Being Me #1 | Memories Not Souvenirs

I’d thought I’d kick this series off with something that dawned on me whilst recently on holiday with my family.

It was as we walked around one of the many stores in Disneyland thinking about what we wanted to pick up to remember our trip by. It was there that I realised that, to me, memories are more important than trinkets from days out.

Although we did buy plenty of things from Disney, for our son mainly, but I decided that I only wanted to get some small things (a lanyard and pin badge or two), but the memories generated from our holiday will stay with me forever. I’m honest enough to admit that things weren’t perfect on our holiday, but actually that all probably contributed to the memories that we created. The longer than anticipated walk between landmarks in Paris, the backend of a storm hitting Disneyland and torrential weather on our journey south will all stay with me.

Five Favourite Friday... Halloween Costumes

I’m back with another Five Favourite Friday post (but not with the subject I’d anticipated) and with it being Friday the 13th I’m going through my favourite Halloween Costumes.
Although I never really ‘did’ Halloween growing up (too American for my liking), but there are Costumes that I think suit the celebration. In recent years Nikki has dragged me along to grownup Halloween parties and I’ve made (a poor) attempt at dressing up, first as a zombie patient and then a vampire, but there are much better options out there that will be included.

1) Puns
If you can get a costume that also raises a laugh you’re on to a winner in my book. Some of my favourites are: 
  • ‘Hairy’ Potter - An overly hairy person throwing their clay, an apron and additional hair can make this a quick costume that can be cobbled together at short notice. 
  • Cereal Killer - A simple costume where you affix cereal box covers to your clothes, then walk around with your weapon of choice, fake of course! 
  • French Kiss - stereotyping the French, by wearing a beret and striped shirts with black and white Kiss makeup.
  • Ginger Bread-man - Dress up as a baker and add a ginger wig, easy.

2) Creepy Clown
I think what makes them scary is the fact clowns exist and, extenuated by films like ‘It’ [1990 & 2017], there is something inherently creepy about clowns. It’s not difficult to see why some people have a phobia of them (Coulrophobia). A bit like my next favourite, I think you’ve got to throw yourself into being a creepy clown, otherwise you’re just not scary!

3) Zombie
A staple of Halloween costumes and relatively easy to pull off (some people naturally have an almost dead complexion). But as with most of these, the more preparation that you put into it, the better it will look in the end.

4) Werewolf
One of my favourite mythical monsters and quite an easy costume to make with a bit of additional fur here and there.

You can always hope that Halloween isn’t a full moon and you can just go in casual clothes and say you’ve not been affected by the moon’s rays!

5) Ghost - Victorian
Another costume that can be done quickly by doing with bits you may have lying around the house (a white sheet with eyeholes) or going full on with ghostly makeup and wearing mute clothes that make you look like your from the Victorian era.

I hope this inspires you, if you’ve got any favourite Halloween Costumes that you love let me know in the comments below.

Shrewsbury Town 3 - 0 West Bromwich Albion U21s | Checkatrade Trophy | 03/10/2017

On the back of fine league form and a last minute victory in the previous round of matches against Coventry City, Shrewsbury took on West Bromwich Albion’s under 21’s in the second match of the Checkatrade Trophy. Going into the match I was confident that Shrewsbury would manage to beat WBA U21’s, they have looked physical strong, well organised and confident. It could be argued that Shrewsbury would be the strongest side in the competition, being top of League One. However it was difficult to predict what sort of problem WBA U21s would pose.

Looking at the team sheets before the match, Shrewsbury had named a strong starting side with a bench full of first year professionals, the only name I recognised on the opposition team was Oliver Burke, bought in the summer for a rumoured £15m.

Shrewsbury: MacGillivray; Shelis, Beckles, Sadler, Riley; Gnahoua, B Morris, Adams, Dodds; Carlton Morris (Mwandwe 89), John-Lewis (Barnett 67)
Subs: Gregory, Hughes, Mwandwe, Barnett

West Brom U21s: Palmer, Burke (Pierce 62), Morton, McCourt, Melbourne, Soleman, Jameson, Bradley, Chambers, Brown (Azaz 73), White (Clayton-Phillips 67)
Subs: House, Pierce, Clayton-Phillips, Azaz, Rogers, m Harmon, Hall

First Half
As I had expected, Shrewsbury started the more dominant with a high pressing game, putting significant pressure on the WBA defence, gifting Salop possession in dangerous positions on the pitch. The first good opportunity fell to John-Lewis who collected a pass from Dodds 20 yards from goal and outmuscled a defender only to see his placed shot come back off the post.

Shrewsbury did take the lead shortly afterwards as John-Lewis poked home following Carlton Morris’ header towards goal was pushed away by the goalkeeper. As the half wore on John-Lewis had another opportunity to score, but after getting himself a yard of space, although on target his shot lacked any significant power.

Second Half
The second half followed the pattern set out in the first and Shrewsbury soon added a second goal, to lead 2-0. The impressive Joe Riley, playing at left back, provided his second assist of the night by crossing for Carlton Morris to flick goal-wards, catching the goalkeeper unawares.

It was soon 3-0 as Louis Dodds, collected the ball just outside the area and curled a low shot into the bottom corner of the net - very much giving the score line an appropriate feel. There were later chances for Joe Riley and others as the WBA players started to show signs of fatigue.

