Weymouth 2015

After a nice week away in Weymouth with my wife and a close friend; it is now time to settle back into being at home.
We had another close friend cat/house sitting for us which was a great help.
We left on the Monday afternoon in the wind and rain, it took us ten minutes to get out of our road due to the huge volume of schoolkids leaving school for the day and the multitude of cars blocking the road as they were picking up their kids and trying to park in the side roads near the school; nevertheless, we eventually made it out and were on our way.
Our friend was using her phone as a Sat Nav and before long we arrived at Seaview Holiday Park and entered our caravan which was to be our home for the week.
It was a little; shall we say cosy, but we all managed to unpack without event.
Shortly after unpacking, we made our way up the road to pick up some essential supplies (washing up liquid, sponges, kitchen roll that sort of stuff) from somewhere that wasn’t hideously overpriced like the shop on site was.
Getting back in, we played a hand or two of Zombie Fluxx and went to bed.

The next day, bright and early; we tried our best to navigate our way to the Asda in Weymouth, though both our phones were playing up and trying to send us down one way streets and dead ends (which was fun!) but we eventually got there and did our food shopping for the week.
We sat around later that day drinking coffee and trying to prepare our plans for the week; what we wanted to do, where to go etc and managed to hammer out a rough itinerary for the week.

Before we knew it, Wednesday was upon us and we had a destination in mind: Dorchester. We made our way there and browsed the charity shops, visited the Roman Town House and took lots of pictures which we all enjoyed.  My wife even managed to find The Colour Of Magic by Terry Pratchett which i was considering reading as i thought it would make a nice change from the normal sci fi that i read.
Back at the holiday park, we took our bags of two pences from home and made a beeline for the arcade and the 2p slide machines which we love!, we even corrupted our friend into playing them! after winning a load of tickets which you can cash in at the end of your stay, we made our way home for the night.

Thursday rolled around quickly and we decided today we would visit Lyme Regis where I used to live.
We walked along the beach and across the Cobb and took some nice photos on the way, we then stopped for some chips on the beach before going for a walk along the backstreets and along the river to the spot where I proposed to my wife back in 2009.  It is a lovely spot and it was nice to share it with someone.
We went into a bookshop down the bottom of Lyme and introduced our friend to the delight of rummaging around piles of books in every room to find a bargain!, sadly we didn’t find anything this time, but just as we went to leave a song came on I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire by the Ink Spots which was the theme tune to the popular and amazing game Fallout 3!
We quickly nipped into a fossil shop to browse as we did not manage to find any fossils on the beach (too late in the day really) and then made our way back to the car.

Unfortunately, the main road out of town was closed, our friend’s Sat Nav was at home and she had no signal to use her phone for navigation! eventually, by using the GPS on our phones, we found an alternate route and managed to get back on track until later in the day when the signal just as suddenly came back.
We played some Boss Monster, had some tea and went to bed after watching a film.

Friday we decided we wanted to take a walk over the cliffs to Bowleaze Cove which was a short walk away form the site.  We couldn’t remember the way exactly as it had been four years since we were last there but my wife called her brother and he navigated us back onto the correct path!
Taking lots more pictures of the stunning views (even though they had added an enclosed football field at the top of the hill which occupied the best spot) we passed the Riviera Hotel (which always looked to me like an old asylum) we arrived in Bowleaze cove, visited the cafe and amusements there then made our way back to the park.
We spent a few hours in the main entertainment room listening to the live band (Reservoir Rocks which were great) and i enjoyed a few Cobra Zero beers (the fact that they had alcohol free beers was great and made a change from coke!).

Saturday, our friend and I used our phones (which were working great now) to make our way to Portland (our friend wanted to wind up the locals about their rabbit superstition and to visit Portland Bill Lighthouse on the recommendation of her friend).
The walk up the lighthouse with a tour guide was very interesting and gave us all real insight into life as a lighthouse keeper and although the stairs were steep, we all made it to the top and gained a badge to commemorate the fact (the final set of stairs were more like a ladder than stairs!).
We then decided to visit the Sealife Centre not far from the park and enjoyed an hour wandering around peering into tanks and over fences at the animals inside.  I particularly enjoyed the underwater tunnel bit and saw sharks swimming literally over our heads! i then fell in love with a family of Otters! after visiting the gift shop and picking up a stuffed Otter, we made our way back to the caravan and watched a film.

Sunday was a day of rest, we were planning on swimming but we didn’t feel like it in the end, the weather wasn’t really warm enough and me and my wife had just got over a cold shortly before leaving Southampton and didn’t want to risk another one! we then drove to Bowleaze cove and ninja parked near Jordan Hill briefly to take pictures of the Roman Temple remains there.

And then the end of holiday was upon us, we cashed in our tickets and got matching starfish keyrings, had an evening meal and made our way back to the caravan to pack.

We left early the following morning, made our way home without incident, had a coffee together then our friend went home, we walked our other friend home and then spent time with our little kitty Milo while catching up on our series from the week.

That was our holiday! now depending on what happens next year, we have time to think about our next one (I just hope it is not four years time like this was! :)


Bathroom, Birmingham and Business!

It has been a busy few weeks!, in the last few weeks, we had a new bathroom fitted, visited family in Birmingham and both Tracey and I had interviews!.
Let me jump back in time a little…

A couple of months ago, a letter from the council arrived, informing us that we needed a new bathroom (coming less than two years after our new kitchen!).
Needless to say, we contacted the contractors and arranged a date for them to start.
Within a few days the work had started and we were once again playing host to a seemingly endless stream of craftsmen pouring in and out of our home from morning till dusk.

I even printed out a little sign requesting that they closed the front door after themselves as we didn’t want Milo getting out, surprisingly, a couple of them even took notice of it! one in particular paused at the doorstep to read it, looked at me, then opened the door and walked upstairs leaving it wide open, why the guy felt the need to perform this petty act of defiance was beyond me, it was a simple enough request and I feel didn’t put anyone out.

The first day they ripped out the old bathroom and installed the new one, we thought that they would be done by the end of the week at that rate, but alas, it would be another couple of weeks until the work was declared complete.
We managed to keep Milo (our kitty) out of their way and the noise was only bad for the first few hours, after that he was fine and we hardly noticed the workmen were there!.
We had full creative control over the colours and took photos at the various stages for our own records.
After the chaos of the bathroom died down, I had an interview at a major shopping centre for a cleaner position, which I consequently got offered before we went away to Birmingham to visit family.

Every day, we took a nice, long walk around the local park and enjoyed the hot weather, even spending a day up the local high street, hunting around the many charity shops (where i found a couple of books and a collection of Star Trek games for next to nothing).
Sadly, the Star Trek games were too old to even install except one (Starfleet Academy) and the expansion for Starfleet Academy wouldn’t even install under win XP (even though the base game did!).

Time to crack out DosBox!
On the way home, we decided to make the most of the day and walk back, though we got turned around somewhere and ended up using my phone’s GPS to navigate back through unfamiliar streets (which was more fun than it sounds!).

It was so nice visiting family we hadn’t seen for a long time and having someone else do the cooking!.

When we left, we were given some Thyme, Rosemary and Sage to pot up when we got home.
Our friend who looked after Milo and our flat for us while we were away, met up with us in town and bought us a coffee (which was SORELY needed!).
Finally we got home, put the herbs in water and crashed out!.

Since then, we have potted them up, bought some Basil, Mint and Parsley and planted some chilli seeds (which started to come up today) and I managed to get all my mods installed for The Elder Scrolls and Fallout games (though that is a post on its own!).

Within a couple of weeks, Tracey had got herself TWO interviews one after another!, she then had another couple of calls from potential employers wanting to “check her details” and now she is just waiting for ‘that’ call that means she will be working too!.

I am so proud of her recent achievements and it goes to show what you can do when you apply yourself!.

So now we sit, enjoying watching TV while I try to get some writing done!.


Smart Meter, Rummy and Books!

Well we have just had our new Southern Electric Smart Meter installed and said goodbye to the Engineer after a brief demo of our new system.
We can now monitor our electric and gas usage in real time which is really cool and has had me switching things on and running back to the hand held monitor to see the difference!.
The only weird thing is when i plugged the monitor into a free plug socket and switched it on to save the batteries, our usage dropped, not sure why.
Over the next seven weeks, it will learn our usage habits and adapt itself accordingly, so it will be interesting  to see what happens!.
While the Engineer was busy downstairs, we had no power for a brief time, so with no Internet, PCs or TV, we were forced to rely on other ways of amusing ourselves for the duration.

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Christmas Music Already?

logoWe went out with our close friend Philippa last night in part to celebrate my one year alcohol free.  We chose to go to Cafe Parfait in Southampton, which we went to once over a year ago and really enjoyed.
After a few bottles of Becks Blue, a delicious Spaghetti Bolognaise and some choice music courtesy of my iPod, we started to get ready for the evening.

After the girls meticulously applied their make up, decided what to wear with great difficulty and emerged from the bedroom as a stunning pair of beauties, I threw on a nice shirt, had a shave and put my dress shoes on in case the bouncers had an issue with the boots I normally wear.  We jumped on a late night bus which was running on time for a change (probably because it was about 2130 and everyone was already out).  We shortly arrived in Southampton and walked the remaining distance to Cafe Parfait itself.

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Christmas Preparation Underway

We have had a busy couple of weeks.

A while back, my wife Tracey found a cheap second hand bookcase on facebook.  When it arrived we then promptly spent the next two days sorting out all of our books into a large database and filling up the new bookcase.  We also went through the ornaments on the mantlepiece and in the cabinet and threw some out and others were moved to the top of the bookcase.  Figuring that the rest of the lounge may as well be done now, we then had a huge clearout and general tidy (not that we are untidy per se just a little cluttered).

Now, with a tidy lounge, my wife decided now would be a great time to sort out the bedroom, which quickly followed suit and now we are left with the fallout of all this sorting and clearing – a large collection of boxes, bags and assorted bric a brac in the shed all ready to be thrown out in the spring (when we have our huge annual clearout).  The amount of stuff we have to throw out would probably fill a skip! you don’t realise how much stuff you accumulate over time!.

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Football Manager Addiction!

Football Manager was named in 35 divorce cases in the UK.

Having played a fair few hours of it over the last couple of weeks I can see why.

I am not a huge follower of football and will be the first to put my hand up and admit I know next to nothing about football strategy and tactics (though I have printed out a few guides and read a lot of articles to increase my knowledge somewhat).  I understand they have streamlined  the game and improved vastly upon it since my last foray into Football Manager (2012) and I have found this version (2014) to be a lot simpler and more intuitive than the last one I played (I know it’s all a matter of opinion but I am getting on with this version better than 2010 or 2012 somehow).  Even though I am not a huge football fanatic, I still find this game highly addictive and think about it even when i’m not playing it and planning for my next session!.

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Games, Glorious Games!

Well, it has been a long time since my last post.

I think it is for a variety of reasons, chiefly being the fact that I am now well and truly back into my games and spend time on them when I should be writing.

I have definitely turned into a steam addict and my game collection grows by the week (though now Tracey has given me an allowance each fortnight!).

Lately, I have been mainly playing Crusader Kings II (where I am trying my hardest to become the King of Ireland [unsuccessfully] as YouTube recommends to new players), X2:The Threat (I am making my annual attempt at an X:Marathon where I start with X:Beyond the Frontier and progress through X:Tension, X2:The Threat, X3:Reunion and X3:Terran Conflict building my empire before finally getting my hands on X3: Albion Prelude and finally X:Rebirth if my PC can handle it).

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