Saturday, 30 January 2010

32 inches

We decided to finally join the modern age and get a flat screen telly after the old box let us down once too often. I have to say it is an impressively flat thing and I am enjoying the extra foot of space we have gained back in the living room. However what it loses in depth it makes up for in width and the full 32 inches of width (impressive, huh) means the digibox is now partially obscured and we have to lean up towards the window to change channels with the remote.
However I am very pleased with this new wide TV. I suddenly realised that people don't always keep rudely leaving the room in sitcoms and also there are more than 6 people in Diversity. It is a whole new world.
I was allowed to watch the football the other night. It was the Manchester derby and I was pleased to see that despite the game being awash with money, they had decided to play it in a 1970's mud bath to give the match a retro feel, complete with coin-throwing incidents and general unruly behaviour.
Even better was the fact that the 3 ugliest men in football were the principal characters (Rooney, Tevez and Bellamy) which also felt charming and nostalgic. I watched my 32 inch for signs of a streaker getting ready but I guess you can't have everything.

Thursday, 28 January 2010


I read today that Google are poised to launch their Internet house selling site soon and already people are saying it will put more estate agents out of business as people deal direct and buy their next house via the Internet.
Personally I think it's a shame. I just don't think it is such a good idea to make such a massive purchase this way. Far more sensible to buy it the standard way, spending less that 10 deceptively spacious minutes in the company of a boy in his dad's suit telling you that the room with a bath in it 'is the bathroom'.
A sad loss.

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Extreme timewasting

Just caught the end of Robson Green's Extreme Fishing show. Bit of a strange one this. I'd have thought anyone who sits by a lake for 8 hours watching a stick was a bit extreme. But good old Robbo took us to the Kenyan Coast and in his build up told us about the ultimate catch - the mighty black marlin. So I watched RG aboard his boat with his crew and listened to the tales about this mighty fish. And lo and behold, eventually they get a bite and old Robbo grips his rod (you know what I mean) and battles for 2 hours, man against marlin, as the line cuts into his fingers and his muscles ache. Finally after what seems like an eternity he pulls the marlin close to the boat - and then they let it go without so much as even seeing the darn thing up close. What a pointless exercise. Can't believe I just watched that.
It is the equivalent of climbing up a mountain then looking at a photo of the view.

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... Can you hear the fat lady singing?

Yippee. It seems the recession in the UK is now over. I was starting to get a bit worried.
Now if all you Development Managers could ask for the keys to your money boxes and form an orderly queue, we'll get on with things shall we?

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Let the train cause the strain...

On a very slow moving, fast stopping train right now, beset with problems. First a points failure, then cancellations (so extra crowded) and now a broken rail. Guard just said 'sorry we are stuck in traffic' which is novel.
Wouldn't mind but the client I'm meeting has just called to say his car has broken down. Grrr

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Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Onion skins

Just back from a hospital appointment with the cancer specialist. Seems the cancer is more aggressive than they first thought and although happy with the lymph nodes they want to operate again to take away more tissue from the breast.
Suffice to say N and I are both feeling dumbstruck by this latest news. Another wait for yet another operation with the prospect of 18 weeks of chemo to follow means this will be a long, hard year for us both.
One of the nurses said to us that having cancer is like peeling the layers of an onion, ie it reveals itself progressively and you uncover more and more each time.
It can also make you cry a lot.

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I write up match reports for my son's football team, Raiders Blue, which is normally a very enjoyable task. We aim to keep everything positive and constructive in order to keep it fun and maintain high morale throughout. They are only kids after all.
However this time around I will have to dig deep to find positives after a 10-0 drubbing on Sunday. I have been keeping half an eye on events at the UK Supreme Court, hoping that some of that Alistair Campbell magic rubs off on me.
Don't want to 'misrepresent' the facts after all.

Stiff 2

You know that advert on TV that shows the bloke seeing the body of the dead child everywhere? Well I have a similar experience every time I open my fridge door and the odour of recently deceased hamster fills my nostrils.
It would appear to be cheese of some sort. Now I'm not a great cheese fan (apologies if you thought this blog was for this purpose) but I know a great many people are (they are called French people) and sometimes the stinkier the better, but in all honesty the smell of a small corpse is not really something I can appreciate as I pass the crackers around.
Perhaps I'm missing something?

Tuesday, 26 January 2010


Way hay. Stephen McManus looks set to sign for the Boro from Celtic. All part of Wee Gordon Strachan's plan to decamp the entire Celtic team south of the border.
The local chip shops better get an order in to Mars pretty soon.


Oh no. Just showing little visitor Mia (aged 2) our last remaining hamster while the kids were at school and I found him in the corner, a bit stiff-like. An ex-hamster.

Not looking forward to breaking the news. I predict 2 days of tears and then renewed apeals for a puppy.

Fun Run

Taking place on 7th March 2010 in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire to raise funds for charity:
Please help support the event. I will be press(gang)ing for sponsorship soon so watch out.

Running as part of a group supporting my son's football team we hope to be able to generate additional funds to support the BerkoAstro project.

On the subject of Raiders football, check out this link. Seeing is believing!

First Post

First post. Pressure.... must be witty/ thought-provoking. But why break the habit of a lifetime?
Bit slow on the uptake with blogging. Not normally one to talk about myself, certainly not out loud, so not a natural route for me to take, but so much seems to be happening at the minute (not all of it good I must say) and I wanted to put some thoughts down on paper (as it were).
The big news is we are dealing with cancer. My wife was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer in November and has just had an operation to remove the growth. We know it has spread some way into the body, but we will learn how far tomorrow.
It has been a difficult time for us but our friends have been fantastic and have helped keep our spirits up during this stressful time.
We have told our kids. At ages 11 and 9 we felt they were able to cope with the news, particularly since their Auntie successfully overcame cancer 2 years ago. With this positive experience in mind they have dealt very well with the news. They have resumed normal behaviour which we find greatly reassuring.
Our friends have inundated us so much with offers of help and food. So much in fact that one friend has arranged a kind of 'meals on wheels' service with everyone so that the food comes in an organised fashion. We received a fantastic dinner last night and will do for the next 3 weeks!! We will have no option but to create a score sheet for this as a bit of fun. Masterchef watch out.
I'm supposed to be running a 5 mile Fun Run for charity in March. I've only just started training (pass the oxygen) and now with the food-aid I guess I will be about 10 pounds heavier come the date of the race.