Archive for the ‘Social’ Category

Too much thinking!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

I sit here wondering what it takes to get out of the rat race the majority of us seem to live in. There is so much of the world yet to be conquered, engineering to be admired and seeing some of it this weekend has made me wonder exactly what it is I need to do to achieve this. I feel this is a burning ambition inside me… Or is this normal of a human? I don’t know; all I do know is I refuse to let this slip for the rest of my life, I don’t want to look back and say I wish I had done that, not any more. Seeing so much from these great heights at tremendous speeds slips my mind into a trance.
I am missing a vital piece of my jigsaw to life, I know what I am, what I want, what I have; but that piece that puts ambitions and goals into reality is missing. I don’t see where or what I am going to be in 10, 20, 40 years time. Before long they will come and I need to do something now otherwise I will never be satisfied… or are we never satisfied anyway? How many times do we think the grass is greener when it really isn’t!
We all seem to be destined to buy a house, settle down, have kids, retire then live if we are still fit to do so.
Well by the time I will be able to retire there is a likely chance I won’t be fit to live, so is it really that important to get into the rat race of buying houses having kids? Although I love my creature comforts I am unsure if I am a settler. I know I need to settle with a female, but settle somewhere seems too laborious for the rest of my life, I couldn’t do it.
I admire what Christine has to say with regards to this matter and it stimulates the mind, but to a dangerous level maybe beyond my ability. She seems gifted in the sense that she appears to be able to say I am going to do that and manages it; does she work her socks off for it – maybe; just maybe that is where I lack stimulation; but that doesn’t seem possible – my ambitions are worthy of stimulation… So someone help me!

Cadbury World

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Over the weekend I thought I’d treat Jakki to see how the love of her life is made… no not a porno, or that awful ‘birds n bees’ video from high school – it was in fact good old Cadbury World in Bourneville.
Started off with a shock on the entry fees, an adult ticket will cost you some £13.45 of your hard earned cash, let alone the children’s fee of £10.30; all making a family day out extremely expensive I should think. None the less we decided to enter the choctastic world of Cadbury.
For the fee you get a packet of Buttons and Curly Wurly on entry and a Dairy Milk Bar half way around the tour which consists of;
Aztec Jungle
A brief history into how important the bean was to the Aztecs and that it was used as a source of payment for food, drink and even slavery. Sadly doesn’t include a taste of the Aztecs original secret recipe of the Chocolatl, which used spices instead of the common milk which we have come accustomed to.
мебели сливенJourney to Europe
How the Spaniards killed off the Aztecs and returned with the cacoa beans which became a source of drink for the wealthy. Had a clever 3D projection system with a little story line.
Bull Street
A replica layout of a small shop in Birmingham where John Cadbury first sold tea of all things. Allowed the opportunity to take photos whilst waiting for an 8 minute show…
The Cadbury story
The story told by Mr Cadbury and then how his two sons Richard and George progressed with the family trait away from the city and developed the village that is still here today, Bourneville. Quite inspiring, listening to the way they explain their ‘Quaker‘ beliefs helped them create a better class of working.
Making Chocolate
From delivery of the beans, to the separation of the liquids to the milk chocolate we eat, it is all explained here with a few little surprises… If you don’t want to know, move your eyes to the next subject, otherwise, it’s not much to get excited over but it is quite comical feeling like a cocoa bean for a few minutes, from some pressured gas bit which I missed but made most of us jump, to being shook vigorously and then baked it was all a giggle!
Manufacturing
Bit of a disappointing area, this has now been moved to an interactive video, which still gives a good insight into the manufacturing of our favourites such as Roses, Buttons, Crunchie, Turkish Delight, Dairy Milk, Cream Egg… but it’s not like seeing the real thing.

