Wednesday, 22 August 2012

It Sofa!!

After Aicha took her driving lesson on Saturday, we decided it was time to pull our fingers out and buy a sofa for the new apartment. So far we have only bought the dining table and chairs, and with only 10 weeks until the move it was necessary that we get the sofa ordered because it can take up to 10 weeks for delivery. I had already said to Aicha that I didn't mind how the rest of the apartment looked as long as I got the sofa and TV I wanted! I have just bought a Playstation 3, complete with FIFA 12, so I need a good entertainment centre! Aicha has already knocked me down from a 60" TV to a 55" so I was on a mission to get my way with the sofa!

We both agreed that the sofa would be a dark shade of grey (where have I heard that before??) and that the seat area would be in the shape of a 'U', so we went along to Mio (which is the equivalent of DFS for my UK subscribers) for a look. There were many nice sofas on display but none of which matched my requirements, so the only solution was to take advantage of their 'Design Your Own' option. This was more expensive than the display models but the benefit is that you get what you want. After around 20 minutes of discussing what fabrics and attire to go for, this is what we went with................

I was really pleased with the purchase. I won't say how much it cost but let's just say that it's the second most expensive thing I have ever bought...................after my apartment!! How often do you buy a sofa anyway? Its definately an investment thats for sure! It will be delivered one week after we get the keys to the new place and I can't wait!!

After that we headed back to house as I was barbequing for the family in the afternoon. I didn't know I was barbequing until it was sprung on me earlier in the day, but I didn't mind though as I quite enjoy cooking and we had a really nice afternoon. On the Sunday I had a agreed to play two matches for the Tudor Arms as they had a fixture pile-up and needed players to represent the reserve team. Each game was played in the city but unfortunately for me the games were 6 hours apart which meant I had to do the 90 minute round trip twice in one day! We lost the reserve game 2-1 but I won 2-1 with vets in the evening, so the score evened itself out in the end! I can't wait until we move as all this commuting is a nightmare! Getting back and forth from work and footy is a real ball ache at the moment!

In the office this week things have been really positive. The project that I am managing is starting to move forward at pace and all the hard work that I have put in over the last few months to get it off the ground is really starting to pay dividends. So much so that my manager has asked if I would consider becoming a permanent member of BP Castrol. At the moment I am employed as a consultant through an external agency and my existing contract terminates in March, so to be in a position to become permanent is fantastic. With taking on a new mortgage this could not have come at better time for us and hopefully, if everything pans out, I could be fully employed by BP..................and have all the benefits that comes with that!!

As well as working this week I have also been preparing for my best man duties on Friday at James' wedding. I have just finished writing my speech, which I have done many drafts of but I am confident that it will be well received. The one thing I wanted it to be was original, and I think after rewriting it a few times it definitely is. There are a few cliche' jokes that I have borrowed from the internet but 90% of it is my own work. I'm sure it will be fine. I have done it once before at my brother's wedding, which went down well, but there is nothing worse than cracking a joke which gets no response!!

The only thing I'm really worried about is whether this cold sore I have will clear up by Friday!..................wish me luck!!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Birthday boy!

Over the past week my time has generally been spent working, catching up with the Olympics or watching my new favourite TV show 'Entourage'. Aicha and I have just finished watching the entire series so we need to begin watching a new series to fill the void. Aicha recently bought herself the 'Sex in the City' box set which she has now begun to watch. Whilst this isn't my ideal replacement I'm not ashamed to say that I too am watching it....................mainly because I have no choice!!

I was especially looking forward to the weekend as not only was it the long overdue return of football with the Tudor Arms but Sunday was also my 31st birthday. The plan for Saturday was play football, hit the pub with my team mates then head home for a relaxing evening....................but it didn't quite pan out that way........................I got to play football and go to the pub at least!!

