Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - Ham & Egger Files - The Year in Review

All the highlights & happenings and fun & games from the past year!

2011 saw another busy year of blogging here on The Ham & Egger Files. The site began on the 21st of December 2006 and in the past five years a total of 1,350 blog posts have been published! 450 of them being written in 2011.

During 2011 we've played a further 72 Miniature Golf courses, taking the total played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour to date to 282, with a further 162 visited but not played for a variety of reasons. This makes a grand total of 444 visited overall since the 30th of September 2006!

Us with some FREE Minigolf Game Passes won at Great Yarmouth

Below is a month by month breakdown of some of the highlights of our year of Adventures on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour (and in other sports and games).

- 39 blog posts
- Emily wins the first Minigolf competition of the year at the Luton Invitational Tournament
- Richard is the runner-up in a GMGC Club Tournament
- Richard is 17th and Emily is 28th at the Star City Open minigolf competition in Birmingham

- 30 blog posts
- Richard attends his first-ever Punk Gig!
- Richard is 12th in the BMGA Rumble in the Jungle minigolf tournament in Bristol
- Richard is 3rd in a GMGC Club Tournament
- Teaming with Oliver 'The Machine' Florence, Richard finishes in 7th place in the GMGC Green Doubles minigolf tournament in Hither Green

- 32 blog posts
- We play the 212th and 213th courses on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour on a trip to Liverpool
- We find a Ham & Egg Parade in New Brighton
We fight each other in a one-on-one Laser Tag Battle at the Lazer Quest in New Brighton!
- Richard is 16th and Emily 19th in the BMGA National Open in Liverpool
- Richard wins the Scrap Iron Cup in Liverpool

- 29 blog posts
- Richard is 85 years too late to play a rooftop Minigolf course in London
- Richard is 9th in the BMGA British Masters in Margate, Kent. Emily is 25th
- Richard is 4th in a GMGC Club Tournament
- Richard is the runner-up in the London Invitational Minigolf Tournament
- We attend the latest Royal Bun Throwing in Richard's home town of Abingdon

- 77 blog posts
- We play a brand new Minigolf course in Emily's home town of Ipswich
- We pop to Clacton for some Minigolf on a Pier!
- We play minigolf for Great Britain in the WMF World Adventure Golf Masters in Hastings
-- Despite travelling to Hastings numerous times before, Richard gets lost on the way!? But he does find a new Crazy Golf course to play!
-- Emily becomes the first-ever WMF World Adventure Golf Masters Women's Champion
- Some £2 Tat Challenges are played in Hastings
- Richard teams with Alan Norman to take-on the Kosovan National Minigolf Team in a Doubles Match
- We visit 10 Miniature Golf courses on a coastal roadtrip from St Leonards to Worthing
- Richard is interviewed by the Putter King website in Japan
- We visit 40 Mini, Crazy & Adventure Golf courses on our seaside and minigolf tour of Lincolnshire & Norfolk
-- The first played is at Oddballs Crazy Golf in Cleethorpes, Lincs
-- The last is at the Vegas Amusements in Hunstanton, Norfolk
- Emily is 4th in a GMGC Club Tournament. Richard ties for 6th place

- 57 blog posts
- Richard & his team mate Will Collins are runners-up in the Lost World Adventure Golf Pro-Am Classic in Hemsby
- Richard finishes 7th in the BMGA English Open at Wroxham Barns, Emily is 19th
- We play minigolf for Great Britain in the WMF Nations Cup in Stockholm, Sweden
-- Read about the 5 Days on International Minigolf Duty
-- The Beton (Concrete) Miniature Golf course becomes the 250th played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- Along with Brad Shepherd we head to Elstree & Borehamwood for the 40th Anniversary On The Buses Event!
- Richard becomes the Melbourn Village Fete Target Bowls Champion

- 36 blog posts
- Alongside Oliver Florence and Kallum Harper, we take part in the Worm Charming Competition at St Mary’s Village Carnival in Edlesborough
- Richard wins the 2011 Cystadleuaeth Minigolff Cymraeg (Welsh Minigolf Tournament)
- Richard is the runner-up in the Cwmbran Table Tennis Classic
- We play our first Laser Maze in Weston-super-Mare

- 42 blog posts
- We compete in the 2011 UK Thumb Wrestling Championships in Lowestoft, Suffolk
- Emily is 7th in the Midlands Open minigolf competition in Dorridge. Richard ties for 8th place
- Richard teams up with Scott Lancley and Emily teams with Brad Shepherd in the BMGA British Doubles Championships
- On a trip to Scotland we meet-up with fellow Minigolfer John 'Thighs' Moore to go and watch some Cycle Speedway!

