Sunday 30 September 2012

A Musical Journey - September

Ahhh so September has come and gone, the summer is properly over and the nights start getting darker, the mornings are colder, and the mood of music grows darker as we say goodbye to summer anthems and hello to winter warmers. This months 3 bands that's I've been listening to are a mix of hearty warm ballads and powerful story telling rock songs.

1: The Killers - they released their new album this month, Battle born. Named after their own studio in their home town of Las Vegas where they recorded the album. A band that has often been confused with sounding British but are actually American. There 4th album is great and to me sounds a lot like their second album tone, Sams Town. Very Springsteenesq with the story telling aspect if the songs, intertwining with the melodies and guitar rifts. Their new album has lots of great songs from the opening track, Flesh and Bones to the last track Prizefighter (which is on the deluxe version which is worth buying for Prizefighter alone) the band have came a long way since their first album, Hot Fuss, and this album only goes on to cement their status as one of the biggest and best bands around. A lot quieter in places when compared to their last album but the quality as opposed to the volume is there for all to hear. Runaways had may be over played by myself of recent, as I've been using it in my classes...

2: Mumford and Sons - another band who have released a new album this month, Babel is again taken in the same vain as Mumfords first album, sigh no more. When I hear Mumford and sons songs I instantly think of winter, curling up by a fire place with a roaring fire on display, a pint if warm cider, and a wooly jumper on. Maybe I'm getting old with those kind if thoughts, but for some reason that is what I think no matter what Mumford and sons song I hear. I saw them at Leeds Festival in 2010, they were a great act to watch, and one I'd gladly see again. I've only managed to listen to the album twice fully yet, partly because I've been so addicted to the Killers new album, but I'm sure once I get time I'll love it as much as there first. However the song I have shared is one from their first, and probably my favourite song if there's.....

3: Sick Puppies - ok, so I have infact only been listening to one of the Sick Puppies songs, ok, in fact I only know 1 Sick Puppies song, maybe. I first heard this song in 2011, when Liverpool played Wolves, it was the song Sky sports used to close out the programme. I liked it and downloaded it. This past month I've heard it quite a few times, as I've been using it in my classes on my playlist. There's not much to say about it, it spurs me in when I workout and that's what I try to do when I make my playlists for my teaching, choose songs I feel will spur people in, enjoy and ignore their workout and push harder. However most the time, they end up being rock songs, as that's what I prefer, so enjoy, I might try find more of their songs....

Day 274 Sunday lunch

Yum yum youngest daughter is enjoying her first Sunday lunch, and with it making quite a mess. She also managed to enjoy an ice cream, how lucky is she?

Saturday 29 September 2012

Day 273 lie in

Daughters are away which means 1 thing, I get a lie in. No work to get up for, no school run, no children wanting to be fed/ changed. Just me and my cosy bed....

Friday 28 September 2012

Day 272 It's in the game

FIFA day is here! Yes siree it's time to get the controller out and enjoy kickin some ass....

Thursday 27 September 2012

Day 271 Violet

It's about time we introduced you all to someone. This is Violet, this cute lil pup is our youngest child, whose middle name is also Violet, faithful companion. She has a few teddies she cuddles upto in her time if cuteness but Violet is her recent favourite. This could well be that Violet also sings and whenever Violet does this it results in our child dancing to the nursery rhymes. The teddy Violet is also programmable through a computer so it will even say our daughters name, she loves it...

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Day 270 ViPR

A nice 30 minute workout today, the best to get an all round workout is ViPR. I'm currently teaching a few classes a week but had the urge to sneak in a private session for myself today...

Monday 24 September 2012

The Great North Run

The great north run, 13.1 miles, a run on a road linking newcastle to south shields. This has always been an event I've been interested in doing. I've helped officiate the run in 2002, and the year after I was signed up to do the run with my friends, only to pull out as I went in holiday instead.

Fast forward the clock 8 years and I still hadn't complete the run. In 2007 I had made a list of things I wanted to do and wanted to achieve by the time I turned 30. I'm not sure where this list is nowadays but I remember a few things on the list and doing the great north run was one.

The OH decided that this year she wanted to tackle the 13.1 mile route. She'd never done anything like this before and wanted to run the course to raise money for mind, a charity close to her heart. I decided I'd run it with her for morale support and also to get this off my list. I decided to run for prostate cancer UK.

After months if thinking I need to start training before I knew it the dag was here. OH had done a lot more training than I had but I strangely didn't feel too worried, I knew I'd be able to do the course. The day arrived and we were on the start line, I have to say that on the start line was the point where I lost my patience and got most annoyed. I mean it took an hour to get to the actual start line once the race had begun, by which point the race had already been won in south shields( not that I had any ambition of winning) put into the mix the fact it was raining and a cold wind blew and we were standing waiting to run made it seem more miserable, although I knew full well that once I started running I'd be grateful for the wind and a slight rain.

Once we were under way the mood changed dramatically into a one of awe, there was this bad weather yet thousands of people lined the streets cheering your name and encouraging you on and clapping you. It was incredible. Myself and my OH ran together the whole distance. We'd been for a few runs together before and so paced ourselves accordingly, and we found we could just keep running and running, we set little targets first to run to 3miles, then 5miles,then6,7 until before we knew it we were at mile 8 and hadn't stopped at all. We had to stop at this point for a toilet break, which lead to a real difficult restart, which took more affect on me at 10miles as I felt my knee start to ache.

Again banks and lines of people kept cheering you on and there was no question of not finishing. We kept running until you could see the sea, and with it thousands of more people shouting, clapping, cheering telling you you've got 1 more mile. At this point you run on pure adrenaline, you don't notice and aches, you see the finish line and know you'll be crossing it in a matter of minutes.

The great north run was an amazing experience and one I will always fondly look back on in my life. My time of 2:27 was good, but I know I can do better so now it's been complete the next step is to run it again and better myself. The next day at work a colleague told me he was planning on running it next year to raise money for his son who was ill, even though I was suffering from a bad knee I immediately said I'd run it with him. I'm looking forward to trying to beat my time.

As I crossed the finish line on Sunday, I reverted back to my mental list of things to do before I turn 30, on that list, underneath complete the great north run was to complete a full marathon. As I crossed the finish line it dawned on me, that crossing that point on south shields would only be halfway in a full marathon, I'm sure my body would be up to the challenge.

If you like to sponsor me for. Implying this years run you can do here, all money will be going to Prostate Cancer UK, who you can read about here...

If you'd like to sponsor my OH for completing the great north run please go here, she was running on behalf of Mind, you can read about them here.

A musical journey August - Festivals

So this months musical post is inspired from the festival season that we've just passed. I've been lucky enough to attend a few festivals in past years and I love the atmosphere and the whole gathering. From the large festivals to the small local day festivals. It is something that I always look forward to ever year and I am always happy to go try new festivals I haven't been to previously.

This months post then are about 3 bands who I discovered at festivals. Well not me personally discovering them and unleashing them on the world, just 3 bands I never heard of before a festival, and have since liked them, here they are:

1; Little Man Tate
A band from Sheffield, and a band that no longer exists. They were quite a good little band and had a few good catchy songs. I saw them in 2007 at Leeds festival, I guess being from Sheffield they were always in the arctic monkeys shadow. My fave song of theirs was this, house party at Boothys...

2; Seasick Steve
I saw Seasick Steve in 2008, I liked his beard and his random was. In the programme he also was wearing the same shirt as me, could this have been a glimpse into my future, a hobo playing made up instruments at festivals?

3; Goldie Lookin' Chain
GLC a crowd pleaser, first seen in 2004, comic rap gold, with an array of crowd pleasing hits. On stage they opened the festival on Friday and were joined by their welsh friends, Dirty Sanchez. Many songs about random things later they made the UK rap scene cool. After this show I managed to see them another 3 times as they supported loads of other bands, my favourite song was, your missus is a nutter, tidy...

Day 268 Magic Mike

Daughter came home today from school with an invite to her friends birthday party. Her friend will be 5, and the party is with magic mike. Now I know there's been a movie recently released of the same name, I just hope there's no mix up when she goes....

Day 267 Bunny Rabbit

Eldest daughter got to pet a Rabbit, it's nearly as fluffy as she is....

Saturday 22 September 2012

Day 266 The birthday

It was my nephews birthday today. He is 4 years old and so had his first birthday party, held at adventure valley. Lots if gun activities for him and his friends to part take in. They got to pet lots if animals and that's picture us of him leading a Pygmy goat...

Day 265 the present

We have been busy wrapping up my nephews birthday present. It's his birthday tomorrow, somehow I think he won't be impressed by his present with the bow on it....

Thursday 20 September 2012

Day 264 Pile On

Daughters decided to pile on mummy yesterday, they looked like they were having fun tormenting mummy....

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Day 263 Medal winner

Youngest daughter was enjoying out medals today, she looked quite pleased with herself....

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Day 262 Boris

Youngest daughter awoke this morning. As I went to collect her from her cot her hair was all messed up and sticking up at various random points. This made me think that she has been taking hairstyle tips from Boris Johnson, what do you think?

Day 261 The knee

My knee has been aching me, naturally I gather after the run yesterday. So I've been hobbling about today. However it made me stop and think this photo taken from last year is now spookily accurate...

Saturday 15 September 2012

Day 260 The run

Today was the great north run. Myself and my partner managed to complete the 13.1 mile course in 2hours 27minutes. Id love to tackle it again next year and beat my time. It was one of the hardest but most rewarding things I've done and if you ever get the chance do it. Credit has to go to all the runners but also the spectators who cheer you along the course...

You can still sponsor me here at

Day 259 The games

Today we were in newcastle. Tomorrow sees us tackle the great north run and before the run a pasta party is held on the banks on the tune river. Next to it is the great north city games also. We went by this today and it was quite a nice event.

The sun was shining and as we enjoyed our pasta we got to watch British and American athletes go head to head. There was a temporary race track laid out. Some of the athletes had even competed and win golds in the recent Olympics. We saw the pole vault, an event that I'd imagine requires a very high skill level and could be quite dangerous too...

Now the hard work starts

So the Olympics and the Paralympics are over. I am so proud that the country paid attention and enjoyed the Paralympics just as much as they did with the Olympics. When a country hosts these events the Olympics is always thought of as outright and from my previous experience the Paralympics has then been placed on the back burner, it's great that the UK was different and had the Paralympics get the required attention it deserves.

This isn't the post I originally set out to write, I want to write about how proud I have been of the job this country has done and about how proud I am of being British. The whole worlds eyes have been on us not just for these past 2 weeks, but the past 6 years since the games were awarded to us. They've been waiting, eagerly at times for us to fail, or for something to go wrong for these games. Whether it be stadia not fully built, security concerns, or a poor showing from the home team in the medal table. But once again and like many times in the past this proud nation has risen up, worked hard and done our job.

This is shown in the 1,000's of volunteers who have gave their free time to the games, many I know aren't in fact British but have came from far afield to be part of our games. As a nation we've cheered on, not just our own athletes but athletes from all nations and have been able to bask in the glory of some stunning displays of greatness. Our home grown athletes have done themselves rightfully proud and will go down in the history of British sport as well deserved custodians of legacy. It initially seems that the motto of the games, "Inspire a generation" is well at work, but we need to keep building and working on the momentum  that these games have generated.

For me the hard work starts now, the games have been and after the Paralympics gone. The stadia is still here but many will be scaled down. Memories will be shared and stories of where were you when will be shared and passed, but it would be easy to say we've done well now lets just continue. If we want to truly inspire a generation then key descions have to be made from the top down. It's easy for politicians from both parties to argue and bicker saying that we need to invest in this aspect of sport and we need to do this, but as with many key topics the politicians need to put their point scoring with the public to one side and truly decide what is in the best interests of this country.

Sport to me is important, I won't hide that fact. I have studied sport and fitness is my profession, so to give a balanced argument is hard. But lets look at what the Olympics has done for us. Now I'm not saying the Olympics is the reason why we've finally got some good weather, but the Olympics has firstly made the 9 o'clock news a lot more bearable, it hasn't been all doom and gloom and about corrupt politicians or greedy bankers whose economic incapability is scary. Instead it has been about how people have been enjoying sporting greatness and been inspired to give sport a go themselves. Now that is what Pierre De Coubertin wanted the Olympics to do over a 100 years ago, the Olympics for me has truly came home and back to its core roots.

We've seen and heard the images of children being inspired and seen many people dusting off their trainers and giving sport a go. This is what needs to continue to truly rule these games as a success. The knock on effect of having a nation that participates rather than observe can only be good for us, you've got the obvious fact that people will become more healthier and then live longer, have less diseases and become less of a burden on the NHS. People will feel better and probably get on more with each other and be friendlier to one another, and in my eyes this will play a part in helping to gain economic stability. I mean think about in the industrial revolution did'nt leisure play a big part in making us a force to be reckoned with?

We've all seen the images whether it be a regular everyday person holding the Olympic flame through their community or it be Jessica Ennis crossing the finish line to claim her, our Olympic gold medal these images can inspire the future. But not by themselves, we now need to remember the feel good nature these games have given us, with the feeling of winning and keep being inspired to do sport. For me changes need to be made to allow children to do more sport in school. I had 2-3 hours a week at school when I was a child and that wasn't enough. Yes I understand the argument that some children plain don;t like sport but they need to understand why sport and health and fitness are important to them and how it can contribute to the country. This is what the Olympics needs to ensure it does, many children only get to try a few track and field events and then rugby, football and cricket in schools we need to invest in coaches, the infrastructure of sport in schools and professional clubs and ensure that every community has access for children and adults to always participate in sport.

The games were fantastic and Team GB did us proud, but now the legacy needs to continue and only by ensuring this momentum keeps going will these games be seen as true success....

Friday 14 September 2012

Day 258 recognition

Eldest daughter came home today with her first certificate from her school. She was given a certificate for settling in well at her school. The teacher has told us she's quite the number cruncher and was the only child in her class to recognise the names if 3D shapes, she's already doing better than me. Well done Rose....

Thursday 13 September 2012

Day 257 Spiders

It's the attack of the massive spiders. We'd seen this fellow around the house a few times and tonight we caught him and humanly released him to nature. I nicknamed him Bertie...

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Day 256 the truth

Today was a landmark day for 96 families. After 23 years of campaigning they finally got to hear the truth how 96 loved ones were part of a tragedy that should never have happened. Finally the truth has been brought to light. The 96 will never be forgotten, now all we need is justice....

Day 255 school work

Eldest daughter had brought her first school work home. Shes been colouring Cinderella today, great work....

Sunday 9 September 2012

Day 254 left overs

Ahhhh an easy lunch, easy cos it's lasts nites left overs. Cheap and easy, cos it's last nites left overs. Tasty....

Day 253 feet up shirt off

It's been a hot day, so hot that when I picked the children up from their weekend at the grandparents house youngest was crawling around in just a nappy. She continued this fashion trend at home and made herself comfy whilst drinking her juice...

Friday 7 September 2012

Day 252 A historical walk

We are really lucky that we live in a city steeped with loads of free activities and also has so much history. I haven't walked round York city walls since I was a child do today I did just that, there were some axing views and well worth the time....

Day 251 Nursery

This week has been a landmark week in our household. Oldest daughter started school and bit far behind in her footsteps today saw youngest daughter start her first full day of nursery. She is going to be going once a week which will mean, hopefully some peace and quiet for me and her mummy....

Thursday 6 September 2012

Day 250 Trains

Me and youngest child have been playing with the wooden train track today. I say playing what I really mean is I build a track and she destroys it! I suppose she sees that as a game and is having fun that's the main thing...

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Day 249 Breakfast

Youngest daughter is having strawberries and toast for breakfast, how continental...

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Day 248 school

Oldest daughter starts school today, FREEDOM !!!! So today's picture is obviously of her in her uniform ready to conquer the world of education. She's been very excited about starting school and is looking forward to making lots of friends, although she's not the best at remembering people's names I'm sure she'll grasp it at some point....

Monday 3 September 2012

Day 247 Publicity

Today at work our marketing leaflets came they look pretty nice and professional. Then I turned it over and noticed they used the picture of me that shows my double chin! Thanks, thanks a lot!

Saturday 1 September 2012

Day 245 Taking the pee

It's the 1st September which means the day after the football transfer window. Unfortunately my team didn't make any new signings and actually weakened not strengthen our team quite significantly, so when I turned I over the calendar this morning I didn't appreciate that for the next month id have to be reminded of it in the form of it showing an ex player, could be worse in December the most happiest month at all I have to out up with a picture Stewart downing whose rubbish, unfortunately we still have him...