2016 Highlights

ryan-at-the-cinema

For the past few days I have been ploughing my head deciding what my personal highlights for this year were. In truth I haven’t really been trying that hard because I’ve been too busy enjoying my Christmas with my family whilst indulging in anime and my drawings.

Right now I’ll just select a few that come to mind. If I think of anything else, I’ll add them. =)

 

One: Family and Friends

They’re simply put, wonderful.

 

Two: YouTube Vlogging

I took a brave step and created my own YouTube channel discussing my weekly Fantasy Football team. This was very nerve-racking because I was opening myself up for criticism but I felt it was the right thing to do. Occasionally I did discuss the England team and general news but in truth I don’t really have any strong views and recently made the decision to solely focus on Fantasy Football. =)

 

Three: Kitacon Karnival

This year’s Kitacon was a better experience than last year’s Kitacon. Approaching new people was easier but it was just as nerve-racking as I still making small talk with cosplayers and taking their photos. I was unwell at times but luckily I didn’t feel as disorientated as I did last year.

Remarkably one of my pictures did feature in the Kitacon Karnival Booklet. It was surprising and exciting when I first found out and it’s just as exciting now, 8 months on before the New Year.

 

Four: Shopping Trip

It’s been quite some time since I’ve done a shopping binge for clothes but one day decided to give it a go shortly after my birthday. (Now that I think about it, it might have been in August… well, it’s still after my Birthday!) I struggle with crowds but I plunged through the troubles for the sake of buying new clothes. I most certainly made the most of the 8 hours outing but was glad to be home when the outing finished. =)

 

Five: Wii U at the Cinema

This is definitely one of the most unique activities I’ve ever experienced. I played the Wii U at a Cinema screening to celebrate my Brother’s birthday. It was a lot of fun and luckily there weren’t many people about because we did this in the morning! Hurray!

 

Six: Picture Requests

I’ve been uploading my anime art online for more than a year now and over the last few months I’ve been receiving a lot of requests to draw particular characters. This is a very nice situation to be in as it means that a lot of people are enjoying my art and it gives my drawing more purpose.

 

Seven: Epiphany and the Bubble of Troubles

This is definitely the most important aspect of 2016 for me. I’ve always been positive and looked on the bright side but I’ve been carrying this Bubble of Troubles that resulted in me thinking about the past and feeling sad. It was only in November that I realised why that was.

I convinced myself I was going to write an auto-bio of my life when I left school (I planned this when I was still a student). That turned to be a mistake as I kept on recalling sad memories and in turn I couldn’t let that Bubble of Trouble go… until now. I decided that I don’t want to think about my past, let alone talk about them, so, why should I? It resulted in over-thinking and letting my imaginations go wild to the point where I misconstrue reality with a mashed up fantasy.

With that I got that pin and popped that Bubble of Trouble that didn’t need to glide over my head. Since then I feel refreshed and I feel like I can be myself 100% without any burden stopping me. =D I still do have my limitations but I deal with them when I need to along with the situations which will arise every time, every day and every second. =)

 

Roll On 2017

I have many plans for 2017 (somewhat because they didn’t come to fruition this year. Whoops!) I want to release my book on kindle, I want to work more on my fantasy story, I want to try and socialise when the circumstances are right and draw more anime girls.

Something tells me that 2017 will be a very good year for me. I won’t speculate what that might be I’m just looking forward to it. =)

 

Happy New Year, everyone. =)

Ryan.^^/

My All-Time Favourite Anime

I wrote my first ever blog three years ago, around this time. Instead of talking about my favourite moments of the year I’m going to commemorate this anniversary by listing my Top Ten Favourite Anime of all time. =D

From 10 to 1 here is my all-time top ten. =)

10. Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma (2015)

9. Locodol (2014)

Locodol Anime

8. No Game No Life (2014)

 

7. One Punch Man (2015)

 

6. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (2015)

5. Monster Musume (2015)

Monster Musume Anime

4. High School DxD (2012)

1369021244783

 

3. KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! (2016)

 

 

2. New Game! (2016)

 

  1. Non Non Biyori (2013)

That’s my list done. What’s your favourite anime? Feel free to comment and we can have a good chat. =D

 

Thanks for reading, see you soon. =)

Ryan.^^/

Holding onto Attachments

Thomas and Gordon 2

From my personal experience holding onto attachments can come in many forms whether it’s with physical objects, past memories and emotion.

Finding my own identity was always an issue for me and it was tough as my autism was severe back then and I did not adapt well to change, especially clothes. Every time I would have to change shoes or get new shirts I would get really upset as I felt that I keep on losing my identity, every time.

I really dislike letting go of things so I started to attach myself to everything whether its old objects like clothes, past school works, old ideas for my story and even reminiscing about my past. I really didn’t like this but because I was consumed by all of this I felt that my past thoughts and past objects and emotions were parts of my identity as a person- maintaining the status quo, not adapting to change.

However, one day, I decided to change my mind set. Why should I remember sad thoughts? Why am I holding onto things and not letting go? That was when I realised that I’ve attached myself to objects and emotions as I convinced myself that’s what my life is like.

By focusing on the things that make me happy now I gradually detached myself from the sad memories and past objects. They include anime like NEW GAME and Non Non Biyori, hanging out with my family, Vlogging, Blogging, Art, Writing, Yoga, the list is endless.

Attachments are not bad, you just have to recognise the good ones from the bad ones and it very much reminds me of change. There’s good and bad change in time. As time ticks every second we are living in the present of that tick-tock on the clock with something to look forward to in the future. If time stopped, we would stop, frozen solid and never moving.

The only nostalgia that I kept from the past that still exists in my life today is the presence of Thomas the Tank Engine. Some of you will already know why he was and still is very important in my life. That is a happy attachment. =)

Attachments, emotions and memories are very powerful to the point where you do question your own identity. It wasn’t easy and it did take a lot of time but when I focused on my current happiness I gradually detached myself from the sad memories and the things that made me sad without realising it. In time, they disappeared completely. They may pop up every now and again but pop ups are insignificant to the bigger picture.

I questioned if I was sad, if I was a monster, if I was autistic and so on but those days are now behind me. Being happy made me realise just who I was and that defines me perfectly. =)

My 2015 Highlights

IMG_6569

It’s really amazing how time flies. It took me a while to get used to the fact that we were in 2015, and now, as quick as that, 2016 is only a day away.

 

To commemorate New Year’s Eve, I will share with you my personal highlights of this year. There were plenty of them but for now I’m listing only the few that came to mind.

 

My Website – Going viral

For many years I thought about owning my own website but I was always insecure about putting my face and artistic works out there. I was concerned of being made fun of and getting harsh criticism.

Cutting a long story short, one day I broke down that barrier. Now, as well as blogging about various things I own my very own website, my own photo gallery, my own Instagram page, and even opening up a Deviant Art account.

Since going past that barrier I’ve been gaining nothing but confidence and I feel like I keep on improving on my art due to my confidence and motivation.

I’m especially proud of my Ayane fan art from the manga, Dragons Rioting. Tsuyoshi Watanabe, the author of Dragons Rioting, actually liked one of my Ayane fanarts on Twitter! That was a very proud and significant moment in my life. It’s like a couple of years ago when I received a personal message from Britt Allcroft. =)

 

A New Yoga Venue

I used to go to a regular yoga class with my sister but this year I went to a completely new venue/class. Not only did I go to a new yoga venue but I went on my own with no support. Now, I’m a regular at lotusflower. Sometimes I even stay behind at times for a lovely peppermint tea or accidentally drinking someone else’s. Haha!

 

I feel that I’ve improved on my breathing and poses but more importantly, I’ve opened myself up more to the regulars who also go to the same class as me, especially to my teacher. It probably doesn’t seem much but it’s definitely a big deal, especially when I find social situations challenging. =)

 

Passport

This was quite a big issue for me. On the pamphlet it says that I could take someone with me to the interview for support. However, when I got there, the passport people said that having someone with me during the interview was not allowed.

This did distress me as I felt misled. However, I coped very well under stress and pressure and answered all the lady’s questions rationally and truthfully. I think she knew I was genuine as I received my passport within three days! =D

 

Kitacon 2015

This was probably my personal highlight this year. In 2014 I stayed in a hotel in London and that was daunting. But this year I stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Birmingham to participate in Kitacon for two nights and three days.

I would say that this was my first official holiday and probably only the second occasion where I slept in an unfamiliar place. Kitacon was challenging for many, many reasons. There were highs and lows. The highs was talking with random people as well as friends, and, taking photos of people in their cosplay outfits. The lowest part was the hentai panel.

I would say that that was one of my most difficult experiences as I came away feeling sick, nauseous, dizzy and light headed. It was very loud and I was stuck right in the middle of the rowdy crowd. It’s something that I will definitely not want to experience again.

However, even during these low points in my life, I still coped. If I were to go to Kitacon again I would have to think about it very carefully.

 

Summer House

For many, many years I yearned to have a little summer house in my garden. I wanted to be like Roald Dahl and write and draw and generally be creative in my own little house. That very thing happened this year and I was very, very happy. I still have to pinch myself now that I have my very own house to call my own. I haven’t been out in it recently due to the weather but it will be resolved once I get a heater in there. Haha.

Due to affection and for the sake of making an Alan Partridge reference, my summer house is now known as the ‘Business Centre.’ Haha! Now, I just need to wait when spring and summer comes and then I will be able to have my own flower baskets. =)

 

My Niece – Lucy

Family wise, this is definitely among my highlights. I did wonder if becoming an uncle would be life changing and a daunting task, but in all honesty, it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

I’m seeing her a lot more than I thought I would and it’s worth giving up some of my free time to watch over her. I took her for a walk at Pennington Flash (Country Park) and went with her to Bents Garden Centre.

At three months old she’s now smiling and giving out cute little giggles. It’s a massive bonus that she enjoys watching football and Only Fools and Horses!

 

Halloween Gathering

I went to a Halloween gathering for board games and I dressed up as the wrestler, Sting. This was definitely a cool moment as I tried everything I could to make myself a carbon copy of Sting. I like to think I did a good job, especially the face paint.

Playing the board games was a nice change of pace, even if I don’t always understand the rules!

 

2016

 

There are a lot of things for me to look forward to next year, but most of them are just little things.

Stuff like watching my niece grow up, looking forward to the magical season of Christmas (I’m still celebrating the festive season now!). Other things include watching football on TV, yoga, decorating my summer house, spending time with my family, but most of all, my creative works.

My children’s story is very close to being finished and was only delayed as I couldn’t get it done before Christmas. However, once it’s finished I will review it once more and hopefully publish it on Kindle.

I have plenty more of art to share as well as my stories but when they are finished, you will be the first to know. =)

 

Happy New Year, everyone.^^/

Ryan.

Top Ten Anime of 2015

 

KanColle

There were plenty of anime that I enjoyed this year. In fact, the title of this blog is misleading as I wrote about 11 anime, instead of 10. Whoops! Haha. There’s just too many to blog about…

Anyway, here is my list of anime that I’ve enjoyed in 2015.

 

Anti Magic Academy 35th Platoon

Anti-Magic Academy: The 35th Test Platoon

For me personally, this was refreshing to watch.

All the characters have burdens to carry. Takeru is especially good. He doesn’t try to change people’s perspectives like a cliché character but instead offers a hand and a shoulder to cry on. I think that’s definitely refreshing and that attitude has had an effect on the main girls around him.

This might have been dark at times but there was always a light at the end of the tunnel, especially with the humorous parts. This was definitely good to watch. =)

The Asterisk War

The Asterisk War

I really liked the action and duals in this series. Once more I found the visuals very colourful, especially as the main academy is near the water.

I found the fights to be eye-catching and sophisticated, especially the sounds effects and the swordplay. My favourite dual was Ayato vs Kirin as I enjoyed how they both cancelled each other out and I enjoyed seeing their swords clashing against each another. Kirin’s swordplay is definitely very cool and badass.

I think Kirin is cute but is very cool. I like that sort of character. In fact, I was actually motivated to draw a fanart of her. It’s in its colouring stages but it will be complete come the New Year. =)

Food Wars Shokugeki no Soma

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma

I didn’t know what I was expecting when I first heard of the existence of Food Wars but I definitely wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did.

It’s like a humongous battle in a school among students but instead of physically battling with each other, it’s like having bake offs, but on a much larger scale. It may sound strange but I really enjoyed watching what the chefs cooked. They looked delicious and realistic.

I think it helps that this show has made me laugh on a numerous of occasions and all the ladies are very easy on the eye, especially when they visualise the food that they tasted. Haha.

High School DxD Born

High School DxD BorN

I’m a humongous fan of High School DxD and I did enjoy the third season.

This series did make me nervous more than the previous two as some of the characters completely snapped and went ballistic. That was rather sad and intense to see. However, it was all resolved in the end and everyone was sane and lived happily ever after, haha.

As well as the ladies being easy on the eye, the action, and the funny moments were good. However, what I especially liked was the character growth in Issei, Rias, Akeno and Koneko. All of those characters have been carrying burdens but in this series the weight of the burdens on their shoulders had been lifted. I was very pleased when I saw those moments. =)

I vote for Issei to become the Harem King. Haha.

Ps, I just want to make a shout out to Yoko Hikasa to congratulate her on her marriage. It’s a wonderful thing but I hope she stays in the industry as I can’t imagine anyone else to voice Rias.

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon anime

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

If I had a top five list than this show would probably be in it.

It had pretty much everything in it that I liked. It has a likable main character, a bunch of pretty girls, plenty of comedy values and good fights and action in the dungeon. It has that feeling of an RPG game as you don’t necessarily have to fight to earn gold coins. Plus, there’s a bunch of gods from different mythology coming together and forming their own familiars. Without a doubt, my favourite goddess is Hestia.

The story is good and has plenty of comedy, touching moments, exciting moments and situations that made me nervous. It’s a pity that a second season hasn’t been announced so far but I’m now collecting the Light Novels and the manga so it’s all good. =)

Non Non Biyori Repeat anime

Non Non Biyori Repeat

I knew that the second season was going to be as good as the first season. I like it how there’s no strong plot, it’s just about a bunch of girls conveying their daily lives in the countryside. The addition of the new music and soundtrack was refreshing and added to this beautiful anime.

I watched this together with my Mum as she’s also a fan of Non Non. My bro is even started to watch it… my 2016 goal is to convert my entire family to Non Non Biyori. Haha! This is definitely among of my favourite anime of all time. With good reason too.^^/

Monster Musume anime

Monster Musume

Admittedly I was nervous when it was announced that MonMusu was going to get an anime adaptation but to my surprise it was much, much better than I had expected it to be.

Everything in it happened exactly as it did in the manga with only a few cuts here and there. I was especially impressed with how they portrayed the characters. The show was both funny and quite touching at times.

I would welcome a second season but I don’t think it will happen for at least another year.

Shomin Sample

Shomin Sample

I found this anime to be extremely funny.

Poor Kimito has to pretend to have a muscle fetish in order to stay at a school in which he’s been kidnapped to stay in. Haha. It was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I found the characters and the situations they got themselves into to be humorous and quirky.

All the ladies are socially inept as they don’t have a clue about the real world but I especially thought it was funny when Aika taught them and Reiko about “Gets”. The “Gets” gag was the underlining factor in this show. Haha.

Shimoneta Anime

SHIMONETA

I shouldn’t have found this funny, but I did.

There were plenty of innuendos and rude jokes in this anime and that is literally the main theme of this show. The antics of certain characters were both funny and disturbing at times. Haha.

I think it was an interesting concept how they tried to monitor everyone in an attempt to set good standards in modern society. Is that really good for the people though? I’m all for good standards but I personally think that that’s robbing people of their freedom and I think this show explores that very well, even if it is… crude. 😉

The Testament of Sister New Devil Anime

The Testament of Sister New Devil

I really enjoyed watching the two series back to back this year.

In some ways this show reminds me of High School DxD, and Mio especially reminds me of Rias. It’s because of the similarities that made me watch this show, and I’m glad that I did.

There’s a lot more action than I thought there was going to be and I feel that the risqué moments happen appropriately, rather than happen for the sake of making the viewers go blind. Haha. I think it’s a good story where Mio wants to live a normal life but it was never going to be easy as she is the daughter of the past devil king.

I’m sure one day she will live a peaceful life without any worries. =)

 

Anime in 2016

 

At this moment in time there’s no particular anime that has caught my eye to watch in 2016. I know The Asterisk War second season will be aired at some point in April but that’s about it. For now, I will just have to wait and see what comes along and go from there.

 

If you want to recommend an anime by all means do. I’ll be happy to hear from you. =)

 

Ryan.^^/

My Second Year Blog Anniversary

Goodness me. It’s official. I have been blogging for two whole years. Well, just over two years as I am posting a day late. Whoops!

 

I originally started blogging on WordPress but in July I opened up my own site as well as a blogging site, right here. I feel that that was one of my biggest achievements this year as it took me some courage to put myself out there on the internet, especially my art.

 

I think between November last year and November now my approach to blogging changed. Before I somewhat forced myself to write for the sake of writing it, especially when it came to reviewing anime. However, in that time, I decided to blog when it feels appropriate to talk about something.

 

Now, I will share with you some of the blogs that I feel were most significant from 16th November 2014 to now…

 

  1. A New Yoga Place

I went to a new yoga place on my own for the first time.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/02/20/a-new-yoga-place/)

 

  1. Applying For a Passport

How I handled the situation and circumstance of applying for a Passport.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/05/15/applying-for-a-passport/)

 

  1. My Birthday Weekend.

What I got up to on my birthday.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/06/28/my-birthday-weekend/)

 

  1. Kitacon

The Kitacon experience was very, very special. This blog contains four parts.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/07/31/kitacon-part-one-the-anticipation/)

 

  1. My Theory about Autism and Repetitive Movement

I came up with a theory about autism and repetitive movement.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/07/01/my-theory-about-autism-and-repetitive-movement/)

 

  1. Becoming an Uncle

My thoughts on becoming an Uncle for the first time.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/09/28/becoming-an-uncle/)

 

  1. A Time to Celebrate

I was celebrating for many reasons.

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/09/13/a-time-to-celebrate/)

 

  1. Halloween Party 2015 and Sting

How I got on socially at the Halloween party and thoughts on dressing up as Sting.^^/

(http://ryanspeakman.co.uk/blog/2015/11/02/halloween-party-2015-and-sting/)

 

THANKS FOR READING

 

Blogging has become a very fun hobby of mine and I feel like I’m getting better at writing with every single post.

 

Now, I am preparing myself for the England versus France game. For once, I am supporting both nations, not just my own. Simply because there are things that are happening in the world that are much bigger than Football, and this game in particular will highlight that very well. I’m not sure if I will be able to sing the French national anthem, but I will give it a try or bite my tongue trying.

 

Thanks for reading, have a good evening.^^/

Ryan.

Nurse Hitomi’s Monster Infirmary Volume One Review

Dr Hitomi Monster Informary Volume one cover

  1. SYNOPSIS

The school nurse, Dr Hitomi, is a cyclops that welcomes you to her monster infirmary any time of the day. If you have a health problem or going through adolescence, Dr Hitomi will offer a gentle and logic solution to the student in need.

  1. THEME
  • Comedy
  • School
  • Supernatural
  • Seinen[1]
  1. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

This manga raised my spirits.

What I gathered by reading this is that there are a number of students and general people in this story that have a problem with self-confidence. Whilst this story is somewhat set in a fantasy, since it involves a bunch of fantasy type characters, it deals with real life problems as well. We usually worry about ourselves and self-image when we’re growing up, mostly in school and college.

We create these worries through self-doubt and over-thinking. We grow up in different ways, we act in different ways, we think in different ways. I think the main focus of this story is individuality and acceptance.

There is no one better to reassure the self-doubting students then Dr Hitomi. She is a wonderful person. She might be the school’s nurse but she heals more than just cuts and bruises. She helps her students overcome their own problems. All the students have unique monster-esque features as well, so self-acceptance does come slowly for each character.

I think Hitomi does a great job making her students feel better and it isn’t because she’s perfect, it’s because she goes through her own problems as well. She cares about her students deeply, and they appreciate her kindness and sensitive nature. I nearly said it’s because she’s human like everyone else, but I’m not sure if a human actually exists in the story, haha. Sometimes Dr Hitomi needs reassurance herself even if she is the best at reassuring and helping others. It is human nature. Saying the word “human” is probably not appropriate but there’s no other way for me to describe it. Haha.

She’s really cute as well. She might be a cyclops but I think her glossy eye is gorgeous. It’s also hard to not smile at her innocent nature, especially when she begs her dad for ice cream. I didn’t expect her Dad to be a bear, I actually thought that was her date. Haha. Who would have thought?

  1. CONCLUSION

One Thumb’s-Up.^^/ (My Rating System)

Thumbs-Up

THANKS FOR READING

Dr Hitomi and Manako

I think this is a rather cool picture between Dr Hitomi and Manako from Monster Musume. It’s a crossover that I highly approve of. I definitely approve of this monster girl niche. =)

Oh, by the way, this is my 100th blog post. I was aware that my 100th post was just around the corner so I was planning to post a review of No Game No Life anime or High School DxD volume four. However, this defeats the object of doing things in the ‘moment’. And as I’ve already written this blog, I decided to post it here and now. And I will continue to do this. =)

Thanks for reading. =)
Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.

[1] The target audience of this manga is towards an older gentleman with the age range from 18 to 30.

Joining Tumblr

Tumblr logo

Good Tidings.^^/

On a spur of the moment I decided to open a Tumblr account.

Usually when I take action I have to think things over and make sure that I’m happy with what I’m doing. However, I decided that it would be a nice idea to become part of the Tumblr world as they seem to offer a different kind of vibe from WordPress. Admittedly, I was a little nervous at first because I usually never do anything bold without thinking it over. However, I think in the long run this was a good decision.

By what I’ve browsed so far it seems that users prefer to share pictures and animated GIFS more than posting blog posts. There are plenty of pictures I checked out, like characters from my favourite manga and Thomas the Tank Engine. =) I set it up so that whatever I post on my blogging site it will automatically post up on Tumblr.

Here is the link to my Tumblr account. I go by the same username:

ryanspeak.

THANKS FOR READING

Non Non Biyori Wallpaper

I’m not really sure how the world of Tumblr works but I’ll have fun finding out. =D

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

My Christmas Spirit

Coca-cola-lorry

Ho, Ho, Ho.^^/

Christmas has an impact on people in different but wonderful ways. For me, it represents a time to spend with family and friends. So far, I’m doing just that. However, it never really occurs to me that Christmas is coming until certain things trigger my realisation…

  1. The Coca-Cola Advert
  2. Putting up the decorations
  3. Home Alone on TV
  4. Advent Calendar
  5. Walking out in the freezing cold
  6. Putting up the Christmas tree

When do you realise Christmas is coming?

The decorations in my house look splendid, and I’ve got a new star to put at the top of the tree. =) I watched Home Alone the other day on Channel 4 +1. I would say that both Home Alone 1 and 2 are probably my favourite Christmas films of all time. I enjoy it now as I did when I was much younger. Even in the days when I in a complete world of my own. I remember my Mum buying the Home Alone soundtrack all the way back in 1992. It’s both wonderful and amazing how time flies. I’ve come a long way since then. =)

I’ve been in a good mood recently. I recently finished my illustration on a picture that I’m quite proud of. I drew and coloured Aoi Sakurai from the anime, ‘Rail Wars.’ I was thinking of doing either Rias Gremory or Takao next. However, I also begin to wonder if it’s more appropriate to draw a Christmas picture with a bunch of anime girls squashed together. That could be a lot of fun actually. If I feel like it, I’ll give them a go.

So far I’ve been doing a countdown to Christmas. Every morning I would eat a piece of chocolate from my Thomas the Tank Engine advent calendar. Then, I would post #day1 for example onto Instagram. I’m finding that a lot of fun. I don’t really eat heaps of chocolate in truth, but when I do, it’s on a special occasion. =D

THANKS FOR READING

Father Christmas

 I still have plenty of presents to wrap and cards to send but it’s all worth it when the 25th December arrives. 😉

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

Applewood Farm Pub Quiz 2014

Applewood Farm

Ho, Ho, Ho.^^/

Coincidentally, it was around this time last year that I blogged about the Applewood Farm pub quiz. This time was more special than the time from last year.

A dear friend of ours came to visit from Norway. He’s really my brother’s friend but I said ‘ours’ because I consider him a friend of mine too.^^/ Since he was over here we decided that we were going to the Applewood Farm pub quiz. I was invited out on this occasion. Usually I would have to think about it for days. Instead, I said that I would go and deal with my anxiety when the time came.

*

I did get into a little bit of a head mush for a couple of hours before the outing. I had a lot of decorations to sort out, house chores and wrapping presents. I tried to think rationally. It then came to my attention that a completely new person was going to come and join our outing. I started to get apprehensive. I was not prepared to meet someone new. It wasn’t long ago that I had just got over the whole London trip so how was I going to fare going to the quiz with someone new?

This nearly swayed me out of the trip. I then remembered that our friend from Norway was attending. It isn’t often that he comes over and he was going back the following day. This would really be my last opportunity to see him for a while so I decided to go, despite my sudden rush of worries.

*

The taxi with my brother and co arrived. A strange wave of anxiety then rose up in my chest and stomach. The taxi he ordered was… let’s call them Taxi Company X. Now, this was a big problem for me. Taxi Company X gave me a hard time during my college/university days. They often made me late, they crashed into posts, they nearly crashed into other cars and they deliberately left me stranded. My parents complained about them at the time and I was switched to another transportation company to get to college/university.

I promised myself that I will never travel with them again. And I kept that promise…but my brother made me break it. Bro, if you’re reading, shame on you! (The fact that my brother knew nothing about my silent promise is neither here or there. Haha.)

In all seriousness, I understand that things could have changed since my university days. For all I know the evening service might be a lot more efficient then the contract service. Letting things go can be difficult depending on your own experience. On this occasion I needed to grit my teeth hard. Fortunately for me Taxi Company X were ok and they didn’t leave me stranded. Of course I won’t forget about the times when they made my life difficult but this was a good barrier for me to overcome. They still wouldn’t be my first choice of transportation.

*

In the taxi I tried to distract myself by making conversation. We talked about rubbish and I was sort of ok.^^/

The pub quiz was quite fun, our team were the Volvo Brothers, Volbros for short. 🙂 The puzzle round was mighty difficult. I’m not even sure if I can explain it… so I won’t. Haha.

I was debuting my new jumper and silky T-shirt too. It was a proud moment… until it was cut short. It came to light that I dropped bits of chocolate flakes down my jumper. “Oh no!” was my instant cry. I then pulled up my jumper to find more chocolate flakes on my pants. “Oooooh nooooo!” was my bigger cry.

You may have gathered, but I get somewhat careless when I eat. I even found one on my forehead. I have no idea how that got there! I don’t eat like Cookie Monster though. Honest!

*

The socialising side was much better than I anticipated. There was a chance that another lady was going to join in with the quiz on our team too. It was too short noticed for me to react or worry so I decided to just take it in my stride. I was adamant that I wanted to be on the end of the table as I sensed that I needed to dash off a couple of times.

Our team were placed 8th out of 37 with 61 points. I was most pleased. We originally counted up the score to 48 points. When we didn’t hear our names I suspected that we might have been disqualified. If you’re caught using your phone during the quiz or google the answers then you’re automatically disqualified. I know I used my phone once replying back to a friend but no more than that. I was concerned that we might have been disqualified due to a misunderstanding. Thankfully, I was wrong. =)

I bought my brother a pint of…carling, I think? I’m a tea total by nature and never touch anything alcoholic. His birthday is coming up so I figured I should treat him. It’s probably the second time that I bought him a pint, but I was on my own in this case so I was unsure if I was going to get an I.D. check. It turned out, I didn’t.

I seem to forget that I’m not as young as I used to be. In my head, I feel no different now than when I was 17. It’s weird yet fascinating how we age. I digress.

*

I somewhat interacted with other people. I grinned at the quiz master and he winked at me back. I smiled back at a random lady who was smiling when I was at the bar, getting hot chocolate with marshmallows and chocolate flakes. Yes, these are the exact same chocolate flakes that went down my pants and top. Haha.

I was somewhat caught up in the crowd and sort of backed off so I let everyone get through the door first. I don’t like heaps of crowd as some of you may know, so I decided to wait until the crowd died down to get out. This random chap asked me “where did you come?” I replied “eighth.” He then mumbled a couple of words, but I believe he was paying me and my team a compliment.

A young cute lady then said to me that they came in second. I beamed up and offered my congratulations when Mr Drunk interrupted and said that she was lying out of her…backside. Now that I think about it, she probably said thirty second and he misunderstood her. Then, when we were outside he offered up a fist gesture so someone would bump with him. So, I stretched out my arm and gave him a fist bump. Haha. Then he walked away…

I think that was probably the first ever time I gave someone a fist-bump. Haha.

THANKS FOR READING

It was certainly an eventful evening from my point of view, but in a way, it’s a good change of pace and most certainly a valuable experience, especially when handling people who have had a little bit too much to drink.

Jingle Bells until next time.

Namaste,^^/

Ryan.