Thursday, July 27, 2006

More holiday?

Well readers, I'm on holiday for 6 weeks... Correction, I'm on PAID holiday for 6 weeks! Ha ha! Before I broke up for the Holidays I was given the job of going to Alton Towers with the school. About 160 kiddies went with about 20 members of staff. The staff got fast-track tickets to avoid the queues while the kiddies were left with the bog-standard ones... Nice! Me and Mark, who were helping Alex, got on just about everything except Rita: Queen of Speed (because we ran out of time after riding the runaway mine train 4 times, Nemesis twice, the log flume twice, the pirate ship, the rapids, Hex, The Duel twice, and stopping for lunch!) which was a slight pity.
I didn't take any pictures because I was "working" but it was a good day out all the same.

On the last day of term we booted the kids out at 2pm and got on with the staff party. Food and booze was provided and we had a great time. During the afternoon we had speeches and presentations for staff who are leaving. (On that note it must be pointed out that Mike Houghton is the funniest speaker I have ever heard!)

Then the holidays kicked in...

Kieron bought round Chrome Hounds to show me. It is like mechwarrior but much better. When you design a HOUND (a mech') you can decide precisely how it functions, what it's role on the battlefield is, and how it looks. The single player missions are a little boring at times but neccesary to gain vital parts to take into the online portion of the game (which is where it really stands out!) Anyone with a 360 should check it out, it is well worth the money.

And thats about it for this post, readers. In fact I'm not to sure if I will have anything to write about for a few weeks, you will have to wait until something happens.

Ah well. Time for tea.... TTFN

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Hello readers. Well isn't the weather lovely at the moment?

On Saturday I had 2 birthdays to attend to (well actually, technically, it was 3) Nicola and Julia had a very nice barbecue at their house. Myself, Lank and Daniel turned up at about 5:00, which was good because the food was nearly ready by then!

I bought Julia a matching set of earings and bangles and Nicola a studded leather watch which she liked. Whilst there Daniel mentioned that he was going with his sister and her fiance' to
Drayton Manor Park the next day and wanted to know if I'd like to go with them. They would be catching the train from Birmingham at 8:00am......

.... What?

.... I said that it would be easier if I just drove and Dan said he would make sure I got some petrol money for the effort. I agreed to be at his house at 8:45am on Sunday.

After sorting out the details and eating a good deal of barbecued meat it was getting on for 10:00pm. It was also my friend Jo's 21st Birthday and she was having a shin-dig over at her house in Solihull. I took Jenny as my unofficial date (as branded by everyone at the barbecue)
And set off.

I had brought Jo a gold pendant with a "J" on it, a bottle of Jack Daniels and a bar optic (
a bit like this one) to set the bottle in.

There wasn't quite as many people at her house as I'd have thought but it was still a very good party with some nice food. People had bought guitars, and I ended up as part of a jam session in the front room, playing "bass" on a normal guitar (actually it was a £1000 Rickenbacker, I was seriously impressed!) while Marcus was on the keyboard and some dude on an acoustic...

... We rocked...

... Well, they rocked, I swayed slightly....

... actually, I was shit...

I kept thinking to myself that I couldn't be too late because I was getting up to go to Drayton Manor in the morning. After all the fun and games I went back out side and thought to myself "Is it getting light?" I was mortified to find out it was 4:00am and decided I needed to get to sleep. Jenny opted to stay a bit longer and would catch a taxi back home. I shot off and got some kip (about 3-and-a-half hours!)

I got up (amazingly) at 8:00am on sunday morning. I had a quick shower and was round to Dan's for 8:45 as promised. We set off a little later and picked up Jodie and Jim. I shot down the M42 unhindered until I accidentally forgot to keep right and ended up trailing on to the M5...

... Doh!

... After some jiggery-pokerey with a junction and a weird little round-a-bout I got back on track and hadn't lost much time. We got to the park for just after 10:00am and found a good spot to park. Drayton Manor has changed a bit since I was last there. The entrance has moved and there are a few new rides. The newest roller Coaster is
G-force and it is rather good.

We did all the main rides and then set about doing the littler ones. I managed to coax Dan in to coming on
Apocalypse which I don't think he enjoyed very much but all in all it was a good day out. We were in the park until about 6:00pm and finished the day off with a round of crazy golf (which I won!)

I was home for just gone 7:00pm and so got changed and went to my Nan's for tea as usual. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Top Gear has returned to BBC2. The new series had about 3 episodes and was then taken off for the world cup. I hate it when they pull Top Gear off the TV and replace it with crap!

Yesterday at school was non-uniform day and activities day... Basically the kiddies put their names down for all sorts of stuff. I helped with the basketball, the interactive quiz, and the "Ultimate frizbee" (it's a real sport....... No, really, it is!) anyway, it was a good laugh and fun was had by all.

In the evening all the TA's had aranged to meet for a meal and a drink in the Swan. Me and Anne (who gave me a lift, bless her) got there for 7:00pm and I got our drinks in. We all had a carvery for £4.25 and spent the evening laughing about the school week (we always have a story or two to tell!) After our fill of alcohol we left and I was dropped back home by Anne. I decided to go straight to bed since I knew my head would probably hurt the next morning....

... I.e. Today... Which it did slightly. To make matters worse it was back in to the shirt-and-tie routine which is a killer in this heat. Today was "charity day" and all the kiddies had set up stalls to raise money. Alex and Josh held a Tekken 4 tournament on the PS2 which made a good sum of money. I won a Parker pen in the raffle and proved to the school how useless I am at penalty shoot-outs!

I came home exhausted and partially dehydrated I think. I am still feeling a bit queazy and might stay in later (although I wouldn't mind seeing Superman Returns... Hmm... Tricky one.)

Oh, while I think about it, I finished my Eeyore painting! I wanted to put the picture up last time I blogged but it was going funny with all the others I put on...

Here he is all nice and complete:

I like him, and I think he looks just right. I'm not going to make a habit of selling pictures that infringe Disney copyright (or anybody's copyright, for that matter!) but I am pleased at how happy Michelle was with it. The lines were a bit of a pain to get right and the heat slowed down the drying process quite a bit but I think it was worth it.

Changing the topic entirely I have at last found out what it was Selena has been practicing.....

Oh blimey! It's a Super-Saiyan-Selena. Looks like the pecking order has changed a bit round here. I wonder what will happen next?

Only time will tell...

TTFN readers!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

You'll find us all.... Doin' the Lambeth Walk. Oi!

Hello readers. 'tis I.

Well what a week it's been. The weather has been all over the place and so have I! Last week it was decided (at fairly short notice, I might add) that a return trip to London was required since we didn't get to do everything last time we were there.

After some fairly rapid telephone calls, we managed to sort out the details. So at 8:45 on Saturday, Me, Marcus, Jenny, Carl, and Adam met at Solihull station. We boarded the 9:06am train and got underway. After a rather uneventful journey we arrived at Marylebone Station at 11:20am and walked down to Baker street (Elimentary, my dear Marcus!) for a McDonalds.

After devouring my McBurger and McFries, and drinking my McMilkshake I felt quite McSick but I plodded along and the feeling went away after about 15 minutes or so. Luckily Jenny had spotted a booth selling tickets for London attractions so we bought fast-track tickets for the London Dungeons. We hopped on the tube and rocketed across London. At the first look at the queue to get in to the place I could have snogged Jenny there and then... It was HUGE! but thanks to her we could go straight in to the entrance to the left and beat everyone else inside.

We went round the inside area until we got to the main attraction, which you go round in groups. A freakishly tall zombie addressed us and led us in to "The halls of the Lost" which is a large maze of mirrors. After 15 minutes we "found" our way out (it is actually very simple but the exit is behind a sliding mirror panel and they choose when to open it for you!)

We were lead through a series of rooms each giving a talk on old London folk-lore. We had a surgeon "disect" a corps, a torture expert demonstrate the instruments of his trade, and then we went in to an old style courtroom....

.... Where they tried Jenny for dancing naked through Birmingham. chanting "Beelzebub Beelzebub" The "Judge" and the prosecutor were hilarious and in the end found her guilty of summoning a hideous demon.....

.... Which turned out to be me! After Jenny pleaded not guilty (whilst actually standing in the box) the judge looked at me and said "So how do you explain the condition of that mans face?"

