Category Archives: Special Post

Special Post #43: Music of 2010

Excuse this cheeky interlude designed to build suspense before the big reveal of my top 10 moments of 2010 tomorrow :P

This list is compiled by last.fm using my most played songs in the last 12 months. These are the songs that I listened to most in 2010.

#10: The King Blues – Hold On Tight

  • Started Listening: May
  • Reminds Me Of: Jake coming to visit :)
  • Play Count: 60

#9: David Place – A Feeling

  • Started Listening: Last year after hearing him live in The Bedford pub. It’s a great song to relax to.
  • Reminds Me Of: The 2010 Boat trip.
  • Play Count: 63

#8: The King Blues – Blood On My Hands

  • Started Listening: April
  • Reminds Me Of: Seeing the King Blues live :P
  • Play Count: 65

#7: The Lonely Island – I’m On A Boat

#6: The Fratellis – Henrietta

  • Started Listening: 2008
  • Reminds Me Of: Getting ready for nights out. Still THE song I have to listen to before I go to a party!
  • Play Count: 77

#5: Iyaz – Replay

  • Started Listening: Christmas 2009
  • Reminds Me Of: Last Christmas with my sister :D
  • Play Count: 86

#4: The Fratellis – Whistle For The Choir

  • Started Listening: Summer 2009
  • Reminds Me Of: Quiet nights in, probably writing a poem
  • Play Count: 93

#3: Jason Mraz – I’m Yours (this link is cute, so click on it)

  • Started Listening: Easter 2009
  • Reminds Me Of: All the good times in London, there are many
  • Play Count: 98

#2: Train – Hey, Soul Sister

  • Started Listening: June
  • Reminds Me Of: Revision with Josh, fun times
  • Play Count: 105

    #1: The King Blues – I Got Love (my video from Guilfest)

      And that’s a wrap. But there are a few songs not on this list that made a difference to me this year. Check out: Colbie Caillat – Bubbly, Cee Lo Green – Forget You (explicit version), John Mayer – Free Falling and FM Static – Tonight. I’ve also come to love Freepeace and Paloma Faith. May 2011 bring a whole wave of new songs… starting with this beauty.

      Special Post #42: Top 40 Moments of 2010–Part 4

      ok, so it’s 2011 guys. But lets get to the end of this trip down memory road. We finished yesterday at 21 with Jake and I going to Rubix…

      #20: Fri 09 Apr: IT Crowd Filming

      Criddle, Ben and I went to see the IT Crowd being filmed. I absolutely love the IT Crowd, its a sit-com about 2 guys and a girl who work as tech support for a big company. Sounds right up my street right? The day was also interesting from a technical standpoint, getting to see how a proper studio is used for filming was really interesting. We failed at getting in to the studio the week before and ended up having an impromptu night bowling instead. That night came into this chart at #64.

      #19: Sat 01 May: Jake & BBQ

      What do you know?! The day after #21 (see yesterday). This BBQ has been a reference for the rest of the year in terms of house parties. Lots of friends came over to Zion for a big BBQ. The weather was fine and everyone was in a good mood. The party went on late into the evening too as we played Irish Snap and ate strudel. Below is one of my favourite photos of the year from that day… Beth is wearing heels and is stood on a step. lol.

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      #18: Sat 22 May: Frankie & Mike BBQ

      Number 18 is another BBQ! This was the last drinking session before end of year exams started, so it was bound to be a good night. As it happens this was the night Frankie and Claire asked me to live with them for the first time. I’m glad they did, because that’s where I’m living now :)

      #17: Sat 28 Aug: Trip to Isle of Wight… From Southampton

      I’d gone down to Southampton for the weekend for a friends 20th Birthday party. On the Saturday we took a ferry to the Isle of Wight and visited the needles. Then we went to the IoW Zoo. That night we got drunk. Good times.

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      #16: Tue 30 Mar: Boat Trip!

