Saturday, 31 January 2009

Eurovision, Euroshmision, PFT!

Your Country Needs You!
Your country is stupid!

Despite being a camp old fart, I have no real interest in Eurovision whatsoever. Tonight, however, the TV got switched over just as Your Country Needs You had started so morbid curiosity led to us watching it. The program itself was truly unremarkable other than watching Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber struggle to be comfortable in front of a camera, something that he is clearly not cut out for.

The song that he has written was a pretty good tune that should be well received at Eurovision but the deliveries by the remaining finalists were a bit ..................... um ............ not sure how to describe it. Mark has a good voice but didn't really do anything spectacular. Jade is a Mariah Carey/Leona Lewis wannabe and sang the song exactly as we expected incuding Mariah style warble bang on cue. This is Eurovision on X-Factor!

The Twins on the other hand were perfect Eurovision with the harmonies and dual vocals lifting the song from ordinary to extra-ordinary.

Unfortunately the public are stupid, they have been fed far too much X-Factor tripe and so were drawn to voting Jade into the winning spot. It was a total travesty and I have no doubt that with Jade rather than The Twins in the hot seat, Great Britain will once again fail spectacularly in Moscow.

Chinese luncheon

Mum, Sam, Toni and I made a return visit to the all you can eat Chinese in Chelmsford. Once again it was really nice although we have now made a mental note not to go in there so closed to closing time as they don't replenish all the food trays.

We did have a comic moment though when a woman commented on how lovely the colour of Toni's hair was and then proceeded to stroke it with her hand. Toni was totally surprised and I just thought it was hilarious!

Eddie, Eddie, Eddie

That's three tickets just booked to go and see Eddie Izzard at The O2 in December, YAY!

Still feeling rough

Woke up this morning still feeling rough, although slightly better than last night. Hope this passes quickly as it's horrible. Will be dosing myself up later.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Not well :o(

Went to bed as soon as I got in from work tonight, feeling really crappy (from a cold rather than exercise). Got up for a short period to have a small bit to eat, watched QI and then had an early night.

Wow, I am amazed....

I am amazed. I was expecting to wake up this morning with aches and pains all over but there was nothing at all. Have to admit it was a big relief as I hadn't relished the thought of being in pain as a result of going to the gym.

What a great start to the day and it's Friday too so bring on the weekend!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

It's getting tougher, but exhilarating too!

Sam and I went to the gym for our second induction tonight. We started off warming up on the bike before being shown and put through our pace on all the various weight equipment. 30 minutes of weights is no mean feat when you aren't used to exercise!

It really put us both through our paces but was very positive (and the first time I have ever felt comfortable at a gym amongst all the "real" fitness freaks). Bits of me have now started to ache that I didn't know were possible to ache, have a feeling it's going to be hell in the morning!

I've signed up for an Ab Attack and Steptastic class next week and Sam and I are hoping to try and spend an hour a day at the gym (Monday to Thursday). Diet is going well too, lots of healthy stuff being eaten now and almost cutting out bread completely has really made me feel less bloated (ten points to smart arse Toni for suggesting that I try cutting it out LMFAO)

Oh, and for the record, tonight I did 14 floors in under 4 minutes on the Stepmaster so that's a third of my Tower 42 quest!

FIngers crossed for Toni

Toni went to have a long talk to Nick tonight about the divorce and finances and it sounds like finally they might have made some progress and be able to come to a mutual agreement. Tomorrow will be interesting to see if Nick still has that view but fingers crossed he will and he will abort court proceedings and do things between them.

Sophie update

Well there isn't one really. Despite my texting yesterday to say, "Oi you, where's my granddaughter" I am still waiting to be Grandma Glitz!

Sophie is getting very uncomfortable and is trying to put herslef into weird positions to try and bring things on but so far, nothing! Will keep you all posted!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

I survived the gym

Well I have survived my induction at Club Woodham and done my first workout, 30 minutes of cardio machine based exercises across 6 different machines! Finally exercise was on the stepmaster where I managed to do the equivalent of 9 floors in about 4 minutes. I actually feel quite invigorate and look forward to going back again. Sam and I are booked in for tomorrow evening to do some basic weight training.

The aim is to go and do cardio machine work Monday to Thursday and I will also be taking two classes as well, Ab Attack and Steptastic to help boost things.

I'll show 'em!

According to the boss our consultant office, based in London, are all finding it quite amusing that I have agreed to do the Vertical Rush. Funny how none of them volunteered! I am more determined than ever now to make a success of it and then the laugh will be on them!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Now officially a member of a gym

Well Sam and I are now both fully paid up members of Club Woodham, no backing out now!
We both have our first induction sessions tomorrow evening and then the hard work begins. I think this was a good idea LOL.

Sophie update

Sophie had been getting a lot of pain and regular contractions and so made another trip to the hospital. They did send her home again but had said that she is now 1cm dilated and so is in the early stages of labour. Could be really quick or really slow from this point onwards.

That's not really helpful!

Seems to be a bit of faith lacking on whether I will be able to maintain my new diet and fitness regime (including vile beasties trying to tempt me into bad ways). One of my colleagues has been particularly unhelpful today, offering to buy me Mars bars and then emailing me the following pictures................

Monday, 26 January 2009

Wii Fit and planning to get fit for the Vertical Rush!

OK, I have to be the first to admit that I am NOT a fan of the Wii Fit! Our boss brought his copy of Wii Fit and the Wii Fit Balance Board into the office to test our five intrepid CFUK Vertical Rushers to see how we shaped up!

Whilst I admit that it wasn't really a surprise it was a little depressing to see the results appearing on a huge eff-off widescreen TV in the office in front of most of my colleagues! So here goes, after the first data entry and some tests it determined that through my Body Mass Index I was actually obese, I knew this really but it was quite depressing to see it up in lights (and even more so when my Wii Mii suddenly expanded in size to reflect this!!!!!!). Next up it reported that my Wii Fit age had been worked out as FIFTY! Only 12 years older than it should be! The only saving grace was that one of my CFUK colleagues was ranked as 43 and he is 5 years younger than me and much more active than I am.

So what happens next? Well the reality has hit home that I am very likely to do myself some serious damage if I attempt the Vertical Rush in my current physcial shape. I had decided that I wanted to lose a little weight this year anyway and so knowing that I now have a need to get some serious work done I popped down to Club Woodham (our local fitness centre) with Sam tonight to check out the facilities (and, more importantly, prices).

Have decided that although it isn't cheap I do have to really get some professional help in preparing and training for the Vertical Rush and so will be signing up ASAP (both Sam and I are joining so we can do some stuff together). The plus side is that they run on a month by month basis so if I decided to stop after the Vertical Rush I won't be tied into a 12 month membership contract. Gulp, physical exercise and lots if it! DOUBLE GULP!!!

Along with the exercise and training of course I am also going to have to alter my eating habits. No more crap, take aways and the like, time for a new healthier regime including lots of vegetables and fruit!

It's quite daunting just even thinking about losing weight but with the added incentive of wanting to be successful at the Vertical Rush I know that I can do this!

CFUK: sponsorship required - Tower 42 Vertical Rush!

CFUK are after your money!

Five of us from work (City Financials Shenfield office), Matt, Nick, Arek, David and myself, are doing the Tower 42 Vertical Rush in support of Shelter on 19th March 2009. This involves running/walking/crawling, up 902 steps, 42 floors equating to 600 feet.

We have set up a justgiving website to raise money for Shelter, please consider supporting us:

You can read more about the Vertical Rush here:

Last.FM listening post!

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Happy Birthday Steelnut

Happy Birthday Steelnut (Tracy Kaye)

Hope you have a great day

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Lovely relaxing day

Today was a nice slow paced relaxing day. Got up feeling a little squiffy so Toni ran me a bath where I soaked and chilled out.

Stressed a bit trying to get my old laptop to talk to the network but eventually succeeded.

Played some Little Big Planet with Sam on the PS3.

Chilled out, watched the Capitals webcast and had lamb shanks for dinner.

Played some more Little Big Planet with Sam.

It was nice to have a weekend with no pressure to do things, just to potter about, spend time with each other and just relax.

Happy Birthday Barry

Happy Birthday Barry Ashmore

Hope you have a good day

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Edinburgh Capitals 0 Sheffield Steelers 4!

Makes me wonder why I bother supporting the Edinburgh Capitals sometimes! The wonders of webcast (brought to you via mean that I can watch them every week but tonight was painful! I know Sheffield are the league leaders but the Capitals looked really uninspired which was a damn shame considering it was the debut of Jason Cassells and Brad Bonello tonight. Fortunately Hull lost and Basingstoke got an overtime point so the Capitals 8th place in the league (and play off spot) is safe for now.

Capitals are playing Steelers again tomorrow night so here's hoping that they can at least get some goals, if not a win!

Lunch at Frankie & Benny's

After a late start and listening to an assortment of awesome metal and goth covers of cheesy songs we headed off to the Army & Navy roundabout in Chelmsford to meet Sophie for lunch (we decided to go to Frankie & Benny's).

Was really nice to see her and meet up for some time out (unfortunately Shane couldn't make it)

Mum and Sam:

Mum and Sam being silly!:

Toni and Gemima:

Sam and Sophie:

Toni and I:

It was a really nice meal and a lovely way to spend a few hours.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Prize for most silly band name goes to...............

...................................... Californian doom metal band GOBLIN COCK!

I mean, what's that all about? LOL I nearly wet myself when I saw the name on

Band members are:
Lord Phallus - Guitar and Vocals
Bane Ass-Pounder - Guitar
King Sith - Bass Guitar
Braindeath - Drums
Loki Sinjuggler - Keyboards

If morbid curiosity now has the better of you then check them out here:

Here is the cover of their Bagged And Boarded CD:

Happy Birthday Antony

Happy Birthday to Antony Hopker

Hope you have a great day mate

Thursday, 22 January 2009

I want one of these!

Toni sent me this picture as she was shopping in Makro with Jade.

How big is that bottle of JD!


Shame it's not pay day until next Friday, a snip at £60 +VAT

New day, new focus, thank you

It's a new day and I have a new focus.

Yesterday was hard, not just for me but for others as well for a variety of different reasons, and it is quite difficult sometimes trying to balance two worlds so unfortunately there is sometimes a dramatic swing away from the norm. Sadly, every now and then I need to reflect on things and I hate that other people get caught up in it all. Blogs are great but can also be a two-edged sword when people close to you read them regularly.

I am back now though, focussed, looking forward once again and life is good.

I have a wonderful family, I am going to be Grandma Glitz VERY soon, I have some really great friends and I have a fantastic girlfriend who tries to hang in there when I drift off and despite the effect it has on her still holds on tight until I drift back again.

Thank you one and all and especially Toni

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Three years today

I knew today might throw up a mixture of memories and emotions. Today it is 3 years since I met Sharon.

And now for some splinters in time:
21st January 2006 was the day the I went to a London club with Robin and my whole life changed. I can still remember it like it was yesterday almost deciding not to go, spotting Sharon and thinking she was with someone, the delight in realising she wasn't, her staring into my eyes and touching my soul, the kiss, the club having to shut early due to a fight, walking around Old Street for hours as we wanted to talk and not listen to her mates getting it on, waking them all up when we went back and turned the lights on and made tea at stupid o clock, my alarm going off at silly hour......... *GRIN*

Today is actually the day I have been dreading more than anything as it marks an anniversary where Sharon has now been taken from me for longer than we were together. That sucks. That really sucks.

Despite all the good things going on in my life I still feel a Sharon shaped hole and emptiness that can never be filled. My wonderful memories of our time together do help to soften things and of course I have a wonderful network of family and friends to get me through.

Sharon Gloria Ashmore, I bloody miss you! Gone but certainly NEVER forgotten!

Gone away from me
Gone away from me
Life is long, my love has gone away from me

- Gone Away From Me (Ray Lamontagne)

Sophie update

Sophie went to see her midwife today. She had a scan and some tests on Monday and it seems as though Scarlett is about the size of 42 week old when Sophie is only 38 weeks! Methinks that perhaps the dates have been messed up somewhere if that is the case.

Sophie called to say that Scarlett's is absolutely fine and that her head is one fifth engaged but she could be too big to engage properly. She has been told to see her consultant again on Friday to see what he thinks but they might look at inducing early or doing a caesarian depending on how things go.

Sophie doesn't care either way, she's at that fed up stage now and just wants it over with, bless her.

Good luck with your interview Toni

Good luck with your interview today Toni.

Hope it goes well

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Chinese tea.......ahhhhhhhhhhhh, healthy living on its way

Have been drinking Chinese green tea pretty much constantly since Sunday and feel much better for it, feel much more awake and am sleeping better too. Am trying to lose a bit of weight so it means I get to cut out milk and sugar with my tea now which should help a bit. Have also stopped taking sugar in my coffee.

Next stop is sorting out a more sensible diet and to stop eating crap, throw in a bit of exercise and should be able to get rid of a bit of my belly. I am not heading for drastic measure but its expanded a bit too much since Xmas and work trousers are a bit snug now and so its time to take action!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Faster Pussycat at Underworld

Went out on the gig patrol tonight to see Faster Pussycat, Bang Tango and Beautiful Creatures. Unfortunately my old band Sticky Sweet had cancelled as their drummer was injured so they were replaced by Torn Asunder.

Met Sam at Shenfield and then Toni at Stratford and headed off to Tottenham Court Road to have dinner at Pizza Hut. Have to say it was childish but someone had drawn a penis on the table we were sitting at and I just couldn't resist, apologies in advance...............

Following the refuelling we headed off to Camden Underworld.

We arrived during the first band Torn Asunder's set. Had never heard them before but they were really good. It was also nice to see a non.skinny curvy girl fronting the band. She had a great set if pipes on her.

More photos of Torn Asunder here: 190109TornAsunderUnderworld

Armitage turned up so I introduced him to Toni and had a chat before he went off to record the rest of the gig for thr Paranoid Squirrel podcast.

Toni & I:

Sam not wanting a picture taken:

Armitage and I caught unawares:

Next up was Beautiful Creatures, fronted by Joe Leste (of Bang Tango - it's important you know this). I have a couple of their CDs and quite like them. They put on a pretty good show and although Joe is looking a little rough round the edges but still has a geat voice. Beautiful Creatures finished off their set with AC/DC's Whole Lotta Rosie which was some woman's excuse to flash her not insignificant boobs at the band.

More photos of Beautiful Creatures here: 190109BeautifulCreaturesUnderworld

After a short break the Beautiful Creatures musicians took to the stage accompanied by Joe Leste only this time they were Bang Tango! I knew this was coming but i bet it confused some people though (although a couple of the band changed clothes LOL). Great way to keep costs down though, 2 bands, 2 sets, same set of musicians. They did a great set including a cover of 20th Century Boy (with incorrect lyrics which annoyed Toni LMFAO) and the wonderful Love Injection.

More photos of Bang Tango here: 190109BangTangoUnderworld

£6.90 down and 3 small bottles of water later we eagerly awaited Faster Pussycat. Saw Mike (of Sticky Sweet) standing backstage so gave him a wave.

There was a guy near the front who is one of these new fangled "just got into it but have the power of google glam gurus" who wasn't old enough to remember most of the classic stuff. I saw him at a Hanoi gig bitching about Vince Neil of Motley Crue being responsible for the death of Razzle (even though the kid proabaly wasn't even alive when it happened!). He started whining to the flashing woman that this wasn't really Faster Pussycat when she started talking to him about their new stuff. Throughout the gig he would stand there looking bored when any song that wasn't on the first two albums was played, it was really odd to watch as a lot of the material isn't that different to the early days. Oh well, gave me something to laugh at!

As for Faster Pussycat, what we saw was really good. Despite Taime now starting to look like a cross between Boy George and Marilyn Manson, the dude still has to voice and I really enjoyed hearing the new material alongside the classic stuff. We were treated to The Power & The Glory Hole, Cathouse, Slip Of The Tongue, House Of Pain, Number 1 With A Bullet and Sex Drugs & Rock & Roll. I was surprised to see Taime come onstage smoking a cigarette and even more so when he continued to light up throughout their performance. I guess it was a cig too far when he sat at the front of the stage for House Of Pain and lit up again as Underworld management appeared by the side of the stage and starting gesticulating at the band. It was then announced that they were doing one more song, Porn Star, (at which point the bass player invited everyone in the audience to light up) so I guess the Underworld either told them they were done or Taime copped a strop cos he couldn't smoke and ended the gig. It was a damn shame and a very sour way to end the gig, I just hope that it was the Underworld who stopped it and not Taime as that would really taint things for me if that was the case. I felt robbed as they were the best band on the night and to see such a short set was criminal. The really sad part was the drummer then coming onstage and bitching about being in "gay England" and then went into a rant about not even being able to get Jager shots over here (and then shutting up very quickly when it was pointed out that you could!). We left during the rant so I have no idea if the band came back on or not but I suspect that was the lot.

