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30th January 2005

Sunday - 11.15pm : I've just finished watching the first two episodes of 24 (Season 4) on Sky One. From what I've seen so far, this could be the best season yet. I really enjoyed the action of the first couple of episodes, it went so quickly and it only felt like I'd seen one episode and not two. I can't wait to see the rest of these season, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone, even if you've not seen the previous three seasons (just don't miss any episodes!).

I'm watching The Green Mile on S4C at the moment. I've seen it before, but I think it's a good film, so definitely worth watching again. It's got some pretty good actors in it, in my opinion - Tom Hanks, Sam Rockwell, Michael Jeter and Michael Clarke Duncan, to name a few. It also just happens to have been written by Stephen King, so that usually makes for a good story.

No rant about music today, sorry! Obviously you readers think about as high of Jessica Simpson as I do... and that's not very high! If you ever have the chance to listen to her version of Robbie's classic song, I wouldn't bother!

Talking of Robbie - I caught the last half hour of the Knebworth gig on TV earlier. It brought back memories - I was there! It's hard to believe that was about a year and a half ago now. Fantastic gig... The best I've ever been to, despite getting the worst sunburn of my life!

Right then, that's about all from me tonight. I'm off to see the rest of The Green Mile. Thanks to Ben, Mark, Graeme (Now, now. I know you like Angels), Karen, Jenni and Sarah. Night.

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Sunday - 00.15am : I have just heard a clip of Jessica Simpson's cover version of 'Angels'. Talk about butchering a song! I knew a while back that Jessica had covered Robbie Williams' classic song, but I reserved my judgement until I'd heard it. This song is what boosted Robbie's solo career into the limelight, he was no longer the lad from Take That, he was (and still is) a star in his own right. This song is the song everyone at a Robbie concert sings back at him. Robbie usually only sings the first couple of lines of the song and then stands in awe as the audience sings it to him. Angels is Robbie's anthem!

Apologies for the rant. It just gets me when people make a hash out of great songs and feel the need to release said songs when the original songs are still fresh in the minds of the general public. So many of today's music artists do it. They pick a popular song of from the last 20 years and release it. It's often a sure-fire way of making a stack of cash and getting their faces seen on TV. Cover versions of songs from donkey's years ago are fine by me, but I just wish people would write their own songs or at least employ a songwriter to do the job for them.

Anyway, Robbie's original version of Angels can be bought at eil.com, if you'd like to hear a classic song!

*Awaits a slaughtering from Jessica Simpson fans!*

On to other things.......

I took the DVDs back to the rental store this morning (well, I guess it's "yesterday morning" now) and resisted renting any more. For a start, the couple of DVDs I did want to rent were out, and I am trying not to waste money (especially when I have shelves overflowing with DVDs & videos in the first place). So, we ended up watching a film on BBC1, called The Rock. It's an action packed film starring Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery - Definitely worth watching.

Season 4 of 24 starts here tonight and it's a double episode special, so I can't wait! I enjoyed watching all 3 of the previous seasons, and not just because Kiefer Sutherland plays Jack (though it does help!), so I'm sure this one will be just as good, if not better.

Anyway, I'm off to bed. Hopefully I won't be getting an dreams/nightmares like the weird one I had last night (It ended with me being trapped in a dark room and seeing the back of somebody's skull with pieces missing out of it. I tried screaming or shouting, but nothing would come out of my mouth. I remember trying to wake myself up and once I did I couldn't get back to sleep).

Apoligies for the rambling entry. Thanks to Graeme, Sueellen, Ben, Me, Myself & I and Suz. Take care.

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28th January 2005

Friday - 6.45pm : It's the weekend at last! I have no plans, other than to take some DVDs back to the rental store and write a letter or two. That's it. I'm trying not to spend money needlessly, so no trips to Shrewsbury or any place where I might be tempted to buy stuff.

Brian McFadden seems to have done well for himself since leaving Westlife. I must admit that I do prefer his solo material to that of Westlife. Since I've enjoyed listening to Brian's songs on the radio, I decided to order his debut solo album, Irish Son. It arrived in the mail today and, after only listening to it once so far, I'm quite impressed with it. It contains 11 tracks, the last of which is 'Almost Here', a wonderful duet with Delta Goodrem. When I've bought an album, I always have a flick through the booklet and this time it revealed one of the reasons why I like this album. Previously unknown to me, Brian seems to have aquired a writing partner in the form of Guy Chambers, Robbie's old writing partner.

Talking of Robbie Williams... It's the UK premier of The Magic Roundabout movie this Sunday and it's on general release at cinemas around the UK from Friday 11th February. I can't wait to see it! In it, Robbie does the voice over for Dougal and I just crack up every time I hear his voice in the trailer. I don't know why!

Anyway, I'm off to watch Waking Up In Reno as it's the last of the 3 DVDs I rented last Saturday. Catch you later! Thanks to Mark, Meredith, Graeme and Natalie (Unfortunately cameras weren't allowed, so no pictures). Take care.

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27th January 2005

Thursday - 10.30pm : I didn't go to college tonight, instead I went to see Jack Dee at the local theatre (which just happens to be part of the college). Jack put on a fantastic performance. I laughed all the way through and thoroughly enjoyed myself. A lot of comedians have a support act (which helps rising comedians and ensures the crowd are in a jolly mood when the star act appears), but Jack didn't need one. He had us laughing from his first words. 10 out of 10, but then he is one of the UK's top comedians!

Sadly, on to more serious things.......

Over the last couple of years or so I have been reading Ivan Noble's Tumour diary on the BBC News website. He has shared his experiences of coping (and sometimes not coping) with a malignant brain tumour, since August 2002. Today's entry left me fighting back the tears. It is his last entry. The time has come where he is not able to continue writing this diary. I wish him and his family all the best for what is going to be a very difficult time. He has provided optimism, hope and inspiration for readers, especially those who have suffered or cared for a cancer sufferer. He also ended his last post with a plea and I hope the message gets out there to people. He writes "I still have no idea why I ended up with a cancer, but plenty of other cancer patients know what made them ill. If two or three people stop smoking as a result of anything I have ever written then the one of them who would have got cancer will live and all my scribblings will have been worthwhile. " Think about it. I don't like to preach, but... Yes, there's always a "but". I've never smoked, so I don't know what the cravings are like when somebody is trying to give up. But, I'm pretty damned sure I'd prefer to suffer the cravings than to go through the hell of what is cancer.

Anyway, I'm pretty tired, so I'm going to leave you with my thanks and head off to bed. Thanks to Ben, Graeme, Natalie (Great to hear from you again!), Katrina, Skye and Manu.

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25th January 2005

Tuesday - 10.35pm : If you were to type the words 'Christian Slater stalker' into Google, could you guess which website appeared on the first page? Yes, Nikki-ann.co.uk! People... I'm not a stalker (despite what one or two of you might think!), let alone Mr Slater's stalker. Honest! (Thanks to Orion for pointing that out).

So far, I've watched 2 of the 3 DVDs I rented on Saturday. The first was Catch Me If You Can, starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. Leonardo plays a con artist who starts at an early age, while Tom's character has made it his life to catch him. It's based on a true story and I enjoyed watching it, so it's one I'd recommend. The second DVD I watched was Anger Management, starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. It was quite a funny movie and I was certainly giggling when Adam's character had to sing "I feel pretty / oh, so pretty / oh, so pretty and witty and... gay" (Sorry, I can't remember the name of the song). I'll probably watch Waking Up In Reno on Friday night.

Season 4 of '24' starts here on Sunday night, so I'm sure you know what I'll be watching every Sunday evening. I've already seen the preview for it on Sky One, so I'm really looking forward to my weekly dose of Kiefer Sutherland.

I won't be going to my Creative Photography class this week. Instead, I'm going to see comedian Jack Dee at my local theatre, so that should be good. He's very dry-witted, but I've enjoyed seeing him on TV, so I'm sure I'll enjoy his stage show, too.

