Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have been on the whole brilliant with lots going on. A few weekends ago I was up in Liverpool for the Grand National Weekend. I had a fantastic weekend. I always enjoy myself up there and needless to say owing to the rather large event happening, the place was buzzing. I stayed with my mate Jeff Nolan. I travelled up on the Thursday. He met me off the train and we went for a catch up in his local pub. He lives near Aintree, so the place was packed with very smartly dressed people. Who had been enjoying the first day of racing.
Now we had obviously had this conversation previously but I had forgotten somehow. I was staying with Jeff from the Thursday night through to the Sunday. So as we are talking I say, it must be your first Wedding Anniversary soon? To which he replies yes it is this Saturday. What sort of mate am I? I had pretty much invited myself to stay and in the process managed to gatecrash my friend’s first year marriage celebrations. Not ideal but at least I was there to wish them both a very happy anniversary on the day itself in person. And I did buy them both a drink.
We actually went to Aintree for Ladies Day on the Friday. All dressed up in our suits and looking pretty smart and dapper, if I do say so myself. We did pop to the pub for a few pre racing drinks. But don’t judge us, we were not the only ones, pretty much everyone had the same idea. And the place was packed. I have to say I did spot some of the women wearing some pretty eye catching outfits. As you would expect for Ladies Day of course. I enjoyed the afternoon. Slightly helped by the fact, we had a couple of winners between us. Which always aids the enjoyment I find.
To beat the rush we headed in to the centre of Liverpool just before the last race to continue the party. We visited a few different venues including a couple with a Beatles theme. We went to the Hard Day’s Night Hotel and popped in to The Cavern Pub for a quick Fab Four sing-song. It was a great day out with good mates. I would recommend a day at Ladies Day to anyone. The atmosphere is great and the fun continues long after the racing has finished for the day.
On Grand National Day itself we went round to Jeff’s parent’s place to watch the Swansea against Everton game. He is an Everton season ticket holder so there was no way he was missing the match. Then when it had finished we headed to the pub the watch the big race. After visiting the bookmakers on route to place our bets. I thought it was an enjoyable and exciting race and thankfully all the horses were fine at the end of it.
None of the selections I made on the day were successful but I did manage to win the Wembley Sweepstake. So thank you to Many Clouds and jockey Leighton Aspell for making that possible for me. I also managed to pick the winner of the Scottish Grand National the week after. So again thanks to Wayward Prince and the jockey Robbie Dunne. It is a shame I did not pick the winner of the Irish National to complete the treble. In Liverpool on Grand National Day it is fair to say the celebrations continued well in to the evening. It was a great weekend, so much fun. Thanks to Jeff Nolan and his family for putting up with me. And apologies for spoiling their celebrations. I am already looking forward to my next visit up there at the end of May. To witness the end of the Premier League football season.
On the train journey home from Liverpool I managed to do something that I have not done for years. As I was getting on my second train of the day I was putting my luggage in the rack above the seats. When I caught my funny bone on the top of one of them. I had forgotten what a totally odd feeling that is. There is that quick shot of pain that only lasts for about a second or so. Then your whole arm goes instantly numb and feels really weird for the next few hours. Hopefully it will be a while before I hit it again. But it has confirmed to me that it is called your funny bone because it is different not because it will make you laugh when you hit it.
For the last couple of Summers I have had a brilliant time working with Regatta Radio in Henley. To bring full coverage of the Henley Royal Regatta to the airwaves. Sadly I have been advised that Regatta Radio will be taking a break this year and will not be broadcasting at the event. They do plan to return next year though. Hopefully working more closely with the event’s organisers to provide even better coverage.
There is still a chance I could be involved when they do return. I am really going to miss working with the extremely hard working and enthusiastic team there this year. I have learnt so much about rowing over the last couple years, thanks to mainly the very talented commentators we had working with us there. Although as I am not going to be working there this year. I may have to spend a day there actually just enjoying the rowing. If I can get myself a ticket of course.
You will hopefully be pleased to hear that my crown fitting is complete and went well. And that I am now the proud owner of my very first crown. The first of many I suspect. I was surprised by how quick the final part of this procedure was. I got to the dentist, sat in the chair. She then fiddled about with my mouth for around a minute. Yanked the temporary one out and then literally banged in the new one. Then she just did a bit of filing and the job was done. I was in and out in five minutes. Despite being told that I could eat or drink with it straight away. I still waited two hours to do this so I felt safe with it. Old habits die hard I guess.
It was all happening this week. As well as the dentist’s I had my annual eye test at the opticians. Now as a glasses and contact lens wearer I do always like these regular appointments to make sure my prescriptions are up to date and that my eyes are in good health. So after all the normal and obvious tests. With the whole better with, better without questions, with the different lenses held up to your eyes. Where most of the time I find I can’t see any difference between them at all. Anyway after those tests, they do a few other checks including a field of vision test.
Now this is probably just me but it reminds me of the sort of test that Yoda would have set Luke Skywalker at the swamp in Star Wars. You do one eye at a time. By sticking your head in to this machine and focusing on a single red light. Then you have to press a button to show how many green lights you see flashing, every time the red light moves. It is a game I weirdly really enjoy. I am a very competitive person and I like winning. So I was really trying my at it best. In my excitement I did inform the optician that I was very competitive. So when she gave me my score at the end. She said that I got one hundred percent. Now I am not totally sure if I did or if she was just telling me that so I would feel pleased with myself. But I did walk out with quite a spring in my step.
Talking of Star Wars I did see the second teaser for the new film last week. It looks absolutely brilliant and I loved the the fact we got to see some little snippets of the original stars including a shot right near the end of it featuring Hans Solo and Chewbacca. It is fair to say one of them does appear to have aged better than the other. I really can’t wait for it to come out. But I will have to be a little bit patient, as it is not due to be released until the 18th December. I now wish that I did not sell all my original Star Wars figures a couple of years ago. It is going to be an extra special Star Wars Day on May the Fourth this year, I think.
As with everybody’s lives there is light and shade and good and bad days. Last Wednesday I attended the funeral of my Uncle. The last time I had seen him was New Years Eve. I gave him a lift home after a party. He was happy, had enjoyed a good evening. And was ready for the start of the brand new year. He died after a short illness in hospital. The last memory I have of him, is how I intend to remember him. My thoughts at this time are with my aunty and my two cousins. The day itself was a celebration of his life, which is what I believe these things should be. RIP Uncle Kevin.
You may or may not have heard about a new web streaming app that has recently been launched called Periscope. Basically it can give you the ability to broadcast live to the internet through your mobile phone or tablet. So you can do short video broadcasts, which will go live to a web page and then will stay stored on your Periscope account as videos. I have just started using it as have Philip Schofield, Tony Blackburn and Chris Moyles to mention but a few. So if you have the app or follow me on twitter. Do keep an eye out, as I will be producing more and more live webcasts and videos on there over the coming months.
I went along to Windsor Races with my parents recently. I am partial to a bit of horse racing and Windsor offers great Monday evening race events all the way through the summer. Normally with some great post-racing entertainment. Windsor is a lovely little, friendly course right next to the Thames. So it is a great place to spend the evening, in my opinion. The parking there is great, the portions of the fish and chips are quite unbelievable and they do get a lot of the top jockeys and trainers there. I had a good night with two winners and a place bet coming in. Which does all add to the enjoyment, if you can correctly select a few horses. Watching the races certainly gets the heart rate up and gives the vocal cords a good work out. Or it does for me at least. I suspect I will be back there a few more times over the coming months.
Over the next week or so I am going to be seeing a few different television shows being recorded. Which I am looking forward to. As it is always fun in the studio watching these programmes being put together. The first of these will be The Last Leg with Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker at the Fountain Studios in Wembley. I am then also returning to the same studio just a few days later to watch an episode of Play To The Whistle being filmed with Holly Willoughby, Bradley Walsh and Sean Walsh.
Then finally a couple of days later I am off to the Elstree Studios to see Celebrity Juice being filmed. I am slightly concerned that Holly will think I am stalking her. When I keep turning up at every single place that she is working. They all feature top comedians. And are mostly light hearted shows. Who do not take themselves too seriously. So they should all be a right good laugh. Which is always a very important part of my world.
Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil.