It's 4:30am and I am just settling down to bed, and doing my blog a la Carrie Bradshaw style (Nat watched it, not me, honestly). The only problem is I am laying in the pitch black with only the light off my screen, and I am now bloody knackered, so if you see a series of letters like this - ijijuhekjsnbvbjjkhsdkjvbkjbvdkjvk - it's because I can't see what I am doing, or because I have fell asleep on the keyboard.
I had my works 'do' at the Riverside Stadium on Thursday, it's a decent day out - the grub is good, if you like Christmas dinners - but it's all really down to who's on your table. We had a good gang so naturally, as per any party, we were the 'naughty table'. As the lunch was at 1pm, we finished straight after that, which meant I was home and broken up for Christmas by 3pm. Instead of going home though I had snaffled (if it's not a real word it should be) some party boxes and headed to Mams. I was home in time to pick my nephew, Joe, up for the first time from nursery. I was absolutely clueless where to go, which I'm sure made of the teachers even more suspicious of me, but I latched on to a familiar face and she led me to the nursery. The awkwardness of it all was worth it though as Joe recognised me and bounded over telling the teacher it was Uncle Dan, then showing me the sweets the teacher had given him. Very good. We headed back to Mams house where, along with Isaac and Mark, took full advantage of the party boxes and caused mess and mayhem, and we were only there 10 minutes!
Friday and Saturday were spent painting, painting and more painting, in fact, Saturday morning was a 10am start and I only got finished about 30 minutes ago - the great news is though, that there is only 1 more coat to go on stairs/hallway and then we can finally cast our paint brushes aside for good. Add that to the full set of blinds we got yesterday and the house will be like new for Christmas.
Due to the weather, Hartlepool's match against Portsmouth was abandoned, which, sadly to say, could be classed as a good result for Pools! I did predict 5 out of 6 wins on my coupon today meaning that if Man Utd beat Swansea tomorrow, I get my first win of the season, albeit only £40.
After yesterdays blog bemoaning the lack of pictures, I was determined to put that right with immediate effect. Unfortunately, the only one I came up with was from last nights quiz, showing how we intimidate the other quiz teams. After venturing into the main area of the pub and establishing ourselves as a serious team, who would not be afraid? Yes, that is Paul with a glass of Babycham...with a cherry in it...
As always, a great night out, especially for a Monday, with its mix of bar staff banter, deep political debate, oh and the odd Keegan conversation (that's Michelle, not Kevin). The Major was absent last night, or Bill as most people call him, so we had even less customer interaction than normal.
We got into the quiz and at one point thought we had a chance of being in the money again, with a 10/10 joker round. Any hopes we had, however, were dashed on round 4 where we scored a pitiful 6/10 - you're never going to win anything in there with scores like that. There were some cracking answers throughout the night, the highlights being Watership Down, Jonathon Edwards, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Old Bailey and The Likely Lads, though we were stumped on a few including Mossad, Bob Harris, 1980 and The Littlest Hobo. Who would have thought that Rome was 697 miles away from Paris? Clearly Paul who guessed 708, only 11 miles away - we were declared winner of the spot prize only to be told a submission of 707 was found, being only 10 miles away, and subsequently stripped of our drinks voucher. Never mind. With the holiday season upon us, the quiz changes nights next week and there's even talk of dipping our toes into the music quiz waters on a Sunday night, watch this space.
So there you have the first blog in a while with no mention at all of painting and decorating, and, other than the title, not an exclamation mark in sight! Well done me...
Oh and happy birthday to mam who celebrates her *ahem*th birthday today.
First of all, an apology - I haven't had many pictures on blogs lately, and I am aware that could be the difference between a boring blog and a very boring blog! The pictures were usually of things I had taken while out on my walks, but, if I am not getting out on walks then how can I take pictures?
As you can probably guess then, by the lack of pictures, that it has been another barren walking week. We stayed in on Friday night babysitting, but it wasn't all good fun - we did manage to get a 1st coat on one of the bedrooms. On Saturday I had budgeted my whole day to cracking on painting - and I managed to only get the 2nd coat on the bedroom. I am not yet fully skilled in the art of rollering, I am more of a gloss king. I did have some let up on the night however, and ventured into Stockton with Dad - it was the only walk of any description I did over the weekend. Had a few pints (Coke of course) in the Thomas Sheraton and soaked up the (lack of) ambience in Stockton on a Saturday night. We did manage to avoid the local bog rats and night creatures before heading back for last orders in the club to meet Mam.
Sunday was anything but a funday this week, it involved lots more work in the house (do you see the common theme?) but we went to bed, which was actually back in a bedroom now, after having a day of tidying, cleaning, painting, sanding, wrapping and plenty more. A big thanks to Mam and Dad for giving a big part of their Sunday to help us out, very much appreciated!
That now brings us back up to date, Monday morning, after pretty much a full weekend of work. We both woke up exhausted and aching, but on the plus side, the house is nearing completion in time for Christmas!
It's only a matter of time before
It has been a remarkably uneventful week this week, and this blog could be the same as a couple I have made over the past few weeks. First of all is another attack of 'glossarm', remind me to never decorate our house again, especially all in one go! Although just about finished downstairs, it doesn't get any easier really, having spent last night on a mattress in the dining room (formerly known as The Crow Bar). There is, however, light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not the train this time - so my negativity should be waning, and at least we will have the feel of a new house for Christmas!
We did shrug off the decorating monkey and put the Christmas tree up last night so we are a touch Christmassy. Add to that the first of two Christmas parties tonight, and a carol service at work tomorrow and it won't be long before I'm beginning to enjoy it all!
