27th April 2006
Thursday - 9.15pm : Last night was amazing! I can't describe how it felt to see the band I thought I'd never see stand on stage together again. As Take That arrived on stage the audience exploded into life. People screamed, applauded, stamped their feet, clapped their hands and even shed a tear. Me? My eyes lit up and I had the biggest grin on my face that you'd ever see! 10 years on and the lads have still got it. I've been to many gigs/concerts, but I don't think I've ever seen an arena full of people go that mad before.
10 years since the split and Gary, Mark, Howard and Jason can still put on a fantastic show, but then that was what they were known for. Robbie joined them for the beginning of 'Could It Be Magic'... as a hologram! There's rumours he'll join them for real at one or two of the Manchester dates. Now that would be truly amazing!
They played all their classics - Back For Good, A Million Love Songs, Pray, Everything Changes and even a Tango version of 'It Only Takes A Minute'! They also had a walkway and a 2nd stage in the middle of the audience (and right in front of me, so I had a great view of it). They did their Beatles medley on the 2nd stage and even dared walk back to the main stage through the crowd (despite being warned not to by the venue). Of course, they got mobbed, but they all made it back to the main stage in one piece... eventually.
Howard gave us all an apology. Why? Well, on their last UK tour in 1995 (just after Robbie left) Howard stated that the band would not split up as long as they were wanted... 6 months later came the announcement that it was all over! So he apoligised and said that it was obvious they're still wanted even now 10 years on. I think they did make the right decision back in 1996. They went out on a high and at the time were the biggest UK band since The Beatles. Saying that, I am absolutely thrilled they've reunited (even without Robbie) for this tour... It's a dream come true!
Take That had even tried to use the people who had worked with them on tour back in the 90s. Take That fans might recognise the names of Mike Stevens (MD, keys, guitar and sax) and Milton McDonald (guitar and vox). Even Gary's wife - a dancer for Take That back in the day - was seen to be dancing on stage once again.
Take That finished the show with Never Forget, just as they did in 1995. What they maybe didn't realise is that we never did forget! Roll on Milton Keynes on 24th June... Yes, I'm going to see them again!
I couldn't come home without any merchandise and a programme was a must. I couldn't help myself, I spent £40! I bought a programme, a photo of each of them, a huge band poster, a bag and a set of badges to add to my already vast collection.
I didn't take any photos this time, I wanted to enjoy the moment. I will, however, be taking my camera to their Milton Keynes concert in June.
25th April 2006
Tuesday - 10.45pm : I'm home! I actually got home yesterday afternoon, but I felt too tired to write anything here. Carrying a heavy backpack and a bag of DVDs & magazines around the streets of London on a Monday morning sure makes you tired. Although, my backpack would have have been quite a bit lighter if I hadn't had a few cans of Mountain Dew in there (Yes, I'd been to the Cybercandy shop).
I arrived in London at midday on Saturday. After booking into the hotel I decided to go for a walk around the city. The weather was perfect, so I thought it was an ideal time to take some photos. I walked over to Covent Garden from Piccadilly Circus, but it was far too busy to take any photos there, so I took a look around some of the market stalls and shops (I avoided Lush in fear of spending all my money on the candy-smelling soaps!).
I then headed down the Strand and towards Trafalgar Square, stopping for a drink on the way. Trafalgar Square was busy as usual and the pigeons were out in force too! I couldn't take a photo of Nelson's Column as it was covered in scaffolding. I did manage to get some photos of other parts of the Square, including the fourth plinth on which now stands 'Alison Lapper Pregnant' - a 3.6m marble statue of Alison Lapper, an artist who was born with no arms and shortened legs.
I then walked to St. James's Park. It was heaving with people taking a walk, enjoying the scenery, playing games, resting on the grass and watching the wildlife. Even the squirrels seemed to be putting on a show in the trees. I followed the path to the east and on to Horse Guards to see the guards (who weren't on their horses at the time).
After all that walking, I headed back to the hotel to get ready for the Ricky Martin concert. By 6pm I didn't feel very well (I'll spare you the details!) and I was wondering if I'd be able to make it to the concert (my reason for being in London in the first place). By 6.45pm I felt better (thought still not 100%) and decided I couldn't waste my ticket.
Ricky Martin was fantastic! He's so energetic and rarely stops moving. Every move matched each song perfectly. It's like his was born to dance. His singing wasn't bad either! I really enjoyed it and would definitely go and see him again. I was back in Row R, but still managed to get a few pictures.
Sunday was quite wet, so I didn't go to see any of the London Marathon as I didn't want to stand around in the rain. I watched the San Marino F1 Grand Prix on TV, then headed out. London + rain = Lots of people with umbrellas. Those things are lethal! I had to dodge umbrellas left, right and centre to save myself from being blinded.
I made it to Cybercandy (near Covent Garden) safely and bought myself a few cans of Mountain Dew and a bar of chocolate. After that I got a chinese take-away and headed back to the hotel to rest my feet and have a relaxing evening.
I didn't do much with my final hours in London yesterday morning. Although, I did spend money in Virgin Megastore. I went in for 1 DVD and came out with 2 DVDs, a DVD boxset and a couple of magazines. After a bit of waiting at Euston, it was time to catch the train home.
Today I had lunch with a friend. It was her 30th birthday! Then this afternoon/evening I went for another bike ride with Sarah. We both made it to the top of the Common bank without getting off our bikes. I was amazed, I'd not done that for 10 years!
21st April 2006
Friday - 10.30pm : The nursery rhyme 'Three Blind Mice' will never be the same again. I've just seen Derren Brown stick two 14-inch needles into Robbie Williams' arms while Robbie chanted 'Three Blind Mice'! Robbie hadn't the foggiest what Derren was going to do. Only when Derren asked Robbie to stop chanting and look to his left arm and then his right did Robbie know he'd got 2 needles stuck in his arms. He didn't look or feel too good at that point! Robbie started to watch the needles being taken out, but I think the pain was starting to become too much, so Derren told him to close his eyes and carry on with 'Three Blind Mice'.
When Robbie was interviewed after the 'trick', he said he think it would be a good idea for his concerts and maybe Derren Brown should accompany him and put needles in his arms again. Is he mad?!
I'd love to see Derren live, but I'm scared to death I'd get picked out of the audience!
I've finally pre-ordered my copy of Proven Guilty (Book 8 of The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher. (Follow this link to read some preview chapters.) Jim is doing a virtual book signing at his local book shop, Dog Eared Books. I've never been to a real book signing before, but I thought I'd get a signed book from a favourite author, so that's where I've ordered mine from. The book should arrive sometime in the next few weeks and I'm definitely looking forward to reading it. I'm really taken with the Dresden Files series.
I've got a strange pain in my side at the moment. It's been coming and going all evening. I hope it doesn't persist as I'm off to London in the morning!
I'll give you an update on my trip London when I get home. There is a net cafe just metres from the hotel (and I'm sure there's online access at the hotel too), so I'll more than likely check emails.
20th April 2006
Thursday - 11.15pm : This may be my last entry until early next week, because I'm off down to London on Saturday morning and won't be back until sometime on Monday. I've got my train tickets and my Ricky Martin ticket (most important!) ready. I'll sort out my clothes and stuff tomorrow.
I had quite a grin on my face while I was at work this morning. Why? Well, Take That were all together (minus Robbie, of course), for the 1st time in over 10 years, on Radio 1's Chris Moyles show. (Photos from the show.) The lads sang a few songs (including "Back For Good" and "Pray") and talked to Moylesey. Moylesey asked Gary about the rumour of a brand new album being made my TT... There wasn't any confirmation, but then there wasn't any denial. So what do you think that means?! I guess we'll see after the tour. Talking of which... I'll be seeing them next Wednesday! Nearly 11 years after I saw them in Manchester (also minus Robbie, because he'd just left).
Question : Should I dig out an old Take That t-shirt to wear next Wednesday? (I've got 2 or 3 and they're barely worn because I didn't want to ruin them). I'm assuming they'd still fit!
