Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

In 34 years I hadn't heard that said, and now I've said it a dozen times in a week.

 I recall it being a Tuesday in early September, a particualrly torrid one to be more precise, that I thought I'd better check my hotmail and see how much junk there was to delete.
 I love the little message they give you "Wow your mailbox is clean!" or some shit once you've deleted all the Russian Brides / Nigerian Billionaires / Cheap Viagra scams. A little bit of OCD goes a long way it would seem. Kudos to you Microsoft.

 So I see sitting right on top an email with the subject of "New Balance Pub Pack Competition". Hmmm another 'better luck next time but keep following us' email?

Worth a look I thought. Only I was wrong, because the email started with -

  Dear Paul,

Bastard! My shoulders sagged, I reached for the Delete key and that impending "Wow.." message but then saw a little more beneath -

  Congratulations - you're the winner of our New Balance Pub Pack competition!

What was this? I've won?! Holy shitballs! Wait, who is this Paul and am I stealing his prize, I mean, AM I? Hmmmmm, no no I can't. Or can I.....? No!

 But this story has a happy ending people! Just a quick email later and all was clear, I had won! Cue girlie screaming of "I won! I never won anything before in my life!" just ask my co-worker Farah. You better believe she heard that repeated a dozen or so times over the following 2 hours.
 And the very next day a package was hand delivered to my office!
 I have to thank Canoe Inc for much more than the prize itself, which without a doubt is insanely awesome, but they also took the revolver away from my temple with this glorious email. I was a winner. Fuck the petty complaints on the phone, the mind numbing meetings, the vast ocean of work I was drowning in and check out Paul with the biggest bollocks on the block! Wait, who is Paul? Never mind....
 I follow a very small number of blogs, only those that really capture my interest and ones I can associate with. I enter most of the comps offered as they are usually for something rad and outside the comfort / availability zone associated with some competitions you see in the main stream. So this has just been a great experience all round for me.
 Now the question is what to do with the pack? (Answers on a beer mat to...)
 I'm well known as a Rock'er and not a Stock'er when it comes to sneaks. My only regret to this rule is selling a pair of the Concepts x House of Pain x Adidas Campus 80s from St Paddy's Day 2009 (one thousand thank you's to Adam for the hook-up). I miss those shits so bad. The Campus just doesn't suit me, but the sneaker should have been dear enough to my heart to never let go of. Since 91/92 I've loved the Soul Assassins - HOP, Cypress Hill and Funkdoobiest. Damn what have I done.
 Right now I'm looking to keep these in mint condition, and safe away from 2 toddlers' grubby curious and often damaging hands. I don't know if my son will venture into Fashion like his Daddy, but should he want to it'd be nice to have a few gems for him. Plus, my hatred for ebay and lowball ignorant asshole buyers pretty much seals the deal.
 There are somethings that are just more valueable than a quick buck, or should that be pound? No, paaaaaaand! That's it.
 The Red Lion pack is perfectly executed. The shoes are made in a buttery red leather, with suede trimmings. Easily the hottest of the 3 pack. The attention to detail is spot on. A far better description can be found HERE from the guys at Canoe Inc. They went with the pub garden summer-time theme, I've opted for the seedy, old school, dark and despressing, sticky floor, decades of cigarette smoke and piss fragranced pub theme. As a new member of teetoltalism it made me smile.
 Time Ladies and Gentlemen..........for photos I mean!

  Once again, big big thank you to Ian at Canoe Inc, a true gentleman.

 And thank you to my mother-in-law for the use of her alcohol and spirits.