Tag Archives: Christmas

Too old for a kick-about?

Near the end of the Christmas break I was sat thinking about how I’ve spent previous holidays over the years. With the Premier League providing a footballing feast that could rival mum’s Christmas dinner there can be no doubt that football enthusiasts are provided with everything they could have wished for over the festive period.

As I sat in a local pub taking in the second half of Watford vs Man City through the reflection in well placed picture I couldn’t help but think that in years gone by, no matter what the weather was doing, I’d have been out with mates with a ball at my feet and the cliched jumpers for goalposts.

There are plenty of ways a man in his late twenties can get his footballing dose of exercise; there’s five-a-side and weekend teams a plenty but all of this means money and commitment. This begs the question: What happened to the days of being able to contact a few friends, stick some old rags on and kick a ball around in the nearest field or park? Is there a specific age where it is no longer acceptable to have a game of headers and volleys or Wembley with your pals?

I can remember vividly being given a France 98 Adidas replica football and taking it in turns with my friends, desperately trying to perfect the Roberto Carlos free kick technique as a kid. Would such an activity really be so childish and a waste of time nowadays? Ok so it isn’t the most productive use of anyones time but it’s cheaper than a gym membership or hiring a 3G pitch to play on for an hour.

There is of course the matter of adult responsibilities getting in the way but part of me is a bit gutted that at some point over the holidays I didn’t get my hands, and more importantly feet, on a ball and have a good kick about up the rec.

It amazes me that so much time is given up to the gogglebox and social media as we get older. Perhaps if I had spent more time kicking a ball about with mates rather than binging on the latest must watch TV series I wouldn’t have so many people asking me, in a not so subtle way, what my new years resolution is this time round.

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Gluttony and Merriment

So first up sorry for the wait and the neglect of this blog. I have been without Internet for much of my time back home but have also been indulging myself in all the Christmas food, parties and days out you can imagine.  I can’t believe I am saying this but I am seriously looking forward to a healthier more mundane lifestyle in January.

There is a lot to catch up on I suppose and I’m not overly sure where to start. First up there was the work Christmas party which was a hell of a lot of fun. I am very lucky in the sense that I work with good friends so it is easy for us to have a good time outside of work and we don’t have to chat about it to keep the conversation going (although a few highlights did come up).

We started the day karting in Newport and although I wasn’t any good at it I, along with everyone else,  had a wicked fun time and laughed my way through most of it. Laughter did seem to be the theme of the entire day and this was only fueled by the alcohol consumed later on that evening. A good fun day was followed by a relaxing evening in the pub with the fire burning away. This was then followed by a genius idea for some of us to meet family and friends in town and that’s where my memory becomes seriously blurry! It must have been a good night as I was made to pay for it the next day.

As yet I have only produced minimal work for uni and will have to pull my finger out in the next week. One piece of good news is that I got a mark back for an assignment I was sure I had fluffed and it was way off what I had been expecting. Certainly got away with one there, not sure I will be so lucky in the future. 2015 is going to be head down time. Get myself stuck into my books and assignments.

Christmas itself was a blast this year and I must give huge credit for that to my newly engaged friends who put on a hell of a spread and party. It was nice because in the lead up to the event I was worried about mum and dad not being around for it and the day completely took my mind off that and allowed me to relax and enjoy myself.

After the enormous feast we played a variety of drinking games that were so funny I thought at times I would pass out from lack of oxygen I was laughing so much. Good times with good people is what Christmas is all about and I can honestly say that’s what I got this year.

Boxing day where I’m from is kind of a big deal. Nearly the whole population goes out and about to all the local pubs and show off their new clothes and gifts all day and night. My head and heart were not really in it this year but after a little of what I like to call “beer pressure” I gave in and joined friends for a day of more booze and sport. I really enjoy boxing day as it gives people the opportunity to catch up and share Christmas stories.

My only regret this year is that I didn’t catch up with as many people as I would have like to but then it is the same most years. Christmas is a hugely busy time of year and there is an enormous amount of pressure to get things done and visit people that is impossible to live up to sometimes.

In the lead up to Christmas I was feeling a little negative about the whole thing. As a mature student it is really difficult going from a situation where you are completely in control of your finances to having to rein everything in. When I was working I wasn’t always particularly happy but I always worked to the motto that if I can’t afford it I can’t have it. It’s a hundred times more difficult to do that when you work part time and have a loan to rely on financially. At the end of the day I am half way through my degree and as long I work hard and get the right experience it should all be worth it in the end.

I hope everyone reading this had a great time over the festive period and I promise I won’t leave it so long between the now and the next post.

New friends and exam stress

After spending much of the first half of last week talking to contacts for stories and assignments and most of the second half revising for an exam a phone call from a friend came as a welcome relief.

An unplanned trip to Gloucester with my friends work colleague and many of his friends turned out to be one of those fantastic spur of the moment nights out that often trump anything you can plan or organize in advance.

On arrival at my new friends house we were greeted with what can only be described as amazing Italian hospitality.  He and his Polish girlfriend had put on an amazing feast of pasta, pizza, Italian cured meats and salads. To go along with the fantastic Italian cuisine there were some superb Polish flavoured vodkas to wash it all down with.

Needless to say after several drinking games some singing and general misbehaving all were merry and bright. The Italian contingent tried to teach us some funny songs and in return I shared a song all about the wonderful vegetable celery. The less shared about this experience the better me thinks!

We headed to the docks and found ourselves drinking cocktails in TGI Fridays. After a particularly large Long Island ice tea my memory starts to get a little fuzzy but I do remember moving on to Chimichangas and drinking the agave poison that is Tequila. I mean no offence to anyone who loves the Mexican staple drink but it does not agree with me and how I held down so much of it is one of life’s great mysteries.

The rest of the night is too blurry to recall so I won’t bore you with the lack of details. I will say that I had a truly epic night that I enjoyed thoroughly and paid for severely on Saturday.

Saturday was a right off. Very little of anything other than moaning and feeling sorry  for myself happened. It has come to my attention in recent times that alcohol now takes an unmitigated and incomprehensible amount of time to get over. In short my hangovers are approaching the three day mark. My advice to anyone below the age of 25 is as follows: Find a cure for hangovers (one that really works!), Find a way to slow down or stop the ageing process or just stop drinking in excess at that point. Trust me the hangovers just keep getting worse no matter what you do try and prevent them. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.

In other news I have still got nowhere with regards to Christmas presents and I really must do something to change that. I have a meal with my grandparents on the weekend and I need to take something with me then as I won’t see them at Christmas itself.

I had my first educational exam in a decade today. It was on law and ethics in journalism and it preoccupied most of my sleep or lack of it last night. I feel like it went pretty well so fingers crossed the mark will reflect that. I crammed some decent revision in over the last few weeks and it definitely helped.

The stress last night was almost overwhelming and yet strangely familiar. I haven’t felt so nervous about something in quite some time. The nerves came all of a sudden yesterday and all at once in a big panic ridden hit. I am not sure whether or not I should be grateful it happened that way but there was certainly some nervous energy carried over into this morning that helped me get over the lack of sleep.

On the home front my poor sister is most unwell and I hope a get well message in this post will help to put a smile on her face. Even though I have been teasing her all day about infecting me with whichever virus it is that currently plagues her!

The works Christmas party is in a couple of weeks and it will be good to get together with the lads outside of work and let our hair down. Speaking of hair I am very much in need of a hair cut. A mini fro is starting to appear on top of my head and that last time that happened it didn’t stay mini for very long. Time to chop this one off before it gets out of hand.