"for the happy, the sad, I don't want to be, another page in your diary"

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Competent Person

My company’s London project, that I am heavily involved in, is already slipping and although we knew our trip down there could still be called off at any minute, my colleague and I finally head down there on Tuesday.

Apparently I am our company's designated ‘Competent Person’ on site. If only they knew. I am asked to tick a box to say I have completed the Competent Person training? Have I? Suppose it’s called life, isn’t it? I tick the box.

When L texts to ask ‘How’s it going?’ Typically with this customer, the answer is 'not great'. That is until we suddenly had some success getting everything set up at 4:50pm. Hopefully we’ll get more done on Wednesday. Then we head to the local Premier Inn for the night. Who don’t want to serve us food. Have we booked? A room? Yes. A table for food? No. Didn’t know we had to.

The hotel is right next to the Enfield Brewery but obviously they don’t sell any in the hotel. Later on I have a walk around the area and find, as I expected, it’s purely industrial. No even a dodgy backstreet boozer, let alone a pint of Enfield.

I return to my room where it’s a bit lonely without a dog on my bed, asleep with his head resting on my knee, and without a girl beside me, asleep with her head resting on her book. Although back at home, she is awake because the boys won’t let her sleep and Doggo keeps lapping the stairs. They seem to be missing me and she ends up sleeping downstairs so that they can wait by the front door for me. Bless.

The progress we made late on Tuesday isn't improved on the next day, although none of that is our fault. So we will be coming back down on Friday.

(Wednesday 15th November)

Monday, 13 November 2017

Senior Citizens Special

Daughter stops over, probably exhausted after her weekend with the boys, and then heads home first thing as she has the whole week off. That’s some recovery time for dog sitting but probably warranted.

I walk Doggo and then leave him eating his posh Senior Citizens special dog food while I head to work, as I’m running late. Little did I know that he would abort the moment I left the house. So MD comes back from his walk and thinks all his birthdays have come at once as he finds a bowl of salmon dog food on the floor awaiting his return. 

So MD gets the posh nosh and Doggo gets a bowl of 10p tinned dog food instead but naturally wolfs the lot.

Tonight was supposed to be our dog club's committee meeting but I’d already rescheduled that for next week before I found out that the today's planned trip to London has been postponed. Even though I’m now free tonight, I daren’t ask them to move it back again.

I should be in London tomorrow... and I've asked L to steal me some latex gloves from her clinic. Which are for my work in London, honest. 

(Monday 13th November)

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Indispensable Excesses

On Saturday morning we head to Forest Rec parkrun. Such is life that I have planned the trains for our trip to Manchester around parkrun. I run with MD, badly. Daughter walks Doggo because she’s injured. L tailwalks but then gets spotted breaking into a run (several times) when she’s supposed to be walking.

Then we head off for our chilled and romantic Mancunian weekend with loads of beer, food, cycling and other indispensable excesses. Daughter has kindly offered to dog sit. After the slow train to Manchester we check in to the Holiday Inn on Oxford Road where we are on a freebie ‘rewards’ weekend which to my surprise also includes breakfast. So we will not be breakfasting at the local Subway, which we can see from our bedroom window and which, of course, is Daughter’s former workplace.

We have tickets for the Track Cycling World Cup this evening which starts at 6.30pm. So time for a beer or two. We find a place called The Knott where the Fell Milk Stout at 5.2% appeals to both of us. We wash it down (or should that be the other way around) with one of their pizzas.

After making our way out to the cycling, watching some great action, we then return to the same Castlefields area of Manchester to The Briton's Protection, a Grade II listed pub dating from 1806. It is ok but not as good as The Knott. So we return there, only to find that one Milk Stout has been replaced by another with Black Jack Milk Stout now on the bar. Clearly the Knott is the place for Milk Stout.

We are also at the Velodrome for the Sunday afternoon session from 3pm but L insists on showing me the local Waterstones first. Although this still leaves us time for a lunchtime pint in Café Beermoth. Then when the cycling finishes at 6pm we get the train home.

Great Britain finished the event in second place on the medal table with three gold medals, which was good but only as good Kristina Vogel who managed three on her own as the German team won overall with four.

(Sunday 12th November)

Friday, 10 November 2017

On The Cocoa

On the bike again and it’s a bit windy. Not too bad though, I was more annoyed with incessant drizzle.

Delays' singer Greg Gilbert will turn on the Christmas Lights in Southampton this year. Sadly Greg is running out of time in his fight against bowel cancer. I’ve been following the occasional updates on his partner’s blog and it's not pleasant reading. A complete contrast to the uplifting songs the band are known for.

Tonight it's a Friday night in for us oldies and I’m on the cocoa almost as soon as I get in. Cocoa Porter.

(Friday 10th November)

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Good Samaritan

Finally, on the bike and it was very good. Although a bit drizzly but I seriously needed the fresh air.

L doesn’t have the best of experiences when she goes to the rescue of an Asian woman who this white chap was threatening and even hitting. L ends up getting threatened herself and called some pretty amazing names. I can imagine. 

The thing is she stuck it out and walked the woman home. Sounds terrifying but she was very brave and I’m proud of her. Not enough people are willing to put themselves out and do the right thing these days. 

(Thursday 9th November)

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Good Zimmering

Doggo is getting wobblier and we’ve both started guiding him the stairs by his collar so that he doesn’t face plant the front door. Sadly he’s starting to look an old man, as bad as me really.

L hits the gym and declares herself ‘almost’ pain free. Which means I will have to restrain her tonight so that she doesn’t head off out to knock off 10k.

My Mum is still in hospital and I go over after work to visit. She is looking good and zimmering well on her new knee but they won’t let her out just yet. Afterwards I head home to pick up the boys and to take him with the dodgy paw to training. Although he’s been chasing after his ball just fine. I guess I’ll see how he goes at training.

L has already headed over to see her folks on the bus. So no pub again, they'll be going bust.

She is terrified about what lies ahead because her Dad has asked him to help download a GPS App. That’s probably outside all our comfort zones but if she pulls it off she could be coming home with several bottles of wine.
(Wednesday 8th November)

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Ugandan Discussions And Other Dubious Practices

YouGov Question Of The Week

For each of the following phrases, please say if you think they are appropriate or not appropriate for use in conversation nowadays.

Siberian tickle
Double Dutch
Chinese whispers
Mexican wave
Irish twins
Dutch courage
Spanish practices
Ugandan discussions
Russian roulette
Irish exit
French kissing
Chinese walls
Going Dutch
Paddy wagon
Indian summer

I haven’t even heard of some of those and had to google them. Now I will look forward to some Ugandan Discussions tonight after a bit of Dutch courage of course.

I wonder if the Mexican team will walk out in protest when they start doing the Mexican wave at the Cycling World Cup this weekend? Our dog training is stuffed, we were practising not only German turns but Japanese ones last week.

Oddly there’s no mention of a Brazilian on the list.

Tonight I meet up with my old school friend. There is now only the two of us now after the death of one of our number the other week. We raise a glass to him. 

Then with all this talk of sexually inappropriate behaviour in the media, I amuse my friend with my contribution to the #MeToo movement because its not just the ladies that get subjected to inappropriate behaviour. It was meted out regularly in some of the near all female environments I used to work in back in the early 1990’s.

The 50-something women who ran the Data Entry Department in the company I worked for staffed it with about thirty young girls and although the company tried to get some lads in there she wouldn’t stand for it. Any lads who were employed weren’t made to feel welcome and very soon left. 

I dreaded going down there to fix their computer issues as this woman always tried to embarrass you by commenting on your dress style, your hair, your aftershave, your height... anything really. Then always asking about your love life. She used to run a Blind Date style service (as in the TV programme) among her younger colleagues which you could end up in as an unwilling participant if your weren't careful.

Then there was the naked calendars on the wall, of men of course, but the shocking thing was they used to cut pictures from the company magazine and superimpose the heads of the management on the calendars. I don’t know how they got away with it. 

(Tuesday 7th November)

Monday, 6 November 2017

Ongoing Obsession

L questions my ongoing obsession with fruit case, suggests I might be bored with it and would I like her to make something different. Something different to a fruit cake?  Hmmm. Suggestions on a postcard.

I think I might be frustrating the chef’s creativity, I suppose it isn’t exactly Bake Off worthy. The only variation I fancied was with ginger but we never really got that to work. L suggests adding touch of chilli. Not sure I fancy that. She’ll be leaving me for someone who is more exciting in the cake department.

L goes to running club in the evening, although it would probably be best not to... she promises me she’ll be going out with the beginners.

I’m at dog training where MD develops a bit of a hobble and I have to lower the jumps for him. I hope he’s not losing his paw for heights, not with Crufts coming up.

(Monday 6th November)

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Pet Snail

The snail that had been clinging to the wall above our wheelie bin, that I assumed was stuck there through rigor mortis, proves it is alive. The other day I had removed it from the wall and put it on the floor but now it is back in its spot above the wheelie bin. A fast mover this one. Now, for an encore, it seems tto be moving across to perch above the recycling bin.

In the evening I do the SQT at the Velodrome while L meets Daughter at the Forest Rec Firework Display. I’m undecided about whether to take the dogs with me to experience the ongoing airborne assault in Derby or whether to leave them with the ongoing airborne assault at home. In the end I take them with me, figuring it’s got to be quieter at the Velodrome where there’s less housing.

Afterwards I go for pint in the Exeter with my Dad and then on the way home pass the first gritting lorry of the year. Not that that necessarily means much.

(Sunday 5th November)

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Chickens Coming Home To Roost

We don’t parkrun although Daughter does. L has another crack at getting the hang of shopping while I walk the boys on park and then go to match.

Derby lose 4-2 at home to Reading, tactically I think a few chickens coming home to roost. I meet my Dad there and then go with him to visit my Mum in hospital who is now back on almost full form. Then I head back to Nottingham by bus to meet L for a few jars but we agree to cancel when it becomes clear that the house is under firework bombardment and annoying the dogs. Instead I cook and we have a TOTP night in.

It takes me a while to get over being sexually traumatised on the bus and I will have to email details to the media later. A rather rowdy hen party are offering all the lads on the bus free dildo advice. Then, as I’m getting off the bus, one of them clearly touches my thigh. You just can’t do that sort of thing any more. 

(Saturday 4th November)