3 parties in a week, and all for 40

40th Birthday

My parents asked me what I want to do for my birthday late last year. They were thinking I could do a big party in Bristol. But I suggested why not have three of them instead?

Each party/bash representing a section of my life so far.

  • Bristol (0-19)
  • London (19-28)
  • Manchester (28-40)

40 years of opioninated conversation and living life to the maximum

Of course my parents thought it was too much, but I was certain it was a good idea and I could do it.

Happy to say I was right. I had planned to put in sometime at the theme parks of England (Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Blackpool) but due to half-term decided I’d better not because I would end up in queues (Love the European theme parks for this). Plus I decided I could fit everything around work (or work around everything). I won’t lie, I would have been absolutely exhausted if I did!

Manchester party

So it happened and I was blown away by the friends and family who attended but also helped make the whole thing happen. Couldn’t have done it all without them! Thanks to everyone who came, gave their time, cards (I got so many cards I had to shift them around the flat) and even gifts. Also thanks for all the people who wanted to be there but couldn’t make it for different reasons.

Thank you to everyone again! 40 started with a bang, look out for 50 – ha!

What is the imdb party game?

A Shot, Anyone?

I played this game yesterday night at a party and thought it was worth writing up because I couldn’t find it anywhere. I’ll have to credit either Mike, Karolina,  Steve or Sharon for the party game.

The game works like this…

  1. Everybody sits in a circle with their mobile phones. One player  (the loser from the last round) picks a film from imdb.com. announces the film title and year to the circle.
  2. Everybody else types the predicted imdb rating of the film announced into their calculator app or write it down on paper.
  3. Once everybody (except the player who announced the film) is done, rating predictions are revealed to everybody around the group
  4. Highest and lowest are noted and the player who announced the film reads out the actual imdb rating.
  5. The player with the furthest rating from the imdb rating loses and needs to drink a shot of vodka. The loosing player then goes on to pick the next film in the next round.

Other rules…

  • Cheating by looking up the imdb rating is punishable by a double shot of vodka.
  • Players can challenge the player who announced the film title if its too obscure. That player must read out a description and the top actors in the film. If nobody recognises the top actors, another film must be picked.
  • If there is a draw of any kind, the players in the draw have to guess the rating of a sequel or prequel. If there is no such thing, a related film must be found.

Variations…

  • While people choose their rating, the film picker can read out the first public review, a quote or piece of trivia. Film covers can be shown of theme music played.
  • Vodka can be substituted for any other spirit or any other forfeit

My 5 years since party speech

Thanks to Josh for recorded my slightly drunken speech at my 5 years since BBQ/party.

I wish I’d thought about it as there would be some stuff about the secret of luck, self confidence, pushing boundaries and breaking social norms.

Thank you to everybody who turned up and made it up to Manchester. It was a blast and I’m so humbled how many people made it, even for a short while.

Thank you all again!!!!

Cocktails and Rollercoasters, how else to celebrate?

Google Cocktails

Its that time of year again when I celebrate surviving one extra year on earth, and for me its got to be rollercoasters and cocktails with friends.

So here is the schedule (which is weather dependant of course)

  • Sunday 7th April – I’m Gatecrashing Kate Reader’s Rollercoaster party at Thorpe Park, London. Something tells me we’re going to need to make use of this weatherproofing offer.
  • Wednesday 10th April – I’m consider I should do something simple like going out for a meal and bowling (yes they now have bowling in central Manchester), as I’m going to be out the rest of the weekend.
  • Friday 12th April – Its time for a Cocktail Masterclass at The all new Kahlua coffee house, can’t wait to make those Espresso Martinis (heck coffee and cocktails, it doesn’t get much better!). The guys behind the Kahlua coffee house seem to read my blog which is a little spooky and seem to have something special in store for me? What it is I have no idea but I’m sure its fun!
  • Saturday 13th April – I will be at the ORG North event but afterwards, its back to the fine cocktails all night, starting at the Alchemists and moving into Lola Cocktails later in the night.
  • Sunday 14th April – Its get up with a slight hangover, get on a train and head to Blackpool Pleasure Beach for even more Rollercoasters.
  • Monday 15th April – Sleep off most of the weekend… (smile, Zzzzz)

If your interested in joining the party at any of the points, you should know how to contact me already. Twitter might be the best way, as I will be using my extended life battery when ever possible.

To note at some point in May, we’ll be going to Alton Towers to finally experience the smiler! The plans was always to go but Alton Towers delayed the launch of the ride till May.

Northern Quarter Street Party

Fussion Dance and Rhythm UICA Street Party 8-8-09 10

Coming to Edge Street on the 29th April 2011, a 1940s-style street party celebrating the Northern Quarter. Featuring bunting, cake, punch and so much more.

Northern Quarter Street Party wants YOU! There’s lots of ways to get involved. Want to set up a stall? Bake a cake? Make some bunting? Have an idea about something you’d like to do or see? We want to hear from you!

Follow us on twitter: @NQStreetParty

Get involved here: nqstreetparty@gmail.com

An idea which came out of Social Media Cafe Manchesterlast month was the Northern Quarter street party, an idea of Carole Keating. I was tempted to get involved but thought better of it because I don’t fancy the stress of the event specially with only 1 month left.

I’ve been giving Carole my expertise in setting up barcamps with ultra very low budgets, and so somewhat getting involved but at much lower level that I’m use to.

Carole’s doing a great job but theres so much left to do and not a lot of time to do it in, so I’m seeing what the BBC can do to help. If that link up works, then I can be a little more involved.

Anyhow, I’m sure there will be lots more to say in the very near future.

A halloween party for my fellow residences

Halloween Party

Islington wharf where I now live now has a fantastic communal garden (which I’ve been using to read my kindle and play with my pacemaker) and I thought it would be a grand idea to have a party in the garden for all the residences of islington wharf.

So the plan is to have the party and allow people to bring a couple of friends with them. I will lay on a bit of party snacks (I got plenty left over from my flat warming party back in September) and everyone will bring there own drinks. On top of that, there will be two contests, one for the best carved pumpkin and another for the best fancy dress on the day. I’ve roped ISIS’s hollie into supplying the pumpkins and maybe supplying some really nice prizes on the night to the winners.

Finally I thought it might be nice to have a organised trick or treat for the kids of islington wharf. Get everyone ready with treats and go around the flats with a couple of adults to supervise the whole thing. I’m not sure how many kids there are in the flats but I’ve seen a couple playing in the garden since I’ve been here. Its slightly ambitious but even if we get 10% of the residents down on Sunday night, thats still over 20 people.

So why am I doing this?

Well when I first saw the location the garden was certainly a selling point. I really wanted a balcony but I gladly gave it up for a communal garden which I could relax in and share with others. I’ve seen a few people using the garden but not nearly as many as I would have thought. The thing about flats is they have a rep for being impersonal and loney places where people tend to not talk to each other as they leave there flats. In actual fact Tracey Langford said it in her recent interview for east manchester.

Tracey, who runs her own business, says the idea of a community appealed to them too: “We didn’t want to live in an soulless place where nobody spoke in the lift.” She adds, “We also wanted a high proportion of owner occupiers so that people really cared about the building. There is a mix of properties here with houses that face on to the communal garden, which are ideal for younger families.”

And that communal aspect prevails. Says Tracey, “In fact, the first Islintgon Wharf baby was born here a couple of months ago and the whole building was invited to the first birthday party of one of our residents!”

Its all about Community

Community, yep the big C word. Its one of those things which is very hard to just do, it needs to be organic. But fear not, this is just one of the ideas I have to bring people together. ISIS haven’t done a bad job so far but theres certainly some room for improvement. The next logical step I think is to sort out the community forum which is currently hosted on a external site somewhere. I signed up to join the forum ages ago and my membership is still pending (even after months).

My neighbor across the hallway is talking about setting up another better supported forum but I’m wondering why we don’t just setup a facebook group? Although to be fair it seems I’m not the only one who thought about this. The tricky part in a community is getting everyone on the same page (or getting the word out about the site), this requires actual physical work like putting up posters and speaking to people, something which seems to be sadly missing it seems.

ISIS should be involved in the community process too, but not be the driver of the process. It needs to come from the community/residents its self.

So I’m hoping to improve on the community building which has already started. I can’t say it will translate into sales for ISIS but for me this isn’t about that. Its about building a lovely place to live. I already live in a amazing place with some great views and great architecture but in this case, theres nothing wrong with wanting more. A rich vibrant community of caring people who I can share a wine with in the garden? I’m working on it one step at a time…

London Backstage Christmas Party, Saturday 9th Dec

Smooth water

So its now no real secret. I'm planning a big christmas party for BBC Backstage. The difference is that rather than going it alone and creating a whole lot of havoc with everyone elses plans. I decided that Backstage should actually talk to the rest of the community groups in London and encourage one big party. This is core to the BBC Backstage values, rather than go it alone we're going to see whats already out there and see if we can help out, encourage more take up or parcipitation. Anyway, so after the emails went out, I started getting into conversations with different groups and got a line up to rival all line ups. And on Friday night at the geekdinner I revealed the party plans.

To make things clearer, I posted up the details on the Backstage blog and then with the advice of Rob, hit Upcoming and Eventful

Yes the rumours are true…

There is a BBC Backstage Christmas Party being planned for Saturday 9th December in London.

Rather than host it ourselves and clash with everyone else's parties. We decided that it would be very fitting to backstage if we collaborated together some of the best groups and communities in London. Then got them under one roof to share in the Christmas Party…

Seemed like a crazy idea, but I would like to introduce our fantastic partners for the Christmas Bash,

Swedish Beers
London Girl Geekdinners
Geekdinners
London Perlmongers
London Webstandards Group
London Ruby user group
Open rights group
London 2.0
Momo Monday

We have an excellent Cuban venue (TBC) all to ourselves deep in the area of Moorgate and Citypoint.

So please keep a note in your calendar, as Saturday 9th December looks to be a fantastic night to be in London.

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