Sunday, 22 December 2013

Adam's Film of the Year - No 1 - 2013

After all that it comes down to the film I most enjoyed during 2013 and it was...


Before I start, I need to stress that this film TECHNICALLY came out in 2012 but literally the arse end and I saw it in January so I had to count it otherwise it would have missed both lists. It's ironic that my 2012 film of the year 'Cabin in the Woods' was filmed 2 years prior to release so I do have form of cheating like this.

This was the only film on the list that I've wanted to watch again almost immediately and I did. Silver Linings is a drama, a comedy, a Rom-com with some dirty dancing sprinkled in. It's a movie of many genres. It's so sweet and sexy. 

The acting isn't something you'd rave on about with a film starting Bradley Cooper, Chris Tucker (?!) and an aging Rob DeNiro, who for the most part of the 2000's hasn't bothered to act his way through a film. Everyone is amazing here, especially DeNiro, he clearly felt a connection to the script and portrayed an additive OCD father effectively. Bradley Cooper's best film by far and finally Jennifer Lawrence seems to pick and choose projects as if she knows every one will be golddust.
Speaking of Lawrence, dear god, she's hot in this film. Maybe it's just me but everytime she's on the screen whether it's in a diner, a gym or a dance hall, she is simply captivating.

There are people I know who have seen it who I wouldn't normally think would like this film but did and it shows how broad the appeal is. The director David O Russell has had a good record run of quality films since Three Kings and The Fighter but also the upcoming American Hustle which is also slated for Oscar nominations.

When all's said and done, Silver Linings Playbook is my film of they year because it made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me happy and it made me sad.

Roll on 2014!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Adam's Films of the Year - No 2


This was my No1 film until 24 hours ago when I changed my mind back to my original choice. Directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips is the 'true' story about a cargo ship overtaken by Somali pirates and the rescue mission that was put in motion. The acting is so raw and realistic it's almost as if it was improvised on the spot. Tom Hanks is on his A-Game here especially in his last scene but it's the Somali pirates that steal (no pun intended) the show. Apparently the American based actors who played the pirates were plucked from obscurity during city auditions across the country but you'd think they had played law-breakers all their lives.
The film itself isn't given any kind of Hollywood makeover, what happened during the film apparently happened in real life. The only contradiction seems the be the bravery of the captain himself. According to the actual crew, Captain Phillips was 30 miles from the African Coast whereas all ships were advised to stay over 100 miles away from it. It is this behaviour that some of the crew stated that Phillips flouted as if he wanted to be boarded but the film ony shows the 'brave and courageous Captain Phillips'. To put all that to one side, I picked this as my no 2 film because it was absolutely gripping and intense. I didn't remember how the actual events played out so it was new to me but I'd guess that viewers who did know the story would find it equally exciting.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Adam's Films of the Year - No 3


It was the film that started Summer 2013 and it ended it as the best of the lot. The original Iron Man film was fresh, cocky and took a hell of a risk in Robert Downey Jnr and it turned out to be amazingly perfect casting. The sequel, in my opinion was a step backwards and after The Avengers, this was to be the first foray into Marvel's phase two programme and it needed to be special and it was. The seeds for the success can be found back in 2005, three years before Downey Jnr even put on the suit. Some of you may not remember the 'other ' Robert Downey Jnr but to put it simply he was a loose cannon, a older Charlie Sheen, or older (I don't know how old they are) anyway, he was a drug and alcohol fuelled genius who could act when he wanted to and be terrible if he wanted to. But in 2005 he was given a chance to star in a film called KISS KISS BANG BANG and if you haven't seen it, stop reading this and find it. It's a Christmas film set against seedy modern Hollywood with pulp crime influences. It was a fantastic flick and it brought together RDJ with the director Shane Black. As with most masterpieces, Kiss Kiss didn't do well initially but found its feet on home DVD and fast forwarding to 2013, they were reunited once more. You may think Tony Stark had good dialogue as is but with Black's involvement, it went to another level. Another plus was the introduction of the villain, The Mandarin. I personally found the arc of this character to be genius but sole hardcore comic fans balked at the twist. If you don't read the comics, which I don't, then I think you'd side with me. If it weren't for the continuation of the Marvel universe, I'd say this placed a neat bow on the trilogy but as Iron Man AND RDJ are both retuning for Avengers 2.0, it will be a strange thing to undo all the good work of this film. Anyway, Tony Stark makes it to No3 and this goes next to other comic book films such as X2, The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 2 as sequels that were better than their originals.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Adam's Films of the Year - No 4


The only fully fledged comedy on the top 10 list but also the only one to 50 pints of lager. As we all know, this is the finale to The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy which started with Shaun of the Dead and continued with Hot Fuzz. The quality hasn't suffered and I found myself smiling throughout the entire film for the simple reason that I love seeing Pegg and Frost on screen together. Seeing as they used to sleep together (not like that) it's no wonder they have chemistry only the Chuckle Brothers could compete with. The best thing about this film is the attention to detail and the back and forth dialogue that gives you little chance to laugh at because you're already listening to another great line. Pegg and Frost are supported by a very strong British cast that would normally be found in some gritty Indie melodrama with Mike Leigh. Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan has flirted with Hollywoodland in the past but never quite latched on but their comic timing is surprisingly on the mark. The direction has Edgar Wright stamped all over it and it seems his fight scenes has improved after his time fighting the world with Scott Pilgrim. In my opinion, it only lacks two things, a realistic and funny female romantic element (sorry Rosamund Pike but I will never like you) and a decent ending (just didn't connect with it once they reached 'The Worlds End'). However all in all, it didn't sully the mark left with Shaun and Fuzz. Pint?

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Adam's Films of the Year - No 7- 5

7. 
It's hard to know whether Peter Jackson really wanted to spend another 10 years of his life, given that the original director Guillermo Del Toro chickened out, filming the world of Middle Earth. The first installment of The Hobbit just didn't feel right and featured so much introduction, we didn't get to see much action. However this time around, it gets serious and all the better for it. It's as if The Two Towers had a little brother with enjoyable ways of decapitating Orcs, separate journeys within the group and even some Legolas action. The final third is mixed as it features the introduction of Sherlock, sorry, Khan, sorry Smaug the Dragon but also a boring and lazy stopover to Laketown with Stephen Fry. Martin Freeman once again shines as Bilbo but when you leave the cinema, if you think back, he didn't say an awful lot in terms of dialogue. Best bit? The 'barrel' sequence halfway through which brings to the fore the fact that this is much more family orientated than its older brother LOTR. 

6. 

Ahhh yes, supposedly the film of the year. Well it is quite good but it's the visual bells and whistles that provides all the hype. What you 'see' is what you've heard from anyone who has seen it, a visual masterpiece. This breaks new ground for D, digital filmmaking, even space photography. In fact the 3D is so well presented, that the man who hates the medium more than anyone, Mark Kermode actually advised you to watch it in three dimensions. So what makes Gravity miss out on the top 5? Well it's literally one astronauts journey from A to B. But not a journey that's filled with backstory or witty dialogue, it is LITERALLY about getting from A (danger) to B (safety) and that's it. The dialogue as mentioned is really quite awful but this is all about the mise en scene. It deserves to be seen on the big screen and if you haven't yet seen it, you're probably too late. The weird thing is that if someone watches Gravity in 6 months time on Lovefilm, they will say "God this isn't all that!" simply because I don't think the experience will translate to the small screen.

5. 

A slow burning drama concerning the abduction of two young children in a wintery American suburb. Sounds like a load of ole melodramatic phooey. And it is melodramatic but I was hooked. I started watching this in bed on my ipad at 9am and I had to leave the house at 12pm and this film is three hours long. I watched it all in one sitting and I hardly ever watch films in one sitting at home anymore. But I literally couldn't stop and I felt I owed it to the movie to do it before I left. The acting in the film is top drawer, even Hugh Jackman but the star of the show is Jake Gyllenhaal who really shines in a somewhat understated standard detective role which could easily have been boring as balls. The fact is that we don't even know if the prime suspects did it until the very end and it leaves it hanging very nicely. I'm not saying there's gonna be Prisoners 2 : Electric Boogaloo just that I loved it beginning to end. I know some people won't (and don't) like the film, they may even go as far as to say its slow and boring. But give it a try and see what you think. 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Adam's Films of the Year - No 10 - 8


If it isnt apparent already, I'm no film reviewer, which means that I haven't seen every film this year so the list is only as good as my dedication and free time. Saying that I have seen over 70 films this year, half of which released in this calendar year so I do feel some justification in my choices. So let's begin.....

Just Missing Out - Elysium, Zero Dark Thirty, Wreck it Ralph, The Wolverine, World War Z.

10. 

Superman Returns is a strange thing to follow. It seemed to me that the reaction to the film was similar to Titanic, Avatar and Phantom Menace. It received decent/good reviews and decent word of mouth at the time but fast forward a few years and it seems to get crapped on a lot. So We pretend it never happened that Clark did/didn't have a super baby that could push a piano a few feet.
Back to 2013 and Warner Bros give it another shot but this time they employ the man of the moment, Chris 'Trenchcoat' Nolan. From then Man of Steel follows Batman Begins' origin formula and tone quite closely. Which isn't a bad thing. Zack Snyder directs, and this is the guy who has previously adapted 2 comic books to screen (300/watchmen). The action was well staged and most of the films controversy has come from the level of destruction Metropolis receives. I personally don't see the issue. The Avengers brought the fight to New York and no one cared. The whole film was well acted and looked amazing throughout. My favourite element of Man of Steel however is the new Superman theme. I must have listened to it 100 times since summer and it gives me goosebumps everytime

9. 
You won't see this movie on practically anyone's best of list so far and maybe it wouldn't make mine if I had seen some more Oscar contenders. But it's on here for one simple reason, it does what it sets out to do. It's Die Hard in the White House. I've had a soft spot for anything concerning the president since The West Wing so this is right up my Diagon Alley. Terrorists storm the White House and demand the usual stuff terrorists demand. But the president's old bodyguard and ex-chum is determined to  cancel the party, McClane style. Grittier and more intense than its poor rival, White House Down, this played the hand it was dealt and gave a solid action thriller.

8.  
I wasn't blown away by the first installment as I felt its scope was quite small. It also used the same trick as Transformers in that the final third of the film takes place on one street (cost cutting) but it had decent humour and likeable characters. It's 2013 sequel comes off the back of The Avengers and this time it had to pack a serious punch to continue the work of 'phase two' and luckily it did just that. It's definitely bigger and better but not sure about 'darker'. It features a lot of gags, some of which ill timed (tube), some coming out of the mouth of an annoying actress (Kat Dennings) but a lot hit the mark. The action is split between Earth and Thor's gone world but it's only when Loki is released from captivity that the film hits full pelt. It's box office performance has been good enough to see a third solo outing but it will never reach the heights of Iron Man or Supes.

The countdown continues later this week. 

Adam Yates

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Worst films of the year

Soon I will compile my top 10 of the year. I just have a few more I want to watch before confirming it. But I doubt my worst five will change so here they are....

5. 
Jason Bateman has a thing with swapping body movies and this isn't too far from that. But the joke falls flat very quickly and a running gag concerning a punch to the throat gets tired after the 5th attempt. Both stars undoubtedly have great comedy timing but it's simply another on the road-buddy comedy getting from A to B which in America I'm sure is hard but us Brits can get from one end of the country to the other in 4 hours (or even 3 if we pay for a Pendolino).

4. 
Weird tone, not funny and at one point, Mark Wahlberg's character wanders around the EXACT apartment complex as Dexter Morgan and that just took me out of the movie completely. I didn't even finish the final third cause I was so bored and uninterested.

3. 
Part Two was a bit amusing but The Hangover Part 3 is beyond the realms of reality. It's almost as if it's characters now know they are in a film as they no longer act as regular 30 somethings. The plot isn't a shade on the original which at least was touching fresh caper. The trilogy also strangely follows the arc of the Ocean's films, the first being in Vegas, the second being a trip abroad and the third signalling a return to where it all began. They never should have left.

2. 
Let me make this clear, I'm not saying this is one of the worst of the year in a quality sense, of course there are worse movies. But at least with them, you expect shitness. This is on the list because of the anticipation and that it failed to deliver so fantastically. The 2009 predecessor was fantastic, fast paced and possessed so much heart and sparkle. This was a tremendous letdown. Not everyone agrees with me but honestly I could easily recite through the precious film's scene by scene but I can hardly remember anything about this film.  JJ Abrams recently admitted that keeping the obvious identity of Benidict Cumberbatch's character a 'secret' was a mistake. Every fan knew he was Khan but the makers denied it right up to the end and when it was revealed in the film, we all didn't care. Plus the new crew of the Starship Enterprise are on a different path than the original so the whole Kirk/Spock death scene is just a nostalgia play. If you haven't grasped it by now, I hated this film not because it's shit but because it didn't capture me the same way the first did and for that it made me very sad.