I got somewhat annoyed by watching the Welsh news today. It's been announced that Clogau Gold will be moving it's production of Welsh gold jewellery to China to "keep up with demand". Yet another company moving abroad to get cheap labour by the sound of it. Gold from the Clogau mine (which I visited some years ago) was used in wedding rings for such people as the Queen and the Prince & Princess of Wales, so it's obviously top quality stuff!

On the topic of Wales and all things Welsh - Today is St. Dwynwen's Day, here in Wales. It's the Welsh equivelent of St. Valentine's Day, except very few people celebrate it. So, happy St. Dwynwen's Day to you all!

Right then, it's nearly bed time for me. Thanks to Graeme (I hope your mum had a nice birthday), Meredith, Me, Myself & I, Sueellen, Skye, Sonia, Orion and Mark (Thanks!). Night!

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22nd January 2005

Saturday - 5.25pm : I have added another page to the website. It's in the Photography section and contains a handful of the black & white photos I've developed at my Creative Photography class. In other words, it holds some of the photos I took at The Darkness gig in December. Let me know what you think!

I popped into town earlier as I needed to re-fuel my car and get some cash out. While I was down there, I picked up Days of Thunder (starring Tom Cruise) on DVD for £5.99 and rented Catch Me If You Can (starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio), Anger Management (starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson) and Waking Up In Reno (starring Billy Bob Thornton) in the 'Rent 2 Get 1 Free' for 7 nights offer. So I've got plenty of film-watching ahead of me over the next few days. I managed to stop myself buying some CDs (most of which I've wanted since before Christmas) and it took me a while to decide whether I should get Days of Thunder or not, but £5.99 is a bargin.

Please excuse me while I get chocolate & cream all over my hands. Mum just passed me a chocolate eclair!

Still no official news on Adam Gaynor leaving Matchbox Twenty, so I'm treating it as a rumour until it's announced officially. Though, sadly, neither Adam or the rest of the band have come forward to say that it's not true. On a brighter note, lead singer Rob Thomas' solo album is due out in a few months, so I'm looking forward to hearing that.

Oh... It's snowing outside at the moment! It was raining earlier, so I'm not sure if it will stick. I'm not entirely sure I want it to stick earlier! While I love snow, driving in it isn't my thing and I'll be driving to Ludlow tomorrow.

Talking of tomorrow... It's Mum's birthday tomorrow! I won't tell you how old she'll be though, I wouldn't want to risk that knowing she's got net access.

Anyway, that's all for now, folks. Take care and thanks to Strizzt, Graeme (I think you did), Lissy (My head feels okay at the moment, thanks!), Miss M (I do feel better thanks) and Ben.

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19th January 2005

Wednesday - 10.45pm : Tonight's entry is most likely going to be centred around music. Anyway.......

This is possibly old news to any Americans out there, but Matchbox Twenty news tends to filter slowly over here. Billboard reports that Adam Gaynor has parted ways with MB20, apparently "The band has decided not to renew his services". I haven't a clue what happened there, but there's no official news yet. The band is on hiatus at the moment anyway - most of the members are involved in various solo projects (Rob Thomas' album is due out in May). My 2 cents worth is that I couldn't imagine MB20 without Adam. I remember seeing him at a Bon Jovi gig in Cardiff and MB20 were one of the support acts. During a break before MB20 were due on stage, Adam came to the security area between the stage and the audience and filmed the audience and talked with a few of the fans by the barrier. Nice guy.

Meatloaf will be announcing a new tour here in a few weeks. I didn't think he'd be doing another one. Sooo... Guess who might just get tickets! I've thought about going to see him before, but I've always had other plans arranged when I found out about previous tours.

Hmmm... So much for me saving money this year!

As mentioned on the 'Side Blog', I've had a headache since Sunday. I've had one on & off today too - I really need to get these things sorted. I've had a couple of good suggestions from friends, to see certain people about them, but my memory is that bad tonight that I can't think of the right words! (I'll think of them half way through the night, probably).

I've got college tomorrow night, so there may be a new picture or two from me by the weekend. That's about it from me for tonight, it's time I was getting myself to bed. Thanks to Stephen, Mark, Lissy and Graeme (I wouldn't want to go on my own).

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15th January 2005

Saturday - 10.45pm : I actually started writing an entry after my college class on Thursday night, but I never got around to finishing it. So here I am again, let's see if I can get this one done. I've been feeling a bit... I don't know... bleh... lately. If you know what I mean! In a 'can't be bothered' kind of mood, I guess. I've just felt so tired these past two weeks and I've not felt interested in much. Hopefully, it will pass soon!

I've now finished watching all of the episodes on the Long Way Round DVD, as well as the special features. It's just fantastic and it makes me want to get out into the world and do something like that. I love watching travel programmes, especially Michael Palin's, but I think Charley & Ewan's adventure was great. I loved seeing their personal video diaries, what went into organising the trip, the ups & downs, and all the different places they went to. I know it was a once in a lifetime trip, but I hope they do something like that again sometime. Heck, I hope I get off my backside and do something like that sometime.

Talking of Ewan....... From June until October, he'll be starring in a stage production of 'Guys & Dolls' at London's Piccadilly. So, I'm thinking of going down to see it on the weekend before my birthday in June. (I'm quite getting into this theatre lark!). It seems to be a bit of a trend at the moment, what with quite a few big name actors starring in theateland productions. Well, I guess it has probably been going on for a while, but it just so happens that some of my favourite actors have decided to venture into London to do the same. The only thing is that because I live so far away from the big smoke, it tends to be a costly weekend by the time you've counted up the cost of the ticket/s, hotel, travel and food, not to mention spending money. Ah well.......

I spent this afternoon with a friend in Ludlow. She needed help with something on her computer and I hadn't seen her since just before Christmas, so it was nice to have a catch-up. She knows just how to make a girl from Mid Wales smile - Hot chocolate and a cream cake! It seems to be a ritual we have when I visit, and I must say, it's a great one! I don't eat cake often, so it's a real treat.

Anyway, thanks all for now folks. There maybe a photo or two from me tomorrow, we'll see. Thanks go out to Mark, Suzanne, Xtel, Lissy, Graeme, Skye and Manu.

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9th January 2005

Sunday - 9.55pm : The weekend is at an end. I'm not entirely sure where the last couple of days have gone, but I am sure that the weekend was just as lazy as I'd planned it to be. I'd only been back in work 4 days (after the Christmas/New Year break) and I'm already tired and headachey. The headaches set in just as I got home from the first day back at work. (Maybe I'm allergic to work! Hehe).

Frankie
Frankie Poullain - The Darkness
I've scanned in another of the photos I developed at my class on Thursday evening. The small version of it to the right isn't really big enough for you to see any detail, so feel free to click here to see a larger version of it. This time it's not Justin Hawkins, it's Frankie Poullain. As usual, feel free to let me know what you think. I'm just itching to take some more black & white photos, so I guess I'd better get and order some!

I have just checked my email (as I always do several things whilst writing my journal) and, once again, Gra has written his while I've been doing mine. If his posts noted what time he'd written them you'd notice probably around a third, if not a half, of our posts are written around about the same time. (I just thought you might like to know that!).

Anyway, time for me to go and finish writing a letter I started last night. Take care. With thanks to Graeme, Ben, Mark, Strizzt, SNiP, Sueellen and Me, Myself & I.

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7th January 2005

Friday - 9.45pm : Did nobody notice that I was a year behind everyone else on my last entry? The date read "4th January 2004", but I didn't notice until just now and none of you lot told me! Ah well, I've changed it to it's proper date... Oh heck, I've just realised I've done it again. That's better. Apologies for me rambling here!

Justin
Justin Hawkins - The Darkness
My evening college class started again last night, after the Christmas holidays. The first 5 minutes or so were spent in complete darkness, so a couple of the others could get their films in the development tanks (Films have to be developed in complete darkness). Since I've had headaches and such all week, standing in the darkness made me feel a little dizzy. I guess it doesn't help when my eyes are trying to focus on something, but they can't because there's zero light. Completely blind.

Anyway, as you can see, I've scanned in one of the photos I developed last night (You can see a larger version here). I managed to develop 5 this week (So I might scan in a couple more over the weekend) and I can't wait until next week to develop some more. I'm going to develop as many photos as possible from The Darkness gig, but I'll be taking some more black & white photos too (I just need to buy some more B & W film).

Thew new season of 24 starts here in the UK at the end of the month and I can't wait. A steady flow of episodes to keep me happy for the next few months. As a Kiefer Sutherland fan, '24' is a real blessing!

Anyway, 4 days of being back at work seems to have taken it's toll on me. I'm off to continue listening to the brilliant soundtrack to Young Guns II : Blaze of Glory. Thanks to Skye, Ben (Dad had the book for Christmas), Graeme and Mark.

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4th January 2005

Tuesday - 10.15pm : Today was my first day back in work after my Christmas/New Year break. It went okay, but I came home with a headache. The headache soon disappeared, so I didn't think anything more of it. Anyway, at half 7 I headed off down to the pub with a friend for a bit of a gossip. As she was talking, my mind began to wander and then I felt light-headed. I couldn't focus on anything and I felt dizzy, but thankfully I was sat down, else I'm sure I'd have ended up on the floor! It was over in a minute or so, but I still don't feel quite right. (Maybe it was caused by exessive brain use at work or something? Who knows?!).

I think my favourite Christmas present has got to be a DVD which I had asked for. It's called Long Way Round and it documents an extraordinary adventure around the world (on motorbikes) by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. I've already watched all of the extra features and I have just 2 more episodes to watch. Their journey takes them from London to New York via Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia, Canada and the USA. You get to see the kind of organisation it takes to put a trip like this together, the ups & downs, the dangers and the personal thoughts of both Ewan & Charley. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone. I guess it combines three things that I like... 1 - Travel. 2 - Motorbikes, and 3 - Ewan McGregor!

I'm back at my Creative Photography evening class at college on Thursday, so be on the look-out for more black & white photos. They'll be photos from The Darkness gig I went to in December, because I still need to shoot another reel of black & white film. Ideas are welcome, people!

Right then, I'm off to the comfort of my duvet & pillow. Take care. Thanks to Ben, Graeme, Me, Myself & I, Miss M, Mark and Sueellen.

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1st January 2005 - New Year's Day

Saturday - 9.15pm : I'm not entirely sure where 2004 went, but... Happy New Year! I think 2004 was possibly the best year I've ever had. I got to meet new friends, get together with old ones and meet some of my favourite actors. I also passed both my theory and practical driving tests and I've started a Creative Photography evening class, so I think I've acheived more than I thought I would during 2004. I also spent more money than I thought I would... but nevermind. Here's hoping 2005 will be just as good, maybe better, than 2004!

I started the new year off with a trip to the cinema today. I went to see National Treasure - starring Nicolas Cage, Sean Bean and Harvey Keitel. I quite enjoyed it and, since it's PG-rated, it's definitely a good film for any of the family to watch. Nick Cage usually makes for a good film.

Which reminds me... I rented a couple of DVDs yesterday and I haven't watched either of them yet. I think I'll put one on once I've finished this. I rented Stuck On You and Two Brothers, so it looks like it's film-fest day for me. I had a bit of an Angel-fest yesterday afternoon - I wasn't feeling too good, so I cheered myself up by watching the entirety of the first DVD of Season 3 (which arrived in the mail on Thursday, along with GTA : San Andreas).

I saw a funny thing last night. I was watching Jools Holland's Hootenany last night on TV, and among his guests was the UK Ukelele Orchestra. You'll never guess what song they played... Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. Yes, they played it on their ukeleles and one guy 'sang'. There was another guy headbanging while playing his ukekele, which made it even funnier!

Anyway, I can't quite remember what I was actually going to write about tonight, I guess that's something to do with the WKD Blue I've been drinking. Not that I've got a great memory anyway! (Well, I have, but it's full of useless facts). Time for me to get going. Thanks to Ben, Mark, SNiP, Graeme and Miriam.

All the best!

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