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January 2005

Weather, which had been pretty mild suddenly got very nippy in January. Had to invest in a heater and was beginning to wish i'd brought my "scooby doo" jumper over from the UK.
Still lots of japes to be had. Carnegies always providing a lot of entertainment. I even have a couple of hot new 1 on 1 students to bugle. Took the kids to the funfair where they were not wearing pink for the first time ever.....the reason?
Natasha's dad died so they were banned from wearing "happy" colours. Natasha, who had been nursing him through his final months naturally recieved nothing in the will while her ne'r do well brother managed to bag 3 houses and a large wad of cash.

February 2005

So what did I do to celebrate the start of the month?
I got sick, that's what I did. My first cold, a very long time. Recovered just in time for Chinese New Year, which for the first time in years was not an exercise in boredom but in Rock n' roll!!.
The signs were ominous with Finn family Olly/Eyles off to Thailand, Skelly all birded up and the like. But no, Skelly was out to play as was Brett on a couple of occasions, then there was Mr Silver....
Got drunk pretty much every night but tempered it with some fine walks in the mountains. Thursday was probably the climax when I went to Dave Silvers party which was something of a "who's who" of his conquests. We then moved on to the Brass Monkey, stayed till closing and after that headed to a rather large black guy called Charles's place.
Started off calmly enough, drinking rather strong whisky and cokes. however, at some point someone decided to start thrashing arses with leather belts. I don't know how I got involved but I guess I didn't want to be rude by sitting out. Anyway, the result was 3 guys in their underwear "initiating" another bloke into our gang. Man he got whipped real sore and then when we had stopped laughing he must have said something offensive because Charles suddenly shouted out "put your clothes on and get the fuck outta my apartment".
So, he had just been whipped good and then to humiliate him further we had him kicked out....

An all round good guy, experienced beltman and legend on the Taipei club curcuit...well, Carnegies to be precise. (and just who is that young lady hiding under the duvet?)

Well, it was not totally one sided. My ass was black the next day and I have it on good authority that Dave's is somewhat tender.
Out again on the Friday though it was somewhat subdued. Climbed a mountain with Skelly on the Saturday but felt too knackered to go out properly again in the evening. Went to the Brass Monkey to watch the Rugby with Dave and he ended up coming back to my place with his girlfriend to watch AC/DC video's. Drunk again and headbanging along to Angus's guitar playing. They didn't leave till 8am!!
Out with Skelly and Brett on the sunday and went to see a top movie.."sideways" followed by....more wine!! My god, what a would I even begin to face going back to work on the monday.
I faced it, but guess what, sick again. Struck down by yet another cold..Aggggghhhh!!
Struggled into work daily until friday whereapon I could take it no more. A sickie was thrown and the fever seemed to lift from me as if angels had come and taken me to a better place.......and they did!!
To "Organics" the hairdressers no less and the wonderful, incomparable "Amber". Woman of my dreams!

Latest shock news from Natasha: She has just had a baby....I didn't even know she was pregnant.

Yes, quite the suprise that.....why didn't she tell me???...strange cove.

March 2005

Well, the weather has been awful....beyond belief...the worst rain for 50 years apparently. And have I managed to shake off my cold? No I haven't, thank you for asking. This sucks.

The god awful weather gave me the chance to finaly get my Eurocentre page up and running...that's my language school by the way.
Quite the low profile month it has to be said...maybe just as well coz the cash flow hasn't been too good. Got a call from me old China Nick and he doesn't seem too happy. Reckons he hasn't "got a life" ...... then I've got a friend from Spain, "Rick" off to Hong Kong chasing an internet girlfriend.....hmmm. I don't do so bad you know!! nice and stable me!!
My ad has been on to try and blag a video copy to stick on the website. It only lasts for a few seconds though.
Hot new page online now for your delectation.....the Bear(shaun) and I went on a trip to Shenken which is a small town on the fringes of Taipei county and about half an hour by bike....various japes were had.
So, as the end of horrible March beckons the beginning of April is around the corner....and the Spring Scream

April 2005

Well, glad we got March out of the way...nasty horrible month.
Saw Natasha's little girl, apparently Nina is a little jealous....
And so, on to the Spring scream which was as much fun as I expected it to be. Even Skelly came with us...he drove down in fact, nightmare 8 hour journey. Must remember to fly next time. Only stayed 2 full days, really wanted to hang on on for another day but for the sake of my health it's probably better that I didn't!!
Anyway, the band of the moment is Greassy Spoon a top rock act from Tokyo......Well, when I say top rock act I mean....they have the potential to be, man, I like them!! They play hard rock, bluesy, a little funky and are a lot of fun. I think Shaun, Skelly and Wavy Davy have all been sold into them too.

