Wednesday, 30 January 2008
PS thanks for all the comments on my last post!
Thursday, 24 January 2008
Today, the truly wonderful Princess of the Universe has given me the "You make my day" award. Isn't that nice of her?
Before passing this on, I will share a few things that make my day.
- People smiling. A very simple thing, but it is amazing how many people just can't seem to manage it. Sometimes I wonder if people are worried that the top of their head is going to fall off!
- Catching up on everyone's blogs.
- Nice things to eat. At the weekend Number 1 Son tried making American Pancakes with Maple Syrup. They were amazingly good.
- Relaxing with my family. There is nothing like it.
- Walking my dog. Regardless of the weather it is a great way to end the day.
- Music. I love music. Hearing a good song or tune can keep me going all day.
Another thing that makes my day is seeing comments on my blog, whether from those that I have known for a while or from new visitors. I have met some incredible people through blogging and it still amazes me that they take the time to come here to see my latest piece of drivel.
So, I now have to pass this award on. Well I have come up with a great way of doing this. If you make a comment to this post you will have "made my day", so you get the award. How about that for cunning?
So, comment away and claim your Major Award!
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Check out the door! And there are still people who think that having something that was Made in Britain is a good thing!
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
This is the view across the city from a hill that overlooks it - the city is shrouded in mist but the Cathedral's towers are just visible about a third of the way in from the left.
Thought I would take this opportunity to say that I will not be around much next week as my wife is having her gall bladder removed on Monday and the rest of that week at least is going to be pretty hectic to say the least! Wish us luck. Those that know our story will be aware that going into the hospital will be bringing back some very unpleasant memories.
Monday, 21 January 2008
Canterbury City Centre. Bombed flat during the Second World War, and rebuilt, the last 10 years have seen a rolling redevelopment of this area. Looks much better than the old 1950s buildings used to.
The newest part of the University that I work at - or at least it will be!
I told you it was windy!
Friday, 18 January 2008
This is a picture taken in The Lake District, one of Britain's best mountain areas.
In the UK, Mountain Rescue teams are unpaid volunteers, but they are getting really annoyed with people who just don't use these areas sensibly - going out in unsuitable clothing, without drinks and food, in silly weather (someone was recently killed because the wind blew him off a cliff).
They are now making public some of the "Emergency" calls they get from walkers and climbers. Here are 2 examples that really stuck in my mind:
A group of walkers called the Rescue services for help.
They were getting tired and did not want to walk any further.
Another group called and asked for a helicopter to pick them up.
The walk was taking longer than expected and were in danger of being late for a dinner party.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!!!!
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Anyway, my neice has let slip at school that she is learning bass, and has now been nominated as class bass player in the school's Arts Festival that is rather closer than is comfortable. She has got to learn "Wonderwall" by Oasis.
(Sorry, I could not work out how to do it the fancy way - maybe Terri can give me pointers?)
So we then had an hour of fun working it out, her on bass, me on guitar, singing along very badly. I was very impressed with how quickly she picked it up. Next week we will see if we can fit in a few twiddles to make it more interesting.
I also suggested to her that she try to persuade the teacher that they should modify it a bit. Anyone know of this wonderful version by Mike Flowers?
Now I am not normally one to favour cover versions of songs - they are rarely an improvement on the original and tend to show a lack of imagination when done by professionals. OK for amatures of course! I think this version is great, partly because I am not really an Oasis fan, everyone, (including themselves) seeming to think that they are much better than they really are, but also because he has really reworked the song and not just done a straight copy.
What do you think?
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
Rock Chef: Recovery Possible
What? Eh? Who is writing about me? What can I recover from?
Then I looked closer and saw that I had misread it:
Rock Chief: Recover Possible (Story here)
Huh, not about me after all, just talk about a troubled British bank (Northern Rock) that you may or may not have heard about.
But this got me wondering. Have I just gone slightly mad? I mean, who in their right mind would see a news headline that seemed to refer to an alias of theirs and even consider the thought that it was about them? OK, so maybe I have always been a bit unhinged but this feels just a bit extreme even for me!
What do you think?
Monday, 14 January 2008
Oh, something that the sadistic among you may enjoy. After being at work for around an hour I looked down and realised that the trousers I am wearing have a split in the crotch. Aren't staplers a wonderful invention?
Friday, 11 January 2008
in a rushing, rising river.
And the river crept out of its bed
and it crept right into Piglet's!
I woke up this morning to the sound of torrential rain drumming on my window. Ergh, not my favourite way of starting the day.
Breakfast was Banofee Porridge (yum) which made me feel a bit better about the impending journey.
Then I set off on my bike - it was still pouring with rain with a nice head-wind, just to make it really good. The roads were totally awash, with water gushing off the fields on either side, turning the roads into small rivers. The spray from passing cars was incredible - I am sure I did my bit to increase the average happiness of the drivers as they hammered past sending huge arcs of water over me.
Just how wet can someone get? By the time I arrived at work I was totally soaked, my water proof coat having given up long ago. Still it is supposed to stop at the skin, isn't it? I am not so sure now, I felt distinctly sponge-like as I got changed into my work clothes.
There was one positive side to this, though. My hair feels WONDERFUL and I can feel myself flicking it from side to side like someone in a shampoo ad on TV.
Wonder if I can fit in the phrase "I'm worth it" at some point today?
Thursday, 10 January 2008
I don't expect much. I ask him to do a simple task and he either sits there doing nothing, or suggests an alternative way of doing things. No, I don't want that - if that was what I wanted, that is what I would have asked for. Just do the job, PLEASE!
And the worst thing is that no matter how bad things get between us, I am stuck with him for the foreseeable future.
Hal is, of course, our new photocopier!
PS Please do not be too shocked that I have changed my colour scheme!
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
I went to several shops - most said that it was an old size that would have to be ordered in specially. In one shop, though, I was told that although they were currently out of stock it was normally kept in stock and they would have more in again in the New Year. Great, I would wait until the New Year.
New Year arrived and I returned to the shop, only to be told by the same guy that it was an old size and was not worth carrying as a stock item. He could order it for me specially, though...
Annoyed? You bet! Going back there again? What do you think?
When someone is trying to sell you something you tend to expect a bit of BS at times, don't you? You are ready for it. This just rubbed me up the wrong way.
Another shop that annoyed me was one that claimed to be selling only second hand guitars and equipment. Looking around there was clearly a lot of second hand stuff, but mixed in was a load of stuff that looked brand new - a dozen or more guitars by the same, rather obscure, company for starters. No, they are all second hand and therefore have no guarantee. Where they cheaper than comparable instruments just up the road. Not really! Don't think I will be buying one of those then! I popped in again a couple of days ago, just out of curiousity and heard a guy in there admitting that some of the stuff was actually new. Wonder if someone called them on the scam?
Oh, nearly forgot the worst one! A couple of years ago went to a shop that offered you a £5 voucher for every £25 you spent. Great! We spent over £100 and got 4 vouchers. When I went back to spend them a week or so later I was informed that in order to use the vouchers I had to spend ANOTHER £25 per voucher! Mad? Frothing at the mouth? You bet! I asked to talk to the manager - there was nothing written on the voucher stating these terms. In fact there were NO terms on the vouchers! The manager stood by what I was told earlier. I got out my mobile and said that if he did not honour the vouchers right there I would be ringing a friend of mine in Trading Standards, followed by a national newspaper. Guess what? He suddenly changed his mind! Yay me!
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
On December 31, the UK finished paying back the money it borrowed from the USA to pay for our recovery after the Second World War. Amazingly, everything that the USA sent to us DURING the war was free - food, tanks, ships, aeroplanes, the lot! That was something that I had not realised, the term "Lend Lease" implying that we were paying for the stuff, at least to me!
After the war we needed to rebuild, well, just about everything and our good friends over the pond gave massive loans at very low rates so that we could do it.
Possibly a coinsidence, I noticed a report today that announced that living standards in the UK might be about to overtake those in the US for the first time since the 17th Century (ie when England owned America). Could it be that this is because we will have stopped paying off our loan and will be able to put the money to better use at home? Will the US really be missing our payments that much? I sincerely doubt it! But just in case, George, if you want a loan...
Monday, 7 January 2008
While suffering I did manage to watch one of my presents - the "Die Hard Quadrilogy"! I love those movies, so I started at number 1 and went though them all.
One present that I have only had half hearted stabs at so far is a music program. So far I have done a couple of simple blues backing tracks (drums and bass only) for me to play along to. It has been great fun so far and I hope to be able to do some interesting stuff with it. I just don't have the time to get into a band at the moment (and I certainly don't have the patience for a lot of the problems that bands can cause) so this seems like the perfect answer to my musical interests and should allow me to work on a couple of songs that have been half written for rather too long.
So, what will 2008 have in store? My crystal ball is very fuzzy at the moment but I can see a video blog or 2 coming at some point - hey, maybe I will play guitar too! That has been a long time coming...