... Charming!

They then lead us out to a mock up of the streets and started talking about Jack the Ripper. There were acurate mock-ups of the locations the murders took place and a talk on how he butchered his victims. That section culminated with a fiery blast erupting from the wall as a sign that Jacks spirit was present... (Ooh, er...)

We then got on a boat ride (which is bloody scary) and ended up outside the shop of Sweeney todd. We were took in and sat down and then the lights went out...

... and then there were footsteps...

... And a voice started to speak and say stuff like "Looks like you need a shave..." and " Untidy, very untidy... Fancy a bit off the top?" and then something touches the back of your head and the seats tilt backwards a bit... Everyone screamed and then we were "rescued" and took out

The last section was all about the fire of London and was acually not that interesting. We were in there for about 2 and a half hours in total so it is well worth the money.

After coming out and grabbing an icecream, Marcus got a call of his mate Steve asking him if he wanted to go to an open-air gig. We told him that it would be OK and would meet up with him later, so he got the bus and we walked over London bridge to the Tube, and went across London to the Natural History Museum. On the way there I got a few good Photo's.

A nice one of the tower, and it's support beams

A panoramic shot of the Tower of London... Quite good I reckon!

Once inside the museum we were actually running out of time. We had about an hour and a half to see everything! We realised that was impossible so did the sections we wanted to see most.

The Dino' watching over the entrance hall.

A Triceratops

Adams favorite Dinosaur (I can't remember what it's called... Turbittosaur, I think)

T-Rex (one of my favorite bands!)

Actually, we onlt went to London to stare at the fancy birds!

A full size model of a blue whale... It's penis is 13 feet long... Which is nice

After trekking round the museum we were kicked out at 5:00pm because it was closing. We decided to walk up to Harrods (see below) and get the tube back up to baker street for some grub and a pint.

Harrods.... Looks a dump, don't it?

We boarded the tube again (no Indiana Jones style stunts to report this time readers!) and headed off to Baker street. We went in to The Globe which is a very nice pub with good beer. I had a nice cold Magners to refresh the vocal chords, By-'eck it were luvvleh!

Marcus phoned to check where we were and to tell us that he was stopping the night at Steve's so we could catch the train when we liked. We said that was no problem and went over to Weatherspoons for some food. I ended up ordering what I thought was a bottle of cider (no Magners... Terrible!) but it turned out to be some sort of Apple/Pear wine thing. It tasted like Lambrussco but came with a pint glass. I finished it quickly before anyone thought I was a puff and put the bottle on the table behind us.

After our meals we played the quiz machine for a bit before heading back to the station. The train left at 9:40 by which time we were all pretty tired.

Here's the proof!...

Here we see sleeping beauty's not so beautiful cousin fast asleep. I took this about a minute before his arm slipped and he woke himself up by nearly hitting his head on the table! (It gave everyone a good laugh though)

The train rolled in to Solihull at about 11:50. Adam and Carl had their cars but Jenny gave me a lift home. All-in-all it was another succesfull trip.

I am off now to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2...

TTFN readers

Monday, July 03, 2006

July? No, I always tell the truth!

Hello readers and welcome to the 7th month of the year...

I thought I had better keep you informed of all the lovely things that are happening...

Last Week, Michelle, who I work with, mentioned that it was her daughters 3rd Birthday sometime near August and that she is mad on Whinnie the Pooh, especially Eeyore. She wanted a picture of him for Harriet (her daughter), so I said I would gladly do one. It is only in the rough stages at the moment because the heat is keeping the oils from drying properly. I have already put some fine shading on the edges. I didn't want it to be totally flat colour, but to shade it all as a real object would
take away some of the cartoon-like quality. All-in-all I think it will look good when it's finished and I hope little Harriet will like it.

Changing the subject entirely, I am pleased to announce that Selena has been training hard and when I came home from work the other day she was in the garden practicing!

It does look like a rather good spirit-bomb, doesn't it? She tells me that she has nearly made yet another breakthrough in training but isn't going to tell me until she perfects it... Who knows what it could be? Keep checking back for more information!

Well thats about it for now readers.