Saturday, 29 January 2011

Weekend update

Hello children.
So it's been a good weekend so far. On Friday I actually got that 'Friday feeling' that people talk about - I was in a really good mood and really looking forward to the weekend. I've spent today with my LGF where I splurged and treated myself to a new iPod. The reason being my old iPhone is being donated to no. 1 son but I still want to have a portable music source for when I walk anywhere and when I'm at work. But rather than spend hundreds of pounds on a iPod Touch I bought 160GB iPod Classic. And it's awesome.
This evening I'll be chilling with said no. 1 son and relaxing. Tomorrow I'm playing football and then taking it easy before work on Monday... maybe uploading some more CDs up to iTunes for loading to the new iPod.
So that's about it so far. I hope you've all had a good one so far.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Lamenting my aging body

OK, so I'm not a coffin dodger or a decrepit bag of skin and bones. However this pasty, booze soaked, stressed, knackered carcass has been on the 3rd rock from the sun for nearly 40 years now, and like a well oiled machine left without the life giving oil it is starting to wear and break down.
I have decided to catalogue all my body's current ailments from toes up...should be fun.

Feet. For some reason they have started to smell a LOT more than they used to. I know, not a pretty thought to read but honesty in all things etc. I haven't changed the sorts of shoes or socks I wear and I haven't changed any habits - for some reason they have just started to hum quite a bit more than they used to. Like aging cheese I suppose...
Achilles Tendons. I currently have what has been diagnosed as achilles tenonditis and it just won't shift. They hurt alot in the mornings, ease off during the day unless I try doing anything silly like running, and then start hurting again in the evenings after all the walking done during the day.
Knees. I used to be quite agile and limber and I have always had good legs (quite well muscled and toned) but now my knees really ache when I squat down and try and stand up too quickly. This does not bode well for my football career.
Belly. No matter what I try and do I can't shift this extra weight. I've stopped drinking during the week... (well, cut down to almost none during the week...) I don't drink tea during the day any more, I eat fairly healthily and drink at least 2 litres of water every day. Alright, because of injury I haven't been as active on the football pitch as I have been in the past but still it's depressing to think my body has now "found it's shape" and I will stay looking like this 'til I fill a pine box.
Chest. Moobs. Small but there. Enough said.
Hands. Persistent skin problem that manifests as eczma and will. Not. Bloody. Shift.
Head Hair receding and going grey / white, brain seemingly more and more frazzled and confused each day.

So there you have it. Not looking good is it?? I honestly can't remember the last time I felt completely comfortable and well and healthy in my skin. If I'm like this now what am I going to be like at nearly 50?? *sigh*.

Monday, 24 January 2011

In the words of Elton John

Hello campers.
I had to work from home today. What with the car being off the road I couldn't get to work. And I can't lie, it's been blissful. I didn't even bother getting dressed I just spent all day in PJs sat at my laptop coding.
I had the chance to cook something properly for the first time in ages so I made a fresh tomato and garlic sauce to have with some spaghetti for lunch and it was awesome.
Elton John was once asked what the weirdest thing he had ever put in his mouth was, and he responded "a clitoris". Now what I had today was probably one of the weirdest things I've put in my mouth but not with the same comic effect as Mr. Eltons experience. Yesterday I watched one of Jamie Olivers "30 minute meals" programs (I have the book - it's brilliant). In this episode he was making tapas and one of the dishes was a meat and cheese board as a starter. During the show he was preparing the cheese and said "right, if you've not tried this you have to do it THIS MINUTE. This is an unbelievable taste". He cut a small piece of cheese (manchego I think) and then poured a little honey on it and then sprinkled a little bit of instant coffee granules on top... I know, right?? Wtf?!
Anyway I was discussing it with my LGF and I said "I'm gonna try that".
So today, I did. I used some good quality cheddar, some honey and some coffee granules. I cut a little piece of cheese, poured on the honey and then sprinkled the coffee.
"I can't believe I'm doing this" thinks I. 1, 2, 3...
Well I won't lie to you all. It was... Weird. But the taste, although not 'unbelievable' as per Mr. Oliver, was really very good. Unusual but in a really really good way. I will be having it again. And I recommend it.
Cut a chunk of cheese about 1" by 0.5" square, pour on enough honey to cover the top (not too much but not too little either) and then sprinkle on some coffee. Again, just a little not too much. Then put it all in your mouth, chew, savour and swallow. Trust me.
Night folks.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Friday. What a day.

So it was supposed to be a team meeting off site, combined with clay pigeon shooting & possible quad biking and lunch and drinks and everything.
It was taking place at a farm owned by the family of one of the members of staff (they have a converted barn used for meetings etc.)
The farm (by it's nature) is out in the rural countryside and so after Jake left for school off I trundled for the 45 minutes or so journey.
All was fine up until literally 2 miles from the farm. Driving down a narrow, twisty, icy road at no more then 20 mph I went round a sharp bend when something ran out across the road in front of me. I think it was a hare or rabbit or cat or something. All I know is it caused me to hit the brakes and slide gracefully toward the side of the road and a big ditch. Luckily my front left wheel took the brunt of the impact into a curb and this caused me to slow down enough to get some grip on the mud on the side of the road and turn away from the ditch. But my front left wheel was f*cked. I managed to nurse the car to the farm where I had to call for a recovery lorry. All I was worried about was getting home because Jake was coming back to me straight from school and if I wasn't there... Well it didn't bare thinking about.
So I arrived at the farm at about 9.30 and was in the recovery lorry back toward Manchester at about 10.30. The car was taken straight to a garage for assessment and this meant a cab ride home to finally get back here at about 14.00. I am now without a car until some point early next week PLUS I can look forward to a hike in my insurance premiums. Awesome.
So that was my Friday. Not a good start to the weekend. Hopefully the rest of it will be peaceful and without incident(!).
Have a nice one all...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Slack in posting again

Goodness I'm sorry - I've been intending to update you all daily but what with one thing and another (tiredness, bad moods, lack of anything remotely interesting) it's been hard finding things to post about. So this post is a little bit of this and a little bit of that just to tide you over.

First of all, I know it's SO dull when people talk about their dreams but I had to tell you briefly about the one I had last night. It was set in an underground theatre of some sort and I was taking part in what can only be described as a "visual representation, using mime, of the Vagina monologues". I know!! How insane does that sound? And then after the performance I was critically acclaimed by Peter Ustinov(!) I shit you not! He said my performance was "comedy genius" even though it wasn't a comedy. I have no idea what I ate / drank / inhaled last night but that was a weird one.

In other news, I haven't had Jake this week so far as he is with his mum - I'm having him tomorrow night and then all the rest of the week until Sunday evening. On Friday I have an offsite team meeting which will involve shot guns. I'll fill you in about that tomorrow. And Saturday I have a doctors appointment. That's about it so far.

So another short and sweet post, I'll do more tomorrow. Over 'n' out.

Friday, 14 January 2011

And relax...

Yes, you can relax now, it's the weekend.
Unfortunately due to some 'indiscretions' from number one son I won't be doing much tomorrow as he's on punishment. I won't go into details but he's grounded and he's not allowed to do anything fun. Which is a bit of a pisser for me because we had planned to go to the City game on Saturday but now that's gone for a burton!
I do need to shop and do various mundane stuff so he'll be accompanying me doing that and no doubt being bored but that can't be helped.
He has got Stagecoach on Sunday and although I would quite happily keep him away from there it's too much money to waste on missing a week.
Seems like its been a long slog of a week this week - so looking forward to not having to do much. I hope you all have a nice weekend. Stay tuned.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

It's here and it's awesome

So I've gone from the iPhone to...
The HTC Desire.
Let me explain why first. I still love Apple products and I am still in love with my iPad. Of the reasons for swapping to the Desire, having enough of Apple isn't one of them. The main reason I suppose is boredom. I'm the same with cars, and music, and books - I get bored easily. The chance to upgrade with relative ease and limited financial penalty was too good to miss and after discussing with my trusted technical guru (Mr. P Snr) the Desire was the phone for me. After some initial worry with getting contacts across everything now is up and running (there is a minor niggle that my facebook news feed isn't updating but that's minor and sortable I'm sure).
So far - I'm very impressed. Smooth, quick, easily customisable and lovely to use. I will really enjoy getting to grips with it over the next few days.
Oh, and the saga of actually getting it delivered? They still delivered it to the wrong address. I had a card from the courier through my letter box when I got home tonight and after swearing, kicking the wall and cursing all things courier related I read the card... "your item has been left with your neighbour". A woo hoo!! So as I now have my phone I have no reason to phone O2 again and shout at them. I'll do a more in depth review when I've used it some more.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Cocking arse biscuits

