31st July 2005
Sunday - 3.15pm : Last entry of the month! What a month it's been. Live 8 kicked it off with a fantastic day of music, I visted Lisa & Harley for a couple of days, I've seen Will Young in concert, James Marsters got a part in Smallville and I've seen a whole host of movies. So all in all it's been a good month.
Great news on the F1 front for me today - Kimi Riakkonen's engine held out and he went on to win the race from 4th on the starting grid! It could have been a 1-2 podium finish for McLaren, but unfortunately Montoya's car had to retire half way through the race. Still, I was happy enough with Kimi's win, especially considering Alonso's accident at the beginning of the race which caused him to finished outside of the points. Unfortunately, Alonso's front wing dropped off and David Coulthard couldn't avoid it, so it ended up throwing him off track. Anyway, Riakkonen is now only 26 points behind Alonso. So maybe, just maybe, there's something he can do to catch up with Alonso between now and the end of the season, but it's a long shot.
Shockingly, I haven't rented any DVDs this weekend and I didn't make it to the cinema either. I know, there must be something wrong with me! I've got plenty of DVDs here though, so I might settle down and watch Firefly in a bit - I can't wait for the Serenity movie to come out. There's so much hype about the movie at the moment it's hard to believe that Firefly after just 1 season a couple of years ago.
Because I'm a bit of a dreamer and I've always wanted to travel, I've started writing down little notes about places I want to go and things I want to see. So far I've noted down places such as Wielizka Salt Mine (Near Krakow, Poland), Church of Bones (Sedlec, Czech Republic), Le Mont Saint Michel (Normandy, France) and others. So let me know if you know of any places you think I might like to visit.
28th July 1005
Thursday - 10.20pm : I've not long stepped out of the shower. I'd say I enjoyed it, but the damned thing has a mind of it's own. You set it to the setting you want and for a few minutes it's lovely. Then it decides to scold you! No warning or anything, it just whacks the temperature up for a minute, causing me to nigh on jump out of my skin. This is why I usually have a bath instead!
Talking of water... I got drenched during my lunch break today. I looked like a drowned rat by the time I got back to work. Our summer has gone from sunshine to downpour within just a couple of days. I hope it brightens up for the weekend.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is released in UK cinemas tomorrow. So I'm considering seeing it this weekend. I can't resist it! I was a big fan of Roald Dahl until he died in 1990. He was a fantastic children's author and had such imagination. This book has been made into a movie before (but under the name Willy Wonker and the Chocolate Factory and with Gene Wilder as Willy Wonker). Also, with the wonderful Johnny Depp as Wonka this time, I'm sure it'll be a fantastic movie.
Anyway, it's just a short entry from me today... I really can't think of anything interesting to write. So I'll just leave you with my thanks - Karen (I might rent Million Dollar Baby this weekend), Lisa E, Kati, Mark, Lissy, Melly, Katie-in-Seattle (Here we can drive learn to drive at 17 and drink at 18. Not sure about renting cars though), Andrea, Mandy and Liza Marie (Glad you're back with us!). Take care.
24th July 2005
Sunday - 8.35pm : I must start today's entry by saying "Happy Birthday!" to my good friend Ellie! Just like me, she's reached the grand old age of a quarter of a century and I just know this is going to be a fantastic year for her (what with her heading to New Zealand for a while - lucky so & so).
I've had the lazy weekend that I'd planned. I popped into town yesterday and picked up a couple of DVDs along with a couple of bags of sweeties and a magazine. The rest of the weekend has mainly been spent in front of the TV.
The first of the DVDs that I rented was The Magic Roundabout. Obviously it's a kids film, but I think it appeals to adults too, what with the TV series being a classic from our childhood. My favourite character has always being Dougal and what made it even better was Robbie Williams doing Dougal's voice. Anyway, I loved it. The old TV series was crazy and they made sure that craziness was kept in this animated film. There was Dougal the sugar addict dog, Ermintrude the opera singing cow, Dylan the stoned bunny and all the other usual characters. It's well worth watching - it's fun for both the kids and the adults. It got me laughing anyway!
The second DVD I rented was Hitch. Will Smith plays a professional "date doctor", but ends up having a few dating problems of his own. Will is his usually comical self and Kevin Smith is quite funny too, especially when he starts dancing! It's a movie well worth watching, especially if you're after a laugh.
This afternoon I watched the F1 German Grand Prix. With Kimi Riakkonen (McLaren) stating from pole position and leading the race from the start it was all going fantastic. That was until Kimi's car died half way through the race! I knew it was all going far too well. Over the last few races Kimi's engine hadn't got past Friday practice meaning he'd always have to start 10 places back from where he qualifyied. This time it was worse, with it dying during the race he had no chance of collecting any points and ensuring Alonso (Renault) gained an even bigger advantage in the race for the championship title. I was consoled by the fact that Montoya (McLaren) started 19th (after spinning off during qualifying) and raced through the pack finishing 2nd. Still, not much help to Riakkonen and his world championship chances.
Anyway, time for me to go. Thanks to Lisa E, Karen, Andrea, Kati, Strizzt, Mandy, Katie-in-Seattle (No, I've not seen Charlie & The Chocolate Factory yet. It's not out here until next Friday) and Nick (No, I'm not going through a lazy stage in my life. I'm going through a hectic work stage in my life!).
22nd July 2005
Friday - 10.20pm : I'm feeling so tired at the moment. I came home from work earlier, put a CD on and just crashed on the bed. I've just not been feeling 100% for a few days now. Everything feels like it requires so much effort, even sitting here and writing this. The headaches have been back again and I've had a sore neck the last couple of days. At 6am this morning I woke up with severe cramp in my leg. Mum says she hates to think how I'll feel when I'm her age! Ah well, enough with the moaning.......
I rented The Machinist while I was in town during my lunch break today. I watched it earlier on and it's definitely an interesting movie. Christian Bale plays an industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year and begins to doubt his own sanity. Christian dropped down to around 120 pounds for the role and looks like a dead man walking, which all adds to the film. It's definitely another film I'd recommend watching.
I'll be taking the DVD back to the rental store tomorrow, so I might just pick up another DVD while I'm there, but something that requires less brain power this time. Such as The Magic Roundabout.
James Marsters had recently hinted that he'd got a part in a TV series, but he wasn't allowed to say what it was (in fact, he'd given the series bit out in a series of nods). Anyway, rumours flew around about which series it could be, but it seems that it's now been confirmed. Smallville. As I write this, JM's website hasn't mentioned it (which is usually when James related things are "official"), but apparently he'll be playing the part of Brainiac (the comic book fans will know who that is). So it looks like I might just have to start watching Smallville.
I've no plans for the weekend, other than to have a lazy one and watch the F1 German Grand Prix. Should be good.
That's all from me. Thanks for commenting go out to Me, Myself & I, Lisa E, Katie-in-Seattle (I don't know, I've never read the book), Karen, Mandy, Andrea, Donatienne, Melly and Cass (The CD arrived today!).
19th July 2005
Tuesday - 9.25pm : Doh! I just realised I should've bought a birthday card and present while I was in town during my lunch break today. I must remember to go and get them tomorrow! Saying that, what do you get somebody who's about to disappear off to New Zealand for anything from a couple of months to a year? Hmmm... Maybe I should just buy myself a plane ticket, turn up at the airport and say "Surprise!". Now that's an idea!
I went to the cinema to see War of the Worlds last night. It was so hot in the cinema during the film that I thought I was going to self-combust at one point! I thought it was just me, until I spoke to a friend afterwards who confirmed that she'd practically been melting too. Maybe they weren't selling enough drinks and ice-lollies at the kiosk or something!
Anyway, War of the Worlds is a fantastic film, although I have to say that I think the ending lacked something. The beginning and middle were so spectacular that I guess I must have been expecting more from the ending. Still, definitely worth while going to see. Seeing it at the cinema is a must... The sound the tripods make (very much like the foghorn of a ship, but creepier) made it that bit scarier. I have to admit that this isn't really usually my type of film, but I couldn't resist the lure Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg. I'm definitely glad I went to see it at the cinema now. It's a great film and one I'll be getting on DVD when it comes out.
Well, I've booked the tickets for Thunder Sunday at Rockingham for 7th August. Should be a good day, especially with Rooster on stage. I had a great time the last time I went (Photos can be found here) - The Darkness took to the stage at that event.
Talking of The Darkness... While we're awaiting their 2nd album, Justin is treating us to his solo talents. His debut solo single, 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us' (a Sparks cover), is due out on 15th August. If you want to know more, visit British Whale.
