Ding, Dong, Ding, Dong

•October 5, 2010 • 1 Comment

Three weeks  ago my brother committed himself to one person for the rest of his life. He committed himself to holding the same girl’s hand, kissing the same girl’s cheek, complimenting the same girl’s hair, clothes… I’m wondering if he is a little nervous now? Or is he still gushing with love for that gal of his?! On September 11th Michelle Keyte (now Garvey) walking down the aisle wearing a stunning dress and a beaming smile and confirmed that she would marry my brother and finally take control of his life! On a morning of grey clouds and the spit-spot of rain, the sun managed to break through for the occasion and after the business of the day was done at 12:30pm, drink and food were consumed at high amounts and some rather dodgy moves were displayed on the dance floor.

So what can I say about the day? Well for starters I looked amazing in the suit… (Do not forget, this is my blog, about my life – friends and family get passing mentions) Who would have thought pink (for the suit) would suit me? Fair dos there were a number of comments on the Morrisey hairdo and the ginger beard, but the ability to tune people out in my mind at the drop of a hat and to consume too much alcohol meant I was able to take it in my stride. But enough about me! After all the day belonged to Tim and Chelle. Now I’m not sure how Chelle started her day, but my dear brother started it by forgetting his speech (very important) and the ribbons for the car (can live without). To settle his nerves he had a pint of bitter before midday (I was on the whiskey) and then managed to get through the vows without a slip – even with me sitting 2 foot away from him pulling faces… Chelle – you have one hell of a man! If I have dropped my brother in it now all I can say is… What are little brothers for???

Now weddings can be infamous for stressing out all members of the family but also bringing together long lost cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents for a very few short hours. Thankfully through careful planning and exceptional timing skills Tim and Chelle were able to keep all of those involved occupied enough so the day went by without a hitch… I don’t want to mention the fiasco that was the ordering of the suits for the groomsmen – Burtons, you have a lot of making up to do – but like everything English, it all came together in the end.

So what happened afterwards? Well after dancing to the last song – Buddy Holly “American Pie” I believe… The Garvey clan, all still standing at the end of the night, staggered to the hotel and slept until it was kicking out time… The happy couple made their way to some island around the world… Don’t ask me which one… Half rainforest, half volcano – sounds very interesting… and did their thing… The good news is that since the big day all those 3 weeks ago they are still together!! Chelle did not get bored of Tim on the honeymoon result!!

So the next question is… Whens the next wedding, waht role can I play and what suit can I look fabulous in?? One final thing… Tim and Chelle… Made for each other… Nuff said.

Musical Yarn

•August 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Now I have always been one of those people who likes to think they can survive on very little but when my ipod stopped working (for some unknown reason – but rest assured apple, following a quick trip to the store it was back to it’s old self imediately) it was clear that music was not one of those things. Literally, a quick trip round the corner for a pint of milk means I need my ipod plugged in so I can manage the trek. It has even got to the point that I pass friends, housemates, even family on the street and will not bat an eyelid… because I am plugged into my music… So for something I love so dearly, I should have something to say about it, no? Praising the Lord for London living, I have been able to attend a gig or tow this year. I have a number of friends who introduce me to “up and comings” every now and then – some good, some not so good. I’d like to think I have some musical taste, even when I have been told I do not. I range from dancing around like a fool to a bit of Lady Gaga and The Saturdays to going all indie with the likes of Vampire Weekend and The Killers. You could say my tastes are somewhat varied…

The one thing I love about this fact is that I seem to be able to appreciate everything out there (within reason) and I say hadn on heart that some of the best acts have come out in the past year or so. We have the wonder that is Florence and the Machine leading the way, who can do no wrong in my eyes. Her hair gets more red every day, her voice gets louder and longer every second and I love her for that. Rightly so she has been recognised as one of the great new things to have come out of this country for a while (musically, that is). Following in her footsteps this year has been a girl called Marina, who has a lot of diamonds on her, rather then some machinery. I was fortunate enough to see her play one of her first gigs in London and I was blown away by her. She has the character and confidence that all new music acts need to get noticed. Her voice is beautiful and, most importantly, she knows how to put on a show. On a hot summers eve, we crammed into a small school hall (ok it wasn’t actually a scholl hall, but it had that sort of feel) and for an hour she hit all the notes and sung her heart out. She was A-MAZ-ING. So far she does not seemed to have got the recognition that she deserves but, like Florence, her fanbase grows every day and she will soon have people eating out of her hands.

