Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Well the good news at this point is part of my kitchen is installed, and because of Howdens screw up I managed to get a draw unit for the price of a cabinet. Unfortunately there have been a number of setbacks, the most painful is that a gas pipe is right in the middle of where two units meet. This means Ill have to get a gas engineer out to move it then get the kitchen fitting finished then get the gas engineer back to connect the gas hob. Also due to another minor screw up the sockets on one side of the kitchen were a few cm to the wrong side ;( Not much I can do about it unfortunately just got to get the people back rejig things and hope it all looks nice in the end.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

You Know What You Are?

For some time Faye has been organising a surprise party for Ian. So Saturday morning at twenty to nine he was greeted by Nick, Phil, Bruce, Dave, Sambo and myself. He seemed somewhat dumbfounded when Faye told him we were all there to take him paintballing.

Faye production lined Bacon butties and cups of tea for us all, while Ian sort of stood still trying to piece together what just happened. After the tasty bacon barm, we hit the road to Elland near Huddersfield for the paintball session.

We went in two cars, Phils sat nav took us to the wrong place, so we were a little late. Arriving at the venue I was shicked to see so many people. Teams were chosen on the basis of the arrival number, I was 65! That put me on the same team as Ian, Nick, and Sam. Were donned our boiler suits and loaded up on paint, there were also all sorts of armaments. Paint grenades, smoke bomb and flashbangs were on sale. I just stuck to pain, wish I had bought a pair of gloves like Bruce and Phil though.

The first game was attack defend, it was pretty hectic with so many people. The place was not organised the same way as the one I had been to for Bruces stag do. In fact they just seemed to want us to run off as many paintballs as possible, and no wonder at £ 30 for 500 balls.

Bruce must have been glad that we werent like the stag party there, on the VIP game were the object is to protect the VIP, the Stags friends (and team mates) unloaded 100 paintballs a piece from close range. He was writhing on the floor in agony, and nearly throwing up with the pain.

I got shot a lot, like to run in death or glory style but at one point during the second attack defend (waste as much paint as possible session) I got trapped and shot a lot, my back and shoulders are covered in bruises.

I did have one inspirational moment, when during the second VIP game I used a kid as a human shield I managed to tag a couple of players. While the kid got shot to pieces I was safe, bad John.

There was a second surprise for Ian, a Party at Fayes house. He knew nothing after the paintball other than he Faye Nick and Charlotte were having a meal. We all went home to change, and met back at Fayes before 8.30, cars hidden around the corner so Ian wouldn't suspect. We were all waiting in the kitchen when they arrived, Ian forgot his keys, so Faye answered the door and led him into the kitchen, he was surprised by everyone. Opening the door to be confronted by the Rocky sound track and his friend all screaming "Surprise!"

Danny had prepared a really good music selection for the evening, which served as a soundtrack to the party. I mingled, chatted to Bruce, Nina, Holly, Paul, Righni, Faye, Michelle, Ian, Holly, Jo and Gilly amongst others. I drank and dances and generally everyone seemed to have a great time.

Nick and Charlotte were looking very couple like, Nick seems happier than I have seen in a while, though I hope he maintains some sort of balance and doesnt try and rush things too much.

Holly was in a great mood too we were discussing ways to keep optimistic about long term projects where it can be hard to see the work done compared with the tasks ahead. Paul was on usual form drawing everyone attention, though he wasn't most popular with Ian and Faye when he decided to bed down in their room :D

Fayes parents are an inspiration, they have such a good sense of fun and ha obviously helped Faye a lot with the food. The food was really tasty, a choice of curry or lasagne, I had the curry and found it very enjoyable. I was actually bowled over by the effort that Faye had put into the whole party especially keeping totally on the QT from Ian, very impressive work. It made me wonder if Ian ever popped the question how well organised their wedding would be.

As always however the better the evening the more painful the next day. I felt like I was hit by a freight train, my body ached from all the painball hits and alcohol consumption. The morning was a a right off, this afternoon I just about made it to the house to put a couple of floor board back and do some preparation for the kitchen installation.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I stand corrected

It was Alison Brook's birthday yesterday, so myself Ian and Nick headed round to her house for a bit of a party. Strolling through the front door we were confronted by a load of twenty something lads who were all high, drunk or both (it was around 8.45pm when we arrived). No I realise I was a bit crazy when I was younger but a couple of them seems very scary. There was one tall bloke absolutely off his face walking round his nose covered in white power, which I assume wasn't icing sugar from the cake. We stood and talked in the lounge Al was buzzing around Finlay had snaffled some boze and was drunkenly lolling about the room. I felt really uncomfortable and chatting to Nick and Ian they felt the same. Chantell was there she looked out of place afraid of the hoodies in the kitchen. We got chatting to one of Alison's ex work colleagues Louise and he friend Ruth, who also felt a bit intimidated by the guys in the kitchen.

Apart from the bad vibes in the kitchen Nick was keen to get away and see Charlotte his new beau. We headed out to Wilmslow, Ruth and Louise joined us. Grabing some cash we made our way past the bouncers, one of whom appeared to be starting an altercation with a reveler. Eventually we made it into revolution, Faye Charlotte and Matt were having a good time. Nick headed straight for Charlotte, that was pretty much the last I spoke to him except for a brief visit to the bar, he couldn't wait to get back to her, she must be pretty nice. Hopefully one day Ill get to find out for myself what she is like. Ironically later in the week Nick asked me what I thought of her, I replied the truth I have never had a chance to speak to her!

I spent most of the evening drinking and chatting to Louise and Ruth who were really good company. I did talk to Faye a little and Ian but mostly I would have felt like a complete third wheel if it hadn't been for them. I enjoyed Revolution, though it was a little pricey and the bar staff were pretty clueless, there was a generally good vibe.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sometimes playing catch with a doggy can be dangerous! Yesterday I was playing catch with my neighbours dog storm. I wasn't really paying attention and I managed to rebound a solid rubber ball straight into my face with enough force to mark my face and the sharp edge of my glasses cut into my eyebrow.

I was very tired at the point having been working at the house. It has been going pretty well recently, I have made really good progress finishing the wiring. Nearly all the sockets have cable to them and I made the bathroom an equipotential zone. This sounds really complicated, but actually its pretty simple. Electricity always flows between areas of different potential, e.g. a mains socket is 220v ground is effectively zero so grab hold of a live cable and while standing in a pool of water and that 220volt flows through you to ground. However by wiring everything metallic together and earthing it all the metal has the same potential so even if something became energised all the other bits of metal would have the same potential thus the electricity shouldn't flow; in fact at this point the circuit protection should kick in.

One side effect of all the wiring is reaching under, floors in the loft and round walls is that I am covered in little cuts and scraps, in fact after reaching under to thread a cable I look like I have been self harming!

While I was doing the afternoon session Paul and his new girlfriend Saskia popped round to visit the house. On balance it might not have made the best first impression, with all the dust mess and my dad and I in our scruffiest clothes. She seemed a nice girl and it was great to see Paul, an unfortunately brief time though before they had to get off to meet someone else on there grand tour. Hopefully I can pop to London to see them soon.

In the evening I was really tired, Phil suggested a film and as its relatively cheap and there are a few things I want to see we ran down to Didsbury to catch watchmen. Unfortunately it seemed like everyone wanted to go to the movies! Didsbury was full and so was the Trafford Centre we ended up getting a few cans and watching "How to lose friends and alienate people" instead.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Plastic Meadows

Two weird things, first thing Phil sent me a link to Horizon (2008-2009 - 6. What's the Problem with Nudity?). Nothing weird about that, until of course a few minutes in I realise why he sent it, not so I can see naked bodies but because someone we both know is in the program. It was very, very surreal and voyeuristic to watch.

Second weird, well not really weird by certainly sad.
on a different note I installed the new Skype (Version 4.0). I found the interface horrible! Fortunately Phil told me that you can us the 4th button on the top to separates them. Overall though I found the The interfaces just so different and less intuitive. I just wonder why on earth they would change a decent format to a convoluted one? I thought at first the I was just too familiar with the current interface, but Kasia and Phil both said similar things. Kasia called it Chaotic, and Phil confusing.

This evening I put the finishing touches to a website hopefully it will go live later this week. I am pleased that I am reaching the end.