September 2021 Introduction:
Time for another batch of my old journal entries. I went out and about to do some more socialising and shopping this month, and we had a few technical issues at work. Plus I mentioned things like DVDs and news stories as usual. So I hope you enjoy!
Sunday June 1, 2008
Well, that was a nice short week thanks to the Bank Holiday. Not too much to mention either, as per usual. My last ECDL test went just as well as all the others, so I’m told I’ll get the certificate for that in a few weeks time. Work’s been fairly quiet other than that, although I was answering the phone a lot on Tuesday, because one colleague was on leave while a couple of others had forklift training. So I took a lot of messages!
Nothing worth reporting on at home really, things have been pretty quiet here. Mum and I are having a dental check-up this coming Friday though.
In the news, there have been protests over fuel prices, further adding to Gordon Brown’s woes at the moment. But the government have also launched a new campaign urging youngsters not to carry knives. And in Scotland, their government are considering banning branding and logos on cigarette packets to make them less attractive, as well as hiding them from view in shops (i.e. not visible behind the counter like they are now).
There was also a big party held on the Tube to mark the last night before drinking is banned on public transport in London (a policy put in place by new Mayor Boris Johnson). So that resulted in chaos, arrests, cancelled trains, and a lot of mess to clear up.
To finish on a good note though, the Phoenix probe from NASA landed safely and wasn’t lost! So it’s actually sending back pictures and data like it’s supposed to, unlike some previous Mars missions which have ended in disaster.
Sunday June 8, 2008
I went down to Plymouth again yesterday to get some more trousers for work and some more delicious food from M&S, along with a Father’s Day card for Dad and birthday cards for my Uncle. So, apart from getting caught in the rain walking home from the bus station, it was a worthwhile trip.
I also had my dental check-up this week, and that was fine. It had been delayed because the dentist got run over a few months ago, so he needed some time to recover! And at work the main job was doing poll cards and ballot papers for a local parish referendum.
My best mate has finished his university exams, I’m pleased to say, and went to his Summer Ball last night. He’ll be down a week tomorrow for his eye operation, so I’ll be with him and A most of that week. I’ve booked the whole week off work, so that’ll be good.
Not much to mention in the news. In the US, Barack Obama has become the Democrat’s official presidential candidate after all the primaries, Zimbabwe have blocked foreign aid workers and others prior to the presidential run-off elections, and here there have been debates about whether the police should be allowed to hold terror suspects for up to 42 days without charge. But to finish on a cheerful and more interesting note – Britain’s oldest man, and one of just a few surviving World War I veterans, celebrated his 112th birthday this week! Wow!
Sunday June 15, 2008
It’s been a week of frustration at work one way or another. For a start, a key server went down last weekend, which seemed to screw up a lot of other things. And some settings were changed somewhere, perhaps as a result of it. Suffice to say, when we arrived on Monday, we couldn’t get on to the network, which is rather limiting when all your work is stored on it! Servers were rebooted, and a switch we use to get to different network areas had to be replaced, so that took a little bit of time.
We got most things up and running by the end of Monday though, and on Tuesday morning we were back to normal again – only for the email server to go down! It was down from just before lunchtime for the whole day, which again rather limited us! Turns out a database log file had become corrupted and they had to restore everything.
On top of that, we’ve finally decided to get rid of our CD/DVD burner/printer machines, as they’ve never worked properly despite the replacements and support from the company we got them from, so they’re pretty useless! We’ll be trying someone else. So not all of the work has been easy to do this week either.
Nothing special to report at home though. However, I do have the coming week off work, because my best mate is down tomorrow. He’s having laser treatment on his cataract on Tuesday, so I’ll be staying with him and A in Exeter until Thursday. So that’ll be good. Not sure how much he’ll be able to do in the days immediately after his operation, but we’ll find something, we always do!
In the news this week, tanker drivers for Shell have gone on strike, because their wages haven’t gone up enough while Shell bosses have been getting huge bonuses. And it’s caused a little bit of panic-buying at petrol stations, although I think most people are just getting fuel as normal. Meanwhile David Davis from the Conservatives has quit as an MP in a shock announcement, following the government winning the vote in the Commons on the controversial 42-day limit for holding terror suspects without charge (it still needs to get through the Lords though). Davis is thus forcing a by-election in his area on the issue, although it doesn’t look like Labour or the Lib Dems will be running for it as well, so he might just be up against lots of independents. Also Wayne Rooney has got married to Coleen McLoughlin in a £5 million wedding in Italy (half of which is funded by OK! Magazine). And George Bush is visiting the UK for a couple of days, probably his last visit of his presidency.
So that’s about it really. This next week should be interesting, it’ll be good to see S & A again, and have a week off work into the bargain. Let’s hope the weather stays as warm and sunny as it has this week, it’s been very summery!
Monday June 16, 2008
I went up to Exeter today, to spend a few days with S & A. We got off to a bit of a slow start though, after S had trouble with the coaches, meaning he arrived at about 6:45pm rather than 2:05pm! So we didn’t have time to do a lot.
But we went down to On The Waterfront and had a couple of their dustbin lid pizzas between us, which was nice. There was a bit of a shock when we got to the till though, when we were told the bill came to £93! The looks on our faces must have been priceless, and the guy behind the bar knew it must have been wrong, and quickly figured it out. Each table has a tab with a number on it, so they know whose bill to add things to behind the bar as they go along. We’re supposed to keep our tabs, but one of the servers walked off with ours, and we ended up having some items from another similarly numbered tab being added on to ours (a group of students, it seems like). An innocent mistake to make, but it still gave us a fair shock! It was all sorted pretty quickly though. After that, we went to the pub and had a drink and a few games of pool before going back to A’s flat.