      This day stands out as the best day on this years boat trip. Going through Netherton tunnel (one of the longest tunnels on the canal system) and taking the scenic route around the many Birmingham canals. I don’t know if it’s the way the canal and the motorway seem to duel across the landscape or the many aqueducts, but that bit of canal always gets me. In the evening we moored at Merry Hill and had such a great laugh on the boat about god knows what.

      #15: Sun 14 Feb: Frankie & Bennies with Anne & Josh

      We were ‘kicked’ out the house so decided to go to Frankie and Bennies for a ‘romantic’ dinner. The three of us spent about 3 hours there killing time. Which was interesting since we’d eaten after the first hour. There’s something uniquely cool about not rushing out of a restaurant and being in good company. We’d been there so long we nearly ordered a second main course :P

      #14: Wed 20 Oct: Go Karting with work

      This is a good recent one. One evening after work we went go karting. What a way to de-stress… seriously. This needs to happen again. So we certainly weren’t the fastest team there, but we skidded round the corners the best!

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      #13: Sat 13 Nov: 1st Day off in Switzerland

      Here it is! Switzerland! Good times. On a day off we went all out. We drove up Mount Bré, a tall mountain about 15 minutes drive from our hotel. And my gosh the views were stunning:

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      Then we took the Funicular railway down into town and to the chocolate festival! Free samples of Swiss chocolate. Heaven. I’m not a chocoholic… honest. In the evening we decided to try the ‘shortcut’ back to the hotel. An hour later we figured it was probably not a shortcut. But we did get to drive along some pretty crazy Swiss roads!

      #12: Sat 14 Aug: Phil’s Birthday

      This was a fantastic weekend all round. Going down to Devon for Phil’s birthday. But on the Saturday we went to a nice secluded beach, had lunch and played rounders. Despite the strong currents, we decided to go swimming in the sea. Such a good move! I hadn’t been swimming on a beach for years and it was just a childhood moment. Good times.

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      #11: Mon 21 Jun: Wimbledon

      Wow! This was a good day! This year my mum and I went to Wimbledon with my friend Criddle and Josh. Criddle is a tennis fanatic so he knew all the good matches to watch and where to go. The weather was very kind to us to, and this year we remembered to bring sun cream! Ok, so we queued for about 4 hours, but that’s all part of the experience!

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      tomorrow its the top 10! You might be able to see a few glaring omissions in this list so far… well they are coming! a certain sister, a certain concert, a certain company and a certain party all to come!

      Special Post #41: Top 40 Moments of 2010–Part 3

      continuing the countdown with numbers 30 to 21. Lets get started!

      #30: Tue 23 Mar: House Viewing & Meeting Housemates

      In the part 1 I explained how this list was compiled as the year went on, and this is a good example of a day that is now very different looking back at it than it was at the time. At the time it was really exciting to find a great house and meet the guys I was going to live with for a whole year. As it turns out, these are the people I screwed over.

      #29: Fri 16 Apr: Criddle Back From Easter Break

      After Easter, Michael and I went for a night out in Guildford with lots of chemists. Great to get back into the swing of things, playing Scrabble in the pub :) Then we went to Wagamama’s, clearly the best restaurant ever, and then went back to ZION for strudel and a game of Monopoly. Classic night out, lots of laughs and strudel :)

      #28: Fri 23 Jul

      I’ve said before how this blog is sometimes a diary and sometimes a voice. Number 28 happens to be one of those “diary” moments.

      #27: Wed 21 Jul: Working At Arsenal Stadium

      I’ll be honest, I’m not a football person. I had far more fun working in the stadium than on the day out watching the game from the Sony private box (that ended up at number 49). This day was made special in the evening when I made the most if being in London and visited the folks. Victoria invited us over for dinner to celebrate my news about going to Switzerland (Any excuse for a party :P). My cousin Beth came round later and we had a wicked catch-up walking back to Balham :)

      #26 Sat 21 Aug: Orpington

      One of the “famous three” August weekends of 2010 :) Heather invited Lauren, Sophie and Me to her house for a BBQ with lots of her friends. The sleepover was hilarious, as is every second with the girls. The highlight has to be Heather making up theme tunes for everyone on the piano. Good times.