Moving around the factory
Whilst moving around the factory there are all sorts of interactive things to do and see, but none as exciting as having your photo with erm, erm, what have they done!!!
Jakki, Nick and the Bean!
Packaging
Sadly came through the packaging department whilst the production was limited, they gave us the feel for something going on but I’m sure this was just a few boxes on a circular! None the less, this was a little interesting to me as we work in production environments and it was amazing seeing how things come together in other fields of work, particularly the speedy wrapping process.
Cadabra
Now this is one not to be missed, how sad, funny yet totally pointless is this ride… Most definitely for the kids, but just looking at how many different themes and facial expressions someone can think of for a cocoa bean is somewhat amazing!!! Particularly look out for the abdominal snowbean! – oh and don’t forget to smile for the camera here again!
Demonstration Area
A little over crowded for my liking, but there were 3-4 demonstrations going on, from tempering, to moulding to writing all with chocolate of course! Opposite this is the process for creating mouldings such as the Teddy Bears, Shoes etc, this was a little more interesting but slow!
Advertising
First of all you get to walk through the Coronation street chocolate set and get the opportunity to go through interactive screens again to see all of the adverts produced for the show. Amazing how much detail when into an add, including the right amount of cobble stones, to all the cast plus a special competition winner. Next part of advertising seemed to lack a lot of the history, I should imagine there are some adverts over the years but this could have been more interesting by covering more adverts. None the less they dated back to the first one in the 50s to more recent 90s.
Purple Planetonline casino
Didn’t seem like much was going on here, but it seemed to be a modern style of interaction, including screen sensitive movement, cocoa bean growing, chasing an egg on the floor, the Purple Planet itself in a clever 3D world and a see yourself made out of chocolate, or as this seemed to be for us was ‘American Megatrends’ artistic display – doh, another reboot (from home to home!!).
backgammon free casino money free craps game play free black jack craps video poker strategy play black jack online how to win video poker casino game online uk best casino online casino secure online gambling jackpot casino online casino black jack learn to play craps how to win at video poker craps online blackjack casino game online casino betting free on line video poker casino games no download casino online gambling casino play free casino slots video poker machine bonus video poker free on line slots double bonus video poker free video poker games free casinos roulette online craps rules free on line casino rules of craps online casino free money blackjack 21 internet casino how to play craps free casino game download fortunelounge online casino free casino download free casino card game free roulette game free casino play no deposit free money casino internet casino online The World’s Biggest Cadbury Shop … Apparently!!
Last but not least, its the shop, the ‘worlds biggest’ apparently, well doesn’t say much about the others!!! Although the choices were varied, from your normal chocolates, an impressive 5kg bar;
Yes a 5kg bar
;That is about 30mm tall! to the Gorilla or Caramel Bunny, pjs to pens, T-shirt to mugs or a really small discount chocolate factory but it wasn’t all that impressive to be honest.
Cafe
The cafe seemed quite good, from having things like soup, to Paninis to Sunday lunches to ‘any 5 items’ which was great for kids and grown ups too. The choices of deserts were the ones to look out for and of course far more tempting. Although not a fan of mouse, I had to try one looking at them and I was suitably impressed. 2 large Cokes, 2 Paninis and 2 Mouses cost around £14 which wasn’t too bad, it filled a hole!!!

All in all not a bad day out, for me I enjoyed seeing the history of the company but would have enjoyed seeing more of the manufacturing; after all that is what they do best!
I’d say;
7/10 Price,
8/10 Time spent,
9/10 Interesting,
9/10 Interaction
7/10 Queues
9/10 Smiles

Farley Quarry 20/01/2008

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

On Friday 11th January I won an auction on eBay and collected the Suzuki SJ 410 on the 12th for the sum of £330;

My new Suzuki SJ 410

Since then my dad, Jon and I have done nothing but work work work on this little beast (aka Roller Skate) to get it ready for Farley Quarry near Much Wenlock, which was on the 20th. A new clutch was required, new battery and alternator and a few legal issues with the trailer.

Started fitting the clutch on the 18th and immediately had problems, we had bought the wrong one, registration of vehicle seemed to be incorrect with engine, no problems, we looked further into it, apparently it had part Fiat, part Spanish Suzuki, with special thanks to Sureparts. Sure enough my dad managed to get it in by late Saturday afternoon and it was suddenly a mad rush to test it all, to my horror I didn’t concentrate properly and wrapped the trailer lead around the front bumper of the SJ… without realising I drove it off the trailer and nearly wrecked some £100 worth of electrics but thankfully nothing was damaged. On a good note the clutch worked a treat. So she was ready just in time for Sunday.

Got to Farley quarry, she started up a treat which was good news as the alternator was not working and we were unsure of the new (old) battery condition. Porl got in and we went around a bit of the grounds to see what was about, I saw something interesting; axle twisters (extremely uneven ground over a short space). Within 5 minutes I had almost rolled the vehicle, we were precariously balancing near on 90 degrees sideways! Driving in this position is quite difficult and stalling really doesn’t help!

Porl decided to go in his vehicle and I follow for a while, this scared me a bit as I was still totally new to it all… I regularly forgot to let handbrake off and have now managed to totally knacker that up. I stalled the car a few times, but was really amazed with her capabilities up the hills.

Not a video of my car, but almost identical to what I did in the same spot (in wetter conditions) – not that I am trying to make excuses! I got my wheel caught too in the same way, causing the vehicle to go up at 90 degrees, but twice, you would have thought I had learnt the first time!

In the mean time however, when I stalled, it wouldn’t restart so I was stuck in this little ditch that is far worse than it looks in video. After trying to get her out for a while, a chap comes over with an electric winch, great, got the straps out and started pulling. All of a sudden, ‘snap’ the strap frayed and snapped flying the shackle on the end straight on to the window, smashing it completely.

Smashed Window

Got it restarted and went for dinner, had a whopping great big double beef burger with cheese, MMMMM!

After jump starting it down a hill, I just thought that things were going to get worse, but carried on out. Within minutes I was struggling to find gear and managed to stop some way away from the starting position. Had a little look but couldn’t really do much so Porl towed me back to the trailer and we left it there whilst going out for a little longer.

Absolutely fantastic day out (to the point of wetting myself of laughter!) and are now aiming to get it all repaired and better than ever for Sunday 10th February which is at Sibbertoft. Finding someone to deliver a windscreen is impossible so I am going to Chesterfield on Friday all being well, might have to stop in at Deano’s as it appears the scrappy is minutes away from his house, bargain!

How clean does she look considering the dirt she had been in, damn!

End of First Day

Targets

Friday, December 7th, 2007

These last few weeks have given me many thoughts as to where I am and what I want to do/be…

My targets for this year were pretty simple; Finish Uni with a 2:1, get a good job and go to more gigs.

Well, I passed my degree with a disappointing 2:2, but none the less I have passed and got myself a really good job working for Sorion Electronics.

… and of course I had tickets to see My Chemical Romance but pulled out, but have been to see Razorlight, The Filthy Habits and Kaiser Chiefs.

This now means I have new Targets to set for 2008;

Even more gigs;
I have tickets for Scouting for Girls, and intend to find even more gigs to go to as I have really enjoyed myself this year.

3 Peaks Challenge;
I do not set myself challenges and I would like to set myself at least one challenge every year, of which has to be somewhat difficult, enduring, for charity and a way of getting fit. So the aim for 2008 is to prepare for the 3 Peaks Challenge sometime in the near future.

Activities;
I would like to be involved in more activities and maybe find a really good hobby that I can enjoy, things such as Photography, 4×4 Off-Roading, Water Skiing, Snow Boarding really sound interesting to me and I aim to get more involved with as many of them as possible in 2008.

So all in all, hopefully a good year ahead but as usual I am sure it wont go to plan, 2007 has been a challenge for me and I don’t regret a single thing as I have learned so much about every day life, friendships, work, education and more importantly myself. I have had some terrible moments in 2007, to the point of shear despair but I have got through them and rose above the bad moments and ended up enjoying myself.

Kaiser Chiefs – Monday 26th November, NIA Birmingham.

Friday, December 7th, 2007

After seeing Kaiser Chiefs live on the TV around this time last year I could not help but become a freak for searching for their next gig! Around June time, tickets went on sale for them at the NIA, instantly I bought 4 tickets.

A long time later, Monday 26th November arrived, and what a night it turned out to be. They were absolutely amazing, and even better than I had imagined.

The sound from the band was amazing and apart from a few tires from Ricky (which singing as great as he does, it’s no surprise), an absolutely amazing performance which to me makes them the band of the last few years.

The lighting effects just topped the whole performance too, making it by far the best gig I have been to to-date… I just can’t believe how quiet the Brummies were, Ricky noticed this and made a comment about ‘us’ at the back being too quiet… a sudden rush of boos came our way… If you are going to a gig of this high caliber you really need to be lively. Of which we tried our best, standing up in a seated area singing our hearts out to Ruby, Angry Mob, I Predict A Riot and Oh My God but even that didn’t go down too well with the neighboring people. My recommendation, don’t go then!

I have full intentions of seeing these again, and have just heard they are doing a big gig next year in Leeds, that will be amazing to go to, so keep me informed!

Booze Cruise

Friday, December 7th, 2007

From 16th to 18th November Adam, Hayley, Matthew and I decided to take a weekend away on a booze cruise to Calais.

It has by far been the best weekend of the year for me, from comments like;
“Is that the sky” (Adam) – With boats in the middle of them!
to
“I can see the clouds” (Me) – First thing I saw after coming off the ferry – It was the lovely White Cliffs of Dover!
to
“this is ‘like’ a litre of beer” (Matt) – With a litre of beer in a huge glass in his hand!

