Adam Bird


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Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Tour de France comes to Gravesend!

I had heard about the Tour de France coming to London and Kent this year for a little while, and when I first heard the news I speculated that the route may go pass the flat.

We live on the main road from Dartford and into Gravesend, and it made perfect sense to me that this is where the route would go.

In the past few weeks, with the build up and official announcements on the Tour de France website being made and confirmation by the council, we really will see the Tour de France racing along the Overcliffe and past Pioneer Court!

I am not a cyclist, or a cycling fan per se, but it is great news for Gravesend that the world's largest annual sporting event is passing through! Even better for Steph, Oliver and I, is that we can watch all the action live and uninterrupted from the comfort of our front room!

It is strange how when you see the Tour de France on the TV how they appear to be cycling through idyllic French hamlets, or high in the hills somewhere providing breathtaking views and scenic beauty.

The contrast of the graffitied walls of the Asda entrance on the Overcliffe, the row of arcades and greasy spoons at the top of the town and architectural monstrosity that now passes as Primark will be viewable to not just viewers in the UK but to the world!

Gravesend is not the worst place that the Tour de France will pass through this year, but you get my point!

In fact, it will be really good for the town as a whole. The council mention in the press release that they hope to have allsorts of activities and business opportunities for local businesses, so now is the time to get plans in motion!

I am thinking of dropping an email to Pepsi, or Coca Cola seeing if they would like to put an advert up in our front garden. Anything for a bit of extra revenue - why not?!

Maybe the Oarsome Foursome would like to advertise themselves with a banner from our window?

Whatever product, website address, telephone number is seen as the Cyclists pass Pioneer Court in July will be viewable to a global audience! Surely a chance for someone to cash in?

Even if I don't flog this premium advertising space to the highest bidder, it will be great for everyone along the route to see this sporting race in action. There should create a carnival atmosphere and hopefully become an annual event.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Win a Player

The Coca Cola promotion allowing you to win a player for your club is back!

Just in case you have not seen it, or are reading this whilst drinking a special promotion packet, please please peel off the label and insert the code here!


Why the desperation?
Well Gillingham are in dire straits financially, so cannot afford to be competitive in the transfer market. If they win a prize like this it could help them improve there squad. If there squad improves they could improve there league position! If they improve there league position I am more happier! If I am happier I am nicer to you!

I don't support Gillingham?
That's fine with me, I do! If you are a Manchester Utd, Chelsea or Liverpool fan does your club really need to win anymore players? The answer really is no, so help another club instead, and seeing as I asked so nicely, enter under the Gills!

What else is in it for me?
Well apart from being my friend for eternity you get a chance to win £25,000 for entering. You have a further option of sharing it with me, but I will leave that for your conscience to decide!

I don't drink Coca Cola?
Well, I am not a massive fan either, especially reading these facts (as found on the web):

1.In many (US) states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the truck to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.

2.You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be gone in two days.

3.To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl....... Let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean.

4.The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.

5.To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

6.To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.

7.To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

8.To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan; rap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.

9.To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, And run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze fromyour windshield.

10.The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. It's pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.

11.To carry Coca Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous material place cards reserved for Highly Corrosive materials.

12.The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years! Drink up! No joke. Think what coke and other soft drinks do to your teeth on a daily basis. A tooth will dissolve in a cup of coke in 24-48 hours.

But hey! Who is asking you to drink the stuff! All we need are the labels with the special promotion codes!!

If anyone has any further idea on how to activate a Win a Player label amnesty please let me know!

Good luck, and thanks for listening to my plea!


Thursday, 11 January 2007

Bye Bye Beck's

David Beckham announced today that he will be leaving Real Madrid and signing for LA Galaxy at the end of the season (see BBC Site).

What has this got to do with me? Nothing really, but in the interest of blogging and the abillity to randomly discuss news events I thought I would give my views on this as a) I am a supporter of football and b) David Beckham is probably the iconic footballer of my generation.

Since before Oliver was born I have thought about things that happened to me when I grew up, things that I enjoyed that Oliver will miss. It came about really by reading The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson. I won't write a review now, but it's basically a look back at Brysons life growing up in the 50's and the things that he remembers.

After a lengthly thought process about things from when I was growing up I arrived at a mental list of footballers whom I remember standing out from all the rest, just like when my Dad grew up with Dalgleish, Souness, Cruyff, Moore and many others.

One of the names on my list was David Beckham, whom nobody really needs me to remind them of who he is or what he is remembered for.

There has been much speculation about his future and the probability of him moving to Los Angeles. I wouldn't call myself a fan of his, but there has been so much written about him that you cannot escape following his career, both on and off the field. I was however, always hoping that the Los Angeles stories would remain just that, a story, and that he would come back to the Premiership for a few more seasons, just for the possiblity of being able to say I had seen him play live.

Taking a quick look at the list of footballing names from when I grew up that I can tell Oliver all about such as Cantona, Giggs, Gascoigne, Figo, Ronaldo, Jason Lee and ironically Alexi Lalas (just for his awesome 1994 World Cup beard and is now coach at... LA Galaxy!).

Out of those, Beckham's standout strength being the best crosser of the ball in the world, even now, and you would want him around the box taking a last minute free kick above most others, which is probably another reason why I find it a bit of a shame he is not making a return to the Premiership, and feel that it is a touch premature to be playing in the MSL when he still has a lot to offer.

By Beckham saying "Adios" to the Spanish in May and "Hi" to the Amerian's, Beckham's football legacy will live on for a long time yet. With his soccer school franchise starting to take shape his footballing career taking delivery of one final paycheck.

Beckham as England captain may not have lead us to the World Cup, or fulfilled his own World Cup dream, but there is a chance he could be involved in the next one and the one after that! He could be sitting on his yacht reading a tabloid story all about a dramatic world cup winning goal by a new global megastar who graduated from one of his own academies!

I can just see it now "Gillingham Rookie Oliver Bird lands England on top of the tree" (Or something equally puntastic!)

Monday, 8 January 2007

Finding Normality

Having been off work now since December 18th, tomorrow brings the first step of creating a new normality for us when I go back to work

The past three weeks have gone in a blink of an eye, and it is going to be strange tomorrow not seeing Oliver or Steph all day! In Steph's case she probably cannot wait to get rid of me!

In pre baby times a normal week would be Steph and I at work during the week, in which she would have one day off, I would be home between 7.30 and 9.30 depending on how busy my day has been, or if I have popped downstairs for a quick beer before home! An average weekend would see Steph at work on Saturday whilst I went to football and Sundays we spent the day together doing household chores, shopping, or if we were particularly lazy nothing at all.

Since Oliver arrived and I have been home we have been all over the place in terms of our sleep, our day to day roles and our meal times. There is no going back to the pre Oliver routine, so we can only find a new one!

To be honest, all the time Steph is off work I don't think we are going to cope too badly. The only adjustment we will really need to make is our sleeping situation! At the moment with Oliver in the room with us, he wakes up, we all wake up! With that in mind, I may be spending a few nights on the sofa just so I can get a full nights sleep and not have to worry about crashing on my desk during the afternoons!

Once Steph goes back to work, Oliver will be looked after by my Mum four days a week and Steph the other. I will be having him Saturdays and Sundays will be our only day as a family. In an ideal world Steph will pass her sign language exam and find a new job using her sign language skills which will let us have our full weekends together. It is something we have talked about, but not something we can just go out and do overnight. In the meantime we acknowledge how lucky we are having family help us out and we have not been short of offers from others, which again we are eternally grateful for.

I myself am quite looking forward to going back to work. Staying at home and being chef, nurse, carer and bum changer (twice...) has been great fun, but nothing beats getting out of the house, going to work and being paid for something I really love doing. I am quite lucky aswell in that I work with a great bunch of people, and really enjoy my job. Maybe if my circumstances were different I would be crying all over my keyboard and downing asprins, but for now, I am all prepared and ready to get going again.

It has been an amazing adventure so far, one that hasn't properly started. Only yesterday Oliver smiled for the first time (well.... we recorded yesterday as the first time, but both of us are convinced he smiled at either one of us before hand!), we still have much more to look forward to from him, such as plenty more sleepless night's for a start!

Monday, 1 January 2007

Remembering 2006

I wasn't really going to write this blog at one stage because I didn't really want to tempt fate, afterall if this year has been so great, who is to say that by celebrating it next year is going to go the other way. But I figured each year brings different things and hopefully next year I will be able to write about how well 2007 has gone too. Even if it does bring the unexpected.

But for Steph and I the year 2006 felt like our year.

I got the new job which I had craved for so long, which has since gone like a dream for me. I have really settled in, learnt a huge amount from some talented, intelligent people and earnt a reputation based on hard work and a willingness to help out whenever possible.

Steph, whose broodiness was exposed the day Jessica announced her third pregnancy managed to fulfil her dreams by getting pregnant herself and spent the year nuturing an eventual baby boy, culminating in Oliver's birth on the 21st of December.

A big highlight's for both of us was our week in Fueturventura, which despite Stephs cremated legs was a week both of us will not forget in a hurry! It was a holiday which I believe cemented our relationship together, as we both had a realisation of the pregnancy, our role in it and an our roles together for the future.

I finally managed to get to see Anfield, although not a match but I got to see the parts not many others get to see. I was also lucky enough to visit the new Emirates stadium and see the Premier Leagues biggest game of the year at Old Trafford as Manchester United took on Chelsea.

Jessica and James got engaged and had baby Indigo, so I became an Uncle for the third time and have a wedding to look forward to next year.

To finish the year nicely Dad came home on the 30th of December after the fulfillment of his contract out in Iran, so Jessica and I will have our Dad back. Although he will probably get bored with us all again by March and want to escape to somewhere else!

Looking forward to the next twelve months, we have a lot to look forward to. Jessica and James getting married, John and Nadine getting married in Mexico, which Steph and I hope to be able to save up and go to. Our friends Mark and Nicola are getting married as well as Chris at work. It seems as if 2007 is the year of the wedding!

The best bit for Steph and I though will be watching Oliver grow and develop over the year and celebrating his 1st Birthday in December. Over the past twelve or so days we have watched him grow and change in minor little ways. Every little detail is a huge thrill for both of us and we are both settling down, getting used to him, getting used to feeding and changing and accepting everything that comes with having a little boy to look after.

On behalf of Stephanie, Oliver and myself we wish you all a happy new year and all the best throughout 2007.
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