Friday, 23 January 2015

More of the same

Not much of interest to report, just ticking along at the moment.

Work is busy, but not in a bad way.  I am getting to do a lot of the stuff that I enjoy, which is nice.

I have added some more to the book, creeping closer to completion of the first full written version, but I keep thinking of extra things that need to be included.  I also had a bit of a fit over how to write the next section.  It involves the character that represents me, and so far everything about him has been written in first person.  But the next section might have to change that, to me being watched by someone else and reporting what I get up to.  Still not sure how it will end up...

My daughter is about to finish her first week in her new job.  She has settled in really well and likes the people she is working with.  Yesterday she had a visit from someone who checks everyone's work.  They had been impressed with the amount of work she has been getting through, but were probably expecting it to be full of errors.  There were no errors at all, not a single one.  This was a great boost to my daughter's confidence, and the checker was really impressed too.  I guess she is thinking that her job might just get a little bit easier?

That is about it, for now!  Have a great weekend!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Is Winter finally arriving?

This has been an odd winter.  We have the occasional cold snap, a bit of frost, a frozen puddle, and everyone says "Oh, here it comes!" 

And then it warms up again!

I am guessing this is because most of our winds have been coming from the South, which means they are going to be warmer than the dreaded northeasterlies, which come down from the Arctic.

So we are into another cold snap.  We even had a flurry of snow last week.  Number One Son, who is at Uni further to the north, now has snow on the ground, and I am sitting here wishing I had put the bottom half of my thermals on today too.  Will this last?  Will we now get proper Winter weather for a while?


It is supposed to last for most of this week, at least. 

But we don't want snow here, not this week.  Not the snow that causes the roads to close.  This because our daughter finally started her job today, so we don't want anything to mess up her settling in time, don't want her getting stranded in the city with no way of getting home.  Of course, we do work very close to each other, so at least we would be together if it came to it and we could work something out together.  We could hike back if necessary (it has happened before).  It is not as though we will be wading through feet of snow, it only takes about 2 inches of snow to close everything over here...

My determination to finish my book this winter seems to be staying with me.  I am almost at the end of the first complete draft, only a few more scenes (some of them very big, I must admit) to go before I can go back to the beginning and start editing, espanding and polishing.  I am getting quite excited about it all now, and enjoying seeing things unfold and develop, it seems to have a life of its own now, which is great.

More soon!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

All Quiet on the Western Front

OK, I guess the title is wrong, because it really is quiet at the moment!

Sort of.

I am back in the swing of work, but contemplating taking part in a local tournament of X-Wing, the Star Wars game that I play.  I will probably be up against hard core players less than half my age and will probably be roadkill, but hey it should be fun.

I have added more to my zombie book - worrying how the Ebola situation is providing inspiration...

There has been a bit of a mix up with my daughter starting her new job, but hopefully she will be able to start soon.  Fingers crossed...

Our younger son, who I will now start to call Arnie on this blog, is entering his first power lifting contest next month.  Really proud of this kid, he has changed himself from a shy chubby kid into a young man who can lift silly amounts.  Yes, he is being sensible, training properly and using the right techniques.  No he is not taking steroids.  Can't wait to see him do his stuff.

OK, going to take a serious tangent here.  Things have not been quiet in France, where there have been some terrible things done in the name of religion, followed by massive parades showing solidarity with the dead, and in favour of free speech (even though some of the political leaders who turned up to take part do not allow such free speech in their own countries).  But this has all felt a bit wrong to me.  OK, the dead people should not be dead, but do we really have the unrestricted right to insult others and their beliefs?  Can someone walk into a bar, hurling insults and not expect a punch on the nose?  Surely, if we are responsible enough to have truly free speech, we should be sensible enough to know when to respect others.

OK, enough of that!  Hope you are having a great week!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Back! Happy New Year!


This must be my longest non-blog ever!

I blame Number One Son.  This Christmas he travelled light, so instead of bringing one of his desktop PCs with him he said he would just borrow my laptop when he needed to.

Sounds fair, I said.

As it turned out, I never got a look in.  He had an assignment that he was working on, and when he was not working on that he was doing some programming for relaxation, and when he wasn't doing that we were all doing something together and when that wasn't happening we were sleeping off all the fun, food and excitement!

So it is his fault that I have not been around.

I have managed to do a bit of FB on my phone, and did drop in on the occasional blog with it, but commenting is just a nightmare so I have taken to just lurking if restricted to the phone.

Anyway, enought feeble excuses!

We had a really good Christmas, one of the best for a long time I think.  Everyone was happy with their presents, and we didn't break the bank either.  In fact, given that the kids were all feeling a bit poor this year (Number One Son is poor during the Autumn term, our daughter does not start her job until Monday and Younger Son is still at school) we decided that all of the after dinner presents should be bought from Pound Shops.  Yes, no afternoon presents were to cost more than one Pound, but had to be carefully chosen for that person.  And it was hilarious!  We found some great stuff and had a hoot opening them all.

We got lazy with Christmas dinner, though.  Given that 2 of us no longer eat meat, we thought that a massive turkey would be a waste, so the meat eaters were treated to some wonderful steaks, while Mrs RC produced a very interesting looking nut roast for her and our daughter.  My mum and Spot were with us for the day, having steak too (mum shared hers with Spot, as we knew she would) and a fabulous dinner was had anyway, without 30 years worth of left over turkey to deal with!

