Prague 2016!

Another classically late post about something I did months ago. Today, the holiday I went on in January with Emerald…

I can’t even remember if I put the photos from Krakow up on here last year, I certainly meant to. Anyway, this will be pretty much the same as what I hope I did with that trip, more pics, minimal droning from me.

And if I didn’t remember Krakow, expect that along with Harry Potter Studios later on this week…

Luckily these are all in order on my laptop! Makes things easier. First up I have to say we almost spent our holiday in Manchester, we got stuck in traffic for 2 3/4 hours on the way. A burning shortbread lorry nearly cost us our flight in classic England fashion. We got to the airport with about 45 minutes to get parked, through customs and find the gate. Positive side, no waiting around in the terminal for hours!

So we made it, and we made more than one trip to this awesome comic book store between our hotel and the town centre. As well as these really cool busts of Iron Man they had a whole bunch of figurines and clothing and general merchandise. Oh and lots of comic books. They were Czech though obviously.

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This was where Emerald got a very nice Star Wars jacket and I got a Watchmen hat. There is below a three floor musicy comicy clothesy place in town that was very rock and very exciting.

 

I also got a Sparta Prague shirt to go with my Poland shirt from Krakow so that was very exciting for me. Anyway, now here are all the pictures of nice looking things, starting with all the ones I found of the town square and the buildings in it. We had two full days there and spent six hours wandering around both days.

 

There were a lot of Segway people wandering around renting out Segways for some reason. We did not take one. Oh also there was a bubble man blowing lots of bubbles!

Also also every hour on the hour the astronomical clock (bottom middle and top right) chimed and a little Death came out of the top and rang an equally little bell.

On our last full day there, we had another wander through the town, but we came across a couple of fun museums that we walked through and got a few pictures. One was a torture museum, the other one was a wax museum. Let’s see them now.

 

Not a lot of information or tour guide type things going on, but it was about £5 to go through it and was pretty fun.

The wax museum was cool, halfway through where the sports players are there was a lifesize Pong you can play by controlling the paddles with your hands. We both sucked at it.

 

Most of these are Emerald being very silly with waxworks, which I assume we’re all okay with. I also apologise if some of the pictures turn out quite small, WordPress has put in a new feature that makes adding lots of pictures easier but arranges them in a weird random mosaic. Also, yes that is a football goal in a urinal.

Another lovely experience we had was at the Cafe Louvre, somewhere Albert Einstein used to go and be in. They had tasty cake and turtles in a tank!

 

Lastly, this was the view from the top of the tower in the square. Prague is such a lovely city and everyone should go and look around.

 

It was actually quite warm for January, and we could not throw money away for the life of us. I brought about a third of my spending money back, and I was walking around on the last day actively trying to spend it.

So them’s all my pics, I’ll go back and make sure Krakow is up and if it is then Harry Potter Studios will be next. The hotel was really nice too, byeeeee.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

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(Almost) immediate WrestleMania reactions

WrestleMania is over, I wore a tiara throughout. Let’s talk about it. The show, that is. I feel the headwear accented my shirt wonderfully. Okay now the show. After this…

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I honestly can’t remember the first match. Five hours is a long time. Speaking of which, it’s 6am and I still can’t sleep so I’m going to write some things.

Quick caveat on everything from here on in: it’s my opinion. If I say something wasn’t right or was brilliant, just put ‘in my opinion’ at the end of it, I’m not typing it out 800 times. 6am.

Oh it was the ladder match! That was quite good, Ryder popping up and winning was a great twist I didn’t see coming at all.

Jericho v Styles was my match of the night, as I thought it might be. Brilliant, wasn’t sure why Jericho got the win but looking back he is still Chris Jericho, he should still win quite a lot.

I had no interest in the tag match, luckily I was sat back down in time to be knocked speechless by Shawn Michaels’ music. Then Foley’s. Then Austin’s! Then they all danced with The New Day and I can’t decide if it was even worth having them for that. I think it was though.

Ambrose v Lesnar was good, but felt like it ended way too soon and too abruptly. It was building really well and then an F5 and then over. Hmm. Don’t even get me started on a chainsaw being part of any of that match, or WWE, A PG WRESTLING SHOW.

The Women’s title looks fine, I prefer the old Women’s belt but any toddler’s doodle would be better than that butterfly belt. Good that it’s being put on a par with the men’s title though. Match was also great, the ending not so much.

