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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Suffering eczema.

I've never really written about the suffering I go through but I just want to write about it, and explain to people who don't know what eczema is. Eczema is a skin condition, which makes the skin very dry and inflamed. I suffer severe eczema. From head to toe my body seems to be covered in it. It makes most days a living hell.

The itchiness caused through it is a nightmare. It's horrible, you just want to scratch yourself away. I know for one that I've scratched myself, sometimes to cutting and blood. I made a big cut on my elbow over this weekend because of the pain and the suffering of the itching I was going through. I know it's simple to think not to scratch but words are easier than actions.

It's been really really bad of late, it's affected my sleep, it's affected my personality, it's affected my entire lifestyle. The suffering is something I wouldn't even wish on my worst enemy. I've been so low and deflated. I don't and won't write everything that has happened on here but seriously it's been like going to hell and back.

I've been put on creams, and now tablets, but it's just a case of wanting to pain to go away. It's horrible. I am very lucky to have the support around me,but I am also so sorry that people have to see me suffer, and how it's changed me. It really has had a big effect on me. I try not to let it but it's just so hard. I've almost torn myself apart. I've hurt myself deeply.

I also just want to aplogise for not being myself recently. It's just all got me really down. I'll be back again soon.

I just wanted to thank my mum, Richard, my Dad and especially my girlfriend Megan. They've been my absolute rock. I can't be sorry enough for the pain they must go through seeing me in such a state. I'd also like to thank everyone who has been kind and supportive over me. I'm really struggling right now but having good people around me is a real help.

I just want it all to go away, and now. PLEASE.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Carrie Hope Fletcher.

Carrie Hope Fletcher, some of you will know, and some of you will not. She's a YouTube star, a west end performer and one of the kindest people I've ever encountered.

Carrie is a year younger than me and has a loyal group of fans, called Hopefuls following her. The following has rapidly grown and she now has a Twitter following of over 316k. She regularly posts videos, blogs and messages that are brilliant. They vary from of range of subjects, from toilets to biscuits.


To be her age and have such a loyal group of followers, who are usually young girls, is just a pure credit to Carrie. She is beyond lovely to everyone. I have witnessed her at the stage door of Les Miserables, after a performance, she comes out and over to a fairly sized crowd and makes time for each an every person. When I last went to the show I was one of the first people to speak to her with my girlfriend, after seeing Carrie we'd waited to see a few of the other cast members and gone to a shop and Carrie was still at stage door. I don't know many West End performers who make such a dedication to speak to their fans. She is so down to Earth too and anytime spent in the company of Carrie is a joy. 
Me and Carrie in December 2013.

Carrie is also an excellent performer and her Eponine in Les Miserables is superb. I recommend you all catch it by next year when Carrie departs the show (also you can see Carrie in War Of The Worlds at the end of the year).

I know this blog has no real point or meaning other than just to promote Carrie (not that she needs it!). You all who haven't need to watch some her videos on her Youtube page - ItsWayPastMyBedTime. Also her websites - http://carriehopefletcher.com/ and http://alliknownow.com/

Alongside all of the above Carrie has her first book being published in May next year and is available to pre-order on Amazon now, it's entitled 'All I Know Now: Wonderfings and Reflection of Growing Up Gracefully'. Pre-order from this link: Amazon Link

The world needs more people like Carrie, she makes the word a more enjoyable and pleasurable place. Hats of you Carrie, you're a star and an inspiration. The Hopefuls are lucky to have a great person to follow.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Friends.

I was out on a walk yesterday in the lovely summer weather and I just felt reflective. I was thinking back to all the wonderful experiences I've been lucky enough to have. The people I've had the pleasure of growing up alongside and spending time with. This little blog is more will take me back through some of the great times and fun I've had. I know I simply can't mention every person and if I don't mention you it doesn't mean our time was amazing, it means I'm just forgetful!!

I guess you start early with friends, and I guess childhood friends are almost the most special, the ones that share the early years with you. The time you play most, get to explore and enjoy the freedom of youth. I had some great friends during my childhood years, the likes of Adam and Kim (also notable mentions for the likes of the two Matthews, and Mr hands and faces), whom I spent many happy hours with, they lived across the road which made them easily accessible. We had such good times, playing games, and being young. Walley (squash but with a football), bushey (same idea but a bush instead of a wall), podey (defending the lamppost!) and I guess even tag. We had great times just being kids in the bushes (sounds weirder than it should!) for which for some reason we never seemed to be allowed to play in or some creepy guy would tell us off. Being young I guess we did a lot of stupid things too, I certainly remember running around the playground of our old school on a Saturday evening, I also remember the time a cow escaped. We used to have great laughs, and the time just flew by.

Going into school, also inevitably gains you friends, the friends you'll stick with for the years of primary and somewhat the future years after. The two friends I stuck most of a friendship in my primary school days of Thythorn were Stephen and Nilesh, two great lads. Both of which lived in the next street. We'd have spent many hours in and out of school in our childhood having a laugh. I can name many people from Thythorn still, and I still occasionally see people out and about and remember names and faces.

From left to right, Me, Donna, Lucy, Nathan, Lewis and Rhien.
Developing on from leaving Primary school and into Abington High School, where we set into form groups, I stuck with Nilesh and Stephen, and developed a great group of friends at Abington, the likes of Nathan Patrick. There's fewer more people that I'd call a good person than Nathan. I never ever spend enough time with him that I'd like too. I guess by the stage of high school, the friends you've been accustomed with start going separate ways, where as in primary school you'd be in pretty much the same class for everything you'd go into different classes for different lessons in high school. I recently found my leavers book from Abington and looking through it made me smile immensely, I didn't get many people to scribble in it, but the ones that did are the ones I'll remember in years to come. Abington is where I met Luke too, whom I'd spend a great few years attending Leicester City matches with, we both got a season ticket together and attended matches in the Family stand before moving to the Kop. I also developed a friendship more with Scott who was also at Thythorn. We'd as a group go and play football at Little Hill park, sometimes even till it was pretty much dark.

Moving on into Guthlaxton brought even more friends, and probably my most significant friend to date, Lucy. Lucy was the biggest influence on me. She is just special. We met luckily, and I remember the early meet ups were a bit awkward as I was quite a quiet and shy person (I probably still am!). There's simply too much to mention about the times I've spent with Lucy as there's so many, but I can pick out a few. We had a brilliant week in Blackpool (bag or badger? the mystery will never be solved), Alton Towers, Horse Racing, Birmingham adventures, Jessie J trip to London. As I say there's so many, I love Lucy. We pretty much spent a whole summer together one year. Lucy is the friend more than any other that I regret drifting apart from.

Lucy and Me
A few more awesome friends from this period I must mention our Lewis, pure quality. Donna, Heather, Bryony, and anyone else I probably forgotten. I also must mention Cherry, Tom and Rhien, 3 legends, who have definitely suffered seeing my drunk too much...

With the internet and the sites like Facebook and Twitter it becomes so much easier to meet to talk and meet people. I've been very lucky to meet someone awesome friends on the web. Katie from South Shields sticks out, we had a couple of fantastic meet ups where I went to stay at hers. Sadly I don't speak to Katie at all now, I loved those times, walking along the beach having  a great chat. I also had a couple of great trips to Scotland, with Deb, Kathryn, Steph and co (most of the time I was drunk again on this one!). In Wales, Seren, Leslie, Soph and Hannah, four more great people. In Blackpool, Philippa and Beth.

Two Pints friends, left to right, Ade, Mum,  Leona, Hayley, Blay, John, Ash, Laura, Michelle, Me, Amanda, Bryan
The most awesome gang of friends I met through Sheridan Smith, I got a great bond of friendship with the likes of Laura, Jonathan, Bryan, John, Suzi, Caroline, Hayley, Martin, Leighton, Rob, Katy, Sue (and all of you guys!). There a great set of people whom I'm lucky to call friends. I dont see them enough. The Two Pints summer BBQ was one of the best weekends of my life. I wish we'd been able to have another one.

Londoners, left to right: Soph, Me, Seren, Jon, Laura and Bryan.
I've a great set of friends through theatre, the likes of Jenny, Helen, Hannah, Eline, Anne, Rob (and MANY more!), another set of people I don't get to see enough. Of course the Rocky Horror gang too, Katie, Carol, Mike, Rob, Julia and more.

I must of course mention my bestest friend and my lover, Megan. She's my guiding light, my star. I am very very lucky to have her in my life and to be hers. I love her so so much.

Me and Megan at the Oliviers.
I guess friendships disappear and float apart over time, but all the people I've mentioned in this blog and the one's I've simply not been able to remember at the time of writing are special. You guys hold such a special place in my heart, whether if we met for 20 seconds or hours. I can't thank you enough, you make me happy when I'm feeling rough and for generally sticking by me. There's so many of you I've probably been rubbish and not kept in contact with enough, for which I am just an idiot.

I'd love to catch up with some of you guys mentioned, whether it's just a chat or whatever I'd love an update on your lives, whats going on. I still see posts on Facebook and Twitter and love seeing them.
"The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it." Hubert H. Humphrey.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

West End Live Memories.

 West End Live has always been a special weekend, a weekend of brilliant live West End Musicals and many other talented performing to a large crowd that gathers in Trafalgar Square (a much much better place than the original Leicester Square location). The best thing about the whole event is that it's free, free to enter, free to watch the greatest musicals around.

The crowd at West End Live 2013.
I've attended every West End Live from 2008 onwards, and have always loved it. Hanging out with some brilliant friends and just enjoying the fun. Great memories over the years include me and my friend Laura dancing around in Leicester Square at Burn The Floor, when it absolutely chucked it down during Jersey Boys performing a few years ago (horrible yet great fun!) but maybe last years stands out the most.

Me and some friends after West End Live a few years ago.
Me and my girlfriend, Megan, met for the first time at the Oliviers in Covent Garden in April 2013, we literally had the chance for a hug and a quick hello as I was running off to catch my train home. We were really close already by that time but not a couple, we got together on May 13th, I know it's probably not the most romantic way to ask someone out but I did it over Facebook, and she said yes. In a way I think its maybe why we're such a strong couple because we got together based on personalities, we were together and we'd only ever met for about 2 minutes.

This is where West End Live comes in, this was our chance to properly meet. I attended last year with my good friend Jon and we stood mainly at the back of the huge crowd that had gathered in Trafalgar Square. We watched the first selection of shows including Wicked and Les Miserables. It got to around 1/2 in the afternoon and me and Megan had yet to meet, we had been constantly texting trying to sort it, only problem was Megan was right at the front, and we were at the back.

First picture of me and Megan taken at West End Live 2013.
Luckily Megan wanted to go to the back of the stage and meet some of the casts which meant she left her space. This meant when she'd finished we'd arranged a spot and we're now ready to meet up. We were meeting up at the back, I remember the moment walking across through the crowds being incredibly nervous about this meeting. Our eyes met and we walked towards each other, the world stopped, the sound of the stage and the crowd stopped, all I could hear in that moment was blissful happiness, me and Megan then engaged in the biggest hug. We hugged for nearly 2 minutes. It was a special moment. We were together.

We got to spend around 30 minutes together but Megan had to go back, and me and Jon went off to get lunch. I felt crushed leaving her behind but thankfully we returned later in the evening to Trafalgar Square where we got to see each other again. Then of course we had the Sunday where we spent even more time together, and enjoyed watching more shows. These two days set up the future of meet ups for me and Megan and it's lead us to present day, one year on from the day we met at West End Live.

So, thank you West End Live for all the memories over the years. Happy 10th birthday, I hope there's many many more years of this fantastic free event. Sadly I'm not there this year but I will be back next year and I cant wait. Thank you for giving me the chance to meet my love. I hope everyone who is there today and tomorrow enjoys themselves. It's a special event.

2014 Advert.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Pagham Holiday: Day Eight

The final day of the holiday was to be the long journey day. My dad is having a second week away in Weymouth and my brother was swapping for me, as I start my new job on Monday. This meant Richard (my mums boyfriend) was going to drive Ian down to Weymouth and then we'd meet them there before me heading home. 
Leaving our Caravan..
We'd finished the packing and headed away from Pagham around 10am, we picked out a route that didn't take in any motorways or major roads. We headed a lovely countryside journey taking in some of the route we'd traveled down on.

We drove through some lovely little places but I shan't bore you with talk about all of these. We  were aiming for Badbury Ring's as a stop, we arrived there around 1pm, we were going to have a little look around but when we'd arrived we decided we'd prefer to go and find some lunch instead. We saw a sign for the Red Lion Pub, so we followed that and headed there.

Badbury Rings

The pub was in the small village of Sturminster Marshall. The landlord was a lovely gentleman and very friendly. We got in a found a table and both decided to have the haddock and chips. It was a beautiful lunch, really enjoyed it. Filled my stomach and we got back on the road.

It was now around 2pm, and we continued on, thankfully now we were under and hour away from the caravan site. We did manage to get lost once, the only time all holiday (quite proud of that!). Thankfully after that we got back on route quickly and easily. We then arrived at Seaview Caravan site where my Dad and Brother are staying his week. We checked in and got the keys to their caravan. We then waited in the car park for Richard and my brother who arrived around 10 minutes after we had. We swapped over all my things from the car. Me and Richard then headed back in the car to Leicester, and we arrived home around 7.30pm after a pleasant and much quicker journey than it felt getting across country from Pagham to Weymouth.

It's been truly an incredible week, I've had such a brilliant time. We've been lucky to do some amazing things. I've been very blessed that you have chosen to follow my week through this blog. I'd love to hear some feedback on them if you have any (I'm sure some of my grammar is dreadful mind you, so please don't pick on that!). I think my favourite day was Wednesday in Brighton but just having time away with Megan has been a truly joy. I am the happiest when I'm with her. She makes me truly happy. I love her. I've loved this week.

I've included below a selection of photos from the week below:

Saturday night in Pagham Harbour

Saturday night in Pagham Harbour

 Sunday at Chichester Catherdral

View towards Chichester Cathedral.
Nature Reserve.
Ready to watch the sun set.
Sunset.

Sunset on Sunday evening.

Monday in Portsmouth.

View from the Spinnaker on Monday.
Megan up the Spinnaker on Monday.
Arundel Castle on Tuesday.
Arundel Castle.
Brighton on Wednesday.
Megan in Choccywoccydoodah.
Brighton Seafront on Wednesday.
Pagham Beach on Thursday evening.
Shanklin Chine on Friday.
Shanklin sea front on Friday.
Vetnor Sea front on Friday.

Leaving the Isle of Wight on Friday.
Once again a thank you to everyone who has followed any part of this journey. It's been amazing.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Pagham Holiday: Day Seven

The last full day of the holiday and we decided to go to the Isle of Wight for the day. This meant that we needed to get up early, 7.30am to be exact. We got up and ready and headed to Chichester train station. Sadly when we got their the train we'd planned to catch was cancelled due to a technical fault. This delayed us slightly but we still got a train though we had to change at Havant.

The Spinnaker
Upon arriving into Portsmouth, we found the foot passenger ferry directly at the end of the station, and there was a boat ready for boarding as soon as we arrived, a bonus. It was a lovely quick 22 or so minute journey to the island, the sea calm. The boat was fairly busy with people traveling over for the Isle of Wight festival but nothing too bad.

Shanklin Chine
Upon arriving on the island we headed to Ryde Pier train station to catch a train to Shanklin, the train on the Isle of Wight is basically an old underground train, driven across the east side of the island. It's not a very smooth ride either. It took around 25 minutes from Ryde Pier to Shanklin and the time passed quite quickly.

Shanklin Sea Front
I'd not been to the Isle of Wight for 15 years, and to be honest I couldn't realy remember it. We had a lovely little walk through Shanklin and towards to the Chine there. We found a nice little pub for lunch which was a reasonably priced £7.99 for two courses. We both had the ham, egg and chips which was delicious. We've been lucky with the food on this holiday being very nice.

After lunch we headed down the Chine, it's a lovely walk. One I'd really recommend. Weaving through and down to the beach at the other end. We went in the gift shop at the bottom and what we're the chances of the man behind the counter being originally from Leicester. Him and my dad had a good chat about Ibstock and the Leicester area.

It was now early afternoon and the heat was again intense, more blazing sunshine, it felt tropical over their on the island. Almost too hot to do much but as we continued along the sea front we found an amusements which was full of old 2 penny games, so we had a good few minutes in their.

Jungle Jim's Adventure Golf.

We then found another amusements and an adventure golf course, we decided we'd have a round. I lost again to my dad by 4 shots, due to it taking me a whole 15 shots on one of the holes. After the round had finished you had to return your ball, they did this by having a covered hole, and if you got a hole in one you'd receive a free game. My dad missed but I somehow managed it, it's only downside is that it's a long way to go for a free game of crazy golf!

After the golf we headed up the cliff lift, which took us from sea level to the top of the cliffs, around 100 ft much quicker than walking it in the heat. We decided to head to Ventnor to have a look around as neither me or my dad had been before. We enjoyed a very very scenic bus journey from Shanklin,
We had a good walk around Ventnor before heading back to Shanklin, and ultimately to Portsmouth and then the caravan. We had a lovely pleasant journey back on the ferry and trains. We got back to Chichester and my dad drove us back to the caravan where we've had a night of packing and watching more of the World Cup.

Ventnor Sea Front.
I've had such a brilliant holiday, with my dad and my incredible girl Megan. I am very lucky. Tomorrow it's home time, as I start my new job on Monday. I've really enjoyed myself here, I'll cherish the memories for a long long time.

Thanks all who have read and enjoyed the journey, there will be a blog tomorrow regarding the journey home, and a selection of my favourite photos from the week. Once again thank you for reading.


Leaving the Isle of Wight.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Pagham Holiday: Day Six

The day of dread had arrived, the day Megan was to be going home. Tears flowed on Wednesday night as we settled down to bed. I feel our love is so strong and we are so close that just being apart after such a fun week is hard to accept straight away, well it's hard to accept all the time. I truly love Megan, she's such an angel, she makes me feel great and fills me with pure happiness.

Last picture together at the Caravan.
So as it was Megan's home day the morning was spent pretty much packing. It's not easy to watch her pack knowing we we're to be separated by the early afternoon. After Megan had packed up we put her suitcase in the car and headed to the amusements on the site, we had a go on the Mario racing game again, which I just won again. After this we headed back into Chichester.

We decided we'd get some lunch, we'd Googled a Chinese buffet place but for the life of us we couldn't where it was. With the use of Google and everything, it must be mysterious or just hidden away. So after not finding it we headed off in search of another place to eat and we stumbled across the good burger kitchen, which was upstairs over the high street. It was a lovely little place, maybe a little pricey but worth it for the price payed. I had a delicious great quality burger.

Chichester Cathedral
Now we were filled up with a burger each we headed to the Cathedral so that Megan could have a look around, we had a lovely wander around it. As I said earlier in the week it's a beautiful building inside and out.

Goodbye with Megan.
Sadly after this it was time to get Megan to her station, there was tears and it was hard, even writing about this makes me feel so sad. I truly would love to be with her still, and just to hold her again. She boarded her train and was gone in a flash. I felt flat, but kept my head high from the amazing few days we've just had. I am truly grateful for the times we've just had.

Evening walk around Pagham.
Now that Megan had gone, me and my Dad headed back to the caravan for a bit. We decided to have a quiet afternoon, chilled out. I even had a little nap, as again we had intense heat. After watching Pointless and The Chase. We decided to go out for a little walk to the sea front here in Pagham, we were out for a good hour or so and it was a lovely little walk with the setting sun.

Pagham Seafront.

Upon returning to the caravan, we've settled in, looked at things to do for tomorrow and watched the opening match of the World Cup in Brazil between Brazil and Croatia. It's been an emotional day. It's been an incredible few days.

I miss my little love.





Thursday, 12 June 2014

Pagham Holiday: Day Five

Day Five arrived in another blaze of heat, this caravan is something of sweat box at times, but a quick opening of all the windows and doors seems to let a little bit of it. Me, Megan and my Dad got up and got ready to head off to Brighton to look around and see Propeller's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

We'd chosen to catch the train at Barnham, the stop before Chichester, as there seemed to be an extra train later on incase we didn't make it after the show finished. So off we went, leaving the caravan around 10am, Megan map reading us to the station. We made it, and got parked up in a little pay and display car park opposite the station. We made it to the station a couple of minutes before the train, so had a mad rush to get it on time. We managed it just. It took around 45 minutes from Barnham to Brighton.

Brighton Pier.

Upon arrival in Brighton we walked from the station down towards the sea front, as it was nearly 12pm now we decided to go straight to lunch. We went to Harry Ramsdens, who are famous for their fish and chips. I had the large fish and chips, a big regret (more on that later!), Megan had chips and bread and butter and my dad the over 60s special. It was a lovey lunch sat looking out over the sea front.

Mouse Trap ride at Brighton Pier.
After finishing and paying we decided to head to the Pier. Me and Megan had looked up about the rides and decided we'd like to go on them. It was £10 for an unlimited rides wristband, which isn't too bad value especially if you're going to use them alot. Megan eyed up the Mouse Trap ride, which we went on first. I'm not great with heights so on the start of the ride I was admittedly swearing my head off as Megan laughed her head off at my terror. My terror soon turned to laughter as we rounded a couple of the corners, we did a bit of a drop and rose up again before taking in more corners before the whole carriage we were in started to spin all the way around, it was great fun.

Choccywoccydoodah in Brighton.
 We next took in the ghost train, which scared Megan because of her fear of the dark. We then rode on the dodgems, you can't not love the dodgems! The next ride was why my big lunch was a mistake, the waltzers. I've never been spun around so many times at such speed in my life, my dinner nearly came back out of my throat and I felt uneasy for the next couple of hours. As this ride has messed with me, we decided to head off from the pier for a bit with the opportunity of returning later.
Megan expressed an interest for finding the shop of Choccywoccydoodah in Brighton so we set out on a quest. We eventually found it, it was well worth the searching, we all had a chocolate milkshake which was delicious. After this we headed out to the shops, looking in HMV and CEX for more DVDs. With a couple more purchased we headed down the sea front again and walked along the beach towards to pier again.

Me and Megan on the ride.
Now that my tummy had settled we went on a few more rides, which was great fun, we went on this spinny one that went up and down, haven't had that much laughter in a long while, loved it, so we decided to do it again. We did the dodgems again too and a couple of others before we decided to call it a day for the rides and find something to eat. We'd previously looked in Sainsburys but couldn't find anything, but on the pier they had a food stand which took our fancy. Me and Megan had a small hot dog with chips to share and my dad a chicken curry. It was delicious. Megan and I then shared a Crepe, something I'd never had before, but it was amazing. We had it with Nutella, and trust me when I say this it was COVERED in the stuff!!

Me and my dad on the Pier.
After filling the hole again we headed off the pier and towards the theatre as show time was rapidly approaching. We went and brought drinks before heading through the Pavilion gardens and up to the Theatre Royal. We collected our tickets and then took our seats on the front row of the stalls. It offered a great view.



The performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream and the excellent 14 all male ensemble performed superbly. They even did an interval busking session in the bar raising money for charity, a video of which can be seen above this paragraph. Megan enjoyed her first live viewing of a Shakespeare play and I loved it. Great performance. I couldn't praise all the actors highly enough.

Cast of Propeller performing at the interval.
After the play finished we returned to the train station and just caugh the earlier train. We'd almost ran across the city to catch it. It took just over and hour and stopped off at all the small places along the route. We got back to Barnham and just after quater past 11, headed to the car and back to caravan. Once back we all settled in for a sleep after one of the most awesome days. I loved it.