Mark#29 – 5 Things Meme

December 19, 2006

My pal Leona has hit me with the ‘5 things you don’t know about me’ meme. This means I’m now obliged to tell you 5 random things about myself that you hopefully didn’t already know about me, and hopefully find worth knowing.

Here goes…

1) I can fit my entire fist in my mouth.

2) A confession: I once let my brother get in trouble with the police for smashing a window that I actually smashed (to this day I don’t think Andy knew I was behind it…I was going to save that one for my best man speech at his wedding next year, but whatever, I have more than enough ammo for that!).

3) One of my biggest ambitions is to write a screenplay despite a comprehensive lack of screenplay-writing knowledge.

4) I used to be in Oldham Theatre Workshop and appeared on stage in ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ and in an episode of Emmerdale Farm. My budding acting career was prematurely ended when I was booted out due to misbehaviour that was wrongly attributed to me (this could be karma for the window-smashing incident).

5) My favourite TV programmes include: Homes Under the Hammer; Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares; Lost; 24; So You Think You Can Dance.

April, Goooooders and Pete, it’s now on you to continue the ‘5 things…’ fun.


Mark#25 – Kate & Rich

November 24, 2006

A big shout out to our friends back in Toronto, Kate & Rich! Or, as April refers to them, ‘bizarro April & Mark’, on account of the many eerie similarities in our lives and relationships.

April and Kate both moved to Toronto from different parts of Canada. Standing at a similar height and with the same dark hair and fair skin, both found work in the B2B practice group at Fleishman-Hillard Canada (which is where they met). They bonded over their mutual interests of shopping, designer goods, more shopping and, last but not least, their love of tall, handsome, English men who had emigrated to Canada. So, inevitably, the men in their lives eventually met and, lo and behold, the similarities continued.

There was none of that “our girlfriends are mates so we have to be mates” type-awkwardness, Rich and myself hit it off immediately in our own right. Sharing a healthy obsession with football (although as Rich follows Nottingham Forest, it’s debatable if he can really call himself a football fan) and a broader interest in sports, beer, more sports and hot, dark-haired Canadian women.

Happily, and perhaps appropriately, April and I weren’t the only ones to tie the knot this year – as Kate and Rich did the deed just a few weeks before us. And today, courtesy of Kate’s talented siblings, we were introduced to a compilation video of Kate & Rich’s history, and it’s a hoot….

Oh, and by the way Kate, I can confirm that April did NOT go through the Laura Ashley phase…so maybe you’re not so bizarro after all.

Mark#24 – Wedding Photos Update

November 21, 2006

Apologies folks, I tried to upload some photos to the blog this weekend but my new laptop keeps giving me an error message whenever I try to publish a post that has pictures in it. Probably just a setting that I need to activate (or deactivate) somewhere I guess, but I haven’t bothered to investigate yet.

Anyway, worry not because our wedding photographer is, as I type this, creating an online album of 300 photos from the big day for us. It should be available this week, but I gave him a few editing notes so I guess it’ll depend how long it takes him to fix some of the shots up.

I’ll post the link and login details on the blog as soon as we get them, unless we decide to be a bit more private with them, in which case I’ll email the info to each and every one of you.

We celebrated the birthday of two of our friends, Jake and Luke, this weekend and everybody ended up drunk and back at our house. The wedding photos got their first en masse public viewing anyway, and the concensus was that the photographer has done an excellent job, so hopefully you’ll all like what you see.

So now I just need to track down our honeymoon photos (no idea what I’ve done with them) and then I’ll make an online album for them too.

In other news, I had a great weekend because: a) Everton beat high-flying Bolton 1-0 b) Liverpool only managed to scrape a draw against lowly Middlesbrough c) I watched UFC 65 d) I had the tastiest curry of my life e) The team I play for, The Turks Head, won NINE-NIL, f) We booked a trip to Egypt in February and, g) Season 3 of Lost got off to a very promising start.

I also just found out that the office of my client shuts down for two weeks at Christmas, which means I also get to shut down for two weeks. And my client is taking me out to Spain for a few days in January (part work, part play).

Woo hoo!

Mark#22 – Getting back in the Groove

November 15, 2006

It’s been two months and three days since I last blogged.

Note to self: MUST DO BETTER!

In my defence, a lot has happened in that time. In the last sixty-something days, I have: imported our cats, moved into a new house, got married, been on honeymoon, smuggled my birthday past everyone, quit my job, set up my own business, decorated and organised the new house (well, at least part of it), been to Wales for a bonfire weekend, been to London thrice (all business, unfortunately), played five games of football for my new team – The Turks Head, set-up a blog for my new team – The Turks Head, bought a lawnmower, mowed the lawn, bought a rake, raked the lawn (twice), and WON THE PUB QUIZ!!!

There’s been much more besides, of course, but I figured once I got down to writing that I bought a lawnmower and a rake that I was scraping the barrel. I can pretty much guarantee that I’ve forgotten to include something more important than buying garden tools, and that April will wade in with “How did you forget to mention….”

Married life is GREAT. I didn’t think getting married would change our relationship at all, or rather the way I felt about our relationship, but something magical has happened that I can’t really describe. Except to say that everything is just that much better now, more special somehow, and I’m loving every minute of it!

I noticed April tried and failed to post wedding pics. This is probably a good thing because it now means I get full editorial control and can edit out all the ones of me with my eyes half closed and looking ready to pass out. Our Sky Broadband Internet connection is now installed and should be activated tomorrow (according to Sky, who have a track record of lying to me about this sort of thing), which means Internet access at home, at last. So all being well, I’ll post some pics this weekend.

And then I’ll follow it up with some honeymoon snaps as well.

Alright, that’s it for now.

Ta ta.

Oh, and here’s some more 80s nostalgia:

Mark#15 – Movie Magic

September 5, 2006

As an avid DVD collector, the past 3 months have been torturous for me because I’ve been unable to play my Canadian Region 1 DVDs on these pesky British Region 2 DVD players.

I’ve been psyching myself up to buy a multi-region, HDMI compatible, progressive scan player, but a moment of inspiration about half an hour ago has just rendered that unnecessary…and saved me the £200-£300 outlay in the process.

Realising that most electrical devices can be hacked these days, I did a bit of speculative digging online and, lo and behold, within seconds I had found a code that enabled me to hack into my Mum and Dad’s old Philips 634 DVD player and enable the multi-region capability.


Now we can FINALLY watch Entourage Season 2, Deadwood Season 2, and all those other Canadian DVDs we bought just before we moved out here.

I’m so proud of myself!

Mark#5 – S.O.A.P.

August 22, 2006

I wanted to see if I was savvy enough to properly embed a YouTube video into a WordPress blog…and I figured there could be nothing better to showcase than this classic dialogue from the movie April and I saw on the weekend:


Mark#2 – China Kicks Ass…Literally!

August 7, 2006

Nanjing, China, capital of the Jhiangsu Province (thanks Wikipedia). One of the most culturally significant cities in the Eastern hemisphere. A former capital of China on several occasions. A mecca of sorts for artists, intellectuals and poets alike. More galleries, museums, festivals, libraries and theatres than you can shake your chopsticks at.

All of which makes it the logical choice for what promises to represent the first major cultural revolution of this millennium…Wu Sung’s “Rising Sun Anger Release Bar“.

The concept is this: following a hard day’s graft, the irate patrons of this drinking establishment are encouraged to decompress via the physical expression of their pent-up frustrations.

In other words, the customers are allowed to beat the crap out of the bar staff!!

No kidding. You walk in, select your victim, choose a costume for him (I’m not making this up) and then wail on his ass until you feel relieved of societal pressures. Societal pressures that are seemingly so overwhelming that expressing them through a few angry brush strokes, rigourous dance moves or strongly-worded stanza cannot provide bloody satisfaction.

How is it that, with all the knowledge and the teachings of history, culture is able to devolve in such ways? I despair!

With bar-room brawling apparently the yardstick for measuring the cultural prominence of a city, I guess we can all finally understand why Liverpool has been elected the European Capital of Culture.

I can only assume the brains behind this relatively prestigious award have never heard of Oldham.