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ponderings on the humdrum

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Off to donate platelets again this afternoon.

Giving blood etc is a simple task, it doesn't really hurt and it does give you a reason to feel good about yourself. If you have never tried to give, please give it some consideration if you can.

Platelets takes a bit longer...

The Platelet Donation Process

A cuff is placed around your arm, the skin cleaned, local anaesthetic may be injected and the donation needle inserted. Depending on the type of machine used a needle may be put in both arms. Blood samples are taken at this stage for testing in the same way as whole blood donations. Additional tests carried out for platelet donors are to check your general state of health, in particular, to check your platelet count and to determine your tissue type (so that your platelets can be matched to those of a particular patient if needed).

During the procedure, blood is withdrawn, mixed with anticoagulant to prevent clotting and processed by spinning to separate the platelets. The rest of the blood is returned to you, which is why it is safe for you to donate at a much higher frequency than whole blood (as often as every 2 weeks!).

During the procedure, any white cells that remain in your platelet donation are also removed as these could cause problems in a patient despite being harmless to you.

All the tubing that blood comes into contact with is sterile and disposable. There is, therefore, no risk of ‘catching’ any infection. Also, during the return of your blood, air detectors ensure that none of the sterile air present in the collection gets passed into your vein. If a detector identifies air, the machine will automatically shut down and can only be restarted when the air has been removed.

While you are donating you will be monitored and cared for by qualified staff supervised by nurses. You can read, chat to the staff or relax and you will be offered refreshments. When the procedure is completed the needle(s) will be removed and a dressing applied to the venepuncture site(s).

Following the donation, which should take approximately 90 minutes, you will be able to take a well earned break in our rest area and enjoy some more refreshment if you wish

It used to be out one arm, in the other, so you were completely out of action. Now you have a hand free for scratching, tea drinking and adjusting the settings on your PSP. I have a UMD of The Mighty Boosh to watch later...I'm looking forward to it!


Saturday night seemed to be going reasonably well with the soundchecks done. All the bands were happy and we were ready to roll.

The numbers didn't seem to be as high as previous occasions, but there could have been a last minute rush, but then with 5 minutes to go to the first band the landlord came and had a word. "we have a little problem" he said. I thought it would be just that there were too many under agers trying to get in so "the sound engineer has walked out on me, taking his team with him" came as a bombshell.

From then on it was sod's law. The first band went ok, but the bassist was over pissed and dominating the banter, which led to some embarrassing silences. The second band were beset by sound problems and wouldn't start until it was right, eventually their guitarist heading to the mixing desk to twiddle knobs to his satisfaction, as the landlord battled manfully on to get it right.

Then the final band's amp blew, delaying their set by ten minutes. the numbers never got over 40, well down on previous nights, and because we'd taken the slot last minute, I was the only one of our regular trio available, so I was doing all the dj'ing and couldn't deal with any problems between bands.

This also meant that the bands had to be trusted with the key to the storage room, and my night was capped beautifully when I got back there to find my bag and it's contents strewn across the floor. Luckily there was nothing of value in there.

We lost £50 on the night, which we thought we'd saved with no sound guy to pay, but the landlord took it to pay his staff. And i was driving so couldn't have a drink!

Still can't wait for the next one though! I'll try to remember making the girls scream by playing the record they wanted and take that positive thought with me!


When Eddie Argos took to the stage last night he cut the figure of a someone who had imbibed the band's rider all by himself. He look wrecked, you could see it in his walk and in his eyes.

Yet as soon as he picked up the mike he was transformed and all hell broke loose. This was a hell of a gig, easily one of the best i've seen this year and was confirmation that live, Art Brut take some beating (whereas on record, it's not quite the same).

Bar three songs this was the same set i'd seen them do at Night & Day a year ago - probably in the same order - and i raved about that on Egigs. It didn't matter. Argos has a sense of timing and a wit that is peerless. He writes about the ordinary, how we all want to be in bands, we were slightly surly teenagers wanting out of the humdrum and how it didn't quite turn out right and gives the message back that it can be done. He can't sing, he looks terrible but "look at us, we formed a band".

Plus, bassist Freddie Feedback looked divine.

If you get chance, go and see them. Live, it is an experience you should not miss. (Neil, they are in Brizzle in the next few days!)

ended up writing a review - http://www.egigs.co.uk/index.php?a=11289


It IS supposed to be women that are obsessed by shoes, but I've just got another pair of Converse...we're into double figures now on colours i've got.

These are the latest ones, bought off ebay - 9c_1_b.JPG

but these are still my favourites, although they are falling apart now (and they seem to have stopped making them


This obsession is a big help for those that know me, as xmas/birthdays are a cinch!


More egigs stuff

and another one I've read back and immediately spotted 2 or 3 things i'd change.


Anyway, 3 acts that you can judge for yourself on 18th November on channel 203 on your Sky box. I recommend you have a look at Gideon Conn.

see here


oh yeah, Friday night!

Friday saw the second of the Latitude at the Globe band nights that i'm involved with, and i certainly had another banging time, judging by the Budvar induced headache the next day.

First up were It's a Buffalo, who are signed to Akoustic Anarkhy. The were pretty good, but after a little DJ set by myself came the Courteeners.

They had hogged most of the soundcheck, and seemingly brought most of the crowd as there was suddenly a throng at the front. They are led by singer/songwriter Liam Fray and they were excellent.

They over-ran though, which after their soundcheck was something of a discourtacy to the other bands. However, the swagger they had was pure manc, and the frenzy of the crowd was quite unique for a band so shortly into it's career. i think you'll see more of them.

And they weren't even the best band of the night. That was headliners The Loungs, who had 4 part harmonies, optimistic ditties and a headbanging keyboard player. I loved them, and it was such a pity that those who came for the Courteeners didn't hang around and they played to a sparse room.

After that, there was a bit of DJing, but everyone had gone. We need to address how to get them to stay. The crowd was very sparse by way of locals too, so we are going to have to work much harder if we are trying to attract out of towners. Locals seem to be balking at a £5 charge, which we think is reasonable at £1.67 a band.

No doubt these will be discussed when we meet up.

Find out more at the Latitude at the Globe site.


November arrives

and whilst it brings another exam, a week today, all that is on my mind is the holiday we have had booked since last December!

Fly out on 23rd and i'm not back until 29th December. My libido must be down, as i'm only thinking of this trip every 8 seconds!

22 days to go!


I bottled out of another Efests meet at the weekend. In the end, the thought of walking into a pub full of people i didn't know who had been drinking for 6 hours already did not seem like a good thing to do, especially after we lost 8-0, and so i went back home and unexpectedly turned up at my mates Halloween party (where the family were) to find i was the only one not in fancy dress. I may have been better off going to the meet (although it did mean i was ok to study for an exam sunday morning, not that i did much)

Not turning up did allow me to indulge again our family obsession - Strictly Come Dancing!!! As a father of two girls, it is dancing pursuits rather than football ones that consume them, and we've already been to Blackpool 3 times this year for them to compete in national competitions. It's a very odd thing for me to be interested in for sure, but it IS a great family show. It's lovely to have TV we can all enjoy on a Saturday, along with Robin Hood now and latterly Doctor Who.

2nd Latitude (www.myspace.com/latitudeattheglobe) this friday and already i have about 2 hours too much material i simply MUST play. It will be a cruel cull come the night. The crowd is quite young, but I'm definitely not sticking to the Boy Kill Boy/Killers axis and certainly NO Razorlight. I might not play Chas & dave this time though :ph34r:



I'm back online for a reasonable amount of time again after a month of jury service. That's double the usul 'tour of duty' but the case was quite complicated and needed the time. Still, after a year without a holiday, it was quite nice to have a month off work. The result was one guilty, one not guilty as there wasn't enough evidence.

Anyway, I've been back at work a week now, and already am back into that depressing groove. But this morning was a bit different on the daily commute when I had a mild panic attack on the train. I'm aware that I get slightly claustrophobic, but when i got caught on the inside of a set of 6 this morning, with a burly bloke next to me and overheating in a thick coat, i got more anxious than i ever had before. My leg started bouncing and i became very fidgity. So why did it take me six stops to move? Politeness probably, but eventually i did get up, move near the doors, and stand the rest of the way.

Every time i think about it now, i get the same feelings, although less intense. I hope this doesn't get worse...i've not even had the years of chemical abuse to bring it on!


Up for the Cup

It's the FA Cup tomorrow, as the mighty Glossop North End welcome Seaham Red Star to Derbyshire. We know absolutely nothing about the team, although having scored 14 goals in 5 games this season they clearly can create. 12 conceded suggests a less than solid defence though!

£1000 is up for grabs to the winner, plus a place in the 1st round qualifying. The FA cup is STILL the greatest competition in the world in my book, and I'd love to finally have a decent run in it.




A lot has happened since the last blog not all of it of interest to yourselves, but the christening in Nottingham went without a hitch (although EVERYONE said i should have gone to prague), as did my cousins wedding in Llanelli and the subsequent camping, although we did get wet.

Got a real shock yesterday though when i was informed that a 17 year old lad from the local radio station who I've met a few times and got to train with the club for a feature pre-season had died in a car accident. Aside from my crass exclaimation of 'you're kidding' when i was told (can't believe i said that, it was simply a reaction of shock but really, no-one would kid about that sort of thing would they) i don't know what to do with regards to cards.

He enjoyed training with the lads and i thought a card signed by them all would be nice, but then i thought that would be like a 'sorry you are leaving' card and instead one should be sent from the club. But then I though that's a bit impersonal. I don't know what to do. I'm reminded that I am always good at dealing with my own grief when the time comes, but when it comes to somebody else's I'm at a loss. In the end, i don't think there is a right answer, so long as i do something


Ring ring, ring ring (actually, it was Day Tripper, but that wouldn't set the scene that took place this lunchtime)

Me - 'Hello'

Sister's fella - 'Hey haggis, you doing anything this weekend'

Me - 'Yeah, I've got a Christening to go to in Nottingham...a mate's daughter...they are having a BBQ on saturday

SF - ' that's a pity, you could have come to Prague tomorrow. Everything is paid for, you'd just have to transfer the flight for £35'

Me - <see title of thread>



I went to see the lovely Captain on Monday. They were fabulous, and Clare's cheekbones are something else. Well worth a look

Review is on egigs. Shinyhappy didn't get back to me, so I am culpable for the mistakes still. I'll be blind to my own shortcomings for the usual 7 days i expect



oh gawd

It's the 16th August and here i am, annoyed by bloody football already. An insipid 3-1 home defeat last night and Glossop North End are already staring into the abyss of a long hard season.

Some FA Cup relief on Saturday, with prize money at stake. They'd better turn up for that one


Proof Reader required

As I always do a week after a gig, i've gone back and read what i wrote. And as I always do when I read what i wrote, i've cringed at the countless errors, typing mainly but also grammatical, that i made.

Why can't I proof read??? Sometimes i type completely the wrong word but i don't pick it up before i submit. Is it because I'm so desperate to get it online? I need someone to vet my work before it goes to egigs central...any volunteers?


and we're off

The season has started and it was Nantwich Town 3, Glossop North End 1.

We're back in the routine already, with the usual off-field kick off of our keepers top being green, the same colour the home team play in.

This weekend the team play in the opening round of the FA Cup...in August. It's a long way to the final in May, but we could be out before the bank holiday.

North Shields FC are visiting. If any efesters are stuck for something to do on Tuesday night and fancy going to their home game on a spying mission... :ph34r:

edit - forgot to mention. I miss the FA Cup game because I'm heading to the centre of the Efest universe - Nottinghamshire. I expect to see t-shirt lining at various point from Junction 26 all the way to Granby


What a night. As a Director of a non-league footy club it's my job to sort out player registrations, and it had all been going swimmingly until I couldn't get confirmation my last batch of registrations sent on Saturday had been received - a batch that included our goalkeeper!

Somehow, the man who's job it is to register players had managed to wangle a holiday, starting Monday (and not bothered to tell me!). Great for him, but bad for me given that I'd sent him the forms on saturday and they needed to be signed for. There were our players sat in a post office with no hope of being signed off for two weeks!

I take these things to heart. I feel totally responsible foy anything that goes wrong and this would have been a doosy. I left 5 messages on an ansafone, emailed twice and generally tried to do something about it, until at 11 i gave up and opened a beer. Then I got a phone call - the forms will be dated on the envelope and therefore accepted - f***ing phew!

THe morale is, always open a tin when exasperated.


I love the work I do for the club. My obsession with football combined with a feeling of doing something for the community and writing the match reports rings all my bellls. Unlike my job, which rings none. That's why i do all the extra-curricular stuff, to make up for the dullness from 9-5 where i perform work that feeds and houses the family but that i would give up tomorrow willingly if those bills were paid.

I do the football, and Egigs and love them both, and recently i've agreed to get involved with a club night (see this page) with a friend of mine who runs a label. It's in my hometown and I will be resident DJ. I'm dead excited by it, but concious that Mrs H must be getting a bit exasperated by the time i spend away from the family. My boss at work must also be spotting that more and more time is devoted to non-work activity. I'm going to have to be careful, but the stuff I do outside is what i have the most enthusiasm for. My eyes light up at sport or music. I need to show that for my girls too - not to other people because they see it when i talk about them, but to the girls (and that includes Mrs H) themselves. With that in mind, i should go to bed.



Fopp + Lunchtime = -£20

Brendan Benson Lapalco & Alternative to Love (£5 the pair), Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (£6), The Monkees (£3) and The Sound of Music Soundtrack (which IS for kids - £5).

Now i just have to sneak them in the house - this is why men file in alphabetical order. It's not that were anal, it's so we don't get told off for spending money we don't have!


It's not for kids

So with Friday night ruined (see below and add tantrums), it was Plan B - D:Percussion in Manchester - that was to be the highlight of the weekend. But then Mrs Haggis didn't get back until 11, and then promptly went out to the vets with her mum (and her cat, my m-i-l goes to the doctor when she's poorly, Les Dawson fans).

Eventually, after everyone was fed watered etc, we made it down to Castlefield for about 6pm. This after nearly ten minutes hanging around the car waiting for the free parking to start at 1800 hrs. We left the car at 17:56 - how daring is that!

Getting there late was a big mistake, although it did mean we could immediately see The Pipettes, who were basically the main attraction of the day for me. I was desperate for Haggis Jnr Eldest (9) to see them as i thought she'd like them at lot. But once again it is Haggis Jnr youngest (5) (now fully recovered for anyone who read the blog below) who had the interest sparked, showing again her father's love of tunes. She was on my shoulders for the set, so i can only imagine that she had a captivated face, but 24 hours later she was still wagging her finger and singing 'Your Kisses are Wasted on Me' at her nanna. Cool!

D:Percussion itself looked a great event, although perhaps a little away from my taste. I've never really 'got' standing round a mixing desk cheering a DJ. The sound on the main stage was dreadful too, so people were talking because they couldn't hear then those who were trying to hear couldn't...

We left after less than an hour not because of that though, but because the place was full of afternoon drinkers, just starting to wobble a little. It was very very crowded and not the place for Under 10's at that time. It would have been lovely earlier on though.


Quiz show shenanighans

The kids are always telling me I should go on Millionaire, especially when I ace another £32,000 question before the answers come up, but i tell them it's not that easy (when in truth i'm just too tight to enter given the chances of successfully getting on the Tarrant show).

However, when I saw the advert for a new show, i decided that it was time to give it a bash, and filled in the application form.

A few weeks ago I got a call telling me that i sounded like 'just the sort of person' they were looking for, which i don't know whether to take as a complement or not. But anway, i was to go to an audition for 1 vs 100 in Manchester last Friday.

There were about 100 of us waiting in the bar to be called down, and the first thing that struck me was how many people seemed to know each other. There seems to be some kind of quiz show application circuit and these are like social afternoons. It later transpired that many of those there were former contestants on Deal or No Deal - one of them (Mally) won £54k! Surely they'd give someone else a chance now?

I'd only been to one of these auditions once before, when i applied for the Weakest Link many years ago. I had been surprised that day by the first thing they asked us to do..."mime an animal, but you're not allowed to be an elephant". I, being the smart arse, decided to be a Meer Cat. As I pranced around on the carpet, everyone else was guessed in seconds. I was on my own, pretending to be on hind legs for about 5 minutes and imagine that i was ruled out there and then ("bloody Meer Cat?- he's a troublemaker".) I didn't help myself either by getting most questions right in the quick run through we had, and then drying up during a minute to camera.

Later that year i saw a girl from the same audition on the show. She hadn't answered well, had been a common animal, but could talk for England and had pink hair. Now I knew what these TV execs were looking for!

So we were all dragged downstairs where first we registered and had our photo taken. For some, it was the first chance to shine. One bloke, (let's call him annoying git) relatively calm and unnoticed upstairs, jumped in front of the register taker telling her "i'm here" before proceeding onto gurning whilst being snapped.

After we took our seats we had to fill in another personal information form (presumably to check we weren't liars) but which also included a space for you to put two referrees. WTF? I've put people down for a job reference, but when TV companies are asking for them for a quiz show, aren't we taking this a bit too far? What are they going to do - call my mother in law and ask if I'm a wacky guy, forever playing Mallett's Mallett over After Eights?

Anyway, after filling that in we had two quizzes of 50 questions, one mutiple choice, the other, erm, not. After my previous experience i had vowed to get a few wrong deliberately so i didn't score above average, and i did, but it was tough. I love a good quiz, and writing down the wrong answer on purpose seemed unprincipled and felt alien. And anyway, it turned out to be unecessary, as i didn't score that well, a mere 35 from 50 on the multiple choice (the bloke opposite to me got 36). So i resolved not to do it in the write down, and picked up 33 from 50 (next to me got 18 - have I scored too much??).

As an aside, annoying git kept chipping in with 'witty' comments throughout to ensure attention was drawn to him, the annoying git.

This all took about an hour and a half, and then 3 of our 4 hosts went upstair to set up cameras for everyone to do a one minute piece about themselves, their parting shot being 'please stay in your seats and Olly [who was aged about 12 i think] will send you up in tens.'

Of course when they left the throng congregated around the door begging to be picked to go up, whilst Olly chatted up young girls he found attractive. Annoying git, natch, was right at the forefront of the crush, and indeed was up there early. I looked on bemused, along with Richie a cool scouser i had met in the bar earlier. It soon became apparent that this was going to take some time, so we settled down for a chat (and were heartened that the DOND crew had taken the same tactic, and they knew what to do). After a while we got daring and ventured to the bar, proudly being the only ones fetching in a couple of bottles of Stella. If your going to stand out from the crowd, THAT'S what you need to be noticed for...not pratting about making stupid faces! Some people must have stood at the door for over an hour and I'm delighted that i spent it on my arse, talking nonsense with a lager in hand.

Having sat there patiently for a couple of hours, and with only ten of us left in the room I was ready for my piece, tongue nicely loosened by the beer. Then my phone rang. It turns out Haggis, youngest had a high temperature and was feeling poorly and would not be able to attend the BBQ that she and her sister were attending with Haggis, Mrs. I might have to come home. Family comes first I explained to Mrs H, and if i have to come back, i have to come back, whether I've been done or not. Of course, at the back of my mind i wanted to hang on having waited this long, and I'm sure Mrs H sensed this, given that my night out i was planning was also kyboshed. She would ring her mother, and let me know.

So, upstairs we went, and out they came to ask me in...and the phone rang. If it ruins your chances by taking a call, then I'm out, because I had to, didn't I? Anyway, the m-i-l was able to help, so i was in next.

The piece to camera was fairly straight forward. I'm not a natural talker about myself but the Stella helped and I was lucid for the required 60 second, although VERY aware that i was nervously drumming my seat throughout, but unable to stop! Now we just wait. If I haven't heard in a month, i'm not on. But i'll tell you this, if I see Annoying Git on the show, and i don't get on, I'll never apply for anything else again. If that's the type of personality they are after, you can count me out. Watch this space


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