Thursday, 21 May 2009

Naughty naughty!

I know – it’s been 2 weeks since my last post, but not much has really happened in that time, except that the kids have an inset day (teacher training) on Friday (tomorrow) so we have decided to use the opportunity as it will be the last one that is guaranteed to coincide for both of them as the eldest goes to secondary school in September.

We are taking them to Alton Towers, and I am hoping that there will not be many people there – it is the last working day before half term, so the train of thought is that most of the rest of the population will either be at work or at school, and will do their travelling Friday afternoon/evening.

So we are aiming to leave at 4:30am to get there in time for opening. I booked the tickets in advance on line, which gives us better prices, and also priority entry to the parks popular rides – Nemesis, Oblivion, Air, Rita – Queen of Speed, before the park opens at 10am (we can get in at 9am).

That means early bed tonight, but even so, getting up at really stupid o’clock is going to kill me – hopefully I can get some sleep in the car, but I want to be round the M25 and a long way up the M1 before rush hour really gets going in earnest.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Where is everybody?

I have come into work, it's after 8:30am and there is no one here - it is extremely quiet, which is lovely!

Anyway, back to Monday and the Fun Day - I would say that it was relatively successful - we made a modest profit (which offset some of the losses - we lost £40 on the sweets - Alan Sugar would have had steam coming out of his ears on that one!!!), and the Chairman of the Residents Association is pleased and is hoping that we can now move things forward.

Work has been rather quiet this week; my adviser is off, and I am looking after another consultant while a colleague is on her honeymoon – all I can say about that is that it is nice to feel appreciated for a change!

All I get from the regular adviser is rant rant rant, but from the one I am looking after I get ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and ‘good work on this’. It is a small thing, but it makes a big difference, and I have fed this back to my superiors. Maybe they will come to realise that it is not all me, that some of it is down to attitudes and I would feel happier if I was treated at least half decently more often!

On the news I see Madeleine McCann is back in the headlines – 2 years after she was left by her parents in the holiday apartment. I still have a suspicion that one of the parents knows more than they are letting on about the abduction – what right-minded parent leaves 3 young children on their own while they go off to dinner? They said that the restaurant was very close by, but that does not escape the fact that she was left unattended, and with an unlocked front door. That was asking for trouble.

In happier news my son passed his Grade 2 Violin exam, and he has just been given a violin by the Chairman of the Residents Association who bought it from eBay for a prop a couple of years ago, and it has never been used. He has taken it to school to show his violin teacher to see if it is any good. If it is, we can give the hired one back, which will save us a little money!

I have just had a text from my wife to let me know that my new keyboard has arrived, so hopefully I won’t get a repeat of the problem with a sticking space bar, and I also need to try and sort out the problem with my mouse with World of Warcraft – someone in-game suggested that there may be interference from wireless networks, and, although my previous wireless keyboard and mouse didn’t seem to suffer, I will give it a go anyway if the problem persists with the new mouse.

I get to home early today as Thursday = college, so I might be able to unwrap it and get it connected before I have to dash off!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

The last few days

I can see this petering out like the blog before, but I will carry on in the meantime when I can remember!

Nothing much of note really happened on Friday, except for the final Residents Association Committee Meeting before the Fun Day (tomorrow). It seems that the Secretary has stepped down to take care of personal matters, so hopefully that might satisfy some of the residents who feel that she shouldn't be on the Committee. One day I might go into more detail, but now is not really the time.

Yesterday my friend from Peterborough came to visit, and we went to Bedgebury to try out the mountain bike trail, but I think I wore him out; apparently he hasn't done any cycling for 6 months and, living in Peterborough, is not used to hills. Me, on the other hand, cycles to work every day and tries to fit in the odd 12 mile run had no problems at all. I have to say though that I didn't realise how much difference this would make, but while he was struggling to get up the hills I was hardly breaking a sweat.

He also showed me his new car - a 2007 Mondeo with lots of bells and whistles which he was keen to show off, and his new phone which he simply had to have so he could use the Bluetooth in his car!

Today we took the children to the Bouldering Academy where they did their first assessments, and apparently they did well, but we won't get confirmation until next week.

After lunch we went to Eastbourne for a game of ten pin bowling with my wife's friend as it was her birthday a few days ago, and then we went home for dinner over Robin Hood.

There has been some friction between my wife and I, mainly over the fun day - she doesn't understand why I got involved with the committee, has absolutely no interest and has made it abundently clear that I will get no support from her with anything I do in this regard.

I would continue but the spacebar on my new keyboard is sticking and is driving me potty so I'll end it here and hopefully it will be better tomorrow...

Thursday, 30 April 2009


What can I say? It’s been almost a week now since my last post, and doesn’t time slip away fast the older you get? Part of it is getting into the habit of sitting down every evening to write a blog, and making sure it gets done. A couple of nights this past week I have been getting into bed and suddenly remembered that I forgot to do it, then the same happened again the following night.

Apart from all that, it was my birthday at the weekend and I have been rather busy as a result!

Saturday was spent watching the qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, after which we went shopping, getting a last minute present for one of our friends’ children for their birthday party on Sunday that my daughter was invited to, and I had to go to the bank to get the money arranged for the fun day on 4th May. Nearly £400 in coins is rather heavy!

In the evening we went out to dinner at Genghis Khan’s in Brighton – one of my favourite places to eat. It’s quite different in that you select what you want to eat in terms of meat, herbs/spices, and sauces (including things like sesame oil, black bean sauce, sweet and sour, etc), then take it to the cooking area where they cook it for you. You can go up as many times as you like and choose whatever combination you like, so you can have several different dishes, and if you don't like one of your creations, you can just get a new bowl and start over.

And we had plenty of beer to wash it down with!!!

Sunday was my birthday, and I got jumped on by my children, not quite at stupid o’clock, but not far off – I am sure in years to come they will start to surface later than me, but while they are still young they tend to start wandering around from about 6am.

My presents were: a new snooker cue from my wife (although I had to go and buy it!), a Jeremy Clarkson DVD from my son, a Rihanna CD from my daughter, and Jeremy Clarkson books, Chris Brown CD, bike pump and vouchers from other members of my family. I put the music on my phone on Monday before I went out to play snooker in the evening, and I have tested the bike pump and of course the cue – not terribly successful with it in my first frame, but we won the two doubles games we played – more about the snooker league another time.

I ran the children to the Bouldering Academy which they have recently started, while my wife made cakes for work on Monday. That was for 2 hours, then we had some lunch and started watching the Formula 1 coverage, then my son had his St George’s Day Parade, which took up most of the afternoon, and my daughter went to her friend’s birthday party for another 2 hours. While everyone was out I took the opportunity to play some World of Warcraft, and soloed Wailing Caverns during my exploration of the Barrens on Kalimdor. I got back to the Druid at the start just as everyone returned and managed to kill the big boss and earn the achievement, then hearthed out to Shattrath to clear my bags and repair before logging off for a few hours.

Monday was back to work, but as I had cakes and a cue to get to work I had a small dilemma as my wife needed the car too, so I drove to work and she took the car away, and came back later to pick me up. The cue travelled in both directions as I had an away match so needed it for that, and Tuesday I went to work again in the car, with the same arrangement as Monday as the car was needed again.

Wednesday I was back on the bike!

And Noorul Choudhury got his marching orders from Sir Alan in The Apprentice

Friday, 24 April 2009


Work was soooo boring today - although I was late in I desperately wanted to go home about 1 hour after I got in - don't know if its anything to do with my birthday this weekend or just plain boredom, but there was hardly anyone in work today, and even then some of the staff were on half days, so it was deathly quiet today!

This evening we had another Residents Association meeting and were agreeing final details before our Fun Day on 4th May. I am Treasurer and needed to agree how much money I needed to get for floats, petty cash, etc.

Then there was a debate about one of the committee members, and whether she could make the commitment to the group, this is something that will be sorted out in the next couple of weeks I expect.

Anyway I'm really tired and run out of things to say for now, so time to go to bed :)

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Wot no keys?

I'm an idiot - when I went on my bike ride last night I left everything at work, except for the key for my bike lock - I just removed it from my bunch of keys and left the rest behind so that I could travel as light as possible. I knew I could get away with leaving my bag and other stuff behind as I met my wife for lunch today, and to enable me to travel just as lightly home after work, I put my bag in the car when she met me for lunch, not even considering that I would actually need the keys for when I went home!

So here I am, in my back garden, in the sunshine, making my daily blog contribution, and I can't get in until my wife gets back with the kids from orchestra. It's not all bad; after all, it could be pissing it down I guess, or 2 months earlier and bloody cold!

Lunch was good, when we eventually sat down in the restaurant (the mother of the child my wife looks after was her usual late self); it was gone 1.30 before my wife arrived at the office. I had already sent a text to advise bashing the mother with a sharp or pointy object but she suggested that might not be such a good idea as she would still have the child...

We tried a new restaurant called Mamma Mia. Up until recently it was called Dim-t (or something), but I guess people weren't too keen on the prices for what they got for their money - we were certainly underwhelmed when we went there. Now you can get a 2 course meal and glass of wine or soft drink for £6.95. I got beaten by the meal and consequently spent the afternoon waddling round the office.

Just had a text from the missus telling me that she is just leaving - good thing too as the temperature is beginning to dip.

Then I'll be able to get in, get changed and go to college!

By the way, it was the Rough, Tough, Cream Puff from New York who got the chop last night!!!

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

47 minutes

What can you do in 47 minutes? Play a frame of snooker? Play more than 1 frame of snooker? Iron? Washing up?


I spent 47 minutes of my day cycling just under 12.5 miles - left work and did a round trip, taking in Fordcombe, Penshurst and Bidborough Ridge - it was nice to be able to get back out and do these trips after work, now that the evenings are light again, and it's also good practice for the London to Brighton Bike Ride which I taking part in this June.

It's actually not that great a time - average speed 16.7 mph (maximum 37.2 mph), last year I did the same ride in around 46 minutes, and was on course to reduce that further, but then GMT got in the way, and I don't think its a fantastic idea to ride small country roads in the dark.

Just found out that all my talent points have been refunded again in WoW - how annoying is that? It took me a while to choose them all in the first place, and that's the second time in 2 weeks - granted last week was the big patch where Ulduar was added, but did they really need to do it again? Oh well, never mind, I guess!

Apprentice tonight - I wonder who will be up for the chop this time?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Let's try again

After reading Tobold's blog about MMORPGs it reminded me that I started a blog a while ago myself, specifically about World of Warcraft, arguably the most successful Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game ever, with currently over 10 million subscribers worldwide.

I looked at the last time I posted something to that blog and was a little surprised to learn that it was very nearly a year ago!

I know what happened; I started before I went away on holiday - 2 years ago (ahem!), then it fizzled out after I came back, and after all, I guess there is only a limited amount you can write about 1 game, unless you are one of those people who plays a lot and has a whole website dedicated to things like progressing your character and making money in-game.

Anyway, I will try and give this another go, but thought it may be a good idea to widen the parameters of what I will ramble on about; suffice to say it will not be just about World of Warcraft but about what I have been getting up to in general.

Today wasn't wildly exciting - drove to work for a change - I normally cycle, but with the office being out all afternoon I wasn't happy leaving my bike unattended for that length of time, so I took the car instead. It tends to be a bit safer leaving a car as they are fitted with various devices intended to stop any would-be thief running off with your pride and joy.

I know its not a Bugatti Veyron, but I love it all the same - its a Toyota Corolla Verso (mini MPV) and we got it brand new in October 2008 - our first real brand new 'family' car. We did buy a Picanto around 4 years ago but that was very much my wife's car (which she loved too and was sad to see it go).

Anyway, back to work: we had a company-wide meeting to discuss what was happening with it going forward - essentially the company is two separate ones that started working in collaboration a few years ago and have decided to now make it official by bringing it all under one name, and at the same time streamlining all the various day to day operations of the business. I have to admit that I was struggling by this afternoon with concentration, and was glad to get out and go back home!

When I got back in my car to go home I returned a call that I received earlier from someone who wanted to see me about a position they have available, problem being that it is in London. My current situation is that I am in a job that I am reasonably happy in, it is in the same town where I live, and I am now much better off financially than I ever have been. To be honest, I don't think I want to travel to London every day for a job with a company that has just opened a new operation in the middle of a deep recession. I reckon I am better off sitting tight for now, where I can be home by 6pm every day and see my wife and kids, and stay relatively fit to boot.

Now if the job was paying around £100,000 per year more than what I am earning now it might be a different story, but they are not, and I am not really that interested.

I think my laptop is on the way out - there is something definitely not right as it keeps flicking back to the other browser window I have open - maybe a restart is in order, but I am going to go back to exploring Tirisfal Glades in WoW and do some more study before I go to bed.