Friday, 31 December 2010

The end of the year show

In previous years I have compiled a list of my favourite postings from across the year and lots of lists too.  With more blog postings in this year than the previous 2 added together, I have decided to simply list the top 10 films that I have seen this year (in no particular order).

Up (2009)
Avatar (2009)
A Prophet (2009)
Moon (2009)

Happy New Year!

The first 5 for 2011

It's almost time for the next "5 on the fifth".  As usual, everyone is welcome to take part. You can either take 5 random pictures of something that happens to you on the 5th of January (or the days leading up to it) or perhaps go for my suggested theme. This month, the theme is Fun and Games.

I hope that you will be inspired take part - tell your friends too!  Don't forget to add a comment on my blog on the 5th with your name, location and link where the pictures can be found. Remember to mention my blog on your own blog so that your visitors get to see the other contributions.

You can join the 5 on the fifth Facebook page here.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

The great fish mystery

We woke up yesterday to find all 9 of our goldfish had vanished from the garden pond.  The poor things, some of which we had owned for 3 years, had put up with snow and ice yet were no match for a mystery beast.

The consensus is that it was either a cat or a heron.  Though both options seem strange to me.  The pond is quite deep and the fish could have found safety from either animal.  

RIP little fishes.

We also found that the washing machine, which lives in the garage, has sprung a leek - possibly due to ice damage.  So I was mopping up water and may not have clean clothes for a while.

And for the record, the man flu remains intact.  It's almost two weeks now and it's bloody annoying.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Turkey and man flu

When Pete and I were in Cambridge 10 days ago I started to feel ill and it's developed into the worst cold (i.e. man flu) I have ever had.  I still feel absolutely shattered and have no sense of taste, which is the worst part when there is so much good food on offer.

Anyway, enough self pity.  Pete, his mum and I travelled to my parents in Kent on Christmas Eve and had a great few days.  Brother 1, brother 2, his wife and 3 kids turned up on Christmas day and I am really pleased that I had the time with my nephews as I feel that I don't know them as well as I should.  I gave and received some great presents!

It's worth noting that I have had only one glass of wine in recent days - the last alcohol since going to London on the 21st!  The plan has been to go shopping at the sales and I hope the man flu improves a little today as I am having trouble breathing.  Not good.

My mum decided to dig out some out photos and this one shows my cousin on the left and me on the right, I guess in 1977.  This was my parents very empty garden; not long after this was taken, my Dad planted dozens of trees, established many flower beds and introduced hundreds of plants and shrubs. It's now a very mature garden.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Christmas

A happy Christmas to all my readers (or whatever religious/non-religious festival you prefer).  Today I have no work and so will be finishing off the last of the shopping and then some wrapping.  It's no time to be blogging, so here are a couple of festive items for you:

My favourite Christmas joke...

- How does good King Wenceslas like his pizza?

- Deep pan, crisp and even.

And a brilliant cartoon that I have posted before...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The season ticket

I heard this story from a taxi driver...

The taxi driver and his son have season tickets at Chelsea.  Last season, they had great seats but were confused that the 2 seats next to them were empty every game.  This was very strange, considering the demand for seats at Stamford Bridge and the fact that it costs a great deal of money to buy the tickets.

This went on for game after game, with the taxi driver and son, surmising what had happened to the people.  But on Boxing Day, 2 people turned up and took their places to watch the match.

At half time, the taxi driver's inquisitive nature got the better of him and he asked the people why they had missed almost have of the season.  The man replied... "My stupid wife spent over £2000 buying these season tickets in the summer and decided to give them to us as Christmas presents!"


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Who is this guy?

Anybody know who this guy is?  I assume he is an actor as he appears for a couple of seconds in Sex and The City when the Navy comes to town.

Cinema code of conduct

A podcast that I always listen to, even if I am weeks late, is the Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode film review show from BBC 5live.  I love the banter and usually agree with Mark Kermode's views... but not always.  I hate it when lesser reviewers stand in during holiday time (I get the impression that they are trying just a little too hard).

A month or so back, they worked out a cinema code of conduct with their listeners and although the "rules" may seem obvious, no-one has ever collated them in such a way.  

A message from me to stupid people everywhere: Please stop being so ****ing selfish - your actions are the reasons that I rarely go to the cinema.  I have witnessed loud eating, people talking quite loudly, moaning sex, people texting and even answering the phone.  It's simply selfish and you deserve to get chucked out and banned you ****wits!

Anyway, click on the image to open up to it's full size:


Tuesday, 21 December 2010


I have just finished watching the second series of Misfits on E4.  It's a brilliant programme that certainly crosses the line of decency quite a bit in terms of language, violence and sexual content.  Having considered this, I figure that this programme probably wouldn't have been made a decade ago - it would have been far too shocking.

I will really miss some of Nathan's lines, especially one from the last programme:

"When I lived in Ireland, if the priests weren't fiddling with you - you were one of the ugly kids"

As a tribute to the guys in the programme, here are some pictures...

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Stephen of the sex face

Sometimes you watch The Simpsons and have no idea what the writers must have been smoking.  The other night was one of those times, so I recorded a 5 second clip which I can share with you here.  It's just mad - but it sums me up so well!

Friday, 17 December 2010

I'm not being Flash

I have been in Edinburgh for a couple of days. We had a team meeting on Thursday and due to some record-breaking success I have had with one firm, I had to present to the 25 of the team that had made to Edinburgh.

My manager had said that my presentation had to be inspiring (no pressure there then) and used the analogy of Queen performing at Live Aid, in that they had condensed their 2+ hour live show into a mere 20 minutes with a pulsating performance that many said was the highlight of the day (after The Quo of course!).

Anyway... as my slot was a 'good news' story and considering the time of year, I asked my manager if I could make the presentation a bit light-hearted and he agreed. So I starting by explaining the Live Aid premiss and then went on to give a full presentation managing to include 19 (count 'em) Queen song titles! I started with 'Now I'm Here' and ended with 'We Are The Champions'. I had warned the audience of course and one person managed to spot 12 of the 19 tracks and win absolutely nothing as I hadn't time to buy a prize.

Our Sales Director then presented and started by saying that he was unsure he wanted to follow me as he "couldn't top that!"

In the evening we went to a restaurant called 'The Living Room' for a Christmas dinner then on to a nightclub called 'The Electric Circus'. I was wise and got back to the hotel at a sensible time as I had to get up at 6.30am for a flight thanks to Easyjet no longer having flights during the day!

At the airport, I found sheet ice in the car park and managed to slip and fall in true comedy style with both feet in the air and landing on my backside.  Painful... but funny.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

A few old favourites

I was looking around my photo collection and found a folder with some pictures I had stored of some cute guys, so I thought I would share some faves.

1. I was obsessed with Paul Nicholls for quite a while (think Torres obsession), so here is the hairy cutey.
2. Bruno Langley was once in Coronation Street - I love those eyes.
3. Before he got a bit chunkier, Kavana (Anthony Kavanagh) was so sweet - didn't like his singing, but enjoying watching him.
4. A young Iker Casillas, Real Madrid goalkeeper. I was going to make a joke about firmly holding balls, but perhaps not.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

December Movie Update

Here are the films that Pete and I have received from and watched on TV and DVD over the past few months (sorry for the delay in posting this) in reverse order, with my ratings out of ten from my movie list on IMDB.

Woody Allen with cliche after cliche. Awful story and a complete lack of reality, ideas and laughs.

Just a fun musical (and I don't like musicals!) and of course, Zac Efron is yummy.

It was meant to be a modern classic.  I thought the script and acting were dire. One of those films where you shout at the TV because of the stupid plot turns.

A really funny French film with some classic moments. Will watch again.

The classic 1951 film.   Great effects for the time. 

Much much funnier than I thought it was going to be. If you want a laugh - go for this.

A strange arty film with some funny moments.

The Infidel (2010) 5
I was disappointed with this.  It resorted to swearing and obvious storylines to get a laugh - well not from me.

Funny gay film - well worth watching.

I know, I should have seen this one before and I am sure that I was meant to love it - but it somehow left me a bit cold. I had wanted to give it 11 out of 10.

Yet another vampire film, but quite good.  An obvious ending meant to lead to a sequel.

Disturbing, but thoroughly gripping. I wonder what the English version will be like?  I suspect it will be toned down from this Swedish original. 

A really mad film which throws visuals and script at you for two hours. Good fun though.

I am being generous with a 5 - a film up it's own arse.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Food food drink drink food

We spent the weekend in France, eating, drinking and shopping.

It was pleasant weather and it was a very relaxing weekend.  On Sunday morning, we went for a walk on the beach at Escalles.   We finished in Calais watching two madmen swimming (yes swimming) in the sea and a great lunch.  It amazes me that there are so many restaurants, many of which are top notch, in Calais.

And one other thing; in France the main brewers tend to release limited edition beers at Christmas (a little darker and sweeter than usual) and the Leffe Noel was rather nice.  I took a picture of some beer - sad eh!?

Friday, 10 December 2010

Toy Story

Andy grows up...

(you may have to study the picture a little!)

Thursday, 9 December 2010

All the colours of the rainbow

With the new Stade Francais calendar coming soon to a bedroom door in Hertfordshire, I thought I would see what images I have to look forward to.  Whilst checking out the semi-naked cute rugby players, I noticed the latest kit.  Isn't it awful?!

And here are a few more from the last few years...

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Don't you want me?

Thanks to everyone who took part in 5 on the fifth at the weekend.  As always, there were some great pictures shared around the world.

On Sunday night, Pete and I went to St Albans to see the Human League.  Pete had been given free tickets, so we went to see some friends before driving through the freezing fog to the "arena".

If you havn't been to St Albans, I recommend it. I have been many times. It has some ancient buildings, including the Abbey and Roman ruins.  It also has some extremely old pubs - we visited one. It was a spooky night walking through the deserted streets in the fog.

Anyway... the gig was filled with 40 and 50 year olds.  The band came on at 9.15 and played loads of hits.  They looked great for their age, but Phil Oakey now has a shaved head rather than the crazy haircuts he once had and wore more makeup than the girls.  My only criticism is that the show was only 75 minutes long (compare that with Fleetwood Mac who played for well over 2 hours).

Over on Andrew's blog, he sometimes posts about iconic images (and what a wonderful idea it is).  Well, I am not out to copy Andrew, but I saw an image at the back of the stage last night that jumped out at me.  It reminded me of the happy days of my childhood.  Isn't it amazing that a few lines and colours can evoke an instant flow of memories.  For those living in the UK and above a certain age, you will know what this is...

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Day 5 - Five on the fifth #18

Welcome to 5 on the fifth, a monthly posting that benefits from audience participation. You take 5 photographs on the 5th of the month (or the days leading up to the 5th) - post a comment here with your name, location and link to the site containing your photos and I will update the blog entry with your information. Remember to mention my blog on your own blog, so that your visitors get to see the other contributions. You can take 5 random pictures or follow my suggested theme - this month it is: Faces.  

You can join the
5 on the fifth Facebook page

My own pictures are below the links of those who kindly contributed:

Saturday, 4 December 2010


So here I sit, in my living room writing a blog.  I should really be en route to Kent for my Mum and Dad's renewal of vows in the nice little church.  Sadly, due to the snow in Kent, it's been called off.  Mum seemed OK with it, but it will be re-arranged.

I picked my mum up from Luton Airport on Wednesday night and she left this morning.  There was no way to get to their house in Kent as over a foot of snow surrounding the area.  I think she quite enjoyed staying actually and went Christmas shopping with Pete yesterday.

Here in North Herts, there is very little snow left but plenty of ice remains.  I drove many many miles yesterday to a place called Broadway in Worcester.  It took me nearly 3 hours to get there for a meeting that lasted 90 minutes.  It may seem a little extreme, but it could be a great new client.  The drive across country was lovely - the trees were covered in ice and snow and some of the villages were near perfect.  Broadway itself was a beautiful village and the hotel was very very old.  Sitting with a couple of colleagues next to the open fire drinking hugely expensive cappuccinos was very pleasant.  The place seemed so "nice" with all the stone buildings, village green and posh shops - it looked a bit like a theme park!

Since the weekend plans have changed, I need to figure out what to do today.  Plenty of options - I haven't been for a run for a week, so maybe tiptoeing around the ice may happen sometime today.

And don't forget - it's the 5th of the month tomorrow.  Please take some pictures and post them online!  You can join the 5 on the fifth Facebook page here.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Russian mafia rules OK

It's so sad to know that the World Cup wont be coming to England in 2018.  I do believe that we had the best bid and would have run the best event.  

The final choices of Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022) seem very strange choices and it was highly suspicious that everyone appeared to know the result before it was announced.  Russia has openly homophobic and racist clubs, owned by gangsters.  Ideal for trying to spread the game even further.  Qatar is an Islamic autocracy, where no-one gets the vote. Homosexuality is illegal. Good luck getting into Qatar if you are Jewish and women are second class citizens. 