Talking of t-shirts and Robbie's ex-band mates... My new Robbie t-shirt arrived today. It's red and has "Inspired" on the front and "Insane" with Robbie's logo on the back. They (Robbie's official online shop) threw in a free button/badge too. I won't be seeing Robbie on stage until September though.
I've been watching a TV series that follows paparazzi. They're professional stalkers! The celebrities seem to be getting their own back though. Some "paps" were following Robbie around Cardiff and he ended up turning around and taking photos of them. They were a little confused... but photos help when you want to sue somebody for harrassment etc!
Anyway, this seems to have turned into an entry all about Take That so I'll leave it there. Thanks to Rob, Suzanne, Cyberevolution, Graeme, Claire, Liza Marie, Nick, Mandy, Jem, Karen, Xtel, Natalie, Andrea, Strizzt and Sarah.
17th April 2006
Monday - 3.15pm : Sarah and I went for our bike ride this morning. I really enjoyed it! I'm getting used to my new bike, so I was making mental notes on what needs adjusting and what accessories would be useful (such as a water bottle and a helmet). We cycled around "the block", which is something like 2 or 3 miles. It's quite a nice work out because this area is quite hilly, but you also get to do some nice coasting as well as the hard work of cycling up hill. My knees were killing me by the time we got back to the village! I had planned on taking my camera, but only remembered when Sarah mentioned it half way around. Never mind... We're planning on making it a regular thing, so I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunity for me to take photos.
I'm quite surprised at myself. I've not tucked into my one and only Easter egg... yet! I might just demolish it this evening though. Once I start eating an Easter egg I've got to finish it, but I will leave the chocolate bars for later.
Another surprising thing is that I've not watched one DVD this long weekend, despite planning to. I've got one here I really should watch and send back to EasyCinema, so I might just watch that tonight before watching Smallville (Season 5) at 9pm.
24 (Season 5) was a bit emotional at the end of last night's episode. Another CTU character died (I won't say which one as I know some people won't have seen this season yet) and I didn't see that one coming. You never know which character is going to get killed off next! Even Jack Bauer isn't beyond being killed off as I know Kiefer has mentioned about the possibility of Jack being killed off in the future. Thankfully, he's just signed up for another 3 years, so I'm sure that won't be happening for a while yet. I think the aim is to do some storylines in other parts of the world, such as Europe.
Now onto a recommendation...
My friend Rob busted his blog cherry today, after a little prodding from me (Does that sounds rude?!), and already has a couple of entries up. So make sure you drop by and say hello! He's really nice and would do anything for a friend. He's funny, has good taste in music and is addicted to poker. So go read!
15th April 2006
Saturday - 9.15pm : I've decided to try and get myself fit again. All this working at a computer day and night is no good for me, so I've gone and bought myself a bike (again). I sold my last one to Sarah, because I'd hardly used it, but now I'm determined to get fit. I used to ride my bike day in and day out when I was younger, but I've been a bit out of practice in recent years. I picked up my new bike today (it was half price!) and have arranged to go for a bike ride with Sarah on Monday.
It's Collectormania at Milton Keynes in 2 weeks. I went last year to see James Marsters, but this year I'm hoping to see a whole host of people. Half of The Lost Boys cast is there (sadly minus Kiefer Sutherland), along with Alan Tudyk and Ron Glass from Firefly/Serenity, Anthony Head from Buffy/Little Britain, and Robert Llewellyn from Red Dwarf. There's going to be a Lost Boys Talk & Screening and I've just booked my ticket for it. I've been a big fan of the film since I first saw it over 15 years ago. There will also be a Serenity Talk & Screening and a friend of mine kindly booked us tickets before I even knew about it! So it's looking like it's going to be a fantastic weekend, except I'm going to be totally skint afterwards!
Of course, I've got my trip to London next weekend. The Saturday night I'll be entertained by none other than Ricky Martin, and on the Sunday morning I'm hoping to watch a bit of the London Marathon since that'll be on while I'm there. Other than that and a bit of shopping, I haven't a clue what I'll be doing, but I'll find something to do. It's a big city, after all.
14th April 2006
Friday - 10.45pm : Happy Easter everyone! I'm not a religious person, so Easter usually passes me by without being noticed (except that I get Good Friday and Easter Monday off work every year). As a family we don't usually give gifts such as Easter eggs, but once in a while we get a surprise. This year I got a surprise. Not only did I get a Cadbury's Dairy Milk Easter egg complete with 2 bars of chocolate and a large mug, but I also got a silver celtic cross which I'd been after for years!
I've for no plans for this Easter weekend, for a change. I'm off to London next weekend, so it's quite good that I've got a weekend of not doing anything in particular. I've got plenty of DVDs to keep me entertained and a couple of letters to write, so I shouldn't be too bored.
Mika is feeling better now. He's not been sick since we took him to the vet and starved him for 24 hours. He's been chasing Leo around the house today, so it certainly looks like he's back to his usual self. (Yes, it's been like a Formula Cat race around here today, except I'm not sure who won!)
Well, that's all from me tonight. It's getting late and we've got a visitor who I'm probably keeping awake with all this tapping on the keyboard.
11th April 2006
Tuesday - 7.45pm : Poor Mika. He can't have anything to eat for 24 hours. No matter how much he gives us his purring "I'm hungry, please feed me" miaow, he's not allowed anything but water and this stuff that goes on his tongue or paw (to lick). He's been sick 3 days/nights in a row, so we thought we'd better take him to the vets, just in case. It's more than likely just a fur ball and the vet agreed that's probably the case. Mika likes to wash Leo's head and give him a nice little hair-style... either a mohican or the "dragged through the hedge backwards" look! Leo has a lot of fur and is malting big-style at the moment, so much, in fact, that we're considering making felt from his malted fur!
Photobox have more great offers on this month, so I couldn't resist getting the rest of my Darkness photos printed. I like to have my photos printed at 7"x5", so it's great that Photobox have been having one or two offers on that size lately. The Darkness photos arrived today so I've put them in my album. I had just the right amount of inserts left, so it looks like I'll have to order a few more packs of those from Arrowfile.
Anyway, Leo wants some attention so I'm going to play and tire him out for a bit. I forgot to mention... Mum & I spoilt Mika & Leo with an anti-scratch centre at the weekend. It's a "multi-tiered cat adventure centre with places to hide and rattle filled toys to play with" and "sisal covered pillars for scratching and cushion lined hideaway for sleeping". They love it. They were trying to play with it before we'd even got it out of the box and put it together. They even fight over who's going to sit on top of it. It keeps them entertained so I think it's well worth the money.
7th April 2006
Friday - 10.00pm : Thank you for all your comments on Dad's good news last weekend. It's certainly a weight off our shoulders.
It turns out my trip to London at the end of the month co-incides with the London Marathon. I'm going down on the Saturday, the marathon is on the Sunday and I'm coming home on the Monday. I wondered why hotel room prices had rocketed for the Saturday night! No, I won't be taking part in the marathon (I wouldn't get very far!), but I might go along with my camera and see if I can get some photos.
I've booked my hotel room at the hotel I usually stay in when on a weekend trip to London. The Regent Palace Hotel is in such a convenient location just off Picadilly Circus and the rates are a bargin. Just one problem... It's closing towards the end of this year. The hotel has always been heaving with people when I've been there and while it may no longer be a posh hotel it's the most ideal place I've found to stay while in London. I'll be sad to see it close and even sadder if it's demolished (as mentioned on the website's History page). I just hope somebody has the heart (and money) to take on the hotel and turn it back into it's former glory.
The postman delivered 6 packages for me today (I bet I wasn't his favourite person today!). 5 of the packages were DVDs - The Dukes of Hazzard (Seasons 1 & 2) boxsets, The Dukes of Hazzard (2005 movie), The Good Shepherd and The Island. The 6th package was a book - Stephen King's Salem's Lot in hardback and including an addition of fifty pages of material deleted from the 1975 manuscript as well as material that has since been modified by Stephen King, an introduction by him, and two short stories related to the events of the novel. I've now got a pile of books to get through and this one is hardly the shortest!
I don't know if we get Rolling Stone magazine over here (we probably don't in Mid Wales, anyway), but Kiefer Sutherland is on the front and there's an interesting article/interview inside. (How do I know? I get emails from Rolling Stone for some reason). If you're a Kiefer fan, it's well worth reading.
Thanks to Graeme, Barbie2be, Andrea, Liza Marie, Karen, SNiP, Lisa E, Nick, Lissy, Mandy, Skye, Melly (You're right, 25p doesn't buy you much these days!), Chloe-Lynn, Mark, Daystar and Me, Myself & I.
3rd April 2006
Monday - 10.25pm : I forgot to tell you about the bit of news we had over the weekend...
A few years ago Dad had an operation to remove part of his bowel due to bowel cancer. Since then he's had various tests etc to make sure he's well and that nothing else has cropped up. His last test/scan was a few weeks ago and we were awaiting results. A letter from the hospital arrived on Saturday. Good news - The cancer hasn't spread to his liver or lymph nodes. Great news - Dad is officially cancer-free! No more horrible tests for 3 years!
On to other things...
I have found yet another sweet shop! It's called A Quarter Of and has a lot of the sweets from my childhood. Mum would give us 25p on a Friday to buy sweets from the village shop. I'd usually opt selection of penny chews such as Fizzy Cola Bottles, Giant Strawberries, Milk Teeth and Pint Pots (most of which cost 2 or 3p each, rather than a penny!). I won't be ordering anything (yet!) because I already have enough unhealthy sugary goodness to last me a quite a while.
Anyway, I've not got much else to say tonight, so I'll leave you with my thank yous - Barbie2be, Lisa E, Courtney, Keda, Katie, Me, Myself & I, Graeme, Karen (Thanks, I've got a week booked off at the end of the month) and Mooalex.
2nd April 2006
Sunday - 7.25am : An unusually early entry from me on this Sunday morning. I've been awake since 4am and I'm shattered already. Why was I awake insanely early? To watch the Australian F1 Grand Prix live, but more about that later.
After sleeping on it Friday night, I gave into my urge and bought some goodies from The Pink Sugar Mouse. The sweets aren't all for me though. I bought some for my parents too as a little treat. No more treats for me this month though. I mean it this time!
A book I'd pre-ordered weeks ago arrived in the mail yesterday. The Rik Mayall - Bigger Than Hitler, Better Than Christ book is Rik Mayall's autobiography and it's definitely one I'm looking forward to reading. If his career is anything to go by - The Young Ones, The Comic Strip Presents..., Blackadder, Drop Dead Fred, Bottom and much more - it should make for interesting reading. I'll make a start on it when I'm not so tired.
Todays Grand Prix was filled with non-stop action and will be one of the best races of the 2006 season. Jenson Button (Honda) qualified on Pole for today's race, but it certainly wasn't going to be his day. Behind him Montoya (McLaren) spun at the start of the pit straight at the end of the warm-up lap! Luckily for him, Fisichella (Renault) stalled on the grid enabling Montoya to work his way back up to 4th place on the 2nd warm-up lap (although we were unsure whether or not he would incur a penalty for doing so).
When the race finally got underway, the action started and the safety car was out by the end of lap 1! Massa (Ferrari) had crashed at the first corner and had knocked off Rosberg's (Williams) rear wing in the process. Coulthard (Red Bull) and Trulli (Toyota) banged wheels, while team-mates Montoya and Raikkonen battle for position.
When the safety car came in at the end of lap 3 Alonso (Renault) took 1st place from Button and from then on the race was his. The safety car came out a further 3 times during the race, so the safety car racked up more laps than some drivers!
Alonso won the race with ease and Raikkonen followed just seconds behind him. By the last laps of the race Button was 5th, but his engine blew within sight of the finish line and he stopped short of it with shouts from the commentators to get out and push! Montoya didn't even make it that far. He ran wide on the last corner some laps before and a bump mysteriously caused his McLaren to seemingly switch off, ending his race.
All in all, it was an entertaining race and was well worth getting up for.