Sunday, 31 October 2010

Ricky and the Pumpkins?

Friday night, band practice was cancelled because the production of fiddler on the roof was happening again. I might blog about that. (Tradition!) So we had a plan to start with. The plan was, to go out, get drunk at the ale festival, come back and watch the disney classic- Robin Hood.

However, we carved pumpkins for half the night, then went out and got drunk at the ale festival, met "new alan", and went home to bed. Here is the result of our efforts. Going from left to right, the pumpkins are as follows.

Big G's pumpkin. Looks like it is saying, "Say, what?" The next 2 were carved by some of Billy's friends.then there was Ricky's, which clearly has in his words "the downs". Next along is billys, pretty good. Finally, mine. As you can see, it took a considerable amount of effort.

I mean, come on. Ricky and the pigeons! It took so long to make, and it nearly failed so many times. After this was done, we then went to Wetherspoons to enjoy some ale. Numerous pints of King Goblin ale later, thanks to Ricky I discovered there is a cider I actually like. "Broadoak Perry". Sweet, drinkable, 7.5%. What more could you ask for? We then met New Alan, and thats a whole different story.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Driving test.

Hello readers, I would like to announce that I have passed my driving test. Aw Yeah!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Design for Duffield Awesome Ale

Well I did a bit of work to draw up a label for the ale, here's what I got! I stuck it to a blank bottle to see what it would look like.

I await the arrival of my equipment with much anticipation. After all the hype, I just hope it doesn't turn out to be terrible!


I was having a look back at my blog and how it has changed over the last year, and I could not help but notice I have not written anything about ale before. This was most peculiar, because ale is like the best drink of all time and it is my preferred poison if we were at the pub.

So yes, I LOVE ale. I am by no means a conoisseur, but I hope to be later in life. Lets face it, if I start drinking it and home brewing it at the age of 19, I'll be an expert when I'm 40. I have already chosen my favourite ale so far, Which happens to be Wychwood brewery's "King Goblin ale", which happens to be the special full moon reserve of Hobgoblin.

As of yesterday, wetherspoons started up its yearly ale festival, featuring 50 guest ales from all over the country and a few international ales. Well, I know where my spare time is going to be spent...

 They are ordered 1-50 on alcohol content and colour, so it is understandable to find King Goblin at number 49. The only other ale to beat it was some kind of Edinburgh strong ale which consequently turns you into a gibbering wreck (a.k.a, A scotsman.)

One such ale in the festival I was not too sure about. Looks like Tom Wood is up to his old tricks again, but I'll be eager to try it when it comes onto the draught.

Today, I also bought all the equipment I need to brew my own ale. So in a few days time, hopefully I'll have the first batch of what I shall call "Duffield's Awesome Ale" in the pipeline for being brewed at home. I'll let you all know how it turns out it due course. The slogan will be "its awesome".

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Trying to Draw

At the moment, I am getting back into pencil drawing. Stay tuned, I hope to put up some pictures. Right now, I'm working on a shot of an Ork Skarboy from Warhammer 40k.

Reading University Snafusis

Last Saturday, we did somewhat of a road trip to Reading University for the open day. Big G, Ricky and myself are all looking to apply there. Wade came along just for the hell of it. We were driven there in the car by the one and only Andrew Wade, who is currently in the middle of growing a beard to play the starring role as "Santa" in the YES centre.

Before we carry on with this post, I would like to point out that the band has a new codeword. Due to errors in Big G's predictive text, the word road trip is now to known as "Snafusis" (try it on your phone, it works)

So as the Snafusis got under way, it became clear that Ricky's gas problem would be an issue in the car. Andrew quickly came up with a protocol, which involved swiftly winding down all the windows in the car on the motorway to blast the smell out. This happened on a number of occasions, and I daresay I did help with some of the gas.

We stopped for a giant RATP breakfast at a service station supermarket thing. After chowing down on bacon and eggs and such, we tweeted about the food using #ratp, so the french transport company would re-tweet the fact we just ate a fry up to all its followers...

When we arrived at Reading, first impressions were that it was very nice. The campus was good, and the facilities all looked great. We went to pick up some information and went our separate ways to the various institutes and departments that we were looking into studying under. Long story short, I went to the teaching and Art departments, and it was all satisfactory.

I met back up with Ricky and Wade at the main info bit, and we waited for Big G and andrew to get back from their talk. It emerged that Ricky was no longer interested, as his filming course involved a year of compulsory theatre. And unless that theatre allowed him to just do the 'get-away-bugs' move back and forth across the stage, there was no way.

While waiting for Big G and Andrew (still...) me and Ricky played a game where we did silly voices for members of the public from on top of the balcony (hey... this isn't the supermarket...)

We then contemplated how difficult it would be to go up to the Geography table and say, straight-faced, that we loved geography. We all agreed that it was impossible.

We then "bought" some tea. Well, to be fair, the system in place in the tea shop was so bad that the staff had no idea whether we had bought tea or not.