The smell coming from FIFA HQ is overwhelming.  I would love the job on the committee.  They seem to live a 5 star lifestyle, but without having to justify where the money came from perfect!   FIFA has a terrible reputation and when Blatter goes, I expect it to change dramatically.

I cant wait until 2030 to see a World Cup here.  I suggest we scrap FIFA and have a World Cup every 2 years so we get it quicker!

Personally, I think the 2018 was won using a few Rubles.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Coming soon to the coolest blogs

It's almost time for the next "5 on the fifth".  As usual, everyone is welcome to take part. You can either take 5 random pictures of something that happens to you on the 5th of December (or the days leading up to it) or perhaps go for my suggested theme. This month, the theme is Faces.

I hope that you will be inspired take part - tell your friends too!  Don't forget to add a comment on my blog on the 5th with your name, location and link where the pictures can be found. Remember to mention my blog on your own blog so that your visitors get to see the other contributions.

You can join the 5 on the fifth Facebook page here.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Day 30 - Plans for the month ahead

This posting is part of the 30 day challenge...

To end the 30 day challenge, a brief post about the month ahead.

This weekend is a special occasion in the Chapman family with my Mum and Dad renewing their vows at their local church.  They opted not to return to South East London where they were first married... the area is a bit rough now.  And on Sunday, Pete and I are going to see The Human League - we were given tickets by one of Pete's clients.

Work this month is peppered with a 2 day visit to Edinburgh (followed by a few drinks) and a day in London (followed by a few drinks).

Also this month, Pete and I are going to France for a couple of days.  We use the excuse that it's to buy presents, but it's really all about drinking and eating!

The highlight, of course, is Christmas and although there are no plans yet, I'm sure it will be lots of fun.  I have bought zero presents so far.  Pete and I have made sloe gin and chutney as 'personal' gifts and need to bottle them up.  Anyone know where I can buy bottles?!

And don't forget, 5 on the fifth is coming at the weekend too (more information tomorrow).  You can join the 5 on the fifth Facebook page here.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Day 29 - Get on your soapbox about something

This posting is part of the 30 day challenge...

I have a problem with the sub-class of people that feel that they need to buy expensive cars, holidays and clothes all using credit trying to impress people they don't even know! You see them all over the place in huge 4x4 cars, often with badly fitting designer clothes. You just know that they have uncontrollable debt financing their life.

Don't get me wrong, debt in itself is not a bad thing. I would advise avoiding it where possible, but to survive you may need to borrow and the majority use it sensibly. I only have an issue with those that abuse it, trying to prove themselves as successful "living a lifestyle that they haven't earned" when they are not successful at all.

Let's look at that phrase again... "living a lifestyle that they haven't earned" is interesting I think.  I would personally like to spend thousands on my house, go out every night, have 'holidays of a lifetime' several times a year, but I don't.  My income is not sufficient to fund it - I have't earned it partially due to a general laziness with my career.  If I worked harder, I could earn more I am sure.  Treating yourself is one thing, faking it is something else.

Some of the worst ones are the grown-up children expecting parents to support them. I have heard of families with the mother and father in their thirties living the high life, but it's their parents financing it with monthly handouts. Think this is uncommon? Think again!

My friend Sonny says that people enjoy their life and let the debt die with them. From just a little research, it seems that rarely happens in reality. For the majority, their actions mean that other people have to pay for their selfishness through IVAs/Bankruptcy, but mainly through benefits. They live a great life and when it comes to retirement, they have to rely on benefits to live. Debt doesn't always end on death.

Let me say again, debt isn't necessarily bad, but in my opinion it should be respected and not abused by the chavs of society who think they are something special.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Day 28 - Write a Limerick

This posting is part of the 30 day challenge...

Some original blogging related limericks...

There once was a man with a diary
And his thoughts were somewhat fiery
It was all gloom and doom
He used a nom de plume
It could lead to a public enquiry

There once was a guy with a blog
He found writing it sometimes a slog
It's a little bit gay
But in a good way
and he typed it while perched on the bog

There's a guy who's addicted to blogging
He's also quite partial to dogging
He wears curly wigs
He prefers farmyard pigs
And that perversion is now known as hogging

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Day 27 - A beautiful person

This posting is part of the 30 day challenge...

