Archive for January, 2007

Just a Quicky

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Oo-er missus!

I have my luvvly Gruntmobile back! Fully serviced, fitted with new batteries, and going like a dream. They didn’t valet her, but given how dirty she was I really don’t blame them. So there’s nothing to stand in the way of me getting to Fawley for chinese takeaway, salad etc.

There IS some other stuff, but that’s not for blogging yet. You’ll have to wait and see ;-)

Counting Chickens

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

In spite of the title, I don’t want to count chickens – but the signs look good for The Return of Grunty Gruntmobile. I hope so, because the hire car went back today, and I have an appointment with a chinese takeaway in Fawley tomorrow…oh, and with Sarah and the kids as well ;-) . Apparently they’ve put two new batteries in – that’s not a mistake, it’s what Grunty has – flushed through the fuel lines, and done a major service. So, I have to be at the garage at half eight in the morning to pick it up – which means I get to sleep late!

Other than that, the only thing to report is that we had a meal out from work yesterday: Sean, our boss, has left, so a crowd of us took him to a Harvester to give him a proper send-off – and yes, I had the salad!

OK, I didn’t only have the salad, but at least I tried :-)

Another Update

Monday, January 29th, 2007

I promised you a Gruntmobile update, didn’t I?

Well, Damon-from-the-garage came to collect it on Friday, bringing his jump-start outfit with him: sadly it wasn’t enough and Grunty still didn’t want to start :-( . To make things worse, the garage doesn’t have a recovery truck – apparently most don’t these days – and while I’m an RAC member, I don’t have Homestart.

Maximum respect to the RAC, though – when I rang to plead for a Homestart upgrade, and a collection the same day, they decided in light of my long membership, and how little I’ve used them, they’d give me a complimentary free home recovery. Which was nice. So Grunty got to the garage and, as you already know, I got the train to London.

Damon and his merry mechanical acolytes decided that a new battery was needed, and a few other bits to make sure it wouldn’t go wrong again. So Grunty had to stay in hospital until Tuesday (i.e. probably today as you read this), and I arranged a hire car to see me through – on which subject, even bigger respect to Kouros for the lift back from London, enabling me to get back before the hire place closed :-) . And to Claire – you were right about Peugeot clutches, although the main issue has been that the engine is so quiet I keep forgetting to change gear. Which can’t be good.

Busy as a Busy Thing

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

It’s been a bit of a busy weekend.

After work on Friday, I trained up to Old London Town, then crossed town on t’underground to St Paul’s Youth Hostel – coincidentally very close to St Paul’s Cathedral – I only discovered exactly how close when I was trying to get to sleep later on – about the same time that I discovered that the bells of St Pauls chime every fifteen minutes :-(

The whole point of the thing was to meet some other geocachers in a pub: On the way, I visited TechnOLOGY, a virtual cache on the wall of a building I used to visit every two months for committee meetings! I wasn’t a cacher back in those days…then there was Sherlock 2 and A Meating Place for Martyrs, two virtual caches so close together that one of them wouldn’t be allowed these days, when caches have to be 0.1 miles apart.

At long last it was time to head for the pub, and Pharisee’s Stuff Tradition meet. I saw loads of old chums, including Mallers, Pharisee and his lady and Hi-Tek, and some new friends like Belplasca, Messe and Firth of Forth. After some beers and a fabby pub meal, it was back to the Youth Hostel to lay in bed and listen to the church bells and my dormitory mates snoring. I may have even slept at one point.

Saturday’s main event has been blogged about aplenty elsewhere, so I’ll just mention the three caches I found on the way: Last Delivery, an interesting cache hidden in a tiny park, followed by 16th Century Pub (probably the best-hidden virtual cache I’ve ever seen), and St Etheldreda’s.

This morning I had to be up really early, to go and be an Important Person at the Heartbreak Half Marathon, an off-road foot race around part of the New Forest. At least it stayed dry, although it was pretty darned cold, and we did our part pretty well. After the event was over, I had a bit of a quandary: Where I was located was really close to two caches I haven’t done yet – and at Winchester was a cache meet. I reasoned that the two caches would still be there another day, whereas The Fifth Winchester Cache Bash was only today – so I went to that.

I’m very tired, and this entry’s gone on long enough, fnaar fnaar – Gruntmobile update tomorrow.

Ignorance Part 1

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

There’s something I’ve never really understood about ignorance.

I’m not talking about general low-level ignorance, like people on Big Brother who forge a whole new career out of thinking that “East Angular” is abroad, or Weakest Link contestants who’ve never heard of the Suffragette movement. I’m thinking here of a whole new level of ignorance, what you might call “ignorant and proud of it”. It seems to be most prevalent in computing, where serious educated people will announce that they wouldn’t even know how to turn a computer on – and be proud of it. There’re loads of things I don’t know how to do – fix Gruntmobiles that won’t start, for example – but while my lack of knowledge in these specialist subjects doesn’t especially bother me, I’m not proud of it either.

There’s a quiz on the radio called Counterpoint: It has rounds on a variety of musical subjects, but while most of the competitors do well on classical music, and on rounds about jazz, country, folk etc, the usual response to a “pop” question is “I have absolutely no idea” – said in a tone of voice that clearly implies “I’m a serious music lover, how could you possibly expect me to know that?”.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I’d have thought that being in a quiz, and knowing nothing about a whole area of the subject, was nothing to be proud of. It’s a bit like going on Mastermind, with the specialist subject “The work of Terry Pratchett” and only knowing about the Discworld books because all the rest are for children and not serious adult readers – which incidentally isn’t true, try “Johnny and The Bomb” if you’ve never read any of his “children’s” series.

I’ll get down off my high horse now. Maybe there’ll be some more Gruntmobile news next time :-) .

Brrm Brrm etc

Friday, January 26th, 2007

So, Damon-the-Garage-Man came to collect Grunty yesterday.

He knew he was coming to collect it – rather than me taking it in – because it had been hard / impossible to start. He knew that it was almost certainly a battery failure. When he arrived to take it away – and it wouldn’t start because the battery had failed – he couldn’t do anything because he hadn’t brought his jump-starting kit with him. He’s supposed to have come today – with his jump start kit – for another try, but since I’m writing this last night to save time today, you’ll have to wait to see what happens/happened.

In the meantime – and not entirely connected – I’ve been looking at new cars. When I bought Grunty, I’d always wanted a mighty go-away 4×4, and it was always my plan to keep her for a couple of years to get the whole thing out of my system, then go back to a sensible car. The saving-up-for-a-new-car fund is looking healthier than I expected and I’ve had Grunty for three years now, so I’m looking around – although, assuming sorting the car out goes OK today, I’m intending to have one more Summer with the Gruntmobile and change around September-ish.

The factors I have to consider are –

  • Must be able to tow the caravan. Not much trouble, my caravan is tiny and almost anything will tow it, but I’d like a bit of reserve capacity: I’ll be lucky if I get another caravan this light, if this one fails and I need to replace it.
  • Must fit the budget. Obviously.
  • Must cruise reasonable distances – e.g. Southampton – Nottingham – with reasonable comfort and economy.
  • Must fit on the driveway – not as daft as it sounds, there’s a lot of cars I’d like that fail this one

Amazingly, if I choose carefully it looks as if there are a couple of cars that fit these parameters that I could get a brand new one within budget. Leading the pack at the moment are the Peugeot 206 and the Peugeot 207. Anyone got any comments?

Frustration

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Yesterday was a bit frustrating.

I told Sarah a couple of weeks ago, that I wouldn’t be round yesterday for our usual chinese takeaway / silly games / “talk of this ‘n that” evening – not because I was struck with voodoo-like psychic ability to predict car-nonstartingness, but because I had to go to Wiltshire to be a Very Important Person at a Very Important Meeting. Then yesterday morning – because of car-nonstartingness – I had to contact my excellent deputy, Brian, and ask him to drag himself from his sick bed and represent me at the meeting, because I didn’t fancy walking to Wiltshire and back.

“Ooh”, I thought, “I wonder if Sarah’s still free? I could go round after all.” Then I realised I didn’t have a car to get me there, and while I could have gone by bus, I’d have arrived at about 9 o’clock and had to leave about ten past. So that didn’t seem like a very good use of my time. I resolved instead to spend the evening at my workbench, doing a bit more on the previously-referenced little project that I’m doing for Sarah.

Before starting on that, I thought I’d just try starting the Gruntmobile, to see what happened. Would you Adam and Eve it? The darned thing went. I took it for a run to at least get it warmed up, but decided not to actually go anywhere, just in case I got somewhere and it wouldn’t start when I wanted to go home.

Which was a good choice, because when Damon-the-Garage-Man arrived to take it away this morning, it wouldn’t start :-(

This morning’s students-on-the-train revision subject was Chemistry. I didn’t know any of the answers.

Train-ing

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

And another thing – on the subject of public transport: You get on the train, it pulls away from the station, and there’s an announcement on the public address:
“You must buy a ticket for the whole of your journey before you get on one of our trains”.

What’s the point of telling me that now?

Ahem – anyway, the train this morning was full of sixth-form student girlies all revising like mad for their biology exam which, to judge by their last minute panic, is today. The four nearest me were revising the Krebs Cycle.

“What’s that molecule at the bottom called?”
“Errrrrmmmmmm”
“You know, the one after Oxalosuccinate…”
“Oh no, umm….”

At which point the short bearded bald bloke sitting in the corner and reading “Environment Management and Ecology” 1 chips in with…

“alpha-Ketoglutarate”

Goodness knows where I dredged that up from, but the girlies were dead impressed, and better still a quick Google confirms it was even the right answer :-) . With a bit of luck it also got them panicking even more, that on the morning of their exam they don’t know something so simple that even a random old bloke on the train knows the answer ;-)

1 Don’t bother – I’m rapidly realising why it was the cheapest one on the reading list.

Bah

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

I mentioned recently a bit of trouble getting my most excellent Gruntmobile started.

It did it again this morning – leaving me to get into work on the train, complete with briefcase and a chocolate celebration cake. The cake was to share with some of m’work colleagues, as a “thank you” for the support and encouragement they’ve given me while I’ve been doing my diploma.

Considering Bliar’s goverment wants us all to use public transport, it’s pretty rubbish, isn’t it? The busses in Southampton seem to be timed to make sure you don’t quite make the train, and have to sit on a freezing platform watching the world go by. And then when you get off the train – having had your ticket checked about thirty seconds before – you then have to join a queue of about a million people to have it checked again.

Still, Grunty is booked into the garage on Thursday, and they’ve promised they’ll have her sorted out for the weekend. And the chocolate cake was yummy too :-D

Oh, and “Thing Wot I Learned Today” – if you decide to walk home from the station to make up for missing the gym – and it’s freezing cold – use the loo before you leave the station!

I Promised You a Miracle

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Actually, I didn’t – which is quite lucky really, ‘cos it would’ve been a wicked lie. But I DID promise you an update on my researches into what my future academic endeavours may be. But if I’d titled this entry “I Promised You an Update on My Researches into What My Future Academic Endeavours May Be”, for a start it would have been in the running for the Longest Blog Title Ever Award, and it wouldn’t have been a song title – which I like to use whenever possible. Plus, if I’d called it that, none of you would still have been reading by now. Maybe none of you are anyway.

Anyway, you’ll be pleased to know that my research into my Ongoing Professional Development programme – imposed by the professional body I belong to – have revealed that it shouldn’t be too onerous. The point of the OPD is to make sure that people registered as Chartered Safety Practitioners don’t just have academic qualifications, they actually have some experience too, so the programme is designed so that most people doing Health and Safety for a living will be able to meet most of the requirements without any additional input. Even better, I should be able to count some of the H&S stuff I do for various voluntary organisations for points :-) .

So, some form of self-motivated study endeavour looks on the cards. You’ll remember that my choices were between various environmental qualifications, or some kind of A-level. Can you imagine how excited I was to discover there’s an Environmental Sciences A-level? Well, not very, actually, but it looks like a good choice.

Also on the short-list is Physics A-level – something I always regretted not doing when I was in the sixth form. I did Physics O-level and got an “A” grade with my eyes shut, so I’d have found the A-level much easier than the Biology one that I did.

There may be others added to the list before I finish, so we’ll see how we get on. I’ll let you know what I decide – I’m sure you’re on tenterhooks to know.

Missing Targets and Taking Advice

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

The more aware among you will have noticed a couple of things have vanished from the header of GottleBlog.

The first, of course, is the “exams and assignments progress” graphic, and if you don’t know why that’s no longer needed, you haven’t been paying attention to the story so far ;-) . Once I get started on whatever I decide to do next, I’ll put an appropriate progress chart up for you all to laugh at.

The other is the “gym calories against target” graphic. I was talking to one of the trainers in the gym yesterday, and he suggested a major change to the way I’m working out. His point – which makes sense when you think about it – is that I’ve been spending too much time on the bits of kit I enjoy, mainly the treadmill. It’ll do far more good to spend time on the bits of kit I don’t like – even if I can’t do as long a workout or burn as many calories. I’m trying out his suggested pattern for a month to see how it goes, and part of that is that I’m not recording how many calories I burn.

I started the new rgime this afternoon. If how much it hurts afterwards is any measure, it’s going to work :-)

Things

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

I had about ten things I needed to do today.

And they were on top of the thing I wanted to do that got cancelled ‘cos someone wasn’t well. Still, that can happen another day :-) . I was delayed by technology issues early on, but I DID manage to make a start on a little job I’ve been promising Sarah I’d do for ages – the good news is, Sarah, the test rig is assembled and I’ve every confidence of making it work sometime this milennium :-) .

I never made it to the cashpoint machine or to the building society to pay a cheque in, but I DID get to do a cache – huzzah! I did the first two locations on a mighty multicache last weekend: Today I finished off Spidey 8755. The cache page shows this as being about three miles walking, but having done the first bit – and with a hint I’d spotted in someone’s log for another cache – I’d deduced where the route went and was able to use a different car park involving less walking. According to the GPS I did 2.98 miles, so that was a success :-) .

You’ll have noticed that of ten things, I seem to have only done two. I’d better get on…

1984 and All That

Friday, January 19th, 2007

I’ve got a great idea for the next series of Big Brother.

What they ought to do, is fill the BB House with disabled people, then set them impossible challenges. They could have a one-legged man, so everyone could laugh at how useless he is in the arse-kicking contest: They could play blind man’s buff with real blind men: They could have pin the tail on the donkey with Jade Goody.

I know – it’s tasteless and offensive, isn’t it? Needless to say, I don’t really mean it. But how exactly does what I’ve suggested differ from the last series, and the shameless exploitation of Tourettes sufferer Pete Bennet in the name of “entertainment”? I know Pete volunteered to be there – but if the one-legged or blind men in the scenarios I’ve suggested volunteered, would that make it right? The whole cynical shamelessness of the thing was highlighted at the end of the final show, where Davina McCall – after Pete had been left for a while to stew on the fact that he’d won – announced “You are live on Channel 4 – please do not swear”. If she’d asked a physically disabled person to stop limping she’d have been so villified she’d never have worked again – yet somehow this was just passed off as part of the format.

What I’m leading up to, of course, is the current furore around the current series of Has-Been Celebrity Big Brother. I’ve not been watching it so I can’t comment directly on what’s been going on – but what I can say is that it isn’t surprising. Since its inception, the Big Brother format has been pushing the boundaries of good taste and decency – and that’s putting it charitably – so no-one should be surprised that it’s now reached the stage it has.

Channel 4, meanwhile, are rubbing their hands with glee: So much attention has been given to what’s going on – in the newspapers and television news, in parliament, even on Radio 4 for goodness’ sake – that even people who don’t watch Big Brother are fully up-to-date on events in the House. They’ve never had such widespread publicity on rival networks – and even ex-sponsors Carphone Warehouse have done themselves more good by suspending their sponsorship of the programme than if they’d never been involved. The TV company will defend it by saying it’s popular entertainment – if that’s a justification, let’s build a coliseum and have gladiators fighting to the death, that was always popular. They also claim it’s just a reflection of what goes on in the outside world. Hmm – televised dog-fighting, anyone?

I don’t for one moment mean to suggest that racism, bullying, and disability awareness aren’t important subjects: What I’m saying is that they’re too important to be used as pawns to boost the ratings of third-rate game shows.

Whither?

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

No, not “wither” – although the way I feel at the moment, having got up early this morning to go to a meeting on the Isle of Wight (which was cancelled because the weather stopped the ferries running), it may as well be.

But rather “whither”, as in, “where next?”. Those of you in tune with the subtle nuances of the unspoken may have deduced that at long last I’ve completed my diploma – with a “credit” grade, no less :-) . So what do I do now? “Nothing” isn’t an option, given that the professional body now need me to do two years professional development to qualify for “Chartered Safety Practitioner” status, and besides, I’ve got a taste for this studying thing. Options I’m considering at the moment are:

A masters degree (MSc) in Occupational Health and Safety: These are offered in distance learning format by a number of universities, and from the prospecti I’ve looked at, would involve about as much work as the diploma did.

An environmental diploma (SpDipEM): Not as off-the-wall as it sounds, a lot of Health and Safety professionals have environmental management in their job descriptions, in fact the main diploma is accredited by the same examining board as the Health and Safety diploma.

These first two options while the most desirable in terms of career development are rendered unlikely by their high cost, combined with the fact that work currently have a freeze on all non-essential spending. I suspect that helping me to gain a qualification which would improve my chances of leaving would be considered non-essential for business purposes. Even if I self-funded, work would need to support me with time off for the residential elements, and support for the work-based projects.

So given that self-funding looks like being a prerequisite, let’s examine some cheaper options:

An alternative environmental qualification (AIEMA) looks quite interesting, and can be achieved by self-study – although I’m not sure how much cheaper it would prove to be in the end, the first book on the recommended reading list is eighty-five squids :-( . I’ve ordered a couple of the cheaper books from Amazon, I’ll see how interested I still am when I’ve read them!

A while ago, I thought that A-level Business Studies would be a sensible next step, given that although I’ve worked in industry for twenty five years, all I really know about how businesses work is what I’ve picked up as I go along. It might help convince a future potential employer that while I know loads of theory, I’ve also got a foot firmly in the real world of work as well.

Something totally different can’t yet be discounted either. For several years my chum Mark the Buddhist made a hobby of doing an A-level a year, none of which were related to his work, they were just subjects he was interested in and wanted to learn more about. I might consider that, if when I get my Ongoing Professional Development programme agreed it allows some reasonable spare time.

Finally, some of you will remember that a while ago I was considering training to be a magistrate: I haven’t completely forgotten that one, but again it’ll have to wait until I know how much input the OPD needs.

Mighty Minibus Mania

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

In a comment on my blog about minibus refreshers, Omally said “Im slightly concerned that Ive driven a minibus for the w**rks Three Peaks Challenge twice now and not taken any tests at all. I wonder if Im legal to drive minibuses?.

The legal situation is a bit muddly, but basically to drive a minibus – as long as you’re not being paid to drive it – all you need is the “D1″ entitlement on your licence: If you passed your ordinary car test on or before 31st December 1996 you’ll almost certainly have this, but older drivers be warned: When you renew your car licence on your 70th birthday the D1 entitlement is not automatically renewed! If you’re over 70 or you passed your test since 1997 you won’t have the entitlement without another test.

What muddies the water is that most local authorities insist on some form of further training before you drive a minibus owned by them – school, youth group, church minibus etc (our church minibus is actually owned by Dial-a-Ride, which is operated by Hampshire County Council). Usually it’s a requirement of the insurance. Hampshire operate the MiDAS scheme (Minibus Driver Awarenes Scheme) as do a lot of other county councils, although some – such as Sussex and Warwickshire – operate their own.

So that’s why I commented about being “legal to drive the church minibus”.

Not as Much About Caching As It Looks

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

I’m sure I’ve mentioned webcam caches before.

It’s one of the easiest types of cache to claim: you just find the spot identified by the cache owner, stand in front of the webcam and arrange for a chum sitting in front of a computer to take a picture. They e-mail you the picture, you post it on the cache page, and voila – or other stringed instrument of your choice – you’ve logged another cache.

The reason I mention this at this time is that, although I don’t yet know full details, my graduation ceremony (did I mention I’ve just finished my diploma?) is almost certain to be at Warwick University – which has a webcam cache in the quad. How cool would THAT be for a graduation photo? Mind you, for what the event’s likely to cost me – gown hire, getting there, official photos etk – I think I flippin’ well deserve to get a cache out of it at the same time :-) . And if my Luvvly Mum wants to go, it’s going to cost me a hire car as well – the Gruntmobile is huge fun to drive, but not especially comfortable on a long journey, and I can’t see Mum enjoying an hour and a half in there very much

Still, if there’s a webcam cache to be had, it’ll all be worth it.

Pictures

Monday, January 15th, 2007

I promised you some pics…

This is Titchfield Harbour, looking towards the sunset. I spent ages here shooting pics, as cover for the fact I was waiting for someone to clear off so I could find the cache they were sitting on! This was the best of the “sunset” shots.

I took loads of shots of seagulls, aided by the hordes of people who were throwing bread for them. A digital camera isn’t the best tool for shooting fast-moving subjects because of the delay between pressing the button and the picture being taken. This one wasn’t bad.

Busy Sunday

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

I had to get up early today :-(

It was worth it though – this morning I was doing some public address presentation at the Stubbington Green 10k Road Race: The weather stayed nice for the runners – it usually does on this event – and unlike most events the tea and bacon sangers were free. Being a ten kilometre race it was over by lunchtime, so after my sarnies and another nice cup of tea I went…geocaching!

The first for the afternoon was an unsuccessful attempt on a cache by the sea – I know exactly where it is, but there were too many people about, so I decided to go on and try for some others, and come back later. Next on the list was Colonial Cache, an interesting puzzle for which you have to answer some questions about american presidents – where my Luvvly Mum’s specialist knowledge came in handy – and then find a fairly easy cache.

Just as easy was Padworth’s Cash Cache 4 – all I’ll say about this one is that it has an interesting twist, but it’s easy enough if you read the cache page carefully first :-)

Alver Wood took a bit more effort – at least it was into some woods and on some mud, but it wasn’t a long walk and the cache was fairly easy to find. This one has been deliberately set to be an easy find, to comply with the woodland ranger’s requirement that local wildlife shouldn’t be compromised by the cache.

The most difficult for the day was Fareham Folly, in the grounds of Fort Fareham: a challenging little cache – although I made it harder than it needed to be by taking the wrong route in. Still, the grazes and scratches will heal in a day or so, and the trousers were only old ones anyway :-) .

And then I went back for another go at the first one, Titchfield Haven Harbour Cache: Still no luck, there was a lady sitting reading a book on the park bench that I needed to get behind, and the cold got to me before it did her! Still, I got some nice photos – I may show them to you tomorrow ;-)

Whinge Definitely Over

Saturday, January 13th, 2007

…and today I’m even more cheerful :-D

This morning I did my minibus refresher training and passed, so I’m legal to drive the church minibus for another three years.

Then after the gym, I went home and discovered that my final assignment result – the one I was waiting for to complete my diploma – has arrived. I’ve passed! You may call me officially clever :-D . As you’ll hopefully see if you look at the top of this little submission, our favourite pizza-scoffing graphic artist loon has prepared a lovely animated .gif to replace the “Assignment and examination progress” graphic that’s been up there for what seems like forever.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a bottle of whisky demanding my attention.

Whinge Over!

Friday, January 12th, 2007

You’ll be pleased to know that about ten minutes after I’d posted yesterday’s black doggy blog, I started to feel much more cheerful.

Y’see, when I left work at 5 o’clock, it was still almost light, and you KNOW what that means: it means it won’t be long before Friday-after-work caching is a goer again :-) As if that wasn’t good enough, it’s a decent forecast for the weekend, and on Sunday I’m working on an event in close proximity to five caches I haven’t done yet. :-D On such tiny things does the difference between joy and misery sometimes depend.

Of course, the bits of life that were rubbish still are – but as an author I like once commented, “Too many people treat this joke like a job”. You only get out of life what you put into it: any idiot can be miserable – if cheerful is possible with some effort, the effort is usually worth it.

Whinge

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

It’s not really a whinge – it started out as a whinge, but then I realised that all my lovely readers don’t want to know about me being totally mongoosed off with various things, and would rather hear about fluffy bunnies frolicking in sunny meadows instead. So with one press of the delete key, the whinge disappeared. If only real life were that simple.

So…umm…fluffy bunnies in meadows, eh? I’m reminded of a story my chum Mark the Buddhist once wrote about a rabbit, but sadly key parts of it – such as the rabbit’s name – were too obscene to be used in a story on a blog intended for universal reading. Plus, I can’t remember very much about the story, except the bit at the end where the rabbit changes his name to Nigel and becomes a chartered accountant. And I don’t think there were many sunny meadows either, although he DID first show me the story the night before we were due to head off for a walking holiday in France, where there were more sunny meadows than you could shake a stick at.

And – proving that what goes around, comes around, I’ve just remembered that the reason for the rabbit’s obscene name was that it was my nickname for someone I worked with at the time. Whom I still work with, and is a major part of the reason why I’m mongoosed off. Funny how life all links up, isn’t it?

OK, I know I’ve always tried to write SOMETHING rather than have a blogless day, but I think I’m scraping the barrel here :-(