Phil Joyce- blogger extrodinaire!

Famous for many things; mainly being short and knowing Jude. I base my life on friends, fun and the big G (God)- whoop whoop! I also spend many hours titivating my hair and checking my dreamy blue eyes out in the landing mirror. I'm a student, I shop at Primark and Burtons. I like most furry animals, I dislike fleas, and my favourite turtle is Michelangelo.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Well it was nice while it lasted but I've moved my blog back to msn spaces.
philjoyce.spaces.msn.com

Monday, May 08, 2006

Lake District 2006

Here's a whistle-stop diary of it all...

Day 1
Bank holiday monday - 7.45am- the 6 bean farts of Stoke begin their adventure to the
lake district.
They are:
Bean fart 1 and leader of the pack- Rob Sigley
Bean fart 2, love machine Chris Proud
Bean fart 3, beasty boy Nick Peake
Bean fart 4, Rick "I must be in front" Screen
Bean fart 5, and smelliest of all bean farts, Ben Brunsden
Bean fart 6, myself, Philly Jay

Drivers, Rob and Rick, rallied up the M6 and before they knew it (due to their slow wit) they had arrived in the Bowness, the Lake District. After a short scout round for pumpkin juice and rich tea biscuits, they converged on the outisde picnic table. There, Nick an I dicussed how happy we were to be sharing a bed. Then it was time to climb the Mountain of Asgogath (from Welsh legend). On reaching the summit we did what all men should: climb rocks! Evening came and it was time for the big boat competition, pioneered by Rick. We returned before dark, fearing the wild boars in that region and snuggled down for Peter Kay night (proposed by Rob and seconded by me)

Day 2
Our hired rowing boats, "The Merry Phil" and "Dorris" went head on in a battle of power and skill. "The Merry Phil" had the immediate advantage, but lost due to an amateur partnership (father and son) crossing our path in the crucial last minutes. Lucky for them, we chose to be graceful and not to ram them! As a consequence we paid out for the other 3's lunch.

Day 3
Probably my favourite day. It was off to Go Ape for some more outdoor pursuits. Whilst Rick, Nick and Rob chose to mountain bike around; Ben, Chris and Myself set off to do the more important business of orienteering. On our travels we built a shelter to escape harsh weather conditions (which fell down before its completition because Ben is an idiot). We then reconvened for some high-wire action, in particular, Nick failing to grab the netting and finding himslef dangling 40 metres above the ground. A very entertaining moment.

Day 4
After getting a taste for rowing we decided we would be selfish and have a boat each: kayaking! Let us always remember the isle of chris and its dead bird (which may have just been lying down, as pointed out by Rick), and Philbackistan where I first learnt to skim stones, and where Rick left his buoyancy jacket. haha! After that it was time to re-visit Keswick (as featured in lake district 2005) and check out the local pasties once more. They had run out of pork and apple sauce which was a slight traversty. It was here that Chris and I took over the surf shop to defend it from invading East-Europeans (troublemakers!). Later we visited the waterfall at Air Forca where we had the biggests game of poo-sticks of our lives! It was there that Rob found the biggest lamb he's ever seen lamb (which was actually a sheep)

Day 5
Rockclimbing!!! (for real) followed by our trip to the beach. or the ratty harbour, as it turned out. Nevertheless we did eventually find some sand, and ben and I took it upon ourselves to venture down into the bowels of the North-West coastline (check out the
pictures, you'll see what I mean) There, we nearly got stranded by a Beach river and had our feet cut open, but it was all worth it when we dicovered the soft green seaweed (*sighs*) where we rubbed our feet for many minutes.

After a quick nap, and a lovely meal at Gibbys restaurant we headed to check out the lake ditrict clubs; where- to our joy- we found practically everyone we had met during the week: slightly Wizzard of Oz-ish in feel. Chris proved to be a big hit with a certain 3 girls there! This was not in strict agreement with Stoke inbreeding policies but luckilly it was only a kiss.

Day 6
To end on a high, we returned to the Osterich farm. Sadly all the bigger osterich's had been slaughtered for sausage meet, but on the bright side, Mr "don't come near my wife" turkey was still there. Naturally Ben took it upon himself to woo mrs turkey, and with pleasing results.