Shaq. Good. Battle Royal done.

Undertaker v Shane-O-Mac was bang average, and honestly pretty boring. I didn’t expect much more to be honest. Then Shane jumped off the cell and I forgot everything else that has happened this week. Except legends dancing. Just kick them all HBK!

Main event was meh. Triple H’s entrance was so underwhelming, which is acceptable as he is the bad guy in this feud but still, meh. Steph’s speech before it was pretty excellent though.

The match again was okay, really good in places. It was just so obvious that Reigns would win and the fans did not agree with this, but he put on another good match. Maybe one day he’ll be accepted.

So the Wyatts did appear. They got squashed and ridiculed by The Rock, and then John Cena came back and helped to crush them further. However, they got mic time with one of the biggest stars ever, and a small amount of ring time with two of them. Let’s just hope it leads somewhere they can benefit from, cough cough Brock Lesnar cough cough what the hell ever happened to that angle cough cough cough.

All in all it was a good WrestleMania. Not great, not awful, just not particularly memorable I don’t think. Shane MacMahon has given me the only memory I’ll probably take from the whole show. Just a couple of tweaks to the finishes and the match times and I’d have been a lot happier.

Well I saw HBK and Bray Wyatt, which was what I was after. I felt like the Wyatt segment was a total waste of time to get Cena back in alongside Rocky for some cheers, but if it ends up leading to a big time feud they actually win it will be well worth it.

That’s about it for now, this has made me sleepy. It’s now 6:15am, for all my thoughts as they happened check my Twitter. It should be right next to this post at the top of my page.

A chainsaw. Who believes that on a live television show, a pg television show, that a chainsaw would be used in a fight? I know we suspend a LOT of logic when it comes to wrestling, but that was just too much for me.

Have a nice day, bang bang!  – Cactus Jack

Wrestlemania 32: Darren v Emerald II

It’s  that time of year where I talk about wrestling again!

So, at SummerSlam last year, Emerald beat me in our little prediction battle by one match. This Sunday, I will have my revenge!

First, let’s see the contenders. Emerald is EM, I am DH, I assume this is obvious but you never know in this world. It’s spandex time!

Oh yeah, just to mention – just like last time… – there are some sweary words below that don’t appear in my usual blogs. You’ll once again notice, that they are all Emerald. Leggo.


Kalisto (c) v Ryback

EM: Ryback, cos… Ryback.

DH: Kalisto, cos… Kalisto. And I like to see the title retained for a while. Next.


The Total Divas v B.A.D. & Blonde

EM: That sounds fucking horrific. Go with Paige then. I stick by what I said. (The Total Divas)

DH: Can’t argue that this match sounds utterly pointless and awful. Going with Paige as well, and do not really want to say any more about this. There’s a team called The Total Divas, and Summer Rae and Lana were fighting each other the last time I watched this thing.


The Usos v The Dudley Boyz

EM: Don’t really care, but I’ll say, mmmm…. I’ll guess, The Usos.

DH: Go Dudleyz! But yeah The Usos will more than likely win, and I like them so let’s both go for them.


Triple H (c) v Roman Reigns

EM: ROMAN REEEEIGNS! -laughs when she sees that’s what I’d already written.- I do like Triple H but Roman Reigns is my fav. After last year we deserve a win.

DH: Everything just screams Roman Reigns, it’s so obvious to me that he’s gonna end up champion again. That’ll make him a three time WWE Champion if I’m not mistaken, which in the space of a year is ludicrous. So on that I’m kinda hoping WWE swerve us all and I’m going for Trips. Man looks huge and can’t wait for his entrance this year.


Dean Ambrose v Brock Lesnar

EM: Sigh. I’m going to guess that there will be 8 German Suplexes. There’s gonna be a lot of running around outside the ring. I reckon Brock’s gonna bleed. It’s hard to say who will win, like if wrestling was real then Brock Lesnar would win. Dunno I’m just going to have to take a wild guess at this one and say… What do you think?

DH: Well you’ll hear what I think in about five minutes.

EM: Well i can’t decide. Brock, go Brock.

DH: Must be Lesnar, surely. The stipulations give Ambrose a chance, but surely surely Shirley it’ll be Brock. And I’m saying 11 Germans.


Shane McMahon v Undertaker

EM: Undertakerrr. That’s who I want to win. I like The Undertaker.

I took a brief sidebar to explain the stipulations of the match to Emerald and she is sitting wide eyed at me.

EM: They can’t do that! It’s Undertaker. See if he loses I’m gonna biff. Well, yeah, out of hope. I actually, like, I always just predict who I want to win.There was one at Summerslam that I didn’t want to win. I’m cold it’s cold.

DH: I don’t know what I want to happen. I don’t want Undertaker to lose to a part time guy who hasn’t been around in about six years and doesn’t exactly put on five star matches, but Shane winning and taking over Raw would be better for the long run. But since I just watch the PPVs and am not in it for the long run I’m also going Taker.


Charlotte (c) v Becky Lynch v Sasha Banks

EM: I literally could not give a fuck.Go with Sasha Banks, but I literally couldn’t care any less. Like I’m bored even just talking about it. Like I could probably win that match. I could probably win all the matches to be fair. It’s just not as entertaining.

DH: This is the women’s match I really want to see. I hope they get a good half hour and smash it our of the park. I also hope Becky wins, cos outside of Paige she’s my fav. Expecting good things and the crowd to be into it!


Kevin Owens (c) v Sami Zayn v Dolph Ziggler v Zack Ryder v Sin Cara v Stardust v The Miz

EM: Are they all against each other? It’s gonna come down to Ziggler and The Miz. And The Miz is probably gonna win to piss everybody off. It’s the WWE, they like to piss people off. Unless it’s a kid with cancer, then they’re nice. How do they even make that type of ceiling?

DH: There are no words to respond to this answer. I fancy Owens for another retention, but I’ve already got both the other singles titles being defended, and I think Owens is off to hopefully higher things. Nothing else makes sense to me though, too soon for Zayn, too late for Ryder, Miz and maybe even Ziggler. I like the idea of champion vs champion Sin Cara v Kalisto, but I’ll say Sami Zayn because that’s what I see happening.


AJ Styles v Chris Jericho

EM: Jerichooo! We saw him in December and he kept smiling at me and he doesn’t wash his hands after going to the toilet. I got the setlist, from the show, and I’m doing my next pole dance to one of his songs.

DH: Gotta be Styles, hopefully they do better by him than they did Sting. I just hope they don’t screw him over because of his TNA ties. Fully expecting this to be my favourite match of the night.


Andre the Giant Battle Royale

EM: I don’t know, that’s too many people. Read them again. I’d say like, Big Show, Kane and Mark Henry will definitely be in there for a while. But that’ll be the thing won’t it the last four people will jump out, cos noone cares about the rules. (What?) I’d like to see Kane win. So I vote for Kane. Not Trump.

DH: Do not care but I really hope The Wyatt Family aren’t in it. Let them go cause carnage in all the other matches. I’m gonna have Cesaro come back and win it, because why not.


New Day v League of Nations

EM: (itching leg and purring) I’m so cold. Not too bothered about this match. I’ll say League of Nations will win. I don’t care enough to say anything witty.

DH: League of Nations. No titles on the line, 3v4 match, I hope they just make them look good, because I think they could and should be interesting.

 

Two days to go, I really hope Bray Wyatt has something to do with a big match this year. To go from Undertaker to nothing in a year is ridiculous. Any appearance from Shawn Michaels is also always appreciated by me.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Everything RIGHT with Batman v Superman

I went to see Batman v Superman this week with four people. Talking about it when we came out with two others, three hated it, two enjoyed it and one was Ashley who has no opinion on any film unless it’s Monty Python.

I loved it. Watching Dan Murrell talk about the death of Superman on Screen Junkies is making me a little less excited looking back, as his/the comics way sounds way cooler.

I’ve seen and heard and read almost universally mixed to negative things about the movie – and it is a bit of a mixed bag, it’s not perfect by any means – but I am an optimistic person and won’t be including any of that stuff in here, it’s already everywhere else.

Rather than doing a big long pro review I’m gonna go the way of my Force Awakens review and do some hopefully snappy quick points from what I recall of the movie that I only saw two days ago…

Read More…

Deadpool: awesome!

I’ve literally just got in from watching Deadpool and eating pizza thanks to Emerald treating me lots for my birthday.

Spoilers incoming, I guess. I mean, it’s two hours of violence and swearing and boobs and penis jokes, does plot really matter here? Sort of, but not really.

If there are any typos please do keep any corrections until the morning when I can bothered to do something about them. I run a professional blogging service here don’t you know.

Okay, so it’s more like word vomit and every thought I have goes straight onto the page in the order they leave my brain, rather than the order they probably should go in. Who wants to be like everyone else though?

Enjoy my disjointed ramblings, I’m going to bed.

I had high hopes for Deadpool, and it was brilliant. Twenty minutes in I wanted the DVD.

I expected it to be an 18, but the 15 rating doesn’t detract from the blood and swearing and insults, so that didn’t make too much of a difference.

The main character is the main reason to watch this movie. Ryan Reynolds plays him in such a breezy, sarcastic, laid back way that really speaks to me somehow…

The fact that it turns into a bit of a love story save-the-girl-from-bad-guy thing seems a little contradictory to the rest of the film, which sets out to be the least Marvel Marvel film ever, but pretty much everything that comes before it is gold.

Apart from the rest of the boring lovey bits, although the first flashback gives more depth and character development in ten minutes than the rest of Marvel’s big budget action fests.

The inherent anti-hero attitude is what worked for Stone Cold Steve Austin (old 90s wrestling reference). While it is really weird to see him being all despondent and emotional in patches, it kinda works until the last cliché at the end. It is hard to imagine a guy who constantly jokes about dicks (not a complaint) being crushed and heartbroken though. Back to talking about Deadpool here, not Stone Cold.

Deadpool’s sidekicks are just kind of there. They don’t offer a lot, other than Deadpool breaking his everythings on Colossus and his metal testicles. Next to the charisma and style of Deadpool, his two allies just seem out of place. Having said that, there are so many little fourth wall jokes; the studio being priced out of more X-Men for the movie, a Weapon XI action figure from Origins: Wolverine, and so on, it makes it worth having them around.

So yeah, I’d give the film a solid 9, probably level with Guardians on my list of Marvel offerings. The infallibility of the lead hero – used loosely – and villain could make the fight scenes a little futile, but the way those scenes are shot make them some of the most fun sequences in the whole thing. The freeze frames and slow motion, along with the regular fourth wall breaking and jabs at Hugh Jackman are all just my favourite.

Speaking of fun sequences, the opening credits are wonderfully playful, and are actually returned to as a separate scene later on.

That’s pretty much all I either enjoyed or care about right now as I’m quite sleepy, so headlines are as follows: Ryan Reynolds has finally found the Marvel character he’s born to play.
The kiss the girl foil the bad guy bit is way overplayed, as this film references itself in the opening scene. Bit hypocritical, and my only real negative here.
Some of Deadpool’s reactions and general silliness: totally hilarious.
Triple kill headshot. This is why Wolverine should have been a 15. At least.

Loved it, go see it.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Star Wars

Happy New Year!

Last night was the first year I can remember where I didn’t end up watching Jools Holland.

Instead at Emerald’s I watched Hogmanay from Glasgow, obviously. Wish we could’ve been in Edinburgh watching Biffy Clyro, but Emerald’s house is warm and not £60 for the night.

Before that, we finally went to see The Force Awakens. Instead of doing a normal boring wordy post, I have a few points that came to me during the film, so I’ll share those in the hope I am agreed with.

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Spoilers below, obviously. I managed to make it two weeks from release without finding out any details, so if you still haven’t seen it then stop reading silly, the post is called Star Wars why did you even start?

I’m doing my best to record my thoughts at the time in the order I thought them. I can’t remember my own hair colour sometimes, so if it’s slightly non-chronological then oops.

Straight away, Stormtrooper blood. Already taking Star Wars in a gritty real dark modern gritty direction.

Kylo Ren looks awesome.

The new droid is quite funny, but BB-8 isn’t quite as iconic a name as R2-D2 or C-3PO. Although I suppose it’s not nearly 40 years old.

Also it seems to have more feelings than a droid should have. Blaming Disney.

I don’t think that pilot guy died in that crash, not sure why he ended up far away from the fighter without his jacket though.

OH MY GOD IT’S THE MILLENNIUM FALCON!

OH MY GOD IT’S HAN AND CHEWIE I CAN’T TAKE THIS NOSTALGIA.

A random Scottish man appeared.

Some random Asian men appeared.

Some giant weird creatures escaped and attacked all the people.

Chewie got shot. I don’t know what to do.

He’s okay it’s fine. If he dies I’m walking out.

Not a lot happened until Rey (Ray?) wanders into Luke’s lightsaber and some cool visions happen.

The bit with Luke and R2 from the trailer with his robot hand was so cool.

I think Rey is related to Luke somehow. I hope not, everyone seems to be related in this universe.

Resistance has arrived, here comes Leia.

Han and Leia.

Hahaha I’ve never been so happy to see C-3PO.

R2 is broken, he misses Luke doesn’t he :(.

Oh the First Order have a Death Planet. I hope noone sends a small fighter in to exploit its inevitable weak point.

So Rey has the Force, yeah she’s probably related to Luke.

Daniel Craig alert! Wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t been put on alert beforehand.

Ren’s being all vulnerable and weak, is he not pretty much a Sith Lord? What is this?

Aha, the Rebels have devised a plan to attack the weak spot of the Empire’s space station.

Oh wait.

Leia wants Han to bring their son back. Han’s going to die isn’t he?

Oh yeah I didn’t mention Kylo Ren is Han and Leia’s son. That Vader mask was epic.

Now they’re sneaking around the enemy ship, and trying to get the shields down for their ships overhead. I’d swear I’ve seen this before.

Chewie picked up a jacket for Han because he was cold. I love that wookie.

Chewie don’t die.

Han and Chewie are splitting up. One of them is going to die.

Don’t die Chewie.

Sad wookie noises.

Ben!

Don’t die Han, don’t go on that bridge.

Shit.

He won’t turn him good he’s the only cool villain in the whole film.

Dead. Liam Neeson x Emperor style.

Get him Chewie! Get him with your laser crossbow!

Saber battles. Pew pew. Rey wins, not sure why her and Finn can just use lightsabers nearly as well/better than Ren.

Death Star III is kaput.

All the people I care about are sad, apart from Han. Han is dead.

Rey is off to find Luke, looks like Ireland.

Big epic shot of Rey and Luke was kind of underwhelming. His robot hand looks less cool now.

End. Not happy.

Pretty sure that’s everything that I thought while watching, there were a lot of cool moments and up to Han dying it was brilliant.

One or two of the old characters dying is something I can deal with but not Han, in the first film of the trilogy, with hardly any screen time with Leia and no scene with him and Luke.

Apart from that, I think all was well, I’d put it up there just below the originals. Will probably go and watch again, might update as and when.

Happy 2016 all.

Have a nice year, bang bang!

Carlisle Floods 06.12.15

Not a lot to say about this really. It’s happened again.

Now, I was 10 years old when Carlisle got flooded in 2005, and when the power went out in my house the only thing I was feeling was fury at not being able to save my game of Crash Team Racing and losing a bunch of progress.

Today I’m 21, and in my mature state have learned to save often to avoid this in the future. I also feel absolutely awful for everyone who have lost more than a few levels on a PlayStation game.

We haven’t lost power, or been flooded, and it was such a surreal feeling waking up on Sunday morning and looking outside. The sun was out, the street was dry.

My friend Nash popped round so we could have a wander to see what the damage was. I didn’t get any pictures of the water nearest us, but the rest of this will probably just be pictures with small descriptions and thoughts.

We had a good five hour wander around the place, which has left me with a couple of strained ankles, but there was and is some crazy damage going on around the city.
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The bottom end of town was under when we got there, a boat was ready to go and the main roundabout that connects the city was just gone.

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Walked around to the castle, the road running alongside it was luckily safe to walk on.

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Bitts Park, one of many park areas that were underwater. The one closer to my house seemed to have taken on a lot of water diverted by the new defences, effectively saving a bunch of houses. image

Round the other side of the castle we got a view from the bridge of the other side of the city. Sainsbury’s and the houses around it were hit badly.

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imageLooking down at cars stranded in that car park was tragic, a few lights were still flickering as they were filled to the windscreen.

Today (08.12.15) I walked home from work up Warwick Road, the main road from my area to the city centre.

The water is gone, but there’s mud and grime everywhere. Outside houses and businesses, big piles of people’s lives were just lying on the street, water damaged and useless. The community centre car park was still underwater.
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Also on my way home I saw two free hot food vans, set up by a local energy company from what I saw, to feed the army and emergency services and volunteers.

There was a man wandering up the road handing out cups of tea door to door, because England.

As promised, the football team were out and about, pitching in and keeping spirits up, taking pictures with kids and helping around the houses.

My manager has been in for the last two days, despite her flat being right next to Sainsbury’s and having no power. She’s in again tomorrow.

I saw a lot of smiles and no tears today, on a road that has been washed out twice in eleven years, with some insurers not offering flood protection after 2005. The community is unbelievable at times like this.

Also great effort by Welling and Oxford, who are donating proceeds from their matches against Carlisle to the flood appeal. Stuff like that is why living in small, underdog kinds of cities can be awesome.
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Also this guy happened.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Krakow 2015 :)

Hello again!

It’s been ages, a good 20 days since my last post. Since then I’ve been working lots, and had a holiday!

Now I have two days off, it’s payday and I’ve already spent a buttload of money on Christmas presents and my car, so I thought I’d do something free and write about my hols to Poland with Emerald.

It started swimmingly. I got a small amount of sleep in before we set off at about 1:30am. The journey down to Liverpool went by fine, until we got to a closed off section of the motorway and got diverted around to the road leading into the south of the city, where our directions became useless.

We were leaving the car at Alex’s house in Liverpool, and he would take us to the airport. When we got into Liverpool he gave us the wrong postcode and had to come and collect us to take us to his house to take us to the airport. Confusing. Also we literally drove past the airport on the way to his house.

So we got to John Lennon Airport, drove into the car park to get dropped off about 5:30am. Alex then couldn’t get out again because he needed to pay for the barrier and had no wallet, so I had to run over and get that sorted.

After that everything went perfectly, flight was around 7:30 and we got into Krakow for lunchtime.

We spent the first day settling in to our awesome hotel room (Aparthotel Leone, if anyone wants to go), and wandering around near the hotel. We found a supermarket where noone spoke English unfortunately, and a little cafe where you could get a meal and what might as well be a teapot full of tea for £3.

Pretty much everything there is crazy value for money, except the brand name shops because obviously. Emerald did pick up a pair of Vans for £30 though.

Monday it snowed all day, which was fine it made the place look all pretty and we were wrapped up nice and warm.DSC_0028

This was the view nice and early Monday morning from our hotel. Gonna jump into a few pictures since they’re much better than me just describing everything.

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This was our first tourist stop, Wawel Castle (and Emerald in the corner doing some mad films). All the snow made it super picturesque and lovely to walk around, which made up for a lot of the exhibits being closed. We had a wander round here through the armory and another place I have totally blanked on. No pictures from there because they aren’t allowed, but Emerald got some clips in there for her film because she’s an international criminal apparently. I got some good shots of the outside though, the two here are my faves.

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Came out through the Dragon’s Den, was too cold for the big dragon they had outside to breathe fire, but the river was right over the road and looked very serene in the white wintery white.

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After the castle we still had loads of the day left to have an explore, so we decided to have a wander into the Grand Market Square, the biggest of its kind IN THE WORLD.

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Pretty sure it was called Grand Market Square…

There were cafes and shops and little souvenir places that sold souvenirs that you might actually want. We even found a little rock and metal stall with a bunch of shirts and Zippos and belts that were cool.

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There was also this big long open air market in the centre of the square. Every single stall had at least one showcase of amber coloured jewellery.

On our other full day in the city we took a bus out to the Wieliczka Salt Mines, full of salt and 800 stairs to go down.

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The mines were amazing, we spent a couple of hours down there covering 1% of them. Our tour guide was really nice and funny and taught us a lot about the history of the place. They have all kinds of sculptures and carvings and all sorts down there, and some really cool chandeliers made partly of salt.

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The most impressive and beautiful part of the tour was just after the gift shop area (so weird seeing ancient stone work behind a vending machine hundreds of feet underground).

A huge cathedral looking room with an altar, 3D carvings in the walls and a statue of Pope John Paul II was the highlight of the day, near the end of the tour.

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I have loads more photos from the mines and a few more of the castle, which will go up on a separate post to have them all on show if anyone wants to see them.

Again, the salt mine tour was early in the morning, so just like Monday we had half a day to wander around and explore so we went through the square again to a huge shopping mall, to see if we good get any decent deals compared to back home. Emerald got her Vans and a jumper, I got a nice wooly scarf but there wasn’t much in the way of bargains there, especially compared the rest of the city.

We both got a few cool presents for people, and we got a beastly mug each for tea and things like more tea. I also finally own a Jakub Blaszczykowski shirt, found one for £30 on the way back to the hotel.

So we flew back early Wednesday, had a chill at Alex’s and drove back home so Emerald could get ready for a gig that evening. Krakow is an amazing city, two and a half days was plenty of time to pack in a lot of stuff, it was cheap, the hotel was nice, most of the people are lovely, and I’m sure we will go back one day!

