Thursday, 28 September 2017

#tbt- Championship Boxing, New York 2000

I've uploaded a few items from this holiday before, but there are a few treasures worth sharing from the weekend in The Big Apple. On the plane over there we were sat near some guy from Emmerdale who's name escapes me and my holiday group. This bloke- heavy-set and dual-heritage with a shaved head I think- was with a group of his mates, flying over for this fight: Lennox Lewis vs Michael Grant.

On the flight over there, him and his mates got hugely drunk, spilled their drinks everywhere, performed crap Ali G impressions shouting 'ride da punani' at the top of their voices and got bollocked off the stewardesses.

A few days later, in Manhattan one evening, we wandered past Madison Square Gardens. The area was quiet, although posters for the Lewis Grant fight were draped huge over the building. I asked the doorman what was happening tonight.

“They're fighting,” he said.

“This fight?” I asked, like a total moron.


I pushed my luck. “Can I take a look?”


Well. Hardly the blag of the century. Great holiday, though.

Also on the boxing card, Arturo Gatti vs Eric Jakubowski.

8 years later, Gatti was dead.

The Lewis Grant fight:

The Gatti Jakubowski fight:

Monday, 25 September 2017

Miss Swimsuit UK in Liverpool

How was your Thursday night? Here's what mine looked like...

A friend of mine was competing in the 7th heat of Miss Swimsuit UK, this time taking place in the beautiful Sugar Hut in Liverpool. She needed a lift- I was happy to oblige!


A host of sponsors made the night possible, including Secret Veneers, 3 Big Dogs Vodka and Gymking, all organised by the talented Verena Twigg.

As I'd brought one of the competitors I was there early, so helped out with setting up presentation boards and the like while the girls got the lowdown on how the event would run.

Before long, the celebrity guest judges started to arrive, including Love Island's Jess Hayes

Model and Celebrity Big Brother contestant Chloe Khan

On the decks: DJ Kenzie, formerly of Blazin' Squad fame, playing some great house music. Our compare for the evening: Love Island's Katie Salmon.

The girls all looked stunning. Maisy (girl 6) took 3rd place, and Emma (girl 4) landed second. Our winner: Girl 8, Louella Walker!






A great night with an afterparty in Heaven. No, not that Heaven, gay club Heaven. I got home so late I hit rush hour. Looking forward to the final in Manchester this Thursday!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Had another little shimmy in the Ice Cave this week...

A mate of mine had a DJ set The #icecaverave installation in Manchester's Albert Square on Saturday afternoon, so I dropped in to see him.

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A cool event, in more ways than one. Techno rave in a fridge, sponsored by Coors Light. For health and safety reasons, they moved us out after about 15 minutes.

Also, I got another mention in celeb gossip email Popbitch after I showed them this tweet from DJ Todd Terry...

2 things about swimwear competitions and a month-long blogging project are on the horizon. Stay tuned.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

How Indiana Jones got me into Blogging

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade may have come out in 1989, a good decade or two before the blogging started to become popular, but the classic adventure movie may have planted a seed in me that led to the blog you're reading now.

Indy's dad Henry (Sean Connery) kept a record of his search for the Holy Grail because he knew his memory would fade. The diary, not just an account of adventures taken, led them into more scenarios that made great stories- including meeting some well-known historical figures, shall we say. I'm sure I saw this film first when I was in primary school, possibly around the time I started keeping a diary myself.

I got Roald Dahl's Diary 1992 as a Christmas present- a blank diary with themes for each month based on his classic children's books. Quentin Blake's sketchy illustrations adourned the pages here and there, an each month followed a theme based on one of Dahl' classic children's novels. January, for example, contains pictures and qoutes from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I wrote a lot about school and the clubs that my friends and I used to run, where we'd draw pictures and play games based on a certain theme. Friday was the SDA club, the Secret Detective Agency, where we'd look for thing to investigate (a small primary school in Oldham didn't have many remarkable attributes so it was quite a dull group) and there were others we'd run involving games and art.

According to my diary, I usually watched a lot of shit TV, tried to draw cartoon characters, played Amiga games and took extra maths lessons (resulting in no improvement). I kept up with notetaking from January to September. It wasn't a patch on Henry's quest for the Holy Grail, but it was a tribute of sorts. I was quite neurotic about keeping records, something I wish I'd done more of as I found they helped me to remember what was happening in my life. Records are essential not just for fictional explorers, but for people like myself with memory difficulties.

As I got older, I fell out of the habit as I became busier and didn't want to dwell on the challenges I was facing. I learned, though, to document the most interesting parts, thanks, I guess, to Indiana Jones and Roald Dahl.

I've kept this going to this day, thanks to the emergence of the blogosphere. But, unlike Indy, I haven't dealt with many world political leaders- just reality TV stars, fading singers and DJs, and authors. A handful of people find it interesting, and at least now I can remember it all.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

#tbt Beermats: Week 1

I've been collecting beermats since I was about 8, so since around 1990. I've got a few hundered. I thought it might be interesting to some people to share some of these vintage designs over instagram, so I decided to upload 10 at a time and use the #tbt Throwback Thursday tag to get a little exposure. Added to this, I checked Insta for any beermat-related hashtags, and I'm adding them to each post too. I'll embed a few of these onto the blog as the weeks go on. 

Gotta remember to photograph the reverse side first, so the picture displayed in embedded posts is the front.

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A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A Month of Protein Shakes

A month ago I posted that I had started taking Promax, a protein supplement from Maximuscle. I've spent the month taking this and trying to beat personal bests at the gym.

I typically forgot to make note of my body weight at the start, and yesterday I ingested my last protein shake. I'm around 84kg, which I've weighed as much as before, but never more.

My weights notebook is now around 7 years old. The hardback cover has fallen off and the pages are coming loose, so I may have lost a few records. I should probably have kept the records in my phone instead. Even so, I tried to stick to the same few movements- mostly chinups, leg press and chest press. I got no PBs on any of these.

21/8 onwards

5 more dips, 60 in total
2x18kg vertical dumbbell fly, the next weight up, 4kg heavier

I've tried to eat clean, eating a little more veg and meat than usual, but it's hard work. I'm not convinced that protein shakes work, to be honest. A doctor once told me they were a complete waste of money, and after trying 2 brands I'd say he was right. Not to mention, my mum guessed that I was on the shakes, telling me I looked fat. Cheers, mum. Cooking from raw ingredients, with a ton of veg and meat, is the way forward.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

House Music Singer Barbara Tucker and Jamie from Love Island This Week

Who's out for fresher's week? Mostly people about half my age, probably... but that's no reason for me not to join them. Nor you either.

As it stands, there aren't really any meetups for midweek nights out, but keep your eyes open. Friday is going to be a BLINDER though!

New bar Impossible soft-opened some weeks ago, but the official opening is this Friday, including the opening of the downstairs club area. It's also the launch of Boogie in Wonderland Ibiza, Impossible's weekly star-studded party.

As you can see, there's a few big names on the lineup so far. I'm a huge Barbara Tucker fan; Most Precious Love is one of my favourite songs.

Hopefully she'll sing it when she drops in this Friday. Manchester Cool Bars are going- you should too. Tickets are a bargain at a tenner each.

Saturday has a slightly different tone: Manchester Cool Bars returns to The Birdcage for another installation of Stopout Saturdays. This time (hopefully) Jamie Jewitt from Love Island will be there for a meet and Greet, after a last-minute cancellation last week.

More in the pipeline...

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Viper launch, ice cave, Todd Terry, Stopout Saturdays

A jumble of interesting finds this week.

Thursday night saw the launch of Viper, a new mobile phone app promoting nightlife deals in Manchester, and is 'designed to upgrade your night & put the best bars within reach.' As a winner of one of their competitions a few months ago, I got invited to Neighbourhood.

I must have been there either too early or too late, as I didn't see any of these people, and I would have liked to. Still, a good night.

Because we were stood in an area the staff needed to use, we got an upgrade before any of us had downloaded the app- they move us to our own table! Respect! Lovely staff and venue.

Looking forward to seeing a few nightlife deals on the app over the next few months.

Saturday daytime I dropped into the #icecaverave in Albert Square, home of the new Coors Light installation. A temporary nightclub / human freezer sits right under the town hall, with a drinks stall outside for waiting customers. I rolled up thinking my mate was DJing- it turned out I was a full week early. Oh well. I was given a coloured wristband with a timeslot, and waited for my colour to be shouted out. In the meantime a gay knock-off chubby Chris Hemsworth lookalike repeatedly hit on me. Oh well. Eventually my colour was read out, I queued up and was given a quilted poncho and sent into the coldest club I have ever been in.

Ice sculptures adorn the bar, which you'd have to use elbow grease to get to, but if it wasn't so busy you'd be too cold. Even so, a lively two-step is not just an impulse to the great house music- it's a survival requirement.

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The #icecaverave runs 'til Sunday 24th.

Later that night I dropped into the new refitted Birdcage for Stopout Saturdays, with Manchester Cool Bars. The club's first night after a recent refit, Stopout had been promising Love Island's Jamie Jewitt making an appearance, but he's been stalled 'til next week (there'll be another meetup).

Although quite different to what I'd normally do on a weekend, The Birdcage was a fun night with a young, good-looking clientele. No drag shows this time, (to my relief I might add) but the new booths, wallpaper and VIP glass partition (which we could seemingly wander between unrestrictedly) look much better. It isn't a whole lot different, mind- the club has the same layout and same Capital Radio-style music output.

And on Twitter: DJ Todd Terry (It's Over Love, Jumpin', Something's Goin' On) thinks I'm going to step between a baboon and a badger, and win. I'd pass on that, thanks!

Also, I got a retweet off Calum Best, currently on Celebs Go Dating.

That is your lot! Hardly a dull week.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Trigger warning: this blog post discusses suicidal thoughts.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The aim of this campaign is 'to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic.' Last Sunday was World Suicide Prevention Day, a campaign intending to reduce the huge numbers of people taking their own lives.

I remember back in either '09 or '10, when I was mates with a group of privately educated lads with chips on their shoulders, all desperate to prove that they weren't just middle class BMW drivers. I was at a house party with them when one of them brought up the issue of suicide. He was quite a popular guy (although I couldn't stand him). Before long a number of them wanted to share their stories of their lowest points, and their suicidal feelings. I didn't.

One of the girls in the group quite fancied me, and I liked her too, but I hated her brother. He'd threatened to batter me for no reason, and a mutual friend witnessed this and did fuck all. Of course, dealing with depression myself, I brushed it off.

The party was at their parents' house. But this girl, she wanted to know if I'd ever thought about 'that'- suicide. I was in two minds about opening up. I decided not to. I knew my friendship with the group, and the potential relationship with her, wasn't going anywhere. But I lacked the confidence to say no to the group, and to cut myself off. I didn't do that until 2015.

Talk, talk, talk. Don't bottle it. But find the right people to do that with- your instincts will tell you if they are good enough friends.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Boom. Accurate Nightlife Prediction

Remember back in June when I suggested that Tiger Tiger's Tuesday night slot, Taboo, might be headed to new nightclub History?

History is a lot smaller than the three rooms that Taboo occupied at the previous venue, but it's a much better looking club. The night itself was always a fun one, so I can't wait to see it operate in the new unit. I'll be checking it out soon, so keep your eyes peeled on the Manchester Cool Bars Meetup page and join us.

I have one solid plan this week which you can pencil in too: Cool Bars is heading to The Birdcage on Saturday night for the reopening of the Withy Grove club. New night Stopout Saturdays launches this week, hosted by Love Island's Jamie Jewitt!

One more thing: last week I discussed chips with house music producer Route 94. Can anyone else say they've achieved that level of celebrity hobnobbing?

You might remember this track of theirs:

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Kelly Llorenna @ Oldham Live

It's the 25th Anniversary of Set You Free, the 1995 dance hit from N-Trance, fronted by Oldham-raised singer Kelly Llorenna. Aptly, Saturday night saw the first Oldham Live take place in Parliament Square in the centre of the town.

I actually didn't realise that KL was the singer on N-Trance until I saw Oldham Live's lineup earlier this week. I made a plan to drop in.

I was a little late. I bumped into a colleague on the way, so sorry for my rambling northern commentary on the videos. Kelly gave brilliant renditions of her hits True Love and Set You Free.

A great performance. Shame the crowds weren't large, but old-school singers' audiences are always a little difficult to gather together. People have babies and whatnot.

Other performances included Oldham-born Clint Boon from Inspiral Carpets, The Farm, Gemma Hunt from Cbeebies Swashbuckle, Brother Beyond and Stooshe. Something for everyone, really. Great to see local talent that has made it big coming to give something back to their hometown.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Don't Be an Idiot and Keep Your Phone in Your Bedroom at Night

What I'm going to say isn't profound: lots has already been written about the negative impact of mobile phones on sleep. Shining a rectangle of pure light straight at your retinas before you go to bed is hardly going to help you drop off into a peaceful slumber, is it? Yet which idiot still does this? The one preaching to you right now.

I've struggled with sleep my whole life- waaaay before smartphones came around. The sleep issues I have are connected to a head injury I sustained at birth. Connections between sleep disturbance and head trauma have been documented, but I've not properly investigated it myself (another #psychologysaturday idea?) But since 2010, when I got my first smartphone, I've struggled more. Granted, moving out of my parents' gaff and running out of money was a factor, but having a smartphone in my bedroom has been one too. So, as part of my #psychologysaturday theme, I'm going to keep my phone in the lounge. I won't even walk into my bedroom with my phone in my pocket, let alone leave it charging while I'm asleep.

Some people may suggest, why not put it on night mode? On calls only? Well, because as I drop off I'll think of something else that I want to check, and I'll end up using my phone to go online and look something up, or add something to a list, and further balls up my melatonin intake. I'll be tempted to listen to ASMR videos to help me drop off. (They help me relax, but stop me sleeping as even if I cover the screen, I'll still look at it once the video has ended.)

If the phone is in a different room, I'll ignore any notifications / calls that come through. Let's give it a shot and see how I feel in a month. I'll also see if there are any improvements at the gym.

Friday, 8 September 2017

The 1km Challenge

In an attempt to tone up and try something different at the gym I decided I'd work the cardio machines for a kilometre each to see what it felt like.

Just after 11am I stuck on Melon Radio's Soulful channel (a bit of a random choice, but a good one) and started the graft. Here are the times for doing 1km:

Cross train forward 16.16
Hand bike forward 1.53
Bike with no back to the seat 2.34
Hand bike backward (problem with programming) 5.01
Row 4.22
Cross train backwards (surprisingly fatiguing to the hands) 22.35
Old-style cross trainer forward 19.45
Bike with a back to the seat 2.45

By 2pm I had 9% battery, so I called it there. I'd been doing some abs work between each movement, which spread the workout into hours. You know how much I lost? 200g. The subsequent protein shake would more than have reversed that weight loss.

I much prefer weights and I seem to benefit from it a lot more, so, duh, I guess I'll stick with them.