Aiming for bigger fish, Midgets, the Ipod Touch and the best Lasagne ever

Hello Again,

So life’s been a bit more interesting recently, firstly it was my birthday yesterday, yes the big 26 (it has no real significance really does it?).

I will get to that in a bit though, got to keep things chronological haven’t I.

This weekend just gone I managed a trip up to see family in Newcastle upon Tyne, most notably the old man and the older sibling.

The significant part of travelling up there Thursday night was for the first time in a long time, I was Ipod-less. Yep, my 8gb Nano decided to die earlier in the week, whether I had forseen it or not, I had already decided on having an Ipod Touch for my birthday to get with the times.

But for this 3 and a half hour jaunt I had the not so delightful sounds of babies crying, and other peoples Ipods amped up so loud I could have sung along if I’d have liked. Although, singing along to Sexy Bitch by Akon might not have been appropriate on a train. That was the song that a girl across from me insisted on playing all the way from York to Newcastle (roughly an hour) on repeat. I like the song, but by the end of the journey I’d had enough of it.

Luckily I did pack a couple of books with me, the first was the Black Panther Story by Steven Valentine, which I cannot recall mentioning last time but might have. It was only 150 pages but it was a riveting read. The other was the autobiography of actor Michael J Fox, who has been battling Parkinson’s disease for the past 20 years. I’m about 120 pages in so far, but it has been very quirky and entertaining so far.

Of course I like so many others remember Fox from the Back to the Future films, and Teen Wolf (don’t act like you didn’t love it too), and it has been very interesting to hear his side of his meteoric rise to stardom in the 80s. Most notable so far, is that he wasn’t first choice for Back to the Future, it was Eric Stoltz who if I recall correctly ended up being Seth Brundle’s son in the Fly 2.

Friday also marked the end of the domestic boxing season with Martin Power losing to Stuart Hall in an entertaining scrap. The under card raised the biggest talking point as Sunderland’s Tony Jeffries was held to a (questionable in my eyes) draw by a journeyman whose name I can’t recall.

Jeffries believed the fight was 6 rounds and even went to touch gloves at the end of the sixth believing the fight was over, but after being dragged out for the final two rounds he hardly threw a punch. I think if the fight would have carried on Jeffries would have been stopped as he was out on his feet by the end.

He has also blamed a torn bicep for his lack of conditioning, but as a professional athlete it is his duty to himself and his audience to be in the best shape he can be before even thinking of fighting. The boxing game doesn’t suffer fool gladly, and sooner or later fighters who take these gambles will be found out, ask Kevin Mitchell.

Saturday morning was spent sifting through the Willings Press Guide, as I am looking to contact some more newspapers to do some placements to get some more clippings to help with my NCTJ Portfolio.

So far out of the Nationals, The Mirror and the Daily Sport have got back to me, the second with maybe a possibility of a placement. Say what you say about the Sport, but its been going a long time, obviously has an audience and I certainly wouldn’t mind having a clipping or two from there. Also their main offices are in Manchester which would make for an easier commute.

I am also putting in for my News Writing, Court Reporting and possibly my first Shorthand exam in November, which I hope can help get my CV credibility.

Saturday night me, my brother and cousin hit the town for a few drinks, after a couple of drinks at a pub called The Newton. This presented awkward moment, as they bumped into a friend of theirs colourfully referred to as ‘Jimmy the gas’. But as they went back to the bar,  I was left with this complete stranger who decided he would rather play with the pepper on the table than strike up a meaningless conversation. Luckily that didn’t last long.

I was unaware as we got a taxi into town, that it had been Ladies Day at the Races in Newcastle, so there was a lot more people than usual up town. Basically all the over 30s were suited and booted or dolled up to the max, and in some cases enjoying ‘I’m Still Standing’ by Elton John way too much.

The class did show through in the end though, as the majority of the women were drinking pints of lager, you can’t buy that sort of class.

After a few average bars which I can’t recall, we ended up in one of my favourite haunts, Gotham Town basically Newcastle upon Tyne’s equivalent to the Full Moon in our Newcastle but a lot cleaner. Same kind of music which was good, a mix of indie, metal and rock, but the place because it was jammed was like a sauna, still a good laugh mind.

We ended up in Tiger Tiger as my brother managed to get us in for free on the door. I have only ever been once before, but it has to be one of the best bars in Newcastle, it was completely jammed and its huge upstairs. It had now been split into two parts, one playing modern music, the other part devoted to the 80s. In the 80s part there was a group of people with a midget friend, which my cousin decided to point out in a very blatent way. He’s big lad my cousin so it would have been interesting and quite funny if they would have started brawling.

The hangover wasn’t that bad the next day as I was up for 10am, and after a bacon and sausage sarnie (or two) me and the sibling hit the shops for one last goosy before I got the train later. It turned out to be quite productive as we went in the Hollister shop which was quite unique. I’d never been in there before, and from walking past it once before I thought it was a bar, as it is strangely all in the dark. It might have been a good thing for the hangover mind.

I managed to pick up a t-shirt, although I was a bit gutted that they didn’t have my size in a shirt. It does cover everything mind, they sell aftershave and even CDs (of ‘cool’ bands) as well as clothes.

The train journey back was a sketchy one as I nodded off a little, in between reading my book.

Anyways onto the Birthday, as I mentioned earlier I had an Ipod Touch which I am totally enthralled with, there are just too many gadgets on it to fiddle with.

The previous Ipod had 1200 songs that were wiped by accident by me, so far I have managed to get around 350 onto this one, it could be a long process yet.

I don’t generally make a big deal of birthdays so me the mother and our neighbour went for a bit of tea at the Wagon and Horses in Betley, after a recommendation by the mother’s hairdresser.

I have to say what a choice, I had the home made lasagne and it was amazing. Usually when you hear home made it is just straight in the microwave, but in this case it was layered properly and was just great (I don’t usually get this excited by food honest).

Okay I’ve talked enough for now.

Til next time,

Paul.

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