31st October 2005
Monday - 7.30pm : I'm back home, but I'm wishing the weekend had been a little longer. I had a great time, it's a pity it all went so quickly. Anyway, I guess I should tell you about my trip.......
Thursday - We arrived in London just after midday, so headed into the centre to get something to eat before booking into the hotel. After booking in and having a little rest, we decided to take a walk around the city. We walked past the Domnar theatre, where Guys and Dolls is currently being staged, and around the corner into the next street. Half way down the street who should I see walking towards me but Ewan McGregor! I had to fight off the urge to ask for an autograph and the urge to behave like Paparazzi and take a load of photos. He didn't look like he wanted to be bothered, so I just let him walk on by. (I know, silly me!).
In the evening I got to go on the London Eye and see the city all lit up from above. The view over the city was fantastic. I was slightly nervous about going on the London Eye, because of my fear of heights and over-active imagination, so I spent the first two-thirds of the "flight" gripping onto the bench in the middle of the capsule! It was brilliant, none-the-less. I'd definitely recommend trying it at least once. (Photos can be found at my Flickr account).
Friday - We went for a walk around Covent Garden and headed to the Cybercandy shop. Unfortunately, they didn't have any Mountain Dew on the shelves (or rather on the floor, where it usually is) and it was a little busy in there so I didn't ask if they'd got any in the back. We watched some of the performers at Covent Garden for a while and I spotted another British actor, but I can't think what his name is (he's been in quite a few British TV programmes and possibly one or two films). I'll let you know if I ever remember his name!
Around 4pm I headed over to St. James's church to join the already growing queue for James Marsters's gig. (I'd passed there around 10am and there was already a few sat waiting... yes, really! Mad people!). I ended up having a good old natter with the couple of girls behind me in the queue. (I've just realised I never got their names, but the one was from Norwich). Sathy came and found me in the queue and showed me her photos from the Carling Academy gig the previous evening, before disappearing again.
Once we were inside I took my place on a pew half way back. I was at by the centre aisle so I had a decent view. First on was James's support act Al Britten. He impressed me (and, I assume, everyone else) with his own songs and playing guitar as well as harmonica. He's well worth listening to - You can find some MP3s on his website. (He's from Coventry, so if he does any gigs a bit more my way I might just go and see him again!). During the break I bought his CD from Steve Himber (James's manager), as well as a couple of photos of James (I couldn't resist!), and the CD currently keeps me entertained on my way to & from work.
Everyone went mad when James walked on stage (as per usual). He played 17 songs - Everything from Angel to No Promises and Button Down Vandals to Dangerous. Some stuffed mouse fell from the balcony and made quite a noise, but James carried on regardless. It was a good gig and I had a much better view than I did the last time I was there!
Saturday - Dad wanted to head over to the London Motorcycle Museum at Greenford and it turned out to be quite a trek! The tube line we needed to take was partially closed, so we had to get the replacement buses and it took us ages to get there. Thankfully I found a quicker way back. It's only a small museum and I wasn't particularly interested, but Dad seemed to enjoy himself.
I headed over to The Mermaid centre in the afternoon and arrived there just as everyone was coming out from the afternoon performance of 'Words & Music'. I managed to catch Gwen, Sathy, Cryssie, Erykah and a few others (I'm hopeless with names!) and most of us ended up at a nearby pub until the doors opened for the evening performance.
I was sat in row B and us premium ticket holders were given a "special gift" in the shape of an autographed trading card. Ali (a friend from LiveJournal came and found me and I just happened to be sat next to a friend of hers so we all had a good chat. It was great to meet Ali at last as we'd both been to a number of James's events and somehow missed each other every time!
A few minutes before he was due on stage, James came out and started rearranging the chairs that stood on the stage. He would move a chair slightly, step back towards the audience to see if it looked right, move another chair and repeat the process a couple of times. Everyone clapped and he went backstage again. I didn't realise he was so particular, but I guess things have to be just right when you're acting live on stage.
