Tag Archives: Rugby league

A 2011 interview with me

Since I know no one interesting or famous enough (not that they would agree to do one either) to warrant an interview. So like the arrogant fucker I am, I thought i’d put my 2011 memories in the form of an interview.

1) Best place you visited?
In between my large period of being a hermit writer, I have managed to see some very nice places, I went to London twice. I saw Wembley stadium for the second time but this time with my team leeds rhinos playing. But the best place has to be when I spent the week in Rome, a place I have always wanted to visit. We spent a exhausting 5 days making sure we saw all the sites.

See more of my photos of Rome from my 5 days there here (https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/extras-rome-photos/)

2. Best book you read?
According my goodsreads account, I read 25 new book last year (plus 2 re reads of books). Not a huge amount, but I managed to fit in a number very good books in there. I managed to finally read all 3 of the Lord of the rings books. The new John Scalzi novel Fuzzy Nation was a great book, I read the 4th dune book. Other book I really enjoyed was flashfoward and the forever series of books.  I read number of other sci-fi, post apocalyptic, fantasy and the odd thriller book in the year. But my favourite would probably have to be Neil Gaiman American Gods, different to anything else I read this year and it is partly the inspiration for the story (more credit should be given to lord of light however) I am currently writing.

3. Best film?
For me it has been a pretty poor year for films, and I would have really struggled coming up with my best film year before last week. I ordered Rise of the planet of apes on sky box office. I really enjoyed the prequel/remake, perhaps I have seen a better a film, but I really can’t think of any off the top of my head.

4. Best TV show?
There has been a few contender’s for this, starting with the last ever episodes of Stargate Universe and in turn the Stargate franchise. However, that is tinged with so much sadness I can’t put it as my best TV show of last year. Walking Dead season 2 (part 1) also aired which carried on from an excellent first series. There was Game of thrones which pretty amazing and the Borgias which I enjoyed as well. The show I enjoyed the most would be the first series of Sherlock, the second series just recently started and it reminded me just how good the show is, and how great those first episode were.

5. Best Game?
Mass effects 2 (see http://wp.me/psL0a-jo)

6. Best Album?
Another thing that I really haven’t kept up with all that much. I got the new Foo Fighters album, along with the long awaited (for me) new Kaiser Chiefs album which I thought was great. However, I found a new group that I really like The Dresden Dolls, and while none of their albums were released this year. I found all their albums were available on the website, for a pay-what-you-like price. So I manage to get 3 albums and a live album for a cheekily cheap sum. The songs have been played over and over again on my I pod and computer so one of their album would probably be the best.

7. Best Moment?
Without a doubt seeing Leeds Rhinos win their 5th grand final in 8 years, from the fifth position.Which was the lowest ever position for a team to win it from, they shocked almost everyone (including me) by winning it, and showed the world that they are true team of champions. I have been lucky enough to see all 5 of those grand finals they won, in them I have seen some magnificent tries. But the two tries that Rob Burrow scored and made were pretty amazing, and will stick in my memory for a long time to come, like the Scot Donald try in 2007.

Best moment

8. Best Gig?
I’ve seen a few good bands this year, Hurts in February was amazing and so was seeing Muse for the second time at Leeds Festival. Though the best gig I went to was seeing Arcade fire for the second time too. They are a interesting band to watch, because they are so many of them. Your eyes move all around, not being sure what to look at next. I give credit to my sister for getting me into them, they have a unique style. And they put on great show.

9. Most important thing that happen you in 2011?
I guess having an almost full time job, while it was only for a little over 6 months, it was an interesting experience living life of almost full time working. It was not my ideal job, and not at all stimulating, but then again I did say I got the experience of a full time job, so what did I expect? Hopefully, a new job will rear its head soon in 2012.

10. What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
Quite a few things, there might be a holiday to American in the making which would be very, very good. I will be going to Italy to see my sister, who is now living there for next 6 months. But most of all I look forward to reading plenty more books, playing more games and getting a lot more writing done this year, a lot more than I did last year. Oh and the new Keane album and tour!

Done.

A good day for English rugby

It was a great day for English rugby fans on Saturday. I woke up at the early time for myself at 8 in the morning to watch England vs France. It was a predictable match, quite dull, even though there was a surprising number of tries for a match. England lost in the quarter finals and never once looked like they could beat a dominate french side. So the team was unable to emulate the success they have the previous two tournaments (Runners up (2007), Winners (2003)). After the match i yawed, had something to eat.

