Monday, 21 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Well, I think this will be my last post of 2009.  I'm off to Sweden tomorrow and won't be back until the new year, so happy christmas to you all and a wish fulfilled 2010 - wow a new decade already!
The first test between England and South Africa finished yesterday, which resulted in a draw.  England managed to hang on with the last pair having to play out the last three overs.  Very nervewracking.  The second test starts on Boxing Day.
Staying with cricket, i've found an interesting online game Test Catch Cricket. It requires no knowledge of the game, but the graphics are fun and the game is straightforward and addictive.  Have a go.
We've had snow in London in the last few days, the first time I can ever remember it snowing before christmas.  It might even end up being a white christmas.  It certainly will be in Sweden.  So with christmas nearly upon us, here's a spotify playlist of some Favourite Xmas songs that I've put together, hope you enjoy them and I'll see you in the new year!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Deep Relief

I'm in a very good mood this evening.  The court have ruled that the cabin crew strike is illegal and I will be able to fly next week...unless of course something else goes wrong, like heavy snow...but we'll see.  I feel much better though.
With my brain relieved by this news I was actually able to do some writing today, rather than fretting the day away with coffee and chocolate.  I've written a chapter five for my novel type story and have about twenty thousand words now.  It's shaping up a little.
My girlfriend also received the news that she has got her Diploma in I want to say a huge congratulations to her.  I'm very proud.  I can imagine her face going red right now.  At least I'll be able to congratulate her in person.  Woo hoo!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Christmas Horrors

Right now I should be excited.  I should be looking forward to Christmas.  I should be looking forward to seeing my girlfriend for the first time in a month.  I should be looking forward to waking up next to her on Christmas morning.  I should be looking forward to seeing her face when I give her a gift.  But right now, every Christmas thought and every thought related to it, weighs me down like I've swallowed lead and lumps of sharp metal.
I'm due to be flying with British Airways on the 22nd and fly home on the 2nd, the start and end days of the cabin crew strike.  I can't help but think that their reasons for choosing these dates is for the ultimate amount of publicity more than for the sensibilities of going on strike.  Why, for your first strike do you do it for 12 days? Most other unions strike for one day here, one day there...their choice is preposterous.
And even then why are they striking at all?  Not only does BA have a lot more credible opposition these days with all the budget airlines that provide good services, there is also a recession in place.  Costs have to be cut.  How can these cabin crew justify to themselves that they are so important that they can't survive a pay freeze.  At least they have a job.
Other staff within BA have negotiated and agreed to new terms, and yet the cabin crew have not.  Instead they have decided to hold the world to ransom at a time when peace, love and goodwill are supposed to be the prevailing emotions.  Christmas is for families and lovers, but instead we could all be kept apart by money grabbers and selfish cabin crew, by a union looking for publicity, and I for one have no sympathy with them.  I am hoping that it will be called off, but something inside me says that come the 22nd of December, I'll be arriving at Heathrow without a flight to catch, and I'll be parted from my girlfriend for the complete holiday season.

On a lighter note, I have been visiting my Dad in Cheddar for a week.  One day we did the Gorge Walk, on another I took a walk around the reservoir and there are photos below.  Immediately below are two photos of a Cottage Pie I first...and it was delicious!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Injury List

I have a capacity for self injury, probably more than some and probably less than others.  In childhood I managed to run down a path with a forgotten step, to fall into a rose bush and to run into a parked car.
In more recent years I have suffered swollen ankles from fast moving cricket balls, scraped hands from museum exhibits along with a propensity for being tasty food for biting insects.
This week I have been able to add to my list.  At the weekend I slipped on my stairs and now have a purple, fist sized bruise on my arse and today I surpassed even myself I think.  While doing the washing up.
I know you're thinking, perhaps a cut hand from a broken glass or plate, perhaps even picking up the blade of a sharp knife.  No.  I was injured by a piece of dry spaghetti.  It had attached itself to the outside of a saucepan and so I tried to pick it off.  A piece broke off and pushed itself under my thumbnail.
After a moment or so of shouting and cursing I remembered a pair of tweesers, and managed to pull it back out again, along with the requisite drop of blood.
Even I'm not too sure what to say sometimes.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Driven To The Brink

Another mixture of topics, starting with the football...a pretty good draw for England who will start on June 12 against USA, with Algeria and Slovenia also in the group.  At least we missed the likes of France, Portugal and Ivory Coast.  Still six months away, but I'm already a little excited.  With Capello at the helm this is the best chance England have had for a long time, lets hope they make the best of it.
The cricketers did well today without having to take the field since it rained all day in Durban, meaning that they win the one day series, South Africa's first loss on home soil for about 17 series.  I think it's a bit of a shame they couldn't play today, but still it puts the Proteas on the back foot.  No rain in London today I'm glad to say.
Wednesday night I was out with a friend for a few beers, needless to say I haven't done much work since.  I did complete chapter four on wednesday though.  And I have been cooking today.  A stew of lamb with tomato, parsnip and potato with a side of spinach and broccoli.  Photo below along with a previous meal of beef meatballs, potatoes, carrots and broccoli with gravy.

I'm not particularly political on this blog, but I have been a little outraged at the way RBS are trying to give out huge sums of money in bonuses and asking for more money in order to do it.  Haven't they had enough of our money already?  And yet savings rates still stay pitifully low and not much money is being lent out to the ordinary person.  There is a Give Up The Bonus petition which people can sign if they're not happy, I've signed it and if people feel the same as me then they can too.  After all we are the majority shareholders.
Since I've already had a money based playlist, here's something completely's all about Driving

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Sporting Chance

Its been announced that England will be seeded for next year's world cup, just reward for their good qualifying run.  They leapfrogged Portugal and France who are seeded in the top eight, but after cheating their way to the finals, I'm sure that if France had been seeded it would have raised some eyebrows.
England's cricketers are a bit of a mixed bag at the moment.  They lost the 3rd one dayer after conceding 350 runs to South Africa, but then hit back in the 4th game by skittling them out for 119!  They now have an unassailable lead, but something tells me the score will be 2-2 by the end.  I would bet on a drawn test series too.
Saturday night saw me watching the band of an ex-work colleague The Hidden Messages.  I'm not certain how to describe their music but do check them out, their songs are quite good.  It's just a shame about some of the poky venues in which they play.
So far this week I have written chapter three of my story and about to work on chapter four.  I've also been reading Before the Frost, by Henning Mankell, which was really good.  I'm going to have to check out some more of his books.  I also spotted that there will be a book fair at Camden School for Girls on saturday 5 december which will be worth checking out for cheap books.
Here's another spotify playlist, hope you enjoy it At Court