Category Archives: Family

Fasten Your Seatbelt

Well… Where do I start. I’m still working in Switzerland week-by-week, but that may all come to an end by the close of June as the project progresses without me to the next phase…

I got an extension on my contact at Sony to get me to the middle of August. Then for the last month before I return to my old life, I’m going inter-railing around Europe. The flights are already booked and hostels are being sought as we speak…. It’s all very bloomin’ exciting!!

Apart from my weekly outings to the hotter clime, I’ve spent my weekends doing the normal stuff. Two weekends ago I went to good old home for my Dad’s birthday party in church. I don’t know how much you will know about my affiliation with the local church, but lets just say it goes back to birth when I played the leading role in the nativity as a baby in arms. Since those days I owe a lot to that church and its inhabitants for giving me so many opportunities to take part and, in more ways than I can imagine, get me exactly where I am today.

The coming weeks and months are going to be a bit shit-hot (if you can mind my French):

– A weekend in Italy in 3 weeks time :)
– A weekend in Guildford for the end of university parties
– A weekend on the boat
– A long weekend in Scotland for Julie’s 21st Birthday
– A couple weeks living with Viv in Guildford while I’m between houses
– Sheffield for Grandma’s 80th
– Moving into my new house, and living with new housemates!!
– Going to grad ball (there is a pre-requisite that i can get a tux…. Dad? :P)
– Then I believe it’s Graeme’s Garden Party weekend in London if I’m not mistaken…
– And then it’s Sophie’s 21st BBQ!

Phew! That takes us up to the end of July… I think the next post will have to be a picture post for the last month, because there’s just too much to say… Milan for starters!

  • Happiness. 9.5 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 0.5 out of 5
  • Free Time. 2 out of 5
  • Last Meal. Pasta for lunch
  • Song of the day. Martin Solveig – Hello
  • Thought for the day. Surprises are fun :)
  • What I’m Doing Now. Having a mini-battle with uni about my degree…

Raising the Bar of Life

It seems like the last few weeks of good times are set to continue for a while… which leads me to question my definition of “good times”. Is the bar too low??

I love life, I love the small things that make me smile, like a few free chocolates from a certain airline company :P

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I’m very excited about everything happening at work at the moment, especially the next few weeks which are the start of the next phase, bringing more geeky goodies :)

This last weekend was awesome, all of it. From the hours of chilling in Guildford Wetherspoons on Friday, to a fantastic day in London visiting an all you can eat vegan restaurant, Covent Garden shopping (and seeing cousin Beth!), Camden browsing and then a Lifehouse gig at the Roundhouse before going to see my sister in the evening! Such a good day :o)

There’s a lot to look forward too in the next few weeks too:

  • 4th March – Off to Weymouth for the weekend for sea and cider :)
  • 11th March – Jake comes to Guildford! Good times ensue… guaranteed :)
  • 25th March – Amsterdam?! Maybe…
  • 8th April – Another boat trip is on the cards… :)

Let the good times roll on and on!

  • Happiness. 9 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 3 out of 5
  • Free Time. 1 out of 5
  • Last Meal. Chicago Town pizza, back to cooking for myself… for 2 days anyway lol
  • Song of the day. Lifehouse – Falling In
  • Thought for the day. “Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." — Gilda Radner
  • What I’m Doing Now. Booked the day off on Friday, 3-day weekend win!

Typical amazing week featuring Switzerland

This week was just another great week. I love work, I love life and I love my friends :) I know people don’t generally like to read about how great a time other people are having, I’m not rubbing it in, I just want to be as positive as I can when life gives me the chance… Isn’t that just a quote and a half :P

Sunday.
Said Au Revoir to Cardiff, Jake dropped me off at the station at which point I realised my train left 20 minutes ago. Doesn’t exactly bode well considering I was due in Zurich that evening :S good start. Anyway, I figured this was fine since I was planning on killing an hour in Reading with my work mate anyway, so I’d just have to cancel that and everything would be dandy.

Jake and I, not to shoot a gift horse in the mouth (aside: what kind of sick phrase is that?), took the chance to grab a cheeky pint at the spoons down the road. An extra 40 minutes of banter with Jake never goes a miss!

On the train it was time to listen to some new music my workmate Xav had given me. Joshua Radin is a bit of a legend! Between him, Colbie Collait and my growing love for Paolo Nutini and the hours of standing on a slow packed Sunday train soon whittled away to nothing :)

All this kerfuffle with a later train did make the airport a bit tight, but we (Xav and I, Xav joined me at Reading) made it to the plane and I slept…

We arrived at Zurich about 11pm. And our hotel for the night was the airport! Basically Zurich airport has day rooms that are small rooms at the airport you can get to stay the night in. They’re very convenient since you don’t need to go through security or the passport check! Small rooms and shared showers, and a view of tons of tarmac. But I’m a student, the fact I could get more sleep because I didn’t need to get to the airport was priceless!

Xav and I also went for a midnight walk around the airport. There is something very cool and eerie about an empty airport, in bare feet. Silence except for us, and just lots of empty space…

Monday.
OK, so trying to find somewhere to get a normal breakfast at an airport is harder than it sounds. The choice is coffee or coffee or Burger King. In the end we found somewhere that served pain au chocolate and croissants… They’ll do!

Tuesday.
After a long day at work, you need to get some good eat. On Tuesday we went to a place I’ve mentioned before (the one with the strudel…). This time I moved away from the amazing steak I have been having to …… horse. Filletto du Poledro is possibly the best thing you will ever put in your mouth! If you ever get the chance in your life to eat a horse steak, you won’t regret grabbing the opportunity with both hands (so to speak).

Gotta dash, but I’ll get some more of this written up tonight :) I have pictures AND videos coming up! You lucky lot….

  • Happiness. 9 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 4 out of 5 (early start this morning…)
  • Free Time. 0 out of 5
  • Last Meal. Just had/having a Swiss yoghurt for breakfast
  • Song of the day. Avenged Sevenfold – A Little Piece Of Heaven
  • Thought for the day. Gutted I don’t have another hour to finish this post, lots o’ good news!
  • What I’m Doing Now. Eating breakfast watching the sun rise over the Swiss Alps.

You Forgot The Blueberries

Another week has been and gone, but more importantly… so has another weekend!

So far there have been 5 weekends in 2011, and they just seem to be getting better and better!

This last weekend was crazy Cardiff weekend. I went to visit Jake for fun times and that’s exactly what happened. Needless to say lots of Rum was consumed (it deserves a capital letter :P), and lots of catching up was had. Jake’s university halls are pretty damn small, and when I invaded with my Swiss suitcase full of stuff (but not chocolate this time) it did get a bit messy :S

Jake has come to visit me in Guildford a couple of times before, so it was great to finally switch roles. I swear Jake is so lucky with his housemates, they all seem really cool, and we got on straight away. Besides being badly conned in a drinking game designed to stitch me up, all the banter was brilliant :P

On Friday I arrived at about 10pm after quite an epic journey straight from work in Switzerland:

  • I left work at 2pm (1pm GMT)
  • 30 minute drive from the office to the Airport
  • Fly to Zurich airport, arriving at about 4pm
  • Fly from Zurich to London Heathrow (flight delayed by 30 minutes meant we arrived at 6:30pm)
  • Luckily I have perfected the art of wizzing through the airport, and got in the taxi 15 minutes later…
  • The taxi then drove me to Reading train station where I was to get the 7:48pm train…
  • After traffic on the M3, I got there with just 15 minutes to spare
  • Then I got on a very packed train to Cardiff, arriving at 9:30pm
  • At Cardiff Jake was there to greet me!
  • A 30 minute walk to his halls got us there just after 10pm… and then it was time to start the night!

I’m not going to lie, I was pretty shattered, considering I’d also got up at 7am (6am GMT) for work. But once the first drinking game was in full swing, the Friday bug kicked in and kept me going until 4am!

Saturday was a bit more civilised, which just about balances out the weekend nicely. Then on Sunday it was back on the train to Reading, taxi to Heathrow and to Zurich. A total of 27 hours travelling for 31 hours in Cardiff…. and it was worth every minute! Next time it’s Jake’s turn to visit :D

This week I’m back in Switzerland for work,  but already looking forward to next weekend!

  • Happiness. 11 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 5 out of 5 (sleeeeeeppzzzzzzzz) 
  • Free Time. 0 out of 5 (but who needs it when you’re having this much fun anyway!) 
  • Last Meal. Sausage rolls from Cardiff train station!
  • Song of the day. Joshua Radin – I’d Rather Be With You
  • Thought for the day. Toffee Apple Pie is pretty damn good! Thanks Becky! 
  • What I’m Doing Now. In Zurich Airport, sleeping in a dayroom. Walking around a deserted airport is quite creepy…

PS there’ve been a few advancements in the world of Inter-railing and accommodation for my final year, so I’ll update you on those soon

PPS You forgot the blueberries, skip to 55 seconds if you absolutely can’t wait, but it is worth it! Thanks for this one Jake :)

What’s 2011 All About?

This post was written on Tuesday 4th January

2010 was a fantastic year. And as always I’m going to maintain that live is not about where you go, or things you see, but the people and the experiences you have along the way. Every single one of my top 40 moments of last year was great because of people, and that’s what will make 2011 too. But you can’t just sit inside and wait for people to turn up! Here’s the vague plan in my head of how 2011 is shaping up:

  • January. More working in Switzerland
  • February. Going to KoKo club in London to see Mr Scruff, and Becky comes to London
  • March. Giving up chocolate for lent (well, trying). Grand Prix season starts :)
  • April. Seeing The King Blues at KoKo. Another boat trip?
  • May. Nothing yet
  • June. End of tenancy at my current abode
  • July. Contracted to finish at Sony
  • August. Start of Inter-rail trip
  • September. End of inter-rail trip
  • October. Back at university
  • November. Nothing yet
  • December. Christmas (because some things don’t change)

I’ll talk about the inter-rail trip in another post, but that’s the chorus in a nutshell. I’ve never meant what I’m about to say with such passion: “BRING IT ON!”

  • Happiness. 9 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 0 out of 5
  • Free Time. 3 out of 5
  • Last Meal. Chicken Tikka Masala from the pub
  • Song of the day. Ellie Goulding – Your Song 
  • Thought for the day. 2010 was good, but 2011 will be better
  • What I’m Doing Now. Looking at the amazing curtains now in my room to block out the noise from the living room next door. Thank you dad!

December: The Best Moment

Well that was the end of the Top 40! But it’s a shame I stopped looking at the top moments of the year on December 22nd. I started writing up my top 40 on the train on the way to my sisters, with the intention of finishing it while I was there. However, having not seen my sister for 5 months, we had too much catching up to do for me to lock myself away typing for hours. Hence the deadline slipped and it’s only just been finished.

Christmas day was amazing, and nothing beats the look on Alastair’s face when he ran into the living room straight passed the Christmas tree only to realise that Santa had come!

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Everything about being at my sisters was just brilliant! We even went to see the Sheffield Steelers play Ice Hockey and win 6-3!!! What a beating!

James and I drove back to London on the 27th… I’ve spent a curious amount of time with my brother in December, without so much as a single argument! Maybe I’m finally growing up :P

James convinced me to straighten my hair “to see what it does”. I was the personification of sceptical about this idea, assuming that hair straighteners were reserved for women and gays, but I take it all back… since I am now the proud owner of a pair (of straighteners, that is!). My god what have I become :S

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And then there was Jake and the New Years Party. The day before, we went shopping on Oxford Street in the sales because we didn’t fear for our lives enough.

The eventual party was a blast! About 20 people came in the end including my friends, Jake’s friends and Beth’s friends. Beth made cupcakes (yummeh) and we had champagne courtesy of yours truly. Party games (AKA drinking games) ensued, including Irish Snap (that will mean something to some of you :P) and my favourite game of the night: “what can we make Jake drink without him questioning it?”, the winner was Matthew’s concoction of dark rum and Jägermeister :D

So to answer the question of the best moment of December, it would have to be the New Years Party! It would definitely have made it to the top 10 if it was in time to be added to the list. However, half of the party was in 2011, so maybe it counts as the first top moment of 2011. Let the new list begin!

Double dream hands!

Good morning one and all, and merry christmas. I'm writing this from a queue. Thats right. I'm queuing for tickets to the unions last night of the year: christmas flirt!

Over the last week i've been working in basingstoke for a change :P however, not for long as work has fortold my return to the land of chocolate (if they have any left) this afternoon! This trip was pretty much a given, and i'll be out there for 4 days before returning to london to finish off the year :)

On tuesday evening I ventured on to campus to watch madsoc's annual christmas panto, this year called 'not another panto'. It was written by the current director of madsoc, Laurence Williams, who is a great guy and an even greater writer. I'm not a reviewer, but the panto was crazy good! The panto was not traditional in any sense, except for the inclusion of a dame, but that could be misleading. It was about fairytale characters whose storylines were merging together, and amongst it all were 3 surrey students who had got lost and caught up in the whole thing. Lots of inuendo, and lots of laughs, but also very touching and moving towards the end. And to think it was all written by someone my age was just mind-blowing :O

On wednesday was the MADTV xmas meal, the first christmas meal of the year :) MADTV is getting on so well this year, they have a very big and energetic team, which has enabled them to put out some great quality reports (just see the new summaries to see what I mean!)

On friday, the housemates put on a meal and a half at le maison. Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, an all time classic, with great company. Friends I havent seen for months came over for the meal, and a generous quantity of mulled wine was consumed in the process… Shame I had to leave early to get a train to london.

Because this weekend was the family xmas meal in Scotland! I'm running out of ways to say it was good to see everyone again :)

Only a week of work to go until christmas, and that can only mean one thing……. My sister :)

Happiness: 5 out of 10
Free time: 1 out of 5
Thought of the day: housing for nexy year…
Song of the day: One Republic – Good Life (seriously, check it out!)
What i'm doing now: still queuing for tickets…. Beth rigby better appreciate this :P xx

PS reminissing about the lesbian bouncer who told Beth and I off about laughing at her hair a couple of weeks ago :S lols