Sunday, May 31, 2015

The FA Cup Final

What more can I say really this was one of those days that a sports fanatic like myself only has once in a blue moon ... I can probably count on one hand the events I've went to that can compare to this . Though none of the events ever included teams I have supported and this one did ... My favorite football team in the whole world made it to the most prestigious final and I got a ticket ! It's like winning the lottery ;) if you didn't know I am an Aston Villa supporter and very proud of it ! 

I was so happy to leave the Marylebone Travellodge ! Still can't believe how mismanaged that place is .... And through it all I still feel bad for Mevlam the evening manager that did help me the best he could . Thanks for helping me out , unfortunate that your superiors don't care about what you have to go through to keep people happy . Anyways I got outside of there in a flash when I woke up , showered and bolted ! We headed off to Weatherspoons on Baker St where I first met up with the Kiddy Lions years ago so it was nice to reminisce ;) we had breakfast which was twice as much in cost then the same establishment in Birmingham ... Man do i hate London ! Can't wait to leave this shitty city ! :) 

We drank a few pints then headed out to Ruislip station to meet the bus' coming down from Brum ...dropped our bags , drank more and had a burger . The atmosphere was fantastic , everyone smiling , kids playing footie ... Wish I knew the name of the F.C. that shared their grounds with us as they were top notch letting us park there for free . It's a win win for them too as we drained their beer taps ;p 

When we started heading to Wembley I bumped into Richard who was heading in the opposite direction ??? Guess he was coming to find us with his dead phone in tow :( yeah sucks being anywhere with a dead phone ! What did we do 20 years ago without these contraptions ? He needed to get lubricated a bit so we popped into a pub and necked a couple . Then made the trek to the game . 

When I got to the ground I made my way to my seat and hung up my flag ... And then the game started ... Villa played shit ! They looked nervous and out of sort ... It was by far the worst I have ever seen them play and we got smoked 4-0 to Arsenal ... Congrats Gooners ! Just be humble talking to me about beating us or I will ask you how it feels to win Europe ? Oh yeah you guys have never won Europe ! 

I'm not gonna get into the why's or who's of this game but I will tell ya that 100% I have no regrets coming to this game AND I am proud to be an Aston Villa supporter . Without a doubt I am happy we made the final this year and I am sure next years team will look much different and will compete harder . At the end of it we still have the best supporters on the planet and coming over to be with my fellow Villans was well worth the trip ... The joys and pains of being a Villa fan . 

After the game we headed to Ruislip to get on our coach back north .... Yes I'm happy to leave London . Just hate this place so much lol ! Almost as much as I hate Vegas :p the drive up to Kidderminster was sobering so when I arrived at the Broadwaters Inn it was time  for a few pints with my host for the night Ben Mitchell . Chris Fetters and Pete Aston were there too , we had a few laughs while Ben stressed out over how to get us to his place in Stourport . Eventually we found our way and I passed out while Chris and Ben tried to teach me the rules of cricket ... Still have no clue but I kinda wanna learn . 

Just woke up on Ben's pullout and its snore fest here ;) hopefully these guys wake up soon as I'm hungry LOL ! 

I want to thank first and foremost Simon Leach for connecting me to the ticket . Gotta thank Matthew Haywood for selling me his spare and of course I have to thank Paul Harris for organizing everything else ... Oh yeah thanks to Ben Mitchell for letting me crash on your couch ;) UTV ! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Marylebone Travelodge

This is one of the worst hotel experiences  ever ! I arrived here in London yesterday at around 1:30 pm and as usual in money grubbing London they tell me at the counter that it's £10 to check in early ... No this doesn't happen everywhere else as you all know but happens here all the time . I won't have it so I ask to leave my bags , they tell me I'm lucky and that they are one of the only hotels to allow baggage storage which is total bullshit ! So I left my bag and went down the street to Vodafone topped up and grabbed some McDonald's and made a £10 bet on Villa to win ;)

Now when I was at the hotel earlier they asked what name rooms are under and i said it was Paul Harris that booked it ... They said he has only 1 room booked so I tried to message him with no luck ... Obviously the hotel made a mistake . Well when I came back to check in it was about 2:05 and I asked if they would put me in the room they said its £10 ! Really for 20 minutes you can't make your customers comfortable ??? Wow ! 

They made me wait the 25 minutes in the lobby then when I finally could check in without being ripped off they asked for confirmation # ... They never asked or mentioned it at 1:30 or at 2:05 but now it's 2:30 so they can check me in ???? Does it make sense .... How thick are these people ? So my phone was dead and I had to charge my phone for 20 more minutes before they reluctantly put me in a room ... 

My driver to go to my BBC interview came to get me at 4:30 pm and I headed off ... Interview was awesome ... Headed back to hotel between 7-8 pm . Now I was expecting to be sharing a room so I thought there would be a bag in there ... When I got to my door the key wouldn't work so I went to the front desk got the card working went to my room and started getting ready to go out .... Paul's phone died so I was told to chat with Richard and I realized I was in a room with 2 bags set up on each side of the bed ???? Wtf ? So there is 3 in my room ??? 

Facebook went down and my phone was on fritz so I lost contact and started wondering what is going on so I went to the counter and asked if there is a mistake ? They don't know because they don't take note on who is in which room ! Wow isn't that a MAJOR safety issue ? What if there is an emergency ? Don't they need to know which rooms to evacuate ??? Apparently they don't care here ... Maybe it's £10 for them to give a shit about you here ! 

So here I am sitting in the lobby asking the hotel to put me in my proper room and they are telling me that our 4 rooms are all full leaving me the odd man out ? But they don't know who is in what room .... What a disaster ! The man at the counter tried his best to help me out but his supervisor came up with this brilliant idea ... Lock the other 2 guys out of my room and when they arrive we will decide where I go ?!?!? I asked him to give me his supervisors address and said ok when I am woken up in the middle of the night that I will go to his supervisors house , wake them up and tell them to switch rooms ... He replied that he doesn't think they will like that and I said well do you think I will like it ? And do you think the other 2 locked out will like it ? So if we go with this plan there will be more pissed off people ! 

I sat in the lobby until 11 pm . The hotel refused to put me in a room and my one night in London was wasted away !!!! Finally Paul walked in the door and said I was in a room with Chris Fetters . Why Chris wasn't put into my room will baffle me as that is the most obvious decision to make isn't it  ? Why move the guy who already checked in ??? Why not message or tell me or have the hotel know about it ? This was the kind of surprise I did not want and never want again . I wasted a lot of money to come here to sit in a lobby while my friends went out and had fun . 

At the end of it I ended up in a room but let me be very clear that nobody should ever consider staying at the Travellodge Marleybone in London . It was the most uncomfortable experience knowing they hand out keys to rooms like candies and the safety issue of them not knowing who is in what rooms is very scary . The management do not care about you or your stay and in fact your comfort means absolutely nothing to them as they sit at home denying you of everything you have paid for ... In fact if you pay them £10 they will give you some minor preferential treatment if not you can become a front foyer ornament like I was as I spent a total of 5 hours before and during my stay here . I still can't believe they put 2 people in my room and then said they didn't know I was in there ... I hope the people who absolutely ruined my trip here get to read this because I will never forget this horrible experience at by far the worst customer service oriented establishment on the planet ! 

If you are ever in London , avoid this place like the plague ! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ice Hockey in Sheffield

Would you be surprised if I told you I was gonna play hockey on this trip ? Even though I never planned to ... Probably not a surprise eh ! Well here is the kicker , I was planning on using Dazza's spare kit to play out . Not in goal .... Yeah we discussed this when I arrived before the scotch took hold of my brain HAHA . So yes this was a sober decision ! 

First things first ... I need bacon and Daz and Mark took me to the Tinsley Transcafe which is a greasy spoon that just happens to be an ice hockey shrine for local ice hockey teams ! Apparently everyone that passes through Sheffield stops here to eat ... Guys like Theo Fleury even passed through to try out the food and see the historical stuff on the walls including a picture that even has Daz in it ... He never noticed it before yesterday and he has been there many times :p great hockey breakfast ! I would highly suggest any hockey fan pass through this breakfast joint :p 

After our big breakfast we decided to go on a nice long walk around Daz's place . It was so beautiful !

Walking along a few ponds/lakes and through fields that brought us to a pub named George and the Dragon . Yes we ate after walking off breakfast had a pint then walked back LOL . The walk back was easier but honestly I was so fattened up that I probably could have just rolled myself down the hill hahaha ! 

When we got back to Dazza's we were all tuckered out . Mark had to go and Daz and myself decided to take naps :) I love naps especially pre game/skate naps but I have to be honest I was kinda nervous about skating on player skates as they are higher off the ice then goalie skates ... The way I see it is like me going from flat foot shoes to stilettos , meaning I will be able to walk/skate BUT it won't look pretty ! 

