Monday, August 28, 2006

Arrived. Safe and Wet.

Hi all,

Dave and I have both arrived safely in Srijuizuhang now. Its been really hot since we got here, but have had thunder and rain storms on 2 out of 3 days so far.

Our accomodation is in a pretty terrible building, but our rooms are superb, you'll see picutres later. The only problems have been with the Toilets- i.e mine not flushing and Dave's leaking toilet water all over the floor once he flushes it- I think I got the long straw there.

Food has been fine so far- 2 massive banquets for about a quid each, but we can't order ourselves as NO ENGLISH is spoken anywhere.

Anyhow, more next week when we get internet installed in the rooms.

Take Care all


Monday, August 14, 2006


So Dave and I depart for China in 10 days. I'm fully jabbed and injected and should be protected against anything the People's Republic can throw at me; unless i'm bitten by a dog (as you had to pay for the rabies jab) or Bird Flu strikes (don't think that there's much anyone can do in that instance).

After seeing Daves blog - and his guide to Shijiazhuang I thought i'd better put some information up on here about it too, that way I might actually learn something about where it is i'm going-but I doubt i'll ever be able to say it if I'm honest.

Shijiazhuang is an industrial town about 2.5 hours south west of Beijing, and is relatively new having only been established in th 1950's. It doesn't have much to see there but I don't think it looks too boring from the photo's and luckily it is one of the major transport hubs in China, so getting about should be alright as well.

If you look carefully, in the last picture you can see a KFC. So I we should be able to survive at least a month!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


So my parents went away a few weekends back so I thought it might be a good idea if I had a little gathering. Kind of a late Birthday/early leaving barbeque.

In my dads absence it meant that the BBQ responsibilites were left up to me. Now, here's my excuses: at college we had one of those new fangled gas type of barbecues, where you plug it in, light the gas and hey presto, control the temp with a flick of a switch. My dad, being a bit of a traditionalist about these type of things, refuses to have such a contraption, and insistson an old school coal affair-even if they are now more expensive than there more modern replacements. This lead to me battling against a towering inferno and singed eyebrows in order to cook. When the burgers eventually escaped the furoure of the fire they were nicely charcoled and black, but after the first few it did calm down and eventually every thing else turned out fine.

Without the parents in tow it was a lot more laid back than previous bbq's held at mine; just a group of 10 friends, eating, drinking, playing football and ultimate frisbee and having a decent time. Festivities started at 4pm and started to tail off about 4am so it was a 12 hour-a-thon. I'm sure a decent time was had by all, and no one complained of sever dissentry in the morning,so the cooking was a success on my part as well.

The main event of the night was the ultimate frisbee competition, a closley fought battle between two evenly matched teams, using the area inside the gazebo's as the goal zone. I was pretty terrible at this and think I've found a (non-female only) sport that Clare is probably better than me at, as even in her drunken state she managed to catch it a few times, which is more than I did, and score a few goals.

Thanks to everyone that came at such short notice, especially to Rich and Ross that came all the way down from up N'arth and only managed to get lost once- thanks to Ross. Also John, who came despite breaking his foot the day before.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Hi ,

welcome to my Blog.

I'm going off to China in a few weeks so thought it might be a good idea if I set one of these things up in order to stay in touch with people, and also so I can show you any photo's that I take.

Hope you enjoy reading it cheers



These are a few photos from my time up in York studying for my LPC.

Whilst in York i lived with my mate Tom, Will and Mike from Leeds University at 165 ALbermarle Road, which is just a few minutes walk from the York Racecourse, and was on the same road as the Knavesmire Pub.

LPC was fairly boring and mainly consisted of rote learning rather than being taught anything too useful. The practical assesments on accounts,tax, interviewing and advocacy were a bit better, but not much.

We had a 5 a side football team whilst we were there: Consisted of Mike, Will, Simon, Ben, Ali , Garreth, Huw and Myself. We played once a week, and eventually finished 3rd in the league I think. We won our first4 games, then lost 2 and then won the last one. The league never actually got finished because the organisation was piss poor, so we could claim that we might've fnished second.

