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Monday, 31 August 2009

0908.31 THE BANK HOLIDAY LAW

I'm not the biggest fan of bank holidays, not for the extra day off work (I love that), I hate the obligation that we have to do something.....anything. Why?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy spending time with my family but really don't relish spending loads of cash to get into some over-crowded attraction for a few hours. Morticia has been wanting to plan a day out for today but after a weekend with trips to the zoo and an air show (and we're visited the Mother in law too) I'd rather just relax and enjoy my last day off.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

0908.29 ANNUAL LEAVE

Since coming back from Wales I've been craving something for me. Some time to myself to relax and be me, not someone's husband or father. Life just gets in the way of living, I just always seem to have something to do. It just frustrates me to see others who manage to squeeze in activities outside family life. Why can't I manage it?

My holiday ends this weekend with some family activities. Today we went to Twycross zoo, tomorrow we're off to an air show. I'm back at work from Tuesday and it'll be like I was never away.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

0908.24 WONDERFUL WALES

One of the first things a gadget minded type like me notices when you come to a place like Wales, particularly the quieter areas like this one is the poor mobile phone signal = lack of mobile internet access. The good news is that some of the pubs (including the one adjoining) has WiFi.

Part of me does yearn for my childhood when you went on holiday to the coast and had no contact with family or friends, in fact the post card home was the only way anyone knew that you'd arrived safely. I've never quite managed to have the nerve to leave the phone back home.

Weather has been good to us with only a bit of rain. Breakfast is included with the cottage and is an excuse to get us up in the morning. The cottage is located to the side/rear of the Penwig and has a sea view out of the windows at the end of my bed.

We had a day out to Cardigan Coastal Farm in Gwbert, it was a windy day and quite nasty down by the cliff edge.

I ventured in to the Seahorse Inn a couple of times in a break with tradition (we have always tended to stick to what we know). I'm glad I did, I discovered a 'proper' pub untouched by corporate hands. Friendly and some great real ales.

Wild dolphins are one of the attractions of the area, this year I think we spotted more than in all the years we've been visiting the bay. Not a day passed without seeing these wonderful creatures.

I don't follow cricket but following the English team's win in the Ashes I loved the Welsh attidude, they all were celebrating -the way it should be. The landlord of the Penwig is a wonderful bloke, really friendly, the girls thought the world of him. On Saturday night he gave me a gift. After telling him how much I loved Welsh beers and how much I'd miss them when I left he went off and brought me a party keg of Brains SA (about 9 pints!).

It was a long sad journey home, really love it in Wales. We've already booked for next year.

Friday, 21 August 2009

0908.17 ARE WE THERE YET?

Our annual trip to Wales has come around again. The car was loaded quite late on the Sunday night (so as not to attract attention), however this meant that I got a late night, not good for the early start I'd got planned. We all woke just after 6 and fuelled by Tescos Kick (cheap Red Bull) and guided by my Grandad's Sat Nav we set off.

8:55 - 80 miles in and after managing to miss any nasty traffic through Manchester we took a short break stopping at services on M56 near Chester, just before reaching the Welsh border.

Normally we switch drivers at Bala, on the border of the Snodonia National Park, this time everyone (except for me of course) was sleeping and I chose not to wake Morticia and drove on. It was only me that saw the leftovers of this year's Eisteddfod.

Morticia finally awoke and took over driving just after 11 and took it through to the other side of Aberystwyth. It gave me a much needed hour long break.

13:07 - Arriving at the Penwig (our home for the next seven days) in Cei Newydd (New Quay) I soon installed myself on my bed looking out of the window out to sea.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

0908.11 THE NEW COMMUNICATOR

e71It was upgrade time on my mobile contract once again and I was faced with the most important decision a pre-40 year old geek must face.

WHAT PHONE TO I GET?

I looked at many, not tying myself to my current network. I had a few boxes to tick - must haves if you like;
  • Had to be a smartphone
  • GPS
  • Video Calling
  • Decent Web Browser
  • Support Applications
  • Good Calendar / Organiser
  • Camera with Flash (although doesn't have to be outstanding)
I did look at the HTC Magic and was won over with it's good looks, cool touch screen and Google powered operating system but it wasn't ticking all my boxes. I was keen not to make the same mistake I made 18 months ago when I blindly upgraded to the LG Viewty and promptly went back to using my Nokia N80 within a few months.

I looked at the Nokia N97 which ticked all my boxes but the cost and teething problems associated with a new model put me off. I then realised I was looking at touch screens almost exclusively, did I NEED a touchscreen? Well no, not really. I needed a good way of entering data for emailing, scheduling, blogging and tweeting. A qwerty keyboard? I looked long and hard at Blackberrys but it was unknown territory for me, I don't know anyone (apart from my boss) who owns one.

Then like the holy grail I noticed the Nokia E71. I did my homework, checked reviews, asked around and even went into a mobile phone shop to play on one. I was sold, this was the phone for me. The upgrade also offered me more stuff (calls, texts etc.) for less line rental! Everyone's a winner!

I've had it for over a week now and have to say it is a fab phone / device. I'm happy that this time I've made the correct choice.

I can't end this post without mentioning just how good a phone my old Nokia N80 was, it served me well for 3 years (2 lifetimes in the mobile phone world). It fell down a toilet and into a pint of beer and still kept on working. A true communication legend!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

0908.04 HOME ALONE

I've have the house to myself this evening, the kids are staying at my mother-in-law and Morticia is out at a friend's. Enjoyed having control of the remote for a change.

She came home about 2 hours ago and now I'm struggling to convince her to come up to bed. I'm up at 6 and not going to leave here up since she'd stay up all night if I let her.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

0908.04 NORMAL SERVICE IS RESUMED

PencilI know I haven't blogged for ages, this is mainly because I wanted to do an illustration and I lost my favourite pencil. As time passed it got harder to get around to it.

So, what's happened so far?

The biggest event was my eldest daughter's 13th birthday. A big event with a big limo and her first proper girls night out (bowling). I'm now the proud father of a teenager.

Oh, and I have a new pencil!