Mrs RC and I did spend a good amount of time lounging in front of the TV, resting our tired bones and watching some real trash.  It was heaven. 

One show that we stumbled on was Utopia US.  Did anyone catch this during its 2 month showing in the US late last year?  From the write up and watching the first show I was convinced that it was a spoof.  It was hypnotic!  The premise was that they were setting up a commune 15 people who would have to create a mini society and survive for a year.  The characters were so amazing that it had to be a spoof. There was a toothless redneck called "Red", and a young black guy from Harlem who was just out of prison.  And they made friends!  There was a hippy who believed in the magical healing power of sex, and they showed her saying goodbye to her 2 boy friends and her girl friend.  There was a tall woman who called herself a Hunteress, who brought a hunting bow with her, but even when they were trying to survive on less than 1000 calories a day and there were deer roaming across their land, she did not even try to shoot one!

And I won't even start on how dysfunctional they all were!

It had to be a spoof!  Surely?

But no, after the 2nd episode Mrs RC was sure it was real.  I googled it to find out the truth, and she was right!  It was real!  These were real people!  For some reason it was cancelled after 2 months.  Might have to watch the rest to find out why.  Did they starve?  Did they kill each other?  Could the Hunteress actually use her bow?

Anyway, it is great to be back!  See you again soon!

Friday, 19 December 2014

I'm out a here!

Last day of work before Christmas for me!  Back on the 5th of January!

Ooooh yeah!

Don't hate me for that, I have worked my butt of this term and totally deserve it!  Not that you don't, of course, I am sure that you deserve a good break just as much as I do?

So, Number One Son is home from Uni, the decorations are up thanks to Mrs RC and our daughter who, not having school or college to worry about has had time to help out a lot.  But Mrs RC has taken on the brunt of the work, so I am hoping to take some of the strain once I finish work.

The dogs are getting in the swing of it all - they keep nosing the presents that are under the tree, but are good enough to stop there.  At the moment, anyway...

I think our Christmas will be fairly quiet when we get there.  My mum will be spending the day with us, which will be nice.  She will be bringing Spot with her, who enjoys a visit to his old stomping ground.  He used to be my dad's dog, and we used to walk him with ours.  Here he is having a cuddle with my mum.

He has put on a bit of weight (not too much) since moving in with her, but they are both loving living together.  They are very good for each other, Spot keeping my mum active since she lost Humphrey the pony.

I am not sure how much online time I will have for the next however long - I will try to keep tabs on my favourite bloggers out there, so you are more likely to get stupid comments on your blog than you are to see stupid posts here, but who really knows?  I intend to get in some writing time on my book, play a few games (watch out for photos of my Star Wars games!), drink a few beers (this probably combining with the other activities mentioned), so I think this break will be a good one.

Have a great Christmas, everyone!

Friday, 12 December 2014

I gave in...

Last night we had our Christmas Pub Quiz.  It was a busy event, the pub was jammed solid and a good time was had by all.

We do our questions with the intention of making it a light hearted affair.  For example, one round was photos of famous and infamous people with Santa heads superimposed on them.  The questions are printed onto sheets so each team can gather round and discuss them.  This is much better than trying to ask each question verbally...  Things are pitched so that by the start of the 4th and last round, most teams are in with a shot at victory - I don't really enjoy them when the gap gets too wide and half of the teams give up trying after a couple of rounds.

So, a fun evening and a few beers later, I headed home on my bike. The road was amazingly clear, so I cranked up the music and made good time.

But it was still very late by the time I hit the sack.  Can't remember the last time I saw 1am!

Then there was this morning.  I drifted awake to the sound of high winds and rain.

My body just did not want to know.  It wanted to stay in bed for the day.

But I got up anyway, sorted the bird table, fed the rabbits and fish.

Then, instead of getting my bike out, I caught the bus.

It doesn't happen often. 

I hate the bus.

It makes me feel sick.

And it took over an hour to get me to Canterbury. 

My normal cycle time is 40 minutes.  Might have been more than 40 minutes this morning, of course, with the wind, but the journey was still long.  On the bright side, I did write a few more pages of my book as I sat there as the bus chugged along, so all was not lost.  It was strange to sit on the bus with the wind and rain out side and write about bathing in the warm sea on a hot summer's night in the Mediterranean.  I wanna to back!  I need a week or two to top up my research for my book!

Not too much to ask, is it?

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Town Tree

You might remember that, a couple of years ago, my town made the national news.

We had the worst Christmas Tree in Britain!

A few locals, myself included, tried to make it look better, but it was a lost cause really...

This one was replaced one night, by a Special Forces team, but as they failed to put the public's decorations on the new tree this was not a success either.

Last year, we were promised a massively expensive tree, which I don't think was much better than the Charlie Brown tree above.

OK, it was a BIT better, but this pic really did catch its good side.  It certainly failed to live up to the hype, IMO...

So, what have we got this year?

Smaller than last year's tree, but nice proportions, and multi-coloured lights!  I think it is rather nice!  Hopefully I will catch it after dark soon, so we can really see how good it is.

Anyway, we have failed to make national news this year, we can hold our heads high again!