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Eurogamer 2014 kicked off with a bang, with hundreds of people queing at 8am in order to be first in line when early bird entry opened at 10am, eager to get thier hands on the latest consoles and up and coming game titles.

The event itself is spread out over 2 floors in earls court in the center of london not only housing booths to play games but also incorporating special shops and many competitions and tournaments.

When gates opened at 10am people could be seen running for thier favourite stand in order to be the first to play that particular title and have bragging rights over the first to complete the demo.  I opted to head for the hotly contested 18+zone and queue for assassins creed unity in order to avoid long waits in the queue for the booth later, ironically it resulted in a longer wait due to “health and safety” issues, but it was worth the wait as I got to see that the game was reverting back to a standard I could get along with rather than being very on rails and punishing you for diverting away from these.  I still need to see if they’ve improved boss mechanics, but it does promise a completely different fighting system which is good because of the new protagonist, and having everyone fight the same throughout history would be a bit stale for the series.

After this I headed out and took advantage of a free seat at dead island two, congratulations for reading this article as I forgot to mention this in my video, but dead island two follows the story which is lead out in dead island epidemic, you might not have played that as it is a moba style game, where dead island two follows the usual gameplay of the origonal, but in a world where the infected who are immune have become enhanced humans, better and stronger, but are being hunted down and eradicated by a terrorist group of some sort.  I played for a while in the demo where stealth was very much necissary in order to not set off the gas in the room, it was a little challenging and I gave up after a few attempts as I had other things to see, but definately looking forward to the release to see how things pan out as it could be a promising title.

The bafta’s were also at EGX and I did have an invite and permissiont to film at the side event, however I was unable to make it back on time with delays at hotel checkin, but I am sure that you can find content elsewhere about this.

Alien isolation is very much a suspense strategy game where you have to navigate the station under the constant threat of persuit from the sole alien on board, without testing out the mechanics I would be interested to see how it progresses as it could be possible to cheese the alien somewhere and leave you free without worry, or wonder wether its hard coded to teleport into your vincinity so you can never truly lose it, but this is definately a deviation from the heavy infestation shooters that are usually a part of this franchise and instead trying to revert to where the films like to venture of isolation with a single alien and suspense.

To be continued.

I have been lucky enough to obtain press access to the bbc good food show winter event at the NEC and will be bringing you coverage from the event, I will be attending on friday and get you the roundup of what goes down and if I’m lucky I’ll let you know what the supertheatre events were like and the tastiest produce and the best bargains at the show, supertheatre tickets aren’t a garuantee though as it isn’t included in my press access.

The show officially launched today and here is what you can expect from the show based upon the press release.

BBC Good Food Show

Opening for its 23rd year the good food show returns with big names such as Brian Turner, Frances Quinn, James Martin, Lisa Faulkner and Natalie Coleman launching the biggest food event of the year.

What can you expect to see?

A variety of kitchen appliences, gadgets and accessories from well known brands, as well some of the best local and regional produce, live cooking sessions, book signing by celebrity chefs, and plenty to taste as well as 50 chefs and experts from around the country demonstrating on 7 stages throughout the event.

Tesco Finest Supertheatre

The supertheatre will be where you can expect to see the big names, tickets are available for purchase on the door, and promise to be “your favourite tv shows come to life” with expected guests to be James Martin, The Hairy Bikers, Paul Hollywood & Mary Berry amongst others.

The Great British Bake Off Village

Fans of the show will be pleased to note that not only will the winners and contestants from the show be baking thier favourite dishes, but you can also book an afternoon tea session in the garden, no word if this is actually outdoors but it sounds a relaxing place to have a nice lunch.  I will have to look at this and the prices to let you know what you can expect once I am at the event itself.

M&S Christmas Theatre

Seasonal christmas produce from celebrity chefs Phil Vickery, Michael Caines and James Nathan are promised on this stage made only using ingredients readily available from M&S, visitors can pick up tips for the christmas season and if there is anything more unusual or wacky suggested you know I’ll be taking a note of that one.

Producers’ Village – Bursary Awards Winners & Good Food Champions

A showcase of six producers who were awarded burseries for thier award winning foods will be showcasing thier products, I will definately be taking a look to see just what is so special and hopefully sampling some of thier produce for you. The winners this year were

Ross and Ross Foods, Benjamin Chocolatier, Beach Food Co, Manfood, Edwards Cordial, and The Fruit Pig Company

Masterchef

Not only will there be live displays from masterchef contestants showing dishes you can create at home yourself you also have the opportunity to dine inside of the masterchef restaurant itself, an experience you would not be able to find elsewhere.

Wine tasting

WineTubeMap offer tasting tours of a variety of wines, offering three different tours, it is not stated if this is a map of the show, a train around the show or much more than the tour through different tastes and flavours and the food matches, but I will get more details for you on this, and having a wine tasting qualification myself I can let you know if the quality is just right

The world cheese awards

Not only will the event itself be taking place along with judging but it is also promised that you can view and taste the cheeses after the awards take place for the rest of the show, no word on what day the actual awards take place but if tasters are available I can get you the inside scoop on my winning cheeses of the day.

The magimix theatre

Who would have expected not only there to be an entire theatre for the magimix but also a selection of celebrity chefs showing thier recipe’s using it including Theo Randall, Glynn Purnell, John Whaite and host Marcus Bean.  But there will be the theatre running the entire event and showing just how versatile the Multifunction Magimix 5200XL Premium can be in your own cooking and how it can save you time and effort.  Definately an experience to watch.

How will you cover all of this?

With so much to see I probably won’t be able to bring you footage from everything, but I will definately bring you the highlights and the bargains of the show and give you a full roundup of the experiences.  If it comes down to it the show does run a further two days and I can always return on the weekend to look around anything I missed just so you do get the full experience.

Tickets on the door will cost £24.50 which for all of this plus much much more and all of the tasting experiences you will discover at the event you will definately get your moneys worth especially if you have cook books to have signed by the celebrity chefs.

If you can make it maybe I will see you there

bbcgoodfoodshowwinter.com


I spotted blade symphony and new immediately that this game had potential to go far based purely on viewing the video alone, and after getting my hands on the game I can see that this still rings true.

What is Blade Symphony?

Blade symphony is a game made by puny human games, an independant game company who just by reading the disclaimer at the bottom of the page you can see have a sense of humour as obtaining copyright permission to publish this video involved hunting down a custard filled mouse using leg booster, which is no easy task I can inform you.  I however managed to succed and I am glad I took on such an epic quest.

The game itself is a 3d fighting game, sure there are a lot of those about but this is more about skill and execution rather than mashing the buttons to win, as gameplay rewards timing and using the right move to counter the enemy.  And the combat itself can range from 2 – 32 players in one combat arena (correct at time of print, and 16 of these can be AI bots) which could result in some hectic and frantic battles, especially if there happened to be an epic movie hero style mode where one has all the power and everyone piles into him as lesser minions attempting to take him down.

The game stands in an early access format through steam at present, which is a good thing, as currently there is a great deal of polish to the visuals, moves and the game itself.  On top of that early access gameplay means the developers would like to hear from you, anything you feel can be added to make the game better, or suggestions for new move sets, or game modes, they will listen and try to incorporate them into the finished product (provided they fit the game and aren’t just ridiculous or impossible to programme)

Another big feature of the game, apart from the ability to perform skilled close combat fighting is the fact that every aspect is fully customisable, not only with the swords, masks and clothes available in game, but with steam workshop you could create, or choose someone elses creation to have a truly unique character, perhaps fighting with a giant dripping cod whilst wearing a robotic bunny suit like donny darko’s imaginary best friend.  That would be pretty cool, oh and you can also play as a break dancing yakuza

Elements in the level appear to be destructable and interactive, although gates are clear level edges as opposed to somewhere you can bypass so it would be good if there was some way of visibly noticing this like a huge rusted lock of some form, and there are occasional boundry issues where it appears you should be able to traverse the environment but hit an invisible wall but this is early access so this is acceptable but something to polish for the finished product.

How is the Gameplay?

The gameplay is very polished even in this early access state, particle physics and water reflections do not slow down the game even with recording software running, there are a few minor issues of invisible walls and situations where you can find yourself floating in the air if you jump some places on the map, and on one level there is a circular stair case that is just a phantom, but these are minor things you expect in alpha/beta phases of a game.

