Archives for category: Coffee

Why am I doing this? Can someone remind me again please.

It was lovely to have had Friday off. The wedding went with but one hitch and that was the one that was supposed to happen so all is well on that front. It didn’t rain while we were outside, the kids that were present screamed in the appropriate parts of the service, the women all cried, the speeches were short (almost to the point of non-existent), the bridesmaids were gorgeous (not that I’m biased) and there was dad dancing. The dad dancing wasn’t from me due to the back strain, but ordinarily would have been.
In summary a very British wedding and not a sniff of royalty in sight.

Saturday was to have been Alleycats golf, but I very wisely rested instead, despite the peer pressure, and as a result the pain has eased. Although not fully recovered it’s well on it’s way and I have no doubt that as long as I’m careful this week it’ll be back (no pun intended – or existing) to normal very soon.
Keen to find out why Shep looks so miserable about the whole thing, especially as he has new golf clubs. 🙂

Sunday was all about birthday lunch with Mother-in-law. Always a pleasure, never a chore. General topic of discussion was what a terrible start to the year we’ve all been having. In truth it can only better, although on a couple of issues it most certainly will get worse. Personally I’m trying to stay away from hospitals, but that isn’t the case for some of the more frail members of the clan. Our thoughts are with them all.

Lunch was wonderful though. Rounded the day off with daughter and Mrs G on the sofa, a glass of red wine and dancing on ice. Not normally something I’d bother with, but they love it and it does have a smidgen of entertainment about it.

Now we have arrived at Monday morning. Back down to London for a 10am meeting. While 10am might seem like a leisurely start to the day (and when working from home it most certainly is) the logistics involved mean it’s actually quite a challenge.

Alarm goes off at 5.45 giving me 20 minutes to get up and out the door. 30 minutes to walk to the station and a massive 10 minutes spare to get coffee and settled before the 6.45 departure. Arrives at London Paddington at 8.45 and it then takes a further 40 minutes (if all goes to plan) to get into the city proper on the tube which leaves me 35 minutes to make the 10 minute walk to the office and into the 10am meeting. Perfect.

Today however, I’ve been sat on the train at the station since 6.55 as it was late arriving. It’s now 7.18 and we’re just pulling out of the station so my 25 minutes of spare time has gone before I’ve even started. Unless the time is made up en route I will be late. Awesome start to the week.

The long list of reasons start with the speedometer not working, the central door locking not working and then some unspecified engine problem which had to be attended to by engineers. This doesn’t bode well for the rest of the journey. There’s also no hot food or sandwiches on board (as if I care!)

I also take the precaution of reserving a seat when I pre-book my ticket. I like to be forward facing at a table, just in case I fancy joining laptop club and preferably by the window. This is just for my comfort and is not essential. However, to really wind me up, why not accept the booking without comment and plonk me in an aisle seat, rear facing without a table…. Is it really that difficult ? I can see the table with no-one sat at it from here!

Ah well, at least I can feel self assured that we get value for money in rail travel in the UK. D’oh!!!


This post originally appeared here: Posterous
What is it with my caffeine intolerance to coca cola?  You’d think I’d have learned by now that if I drink a can of the stuff with my dinner, I’ll still be awake at 2am writing my blog… Or for that matter doing anything that occupies time but sleeping. It’s a nightmare! Or at least it would be if I was asleep. I’m sure that starting the day off with “Old Brown Java” doesn’t help the situation either, but some things just have to be, and good coffee is one of those things. 



Saturday night was Mr B’s birthday dinner as arranged by Mrs B. A couplely do in a restaurant in Cheltenham. We started off with a couple of drinks in the world famous ‘Montpellier Wine Bar’ as frequented by none other than Sir Michael Caine in the 1987 movie “The Whistle Blower” http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0092206/

It’s a small place with a reputation for being the place that the big knobs hang out it. And most of the clientele do seem to have enlarged snobbery glands. Don’t get me wrong, it’s actually a very pleasant place only spoiled by the odd wannabe millionaire in permatan and ray bans. But then it takes all sorts to make the world go round. The 8 of us (Mr & Mrs B, D&E, H&C and Mrs G & I) made the best of it though and by the time we’d moved onto the restaurant (Ha!Ha!) and got seated we were up to 10 with the arrival of N&D of formula 1 fame (long but very interesting story for another time). 

Food and drinks were consumed but rather disappointingly 2 out of the 5 steaks were not particularly good although this was the only complaint throughout. Fantastic Pate and excellent company. Mr B tried very hard to persuade Mrs B to allow him a trip to Las Vegas for his birthday celebrations next year. I can assure you that it won’t be happening. Mrs G and I arrived home in the wee small hours and a good time was had by all.

Sunday was a lovely leisurely day. I rustled up a cooked brunch and Mrs G and I went for a ride on the bikes in the afternoon. Monday we’ll be doing similar but with daughter as well. Now that will be entertaining as she’s a hard taskmaster.  Sunday late afternoon, son and I caught a movie and it turned out to unsettling viewing although unbeknownst to me at the time, the second movie of the day was even more so. I’m talking about “Kick-Ass” & “Unthinkable”.  Both entertaining but both a little worrying.

Kick-Ass is great fun mind you. Completely insane comic book hero stuff with tons of dark comedy throughout and actually thoroughly enjoyable. My worry is the 13 year old who plays “Hit Girl”. Without wishing to go into too much detail or giveaway the plot, she is only 13, so some of her language and actions many people will find offensive. I’m sure you see the problem. An entertaining piece of nouveau art and you can get away with it. An action movie with a tough nut little girl, and I’m not so certain.  The underlying story helps, but probably best if you judge for yourself.  I certainly would never suggest NOT watching it, but I would suggest that you remember it’s NOT real, but that it is a tounge-in-cheek black comedy. Perhaps if you compared it to the more realistic “Leon: The Professional” you’d feel better about the whole thing.  8/10

Unthinkable on the other hand, is much darker still. No comedy in here. Not your standard action romp either. A good “thinker” of a movie which will really make you question the difference between the “Good guys” and the “Bad guys” which is of course just a historical hollywood over-simplification for dramatic effect in the first place, but one that we have all become so used to that we hold it up as fact. Life is not Black and/or White. Very nicely done and recommended if you can stomach the violence. On a related note; As much as I thought 1970’s Leeds United were dirty players, I didn’t think their manager deserved such treatment.  If you’ve seen “The Damned United” and then this, you’ll know what a fantastic character actor Michael Sheen ( http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0790688/ ) is and you might know what I”m on about.  8/10

Hope you’re working hard…..

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Damn warm today. Not hot, just clammy. Started it off with a cup of coffee (of course) and a quick ride over to the in-laws to wish happy retirement to W. He was on exceptionally good form and had very much enjoyed his surprise party his colleagues had organised for him. He did say he felt more than a little bit guilty because he’ll be back at work with them all again on Monday. They just couldn’t bear to let him go and they need all the help they can get. I told him he should feel flattered and just enjoy it knowing full well if you’ve had enough you can just stop whenever you please. It’s alright for some.

A quick trip to Next on the way home found me procuring a new pair of jeans and Mrs G a new dress as well as a little something for the hosts of the early evening engagement party that we’re attending tonight. Followed that up with a quick stop in Sainsbury’s for bacon and crispy bread rolls which became some excellent bacon rolls fir our lunch. Nothing beats a bacon roll and a cup of tea. Leaves me feeling that sometimes I wish I was a ‘White-van Man’ just so I could know the carnal pleasure of crispy pig in bread every morning over a copy of the Sun or the Daily Star (or whatever it is he reads nowadays)

After that, the lawn. It’s been crying out to be mown for a week at least having had a long holiday over the last month or so, while the weather was too dry for it to grow, so it sunbathed until it was brown. Now we’ve had a little precipitation again of late and it’s been sprouting like a good ‘un. So a strim of the edges followed by a good mowing of the middle bits and everything is back in it’s rightful place and looking inviting again.

Daughter’s feeling a little sorry for herself (sinuses giving her grief now). If it’s not one thing it’s your mother. As a result, after son and I finished watching the Formula 1 qualifying, she settled down with Mrs G to watch ‘My Sisters’ Keeper’ the film of the Jodie Picoult book. That’s how I’ve managed to knock out this entry before going to join them.

As I’ve mentioned tonight sees us visiting an engagement party and then to Aunt S’ for a proper Singaporean curry with M and her dad. There will be alcohol.

Doze until about 9.30. Walk to the shop to pick up a paper, milk and bread. Daughter off to work. Coffee and toast in the garden. Catchup with Kermode and Mayo’s wittertainment. Tuna mayo panini’s for lunch. Watch the Grand Prix. Walk a couple of miles through the park and along the river. Stop in Sainsbury’s for refreshments. Walk a couple of miles back. Catchup with the IT Crowd. Cook a Chicken Korma for dinner. Mrs G catches up with Casualty. Tweeting. Prepare for Sherlock at 9pm on BBC1. News. Daughter arrives home and regales us with tales of roast dinners. Blog. Bed.

Monday will be get fit day with a 25 min jog first thing. . . . . . or maybe not.

Me stuff…
I haven’t got a lot to say to today. I’m over-tired. Work isn’t excessively busy, but it is demanding in a dripping tap kind of way. A bit here, a bit there, none of which are related means that I keep swapping between all these little bits and after a while they start to blur into one. This makes them taxing on the brain cell as I struggle to keep them all segmented. Clearly I’m in need of more coffee. It’s just not any fun really.

A disturbed night of sleep (not that I’ve had many undisturbed nights with the temperatures being they way they have of late) caused by daughter an friends having a “big night out” in the middle of the week. At least I don’t have insomnia. Also not much fun.

The Motor is going to be with Doctor M for a few more days while it has the rear brake calliper’s reconditioned. Turns out that this was the most economical method of replacement, and as it’s sadly nearing the end of it’s life, then it makes sense to go that way. Have decided that a replacement vehicle will most certainly be acquired in about 12 months time when I will have to face an entire re-financing package as part of the end of the fixed rate mortgage. Fingers crossed for the interest rate staying low and stable – although my record on this subject means that it’s likely to go through the roof days before I’m scheduled change it. Sometimes it feels like I’m financing the countries debt all on my own!!… and that’s no fun.

Newsy items…
Not that I care about Tennis a great deal, but Rodger Federa has been knocked out of Wimbledon – I’m sure that’ll make for a more interesting competition for those that are interested.

Apple are looking for Antenna Engineers – if you happen to be one and always fancied a job at apple, now is your chance. Strange that it coincides with the alleged issues with conductivity – something I’ve found hard to reproduce, but have. That said, it still hasn’t effected any calls or usage of the handset for me personally. If you want all the techie geeky background, you’ll be wanting to read this: Apple’s iPhone 4: Thoroughly Reviewed. Fun-ny, but not fun.

The US Popular Science website is reporting a future hormone fix for healing teeth. Interesting science but not fun.

A serious piece of weather is approaching Texas in the form of Hurricane Alex. I’m sure you already know that hurricanes are named alphabetically. Here’s the lowdown:

In 1953, the National Weather Service picked up on the habit of Naval meteorologists of naming the storms after women. Ships were always referred to as female, and were often given women’s names. The storms’ temperament certainly seemed female enough, shifting directions at a whim on a moment’s notice. In 1979, male names were inserted to alternate with the female names,to the delight of women’s-libbers everywhere.

There are actually six lists of names in use for storms in the Atlantic. These lists rotate, one each year; the list of this year’s names will not be reused for six years. The names get recycled each time the list comes up, with one exception: storms so devastating that reusing the name is inappropriate. In this case, the name is taken off the list and another name is used to replace it; there will not be another Hurricane Andrew, because Andrew has been replaced by Alex on the list.

Not much chance of a “Hurricane Fun” though.

Techy items…
If you don’t think your selected password is up to the job, you might want to check it out here: http://howsecureismypassword.net/. Useful, but not fun.

Buffoonery items…
Old Spice Ad’s for the ladies….. What the Feck is going on in these ad guys heads when they come up with this stuff?? Apparently this first one was shown during the Superbowl to great acclaim.

Now they’ve followed it up with this… I mean, that’s not at all sexist in any way is it?


I suppose they are a bit fun, but only a bit.

While the weather’s looking good at the moment, forecast is for rain this evening. This is just “bloody typical” as I haven’t had a night out for ages and have a WTC meet scheduled for this evening in a summer pub with a garden. Sitting in a pub garden in the rain is just not fun.

Well that’s today’s entertainment. I hope yours is more fun than mine….

Mrs G and I had a fairly leisurely day planned for Saturday doing not an awful lot. A wander into town to pick up Wednesday’s copy of the local paper (because there’s an article featuring Daughter in it) proved fruitless as we discovered the newspaper office is closed on the weekend. Not much happens round here that’s newsworthy obviously.

Picked up a couple of birthday cards for forthcoming celebrations and on the way back to the car I was surprised and humoured to see a longish line of people in a queue outside the O2 shop. I’m fully aware of the O2 shop queue due to son having stood in it on Thursday for the iPhone launch (which incidentally meant that the back of his head also appeared in the local paper), but this time, there was another familiar face. Auntie S. There she was dutifully queuing up to get herself one. We stopped and chatted for a while only to find out that the O2 store had around 50 handsets in stock. 50!? Really ?? I’d already decided not to bother until at least a couple of weeks, when I figured the stock levels would be replenished, but to hear that they have them again already – was quite a surprise. Needless to say – I joined the queue.

Having now procured, this also meant I could finally save Mrs G from her Samsung thing, and get her on a decent phone instead. After a few grumbles and gripes we soon had her all set up and now she’s a convert too. Thank god that my tech support mantle can be laid to rest for a while.

BTW – Last note on the subject – they really are all they’re cracked up to be. The fastest phone I’ve had the pleasure of using. Video calls with Son have been a blast already even though for the time being we both have to be within a WiFi hotspot. For me personally, not a signal drop out in sight either, although I have heard the talk. I’ve also heard there’s an imminent fix for it in the form of software – this I do find surprising, but it’s not a problem for me at the moment either way.

On the flip side – terrible news from the badman that he is without the necessary drugs to sustain him. I wish I could tell him there was an “app for that” but alas even that wouldn’t help him as he’s also smartphone-less. The best he can hope for is to buy pre-ground and save himself from certain dementia.

So then to Sunday Lunch – obviously the football (more on that in a moment) was the most important thing, so a BBQ at BBB’s house was the plan. He wanted some help getting set up, so I scooted over early so that we could hang the 40″ TV on the garden wall and install shade where appropriate, fill the pool and chill the beer. As a build up to the game (and to be honest this should almost be the law whenever England play Germany) we watched “Escape To Victory” with Michael Caine, Pele & Sylvester Stallone – Fantastic stuff. For the BBQ, Mrs G and I bought this, just like chicken…

And then of course there was the football, which is just too depressing to think about too much. I know it would be easy to say they were crap. But actually they weren’t crap (to start with). I know it would be easy to blame Cappello, but everyone was doing that after the first two games, then after the third and we got through, everyone was saying how great a manager he’d been by showing some real passion. He may have made some “odd” choices in team lineup’s, but I’m sorry, it’s just not his fault.

It seems clear to me, that the touchline/referee method for calling a goal is outdated and obviously doesn’t work. The FA & FIFA’s argument for the lack of technology is that they want a level playing field (no pun intended), whereby every team (right down to pub teams) have the same chance of scoring (or being disallowed). While this has some merit, in the modern world it makes a mockery of what is supposed to be a modern sport. Tennis & Rugby have both embraced the technology with no detriment to the game whatsoever – It’s time to put that right.

IF, and of course it’s a big IF, but IF the england goal had stood, which (as we can all see from the video playbacks) it should have, then psychologically the England squad would have been playing a different game entirely. I disagree when people say it wouldn’t have effected the overall scoreline, because quite simply a goal boosts the confidence of the team, just like a disallowed (obvious) goal dents their confidence.

Too late now though. What’s done is done and at least we don’t have to bother watching any more of it. My predictor has Argentina and Portugal in the final, but I don’t really care.

A few interesting snippets that I’ve picked up over the weekend for you now:

Anyone who’s read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which I mentioned on Friday) will be aware that the meaning of life is exactly 42 (sorry if I’ve spoiled it for you, but you should have read it already). It turns out that the maths behind this has been expanded, and here’s the result. Magic….

I was also very interested to read that:

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) developed a software program that can detect depression in blogs and online texts. The software is capable of identifying language that can indicate the writer’s psychological state, which could serve as a screening tool. Read More

Good to know that when I’m depressed, my blog could tell me.

TED always teaches interesting concepts. Never thought I’d see this one though.

Then there’s the Rubik Cube art, which makes me want to buy a whole bunch of Rubik’s cubes and make my own: RubikCubism

For the electrical engineer’s I spotted this:

Resistance Begins at Ohm – $14.95 by Chris Murphy



So finally, back to the real world and two stories of interest.  First of all. Cash dispensers are about to start chucking out £5 notes again. Everyone runs out of fivers, so the bank of England have been making it their business to get them back into circulation. I for one am very pleased to hear this news because when I only want a fiver out of the cash machine, I only want a fiver and not a tenner.

Second of all, someone is having a crack at Facebook. Kevin Rose, the founder of “Digg” tweeted on Saturday the following: “Ok, umm, huge rumor: Google to launch facebook competitor very soon “Google Me”, very credible source”. Can’t wait to finally kill off my Facebook account. Oh I do hope there’s a super-fast hi-definition, multitasking app for that! Bring It On!

Most definetly BBQ weather today. Start off with coffee and tub scrubbing. The coffee’s great (although it’s not the OBJ). I’ve decided to finish of the Italian Espresso first, sort of saving the best for last.

The tub scrubbing is just good old fashioned hard work. It’s done with a special sort of gloop that has the look and consistency of fairy liquid. Be warned though it most definetly isn’t the aforementioned washing up soap stuff. This stuff burns a bit if you get it on your skin so you need to watch what your doing. It does a great job though and worth all the effort.

Filter and jets all go through the dishwasher nicely, although the filter goes on a ‘deep rinse’ with no dishwasher tablets. Soap in your filter causes nothing but bubbles of the wrong kind. Refilling the tub takes a good couple of hours as it’s around about 1000 litres and then reheating can take 24 hours from cold to a maximum 40 degrees C. I’ve got it set to 26 degrees for now, the weathers way to warm for much higher than this, and it saves a shedload of electricity of course.

Tomorrow is hoovering (which should correctly be referred to as vacuuming). Living the dream.

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Honestly, I swear I had some vacation right here somewhere. Maybe I left it on the dining room table, or perhaps it’s slipped down the back of the sofa… Wherever it is, it seems to be much smaller than I thought it was. All of a sudden, in less than 24 hours, I’ll be back at work. In the words of the philosopher Homer (J. Simpson) D’oh!!!

Yesterday was relatively busy for a day off, although I did manage to crowbar a movie in as well, so it was almost a proper day off. Started off with dropping Mrs G off at work, and then off to the bank to arrange holiday payment. It’s not until November, but now it’s paid for it’s a real trip. This led to dropping in on Mother-in-law who had Triple B at her house working on the renovations. Banter ensued.

As this is over two thirds of the way to Chelter’s the bad man will be glad to hear that I managed to get into town and pick up some fresh coffee from Whittard’s at last!! I chose more Old Brown Java (because it’s sooo good) and some Italian Espresso. So far the OBJ is still winning, all though I’ve only had one shot of the IE, so that could change yet. Watch this space.

These two rather simple tasks to until around 2pm to get completed. That’s because it’s half term. Traffic hell, mum’s and kids everywhere, nowhere to park, nowhere to run!….

The afternoon was free enough for me to be able to start to catch up with the movies – and in particular “Daybreakers“. It’s a futuristic Vampire movie with a twist and I really enjoyed far more than I expected. The logic is that the world has turned to vampirism and there’s only a few humans left. Vampires need human blood to sustain themselves, and of course that supply is rapidly dwindling. Our hero is a human-turned-vamp haematologist who’s looking for a synthetic replacement or better yet a cure. It has some great technological ideas – things like night mode cars so that the vampires can drive around in daylight without getting burned and instead of guns (bullets don’t kill vampires) the weapon of choice is a crossbow (stake through the heart and all that). Nice touches. 6 out of 10

Now for today’s challenge which in theory is a very simple one. Collect daughter and her mates from the airport on their return from Egypt. The golden age of simple straight forward air travel is long gone though, and I can see I’m headed for a gaffing sort of day. Daughter called on Monday just to be sure we’re all set on flight times – 12:55 arrival. All good. A quick check on the airports arrivals board via their website this morning and only one arrival at 11:40… hmmmm.. That’s not quite the same. So a look on the departures board from Egypt and no flights to the selected arrival airport at all!!?… What is going on here?? Now, I know from old not to be too trusting of such online wizardy and magic (Well, it’s actually just a backend SQL or Oracle DB to the web server probably). The airlines don’t see these methods of communication as primary, and the telephone and the boards physically in the airports are their bible’s. However, a phone call to the airport just confirms the only arrival being mid morning. Something is awry.

SO my plan is to revert to the old 70’s method of travel. That is, “go with what you know until you know something else”. How did we cope before mobile phones and the Internet?? Well, quite well actually as it happens. On the basis that they might be on the earlier flight I’m going to set out a little ahead of schedule, the downside of course is that they may be massively delayed and I could end up sitting at the airport until very late this evening – or worse yet… tomorrow!!… Let’s hope not. eh?

For now though – one more cup of IE, a quick car wash and brush up and then onto the road. Have a great day. Work hard. Makes me feel like I might still have one day off if you do that. 😉

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So bank holiday Monday came and went and included Cheese Rolling by the rebellion. First one we’ve missed in 5 years I think, but we’ll be there next year I’m sure. For most, today means back to work. Ha ha! Not me though – no-sir-ee. I very sensibly booked two days holiday. I have a little trip on Wednesday to collect daughter from the airport on her return from Egypt unless her friends have sold her for a camel (customs will be a nightmare if that’s the case) and it seemed daft to go back to the ship just for one day. So here I sit on the holodeck.

Monday morning did indeed include mowing and netting installation so the garden’s looking pretty good. Next job is the hot tub. Details coming up.

But first – Door Stops & Triffids. Mrs G and I have been looking for a doorstop for the master bedroom door for some time. It’s not that it’s difficult, but that there are so many to choose from. On Sunday when we failed yet again to find a suitable one I came to my senses an explained to Mrs G that we didn’t need a door stop. What we actually needed was something of weight to prop the door open with. This means it could be any heavy object and all of a sudden our options are wide open.

Gloucester has a couple of great antiques centers and this, dear reader, is where we stumbled upon the perfect objet d’art for the purpose. An old stone hot water bottle (now half filled with sand) is just perfect for the job and works a treat. Bingo.

An afternoon of movie watching led to Triffids. The Day of the Triffids is a 1951 story written by John Wyndham. Its been the subject of many Radio Plays & TV Movies, and Sci-Fi enthusiasts the world over, know the story well. For those of you unfamiliar with the plot, it says here:

“The protagonist is Bill Masen, an Englishman who has made his living working with “Triffids”, plants capable of aggressive and seemingly intelligent behaviour: they are able to move about on their three “legs”, appear to communicate with each other and possess a deadly whip-like poisonous sting that enables them to kill and feed on the rotting carcasses of their victims. The book implies they were bioengineered in the Soviet Union and then accidentally released into the wild when a plane carrying their seeds was shot down. Triffids begin sprouting all over the world, and their extracts prove to be superior to existing vegetable oils. The result is worldwide cultivation of Triffids.”

Last Christmas the BBC made yet another dramatisation of it and it’s a cracking job. Sort of Doctor Who/Torchwood on steroids. A proper movie (almost). I recorded it on Sky plus and it’s languished there, taking up valuable disk space and waiting for the moment when I had an appropriate slot in my schedule to watch it.


Eddie Izzard plays bad guy ‘Torrence’, Dougray Scott plays the role of Bill Masen and Brian Cox plays Bill’s father. Eddie has become a great all rounder and one of those people you can’t help but admire for his drive, ambition and monumental sense of humour. I’ve long been a fan of his stand-up, so I wasn’t convinced about his acting future – but he’s more than pulled it off. In fact he is officially a Hollywood Heavyweight. Good for him. He doesn’t let the side down here either.

Mr Cox has had a long run of bad guy roles (what with him being the original Hannibal Lecter) but here he plays a good guy reminding us just what a great character actor he is as well. There’s also appearances from Vanessa Redgrave & Jason Priestly.

My only real critisism of the piece would be the triffids themsleves. I’m afraid I failed to be convinced that a plant could catch someone – which us a real problem for a story about killer plants especially when the plant looks a bit like rubber on a stick (which it probably was). Regardless, it’s a good looking, well made enjoyable romp.

Follow that with the second part of “Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal” (8 out of 10 which is exceptionally high scoring, bearing in mind I’ve only ever given one 10) and a take away curry with Mrs G and my weekend was made…..

So to the tub. We haven’t used it for about a month and it’s been switched off, so it needs a full drain, scrub down, refill, new chemicals and ph balance and a warm up again. That’s going to be a large part of the day and the weather doesn’t appear to be on my side. But then at least I’m not at work….

PS: I cocked up my coffee selection by running for the bus on Saturday (to enjoy the abusive public) instead of wandering around Whittards – had to pick up some Lavazza in Tesco. However, if the weather continues to be blughehhggh (technical term) today, then a trip to Chelter’s could resolve the situation and Italian Expresso, Monsoon Malabar or Cafe Francais will be the selection.

Failed miserably to write my 750 words yesterday and I hold my oldest (not eldest) friend entirely responsible for that. I have some catching up to do. Clearly he led me astray with alcohol and food and general chat of people we know, places we’ve seen and the goings on of the world itself. We set the world to rights and it was loads of fun.

So A&L&LittleA showed up mid afternoon Saturday, and we spread out in the garden and enjoyed the sunshine. A really beautiful day on Saturday meant that as well as consuming the odd beverage or two a full on bar-b-q (using the newly reconditioned BBQ) was the perfect way to watch the sun go down. LittleA has really become a great little character (she’s 14 months now) and gurgle’s away, points, says the odd intelligent word (like cat-cat or some such) and has an interest in absolutely everything for at least 35 seconds before being dis-squrriel-tracted.

Daughter arrived with S (and later C and Son’s “friend” S2). S had made fresh kebabs with Daughter which went down well and we spoofed for who would be first in the tub fully clothed. All very silly but entertaining stuff. By the time the wee small hours arrived we’d migrated back in doors to a game of Buzz and a bit of Singstar before we were all fully worn out and had to sleep. There’s only so much Lady GaGa as sung by the youths and mangled by the adults that you can take.

Early start Sunday morning because as anyone with kids will you tell you they set the agenda from the moment they awake, although this is perfectly normal in our house where we’re normally early birds. So by 9 o’clock we were all up and had feasted on a proper english cooked breakfast. The five of us (A&L&LittleA, Mrs G and I) took a stroll into the city and around the newly refurbished docks (Oh what a floor that is) ending up appropriately in Robert Raikes’ House for a spot of lunch.

Oh what a floor that is…

It’s appropriate because it was a Sunday and Mr Raikes was the founder of the Sunday School movement. In fact he was the founder of schooling in general (as Sunday Schools came before the state school system) and they where first held on a Sunday because the rest of the time, the kids were all at work (up chimneys, in factories etc etc. – Oh for the good old days) Today his house is a pub, and a very beautiful one it is too. Can’t say that the food and drink really lives up to the surroundings which is a great shame, but it’s still perfectly edible and quaffable. A greatly enjoyed weekend that we don’t do often enough. Luckily there are bank holidays on the near horizon and L has her special birthday coming up – so a weekend in Wiltshire with more buffoonery and catching up with more of the west country gang isn’t far away.

This morning I have a disaster on my hands though. A and I finished off the “Old Brown Java” on Sunday morning which means I’ve had to revert to the Lavazza, which while good is not the same. So at some point this week I have to have a trip to Whittards to pickup both more OBJ and either some Italian Expresso, Monsoon Malabar or Cafe Francais. Life without coffee would be like life without oxygen probably.

I also seem to be having some very odd goings on with my broadband connection this morning. It’s up and down like a pair of whore’s draws and I’m damned if I can figure out why. My router is particularly old and has been 100% reliable so I’m doubting that’s the problem. Of more concern may be network activity caused by some rouge piece of software. Now I have a fairly solid set of tools on the Mac that allow me to see exactly what it’s up to and nothing appears out of place there, so my suspicions point towards the slightly more volatile Windows systems that sit on my LAN. The work box only does work and nothing else (at least as far as is humanly possible) so I doubt that’s picked anything up, but it’s not impossible. I think a full scan is in order and we all know how tedious that is…..