Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.
X

Archive for April, 2019

Post

From Queenstown to Swindon town

I still don’t like Queenstown.

It’s beautiful to look at, but it also knows this. Unlike the rest of New Zealand, it lacks a soul; largely as it’s pretty much just there for tourists.

That said, I enjoyed it more than when I was last there. This is because I wasn’t drunk every night and hungover every day. These two activities may also explain why lots of things in New Zealand aren’t entirely how I remember.

And just as a side note, the bar I got thrown out of in 2007 for being too drunk has since burnt down. So I think I won that battle eventually. Suck on that, bouncers.

But Queenstown is not somewhere you want to spend a lot of time. A couple of nights is all you need. In my experience, it also remains a magnet for twats. Twats with money who also want to throw themselves off platforms with elasticatated rope tied around their ankles.

Speaking of which, I returned to do the Nevis bungee/bungy. Even though I had done it before, jumping out of a cable car over a canyon and falling 134 metres is never going to be something that feels normal.

It was chillier than when I did it before. So getting a lung full of cold air as I fell added to the experience.

It provided quite a rush and was an exhilarating end to what turned out to be a nice little trip. I definitely won’t leave it another 12 years before I return to New Zealand, especially as I now have a cost-effective means of getting there thanks to ticket sales.

From Queenstown to Swindon town. The international tour rolled on.

Due to being wrapped up in my travels on the other side of the world, I had almost forgotten that I was bringing How To Win A Pub Quiz to Swindon Fringe Festival eight days after I arrived back in the UK.

In something highly unusual, I had barely given it a plug on Twitter. Luckily, I used my old hack connections and got an article in the Swindon Advertiser a couple of days before.

The show ended up selling out, which you may get tired of reading, but I never get tired of writing.

The crowd were great fun and interacting with them resulted in a lot of laughs.

The last event I went to in Swindon was Radio 1’s One Big Weekend that I was covering for the paper almost exactly ten years ago. The highlight of that day was getting back stage, blanking Vernon Kay and finding a tenner on the floor. Saturday’s show was much better in every sense. 

Articles

How To Win A Pub Quiz Mini International Tour. Stop four: Dunedin

The final stop of my mini international tour was Dunedin.

I liked Dunedin last time I was there. Back then, it was a welcome escape from what turned out to be an awful stay in Queenstown.

Dunedin wasn’t quite how I remembered it. I don’t know if there’s been a lot of investment in it or that my perceptions of things in 2007 were skewed by alcohol and fatigue. Anyway, I liked Dunedin then and still like it.

Shortly after I arrived in my hotel, I had an email from the Otago Daily Times requesting an interview. As I don’t have a Kiwi sim card, a phone interview wasn’t feasible. So we did a Q&A over email.

Later on, a photographer was sent out to take a picture of me. I don’t think this has happened since I was in the birthday listings in the Stroud News and Journal when I was eight or nine years old. I’m more familiar with the other side of things.

The photographer even had a company car. I was amazed, as company cars were unheard of for reporters and photographers in my time at the local paper.

Onto the shows, ticket sales had been much quieter than I’m used to. On many occasions over the last couple of months, I would receive a daily automated ticket sales email to tell me I had not sold any tickets on that day.

I later learned that this is largely because people in Dunedin don’t really buy tickets for anything, which does explain a lot.

Fortunately, sales did pick up. In a 50 seater room, I had around 40 for the first show, which was pretty good going. It was also another lively one. I do love Kiwi crowds.

A few things went wrong, mainly the facts bell refusing to cooperate on several occassions. But it didn’t spoil the show and also got a few more laughs along the way.

For the second show, there wasn’t enough room for everyone who wanted to see it. If only they’d come on the previous day.

So, half an hour after the triumphant end to what was meant to be my final show, I did another performance due to overwhelming demand.

However, the extra show ended up being in front of nine people. It felt a bit anticlimactic after the previous show. Still, they paid to see it and more money helps reduce travel costs further.

And that brought an end to my NZ shows for this year.

This morning, I got a bus to Queenstown at 8.30am. Unlike in 2007, the bus wasn’t full of public school-educated 18 year olds. I am grateful for this.

I’m here for two nights, specifically to do the Nevis bungy/bungee before I fly home.