Saturday, 28 February 2009

They're on a plane right now...

Having Scott, Becca, and Hilary stay was so good.

I was looking forward to it for ages… and now it’s all over. In fact, they’re on a plane right now, travelling back to their own land.

They are seriously such amazing people. I love them all dearly, and hope they know that. They are always happy and smiley, and bring a great spirit with them wherever they go. I’ve learnt from them, and look up to their standards.

Now our house is somewhat more quiet, and my room is much more empty without Scott sleeping here too. It was great to stay up really late, talking, going on Facebook, and hanging out.

It was as much a holiday for us as it was for them – even though we didn’t get to go on their awesome roadtrip with them – and although we didn’t get to do everything we had planned, we had some awesome times. Like the film party; and the gaming; and the sightseeing; and the photography; and going to the Temple; and having milkshakes / smoothies; and… so much more.

I was sad to say goodbye today. I got up waay early for a Saturday, and got ready real fast before heading downstairs to see them before they left…

It was so good to have them stay with us.
I can’t wait to see them again…

Friday, 27 February 2009

Sweet Week In Writing

This past week has been brilliant.

We all went up to London again on Thursday, going on an open top bus around the streets and city, taking in the atmosphere, and getting plenty of shots, as ever. Hilary got to come with this time, which was nice. We stopped at the Globe Theatre and had a look around there, before heading for a ride to Buckingham Palace. Other sites we explored included the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, The Eye, the Thames, and then headed to the West End. We ate in Pizza Express before going to see Phantom of the Opera. It was a great day.

On Friday, we chilled out in the morning, and then went to the Temple. It was so nice. We staying in the grounds getting pictures and walking around, and then went to ate before working. In the Temple, there were some Youth from the South, who were really cool. I enjoyed meeting new people, and chatting with them for a while.
Plus, one of the girls was so cute.

Our friends left on Saturday to tour the UK. Hilary served a mission here, so they went around to all of her areas. I was so sad when they left – even though they were still in the country. I came home from work, and sat in my room listening to music really loud.

The rest of the week was also good. I was really busy on Sunday, but thoroughly enjoyed the day, going from Church, to Home Teaching, to a Youth Missionary Fireside. Monday I was supposed to have surgery on my toe, which was cancelled. I was actually quite disappointed; I really wanted it done and out the way, but it’s not a big deal. We went back to the Temple as a Ward on Tuesday, which was really special again. Plus, I got to find out the names of the kids I met on Friday. Then on Wednesday, I went out bowling with InterAct. We have a new client, Joe, who is really cool, and we’ve joined up with some new kids as well, who are a lot of fun to be with. We were seeing who could get a bowling ball the highest and furthest down the alley… and I won… but it kinda went into the other alley, and I thought I’d broken something… Haha, it was quite funny, but I’m pretty sure everything was okay. Anyway,

Yesterday, we found out Scott, Becca, and Hilary were coming back to stay with us a day early than planned. That made my day. I got home, tidied up, and then chilled out watching a film as we waited for them to come back. Now, Scott’s sitting next to me in college. He came to school with us to see what it was like, and also because we went with him to school in Canada. Here’s what he thinks of it: “On entering the school I was at first scared of being stabbed in one of the corridors, but after about 5 minutes I wasn’t scared anymore. I have already endured a few classes and so far it all seems pretty slack. The year twelves seem to have lots of priviledges and its freaking sweet!” That is legitimately his writing.

Sweet. Gotta go.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

I have so much to write about...

This week has been awesome, although I probably won't ever get round to writing about it properly now. I don't know. It's been waay busy, but waay good. Now I need to rest. Expect posts soon...

Thursday, 19 February 2009

The City For The First Time

We’ve just got back from going into London today.

We got up, and we’re supposed to leave kinda early, but Hilary was sick, and so we stayed home a while longer to see if she’d be okay. Unfortunately, she didn’t feel up to coming with us, so Becca, Scott, Charlotte, Mum and I drove up to London, parked, and made our into the city.