When we woke up we packed our hockey bags jumped in the car and started heading to Ice Sheffield ... Then we got the call .... Ice time was supposed to be 10:45 -12:15 but the organizer failed to mention we had our time moved to 9:00 pm :( to make things worse I was told that the rink probably was not in use anyway and the children that run the rink are more inclined to go home early rather then make the rink some money ???? Really ! Apparently playing hockey at shitty times is not enough for this mismanaged arena . They want to take ice times for hockey and use it for pleasure skating ! Yeah how messed up is that ? So what does that young kid that learns to skate do when he wants to play ice hockey ? I guess he has to move to Canada because the way ice is managed here it seems as though they don't give a shit about ice hockey ... Guess they don't notice the 10,000 people walking by this rink to go watch Strelers games ? It's just across the road so it's not like you need binoculars or something :p 

Anyways I wasn't disappointed as I never planned to play any hockey on this trip but it would have been funny seeing pics of me without goalie equipment on hahaha ! Maybe next time . 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Scotch & Whiskey

Yesterday I made the trek from Birmingham to Sheffield via National Express ... Had breakfast first with my buddy Richard at Figure of Eight which of course included having a pint :p when I got to the bus terminal I made my way to my bus departure door waited and when the bus arrived it unloaded and the bus driver comes along and tells us "there was an accident on the motorway I was delayed 45 minutes and by law I must have a break so the bus is delayed for 45 minutes " ... Ok National Express ???? I guess there weren't any other drivers ? Bring off schedule is ok ? Seems wrong doesn't it ? Anyways I waited and got on 45 minutes later .... 

When I arrived in Sheffield my buddy Dazza picked me up and we went shopping for nacho ingredients which is one of his specialties ! When we got to his place I cracked a beer and gave Sarah a hug and then Dazza's mates came by ... One of em is already a good friend Mark Cooper whom coined the phrase "all hockey players are beer monsters " LOL ! The other fella i met once before when I went to see his band perform at The Cross Scythes ! 

Leon's band is called The Fargo Railroad Co. , they are an up and coming band out of Sheffield who play Southern Rock style music ... If you are into that genre or country music I would highly suggest it so check it out ;) Leon used to play hockey so I told him about being The Travelling Goalie , gave him one of my books and he gave me his cd then we all watched the teaser for my show and after listened to his cd which coincidentally was recorded @ The Cross Scythes on that same night I was there . Yeah it's a live album . It's great , please check it out online . If I were at home I would add a link but I'm not so google it !!!! Now !!!! 

So while Leon and myself were cross advertising each other last night I was doing some drinking ... Leon didn't drink but Mark and myself did ;) I brought a small bottle of Crown Royal whiskey to sample and we drank most of that and yes we drank it neat . Then we guzzled the Monkey Shoulder scotch and hit up the Aberlour which was pretty rough after  the other 2 ... It burned my eyes when I took my first nip and that's never a good sign . Sorry Mark you get the A++ for effort and now I know what it tastes like :( not for me .... 

Eventually people got tired . Leon left and Sarah had to get to work ... Tried to stay up to watch the NHL game but the alcohol had done its duty , it was time to sleep ...zzzzz....zzzzz ...

Didn't plan to play hockey but now it looks like I'm getting on the ice in players gear !!!! Yes not as a goalie ... Hard to say no to the game I love . 

Keepin My Promises

This is my Aunty Carmen . She is 76 and I love her to bits ;) 10 years ago when I was double crossed by this guy in Amsterdam I had no where to go to and when the bikers deported me , I ended up in Liverpool . I had no money and no one else to turn to except my Aunty and she took me in . 

She lives in Solihul near Birmingham which is a few hours drive and had to come pick me up from John Lennon airport but she didn't hesitate and I ended up staying with her and the rest of my family there for 3 weeks as I tried to get help from the rest of my family and each and every one of them turned their backs on me :( 

All I needed was $350 to fly home from Cardiff and NOBODY not even my own mother would lend me the money !!! How awful is that ? I was robbed , deported then had my whole family turn their backs on me but the whole time my Aunty was there for me ! They ended up paying my flight home after housing me for 3 weeks and the one thing my Aunty wanted was a bottle of ice wine ;) 

That was 10 years ago and I still don't talk to most of the cowards in my family but I am still in touch with my Aunty, and I love her more then ever ! I should have got that bottle to her years ago but I always seem to end up in England as my last stop on my tours which means it's hard carrying a bottle of alcohol around the world for weeks but on this occasion I was coming directly to England so I showed up with a bottle in tow . 

It was a couple days ago now that I ended up getting that bottle to her ... Unfortunately I was in rough shape from all the alcohol abuse from the night before :( had a bad hangover until I saw the look on her face when I gave her that bottle . Ice wine in England is really expensive !!!! I saw bottles that go for $45 selling for £90 ten years ago ... That was and still is really expensive . 