James arrived on stage with an American actress to perform his shortened version of Shakespeare's Macbeth. I really enjoyed seeing James act out Macbeth. I studied the play as part of my English classes in school and could only wish that somebody could perform it like that. I thought it gave me more understanding of the play. James really put his all into the performance and I think the front row got covered in his spit when he shouted! I'd love to see him do something like that again! So that was the 'Words' part of the performance.
After the intermission came the music, but just as James was finishing the first song of the evening he bust the 'A' string on the guitar (the man is constantly breaking strings!). So while he went off to replace the string, Steve Himber came on stage for a brief Q & A and to tell us the news of James landing the lead part in a movie called 'Shadow Puppets' (which he's starting filming today). It wasn't long before Steve was booted off stage and James was back singing and thrashing his guitar.
It was over all too quickly, but I met up with the gang afterwards and we headed back to Piccadilly for some food and some drink. (We ended up with a hotel bar to ourselves!). Sadly the evening had to end and, after a few words and hugs, I headed back to the hotel for some sleep before the trip back home yesterday.
I'm bound to have missed out a few details, but this seems to have turned into a mammoth entry already and I have a telephone call to make before it gets too late. Thanks to Lisa E, Liza Marie, Graeme, Andrea, Kati, Me, Myself & I, Lissy, Robin, Miss M, Kimm, Katie, Mandy, Karen, Cassie, Paige and Strizzt.
26th October 2005
Wednesday - 8.05pm : I should be packing right now, but, as usual, I'm leaving it until the last moment. I'm leaving for London tomorrow to see James Marsters, meet up with some friends, do some touristy stuff and do a little shopping. Two places I'm definitely heading are the London Eye (we've got tickets for an evening "flight") and the Cybercandy shop. Can't wait!
My bad stomach isn't so bad now. It's still not quite right, but it's a lot better than it has been in the past week. Which is good news, I was getting a bit worried about it considering I'll be in London for the next few days. (Mika is doing okay too, he's just a bit sleepy, still).
When I was a teenager I (along with the vast majority of teenage girls in the UK, across Europe, Australia... everywhere except the States really!) was absolutely mad for a boy band called Take That (that's the band Robbie Williams used to be in, by the way). My walls (and ceiling) were covered in Take That posters, I had folders and books full of cuttings (I still do - I'm a hoarder!), everything from 'Do What You Like' (their first single) on vinyl to their Greatest Hits on CD, and even a life-size cardboard cut-out of Gary Barlow! (I have Mark Owen's guitar too, but shhhh!).
You might wonder why I'm telling you all this? Well, nearly a decade after it all ended they're releasing an album (featuring their singles, a live track, a remix and a previously unreleased song) and a DVD (featuring 16 music videos, live performances, never seen before footage and unseen photos). To say I can't wait is an understatement! Thankfully I only have 2½ weeks to wait. Of course, I've already pre-ordered mine! There's going to be a TV show too... Ah, the memories! (If you've never heard their music, I'd recommend listening to 'Back For Good').
I was already thinking of going to the 2006 British F1 Grand Prix, but now they've moved it to the weekend just before my birthday I definitely want to go! I'm going to wait until I'm back from London and then check my finances, but I can't see any reason why I shouldn't be able to go. I've never been to a F1 Grand Prix before, I've seen the Minardi F1 2-seaters race, I've seen the superbikes and more, just never an F1 Grand Prix....... and I'm determined to go to one in 2006.
24th October 2005
Monday - 10.15pm : Mika is a little sleepy tonight. He's spent most of the evening lay on me. The poor little fella had a trip to see the vet this afternoon. He's been given a steriod injection, but should be back to his usual self tomorrow.
I've not been well myself. It's been one thing after another since my cold started a few weeks ago. The latest thing is a bad stomach and I've had that since last Thursday. I hope it's gone by this Thursday!
My bad stomach is partly why I didn't go with my parents and grandparents yesterday for my granddad's surprise. Granddad is a lover of trains, steam engines and the like, so my parents organised for him to be shown around a steam engine and then to drive it. He was in his element and he's been raving on about it ever since. I'm so glad he had a wonderful time, even if I couldn't be there to see him enjoy himself. Since I wasn't there to take the photos, Dad took his digital camera and took a few instead. It's Nan's birthday in a month, so I'm just wondering what we could do for her.......
I watched The Crow : Wicked Prayer (starring David Boreanaz and Edward Furlong) on Sunday afternoon. It's the latest in The Crow series of movies and, while it's a long way from being as good as the 1st, I'd say it's worth watching.
A couple of DVDs arrived in the mail this morning, both starring Christian Slater. The first DVD is Alone in the Dark (also starring Stephen Dorff and Tara Reid). I've not read a single review from somebody who's enjoyed watching this one, but I can't think of a Slater film that I've not liked so far. I'll give any film a try, so I'll let you know what I think. The second DVD is Mindhunters (which also stars Jonny Lee Miller, Val Kilmer and LL Cool J). I'm quite looking forward to watching this one. I've read some great reviews about it! I'm not sure if I'll get to watch either DVD this week, but I'll let you know my thoughts on them when I do get around to watching them.
I'm off to London on Thursday for a few days, so today's recommended website is Visit London. It's a great website for anyone thinking of visiting England's capital. It's got guides and reviews for many attractions, hotels, restaurants etc and you can also find information on current & forthcoming events. It's definitely a website to visit before heading to the city, especially if you've never been before.
P.S. - Please keep my lovely friend Karen in your prayers & thoughts as she's in Critical Care in hospital at the moment. Thinking of you, Karen!
22nd October 2005
Saturday - 7.40pm : The plan is to keep this entry short, but we'll see whether that happens or not. Nan & Granddad are here visiting until Monday, so I don't want to seem unsociable!
My parents & I are taking my grandparents out tomorrow... it's a surprise for my granddad. It was recently his 80th birthday and we gave him an invitation for a day out, but didn't let on what we were doing. I can't really say much here, just incase he walks in while I'm writing this, but I'll be taking photos tomorrow so expect to hear about it tomorrow evening.
As per usual, the wonderful Play.com delivered my pre-ordered Robbie Williams album before it's offical release date. (It's out Monday - Make sure you get your copy!) So this morning was spent listening to Intensive Care. I'd heard bits & bobs from the album during the week as Radio 1 have been playing tracks, plus there's been a couple of Robbie documentaries on the TV this week, but I love lying back on the bed and listening to an album for the first time.
Due to Robbie's Tripping not being a song that I loved straight away (though it grew on me), I was slightly worried about what I'd think of the rest of the album. However... I loved most of songs on Intensive Care the first time I heard them. I shouldn't be surprised, there would be something seriously wrong if I didn't like a Robbie album! I think my favourite tracks at the moment are Ghosts, Make Me Pure, Advertising Space, Please Don't Die, Your Gay Friend and A Place To Crash. It's possibly his best to date, so I'd definitely recommend buying Intensive Care by Robbie Williams!
I ended up going to town and to Shrewsbury today and spent a bit more money than planned. I've rented The Crow : Wicked Prayer (so that's my movie for the weekend), and bought another memory card for my camera (a spare - just in case!), a model 'Kimi' McLaren car (to go with my 'Mika' and 'David' ones - It was on the self bugging me, so I just had to get it!), a cat toy (a treat for Mika as we're making him take his vitamin tablets) and a few other bits and bobs. I'm going to be so skint before Christmas even gets here!
P.S. - Could you guys do me a favour? My friend Lisa has a website and recently started a blog on it, but I seem to be the only one commenting. Feel free to take a look and let her know I sent you by! Thanks!
19th October 2005
Wednesday - 8.45pm : I live in a village in the peaceful coutryside of Mid Wales. With the baaing of sheep and the mooing of cows, the faint sound of a few cars once in a while and the kids playing on the field by the school being the only real noise around here.
