Friday, 22 April 2016

Family, New York, And Talking About It

Last weekend I, along with my brothers and dad, went to Newcastle for my cousins wedding, it was an emotional occasion as it would be the first time all this side of the family would be together in one place since my Nans funeral last February.

It was a great celebration for Claire & Stevie on the day, even though our southern clan struggled at times to understand a word Stevie and his side were saying (the Geordie accent can be a tough one to get round). I enjoyed catching up with the family again, it gets said all the time but it’s sad really that a lot of the times we catch up are at weddings and funerals. There were a few standout moments of the weekend though for sure, the grooms speech got a lot of us choked up as he’d lost his mum recently, and also mentioned our Nan, so tears flowed from my aunts & a few of us. Speaking of my Nan, about 10 years ago we had a family photo taken for her, one of which was all the cousins together. The wedding was the perfect opportunity to get another one done, the professional one will come soon but my aunt captured one too, felt like a good touch and nod to Nan, and we know she’d have loved the photo.

Of course, you know what families are like at weddings, one of my aunts was on my case, why aren’t you with someone, why aren’t you married and having kids, you should have someone etc. Thankfully there’s not many weddings in this family so I don’t get that very often, but it’s not exactly easy explaining that actually you don’t need to find someone, and marriage isn’t something I want in life. Maybe there was a moment when I thought I’d do that for the right person if that’s what they really wanted, but that’s a once in a blue moon thing, even when you say it’s not something you want, there’s still too many people that think you have to have someone, get married, have kids etc to be happy in life!

Anyway, enough of that for now. Summer is coming, which means that the NFL schedule has been released ready for the start of the season at the end of August. With the schedule comes my plan for my next NY trip, and I’ve already gone through the guys at Sports Travel Tours and put my deposit down! It didn’t take long to get sorted, so a week after my 33rd birthday this year I’ll be back off to New York to see the Jets take on the LA Rams (formerly of St Louis)! These NY trips are fast becoming a tradition and a year wouldn’t be the same now without a jaunt over to the US for a game and a bit of touristy sight-seeing.

Sports on this side of the pond have been entertaining too, the lads at Concord Rangers won the Essex Senior Cup for the third time in as many seasons, and West Ham are fighting for a European spot as they it 6th in the league. Following the teams I do, being able to get along to the games I do, it’s because I’ve got the time, freedom, and money to do so, one of the reasons I am continuing to enjoy life and embrace the opportunities that are provided for me!

What’s next? Well the wrestling podcast continues to go well, still having a laugh each & every time we put it together. Actually that has prompted me to record my own little snippets and stick them online, almost verbalising a mini version of my blog (on Soundcloud, as BullJet, original I know). I sound like an idiot when I’m doing it, hence why I’ve not really publicised it, but it’s kind of cathartic, much like writing these are. Work is going well, usual blips but it could be worse. Other than that, life is life, I’m still smiling, hopefully you are too!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Whisky, Podcasts, and What's Next

Bit of a catch up this blog, not one specific topic but two main ones as noted by the title! Recently I attended Whisky Live, and subsequently wrote a lengthy blog about it. In said blog I also mentioned the Whisky Weekender, which took place this past weekend (run by the guys at The Whisky Lounge). Of course I attended and had a blast as always, catching up with some of the same people I'd seen just two weeks previous at Whisky Live. One difference though was that I took a long time friend along to what was her first whisky event.

Now she likes whisky, and going in to the event had a general idea as to the type of whisky she liked, as anyone who is slightly familiar with a dram would have. But as I've said before, these shows are about sampling new whiskies and finding out what other drams you like and enjoy. It was actually a proud moment seeing my friend try some rather different whiskies from what she was used to and finding out that she really enjoyed them. It was also good to see that some of those were ones I'd recommended, my taste in whisky isn't too shabby! The “marmite of whisky” Balcones was one standout, along with the new “Quiet Man” Irish blend, and The One, a blend released from the new Lakes Distillery (which is on the list to visit eventually).

This past weekend, whilst full of lovely whisky for me, was also a rather important one in the wrestling world, being that on Sunday night it was Wrestlemania, the biggest event of the year that WWE (the company we all knew back in the day as WWF) put on. Now I'm not going to sit here and write a bucket load of stuff about wrestling, but recently I've had more than one reason to watch it (other than general enjoyment). Back in December, myself, my two brothers and a couple of mates went to a wrestling show at Wembley arena, beforehand at a restaurant we sat around a table and talked a lot of wrestling, to which one mate suggested we should put together a podcast. 3 months later and after much discussion, we finally got off our arses and started recording one, and at the time of writing we're 4 episodes in and regularly notching up around 75-80 listens per show. If you like wrestling, or know anyone that does, our podcast is at Soundcloud.com/thesmarkcast, and we also have a Facebook page & twitter account!


Nothing like a bit of shameless self promotion eh? Other than that, things are going fairly well in general. Looking forward to the NFL schedule being released later this month, as then I can organise my next trip to New York (Kyle, Brian, guys I'm sure I owe you a beer or two when I get over there), and the month after that I am hoping to book a trip to Vegas for next year with friends which should be a blast too. Plus there's the Great British Beer festival in August, another whisky event in October, and any other trip that I decide to book before then (thinking Barcelona next as the summer approaches).

I could write a bunch more about football (what a season for West Ham eh? And Concord are flying....), the countless tv shows I'm watching (series 2 of Daredevil is awesome by the way), the books I've read recently (yes I read), my emotional state (relatively solid), my family (a pain as always but I love them), but then I would end up boring you more than I already have! Thanks for reading, it's always appreciated.

To Talk, Or To Write? A Bloggers Return!

You've got to be in the mood to record a podcast, that's one thing I've noticed over the last couple of years doing both the S...