Saturday, 29 November 2008
Cannwin, a Blog pal in America (Cannwin) sent me a link for a top bridge picture. This was pretty thoughtful of her as she recollected my bridge liking from a comment she made on a post here months and months back! Of course I followed the link and found this great picture!
Bag, surely this would be No.1 contender for top mountain bike action? It would be a smart run-up to taking a bike down those stairs, but I reckon they are 'a-massiver' than they look and would require a bit of nerve!
Lummox - this is in Malaysia, dude!
Here's more info on the bridge if you are also afflicted by this curious fascination.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Back in BS5! Great time away but always just as fine to come home again.
I am back after 48 hours at my folks' house for my mother's birthday. On the first night home we went out for dinner, here. It's pretty smart and relaxed and top notch. Large log fires, two large dogs that potter about the place and all the menu items from no more than a county away.
Yesterday morning gave time for a long dog walk, passing through a field that had 6 Alpacas in it! An Alpaca is a curious looking sort of a chap.
Last night I got on with roast pork for my folks and their (constantly thoughtful) neighbours. I wouldn't say I did most of it but certainly a good proportion with occasional direction from my mother. Anyhow, all the plates were clean at the end. This is the table prior to serving.
So, back in BS5 and readying myself for interview Prep for a great role - interview is next week.
It's reet windy in Bristol today!
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Today I am at my folks' house in a quiet little country village an hour from BS5 in rural Herefordshire. I have just driven my Dad to the country shop to buy tomatoes and as luck would have it, it was right on time for the village school run where a gathering of rather attractive thirty-something women were about their tasks. About 80% of that crowd near my house are Somalian and you can't see them coz they have Burkhas on. The ones in the village are not dressed that way (but then again, the BS5 lot are actually more friendly and sociable).
The country shop is like retailing in the 1950s; no SEL's (all SKU's hand priced), no EPoS, no actual stock that is on sale appears in the windows, and the layout is just odd. It's rather charming but I'd go loopy if I worked there.
Well now, here's some good things to be thankful for.
The postman came today and delivered three letters. Now when you are applying for jobs you can generally tell the outcome of the application by the size of the letter...
First one was true to form and a thanks but no thanks for a job in Poole, second one is a job I really want, and the envelope looked depressing but in fact had two bits of paper in - a good opening sign. Hooray - an interview date and details of a presentation to give. That takes place a week tomorrow and is a Head of Retail job for a charity firm with 65 branches.
The third letter was not an application reply at all but a letter from the man who lent me most of the money to buy my house. His letter said that some chap called Mervyn at the Bank of England had told him to reduce interest rates, thus reducing my bill by a rather smart 84 pounds a month, or around 130 dollars if you are reading in America.
With all this news, this Blogger remains positive for now.
Monday, 24 November 2008
I was just looking for a pocket handkerchief to wear with my suit, so I quickly checked the top pockets of each of my suits that are hanging up in my room. I have seven, plus a dinner jacket. In the dinner jacket I found my bow tie and fifteen quid! I love it when that happens!
As it is my mother's birthday on Wednesday I think I should invest the fifteen pounds in that.
Today is a collar and tie day. I have an interview for some temping roles so we shall see what happens there. I will have to get my sensible mode on and think like an office man, not a idle-feck. Before I switch on my sensible mode, I am writing this post.
Here is a random photo I found today - it's Clarke video-phoning his shark buddy in the Indian Ocean. I might mention this in my interview today when they ask 'So what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?'
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Now I think this looks a bit of a lark.
I reckon I could do this with a bit of BS5 style and panache. I'd be a total Ninja on a motorbike anyhow but lob in fire, ramps, a crowd and some danger and I'm in my element.
So what's going on with you this Sunday morning?
Saturday, 22 November 2008
My Blog pal Alaina posted this tag thingy on her Blog and I thought I would have a go. It's dead easy - a snappy one word answer to each!
Over to you Sub and Scargosun?
1. Where is your cell phone? Bed
2. Your significant other? Imagined
3. Your hair? Grey
4. Your mother? Wise
5. Your father? Dude
6. Your favorite thing? Friendships
7. Your dream last night? Galway!
8. Your favorite drink? Guinness
9. Your dream/goal? Wyoming
10. The room you're in? Content
11. Your fear? Drowning
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Bristol!
13. Where were you last night? Rhubarb
14. What you're not? Short
15. Muffins? American
16. One of your wish list items? Invisibility
17. Where you grew up? Lincolnshire
18. The last thing you did? Bathed
19. What are you wearing? D.Gown
20. Your TV? Valued
21. Your pet? Clarke!
22. Your computer? Vital
23. Your life? Content
24. Your mood? Content
25. Missing someone? Yep
26. Your car? VX52!
27. Something you're not wearing? Thin
28. Favorite Store? HMV
29. Your summer? Smart
30. Your favorite color? green
31. When is the last time you laughed? today
32. Last time you cried? 2008
Mac news: I have not opened it up anymore than yesterday and I think I am going to leave it intact so my brother gets the real fun of switching it on the first time and all that. I'm cool blogging on my PC wired to the wall for now.
Today of course is JFK's 'I am currently out of the office' day, the poor bugger.
Friday, 21 November 2008
So today I bought a Mac Book pro' for my brother . He lives in Manila and his nearest Apple Shop is a few hours away in Hong Kong. My nearest Apple store is 17 minutes and 22 seconds from my house, so Wavey (my brother) wired me the cash and I headed on in for top retail purchasing on his behalf.
In a surreal turn of events while I was buying the Mac Book, Wavey was sorting his Visa so he can leave Manila and come home over Christmas. He went along in his shorts but you can't wear shorts in the Visa office in Manila so he had to hire a pair of strides from an enterprising Phillipino on the street outside who was hiring them by the half hour.
So , back to the Mac - new gadgets are cool; well packaged ones are even better. In fact it was so cool, Barack Obama came round to look too; you can hear him giving a speech on a live feed to the US whilst he looked!
In the comment I have said Mac Book Air, but of course, it's a Pro. Barack - thanks for pointing out my error there, dude.
Check this out!
This morning I am on a bit of a Prince kick after hearing 'Controversy' on the radio last night. I am listening to 1999 as it happens, and it really is a kick-ass album!
I have also been reading up on the spec' for a macbook pro because I am going to buy one on behalf of my brother later today so he can collect it when he comes back to the UK in a couple of weeks. I am not gonna use it though because it will be too tempting to hide it and not give it to him, and after all he is funding the purchase! I'll store it at my folks' house.
Moving elegantly from 'Prince' to Royal(e) I have also been reading about French politics this morning, but not for edification - only because Marie-Ségolène Royal is a right Friday fox! She's 55! Is it wrong for a 36 year old Blogger to be thinking about a 55 year old woman that way? She is French though, and French women just have it, don't they? A Je ne Sais qua, I suppose!
Well here we are at Blog BS5 on post 600! Wow, that came speedily.
Today I am focusing on looking out of BS5, rather than just looking in.
In the week I went along with two friends from my road to a co-operative food group. I expressed an interest and went to see what it was all about. About every six weeks or so, six to eight of them get together and order bulk stock of ethically decent and traceable stock such as pulses, rice, lentils, herbs, spices and fresh veg! I don’t think I use enough stuff to warrant an order (everyone else in the group is a couple or a family) but they do want to extend this to having a shop once or twice a week out of a premises around here, so I can help with that. The gang who were from all over the world also gave me a community cook book with recipes from The UK, the Middle East, North Africa, South America and Australia and NZ. All the contributors now live in east Bristol where this Blog lives.
I am going to have a crack at a lamb recipe from Iran called Ghormeh Sabzi.
Have a look at the book here.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
So I have been trying to apply for temporary work at the Post Office, who as you'd imagine have a certain increase in December. I applied for a full time job with them earlier in the year but the password I used then is now invalid; they send you a link to change the password and that goes to a null page on their website, with the result that I missed a deadline today coz I couldn't actually log in. Wankers.
I could have set up a new email address to forward to my current one but that's a fair amount of pissing about when it would just be nice if the RM website did what it said. It's not like I don't want to work hard and earn a shekel.
I like my regular post man - he's a nice, cheery chap and he always says hello if he sees me about in BS5 as he knows me from seeing me on my wall, or seeing me out and about running in the morning these last few weeks. It's the firm he works for that I am despondent about. Kinda puts me in mind of the caricature from Viz comic, Postman Plod.
Early on this morning at a little before three I finished a good book by Nevil Shute, 'Beyond Black Stump' . My brother had been reading it and he gave it to me on Saturday morning when I stayed with him. It's about love, the outback, oil drilling, Australia, sheep and Oregon.
It was a harmless and hopeful read and I enjoyed it but as the pages consumed outweighed those left, to a point where there was simply not enough space for the narrative to go anywhere else, one could see the outcome, which was a little bit of a shame.
Anyhow, I liked the book and it's worth a read if you see a copy in a second hand book store. I am going to try another of his books which I will begin later in the week.
My friend Bag is a conspiratorial sort of a chap, indeed one day a few years back when we shared a house elsewhere in BS5, Bag solved that whole Kennedy/grassy knoll/Zapruder conspiracy using only the power of the internet, a pencil & pad, and a bottle of vodka.
Bag has lifted the picture from my last fire engine post to enquire as to the gizmo he has highlighted in the bottom r/h corner.
Well of course I can't comment too much other than to say that cunningly disguised as next door's satellite receiver, it has to do with me and my advisory capacity to a certain transition team aiming to be ready for January 20th...
Maybe I'll apply to be CEO of Yahoo now that Jerry Yang is standing down. Of course I'd have to move to Sunnyvale, California and rename this Blog with an American 'zip' code, not a Bristol postcode. And of course, I'd have to be more into search engines, not fire engines.
We shall see.
Monday, 17 November 2008
Now this is odd!
I have just finished hosting a meeting of our Church social committee. I am secretary and we met to catch up at my house about our Christmas Fayre.
During the course of the meeting, I offered to donate 15 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper to a stall selling this and that. I acquired a tall box of about 48 rolls when I had a head office job with WHSmith back in the day, and I have been using them and giving them away since.
I bought the box down from my loft conversion and the gang (all women) wanted to have a good old look. In the bottom of the box I found the shoes pictured. Man, did that raise some questions! I don't recall any of the (very few) women who have stayed here (amorously) leaving a pair of size 6 heels. That's a little bit of gossip that will be up and down the pews at the speed of light.
This week, here in BS5, I have been thinking about ways to increase my Blog readership. I am building my own satellite which I plan to launch on Wednesday. I have been putting it together in the back room of my local as I don't have a garage. Here is it nearing the end of the construction stage. Please let me know if you have anything you would like to launch into space as I have some spare payload space.
In a more down to earth note, later on today I have to move a piano and a ping pong table from my local boxing club to a new location. This will be the second piano I have wheeled through BS5 this month.
Sunday, 16 November 2008
A great 24 hours altogether spent at my brother's house and Twickenham! My brother Greg called me and said he had a spare ticket to England-Australia, would I like to go along? Top! I had not been to Twickenham for about 10 years when I went along to see Oxford-Cambridge play each other.
An 80,000 crowd makes lots of noise and at least 50k of them singing the National Anthem is quite a stirring thing, especially the cheer that goes up right after. Straight away the Australians got the points on and didn't stop there, really. We got kicked. The Australians seem to be good at rugby and especially good at encouraging attractive women to follow the game; the place was awash with exuberant, attractive women shouting and screaming!
Here's a fuzzy phone picture.
Back home after the match and London to Bristol was quite a tiring old drive but as ever, VX52 got me home safe and sound. I went crazy and drove at more than the standard 68mph.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Today after a couple of episodes of The West Wing, and numerous web searches and TV spots on the US election these last weeks, I have been reading this website! I was quite surprised it existed, and I must write and compliment them on some of their techniques, techniques honed here also in BS5 when I am on 'Principal Protection' detail in and about the locale.
I wonder if they will take me on after my recent failure to secure a short term office job in north Bristol.
I applied for a three month contract as a communications manager today. It was based near home and needed weekly and monthly newsletters, plus a variety of ad hoc communications. It would have been a real help.I have done such a role twice for different but very large retailers with a ton of branches. Now I am not arrogant enough (in this case) to assume I had a shoe-in but I got an email in less than 30 minutes to say my skills were not close enough to suit. I'm afraid irritation got the better of me and I sent back a fairly pissy email suggesting that I thought my CV was a reasonable match, if only that it assisted me to spot the two grammatical errors and one spelling error in the job description. Would you believe they failed to spell 'Communications' correctly for the role of Communications Manager?
My email will have done me no favours and will have been binned immediately but it felt really good to send it.
On with the day, I suppose.
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Okay, I've read, re-read, re-re-read and re-re-re-read the instructions to make leek and potato soup. All seems well but I am going to replace the leeks with onions and add a courgette too. As my pal Bag would testily point out, if I am doing that what was the point in reading the original recipe? Gonna add sweetcorn too, so I read the recipe just to get the basics on soup.
What I can't work out is how the soup will not end up only as thin as the stock I make, and not thicken like a nice winter broth. We shall see and I will post results.
My brother just asked me if I wanted to join him at England Vs Oz this Saturday at Twickenham!
Now yesterday I happened to wake at 3 in the morning and I just stayed up until about 9.30pm so I was a bit bamboozled by the end of a strange day. I had a great sleep overnight but the noisy-gang next door set a personal best this morning for shouting, crashing, banging, swearing and generally being a noisy, profane family. Not unreasonable to make some noise at half seven but man they are loud! Anyhow, after a pleasant (and warm)10 hours in bed I feel normal again. Off for a run and then various tasks to complete today. I will not be shouting or swearing at anyone, I hope.
Monday, 10 November 2008
Ebony/Jet magazine is a US publication about all things black. They ran this cover the other month and just now, their Editor Bryan Monroe called me here at BlogBS5 to ask if they could include me on a brand new list of the 25 coolest American black dudes. I pointed out that I am white (and not American) but Bryan said he'd heard I was the coolest dude in the UK and their Editorial board had made an exception.
Who am I to argue?
Today in a rare lapse of judgement I listened to Woman's Hour (it happened last week too). I normally tune away from the Radio 4 daily show as it's often right-on strident old clap trap but today I enjoyed it. Here's why:
Cool article on Tracy Chapman who is only 44, and is black - didn't know either of those things.
Cool article on what the Obama daughters might expect in White House lives, and a review of other recent children therein.
The show is still going as I type and has now reverted to form and is droning on about something.
Also, my good friend Mr Walsh has helped me out with my PC, so no two-day outage as I was expecting to have to bare. Cool! I can stay on line and look up a recipe for today's experimentation.
Today (well, technically yesterday) I strolled into the city centre to join in the Remembrance parade. It's 90 years to the day on Tuesday since the end of the first world war, so this was the closest Sunday. It's always enjoyable in a strange way and it's good seeing people in uniform all doing their bit. It was pretty cold and by the end of it, the rain was soaking us all to the bones.
The two minutes' silence were started and closed by the deep boom of a canon - rather cool.
This is my slightly grainy picture of the event.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
Hey, Barack Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel is a short dude! Barack O is six one and a half and towers over the dude, who must be a good 5 feet 5 in heels! Still, apparently he's a whirlwind of profanity and influence and west Wing's Josh was based upon him.
I am back in BS5 this afternoon after a nice 24 hours at my folks' house.
Friday, 7 November 2008
More Ernie and Bert here on BS5 but this time no swearing.
This neatly captures my huge skill at chatting to women - hey I'm okay once I get going but I sometimes need a bit of prompting (and no elephants). I think Bert has a point; the letter W is pretty smart from all 26.
Ernie and Bert crack me up every time; maybe that's an issue in itself!
Thursday, 6 November 2008
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Monday, 3 November 2008
This started out at Suburbia's blog then jumped to FFF, and from there it has been sent the way of Blog BS5. As ever with these, don't phone in, it's just for fun...
7 Things I plan to do before I die:
Finish the bathroom tiling
Get a dog
Have a few beers in New York City
Blow up the Tate Modern
Become an MP
Live in France for a little bit
7 Things I do now:
Lark about on line
Watch Star Trek
Firmly believe I *could* be Jimmy B
7 Things I can't do:
Dance stylishly (points for effort though)
Speak German (no plans to change that)
Listen to Woman's Hour without tutting and saying 'Oh bugger off, love!' to the radio, then chuckling!
7 Things that attract me in the opposite sex:
Great jugs! (sorry)
7 Things I say most often:
'That's the Gamble' when weighing up big issues of the day
'Please may I have a pint of Guinness?'
'Hello House' when I get back in after any time away
'Be a good shark' to Clarke when leaving the house
'See Aye Arr!' to VX52 with an affectionate pat!
'Hello' to the Big Man, in a variety of days
'Thank you' when people do things
7 Celebrities that I admire:
Dr Jonathan Sachs
David Beckham (he seems a nice bloke)
Dr Rowan Williams
(sorry there were no chicks in this one - not a deliberate thing, and I was gonna put in Her Maj', but the A B of C just pipped her).
7 Favourite foods: (in any order)
A good korma
Cold curry for breakfast
Good fish & chips on a Friday
Lewis Hamilton - top drama right to the wire, but great success! Let's hope Barack O wins tomorrow and that will make for a good week for stylish blokes!
I have to get all John Lewised up today in readiness for an assessment day with them tomorrow.
This pic' is Lewis H parked up at The Rhubarb last night.