Sunday, November 30, 2008

See Your Sunshine

I got a couple of bits at the house done today. I finally got my outside light working thanks to Jono's drill. I still haven't established why on earth he had a 1meter long drill bit, and I must have looked quiet stupid on a ladder with such a huge drill. Needless to say it made a hole through the external wall. I got called away to help out at the Berger's shop; they had been having an issue sending out emails. It seems BT Connect have introduced limits on the number of emails which can be relayed at once down to 50 recipients.

This evening I went to see Martina, she gave me a spicy food cookery book for my birthday. Should come in very handy when the house is done. We took a drive through the fog to see what the world looked like from the top of Werneth Low. Just before reaching the top of the hill we broke through the fog cover which offered some eerie views of Manchester. Normally most of the city is visible the lights of civilisation shining out. Not tonight, only the Beetham Tower and a few other tall structures were visible rising from the fog sea.

We had a few drinks on the hair and hounds before heading back to Stockport, we sat and watched tv while Neil played with the ferrets. We started to John Carpenters Vampires, which was a really awful film. It was actually so bad I found it hard to follow.

Big Drill

Big Drill
Originally uploaded by j0hncooke

Jono had this 1000mm drill bit, I have no idea what he needed it for but it was more than long enough to go through my wall.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Come Alive

The house really started to "Come Alive" today. Nick has finished putting up the plaster board and even started to plaster once of the walls in the kitchen. Most of the channels in the living room have been filled and I have removed the last remnants of the old wallpaper. It started to feel like it could be a house rather than a building site. Thoughts which were only of how to wire and what to rip out next are starting to turn to thoughts around decoration and look and feel of the final design.

To add to the good feelings a man arrived this morning to do a quote for the kitchen. Amusingly given there are bare floors and so forth he arrived in a full suit and tie.
It transpired he was an older chap ex of the air-force. He seemed like a really nice chap, hopefully he will give me a good (read affordable) quote.
This evening I went for a curry at the Sangam III with Bruce and Phil. Only one week to go until Bruce's wedding he seemed surprisingly calm about it all. Have to see what the rehearsal on Wednesday brings.

We had a relativly early one, and I was pottering round my room when Jono arrived about 1pm. Elgan his cat was missing, when he told me it had only been a few hours, I decide it wasn't worth going out looking, I think he just wanted an excuse to go rooting around and get out. He offered to lend me his drill, apparently screw fix gave him a long one, long enough to fix get the wiring to my outside light done with.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sit and Wonder

This week has flown by, I barely know where the time has gone. Yesterday I was 29, only 365 days before I reach the big three zero, an age I can barely comprehend, yet I seemed to get there at Mach 9.
It was a good birthday, I spent the morning working on the house. Then in the afternoon I got my haircut then went to see my great aunt.
In the evening I arranged to go for a meal. In the end Phil, Bruce, Andy, Emily, and Nick attended. Originally it was going to be a boys night out but so I kind of put Martina off which turned out to be a bit of a stupid move when Andy and Emily responded (albiet at the 11th hour). The venue was Pesto, the Italian Tapas restaurant on Deansgate. Bruce picked Nick and myself up, Phil had offered to but having been delayed in Liverpool decided to meet us down there. We aimed to park and meet up and Andy and Emily's flat at about 8.30pm, we arrived at the car park to find a couple of PSCO's two students and a lot of coloured lights. The PCSO asked us nicely to go and park on the road because there was an art project in process, the lights spelled "sorry" in 1 meter high letters.
It had been since I last saw Andy and Emily so it was nice to catch up. Emily explained about her current project. Apparently on the back of coming top of her class she has been invited to lecture in Portland Oregon in the states, what an honour.
Walking down the cold street of Manchester we headed to Pesto. Some time ago I came with Nick, Emily and Andy; actually originally with a very different group of people before Foo Fighters but that is a very different story. Since which it has become one of the venues of choice for a meal out. The food is Italian style tapas, which actually is extremely varied and tasty. I ate, calamaris, skewered chozio sausage and chicken pieces, spicy tomato and potatoes along with a mixed salad.
After the meal we retire back to Abito for more chat and a few drinks, I had the last (and only beer) everyone else drank tea. Pretty much what I should expect on a school night, still a grat evening. It was a really great evening I appreciated everyone coming out and the many messages I got on Facebook all contributed to making it a really wonderful birthday.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Today was a long day, in the morning I braved the rain and cold to go help Jo and Holly in the allotment. I missed the last few sessions and I noticed a real difference since the last time I ventured over, thought like my house what is left seems to dwarf what has been done. I always think there allotment is a weird oasis in shut off from the rest of the neighbourhood. I would never even imagine is was there a few minutes away from Broom Lane. I spent my time digging over one bed 2 hours later I managed to dig over 1/4 of a bed. It was really hard labour after the first hour I was already tiring, I guess I am not used to manual labour. The biggest problem isn't digging through the dirt though, its all the rubbish and crap in the dirt, which makes the digging more difficult. It was rainy and cold a few hours was the most we could stand. After a cup of tea I went back home for lunch they to my house to do some more wiring. I half expected to find Nick there, he told me he would be, I guess his other jobs ran over again. I really need to choose a kitchen this week, difficult though as my budget was consumed having to change cars. I managed with my dads help to get another socket wired in and a few bits done before fatigue took over. I had been planning to go visit Martina afterwards but I felt too tired.
I feel very tired and low tonight, there seems to be an insurmountable oath ahead of me, and I feel very alone to face what is ahead. I guess my birthday and the goings on t the work are all piling up on me. I find it hard to let go, but I need to more, find peace.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Present

I went out to see body of lies with Nick and Bruce this evening. I spent most of the day at my house wiring wiring, there is so much to do. I have pretty much abandoned plans to move in by Christmas. What with fund dwindling thanks to everything costing more than I budgeted for (with Nicks Help) and having to get a new car. I feel pretty much defeated right now. The film was pretty good, focusing on the destructive nature of lies, and the corruption of belief. Its a scary world we live in. The film was directed by Ridly Scot, and as I arrived home I caught the end of his brother Tony Scots 2001 Spy Game. An interesting contrast from different eras. Personally I preferred the Nihilism of Body of Lies, no body walked away clean.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Being Boring

I had the day off but that failed to stop the phone calls and email, I wish they would leave me alone. Today I worked on an affordability calculator, that is a system that works out how much you can afford to pay. I tried my best however increasingly I feel that is not good enough. Which is of course untrue I try as hard, and I am at least as smart as any of the people I work with, the truth is of course I have failed to find a way to market myself.

A long time ago when I was younger and more impressionable it would be almost unthinkable to be home on a Friday night. When did I make the transition from youthful exuberance to conservative (little c). Phil and I went to the unicorn and I couldn't help thinking how many time have I been here, yet I don't fit in, but what else should I do, go out somewhere? I feel a tired and bored right now, I logged into gmail (sorry google mail) and found that they have introduced backdrops to the email system, I choose a beautiful beach scene to remind me there is more to life than rainy Manchester, middling income and mediocrity.

There are only 368 days left until I am thirty, a very scary age, when you can no longer consider yourself youthful. Yet I still find it strange when people call me a man, because I still think I am young.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thou Shalt Always Kill

As I came home I heard the De La Soul remix version of Scroobius Pip's Thou Shalt Always Kill, the original is good (see below) but the new version is awesome.

Twisted genius

I saw this on it literally made my jaw drop, that someone would actually write such a thing for fun amazed and fascinated me greatly, Kudos!

Seven Nation Army

I've been making a lot of mistakes recently, both in my personal and professional life. A lot of thing have got on top of me to the point where I am a lonely irritable person nobody wants to be around, not even me.
I went to Yoga tonight and for the first time in ages I just tuned out, no house, no worrying about money or stressing about work, it was relaxing but most of all afterwards I had a chance to just thing about everything, dispassionately

Next Tuesday is my birthday, its actually been getting me down, I have this strong urge that I should be successful by now. I realise though I have been putting too much stress on myself and its hampering things, and worse holding me back.

I am going to try and let go some more, allow myself to be happier and start to mend some of the bridges I have been breaking. I am still young enough to recover from mistakes now isn't the time to give up.

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Kitchen light

New Kitchen light
Originally uploaded by j0hncooke

12:44 16 November 2008 16112008266 It is super low energy only 22 watts

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In The Dark

Last night went for a few drinks with Nick at the John Millington. It was a nice night, we had a good chat. I felt ropey today thought, it was hard to get a move on I didn't make it to my house until after 11. When I finally arrived despite best efforts I achieved very little really. I got a new kitchen light in place along with replacement wiring. I also drained refilled and added inhibitor to the heating system, the light failed arund4.30 so by 5.30I was packed up and away.
I did try and wire up the outside light only to find my drill bit want long enough, that wast after lifting a very tricky floorboard which ran under the partition wall so I wasn't in the bet of moods.
I had a serious lack of fund this evening so I elected Obama to stay in and watch a film, Phil brought round some and after buying beer I ended up watching Dark Night. Despite best efforts (I went to the cinema twice and failed to see it) I was never saw it at the cinema, much to the chagrin of Paul. I really enjoyed it, much more than I imagined. It seemed to be a clever analyse that people frequently choose the path of least resistance rather than stand up for their beliefs. Its very difficult in such a self obsessed world to do anything for the greater good, perhaps it was ever thus.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back on track

My monitor finally got repaired; well actually Dell sent a refurbished unit which they swapped for my broken one. Great to have the net at home again.

Today was another bad bad day at work, the customer I work at made another tranche of people redundant, about 1/3 of the workforce so a lot of unhappy people. I cant help feeling slightly responsible as every time I work on a big project the end result seem to be more automation so less people.

This evening I went to a BCS meeting with Bruce. The topic of tonight's meeting was security, organised by the a quango the Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Network. I was quiet reviling to hear the governments take on security, there must be a dozen different agencies that before you get to the NGO level. Its no wonder they lose so much god knows how is in charge. Someone form the data protection agency explained the data protection act and then informed us that they basically don't have enough staff (only 3 enforcement officers). At the end of the meeting I felt like I had learned a bit but mostly hat everything is a bit fat mess too many agencies helping not enough people. Bruce got the idea that the remit was too wide.

After the meeting there was a free buffet, and free beer! We chatted to a few people, if I were better a networking I think this was the sort of place to make some contacts. Unfortunately for me I wasn't able to consume all of the free beer as Bruce had been to Gloucester so was tired and as he was giving me a lift back it was time to go. I did manage to get a free 1gb USB memory stick so that was an extra bonus.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Stand Corrected

I woke up this morning and attempted to grab my email, unfortunately my monitor decided to throw a spanner in the works. Pushing the power button did not in fact lead to the normal illumination and display, it did absolutely nothing. After several frustrating minutes I gave up and tried looking on the Dell website to find out if it were under warranty. Everywhere on the site you are asked for a service tag yet none of the numbers on the monitor fitted the bill. My frustration level now boiling over to anger I gave up and asked my dad to ring Dell and see what they would do while I went out to work. He found out two things firstly Dell monitors do not in fact have service tags a fact which annoys both users and the support people alike. The second thing he found fortunately the warranty is four year so a replacement will be sent out in the next few days. i guess I will be using my old laptop until then. This i great news as I really don not have the money to get a replacement right now.

I had a second good piece of news the missing piece for my boiler control arrived, it cost a fortune for a connector but it I fitted it and the weather compensator does in fact work, reading the external temperature which as I left my house at 9 was 5c, pretty cool.

I met up with Phil for a quick fix of Congleton Aikido's website after which we headed to the unicorn for a pint. It was really dead I think there may have been more staff than customers, November is always a quiet time as people save for Christmas even so it looks like the credit crunch is in effect.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

How Soon Is Now?

I have been working hard on my house. Well I say hard by my level of work not so hard as Nick. I find it difficult to understand where he gets his energy from. I think that it is taking its toll though, he looked very tired on Saturday night.

Saturday, Bruce helped me put in my speaker cable I am inserting it into the walls I an effort to hide cables. Before heading to the house however I went to pick up a car. I am know the registered keeper of a T reg Ford Focus 1.8 LX. It might be 9 years old but its only done 55,000 miles and drives really well, and I can just about afford it! I am galled by the fact that I spent more trying and failing to keep the Saab on the road than it cost I wish I had stuck to my guns and scrapped it the day it first went wrong. Hindsight is 20/20 though and I wasn't to know that a team of mechanics couldn't repair a car, two lessons learned; Find out the value of the object to be fixed before repairing perhaps a replacement is cheaper, make sure the people effecting the repair have some experience and aren't simply going to waste time and money trying their best.

Ian came to visit while Bruce and I were at it, the last time he had seen the place there were a gang of Poles smashing the floor so I think he was impressed at the work. He was telling me about Dans' new place in Altrincham, apparently he is doing a bit of DIY too, I think we all must be getting old!

We arranged to head to the comedy night at the legion after finishing up, Nick and Phil would also be coming. It was pretty much the worst comedy I have ever been to, only one of the three comedians were funny. I felt most sorry for Ian it was the first time he had been, and after all the funny people I have seen there such a shame it was bad. We made the best of a bad job with a few more drinks on Bramhall. Jono and his girlfriend Nona turned up too, he was on good form.

I got really depressed today, first I had to do a pile of paperwork which has a lot of depressing red ink. Next I headed to the house to do some more wiring. I was chiselling out some brickwork because the plaster wasn't deep enough to flush fit a back box, I turned round and looked at my living room. It looks like it has been through a battle missing plaster, channels chiselled out and wires poking out from the new runs, there is still so much to do. On the plus side I dropped the last cable which when its all connected together will form the closing loop of the downstairs ring main, that along with the kitchen is now wired it just needs finishing after the plaster work is finished.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I Never Came

Last night was Guy Fawkes night, and in the glorious tradition of celebrating failure Nick and I went to the legion so we could watch the fireworks at Woodford bonfire for free. I usually pay the entrance fee but at the moment I am seriously poor. The display was really fun, I love fireworks they remind me of being a kid and let me turn turn off and watch the pretty colours for a while.

Nick looked tired he has been ill with the flu recently, so he went home early and I met Phil for a couple of drinks in the Rectory after he finished Aikido. We tried to start working out what to sat at Bruce's wedding but have thus far only come up with vague ideas. As he came directly from Aikido class Phil was hungry at closing time he grabbed some take away from the Jamin. There was a really odd guy in there trying to muscle in on our conversation very strange. He caught one offhand comment and I felt like it was easier just to nod and smile than provoke him.

I have a couple of days off to work on my house so today I set about the wiring. Before I headed to my house though I went to Jacksons to look at a car they got in as a part ex. Its a 1999 T reg Focus 1.8 LX, not exactly inspiring but it drives and finances are tight so I have to go for cheap and cherful rather than fun right now. Having to get lifts really does suck, especially in a public transport deprived area like Woodford. In order to finance it I have applied to borrow some money via Zopa
Once I got to my place my dada and I set to work finishing cabling the kitchen. The wiring has proved to be a much bigger job than I expected. Everything just takes so long the hours just seem to melt away. We did quiet a god job today though almost putting all of the cabling in place tomorrow I should be able to let Nick start plastering it up.

This evening I met up with Martina, she was really upset by her uni course, I got the gist that her independent spirit was having difficulty accepting learning handed down by wrote. I know how she feels sometimes it hard to swallow what people are saying however not every battle is worth fighting.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


With no car I am at the mercy of parents, friends and public transport, not a good place to find oneself. Fortunately Phil offered to help me out

Spending 3 hours waiting in Screwfix is somewhat a frustrating way to waste away a Saturday. Phil offered to help me with the house, I was short some supplies so we took a ride to there. I picked up some smoke alarms, cable back boxes and speaker wire.

By the time we ended up managing to put only one cable in, it took well over an hour and required channelling out part of the wall, and running across the width of the house.

In the evening Phil Nick and I watched 21, a film about playing blackjack in Vegas and beating the system. I quiet enjoyed it, though I felt really weary and was glad to get home.

I have spent over £200 this weekend alone I still can't live in the place yet I still need to sort my kitchen out along with the rest of the electrics flooring and décor still a way to go yet. I am sure I will be happier when its a home not just a place to work on.

Live The Dream

I met Paul for lunch, he was up for a long weekend to visit all his northern friends. We had a reasonable lunch at the Swan talking about life the universe and eveyrthing else. It was a good diversion from work for me. Paul seemed in a good mood excited about his new pad and upcoming trip to Australia, I wish I were going.

I left work Friday night with the plan of going to the cinema to see the Freshly released James Bond a Quantum of Solace. I am carless again due to mine once again failing so my dad was supposed to pick me up after work. I say supposed because he didn't in actuality arrive, nor was he answering his phone. I ended up walking home carrying my laptop in the cold, I was in a pretty damn freezing by the time I got home, it took an hour an ten minutes.

I had no idea where my parents were and as I had planned to use their car to get to and from the cinema I was a little stressed out. I think that the trick or treater's were more scared of the angry man at the door who didn't have any sweets.

Against the advice of GMPTE journey planner I decided that the best way to Stockport was to get the 157 bust to Cheadle Hulme then take the train to Stockport. Waiting at the station I was surrounded by people in Halloween costumes. It was quiet surreal to be stood between a witch and thre guys dressed as Droogs.

I got to Stockport early, and was so hungry I broke a 5 year long drought and ate at McDonalds. I really wished at that point I had joined Martina and Annika in Rusholme for curry, but I wouldn't have made it in time to eat. As it was they were on the last minute arriving just before 10 when the film started at 9.40 (officially anyway we missed the trailers big wow).

During the wait for Martina and Annika I sat in the cafe bar of the cinema surrounded by school age children feeling very lonely and slightly out of place.

I was glad to get in the cinema, Bond didn't disappoint, action action action. What a joy it was like being 7 years old again. Directly following on from Casino Royal Bond follows Vespa's killers like a vengeful hound dog killing pretty much everyone in his path. Got to be one of the fewest women bedded, but some of the darkest and most action packed scenes; though nothing to rival the opening Parkour of Casino Royal.

I finally got hold of my parnets after the film, they had taken my grandma out for a trip which they thought was for a few hours and turned out to be a day night affair. I think my dad felt sorry for making me walk home so saved me a taxi fare and collected me from Stockport.