Monday, June 25, 2007

Here's To Dreams

I came across this on one of the blogs I read. Like them, I’m not watching the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ show but this clip is certainly an uplifting indicator of what they can occasionally find. Apparantly the singer is a chap called Paul Potts who works for the Carphone Warehouse, earns a bit extra stacking shelves at Tesco and has always wanted to sing opera. Here’s to dreams! (And here’s to hoping he can sing more than one song that well!!)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Being Alive

Well, I think it’s a while since I’ve griped to my blog, so you are probably overdue a dose of self-pity. I’m feeling run down lately and could really do with a holiday. There’s outstanding issues with both the old and the new landlords which just feels like it’s never going to end. The finances are still in a state from the move. Work seems to be a never-ending list of important things that all need to be done as soon as possible.

I didn’t help myself yesterday either; there was some work taking place at the office and I went in with Rob & Gaetan. I shouldn’t have really; Rob was more than capable of running the day, which is what I let him do so, while I got some useful thinking and planning done, it was really a long, wasted day. I also missed hearing the Chorus sing at West End Live.

Friday night had been a bit more enjoyable though; Mike G from work had invited us along to the ‘First Anniversary’ of his housewarming party. He has a lovely house between Greenwich and Deptford; quite modern, built over four floors with a room on each floor and large windows to front and back. The party was on the roof terrace where he’d laid out food and fired up a barbeque. It was quite chilly, but the food and drink were good and it was nice to socialise with people from work a bit. I don’t do that enough.

Today has been all about taking it easy; It’s taken me all day to wash all of the dishes that were stacked in the kitchen. Admittedly I didn’t do them all in one session, but there were quite a few of them because one way or another I just haven’t gotten around to doing any this week…

In between times we’ve been watching West Wing DVDs and surfing blogs and Facebook.

I need a holiday.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Vertical Farms

A farm that provides;
  • Year round crop production in a controlled environment
  • All produce would be organic as there would be no exposure to wild parasites and bugs
  • Elimination of environmentally damaging agricultural runoff
  • Food being produced locally to where it is consumed
Once you've covered the environmental impact of building the thing, it might just work...

See here for more.

Monday, June 18, 2007

We Are the Champions

Feeling good today. We eventually made it to Vinny’s party around 3pm on Saturday and that was all very pleasant; a good mix of choristers, his singing students and friends. The feature of the garden was a massive fishpond heavily stocked with coy carp and giant goldfish – although it did have a little metal bridge across it which made me think of a James Bond villain’s hideout…

We got pleasantly drunk and then got a phone call from Rosie saying they’d watched the Heroes finale at Ruths without us, so instead of going on there we headed home. We pigged-out on pizza and ice cream for dinner. (Classy!)

Sunday wasn’t such fun though; I woke up with the beginnings of a migraine episode, realised I didn’t have any of the preventative pills left and had to make do with damping the symptoms while moping around listlessly all day.

Today I was back at work and the leftover fatigue and nausea cleared out by late afternoon. Our new Helpdesk guy, Maliq, started work today – although I only got to chat with him for a short while in between triaging my inbox after a week away. Then tonight I was at Chorus and feeling healthy again. All went smoothly, had a nice chat with Martin B (the German one) and later Paul G. After we’d cleared up and I was heading home I left with the sounds of We Are The Champions ringing in my ears; so much better sung live by a hundred men than on a CD by a few!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Packed Social Diary

What is it about Saturday, 16th June?

It seems to be the day when everyone is planning something. Brett and I have received no less than four invitations to events today, we have the parents down to help with the garden and I hear on the radio that three Premiership footballers plan to marry today. I don't know about the footballers but compared to a normal weekend, that's a lot of stuff happening.

In other news, I am qualified to provide First Aid again - must remember to do more frequent refreshers this time so it doesn't expire again. The whole process seemed easier this time though, despite a few nerves in yesterday's assessment.

Next week at work sees my new Helpdesk guy starting with us. It's taken a while to get to this point and I'll be glad to get the whole team together finally - although it turns out that Gaetan is on a training course Monday/Tuesday so he'll miss the welcome lunch (something which I'm sure he's going to groan loudly about!)

Brett is currently suffering from a bad back. Unlike me after moving house, there was no obvious cause for it and I'm still not convinced that it's muscular in origin rather than being a disk problem but I think we're giving it a couple more days on Ibuprofen before getting the medical services involved.

Right, off for breakfast and thence to B&Q and thence to Vinny's birthday party and thence to Ruth's barbecue and thence to Tom's performance...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Butterfly Effect

For the rest of the week I'm on a First Aid course in Islington. Whilst out exploring the area at lunchtime I came across buildings belonging to City University and was reminded that I'd applied for a place there many years ago. I eventually took up a place in Dundee and spent six years based in Scotland instead but today I wondered what I might have ended up doing if I'd gone to City instead.

It's the unanswerable question of course, but it did make me realise how much of my life turned on the decision to go to Dundee rather than City. I would never have met Rod or Jess and the chances are that they may never have met each other either. I would never have met Simon or Bruce, so Rosie would never have met (or married, or divorced) him either. I would never have gotten involved with Saga and so likely would not have travelled nearly as much as I have. That travelling had quite a major effect on my outlook on the world and I think broadened my mind considerably.

Who would I be in that universe? Would I have completed the electronics course I applied for and gone straight into industry? Would I have joined the Chorus earlier? Would I have joined it at all? Where would I be living today and with whom?

The whole thought process really only occurred because we watched a movie called The Butterfly Effect on TV the other evening. It’s unnerving is all, to think how foreign my life could have been from this standpoint…

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Aftermath of the Relocation

Unfortunately, the second half of the move didn’t go quite as smoothly as the first; on day two they realised that the van wasn’t going to be big enough for all our stuff and asked for a transit van to be sent from their depot. Somehow it got sent to our new address rather than the old one which caused a couple of hour’s delay. When we finally cleared out of Wimbledon, Brett and I drove over to the new place to wait for them… and wait for them… and wait for them. It transpired that the big van had broken down. The smaller van arrived in due course though and they unloaded its contents. The subsequent two hour wait was made only marginally more bearable by the eye-candy provided some of the very well-built movers, relaxing in the sun…

An unfortunate clash of dates that we couldn’t change meant that we had tickets to the previews of Drowsy Chaperone on the night we moved but as the time approached there was still no sign of the van, so we decided that Brett should go into town to hand out the tickets to our group and I would join them as soon as possible. In the end this meant I joined them for aftershow drinks, but at least by then everything of ours was in the new flat and mostly in good shape.

I took the next day (Friday) off work and, as it was a Bank Holiday weekend that meant we had four days to get the place in shape. Even so, as I sit here a week later, while we may have everything out of boxes, there are still piles of things lying around waiting to be found a home. Compared to Wimbledon, the bathroom and kitchen are very small and lacking in storage space, consequently we have made several trips to various furniture outlets looking for shelves and cabinets with quite specific dimensions. Hopefully by the end of today we will have sourced the right combination and can begin to shift the piles lining the hallways.

In between all of that I had arranged to take some pictures of Richard S (ex-chorister Martin N’s partner) for his website, so he will be turning up shortly too. Oh for a weekend off to enjoy the sunshine!