Archive for November, 2009

Mid November Update

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

What, two updates in two weeks? What is up with that?



This week I got to deal with coming down with a cold/flu *again*. That’s two this year - not happy. Felt it coming on Monday afternoon. By Wednesday I had to leave work early because I couldn’t concentrate. Spent Thursday and Friday in “the room” sick and by myself. Plane flight back up to Scotland on Friday night was  not happy. On the plus side - glad I didn’t try to reorganise it for earlier - that would have been murder…

Most likely causes? Waiting outside the Bongo Club on Sunday night in the cold Edinburgh air for 45 minutes. Spending 3 hours in a small room in the Bongo Club with 5 dozen or so people. Spending an hour on a plane with how ever many people. Take your pick…

Consequently, didn’t do much over the weekend - we had a weekend at home with warm and comforting food and DVDs.

Found out today Hobbes caught his first mouse!

Mega Update

Monday, November 9th, 2009


Welcome back - to me!

Well, it has been over three months now since my last update. Unfortunately, writing this doesn’t get easier with time (nor does my memory) - so sit down, buckle up for a whirlwind journey through three months. I promise to keep on top of this in future! So - where did I leave off? August 1st…

My first distraction was with a web site called DakkaDakka - where you can check out my progress with Da Ork Angelz.

During September I helped out Friends of the Earth for a couple of days and also caught up with Phil over lunch. But mostly Lou and I were preparing for our move to Scotland. Wednesday the 30th saw the house mostly packed up. Thursday saw the rest gone and on Thursday night we drove up to Pathhead to our new home (arriving Friday morning).

Hobbes started the journey in his cat carrier - but was not amused by the confined space. We let him out later - to be held by Lou - but it wasn’t necessary. Free of his cat carrier he was very content just to sleep on her lap. After another stop, Lou decided there would be more room in the back and moved back there. Hobbes apparently preferred the front, and spent the next leg of the journey curled up on my lap as I drove. Later, when Lou took over driving as I was falling asleep, Hobbes remained content to sleep on my lap - in the front. Kobe was well behaved as usual - of course.

A seemingly minor hiccup (which turned into a major one) left us without broadband for the weekend (and as it happened, the next two weeks!) The car battery decided to give out on Sunday - thankfully not on Monday morning on my way to the airport! As it was, I think we visited Dunbar (Sunny Dunny) and experienced unusually strong winds that weekend. Luckily we spent most of the time unpacking indoors.

The following Monday was my first Edinburgh to London commute (by plane), and also my last day at the Legal Services Commission. My first night in my “room” in New Cross Gate and the following day my first day at my new contract at IG Index. The week was a nightmare, mostly due to the need to finish some last minute things at our previous residence. I rented a car and drove out to Reading and back three of the four nights. My flight back to Edinburgh was then delayed by an hour and a half. I have since come to determine that early morning flights are better than evening flights, as they are less likely to be delayed by previous journeys!

I think that weekend was the one we saw “Zombieland” (excellent 10/10 - my second viewing as I had seen it on Tuesday night with Paul) and got out to Wannaburger. There are two Wannaburgers in Edinburgh. This was the one on the Royal Mile and didn’t quite live up to the atmosphere we remembered from the other one. This must have been the weekend we visited a renowned seafood restaurant in Edinburgh (Lou will have to remind me of the name!) which was nice - but the only thing that exceeded our expectations was the price! (However, this was only one of two places where we have eaten that has been expensive - by Reading standards anyway. Everything else has been cheaper and nicer :). Of course, both expensive places were renowned - perhaps that is the common element?)

The following week commute went smoother, but it wouldn’t be for another couple of weeks before I would overcome all the kinks in the process. Thankfully this was he last week I took checked in luggage. Its amazing the difference it makes to not have to check your luggage in, wait for it on the other side and negotiate peak hour on the tubes with it! That weekend Lou and I had our first ski lesson on the Midlothian dry ski slope.

The following weekend was Paul and Claire’s wedding - so this time it was Lou’s turn to fly down.

This weekend just gone was pretty special as we celebrated Lou’s birthday. I couldn’t convince her that moving to Scotland was birthday present enough. On Saturday we visited the Edinburgh market (second time), visited a candy store Lou had found online, visited the book shop (bought two books), had lunch at a New York style Italian diner (including an excessive chocolate dessert called “The Godfather”) and watched “The Men Who Stare At Goats” (average 6/10 - great cast, under utilised, all over the place).

Sunday involved a trip out to a farm shop we had previously discovered, lunch at a German bakery/cafe (this one was out on the coast somewhere - there is another by the same name in Edinburgh that we had previously bought cake from. Lunch was scrumptious!) and then our second dry ski slope lesson. To top off a great weekend, in the evening we saw Jonathan Coulton perform live at the Bongo Club in Edinburgh - though Lou wasn’t surprised that I think I actually enjoyed Paul and Storm (the opening band) more… Apart from the givens (”Alive”, “Re: Your Brains”) I also really enjoyed “Better” and “Mr. Fancy Pants” - go figure.

So there you have it - all up to date now - with not too many holes…


PS - Other items of note:

  • Further to the car battery issue, in a following week the joint to/on the muffler broke. We now have a new muffler… (or silencer as I think it is called here…)
  • The other expensive place we ate was a well renowned Chinese restaurant in Edinburgh that I also can’t remember the name of (Lou?)
  • The broadband issue basically went as follows:
    • Prior to moving we organised for BT to transfer our phone line and broadband. As they need the line in place before they can do the broadband, this was done in two parts - the phone on Thursday and the broadband on Friday.
    • On Saturday we called up regarding the broadband not working. Someone hadn’t flagged the phone transfer as completed, so the broadband transfer hadn’t gone ahead. A new broadband transfer order was going to take another 5 working days!
    • The following Saturday we called up again regarding the broadband not working. There was a “tag” on the line, so it hadn’t gone ahead. Apparently they were meant to check for this “before” placing the order… The tag would be removed within 5 hours (apparently), but the transfer wouldn’t occur until Monday. It would be “expedited”.
    • On Monday we called up to check everything was progressing as planned. There was no broadband transfer order. “Expedited” orders are not recorded in the system, so there is no way to track them! A new (5 day!) order was raised, and this also “expedited” (by another service representative).
    • I think we finally got our “expedited” transfer on the Thursday - two weeks after we were meant to have broadband…
    • Rant over!
  • I attended the StackOverflow DevDays (London) the week of Paul and Claire’s wedding. I thoroughly enjoyed it - well worth the £89 or whatever it cost. Only let down - the catering (they were not equipped to deal with the amount of people present).
  • I also made my first “The London CMS Pros Group” meet-up that week- which I had been meaning to do for quite sometime…