Friday:
Set off around 9.30am after spending what felt like 20 minutes setting up the awful Sony Navigation unit (thanks Matt!), and it took around 4 hours to get to Folkestone where our hotel for the weekend was based. Settled in and had a walk around the town. What a funny little place it is, we could only find one pub, which was by mistake (Wetherspoons of all places!). Had a few drinks in there then decided to go for a buffet…
What a mistake that was, it was a mixed Asian buffet that happened to be cold. After some minutes of scoffing ourselves Matt thankfully had the guts to complain. They realised they had turned one of the heaters off… Great, so based on what happened next I am guessing they poorly reheated everything as I had the worst diarrhoea ever!
Matt and I kept challenging one another by trying to pick things up with chop sticks, of which I was better than him at but try telling him that! Ice-cream is easy – try picking jelly up! Decided to go back to ‘Spoons and drink the night away, even though we had to be up for about 4.30am!

Saturday:
Woke up around 4.30am to catch the ferry for 6. It was a really tiring morning and I really didn’t feel too good, this was first expressed at the port with severe belching, to the point it was making me feel sick, let along poor Adam and Matt who were heaving. Decided to try and settle our stomachs by having a good ol’ greasy full English breakfast and it really didn’t go down too well for me. Everywhere I seemed to go, everyone else didn’t want to be there! Wind was coming out of all orifices!
We arrived in France around 9am and decided to go straight to Eastenders then Cite Europe, how hard could it be, we had an experienced France driver (me) and supposedly a good navigator (Adam)! Within 15 minutes I happen to turn down a road and see one lane of traffic, of which was facing me… Doh, slap it in reverse and get out of here… pretending nothing had happened! Another 10 minutes down the road I was informed we had to “go that way”, “what way?”, “that way”, “what do you mean that way, which way is that way?”, “that way”… it was hard work! To the point we ended up boarding the EuroStar! – Well almost, it was a point of no return and we had to embarrassingly inform the desk operator we had taken a wrong turn so she handed us a memorable exit pass!
Cite Europe; Within seconds of getting there I was on the toilet… for ages, the diarrhea had started! From here on the weekend was not entirely enjoyable for myself, but it happened to amuse the others.
We went for a drink in a restaurant near the Carrefour and Matt had a litre of beer, strange that Matt, “this is like a litre of beer” – no shit!
Carried on shopping for some hours before deciding to go for a little drive, how we didn’t get lost I have no idea!
Boarded the ferry about an hour earlier than planned and arrived in Dover about 9pm. We had planned on going to the chippy but I was feeling really rough so went straight to bed. The others had the best chips they had had in ages, and didn’t they rub it in!

Sunday:
Waking up around 4am with the peak of the diarrhoea I was still on the toilet to see sunrise at around 6.30am and after some 15 visits or more to the toilet and quickly running out of toilet roll this was no longer funny for me. By around 9am my stomach was somewhat relieved yet still not right. We were hoping to go shopping, but I was unsure if I was going to be able to make 10 minutes down the motorway without damaging Adam’s seats let alone taking a detour and spend some time shopping. Having held my butt cheeks together for a couple of hours we stopped in Oxford and spent about 2 hours shopping, what little bit we saw, it seems to be a really beautiful city (but a word of warning, use the park and ride!).
Managed to hold everything in until I got home, but as soon as I did, my god! Got home around 5pm and decided to relax in a warm bubbly bath, what a relief it was!

Many thanks to Adam, Hayley and Matt for a fantastic weekend, I am sorry about my burps and farting… they were uncontrollable!

I really look forward to Booze Cruise 2008 with the addition of Dan all being well.

Fitness

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

How difficult can it be to lose weight… Despite all my efforts, all I seem to get is injured and more weight on! Currently suffering from an injury to my knee and calf muscle. I am sure I have torn something on the back of my knee but doctors never seem to care or really help. I am frustrated from not playing football, it has to be one of the most enjoyable hours of my life before the injury. Playing in goal did no justice last week, as I stretched the tendons in my wrist and spraining it badly… I don’t recommend driving one handed, it’s dangerous!

The big question, how do people get the motivation to lose weight, and enjoy doing it…?

Social Life

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

I am really grateful of the social life I have gained since splitting with Sophie, they have been some of the greatest months of my life and I owe a big thank you for accepting me back in your lives…

… but how can you all not get bored of our social life! The quizzes are a great laugh, but I just feel as though real achievements are missing from my life at the moment.

In 5 years time I want something to show for my life, and be able to say ‘I did that’. Now is the time to do it before responsibilities get high.

There are endless things I want to do with my life at the moment but whenever mentioned, people make out that it is all a fantasy… why?

Does it seem so impossible to:

  • Go away for weekends
  • Go to lots of music gigs / events
  • Go skiing
  • Get a boat, take up water sports
  • Get a 4×4 and go offroading
  • Go rock climbing / abseiling

Ok, some may seem extreme, but they aren’t that impossible and what fun we could all have. The more involved, the cheaper it is and more posible it becomes.

When work takes up 58 hrs of a 168 hr week, I need to enjoy myself as much as possible the rest of the time, and only getting about 5-6 hours sleep each night I haven’t fulfilled that time properly yet. I feel the need for achievements but my life is really lacking it at the moment.

Lets get out there and do stuff, despite life being the longest thing we will do, it’s far too short to have lived it and done everything so lets do the best we can to enjoy it explore the endless lists of activities.

All suggestions welcome.

Friendships

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

It has been a funny few months in terms of friendships, I have seen many come and go and tried not to get myself involved as I have seen it happen too many times before where people strongly rely on one relationship and it all goes tits up. Getting involved only makes matters worse.

Once again I have gone from having no social friends to having loads, and I have come to realise smaller the better! Too many people means higher chances of there being differences, and differences cause bitching.

To cut a long story as short as possible, jealousy is mans worst friend. I have become quite good friends with Matt, through Dan M (Cousin) or so I thought. Things have gone a bit funny recently despite having everything he could possibly want, he got jealous over a new friendship I had gained… with someone who adored him more than you could imagine, yet he just messed with their head more and more. They say, ‘it’s not that simple’ and ‘there’s more to it’ but isn’t there always! Why would someone get so jealous of something when they have far more from the same person than the one they are getting jeaous of, but turn it down when it is offered to them on a plate. Get your head sorted mate and stop breaking her heart, I would stop all my flirting right now for you two to be together, but for as long as there is nothing more between you, I am going to enjoy myself.

I have never really had a female I can confide in and just have a chat about anything with, and she is perfect for that. Admittedly if something was offered I would take it straight away but at the moment there is nothing and I am quite happy with that and know the situation… If only the rest of you got that in your head and stopped the jealousy, its ruining our nights out!

When The Floods Came Home

Monday, July 30th, 2007

On 20/07/2007 I was due to see Adam and Steph in Cardiff for the first time since they have moved in.

Despite the recent news about all the floods, I was adamant to travel to Wales still. I set off for the 1.5 hour journey around 3.30. First stop was to pick Christine up in Studley, and that started off badly with the road by the Griffin closed due to flooding, which is only some 100 yards from her house. I headed in the other direction which too was seriously flooded, going through some 3 newly created rivers through a 2 mile diversion. Finally reached her house and headed off towards the Star and Garter Island, this was bumper to bumper for some 45 mins. After getting free, we soon hit floods again and got diverted through Charford! This taking some 60 minutes to get  to M5 Wychbold, so far 2 hours, why didn’t I head back home now!

The next 4 hours were bumper to bumper reaching no more than 50mph. By the time we reached M50 it had been closed, so we had to take the Severn Bridge route and stopped off at services, during this time people seemed chaotic and stressed, all well known B&B’s were supposedly full and more and more roads closed, the M50 now closed in both directions and as far as 4 junctions.

We set off again to what seemed like a clear road, how wrong were we, after about 1 mile it was grid locked, so this time we decided to turn the radio on, and were informed of the M5 now being shut off.

As we slowly progressed forward we could see why, with the hard shoulder stones being washed into the fast lane some hundred tonnes had been displaced. We suddenly halted for a few hours. As we set off again it was really slow and we hit some 1.5ft of water which we had to pass, this was terrifying as the exhaust of the van in front submersed.  Once we had passed this we finally reached Adams around 2am, some 10 hours or more later than when we had set off and after going to the wrong placed thanks to TomTom and my mistake!

None the less I planned to have a good weekend and that we did, if I weren’t so tired I think it could have turned out a lot better but oh well, still got to see Adam and Steph and get to know Christine better!
Had a nice meal in Cardiff, which seems to be a really nice developing city, even I could live there one day!

The journey home showed some of the devastation caused by the floods as we went up the M50, but it did only take 1.5 hours which was much better!