Friday, 31 May 2013

Happy Birthday Jenny!

We hosted another Birthday party at my house last night for Daniel's Girlfriend and actress in some of our films: Jenny!

So, as per usual, we prepared a semi-elaborate celebration for her. However, brownie points go to Daniel for producing one of the coolest cakes ever. A little know fact about Jenny is that she can probably speak Dwarfish and/or Elvish since she is a devote fan of the Lord of the Rings series. Since we all went to go and see The Hobbit when it first came out she wouldn't stop going on and on about how cool it would be to live in Bilbo's house. Unfortunately, a full blown home wasn't what Daniel got her, but he did the next best thing!

For reference - Here is a picture of 'Bagend' - Bilbo's home!

And here is the cake he made for his beloved

Annnnnnnd, cake profile!
  I think Dan's got some serious potential in a cake decorating career!

My present to Jenny also required a little bit of preparation since Skittles Vodka is apparently quite difficult to make.

60 of each flavored Skittle

Dissolved overnight in a little bit of vodka

Shake em'

Lengthy filtration process


Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Bro Time Morning

Louis and I had a fair bit of Bro Time this morning. Starting with a game of Guild Wars 2 we liberated a coastal town of its pirate populous while shouting pirate themed puns at one another. Moments afterwards, Louis declared that he was famished and that he would prepare 'The best lunch ever!' He met his ambitions with a gorgeous bacon and fried egg sandwich. I sat there with a meatball panini that was spare from work, its freashness came into question but I enjoyed it nonetheless. 

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Little victories

Today is what I like to call a 'combo-breaker' plus one. Today was the fist rainy day after a steady stream of sunny ones, hence the term 'combo-breaker.' It was also the first real day of the half term, it was no longer a weekend, nor a bank holiday. This meant we were rather busy at work.

There were 2 moments today that stood out. The first being an rare occurrence, the kind of thing that only happens in legends told by other old cashiers down to their grand-children and their children's children. I never thought I would live to see this day. 

A wee boy approached my till asking for a chocolate bar priced at £1. Something I typically do when dealing with just children in this manner is pick up the item they want and ask them if they had enough money. His face beamed when I asked him this. He reached into his pocket and produced a money purse in the shape of a lizard, most likely a stocking filler he received last year. Carefully he unzipped the Gecko's back and poured its contents onto my counter. A wave of pennies flooded out.

I instantly admired him for saving up all this money, clearly he wanted to display his youthful achievement with another person and I was obliged to count every last one of his coppers to emphasis the scale of his saving. Then I considered that he had hoarded all this cash for one glorious moment on a single chocolate bar that we unapologetically overcharge for. Briefly I felt sorry for him.

But despite this understanding he was pleased to get his chocolate. 30 seconds later his sister came along and did exactly the same thing.  

The second important moment of today was a trial where I came face to face with my biggest fear. While clearing tables a group of young girls brought the existence of a fairly large spider to my attention. A degree of understanding I can typically do without. They pointed to its location and my heart-rate accelerated. It was an uncomfortable sight. But, my man-hood was in question, the girls began jeering at my after my face contorted with disgust and fear. Calmly I entered the kitchen, grabbed some tissue paper, approached the beast, breathed deeply and went for the kill.

'It's gonna pounce!' declared a girl behind a chorus of chavvy laughter.

This shattered my concentration but my aim was true. I snatched it from the wall and binned him promptly. I started at the garbage bag for a while and laughed nervously to myself, triumphantly I turned round, ready to face waves of applause and adoration from the crowd. No such luck. They had gotten on with their coffee sipping and iPhone games. Guess it's the little victories we hold most personally. I felt like the little boy with his chocolate bar, our victories humble on the surface but cosmic in implication.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Family (Fun) Day

Family Fun Day was rather... disappointing today. Well, kind of anyway. There was hardly anyone in for the most part, and I was left all alone again after 3 o'clock. There are only so many songs I know by heart that I can sing while by my lonesome, after they dried up I was left with nothing but the dull moan of the extractor fans. We had one lady in who had complained about the smell of the coffee, comparing it to fish. Gut reaction told me to tell her she was just looking for things to complain about. However, since I have been reading To Kill a Mockingbird I stopped and thought, how would Atticus behave in this situation? In turn I acted like a gentleman against her other complaints until she warmed to us, I think she was rather happy with her stay in the end. 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Bayer 10K 2013

After stumbling upon a almost hung-over, half-asleep Louis early this morning I prepared myself for the annual run. This year would make it a hat-trick of times I've done it solo, an endevour that is both isolating and liberating. While you cannot have a hearty conversation with a fellow runner one can enjoy the country-side the outskirts of Newbury has to offer. I finished with a time of 1 hour 9 minutes which is fine by my standards.

Off to work immediately afterwards, there were 2 customers in when I got there. Half an hour later there were none. I was eventually sent home early after having cleaned everything, including the kitchen clock. Mentally preparing myself for Family Fun Day tomorrow, should be a big one.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Boss' Birthday

I was at my Boss' Birthday party last night. A sentence that would typically have negative connotations assigned to it if uttered by any other human being who doesn't have Josh Kingham for a boss. I ha a great time there with all my colleagues, we even all got up and did the Eddie Dance when someone turned it on! A night to remember.

We had the blessing of a slow day at work with the promise of tomorrow being snail like. Problem with tomorrow will be finding jobs to do since we did all of them this afternoon. Probably end up with the world's most spotless kitchen tomorrow.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Owl faced boy

Mingus is doing superbly well, he runs pretty much every game I throw at him and looks trendy. Louis' exams were all finished off today and for a lad who doesn't have any work for 2 more weeks he certainly doesn't look as happy as he should. He may be a bit poorly though, he keeps huddling in my room with his green throw and just complains about being cold and exhausted. He kinda looked like a barn owl wrapped in sheets while he complained, I'd think that would be funny if it wasn't so hilarious.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Vague shopping list, check!

Jenny's Birthday present has all but been assembled today. I had a very successful shopping experience this morning getting 90% of the things I need, the other 10% I forgot about completely so an emergency bike ride may be necessary. Of course, I am being intentionally vague about what I bought, but rest assured, I have taken many pictures of it which I will post when the time is right.

What is equally exciting is the fact that I have finally caved and bought myself an essential piece of kit for university next year: a proper laptop. His name is Mingus.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Vegetation visions

I glimpsed into our future today. The future of Mark, Lucy, Jamie and myself. I foresaw that we would be all living together in Bournemouth and that we will all be very busy and hard at work 24/7. And that under no circumstances, will we have any opportunity to do any gardening. And the back garden will look like THIS:

So many... Weeds and dandelions... How could this happen?! It was a stark reminder to me that one day, when man-kind has become only a distant memory to the universe, plants and vegetation will live on. Covering and devouring every man-made structure from the corner shop down your road to the Great Wall of China. We humans and our little gardening gloves and lawn mowers are basically all that stand in the way of letting nature take on its beautiful, destructive course; until one day, everything will look like this:

An abandoned Japanese theme park
Frightening stuff really.

But I got over it after hacking back the long grass - it was pretty easy actually.

Monday, 20 May 2013

May time insects ahoy!

Wasn't too sure what I wanted to do today. I dabbled with several ideas but ultimately didn't get up to much this morning. Salvation arrived in the form of a care package containing Louis' new bicycle. In a spur of the moment decision we walked down to Dad's office where the bike had been delivered and carried a massive box home between us; must have looked like the Chuckle Brothers!

Slowing racking up the distance during my runs. Hit the 6K mark this afternoon and I was feeling good at the end of it. My sudden interest in running has been caused by the annual Newbury 10K run which I have been constantly re-assuring myself that it was many, many weeks away and I need not train until much later. It's this Sunday...

And finally, I had a night visitor at about midnight last night. I could hear a distant flapping of wings muffled by paper of some description, Louis said he's had the same thing when wasps had flown behind his posters. And oh man, I WISH this thing was a wasp. Second run-in with a maybug this year, and damn, those things are big. Google it if you want dont want to get to sleep tonight!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Happy 19th Mark!

Ah finally! Finally I can blog about interesting stuff again!

It was Mark's Birthday yesterday, an event the whole gang had been planning for well over a month and only came to fruition last night. We decided right from the get go that we would make a short film including interviews from his friends and family in order to embarrass him as much as possible. Naturally we had to film and edit all of this behind his back, he was away for 9 days at one point where we just blitzed through all of it. Since he is an avid reader of this blog however, I couldn't give the game away by gleefully discussing what we included and how amazing it all looks. Seriously, dozens of man hours went into the making of this thing and kudos to Chris for editing a 49 minute video! I don't think he slept.

Plus the whole 'Surprise Party' aspect of it went off without a hitch. Once again Mark just wanted to spend his Birthday around mine to game the night away... but we had other plans. After Mark turned up at mine Daniel got a oh-so dramatic phone call from Jenny saying that she really wanted to come too but was far to busy sorting some stuff out at her work to make it. Like the brave, brave friends we are, we offered to lend her a hand where she works, a local theater. Mark drove us down there, completely unaware that all of his friends and relatives were sat in a beautifully decorated room waiting to shout 'SURPRISE.'

He went red as a tomato when he found out.

As close to a group photo as I got, here is the room we prepared.

It wouldn't be a photo on my blog if food wasn't involved in some way! Half of the stuff on the table was home-made by Lucy!
And, my favorite - we are very good at re-using decorations, so I dug out the 'Happy Birthday Lucy' banner for some minor, totally not last minute adjustments.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Pete has been released!

Good morning!
Our new film 'Pete' has just been released on our Twitter page. Head on over there to take a look a day early! Please let us know what you think.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Pete Premiere Tomorrow

After having a Mocha Frappe at McDonalds yesterday I thought I should give it a go at home. To my utter dismay however, there was not ice nor enough milk, so I am shelving that idea for another time. If you have been following us on Twitter today you will have also heard that our new short film will be debuting on there EXCLUSIVELY tomorrow! On Sunday it will be uploaded on Youtube as per usual, but if you wanna see it for yourself a bit earlier then get yourself down onto Twitter... right now...

Seriously, we got some nice photos and update a lot there.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness

Bit of a late one last night. Jamie, Dan and I went to see the late showing of the latest Star Trek film and it was pretty darn good. While it won't resonate with me on an emotional level, it was a lotta fun! Jamie and I spent a very long time discussing the pros and cons of each Superhero sat at my kitchen table. This conversation went on until 2:30 in the morning and we then decided it was time to turn in.

This evening Dan, Chris and myself went off to film a promo for a theater production, getting our name out a bit further, the shoot took only a bit more than half an hour and was an all round pleasure. Here are some stills I took during filming. Think of a Charles Dickens, seedy London alleyway setting mixed with the 'That's not a knife... THIS is a knife' conversation from Crocodile Dundee. All round good stuff!  

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Rain and tears

Welcome back rain. It has been a little while. I listened to it patter on the windows while Louis and I watched Schindler's list. Franky, I think he cried more than all the rain we had today. That bit where Schindler breaks down at the end of the film proclaiming he could have saved more people, it just breaks my heart every time. Funny way for us to 'celebrate' the end of Louis' history exam on Germany, guess it just put everything into perspective for him.  

Monday, 13 May 2013

France - A photo collection

As promised, here is a condensed selection of pictures I took in France with my potato - I mean Blackberry camera. Hope you enjoy! I apologize in advance for the 'Llama in the Ruff' image, I just found it hilarious.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Arriver en Angleterre

Mark and I have come back to our Motherland after visiting our geographical neighbors in France. We basically went round to improve some international relationships and be positive representatives of England. I return for this difficult task we were offered the chance to sample of of the famous wines and cheeses of the land, we humbly accepted these treats while attempting to speak the language.

