Harry’s Off

It’s only 17 days into the new decade and a lot has happened already.

Liverpool have gone unbeaten for a whole year in the Premier League, their second team knocked Everton’s first team out of the FA Cup, Trump’s been… well Trump, and we learnt that Harry shared a secret with his Nan which didn’t go down too well.

I wonder how he broke the news to her?

I like to imagine the Windsor’s playing the game where you say 2 lies and 1 truth after the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day, and Harry dropping the bombshell as his truth!

Or Harry just sending a message to the family Whatsapp group with a funny gif or the ? emoji and then turning it off for a while.

Either way, the look on everyone’s faces when he confirmed the news would make the best picture for a limited edition stamp I reckon!

Living between 3 different locations makes me wonder what a combination of Canadian, American and British would sound like? I have visions of Ross from Friends (the best character by the way), when he’s trying to phase out his fake British accent.

Anyway, enough gibberish from me for this week guys.

I’m off to London for cocktails, steak and some stand up comedy this weekend and can’t bloody wait.

Whatever you are getting up to; have a great weekend.

Danny B

Getting shoeless

On NYE last year, I was in the Botanical Gardens in Sydney, with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge as my setting. This year I lost my shoe on the way back from the Plough in Brackley. How life changes hey!

I’ll come back to me losing a shoe, as its quite a funny story, which in turn reminded me of another funny shoe related story from last year.

Me and two of my best mates went to London last year to see one of our favourite bands (Incubus) at the Brixton Academy.

Of course we had train beers and got a bottle of Captain’s to tuck into before the gig – as you do.

My mate (lets call him Dave for the purpose of the story), left his glasses on the train and it turns out he is quite blind without them – this will be relevant later.

We got to the gig (about ¾’s on the Captain’s had been consumed by then) and had a couple of beers. Dave went to the bar to get his round, whilst me and my other mate (lets call him Steve), stayed in the exact same place for the next half an hour waiting for Dave to come back.

Neither of us saw Dave again until the end of the gig – turns out he couldn’t see us or find where he’d left us…!

Steve and I made our way down to the front (on the edge of the mosh pit), just in time for Incubus to come on. It’s fair to say we weren’t on the edge of the mosh pit for long and both found ourselves on the floor 2/3 times each.

On the 3rd occasion for Steve he got up and had a bloody nose; so as any good friend would, I picked him up and helped clear it up for him before looking down to see that Steve only had one shoe on.

I held back the laughter as he walked back to where he fell to look for his shoe. As he disappeared into a wall of people, I noticed something fly over my head and over about about 40 people in the opposite direction to where Steve was heading… you’ve guessed it, poor Steve’s right Converse had learned to fly!

This was the last I’d see of  Steve until after the gig…

About 10 songs later, the final song was played and I’d had a great time – even though the majority of it was spent on my tod.

I waited for the crowd to clear at the barrier to the VIP section on my own, only to spot Dave wandering round aimlessly in the VIP section – we still have no idea how he got there. Luckily, he had both shoes, a fully functioning nose but still no glasses of course – and the x3 double pints he went off to get were nowhere to be seen.

We left the venue and on the left hand side of the main entrance, sat on the steps, head in his hands, was our good mate Steve. I couldn’t help but laugh this time as he had no shoes on and only one sock on!

He had no idea where his other shoe went, but said that someone asked to look at his socks after seeing he had no shoes one. He lifted one leg up, and before he knew it, the sock was off and was thrown across the venue too.

I (being a good mate) asked the bouncer if anyone had handed in some shoes and a sock, and to my surprise he said “Converse?” He went inside and came out with both shoes and one sock, which Steve put back on (it was hideous).

It was a great night.

I wont bore you with the story of my shoe on NYE after all that, but if anyone reading this lives above the Costa in Brackley and has a broom that’ll reach to the roof of the old takeaway next door, please give my shoe a nudge, as his left footed brother is missing him.

Have a great weekend!

Danny B

Christmas Is Awesome!

It’s almost time to drive home for Christmas, at last!

The nativities are done, the kids are breaking up and you’re only a few days away from pulling your (remaining) hair out, doing the Christmas dinner.

At some point over the weekend you’ll remember Aunty Doris and the fact that you haven’t got her anything. Or God forbid, it’ll hit you that your niece is now a bloody vegan, and you forgot to cater for her – straight to Greggs for some vegan sausage rolls would be my advice.

All your mates are home and wanting to catch up, which means you’ll have to drink a few beers/prosecco’s (what a nightmare ?), and the grandparents are called upon a bit more often for babysitting duties, but you know they secretly love it, so it’s all good, so you might as well get yourself a few tequila’s in too.

No doubt there’ll be a moment of regret at some point too, especially when you recall being at the till in Halfords a few weeks ago; they asked you if you’d like them to put little Gary’s bike together for you for an extra £15, and to save face you said “no, its alright thank you, I will do it”.

It’s now 4am on Christmas morning and you’re trying to operate a spanner after nailing the whole bottle of Santa’s Sherry, but at least you can see in the dark after a bite of Rudolf’s carrot.

You tested Luigi’s Mansion on the Nintendo Switch for hours just to make sure it worked alright, and now you’re just 2 boss’ away from completing it when you hear the absolute carnage beginning upstairs as everyone is now awake! All you’ll be thinking about for the morning is how you can get the kids to bed by 3pm (just in time for the Queen’s speech), so you can give Bowser the what for!

Dinner goes smoothly until someone puts a sprout on your plate when you’re not looking and you are a little bit sick in your mouth. Fear not, just leave it – its got no place on your plate, everyone knows it. That sprout can do one!

Time for a nap before smashing everyone at Monopoly, Cluedo, Uno and Trivial Pursuit, necking the remaining alcohol in the house, breaking the Switch as Bowser keeps defeating you, settling down to see what happened to Nessa and Smithy since we last saw them and hoping you wake up hangover free on Boxing Day.

Christmas is awesome!

Right, get that out of office on, have a quick drink at the pub with the work lot and get yourself some Chris Rea on!

Have the best Christmas, from me and everyone here at OX Seven!

Danny B

Christmas

It’s almost that time of year again, where you let your Grandma have your seat on the sofa, so you can sit on that box of Lego in the corner, trying to watch the Queen’s speech whilst the 5 year olds show you their latest ballet routine to the new Frozen soundtrack.

Being completely honest, I never normally look forward to Christmas until I take my annual trip to Alexandra Palace for the darts. This is usually followed by a trip to the Christmas market with the Curry Club boys a few days later. That’s when it starts to feel Christmassy and I get into the Christmas spirit.

It’s started a lot earlier for me this year though and I’m really enjoying it. Is something wrong with me.. (seriously, lets not open that door right now). Maybe its because its the first time in 15 years that I’m not working in a massive office with hundreds of people; with someone organising secret Santa in July, and agonising over what to get Beryl with their £10 budget!

Maybe its because we listen to what we want in the office, and so my ears weren’t subjected to Noddy Holder shouting the house down in October? Or maybe I’m growing as a person and getting less annoyed with things in my old age?  Oh God, I hope its not this!

Previously things like today would’ve nagged at me a bit, but I’m actually buzzing instead. Why would today nag at me? Well, its because its our work Christmas night out, and its November! And I’ve already been to the Birmingham Christmas market too. However I definitely draw the line at trees being up by now, this is just ridiculous – give it at least another week guys!

There are some Christmas things that are perfectly acceptable in January, February, March (you get the picture)… By things, I mean one thing, and by one thing I mean PIGS IN BLANKETS – probably the best Christmas invention! They are the best thing about Christmas for me and I would happily bang some in the oven in the height of summer.

With me being later than most to get in the Christmas spirit, I usually start watching all the films with a week or so to go, saving the best until Christmas Eve to really get in the mood for a bearded stranger to break into your house in the middle of the night…

Elf is my film of choice; I religiously watch it each Christmas Eve followed by a few drinks with friends, not too many of course (?) as the last thing I want is for Santa to takes me off the nice list and leave me a lump of coal. So far I have managed to be on the nice list for 34 consecutive years now – check me out.

Home Alone and Die Hard are close behind Elf as my favourite Christmas movies, and I’m about to drop a bombshell here, so look away if you’re not ready to be shocked right now… I have never seen The Grinch, so will be partaking in that for the first time this year, which I’m looking forward to, and its still November – that’s it, I’m definitely broken!

Right, I’m off for Christmas celebrations in November!

Have a great weekend.

Danny B

Terrible Interviews

Ever left an interview feeling like it went terribly?

That must be how Prince Andrew felt after leaving the BBC… but at least he didn’t sweat about it ?.

He’s had a terrible week because of this interview. Probably the worst week of any famous figure, and this includes the guy that ate a bull’s penis in the jungle.

This has led me to think of the worst experiences people have had whilst interviewing.

The moment in Friends comes to mind, where Rachel is interviewing with Gucci and her boss is sat on the table behind her. She didn’t get the job and managed to get fired – surely this has never happened to someone in real life, right?

Some of the horror stories I’ve heard are below for your entertainment:

I know of someone who had their skirt tucked in their underwear as they walked into the interview room – embarrassing start.

Someone actually answered the question “what are your pet hates?” with “spiders and sharks”. Who the hell has a pet shark? Apart from Ron Burgendy of course!

A guy had a fantastic idea to take a box of chocolates in to his interview as a gift for the interviewers. I mean, a bit of bribery sometimes works I suppose. Unfortunately for him, the company was in the food industry and had a strict no nuts policy. It’s fair to say that panic set in really quickly, he’d of had a better reaction if he’d pulled an AK47 out I think.

From the recruiter side of the fence, someone (who will remain nameless) sent a candidate to the wrong company for an interview. They advised them when they arrived that their name wasn’t down and no interview was booked in. Luckily for her, they decided to interview her anyway, and you’ve guessed it.. she got the job!

Its fair to say that interviews aren’t easy, but if you have a bad one the best thing to do is just crack on, learn from it and move on to the next one.

Whilst you’re here I’m going to give you an advanced warning – I’ll probably write about Christmas next week, as I’m off to the Christmas market tomorrow and it’s the OX Seven Christmas party next Friday.

Have an awesome weekend!

Danny B

The worst hangover of 2019

Your new girlfriends mum seeing you being sick at 2am – that’s how I spent the early hours of Sunday morning.

Luckily I’ve known her for years so it wasn’t too awkward… ?, even though I was there in my boxers making sounds usually found in Jurassic Park.

Good news though – the hangover that followed the next day managed to make it into the top 3 hangovers of my life and it successfully went straight to number one for 2019, so at least I achieved something.

In fact, it was so bad that I almost missed the Liverpool game. Yeah, it was that bad!

Luckily I didn’t miss the game and got to watch Liverpool absolutely boss it, cementing their position at the top of the league (had to add that in there to check if Will reads my blogs).

I rushed to the pub and stood there contemplating the terrible life decisions I made at the same bar the night before; sweating and shivering over and the beer I ordered on auto-pilot – another terrible decision by me.

Why did I have that 5th tequila last night? In fact, why did I have the 1st one? It’s the worst of all the drinks!

I then had that chat you have with yourself after every big session. You know the one… “I’m definitely taking next weekend off the beer. I actually mean it this time! Do you want to feel like this again next week you dick?”

Then the regret kicked in, as I had flashbacks of singing Liverpool songs loudly at the bar the night before. Well, regret is a bit strong as everyone should have the Virgil Van Dijk song in their life (this is below so it can now be in your life too).

The match finished and I was in bed by 7pm that night, after only getting out of bed at 4.20pm; I couldn’t swallow without it hurting (this was still the case until last night) and I felt like death.

Its fair to say that the takeaways from my story are – Liverpool are awesome, I sound like a Velociraptor and tequila is not my friend and never will be.

It’s now Friday morning and I am definitely not drinking this weekend, I promise.

Danny B

 

Superstitions

I’m very much someone that thinks “if it’s going to happen, it’ll happen”, so I don’t really take part in superstitions – apart from throwing salt over my shoulder. No idea why I do this one and not others though…

All this makes me think of is the scene in Dumb and Dumber, where Harry hits Seabass with the salt shaker (“kick his ass Seabass!”).

There are so many superstitions out there, like it being bad luck to get your haircut on a Tuesday in India, or ladies in Rwanda not eating goat meat as they believe it will give them facial hair – I’ve got a lot of time for superstitions like this as they are pretty funny, but superstitions in the UK are just a bit odd.

Like the whole walking over 3 drains thing… it makes me smile when I am walking down the street and the person coming the other way walks into my path to avoid 3 drains. Well I laugh afterwards; I’m usually trying not to show my WTF face at the time of impact. I mean, what are you actually doing Kevin? You’d rather walk into a strangers face, than walk over 3 drains? C’mon mate!

I get not walking under a ladder, that’s just common sense as there’s probably someone up there doing something which could fall on your head; or not opening an umbrella inside, as I can’t remember the last time it rained indoors. But it being bad luck to do so, I’m not convinced and just think its just a bit silly of people to do these things in my opinion.

To create good luck, some people touch wood, or touch their head and say “touch wood”. Are you Pinocchio mate? No? Well why are you touching your head then? Its made of skin, bone, blood and that, not wood mate.

Anyway, I decided to write about superstitions as my very good friend has loads of superstitions, mainly when it comes to football.

The best of which happened in 2004, when Liverpool were 1-0 down to Olympiakos at half time and had to win by 2 clear goals to qualify. My mate decided to buy some pistachio nuts at half time, and Liverpool suddenly turned it round and won 3-1, which lead to one of the most iconic bits of football commentary in recent history – “What a hit son… what a hit!”.

He then had to get a bag of pistachio’s for every game and would share them with as many people as possible to create the luck. In fairness, we won the Champions League that season, so it might’ve been down to that half time purchase – who knows?

Ending on a superstition I quite like; its bad luck for brides and grooms to see each other on their wedding day. I don’t believe the superstition, but I like this one as there’s something quite romantic about seeing each other for the first time as the bride walks down the aisle – so that one can stay.

Right, I’m off to break some mirrors, drive around until a black cat walks in front of me and throw salt shakers at people.

Have an awesome weekend.

Danny B

World Cup Final

Half term, the clocks going back, The Bake Off final, Halloween – all things that have distracted everyone from the main event this week, the World Cup Final tomorrow.

England have made it (in case you were unaware or have been under a rock all week). If you were under a rock, how was it for you? And why were you there? How did you choose that rock? So many questions!

Some people don’t like the egg chasing, but you have to respect how well they’ve all done to get to this point, and how far they’ve come from their days of drinking urine through people’s socks when they were 15.

A 9am start is very dangerous from a drinking perspective and I can just imagine the absolute carnage throughout the country if England win. If we lose, it could be even worse…

My dad said to me before the tournament that he wouldn’t be surprised if South Africa won it. At the time that was a very bold statement, but he is clearly very wise as nobody else gave them much of a chance – well done Micky B!

In my head and throughout my childhood, I was going to make it as a professional footballer – I saw myself as a young Robbie Fowler, due to my natural finishing ability… unfortunately this was all in my head. I then got to secondary school and was introduced to rugby.

My first few games involved me finding some mud and wiping it on my shorts and shirt so it looked like I was involved, whilst I actively avoided the ball. I then got more into it and found myself playing as a hooker. Everyone has a story like this, but I once had trials for Northants and Oxfordshire (deffo sound like Jay from The Inbetweeners).

I wasn’t the tallest, I mean I wasn’t in midget territory, but I felt it when my props were almost 5” taller than me. I didn’t win a single scrum and obviously was not picked for either county. Me being me, decided that I didn’t want to play anymore after not getting picked; I was like that kid that took the ball away and walked home with my bottom lip out.

To be honest, this probably was a good thing as it meant I never had to take part in all the crazy off-field rugby antics that are notorious with the sport (like the whole urine thing above).

Anyway, enough about me and my failed football, rugby (and tennis, but lets not go there just yet) careers.

Have a great weekend and COME ON ENGLAND!

Danny B

London, what’s all the fuss about?

London… what’s all the fuss about?

Average Premier League teams, everyone rushing everywhere and having people’s armpits / bags in your face on the tube.

In spite of the above I really enjoy London, but only for a day or two to be completely honest.

It’s one of those places that if you know where to go or have been given recommendations, then it’s great. If you don’t then you end up walking round aimlessly for hours, ending up in a bar similar to that at home… and what’s the point in that?

One of my favourite places in London is probably the Brazilian restaurant I’ve now been to about 5 times. They bring meat to your table every few minutes, its all you can eat and there are so many options. I mean who even knew steak wrapped in bacon was a thing… what an absolute game-changer; I now have this about once a week for breakfast (yes, steak for breakfast is the one, you’re welcome!).

I always visit Alexandra Palace around Christmas time for the darts, although I don’t really care much for the darts anymore as its quite boring nowadays. I now purely go for the massive session that goes with it. Apparently I’m going as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle this year; I think I’ll be Raphael for those interested, but only because Donatello is taken.

I’m actually in London this weekend and noticed there’s a chocolate cocktail bar not too far from the hotel we’re staying at, so I’m definitely checking this out as, you’re genuinely lucky if you can get a Jaeger Bomb around these parts on a Saturday night!

My mate was telling me about a secret pub crawl he went on a few months ago in London, which sounds incredible.

To enter secret bars, he had to give the waiter a secret code in an American Diner, and then was taken through a fridge door; entering a suit shop where you go through a wardrobe door and shaking a golden hand at the back of a huge hotel foyer.

If anyone has any recommendations of hidden gems like these, it would be greatly appreciated.

I’m off now for a weekend of golf, the theatre, steak, great company and a fair amount of cocktails and beers.

Have a great weekend whatever you are up to (apologies for mentioning the weekend a day early).

Danny B

The next challenge…

I’ve talked about this a bit lately so I promise this will be the last you hear about if from me in a while – but I completed a half marathon on Sunday for an amazing charity, SSNAP.

We’ve raised £1,500 so far and I’m still buzzing about this to be honest.

The atmosphere was decent, despite a little bit of rain before the start. But then it happened… I was about 4 strides in and the heavens opened with what can only be described as monsoon like weather, of course it bloody did! In fairness, this just added to the atmosphere but it did feel like I was carrying an extra stone in weight around with me, which was not ideal.

The run itself was a hard slog and is definitely not something I’m rushing to do again anytime soon. I crossed the line with someone I befriended with about a mile to go, which really helped and before I knew it I was drying out, eating steak and absolutely loving life again!

Since then, I’ve had a massive blow out – including, but not limited to Nando’s, visiting the colonel, Maccy D’s, Greggs and the Pie Pub – for anyone in and around the Banbury area, I cannot recommend this place enough.

And with the two big rugby matches tomorrow followed by Liverpool v Man Utd on Sunday, it’s fair to say this blow out will probably last until Sunday.

My legs ached for a few days but now seem back to “normal”, so its back to the gym tonight to get myself back into a good routine.

As you can probably tell I definitely haven’t caught the bug for running and still don’t really enjoy it; I’ll probably just continue to use it to get to places a little bit quicker, like the car when its raining, or to the bar as you see a group of 20 people about to walk in.

With this in mind, I’m now beginning to look forward and need a new challenge to help me focus in the gym; so if you have any suggestions please let me know as I could do with some inspiration.

Have an awesome weekend!

Danny B