Wednesday, 27 June 2007

8% of the world's countries

According to an application that I added to facebook. I have been to 8% of the world's countries. My initial reaction was that that was too high.

But doing a little research it's probably about right.

According to About.com there are 194 countries

http://geography.about.com/od/countryinformation/a/capitals.htm

And I have so far been to 16 of them

1 England
2 Scotland
3 Ireland
4 Wales
5 Spain
6 France
7 Cyprus
8 Italy
9 Monaco
10 Holland
11 Hong Kong
12 US
13 Turkey
14 Belgium
15 Austria
16 Finland (soon)

Hands up if you can beat that.

I feel quite chuffed.

Another year, another flat.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past couple of weeks and have decided that I don’t want to renew my lease at Mercury Mansions.

The are two main reasons,

a) I would have to live with a stranger and I’ve grown out of doing that
b) We would effectively be subletting our flat and if we were unable to find someone before August we would have to find the £1000 deposit on the room and pay the first months rent.

I think that’s a lot of risk to take on with a stranger. The rent is high so you’re not going to get a dreg of society but you just never know. Imagine me moving into your house…

Also as the rent and bills are high there will be less chance of finding someone due to the fact that they are less likely to need a flatshare which puts more enthuses on option b.

I spoke to Becky about it and she understands my decision but she’s really not interested in the hassle of moving flats again so has decided to move back to Colchester until she can find a place to buy.

This of course means that I will have to find a place on my own. I’m actually quite excited about it all as I do like my own space from time to time. I’ve got a lot more friends in London since the last time I lived on my own and of course I now have April to keep me company (and force me to keep it clean).

The question is where to live though.

Zone two is important as I have effectively already paid for a zone two rail pass with work. It’s probably not that difficult to change but I’d still like to be close.

South West is where I’d like to live as that’s where April, Steve and my rugby club is. This will save me a load of hassle getting around plus it’s much nicer this way.

The problem with all this is that living on your own is not cheap, especially where I am now. Having a quick look on-line yesterday 1 bedrooms start at £900 and they’re no way near as nice as my current place. But I think I’d struggle finding somewhere as nice as that anyway.

Do I want to go for another studio? If it was the same / similar layout to my previous place then I’d actually be quite happy. But it’s finding somewhere in the month I have left that could prove tricky. April’s volunteered to help me out so I’m sure we’ll get somewhere good.

Anyway… wish me luck, I imagine I’ll have a house warming around my birthday (31st August) so bring your sleeping bags!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

SC Movie Review 17

Confetti

A 'mockumentary' about 3 couples attempting to win a most original wedding competition.

Along the lines of Best in Show this was an pretty decent comedy film, the good casting and improvised nature made this film a real Monday night treat. A must see.

Highlight: The two gay wedding planners. Hilarious!

SC Rating 74 / 100 (1 Vote)
IMdb Rating: 5.9 / 10 (1271 Votes)

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Who says taking drugs to excess damages your health...?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/default.stm

Click on the image called THE BIG PICTURE on the right.

I won't be there for long so hurry up.

The Big Cheese

Yesterday we had a big corporate event where our CEO, Chairman and President (Same person, the holly trinity, or Pat Gallagher) flew over from America to talk directly his UK arm.

I was really impressed by his enthusiasm and public speaking skills. That's not something I say lightly as i'm usually not in to all this pep talk rubbish.

Thankfully I opted to leave early so that I could get the last tube home otherwise it would have been carnage last night. There are a few stories of drunken debauchery floating round that I will endeavor to find out more about.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

How stupid do people think people are?

From : child benefit
Sent : 19 June 2007 15:02:36
To : kelvinleo@yahoo.com
Subject : Child Benefit And Income Support

| | | Inbox


Child Benefit And Income Support

Child Benefit Office (GB)
PO Box 1
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE88 1AA
Tel: 079080452325/Textphone: 07852432168

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Good day,
From the table of the Child Benefit management in conjunction with the Income Support office, we noticed that for a very long time now you’ve not applied for the Child benefit/income support which you have the right to apply for. We decided to send you this message so as to remind you to apply as soon as possible.
Remember on no condition should you give out your details or information (online) to any organization or corporate bodies. We do not wish to have your details online for your convenience.
For further enquiries please call………………
079080452325
Or
07852432168
Or email us at cbismail@yahoo.co.uk
Pls note: This message is for those who have the right to apply for the Income support and Child benefit only.

Thanks for your support to your right of Benefit.
MANAGEMENT


WARNING: Do not reply back to this mail, contact the above phone numbers and email address.

Baned game

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/leicestershire/6767623.stm

Although it's not my sort of game, I still feel annoyed when this sort of thing gets banned.

There's too much governance in this country. Butt out of it all and get a real job.

Monday, 18 June 2007

As good as grass...

I recieved an e-mail with the subject matter Brooke Weston CTC this morning advertising astro turf.

Dear Sir / Madam,
We would like to inform brooke weston ctc about our synthetic grass products and playground safety surfaces. Please find all the details below or call the office on 0845 22 11 345 for a free consultation. If you are having problems viewing this email, a copy is available on our website at:

http://www.asgoodasgrass.co.uk/index.php?origin=nl

My reply

Although I went to the school I have no interest in synthetic grass. Can you remove my details from your mailing list please?


What a load of cheek!!!

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Weekend

Yesterday was pretty good. It was one of April's flatmate's (Abby) birthdays. We met them in a bar called Gigalum where the manager was a complete arse, then we headed towards Balham were we went to a pub called The George.

I really liked the George, huge cavernous ceilings and loads of comfy leather chairs. There must have been 30+ of her friends there.

There was also a pool table where the lads played killer. Needless to say that I was the first out!!! I'd obviously passed my peek of 2.5 pints. I'm actually not that bad and kindly laid up some nice shots for the guy Steve behind me.

Thankfully we left at around 9 as the drinks were starting to get a little silly. I was in a round with a couple of others and our last two drinks were a turbo shandy and a snakebite and black.

After that we got a cab back to mine watched the end of Hot Fuzz (again) and tucked into a take away curry.

http://www.thebombaybicycleclub.co.uk/

I can highly recommend it!

I was planning on going to Greenwich today as Harriet has a stall on Greenwich Market and we were going to take a look. But I really fancy a day of doing very little and April was unconscious till 11:30...

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Long awaited physio

My left ring finger has been swollen for the past 4 months so after much nagging (just kidding April) I finally got it checked out by a proper doctor (not Shaheen obviously).

I'd had it x-rayed a couple of months ago a St Barts and the nurse said that it wasn't broken so I just left it as that and have waited for it to improve.

It hasn't. So am finally going to get it checked out today.

Friday, 15 June 2007

The decadent life of Stu…

Last night I watched Hot Fuzz whilst sipping champagne with April. April finally quit her job at Lloyd’s on Wednesday so to celebrate I cooked a lovely meal of lamb a la Stuart.

Recipe

Ingredients
Enough lamb for two (4 chops, 2 loins or 2 long thin neck bits (that’s what we had))
Rosemary
2 potatoes
2 carrots
2 parsnips
1 big sweet potato
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Mint Sauce
Mint 50g
Vinegar 50ml
Castor sugar 20g

Method

Pre heat oven to 200oC
Peel and chop all the vegetables into large chunks and throw in a large baking tray.
Stab the lamb with a sharp knife and fill the holes with sprigs of rosemary
Smash the garlic with the back of a knife and throw in to the mix
Season
Drizzle olive oil over the lot.

Depending on how you like your lamb, cook for 40 - 60 minutes. For a crispy finish whack up to full power for the last 5 mins.

For the sauce, just mix everything up in a bowl and leave. Adjust measurements to taste.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Viva Espania

Well, you guessed it, i'm back and raring to go.

Spain was a pretty good laugh, nice and sunny for the most part and a nice change from the normal weekend away from work.

I had to get up at 4:45 on Saturday as my flight was due to take off at 10 from Stansted. It wasn't really a problem as I had an early night but it's certainly not the on the weekend for me. Our flights were delayed for 2.5 hours so what did we do...?

...straight on the Stella. You've guessed it Saturday was a big one.

We eventually arrived at our villa at around 6 in the evening so there was only really time to quickly shower and head out to the table we had booked in the near by village. The villa was big, fitted 10 (idea for a holiday next year?). It had a nice villa and a lovely friendly cat (i'll post some pictures on moblog if I can reduce the size of them).

The meal was great and the wine flowed. I had massive Gambas for starter followed by a suckling pig then some cheese. You could see the others secretly jealous of my choices seeing as they had all ordered various types of paella.

We arrived back at the flat at 11:30 and sat outside drinking more beer and wine. I snuck off at about 3 but the rest carried on till 4 in the morning.

The next day was golf! I'd only ever had a go on a driving range (with Shaheen in Jersey) so I knew it would be interesting... The course was nice and we booked our selfs a buggy, driving that was best part of the day for me.

I was first up on the tee, swing and a miss... oh how hey laughed! Yes, very funny. Second go, swing and a hit! Sploosh! Straight into the water, Ball number 1 of around 6 that I lost was never to be seen again. 10 shots for the first hole which was a par 4. Not bad for my first go, things can only get better eh? Ha, ha!

I finished the first 9 holes in 88 shots (probably considerably higher if I played the correct rules). That's 52 over par! Thankfully I stopped after that and just caddied for the other guys. And by caddying I mean driving (cruising) around the golf course occasionally helping the guys with club selection and nearly dieing when my boss hit a beauty which went straight for my head. Luckily I was watching and dived out of the way.

The evening was much more sedate, we had a couple of beers and shared a bottle or two of wine over barbeque. I was in bed by 10:30 shattered.

The next day the guys had to be up early for another round, I opted out and had a nice lie in, watched some cricket and fed the cat loads of left over food from the previous night.

I flew back with one of the guys (stock broker) and landed at around 6:30 last night, shattered. I pretty much wanted to sleep on the Stansted Express but just as I sat down someone called my name and it was Anish (spelling?) the guy that came with Shaheen to Amsterdam and the one Kris kept calling Abdul (Kris: or was it Mohamed???).

I'd seen him about a year ago (he actually ended up staying round mine) when I went out with Shaz and a few of his mates for a birthday party.

Anyway, a good time was had by all, and now i've got to get up and go to bloody work. Boo hoo! At least i;ve got a lovely suntan (sun burn) to show off!

Friday, 8 June 2007

Long time no post

First of all, apologies to my hoards of on-line fans for having not written about my exciting life for so long. I’ll bet that some of you are suffering from some quite severe cold turkey.

Well, where shall I begin…?

Friday was our 6 month anniversary so as a show of commitment I missed the England versus Brazil game, England’s first game at the new home of football. It was worth it though. April treated me to one of the best meals ever. It was an exclusive French restaurant in Covent Garden called the Clos Maggiore

http://www.closmaggiore.com/v1/default.aspx

I had rabbit for starter and lamb for main. I think given the option, you have to go for the cutest animals on the menu. April had pigeon with foie gra and a delicious cod fillet with snails for main. I even tried half of one. There’s really no need.

Despite my pleading April paid for the lot so I paid for some lovely pink champagne, a big tub of ice cream and the cab ride home.

Saturday we were up early as we were off to Bristol to visit John and Ros. We got there at around two and I proceeded to show April round all the wonderful sites of Bristol. Mostly pubs and bars that I have had the privilege of getting drunk in. We tried to find one (Coronation Tap) but I missed the turning so ended up walking round Clifton aimlessly before giving up and heading back down to the centre to meet up with the others.

We went to a nice restaurant on waterfront overlooking the marina where I used to live then we went back to John’s for the night. It’s good to see his top dog Ben is still going well. He’s a big fury bear of an animal but gentle as his name suggests. He’s 12 now so very old for a big dog. Luckily John’s fiancĂ© Ros is now a qualified vet so he’ll get the best treatment available. They’ve also got a young puppy pointer called Meg (too lively, jumpy and clawy for my liking), Morpheous the cat and two rabbits.

Sunday was spent wandering the streets round Bath and sitting in cafes and tea houses eating scones and drinking surprise surprise tea.

April had to get back as she was playing another gig over in West London, a Finnegan’s Wake in Ealing. I was shattered but willing to go to support April but thankfully she thought the thought of me whinging all night about being tired was worse than going alone, let me go straight back to Putney.

Monday was a good break from the norm, I went to Birmingham (Aston uni) with my boss to interview 10 students for 3 placement openings we’ve got down here. All good fun. Finished early on the Monday so went to The Mailbox, it was right on the Grand Union Canal! A little further north than we will be but got me in the mood. After a few beers we had a great curry in the centre somewhere.

Wednesday was the England game. I can’t say I watched much of it but it was a good night anyway. The Cheshire Cheese by Tower Bridge, grotty pub but cheap and we had a corner of the upstairs bit. I was there with probably 20 of my old Lloyd’s buddies too so a good night was had by all.

That’ll be all for now. Just leaving you with a few highlights to look forward to before my next post.

I’m off to Spain tomorrow for my boss’s 40th birthday. Playing golf and mostly getting drunk and sun burnt will be the order of the day. Fly back Monday.

Ta ta for now…

Friday, 1 June 2007

6 months

I have been going out with April for 6 months today! Yeah!

Happy is me! She's taking me out to dinner tonight. Although, won't tell me anything about it other than it's in Covent Garden.