Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Unexpected Developments in the Ankle Saga

Since I'm now at home from uni for Christmas, we got all my notes and xrays transferred to our local hospital. Mum took me up for a regular fracture clinic appointment yesterday. We went expecting it just to be a formality and get some xrays taken but boy were we wrong. The Doctor read through my notes and told me straight away that I'd need an operation- not the best thing to say to someone in the 1st sentence after you meet them! I was sent for xrays on my ankle, but also my knee since the Dr thought that with the damage in my ankle, there would have to be something wrong higher up in my leg. I haven't had 1 single bit of pain higher than the top of my ankle so I was relieved that the xray came up clear (though it left the Dr very confused as to how I'd managed to mess up my ankle so badly but not mess up my shin bone).

Anyways, the xrays confirmed the suspicion that the ankle wasn't healing properly so it was decided that I should have surgery. I had my red cast taken off and the full extent of the bruising showed. It was actually quite entertaining to see that nearly 2 weeks after the accident, I had clear bruising from my toes to halfway up my shin! I had a new cast put on (black this time), and a junior doctor came round to sort out surgery paperwork- they were going to keep me on a ward overnight and do surgery the next day. I was the last one out of the fracture clinic, and as it is so close to Christmas, everyone just wanted to go home.

I was wheeled up to a ward, where there was one other lady there. I'd missed tea and had nothing with me so mum went home to pick up some stuff for me. My phone battery was dying and I was miserable. I feel sorry for the poor nurses that were subject to my mental breakdown! Another lady was bought into the ward and her daughter gave me some food and magazines to relieve my boredom. Mum came back and sorted me out for the night- at the same time, Dad was at the walk in centre with Grandad who had developed a rash. Quite a stressful day for the family! After a bit of tv and a huge feast at 11pm, I tried to go to sleep.

It was the worst sleep of my life, and the being woken up every 4 hours to have my blood pressure and temperature taken was highly annoying. I mean, it's not like I'm ill, I'm perfectly healthy apart from a broken ankle. This morning I was treated to more entertainment from the old ladies. The surgeon came up to brief me about my surgery, but then returned at lunchtime to tell me that there was no chance we could have surgery that day. Nil by mouth for nothing! Mum and Dad came up for visiting time, I got my cast changed (it was so itchy!) and after being given ibuprofen and cocodamol, I was discharged with the idea of trying to have surgery the week after. I spent the rest of Christmas Eve firmly planted on the sofa in my new white cast, my onesie and wearing a santa hat, while watching the Grinch and eating Dominoes. Perfectly happy family fun. Just what Christmas is all about. And just what I needed.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Diagnosis Time

When I woke up on Friday morning, the ankle was no better- it was a lot worse, now resembling a cankle. After speaking to my parents, we decided it was A+E time (even if it was just to get some strong painkillers and crutches!) so after a few messages to friends, I had 2 people take me to hospital. I had to get a housemate to help me down the stairs and to the car which was annoying- I'm usually fairly independent and hate having to rely on other people.

After about 15 minutes in the hospital waiting room, we noticed the hospital staff acting weirdly and all the doors were locked allowing no-one in or out. Apparently we were in the middle of a 'code black' situation where there was potential exposure to hazardous substances- this went on for about 45 minutes. After seeing the Doctor in triage, I was put into a wheelchair and taken through to the minor injuries unit where I was sent for x rays. The results came back quickly and if it wasn't for having 2 people there with me I don't think anyone would believe the diagnosis- fractured tibia!

They put me in a plaster of paris cast to allow the swelling to go down and gave me crutches telling me to come back to the fracture clinic on Monday. After more xrays to check the cast was in the correct place, I was sent home- the whole process took 3 hours. More fun getting me up the stairs on crutches- its definitely not my most dignified moment having to slide up to the 3rd floor on my bum. All my flatmates just laughed at me not realising how much they'll have to look after me! I spent the next few hours getting used to life on 1 leg and crutches, and trying to work out which clothes would fit over a cast.

Since it was the Christmas event at the union that night and I'd got a ticket and had invited friends round for predrinks, I let them all know I was stubborn and still happy to go out as long as they were happy and patient enough to be with a cripple for the night! I never realised how hard crutches are- I was dead after about 100m, so I ended up being carried to the union and security took pity on me and got me a wheelchair for the night, which my arms were forever thankful for. I can honestly say I never thought I'd ever have my photo taken with Santa whilst sitting in a wheelchair! My faith in humanity was restored this night- so many people that I hadn't seen in ages/didn't know at all were all more than happy to help me out and not complaining at all when things were taking 10 times longer to do because of me.

Talking about faith in humanity being restored, I was woken up to a lovely text from a friend who I had seen once since May saying she was on campus that day (which was a surprise) and was it ok if she came round with a care package for me. After realising that I was going to be stuck in the flat all weekend, I was more than happy for people to come and visit- sitting in the same room for hours with no laptop was not my idea of fun (the no laptop thing is proving to be an issue for getting deadlines in next week). Thankfully, I had 4 visitors at lunchtime and they were absolute angels and did a food shop for me! I am surrounded by seriously the best people ever! Dad's coming up to the fracture clinic with me and to pick up my car on Monday, now I've just got to work out how to get this work finished for Monday and get excused from my presentation.

Friday, 13 December 2013

A Setback

I've had a pretty rough week- lots of deadlines and nothing seems to be going my way at the moment. Anyways, I was surviving and as a break from deadline/life stress, I went to trampolining training yesterday night even though I still had work to do. As we were done with comps for the semester, I was working on new skills and putting new routines together ready to compete at the elite level in my next competition.
About 1 hour into training, I was working towards crash dive ballout. I'd been doing preps for the ballout all semester and had actually landed the whole skill 2 weeks ago when a higher level coach was at the session. After a few goes working on straightening out the crash dive, I decided to just do bouncerolls out of the crash dive to prep for the full skill. The first attempt felt totally normal, if not a little slow rotation, so on the second attempt, I tucked a little tighter to speed up the rotation. I must have got lost in my air awareness which is usually pretty good, because this time, instead of landing on my back, I landed on my feet in a very deep squat with all my body weight in front of my body, and possibly with the outside of my foot twisted. I felt a crunch in my ankle and immediately rolled back and held my foot. A tingling feeling shot up my leg and I sat and waited for the pain to wear off so I could at least get off the trampoline without causing too much fuss.

Half an hour after the accident
Alas, this didn't happen. In my attempts to keep myself calm and to not completely freak everyone else out, I stayed quiet and did simple tests on my ankle- my toes could move but the instant bruising and limited movement in the ankle told me that I wasn't walking away from this one. My stubborn side was immediately apparent, refusing help to get off the trampoline and hopping over to the closest bench to sit on, where we iced and elevated it straight away. I was pretty sure it was just a sprain- I must have been in denial over the crunching sound that I'd heard! After 20 minutes, we thought the swelling had gone down- until we looked at the outside of the ankle (we'd been icing the inside because thats where the bruising had shown up straight away) and we saw a lovely golf ball shape on what used to be my left ankle. Again, my stubborn side refused to go to hospital- I'd had such a bad week that this was the final straw and I just wanted to go to bed! So after about an hour, my friend drove me back to my flat and it took 3 people to get me up the stairs! After a few phonecalls to my parents and as much paracetamol as possible without overdose, I ended up going to bed with a very swollen ankle, hoping that it would die down by the morning.
The swollen ankle before bed- about 3 hours later

Monday, 18 November 2013

Exciting Times

Quite a common sight for 3rd years!
So, it's been over a month since my last post. Semester 1 is definitely in full swing- I'm starting to get bogged down with deadlines and my tea/coffee intake is hitting record levels. I had an in class test for one of my modules a few weeks ago and rocked it, getting 76% which I can't really complain about. Now there's just an essay, technical report, poster and parts of my dissertation to do before Christmas!

Life with the tramps has been fun and I actually think I would be insane if I didn't have the sport and the people involved with it in my life. Training has been progressing much better than I ever expected and I'm actually enjoying training hard! We had our first competition a few weeks ago which was a great success, with the club winning 4 medals in various categories. I was very happy to come 6th in my last competition at my old level, trying out some new skills in competition for the first time and now looking towards competing a new harder level at my next competition with even more new skills!

Being Club Captain continues to be one of the craziest things I've ever agreed to do. There's lots of exciting things in the works, and I will be so proud if we can pull them all off. Though at the moment, I just keep telling myself that I'm completely crazy to even be thinking about organising some of these events at this point of my degree. Thankfully, my co-club captain is amazing and we work really well together, as well as having a very willing coach and committee.This role of club captain has made me step outside of my comfort zone so much, even though I still refuse to make phone calls!

Between all the work, trampolining stuff and trying to get healthy, I've managed to fit in some fun with my flatmates. Last week, we went out for a carvery meal and then went bowling. Guess who was the only player to score over 100 points in any of the games?

Friday, 4 October 2013

Ups and Downs

Life is a crazy thing. I've been back at uni for 11 days now and it's been ok- some great times and some times where I've felt quite down.

The biggest difference for me is living in a flat with 3 guys. All of my generation in my family are girls, I went to girls school and have lived with girls for the last 2 years, so being the only girl in the flat has taken quite an adjustment. Now I'm just waiting things to calm down after freshers week so I can get into a proper routine and remember the real reason why I'm here. I tried using the laundry yesterday. It ate my money so £6 later I finally have clean clothes.

I'm having one of those days thinking why the heck did I agree to be Club Captain this year? Since I've been back at uni, this has been my primary focus. I know this isn't good, but hopefully things will calm down again soon after the madness of recruiting freshers is done with and we have confirmed training times. And when lectures and deadlines are in full swing, I'll be forced to prioritize my work. So far, this Club Captain thing is one of the craziest things I've ever done. It's forced my out of my comfort zone and helped me to find the confidence I badly need. It's a heck of a lot of work, but so rewarding in the end, and I guess like everything in life, it has it's ups and downs.

The Beach on a warm Autumn day- super peaceful
I managed to squeeze in a quick nights break to see the family and catch a football match before freshers week started. It was nice to get away with a friend, and guide her round the town as a tourist. We made it down to the beach which I haven't been on for years. It was an unusually warm early Autumn day but the beach was empty and so peaceful. Though I've realised I've definitely spent a lot of time in that town this year when 3 people said hi to me- and none were family! I don't even get that in my hometown!

I'm annoyed at myself for feeling so down today because I just received some amazing news. My nan has just received the all clear from cancer! She was only diagnosed about a month ago, but it's been the month from hell for our family. I took the news quite badly, but didn't let anyone see it, cos I'm usually the emotionally stable one in the family! Thankfully, her surgery went well and its all good news, but she's gonna have 4 weeks radiotherapy and has to take tablets for 5 years before we can properly celebrate!
I knew coming into this year that there were going to be ups and downs, just didn't expect to have this many in the first 10 days. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger I guess.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

A Morning with Family

Even though I have 10 cousins, only 1 lives near me. In fact, all of the others don't even live in the same country! Dave has three beautiful daughters (good luck to him when they hit their teenage years)- aged 7, 5 and 18 months. Their middle daughter turned 5 this week and started school, so with the extra spare time they now have, they arranged to go and see my Nan and Grandad this morning. I had nothing else important to do so I popped round to see them and got to play with this little cutie this morning! She's grown so much and is at the stage where she is speaking fluent Chinese :P She apparently lovessss chocolate cake and she's also classic youngest child- can walk but doesn't like to since it is easier to chase her sisters around if she crawls!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

#28 The Innocence of a Child

I love this picture. It's a spontaneous shot taken of a 6 year old flower girl at the wedding last summer. In between the service and the reception, the 2 young flower girls played with bubbles in the garden area of the venue. I love how she closes her eyes when she blows the bubbles, probably unaware of the enormity of the day apart from getting to wear a pretty dress and have lots of photos taken!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Photography #50 Sunset

There was an overwhelmingly beautiful sunset tonight. Like, colours and patterns I've never seen before.

Sadly, this is the only photo I got of it- on my phone from behind a dirty window. By the time I'd got my D3100 out, it had changed :(

It might also be worth adding that today marks 5 years since my Uncle died. It's been a difficult day for all our family (the football result didn't help :P ) and this sunset put a smile on my face this evening. 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Places I've Been

Places I've Been
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com

So after a year/summer of odd travelling, I thought it was time to update my 'Places I've Been' map. This year I've been to mainland Spain for the first time, and been to slightly more odd destinations such as Latvia, as well as a road trip starting in Italy, travelling through Slovenia to reach our destination in Croatia. So this year, I've been to 4 new countries!

To make it clear, to count as having 'been' to a country, I have to have stood on outdoor ground in the country. So, I am including Slovenia, since we got out the bus and walked around despite not actually staying there for a large period of time, as well as including Netherlands and India, which are both countries that I've had air transfers in, but did walk on outdoor ground.

The current list is- UK, Canada, USA, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Japan, Thailand, India, Iceland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Croatia and Latvia.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Photography #1 Raw Emotion

I don't think these need much explanation. Exhaustion, joy, pride, love, surprise- so many emotions involved with making history for a football club for players, management and fans alike. All taken with the D3100 during summer 2013.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Photography #2 Sunrise

When this summer began, I never imagined I'd travel to Croatia by myself with people I'd only met the week before. But this summer I've learned that it's ok to be spontaneous and I booked the trip to Croatia less than 24 hours before we flew out! Since it was such a spur of the moment and short trip, I didn't take my camera so the only photos I have are from my phone, which seems to take fairly decent pictures for a phone. 
Afternoon view of Opatija and Rijeka
5am sunrise over the Adriatic Sea
These pictures show the view from the hotel in Opatija, looking over the Adriatic Sea. Is the 5am picture the best picture of a sunrise that you'll ever see? Probably not, but it's proof that I've actually been awake at 5am in my life :P

Friday, 12 July 2013

Day 3- Riga

Today we were travelling from Liepaja to Riga to stay there for the night. As we were travelling on the team bus which was due to leave the team hotel at 8.15am, me and Dad had a 7am wake up call to give us time to get breakfast and get a taxi over to the other hotel. Again, not sure whether it was the lack of sleep or the alcohol consumption (probably a mixture of both), but let's just say I've felt better. I woke up to find a huge bruise on my arm- my best guess for how this was produced was during the celebrations at the game the night before (photo evidence shows it definitely wasn't there before the game). I managed to eat some toast for breakfast then we headed over the team hotel. I was mildly amused how our female taxi driver was wearing 5 inch wedge heels to drive a taxi at 7.45am!

Upon arrival at the team hotel, we were greeted with a fun sight. People just coming in in last night's clothes, falling down the stairs, and generally talking rubbish. Fair to say they celebrated hard! The bus was late departing and coupled with a slightly dodgy driver, it was quite a nervy trip to get us to the airport on time! Some people played the 'keep drinking to avoid a hangover' game, whereas some others tried to sleep the effects of the celebrations off. I felt sorry for those who had to do media interviews during all the craziness that was the coach trip! I must have been in a delirious state because I found it hilarious how the coach driver didn't understand our requests for a toilet stop, but did understand the phrase 'piss-stop'. Thankfully, the team made it to the airport just in time for their lunchtime flight back to the UK. Life lesson #1 of the trip- it is a much more enjoyable experience to travel when non-hungover :P          

There were only 3 of us on the bus that were staying in Riga that night, so we got a taxi to our various hotels. Again, me and dad were the only 2 not staying in the same hotel as everyone else. Our room wasn't quite ready so we left our luggage at the hotel and went to find somewhere to eat. We found a little cafe, but after standing around for 10 minutes and the waitress not seating/serving us, we walked out and found another little local cafe. We ended up ordering 3 main meals between the 2 of us because we weren't totally sure what the English translation of the menu was, but Dad ended up with a cheese and ham toastie, we shared a plate of chips and I had something which is probably best described as mozzarella dippers. We shared a dessert- a huge plate of ice cream covered in chocolate sauce and various fruits. All of this plus a drink each cost us just a little over £10! 

I think we were both feeling a little delirious at this point so we headed back to the hotel as our room was now ready (Dad would make conversation with me, I'd listen but wouldn't reply because my brain just wasn't processing information). Almost as soon as we got to our room and put the suitcase down, we were both asleep! Dad was woken up by a phone call from the other group of fans who had travelled to Riga a little later in the day. We also had an amusing photo sent from home- the rabbit had eaten all of Dad's paperwork that he had bought home from work!

After a nap, I actually felt human again so we decided to go for a walk and explore Riga. Again, it was a Dad and I special, not following any maps, just our general sense of direction. We stopped off for ice cream and explored a few shops before finding the Old Town. To our surprise, we found the main group of fans just ordering drinks in an outdoor bar so we decided to join them (I was the classy one drinking wine). Because of how large the group was, orders took forever to arrive so we decided to go for tea in separate groups. Me and Dad went with the group that experienced the Latvian delicacy known as TGI Friday's. I've never even had TGI's in the UK or USA so it was a little odd experiencing it in Latvia. The food portions were huge and I don't think one single person actually finished their meal. Everyone was feeling the effects of the previous two days so we said our goodbyes to each other and all headed back off to our respective hotels. Me and Dad decided to walk off the food so went home via the park and then tried to get an early night. Even though I was so tired, a mixture of the light refusing to turn off and having the afternoon nap meant I didn't sleep as well as I had wanted to. Oh well, back to the UK tomorrow!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Day 2- D-Day has Arrived

At 9am we made it down to a buffet breakfast, not sure whether the general feeling that morning was due to travel/lack of sleep or the effects of the previous night! Breakfast was nice, there was one other couple in there. There was a good choice- Dad went for the continental style breakfast, I stayed with the safer option of cornflakes and toast! We also managed to sneak some biscuits back to the room :P We got changed and decided to do some sightseeing of the somewhat limited sights in the city.
Dad outside the hotel with our homemade flag

In typical Dad and I fashion, we decided to rely on our natural sense of direction, and just follow where we saw a general crowd of people. We saw the university and some statues, which we took photos with the football flag- nothing that exciting. Dad needed to exchange money so we attempted to find a bank, but without much luck (the one we found didn't have good English and there were long queue's). Since I haven't been on a beach holiday in a couple of years, my main aim for this trip (apart from watching the football of course) was to go to the beach. Since all the road signs are in Latvian and neither of us know a single word of Latvian, we saw a word we thought translated to 'beach' so followed it. Luckily, we were correct!
Liepaja University
We had a stroll down the beach and I braved the cold waters of the Baltic Sea. We caught sight of a beach bar- something we'd heard the other members of the trip talking about, but figured no-one would be there since it was only 11.30am and we'd had reports that they hadn't got back to their hotel since 5am this morning! Anyways, there were a group of about 10 of them sitting at the beach bar, so we decided to join them for a bit and enjoy the sun and sand. It then decided to start throwing it down with rain, it was as if we'd never left home! After a quick relocation to inside the marquee, we were joined by a few more fans- this bar became the central meeting place of the day, especially because the drinks were cheap and it was within staggering distance to the stadium.

Feeling the cold waters of the Baltic Sea before the rain arrived.
With no signs of the rain stopping, me and Dad made the decision we'd just stay in the bar all afternoon. We hadn't planned to do this- I hadn't got my camera lens suitable for sports with me, and Dad was wearing his Man United shirt which he didn't want to wear for the match. After a quick message to Martin to bring an extra t-shirt for Dad and me deciding that it's not the end of the world without the 'good' camera lens, we settled in to the bar and started to warm up the vocal chords ahead of the big game tonight. Luckily, the rain stopped around 4pm- the game was set for a 7pm kick off. We took the party back outside much to the pleasure/displeasure of some rather confused tourists. Tea was from the same place we got lunch from- a rather luxurious (note the sarcasm) food hut next to the beach bar. They serve the spiciest chips I have ever tasted, having a bit of a tikka masala kick to them!

Me and Dad decided to go to the ground quite early, before warm ups, to see if we could catch up with Martin. We saw him (I can now say I've actually walked on that pitch) and joined in the quick Skype session to the family back home. The team seemed to be in a very positive frame of mind, and like the fans, there was such a strong belief that we could win this thing tonight. I showed them the videos of the fans singing back in the bar which seemed to put a smile on their face :P We met up with a couple of fans who had missed the joys of the beach bar all day, and suddenly we hear the dulcet tones of 'We are town, we are town, we are town' from the other side of the stadium. I guess the rest of the fans had arrived.
Us travelling fans showing the Latvians
 how to make some noise

The noise didn't stop there. We sung and sung and sung (my favourite being 'Liepaja, Liepaja, where is your choir?' in response to their lack of vocal supporters). We had come into this fixture 2-1 down from the home leg. We needed to score at least 2 away from home to progress, and if it was going to take us fans losing our voices, then it was a sacrifice we were willing to take :P The opposition took an early lead in the 17th minute during a fairly uneventful first half (my exciting part was taking over the club twitter account for 10 minutes). At half time, one of our fans put a 33-1 bet on us winning 2-1. 2nd half started and we looked confident. One of their players got sent off around the 60th minute, same as during the 1st leg. We pulled a goal back in the 77th minute. We went wild with uncontainable excitement. 1 more goal. That's all we needed to put the tie into extra time. And that one more goal we got, thanks to our player-manager in added time (the time added was due to their player taking forever to get off the pitch after being sent off). Again, we went wild, and counting on adrenaline for us to control our nerves through extra time! (Also having the dilemma of needing the toilet but not wanting to miss any of the action didn't help- family trying to get updates on the game from home instructed me to firmly stay in my seat :P)
Celebrating our second goal.

Extra time was uneventful, both teams pushing for that one vital goal that would send them through to the 2nd round of the Europa League. Neither team got the goal needed, so the game progressed to penalties. At this point, I had no voice left, needed the toilet badly and had a few grey hairs growing. The opposition miss their first penalty. We score. We score our first 4 penalties. The opposition step up to take their 5th penalty knowing that they have to score this to stay in. They miss. Our little club has made history. We've made it into the 2nd round. Pure joy and elation sets in as the players pile on top of each other and then come over to us fans. I was in the middle of the celebrations but got too scared that my camera would get smashed so I jumped up onto the bank to celebrate instead.
The team celebrating with the fans.

Most of the fans go back to the beach bar. Me and Dad walk back to our hotel for a change of clothes and to charge our phones as we'd been out all day unexpectedly. We get word that the after party was going to be in the same bar as the night before, so we headed back over that way to join in the celebrations. The locals definitely found out about our victory, nothing to do with us singing in the bar and the band joining in, honest! Free drinks were all around for the team, and the fans made the most of another night of £1 a pint beer! Martin kept passing me half of his drinks, so God knows what I actually drank that night! Me and Dad got a taxi back to our hotel around 1.30am and in attempts to avoid/lessen the hangover the next morning we raided the breakfast stocks in the hotel kitchen. After some toast and biscuits, we called it a night ahead of a 7am wake up call for the journey to Riga the following day.

What a day! 11th July 2013- Victory in Europe Day.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Day 1- Travel

This was the day we'd been waiting for, starting with a disgustingly early wake up call to travel to Luton for our 8am flight. Check in and though security easily and with plenty of time to spare. I hit the Krispy Kreme Donut shop to help ease the pain of the early morning, whilst Dad made the most of the 4 bottles of Stella for£10 offer- at 7.30am! We met my uncle and the rest of the team on the way to the gate where there is a hold up for emergency medical treatment on the inbound flight. The flight was uneventful and I made the most of being able to grab a couple of hours nap- I've finally learnt to sleep on planes!
Our room in Liepaja

View from our room in Liepaja
Riga airport was easy to navigate and went smoothly apart from the idiot JP forgetting to pick his physio bag up from the luggage carousel! We met up with Andy, a 442 Journalist who joined us on the comfy Metalurgs team bus, after bumping in to the Airbus team who had flown in on a private jet! After a 3 hour journey through the middle of nowhere (the countryside reminded me of the more isolated areas of Canada) consisting of non-stop banter between the management team and attempting to get some more sleep, we arrived at the team hotel in Latvia's 3rd biggest city- Liepaja. Me and Dad were the only ones not staying at the team hotel, so we got a taxi to our hotel. The drive was a little worrying but the accommodation and hospitality was nice even if the view what somewhat lacking!
What I thought would be garlic bread
After a quick rest and change, we went for a walk towards the city centre to find somewhere to eat after Dad had researched some places. Thanks to a rainstorm, the majority of outdoor seating was too damp to sit on, and indoors in the restaurants were too warm for Dad. Plan B was put into place- ie, walk around until we found a local pub. This didn't take too long and we found a nice little Latvian pub with dry outdoor seating and English speaking waiters. The food was... interesting? I ordered what I thought would be garlic bread, but was presented with some fried bread mixed with cheese concoction. For main, I'm not really sure what I had. A mix of chicken, some sauce, a rice cake, carrots and some salad. We were entertained during dinner by a cute cat and her kittens. 
The cats entertaining us
At this point it was getting late and we knew the team had finished training, so we went back to a bar we had found earlier and joined the other fans and some of the management team there for some drinks. Let's just say you don't have to pay much for a good night out! For me and dad, a beer and double vodka/coke was just under £3. British pubs take note! There was lots of drinking, singing and sharing stories for the 442 article until the majority of the fans arrived just after midnight, a bit worse for wear. It was hard to keep track of time because I'm pretty sure there was still light in the sky at 11.15pm! Me and Dad decided to call it a night at around 2am so got a taxi back to our hotel ahead of the big game tomorrow.

Apple, Dad and Martin at Fontaines.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Photography #39 A Victory

I realise that 'a victory' could mean so much more than just winning a medal or a trophy. But this particular victory that I pictured isn't just a victory for those pictured. Its a piece of history- a victory for the backroom staff, the fans, the town, even the future generations of the club. Yes, the trophy is nice to be passed around to have photos with, but this victory means so much more and has created so many more opportunities for those involved. It was just one of those amazing days that took a few days to come down from the emotional high that was created.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Photography #31 American Flag

This picture was taken in August 2009, in Epcot, Florida with my day to day camera at the time, which I believe was some form of Nikon Coolpix. I love this picture as Epcot is one of my favourite places in the world to photograph, it just annoys me that the flag is the wrong way and that it's so cloudy.

The Stars and Stripes hanging from the Empire State Building in New York City.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Photography #41 Statue of Liberty

This was taken on the Circle Line boat tour in August 2012 with the D3100, 55-200mm lens. It was a really warm day and I loved photographing one of the most famous sights in the world from a bunch of different angles.