Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Angel on the Bridge - Henley-on-Thames

The Angel on the Bridge in Henley was a place that me and my friends frequented on many a Saturday night during the 1980s. I continue to drive across the river every day and so this afternoon I stopped off and went into the pub for the first time in a number of years. How my friends would be shocked to hear I ordered a coffee rather than a pint of Brakspears!

The usual night would consist of getting into Henley by train or bus for opening time at 6:00 as this was a time when pubs were not allowed to open all day. We would set ourselves the challenge of doing 9 pints in 9 pubs before 9:00pm and then meet up with the rest of the crowd in The Angel for pint number 10... The night of course would not be over until 2:00am when we would invariably stumble out of the local nightclub "Stallones"! How our poor livers suffered :)

The funniest summer at The Angel was when the price of a pint in there was £1.12, but don't ask me what year... Traditionally at the famous regatta The Angel would raise its prices much to our disgust!  I am not sure what the amount was, but any amount was too high. However our saviour was Stu Phillips who not not only managed to convince a barmaid to charge us regular rates he also managed to get £1.12 charged as the price for a whole round of drinks regardless of how many drinks we bought! Happy days.... lunchtimes, afternoons and evening :)

Yes I know the hair needs a cut!

The bar staff at The Angel were forever raising their eyebrows when we entered the pub knowing it would be a long night, and would from time to time throw us out, but then would end up dancing with us in Stallones! But the most famous night we all enjoyed the most in Henley was the legendary fancy dress fundraising pub crawl for our bestest friend Miss Julie Robson. The challenge was to go to as many pubs as possible drinking a half pint in each raising funds along the way. 20 pubs 20 halfs was the challenge... The idea was the boys would do the drinking whilst our beautiful girls would flash their "eyelids" and collect coins in the buckets along the route and also get ahead of the procession ordering the drinks for the boys to drink. (and of course getting absolutely plastered themselves too) Now there were two schools of thought here. One was to get to final pub as soon as possible and get back onto pints... I was onto that, but I also realised that if you stayed near the back there were plenty of unfinished drinks to sup :) Needless to say whichever way you approached the evening it was a marvellous night and I believe the police were chasing "fancy dress" characters all over the town who were apparently misbehaving...

My connections with Henley run very deep. Not only did my dad row at the regatta and drink ridiculous amounts of beer going back 60+ plus years ago from now, and I would like to think I did a pretty good effort at keeping up the tradition. But also my mum was actually born in a pub in the town. "The Sun" which unfortunately is offices now. BUT even deeper than this is the fact that many of my longstanding friendships have been well and truly cemented in Henley and I know back in the day at times I was a right pain in the arse! This blog is dedicated to all my friend who were there at the time :) You know who you are, and I love you all! xxx

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Knowl Hill Cricket Club 6-A-Side Tournament

The August bank holiday weekend saw another 6-a-side cricket tournament at Knowl Hill. Once again the hard working committee put in a huge amount of time, work and effort to make sure the event was a great success and enjoyed by all. Fortunately the weather was kind to us and the rain mainly stayed away allowing for uninterrupted play :) Unfortunately in spite of having 2 of the 4 teams competing, victory eluded the Knowlies, but I put that down to playing a hard game the previous day plus having to run the bar, BBQ and bouncy castle! Congratulations to the victorious "4 stone less-minus 1 ginger".

Take a peek at the video which is just a small snippet of the day's events :)

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Birthday Fun

What a lovely birthday night out we had for mum's birthday with little Anna the centre of attention and providing lots of amusement and entertainment. We went out to eat at Asian Fusion near Maidenhead and had the buffet menu, which is great value for those with big appetites such as myself :)
The only missing link was my big brother who would have been raising a glass to mum somewhere in China, and he will be pleased to know we raised a few glasses ourselves. It was a wonderful special birthday celebration and as mum said one she / we would never forget.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Rain In The Summertime

The strange pattern of our weather in the UK continues. Some of the best weather of the year was around Easter and now the summer is almost at its end we don't really appeared to have had a golden summer we will remember in  years to come. Yesterday at the height of the British summer we had rain, rain and more rain... But at least the awful weather gave me the perfect excuse to make a video using the perfect soundtrack :)

Monday, 15 August 2011

Ebony & Ivory

My new toy! I have always wanted to be able to play the keyboards and so my challenge going forward is to learn to play this beauty. At the moment I am basically limited to D Major! The sound quality is awesome and I am so excited... No slacking this is my new challenge :o)

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Trainline At Dawlish

There is a lovely stretch of railway at Dawlish along the Devon coast line. As a youngster I remember going there with the family and loving seeing the trains emerge from and disappear into the cliff line tunnels. I always had an ambition to travel along that stretch of line one day and now I finally have done so...

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Weekend In Devon

Spending a wonderful relaxed weekend in Devon with awesome friends is certainly one way to recharge the batteries re-energising the body. For the first time on a weekend break I decided to take the train rather than drive and the benefits of doing this were huge. So much more relaxing and it meant I arrived to and from Devon in excellent shape.

It was not a weekend of doing things, in fact it was just the most perfect lazy weekend in this wonderful part of the English countryside. Food from the garden, local pasties and literally a couple of beers meant this was a win win weekend, and there was nothing I would have changed about the whole weekend. I cannot thank my lovely hosts Julie and Glenn enough!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Broken Circles

Broken circles are a pretty apt description as to where I am with my journey at the moment specifically regarding the relationship journey. Having just ended another short lived dating experience I have yet again in some ways come full circle and I am right back to where I started. These little inner circles are the complete ones which I just seem to keep going round and around on. But as far as the bigger picture goes the large full circle remains broken and incomplete, as I tend to get so far on the circle and then each time I fall off, and this will probably continue to happen until I can successfully makes changes to how I am approaching the whole dating experience and break down the barriers I have put up, and find happiness in a long term relationship.

Progress is being made and I genuinely feel I am beginning to learn more about myself, my shortcomings and the mistakes I make when it comes to dating. I am beginning to realise that my idea of how a perfect relationship should be is more fantasy than reality, and so I always tend to end up disappointed very early on and get out quick. I have a tendency to panic after 2-3 weeks, and when something doesn’t feel right I look for a way out. 

What I am trying to do now is to realise there is more than one way to get to where I want to be. The challenge going forwards is to try and get past the initial few dates and get into a boyfriend / girlfriend relationship and roll with the highs and lows. In many ways I am a victim of my great female friendships and have expected a relationship to be a greater extension of that and for it to roll along smoothly on an even keel, where as what I should be gaining from a relationship are the wonderful highs and yes the lows too and to realise that this is what it is all about. But I also believe as I have always done that there has to be a spark, physical attraction and a genuine friendship too. I might well be wrong and an old fuss pot, but there are to be more chapters around the corner in this story for sure.