A Bulging Blog.

Some weeks when I come to write my post, I stare at the blank page wondering what on earth I am going to ramble on about. Somehow, I always manage to find something to fill the void with, but no doubt you can spot those weeks as much as I can.

Then, other weeks, such as this one, my usually quiet and uneventful life takes a mad turn and I have oodles of stuff to talk about. Whether or not it is of interest to anyone other than me is questionable of course.

I’ll get the book stuff out of the way first for you. This week All This And More had its first ever book blog review. Thankfully it was positive, so I was able to share it with you all. In total there are seventeen reviews of the book now, and again, despite all of my worst fears when publishing it, it is very pleasing to see folks enjoying it. Following closely on the heels of that review, I did my first ever author interview for the same book blog this week, which was pretty surreal to be honest. Seeing that published online was nearly as scary as the photo which accompanied it.

On Wednesday, Rebecca turned 17. Many parents question how things like this happen. They say things like “How can I have a (enter age) year old son/daughter”. Well, without pointing out the biology behind such things, it is usually because certain things happened that number of years ago, leading to their offspring being that age now. I do sympathise with that view of course, as between blinks, I seem to be sharing a house with three grown women all of a sudden, which, if you’d told the 18-year-old me that, he simply would never have believed you!

Gone are the days of Bratz, Barbies and character cakes. Instead we bestowed upon her driving lessons, paying for her holiday to Turkey later this year and some Mac make-up. The latter was definitely in contention for being the most expensive item on that list!

The rest of the week has been a blur of nights out (two) and entertainment extravaganzas. On Thursday, Emily and I went to see Panic! At The Disco at the Apollo in Manchester. Not for the first time this week, I may have been the only forty something bloke in the audience, but I think I got away with it. The gig was superb. For those not familiar with the group I’ll post one of their better known songs here, as a form of education!

So we had a good night, and it is always nice to spend some time with one of the girls like that.

The very next night, all four of us had a night out at the McBusted gig at the Phones4U arena in Manchester. Busted hold a special place in the hearts of the girls as they were their first real band, and the first one they ever saw live back in 2003. Once news broke of this tour with McFly we had to get tickets, and again it would just be lovely to be out as a four again. We do it so infrequently these days.

You may question why a man of my style, taste and undoubted good judgement should wish to attend such a gig? Well, I’m not ashamed to say I like McFly. There are a couple of reasons beyond their songs being decent pop stuff too. Tom Fletcher is a huge Disney fan, regularly visiting WDW, so he’s worth a follow on Twitter, which is what I’ve been doing for a while. Danny Jones from McFly grew up literally around the corner from us, so we’ve always taken an interest in how he was doing with his band as his fame and success increased. I think they write decent songs, and suffer from being tagged with a boy band label, and as such largely don’t get the credit they deserve.

So we got ourselves to the arena, and after a small kerfuffle when our seats didn’t exist, we were reallocated, closer to the stage and we waited.

mcbusted girls

After three support acts, the average age of which were less than most of my underpants, the main event started and I have to say I loved it. The effort that had gone into the production was incredible, ranging from a DeLorean car on stage, to a full size space ship descending from the sky with the band on it. This was the highlight for us, as our newly allocated seats were literally next to it and we had a great view for that section of the show.

mcbusted space ship

The girls took loads of video too, but I’ll leave that to Emily to post on her blog as I think that is the subject of her next one. I’ll point you at it when it is up of course. I’ll just show you one video, which, is the best I managed, if you ignore the fact that for some reason I turned my phone sideways towards the end!

Overall it was just a really good night, a great show with an enormous amount of thought and detail going into it, and something that put a smile on all of our faces. It was lovely to see the girls jumping up and down, singing and remembering all the words to the Busted songs they lived and loved over ten years ago.

So we’ve had an entertaining and busy week. To finish it off, we’re off to the cinema tonight to watch Bad Neighbours, with Zak Effron. He’s in it, he isn’t coming with us! Emily seems keen to see it for some reason! This by the way, is the reason for the early posting today. I hope this break from routine does not blow your minds too much.

