Archive for April, 2010

Why I Love My Car (i)

Friday, April 30th, 2010


Long Week

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

It’s been “one of those weeks”

Monday went on a bit longer than normal – I had a ticket for a recording of a Radio 4 show at the Drill Hall. Which was OK except it went on so long (soooooo long) that by the time I got home and got to bed, it was half past midnight. I was less than chuffed when the alarm clock went off five hours later, I can tell you…

Then on Tuesday – as well as a full day’s work, including a full fire evacuation and subsequent investigation – I had to do the driving module of my minibus driver requalifier. It all went as well as it needed to, but it made another late night.

Then Wednesday would’ve been an early night if Black Books hadn’t been on Dave.

I’m hoping for an early night tonight, but as it’s a hospital radio night, it isn’t looking good…

Another Book Review

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

I’ve been reading Stuart Maconie’s “Adventures on the High Teas – In Search of Middle England”.

The cover blurb – courtesy of The Observer promises “As funny as Bryson and as wise as Orwell”. If it had been as wise as Bryson and as funny as.Orwell I might’ve agreed. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it – but I found it had a thought-provoking wisdom with occasional moments of comedy rather than the other way round. Maconie tours those parts of the country often labelled Middle England, reporting open-mindedly on what he finds there. It’s no tourist guide – each chapter is as much about the hotel he stays in and the places he eats as anything else – and perhaps tourist guides would be a bit better if they followed that example rather than obsessing about who lived in the 1300’s in the house that’s now a Starbucks.

In short, I’ll read it again, and I’ll read some more of Stuart Maconie’s books. But my next reading project (apart from the play I’m reading for m’lovely Purple Fred [whom I love very much]) is “No Expenses Spared – the Story of a Team of Journalists Who Uncover a Parliamentary Scandal”. Who knows, I may even end up liking journalists.


Sunday, April 25th, 2010

My car is gleamingly clean :-)

That’s not totally true, but it’s needed a wash for a while – I’ve kept meaning to do it, but other more interesting important things have come along so it hasn’t been done.

So yesterday, I was driving back to PF’s from working on the caravan when I spotted that the local fire station were having a charity car wash. The two off-duty watches had come in and were cleaning cars, to raise money for the memorial fund for Alan Bannon and James Shears, two firefighters who died in a fire just up the road from where I live. That was a good enough cause to liberate some folding spondo from my wallet, so I joined the queue of cars going in.

Having given the fireman on the gate my money, I was still winding the window up when the first fire hose struck. The car had possibly the best rinse any car’s ever had, then it was on to the main wash: Five firemen with sponges and buckets. Then another rinse from two more fire hoses and I was on my way.

I was telling PF and a friend of ours about it last night – they both seemed to think what I’d paid was worth it for being surrounded by firemen, without getting the car cleaned as well.

And today, PF and I went geocaching in the New Forest and found my 1300th cache!


Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I walked past two caches today – didn’t even consider looking at either of them!

After the cachemania of the last couple of weeks, that was a bit unusual – but it’s all in a good cause. If you have a look at my caching stats up there on the top right, you’ll see that I’m on 1299 finds…and I’m planning on going caching with m’lovely PF this weekend. I like doing landmark numbers with chums.

I’m on a course at the moment, so they weren’t even caches in my normal coverage area – alright, they’re in Southampton and less than a mile from my house, but they’re not somewhere I pass that often. I’m doing my first aid refresher course – and so far only a couple of things have changed. But we’re doing CPR tomorrow – and that ALWAYS changes!

We Have Joy, We Have Fun

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Oops, I appear to have fallen off the blogosphere again.

It was all in a good cause though: M’lovely Purple Fred – whom I love more and more – had negotiated us an amazing hotel deal, and we had a lovely long weekend away, featuring riverside walks (and geocaches), old bookshops, the theatre, quaint tea rooms and even quainter pubs, and general enjoying life in the slow lane.

Then on Sunday, we took Mini-Fred to Legoland at Windsor, which, apart fron the insane cost of getting in (and the insane cost of eating) was also excellent. I hadn’t really expected to enjoy a theme park but the rides were as good for grown-ups as for littles, the model village was fun, and it was a lovely sunny day spent outdoors.

Oh, and I got a lovely picture of PF wearing a raincoat made of an old plastic bag, just before we went on one of the splashier rides. And no, I’m not allowed to post it here (but keep your eye on Facebook!)


Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

According to this news story, Gordon Brown has “a plan for the future”.

Well, so do I, and nobody with any sense would let me run the country either. Let’s just hope the Brownster’s plan for the future includes early retirement.

Play Up, Pompey

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Long-term readers will remember that I’m an occasional supporter of the south coast’s only premiership football club (although not for much longer!), the mighty Portsmouth. And followers of the beautiful game will know that yesterday, Portsmouth beat Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Being a worker in the Nation’s Capital, I work with a lot of Spurs’ supporters – in fact my bosses boss is one. Not only that, he was at the game yesterday. He was never going to be happy today, he’s got a streaming cold, but the result really upset him. Apparently the state of the pitch was disgraceful and “the only thing worse than the pitch was the ******* referee”. I must admit, even I thought the disallowed goal was a bit harsh. Although it did give TV viewers the chance to see a once-in-a-season event – Avram Grant smiled.

Anyway, we now face Chelsea in the final. Apparently we’re going to get hammered – but Pompey supporters go into every game expecting to get hammered, so no novelty there. In the meantime, here’s a couple of questions for the footie trivia experts among you (i.e. Chris) – and I don’t know the answers to these, it’s a genuine enquiry:

  1. Has a football team ever won the FA Cup, and been relegated in the league, in the same season?
  2. Has a team ever won the FA Cup and gone bankrupt in the same season?

Catching up

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

So – I had a fabby Easter weekend with Purple Fred and Mini-Fred: we went away to Dorset – one of my favourite counties – where we went to the Royal Signals museum, won a bingo competition, hunted (and found) dragon eggs, cuddled guinea pigs and stroked goats, and discovered a new favourite tea room. Oh, and found a geocache, of course.

And then yesterday was the birthday of Mini-Fred, with much food to be consumed – including, of course, birthday cake. I’m going to have to find a new name for Mini-Fred soon – it won’t feel right to call him that once he’s taller than me!