30 April 2010

Bank Holiday Traffic

What is it with drivers in Britain. Come what may, the Friday of a Bank Holiday weekend is always a disaster or the road.

The news reports are all saying how bad the roads are, and the tailbacks going on for miles. Only this evening, I think one of the motorway's had a jam lasting around 50 miles. Why ?

The motorways are there every day of the week. It's not as if they disappear on holiday and leave us to fend for ourselves. Maybe it's just we decide to leave our sensible brains at home and get in the holiday spirit as soon as we get in our car.

All cares and safety concerns go out of the window as we pootle down to Cornwall for the weekend in our sandels, long shorts, bermuda shirt and knotted hankie.

If people just drive sensibly, the problems won't occur. Concentrate on the road ahead then you won't need to press the brakes harder because you missed the car in front slowling as you got another round of cheese and pickle sandwiches out of the picnic hamper.

Please people of Britain. We're only a small country compared with some of our neighbours, but we don't need to have all these problems. If we all drive carefully, we'll all get to our destinations in a reasonable time, and won't have the stresses of being stuck in queues for hours on end. It's better to continue moving, even if a bit slower rather than sitting for two hours in the hot sun with kids screaming 'Are we there yet?' all the time.

It's better to be a minute late in this life, rather than a minute early in the next.

29 April 2010


Wow, what a surprise. My wife is the youngest of 3 sisters. Over the years there have been lots of arguments, and unfortunately because there are three girls, it's often two ganging up on the other.

As mentioned previously, her eldest sister has fallen out big time and decided to send a really hurtful email. That wasn't really an issue as she has treated us badly for a number of years. It was rather funny.

So there we go starting a week with one less sister to think out. Then out of the blue, my wife received an email via friendsreunited. It was from someone asking questions about my wifes father. To be honest, the name of the person wasn't a surprise as we had undertaken a bit of research in the past and were able to confirm with this person, that she and my wife were actually half-sisters.

A lot of conversations have since taken place, and now instead of loosing a sister, my wife has gained a half-sister and two half-neices.

I can see a meeting coming up soon. It would be great to see the new additions to the family. Hope that the problems between my wife and her sister don't cause any issues.

24 April 2010

Working at the Office

I know today was a Saturday, but unfortunately my job sometimes requires working at un-sociable times. The 24th April was one of these.

The work had been planned for a few weeks, the business were aware that it was going to happen, and my team had been information and agreed to the work - well that was the plan.

We are now in a situation where we don't have enough room in our server racks. I know for a fact that in the next few weeks, we will need to install another 8U of kit. The intention therefore was to remove the standard 17" monitors that we are currently using and replace them with super duper flat screen versions. We also need to move a few servers around so that we can free up large chucks of space rather than just the monitor space at the top of the rack.

I appreciate that it was only going to be at the most 3 racks but the overtime was offered to the three team members. Two of them accepted, until Friday and then one pulled out. The excuse being 'I'm studying'. That therefore left myself and my trainee to do the weekend work. Luckily, my wife has a good knowledge of the tasks that I was doing so she kindly agreed to help us.

We therefore came into the office and checked everything before powering down the network. The power down took 30 minutes, so that sounded pretty good for the power up and check out.

After ripping all the old cabling out, we were then able to correctly cable the servers, including power cables and iLO & network cables. Unfortunately this recabling took longer than expected and we weren't ready to check the systems until 2pm. This was the time the business had been told that everything would be sorted.

It took us another 2 1/2 hours to power on and check out the servers. That was a mega task and luckily everything (within reason) worked successfully.

After clearing up, we then headed home. I didn't feel too bad to begin with, but it definately hit me later in the evening. I could hardly walk. I felt like an old man. It was amazing how much pain the days work gave me. The muscles around my thigh bones were giving me an amazing amount of pain.

Hopefully the pain will go soon. I don't want to be like this for to long.

23 April 2010

The Woman in Black

Took one of our regular trips to The Theatre Royal in Brighton tonight.

We've been extremely luck with the shows we have seen down there. It's fairly close to home meaning we can be home within 30 minutes.

Previously we used to visit London to see musicals. In 2009 we had a number of trips and saw Avenue Q, Wicked, Billy Elliott, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Oliver!. All of them excellent shows, but with the time it takes to get there and back it's a long day.

Since finding The Theatre Royal, we have now expanded our horizons. We've still seen musical theatre, but we've also seen farces, dramas, comedy and even an opera.

Last night we saw The Woman in Black. We weren't quite sure of what to expect, but had seen the signs in London a few years ago when we went up to see Joseph.

The show was excellently performed by the two actors, and both myself and my wife completely forgot the image we were seeing and were taken into the world that was being portrayed. It was great fun watching the reactions of some of the audience reactions. I must admit though that we jumped a few times in this great ghost story.

If you get a chance to see this play, take it with both hands. You won't be dissappointed.

12 April 2010

Weekend Work

Phew - I'm glad to get back to work this morning. It's been a hectic weekend. My mother-in-law asked us to get her a Yankee Candle refil the next time we visited the garden centre.

So stupidly we visited on Saturday morning to purchase the refil for her. It only cost £6 so that wasn't too bad. The worrying thing is that the quick trip cost us £85. Unfortunately we purchased a number of plants so that gave a clue as to what the weekend was going to be like.

We were out Saturday afternoon, so after waking at a sensible time on Sunday we began working on the garden. We returned to the patch that we had worked on in March. This time we put in a number of annuals to give some instant colour. Will mean a bit of dead-heading over the summer, but hopefully this year will be able to benefit from the display when it appears.

We also tided up the remainder of the garden, with additional annuals being put all over the place. We also tided up a couple of large bushes that were hanging over everything else.

To top it all off, we then cleared the patio of all the winter rubbish. Anything green was thrown into some garden containers and any household trash was thrown in black bin backs ready for delivery to the dump. Once everything was cleared up, and the pots were all weeded, it was a case of bringing the garden furniture out of the garage. We've not got the barbeque and garden table and chairs out so I hope we get some good weather soon so that we can benefit from them.

The final task was to take a tip to the local amenity tip. That's a day out in its own right. I think the queue started about 1/2 a mile from the actual tip. Obviously with all the good weather everyone had been out in the garden working, but once we've got to the containers we were in and out in no time.

The only tasks remaining now are to clear the path at the side of the house, and to then cut the grass. We can't do that yet as it's just been treated by GreenThumb so we need to let their treatment settle for a few days.

9 April 2010

Short Week

Well bloggers, what's been going on in my world since I last spoke to you all.

To be honest not a lot really. Tuesday unfortunately was spent in the office. Luckily I was able to get my teeth into some SQL script and batch file writing so it was quite enjoyable, but still work. At the end of the day, the work pays off my bills so it's something I have to put up with.

Wednesday was a day off for a number of reasons. It was my wife's birthday so we were able to spend some time together.

Also, I've been having a bit of a problem with my car. It's a 2.2 litre Diesel Toyota Avensis estate. Should be quite a speedy car, and it used to be. Recently it hasn't been powerful enough to pull the skin of a custard. I've also noticed a few puffs of smoke when I dropped a gear. I theefore had it booked into the garage and my wife followed me there. On arriving, she told me that it was churning out lots of smoke every time I changed gear. So a good thing to get it sorted out.

We then went for our French lessons. I don't think I've mentioned these before, but we have a dream to own our own place in France within the next few years. Now we could buy something now and maybe be sorted but our knowledge of the language is very sketchy. We could ask for a beer in the bar, but asking a builder how long he'll be putting the new roof tiles on and such like isn't really possible.

So two or three years ago we attended an adult learning class at a local school. The teacher we had was very good and we made good progress during the 20 weeks. We then signed up for the 10 week extension, but unfortunately our teacher was unable to continue. We therefore made private contact and began visiting on our own. We have now progressed to a point we the teacher things that we are at AS level, and are better than some of her school aged students. We put that down to a bit of life experience and being able to pick out some words we know and then making sense of the statements we've heard.

We've also both had birthday's recently and not knowing what to get for each other, we decided to treat ourselves to a weather station. Unfortunately FedEx tried to deliver while we were out, so we went to get that on Wednesday as well.

Whilst collecting the weather station, I spoke to the garage who advised me that I had a faulty EGR valve in the Turbo and that they wouldn't have one until the next day. Would it be OK to leave the car with them. Well it wasn't much use to me in the state it was in so I agreed. Now, I'd have to decide what to do on Thursday without a car.

Did I mention my wife works in local schools and it was now school holidays. Excellent, I could borrow her new car. But then we both commented on the muppets at my place of work who will hit your car then deny all knowledge. I therefore decided to work from home on Thursday.

Well Thursday was a different matter. Started off OK. I was working in the dining room and my wife was preparing her material to be able to teach in a couple of weeks time. She then called me out to the office. Here eldest sister (2 years older) had sent the most hateful email I could possibly imagine.

I can't think of why she would bother but then she's not the nicest of people around. She has always had a problem with us (we think probably jelousy) but there was no need to write the email. She has made a number of lies and assumptions, and once we calmed down we found it quite funny that she was so concerned.

The best part of yesterday was the weather. During the morning we'd set up some of the weather station so we were getting temperature reading all day yesterday. The maximum reached was 30.1 degrees. Admittedly the external sensor is in full sun, but it's a pretty true reading. Quite a change from last nights low of 1.3 degrees.

Anyway, back to the lovely weather. As we were both home, we went to collect my car at lunchtime and then decided that it would be a good time to sit in a pub garden and take in a nice cold beer. It was great sitting out there taking the sun in.

After the pub, we both went back to work. Isn't it funny though. With all the possible distractions that are around, I seem to work longer and harder than if I was actually in the office.

Anyway, time to get back to my proper job now so enjoy the weather and don't get to sun-burnt.

5 April 2010

Long weekend Break

Since my last update, I've benefited from a lovely long weekend break. Broke up from the office on Thursday afternoon, and don't need to go back until Tuesday morning, then I've got Wednesday off.

So what's been going on. To be honest I haven't really had a lot going on. I've used the time to recharge my batteries and to attempt to get rid of the cold that I've had for a couple of weeks.

My wife decided to do some baking on Friday so spent 4 hours helping her sort out various items so that she could begin her foray into jam and chutney making. I must admit that her lemon curd was gorgeous so we've already bought some more ingredients.

Saturday was spent making a flying visit to both sets of parents to drop off some of the home made goodies. Whilst there, were here some annoying news about relatives making un-neccessary comments about us. The person in question likes to voice her opinion about us, but not the person causing a problem for the rest of the family. It's surprising how much she is turning into the person causing all the issues.

We spent an hour or so being annoyed but that soon went. For the afternoon we went to see The History Boys at the Brighon Theatre Royal. If you haven't seen it I would truely recommend it for a good show. And the 80's music that appeared throughout was from my favourite era.

Sunday was another quiet day. Lots of places were closed as it was a religous holiday. The day started with a viewing of the F1 Grand Prix. As Saturday qualifying had been affected by the rain, it was hoped the same would happen again. No such luck. Once again it was another procession.

Why can't each track have a spinker system and at random times throughout each race they come on and drench the track. It would add some excitment and make you watch rather than just seeing who leads at the first corner and that's it.

The rest of the day was taken up catching up on recorded TV. Watched Ashes to Ashes and the new Doctor Who. I was actually quite impressed by Matt Smith. It is obviously an extremely difficult role to take on as David Tennant was excellent in the role. Matt seemed to bring a different complexity to the role. No more the 'I know everything' personna but he now seems to have a vulnerbility about him. I must also mention the costume worn by Karen Gillian. If that's what police women wear these days, I'll have to be a naughty boy.

Monday started with another lay in, and then we started sorting ourselves out. My wife likes wandering around car boot sales and as there was a large one locally I dropped her then and then returned home to look at the household budget. April's the time when all the new bills come in so I've added them all together to see whether we are going to be able to cope this year. Things don't look too bad, apart from a slight miscalcuation on my part when moving funds between accounts so I've got a bill coming for being overdrawn - whoops.

Oh well, back to doing nothing today preparing for work again tomorrow morning. Speak to you soon !!