Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Well there goes 2013 riding off into the sunset..........

I have to say that it has been a very positive year with lots of personal change and development. I've spent the year finding out who I am and just enjoying being me. I've also find out a little more about my spiritual path too which is starting to settle down and take shape very nicely.

Lots of awesome things happened in 2013, this list is not exhaustive:
  • Seeing the definitive line up of The Dogs D'Amour reformed for an intimate show at The Borderline on my birthday.
  • Cosplayed Zatanna at the May MCM Expo
  • Was involved in the making of a music video
  • Did DV8 Fest
  • Visited Mother Shipton's Cave
  • Went camping at the Artemis Gathering (and found my true Two Spirit self)
  • Went camping at Dolmen Grove Tribal Dreams (and found our new family)
  • Sam left college and got his first proper job
  • Became part of the newly formed Dolmen Grove Essex Moot
You only have to read back over my blog posts for 2013 to see how great it has been. 

I guess the major highlight has been being welcome into the Dolmen Grove family. One minute we meet a few people at a camp and the next we have loads of really fantastic new friends and are attending meetings, going to gigs and now making loads of plans for 2014.

We've had some amazing times with friends old and new and family too. We are blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing and wonderful people and thank you for sharing your lives with us.

Exciting times are ahead of us........................

Feeling meh, bouncing back, Capitals win, Rangers win!

Woke up feeling a bit ropey and under the weather today so wasn't really feeling the whole New Year thing. Toni and I went out on a provisions run and even a trip to Marks & Spencer didn't lift my spirits although I came close in the hosiery section LOL. We got back and had some lunch and watched Four Weddings And A Funeral which made me feel a big better as we both love that film. So glad I started bouncing back.

Edinburgh Capitals managed a 4 - 3 win over rivals Fife Flyers which was a welcome surprise.They still have a lot of hard work to do to make the play offs but at least they ended 2013 on a high.

Sam treated us to kebabs for dinner and we then watched Eddie Izzard's latest show Force Majeure. Imagine our surprise when we saw Leanne and Antony sitting in the audience during the intro LOL. The show itself was excellent with Mr Izzard getting back on form once again.

The run up to midnight was then done watching the New York Rangers v Florida Panthers game. It was looking like another disaster when the Rangers made it 1 - 1 with 2:10 left on the clock. The game ended 1 - 1 at the end of the third so it was into overtime with one point in the bag! Sadly neither team could get it done in overtime and so it was on to the penalty shoot out. Rangers emerged victorious with a final score of New York Rangers 2 - 1 Florida Panthers!


Last.FM 2013 Overall TOP 20 Charts

Here are my top listening habits on Last.FM for 2013.

So here it is:

01 - The Dolmen
02 - Abney Park
03 - Inkubus Sukkubus
04 - Lindie Lila
05 - Hanoi Rocks
06 - Mediæval Bæbes
06 - The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing
08 - Helloween
09 - Michael Monroe
10 - The Zambonis
11 - Karen Kay
12 - Axis Mundi
13 - The Wildhearts
14 - Professor Elemental
15 - Damh The Bard
16 - Skyclad
17 - Wendy Rule
18 - Psychic TV
19 - The Cog Is Dead
20 - Faun

TOP 20 ALBUMS OF 2013:
01 - Karen Kay – Golden Light
02 - The Cog Is Dead – Steam Powered Stories
03 - Lindie Lila – Return of the Goddess
04 - Axis Mundi – Sci-Curious
05 - The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – Now That's What I Call Steampunk! Vol 1
06 - Lindie Lila – Sisters of the Moon
07 - The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – This May The Reason That The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing Cannot Be…
08 - Abney Park – Ancient World
09 - Lindie Lila – Moondance
10 - Abney Park – Lost Horizons
11 - Abney Park – Off The Grid
12 - Abney Park – The End of Days
13 - The Dolmen – Songs from the Cauldron
13 - Abney Park – Aether Shanties
15 - Axis Mundi – Chapel Perilous
16 - The Dolmen – Above And Below
17 - Saor Patrol & The Dolmen – Crann Tara
18 - The Dolmen – Ahryah
19 - The Dolmen – Dolmenation
19 - Professor Elemental – Father of Invention

Monday, 30 December 2013

Power all sorted and back on the road again

I got up around 09:30 this morning to find that an electrician had already arrived. Turned out he wasn't even supposed to be working but answered mum's call when he was at the paper shop and came round anyway. I won't bore you with details but after three hours of work he pretty much had everything sorted out. He even managed to fix another problem that we didn't know about while he was at it. As he had to shoot off he has promised to come back and make good a couple of bits and to make sure everything is still working fine. Now that is what I call excellent service! Such a relief as I really didn't want to have to leave mum with no power.

Once everything was sorted we had a brunch before finishing off our packing. Leaving was delayed slightly as I had to do some laptop troubleshooting and get mum's McAfee up and running properly. It was a pain in the arse but thankfully McAfee have a pretty good tool called McAfee Virtual Technician that seemed to do the trick after a couple of runs. Fingers crossed that's all sorted otherwise McAfee will be getting the boot in favour of Kaspersky!

We've had a brilliant time at mum's and Christmas was fantastic and it's always sad when it is time to leave but unfortunately we had to. We said our goodbyes and then hit the road back to Sidcup. We had an uneventful journey and made good time. It wasn't long before Leanne brought Pam back home again and we were all reunited once more.

Cooking was suspended in favour of ordering in an Indian which was a fantastic plan. We then caught up on last night's New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning game (having missed it due to there being no power). After some pretty shaky games of late I was delighted that they came out as 4 - 3 winners in regular time. Really really hoping that they can now keep this winning mentality and start performing a lot better. Mebbe, I'll let you know tomorrow night!

Finished off the day watching the Russell Brand Messiah Complex DVD. Thoroughly enjoyed this show. Good mixture of normal stand up crossed with his branching out into getting people to open their eyes.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Power problems and Coventry Blaze v Nottingham Panthers

As we were about to get ready to go out there were some power problems at mum's. All the mains electrics went off. Sam and I spent an hour or so flipping fuse box switches and unplugging and plugging things in and we thought we had it all sorted so we all jumped in the car and headed out.

Our destination was Coventry Skydome to watch the ice hockey game between Coventry Blaze and Nottingham Panthers. We were delighted to see Jinty from Edinburgh there who we haven't seen since the wedding so it was good to have a quick catch up.

The Skydome was rammed for this game which was encouraging to see. Plenty of Panthers fans in the house too who were in good voice. The game was not an elegant affair. It was quite chippy with a little bit of argy bargy with Panthers player Farmer being ejected from the game.
It was quite a close game and it was only Blaze's inability to work up anything on the power play that let the Panthers get off light. That and Panthers wandering goalie who nearly cost them a couple of goals through crazy play. As it was the game ended Coventry Blaze 2 Nottingham Panthers 3 so we all left happy.

It was great to be back in a rink again. We might watch a lot of NHL games these days but you can't beat actually being there.

We got home to find that our fix for the power wasn't permanent and once again there was no mains. Fortunately the oven circuit was working so we could at least eat and we could boil water on the electric hob. Early nights were had with a view to calling the electrician first thing. Fingers crossed we can get hold of one that can come out quickly.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Shopping, lurgs, kebabs and Iron Sky board game

Today was a day for not doing very much. After breakfast, Toni, mum and I popped out to do some food shopping. Toni was feeling a little under the weather when we got back so she too herself off to bed for a sleep. Sam and I then popped into town to pick up a few bits for mum and also to see what the sales might have on offer.

HMV provided a good source of bargains as I picked up the Blu-Ray versions of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes Game Of Shadows and Django Unchained all for £20 plus a copy of Russell Brand's Messiah Complex DVD which worked out at £5 after the additional HMV discount of 10% was applied. Sam fared equally well with a six season box set of The Big Bang Theory and a copy of Eddie Izzard's latest show on Blu-Ray for bugger all money.

Mum prepared a greek style buffet for dinner which Sam and I topped up with chicken kebabs. I have to say that the portions in this part of the world are most generous as we struggled to eat it all. As she was still feeling under the weather Toni dosed herself up and went to bed early to try and shift whatever it is she is suffering from. Hope it doesn't turn into anything really nasty but I fear the lurgs are taking hold.

Sam and I spent some time trying out the Iron Sky board game that Toni and I gave him for Christmas. Although were learning as we went along it shows great potential as a multi-player game and it is quite enjoyable. I don't think we got everything quite right but I was delighted to lead my moon Nazis to victory and a complete invasion of Europe! I don't think I'll be so lucky next time!

Friday, 27 December 2013

.....and relax, now it's all over!

Today we got up for our final breakfast before going to stay at mum's. The waitress on duty today was the least friendly that we've had so far which was disappointing. She was going through the motions and making empty comments to placate people. We had to wait a while for our gluten free bread today and even then she needed a reminder. We get that she probably didn't want to be working an early shift after Boxing Day but she could have tried to be pleasant.

I felt really sorry for the couple who had been waiting in the restaurant for over half an hour only to find that breakfast was done and had been put away. Clearly they'd been missed/overlooked by our cheery waitress, whoops!

Suitably fed and watered it was back to the room to pack and load The Beast for the journey across the road. Thankfully Sam came to help us so it only took one run from room to The Beast making things so much easier. We were greeted by a rainbow when we arrived:

Mum prepared a lovely lunch of turkey and parsnip soup plus a selection of cold meats and we all sat down to eat together one last time. After lunch Sophie, Scarlett and Kenzie had to head off back to Nottingham. I forgot to post these yesterday so here's two pictures of Kenzie cooperating a little better for a photo on the canal

It was certainly a lot quieter after they had gone. It was lovely to see them all though and we had a great time. There may well have been a bit of sleep going on in the late afternoon as Toni and I both grabbed some extra shut eye!

The evening was spent with a nice supper followed by a few rounds of Chase The Ace and Newmarket.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Boxing Day shenanigans

You can't beat waking up in the morning and then taking a slow stroll to a restaurant to get breakfast! SO much easier than having to make it yourself LOL. I had a more modest breakfast today due to a rough night with heartburn and a slightly iffy stomach but there is always bacon!

After the noms we went over to mum's to see everybody. We had a drink and some nibbles and then we left mum at home to have a rest and everybody else went for a walk into town via the canal path with bread in hand to feed the ducks.
I love walking down the canal path. I've done it so many times but never really get bored of it.

Kenzie didn't want to have his photo taken

We then did a little bit of shopping in the sales before dropping into Costa for a nice drink and chill. Sam started getting hungry and suggested that we go back to Jimmy Spice's for dinner. One phone call later and mum had joined us and it was back the all you can eat buffet again! Can't complain about that LOL. 

It was a somewhat messier affair for Kenzie as he hit the ice cream and chocolate sauce:

Sam turned into some weird Lovecraftian walrus:

.....and I have no idea what was happening here LOL:

After Scarlett and Kenzie had gone to bed we broke out Toni's new Cluedo game. Toni won the first game we played which she was very happy about. It was then time for nibbles and mead. 

Gemima turned into a mad metal dwarf

Once the shenanigans were over it was time to toddle off back to the hotel for one last night (we are staying at mum's from tomorrow as Sophie and the kids are going back home). Another brilliant day had by all.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Full English, champagne, presents, feast, sleep, Dr. Who and games

We ended up going to bed at around three so were in no rush to get up today although we did want to have breakfast in the hotel. We sauntered down to the restaurant just after ten and enjoyed a marvellous all you can eat full English breakfast and gluten free bread. What a wonderful way to kick off the morning!

I forgot to post this yesterday. Mum's Christmas tree. This is a modern new tree with very old German wooden ornaments, gorgeous

When we got over to mum's we started our celebrations with champagne and nibbles before getting down to the exchanging of gifts. There were lots of wonderful presents and everybody was really happy with what they received. Here's a random selection of pics from the proceedings:

After the presents it was noms time. Mum put on a fantastic spread. There was turkey, ham, sausages, stuffing, roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sprouts and chestnuts.

I think it was safe to say that nobody went hungry today with such a delicious feast prepared for us! Much to Scarlett and Kenzie's delight the meal was completed with crackers (the pulling kind rather than with cheese).

Some of us then managed to have a bit of time out and a nice old snooze for a couple of hours (photo craftily taken by Sophie and Sam:

Once we had woken up again there was tea and the Christmas special of Dr. Who. This was most enjoyable and managed to nicely tie up some loose ends and leads well into the future. I can't wait for the new series to start now that we've had the next regeneration!

A light supper was followed by card games. This was a most pleasant way to round off what has been an excellent day. We might not celebrate Christmas any more but it was great to keep the tradition going and spend time with family. Suitably tired, Toni, Gemima and I toddled back to our hotel ready to get some rest before heading back for Boxing Day.

We weren't the only ones to enjoy ourselves wither :)