Monday's quiz was the first in a number of weeks we didn't actually land any prize money. It was maybe because we had exerted all of our efforts before it had started by looking for a new seat to sit in. As you may appreciate, this is not a decision to be taken lightly! With pretty much the whole pub to choose from, we ventured around to the other side of the pub, the forbidden side. There was a suspicion that I would 'bottle it' and play safe with our porch seats, but no, I pounced and nabbed us a prime position table. It proved a success in many ways - we actually got to see the Fulham v Newcastle match (we didn't realise they had electricity, let alone a TV!), we had social interaction within minutes of sitting down (if "move so I can get to that pile of Christmas cards" counts), and I got to have a lenghty chat with 'The Major', turns out he is a millionaire who owns a series of garages and drives a Rolls Royce, or alternatively, a speaker of 'Bovine Scatology' (work it out...). I don't think we can blame the seating, but we finished 7th out of 12, maybe it was more of a mistimed joker that cost us. Paul was particularly on fire this week and we should never have rubbished his 1994 answer - if anyone was gonna know when Lynne Perrie left Coronation Street it was going to be him, although he will claim he knew the Oasis song....Highlights of the week include Gordon Brown, Melbourne, A Touch of Frost and John Major, the big one that threw us was Engelbert Humperdinck. No money, but who cares, it's a cracking night out!
Having been bunged up on Thursday and Friday I wondered whether to actually go out on Friday, in the end I decided to and we played the games night at home. Both whist and dominoes were very closely fought but we managed to win them both, each one in the last round. A friend of mams was playing with their band in the Beckfields so we ended up there after the games. Instead of being in the larger room they were squashed into the bar, which, when added to the number of people herded in, made it all very hot, and very claustrophobic. Strangely enough I can't remember seeing anyone under 40 years old.. Safe to say I didn't last too long and went home, I threatened an early night but ended up staying awake later than normal watching the new Batman in bed (cue 'Bane' impression which ends up sounding more like Alan Carr than Tom Hardy).
I woke up on Saturday extremely confident about 3 things. Firstly, after studying coupons while watching Batman, a winning bet was almost a cert! Secondly, having seen the improvement in Pools a couple of weeks ago, a win against promotion chasing Stevenage was another must. Finally, with spare time on a Saturday night, we will get the final coat on the living room and some degree of downstairs sorted. Yes, you guessed it - bets were shockers, Pools got stuffed, and we never got any of the living room paintined at all. Still, there is always tomorrow.......
And so Sunday came - enjoyed tea at Matthew and Emma's house while the kids ran wild, then got home and finally finished the living room, only upstairs to sort now. Ah, it's only a matter of time before we get the poker nights back up and running again!
I am able to bring the blog up to date now as I am slowly getting the sensation back into my arm after suffering from a recent bout of 'glossarm', it's a medical condition which describes the dull aching sensation from spending hours the previous night glossing skirting board! Having said that, the skirting boards are looking brilliant and we now are well on the way to completing downstairs.
This week's Monday night escape to the quiz was another good 'un. We were slightly later than normal, as commented by the staff (we must be regulars now), and a man down when we arrived - cue the long winded story of Paul walking in etc etc. The staff humoured us and joined in the game, and so began another stage of sociability. We even thought about moving from our safe area of the porch to the main pub, but as we have so often thought - maybe next week....
The quiz itself was great - despite a maximum point first round and 9/10 in the second, we trailed off towards the end and ended up joint seventh (out of twelve). We were in the money though thanks to Paul's American knowledge - he was only 15 miles out on the distance between two American cities. He doesn't say much, but when he does, it's quality. Other highlights of the quiz were answers such as Helen Slater, 9 & 3/4, Sirius, Jasper Carrot and 'no serious crime reported'. A few that wronged us were River Plate (oh dear...), Smoked Haddock, Yorkshire, and who would have known that Kylie Minogue's middle name is Ann?!
No major walking this week due to redecoration, though I have walked to work a couple of times - that's 3 miles on a morning. I did suffer the embarrassment of slipping over on a main road yesterday, to the amusement (I'm sure) of passing traffic. I now realise that listening to the Bee Gees on iPhone, while strutting like Tony Manero on an icy day is a bad combination!
I'm looking forward to the match on Saturday, Pools seem to have got it together and if they play like they did in their last home game they will be climbing the league in no time!
In the meantime, please spread the word, especially in the run up to Christmas, that for a limited time you can have a bespoke cartoon and limerick made for a meagre £10 donation! There has been a few created and sent so far and it all goes towards the fundraising total for the BRT. Thanks
Just in from a Saturday night out in Darlington - and what a cracker it was! A few of us had gone to The Forum for their monthly comedy club, and we were faced with not one, nor two, but three TV comedians. Gary Delaney opened the show, he was part of the reason I chose this night - he had been on at the club before and provided rapid fire belly laughs, brilliant. A surprise act was to fill the middle spot, and it turned out to be Russell Kane - a brilliant coup for Neil at Hilarity Bites and one who went down very well. The shows headliner was Nathan Caton, a regular from Mock the Week, who again, went down very well with tales about his Granny! The show was kept moving by MC Danny Deegan despite a lot of disorder and heckling from the natives. The show over ran its regular time and so we were not able to make it to another pub afterwards, shame.
This was the second night out in a row after having a Friday night in the Roundel to watch the Boro match. All these nights out have meant more neglect on the decoration front, but with a big joint effort tomorrow, and a few free nights next week, it shouldn't take too long until we are back to normality (famous last words...).
A few special mentions tonight;