Archives for category: Weather

A look out the window at 8am and it was immediately obvious that unless there was going to be some major change in the weather, we wouldn’t be trudging up Cooper’s Hill to witness the Cheee Rolling.

Some of you will be aware that it wasn’t actually supposed to be happening anyway. Officially it had been cancelled for various admistrative reasons most of which are clouded and confused by rumour and conjecture to such a point that no-one really knows what’s going on at all. In all honesty, that’s probably for the best. (I mean that no-one knows what’s going on, not that it’s cancelled – that’s a travesty)

It’s an example of an event that is a victim of it’s own success and it’s own geography. 8 or 9 years ago it might have attracted 2000 visitors to the hill and all was well with that. A local tradition for local people. The year before last there were an estimated 15,000 that invaded the place and it was utter chaos as well as downright dangerous. The space that is Cooper’s Hill just simply isn’t large enough to cope with those numbers.  Worse still are the numbers of people that show up in cars looking for a car park, which there simply is not.

All in all, given the weather conditions and the hoo-ha, we decided to give it a miss. It was that nasty out there that you’d have to be really hardcore to stick with it…  more of a Parmesan roll, than a Double Gloucester. No doubt, when we have a really warm year, it’ll be a Brie. However, in the mean time here’s a few photos from recent years of the chaos which might help you understand some of the problem.

And just to round things off nicely – a couple of video’s so you can see the pain inflicted on others that you’ve missed.

Cheese_Rolling_2008_02.AVI Watch on Posterous

Cheese_Rolling_2009.AVI Watch on Posterous

It saddens me greatly, not to have been there, as I am a real fan of the event and the traditionalism of it, but I guess this will make it all the more enjoyable next year.  There is a report and some decent photos of the 2011 version which you can read here:  Congratulations again to the living legend that is Chris Anderson. Incidentally, his sister works in the same office as Mrs G. Small world.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

So now it feels like it’s properly April although after such stunning weather over the weekend you might well have thought it was summer already.

This one’s just a quick diary catchup, just so I’m keeping track of the comings and goings, the why’s and wherefores, the strikes and the gutters. In this case, that means what the hell have I been up to in the last week? I mean I’ve mentioned a few things, and there’s been a couple of photo’s, but I do appear to have somewhat slipped from the habit of writing an entry everyday.

In part this is because of the distractions that the new year has brought. Work has changed dramatically and so I’ve been re-aligning myself to it. Bizarrely, I’m starting to get a bit of a kick out of it again. Something that hasn’t been the case for more than a couple of years. However, I’m all too aware of the fragility of the place. Things can disappear as quickly as they arrive, and vicky verky (which roughly translated means vice-versa)

Perhaps I should resolve to return to, which is after all, what got me into this mess in the first place. I might take a poke around at it if schedules permit, but let’s not count any chickens.

The other thing that’s diverted me is the use of instagr-am. Without doubt the coolest photography app on the iPhone, I find myself using it to document goings on without writing anything. I know they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but then they say all sorts of things don’t they. Many of which are just old wives and grandmothers tales. The immediacy of posting a photo to the blog is a big draw and apparently so much so that it is becoming my shorthand for writing an entry of any substance. It’s not a situation I’m particularly over-the-moon about.

I like words. No, that’s not right. I love words. They are solid concrete things that explain how the world around me looks, and feels and works and yet at the same time, they are malleable and as such I can bend them to my very will. I can use them to create beautiful structures, bold sentences and bull sh1t, as well as alliteration. (I see what you did there -Ed) They are immensely powerful and instantly disposable. Just like the old newspaper saying: “Today’s headline is just tomorrow’s chip wrapper” *. From Shakespeare to swearing and back again, words are a heavenly device, hence my feeling I should write more and photograph less.

For the geeks who were wondering how that hangs together…. A photo in my library or taken from within instagr-am itself is posted to the instagr-am site, Twitter, Posterous, Facebook and if it has location info attached to it, checks me in on Foursquare all simultaneously. The Posterous entry can then also create entries for Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress. You can see the appeal. Click-post-disseminate. Simples.