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      #25: Sun 19 Sep: Wembley Arena

      Yesterday we had the first 21st celebration, well today we get the last! Frankie had got some tickets to see the final of “Must Be The Music” at Wembley Stadium! An audience of 10,000! Such a fantastic atmosphere and a great vibe.

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      #24: Sun 02 May: Jake in Guildford, Starting at Wagamama’s

      The second Wagamama’s today! What can I say, it’s stolen 2010! This was a fantastic day. It started out at Wagamama’s, with a Yaki Udon if my memory serves me correctly. We we’re with Katherine, Charlotte and Liz, AKA “The Maths Girls”. We ended up at Free For All, an event the University Music Department put on with live music. After that we played a version of snap (the card game) called “Irish Snap”… basically, it hurts. The highlight of this night has to be that Katherine, the 2nd year maths student, didn’t know what number came after 6 :S

      #23: Fri 16 Jul: Grad Ball

      Frankie and I went to this year’s Graduation Ball to film for MADTV. We had such a laugh filming, check out the final video:

      #22: Sat 24 Jul: Grandad’s 80th

      This weekend needs no introduction. Get the whole family in a cabin in the middle of the Peak District, add Jake and I and cider and vodka. You get the picture. There’s nothing wrong with taking a midnight walk up a hill to get a phone signal…

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      #21: Fri 30 Apr: Jake & Rubix

      OK, so quite often Jake and I get together and have a drink or two. But this was the pinnacle of those times this year. Jake came to visit and we went to the students union. Lots and lots of banter later we return to Zion, only to discover that I had lost my keys! Luckily Jake woke up my housemate Anne by making TARDIS noises outside her room. I’m eternally grateful that she still talks to me since she didn’t seem very impressed with us :S

      DSCF2955

      well call that a day today, but more to come tomorrow when we get to the day after the one mentioned in #21 above, and we get to see water in a canal and at two beaches.

      Special Post #40: Top 40 Moments of 2010–Part 2

      Welcome back to 2010’s top 40 countdown. Today I promise we will actually start the countdown!

      #40: Sat 11 Dec: Family Christmas Meal in Scotland

      It’s slightly ironic how this one happens to be number 40 since it happened only 2 weeks ago… This was a brilliant weekend, getting the family together is not easy at the best of times, but when mother nature drops a thick layer of white stuff across the British Isles, it becomes near impossible. But somehow, it just worked. The whole family got together in Scotland, a tradition going back many years from before my uncle died. I know it sounds clichéd, but it was great to see the family again. Not just uncles and aunties and cousins, but also my parents and my brother! Walks across the countryside and up small hill provided ample photo opportunities, but also times to relax :)

      #39: Sat 11 Sep: Surprise & Night Out

      The first 21st celebration to hit the list! I knew something was up when Mum asked me the night before if I had a suit to wear… this was no ordinary party. Mum and Dad had setup a massive dinner table in the local church, and loads of people from over the years came to celebrate. The highlight of the night was my fathers speech, he spoke of the trouble I’d had at secondary school, and how the church had provided an outlet for my creativity. He went on to say how university has been a big change for me and that he’s seen me grow up to be a more confident and sociable person in recent years. It was great speech. Then I got pissed :P I mean, a few of us went out on the London Town and had a great end to the night, thanks to my cousin Beth :)

      DSCF5688

      #38: Mon 18 Jan: Uno with Anne until 3am

      This feels like a long time ago. Anne and I were massive fans of Uno, the family card game for all ages, but we didn’t play it nearly as often as we should have. On this particular occasion, I think the Uno provided a good distraction for both of us. We had exams and coursework coming out of our ears, so we sat up and talked until the little hours of the morning. I miss these times :(

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      #37: Tue 07 Sep: Alastair, Climbing, Tickled Ivory

      This started off like any other, until I got a phone call to tell me that Alastair, one of my closest friends at secondary school, had committed suicide. That evening my housemates cheered me up by taking me out to a Piano Bar in town. Tickled Ivory is a small place, but what it lacks in floor space it more than makes up for in music! Live piano provided interesting covers of both modern and classic tunes. My housemates, Sophie and Claire, went crazy on the dancefloor as we partied until the small hours drinking cocktails and dancing. I must go back here in 2011 when I don’t have to go to work in the morning!