I could have chosen a movie star, a model, a person I know, but instead I have opted for an overpaid and horribly straight footballer.  Yes, you guessed it, no originality on this blog posting... it's the cute and twink-like Fernando Torres with his sexy deep voice that doesn't quite fit his young looks.

Despite his ludicrous salary, he seems down to earth and a nice guy, but it's about time he realised that we will be best friends one day and to get on with it!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Day 26 - A personal talent

This posting is part of the 30 day challenge...

Another vlog to show a "talent".  Made in one take!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Day 25 - The day, in detail

This posting is part of the 30 day challenge...

I hacen't slept well all week and last night was no better.  I must have woken up 6-8 times.  My sleep wasn't helped by a couple of dreams that were more like movies.  One was really weird; about a big TV show and I was in the audience.  The other very erotic.

I was due in London today and had to be up just a little earlier than usual, but as the sleep was so bad, I got up an hour earlier still and made a cuppa and watched the news; It was 3 degrees when I left the house for the 10 minute walk to the station.  Travelling with the masses is fine once a month, but I don't want to return to commuting - though it may be a necessity one day sadly.  I found commuting too stressful and tiring and the stupid cost of rail travel means you have to earn £8000+ more in London than locally to just break even.

The train was oppressively hot and I didn't get a seat.  Thankfully my employer paid the £28 fare.  The Victoria line from Kings Cross was sardine hell, as usual - very unpleasant.

The meeting was just off New Bond Street at a company that we have a strategic alliance with.  This office has the craziest art.  I may have mentioned this before; they have a glass wall with glass shelves and on each shelf are a number of stuffed toys that have had cavity wall insulation pumped into them which has expanded and exploded from any hole in the toy. Yes, they are as weird as they sound.

Anyway, it was a dull meeting but I did my best to liven it up with many sarcastic comments! This doesn't always go down with my boss.  Lunch was fantastic however!

Afterwards, I met Pete at the Apple store on Regents Street and we walked a winding route via Jermyn Street and a nice pub to Fopp.  After ambling for a while we ended up in a dreaded Irish pub in Bloomsbury.

We walked to Kings Cross station and got a fast train home.  The carriage was full of very sombre looking people, mainly playing on mobile phones and 2 loud French people who may have been arguing or were just loud.

We had intended going to Prezzo as we had vouchers, but we eventually ended up back at home with a takeaway Chinese delivered to our door.

And so to the end... we are watching Modern Family on Sky.  And as I am dog tired, I think bed at 10 is likely.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Ashes

This posting is NOT part of the 30 day challenge...

In celebration of The Ashes starting in Australia, here are a couple of pictures of England cricketer Stuart Broad.  I am not a massive cricket fan, but this cute guy could turn me...

Day 24 - A personal objective for the future

This posting is part of the 30 day challenge...

As someone who has liked to make list of things "to do" (and usually postpone), I find that work has dragged quite of lot of my ambition out of me.  Two redundancies and a dull job will ruin your faith in employers.

Anyway... here's a personal objective I will share with you: I want to write a song.  I have lots of ideas.  I need to get the ideas out of my head and recorded.

It's a good time to update the kitchen list...

- Visit the local comedy club
- Go to the dog track DONE
- Cycle into London
- Watch the local non-league football team DONE
- Visit Pete's Uncle and Aunt in Oakham DONE
- Go to both local theatres DONE 1, 1 TO GO
- Have more dinner parties DONE
- Poker night DONE
- Go on a photo treasure hunt in London

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Day 23 - A favorite song

This posting is part of the 30 day challenge...

To choose one favourite song is impossible for me.  I have hundreds of songs that come and go as favourites. I have mentioned before that years ago I owned a jukebox that played 7" singles.  I made a list of singles I wanted to buy and stopped when I got to 200.  I bought hundreds of singles over a few years, mainly at local record fairs for pennies.  Happy times.

So how can I complete today's task?!?  Well, I am not sure I can or even should.  And even if I did put a song on here, would you care?  But to ensure I complete this 30 day blog challenge, I will share one of my fave's with you - it's Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac.  A stunning rocking song with a blistering guitar solo and an interesting story behind it (find out more here).

But... my challenge for YOU is to go to your CD collection or computer and select an album you haven't heard in its entirety for a while and give it a spin from start to finish.  Enjoy the whole ALBUM as it was intended.