The game engine itself is based on a 3 tier combat system, where you switch between balanced to either fast or heavy attacks depending on your situation and your opponent to chain together the best combo from a selection of 40+ moves, with special wall running and other abilities available this can make combat difficult to master but rewarding for those who do, and allow combat to be dictated by whoever is the most skilled not whoever picks the player who can chain button mash silly kick move that doesn’t allow you to stand up after you’ve been floored once.

This should allow for a more rewarding and more enjoyable combat experience, and although there isn’t the realism of bushido blade’s cutting of limbs to disable your opponent the gameplay is still focused around realism and allowing true mastery of the blade itself to be the primary gameplay mechanic, it is even in the title itself as achieving the syphony of your blade and your body will allow you to win.

Key Features

  • Steam early access, so the devs can incorporate features to create the best game possible
  • £11.99 Early access price 2 and 4 packs have been mentioned as something the devs would consider (which would come with discounts, and let you get your friends in for some heated battles)
  • Skilled combat, where the weapon choice and timing influences the gameplay result, not the biggest button masher
  • Purely cosmetic unlockables, all moves and weapons are available to begin with so outcomes will result on skill and not who has unlocked the best gear.
  • 5+ characters with 3 fighting stances and over 40 move combinations each.
  • Very Detailed and Varied maps

What would I like to see added?

In its current form bots aren’t present and this would be something to add, and I note that there is a training mode which will allow for people to practise thier game style against a training dummy of some form in order to master combat and timings (maybe some distopian machanoid training dummy that is static but can hit back etc would fit in with the developers humour style)  also if there were easter eggs to see in maps this would be something minor but really cool, bring it to life a little with maybe a custard filled mouse hiding in a corner that if you catch it and kill it explodes in custardy goodness?

I have been thinking before I noticed this game that I would like to see a modern version of battle arena toshinden, bushido blade or another fighting game of this style because they had some particular elements I enjoyed in a gameplay stance that aren’t around today.  So rather than just copying those games or seeing sequels I would suggest those particular features could be added into this easily.

The first feature is the side rolling as seen in battle arena toshinden, sure there is side rolling in this game but its linear to your character, I would like the circle dodge around that takes you slightly closer to the enemy and is a good way of dodging but keeps you in the combat range ready for the next flurry of attacks rather than it taking you out of combat, although both types of roll can remain as a forward side roll could initiate this while a simple side roll is the evasive version to get away, leaving the player questioning which type you are performing adding the the skill ceiling to master

The next feature that would be good in this game would be to add the ability to dash, and also the maps are so detailed and so good it would be nice to see some form of exploration between levels, for example you could escape into a different arena if you run away enough, or you can knock back the enemy through a part of the scenery to go to the next area in a fully traversable multi environment location.

The ability to lay traps would be a very ninja trope, and any additional skills of the sort, they do have the ability to wall run stated, maybe there could be area’s you could hang on the cieling or from the scenery to get the jump on your target.

One very special feature I would think would make this game jump from being a £12 game to a £30-40 premium title is if the single player story had something last sceen in ergheiz or tobal no1 which was the dungeon crawler style fighting game, with the bots and generic enemies to combat on your way down to meet the inevitible finish.  If done right this could make it an immensely brilliant title and something that stands out from the modern fighting game in every aspect.

Challenge features, if there was the ability to challenge a specific player to a duel while in free for all, maybe as a special feature when someone is particularly dominating you to earn respect points or bow out as a forfeit this would be a fitting honour based feature to go with this game, but also in the traditional sense there could be challenge maps where you have to perform specific tasks in order to proceed and earn some extra in game bucks for cosmetic unlocks (and steam achievements)

Okay so how do I get the game?

Blade symphony is available on steam early access for £11.99 at http://store.steampowered.com/app/225600/  I would advise you watch thier video as well to see much more skilled gameplay and moves that I could not perform at my current skill level, and also to see how the game progresses.

I welcome challenges from new players so I can play against some equally unskilled combatants, and we can learn together how to achieve blade syphony.

I found myself working at the ynot festival this year due to an unusual set of circumstances of flair having lost all of thier festival contracts, and creative (who I previousely worked for) having closed thier birmingham NEC branch requiring staff for the festivals in the area and hiring in flair staff to work at thier events. So I agreed to work and found myself at this event.

At the station I met a band who were travelling to the event and also found myself camping in the same area, so security photographers, press, bar staff and the bands were all mixed together in the same camping area which was quite a mix and created a civilised area for sleeping at night with the main partying occurring out in the public area’s of the site.

About the Event

The event itself consisted of 3 days of bands playing accross a number of stages, along with some art installations and a small selection of shops to purchase from.

For a festival that isn’t well known there were some major headliners along the lines of ash, electric six, the cribs, the darkness and the mystery jets amongst others. Along side this there were publicly voted in indie and unknown bands playing on the alotment stage which is where things really got interesting, although it was a small stage inside a tent some of the best music of the event was found inside this and any talent scout worth thier paycheck should have been inside this tent listening to some of the acts that played.

Surprise Highlight of the Event

For me the real surprise highlight was the band naymedici who opened up the saturday morning acts with a lively mix between viking melodic rock and irish sea shanties, and with the charisma oozing from the lead singer you couldn’t help but be mesmerised by the band, and the acts that followed had a hard enough time following such a unique and tuneful band.  Maybe it was following naymedici or the fact that the bands that played afterwards just weren’t my standard, including a very depressing act which came on after the following band that I had to leave the stage area to find a better source of music, if these guys had been given a better lineup position they would have blown the audience away and they would not be out of place at other popular rock festivals such as download and bloodstock where they would be very appreciated and draw in a huge audience.

Homegrown Talent

The allotment stage was of course the location for the up and coming talent of the country and another amazing act was located here on the sunday, parasight drew in a large audience and captivated those attending the stage with thier youthful energy and had skills that matched dragonforce coming out of the hands of a teenager which amazed me personally how such talent could be mastered at such a young age, these guys are definately ones to watch and I would not be surprised to see them signed up shortly as if these guys were to enter britains got talent they would surely win in my opinion.  Following these were chase the rain Another noteworthy act who again outshone some of the early morning acts on the mainstage the day before.  Thier music was much more mainstream than parasight but both were very talented acts.

Of course I had to return for blue sunday (worry I do not have a link at present) who I met at the train station as they were one of the bands who had to travel up on thier own accord as no transport was provided, they were good guys and very down to earth and also played again better than some of the main stage acts which were on at the same time and deserved a much bigger audience than came to see them at the stage.

Camping

Camping on the site was split into different area’s, with a family camping site, then 2 more campsites for regular visitors so partying would not disturb families, and also a campsite for artists and staff where I personally found myself alongside a photographer and a band, this of course led to me signing a rickety old guitar which was also signed by if not all of the acts at the event at least the majority of them courtesy of raggle taggle photography. who were very nice people and were very busy interviewing all of the bands and taking photo’s for the event and you should check out thier page to see for yourself some of the views of the site and what went down at the festival.

The feel of the event

Everything at this festival felt a lot more laid back than at more major events, with the capacity of the event being more than ample for the ammount of people there, so the stages never got crushed and there was plenty of room and very family friendly (with everyone remaining very civilised and polite even the children were very polite and not overactive) so everyone could enjoy the event no matter who and how old.

With the mix of unknown bands and known bands this would have been the ideal setting for bands to be a little more experimental and rather than play all of the well known songs or just play the albums through in some form, perform some remixes, B sides or even cover songs, or perhaps even some unknown and up and coming stuff.  But alas this didn’t happen.  There was some fun though with a UFO showing up crashed into the wall for the final day, and a morning ynot echo for anyone up early enough to recieve one for free with a one page newspaper of the events the day before.

Overall thoughts

This was definately a fun festival and I would definately reccommend that everyone should visit this at least once, it deserves more recognition and is a lot cheaper than some more well known events and gives the same full weekend of good bands and a lot of fun to be had, there is even a roller disco at £2 for 30 minutes which is amazing for a festival price. I don’t think you would even get that anywhere in birmingham.  Everyone is really friendly and laid back, the bands are good and if the not so good ones come on theres plenty of stages to go find (even one hidden in a wardrobe inside a bar like narnia) so you should definately explore everywhere as maybe you missed that, and who knows that person stood next to you might even be in a band.