      #36: Mon 19 Apr: Becky Visits

      Nothing like spending time with my sister. And Becky found the time to visit me in Guildford for a whole day! We had lunch in town and chilled out back at the house. Not much else to say, just good times.

      #35: Wed 24 Feb: Sony Interview

      And so it begins. The start of the Sony experience. I was so excited to have been selected for interview after submitting my CV a month prior. The day went really well, I was shown around a 3D OB truck and interviewed by my now boss. It’s funny to look back on this day knowing what I know now :)

      #34: Thu 20 May: Student Awards

      MADTV won Special Society of the Year! And Mike Frazer won the Student Media Award! A fun and laughter-filled night, topped off by the after-party in town with MadSoc (the theatre and drama society who’d won Society of the Year) and all the MADTV crew.

      Student Awards (40)

      #33: Sat 16 Jan: Not Climbing

      One of those spontaneous evenings. Sophie Jones and I went to go climbing, but the Gym was closed. So we ended up going to Sophie’s house and talking for hours. I love spending time with Sophie, as everyone who knows her will agree, she is mental! In the nicest way :)

      #32: Mon 08 Feb: Walk & Talk with Hannah B

      Something that should have happened a long time ago… Hannah lived on the floor above in first year, and we’d never really spoken to each other. Last year our houses were pretty much next to each other, so we decided that was a good reason to get to know each other. Genuinely great evening walking around Guildford in the cold and talking about uni life.

      #31: Sun 17 Jan: Mum Cooking & Games Evening

      Mum decided it was a good idea to come over to Guildford and cook my housemates Sunday dinner. And it was, if it wasn’t for the MAD rush to clean the kitchen before the cavalry arrived! The food was great and it was probably the only time we all sat down as a house and ate together at the table. Then after Mum had left Anne, Josh and I stayed up late into the night playing poker and Uno :)

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      that’s the first 10 down! come back tomorrow for lots of drinking, strudel and some filming. Toodles x

      Special Post #39: Top 40 Moments of 2010-Part 1

      Welcome to the countdown of my favourite moments of 2010. Moments can be anything from nights out to nights in and have been chosen based on how special they were at the time (since looking back at some of these, I would rank them lower now…)

      All year I have been keeping a note of my favourite moments. Hopefully you’ve been keeping track of my monthly best moment, since they all feature on this list. What makes this top 40 different to last year is that I started noting my best moments right at the start of the year, and have kept it up to date as the weeks have gone by. The interesting twist this provides is that these moments are now ranked in order of how special they were at the time, not necessarily how high I would rank them now looking back. That’s because some moments can be tainted by things that happen afterwards, but nethertheless I’m basing this on how they were ‘in the moment’, if I can put it that way.

      Sadly the final list (as of Wednesday 22nd) had 65 moments in it! So there are a whole 25 that I wont even go into here. Which is a shame because there are a few corkers… oh, ok. I’m just going to mention a few of them and then we can get started on the actual list.

      #65 Tuesday 30 Nov: Swimming Pool in Switzerland

      After a long day working there is no doubt that a quick swim before dinner was a great idea. We did this a few times while we were in Switzerland, but this was particularly memorable because it had been such a stressful day. The swimming pool in the hotel was fantastically warm, and provided it wasn’t too dark outside you could see the wondrous view of the mountains and the lake beyond the town. Bliss.

      #56: Sat 23 Jan: Gliding with MAD TV

      This day has to go down as one of the best days filming ever. Georges drove us to Lasham Airfield to film the University’s Gliding Society. I had a really bad hangover from the night before, but put my name down for a flight anyway! We had such a laugh filming (as this video shows) and I ended up going gliding twice!