17th July 2005
I went to see Will Young at The Quarry in Shrewsbury. The weather was great - warm, but with a nice breeze - and Will put on a good show. His support act was a band called Nuff Orchestra. I was a bit dubious when I heard their name, but Chris (one of the two lead singers) has a fantastic voice and they did a good job in warming up the crowd. I quite enjoyed seeing them. Well worth listening to. (Click here or on the picture to enlarge).
Will arrived on stage just after 9pm and put on a great performance. He chatted to the crowd inbetween songs and even acknowledged the annoying kid by me who kept jumping up & down, waving his cap and shouting "Will!" over and over everytime Will came to our side of the stage. He mentioned he'd got a cold, poor bloke, I know how he feels! Near the end of his set, a couple of lads had somehow got past security and were on stage dancing. Will made light of it and joined in with them, before the security people dragged them off.
The finale was a spectacular fireworks display. I would have taken photos of it, but the new SD card in my camera decided it was corrupted about half an hour into Will's performance, so I didn't have a chance to. Nevermind, they always have a spectacular fireworks display at the Shrewsbury Flower Show, so I might pop down and take photos then.
After Will's gig last night and Jools Holland's the night before, I'm hoping they have provided a springboard into having more events like those in Shrewsbury. There didn't seem to be any problems for anyone to get to or from there (despite there not being parking at The Quarry), so hopefully we'll see similar events next summer.
14th July 2005
Thursday - 10.10pm : I can't believe that I have come down with a summer cold. I felt it coming on a few days ago. Dry throat, dry cough, nose threatening to run, tired and a banging head. I suspect it's going to hang over me for a week, but I've got plenty to keep me busy for the next week or so, so I'm hoping I won't feel too bad most of the time. Anyway, I forgot all about it earlier just by watching a DVD.
I popped into town just my lunch break and rented Pursued. It's a movie starring one of my favourite actors, Christian Slater. Christian plays Vincent Palmer, a psychotic headhunter who's aim is to recruit a certain hi-tech executive, and he will do whatever he has to to get him. Slater is great as a crazy guy! It's a good thriller film and well worth a watch.
Before the movie started, the usual trailers were played. There's one trailer I've seen a few times and as soon as I cast my eyes over it in Choices I'll rent it. It's called The Machinist and stars Christian Bale. He plays a machinist who is suffering badly from insomnia, he's not been able to sleep for a year. It's a risky recipe and it looks great! I can't wait to see it.
Talking of movies - I'm going to see War of the Worlds on Monday evening. There's quite a few films I want to see at the moment and the amount of DVDs I want to buy is rising. I'm trying to save money though, so I'll have to look at which ones I really want (such as season 4 of 24) and which ones I just want. Christmas is a long way off!
Rumour has it that Robbie Williams will be doing a UK stadium tour in 2006. It will be great news if it's confirmed, because Robbie hasn't played live here (apart from Live 8) since 2003 (when I got burnt at Knebworth). I just hope he does something a little closer to home than Knebworth this time, though Manchester City's football ground has been suggested. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Dad and I have decided to go to the next Thunder Sunday at Rockingham in August. I was going to ask my brother if he wanted to come too, but I'm guessing he won't be allowed as it'll be his 1st wedding anniversary! It'll be a great day. On-track, there's going to be 2 rounds of the SCSA Racing American Stock Car Championship and a Pickup Truck Racing Championship race. Off-track, there will be an air display by a Vampire (!!!), a race for all sporting mascots on the pit straight, a fun fair, world recording breaking attempts in VW Camper Vans and Rooster will be playing on stage!
Anyway, Michael Palin is on TV now, so I'm off. Thanks go out to Andrea, Mark, Lissy, Graeme, Lisa E, Miss M, Me, Myself & I, Katie-in-Seattle, Nick, Kelly, Tracey (Harley is 2!), Moni and SNiP. Take care.
10th July 2005
Sunday - 3.15pm : I've just been watching the F1 British Grand Prix and I'm happy with the result. The McLaren cars finished 1st and 3rd, just one place away from the perfect race. Montoya raced Alonso right until the very end to grab the top place on the podium, while Riakkonen came through from 12th on the grid (due to a 10 place grid penalty because of an engine change in practice - again!) to finish 3rd and grab the fastest lap of the race. Brilliant.
I'm back home after my 2 day trip to Melton to visit Lisa. I thought I'd hand-deliver her birthday presents and spend some time with her and little Harley whie I was at it. I acquired a new best friend while I was there...
Little Harley took a shine to me while I was there, which is funny because me and toddlers don't usually get along that well. I ended up playing cars with him. He kept bringing me his big police truck and another car so I would roll them across the floor. Sometimes he would sit on the floor and roll them back, other times he would pick them up and bring them back to me. Then a little later on, midway through his afternoon nap, Harley picked up his Noddy blanket and came to me for cuddles. Now that is something that never happens! He even came to me a couple of times, when he was upset and crying, to put his head on my knee. So it looks like I've made a new friend... all be it one who's got a snotty nose at the moment... something I can't stand. But hey, it's Harley!
Tammy, Lisa's little sister, came over after school on Friday afternoon. She's really taken with Lisa's tiny kitten, Tabby. She kept asking me questions like "Why is she purring?", "How should you carry her?" and "What does it mean when she's wagging her tail?". Why this. Why that. It's was like 101 questions! She even asked how I knew so much about cats! I didn't mind though. I think it's great when kids want to know more about things.
Tabby isn't quite as sweet and innocent as she looks though. I went to bed quite late on Friday night (around 2.30am Saturday morning in fact) and, since I'd been up since 6am Friday morning, I was looking forward to some sleep. Tabby had different ideas. She kept attacking me, if she wasn't trying to attack my arm she was trying to attack my hair! Then she'd attack one of the plants and try to eat it. She nigh on destroyed it, so I thought I'd better take it into the kitchen out of her way so Lisa would actually have a plant left by Saturday morning. Then Tabby would go and sit on the fish tank or just run around and jump for no particular reason. Everytime she moved the bell on her collar rattled. By 3 or 4am I was so tired that I couldn't sleep (if you know what I mean) and the bubbling of the fish tank and the tick-tock of the wall clock seemed louder than ever. I ended up only getting a couple of hours sleep, but it was better than nothing.
Lisa's brother Chris and his girlfriend turned up around an hour before I was due to go and catch my train. Thankfully, he was nice enough to give me a lift to the train station, so Lisa came down as well and we all had a chat on the platform before my train arrived to whisk me away back home.
Click here to see the photos I took while visiting Lisa. They're mainly of Harley, but there's also some of the kitten, a bunny and me & Lisa.
James Marsters has added another date to his visit to London in October. He'll now also be doing a gig at Carling Academy Islington to go along with his concert at St. James's Church and the Words & Music performances at The Mermaid Theatre. I've got my tickets booked for the evening Words & Music performance and for the St. James's Church gig, but I don't think I'll be going to the Academy gig. After all, I'm trying to save money, not give it all to James!
Other James Marsters news is that it looks like he's set to be in a TV series. All we know is there's a job on the horizon, but he's not allowed to talk about it. At a recent con, somebody asked him to nod if it's a TV series, which he did. So rumours are that it's The Dresden Files, but I'm doubting that as nothing has come through from Jim Butcher's camp. I'll guess we'll find out soon enough.
Right then, that's enough from me. I hope everyone is having a nice weekend. Thanks to Lisa E, Moni, Graeme, Andrea, Karen (You can order from Lush online and there are shops in the USA! Enjoy. I can't wait to order myself some more Lush stuff), Kati, Katie, Nick, Skye, Lissy Evie, Melly and Mandy. Take care.
7th July 2005
Thursday - 10.30pm : I'm just out of the bath and smelling of Lush's Candy Fluff Dusting Powder (it's like talc, but smells much nicer and sparkles a bit). A calming end to what was otherwise a shocking and awful day for many people.
I'm sure everyone has now heard about the bombs in London this morning. It makes me angry that anyone can do something like this to innocent people. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. I grew up seeing IRA terrorist attacks on the news and it's not something I want to see again, whoever it's done by. It just makes me glad that I'm lucky enough to live where I do, in the peaceful countryside. My heart and thoughts go out to those who were caught up in this morning's carnage and to those who's friends and relatives have been caught up in it.
We had a visitor in our garden the other evening. Yes, the little squirrel had returned. He sat on our neighbour's fence just watching the world around him. I went outside to take some photos of him, but he didn't seem bothered at all. He glanced at me a couple of times, but that's all. He's quite tame. (You can click here or on the picture to see a larger version). I'd take photos of some of the birds that visit our garden, but they always disappear pretty sharpish. I love living in the countryside and seeing the wildlife on my doorstep.
I'm off to Melton tomorrow to visit Lisa. I've not seen her for around 7 months so it'll be great to see her again. I'm taking her birthday presents over and a couple of other things for her. She's had clues as to what she's getting, but that's all. Oh, and she know's that one is a Jim Butcher book (which she'll no doubt have read before I leave on Saturday afternoon!). Anyway, I'll be taking my camera with me, so expect some pictures when I get back!
It's the F1 British Grand Prix on Sunday. Of course, I'll be watching it. The McLaren cars are tipped to do well this weekend. I'll be rooting for them as usual. Kimi really needs a win at the moment. Somebody else I'll be rooting for is David Coulthard in his Red Bull car. Talking of DC, he's signed up with the Red Bull team for the 2006 season. That's great news to know he'll still be racing. There's a slight downside for me though. I'm one of those people who do not like Ferrari. In 2006 Red Bull will essentially be 'Red Bull Ferrari' as they'll be racing with a Ferrari engine. I think I can cope with that though... At least they won't be run by the Ferrari team.
Anyway, I'd better get going. I've got an early start in the morning (I'll be leaving here 7am at the very latest). Thanks to Lisa E (See you tomorrow morning!), Mark, Karen, Andrea, Katie (Everytime I try to take photos of people they hide! The only ones who don't hide tend to be the famous ones), Graeme, Suzanne (All the photos I've taken in the past week have been with my Canon PowerShot S2 IS. The others have been taken with my Canon EOS 300 or with my Ricoh compact camera), Jem (I think it's something that could happen over time, but it's never going to be an overnight miracle) and Strizzt.
4th July 2005
Monday - 9.45pm : Yes, I'm still alive and hopefully so is this website! My hosting company seemed to be having problems with the server over the weekend, so one minute it was up and the next it was down. I've got my fingers crossed that it'll stay awake from now on. It usually behaves itself anyway.
I've been taking some photos with my new camera (Click here to see a few). Nothing too interesting though, I only had a 16MB card to play with... until today. When I arrived home from work my 1GB card was waiting for me, so I popped it straight in the camera and now I've got room for over hundreds of photos of the highest quality.
I'll be taking plenty of pictures on Friday/Saturday. Why? Well, I've booked Friday off work and I'll be going to visit Lisa and little Harley in Melton. I'll be hand-delivering Lisa's birthday present. It's late - her birthday was last week) - but I figured it would put a smile on Lisa's face if I took it to her (and I love to see people opening presents).
I spent the majority of the weekend in front of the TV. I don't think I've watched so much TV in my entire life! The reason? Live8. I watched the London one all the way through, apart from bits when I flicked over to the Philidelphi one (and occasionally the European ones too) using BBCi. That way I managed to catch all of my favourite acts, such as Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Maroon 5, Duran Duran, Scissor Sisters, Rob Thomas and Robbie Williams. Everyone put on good performances, but I thought Robbie really got the crowd going, but then he always does!
I watched the F1 French Grand Prix yesterday. I was a bit down-heartened when Kimi Raikkonen was issued with a 10 place penalty for his engine failure on Friday. He qualified in 3rd, but the penalty meant he'd start from 13th on the grid. Not good when your championship contenders are at the front. Anyway, Kimi being Kimi made the best of things and landed himself 2nd place on the podium! When both he and his McLaren team-mate Montoya, came out of the pits in front of Michael Schumacher, I was practically jumping up and down with happiness! It wasn't the most exciting of races, what with Alonso leading the way constantly, but I was proud of my Mclaren boy for getting all the way from 13th to 2nd place. Who knows what would have happened if he hadn't have had a 10 place penalty, maybe Alonso wouldn't have scampered off so quickly.
I'm sure I had more to tell you, but it escapes my mind. Time for me to get going. Thanks go out to Graeme, Mark, Lisa E, Karen, Lissy, Katie-in-London (The camera just did it, I had it set on Auto), Melly, Andrea, Sueellen, Kati and Nick.