Friday, 12 December 2014

I gave in...

Last night we had our Christmas Pub Quiz.  It was a busy event, the pub was jammed solid and a good time was had by all.

We do our questions with the intention of making it a light hearted affair.  For example, one round was photos of famous and infamous people with Santa heads superimposed on them.  The questions are printed onto sheets so each team can gather round and discuss them.  This is much better than trying to ask each question verbally...  Things are pitched so that by the start of the 4th and last round, most teams are in with a shot at victory - I don't really enjoy them when the gap gets too wide and half of the teams give up trying after a couple of rounds.

So, a fun evening and a few beers later, I headed home on my bike. The road was amazingly clear, so I cranked up the music and made good time.

But it was still very late by the time I hit the sack.  Can't remember the last time I saw 1am!

Then there was this morning.  I drifted awake to the sound of high winds and rain.

My body just did not want to know.  It wanted to stay in bed for the day.

But I got up anyway, sorted the bird table, fed the rabbits and fish.

Then, instead of getting my bike out, I caught the bus.

It doesn't happen often. 

I hate the bus.

It makes me feel sick.

And it took over an hour to get me to Canterbury. 

My normal cycle time is 40 minutes.  Might have been more than 40 minutes this morning, of course, with the wind, but the journey was still long.  On the bright side, I did write a few more pages of my book as I sat there as the bus chugged along, so all was not lost.  It was strange to sit on the bus with the wind and rain out side and write about bathing in the warm sea on a hot summer's night in the Mediterranean.  I wanna to back!  I need a week or two to top up my research for my book!

Not too much to ask, is it?

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Town Tree

You might remember that, a couple of years ago, my town made the national news.

We had the worst Christmas Tree in Britain!

A few locals, myself included, tried to make it look better, but it was a lost cause really...

This one was replaced one night, by a Special Forces team, but as they failed to put the public's decorations on the new tree this was not a success either.

Last year, we were promised a massively expensive tree, which I don't think was much better than the Charlie Brown tree above.

OK, it was a BIT better, but this pic really did catch its good side.  It certainly failed to live up to the hype, IMO...

So, what have we got this year?

Smaller than last year's tree, but nice proportions, and multi-coloured lights!  I think it is rather nice!  Hopefully I will catch it after dark soon, so we can really see how good it is.

Anyway, we have failed to make national news this year, we can hold our heads high again!

Friday, 5 December 2014


So just where did the week go?

Or is that the right way to put it?

This has seemed to be an endless week, with the weekend crawling towards me, often seeming to shuffle in the opposite direction when I glanced away, but at the same time I have had no time to do anything.  Does that make sense?

OK, I have managed to keep up with reading and commenting on most of the blogs I follow - sincere apologies if I have failed to visit yours - but that has been about it.  Oh, I did rewrite a section of my zombie book!  There had been a part where one of the main characters was got, but as I wrote it I saved him and let a bunch of others be got instead.  But killing the others was not sitting well with me, so I saved them too.

Yeah!  Felt a lot better!

Except for the knock on effect in later scenes which had to be changed because the main character was no longer wracked with guilt about the deaths of the others!

More rewriting ensued, mournful scenes where this character was comforted and reassured became much more upbeat celebrations, motherly kisses on the head became rather more flirtatious...

Yep, I like this version a lot more.

And now the weekend has finally arrived!  Last weekend before Number One Son returns from Uni, two more before I finish work for the holidays - yep, I hate to brag (no I don't) but I finish on the 19th and don't return until the 5th!  Ooooh yeah baby!

All in all?  Life is good!

Time for a cheesy Christmas song!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Black Friday and stuff

Well I hope you Yankies all had a great Thanksgiving!  We don' t do that over here, but we are now getting Black Fridays!

Thanks, guys!

The town was insanely busy today, and all I am hearing is about how great the bargains are on the web.

As I battled my way through the city I saw the most sureal thing.  There was a trio (a girl singing and playing guitar, a guy on sax and another doing I can't remember what!) busking at a street corner.  I don't know the song they were playing, but it was amazingly serene and peaceful.  It was like they were in a little bubble, protected from the insanity around them.

For my own Thanksgiving post, I will say that all of the kids are doing great - Number One Son thriving at Uni, daughter has her job with a promotion already (doesn't even start until after Christmas!), and younger son is doing great at school - he is one of a small group that is being steered towards Oxford Uni!  I am not sure that is where he actually wants to go, but it is great that the school thinks he is up to that sort of place!

And, as things settle for us we can now focus on Christmas, which is hurtling at us at high speed.  Most presents have already been bought or at least decided upon.  But having said that, we are reigning back on the spending this year.  For example, all afternoon presents must cost £1 or less, but must be carefully chosen for the person they are being given to.  So we can't just go and buy a pile of chocolate bars and call it done!  An interesting task, I must say!  Can't wait to see what everyone buys...

Have a great weekend!  I am ready to drop, this week has been a really busy one.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

An old photo

Back in the Second World War, men who were too young, too old, or unfit for some reason, for active service were enlisted into the Home Guard.  These were intended as a first line of defence against a German invasion.  Poorly equipped, poorly trained and only serving when not at work, they were more for morale purposes than for any real defence.  In the 1960s and 70s there was a TV series about them:
My grandad was one of the local Home Guard guys.  He is on the left:
I am pretty sure he would have done his bit if there had been an invasion, he was not one to give in easily.  Unless he was hungry and cold.  He did not like that.  In the winter of 1940, he had a habit of going home half way through patrols for a sandwich and cup of tea.  It was a really bad winter, and as far as he was concerned the Germans were not daft enough to invade in that sort of weather, Blighty was safe.  Of course, he did not share this view with his comrades, who continued to freeze on the beach, waiting for an enemy that would never come.  It was only at my grandfather's wake that I told one of them about this - the look on his face was a picture. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

The smell of the outdoors...

Spent a couple of mornings this week out on walks with students.
One day was at the seaside.
The tiny harbour at Whitstable...

and the beach at my home town...

Yes, a shingle beach - who ever thought that was a good idea?

Then we went inland, to be greeted by this lot...

and these...
who left a present for me to slip over into...

But did I mind?  Not on a day like this!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Proud Parent Time!

OK here I go again...

My daughter just had her first proper interview for her first proper job.

She had already passed the filter day, and this was it.

The job involves a lot of maths and statistics, so she revised everything, practiced answering questions to her video camera and just generally prepared for it.

She was really pleased with the interview, then it was test time.  There were a number of people there, but all of the others gradually left during the test.  She was the only one there at the end of the time allowed, which we took as a good sign.

Then she rushed home to await news.

They rang.

And offered her the job!

We are so pleased for her.  Her first real interview for a real job and she nailed it!

And the real bonus?  She will be working just around the corner from me!

Ooh yeah.  Life is good.