Lastly before I let you go, my latest guest blog for Floridatix, How to Enjoy Orlando Without the Queues, was published last week too. It would be very helpful if you could give it a click and a read and a Like etc. It covers things to do in Florida that you don’t need to queue for. You will notice it does not then include the bathroom in our villa/hotel room!

Till the next time….

Wimbledon is just one stop on the tube from Mordor.

I know it isn’t exactly the ends of the earth, but bloody hell Wimbledon is a long way from Bolton!!

Map England
See, a long way!

I had the delight and joy of making my way there last Wednesday for a customer meeting, that beforehand I didn’t want to go to, and my ever reliable spider sense proved to be spot on as it was pretty much as expected. The sheer awe and wonder of the tube system, probably lost on those using it regularly, is something I do marvel at.

The fact that way back in Victorian times they managed to dig holes under London and put trains in them, and today they turn up more or less every couple of minutes, should be a mind boggler, but we take things for granted. Having said all of that, trying to get from Great Portland Street to Wimbledon is much like the journey across middle earth undertaken by The Fellowship, and they were only carrying a ring. I had a laptop, iPad and book in my bag!! To be rewarded at the end by one of my all time worst meetings was truly kicking a man when he is down.

My raid on the capital, in the form of as brief a visit as I can get away with, ended with a three o’clock train from Euston, and exactly two hours of feeling sea sick….on a train!! I was quite delighted to get back to Piccadilly and sit in traffic for an hour. At least there was little danger of filling my lap with lunch! The rest of the week was fairly quiet, with a day working from home on Friday. I had a load to do, and can’t get any peace in the office, so when Louise said she was going for a “procedure” in hospital on Friday, I used the need to drop her off and pick her up to base myself at home.

A weekend without any major events was on the cards, but that didn’t mean for one minute that we had nothing to do. Between “the big shop”, a bit of tidying up and taking Emily for a hair cut, that was most of Saturday accounted for, but on the plus side, my house wasn’t full of teenagers on Saturday night, aside from the two that I don’t mind being there.

Of course, both girls were out on Saturday night, with Rebecca at the cinema scaring herself to death with Insidious, and Emily out on about the 27th “leaving event”, a field party. I think that translates to around 100 teenagers stood in a field being cold and wet, but I think she enjoyed it. With Louise feeling pretty rough still from her “procedure”, she went to bed, and this left me at a loose end, with the worrying combination of Eurovision and Twitter to keep me entertained.

I apologise now for the sheer volume of tweets, but it made the time pass until I had to go and pick Rebecca up after her film. As ammunition goes for pithy tweets, Eurovision has to be the event of the year to be honest. Where else would you see rapping gnomes, dodgy singers and crass over production? Well, to be honest you could have turned over to ITV and seen exactly the same stuff on Britain’s Got Talent, but you pays your money and you takes your choice I suppose.

With the usual voting nonsense, with the likes of Cyprus giving Greece twelve points, (and I don’t think Greece were even in it were they?) and all those countries ending in consonants voting for each other as they used to be the same country until the mid nineties, we did well to come mid table I think. Blue can now slip back into panto and reality TV for another decade.

panic at the disco

Sunday was a little less hectic, with Louise enduring the ironing as usual, and me pestering Emily about revising as usual. I popped out to kit Emily out with her exam essentials, you know, the lucky gonk and 27 packs of polos, and left her to her work.

So after five years at secondary school, all that effort, all that homework and hopefully all that revision she kicked off on Monday with her English GCSE. Emily, as ever seemed pretty unfazed by the whole thing, and toddled off to school in usual fashion, whilst I was trying to give her pep talks and inspiration. She was more concerned with the Panic! At the Disco gig they were going to on Monday evening to be honest.

Upon picking them up after them Panicking at the disco (and for one second did you imagine that anyone else would be doing that) and dropping off the customary friend, it was going on for midnight by the time everyone got to bed on Monday. Luckily, Emily’s exam on Tuesday was not until the afternoon, but Rebecca looked suitably zombie like the morning after.

Hopefully the week ahead will see Emily handle all that the exam boards can throw at her, and Louise feeling more normal too. She’s not had the greatest few days following her trip to hospital. Oh, and by the way, it is 71 days until Florida. Yes, I am indeed counting. Till the next time…..