Just wanted to drop a couple or so thoughts down on what's been a very busy few weeks.
It still hasn't sunk in properly about winning the Masters last month. Winning it and completing the Triple Crown is something I've tried to achieve for so long, that now I have I don't really know what to do with myself.
Since winning at the Ally Pally I haven't really stopped. My fiancée and I have moved to the Nottingham area as she takes up a new job and I've been to China playing their Chinese eight ball pool in an event out there. That was all before the German Masters last week.
I went to Berlin really excited to be going back. I love the city and the general feeling there and once inside the Tempodrom, as a snooker player you come alive. In my opinion it is in the top three best places to play snooker on the whole tour. The others being the Ally Pally and of course the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
Of course though the German Masters actually started for us before Christmas. The tour went to Wigan where we played the last 128 and 64 matches and the 32 survivors went to Berlin where my first match was against Michael Wasley. A very tough game against a dangerous opponent who showed his class against Ding last season at the World Championship. I followed that with a victory over my good mate Mark Allen albeit a game completely ruined by kicks to set up a match with Ronnie. I've not had much success against Ronnie over the years and was still hurting a tad over the hiding he gave me in the quarter finals at the Crucible in April last year. Nothing but your best is good enough against him and I played somewhere near that and just managed to steal the win at the last minute on the last ball. A win the following day against my other tour nemesis Liang Wenbo and I was into the final against my old pal Mr Selby. The reception we both received walking out to play both sessions of that game was unbelievable and unlike anything I've ever experienced and with all that I was really happy to lead 5-3 at the interval. Two kicks cost me the first two frames at night and then Mark really kicked in. When I levelled at 7-7 I really thought momentum was with me but he completely froze me out and I never had a chance to win. That's what he's so good at. He just stops you from playing.
So it was runner up for me and full credit to Mark. If you'd offered me the Masters win and runner up in Berlin when I was ill over Christmas I'd have snapped your hand off so I go next week to Cardiff for the Welsh Open in good form and really enjoying competing once more. A quick stop in Barnsley en route to Cardiff ( that's never been said before ) for the China Open qualifier on Saturday comes first though so it's back to business this week on the practise table.
I'm also filming Question of Sport so I will take a few snaps and put them on Twitter when I get chance.
Of course this week saw the funeral of an old friend that both Mark and I and many more came through the junior ranks with. Lee Spick was in my opinion the most naturally gifted player I had ever seen and could do things on a snooker table I still don't understand to this day. Whenever and wherever he played he was always the man to beat and for many years as kids we travelled the country sharing the silverware and learning our trade. We always kept in touch through Facebook and things like that but I was so disappointed not to be able to make his funeral from Berlin. I couldn't find a flight that got me home in time and if there'd been a way, I'd have been there. My thoughts are now with his family and I hope that finally Lee can rest in peace.
Finally a quick thank you to all my supporters out there. Your messages over the last few weeks have been so friendly and warm and I thank you for that. It's hard to reply to them all but I do read them and they all count.
All the best and until next time