Saturday, May 05, 2007

Paris goes to jail

Is it just me who thinks that Paris Hilton going to jail is one of the funniest things to happen this year. I really think they should make a fly on the wall documentary about. Like The Simple Life on acid.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

Holiday photos (finally)

Right, photos of our trip to the Pacific coast are now on Flickr. These are mainly the choice cut and around half of the ones we actually took. In the process of labeling them...

Meanwhile you can now also see our weekend camping in the New Forest.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

New job (again)

Now clearly my last post was far more important however I have a new job. Start it on the last day of this month. Woop. I would tell you who it was with and where but I don't want it to be google-able. However suffice to say it is closer to home in fluffy Berkshire, I get to drive to work and it pays more money.

No more shitty present employer or commuting into the skanky hole where my present employer is based on slow and horrendously expensive trains in cattle truck conditions.

Oh, and also I promise our holiday photos, all 900 hundred of them, will be on Claire's Flickr soon and selected highlights will be here.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Jet fog

I got up this morning at about 8am in San Francisco. Had coffee and breakfast and then walked to the San Francisco cable car museum which we looked around until around 11:30am. Then we picked our bags up from our hotel and went via taxi and train to San Francisco airport and boarded the 4:30pm flight to Heathrow. I had dinner and a glass of wine and watched a few movies and was about to go to sleep when they switched the lights on in the plane and gave me breakfast.

The plane arrived, supposedly, at 10:30am. We then caught the train back to my flat and dosed for a while. Claire is still asleep.

Meanwhile, the weather in the UK is better than the weather we left in California, the clocks have supposedly changed, my clock on California time tells me it is 6:20am, my mobile phone (which I left off and in the UK) tells me it is 8:05am, my computer tells me it is 2:20pm, my bedside alarm says it is 12:40pm and my video clock says it is 1:20pm. My brain says it is night time, the rest of my body says it is day time and at the moment I am totally befuddled as to what is going on.

Anyhow, my present confusion as to what time it is and what I am supposed to be doing aside, I/we had an excellent holiday which included traversing gorges, catching ferries and having 'eat as much as you like' sushi for $20 (£10) in Vancouver, skiing and apres ski in Whistler and cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge and visiting Alcatraz in San Francisco.

No doubt more details and maybe some pictures to follow. In the meantime I am going to go work out whether to have lunch or breakfast or sleep or something else in between.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My first skiing accident

So last night I had my final ski lesson before we go away on holiday which happens to include a long weekend skiing in Whistler.

During this (otherwise pretty good) ski lesson, I happened to take a tumble and jabbed my thumb in the process. Don't ask me quite how, I don't exactly know. Anyhow, for the lesson, I ignored and really didn't notice it. It was only when it got in that I noticed it was a bit swollen. Nothing major.

Anyhow, Claire packed it in ice, bandaged me up so it didn't swell and I went to bed.

The following morning it looked the same as the previous night. Still a bit sore so I (we) bandaged it up again and I went to work. It was only by lunch time when it had started to swell that things started to become an issue. It started to throb, and kept on swelling. Following intervention by the first aid lady my workmates basically instructed me to go to hospital to get it checked out. So I went, relunctantly, becuase I still have loads to do before my last day tomorrow.

Anyhow, trying to work out the most rapid way of sorting this out I went to the NHS 'drop in' centre in Wembley, just 30 minutes down the road from work. This was a little hard to find but find it I did. Ten minutes later I was in with the GP. He was instantly concerned and said I had to have X-ray. However, there were no X-ray facilities on-site and I had to go to Northwick Park Hospital.

Ok, now this was a mission. With mobile assistance from Claire (and no help from the drop in centre staff) and a few wrong turns and one dodgy bus journey later I was at Northwick Park Hospital. And omg, what a class 1 shit hole it was. Spalling concrete, wailing mothers, large expanses of worn lino flooring and the smell of a badly run tower block.

So I find the X-ray department in this turd hole filled with hoardes of people who looked liked they'd been queueing there for days. Anyway, after queueing for five minutes I get to the front of the queue and the work shy wench on the reception takes a brief look at my referal card and, in summary, told me she had never heard of the place I had been referred from and in any case it wasn't valid as the GP hadn't signed it. 'You have to go to a&e here first' (great! a&e in this shit hole). Meanwhile my thumb is throbbing more. It is now three hours since I left work.

At this point I was a bit fed up with proceedings so decided to ditch the whole lot and start again at a half way decent hospital. So it was back on the bus, then tube, then another bus. Picked up my car from Claire's and went to Hillingdon Hospital, which I arrived at at 4, where I was X-rayed and diagnosed quickly. Thankfuly only a severe bruise, no break or fracture. Finally out at 5:30. If only I had just gone with my gut intinct and by-passed the London hospitals in the first instance.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Colds, skis and travels

I notice I haven’t done a post in a little while. Erm, so here is one.

At the moment I am busting with excitement as in just a little over a week we will be in Vancouver. However, to temper my enthusiasm I am presently suffering from a bizarre cold which has been afflicting me for the past few weeks. It started with a sore throat, moved on to block my ears and now appears to be on my nose with a case of the sniffles. Its odd though because I generally don’t get colds like this. Personally I blame having to board a skanky and overcrowded train every day and work in unreasonably air conditioned office and enjoy the delights of dozen times recycled air.

Anyhow, last weekend we had a short break in Cornwall (photos on Claire’s flickr) which was very pleasant and relaxing. We can recommend the Port Gaverne Hotel (or, well the self catering cottages annexed to it to be precise) very highly.

Highlights include missing the last ferry from Padstow to Rock and them kindly laying on a special service just for us and our ‘gentle walk’ along the coastal path between Port Isaac and Port Quin turning into a near marathon due to the massive descents and climbs along the coastal path which clings tightly to the seriously undulating cliff face and extreme weather conditions in the form of a proper North Atlantic wind. However a (rather late) lunch of ham, egg and mash for me (because they had run out of chips) and freshly caught fish pie (obviously the fish being the caught bit) for Claire ameliorated the mild exhaustion.

In other news I can now ski, albeit only in a straight line as I have ‘issues’ with corners. I have one more lesson to do before I end up going down a mountain proper so hopefully can get this resolved by then otherwise I am going to have to hope for one very straight mountain in Whistler.

That’s about it I think.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I am learning to ski. Starting next Monday at Bracknell dry ski slope. It would have been nice to learn on snow in the Milton Keynes XScape however that is over an hour away whereas Bracknell dry ski slope is fifteen minutes down the road from my flat (and cheaper I might add).

This is prompted by our trip to Vancouver and San Francisco next month where we are going up to stay in Whistler over the weekend and going skiing (or snowboarding if your name is Claire).

I am not sure at the moment whether to be excited about scooting down a mountain or terrified of falling off a mountain.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I stumbled across The Republic of Nauru a few days ago. The fourth smallest country in the world and comprised of one, almost wholly strip-mined, tiny Pacific island and populated by 13,000 obese, yet incredibly poor, people. I thought it was an elaborate but fictional Wikipedia article to start off with but it turns out it is a real place. The history of the place sounds like the plot of a bad movie. Bizarre. The Lonely Planet (bearing in mind this is a pro-travel website) synopsis is brilliant.