Archives for category: Son

Team Work!…  Yes – that’s what I really meant in my last post I think.  As in: Team, get a move on and do some Work. The trouble is that Badman and I are some what hampered by the fact that our friends from the new world colonies aren’t focused on answering the questions we’re asking. Not having the answers to these smaller questions means that answering the bigger question becomes impossible. One feeds the other.

But still we battle on.  Today has been peppered with conference calls – lots of which were of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” variety. Those of you that read the Badman’s blog as well will know that we’re playing our own silly game of BS Bingo in the run up to the rush. I was able to get two “What Badman said”s which means I’ve gained an extra 20 points. Badman still only has his “lucky” 75. So the scores are running at 40:75 and no more mute or giggling to allow the Badman any additional points. Tough times….  but wait… It gets tougher…

Last call of the day is 7pm UK time, so long days are becoming the norm, but then on the plus side we have a bank holiday weekend.  WooHoo!  What’s really depressing about this situation outlined on the call though, is the timeline involved. We were given an idea of dates at the end of last week, and suddenly that’s been retracted and compressed dramatically. As a result I can’t currently see how we can achieve our goals. The detail just isn’t there and the pressure to deliver is through the roof. We have some big work to do – and no time to do it. I think we might have to pack some huny sandwiches and go on a visit, but we might not even have enough time to do that! Mental times.

Back in the real world for a Friday evening and I’m simmering a Chilli-con-carne for dinner for Mrs G and I.  Son is off out to a posh do with his girlfriend, while daughter is still at work, although in her case she’s getting paid for her overtime – I am just stupid enough to still be here because I care. Some sort of fool I am!

Judging by some of the stuff I’ve seen this week, I probably should have got a job in advertising.  Not sure if they get paid overtime either, but they do seem to have a good laugh and share some awesome creativity.  You’ll see what I mean here:


Always leave them wanting more, as my gran is occasionally heard to say… so here’s something more…


So that’s it for now – but I think it’s gonna get nasty.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Once more into the breach dear friends, once more. Thankyou Mr Shakespeare for coming up with the perfect phrase to describe how I feel about my imminent bout of Christmas shopping.
It’s that time of year and I suppose this weekend more than most is likely to be THE weekend of madness in shopping centres up and down the land. We’ve selected Cabot Circus in Bristol, as our retail outlet of choice this year, generally because it provides such an enjoyable experience. It’s easy to get to, usually with plentiful parking and is mostly undercover from the elements while leaving you with the feeling of being outside thanks to hit huge open spaces and interesting glass roof structures. There’s also two stores in particular that make it a worthwhile trip.
The downside however, will no doubt be the fact that the world and his wife will be out doing the same thing. Not only that, but they’ll have brought the kids, grandparents and family pets along with them too. I can’t wait… to get back home, and we haven’t even left yet.
Last night was a far more enjoyable experience. Mrs G had her Christmas dinner with work to attend. It was held in a quite posh hotel ‘up the hill’ in one of the villages. A pleasant spot. Son has his ‘Xmas Works Outing’ coming soon and of course Daughter hosts hundreds of them at the pub she works in when she’s not specialing.
My Xmas Works Outing is a much wilder affair. I work from home and while to many this may seem a sad and lonely existence, I’ve enjoyed it very much for the past 15 years or so (on and off). I had a bout of living in London and the US for a few years, but I recovered eventually. What this all means though, is that I don’t really get a ‘Christmas do’. It would be nice to catch up with colleagues both old and new and quaff a few pints to wash down a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and in days gone by that would most definitely have been the case, but the past 5 years have seen a change in attitudes towards such goings on.
In fact all forms of frivolity in the work place seem to be frowned upon. You can’t enjoy work anymore. The Health & Safety brigade along with the Political Correctors seem to have sucked all the fun out of working life and the bean counters have topped it off by going all ‘Scrooge’ on the employee entertainment and morale front. If your lucky, you might get a cold turkey sandwich in the canteen during December and they’ll probably still be hanging around in January too.
I’m not suggesting we should go back to the 70’s, 80s & 90s when it was quite normal for colleagues to be sleeping the effects of the office party off, at the office or to caught up to no good in the stationary cupboard. But at least people had fun. Now everyones too scared to appear to let their guard down in front of their boss for fear of future repercussions. It’s very very sad.
Being on my own in the office means I don’t have any of those trappings to hinder me. I also can’t get caught up to no good in the stationary cupboard, which I suppose is just as well. I can get completely slozzled without fear of looking stupid in front of the boss and I can sleep it off at my desk should I so choose (it’s in what would have been bedroom number 4 if I hadn’t used it as an office anyway). To this end, last night was my Christmas do although the company neglected to pay for it which is a great shame.
The only other human that’s around when I’m in the office is daughter so she and I went to a pleasant little pub up the road for a slap up nosh fest. The place was packed with people having their Christmas do’s all doing their best not to look like idiots in front of their bosses and all eating the same unappetising Christmas dinner. Each had a paper hat and bad cracker jokes.
I on the other hand, had a reasonable steak and ale pie (daughter had a reasonable steak) and the pleasure of her company. Far more enjoyable than any of the uncomfortable looking herberts pretending to be having fun. If only Starfleet had been footing the bill, it would have been a Christmas do to remember. Instead it was an enjoyable evening with Daughter.
I haven’t lost all hope. I actually love Christmas. Not so much the shopping and presents for presents sake side of it. Not the over commercialisation of it. But next year with a new role it’s entirely possible there could be a sociable set of people who aren’t over the top with the PC crowd, but I wont count my chickens just yet….
And now I must imitate the action of the Tiger, stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide, Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit to his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint Nicholas’ – Merry bleeding Christmas.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Hard to believe that it’s already been almost three months since our last Quarterly game of golf, but then it’s only just over a month since our last competition, the Smithy Open. Sadly, that competition’s namesake isn’t playing with us today, but he’s with us in spirit if not in body.

At one point it didn’t look like we’d be playing at all thanks to the non existent organisation skills of the group, especially given that we all have day jobs to do, which while they may not be as much fun as playing golf, they are what puts the bread on the table and keeps roofs over our respective heads.

Typically it runs like this: An early start where we all meet up at the selected golf course for coffee and bacon rolls and a bit of a catch up. Then the draw takes place to determine who’s playing with who. Tee off. I think today it,s around 11am and then 18 holes of golf which will take us up to about 3 or 4 pm depending on how well things go. Then there’s dinner at the clubhouse and prize giving (for those that won anything). Finally we all trot off home to freshen up ready for the court session and the evening on the town. It’s great fun but you never feel too good about it afterwards… Hangover’s mostly.

Weather isn’t looking too good for it either. Mrs G was cycling into the city to get her hair done, but hairdressing and cycling aren’t great bedfellows at the best of times let alone when it looks like it might rain. I think instead she’ll be walking and I also think that secretly she’s quite looking forward to having the house to herself for the day. She’ll be missing us all really.

Son is off to deepest darkest Wales for the weekend with his mountain bike. He spent last night sorting out his music collection and burning a couple of half decent CD’s because his friend he’s going with is into “hard trance dance music”. Son’s tastes are far more indy rock/pop. Some of their generation have good taste at least. I’m sure he’ll have a great time as long as he manages to stay on his bike rather than under it, as has been known in the past.

So a cold and damp day ahead in prospect. If the golf of late is anything to go by, it won’t be a particularly enjoyable one either. This evening’s entertainment will a whole other story, with the buffoonery dial turned right up to 11 no doubt.

I can only wish I was soaking up the Asian culture and heat with Daughter, but alas I will just have to try to survive without and look forward to a nice sedate Sunday lunch with Mr Ball Sr tomorrow.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Well that was a rather stuffed weekend.  Full to the brim of frippery, family, food, firewater, and frivolity.  Fun times and so it’s back to work with a bump.

Friday was the Smithy open and a lot of fun that is. We were very lucky with the weather. In fact this has been true all weekend. Not a raincloud in sight.  Very warm though. Close, as the old folks would say. All went off without a hitch, and although I didn’t win, it’s not about the winning or loosing… it’s about the winning. Well done Stanlar.

Our evening entertainment was an eclectic mix of establishments on the Bath road in Cheltenham, including The Exmouth Arms, The Brown Jug and the 5 Alls. Extremes, but all very enjoyable. Pleased to see the 6X of my home town on tap in the Brown Jug.  I’ve been in here plenty of times before, and always enjoyed it and it’s also good to see the 5 Alls having a lick of paint. All a bit of a blur, but generally a nice bunch of boozers. There’s more about that over on the WTC site though. ’nuff said.

Friday night was also the launch of the Cheltenham Literature Festival which this year, we’ve failed miserably to get properly involved with. What is does mean is that Cheltenham gets very busy and is a generally slightly more interesting place to be for the week. That’s not to say that it isn’t always interesting, it’s just this week (like any Cheltenham Festival week) is more so. The streets are littered with interesting characters, both well known and completely unidentifiable that make people watching an excellent pastime.

For example, on Friday we had Melvyn Bragg, Simon Hoggart, Mark Kermode & Andrew Marr.  Gutted that I missed Dr K of course, but would also have loved to have heard Andrew Marr after writing about him earlier in the year. I hear reports that he was having a go at bloggers. More on that here and here. Very entertaining stuff I’m sure.

On Saturday, as regular readers will be aware, it was Cheltenham’s attempt at a SuperSwarm that drew Mrs G, Daughter and I to “The Bank House” in the town, as well as a few other bits and pieces of shopping that needed to be done. It was interesting to finally put some actual faces to Twitter names that I’ve read about and followed. The likes of @AdrianEXG & @jonnop to name but two. It was a valiant effort and there was a decent buzz (all puns intended even if not achieved) about the place that made it look like there was a chance of achieving it. In fact, The Literature Festival itself drew a large enough crowd to aquire a spontaneous “Swarm” badge* (a group of 50) during the morning.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be. The crowd peaked at 120, and 250 is the target. Of course this is still something of a success. Even 120 people is no mean feat, but while the Literature Festival does bring a lot of people to Cheltenham, they may not necessarily be the people that are foursquare savvy. A more likely target – given the numbers of people involved would be Cheltenham races. Punters are twitterer’s because they’re looking for the inside line on the horses s this makes them a natural progression for Foursquare. Maybe the team will have a pop at the Festival in March ??. There’s racing on Friday/Saturday too but more on that later in the week.

Saturday’s LitFest names included Sebastian Faulks, Alastair Campbell & Darling (although not together) & “the Dark Lord”, Peter Madelson. Also ran… Armstrong & Miller and Derren Brown. Needless to say we hadn’t arranged tickets for any of these shows this year and that truly is a travesty. Sunday had Stephen Hawking, Clive Anderson, Graham Norton, Germain Greer, Martin Jarvis and so the list goes on and on and on…Of the approximately 200 well known faces to appear this year, the worst one to miss of the lot is next Friday. 12-1pm Mr Stephen Fry. He is the king of twitter and a national treasure.

Next year, Mrs G and I will be having a week off and planning it properly.

After the people-watching and book browsing of the day, the early evening saw the arrival of the Scottish contingent who are staying with us until Tuesday. This is Mrs G’s sister & D along with the three little ones, A, W & F.

Good company, good food & good wine made for a most enjoyable evening and onwards into the wee small hours of Sunday morning. Daughter & Son where out with friends but bother were tucked up asleep by the time the rest of the house arose by 9am. Sunday meant a roast dinner in the pub with Grandparents. More excellent socialising and the early evening led to kids hot-tubbing which had meant a bit of work for me to prep it having not used it for the last couple of months. Auntie S brought the cousins (E&E) round as well, so the house was fit to burst with kids and adults all having a great time and bemoaning the quality of the X-Factor among other things. All provoking much giggling, pointing and oooo-ing and ahhh-ing. Fun times.

Finally exhausted, all retired for the evening, save myself and D who with a night-cap in hand enjoyed a run of The Big Lebowski before admitting defeat and turning in for the night. Try as I might, time & tide waits for no man and with the inevitability of the sun rising, so the working week begins and all I can do is get on with it whilst wishing for the new year and the start of the new job. L&D & Kids are off to Slimbridge with Grandparents while the rest of us work for a living. They’ll be back this evening for one last night of socialising before heading off to the south coast for the week.

