STLFTEM ROUND-UP 2011

Seeing as it’s the end of the year, almost, I thought I’d keep you all up to date with my STLFTEM for 2011.

For those who don’t know, STLFTEM is basically Something To Look Forward To Every Month.

I started it in 2009, and it basically is to have something to go, see or do every month, and look forward to it.

The only rules are that it has to be something seen in person. Therefore, watching Euro 2012 on TV won’t count for June next year.

Also, I can have more than one STLFTEM each month. In fact, I can have as many as I wish.

January was a bit of a cheat, as I went to the Linfield v Glentoran match postponed from 26th December 2010. But, my lifestyle ethos, my rules.

February was a bumper month as I went to Barcelona for a weekend, and then the following Wednesday, I went to see Northern Ireland take on Scotland.

March was also a Northern Ireland match. A 0-0 draw v Slovenia. Yep, that was well worth the wait.

April was a bumper month with a title showdown for Linfield against Crusaders and three matches against Glentoran, one of which was an Irish Cup Semi-Final. Not only that, but there was also the matter of Beady Eye’s first concert in Belfast.

Four wins, and an excellent concert made it a worthwhile month.

May was all about travelling as I went to the UEFA Cup Final, and Manchester United’s last match of the season, against Blackpool.

June was quiet, but I did go and see 3OH!3

July was also quiet, but Linfield playing in Europe and a pre-season friendly against Derriaghy were enjoyable. As I stated earlier, some months are a struggle.

August was busy with the start of the new Irish League season and trips to Edinburgh and Brighton.

September was the Arthur’s Day concert at Ulster Hall (Any my ticket was free)

October was another concert at Ulster Hall, Noah and the Whale. There were fantastic.

I’d hoped that November would be going to the MTV EMAs. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a ticket, so I had to make do with a trip to Old Trafford to see United take on Sunderland.

December will be the Boxing Day match at The Oval. If that bites the dust because of the weather, I’ll make it the Ulster v Aironi match two weeks ago (Again, a free ticket)

Well, that is how i’ve managed to have STLFTEM throughout the year, but I’ve already got some lined up for 2012.

In January, I’m going to see Roy “Catchphrase” Walker as part of the Out To Lunch Festival.

February will be a busy month as I’ll be taking a break to Amsterdam from 3rd-6th, then going to see Noel Gallagher at The Odyssey on 16th, before flying to Manchester on 23rd.

I’m hoping to see United v Ajax. I’ve no ticket sorted as yet, but I’m confident I’ll get one.

Pretty tempted to go and see The Beat at The Limelight in March. Undecided as yet.

August of course, will see me head to Edinburgh for the Festival. If I could afford to, I’d spend the whole month there.

So that, is how I’ve managed to enjoy myself at least once a month this year and how I plan to do so next year.

If you have any suggestions for any of the months, feel free to get in touch and suggest.

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THE NEW YEAR BLOG

Welcome to my first new blog of 2011, having just completed my first year of proper blogging in 2010.

WordPress were kind enough to send me (unsolicited) blog statistics for 2010, and it revealed that “Alex Higgins” was the search term which drove most people to my blog, and that an article ripping the piss out of Jerome Quinn was the most viewed article. How very Northern Ireland.

I’ve really enjoyed the past year’s blogging, and hope to continue throughout 2011.

That said, i’d really enjoyed blogging on Bebo before that, but the ability to post links, pictures and videos is really what i’m looking for, which is why I use WordPress now.

I’m not one for New Year Resolutions, but if I was for 2011, it would simply be : Travel more, and take more photos.

I’ve already got a few trips lined up in 2011. I’m going to Barcelona for a weekend at the start of February, because I just feel like it.

I did the same last year over the same weekend, when I went to Manchester, because it was demoralising getting to October with the nights getting darker, and I just wanted something to look forward to during the winter months.

I might just make a trip somewhere over the first weekend in February an annual tradition, you never know.

I also just fancied going somewhere in mainland Europe, as most of my travelling has been to mainland UK and Republic of Ireland, barring trips to Majorca when I was wee.

I’ve also booked two nights in Dublin in May for the UEFA Cup final. I haven’t got tickets yet, but i’m hoping to get some.

The weekend after, i’m hoping to go to Old Trafford to see United take on Blackpool, so fingers crossed for that.

I’m hoping that Blackpool don’t become a team I always end up missing.

In July, I won a competition being run in the Irish News to win return flights to Blackpool. The deadline for booking expires tomorrow, and unfortunately, it looks like I won’t be booking anything.

The flights only run from April to October, and have to be booked by May. I’ve had a look, and there’s no concerts that excite me, and I don’t want to go simply for the sake of it.

When I won the flights, my original plan was to fly over on the weekend United visit, and take my chance on getting a ticket. Unfortunately,the date United visited, there were no flights in operation during that period.

As it turned out, all flights leaving Belfast International Airport were cancelled, and the match was postponed, so it was probably a blessing that I was unable to make a booking for this weekend.

Like in August the last two years, i’m hoping to take in a few days in Edinburgh for the Festival.

In terms of places I wouldn’t mind going to, i’ve got an eye on Brighton, Bristol/Cardiff (double header) and Cork. Don’t know why, just fancy it.

As i’ve been using Bebo and/or Myspace for getting photo properties, i’ve been largely neglecting Flickr over the past year.

If I have any resolution, it’s to keep on top of Flickr and not let photos I want to upload build-up, and hopefully to take better quality photos.

So, I just thought i’d post a wee guide to some of my favourite accounts and photos

My Accounts

Account 1

Account 2

Account 3

Account 4

My Favourite Photos

Buskers

Northern Ireland Fans

Windsor Park

Stewie

Shadow

Other Favourite Accounts

Aberdeen Fans

Across The Line

Alternative Ulster

Blogdroed (Welsh Football)

Beth Retro

Kev Largey (Belfast Street Artist)

Republic of Ireland Football

Fiorentina Photos

Other Favourite Photos

Batman On Fire

Green and Gold Protest

Elliott Morris In Disbelief

Portadown Fans

Layer Road

Brolly

Milhouse

Sampdoria Fans

Linfield Fans In Zagreb

Wet Windsor

United Fans

Forza Bangor

Sigh

Paul McAreavey

Dave Gahan

Maradona

Jamie Mulgrew

FC United Fans