30th October 2017

What to do with a month off work?!

What to do with a month off work?!

As mentioned in my last blog I was signed off for 4 weeks after Fracture Clinic and I was already bored of day time TV.  I was still fairly immobile and weak so there was going to be nothing energetic, at least not initially.  Here are the ten things that occupied 99% of my time (remember I wasn’t really sleeping at this point…).

1.   Box Sets

Everyone loves a good box set.  My chosen sets whilst sitting in bed all day every day were Billions and Line of Duty.  I had been meaning to watch Billions for a while after a few recommendations from mates.  Line of Duty series 4 had just been on BBC and had made quite an impression so I wanted to watch it from the start.  Both of these I absolutely loved and binged on them excessively day after day.

Throughout my teenage years I wanted to be just like Billion’s Bobby Axelrod and had I not met Becky who grounded me maybe I would have tried to be a big shot city boy…  I loved this show so much I have pages of notes and quotes from it so I’m hoping to blog about it separately.

Line of Duty is action packed and gripping, even for a police drama.  Some of the episodes pack in enough murders and twists for a whole series of any normal drama.  Ironically the last series which had all the recent hype is probably the least exciting so make sure you go back and watch the first 3 if you haven’t already.

2.   Sport on TV

I’m a big sports fan and very lucky that I get a fully subsidised Sky TV package through work so I have all satellite channels including pay per view boxing.  The only thing I don’t get is BT Sports, so I thought I would treat myself to it for a month.

I decided to set myself the challenge of a Sports Marathon – attempting to watching as many live sports as I could before returning to work.  When I started scanning the TV guide sports section I realised that there were even more sports than I could have imagined.  I had a good go at 25-30 of them though and most I enjoyed – snooker was an exception, I tried a bit of the World Champs at the Crucible but was bored stiff.

My favourite sport to watch will always be football and the climax to the 16/17 season was pretty exciting with the fight for Champions League places.  I became an honorary Liverpool fan with a good mate and we enjoyed watching them scrape in to the top 4 for only the second time in the last 8 years.

The highlight of sport through April/May was undoubtedly the Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko fight.  For me this has to be one of the most captivating fights of all time, it was so hard to call the winner throughout.  AJ hit the deck for the first time in his professional career in the 6th round and silenced his critics by getting back up and coming through to win convincingly in the 11th.  I am very excited to see what 2018 holds for AJ – fingers crossed for showdowns with Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury…

3.   Betting & Gaming

I’ve been working in the betting & gaming industry for 13 years now so I know it fairly well.  That’s probably the reason I’ve done little more than dabble with the odd bets over the past few years.  But as I had some time on my hands I thought I may as well do some “market research”.  I opened up accounts with Bet 365, Paddy Power, BetVictor and PokerStars, all offering ridiculous welcome bonuses as they do nowadays.

I found myself slipping in to a “bonus abuse” type pattern of maximising the value of bonuses, doing the minimum required activity and withdrawing at the earliest opportunity.  I managed to get over £100 out of £20 deposits at Paddy’s, Victors and Stars.  Some of them made it very difficult for me to get the cash out though…

I was particularly pleased with myself having called the Arsenal victory in the FA cup final against Chelsea, even guessing the correct score.  I won over £250 on that game, most of which I actually withdrew so happy days!

Betting has got a lot of bad press of late but if it is done responsibly and particularly whilst watching live sport.  It can be great fun and can turn a dull game of any sport in to something a lot more interesting.  So very useful when you are watching hours of sport and getting bored!

4.   Catching up with good mates

Sadly, I have lost contact with a lot of my good friends over the years and I’m not even very good at seeing my friends that live and work in Leeds.  I know we all lead busy lives and most have started families now but we really should make more effort.

So, with a month off work I had no excuse, I invited them over at every opportunity and they watched a lot of sport with me.  At one point, I was seeing someone different every night and I think my wife felt a bit left out.

5.   Quality time with the family

It goes without saying but the thing I felt most lucky about given my state was being able to spend loads of time with my lovely boys, and the wife!  We managed to have some fun days out, mostly to the park and local farms.  It started slowly in the wheelchair and then on to the crutches for more adventurous days out.

The boys were the main reason for my positivity.  They kept me going through the tough times and were always so happy and bubbly it definitely rubbed off on me.

As usual I have witted on for too long so I’ve split this post in two – I’ll post 6-10 in the next few days.

What would you do with a month off work?!

Part 2: www.backonthesaddle.co.uk/dans-story/month-off-work-ii/

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