One band who I had heard good things about a few months back were a northern act called Hurts. A quick itunes search brought up a couple of tracks, but their album was a few months away from release (it now stands at a few weeks). They were one of the acts I saw on a sunday afternoon, in Victoria Park, still recovering from 2 alcohol infused days before. And they were able to get my foot tapping and make me feel once more awake and ready to go for the rest of the day. They hark back to 80’s rock-pop, but do so in a way which makes it fresh and new once more. We all know that every type of music has now been done, so current acts seem to be returning to the old stuff for inspiration, but Hurts were able to make it something new and unheard of. These are the things that I enjoy the most about finding new music. Yes, some may not be commerically viable, they may have one album and then disappear. But it’s what ‘s they make you feel at the time thats important. Music that gets stuck in your head immediately. Music that somehow speaks to you. Music that you can hear again and again and still not get bored of. I will be there at a Hurts gig in the not too distant future, enjoying every single second of their act. These are the type of acts to get excited for, the new people who are slowly but surely finding a fanbase and have worked flipping hard to get where they are. This is why I appreciate them ten times more then acts that fall out of X Factor and shows of the same ilk. Don’t get me wrong they merit mentioning for some of the acts and I still get sucked into the drama of it all, but some acts then receive recognition for purely exisiting and not creating anything new and exciting. Acts, such as Florence, Marina and Hurts deserve our recognition because they have grown. Your music needs your support and one thing the Brits love is it’s music… No wonder we produce some of the best out there.

Sweet Charity

•August 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Do not worry, I’m not going to start talking about some West End musical on this dark, wet, night in London (anyone have any idea where the sun went to this summer?) I am now one of those people who lives in London and loves to walk past all the fantastic shows going on down West End way but sadly be to poor to actually afford to get even one leg into the show (fair enough the legs are quite long, but still…) No I felt it only proper to big up the endeavours of one of my friends who put on a show and dance down her local at the weekend to raise money for the charity we work for. This is something none of us at work have even attempted to do and then low and behold Candy rocks up and puts us all to shame in a matter of months and puts on a day to raise fund for RNIB… Cheers Candy, putting us all to shame… The preperation, the games, the coordination of the whole day (I’m getting a headache just thinking about it)

Now I’m not one to complain, she put on a great night, she had the support around her throughout the day and drank like a fish in the evening just to relax… SHOTS!! I can still hear her cry…. Of the cranberry variety of course, this is Crayford… So what was meant to be an evening of moral support, a sensibel amount of drinking and then cheering in the end of a successful day of raising a few coppers for charity turned into a last train missed and then 4 slightly drunken people kipping on the sofa in the small wee hours of the day… Cracking. To then wake up and realise I was going over to the brothers for luncheon and I had to travel back into town and make myself look respectable (it may only be the brother, but you still need to put a toothbrush in the mouth and a comb through the hair – do not get those two mixed up by the way) It was a slight struggle I can tell you. But then two bottles of wine later I was feeling right as rain… Hair of the dog… It never fairs…

So a success all round then. Not only did we have a good dance (cracking tunes by the way) and a drink or 3, but we also raised money for a few people out there… Jobs a gd’un… Candy (imagine me looking directly at you, with a sincere look on my face – strange I know but just imagine it for a second) You did a great job, I know the counting is still going on, but whatever you have raised you should be incredibly proud of yourself, Rupes hugs all round I feel….

So I’m conscious that these blogs can be quite random, theres no constant theme running throughout the entries (Just look at the complete change of topic just there), no pattern, no set length… You could in fact say that they are actually quite rambley… Which is the point (hence the name of the blog) To this end and to please what small demographic read these things, I will endeavour to create a constant theme throughout these entries next time around but sadly at the moment the bed is strewn with clothes, theres washing that still needs drying and the passport has been misplaced… It is here somewhere, I had it in my hand half an hour ago… Yes thats right, this can mean only one thing… The summer holidays are upon us… I won’t go on about it too much (as I feel I may have bored certain people to death of it recently)  but needless to say, good food, good wine, good weather here I come (I hope) I shall burn in the first half hour and then go back to the pasty white skin I have the following half hour… Good times… All I can truely say to close this entry is… Grande.

Past times

•August 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

One night, sitting in a fashionable spanish bar in the hub of Kings Cross a conversation topic began that unavoidably started the cogs moving in this old head of mine… The alcohol already consumed meant that the cogs were moving at a slower pace then normal… But they made me think anyway… What do you (just to confirm I was talking to myself at this point) actually do to past the time? Do you actually have any hobbies, any past times, any interests that actually make you interesting? Now this is not a cry out for people to come back to me to say how great I am, I already know that… But other then drinking far too much and spending even more on not a lot I started to think “what do you do?”

Yes there is my unhealthly obsession with music and film, the odd festival here and there, the occasional (which somehow are also quite regular) shopping trip and then there is this little blog type thing o’ mine, which I’d like to think is slowly but surely getting better over time, like a good wine… But what else? My desire to paint has slowly ebbed out of me. My parents have not been able to add any more of my art work onto the walls of our family home, since the university days. I’d also like to point out that that art work is not particularly good, I just think they took pity on me! The desire to play sport has long since gone. I blame my laziness at school and my hatred of being forced to play sport when I really did not want to. The summer term was good as we had athletics, which I was good at (I could run fast and jump afar) and rounders, which was always a good “team” sport. But since then the desire has changed from partaking in sport to viewing it. I’m first in queue for the tennis and even partake is drunkenly watching team RNIB play softball, but the thought of actually playing does not appeal. The girls actually managed to get me to throw a few balls this week as there was no one else to practice with… I got a few good comments, but I just looked wierd standing there, in a suit (a lovely lilac shirt and tie combo btw) beer can in one hand and throwing a ball in the other. I did not put that beer can down once, either I would let the ball drop in front of me or I would do a cack-handed attempt to catch it with my free hand… Good times. I was much more comfortable, shouting from the side lines, as I watch a heated duel between the two top teams and we came out on top! Team RNIB!

So yes… After hearing stories of people doing wierd and wonderful evening classes (just so you know we are back to the inital conversation held in that spanish bar) of clay sculpture, irish drumming, gym classes and language wonderment I was sat there going “huh” My brother is relearning the piano, I’m still waiting for the first recital, but that could be any day now, I have friends playing kazzoos for pleasure,  others running, jumping and climbing trees in an attempt to join the army, some are even trying to reproduce (buts that a conversation for another time)

But then it struck me, like a sharp clip around the ear a mother gives to a child who starts whailing in a supermarket because they were not allowed that kellogg’s variey pack they have alwasy wanted… (Wow that’s going to come up at therapy) I do have a past time… This thing here… God love this… In all truthfulness I blame my career for not allowing me to spread my wings… My head is so full of HR related jargon and shanannigans at the end of the day all I want to do is walk that 3.5 miles home, (another, lsightly dull past time – walking) have a quick meal and then bed… I may stop off at a pub en route for a cheeky pint or 5, but hey at the moment I’m loving it at the moment so I cannot complain… Much… In all truthfulness I have actually put fingers to keyboard since and I have started rambling in an orderly fashion a musing I have had spinning around in my head for a short while, and while this is all early days who knows I may get the hang of this writing malarky and actually make a go of it… Big things could be on the horizion and while I have 2 weeks of sun to look forward to momentarily this may be something I actually stick with. It could be my AA alternative… Those meetings are always depressing anyway!

Have a little Grace

•July 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So another year and another Lovebox has been had. This time a 3 day extravaganza that has left me a shell of a man and my liver in dire need of a holiday… Soon my precious, soon… And then we can start all over again! So where to start? Firstly I made it through 3 days of “dress-offs” with a dear friend of mine, forget about the music, it was all about looking cool (or as cool as is possible in my case) I personally feel I won the exposure of the chest on the final day, so any eyesbeing turned could have been out of disgust more then anything else. Of course as this is me I am always totally oblivious tothe whole concept of eye turning and am only told second hand when I have a beer in hand, which I fele is the best course, too much hassle being on the look out all the time. Thankfully I remain intact, with minimal damage, bar a big bruise on the shin from having far too much fun on the dodge-ems, and a little sun burn after stupidly going out in the midday sun with no protection, but I can gladly say that there were quite a few out there who had sun burn that madde my usually pasty white skin almost look ghost like!

So, as I type this away while all my friends and family are hard at work on this monday morning (don’t hate me too much) I need to reflect on what quite frankly have been 3 days of pure, unadulterated fun. Personal highlights I hear you cry? (That and  – go away Rupes, you rambling idiot) Well firstly jumping up and down to Dizzee Rascal on Friday was amazing! I was knackered after that! Ellie Goulding knows how to put on a show, though she didn’t do my favourite song (which I personally requested) so she goes down in my estimations. Empire of the Sun on Saturday were quite frankly out of the world, again a little bit of jumping was had then. Mr Mark Ronson being joined on stage by Duran Duran also another highlight (just repaying the favour from last year) The headliners on Saturday, Roxy Music, I have been reliably told were quite good, but frankly my mind is a little blurry of the latter stages of that day, so the least said about that the better… Sunday was all about Grace Jones in the evening. By this point I was feeling a little weary and even had to have a bottle of water or two as we continued to knock back the cider and the vodka jellies (I don’t care what any of you out there say, I am one classy dude) But even still as the sun was beating down on us we were still able to enjoy Hurts, Hot Chip, Chromeo and the spectacle that is Grace Jones. A lady which I find hard to actually describe… She has her own style, standing and perhaps a following that no other act out there has. She put on a show and a half and I have to say I looked every single one of her hats! I may not know her music that well, but she can come and sing at mine any time she likes. 

So as I made my way back to my bed, a journey which for some reason took nearly 2 hours, I was firstly sad that the 3 days had gone by in a flash, but overjoyed that I was able to sleep today and recover. So what happens? I’m awake at 8 o’clock in the morning… Where is the justice? I’ve worked hard these pass couple of weeks… Entertaining my brother in Dublin for his stag and then dancing like a fool in some park… So to make up for the early awakening I clean and then type randomly away on my laptop…

Where to now then? The Garvey clan appears to be taking over London next weekend (so another fun time to be had) and then shortly, and finally, a welcomed break from work and the busy London life, for a more sedate, peaceful time in the heartland of France. Good food, good wine, good weather… What could possibly be worng with that? But I sign off with one final thought… What happens in Lovebox, stays in Lovebox…

Emerald City

•July 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

As the black stuff settled in the pint glass in front of me and I took my first sip of the liquid gold that originates from the country a short jump away from good old Blighty and I slowly realised “I don’t like Guinness… So why am I drinking it?” Fair do’s I was in the emerald city of Dublin celebrating with my brother the fact that he was about to tie the knot and have a “ball and chain” for the rest of his life, but did that mean I had to drink Guinness??

No, it didn’t and in all honesty I actually didn’t… I stuck to cider (another great export from Ireland)… That first paragraph was in fact imagery, to get you in the mood, so you knew the topic of this latest ramble… Stick with me…

So my brothers stag in the great, but bizarrely small, city of Dublin. My god… My first visit to the city and I had no idea what to expect. I could spend hours moaning about the prices and the fact that every single one of us spent more money then we could afford… But anyone who knows me and who has spoken to me on that subject will have already had a ear full so I will leave it at that… But… My… God…! They know how to rack in the money do they not? So a weekend spent in Dublin, seeing all the sights the great city had to offer. Pub, after pub, after club, after pub, after Maccy D’s, after pub… Ok, so the sights were not seen that much. In our defence it was raining, which did not exactly make us want to go out and about, but as it was a stag weekend the emphasis was, and remained, on the alcohol intake and the possibility that the brother could get drunker then he had ever been in his whole life… which did happen… very nice…

Question for all of you out there who is bothered enough to answer… What is the dealio with the great spire centre stage on O’Connell Street? I get modern art, I love modern art, I enjoy turning the corner to be met with something so bizarre it makes you stop and go “huh” but sadly the spire went right over me… I loved the architecture and the statues around Dublin centre, but the spire ultimately became a meeting point with other stag members and a key direction point in walking home from the pub in the early hours of the morning… It was even suggested at one point the lights at the top of the thing spelt something out… But other than “Move out of the way, there’s a great big spike in the way” – directed to passing airplanes – why would they put a message on the top of a great big spire…

Not only was I bemused by some of the architecture of the city, I was also greeted by some of the nicest people… True they are Irish… but appearances can be deceiving. The taxi driver down to the city… I soon realised that the most popular word in Dublin began with F and sounded a lot like duck… I also realised that they had no problem giving a life story in the space of 5 minutes… I won’t go into details, but missing people, police searches and rivers were involved… But the taxi driver did give us a very important piece of information and we drove down… Do not throw people into the Liffey… It’s quite shallow (apparently)… Now I’ll be honest with you my thoughts of the weekend did not involved throwing my brother (the stag) into the river, but as soon as he said it… I wondered…

So where can we go from here? I can’t go into precise details for the weekend as the brain is a little blurry on the details, bar missing people, missing cameras, extortionate prices at the bar and a very nice German couple I think it was the standard kind of weekend, just in Dublin… Needless to say I slept for most of Monday, nodding off in the afternoon like an old man… Now all remains is the wedding itself, a day in September where I expect more alcohol to be consumed and more stories to be told… The brother will be on best behaviour that day, but as I attempt to build on my reputation as the family drunk I shall be propping up the bar, until of course classics by The Nolan Sisters, Robbie Williams and S Club 7 come on… Then I’ll be on the dance floor in a flash…

Summer Sunshine

•July 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So two offerings in a few short hours… Main fact being I have no idea when I could next be typing away with my ponderments… It could be next week, it could be next month… I don’t want to big myself up, but now for some reason I am busy… I think it has something to do with the sun, it makes people do more things and in turn empties the wallet faster then a money grabbing rich girl from the Hampshires… I love painting a vivid picture…

So how is it that Glastonbury has come and gone this year and yet again I have been unable to jump on that bandwagon?? I have friends who get in for free because they are part of a “marching” band – firstly I can march, second I can blow into the Kazoo device, or what ever you put in front of me… Third I’m sure I could look good in a band outfit… Bah! I have other friends who cheat their way in for free (not naming names) because they have “contacts” inside, and then I have friends who are organised and buy tickets… Do I look like that sort of person, I have blogs to ramble on?? Next year I tell thee, next year will be my year!! Next year! (Juts in case you had not got the idea) I even know someone who is so organised he has set up an event already for next years Glastonbury on Facebook. Take a bow Mr Pickard, but don’t let it go to your head… Now thats organisation I wish I had, I’d better remember that I clicked “attending” so October / November time when the tickets go on sale I better be organised, for once… Pressure… As compensation I did have Wimbledon but why o’ why do they always put all the great events on at the same time? Come on people, work it out, I can’t be everywhere at once!

Now to make up for the horrific time I have had for missing on the greatest festival the world has to offer, I have some solace by attending another great, but slightly more sophisticated and civilised festival in the hubburb of London itself. With Lovebox a few weeks away I am already preparing myself for three days of great music (we have the wonders of Dizzie, Mark Ronson, Rozy Music, Empire of the Sun, Grace Jones herself and many more to drool over) and the beauty of it all is that at the end of the day I get to go home to my own bed, have a shower in the morning and turn up looking slightly decent the next day… Its a posh mans festival, but if its worked for so many years, who am I to try to change it?? At least this way I will be able to experience some of the joys that only festivals and the chaos they can cause bring to the world. It is fitting, it was my first festival last year and if I’m not careful it could become a permanent fixture in my calender every year… Still worse things to have stapled in…

So last weekend was London Pride (No not the alcoholic beverage). One of those events you turn out for to cheer on the marchers, view the spectacles that await you around the corner (some good, some bad, some stomach churning) and basically have a good old time! The weather was perfect and in turn drinking lager from your friendly neighbourhood off licence on the streets of Soho was a course that was very tempting…. So tempting in fact that after 12 hours of doing said activity I managed to stumble back home and fall into a deep slumber. Only to do the same thing the next day, only difference being I changed lager for wine and the streets of Soho for my brothers flat as he cooked for me… Gawd love him!

To be fair over the last month of so, London has come alive. It could have something to do with the unseasonable weather – for  some strange reason in Birtain, during summer, we are actually getting sun for a good portion of the day, this is normally unheard of. But it has just confirmed what I love most about where I am at the moment, there is always something going on somewhere in this big city. You may feel like your one of millions, but there is always something out there for you to do and plenty of people out there for you to do it with. Saying that this weekend I’m Dublin bound to experience the joys of a stag do, its for my brother so a good time will be had by all, plus I feel safe in the knowledge that I can drink more them my brother can, so it should be fun!!! Two guesses what the next blog will be about!