On the way back home, after more gas from ricky, we stopped off at Cribbs Causeway. There, Wade cleverly took control of a computer in a shop to take a picture on daily booth (something i apparently have to get) of us in the shop.

So there we are, hangin out in a Currys shop. How very amusing of us.
We then played pokemon all the way home with the history of britain on a CD. What a day.

Monday, 25 October 2010

A post in the style of Karys Munns

Hello! In the true style of Karys Munns, I have bought something new and therefore I shall blog about it. Many of you, particularly Karys, will be pleased to know that I have bought my first pair of "wayfarers"

I was killing time in paignton, and they looked quite out of place on a rack with other more generic sunglasses,  so I put them out of their misery by buying them. I then used them on stage last night with Ricky and the Pigeons when we played at Oxjam, so they have a good home. On closer inspection, they are blue, but the pattern itself is ... denim. So, denim glasses. Its like the 90s all over again. Woo!

Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens

Well, this certainly has been a funny turn of events. As part of further efforts to enhance the band's profile online, I have been shown how to "hash tag" things and why this is necessary or relevant. As far as my understanding is aware, "hash tagging" is like putting an obvious label on your tweets so people who are interested in what you have "hash tagged" are directed to it somewhat. Some organisations have set up some sort of automated re-tweet dealio where if their key word is hash tagged, their account automatically re-tweets the tweet to spread the word much faster.

So I was told, when I tweet about the band, do this- #RATP.

After a few days of doing this, we were bemused when we were receiving automated re-tweets from a whole bunch of french people.

As it turns out, there is a RATP more well known than Ricky and the Pigeons. (I know, unbelievable, right?) Allow me to introduce you to the Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens. Here is their logo.(I know, ours is cooler)

Basically, RATP is the major transit operator responsible for public transport in Paris and its surroundings. Its operational divisions include the Paris M├ętro system (16 lines), part of the RER, an extensive bus system, and three tram lines. It also operates the Montmartre funicular. So they are pretty much in charge of everything. 

What makes this ever more hilarious, is that in amongst their administrative tweets about changes to bus routes etc, there are a few automated re-tweets about Ricky and the Pigeons and our gigs. This is fantastic. For our sake, I hope they don't notice because although the french aren't our target audience, any publicity is good publicity!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Pokemon Club

And so, our heroes venture on into the next town, where they will face danger and many more adventures.

As promised in a previous post, here is the fourth and final essential update on my life story. The fact that a quarter of "essential updates on my life story" are about Pokemon may be misconstrued as "sad" or "depressing", but on the contrary I feel it is more reassuring that I am still staying in touch with my roots.
To be fair, the term 'roots' generally refers to origins or family, but you must bear in mind that Pokemon was one of the very early games I played for a largely extended period of time (for example, a saved game lasting over 100 hours) when I was just a wee bairn. Other games that fit this category are of course Sonic on the sega megadrive, and Crash Bandicoot on the PS1.

So yeah, I still play Pokemon. Quite regularly in fact.

One of the great things about my situation is that the rest of the band and some of my other friends all play pokemon as well! One or two of them are newly introduced, and there is a few crafty veterans. Here is the run down of people I now trade and battle with. If they have blogs, they're names are linked.

Tom "Big G" Wade: Rhythm Guitar in the band (RATP). Newly re-introduced to the Pokemon world, I believ he has played it before and understands the basics. Currently boasting a full set of kanto and johto gym badges, he battles well but has a few issues with keeping his party at consistent levels and not over training a particular pokemon (AMPHAROS!!)

Ricky Moysey: Namesake of RATP come bass player, he is a hardened (ha ha, hardened...) veteran with lots of experience like myself. His pokemon are well trained and he makes good choices in type effectiveness in his party of 6. If there is one downside, he often is pressed for time to train, so in some cases his pokemon have not put up much of a fight. But watch this space- Ranger Moysey is in town.

James Wade: Lead Guitar in RATP. Well, he kind of plays Pokemon. He owns a game boy original and pokemon blue. Never having played any video games in his life for any long period of time, he is a pokefan with an L plate. Gradually getting the idea of how the game works, I hope he will see how awesome it all is and eventually invest in more up to date technology so we can battle.

William "Billy" Wade: Younger sibling of the two Wades in the band, he is also just learning how to play pokemon to mine and Ricky's standard. After a few horrendous choices of pokemon to have in his party, most notably, FURRET.... he is picking himself back up and finding his feet in the pokemon world.

Graham Litt: Drum guy in the band. He is also A veteran like me and Ricky. He has a lot of experience with the generation II games, but not so much with anything afterwards. This is a shame, because I think he would be a good Pokemon trainer if he couldonly be bothered to save up for a DS.

Mike Radant: Bass and backing vocals in a local band, Plight of the Powerless. He is another veteran who is experienced up to generation III we are yet to have a battle in recent years, but If I recall in primary school we were pretty evenly matched.

So these people are who I have as challengers. (Perhaps James is a bit moot, but we'll see). Here is a few note worthy facts about me and pokemon.

