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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pissed Off With Job Hunting!

Maybe it is just a comedown from a very fun-packed weekend but I am getting rather pissed off with being unable to get a job.

I'm either too unconfident, too inexperienced, too experienced, too technically minded, easily bored or not not enthusiastic enough.

I think the negativity is starting to have an impact as I had another interview today and I really feel that was my worst interview performance ever, I just did not flow, mumbled my words and just wasn't myself.

I want to give up but I cannot. I'm too stubborn.

Apart from that minor issue everything is tickety boo, I'm getting lots of enjoyment out of life, learning new things like cooking properly - I'm going to attempt making my own roast potatoes tonight rather than aunt bessies and my new website that I created all by myself is on the internet - ask me if you want a preview as it isn't finished so I'm not promoting it yet.  And of course my DJing - any excuse to plug my mixes!

The thing that does worry me is not having enough money to enjoy life...I have to be really careful now and it won't be long before I cannot go out :-(  Needless to say I failed at spending just £67.50 last week - all was good until Friday, I had spent just £30 and had enough food to last until Monday...but my good friend JP had a birthday and budgeting kind of went out of the window, probably not by much, maybe I spent £100.

So the pressure is much more on now...I need a job.

But I really don't see me getting one - I am somewhat exasperated and stuck for ideas.

However I have just bought something to cheer me up - I bet you cannot guess what it is?

I really wanted to buy a bottle of vodka and get smashed however I cannot justify the expense.

And I have exciting plans for tomorrow evening that I don't want to ruin with a hangover anyway.

You guessed wrong, didn't you?

Ha ha!

Though I will be having gravy in an hour - if blogging and donuts don't turn my junting frown around then gravy is guaranteed.

So, to summarise - junting is shit and pissing me off, but the rest of life is really good.  And I am getting desperate - maybe I should consider sacrificing my beloved single life and get a rich wife.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Simon Cowell's DJ X-Factor

So, Simon Cowell is going to do an X-Factor for DJs.

Yippee.

I heard this yesterday, and the natural reaction is to think about the pain that is X-Factor and the abhorrent, abominable verbal impedimenta that displays itself in an audio form from anything that he touches (Michelle McManus, anyone?  Yes I did have to use Wikipedia to remember anyone) and say:

However, I didn't want to be so hasty, so I had a little think about it.

Firstly and most sensibly, do you really expect that any underground DJ worth his salt is going to seriously attempt to reach fame and fortune on this show?  No.  There is a huge different between types of DJs, not just in music, but in styles.  There are rockstars and there are quiet underground DJs.  Look at John Digweed - he is very popular and has maintained this for a long time and his face never moves whilst DJing.  Simon Cowell would hate him.

Most underground DJs probably have a club they would love to play in, whether that be fabric, Berghain, Rex Club, whatever - going on this show and doing well/winning and becoming famous would probably almost eliminate any chance of actually ever DJing in that club.  And most DJs are fully aware of that.

So, it will not ruin our cosy little underground clubbing thing that we have going on.

Secondly.  X-Factor is shite.  Anyone who has had to witness this anathema of human life will realise.  Yes, I am sure the same products of our schooling system will now change career paths from pop star to dj (note the lower case) but is this really a bad thing?  If this country ever descends into some kind of socialist oppressive state once more which it will eventually do because as a country we never learn then I would prefer to be tortured with bad DJing than bad singing.  Give me clashing beats and horrific electro riffs any day over some ghastly three-piece identikit boyband all trying to tell me they love me, slightly out of sync with each other.

Yes, Saturday night TV may soon feature pricks trying to outdj each other with their hairstyles.  It could actually be vaguely watchable.  Could.  I ain't getting excited.

And maybe it will bring a bit more acceptability to the general public about having DJs around, ie maybe more pubs might be encouraged to have DJs (hello local pub please employ me to DJ).  Thanks.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Best Birthday Ever!