1. 
I LOVE DIE HARD.
I LOVE DIE HARD 2
I LOVE DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE
I LOVE DIE HARD 4.0

I HATE THIS FILM

A few years ago I attempted to stay away from watching trailers, photos and TV spots for The Dark Knight Rises. I practically made it into the film blind and it was a great showing of my self control. I decided to do it again with this film and I wish I hadn't because if I had seen a trailer I could have saved myself £7 quid. John McClane is an American everyman hero, yes he got a bit silly in the fourth installment but placing McClane in another country is as wrong as hearing that your parents once had sex. It may have happened but you don't wanna see it. In this film we see McClane's 'son' we last saw briefly as a child in the second film but now he's an unlikeable beefcake with a massive head. And he's a spy, I think. I forget. And Bruce Willis is still a cop, I think. I forget. And they both shoot the shit out of Russia with minimal visuals of any kind of police presence. Then there are the special effects...sigh.....one sequence shows father and son exit a building through the window and then land on a handily placed structure all in one shot....it's fucking dire. I urge you all, if you like Die Hard, don't sully it by watching this. Although if it were you telling me it wouldn't stop me but I wish it would.

Notable Mentions -

White House Down - lost the race to release by Olympus Has Fallen and relied too much on CGI.
The Internship - a 98 minute Google advert with old looking wedding crashers.  And then Owen Wilson has it off with Rose Byrne, where's the justice in that?!
Jobs - a poor mans Social Network. iMitation.

Next week - My top films of the year 10-6
Adam Yates

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

#16 Accident and Emergency


It's 10pm on Tuesday evening and the baby is unusually active. What's even more unusual is that the living room is filled with 6 exhausted family members laughing at every move that Amelia makes. The reason we're doing this is because of the traumatic event that occurred 6 hours earlier.

Whilst I was returning home from a work visit to Llandudno, I received a call from an unknown number. I tend to not answer them as I simply hear about PPI but I decided to press accept and as expected heard the voice of a complete stranger but this time her voice was local and filled with genuine concern. The call lasted less than a minute but by that point I was throwing myself forward on the bus as if I thought I could somehow propel the 52A to reach its destination as quickly as possible. The reason why I was doing this was because I had just learned that my 18 month daughter had just fallen into the canal....still strapped into her buggy.

I was ten minutes away but it felt like ten miles and once I got off and ran towards the scene, the seriousness had spread. Two police cars and multiple members of the public were waiting for me as well as two ambulances, one of which unaware to me had just passed me with my daughter inside en route to Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

I was only operating mentally at all due to the fact that the stranger on the phone had informed me that despite the event, child and childminder were not seriously hurt. The family childminder was situated in the back of a car, delirious with shock and pain that she couldn't see Amelia, who by now was halfway to hospital. She  was soaking wet and already worried that I'd disown her and cut her branch of the family tree clean off. Meanwhile the stranger caller now had a face and was re-enacting her version of events. Somehow the pram has lost it's footing on the side of the canal and despite best efforts plunged into the Leeds-Liverpool canal head first. The childminder immediately jumped in and raised the pram above sea level but due to a vicious shopping spree filled with potatoes and carrots was unable to keep the pram safe. Instead she managed to instead the child and concentrated on the baby sans buggy. By this point, the minder's feet had become wedged in canal mud 6 feet below water and panic increased with the sounds of screaming from both woman and child. Those screams were heard by 'the stranger' and her partner who raced over a bridge, down steps and to the canal edge. Baby was immediately rescued as was minder, who suffered a bad wrist strain being innocently pulled from her possible doom.

With the worst over, it became a race against time to restore warmth and calm to my daughter and wet clothes were substituted for dry adult sizes garments which was the shirt term solution before a very speedy response by two thirds of the emergency services. The baby was declared fit for life and given age appropriate emergency clothing and bundled into an ambulance and driven past my running self.

With my childminder en route the opposite way to Fazakerley Hospital, I was given a ride by the police to Alder Hey. Before that happened I said thanks to all concerned and surveyed the other survivor to this tale, the buggy. Other than wet and smelling of Bootle it was otherwise also alive. By this point while I was racing to Alder Hey, my other half had been informed by 'the stranger' of the last ten minutes and had left her place of work to rush to her daughters bedside.

After a frustrating amount of traffic and decent small talk with PC Somebody, I got to Alder Hey first (winner) and heard Amelia's cries 100m before finally being reunited with her. She was wrapped in what seemed like a brown sack and looked blotchy and upset. My parental XP was dramatically increased once she began to calm down in my arms but that was soon quashed when Sarah ran in with tears not far behind. The doctors reassured us that she appears quite well aside from a fishy odour and a slightly lower body temperature.

This good news was however, not as accessible to our family members who were beginning to hear the news second hand. My calls to the worried family ranged from delirious panic to controlled concern. My demeanour during all this had been rather calm with no visible tears, of which later on my wife was angry to hear about given that I had easily blubbed through the third act of Toy Story 3.

We spent three hours in A&E to see that Amelia was confidently free from danger which is difficult when we had no clothes, appropriate food or milk or even a pair of shoes, which she had lost to the sea. Eventually after I moaned at the nurses, we were able to take her home to comfortable surroundings with Sky TV. During all this, we also had the childminder at the other hospital and family members were split to help each party. She was desperate to see Amelia and receive a form of closure to the whole event and she got that chance as I write this now. A lot of tears were witnessed and Amelia was happy to forgive her as long as tickles, kisses and baby talk were in heavy supply.

With that, Amelia is now happily asleep after her cold dip and several people will be thanked after their help, support and warm wishes. Perhaps most of all should be given to the two people that potentially save Amelia's life. First of which is 'the stranger' who heard the screams and literally gave a helping hand. She has been in touch and is excited to meet Amelia under better circumstances later this week. The second lifesaver is undoubtedly the family childminder. Yes, Amelia fell in the canal on her watch but she also jumped into action immediately and put her own life on the line. Thanks to you all.

It was maybe the longest day of my life but it has taught me a thing or two, one of which is that I'm a parent and although I have been so for eighteen months now, I now know what it really means to be one.

Adam Yates

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

#15 MTV VMA WTF?


Last night I witnessed an event that I will never be able to forget. If aliens landed and suddenly decided to judge us by what we watch, they would have thought we were incomprehensible, half naked, egotistical morons, half of which needed sunglasses to be able to see indoors.

This event was, of course, the MTV Video Music Awards. It doesn't as much present awards to the best but rather to the 'artist' with fans who are willing to vote 73 times without blinking. It also serves as a sounding board for new releases by the worlds biggest strippers...I mean...pop stars. This year was no exception with the likes of Lady Gaggag, Kanye Northwest and Katherine Perry all vying for your attention using various methods. Lady Gaga opened the show by staring at us with egg white surrounding her face. I was simply watching the show but I felt like she was in the room with me, judging me for being too normal looking. She proceeded to produce rhythmic noise and change outfits periodically throughout. There was a big sign behind her which said 'applause' which is rumoured to be the name of the noise but could also be a reminder to the audience once it ends. Then the show sprinted through awards that had been handed out to non celeb, technical folk in a matter of seconds. Because we don't want to see people, we want freaks and boy did we see one next.

UK viewers could have known in advance what was about to appear as we had the broadcast a day later but those in the crowd were oblivious to the torture they were about to witness. A performance featuring man of the summer, Robin Thicke and former child talent turned slut, Miley Cyrus the Virus. She came out of a teddy bear and decided her best attribute was her irregularly sized tongue as she continuously protracted it out of her mouth every 4 seconds. She was apparently singing but my ears couldn't decipher the chords or lyrics. The drivel eventually stopped and out came Thicke who was about to get an inch thicker once he encountered Cyrus. His uber-hit Blurred Lines kicked in and Miley played along and danced promiscuously around her mate until she presented herself to him in the style of, what the kids call 'twerking' and promptly twerked her bottom inside Robin Thicke's crotch. It was sickening. There were little kids in that audience, 'lil Suzy, 'lil Bobby, 'lil Kim. The day after, a photo emerged of Will Smith and his kids looking positively shocked at what they were seeing, Jaden was beyond shock and he was in After Earth so he knows bad when he sees it. Miley eventually scuttled backstage either aware of the uproar that would follow or oblivious to her actions.

But alas the earth continued to rotate and the show went on.

The rest of the show consisted of various black people who I didn't recognise (no, they don't all look the same, I just don't know them) and attempted to be funny by saying "ass like a yam","damn girl" and doing some gang sign with their hands whenever they said more than 4 words. It kinda looks when you spill beer on your fingers and you need to flick it off. One Direction won some shit and talked some nonsense and that was pretty much it.

Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars performed and won some awards. They actually contain some talent and was the only watchable part of the show. Katy Perry then closed the proceedings with a elaborate boxing ring set and a song we couldn't really hear very well due to her lack of skill when it comes to live gigs.

Is this what music is nowadays? How can MTV present awards for music when their main channel doesn't broadcast any? All they show now is two-worded reality experiments. Is it any wonder kids are getting dumber and hang around street corners more than ever before? It's because they can only learn speech from passers by and they then reteach it to their 'crew in form of chinese whispers.

Wanna see how bad music is at the moment? Go to channel 350 (or 310 if you're poor) and scroll through one at a time. This is the common result:

Unknown Rnb
Gaga
Unknown RnB
Advert
Nostalgic Tat
Old Rock chart
Rnb
Old Pop chart
Chart show
Chart show 
Scuzz?!
Chart Show
Advert
Advert
Beyonce

If you get to women's cricket you've gone too far.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

My Daughter in a Nutshell


Name?
Amelia Rose Yates. Also goes by name of Millie Moo, Baba and Naughty!

Age?
17 months.

Key Skills
Clapping hands, taking PS3 games out of the console, eating, disconnecting the broadband.

Likes?
Peppa Pig (episode Goldie the Fish), drinking other people's drinks, Hollyoaks theme tune, hiding behind curtains.

Dislikes?
Having her nails cut, having her hair washed, having her hair dried, goodbyes.

First word?
Dada

Currently...
Infected with Chicken-Pox.

Typical Day?
7.30am wake up, 8am breakfast, 11am-1pm nap time, 1.30pm lunch, 2-6pm playtime, 6.30pm dinner, 7.30pm bath, 8pm read books, 830pm bottle and sleepy times.

Fave film? 
Beauty and the Beast

Fave songs?
Brokenhearted by Karmin, 212 by Azelia Banks.

Fave Toy?
At the moment this ...

Fave parent?
Well she can only say Dada so what do you think?

Most likely to be when she grows up?
Thief

Adam Yates

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Bonus - Bale in a Nutshell




Ok let's begin...WTF is a Gareth Bale?

Arguably it's not an it but a he. He is human. Well he's Welsh so lets say half human.

Occupation?

Footballer turned global brand. Employed by Tottenham Hotspur but currently subject to a headhunting bid by Rèal Madrid.

Rèal Madrid? They're good.

Yeah. If you compared clubs to TV stations, Tottenham are BBC Three (plucky but ultimately lose their best shows to BBC1) and Madrid are Sky One (throws cash at any show that's already established, steals it and airs it even though less people will watch).

So is Gareth good or is he over the hill?

Not at all. He's not even reached his prime according to pundits. In today's market, he's totally worth the £100 million that Rèal have offered.

£100 MILLION?! I could buy 16 pairs of pants from Hollister for that and still get some change?

Ermmm.....I guess.

Don't players have contracts?

They do but they're written on invisible ink it seems as Gareth Bale has had 5 new contracts doled out in the last 5 years. His latest one runs out in 2016 hence the large bid.

Why Spain and not an English team?

Simply put, Bale's own performances have priced him out of what English clubs can afford. Add to that, the fact that Spurs don't want him lining up against them twice a year and making them look foolish to their fans who once adored him. Spain as seen as the holy grail of a footballers career due to its history and financial strengths.

Financial Strengths?! Spain are broke? I saw it on Top Gear.

As are Rèal Madrid. But they have enormous long term loans that keep them afloat. Luckily not provided by Wonga.

If Tottenham sell, what will they do with the money?

Firstly Spurs will have to...

Woahhh..Who the fuck are Spurs?

Sorry, Spurs is the nickname of Tottenham Hotspur.

Oh ok. Continue

Spurs will have to give £2 million to Southampton FC. They trained Bale and as such they receive compensation.

Sweet!

No, not sweet. Originally they were also due to receive 15% of any future sale of Bale which would have meant a minimum of £10 million however they relinquished that clause when they ran into financial difficulty a few years back. Spurs threw them a couple mil to keep them afloat and subsequently miss out on the big pay day this summer.

That's fucking sly that.

Bit funny though.

Haha yeah. So when's he off then?

The deadline for summer transfers is 31st August and Gareth has been suspiciously absent from all of Tottenham's pre season games. Of course he could stay until January but the fee would come down.

Sounds like a done deal. Is that it? Can I get on with my life now that I've given you 2 minutes of my attention? Will you stop hassling me to 'Like' and 'Share' this fucking blog?

Yes, yes and no.

Adam Yates









Thursday, 1 August 2013

#14 Quote Me Happy!


If you were asked by a stranger on the street on a scale of 1-100 how happy you're generally feeling, would you reply with 77? Because that's what the latest figures suggest coming out of a government survey published this week. National happiness is at 77% which is a small rise from the previous year. Some have suggested that we're somehow still drunk from the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee and that when we wake up everyday, we just reminisce about Super Saturday and Prince Phillip's pneumonia battle watching that shit regatta on the Thames.

