Thursday, September 04, 2003

Strewth but it is hot in here today. Which is nice, don't get me wrong, as things have been a bit chilly over the last couple of days, but nonetheless I could wish for a bit of temperature consistency... Anyway, here's another "squabble" from the weekend I meant to put in before but forgot.

Neighbours over the road came home from holiday and Steve from next door was parked outside their house. Now, it should be noted that there was still room on their side of the road for them to park up complete with trailer tent and only be perhaps 3 extra metres between the car and front door than if they had been directly outside their own abode. And of course we live in a road that has no parking restrictions whatsoever - no lines, no spaces marked, no permits required or anything of that ilk so anyone is perfectly at liberty under the law to leave their car wherever they like so long as it is done in a safe manner. Me, I would have grinned wryly and walked a bit further with the suitcases - done it often enough in the past with shopping before we got the driveway. If we had a real load of stuff I might have politely asked Steve if he'd mind moving up a bit. What did mr over the road do? Sat in the car hooting the horn for about five minutes before going to hammer on Steve's door. And when he did finally come out he proceeded to shout and swear at him for the whole time he was moving. What a harmonious neighbourhood we occupy. It was so nice and quite while they were away. Oh well, only 1 more day until we make our escape.

Work has been one frantic rush since Monday trying to finalise Park & Ride reports and get everything else in a state I can leave it in while I am gone. I think I am just about there now barring any further emergencies. All that remains is a quick trawl through my in-tray to see if anything is outstanding and tidying the desk so if anyone does need anything they might be able to find it. Then if I canmanage to get away at a reasonable time tonight and tomorrow I will be one happy holidymaker.

All the thinking about the upcoming trip has got my mind full of images from previous holidays I have been on - random snatches like:

Riding on a steam train on the North Norfolk Railway when I was about 7.

Being scared out of my mind on a (very) small rollercoaster in Denmark in 1980.

Hearing the new Police album blaring out of a cabin on a ferry to Holland.

The first realisation that the Dutch eat their chips with mayonaise then trying the same and liking it.

Nearly breaking our necks on the treacherous, rain-soaked cobbles of Clovelley.

Sweltering in the heat in Paris in 1999.

Absolutely loving the enormous rollercoasters in Canada two years ago.

And many more besides. I think when time permits I'll have a reflection or two at length on past excursions so watch this space. Perhaps something for the grim winter evenings that are slowly creeping up on us.

Right, better get back to the desk location project. Not sure if I will have time to post tomorrow so next entry probably when we get back from the alps. Woohoo.

Monday, September 01, 2003

I think "Squabble" is a good word to use for an overview of some of what I am now going to relate...

We did pop up to see Helen during Saturday afternoon (Bhupen & Alexander having come home and gone straight to bed) and it seems that a large part of their holiday saw them witnessing family feuding between Sheila & Stewart and Caroline & Chris as well as much sponging off the former by the latter. Once again I am quite glad that in the end we didn't join them - I got enough of that 2 years ago thank you very much. When I go on holiday I want to relax, not listen to others arguing all the time. And that after they had the delays on the way out, the big Blackout to contend with and, to put the icing on the cake, Helen had to give some medical aid to a fellow passenger on the plane home. Oh well, I'm sure our trip to Switzerland will be fine.

Yesterday we took it pretty easy. Lots of tidying up around the house then a trip to Ma & Pa's to give them their wedding anniversary present. 35 years is the Coral anniversary, but rather then buying them a chunk of the great barrier reef we settled for a grilling machine instead. Well, it was what they wanted.

Also over the weekend we watched both Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2 which were both funny. And it was nice to see the start of the first one, and indeed to see it properly - wehn we watched it before it was at Helen & Bhupen's not long after they had got their widescreen tv and thus we got to see the normal aspect picture stretched out making everyone look short and fat. One of my pet hates that is, tv pictures being shown in the wrong ratio but there isn't much you can do to tell people they are seeing things the wrong way. At least more and more stuff is being transmitted in widescreen now so the chances of having to sit through something looking dire are becoming fewer and far between.

Finished the Brunel book yesterday - as I said already, fascinating stuff. There is a prog about his Great Eastern on the BBC this week which should be worth a look. I will have to get something on the Stephensons now to add to the railway buildser knowledge I seem to be accumulating. Not started anything else yet - I am just going to catch up on a bunch of articles I have lying about then embark on a new book as part of the holiday.

Today got off to a bang with a meeting about how we could do some quick & dirty marketing and publicity to try and get more passengers in the short term. Except the first 45 minutes or so degenerated in to one big argument between Sonic and Peter the Marketing manager (down to what the meeting should have been about, never mind anything else). Quite fun to watch if a bit uncomfortable in places. Not the sort of example you expect managers to be setting really. Calmed down in the end when I made a useful suggestion and we got moving from then on. That was followed by a meeting with a firm who should be able to do some distribution for us (if the money can be found) which will help me with my targets if nothing else.

Oh well, now the afternoon is almost over so I think it is time for me to go home. 4 days to go...