"Ya Know What Really Grinds My Gears"
An area for me to vent my opinions and views about current and past issues and events, with the idea taken from Family Guy. I will also include reviews.

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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Glastonbury 2014

After setting off at an ungodly hour and picking up two liftshare.com randoms named Danica and Josh, we set off for Glastonbury. We were in and parked by 9am and I rushed to put my tent up, met Nigora briefly and walked briskly to my work training at the cinema, pretty much the opposite side of the festival to my staff campsite, Paines Ground. I made it with 9 minutes to spare and helped myself to biscuits and squash. On my way to training I bumped in to my first random encounter, Owen from my uni course. The training went on for nearly 3 hours and considering I was running on less than two hours sleep and a 3.5 hour car drive I managed to stay awake and alert for all of it. As soon as I was done I arranged to meet Hilary at the Pyramid stage and lay in the sun while she came to find me. After her pouncing on me and us saying our hellos we wandered back to her site in the travellers field and I said hi to Ellen, Anna, Kyle and the rest. We grabbed a load of her stuff and headed to mine so I could finish unpacking and we could eat. Here I met some of our campsite crew, friends of Nigs' who all seemed nice. Went to block 9 with Ellen and Annas brother Milo and his missus. We headed to Rum shack in the common with the twins, Jonah, Jack, Becky and then the stone circle.

Thursday
josh dragon kigu, 2 bears fail, met Nigs etc
went out with camp mates, bandstand, secret metronomy gig williams green, carnival collective smallworld, duncan disorderly
sold first lot of nos

On Friday I got up in the sunshine and headed to meet Hilary, where we enjoyed Blondie at the Other Stage. Considering how old she is they were really good, and in their 40th year as a band that is saying something! We met people for De La Soul at the Pyramid stage and then bimbled around and went to the Glade stage for a bit. There was a pretty epic storm at this point and we sheltered in the Boomtown pods near Arcadia until it passed, welly weather was here. My first shift was at 9pm, so I headed over there, and after getting a little lost, I found our muster tent and helped myself to a selection of nutella, jam, peanut butter and honey toast and charged my phone for a bit. We started an hour late, due to, as predicted, dis-organisation of managers and headed to Arcadia, where we caught the opening show. At this point we realised we were 'response stewards' and me and a girl called Ivena from my camp got moved to between the horrific sounds of Skrillex on the Other Stage and the equally horrific danc area of Silver Hayes. The girl kicked up a fuss so her boyfriend George came down instead and we worked the shift together, it was busy but fun. Highlights from my first EVER night shift include a couple of cheeky kisses, hugs, a feather and thank you from some half naked high bloke and we also met the lovely Maria, who came up to us saying she had some of a random girls water, but thinks there was something in it. She was coming up on MDMA for the first ever time, infact it was her first ever drug, we looked after her a bit and chatted and then she disappeared off in to the dance area. We were stood down at about 3.45am and I was happy to be off early so I headed back to the tent and then went to see the sunrise at Stone Circle with some friends.

Saturday was mainly sunny, with a couple of showers, luckily as I had my second shift from 1-8pm. We started late as usual and just wandered around The Common while they found us somewhere that needed us. We came across a tent that was teaching Latin dancing, so we joined in and a senior steward introduced herself to us. We headed back to Unfairground and began patrolling around Shangri La in the sun for the day. I chatted to Thea and took pictures and we were relieved early at 7pm, ready for Metallica at 9pm. I met up with Ellen, Holly and Millie and we raved away to Jack Black in the mud at the Pyramid. We headed to watch the Pixies and sit Millie down, where I bumped into Alice and Callum and I headed off to watch a bit of Metallica. I met them again and we headed to what was my favourite night of the festival. We held hands and thanks to Ellen we tore through the crowd to the front of the John Peel stage for MGMT. We rocked out to them and then went to see Fatboy Slim at Wow and then headed to Arcadia for Disclosure which involved more Holly and Ellen pushing and us dragging a fucked guy out of the crowd, with Ellen getting punched in the face in the process. We headed to Stone Circle to finish off the best night of this years Glasto, ive never really met Holly before, but I had so much fun with these two, big love!

The sun returned properly for Sunday and I headed down to see the Subways at Other Stage and then popped over to see a hilarious set by Casette boy and DJ Rubbish at Glade. I met up with Hilary, Amy and Mark to pick up Hilary's massive wanker phone from a dude who took a picture of himself as the screensaver, jokes. He wasnt interested in Hilary trying to give him bubbles or a pound coin though, its almost as if bubbles arent currency... we met almost everyone (Ellen, Holly, Millie, the twins, Laura, Rob and his mate, Kyle and more) for Dolly Parton, which was great and possibly the most packed ive ever seen the Pyramid stage (we were by the tree far back and it was still rammed). She got someone from Bon Jovi on, probably mimed and sang 'I will always love you' so it was fun. We are split off and me and Josh got some samosas (my first and only expenditure of the festival) and bumped in to Laurie and Ruby and watched Gentlemans Dub Club at Gully stage. We met back up with Hilary, Mark and co and we saw Bob Marley's band 'The Wailers' at West Holt, then I headed to work. After an easy shift that started an hour late and finished three hours early with a guy who was sweet but really dumb and Patrick playing games and eating free croissants and drinking lots of free drinks we headed to Arcadia and caught the end of Virus takeover, meeting all of our work/campsite mates. We headed to Shangri La and I actually used my staff queue jump. I headed into the Salon Carousel briefly before meeting them at the bar and then we headed to Hell, which by coincidence had an amazing lineup where we saw the Correspondents and then Reeps one! I went to the Stone circle but bumped into Toby and we headed to meet Nina, who turned out to be with Josh, Rose, Jonah, Laura and Becca and me and her and Jonah headed to the Stone Circle for one last sunrise to meet Hilary, Holly, Mark, Kyle, Jasmin and everyone else. The work mates came and met us and then me Becca and Patrick retired.

Monday began with Hilary coming to meet me and we took her stuff to Marks broken bell tent, then I packed up and went to the car to save worrying about it later. Miles and I walked around tatting in fields and I found a great selection of stuff. Then me, Nigs and Miles (after a lot of faffing) met Danica, crammed in the car and left site at 7pmish.

What a weekend! I spent £5, made lots, got a free ticket, had easy work, lots of fun times and music....take me back!

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Monday, 26 May 2014

Gypsy Disco to say goodbye to Chiaki and Small world to kick off the summer!

Chiaki Takahshi, the wanted fugitive for the double murder of some kids somewhere in Japan a couple of years ago has finally been aprehended and returned to her country, but not before she tooookkk errr jerrrrrrbs.

But yes, Chiakis visa has expired, so we all went to Gypsy Disco to commiserate. It turned out to be a stonker, possibly my favourite to date, which considering I preferred the blind tiger ones is really saying something. There were so many boobs, the decor and atmosphere was really special and Dunken Disorderly and Billy Rowan were fine entertainment indeed!. Nina and Esme had dressed up as nearly naked golden cherubs, Tora and Sally had actually come out and much merriment was had until they kicked us all out at 5ish.

The next morning I packed my bag and waited for my lift to Small world. Its weird having to rely on other people for lifts and this is the first time I have really missed having a car, but i blagged a lift there and back with the legend that is Esme's boyfriend Rob and we were off!

Day 1 involved a lovely drive seeing lambs, a double rainbow and lots of rural plsces that other Rob wanted to stop in, then operating my tent after giving it a year off last festival season while I occupied others peoples tents instead. Once we were set off we went exploring (not hard or laborious considering its only about two fields big!) and met up with lots of lovely people from the previous year. We watched some bands, had some catchups and me and Rob commentsted on a fire show, sports style, much to the hilarity of most people within earshot. I saw gypsie and princess perform fire at the Castle Stage (my home last year, it has evolved with a better bar and quiet area), bimbled around tents and chilled with everyone. I also bumped in to Aleko briefly and got decorated in glitter by Ruby. That night I was cold for large parts and it took until the morning to realise I had never actually been in there on my own before...and had no ground sheet as Rob pointed out.

Day two was spent enjoying the glorious sunshine and eating all manner of free food I could get my hands on, which included a free staff meal (vege wrap), van cooked cous cous vegetable epic meal, vege sandwich and cheesey chips among others. Nina and Esme stole peoples roasts by pretending to work for Home Grown cafe and clesring plates so we could eat the delicious leftovers. A truly cunning trick. One of the days highlights was Chaz absolutely on one in the van and also dressed as a tranny, pom poms and all..shortly followed by Rob and Josh, sporting fetching outfits from Esme's junk sale find earlier in the day and Beccas last clean festie outfit. The evening was spent in Chaz's van, drinking hot chocolate and bimbling about once more. I went to bed, nervous about being so cold again, bumped in to Esme, Nina and Rob around the castle stage campfire and borrowed their spare sleeping bag, which did the trick and I was much warmer all night.

Day three involved lots more free food, hula hoops, another van cooked meal (mashed potatoes with fried vegetables), crisps, spaghetti hoops, bacon, chocolate etc) and as I woke to sunshine, but with the forecast predicting rain, I packed my tent down and headed to Hilary at Larrys Lounge and then Chazs van where we chilled and ate, then went up to the Small World stage. We found Jonah (and the twins found some amazing nicknaks to take home) and i stole some of Nina and Jonahs chips and we headed home. The first festival of the season was over, a roaring success and my first ever sober one. I had such a great time again and am now well up for summer! Bring on not paying for any of it :)

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Budapest

George, Tally and I flew out to Budapest on Friday lunchtime to explore and meet Mreg and Kieran. We landed and made our way to the Jimmy Hendrix hostel, we still haven't found out what the tenuous connection to the rock star is, but the hostel was basically a load of 'apartments'. They were nice and quite spacious with all the things necessary to live cheaply (Didier Drogba glass, power showers and jar washing up liquid). The hostel only cost us £7 a night and was central enough, a short walk to the river Danube and centre.

We headed out and had a couple of beers and tried some local food (cold cut platter and venison in an orange and cherry sauce with dumplings) then had a few more beers in a main area. We headed to the river front and came across an awesome bar that offered free peanuts for the table that you just throw the shells on the floor, but the best feature of this bar (other than the Eric Clapton karaoke next to us) was the decor. The place was completely covered in souvenirs, from train tickets, to notes, guest drawings and attraction tickets and letters and photos. I loved this place a lot.

Saturday involved Tally being really ill so we left him in the apartment and went ojt to explore Budapest. We ate food on a boat along the river, then crossed over to the old side and explored the palace and citadel, getting an ice cream and stopping in a cafe. George decided to leave the path at one point, nearly losing control and grabbing on to a branch in panic just before hitting me. After meeting a recovered Tally, we climbed to the statue and admired the beautiful city from above. More beers followed, including finding a pour-it-yourself bar and then we headed back to the hostel.

Our final day started with George and I going down for our free breakfast, there were only two seats, so we sat next to a couple who introduced themselves as Russian. Within ten seconds of these pleasantries the guy then asked 'so, what do you think about Crimea?' After an awkward minute of dodging the question and laughing awkwardly, he repeated smiling so i said 'You shouldnt have invaded it'. They left shortly after that, not before he had taken a swig out of a bottle of Courvoisier. George went back down for a cigarette and noticed the two girls who had been sat behind us during this breakfast conversation were leaving, one wearing a Ukraine flag bag. Weird start to the morning.

Budapest is a really lovely city, low rise, cheap, relaxed and with lovely architecture and plenty to see and do. Its great for a weekend, easy to navigate and I reckon I only spent about £60 and we werent exactly going easy on the food and drink! Lovely weekend away, and good to see George and Mreg and Tally again.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Istanbul

My best friend James returned from his trip around South America for the grand period of a week in March, before buggering straight off to Istanbul to work his way back through Europe. Having heard great things about Turkey's capital and having never been there before, I decided to take my first trip of the year there, the edge of Europe and Asia.

I found some cheap flights from Gatwick through a partner airline (Turkish Airways) and hopped on a flight on Sunday morning, where I had booked in to the same hostel as James and Kieran were staying
. I arrived early evening and by luck, managed to be placed in the same room as them. We wandered out for an explore and a catchup and James filled me in with his pretty wild stories of South America. We tried the local delicacies (Efes beer and fried brain...which was not good) and sunk a few more cheap beers to celebrate our reunion after over 7 months.




The next morning was much warmer and sunnier and we went out exploring all of the areas that James and Kieran had kindly scouted out the following day, but not explored as they were waiting for me. Istabul is massive and very beautiful, full of grand mosques, palaces and riverside buildings. We explored the Royal Palace and the Blue Mosque, grabbed some more local food (kebab for breakfast and then sat over the river in one of the bridges cafes). James and Kieran had found a cheap train that left that evening to continue their journey through Europe, so we had some dinner and said our farewells. I decided to head back the following morning to save a days leave so rocked up at work straight off of the flight, using my last $20 to get a taxi to the airport!

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Weekend

gypsy discos, sunshine, beach bonfires, house parties, fire shows, buckfast, gigs and album launches. If it acts like summertime, we shall treat it as such!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Work in London

On Thursday I went on a work trip to London, to see some of our hotels that we sell. After work on Thursday we headed up to Kensington for a tour around the Holiday Inn Kensington, where we also had dinner and drinks. We left half of the party there and taxied to Regents Park, where our hotel for the night was. We awoke the following morning and headed down for breakfast, a delightful selection of cooked breakfast, cereals, fruits and a PANCAKE MACHINE! This is quite a unique feature as i have never seen one in a hotel before, it was great! The Friday was started with a tour around the hotel we had stayed in, followed by the Hilton Metropole and The Hilton Park Lane, where we were showed around amazing suites and rooftop restaurants, as well as an amazing French-Polynesian restaurant called Trader Joe's. After admiring these lovely and luxurious properties, we made our way to the glitzy Langham Hotel, for afternoon tea. The Langham is located in Regent Street, a marvellous old building with a very fancy look and feel. We were shown around this impressive hotel, the suites, the rooms and the spa. The building used to be a bank and they have turned the old vault in to a very nice, large swimming pool below the spa. We entered the Palm Court restaurant for our afternoon tea. The tea here has been voted the best afternoon tea in the world multiple times and is the oldest in the UK. It was absolutely amazing, we chose our tea (mine cost an extra £30 on top of the £70 cost of the Champagne afternoon tea...on the expenses of course) and there was a selection of sandwiches with caviar, fish, egg and more. Then came the pastries, by an award winning French chef. They were incredible and looked as good as they tasted. As we left, we were given a pink Langham bag of goodies including chocolate, a wallet, pen and various other bits. Very thoughtful! Although we had enjoyed the tour, the timing of that was not great, as we still had six other hotels to view and we were now tipsy and very full. We powered through the Imperials, which were a bit of a shock after the luxury of the last few we had visited and finished, about an hour behind schedule, at the Athenaeum. This hotel was amazing, showed around by a lovely manager bloke, it was a boutique hotel with amazing art works and decor, plus the free Champagne helped. I really liked this hotel and would definitely recommend this, its also right opposite Hyde Park. All in all a great few days, with hopefully more work trips to come!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

2013

I thought this year deserved its very own special blog. 2013 has quite honestly been one of the best years of my life. I have been on four amazing holidays (Skiing in Whistler and staying in Vancouver Canada, cheeky weekend away to Stockholm Sweden, Tokyo and Kyoto Japan and Marrakech Morocco) and have also been to four festivals (Small world, Glastonbury, Boomtown and Mischief). Between all of those I have had some absolutely incredible weekends, the ones that spring to mind are visiting Maddy four times in Bristol, Pride, Dave's comic book launch, Thorpe Park for Stevies birthday, Amys birthday weekend, mine and Dave's birthday weekend, Simons bday weekend in his new house and at the beach, Tash's bday glitter weekend and the HP marathon that followed, Adventuretime party,  and EVERY WAKING MOMENT OF THIS SUMMER!

I can't look back on this year without foccussing on some of the main features:

1.) Glitter - this bastard substance has, whether I liked it or not, been a major feature of te year. I have spent, not even joking, probably more time this year with glitter in every orrifice than without. This has been in no small part, partly down to...
2.) Hilary - this year started with Hilary's birthday party, which also involved the greatest cake I have ever seen or eaten. Ever since then we have been inseparable, having fun-filled times that started with messy weekends at Daves, in the ball pit and continued at the beginning of the summer when she managed to get me a free ticket to a little festival that i had never heard of before called 'Smallworld'. We proceeded to spend the whole summer having fun and every minute I wasnt at work I was at the beach, or in the park enjoying the sunshine or doing something else magical. I have met so many lovely new people this year through her and she has truly been part of what has made this year so god damn great, its a shame she is such a fucking smelly hippy. Oh well. Despite spending nearly every day this year together (including a beyond tense Breaking bad finale) she decided to go off to Asia for a bit. We still skype regularly and there are plans afoot for a grand reunion abroad. This girl was a major part of my year, so big up to you! miss you lots!
3.) Steve and Esme - as the summer faded and the weather turned, Stesme finally found a place that was near everybody and we have spent most of the winter there. Eating, drinking, dressing as pirates, watching films and talking a lot of shit, with Mayo road gone at the turn of the year we had struggled to find somewhere to accomodate our vast and lovely group. This was the perfect answer. They have put us up, cooked for us and been so bloody lovely and it has made winter bareable (I hate winter,especially after the summer I just had!)

I could go on, but I think I have mentioned most of the stuff I want to. As i look forward to 2014, the main (awful) conundrum I have is where to visit this year. The Brighton town has started to break up, with teachers going away to get jobs, Mayo ending and everyone in the world seeming to be going travelling. I am currently wanting to go to South Africa and Hawaii, but even though i said i wouldnt, Asia is starting to pull me back again and I really want to go to Nepal and Burma....money and annual leave will be tight. I have decided to sacrifice festivals and skiing to accomodate these, but Becca is now doing a season and I really want to go for a few days. Oh well, at least these are all good dilemas!

Final thought, I've had to say goodbye to a lot of people this year, all of them going off to see the world. You are missed but im really glad you are all so happy:
 
Laura
Becky
Becca
Hilary
Jess
Jake
Laurie

Peace x

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