be my last time drinking this year as I'll be giving up alcohol again for my new years resolution, till at least April, maybe June for my Tales of a Drunkard Special Feature......
Monday, 16 November 2009
So from the power of Twitter, and the obvious amount of alcohol i write about, the kind folks at DrinkTHC have decided to send over some samples for me to 'test'.
So as i await a package of hangover cures, i sit patiently and remember the worst ever hangover i have had to date.
A couple of weeks ago i went for a few drinks with some friends before they went to see Jimmy Carr at the Hexagon. Not wanting to go home we went through my options of:
Drink on my own
Go to the Cinema.
Now leaving was no option, and 9 was on in 5 mins so i was running out of options when this guy i had a brief chat to said i could hang out with him and his mates. So i accepted his offer and stayed with him. Had a few more drinks in Pavlovs Dog and moved to Revs, which i didn't want to. Got to Revs and met with a few other people they knew, had a few shots with them and started drinking Orange WKD (Don't ask, i have no idea why) And had quite a few dances and bumped into my cousin, which was weird.
Went to the turtle afterwards and had a few snakey B's as per usual nights out, and felt rather worse for wear. As i left it started to piss down but i shrugged it off and started walking. Though that was a shit idea. As it was absolutely pissing down. Walked for about 5mins and i had to shelter, then walked 5 more mins and had to shelter again. Honestly it was stupid the amount of times i had to shelter under something to dry and stave off the water, but who was i kidding, it was hammering down.
Woke up and i thought i was dying. I had no thumping headache like usual and text my manager telling him i wasn't coming in. Sat up and ran to the toilet throwing up twice.
The whole day at work, yes i was guilt tripped into going in, i felt like throwing up. That was THE worst hangover i have ever had. Usually its just bleary eyed, thumping headache and dry throat. Maybe, just maybe, the odd loss of balance.
So with the impending trip to Stoke coming up in a few weeks, i will be able to test drive this here Hangover Cure.
Sunday, 8 November 2009
So for the 30th October, and my friends Birthday, we were destined to trek the way to Manchester. 195 miles, or 4 hours to put it another way, but more on that later.
Being as organisationally challenged that we are, we decided to pick up costumes on the way via Fun N Frolics in the morning. Now Sci-Fi, you'd think, is a relatively broad subject matter. WRONG. I mean yes, robots and spacemen aside, there's fuck all you can do with the minutes counting down.
Cowboy.... in space. Pirate..... in space. Roman Centurion.... Time traveller of course.
After seeing an eye patch in the pirate aisle, yes there are aisles of costumes, and settling on the idea that we all buy; An Eye patch, 70's wig and hope to get black t-shirt in Manchester, we could all go as Snake Pliskin (Escape from NY/LA). Though on the way out we saw Thunderbirds costumes. Now whats more Sci-Fi than Marionettes that fly space ships? Nothing i tell you. So three costumes purchased we had two Thunderbirds with a blue sash and one yellow sash'd one.
Costumes done and we stopped off at Tesco for breakfast treats for the journey and we made haste to Manchester. Pretty average car ride really, music, talking and the yellow car game. Many punches later we got to the service station around Birmingham somewhere, had a refuel of tea and whatnot then to Manchester.
Got to the Hotel at a reasonable time, got settled in and started drinking. We had a nice big room, flat screen telly which had Sarah Jane Adventures on. We hooked up the Ipod and just chilled.
Lee and Kat had a dodgy door in their room. It was a fire exit that opened onto someone else's room, so they switched. Me and Mark decided drinking was in order while the others got ready, so pissed about with our costumes.
The others thought it would be good to have some food before a heavy night of drinking, though i was already pretty tipsy. We walked down the road and found a little Italian restaurant. Amazing little place that was, had some Calamari and a nice pizza.
So a drink and food down, it was time for a costume change.
All suited and booted, Three Thunderbirds and a Vulcan Starfleet officer, we got the taxi into Manchester to meet the birthday boy. Now i might seem a little harsh here but the man looked like Jeremy Clarkson more than the supposed Malcom Reynolds that he was going for, but at least he made an effort and went through with the plan!
