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November 29th, 2015

11:44 pm: Hasta la victoria, siempre
I popped over to Cuba for a fortnight.
It was really quite warm, almost Caribbeanesque - 30+ every day we weren't in the mountains.
Plenty of vitamin R was available. When rum is as cheap as fizzy drinks, it's going to be a fun time!
The Bay of Pigs was duly invaded without casualty. Highly amusing captioning in the museum there about the Imperialist Yankee dogs.
Then it all went a bit wrong.

Water volleyball: not a game I'm any good at, but not dangerous, you'd think. If so, you'd be wrong with that water proving highly dangerous as it put my good shoulder out. Humbug. Off to the Cuban health service it was, and three guys putting it back in over 20 minutes without any drugs - the bruises have just about faded. Then they thought it was a good idea to plaster it up for a week - see the temperatures above for how pleasant this was. Oh yes, it was my primary hand as well. It's a bit strange having food cut up and laces tied!

Anyway, back home and a proper sling, with physiotherapy to come, hopefully not leading to having no working shoulders. Rather dampened the last 6 days of the trip though.

*one of Che Guevara's lines. His monument is very impressive.

Ephraim - sorry, couldn't make yesterday sadly.

May 11th, 2015

07:15 am: 30 years on
Thirty years ago, I was at Maine Road. City were playing Charlton in the last match of the season, with a good win meaning promotion.

The day was warm and sunny. We ended up sitting on the benches in the Platt Lane away end as there was no space anywhere else.

Two up quickly, it was a joyful afternoon ending 5-1 followed by a pitch invasion at the end.

Then, around 5.30 ish probably, we got home, and saw the terrible news from Bradford.

March 12th, 2015

07:11 pm: A post about nothing
I've been absent apparently....
It's been busy. And not a little annoying.
I may be back slightly more often than quarterly.

Sir Terry has died. This seems awfully sudden.

December 28th, 2014

11:24 pm: So that was Christmas...
2 1/2 days is about enough with the family - the 4 year old and failing hearing is a bit wearing.
Of course, the journey back would have been easier without Network Rail's interesting concept of a service to Paddington. The 90 minute journey took about 3 3/4, ending at Waterloo. Heigh-ho, I hope others avoided most of that!

Now I have a week off, so lots of time to fill. A bit of a rarity that.

It's also definitely time to replace this computer, so one or two people may get asked for advice.

I trust you all had a good Christmas.

November 1st, 2014

11:36 am: I appear to have missed October
So Japan was interesting. Tokyo is a concrete jungle with odd random temples and oddities in among.
I went to Kamakura.
I saw the top of Fuji-san, the ninja volcano (we drove up a hill and the mountain swapped from side to side as we did so).
The bullet train is indeed cool. Smooth, quiet, comfortable and when one goes through a station without stopping it's stupidly fast.
We got hit by a typhoon. In Kyoto. There ought to be a link between typhoons and being where the (largely ignored) climate protocols were written.
Two atomic bomb sites (well, hypocentres) visited. The Nagasaki marker is as perfect.
I'm now having a few months off raw fish and some time off rice.

Meanwhile, work have 'promoted' me. They haven't really - they've changed my job title, given a pay rise in lieu of no more overtime, and made it 3 months notice to leave. It was 'voluntary' of course; they asked me, but there really isn't an alternative option.

So, November then...

September 28th, 2014

09:09 pm: That time of year again....
Assuming I manage to get through the next week at work, I'm off on holiday for a fortnight, volcanoes permitting.

This year - Japan, starting in Tokyo and heading west until we run out of Japan, and then a bit further I think. A trip almost entirely (possibly entirely) paid for by the insane overtime this year.

September 21st, 2014

08:20 pm: What's a Tonka Bean?
I thought I'd go and see what this Open House lark was about, there being just the one or two (hundred) places to visit.

Trinity House was on the list but wasn't open today. Never mind, I only overslept a bit, getting out just before 8 this morning heading for 30 St Mary Axe - the Gherkin. It opened at 8, I got there at about 8.45 to see a queue of about 400. That could have been worse, as it's 100 in per ten minutes. Nevertheless, I thought I could find better things to do, so set off down Leadenhall St, past the Cheesegrater (queue c. 100), to the Bank of England (queue about 150 ish).

Happily, they opened earlier than advertised, and I was in by 10am. It was about a half-hour tour, without going to the vaults, but we did wander through the Governor's office, the main meeting room, and the room where the Court of Directors meet (a Board isn't grand enough...). Quite interesting, and not normally available. Other things were a gold weighing scale so massive that it has to be put on a load-bearing surface, and a chance to pick up a 13kg gold bar (not hanging in the air). The queue on leaving was round fully two sides of the bank - probably 3 hours.

Leadenhall was up to c. 400, and the Gherkin to about 3 hour length - madness.

I wandered onwards to the Custom House, the Apothecary Hall (interesting to see inside) and on to Middle Temple Hall (rather fine). A good day out all-in-all. Maybe I'll do the Westminster stuff next time, and maybe the Guildhall.

As for the title, it was on one of the many many jars in the Apothecary Guild Hall.

September 7th, 2014

10:58 pm: September already...
Today, in a burst of enthusiasm, I took myself to Greenwich to see the tall ships (also a number of smaller ones at Canary Wharf). It was ludicrously busy, but I did get there just as Gloriana was rowed past. V shiny.

Giving up on trying to work out which queue was which (and navigating the tour groups), I wandered round the Naval College. The Painted Hall is worth sticking your head in for if you're there. There followed an amble up to the Observatory, again absolutely heaving with people. It's about time I went back to the Maritime Museum and maybe the Observatory too, when it's less busy.

There then followed a walk along the Thames Path up to Tower Bridge which invited the sun to come out and it to be hot. My feet now hurt. And of course, Tower Hill station was closed so I had to walk further.

I did notice that someone seems to have stuck an enormous inflatable 'thing' in the middle of London. It's apparently the 'Walkie Talkie' building, which somehow I'd not seen from a distance before. It's awful. Hideous. Really hideous. Possibly Carbunculissimus. I could go on...

August 30th, 2014

12:51 pm: Planning and lack thereof
So, time to head to S&N's reception.
Of course it would have helped if I'd considered how to get back to Bristol beforehand (see 'lack thereof').
Lift cadging protocols will have to be enacted.

I must be really annoying on occasions.

July 23rd, 2014

10:19 pm: Unhide...
Life has been... complicated. And very very busy. Busy enough that any events during June/July went by the wayside. That's a shame, as there were some things I'd have liked to go to.

So I've mostly been hiding. Working, and hiding.

I hope that the next week will finish getting out of the hole the summer fell into. Just assume that I missed the last 6 weeks...

PS Valerius - job?? Excellent.

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