Sunday, 27 June 2010

Websites, Work, Weddings, Welton and Wimbledon...

I was sad to read that Palace Fan is bringing his blog to an end after 5 years. He's had a good innings in the blogosphere and I'm sure he will start up a new one as he's moving with his family to Oz in the next couple of weeks. To be honest, it's touch and go if this blog will continue for much longer as neither of us seem to have the time to write even a few lines these days , let alone a whole post. We've both been that busy, which I'll come on to in a minute, and don't seem to get a minute spare these days. But we'll soldier on for a bit longer if that's ok with you!

So, the title of the post says it all really, and I'll go through them in order!

Websites; you probably know that since last August time I have been "experimenting" (that's probably the most apt description) with building websites for various different projects. I've put a lot of work into them and some of them have been quite rewarding financially, but for the most part it was my interest in IT, ecommerce and generally messing about with computers that kept me going. Well I'm glad to say that I've stepped away from 2 of these sites for one reason or another, and I'm now not stressing out trying to do a day job AND manage multiple websites.

When I started on these things were a bit up in the air (at Comet - and by the sound of it they still are up in the air!) and so I was just trying to have a backup plan in case I was handed a "thanks for all your hard work but we don't need you anymore" letter. Things didn't come to that luckily, which was a relief, but I carried on with the sites anyway.

In the end an argument over money (things usually come to that don't they?) put stop to 2 of the sites so now I'm just concentrating on our own venture,, and hope to launch this very soon.

Work; the new job is going really well and I'm really glad I made the move from Comet. It was a bit of a gamble, but it has definitely paid off. I enjoyed my time at Comet, except maybe the last 6 months, but it was time for me to move on to pastures new. Republic is a smaller company but is on the rise and will become a big brand over the next couple of months/years. It's good to be in a team/company where everyone mucks in and the politics are not as prominent. Don't get me wrong , I'm sure Republic has it's fair share of politics , but I've been lucky enough not to experience them yet!

Weddings; things have slowed down a bit on this front for now. I'm sure Michelle will comment that they never even got going for me anyway ;0) My only involvement to this point was tasting canapes at Ramada Jarvis ; they were very nice too. Most of the invites have gone out though.

Welton; not quite content with having a new job and a wedding to contend with this year we decided to buy a house too! It's in Welton and is an absolute beauty! The garden is immense and we're both looking forward to getting out there and getting in touch with our Percy Thrower sides. We're hoping to complete the deal at the end of July, so not long to wait. One other added bonus is our new neighbours aren't French which is always good!

So finally onto Wimbledon; we "won" tickets in the ballot (well my Mum did really and was very kind to let us have them) so we hot-footed down to SW19 on the train on Tuesday. It was an absolutely glorious day, a bit too hot for me, and we saw some great tennis. Serena Williams, Rafa Nadal and Robin Soderling on centre court and a few random players on the outlying courts. We took a coolbag loaded with goodies and strawberries and generally had a top day out. I could have quite happily sat there for 2 weeks watching tennis, eating and drinking cream teas and for the most part doing nothing ;0)

Well, that's it for now, the sun is out, the sunday papers are in and England are up against zee Germans later on. Oh yeah and I forgot to mention I've become an uncle again. Andrew and Gemma have just had their first baby, a little girl weighing at 8 pound something. Congrats to them both.


p.s. i'm sure you all got the connection with the photo of George W. Bush. Get it? All the words in the title start with W? Never mind!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Absolutely Airbrush...

After many weeks of hard work, reading, photoshopping and general messing about on my iMac, it gives me great pleasure to bring to you Absolute Airbrush, a great new website (well I would say that wouldn't I??) for all your airbrushing needs. A big THANKYOU to Adam J for the cool logo and artwork.

Check it out , Click here

This site is build on the Open Source osCommerce platform Visit osCommerce here, and is hosted by OpenByNature, check them out here

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

And now the end is near....

Well, it must have been years since I've written a post (Sunday 11th October to be precise) and I've got some news so now seems as good a time as any!

