Sunday, December 28, 2008

Val D'isere Arrival

Saturday morning I arrived at the Airport in Phil's Mondeo, my dad drove us borrowing as my Focus is too small for the task. We had to get there early, about 5am. We anticipated that the queues would be as bad as last year with queues round the block.

Despite the spare queues the flight was delayed on the tarmack for an hour as our slot was missed. I barley noticed falling rapidly asleep, waking up somewhere over France to a rather disgusting breakfast I was very glad I ate at the airport, in spite of the ruinous prices. I forgot about the food soon enough though, I had a window seat from which I was able to see the winter wonderland exposed below. I could see the snow was awesome. Not so awesome though was the layer of fog covering the valley in which apparently Chambery airport lived. As the aeroplane dropped into the fog on the landing approach I honestly struggled to see the tip of the wing, no idea what the Pilot could see! The landing was aborted but instead of diverting to another airport the pilot (who sounded quiet pleased to have some diversion to his routine) said we would follow a holding pattern burn off some fuel and therefore weight meaning we could go in lower before needing to about. After another 45-50 minutes circling the fog had lifted a little and we were lighter so in we went. Once we got below a certain level the fog was clear and we were able to land. As the runway approached people started to clap, they stopped pretty quickly as the plane hit the deck and started to slide. We were the only aircraft to land that day so the runway was a little icy and the plain skidded a little. My philosophy is "any one you can walk away from" is a good landing. The airport itself was pretty small and chocking with people trying to get home. Fortunately that didn't bother us :)

It took a couple of hours on a coach some of which we travelled alone in our own private coach, because of the delays. We were the first people in the Chalet Joined later by a many others, in total 14 though not everyone made it on the first day. The evening conversation hardly boded well for the week. Phil and I made friend with a nice couple from Essex though and found that the nearest bar was also one of the cheapest :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Skiing is fun :)

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Monday, December 15, 2008


I spent most of the weekend suffering from a bad cold (yes the dreaded man flu), I even missed Sandbox's Christmas gig. I was really gutted not to miss it but I felt terrible basically laid in be d with a fever.

A light in the darkness was that Phil invited me on another skiing trip this time to Val V'Isere. Which is completely awesome after a bit of scrabbling around to get the holiday I agreed and next Saturday I'll be skiing in one of the best resorts in the world, I cant wait. So great of them to invite me, not sure what I have done to deserve it.

Sunday I was finally feeling a bit better I spent the day surfing the net and catching up with Lost.

In the evening I met up with Nick, we rented a film from Blockbuster. There wasn't a lot of choice so we renter a film called Donkey Punch. It was an awful slasher film, Nick had to leave the room due to the gore. The only good point was there early sounds track especially the remix of The Knife Heartbeat which was simply awesome.

Nick gave me a lift home and just as I got out of the car I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket. It was work, they had a major disaster as somehow all of the system had been lost. Que a frantic night of myself and two of the support guys sat in an empty office trying our best to get something working before everyone turned into work the next day.

Somehow we managed to lash a system together, it worked, despite a few little teething problems. I was surprised what we achieved. By lunch time I had worked for so long and had so little sleep I was making more mistakes than good work so I left.

I went home ate and had a powersnooze. I couldn't sleep for long after which I went for a jog. I called into y house to check out Nicks work, I was quiet impressed a lot of the skirting boards are on and the architraves it starting to look like a house. I got a call from Danny while I was driving. It was a bit of a blast from the past I haven't spoken to the guy in months, he is plotting a night out on the 23rd. It sounded really good unfortunately I'll be in France by then so I had to give it s miss which is a shame as its sure to be a fun evening.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Migrating user Linux accounts

I just had to move some user accounts from server to server. I found this good guide on how to do so.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Sunday I woke up late, feeling awful. A mixture of depression and hangover. I headed round to Nicks to discuss a website he would like some help with. He is working with Gilly, they have some really good ideas. We got a lot of ideas down on paper now I just have to turn them into a site.

After that we went round for a buffet at Bruces house, we watched Nina and him open their wedding gifts and saw the main protagonists from the wedding.

I had Monday as holiday so I went to do a little work on my house. It was a frustrating day I only managed to get a couple of sockets in. I have started on the upstairs ring, like downstairs it needs mostly complete replacement.

Back to work today, getting things ready for an early morning upgrade tomorrow. I met Sarah for lunch today, its the first time I have seen her since I found out she was pregnant. She is getting big now but looking radiant, I can't imagine having kids. Buying a house was a huge step for me, one that has become a dominant force in my life, basically starting to change everything about the way I live.. It was a very pleasant lunch time excursion, I had missed our little tête-à-têtes.

I missed Japanese class thanks to a last minute crisis. Now I have a major sore throat, don't really feel up to a 5.30 am start tomorrow. I don't know whether I should continue Japan was such a great country but I find it hard to make time to study and I haven't progressed very far, I am not sure if it is worth continuing, a choice for tomorrow.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

If the world

Friday was Martina's birthday. She had arranged a party at her house. Despite it being the day before the big wedding it was a special birthday for her so Phil and I went to see what was going on. I had the day off so I stopped into John Lewis to get a gift and a couple of other bits. I got Martina a mickey mouse mp3 player, in Pink. She had seen it the other day and commented on how cute she thought it was so I decided it would make a nice present. I think that she liked it judging by the reaction when I handed it over.

There was loads of food at the party Neil and his friend were there as was Damian and Etienne and a few others. Phil and I promised to meet Bruce for a drink so we couldn't stay for too long. We went for a drink at the March Hair, it was a relaxed affair just a couple of drinks and a bit of banter.

Yesterday was Bruce's wedding it was a great day. Phil picked me up early before 10, the internet guide on cravat tying didn&39;t really show me what I needed fortunately Philip's mum helped me out. Bruce looked pretty tired when we picked him up. We arrived at the Church before 10.30 in time to meet the florist.

The rest of the guests started rolling after 11.20 and by 12 we were sat waiting for Nina. Bruce was tense starting straight ahead the service was nice the priest ran through the ceremony. You could tell Nina side of the family were the more avid church goers. During the ceremony there was a moment I thought that Bruce was not going to say the all important "I will". He was so nervous the pause was just a little pregnant, fortunately with a little prompting from the priest he continued. The rest of the ceremony went well except for Bruce stepping on Nina dress, nearly sending her for a tumble, and Nina losing her garter, though not many people noticed that.

After the ceremony there were many many photos to be taken. Phils parents hopped it to the bar and left Phil and I to make our own way to the dinner venue. We hitched a ride in the minibus and arrived in time for warm Pimms, certainly helped ot take the edge off cold.

The venues was awesome, between Bruces mum the organisers and Benjamin the place looked awesome. The cake was great, there were photo montages of the bride and groom. Benjamin Bruces cousin had made not only the cakes but also chocolates for everyone.

We did a range of photos outside in the cold before heading in to sit down for lunch. I was pretty strange being sat on the top table everyone watching us eat. At the end it was time for the speeches. Nina's mum gave a really heartfelt piece. Bruce surprised me by giving a really good one he also dropped Phil and I in it by proclaiming our speech would be the best. Actually Phil and I only just about managed to get through it, we only had one copy to share and passing it back and forward just killed the comedy timing. Fortunately it was over quickly and we got a few laughs so it worked out in the end.

The evening do started around 7.30, Martin & Charlotte, Joe & Holly and Nick all turned up. Bruce's massive friend big Matt. Despite all the full he kicked up I was surprised to find that Jono didn't not turn up. There was an evening buffet comprised of hotpot, curry or lasagna.

Phil spent most of the evening do trying to woo the chief bridesmaid Jane. She was enjoying his company but didn't seem to want to take it any further. That did not deter Phil though, nor did the fact that she had a boyfriend whom she kept texting. I must admit that I tried to chat her up a little too though hopefully I've learned where to quit.

Had a catch up with Martin and Charlotte its been ages since I last saw them, I also had a good chat with Jo Holly. In fact it was a nice evening of talking drinking and even a bit of dancing. There was a really cheesy DJ which is exactly what was needed at a wedding. Martin conspired to get a Commodore 64 remix of pumpkin man played. I don't know what the families made of it, certainly cleared out the dance floor.

When I got home I was a little drunk and had many mixed emotions. I was so happy for Bruce and Nina it had been such a wonderful day. Part of me felt so empty though. I read my email before going to bed and wished I hadn't there was a mail from someone who told me they no longer wanted me to talk to them. I know I am an obsessive when it comes to internet relationships I thought this was a good one, I was wrong.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Losing Touch

I had a frustrating day at work seemingly I could do nothing right, perhaps I am distracted. Seems like there is never enough time to act. I feel worn out, tonight I sat and watched iron man which I quiet enjoyed. More than I expected I would.
Phil came around to work on the speech, we have something now though it needs a bit more yet hopefully we can bash something together before the big day not long now.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Prospekt's March

The only really constant thing in life is that things change. It really dosn't matter how hard we try the world is constantly changing even though sometimes sat in the same office day after day it can feel like everything is static. I was reminded how much life changes this evening. It was Bruce's wedding rehearsal. It was very strange to stand in Church listening to the Vicar details the day and vows for Bruce and Nina, surreal even. It was one of those time when I realised I am not so young anymore the world is moving on, time for me to do so too.

Afterwards we were treated to a nice Italian meal at Nina's ex place of work. It was a lovely evening of nice food excitement about the upcoming wedding. One of the bridesmaid Lindsey warned Phil and I not to get Bruce drunk Friday night. Actually they have no need to worry Bruce is just about the straightest guy I know.

I was cold and tired by the time we got home I had a rather disjointed and drunken chat to Martina, its her birthday on Friday, Phil and I are going to her party. Have to take it easy though be ready for Saturday, still have a speech to write...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong

I got home from the gym after work today to find my birthday present from Lulu had arrived. She sent me a Beijing Olympics panda, and goat shaped "chop stamp". Goat because I was born in the year of the goat, its in English and Mandarin, the Chinese sounds a little like Cookie, but apparently means. It is a really nice gift and I was really touched by it.
Something else which arrived was my suit for Bruce's wedding. Unexpectedly it came with a cravat, I had to look up on-line how to tie the damn thing. Had a chat to Phil about the best man speech, we came up with a few ideas hopefully it provide a little light relief to the day.

Poor wire

Poor wire
Originally uploaded by j0hncooke

I found this in the ceiling, someone had properly bodged up the other end was connected to the switch so it was live when the light was on. I don't really think elastoplast is a substitute for electrical tape though.

It was another cold day, the fog hadn't lifted as I drove to Neston Way. I planned to have a fairly relaxed morning finishing stripping the living room with the archers for company. Afterwards I paid a long overdue visit to the tip then tried to find a farm which both sold wood and had some in for my parents fire. In the end I only managed to obtain overpriced bags from a local nursery the farms I visited were bare.

I managed to get to the gym, first time in a week, I have been so busy with the house I am so behind, I wanted a big push before Christmas. The only think I have managed to push on with is the house, thought its unlickely that will be finished in terms of moving in by Christmas.

This evening Nina and Bruce invited me round for dinner. Nina made a rather nice Jalfresi curry. I was pleasantly surprised how nice the meal tasted, for my tastes it could have been a little more spicy but I still very much enjoyed it. After the meal we chatted and watched TV. First top gear (Bruce's choice) then strictly come dancing (Nina's choice) then CSI which noone really chose but there wasn't much on. Less than a week until they are married, I still have a speech, or at least 50% of a speech to write.