Update – New Football Season – New Music

So, an update! It’s been a while… a few things I need to catch up on. The biggest being the trip to Blackpool from a couple of weeks ago, which I hope to cover shortly in a separate post. Other than that I have been catching up with people and as always, watching football and playing pool.

The weekend just gone saw the start of the new football league season. Having a Saturday free for a change I made a last-minute decision to go and watch Shrewsbury Towns first match of the season. It looked on paper as if it could be a good game with town legend Graeme Turner back to manage, after a brief 26 years away from Town, and promising to try and bring a more attractive brand of football back to the club. His previous time at the club proved to be some of the best times for Town, as he bought them up into the 2nd division (Championship level as it stands) and to the quarter finals of the FA Cup twice. The first match of the season, was to be against Bradford. Peter Taylor had taken them over in the latter stages of the previous season so over the summer he had time to shape the team as he would like. The combination of the size of the club along with Taylors reputation for getting clubs promoted, Bradford are tipped to win League 2 this season. The game started pretty evenly before Bradford took the lead mid way through the first half. Thankfully though Town picked up shortly after and played some good passing football, and Jake Robinson got equaliser. Robinson then pushed on to hit a hat trick for Town to complete a good 3-1 win. Hopefully Town can push on from this now, if they play like they did most the game against Bradford then they should cause any and every team some trouble in the league this season.

Away from football and everything else I have recently purchased a couple of new albums to add to my collection. The first a month or so ago was from a new band called ‘The xx’ with the well thought out album name, “xx”. I have to say I’m very impressed with the album, they give something a little different to a lot of other bands in my opinion and it’s nice to have a new sound to listen to. The second album is by the ‘Arcade Fire’ with the album “The Suburbs”. This is Arcade Fire’s third album, and is just as impressive, if not more than the bands first two albums. Arcade Fire are also very different to a lot of other bands, and worldwide are well liked. It is nice to hear a couple of albums where you can listen to and enjoy most, if not all, the songs on an album and not just a few. I recommend both these albums for a listen to everyone.

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Kavos – Part 3 of 3

By the time Tuesday was around we realized that if we wanted to get to do different things on the holiday we would have to get organised. So we got ourselves tickets for a boat trip on Wednesday, making sure we would be back in time for the England match in the evening. We also arranged tickets to Aqualand, a big water park near Corfu town. Content with getting everything organsied, we had a bit of a more relaxed evening, if you can call it that! People had been telling us of a burger challenge at a restaurant just by where we were staying. Basically it was a massive burger, or should I say 4 in 1, in a meal that you had to try and finish. Darren and Lee were up for the challenge, and well, when it came out, everybody’s head turned!! Here is one of the beasts below.

Darren got the furthest with it with just half of his last burger left! Had he not ate half of Lee’s chips I think he would have done it!

Wednesday morning came round and I have to say I was a little nervous. As much as I was looking forward to the boat trip, as it was the first time I had been on one, I didn’t know how I was going to cope, and dreaded the thought of being sea sick. After the quiet night turned out yet again to be not so quiet, I also had a bit of a hangover. We headed out towards mainland Greece. The weather was good and thankfully the sea was quite calm. I didn’t feel great at all after 15 minutes or so, but thankfully was ok! After about an hour we reached our first stop, at a nice beach. It was good to have be at a nice clean beach with cleaner water as it has to be said that Kavos doesn’t have the nicest beach or sea! We stayed here for a while before having a BBQ that was part of the cost and then headed back on the boat. Next stop was meant to be at a beach that was by lovely deep-blue coloured sea water, however the wind had now picked up a bit and it was too choppy for us to stay which was a shame. Instead we headed around some islands and looked at some coves before heading back for Kavos. The trip back was pretty choppy, and we got fairly wet to say the least on the back of the boat!

We got back to Kavos just in time for the big England v Slovenia match. We headed to a place close to our accommodation, a bar called Scorers. It was already packed with probably well over a hundred England fans and the atmosphere was amazing! It was a nervy match, but thankfully England pulled through 1-0 to get out the group stages, no comment on how far they got after that! The celebrations by everybody after the win in the bar was brilliant, everybody ended out on the street dancing to the bars DJs music which had replaced the commentary. It was madness for half an hour; it was as if England had won the world cup!! If only!

Thursday soon came by, and it was turn of the trip to Aqualand. We caught the bus mid morning north; we had an hour trip on the crazy roads again. It was interesting to again see the island. I was still quite amazed at how green the island was, apart from the road network and a few villages and towns it was all forests. Aqualand was fun, going on different water slides and down different water tunnels. We left back early evening back to Kavos for our last proper night out. It was nice to be able to visit all of our favourite bars from our time there again. The music by now was getting very samey however! Especially one or two tunes which we seemed to hear about 3 times an hour every day! The most stand out song being ‘We No Speak Americano’. That song was seriously loved out there, and seriously hated by us by the end of the week! Admittedly a few weeks on, and a break from hearing it again it’s not so bad again and actually brings back good memories from the week. Having recently come out in the UK it is currently 2 in the UK singles chart.

The next morning is was realization that it was the final day of the holiday. We had to be out of our rooms in the morning, unless we paid a bit extra. We decided to keep 1 of our 3 rooms for a few extra hours so we had somewhere to store our luggage while we made the most of our last few hours in Kavos. After a wonder round town, and a bit of souvenir shopping we headed for the beach for 1 last time. For something a bit different we paid to take 2 pedalos out on the sea for an hour. Thankfully it wasn’t too choppy and we managed to stay dry! As fun as an experience it was, the sun and the heat had come back properly today and so after a while we felt like we were burning up and so headed back to dry land. By evening time we had to give up the last room, so we left our luggage at reception to head out for food and fill up the time, as our bus back to the airport was at an awkward 2 in the morning! Eventually 2 o’clock came round and we caught the bus back to the airport, and after a short delay we were on our way back home. As fun a holiday it was, I can’t say I would like to go back to Kavos in particular. I had a good time and can look back on it fondly. It was a good experience. I would just like to go elsewhere and try something new next time. And I am defiantly looking forward to going abroad again, hopefully next year! I leave you with a slideshow of some of the pictures of the holiday. (Thanks to Stefan again for some of the pictures).

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Kavos – Part 2

Out of the airport, we were shown to our bus by our rep, where we were told we were going to have a music quiz as well as a bit of an introduction to the place. The journey took just over an hour, but the amount of crashes we almost saw was unreal! Seriously, you think some of the drivers in the UK are bad!! Every other car in Corfu seemed to have some kind of dent in it from a bump!! They drive on the right side of the road in Corfu, unlike on the left in England. Well that is what we were told, it was more like drive in the middle of the road….even if there is something else coming! As for the island itself, it was surprisingly very green, however what was noticeable was how run down it was. It was like a different world. Eventually, we made it in to Kavos. It was getting near 10 in the morning now.

We were shown to our rooms, which were a little basic, but after all we weren’t expecting much and things are different over there. We did manage to get a sea view, well from the our balcony at least anyway!

We had our 18-30 introduction, telling us of all the activities they were putting on. Once the rep had finally stopped talking and taken a breath (about 5 mins!) we decided we would probably give them a miss and organise our own things. We expected that they would keep on annoying us to do their trips after what people had told us but fair play to them, they left us do our own thing and were even helpful with any little queries we had.

After we were finally free to do our own thing, we made our way into town to get some food and to explore the area. As seen from the bus earlier, everything seemed to be from a different world. This was probably brought to me more from the fact it was the first time I had been abroad though to be fair. A walk down the main street and already people were trying to pull us in for breakfasts and to sign up for boat trips. With lack of sleep kicking in we decided to head back and relax for the afternoon, spending a bit of time on the beach for the first time.

Beach (SC)

Kavos Beach (SC)

In the evening we spent our first of many nights out. Our plan of a not too hectic night on the first night went down the drain as soon as we were introduced to a little thing called fishbowls! After a couple of these in deals to get into places we were a bit more active. The thing that became very annoying early on was that you couldn’t walk 10 yards without getting harassed by reps standing outside bars trying to get you to go in to their places! This, was 1 of the most annoying things of the weeks, as a lot didn’t know the meaning of no and you ended up going in places you weren’t really bothered about going! There were some nice ones though, a few we got on with really well, as with the one below pictured below (on the left) with Amy + Darren.

Rep with Amy and Darren (SC)

The drinks were cocktails, cocktails, more cocktails and shots! Everywhere was cocktails and shots mad. And they aren’t like in this country where its measured out to the ml. It’s just pour for as long as they like, so very often quite strong…! They seemed to love their fire as well, a few places frequently lighting up the bar, as seen below.

After 1 in the morning, laws say that all music has to be turned off / down to a low-level apart from the 1 major club in Kavos. This simply didn’t happen! On the first night the music went down and we thought this was the end for the night… only for the music to come right back up 2 minutes later. Odd we thought, until it happened again and we saw a police car go past. 30 seconds later sound started going up slowly!! We then noticed there seemed to be a person outside most bars looking out for the police coming so they could turn down the music! It was obvious the police knew what was going on, but they obviously weren’t too bothered!

We finally turned in for the night to catch up on some much-needed sleep! Sunday was spent exploring the town and taking advantage of the nice weather on the beach. This was forecast to be our last day of really nice weather until Friday so it was important to make the most of our time in the sun!! In the evening we took in a bit more of the lively atmosphere, and on the way back came across an outdoor foam party. It turned out it was the end of the 18-30s foam party, which was at 10 euros more expensive than the one we had organised to go to elsewhere for the following night.

As can be seen, they are a messy affair! Ours was indoors and the challenge was to be able to stand up! As well as trying to wash the foam out the eyes every 5 minutes!


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Kavos – Part 1

After finishing university, like many people, I had a list of things I wanted to do in my head. For me, this included a lot of new things, that I’d never had the chance to do before. The main one being, going abroad. So after getting a job and making myself feel a little less poor, it was time to get a passport sorted and to start planning.

We decided, as a group of friends, we wanted just a few things out of this holiday. We wanted sun, beach, decent nightlife and affordability. So off we went to travel agents to find the best deals, and affordability with those few things wasn’t great. We decided to go with 18-30s with Thomas Cook, on the basis that we didn’t have to pay for the (heavily over priced) activities they provided. Destination was Kavos on Corfu, part of the Ionian Islands west of mainland Greece.

The weeks up to the holiday went quickly, with lots to organise it was a rush to get everything sorted in the end. But come the day, we made the airport in plenty of time, checked in early, which gave us time to have a drink or 2 and watch the 2nd half of the England v Algeria game in the airport bar. What a disappointing game that was! However, it proved a good distraction to those who hadn’t flown before ahead of any last-minute nerves. Until the flight was delayed at the last-minute, due to a fire somewhere or other! A few hours later however, we were finally on the plane ready to fly.

The flight passed quickly, with many sleeping most the way, and apart from the amount of leg room, flying was fine for everybody. We were soon above Corfu coming into land. This was probably the most disconcerting part of the flight, as we were flying over water only seconds before we landed, on possible the shortest runway ever! Relief came as we came to a stop, and realisation that, for the most of us, we were finally abroad for the very first time!

We stepped off the plane into the heat, and wow, it was only around 8 in the morning there and the heat was something different, it was lovely! We took a short bus ride across the runway to the airport buildings, and pretty much walked straight through without a minutes hassle, to the small wait for collecting our luggage. Totally different to the UK! I was glad for this as it was almost 24 hours without sleep already for me, as I had prefered to stay awake during the flight to watch the sun rise over the mountains on the horizon! Once we all collected our luggage we quickly met a rep who pointed us to a bus ready to take us on the hour-long trip down to our accommodation in Kavos, at the South of the island.

TBC. (Thanks to Stefan Chesters for the pic).

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Day 1: Me, my blog and I.

Ok, so, I’m not going back to day 1, it is in fact day 8,202 (I like this, for some reason it makes me feel young!). Just in case you are worried, I didn’t know that before I checked online just now! Anyway, it is the 1st day of my new blog. Why am I doing this you ask? Well, over the past few months I have been reading quite a few blogs, which has inspired me to start writing one myself. I don’t expect masses to start reading; it is just something I have contemplated doing for a while, out of curiosity of how it all works and how long it could keep any interest going.

Anyway, what is this blog going to be about? I intend to write about day to day things happening in my life, things going on around me and events in the world really. Nothing excitingly different. Just my thing.

So here I am! I have just got back from a lunch time walk through the quarry and along the river. It was nice to sit down for 10 minutes and watch the world peacefully flow by. It’s nice sometimes to just sit back and stop, and appreciate what is around you. It’s 1 thing I like about where I work at the moment, I can just have a 2 minute walk from the centre of Shrewsbury and be in a relatively peaceful environment, away from the hubbub of the rush of a town centre.

I am sitting in work currently; yes work is slow again, just thinking about what the rest of the year will hold. Having currently come back from a weeks holiday in Kavos, Corfu (more about this in a future post). In truth, there are no current big plans. Blackpool in 2 weeks time, for a visit to Blackpool Winter Gardens to watch the PDC World Matchplay of Darts. My first walk up Snowdon, to be rearranged after the wind and rain put pay to the plans I had to going up there yesterday! Other than that, all my big plans for the year have been and gone. I guess its time to start to decide what exactly I would like to do for a career, as this job was only ever something to bridge the gap from graduating from uni, which shocking was a year ago already, to my next move.

Anyway, if I haven’t bored you too much already, then thanks for reading, and I will be back with more. Next time with pictures hopefully, and something a bit more exciting!

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