Final Thoughts
It was good to see a number of players get some game time, for some it was the first time I’d seen them play, but it was a convincing victory that Shrewsbury thoroughly deserved. I was disappointed with WBA, I expected that these teams would offer some threat, but they didn’t offer anything in attack. I had noted Burke’s name on the team sheet, and although he looked head and shoulders above the rest of the team, he still didn’t look anything special on that performance. Down to the results elsewhere it looks as though Shrewsbury have made it through to the next round, where I’m sure they’ll have no fear of anyone they have to play.

Man of the Match - Carlton Morris
Another good all round performance by the team, so it was difficult to single one player out. It was the first time I had seen Omar Beckles play since his move from Accrington Stanley, and he impressed winning most things that came his way, whilst looking accomplished with the ball at his feet. Arthur Gnahoua looks like he could be a fans favourite if he can displace either Shaun Whalley or Alex Rodman. Also, Christos Shelis making his debut after signing a 2 year deal looks like a good option for the future. But for me Carlton Morris probably edged it, he didn’t stop running, never gave the defence a moments peace on the ball and he got deserved a sly goal on the night.

2017 New Years Resolutions | October Update


I've been meaning to do an update on my progress on my resolutions for a really long time (probably back to April, but 'life' got in the way), but I'm finally getting round to considering my 15 resolutions that I wanted to achieve in 2017.
Blog Resolutions:
  • Outline what the Five Favourite Friday topic will be in post prior to that week - To date I've done well with this one to date, but as I mentioned in my general update post a few days ago, I'm giving some consideration as to how frequently I'm going to be posting the Five Favourite Friday in future.
  • My Week That Was posts will be issued on a Sunday night - Again, generally I'm managed to stick to this, but 'life' has sometimes stopped me from getting the Posts published. If I'm honest, I could probably have done better with this resolution so far.
  • I will do a weekly review of the Free App Of The Week on the Apple AppStore - I had all kinds of good intentions at the start of the year, but I know I haven't really made much progress with publishing weekly reviews of these apps, I'd argue that the first one I didn't review was because I literally had nothing to say on the app, this then gave me a reason not to do future ones. With the rollout of iOS11, there has been a change to the Appstore meaning that they are doing free app a day and I know I'm not currently disciplined enough to review them all and maintain quality.  I'll give some thought as to how I can bring this resolution back on track.
  • Refresh the design of my blog - Done! Glad I could actually say I've accomplished one of my resolutions. Thanks to Nikki, I've updated the design template, and made some other small adjustments that mean I can say I've done it.
  • Be consistent sharing posts on social media - Another resolution that I've been a bit slack on. I will improve - honest.
Gaming Resolutions:
  • Complete wave 50 of Horde on Gears Of War 4 - I did give this a good go at the start of the year, but I noticed that the number of people playing Horde online dropped significantly and it was difficult trying to keep a team together beyond wave 20. If I'm honest, I don't think I'll achieve this resolution this year.
  • Complete to 100% 4 Xbox games - I have made some progress towards this resolution, even if a couple of games that I wanted to 100% have added new achievements to them. I've decided that I plan to complete Terraria (98%), Minecraft (98%), Lego Marvel Avengers (96%) & Lego Marvel Superheroes (60%) and I still think that it's achievable by the end of the year. 
  • Try out the Games On Gold that I download - I made a good start with this but I haven't been able to fit much of this in recently. There are four months left and I intend to try the games that come out when they're available.
  • Complete all The Simpsons Tapped Out events - This is another resolution that I've done well with. There have been 13 events completed with another one in progress, and for the vast majority of them I've unlocked all of the rewards available as part of them.
  • Capture all the original Pokémon on Pokémon Go - I decided to tweak this resolution to be capture all the first generation Pokémon available to me in Pokémon Go. In recent weeks this is a resolution that I have been confident that it will be completed. I started the year with 90 of the available 151, (although 8 weren't available at this point) and after the recent events, with the legendaries being available to battle and one of the regional Pokémon coming to major European cities I'm now only one away from completing this resolution. Only Hitmonlee to go, then I'll be left with Tauorus, Farfetch'd, Mewtoo, and possibly Mew to complete Gen 1.
Personal Resolutions:
  • Lose 21 pounds by the end of the year - I was getting my weight down, but a number of factors impacted my ability to try and shift some my excess pounds, mainly moving office and not really having access to cheap healthy food.
  • Go out once a month with the intentions to do photography - I've not been out as much as I'd like, both to take photographs or otherwise, but I have enjoyed going out with my new camera to explore all the different settings on it.
  • Attend some events - Again, I've been to a number of events, The Photography Show, The Shropshire Kids Festival and The Good Food Show/Gardens World Live, the NFL match between the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars but there are still more that I want to attend, in particular ComicCon.
  • Take better care of myself - On the whole, I'd say I have, but in recent weeks, perhaps I haven't, in part due to trying to time things right for our upcoming holiday. At the time of writing this, I need a haircut, but want to get it done before we leave next Friday, after that I should be good to continue with this resolution.
  • Watch more TV - I'm glad to say that I'm making progress on this resolution. I've watch much more TV, and I've really enjoyed catching up on 'Death In Paradise' and a few other programmes, mainly as a result of not playing on my console as much.
In truth, it looks like I'm going to miss a number of these resolutions, but I will achieve some of them which I should be proud of. Perhaps I've set myself too many targets this year, but I'll live and learn for next time!