29th September 2006
Friday - 10.45pm : I received a letter from the hospital yesterday. It requested I make an out-patient's appointment with my gastroenterologist. I was expecting the letter, but I still don't know exactly what the appointment is for. There was no clue in the letter, so I'm assuming it's some kind of consultation or something. You'd think they'd be a little more helpful - I'm not a mind reader. Anyway, I booked the appointment today (after having to phone several times just to get through to somebody) and my appointment is at the end of October. So not long to wait, really.
Why is everything released in October and November? Currently on my shopping list for the next couple of months are: My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (a collection of short stories by people such as Jim Butcher and Sherrilyn Kenyon), My Take (Gary Barlow's autobiography), Take That - The Ultimate Tour DVD (Need I say more!), both Take That's album "Without You" and single "Patience", '24' - Season 5 DVD boxset, Bones - Season 1 DVD boxset, the Rudebox album and the 'Lovelight' single by Robbie Williams. I'd add it all to my Christmas list, but I can't wait that long! Anyway, I think I've already pre-ordered half of it!
Did you know... The longest cat in the world is a Maine Coon called Leo! It isn't my Maine Coon called Leo though. He's still growing yet! He's still malting too. He leaves fur everywhere, despite having a daily brush. He loves being brushed, especially when I brush his face (it has to be done a certain way!). Also, I don't know whether he thinks he's a dog or if he's still teething, but he likes to chew/knaw on things (I've bought him a rubber chew ring for him to play with and he likes to knaw on the play den him & Mika have got). Leo could probably win the "Happiest Cat in the World" award. He purs louder and more than I've heard any other cat pur!
I've got another new guy for you to visit. This time it's Mike. He's Welsh and doesn't sound it (a bit like me!).
22nd September 2006
Friday - 9.45pm : Well last Sunday was a lot hotter than I thought it was going to be! The weather forcast had said it would be cloudy with some sunny spells. There wasn't a cloud to be seen and the sun was blazing down on Silverstone. Unprepared (Well it is September!), I got sunburnt. Anyway...
I was absolutely shattered from the night before (see the last post), but I dragged myself out of my hotel room bed (very fancy hotel, I might add!) and accompanied Dad to Silverstone to watch the British Superbikes.
We got there early enough to grab a couple of front row seats in a grandstand at the start of the Start/Finish straight. We had a great view of the track and could see the bikes coming around the last few corners of the track before racing up the straight. A few bikes crashed (not seriously) on the corners by us and the races were certainly exciting (even though I've not been following the superbikes this season). Between races I made a few visits to the ice cream van to cool myself down. It gets quite hot sitting in those grandstands.
Halfway through the day a plane appeared circling above Silverstone and the Red Devils jumped out. It was a fantastic display with union jack coloured parachutes, flags and smoke.
So that was my weekend. I got home Sunday evening and it was straight back to work on Monday morning. That might have been a mistake as I've felt pretty bad for most of the week (which is why I haven't updated until now). Anyway, I've recovered at last!
I'd now like to point you in the direction of Kev. I stumbled across his journal after he mentioned Robbie's Rudebox song and I've been visiting ever since. I've added him to my links page, so why don't you pop over to his journal and say "Hello!".
My thoughts go out to Richard Hammond and his family. Richard is a popular TV presenter here in the UK and 2 days ago he was seriously injured when the jet-powered Vampire car he was driving crashed at over 280mph. Having suffered "significant brain injury" he is currently in a stable condition in hospital, but reportedly making good progress.
18th September 2006
Monday - 10.15pm : I didn't get sunburn while seeing Robbie Williams this time. I got it while at Silverstone instead! Anyway, more about that later.
I went to see Robbie at Milton Keynes on Saturday. The officals opened our gate an hour early and I'd got an Inner Circle ticket so I managed to get a spot at the front by the railings. However, I had a brief discussion with a couple of security people about my camera before I was let in.
I always take a compact camera to concerts and I've never had any trouble before, but the security woman said I couldn't take it in (and I wasn't going to leave it with anyone!). So she called over another security bloke and he inspected it while I told him I've never had any trouble before and it's just a standard camera (as I know you can't take in SLR cameras or anything that looks slightly professional). In the end they let me in, but only after I'd argued my side and a load of people who had queued behind me had gone past. So I was slightly annoyed, but relieved I'd been let in!
The first support act arrived on stage at 6pm. Orson are from Hollywood and provided us with a solid half hour of entertainment. I'd only heard a couple of their songs beforehand, but they were a great choice to support Robbie. I really enjoyed seeing them live and I've already ordered their album from Amazon.
The second support act was Basement Jaxx. They've been around for a while, so I had no doubt they'd be good. They really put their all into their performances. I knew most of their songs (such as "Where's Your Head At?" and "Good Luck") and that's always a good thing when you see a band live. The crowd definitely loved them.
Next up was the main man himself, Robbie Williams. I've seen Robbie live quite a number of times now and he's just such a showman. His shows are some of the best you can go to. This world tour has taken it's toll on Robbie and in a way it showed. Sweat was dripping of him and I'm sure half the audience got covered in it every time he moved! Still, that didn't take anything away from Robbie's fantastic performance. Once again Robbie provided us with pure entertainment. Johnny Wilkes joined him on stage for a bit of banter and to perform "Me and My Shadow". (Johnny has a career of his own, but is most noted for being Robbie's mate. However, they make a great duo!) Robbie performed everything from his old classic Angels to his latest single Rudebox. A brilliant performance and a wonderful show, as usual.
As Robbie pointed out during the show, the media are once again putting Robbie down. Robbie also pointed out that his last album sold 6.5 million copies and his current world tour sold more than 3 million tickets. I think those figures say it all!
A few photos from the concert can be found in the Photography section.
I think I've written enough for tonight, so I'll tell you about Silverstone tomorrow or later in the week.
15th September 2006
Friday - 10.10pm : My heart skipped a beat earlier. My eyes caught sight of a headline saying "Robbie cancels tour dates". I couldn't click on the link fast enough! It turns out he's cancelled the Asian tour dates due to stress and exhaustion. I feel sorry for those in Asia who were looking forward to seeing him. When I was in college I flew over to Paris to see Robbie play there. Unfortunately, the evening before he was due on stage the news came that Robbie had cancelled his remaining tour dates, so I never got to see him play Paris after all.
However... Tomorrow morning I'm heading off down to Milton Keynes (again!). This time I'm seeing Robbie Williams at the MK Bowl. I've not seen him live since Knebworth 3 years ago and I can't wait! I just hope the weather is OK (I doubt I'll get getting severe sunburn this time, anyway!). I'm coming home on Sunday, but on the way back we're stopping off at Silverstone to see the British Superbikes. Should be a good weekend!
Jim Butcher's next installment of The Dresden Files is released next April. The book's cover art has already been released, so hopefully Jim will soon give us another treat by showing us a chapter or two early. (Last time we got a chapter every week or two until there were 4 chapters... Of course, that left us wanting more, but we had to wait!) The book, White Night, is now available to pre-order from Amazon (UK/US). Roll on 3rd April 2007! White Night is the 9th installment of The Dresden Files.
10th September 2006
Sunday - 9.45pm : We've had such beautiful weather this weekend, so once again I grabbed a camera and headed out in search of something to take photos of.
I didn't make it past the garden (again!), but it's amazing what can change in a week and what new things you can find. There's plenty of bees around and the odd butterfly flutters past. Over the fence there are cows and their calves sharing a field with a horse and a foal. Birds swoop from tree to tree and sometimes a squirrel will make an appearance.
Life in Mid Wales. It's beautiful and peaceful (most of the time)! Have I sold it to you yet? I've lived here all my life and while I love visiting other places I also love to come back home.
I've been doing a little work on our family tree. Yesterday, I followed the paternal line. From Dad to my Great Great Great Grandfather in 1841. That line of the family hasn't lived more than 15 miles from here in over 160 years (except for soldiers at war or doing National Service duty). Brothers, cousins, uncles and such have gradually moved away, mainly due to work, but that one line has stayed.
8th September 2006
Friday - 10.45pm : It's the weekend and I don't have much planned for this one, apart from watching the F1, Robbie Williams Live: A Close Encounter (Live & direct from Leeds on Saturday night!) on Sky One and maybe a film or two. Next weekend I'll be down in Milton Keynes (again!) seeing Robbie's Close Encounter tour in person! Can't wait! Last time I saw him was at Knebworth 3 years ago, when I managed to get severe sunburn. Ouch!
I must mention this website I came across the other day. It's the website of Creative Paper Wales, apparently the only craft paper mill in Wales. The interesting (and funny) thing is what they use within some of their paper. Sheep poo! Honestly! I can just imagine asking some of our customers at work what kind of paper they'd like... Silk? Gloss? Matt? Recycled? Sheep Poo Paper?! Anyway, it's worth taking a look around their website. They explain how the paper is made and their environmental stance. They also have an online shop with plenty of goodies, details on bespoke work, competitions and fun. You can even play with the sheep on their header - No Welsh sheep jokes, please!
As I mentioned earlier, I might watch a film or two this weekend. I've already got one in mind... Nick of Time. It's a 1995 film and stars Johnny Depp and Christopher Walken. It's my latest DVD from my list at EasyCinema. Which reminds me, I need to buy new credits.
5th September 2006
Tuesday - 8.15pm : I've been in the garden again. No, not gardening. Photographing! Sadly, my lack of knowledge of flowers, plants and the like lets me down. Still, the flowers are beautiful and so I take photos.
I popped into town during my lunch break with the aim of buying Robbie's new single, Rudebox. It's a small town, so I headed straight to Woolworths to get a copy of CD 1 and CD 2 of the single. I hunted high and low through the CD sections (and, to be honest, there isn't many of them in our small shop) and I couldn't find the singles section, let alone Robbie's new single! It seems they no longer stock CD singles. So it looks like I'll be heading to Amazon or Robbie's Online Shop and paying postage prices after all. I'd pay and download a digital copy, but I like having something to actually hold. Something that won't disappear if my PC has a hiccup. I like being able to look at the artwork slip inside the CD case, but it seems I'll soon be deprived of this. I'm a collector, I need my CDs! I'm the same with photos. I like to get my digital photographs printed and put in an album. I like something to hold, something to look at, otherwise they just don't seem real.
I have a recommendation for you. This is one for people in the UK and Ireland, but I'm sure there's something similar in the States and other countries.......
Scarlet Mist is a website for people who want to buy or sell spare concert tickets. Search on Ebay and I'm sure you'll come up with the tickets you want, but at what price? Scarlet Mist is a free face-value ticket exchange website, so there's no having to pay wild prices for concert tickets. I had a spare concert ticket to sell as original plans had changed and after listing it at a forum I was recommended I try out the Scarlet Mist website. Earlier today I did and within an hour I'd found a buyer... or rather they had found me. I received the payment shortly after communicating via email, so I rushed down to the Post Office to get it in the mail via Special Delivery. The concert is this weekend, so a quick sale and quick delivery were needed. Thumbs up to Scarlet Miss!
Before I go, I must pay my respects to a man who brightened up TV, worked hard as a conservationist, naturalist and an animal lover. Yesterday Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray. I just hope people carry on his good work. Steve, you will be missed.
2nd September 2006
Saturday - 10.45pm : What misereable weather we've had today! Still, that didn't stop us going out for the day. Mum, Dad & I set off in the car in the pouring rain and headed for Llangollen.
Once in Llangollen we sheltered in the canal-side cafe for a while. Then at midday we boarded a canal boat for a 2 hour trip down the canal. Everything seems so relaxed on the canal. The boat sauntered along at 5mph. Even the ducks didn't seem to be in a rush to get out of the way of the boat. Our trip ended after crossing the Pontcysyllte aqueduct. At 126ft it certainly made me wonder what I was doing that high up - I'm a little scared of heights! There are some remarkable views up there though. It's possible to walk across it, but with my head for heights I don't think I could even force myself to walk across there!
After a walk around Llangollen town centre and a bite to eat, we made our way to Cineworld in Shrewsbury. I wanted to see The Sentinal. We had to wait a couple of hours for the next showing, so we ended up doing a little shopping while we were there.
The Sentinal stars Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland (and you know I can't resist a film starring Kiefer). The film is about a respected Secret Service agent (Michael Douglas) who is blackmailed for having an affair with the President's wife and then framed for treason. Kiefer almost seems typecast as his role is similar to that of his in '24', but he plays it well. Actually, a couple of things reminded me of '24' - a plot to assassinate the President of the United States and government agents - but Kiefer isn't the main man here. I'd definitely recommend the film - I certainly enjoyed it.
I finally got around to watching Walk the Line on Friday evening. It was '3 for 2' at the rental store, so I picked it up along with a couple of others (which I'll watch tomorrow, no doubt). Walk the Line lived up to my expectations and Joaquin Phoenix did an excellent job of playing Johnny Cash. He looked and sounded just like Cash, Joaquin even sang like Cash. The film follows Johnny Cash from his childhood days to his final proposal of marriage to June Carter. Along the way are life's struggles, family troubles and the highs & lows of being a star. Definitely worth seeing!
Anyway, I'm off to bed to finish watching Behind Enemy Lines (a favourite of mine) which is on TV at the moment.