The moment I gave her that bottle she smiled and she knew that I kept my promise even though it took a long time to accomplish . She drank half the bottle while I sat with her chatting about everything under the sun and I kinda wish I brought her 2 bottles ... I didn't make her another promise but I'm sure I will bring her more in the near future. 

There was more that happened that day but it's really irrelevant to my life as this meant a lot for me to keep that promise ... Mission accomplished :) 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Just got on a bus to head up to Sheffield so hopefully I have the time to write about my last couple days ... Tried this morning but it just wasn't happening for me ... you must bewondering who that dude is with my magazine ? Well that is my good ol hockey buddy Darrin Pfeiffer ! 

Pfeiffer is also in a punk/ska band called Goldfinger !!! When I was looking for stuff to do in the UK I found out that his band was touring here and I checked the schedule and noticed that they were playing in Wolverhampton on the Slam Dunk Festival tour so I asked him if I could score some passes and he said yeah sure so I got him to put me and Karl McNelly in his list ... He knows Karl also as we all used to play hockey together so it was a great excuse to meet up and catch up and see his show . 

Pfeiffer put both our names down with a +1 for each of us . Karl had his buddy Richie join us and I couldn't find anyone else so when I got to the pub near Karl's I offered it to the bartender (Ben) and he was ecstatic to use the pass ... I never met the guy before but I thought he would appreciate it :) you gotta do cool shit like this once in a while . Karl showed up and we headed over to Wolverhampton ! 

We got to the festival which was half outdoors and half indoors ... It was a good setup with booths for vendors everywhere and generally the crowd was down to earth . We met Pfeiffer at his merch booth then left the festival to go sit in a pub and hang out ... This is when I realized how famous he was LOL ! Couple guys were all excited to see him and they got pics with him and everything then asked if we were in the band too ... Sorry for the disappointment guys (Matt!) ended up hanging out with the guys after and during Goldfingers set hahaha :) 

We headed inside to the stage where they were performing and when they came on the mosh pit kicked in ... And of course I got right in there with Karl and Richie throwing people around slam dancing to some one seriously awesome set !!! Still singing the songs to myself 2 days later . I had a fucking BLAST !!! Sweat my balls off and got a great workout jumping up and down for 45 minutes ... I'm not just saying this because Pfeiffer is a friend but that was one of the best shows I've ever experienced , you could feel the energy in the air ... It was so electric ! 

After the show we hung out with the band as they did their autograph session ... All the guys are really cool to their fans and their fans really love them . After a few pics with them all we headed back to the pub to continue just chilling with Darrin ... They had Brooklyn Lager on tap ... Well they did before we got there as we closed the pub that night then Pfeiffer had to get back on the tour bus so we walked over with him and got some posters signed by him and said our good byes ... What a sick night that was ! 

I just wanna say that if Goldfinger wasn't in town i would have went to another show in Nottingham to see my friend Niva with her band Dearly Beloved and Neevs I did tell Pfeiffer you guys said hey :) I'll catch you guys on tour someday soon I'm sure ! 

That was one hell of an amazing day meeting some cool peeps , hanging with old hockey buddies ( Pfeiffer couldn't believe that I didn't have my hockey gear ) and most of all I still can't believe this 40 year old beast was slam dancing the night away ... Only at a Goldfinger concert ! Good luck on the rest of your tour guys :) 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Match Day

This happened a couple days ago ... Yes I know ;( it's just that I have been so hungover and busy since then and now I finally am sober enough to do some writing hahaha . 

One of my favorite pubs near Villa Park is closing down and it would have been a shame if I didn't have a couple pre match pints there so I headed over with all me mates ;) oh yeah you're probably wondering which pub ... We call it The Addies but technically it's The New Adventures pub which is the picture at the top of the page . That day was the last day it was ever opened as it was a match day pub and this was the last regular season match and the next time I'm over it will be a roadway :( but hopefully will reopen again elsewhere as it was a solid Villa pub ... Thank you Addies for all the great memories !!!!

Had to make an appearance at the Social too which is around corner to meet up with another mate Craig Allsop . People here stick to "their" pubs and Craig is always at the Social so I went over for a quickie to say hello with a couple other friends . Just one pint before heading to meet the rest of the guys as all the club chairmen had a meeting at the Lions Loinge so we headed over and then I had to meet my guardian angel :) who brought me my FA Cup Final ticket . Matthew Haywood had a spare ticket that he didn't want to sell to a local because the locals had all year to come to games and the ones that didn't now want tickets when someone like myself does not have that same opportunity so he thought the ticket should go to a foreigner travelling over ....that's me ! So we met outside the lounge and when I got that ticket I had a smile from ear to ear .... Thanks Matthew you are amazing and I still owe ya big time !!!! 

