Monday, 29 February 2016

Star Wars music

It's been a while since my last Star Wars related post so here's some fun Star Wars music videos done in alternative styles :)

Mariachi style Throne Room Theme from A New Hope

Mariachi medley

Ragtime Cantina Band

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Home alone (ish), Grimm, Kiki and The Last Samurai

It was my turn to be home alone with Pam today (OK so not strictly home alone LOL). Aaron was at work, Sam was at Tristan's and Zoe was at her dad's and Toni was off to Essex with Giselle for the Dolmen Grove Essex Moot.

Aside from making sure that Pam was OK I had a chance to catch on the latest episodes of Grimm. The current season is getting really good now.

My afternoon was then spent experiencing the delights of Kiki's Delivery Service which I have only just got round to watching. Fantastic film and I love Jiji the cat. It's up there as one of Studio Ghibli's finest moments.

Next on my list was The Last Samurai. Again I'd not seen this before but I loved it. For me this was probably his best performance other than Vanilla Sky. I was a little disappointed with the typical Hollywood ending but it was a fantastic film, well worth a viewing if you haven't seen it.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

The Cult @ Brixton Academy

Tonight I met up with Sara and Christian and headed to see The Cult at the Brixton Academy. Sadly Toni couldn't make it as we had no cover for Pam (Leanne had done last night as she couldn't do tonight).  Spare ticket was sold to a tout (and very begrudgingly at that). I bumped into Steve Doll (former Hollywood Doll drummer) in the queue and had a brief catch up and we agreed it would be good to try and get the gang together for a beer sometime soon.

Once inside the venue it was time for musical chairs. Our tickets were for the Circle and were unreserved which meant that we could sit where we wanted. Or so we thought.... Sadly security decided that we had to fill in from the front and were restricting where we could go. Apparently this was at the request of The Cult. So we reluctantly took some seats in the area designated to watch the first support band.

A good opening act with a nice blend of rocky electronica. I'd like to see them in a more intimate venue as they only had time for four numbers. They did a blinding cover of David Bowie's Let's Dance though.

Fable's setlist was:
Human Pretending
Delta State
Let's Dance

After Fable we realised that people were now filling in the seats a bit further back so we went and relocated ourselves to slightly better ones, not without ending up in a debate with security once again. This is what we thought of the whole mess:

Broken Hands
This lot were an odd fit for the bill as far as I was concerned. Sara described them as Kasabian but crap (which I misheard as Kasabian on crack which was no better really). They were well received by the crowd but I just didn't get their weird shoegazing indie grunge noise.

Broken Hand's setlist was:
Who Sent You

The Cult
Strong start to their set with some great energy brewing. We got a bit concerned though when we saw that Ian Astbury had to read the words to Hinterland, not cool Ian, not cool! It's sad to see such a great performer reduced to needing lyrics in front of him. Turned out he had a whole load of lyrics not very discretely laid out in from of him, really disappointing to see that. Astbury also had an annoying habit of dropping Blackstar references in all over the place which got a bit much at times.

That aside, it was a great set. The Cult have certainly still got it and now how to put on a great show.

The Cult's setlist was:
Dark Energy
Wild Flower
Horse Nation
Sweet Soul Sister
Lil' Devil
Honey From A Knife
Birds Of Paradise
Deeply Ordered Chaos
Fire Woman
The Phoenix
She Sells Sanctuary

Moonage Daydream
Love Removal Machine

Friday, 26 February 2016

Birthday meal at Zizzi

Toni and I went out tonight on our own to have a meal to celebrate my birthday. Big thanks to Leanne for coming round to watch over Pam to give us this short break, it was much appreciated.

We headed to Zizzi in Bexleyheath. It was a nicely laid out restaurant with some interesting decor and table pieces.

The food was absolutely delicious!

It was wonderful to get out and enjoy an unrushed evening together. Hopefully we'll get the chance to have more and then smiles like this :)

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Birthday fun

Sadly I hadn't had the foresight to book today off of work (what with it being my birthday) so it was business as usual on that front. I treated the troops to some nice nibbles as is the custom when a birthday comes around. It had been quite a relaxed day and just as I was hoping to go home a potential showstopper appeared which I had to try and deal with. Thankfully the client decided to back out rather than having us work all night to fix things but it did mean that I ended up leaving later than planned which annoyed me due to the day it was.

Got home and opened some cool cards and presents.
Sith Lord certificate from Sophie and the kids:

Kneeling stool from Sam:

A selection of my cards:

The evening was spent just chilling out with some good food and catching up on some TV. It was a good birthday!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Back to work and WWE Fast Lane

Well it was back to work today and things started off with Toni and I having to get up at 06:30 to make sure some of Pam's personal care was done before I left. Thankfully we have a good routine now and it was all done swiftly.

It was great to be back at work, and it wasn't. It was good to be back in the swing of things and enjoying the banter but I also missed being at home with Toni and being able to support her with Pam. Things were made a little better in knowing that Leanne was going to be popping over during the day to help out. The icing on the cake was that the boss was working from home :)

The evening was spent watching Fast Lane, another WWE pay per view that was somewhat lacking apart from an excellent match between AJ Styles and Chris Jericho. They really seem to have lost focus somewhat but hopefully they'll get thing back on track in time for Wrestlemania.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Chilled day and introducing Guribu

It was a day to kick back and relax today with my last day of rest before heading back to work after a week off.

I have treated myself to an early birthday present as I finally managed to source a Guribu plush. He was a bit bigger than I had been expected but I love him to bits!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Up early, goodbye to Sophie & the kids and meh

I was up early this morning to give Toni a break. I gave Pam her drugs and then despite saying she wasn't hungry she asked for some breakfast and she managed to eat a whole slice of toast with sandwich spread.  I then sat with her and we watched some nature programs on the TV. It was great she managed to get some food down and good that she was awake enough to watch some TV. She hadn't complained about any pain in her legs either which was a great bonus. More days like this please :)

We gave the kids some lunch before Sophie headed back to Nottingham with them. Managed to grab some photos of a lesser spotted Sam out of is natural habitat! LOL

Sadly that time came round all too soon when it was time for Sophie to head off. Hugs and tears were had. It's been lovely having them all here for a decent length of time (despite the chaos with Pam) and we'll be back for a repeat sometime soon I am sure.

The evening was REALLY quiet. Sophie and the kids had gone, Toni had gone out to see some pagan friends, Sam was at the cinema, Zoe was at her dad's and Aaron had gone to a work leaving do leaving Pam and I. She slept most of the night so I had to entertain myself. It all went wrong after that, I just felt at a bit meh, like a loose end and couldn't settle down to do or watch anything.

Things got better when Toni got back and we dined on mushrooms filled with goats cheese and some lemon masala veggie burgers :) 

Friday, 19 February 2016

Frustrating GPs, garden time and Little Big Planets

Things took a disappointing turn first thing today when it became apparent the the GP had not escalated things with the council's support team and so we'll be heading into next week with some uncertainties on how we'll be able to deal with some stuff once I go back to work. It's really frustrating as he has been absolutely brilliant up until now. Hopefully this is just a blip. On a more positive note we are still managing to do Pam's personal care in a speedy manny but unfortunately it remains a job for two people. I am predicting some very grumpy phone calls from Toni to get things sorted ASAP. Pam is doing pretty well though although it was an off food day today.

Zoe and Scarlett had some garden time today:

Kenzie and I were on the Little Big Planet 3 trail on the PS4 which was more frustrating than playing Star Wars Battlefront or LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. He definitely takes after his Uncle Sam when it comes to playing video games LOL.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Comfortable Pam, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes & TiVo

We took delivery of the airflow mattress, and extra bed rail and protective bumpers first thing today and it seemed to make Pam much more comfortable overall which was great to see. There was no news from the GP despite Toni trying to chase it up so we can only hope that things are progressing. On a really positive note we have now got the personal care down to a slick and swift operation and we are hopeful that Toni might actually be able to do it on her own. We'll be having a trial run of that tomorrow morning with me on hand just in case. Pam also seemed a lot more with it today, she was much brighter and awake for longer and also had some time watching her TV.

Kenzie and I went into co-op mode today as we embarked on the first set of missions in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. We both love the LEGO games and he was delighted to be playing as Spiderman and The Hulk.

Once the kids had gone to bed Toni, Sophie and I chilled out to some Robot Wars episodes followed by Ghost Hunters. I'm starting to like this Virgin Media TiVo thing :)

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

District Nurse visit, Star Wars Battlefront and babysitting

The District Nurse came first thing and checked on our setup for Pam. She will be ordering us an airflow mattress and slide sheet which will be great for Pam and also help us with moving her. We also discussed what additional help we might be able to get to help with personal care during the day. This meant an additional phone call to another department and also an escalation via the GP to ensure that it was treated as an urgent case. Sadly we could only leave a message as Pam's GP was off today but we are hopeful that things will get escalated in the morning.

Scarlett spent the day flitting between the living room and Pam's room (where Toni was crocheting with Toni and Zoe) and Kenzie and I were mostly engaged in Star Wars Battlefront. I had to be very generous in my play to enable him to really enjoy what we were doing. This involved a lot of me just standing still waiting to be attacked by him LOL.

Sam and I were on babysitting duty tonight as Toni went on a girl's night out with Jade and Sophie to have a meal and watch Deadpool. Both Scarlett and Kenzie were good as gold. They went to bed when they were told and were no trouble at all. Kenzie crashed out straight away and Scarlett tried to fight the sleep monster but gave up after about an hour LOL.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Update on Pam and Disney Infinity Star Wars

Yesterday we moved Pam's room around as she has lost nearly all of her mobility and so we made the reluctant decision to get her back into a bed. We had the doctor come out and visit her too as she has had a nasty cough and has taken a turn for the worse. He prescribed some antibiotics plus a change to her existing medication which will hopefully make some difference to how she is.

There was little improvement today and we had Leanne come round to help advise us on better ways to ensure good personal care for Pam. Toni also put out a call to the District Nurse to come and do a new assessment of her needs. She will be visiting tomorrow.

I had originally booked off Monday and Tuesday to spend some time with Sophie and the kids but given the way things were going with Pam and the additional support that Toni needed I made the decision to take the rest of the week off. Thankfully work were very understanding and accepted my request despite the very short notice.

A lot of the day was spent playing Disney Infinity Star Wars with Kenzie and Scarlett. Kenzie has become a real Star Wars fan and loves playing Infinity. Have to say though that for a five year old he has some really questionable tactics, reminds me of his Uncle Sam!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Star Wars: Episode VIII Production Announcement we go again. Today saw the release of the Star Wars: Episode VIII Production Announcement video. Just when you thought my blog had gone Star Wars free it all starts up again. Expect to see lots more discussion, teasers and trailers as we head towards 15th December 2017! Only 667 days to go!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Tidying and a visit from Sophie, Scarlett and Kenzie

I spent the morning getting the house tidied up and made child friendly ready for Sophie, Scarlett and Kenzie to come a visiting. The rail network conspired to make my journey to meet them difficult but it failed. Despite having to take a more convoluted route I managed to get to St. Pancras, meet them, and get all of us home in a shade over two hours. That would have been impressive for a Sunday, even more so for a Sunday with diversions!

It was lovely to see them all (and the kids were very well behaved while we travelled). This time they are staying for a whole week so they can relax and chill before they go back rather than everything being a rush.

Kenzie was insistent on using the iPad with the volume on load so he was persuaded to put my headphones on.

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day my darling Toni. I love you loads and loads.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Virgin installation and Deadpool

Today we had Virgin Media cable services installed so that we could get better quality TV for Pam. We decided to go for the whole package (broadband, TV and phone) as that worked out as better value. Installation was pretty quick and the engineers were very clued up as Sam and I discussed various networking settings and options with them.

Once everything was installed Sam and I then had the task of getting the existing network kit working correctly. It was a lot less painful than when we set things up with BT Infinity and after a couple of config changes and numerous reboots everything was up and running smoothly.

In the evening Sam, Aaron and I hit Bexleyheath to go and see Deadpool.

It's a glorious film. Totally tongue in cheek and irreverent and a brilliant laugh. It's certainly not your typical superhero movie but is a must watch in my view.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Day off, tidying and then chill

Had the day off today which is the start of an extended weekend as I won't be back in the office until next Wednesday. YES! That doesn't mean that I got any extra bed time though. I was up early and out clearing a load of stuff down the side passage to make room for a shed and greenhouse delivery. After that I blitzed the kitchen and let Toni get some much needed rest.

The rest of the day was spent catching up with some TV shows

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Five days meat free

Today marked my fifth day of being meat free. That might not seem like a big deal but is for me. It's amazing how good I have been feeling sticking to a vegetarian diet (and also cutting out glutenous products too).  I always thought my fussiness over veg would make a vegetarian diet impossible for me but it appears that my fears were unfounded.

Toni and I have both been trying to stick to a meat free week and then we have the option of meat at the weekend if we want it. I have to say it's been having a very positive effect on us.

In other news, it was an interesting day. Lots of meetings and trying to get things done before some time off.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Serenity & Xandria @ The Underworld

Sam, Aaron and I headed to Camden tonight to see Serenity & Xandria at The Underworld. I decided to do an experiment with the boys and took them to Qing Xi for some vegetarian oriental food. I stuffed my face at the buffet, Sam was less than impressed and Aaron tried some.

They were both craving meat afterwards so we went to a posh kebab place.

Being very full from Qing Xi I left them to order their meat feasts and enjoy the bread and dips while I just relaxed and had a glass of water. I wasn't craving the meat or bread at all.

We arrived at The Underworld in time to catch a bit of Jaded Stars' set. They were pretty good and were a great warm up for the night.

Serenity were up next. They were the reason we were there as Sam has been wanting to see them live for a while now. They did not disappoint at all, they were absolutely brilliant performing a great set with an encore as well.

Serenity's setlist was:
Follow Me

Sprouts of Terror
Royal Pain


My Final Chapter

The Perfect Woman

Heavenly Mission

Spirit in the Flesh

Legacy of Tudors

Serenade of Flames

Caught in a Myth


The evening finished in fine flair with Xandria hitting the stage. They were good but it didn't feel live. Not sure what was going on but the sound was almost too perfect and it just felt off. It was a good performance but they didn't steal the show.

Xandria's setlist was:
Little Red Relish
Blood on My Hands
Call of the Wind
The Undiscovered Land
Voyage of the Fallen