  • I know the majority of evolution levels or methods, catch rates, names and locations of the vast majority of pokemon.
  • I can tell you what ANY pokemon evolves into
  • I could tell you where to find most items in Gen I and pretty much how to do absolutely anything.
  • I could tell how to do almost anything on Gen III
  • Bulbapedia is one of my speed dial icons on Google Chrome, as is
  • And can play a number of the tunes that appear on the game, on the piano.
  • I can recognise any town in Gen I by the music associated.
  • And for my most accidentally impressive talent, I can recognise about 90% of the first 150 pokemon simply by the noise they make on the game.


So there we are. Pokemon is definately still cool. Maybe only in our little world, but hey, I live in that little world.

I do Twitter and stuff.

Recently, band developments have taken effect and it seems that one of the ways I can help make the band better non-musically is by having more online presence. Unfortunately that does not mean getting more presents from the internet (not that the internet gives me anything).

As it stood, my presence was about the size of a semi-medium postage stamp, as I was only tapping into the realms of facebook and of course, blogger. The next logical step for me was to dwell briefly, followed by re-engaging into the land of tweets. Because everybody has to know what you think at all times. So much for privacy. But hey, I like to keep things whimsical by tweeting funny things that have just happened, or using twitter simply to publicly lampoon members of the band, namely Ricky. 

In the true spirit of having an internet presence, I bestow upon this post a link to my twitter... here!

As you can see, my username is JamieD_RATP. The rest of the band (well, the ones that care about tweeting) have done this also to give continuity, which can't be bad. Apart from perhaps Ricky, who unfortunately had to give up a Pinehouse-based name to fit in to the new look. Shame.

Anyway, anyone reading this who does not follow me- GO DO IT! Expect me to tweet reasonably often, so if it is mirth you are after, I'm you man.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

An idea for a Cool shirt

I really want to take this to be made into a T Shirt. I would just be fantastic.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Well, its finally here. For the sake of showing you what it can do, I present this post to you in the form of a vlog.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Me and Sophie

Its hard to believe that since i started this blog, I have still had the same girlfriend. It is also hard to believe that that girlfriend is not just any girl, it so happens she is the only girl for me.
We are in our 4th year together and she still makes me happy everyday that I see or hear from her.

This summer has been great because I got to see her whenever we were free, and we spent a lot of time together. However, as you know, I am still here- and as of a few days ago Sophie is now a student at Leicester university. You may think this will make things hard for me, but not really. Here lies the difference between shallow love for the sake of love, and in my opinion, real love.
To me, it makes no difference how far away she is. She's my girl, and she kicks some serious ass! I'm so proud of her for everything she has come through and is going to accomplish for sure, but she doesn't have to do a thing or say a word to earn my love.

My love for her is always there, and even though I can't explain why very simply, I know it is, and so I am pleased. Heres to an awesome future xxxxx

Friday, 1 October 2010

The Band and our Capers

Before I begin, just to clarify- by capers I mean adventures and past events, not a flavour giving inedible seasoning material. If I was posting about the latter, I can almost guarantee it would be very boring (or would it? ...cue inappropriate sample of X-files theme)

I have not been posting for a while, and I wish I had because the band has been up to so much stuff since i stopped. Lets just say we have come a considerable distance from Battery Powered. (whoever those guys were).

I left blogging just after we had recorded our first album. Since then, we have become more locally popular and we really have a feel for the sound we want to make. There has also been some developments with regards to becoming famous... When we played at doddstock, we were somewhat 'noticed' by a soundman who was there to run the rig for a band called Jonny: Black. They were very good. The man, "Dave Matthews" said he was an associate of the management company that were in charge of jonny: black, and he was keen to see us play in front of a non local audience. So we packed some things and set off on the road- to braunton, near barnstaple. This was the furthest away from Torbay we had ever been!

We left for North Devon, looking awesome and totally not lame as usual.

When we got there and had unpacked and stuff, we played a lovely set to the locals of Braunton at their flagship pub, "the agricultural inn". However, the locals know it as the Aggi. What follows it a short dialogue between Wade and some locals when we were finding our way there:

Wade: Excuse me, do you know where the Agricultural Inn is?
Some local old people: (IN REALLY POSH VOICES) haw haw haw! The agricultural inn? Oh, no, thats far too posh for us! We call it the Aggi!

So there we are, and we then became proper friends with some really cool people, namely "Kansas Matthews"... Well, you see Kansas is an interesting man... his name is Kansas, after where he was conceived. He is the bass player in Jonny: Black.

So there he is. While we were in his car on the way to his house to pick up some cymbals, we discovered he is actually the son of our prospective manager, Dave. It also surfaced that before his dad was helping him in Jonny:Black, he was previously in a band called MENDELA... Kansas then proceeded in pulling off a fantastic impression of cartman from south park with regards to "...but dad..." hehe.

After we played, Dave expressed an interest in our band, and said he wanted to come down and watch us again on home turf to discuss things further... this is awesome. It looks like Ricky and the Pigeons have taken our first steps to actually getting somewhere useful in terms of being a successful band.

Stay tuned, as that very meeting is happening on the 9th of October...