I knew, KNEW, I shouldn't have got excited about my new phone today. Something will always come up that screws things up and more often than not it's someone elses incompetence.
I was supposed to have my new shiny sexy handset delivered today to my work address so I could sign for it and be happy. But no. The handset has actually been delivered to my old address down in London. And because I'm not there (obviously) it was actually delivered to my old next door neighbour.
When I ordered the phone on Friday I found out that the address on my account was still my old London address - OK, my fault for not updating it. However, the person I spoke to on the phone said this would not be a problem, they would update my account address with my new address and this would all be sorted. "Hold on", says I, "I won't be at my home address I will be at work, can you deliver it there?". "Yes of course" says idiot number one "I can arrange that with no problem - it will be delivered on Tuesday. Enjoy your new phone".
So a weekend of anticipation passes and I arrive in the office this morning bouncing around with excitment (I'm a sucker for new technology) and sit waiting patiently for the courier to turn up.
Come around 9.30 I thought I'd check on the courier website and see where my parcel was in the system and what do I see? "Delivered 10/01/2011"... to my old next door neighbour. So all the "Don't worry I'll sort it" bollocks was just that. Bollocks. Hairy dangly ones.
So as you can imagine I was on the phone pretty sharpish and tried to remedy the situation. And the kicker? After 15 minutes of a call I was told "I'll just sort this out please hold" and then I was met with the cutoff signal. I was cut off. F*CKING ARSE HATS.
So now, at the time of writing, I am expecting a very apologetic call back - but as yet after waiting 20 minutes (I was told it would be more or less straight away) still no call back. So guess who's getting back on the phone again now... stay tuned.

UPDATE: After talking to a smashing bloke called Steven, my phone should now be delivered on Thursday (f*ckin' Thursday... a patient man I am not!). However I am not taking that word as gospel until the handset is in my grubby little mitts as this is what the last person said would happen and where did it end up? F*ckin' London. Sake. So we'll see what happens now.

I'm going away now to perform some voodoo .....

Wednesday Morning Update: I just checked on the courier website - it says my new handset is "out for delivery" - I am making a prediction now, they will attempt to deliver it to my home address rather than my work address as I asked. Anyone want to disagree with me?

Monday, 10 January 2011

Something nice in the post

It's been a while since I received anything in the post that's made me go "Yes! Awesome! Excellent! Fantastic!" etc. and so I aimed to remedy that situation by ordering a shit load of stuff of various websites. Consequently, this week I can look forward to receiving:
  • 3 new Bluetones albums
  • A new Xbox Kinnect fitness game
  • Some gel heel inserts for my football boots
  • 3 new books recommended by someone I follow on Twitter
  • And the thing I'm most excited about... a new mobile phone handset.
I won't say what handset I'm getting just yet, but when I get it I'll be reviewing it on here. Suffice it to say I'm dead excited about it and can't wait for it to arrive.
The Xbox Kinnect fitness game is so help me get in shape. I've read lots of reviews on it etc. and it seems like it really does work. I'm not a 'gym' person, and although I play football as often as I can it's still not doing enough to slim me down. So this new game, if I stick to the regime, will hopefully aid the reduction in my silhouette.

This weekend was nice - it wasn't my weekend with Jake so Saturday was spent chilling out and mincing around the house. Saturday night was spent with my LGF and Sunday we spent the day together shopping and stuff so that was nice.
So that's about it for now... more updates tomorrow. Happy Monday.

Thursday, 6 January 2011


So I've had a delivery of some sort. Well, an attempted delivery. I have no idea what it is - either the CDs I've ordered or the Filipino bride from that catalogue - but either way it needs a signature. The card left says "simply visit our website and arrange to have you parcel delivered at a time to suit YOU!" So tappity tap went my keyboard and up pops the site. Reference number and post code entered and there's my delivery.
"I can only really have it delivered Saturday" thinks our hero so I click on the drop down list of available dates and... Monday to Friday only. Shit it.
I'm at work all day Monday to Friday so that's no good.
Then I noticed a phone number..."maybe I can arrange to have it delivered to work instead" thinks I.
So beep beep goes my phone keypad and the recorded lady says "these calls are charged at 10p per minute from a BT land line..." and some such nonsense. 10p per minute?! And what do I then hear? "Press 1 for blah blah press 2 for blah blah..." so before I even get to speak to anyone it's cost me 20p. And then? "We are experiencing high call volumes..." seriously? At 7 O'clock at night? "...please hold or call back later". So I didn't get to speak to anyone and it's cost me about 50p. ARSE!
So guess which company is gonna get shouted at tomorrow?? Ggrrrr.

07/01/2011 Update - I managed to speak to a voice this morning. Here's a rough transcript of that awesome conversation...
"I work Monday to Friday is there any chance you can deliver it on Saturday..."
"Nope." Right. Thanks.
"Can you maybe deliver it to my work address so I can sign for it?"
"Let me see, what's your work post code?"
"PR5 8AR"
"..... No, sorry, we can't do that as it's in the wrong depot." Shit. Arse. Wank.
"So what can I do?"
"You can either go and collect it yourself..." from fcukin' Warrington?!? Piss off "...or can you maybe have a neighbour sign for it?"
Luckily my LGF lives next door (I know, convenient right??) so I said to deliver it to her house as long as it was after 15.00.
"Oh they probably won't deliver until after 16.00 anyway..." she says
"Perfect" says I.
So who wants to bet my LGF will get a card through her door saying they attempted to deliver etc.? I get the feelings I may never get this delivery!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


If you could look through my eyes and see into my world, what would you see? Would you see the beauty and grace that my eyes have become used to, and so no longer see? Would you see the darkness and bleak surroundings that I have lived with so long that I am numb to?
Would you think I am blessed with everything I have? Would you think me strong for surviving the hardship that I have been through? Would you think me poor in spirit or in emotion? Would you not understand what has made me the person I am or would you see the circumstances and conditions that have shaped my life?
If you were me would you have done things differently or would you have enjoyed the same successes and failures?

Something to think about - and something to ask the people YOU know.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

A couple of recommendations

I know I've touted this band before but those of you who've not sampled them yet don't know what you're missing. The Bluetones.
To me, they are one of those bands that I can keep going back to and get immense pleasure from. Some people say their more recent albums aren't as strong as the earlier ones (some say they stopped being truly brilliant after Expecting To Fly) but I think all their albums have a lot of strong tracks (I will admit, however, that Expecting To Fly is their best). There is something about the lead singers voice that just hits the right note for me (to listen to and sing along to) and some of the lyrics are fantastic. There are even a couple of songs that can bring a tear to my eye which to me says that what the songs are saying touches me somewhere below my conscious mind.
Sorry. Embarrassing gush over.
The other recommendation? A travel mug. Yes, a travel mug.
Although one of my more simple minded friends chastised me and called me "middle aged as I now have a flask" that's not what it is. It's such a simple thing but I drove to work sipping a piping hot tea this morning. The whole journey was made pleasurable.
Someone commented on my facebook status update on this, saying "simple things please simple minds" and maybe there is some truth in that. It IS such a simple thing and we all know I have a simple(ish) mind so... Who am I to argue?
Anyway. Thats two little suggestions that could improve your lives in some small way. Enjoy.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Four days and still no booze

Yes ok it's ONLY been four days - but it's quite hard to not drink when you are, for example, sat in front of the darts with no child care responsibilities for a couple of days and nowhere that you have to drive to. A nice cold pint of Guinness or an ice cold bottle of Bud would be awesome right now. But thats the point isn't it? To be able to abstain from something you like for the greater good - the greater good in this case being the reduction of my waist line - makes us better people. Doesn't it?! Please say it does!
Anyway - back to work tomorrow which does something that I thought physically impossible. It both sucks and blows. I need some sort of tonic or potion I can take that when I wake up I'm full of motivation and desire to be the best darn developer I can be. As it is I will probably wake up, groan, swear, and grumble my way up the M61.
I hope you all have had a nice break and enjoyed any time off you've had. January is a horrible month but I will try and do my little part in keeping you entertained. Enjoy the rest of the bank holiday.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

My achilles tendons are on fire

I've had no luck with injuries recently. Considering I've been playing football in one form or another for about 30 years I've been extremely fortunate in that I've never had a serious injury. And now, as I approach the 'winter' of my playing career I've been hit first with a bad hamstring pull and now something evil that makes my achilles tendons really sore after a little bit of playing. I don't know what's causing it - maybe witchcraft - but I'm serious when I say it is agony. When I walk it feels like knives digging into the back of my legs and heels. "Old age" I hear you cry. "Shit off" I'll reply. It isn't age. Apart from this current problem I'm actually reasonably fit - I must be if the gaffer insists on playing me in centre midfield.
Ho hum. Luckily there's no game now until 16th January so I can have two weeks proper rest and see what happens.
And here's a depressing thought - 38 hours from now I'll be getting up to go to work. Awesome, eh?
Keep reading folks - I really will be trying for an update a day.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New year, new post

As I've already mentioned on my Facebook & twitter status updates, 2010 kicked my arse. It changed my life beyond recognition, it changed me as a person, and it changed the way I think and feel about a load of things. It kinda sucked, you know?
As with every new years day, you never know what the year will bring. I mean this time last year I was (I thought) happily married and secure in my life. Roll on a few hours in my life's show reel and a massive bomb explodes (metaphorically) in my life and everything changes.
Anyway. New year, new start etc. I have made no new years resolutions - not because I think I'm perfect but let's be honest who actually sticks to them? And why should it take a new year to want to change something about yourself? I WILL be giving up alcohol for a month, for two reasons:
- to help lose weight
- because I've been drinking far too much recently and it's not been healthy

And I will be blogging more. At the time of writing this (cup of tea on the go and still in PJ's) I have no idea what I'll be blogging about but more effort will be made. I have been told by at least one person that I write well so why not keep doing it?
Ooh, and I just remembered - I need a new toaster and I'm actually excited about buying one. Awesome. Middle age here I come!
So there we go. Welcome to 2011. I hope it finds you well and continues peacefully for you.