So if you don't believe in the above, then what else is the cause for our glee? The robots fighting monsters flick Pacific Rim came out last week and coincidentally is scoring a 7.7/10 on IMDB. Could the survey have been mistakenly held near a local Odeon and had simply caught all of the recent cinema goers? Probably not. Emeli Sande has been moderately quiet since the Olympics. That's enough to make anyone ecstatic but she's got a new video out this week so it can't be that. Maybe it's simply down to one thing....life is good at the moment. But would you give your life a 7/10? I wouldn't. Yes I have a lovely home that's filled with modern facilities, a wife, daughter and a toastie maker but the coalition didn't give me any of that. I have a job that's considerably underpaid and one that lives in a challenging industry that's competing with the likes of Amazon who pay no corporation tax. What about the constant cuts to council budgets that will soon see us lose our culture, playing fields and police officers?

What the survey doesn't tell us is maybe the most important details....when and where? If I wanted to 'juke' the stats of this particular questionnaire, I'd only ask at a certain time of day. If it were London, I'd ask on a Friday at 5.01pm in a beer garden. If it were Bradford, it would be outside the benefit office when someone has just been handed a cheque for applying for 2.5 jobs. But seriously, the timing of the survey is important especially if they asked the public on the weekend. Obviously nearly all of us would prefer to be off work during weekends but we can't have everything. Did you know a massive 27% of working Britain work Sundays compared to 15% of the rest of the EU? Deducting 27 from 100 leaves 73 which is mightily close to the 77% figure. Surely the government rang the middle class on the sly on Sunday afternoon whilst us minions were working for 'the man' thereby giving themselves the best chance of happiness? Especially if they rang between Sunday Brunch and Channel 5's Sunday movie marathon as no one can resist the charm of Simon Rimmer and Flight of the Navigator on the same afternoon?!

Overall I can't simply believe that such a high amount of people are 'that happy'. We're a nation a fucking moaning twats, me included. We watch depressing soaps such as Eastenders but have Ofcom on speed dial just in case Phil Mitchell shows the glimpse of a blood-soaked pube. We are convinced the countries is full of rapists, immigrants and nunchucks even though recorded crime is at a 20 year low. Music has never been more retarded thanks mostly to incomprehensible RnB filling the charts. Danny Dyer still finds work and Craig David is convinced he will still 'break America' simply because he has enough money to fly there. Freddo's cost....ya know I don't even know how much they cost anymore. The country's on its arse, how can anyone be happy?

Five ways to make Britain happier -

1. Dress down Fridays for everyone....even Pallbearers, Scallies and that security guard by the baskets in Primark.
2. The ability to safely turn left on a red light.
3. Hand drawn Disney films.
4. Ban the production of sad looking dogs made out of sand in City Centres.
5. Limit the National Lottery show to 10 minutes and 2 draws.

See? Aren't you happier in a world that doesn't feature Sand-Dogs? So to summarise, that survey is a load of me arse? I leave you with this.

Scouting for Girls have released a Greatest Hits album? Still 77% happy?

Adam Yates

Monday, 22 July 2013

#13 The Kate Wait is Over!



The following exchange was made between a Sky News correspondent and a medical expert outside the hospital where Kate had just arrived in labour following a confirmation by the Royal Family:
Sky - "Can we take it as some kind of sign that she's soon to give birth now?"
Expert - "Errrr yes she's ready to have the baby."

It's clear from that pow-wow that however many months of preparation the press has had to cover this story, ultimately they only have two real pieces of news to cover. One being the announcement of labour, the other the announcement of birth. Between that is up to them. Dozens of experts have been on standby for their moment in the spotlight but when it was first reported it seemed like the only ones available were the unemployed ones that were up early enough to answer the phone. By lunchtime the real professional experts were preparing to sit down behind their messy academic bookshelves to be beamed via satellite into our homes.

As Sky once more put it ever so eloquently "The Kate wait is nearly over."

Luckily the child is being born into a open society where he/she is free to pursue any career aspirations they so wish and not be forced into any type of occupation...

The baby will be called HRH Prince or Princess X of Cambridge, and will one day be head of the armed forces, supreme governor of the Church of England, and the head of state of 16 countries, as well as head of the Commonwealth.

So a super-soldier, a mega-vicar and leader of over a dozen nations. Not bad for someone who hasn't yet mastered the art of opening their eyes or controlling their bowels.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, The Guardian opened up their live blog coverage almost immediately, usually reserved for middle eastern revolutions and hacking scandals and gave us the advanced credentials of Dr Alan Farthing as seen below:

So who will be there? As far as we know, Prince William is with his wife; also present will be the Queen's obstetrician and gynaecologist team of Marcus Setchell and Alan Farthing. Farthing was the fiance of murdered BBC presenter Jill Dando.

I hope that Alan is able to concentrate on delivering this baby and not dwelling on his murdered soulmate because Kate needs the best and the best she indeed has. A state of the art delivery suite with 'Satellite TV and champagne on ice if the parents wish to celebrate after birth.' Having seen after-birth, drinking champagne would be the last thing I would do to settle my troubling tum.

By 2pm the latest theory seems to be revolving around the fact that a full moon was responsible for kick starting many a broken water but many scientists have no actual proof of this. Due to lack of evidence the cameras turn (literally) to focus on the amount of press situated outside the hospital. ITV's Daybreak seemed to think the whole thing is ridiculous before cutting to their own correspondent who has been given a shit vantage near the bins and the homeless man who claims to invented the speech bubble.

By now the Twittersphere was having a orgy of hashtags thrown at them. #royalbaby #royalbabynames #Diana and most alarmingly #Tescofood. Photoshop creativity went into full production mostly riffing on either The Lion King or that John Terry has struck his sexual balls into the royal goal.

Meanwhile back at The Guardian, the blog appeared to realise the trouble they were in by republishing derogatory comments about its own coverage as if they know it's pathetic but they can't stop now:
@Suzanne_Moore wrote "Things that need banning. Live blogging the dilation of a woman's cervix actually."

Monday 5pm - And still no royal declaration. To fill the blog, The Guardian decided to shame publicly owned properties into showing their patriotism and verbally called out Trafalgar Square and The Shard to put on special events or displays to which they caved almost immediately by turning the lights on blue or pink dependant on the sex of the baby.
Over the pond, the US networks were having a field day drafting in posh looking chaps such Ben 'Typhoo' Fogle to be a special correspondent for the day. Kind of like when Newsround sends some kids to the premiere of The Chronicles of Narnia to ask childish cutesy questions like "what's your favourite colour in a rainbow?".

Breaking news! Nearly 12 hours after the initial labour announcement we have a baba boy. Which means 2% less press intrusion but 277% more sex scandals in the 2033 Sunday People. Less Hello magazine features and more of that horse sport with a stick. So it was all wrapped up in one day which is nice. The worlds media will carry on until Kate leaves the hospital and probably follow her in a tunnel ironically. But before that we get a quick glimpse of the future king when they wheel her out for show. The child's limb movements, according to the following days papers either resembles a royal wave or a two fingered salute.

Tuesday 8am - BBC Breakfast are at Buckingham Palace watching a 200 year old announcement easel just in case it bursts into flames. Suzanne Reid doesn't look as fit in the outdoors, BBC should write that in their annual report. Back in the studio, they've roped in the boss of Mothercare to talk about merchandise having estimated over £200 million will be spent on spin off products but the boss ended up saying it won't make too much difference in his shops so that was useful.

The editors pages are littered with complaints that the royal baby story has been milked to the max and license fee payers will demand the head of BBC news's head on a pike and placed on the bones of Jimmy Saville and Gordon the Gopher.

And so the world finally reverts back to normal. It's now Wednesday 5pm. The royal parents have took their child to one of those counties with Shire at the end to get some Middleton support and its back to the usual 24 hrs news. You know what I mean. Those high court results that you don't really care about but are more interested in what movie posters are on the London buses behind the reporter. Maybe a government U-Turn on something involving a pasty. It's a shame Have I Got News for You isn't on air at the moment as you wouldn't have to look far for some light hearted banter regarding it all. I leave you with the Daily Express letters column and the readers who clearly hate the kerfuffle but love the attention their words will get if printed so they try to act like massive ball-sacks.

Goodnight you prince of Cambridge, future King of England. May the lullabylic tone of The Archers send you into a 5* sleep on a bed filled with dodo feathers.

Adam Yates






Monday, 15 July 2013

#12 I'm Hired


With The Apprentice reaching its conclusion last night it seems fitting to announce my intention to enter the entrepreneurial club in the near future. If bloody Luisa-flash-tits can have 73 successful businesses then why cant I? I don't need the retail politics, unnerving amount of job losses and general negativity that surrounds the work minority. That being said, It would only be a small online biz so my full time position would still exist but any profit would be amazing.

It all started when I checked Go-Daddy.com for the domain name of my daughter to check if its available for purchase. My reasons being that if she became a child actor or tennis sensation, then I would have the website already rather than barter with some meow-meow fuelled troll who's looking for his next fix. From that initial search I went to my own name, maybe for the blog you're reading right now and then I began to plunder through my wacky business ideas I've had over the years.

Multi-Story-Cemetery.com

Space is dwindling people! Have you ever seen a new cemetery being built? Me neither. Some may want to visit their loved ones on their dinner hour. Well now you can with this all new City Centre  facility. Pray and Display! Artificial grass on 8 floors of heavenly respectful mourning, HD tombstones showcasing the memories of the deceased and a video guestbook available to all visitors. Visit 3 or more graves on the same day and parking comes free on your next visit. The RIP-VIP store provides biodegradable flowers, wreaths and magazines for those kids who just get bored.

OrangaTaxi.Co.Uk

Need I say more? The customer who enquiries as to the late whereabouts of their taxi gets through to the switchboard and starts off saying...
"Hiya I rang a taxi..."
"Hello"
"Hi, I rang a taxi..."
"HELLO?"
"No I'm not saying your company I'm telling you my problem"
"Oh ok"
"Right, I rang a taxi..."
"Hello? (Sniggers)"

It's comedy gold, maybe to be followed by liquidation but it would be a humorous caper. Plus the orangatuan mascot in a ford escort would be hysterical.

To my surprise, none of these fabulous ideas had been snapped up however I don't have the real estate nor access to a  fully licensed Orangatuan so those schemes have been put back on hold. Copyright Adam Yates.

So I went on Facebook to share my experience and casually asked a friend of mine that we should set up a small business but the moment I clicked send, I got excited at the prospect and within an hour, the recipient replied to say that he had been wanting to start such a business for a while and that we should start tossing ideas around which we have done for a few days now. At this present time I have come to the conclusion that such a plan requires £1000 start up money, a website/marketplace and creative unique designs which skirt on the border of copyright infringement.

Over the last 24 hours I did begin to doubt myself as I always do but I sell 'be your own boss' books to so many mong-jockeys that I wonder how they can have the self belief and not me? When you walk home after work, everywhere you look there's a person who took a chance and owns their own shop, van or greasy spoon. The business I'm looking into is minimal risk as I'm not aiming to have a physical shop or apply for any loans. If it makes me £50 a month I'd be fucking chuffed as beans.

So keep an eye out for my attempt at world domination, support me where you can, accept my begging requests for  Facebook 'likes' and maybe even buy something on launch day even if you don't want it. Besides you never know when you'll need a kilo of Grade D Cocaine. Kidding.

Adam Yates (wannabe businessman)

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

#11 Hot Air of Desperation

Whoever likes the Sun is a buttmunch!


There I said it. How can anybody like that ball of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields? It's a space hazard that should be put out like a pikey bonfire. Yes I know it would be the end of days but I just can't stand the heat.

I've never enjoyed hot sunny days but I've grudgingly dealt with it because a) I was a child so I didn't have a choice or b) I was married so I didn't have a choice. As a acne free youth I played out a lot and although the sun shone, I was having too much fun to notice but I wasn't having fun BECAUSE of the sun but despite it. Then in my teens on holidays abroad, I would walk to the local tourist shoppe and buy myself a 2 day old Daily Mirror and hide under the parasol until the moon came to scare the star away.

But my hatred of sunshine was at its worst in Las Vegas. I was under age so I couldn't gamble or drink so all that remained was to sightsee. The heat was UNBEARABLE! The hottest place I have ever stood. The whole family ran from bus stop to bus stop to keep out of its wrath before we ended up in one of the strips many air conditioned resorts. After that experience I spent most of my time in the hotel room even at night when the rest of the family enjoyed Vegas shows.

Someone told me this week, ironically whilst we were sweltering in a city centre beer garden, that the sun is technically only 20 years old as its cycle around the solar system has only occurred some 2 dozen times in its lifetime. I do tend to hate 20 somethings pretending to be older than they are so maybe this is the reason for my heat rage.

This week I've had a week off work and it's been nothing but sweltering, baby minding, fan altering, perspiring hell. The missus believes the summer heat is a godsend as do millions of like-minded fools. I've always felt that my sweat glands are broken (line up ladies!) and that perhaps I'm just not designed to cope with high temperatures.

I'm writing this under the protection of a 1ft fan blowing cold recycled wind on my ankles whilst my shirt is open similar to a Take That music video, then I shall soon retire to the bedroom which houses a more powerful ceiling fan with 3 glorious speeds. Now if only Apple can produce an app that can blow refreshing air through the iPhone's orifice's because if that was to happen, then I would let that phone do whatever it wants to me and I hope it finds my 3G-spot and blows on it like soup of the day. Boy did that last paragraph get weird?

Adam Yates

Sunday, 30 June 2013

#9 Optimus Prime Minister... (Part One)



For the last couple of months I have been re-watching one of television's greatest dramas, The West Wing. It details the entire presidency of Josiah Bartlett, played by Martin Sheen. It's heavy on dialogue and doing the right thing. Last night I watched a great episode where one of Bartlett's staff attempted to save the future of Social Security (Pensions) for the good for the nation. He finally managed to persuade the opposing party to the agreement but they wanted to take the credit or they would seem weak in the press and within their own ranks. The White House agreed as although it would lose them valuable election brownie points, it would benefit the country regardless of who took credit. 

It made me think and hope that one day OUR government would take such actions for the greater good and not bicker over who thought of it first. Have the balls to introduce, reform or drop any policies that would make Britain a happier, fairer and stronger state.

With this in mind I have compiled 10 ideas if I were in charge of the country. Obviously I'm no politician or economist so I couldn't say if it was possible to do these without a fight or a legal battle but I would say if the only thing in the way was party politics, then we're wasting time.

1. Alcohol and tobacco based medical treatment to be paid in part or in full by the patient.

People on the lash on a weekend can get in trouble on occasion, maybe hurt themselves on a club dancing pole. Yes it was an accident perhaps but they were under the influence and they are responsible for their own safety. Why not fund part of the NHS by emptying the pockets of those who needn't be there in the first place. Same goes for smokers. I'm sorry if you take part in this ridiculous ritual but you're swallowing smoke in your body and you expect for us to help you when you get lung problems?! Yes smokers and drinkers already fund the NHS but it wasn't built for this reason. Where there's smoke, there's fire and where there's a bar, there's a bell-end.

2. Tighter Immigration

Just because I say this, doesn't make me a member of the BNP. It's pure simple maths, we can't afford to run the country for Brits, never mind wannabe Brits.
A 2012 worldwide poll showed 640 million people would move to a different country if they could. Of those 640 million, 7% would want to move here. That's over 40 million people. Obviously it's just a survey but we would generally let all of those 7% in if they asked. 
Way back when, we sent prisoners to Australia as a punishment. Now they have control over who they let in. To prove our worth to the Aussies, we have to be skilled at a profession to be able to assist the country. I want that here also. This is probably my most controversial idea but it would also let us control the rate of population growth which in turn leads to pensions and the housing market.

3. Regenerate the North

The north is dying and we've known it for over 20 years so let's send focus and investment in the region. Now that the steel mills and coal mines are to remain closed for the rest of time we can rebrand the towns to the 21st century. Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Orlando, all places with very specific industries. Take Newcastle/Sunderland for example in the North East. Create our own Silicon Valley on the outskirts of town and create a fast flowing park and ride infrastructure and create free colleges in the towns to train the local school leavers to be able to write computer code and create applications. Take each city or town, see its key strength and focus on it entirely. Liverpool - Tourism (create a larger cruise port, stronger transport to the airport and the town in general)
Blackpool - get the British Las Vegas plan back on track. Unemployment, mortality rates, obesity levels are extremely high in the seaside resort so drastic action is required and its required now.
Birkenhead - a ghost town of its former self, drowning in bargain shops and fast food. Time to find a new beginning. Pharmaceutical business parks?Velodrome? Nuclear power station? Get something in there before its renamed Birkenhead sponsored by Wonga.

These changes need to happen as soon as possible. What the government usually like to do is give us a great vision and then throw it into committees and prolonged periods of consultation and by that time, another party has won an election and want nothing to do with the previous party's plans.

4. Top 500 companies in UK to agree to fill a % of their vacancies with the unemployed.

With so many people desperate for so little vacancies it almost seems unfair to take it from the hands of a dole receiver. Obviously it's the best fit for the job but the unemployed need a first chance and they would arguably give it all they have to succeed. So the top companies in the country would give them that chance. If it doesn't work out with an employee they have the right to terminate, no hard feelings. Incentives could be applied but all in all this would not be a voluntary scheme but a mandatory one. Smaller local business would not be able to waste their resources on this scheme which leads me to the last policy of part one.

5. Tax free new businesses for their first 6 months.

Speaking of business, new ventures deserve all the help they can get. They've just survived getting a loan from the moneymen so now they need some breathing space. The government would leave them alone until they get established or go bust of their own accord. Then they would begin to pay tax either at a lower rate or with a relaxed installment plan.

See? I can do serious, all those are honest to god ideas that I believe in. Send this to your local councillor, congressmen, pimp or stalker.

Part two next week!

Adam Yates

#10 Optimus Prime Minister... (Part 2)

My post last week prompted mild discussion which was enjoyable considering it was just my 5 ideas to fix Broken Britain. Click here to remind yourselves of them if you wish.

As I said, it all came about because of an inspiring West Wing episode where Toby attempted to save Social Security for the future regardless of who eventually took credit for it.

So lets crack on with part 2 - again these are policies that I know would be tough and maybe not popular right now but they are the best for the future. 

As ole Dumbledore once said "Sometimes you have to choose what is right over what is easy."

6. Mandatory inflation rise in wages under 20k a year.

For myself and probably many others, you'd think that the longer you stay in a job you more you earn. This may be because of company annual rises, bonuses or promotion. However most employees under this 20k bracket find themselves getting paid the same, which in reality means less due to inflation and following on from that, increases in utility bills. We (and by that I mean I also as I fall in this bracket) should not fall further down the pecking order simply for being loyal to my company. Therefore the government would enforce a levy to businesses to endure that the lower paid part of their workforce (which also means the most vital and important) are kept above water by increases based on inflation. The money lost by businesses would simply be recouped by less wastage or not rewarding failing bosses and their leaving benefits. This however would not fully pay for this scheme and perhaps the government could help subsidise it but if it means companies lose 1% of their profits then so be it.

7. Life in prison means just that.

This is one I can't believe has not been inplemented yet as I can't see who is defending criminals. Yes people make mistakes and there is plenty of room for second chances but not when it comes to rape, murder and armed offences where there is no room for debate. Why should I potentially miss out on anything from a job or a seat on a bus because some murderer is free to live his life? Will this crowd prisons? Of course, so make more. Really why can't we? What's the worst that could happen? We employ builders to build them and employ officers to man them? There's jobs and investment right there. And the money needed to pay for the extra prisons? Check out no 8.

Too many times have I also heard about some prisoners having more TV channels than I have. No wonder they reoffend. It's a free hotel. So get them working and get them learning. I know this already happens in all prisons but I doubt that its mandatory to take gcse's and degrees. Recently a Prison Officer who wishes to remain anonymous was adamant that the prisoners of today have more human rights given to them than law abiding citizens. Basically I feel that if you have committed a crime then you lose a lot of human rights that you'd enjoy as a free man/woman. Personally I'd reintroduce the death penalty but that'll never happen. There's more chance that Andy Murray will win Wimb....oh.

8. Significantly cut our defence systems

£29.1bn.
That's how much it cost our nation to utilise our defences. But not the whole army and weapons, only one part of it. That whole amount was all spent or is being spent on one-time use military weapons. One time being the term for something we can't use again, for example nuclear bombs, missiles and other equipment such as disposable BBQ's for that one day of summer.
I completely agree there should be a military presence and a strong one at that but I can't understand how we're meant to deter countries with these particular weapons. If a country decided to bomb the UK it would be nearly demolished with one bomb, there would be nothing to fight for anyway even if one of our bombs were situated in a neighbouring country. Besides our allies have plenty between them to protect the world. All that money would solve most of our issues and be used for my other policies.

9. Increase Sports in schools

Never has there been a perfect moment to jump onto sports education. With the Olympics, Lions success and of course Murray Mania, kids are gagging to take part but can't. Broken glass is squatting in most of our public (concrete) tennis courts, drug youths have took refuge by basketball hoops in some homage to The Fresh Prince and swimming pools are getting more and more shallow. We may be enjoying some great sport these last two years but England needs to wake up and realise something....we're not winning most of it. McIlroy (Irish), Murray (Scottish), Lions (mostly Welsh), Bale (Welsh) and many more. So to combat this we need to seriously alter our approach to Sports Ed. Not only for sporting triumphs but for tackling obesity at a young age. Double the lessons, cover food science, lifestyle and schools should specialise in a sport that then compete with other specialist schools. The best moment of school for me was when I had lapped my rivals in a 400m indoor sprint. If I had been worked harder at my next race against the regions best. This may be a blog for the BBC Sports page and not in-between stops on the 52A bus.

10. Nationalise Pay Day Lending

As we have all maybe heard this week, Kerry Katona has been dropped as the whinging face of Cash Lady...due to financial troubles. That's like sacking Stacy Solomon from Iceland because her freezer is full. She's now THE perfect face for pay day lending. However the industry is a parasite feeding on opportunistic flesh and needs to be controlled but not like we control the banks (laughs) but by taking it over. The government becomes your pay day lender. Why not? They would be helping out their own voters with a low interest rate which in turn goes towards subsidising my earlier inflation wage increase therefore lowering the amount of people requiring handouts between payslips. The only loser in all this would be the Jeremy Kyle show which would lose half of its advertisers. Which is even more reason to do it!

Adam Yates

Friday, 28 June 2013

#8 Medical History



A couple of months ago, my child was on a small plastic stool and given that she, at that time, had less control of her limbs,  proceeded to fall to the floor head first. The result was a red mark, a telling off from my other half and a few hours of cuddles to make up for the neglect. Luckily she was slightly injured again today but she was under Sarah's supervision so it balances out in my favour, maybe not the child's.

It reminded me of the times that I had been hurt, injured or ill and of those which ones have stuck with me and which ones have vanished from my already poor memory. So in order to not lose any more recollections, why not throw them into the interweb (or the WW dot as my nan calls it) so that I may always look back on them. Some are minor, some life threatening, some humorous, all true.

1. The Rocking Horse

The first of a double bill with my Aunty as the source of my pain. Small child placed on a Rocking Horse equals happy memories right?
Well imagine my aunty pushed so hard that my three year old body was flung into the horses wooden mane. It has been made apparent that the apparatus may have been faulty or altered by bigger boys but this has not been proven. 
Broken nose.

2. The Chip Shop

My aunty once more had kidnapped me and took me to the local chippy. Back in those days, the owners of your local Chinese would give the children one chip to tide them over till the main event. Well they did to me anyway. I hope it wasn't Asian code for "come back later tonight, more chips, our little secret".
Anyway my aunty placed me on the counter whilst we waited for our order. A couple of minutes passed and I began to cry and whimpered "HAW" "HAW". My aunty didn't know what was wrong with me. Again, back in the day with looser health and safety regulations, the counters of most chip shops would be almost as hot as the fryer itself for some reason. And my baby bottom was plonked right on top of it. I was trying to say "HAWT" "HAWT".
Burnt boils on arse cheeks.

3. The Pool

When I was approximately 6 years old, we went on a beach holiday. I was in the shallow end of the hotel pool when a group of bigger boys taunted me into the deep end. I can't remember the detail of their taints but it was probably along the line of  "hey poo poo head and stupid face". Why I wanted to go near kids who were attacking the smell of my face i'll never know. I waded in the deep end and sunk to the bottom for what seemed like an eternity.
My mum was on the sun lounger, looked up and couldn't locate me so asked my step dad to investigate. He looked down into the pool to see a distressed and airless Adam. He promptly dove in and saved me from death. My treat for not dying was a trip to the local bar where they used to screen pirate copies of the latest cinema releases. I enjoyed Home Alone immensely that evening.
Broken Pride

4. The Asthma Attacks

My asthma is easily controlled. It just so happened that I'm lousy at controlling it. Sometimes I would go days and weeks without a puff of my fresh clean inhaler air thinking I was cured and I would not keep it on my person. However a strong strenuous exercise, mildly amusing stand up comic or especially simply knowing I can't have it can send me into an episode. I've had a couple of hospital visits but the most bizarre was when when I had an attack at home. I was 17 and I was babysitting my sister when an attack began, I had no inhaler and couldn't leave the house due to my parental responsibilities. I made my sister ring for an ambulance and the doorbell rang fairly quickly. However when the door opened, a bright light blinded me. It was followed by a cameraman and a boom operator. The boom operator said "can we film this?" My wheezing lungs failed to allow me to respond but inside I was saying "Film what? My death?". I nodded my consent and as if my life depended on the answer, medical personnel followed through to door. God know what would have happened if I'd said no. They filmed my immediate treatment and I recovered within minutes and they even gave me a ride to my doctors to get an emergency prescription. From then on I was a lot more careful of my appearance during life or death situations. The crew were filming a fly on wall doc 'Trauma' for BBC1. Apparently I was not deemed sick enough as I never made it on air.
15 minutes of shame

I hope you found my tales of woe satisfactory and remember....if you ever ring an ambulance, brush your hair.

Adam Yates