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Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Banking Holiday


A great weekend ahead, what with all the shenanigans that are going on. I'll be more than happy to keep out of the way of work for a couple of days and the roller coaster pain that is this current deal. Not quite there yet, but as Scobi would say, ...and Relax...

Three days in London have taken their toll, and I seem to have picked up the hacking cough from the tall fella. He's got it bad though and is seriously in need of some R and R. Hopefully for him that's also just around the corner. We have both the hedge and the church seating back from their holidays on Tuesday, so that should help ease the burden somewhat. 

After a particularly long days slog of it on Monday, the evening saw the tall fella and I leave the office at the relatively early time of 6.30 in search of a beverage and some good food. We had half planned to visit a branch of Wahaca in Westfield - a stones throw from this weeks hotel, but events took a turn and it wasn't to be. Instead we ran into an old colleague in the executive lounge of the hotel and made a spur of the moment decision to visit a local hostelry in the vicinity - "The Castle" on Holland Park Avenue.  

What a great little boozer it is too.  It has that tiled frontage - not unlike The Imperial Inn of Gloucester fame but has managed to retain its class and stature in its community, where the Imperial has flagged and gotten faded and torn on the corners. Reasonably priced food, and fine selection of ales. Not a larger pub, but a wide selection of beer to choose from nonetheless. There was much reminiscing of the old days and we all had a generally enjoyable evening. On top of which, it wasn't a particularly late one either - which made a pleasant change. 

Commuting makes for some scenic London
Tuesday saw more planning, for the big push, while the tall fella spent the day with a Scotsman, who to be fair, could have done the same job on the phone in an hour long call.  However, this chap is performing a newly mandated service for which we have the undoubted pleasure of being one of the first teams to have to use, along with all the executive help that can muster to pick the bones out of it. It's not like we've got anything else to do is it?...  (I detect sarcasm -Ed)

The evening, which sadly was far later beginning at around 7.30 but the time DLT had switched his laptop off, was a fascinating one though.  During discussions the previous evening, the Hungarian restaurant "The Gay Hussar" had come up in conversation.  I'd heard of it, but never been and as DLT is of Hungarian descent, when the tall fella and I mentioned it to him, he was all to eager to give it a go.  It required a reservation, but was easily obtained. 


We made our way over there, arriving just in the nick of 8pm and were seats in this single room diner between two already full and noisy tables. To my immediate right were two gentleman engaged in very loud and action packed conversation of the upper class twit kind that I found an absolute delight to listen to. Sadly there were so feverish and at such a high volume that it made the conversation on our table nearly audible for me.

The goings on of the upper class, who had horrendous stories to telly about such subjects as his builder (a bloody good snooker player) and a local farmer and Mrs farmer who had come back to his house from the pub while his wife was away skiing, consumed very many bottles of wine and smoked too many fags in the "playroom", were a constant distraction. Still Jeremy had Julian had a good time - and made me thankful for the fact that I don’t have to move in their circle too often.

We rounded the evening off with a glass of something horrible that the Hungarian people swear by - and I can see why. I too was swearing.... and coughing and spluttering.  Amazing what you can do with a potato....  OK, OK, so it’s not made from potato (mostly fruit and herbs I think) but regardless - it put me in mind (and stomach) of Poitín or poteen or puchine or whatever that potato based vodka stuff is called.

Wednesday and more whipping the unwell Equus. I’m flip flopping over this deal being great or terrible in equal measure. There really is no way of knowing. The Wednesday evening train home was a blessing.

Thursday was a working from home and catching up with paperwork kind of day - along with the arrival of superfast hyperquick and other speedy type words used to describe our new broadband connection.  We’ve leapt from a paltry 4Mb connection up to a whopping 40Mb. Wow, what a difference that has made - with streaming whassnames all over the place.  The installation was hassle free and in fact I’d go as far to say it was a doddle. Fantastic - although there was one downside. The corporate laptop decided it was “too fast for me” - and promptly blue screened. And inn fact continued to do so, until I figured out what was causing it such ills.  It was a similar problem to that which the badman had experienced a few months ago - although with the added benefit of problems caused by the “Neat & Tidy Piano Movers” - which the badman also directed me towards. A name that will stick and we’re bound to hear more of in the future.

And so to the weekend - for it’s is a bank holiday one and containing daughter’s birthday.
Let the fun and games commence...

Until next time.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Summertime and the living isn't yet easy...

The end of a tough week and the start of another one. Last week was emotionally challenging, but we all got through it and I held my head up and stayed strong, especially for those that needed that to be. Not quite the same "behind closed doors" mind, but you do realise what's important in your world and that's a great comfort. Generally, it's alright - no longer the same, but alright.

 

Tuesday and Wednesday were the funeral and we started tidying up her loose ends. I'm becoming extremely well versed in the way that probate works and the importance of getting this subject as sorted as possible for your future whilst not allowing the money grabbing solicitors to dip their hands in when families are most vulnerable. It's not as complex as they would have you believe - and a bit of research goes a by long way.

 

Thursday was back to work, but from home, and what seems to be a general level of chaos going on. Friday was a day off. To be fair, I haven't been particularly focused on the work (for obvious reasons) so I'm not really sure what sort of condition it's in. I do realise though, that the tall fella has got a lot on his plate. This week, "The Hedge" is on holiday still as is "the church seating" and so it's just him and me. On top of that the bid budget has been stripped to a minimum in the run up to BAFO. Methinks someone doesn't want to win this, and I hope that's true. Might well be best to just put it out of its misery. But mine is not to reason why and all that...

 

Friday and Saturday saw both daughter and Mrs G tucked up in bed with the flu, well some sort of virus thing. Aching and spluttering, both the same. I seem to have dodged the bullet, but spent Friday with daughter sat on the sofa watching films and generally feeling sorry for herself. By Saturday she was greatly recovered and while not 100% had elected to join some of her friends to watch the Rugby. Experience tells me this would be a bad move, but this is how your kids learn....

 

Just as you feel you've recovered, you need another 8 hours - just to be certain. Probably best not to go out in the cold and party. So by Sunday morning she was back to square one - poor love. Mrs G on the other hand, had fully recovered by taking it easy. Just as well, because Sunday also saw us moving in the first of our two lodgers.

 

Son is back. Having bought him some eye catching travel books for christmas, the penny has dropped and he's announced he's going on a "Grand Tour" - which I think is a particularly good idea of his - even with a tiny nudge from us, and it turns out that I'm quite jealous about it. He's off to Africa as a volunteer for a couple of months, and then on his return is taking a further 9 months to travel the globe - having procured a round the world ticket. Now is the right time for him, before he gets a mortgage and married and kids and a general level of commitment that might stop him from doing it. He'll keep in touch on his travels, and I'm very much looking forward to hearing all about it - although I'd far rather be doing it too. Still, no regrets and that. He's a lucky fella, and our contribution will be the savings he makes in rent while he's with us for a couple of months.

 

The upside here, is that his mother is very much looking forward to having him around for a while. The downside is she'll be in a constant state of worry when he goes off again. There is no way to win this though. It will be what it will be.

 

The second lodger is joining us from this evening. This is just a short term thing (I think :-s) where a friend of Mrs G's (and latterly mine) just needs a place to stay while she finds her feet after a change of job from London back to the countryshire. She's a good person, and fun to be around, so it'll be interesting for Mrs G and I to have a full house again - albeit just for a short while.

 

For now, it's Monday, and as has become the norm (of sorts) once again I'm back on the train to our capital city. It's damn cold - in fact, this has to be the coldest March (almost April) that I've ever known. There's been some serious amounts of snow in the northern parts of the country and it genuinely feels like winter bis back already. Bizarre when this coming weekend is Easter and the clocks will be going forward for the start of British Summer Time...

 

This week also sees the arrival of superfast broadband in the golfyball household. The lightening speeds of fibre optic should be arriving on Thursday I believe, and I'm very much hoping that a download speed of 40megabits will be achieved. I write this number here, so that in the not too distant future, I'll be able to look back and laugh at the pathetic speeds we endure. Before long, speed won't be an issue to anyone, and things will just happen... This is entirely a first world issue though - and on that basis hardly worth mentioning but I will add, that it wasn't that long ago that 600, 1200 and even 2400 baud was considered a very fast connection. And so the world turns.

 

Stay safe, until next time...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Active Reform

Sat next to an Active Reformer on the train into the city this morning. He was Actively Reforming all the way in. You really shouldn't do that sort of thing on the train you know. I could see every reform he made. Hardly democratic is it ? Numpty.

What with that and Cyprus about to explode and tomorrow's funeral, the planet seems a bit screwed up in my little bubble.

Ho hum.. Onwards and downwards.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Passed...

An emotional weekend. Nothing more to add for now.

It's Tuesday and I'm back on the train to London. I can't say I'm particularly focused. Things that seemed important suddenly aren't. Life is in perspective. The important things aren't what you might think they are. They're the things right under your nose. The people you love.

The funeral is on Tuesday. I've written the eulogy. It will be a "difficult" day.

Right, onto a lighter note for a bit. It's Cheltenham week. Mrs G and I are regular attendees at the races. Great atmosphere, on our doorstep, we'd be mad to miss it. Unfortunately we don't have tickets this year, and the touts will charge significantly extra, so instead on Friday we'll be in Cheltenham, but not at Cheltenham. I'm a little disappointed, but events have rather overtaken us, so it will be what it will be.

There will still be an amazing atmosphere. I'll have money on anything "Aud" related just because she'd be amused, and you never know your luck.

If you're looking to spend some "loosings" I'd recommend the following as a great way to give money to a bookie in need. Seriously, just £10 per race can keep a bookie in betting slips and those little pens for a month. They need you....

Our Mick in the 2.40 today... Afterall, our Michael would be proud....


Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Keeping on...

Life can be a bit rough on you sometimes, but I just try and keep on keeping on as my Nan says.

She's a tough old boot, but at 93 she's starting to show signs of a life well lived. Sadly she's taken a bit of a fall and now finds herself sat in hospital gently nursing a duodenal ulcer while we're all hoping it doesn't bleed her to her final resting place.

I am a realist. I know that at some point, she will leave us, and I don't want her to suffer unnecessarily, but equally, I don't want her to go. She's the last of a generation in our family and an inspiration in her longevity. She still has a wicked sense of humour, even if she's not 100% certain how old she is, or what's happening in the world - she hasn't got any serious level of Alzheimer's - but the Internet and all that that implies could just as well be something on another planet for all she cares. She still managed to make an appearance on FaceTime over Christmas though....

Aud Does FaceTime

Her carefree (oh well, not to worry) attitude is what has kept her going, got her through the wars and her time as an engineers wife, and a hard-working mum, grandmother and step-great grandmother (not that steps bother her - just another thing to climb over). She's been on her own for the best part of 20 years - since my grandfather passed, and still she soldiers on .

We had dinner with her in a local pub for her birthday a couple of weeks ago, and she was on fine form. She ate and drank more than I did. Was warm hearted, enjoyed the attention and her presents and as she put it "I'm still here, keeping on keeping on"

For now, I have everything crossed for her, and while I'm not a particular religious person, there's a prayer in my heart for her future.

This situation, along with the job, is filling my waking moments this week and has generally left me too drained to write much (ado) about anything, but taking a little inspiration from "Aud" I'll "keep on" as well... So lets see...

We delivered the wild beast to the client after patching it up and it seems to have been well accepted. Now we have to start out waterfowl alignment programme in order to jump the last hurdle and try and get someone (anyone) to sign a piece of paper. To be honest with you, this particular job has been running for so long (well over a year now) that to me, the signature seems like an inevitability - whether that's a good thing or a bad thing for us in general, remains to be seen. Either way - it's a long slog and still has the odd mantrap waiting to scag your legs on at a moments notice.

I find myself back on the train up to the city - which is what's affording me the time in my schedule to put finger to screen, and write. It's no different from usual, beyond the fact that its daylight outside, so summer is clearly on its way, and thank god for that. 


The tube however (at least on the Circle Line) is a little different given that it's filled with new trains.  Bigger brighter, better trains with the facility to walk all the way down them as if they were one very long carriage.  A bit like an underground bendy bus.


All very "airy" for want of a better word.  Luckily, before I become too comfortable, I was able to revert to the normal "compact & smelly" trains of the Jubilee Line and all that that implies....

And so to business.... Whatever your doing, keep on keeping on....
 

Where is Golfyball?

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