I know the title makes you raise an eyebrow but this last weekend was the drawing to a close of one big project, which was also secret one (hence why I haven't mentioned it on here before now). Two weeks ago one of the guys on our team suggested a cool idea. We would think of a few countries to put in the hat, each one of us would dress like someone from that country and make our room into a bar/restaurant of the country we drew out of the hat. We had two weeks. 

Hoping for France or something familiar, I was initially disappointed with my choice but as is normal my imagination took over for I had picked.... Japan! I couldn't wait to begin! And yes I decided there and then I would make a working sushi conveyor. Being nothing short of highly competitive I got to work straight away. This was something of a challenge as the hotel staff probably wouldn't be best pleased if they walked into room progressively turning into a sushi bar so much of it had to be hidden flat packed under the bed.

After seeking advice from a few friends from home who tried to discourage me from trying to make a sushi conveyor, I ignored them as my head said it will be fine. Here are photos of the development of the bar.

(Disclaimer - I apologise if any of the japanese symbols cause offence, they were purely chosen for aesthetic reasons only due to time constraints)

The evening began in Holland, passing through Mexico, South Africa, Jamaica, Australia, India and one of my favourites Russia (he had made his room look like it was straight out of the USSR). I was so impressed seeing what people had done, especially the accents people were putting on in the rooms and the Russian dancing was something to be seen (maybe some more practice of that needed). It was so cool seeing everyone getting very competitively creative and I was jealous of quite a few ideas (dry ice mist and a crocodile in the Australian room was awesome).

My advisors were right in the end; the sushi bar didn't work in the end as I had to many issues (many of which wouldn't have existed if I had a slightly bigger budget. lol) but it didn't bother me too much as the bar still looked very cool and a great evening was had by all, maybe except for the very confused local who turned the corner to see a strange mix of internationals walking past.


(I discovered I don't really like caviar)


Some of the more observant amongst you will have noticed that today is indeed Tuesday and therefore I am a day late in posting this. For those of you with access to Facebook or Instagram this will not come as a surprise. 

You see yesterday evening I had begun to write my usual Macintosh Monday post which involved his clever escape from the garden under the watchful eye of my mum causing me to run around the house in front of the builders in my pjs! But as I was busy typing away Andrew called me. I then stopped what I was doing and chatted to him. This was all fine, quite normal for an evening until Macintosh walked past me whimpering and bleeding profusely from his foot! Somehow he had managed to pull off his claw exposing the inner claw and causing quite a lot of pain.

This necessitated a trip at 8pm down to our out of hours vets practice to see if they could remove the offending claw and stem the flow of blood. Upon arrival Macintosh began to panic because even in his state of shock he knew vets were never a good thing. This was then reinforced by the vet attempting to simply pull off his claw whilst I held onto him. After a few unsuccessful attempt and some heartbreaking yowls from Mac the vet whisked Mac away to see if, with the help of a nurse, they could sort it out. 

Unfortunately it wasn't that simple and therefore poor old Mac had to be sedated, quite heavily too it turned out in order for them to remove the claw, trim it down to the base and clean the wound. So there was I in a state of worry, feeling like a mother who's child is poorly, sipping tea in a darkened vet surgery waiting to hear he was alright. 

Eventually the vet came out and said they had sorted the claw and he was just coming round ready to go home. Of course with Macintosh its never that simple and the extreme bleeding began again necessitating an extremely large purple bandage being applied, which in turn meant the cone of shame! Finally at 10:30pm we could finally make our way home (via MacDonalds for my tea!) to allow a still slightly high, very poorly and bedraggled dog to sleep off the painkillers. 

However even the night wasn't simple as it involved constant waking up and bolting out of bed, heavy panting, whimpering and wild looking eyes. Not something I'm eager to repeat again as when I allowed him to crawl onto the bed he repeatedly butted me with his cone of shame!! Not fun.

All in all an eventful night in the Woodruff household. At the end of the saga I still have no clue what caused the claw to get ripped off and am still cleaning blood out of the carpet. On that note I will leave you with a picture of a very sorry but very cute bandaged Macintosh.




So I'm very sorry but the videos from Nashville are pretty bad quality but hopefully you get the idea. In the morning we had a breakfast at place with a flyingboat on the ceiling so I was happy.

Then we went on to Memphis; from Country to Blues. It was very quiet in Memphis but we found some great live music, ranging from a Blues Society at the Rum Boogie Club to proper Rhythm & Blues in a really chilled bar which served amazing wings!! We then went to the first BB King Blues Club and finally to a cool little french bar with amazing decor.

In the morning whilst preparing for the journey ahead I discovered that the motel was right next door to an amazing derelict building and a cool bridge.

So we hit the road heading just out of town to Elvis's house; Graceland. An odd mix of retro and obsession. This was also the final stop of on the road trip and then began the 8 hour drive home. Here are a few pictures of the house, planes and cars.



This last weekend, myself and a few of the lads I work with took advantage of the extra day off (Martin Luther King Day) and went for a road trip to the Tennessee to visit Nashville and Memphis. Friday we set off straight after work trying to get as far as we could towards Nashville so we didn't have to drive too far in the morning (445 mile drive), so we stopped the night at a cheap motel in Birmingham, AL. We were somewhat worried how the evening would turn out as driving in we saw some pretty aggressive road rage on the outskirts of the city and on arriving at the motel, a police car pulled up and arrested someone. Yup, nothing like a bit of crazy to add to the adventure! But once in the city itself, it turned out to be a nice place with friendly people.

Here are a few photos from the drive.

Back on the road the next day heading first towards Nashville we detoured via Lynchburg, to the Jack Daniels Whisky Distillery, which is in Moore County who have yet to vote against the prohibition laws so is still a "dry" county. The Distillery run a free tour of the whisky making process. It was interesting to see how this process worked even though I don't really care much for their whisky. Our tour guide showed us the fermenting mash which she encouraged us to sniff, I think this was more for her to laugh at us leaping backwards from the pungent yeasty smell with burnt nose hairs.
My favourite was the rocking chairs made out of barrels. And they were very comfortable.

Here are some photos of the visit.

Then on to Nashville for everything Country & Western. We found another "interesting" motel to stay at then popped into the city to hear some music and laugh at the odd cowboys strolling around. Also surprised at the number of people with massive beards!!  

Here are a few snaps of Nashville, more to come in part II plus a video if I can work out how to post it!