LATEST GOSSIP

January 2009


So, here we are in On Tap getting ready to celebrate the new year in traditional style...ie shots of disgusting Jameson's Whiskey

Ellen was getting fruity so we all posed some lairy photo's with her..

This man Alex was in love with everyone and couldn't stop kissing us all night...Top man and great entertainment!


Finally got a group of us to leave and we had to walk for 20 mins because people power had come to Taipei and all the central roads were closed to traffic. The party we went to was the same as last year, in the presidential suite on the roof of a hotel. Met my old friend Monica there and thanks to an...er...intake of happiness, had a great time!
January is of course a shit time for the worker, because as soon as new year is out of the way, along comes the Chinese version. Students mysteriously disappear around this time and become "busy". So, I'm just trying to get enough cash to survive and my pay is docked once more. Bugger. Anyway, January was a strange month for me in more ways than one. Trying to help Mia through her breakup was not an easy task for me and definitely messed with my head....luckily I had ON TAP to keep me sane and topped up on snakebite. Page ready for viewing!
So, before I knew it Chinese New Year was once more apon us and was ushered in by yet more mayhem down the Tap...and this was after four nights out on the trot. Am I entering a new fun time, rock n' roll era, reminicent of the 2004/05 season? Well, it certainly seems like it. On the Saturday before New Years Eve, I was in the pub till 6am...wot larks, including such activities as manly naked chest displays, Absinthe(Oh my god!), and phenomenal darts play!

Matt, Dave, Me, Rob go bowling!


BOWLING ACTION

Dave Reynoldson was the best player by far. Then you had Matt who went from throwing 140 one round to 70 the next....very poor!! Beer did effect the quality of the game it has to be said.


If you can't see the embedded video, click here

Sunday and Monday were rest days but Tuesday was another madman with the traditional New Years bowling. Copious beverages and then guess where? Er...this little pub that i've started frequenting...Wednesday was Carnegies golf and some rather crap play from myself but nothing compared to Craig who is probably the worst player ever! Went home for a rest after that tiring activity but went out again after midnight and this time didn't make it back to my scratcher till...ahem...7.30 in the morning. Strip Jenga is NOT a game i'd recommend.

MARKY'S LATEST READ

The story of Stewart Imlach, a footballer in the late 50's early 60's and how life was just a tad different then. Maximum wage of 20 pounds and their life controlled by the club. Oh how the pendulum has swung!


Stayed in on Thursday despite texts urging me to go out but was at it again on Friday and this time it it involved Carnegies, On Tap and Roxy 99. By the end of it I was a mess and glad just to get home...Didn't feel very good the next day.
All this going to the pub was getting to me so I needed a bit of mountain air to recuperate. Found a new trail out in The Nangang mountain area which was good and saw a group of Formosan Blue Jay's. The problem of not going to the pub was severe boredom so after watching endless reruns of Entourage and playing Tribal Wars, I managed to finish the book I've been reading for months.

February 2009


As my lease is running out soon I've decided to look for a new pad. The first place I checked out is 3,000 a month cheaper, bigger, higher ceilings and in a more, er, active part of town. Well, it's a bit low end but lot's of food stalls nearby and not far from Linsen North Road(lairy brass part of town)
Decided by dyed bouffant hairdo was horrible so drove to the nearest hairdresser to get it all sheared off...not only that, I'm not shaving to give myself a SEXY, rugged look!

Going out with Swifty is beginning to take its toll! He throws "drunken sailor's" down his neck like there's no tomorrow...I was a wreck teaching on Thursday, trying to smile and look interested in my afternoon business class when all I wanted to do was go home and lie down!

I'M DEFINITELY LEAVING!!

I was in the toilet and the landlady just barged in and said she wanted to show someone around...oh, and by the way, would I mind tidying up! Gwo fun!!!
So with my new pad, new look, is there going to be a new bird soon???

Well, I started looking in earnest and the first place I checked out was this 100 year old building in darkest West Taipei...

I had actually been to this building about 15 years ago when the China News was more or less run from here. It was amazing then, and still amazing now!
You entered via this dodgy looking entrance UNDER a coveyor belt!
Walking around the back you were then faced with a wide wooden staircase, high ceilings, 6 big bedrooms and a huge balcony overlooking a garden complete with pond and Bin-Lang tree. This looked like the perfect place to move into. Unfortunately , the guy had forgotten to tell me that the rooms had been taken.
Didn't want it anyway, loads of mosquito's apparently...
I had ordered some darts from a website in the UK and five days later they appeared on my doorstep...just in time for a match down the Tap. My "Stone" darts helped me to lift this rather fetching trophy...this first of many I've no doubt!

THE NEW PAD


I'll be moving to Xin-Hai road, close to the mountain and close to the city and with the highest ceiling you've ever seen! The MRT is as you can see, er....very close too!


Weekend trip to Monkey mountain
...in fact it was two trips in two days, thats how good it was!

March 2009


MOVING OUT OF MY OLD BOX TO NEW PASTURES!


The truck was late which was a bonus as I was nowhere near ready. An older guy came with his student sidekick and proceeded to order him about and shout at every thing he did. When they arrived at my new place they wouldn't take the stuff up to my room because it involved another flight of stairs. Everything was dumped in the living room for me to sort out


If you can't see the embedded video, click here

A mad Saturday that started with nearly six hours of teaching, a dash back to the flat to "finish" (well, ok, I hadn't really started) packing. I still made it to the pub and drank copious amounts in Roxy 99.
Then the weather turned bad! I managed to hike round my local area and discovered a lot of the small mountains are interconnected. In fact you can walk all the way from the Bears house to Jing-Mei via 3 separate hill chains...and one day I will do that!
So, it was time to dust off my Yo-Yo card and start taking the MRT...might become a permanent thing because I got stopped by the police for making an illegal right turn and might have to show a licence when it comes to paying the fine....which I don't have. Following weekend was another hard session which started in the Kunming of all places for "The Rogues" footy bash. Naturally we moved on to the Tap and after some serious badgering of Jason managed to get an entourage to go to Roxy 99. The Bear was chasing Aggie the On Tap barmaid with not too much success though there was a lot of love going on with the rest of the crew...and then Monica showed up about 3am! Back to the Tap but only two taxi loads made it. finally ended up in.......Vibe!! Last chance saloon, but luckily we didn't have to pay as it was already 6.30am! Slept till about four in the afternoon but that didn't matter because the weather was shite!
Mega hike on the Monday, from Nangang in the east of Taipei all the way home...three and a half hours of trekking and avoided the rain. The gods were smiling... Darts night was a grand affair. Luckily I got to the pub early and not only practised loads but also quaffed a suitable amount of ale to throw with a steady hand. Almost beat Dave(the hammer, or is it homer?)Reynoldson which wasn't bad as he is a top player in these parts. Then there was the sheer unadulterated joy of throwing the winning dart in the last game. Ah, the glory and great to see the "Stragglers" climb the league table.
It was Vibe again at the weekend, this is becoming a bit too regular though this time the full On Tap entourage was present which made for much japery and drunkenness...even Mr Skelly showed his face.

April 2009




Oasis came to Taiwan. What should have been a great event turned into a personal disaster for myself and sent me into the dark side for a few weeks. The concert itself was fine, the after party lasted until 7am as well but it was the mess I got myself into coming up to and following the event that spun me out. Needless to say there are no women in my life at present and not really sure what is going to happen next. Went paintballing to take my mind off things and used up 800 bullets which was about 400 more than the average! Yes, it was good to be in the front line and take out my frustrations on any punk that came into my firing line. My first weapon was inaccurate but I changed it for the "coach's" and this fired true and straight. In one game we battled and took the high ground then started firing down into the trenches to wipe out the opposition...it was a bloodbath and I must have hit three people in the head judging from the squeals. My only injury was to the knuckle on my little finger which suffered some bruising...you should have seen the others!

May 2009


THE CONQUEST OF JONG-YANG MOUNTAIN



And we prayed to the mountain god, the beer god and the dart god for allowing us safe passage!

Rob has decided to leave Taiwan after seven years so he had a farewell bash of Golf followed by Kareoke at "Maybe" where I sang "smoke on the water" and then did a duet with Dan singing "Green Day, when September comes." We were pretty good....Rob was dreadful!!
Took the man to Ping-Xi where we climbed the big hulking Jong-Yang peak.

The following weekend was a trip to Ping-Lin for the River Bash featuring local foreign bands and their followers...ie Mia's groupie crowd. There weren't many people and it was freezing cold at night...we made our own entertainment! What followed was a few days in bed struck down with a heavy cold...

Me, Edwards and Monty outside the festival site




June 2009


Olivia invited me to do the hash which is something I've always avoided in the past, mostly because Matt said they are all a bunch of wankers. Well, whilst travelling out to the countryside by car I let slip I thought the leader of the hash was a bit of a tosser as I'd seen him before in Carnegies. When it came to the end of run activities this was duly brought up in front of everyone!! To see more go to HashPage

TIGGER ENGLISH SCHOOL CLOSES DOWN...


Here are a couple of larrikins, Ang and Howie!

One of my cushy little teaching gigs came to an end. Tigger English School, a fine academy of learning closed down and I was forced to seek afternoon employment elsewhere...

July 2009


A TRIP TO THE SILVER'S


Up on the roof with Dave and "Sharen"

Over the last year or so my mate Dave Silver has virtually disappeared from the social world. After getting secretly married to Sharen(When is the party Dave???) He now spends his life in domestic bliss growing herbs on his roof. A far cry from the old days of Carnegie madness! I was compelled to go and give the man a visit and savour his luxury rooftop garden


If you can't see the embedded video, click here

One Sunday I was out for a stroll and came across vast crowds surging towards the most famous temple in Taipei....naturally I had to investigate!

XIN-TIEN GONG TEMPLE

Something was going on. Hordes of people were queuing up to get blessed by Daoist priests. Don't know why, but it was all rather interesting.

A FLYING VISIT FROM NINA


IN THE KTV

Nina was back to Taiwan from Germany...but only for three weeks. I didn't know this and only got to see her on her last night. Took her and Jing-i to KTV where we spent three hours trilling away.


If you can't see the embedded video, click here


Took my first trip on the high speed rail to Kaoshiung for Matt and Olivia's wedding. Got drunk on the Saturday and nursed a hangover during the ceremony. I was even called up to give a speech in Chinese which was not what I really wanted to do at the time but I managed to drag Mr Wharton up with me to share the embarrassment...we even got some applause.

August 2009


Went out to Taoyuan to see "Tricky" at an outdoor concert. The other bands as expected were pretty crap, the beer was cheap but warm and the punters were few....not very promising then. To make things worse they had erected a VIP area around the front of the stage and we weren't allowed in. Luckily for us there was an English guy inside who kept passing us free beers until security stepped in and were told to F*** Off in no uncertain terms in a Brummie accent. (Did you see what I was doing there? By saying "Brummie" accent, that meant the foul words didn't eminate from my mouth...)

One of the earlier crap bands...


Here we are leaning against the oppressive VIP barrier

Anyway, We tried to rush security but I got grabbed giving Gren the chance to sneak in. The Bear then managed to get onstage with his posh camera, leaving me still outside and fuming. The gig itself was very good. Tricky knew how to get the crowd going and at one point was mobbed when he allowed fans onstage to join in the revelry. I finally bludgeoned my way in for the last couple of songs which gave me much satisfaction. The Brummie lad came back with us on the train and wanted to crash at one of our houses as he was based in Taichung. He was drunk however and fell asleep. When we approached Taipei I asked the others what to do and The Bear said "Leave him, he was annoying anyway" Charming I thought. A man gives you free beers and you give him the shabby treatment. I guess I have to take some of the blame because I hopped off the train too, leaving our drunken friend to continue his train ride to the port city of Keelung...

Had probably the greatest darts victory ever when we beat the Demolition gang in the final game to secure the points. The game was neck and neck and everyone was playing a blinder, though we only had three players...myself(arra), Gren(Goblin) and Ed(The Pod). When it came to the final game we needed another player otherwise it would have been a forfeit. Desperate times called for desperate measures and I rushed down to recruit the barman, Plus who had never thrown a dart before in his life! He stepped up and flung the first one into the brickwork, second into the wooden frame and the third hit the frame and bounced out...not a good omen.
Well, with a bit of coaching he was soon hitting the target and more importantly scoring some points, though we were losing ground. There was drama when Dave Reynoldson flared up after I pointed out players were throwing out of order. This fired our team up even more and rattled the opposition to such an extent that we came back from the dead and stole a magnificent crowd pleasing win....The Gang walked off en masse. Word has it on the street that we are now the most hated team in the league...

Matt had his 3rd wedding in Taipei. I took a few snaps then proceeded along with everyone else to get very drunk....It was all a lot of fun until I got some grief off of Anne/Anna which kinda pissed me off.

My foot had all the skin scraped off it playing water polo at the wedding party. Very painful I can tell you! The week before I'd done the same thing and also got kicked in the shin which made it swell up like an egg!


In darts, The Stranglers hoping to maintain the perfect start to the season came a cropper playing the Lotus Hillbillies. We took a ten point lead and then I stepped up to the oche...
Ahem, I proceed to lose every game but to be fair we could have still won the match in the last game but EVERYONE played crap and we suffered our first defeat of the season. Naturally, as befits our team, we were gallant in defeat unlike some of the other miserable sods who suffered at the hand of the Stranglers steam train!

Whilst other kids around the world are out climbing trees, playing with building block...well, computer games more like, here in Taiwan young children are entered into early MBA programs...ah yes, the young achievers.


September 2009


The time to run has come!!
I had been planning to leave my flat for a while...dripping ceiling, no interaction with flatmates, a certain person who refused to see me if I stayed there! so I put an ad in Tealit to get a replacement in....not one solitary reply. what to do?
Well, the boys Keelung Dave and Ian Edwards had moved into a new flat Songshan way and had a room available there. so, with darstedly planning I arranged to move out when the others were away...to save any hassle. I was late with the rent but I had paid 2 months deposit so didn't feel too bad about it. I'm writing this on the Saturday and am supposed to leave on the Sunday but tonight is the Underworld concert...cannot get too messed up as moving is a painful affair requiring much effort...not good on a hangover!

And guess what?
I did get messed up! The concert was great but something of a blur to me.



Matt had this T-shirt that lit up in time to the music...he was a popular man once the show was under way..the wackiest thing I've seen in a while!

Unfortunately though, I'd left my bag containing keys in On Tap.....we didn't go back there and of course when it was time to go home I'd forgotten about that and turned up at my place keyless and tired. Made various phone calls all to no avail so went to go and sleep in the local mountain area.After an hour or so of uncomfortable rest it started to rain...not just a light shower but some serious downpour. I got soaked and trudged my way back to civilisation to sit in a breakfast shop for an hour. Phoned Matt Wharton who I knew would be up early. He promised to come out with the key for the pub and I joyfully took the MRT to meet him. When he arrived.....the key didn't work so I went to sleep in an MRT station until midday when the pub was due to open...hoping someone elses key would work....At 12 only the chef turned up and he didn't have a key either...it was getting ugly!! Anyway, I finally went back there about 3pm and was reunited with my bag...needless to say I didn't move out that day!


Farewell WanFang Flat

On Tuesday it was all systems go and with military planning I packed my stuff and was out to my new abode sharing with Mr Ian Edwards and Monsieur Keelung Dave. Left a little note for my former flat mates to let them know I had left! I lost my deposit so it's no loss to them...
The new pad seems cool and I've got a bit of work to do getting wardrobes constructed but it should all come together soon!


If you can't see the embedded video, click here

October 2009

And it has! I am now a member of the Min Zu Mob and we'll soon be taking on the KuTing Possee at darts in a two leg affair...bring it on!
My birthday passed with little incident, I always like to keep a low profile on double 10! However Mr Skelly did announce to everyone in Carnegies that it was my 50th...Ho Ho, very funny!
Went to see "Taking Woodstock", interesting film but don't think too many locals would know what it was all about...the trippy scene was pretty far out!!
Been another tough month for me as I finally decided I had to cut Mia out of my life...not an easy thing to do but necessary for my sanity! Cold turkey it has been but at least I should come out the end of it intact and ready for new adventures...

The boy Edwards was rather keen to show off his new underwear and obviously with a few beers swilling inside him wasn't shy to parade in front of my camera...he's probably regretting it now!!

The Darts tournament was a bit of a let down. The KuTing Posse turned up in strength and gave us a right thrashing. I had been at Mel's birthday bash thinking the game was off and had to hot foot it back to Min Zu full of last minute shots administered by the chaps. The drunkenness kicked in just as I got home but I still managed to win my first game....however, we lost the match 13-2.

As a postscript to my rediscovered darts form, the following week I got to the final of a singles tournament at On Tap only to get hammered in the end by John(drama) Dixon. Earlier in the night it had been the annual freemans at Carnegies where we took advantage of the drinks and I unfortunately bumped into Mia...freaked me out a bit but obviously didn't affect my aim....

Halloween came along and by clicking the picture you can see what frolics we had down in On Tap on October 30th. As this wasn't the real day Swifty and I got dressed up again and went to the old Indian Beer House which had been transformed into a club for the night. Met a Chinese girl who spoke pure Scouse! She couldn't even speak Chinese...most amusing!!

November 2009


December 2009

ON TAP XMAS BARE CHEST DANCING SHOCK!!

The Christmas spirit ran strong in On Tap and the gang decided to celebrate with a bit of topless dancing. If you'd wandered in off the street you might have been forgiven for thinking you'd entered Taipei's hottest gay bar...but I like to think we are mature adults and comfortable with our sexuality!!


If you can't see the embedded video, click here

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