Saturday, 15 June 2013

What happens on tour...

Hola amigos,

Welcome back to the wonderful world of Hagg. It's been a strange week of seriously hard graft at work followed by evenings of chilling out and self-reflection. All that has resulted in is me being more worn out than usual, but also coming across a few more weird and wonderful stories than normal. I hope you enjoy this edition of the blog and please feel free to comment or ask questions and share it with your friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances or even the man in the street.

Status update
I have just come back from a public skating session at Whitley Bay Ice Rink with friends or as we prefer to be called "cake lover anonymous". As bad as the rink is it was good fun because it qas quiet and I got to whizz about like a giddy teenager out for the night before his curfew time. Now, I played ice hockey for a couple years so you may think skating comes easy, but after taking a break whilst I settled in Newcastle it's not. I am now having to teach myself to confidently skate again. It is a bit like riding a bike because I instantly remembered how to go forwards and backwards, but unfortunately it's like riding a bike with no brakes because stopping is a different story. I can do it one way, but not the other so can sometimes look like an oil tanker trying to do a u-turn! It may be because my skates are blunt, but that's no excuse. Time to work hard to recapture some skills.

Elsewhere, what happens on stag stays on  stag they say and I am not one to break traditions, but I thought I should share that this week I made my way to Edinburgh with Michael to celebrate the impending nuptials of Justin and Leigh. Let's just say after some mild lubrication we danced Irish jigs, befriended one of the many netball and basketball teams that had descended on Edinburgh, threw some mega shapes in clubs whilst speaking Dutch and cheering on a moonlight marathon. A totally random, but utterly incredible night out that perhaps ended prematurely due to Edinburgh clubs' operating hours. Ultimately the night ended with a drunken stag walking into a conifer tree and falling into the bushes. To me that is most definitely mission accomplished. A great night and a good send off to Justin before he 'enjoys' stag do part deux in Canada before the wedding.
One key lesson I have learnt from the stag is that going out wearing sunglasses during the day and carrying that them into the night is one sure fire way to create some great pictures and make new friends! Try it, you'll see what I mean.

Haggy's Hols
I think by now I have probably bored your to tears of my summer holiday plans even if my own personal excitement has grown each week. To save you any further misery, jealous or just to stop you skipping on I thought I would mix it up this week and tell about another little adventure I have planned for the coming months.

After returning from the States we thought it might be worthwhile spending a couple of days in the big smoke, London, to take in the sights and maybe see a few friends if we are not too jetlagged. It will also prevent me from driving a good 6 hours after a long flight home. I hadn't given that much thought when booking the holiday, but road users of the UK thank Vic for her sanity in the matter because you will be safe from a sleeping Adam behind the wheel. Whilst in London we plan on redeeming a voucher we were given by Vic's parents last Christmas to take in the view from the top of the Shard. Being the tallest building in Europe it offers some excellent views across the capital so hopefully I will be able to get some good pictures to rival those I will no doubt pick up on my travels in just a matter of days!
Now to pray the great British weather doesn't disappoint and we have a clear days and so good views.

Food Glorious Food
One word...Cake!

This week I spent an impromptu Wednesday night baking cake with my fellow blogger Leigh. I think I have mentioned before that she is getting married very shortly and she has taken the bold step to make her own cake. I like this move because it gives her control over flavours and style and also something really personal to remember what is already set to be an unforgettable day. Well anyway, I was drafted in last minute via Facebook to assist in the mixing and baking of some very large cake based treats. It was a long, tiring and fun evening because everyone loves baking cakes don't they?! We baked a lot of cake in preparation of what promised to be an even tastier evening later in the week when Leigh and bridal party would trial the decoration process. My reward? A sneaky taste test of the wedding cake - win!
No recipes this week unfortunately as I have been sworn to secrecy about the flavour of the cake, but let me just say it was incredible and fuelled a group of us drooling over different cakes and sweets for the best part of this week until it was finally devoured. By devoured I mean a cake that is to feed a whole wedding part was eaten by 7 or 8 brave souls in less than a week. Yes, we are a bunch of sugar high fatties!

Run Haggy Run
Dancing counts
My training has taken a serious sidestep this week. I tend to do the majority of my training over the weekend because I am often too tired or hungry to exercise when I get in from work. Usually a couple of press-ups is all I manage and then I slide listlessly in an evening of TV and snoozing. This week I have been somewhat distracted by dancing and drinking in Scotland so didn't get much running done; drinking yes, running no.

You will have to forgive me for my lack of running update, but on the positive side for you the less training I do the more likely it is that I am not going to want to set a stunning time and therefore there are increased chances of me doing it in fancy dress. For a couple of weeks now I have toyed with the idea of running it in my hockey kit sans stakes, but fear the helmet will push the heat over the edge. It would be a good way to get noticed I suppose though and then all you loyal supports can cheer me on! Otherwise I am fully open to fancy dress suggestion, but they have to be out of the box, weird and wacky and ever so me! Get your thinking caps on and let me know if you come up with any ideas, but commenting at the end of the blog.

Have You Heard What Haggy's Heard?
Did you know?
Did you know that the universe tastes like raspberries and smells like rum? No, seriously, research has proven that it does...honest! Don't believe me? Well you should! And it you don't read all about it here! Now say you're sorry for even questioning me! Apology accepted.
Now that I have shown you how right I was let me tell you that the universe also has an 'average' colour and well that colour is boring. Bit of a downer if you ask me considering we just found out the our other senses can be tantalized by the universe. It may have a snazzy name - Cosmic Latte - but let's be honest deep down we all know it is beige.

Musical treat
This week I was introduced to a new app by my good friend Leigh. The app is called 8 tracks and I hereby endorse it! Why? I will tell you why. 8 track works by you entering a word about your mood, the genre of music you want or the activity you are undertaking and selects a number of pre-made playlists that will perfectly accompany as you go about your day. Great no? What I have particularly incredible about this app is that it is opening my eyes to songs to a whole new side of music I thought I lost touch with when I stopped spending my day perusing the internet in amongst 'study' and got myself a job and by that I mean the underground artist or the artist about the blow. Seriously it has been a revelation and has got me enjoying some incredible mixes and discovering artists I can't believe I have never heard before. Go check it out at www.8tracks.com! Thanks Leigh.

Film fest
Ever since cancelling my Love Film account I have been on somewhat of a film binge. How you may ask? Let's just say I have my ways and my means. This week I have watched two blockbuster films from last year that fed an appetite for action: The Bourne Legacy and the remake of Total Recall.

First off the Bourne Legacy, the fourth in the series of Bourne films that have forever changed the spy genre of films; for the better if you ask me because it has forced James Bond to start writing story lines instead of poorly clich├ęd jokes. This was the first of the series without Matt Damon, which meant the now notorious Jason Bourne did not feature, but his character and the associated plots were given some very clear and obvious nods throughout. To me, this was not needed and somewhat detracted from what was another thoroughly enjoyable film that could have stood alone in the series. If anything it felt a bit forced at times because of it, but I guess it was always going to be difficult to extend the story after it was so perfectly closed off in the Bourne Ultimatum. All in all a good watch that perhaps tried too hard.
As mentioned Total Recall is a remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger cult classic. Quite why this film was chosen to be remade I will never know because it isn't the deepest of story lines I have ever heard. Essentially, man dreams of becoming a spy, goes to have memory implanted only to find out he really is a sleeper spy, wakes up and goes on an action packed mission to find his identity and save the world. To be fair to the remake they managed to make the action scenes suspenseful and presented the plot and its ensuing twists in new way. I liked the subtle nods to the original through the appearance of characters such as the mutant woman with three bosoms and the woman Arnie disguised himself as at passport control. I did keep wondering when the storyline would start to mimic its predecessor and this kind of stopped me fully investing in the story, but I guess that's just my hang up. Overall it kept me entertained for the duration but I am glad I didn't rush out to the cinema to watch it.

Choon of the week
In 2011 J.Cole released his debut album The Sideline Story. The album went on to be one of the biggest and best of the year and shot this natural storyteller to fame. Well the time has come for J. Cole to release his sophmore album Born Sinner. Unfortunately the album was leaked online, but it has given us a brief insight into what should be another great album. Check out this tune for a sampler - Crooked Smile ft TLC

It doesn't stop there friends. This week thanks to 8tracks I came across so underground artist putting out some epic tracks. In particular I have enjoyed listening to Gilbere Forte and one particularly dark and twisted track called Fall For Nothing. It has definitely fed my appetite to get underneath the commercial skin of the music industry and go and find some genuine artistes plying their trade out there and waiting for that one big break. Anyway enjoy the track, it's awesome!

And just because here is another J.Cole track featuring Miguel which has literally been stuck in my head all week and keeps on getting better. Power Trip! Be warned it has boobies in the video briefly so don't go watching at work unless you either want the sack or have very liberal bosses or you're your own boss!

Last I apologise for this week's blog being late this one has been a busy one and I am sure you will find out next week. For now thanks for reading!

Love and that,
Haggy

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