Picture edition of holiday post will go up soon, can’t wait for another holiday next year, Guinness in Dublin sounds very tempting.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Mallory Knox: The Pizza Experience

Had a very productive day so why not do a little more. By productive I mean I’ve washed my clothes, my boots and myself.

Only getting to this one eleven days after actually going, so if I’m correct Mallory Knox will still be on tour and everything!

We actually had a couple of days off to go to this one so we stayed in a hotel near the middle of Glasgow. It was a Z Hotel and was awesome, they have 40″ TVs in all the rooms and tea supplies so we were quite content when we got there and settled in watching Friends for a couple of hours before we left.

The toilet was visible over the top of the frosted glass separating it from the rest of the room, as you’ll see on Emerald’s vlog, so that was fun. This is her being in a hotel.

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Set It Off were supposed to be supporting Mallory Knox but for whatever reason they weren’t able to be there, I didn’t actually look into it thinking back. So we ended up just sitting on a couch in the bar area of the ABC for a bit which was fun, we just chatted and laughed and did boring sober people stuff.

Mallory Knox were awesome, I like a curtain drop to start a set it’s fun. They sounded really good, had some really good looking merch that I sadly couldn’t afford and played through a lot of Asymmetry, which is my fav of theirs.

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The venue was cool too, it’s been a while since I’ve been to one of the smaller places for a gig. The acoustics and the tightness of the crowd and the space make it more fun for me than a big roomy arena.

We left after my favourite song – She Took Him To The Lake (first encore song) – to get out before everyone else so we could find pizza and our way back to the hotel. Shared a plain tomato pizza that was somehow really nice, I usually think plain pizzas are boring unless they’re deep fried. Fortunately we were in Scotland.

Also there was a giant disco ball.

The next day we went into Glasgow and got some deep fried pizza! It was fried deeply and was a welcome addition to my presumably sky-rocketing cholesterol.

We also had a little wander, did a little shopping, I did a little dance and then we came home.

It was a fun couple of days, don’t often stay over after gigs but I might have to do it more often in future, starting with Fozzy in December. Y2J, Y2J, Y2J. The set MK had behind them kept changing colour and I loved it, I only got a coouple of decent pictures though.

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Here is our stay immortalised in YouTube footage.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

No Closer To A Good Pun For This Post…

I’m sure there ain’t a heaven, but that don’t mean I don’t like to picture you there.

This is the most feels line that I am aware of currently in existence.

I had No Closer To Heaven playing on Spotify pretty much as soon as it was released here in the United King’s States of Englandshire. It’s been out for nearly two weeks, and about one week ago, this post would have been a lot sadder and filled with my post-teen angsty disappointment.

I was so disappointed with the album after the first listen that it made me genuinely very sad. The Wonder Years are one of my favourite bands and took pop-punk to another level with their last album, The Greatest Generation.

Coming off that I expected ridiculously big things, things too big to ever realistically happen since I pretty much wanted to love it more than TGG after no time at all.

Add the fact that I was familiar with and loved three of the album’s songs before release, and everything else just seemed kind of dull.

Skipping ahead to now, and I must say it is once again a new level that TWY find themselves on. I seem to remember a while ago saying that AB/AP by Fall Out Boy had the best four track run on any album I knew. No Closer To Heaven has the best EIGHT track streak.

The run from Cardinals through to Stained Glass Ceilings is full of intensity, passion and that all important raw emotion that sets The Wonder Years apart from everyone around them.

The last couple of songs aren’t quite as impactful, but the whole thing flows nicely, the sound moving from anger through to acceptance. Call it DABDA, call it Kubler-Ross, call it a coincidence, it works.

I’m not sure yet whether it’s better than The Greatest Generation, but it’s definitely better than my initial opinion of it. And it still keeps them right up there in my list of best bands around.

I had it on repeat all day at work last week, which must have been fun for everyone that loathes my music taste as it is. But I’m happy to say that it has won me over, just took a little time.

Also I listened to Neck Deep’s new album a couple of times this week. Not comparing or anything, Life’s Not Out To Get You is a very good pop-punk record; it’s catchy it’s fun and it’s short, but listening to the both bands shows, to me anyway, how far The Wonder Years have taken the genre in another direction.

Listen to:

  • I Don’t Like Who I Was Then
  • The Bluest Things On Earth
  • Cigarettes & Saints

(Then listen to the rest.)

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack