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30th November 2006

Thursday - 10.55pm : I'm taking part in something called Blog Fodder. Organised by Moogie, it's a way of fighting writer's block... or should that be blogger's block?! Anyway, it's week 1 and this week's question is:

"What are some of your memorable experiences at school?"

In no particular order...

  • High school - Walking along a small brick wall by the 6th form block, falling off and hitting my chin on the wall on the way down. I went to the nearest toilets to get cleaned up (it felt like I'd knocked all my teeth out!) and the head of English shouted at us for being inside at lunch time. My friend explained what had happened and he told me to stop bleeding all over his carpet and get cleaned up!
  • High school - Being sat in an English class and one by one each of us had to read a passage from a book. It was my turn. I hated reading aloud and what happened didn't help matters. I can't remember the exact line but instead of "beast" I said "breast"! I'm sure you can imagine the reaction of a bunch of 13 year olds.
  • Primary school - The bell rang for break and we all ran outside for break-time. I'm not sure exactly what happened but I went flying. My knees and hands hit the ground hard. My knees were cut open and were bleeding. Even the plasters (band aids) didn't stop it totally. I've still got the scars on my knees too.
  • High school - Accidentally dropping a jar of acid/alkaline in the science lab. The science teacher had his hand on the bench at the time. It was bandaged for months and I felt unbelievably guilty.
  • High school - A lad a year older than my friends & I was bullying us on the school bus and at school. I told Wes, the son of one of Dad's friends, and he said he'd sort it. I'm not exactly sure what he said to the lad, but not long after Wes pulled him over to apologise to me and he never came near us again! (Thanks Wes!).

So there you go. Not the best of school experiences, but that's about the best you're going to get from me, I'm afraid.

Thanks to Liza Marie, Liss, Andrea, Karen, Claire and Kerry.

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27th November 2006

Monday - 9.45pm : It's a beautiful world and I love it! What am I talking about? Take That's brand new album Beautiful World. It's well worth the decade long wait!

The biggest surprise? Jason Orange sings lead vocals on 'Wooden Boat'. The song is beautiful. Why hasn't he recorded lead vocals before? I've been waiting for this for a long time. Previously, our only chance to to hear Jason has been when the guys have done The Beatles medley on tour. I hope we get to hear more of Jason in the future.

'Butterfly' (sung by Gary Barlow) is the bonus track on the album, but it deserves to be much more. I adore it and would love it as a single.

Beautiful World is different to their previous albums. Each of the band members have taken their part in lead vocals for a number of the songs. It sounds more mature and I'm sure it will attract a wider audience. As one of them said, they're more of a man band now!

If I had my way I'd be giving everyone this album for Christmas, but instead I'll settle for insisting people give it a try. It's a wonderful album and I'm so glad the boys... sorry... men are back!

True to form... Patience made it to the top of the UK singles chart. Here's hoping the album does the same in the album chart!

Just one more recommendation before I go... Check out the Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny movie website. You'll need your speakers on for the best experience. You'll love it, I promise!

Thanks to Claire, Jean-Luc Picard, Carmi, Liza Marie, Andrea, Karen and Jolynn.

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26th November 2006

Sunday - 5.25pm : I'm hopeless at taking medication. I don't know what I'd do if my life depended on it. As it is, the tablets I've got to take are to ease symptoms so they're there to make life a bit easier. Having IBS and food allergies/intolerances can be a bit inconvenient. I'm managing to take the tablets, but only by eating one with a couple of biscuits and a drink. I'm not sure I should be doing that (they are to be taken 20 minutes before eating), but it's the only way they're going to get swallowed.

I've only just realised I've not mentioned Robbie Williams - And Through It All - Live 1997 - 2006 DVD which was released this month. Basically, it's a double disc collection of of live tracks covering his entire solo career, including a few from his televised Leeds gig a couple of months ago. From his early solo gigs at small venues to this year's huge world stadium tour, from his Brits duet with Tom Jones to singing 'White Christmas' (or at least trying to sing it!) on Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway TV show. It's a fantastic addition to any music lover's DVD collection.

Now on to Robbie's former band mates... Take That's brand new album Beautiful World is released tomorrow. I've got my copy on pre-order and expect it to arrive in the morning, so you can guess what will be in my CD player tomorrow evening. We'll find out by 7pm tonight if their single Patience is this week's number 1... I'm betting it is! It was number 1 in the UK Download chart last week and apparently out-sold Robbie's CD single Lovelight!

Edit: Take That made it to number 1 in the UK Singles Chart!

Right then, I'm off to see if I can sort out some Christmas presents for people. Thanks to Karen, Liza Marie, Cyberevolution, Andrea, Erica, SNiP and Teena.

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21st November 2006

Church of Saint OswaldTuesday - 7.45pm : I had the day off work yesterday, so Dad and I headed up to Malpas, Cheshire in search of ancestors. On the way we passed through a couple of hamlets where some family members had lived and worked.

St. Oswald's church in Malpas stands out above the town and so we made our way there first. A lot of the gravestones had been moved to the boundries of the graveyard and were leaning agains a wall. None of my family members among them. However, I did find a couple of interesting graves. They were both in the shape of coffins and inscribed in Latin. My Latin isn't brilliant, so I couldn't tell you who they belonged to or what year they were from. I just thought they were interesting.

While we didn't find any real family members at the church, we did find somebody who was taken in by the family. He died during World War 1 and was listed on the church's war memorial. While he served in the war he sent postcards to my nan and we still have them here in a box.

I wasn't sure what we would find down at Malpas cemetary. Dad didn't think his Granddad had a gravestone, so our research there didn't look too promising. However, the caretaker was busy working over in one corner and as soon as he saw us we walked over to see if he could help. As soon as we told him what we were up to he disappeared into the house and came out with a big map of the cemetary and a pen & paper. The map gave the surname of the occupant/s of each grave.

The family surname I was looking for marked 4 graves. The first two are distant cousins, but the 3rd grave I found was a surprise. There on a gravestone were the names of my Great Grandparents, Alfred & Mary. They have a gravestone after all! The 4th grave didn't have a headstone, but I'm assuming it was the grave of Alfred's first wife. I guess a little more work would confirm that either way.

Today I was on another fact finding mission. This time at the hospital. I had an appointment with my gastroenterologist. After being asked 101 questions and having my tummy prodded once again, I was given a prescription and a recommendation for an endoscopy (this time going down my throat... ergh!). Mind you, before I even think about that endoscopy I need to get these pills down me and that won't be the easiest of jobs!

Thanks for comments go to Liss, Chrissie, Andrea, Karen, Cyberevolution, Chickadee and Carmi.

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18th November 2006

Saturday - 6.30pm : Earlier in the week I ordered some CDs from HMV. I'd managed to save £6 on Amazon's prices, so it goes to show it pays to shop around. One of the CDs was pre-ordered, but it arrived today - 2 days before it's release! So I've had the pleasure of listening to Take That's new single Patience and it's B-side Beautiful Morning. The new album is out in just over a week and I think it will definiately have been worth the decade long wait! If you visit Take That's new website you'll be able to hear a track a day until the album is released on 27th November.

I watched The Ice Harvest last Sunday evening. It's based on a book by Scott Philips and stars John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton. It's another film I'd recommend. It's definitely worth watching. If you are a fan of Billy Bob's then make sure you watch the bonus features. There's an outtake where Billy Bob takes on his Karl character from Sling Blade for a scene!

NanI've had Dad looking through boxes of family photos again. I asked him for a photo of Nan (his mum), so that meant a trip into the loft. Dad also gave me some photos of other family members. Some I recognise from other pictures and others I don't. Something I need Dad to do is go through that big box of photos and write down who people are. I haven't the foggiest who most of them are and very few have names names on them. I'll have to get an acid-free photo album or something to put them in, but there's just so many photos and they are all different sizes.

The photo to the right is of Nan when she was in her teens (click the photo to enlarge). I definitely follow after her in more ways than one. I have her looks or at least I had them when I was of a similar age. Yesterday I showed the photo to a colleague and he said he could see the resemblance. Dad once told me Nan used to keep everything and I have to confess to being a hoarder. I keep anything and everything. Of course, that means I have to have a sort out every now and then and that's never the easiest thing when you are a natural hoarder.

I think I'll be having an early night tonight. A friend stopped over last night (after some food and Malibu & Coke) and we were up talking until the small hours of the morning. Then somebody spent most of the night snoring quite loudly! So I had a restless night and got very little sleep.

Thanks to Kevin, Mike, Karen, Claire, Liss, Liza Marie and Andrea.

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12th November 2006

AlfredSunday - 7.25pm : I seem to have neglected this journal this past week. I'm busy working on another project this week and, apart from that, I've had very little to mention. I've decided to put my family research all in one place, so I'm creating a website for it. I won't be putting any information about living relatives on it (privacy issues etc), but you never know it might be of help to both me and long lost relatives researching family history.

I bought the Lostprophets Liberation Transmission album earlier this week. After listening to a few songs in a friend's car a few weeks ago I decided I had to buy it. There isn't a bad song on the album. I'd definietly recommend them (and not just because they're Welsh!).

I've rented The Ice Harvest to watch tonight. It stars John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton, who co-starred in Pushing Tin together. I'm a bit of a fan of both Cusack and Billy Bob, so I've been wating to see this one for a while. I'll let you know what I think of it in my next entry.

Anyway, I'm off to watch the DVD. Thanks to Andrea, SNiP, Kevin, Liza Marie, Daystar, Claire, Miss M, Cyberevolution, Karen, Kimm and Jenn.

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5th November 2006

TreeSunday - 4.45pm : I visited another castle this weekend. This time it was in Clun. It wasn't my main reason for visiting Clun, but I can't resist a photo opportunity.

"Around Clun Castle"

Clun Castle Autumn Leaves Clun Castle Clun Landscape Clun Castle Windows Through the castle window Autumn Leaf

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.

My main reason for visiting Clun was to do some more family research on my Granddad's side of the family. I did find something, I just need to see Granddad about it to make sure I'm on the right path.

Talking of family history... I've found Genes Reunited quite useful. I've made a few contacts through the website and even found somebody who has a copy of a family photo we have here! It's a photo of my Great Grandparents Alfred & Mary. It was the exact same photo, so now I'm wondering if each of Alfred's children had a copy of the photo or if it was just a copy of them. Photography wasn't cheap in those days!

Thanks to Liza Marie, Liss, Karen, Andrea, Kevin, Claire, Suzanne, Katie, Skye, Nick and Cyberevolution.

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