Well this is my final update from the UK. I would just like to say a big HELLO! to my new blog readers from Indonesia, Ukraine, Finland, Switzerland and Russia. How you doing?
So this update will be a big salute to the most awesome Cardiff Devils that has made this winter such a great one by becoming consecutive EIHL champions.
I first saw the Cardiff Devils in 1986-87 and to be honest i had seen a few NHL games which included a very little known player called Wayne Gretzky, ever heard of him? or Mario Lemieux maybe? Lets say at that point in time the Cardiff Devils were the equivalent of a Sunday morning parks football team compared to the Premiership but don't forget this was a whole new beginning so that's fair enough. Many don't know this but British ice hockey league began in 1903.
After watching them through the 80's whenever i could and in the 90's also working alongside them they developed in to a force to be reckoned with within the British Ice Hockey league.
Step forward to the present day and the new era of Cardiff Devils team and supporters have been born along with the back bone of the club, the devoted passionate Red Army.
Never has any team from any sport made me feel emotionally proud and that's saying something as my heart beats Welsh rugby.
I've never known a team to be so accessible to the fans. They don't just wave to them from the ice then bugger off until the next game, they meet the fans, they talk to the fans, have a drink with the fans at the bar and sometimes get drunk with the fans (Trophy winning nights only of course, wink, wink).
I've said before, if there were no fans there's no need for a team and this team leave it all on the ice for their fans, blood, sweat and tears.
Now you can't talk about a team without the fans either. If you had to put a picture next to the definition for the word "Dedicated" then there would be a picture of The Red Army. They play each pass, they feel every hit, they savour every goal, they hurt with every defeat. These a real fans, not fair weather followers, they give their all win, lose or penalty shoot out.
My past two winters going to Watch the Cardiff Devils at the IAW have been my most memorable supporting them (apart from 1996-97 season).
There are 3 reasons for this:-
1/ A professional technically skillful team that give it their all to win and entertain at same time.
2/ A fan base that would give there last vocal chord and breath to spur their team on to victory
3/ The intro videos that on occasions have made me very emotional and proud of our team, city and country.
To show you the what i mean about the intros i have added two videos for you to watch. Even as i uploaded them and watched them again the hairs stood up on the back of my arms. These well crafted and superbly edited videos were the creations of one man and his name is Paul Sullivan. All i can say is outstanding! These are better than the WRU intros and I've seen allot of them at the Principality Stadium, hate that name, The Millennium Stadium. Real thought and hours of effort bring us fans these perfect works of art in motion.
Firstly The intro that Paul put together for our first home game after winning the league in Belfast when they brought the cup home with them, this was put together with only a 2 day turn around, amazing.
Secondly this is the Devils last video made by Paul after qualifying for the play off finals which take place in Nottingham this weekend 7th/8th April 2018. Enjoy!
I may get Paul to make me a Oceanic Intro for when i step through the doors in to the bar as i open.
No, wait, I don't have any TV's in bar, nice idea though along with dry ice for me to step through.
No, hang on, That would be like stars in their eyes, OK scrap my entrance.
Now on to my crap poor pictures from my regular seat at the Devils last home game this season. It is a great view we have.
You get to see so many goals at this end of the arena and this season there has been so many.
Well that's it for this season of ice hockey and i will be watching the Play off finals on the sunny island of Zakynthos before i start work on the bar but between you and me blog readers i would prefer to be at Nottingham watching the games live there instead of live on a laptop, sipping a cold beer with the warm sun on my face.
Zakynthos has an ice pad, perhaps i could start a Zakynthos ice hockey team. As you know folks i bought new skates this winter to come out of retirement, well, just to go skating.
This is a call to all you Greek ice skaters, hang up your gyros cutting knives and cocktail shakers and join me in the Greek ice hockey revolution, we shall take over more ice hockey leagues than Agamemnon did countries.
We are Elite, We are Strong, We are Oceanic Titans.
So what is in store for Oceanic this year, not allot really. I did so much last year and people loved it that I'm just going to tweak it slightly not as much as other years and run with it. Added some new unique cocktails and some classic ones added also. Not many rock stars have died so not to many t-shirts added to the collection and i have decided its back to me running the bar as i set out, its a lifestyle. I had been so stressed out in previous years that i got to hate the bar but slowly over the past 2 years it got back to the original plan of what Oceanic was all about.
Also i have made another big decision as its the right time what with everything in my life falling in to place nicely and i have always said i would never retire on the island.
I will be selling Oceanic.
Now, now, now, before we all go throwing ourselves off cliffs saying "Oh no what will we do now" I haven't decided when. Of course i always consider offers, anybody would and i have had offers over the years. When i decide I'm going to sell i won't be walking away from bar until it does sell either, so if it takes 5 years then so be it but there is no way i would walk away from it and let someone step in to a business for nothing which i built up alone over years of hard work. As for how much, i'm not greedy or stupid, all i would want is the money i originally put in to it when i opened it 12 years ago so its a bargain for a fully functioning business ready to go without anything needed. So watch this space for when i say "Let the Sale begin!" but not yet though so don't panic.
A fluffy animal story.
This is Dr. Duck. He's not really a doctor but i found him outside a doctors surgery which is nowhere near a lake or pond. Dr. Duck said having to wait outside a surgery for a appointment was Quackers. What? That joke would have been hilarious in the 1930's.
This furry little fellow is as you know my favourite animal, a Squizzle. This one though did worry me a bit. He hopped towards me and when i turned and stopped he stopped, when i walked away he followed. This went on for about 50 metres easily. Now i can add a Squizzle to my list of stalkers I've had.
Well that's it for the UK updates folks, feel a bit Vanilla about going back this year, can take it or leave it either way I'd be OK. Going to have a little holiday for a week then crack on with the refurb as i have plenty of time to do so this season, i may even add plants to my front of house plant pots this year, they only been empty for 5 years so think its about time don't you?
And i promise you all as i know you ask about him Kevin the Minion will be out and about on his adventures and we will be re-visiting the mad axeman, we have unfinished business.
So until my first update from the rock...............
Serve All, Love All, Peace All, Kevlar Out!