Check it out for yourself you won’t regret it.

After recieving some coupons to try the new danio range of yogurts from danone I decided to get a variety of the six flavours on offer in order to provide a true sample of the range and give a fair review as one flavour could have been better or worse than the others available.

I selected the cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavours of the yogurt from the store and immediately ate one storing the rest in the fridge for consumption at a later date.

The first flavour I tried was the raspberry, saving the others for later as I believed these would be the best of the bunch, opening the product I descovered that the yoghurt contained within was very stiff and set in peaks which resembled a crown around the yogurt which would denote the luxury you would expect from paying 85p for a 160g pot, however what was contained within I cannot myself consider a yogurt, it did not contain the characteristics expected from such a product of being creamy and satisfying on the tongue, instead what was provided was a very dry tasteless unsatisfying mouthful of bland.

Beneath the “yogurt” was a thin layer of compote which again was very dry and unsatisfying, throughout all of the flavours I tried none of the products met the criteria neccissary to be considered yogurt to me and left me dissappointed and unwilling to purchase any more of the products, even at a reduced price. Another thing worth mentioning is that the other two pots of yogurt did not remain “set” and instead the “yogurt” layer had began to break down and air holes had blown throughout the product and looked very unnappatising upon opening, even mixing the products thoroughly with the compote they remained dry and relatively flavourless as the compote itself lacked in flavour other than the sugary sweetness of the jam and was definately lost amongst the protien bland contained above it.

Does this fit in with the danone brand? Maybe would be the answer to that, with thier outset of bifidus whatever it is these days (digestivum, regularis etc I’m sure its constantly changing but essentially the same “good” bacteria) and adding a high protien yogurt is another “health” product, but it does not taste great or fit the satisfaction you would want from a yogurt snack, but for those who want a protien boost it would contain that and probably taste nicer than a protien shake or however else they suppliment it, and for that price maybe it matches so it does have a niche market which it is appealing to

Unfortunately the product itself does not match for me and does not in my personal opinion match for the general public for what a yogurt should be, maybe it could sell well in places like GMC or be a staple in gyms for people who wish to bulk up on heavy protien products, but for every day joe (or indelacio) it just isn’t a fit and is over priced when you can get a satisfying creamy yogurt for a better price from any supermarket.

If you often make purchases online you could be missing out on one of the best methods of saving money, forget waiting for sales to begin, or even during sales earn an additional cashback bonus to save even more.

I have been using this particular site for possibly 2 years now and in that time I have earnt £537 in cashback, some of that from utilities others from general online shopping which whilst offering less lucrative deals often add up, and if you wish to venture into signing up to online gambling sites then you often get the best deal of all which is usually 100% or more in cashback for joining the site and playing through the ammount, obviousely if you win you’ve earnt a significant profit if you don’t you’ve at least earnt your cash back through the site (because the site has paid them this large ammount in the hopes you would gamble more)

How the site works is that they are paid a commission by the retailer for referring you to them, however as they are content to earn the money from the advertising in thier own site they pay this commission direct to you, so everyone wins and everyone is happy, you make savings and they earn more advertising revenue for you using thier site.

Another lucrative cashback offer comes from services such as virgin and sky who often have very large deals on top of the regular new customer bonuses so you can effectively get half a year or more already paid in cashback on top of thier welcoming offer, the same goes for purchasing mobile phones and contracts as well as switching electricity providers which is how I have earnt such a large cashback ammount through my time with the site

There are other ways to earn smaller ammounts if you are happy to put the time in but I have stuck with the easy methods doing things I would do online anyway, or purchasing services I would naturally use.

They also have a loyalty system where you earn larger cashback ammounts the next month based upon how much you earnt in the previous month so if you’re smart you might earn a larger percentage before doing any large cashback ammounts but it all comes down to how you wish to use the site, but if you shop online I would definately advise you join as usually there is somewhere you would use and new shops and deals are always cropping up, sometimes theres even games at xmas to encourage spending and also reward you for doing so.

I continue to be a member and look forward to earning lots more in cashback in the future

http://www.indelacio.co.uk/go/cashback/

The latest series of ice road truckers deadliest roads have attempted to amp up the alleged threat levels of the roads this year after last years dreadfully boring season where everyone was paired off with local drivers, this year they have paired the ice road truckers together in an attempt to make it more interesting whilst keeping the safety of having a spotter on these unknown roads, also after one crew retired they bought in a team of newbies tino and tim zucker early on in the season in order to spice things up as neither tino nor tim have ever driven the ice roads or any dangerous roads with tim only ever having driven trucks in the back of a depot and never having setout on a long journey before.

Perhaps they chose these two because they would make more interesting tv and add to the danger levels but from the first moment I saw tim on camera and he stated how he’d already drank 20 energy drinks and his disregard for the danger and his attitude I knew immediately he would be a danger and after one attempt at the road his teammate decided forever he would be spotter due to his recklessness on the roads and his lack of experience in even handling larger lorries on long distance deliveries.

In this weeks episode it showed the teams delivering some dinosaur models to be exhibited, and immediately I had noticed they had been stored stupidly, I mean with the taller dinosaurs surely they knew they were too tall to fit through the caves and had not been wrapped remotely so that they would be seen by the camera whereas they could have been securely tied down lengthways and less prone to damage which is what makes me feel bad for lisa as she definitely did everything in her ability to ensure that the dinosaurs were undamaged and made it as far as a low bridge where inevitably the dinosaurs were decapitated because they were just too tall a load to fit under the bridge.

Unfortunately the other teams were not so careful with their loads, hugh’s load was never shown but it was clear from the talk of the artist stating all 6 dinosaurs were damaged that these arrived in a bad state too, however this may have been down to tim and tino’s reckless driving and deciding that racing against hugh and actually attempting to ram him off the road was a sensible idea, it was amazing that the statues arrived as well preserved as they did considering the reckless abandon they showed in speeding through the roads and not once considering the load until near the destination where the damage had already been done.

Tino and tim were rightly charged for the damages from their wages, which I’m surprised actually cover the expense of replacing the artwork considering the price such creatures would make in england or the united states of america, however clearly a trucker in this country would earn more in one delivery than the price of replacing the artwork, I just hope that other teams were not held responsible as there was clearly nothing lisa and her teammate could have done to protect those dinosaurs all the way to delivery and there was video evidence showing how carefully they had taken the delivery and how every duty of care was shown in delivering these items.

The major question remains how tim zucker at the very least will find employment when he returns from this journey as clearly if I was his boss or any other employer of drivers I would not employ him after his behaviour and attitude on the show, clearly he does not care about the loads and instead lives for the danger and thrills and would continue to express these reckless behaviours in the future and even influences tino to behave in such manners also so this proves that he would be a danger to any workforce encouraging dangerous behaviours on the road.

One issue with this season is that they have added in stock footage of landslides and other accidents that they continuously add into the episodes in order to pretend things are more dangerous than they actually are, but these clips of rockslides and other things like this simply distract from the episode because they are clearly happening elsewhere in another location filmed on an entirely different camera due to the change in contrast and filming quality, however they believe this adds to the episodes authenticity, also at the end of every episode they makeout some disaster is happening in the next one that when you watch the episode NEVER actually happens, so what have they hoped you forget by next week or what? Saying that though even with all of the distractions it does succeed in being more entertaining than the previous season however I believe it would be without the added stock footage and pretend dangers, all I can say is I hope tino and tim are taken on next season as otherwise they will most likely be unemployed for some time.

This festival season I was in the position to be able to work a few different events, I had to cancel T in the park because my tent had died at the isle of wight and I was in no position to purchase a new one in time to work at the event so the next event I was available for was V staffordshire at weston park.

Usually it would be full of familiar faces from previous years however this year it seemed most of the regular staff were nowhere to be found, of course I was placed on the Virgin “our house” and “hidden garden” bar so this was a little more closed off than the regular bars and not many staff were required on these however everyone would have still been on the staff campsite on the friday night none of us were working but I did not see anyone around. Add this to being taken advantage of by being placed on stock at regular barperson wages it made the event no fun especially as the A shift I would normally do was altered to be a longer shift rather than getting most of the event off. Talking to other staff members most people didnt find it very fun this year either so I’m not sure I will work further years unless there is more benefit or at least I wouldn’t be taken advantage of. Add to that the fact that the customer base is usually an older generation at V and this year it was full of 16-19 year olds it started to feel a little awkward and the staff base were mostly 18 this year also, I’ve never felt old or out of place but when everyones 18 and anyone over 20 is seen as old it gets a little wierd.

The next week however was leeds festival and only 9 of us were taken on for this because workers beer company did the actual alchohol serving and we were in charge of the pop tents, this event was a lot more fun and I got some time off to go see some bands, and was front row center dancing away in the dance tent during grimes’s set where she kept looking me in the eye throughout. I found her set really fun as rather than sing for most of it she did a setup where she used DJ decks to mix in the sounds and she looked like she was having a lot of fun dancing away up there. Having said that I got soaked in champagne being up front which was fun and cooling in the heat but going back to work on your non alchoholic bar at night stinking of champagne probably didnt give the best impression haha.

The first night was my one night off and I decided it was definately the night to go out and get drunk, we had the entire day off and although we were in at 10am the next morning I figured it was the best opportunity because other days I would be coming off shift as opposed to having the entire day to have fun. The alchohol I bought didnt last very long and the other flair staff decided to take an early night so I ended up staying up with the cantonese food truck people who were plying me with alchohol all night and we were all having a laugh, but when some dutch guys turned up and constantly were asking who I was things got a little wierd and I decided to turn in for the night, the 20th time you tell someone who you are does get a little awkward when we’re all staff from different places and these were the only people left awake and around the campfire.

Having said that I had a lot more fun working on these bars, though one of the guys I was working with was a bit of a dick and said “lets share tips” so I placed all of my tips in his cup throughout the day and at the end of it he just pocketed it all himself which was rather selfish considering he’d stated he was going to split them, but I couldn’t be bothered to get into an argument about it as he was being devious in his methods of serving anyway deliberately giving the drinks first then taking the cash and being slow in the hopes they would walk away before he returns with the change to go “oh you’re gone.. thanks for the tip” at least my tips were genuine tips not change that was mistakenly forgotten, I had customers even going “oh its £2.20.. not £2.50″ from where he had short changed them all.

There were some highlights working where random girls were wanting thier pictures taken with me and one even gave me a cake and wanted me to meet her after my shift, this lead to the other guys on my bar going into overdrive being right chavvy guys like builders going “ey up love, nice arse” and crap like that which more than anything scared customers away from the bar especially considering we were getting a lot of underage girls as it was a pop bar.

At the end of the day a number of customers would return with major shakes and I began to wonder why so i looked at the ingredients in the relentless energy drinks we were serving, many customers would have 5-10 a day and looking at the ingredients per can it would contain 50-59% sugar depending on the variety and 10% salt per can, also 160mg of caffiene and 100% of a few different nutrients listed so many people were on extreme overdoses of these or possibly crashing or having diabetic reactions due to the high blood sugar levels (considering they were sustaining these levels the entire weekend of the festival as well as eating and possibly even taking alchohol on board)

The bands on offer here were also the best selection of any of the festivals I had seen advertised and definately the best way to end the festival season, it included an all night DJ which allowed for all night partying to anyone so inclined, however on the last night the distinct smell of human waste and tents and airbeds being passed overhead were a danger to anyone wearing glasses and rather offputting to staying out the entire night. Luckily I was on the staff section so avoided the sunday night riots which are commonplace every year and walking to the shuttlebusses after the event you could see the number of raided tents which had been cut apart and abandonned and also burnt remains of previousely inhabited tents. Apparrently reading festival was more considerate and left thier tents behind for charities as a friend of mine worked there collecting the tents and also found some spare cash lying around (lucky her)

The next day a number of the staff were off to work at dorset steam fair, including kate who was at leeds with workers beer even though she worked for flair, however having worked at leeds and not been able to check my email i was unable to go which seemed like i missed out from photo’s I saw after the event however I was happy with the plans I had made to visit a friend while I was up in the area so I took a coach to york, a nice little town but on a bank holiday and not knowing the area asking for directions was difficult due to the number of tourists.

I managed to get to my hotel in suitable time and then head straight out to see my friend where we spent most of the night in a pub chatting away before heading back to hers to watch some shows and chat whilst drinking/smoking. Time got away from us and it was soon 3am and with her having to work the next day I went back to my hotel, one piece of advice is when you’ve got to wake up at 7am to have a shower and make breakfast I would not reccommend that you stay up all night drinking and smoking certain substances because you wont really want to get up, saying that though it was worth it as it was a hell of a lot of fun, and I do wish sometimes I lived nearer some of my friends so I could spend proper time with them more. After a nice breakfast it was time to catch the coach away from the north and back here.

So doctor who returned this week, and in my opinion not in the best style possible, sure they went with daleks because they are the most commercial and well known of the foes, but it just felt a little silly, with rory and amy having split up seemingly over the most stupid reason… that she couldn’t have babies despite them having had the doctors wife as thier child. Also with the whole pregnant not pregnant timeline it hints at things which would mean any medical problem associated with this could be solved by being in the tardis, also I am more than sure there are a number of solutions the doctor would be able to provide which could fix this. Of course I can understand the whole trying to protect each other and letting each other go because they love each other so much plot.

Anyway ignoring all of that it comes down to the fact that mysteriousely the doctor has been outwitted by the daleks but for the first ever time they want his help rather than attempting to exterminate him, completely going against the daleks zenophobic nature and thier deep pride to actually ask the doctor of all people for help without attempting to solve matters themselves appearing scared of thier own kind and also having another nature that goes against previous episodes defined natures where they keep thier ill and insane daleks as opposed to exterminating any weakness in the bloodlines.

Further to changes to previous plots and the fact that the dalaks have been wiped out so many times and ressurected and changed it is hard to keep track of which daleks these actually decend from, rory jokes “which colour” which supports this but really, what ever happened to the dalek+ model that was invented when churchill had his little dalek weapon and they were in space and made the dalek equivalent of the cars you see in the fast and the furious (whatever thier actual name is, pimped up blingy fat mobiles… but in dalek form)

So throwing the plotline out of the window the writers decided then that daleks were perfectly happy not only converting living and dead matter to dalek form (not just an automiton as they have established in previous series prior to the new episodes IE cybermen and the likes) they actually had to be dalek in form, and ignoring the complete racism of daleks being the supreme race and no others being acceptible, they convert a human into a dalek allowing her to keep her entire intelligence and humanity, something no dalek would allow not even an insane one.

Inevitibly this was all just a ridiculous episode long setup for a cheesy one liner where the human dalek lady wiped the entire daleks database/hivemind of references of the doctor so they would all say “doctor who” and it just felt really cheap and not worthy of being a proper doctor who episode, had this been some stupid comic relief special it would have been accepted but this was supposed to be the big dramatic introduction to the new season, and this was the stupid plot twist they told everyone about… I felt robbed.

Hopefully future episodes will be better, I believe the steven moffat episodes are coming up which are usually the better written ones, and if there is actually a common linking theme this season I hope it is nothing to do with what happened in this episode or the fact that the humanised dalek/converted human however you want to put it… stated “remember me” as he clearly has a time machine and could easily jump to that point in time and save her and take her out somewhere and do something, but this would not be an exciting plot and would put me off the series. Of course this could have simply been a minor leadup to the fact that the daleks dont remember the doctor but it could be different.

The main idea that has to be explored though is that everyone in the previous series stated this was where the doctor turned dark and started being known for bad things accross the universe which is why people were turning against him so this has to be an idea to be explored, also there has to be a point where the doctor would die and pass on to the next life, this breaks the cycle with him and his wife travelling in opposite directions of the timeline and would result in him being able to free her from the library in his new form and the both of them being able to travel along the timeline together at the same time in mutual rebirth. (I hope that isnt a spoiler too much… just it makes sense that way)

In doing things the american way where theres 5 episodes a minor break then the rest of the season it could result in his death being episode 5 or at least there will be a major plot development at that point to entice people to watch the season when it returns (if its well written) but with 4 episodes to create such a leadup it could be difficult to pull off such a feat and allow for thier usual xmas special. Whatever happens I am hopeing that there is a dramatic improvement to the next episode as this felt like a very cheap quip with daleks thrown in for good measure as opposed to a high quality episode.



My Thoughts on the BBC Apprentice UK Final 2012, discussing the final candidates and thier idea’s and thier business plans