Scott, Becca, and Hilary had never been to London before, so it was a totally new experience for them. We started out by going into the Tower of London, which was pretty good. All the while, Becca and I were taking pictures. We also saw the London Bridge with the road up to let a boat pass, which I’ve never seen before.

After looking around the Tower for a few hours, we went on the Tube to Trafalgar Square, and got some tickets ready for tomorrow / later today. We chilled out around Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, and Picadilly Circus, soaking up the atmosphere, and shooting all the time.

We finished the night off with a meal, where Hilary and Dad joined us, and a showing of Les Miserables, which was as spectacular as ever.

We’re going back to London in the morning, so I should really be off of here now…
01:09 isn’t such a great time to be on the computer when you have to be up in six hours…

[Pictures coming soon…]

A Game Of Two Halves...

Yesterday – well, actually, two days ago now that the clock has past midnight – I went to watch a live professional football game for the first time… I had seriously never seen one before, and have still seen more live volleyball than football, which is seldom heard of from a British teenage boy. Scott doesn’t follow football – excuse me, soccer – either, but wanted to see a proper British match, so it was nice to go along with him for my first match too – Southend v Crewe.

I had my expectations of what it would be like, but kept an open mind. We got to the grounds, and had really good seats, just a couple of rows back. I took my camera with me, and spent most of the match checking my settings, framing, shutter speed, F-points and everything else to make sure I had a decent chance of getting some good shots. The pitch was way smaller than it looks on TV, but I still couldn’t zoom very far, so I relied on the action coming near to the side we were on to get some good shots.

I managed to get some shots decent pics of a yellow card being given, Crewe celebrating, and lots of action shots. Every now and then I would be so pleased with the shot I got, while everyone else is engrossed in the action on the pitch...

The actual football itself was pretty poor. In the end, Crewe won 1 – 0, and Southend were playing awfully. It was funny to see little kids copying what the older kids shout, and also to see elderly people at the game supporting their team. I got some good photos out of it, so I was happy. By the end, the rain was floating down, and we walked back to the car talking about the match…

[Pictures coming soon…]

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Alma 28: 14

"And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing - sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life."

This time, it really made me think...

One thing that has been playing on my mind recently is really how blessed my life is.

As I walked past this homeless guy in London last Tuesday, I had an expensive phone in one pocket, an iPod in the other, money in my bag, more in the bank, food and drink with me, a ticket to see my favourite band, a friend by my side, family at home, the Gospel in my life, and a hopeful future –

He had literally nothing – except the dirty clothes he was wearing and the money in front of him.

I am so lucky, so fortunate, so blessed, to have the life I have. I must never take it for granted, and have to make the most of it. I should take every opportunity I can. And I should probably do a lot more to serve those who need it.

This is getting a bit deep, but I really felt sorry for him, and people in similar situations, like the slums in third world countries. They don’t have such good lives…

This time, it really made me think just how good my life is…

SCOTT - BECCA - HILARY

These are some of the greatest people you’ve ever meet on Earth.

I’ve been so excited for them to come over from Canada for ages. We planned it when we were in Canada back in October, and have been getting them to book flights. They left it and left it, and then one morning, I suddenly got a text through. "WE’RE COMING TO ENGLAND!!!" I was so psyched! They flew in overnight, and arrived in London on Saturday morning, where Dad went to meet them. They came to my work to meet me, and I just heard Scott’s "come on!" as I had my back turned preparing samples. It actually really scared me, but it was funny.

It's so good to have them here. They are seriously so cool, so nice, so funny, so amazing. We went for a walk down the beach, shooting photos Sunday. Monday, we went to shopping, had milkshakes and smoothies, and then sent Mum and Dad out for dinner while we had a pizza and film party. It rocked, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open. They were fine; they’re still jetlagged. They stayed up early this morning watching a movie, but I had to leave and get some sleep.

Today, Scott and I have just been hanging out. We’ve been playing Mirror’s Edge, and got the time trial on Playground One down to 1:01 minutes, rank 12300something. It's been fun. Now, I'm just taking some time out to write this, before we’ll probably play some more or whatnot.

It’s ace. Scott says "Hi" The word below is legitimately him…

Hello

Sweet. That’s all for now…

17/02/09

How has my week been so far?
Very good, thanks for asking.

Ever since the concert on Tuesday, I haven’t stopped thinking about it. It was so good. Oh, and I am in that picture posted below – in the middle. Just keep looking. My ears didn’t stop ringing properly until about the Friday, but that was alright, it wasn’t too bad.

Now it’s half term, which is excellent. Out of college for a week. But I have / had work to do… I’ve had to catch up / redo my whole Drama coursework, which was not fun, but I really really want a decent grade. I sent it off to my teacher yesterday, after working on it for about five hours. Now, I’m just chilling out…

Work on Saturday was alright, but I cut my thumb on some sharp plastic thing on the scales, and burnt my elbow as I was serving on chickens. It was not pleasant. It hurt well bad, but now it’s kinda alright.

Of course, Saturday was Valentine’s Day. We went to a multi-stake dance, which wasn’t very good, but I danced with a cute girl or two, which was nice. I sent out a little something, and got a couple of sweet things, but nothing too serious.

I’m just glad for a break now.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

GIG VIDEO! - FTSK 10/02/09

Forever The Sickest Kids intro and Believe Me, I'm Lying, live at the O2 Academy Islington on the 10th February 2009. It was an absolutely immmense gig. Sorry that this vid is only short, but my phone ran out of battery. Best line in the intro: "abilities that would even make the Jonas Brothers cry..."

GIG CROWD! - FTSK 10/02/09

During the IMMMENSE concert on Tuesday, Jonthan took pictures of the crowd from the stage. This pic is from their Myspace. See if you can find me in the pit...
(Hint: I'm kinda in the middle)

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Forever The Sickest Kids: Live In London - Part II

The concert last night was IMMMENSE.

I saw Forever The Sickest Kids Live at The Underworld in Camden last year, and it was the best gig I’d ever been to. That was why I was so excited to see them again.

Fran and I went up to London on the train that afternoon, listening to music, writing on our bodies, and taking pictures along the way. We got to Angel Station, and found our way to Islington Academy by about 5.30. The queue was round the corner already, but there weren’t many people in front of us, so settled down for the wait before doors opened. We called Ciara – who we met at The Underworld – and Jake, Ross, El, Lou, and that crew, to let them know we were here already. I started eating my high energy food, including a 195g bag of Skittles to get me hyper.

While we were sitting there, Fran suddenly jumped up and shouted "Jonathan!" I jumped up so fast and so excited, and met the singer of my favourite band… He is so cool. I met him before at The Underworld, but didn’t really know who he was back then. I’m so glad Fran saw him walking past. We said "Hi", told him we were at The Underworld, and had a picture with him. The next band members to come out were Marc and Kent, but they went off to get food, and didn’t come back before we had gone inside, but he spoke to me! He said: "Yeah, sure, but we’re just gonna get some food, and we'll be right back." Then we met Caleb, who plays guitar and sings, and had a pic with him too. Apparently he got in a fight recently, which is why he has black eyes… Jonathan came back, and was hanging out, signing tickets, chatting to fans. I took the chance to get my tickets signed, and spoke to him again. Plus, he had some of Skittles, which I think is really cool. For some reason, we [the group] were talking about his mum, and he said: "My mom… makes cute babies" What a legendary comment…

So, we had seen four of the six Sick Kids before we even got in. Doors opened real soon, and we went inside, bought merch, changed our clothes, put our bags in the cloakroom, and waited for the rest of our friends to join us before going into the pit.

We managed to push our way to the front before the first support band – Furthest Drive Home – came onstage. I have never seen such an intense mosh pit to the first support band. It was great. I jumped in. The band was really good, and definitely got the crowd warmed up. I had to go get drinks for myself and everyone before the next band came on, and got to push to the bar, get the drinks, and push my way back to everyone. Even when there were no bands on stage, the crowd was moving from side to side, people pushing, and falling over each other. Danger Radio were on next, and their set went on for a long time. They were pretty good, but I preferred the first band. After them, security handed out more much needed water.
I was already sweating at this point, and the headliners weren’t even on.

After an awesome voiceover intro, Forever The Sickest Kids came onstage, and exploded the room with 'Believe Me, I’m Lying', followed by 'Catastrophe'. Everyone went crazy, and I went all out jumping, singing, and trying to keep my place at the front. They played 'Phone Call', 'Breakdown', 'My Worst Nightmare', 'I Don’t Know About You But I Came To Dance', 'Men In Black', and 'Becky Starz' in whatever random order. They are such an awesome band, and have a laugh on stage together. Jonathan climbed up the lighting scaffolding at one point, and jumped onto the speakers, singing from there, and pointing the mic to the balcony before climbing back down. They told us how sexy we all are, taught us some "English", like "callabunga", "howdy" and "yippee", and proved that they are playing real instruments, unlike some of the guys that lipsync nowadays. They hyped the audience up to tell us a story that "happened last night". Jonathan was saying, "I’ll tell you a story", before Austin butted in "No, man, not now", and another band members said "It’ll get out anyway, you might as well". Well, it went something like this: "So we where driving along yesterday, and saw Denzel Washington. That’s a pretty big thing, so we just carried on to where we were going. Once we got there, a lady walked out of the building called Brittany…" Everyone cheered. The whole story was just an intro for 'Hey Brittany', which is amazing. They finished on 'Woah Oh (Me Vs. Everyone)', and then encored with 'She’s A Lady'. The sweaty, stuffy, electric atmosphere was incredible throughout the whole night. I didn’t want it to finish.










The music was brilliant, the performance was amazing, and the concert was… just… phenomenal. We left the pit, my back, legs, and knees aching, dripping in sweat, thirsty, and tired, but it was incredible. We said goodbye to everyone, and chilled out on the way home… It’s all over now, but my ears are still ringing from the sound, and I have awesome pictures, videos, and memories of the night. It was IMMMENSE.

Monday, 9 February 2009

09/02/09

My weekend was pretty good.

Friday afternoon, I went driving with Mum. It’s was really nice, and my skills are coming along pretty well. We didn’t do anything too intense, we just drove around the Cardrome for practise. It was still slushy down there from the snow last week, so I had to drive real careful, and actually skidded on the crud as I turned a corner.
That evening, everyone was supposed to be going out, but then none of my friends did, which left me home alone while the rest of my family went out to socialize. I tried to fill my time wisely, and did some Business coursework and whatnot.

Saturday was spent at work. It’s so good now that I’ve moved departments, and I actually get to serve customers, and talk to them, and always be busy doing something. I actually really enjoy it.
I got to call Megan for the first time this year that evening, and we had an excellent chat. Meg, you are so much fun to talk to! We spoke about random things, like Maths and macro pics, but it was great. I do hope I get to see you and Sid this summer. Just don’t stalk us if I take Sidney out on a date, please. Haha…

Sunday was a lot of fun. After Church, we went round to Jake’s house, for a really nice roast. Afterwards, we chilled in his ace room and hung out, watching a bit of a film, playing a bit of a game, listening to music. I only ever see him at work or Stake things, so it was cool to chill with him… Hey Jacob!

Today, I got Internet back on my laptop! I now appreciate it even more.

FTSK tomorrow. I am so excited.

I have to go now… I need energy for the gig, mate…

Thursday, 5 February 2009

05/02/09

This week, sixth form has been on 'study leave', because we have mock exams this week. Why we have exams this week I do not know; we just had our real modular exams… It’s been quite pointless, and I don’t feel like I’ve got much done, but I should be enjoying the break. Back to timetable next week.

I’m so excited for next week... The kind of excitement where you just want to jump around and shout. In fact, that’s what I should be doing in around 123 hours, give or take 10 minutes. Forever The Sickest Kids are back in London for one night only… Sweeet. I can’t wait. Plus, my best friends from Canada – Scott, Becca, and Hilary – are coming over that weekend, which is going to be immense. We’re gonna party every night.

Anyway, this week. It’s been quite good I guess. Just a bit odd. There hasn’t been many people in each day, with just a few friends in the common room. Today, Teddybwoiii and I played on his iPhone for a while, making up funny sentences to guess on Hangman, one of the best being "little sack bwoiiii", referring to the character out of Little Big Planet. I’m actually looking forward to going back to regular timetable, to see all my friends again. Lunchtimes and stuff have been so quiet. We need to chill together. Should be going out tomorrow night – if I get to the right restaurant this time! That was so funny last week. Oh, and another quite-annoying-but-not-enough-to-get-worked-up-about item – because we had snow on Monday, so had the day off, they’ve brought any exams from that day to tomorrow. I was gonna have a nice day off tomorrow, but no. Never mind.

I think that’s enough random blogging for one afternoon. I’ll go do some work now. See y’all.

Oh oh oh wait. Megan and Sidney, your video was amazing! I've watched it twice. Ok, I lie – I’ve watched my section twice. It makes me laugh. “Merry Christmas” is fine to say by the way. You two are brilliant. I look forward to the sequel!


Okay, bye…

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

More Snow in Britain

We don’t get much of it in England, but on Monday, we had the best / worst snowstorm this country has seen in 18 years – depending on how you look at it. The constant flurry of beautiful white flakes was mesmerizing on Sunday night, and continued while we slept, leaving a blanket of glistening, pure white snow, shining in the morning, waiting to be rolled in, thrown, walked through, or simply admired.

The fresh 10 inches of snow meant a well-earned day off college, to chill out. We waited and waited to find out if we had to go into school or not, but thankfully we didn’t. My sister and I went out to enjoy the snow and ice for a while in the morning, sliding down the road, and trudging through the paths, until we got so cold, we had to come back in. I tried to use the day as a unique photo opportunity, too, but had to stop when fresh snowflakes were falling onto my DSLR.

The whole country grinded to a halt as people didn’t try too hard to get to work or school, but enjoyed the weather together. For other countries who get snow a lot, the whole situation probably seemed pathetic, but we’re not prepared for this extreme weather, so just take it as it comes. Already it’s melting, and today even school was open, so I had to go in and face a General Studies mock exam, which wasn’t too fun.

This morning was so beautiful. The sun was shining, reflecting off of the snow that was left. The air was fresh and cool, and sky was clear. It was so nice but now, already, the snow is melting into crud, and getting dangerous. I stacked it right nice walking into the exam this morning, and as Dad drove this evening, he hit ice on a corner, and nearly collided with a vehicle on the other side of the road, using immense skills to straighten the car.

Here are some pics.










Children playing in the snow, throwing snowballs at each other, really enjoying the day. That’s all we’ll get for a while. It was good while it lasted. I can’t wait to go skiing, and see real snow…

Internet Explorer...

...on my laptop is not working!

It's very annoying. I'm having to use a different computer to go on the Internet. One day, fine, next day, nothing. No, it's not the Wifi switch, there is literally a fault somewhere along the line. I've taken to playing the Playstation to fill my Internet time, which proves very entertaining. I forgot how amazing Mirror's Edge is.
At the moment I have no Internet, no iTunes, so downloads, and I can't just "quickly check" something on the machine I know and love. Hopefully it will get fixed, soon.