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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Post 15

It's that time again. Another Grand Prix weekend is nearly here, with first practice tomorrow. I saw this short video about Lewis Hamilton on the BBC website, and thought I'd share it with you.

So, Mickey is settling nicely into his new home, and has even braved showing himself in front of the bushes!
Hooray - it's Friday tomorrow. Sorry. Got carried away. I'm just pleased that the weekend is nearly here. Oh, I mentioned that already.
So, I'm sitting here, minding my own business, watching TV (Brothers and Sisters if you wondered) and suddenly The Wife mentioned going to Las Vegas in February. Her sister-in-law's sister is getting married there, I promised that I would take her for our 40th, and she thought this would be a good opportunity. Anyway; I investigated some prices. Now she just had to decide (and it depends on her brother).
Late news today - they've arrested someone over the Madeleine McCann story. Let's keep fingers crossed that it comes to something.
So, back to the telly. Have a good night.
Oh yes - did you notice the title of this 'episode'? Yep - I've beaten May.

A Moving Experience

This morning, Mickey the (Gold)Fish moved into his new home. It's a lovely big tank (well, bigger than the vase he was in), with plants and gravel. The move went quite smoothly, and now he has the space to splash to his hearts content. That is if he isn't traumatised.
If I get the chance, I'll take a photo and put it here for you to see.
On the weather front; it's a beautiful morning, if a little chilly. You really wouldn't think it was the end of June, and apparently we are in for another wet weekend. My heart goes out to those that have lost their homes in the deluge, especially as there is more on the way.
So, last night The Wife commandered my laptop, and as already mentioned, has joined the ranks on Facebook. I'm not sure what she'll get out of it, as she doesn't use the computer half as much as I do, although I have suggested getting her a laptop of her own, that she can use in the evenings. She certainly wasn't averse to the idea; I just need to find a cheap one.
I played the Center Parcs DVD to The Boys last night. (I forgot to mention this in the late post yesterday). They weren't too keen, and The Wife was not impressed by my choice of music. It's a Ragtime piece; taken from the film "The Sting", with Paul Newman and Robert Redford. How can you not like the music from that film. So; I'm going to have to find something else a little more contemporary. Apparently it must be upbeat.
The Boys were not impressed with the old film effect (jumpy, black and white, with the scratches on the picture...) I shouldn't be surprised. They're used to digital, crystal clarity. They wouldn't understand the poignancy of using that film type to remember the past.
So, it's back to the editing suite and see what I can do to salvage the project.
Tim is on court at 1pm today. That's 4 days in a row, and it's only his second match. Katie O'Brien is also in action, so I'll be looking out for her as well.
No further news at the moment. Except to say, this is Post 14 for June. Which equals May. No doubt I'll be able to add another one, if not two, before the month is over.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Music To My Ears

I am pleased to announce that Mickey the (Gold)Fish is moving. My Wife has bought him a brand new tank, complete with gravel, shrubs and pump with filter to keep the water clean and fresh.
He'll be moving in tomorrow morning. I hope to do the honours before I go to work. Let's hope he makes it through the night tonight.
So, Great Britain has a new Prime Minister. It's 52nd. The 11th during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It was quite a day, and whilst I'm not a Labour supporter, it was interesting to see the events unfolding, and the traditional way in which the Queen asked Gordon Brown to build a government.
Tony Blair as Envoy to the Middle East. He is a great orator. But, after stance on Iraq, is he really the man to broker peace between possibly the two greatest 'enemies' in the region. Notwithstanding that there is a split amongst the Palestinians themselves, so what hope is there for Israel to get involved. I hope he will bide his time and wait for the right moment, and not just barge in and try to start the process.
Wimbledon was, again, a washout. Poor Tim will have to play for the fourth day in a row. This can't be fair, when others get a rest. He really is going to have to find something special to win the match.
The Wife is now on Facebook. It's good fun, and messages have been back and forwards during this evening. I just don't think I have that many friends to really worry about it.
Number One now has a CD player in his room. He went to bed listening to Horrid Henry stories. Well, I'm going to bed now, and on the way will get my iPod so I can listen to some soothing music as I drift off.

Sleep well.

Henmania Is Back...