Afterward i headed to Headingly to get on a coach to Old Trafford to watch the engage super league grand final. In case you don’t know there is two codes for the sport of Rugby, League and Union. One of them get’s next to nothing in terms of media attention, and the other well it’s played down south so it gets a lot. The Super league Grand final is the end of the season match, to crown the super league champions, the super league is top league in the England rugby league, leagues (confused?).
So my team Leeds Rhinos managed to do the unthinkable, after finishing 5th in the league they managed to beat 3 teams in sudden death games, to get to the super league grand final. They broke records before they even got out on the field by becoming the lowest place team ever to get to a grand final. They were winner in a way before they even got there. If they won it, it would meant they would won the super league grand final more times any other, basically meaning they are the best team of the modern era.

There was more than enough back story to make this game a real classic, players on both side was leaving, records to be broken, and St. Helen’s did not want to lose 5 grand finals in a row.  For the first 40 min’s the only thing separated the two teams, was a superber try from the “road runner” of rugby league, little Robbie Burrow. The try for leeds is being, called perhaps the best ever scored at such an occasion, i can’t disagree with the statement either. At half time the score was 8-2 to leeds, and at the start of the second half, St. Helen’s showed what a great team they was, with 20 minutes of pure pressure on the Leeds line. With only 20 mins to go Leeds was 8 points behind with the score at 8-16, but if St. Helens showed was a good side they were, Leeds did the same and then some more, 4 unanswered try’s gave Leeds the title for the 5th time in 8 years. I suppose the score line did flatter Leeds, but no one can deny they were the best team. The match is been called the best grand final, i can’t say i disagree with that either.

A familiar sight

I was such a proud fan, i was one of the many fans that gave leeds no chance of wining the super league grand final, let only get there 8 or so weeks ago.  That is why i’m a fan though, i don’t make the choices and rightly so, our coach has gotten a lot of flack, some of it deserved at times though, but he did not let it get to him and stuck to his guns, and the side showed what a true champion side they are.

Not being able to think

I once read that if you struggle to write, then you write about not being able to write and then before you know it you are writing again. Who da thunk it. Now I have a topic, i’m now able to write again!

My new job started this week, it’s gone good so far.It’s just been a busy and strange week. So this means I have not had all that much time do what I love, writing. I did start a new short story last week but not made any progress since last Monday. I had hoped that this weekend; would be one of lot’s and lot’s of writing. However then I remembered that it is the rugby league, millennium magic weekend (so 7 matches in two days).  Not all that much writing getting done then :(  but at least i can watch some proper sport, cricket was good for a while and american football is fun but it is just was not cutting it for me any more. I need to get some writing done  soon though.

One more thing; last weekend, Sunday. I went to see the band hurts (you remember me saying so),  they were amazing. They are fast becoming one of my favourite bands. I would also guess that they would be in my top 5 live bands (maybe watch out for something like that at the end of the month). They played a few song I have never heard before, looked up these songs up on the internet and I learned they were the B-sides to the singles. Two of theses have become my favorite hurts songs.
The first mother nature. It is a hunting song, that is very catchy

The next one is the song that they named their album after or maybe visa-versa or maybe it’s just a strange coincidence. I do find it strange that this song is not on the album though. Happiness a catchy song, with a slight epic quality to it.

Thats all for now. Might get another post in before the end of the week.

Top 5 TV programs.

First up, I am really gutted that Leeds Rhinos season is over now, not much i can say about it just hope next season is better. UPDATE: It was.

Following last months post about my top 5 Sci-fi Books, I thought I would follow it up with another Top  5 this month. So this month is my favorite TV shows past and present.
But before the main list, another list of shows that just missed out on that most important of accolades, my personal top 5.

  • Fringe – A super cool Sci-fi mystery program, the reason it missed out was because there is so far only two seasons. If it keep up the standard in the next few season I could see it sneak in to the top 5.
  • Blackadder – Amazingly funny, well written and witty.
  • Firefly – Another one that came close, if there was just a few more season of it I’m sure it would have made it in. DAM YOU FOX.
  • X-files (seasons 1-5)- Yes another Sci-fi, the reason it’s season 1 to 5 is because I have yet to watch 6 to 9, but i have them on DVD so i will be watching them. A really good program, very solid and similar to Fringe.
  • Rome – Not normally in to the historical drama’s, the HBO style it makes very enjoyable, sexy and violent.
  • Family guy – Do i need to say anything?
  • Heroes – The first season was amazing, it failed to deliver after that.
  • Chuck – Comedy spy program, would recommend to anyone. Easy watching.
  • House – Love Hugh Laurie he really makes this show tick with his fantastic character. Every episode is very enjoyable.
  • True Blood – Not in to the whole twilight and vampire thing,  this show while very graphic is a great drama, another HBO hit.
  • Lie to me – Like House another show that has a British lead and a super character that makes the show.

I think that is everything but I am sure I have missed something out I have watched so many TV shows.

Right on to the list.

5) – Lost

Lost

Bad ending

Was really not sure whether to put lost in my top 5. After the ending which I don’t want to spoil for anybody, I really wanted to forget I ever watched lost. Was it that bad, yes, it was not awful by any means. Just poorly done, it was so predictable. Everybody said it would be something to do with the afterlife (sorry for the spoiler). I bet that after the first season when everybody said it was to do with the afterlife the producers shat themselves, so they say it’s not to do with that and it’s all hunky dory. They should have just kept there mouth shuts. But in fairness to Lost you can’t just judge the whole series on the ending and it was a great program, sure they made the series a little slow paced in season 2 and 3. The show had great mystery, writing, pace (after 2 and 3) and acting. That first season still rates with me as perhaps the greatest first season of any show, i suppose it could only go down from there.

4) – 24

24

He is so cool

Not a super smart spy but fucking cool. Jack Bauer maybe the toughest, bad ass TV character of all time.  The show builds tension like no other. Some shows might never let the hero lose, but 24 never lets the hero win sure he saves the day… some times (Lot of people will die on the way good and bad) but his life is never better for it. He normally has to go in to hiding at the end of every day because he beat the crap out of some witness or politician OR maybe he has to do some bad things to save his family.

One of the unique things about 24 is that it’s in real time 24 episodes, an hour each, all set in the same day. It’s a very clever idea.  My life got a lot less tense when they stopped making 24.

3) – Life on Mars

Life on mars

"You great... soft... sissy... girlie... nancy... french... bender... Man-United supporting POOF!"

The only English entry in to the top 5. Unlike 24 this is a very smart show. The story like Lost introduced a mystery and the ending was very similar but it was done right (Not just given 5 min at the end of 6 seasons :@).  While I was not alive in the 1970’s everybody I have spoken to that was alive during that period, does compliment how accurate it is, while sometime exaggerated. Lots of people credit the show success to Gene Hunt but i think the character of Sam Tyler is more interesting . A very enjoyable show that has given us some amazing quotes, some that I use more than I should.

2) – Farscape

Farscape

Sexy in space

The most obscure show on my list. Anyone that has watched Farscape, will know that there is no other show like it. The show takes a present day human and puts him through a wormhole that takes him across to the other side of the universe where strange looking aliens live and human like aliens but they are cold blooded. You really have to watch the show to get it. It also has a great use of puppets which you expect with it being made the Jim Henson company (Muppet’s fame). A must watch for all Sci-fi fans, and even if your not a Sci-Fi I would still recommend it.

and at number 1 is ………………

1) – The Stargates

Stargate

Universe Just one of the three stargate shows

I have a feeling that to my friends this is not going to be a huge surprise.
I really had to put all three stargate show in to one spot, it would not be fair on the other shows to have the top 3 spots taken up before they even started. It is a show i have watched since i was 7. The first show stargate SG1 took place after that blockbuster movie of the same name staring Kurt Russel. I am not going to go and on (Do i here cheers?) because being honest i’m a heavily biased stargate fan boy, that thinks the show can do no wrong, well it can’t. It really does have a mix of everything comedy (less so in new Stargate universe), action and hard science (more so in stargate Universe). While i am sure not everybody will like it as much as me, I am confident that if you try it you will enjoy it….. honestly.

Be sure to watch the second season of Stargate universe on SKY 1 on Tuesday Oct 5th at 8pm. You can watch the trailer for the second season in my last post.

Now a little quick life update

Looks like I am getting a cold again, most likely from being out in the cold for the Leeds match yesterday. Not been up to loads lately, anybody got any ideas for something to do? I am up for anything. Job Hunt is on going but no luck so far and again I am up for anything.