Saturday, October 30, 2010

Catching up

Finally have some time to catch up with some blog stuff. I was thinking about what I would do if I just handed my resignation in at work. It was a nice little fantasy. Back in the real world there is stuff to pay for, so the slog continues.

My wife has been doing some Christmas shopping this week. I heard some other ladies talking and they too are preparing for Christmas. It seems really early to me to be thinking of presents but I suppose Christmas isn’t so many weeks away when you think about it. Especially if you have relatives who you have to post a parcel too. It is better to be prepared in those cases than to leave to the last minute. Same is true for friends you only see at or around Christmas. I’ve learned over the years that it is also worth having a few surplus gifts for those surprise times when you want to give a gift to someone who surprises you by turning up out of the blue after months and months. There are also those occasions when you receive an unexpected gift from somewhere you didn’t expect and you want to respond in kind.

I’ll probably watch a scary film this weekend for Halloween, haven’t decided what to watch yet. I do like Halloween though, I wished it lasted longer though. There is a gothic festival in Whitby, Yorkshire I was reading about last night. It sounds like a lot of fun. Whitby was the place where the boat that held Dracula’s coffin was bound in Bram Stoker’s novel. I love that book.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Back to back

Last Friday I tried to get up and out of bed but I was in a lot of pain. It was my back. I couldn’t stand without terrible pain. I called in a favour and got a friend to take the children to school. I managed to speak to my doctor and get some painkillers, she gave me some exercises too.

I’ve found the exercises help and today stopped taking the tablets, I’m still stiff and the pain continues but nothing as intense as before. I’ll just have to see how it goes. I’ve been told back pain can affect anyone at any time. I haven’t suffered anything like this before. I have felt twinges since the summer but I’ve just put them down to the way I’ve been sleeping or something. They have usually gone away until this week.

It does make me feel very vulnerable, having my mobility just taken away so suddenly like that. I’m just glad it is returning now. I’ll have to keep the exercises up and I may look into a chiropractor or Yoga.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fool on the hill

LB posted a favourite Beatles song of hers on her blog recently, it has inspired me to do the same. I enjoy all the popular Beatles songs but this one in particular has stuck with me this year, before 2010 I don’t really remember hearing it before but as it’s The Beatles I suppose I must have heard it at some time.


I watched the first episode of Andromeda at the weekend on Blinkbox for free. I enjoyed it, never having seen it before I was pleasantly surprised. It did get me thinking I should perhaps give other US Sci-Fi series a go – such as the Star Trek spin-offs like Next Generation, Voyager and Deep Space Nine. They seemed to pass me by for one reason and another. I’m sure there are other Sci-Fi series that I would like but missed out on totally.

I watched the Kick Ass at the weekend too. I thought it was going to be poor but it was much better than that, better than I imagined it would be. I wouldn’t say it was great or anything but it could have been a lot worse. The story was pretty good, it was a bit out of the ordinary with the little girl being so violent and so foul mouthed it was amusing in a way that made me feel slightly uncomfortable.

I bought a book at the weekend, Just My Type about modern type faces we all use, their designers and their history. I like to know things about the design of type, it is one of those things we just all take for granted.


I was driving home last night and was at a roundabout when I saw some fireworks going up into the sky about a block and a half ahead of me. They were really pretty, professional sized ones – I don’t know what the event was but it must have been a pretty big affair. I was watching for about 10 to 15 seconds, waiting for cars to go past before I could join the traffic but perhaps I took my eyes off the cars and watched fireworks for 3 seconds when the horn of the car behind me beeps. I mean, really, some folks should just take a chill pill and not be so impatient. I hate driving at night because car headlights are so bright and the roads I travel on are so narrow and wind around bends. Then you get cars driving too close behind with their lights that seem so bright in my wing mirrors. I really dislike night time driving.

This weekend I’m hoping to take my children up to see my parents. It’s been quite a number of months since we’ve seen them. It will seem so strange and yet it should be the most natural thing, I wished they lived closer to us or we to them. I regret that I don’t live closer to my family sometimes. I’ve been feeling nostalgic of late. I don’t know why that is. Perhaps I’m feeling old? It does seem that way lately with my back playing up in a morning, I feel about ten years older than I should.

The Slog part 2

Last time I did any writing here feels such a long time ago! Things haven’t changed very much, next week I have booked a day off on Friday. My children are on half term holiday, so at least they get a break from school.

The weather has gotten colder this week. The leaves on trees are a beautiful red colour now, there are parts of this season that are really lovely. Work still feels like a slog to me, there are new pressures all the time.

I was shocked at the spending cuts this government are making, it seems the poorest are bearing the brunt. I imagine the arts are going to be hit hard because they are always a soft target. Somehow though, this country seems to excel when it is under pressure. I feel sorry for the children of the poorest people though. To some, the fear of losing housing benefit must seem feel like a terrible burden. I’d hate to be in that position, we are lucky to be where we are in these austere times.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fifa or PES

Two very popular football (soccer) videogame franchises have released their new season videogames this month. I have always been a Fifa man, ever since Fifa 2003 on Playstation 2 came out and blew my socks off with it’s realism. Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) doesn’t have the licenses to use the real club names and kits but the likeness of players is there and there is something a bit endearing about the guesswork you have to do. However, I do prefer playing as the proper teams. My vote goes to Fifa, I just think it’s the better game at the end of the day.

The Long Slog

Just at the moment, there is a long slog going on in my life. It is the long slog until Christmas. A slog of work and cooking, shopping and cleaning up after the children. Don’t get me wrong, there are breaks and I am grateful for them. But I do feel it’s a bit of a slog because I only get so much holiday a year and in the need to conserve it for taking at Christmas, I have to work several months without a break. My back is playing up and it is contributing to a feeling of inertia, with work and other things getting on top of me. I just have to carry the burden and slog through it all. The weather is going to get colder, nights darker quicker and the mornings will seem earlier and earlier. My, I’m a cheery soul this evening aren’t I?

The One Show and Daybreak

There is a weekday programme on every evening (7pm) called The One Show and a weekday morning programme called Daybreak. They are on two different channels – one on the BBC and one on commercial television. So one has no advert breaks, while the other one does. The One Show got relatively good audience figures. My theory is that this is mainly due to it being on at a time when people have come home from work and children’s programmes have finished and have gone to bed. Adults can just slump on the sofa and will watch any old innocuous crap, which is exactly what The One Show offers with a touch of light humour.

However, there were two presenters, a man and a female co-host who might have felt the audience were engaged in watching them. It seems this was the case because the commercial channel offered them a deal to revamp the Daybreak show and switch allegiance to the other channel and they moved (both of them).

Now, it seems the audience figures for Daybreak have dropped. You could argue that the same blend of innocuous crap and light humour that was perpetuated in the evening doesn’t seem to be working for the early morning viewers. Having seen the previous morning programme I’m not sure the needs are that different. In the morning, you have young mothers who have been up during the night, are tired and want something light and innocuous that they can watch while making breakfast, feeding babies and so on.

So, my conclusion is that the presenters are less important than they think, so the amount of money they get paid is grossly exaggerated and not representative of their value.