Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of weeks. Mine have actually been by my standards fairly quiet. After an extremely busy couple of months. It was probably about time to be honest.
Last weekend I went to visit my oldest school friend on the Welsh border. We were thrown together on the first day of Primary School. And have been mates ever since. It is always brilliant to spend time with him and his family.
He has a lovely house in a beautiful area. It is surrounded by forest, hills, greenery. And he has a stream that runs down in front of his driveway. Plus there is a canal near by. Which includes a viaduct. That you can walk across. It is a relaxing place to spend some time. And a nice contrast to the hustle and bustle of London.
It was only really a flying visit. I arrived on the Saturday afternoon and had to head home again by Sunday afternoon. I arrived around lunchtime. His wife already had some food ready. We then took a trip out to an Iron Works place.
Which featured several amazing sculptures. Including giant animals. And a huge Angel. Which was made out of knives handed in from the various weapon amnesty’s. That there have been. It is both beautiful and terrifying. When you think that all of those blades used to be on the streets.
It also had a shop. Which sold lots of arts and crafts from various local artists. There were some really quirky and interesting things there. If you were looking for centre piece items for rooms in your house. It would be a brilliant place to go to for them.
They also sell produce by some local food and cosmetic makers. Which is great to see. It gives the place a nice family feel to it. They have a wonderful little cafe there. Which has some very nice looking cakes on offer.
On the way back from there. Predictably I guess. We dropped in to one of the pubs on the canal for a couple of drinks. It was nice to sit outside and chat for a bit.
They have a young daughter. I ended up trying to entertain her. With a small variation of the game “spoof” using a coin. I am glad I was not playing her for money. She was worryingly good at it. And it would have cost me a fortune.
We spent the evening chilling and relaxing at their house. Then the next morning. We popped along to a huge Car Boot Sale. That was on near by. I had not been to one of them for years.
I must confess, if I happen to be home around midday. I do like to watch Bargain Hunt. I have no idea about antiques. But I like the idea of picking something up and selling it on for ideally lots more money. I am secretly hoping I pick up some knowledge on the subject from the programme.
As there was not anything I really wanted to buy. I spent the time walking around the Boot Sale. Deciding what items I might buy if I was on Bargain Hunt. And was going to have to sell these things at an auction.
What I did notice. Is that there is a lot of good quality and quite impressive items at these things. But there are also quite a few things that left me thinking. Why have they not just thrown that out. It will never sell in a million years!
I think everybody else brought something except me. But nothing jumped out at me. Plus unlike in Bargain Hunt. Nobody had given me three hundred pounds to spend. We then went back to their place for a quick bite to eat. Before I had to get my train home.
I just had time to show off my musical skills. By playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on their daughter’s mini grand piano. It is the only song that I can play. But I do like to think I can play it well. When the concert was over. it was time to head back to Buckinghamshire.
The Premier League is back. Tottenham Hotspur have started the season nicely. Well on the pitch at least. The opening of the new stadium has been delayed. And at this moment we do not actually know when it will be ready.
Thanks to the move to the new stadium that we are not in yet. I have managed to become a season ticket holder at the club. Which I am delighted about. It is something that I have wanted to be for a very long time.
When I will get to enjoy this. And actually get to sit in my seat. At the minute who knows? Until then we are back playing at Wembley. To be fair there are worse places to be based. And having played there all last season. We are kind of used to it now.
It is going to be an open season, I think. Manchester City are still the best side. But if they do get sidetracked by the Champions League. One of the other sides could sneak it. Should be an entertaining and exciting season.
Can Spurs win the league? Who knows. I am looking forward to supporting them through thick and thin. Seeing as many games as I can. And enjoying the football we play. Anything else is a bonus.
But I am not going to lie. It would be brilliant to win some silverware this year. Although we have not made any new signings. We have two or three players coming back from long term injury. Which is I think possibly better than having any new signings.
I am currently reading Mauricio Pochettino’s book “Brave New World”. It is a diary of Tottenham’s 2016/2017 Season. Through the eyes of the Manager. But it is also a biography of his career. It details how he has got to where he is today at Spurs.
I am finding it fascinating. The culture he is trying to create. The way he manages and treats the players. How he unwinds and relaxes. Plus it demonstrates his obvious sense of humour. It really is an interesting read.
If you want to understand what it is like being a top manager. It is a must read. You get a great insight in to the workings of a Premier League Club. Detailing how much of an impact and influence the boss can have. And how much he has to oversee and be involved in on a daily basis. To make his plans work.
I already was a massive fan of his. But after reading this. I love him even more. And have more respect for what he is trying to achieve and the way that he is trying to do it. He is an fantastic manager.
I went out for some Bank Holiday Sunday drinks with a good friend of mine in Reading last weekend. We went to the Brewdog Bar. That they have there. It was the first time I had been. It has a good vibe to it. With music playing at a level you can still comfortably talk above. Which was handy. As we were having a good old natter and catch up.
It did give us the chance to sample a few different beers. I do enjoy trying new and different beers nowadays. I think when you start off drinking. You do not really enjoy the taste. But you enjoy the feeling. Then as you get older. I think you are more likely to have discovered what you like drinking. And enjoy the taste element more. Well this certainly applies to me anyway.
It was a fun and civilised night.I discovered a few new beers that I like. So I can keep an eye out for them. When I am out in London. I stayed at his house. He has children. Which led to us watching the film Mama Mia .While we were having our breakfast. Which did make for an unusual start to my day. It is very different from Sky Sports News. Plus I have had ABBA songs in my head all week.
The celebrities for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing have been announced. In fact last weekend. They were filming the opening Red Carpet sequence outside of work. For the start of the new series.
It is a programme I would love to get the chance to take part in. I mean to have the chance to learn to dance properly and perform with the professional dancers must be amazing.
In this latest line up. There is as ever a few people. I have met in the past. I met Susannah Constatine. When she and her former fashion partner Trinny Woodall came in to the radio station. I was working at in Yeovil. Not sure if they were having a bad day. But a smile that day seemed “What Not To Wear” Hopefully dancing and wearing those sequinned outfits will put that right this Autumn.
I have met Lee Ryan from Blue a couple of times. I did a gig with him once in Somerset. When he was launching his solo career. I was the host. He sang a few songs. When he had finished performing. He hung around drinking with the audience. I then saw him again with the whole of Blue at an Armed Forces event in Buckinghamshire.
Ashley Roberts once squeezed past me. When I was in the audience for Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. I can confirm that she is tiny and stunning. I expect her to do well in the competition.
And I have of course seen Kate Silverton wandering around at the BBC. On her way to and from the news studio. I am looking forward to having the show back on our television screens. It is always a joy.
Another friend of mine Mike Sterling is currently in the UK Touring production of Evita. He is playing Juan Peron. He is an amazing singer and actor. Who sang for me at my fortieth birthday party.
I am really looking forward to seeing him in the show this week. It will be brilliant to watch him and catch up after. I will tell you all about it when we speak next.
Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil