Friday, December 30, 2011

And a happy new year to you!

As the Big Ben clock makes its final bong in 2011 and the fireworks across the country explode into the atmosphere, I contemplate the last year and wonder what will become of 2012 for little old me (little I hear you question?)

I began the year in the middle of my final year of University, completing my dissertation on the touristic legacy of Michael Jackson. The end of the semester also meant the end of one of my closest friend’s time in England as my dear friend Emily moved to Boston, MA to live with her husband and give birth to her little boy. Emily wasn’t the only one to have a baby this year as my cousin Chris and his wife had their first baby girl.

The year of 2011 sums up me finishing University and having to grow up. I graduated with excellent grades and was awarded for Outstanding Achievement with the faculty. My dissertation was also passed onto Michael Jackson’s estate and family too. I also continued Michael Jackson’s touristic legacy myself through attending a live show Man In The Mirror with my friend Kat, and attended the Forever tribute show in Cardiff (although the latter was nearly ruined as I ran around the capital of Wales looking for a hotel room).

Finishing university meant I had to go and get a job (tut) and temping at a large retail chain led me to move into my sought after career in Human Resources, a career I had desired since my University modules last year in the subject. I now recruit for one of the largest retail firms in the UK and the studying has not all together stopped as I completed an Equality and Diversity course this year and have plans to complete a part time Masters and CIPD qualification next year to help me progress with my career.

I went to V Festival where I hung out with the celebs in the VIP section and danced away to Rihanna! Me and Angus went to the Lake District where we walked up mountains which never ended (mainly because the paths had been redirected without notice) and did a spot of literary tourism in Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth’s homes.

October was a mixed month. It began with the wedding of two of my closest friends, Vanessa and Shaun but I later lost my Uncle Mick who sadly passed after being diagnosed of cancer. The month ended on a high however as my cousin’s christening brought a focus on new life in the Hatton family. Not many people can say they’ve done the full circle of life in just 4 weeks!

The year ends with close friends, who are coming to celebrate with us. And to that I raise a glass and wish all of my friends and readers a wonderful New Year and that 2012 bring everything you wish for x

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 in Review

It is safe to say that 2011 has been an eventful year with ups and downs. I tend to keep a log of major events across a year in the news as a reminder and I have filled nearly double what I had for 2010!

The year began with the New Years Eve Egyptian Terrorist Attacks where 17 people were killed after a church was bombed, bringing a less than optimistic beginning to the year. Later on in the year a revolution occurred in Egypt forcing out the government, which also occurred in Tunisia and Libya also in 2011. Egypt wasn’t the only place to receive terrorist attacks as an airport in Russia was also bombed as well as Morocco. The most shocking terrorist attacks were found in Norway where a right wing extremist set off a bomb in Oslo and killed 69 people at a summer camp. There was some good news in 2011 in the combat against terrorism as we caught Osama Bin Laden and our troops left Iraq, shortly before the 9/11 ten year anniversary.

In the UK, VAT rises and government cuts led to many strikes and protests across the country. We were offered a new way of electing in a way of an alternative vote but this was voted against coming into future elections. The UK also had a series of riots, which showed to be more of a group of vandalising looting chavs rather than a revolution.

2011 had held many natural disasters across the world including floods in Brazil and Australia, a tsunami in Japan, and earth Quakes in Spain and New Zealand. We had a repeat of a 2010 mining disaster, but unlike Chile, the Welsh were not so fortunate to escape.

There was a series of celebrity scandals this year; Charlie Sheen showed that he was no longer winning as he got too high and was fired from Two and a Half Men. Dr Conrad Murray was found guilty for his involvement in Michael Jackson’s death. Cheryl Cole was promised a job on the American X Factor, only to be fired shortly after; and Ryan Giggs realized that super injunctions do not work. But the biggest scandal of 2011 had to be the phone hacking from the News of the World, where Hugh Grant, JK Rowling, Steve Coogan and many other celebrities fought out against the phone hackers and the News of the World was shut down after 168 years of being in print.