Our match was played against a side called Ayacucho, who were a team made up of primarily South Americans. We had played them at home earlier in the season and won 4-0 but somehow I didn't think this game would be quite as straight forward...................and I was right! From the start they had most of the possession and after about 10 minutes they were a goal to the good. However, as we began to get more of a foothold in the game things became more aggressive. There were dirty fouls happening all over the place and I even took dig in the ribs from one of them when catching a cross...................but worse was yet to come...........

About 10 minutes into the second half with the score still 1-0, the ball was played through into our box for their striker to run onto, which prompted me to leave my goal to claim the ball. As I went to ground and got my hands on the ball, their striker preceded to stamp on my head as he jumped over me......................I'm all for playing hard but that took the piss! Hard but fair is my rule. As I got up I had blood running down my ear and a massive headache.

I felt like giving the guy a whack as I squared up to him, but thought better of it in the end...................not just because we were losing and I could get sent off but more because we were on their patch and who knows what would have happened if it kicked off!! I probably looked a bit stupid as I confronted him though. I rushed towards him all aggressive as if to punch him only to point at my ear and say "look what you did you prick!!"

Things got more heated after that and the guy in question ended up getting himself sent off. It didn't help us though as we ended up losing the game by that single goal! We dug in towards the end and gave it everything but it wasn't to be. That was my first taste of defeat with the Tudor Arms and it wasn't the best way to start my birthday weekend.....................although a few beers in the pub after soon cheered me up!! As soon as the guys heard that it was my birthday it wasn't long before I was confronted by a milky pink concoction courtesy of Barry! I'm not sure what was in it but it tasted pretty good!!

It was at the pub that my ear began bleeding from the inside. I didn't think it was anything to be concerned about but as soon as I told Aicha what had happened she was straight onto the Internet to check if it could be serious. She spoke with Sweden's equivalent to NHS direct and they advised that I should go to the emergency room and have it checked out. At first I didn't want to go..................not just because I don't like hospitals but mainly because I didn't want to ruin our Saturday night! I knew it was the right thing to do though so off we went to A&E.

As this was a Saturday night I was expecting us to wait for hours surrounded by a bunch of pissheads........................but surprisingly I was the only drunk person and I got seen in less than 10 minutes! Luckily for me there was no serious damage, just some swelling. They just bandaged me up and sent me on my way...................and also charged me £40 for the privilege!!

By the morning the swelling had gone down and I was able to celebrate my birthday with no problems..................other than a slight hangover! Aicha bought me several presents such as dvd's and aftershave, and as a birthday treat she had also arranged to take me to a place in the city called 'Fåfängan' for a brunch buffet. I had not officially been for a 'brunch' before so I was looking forward it! The food there was great. They had everything from pancakes to fresh salmon! I did my usual thing of over eating but it was well worth it!

After that we headed home to see the rest of the family. It was also the birthday of our nephew Younes so in the afternoon we had a family meal consisting of freshly baked pies followed by cake. I had celebrated my birthday in Sweden a few years ago and Aicha's mum had made a frozen cake which I really liked. She made the same cake for us this year and again it didn't disappoint!

After dinner I caught up with my family back home via skype and thanked them for the cards that sent to me. I am going back to Brighton next week and I am really looking forward to seeing everyone again, but it would have been great to see them in person on my birthday...................but I guess you can't always have your cake and eat it!!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Brighton 2012

Wow! Its been over two weeks since my last blog but it only seems like yesterday that I was sat here writing about my trip to Örebro. It just goes to show how time flies when you having fun!! Last weekend I got the chance to go home to Brighton to see my family and attend my friend Chris Talman's Wedding reception. My younger sister also held an engagement party whilst I was there so it was a very busy weekend!! It was also the start of the olympics games so it was great to be back in the UK to watch the opening ceremony......................and I have to say it was pretty spectacular!!

I flew in on the Thursday evening and was met by my mum and sister at the airport. My mum has recently bought a new car, which I had only seen pictures of before I had arrived, and I couldn't remember the colour so I wasn't sure to look out for........................I had to do a double take when this flash Mazda 3 come around the corner with black alloy wheels! It looked like she had just swapped cars with Vin Diesel!! All she needs to do now is tint the windows!!

Like with my previous visits back home, my first port of call was the local pub where I met my soon to be brother-in-law Pete. It felt good to be back.....................and around six pints later it was if I had never left!! The next day was mainly spent running around town shopping things for Aicha and catching up with old friends and family. During the afternoon I met with my sister Jo and my brother Ryan for a late lunch with my Uncle Pete. It has been a long time since I had seen them all so it felt nice that we could spend the afternoon together.

Charlotte and Pete's engagement party was to take place that evening at my mums house from 6:30pm but before I headed there I met up with some of my old work colleagues from EDF. It was great seeing they guys again and it still doesn't sound like much has changed there since I left!! After a few beers at The Noble House I headed to the party and found it in full flow. I don't think I have seen so many people at the house before!! All my friends and family were there so it was perfect for me as it meant I could catch up with everyone in one place!! It was amazing seeing everyone again and it was great to see them all there for Pete and Charlotte. I think they make a great couple and I can't wait for the wedding...........................and the stag do!! I think the snap below taken on the night is a great photo....................although Pete, Olly Murs said he wants his hat back!!

I had so much fun at the party........................too much as it turned out, as the next morning I was absolutely hanging!! As usual I was the last man standing and it was around 4:30am by the time I turned in! It seemed like a good idea at the time to carry on partying but it left me in a mess on the Saturday. That evening I was going to Chris' wedding reception so I had around 8 hours to sort myself out, but the thought of having to do it all again that evening was making feel even more sick than I already was! Although I wasn't feeling top of the world I was really pleased that everybody enjoyed themselves at the party.......................which was illustrated when I noticed the empties!!!!

As the day went on I began to feel more like myself again. I even managed to iron my shirt.................which I hadn't been looking forward to doing as it just seemed like to much effort! Once I had showered and changed though, I felt ready to rumble. The wedding reception was held at a place called Tottington Manor, which was out in the country away from all the noise of the city. It was a really lovely venue and weather had been kind that day so the guest were able to mingle both inside and outside. Both Chris and his new bride Hayley looked great and the wedding had gone very well by all accounts. After a few beers I had totally beaten my hangover and was back to my usual chirpy self. The evening was again spent catching up with old buddies, with the occasional venture onto the dance floor to bust a move!! Unfortunately I didn't take take my camera with me to the reception but it did manage to borrow a few from facebook of the day...............

Once the wedding was over I headed over to Lancing to meet my brothers and some more friends for another celebration. My friend Mark has recently had a baby so the guys were out 'wetting the baby's head'. My friend Simon had come along and I hadn't seen him since November so it was great to finally have a beer together. It was just like old times!! Once again it was another late night, with me and Simon being the last men standing this time. The thing I have found with my mates is that no matter how much time passes, be it a day, a month or a year, we always pick up where we left off. We had a lot to catch up on and we had a really good chat, but by 3:30am we had to throw in the towel! It had been another great evening and one I hope to repeat again in the not too distant future.........................although hopefully next time I will go to bed at a reasonable hour!

Sunday was spent recovering form the previous 2 days. It had really taken its toll on me and I had zero energy left to do anything other than watch tv! I felt bad because it seemed that I had wasted a day of my trip. I don't think I was such good company for my family as I was half asleep for most of the day! I don't think I'm going to plan so much next time I visit. I have learned that you can't make time for everyone and the time that I am there I want to spend the majority of it with my family......................and hopefully in a more interactive state! I am heading back home again in 3 weeks for my friend James' wedding but this time I am attending as best man. I am going for a long weekend and the wedding is on the Friday so it leaves me with the rest of the weekend to relax.............................but knowing me it will probably be just as busy as the last time!!