Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sporting antics and form filling

Once again, there's been over a week since I last posted. Currently, I'm writing this while watch the post-race forum from the Hungarian Grand Prix, and taking in what was a fantastic grand prix. Of course, it comes off of the back of an announcement at the start of the weekend that Formula One coverage would be split between BBC and Sky as of 2012 with Sky Sports showing every single practice, qualifying and race session during the season and BBC showing 10 races live and 10 as extended highlights.

I made some of my thoughts on Friday morning, and won't repeat them again. In short, the deal is done and people have no choice but to accept it really. There's a chance that the sport will lose casual fans, and I'll be fascinated to see what viewing figures will be like on Sky after BBC have pulled in record figures over the last few years. I'm lucky to the extent that my house in Leeds has Sky Sports, so I can still watch races live when they're on Sky. When I'm not there, I'll have other ways of watching races (which I won't say on here in case someone uses it as evidence against me in the future) before I head to Germany and probably get to experience RTL's coverage.

Anyway, I've had a good week. I've played some cricket, and made my debut in the great game of village cricket. I won't be getting a call from the ECB anytime soon though as I was out for a second ball duck. I did save a four in the field though, and the bowlers were fantastic as we won the match by a considerable margin. As a bit of a memento of the day, I managed to scrape my knee while saving that four and keep watching my knee with amusement as it tries to heal up. It's a fairly well sized scrape, but it's one that I wear with some pride.

I'll keep plugging away at my batting and try to learn how to play spin, as I've never really been that good at dealing with it, as well as getting a bit of footwork in. I know it's something that will take time and I do need to just work at it whenever I get the chance to. If I can get that sorted, then if I play again, I'll hopefully be able to play a shot or two and maybe even score a run. That's my first aim!

I'm heading back to Leeds at some point during the week too. That's a certainty now since I've got plans up in Yorkshire for next weekend. It's just a matter of when...I'm in town tomorrow night for Emilio's birthday and I've seemingly got plans on Tuesday to catch up with some other friends, so I guess I'll go up on Wednesday or Thursday. I need to double check whether Ben or Rob will be there when I get back so I can actually get into my flat, otherwise I'll have to borrow Rachel's keys...which serves her right for leaving mine there when she came home herself. ;) I don't know how many of my friends will be around in Leeds within the next week or two. If anyone *is* around, let me know.

Tomorrow night should be a good laugh though. There's a solid plan to do some karaoke and this can only lead to a gigantic love-fest...most probably between Crawley and Hamling. I don't think anyone attending will object to this though, and maybe...just maybe, we can drag Emilio into doing a song. I can't see why not, it's for his birthday so I'm sure there's a rule somewhere that he needs to give us a song.

One thing I definitely need to sort out before I go back to Leeds is my passport application. I've filled in the form online, and now have the paper version sat downstairs with all of my details printed into it. I just need to sign it where I need to sign and find someone who can counter-sign for me. Once that's done, I can send it off with the payment (ouch) and hopefully have a passport. Still, at least I won't have much of an issue next time I need to use it. When I had my old passport, I very nearly didn't get past passport control in Oslo as they refused to believe the short haired, chubby faced 13 year old in the picture was me. I think this was made slightly worse by the fact that I was the last in the group to go through, so everyone else was stood on the other side of the counter, already legally in Norway I guess, and I had to explain this to the chap myself. Eek!

Tomorrow is August, which just seems crazy to me. We'll be seven months through the year, and the year seems to have just flown by. It makes me wonder what I actually do with my life...but I guess that's why I have this. I can keep track of what I do with my time, which is probably useful since my memory sucks when it comes to things like this.

Summer is hiding away somewhere. When it appears, make the most of it! When it doesn't, find an alternative way to make the most of this time!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Controversy creates why am I staring at pennies?

It seems that the last blog that I posted caused a bit of controversy among my brother's friends. He linked the blog to his Facebook page so his friends could see it, and they didn't really like it. So they rambled and ranted at us for an hour or two while I sat back and giggled to myself at how stupid the world can be. In the end, they learnt to take life a bit less seriously and the need to take a joke. I learnt to be careful in regards to where people link my blog.

Saying that, my blog exploded with views. I hit over 100 views in one day, most of which were on that post (which has been removed...for now) so that's pretty cool. All they did was manage to make my blog look a bit more popular, and that's fine by me. Like I say though, the blog isn't on here but the actual tweets are still in my Twitter timeline somewhere.

I joined Google+ earlier in the week, and it's a bit strange over there. I'm sure it's a great idea and once more people start to join, it'll pick up and there'll be more things going on over there. That's just it though, at the moment, there are very few people over there that I know so there's only so much I can do. I'll link this on there and see what happens. Might grab a new reader or something, and if so, hey! Thanks for checking it out.

My ignorance/reluctance to seek medical advice has taken another step this week. My left knee has been causing me problems for around a year, and I've done nothing about it. Well, I've probably not helped it a lot by walking pretty much everywhere in Leeds, but I've definitely not had it looked at. In the last few days, it's become a bit more messed up to the point where it hurts pretty much every day almost constantly and I don't know what's causing it. I'm at the point where I know I should probably go and see a doctor about it, but I don't know what they'll be able to do about it, and I figure their time can be better used. At a guess, they'd tell me to take some painkillers or something, and that won't work for me. Maybe my knee will just fall off. That way, a sore knee is the least of my problems.

I've started to have a lot more sleep recently, and it's strangely linked to becoming slightly less active than I have been. I need to correct that last bit and get out on my bike a lot more. This weekend is a bit busy, but I'll be getting back on the bike on Monday and I'll hit the roads for a while or try the loop line, though that'll be busy since schools have finished for summer now. I've been in a strange sleeping pattern where I've found myself going to bed at maybe 12.30/1am, but then not being able to get to sleep until 2.30 or something. In some respects, it's good because I'm getting a chance to catch up on podcasts that I've fallen behind on, but it also means that after the usual waking up in the night, I find myself starting the day at 11am...and I don't really like that.

Tomorrow and Sunday are early starts though since I'm off to Southport for the Air Show. I've never been up to that, and it sounds pretty fun. I'll be playing with Beatlife in the last gig of the summer (unless a surprise crops up somewhere) and we're meeting at 9.30 each morning. So it looks like I'll be getting on a train in Liverpool city centre at about 8am to get there and be able to walk to the place in time. alarm clock is set for 6.45am, and hopefully that'll give me time to get up, shower and catch a bus into town. If not, I'm screwed. Still, it should be a lot of fun. I'll probably take my camera and snap happy as well, so there'll be photos of this.

As things stand, I'm not sure when I'm going back to Leeds. I keep postponing my return up there for various reasons, but I'll either go up for a couple of days next week and come back on Sunday, or I'll wait and go back up at the start of August and hang around up there for two weeks or something until I head off to Silverstone for the Renault World Series event. I'm looking forward to getting back up there though...I didn't really adapt to the house since I was only there for two nights.

Feels like I've typed quite a lot in a short space of time...I quite fancy another cup of tea and a slice of cake before I head off to bed in a bit to try and grab a sensible amount of sleep.

Enjoy your weekend people.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Silverstone and Samba makes for a happy Thomas

It feels like a long time since I sat down here to write anything. Turns out it's actually been 10 days, which I guess is a relatively long time when I've been posting something on here at least once or twice a week really. And of course, after the cock-up last time, this is my 50th entry. Somewhere, someone has let off a celebratory balloon for this momentous occasion.

What have I been doing since the last time of writing? Well, as you'll know from that entry, I was at the British Grand Prix last weekend and I can comfortably say that it was right up there as one of the best weekends of my life. Yes, the weather was a bit suspicious at times and it was pretty cold at times, but I didn't care about that. I wasn't even bothered or even the slightest bit grumpy about waking up at a ridiculous time to be at the track not long after 6am on Friday and Saturday so I could grab a good spot to start watching the action from for the day.

When 9am rolled around on Friday morning and I heard the screaming sound of the engine from an F1 car for the first time, I won't lie...I had goosebumps. I was sitting at Becketts, so I was able to watch the cars come into the new Loop section, into Aintree and down the Wellington Straight and then a bit later in the lap as they came from Copse towards Maggots and Becketts before going down Hangar Straight. So in terms of seeing as much of a lap as possible, that was the best place to watch. Watching the cars all file around on their installation laps was pretty cool, and I was already being super geeky and paying close attention to the sound of the cars off-throttle to hear what the blown diffusers sounded like.

The rain got pretty heavy at times, and I think it probably peaked on Friday afternoon when I was sat in an uncovered grandstand and proceeded to get absolutely soaked. I'd go so far as to say that with the exception of maybe one or two sessions, pretty much every single session of racing over the three days was affected by rain in some way. It got pretty cold though. I slept fully dressed because I wasn't a big fan of the weather in the evening...and I wasn't exactly sleeping in paradise either. I thought I was too cool to take a sleeping mat and ended up effectively sleeping on the ground...and it wasn't that comfortable. So in getting up at 6am or so, and going to bed at anytime from 11 to midnight, I was waking up a couple of times in the night and probably getting around 4 or 5 hours of sleep.

As I say, fantastic weekend and if I can, I'll definitely look at going again next year. I'm headed back to Silverstone next month though for the Renault World Series, which should be another great event. I'm not completely sure why they give the tickets away for free, but they do. It's a great promotional tool though, they seem to pull in relatively large crowds for their events, obviously not to the scale of F1 (where they had around 315,000 over the three days which was a record!) but to the point where there are good sized crowds and the guys aren't racing to a load of empty grandstands. Anyone interested in attending that can find tickets from the World Series website. If you're a fan of motorsport, I'd recommend it.

On Tuesday, I did a bit of teaching at Beatlife which was pretty awesome. I've done a session previously, but this one definitely went better, namely because I had some time to prepare and consequently, I was able to go into it knowing what I wanted to do. So I went over what I'd done with the guys previously (and to their credit, they remembered most of it despite being a month or two ago) and then showed them something new. I wasn't really surprised at the fact that they picked the rhythm up pretty wasn't that I gave them something simple to do, but the fact that the Elm Hall group have a brilliant habit of learning really quickly and being able to nail things in a short space of time. For that, I salute you all. That's why I love being able to be a part of that group.

Finally, I played Monopoly last night. That's not such a huge thing, but I hadn't played Monopoly since I was a small child, and seemed to recall it being a gigantic snooze-fest where no one ever wins and it just causes arguments. I didn't win. I finished second...but I learnt a fair bit about the game. And for some reason, I want to play again. I seem to recall a friend mentioning that there's a Leeds University edition of the game, so I might have to buy that at some point, purely for the novelty of it. I learn from my mistakes, and I'd like to think that I'm one step closer to being a better man under the inspirational guidance of Chris Crawley and James Hamling.

I won't leave you on another 10 day gap until the next entry. As a final note, I've now passed 1000 views. It's not a gigantic thing, but I can see that some of my entries have had a good readership (which means that others haven't really been read, but I've written a couple of crap entries further back). To anyone and everyone who has read, thanks for taking that time.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Moving house is the most fun you can have without tearing your hair out

EDIT: Seems Blogger screwed up by telling me I already had 49 entries before I started writing this. Turns out this is entry #49. Looks like the cake, dancing girls and balloons are back on for entry 50!

With more build-up than a TNA PPV, it's the big 50th entry of my blog!

I was planning to make my 50th entry a big spectacle with cake, dancing girls, balloons and loads of joyful memories. But then I've just not quite got round to that, so I'll either write it up tomorrow or it can wait until next week. For now, this is a bit of short blog.

Like a lot of people in Leeds, or students in general really, I moved into my new house over the weekend. Moving is certainly an experience I still don't really enjoy, and it makes me realise juts how much crap I own. I own a LOT of crap, but I packed it all up into some boxes and moved it a couple of miles to the other side of Leeds. Now, I live a little bit closer to university, I should be closer to friends to go and visit, and it's in a much more student-central area. So far, I quite like the house. Well, it's more of a flat really...we've got the top two floors in a house and there's another flat underneath us (though I don't know who lives there since they're yet to move in).

Either way, it's a nice house, we've got a good sized living room to chill out in and my bedroom is pretty big. It's probably the biggest bedroom on the bottom floor (the joys of moving in early) and it's got a good view of the cricket ground. The one thing that I've found a bit weird so far is having a double bed. I'm used to only having a single, so having that much space in bed seems really unusual for me so far...especially since I curl up and don't really use all of the space in my bed at home anyway.

Of course, I'm now back at home for a little bit. On Thursday, I'm heading off to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. I can't see this not being an incredibly awesome weekend, and I can't think of a better way to spend this weekend than being at an old airfield in Northamptonshire watching some of the finest racing drivers in the world doing what they do best. It's made even better since the weather forecast at the moment is completely unpredictable. A lot of people are saying we'll get rain, but there's mixed reports on which days we'll get rain. I think the best way of knowing what the weather is like will be to look at the sky. If I'm getting wet, it's raining.

It's a pretty busy week too. I need to put the tent up tomorrow so I know what I'm doing, and get a haircut too. Nothing too drastic, it just needs tidying up a bit and probably taking back to shoulder length. Thursday, I'll be travelling to Silverstone and trying to make some new friends there at the campsite. Friday to Sunday I'll be enjoying the Grand Prix weekend with everything going on before travelling back on Monday. Somewhere in between all of this, I need to do a little bit of planning too since I've been asked to do some teaching next week at Beatlife. I've got a really vague idea as to what I'll be doing, but I definitely need to sit down and plan something.

That's all from me for tonight guys and gals. Enjoy the rest of your week!