Saturday, 18 January 2014

Easter time is almost here. NO IT'S NOT, STOP WITH ALL THE EASTER EGGS!

Well hellloooo and howdy doody, hows it all going with my lovely family, friends and customers? Time now seems to be dragging, maybe its because Christmas is over, I'm no longer on drugs and the weather is so rubbish. Even the ducks at the local lake don't want to go out the weather its that bad here.
Not only the rain is non-stop but temperature has also dropped and I'm finding it very difficult with the cold but I have some handy tips on how to keep warm in extreme circumstances:-

When I was growing up in Cardiff the family home didn't have central heating so the mornings in the bedrooms were very cold and i used to hate getting out of bed to get dressed as it would take ages for my body to get warm again.
Handy Tip 1/ If you have a bedside table or a bedside chair lay your clothes on them the night before ready for the morning. On awakening reach over to the chair or table and drag the clothes under the quilt with you. Hit the snooze button on the alarm and stay in bed for another 10 Min's. When alarm goes off the second time get dressed under the quilt as the clothes will then be warm. As you throw back the quilt you will find your warm and dressed ready for work or school.

In my more youthful days I used to drink quite often and allot. After a night of DJ'ing in a club or just a night out I may find myself anywhere within a 10 mile radius of Cardiff City centre without knowing how I got there with no money to get home. If it was winter time it would be freezing and I may just have a shirt on (also trousers and shoes but you know what I mean) having to walk home.
Handy Tip 2/ If you find yourself miles from home, cold and no money to get home you need to keep yourself warm while walking home. Befriend any cat that you can find and pick it up. As you start to walk keep stroking the cat making it comfortable and holding it close to you, this will keep you warm. If the cat doesn't struggle and feels relaxed you can keep it with you until you arrive home then let it go. If it does struggle let it go and find another one.
(Note:- Do not try this with a hedgehog, trust me, it doesn't work)

At this point I must apologies to anyone who's cat I may have used as a hot water bottle. I'm not saying I'm responsible for every missing cat in Cardiff but maybe a few.
A few of my customers I have already told this tip while we chatted in the bar.

I've had a few people ask me about who i do the medical studies with and how do you get on them. Well, the research centre is called Simbec who are excellent. To be on the panel for a study you have to do a medical. You have to be above and below a certain BMI, your blood pressure and heart rate has to be within a certain range, they take smokers and non-smokers, you can't be on medication or be a drug user and your alcohol intake has to be moderate to nothing. That's why I'm ideal for research as my BMI is perfect, my BP & HR are low but not to low, my alcohol intake is minimal and I've never used drugs which they test for apart from the ones at Simbec of course. If you got time on your hands contact Simbec and say that i put you on to them.

I see that the supermarkets are already selling Easter eggs. What will be on the shelves next, Halloween outfits? Do they really have to start promoting events that many months before its time. Now I love Easter, its all about lovely thin chocolate eggs, yum yum, and of course not forgetting that guy called Jebus rolling a stone away from a cave. The Easter egg can represent the shape of the stone that was rolled away from the cave or the emptiness of the egg can be the empty tomb that Jebus left or it can represent birth or re-birth/resurrection in this case of Jebus or it can just be a treat for us all to get fat and sick on. I wonder how many children actually know what Christmas and Easter is really all about, I dread to think.

Talking of Easter it seems many are going to Zakynthos to spend Easter there. Now if I wasn't there already but going over for Easter as a holiday or short break I would stay in Zakynthos town itself. All the celebrations are in town, all the bars, restaurants and shops are open and you wouldn't need transport to get to celebrations and events. There are many hotels in town that are very nice or if your OK with just a room there are a few basic hotels and apartments you can stay in. I don't think I would like to stay in a resort, there will be hardly any restaurants or bars open maybe just one or two, the place will look like a ghost town and there will be rubbish and building work going on everywhere with people getting ready for the season.  The resort will be in near enough complete blackout after 6pm, I know, I've been there. So for me I'd definitely stay in town at maybe the Strada Marina, Diana Hotel, Pheonix Hotel or Plaza Hotel.  Being as I'm out there early this season if it looks like there are a few around the resort I may open from 6-10pm, of course that's if the refurbishment is all finished by then but I'm not going to rush it just to get open for Easter.

I now have a final image of what the bar is going to look like. I just want it to be more comfortable and homely so when your in the bar you really feel like your away from the rat race and technology and can totally relax without a care in the world being able to converse with the company your with or other holiday makers. Still keeping it blue and white as that's its main feature being the first and only business in the resort to use the traditional picture postcard Greek blue and white look.

For those of you who know my part-time Assistant Manager Mr. Philip and his lovely wife Janice we met up with them when we collected Helen's car. They are as fine and dandy as ever and they can't wait to get back to Kalamaki and see all the people they know and have met in Oceanic. Philip, this season i have an Oceanic pinny ready for you for when i have a night off LOL.

I was looking through some old football photos the other day and came across a picture that shows how much the game has changed, and not for the better.
In the 60's and 70's and part of the 80's football used to be a much tougher game with heavy boots, harder balls and played on terrible pitches, the players were harder, there was more pride in playing for your team and when the word "genius" was used it was used very rarely.
Now their boots are like slippers, balls are as light as a balloon and pitches like snooker tables, the players fall over a blade of grass and look like they've been shot, pride is in their pay packet and now if they do a back heal to another player once in a game your world class.
God help the players of today if they played a real mans sport like Rugby or Ice Hockey.
Bring back the no frills, hard knocks football and this picture says why we need them back.

Jackie Charlton smoking a cig during a training session when he played for Leeds, pure class!

Now not many of you know this but I'm a bit of a culture vulture. oh yes, I've been to a few opera's like La Boheme, Madam Butterfly, Carmen and Carmina Burana. I've seen the odd musical like Rock of Ages, Lord of the Rings and David Essex's panto Robinson Crusoe. I'm not all about the rock/punk/indie music you know, oh no, I'm always open minded to listen to all types of music, apart from R n B and modern garage both of which are shall we say "Shite" LOL.
So in my quest for music for the bar I've searched high and low for something different and i have found you some to listen to and watch.

First of all this group of singers are called "Gregorian" who base their music around chanting Gregorain monks. I first heard these when i was in Argentina filming Total Wipeout (by the way if you missed my episode i think its on BBC3 this wed or thurs at 7pm LOL) and they were singing R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion. They do mainly covers of rock songs. Here for your listening delight they're singing Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence". I know some of my blog readers really love this song, so this is just for you.

The next group are called Apocolyptica who are 4 cello players. I first heard these in 2004/05 and thought it was really good. The first song of theirs i heard was Metallicas "Unforgiven". I seem to like the rock music crossed with a classical instrument. When Metallica played with a full Orchestra it sounded even better than when just the band play alone. Here is that song i first heard them play.

Here we have a bit of weird one. I hate the sound of a fiddle or violin as it just sounds like a cat being dragged back and forth over a saw but again this version of AC/DC's "Back In Black" isn't to bad but i think just one song on a fiddle is enough to listen to. This is The Duelling Fiddlers.

And finally to amaze your eyes and ears we have rock music played on harps (the musical instruments not the beer). When i first heard Florence and The Machine using harps it sounded so good and loved it on "You got the love". Now I've found twins Camille & Kennerly covering rock songs by just playing the harp. The sound is quite soothing but the video is very cheese-tastic, I'd prefer to watch them just sat at a harp than trying be all fairly/elf Lord of the Rings like on a Star Trek location shoot with that silly swaying, its a bit annoying when watching it LOL. I give you their version of Metallica's "Nothing else matters".

I hope i have broadened your mind when it comes to music. We may all have one preference in music but we can still try to listen to other styles. Take my good friend Mr. Chris Scales, punk hero tattoos, tall as a cyclops, built like a one man riot machine but one of his favourite songs is Shirley Bassey's "Diamonds are forever" you wouldn't have thought it LOL.

Well its almost time for myself and my world watched actor nephew Leighton Kyle to grace Birmingham with our presence as we go to see Depeche Mode live at the NEC. If anyone can point us in the direction of any good rock bars (don't forget we need to be in staggering distance of the airports hotel) then that would be a great help. If not we'll just get some cans of special brew and sit on the streets, I'm sure we can blend in somewhere ha ha.

So that's it for this fortnights update, again weather has limited what I've got up to this past 2 weeks but i will always try to keep you entertained if i can with a little read.

Serve All, Love All, Peace All, Kevlar Out!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

And so Season 2014 begins, well the planning does.

Well that's the thrill and excitement of Christmas over with for another year. And what did Santa bring you? Well I got a Satsuma, some chestnuts, a piece of coal and a ball of string, all useful I think you'll agree.
Well the Satsuma would come in handy for when i'm being chased by mafia and there is a Satsuma tree nearby, I could climb up it and pretend I was a branch with a Satsuma hanging from it.
The chestnuts would be very useful if I was kidnapped and tied up with rope by terrorist for torture to try to get top secret information from me, I could hold the chestnuts in my hand behind my back and coax a friendly squirrel to nibble through the rope as I slowly fed him the chestnuts.
A piece of Coal is essential for when you accidentally fall in to a Panda cage, before they could roar over a rip you to shreds you could black up your eyes and blend in with the crowd.
And lastly the ball of string is a life saver in Africa. Your on safari and fall out of the back of the jeep and no one notices you've disappeared, your laid flat out on your back and lions start to slowly creep towards you, you see them out the corner of your eye so you toss the ball of string up in the air and start flicking it about with your hands and feet. The lions see this and turn away thinking that you are a kitten in a playful mood and not worth the effort chasing.
See, everything you get for Christmas is useful LOL.

Well It was touch and go whether I was going to get out of Simbec medical centre. When I entered Simbec my immune system was at 1.4 which is very good, with this drug it had dropped down to 0.8 throughout the study which was high enough to leave the centre but on the last but one day it had dropped to 0.5. then on the Sunday had gone up to 0.6 so on the Monday my day of leaving I had to be 50% of my original immune system so that would be 0.7. I had my blood taken at 9am on Monday, and waited, and waited and waited for my results to come back. At midday I decided to discharge myself by signing myself out against medical advice, after signing it I gave it another 30 Min's. Then my results came back, I had just hit 0.7 so I could leave without using the discharge form, woohoo!

It had been 6 weeks on the study which wasn't a problem but when you know a date your meant to be getting out you just want to go then no matter what and 6 weeks stuck in a medical centre without seeing my beautiful girl seemed like a lifetime so nothing would stop me from getting out and seeing her, so the form was signed.
The first breath of fresh air was so good. Remember I hadn't had any fresh air for 6 weeks just the air conditioning, to be able to walk for a distance instead of staying in a bed all day and on top of all that it felt wonderful to have a great big hug from the one you love and to feel them close to you, felt like all my birthdays had come at once. I can't imagine how much more better it must feel for our brave soldiers out on duty when they come home, I was just laid up in bed for 6 weeks having tests done on me.
For a week after coming out I couldn't leave the house due to low immune system so even then it was a nightmare being stuck in all day and night but now its all good and got to go back to Simbec every Monday till the 17th Feb for on-going check ups on my immune system.

At this point I have to say a big big thank you to everyone at Simbec, I would like to mention them all personally but there are so many it would take forever. First of all to all the nurses who put up with the manly smell everyday as they entered our ward and for being so nice to us, next to all canteen staff who were so helpful with trying to keep our weekly menu interesting as we were in there for 6 weeks and finally to the morning cleaning staff who were so nice a chatty first thing in the morning it helped to start our day, To all of you I can't thank you enough.

So now I'm home with Helen and its been a crappy weather home coming. Rain, Rain, Storms, Rain and rubbish TV.

I've watched just one thing on TV, Sherlock. Now that's good TV. The first opening scene of the new series where Lestrade was at a coffee kiosk was filmed outside Cardiff Crown Court, and I was there as they filmed it. We had just arrived in Cardiff to meet our friends Jan & Phil and parked next to their actors trailer. Helen was inquisitive as to what was being filmed or as us men would say "nosey", so she went over and asked and was told its filming for Sherlock. So we already knew there was a third series before the second had finished.
TV all over Christmas has been repeat after repeat. I remember not to many years ago I would get the TV guide  circle all the programmes I wanted to watch so I wouldn't forget, this Christmas the TV guide wasn't even worth wiping your bottom with, I was expecting the Olympics to be shown again as they try to keep bringing it back up at every opportunity. If anyone says Christmas TV this year was good you need to get out more LOL.

On New Years Eve we decided to go away, where shall we go, France, Rome, Barcelona, nope Dudley near Birmingham to pick up a car for Helen. Now I'm not a car man, can't drive a car and always had bikes but I'm sure when someone is selling a car in a car showroom its meant to be in working order. We went all the way up there from south west wales, 3 hrs drive, found the car showroom easily without getting lost so all was going well. That is until Helen wanted a test drive, the car wouldn't start. We waited 30 Min's as they connected and disconnected things, still nothing. So they called out a mechanic and told us to go off for a coffee, which we did. We eventually found a café. Very, nice and clean, pleasant staff but there was a few odd things with the café. Firstly, next to the counter was a shelf display, not of cakes and biscuits as you thought you may find in a café but 5 shelves of protein and muscle building products that you would see in a gym. Next were the toilets, you had to be buzzed in to them via an intercom. You buzz the intercom, you say "hello I want a pee" they then buzz you in, but on this occasion I tried to get in to it 5 times without any joy so they told me to come back to the counter to get the key. Why didn't they just give out the key in the first place? Its a good job I wasn't desperate with an upset stomach.
After a cup of coffee and piece of toast we headed back to the car showroom and the car still wasn't firing. Time was getting on so we headed back home leaving a deposit and agreed when they got the car working we would meet half way at the Severn Bridge and exchange cars with cash. We'll have the last laugh though, we arranged the meeting Wales side of the bridge so they have to pay for the privilege of coming in to wales, BACK OF THE NET! (Don't you just love Alan Partridge).

The plans for the bar are in motion. Now its just a matter of what plans I'm going to use as I have so many going around in my head. I do have to say once again, THE BARS CONCEPT WILL STAY THE SAME, THE COLOUR SCHEME IS STAYING THE SAME. Its just the whole décor that's changing. So its the same bar with same music but its all being upgraded to try to make it more comfortable for you my fine friends and customers.

This update is very short I know but been stuck in the house for a week after leaving Simbec due to immune system and then stuck in for another week due to the stupid storms so really not much to share with you.

I hope 2014 is a great year for all of you and hope many are getting back to Zakynthos in the season.

Serve All, Love All, Peace All, Kevlar Out!