- 28 blog posts
- Emily leaves the Midlands Minigolf Club to become a member of the new Cambridgeshire Minigolf Club
- We revisit fabulous Las Vegas and Richard wins the Putt Park Annual Mini-Golf Tournament, Emily is the runner-up
- Luton Dodgeball Club hits 'One'
- We celebrate five years of the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour with a revisit to the first two courses ever played!

- 32 blog posts
- We finally meet Mick 'The Man' Gisbourne at Poole Park's Crazy Golf course!
- Richard is the runner-up in the fourth Weymouth Open minigolf tournament. Emily ties for 8th place
- Richard attempts to help break the Guinness World Record attempt for the most people to ‘High Five’ simultaneously
- We compete in the Sportingbet UK Rock Paper Scissors Championships in London
- We attend the 59th Annual National Town Criers Championships as spectators
- Emily is 6th in the Planet Hastings Crazy Golf Club Open, Richard is tied for 10th place
- Richard is 25th and Emily 51st in the Castle Golf World Crazy Golf Championships
- Richard, Emily and Christopher (and friends) just about survive the Zombie Apocalypse in Hastings!
- Richard is a runner-up and Emily is tied for 9th place in the 2011 Worlds £2 Tat Challenge
- Richard competes in the Worlds Crazy Air Hockey Championships 2011, losing in the first round

- 17 blog posts
- Richard & Emily join the EcoStyle team for a 3rd place finish in the Namco Business Tenpin Bowling Grand Final in Luton
- Richard is the runner-up in the 1st Annual Putter King Miniature Golf Scavenger Hunt
- The 2011 BMGA Tour season comes to a close in Dorridge, Solihull - Richard and his Midlands Minigolf Club Team Mates finish 3rd in the BMGA British Club Championships
- Richard finishes the BMGA Tour season as the British number 16 in the BMGA Order of Merit Rankings, Emily is tied for 35th place. In the BMGA Season-Only Rankings Richard is 10th with Emily 24th
- Emily wins the Stokesley NO/NIT Classic Minigolf Tournament in Middlesbrough

- 31 blog posts
- Richard is a runner-up in the Putterfingers Micro Putt Online Mini Golf competition
- Along with Tim 'Ace Man' Davies, Richard has a feature on Crazy Golf Postcards published in Picture Postcard Monthly
- Richard wins the Oliver Florence Birthday Invitational Minigolf Tournament in New Malden
- Richard is 3rd and Emily is 8th in the 2011 Rivernear Worlds Professional Crazy Golfers Darts Tournament

Year by Year Blog Post Stats on The Ham & Egger Files:
- 2006 - 3 blog posts
- 2007 - 43 blog posts
- 2008 - 158 blog posts
- 2009 - 332 blog posts
- 2010 - 364 blog posts
- 2011 - 450 blog posts

Previous Year in Review Blog Posts:
- 2010 - Ham & Egger Files - The Year in Review
- 2009 - Ham & Egger Files - The Year in Review

The Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Friday, December 30, 2011

Crazy Golf at Alexandra Palace in London - Course played #282

On Monday 19th December 2011 Brad Shepherd and I made a visit to Alexandra Palace to have a play of the Crazy Golf course set up there.

The 18-hole course became the 282nd played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London
Playing hole 10

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London
Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd playing hole 3 at Ally Pally

Brad and I faced-off in an 18-hole one-round contest on the course. Over the front-9 holes I scored 15, with Brad hitting a 23. Brad struck back on the back-9 and scored a 22 to my 26. However, I managed to defeat him 41-45.

The course is owned by Moneypenny Events and features some of the holes/frames as the Minigolf courses we previously played at Devonshire Square in London (#155 & #155.5/visit 199b). The company also own the course that has appeared at the o2 (#210).

Photos of the course:

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Indoor Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace in London

Alexandra Palace is also home to an interesting looking Pitch & Put Miniature Golf Course. Some of the holes are played up/down hill! There is also a Putting Course there. They are both on the 'to play' list, hopefully sometime in 2012...

Pitch and Putt course at Alexandra Palace in London

Pitch and Putt course at Alexandra Palace in London

The Brown Sign pointing the way to Alexandra Palace. The sign is opposite Wood Green Tube Station

- Minigolf & Crazy Golf in London
- Alexandra Palace
- Crazy Golf at Alexandra Palace
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

New Indoor Minigolf Course Opening in Las Vegas - KISS Minigolf by Monster Mini Golf

As a BIG fan of both Las Vegas and Minigolf I'm pleased to see that another new Miniature Golf course is opening in the city in 2012!

Back in July 2011 I spotted that a KISS-themed Indoor Mini Golf course was being built by Monster Mini Golf and it was due to open in late 2011/early 2012.

Unfortunately the opening, should it have been in the autumn, would have come after our revisit in September (we did get to play the other new course in downtown Las Vegas at The Swingers Club at the Plaza and Emily and I were first & second in the Putt Park Annual Mini-Golf Tournament!).

According to Monster Mini Golf the brand new 18-hole KISS Glow-in-the-Dark Indoor Minigolf course will be part of a unique KISS Rock n’ Roll-themed attraction that will also house an amusement arcade, Wedding Chapel, and KISS Cafe, KISS Gallery and the largest KISS Gift Shop in the World!

Fingers crossed for another trip to Las Vegas in 2012.

- Monster Mini Golf
- Kiss Monster Mini Golf
- Monster Mini Golf on twitter
- Monster Mini Golf - KISS, Las Vegas on facebook
- Las Vegas 'tagged' Blog Posts on The Ham & Egger Files

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Darts in London - The Jolly Anglers Pub in Wood Green

Prior to the Crazy Golfers Christmas Meet-up at Rileys in Victoria, Brad Shepherd and I met up at Wood Green before heading off to visit and play the Crazy Golf course at Alexandra Palace.

We followed a Brown Tourist Sign to point us in the right direction and one of the first things we spotted was another very interesting sign, this time outside a Pub!

Photo: The Pub Darts Sign

Photo: Brad 'Stops' by the Pub Darts Sign

We decided to come back and give the Jolly Anglers pub a go on our way back after playing at Ally Pally. Just a short distance further along Station Road we spotted a Darts Shop too! And it was on a 'Bradley Road'!!! Sadly it had closed down, so we couldn't get stocked up on any Darts supplies ahead of the evening's tournament.

Photo: Brad standing outside the old Darts shop on Bradley Road

The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) World Darts Championships were being held at Alexandra Palace during our visit, so we had a look around, but it all seemed very quiet.

Photo: Me outside the VIP Entrance

After playing the Minigolf course at Alexandra Palace we had plenty of time to head back to the Jolly Anglers to warm-up with a few games of Darts.

Photo: Brad chucks some 'arrers

In between drinks and goes on the Quiz machine, Brad and I played five '301' games of Darts, with victories all going my way. However, in the evening's main-event Brad would get his revenge by beating me in our two meetings (group stage & semi-final) and eventually went on to win the 'Rivernear Worlds Professional Crazy Golfers Darts Championship'.

Photo: Me and the Dart Board at The Jolly Anglers pub

The Jolly Anglers pub was friendly enough and the board, while not super high-quality, was in good condition and we were able to play there for well over an hour. Their sign advertising the Darts did well!

Photo: The Jolly Anglers pub sign

Photo: The Brown Tourist Sign pointing towards Alexandra Palace

- Justin Irwin - Bachelor of Darts - Capital Darts List
- Follow The Brown Signs
- Alexandra Palace
- The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC)
- The Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Sprouts & Pong - Previous Blog Posts About Me & Brad's Antics in December's past:
- Guinness World Record Attempt - Most Brussels Sprouts Eaten in a Minute!
- The London-Lu(x)ton Connection play in the 'World Series of Pong' Ping Pong Tournament in Tooting!

More Fake Crocodiles & Alligators - Bluewater, New Malden & Milton Keynes

While they may not be places likely to be well known for habitat suitable for Crocodiles or Alligators on our recent travels we have managed to find a fair few Crocodiles/Alligators lurking on Miniature Golf courses at Bluewater Shopping Centre, World of Golf New Malden and on a Pirate Adventure Golf course in Milton Keynes!

Pirate Cove Adventure Golf at Bluewater

Jurassic Encounter Adventure Golf at New Malden

Pirate Island Adventure Golf in Milton Keynes

- Fake Crocodiles! Or are they Alligators?
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hmm, Some Bizarre Gluten & Gluten Free Shelf Stacking!

Some great merchandising of Gluten and Gluten Free Food Products dangerously stocked side-by-side in EARTH Natural Food in Kentish Town, London!?

Gluten Free Reviews on Travel Gluten Free

On our travels around the UK and overseas Emily and I are always on the look out for places to eat out at Gluten Free.

As a Coeliac it is vital that I don't eat any food that would be unsafe, so options for dining can be quite limited. However, on our travels we've found some great places to eat at.

As well as tweeting about them when I find them and blogging about them here on The Ham & Egger Files, I also regularly submit reviews to the Travel Gluten Free website.

You can read my reviews on Travel Gluten Free at:
- Where to eat - UK, Restaurants
- Where to eat - UK, Chains
- Where to eat - UK, Stores
- Where to eat - North America, Restaurants
- Where to eat - North America, Chains
- Where to eat - North America, Stores
- Where to eat - Sweden, Restaurants
- Where to stay - UK

- Travel Gluten Free
- Coeliac UK - The leading charity working for people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). Their mission is to improve the lives of people with coeliac disease through support, campaigning and research.

More Gluten Free Black Pudding. And a Haggis!

While researching places to eat Gluten Free ahead of our trip to Edinburgh in August Emily had spotted that Findlays Butchers in Portobello, Edinburgh, Scotland offer wide-range of Gluten Free products that are also available to order online.

While we were in Scotland we didn’t manage to visit the actual shop, but did walk by it, and wouldn’t have had anywhere to store the meat anyway. Instead we waited to buy some nearer to Christmas.

I ordered a Gluten Free Haggis (yet to try it) and two Gluten Free Black Puddings (one down, one to go). Black Pudding was one of my favourite meat dishes before I was diagnosed as a Coeliac and the Black Puddings from Findlays are very tasty. They do contain Oatmeal, however Findlays have made sure that the ingredients going into their products are uncontaminated and as safe for Coeliacs as possible.

Photo: The Gluten Free Haggis, one of the Gluten Free Black Puddings and the edge of the BIG Bone-In Beef Rib Roast

We also ordered a Bone-In Beef Rib Roast and this piece of meat was one of the best we have ever tasted.

Findlays have a variety of Gluten Free specialist products and plenty of other meats to choose from too. It’s easy to order and they have good packaging and delivery. I would use them again.

In March 2011 I had my first taste of Gluten Free Black Pudding when we spotted them (along with Gluten Free Sausages) on the Shaw Meats/Cumbrian Salami Company stall at the Centre MK Craft & Food Fair at Middleton Hall.

Previous Gluten Free Black Pudding Blog Post (!):
- Gluten Free Sausages and Black Pudding from Shaw Meats/Cumbrian Salami Company

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Adventure Golf course heading to Sheffield

As a member of the Paradise Island Adventure Golf 'Golf Club' I receive their regular email newsletter with details of upcoming new and events (sign up here). In the latest issue there was the announcement that Paradise Island is now on facebook (find them here).

When I clicked through I saw that in addition to the two 36-hole Adventure Golf centres they have at Xscape, Brahead, Glasgow and at The Trafford Centre in Manchester, they are setting up a new course at Valley Centertainment in Sheffield!

Emily and I have played the courses in Brahead and Manchester and are looking forward to checking out the new Sheffield Adventure Golf in 2012!

Checking out the Valley Centertainment website I noticed the centre has a Laser Quest too!

Update (February 2016): We've now played the course and it's great.

- 85 Manchester (Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Tiki Hut Trail) - Adventure Golf
- 86 Manchester (Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Temple Ruins Adventure) - Adventure Golf
- 90 Glasgow (Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Maggie McCaw's Challenge) - Adventure Golf
- 91 Glasgow (Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Tiki Hut Trail) - Adventure Golf
- Paradise Island Adventure Golf at Braehead, Scotland

More from the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Monday, December 26, 2011

Revisit to Championship Miniature Golf at Trafford Golf Centre, Manchester

On Monday 12th December 2011 we made a revisit to the 9-hole Championship Miniature Golf course at the Trafford Golf Centre in Manchester.

We’ve played at the centre for fun and in two Miniature Golf tournaments (which I won) with our last visit in 2009. The course was the 84th played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

On our recent visit we found the course to still be in excellent condition, very playable and still every bit as challenging as before. The course has been designed to replicate famous holes from ‘Big’ Golf courses and each hole has a board next to it telling you the history of the hole, tips on how to play it and quotes from famous golfers.

In our Irregular Mini Golf Tour Match-up I defeated Emily 32-35 and then 26-33. The course record of 23 held by course designer Nick Ashfield still stands!

The course provides four different tee-off points to choose from (Juniors, Ladies, Mens and Competition) and the course is definitely a Par-3 set-up. While Holes-in-One are achievable on the course, they are very rare indeed and a two is a very good score on most of the holes.

The 9-hole Championship Miniature Golf course is located at the Trafford Golf Centre (formerly PlayGolf). The Minigolf course costs £5 a round for adults (£4 for under 16s) and a second round is only £2.50. It's well worth a play if you're in Manchester.

While having a wander around the centre we also spotted a Putting Practice hole next to the Driving Range.

Previous Blog Posts about Championship Miniature Golf in Manchester:
- Course #84 on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour - Championship Miniature Golf
- Minigolf Report – Richard Gottfried wins the Manchester Mini Masters tournament
- Minigolf Report – Gottfrieds finish first and second in the Manchester Miniature Open tournament

- Championship Miniature Golf
- Trafford Golf Centre
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour