Thursday, September 22, 2022

Family cycle

This Sunday we all went on a family ride courtesy of the Cycling Wilmslow community.  Starting off in Handforth we navigated around Tesco Extra, through the industrial estate, then picking up the bridal way which runs alongside the railway and A34, then through Cheadlee Drive to Turves road.

Crossing over we continued to Bruntwood park where we stopped off for an ice cream and to let the children have a play in the park.

After the ride Kath and I ended to the Bulls head for a celebratory drink and snack. You can see the route on Komoot

Friday, September 09, 2022

Cycling home with my son


Zip world


Tuesday, September 06, 2022

My first intro to IRC


A long time ago (2004) I was working at a company in Accrington. I ran the IT systems for this company and they used an old version of Microsoft exchange (6 I think). One of the options which had been enabled was internet relay chat. Though mostly now used by career criminals. Back in the 90s and early 00s it was the a tool to communicate with other people. 

Microsoft produced at the time a client called Microsoft comic chat which in one mode rendered the conversations as a sort of comic strip. This was the first time I had seen Comic Sans in use!

Later I would try and start a venture which sold IRC bots which spectacularly crashed and burned after we were DOS attacked. The hosting provider not only took us offline but removed our server and sent it back to us. 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Monday, July 11, 2022


A long time ago, before Thom and pre covid 19 I booked tickets to see Pearl Jam in Hyde park. After several re-scheduallings Kath and I finally got the change to go to the gig. Pearl Jam produced one of my favourite albums and I have always wanted to see them live.

Nina and Bruce stepped in to take care of Thom overnight, so Kath and I could have a free time at the gig. We took the train and checked into the Pullman Hotel in St Pancras in time for lunch. We ate in the restaurant which was super cool but with a price tag to match. Overall I couldn’t recommend it for the food, but not bad for a cocktail in style.

After lunch and a quick change we headed out to Hyde Park to British summer time event. We arrived in time to grab a beer and catch Jonny Marr. The event was sponsored by American Express and they had a special setup where we picked up a free water bottle and tote. The weather was amazing, really sunny and warm, so the water was a good touch.

Next up was Stereophonics, they were the first band I saw live way back in 1999. They were really good and I enjoyed it very much.

We had a posh had a posh hamburger and celebrated being child free and out on a night out for the first time in months with a bottle of Mo√ęt. Kath also queued up and bought me a tour t shirt, very cool. Next up it was time for the main event. The set was amazing all my favourites and great banter. It must have been hot on the Great Oak stage with the full sun beaming in, I bet that they were glad when the sun set. 

There were times during the set where I was back to being a teenager listening to ten again, or Vs. It felt really good.

The tube was super busy on the return, we were lucky to get on. When were arrived back at the hotel from the 11 floor we had the most amazing view over the city. 

We woke up early the next day so checked out and got the train back to Wilmslow. We took Bruce and Nina out for lunch to thank them for looking after Thom. He seemed in great spirits. I think he had enjoyed seeing Connie too. 

Saturday, July 02, 2022

Running up that hill

Me stood next to the rotary dryer holding a 1.8kg hammerSometimes it's possible to do something in a sustainable way that also saves you money. While recovering from Covid, Kath and I have been thinking about some ways to save money. One thing we thought of was to use the dryer less and line dry our clothes outside. Since we had Thom the washing pile has ballooned in size so we are doing more washing and drying. Given the recent good weather we thought that we could save quite a bit of electricity by drying the clothes in the sun. The energy saving trust estimates a £35 / year saving (though given the current high energy costs maybe more). We ended up choosing a Brabantia folding rotary dryer. Kath found a great deal on Amazon which came with the ground spike, cover and peg bag.

To fit the ground spike I ended up buying a 1.8kg hammer as my smaller nail hammer wasn't heavy enough to get it into the ground. Even with the heavy version it took a good deal of hammering to get the spike flush in the ground so that the mover would go over the top. 


Covid 19 lateral flow tests showing positive results
Covid 19 lateral flow tests showing positive results
After managing to avoid it for a long time Kath and I finally got caught out by Covid-19. On Wednesday morning Kath she was feeling ill so she did a Covid Test. She gets the tests for free as she tests for work. So she did a test and it was positive as was mine and Thom's.

Thankfully (probably thanks to the Vaccines) it hasn't been to bad so far just felt very tired with a cough and head cold.

It did unfortunately mean I had to cancel a work trip to London and work from home this week.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

We could be strangers

Arrived home after spending a lovely week in Pembroke South Wales. We rented a cottage about a mile from Pembroke Village. It was an air bnb on a Farm we were really impressed.

Pembroke is a lovely small town complete with a Castle which we had a tour around. They have a huge map of castles in Wales on what was once a tennis court! 

Rhino at Folly Farm
There was so much to explore, we went to a different beach each day. Plus managed to find an excellent Farm/Zoo experience. Thom saw a Rhino for the first time and was enchanted. 

Tenby was our favourite day trip, we ended up going twice we enjoyed it so much. I had been there before in my youth but only had very vague recollection of the trips. Very impressed with South Wales seemed much more friendly and clean than the North. Really amazing beaches too.

We were really lucky with the weather mostly clear and sunny perfect really was a wonderful family get away.

Enjoying beach life

Pembroke Castle