Friday, 5 February 2016

Here we go...again!

Well I guess my last attempt at getting back into the blog writing habit was a bit of a false dawn so here goes with another one!

Having last posted in 2015, I felt it was time once again to get blogging again and see how this one goes this time!

The Banks boys Alfie and Harry continue to progress as in their first and second years respectively.  Alfie is busy running around causing havoc whilst looking very cute,  and he has just started giving kisses so that's very cute too,  whilst younger brother Harry whilst also very cute,  is the complete opposite to Alfie and is so laid back - he definitely has my genes there.

Elsewhere in the Banksy world,  it's still a case of adjusting to the Big Yellow way since they purchased BiG Storage 12 months ago. Times have certainly become a lot busier and I never thought that possible given how busy we were prior to being bought.

Storage is a strange one,  it's something that most people don't want to have to do,  but if you need it then we are the best place to come to.  Give me a shout and I'll see what I can do for you!

In the world of football,  things haven't been so good for Chester FC on the pitch. Struggling since the turn of the year to win a match,  we need 5 wins,  although arguably it could be four,  to secure our position in next year's National League.  Not quite sure what has happened this season but it does appear that the progress made last season where the lads finished in 12th position,  our highest for a number of years,  we just seem to have lost a bit of momentum this time around.  Saying that,  some have gone over the top in their criticism,  we're not playing great but we're also not bottom of the league either - ask Kidderminster or Torquay fans how they are feeling at the moment.  Now granted,  we could be dragged into a relegation fight but so could others, and all it takes is one win to get us back on our feet again.

As I type this we're actually only a few games from a Wembley appearance in the FA Trophy,  but a difficult trip to Halifax tomorrow will see if we are still in that position in just under 24 hours time.

So,  let's see how things go there anyway.

Other things on the horizon this year are Euro 2016, where hopefully England will do a little better this time round compared to last,  the Air Tattoo if I end up there again this year,  still may be a little too loud for the ears of Alfie and Harry,  so may be restricted to those visits of the Red Arrows to Broughton,  or the new local airshow up at New Brighton which will hopefully be a great new show. It will be a sad year though without the Vulcan to see at any Airshow this year having had her final flight last October.

So,  there we go,  a bit going on to look forward to this year,  and also a few blogs to resurrect.  The attempt to become mortgage free by the time I'm 50 years old needs to be treated and will be interesting to see how others are getting on in that respect too.

That'll do for now.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Banksy is back!

So,  it's been a good 3 years since I last blogged on here and so much has happened since!

Now having two little boys in the space of 12 months has changed my life around completely. Yes it's true what they say,  you do look at things in a whole new light.

From changing nappies on a regular basis to those early morning and through the night feeds  both Alfie and Harry as we've called them are so very demanding but very rewarding and it's easy to get lost in their baby eyes and wonder what thoughts they are going through even at this early age.

The time will come when I'm sure they will tell me and mum their thoughts and we'll probably wish they never started speaking!!

Elsewhere in the world of Banksy,  Chester FC have gone from strength to strength with the promotion run continuing since my last blog,  in fact now back in the league that the old girl Chester City FC went out of business in. I was of course on the board serving as media officer but stepped down last April after 4 years, due to the arrival of Alfie aka Little Banksy.

Those four years were a huge chunk of my life and whilst it was often very challenging it was also very rewarding too. Despite not being on the board any longer,  I did decide to stay in the role as Media Officer for a further 12 months but now with the arrival of Harry,  it made sense to step down but still remain involved in a media volunteer capacity,  just I wasn't able to commit so much of my time as I'd done before. There are a great set of lads trough who have taken on the mantle since last April though and am confident they will continue the great job that they have done so far.

Elsewhere,  the Vulcan bomber is in its last flying year now so I think I'll resurrect that blog too,  and the mortgage continues to reduce so maybe a trip to that blog too to get that up and running again!

So The Daily Banksy will try and be daily,  although with the two boys,  work and then family time,  those posts may end up being late on in the day!

It's good to be back!!!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The 29 Day Challenge...Game On!

Well the last time I blogged it was all to do with losing weight, and the challenge of losing a further half a stone on top of the stone lost in the 28 Day Challenge that I undertook back in September.

That four week period saw me achieve my target of losing the 14 pounds, and that's why I took it a step further in October, but as with these things, it didn't last although I did keep my weight, bar a couple of pounds thrown on around Christmas, and purposefully I've not tried to lose it again in January.

Instead, I've decided that as February has an odd number of days this year, and it's a leap year, that I'd undertake a self imposed 29 Day Challenge this time, with the sole objective of losing another 14 pounds, so this one is going to be a lot harder I'm sure, but having just weighed myself I'm currently at 13st 2lbs, so the first milestone will be to climb back under the 13st mark, so that will be the target for week 1 - to lose 3lbs.

So, how will I attempt to get there?

I've a sort of plan, and week 1 (starting today) will see me go into the gym for the first time in eons, and will attempt to do a one hour work out, 3 times a week, whilst the other 4 days I'll be doing the same at home with a few exercises, followed by a few walks (if the big freeze allows).

I've probably allowed my eating habits to go on a downwards spiral again in the last few weeks, especially as those post-Christmas chocolates simply had to be eaten, so time to get strict with myself again, and that's what I will be doing, halving those meal sizes again, and turning drinking wine into drinking water, although I don't consume wine in the week any longer, and that probably explains why I've kept my weight in the main, and not put much more back on.

So that's the challenge, a stone in 29 Days, let's see how it goes...

Game on!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

More weight lost, but now manflu strikes again!

I really don't believe it on two counts!

Firstly, I managed to lose more weight during the last few weeks, and am currently on 1 stone and 4 lbs lost, so made up with that - that was also without continuing with the running as the building of the new Chester FC website took every waking hour away from me, so that last few weeks has been classed as a rest period, but still made up to have hit my target!

My next target as mentioned earlier was to hit two milestones, one to get under 13 stone, I'm currently bang on 13st 0lbs, and the second to lose a total of 21lbs, so I'm currently 3lbs away from that.

Hopefully that gives a little hope to other 'overweight' bods like me that it's possible to do without attempting to be Usain Bolt down the estate, so good luck to all that are currently trying to shift some weight!

Stop everything, man in need!
Now, the other reason I don't believe it is that I've come down with the lurgi - yes that dreaded horrible disease...Man Flu, has gripped me. Sitting in the CFC board meeting last night I just felt it coming down, so apols to the other board members if you end up catching it!

Today though has just been stupid, sitting there in front of a PC screen snivelling through the day - apologies to anyone sitting near me on this one - and barely making out the numbers and characters on the screen - god knows I failed my log in password four times this morning,and ended up throwing my mouse across the desk in frustration. As if mulling over Voluntary Redundancy wasn't enough, now I get 'The Bug' and not a nice one either (you can start giving me sympathy now please).

Pass the tissues...
What I did find amazing though is that I've blogged about Man Flu before, twice in fact, and I wondered out of curiosity what were the dates when I last suffered with this illness and I've been amazed to see that both previous instances of the bout recorded were both within a 7 day period of each other - this seven day period - October 8th in 2009, and October 14th in 2010, and so here we are on the 11th October 2011 yet again with this ugly illness.

Is this just 'the time of year' or is it something to do with my body - is it the fitness regime I started, and have lost too much weight, and now suffering the consequences? No probably not, but there's a chance! Maybe I should get back to eating a full English - after all they always say 'feed a cold' don't they?

So, I thought it was time to re-hash the blogs from before and if you click the links then you'll see just how crappy it's been in October. I think next year I'll go into hibernation as soon as September arrives!

Man Flu 2009

Man Flu 2010

Thanks in advance for the sympathetic responses!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Second Week!

It's now into week 3 of my 28 Day Challenge, and time to have a look a back at Week 2, which I have to say has been a bit topsy turvy on the running front, but still keeping pretty disciplined on the food side of things, and keeping meals to smaller sizes.

Being off work on Friday & Monday was always going to be a test, and as most of it was indoors due to the weather being crap, it was a big test to stay away from the fridge, or even the wine rack!

But stay away I have, and upon weighing myself yesterday for the 2 week mark, have now lost a total of 12.5lbs (I'm not sure whether I should count half pounds, but it souds better!) in the space of 14 days, so it's still working and now I'm just 1.5lbs away from my target of losing a stone, so still ahead of schedule I'm pleased to say.

The running side of things has taken a hit though this week, and possibly illustrates why I have not lost more weight, who knows, but I did go running for the first half of Week 2, but don't tend to go out on the weekend days, preferring to see those as 'rest' days, or 'recovery' days as they like to call them.

The Perfect Help...
I did a few in-house sessions though of exercising, not quite confident enough to do those in the gym, and I have my mate to thank for lending me the Max & Paddy dvd to help give me a laugh whilst doing it too, well funny, you need a good laugh whilst doing this challenge, and that supplied it!

It also got me a sweat on too, and felt good at the end of it for doing it, I've done that twice now, last Thursday & on Monday - that compensated for the fact that I didn't go out running on Monday morning, and after the effort I put into that on Monday, my frame was killing on Tuesday morning so haven't gone out yesterday either, and to my hindsight's dismay I haven't been out today as I'm off to London for the day tomorrow, so the last few days haven't gone to plan - will put that right as Week 3 progresses towards the weekend with some weekend running instead.

On the food side of things, my meal sizes have still been reduced, and even when eating out had something small - a sausage & egg muffin, that I believe was my treat for the week, and how I enjoyed it, but was still disciplined after that!

I've also been raiding the fruit aisles at Morrisons and ended up with a bag of bananas and apples, and are busy chomping through those this week instead of what previously would have been a choccy bar or crisps at work.

Just a couple now...
Also consuming plenty of water too, using this as a replacement for wine in the evenings, which I've now got used to drinking - not that I was an alky or anything but you can get used to a wine glass in your hand as you settle down to watch the TV, so pints of water instead for me!

I did allow myself to have 2 of those small 'Southern Comfort & Lemonade in a can' drinks that you can get from the supermarket, but again, 2 was my limit and that was for Saturday night only - you need something to see you through the X Factor!

So, the top and tail of Week 2 has been, not so much running which I need to put right in Week 3, staying disciplined on the drink and meal sizes, and getting on down to a Max & Paddy DVD!!!

Total Weight Loss as of 14 days then: 12.5lbs
Target Weight Loss by Day 28: 14lbs

So, so close...

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The 28 Day Challenge!

In a world dominated by people trying to lose weight, I've always had the 'enjoy life' philosophy. However, recently, my mind has switched slightly - a curious jump on the scales 9 days ago revealed that I'd weighed more than I ever have done, so there was only one thing for it.

Now, as far as my eating & drinking habits go, they're not the best, I like my junk food, I like processed food, I enjoy a lot of wine, but don't smoke, and rarely exercise, so things were set to change!

I decided on the Monday (which was a Bank Holiday) that from the Tuesday I'd set myself a challenge, and that challenge would be to go out jogging/walking every weekday morning, power walks at the weekend, cut out wine, and improve my diet, and the target - to lose a stone (14lbs) in the 28 days.

This was a tall order for myself, as it would basically mean a complete shift in what I normally ate, drank, and a change also in my lifestyle, but I was prepared to do it, and the mindset would be that if I could shift a stone, then I'd try and maintain that weight, or lose more, but with the morning jog removed from my plan after the 28 days.

Now, I'm normally up at 5.30am each morning, and spend an hour on the PC whilst woofing down my breakfast watching Sky Sports News, before then getting ready for work, and leaving the house at 7.45am.

So, a massive change to my morning routine, I decided that after a quick shave, I'd go out at 6am for a morning run/walk - now someone my frame would struggle to just go out and run full stop, so it would be a mixture of both jogging and walking. I didn't want to end up passing out after one run up the road and requiring an ambulance!!!

Move over, wide load coming thru!
So, Tuesday morning, and the first jog on Day 1 of my challenge, I set myself a small target of getting so far before having to slow down to walking pace, and every morning since I've tried to go that little bit further before stopping, and it seems to be working.

The total mileage I'm going out to jog/walk is 1.5miles each day, and I probably make it to half a mile before stopping. This really is small steps you know.

Tuesday night, and time for the first healthy meal - all I had was a Jacket Potato and Beans, remember I'm much more used to a bigger meal, so looking to reduce the size of my meal portions.

As mentioned above, I'm a bit of a wine drinker, and probably guzzle something equal to 6 glasses of wine a night - so my decision to cut it out completely would be a hard one, but one where I could prove to myself I was not addicted to it, and also that I was up for it, and so far not a drop has been touched.

Wednesday morning, and the new routine was followed, whilst listening to a bit of Chase and Status whilst out running, that helped a little - although I'll probably suffer now with tinnitus!

Whilst having Cornflakes in the morning I do tend to have toast at work, so that did continue, but it also helped cover my lunch, and I have also taken to drinking plenty of cups of water - having that in my Chester FC mug certainly helps drive me to drinking fresh water each day!

A welcome distraction!
 Wednesday night consisted of a visit to the cinema, where I would normally have been tempted by the smells of sweet sweet popcorn, or a bag of maltesers, but I breezed straight past those and into the screen that we were watching The Inbetweeners in! Although I do have to confess here, due to finishing work later than I'd planned, there was a purchase of 6 nuggets from the nearest Golden Arches!

Thursday was another long day at work, as I had to get a project completed, and so it was a relaxing night, with a couple of poached eggs on toast the order of the day.

The routine was pretty much followed with little or no treats allowed, as I was being pretty strict on myself during the first few days to get myself well and truly into it.

These have got to be wrong surely?
I was going to leave it until the first week of the Challenge was complete before weighing myself, but I gave in to curiosity, and decided to have a look on Friday morning, and was made up when I saw that I'd lost 8lbs in the first three days - I certainly wasn't expecting that, so that gave me a lot of confidence that it was working - I told people about my challenge too as I felt that if I went public with it, I'd have to ensure I did it so naturally I shared my weight loss news, but this was just the start of the plan still.

I'd created a spreadsheet for myself which showed how much I'd have to lose each week during the Challenge, and it shows that I need to lose half a pound each day - doesn't sound like much from the outset but I guess it will become tougher as time goes on!

So, well ahead of schedule then, I decided to not go running on the Friday morning as my leg was pretty sore, so didn't want to push it too much, but did go for a walk later on on the Friday evening. The meal that night was a return to Jacket Potato and Beans!

I'd planned not to go running at the weekend, as I felt quite self conscious so kept the jogging times to early morning in the darkness, and I believe that is a good time to burn off calories, well that's what I've been told anyway!

So, the Saturday morning I instead took the dog out for a walk - we had him overnight from his usual place of residence - so I took full advantage of that by getting out and walking with him. One of the biggest tests for me was at Football on the Saturday afternoon, where I'd normally have to have a burger or a sausage bap, but I declined, breathed in the barbecue smell and moved on. I even avoided having a pint after the game, made it a lager shandy instead!

Following the match I went home where my fantastic wife had made me a chicken breast and veg - now veg is something I don't normally eat either, so I've now added this in to my diet too. Drinking on weekend nights was always a must for me, but once again I sat there watching Saturday night tv drinking pints of water instead!

Sunday is always a lazy day for us, but with the weather looking good, it was a chance to get out, and so myself & the wife walked around the famous Chester Walls, which is about a 2 mile walk, and at the end we rewarded ourselves with a cold drink at a pub by the river, nothing alcoholic, but just refreshing.

Our afternoon tea was only a light one even though we'd worked up an appetite from the walk, so for me just a couple of chicken chargrill fajitas, one chicken grill, 2 wraps.

No,really I'm not!
Sunday night was a bit of a challenge, and I have to admit that I did succumb to another box of 6 nuggets from McDonalds, but felt the guilt after eating through those so knew I'd have to step it up again on the Monday.

Monday came, and once again I returned to my early morning jogs, this one took a bit out of me given I'd had 3 days away from doing it, but do it I did, and felt better for doing it, and once again continued to run longer before stopping.

Monday was always going to be tough too, as after work I'd have about an hour before I have to then head out again, so a small meal this one, which turned out to be a pot of sweet and sour rice from Uncle Bens!

This then completed the week as far as the first 7 days of the Challenge were concerned, and so the first 'official' weigh in took place, and it showed that on top of the 8lbs I'd lost by Friday, I'd shed a further 3lbs, so a weight loss of 11lbs in total - really made up with that and close to my target already, although I knew that the next 3lbs could be the hardest to lose, so under no illusions as to the task.

The weather was rubbish yesterday morning, with a swirling wind and one that was slowing me up, so I have to admit that I didn't quite get as far before stopping yesterday, but for the first time I was using the app 'Runkeeper' on the iphone, and so I'd set myself an idea of what time I needed to beat tomorrow.

Tuesday's meal consisted of 2 Chicken Fajitas again, and with the England match on, it was difficult not to have a alcoholic drink, but managed to stick to water again, so job done for the evening.

I went out running again today but my body frame felt a bit sore, but still carried on, had to stop short of what I'd previously set myself last week as a slow down/stopping point, although it was still further than yesterday!

So, what have I changed in the first week of the Challenge from what I'd had before?

  • Jogging/Walking 1.5 miles each weekday morning (6am)
  • 2 miles walk on both weekend days
  • Given up alcohol
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Reduced my meal sizes
  • Improved diet

I've got 19 days left on the 28 Day Challenge that I set myself, and hopeful that I can get shut of that 3lbs in the next few days before I weigh myself again next Tuesday morning.

So, if you're like me and pretty much set in your ways, but fancy giving the self titled 28 Day Challenge a go, then take it from me, it's hard work and requires plenty of will power, but rewarding as you go along.

People have even said that they can see the difference in me - I can't, but if others can, then that's a great start!

I'll be back blogging about this next Tuesday after week 2 of the 4 weeks has been completed.

Hope this gives hope to some people out there that even if you feel you can't do something about your can.

Friday, 5 August 2011

RIP Bubba Smith

Very sad to hear of the death of Bubba Smith yesterday, one of the funniest characters from the Police Academy series of course.

Bubba wasn't just an actor though, he was also a sportsman, playing American Football for Michigan State University, and according to his Wiki had a fan chat of "Kill, Bubba Kill" - such was his imposing figure no doubt, standing tall at 6ft 7!

Bubba did go on to not just play in the NFL, but also to win a Superbowl with the Baltimore Colts, although due to the actual game that turned out, he actually refused to wear the Superbowl winners ring, blaming it on the fact the game was viewed as "sloppy".

Smith then went on to play for two more NFL teams before retiring, and taking up acting, and then of course became probably more well known for his character in the Police Academy series than his NFL career.

'Hightower' as he was known in the Police Academy series, suddenly attracted a new fan base, and I remember growing up watching the legendary police spoof series, and loving 'Hightower' - there were plenty of greats on there, but he stood head and shoulders above the rest...literally!

So, sad news then that we hear Bubba was found dead at his home, but those who remember the Police Academy series fondly will always have a place in their heart for Bubba 'Hightower' Smith.

Rest in Peace Hightower.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Remember TDK D120 tapes?

The D120 - The Posh Tape!

Just had a brief look back at some stuff from my past, and caught sight of some old tapes from yesteryear, and did anyone else reading this have some D120 tapes - they were almost the 'vanden plas' of the tape world, now everyone in that era would have had a million C90 tapes, capturing an hour and a half of music or whatever on there.

But the 120 well...a chance to get an extra half hour, it seemed to make all the difference believe me, it would of course wouldn't matter at all these days what with cd's and even more futuristic ways of keeping your music, but the 2 hour tape, well you felt almost privileged to have it.

That was until the thing bloody snapped on you, and cue the loss of some great stuff that you hadn't got saved anywhere else - there were no memory sticks in them days, just a one off tape that you'd stored stuff on - so what could you do? Well you had to get the sellotape out and hope that you could keep it together and didn't you just punch the air with delight when it actually worked, you'd cut it that well that it would keep on playing!

Then came the utter blow when the tape got all messed up, and you pressed eject on your stereo only to see unlimited amounts of tape wrapped around the mechanism inside the tape player - one word "Gutted" - that was it, end of tape, loss of media.

So, in summary the D120 was brilliant to have until it went wrong, due to the thin tape, that would be the downfall, play them sparingly if you still have them.

Better still in this day and age link your tapes up to a PC and keep them on there - you wouldn't have even dreamed of being able to do that back in the 80's would you???

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A new star is born...let's help her reach the top!

Ever wanted to be in the right place at the right time when a star is born?

Well, last Friday night it was the City Fans United Promotion Party celebrating Chester FC's debut season since reformation by the fans that saw the Championship being lifted, but amongst the celebrations was an 8 year old girl, who may just end up being the next BIG star.

When Courtney Clare took to the stage not many had heard the voice of the youngster, who was at the event as part of Daryl Clare's family - Daryl being a modern day legend, as Chester FC fans will testify, as it was he who scored many goals to help Chester City (the former club) win promotion from non league football back to League football before all the problems began.

We'd heard of Courtney's singing abilities on the Seals Podcast - for those who don't know - is the club's official podcast that is run by local community station Lache FM - and they had played a couple of songs that Courtney had put together, Danny Boy, and Ave Maria.

So, on Friday night, the audience attending the awards ceremony were treated to a performance by 8 year old Courtney, who turned 9 the day after, and after finishing both songs received a standing ovation by the 400+ audience - and well deserved too.

Upon speaking to daryl further it had transpired that Courtney would have attended an audition for Britain's Got Talent - for those reading this in the US I'm sure you know the equivalent America's Got Talent - as mentioned she would have auditioned had it not been for a clash of dates which meant she missed out in 2011, but 2012 could very well be the year that Courtney takes centre stage, but why wait that long?

Indeed, knowing how You Tube tends to send this worldwide at a rapid rate, we had Courtney's performance filmed and it appears on the Chester FC You Tube Channel - this really could be the start of something very special indeed, as Courtney will surely get better and better as time goes on, but why not start the ball rolling now and make her a world star - so for everyone reading this...get it on your facebook, send it out to all friends, and let's make little Courtney a star!

Having spoken to her on Friday night she is so full of confidence, and wouldn't it be great if we could all back her to success now?

It worked with Susan Boyle a couple of years ago when the video of her performance went worldwide, so let's see what we can do for Courtney - send it on to as many people as you know!

Let's see if we can make a million hits for starters - she deserves the break, and I'm sure we'll see a lot lot more of Courtney as time goes on!

See Courtney singing here!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Remember the old days when it was Cup Final Day?

Getting up on that Saturday morning in May, watching Saturday Superstore / Going Live* and waiting for it to finish before Cup Final Grandstand starts at 12.15pm, right after 5minutes of BBC News, which allows you to run upstairs and get your final bit of footy kit on for the afternoon ready for the one match that is being played today in England that everyone is concentrating on.

Then at 1pm, it’s time to decide what to do, do you flick over to ITV for World of Sport Cup Final Special with Dickie Davies live from Wembley, or do you stick with the BBC who are currently interviewing The Three Degrees right next to one of the Wembley Towers?

You decide to switch over to ITV where Saint & Greavsie have just appeared and you think you’ve made the right decision until you happen just to flick back to the BBC and they are now showing live pictures from the helicopter that is following the path of the coaches from the team hotels. Damn, missed them getting on the bus and sharing jokes with fans at the hotel entrance, but you’re pleased when you see the teams arrive at Wembley Way where the roar goes up.

So, sticking with BBC1 and then you’re glad you did as they’re about to start a special edition of Cup Final Question of Sport, with some celebrities joining them as they happen to support the two teams involved, but it’s still a good craic.
Once finished you zap over to ITV who are on a quick break, so you think “Good, I wanted that to happen as I prefer the BBC coverage of it!” – although Des Lynam starts to go on a little bit too long so you can’t resist the temptation to get up off your backside and turn the tv over by hand – yes not with a remote control – and happily they have started ‘The Road to Wembley’ feature with Brian Moore shouting “It’s in there!” during many of the goals they are showing.

Once finished, Jim Rosenthal then appears talking up the atmosphere that is starting to build – at this time you’re desperate for a pee having sat starry-eyed at the screen for nearly 2 hours!

Back downstairs again and the Cup Final atmosphere in your living room gets better as your mum says, “I’m off out to see your Aunty Amy for a while” – result, as soon as the door shuts, the volume on the tv gets turned up a few notches – again, no remote control!

It’s 2.30 and thoughts start to turn to who is going to be the Cup Final Hero this year, then the pre match entertainment kicks in with the Brass Band out in the centre circle, whilst the sun shines and flags are waved everywhere all round the ground, it’s great this, it’s what football is all about.

Then 2.45pm and the teams are getting ready, but first (on the BBC coverage as it’s better again now that John Motson is on the mike again) some bloke you’ve never heard of but all of a sudden you want to hear, sings “Abide with Me” along with half the Wembley crowd, the other half are kids who have no idea what the song is – even you don’t really know what it is, but it sounds good, because it’s Wembley.

Then the teams come out at the same time, and it looks great, the managers nervously leading their sides out, and lining up – followed by the obligatory handshakes with the FA – where is he? Ah yes, there he is, Graham Kelly, that weird looking fat bloke, who you don’t really like.

Then the crescendo of noise as at 3pm the referee blows his whistle for the start of the game – fantastic, it’s finally arrived after all the wait.
It’s time then to get lost in the emotions of the game, as a kid you’re loving just watching this, and the pitch just seems bigger than any other pitch in the land – and you’re enjoying the game, and quickly, very quickly in fact, half time arrives, and it’s time to run into the kitchen for a coke, before settling back down for the second half.
The match gets underway again, and once again, you ride through the second half wondering who is going to win, then a last minute equalizer means it’s going to extra time – this is great, more football, and in that first period of extra time you laugh to yourself when it appears on screen “Due to the extra time, BBC News will start later than advertised” – shame hey.
Then the game comes to an end, your day is nearly over, the Cup gets lifted whilst the fans party inside the ground, well half of them do, but even in them days, the other half tend to hang around to see it to the very end!

Finally the marathon that is Cup Final Day is over, but you just hang on to watch the BBC News right after just to see if they have it as their main headline, and yes they do, forget wars going on in the world, the Cup Final outcome is the main story – then you leave the news on waiting to see if they mention it again, but you actually get the bonus of seeing the goals from the Scottish Cup Final – brilliant!

The news finishes, and that signals the end of your day, you go out to play with the football that you’ve been rolling around on the carpet in your front room pretending to be Gary Lineker or Bryan Robson.

So, what will you be doing tomorrow then for Cup Final Day?

Getting up with little motivation, maybe having a check of the Blackburn v Man Utd score on Sky (teletext if no Sky), seeing what needs doing in the garden as it looks nice outside, forget that the Cup Final kicked off at 3pm, so at 3.30 you check the score, it’s 0-0 and you think “hmmph haven’t missed much obviously” – then return for a bit of a watch of the second half, but really cannot be bothered to keep focussed on it, the phone goes, you consider pressing the pause button on the tv, but don’t.

The match then ends, with half of Wembley empty by 4.50pm as the fans don’t want to hang around to see the other team celebrate, and you wait to see the Cup lifted, not really knowing what the final score was, and then the tv gets switched over to Channel 4 where they’re doing a repeat of Deal or No Deal!

Not quite the same these days is it?

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Robots to take over the World!

It's almost like we are getting ready to live the Terminator story for real as news has broken that they are soon to get their very own internet!

Reading through a BBC report yesterday, see bottom of the page, it appears that Robots are soon to be gaining more information on how we live, and learning more about us, whcih got my thought pulses going!

Uh-Oh they're coming...
Isn't it reminiscent of the SkyNet story in the Arnie Schwarzerwhatisface film series, where the computers / robots all got minds of their own and ended up ruling the world taking on the humans?

I read this report, and it was quite thought provoking I must admit, where it seems that Robots will be able to share and store what they discover about the world on a similar platform to Wikipedia that humans all use - so Robots will become more knowledgeable, and to quote the report "Researchers behind it hope it will allow robots to come into service more quickly, armed with a growing library of knowledge about their human masters." - there's just something disturbing about that!

So, are we to see humanity being challenged here, or are we all really safe? Well I guess the answer is yes we'll probably all be fine thank you very much, but still, Robots gaining minds of their own, next thing they'll be drinking our pints in the pub, or having affairs with our wives - mind you they've probably already achieved that in a large number of households if you catch my drift on that!

ED209 makes a comeback
RoboEarth as it will become known will be the knowledge centre for these Robots to gain more understanding and further information, but whatever they get from it, to me RoboEarth just gives me images of ED209 from RoboCop where he took on a life of his own and started killing people with his guns. It couldn't happen again, could it?

We need a new 'Murphy' to fight back, but then again, he was a sort of Robot too wasn't he? Aaarrrggghhh you just can't get away with them - in fact have a look round you when you're out and about, they're all around you if you look closely - probably thinking "ha ha humans, we're coming to get you" - come to think of maybe Davina McCall is a Robot already - those Brits reading this will know what I mean by that!

This made me laugh in the BBC report, "Dr Waibel said it would be a place that would teach robots about the objects that fill the human world and their relationships to each other.

For instance, he said, RoboEarth could help a robot understand what is meant when it is asked to set the table and what objects are required for that task to be completed."

Blokes - avoid the kitchen
I'm sure many of us blokes have frozen when asked the "setting the table" question in the past, freezing on the spot thinking 'huh?' - never done that before, so maybe we'll all benefit from a trip to RoboEarth, in fact I think we should have our own "BlokeEarth" so us fellas can all share vital pieces of information on unknown chores such as 'How to empty a hoover' or 'How to programme a washing machine' - yes I can see it being a very popular site!

Getting back to the original thought though, in that this could be the next step in the Robot plan to take over the planet, do us a favour though if it's going to happen, start on the politicians first hey?

Gotta go now, there's a storm coming!

Original Report about the Robots

Monday, 17 January 2011

It's the most depressing day...of the year!

Apparently today is the known as “Blue Monday” as it’s supposed to be the most depressing day of the year – according to all those scientists out there who have nothing better to do with their time – I wish I had their job!

It’s said to be that way as it’s the third Monday in January, and Christmas & New Year celebrations have all but disappeared off the horizon now, and for most they are in need of their next wage, added to that is that the weather’s rubbish too, with miserable looking black clouds hanging in our skies.

Most of those New Year resolutions have also all probably failed by now – I know mine did, and with those rising petrol prices, it seems everyone is against us right now – when is the next Fuel Prices Protest Day by the way?

So, what will you be doing on this Blue Monday apart from humming the tune to that excellent New Order song from the 80s and doing the old drum machine bit from it too – you just have to do that don’t you? (electric 80s at its best!)

Well for most the day will of course be spent in the office again, looking at the clock on the bottom right of the computer urging it speed up as much as possible as the countdown begins to the end of the day!

I think we should all think of something positive to do today, and do it at lunchtime so that it breaks the day up nicely – so for me I’m off into town at lunch today, maybe a McDonalds is called for – a treat for the start of the week!

Let’s get through this day of depression together!!!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Mortgage Free by the time I'm 50.

That's my dream, yes.

It's also a realistic dream too, and I'm going for it.

I decided that 2011 would be a year I would start something new, and this year, and for the very first time in my life I've made an overpayment on my mortgage - oh Happy New Year blog readers by the way!

Yes, I spent most of December thinking what could I do new for 2011, and apart from continue blogging and enjoying that, I was determined to come up with something I could do - now there is the old weight loss attempt, which I'll try again, but will probably fail miserably on again, so it needed to be something relatively easy-ish to do, but something that would do some good.

Financially, let's face it, we'r all screwed at the moment aren't we?

Everything goes up apart from it seems, your wage. So you have to be creative, which is why my friends I'm looking for everyone to donate a pound to my mortgage.

No, not really, but if you really want to you can. That comment came from a thing I stumbled across on the internet the other day when I wondered if anyone had ever asked for people to pay their own mortgage for them, and to my surprise there was - here - bizarre or what.

Another example is listed here , so there are actually people out there who have been brace enough to go begging for money to help pay off their mortgage!

What I am doing along with a small weekly payment that will knock 2 years off my mortgage, and any money raised from my blogs (through the usual channels ie adverts etc) will go onto my mortgage as overpayments too, so really the blogging could help me achieve my aim of being mortgage free by the time I'm 50.

So, getting back to the original point of me doing something this year, I've set up my standing order on the mortgage to overpay by £1000 this year, and see where we go from there. I'm sure there are lots of others who would like to do and actually do this kind of thing each month, so if you are one of those people who want to clear their mortgage quicker than expected, come and visit my new blog called Paying Off The Mortgage and we can all monitor our progress together, feel free to comment on there with how much you are intending to clear it by, and how you're doing throughout the year, and hopefully by the end of the year we'll have stuck to our plans.

See you over there!

Monday, 20 December 2010

It's Freeeeeeeeeeeezing!

Have we ever been in a more miserable mood in the UK?

The temperatures are dropping further and further with each passing day, and the country is starting to feel as though it's going to cease up!

The snow is causing havoc with planes, trains, and automobiles, and the de-icing routine in the morning is just becoming ridiculous now, with even the de-icer freezing over after spraying - this morning I felt like a right lemon sat on the drive waiting for the windscreen to clear whilst looking at the temperature gauge stating it was -10C!

I was thinking if my car could talk it was starting to say to me, "you know what, I'm not going to bother today in this weather", and I couldn't really blame it if it did!

Hopefully the arctic blast is coming to a head now and it may just get a little warmer in time for Christmas, but this sure ain't much fun anymore, especially when you start thinking about how much the next gas bill is going to be for with all this heating being on - mind you I'm glad now that we did a 'Not til November' Challenge in our house whereby we went through November (and onto mid December in actual fact) without putting the heating on!

I bet the gas companies are rubbing their hands with glee at the moment loving the fact that the nation is having to whack that heating on so much, it does play on my mind though about the time when the Russians were hinting that they wouldn't send over the gas earlier in the year, can you imagine what it would feel like now if they refused to open that long pipe? Jeeeeze!

I really do believe that they should have a law in this country where if it hits a certain temperature that everyone can stay off work, and just stay indoors having a good drink to warm up the body!

i think I may just run for the Prime Minister job!

Vote Banksy!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Work Christmas Lunch

Well yesterday saw that annual event, the work Christmas lunch, you know the one, where you get your Secret Santas out for each other and wear a silly paper hat on your head for an hour or two at most!

Unfortunately, we weren't able to make a night of it, mainly due to the fact that we had to come back to work in the afternoon - gutted, but there we go.

Does anyone else find anything as stressful as finding someone's Secret Santa present though?

I mean you draw a name from the hat - you're guaranteed to draw the name that's the hardest person to buy for, and then you agree an amount, it could be a fiver, it could be a tenner, but once agreed people never seem to stick to the value.

The fear of being labelled the 'small spender' then takes over for the next few weeks, as you're convinced other people have spent loads more than you despite this £5/£10 rule, so in the end you probably end up spending over the odds only to find that the person who's bought your present has spent less than you - how does it make you feel?

Do you sit there looking totally unimpressed at the fact that you went to miles more effort than the other, or do you take it in good heart, with the notion that it's better to give than receive?

Bollocks - of course you sit there peed off knowing you could have saved yourself a fiver, and had another couple of drinks with it!

Ah well, at least the meal should be okay, although there is then the countless disputes over who pays what, and whether someone has underpaid, but do you challenge them as it's Christmas, and slip an extra pound in yourself to make up for it, whilst having that underlying feeling of angst, that the person has got away with a pound?

Then the tip, now us Brits don';t have to leave tips, unlike in the US where it's expected - no, over here we get the choice, and once the piles of tenners & twenty pound notes are in one person's posession, then the debate starts, as we have £20 more than we though, do we put it towards the tip, or do we have another round of drinks instead, I know which one I'd prefer.

Whatever the case it's usually practice to save a fiver and get the obligatory box of sweets for the team, and there will normally be a dispute over that too, with some wanting Roses, whilst others show their disappointment in the fact that you didn't get a box of "Celebrations" - but they do it in a coy way, i.e when they're munching on one of the Roses, they mumble something about how they prefer the other variety - well don't friggin eat the Roses then!

Christmas lunches also result in at least one person on the table saying, "Oh I could just go to sleep now" following their lunch, and also one person who sits in the seat where the sun continously shines on their side of their face and end up sitting at the most ridiculous angle when it would just be far easier to pull the curtain over!

I also find you listen in to other work groups having their Christmas lunch too, trying to find out what they're all about, come on we all do it, and for no good reason too!

Then there is always one person who's order comes out wrong - all this despite booking it about 3 weeks earlier, why can they never get it right??

Well that's done for another year anyway, now who's up for booking next year's do?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

World Toilet Day Revisited!

Well I just couldn't let it pass, tomorrow is World Toilet Day!!!

Now, admittedly there is a serious side to all this, but really, a day dedicated to Toilets....I mean?

My blog last year (see here) hopefully did some good for the awareness campaign around, and this year is no exception, so tomorrow morning I'll be dropping off some pointers about what you can do to celebrate World Toilet Day...

Have a good read of it, and see what ideas you can do for one of the most special days on the calendar that surely even rivals Christmas Day - well let's face it, there's normally a load of shit on the tele that day, so it does rank alongside it in that respect!

Speaking shit on TV, did anyone watch the England game last night?

Fortunately, I was enjoying Chester FC's latest win so ended up only watching the highlights of the game - well what highlights there were of course.

So, tomorrow spare a thought for others as you sit on the bog!

A bog blog - now there's a thought....

May as well refer to the award that was received with delight from fellow Blogger, Argentum Vulgaris, who gave The Daily Banksy the Golden Bog Roll Award - a major honour amongst the blog world!

Anyway, that's it now, gotta to have a sit down...

Friday, 5 November 2010

It's Bonfire Night again, and yet rains!

A year after blogging about Bonfire Night, and the nightmare weather that was around at the time, I expressed my non-delight at the fact that it always seems to rain in the UK on Bonfire Night, and guess what's forecast for tonight in Chester? Yep, you guessed it - heavy rain!

You would think that just for at least one night in the year, the weather system would allow us to enjoy the night when things are allowed to go bang in the night, in fact in our ever health conscious world - and it's getting worse in that respect - I'm surprised that they haven't banned the things, just because the stick of one of them dreaded rockets could end up falling on your head after it's gone bang!

I mean, it's just not on is it, the fact that people can have a spikey umbrella and have no regards for your face when walking alongside one - perhaps they think they are audtioning for a part in 'Singing in the Rain' I'm not sure, but they always seem to whack you one on the head!

But this world is going safety mad, and soon we'll be confined to those extremely sad old indoor fireworks that have as much excitement as watching paint dry!

I remember times where you could mess around as a kid and not have a care in the world, that time when you didn't have to wear bike helmets, when you'd fall off your bike, cry a bit, then jump back on and pedal on, no that's all gone now, in this ultra safe world - well at least it's supposed to be, but really half these changes make matters worse for everyone!

Anyway, time to get back to the initial subject of fireworks, I atually hear people watching a firework display saying, "it's a bit loud" when the bangs and boom fill the air, what were they expecting - a mild and whispering 'bip'?

For christ's sake, you go to a fireworks display to enjoy the experience, not to come bcak moaning about the volume - wear a pair of headphones if you don't like it!

Anyway, happy bonfire night all, and to those who don't have firework displays in their countries, well enjoy the quietness, whilst we all go "oooh" and "aaah" as we look up to the skies!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Invasion of the Daddy Long Legs

Well I'm sure you've all got them in your rooms across your house now haven't you?

Yes, the month of October has seen the usual infestation of what we call "Daddy Long Legs" - and what a pain in the arse they actually are!

Fresh from talking about big spiders, along come these freaksish looking things, and whilst not being afraid of them, they are just hanging around the walls of many houses, just sitting there watching you with their weird little eyes, in fact I'm sure they are there planning the big invasion.

You can see it now, they just wait for you to open a window or a door in your house, and as soon as they make it through they then whistle to their mates - in their own way of course - letting them know that they've made it, and to follow them, and so the next fleet arrive, just bimbling around your kitchen window seeing what creature comforts lies in wait for them.

Maybe they just want to get in to have a good look at that picture on the wall that was put up about 5 years ago that no-one looks at, but for them it's a chance to see something other than a garden fence!

In fact they are probably eyeing up that can of beer or glass of wine, thinking "wha-hey lads here we go, time to get pissed!" - perhaps that explains why they can't get awy when you grab it by the legs!

So, what is the point of Daddy Long Legs then?

Okay, well here's the boring bit - apparently they are also known as 'Crane Flies', and are (according to wikipedia) poor fliers and are prone to the old wobble in unpredictable patterns during flight - it's a bit like sitting in a plane with a Ryanair pilot at the controls.

You'll be delighted to know that they do not bite you, but sadly they don't bite mosquitoes either, they actually feed on Nectar, and no not the amber nectar drinking variety!

The unfortunate thing is once they become adults, their job is to simply mate and then die - what a life hey? I wonder if any of them become celibate, and refrain a good old 'how's your father' just so they can live a little bit longer??

Poor things, mind you, they're still a bleedin' pain in the arse, and have you reaching for the tea towel for a good old slap when they are found on your wall!

Tell me about your experiences with Daddy Long Legs!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Go Compare? Go bugger off more like!

I'm not sure about anyone else, but I'm getting well and truly fed up of the advert for Go Compare, or Go Compaaaaaaaaaaaaaaare as we keep on being told by a fat bloke in a black and white suit pertaining to be an opera singer.

It was quite funny when it first came out, but now it's wore off completely, and just makes me flick the channel over on the remote control as soon as I hear the start of the ad.

Time for a change, I know they say that it identifies the brand etc, but it doesn't stop it being annoying as hell, so hopefully they'll freshen it up somewhere soon, it's just cringeing now everytime I see it.

So much so in fact that I've started to sing something else which fits in nicely after the "Go" bit, try it... "Go f... off, Go f... off..." yes, it works quite well actually!

Anyway, I'm sure everyone has their own adverts that they just cannot stand, and right now that's mine!

Rant over.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Bollocks - it's confirmed, Man Flu strikes again.

Having felt rough yesterday and alerting the emergency services that I was possibly about to be struck my man's worst enemy - Man Flu, it was confirmed through the streaming nose (lovely image hey), and lack of seeing what I was typing at work, that I had indeed been gripped by the killer disease.

So, I refer back to my previous blog about it, and it's definitely an October thing, having blogged about it in early October last year - so how bizarre that it's back again, hope I'm not in for this on an annual basis - I can do without that thank you.

Anyway, I feel like I've swallowed a bag of Gillette Mach 3 Turbo's, really crappy this morning, but unlike the jibes that us blokes constantly get, I'll still battle on and go into work*

*depending on how I feel in the next twenty minutes

So, what is the best cure for Man Flu?

Swallowing copious amounts of Beechams? Drinking pints of Lemsips? Perhaps even putting a towel over your head, whilst that head is sitting over a bowl of hot water? - hmmm can't really do that one in work.

Maybe the cure is daytime television - no actually that can only make things worse, as all that's on is house makeovers and Jeremy Kyle - did I read that someone hit him the other day? How funny!

Anyway, I think it's time to revive that Man Flu blog again, with quite possibly the world's funniest video about the global killer...