Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Why I won't be going to see Queen and Adam Lambert

Several times over the Convention weekend we have been told that there was going to be a special announcement on Monday morning.  As Queen and Adam Lambert have just completed a tour of North America, we all guessed that the announcement would be that they were to tour the UK.

And yes, that was the announcement.

As Queen fan club members we had the opportunity to purchase tickets before they went on sale to the general public.  I followed the link, if the tickets were not too expensive then one could be my Christmas present to myself.

The tickets were £78.00, which does include booking fee (oh good) plus £2.30 postage, a total of more than £80.

By the time I add in train fares, hotel for the night, food and a couple of drinks, it could come to more than £200. As I said in my last post, I could have had 3 nights at the Convention for £79.

I would rather put one of my CDs on and listen to them as they were at their peak.

Several people I know have bought tickets for 4 or 5 different nights and venues across the country.  Where are they getting the money?

And if £80 per ticket is not enough for you, you can purchase a VIP package for £1,008, yes, that does say £1,008, again plus postage.

As you can see from the picture below, this includes a seat on the stage.  Why would you want to sit on the stage?  You will probably spend most of the show staring at the back of Brian's head.

Unfortunately, as long as people are willing to pay these prices, things will never change.

I am going to save my money and put it towards a weekend somewhere, or maybe next year's fan club convention.

OIQFC - Convention no 29.

This past weekend saw the 29th Convention weekend of the Official International Queen Fan Club (OIQFC).

For anyone that doesn't know, it is basically a long weekend (Friday to Monday) of Queen music, plus all the solo ventures and groups, videos, competitions and fancy dress.  Oh, yeah, and alcohol or as it is known over the course of the weekend, Convention Water.

The very first convention was back in 1986 in Great Yarmouth, I believe it was just held on one day.  It has since been held in Camber Sands, Southport - where my first convention was in 1993 - Prestatyn, back to Great Yarmouth, and this year we were back over to Prestatyn.

It has also extended to the current 3 nights.

It is a very full on weekend, although lots of activities have been dropped along the way, mostly due to Health and Safety, apparently alcohol and It's A Knockout type activities do not go well together.

This is a programme from 1995, I can't find an earlier one.

And this is this year's.

This year's official fancy dress themes were - Friday, Black & White; Saturday - Sheer Heart Attack and Sunday - Freddie Mercury.  There are also the unofficial themes too, if someone has a special birthday then their group may decide to have their own theme.  In the past, tables have been decorated for convention goers birthdays or anniversaries.

You can be involved in as much or as little as you like.

There is also the fun of catching up with people that you have not seen since the previous weekender.

It isn't a cheap weekend, but sharing caravans can reduce the price a lot, some will sleep 8 people and the more you have in the caravan, the more the price per person reduces, this year started at £79 per person.  I stay on my own and this year I had a fab caravan for £180, it even had an en suite in the main bedroom.

If you are a fan of Queen, it is a weekend that you need to attend at least once. you have to be a member of the fan club and each member can take up to 2 non members as guests.

Next year is the 30th convention so we are hoping for something special.  Maybe that should be the year you become a Convention Virgin and try it.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

I am fat. And it is my own fault.

I have never had a problem with the word fat.  I am fat because I eat too much and don't exercise at all.  I walk to and from places but I don't see walking as exercise, it is just something you do to get somewhere.

Being told I am fat and/or ugly has never bothered me because I know I am.

As I said in the opening paragraph, I am fat because I eat too much.  I don't eat rubbish, I don't buy cakes and only occasionally buy chocolate as there are certain times of the month when chocolate is needed.  I do eat cake if I go to Mum and Dad's at the weekend and Dad has brought cakes whilst he has been at the shops.

I don't like salad, but I do like other vegetables, I have three raised beds in my garden and grow a lot of my own, things like cabbage, cauliflower, courgette and aubergines.  

I don't feel that a meal has to contain meat or potatoes to be a meal, I eat a lot of Quorn.

I just eat too much.

I know what clothes suit me, and I stick to those styles.  I don't wear dresses or skirts, I stick to trousers and blouses for work, jeans and tshirts at the weekends.  I don't tend to go out more than a couple of times a year, so dressy clothes are not needed.

I don't flash the flesh or wear tight things, but choose well cut items that highlight the best of me and cover the rest of me.  I have no idea what size I am, when I have to buy clothes I grab a handful of different sizes and buy whichever I think looks best, it could be a size 18, it could be a size 26, I have both these sizes and all those in between in my wardrobe, and they all fit.

I am healthy, apart from a bout of Gastro-Enteritis at 6 months old, a Dermoid Cyst which required the removal of an ovary and my current mental health issues I have never had any illnesses beyond the usual childhood ones.

I don't get upset by so-called fat-shaming posts because I have no problem with being fat.  I don't feel bullied by these posts either, as you can only be bullied if you let yourself be bullied.

Please remember, this is only my opinion, it is not intended to offend anyone.

Cars I have owned.

I bought my first car when I was 18.  It was brand new and cost £3500, in today's terms about £8200 (see being an accountancy student helps me calculate these things).  It was a 1988 Citroen 2CV Dolly in Plums and Custard colours, I can even still remember the registration number, it was F604 UWK.

It had a mighty 602cc engine, was air cooled (like the Formula 1 cars, but that is where any similarity ends), the tyre iron doubled as a crank handle to start it if needed and it took me everywhere. 

I don't actually know how fast it went as the speedo stopped at 72mph and there were no such things as SatNavs to tell me, mind you it didn't have a cigarette lighter so I couldn't have plugged one in anyway.

One year I had gone on holiday to Wales with Mum, Dad and the dog and we had taken both mine and Dad's cars, we went out for the day and were having a quiet picnic by a lake when three cars came screaming over the bridge.  It was a group of Police Officers on a high speed driving course.  Dad spent the next 30 minutes taking them for rides around the car park in MY car!

I traded up after 3 years but I really, really wish I had kept hold of it, it was such a fun little car.

This isn't my car, but it is the same model and colourway.  I have checked on the DVLA website and it seems likely that the car was scrapped when it was only 10 years old which is such a shame.  However if it was still around, today it would cost more to tax than my current car which has a 1.9 lite engine.

My next car was a Peugeot 205 GL, this one was not brand new but about a year old.  It was a speedy little thing, but not the fun to drive that the Dolly was.

Mine was only a 3 door.

It was smashed into in a car park at a local park when I was working there, whilst it was in for repair I was loaned a Maestro which I thought was fantastic, not a sleek car by any means, but a good solid workhorse, so my next car....

Mine was newer than this being a K reg, but the shape hadn't changed much, if at all.

After this there was a succession of Ford Fiestas and Escorts (why are Ford cars named after porn magazines?)

The last new car I bought was a Ford Escort SI, 1.8 litre in silver with body kit, sports steering wheel and polished aluminium gear change knob.

It was beautiful.

Unfortunately a redundancy (number 1) meant that I couldn't afford to keep it.

Cue several years without a car.

Just as I was back on my feet and considering looking for a car I was made redundant again.

Now, after a couple years of being in a steady job I have been able to buy a car again.  It's the oldest car I have ever owned, but other than the 2CV which gave me my first taste of freedom and Independence, it is the one I appreciate most.

Yes it is old, yes it is dented, yes it is scratched.  But it is fully paid for and it is mine!  It was MOTd before I collected it and I have since had it serviced at a Fiat dealer just for peace of mind.  I hadn't intended to keep it long, it was just a first foray back into car ownership, but I love it!

How do you feel about your cars?

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The one with the ghosthunt.

I have always been interested in ghosts, even at a very young age.  

A few years ago I took part in a ghost hunt.  It was supposed to be the first of many as we were trying to get a ghosthunting group off the ground, but for various reasons, there was never a second investigation!

Our inaugural, and only, investigation took place at Quorn Churchyard.  It wasn't as quiet or dark as it could have been as the churchyard is a shortcut to the pub next door!

At one point I got fed up with the theatrics of some of the group and wandered off, sorry, I meant to say that at one point I went off to do a solo vigil.  On my return I was met by the group rushing towards me telling me that a man in a black suit and hat was following me but that he disappeared as the group neared me.

This led to a flurry of questions.  Did I know he was there?  Had I felt anything following me?  Had I been communicated with?  The answer to all three questions was no.

I did get a few photos which show what appear to be orbs.

I have also taken part in a ghost hunt at Tutbury Castle with the lovely Lesley Smith and would love to make a return visit.

I am also hoping that a group will hold a ghost hunt around Coventry as the city centre is supposed to be quite active.

Has anyone else been on any ghosthunts?