      #43: Fri 1 Oct: Freshers’ Fayre

      Promoting MADTV to freshers, and actually having them know what you’re talking about was such a great experience. Claire has done a fantastic job with MADTV since she became president, and the fayre went some way to show MADTV’s impact in only a short few weeks at the start of the semester. Overall the day was fantastic fun and a great success since now MADTV has a bigger team than ever and has had the opportunity to join the National Association of Student Television Awards, and cover hot topics such as the tuition fee rise.

      OK, I think that’s our fill for this post, but come back for part 2 tomorrow, when the countdown will actually begin with Uno, surprise party’s, awards and not climbing.

      Special Post #38: The Beard Story

      To beard or not to beard… this post aims to answer the ultimate question.

      In continuation of my earlier post about hair, I thought I’d give a follow up. So since the last time we met one big thing has happened to my hair: it’s grown. Not been cut for a while not and I’ve got this fringe/mop thing going on. I don’t think I’m selling it very well so we can just move on.

      The story of the beard starts with Movember. It’s an initiative to raise awareness for prostate cancer and men’s health. I’d love to say that I grew the beard for this, but this merely sparked the idea in my head. It wasn’t until the second week of “Movember” that I actually decided to take the plunge.

      What sparked this phase was, in fact, terrorism. One night I was sitting down with my housemate Sophizzle, when I said I was thinking of growing a beard. Soph said that she believed all people with beards are terrorists. So I questioned if she’d think I was a terrorist if I grew a beard. The answer was inconclusive, so there was only one way to find out!

      At this point I’d been in Switzerland for 1 week, and was about to head out for another 2. I thought this was the perfect time to grow a beard because I could grow it for 2 weeks and then return all like “SURPRISE!” and scare everyone. So that’s what I did.

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      In classic before and after fashion… above is before beard. And below is 2 weeks later…

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      And now 5 weeks later…

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      The beard even went to Scotland with me :)

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      In all the beard went through several phases. The first phase was caveman, all over look. After two weeks I decided that I preferred to go more “goatee and tash”, and that’s what I stayed with for some time (and what you can see above).

      Since I’m being very open about this I may as well state the pitfalls. I never once found any food in my beard, which was more than disappointing as I fully expected to get a least a crumb. But by far the worst thing about the beard was the colour…. GINGER!

      Now I have nothing against gingers, but I don’t want it on my face. Only kidding. I have to say though that it was surprising since my hair is ALL brown. If you couple the colour with the fact that the tash started getting in the way of my eating, which is very important, I decided to step the beard up to phase 3… stubble.

      Admittedly it had to have passed through this step to get to phase on (the caveman beard), but this time it was more refined and, dare i say, sexy.

      So that is the current state of the beard. No moustache, and a goatee stubble. Observe…

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      And this is how the beard shall remain until I get bored, which might not be too long considering how often I’ve changed my appearance recently. Upon seeing Auntie Fiona in Scotland she said “you’re different every time I see you!” and this is indeed true. With the long hair, quiff, spikey hair, up hair, beard, stubble and puffy hair of the recent months it’s all a bit too much. But maybe now is the time to experiment, after all I have looked the same for the other 20 years of my life, I think I’m due a few changes…

      Special Post #38: Two Whole Years, And Counting!

      Happy birthday blog! Two years on and still much to say!

      I’ve been having an amazing time the last few days. Monday was my 21st Birthday, and it has been celebrated in so many ways. Six to be precise.

      Friday 10th: Sophie Jones arrived in Guildford the week before. Sophie is the fifth and final girl to move in to the house. But her visit was short and sweet, only staying a couple of days before flying off to Portugal no less! Since she is going to be away for all my birthday celebrations, it seemed only appropriate to create a new one just for her! Sophie had been to an underground club in London called Shunt Vaults, I love the idea of a secret underground bar so we aimed to go there. Unfortunately, we later found out they had closed down… Never mind, on to plan B… Ministry of Sound!

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      It was a great night, but no thanks to Ministry of Sound. The music was rubbish Drum and Bass and it was a very small club considering all the hype! So we ended up in Farringdon (don’t ask me why, because I don’t know) and had a great time!

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      Lots more to say, but also lots more to do, so I’ll keep you posted and chat to you all soon!