First off, the BIG news, I'm leaving Comet and moving on to pastures new, Republic, the fashion retailer, again to be precise! Should be starting there just after Easter in my new role. I started Comet 12 years ago, and although there have been a few trips round the world thrown in for good measure, it does feel like 12 years now and it seems like the right time to hang up my gloves! I didn't take the decision lightly and have been pondering and procrastinating for well over a month now, but I know I've made the right decision!

Anyway, there's plenty more interesting stuff to write about too! We went to our first wedding fare (together!) on Sunday which happened to be at the venue we have chosen. I say (together) but it's really my first but i can't vouch for Michelle as she seemed to be a natural at it. On entering we took a right into a room which had 5 roast dinners laid out on a table. Hey, this is alright I thought, and preceded to sit down and take out my emergency knife and fork (I always carry a pair with me, well you never know do you?). Anyway, I was just about to stuff a mouthful of turkey and stuffing into my mouth when I noticed "for demonstration purposes only". What a strange notice, "demonstration purposes only" How can you demonstrate food without physical eating it??! What they should have done is have a load of food toffs, or better still that Aussie and the bald bloke off Masterchef there scoffing the food and talking b*lloc.... sorry nonsense!

"That my friend is a triumph!", "I could quite happily lick that plate clean", "first you get the turkey dancing on your tongue, then the stuffing comes out of nowhere and there's an explosion of flavours in the back of your throat!". Pair of nobheads!

So, after wrongly sitting down to a roast dinner, I then found myself being drawn to the canapes that were neatly laid on a silver platter. Michelle had wandered off to look at some seat coverings so I downed a few of them when noone was looking and then wandered off towards the windows. Lo and behold there was some wine to taste! I soon came to the conclusion that this wedding fare malarky wasn't so bad after all. I sipped (I was driving!) a couple of mouthfulls of red and white , obviously dispensing of the tasted wine into a spitoon, and then headed off to the bar. The bar wasn't open but that was the only place I hadn't been too yet! There wasn't a great deal to taste there so after a quick "about turn" I caught up with Michelle again who was just agreeing colour schemes for the seat covers. I won't tell you what colour they are as it will spoil the surprise on the day (that's if you are invited ;0)

When we finally got home I jotted down the dates of the remaining wedding fares in the area and we are now booked into one a week for the remainder of the year! Not really, but it wouldn't be so bad if we were as I can thoroughly recommend the food and drink!

Well, I think I'll leave it there, I've got a week off in March (to use up my remaining holiday), so I'm going to get out on my bike and get some snaps with my nearly-new camera. And then after that, the obligatory round of leaving dos starts. I'm pretty sure this is my third time leaving Comet, so this time I'll keep the leaving drinks very low key ;0)


p.s. It is my third time I've "left" Comet although this time, as the Governor of California once said, "I DEFINATELY WON'T BE BACK!"

Friday, 29 January 2010

Baby Baby!!

Well I don't know if there's something in the water or what, but almost everyone we know (about our age) is having or has recently had children!!
Now I know it's only natural when you get to our age that people will be starting / extending their families, but it is all the people that I least expected it from.
You know the sort of people that you think you have a "real" connection with because none of you want children!!
It seems me and Matt are amongst the minority in our choice to remain childless.
Having said that we have just had a lovely weekend with Gary and Eve and their two Ella (19 months) and Xander (8 weeks)they are bloody hard work though!
Gary and Eve hardly had a minute to themselves as they constantly fed, changed and entertained their tots.
As cute as they both are (the kids not Gary and Eve)we are still sure that kids are not for us. We may increase the head count of guinea pigs when we get our own house but that's as close to parenting we are going to come ;-)
Congrats to those of you who have recently revealed their baby news(identities remain anonymous)I think we have just about over come the shock!!

Wedding planning is coming along nicely, although I wish somebody could do it all for us, what started out to be a low key / cost affair is already running into the thousands, and that is without going mad on things that are not needed. We have booked some cracking entertainment for the evening and I'm sure it will be a memorable occasion for all the right reasons!
We have talked about honeymoon destinations but we are still undecided as to what were going to do, might be a mini RTW trip, we might also go back to the Maldives for some R&R, which I'm sure we will both need once the wedding is over.
I wouldn't make a very good project manager, not when it came to managing budgets anyway. Either that or I genuinely underestimated the cost of "wedding" type things!

Bryn and Smiffy are fit and healthy and very settled now, we have them out a couple of times a week for a little cuddle (more for my benefit than Matt's ;-)) They are both completely different personalities. Bryn is the friendlier of the two and will let you stroke him, will come to you for food and is generally very sociable. Smiffy however is the complete opposite, he won't let you stroke him and run off as soon as you go near the cage to put his food in. He also fidgets a lot when we have them both out, where as Bryn will sit quite contentedly.
Love em to bits though, they are ever so funny, and really nice little creatures to have.

I've been on holiday for two weeks, which has been bliss. Matt was off for the 1st week too but the second week I've had all to myself. I've really enjoyed the break and could get used to being off!
However with a wedding to arrange and two Guinea Pigs to keep looks like there's no chance!!!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Bryn & Smiffy

Me and Matt have been talking about getting a dog for a while now, but we have both agreed that we work long hours, love our holidays etc so it's not really the right time to get one. The thing is though I absolutely love animals and feel like I've been missing out on all the happiness that pets can bring, so we have opted for two male guinea pigs instead!!

See attached pics of little Bryn and Smiffy (characters from Gavin & Stacey) Bryn is the ginger one.

They are adorable and have brought us lots of laughs with some of their antics! I have had guineas before but I'd forgotten how funny they really are! Because they are only babies they have a lot of energy and do a lot of jumping about (aka popcorning) this can only be described as popcorn going off in the microwave. They just spring up into the air and then run off with a little squeak, it's hilarious!

they also love tube to run through, stacks of fresh hay to munch, and just chewy things in general, not to mention a healthy supply of fresh greens every day!!!

Anyway see attached pics of the little critters, Bryn and Smiffy Looby :-)

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Going to the Chapel

Hey folks - sorry it's been a while, once again not a great deal going on other than the every day razzmatazz! That said we do have some big news, and that is that, Gavin & Stacey is back on tonight at 9pm!!

No seriously, we have finally booked our wedding for Friday 29th October 2010. We will be having a Civil Ceremony (it could turn uncivil depending how much Matt and the best man have to drink the night before!) and it will be held in Hull.

Preparation is already underway, lists have been made up, frocks have been purchased and colours have been agreed!!! It's all extremely exciting, and to be honest i didn't realise just how much I wanted to marry Matt.

We are both looking forward to it, unfortunately we cannot invite everybody to the ceremony but we will be inviting as many people to the evening reception as we can (afford!!) Invites will be going out after Christmas so I will be contacting you all after Christmas for your addresses.

On a more mundane note, not a great deal else going on at the moment.
We will soon be celebrating my 40th Birthday, me and Matt are going to York and staying over at a nice hotel and then going out to dinner in the evening, so really looking forward to that, I've also got a night with the girls which my beautiful bezzy Anna has been busily organising, can't wait for that either, there are quite a few of us going so that should be a giggle! So many social events to attend in December, and so few outfits to wear!!!

Matt has been very busy too with his new websites that he is helping to design, and playing his new PS3 game, and spending every other spare minute on the internet. We have also been watching the Sex and the city box set that Nicola kindly lent to us the last time we were over there, it is a fantastic series and I would urge anybody to watch it, it is embarassingly hilarious at times, but really good fun and entertaining to watch.

Matt got a new SLR camera for his birthday but we haven't had much opportunity to get out and use it yet, so no interesting pics on Flckr just yet (watch this space)

Anyway, that's about it from me... more on the wedding to follow in the coming months (for those of you that are interested ;-))

Sunday, 11 October 2009


We missed a month of blogging again but to be fair (to both of us!) we have been extremely busy over the last couple of months. It just seems to be work , work and more work at the moment which is why this weekend , or the one just gone by the time most people are reading this, it was great to get away from it all and get some proper back to basics walking, eating and of course drinking in the glorious Lake District. We joined forces with Stew, Kirsty and loads of teachers and headed off to Braithwaite where we set up camp for 2 nights. The teacher/walking combination thing is a bi-annual affair for Stew and Kirsty but for us it was a first but definitely won't be the last!

We rocked up at about 7pm and met up with the school folk, who are a lovely bunch; they ranged from maths teachers, PE teachers, teacher assistants and more. I wasn't a big fan of teachers when I was at school but then I don't think anyone is really. This bunch were great though, they made us feel really welcome from the off. It helped that we went to an Indian and sank a few beers on the first night too, as you can't get much better than that really ;0)

We stayed in a kind of lodge cum hostel just outside of Braithwaite with proper bunk beds and everything! After a curry and some beers I was absolutely whacked so we turned in for an early night. Apparently we missed the entertainment which consisted of a reenactment of Mama Mia but the Hull version. It's called Mam I'm here, if you say it in a Hull accent you'll see why it's funny. Some of the girls are part of an amateur dramatics society and they have actually performed this to paying customers. I couldn't comment as I didn't see it, but it sounded like everyone was enjoying it, as we heard plenty of laughs and shrieks. At least I assume that was what the laughs and shrieks were for.

So, we rised and shined at 8am to a hearty cooked breakfast, and then before we knew it we were off in the car to Buttermere to begin the walk! Now we've been to the Lakes a few times before with Steen and Nicola but we have always escaped walking because a) the weather has been crap, b) we haven't made it past the pub, c) the weather has been crap, d) we've not made it past the pub and d) all of the above. So we were quite looking forward to actually doing a walk in the Lakes (at least I think we were!).

So we headed off from the carpark and started a gentle climb up a path-like track. The track soon became a steep, rock strewn path and after about 30 minutes we were about 3 miles high! Seriously, it was a baptism of fire! The path was really steep and it turned into more of a climb than a walk. We had quite a few short stops early on and when we turned to look at the view behind it was stunning (see below). I think we were all quite shocked (except Wilko, our guide, who had done the walk before) at how fast we ascended.

Once we got to the top, the way forward flattened out and we reached the edge of the plateau. This really showed off how high we were, I think it was about 2200ft, and it was certainly a lot cooler than when we started. After a short pause we then headed across a slate quarry to a stone hut in the middle of nowhere and it was time for lunch! (N.B. the last two paragraphs actual took about 3 hours of straining, huffing and puffing, but I though I'd summarise it)

After lunch we headed off towards Haystacks, the main goal of the walk. This is/was Alfred Wainwright's favourite part of the lakes and he described it as 'standing unabashed and unashamed in the midst of a circle of much loftier fells, like a shaggy terrier in the company of foxhounds’. Not sure I'd agree with that description, but it's definitely worth a look. The ascent to Haystacks was nowhere near as steep as the initial climb but it was still tough. This part of the walk was a lot busier, in fact I heard one party who were resting comment that they should have brought more tea and biscuits to sell to the masses!

Another rest at Haystacks and we started the descent. Now this part was actually the toughest part and really hard on the knees and calves. You're constantly leaning back so you don't go tumbling down the hill and take everyone else with you! We could actually see the carpark where we started after a while, but even after walking for 30 minutes it didn't seem to be getting any closer.

Sure enough though, after about another hour we made it back to the flat ground and were soon sat back in the car, aching like hell and wishing for a sauna. After a short drive we were back at the lodge with a cracking cup of tea in hand. It was a great walk, with many ups and downs, geographically and mentally, but one I'd love to do again. The evening soon began with a walk to the local pub and a HUGE 3 course meal, with a bonus piece of cake from the birthday party next door. Plus there was some top quality real ales including Theakstons. All in all a top night! Needless to say we missed the cabaret again as we were so tired.

Well that's about it now, I'm just catching the final of the snooker on BBC2, Michelle has collapsed in bed; I think she'll need to be ambulanced into work tomorrow as she's struggling with her legs!


p.s. Did I forget to mention that we are off to Portugal next weekend for a week in the autumnal sun?? Woo Hoo!