More photos of Faster Pussycat here: 190109FasterPussycatUnderworld

Toni and I on the way home:

**** UPDATE **** (Have since found out from Armitage that the band went off for about 10 minutes and then came on and finished with Babylon and Bathroom Wall, bloody typical as they are my favourite songs!)

Last.FM listening post!

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

It's such a............

............soggy day!

Woke up this morning pretty refreshed for once, it's a novelty trust me! I have put this down to the vast amount of green tea I drank yesterday, something I intend to experiment with drink a lot more of to see how it makes me feel overall.

It wasn't a very nice day outside though, pissing it down.

Woke Sam up and got ready (with Toni straightening my hair), packed the bag for Faster Pussycat tonight and made Toni a quick cuppa. We dropped Sam off at Asda and then Toni drove me to work. The traffic was mad due to the rain and it took us 10 minutes just to leave SWF but I did get to work just about on time.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Meet mum, buffet lunch & Sophie

In a bit of a rush after our night of excess Toni and I quickly downed a cup of tea and left Sam and his friends tidying up so that we could shoot off to Chelmsford to meet mum's coach at the bus station. We found a parking space just round the back of the bus station and arrived just after mum. Took the luggage to the car and then decided that we were all hungry and so would eat before going over to see Sophie.

Toni noticed that there was an all you can eat Chinese buffet restaurant so we opted for that. It was really nice, plates were piled high, and I drank loads of chinese tea (I had forgotten how nice it is). I had to take this photo of the place mat though as it had the best message in the world on it, really funny:

Following the buffet we went over to see Sophie for a couple of hours and drop off a pram and loads of clothes and some cot toys that Leanne, Toni's sister, had given us. It was nice to see her. Yesterday's panic seems to be over though as the contractions have subsided so I guess that was the first of, no doubt, many false starts!

Saturday, 17 January 2009


Toni and I decided to go to Redemption at Evolution as Sam had a load of friends round.

It was a great night spent catching up with friends and getting to know people better. Toni's back was really hurting so we had only planned to go for a couple of hours but ended up staying til 01:00.


DJ Matt:

Barry proving that I am not the only one prepared to dance alone on the Evo dance floor!

Was really funning meeting this guy called Justin (a friend of Abigail's) who was so obviously gay but was in denial (all his friends said he was gay too). He was really drunk, it was so funny. As we were leaving he didn't impress Toni as he grabbed her on the dance floor and hurt her shoulder

After getting back we then indulged in chicken kebabs and cheesy chips and watch The Love Guru on DVD before crashing out.

Change of plans and lunch at Frankie & Benny's

Toni & I had planned to go to London today, saunter around the dives of Soho before indulging in TGI Fridays and then off to see a few bands. We had almost reached North Greenwich when I got a call from Sophie saying that she had to go to hospital. At this point Toni and I decided to just go to Frankie & Benny's for lunch and then abort the London plan and head back home.



................and then it hit me, Scarlett might be on her way:

Sophie called while we were having lunch to say that they had done a monitor and checked to see if she had dilated but as she hadn't she was sent home again. Looks like this could be the start of things as she said she is having contractions every two minutes. Updated mum and she is travelling down from Stratford upon Avon tomorrow so that she can be around to help out. It's all getting quite exciting now!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Hedgehog at The Lodge

Toni and I picked up Mark and Sam and headed off to The Lodge to see Hedgehog again. As usual the band were great and it was nice to hear them throwing in some new numbers.

Sam and I were a little nuts singing some of the songs at the top of our voices!

Me & Toni:

Sam & Mark:

Get me out of here, it's a Led Zeppelin medley:

Oh good, more Led Zeppelin!:


So busy concentrating on taking the photo I forgot to smile:

And welcome back to what not to wear!
This was possibly the tallest man in the world, he was skeletal and had no waist, bad chioce of clothes and for some reason had subscribed to the Simon Cowell trouser wearing club:

Following the gig we went to Asda and caused some chaos whilst picking dips and nibbles and then went back to Markl & Sam's for drinkies, nibbles and to watched Eddie Izzard's "Sexie" DVD. The excitement was all too much for Toni though as she nodded off during the DVD so we headed back.

It was a great night!