The Store.

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“Where ya headed?” asked the store owner, his ugly mug grinning as though he knew something we didn’t. Information was precious however in these harsh and uncertain times so I answered vaguely “East” and left it at that.

The grin vanished and a scowl appeared in its place “What d’ya think you’ll find there? Happiness or something?”

“Or something sounds good to me” I quipped.

The scowl deepened, he didn’t appreciate my humour or the lack of information I seemed willing to share. I then remembered the reason we’d visited this run down shack in the first place “Hey handsome, you gonna sell us that converter we need or just ask dumb questions?”

With no gossip forthcoming he seemed done with us, as though the business transaction that had brought us here were of no importance now. It sure was important to us, without that part we wouldn’t be going any further into the ruined lands.

He rubbed his big square chin with one hand and eyed me suspiciously before answering “Yeah I got one…but it won’t do you no good see…”

I refrained from answering verbally but glared at him until he elaborated further. His eyes averted ours and became fixed on some random point just over my shoulder, as though some awful scene were being played out just for him. His voice wavered as he cautioned “Nothing good lives out that way…only devils and monsters! Slow suffering and death await to the east…y’all seem like good people…turn back while you still can!”

“Perhaps we’ve come to clean up this land…enough of the doom give us the part and we’ll be off!”

Whilst shaking his over-sized head disappointingly, the store owner ambled over to the far end of the counter and from a low shelf he retrieved a scuffed and worn metal suitcase. He slammed it on the counter with total disregard for the vital components that lay within.

I clicked open the catches to inspect the goods, our engineer Diaz nodded and began cursing in Spanish, a sure sign that the parts were good.

The store owner laughed himself silly as he held out a palm “That’ll be five thousand dollars and you have to cough up before you leave cuz I won’t be seeing you dumbasses ever again…not once the badlands have swallowed y’all up!” he doubled over in mirth at his own funny joke.

Upon straightening himself up he saw that only he had been laughing…once he could see past the barrel of my pistol! To say he looked surprised would be putting it mildly and he tried to speak but could only stutter.

“Just so you know old man…there ain’t nothing out there that’s as evil as we are so don’t you worry we’ll be fine!”

We were already headed for the door by the time his bullet riddled body hit the floor…you just can’t trust anyone these days!

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The Future is yours

It felt strange to be in school stoned, again! Only this time the fear of being caught was absent, much like I had been in that final (IMPORTANT) GCSE year. There were to be no consequences for starry eyes on this occasion, just a slip of paper from a secretary and I was on my way. I’d like to say that I savored those final school moments, breathed in the musty odour of old books and school kids damp from the incessant Valleys rain but I’d be lying. I tore open my GCSE results, my shoulders sagged once I realised that 100 missed days and no revision HAD made a detrimental difference to my achievements and then I left the school grounds for the very last time.

I left in a hurry, eager for adulthood that was going to be a breeze compared to the rigors of secondary education. For me to even have thought that, even at sixteen years old shows what a naive, away-with-the-fairies shit-head I truly was. I strolled home under a fog of Cannabis that gradually lifted as I covered the mile and a half from Treorchy comprehensive to deepest, darkest Pentre. Mam was hard at work in a local factory while Dad covered the motorways of Britain at the wheel of a heavy goods lorry, both were safe in the knowledge that I was busy trawling the local businesses and factories for employment. If they had known that I was sat in front of Gran Turismo on the PlayStation drinking tea and smoking reefer, it’s fair to say they would have hit the roof.

I’d smoked half a doobie, drank my sugary tea and then tore around the virtual race tracks of the world, cursing the Laguna Seca corkscrew corner along the way. It was when I paused the game and lit up the second half of the spliff that it all hit me smack in the guts. It was mid August and it was mid summer holidays but for once it was not mid six weeks holidays. There was no going back to school…for me…ever again! I tried in vain to blow smoke hoops (something I never mastered in 15 years of smoking) whilst gazing at my results slip, just to check whether they looked any better. They didn’t!