May 2005

After last months Spring Scream not that much happened and May hasn't been that exciting either. When it hasn't been chucking it down with rain it's been roasting hot so not ideal outdoor weather, though I have had some good mountain adventures. Been planning to leave Taiwan in June but a small tax problem will probably keep me here till July........this is dull!!
normal life I guess!!
Well, by the last week of May it had picked up. Good weather, good shan's to climb, dates, restaurants......ya man!!
And sport is back on the at RedLion Matt's for the "Shanjuang" trophy....with the bear as my partner

June 2005

After half a life time of living in Taiwan I discover there is a pitch and putt course out near Hsin-Dien....mine Gott, why did i not know of this before. Suffice to say I was crap but the Bear got the wooden spoon.
Been exploring all the local mountains...though rain has been something of a hazard. I set off to walk from Jong-he to Tu-Cheng and whilst at the highest point the heavens opened and didn't let up. Then began thunder and lightning very close to where i was standing....luckily i didn't get fried, but i did get wet despite my trusty brolly.
I came across what I think is the best looking temple in taiwan. What do ya reckon?

there was also this wacky path through the rock and as you'll see it was absolutely pishing it down with rain...
<a href=""> <img src="ninadance.jpg" border="0" align="left" width="160" height="120" vspace="10" hspace="20" /> </a>
Nina has been reluctant to see me recently though we did get one weekend in and she was fine after taking her to the night market and spending a vast ammount on the games there.
Interesting night out with Mr Skelly, where we dashed around town trying to catch a hard rock gig by some Swedish band...we made it but just in time for the encore. However we did bump into "Boogie" an old friend of Skelly's and close aquaintance of Evelyn at one time(ahem). He took us to a heavy metal/lounge/karaoke bar which I disliked at first but one bottle of whisky later found quite entertaining. In fact so much so that before long I was up singing "Highway star" and "Smoke on the water" very much in tune...but probably not very much in time. Needless to say we were very drunk and I can't really remember going to Carnegies(though I did!) and Skelly has bruises to show where he fell of the sofa once he got home.
Well, as I am leaving in July I have decided to visit some places that pretty much everyone else except me has been to. Namely, Jou-fen and Wulai both popular hiking destination.
Realising that Jou-fen is something of a tourist trap I decided to go a little further on to Jin-gwa-sh which is an old mining town and houses the remains of an old Japanese prisoner of war camp. The main attraction for me however was the chance to see "Tea pot mountain" that, indeed does look just like a teapot...minus the handle.

Click on the picture to see what happened

July 2005

delayed my flight till the 11th July to enable a bit of larkishness before heading back to the UK. Took the kids to Ilan for a few days for the kids festival...which luckily involved lots of water as it was roasting weather. The web page will be up and running soon. My new babe page is up...though Mia has complained about some of the pictures so I had to change them!!
The last weekend in Taiwan was supposed to be spend with my pals Olly and the Bear but unfortunately Skelly and I upset Olly so I didn't see her at all till the monday.....oops.
It was in fact a fine weekend of sport in which I carried off the Golfing and Tennis trophies...another packing to fit them all in!!

Left in the usual chaotic fashion and left my Pradas at Skelly's...damn. Luckily I bought a new pair of Sunny's in HK airport. Very quick flight home(should have been for the bloody price!!) and hardly suffered a jot of jet lag. Lot's to do the first week including looking after my sister's greyhound...!!
First weekend back meant camping with Loree, Lulu and lot's of others including The Hog. Great fun, haven't seen Ming-fen for years and web page will be out for that too.
Got my old car back just in time for crap weather...Ah yes now I remember why I don't like living in the UK...11 months of winter, couple of weeks for spring and autumn and couple of weeks hot weather!! Delay in picking up Nina from Deutchland so now I'm just left twiddling my thumbs till 10th August. Luckily my first visitor, Ev came to stay and we got extremely drunk and could hardly walk home. Did manage to get her to scrub my bathroom which you can see on her page!!

August 2005

Footy season started and despite losing the 1st game at home Reading have got off to a flying start and were 2nd at the end of the month. Paid my first visit to Brightons joke ground (we won 2-0) and was up at the crack of dawn next day to pick Nina up from Berlin.
She was actually pleased to see me as she'd been sitting around doing nothing but playing gameboy in Germany. Didn't waste any time and next day we were off to Legoland which was packed due to fine weather. For the rest of her stay we took in Thorpe Park, Brighton Pier, Coral Reef, The Lookout and played countless games of Monopoly which she aint bad at. I think she was getting fed up towards the end but I was sad to see her go...long drawn out journey to Altenberg and Leipzig for the return. Leipzig is suprisingly a nice city and during my one night stopover had a good time...aided by an amusing German woman called Bianca and a bearded old cove who'd spent many years in the UK. Met Skelly and Jenny in London when Nina was here and went on the London Eye. Nina loved Jenny, I think she was just relieved to be speaking to someone who was a native speaker.
Went camping again with Loree, Michelle and his mate Gordon and hot Japanese bird.

The location was Hurley and the campsite was on an island in the Thames. Very pleasant...good walk to a pub the next day and I left just in time to get to Reading and watch us win 2-1...hurrah!!

Made a couple of trips to London...One to see about doing a Landmark course which Loree has been raving about. Her boyfriend...sorry, "husband" has been on it and so have all their mates. I'm beginning to wonder if it's some kind of cult. They're going to try and get me signed up for October. Next day I got pissed with Cathy but went off later to see Ev and we had a disgusting meal which in the end we didn't have to pay for...She wasn't only not impressed with the meal but my lack of energy to talk due to alcohol deprevation...the beer was warm in the restaurant!!

September 2005

Back to London again to save Nick's ass. We are planning a trip to Italy 11th Sept and the bozo's passport has run out. For a fee I made the haul to the passport office to get him a new one.

The Italian tour started with a trip to Coventry and the new Ricoh stadium. Great game and then off to a village near Cambridge to pick up another couple of travellers before flying out to Pescara. Only 5 days but good fun and managed to get something of a tan.
Well, I've been beavering away on the website since i've been back so now you can see Nina in the UK and my trip to yet another pub called The Elm Tree plus my camping holiday in July to Trowbridge

October 2005

Ev and Jim came to see Reading win again and a boozy weekend followed.
Started Spanish classes though they're not serious enough for my liking...more like a social club for housewives.
Epic trip to Dartmoor with nick . Mad weather! As soon as we walked onto the moor we were faced with wind, rain, fog and cold. Nick's phone compass saved our asses! Next time will have to buy some proper hiking gear...

Cliff Predgen ,who was 40 years old and a well known party goer, died in Spain. I went to the funeral in Finchampstead which was quite a sad affair but populated by many gangster looking types...
Went to see Gareth in Wales and did exactly what I did when I visited one year ago....lost my digital camera.....f****** nightmare!! funny thing is I've got the old one back because someone found it and did some detective work on the pictures. They traced Gareth's house and handed it back....did Gareth give them a reward? Do monkey's fly out of my butt?!
Can't believe i went down there to see "Budgie" an old 70's hard rock act....probably the worst gig I've ever been to....simply dreadful....a deafening load of dirge!!
Too much drinking eventually took its toll and by the monday I was struck down with a nasty cold and a horrible red eye. Gave me time to work on the website though and the Italy page is now up for everyones perusal plus of course the new, one year old photos taken on the lost camera at Gareth's .
It's been an interesting month.
On the good side there have been:
  • Reading F.C. winning
  • Dartmoor
  • Lot's of beer
  • Spanish classes
And on the grim side:
  • Lost camera
  • Cliffs funeral
  • Budgie
  • Nasty cold
  • Lot's of beer!!
  • Blown out of my new house purchase

So, house hunting...yes. Didn't do very well there. Almost got a place in Mortimer but they blew me out. Been out looking but nothing has caught the eye.
Lot's more footy and lots of pool. Visited numerous new pubs but unfortunately Nick has found his form and has been giving me a kicking...will have to stop playing for money if this keeps up.

November 2005

Ev came down to see Reading play again, though she hardly watched the game and distracted me throughout with her babble!! She's put in an order for a team shirt, RFC mug and foam hand...though sorry Ev, they don't do foam hands anymore!!. Jim sat in the Wednesday end and was impressed with his teams performance despite their 2-0 drubbing.
Following week I was up to London and Ev got me steaming drunk on the Friday. So much so that when I went to QPR to see Reading on the Saturday, I was still pissed. We won that one as well 2-1. Can anything stop our runaway promotion express train???????
Jim has bought an 800 pound new telly with, er, lots of functions. Nice purchase for the TV addicts.
Great month for footy...Reading won every game except, er, the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal in the Carling cup.

Two more trips to Dartmoor!! Once with my Italian friend Sandra where we stayed on Higher woodley farm which I survived remarkably well. Walked across the moor near Princetown where I roadtested my new all weather gear. By the time of the second trip, snow had fallen on the moor and warning were being given not to travel to Cornwall. Result? A traffic free trip down to Chagford with Nick and Mike. Great weekend. Reading won at Plymouth, Superb walk on Chagford common. Snowball fight every day and "Muchas cervesas" consumed in the lively pubs. Also bought a painting called "By the sea" which is now proudly hanging on my living room wall.

December 2005

As the cold weather started to take hold my thoughts started to head east and a return to Taiwan. Hope to be back there in February but we shall see....
Days spent staring at my trading screens, watching large sums of money ebb and flow into my CFD account. Is this how I should spend my days?
Oh yes, December can be written off as a "dull" month though I did pass my "BUPA" MOT. I forked out for a full medical check up and it seems i'm pretty healthy.
Got nearly blinded by my sister's dog in her enthusiasm to welcome me though she did try to make up by catching me a rabbit when I took her out for a walk. Christmas was spent with Paul and Lianne and ended up with complete drunkenness. We started off in the "Cross keys" for lunch in Pangbourne and then went back to their house where the drinking never stopped. I slept on their sofa and felt "beyond" dreadful the next day. So much so that Mike had to drive my car up to Wolverhampton to watch Reading win again while I festered in the passenger seat. I was so hungover I drank tea followed by a resolve in the pub beforehand. More footy 2 days later and yet again on new years eve. Seeing as we had no events planned for the great night, Nick, Mike and I drove up to Derby to meet TuffTim for a few drinks and our first non-win for ages. Drove back and paid 5 squid to drink in the Cross which was completely free of atmosphere and then on to the Royal Oak which was full of obnoxious teeny oiks....needless to say I was in bed by about 1.

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