In all seriousness though, we had a cracking time and I will put up the 10 best pictures that sum up our time there tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Cae Study

Case Study - Verb: The act of staring blankly at your suitcase before a holiday, while you vaguely wonder about what to pack.

This was basically what I did all day, after I found a case that is. We basically have this grim section of attic, which I am convinced is a spider social gathering spot and also where we store backpacks and suitcases. Every time I go in there I need to bite my tongue and focus my vision on anywhere that I am certain a big cluster of bulbous eyes won't ogle back at me. I didn't find my case eventually but it wasn't even in there!

Rounded up all my belongings so I am ready to head off to France with Mark until Sunday! As always I will try to keep you updated if they have wi-fi or some form of internet. In the meantime however, you might want to check out our Twitter page which has a whole bunch of behind the scenes photos and information and is regularly updated by every member of the team. Here is a little taster of what kinda things you'll find there:

Hard at work in Chris' attic

Monday, 6 May 2013

I wasn't born in a cave

Because it was such a glorious day out my Mum was obsessed with one thing and one thing only: to get me to enjoy the weather. Now don't get me wrong, I can appreciate great weather, and when I do it puts a spring in my step and a smile on my face. However, whenever I am being forced to appreciate something I tend to get rather close minded on the subject, weather or otherwise. When I experience something I want it to be exclusive and personal, so I can enjoy it for what it is rather than it being preached to me.

After implying that if I didn't go out in the sun I would get rickets (A bone disease contracted from vitamin D deficiency, you could Google it, but it might spoil your day/lunch) I decided to humour her. At least I put up the hammock so I could lounge AND swing about like a leaf on the wind. Get downstairs to see this glorious sight.

Dad napping
Being the kind soul I was I didn't want to wake Dad up from his peaceful slumber. Mum had no such qualms, picking up a patio chair and putting it down rather loudly, accidentally waking up Dad. 

Sunday, 5 May 2013


My boss said I looked a bit pale today. I feel fine despite having the worlds quietest day at work, I just got exhausted from doing rather little aside from cleaning things. The other member of the kitchen staff left me an hour and a half before we officially closed so my mind ran away with itself, questioning existence, destiny and reminding me of every cringe-worthy moment in my short life. Getting home I felt shattered, maybe my boss was right and I actually may have come down with something? Guess we will find out tomorrow!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

A whole lotta effort

This evenings filming will hopefully have the biggest payoff out of everything we have ever done. It took a rather long time to set up the camera, lighting, green-screen and Louis in just the right place. It was about 2 hours work to get a single shot perfected so we could send away for some special effects to be added in professionally. Exciting stuff and I am praying that it will look as awesome as we all want it to. I mean, me and Dan spent about a quarter of that time ironing the green-screen for a 'crease free' finish.

In unrelated news, if you can even call it that, Jenny and I re-built my Lego Emperor's palace which took the better half of last night to complete. Here is a photo for your amusement and you hopefully won't accuse me of being a man-child.

It actually is the greatest thing ever

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Mystic River

Absolutely spell-binding performances were in Mystic River. I had never really seen Sean Penn in anything before (Tree of Life doesn't really count as he had about 8 lines in that film.) But I was blow away by his performance in particular. And the film itself was also pretty darn good, but after watching it I thought to myself, 'Wow, that ending was a bit lame.' Turns out that I'm not along with that thought as general consensus feels that the last 5 minutes should have probably been removed. But a good build up to a nice reveal with interesting and tormented characters make this film definitely worth a watch.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


Woke up with little intention to do much today but after having breakfast I made a spontaneous decision to bake a cake. Not just any cake either, a coffee cake! Followed an online recipe word-for-word and tried to get absolutely everything perfect. It looked a little something like this:

Basking in the morning sun.
Took one bite out of it and I was shocked that a mere mortal such as myself created something so delicious! I baked it in anticipation for the release of FEZ, the little Indie Game that could was finally available to play on Steam, and here is me enjoying it in the way Phil Fish intended:

We totally need to bring hats back into fashion