Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of weeks. Mine have been good but if I am honest, it has been a fairly low key start to the year so far. I do travel on the train in to London pretty much on a daily basis. The line heads through some pretty nice locations to live in, in the fine county of Buckinghamshire. So there is always the chance of spotting a familiar face or two.
Just the other week while heading in to the capital I found myself standing next to the former Wimbledon and Sheffield United football manager Dave Bassett. Now I had actually met him once before. Although I would really not expect him to remember, as it was around twenty-one years ago. When I was eight years old I attended an official Football Association Fun Week during the School Summer Holidays.
It was five days of coaching with fully qualified coaches and then on the final day there would be a special surprise guest to hand out the certificates. So at the end of the Friday afternoon session Dave Bassett appears to give us a talk on his football career. Which as I recall seemed to involve a lot of red cards, when he was a player.
He then did a question and answer session and handed us our certificates. It was very exciting to see him and he was the first proper professional football person I had ever met. I didn’t talk to him on the train. If I am honest it would of been a bit awkward and odd me explaining how he met me as a child. But it did bring back a nice childhood memory seeing him. He was holding a FA Coaching clip board to.
Staying with Football, as a child I was for a couple of season’s a season ticket holder for Wycombe Wanderers. I played one season for their Under 16’s and did have a trial for their youth team. Plus both my parents are big fans of the club and go home and away to watch them. So I was delighted to see them do so well in the FA Cup holding Aston Villa to a draw and getting a replay back at Villa Park. Which they narrowly lost. The previous time that Wycombe had played there was against Liverpool in the FA Cup Semi-Final in 2001.
So I guess you could say they do have a little bit of a Cup pedigree. And you know that clip you often see of John Motson standing on a snow covered pitch. That is at Adam’s Park Wycombe’s ground on the day they should have played Peterborough United in the FA Cup but the game was called off.
I remember it well because me and my parents were virtually at the ground when we found out it was off. And had to turn around and go home. So well done to Wycombe Wanderers for their cup efforts this year.
I am currently reading Steve Coogan’s autobiography “Easily Distracted” which I got for my birthday. The slightly weird thing is he actually released a fictional autobiography for his character Alan Partridge a few years before he bought out his own book. I am about two thirds of the way through it so far and it is very interesting. I do love reading about how people “made it”
He is very honest and open about his life in it. Which I feel you should be when you are writing this kind of book or you are just cheating yourself and the reader. I do like when these books are written how the person talks, if that makes sense. So as you are reading it you can hear them saying these things and describing them. How you would expect them to. It is interesting how he views his body of work and his career. And what are his biggest achievements in his opinion. It is a good read and I am really enjoying it.
Last weekend I found myself dog sitting for my sister. She went away to Centre Parks for the weekend, so I agreed to look after her pride and joy for her. She has had her dog for I think around seven years now. I did obviously come round to see it when she first had it as a little puppy. So the animal in question knows me very well. I am quite a good brother, really.
Every time I see the dog it is pleased to see me and always wants a cuddle and to sit on my lap. So I knew we had a little bit of a rapport. But this was the first time I was solely in charge of its well being. And just make things slightly more challenging the poor thing had been a bit ill recently, so was still on some medication. Which I had to administer.
I am pleased to report it was a success. I managed to feed and walk the dog as required, she didn’t seem to put out to be stuck with me for the weekend and we did not fall out during it. Plus I did manage to give her the medicine. Which required me trying to get her to sit perfectly still.
While I had to put a huge syringe type contraption in her mouth while using both hands to push the trigger down so the stuff came out. Trust me that is a lot harder than it sounds and I had to do that twice a day. Both me and the dog survived but I have to confess now having had hands on experience of what is required to look after a dog. I have absolutely no plans to get one of my own.
