Time to finish another year of my journal. Naturally this post contains mentions of Christmas, including a meal with my work colleagues and a few of my TV highlights. Plus there are other bits and pieces including DVDs, music and news stories as usual. So I hope you enjoy!
Sunday December 3, 2006
After Tuesday’s trip to the hospital for Dad’s eye operation, the rest of this week has been pretty quiet. A colleague was off work most of the week (except Monday, when I wasn’t there instead), so it was pretty quiet. There were still jobs to do as usual, but nothing particularly exciting. I’ve finished watching Season 5 of 24 on DVD, and it was another cracking season, I have to say. Series 1 of QI has been, well, quite interesting too, as the name suggests. And I helped Mum shopping on Saturday to make it easier for her, as Dad might still have had some trouble.
The news hasn’t really been very interesting either. There was a report saying that road users should be charged for use of the roads, and Windows Vista was released to businesses. The Windows Vista operating system will be released to home users later, but I’m not that bothered about it. It hasn’t got anything that would make me want to upgrade. But that really is about it.
Friday December 8, 2006
This has been another quiet week. At work we’re trying to get automated faxing and mailing barcodes working, and have been doing some testing with the cheque printing. It’s not all going well, but we’re getting there with everything.
At home, I’ve started watching the Series 2 DVD of Doctor Who on my new surround sound system, and it sounds great. The subwoofer (that does the really low bass sounds) really rumbles when spaceships go over, and the surround sound is good too.
I’ve also got another batch of stuff from Amazon. I got the new Love album by The Beatles, which is basically remixes of some of their tunes, done by George Martin, which was the soundtrack to a circus show. The other CD I got was Crackers by Slade, a party album they did with a few Christmas songs on, including a live version of Merry Xmas Everybody.
In terms of DVDs, I’ve got the rest of One Foot In The Grave (the last 2 Christmas specials and the final Series 6) and the first series of The Green Green Grass (the Boycie spin-off from Only Fools And Horses). So there’s plenty to keep me going.
In the news this week there hasn’t been much to shout about. It wasn’t a good week for some people though. A tornado ripped through a few streets in London, damaging or injuring at least 100 houses, some of which may have to be demolished as a result. And in Sussex a fireworks factory blew up, killing 2 firefighters and injuring many others.
And that’s really about it. Dad’s doing ok, he’s been out a few times now, and has been able to read a few things. How much better it will get, we don’t know, but he’s happy so far.
Friday December 15, 2006
We’re all ready for Christmas now, having got our big flashing Christmas tree downstairs, and we did all our cards last weekend. I’ve also got an early present of £50 from the Premium Bonds! Which is great, because it’s given me an excuse to go out tomorrow, as I need to get a card for Mum and Dad anyway. Plus I can try to find the Christmas Radio Times and see what’s on. Doctor Who will be interesting with Catherine Tate involved. And I’ve just finished the episodes from Series 2 on the DVD. It’s brilliant in surround sound, and that final two-parter is probably made even better because of it. It’s still very moving as well.
There isn’t much to report from work, but next Friday is our Christmas dinner. And some people from other departments are doing a sponsored abseil off Berry Head into the quarry to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, as an employee I don’t know has been diagnosed with the condition. It’s an incurable disease that stops nerves connected to muscles from working properly, so the victim becomes more and more paralysed. So I hope they raise plenty of money, we’ve all sponsored them. Some guy’s even doing it dressed as a ballerina, as he was offered double money to do that!
The news this week has mainly been focused on the murders of 5 prostitutes in Ipswich. Whoever’s been doing it seems to like the attention it gets, as the last couple of girls had gone missing even when the case had already become big news. Hopefully there will be no more though, and I expect they will catch whoever did it. The rest of the news hasn’t been exciting either. And The Ashes are still not worth mentioning. We’ve had good moments, but Australia always fight back too well.
And that’s it to be honest. Next weekend will be a 4-day weekend though, so that’ll be good. Plenty of food will be consumed I expect!
Saturday December 23, 2006
Wow, what a day! Yesterday, just after noon, we went for our work Christmas dinner at The Vanilla Pod, and it was a nice meal. I had mushrooms in a pastry casing (not bad), steak with potatoes and vegetables (delicious) and a chocolate mudcake (mmmm…). We had wine with it as well, of course, plus crackers.
After that we all popped into the Jolly Judge pub at around half past two – and I didn’t end up leaving until about 9pm! I happened to comment that I’d never been drunk to one of the guys there, who then proceeded to get people to buy me drinks all afternoon! I was mainly drinking Magners cider, but the guy in question also got me a vodka & coke at one point.
I had about 4 or 5 pints though, spread out over the 6 or so hours we were there, so I didn’t get drunk. I was merry, yes, and a bit more talkative, but I was still in control. I wouldn’t have wanted to go beyond that. As it is, I can still remember it, and I don’t have a headache. I did flop into bed at 10pm after I got home though, I couldn’t concentrate on watching TV!
The best part about that drinking though? I didn’t pay for any of it! I never had to get a round in! I would have done if they’d asked – although I did jokingly lie at one point to say I had bought a round. I’m not sure if anyone really believed it, and I tried to make it obvious it was a joke. Whatever, I was lucky, and I owe them drinks in future.
Anyway, we had a good time. We didn’t all go to the pub, as a few people left after the meal. The rest of us gradually left the pub one by one during the afternoon. And we all had a good time chatting together. It was good to chat to a couple of people who I don’t get the chance to talk to often, along with everyone else.
I left with one of my colleagues at about 9pm, because she wanted me to drop her off in my taxi, as she doesn’t live far from me. She even paid £5 towards the journey (which was on account as my journey home from work). So as well as not having to pay for the meal or drinks, I actually made £5 last night! So it was a good day.
At home, Dad’s eye is coming along nicely, and he doesn’t need as much medication for it now, after seeing the doctor at the hospital on Wednesday. It’s still blurry, as he’s still got no lens of course, but it’s settling down. He’ll get glasses eventually I expect. He won’t be going back to work straight away though – the doctor’s not bothered about that yet.
As for Christmas, we’ve had plenty of cards, and our big fibre-optic Christmas tree is still flashing away in the dining area downstairs. And the papers have got tons of puzzles to keep us going. I’m looking forward to the new Doctor Who episode of course, and the final episodes of The Vicar Of Dibley.
I’m still watching the extra bits on the Doctor Who Series 2 DVD, and have just found out that the commentaries available online (that were shown on BBC3 to those who pressed the red button on repeats) are not the same as on the DVD. So there are 2 commentaries per episode now – I’ll put the alternative ones on my iPod and watch them in time with the episodes. I’ll probably watch some of my music DVDs over the holiday too with my new sound system.
In the news, they’ve charged one man with murdering the Ipswich prostitutes, and have bailed another pending further enquiries. The other big story has been the weather – fog has ruined lots of flights all over the country, so passengers have been hanging around or getting alternative transport. But then, if it’s not safe to fly the planes, the airlines can’t do a lot more other than keep people comfortable while they wait.
But for us at home, it’ll be a nice relaxing Christmas this year I think. Only 2 days to go…
Tuesday December 26, 2006
And so Christmas comes and goes for yet another year. And it was another quiet day at home as usual. Our presents already been sorted anyway – my parents paid towards my TV, and I paid towards audio books for them. My Aunt, Uncle & Nan sent us clothes – tops mainly. And our builder and his family gave us presents as well – toiletries mainly, although Dad got an audio book on CD. Plus we had a nice Christmas dinner, with a Christmas CD I had put together playing in the background, and we did the same today as well of course.
On TV there was some decent stuff on last night for once. The Doctor Who special The Runaway Bride was excellent, and full credit to Catherine Tate for a great role as the bride. Tate’s sketch show isn’t very good, but she did well with the Doctor here. There were also great special effects as usual, including the Tardis chasing a taxi down the motorway and rescuing Donna (the bride) from it.
That was followed by the Doctor Who Celebration concert, which the BBC were running as one of their red button features, so it was looped over and over. That meant I was able to record it, plus the Confidential behind-the-scenes documentary about the concert that was shown earlier in the day. It was a very good concert too, the music in Doctor Who is first rate thanks to Murray Gold.
Then, to top that off, we had the first of the last ever Vicar Of Dibley episodes. And they’re still on top form, which is good to see. The final episode is on New Years Day, and Geraldine will finally get married! So I’m looking forward to that.
There have also been a couple of notable deaths in the past few days. Comedian Charlie Drake died aged 81. And James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul”, died aged 73. Other than that, I haven’t paid any attention to the news.
And that’s it really. Back to work for a few short days, and then it’ll be 2007!