We met up with his mates from Uni and all put as much effort as us we had; Wolverine, Neo, David Bowie from Labyrinth, Faith from Mirrors Edge, Faith from Buffy, Rorschach and a Leia.. Might have missed a couple.
Went to FAB which was apt as we were thunderbirds and its a pretty cool and geeky place, lots of movie and TV memorabilia and a few classic arcade games just by the toilets. Had lots to drink and danced a few hours away before heading towards another club.
This club was pretty good, think it was called Jellys? But had lots of different rooms for different types of music, Ska, Metal, Rock, Drum and bass etc. Cheap drinks too. Quite a few people left after the FAB bar so the numbers where hardly ideal for mass outings, about 5 from Manchester and all from Reading where still there. Which was proof that we are hardcore :D
Stayed at the club for quite some time, and i couldn't dance in the Thunderbirds costume so i took that off (Had clothes on underneath before you ask) and continued the night. Stayed there after the birthday boy left and in the end was just three of us till the closing of the bar nearly. We had a conversation with some metallers out side the club and then walked to the taxi rank where i took one home. Got back at some ungodly hour, rather sober, and had to buzz the door to be let into the hotel. Luckily my roommate for the night left the door unlocked as i didn't have a key. Though between me coming in about 4am and waking up at 9am i lost my costume. I gave it to the guys who were leaving but who knows what happened. Ah well was only £20.
We spent the morning walking around the Trafford Centre, which is massive and really really nice inside. Had a burrito for breakfast. Didn't buy anything though which is good and bad in itself. Had a nice long trek back to Reading along the motorway and went through the toll road too, to speed things up.
Ultimately i had an awesome time. Met some amazing people from Manchester and the surrounding areas that i feel I'll probably never talk to again, or much anyhow. Which is a shame. Though Manchester impressed me through two clubs and a pub, so looking forward to going up again, possibly the new year.
Next stop: Stoke in Dec. Good times.
Hopefully will have my Hangover Cure samples to give it a proper road test :)
Sunday, 18 October 2009
So i went back to the coffee shop next door and chatted to the owner for about 30mins while deciding what to do. The usual drill will usualy entail going home, watching films all day etc. But i like to do something adventurous when faced with a spat of freedom.
After a few emails to my mates and texts to see who was about to go for an adventure, i realised that no one was free, as they were all at work. So there was nothing to do but do it myself. So i walked back home, grabbed my bag, my ipod and my Diana medium format camera and headed to London.
Got to Oxford Circus and walked around a bit. Went to Newburgh St to see the Lomography shop and just carried on walking. Walked up to Forbidden Planet and Fopp on Shaftsbury Avenue and continued walking. Walked around and came across the Grand Masonic Lodge which was an amazing building, then walked through the LCE campus and also visited a churche behind Regent St i think it was.
I then did the tourist thing and visited Big Ben and Westminster, then to Liverpool St to go to Brick Lane and Rough Trade. Bought a couple of records from there.
Met my friend in Angel and walked to Brick Lane to a short film night held by Short And Sweet. Saw some amazing short films there. Held every week in the Truman Brewery part of brick lane. Recommend it!
Afterwards went for a quick drink just off Liverpool St station and i made my way back home. All in all a really enjoyable 12 hours in the Capital. Next time hopefully i will go on a planned day out.
Pictures will follow eventually.
Havent really been doing much over the past few weeks. Well i have, i've just not written about it. Bad me.
One thing that we have been partaking in recently has been an enjoyable game of Risk every now and again, mainly Thursdays. Quite nice really sitting in a pub playing a board game.
A bit of simulated violence goes along way!
Friday, 25 September 2009
Forget palms and tea leaves. Look for the signs....
So i was walking home in a drunken stupor and thought it would be funny to to take pictures of road signs. And well interpret them. So here goes....
Just to reiterate:
Because if you don't, you'll just end up going in:
All your decisions will be going like:
Thus any hopes and/or desires will fall upon:
Although hidden, your views on the world will be more liberal:
And at the age of:
You'll feel life is going:
But soon you get the green light:
To go ahead and start on those important things:
You'll be forced to change your views:
But don't fall prey:
Otherwise other people's views will:
And your views will suddenly change on their axis:
Monday, 7 September 2009
Sunday, 6 September 2009
Another weekend, another trip down drunken lane.
This weekend I had a live music journey in good 'ol Reading town. First off was to see my friends Jemma and Nick perform at the Rising Sun Arts Center. It's a small venue that is very good for those intimate gigs, but also has shown its wild side with, what used to be a regular occurrence, Kraked. This was an audio visual feast that threw a barrage of electronic music, chilled and heavy, and mixed it with some amazing visuals, both shapes and colours and some feature presentations, all projected onto walls, ceilings and the odd battered TV at the front of the hall. But I'll leave that trip down nostalgia avenue for another time.
The gig started out well. The cider was flowing and merriment ensued, until two over zealous so-and-so's were enjoying their conversation a little too much. So much that we could hear them above the music, and across the room. Now not being one for confrontation i didn't say anything to begin with, hoping that they would see about a dozen people staring at them with amazement at how ignorant they could be. But enough is enough and i walked over while Jemma was singing, and trying not to be loud and obtrusive told them to "Shut the fuck up, we are all here to listen to music and if you want a sodding conversation then fuck off outside and talk" (Wasn't exactly how i said it, but for dramatization sakes, we shall leave it) Regardless of what i said and how i said it, they shut up straight after. Much to the enjoyment to everyone else listening and to those performing.
Another highlight of the Rising Sun was an amazing band called Tom Williams and the Boat, who after performing one night in Tunbridge Wells had their cover of Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal picked up by the Internet and mainstream media alike (Radio 1). The cover linked was from their gig at the Rising Sun on Saturday.
We left after their great set to go to the South Street Arts Center, where DJ ScotchEgg was performing a free gig before he was going to London for Offset Festival. I'd heard of the name but fuck, it was amazing. One of the most enjoyable gigs i have been to in a long while. I was feeling pretty worse for wear by the time we left South Street, but we wandered off to Global Cafe. We sat down with our Westons Organic Cider, and after the first sip of it i had enough and needed to go home. But as soon as i got up Tom grabbed my arm and said "Where are you going? Follow me".
I magically gained a second wind and danced to some Dubstep in the room, which was pretty good, and got chatting to this girl about things, mostly just talking about work and the odd question about cameras as i work in a camera shop. Was pretty cool chatting to her and her boyfriend, leaving my mates to discuss political things.
We left Global for the walk home and, as anyone who knows me will tell you, the inevitable stop off at the Murco (24hr off license/garage). Always handy for that one or two walking beers.
On the way to the Murco there was some jumping in a bush for some reason, lots of scratches, traffic cones throwing (The steam roller had it coming). Wearing the traffic cone and running about was a bad idea. I smelt like wet dog, dirt and judy plain damp. We also wrestled our mate to the ground, picked him up by his arms and legs and while we held him up from the floor we really didn't know what to do with him, so he bit one of us and then stormed off to the Murco. As we sat down on the wall outside, one guy tripped and fell off the wall which was about 3 feet high, causing a nasty gash on his elbow and, when i saw him the next night, had a limp too.
I got home about 3ish, or half three. I don't really remember. All I do remember is the sodding great hangover i had to endure while at work.
Good music. Good company. Good times.
Till we meet again alcohol. We must break this bond of sobriety that has befallen me.
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Recently I went up to London to see my friend Jemma perform at the Blag Club in Notting Hill and once again both her and Nick Bates were on top form. There were other bands too, of which i didn't get any names, which annoys me as there was this one female singer who was awesome. Quirky voice and lyrics akin to Joanna Newsom. I will find out who she was.
Then a couple of days later there was a night at Sakura in Reading that we all went to as it was a Hed Kandi night, so we hyped it up as a few of us have and do listen to Hed Kandi Cd's/Records both the chilled music as well as the more upbeat kind.
The night was pretty average, most of the people went into the club around 6pm for two-for-one cocktails before the night. I met them about half ten after drinking a bottle of Bacardi with a friend. The night was pretty average, which was a shame because we all wanted it to be a good night, hell it was a Hed Kandi night.
Alas it was not meant to be, not all the cocktails or averagely price alcohol in all the land could have made that night better. And to think people would have had to pay £10 just to get in for what was essentially a normal night in Sakura.
Not sure if it was because Reading Festival was on, therefore people were either at the festival or didn't want to come into town because they thought it would be busy, or the fact that it was Bank Holiday Monday and people were away for the weekend, but the whole atmosphere of the place sucked pretty big.
Hopefully when i go out on Friday it will be better. Seeing Jemma play at the Rising Sun Arts centre in Reading, so if you want to see a few bands play and performers then pop along.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
As Reading Festival draws ever closer you'd think, given my past posts, that i would be getting ready to endure another weekend of carnage, music and fire. But alas this will be my first year in the past six that i haven't gone to the Festival. Not sure if that's a good thing, as it gets to be quite an expensive weekend, or if i will regret not going. Its become a bit of a tradition to go to Reading Festival as it is only just down the road. Am i becoming older and therefore the appeal of festivals waining? Hell no, its just the festivals these days, in particular Reading Festival, is full of kiddies running around like morons burning the shit out of everything. There used to be a kind of etiquette to the carnage. The game of trolley would start, security would take said trolley. Then we steal it back. It was a game of cat and mouse, and when we got bored we burnt things.
Festivals in England need help. They are starting to overprice these events. For the same price as a weekend camping ticket to Reading Festival you could go to Spain/Holland/Germany/France/Italy/Hungary and Serbia for some of the best festival line ups in recent years. But people don't. And i have no idea why. I love festivals in mainland Europe. They are cleaner, friendlier and have the same lineups, if not better at times.
Festival goers of England. Open your eyes to European festivals. Trust me you won't regret it.
The outdoors. Tranquil; Clean; Calming. And now forever marked with our presence. Our little adventure took us to the New Forest, a large expanse of land that is part camping sites/ part nature reserve. Most of the area animals are free to roam the streets, the parks, the camps and on occasion the driveways and gardens of houses. Why, well I'm sure theres a reason horses and the like feel the need to eat Mrs Smiths carnations, but that's something for you to find out yourself.
The drive down started with a convoy meet-up at Green Park, to which i made a joke about some old guy running down the road, and as we passed him, it turned out to be Mr Reading himself (John Madejski). Once we had our respective cars all packed we took to the roads to get to the camp site, stopping off for some coffee and nostalgia (coin + my nose + blood = every ones laughter). We got to the campsite around midday which was good, and despite a little parenting from the camper guides (Quiet by 11pm, don't have wood fires, don't ride the horses) we found a spot with enough room for 6 tents and a gazebo. Set up and started drinking.
At first it pissed down, hard, and we had to do some modification to the gazebo when one of the legs buckled, cue duct tape and branches. Aside from the first bit of rain it was glorious sun for the remainder of the trip. Me and a couple of mates trekked into the Forest to have a look, and the old game of smash a stick on a tree ensued. It was fun. And afterwards a nice night fuelled of Westons boxed Cider (lovely) and Heineken mini keg (not so great) began.
Sat was a day of sitting around getting sun burnt, trekking through the Forest in any direction, then a game of Manhunt and Capture the Flag [Hat]. Thoroughly enjoyed both and was a highlight of the trip. Saturday we had Chinese takeaway, not exactly camping food, but you make your own camping experience. Some people go into the wilderness to find themselves and forget the hustle and bustle of the city life, bills and Angel delight. But we had something else to do, we had boxed cider, team showers and an all round decedent camping experience.
You may have noticed i said team showers, allow me to elaborate. The camping showers were amazing, one button you press to turn the water on (much like taps) and it was instant bliss. The right temperature, every time. So 4 of us took a shower with the cubicles next to each other, and usually you try to make as little noise as possible since its a pretty solitary experience, much like going to the toilet, but we had fun, joking and whistling the theme to Jurassic Park.
Sunday was a day of minor walking, still getting sun burnt and a trip to the nearest village for a pub lunch, and for some a trip to Beauliu, a classic car museum with a Top Gear attraction, Monorail and James Bond cars. The rest of us however went back to camp and drank. The whole trip was just an excuse to chill out, have fun with friends and just forget about things for awhile. We saw shooting stars, Jupiter was seen many a time, and talk occasionally went a little deeper than expected considering the amount of alcohol being consumed.
I think we all came away from it with a sense of enjoyment, mild sunburn and most probably a lot more damage to our livers.
So a success then. Roll on the next camping trip
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
So Monday night, after weeks of being told how good this band are and how I won't be disappointed, I sorted a night out for me and a few friends. Started out somewhere cheap since the gig would be expensive for drinks. Few pints of Westons cider down me and I was on the way to being merry, so we trundled over to the gig. It's quite a small venue so I knew it would be sweaty but, my god, it was so sweaty in there.
We got there just as the 4th band was finishing, pretty much just noise. Lots of shouty shouty. I went to talk to my mate who was putting the night on, and he was excited to see the last band, Monotonix, and so was I by this point. We got a few more beers in before the band came on and settled in for a night of the unknown.
The band set up, putting the drums way out in front of the actual stage and started playing. Before the singer even sang a note he took my beer from my hand and poured it over the drums while the drummer was, well drumming. After a few songs they then moved a drum onto the bar, the guitarist stood on the bar and singer was in the crowd. They never really stood in one place for too long. Shortly after the singer took the drum and got a few of us from the crowd, myself included, to hold the drum above our heads, he then climbs atop, sings and dives into the crowd where my mate and others caught him. They played out in the hallway, in the toilet and all over the place in the main area. It's safe to say I havent been that entertained at a gig in some time. It was amazing! Music was good, their presence was awesome and they were genuinly good guys when I spoke to them afterwards.
We went to the Turtle for a drink where I proceeded to get thrown out for some inane reason or another, so we walked to Up the Junction for a drink before walking home. The night ended around 3am and was unfortunatley ruined by a phone call at 10am from my manager saying "Where are you"? "Why arent you at work?" and "Get here now".
My next drunken adventure takes me to the New Forest for some camping fun over the weekend. So the camera is charged and alcohol bought. Fun times ensue.
Friday, 14 August 2009
Well i ventured into London last night to see my friend Jemma perform at the Troubadour and as usual was a brilliant performance from herself and Nick Bates on the Guitar. Also performing were Komla Ayewoh and my favourite of the night Caleb.
It probably didn't help my state by having two quick beers on the train to London but by the second bottle of cider i was feeling pretty drunk so calmed down a bit to enjoy the music.
With the music finished off we trundled into the night, looking for somewhere in Earls Court that was still open, and from past experiences of late night excursions into London, this part would be closed. So we hopped on the tube with thoughts of going to Camden town and a rock bar that Chris knows. Though as we sat in a drunken stupor we realised that by the time we got to Camden that everything would be shut. So we got off at Leicester Square to see what was happening. To be fair it was pretty busy at around half 11 when we got there so we walked round trying to find somewhere to drink and our eyes lit up at the fact that the Trocadero is open till 1am with a sports bar/bowling alley. So we went in and played a few arcade games (of which i beat Chris at Outrun, and NB: Guitar Hero Arcade sucks). After a few games and drinks we went walking, again in search of a bar.
Asked this woman handing out flyer's if she knew anywhere that's got good music and is open late and we were offered a 3 story strip bar, which to be fair could have had good music but we had no money for that, and it wasn't one of those nights. So we watched a street drummer for a bit and walked round Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.
We tagged along with a tour group of younger people, the guy with the brolly was leading them on a kind of club crawl, and as we didn't have the wristband we just went to another place, called Fudge. Which was pretty good. Good music and well the drinks were expensive but that's London for you. We got a couple of bottles and as we sat down they started flicking the lights (International bar language for "Hurry up and leave"). We noticed these Americans on the table opposite talking about one thing or another and they were mentioning how their countries only about 200 years old, so i kind of joined in and said that theres some buildings in this country that are older than their country. Which usually wouldn't go down well but they understood and we got chatting.
We waited outside with the other people who were Danish, and we all set off in search of a bar. Walked round trying to find somewhere and get cash out and while we were waiting to cross i noticed a bar so i walked out and over to the bar to check it out. It was a metal bar that was open till 3am and was £2 to get in. Result. Though the Danish guys didn't get in for some reason, me Chris and our new found friends Micheal and Katie-Beth settled down. Drinks in there were pretty cheap considering, 4 cans of Red Stripe came to £7, so we sat down and chatted. Music was pretty good too, if you like Metal.
After a lengthy chat they left and so did me and Chris shortly after. Chris wanted to eat something so we went in search for a Subway street vendor but found ourselves in Chinatown, so i went in and got some noodles. Which were FANTASTIC. Much better than most of the crap food drunks buy when, well, when they're drunk.
Unfortunately being around 2am the tubes stop running. So we were quite a way from Paddington and the thoughts of getting a pricey taxi or a Rickshaw ride came around, but being slightly out of pocket we decided to walk the streets of London. No idea which route Chris found on his IPhone but looking up google maps now, it seemed we walked a shit load more than we should have. But being the adventurers we were, it didn't matter at the time. We got to Paddington with about 15Min's to wait for the slow train back to Reading. Head starting to hurt and tiredness kicking in fast. We got on the train, ipod went on and i drifted away to the sultry tones of some Dubstep. Either Chris woke me or my uncanny train travelling mindset woke me the station just before Chris got off, and then again when Chris got off. I fell back asleep and woke just before Reading but fell asleep for about 5Min's. Its a good job that Reading is the last station.
Cash point, taxi, home. Got to sleep around 5am. And for the second day running missed going to help my aunt and cousins move out of their house. But in my defence i would have been of no use to anyone this morning.
All in all a pretty good night out in Londinium. Till next time we drink.
Monday, 10 August 2009
I'm just generally bored. Nothing much is happening. The job that I do (oh so well may i add) is monotonous to the point i can do it half asleep, even though i now have a higher paid position. Thankfully i saw a job advertised on a website which was pretty much the same job i had before this job. Still with me? Good.
Though now I'm doing more things, which invariably cost more money. Going to see my friend play a few gigs this month, Banksy exhibit in Bristol, going to watch Monotonix next monday, then camping next weekend and then Reading Festival rolls around, which I'm not going to but still, things may occur.
So hopefully i'll have a few more blogs coming, a few more photos and a few less braincells.
Sunday, 2 August 2009
So this was the night to behold. All dressed up and having somewhere to actually go.
Being the twentysomethings that we are we decided to go somewhat up market this time around. Instead of going to the drab places for cheap drinks and end up in the generic bar/club that we usually do, we decided to start with cocktails.
So first port of call was Slug and Lettuce for some cheeky cocktails and jaegerbombs. Then after some fun and games we trundled off to Dogma, quite early too.
Dogma was quiet at the begginning but people came in their droves and the club soon filled up. Much merriment was had, many drinks were drunk and good time was had by all. Of which pictures are floating around on Facebook and the like
Stayed in Dogma till people started leaving then a few of us went to Mangos for a bit of what we were lead to believe would be some Electro-House music. Was pretty crap to be honest. We just chilled outside listening to music and having fun. Met some Californians who just landed in Reading so hung with them chatting and showed them the true spirit of the English. Bought us all a JaegerBomb and shot of tequila :D
Stayed untill about 4am when the sun started to come up and i was in no mood to go to sleep so having the bright idea to go to the 24hr garage and get seom beers we set off. Unfortunatly we decided on having a bbq down the river, at 5am. So we bought a disposable bbq, bacon, bread, beer and sausages. Walked for about 40mins to get to the river and set up the bbq etc. Though it didnt work out too well due to no one was hungry, it was cold due to it being half 5 in the morning so we sat, shivered and fed the geese. At some point i managed to get geese poo on my hand and also stuffed a slice of bread down my friends back.
They all decided to go home and i decided to walk along the river in the sun with my can of beer, like the tramp i am. So all in all a brilliant night, a great 'welcome back' to my friend who went away to Uni and some nice pictures off my Iphone.
Well another pay day leads to another messy weekend. Well not that messy for once.
Friday was my friend Jemma Willard's birthday so a few cocktails were had, followed by a few more and some attempts at Salsa dancing. A good long night was had and it was all quite relaxed. Night ended about 3am and the next day thanks to a wonder drink full of veg and fruit and vitamins i was ok till about 3pm when i started to falter and no amount of coffee or energy drinks could help.
But that was just a taster of the night to come.
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Now wether you believe that the moon landings were faked, or what not, is neither here nor there. But theres something immensley pleasing watching Buzz Aldrin punch a guy who claims the moon landings were fake, has released two movies contradicting the accomplishments that Buzz and the other astronauts have achieved, and ultimatley wasted the time of Buzz Aldrin by pretending to be a Japanese interviewer.
Chris if you haven't watched it yet, i know you'll love it.
Monday, 20 July 2009
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Well another festival i can notch on my belt of festivals has been completed, this time i journeyed to Bilbao in Spain for BilbaoBBK Live 2009.
With my stupid fear of being blown from the sky i decided to take the ferry with my mate Callum. "A ferry Neil, are you serious"? Well yes i am, well was. Ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao = 33hrs. Not long considering there was cheap beer and even cheaper entertainment ( In the guise of the P&O Players, a cabaret team singing tunes from the West End and Broadway) and to be fair they weren't half bad.
Along the way if you were lucky enough you could spot whales and dolphins in the Bay of Biscay, but the bar was a greater site in my eyes. Anyway we left Portsmouth on Tuesday around 11pm and got to Bilbao in the morning of Thursday (Festival starts on the Thursday), so we trekked and got a tram to Bilbao Abando (Central). Found some lost looking souls and came to the conclusion that like us they have entered into the unknown all for a good time of music, sun and sangria.
Free shuttle bus to the festival led us up a winding road to the top of this hill overlooking Bilbao and there is where the festival sat, atop a hill. Brilliant view of the city.
We sat around drinking and headed into the main arena. The arena itself is tiny in comparison to say Lowlands in Holland or the Reading Festival in the UK but equally impressive layout. There was Stage 1 and Stage 2, with acts playing one after the other allowing fans to walk between the two and not hear overlapping sounds. There was a hill facing Stage 1 which you could chill on in the shade of trees while watching music from either stage really. They had vendor stalls selling t-shirts and the like and two main alcohol tents. A litre of beer set you back €7 as did a Jack Daniels and Coke, though for €11 you got a litre of JD & Coke and the Spanish don't measure their spirits so sometimes you get just enough, others you get more for your money.
A dance tent was also available to those who didn't want the party to stop, and i was there till the mornings most nights, dancing like a drunken Englishman till sunrise.
The festival has only been going on for about 4 years now and the acts that come through and play such a tiny festival are not tiny themselves. This year i had the enjoyment of seeing:
The Ting Tings
The Kaiser Chiefs
Dave Matthews Band
Echo and the Bunnymen
As i said most nights of music were followed by two of us staying in the dance tent till sunrise, which with 30 degree heat turned your tent into a sauna, stepping out into an oven. Can't really complain as if you had that weather over here it would be a HEATWAVE and you would be fanning yourself with old magazines.
The toilets left a bit to be desired (holes in the floor that you squatted over) but being the weary traveller that i am, i knew the nearby bus terminal would have proper toilets, which they did. Showers were a welcome comfort, though by the time i got round to using them they were ICE cold, which again wasn't too bad considering the heat.
Camping was slightly disheartening, the campsite we stayed in was basically a car park, but considering the festival is held in a park, you cant complain.
Unlike with some European festivals in Spain the language barrier is massive. So i really should have brushed up on some phrases rather than using broken Spanglish which the majority of foreigners use these days.
All in all, regardless of the long travel or the heat or the toilets etc, BilbaoBBK Live has to be one of the best festivals i have been to in a long time. The planning, the price (£40 for the camping ticket), the layout, the view and the general atmosphere was excellent. The fact we could walk up to the front of the stage about 20Min's before a major act and still get to the front is amazing. With most festivals you have to wade through hundreds of people and watch 2 or 3 bands just to get to the front.
Anyhoo enough of me talking, if you've managed to reach this far here is my FlickR page, though only have Ting Tings up at the moment. More to come.
I tried using wordpress over at www.supremeoverlord.co.uk but i just didn't get on with it. I prefer the look and the feel of blogging with Blogger.com it's just nicer. Maybe i haven't worked out the best use for Wordpress for myself, or never got a good enough theme uploaded but i love my minimal blogspot. So ill try to post here more frequently.
Monday, 8 June 2009
Amazing time lapse video of the Milky Way. I love it. And i cry that if i look outside all i see is an orange glow from the lamp posts :(