Monday, October 07, 2002

OK, new week, new attempt to at least register my continued existence on here every single day. So, what has gone on since last time?

Thursday: Was generally dull and uninteresting. Just checking timetables and so forth. Managed not to buy anything at lunchtime followed by a quiet evening and all that.

Friday: Good and bad kind of day. Bad bit was that Joan woke up with a stinking bad head, feeling and being sick and generally not very well at all. Packed her off back to bed sharpish and then had to deliver some keys to Argos so they could carry on without her. All of which meant I got in to Ipswich with about 2 minutes to spare before leaving for Red Lodge and our way out day out thing.

Gary had obtained a small coach from Beestons to drive us all over in and it was very comfortable indeed. I lived up to expectations of all and sundry by sleeping for most of the trip there (a feat I repeated on the way home) - I even missed stopping to pick Ray up in Bury St. Edmunds so I must have needed a rest. After signing our lives away (well, some form of disclaimer anyway) and coffee for those who wanted it we were split into teams and sent off to our first task. My team also featured Ray, Christine and Barry. Yup, we had to suffer the Walrus from hell messing with our team's scores by being absolutely crap and useless at pretty much everything.

Anyway, our first thing to drive was the "not quite a tank" armoured personnel carrier with caterpillar tracks and stuff. Only a very short course for that one and very bumpy as the lack of rain meant the ground was solid as a rock. Despite the chap telling us it would be tricky, it was actually very simple and easy to drive. One pedal to make it go forwards and two levers controlling the brakes on the left and right side tracks, both of which were expected to need a lot of pulling but were actually quite "light". A bit of gentle but persistent and controlled pulling required to turn smoothly rather than in jerks and it was also incredibly noisy. I have now put tank or similar tracked vehicle on my Christmas list. That would really annoy the neighbours, but I'd have no trouble parking it.

After a swift break event two was the reverse steer Ereppi. A pick up thingy nobbled so that turning the wheel to the left made you go right and vice versa. Oh, and just to make life more interesting the driver was also blindfolded and relied on directions from a partner. That was therefore the only part of the day that was anything like a team-building exercise - which was the original intention behind having a day out. Ray and Barry went first and made a complete arse of it. Going round in circles, stopping for ages to try and work out what to do next, knocking over and missing out the gates and cones. Loads of time and loads of penalties added. Christine and I did a lot better - very quick and only a copule of knocked cones between us. Unfortunately our speed and efficiency didn't help us make up the defecit the other two had created in our scores.

That led us in to lunch and for some a go on the swings as well.

For the afternoon we started with the bit I had been looking forward to the least - the Quad Bikes. Again that was done in pairs so Ray & Barry went first. And returned within about 5 minutes as Baz was scared to go above a crawl. Christine and I therefore donned the helmets and gloves and mounted up. It took me about 5 seconds to decide they weren't as scary as I expected and another 5 to decide they were actually a lot of fun. Damn fast too. I ended up being out for about 45 of our 60 minutes as when we headed back to see if Barry was going to try again he wasn't, so I went out with Ray. I did make the mistake of sticking my foot out from time to time when cornering at speed (thinking I was on some sort of normal bike that might tip over) thus knocking it on the floor painfully and also ended up in a fence at one point leaving me with some hurty bruises and the bike with a cracked fairing. However, once I got the hang of steering by turning the handlebars rather than leaning over I had a damn good time. Got up to a lot of speed, got some air underneath me after some of the bumps, humps and jumps and got very dusty. I have now added quad bike to my Christmas List.

The final session was Range Rovers. As with the other 3 events, I've never experieced 4x4 off-roading before either. Luckily they had two so I was able to share one with Christine and avoid Bazza once more. This was also good fun - the "not falling over when driving along a very steep bank" and "going up hills you wouldn't want to walk up without a rope" abilities were just incredible. Trusting the vehicle to do things you would normally try to control yourself was quite a novel experience too. I have now put some sort of Jeepy thing on my Christmas List.

In all a very good time was had, even if our team did manage to come last overall thanks to Baz and his general prat-ness.

Home in time to find Joan up, but ready to go back to bed again. Which was where I sent her and had a fairly quiet evening followed by an early night.

Saturday: Ouch, aches in places I didn't even know I had places. Probably what comes from hanging on for dear life but with a big grin on yer face whilst trying to control the hot throbbing monster between your legs. Oooer Mrs.

Joan well enough to go back to work so I spent most of the day tidying in the study and ironing. Richard came along for lunch - we finished the Iron Maiden DVD - and study of job websites but found nothing. Then in the evening we went shopping and settled down for a nice (you guessed it) Chinese with Casualty and Silent Witness.

Sunday: another good day overall. Joan off so we started lazy then went out. The main aim was to try and locate some form of raised bed kit for the garden as we both fancy the idea of some. Nothing was forthcoming though so I guess I will end up getting some wood and building our own. Should be fun. We also managed a nice lunch at Fatty Arbuckles and looked at lots of carpets and furniture and got a stick-on shelf to use in the shower. I think we are looking at re-decorating the lounge sometime soon but having seen the cost of floor coverings this may well get put back a tad.

On the way home called in at the open day park & ride/remote display site for the Ipswich Transport Museum (didn't have time to go to the museum itself) to find Gary as achy as I was. Then home for a snooze before a light tea and part two of SW.

Today: at last!

More timetable checking and so forth. Have also put my film in to be developed (and had to find a new outlet for processing as the one I'm used to in Felixstowe has shut). Will see how the pix come out tomorrow and scan and post any good ones.

Stillreading the London book (well, it is very thick) and over the weekend listening has included:

Little Angels - Don't Prey For Me and Young Gods.
Apes, Pigs & Spacemen - Snapshot.
The Prodigy - The Fat Of The Land.
Trancient Dreams - Some MP3 Stuff.
Gong - You - Remix album (disc one).
The Levellers - Green Blade Rising. (Again).
Various - A free Disney CD that came with a paper yesterday (the only reason I bought the paper, so you could say it was free with the CD).

Right, time to go home now I think. Hopefully for a nice evening.

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