I am pretty sure that was my best birthday ever.  I seem to surpass myself every year.  Life really does get better as you get older (as long as you want it to, and you allow it).

I don't know about anyone else, but I always have this kind of apprehension before my birthday - will people want to come and celebrate it with me?  Silly really, because every year I seem to surpass expectations and the previous year - or perhaps more accurately those who help me celebrate it make sure it is better than the previous year.  Maybe that is just par for the course having a birthday the weekend before payday in January but having a birthday on this weekend suits me and my love of being awkward.

I may have lost count slightly but there were certainly 5 celebrations over a week.

First was last Saturday at fabric, a superb night out as fabric always is, and for the first time in many years, and possibly ever, I timed a spot of clubbing for my birthday (a night at Mango a few years back with 50 chavs on a bus from Basingstoke does not count), with some of my favourite people in the world and brilliant clubbing partners, even if we did lose one ;-)  And an introduction to fabric for one of their newest members now!

Then a pie on Wednesday - oh I do love pies, and an introduction to Sweeney Todd's to my favourite Eastern European :-)  And a miraculous cure for the most dreadful UK drought just in time for my birthday ;-)

Friday was a trip to the Oakford (just for a change) with two fabulous friends who couldn't make it on Saturday, and a few that could but love going out at any excuse ;-)

Then Saturday was a great day out at the football - big thanks to my sister for said birthday present, and to the linesman/referee for allowing a goal which many other officials would not have allowed.  It was a goal, by the way, just because the offside player moved towards the ball does not mean it is offside, according to the new rules - the player who wasn't offside then ran and scored the goal.  Silly Reading for not playing on until they heard otherwise.

And then for the highlight of the night which was the Oakford, I had a great time, lots of dancing, and escaping the music at other times (it is Reading - music I love doesn't happen often, though the Oakford usually have a good crack at it and pleasing everyone else too not just my awkwardness).  Thanks for everyone who bought me a drink and thanks and apologies to those who offered to buy me one but I turned down because I had way too many offers to be able to drink them all and I was wrecked to the point where I thought I was going to have to go home at one point, oops!

And big thanks to the after-party host and those who came and dragged my reluctant sister there, he he!  And especially those who danced like lunatics to my mix - it has been great to get plenty of compliments for my mixes so far but to have people dance to them and go wild and not be pretending to love them just to massage my still quite small DJing ego was really, truly special - I know how my fellow, far more experienced DJs feel when they get people dancing.  I promise I will be DJing out at some point this year, at least once.

I'm going to release a new mix very soon, hopefully later this week - I had recorded it but a couple of ridiculous amendments are required and one change.

And not forgetting the 100+ people on Facebook who wished me a happy birthday, which is quite amazing for a birthday on a non-working day!

And of course to my parents for ensuring my existence and survival in the dangerous lands of Hull and for paying for me to escape and get drunk for two years solid at university ;-)

And for the most appropriate birthday card from my sister - peas and politics, hatred and love.

Oh and a roast at the Oakford yesterday though must remember to ask for more gravy next time!  Thankfully I had two pots of my favourite gravy bought for me for my birthday so I can make up for it tonight.  By the way, the Oakford roasts are so much improved now.

I couldn't have done it any better, still on such a high - much love xxx

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Spending Just £67.50 A Week - Attempt Number 3

Guess what?

I failed.

By miles!  Or more like about £150.

Oops.

Better luck this week.  It was my birthday though, I think I had an excellent excuse to over-spend.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mixmag, Shopping, Disco & Birthday

I just fancy writing a blog.  I have no structure in mind, I am just writing because I want to.

I'm happy - looking on the bright side of life still seems very easy.  If I had to have a complaint at the moment, then it would be my seeming inability to convince a company that I would be an excellent asset to invest in.

I will show you an example, look at this item of clothing I bought the other day:

It is not exactly clear what this item of clothing should be, it could be a hat, or a jumper, or a dress, I had no idea but I loved the colour and bought it anyway.

Once I unraveled it, the mystery became clear:

It is a...

Well now we have that mystery solved, I shall endeavour to return to the original context but because I have completely forgotten, I shall talk about something else.

It seems I have too much experience to get a job.

So I have decided to send my DJ CV out, I have zero workplace DJ experience so I figure I will be much more successful.  What's the point in having a dream if you don't try?

And yes I did just try with one of the most respected underground hang-outs in London.  If you don't ask, you don't get.

Seems Mixmag are still listening to me, this month's CD is by Soul Clap and it is a belter - a slow belter with a lot of twists.  Love it.

Oh and it's my birthday this weekend!  I'm celebrating it on Saturday at the delihgtful Oakford - all welcome, you know me, come down, have a beer or two or ten or none and have a laugh.  It will be fun.

Groove Is In The Heart

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

4 Months Unemployed...

Well, technically I have only been unemployed for 3-4 weeks now because of that temping job I did just before Christmas.

But it was 4 months since I officially left Verizon.

I am still very positive and confident that I will get a job, and get the right job for me too.

Last week was fairly busy with regards to interviews, agencies, phone calls, job applications, etc but this week has gone a bit crazy - I think I have had about a dozen phone calls with agencies about various jobs in just two days, and 3 interviews so far with yet another one booked in for tomorrow afternoon (which was a particularly interesting job with a particularly long application form), and awaiting to hear back from two other jobs for a possible interview, one temporary and one a 12 month contract (another really interesting looking job, different to what I have done before and very, very nice money and a superb company to work for).  Not to forget the finance consulting job which keeps getting put back but for which I have been accepted for and is silly money, for me anyway.

A mixture of interviews this week with a mixture of success.

The first one was for a recruiting company - I won't get that though, they are looking for someone with a minimum of 6 months sales or recruiting experience and he didn't ask me about two thirds of the questions on the sheet he had nor write much down so that is a no brainer that I won't get that.  Not convinced recruitment would be for me either - in some ways yes but I think it would take up too much of my spare time.

I had a telephone interview yesterday for a role, I don't have much to say, it is an appealing role but I would like to find out more about it first, which I would do if I am successful to go to the next stage.

And finally today I had an interview in Marlow.  I booked it yesterday not realising that there is only one train an hour from Reading to Marlow and it arrives at 1 minute past the hour - I tried to speak to the agency to ask them to advise the interviewer about the train times and that I could not make it on the hour and that I would be a few minutes late - but no she refused to do so, and was rather rude and blunt to the point where I nearly decided to fuck the interview off but sense prevailed and I went.

Sense however disappeared when I stomped off the train, it was only a 3-4 minute walk to the offices which is nice however I was walking so fast that I didn't see the turn (it is literally about a 320 degree turn to the right out of the train station down a lane so walking quickly ahead to the road junction, I didn't see it, and turned right at the road junction and wandered for a while before realising.

So I was 15 minutes late.  Doh.

Apart from that thought I think I did really well, and I am really glad that I didn't let someone's rudeness get the better of my slight impatience earlieer today as they did a really good job in convincing me about the company, the role and the team.  Fingers crossed that my lack of punctuality doesn't score too badly against me.  Balls, balls, balls.

Karma struck anyway as I was 3 minutes late for the train back to Reading so I had a wander around Marlow for the first time in my life - it was really nice!  A bit posh too.  I would fit in well there.


Anyway so things really are looking up with regards to the job market at the moment, lots going on for me :-)

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

fabric & Dean Windass

I am connecting fabric and Dean Windass in the same blog post - you would think I had gone insane, or maybe not.

Just in case you don't know, fabric is the most amazing nightclub in the center of London.  I can go in there on a Saturday night with all the world's troubles on my mind, and come out with a completely different outlook on life a few hours later having encountered some of the most amazingly unique people in the world...and the music, the lights, the sound system, the floor...

fabric is true inspiration for me.

And Dean Windass is the football player who scored that amazing volleyed goal to get Hull City into the Premiership, upon which countless thousands of my fellow Hull people had long not even dared to dream might happen - when Hull City got promoted thanks to that goal I was overwhelmed by seeing grown men in tears of happiness, I was struggling to celebrate because my feelings of joy seemed to pale into insignificance compared to the emotional outpourings I heard and saw - finally you could believe in something better!  Hull isn't and hasn't always been the happiest or most optimistic of cities.

Dean Windass is a hero for me.  And he signed my arm once when I was a youngster at a Hull City Open Day.

So I went out last night, after a pretty dreary week of job hunting (it wasn't that bad) and had that amazing night at fabric and a story to tell on my blog about the DJs, the music, etc, but when I got home I read the sad news that my hero Dean Windass has been suffering from depression and I am not going to go into the details on here because it is too sad a story, ooh I shed a tear...I shouldn't be doing that...I'm a man...

It kind of makes me think, what about if depression hit one of my music heroes, like Sven Vath, Ricardo Villalobos, et al - but I do recall reading a book not so long ago which alluded to the lifestyle and potential psychological effects of DJs being 'cool' one year then suddenly not the next year and the effects on certain DJs in the 1990's.

But the real heroes in my life are my family and friends, and if any of them ever need a supporting hand, ear or shoulder then I would like to think that they know where I am - as they do to me whether they know it or not ;-)

Life is fantastic though sometimes one requires a reminder which is what I received last night, and I am sure that others like being reminded of that too.

Previous posts worth mentioning -

Comparing Messi To Windass

Celebration of Dean Windass

Apologies for going a bit soft, I'll get back to blogging about gravy and 15 minute Villalobos epics in due course.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Spending Just £67.50 A Week - Second Attempt

I was doing well this week - I set myself a target of £50 Monday to Friday, knowing that going to fabric alone on Saturday would account for more than £67.50 probably before I even got there (well, maybe not but knowing me!) so I wasn't counting Saturday or Sunday but still wanted to try and £50 is approximately 5/7ths of £67.50.

As it stands today, I have spent £48.39.

This does not include approximately £40 spent on web hosting and domain names as they are investments and I long ago planned to buy them - my procrastination is the only reason that they were not purchased in 2011.  So they don't count - agreed?  Good.

I was actually doing really well until yesterday when I woke up in a bit of a shitty mood and ended up buying two bottles of wine, a scratchcard and some comfort food - goodbye £18.  Totally unnecessary.  Idiot.

And today I had to get my haircut in time for an interview on Monday but I found a hot Polish lady who did me for £9.50 - bargain.

In my inimitable reasoning I think I have proved that it is doable - however it is Friday evening approaching and there is no way I am going to spend less than £1.61.

Close but no cigar.

Next week I will try again for £50 in 5 days!  I can do it...

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Infamous Cocoon Book

I had a request recently to upload the photos of the Cocoon book that several of us did back in 2009 (apologies for not doing it sooner but they were on an old phone and I have only just found the charger and cable to switch on and upload.  Actually that is bullshit, I was too busy partying, so thank Verizon for making me unemployed so I can do the things I have been meaning to do over the past few years).

The story goes that one night with a distinct lack of sobriety and arguably, sanity, I decided that it would be an excellent idea, because it was Cocoon Ibiza's 10th anniversary, that I should write them some kind of book, to say thank you.

Why?  Why not, is the answer.

I mentioned the idea to my friend Ashley, and over the coming weeks, she designed the most excellent book (this is prior to the discovery of my artistic abilities) that I would not have been able to do myself.

And here is the finished article:


And yes, for those that don't know, we got a response from Cocoon, signed by Sven saying "thanks for the great book!".

