Thursday, May 27, 2004

Wooo. We have a holiday booked. Yeeha, off to foreign parts with hills again soon. Well, in mid-August anyway. Which is sooner than September when we went last year so hopefully we won't have the rain issues to contend with this time. Austria rather than Switzerland (and with the stops on the way in Germany rather than France) which will enable us to decide where we prefer. Also a fraction cheaper and an extra day away in to the bargain. So into anticipation mode full swing now. Mind you, the Supreme web site hasn't been updated for this year as yet so I can't just cut & paste the description in to here. So more details when I can be bothered to type them in.

Yesterday was a long and tiring one for the Flexible bus routing seminar up in Hyde (just outside Manchester). Actually, it wasn't as tiring as I was expecting despite leaving home at 0600 covering 450 odd miles and getting back at 2000. And I did about 350 of those miles in the driving seat. Ended up going with Ray from the CT team rather than anyone external so at least I knew him. It did mean spending all day trying to get the conversation away from cars though (he only seems to have that in his repertoire).

The journey itself wasn't too bad. Familiar teriitory up the A1 as far as the Sherwood Forest roundabout. Which was a bit odd to be doing without Joan in the car but meant I was also able to control where we stopped for food (cue evil grins and some nice pancakes at the OK Diner). Then instead of heading right to go on up to Newcastle we turned left and cut across the peak district instead. Which was absolutely lovely. Lots of rocky outcrops and steep drops at the sides of the roads, sheep and drystone walls in the fields, lovely stone cottages and just generally pleasant views. (OK, so we did have to drive round Sheffield as well, but even that is far from the industrial horror it used to be). Basically, I really enjoyed getting a bit of vertical scenery around me and as a consequence am in a more heightened state of holiday anticipation than I was after booking it on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, the seminar itself was not as useful for me. The first speaker was excellent and I now have a pretty good understanding of what we can and can't do when it comes to flexible bus routes. Unfortunatley the other three got progressively less interesting as 2 covered a lot of the same ground and the last one was talking about a research project. Not exactly gripping stuff. Oh well, it was a nice day out overall.

And the coincidence machine was working overtime on the way home - the only chance I've had to listen to the radio in the afternoons for months and who should get interviewed but Tony Hawks, whose book I am in the middle of. Very strange how these things happen.

It has occurred to me that I haven't done much waffling about tv on here of late. We are still watching stuff, so here's a quick list of things we have been impressed by recently:

Hustle crime drama from the other side of the fence for a change. Much like a British version of Ocean's Eleven (but with a team of 5!) covering a range of different scams. I particularly enjoyed the way they played around with the format, used effects and breaking the fourth wall to have charachters explain plot points directly to the audience. The only problem was that they stuck to the usual UK pattern and only did six episodes in the series. But they are promising more for next year.

No Angels sort of medical one, but focussing more on the private lives of the nurses involved rather than the slicing people open or sticking pills down their throats. A bit rude in places but at least honest about what goes on in life (and death) on the wards. Good fun and also some great music used in the soundtrack.

Murder City and Murder in Suburbia which both offered a slightly different take on the police side of crime drama with the former being highly serious in places and the latter being very light-hearted.

The usual suspects - Casualty, Holby City, ER - have all had their share of eyeball time as well and performed to their usual standards.

And from tomorrow Big Brother is back for the summer so that should provide some entertainment...

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