Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I was just a card

Boxing day and my forth Christmas lunch of the year. First one my parents made as a treat for myself and Kath at my Brithday. The second was the works Christmas do and the final two Christmas day at my parents and today the final boxing day using up the leftovers meal.

Today marks one whole year since I proposed to +Kath Borkowska, it was one of the best days in my life. I can still remember the nervous preparation the ring arrived on the last day of postage before Christmas, with Kath arriving on boxing day. I can also still picture the excited surprised expression on her face when I asked the question. I think up until the moment I produced the ring that she thought it was some sort of joke. The wedding is in August, I can't wait thought there is an awful lot of organising to be done beforehand.

I got some nice gifts this year, Nina and Bruce got me some new touch screen gloves, they are even better than my old ones (and look slighlty less geeky). Paul got me Lord of the Rings Trilogy for Xbox, mum gave me some Polish Zloty for my New Years trip to Poland.

Kath bought me a Samsung Galaxy Note II, unfortunately I have to date not received this, despite the fact that Kath sent early December (it arrived in the UK on the 4th December). In the same timeframe, I sent Kath a Nexus 7, she had it used it for a week until it broke. She sent it back to the UK I received it and sent it back for replacement yet I still have no idea when the Note II will arrive ( or even if). My current phone (an 21 month old Samsung Nexus S) Samsung kept rebooting itself so I decided to purchase a Nexus 4.

The Christmas dinners at my parents consisted of turkey, cranberry sauce, pig in blankets, sausage meat, sprouts, carrots and swede, baked parsnips, baked potatoes, chestnut stuffing topped with gravy. It was incredibly tasty and there were even some extra sausages for Mr Storm.

I was so full after both meals I spent the afternoon afterwards ina  sort of food induced coma watching TV. I watched the latest Bourne film, I found it OK mildly entertaining for a lazy evenings watching.

Tomorrow is my grandmas funeral, quite a sombre occasion, I don't think I had ever been to a funeral before David's, now it's two in a month. Hopefully it will be a cathartic event and allow us to relate good memories of her life.

I have to work tomorrow afternoon, another day in an empty office. Not ideal but due to the job change, I start at Civica on the 7th Jan finishing at Close Brothers on the 14th left me with an employment gap which I am filling with some extra time for my previous employer. It isn't ideal but it will help bridge the gap and pay for my New Year trip to Poland.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Yesterday was Christmas Eve but unfortunately having no holiday left I worked, in a nearly empty office. I was slightly surreal but at least I managed to get a piece of work done in peace. 
Last night was Christmas Eve so I met up with the with everyone for some drinks. I grabbed a lift to Revolution with Nick and Jono, and he wasn't staying though just acting as chauffeur.
+Paul Aiden Craddock, +Ian Brook , +matt wooller  and Dan were already in there having left early to get a table.

It was still fairly early when we arrived and the place was pretty empty. Fortunately as we arrived so did a hoard of other people. Including on the table next to us a table full of girls dressed as the nutcracker sweet, apparently it was the only costume available for seven people.

Everyone was in good spirits. Woller was in a good mood he was telling me about his Yoga. Paul about his ongoing music work. Its probably the most I have spoken to Woller in ages. Danny was he usual boisterous self. Ian and Dan are were on the hunt for

+Philip Hadfield +caroline kedian and +Bruce Tonge turned up a little later. Phil was subdued, though Caroline made the best of it considering it was nearly all guys.

Revolution got increasingly busy, oddly I noticed Monkey boy Roberts sat with a group in the corner. I was going to go over and say hello right until one of them pushed in front of my at the bar. Annoyingly I think its someone else I went to school with, though he was a lot less pushy back then. I don't think any of them recognised me so I decided it might not be the best plan to sidle up and say hello.

It looks like Nick and Becky are back to being an item, she gave he and I a lift home in her Range Rover evoke, very nice wheels.  We left fairly early, leaving Dan, Paul, Wooler and Ian behind I hear that Paul and Dan managed to come to blows! Fortunately turned out to be a spur of the moment thing all forgotten in the morning.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Why I like and loath Freegal

Freegal is a free and legal group in which you can offer unused items to other members, so that they go to another home rather than landfill. Freegal is simply replacement for the Wilmslow Freecycle I previously recommended

In principal I think this is a great idea. I find it very difficult to take perfectly serviceable items to the tip so they often sit around the house for a long time. Plus after having a lot of hassell selling items on ebay and with all the fees or with anything expensive to post it is often not worthwhile to sell.

Recently I had some items from my grandma's flat to dispose of including a miniature dishwasher. I listed this on Freegal and before I knew it I have 23 people  wanting the item. According to the Freegl principals the idea is to only offer or request not to put in any message about why you need the item. The idea is simply to find homes for items based on offer and desire not to personalise or sway the decision.

There is also Fair offer policy (FOP) to see what responses are received before deciding who to give item(s) to. This gives members on Daily Digest, or those who don't have continual access to the Internet a fair chance to reply.

Here are a selection of the responses;

"I would so much appreciate this please.  Am a single mum & having some help with that chore would make such a difference".

"I'm a carer for my bed bound mum. Your small dishwasher would be really really handy for me when I'm up at her house. I often find myself stood at my mums sink doing the pots, then have to come home and do the dishes at home too. This would be ideal and would save me so much time ".

It puts a lot of pressure on the poster, but how to make a good decision one of the other poster might have similar problems? Therefore I always put all the names into a spreadsheet and use the random function to pick a name, I think that is the fairest way.


The last few weeks have been up and down. There was good news as several of my friends had children or announced they were pregnant. That has been tempered by the deaths of several people, my grandmother died last Friday. In a way at was a release she had been very unwell and was suffering, however it still felt very ghoulish clearing out her flat. This followed the death of Philips father, whoes funerial I had attended Thursday. Then Kath Aunt died, so a sad time at what is normally a happy time of the year.

Last night I went out for a curry with Jo and Paul, was a nice evening good food, nice chat, very relaxing. Paul was in good form telling us about his trip to Sweden and how he has got back into running

I finally got a replacement phone, a Google Nexus 4. I am very happy with it. It zips along much faster than my previous Nexus S, the screen is gorgeous nearly edge to edge in Gorilla Glass. The new version of Android follows the evolution of the operating system, making it slicker and more integrated. The cards feature is a real innovation, Cards dynamically display depending on location and recent searchs. For example if I record an item in my calendar I get a reminder to leave in order to beat the traffic, updated in real time. 

There is still no sign of the Galaxy Note II that Kath sent me, according to the tracking it arrived in the UK on the 4th yet it hasn't moved from the warehouse. Whilst waiting for it, I have sent Kath her Google Nexus 7 to Poland. Unfortunately it developed a fault, so she sent it back to the UK and I returned it to Google and got a replacement. So something tells me that the Note has been lost in transit.