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1996/97 - History Of James Winfield - Fish Out Dolan Out

I thought I might allude to a bit of my past - I speak so much of what I do now, what I want to do, etc, that it might be nice seeing as I have a bit of time to write a bit about what happened in prior parts of my life.

See, I haven't always had this calm, collected outlook on life - when I was younger, in particular when I was a teenager, I had quite a rage inside me that could come out.

In 1996/97, I was 16/17, and after miraculously passing my GCSE's despite only having studied about two months for them (I was always very bright at school, just a lazy, rebellious little shit) I was more heads down studying for my A-levels, I actually wanted to pass them so I could get the hell out of Hull, and to Reading University to study Meteorology.  And I had swapped outdoor drinking dens like the local railway lines and derelict shopping precincts for the relatively mature pubs and clubs of Hull where there were hefty bouncers to mess you up if you put a place out of line - no going round smashing bottles in venues if you wanted to keep your eyesight.

And I swapped the anger of jungle music for the more optimistic house music once again...and some of the so-called Euro Trance which nobody in the UK liked at the time.

So I had grown up, almost overnight, but there was still a place for my rage and juvenile delinquent antics, and that was at my local football club, Hull City.

Hull City hadn't always been one of the biggest football clubs in the country - during the 1990's it had been systematically run-down - this is the club that most of my family had supported, both alive and deceased, and now it was a shambles and was effectively being raped and pillaged by the chairman and manager, Martin Fish and Terry Dolan, respectively.  Such as the chairman giving the manager a three year contract extension for getting relegated to the bottom division, and rumours of a cut of transfer fees for players sold (this was never denied).

Our club hero, Dean Windass, who was sold on the cheap to Aberdeen, reportedly said that he learnt more in two weeks at Aberdeen than he did in two years at Hull City under Terry Dolan.  And that is Scottish football he is talking about!  Yes, Terry liked them to run.

Plus the owner Christopher Needler seemed to hate the club which is strange given that his father before he died put his heart and soul into trying to make Hull City a top flight club.

I was angry.  So were many others - those that hadn't just given up in despair.  Anger and despair - sounds like Hull.

So, a protest group formed called Tigers 2000.  I was member 2162.  Whether that means I was actually the 2,162nd member or 162nd I do not know.  Anyway, I handed over my beer money and got some bright orange posters saying "SACK DOLAN" and some stickers (one of these stickers actually ended up on the manager's bald patch once).  The yellow "FISH OUT" ones were depleted and had already been posted up all over Hull in various prominent areas.

You can see the orange posters in this video, they were very effective, and listen to the villians defending themselves, Martin Fish and Terry Dolan.

The protests were quite imaginative, including a bus to the chairman's house with loudspeakers to shout "Fish Out", fireworks to signal a walk-out of the game, cod's heads sent to the chairmen of all the other football clubs, jumping up and down during the game to demand they went, pitch invasions/sit-in's, coffins down the beach front to symbolise the death of the club, bomb threats to the supermarket which had a 120 year lease on one end of the ground or something similar and was threatening to sell it to the evil owner...the list goes on".

I of course made good use of those orange stickers and I think after a few games there was one on every single piece of traffic apparatus between Boothferry Park and my house.  And me and my friend Claire made weekly trips to Martin Fish's accountancy office to post our latest printed creations from the IT class in the morning (from which I learnt nothing and was taught by a fat alcoholic who stank...forgive me if I ever get on my horse about teachers and their pensions).  Apparently Torquay was plastered with them one Saturday.

There was a song for Dolan too - well there were many, like "Fuck Off Terry D, you took us to division 3" but this one is quite well put together, to the tune of Common People by some 1990's band called Pulp:


Common Dolan

He came from Rochdale with a lack of knowledge
He studied management at Bradford College
That's where I (pause), caught his eye
He told me that he was a manager
I said: `In that case you'd better come and manage us'
He said: `Fine'
And then, in three seasons' time
He said: `I want to take you to the Vauxhall Conference
I want to do whatever Halifax do
I want to sign lots of crap old players
I want to watch this club slide out of view
And hoof, and hoof and hoof
Because
There's nothing left to doooooooooo'


We did eventually win.  Kind of.

Our saviours were:

1. David Lloyd (who later locked us out of our own ground and said everyone from Hull is crap).
2. Mark Hateley as manager (who took us to the bottom of the bottom division, 9 points from safety, something even Terry D couldn't manage).
3. Tim Wilby was the public face of the takeover and I think ended up chairman for a bit or certainly involved high up, pardon the pun...he is now facing extradition to the Czech Republic on drugs trafficking charges.

It is never easy being from Hull.

But it was fun, and a bit more constructive than pointless vandalism.

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Most Exciting Album Of 2012 Could Be...

No, don't get excited, I am not making an album.

But your favourite heiress, the young lady who owns a hotel on the A33 Reading Relief Road, yes Miss Travelodge is releasing an album.

She has been to over 100 raves last year so she clearly knows her stuff.  That is approximately 9 times what I have been to, and I reckon I know my stuff so do not doubt her.

She thinks there are so many great DJs right now.  I have to agree with her.  She is right.

She has always had a passion for house music.  So have I.  Ever since the age of 9.  Was she born then?  Probably, just, so she will have had a passion for house music for a bit long than me then.

"Hey, look at me, I'm standing next to a DJ"


This, my dear readers, is why I never go behind the decks, no matter how close a friend I might be with the DJ playing.

However, if someone is willing to buy me a very sparkly headband like the lovely Miss Hilton has on then I will pose for photos next to a DJ and say through gritted smiling teeth "do you know how much money I have?".  Only in Ibiza though.

I don't really have much else to say on the subject, other than that I think I have set myself my 16th goal for 2012, now that both me and Paris are legitimate house DJs (new mix released yesterday, hint hint!) - hey, this is turning into some kind of promotion for me now...good work James...by the way if fabric are reading and they want to book me, I promise to wear said silver hearband.

Oh yeah, 16th goal, a back to back session with Paris Hilton.  I bet not many guys dream of that.

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Monday, January 09, 2012

My Birthday Plans


Some people hide from celebrating their birthday, but not me, not even though I am turning a wise 32 very shortly.

Me being me, I am not having just one celebration - I am having two.  Two or three, depending on whether Hull City win.

Saturday 14th January (8 days before my birthday) I am going to fabric as some kind of unofficial birthday celebration for myself (and JP, don't tell him I said anything as he likes to hide his birthday!) - Mr C, and the amazing Konrad Black in the main room, techier stuff in room 2 and some really good underground house DJs in room 3.

Saturday 21st January is my official birthday celebration - me and my sister (and anyone else who dares) are going to watch Hull City vs Reading at the Majeski during the day.  Tickets are approx £20 and can be bought on the day.  And in the evening going to the Oakford for drinks and we shall see what happens.

This is your invite.  There is no Facebook event.  How controversial.

It would be nice if at least a few of my friends came along, especially if I came to your birthday, at least to the Oakford bit as I know many people are skint in January or on detox, etc, but it isn't much of a commitment to pop down for a 'diet coke' and it could be fun.  Of course I would be extra delighted if any more people than have already agreed come to fabric or the football, but these are fair-sized commitments so I wouldn't expect anyone.

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Spending Only £67.50 A Week

Given that the government gives me £67.50 a week, I thought I would try and spend only £67.50 a week for probably the first time since I last didn't have a job, circa 2000.

Impossible, surely?

Perhaps.

All was going well this week until Friday - and I gave up counting when I went over £100.

However, this week I did have to buy a few bits that I usually wouldn't - train fare to Maidenhead, dry cleaning my coat that I dropped in a puddle of piss at Iguana last Friday, a USB cable and a case to fix my external hard-drive, which totalled over £30.

Had I not had that, and not had a few drinks over the weekend, I reckon I could have done it in £45 easily, leaving some over to pay bills.  I'll never be able to do it on £67.50 a week including bills which is why I have an emergency fund to pay bills for the rest of 2012 (said emergency fund also pays for Cocoon In The Park and Ibiza).

Anyway, I am going to try the £67.50 thing this week again, though stopping on Friday as I am going to fabric on Saturday (unofficial birthday celebrations for me and JP), so I will try to only spend £50 from Monday to Friday.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Goals For 2012

Time to set myself some goals.  And yes, guess what, I am going to blog about it.  Always good to have these things in public I think!

1. Most importantly, try my hardest to find a good new job.  Even if I have to take a not so good one at first, I will have a good job that I get satisfaction from again.
2. Open at least one business.  Preferably two.  I have an idea, it is quite simple, it might work, it might not.  There really is no excuse for not doing this by end of February.
3. Launch at least one website.  Ideally two, possibly three.  Again, ditto above, there is no reason why one cannot be finished by the end of February.
4. Continue to learn how to DJ, do more DJ mixes, and play out somewhere.  It doesn't really matter where unless it is run by a bunch of soulless arseholes.
5. At least do all I can to look into running an event with house music.  I have ideas which need looking into properly but for now 1-4 are my priorities.
6. Go to Ibiza.  This year will be my 10th time.  Yes I know I am unemployed but I have budgeted for it.
7. Go to Cocoon In The Park.  There is no way that I will not be going, assuming Sven, Ricardo, etc are playing.  7th July is the date.
8. Go back to Frankfurt.  I really want to go back to Cocoon and take a few people with me that haven't been before.  I can live without doing this though, if funds do not permit.
9. Go to a new country.  Even if I have to go by myself.  I have only been to 9 countries and I am 32.  This is silly.  Again though, it depends on funds.
10. Go clubbing 12 times, and don't always go to fabric - go somewhere else!  Looking forward to, erm, fabric on 14th January.  Did I mention Sven is in London on 18th May?
11. Do another couple of pieces of art.
12. Go to Hull 4 times, and Northampton once.
13. Find someone to play badminton with on at least a monthly basis.
14. Lose some of this sodding weight that I put on last year - I reached 90kg by December, and considering that I started 2011 on 78kg, this is bad, it must be stopped and must be reversed.  83kg is a sensible goal for 2012 I think.
15. Ignore the Olympics, except to go to London and persuade some innocent virgin Americans to go to some grotty club in Shoreditch.

That will do for now.

I might add to it as the year goes on if priorities change.

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The Thing That I Most Want To Get Involved In During 2012...




Oh yeah...world gravy wrestling championships.

With the girls though - the guys look way too scary...


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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Review of My 2011

So, how was my 2011?

I actually set some proper goals earlier this year:

Go to Ibiza.
Go to Frankfurt or Berlin.
Go to a new country that I had not previously visited.
Go to Cocoon In The Park.
Go to Hull 4 times (as opposed to 2 in 2010).
Go to Northampton at least once (my sister lives there...and best friend from uni days).
Go clubbing 12 times (twice as much as 2010).  Proper clubbing.  Mango does not count.
Go to another festival.
Do a DJ mix - one way or the other.
Do a few pieces of art.
Get a better job or achieve redundancy.

Nothing too ambitious, but I wanted to concentrate on improving enjoyment levels of 2011 from 2010, so I set achievable goals for things that I love doing.

Success Number 1 - Ibiza.  I had a fantastic time, one or two bits could have been improved but perfection isn't easy and I was just absolutely ridiculously happy, just amazingly so, at least until the hangovers started to catch up near the end.  I so love that place - 2012 will be visit number 10, fingers crossed.

Success Number 2 - Berlin.  Another excellent trip despite missing the flight on the way there and not being able to get into any club, except a gay club.

Failure Number 1 - New country visit.  The only real opportunity that presented itself was to go with a couple of good friends to Exit in Serbia, which would have been great except for the fact it clashed with Cocoon In The Park.

Success Number 3 - Cocoon In The Park.  It nearly didn't happen.  I bought my ticket when first released - given that there was about 15-20 of us the previous year, I took it for granted that at least 1 person would join me.  No.  So I decided not to go.  But then I persuaded myself to go on an adventure by myself - and it was the best day of 2011.  No question.  Even better than any day in Ibiza.  And yes, I will be there in 2012.

Success Number 4 - Go to Hull 4 times.  I felt a bit guilty for only going twice in 2010, every year that passes in my life I appreciate my family even more and I know they do too, so I went in February for my Dad's 60th birthday, April for Easter, October for the sake of it and Christmas.

Success Number 5 - Go to Northampton.  I went for my sister's birthday and had plenty of drunken fun.  Will be in the diary for 2012.

Success Number 6 - Go clubbing 12 times - I probably went to fabric 12 times!  And very few other places.  Fabric is so good, it is just like home to me.  Seen my favourite DJs and some discovered some really good new ones, and also seen a few good friends play around Reading - I reckon I went clubbing at least twice as much as 2010 and if there is one activity guaranteed to make me happy - it is clubbing.  And I seem to have discovered a perfect clubbing friend too who is as up for it as I am!

Go to another festival.  I went to SW4.  Not sure if that was a success given the terribly disappointing sound levels.  I did still have fun though, and this time there were plenty of dancing partners.  It was a good day but fell well short of expectations.

Success Number 7 - Do a DJ mix.  Yes, I finally lived up to my long-standing threat and bought CDJs and a mixer.  Sorry world but you now have yet another DJ.  I wonder where I will take it during 2012?

Success Number 8 - Do some art.  I did a couple more pieces.

Success Number 9 - Get a better job or achieve redundancy.  I'm not sure that most people would target redundancy but I was so miserable between 9am and 5pm thanks to a shitty job with hardly any work and an impossible witch to work for.  And yet happy 5 minutes after work - though I am much happier overall.  Yes I know 2012 will be difficult if I do not find a job, but not having to go through the misery that was my last role at Verizon means I believe that I can cope with any coming difficulty.

So 9.5 out of 11 - 86% success.

Granted my targets were not that difficult but I hardly did any of those things back in 2010 and quite frankly I think I wasted 2010 compared to 2011.

rated last year 6 out of 10 - this year I am going to rate 8 out of 10.

Things could be better.  I could have achieved more.  I could have had more fun.  I could have not put on so much weight.  But I really do not have any complaints, and well, considering how much fun I had and just comparing it to the difficulties that so many other people have had in their lives across the world, and a few I know, seems selfish and pedantic.

The biggest thing I think I learnt is to be a bit more independent and self-reliant.  Previous years I had relied on finding someone to come with me to do the things that I wanted to do, but I had to do Cocoon In The Park on my own.  And I loved it.  There were moments that I was like, "I wish I had a friend with me to share it", but I didn't, and got on and had a great time.  I will not hesitate to do something by myself in 2012 that I really want to do.

I might mention a couple of world events too which shaped 2011 - most inspiring was the Arab Spring, to see people in countries that have long had evil dictatorships, rise up and challenge some of the most despotic, murderous regimes in the world.  What angered me most though was the riots in England during the summer, absolutely disgusting, and why they were allowed to get away with so much on the first night?  I have my theories but I dare not write them on my blog.  Even in lovely, free, democratic England!

Anyway, the world is definitely my oyster in 2012, I am going to have a think about what goals to set for the next year, and try my hardest to beat my successful 2011.

I hope you had an enjoyable 2011 too :-)

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Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy 10th Birthday To...

The Euro!


I do love those German mullets too.  Didn't they become cool in Ibiza just a couple of years after the launch of the Euro?  On girls.  English girls too.

Good to see the Germans leading the way once more.