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Saturday, 17 April 2010

Back on the airwaves and other bits and bobs

Well last week was the first show of At the Movies at Preston 103.2FM and ticks off another thing on my list as well. After a 6 month break of which I got married and went on honeymoon to Mexico, which was amazing! It was good to be back in the studio creating mayhem and having a giggling fit while reading the news. Check out and listen to the podcast and you will see why. It really feels like I am really getting through the list at the moment and can't wait to go and see Peter Kay and Flight of the Concords next month it should be absolutely fantastic.

On to other items on the list; I have booked the VIP Hospitality spot for me and Cheryl in to go and watch Preston Grasshoppers in two weeks time against Loughborough. Really looking forward to it and hopefully the weather will be just as nice as it is a glorious sunny day in Preston. A big thank you to the Knowledge team at Business Link Northwest for their great leaving gift, which I will blog about after the event.

Regarding doing something for charity I have set up a fundraising page now and thank you to the people so far who have sponsored me for the BUPA Great Manchester 10k Run, it is very much appreciated. And that means I am doing something for charity and can tick that off come May 16th when I complete the run. Regarding training for the run it is going really well as I have got up to 1 hour and covered 7.8km, which for me is amazing and I am very proud of how far I have come since I started in training in January.

Well that is all for now, just thought I do a quick news round up.

Peace, Love and Banana's

Friday, 16 April 2010

Rant time - Shaun Edwards you muppet!!!

Now to state on record, I like Shaun Edwards and he was a fantastic Rugby League player and is doing a great job at Wasps and with Wales national rugby team. In his recent blog, Edwards talks about the Premiership being reduced. The worst thing about this along with previous calls about reducing the premiership is to make the play-off's an utter mess by adding more games/extra league games. This does not make sporting or business sense. This means it will add up to what the Scottish Premiership in football has become, two horse race and utter farce with playing each other 4 times a season. It just gets boring!

Increasing the Guinness Premiership would make it more appealing as you would look at adding my team Bristol and probably Exeter Chiefs. Which are the best two teams to equip themselves in the Premiership currently. Thus making the Premiership to 14 clubs you would then introduce a system of two up two down. The Champions of the First division would automatically go up, teams finishing 2nd to 5th would face each other in a play off semi final (straight knock out cup game), thus having the final at Twickers and this would be more appealing commercially for the clubs and television companies. The current system does not work very well, especially regarding play-off's for the relegation pool. Teams like London Welsh, Bedford and Plymouth Albion have a chance at the top flight, increasing the chance of more young talent coming through. Overall more variety and attracting people to a great sport that is Rugby in England, this could be adopted down the league structure.

With getting rid of two teams, then adding extra games it means more player burn out. Now the Players union backed this and then on the other hand they moan about player burnout, it smacks of money is the be all and end all. Sometimes you wonder if it was ever worth going back to amateur status. I don't want this great sport it is to go down the path of Soccer and be money and greed with a predictable 4 horse race. Take a look at the NFL (American football) and they have the right balance making sure it is competitive; only one team in the last 20 years (?) have won it more than twice in a row!

So what about the EDF/LV= Cup (Anglo-Welsh tournament) this would just become a feeder competition for up and coming players as well as academy players a chance to play in a competitive tournament. With the extra revenue generated by the play off system in the First division this should be able to cover the loss of revenue from the EDF/LV= Energy Cup. Including expanding the Premiership to 14 clubs the extra revenue created by the two extra fixtures at home should cover the income from degrading (which already is) the EDF Cup. Another alternative would be to bring back the old national knock out cup, similiar to the F.A Cup this in turn would make more interesting entertainment for the fans and also a chance for an upset if teams (which they probably will do) send out an understrength side. I would scrap the Anglo-Welsh Cup as this is just bringing more stale matches and clubs sending their reserve/youth sides out and if they end up in the Semi Finals then they get interested. Look at this year's LV= Cup Final it was a cracking final, but played at Sixways the home of Worcester Warriors! What a come down from last year as the final was held at Twickenham and it was a proper final with Gloucester playing Cardiff Blues. That tells you that the current format of the cup competition is not working and needs fixing.

Interesting thoughts from Mr Edwards of Wigan, but I think I have a far better idea and solution to what you have said in your blog. Problem solved, now where did I put that job application for the RFU?

The Sunday Roast (not a comedy, but a very delicious dinner indeed)

The Sunday Roast that I made at the Burton family home (the in-laws, just in case you were wondering) went really well. With help from Cheryl and Margaret (Mother-in-Law) it was a great success and to pass the delicate taste buds of Paul (Father-in-Law) and Louise (Sister-in-Law) was fantastic. It was a shame Alan and Sarah were not able to make it over for the Easter Sunday Roast I made.

I got up early to start preparing the meat and other bits and bobs.It was not the crack of dawn when I got out of bed or chasing chickens around the yard trying to get the eggs, nothing like that at all. I woke up about eight a.m to start the whole process. During the morning I did not have a chance to read the Sunday paper as soon as I sat Cheryl gave me something else to do with getting the Roast ready for a 1:30pm start. I enjoyed cooking a big meal, while the hardest part was the last 30 minutes as everything had come together at once and I was getting a little dizzy in my head. Thankfully Cheryl and Margaret were on hand to help out and get everything served up. I was so tired after cooking all morning I could not do it every Sunday, I want a chance to catch up on Bristol City and the Football League highlights on the BBC. I have been asked to come back again from Margaret, will I do it again...well...we shall see.

Below are the pictures I took on my phone as evidence I made the Sunday Roast. Bring on Christmas at home in Clevedon now when I make it for my Mum, Dad and Auntie Freda. For the first time in my life my Mum will not be making Christmas lunch.






My impression of a seal lion with a carrot moustache.





Look at the concentration! It was real hard work with those carrots.




My impression of Martin Johnson England Rugby Union Manager.





 This one is going to be included in my Chef of the Year application.

The Menu

(No Starter)
Mains
Roast Beef with cauliflower, runner beans, carrots and sage stuffing with a splash of home-made gravy.

Desert
Chocolate sponge with chocolate chips served in a peppermint custard.

Until next time, au revioir and peace, love and bananas. X

Thursday, 1 April 2010

A jack of all trades but a master of none

Times are a changing; a once very half talented folk singer called Bob sang down at the Old Inn back home. Tough times have been and gone, but this time they are blacker than black as they still do not look like ending any time soon. Being out on the dole (second time in the last 18 months) has to be one of the most horrible experiences I have gone through in my life so far. It has been down to me being in the wrong place at the wrong time, both jobs that I have been at have let me go which have been due to them not being able to afford to keep me on. Not being able to financially help support and pay the bills is a tough one, for me personally, I have always had to work hard at everything so I am able to do my best, at the moment I feel very old and stretched inside to the extent that I just want to stop working hard. I feel I have given my all and there is nothing that I can do that can make the situation any better or that I can change it in anyway possible. Yet just like my Dad though, I can never give up and I will not give up in my search of getting my self out of this situation. It is just this drive in me that won't relent, like a dog with a bone it will not give up to anyone or thing no matter how I want to give up.

I have never really felt that I have had one true talent like other people seem to have. In the terms of Cricket I am an all-rounder and the footballing equivalent I would be a utility player or in Rugby Union...Austin Healey. As the saying goes "I am a jack of all trades but a master of none." That is the most frustrating thing not actually having one true talent that will help me get out, just hoping being the all rounder will get me out of this situation somehow soon. Being at home and constantly job hunting and filling out application forms are driving me nuts like a squirrel on a can of Red Bull. 

With the General Election coming up in May it will be in hope that the job situation will improve and I will be in work by then. I am going for a score draw on this and a hung parliament for the first time in my lifetime and that will bring a very interesting outlook for the country and my self to see how I will be affected. It could decide if we move to Manchester as well as a change of scenery might bring me some luck and get the job I want. Preston has served me well and has given me so many good times in the six years I have been here, yet sometimes a changes is good for you and can open a new door that will lead to a new corridor with another set of choices and challenges for the future.

Peace, Love and Banana's x