Firstly Happy New Year (Don’t we have to say that to everyone we see or talk to for the next week?).
Apologies for the unoriginal blog title as well, but to be honest what else could I call it?
Anyways lets get down to it; Christmas.
Now anyone who knows me, knows I love Christmas, the presents, the dinner and more importantly pig in a blanket. That is Christmas to me in a snack sized food, and to be honest everyone involved in Christmas dinner was warned, have them or get barated by yours truly.
Other than that, I’m not that high maintenance at Christmas.
Also it might be worth mentioning that this was my first ever Christmas outside Stoke on Trent, as me and the mother braved the adverse weather conditions to spend it with my dad, brother, his girlfriend and her little girl Alex.
Christmas Eve was spent with my cousins in the pub, and despite some dodgy ale I managed to get back to my dads in one piece, minus most importantly impromptu vomiting.
Before this though I was confused for a burglar at my uncle and aunties house, as I was waiting for the old man to pick me up; my bright idea was to keep going outside to check he was there, only for the neighbours to ask what the stranger was doing going in and out of the house at half 12 at night on Christmas Eve. Luckily it was cleared up quickly, and I was on my way.
Up bright and early at half past eight (to be fair take away the wine incident over a few years ago I’m always up early on Xmas day) it was time to open the presents. So what did I have? Well I’m typing on it; a very handy notebook which is ideal for travelling.
Anyways more to the point, how were my presents received? I think in the most part, very well, or well at least to my face :-).
The only major hickup being get the wrong size dressing gown for the mum, although having said that , I blame Outfit for putting the wrong size hanger on it.
Christmas dinner was largely uneventful too, usually there is at least one argument or something, but things went way too smoothly this year. Who knows maybe it will all kick off next year (joking of course). As is tradition the old man was fashionably late for dinner (apparently the pub was kept open an extra half hour).
Anyways everyone was pretty much asleep for 5pm (why does that happen every Christmas, how tiring can opening presents be?), so I was left to watch my new Benidorm boxset in piece.
This was in preparation for the anticipated Boxing Day special, which to summarise was absolute garbage barring the ending which was candidly done.
In general I don’t really agree with Seasonal specials, as proven by of course Benidorm and even Blackadder (which I finally saw over Xmas) are high risk, and usually pretty crap.
The TV highlight for me was the TV Premiere of Prince Caspian, the second film in the remade for cinema, Chronicles of Narnia series. Unfortunately it was being screened on Xmas eve, although luckily my uncle had it on when we got there to fetch my cousins, so we delayed beer for Narnia; how sad I know.
Its mainly a childhood thing with Narnia; one of the ultimate Christmas programs was the BBC version of the Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, I can watch it over and over. I even went to see the new version a few years back, despite being in a cinema almost entirely populated with children, it was bloody brilliant.
Coincidentally the third in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was on at the cinema over Christmas, and had for the most part had positive writeups in the press. So me and my brother chose it over Tron Legacy, which had some less than favourable writeps. Much to my amusement, there was only two other people on the cinema, I blame the post Xmas crunch, but the film was still great and stayed very true to the original story.
So after a suprisingly uneventful Christmas, it was time to head back to Stoke and normalicy of some kind. Luckily I had acquired the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as an audio book for my ipod, which took up 2 hours of what turned into a 4 and half hour jaunt due to traffic.
I have managed to watch some new TV shows over the past few weeks as well. Firstly the American comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm, which was recommended to me ages ago. Having done some minor research I found out, alot of the show is adlib and done on the spot and off the cuff, which makes it even funnier. All i can say, is give it a watch and you shouldn’t be disappointed.
Another show that came with a sparkling reputation is An Idiot Abroad, the latest project from Ricky Gervais, where he sends ‘friend’ or glutton for punishment Karl Pilkington to the seven wonders of the world.
I have only watch two episodes so far, where Karl is sent to the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal (probably spent wrong) in India. The one in China is genius, whereas the one in India does have its moments. I intend to watch the rest soon, so will give opinions in due course.
I almost managed to finally watch the controversial, and very dark comedy Four Lions last night. It has been called the comedy of the year for 2010, and for the most part it is hilarious. The main fact is that the main plot surrounds wannabe terrorists, who despite their lack of brain cells are attempting a terror attack, so the film always has a dark side ready to manifest at anytime. I definitely recommend it, just open your mind and enjoy it for what it is.
I also managed to catch a couple of horror films too. Firstly Hatchet 2 the sequel to the back to basics slasher from 2006, surrounding the happenings in a swamp of horrifically deformed Victor Crowley. I did expect the worse, but the story manages to fill in all the plot holes of the first film, and add greater mythos to the narrative. I can’t see there being a Hatchet 3 mind, as the ending is pretty definitive, but I hope I’m proved wrong.
The other film in question is the wonderfully erm ‘colourful’ Piranha 3D. Now I think as I may have said when I saw this film at the cinema, just sit back and enjoy this film. It’s such a guilty pleasure, that despite the shameless gore and nudity, manages to hold a pretty tangible plot. You even get the old school red and blue 3d glasses with it, safe to say I watch the 2d version.
Football wise, with the bad weather seemingly gone for now, I got back on the beat on New Years Day with a local derby between Kidsgrove Athletic and Leek Town. I had already seen the sides play each other in the cup earlier in the season, and it was a bit of a stinker.
This game was however, a fantastic, gung ho affair by both sides. Kidsgrove won 3-2, having been 1-0 down, there was also a couple of screamers, one for each side.
Surreal moment of the day was interviewing former Aston Villa defender Neil Cox, now Manager of Leek Town. In Non League terms he is considered a minor celeb, but you can tell he has talked to hacks like me for years and knows the game inside out; certainly one of my favourite interviews of doing the Non League.
I think that about covers the Christmas period.
Heres to a fruitful and successful 2011 for me of course (and the rest of you :-p)