My last family meal with Mum, Andrew, Sharon and Nichola. We had an early Christmas meal as I was to be in Australia and Andrew and Sharon in Glasgow for the real thing. A great meal followed by games and complimented by much drinking.
I have been extremely busy since I last updated the news section of Cool as… I wont bore you with all the details, as I don’t have the time or the inclination. So here’s the condensed version:
The day after V Festival (21/08/06) drove down to Cornwall with Steve, Lee and Indy for four days of surfing etc… See the Photos for more. Had an excruciating 8 hour drive back, helped out by Steve Smith. Although my car did not appreciate his Schumacher style of driving.
Next day (27/08/06) I headed to Reading Festival with Pete, my brother Andrew and his wife Sharon. Excellent day, highlights included: Forward Russia, Broken Social Scene, Placebo and Pearl Jam. Fantastic to finally see Pearl Jam live, Pete and I were down the front loving every minute.
(31/08/06) Supergrass playing a small hometown gig at the Zodiac. Excellent to see them in such a small venue. The rest of the crowd seemed indifferent though, plebs.
(02/09/06) Inigo’s 30th birthday bash, held at his parents in Guildford and included the twin delights of a Bouncy Castle and Sumo suits. Excellent fun.
(05/09/06) Rocco Deluca gig at the Zodiac with Pete, Kris, Steve, Chris and Sue. Preceded by meal at Aziz. Very good gig, much better than I was expecting.
(09/09/06) Out in Oxford with Peks, friend I met whilst traveling in Australia, and his mates. Good night on the town. Saw our friend Sie and his heavily pregnant girlfriend the next day. Good to catch up after a year or two.
(13/09/06) Badly Drawn Boy gig at the Zodiac. I thought he was going to storm off the stage after the first song because the guitar amp wasn’t working. He wasn’t a happy man, but all was fixed and the gig went on. He played a great collection of songs, I’m hoping the new album will be another good ‘un.
(15/09/06) The HND Reunion, 10 years on. Darrell was back visiting from Oz. Steve, Darrell, Diggs and I hit Kingston town on Friday night before going back to Diggs’ and causing carnage. Saturday was the main event, we caught the train to London and were joined by Warren, Tom and Inigo for a memorable night on the sauce. Photographic evidence on my site.
(19/09/06) Back into London, with my Dad. Spending some quality time together. Checking out the National Gallery and the Palace of Westminster.
(23/09/06) Over to Cambridgeshire to visit the gramps before I head across the globe to Australia. Saturday night out in Ramsey with my old friend Stuart.
(24/09/06) Another gig at the Zodiac, The Bluetones. They were on good form, showcasing songs from their soon to be released eponymous album, which should be good judging by the new songs they played.
(06/10/06) Back down to London for the weekend. Out for a drink with Nichola on Friday night. Caught up with my old buddy Stuart, before we shot over to Richmond for a beer or two. My first time out there since my student days 10 years ago.
(10/10/06) Watched the Lemonheads at Oxford Brooks Uni with Steve and Pete. An excellent gig, they must have played at least 40 songs. Including a solo acoustic set by Evan Dando, who must have been cryogenically frozen for the last 10 years because he still looks exactly the same as he did in the Lemonheads heyday.
May was a very busy month featuring some life changing events, starting with my brother Andrew’s Stag do, followed by moving house and ending in my brothers marriage to Sharon. I also managed to get to a gig or six in between these momentous occasions.
After five years together as a couple, my brother Andrew and his fiancé Sharon got married at Aylesbury registry office on Saturday 27/05/06. As best man I was in charge of making sure that Andrew and the rings got there in a reasonable state. Little did I know that I would also have to actually pay for the wedding as well. Andrew had conveniently forgotten to bring the money to pay for the actual wedding to take place, fortunately I was planning on having a few beers that evening so my beer tokens covered the cost and I didn’t have to have a whip round. The service itself was very good with Sharon and her uncle both reading poems and Andrew managed to repeat the wedding vows with only a few minor errors.
After the wedding we headed over to The Fisherman at Shabbington for the reception and photos, and let’s not forget the speeches. All the speeches went down well, you can read mine here if you like: Al’s Best Man Speech
Unfortunately it rained for 90% of the day so the majority of the photos were taken inside. I’ll put some of the pics online as soon as I get hold of them and a spare five minutes. We didn’t let the rain spoil things and a good time was had by all. The evening do was held in the function room at the Snooker Club in Thame. I was in charge of handing out drink tokens and sorting out trouble makers, but everyone was in a good mood and everyone was well behaved so I could concentrate on the serious tasks of drinking and dancing like a fool. Outdone, only by my brother.
Andrew and Sharon are currently on their Honeymoon in New York City. They made it through customs after a few hours of queuing, finger prints, retinal scans but no full body cavity searches this time.
For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Allister. Andrew’s older, wiser and better looking big brother. WHEN PREPARING THIS SPEECH A WISE OLD MAN OFFERED THE FOLLOWING ADVICE…. THE SPEECH SHOULD ONLY LAST AS LONG AS IT TAKES FOR THE GROOM TO MAKE LOVE. SO ONCE AGAIN.. YOU’VE BEEN A GREAT AUDIENCE ; THANK YOU LADIES & GENTLEMEN…..
IF ONLY I WAS JOKING…………
SO DOWN TO BUSINESS…’COS AS THE MAN AT THE SUIT HIRE SHOP SAID SAID..”THERE’S A LOT TO FIT IN”
On behalf of Tracy, The Bridesmaid, I’d like to thank ANDREW for his kind words. I have to agree that she looks absolutely wonderful, and has done an excellent job this afternoon in getting Sharon ready and to the church on time. From what I hear she put up quite a fight.
SHARON: obviously goes without saying you look fantastic……. Thanks for coming!
YOU HAVE MARRIED A GREAT BLOKE IN ANDREW. SOMETIMES I WONDER WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE NOT TO HAVE HIM AS A BROTHER…
SOMETIMES THE SMILE LASTS FOR HOURS.
My main duty today is to give you all an introduction to the groom, relating tales about his crazy adventures as a young man, his run-ins with the police, the marathon sessions in the pub and his string of meaningless flings. I should then introduce the benevolent influence of the bride on our young hero, as she struggled to tame a man with an approach to life that combined ape-like urges with gay abandon. Of course, I can’t cover everything, so I’m just going to concentrate on the gay abandon.
I can see Andrews starting to sweat now. But don’t worry the secrets of your sauded past are safe with me. Just remember our deal. I get 50% of the money you make selling the unwanted wedding gifts on ebay.
I have to say that I find it hard to stand up here and make a fool out of my little brother on his wedding day. Something that Andrew is more than capable of achieving on his own. (as his speech proved, and as his dancing will no doubt confirm). But seriously it is an honor to be chosen to be Andrew’s best man, after all he had so many close friends to choose from. It’s just a shame that they were both busy today. Still as they say (if you’ll forgive the cliche) Blood is thicker than water. Andrew, of course, is thicker than both.
According to tradition I am supposed to SING THE GROOM’S PRAISES and tell you all about his MANY good points. Well, I’m very sorry but I CAN’T SING, and I WON’T LIE.
Those of you that know Andrew will be well aware of his obsession with football. Andrew is one of the dying breed of hardcore supporters that sticks by their team through thick and thin, good times and bad. Personally I know nothing about football, other than what I’ve picked from Andrew and his years of devotion to Chelsea football club. Of course they weren’t always known as Chelsea FC a few years ago they changed their name from Blackburn Rovers and before that they used to be known as Liverpool FC. But despite all the name changes they have always been at the top of the league.
Andrew, In many ways married Life Can Be Compared To Football … so, Be Fully Committed Every Week And Make Sure You Score Every Saturday. Change ends at half time and dont put your tackle in too hard or you might injure yourself.
Just remember That Playing Away From Home, Could Result In A Serious Groin Injury.
Andrew doesn’t play very much football these days, he prefers to stay in and watch the games on the telly. He’ll watch anything. As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for Emmerdale, he wouldn’t get any fresh air at all.
I’d just like to say, Andrew, you are a lucky groom - you’ve married Sharon, she’s a lovely person, and she deserves a good husband. So thank God you married her before she found one.
I knew Sharon was right for Andrew the moment I first met her, as she seemed at ease with his crude sense of humour, poor dress sense and uncontrolable flatulence.
But seriously, Sharon, I think you’ve made a wonderful choice for your first husband.
They’ve now been together for a long time, and I can’t think of a single couple more perfect for each other. She brings out the good side in him, which takes a lot of effort, in fact I’d say she’s made him a better person since they’ve been together. Sharon, I’d like to thank you on behalf of humanity for that..
Andrew, despite all the abuse I’ve just dealt you. You really are a fantastic person with a heart of gold. I’m lucky to have you as a brother.
So to wrap this up, I’d just like to say that marriage is not about finding someone you can live with, it’s about finding someone you can’t live without.
ladies and Gentlemen: The Bride and Groom.
Less than a week after my brother’s stag do, it was time to move house. My home on and off for 23 years, had been sold after a year or so on the market and it was time to go. It was down to myself, Mum and her friend Colin to shift all our worldly goods a mile down the road to the new house, with the help of a van and all the strength we could muster. Everything was packed and ready to go by about 12.00am the previous night. The van was loaded by 1.00pm, so we enjoyed a brief respite in the sun drenched garden and scoffed down fish ‘n’ chips from the Chippie across the road.
At 2.30pm we had the call from the Solicitors that the money had been paid and we could collect the keys. On the way to collect the keys we had a call from the people moving into our old house asking what time we would be out, as they were ready and waiting with two huge lorry loads and about twenty removals men. When we got to the estate agents it turned out that although the money had left our account it had not arrived in the other account, even though we were using the same solicitors as the person whose house we were moving into, so they could not release the keys. After waiting for almost an hour we were finally handed the keys, and dashed back to unload the first van full.
We unloaded the first van in record time and rushed back to load up the second lot, but the pressure was on so the van wasn’t as efficiently loaded. We were good to go at about 5.00pm. Rush hour on our busy road with no room to maneuver. I saw a break in the traffic and went for it, unfortunately the guy who had bought our house had chosen to park his car in the path of the tail lift of my truck. This resulted in a nice scuff on his bumper and a neat little scratch along his wing. Fortunately, for me, the vans insurers picked up the cost.
Everything was off the truck by about 8.00pm. Although there are still boxes waiting to be unpacked almost a month later. Never again. I have resolved to sell all my worldly goods on ebay and live out of a ruck sack from now on.