Sunday, 29 January 2012

Invictus by William Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I have carried this poem around with me everywhere I go since the first time I heard it. I can't remember the first time I heard this poem, but it has had such a huge impact on my life.

The last two lines;
"I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul"
They really hit home, and made me realise that I am in control of everything in my life. If something goes wrong, it went wrong because of the decisions i've made. Equally, if something great happens, it is all because of my decisions.
Also, it means to me that I cannot be influenced by anyone else. I am in complete control of what I want to do.

I'm not a massive poetry fan, but this has got to be hands down my favourite poem.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Ross Kemp On Afghanistan

While I was at home for Christmas, I decided to take advantage of my brother's oversized DVD collection, and stumbled upon Ross Kemp On Afghanistan.
For anyone who hasn't watched it before, I seriously reccommend you do - It's a harrowing, yet eye opening documentary, which really shakes your perceptions on war.

Whilst growing up, I have been subjected to a number of films, games and books that really glorify war and battle. It is only after watching Ross Kemp's documentary that I realised how much the media glorifies war, and tries to make it exciting and enjoyable.
Whilst I have no problems playing games like Call of Duty, or Medal of Honor - they really do skip over the other parts of war, such as the psychological effects it has on people, the distress it causes families.
Overalll, it disgusts me.

For several years I considered joining the Army - The only reason I didn't is because my health will not allow me to do it, so I ended up going to University and using my above average intellect to try and get through life.
And whilst it sounds really selfish of me to say so, after watching Ross Kemps documentary, i'm glad I didn't join the army, and i'm glad i've never had to experience war.
Looking back, I don't think i'm the right sort of person to deal with that sort of stuff, and so whilst I don't openly express my thoughts and feelings all the time, I really am thankful that I have never had to experience battle.

Ross Kemp on Afghanistan - A real world shaker. I seriously suggest you go out and buy it. It will really change your view on the world.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

This is looking rather appealing right now...

I quit drinking 8 months ago. Whenever I drank, I was getting depressed, so I decided to stop. It is also healthier and alot cheaper as a student.
However, tonight has been the sort of night that makes me want to crack that bottle open, and get absolutely fucking smashed.

But what would be the point? I wouldn't be spiting anyone else; infact I know quite a few people who would jump for joy and celebrate the fact I started drinking again.
Instead, i'd be spiting myself. I'd be starting drinking again for all the wrong reasons - not clever.

Looks like i'm just going to sit here and suffer in silence, like I always fucking do.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Going Out

I've never really been a massive fan of going out. The idea of paying money to get deafened by loud, bassy music whilst being surrounded by some proper drunken knob heads has just never been that appealing to me.
However, last night was one of the few exceptions to that general rule.

Maybe it was the people I was with? Maybe it was the music on the night? Maybe it was just that I was in a good mood? Who knows! Either way, last night was sick!

Friday, 13 January 2012

You Can't Hurry Love

Now, more than ever, this song makes perfect sense.
While Phil didn't write the song originally, what he says is pretty fucking true.
You really cannot hurry love.

Nice one Phil.

Monday, 9 January 2012


Just come back from another awesome night at training. I ache pretty bad right now! I suppose the aching means i'm doing something right...

Here's some videos of Sensei Frank Brennan (7th Dan KUGB). He's so fast and flexible, it's amazing!

These are all the basics (Kihon) you have to learn, which most other techniques and combinations are based around.

I dream of being this good, one day...

I might do a bigger and better post about Karate at some point. I'm going to need a few hours free though, I think I could almost write a dissertation style entry, and i've only been doing it for 4 months!

Drunk people on youtube!

Being watching some really odd videos recently, here are a couple that cracked me up beyond belief!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Song writing

I've always wanted to play my own music, ever since I first picked up a guitar. Being able to turn on the radio and hear one of my own songs being played has been a dream of mine for quite a while.
Theres only one problem, I struggle to write songs.

I can't sing, so i'm already deficient of one component for a song. But then again, I can't write lyrics either, i'm just not that sort of writer.
I can't conjure up some inner emotions and write them out into lyrics. My mind just doesn't work like that.

I can write reasonable guitar tunes. Mostly just chord sequences, as I seem to pitch myself more as an acoustic guitarist.
But then trying to think of a rhythm to fit them to, and then think about lyrics, it all gets too much.
It seems to me like I need a second person to work with.

With so many other things going on at the moment, maybe I should just chill out. Enjoy whats happening at the moment. Concentrate on things that I can actually do, like Karate and Uni work, and worry about everything else later.

The sun's out, and i'm in a very contemplatory mood. Some deep thinking happening at the moment.

Friday, 6 January 2012


I like animals.
Dogs are my favourite by far, just because of how loyal they are. They truly are sometimes a mans best friends.

However, I find cats are the funnier animals, and enjoy browsing the internet for "lolcats". It passes the time.
Here are some of the better ones i've found...

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Top 10's (Music)

After reading a friends blog, where she listed her top 10 favourite songs, i've decided that I too will list my top 10 songs.
Then I realised that if I were to list my top 10 songs, they'd all be John Mayer songs, which would be pretty boring. (I fucking love that guy!)
So instead, i've decided to list my top 10 favourite artists.
Here we go...

1) John Mayer -
Pretty obvious really, I fucking love this guy.
His songs are all just amazing! His guitar technique and tone is just unreal. They all manage to hit me where I live.

2) Frank Turner -
I was first shown Frank Turner by my friend Reiss. I found his songs catchy and enjoyable. I also enjoy the casual but justified swearing he slips into his lyrics. I also find that his melodies are usually simple, but as a whole, the song is always really complex and interesting. Bravo!

3) Red Hot Chili Peppers -
They're just really funky! The songs are all catchy and enjoyable. But they are also a reminder of what sort of music I listened to when I was younger, before I grew up. A little bit of my youth perhaps...

4) Oasis -
I've always had a special place for Oasis, despite the fact the brothers hate eachothers guts. They were also one of the artists that really "got big" while I was growing up, again, reminding me of my youth.
They're also British, which is an added bonus!

5) Nickelback -
They're so cheesy and shit, but you've just got to love them!
Especially their first album (Silver Side Up), the power and raw guitars are pretty immense. However, they got more "studiofied" as each album came out, until their most recent one, which is mostly studio effects.
However, their songs are so shitty, their likable and addictive! I can't stop listening to them!

6) The Cat Empire -
Another band that my friend Reiss showed me. They've got such a unique sound, which in my eyes, makes them very special. In iTunes, they come under the category of Rock, which I don't think they are. They deserve their own genre!
People living with me last year will better recognise this band as "jew music", as I had a strange addiction to a song that sounded like it should be played at a Bamitzvah!

7) Eminem -
It's strange how my music taste has changed so drastically, as a 4 years ago, I hated Eminem, and near enough most people that listened to his genre of music.
However, now i've matured, i've come to appreciate his music, and how lyrically complex his songs are. I also admire the amount of feeling and personality he puts into each of his songs. You can really feel tha anger in some of his words, despite the fact they aren't said or sung in an angry tone. Amazing!

8) Bruno Mars -
This time last year, I didn't like Bruno Mars either. I was still very much hung up in my "I hate mainstream music" phase. Now i've matured and come out of that, I can appreciate his musical talent more, and actually like listening to his songs.

9) Andy McKee -
An amazing acoustic guitarist. He plays all the sounds found in his songs by himself. For anyone who hasn't seen him play guitar, I strongly reccommend you go and watch him on Youtube. He's insane!
His guitar technique and ability is outstanding!

10) Stevie Wonder -
An absolute fucking legend! His songs make me happy when i'm sad, and can really get me in the mood to go out. His lyrics are amazing, and his stage presence is huge! Watching him on Youtube is so interesting, and makes me proud to be alive and have experienced his music.

These aren't in a particular order (Though John Mayer goes at the top regardless of the others), and they will change every few months when I discover new songs and artists. It'll be interesting to look back in a few months and see how my musical taste has changed again.

Who is your favourite artist?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Lands End to John O' Groats

This trip has always fascinated me. Ever since I first heard about it, the idea of travelling the entire length of Great Britain has just seemed amazing.
I first planned on doing it on a push bike - No easy task.
I then planned on doing it on a motorbike - Slightly easier, but need money for petrol, food and a full motorbike liscence.
Now I plan on doing it on foot.

This is something I want to do, maybe not this year, and maybe not next year. But I want to do it, before I get too old to do it. Before the constraints of a job or a family, or physical condition stop me from doing it.
Plus, given the limited amount of time with fully working eyesight (A completely different story), I want to make the most of it, and see as many amazing things as I possibly can.

I wouldn't be doing this just for the shits and giggles either.
I'd be challenging myself, but i'd also do it for a good cause. If i'm going to put myself through this, I might aswell raise some money for people that need it.

I wouldn't be doing it alone either. I daresay i'd be dragging someone along with me. And I've already got a decent idea of who it would be.

This is going to take alot of logistical planning, but I will do this. I will be leaving home a boy, and return home a fairly well travelled, and more experienced man.
It'll also give me a chance to use the orienteering and wilderness survival skills that I hopefully will have learnt.
Plus i've always wanted to go walking and camping, so what better way to bring all these things together to raise money for a good cause, and have an experience of a lifetime.

Now starts the planning and fitness stage...

Happy New Year!

I woke up this afternoon, and after having a good bacon sandwich, I checked Facebook, whereupon I was met by about 100 status' about how hungover everyone was.
Unfortunately, I was working last night, so did not get to join in the festivities. Equally, today is going to be a family day, so it looks like my new year celebrations will be when I get back to Chester!

Regardless of this, here is a lovely picture I found, which is hopefully what you were all doing last night while enjoying yourselves!
There's always next year!

I hope that 2012 is everything you wish for, and I wish you all the happiness and success in the world.