None of this is telling you about my week though is it. It is just procrastination which avoids the subject and diverts us away from the stated aims. So let’s get to it….

Monday – work, Tuesday – work, Wednesday – work, Thursday – work (and WTC very poorly administered by Jugs), Friday – work. I would like to expand on the work details, but I’ve signed an NDA, so I could tell you, but the I’d have to have you “taken care of” to put it as politely as possible. Besides that, the Badman puts it so much better than I. You really should take a look at

Friday night was a short bike ride (4 miles) with daughter on which I nearly died. I kid you not. At the time I was very concerned about my health and felt I might actually have been near some sort of heart malfunction. After some recuperation however, I’ve drawn the conclusion that there were actually four factors that contributed to my in-the-region-of-death experience (it wasn’t that near).

1: Illness. I’ve had a cold/flu thing over the last couple of weeks which I haven’t fully shaken off. It’s definitely on the wane now though. I suspect that my oxygen flow was far from at it’s peak with much coughing and spluttering.

2: Daughters Pace. She is after all, only 21 and as fit as a preverbal butchers dog. I probably shouldn’t try to out run her.

3: Weather. It was damn hot on Friday and I was no doubt a little de-hydrated, compounded by the fact that Fridays inconveniently fall after Thursdays (WTC). And finally…

4: Bike. Turns out the crank shaft bearings have gone, and so to keep pace with any normal bike, you end up pedalling almost double time, and there’s little or no free wheeling. It’s a (potential) killer.

Saturday started with some lawn mowing, and general garden tidying while daughter and Mrs G ran some town based errands. It then completely skipped over the Grand National which I had on my initial list as something to have a look at and then morphed into a spontaneous Bar-B-Q. Who knew?!! Mrs G, Daughter and I just thought as it was such a nice day we’d have a few friends round, open up the hot tub, fire up the bar-bee and crack a few tinnies, along with some carefully selected wines.

It’s on days like that that the hot tub shows itself as the sound investment it was. In fact, more of a cool tub on such a day. Having turned it down to a mere 30 degrees, it made for a most refreshing dip from the heat and was especially fun for the kids. The adults enjoyed the weather and frivolity. The bar-bee passed it’s first run of the year, and the iTunes DJ feature got a good testing. No party should be without it in this day and age. Most entertaining.

Sunday had the same weather again. We’d unfortunately had a rather sleepless night caused by some engineering works on the nearby railway. I understand that night time works are the least disruptive to the network, but they are still the most disruptive to our sleep patterns. On the plus side, Sunday meant we allowed ourselves a lie-in and I actually felt my cold/flu/thing lift a little.

So much so in fact, that Mrs G and resolved to cycle into the city and back out and over to her offices. The logic with a ride to her offices is in preparation for her daily commute. She’s intending to cycle with daughter and wanted to gauge the timing. Naturally after Friday’s events I wasn’t overly keen, but in point of fact, I had nothing to be concerned about. 2 out of 4 of my previous issues were dealt with (it was still hot and I have yet to have the crankshaft bearing replaced) and as a result, it was a most enjoyable outing. About 8 miles round trip – felt like 200 yards – a doddle.

For the final leg, Mrs G and I swapped bikes. What a dream it is to ride on a decent set of crankshaft bearings (said the actress to the bishop). The repair is imminent I feel.

And here we are, back at Monday. What does this week hold? Well at least one day will spent with the Badman in another Starfleet office. My diary has a few conference calls and meetings throughout but beyond that… I have no idea.

I’m hoping for a week as smooth as my new bearings will be. Have fun.

* For the American audience, I feel this one really needs a proper bit of explanation. Back in the day, the Brits used to buy “deep fried fish with french fries” on a Friday night as “take out”. The french fries would be wrapped up in yesterday’s newspaper. Waste not, want not. Today, Mr Health & Nanny State Safety, wouldn’t dream of allowing such a thing to take place, not least because newspaper ink is probably more toxic now than it was 30 years ago. Instead we have plain boring chip paper. Where’s the fun in that?

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Snow stopped… Looks beautiful, if cold.

Tried to get a hair cut yesterday, and after a bit of ringing round, discovered that all the barbers within walking distance of home were closed. However, I do have it on good authority that “Foxes” is going to be open until at least lunchtime today, so with any luck I can get a trim in there.

Just going back to my Eggs Benedict notes from earlier in the week….  Daughter has found a fantastic cheat that’s going to make the whole process sooo much simpler…

Strictly speaking it’s cheating, but she’s a star.

Interesting bit of Vince Cable bashing going on.  Mr Cable is one of the few politicians I have any respect for and I’d hate to see him loose that especially as a result of trying to save the british people from Rupert-bloody-Murdoch of all people. The fact that Vince was honest with a member of the press just goes on to prove why I hold him in such high regard.

“Following comments made by Vince Cable to the Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister has decided that he will play no further part in the decision over News Corporation’s proposed takeover of BSkyB.”

“In addition, all responsibility for competition and policy issues relating to media, broadcasting, digital and telecoms sectors will be transferred immediately to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.”

“This includes full responsibility for OFCOM’s activities in these areas.”

“The Prime Minister is clear that Mr Cable’s comments were totally unacceptable and inappropriate.”

But just how did this story come to light?? Radio 4’s news last night said that it was release to the BBC’s Robert Peston by a “Whistleblower” who was concerned that the Telegraph hadn’t publish the full transcript of Mr Cable’s “private” conversation.  Who is this Whistleblower? Surely the public should be told!!  Where’s “Wikileaks” when you need them ??  Julian Asange must be smashing Peston’s door in!

Who benefits from the news that Vince Cable doesn’t want Rupert Murdoch to have a majority control over BSkyB ?? Not really anybody to be honest. I don’t want him to either!!  and it’s quite likely that neither do you, although you may not know it… or even care.   More likely that the Murdoch team feel their position infront of OFCOM has been strengthened and that OFCOM are more likely to find in their favour. For the British public, this can only be a bad thing.  How so??  Have you ever watched “Fox News” ? as owned by News Corporation as owned by Rupert Murdoch… (Not that Sky News is a whole lot better)

What got me scared about the Fox News situation is the John Ellis story from the US Election in 2000.

It’s said that “Having control of the media, is having control of the people”.  But we do have our own brain cells.  Just remember to use them for yourself, although let’s not get all David Icke 🙂  Conspiracy is everywhere they say… but they say all sorts of things.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Nothing more to say about the last 24 hours…

See and download the full gallery on posterous

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Snow!!!  Finally we have some snow.  It may not be as deep as some of the rest of the country have been experiencing, but I have no doubt that it is as beautiful.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Christmas preparations are in full swing in the ball residence. Last night saw the monumental ‘sticking up the tree’ task completed. It’s a task of six parts that work like this…

  1. Extract the ladder from storage and hoist it to the top of the house to enable access into the loft space.
  2. Find all the boxes marked Xmas ( if your lucky) and struggle to extract them from said loft.
  3. Find tree and extract from loft. Return ladder to storage.
  4. Unbox decorations to see what’s available that fits with the colour scheme as designated by Daughter/Mrs G this year.
  5. On discovering nothing suits – go shopping for more bleeding decorations.
  6. Erect Tree and decorate.

Still. “Tiz the season to be jolly” as the song goes, so now I’m required to add a couple of extra tasks…

  1. Contact local builder to arrange survey and quotation.
  2. Outline weight requirements for loft strengthening to enable storage of a load of tinsely shiny tat that we move about for 12 days out of every 365 (3% of the time)
  3. Pay builder extortionate sum of money to sit around drinking my tea and coffee and read the Sun for 2 weeks while his mate bangs a hammer on a piece of wood in the loft.
  4. Explain to bank manager reason for using significant amount of overdraft is to complete residential expansion and strengthening needed to accommodate increased seasonal decorative capabilities which are mandatory as part of historical tradition brought about by the alleged birth of a carpenter in a barn some 2000 years previously.
  5. Realise that ALL Bank managers are atheists and so use further amounts of overdraft to aquire hard liquor to assist in drowning sorrows.
  6. Wake up with very bad headache just in time for December 31st.
  7. Make new years resolution not to get involved with Christmas next year.

In the mean time – I’m STILL trying to get rid of these rubbishy jobs so that I can start focusing on the new stuff post Christmas.  that’s proving to be harder than expected.  Fun Times…

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

We didn’t win the World Cup..  again…  but then we never win the World Cup so you shouldn’t be too surprised.  On the plus side it will save us a small fortune given the amount of money we already have to spend on the Olympics.  I know we’d make a load of money and lift our profile and blah blah blah blah….   It’s a game of two halves and we’re very good at loosing in the second half.

At the end of the day, it’s obvious to anyone who ever pays a modicum of attention to the situation. FIFA is corrupt. Now I know it would be easy for you to say that I’m thinking that way purely because England didn’t get awarded the honours, but that’s honestly not the case. You only have to think about it for a minute or two and it becomes very obvious

Let’s just compare Russia vs England as an example. Russia doesn’t have the facilities in place, at least that’s the case today. They plan to build a whole host of stadiums between now an 2018. Personally, I’m not convinced, but time will tell the true story. In England there are more stadiums than you can shake a stick at. This has something to do with football being the national game. If anyone knows how to play football, the English do.

I think what irks most of all is the fact that logically our bid was unbeatable, so why would Russia win it? Well, it doesn’t take a genius to realise the most corrupt organisation in sport, is happy to get into bed with the most corrupt country in the world. Sadly, FIFA run their own game and answer to no-one. The system is a joke.

At least we can match them with the weather, with today being widely reported as the coldest day in the UK of all time.  Note to self: Must put my thermals on.



This post originally appeared here: Posterous

It’s trying to snow…  I do find it quite amazing that the entire country seems to be grinding to halt and yet I look out the window at a grey and green back garden with only the remnants of snow from the weekend. And that’s only there because it’s been so darn cold. Starting to feel a little left out.

That said, it really is trying to snow now.  There are a few “flakes”, whisps, fluff, feathers… of snow whatever you wish to call them, but they’re barely enough to mention. I imagine we’re being lulled into a false sense of security and any minute now the snow gods will unceremoniously dump a blanket of the stuff upon us like a duvet on a sofa – briefly welcome but ultimately out of place.

More of a concern is the impact it’s having on our Christmas shopping.  I’ve got a couple of items “in the post” but who knows when they might arrive? Not the post office that’s for sure. Ho Hum. For those of us from the 80’s it’s great to see some of the more rediculaous 80’s toys back again.  I never had one of these the first time round, but I’m quite tempted to put it on my list for Santa now that’s it’s back.

You can get the re-released version at and there’s even a smaller version which you can send to the moon.. or at least simulate it:

What the snow won’t stop, is any chance of a bit of socialising. Today being Thursday, means I’m due a trip to the WTC and a long overdue catchup with some of the lads. I’m quite sure that even if their houses were literally buried in the white stuff, they’d still find a route to the pub – which is after all is said and done – the correct place to put the world to rights.

Talking of righting things… (and writing things) a bit of an update on the AirPrint situation.  I mentioned yesterday how it was great to see the iOS 4.2 update, but only AirPrint support for a handful of HP printers was disappointing to say the least. I also mentioned that there are some rumoured workarounds.  

This is the 21st century and there are people out there that want us to have all the toys we’re promised (even jetpacks I bet) and so it’s great to find these minor hacks, get all printers up and running for your iPhone, iPod or iPad.

They are as follows:

Mac OSX 10.6.5: AirPrint Hactivator can be found here:

Windows 32 & 64bit: AirPrint Activator for Windows can be found here (english half way down the page):

I can confirm that the OSX version seems to run just fine and will suit me until Apple releases the additional functionality officialy. Until then, if you don’t want to go the hacking route I have it on good authority that these are the only truly supported printers for the time being:

Envy e-All-in-One series (D410a)
LaserJet Pro CM1415fn Color Multifunction Printer
LaserJet Pro CM1415fnw Color Multifunction Printer
LaserJet Pro CP1525n Color Printer
LaserJet Pro CP1525nw Color Printer
LaserJet Pro M1536dnf Multifunction Printer
Photosmart e-AiO (D110)
Photosmart eStation (C510)
Photosmart Plus e-AiO (B210a)
Photosmart Premium e-AiO (C310a)
Photosmart Premium Fax e-AiO (C410a)

Sad but true….

Today i have much reading to do and as hard as I’ve tried to avoid picking up new stuff, because I mentioned it, I seem to have two new “5-minute little” jobs. No doubt they’re more likely to be “3-week monsters” and I’ve been blagged yet again.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Finally I’m back at it…   For some strange reason it’s been really tough to get back into the swing of things after sitting in glourious sunshine for a week. How odd!?  I mean, why would anyone NOT want to go back to the drudgery of office work in the freezing UK weather conditions if they were sat by a pool in 25 degrees of warmth ?  No, I don’t know either…

This means that there’s a lot to catch up on. Obviosuly regular readers will have been keeping in touch with the goings on via the published photos. I know it doesn’t show much commitment on my part, afterall, you don’t come here to see the pictures, you come to read the witty and insightful prose… oh?.. OK, maybe not, but I do have a defense for the photos.

A) I was on holiday. Even I’m allowed a break aren’t I? and
B) “A picture paints a thousand words”, so I managed about 7000 words
3) I did manage to compose something on the aeroplane, both there and back

You really can’t moan, but feel free to leave a comment.

And now we’re in December, so what’s happening next ?  Well, it’s back to work at Starfleet and a big push towards the end of the year.  I really am trying to make my transistion into the new role in January as smooth as possible, and so to this end I’m trying not to pick up anything new. I understand how difficult this is though, because there’s work to be done and limited resource to do it. Still, I’m looking forward to the change – which is as they say – as good as a rest.

The British weather has gone a bit dolally (lovely phrase – with special thanks to the British Army for that one*) with seriously hard frosts and widespread snowfall, both of which have emerged very early for the time of year. I was hoping to get a bit of sledging in after Daughter had insisted on buying one a couple of weeks ago, but as yet we haven’t had enough snow!!  Seems crazy when we see pictures on the TV and hear reports from the far flung members of the family of so much of the cold white stuff, but I have no doubt we’ll have some before Christmas arrives.

Good grief!! Christmas!!  Already??  How can that be?  It was damn hot sunshine and sunburn on the beach not 5 minutes ago. It can’t possibly be Christmas yet? Apparently it is though. In fact the Senior Ball’s have organised Christmas day to be held in Wiltshire on the 12th of December. That’s less than a fortnight away!! (Old English meaning “Fourteen nights” – so two weeks, for the Americans among us)  All a bit early, but it does mean that they can do whatever they like on the big day rather than have to trapse up and down the country. Of course the same works for the rest of us too. I’m not sure I whole heartedly agree with having Chrsitmas early on, but it does take off a bit of pressure on the 25th.

Of course, the other big story is the return of daughter from her trip around Thailand. She had a short bout of homesickness, but in the end she had a really great time. “Amazing” seems to be her new word and she did manage to bring home 800 (yes you read that right) photos of all sorts of stuff. Her experience has left Mrs G and I a little jealous of the beaches of souther Thailand, and it’s now firmly on the list of places to visit once time and finance allow.

They also got up close with Tiger’s, Elephants, Bridges (over the River Kwai), Rivers, Beaches & Sunsets. Looks beautiful….

See and download the full gallery on posterous

On the techy front – I’ve been very out of touch thanks to the sunshine, but I’m very pleased to seet he release of iOS4.2 meaning that the iPhones and iPad are all doing very similar things.  One big dissapointment here though is the lack of AirPrint support for my Canon MP620. Apparently there’s a hack to make it work, and support may be coming in the not to distant future, but it would have been nice to have had that straight out of the box.

Right. Best get on… lots to do…  Nice to see you back. Wrap up warm.

* Deolali tap (a place in India):

“Time-expired men sent to Deolalie from their different units might have to wait for months before a troop-ship fetched them home… The well-known saying among soldiers when speaking of a man who does queer things, ‘Oh, he’s got the Doo-lally tap,’ originated, I think, in the peculiar way men behaved owing to the boredom of that camp.” – Francis Philip Woodruff – Old Soldier Sahib, 1936

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

(see full image)

I don’t know what all the fuss is about.  I mean, there is a heavy frost, and it is very very cold. No doubt compounded by the fact that Mrs G and I have recently returned from warmer climes, but it’s not snowing. A light dusting of snow on Monday night is as much as we’ve had….  Is there really snow in the UK ? (Don’t answer that)

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

After the constant down pouring of yesterday, it’s particularly pleasant to wake up to glorious sunshine this morning. But it is all a bit on and off isn’t it? Fear not though, for I am not Henry the 2nd and I’m not looking for a bunch of knights to murder anyone by the name of Becket.

On the subject of outlaws, tomorrow we’ll be having both the in-laws and out-laws to lunch (not for lunch) and so today will involve some preparation for such a feast. The plan was to cycle to the various vegetable selling locations and purveyors of meat to acquire the necessary accoutrements, but we do have a slight logistical problem vis a vis the bikes.

In her infinite wisdom, daughter chose to cycle to work on Mrs G’s bike on Wednesday. Since she arrived we’ve had constant rain and so she chose to get a lift home instead of cycle. Mrs G’s bike is still there locked in a back room. Daughter is fast asleep having been on night duty so we’re a one bike family for now. As you can see, the plan has gone awry. Not that it’s too disastrous. Instead, Mrs G and I will drive (I know – shameful) on our quest for fresh vegetables & chicken – for that is what it will be.

Other snippets of note ….

S, Z, J & C are popping round for a cuppa this afternoon. Will be nice for Mrs G to meet C, their latest addition and always good to catch up with them. S has reminded me of my quest to see “Outlaw” (2007). A truly awful Danny Dyer film (and anyone who knows anything about film will know what a Danny dyer film is). However, It does have some must see footage for me as it was largely filmed in and around Gloucester and Cheltenham. This is the only reason I want to watch it. I am still expecting it to be “bl**dy rubbish” – This is a well thought out and considered review based on what I know of it so far. I will write something more eloquent once I’ve watched it.

Very much enjoying “Sleepy Head” (see: here and here for more on that story) and plan to have both that and “Scaredy Cat” finished off by October the 10th.

Also enjoying the Ryder Cup which is taking place just down the road at Celtic Manor. With tickets at £200 a pop, I won’t be there, which is a shame as it’s so close, it would have been enjoyable, but not this time.

Mrs G will be watching the X-Factor tonight and as hard as I try not to, it’s still very much car crash TV. Still, there is something wildly enjoyable about watching it with Twitter running at the same time. That is the future of Television and Social Networking.  If Google TV gets that working properly they will clean up.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

If I was on their prod-dev team I’d be insisting on a fully manageable HD desktop environment with all the iGoogle Widgets…. including weather of course – so at least then I’d have half a clue as to how turbulent it’s likely to be before I go calling any knights in to sort-it-aaat (as Danny D would say).

Ta ra for now.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous