Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Hagg's first post

Hi friends!

Wow it has only been a week since I said to my nearest and dearest since I said I would start writing a blog. What a week it has been! It has been a packed week of fun and I don't think I can honestly remember everything. I am seriously going to have to start writing myself more notes so that I remember what has been going on when I come to writing up my weekly update! Anyone hope you enjoy my first blog proper...

Running Alert
The week started with a little email dropping into my inbox courtesy of BUPA. Some time ago I quite foolishly agreed that I would run the Great North Run with a gaggle of Haggles (it had to be said) and some of my fantastic extended family. At the time of agreeing to it I thought "yeah, yeah I won't get a ballot place and then I can just chicken out". It has totally slipped my mind and although I have been keeping fit I was not thinking I needed to potentially run 13.1 miles at some point this year. Well more fool me because I have a ballot place! I am filled with anxiety and excitement about the prospect of running in my first Great North Run. Now I would love to beat my sub 1hour 40min personal best I set in Dublin 2 years ago - by the way this was a great race and a great weekend I would seriously recommend it. Anyway, living in Newcastle for a couple of years and seeing the race first-hand I know the course is not going really help me set a new PB. So I need to adjust my target and was thinking maybe I should do this in fancy dress. I have previously run as a tiger and a lion so it would be cool to continue to animal theme but I don't know where to go with it. I want to stand out from the crowd and that is a big ask considering it is the Great North Run and I often see a crazy man carrying a fridge around like it is nothing! If anyone has any suggestions for how I can stand out please do feel free to suggest - no mankinis though, I don't think I could cope with the chaffing!

By the way I will be running this race in memory of Leah Georgia Cope who we sadly lost to Cystic Fibrosis. She was a little angel who always brought a smile to the faces of all those around her and was a real inspiration throughout her fight against the disease. If she can do what she did then 13.1 is nothing. She is gone but never forgotten in mine and a lot of peoples' hearts. So, when it comes time to sponsor me please remember that every little bit helps and can really make a difference to the lives of many sufferers of Cystic Fibrosis. With your help we can improve research and support developments in medication to tackle it.

Pepsi broke me
Anyway that was the start of the week and things moved on quickly. As Thursday rolled round in the blink of an eye it was time to get changed out of my slipper socks (don't laugh it gets cold in my house) and go out with my new North East Dekstars Ball Hockey family. It was one of the lads birthday's and what better way to celebrate it that with a cocktail and the GB Ice Hockey Olympic Qualifiers on the TV. Such an elusive combination is only available in one place in Newcastle - Shark Gastro Bar. This place, what can I say, seems to have become a bit of a spiritual home for the team. There could be any number of reason for this, but I would tend to point towards the fact they do drinks offers including 2 pint steins for £5.50 and for those singletons out there there are squad of girls ready to serve up the bevvies. For me, and yes this is totally honest, it is a great place because it will always put the NHL hockey on when you want. So thanks to Sharks for serving up drinks and giving me and other like minded ice hockeyaholics somewhere to enjoy the game.

The night itself didn't get off to the best of starts with GB being turned over by a competent Latvia team. They represented well, but Latvia went into the game as favourites and unfortunately they lived up to the hype. We didn't let it dampen spirits though because we had a birthday to celebrate. I however switched drinks from my Pink Lemonade cocktail (yum) to Pepsi. Wise choice you might say considering it was a school night...no bad choice! The sugary goodness sent me slightly hyper, but was the catalyst for one of the funniest nights I have had in a long time and the real inspiration behind my blog.

During the course of the night I learnt many a thing about my new Desktars team mates like they will quite happily down your pint of coke while you go to the toilet and mess with your head by telling you that you drank it before going. Now this sounds fairly straight forward but imagine being so high on sugar that you even question yourself! What makes it worse that I apparently hang around with seriously convincing liars now. I know I didn't do it, but the mysterious Pepsi fiend remains on the loose so my advice to you is take your drinks to the toilet with you when you are around any Dekstars player.

I also learnt that I am not the only Dekstars blogger and one particular Canadian lady has a rather awesome food blog. I will dig out a link and put up it next time. It was during discussion with my new food blogging friend Leigh that I discovered we had some interesting things in common. We both don't like whisky neat because to us it tastes like eating an extinguished camp fire. Mmm I love the taste of burnt logs! I don't know why people do it to themselves when delicious rum based alternates exist! We also discovered that we wanted dual Canadian/British nationality. Leigh so she can live in the UK with her super ace partner Justin and me so I can go and live out my childhood dream of being a mountie. I don't know if you remember Due South the TV programme (if you don't then go find out) but I knew then I wanted to be a mountie and nothing has changed. I never been but Canada is my second home for their love of ice hockey, maple syrup and mounties. One day I will go but I might need a lottery win first to do everything I want to do.

Word to the wise though - never try and leave a drunk birthday boy's part at 11 because you have work the next day. Birthday boy's like people to stay out past their bedtime and will try anything to get you to stay. Put it this way it took a brave sole to try and leave on their own and from what I hear people had to leave in pairs as if they were climbing aboard Noah's Ark. Please Noah save us from the wrath, we will be on our best behaviour...honest! Nonetheless it was a great night out with my new Newcastle family and left my face literally hurting from smiling so hard all night.

The joys of corporate basketball
Wow, this has gone on a while maybe you should take a breather! Unfortunately (or fortunately - glass half full) for me I couldn't and Friday saw me taking the opportunity to go and watch the Newcastle Eagles Basketball Team from the corporate seats courtesy of my employer. After a swift couple in the Hancock I found myself knocking back a lasagne and settling into my courtside seating. I was amazed by just how many fans still come out to watch. The days of watching the Manchester Giants at a packed M.E.N. Arena are long gone, but the passion for basketball in the UK clearly hasn't. The fans were in loud voice and genuinely knew about the game. In other words they weren't part-timers like me. The match itself was fast paced and well fought, but Newcastle never looked at the races being beaten to rebounds with ease early days and giving their Worcester opponents too much time to drain the 3 point shots. It was close but Newcastle lost and got knocked out of the cup. All in all it was a great night and not too bad for free! I am thinking I may have to make it a regular thing seeing as they play 5 minutes from my front door!

Its hard, tiring work being a NHL fan
Saturday is the day I normally do my weekly big shop and this Saturday was no different. I usually hit Grainger Market but I had some specific requests and ended up going to Asda (other supermarkets are available). That's not fun but the evening was as I once again hooked up with my hockey family to watch two rivals face off in the NHL. Montreal and Toronto fought out a grudge match but it was very one sided with Toronto romping to a 6-0 victory. This made half of the room very happy and the other half mad but we all love each other really so we got over it...I think!

The only problem with being a UK based ice hockey fan is that games start at ridiculous o'clock. We stayed up till the wee hours watching the Western Conference games. If you ask me Western Conference is a duller than the East so who knows why we stayed up. Maybe it was the cider! By the time 6.30am rolled around and we had got bored of drawing on a snoozy Will's head I wrapped myself in my sleeping bag and curled up on an armchair. Surprisingly it was quite comfortable, but I can sleep anywhere, just ask my mum who tells me I used to sleep under the kitchen table after eating bananas. I still love bananas. I even have the t-shirt to prove it. It reads: I'm not a monkey but I love bananas. Ace!

Hockey time - come watch!
Sunday finally arrived and after a grand total of 2 and a bit hours sleep I went and got stuck into a hardcore ball hockey training session. It was difficult on reduced sleep but with a major tournament next weekend it was good to get the miles under the legs and work with the team on some tactics. I also tested out some new celebrations I am hoping to be blessed enough to use next weekend. I am developing a 'playbook' of celebrations that the Dekstars supporters can decide which to perform. Dance monkey dance. More on this next week when I have competed and I will hopefully have some pictures thanks to our official tournament sponsor Paul Lynch Photograhy (also a blogger). With this in mind I cordially invite you to come and watch the Fantastic 4s ball hockey competition on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th February. It will be great fun, is free to watch and you never know you might just find yourself a new hobby - newbies always welcome. Here is a link to the Dekstars webpage which has all the details - www.nedekstars.co.uk. There is even a picture of me on the website!

And finally...Have you heard what Hagg's heard?
This week I have come across many a funny story from other people's mouths. The whisky camp fire taste story was hilarious at the time but wouldn't translate well to here. Lucky for you I have come across some absolutely ingenious stories in the media. I don't even go looking for them they just find me!

In the news this week:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/160559216667 - A surfer selling a part used but non-urine effected wetsuit has managed to create an ebay buzz and seriously generate some hype and raise money for charity. I won't say much more about it, but you have to read the description of his wetsuit - genius!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-21410565 - A man fought off 4 attackers with one hand whilst holding fish and chips in the other hand and he didn't slip one chip. If you believe this you are a sucker, but I can just imagine a guy fighting off attackers with one hand like some kind of scene from the Matrix, stopping halfway to tweet about his ordeal and texting his concerned other half, before chomping down chips and gravy (no curry sauce you southern monkeys). Fair play to the guy he is now famous and probably will be living off it in the boozer with his mates. Did I ever tell you about the time I....? Yes you did now pipe down and eat your chippy!

Funniest quote of the week goes to Amanda who once said that foreign hooters were the best! I am not going to comment on that, but it is a very bold statement. Apparently this is out of context and she was talking about Hooters the restaurant/bar, but in all fairness it doesn't make the statement any better! I am not going to judge, that's for you to do!

See you next time!
That's your lot, go home to your wives, children, husbands, significant others, pets etc and tell them you think I am weird, but you are strangely addicted to reading about my life. Tell your friends to read, comment and join in. Hope to see you here next week where I can tell you all about Valentine's day with my brother, a dinner party, Celine Dion and the Fantastic Fours hockey competition and the fabled celebration playbook - Jagr salutes at the ready...

If you can't wait that long catch me on Twitter @adzhagg or on Facebook.

Peas and love

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