Monday 29 September 2008

First day went well

My first day went well, got involved in one big project and looking forward to see what else I have to do for the rest of the week.

The only downside I can see so far is the fact that I currently have no phone... i'll have to have my first liaisons with IT to get it sorted out.

Sunday 28 September 2008

Dog tired

It's a hard life being a cat in the Clark-Parker household.

Friday 26 September 2008

Boy born to newsreader Kaplinsky

What were they expecting? An alien?


Somali pirates 'seize 30 tanks'

Bloody hell, not a bad haul. What's the going rate for a tank these days? Let alone 30 of the buggers. Did they not have car alarms, tracking devices or maybe even a steering wheel lock?

Last day

It's my last day at Gallagher's today.

Hip, hip hooray! I've made some good friends in my 21 months here, some of which i'll stay in touch with, but I shant miss the place.

It's just that there was never any real work for me to do and for those of you that know me will know that I hate being bored. If you get an e-mail from me, it means i'm bored.

2 hours left....

Thursday 25 September 2008

Corby: Yobs

The Northamptonshire town of Corby has been named the "yob" capital of England in a spending watchdog report.

The worst 10 towns and cities
Corby 48.8
Mansfield 44.4
Hackney 42.7
Nottingham 42.7
Luton 42.7
Slough 42.0
Ashfield (Notts) 41.2
Knowsley (Merseyside) 39.2
Middlesbrough 39.3
Easington (Durham) 38.9
Percentage of adults who think anti-social behaviour is a problem

Half a day left...

I'm off to Lloyd's for a quick bite to eat in a minute then off to The Lamb for a handful of beers. My boss has the half day off so I can more or less stay as long as I want. Plus I finish tomorrow so don't really care anyway.

I'm taking my team and a few others out for a curry tomorrow afternoon which will be good. It maybe even boozier than I expected as it coincides with an office move so the team must log out of their computers so that IT can move them by 1pm. 95% of our work uses PCs so it's basically an afternoon off.


"The gas was very odorous and created contact of an insulting or provoking nature with Patrolman Parsons," the complaint says.

It's almost as bad as one of Kris' farts where he made someone physically sick!

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Cat naming ceremony

We have finally (re) named our two lovely cats.

Brandy is now to be known as Poppet
Roxy is now to be known as Biscuit

They are nicer and more homely than the bigger one and the other one.

My brother bought us cat warming present a cat nip stuffed cotton fish. They absolutely love it. Almost too much though


One of my birthday presents from April was a very nice chopping knife, amazing chefs need the best tools to make the most of their skills.

The knife is excellent. Unbelievably sharp in fact. I think i've used the knife about 5 times. I have successfully cut myself with it twice!

A 40% hit ratio, maybe I should just go back to the old method...

Tuesday 23 September 2008

Reply all... Doh!

As part of our 'package' at work we are offered half priced massages.

My mate next to me at work clicked on reply all to a message asking for an appointment. The reply has gone to the whole company, 300+ people. He's now being inundated with calls and e-mail replies taking the piss and calling him a twat.

Ha, ha!

The funny thing is he's done it before!

Bubbles is in Terminator

I watched a couple of episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (also on Virgin On Demand) over the weekend, it's not that bad.

It's got the wierd psionic bird from Firefly and interestingly I also spotted Bubbles from The Wire, he certainly gets about a bit.

Last night's entertainment

My brother bought me two dvd's for my birthday, a Live concert of the Foo Fighters and Modern toss a Channel 4 'comedy' series.

With nothing on TV last night (there never is) I started watching Modern Toss. I lasted less than 5 minutes before switching it off. Hmm. Maybe I wasn't in the mood, maybe i'll try again with April, but in short it was terrible. Not funny in the slightest.

I ended up watching the entire first series of Peep Show with Virgin On Demand. Excellent! I'd seen a few episodes here and there but not from the beginning. I think the second series is on there too so that'll keep me entertained for another week or so.

Monday 22 September 2008

Corby: Education

I really didn't think Corby was that bad.

According to the 2001 Census the proportion of the working age population with degree-level qualifications (8.5%) is the lowest of all areas in England and Wales. 39.3% have no GCSE-equivalent qualifications at all.

Theft of a processed 'meat' snack

Give him life I hear you cry...!

The kitchen window, which Abbott cut himself on, had been forced open. Abbott also stole £450 in cash, a camera, a mobile phone, a mini Pepperami (wtf?) and fruit drinks.

What a tosser!

How did they know he stole the pepperami? Did they go through absolutely everything? I bet it was just one of her fat Corby daughters.

SC Movie Review 23

Death Sentence

An senior guy in insurance (Kevin Bacon) stops at a gas (petrol) station with his son late one night and a group of thugs end up killing him, to initiate one of their members into the gang.

Finding out that this killing was just so that he could get into a gang, in court Bacon claims that it was too dark and couldn't be sure. The thug walks free. Later that night Bacon takes his revenge. The dead gang member turns out to be the gang leader's younger brother. The gang then takes their revenge on Bacon's family. Bacon then takes his revenge on the gang.

Pretty crap story but the action sequences kept me and the cats entertained. One highlight has to be the return of John Goodman who plays the local arms dealer and also happens to be the gang leader's Dad.

IMdb Rating: 6.9 / (20171 votes)
SC Rating: 62 /100 (1 vote)
Cats Rating: 2 meows (2 votes)

I also watched the Tenacious D film. Apart from a couple of poor bits, the film was generally good, and made me laugh out load quite a few times. Best scene: Jack Black trying to get past the laser beams protecting the Pick of Destiny. SC Rating: 78 /10 (1 vote)

Sunday 21 September 2008

Ow, ow, ow!

I am so sore. Is it my age? It never used to feel this bad.

My first tackle of the game I twinged a muscle in my back. Now I can hardly turn my torso. I'm about to head to the shops to get some food, I don't think i'll be able to climb out of the car.

One thing I did notice was how unfit I really am. I haven't done any form of running since the end of March as I went to Australia, then had the operation on my finger then the season ended. I've been swimming loads but clearly that's not enough.

To top it all off I also have cut below my eye which is showing signs of a black eye. Great... good job it's happened this weekend rather than next as the 29th is my first day in the new job.

Saturday 20 September 2008

1st game of the season for me

I haven't played since I had the operation on my finger back in April, so I am going to be so unfit. And watch out for a poor old Stu blog tomorrow when I tell you all how sore I am.

Friday 19 September 2008

The Beast

Being a sunny day and my boss and his boss off on a golf day we decided to head down to St Kathryn's Dock or lunch. The Dickens Inn.

Between 4 of us we polished off THE BEAST, the menu said that it was for 6+ ha, ha, ha!

Hairy metal

A Metallica fan refused to shave his beard until Metallica released a new album.

James Hetfield shaved his beard to thank him

Thanks to the Sun for the headline and the photo.

Oktoberfest 2009

Anyone fancy going to this next year?

Next year it's between 19th Sept to the 4th of October. But we could just go for a long weekend.

We'll also have a German speaking guide (Markus).

Doug Stanhope

I'm off to see this guy tonight

Check out his new book title, I think you'll get the picture. We saw him a couple of years ago and he was great. I think there's a picture or two on my old moblog.

We need to find somewhere to go before hand though. We finish work at 5:15 / 5:30 but he's not on till 9:30. Perhaps a bite to eat and a pub?

I suggested The Crobar (see earlier post), but with both of us in suits it might not go down to well. Saying that, i've been there before in a suit and I didn't die.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Don't look up

Rather amusing story in the Telegraph

There must be some real odd balls on this guy's (Chuck Harris) books.

I think this is the guy.

Quickest Lloyds TSB HBOS joke goes to...

A bridge to nowhere

My train in this morning didn't stop at Cannon Street so I had to get off at London Bridge. I actually quite like the walk as I now go along South Bank, past HMS Belfast and across Tower Bridge.

It was also a very nice cool Autumn morning. Here are some photos.

You can just about make out, from left, the Natwest Tower, Lloyd's of London, the Willis Building, Swiss Re (Gherkin) and the London Underwriting Centre (Gotham City).
As luck would have it, as I was approaching Tower Bridge a boat needed to pass so the sirens sounded and the bridge was raised. I wasn't in a hurry so I didn't really care.

Wednesday 17 September 2008

HBOS and Lloyds merging

One good thing is no more Howard!!!
Is it me, or is there something very Ainsley Harriet about this guy?

Lib Dem conference

Nick Clegg's quite funny for a politician but i'd still never vote for them

"They are the living dead -They are a Zombie government. A cross between Shaun of the Dead and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue."

The jokes keep on coming. Cameron is the "Andrex puppy of British politics - A cuddly symbol, perhaps. But fundamentally irrelevant to the product he's promoting".

New Members of the family

The Clark-Parker household now has two new additions. We’ve gone and bought ourselves two senior cats. Roxy and Brandy.
And before anybody else says it, yes, they do sound like a couple of strippers (thanks Steve), that is why we’re going to change their names. My current preferences are Cheeky and Bumface. April isn’t so sure but I’m sure she’ll succumb.

I e-mailed a few local cat centres and the first that got back to me was one over in Medway. This has proven to be an emotional nightmare. The other two have since gotten back to me, both with a couple of equally loving cats waiting to get re-homed. Poor little buggers.

The lady was very nice, if a little batty, but so would you if you were looking after 100+ cats for the RSPCA. The weird thing was that she wasn’t in an out of town centre, it was her house and her back garden! 19 in the house, 20 odd in 4 separate blocks.

Poor little things. It makes me really sad why people can’t just get the things neutered. This is a small cattery in a small town and it has 100 cats. Each town will have one or more similar, that’s a lot of cats that are unwanted.

Anyway, we’ve now got two. The lady said they were becoming a bit withdrawn as they had been re-homed a couple of times, old lady dieing and a family having to move into rented accommodation. She opened the cage and they were fine. A little timid but that’s only to be expected.

After bleeping them out with a hand held scanner she but them in the biggest cat box I’ve ever seen. I almost had to leave April there as there’s not a great deal of room in the MX5.

When we let them out they began exploring. They were quiet at first but towards the end of the night they were making themselves at home, scratching the carpet and jumping around the place. Not bad for a couple of 7 year olds.

Roxy (Bumface)
Brandy (Cheeky)

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Random post

I am creating a random post so that the picture of fat women doesn't appear on my monitor every time I take a look at my blog.

An interesting fact about Tonbridge

The biggest cash robbery (£53m) was in Tonbridge.

9 days left

In reality this will be 8.5 days left as i'm leaving after my big leaving lunch next Friday. In all honestly if you total the actual amount of work i'm going to do it will equal a day at most.

And no more in IT! I was supposed to be in the dungeon yesterday and next Monday but I can't be bothered. I'm more use upstairs.

Monday 15 September 2008

Bloody fat women

I tried to go for a swim this lunch time, but it looks like they've changed the lunchtime rota.

Bloody fat women! They're in there pretending to exercise when in all reality they're walking in water. As soon as they finish they'll be stuffing their faces with pasties and chocolate because they think they've earned it after their tough work out.

Argh! I'm not even sure if two of these delightful ladies are wearing bikini bottoms.

First game of the year

I should be finally playing for Tonbridge Juddians on Saturday. I've gotten back in touch with them and they've got 5 teams out this weekend so have been told i'll definitely get a game.

It's pretty scary going to a new club but once you've joined you've got a ready made social network nearby with very similar interests.

Watch this space.

Cat rehoming

Having not much to do at work since being on my notice (9.5 days left) April has tasked me with getting in touch with the cat rehoming sites.

It's really sad but there are so many of them. Poor little buggers. We're going to try and get 2 senior cats. We're away from work for 10+ hours each day so older cats won't need as much attention and will be able to more or less look after themselves.

We'll need to get a cat flap fitted, but that's not a problem, we still need to get the lock changed for the side door so he may as well do both then.

Ross will break his neck again

Ross has bought himself a new car

He's bought a Nissan 350z, 313bhp!

Wish him luck... his birthday's a week today too. Will he make it till 30???

Best Man Speech update 2

You'll all be pleased to here that I didn't crash and burn during my best man speech. Other than being very nervous (There were between 80 and 90 people there) it went down very well indeed and at least 10 people spoke to me afterwards saying how well I did. Phew!

I was impressed by the amount of laughs I got from the Camila Parker Bowles joke, (thanks for the help on that Tim)

Being asked to be the best man is like making love to the Camilla Parker Bowles...

It’d be a great honour,

But nobody really wants to do it!

Steve's asked me to be his best man too so i'm going to have to go through it all again next year. Doh!

Release date delay problems too

Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir

The release date has been pushed back by over 2 months! This causes me with a little problem. Football Manager 2009 is due out the week before. It'll be Christmas by the time I get to play the NW2 add on.

Thursday 11 September 2008

Another 'celeb' spot

Walking home from the train station last night I spotted who I thought was the artist on Dragons Den on Tuesday night. They had a section on how the people who managed to get investments were doing a few months on.
I was 95% sure it was him but this now proves it, he's from Tonbridge!

Mmm... good food

I'm off to my 4th and final wedding of the year in a few weeks.

It's over in Newquay, and the wedding is at 11am. What a pain. We're going to have to drive down most of the way the night before stay in a cheap hotel somewhere then get up early and drive the rest of the way to the church.

To break up the journey home, we're going to take a trip to Padstow (30 mins) and go to one of Rick Stein's restaurants.

Starters range from £12.50 - £24.50 (Ouch!)

Mains from £17.50 - £45.00 (Ouch, ouch!)

Luckily we're only going for lunch and have the long drive home so won't be getting smashed on expensive wine, but it's still going to add up and i'm the one that's going to have to pay.

There's also a tasting menu for £65 which I think might be the way forward. It's not like we'll be in a hurry to go back all that way so we may as well try as much as we can.

RIP Chalky

Wednesday 10 September 2008

The Wheel of Fortune

Is it just me or does the CERN Hadron collider look like a giant Wheel of Fortune?

I half expected to see John Lesley solving the great mystery of the Big Bang with the help of his beautiful assistant Jenny Powell.
However this time, you weren't made bankrupt by landing on the black section, the whole universe collapsed in on itself and everybody dies.
Sounds like risky business to me.


Finally got back from my medical (just off Harley Street), it took over 2 hours!

Not because of the shear multitude of tests but because they were rubbish...

-The original appointment was put back to 9:30
-The nurse was then 15 minutes late
-I wasn't sent the forms and questionnaires before hand so before I could do anything I had to fill them in.
-I was about to get on the tube when I received a call calling me back to the medical centre as I was also booked in to see the doctor.
-I had to wait another 30 mins

I have 20/20 vision (I had it checked 6 years ago and it was 19/20, result!)
Normal hearing
Didn't have to do the cough test
I weigh 95 kg (oops! Muscle weighs more than fat...) Beafcake!!!
The process for testing blood and urine is worse than that of an Olympic athlete
I had a high blood pressure reading which I need to get checked out

No surprise though given all the crap I had to go though before hand. I was borderline high the last time I had it measured so i'll get it looked at over the next week or so.

Saying all that. I did get to have the vast majority of the morning off and after my imposed fasting (6 hours) and non alcohol for 72 hours i'm off to the pub for a game of pool with some work friends.

Tuesday 9 September 2008

Best Man Speech update 1

I'm now approaching 1,500 words which I think is enough. A few paragraphs need re-wordings and a little bit of tweaking but it's pretty much there. April's read most of it so I can now blame her if it doesn't go down well.

Other than that all I need to do is get it printed and trimmed onto some nice card. Luckily i'm in the marketing and communications team at work so we have all of that kind of useful kit here.

I've paid £10 to get access to this site

Other than the joke below, the speech is 95% my own but it has come in handy for structure and ideas.

One question though, should I include this joke?

Being asked to be the best man is like making love to the Queen Mother……
It’d be a great honour,
But nobody really wants to do it! ...

I'm quite happy with the joke but since she's died it makes it a little out of date, what do you think?

Cat update

Everything's going well with the cats, we've been itching and sneezing a little but it hasn't been that bad. They're really good fun to have around. They're still a little shy and need coaxing downstairs but once they come down they make themselves at home.

As long as I don't rub them in my face i'm sure we'll be fine having a cat or two of our own.


I missed my usual train this morning by 10 seconds so had to grab a later one. That train didn't stop at Cannon Street so I had to walk all the way in from London Bridge. 20 mins+ walk, but that wasn't the problem.

The only day for the past few weeks that I didn't bother bringing a brolly it stated to rain. Great! I walked across the bridge and it was clear I was going to get soaked (or more soaked) so I popped into a shop and bought a cheap £5 umbrella. As soon as I stepped out of the shop it stopped raining.

In future if you need the weather to be good, bbq, wedding, music festival just go out and buy an umbrella.

Monday 8 September 2008

SC Movie Review 22


The film stars Antony Hopkins who finds out that his wife has been having an affair. There are similarities to Lector and he plays a convincing intelligent psychopath. He gets charged with her murder (attempted murder) after finding out about her affair. The courtroom battle ensues with a young buck of a prosecutor (Ryan Gosling).

Hopkins plays rings around the lawyer and eventually wins the case. There are a couple of okay twists and turns within the film but I am hard pressed to give it more than my score below.

Another film from Love Film, another disappointment. Maybe that's a bit harsh, but I seem to have dried up my list of films so may postpone my membership for a little while.

Any suggestions for a good film to rent. Recent or past gems. If I rent it and think it deserves more than 7.5 / 10 i'll give you £1.

IMdb Rating: 7.1 / 10 (30,390 votes)
SC Rating: 6.5 / 10 (1 vote)

There's no fun in funeral

Sadly, my Nanan died last Tuesday we had her funeral on Friday.

She lived all the way up in North Wales, Anglesey to be precise. In order to get there on time I had to leave at about 7 in the morning. It's roughly 330 miles, mostly motorway and it rained heavily most of the way. It took me around 5/6 hours. Pretty good time in the wet.

There really are some idiots on the road,they were driving far too fast considering the conditions. I really don't care if they end up killing themselves, but it's other road users and passengers don't have a say. Idiots!

The funeral went well, although it rained throughout. It was good to see the rest of the family as we tend not to meet up that often. Weddings and funerals mostly. My Nan was 94 when she died, I think that's pretty good. I'm glad I went up to see her in April, i'll miss her.

I'll also miss the house. It looks as though the family is going to sell up so there will be no more trips up to Rhosneighr (Anglesey). Steve worked out a few years back that we've both spent more than a year of our lives there. 2 weeks over the summer holidays, another week in the spring / autumn and a few days either side of Christmas each year really adds up.

I think I will go back at some point as it really is a nice place. I'd like to show April the old crabbing rock and the beautiful beaches.

Thursday 4 September 2008

Best Man speech

I've been given the privilege of being the best man to my best friend from university John. His wedding is next Saturday so I should really pull my finger out...

Just kidding John, i've been working on it in my head for the last year since you gave me the task.

Although I don't mind talking amongst friends, being the centre of attension to a group of virtual strangers is not my idea of fun. Once I get going i'll be fine, but i'll remember this...

So far i'm at 750 words. I'm aiming for around double that, so not bad. I'll let you know how I do a week on Monday.

Chuckle on the train

My new company sent me a load of material to read before I join them at the end of the month.

This included details regarding their code of ethics, history of Lloyd's and health and safety information. In addition to this I received a nice new memory stick (with more info) and a stapled crib sheet of local amenities and points of interest near the office.

The best part was a section on "Watering Holes and those who haunt them regularly", it showed nearby pubs and wine bars and which underwriting teams frequented them.

Ha, ha! It all bodes well.

Wednesday 3 September 2008

£1.55 for a can of Diet Coke

Is this a record?

I was having a beer with a couple of work collegues yesterday lunchtime and spotted a poor girl (or she was poor after paying for her drink).

If it was a pint I could almost understand but for a can of 330 ml. It's almost saying

"We don't want your sort in here"

I hope you're all excited

I'm not sure about the Che Guevara reference


Getting home from Barcelona I was very close to getting an extra special birthday present. A new addition to the Clark / Parker household.

Don't worry. April's not pregnant... she was just going to buy us a cat. One problem that I can see is the fact that we are both alergic to them.

April claims that she eventually gets used to them and i'm fine with some cats. So unless we were to get a creepy bald one, the problem is still there.

As chance would have it, Steve's away on holiday for a week next week, usually one of Jenny's sisters would house / cat sit for them but he's getting a load of work done to the house whilst he's away so they were going to be put in a cattery. I suggested that we could give the cats a test drive for a week so we're now getting them tonight.

Ginger and Blacky. Watch this space for more exciting Stuart cat news.

Tuesday 2 September 2008

Mmm... i'm starving

I'm off here tonight with Steve, Jenny and April. I've been there before a couple of times and also another one near Covent Garden (before seeing Bill Bailey's charity concert) and they're very good.

Soggy trousers...

Soggy shoes, soggy socks, soggy feet.

Welcome back to the UK. Rain, rain, rain and more rain. Yuk!

Barcelona was 34 Degrees C on Saturday, that was yukky too!

No pleasing some eh?