Thursday, 28 July 2011

There's a message in the wire and I'm sending you this signal tonight

When I started writing this blog I never thought I'd be given the opportunities that mma has given me. I just knew that I had something buzzing in my head that I couldn't shake and I needed to get down on paper.

Today I was given the news that my 9-5 job doesn't exist anymore which, to be honest, I was expecting in a funny kind of way.

If I can simplify it all then here's the deal:

I teach people
They want me to sell things

That's pretty much the top and bottom of it all.

I've got a weekend to figure out what I'm going to do and just how I'm going to do it.

Teaching, for me, is about helping people.
Sales, for me, is about trying to convince people that they want something they don't need.

Anyhow excuse my rambling I'm still a bit shell shocked by the whole situation at the minute.

To the point then.

How much of this is a sign?

How much of this is the universe reaching out and saying if you don't write/commentate/judge/teach or do something you believe in then you'll end up a soulless robot?

The Message

The time is now it seems.

I'm declaring myself formally available for any mma work that any of you people may need.

Want press releases writing? I'm all over it and have done hundreds for different organizations and companies.

Want articles writing? I've had over 700 pieces published across print and Internet outlets both sides of the Atlantic.

Want an MMA event judging or commentating? I've judged well over 100 fights and have attended the best judging seminar in the entire country run by Mr Marc Goddard and have commentated for HD Net Fights and Sky Sports.

Want some personal training? I'm qualified to do that as well as it happens.

Want to rescue me from this nightmare? Well I'd fucking love you forever if you did and I'd stay up all night writing about how happy I am with it.

All my contact details are available here: http://www.ukmma.info/ben-cartlidge/

Speak real soon.

Love always

Ben

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Halcyon Days

Just spent a pretty amazing weekend in Wales with my lovely girlfriend.

Driving to Wales is always kinda emotional somehow as I always tie it to being really little and going on holiday with my mum and dad.

There's a million and one memories of those holidays that are special and that I take with me every single day but somehow I always link Wales with arcades.

This weekend I went into loads of amusement arcades and was really shocked at just how much they'd changed.

Back in 1995 I remember seeing the Playstation appear on the end of Gamesmaster on a Thursday tea time and thinking it didn't look real. Here was a home console that could do Ridge Racer as perfect as it was in the local Quasar.

Before that point the arcades were a look at the future while still being rooted firmly in the past.

Any arcade you went into in the 80's/early 90's had the same carpet, the same smokey atmosphere you almost had to swim through and the same local radio station over a crackly speaker system.

Every machine would have a story and every kid walking up and down would be waiting for their opportunity to be the local arcade hero; to be that kid who beat Double Dragon on one credit or that kid who beat M.Bison or part of that team who two manned Crime Fighters or even four manned Gauntlet.

Every single time I stepped into an arcade it was like a home away from home and that's why going on holiday was so special because I loved going away and I loved new things but I was still comforted that, even in a different country, I could walk in an amusement arcade and everything made sense.

The arcades now are clean and 99% of them are full of gambling machines simply because they're the only way that owners can make any money.

We wandered round Llandudno for ages in search of a really old school arcade but, as you might imagine, we were about 15 years too late.

I'm not taking anything away from what was a beautiful time this weekend simply that, as I was driving home, I realised that my life had entered another phase in a lot of respects and that times had changed.

That was, however, until I got home and saw that Sony had uploaded the Golden Axe coin op onto the PS Store. I downloaded it straight away and almost had to stop myself from loading my PS3 full of 20p pieces when it booted up.

Golden Axe was the one machine that my dad used to take me down to Longton to play in the late 80's and a classic example of why Sega made arcades better than anyone else.

The point of all this?

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be making some big changes to address my work/life/mma balance but I'm approaching it with a different mind set; determined to walk forward looking for the next challenge rather than wishing it was yesterday again.

This is about to get really interesting so I only hope that you good people are safe and well and I'll speak to you all soon.

Ben

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The big three one

Hey all,

As you may or may not know today was my 31st birthday so I just wanted to take the time to thank everyone who has extended a kind wish, a nice word or a large cheesecake on this special day.

It's been all kinds of fun from bell to bell so I thought it only proper to give you good people a run down of just how it played out.

This morning I got up at a normal hour, randomly, despite having the day off work and began planning how to best tackle this cheesecake that my lovely girlfriend had made for me.

I opted for the big fork method and, along with a cup of tea, it seemed to all make perfect sense.

Today was the day I was getting the initial part of my next tattoo done, once again thanks to my lovely girlfriend (she gets quite a few mentions today) and a lot of the morning was spent waiting for the numbing cream that turned up too late at the wrong address.

Still I'm probably better for it now and, after an hour of strangely relaxing yet mildly uncomfortable scratching it was time to go somewhere else.

We chose Newcastle and I proceeded to spunk, what I thought would be a load of money, in a big sweetshop. Alison had, cleverly, rigged the bag in a Macguyver style so we ended up paying £2 for about £5's worth of sweets which was win.

Bitches eh? Sneaky from the outset I tells ya!

After all the sweets I could muster we then, randomly, went to Sports Direct and I bought a Japanese Captain America wallet. Random but cool as fuck. I can only hope the writing doesn't say something like Captain America is a Democrat Cocksucker.

After driving home to change we then went out for what was easily the nicest meal I've had all year from this lovely restaurant on the Marina outside Burton.

It was pretty lush Thai food and, as I contemplated the day gone by, I was filled with a rich sense of warmth and accomplishment all at once. I'm happy beyond belief at the minute and today has really made me see that.

I stopped on the way home to see my mother who gave me my present, a 1tb external hard drive and even that's probably not enough for My E-Books, and to have a nice cup of tea.

Civilised in a lot of respects.

Now I'm at home and, following much cutting, copying and pasting, I sit on my sofa in a Wanderlei Silva wife beater vest with a cup of tea about to hit the hay.

The point of this?

To say thanks to everyone who took time from their days to wish me a happy birthday. I had so many posts on Facebook and Twitter that it really hit home 1) How nice you people are and 2) How many fucking bad ass fighters I know. Strangely comforting in a lot of respects.

Thanks very much for the time people and I will speak to you soon.
Ben