Hey ho – back to it.

* If you want to know more about all of the Foursquare badges – details can be seen here:

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Yesterday’s golf was miserable. Not because of company, location, price or weather, but because I played one of my worst games in over a year. Simply horrible. Mrs G went to see T in the evening, Son was watching ‘the match’ at his mate’s house and daughter was at work, so by way of consolation S was up for a cheeky Tuesday beer in the local. This involved a good cycle ride (that’s every day so far) and four pints of wallop. 

What’s really annoying is the price of a pint has gone up 5p to £2.55. When it was £2.50 a fiver was your friend (When it was £1 a fiver could kill you! -Ed) but now you have to have a pile of 10p pieces or at least a tenner in your pocket just to be sociable!! Grr. Thank god for debit cards.

And on that subject, here’s QI for today if you haven’t seen it already.  Do you remember (or did you ever hear about) back in 1995 how there was a trial of a cashless system in the UK, centred around Swindon ??  Mondex was it’s name and replacing cash with cards was it’s aim. Sadly… it failed miserably. It was a very enthusiastic effort on the part of the then Midland Bank, National Westminster and British Telecom. At it’s peak and in even the busiest locations it managed a mere 2% of transactions. A valiant effort, but doomed to failure. Mostly because it was based on something that not everyone had. So you couldn’t take your Mondex card to London and buy anything for instance….  pretty pointless really. 

Before we get too carried away, it’s worth pointing out that Mondex didn’t just pack up and go home… nosiree. Instead they became the butt of one of the best Internet wide hoaxes back in 2004 when someone started the story that:

Mondex is planning to replace money with biochips embedded in people’s heads and hands.

This was accompanied by a picture of an RFID chip just to make it all that much more believable and terrifying.  Of course, none of that is true…

Well, that was all back then…  this is 2010… and jet packs and flying cars aside, we’re up to all sorts of incredible technological shenanigans*. Some bright spark who came up with Twitter, has now gone a step further and developed “SQUARE”. You’ll love this…   Square is an App for your phone which allows you to take payments from credit or debit cards via your handset.  That’s it.  Nothing more complicated.  Simple.  

Almost everyone has a credit or debit card (those that don’t can still pay with cash by the way – it’s just that involves them physically handing you some cash, notes or coins… just in case you’d forgotten) and payments with cards are almost as ubiquitous as payments with cash nowadays.

You can even get a card reader that plugs into the headphone socket of your phone to read the magnetic strip….

Awesome!!  So, where’s the catch ???

Well, I hate to say there is one, but there is.  You can’t have it if you live outside of the US.  Now, I think there might be a few very good reasons for this, not least of which is that in the UK we’ve gone all “chip and pin” and that’s not something that’s really happened stateside yet. In the UK magnetic strips are seen as vulnerable with readers (and writers) being common place tech.

Futhermore there’s been a significant amount of investment by the banks and financial instituions in the Chip and Pin system. It’s not going away in a hurry meaning getting square off the ground outside of the US could be a car crash.

Square’s official line on it is this:
We are currently only available in the 50 US States, including DC. We are beginning to look into other markets, but at this time cannot support non-US entities. There is no specific timeline for our international rollout, but you have not been forgotten.

Keep your eyes on for more information about our plans and development. We thank you for your patience.</blockquote>

In the meantime, if you’d like to know more, then this is the place to go see:

Mrs G and I are off to spend cash, not Mondex on something nice by the sea. More on this tomorrow.

* It’s a good word “Shenanigans”, meaning mischief; prankishness, deceit or trickery. But… after a little bit of digging, I think I prefer this definition:

The name of a game played 24/7/365 by people who know of its existence. The game is played by first saying “Shenanigans”, then, the person who said it is allowed to hit or otherwise hurt anyone within earshot of them at the time that they said it. The main target tends to be the groin on males and the chest on females. People who are within earshot when “Shenanigans” is said must say the word “Mulligan” 
as soon as they hear it to prevent being a target. If someone is hit either before or while you are saying the word “Shenanigans” or after they have said “Mulligan”, you are considered to have cheated and they get a free hit on you. Note that saying “Shenanigans” lasts indefinately until each person within earshot has said “Mulligan”
Bob: “SHENANIGANS!” *smacks Tom in the groin* 


*Bob hits Tom in the groin* 
Tom: oooh, that’s a free hit! *smacks Bob in the groin without penalty.*

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Proper holiday stuff today in the shape of a game of golf with son (to start with) then possibly a game with R and then possibly some post match beverages with a couple of the WTC lads. To be fair it will all be about time and energy levels but at least it’s half a plan.

Yesterday involved much cycling for Mrs G and I. Well I say much. Considering I haven’t owned a bike since I was 19 and ridden one maybe 3 times since then, to do 7 miles for me is no mean feat. I’m starting to feel the nibblings of a bug, but not the full bite just yet. Happy to report that my gluteus maximus muscles have toughened up though, and I’m able to sit down again now. Too much information?

It’s good to know how far you’ve ridden on a journey and it would be nice to be able to share details of a newly discovered trail or a shortcut between to place with friends and family. I suppose you could use a pedometer to count the number of pedal pushes you do, but that doesn’t really give you the best level of detail. Well, luckily enough ‘There’s an app for that’ and better still, it’s free!!
Trailhead ( ) by the outdoor clothing brand ‘The North Face’ is a GPS based application that tracks your location. It the overlays the captured data onto google maps and you can attach other multimedia elements to the journey as well. This package is known as a ‘trip’ to the application and by registering for a free account with you can then upload your trip onto their servers for sharing as you see fit.

Once you’re setup it’s a doodle to use. Launch, start tracking, lock and stick it in your pocket until you reach your destination. You’re able to pause recording at any point (ideal when you’re stopping off to grab a cup of coffee or wandering off somewhere that you don’t want included) It records your speed and altitude as well so you end up with all sorts of useful (depending on your point of view) bits of information.

All in all if your interested in sharing or storing this sort of data and when consider most devices for doing this sort of thing usually cost at least a £100, this little app is a must have for you iPhone arsenal.

Briefly and while I’m on the subject of apps. Foursquare 2.0 has now landed in the AppStore and I’ve got to say I’m a little disappointed. There are some improvements and I’m sure the map view in particular will be popular, but they’ve missed an opportunity here I think.

With the launch of Facebook faces what Foursquare needs is an interface overhaul and high speed checkins. The Gowalla interface is gorgeous by comparison (although I understand it’s functionality isn’t quite as nice). Checkin is the same but really these apps should be centred on the checkin. You really want to launch, click, close most of the time. You can check your stats when you’re not stood in someone’s way of a shop door! Work to be done here still, but 7 out of 10 for effort.

So with that, I’m off to the golf course to see how long the walk is. Might even share it with you afterwards.

Take care.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Son’s birthday went off well on Thursday as far as we know. He was out to dinner with his Dad and his Sister but he did pop round to see his Mum before hand. I suspect he was after presents, but it was nice to see him on the day. He’s with us for the weekend though and so the celebrations continue. He’s planned a bit of a lads day with his mates which he’s very much looking forward to, involving beer, rugby, pizza and clubbing.

Daughter is back to firing on all four cylinders which is good news (mostly). She’s going to try a night shift over the weekend so with that and Son’s shenanigans Mrs G and I aren’t expecting a great deal of sleep.

Got the lawn all trimmed and looking good again. As much as I would like to think that’ll be the last mowing of the year, in reality there’s plenty more growth in it yet. Autumn has barely started after all.

I’ve started the latest Terry Pratchett, entitled “I Shall Wear Midnight”. It’s a Tiffany Aching story with the Nac-Mac-Feegles set on the Chalk of Discworld.

If you have no idea what I’m blathering on about, go and get yourself a copy of “The Colour of Magic” and then possibly “The Wee Free Men”. You’ll soon get the hang of it and more than likely have a fair few chuckles on the way. It’s like Tolkien with laughs. And less unpronounceable places. Wonderful stuff.

I’m just going to throw a quick movie review in here. As promised in an earlier post, it’s for “Perrier’s Bounty” (I’ve still got “The Eiger Sanction” and “From Paris with Love” to get through yet, and I’m going to add to that list “In The Name of the Father” with Daniel Day-Lewis. So little to do and so much time! – No, strike that. Other way round – as Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka would say)

While it might sound like it’s got something to do with French spa water and coconut based chocolate bars this is actually more of a bumbling gangster movie set in contemporary Ireland. Cillian Murphy, who I’m sure you’ll recognise from “28 Days Later” or from his work on “Inception”, “Batman Begins” or “The Dark Knight” plays the lead, with excellent “Good guys” support from Jim Broadbent (Bridget Jones’ Dad) and Jodie Whittaker (“Venus”). The “Bad guys” are headed up by Brendan Gleeson (“In Bruges”)

Perrier is Brendan Gleeson’s character, who it transpires is owed some money by the down-on-his-luck Cillian Murphy. What starts off as a loan repayment, quickly becomes a bounty on the head of Cillian when things go badly at the payment collection stage. I can’t say much more about it Without spoiling the plot for you, other than to say that Jim Broadbent very nearly steals the show with his portrayal of Cillian’s Dad.

It’s a really fun piece, with a great plot and a simple storyline that kept me glued, just to find out how it was going to work out. My only concern throughout was for the health and well being of Brendan Gleeson. Perhaps he was just under the weather on this shoot, or maybe the makep or the haircut didn’t suit him, but compared to his appearance in “In Bruges (8.5/10 By the way)” he doesn’t look like a well man. That didn’t detract from a great performance though.

Overall 7/10. Fun stuff. Finally, here’s the trailer:

…..and finally finally, Friday night saw the final final of Big Brother on Channel 4. I know I’ve said this before, but it does get an unfair amount of bashing from the “I’d never watch that drivel” set. It is the absolute definition of car-crash television; as much as you don’t want to look, your morbid fascination means that you just can’t take your eyes off it. No matter what anyone says about it, it’s changed the face of British television and has been both magical and evil simultaneously. It has been THE social experiment of the naughties, but we’ve learned enough and it’s had it’s day. I can’t leave it without mentioning three things though….

Firstly “The Tree of Temptation”. This character was a fairly recent addition to Big Brother during the previous celebrity series. Voiced by the producer ‘Daniel Nettleton’ ( ) his wit and banter with the housemates had injected a whole new life into the show and I for one will miss that. Good to know that he still has plenty of work though. You can catch him producing on the next series of “I’m a celebrity, get me out if here”.

Secondly, “the final hour” of the final Big Brother. This was one of those rare TV history moments, and what a fantastic job they did of it. In particular the long and lingering shot of Davina McPhwoar (I really should stop calling her that) leaving the limo in full mourning regalia and miserably mooching to the stage while the New Orleans funeral band played the BB theme just as if it was James Bond’s “Live and Let Die”. I loved it. It was a credit to everyone involved. You can see it here:

And finally finally finally, Davina McCall. I first saw her at the recording of a show for ITV at The London Weekend Television studios on the south bank in about 1998 (or thereabouts) with Darren Day which I think was called “Don’t try this at home”. To be fair, while she was nice to look at, she fluffed her lines a lot. But that was then…. Now, she’s beautiful and articulate 🙂 and a little bit French. What else could you want? It was a shame her chat show didn’t work out, but I have no doubt that we haven’t seen the last of her by a long way and I can only hope she’s not way from our screens for too long. Here’s to Big Mutha ( ). X

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Glad to say that Inception really is all it’s cracked up to be. Far better than I’d anticipated and will now happily sit well inside my top 100 (coming soon) and deservedly so. Some particularly clever bits of plot (that I can’t go into yet for fear of providing spoilers) and an ingenious underlying concept serve to make this the must see movie of the year (so far). On top of which the special effects, many of which are practical rather than digital, I understand, are awesome. A thoroughly enjoyable 2 and a half hours. Highly recommended.

This leads me to the next piece of visual entertainment for yesterday – that of Sherlock on the BBC. As I ranted last week, it’s a great piece of crime/drama/comedy/SomethingSlightlyIndefinable. Some great television and something that all involved with should be rightly proud of. Fully expecting a reveal of the dreaded Moriarty next Sunday, but then again you never know; anything could happen.

Being a new production for the beeb it was also transmitted on the BBC HD channel although not at the same time as on BBC1 (which is the usual practice with their HD content). The reason being that the were also transmitting the European Athletics Championships (also in HD) thus pushing Sherlock back an hour in the schedules.

This made for some very entertaining sport and both son and I were both extremely pleased to see the British team perform so well given that they only have two years left (almost to the day) until the London 2012 Olympics. Things seem to be on track and this was reinforced by our 3rd place in the EU medals table just behind France who in turn trailed behind the ever dominant Russia. Regardless, as a team it was a superb performance and one or two individuals have been exceptional over the last few days.

In particular this evening, it was thrilling to see the 4 x 400m relay team grab a Silver medal after Martyn Rooney’s run in the last leg moved us up from 4th. Just a shame we lost to the Russians – but this is good experience. I’m not sure, but I think Martyn could well be Wayne’s slimmer, fitter and more-dedicated-to-his-sport, younger brother. 😉 Who knew ?

Here’s to hoping it’s not all a dream and that we stay home with a clutch of medals in about 730-odd days time.

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.

Well done spain. A well deserved win. Next time I’m out there on holiday, I’ll be claiming to be related to the referee in some way, to try and get some free San Miguel’s. Obviously, I wont be doing the same thing in Holland anytime soon – likely to get lynched for that.

Managed to slot some viewing in at various spots over the weekend including ‘Green Zone’ and ‘Identity’.

Green Zone is great action fare. It’s a Paul Greengrass directed movie, who is well known for the three Bourne movies which like this also star Matt Damon.

But for me, the star of the show is Jason Isaacs for two very simple reasons. First of all, he’s very good in it – and in fact seems to be very good in everything he’s in. He plays Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, was Harry H. Corbet in The Curse of Steptoe (The British readers will know all about that duhurtee-owlde-man) and has shown up in all sorts of weird and wonderful roles across cinema and TV. And secondly, listeners to the Wittertainment that is Kermode and Mayo will know he sports an insane moustache in this movie and is deserved of a quick pause and a “Hello”. So here it is….. “Hello to Jason Isaacs”. He’s not listening (or reading for that matter), but should he ever self google and stumble on this page – Keep up the good work.

Mr Greengrass started out as a director doing TV documentaries. World In Action and Cutting Edge to name but two. According to the IMDB he’s slated to work on a new production of Treasure Island sometime in 2012. I can’t wait.

Identity is ITV’s new drama series about a Police Identity Unit that go around solving identity theft cases. Well – it’s watchable, but in places about as far fetched as a bucket of cement from china. The first episode featured a bunch of murders and life changing transactions that it turns out were purpotrated by a 24 year old kid who looked like he was 12. Hmmm… not convinced. Still, I might manage to give the second episode a go just it case it can redeem itself.

In other news, Son has done himself an injury. It was only a matter of time. He’s a regular faller off of things or falling over things type of chap, mostly because he will engage in such sporty pursuits as off road downhill mountain biking and rugby – possibly at the same time from what I can make out. Well, yesterday he was mountain biking down a footpath that looked to me like it was designed for mountain goats when the obvious happened and he hit a fence post ejecting him from the saddle over the handlebars and into some not particularly soft looking ferns. Turns out he’s pulled the ligaments in his right ankle, meaning he now can’t drive, walk about much or doing anything in particular. He’s got the week off work this week as holiday as it happens – so he’s not best pleased with himself. He will be very pleased with his Call Of Duty scores by the end of the week though, I’m sure.

Those Californian folks really are nutters aren’t they? (said the man who watches people chase cheese down a hill! – Ed.) I live reasonably close to a railway line, but I couldn’t imagine our street “mooning” at the 9.50 from Cheltenham. Unless of course I’d been on the free San Miguel in the Mugs Away Saloon in Laguna Niguel. I think we can figure out how this got started. More of that non-sense here:

…but worse still….. The Double Rainbow thing is really starting to get out of hand and I no longer find them even remotely relaxing: