Eggs, Zombies, and a Bevy of Birthdays

The late hour of this here post is all my mother’s fault. We have been entertaining both of our maternal units today, with cards, presents and a fine steak and ale pie that has been in the slow cooker since just after Christmas.

They have just returned home to get “seckled” for the night, clutching their identical gifts of the Saving Mr Banks DVD. It has been a week of non stop celebratory events, as our family appears to have had a conception fest around nine months ago across many years. The same week sees Louise, my niece Sarah and nephew George all have birthdays in the space of two days. This is highly inconsiderate from a budgetary point of view, and then Mother’s Day creeps up on us to run salt in the wounds.

One of Louise’s gifts was also a DVD, of Season 1 of The Walking Dead. It was my extra sensory perception that drove me to buy such a gift. Her saying for months on end that she wanted to watch it, and me searching fruitlessly on Netflix for it was the only hint I needed, and she was very happy with my choice.

So this weekend we have gorged on a series in a manner not seen since the heady days just after we discovered Breaking Bad. Ah, those were the days…bitches. We have almost finished Season 1 now, and I’m sure Louise exclaimed what every UK viewer of this series says. “Is that Egg from This Life?”. Indeed it is.

Ask if I am Egg one more time…I double dare you!

We’ve really enjoyed it so far and I can see us going on to devour the other seasons before too long. Yes, I do know that we are about a millennium behind the rest of the western world, but I never claimed to be on the cutting edge of modern culture. I like Level 42 for God’s sake.

I have taken the wise and welcome step of booking some time off work over Easter. Louise ends her current placement in a week’s time and then has a couple of weeks or so off. Bloody students! So having not had a break since Christmas, and feeling like I haven’t had a break since birth, the week after next seems me on holiday. My body yearns to spend it in bed and if not there prone in front of the TV, but I fear it may drift into housey tasks and inexplicable visits to B&Q. If you spot me there please, kill me. I may return to walk the earth as a flesh-eating zombie, but all you’ll need is an Egg and a blunt instrument, which there should be plenty of in the aisles of that DIY hell on earth.

I eye the week to come with a mixture of wary suspicion and hope that it passes me by as quickly as the one after it will. This time next week I shall be blogging free from the dark cloud of an impending Monday back at work. There shall be unicorns and rainbows, and sparkles everywhere. Honest.

Right now, I am writing through the fog of too much pie and more than one dessert, so I need to take this laptop off my bulging stomach, do some digesting, pick Rebecca up from work and then watch some dead folks try to beat an Egg.

Un Oeuf with the egg gags

Till the next time….

This Should Be The End

I found myself all alone last night. Rebecca only pops home from time to time for money, food or to be transported somewhere else populated with cooler folks than her parents, so she was out and Louise and Emily went out to watch some singing show of some kind. Of course I was paying attention when they told me where they were going.

I was frankly too tired to be going anywhere and voted to stay at home and do absolutely nothing. With the usual choice of the obligatory singing contest or Ant n Dec’s (absolutely not Noel’s House Party) Takeaway, I was looking for something to watch.

I happened upon a film called This Is The End, so I gave it a chance. That was probably one more chance than it deserved to be honest. It was hard work, self-indulgent, and anything but funny. It features a lot of actors like Seth Rogen and James Franco who normally appear in gross out comedies such as Superbad, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express and the like. The concept looked promising, but my God it was tedious.

After an hour I was bored, not entertained and found myself wondering what time Match of the Day was on. I did glean that the subject matter of the film was all about the end of the world, and that dear reader is where this long winding path was leading you.

We do not have a Florida holiday booked, and it is nearly April. If this does not signal the end of times then I don’t know what would. Some bloke down south has just won £108 million on the lottery, and he will probably still go to work and just put a conservatory on his semi, and we can’t afford a few grand on a couple of weeks of sun, fun and excessive eating. Third world famine and that fact prove that the world is a cruel and unfair place.

The pain is growing inside me at a similar pace to the resentment I feel towards that lottery winner. It hurts, and it hurts even more that I know we won’t be going. In past years, it has been touch and go, dependent upon us finding affordable flights, but in the end we always went. Not this year. I won’t bore you (again) with the circumstances that mean we cannot afford to go this year, but it is all Louise’s fault. As long as you understand that then that’s fine.

I was having a wee earlier (there was no pain involved in that thankfully) and I could hear, drifting down from Emily’s room (she is in the attic room), the emotional melody of O Canada. It triggered the memory banks and I was almost blubbing over the toilet bowl. With eyes closed I could just imagine the film in the Canada pavilion ending and Martin Short giving his closing lines. I’d also made a right mess of the bathroom floor, but that isn’t important.

So why life carries on as if nothing was awry I do not know. At any moment you should expect fire, plague and pestilence and my protruding bottom lip being a feature of the landscape for the forseeable future.

Damn you Disney for being so desirable. Your magic is like crack cocaine, and I am deep in cold turkey. Should you be in possession of a countdown to your US holiday, treasure it, stroke it, make it feel special. They are splendid creatures, and to be cherished. When you don’t have one, the world is a little less bright and the future a little less shiny.


In non resentful, Disney deprived sulky news, Louise and I are off to the cinema later. Having seen each other for several minutes last week due to work, shifts and the need for sleep, it will be nice to just be the two of us. Rebecca…well you know where she is, and Emily is out with one of her friends from some Frankie n Benny-ness and then onto the same cinema, but for a different film.

One of those isn’t a man!

Let us all hope that our choice of Monuments Men is a good deal better than the dross I endured last night. No matter though, whatever I am sat in front of there shall be sweets, and therefore I shall be happy. Happiness is all relative of course in a world of no countdown. Life is so cruel!

Till the next time.


Singh For Your Supper

There’s a famous quote from George W Bush that goes something like, “Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice……shame…we won’t get fooled again”. I use it not (only) to highlight the amazing fact that this guy got elected to the most powerful job on the planet but also to tell you I stupidly ignored his wise words this week.

Unable to avoid a trip for work meetings to Marlow on a Thursday, after a stop over in High Wycombe’s finest Premier Inn, I had to then, for just the second time ever attempt the journey north on a Friday afternoon.

If you wanted to, you could go back through these blog posts and see me whining about a previous horrific journey on a Friday at some point in the past, followed by me swearing that I would never do it again.

Well, I did, and it was bobbins. Even with an earlier than usual exit from the office it took just under five hours. The M6 is just no longer fit for purpose and we should all get a refund. I could fly to New York in a similar time frame. Let me now declare once and for all that I shall not be doing it again, unless it is because I have had to drive to Head Office on a Friday to hand in my notice due to a lottery win.

The evening before I enjoyed a tasty (and large) curry, and we were entertained by an Indian Elvis.

He’s singing The Wonder Aloo

He was good fun, and made what might have been a fairly tedious mid week night away with work into a good laugh. Being the wild animals that me and my (similarly middle aged) colleagues are, we were up until at least 11pm. Crazy stuff.

The weekend hasn’t been anywhere near as exciting, mainly as Louise has been chained to the computer producing her latest assignment for her Nursing course. This has meant that I have had to amuse myself, sit around, eat, watch football, oh yes and do some ironing. Yes, I am that dream man who all men want to be, and all women want to be with.

Encouraged by the weather reports, predicting tarmac melting temperatures and the potential for my skin being burned from my face this weekend, I ventured out and took the dog for a walk this morning in a lack of layers not seen since last August. Imagine my delight to find the temperatures lower than George W Bush’s IQ. I have instructed my lawyers to begin proceedings against the Met Office. Oli seemed oblivious to the gloom, fog and cold.

cold oli

So if you had sun today, please keep any news of it to yourselves as I’ve just put the heating on again.

Before I go, thank you to those who added a lovely review for me following my request last week. The general underlying theme seems to be that folks are finding it to be better than they expected. Well, that’s fair enough, and that is more or less how I feel about it too! I got my hard copy this week and it looks OK, but I can’t bring myself to read the thing again. Not yet anyway. If you got it too, I hope you don’t feel the same.

Till the next time….

Top 8 Youtube Videos

Emily has spent hours and hours on YouTube so you don’t have to!!


Happy Saturday!

Hope you’re all having a good weekend so far.

Since posting my last Top 10 Youtube videos post I have come across quite a few new videos so enjoyy!!

8 Dapper Day 2014 — Into the Magic Project Adventure!

I love this!! I’ve always always always wanted to go to Dapper Day, look how cute everyone looks!! The video for this is here.

7 Dubstep Disney 2 – Thru My Eyes.

Sawyer Hartman is probably one of my favourite youtubers and he’s super talented. I’m jealous of everyone who can just get up in the morning and be like ‘Oh hey lets go to Disney’ Jealous of you all. This video is a pretty similar style to number 10. I love videos like this so much. The video is here.

6 Spell Block Tango 

This is so perfect! I love this so much, Todrick hall is…

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All This And More…This Time It’s Hard!

Having given you a week off last Sunday from any mention of THAT book, today I need to tell those of you who prefer it hard that All This And More is now available in that format.

Have it hard....
Have it hard….

As you may expect, having these printed costs a sight more than having it downloaded through the ether onto your device so be prepared. I haven’t yet received or seen my own copy yet, so hopefully it will be OK.

I’m not saying I don’t think the book is worth it, as of course I do think it is pretty good. That’s as close as you’ll ever get to me blowing my own trumpet. I am just not that flexible unfortunately.

I do have a request, aside from begging you to buy and read the bloody thing in any format, and that is, if you have made your way through it, and feel you could put together some positive words about it then please do so on Amazon. Even if you read the hard copy, reviews there really do help, not least with my minuscule ego.

For those unsure if it may be for them, do have a read of the six reviews left by the kind souls willing to do so already. You know they’ll be good ones or I wouldn’t point you at them.

This week has been bereft of any very notable events that I can tell you about, with the only news worthy of my ire being a fire in Salford which made my commute into the office more hellish than usual. Apparently the fire service decided it best to let the building burn for four days, and in turn close a load of roads around it which meant I spent two and half hours trying to get to the office on Tuesday, and then worked from home for two days, unwilling to do so again.

I was assured we would have Star Trek style teleportation abilities by now, and the fact that we do not upsets and disappoints me.

We also had a visitor stay over on Thursday night. As a trial run for when we look after him for two weeks later in the year, Baxter, my brother’s dog came to be mauled, bothered and toyed with by Oli. Sensibly, I went out to the cinema with my brother on that night, leaving Louise to referee the fun and games.

All Oli'd out.
All Oli’d out.

This is what you’d be like too after three hours of Oli’s close attention. He may not survive the holiday when it comes.

I’m going now as I’ve upset myself by mentioning the word holiday.

Till the next time…..

Bristol, Bangers and my hatred for Gok Wan.

This week’s travels have found me in Bristol and London. As much as the company I had on both trips was top notch, travelling in this way is often a labour rather than a love.

As and when I have interviewed folk in the past, and they have cited travel as one of their interests or hobbies, I doubt they’d class a couple of days on an Industrial Estate in Bristol as one of their aspirations in life.

Travel, as a pleasure, is a selective activity of course, and I don’t hate it, I just don’t relish it, unless it involves a trans Atlantic flight and life threatening quantities of food. Hate is a phrase I reserve for the important things in life that are deserving of the word and sentiment like the cellophane wrapper you get around a new box of tea bags, and Gok Wan.

In the Top Ten of things I can’t stand, tea bag box packaging is irrationally up there fighting for top spot. Alas, Gok will always hold that safe, with his inexplicable fame and need to appear on my television when I’m least expecting it. His talk of bangers, girlfriends and “rocking” anything want me to remove his or my eyes with a rusty spoon to stop it happening again.

His appeal, like his talent, seems illusive to me.

Anyway, back to Bristol. On Wednesday evening I was out for a curry with m’colleague and my most favourite and longest standing supplier. It was delicious, and was going down a treat until, distracted by some idiot trying to talk to me whilst I was eating, I mistook a ghost chilli for a green pepper.

I was in child-birth levels of pain, and was rendered speechless until about Friday. I do not recommend it, as you might have guessed. After about three hours of snot and eye watering, m’colleague and I left the locals we dined with to find our hotel. We both regularly navigate ourselves all around the country on business, and equally as regularly (nearly) cross the Atlantic and find stuff without too much messing about.

However, in the labyrinth like city centre of Bristol it took us an amount of time I am too ashamed to admit to find our bed for the night. How we laughed. Google maps and directions from others did nothing to save us from the persistent drizzle and incessant loops of the same shops.

On Friday my travels, and the way the day turned out, saw me in central London with a few hours to kill. With the weather being one step up from the Apocalypse, my options were limited. I had a walk up and down the south bank passing the London Eye and the silly queue for it. I guess it was still half term somewhere.

The Biggest of Bens
The Biggest of Bens

Ultimately to beat the cold and the boredom I ended up just moving from one place to another to eat and/or drink. By the end of the day I was close to causing actual bodily harm to anyone even suggesting another coffee. Starbuck’s, McDonald’s and for tea Nandos all saw the inside of my wallet, and I rolled home on the train needing two seats.

It seems London is fueled entirely by foamy coffee, foreign accents and surly expressions. Oh and anyone who can find the elusive combo of free Wi-Fi and a plug socket wins London. I did both in some poncey South Bank Arts place, and as I sat there for an age sucking up their juice and cyber space, I could see the security folks eyeing me continuously. I left without having to give either of those valuable assets back.

I am traveling again next week, but to the familiar territory of Marlow, so that is becoming so routine I’m stopping classing that as actual travel, and just a slightly longer commute.

This week also saw us make some very, very, rough and some especially ambitious plans for the 2015 holiday. With it being Rebecca’s 18th that year she is keen to do a WDW trip, as Emily did, and so we have made a mental note that we shall aim for that. We have no plans at all about how to fund it, but we shall cross that bridge at some point before or after the trip.

If you are in the middle of planning a trip, then, firstly, I hate you, but secondly, perhaps you could consider a fellow Disney-er and Dibber (I think) who has recently struck out on her own in the travel agent business. As I receive endless help here for all sorts of stuff from you kind folks, Sue Shellard asked that I pointed folk at her business, and of course I was delighted to oblige. Give it a click and a Like, if you so wish. To those who have continued to give their endless and unrewarded help and support this week, for reasons I cannot yet divulge, I thank you. There are some really lovely people who read this crap!

I have to go now and pick Rebecca up from work. She is enjoying her new job, and I am enjoying her not asking for money from me every seventeen seconds. Emily too had an interview for a new part-time job on Thursday and she is going for a trial shift tomorrow so hopefully that will see her earning once again. At this rate, I shall be able to buy myself some new clothes for the first time since about 1995. As and when I need them of course!

Till the next time…..