So when an RAF jet plane comes roaring over head in the evening, low enough to touch the church spire, it's enough to nigh on give you a heart attack! The poor cat goes running for cover thinking World War III has begun and the old folks get a step nearer to eternal rest! It's enough of a shock when it's during daylight, but when you're relaxing in the evening it sets you back a bit.
Having lived here all my life you'd think I'd be used to it by now. I know they need to practice, but they still scare the heck out of me as they roar past. (Yes, one raced overhead as I started this).
I've just been treated to the first chapter of Jim Butcher's 8th Dresden Files book, Proven Guilty. (You can read it too, just hop on over to Jim's website). Another 3 preview chapters will be uploaded by 8th November. My only problem is that once I've read the other preview chapters I'll want to read the rest of the book... and it's a long time until May 2006! Jim, why must you tease us like this?!
I must get back into reading. I've got books here that I've not read yet, so I'm not short of reading material. I just haven't felt like it lately. Anyone got any recommended books? (You can't have too many!).
It's the London Film Festival while I'm down in London at the end of next week. So I might see if I can catch one of the films, if I've got the time. It would keep me out of trouble for a while, no doubt.
16th October 2005
Sunday - 3.15pm : It's over. We didn't win, but there's always next year! I'm talking about the 2005 F1 Constructors World Championship by the way. Renault took the title and it was well deserved (but that doesn't stop me wishing it was McLaren).
The action started before the race did! Christijan Albers (Minardi) collided with a slow Michael Schumacher (Ferrari), causing both of them to run back to the pits, get in their team's spare cars (which are rarely used these days) and start the race from the pit lane.
With the 2 Renaults starting the race from front row on the grid, I knew it would be a tall order for McLaren to finish 2 points ahead in the race, but it wasn't impossible and almost anything can happen in F1. And happen it did! Montoya run over a damaged drain cover (which turned out not to have been secured before the start of the race), causing irrepairable damage to his car and just a few laps later he had to retire. That was the exact moment I knew McLaren could not take the championship this year. With Alonso racing off in the distance it had been unlikely anyway, but the drain cover completely destroyed any chance of winning. After that, the only way McLaren could have one is if something had happened to Alonso and I knew that was pretty much unlikely (about as likely as a drain cover ending somebody's race... who'd have thought it!).
I had a good day yesterday and put a small dent in my bank account! I went shopping in Birmingham with Mum (which is always a recipe for me spending money). I bought a Jansport Airlight backpack, a Crumpler camera bag (for my digital camera), a magazine, some other bits & bobs and I treated myself to some goodies from Lush. We had a smoothie at Selfridges and lunch at the food hall. All in all it was a nice day.
You know what? I've not watched any movies this weekend - I know, shocking! I think I'll sort through my DVDs and find something to watch in a bit. It would be a strange weekend without a movie.
Most of my friends will know that I love writing/recieving letters. Since my Diddl writing pad is getting short on pages I thought I'd see if I could find some more (as it's not easy to find in my part of the world). Thankfully I came across a couple of websites selling Diddl writing pads - SnailMailCorner and Mousetrap. So I'm stocked up until at least Christmas now (or I will be when the 2 pads arrive).
14th October 2005
Friday - 9.15pm : I thought it was time for a change and a nicer look for the website. Still simple, but that's how I like things. (If you spot anything that's not working, feel free to let me know!).
I'm still feeling a bit rough and the cough is still lingering, but otherwise I'm fine. I'm just hoping it all disappears by the end of the month (when I'm off to London).
Dad is off to a motorbike show with his friends tomorrow, so Mum & I will be spending the day together. It's looking like we'll be going to Birmingham (I know, again!). This time I'll probably spend a fortune as that's what usually happens when I go shopping with Mum... I spend a fortune and she doesn't buy a thing! There's a couple of things I need, but I shouldn't spend much as I need to have a certain amount of money to pay for the trip to London in a couple of weeks.
