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Monday, 12 May 2008

A bit of this and a bit of that!

This week our “urban hero” (should that read "urbane"?) wades round London, is sleepless in Newcastle, explains how phones don't swim and still cannot get his Scandinavian chariot working properly!

I went to London last week, and boy, did it rain! It's a long time since I was there when I thought it had been so bad! The water running down the steps into the tube areas was impressive. Chelsea FC played Liverpool while I was there. The result is well known now, but my interest was that I was on the tube from Turnham Green though to Wimbledon where I enjoyed a wonderful evening with some very special friends, Roberto and Cinthia. I met an Internet speciialist on the way down, and maybe we can do some work together sometime in the future. In Wimbledon the heavens opened and it rained like I was in the Tropics. I took the tube back just as the Londoners were sending the Scousers home without a place in the European Cup Final. The noise on Fulham Broadway tube station was phenomenal, as the doors of the train opened it was deafening!
Anyway, most of it was interesting, some of it was fun, almost all of it was wet, but it was nice to see old friends and hopefully I've picked up some more work for our guys to do.
As I type I'm back n the train south for this weeks visit to the smoke. More meetings, more hotel rooms and plenty of tube and bus trips!

The whole family traveled to Newcastle upon Tyne at the weekend. Oh how I love Newcastle. It's such a city of intrigue and style. The new buildings like the Sage, and the wild city centre at night. Not really what we needed though for last weekend. Adam, my 8 year old son, was competing in the National Club Gymnastics Finals in the (relatively) new gymnastics centre in Benfield Road near Wallsend.
As Reece Beddows, a fellow Newport Gym Club member was competing on the Sunday and Adam on the Monday, we went early to support Reece and his family stayed to support Adam. Unfortunately for me, we had no extra time for me to try and go to watch Chelsea swipe my dear Toon aside 2-0 on Monday, but I did torture myself by listening on the car radio on the way home!
The lads were amazing, although not quite enough, and Reece fell at the first fence and will now have to join Adam to train for another year to take a shot at the title again. Both lads were devastated that they had a poor event, but we were so proud of them both for the sheer effort and commitment they have shown this year.
The same pride could not be offered to my fellow Cumbrians, however. In the hotel on Saturday night they ran amok and caused mayhem! Whoever it was tat had their stag night in the hotel should feel no pride in the fact they kept us all awake with their antics, and the naked bloke I screamed at in the corridor at 5:30a.m. will certainly have a story to tell back home!

This week has seen an increase in the number of lorries getting stuck outside our offices. It seems that lots of drivers are not bright enough to realize that our estate is not the slip road to the Telford EP dual carriageway – that's just 50 yards past our turning with a big sign next to i!. They learn the hard way though and need all the skill they have to reverse out of the car park and back up the road! It can be interesting to see some of these huge trucks being carefully maneuvered between the parked cars and round the corners of the estate – especially if we know any of the cars! What's even more entertaining is the number of drivers who try to hide their embarrassment by parking half-way down the hill into the estate and pretend they have done this deliberately, so take a break in their cab!

It seems that this week is going to be fun as, being a Cumbrian I am hoping two of our teams do well in the football play-offs. At risk of being in trouble where we live now, I'm quite proud of Barrow (my home town) beating Telford 4-0 on aggregate in the Blue Square North semi-final. They play Stalybridge this Friday in Burton for the chance to go back up to the Conference.
The other big match for us is Carlisle – Leeds. This has some greater relevance in the office as one of our guys, Mark Fetcher, is a keen Leeds supporter. A little it of competition never hurt though, and I think it should be an interesting few days on the footie front!

Electronics – this weeks “flavour” is phones. I've found for certain that my BlackBerry cannot swim! I sent mine to heaven two weeks ago with an impromptu journey down the toilet! I now have a new one and it's fine, but have no ambition to teach this one the breast-stroke!

Bob and Sue are still knocking walls down and drilling holes and plastering and wiring and living in it while they work! I have always been a fan of building houses and hope one day to build my own from scratch. I must admit though, that these two have taken a huge bite on this one, although I'm sure it will be great when it's finished.

I've had the dent in the Volvo's rear door fixed this week. Lesley found it too difficult to negotiate with the body repair people to get his done – it only took her 18 months to work this out though! Anyway, no more dents but it's still broken as it needs a new MMU (very expensive electronic box for under the bonnet!). It's nice having a big flash motor until it starts to cost money! I really have to think twice now about what the next car will be. I may even try for a van as it could serve many purposes and be better when the kids fall out as I can just throw them in the back!

No golf scores again this week as my shoulder is still not better. I'm sure that as soon as the rain comes back my shoulder will get better and I'll be able to thrash round knee deep in water as it belts down!

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