Tuesday June 17, 2008
We went bowling today, as A was meeting a few people from her bowling club. So she played with them, while S & I took the unlimited deal (like A did with her club mates) and had a lane to ourselves for a few games. Once A had finished with her club mates, she joined us for one last game – where we had the sides down for a change, and I managed to win that one, even getting exactly the same score as on the previous game where we’d had the sides up! We also ended up meeting a couple of former pupils and one of the nurses from our old school, so that was a surprising little reunion!
After that, A went off to see her physiotherapist while I went with S to the hospital for his eye appointment. We thought he was going to have laser treatment on his cataract, which was the plan, but they decided not to risk it in the end, at least not for the time being. The laser will create a hole in his pupil, but because there’s oil holding his retina in place after it became detached a few years back, they’re worried it could seep out through the hole and his retina could detach again. So they want to exhaust all other options before they consider trying it. So they’ve prescribed him some drops for now, which took a little while to get hold of. The hospital pharmacy aren’t licensed to distribute them, and the 3 pharmacies we went to in the High Street didn’t have them on the day. But Sainsbury’s offered to order them in for the next day, so we took them up on the offer and did collect them on Wednesday successfully.
Anyway, after the hospital was done, we all met up again and went back to A’s flat for a little while. For tea, we went out to look for a fish and chip shop – only to find that the 2 main ones nearby are closed on Tuesdays! So we ended up getting a Chinese takeaway instead, which was also nice so it wasn’t a problem.
Wednesday June 18, 2008
We didn’t have to get up quite so early today, so had a bit of a lie-in, although A went out to meet her employment advisor early on while S & I stayed indoors. The 3 of us then went into town and had KFC for lunch, to keep that tradition going. Then, not knowing what else to do, we went back to A’s and played Trivial Pursuit, before heading to the Golden Lion for a pint. A wanted to watch one of the Euro 2008 matches there, but they didn’t put it on in the end. So we left after our drink, and decided that was a good time to go to the fish & chip shop, as they would be open this time! So I had cod and chips, S had battered sausage and chips, and A had mango chicken. We had that back at A’s, then went over to The Globe to listen to the music they had on there and have a few more games of pool. Which I kept winning, albeit with flukes most of the time!
Thursday June 19, 2008
S went home this morning, having no trouble with the coach this time! Then A & I went for a drink, followed by lunch in Subway (having a foot-long baguette each, as it’s 2 for £9.99, and we both went for steak and cheese). Then we went our separate ways, so I picked up some cakes from M&S before coming home. It was a nice few days away all in all. A is off to Prague with her boyfriend for a few days from Sunday, and she’s also still getting people together for a group holiday to Spain next year.
At home, I ordered some DVDs before I went away, so they’ll be coming soon – 3 Jack Dee stand-up shows (Duke Of York’s Theatre, London Palladium & Live And Uncut) and The Paul Merton Collection (which has lots of highlights from his TV career so far), so they should be good. And Mum’s won £50 on the Premium Bonds.
And now I’ve got tomorrow off work as well, as I figured I may as well have the whole week off. So that means I’ve got a nice long weekend ahead of me, then it’s back to normal once again.
Sunday June 29, 2008
Well, that was another quick week. I had a fair number of little bits and pieces to catch up on when I got back to work, so I’ve been kept fairly busy. I also had a meeting with a woman from the job evaluation team, who was very happy with my form, to my amazement, and just needed a few alterations done. I also got my ECDL certificate, and have been put on the waiting list for the Advanced ECDL course, ready for when the Council start doing it later. If I pass all 4 modules of that, I’ll get an ECDL Expert certificate.
At home, Dad and I bought some new shoes yesterday, and I received the DVDs I ordered. The Paul Merton Collection is pretty good, including a collection of his best moments on Have I Got News For You and Room 101, along with clips from his sketch show (hopefully that’ll come out in its own right on DVD one day), his short film The Suicidal Dog (which is ok), and some interviews. I’ve also completed my collection of Jack Dee stand-up shows with those DVDs I got, so am working my way through those.
On the TV, we had Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday Concert from Hyde Park, and ITV were showing selections from it. Queen + Paul Rodgers were great of course (pity they didn’t show the whole set though), and there were a few other good acts like Annie Lennox, Eddy Grant and Simple Minds.
In the news, Robert Mugabe has won the run-off election in Zimbabwe, though I use the term ‘won’ extremely loosely, because Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition candidate, pulled out because of all the violent intimidation. So Mugabe was the only candidate, and he was forcing people to vote for him with all sorts of violent and torturous means. Everything you see in the media about it is just horrific.
Back here in the UK, Labour came a humiliating 5th in a by-election, losing their deposit, and coming only about 800 votes ahead of the Monster Raving Loony candidate! It was in a Tory heartland, so they were never destined to win anyway, but their result is still worse than they expected.
And other odder stories have included a man being arrested for squeezing 13 people into his Volvo, and an eight-year-old in Sweden who has caused a row by not inviting 2 of his classmates to his birthday party. The school say he was discriminating against the 2 he left out when he handed out the invites in class, and so confiscated the invites!