Saturday, November 05, 2022

Fireworks at Wilmslow bonfire

Kath, Thom and Kath's friend Kate took Thomas to see the fireworks at Wilmslow community bonfire this evening. The fireworks were really spectacular the crowd was large. Possibly too large for the amount of refreshments sands. We didn't manage to get a drink as the queue was so long. 

We did however catch our neighbours Julies and Emily there was lively to see them.

Thom really seemed to enjoy the fireworks though it was a bit of a late night for him and he was a bit teary on the way home. 

Wilmslow was heaving and it showed how nice the town is when lots of people are walking about. Pity about the rogue parking going on ruining it for others blocking curbs, I wish the traffic officers had been out. 

Sunday, October 02, 2022

High voltage

Thom looking snazzy in his H&M suit
Yesterday was Karolina's  (Kath's sister) Wedding day. At 4pm we headed to the Church to watch the ceremony. It was all in Polish and took around an hour. She and Artur looked amazing and very happy together. 

I had to take Thom out for a walk part way through so Kath could watch the ceremony without an impatient toddler. Unfortunately I missed the "I do" moment. Apparently the priest was a bit of a misogynist, spouting such snippets of wisdom as "Karolina, you must make sure that you husband goes for a drink with the boys, Artur you need to give Karolina money for the hairdresser". This apart it was a lovely ceremony and Artur and Karolina seemed very proud and in love.

After the ceremony we got on the bus to Folwark Nadawki. The last time I was here, it was my wedding to Kath so brought back some lovely memories. We were seated with Kath cousins and brother. We ate, drank, laughed and watched the first dance. The dance was absolutely amazing like something from Strictly! 

Thom looked great in his H&M "suit" and he really enjoyed meeting everybody, especially his Polish Grandad - Marek. He even had a boogie on the dance floor. He got spoilt rotten with cuddles, kisses and presents from many of the family and friends.

Family picture of Myself Thom and Kath in our wedding attire
There was an InstaMax camera to capture photo memories as modern Polaroids which could be taken away and also stuck into the guestbook as little mementoes the day. We got a pictures of ourselves with Thom and put one into the guestbook. 

Unfortunately having a small child meant that we had to leave very early (the party went on until 5am). We did manage to catch up with plenty of people, which meant a lot, given some of them we have not seen since the day we said "I do".   

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Cycling in Bialystok

We are currently on holiday here in Bialystok for Kath’s sisters wedding. I am really impressed with how much the cycling infrastructure has improved since I was last here.

Bialystok is a small city but its been made good for active travel thanks to the large weirder streets and cycling provision. With Covid and other life things we haven’t been here for years, in which time there has been a lot of improvements. Bike hire and scooter hire is all over the city. Most impressively some of the hire bikes had seats for children so I could ride with Thom. They have also built out a lot of segregated cycle lanes including a nice one that follows the path of the river.

It’s not a panacea though as unfortunately there are draconian rules on crossing the streets as a pedestrian complete with on the spot fines for jaywalking. The light timing are also pretty poor, often you have to wait minutes in order to cross the streets. Fortunately unlike in Britain most of the crossings are straight over without the dog leg double beg button push.

It’s working though we have both remarked how visible it is people cycling around the city. It’s common to see both young and old riders in the city centre. I also noticed that stand outside the shopping mall had a lot of bikes present (even though it was a terrible wheel bender stand they have them here too). Our rental apartment also has a lot of bikes parked up. This is quite a big change Kath remarked how she hadn’t seen so many older people cycling previously.

Noticeable too is that the bus infra has had improvements with new stands and large bendy busses. 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

First flight

I now know what its like to be the parent of the child who is screaming on the aeroplane! Kath Thom and I headed from Manchester to Warsaw via Ryanair (I know but there aren’t many options from Manchester).  Thankfully the person next to us was very kind and was travelling with a group so spent most of his time further down the plane with his mates. They were off to watch a drifting competition.

Given that the flight was late around 40 minutes so we had already been queuing prior to that. Thom was actually a really good boy. It broke his normal routine but he only had one big cry mid way through the flight. I don’t think he liked being cooped up on Kath’s lap. It was our first flight in over two years and the first with Thom so we were a little on edge.

On arrival to Warsaw, we were met by Piotrek who generously offered us a lift to Bialystok. The drive is around 2.5 hours, and unfortunately it was extremely bad weather rain lashing down all the way in the dark. I am very glad I didn’t had to drive myself. Had we have had to take public transport it would have been much longer as we would have been forced to take the bus into Warsaw first then either take the train or another bus to Bialystok.

Thom was mostly ok on the drive he was extremely tired but also very awake so we had a range of moods

from singing to screaming to sleep. Kath had rented an apartment for us in the city centre a short walk to her old apartment which is now where her sister lives. It is on the top of the ten floor building so we have no upstairs neighbours and we get a pretty good view out of the balcony.

Today I met Karolina future husband Artur, we enjoyed a family meal together it was a really nice evening. Her brother and mum and dad were also present so we had a nice catchup over a burger and fries.

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

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.