So that was that- We rock! The end of a great holiday!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Dora the explorer - Star rating: 3 stars


Chris Proud reviews Dora for all her fans. Check out his thoughts

Dora has some exploring to do and she’s not too proud to let you join in too. With an action packed DVD, a fun filled magazine and a poster one I’m sure to keep—after all I smell antique.)

The DVD

On this whirlwind of a DVD there were three which I was drawn into watch. However, when it says on the cover ‘three great episodes’ do not be taken in. Admittedly, ‘The Big Red Chicken’ does have its moments, and I would personally love to meet such a huge chicken and walk over it like a hill, the plot was a little predictable.

The second of the three episodes does show a little more originality. This episode looks into what happened when Dora and her monkey friend Boots ‘find’ a little blue bird. This bird in a shocking twist turns out to be Spanish, and thus from this chance happening the audience can learn some Spanish words themselves. However beware as many children from here on in will be calling each other little blue or Azul Arbol. I know this may sound far fetched but I have been calling my friends this ever since. However, despite this little gem that will drive you crazy with glee, I did feel that the supposed ‘helpful scarecrow’ had more sinister intentions.

The final episode ‘Grandma’s house’ certainly leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat for more, but this is only due to the fact that grandma looks like she would cook you a nice meal. Apart from this, Dora’s performance is a little wooden. Acting lessons may be needed.

The Magazine

After watching the three helpings of Dora on DVD, I was keen to see what the magazine would offer to me and more importantly a small child. The front cover I felt was warm and inviting and made me feel like Dora would become quite a friend to anyone from any bouncing baby to any grumpy granddad within seconds. The prospect of matching up ‘colour pairs’ also excited me.

The contents page is very polite and inviting with Dora welcoming us by saying in what I guess would be a cheery voice, ‘Hola! Will you come and explore with me?’ this is felt would be quite warming to many a child, however if I was a small child I would find Dora to be a little creepy and I would definitely end up crying for hours with fright.

However, on a positive side this page lays out clearly what to expect, teaches you how to say hello in Spanish ‘Hola!’ as well as providing you with a challenge—remembering to say cluck cluck every time you see the Big Red Chicken, unfortunately sometimes I fell foul L.

The first exciting gift that the magazine provides the audience with is the story of the Big Red Chicken, which is the same story as on the DVD. Some people may find this a little upsetting and disappointing, but wait step away from the cliff—don’t jump, as I found reading the story shone it in a new light. I found the colourful pages insightful, despite being a tad roughly sketched in places.

However, despite these vivid pictures providing some much needed colour I did find the story itself was a little rushed in places. This happened on several occasions—here are a couple
1) at the bridge: planks are missing the toucan says I’ll fix it and without seeing him fix it—its done—where do the planks come from?
2) Swiper (the villain of the tale) steals a key a very important key—which will now b impossible to find—not at all have they found it within a second — very unrealistic.

These instances are a little disappointing, however I feel that younger children will not worry about how much of the story is missing like I do. All in all, this story has the essentials a beginning, middle and an end as well as a villain (Swiper) boo hiss boo, and a hero, Dora, hooray! Just what the Doctor ordered.

Following on the magazine continues with some brilliant inventive games for the children to enjoy, such as; find the key and colour the chicken along with new Spanish words to learn. Your children WILL be busy for hours. So lock them in their rooms with this magazine and have a night at the cinema, they’ll never know.

The story ‘lost and found’ arrives next (again from the DVD), and again it offers a pleasant read. Many children will love the heart warming story of how Dora and her monkey friend (who reminds me a lot of myself) boots save the little chick, while others will just think that Dora is poking her nose in a little too much. The new Spanish words will be a little confusing to start with but in the end even I got the hang of them. A key observation to this story though is that Dora can speak to animals, any child would be impressed. But beware your child and your dog will soon be chatting non-stop. You have been warned.

Altogether the magazine is pleasant and offers some fun activities that any child will be glad to have the chance to do. The colours are bright and attractive and at the end reading the magazine, your child will get a certificate for completing the task. Mine is on my wall as we speak …a proud moment. However, despite the magazine being compelling on many levels, nothing can match the free alphabet poster. I love it.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Check me out!

After a push by Jude, I've moved my blog. The deciding factor was that if I'm on here I can google myself! wahey!

Other google reults I found include this:
http://www.psu.edu/dept/comm/aope/aopejoyce.htm - Crazy beans!

So yeah I'm here now: google me, froogle me and make a note of this address- you saw it here first!

Phil :-)