Made some good mates in York and I hope to be able to keep in touch with them for some time.

Most the people in these photo's are:
Ben , Simon, Ali, Anthony, Will, Mike, Garreth, Huw and Me.

This is what we are all up to now:

Ben- starts work for Olswang in London in September. So will be moving down there in the very near future. Spent the summer staying up doing sudoko's in his garden and signing on.

Simon- Starts work for Nabarro Nathanson's in London in September. He's already from down that way and think he has a group of people to live with already lined up. Just got to get a flat sorted.

Mike - starts working for my firm Eversheds in Leeds in September. He is looking for people to live with now. Spent the summer travelling with his girlfriend and playing "Sonic Spinball"

Dave- coming with me to China. Currently on a vac scheme with a Hull Law Firm looking to see if he can get a training contract.

Will- like me Will doesn't start work until next year and until then he is going travelling. I think will is exploring South America, New Zealand, Australia and China and then coming back to start work for DLApiper in Leeds.

Anthony- starts work for Birmingham Eversheds in September. This summer he's been holidaying in a number of places including Barcelona, Las Vegas amd watching a lot of cricket.


Well I have now finished law school and found out that I passed with Commendation. Which I am very pleased with. I never really worked hard enough to merit a Distinction and I've always been Mr Steady anyway so Commendation it is for me. Only needed to pass as well.

After sitting 4 exams in 4 days I left College on the tuesday to come home (with a stinking hangover) and then Ross and I flew out from Luton Airport on THursday 8th June for our World Cup Experience.

We flew into Dortmund and managed then to book a train ticket that would cover us for the full 16 Days to travel anywhere all over germany and even into Denmark and Holland if we wanted (we never did, I mean there was no football being played there!). WE then caught our train to Frankfurt which took about 3 hours but took in some amazingly beautiful scenary. We also met our first bona fide germans on the Train. One being an amazingly camp man with permed hair, who enquired about divorce law to us, we could not believe he had ever been married and assumed that his change of sexuality was the reason for the breakdown in his nuptials. We also met a girl who was amazingly helpful and then a Tall Skinhead with Tattos who scared the shit of us but turned out to be a Beeb Documentarian making an expose on hooligans at the tournement, which is to be aired on Wednesday night i believe.

We got to Frankfurt, the venue for England's first game against Paraguay. We walked out the station and the first person we met was not a local trying to sell us beer or sausages it was in fact a Cockney tout trying to flog us tickets for £700! We told him to jog on, but from that moment we knew it wouldnt be too difficult to locate tickets for the games.

We got to our hotel without any difficulty, got showered and changed and set out to find some cheaper tickets. We eventually got some for £200. Which wasn't too bad I didn't think. This meant we could then spend the next day relaxing and chilling on Frankfurt River Bank and take in the opening games of Germany v COsta Rica and Poland v Ecuador. The Atmosphere in Frankfurt was amazing as they had errected a huge double sided screen on the river bank, each side of the river bank could hold 20,000 spectataors so it was the ideal place to watch the host's first game (and my god didnt they make Paulo Wanchope look good, he's not been past anyone so easily since Gary Pallister in 1997!)

Anyhow, the next day was the seroius business of the England game. We got up early and made our way to the stadium. AS we were in the Paraguay end we wore our ENgland shirts but put a Paraguay scarf over the top to "disguise" ourselves - we didn't realise that everyone else in there would be English anyway-even most the paraguyans came from England. After some nervous moments getting into the ground which involed Ross being let in, but me being refused entry and then being marched round to the ticket office to get a new ticket we took up our seats in the staidum and took in what was unlitmately a disappointing opening game in difficult circumstances-it was 100 degrees on the pitch!

After the game we stayed in Frankfurt for 4 more days, and we met our mates Tony & Kev, who are two brothers originally from London, but now living in Hampshire and Norwich, who were out following England to the bitter end and had "access" to tickets for all the games.

After a few days in Frankfurt, and a argument with the Patron over how much he was charging us for the hotel, which ended in us slamming down 100Euros less than he wanted and running out, we caught our train to Nueremberg.

Frankfurt was a huge, busy city, which lots of pubs and bars, Neuremberg on the other hand was much smaller and more like one of our market towns in England. We were staying outside of Neuremberg in Wetterkruz. This involved a 40 minute journey in everyday, but we didnt mind as our hotel had a swimming pool and also sold 1 litre of delightful German beer for 2.90 Euros! Bargain!

Anyhow in Neuremberg we managed to get category 1 tickets for £200 again, and were quite happy. We had a day before the game so we spent it drinking and exploring the town, but we didnt think there was much to explore-we later found out we were wrong.

The Trinadians were great fans and made a real carnival atmosphere in the town. In the stadium it was no different and their chants of "London Bridge is falling down" often outstripped the dismal choruses of "en-ger-land-a". We were sat roughly on the halfway line and we surrounded by Germans and neutrals. There were quite a few English around us again and so we made sure we sang loudly, to annoy the neutrals. When Crouchie scored that header after 86 minutes of frustration, Ross grabbed hold of some Germans sat behind us and I was dancing with some scouser sat next to me. Then when Stevie G scored that marvellous second, all hell broke loose.

This was the first game where we worked out that Glass Collecting was profitable. THe beer in the stadium was 4euros but if you returned the glasses you got 1euro back, after the game, we hung around and wathced the players train and play a little warm up match, in the process I manged to collect 17euros worth of glasses. You can call me a skiv but when your paying so much money for tickets it has to be done!

We then spent a few days in Neuremberg, took in the interesting Nazi museum which was set in a huge marching theatre that Hitler had built to hold 60,000 marching troops. IT was interesting but had studied a lot of it at school so a little tedious at times, and when theres Portugal v Iran to watch on TV there can only be one winner, so we left after about 2 hours.

We discovered the castle area of Neuremberg on our last day, what a beautiful area it was. We walked around the grounds of the caslte and discovered the worlds best Youth Hostel set in the castle itself. We then ate in a little shack on the grounds. Later on that night we went out with Kev and Tony and got a little drunk, and I won the Sweepsteak for first scorer in the USA v Italy game! Result! Another 15 Euros to the good!

The Next day we left for Cologne, due to Cologne only having 6,000 Hotel beds we stayed in Cologne Deutz which was only a short tram ride out, but there wasnt really anywhere around there to go, so we spent most our time in the city. Englands last game v Sweden, was conveniantly in the smallest Stadium england played in - only 35,000. With the Swedish also well supported and well off the prices the touts were charging were astronomical, some were quoting £1000 for a single ticket, but not many even had any. The best we foudn was £700 which was still above what we wanted to pay. Luckily for us, just as we decided we would have to watch it at a fan park, Tony and Kev came through with a blinder and said they could get us in with Hospitality Tickets, which included 3 course meal before the game, food after, goody bag and drinks all night served by attractive ladies- such service cannot be beaten!

The game was very entertaining and we were lucky enough to Witness Joe Cole's wondergoal, but also unfortunate enough to see the injury that effectively ended our tournament, when Owen went off. The Swede hadn't brought a replacement and we were fucked. 2-2 was a fair result as they hammered us and afterwards we met a few celebs - Peter Kenyon (below-who joked about not appointing Sven as Chelsea Coach), Danny Baker and Frank Skinner, unfortuantely no sign of the infamous WAGS :-( they had obviously been warned that Ross was in attendance.

After the ame we stayed there till about 1am and then made our way back into town and a hotel bar with Tony and Kev, where we stayed till the trains back to our hotel started running again- which was about 4.30am. A good time was had by all.

We then had a few days left in Cologne. In which time we met up with Alex. A german that Ross had met in Frankfurt for the opening game and who was studying at Koln University. He showed us around the student area and this is where we spent most of the next few days as food and beer were much cheaper.

On our last night in Germany Tony and Kev invited us out to a Brazilian bar, which was holding a samba party. We stayed until 5am and got absolutely destroyed which didn't helpw hen we had to ckeck out of our hotel at 12.00. We got out and went back to the student area (called Zulpicher) for a some food and a few hours resting. We then went to the Aerport to fly home.

And that was the end of our german adventure!