Thinking over Christmas

I find it difficult in this massively connected world not to feel involved in these events that have occurred. There are (sometimes live) pictures of everything, videos, people who are actually there telling you what is happening as it happens – so it is expected that people feel involved when things like this happen.

The lesson that I am starting to learn, especially with the perpetual driving of life pushing us along, is to protect an area of your life where these things can’t effect you. For me it’s my home. We have just decorated for Christmas and it easy to think – as you’re putting up baubles, “what does this matter when bombs are being dropped? Or people are fleeing for their lives?” but this is a situation that you can’t allow yourself to be drawn into. All the problems of the world are too big for a single person to worry about and when it comes down to it, sometimes the small problems in your life mean more than the worries of the world.

With this in mind, I am really looking forward to our first Christmas together. The house has new floor down and the Christmas shopping is done! We have our plan of attack set out for Christmas day too – so this will be my first time going to Laura’s family meal on Christmas day! We also have the Christmas meal with our friends coming up, so there will undoubtedly be many picture of that with last years being an absolute storm.

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Christmas Meal (with friends) 2014

I’m back on decorating duties again this year. Which, as you can see were top notch when we were at Carl’s.

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Enjoying our Costco bounty whilst watching the final of I’m a Celeb. It didn’t make it past the first ad break.

I have a great load of time off over Christmas too, so I am looking forward to spending it at our home and with family over the Christmas weeks, especially after such a busy year. Then, once New Year comes the real count down to the wedding will begin, plans for the stag do and a trip to Newcastle with work for filming.

It’ll be go, go, go!

Weekend Update: Blackpool, Breakout, Derby

Getting chilly at Blackpool 3.10.15

Winter is most definitely coming.

This weekend we visited Blackpool with the kids and Laura’s family. It’s a place that I vowed to never return to the first time I went and upon a second visit, cemented my original views. I have no qualms about the city, its buildings, its streets or even the illuminations. But there is just far too many people for me. It’s too over crowded in tourist season and I get the general feeling of being unwelcome. Is that strange?

Walzers make me puke.

The kids had a great time on the rides, though we managed to avoid most of the arcades and after well deserved (and long-awaited) meal in a pub we headed home. Opting (mistakenly) to walk back. With Laura feeling under the weather we should have gotten the tram, but hindsight is a blessing after all.

Blackpool family pier , 3.10.15

Sunday was derby day, a big day in Liverpool where the two local football teams come head to head in the league. They play it twice a year, and this years primary fixture was at Goodison. We witnessed a hearty 1-1 draw in the raucous atmosphere of the Camp and Furnace where there was more beards than beer and the hipsters reigned supreme.

Break out rooms have become one of our favourite past times as a group of mates, and Sunday night we took part in a new(ish) one in Manchester. After taking way longer than expected to arrive, due to an anti-austerity march in Manchester.  We tackled the room, and although by the time the 60 minutes were up, we hadn’t got out. We were annoyed because we felt like we had solved virtually none of the room, only to find out we were one clue away from breaking out. Foiled again.

This week entails another lone sitting – with business as usual a week today.

Wedding Update: Hotel is booked!

The Engagement (2015): An open letter

Dear party people,

Everybody has those life events that we celebrate like it’s the end of the world.


For us, Saturday was one of those celebrations. It was a night to celebrate my engagement to the wonderfully angelic and mesmerisingly beautiful Laura, and to preempt the many years of happiness that await us.

One of the items abandoned and recovered Sunday morning
One of the items abandoned and recovered Sunday morning

Family from all corners of the Kingdom arrived and friends from all walks of life added to the fervour of a party that was hosted at my parents house. It was a night to remember, but unfortunately one that I can not.

Party scenery at Mum and Dad's - Sunday 27/09/2015
Party scenery at Mum and Dad’s – Sunday 27/09/2015

Although I am left with few memories of the events that took place (with the void being sporadically filled by hazy flashbacks) I have the overwhelming sense of enjoyment and love from all those that turned up and those who passed on their condolences for their absence.

I don't even know what this is or where it came from!
I don’t even know what this is or where it came from!

I thoroughly had a good time and I owe it all to my fantastic family and friends who made the night what it was. From playing complicated drinking games in the kitchen which we finished with a hailing of “Shall we just do shots?” – to singing and dancing the night away in a cramped living room at 3am Sunday morning.

Best man and myself - sometime Sunday morning 28/09/2015
Best man and myself – sometime Sunday morning 28/09/2015

I am also elated  that all of our groups of friends were able to mingle and get along seamlessly – a testament to their character and their attitudes. I think I can speak for Laura when I say that I don’t know what we’d do without you all and we greatly appreciate you all being there on Saturday night.

Wife to be and the girls - 26/09/2015
Wife to be and the girls – 26/09/2015

I am looking forward to celebrating our wedding day with you all (and a few extras) in 313 days time, but let it be known, that you have set a precedent from the Engagement Party which I expect to either be met or preferably exceeded by the time the 7th of August comes around next year.

Thank you all again, I am now off to practise my whip  and naenae.

Matt

[photographs provided by Paul Daniels & Amy Davies]

Five steps to become the perfect adult: Growing up made easy!

Charlie Brown, eternally relevant.
Charlie Brown, eternally relevant.

I wish that this was a book that someone had written.


That way, through my meandering browsing of amazon and other book sites, blogs and reviews, I may have stumbled across it and been able to handle the situation that I am in now.

Or rather was in.

You see, as I sit here on my lunch break in the midst of a video format situation in work, the bell has tolled and we have escaped unscathed. I had written around 300 words of foreboding, talking about adult responsibility and how the stress of this situation was pretty crushing. However, and interesting enough I have learnt a lesson within the last 15 minutes and it is one that I am eager to share on my first blog post to this site.


I work as a Video Production Assistant for a goods company (selling microwaves, fridges, freezers). We film product videos and how to videos and recipe videos. It’s enjoyable work, and I love the editing side of it. We also take on projects for external clients – and this is the part where the elephant eats your picnic. We had huge issues with formatting when trying to submit a piece of work for television broadcast. This was an area that is completely new to us and even more so to me being pretty fresh-faced out of university.

As the problems arose and clients became flustered the pressure was mounting until this morning, then it peaked at an insane amount of foreboding. We had one last chance – once more into the breach. We had tried everything and my extensive research into formatting was well and truly at a dead-end. The fork in the road lead to two dead ends and we had no where else to go.

My previous post was about realising my responsibility as an adult and an employee in this mess. I was going to write about how I now realised what it means to have responsibility, in the face of the company losing a significant amount of money on this project. Not to mention the time the team has taken to complete this task.  We were worried. I’m not gonna lie. And, they really pushed it to the limit in sending us the feedback.

This time, we survived.

Our last battle had routed the enemy, through sheer will power we persevered and we were victorious!

There was a collective in take of breath, then – elation.

So, now I propose a new angle on responsibility.

Maybe, unknown to me, I had become responsible. Maybe the time spent researching formatting options and trawling through video tech geeks forums was  me being responsible? However it happened – I have grown up. This experience has shown me that if you want something enough then you can get it. Responsibility it something that you are given, whether you want it or not, it’s how you deal with it that is going to show people who you really are.

Now, I feel confident. I feel confident in my ability to knuckle down and solve the problem. Even with no knowledge – and to interject for a moment, I don’t believe I have any more knowledge of formatting for television – you can grapple and scrap and grit your teeth and persevere.

The proverbial they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day” when talking about persevering and creating great work.

What they fail to mention is a lesson that I believe is more fundamental to this story. If you take anything from this blog, it should be this.

Rome began with the laying of a single stone.

This message follows the idea of getting your foot in the door. Having that first step, that first idea of “I’m here, what the hell am I going to do” and just going with it. Building upon the foundations of your character and letting yourself grow. If you are in a situation where you think everything if getting too much or you are inexperienced – afraid even. Understand that no matter how long you feel out of your depth, eventually you will rise. Then one day you will look back and realise that all those hours spent worrying and searching endless places for solutions to problems you can’t comprehend are not wasted. They are the building blocks to your life. Your tools in taking on your responsibility.

That’s my story for today. A little heavy, but it reflects the atmosphere that I have been engulfed in for the past week. I hope you enjoyed it and will be back for future posts which will be happier, light-hearted, young adult word splurge.