Friday, 30 September 2011

Day 643 (30/09/2011)

Nice to be back home but where did September go, it can't be October tomorrow, I haven't had a summer holiday yet.

Saw this on a friends facebook page, which made me laugh.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Day 642 (29/09/2011)

It is hard to understand time travel. I left California on Wednesday afternoon and arrived after a 10hr flight in the UK in the late morning.

I rarely have a window seat on planes as its uncomfortable so on the way over I missed what the pilot called the spectacular sight of Las Vegas & the Grand Canyon. so today on the flight back I was up and stretching my legs when the pilot said we were passing over the Isle of Man and the North of England.  

Arrived back in the UK and was meet with a phone call 5 minutes after touching down to say my car was waiting in the nearest car park. I checked the mileage and it had only 13 miles added since I dropped it off, which would seem right for taking  it some where (hopefully secure) and then bringing it to the car park.

This was a very handy service. I think if I do any more long haul flights I might do this again.

Nice to be home, now to catch up on my emails and post.

Day 641 (28/09/2011)

The course finished and it was nice to know that my knowledge is such that for once I felt like I understood everything and was more than happy with my own courses.

We went out for a more posh dinner and had Crab starters, which again were technically a main meal.

Followed by a nice roast fish thing with risotto & asparagus.

The afters tray was nice I went for the bread & butter pudding but it was actually a warm danish with ice-cream.

I had a lazy Wednesday and then got to the airport where I had a hot dog.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Day 640 (27/09/2011)

I think I am currently on the atkins diet, as the basic meals over here seem to be MEAT.

I went for the BBQ Chicken & Pulled Pork (which is slow cooked and shredded), which was lovely, as were all the side orders. The white sweet corn was a new and lovely experience.

We stayed for afters and I went for Cheese Cake.

The photo doesn't do this justice, that's a very large fork. Basically this was a family cheese cake. Even though I love cheese cake and am a pig I didn't & couldn't eat it all. When the waiter came back and collected the plates I told him rather than a doggy bag could he just post it to my family.

We then went for a drink, well I had two and everyone else had several. We ended up in a bar run by a giant ex-policeman who as telling us stories about life as a plain clothes policeman dealing with gangs in LA. It was like a cross between L.A. Confidential, The Wire and The Shield. Slightly scary and made my stories of life in the UK seem like an episode of Miss Marple.

Doing the course again today, which was easier without a hangover.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Day 639 (26/09/2011)

Had a great steak last night.

I wanted to order some fries & salad, so asked what was in the "Dinner Salad" to which the waitress replied "Well the usual green salad leaves, tomatoes and cheese" I obviously had to point out cheese isn't a salad item but she said it was a "nice colour and looked nice".

I went for the Iceberg Wedge, very tasty but not exactly the side salad I was expecting.

As we were in a mock Texan steakhouse the staff stopped to do a line-dance on the hour.

The extra few beers with dinner were a mistake as when I woke up my head was banging. I tried the usual hangover cures like lots of water, waffles and danish pastries. I think it was the danish pastries that finally made me feel better.

The class is going well but it just makes me realize how much I never knew or have forgotten. Still that's why we do training.


Day 638 (25/09/2011)

So after yesterdays nearly full day I went to bed fairly early at 8.00pm and woke far to early at around 4.00am, clearly my body is yet to acclimatise to this time zone. No doubt by Wednesday I will just be getting used to it but be flying back to the UK by then.

I had breakfast, yes another waffle, well why wouldn't you, they have a make your own waffle machine.

On the way back I noticed the hedge by my room is a pomegranate bush / tree thing, wow, makes our conifers look a bit crap.

The guy taking the course, Brian Ingram turned up just after lunch. I owe this man my whole career and like listening to him. Imagine a stereotypical Texan, that's Brian. So we met and went for a beer or 6 at a Mexican restaurant.

Now we are going out for a steak, Brian is driving as I appear to be nearly pissed.

Also yesterday I forgot to add the California reminds me of Tenerife. It is that type of temperature and light, that type of smell. Just American and not European.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Day 637 (24/09/2011)

After a nights sleep I am awake early, checking a few emails & twitter. Now time for a shower & breakfast then to wonder into town.

Update - 19:30 - Went for breakfast and they have a make your own waffle machine.

It might not of been healthy but it was very nice.

I went out for a walk to explore the local area but after an hour or so I decided that quite frankly this is a run down area. It think it was possibly the first time that some of the people driving past had seen someone walking along the footpath. In fact the pedestrian crossing didn't even leave you long enough to cross the roads before signalling the cars to move off.  

I came back to the hotel and had a quick look online and grabbed a taxi to the other side of town to a large sopping complex which had of restaurants and a large cinema.

The cinema was huge with about 20 screens. I ordered a small popcorn (I don't think they sell many of those) but it was salty. There was a nearby machine to put golden flavoring on the popcorn, so obviously I used this but it turned out to be liquid butter.

So I put the popcorn in the bin and watched the film in total comfort. Not only were the seats a nice big size but they lent back to make watching the film a lot more comfortable. What a good idea.  

I then went to a bar & grill, where I had a beer and nachos for starters. It was very nice but somewhat larger than I had anticipated. If it was a starter it was mean for a family.

Within about 2 minutes of getting my starter my cheese burger arrived. They clearly don't bother with individual courses or knives & forks.

I obviously didn't eat it all, I'm not that much of a pig.

So after a fairly full day I came back to the hotel room early evening as I was quite tired.

Day 636 (23/09/2011)

So my day was basically getting up and catching a bus to Heathrow, where I was like some country bumpkin walking around the big city for the first time, its massive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Saw this great sign.

There is a Gordon Ramsey restaurant here, so I thought it rude not to try the breakfast, which was quite nice but at £16 not something you would do every day.

Then on to the plane. It was going to be a long flight so I was wearing shorts & a t-shirt (plus it was easier to go through security as I had no metal on me and clearly wasn't hiding much).

I was flying premium economy, which is a bit more expensive but gives you a bigger more comfortable seats and better food & entertainment. I took my seat and was asked by the French male steward if I wanted a "Dili Meal". I thought it was a bit early to be offered food so I thought I would check and he now offered me what I took to be a "Deli Meal". In a scene reminiscent of "Allo Allo" I eventual realized he was offering me a "Daily Mail" I said "A Daily Mail, Good God No Way" He replied that he didn't like the paper either.

I think the steward to a shine to me as before we took off he told me I could move to a row of 4 empty seats and I did seem to get lots of extra drinks but no we didn't exchange numbers.

Apart from the food I watched a few films, Arthur 2011, Source Code, Senna and Paul, so 10hrs flew by (literally).

The drive to the hotel from LAX took ages as it was during rush hour. The hotel is OK, the Americans do basic so well, the room is massive and you could sleep sideways in the bed.

I was going to go out for food but after relaxing on the bed for a while I changed my mind and opted for an early night, well its 8hrs behind so its actually early in the morning in the UK.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Day 635 (22/09/2011)

Must pack my bag this morning and drive up to Heathrow this afternoon as staying there overnight so I am at the airport nice and early tomorrow.

Update - 16:30 - OK I definitely must pack my bags now as I was aiming to leave by about 5.30pm.

Update - 22:00 - Got to the hotel which appears even cheaper and more run down than I expected. Just in case they use my car whilst I'm away instead of putting it in a secure car park, I took a photo of the mileage and didn't leave much fuel in it.

The room is massive with three beds, but only has one small window and no air conditioning.

I had a meal, which sounded nice, slow cooked pork followed by apple pie but was not as good as it could have been but seeing as it clearly came out of a microwave it wasn't bad.

Day 634 (21/09/2011)

Still getting everything up to date so I can go away.

Ordered my new glasses today, getting two pairs so I may actually remember to take a pair out with me.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Day 633 (20/09/2011)

Clearing stuff up in the office and things to do but popped out with my wife for a few hours and had a bite to eat at The Worlds End.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Day 632 (19/09/2011)

Nice Sea Trout for dinner with a bottle of wine yesterday. No wonder the Trout was easy to catch, he was pissed. OK it was us that had the wine not the fish.

A grey and wet day out today so staying in the office.

Thomas had his first driving lesson today, makes me feel old.

When I get back from the states I am going to rent a storage unit and start clearing out our house and selling all the things we don't need on eBay or giving it to charity. I think my wife is nearly in agreement, so that's sorted.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Day 630 & 631 (17 & 18/09/2011)

Reginald D Hunter was funny last night, not the funniest thing I have ever seen but it was good to see him. The support was Steven Hughes, who I have seen on the telly and was funny but probably not what a Taunton crowd is use to.

The weekend is here, the sun is out but I have stuff to do. Next weekend will be different as I will be in America, unfortunately I will be by myself. It will be nice when we have a proper holiday and can go together and relax. I can't wait.

Also Thomas's first actual weekend at work.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Day 629 (16/09/2011)

It was nice to be in my own bed, I hate working away. Staying in hotels loses it's novelty value when you have to do it all the time, it doesn't matter how nice the hotel is and mine are occasionally crap.

Things to do in the office and arrange for our house. I wish I was home more as I have things that I need to do, oh well, November is a bit quieter.

Off with my wife to see Reginald D Hunter tonight at the Brewhouse.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Day 628 (15/09/2011)

The course finished and after a long drive I am home, now where is my cup of tea and a bit of cake

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Day 627 (14/09/2011)

Second day of the course.

Had steak & chips for dinner tonight which was much better than last night. I brought some dvd's with me but have been doing some work of an evening so not got to watch them, again.

Looking forward to being at home tomorrow night but can't believe that I will be home for only a week before going away again. This has been a really busy couple of weeks and at the end of October it would have been a busy couple of months. Looking forward to having a more relaxed rest of the year.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Day 626 (13/09/2011)

First day of the course today up north. Didn't get as much done as I had intended so will have to catch up tomorrow.

I had The Mighty Fishermans Feast for dinner.

Not as nice as it sounded and won't be having it again tomorrow.

As I have quite a bit of work on at the moment I am having to do some stuff of an evening. I wish I could just relax and watch a few dvd's but must get this stuff done so I can go to the states with a clear desk.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Day 625 (12/09/2011)

It's a bit wet & windy out and I have a long drive this evening up north.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Day 623 & 624 (10 & 11/09/2011)

The last two days I have been quite busy but actually I don't appear to have done any work, its not fair.

Went to The Brewhouse and saw a very interesting show, The Summer Set 2011, where local people talk about their different experiences.

Afterwards we stayed for a drink with Kelly & her friends.

She has had the same group of friends for years, most since they started school. We used to go out and get them Happy Meals, now I buy them pints of Guinness and rum & coke's.

It is supposed to be a wet & windy weekend, with the tail of hurricane Irene hitting the UK but its quite nice out at the moment in Taunton but my mum tells me its been raining hard all morning in Wiveliscombe.

Anyway now to work (ish).

Update - Sunday 19:45 - Lovely Sunday dinner (Lamb) and a bottle of bubbly. I would have opened another bottle but I still have loads of work to do.    

Friday, 9 September 2011

Day 622 (09/09/2011)

Had my haircut yesterday at lunchtime and then lots of other things to do so didn't get out on my bike. Today I had to take Kelly's car to the garage then doing loads of other things so wont get out today.

Having my eyes tested later, interested to see how much worse they have got since last year.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Day 621 (08/09/2011)

Yesterdays touristy photo is of a unusual & interesting historic building that I saw whilst walking away from the training venue.

It dates from 1902 and was a Soup Kitchen For The Jewish Poor, well that's what it says and all the offices & apartments that are now part of it have as their address "The Soup Kitchen". Very interesting bit of history.

Anyway I went and had a Japanese meal before leaving London yesterday.

Not that bad but might not have that particular dish again.

When I got my car from the Car Park I bought a space so I could use it if I ever returned, that must be the case as otherwise why would I have been charged £82.

It was a long drive back but I was back by 9:30pm.

Now time to clear up the work that has come in whilst I was in London and to prepare for next weeks course.

Nice to be back home but all the family are out at work, which seems strange to say, but Thomas is still enjoying his job and no doubt will enjoy his pay day even more. I might ask him for an allowance next time.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Day 620 (07/09/2011)

Last day of the course today then home.

I might stay here for dinner before driving home in the rush hour, now should it be Indian, Chinese, Greek or whatever?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Day 619 (06/09/2011)

Second day of the course and another nice buffet. Then off to The Comedy Store to see more comedy, which was fantastic. I'm getting the hang of the area and the different underground stations. Tonight's photo of touristy things is from Piccadilly Circus.  

Had time to have something to eat before The Comedy Store. I desperately wanted some smoked salmon &  salad, just something light & healthy but The Angus Steak House was next door. I am sure this was a lot healthy than it looked but bloody hell is was tasty.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Day 618 (05/09/2011)

First day of the course, which went fairly well. Most importantly it was a nice buffet.

Although I slagged off the are yesterday, it was a nice drive here, passing all the London landmarks, seeing Battersea Power Station, Tower Bridge and MI6's Lego Land building amongst them. Also during the walk back to the hotel I could see how many restaurants there are here. You could eat in a different country every night, I might have to come back.

Anyway off to The Comedy Store tonight but don't know where I will eat first.

Update - 23:45 - The Comedy Store was fantastic.

On the way back I saw the Gherkin near the hotel.