I once again find myself starting a new post with an apology. It has been months since my last post and I would like to say sorry for all the anguish and disappointment I have put you through!
I have genuine reasons for not writing anything sooner. Here is a breakdown of how I’ve been spending my time since we last spoke.
1) Studying Medicine? – No one told me it was going to be such hard work! Well actually, when I say I’ve spent time studying medicine I basically mean the time I’ve spent in hospital. It’s not necessarily the same thing as my consultants all too easily expose!
Time spent: 20%
2) Effort of settling into life in a new city – It has taken a while but I’m starting to feel settled in Manchester and I’m looking forward to pursuing new entrepreneurial ideas here. Perhaps my tried and tested t-shirt selling might reemerge – I’m sure my Mario Ladotelli merchandise will take off. In the Blue half at least…
3) Other contributing factors:
Consuming Alcohol – 20%
Playing FIFA 13 – 40%
And finally, suffering from a lack of inspiration – 10%
At the time of the year when Christmas is just around the corner, it seems unfeasible, unthinkable and ungrateful to be uninspired. It is just over two weeks away from the one day of the year when it is acceptable to eat your body weight in pigs in blankets! I mean how can that not inspire someone?! And so, with that in mind, Christmas has inspired me to write about…Christmas!
I have in recent years been a little Bah Humbug about December 25th but I have to admit this year I am very excited about going home and spending some quality time with my loved ones (I suppose the amount of quality time depends on how much time is spent arguing!)
It snowed in Manchester for the first time on Thursday. Well, okay it sleeted. Fine, it was white-ish rain but it did make me feel rather festive so I immediately marched into Primark and bought myself a Christmas Jumper.
However, despite the fact that I’m allowing myself to be caught up in the festive spirit, there are a number of strict rules which I think everyone should adhere to in the lead up to Christmas:
- Don’t mention Christmas before 1st December!
- Don’t decorate things before 1st December!
- It’s Merry Christmas, NOT Happy Christmas!!!
Not everyone seems to be able to follow these simple rules. Take Manchester City Council, for example. I swear they put up Christmas decorations in September. Number three particularly irks me as what on earth are you meant to say about new year then. Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year. Not on my watch, people, not on my watch…
I might now sound like someone’s senile granddad but Christmas, for me, has changed over the years. Unfortunately, it will never be as exciting as it was when I was a lad. Simple things related to Christmas made me ridiculously happy. Like making those chains of paper snowflakes at school, although I always managed to balls them up a bit. Or putting gold and silver glitter on absolutely everything. I remembered my cat looking very Christmasy when I decorated his tail with the stuff.
But then there are a number of things which make Christmas slightly rosier as an adult like being able to drink mulled wine, for example. If I’d managed to get my hands on the stuff as I child, I would have been an alcoholic by 11.
But the one thing I truly miss from the Christmases of old, is waking up to find that Santa had finally pulled through and got me the toy I’d been wanting ever since Sam from school said he was getting one. Truth be told, a big part of me would still love to go to a toy shop and pick up the latest craze…but that might look a little odd.
Despite my fondness for the idyllic toy era, I did ask for some absolute rubbish.
Take RAD the Robot. I remember the absolute ecstasy of unwrapping him on Christmas Day, 2000. He really could do anything, I thought at the time. He was a fully-mobile, killing machine who fired foam bullets on your command and you could even speak into his remote and make him voice what you were saying! I launched a series of highly successful attacks on my sister on Boxing Day that year. She shouldn’t have eaten one of my advent chocolates then should she? Unfortunately RAD didn’t survive the winter and his battery died one fateful day in January.
Or “Excite Striker”, no not some sort of football porno, but actually a piece of technology I was sure was going to turn me into a Premier League player.
It actually was quite impressive. It was a video game and a form of very basic games console which communicated with an infra-red device which you strapped to your ankle. When your player on screen had the ball, you could pass or shoot by doing the same action in reality, minus the ball.
My dream ended when I tried to score a virtual Supergoal. The ball came out to “me” (the imaginary, poorly-pixelated player on the screen) 40 yards out from goal and with one massive swing of my leg, I watched the equipment “strapped” to my ankle fly off and find the back of the net? No. It found the wall. I decided to get Championship Manager the following year.
I miss the years when I spent months wanting a toy, finally got it and was then bored of it within a week, although spare a thought for our parents. How frustrating must it be to have some shit of a child moan on about wanting something, only to be disinterested a mere seven days later.
Christmases are expensive times and many toys don’t come cheap! Putting my entrepreneurial hat on for a minute, I can definitely see the absolute bucket loads of profit to be made if you managed to somehow guess and design the next Christmas craze. And so, I would like to finish by providing you a list with the best-selling toys of the last twenty-one years. I propose a toast to all the entrepreneurs who designed them and to the toys themselves! They gave us all of five minutes of entertainment but those were the best goddamn five minutes of the year.
How many did you have?!
2011 – LeapPad Explorer
2010 – Stinky the Garbage Truck
2009 – Go Go Pets Hamster, Transformers 2 Figures
2008 – Baby Born with Magic Potty, High School Musical Dance Mat, Star Wars Voice Changer Clone Trooper Helmet
2007 – Talking Iggle Piggle
2006 – Deal or No Deal Board Game
2005 – Tamagotchi Connexion toy
2004 – Robosapien
2003 – Beyblades
2002 – Bratz dolls
2001 – Bob The Builder figures, folding scooters and Lego Bionicle
2000 – Teksta the Robotic Dog
1999 – Pokemon trading cards
1997 – Tamagotchis, Ty Beanie Babies , Teletubbies
1996 – Tickle Me Elmo, Buzz Lightyear dolls
1995 – POGS
1993 + 1994 – Power Rangers
1992 – Thunderbird’s Tracey Island Play Set
1991 – Nintendo Gameboy
1990 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
And so, I would like to thank you all so much for reading the blog over the last six months and please share the blog if you’ve enjoyed reading this post! Make sure you come back in 2013 when I promise I will try and actually do something entrepreneurial for once. Let me finish by saying Happy Christmas and A Merry New Year to you all………………..oh, damn it!