Cant really believe I have done this for 5 years now. Interesting to look back and see the type of things that consistently make my top 10.
Also I realise that I need to see more concerts, so glad I have my blink182 tickets ready for 2011.
So the top 10 for 2011 in no particular order are:
- Katelyn She is not the first baby to be born to my friends, but has been the closest for me. I was practically there when the parents met and when she was conceived. Holding here I thought a flood of emotion would hit me like when a friend has a new car, luckily it didn't.
- Aikido Sugawara Sensei workshop in Edinburgh Feb, I am glad my sensei Andy pushed me to going to this. My level of Aikido is very low to expect to get a vast amount from the sessions, the experience of just being there was enough. The couple of times Sugawara worked with me he raised a smile and tapped my foot to indicate I should breakfall with the other one. The only way I can explain it, is to say its probably the Aikido equivalent to meeting the pope (or a bishop of something).
- Rage for the Revolution, RATM Finsbury Park London Rage Against the Machine has always been on my list of bands to see live. It always seemed unlikely as they no longer make records together. With the Rage for the Revolution thing when they got the xmas number one in the UK they promised a free gig in London. Luckily and with help from friends all over the world clicking refresh on the ballot page I managed to get two tickets. RATM comes up in so many aspects of my life. As a preteen I remember my sisters friends listening to the self titled Rage Against the Machine album. Then as a teenager myself the Battle of Los Angeles came out and my hardcore buddies all had in playing in there cars along with Korn. Rage really got drilled into me once I started strength training, any strength gym you walk into worth its salt will have some RATM tracks in it playlist. Not to mention the Vegan links, the bassist (Tim Commerford) is vegan and the revolutionary message the band has.
- Buy, briefly owning and losing a car.I fear I took it (the car) for granted as I don't even have a photo of it. I could "steal" a photo of it from the new owners facebook page but that would be silly. The car itself was a little beauty the most reliable I have ever owned. She started every time unless the battery was flat and even then would be sparked up with my little yellow friend the battery pack. My car ownership record is not tanished as it was Italian. So when I get on Top Gear and they try embarrass me about cars I have owned, they will be shocked to know I have only ever owner Italian "sports" cars.
- Unit20 First Timers Strongman Comp I really got into Powerlifting and strength training in 2010. The comp was very much only the beginning and was the climax of 6 months training. The fact I can deadlift over 200kg still amazes me today and probably will for the rest of my lift. I might not be able to deadlift 200kg everyday, but one day in Edinburgh in 2010 I did it 5 times in a row, with friends screaming at me "COME ON BALDY!". That is what life is about and you cant buy that as an experience weekend.
- Spanish Wedding
- Writing my last exam ever, obviously I will write other exams. Probably stupid little Microsoft exams to get a certificate that costs a fortune and will only last for 6 months. None of those exams will matter though because my next step in academia is a PhD, which will be purely research/thesis based. The last exam I wrote I went into pretty confidently and wrote in Mc Ewan hall. Sitting there writing your exam really puts you in your place.
- Completing a Dissertation and Contributing code to the Open Source community
- Edinburgh Festival with my mum
- MSc Graduation in Edinburgh
The highlight of the trip has got to be driving back from town in a taxi playing Counting Crows Mr Jones. If it was holiday in Spain it would have been even more appropriate, but might have been too much.
To be fair the trip was a complete amazing experience from start to finish. Including a high speed road trip half way across Spain from Madrid to .
Staying at an amazing hotel, then being involved in a very Spanish wedding.
What would a year be without a little bit of fun and the chance to make money. It is like a party but with a bit of competition playing poker and the chance to strike it rich. I always use http://www.partypoker.fr/ when I have the urge to play online poker.
I still can't make my mind up if its been a shitty or a good year. Started the year without a solid plan and it pretty much took the whole year to bring the plan together. It was a lot harder than I thought to get out of Ireland and then get setup in London. Maybe was a little naive thinking that moving to London was the easy option.
As standard top 10 in no apparent order:
- Cape Town visit and holiday romance
What a friggin good holiday, I hadn't been home for 2 years, so was really good to have such a long holiday to reconnect with all my friends. Also to make a few new ones, nod nod wink wink. Even if that hasn't seem to work out that well. A boy can still have hope.
- Faithless Concert
Totally spontaneously I got a call saying, Faithless are playing tonight. Faithless are on my "Must see before I die" list, magically I got a ticket online and that evening we where watching Goldfish open and then Faithless.
The live performance beat everyone of my expectations, so many quality tunes.
- Alfa Romeo 147
After loosing my little Fiat last year, part of the repair my soul plan was to get an awesome car in the UK. R was kind enough to take me car shopping and after driving a few token Toyota's we found this solid 147, 2 litre engine and BOSE sound system. Love it to bits, even if it breaks down at some stage it is worth it. Servicing has been a little expensive (as has insurance), but "Maria the Beast" has been reliable as a Japan bullet train.
- Rise Against Concert
Another band on my "Must see before I die" list. I probably got a little over excited buying 4 tickets assuming it would be on everyone else's list. Turns out they aren't on many people list but I managed to rope in another vegan and force fed R, Rise Against CD's so that he wouldn't hate it. Concert itself was crazy and sweaty which is good. A big surprise was Billy Bragg and Tom Morello that opened the gig. Just seeing them was almost enough. We all represented in the pit, keeping up with all the little emo kids.
- Getting out of Ireland
As much as I was not happy in Ireland and as happy as I was to finally get out of the damp place. I spent nearly 4 years with it being "home", so it is always going to have a little spot in my heart. Just before I left, I was actually getting pretty settled there. Good circle of friends and decent progress in the gym. It's always like that when you leave a place though, you milk it for the last 6 months because you know you will never be there again.
- Bodyweight overhead
Be careful what you tell kids! When I was 13 years old, I went away for a holiday on a farm. The farm owner took me under his wing and we did all kind of manly things (like hunting). One of his stories was about when he was just out the army, how he could lift his own bodyweight above his head. This is actually pretty hard to do. In my mind he was a monster of a man, but looking at the pictures he was actually not that big and I have made it harder for myself by bulking up. Not to take anything away from his own achievement, but I think he would be pretty chuffed if he knew I can now get my own bodyweight overhead.
This is also pretty much the start of my Olympic lifting "career", this coming year should be the year of easy gains. Maybe even get close to snatching my own bodyweight, which is the sign of a true athlete.
- VF week in Austria
The yearly VF week is always great, this year was no exception. Solid week of great food, lot's of training and interesting people in a foreign country. Ticks all the boxes for me.
- Emerald Green St Patricks Day
St Paddies day is a point in my Ireland time line because I arrived in Cork on St Paddies in 2008, see each one has been exactly a year since I arrived. This years was awesome as we went on a pub crawl with the Cork CS group ending up in beer garden with people singing folk songs.
Love and hate London, the city really eats you and your money up. Feel so privileged to actually have a job in a cool location and with a view of the Thames. The big plan was to live in central but it was just impossible, too expensive unless I went into a house share and even if I was in central getting around is a nightmare.
- Rock Climbing
R bullied me into doing this, at the moment I am totally the wrong shape to be doing this kind of stuff. It is fun though and awesome excuse for the boys to hang out once a week.
2009 was a totally different travel, I actually got sick of travelling and just wanted to be home with my koala bear. No longer was I allowed to call myself someone in there mid twenties (I still did though), became a lot more grown up almost bordering on being "mature".
Top 10 of 2009:
- M moving in with me at Trinity Court and buying our fist item of furniture.
- Resigning and getting escorted out of the office
- Being accepted to study my MSc at Edinburgh University
- Training with the guys at Unit 20 -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71zSlaJKdPw
- Owning a mountain bike again -> http://www.baldy.za.net/pblog/658/P2170102-med.jpg
Here is my top ten for the amazing year of 2008:
- Passing my Bsc Degree! ( and having a party to celebrate http://www.baldy.za.net/node/643)
- Moving to Cork in Ireland
- Leon and Lehesta Rademan wedding
- Completing my first marathon (http://www.baldy.za.net/node/594)
- Spencer Tunick installation at Blarney Castle (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1301679.ece)
- Anne Frank house, Amsterdam very emotional
- Road Trip in Audi A6 from Munich to Brno in Czech (http://www.baldy.za.net/node/610)
- Traveling over land from Brno to Helsinki
- Pub crawling in Munich (http://www.baldy.za.net/node/607)
- Selling my Monte Carlo (http://www.baldy.za.net/node/559)
- SA meetup in Amsterdam
In the spirit of last years Top 10 of 2006. Here is my top ten for 2007:
- Drinking Efes, playing backgammon and smoking nargile on a rooftop in Istanbul
- Table Mountain Crazy Race
- Clifton Cold Water Mile
- Getting this close to getting my Bsc Degree
- Windhoek Road Trip
- Selling my Lancia Beta (some what bitter sweet)
- CRAG, most Wednesday nights
- Grootwinter Hoek hike and Leon/Lehesta engagement
- Coffee in Cagliria, Sardinia
- Wine tasting for wedding presents
- The Cause Party build up
- Jaroenes Stag night and wedding speeches
- Official sweeps to "The puffer"