We lost a number of famous faces in 2011 including Pete Postlethwaite, Elizabeth Taylor, Ryan Dunn, Amy Winehouse, Betty Driver, Jimmy Saville, Gary Speed and Kim Jong Il. The world was cheered up however when Prince William finally got married to Kate Middleton bringing lots of hope (and tourism income) to the UK.

And there is the sum up for 2011; who knows what is to come in 2012? The Olympics should be a huge event in 2012 as well as no doubt more strikes and protests against our forever disappointing government. But to everyone out there, have a happy new year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Crimbo and that

It is that time of year again where I try to compete with the Queen for best Christmas message... personally I think hers lacks a little edge or humor but whatever!
I finished work today at 4pm (nice!) and now I'm not in until next Thursday, which will be the longest I've had off in ages! I received a lovely secret santa gift off a work colleague: a Coronation Street Rovers Return mug and a pair of Jack Duckworth Racing Pidgeons. I don't know what gave anyone the impression that I liked Coronation Street??

I tried to be all nice and charitable (''David, are you still doing stuff for charity?'' I hear you cry!) so I bought a selection box to give to the children's hospital as they were collecting them at work. I took my selection box to work but they had already been taken the night before; so I'm stuck with all this chocolate, oh how I will suffer this Christmas.

Working in a city centre is horrible at this time of year... people don't appreciate that I don't want to be there and that I have to be there due to work being all inconsiderate and placing it in a central business hub. I try to rush past the dordellers (you know who you are) who walk at a half a mile an hour and stop at every window to see what offers on. I HAVE A BUS TO CATCH! Is murder wrong if its a Manchester shopper?

The bus home on my final day was amusing; a young child stood up and announced to the bus, ''LOOK GRANDAD, THAT STRANGE WOMAN IS ASLEEP!'', the woman opened her eyes to see a young blonde haired boy pointing at her. As I got off the bus I saved a dog, who had run away from his owner, from running into the road. As his owner came running I could understand why the poor little animal had considered suicide; the owner was a chav, didn't for a second thank me for saving the cute puppy, but did pick it and screamed ''YOU LITTLE BASTARD!' at the dog. At least I hope it was the dog... if it was aimed at me, I don't know who he was calling 'little'. Lovely Christmas spirit.

I came home where I found a flustered Angus who informed me that I had used up all his Christmas paper. He wasn't happy I had used it all up. What am I? A shop keeper? I don't do stock checks. Anyway he's off finding Christmas paper two days before Christmas. Fun.

Christmas will be spent with my lovely family in Preston. New Year will be enjoyed with my good friends Finn and Shelley who I'm hoping will bring some of Finn's Scottish heritage to our festivities. We have a Scot, we only need Travis now and it will be Hogmanay in our own house!

Anyway Have a Wonderful Christmas too all my wonderful friends and family!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

a personal note after an emotional week

I am not going to advertise this on Facebook or Twitter but if you manage to find it then you will have come across something very personal and one of the saddest weeks of my adult life. On Tuesday evening I found out that two incredibly close friends of mine are HIV positive. I will never mention names, as it is not my place to; this a mere week in my shoes as their friend.

Devastated is the only word I can think of to sum up what I’ve been feeling. I was shocked, horrified and in fear for their welfare. In the past I have dealt with people having cancer and all sorts of illnesses, but this I have no idea how to handle because I have never come across it before. I am not belittling other illnesses, I merely want to express that I understand those illnesses and therefore feel I can cope with them, but this has been something else.

I’ve felt sick, tired, saddened and in a way quite mournful over the fact that my friends have an incurable disease. This isn’t even my body. I cannot imagine what the last few months have been like for my dear friends. My heart bleeds when I think of the day they found out or how they’ve managed to tell other people when there is so much stigma out there.

Knowledge is power and that is the only thing that has got me through this week. Knowing how good the drugs are to keep sufferers alive and healthy gives me a great peace of mind. If they are reading this (or if anyone who is positive is reading) my heart goes out to you and I’ll think of you everyday. To my two in particular friends, I love you both so very much and hope you remain happy and healthy for a very very long time.