Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of weeks. Mine have been fairly busy with lots of fun stuff going on. A couple of Saturdays ago I went up north to go to a Birthday party. It was for my mate’s son’s eighteenth birthday. This did make me feel quite old. As I remember once walking him to school with his mum when he was about five and that kind of seems like yesterday. The party was taking place in Warrington, so we were all booked in to a lovely hotel on the outskirts. The staff were great and the place was fantastic. It was called The Partridge. And if you ever need somewhere to stay in that area. I would recommend it.
It was a Country and Western themed fancy dress party. When I was younger I never really liked fancy dress but over the last ten years or so I have actually started to really enjoy it a lot. Plus the chance to dress up as a cowboy was simply to good to miss. I got myself some Cowboy boots, some faded denim jeans and a really nice country style shirt. Which I actually intend wearing again at some point, as it is that good. The outfit was topped off by a Cowboy Hat and bandanna. That I got from a fancy dress shop online. I am not going to lie. I really thought I looked the part. And I believe that look quite suited me.
We had a quick drink in the hotel before we headed to the party venue. I will be honest at this point I left off the hat and bandanna, to blend in a bit and not to scare the other customers. After that one drink we headed to the hall. Fair play to my mate and his wife. They had done it up well and it felt very country. They had a mobile bar there which was outside and housed in a horse box, very much keeping with the theme of the event. They also had a friend of their’s singing and playing the guitar. He was ace and did a few classic country songs. There was also a disco, so I did hit the dance floor and throw out a few shapes later on in the evening.
During the party one of the people who was there, dressed in non-fancy dress clothes. Suddenly disappeared out to his car and came back in wearing a Robin from Batman and Robin outfit. Admittedly this was very much not in the spirit of the actual theme but as the guy was about six foot eight and pretty skinny. Seeing him dance very badly around the room wearing this costume made for great entertainment. I am not saying it was too tight but let’s just say it did not leave too much to the imagination in certain areas.
As with all good parties there was a buffet, which included a cake my mate had made himself. Which for the record looked and tasted amazing. I also rediscovered an item of food from my childhood. Which I had not had for years. They had little packets of Iced Gems available. Do you remember them? They are tiny little bits of shortbread style biscuits with different coloured icing on top. Now I had enjoyed a couple of drinks by this point but they tasted so good. I wondered how I had survived not having them in my life for so long. It was a good fun night and a brilliant party. I had a lovely time celebrating such a happy and special occasion.
My friend and his family have recently moved to a lovely village on the English/Welsh border between Wrexham and Shrewsbury. The day after the party I went back to their new place with them to spend a nice relaxing Sunday there. After the birthday boy had finished opening all his cards and presents from the previous night. We decided to go out for an afternoon walk. The view of the countryside from their house is breathtaking. There is a river that runs down from the hills near by and just down the road a canal that actually goes across a viaduct.
So we went for a nice relaxing walk along the canal. It was so peaceful and relaxing. Despite being very popular with dog walkers and bike riders. As all good walks should the first part ended with us popping in to a pub on the canal to enjoy a couple of pints and some food in the beer garden. It was pretty busy with lots of other folk clearly all having the same great idea. Once we had refueled we walked back to the house this time along the river and through a field of sheep. Then to round off a great weekend we watched the Blues Brothers film. While having some tea and a chat. It was nice to see them all and an enjoyable couple of days.
The current series of Newsjack has come to an end on Radio 4 Extra. It was another brilliant and very funny series. Sadly I did not get any of my jokes featured this time but that will not stop me trying again when the programme returns in the new year. One of the weekly writers of the show Jenny Laville is another former attendee of a Logan Murray Comedy course, just like me. Nice to see her involved and doing well.
I do of course produce my own weekly topical five minute comedy podcast. It is on I-tunes please follow the link to subscribe and then you will get it automatically delivered to your phone or tablet every week. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/neil-quigley-podcast-41-2017/id1236437663?i=1000393780498&mt=2
Last week I met up with a great bloke, who I used to work at Wembley Stadium with for a couple of drinks. There is always a chance that you could bump in to him pretty much anywhere in London. As he works at so many different places. For example he is sometimes at The Globe Theatre, The London Stadium, The Houses of Parliament and on the River Thames.
He is a professional and brilliant tour guide, who knows his stuff and always puts on a great show. Not only that but he is a drummer in a band. Who at one point nearly ended up going on the road with Status Quo for a bit. A real life actual Londoner and always good fun to be around. I am hoping to enjoy one of the trips around the House of Commons he fronts at some point in the not too distant future.
I have been asthmatic since the age of seven. It used to be quite bad as a child specially when I got a cold or a chest infection. But it has never really held me back or stopped me doing anything. As an adult it is very much under control. Although I still do require a couple of squirts of an inhaler every morning. Recently I had my annual check up. Where they simply have a chat about how you have been, check your blood pressure and note your weight. I had put on four kilograms since my last visit and the nurse then warned me that now I am in my forties I need to watch my weight, as it is easier to put it on apparently.
The final thing they do is make you blow in to a tube, so they can see how much puff you have got against their flow chart meter. I have always been rubbish at it. This is one of the reasons why I have never been able to blow up a balloon. I just cannot do it. It is always so annoying and frustrating. As when I do it I always feel like I have managed it brilliantly. Then they read you the score back and it turns out I have done badly. Every time I go I feel I am doing it better and every time the results are slightly worse. But this test does still prove I have asthma, so therefore it means I am eligible for a flu jab. Which I gratefully accepted. Anything that is free and that could stop me getting ill has got to be a good thing. So at the moment I feel invincible.
I have managed to squeeze in a couple of more trips to Wembley Stadium to see Tottenham Hotspur play. Firstly in the Premier League against Liverpool. Which I have to say was a very enjoyable game. We scored early on added a second soon after. We then conceded a goal and wobbled for a bit before going on to score two more goals and run out as comfortable four-one winners.
It was a game that I never felt we would lose. Which is still a new feeling that I am getting used to with Spurs. A very good mate of mine is a Liverpool fan and he was less than pleased with his team’s performance but I was delighted with mine.
I also managed to meet up with my friend Dez Kay for a beer before the game. Which is always good fun. He had been to the away game at Real Madrid, so I was getting all the details about that from him. I am looking forward to seeing the home game against them this coming Wednesday. At half time during the Liverpool game they brought out Diego Maradona. Who was at the game with our former player and fellow Argentinian Ossie Ardiles.
He actually played for Spurs in Ossie’s testimonial. Our Manger of course Mauricio Pochettino is also Argentine. In fact it was him who gave away that famous penalty David Beckham scored against Argentina in the 2002 World Cup. He had much longer hair then. Maradonna seemed very impressed by the team and also gave Harry Kane a bit of decent advice, while he was there to.
I took my dad to the League Cup game against West Ham United. And just like the previous round I managed to get some tickets to sit in the perfectly positioned and very comfortable Bobby Moore seats. Which seemed even more fitting bearing in mind who the opposition were. The manager juggled the squad around a bit, as I expected him to do. But I was very happy to see some players returning from injury and some others getting a run out.
Well at least I was at half time when we were two nil up and looking very comfortable. Then in the second half we stopped playing and they came back to win three-two. Which did sour what was very much otherwise a good evening. Going out of any cup competition is disappointing. But to lose after being two up and against another London club makes it even more annoying. As I said earlier I will be back at Wembley on Wednesday to cheer on Spurs against Real Madrid in the Champions League. That will be a good night whatever the result. But a win or even a draw would be brilliant.
It has been another couple of fun weeks working for the BBC in London. I watched the last series of W1A. It is slightly weird watching a comedy programme set in the exact place where you work. You are trying to relax and enjoy the programme but it does just remind me of being at work.
I have the same feeling when I am watching the news and they show shots of the people in the newsroom or the building, you can never really escape. That said it is always a great feeling when I arrive there and walk through those famous doors.
Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil