Archives for category: Daughter

Bright eyed and bushy tailed. That was a fairly full on weekend and now I have to face a Monday and the pain of travelling into central London. I may well be complaining unnecessarily but given that Friday sees the opening ceremony of the London 2011 “O” word, I’m expecting it to be challenging at best.

Friday night saw me hopping the train with Stan off down to Bath. In my youth, I spent many a grand evening in that fine city and it’s always a pleasure to visit. That said its also got very expensive of late. It’s gained itself a reputation for being a posh city and I suppose it is (unless you know where to look), which makes it the most expensive hotel rooms in England (allegedly). As it was we were able to get a couple of rooms in a Travelodge for 90quid each – bearing in mind that Travelodge’s are some of the cheapest accommodation in the country and are usually only about £45 a room. Not only that, but it’s not a Travelodge of any “quality”. Poorly maintained and generally looking a bit drab. At least it was centrally located.

By around 9pm AJ and JH had joined us and beverages were consumed. We did a very traditional pub crawl and finally gave into the need for some sort of sleep at around 3am. I know I’m starting to get too old for this stuff, but how many nights are you on the planet? And how many chances to have such a good laugh with your friends do you get? Gotta make the most of it.

One stop of note was just down from “The Star” (sadly I know not the name of the place) which was a tiny little pub having a random Cornish themed evening. What makes it noteworthy was the liberal distribution of Cornish pasties and ice cream for anyone that was interested – and it seems that everyone in the pub was. Bizarre and very entertaining in one fell swoop.

Saturday morning, Stan and I met @LegOlympian and rode the train back to Gloucester with him. He regaled us with plans of his training routine, which you can see all about if you look. All good silly fun and with the sun out it seemed wholly appropriate for Mrs G, daughter and I to walk into town for dinner with Aunty S and the kids before she jets off on holiday.

As much as I’d tried to forget I was giving her a lift to the airport in the morning, it was unavoidable and when the alarm went of at 3am on Sunday, the lack of sleep was starting to tell. At least she wasn’t late and daughter had decided she wanted to join me on our expedition to Birmingham and back. Aside from a stop off for a McDonalds breakfast (Which I suspect may have been daughters motive) the jaunt was quick and peaceful. Back in bed by 6am so tried to catch up with the lack of subconsciousness.

Sunday was Mrs G and I’s wedding anniversary. We popped in on MotherInLaw and had some pick your own Strawberries while sitting in their garden and having a bit of a catch up. The weather was spectacular now that summer has finally arrived it seems and we had a reasonably relaxing day.

In the afternoon we took a stroll down to the docks to see the Gloucester Food Festival and unfortunately we were somewhat disappointed. Not that there was anything wrong with the food or drink or music or any of the multitude of stalls selling wares from here, there and everywhere. No, our problem was the crowd. There were so many people there that you couldn’t actually see anything of any consequence. I’m sure the good weather had brought them all out and in places it was almost quite literally a bun fight. We elected not to bother with it and instead wandered up to a very nice place in town to sit outside and enjoy some far less crowded (and I suspect more reasonably priced) lunch sat in the sunshine.

Back at home with blistered feet it was baked potatoes for dinner and Sister in Law had sent us a copy of our wedding video which made for some entertaining reminiscing especially as daughter claimed she’d never seen it. (A likely story).

By 10pm the call of sleep was overpowering especially with the knowledge that I had to be up at 6 to get the train down that Laandon and so here I am – battling through the throngs of commuters, tourists, athletes and journalists who have filled our capital city to capacity.

Once I get through today’s workload the most important thing on this evenings list is sleep. Something that’s most definitely been lacking.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous
Categories Daughter, Mrs G, Summer, Weddings

Through the looking glass….

Holy crud! (as we used to say back in the village) what an arse of a week that’s been, and it’s not over yet.

Actually, now I think about it, there’s probably a whole blogpost about “what we used to say back in the village”, but we’ll have that on another day. Today being a Saturday should be a chance to relax and recharge somewhat, in preparation for another week of hell from Monday – but alas – not a bit of it.

Sadly the work that Pooh and I have been battling with is now getting some “help” from some members of the “executive” team and as we all know this will require treading very carefully through the minefield of the executive view of the 100 acre wood. Help is something that is always welcome, whereas on the other hand “help” is more often a hindrance that one could do without. It’s also “offered” – which in non-executive english translates to, mandated. Oh what fun.

Pooh, while claiming to be a bear of little brain, is actually a darn sight cleverer than he lets on. He understands the stuff we’re trying to do in a non-technical yet deeply understood sort of way. Or at least that’s how it appears to outsiders – personally I think he’s an expert bull-sh1tter, and that my friends means he’s very VERY good at his job. I’m sure he’d agree. For my part, BS isn’t something I’m particularly blessed with and sadly I’m a bit of a crap liar too, so if you want it straight without the bolotics, I’m your man.

Pooh also isn’t one to “suffer fools gladly” as the saying goes and I believe that one of the execs may have read between the lines of deafening silence on a call on Friday and got that message loud and clear. It only takes 10 minutes of an SMI’s time to wind him up – and some more “talented” SMI’s can do it with the words “Hello Pooh”. But I digress.

It’s probably just as well, for the sake of his own sanity that he’s not here for the coming week, so our offer of “help” therefore falls to me to accept. On the plus side, I have spent some rather large chunks of my career “managing” executives although I am a little out of practice. Pooh’s advice – before he slipped out the back wearing Nike’s and moving at a speed not dissimilar to that of a slightly older, shorter and more countrified version of Usain Bolt – was treat it as a training course or a test. Not a bad stab at taking the sting out of it I thought.

My approach will be to shut up and listen, nod sagely at appropriate moments and to politely ignore the sort of comments that would turn Pooh into a very Shouty bear with a pointy stick. I can assure you, that is not someone you would like to meet up a dark alley unless you were meeting him to team up and start a fight with an unruly mob of mobsters who considered themselves to be “tooled up and well hard”.

So it’s with these thoughts in mind that I have to do some bloody work on the weekend.

But first there are more important things to attend to. Lunch with Mr Ball senior and various other members of the Ball clan and extensions. After all executive buffoonery and the suchlike will come and go and come round again, but you only get one Dad.

Actually I think the saying goes something like “1000 dads but only one father” or is it “a 1000 mums but only one mummy”? Ah, whatever – you get my drift I’m sure.

In short, a fairly leisurely and drawn out pub lunch with much frivolity will see me and Mrs G through to the early evening by which time I’ll be prepared to prepare for my visit up to “that London” first thing on Monday morning. I think I’ll have the steak – famous for being the last meal of the condemend man.

Daughter’s working overtime – which is a great shame because I know Mr Ball senior enjoys her stories of current police work having been in “the job” himself for many many moons, but with any luck they’ll arrive just before she sets off so at least they’ll get to say hello. Sister ball is also making a long overdue appearance. Always great to see her and hear about what she’s been up to while in hiding since the last time she appeared.

Oh yes, and I mustn’t forget to nip to the station to pick up my tickets. 170 of our British pounds just so that a bloke in a suit can rant about some other blokes in suits at a bloke without a tie (but I will be in a suit) about a guess that the othe blokes made that was “a bit short of the mark” and then end up deciding that it’s a battle that will be list even though we’re still in the war.


Ah well – its nice to have a day out. Such fun!

This post originally appeared here: Posterous
Categories Dad, Daughter, Mrs G, Sister, Starfleet

Looking forward…

I can feel the knot of the noose tightening. The pressure is ramping up a little now. We spent time in the company of senior exec’s yesterday, which can often be un-nerving (see Dilbert for further details on how this usually works) .

We’re still striving to fit 3 weeks worth of work into a week – and that’s not working out to well obviously. And of course we’re somewhat hampered by the fact that it’s half-bloody-term. It’s annoying that it’s occupying most of my waking hours, but it’s what I do until I do something else.

Mrs G has a cold which has spoilt her plans for Friday. She was going to see our friend S who’s battling with the big C. Unfortunately as I’m sure you’re aware, chemotherapy messes with your immune system, making it weak, and the patient susceptible to viruses and diseases. The last thing S needs at this point of her treatment is a cold, and so it’s with sad hearts that they’re not going to get together on Mrs G’s day off. Here’s hoping the treatment pays off and S can get back to being the great gran, mum, wife and friend that she is. 

Daughter is weary and tired.  She’s not had a day off for the best part of two weeks and it’s starting to show. She needs a break the poor lamb, but she’s got a few days at the weekend that she’s looking forward to. I believe she’s even got a night out with the girls planned. Bless her. 

We’ve got a bit of a get together on Saturday planned too. It’s that time of year again when it’s Mr Ball senior’s birthday, so we’re all going for a bit of a lunchtime nosh up in a countryshire public house. Sister Ball is coming down from “that Manchester” and even the  in-laws are going to join us. Should be a giggle and even if you can’t chose your family – it’s fair to say that we’re very lucky to have family that aren’t just bearable, but are actually fun to be with so it’s something to look forward to. Still got to get the elder ball’s birthday present yet though. 

Well – no chance of me getting to 750 words today – far too much todo..

Pooh’s on the phone, so I’d best get on with it. Stay safe. 

This post originally appeared here: Posterous
Categories Birthday, Dad, Daughter, Dining Out, Mrs G, Starfleet

Bleurr..ummphh! (Pirates, Mummies & Murderers)

That’s the sound of Monday.  All a bit of a flop this week. Things have not gone well for Pooh and I and interestingly this is through no fault of ours, but of some extremely unrealistic expectations of a few other members of the cast from elsewhere.  Ultimately we’re on hiding to nothing with this job – unless some wakes up and smells the coffee.

Somehow, in the midst of all this I’ve managed to pick up two deals that I’m covering for someone else and another one that I have to run with. I’ve asked for further detail which as yet is not forthcoming, so in true broken record style-ee, IIWII. Enough already.

Daughter returned unscathed from her dealings with the British legal system. The accused plead guilty in the end so she didn’t have to take the stand, but she did get to meet a few other rum sorts – including a murderer. She’s always interested in the bizarre and darker side of life – not too interested mind you, just enough to want to know enough to satisfy her curiosity. I still worry of course, but she displays excellent judgement of character for the most part. I’ve learned to “let go” a fair bit now. You have to let them have their own space to grow – even if they do occasionally poke around in the darker corners of the world. There was a further example of this later in the evening.

Last night’s dinner was tuna steak freshly caught from our local supermarket on my bike in the rain. What could be nicer?  Hard to believe that just over a week ago I was sitting around in shorts and t-shirts and 28 degrees of sunshine. Now winter has arrived properly and it’s cold, dark, wet and miserable. Halloween and fireworks just around the corner means that Christmas is only just behind them and at least there will be festive fun -somewhere amongst the misery. 

The other highlight from last night – and of “dark” interest to daughter – was provided by Channel 4. Mummifying Alan – Egypt’s Last Secret is a documentary following Dr. Stephen Buckley and Dr Joann Fletcher mummifying the body of Taxi driver, Alan Billis. (Torquay’s Tutankhamun) Engaging, fascinating and at times disturbing. It was Alan’s choice to donate his body to this experiment and his attitude towards it is best described by his own words:

“It’s just a shame I won’t be here to see the results. I love a good documentary”. 

I’m sorry he’s missed it to, because it’s really worth a watch. Amazing stuff.


Tuesday has landed and what’s to report?…  not a lot really, so a hunt around the Internet might bring up something a little more intriguing, and here’s some newsy type stuff….

According to The Next Web, Netflix, the video rental/streaming company that have all the latest and greatest movies available online is finally coming to the UK next year.  Right now that’s too late for me, I’ve recently signed up with LoveFilm (part of Amazon) which I’m glad to report is quite excellent so far. That said I might jump ship once Netflix lands just because in other parts of the globe – namely America – its supported by Apple TV. But let’s just wait and see what the deal is first, after all they’ve just had a price hike in the US and customers had been voting with thier feet on it: Video rental firm Netflix loses customers over prices 

As for LoveFilm, I’ve taken the 14 quid a month package which entitles you to an unlimited number of DVD or BlueRay rentals (but only two at a time) and streaming to PS3, iPad, iPhone, Mac or PC. You can actually stream up to 3 different titles simultaneously (to different devices obviously). Streaming the latest releases means paying an extra 3 or 4 quid, but the back catalogue is almost as good as mine, so it’s impossible to be at a loss to watch anything in the Ball household now.

As a result I’ve caught up with few odds and ends of movies lately, most recent of which is “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”. This is the fourth in the series and quite possibly it’s turned a corner – though not necessarily completely. The first film in the franchise was a ripper. Great fun for everyone and thoroughly enjoyable. Sadly from there, it slipped downhill and gradually got worse and worse. That last effort was almost unwatchable – however, for the most part I quite enjoyed this one and while Johnny Depp churns out the same “Captain Jack” as always, the material he has to work with does feel a darn sight more snappier and thought out than part 2 or 3 did. Good stuff if your kids are fans and you’re looking for something for them to watch during half term.


That should cover my 750 words for today (838 to be precise). It seems that really is helping me.

Until next time. 

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Categories Cooking, Daughter, Movies, TV


Yesterday was the 10th birthday of the iPod, and today is the launch of the official biography of the late Steve Jobs.

The story of the iPod and how it’s allegedly killed the music industry is a well told and worn one – in my opinion it’s just changed the music industry, not killed it, but what do I know?  The story of it’s creator (and I use that term in a fairly loose way on this occasion) is far less well known.  He was renowned for being a very private and secretive man which is seemingly at odds with his presence and “fame” – for want of a better word – as a company director.  There aren’t many – if any CEO’s (with the possible exception of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook) – that are as well know as he was. I’ve heard loads of theories about the reasons for his popularity since his death, but I’m not sure I click with any of them.
He was, after all, just a man, like any other who happened to be in the right place at the right time and had a drive and passion for his business. I think he was more “well known”, than popular although I think that his perceived “popularity” has a lot to do with his peer group.  Bill Gates might have owned the PC – via the Microsoft behemoth, but I’m not sure he’d be a barrel of laughs at a party. Steve beat Bill by being a “cool geek” and you can see why other geeks would want to emulate him for that reason.
I don’t really read biography’s – some people swear by them – but in this case I might be tempted to make an exception. I suppose I’m following the heard of wannabe cool geeks, but equally I’d quite like to know what went on in his head. Even if it is from another person’s perspective and not his own.
I’ll leave the subject of Steve with two points – one, and most interestingly for me, the talk in the book of an Apple Television. Not Apple TV, which he claimed was just a hobby, but an actual Apple Television. Some people have said this already exists in the form of the iMac, but I think we all know what Steve’s really getting at and I think it’s probably the the last piece of his grand plan. The ownership of the living room would be complete – whether it’ll ever see the light of day now that he’s passed, only time will tell.
The second Steve story is my favourite – and is all about the shenanigans around the release of the iPhone 4.  Some of you will probably recall that Gizmodo managed to acquire an iPhone 4 that an Apple sales rep left in a bar by mistake. Brian Lam tells of his take on Steve Jobs in this article (Steve Jobs was always kind to me (or, regrets of an asshole)), and what makes it for me is the line “Before he hung up, he asked me, “What do you think of it?””. Judge for yourself.


On the work front, IIWII and WAWWA, which for the regular readers means it’s not great, but that’s life. I am starting to get rather swamped though.  The work I’m doing with pooh obviously takes priority, but I’m covering for one of our number who is on vacation, pooh is going to take some time out to have his honey-covered paws cleaned up and there’s more work on the horizon. I’m perceiving a pressure that doesn’t yet exist – not a good place for my brain to be.
Daughter’s in court today. Not for something she did (thank heavens) but for something she saw. This is what happens when you patrol the mean streets in your spare time. She was a little nervous before she set off – but she’d never say so. I’m sure it’ll be fine and they’ll lock up the bad guys and let the good guys go.
Her companies attitude towards her having time off to attend court has been less than satisfactory though.  She’s performing a service for her local community, free, gratis and at no charge. This translates into not only a safer, happier place for all those that live on her patch – many of them work in the same company – but also a direct saving in each of their pockets by way of a lower level of council tax.
Clearly a forward thinking company would recognise that safe and happy staff are more hardworking and reliable staff and as such be supportive of her venture. Attending court as a witness / arresting officer isn’t something you can choose not to do – it’s a legal requirement. So, a day off without pay – rather than taking holiday (which let’s face it, is supposed to be for your holidays) would seem to be the correct thing to do when these circumstances arise.  Not a bit of it.
However… the police have been called, HR will be summonsed – they’re surrounded and there’s no escape.


There’s also currently no documented policy within the business to deal with it – and so hopefully it will be resolved in a speedy and logical manner.
It seems the business just needs some edumacation in the way their community works.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Categories Apple, Daughter, Starfleet

Catching up…..

That’s been the summer then – although looking out the window this morning, it’s not going anywhere in a hurry.  A proper Indian summer is with us in the UK but it’s a rubbish excuse for not blogging.  I have no-one to blame but myself. So what’s been going on ?….


Well – workwise, Pooh and I have got to the end of our run with the Big American company that needed Starfleet’s help.  We think we’ve helped and everyone (including the Big American company) seem to be quite happy with what we’ve done.  We haven’t really p!ssed anyone off and signatures are on the relevant pieces of paper to prove it.


Talking of signatures on paper – I’ve collected three in the last month that I’m particularly pleased about.  One is (to be fair a digital one) from my UK departmental lead, who agree’s that I’m a good guy really and anyone who said otherwise was wrong in the past – so actually I’m worth hanging on to.  That’s nice to know.


The second is from my UK bosses, bosses, boss which says thanks very much for your help, and the third one is from the overall commander of Starfleet (Mr very very important – and extremely influential – although not quite so well known as Steve Jobs) who says congratulations on being here still after 25 years!  25 YEARS!??!?!  REALLY!??


In reality – I haven’t been here for 25 years – although I have been here for 10 – and I find that scary enough.  The way employment law works in europe, means that should you transfer from one company to another as part of a take-over or outsourcing agreement, your service up until that point all counts as service with your new employer.  


I’ve had three interviews for jobs in my whole career – but only the first one was as an unknown. The other two were internal interviews. That’s how good I am. They all want to keep me really. 🙂 I’ve worked for five different companies in that time (so that’s an average of one every 5 years) and they’ve all been related to each other in one way or another.  Basically, it went like this: a take-over, a promotion, a promotion, a merger, an outsource which all adds up to 25 years.


I got a great pen. 🙂


Now – armed with my new pen – Pooh and I are all set to run off a new adventure, which is just around the corner.  We’re just fending off the remnants of the old one, but there’s really not a lot left now.  Who knows what delights await us – but I’m sure some of them won’t be too delightful.


Outside of the work-o-sphere, I’ve had a couple of weeks off (one of the other benefits of being around for so long, is that for this year only I get 35 days vacation – so I have to crowbar it in where I can).  


Me and Mrs G went down to Swanage for a week to stay in a lovely little cottage by the sea.  Swanage is a quaint old seaside town – rather stuck somewhere in the end of the 50’s and 60’s in places, while a few businesses are trying to drag it into the new century.  To be honest, I wish, they’d mostly leave it be.  The old pubs and fish and chip shops, hark back to a time when summer holidays meant sandcastles and fish and chips and not airplanes and overcrowded hotels. Proper english in a traditional way. Sticks of rock and “kiss me quick” hats – all that sort of stuff. Lovely.  


We had great weather for a week so late in the year and had a great time too.  I’d particularly recommend the Globe pub as one of the most traditional I’ve been into in a while.


Daughter also had a holiday – and jetted off with her mates to the Canary Islands for a week, only to come back with a georgous looking tan. Pah!


The second week was spent at home in the rain. Not quite so much fun, but I did get a few little jobs done that needed doing, including the reframing of a few photos that I’d been meaning to sort out for ages. Very happy with the result.


Then we’ve had a trip to the Rugby to see good old Gloucester kick it out of Bath. That was fun – if a little too much imbibing. 


My next big trip is only a week or so away now too.  This time it’s golf – with the lads in sunny Spain.  I’m sure Mrs G isn’t over the moon on one hand, because we’ve not been abroad for any proper sunshine this year, but on the other hand, she’ll be glad to have some space to herself for a week without me – and we are planning on doing something a bit more special in the new year.  Not decided exactly what yet – but it’s on the cards.


SO there we go – a bit caught up.  I don’t want this to be huge – so I’ll limit my tech news comment – which is vast – to another post.  If you’re interested I’ll be blathering about Facebook, Google+, the iPhone 5 (or lack thereof) and the Kindle Fire (and others). But that’s for the next post.


Glad to be back – stay safe – and keep calm and carry on.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous
Categories Daughter, Golf, Holiday, Mrs G, Starfleet

The Countryside in View…..

A most enjoyable weekend has brought me back round to Monday. Sure enough, on Saturday Mrs G, Daughter and I hopped on the bus (Gus) into Chelter’s.  

Now, I’m all for a bit of enterprise, but this particular scheme is starting to niggle at me a little. What I’m referring to is something that happened back in the mid nineties. There was an art installation that travelled the world called the “Cow Parade”.  The idea is that these cows would appear in your local city and local artists would then decorate them, to express themsleves in whatever way they felt like doing.  All good stuff, and I do love a clever piece of art, which this most certainly was when it was called “Land in Sicht”* and it was original.

However, since then it’s spawned all sorts of copies. There has been at least Pig, Donkey and Lion Parade’s. Bristol currently has a Gorilla Parade, and now Cheltenham Town council have joined the bandwagon – or should that be parade?  The thing is – I’m all for the art – that’s great, but when they’re auctioned off at the end – two things occur to me…  1) Who in thier right mind would want a fibreglass pig / donkey / lion / gorilla / horse etc… and 2) Who’s getting the money ?   I mean I know it says “for Charity” but that’s a rather generic all encompassing way of saying “for good stuff”, just not what good stuff.

Anyway – there’s 10 of them in Cheltenham (Horses, obviously) and they’re around until October.  They actually look great, but I wonder what they’ll achieve, if anything…

Cheltenham is a grand place to spend a Saturday (or any day for that matter) and it was a beautiful warm summer’s day with greenery and finery in equal amounts.  We took advantage of the outdoor dining climate and bought everything we needed over the space of a couple of hours.  

We also had to nip across to Gloucester though (thanks to the 94 – beautifully equipped public transport) because the O2 shop had run out of micro-SIM cards for Mrs G’s new iPhone.  I chewed my arm over the decision to buy it for a while. Obviously the iPhone 5 will land within the next two months, so I was very much on the fence about the whole thing.  In the end, it was just easier to get her upgraded for free now, rather than have to fork out (which is bound to be the situation) in a couple of months time for a phone that I’ll want more than she will…. probably….  enough! I’m starting to sound like a fan-boy now… LoL.

Sunday saw us back in the saddle – and this time for seven and a half miles up and down the river to get to the “far away” Sainsbury’s.  There was no need to cycle that far, other than “it’s good for us” and so it is.  It was also a fun way to spend an hour, so all good.  It did mean we were dead on our feet yesterday afternoon though – and swing bridges aside – sleep beckoned.


This week holds all sorts of fun in advance of my trip over the atlantic. 

Take care.

* “Land in Sicht” started in Switzerland and roughly translates to “Countryside in View”

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Categories Cheltenham, Daughter, iPhone, Mrs G

Legs of lead

Last night saw Daughter and I take a ride out to Tesco’s. (other supermarkets are available)
That in itself is nothing to really make a noise about, but we didn’t take the most direct route. She didn’t go to the Gym yesterday and so needed the exercise. I, on the other hand, never go to the gym and always need the exercise. I’m out of practice and it really showed. I thought I was going to die on two separate occasions. I didn’t and I know it was actually very good for me, but it hurts at the time. So what would normally have been a gentle 2 miles of flat cycling was actually more like 10 miles up hill and down dale. It also served to remind me how badly I need to get a proper bike and not one made of bambooicite.

After 20 minutes of recovery time, I cooked up a spledid quorn based chilli, caught up with corrie (its the law) and finally got to finish watching “Battle: LA” which is a guilty pleasure of a movie. It’s not clever, but it is big and dumb and enjoyable. If you want to know what its about, you just need to see the cover art on the DVD and that pretty much tells it all.

Great in a really bad way – 7/10.


This morning, I’m not sure if I can feel my legs. So rather than rest and recover, naturally I need to trapse around town in search of odds and sods for the American trip. Mrs G, daughter and I have decided on a ride on the bus (public transport is always entertaining) into Chelter’s. I’m after updating the ‘business casual’ look and Mrs G is hopefully going to get an iPhone upgrade to a White 4. But we’ll see. I’m not a huge fan of retail opportunities but for once I’m actually looking forward to it.

There’s a take-out coffee with my name on it.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Categories Daughter, Movies, Mrs G

Torn and bloodied from the fight….

….I find myself absolutely shattered. I’ve spent all afternoon wrestling and scrapping with the dreaded beast but to no avail. I’ve been unable to best it alone. In the end I needed a helping hand from pooh to finally put it to rest. It seems that my laptop just isn’t powerful enough to import the final element into such a large cost case. Bloody software.

By the end of the day the weather was turning too and rather than a nice bright evening that we’ve been experiencing of late, it became dark and over cast and made any further painting in the kitchen impossible. You can’t paint in electric light – Essex fact.

Daughter was baby sitting for Auntie S, Mrs G had corrie’s to catch up with. I had a wealth of reading list to work through. As a special treat we availed burger star of a take away for dinner. It’s not right, but I can justify it with the inordinate amount of cycling we’ve been doing of late, the condition of the kitchen and the overwhelming evidence that it is ‘not McDonald’s’ and is made from very fresh ingredients. It was lush in a very naughty way.


Today sees me having to make a trip to the dentists. A filling. Nothing serious, just my contribution to his yacht fund I’m sure.

I’m hoping for a quieter day today, and if time permits I may try and jot down my thoughts on Google+. I’m particularly surprised at the number of tech heads who are leaving Facebook and twitter in their droves it would seem. I’m already hearing reports of several million new users to G+ in this week alone… And it’s only Tuesday!


Have a great day.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Categories Daughter, Dining Out, DIY, Facebook, Mrs G, Twitter

Painting the town red

A busy weekend has been had, so to fail to summarise…

A brief mention of Thursday evening, saw four of the WTC visiting Frank Whittle’s pub. Cycling in the rain was worth it though, just to catch up with the lads who are consistently entertaining no matter what the circumstances.

Friday saw me landed with reviewing some work that our US cousins have been putting together. All very interesting and generally not bad. They did have (in fact still do at the moment I’m sure) a small piece missing which could cost them quite a bit of cash, so I helpfully pointed that out to them. We have a follow up meeting today (Monday), and we’ll see where they’ve got to with it, but I suspect they’ll be mostly fine for now.

This sort of work fits in just fine around the Nelefunt hunt that Pooh and I have been conducting and have nearly caught. It’s a bit of a moving feast of a beast mind you, and right now we’re waiting patiently for the drugs to take effect so that it might fall asleep and accidentally wake up caught. Trouble is, it’s a big beasty and not sure how much of the drugs it needs to knock it out. I always vote for giving it loads, but sometimes nelefunts can sense it and will only go for smaller amounts. It’s a numbers game. And a waiting game. And just for good measure, it is what it is.

We also have a new prefect at Starfleet academy. Interesting sort. Seems to go for the rule book with a vengeance. This approach is all well and good when your terraforming, or mining, not so helpful when you’re exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilisations, in short, boldly going…. etc etc…. On the plus side it does provide us with ample oppertunitys to play “MBS Bingo” (the M stands for middle management).


I’m not having a pop. He’s just doing his job. It’s just that it’s a job I could never see any appeal-to or need-of, for that matter.

Friday night brought daughter’s new “fella” to dinner and what a fine upstanding chap he is. Just as long as he doesn’t think he’s “in”. This is something that dad’s with daughters have to deal with, and I am getting better at it. To be fair, this one passed the “mate” test instantly, and he does seem to be at least half sensible. Did I mention what a fine upstanding chap he is? I’d hate to have to set the bunnies or Helga on him.

Saturday. My favourite day of the week… Along with Thursday (the new Friday), oh and Friday and Sunday…. Wednesday’s are alright as they’re the halfway point of the working week, so I suppose that just leaves Monday and Tuesday. Can’t be doing with either of them. Subject sorted. Now where was I?

Ah yes, so Saturday. First job, the return of the car. Well over a week to get the brake calliper replaced, but worth every minute of the wait. The lack of motor only really caused me any pain on Friday when I was unable to meet up with pooh, but he was very understanding about it and claimed he’d save me some huny. (I know what bears are like though.) Both Mrs G and I have done a lot of cycling this week, and thats good for everyone. As for Mickey and the motor, when it came to the bill, it was a pleasure to pay. Sometimes it really is all about “who” and not “what”. With that job out of the way, reliably, Mrs G hopped on her bike to get her hair done, daughter was off to work, so I got to try out Google+ and some of it’s features.


Got to tell you, I’m loving it. Finally a social networking application with some proper management built into it. It’s still got a way to go, but it kicks the be-jesus out of Facebook in my humble opinion. Check it out here:

There was also some qualifying for the British GP, and then at the last minute Mrs G suggested a trip to that massive blue building with the yellow writing on it that’s always jammed full of people buying furniture. Eye-Key-Ah. I have a love hate relationship with the place. Too many times have I found it over crowded, over priced and under performing. I often have to make a second trip to return something, or get another one, or a different one, so I’m not a massive fan. Having said that, on this occasion it all went swimingly. In fact rather too well. The place was practically empty and we bought a new lamp to replace the one that wasn’t big enough. This one’s simply perfect. Quite a shock I can tell you. Curry for dinner, fun times.
Now Sunday rolled around and with it yet more cycling. This is becoming something of a habit (albeit not a bad one, unlike the others). Last night after the Ikea trip and plenty of umping and ahhing we went and made a rash decision (something of a discomfort for a Capricorn* – us mountain goats think about it and pick a safe path). It’s finally time to paint the kitchen!! Duh-duh-Daaaaaaaa!

And what colour would us safe path treading mountain goat types choose? Blue? White? Some sort of Beige possibly? …. Not a bit of it…. Classic Red (just like the pillar boxes). Was I nervous about applying loaded brush to wall? Oh yes. And am I happy with the result…. Mostly, very. One thing I’ve learned about red paint, unlike White, if you apply even the tiniest drop to the wrong place it looks like a murder has taken place. Smudged red is messy. Bloody messy (pardon the pun).


So the short version of Sunday is like this: Bikes to B&Q, Buy Paint, Home, Empty kitchen, Prep Walls, sanding etc. Cup of tea, lunch, Watch the Grand Prix…

Which reminds me, what an awesome new camera angle that was. 400m cables suspend the “flying” camera over the track and provided some stunning pictures. It’s not a new technology, being deployed in football, swimming, Indy car racing to name but three, but it’s a first in F1.

Back to the schedule…. Another cup of tea, finally build up enough courage to apply paint to walls, nip out and buy more masking tape, apply tape, apply more paint, dinner (slow cooked sausage casserole) and then more paint. Finally round the evening off with a Crabbie’s alcoholic ginger beer and “Sleeping with the Enemy” on Film 4 from back in 1990.

There is more painting to be done still. A second coat is required and there’s a few right diddly bits, but a good 8 hours of drying is required first so I think I know what will be happening on Monday night.

All-in-all, a fine, full weekend. The near future brings more work with Americans, painting, a visitation from Wiltshire and planning for our 6th Wedding Anniversary, so for a start I need to figure out what sixth is (probably brick or something) before Mrs G tells me it’s diamonds, or gold… 😉 Bless her for trying. Take care.

* actually, I’m not a Capricorn, I’m a Pyrex… That’s right I was a test-tube baby.. Boom-boom.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Categories Daughter, DIY, Mrs G, Sport, Starfleet, Weekend, WTC