Showing posts from May, 2008

Musical Nephew

All kids have a unique talent of some description that everyone will find cute for at least the first two or three times. At the moment, my nephew's unique talent is mimicking the crazy, moving eyes in his monster books. I just hope he doesn't do it in front of his teachers as they will probably think he's having a seizure and rush him to hospital sharpish. However, if there is one talent common to all kids, its the expert way they can play the heart strings: they should have their own section in the BBC Philharmonic . Last night at the Proms would never be the same again. Yesterday, I visited my little Sis and her family for an hour or so, to say hi and pick up a book I had loaned to one of her friends. My niece had disappeared off to a friend's birthday party for the day, so there was no sibling rivalry for attention this time. My brother-in-law had put together a slideshow of the pics he had taken of his friend's wedding, so I took a look at that ... just


I have been rather bad with blogging lately, but I do have some very good reasons ... half of which I can't talk about at the moment... Okay, that probably sounds a lot more ominous than it actually needs to be, but I've gotta hook you in for more somehow ;-) In the meantime, I think I'll bore you with yet more diving stories! In preparation for the three adventure dives at Capernwray next weekend, the last three needed to complete the Advanced Open Water Diver certification, Pygmie and I went up to Tiger Dive in Sheffield for a dry suit orientation course. It may be that we were spoiled by going to Emperor Divers in Sharm el Sheikh as they have now set the standard by which all other dive training centres are going to be measured.  Our experience with Emperor was so good that the apparent mayhem at Tiger was something of a disappointment. It probably didn't help that the seven open water learners were not booked in to hire the full kit, so there was something

Surface Gloss

One of the advantages of being a programmer is that it is possible to work from home on occasion ... employer permitting, of course! Thankfully, my boss is pretty good with us having to work from home when we need to as we generally don't do it all that often. This is incredibly useful when you receive a letter from the maintenance company telling you that you have to be available at some point over a two-day period for a new intercom to be installed. Hoorah for the new intercom - this one hasn't been working for over a year - but two days?? Considering I only get a basic twenty days holiday, being able to work from home is something of a boon when having to deal with this kind of self-centred business manner. However, after many months of waiting for it to be fixed, and a speedy job by the engineer involved (I only needed to work from home on Monday), I now have a fully functioning, brand spanking new intercom. Okay, its not a video one - which would have been great - bu

Egypt Trip: The Finale

So, after just four days, Pygmie and I had succeeded in becoming PADI-certified open water recreational divers! How cool?!?! No more Mr Nerd Guy for me!! I always thought it would be a whole lot harder to learn to dive than it actually was ... probably not helped by the doc who checked us out, giving us the horror stories about asthmatics and our exploding lungs. However, with the full course completed and an excursion dive under our belts, we were buzzing and ready to take on more. Admittedly, it had always been Pygmie's plan to spend the last day diving, but it wasn't until we were doing the course that we realised the option of doing a couple of adventure dives to go towards the Advanced Open Water Diver certification. The advantage of going for the advanced cert is that we can then go down to 30 metres rather than the Open Water Diver limit of 18 metres. Not that I'm complaining about 18 metres, that's a bloody long way down as far as I'm concerned! A


Well, that's it. All done. Finished. Finito. I must admit that once again I have mixed feelings about the play being over. On the one hand, its great not to have intensely-jangled nerves every night, but on the other hand ... I'm now a bit lost! The great thing about a drama group like The Centralian Players is that it is a good little social circle to join. Rehearsing twice a week means you get to see more than just work colleagues and potentially the odd new face or two (in some cases, very odd). Its also an excellent distraction from work which, lets face it, we all need from time to time. I certainly do with what is going on at the moment... Anyhoo, you're probably wondering how the whole thing went? Well, the feedback we have had from each night is that it was excellent, which gave us all a huge boost, as you would expect. Bearing in mind that the hall generally seats 100 people per production, we were looking at 96, 93 and 101 people in the audience for

Egypt Trip: Bit, The Next

Dive Course: Day 1 So, all tucked in to the hotel and rested, first thing Monday Pygmie and I made our way out to Emperor Divers which was conveniently located directly next to the hotel ... though in my case it was more yoyo-ing my way to the dive centre as I forgot my medical form, which meant hiking back across the vast hotel plot to my room only to find that I had left the key to my suitcase in the bag I had left with my cousin back at Emperor: cue much sweating before the day had even started. Not that I was panicking and not thinking straight!! Thankfully, they were in the process of organising dive trips and our instructor hadn't shown his face yet, so we just sat and took in what was going on for the next fifteen minutes or so. Then up popped our instructor, right hand with a swab stuck to it covering stitches and introduced himself as Walid. First things first, we were despatched off to the equipment shed where we got ourselves kitted out with wetsuit, boots, BCD ,

One Down, Two To Go

Well, the opening night of the play is now done and dusted ... two more nights left and we get to pull the set down! Actually, the thing I am really looking forward to is getting my hair cut.  Whilst it is not long as such at the moment, it is a lot longer than I would normally have it so that I can look vaguely 70s for the play.  Though as one person mentioned, in my purple suit and glasses I looked like Graeme Garden from The Goodies !! Well, finally, the nerves hit tonight.  I was hoping they would kick in long before this so that I would at least be able to get over making any mistakes but they seem to have picked tonight to start playing around with my head.  There was one point where I started thinking too much about my next line and ending up having a mental block, but thankfully managed to work around it.  Not sure how though ... I can't remember exactly what I said! So, two more nights to go.  I guess I'd best go and get some sleep so I'm not yawning my way thr

Only Human!

Despite popular opinion, the good folk in our police forces are actually human beings and have desires just like anyone else ... as this pic by Brian Clear proves! But who can blame the guy, Davina is a bit of a babe :-)

Where did all the time go?!

Close your eyes for a second and BAM, you suddenly find you've lost nearly two weeks! As fantastic as it would be, I certainly don't have the abilities of Hiro Nakamura , so I must have been subject to the usual issue of Time sneaking unseen past my back in its little ninja suit. The cheeky bastard. Since I returned from Egypt*, my time has been taken up with two things: work and drama, though work does tend to be very much a drama in its own right, as I think most of you will agree!! For those of you who pop by regularly, you will be familiar with the little dance The Boss and I have been engaged in. If not, check out the last post on this subject from last year. Bascially, upon my return The Boss asked me in for a quick meeting before he disappeared off out for the day, where he straight out asked me about my filling the directorship role he has been offering since the dawn of time. I have been avoiding this role mostly because there has been no definition to it and

Egypt Trip: Part the First

I have to confess that since I arrived back from Egypt I haven't been particularly inclined to post any entries, hence the last couple of rather half-arsed posts! So, I guess its about time to update you on the rather excellent time I had out there :-) The whole purpose of the break was for my cousin and I to gain the PADI Open Water Diver certification, something that - at that time - I wasn't particularly interested in doing, but it was a break from work so why not?! He had hoped to achieve his certification whilst on his honeymoon in the Maldives but despite numerous questions about what he would need, they neglected to inform him that he needed a medical because of his asthma.  Normally, this would not have been a problem as they have a doc out there.  Unfortunately for my cousin, the doc went on holiday the same day he landed in Kuredu! Talk about bad timing. So Egypt became the target with yours truly chosen as the buddy and accompanied by my cousin's wife and her fri

Blog Stats

If there is one thing I quite enjoy about blogging its having a laugh about ... or being totally baffled by ... the search words used to reach these humble pages. For the most part, they are pretty standard search terms, but occasionally you get the ones that make you wonder what on earth you wrote about that attracted searches like: man musk, moo fungus and swimming flatulence.  Yes, I really have had these!! As far as April is concerned, the most intriguing search phrase was: white fuzz on my oscar! Either the famous are now visiting looking for handy cleaning tips or this is a euphemism that I don't really want to go into...