Finally it was game time and we sat in the upper Holte end which is fabulous but unfortunately the game was not that great with Villa losing to bottom feeder Burnley . Ings scored the only goal early and they went into a defensive shell that we could not penetrate but regardless I thought we had our chances and we definite out played them but came out with the loss :( 

After the match I could have stuck around to watch the supporters game but honestly I wasn't too interested and wanted to spend time with my great friend Richard and his family The Pilkington/Taylor's .... Dawn and Ronnie Taylor (yes he is related to Ian Taylor !!!) invited me over for dinner at theirs . Dawn is Richards sister so it was nice to finally meet my mates family ... Super amazing people ! We ordered Chinese and shared stories about Villa while having a few tins of lager . Really it was a good time spending time with locals doing what they do instead of being just a tourist doing what they do :) yeah almost the same but not quite lol ! 

Didn't stay out too late but had quite a few over the day and kinda felt a bit jet lagged or as Richard said , I'm just becoming an old fart lol ... He's probably right . 

Thanks goes out to Simon Leach for organizing everything and special thanks to Richard , Dawn and Ronnie for making me feel so comfortable ! Tomorrow I will write about yesterday and today in 2 separate segments as I have time to on my bus ride to Sheffield to meet the one and only Dazza from the Island Monkeys hockey club ... More adventures to come ! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015


So if I were to tell you that I went out yesterday and got totally hammered , would you believe me ? Lol ! I don't even want to know what happened at the end of last night . All I know is I had money in my wallet :) I found a visa receipt (?) more then likely I bought a round of drinks ... Right now I'm not interested in piecing the evening together but let's just say yesterday was off the hook YO ! 

It was like I died and ended up in heaven with a lot of friends :) the day started with a hangover went for breakfast which I couldn't finish and then we all headed to Villa Park for our tour of the grounds . We had the best tour guide ... Mick ! He was full of amazing info and was really energetic :) the tour is regularly 1.5 hours .... Mick took us on a 3.5 hour tour and honestly it could have went longer as we were all in awe just being at the park is so magical ... Villa Park is very elegant and beautiful ! Now remember I'm a Villa fan but I would highly doubt anyone would disagree unless you are a blues fan :( 

After the tour I took my credit card shopping ... Yes my girlfriend will kill me when she sees the bill :p I will deal with that another day ! We all headed back to the hotel to get changed for the supporters awards dinner which was at Villa Park so yeah we left and came back but this time we were drinking ... A lot!

When we arrived I hung up my flag and took some flak from the Kiddy lads for not wearing their top which was my idea ... Guys I'm still kicking myself about that ! Regardless all is well and then they announced the clubs that travelled to Birmingham ... Well not all the clubs :( they failed to see the Canadian flag ??? Not sure why they mentioned everyone except us but regardless I thought it was bullshit !!!! Very disrespectful ... Shame on whoever failed to mention us ! I came across a friggin ocean , spent thousands of dollars so it would have been nice to receive some recognition right ? Whatever ! Hopefully someone reads this and realized how disappointed we are that the club we support couldn't even say Welcome Canada . 

It was a night with some disappointments as our Kidderminster friends did not win club of the year :( Chicago didn't get overseas club :( but the shining moment was when Simon Leach won top supporter which is huge and totally awesome ... Don't get me wrong it was an awesome night hanging out with friends from all across the planet that all gathered to be here but that lack of acknowledgement was very disappointing .... Unfortunately that will be in my mind forever and I hope Villa sends us a message apologizing as they should . 

Time to get ready to go drinking .... And head over to Villa Park once again :) UTV ! 

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Yes I am hungover ... Not too badly , nothing a few aspirins can't fix or maybe a few more warm pints . When I landed I tried to get an Uber ride but that didn't happen so I opted to take a black cab and I paid £32 to get to the Novotel ... Not gonna bitch about it ... Just gonna roll with the punches and enjoy myself :) 

When I got to Novotel I checked in got to my room showered and headed out to the Tap & Spile which is just around the corner and met up with me mates ;then I got drunk end of story LOL ! 

Ok so there is more to it ... A bunch of the guys went out for cricket , I didn't as I just want to drink and have fun so I stuck with the pub crawl and ended up at Brew Dog which is a brew pub that obviously makes their own beer and it was yummy !!! Really yummy ... I would highly suggest visiting this place if you are a fan of good beers .... But that was not the last place we went to ...

After a few pints we headed to Craven Arms and continued our beer tasting trip ... I will be honest , I don't remember much there ? Really I am not sure if I was there or eating curry first ... Yes I ate Indian food which is not regularly something I do and from what I remember it was good ! 

That is what I ate ... I think it was chicken something or other hahaha ! Regardless at some point that is what happened ... I think ? It's really early here right now and I think I went to bed early ? I don't know ... All I know is I woke up in my bed with the telly on and a headache . Thankfully I have all my organs in tact and my wallet is here so it couldn't have been that messy .

The weather was nice yesterday and seeing all my Villa mates was over the moon awesome ! Today I have a tour of Villa Park and I'm gonna do some shopping there ... It's really good to be here ! It feels like home being with all my friends and I can't wait to see everyone today again ;) 

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Middle Seat

See that look on my face ? That is a look of discontent . I don't know why I booked Lufthansa since they are the best in the world when it comes to going on work strikes :( no that didn't happen ... It could as technically I am still in transit sitting in Frankfurt waiting to connect to go to Birmingham , England . 

The flight here wasn't all that bad only problem is I requested a window and got a middle seat . Oh you can imagine the horror when I realized I was gonna be trapped between 2 strangers ... Lucky for me they were both women ... No they were not hot ! Sorry guys , I know it would be awesome if I had 2 smoking babes to sit beside but that only happens in fantasies . 

The fact that I was stuck between 2 females was great , I mean I could have ended up sitting between 2 sumo wrestlers !!! Yikes !!!! So all is well right ... Ummm yeah kinda ? The one chick reeked :( like bad B.O. It made me dizzy but that wasn't the worst part . The whole flight was a battle for the arm rest ....

Here is the discussion ... If you are sitting in middle you should have rights to both arm rests ? Shouldn't ya ? I mean buddy at the window has it made and aisle seat has quick escape ... That leaves me in the middle ... I've always given that middle seat person right of way with arm rests ! So why didn't this stinky chick ? Am I wrong to assume that ? Honestly leave a comment if you disagree but give me reasons . Let get this shit clarified :) 

Anyways I should probably find my gate sit around and I guess wait .... Can't wait to get to my hotel .... Next time we will talk about airport toilet etiquette LMAO 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

That Feeling

Today is the day that i have been longing for ... finally its time to head off on a holiday . No hockey equipment and I'm going back to the place where i was last at ... same airport and everything . Back to Birmingham , England :) Feels really weird that i am not packing up my goalie gear and the bag i will be rolling with me is much much smaller then the one i usually roll around ... i wouldn't say its better because i always rather have my gear in tow but this is something i personally need to do ... things have been rough as of late and its time to let loose !

This post is all about that feeling you get on the day you fly away on your own . Do you know what i mean ? I mean if you are a lone wolf then you have no problems with being alone but even for myself who i admit i am a travel junkie , the idea of leaving to the airport and leaving the country and being alone getting across the planet sends a bit of an eerie feeling in my bones .... it's almost like a high . Yeah i know its a bit odd but I'm sure I'm not the only one that gets that buzz or excitement the morning you wake up and jump on a plane . Could i be wrong ? Am i the only one that gets that ?

Now that all being said when i get moving and jump on my 2nd plane in Germany i won't have that same buzz ... is this more confusing ? Remember i am a goalie , i get hit in the head with ALOT of pucks LOL ! So maybe its just me .... but i doubt it . And to further explain this rush ... when i get back to Toronto and take off on my next trip (Spain) i will be with Kathleen and i probably won't feel that same rush ? Maybe it would be a good experiment to see what Kathleen's buzz is like hahaha ! Its' probably just me .....

When i get into that Uber ride to the airport today it will seriously kick in that I'm ALONE !!!! Not quite like being alone and being hunted down by a psycho murderer alone , more like in my mental state there will be some peace knowing that i have to be alone to attain that mental state of happiness (travelling) once arriving in jolly old England . Its sort of like the calm before the storm but through all this energy you can feel like this storm is gonna be mental and not mental like crazy mental like monumental :)

I guess i will do my daily posts in my hungover state while travelling whether there is hockey or not ... I'm sure some of you will find my stumbling around England amusing :P i know i will ! There will be some hockey related stuff on the way too , there always is ....

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thank You Oxelo Hockey !

Alright so you all know or should know that i am an ambassador for this amazing app./website called The Hockey Community if you have never checked it out then what are you waiting for ? Really if i like it and endorse then why wouldn't the rest of you LOL ! Like i am the guy that all of you should follow off the cliff right ? No seriously check it out .

So being an ambassador has its perks and one of them arrived in the form of some twigs ... yes goalie sticks :) Oxelo Hockey has partnered up with The Hockey Community and as a gift they sent all the ambassadors new sticks ! Oxelo Hockey is a company based out of France that just supplied the French National Team with their gear ... yeah i know most of my buddies on this side of the planet are scratching their heads . The sticks arrived some time ago but i never got to use them because we (Ghetto Blasters) were in our playoff run so using something new in a big game is a huge no-no and definitely something that would cause some bad juju in my head if i mishandled a puck or something .

Last night i played my last game for a while :( well i guess its only 2 weeks but still that's an eternity for me ...anyways it was my first game for my Tuesday night team and it was time to try out the new twig . When i got on the ice i felt the weight in it which i like because with my lighter stick i find that i am always holding the stick off the ice so with a bit more weight it is much easier to let it rest on the ice . The curve on this thing is mental , not even sure if it's legal LOL ... I'm sure it is , only got to snap a couple pucks with her (yes it's a her) can't really stand around shooting pucks when there are 10 guys out there with pucks waiting to pepper me so i took my place and yeah she felt good during the warm up so i stuck with her for the game ... we played a team that we have had a .500 record against over the years so they are a decent squad , our squad was pretty good too with our new additions but for some reason i was unbeatable last night . Yeah i know me unbeatable LMAO ! but no I'm dead serious , that puck looked like a beach ball and we won .... 6-0 .

What more as a goalie am i supposed to say about my new stick ... I'm as superstitious as the next goalie so you can only imagine that i am gonna use that stick like it was Thor's hammer :) It's too bad i won't get to try it again for another 2 weeks .... but i just wanted Oxelo Hockey to know that i can't wait to use it again !!!! Thanks for the sticks , its nice to use some good ol' wooden twigs . When you guys get your newer models i am more then willing to test them out for ya .

If you have read this and you are looking for a new stick to try out , i hear their sticks are pretty darn good too ! Contact them and ship 'em over ... don't hesitate . 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Getting Back To It

The last few weeks have been pretty crappy but things are looking up :) The fact that this guy that ran over my girlfriend will probably never be caught , really does not sit well with me . Not at all ! It's been tearing me apart inside ... If you are reading this and have no clue what i am talking about then read my last post . This guy abruptly ended her trip and put her in the hospital , at the moment she is happy because she can bend her wrist a bit ... which is terrible , i mean for me it rips my guts out seeing her this way . Laws need to be changed ... too many cyclists are getting away with murder ! 

This all being said she wants a new bike because she enjoys riding her bike and sailing , which are both things she will not be able to do this year :( that reality has not set in for her yet , and it sucks because i know she is tough and won't let me know how it bugs her . Things aren't all so doom and gloom but i am more of a realist then i let on . Enough of my bitching .... 

It is said that after every storm comes the sunshine , or sometimes you have to go through the bad to get to the good ... well i guess so ? As most of you know i am a huge Aston Villa Supporter , yes i know this has nothing to do with hockey LOL ! My team has made it to the FA Cup Final which is bloody huge . Getting a ticket was like striking gold as all the season ticket holders had first crack at the 25,000 tickets allotted to Aston Villa fans . I already bought a ticket for the last game of the season vs. Burnley as i am going to visit family in Birmingham .... going through this stuff with Kathleen has brought me to do some reflecting and i figure this is a good time to carry through on a promise i made 10 years ago !!!! So i am taking off next week .

When i left Amsterdam 10 years ago and ended up in Birmingham with my family there i had promised my Aunty Carmen that i would one day bring her a bottle of ice wine from Canada , she loved the stuff so much ... now i have been to see her a few times since and i never brought her that bottle :( . It's because i was always stopping off in Birmingham at the end of my trip so i didn't want to smash a bottle over the other 3 or 4 weeks of travelling with it ...I'm sure you all understand LOL .Anyways my uncle and her husband had passed away a couple years ago and she hasn't sounded too energetic of late ... so i think this will lift her spirits :) i won't just take her 1 bottle ... i will take her 2 ! 

This all really started to give me the idea to go to England to see her , go watch a Villa game then get back home ... but as usual things change right ? I mean this shit with Kathleen caused me to cancel my trip which has caused me more bullshit then you can imagine :( Then next thing you know Aston Villa qualify for the FA Final vs. Arsenal .... wouldn't you know it somehow i come across a ticket ? no joke ! i guess this is that good sunshine stuff i was talking about earlier ? So this fellow named Matthew had a spare ticket that he wanted to give to a foreigner ... I'm a foreigner ! I'm glad i didn't book my flights already ... i mean i waited to see if i got a ticket for FA ... which is odd because the game is in London which is where Kathleen was run over by that cyclist ... should i go hunt the bastard down ? LOL ... probably not hahaha . 

Here is the silver lining to this all . After i come back i am hoping to take Kathleen to Spain . After all the shit she has dealt with i think that some sun and drinks will be good for her on her birthday . For those wondering , she is still in quite a bit of pain from her surgery . Her arm looks gnarly . But she is in good spirits . I just wish the cops would catch this guy and charge him . But that's just me ....

Friday, May 1, 2015

This Is Killing Me !

The last few posts that I've made were all about me trying to organize my trip to Europe and how they change . This trip was supposed to start in Serbia going to Belgium then Czech Rep. & Slovakia .... it then turned to Czech Rep. , Slovakia , Holland and England .... at one point i was looking at Scotland and possibly Northern Ireland too ! Well that all went to shit when Kathleen had a bad accident on her trip :(

It was a bit crazy but i was not supposed to see Kathleen for 2 months as she went off to Italy,England and Jordan for a month long trip with friends and family . It took her a lot of time and she had booked her flights,hotels and tours  and was actually off enjoying her trip when this all happened ... About 2 weeks before she was supposed to come home (and i was supposed to leave) i was on set working on a televisions commercial and i knew she was supposed to be flying to Germany to connect to Jordan with it all starting in London ,England . For some reason she didn't call or post anything online or message me ???? It was strange but i was busy so it didn't consume me but the thought did cross my mind if she was OK or not ....

Around 9 pm local time here in Toronto i am starting to wrap gear out of our location and for some reason i looked at my phone and saw a Facebook message from her ... i stopped working to check it and to my horror it was Kathleen saying she was in an accident and is in a hospital ... WTF !!!! I dropped my gear and messaged her to call me or facetime me and next thing you know there she was on my phone with both arms in slings .... OMG ! She tells me she was going for a coffee with her sister (who was supposed to go to Jordan with her) and on her way to the cafe she went to cross the road at a street light and she was hit by what she at first thought was a car .... it ended up being a cyclist on his bike who ran a red light and ploughed her over !

This was a Friday ... i was well on my way to booking and being fully prepped to head off for my month long trip . I had enough work booked to cover any bills i incur on my travels as i usually overspend LOL ! If i never had received this message i probably would have booked my flights the day after on the Saturday ....but that all changed . The idea of leaving Kathleen here with 2 broken arms on her own did not sit well in my mind ... so i had to do what anyone else would or should do ... i cancelled my trip :( ... probably the worst fucking feeling you could have . sorry for cursing but that is just how i feel about it all ! Its like my bloody heart was torn out when i made that decision but this is the kind of thing a man should do for his woman . Yeah there are other trips but this was to go celebrate my good friend Rainer's 10th anniversary of running tournaments ... and let me tell you , its happening right now and i am receiving pictures and messages and i know in my heart that i am missing the time of my life but this is bigger then that ....

The story doesn't end here .... the cyclist did not stay at the accident and took off without leaving his info ! Kathleen had a broken elbow which required emergency surgery so a nurse from Toronto was flown out to London , England to go retrieve her and bring her home to have surgery . That day she came home i had to leave another job ... mentally i have not been to keen on anything aside from taking care of Kathleen and it really all kicked in when she was flown home . The day after she arrived i had to drop another job and the week after i had to drop a week's worth of work also .... Even if she was ok now i couldn't afford to go because i had given up about $2500 in lost work to take care of the person that needed me more then work did ... yeah i am sad even writing this thinking about this ... its been rough . Honestly if you didn't know that i pay for these trips on my own then now you do .

Kathleen had her surgery and has a bunch of gruesome staples holding the plates and bolts that are in her arm now thanks to the speeding cyclist that i hope got to where he had to be in such a rush ! (sarcasm) I am back to work now , she still can't lift anything and i am still taking care of her the best i can ... these have been pretty rough times :(

I hope that all my friends have fun at the tournaments i was supposed to be at ! Congratulations Rainer on 10 years of amazing tournaments :P and i really hope my buddies can sell the IIHF tickets i had bought or I'm in the hole for $230 ... yeah through all this i might have to pay :( hopefully i get some brownie points with karma and someone buys them . Hopefully i can save up enough cash to take off to England to watch some soccer and drown my sorrows at the end of next month as i really need to get on a plane ... the urge never leaves .