Monday, 31 October 2011

Day 674 (31/10/2011)

The comedy show at the Lyric Theatre was really good. On the way there I had a Mexican fast food / take away which was great.

When I got back I was thirsty and had a couple of beers as I knew I could have a bit of a lie-in.

Today I gave a talk at Goldsmiths University which went down really well.

Once inside Goldsmiths is lovely but what an interesting area New Cross is. I was only there for an hour instead of the four I was originally booked for. I had got a train ticket for the 7:15pm train but as I finished early I was able to get to Paddington at around 3:30pm and had to choose between spending over 3hrs at Yo-Sushi and getting home late after a relaxing journey in first class or spending more money and travelling second class and getting home early.

I mistakenly went for the travelling home early, spending more money and travelling cattle class. NEVER AGAIN (hopefully).

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Day 672 & 673 (29 & 30/10/2011)

Well I traveled to London on the train, along with Angela Rippon but I only noticed here when we arrived at Paddington.

The course is going well with a variety of students from different sectors & many different parts of the world.

There is a familiar face in the classroom, Christine, and in the evening I popped round to the Eden residence for dinner and far too much wine. On the train on the way there we passed the new Olympic stadium, which is as close as I am likely to ever get to it.

Sunday evening I am off to see Richard Herring in Hammersmith. I have not seen him for ages and am really looking forward to seeing the show in which he is comparing as Stewart Lee & Josie Long are on the bill.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Day 671 (28/10/2011)

So flew back from the Isle of Man at lunchtime.

we had the same small plane but when we arrived at Gloucester there was an even smaller plane. It was so small that the passenger was stood on the top wing.

If I could have remembered how to zoom in on my iphone it may have made a much better photo.

Back home for a few hours to change my clothes and delete a few emails then off to London for the next 3days.

Can't wait for a nice quiet period, really want a few clear weeks to start writing.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Day 670 (27/10/2011)

The course has now finished & went quite well. I will probably be back a few times next year.

The view from one of the windows of my hotel room.

Looking forward to getting back home tomorrow for a few hours, wish it was for longer but going to London in the evening.

Probably staying in the hotel tonight, as I have things to do if the internet connects for more than 5 minutes.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Day 669 (26/10/2011)

Second day on the course, seems to be going well but another grey & wet day.

Possibly going out for a curry again tonight.

Update - 23:45 - Nice time having a curry. now its late & I'm starting a few reports that are a week late.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Day 668 (25/10/2011)

First day of the course went quite well.

There was no air-conditioning, thankfully the rain stayed away so we could open a few windows.

My hotel isn't too bad and the internet seems a bit better today. I can even see the sea my some of the windows.

I have been told about a nice curry house down the road so may go out for a curry tonight if the rain stays away.

Update - 23:00 - Nice curry tonight.

The internet at this hotel is driving me mad!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Day 667 (24/10/2011)

The weather is pretty awful, lots of rain and very windy. Apparently the ferries have been cancelled to the Isle Of Man but the small plane that I'm flying on later is still due to depart on time.

If I arrive in one piece I will post some pictures of the plane & journey. I'm not expecting to arrive with my lunch.

Update - 23:00 - Well Gloucester Airport is never going to be called Gloucester International Airport, my garden shed is bigger. The plane was much smaller than my last flight.

No in-flight entertainment, no in-flight meal, no toilet and not even a stewardess. I think the last one in had to sit outside. Saying all of that it was OK, a bit bumpy but I managed to sleep through most of it.

The hotel is OK, it has a decent restaurant but the free wifi advertised on its website barely reaches my room, so I'm not happy. I can't really change rooms as I spoilt myself and went for an executive room, so don't really want a smaller more basic room.

Anyway it appears to be the monsoon season in the Isle of Man.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Day 665 & 666 (22 & 23/10/2011)

I can't remember the last time I did so much cleaning & packing. I don't even clean my own house. I hope Ann our cleaner gets better soon, as we need her.

May have bought slightly too much bubble wrap.

We had bought smaller rolls and they hadn't lasted long. However I can confirm that if you have lots of large pictures that need wrapping one 60meter roll is probably enough.

Now what else needs wrapping as I have about 75meters of bubble wrap left over.

I have hardly done any work this week and its going to be a mad rush to get the next three courses ready, which I must as when I fly out on Monday I won't have any more time to do them.

Plus when I'm away next week I will have to do reports every night rather than getting to relax.

One good thing though, as we have been busy all week and not really had a proper meal we have opted for a curry tonight, as it will be easier.

Update - Sunday 21:15 - The curry was lovely last night.

Honestly it not that much. There are four of us and it lasts for Sunday dinner as well.

This week has been so busy that we have hardly done anything round the house. I t will be nice to return to normal.

Hopping the weather is OK on Monday as flying over to the Isle of Man.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Day 664 (21/10/2011)

Busy Busy Busy.

Garden still being done, with 16 tonnes of chippings being put down.

The shed roof man also turned up and started to replace the roof on the now fully treated shed.

The guttering man is arriving this afternoon.

Update - 21:30 - Well they were getting on with the garden but are now away for a week but the shed is finished and looking a lot better.

I also spoke to the guttering man, who is going to clear out & repair our guttering.

Been shopping and sorting out Kim's house, very busy and very stressful but it will be better now that someone is in there again but I don't think I would enjoy being a professional landlord.

We had to buy a new washing machine, luckily getting a bargin rather than going for what you would like.

There is so much that needed doing, I have not managed to actually do any reports this week and have not even managed to fully prepare for the next three courses, so its going to be a hectic weekend.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Day 663 (20/10/2011)

Very busy day again.

Up to Bristol in the morning to be examined for part of Children Of The 90's.

It was quite good as I got breakfast for giving a little bit of blood and a urine sample. I could have given so much more if they had been offered curry.

I had a 3D digital image taken of my face although it looks more like the Death Mask of some fat middle aged man, what do you mean I'm a fat middle aged man!!!!!!!

Anyway they are getting on with the garden putting in the foundations / hardcore.

Sorted out some of the heating at the other house but still lots to do.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Day 662 (19/10/2011)

We had an interesting delivery first thing this morning.

The gardeners were here by 8am making use of the digger to dig out the foundations of the patio. If I could drive a digger I might do this sort of thing but it the manual side of manual labour I can't really be bothered with.

I think they plan to have it dug out and lay some chippings by the end of the week but it is still due to take a couple of weeks to finish (and they are not hear next week).

Must finish preparing for the course next week and getting the houses tided up.

Update - 11:45 - Busy day in the garden.

And now a man has turned up to paint / treat my shed as apparently we are supposed to do it every year but haven't done it yet after about 6 yrs.

I did explain it was because I couldn't be arsed to paint the shed and that's why I had asked him to do it for me. I say asked but paid him may be more accurate.

This is definitely going to be a busy couple of weeks for having things done, which should make life easier in the long run.

Now just to hire a skip to clear out the garage & videos that are never going to be watched.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Day 661 (18/10/2011)

Did a talk in Preston this morning then a long drive home.

They started doing our garden today.

After years of not using the garden as it was an uneven tip we are having quite a bit of work done with patios and a decked area, so we should be able to sit out there on a nice day.

We had originally started arranging to get it done in the spring with the idea of being able to use it in the summer but got a bit distracted with things.

It is a bit of a busy week for workman, the shed man is due back in the next few days to fix my shed roof, the guttering man is due round to quote for repairing & clearing the guttering, the maintenance man is on Wednesday to fix a tap & fit some smoke detectors and the boiler being serviced on Thursday.

It is easier to admit your own limitations and just get people in.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Day 660 (17/10/2011)

Not that I'm upset with myself but I'm sending myself to Coventry today, for a presentation to IT Security Professionals.

I can guarantee that means there will be at least one person in the room who knows nothing at IT Security. I'm not even getting paid, its a favor to someone, what a mug.

Then after that a drive up to Preston for tomorrows presentation.

Update - 22:00 - Did my presentation to a large room of serious computer types.

Most talks I listen to are very dry & dull but mine tend to be anything from that. I usually get a few laughs, although I bet that some in the room don't always appreciate my somewhat relaxed & lighthearted attitude.

It didn't really work as a networking or marketing tool either as I told them I didn't want any more work anyway, although I did swap business cards with a man from a very interesting government body, which might be fun.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Day 658 & 659 (15 & 16/10/2011)

Well I've arranged the guy to put the new roof on my shed, the man to fix some taps and someone to tidy the garden. Still got loads to do & arrange.

Slowly getting thru my work.

Update - Sunday 20:00 - Lovely Sunday roast chicken dinner in a Yorkshire pudding.

It was even better with gravy, cranberry sauce and a bottle wine.

The nice thing about Thomas working at M&S is that on a Sunday he brings us an afters back.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Day 657 (14/10/2011)

Well the curry was lovely last night. I know some people may think that driving over 50miles just to a have a curry paid for by someone else may not be worth it but it was. I suppose it was also a business meeting of sorts.

Plus on the drive I had lots of thoughts about work and diversifying a bit as I must do something to give me more time off.

I noticed this morning that the felt from the shed roof has come off, so I now have a long list of trades man that I need to contact and arrange for our & Kim's house;

Boiler Servicing x2
Shed Roofs
Guttering (clearing & replacing)
Bedroom furniture people

The trouble is I'm very busy with work so may have a struggle to get it all done soon but basically it needs to be all done within the next few weeks.

Must get some work done.


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Day 656 (13/10/2011)

It was only last night I was thinking to myself that I had not had a curry for over a week, then first thing this morning I heard from a friend who I hadn't seen for a while who is in Bristol for the day and invited me out for a curry. And they are paying, double result.

Just can't get enthusiastic about work at the moment, and am barely doing one job a day.

In a years time I might have someone else to help me with the research and after an interesting meeting yesterday I might also be doing some new training courses, not just the ones I do now.  Could be an interesting development.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Day 655 (12/10/2011)

Aiming to put more stuff into storage today, but to be honest I could say that for the next two years and the garage would still be full.

Hoping to see the new Johnny English film later as its Orange Wednesday but I have things that must be done first.

Have heard a few interviews with Noel Gallagher lately and he comes over a lot better now he is not with Liam. I might even download his new album.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Day 654 (11/10/2011)

Busy day, with a meeting booked with the solicitor later.

Hope our cleaner gets better soon, not just because our house needs tidying up.

Update - 22:00 - I can't believe how busy I am.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Day 653 (10/10/2011)

Started moving stuff to the storage unit and dropping stuff off at the tip, it might be a busy few weeks.

Nice to be home but as always I have work to do, for once I might look forward to Christmas & time off.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Day 651 & 652 (08 & 09/10/2011)

It was nice to be home, so we popped out for dinner to The World End.

My wife went for the Fish & Chips and I went for the Steak & Chips. I had meant to have a steak all week and didn't and was disappointed with most of the meals I had whilst away this week.

Our usual Sunday, going over for breakfast at my Mum & Dads.

Dad has a new shed, a sort of extension to his other shed. He just loves being busy doing DIY stuff, which genetically has not been passed down to my brother & I.

Nice to be home to have a proper Sunday roast & a bottle of wine.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Day 650 (07/10/2011)

It's 1am and I am in the Wirrall. I booked a single room, which isn't bad but the bed is the smallest thing I have slept in, that's if I get any sleep.

Just finishing a report., now time to relax before breakfast at 8am.

Update - 22:00 - My talk went well and it will probably result in a few more courses, so will earn money but end up away from home again.

I left the Wirrall at 2.15pm but owing to a number of different accidents on the motorway I didn't get home until 8.00pm which was annoying to say the least.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Day 649 (06/10/2011)

My cold is getting but the weather is getting colder & went, so I will probably go down with another cold soon.

It was only when I spoke to my parents last night that I even remembered that I should be worried about the infection in my leg. I am still taking the antibiotics and hadn't thought about it the infection coming back, luckily it hasn't, even though I am down to only two tablets a day.

Off to Liverpool tonight as I am doing some training tomorrow.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Day 648 (05/10/2011)

My cold isn't much better. On the way back from the course I went to a chemist and got some more flu plus. It will be nice to be home and relaxing in bed, just a shame its a few days until I can go home.

Might just order a steak & chips tonight as the burger last night wasn't very nice.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Day 647 (04/10/2011)

Listening to the radio last night I heard the result of the Amanda Knox appeal hearing in Italy, reporting as if she was a well known & well loved celebrity, instead of someone who had been a convicted murderer. It was slightly disgusting in as much as it must have been about 15minutes before the poor victim, Meredith Kercher was even mentioned.

It's not that I think the Knox & Raffaele Sollecito have got away with murder, I find cases that really just on DNA very unsatisfactory. Being old fashioned I like actual proof, witnesses and motives. I have heard a few interesting talks about flawed DNA evidence and think it is often given too great an importance. 

Either way I think perhaps a bit more emphasis on the Kercher family would have been more fitting. They have lost their daighter in horrific circumstances forever. At most the Knox's have had a few years without their daughter but were still able to speak to her and visit her. I am sure that the Knox family would not swap positions.

Also a few years ago the press that are today reporting about this innocent young girl being freed to rebuild her life are the very press that were falling over themselves to destroy Knox as a person, getting phycologists to take apart her character from how she presented herself at court.

There are times when you have to wonder why anyone reads the papers or listens to the media. There is a quote doing the rounds on twitter at the moment, which might or might not be correctly reported or atributed but seems to sum up things;

"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed"

Anyway back to my life, the course went well apart from a couple of the dongles failed to connect to the inteenet and that I am full of a cold.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Day 646 (03/10/2011)

Another lovely day but spent inside and then a long drive up north. Wish I was home for a bit longer. Can't wait for November so I can relax a bit more.

Update - 22:45 - In Preston after a fairly dull drive but aren't they always.

I forgot to mention that yesterday evening most of the family went to the cinema to see the live broadcast from the Royal Albert Hall of the 25th anniversary concert of The Phantom Of The Opera.

It is nowhere near my favorite musical (I don't like it that much) but it was a great show and quite frankly Cameron Mackintosh does produce some fantastic shows.

Also I do like these cinema shows of live London theatre, it gives us country bumpkins a chance to see some great theatre.

Basic hotel rooms in the UK are a lot more basic than in America but the telly is better.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Day 644 & 645 (01 & 02/10/2011)

I hate busy weekends, I have tried for the last few months to do less on the weekends but having just got back I have work to do and a course to prepare for.

Yesterday I arranged a storage unit at a nearby self storage depot and will start tidying up the house, taking stuff to the tip, the charity shop, selling stuff on eBay and storing the small amount which we would like to keep. My boot is currently full of old magazines and catalogs.

I must also rake up all the leaves and fallen apples in my garden, there are so many I think the wheelie bin will be full again.

Update - 17:45 - I collected the leaves & fallen apples but only managed to get about 2/3 of it in the wheelie bin.

I wouldn't mind but the leaves are from the trees in the park and the apples are from my neighbours tree.