Cakes, Pies and Videotapes

Apparently it’s Sunday? So I’d better do a blog then. It won’t be a long one today as I am doing my best to avoid the usual routines and tasks that straddle normal weeks when I have to go to work and stuff.

Before I get on to festive stuff, Louise has been at it again, being all successful and stuff. You may remember that a little while ago she got herself a job at the local hospital? Well, she’s gone and done it again, and has been offered another. This new job is in the community as a district nurse and this is the one she will be taking in April once she qualifies. Community jobs are the proverbial hen’s teeth and for a newly qualified to get one is almost miracle status, so she’s done incredibly well. If you have a weeping sore in the North West of England she may well be attending to it from the spring!

Christmas Williams style was a good one. The day itself was a little different this year as Emily had to work for a few hours, which meant that we didn’t have our meal until the evening.

The day started as it always does with the girls unwrapping their gifts, and of course Oli got his traditional gifts too.

We spent the day relaxing and cooking (Louise did the cooking anyway), until Emily was done.

We then walked all the way to next door for the meal itself. It was deliciously excellent, perhaps the best we’ve ever had. We all chipped in with elements of the meal but my Mum and Dad did the hard graft of hosting us.

xmas 2014 mealAll too soon the familiar pain of being too full to function was upon us and we all groaned a lot whilst watching some TV and wishing we had room for one of the lovely desserts which mocked us from the kitchen.

Guess who this plate belonged to?

I just couldn’t manage that last pea!

Joseph and Emily…..(oblique song lyric reference there).

The days since have been a blur of nothingness but I have had a chance whilst off work to complete the first holiday video that has been promised to you for about six years now! 2008, The Chronicles of Nana (& Grandad) Tour, is available for your viewing pleasure (and only contains one “deliberate” mistake). I have to say, we only seem to have filmed when we were walking, swimming or pulling silly faces, but looking at the other footage we have for other years, there are better to come. 2006 is in progress now, so expect that any time this millennia.

I have another week off work yet, so the weight gain potential is immeasurable. I have done a little tweaking to holiday plans too, and I shall share that news with you next Sunday, as it may deter me from moaning about going back to work. Yes, I know it’s unlikely.

So I shall sign off for 2014, amazed at the fact that I’ve been blogging here now, pretty much every week since November 2009! If you’ve been with me all the way, seriously, get a life, but thank you.

Have a safe, fun and drunken New Year, and we’ll do it all again next year, next week.

Till the next time…..

 

It’s a Circle Online

I’ve made many spelling mistakes over the years, as my trip reports stand as testament to, but some were more significant than others. One of the more memorable ones was made about twelve years ago, and is the reason why you have clicked through to a blog at this web address, most likely from a Twitter account or Facebook page named the way it is.

Yep, sometime around 2002 I started my online Disney life on a certain forum, and trying to be all smart, thought I’d create a username reflecting my love for the Magic Kingdom. One slip of the finger later and I was stuck with mkingdon instead and many forum posts, trip reports, social media accounts, two trip report books and a blog later, I have returned to those origins where it all began.

My latest bit of writing is as a blog contributor at The Dis. So remember when I warned you that I would require you to click, like, share and promote? Well, this is that time. Please do click onto my post Do You Remember The First Time and do your stuff.

I’m delighted with the level of activity from those US folks who have no idea who Craig M Williams is (I had to add a middle initial as they have a Craig Williams already, and the M only stands for Mkingdon), with a good many Likes on Facebook and lots of comments there too.

dis blog 1

So having written my first ever Disney related words and first ever trip report on The Dis forums all those years ago, it truly has come full circle that I now contribute to their blog. It is also scary to think that when I joined that site, no-one knew what a blog was!

I thank you in advance for your support as ever.

I should apologise for the blog post last week. Introspective self-pity and vaguery does not good reading make, but I was pissed off and it’s my blog so I’ll allow myself that one. All I will add is that things have happened in the week since that have signified progress of a positive nature. The negative impact certain folks were hoping to inflict are now unlikley to happen and in the end they will be dealt with in the appropriate manner. In the words of a very good song, we go on to a much more positive situation all round. I promise to give more details when I can, soon.

Speaking of positive developments, after the longest week in the history of mankind I finished work on Friday. Already I can feel the stress and hassle leaving my body as I try to relearn the art of doing stuff I want to do and not what I have to. The deep burning joy within me at not having to tackle a commute tomorrow that has proved beyond horrific for weeks now, due to both the East Lancs Road and the M60 being worked on at the same time, radiates from me in bright yellow sunshiny shafts. It’s a good thing believe me.

Add to that the satisfaction of having pretty much all the shopping stuff done, without, I must add, setting foot into one actual shop, and you can bring Christmas on, I’m ready. Whilst I’m off I am going to try to get a few things done which have been long promised. The main one that has been promised here for about thirty years (it seems) is the first holiday video from our rediscovered camcorder footage. Emily has been distracted by a boyfriend and having to work for a living, so I have committed, at least to myself, that I will attempt to finish it, and get it posted asap.

This act, along with the new blogging stuff for The Dis, will hopefully get me back into a Disney frame of mind. It goes without saying that I am always in one of those to some degree, but the length of the countdown ahead of me, being annoyingly busy at work and other random shit life has made me deal with has pushed the joyous trip to the back of my mind. With the upcoming turn of the calendar bringing us at least into the same year of the trip and Emily now able to countdown to her departure in weeks, things are coming into sharper focus. I do have some planning changes to make shortly, with which I will bore you all as and when they happen. Without giving too much away, these changes are going to make the whole trip more enjoyable l’m sure.

So now you have read my Dis blog post, (you have, right?) I shall send you all our best wishes for your festive season and Louise, Emily, Rebecca and I hope it is all you want it to be with those you want it to be with. As we now enter the Christmas vortex of not knowing what day it is, I cannot guarantee blog posts when expected, but knowing my compulsive rule following self I’ll see you back here next Sunday! Click the piccy below for a festive treat from all in Mkingdon Land.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas…click the picture for a treat!

Till the next time…..

You OK Hun?

Warning – before you read this….

Don’t be worrying about me after this oblique and vague rant. This isn’t the equivalent of one of those “You OK hun?” Facebook posts. Some recent events (that will not be detailed here) have just got me wondering about how some people behave.

There’s an oft used saying that nice guys finish last. Outside of the bedroom, that saying is meant to be derogatory I suppose. It means that to be a success, or to “win” you have to be a nasty bastard. The fact I never have enough money to do the things I want to do means that I probably am not “winning”, and as such maybe I am a nice guy too. Do I finish last? Well, that would be telling, but in life I would say that I am consistently average to middling in all respects. There are certainly those worse off than me, and of course many more better off too. What I would say is that anything I do have is a result of honest graft, effort and persistence, rather than luck or dodgy doings.

I am contemplating this saying as today I have witnessed what I can only describe as c***tish behaviour of the highest order. I can’t and won’t go into detail here as the repercussions of it will rumble on for quite some time to come, but it has got me pondering a few things about the folks I share this planet with. It’s a theme I often visit and ponder, but rarely commit to writing.

Maybe it’s just that I’m not ruthless enough, maybe, to quote one of those knob head X Factor judges, I don’t “want it” enough. Maybe I trust that others operate with the same moral compass as I? This failure to annihilate anything and anyone that stands between me and my wants and desires means that I probably won’t get a good many of them. I don’t, for example, ignore the lane closed signs at road works and then expect with absolute certainty that someone will see my last minute use of the indicator as my God given right to be let in. I do sit a few cars back screaming at folks letting these self-absorbed ego ridden knob jockeys in, but it is all very impotent and useless. Indicate they do, and let in they are.

Is it breeding? Is this a result of your nurture, or are you born with a bad attitude and a penchant for late indicating? I don’t know, but without really thinking about it I do find that I do treat most folks the way I would wish to be treated. I have a high sense of justice and fairness and will moan a lot when I see someone ignoring either or both. I could give to charity more, in fact I could and maybe should be one of these folks that climb, swim and run things to raise money for those less fortunate, but frankly I don’t have the time or the inclination. I’d rather donate to a few times throughout the year and hope that makes me nice enough.

If you are like me then you do hope that at some point there is a totting up procedure, not so much for me to get my pat on the head and a gold star, but more for the roadworks ignoring ass and the like to get some form of payback or slap on the wrists. Alas, I fear that does not exist, and I am yet to ever see Karma be the bitch she is reported to be.

I’m a big lad and can and will deal with stuff as I always do but I just find myself wondering how when you behave in these ways do you sleep at night and feel at peace with yourself. Whether it’s someone pushing into traffic, not queuing for something or getting themselves ahead in some other manner, the rewards are there, so why don’t we all do it? Personally, I find I literally can’t. I have a long and deeply ingrained sense of playing by the rules I suppose, and get quite tetchy when someone does something that bends or breaks them. This kill or be killed, or look after number one above all else attitude grates a bit, although of course I can be a selfish arse at times.

Anywho, I’m also not a fan of these vague ranty posts on social media where no further details are given so all I will say now is that it isn’t life or death, won’t have a sizeable effect on our lives but just pisses me off that people behave in ways that I would never allow myself to.

In lighter news, I enter my last week at work before Christmas and then I shall luxuriate in two weeks off. As ever, I claim to be in dire need of the break, as we’ve have had a tiring, stressful and bumpy end to the calendar year. As I have fallen out with the world I may lock the front door, draw the curtains (we don’t have any so I’ll pull the blinds down) and just spend time with those people who aren’t likely to behave in ways of which I disapprove.

Being December, and the girls working in the restaurant biz, they are both very busy over the next few weeks. Extra shifts and extra pay will never be enough to convince Emily that working on Christmas Day is worth it, but she’s only in for a few hours and isn’t working at New Year. Rebecca has an enormous amount of work coming up, so she will be loaded for about eleven seconds when she gets paid. This is the length of time it normally takes her to spend every penny in her possession on essential items that she simply cannot live without.

So, with my beady eye cast out over a world that has some work to do to get back into my good books, I shall leave you to your own Xmas prep. I hope to be calling upon you soon to click, read and pretend you enjoy some stuff I’ve written for a large Disney site. I often call upon you to endure crap I’ve written and at the right time I shall be painfully insistent that you help me out this time. You have been warned. Be ready!

Right, I’ve finished now….not sure if I was last.

Till the next time…..

Large Weapons and Long Journeys.

So my three week social whirl has come to an end with my return this afternoon from my Christmas Do/Weekend with work. It started on Friday as my team and I traveled down to Bristol to meet with one of our main suppliers for a meeting (it was really just lunch) in a fab place called Grillstock.

We indulged in some very fine bar-b-q style fare, which for me consisted of Pulled Pork with coleslaw, corn bread and fries. We continued our very productive business discussions in the local Patisserie Valerie for stupidly sickly cakes and a decent coffee. I live life at the cutting edge of business as you can see.

With business concluded we journeyed on out of Bristol and further south and west towards Minehead and our home for the weekend, Croydon Hall.

We had hired the whole place out for the weekend for the 45(ish) of us that were attending. It isn’t the most luxurious place in the world but it did the job of accommodating and catering for us and our needs.

After a few drinks on Friday night, Saturday saw us take part in a clay pigeon shooting and archery contest. Sure, it was one of those team building things, but it was all good fun, and I astounded myself by actually hitting the odd clay and getting one or two arrows into the target and not a colleague’s head.

archery

As you can see we stood well behind anyone handling a gun or other weaponry for obvious reasons!

After hours of fresh air and friendly rivalry (I say that as I didn’t win), we retired cold and hungry to our house and got ready for the evening ahead. We had a surprisingly good Christmas meal, which is noteworthy as typically a mass catered festive meal has all the culinary charm of Anthony Worral Thompson’s Y Fronts. More drinks were had and the younger folk did some dancing to that modern music the kid’s enjoy so much. I, and some of the other more senior members of the party spent most of the evening in a quieter area of the place drinking at a sedate pace and chatting. Tartan slippers were optional.

After a second rubbish night’s sleep, on a bed that was thinner than some sandwiches I have eaten, we had another full English, packed, tidied and hit the road by ten.

The lap (and knees) of luxury??

All in all it was a great weekend, and with it all paid for by the company I have to say I am very grateful that they take the trouble and expense to look after us so well. I would say that if you were wondering just how many miles it is from my house to Minehead, the answer is too many. That was the only issue with the whole thing, and some four and a half hours later, I arrived home never wanting to see the inside of a car again.

This young chap who works for me had a more extreme experience than many of us older folk, which at nineteen I suppose he should. Having had it very large on Friday evening, just a few hours later he was handling live firearms in a field. If that doesn’t say Christmas I don’t know what does. He took it a little easier on Saturday, however, having ripped him out of bed at 9.45 on Sunday morning, to then have him in the car five minutes later he spent most of the journey home like this.

He drank too much and stayed up too late, and at his age, he bloody should!

I shall now retire from social engagements for the foreseeable future as frankly I am knackered.

Till the next time…..