Dreams of university and a career in archaeology had long since departed, although to be honest they were dreams of an Indiana Jones lifestyle and not realistic aspirations at all. When Baldrick appeared on Channel 4 hosting Time Team, a career of digging trenches in the rain somewhere in Britain whilst wearing a dreadful pull-over did not seem appealing in the slightest. Where were the rolling boulders and colourful baddies??

Parents and teachers preached about working hard in school and how it would pay off later in life and I laughed, as naive young know-it-alls do. Only now in my thirties I look back and wish that I had heeded that very advice. The same advice I’m now dishing out to my 8 year old son and soon will be to my year old daughter, I just hope that they are smarter than I was and that they listen.

For 22 years I have worked either exhausting building site jobs or mundane factory work,mostly the latter. The guys I work with are great and the pay keeps a roof over our heads but as for job satisfaction there is absolutely zero. The dream job these days is to be an author which is something I have been working at for around 8 years. working towards such a goal only in spare time though is really tough. Life throws up obstacles that derail the writing process but the biggest hurdle has got to be the day job. The Forty hours per week that I spend on the factory floor making products that I cannot afford to buy are forty hours that I am unable to write. Forty hours wasted but as nobody else is volunteering to pay the mortgage that’s just how it’s got to be, for now.

Hopefully one day, one glorious day in the not too distant future the ‘ day job’ will be writing but even if that doesn’t happen I will continue in my spare time, plugging away. The original (foolish) aim was to make a fortune but very quickly I realised that telling a story that people read, that they get, is far more important. There are times when I wish that I’d known in school that one day I’d want to be a writer and actively aimed for that through qualifications but then I wouldn’t be me, not the ‘me’ I am today anyway.

Hopefully being ‘me’ will be enough for readers to want to read what I have to say, to appreciate the worlds that I build. That’s all any of us can hope for really.

Listening has never been better.

The platform of podcasting has been around for a number of years, the term ‘podcast’ being invented by a journalist in early 2004. I first heard that there was such a thing when the Ricky Gervais podcast exploded into popularity many years ago, I didn’t listen to it at the time but have since heard many clips and watched the animated series that spawned from it. Up until about eight months ago I never really paid attention to the world of podcasts but since August 2017 I have been addicted. I realise that I am very late to the party but then I usually am, I’m okay with that. I get there in the end.

These days of course we do not just have to make do with purely audio as platforms such as YouTube and Twitch allow the visual side of the podcast to be broadcast live as well, and if you miss the live show the audio is available  for free download, forever. Most people are fully prepared to pay full price for entertainment but the fact that the majority of podcasts are available free is surely a driving force behind their ever climbing popularity. The entertainment value is only one reason to tune in, there are many factual podcasts where you can learn all manner of things as well as specialised sports podcasts that keep listeners up to date on the latest goings on.

The uncrowned king of podcasting is the UFC commentator and stand-up comedian Joe Rogan whose JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE podcast has over 2 million subscribers on YouTube and is downloaded from his website between 100-120 million times per episode. Far from being the knucklehead republican MMA commentator that many people assume he is, Joe is a very intelligent, reasonable and open minded guy. Both his guests and his subject matters are very diverse from MMA, comedy, science and innovation, psychology, sociology to just people who have led very extraordinary lives. Most of the topics covered would never be okay’d by the board members of a big T.V. company, a fact mister Rogan is well aware of. There is no mandate or agenda, he has guests that he wants to talk to and covers subjects that are either of interest to him or that he wants to learn more about. Many of his episodes are far more educational than many of the shows on the documentary channels, others are just plain enjoyable which is what makes the podcast so popular.

Such is the high esteem that Joe Rogan holds the podcast format that when he has an interesting guest on his show he often advises them to start their own podcast, something many of those guests have gone on to do. Former U.S. Navy Seal and all round motivational badass Jocko Willink is one such guest who now hosts the Jocko podcast that cannot fail to motivate you into doing something worthwhile with your time as well as highlighting the stories of many unsung war heroes from past and present. Another service Jocko provides is detailing how effective good leadership can be and also how devastating poor leadership can be. Three of his episodes cover the Japanese destruction of Nanking, the massacre at My Lai in Vietnam and the actions of a group of German policemen detailed in the book Ordinary men, gut wrenching and heart breaking stuff to say the least.

Other guests, some of whom also went on to host their own podcasts and were very interesting were Russell Brand (surprisingly), clinical psychologist and free speech advocate Jordan Peterson, Mycologist Paul Stamets, journalist, author and filmaker Sebastian Junger, psychologist Stephen Pinker, former 6 time Mr Olympia Dorian Yates and saviour of the oceans Boyan Slat. Super interesting and educational podcasts I urge you to go check them out as well as Professor Brian cox’s INFINITE MONKEY CAGE and STARTALK from Neil Degrasse Tyson.

Podcast’s don’t have to boast thousands of followers or millions of downloads to justify your time and some of the smaller ones are well worth an hour or two. Many start out with a theme or a subject but as the conversations progress the chat turns to life in general, something that is relevant to us all.

If you are into gaming or streaming of any kind I recommend you check out the HITCHING POST podcast which is a couple of guys chatting about the stuff that interests them such as retro gaming, streaming on twitch and of course life in general. It is a really humorous podcast that is free from agenda’s or the pressure from advertisers. There are personal bias of course, such as a disdain of Sony and an unnatural love of all things SHENMUE but then we all have things we love and things we hate, that’s just being human.

Whatever you happen to be interested in there will be a podcast out there waiting for you, it’s all there if you just go and look for it. You won’t be sorry. I have over 900 songs saved in my phone but in work during the days I always listen to podcasts and I have learned so much from them in the process. Even if you’re not into learning, just listening to people chat about what interests them is enjoyable and can spur you into taking up a new hobby or into changing your life for the better. That’s got to be worth listening to, surely.

Ridley’s Universe.

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Friday the 5th of May 2017 saw the premiere of the movie Alien Covenant and I am outrageously excited to see this latest episode in the Human vs homicidal Xenomorph saga that began in 1979. I love all of the movies, even Resurrection (the ropey one with Ron Perlman and Winona Ryder) and that includes the versus Predator spin-offs. This new installment has me so captivated that I am even going to the cinema with a friend to watch it. I did of course ask my fiance first but she replied with “Aliens! No way, grow up!” which roughly means ‘No thanks love you go and enjoy yourself.’

To put the magnitude of this release into context the last time I went to the cinema for purely selfish reasons was to see the Dark Knight back in 2008! I have been many times since but that has been to satisfy my son’s imagination and has been to see a raft of animated and live action movies. Some have been great such as Big Hero Six, the Jungle Book reboot and more recently the Lego Batman Movie and the excellent Guardians of the Galaxy 2. On the flip-side however there has also been the SpongeBob square pants movie which is ingrained on my psyche like an embarrassing episode from my youth that will just not go away…ever!

My first experience of this universe was in about 1990 (When I was 10!) when I watched Aliens, James Cameron’s action packed 1986 sequel to Ridley Scott’s masterpiece. At the time I didn’t even know that it was a sequel until a boy in my class at school told me about the original Alien. The next day he brought in an original VHS that I watched straight after school and loved so much that I did not want to return the tape, I did eventually and begrudgingly take it back. Both movies feature the same heroine and the same creature but they are vastly different, one atmospheric and filled with suspense and the other fast paced and a thrill-a-minute. Both are classics and will always be in my top 10 of all time.

1992 saw the release of Alien 3 and luckily for 12 year old me there just happened to be a local cinema that would let anyone in to see any film no matter what age you happened to be. The cinema was so chilled that in 1991 when I was 11 they let me and a friend in to watch FREDDY’S DEAD THE FINAL NIGHTMARE! Freddy Krueger at 11 for heaven’s sake even though it was clearly certified 18! Not that I cared at the time but looking back and with a child of my own it just seems crazy. Freddy would scar my boy for life, even Scooby Doo is too much for him just before bed, he is only 6 though.

Alien 3 was and still is epic (even though the director’s cut that I have on DVD is far superior), especially to my 12 year old eyes and I have loved that film ever since. Watching it on the big screen only enhanced it’s effect and that is why I will certainly be watching this newest one in the nearest Odeon. Even though Prometheus got some stick from some fans I thought it was great and I cannot wait to see this follow up. It has all the necessary ingredients (although obviously Sigourney Weaver is hard to top) Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender and the greatest movie creature there has ever been.

The term ‘an alien’ can refer to all manner of species dreamed up by science fiction writers and movie makers but ‘the Alien’ can only mean one thing. The murderous Xenomorph with acid for blood has been with us for 37 years thanks to Ridley and the artist H.R.Giger. Let’s hope that it is with us for many more years to come.

Four grands worth of gold.

There are many types of movies out there for us to enjoy such as the mega budget blockbuster starring the biggest names that Hollywood has to offer, these films collect the largest box office takings and appear in the media the most which is hardly surprising given the wads of cash that follow these productions. There are other movies that are smaller in scale and budget but still carry the perfect teeth of some heavyweight veteran of the silver screen that adds some bulk to the smaller picture.

Next we have the truly independent film that whilst being entertaining also tries to make stars of a host of unknown actors, writers, directors etc. These movies are truly a favorite of mine because they tend to be more story and character driven and less dependent on a succession of special effects and explosions.

The digital age however has enabled a new generation of film-makers to be able to tell their stories in a way that was never possible before. Editing software for home computers and a range of sophisticated hand held recording devices allow the film making process to be attempted and indeed achieved to a high level by people who could not have found this possible in the past. With such equipment readily available the cost of the film making process can be massively reduced which opens the door for a new phenomenon, the micro-budget production.

These smaller budgets of a few thousand can be procured through the process of crowd funding by utilizing sites such as Kickstarter where we (the ordinary public) are encouraged to pledge a few pounds or bucks towards the projects that grab our attention. The crowd funding process is an excellent way to raise funds in order to get certain projects off the ground and to also get the fans involved by allowing them to help finance the movie/novel/album or whatever catches their eye in exchange for certain perks and rewards.

This brings me onto one such feature film called THIRD CONTACT which can be viewed on YouTube for free and absolutely should be…by everyone, in my opinion. Shot in black and white and brimming with atmosphere the film is a character driven Sci-fi that keeps you guessing and on edge from the first scene all the way to the last. A psychiatrist suffering from his own internal turmoil starts to look further into the apparent suicides of some of his patients. His search leads him down a dark and sinister path! I will not give too much away regarding the plot because i hope you will go straight to YouTube and watch for yourselves.

THIRD CONTACT comes from the mind of London film-maker Simon Horrocks and is the debut feature of his BODY DOUBLE FILMS production company. Using a meagre £4000 of crowd funded cash and thanks to a great story he has produced a truly great movie that is as entertaining as anything from across the pond, in many cases even more so. The little known but very capable actors perform expertly and the camera work is also stylish and professional. The most admirable aspect is that the finished product does not reek of a £4000 project, they could have spent £400,000 and you would not question where the money had been spent.

Please check out BODY DOUBLE FILMS on YouTube and also @sihorrock on Twitter for updates on further projects, he also has an excellent Sci-fi series under his belt called KOSMOS which is intriguing and entertaining and a follow up novel called A RACE OF MINDS which is available on Amazon and I am about to start reading myself.

One of the best things about THIRD CONTACT is the hope that it gives to others about what can be achieved with a good idea and a relatively small amount of cold hard cash. Greatness does not have to come at a price…a few thousand should do just fine.

Treat us like adults SKY we deserve some truth!

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Before I begin this rant I would just like to say that I am a paying customer of Sky television and am very happy with the service I receive and the company as a whole but I do have a few reservations concerning the sports division. For a start there is the wholesale monopolizing of the sport coverage world that means that any sporting event worth watching has to be paid for at a monthly premium. Weekly football, rugby, Formula 1, Ufc, golf, cricket and boxing events are spread across either Sky sports or BT sport with very little left for customers who cannot afford 20+ pounds per month just for sport!

This month’s annoyance comes from the Sky sports boxing team that in the name of drumming up business fails to paint an honest picture of the upcoming bouts and grossly over estimates how close these fights are going to be. I have to praise both Sky and Boxnation for bringing the world of boxing to the U.K. and for allowing us to see big American fights live. I can remember when I was a young kid in the mid eighties when these big fights were just not available until days later or sometimes not at all, sometimes the only report you got was a few lines in the newspaper. The same goes for the Ultimate fighting championship that is broadcast live on BT sport, a far cry from its early days in the late nineties when it had to be viewed on jumpy, unreliable VHS tapes that were like gold dust to acquire.

Sky sport has forged a very close relationship with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom boxing that has given British fighters some remarkable opportunities where many have won world titles and had great worldwide success. Fair play to Eddie he has made these brave warriors very well off financially indeed and given us some great fights but some of his matchmaking has been woeful at best. A great deal of these boxing events are shown on Sky Box Office that adds £15.99 per event to the Sky sports subscription of £24 per month, for that money people expect a lot of bang for their buck. To flesh out the night of boxing a substantial undercard of fights is arranged to compliment the main event but some of the opponents leave a lot to be desired. A great number of up and coming British fighters and well known veterans are wheeled out for these undercards but the ropey eastern European and south American journeymen that they face are usually too poorly equipped with skills and desire to last even a few rounds. Obviously Eddie Hearn wants his guys to win and be successful but we want to see them tested and not just turned out for a glorified sparring session which happens time and time again.

A worrying trend lately has seen even the main events become horrible mismatches that are masqueraded as genuine 50/50 dust-ups. Through no fault of his own Kell Brook the Sheffield welterweight has been at the centre of a number of these one sided snooze fests. The first two, Jo Jo Dan and Kevin Bizier were the number one contenders for Brook’s IBF title and so were necessary bouts even though both opponents were horribly outclassed but then we come to GGG! Kell Brook deserves massive props for stepping up two weight classes to face the middleweight destroyer Gennady Golovkin but we all knew that he stood no chance…didn’t we?

I knew that Brook would not last six rounds against the smiling but brutal Kazakh and so did all the other boxing fans amongst my friends and colleagues but the Sky boxing team had other ideas! Johnny Nelson, Carl ‘I fought in front of 8o,00o at Wembley’ Froch and Hearn himself all gave Brook not just a chance but the edge over the middleweight king! I know they have to sell the fight to the paying public but please…come on…really! Anyone who had ever seen a boxing match before knew that Brook was seriously out of his depth. It was always a question of how long he would last and not if he could win and no amount of so called expert analysis was going to convince me otherwise.

The Anthony Joshua vs Eric Molina fight is another case in point and another massive mismatch. Molina is a terribly out of shape second rate fighter who was lucky to get his first title shot (which he lost!) and certainly does not warrant a second tilt at world glory but I suppose it is the Heavyweight division and one punch can change any fight.Again though I have to berate Eddie Hearn for not choosing a more capable opponent such as the New Zealander Joseph Parker, Bulgarian giant Kubrat Pulev or the dangerous Russian Alexander Povetkin. These opponents would be tough but I think AJ would do just fine.

The final fly in the ointment and perhaps a bigger mismatch than Brook vs Golovkin is the upcoming David Haye vs Tony Bellew fight in March. I must confess that I am looking forward to seeing Bellew get knocked out but he should not be sharing a ring with Haye under any circumstances. I honestly don’t see Bellew reaching round 3 but already the team Sky experts have been bigging up Bellew’s chances of pulling off a stunning victory! Not in a month of sundays!!! The saddest part is the predictability of it all. When Bellew gets knocked out and it is all over he will stand in the ring and say that he’s not really a heavyweight (which we all know) but he is still the best cruiserweight on the planet (which he isn’t ahem…Usyk, Gassiev, Lebedev, Huck, etc) and the Sky/ Hearn gravy train will roll on to the next big mismatch! 

The downside of downtime.

One of the biggest problems I face in my life as an aspiring author is the lack of writing time than is on offer to me, there simply isn’t enough. The word ‘aspiring’ should tell you that I am not yet (if ever) earning an income solely from writing and as a result have to hold down a day job which is a great way to eat up forty hours of any given week. Then you have to add commuting which is another forty minutes per day or three hours and twenty minutes per week!

After work come the best hours of the day, the ones spent with my son and fiancee and a time when writing has to take a back seat. After our evening meal, a hot bath and once my 6 year old has finally gone to sleep I can then whip out the aging Dell laptop and take to the keyboard like Little Richard on a piano. Usually I start at about 8 o’clock and continue through until 11 or 12 but during those 3-4 hours my attention does get dragged to the lady of the house and to the television which is fine but does eat up time.

Even at the weekend I only have those few nighttime hours in which to create something hopefully intriguing and exciting, this has an upside and a down. The upside is that almost every single evening is spent on Microsoft word as I try to cram as much into my few hours as is humanly possible. Writing night after night however leaves little time for anything else, by this I of course mean ‘man time’. There are evenings when there is a family occasion or if we are out for any reason and of course no writing gets done although it is always at the back of the mind…always.

Free time used to consist of many things before the need to write forced its way into my life and took over completely, things that still interest me but have taken a back seat for a few years now. There is simply too much media to choose from!

On those odd occasions when I do decide to forego writing for the evening the options open to me are vast, unfamiliar and daunting. Sitting under the television is a SKY+ box with a planner filled with hours of recorded movies and television shows, billions of dollars of entertainment to tantalize the senses and imagination but alas some will be deleted simply to make room for more! Some of the U.S shows such as the Walking dead and the Game of Thrones cannot be missed and are watched by me at the hour of broadcast but others are recorded (the Strain, Outcast, Westworld) and then binge watched at a later date, some however take up too much space and are sadly deleted…forever (or until a rerun).

Over a hundred Dvd’s are stacked in racks upstairs and not one has been played ever since I began jotting down the ramblings from within my skull and the same can be said of the tub of Xbox 360 games that are gathering dust under my bed…thick dust. Then there is YouTube which can be lethal in the world of wasting time as perusing a simple 3 minute video can snowball into a three hour marathon of classic boxing, idiots falling over and other assorted entertaining nonsense.

There are dozens of books here in both traditional paper and Ebook format that will be read and are being slowly but surely, they call out from the shelves with exciting covers begging to be read. The internet is another great way to eat up time as well from checking the football/rugby scores to browsing Amazon to almost anything else, that too can snowball until the battery in your smartphone is dead or two hours has gone and it is time for bed.

There is too much choice for an indecisive soul such as me and so in the end when I do get a few hours that I have chosen not to dedicate to writing I usually sit there for an hour trying to decide what to do e.g. Telly, Xbox, movie, book or online and when I cannot make up my mind I just sit there flicking through the Sky channels until I find something interesting or funny or sometimes I find a movie that is already half way through. Sometimes I find nothing and after a few minutes of Twitter I go to bed wishing I had knuckled down and written a page or two. 

Catching the bug.

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Even several hours of torrential driving rain could not dampen the spirits down at the Brewery field in Bridgend for the Welsh Principality league clash between Bridgend Ravens and Pontypridd RFC. I was there to support a friend of mine from work Kyle Evans who spent the afternoon packing down in the second row for Bridgend and did a marvellous job I might add. The ravens seem to be the perpetual underdogs who were given very little chance of victory against the mighty Pontypridd who have won the league for four consecutive seasons before losing out last season, against the script they came mightily close to claiming the spoils.

This was my third time to watch Bridgend up close, the first time during this regular season and for a young team they played very well especially against the very experienced Pontypridd who boasted former Welsh international fly half Ceri Sweeney and are coached by former Wales stars Robert Sidoli and Garin Jenkins. For almost the whole first half Pontypridd were on the offensive and the Ravens had to put up a desperate but solid defence that only briefly crumbled at about 35 minutes. The championship hopefuls went in at half time 10-3 up.

For some inexplicable reason Pontypridd substituted some of their most industrious forwards while Bridgend brought on two guys in the front row who turned the scrum on its head. The Pontypridd fans did not enjoy seeing their forwards pushed all over the park at all. Another try for the visitors and an excellent kick and chase try for the home side followed by a penalty from the Ravens no.10 Joe Scrivens left the score at 15-13 to Pontypridd. A truly heartbreaking moment occurred less than 10 minutes from the end when the previously mentioned Scrivens broke free of the Pontypridd defence and only had to run straight for the try line. The magic moment was ruined however when an unseen force (probably a rogue piece of torn up turf) brought the rampaging no.10 down as though felled by a sniper. The ball was soon turned over and the opportunity gone forever. The whole contingent of Bridgend fans (including myself) were fed faced and screaming at the breakaway only to be crestfallen moments later. Our spirits were left shredded at the final whistle at what could have been!

Pontypridd looked far from title contenders while the Ravens youngsters did themselves proud on a wet and windy 1st of October afternoon. The conditions threatened to play the biggest part of the whole affair but the game was not adversely affected. For an entry fee of £10 I cannot think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon, for a rugby fan of course.

Ever since the introduction of regional rugby the franchises the Cardiff blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and the Dragons have eaten up the media coverage here in Wales while the very clubs that feed those Pro-12 giants have been largely forgotten by the mass public. Pontypridd enjoy an abnormally large following and the results have reflected that statistic but the teams like Bridgend who have a fantastic set up down at the Brewery are forced to struggle on with a weekly gate of a few hundred to feed the coffers. What they are able to achieve on such a budget is remarkable, just look at Bridgends Swalec cup final victory over Pontypridd in 2015 as a testament. Giant slayings are rare but they do happen, the Ravens just fell short yesterday but only just.

The point of this entry is just to say that I have never really followed any team in particular, apart from the Treorchy Zebras in the mid nineties, but I have been a fan of all Welsh rugby general. Two visits to the Brewery field and a bit of attacking flair and I was transformed into a foaming at the mouth lunatic, yelling “Come on Bridge!” at the top of my voice, complete with bulging neck veins. I desperately wanted the Ravens to win yesterday especially given that they were massive underdogs (and we Brits are a sucker for an underdog aren’t we) and was left in despair when the final whistle blew.

Needless to say I shall be visiting the Brewery field again, maybe wearing the blue and white of Bridgend next time.

Come on Bridge!

Dipping the toe.

Hello…anybody there? This is my first entry into the world of blogging and really all I’m here to say for now is to outline briefly what sort of nonsense I’ll be posting in the coming months. I am currently on the journey (gah that sounds so cheesy) to hopefully one day becoming a fully fledged published author although that seems a long way off at the moment. I have one self published title currently for sale on Amazon, a short story collection called A Dozen Tales of Misfortune although it has been doing reasonably well it is not exactly a best seller, I am proud of it nonetheless. The plan is to document the ups and downs of my hobby/fledgling career as well as to vent my thoughts and viewpoints concerning a number of topics that interest me such as current affairs, books I’ve loved or hated, films/ Tv I’ve seen and a number of sports that interest me such as rugby, boxing and MMA. Football is discussed and analyzed enough so I think I’ll leave that to others more qualified than myself. I am hardly an expert on the other topics but an amateur opinion is still an opinion so if you ever need to read the musings or rantings of a 36 year old Welshman I’ll see you soon.

Thanks.