Archive for August, 2009


Monday, August 31st, 2009

I bin to camp.

One of the drama groups PF belongs to has a summer camp every year at August Bank Holiday. This year we went. There was fancy dress, pub lunches, silly games, medieval banquets and campfire songs. There was the grossest caravan-loo emptying point I’ve ever seen (and that includes New Wine!), and the water tap was 1.3 miles away (I got the satnav to measure it for me).

We visited Monkey World and went to a medieval jousting tournament at Lulworth Castle.

Purple Fred, MiniFred and I all had a really great time, and we’ve already decided we want to go next year.

And now I’m very tired, and I’m up at half past five in the morning for work. G’night all!


Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Well, I made it back…the taxi driver for the return trip seemed to be a bit more alert, so that was OK.

As I hinted in Sunday’s teaser, I need to get a more comfortable saddle for my bike, but other than that it’s proving pretty usable. I took it to New Wine with me – folded, it fits in the caravan a treat, and it proved pretty useful there. I even cycled it to a cache, although it might well have been quicker to walk! Since I got back, I’ve been using it to cycle between the office and Waterloo station.

Apart from the saddle issue, it’s OK – it folds and unfolds quickly and easily, and in the folded configuration fits easily onto the train without occupying a bike space. Oh, and it fits easily into the back of PF’s car as well :-) . I’ve bought some battery operated lights, because the dynamo lights that came with it weren’t too impressive, other than that it works pretty well as supplied.

Cycling in London is fine (so far!). There’s an impressive network of cycle lanes and waymarked cycle routes to get you around without mixing it with the worst of the traffic, and there’s more or less unlimited cycle parking at work. Once the legs get used to the pedalling, I’ll try for a few lunchtime caches by bike ;-)

Overall, a purchase I’m pretty happy with.

It’s Training Again…

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Yes, I’m back at my favourite second favourite (or maybe third, but who’s counting?) midlands hotel, for the third load of training to our new employees.

It’s a nice enough hotel, and the food is excellent – tonight’s onion gravy (which came with the beef and stilton pie and mash) was the nicest I’ve had in ages. The starter-and-main were so good I didn’t have pudding! The nearest railway station is Rugby, which is satisfylingly easy to get to from the Nation’s Capital – the only downside is the half hour in a taxi from Rugby to the hotel, especially with Talkative Taxi Driverâ„¢. I got him tonight – and he spent the whole thirty minute high-speed trip telling me how he’s fasting at the moment because it’s Ramadan, and how, by this time of day, he starts to feel a bit faint. And he was nice enough to give me his number so I can book him for the return trip tomorrow!

Still, death-defying taxi rides aside, I’m in the hotel, in a room bigger than some houses I’ve seen. I’m going to stretch out for a nap on the olympic-sized bed, and watch 52 channels of nothing on the widescreen. And then tomorrow I’ll teach them all about Health and Safety, and go home.

Oh, and well done to Stu, who got yesterday’s question about the dinosaur on the bike right.


Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Phew! It’s been a busy old time – as you’ll have noticed from the lack of anything approaching bloggage. So as a summary, in the last week PF and I have been to Jenny’s birthday bash at a pretty pub…


…and we’ve had a meal out with Rob and Sarah, and celebrated PF’s birthday with a little light geocaching. And this weekend we’ve been to a bit of a do at PF’s sister’s house, where it was very sunny and I’d forgotten my hat…



Coming in the near future, a review of riding to work on my bike – but in the meantime, here’s a clue: What do you call a dinosaur with an uncomfortable bike saddle?

Happy Birthday…

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

…to Jenny! Hope you enjoyed the party :-)

(I wrote this yesterday morning so it’s a cheesy cheating pre-written one! I didn’t bring the lappy oop north with me)


Thursday, August 13th, 2009

I did a half day course yesterday. As a result, I’m requalified as a defibrillator operator!

The ones we’re trained on aren’t as dramatic as the ones you see on “ER” – it’s a little blue box with two sticky pads that you stick to the patient’s chest, it auto-analyses them and will only let you give them a shock if they would benefit from it. There’s no chance of accidentally making the situation worse – if they’re in a state of health where the machine will let you shock, its already as bad as it can get.

As our instructor said, the only way you can hurt someone with one of these is to hit them over the head with it.

There are a few things to look out for – heavy necklaces need to be moved out of the way, and nipple piercings may need to be cut off, if they’re too big. But the best thing we were told to watch out for is medical patches – nicotine patches, slow release drugs etc. Apprently under the right circumstances, if you shock someone wearing one of these, they can explode!

Wanna try out my skillz, now…


Monday, August 10th, 2009

I’m back! And what an excellent New Wine it was. The team were all lovely to work with, we had some high times and some triumphs of teamwork. There were a few sad times as well – including a New Wine “first” that we could have done without – but overall it was a brilliant event.

You’ve seen the pictures of the caravan encampment already, so here’s a couple of the inside of the caravan: Firstly one that I took to prove to the lovely Purple Fred that I kept it tidy…


And one of me doing what I did best…or at least most of…accident analysis and admin


We had a couple of team barbecues as well…here’s one of them


And I even had time for a fabby day out at Longleat – just down the road from New Wine – with m’darling Purple Fred and MiniFred. Here’s a pic of one of the lions, taken by MiniFred. The slight blur is my fault – you’re not allowed to open the car windows in the lion enclosure – and Grunty’s windows could do with a wash.


Back to work tomorrow: I MUST find time sometime this week to finish the New Wine accident analyses and to sort out my expenses claim. And then I can start thinking about next year!


Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

It’s been pretty busy here chums.

We’ve been saving lives like mad, treating ill people, and still finding time to have fun and get to the morning and evening celebrations (well, most of us have!). And – for those who’ve read Sybil’s most recent blog – we had communion this morning, complete with wine.

I’ve even found time for five more caches, taking my New Wine total so far to seven:
As Keen As Mustard
The Shortest Day…
Dinder View
Haydon Drove No. 2
Haydon Drove No. 1

The last two of these both offer fine views of this mighty aerial:


Many years ago, I knew someone whose 14th birthday treat was a trip to be photographed next to that mast…

UPDATE: Another cache this afternoon:
Church Micro 301 – Prestleigh and New Wine