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Friday, March 30, 2007

Bathroom Progress

I said I'd show you a couple of pics of how the bathroom re-modelling is going.
So here they are:

We're already on the second (and hopefully last) skip. The wall has now been knocked down, and I'll post more pictures soon.
Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Catch Up

Last weekend, I had a blast (quite literally) at LaserQuest. It was Number One Son's birthday, and he and a few of his friends battled it out in the smoky and noisy environment of the battleground. And I joined in. What fun.

He had a great birthday, and received some really good presents.

The re-modelling of the bathroom got underway on Monday. Everything has now been delivered; the tiles, the suite, the lino and all the other bits and pieces. A skip now resides on the driveway, slowly filling with the old tiling, suite, and other stuff that we want to throw away.
I'll post some pictures here soon.

The diet was started again. I want to lose some more weight before our holiday. I don't want to look like a beached whale.

I also went to the gym last night and had a swim. Not a long swim, but enought to make me feel better. I got home to find they had called about my membership, so I'll need to follow that up today.

My mobile phone is playing up. It can't latch onto the Vodafone network, and means no-one can get in touch. What a shame!
It also means my beloved TomTom can't communicate to update the traffic status; which I've come to rely on for my journeys to and from work.

Well - must get on and do a days work.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Back on the 5th March, I wrote that I had invested some money in the stock market, when the prices fell due to issues in China.
Then, not long afterwards, the prices fell even further, and I started to think I'd made a big mistake. Oh, what a great start.

Anyway, over the last week or so, things have started to improve, and hopefully will continue to do so in the coming months. I wrote that I am in it for the long term, and I may look to invest more.

So, how are they doing.
Well - BT was slow, but appears to be growing
Stagecoach is my 'winner' at the moment, with a 14% gain
BSkyB was my worst buy - fingers crossed things get sorted soon in the Pay-TV row.
Tesco is doing alright too, with a 4.3% gain.

If you just make sure you subscribe to Sky and buy all your groceries in Tesco, I should be laughing. Oh, Stagecoach? They have a major stake in Virgin Rail, for which I booked tickets to London in June.
As for Standard Life (my freebies), they're at an all-time high, with a gain of 24.8% (or £136).

OK - so it's not big money. But it's fun, and I enjoy watching the rise and fall of the prices.

Birthday Countdown

Number One is nearly 7. Can you believe it? We can't! What's more, he's not too well at the moment - I only hope he gets better soon.

He is so excited, and is looking forward to his party at LaserQuest. I must admit that I am also looking forward to it!!

So what else is news. It's been a while since I posted anything, but so much has been going on. The Baby has not been well - and it really knocked the wind out of his sails.
Not to be outdone - Son Number Two decided he wasn't feeling too well either - well, there's no show without Punch.

The bathroom has been delayed by a week, so all the running around at the weekend was in vain. However, now we have chosen a flooring, ordered the tiles and bought the paint etc. So, we're ready to go.

The In-Laws went to see "The Producers" the other evening, at the Palace Theatre. It stars Peter Kaye, and apparently it was fantastic. I'm going at the end of April, and am really looking forward to it.

BIG news. My Wife has actually had her car valeted. It took 2 men about 4 hours! No, only joking. More like 5 hours!! But it is now spotless (and I must have a look before it gets trashed again).

Well, that was a brief update on what's been happening.

Suppose I'd better do a days work. Need to pay for the bathroom somehow.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


It's early Sunday afternoon, and we're soon going out to visit some friends.

They've recently been doing some major construction on their house (to the extent that they've been without heating and a kitchen for some of the build).
It sounds like something out of Grand Designs, although I'm sure on too small a scale for Kevin McCloud to worry about.

So, we're looking forward to seeing what they've done, as we prepare to start some work ourselves. Not on such a grand scale, I hasten to add, but big enough. We'll be completely gutting and re-doing the bathroom, and knocking down the partition wall between that and the toilet. So, we'll have one large room, with a brand new suite, flooring and lighting.

I'll post some pics whilst it's going on - especially the before and after shots.

I'm sort of looking forward to it! Honest.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Car Crazy...

As I was driving into work today, I was wondering; "Where are all the new cars"?

The 07 registration began on 1st March, and to date, I have only seen 1 car (a VW Passat) actually being driven on the road. I've seen 2 of them on trailers, being towed (I presume to a garage for sale).

So - has the car industry seen a downturn in trade? Will they be crying poverty in the next few weeks? Will there be some really great deals to be had as they try to sell off the stock that's been sitting on their forecourts?

Just a thought.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ooh Saucy

Back on the 7th February, I wrote about an episode of Dragons Den, and more specifically, a guy called Levi Roots, who had developed a sauce called Reggae Reggae Sauce.

It was an inspired pitch, with a reggae song to kick it off, which eventually saw two of the 'Dragons' investing. Well, it's nice to see the follow-up, and this made the news - the sauce is now available to buy in Sainsbury's.

Read the full BBC News story here

Monday, March 05, 2007

Playing The Markets

Welcome friend, to another post about me.

Actually, this could be quite a long one, so get yourself a coffee and kick off your shoes.

Firstly, I have nothing but admiration for my wife. At the end of last week she was completely floored by the 'flu. A temperature of 105, and the shakes and shivers meant almost total bedrest. Which meant that I had to take Thursday and Friday off work and look after her, and the boys; including the school run (for which I got a parking ticket for my trouble!)

That was more tiring than a day in the office and a 100 mile drive.

During the course of the weekend, I did what I could to reduce the load. We went to the cinema, went to a fair on Sunday afternoon. I dressed, fed changed nappies and bathed the baby.

Just call me SuperDad!

Anyway - I went back to work today; for a little bit of peace and quiet. Still tired though.

So, onto other news.

I've decided to play the stock market. Have a dabble. Invest a little (and I mean a little). In some cases it hardly seems worth it, but, since the prices have tumbled over the last few days - because of the financial shake in China, I thought I'd have a go.

Well, to be honest, I've been thinking about it for a while. I created a virtual portfolio on Yahoo, and tracked the performance of some companies shares. I found it quite interesting, watching the prices increase, and thinking 'if only'.

It can take some time to set up a trading account; which I now have courtesy of First Direct, and last week I took my first steps. I invested in three companies: BT, Sky and Stagecoach.
Imagine my feelings when the prices dropped further.
Today, I made my biggest investment in Tesco. Well, they do quite well and the price was reasonable.
Altogether, a £500 investment (I said it wasn't much). Put them with the 'free' Standard Life shares I have, and I hope they'll build to a nice sum.

I'm not a huge gambler, but I'm in it for the long run, so over the next year or two - who knows?


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