Day Three.
Our Tim is through to the next round of Wimbledon, after a marathon 5th set against Carlos Moya(13 games to 11).
It's amazing.
He has only won one match, and already they're talking about how he can now win the Championship.
Come on guys. It's great to see him doing well, but he made hard work of the first match. He'll never win the tournament based on that performance. He needs to up the ante, dig deep and make every point count.
I've also noticed that little is made of Katie O'Brien. She is Britains Womens Number 1 player, and she has also progressed to round 2. This is the first time she has made it past the first round. How come there isn't as much support for her? This is a report from the BBC website
Who knows, maybe one day we could watch her from O'Brien Heights. It sounds quite idyllic.
Other news .... Mickey the (Gold)Fish is flipping his fins.
I don't want to tempt fate, so no further comment - except, the vase needs cleaning out.
The first cut of the video has been completed. I didn't get to bed until 12:40, so am a little tired today. However, I'm quite pleased with the result, and will show The Boys this evening, to see what they think. It is just over 5 minutes long, which I think is just enough to remember the holiday.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

It's Day Two...

No, I'm not referring to Wimbledon, although Tim Henman has got his work cut out against Carlos Moya to remain in the Championship. It's a shame that Andy Murray had to pull out.

No. I'm referring the survival of Mickey the (Gold)Fish. Once again he has beaten the odds (and the strangely shaped vase) to survive another night. Phew!
Stopped at Tesco this morning to pick up some fruit and a sandwich for lunch. Also ended up with deodrant, Soreen, chewing gum and a 4-pack of J2O (Orange & Passion Fruit). Why can't I just buy what I need?
I've been thinking about the video I'm putting together for Center Parcs. I've sorted through the photos, and this evening will create a montage. I might even put it on You Tube; as a sort of teaser to the full video.
I have my own channel there.
You can also get to it via my other blog at This doesn't get updated as often, but I still use it to link through to my videos.
I also need to work out the credits for the video. They're always fun to think up.
Right - I'm at work, so I'd better look busy. Off to the machine to get a cup of coffee, then work out what I need to do today.
Don't work too hard.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Why Am I Still Up?

It's late. It's gone 11pm. It's a school night. OK, so not school.
I've been busy this evening, putting together the video from our Center Parcs trip, back in May. I thought it was about time.
So, I have received a couple of discs with photos (as I lost my camera - did I mention that?) I have created a nice little segment about the Zip Wire activity we did; and added some music to create the atmosphere. I now need to add the photos, slideshow fashion, to finish it off. I also need some music for that - if anyone has any ideas, please let me know!
So, I have joined Facebook. It's a social networking site. It's the sort of thing that is interesting for a couple of weeks, then it gets boring. However, I've managed to maintain this blog since the start of the year. Nearly 6 months gone, and there has been an entry or three every month. February was the best month with 19 posts, closely followed by May. June is the next busiest month. Can I top 19? We'll have to wait and see.
OK - enough is enough. The eyes have it (they're closing fast). I'm off to bed.
Sleep well. Oh - and see you in Facebook sometime...

Survival of the Fish Kind

It is with great relief that I can report Mickey alive and well this morning.
I was half expecting to find him floating at the top of the water, but, there he (or she) was, gently swimming around the vase.
Yes, a vase.
We don't own a goldfish bowl, or fish-tank, and so have resorted to a vase.
It's not round. But it is quite big, and should be sufficient for Mickey to have a good exercise.
Whilst I'm here, I thought I'd update you on my shares portfolio. You may recall that I invested in some shares a while back, and have been keenly watching the value ebb and flow with the stock market.
Well, things haven't been going so well. Everything has fallen in value, with my darling, Stagecoach, being the worst offender. OK, so I had a return of £40 when the dividend was paid, but then the quantity of shares was consolidated, so now I have less, with a much less return. In fact, the value now is a paltry fiver!
Tesco has slid backwards as well, worth just over a pound, and even Standard Life has reduced to just over £200.
BSkyB is holding on around the £12 mark.
BT were doing OK, but have also slid back.
Still - as I've always maintained, this is a long term investment, so hopefully things'll improve with time.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Little Fishy

It's Sunday. Another weekend over. They go so fast, don't they? Finish work on Friday, then in no time at all, it's back to work on Monday.
It's been quite busy, even though the weather has been horrid for the time of year. It should be nice and sunny, preferably with a gentle breeze to keep the heat down.
Yesterday we stayed in for most of the day. Last night we watched a Sandra Bullock film; "Premonition". Not bad, but quite confusing, and from a continuity perspective; a nightmare to check. I've just checked on and there are 10 listed continuity errors.
Today - wet, wet, wet. Started with my niece's birthday party, then back home for a couple of hours. The boys wanted me to play my game on the PlayStation - Kingdom Hearts II.
I haven't played it for a while, and they were quite mesmerised by it.
Then, this afternoon, it was the school Garden Party. Now, it started at 12, but we didn't go until 2. We must have missed the best of it, because when we arrived, the heavens opened, and the afternoon turned into a total washout. I think everyone had a good time - and we came home with a goldfish - named Mickey?
We have had to manage the expectations of it's survival, with the children. The last one we had lasted about 3 days.
Only one more week to the French Grand Prix at Magny Cours. I have been to that race - in 1994. My dad and I took the overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre. Drove to the circuit, watched the race, the drove back to Le Harve for the return crossing. What a day. It must have been one of the hottest, and a fire engine kept driving around the track, spraying the spectators with water to keep up cool.
Not going there this year - got Silverstone to look forward to in a couple of weeks.
Right - back to the TV and see what's on.
Have a good week at work. Will write again soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Eyes Have It.

I've changed my mind.
Actually, I've had it changed for me.
Laser Eye Surgery is off the agenda.
The Wife was so against it, she called my mother. They had a nice long chat, and have persuaded me that it is not a good idea.
So - I called and cancelled.
I was a bit disappointed, but I'm sure I'll get over it. Anyway - maybe I'll consider contact lenses.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I'm running out of adjectives for Lewis Hamilton. I've also run out of breath. Yep. You guessed it. He's done it again. After getting himself on Pole Position, he has won the USA Grand Prix, at Indianapolis. Now with 58 World Championship points in the bag, notwithstanding this is only his seventh Grand Prix, what else can be said.

He is a genius behind the wheel of a Formula 1 racing car. The way in which he held off a challenge from his team-mate, Fernando Alonso, was pure brilliance. Not flinching. Not waivering. He just did what he had to do.

I am so looking forward to the British Grand Prix - it's going to be packed (and we'll need to make an early start if we're to get a good vantage point.)

I've bought the Drivers Cap, to go with the official team shirt. I've also invested in a couple of Walkman radios, so that we can hear what's happening around the track.
The Wife thinks I'm crazy. She can't understand why we're going all that way, to listen to it.

I've also bought a pair of sunglasses. Normal ones. Not sighted. This is the week. Laser surgery here I come. I can't say that nerves are not beginning to creep in. But I am very excited about it, and having done the research, spoken to people that have had it done, and to opticians (with favourable and unfavourable comments), then all I can say is "bring it on".

Friday, June 15, 2007


We've just returned from a coupled of nights in London. Just the two of us. The children stayed at home (with the in-laws), and we had time to ourselves - with no clock watching.
We saw loads, and went to two fantastic shows.

Wicked is all about the Witches of Oz, before the story The Wizard of Oz. The sets and lighting were fab and the music was just outstanding. I'd forgotten how amazing a West End production is. It's currently showing at the Apollo Theatre, Victoria. A truly phenomenal show.

On Wednesday night, we saw "The Sound of Music".

Not so much of a surprise as Wicked, as the story is so well known. However, it was a pure delight, with amazing sets, and the music was terrific. Connie Fisher, winner of the BBC show "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" was in it, and she has made the part her own.
What else did we do? We went on the London Eye and took a Duck Tour. We walked and walked.
We went on Virgin Trains, which took the strain out of the journey. It was great to relax and watch the countryside rush by.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Boy Done Good

Well, we had a lovely weekend, and it was topped off with the maiden victory for Lewis Hamilton.
It was an inspired drive by the rookie, in only his 6th Grand Prix, and with 4 safety car deployments, and a major crash by Robert Kubica.
McLaren have certainly delivered the package this year, and Alonso should be feeling extremely concerned for the defence of his championship.

Posts that contain Lewis Hamilton per day for the last 30 days.
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We spent the day in the garden, and inflated the Thomas the Tank Engine paddling pool. The Cousins came round, and they all splashed together. The Baby got in on the act too.
Walking is the name of the game at the moment. The Baby has now started pulling himself up everywhere, and is attempting to get what he wants. This means moving his legs in a walking motion, and it won't be long before he's toddling around. The other two won't be too impressed when they realise he can follow them quicker than on hands and knees.
Tomorrow, we're going to London for a couple of nights. We're both looking forward to it, and seeing the shows. We're letting the train take the strain, and have booked seats on the Virgin service to Euston. I'll report back, on our return.

Have a good few days.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Say Cheese

It's arrived. My new toy arrived, courtesy of Amazon, (well not courtesy because I had to pay them, but you know what I mean!) The Canon Ixus 850 IS is a dinky little thing. I've had a play and the image quality is startling, and the features amazing. In fact there are probably more features than I'll ever use, but now there's no excuse for not taking a good pic.
Worked late tonight, and didn't get home until after 9.15. Knackered! That's why I'm still up. I need some time to wind down before going to bed. Still, mission accomplished (but I bet it's not appreciated in the slightest - I wouldn't be surprised. They just expect).
At least it's Friday tomorrow, and another chance to wear my Vodafone McLaren Mercedes official top. It's the Montreal Grand Prix this weekend, and starting at 6pm, means I'll get to watch most of it.
OK - that's about it. Sleep well and I'll write more soon.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It Makes No Sense...

I know I've written once already today, but now I've had a chance to think about it, there is a little more to say.
  1. The bathroom is finally paid for
  2. I've paid off a lot of my credit card
  3. The Wife has just asked me to get a moth that's bothering her...
  4. The new Paul McCartney album "Memory Almost Full" is terrific
  5. The new logo for the 2012 Olympic Games is 'interesting'. Plenty of criticism now, but I bet it grows on us
  6. But for £400,000 of public money - can I get a refund?
  7. I will start editing the new Center Parcs video later this week. There isn't much to work with, so I might have to 'borrow' some footage from previous years

That's all. Just a reminder about little Madeleine McCann. Her parents are doing a sterling job by keeping her kidnapping in the public eye. I personally wonder how much longer the general public will continue to pay any attention. However, with 3 children of my own, I can't begin to understand their pain, but I can appreciate their need to keep up the pressure.

There was a report in the news today about parents letting their children only play out when supervised. One mother said that her son would not be allowed out on his own until he is 13. Mine aren't that old yet, and they are certainly not allowed out without one of us. It's indicitive of the times in which we live, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Please also do not forget Alan Johnston; who this week was paraded on television (although no-one knows how old the video is).

Please remember to pray for their safe return.

We're baaaacckk...

Hi, miss me?
The car was loaded (roof box and three bikes on the back), the journey was non-eventful and the first Tuna Melt Pancake was delicious.
The weather wasn't wonderful, but otherwise we had a great time in Center Parcs. The kids had a ball, the activities were great (even though I never got to go scuba diving) and all-in-all we had fun.
  • Day one - swimming and barbeque
  • Day two - archery, zip wire (what a blast) and swimming
  • Day three - Club and swimming
  • Day four - Club and swimming
  • Day five - Pack the car and swimming
OK - so that isn't the extent of it, but it gives you a flavour of what we got up to.

I was going to post a couple of photos to show you what we did... but I lost my camera.
My lovely Canon Ixus i5 decided to jump out of my pocket. I didn't notice and that was that. It was a great camera, that was easy to use, allowed a little creativity and the quality of the images was superb. Now, either someone else is using it, or it succumbed to the rain and damp and is no more.
Gone to that Megapixel in the Sky.
No Flowers.

However, don't be too upset. I've ordered a replacement, and this time have taken the opportunity to upgrade to 7,000,000 pixels (or 7 megapixels). The Canon Ixus 850IS - looks like a lovely little camera, and hopefully it will arrive soon.

So, now back at work, but there's plenty to look forward to. We've already booked Center Parcs for next year. This might be the last time here, and we might be looking to go further afield in 2009 (but let's not get too ahead of ourselves just yet).
Next week it's London for me and The Wife. Two nights aways, seeing a couple of shows and generally mooching about. (Better load the credit card...)

The week after I am due to have my laser-eye surgery.

So don't stray too far, I'll keep on posting, if you keep on visiting.


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