While I was in dog sitting I took the opportunity to watch Chris Ramsey’s first stand up DVD “All Growed Up”. I do really like him as a comedian. He has a really friendly style and with his Geordie accent his gigs really do just feel like a mate telling you stories and jokes over a pint down the pub or a cup of tea at his place. I have seen him live and that is really how it feels. It is like you are all in it together. And the way he constructs his shows is very clever. It is like you are all going on a journey together.
It was really funny and I would recommend seeing it if you get the chance. He was originally due to record the show in London for the DVD but then there was a problem with the venue and he ended up moving it to Newcastle. Which as he is from the North East having that home area crowd really added to the atmosphere and helped the show, I think. So although not the initial plan I think it worked out brilliantly doing it that way in the end. He is still touring this show, so keep an eye out and may be even catch it live.
I am looking forward to going to see the recording of a brand new television show next week. It is called “It’s Not Rocket Science” and is hosted by Ben Miller, Rachel Riley and Romesh Ranganathan. It is a new entertainment show which looks at new technology and gadgets that are meant to make all of our everyday lives easier.
It should be a lot of fun. It is being recorded at the BBC Studios at Elstree, which is the same complex where Eastenders is filmed. I have no idea when it is due on TV yet. But rest assured when I do I will let you now and I will tell you what the episode I saw was like the next time we speak.
I am also very pleased to have been invited along to watch another London audition for this year’s Britain’s Got Talent. I went last year and it was ace to see Ant & Dec in action. As well as the many good and bad acts which go in front of the judges. The game in the audience is trying to guess which of them will make it on screen. Sometimes it is easier to predict the bad ones rather than the good ones.
It is quite a long evening as they do pack in as many performers as they can. I will let you know if I do spot any potential winners. A lot of the banter and fun between the judges does not always make the shows final edit. So when you are there it is usually a lot more fun in between the acts.
I wonder what Simon Cowell will be wearing? I’m guessing it will be a white shirt, jeans and black Cuban heels but you never know I could be wrong. One thing is for sure, it will be an interesting night at the theatre.
I think Ricky Gervais may have seen something that I sent to him as a reply on Twitter and then passed it off as his own. I mean he might not of and it could just have been a total coincidence and just weird timing. Here is what happened.
He posted a tweet about people complaining more now as it is easier with social media to moan straight away rather than in the days before the internet having to sit down and write a letter, then post it to make a point. Most people didn’t because it was too much hassle.
I replied to it saying that also thanks to Twitter there is less writing on toilet walls now. He then two minutes after I had made that remark posts a new update on his twitter page saying pretty much exactly that with no acknowledgement to me anywhere to be seen.
I will never know the truth about this situation. Unless I ever meet him and actually get round to asking about it. If he did use it, I mean it would have been nice to get a little bit of credit for it. That is all I am saying.
Yesterday I went for an audition to be a contestant on a brand new game show. It is a completely fresh idea and format, so I can’t really say any more about the actual game play. However I had a really fun afternoon meeting the production team, showing off a bit and answering some general knowledge questions.
I should find out in the next few weeks if I have been selected and therefore when I will be invited along to the studios to play it. I do not know currently who will be presenting it or indeed what time in the television schedule it will be on. But I will of course keep you posted.
I am on the whole having a pretty quiet January. I am still not having any alcohol and will not have any until I go to a party on the first full weekend in February. I am doing plenty of running and weight training to get my fitness levels up ready to take on the year. I would like to say I am doing a bit of a detox but that is not true. While I am trying to eat lots of fruit and vegetables I am still having plenty of chocolate and crisps. Well if you are doing a lot of exercise I feel you need some rewards. I am feeling good for the slight sacrifice though, which is the main thing.
I am already starting to put some plans in place for the party to end all parties this December. I am already thinking about venues and exactly what kind of entertainment I intend to put on for the guests. I have got some pretty good ideas which if they do come off, they will be amazing. It is still a little way off but already I think I may have to take next January of the booze to compensate for the celebrations taking place at the end of this year.
Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil.