Monday, May 28, 2007

A Wet & Cold Bank Holiday Monday

A typical British Bank Holiday when the weather could have been so good allowing visits to many a place in the sun. Locally we had a 3 day Steam Fair which nearly always has bad weather. I feel so sorry for the organisers.
So instead, I took Liz's recipe for Bara Brith or Sultana Bread and made a loaf.
Brilliant recipe Liz, even I couldn't go wrong and it is delicious.
Thanks Liz for offering me something to do on this horrible day and I get to take it in my lunchbox this week.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Gary Moore Gig

As previously announced here and on Furtheron's blog, we went to see Gary at Folkestone on Friday night. Well I know I went with another colleague from work but I can't guarantee that Furtheron and his son went as we didn't actually get to meet up. It was a sell out gig and the Leas Cliff Hall, which isn't very big to start with, was packed and very very hot.
Gary was brilliant as expected except for his little petulant moment at the beginning of the show when he stormed off after have a row with his roadie about the set up of the equipment. However on his return 5 minutes or so later he then performed for the best part of 2 hours giving us some old and new numbers. All of them were examples of his virtuoso guitar playing.
There was a terrific support act whose name I never did find out. I have noticed recently that the support acts seem to be improving in quality. They were a 5 piece blues band from the U.S. (with a rather attractive red-headed girl on bass) who at times reminded me of Steely Dan. The band that is not the bass guitarist :-) I really must try to find out who they were.

I have just found out that Thin Lizzy are performing there in December so must get organised and get some tickets for that. It is a must see gig!

P.S. 2 hours later - Lizzy ticket ordered and found out that the supporting band for Gary Moore was Otis Taylor, his daughter Cassie on bass, Jonn Richardson on lead guitar and Josh Kelly on drums.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Stop Self Talk?

It took me a couple of passes of this post from Shellz to fully get it. Slow or what?
But this is just what I needed to get me back into a more positive frame of mind.
Thank you Shellz

When you stop your self-talk, you create a vacuum. Have intent on what you wish your life to be, and hold the essence of that intent always, but don't obsess mentally about it. Have an intent that will not bend, but don't obsess mentally about it. Simply know that what you intend will be so and leave it at that. You can visualize your intent every now and then. In fact, you should visualize your intent once in a while, perhaps twice or thrice a day, for visualization is creative and highly powerful. But that's it; no need to obsess. Create a vacuum. Let nature fill it. Life is a magnificent force. When you stop filling your cup with littleness, it will fill with greatness. Life cannot show you what it truly is if you keep telling it how it should be. When you drop your self-talk, the most amazing accomplishments begin to happen, because your self-talk, based on littleness, is what replenishes and maintains a world of littleness instead of grandeur.

- David Cameron Gikandi

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Why is it that although the weather is fantastic, therefore I am biking to work and having a ball, I am feeling pretty low and very very tetchy?

I guess it may simply be a factor of consolidated small things that are bugging me.

One of my favourite bloggers is feeling even worse than I am as she has been diagnosed as probably having MS. I am trying to give her comfort but it is so difficult at a distance.

This week I lost a ring that had significant sentimental value then had a battle with my insurers to establish that I had cover. Eventually they have admitted negligence in the issuance of relevant policy documentation and have agreed to honour the claim – a result!

On the same day I had to replace two tyres on the car which set me back a whopping £375.

I also learned this week that I have not been selected for interview for an application I had submitted internally for another job. I was convinced that I would at least get to interview and this view has been supported by my current manager.

My current work is also not going well with significant problems being caused by the U.S. team’s slippage of the deliverables that I am responsible for implementing in Europe. Added to that the working relationships within the EU team are at an all time low with folks covering their a****s because they can see the slippage causing further issues downstream.

So all in all not a good week so far with small, niggling pressures that I suppose are all contributing to how I feel today. Still thanks guys for letting me get it off my chest and allowing me to think it through. I think it may be helping already.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Biking with The Police

I know that this post is out of sequence, but it has taken a while to get around to it.

Which reminds me, did you hear the one about a man who bought his wife a round wooden platter with the word ‘TUIT’ engraved in the centre? When she asked what it was for he said “well you are always saying that you will get around to it, so I bought you one!! - groan

Back to the subject matter; my motorcycling with the Police. No this was not Sting as Furtheron conjectured but the Kent fuzz.

They run what is called a Bike Safe training day for motorcyclists which I attended last Friday. I would thoroughly recommend it for any of you bikers out there whose local force runs these days, and many of them do.

I had an extremely enjoyable day as well as picking up some good riding tips. Being followed by a Police motorcycle who has condoned exceeding the National Speed Limit from time to time is a real buzz.

The format of the day is a minimal classroom session and then out on the road with 2 candidates to 1 Police motorcyclist (in full regalia which made for some interesting looks from passing motorists when we were having roadside de-briefs!)). We covered about 130 miles of very mixed roads, made even more interesting by my fellow rider missing several signals to turn off so we had to resort to some very narrow and wet lanes to get back on track. The day was from 09:00 to 16:00 (ish) and included a typical bikers lunch at the Ogri Café Horam where 6 Police riders and 12 candidates all met up to discuss the morning's ride.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dover Ferry Trip

I am on the committee of the local branch of the BCS (British Computer Society) and we held our AGM at the weekend (how sad is that?) but read on .......

WE normally hold these meetings every 6 - 8 weeks and have a (usually) interesting presenter on a vaguely IT topic. As this was our AGM, which nobody ever turns upi for, and this year is also the 50th anniversary of the BCS, we decided to 'push the boat out' - literally!

We obtained a really good speaker in Peter Wood who is a highly entertaining speaker and as one of our committee works for P&O, we managed to get a bookong on The Pride of Calais fro a crossing on Saturday afternoon.
We all met at the terminal, were escorted on to the ferry where complimentary champagne and coffee was served in a private lounge where we held the formal AGM and listened to Peter's terrific presentation on the top 5 vulnerabilities of networks. This had everyone frantically promising themselves to review their own security on Monday morning!! We were so enthralled by his content and presentation style that before we knew it (including our wives and guests who have no interest in IT) we were already in Calais.
The return trip was spent in Langan's Brasserie where copious wine flowed and the conversation became louder until once again we were in Dover Docks wondering where the time had gone.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tagged - AGAIN!

I don' always play ball with these tags, but if the content appeals and I have been tagged by someone whose blog I respect and like to read I am game.
This time I have been tagged by Liz with a meme that had me thinking quite hard and I am still not sure if I have got all my thoughts on the questions out here.

1. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
So this got me to thinking about why I even started this blog. The honest answer is that I don't really know. I think it was because I was regularly reading some and was attracted by the camaraderie that was obviously being generated by regular commenters and by lists of blogs that folks liked to read. So I thought that I liked the opportunity to join a community like that.
To accomplish what? Well nothing earth shattering but simply to share some of my life's daya to day experiences with anyone who wants to share. Let's face it if they don't then they won't and I will be none the wiser!

2. Are you a spiritual person?
Is this religious or what?
I used to be religious and attend church regularly, but I am sorry to say that I became very cynical about the continuing dogmatic way that the church seemed to conduct itself. Funnily enough I am not so sure that is true any more. However I beleive that I still conduct myself and my life with basic Christian morals.
As to non-religious spiritualism, I do strongly believe in self belief, mind training and the power of mind over matter.

3. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want to have with you?
Music. I am not sure how I would get it except maybe for a wind-up radio as I can't make any for myself, but I really couldn't get by without any.
Reading material. It would be nice to have an unending supply (but of course I don't even know how long I am here for). So I would go for Lord of the Rings, Catch 22 and to regain my religious spiritualism The Bible.

4. What's your favourite childhood memory?
At the age of about 8 purposefully getting lost in a field in the thickest fog I can remember and then finding my way out.

5. Is this your first meme?
No, I've done several others

I'm supposed to tag 5 but sorry guys, I will settle on Cynnie and Andromeda

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Bank Holiday Weekend Blog

Not a particularly good weekend for a Bank Holiday as the weather could have been an awful lot better, however there were two events that I consider to be blog-worthy.

  1. A trip on Sunday to good old Brighton with Mrs DeeJay and her son who came to visit for the weekend. I can't remember the last time I visited and it was good to see it again. The down side was the Bank Holiday wether and the traffic even though it was far from beach weather. However after searching for a parking space for over half an hour (at least we managed to find one in the local swimming baths, not like all those obedient motorists waiting in the car park queues for someone to leave), we had a very blustery but embracing walk along the front and a more leisurely walk back through the Lanes. We stopped off in a little Italian restaurant for a good bowl of pasta.

  2. Last night we went to Croydon to see Joan Armatrading. What a fantastic show with a lot of new material as well as all the old favourites in an almost 2 hour set. What a fantastic voice range she has, as well as terrific guitar skills, especially on her 12 string playing Love Songs.
    There was also an unknown (to me at least) support act in Jade Gallacher. I think that she was obviously influenced by artists such as Eva Cassidy and sings incredibly like her. She was only on for about 30 to 40 minutes but she had me enthralled for the whole time. Her new album to be released around July is going to be a definite buy for me.
Work has been tough this morning after such a late night and after a long weekend, but as I have a dayoff to go bike riding with the Police on Friday (maybe blog material for the weekend), it is only a 3 day week for me - hurray!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Feeling Low

I don't know why, but I have not been feeling too good emotionally and mentally for a while now.
I know that Mum's illness has taken a toll, what with my guilt trip about being so far away and leaving it all to my brother to handle. BUT there is something more that I can't put my finger on.

Despite all my personal activities, my tough work schedule, my home interests etc. I feel that I am still searching for something. I know I have some recent some emotional relationship baggage that I do not want to share here just yet that is with me most days, but I do not think it is so strong as to give me the down feelings that I currently have.
Maybe my work situation which is somewhat tenuous at the moment is playing a part.
Maybe as I get closer to retirement I am scared of what that might mean. I really cannot envisage a life without work and its associated networking and friendships to say nothing of the buzz that daily problems to solve give me.
Maybe it is coming out of winter into a new spring that is causing me to seek out my true desired direction in life.

This is the first post I have made at this sort of level of introversion. I do hope that it is not going to become a regular occurrence.
Thanks for bearing with me while I get this off my chest. Maybe it will help