It's the final F1 Grand Prix of the 2005 season on Sunday. The Chinese Grand Prix is the all important one for this years Constructors Championship with there being just 2 points between McLaren (my favourites) and Renault (current leaders), and it could go either way. So I'll be sat on the edge of my seat while watching the race and no doubt shouting at the TV for various reasons!
Now onto a completely different subject.......
Casting has begun for a movie based on Jim Butcher's Storm Front book. So it's now all official and you can read more about it at the Variety website. Of course, there's quite a few of us who'd like the voice behind Harry Dresden to get the lead role. Personally, I couldn't imagine anyone else in the role, but I guess I'm a bit biased! Filming is scheduled around about the end of November, so I'm guessing we should find out soon. *Fingers crossed*.
9th October 2005
Sunday - 5.25pm : I've been sat here looking at the screen for the past few minutes trying to decide how to start this entry without moaning about how I feel. There's no getting around it though, I feel pretty rough! My cold (which has been coming on for the last couple of weeks) seems to have developed into a chest infection and I just can't stop coughing. I've coughed so much that my chest is so sore and my throat is becoming sore again too. Hopefully it won't last too much longer, because I can barely breathe at the moment.
Despite feeling rough, I went to Birmingham with a friend yesterday. (I think it's always better to do something and keep busy rather than staying at home feeling even worse).
We had lunch at the food hall in The Pallasades and a drink at Birmingham's Hard Rock Cafe a little later on (to get a break from the rain). Hard Rock Cafes always have memorabilia on the walls and this one was no exception, they even had Robbie's skating outfit from his "She's The One" video (obviously I spotted it straight away!). Apart from food & drink, the only thing I bought while in Birmingham was a memory card for my digital camera. Though there was plenty of stuff tempting me, especially in Selfridges & Co - I could have easily spent a fortune in there!
I was awake at 5.20am this morning to watch the F1 Japanese Grand Prix - Insanely early on a Sunday morning, I know. It was easily the best and most exciting race of this year, if not the last few years! Despite the being so early in the morning I still did plenty of shouting at the TV.
Due to yesterday's rain half way through qualifying, the racing grid was all jumbled up and the usual front-runners were at the back of the grid - with Alonso, Riakkonen and Montoya starting from 16th, 17th and 18th. Ralf Schumacher led the race from the start, but an incident involving Villeneuve ended with Montoya hitting a wall at the end of the first lap. Not good news for McLaren who are hoping to beat Renault in the Constructors Championship next week. So it was all down to Riakkonen to score the points for the team and score points is what he did. From 17th at the start of the race he made it up to 2nd place with just a few laps to go! On the very last lap he made his move and overtook Fisichella to win what has turned out to be the best race of his career so far! Alonso crossed the line in 3rd to ensure Renault will begin the final race of the season just 2 points ahead of the McLaren boys. What a race!
I watched Robots earlier, because, as you know, my weekend isn't complete without a movie. It's so funny! Of course, all that laughing made me cough throughout most of the movie, but it was well worth it. Definitely one to watch, whether you've got children or not.
6th October 2005
Thursday - 10.55pm : Noooooooooooooooo! Joss, how could you?! I mean, pulling at my heartstrings like that!
So yeah, I saw Serenity tonight and it's amazing! If there's one movie you should see this year it's Serenity. It doesn't matter if you've seen Firefly or not, this is a movie that's strong enough to stand on it's own feet and even knock a few of the big boys out of the water. It has plenty of action, stunning visual effects, it's fun but emotional, and will have you glued to the screen for the entire movie. Here's hoping for a trilogy. Go see it!
I picked up some free Serenity posters after the movie. I only meant to pick up a couple and somehow ended up with 10! I guess I'd better get out there and help with the promotion.
P.S. - The Longest Yard was good too.
4th October 2005
Tuesday - 10.15pm : Happy Birthday to my one & only brother! (Not that he reads this, as far as I know). He's now just shy of 30, so he's getting on a bit!
Robbie Williams released his new single Tripping yesterday. I have to admit that the song has grown on me - It's a Robbie song, you'd be surprised if I didn't like it... I'm a self-confessed Robbie addict! Still, I'm not sure on the video, though it does seem to match the song title. I've already pre-ordered my copy of his Intensive Care album (I went for the Limited Edition CD + DVD version, of course).
More music for me to recommend...
Yesterday, Radio 1 gave us the radio debut of 'One Way Ticket', The Darkness' new single from their forthcoming album 'One Way Ticket To Hell And Back'. The title seems to be a bit of a contradiction, but I'm sure they have their reasons! I've heard their single on the radio a couple of times now and, in typical Darkness style, it has instant appeal. I'll definitely be buying the single and pre-ordering the album. It looks like their long-awaited 2nd album is going to be just as good as their first, if not better! It's a pity Frankie is no longer part of the group, but I'm sure Richie will do a good job as the new bassist.
I'm off to the cinema in town tomorrow night. A friend & I are going to see The Longest Yard (starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds and Nelly). To be honest, I've not heard all that much about the film, but Adam Sandler is always good for a laugh. I'll let you know what I think later on in the week.
Thursday evening I'll be going to the cinema again, but in Shrewsbury. Another friend and I have booked tickets to see Serenity, Joss Whedon's finger up at Fox after they cancelled Firefly, the TV show Serenity is based on. Jonathan Ross gave it a glowing review on the Film 2005 show last night, praising the special effects, characters, story and pretty much the whole movie! Go see it! I'll let you know just how good it is later in the week.
I must end this entry on a sad note. One of Britain's most talented and entertaining stars has died. Ronnie Barker was hilarious and he'll always be remembered for great work such as Porridge, Open All Hours and The Two Ronnies. He retired in the 1980s, but his shows are rarely off the TV despite their age. May he rest in peace. The world has lost one of it's greats.
2nd October 2005
Sunday - 2.15pm : I was going to start my first October entry with how I'd managed to upset a very good friend (not a great start to the month!), but in just a short time we've managed to work past it. Which is good news, because I hate arguments and falling out with friends. We're good friends, so disagreements never last long.
October is here again! I say again because it doesn't seem all that long ago since October 2004, when I had an amazing time in London with so many great people and got to meet James Marsters (again) and David Boreanaz. We had an accidental champagne shower in the hotel bedroom, gave an American friend a taste of a pork pie or "jellied pig in a muffin" as she called it (We told her it was an English delicacy!), and so much more! If a documentary of my life was to be made (which, to be honest, would be pretty boring!) then I'd want those few days to feature. I had such a great time.
I'm going to London at the end of this month too. James is performing in London, so I'll be going to see him and meet up with 1 or 2 friends. It's a pity the whole group from last year won't be there too, but I'll be meeting up with some of them a few weeks later anyway. Other plans for this month include a visit to the doctor, seeing Serenity at the cinema, a trip to Birmingham and I don't know what else!
It's been a while since my last recommendations, so I thought it was time I gave you some. My first is an email client...
Thunderbird - This is email software from the people who brought you Firefox. I got fed up with Outlook Express a long time ago and then switched to Eudora. After a couple of problems with that I decided to take a look for some email software I could rely on more. After using Firefox for a while, I didn't have to look much further. I've been using Thunderbird since April now for both my ISP email and website email and haven't had one problem with it. It impressed me from the word go and I've even switched to using it at work. It's well worth looking into.
This next recommendation is one for those of you who enjoy reading other peoples blogs...
The Ageless Project - If you're looking for blogs/journals written by people who are the same age as you then you can find them here. The Ageless Project lists personal websites by year and you can search by month too. There's loads of websites listed and I'm sure you can find some interesting websites along the way.
That's all for now. I'm off to watch a film. Thanks to Karen, Andrea, Danielle, Melly (Brand New Friend by Mike Gayle), Lisa, Graeme, Miss M, Me, Myself & I, Katie (I haven't watched Robots yet, I might watch it now though), Kati and Jenn.