Wednesday 31 December 2008

Another free half day

We've all been given another free half day. That's two over Christmas. He, he.

Only problem is that i'm not supposed to be round Shaheen's till 6 so I have 2 options. Head home after lunch or go shopping. If I go home i'll only have a couple of hours before having to head out again. If I go shopping i'll end up killing someone. Idiots!

Tuesday 30 December 2008

SC's review of 2008

The year started off in style (or so we thought). April was invited out to run a course out in Monaco, as it was over a weekend it made sense for us both to make a trip out of it so I tagged along too. Other than the Easy Jet flights and a few odds and sods it cost me nothing. Ha, ha. I've been there briefly before and it's a very odd place. The place is stinking rich, and the majority of people there didn't mind showing it. Sadly it had no class.

First car
I've never owned a car, when I passed my test at 17 (first time) I could use my parents cars, I then went to Uni where I didn't need one and more importantly couldn't afford one. When I started working I was in London and I think car ownership there is quite selfish.

We decided to buy the MX-5 as we've got friends who'd had them and said they run forever, are relatively cheap and most importantly are good fun. Sadly our little car died of a gun shot wound in December. A nasty stone flicked up and went through the radiator which eventually caused the car to overheat and blow the head gasket. Our insurers claimed that it was therefore a write off so now we need a new one.

A big highlight of the year for me was our 3 week trip to Australia. I met a load of April's friends and family and a handful of lovely Koalas. The weather was great and the people were friendly. Another surprise was the beer was good too. much better than the stuff we import.

We bought our first house in May. That was stressful but it's certainly been worth it. I can how truly call the place where I sleep my home. It's taken us a little while to fill it up with stuff and there's certainly a load more on April's list (sounds like a Spielberg film) but we'll get there in the end. By that time we'll be looking to find somewhere else though.

4 Weddings
We had four lovely wedding this year and have four more next year. I guess i'm just getting to that sort of age where it all starts to come together. Don't worry April and Cilla, I have no plans for marriage just yet.

I took April to her first Reading Festival. Good fun and mostly dry. Great bands and great company. It was spoilt by me being ill for the majority of it but what are you going to do? Maybe drink less???

I was best man at my friend John's wedding so off we trotted to Barcelona on the stag do. It also coincided with my birthday so it was an extra long weekend. Urgh!

Here's a little snippet from my speech

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! ...

New Rugby Club
I joined Tonbridge Juddians in September, i've only played about 5 or 6 games so far this season but the guys are a good bunch, and i've mostly enjoyed it. Sadly with all the other bits and pieces I get up to at the weekend I can only play every other weekend at best. I'll try and change that for 2009 as I can't see myself playing for many more years.

New Job
I rekindled my interest in moving jobs after the house buying and after a short while found an ideal role the new place. I've really enjoyed my first 3 months and am looking forward to learning more bits and pieces about insurance and meeting some more new people.

My personal highlight was the purchase of our two lovely cats Poppet and Biscuit. Both are really friendly and have their own unique personalities. In short they're the best cats i've met.

We had good fun over the weekend. Nice and chilled out holiday with good friends and a nice little bit of Autumn sun before the Winter kicked in at home.

I had a flying visit to Edinburgh to see Tim. Lovely city and it was good to see Tim and his buddies.

Things to look forward to in 2009

Another new car...
A new sportier MX-5

Paying off debt
I can now earn more than I spend (it's taken me long enough)

Another 4 weddings
Kris and Kirsty, Harriet and Dan, Peter and Lindsey, and Steve and Jenny.

Home improvement
I'm sure April has plenty planned. I have to say that this is the only thing we argue about. She wants to be far too precise and I want to hit stuff with a hammer.

My 30th birthday
The bash of the century will be on the 31st August. Be prepared.

Brick Wall

I've been working on a problem at work all day and i'm not much closer to solving it. I've had enough of it today so it'll have to wait till tomorrow now. Argh!

It's annoying as I felt I was getting somewhere with it but it looks like i'll be starting again from scratch tomorrow. Boo, hoo.

Thankfully I spotted a handful of issues during the course of the day which means it shouldn't take me as long to get get to the same stage (a mess) tomorrow.


I've now worked my full 3 months probation period. Woo hoo! That means i'm now on 3 months notice as apposed to 1 week.

It's not that I thought that there was a chance that i'd get the sack. I do a good job. It's just not a great time to me moving around in the market at the moment, Insurance seems to have weathered most things to do with the current financial climate (with the exception of AIG) relatively well but you never know about possible redundancies etc.

Saying that, by all accounts insurance rates are due to go up next near so the future's actually looking rosy.

You'd think it was easy

Just went to go for a wee and I’ve put my boxers on the wrong way round. Doh! It must happen to me 3-4 times a year, just less than 1% of the time. You’d think I’d grow out of that.

I think I may need front and back sewn onto them to avoid any future confusion.

Monday 29 December 2008

No drinking in January

My plan for January is to re-join a gym and stop drinking for the month.

My gym membership stopped after leaving my last job, I did try and join a new one a month or so ago but as chance would have it there was a fire in the gym (the one I was going to join) underneath work that very morning. December's been a busy month on the social side of things so i've postponed it to the new year. I imagine it'll be packed to begin with but i'll persevere. When I was a member of the last gym I did some form of exercise (including rugby) nearly one in every three days. If I can keep that up i'll be back to my superfit adonis body in no time.

As for the non-drinking, this will be tougher as 90% of my social activities involve drinking. I tried it last year and I think I made 4 days. This year i'm going for 31. Tim said he lost loads of weight when he gave up for a month or two so hopefully that'll happen for me too.

MOT for the cats

We're taking the cats to the vets on Saturday morning. We're just taking them in for a check up, but Biscuit has been coughing recently which is a slight concern so we'd better be save than sorry.

The only problem is we won't have a car by that time so i'm going to have to carry the buggers up and down the hill to get seen. Stupid heavy cats!

New car

April drove this one on Saturday

And loved it, we're getting this one delivered to the garage this Saturday

My preference is the later as it's got a bigger engine, kitted out to be more sporty, has air-con and leather seats.

It a grand more expensive, slightly older and I prefer the grey but I think it's worth the extra.

Wall mount prices

I was bored at lucnch so went looking for a TV aerial for our new bedroom TV. Next to the aerials were wall mounts. One was selling for over £200 pound!

It could hold up to a 52 inch TV but come on...

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Dennis Binks - Online Clairvoyant

Bored on Christmas Eve morning whith not much else to do I openned up the Corby edition of the Evening Telegraph website.

Nothing too interesting today until I spotted a link to Dennis Binks - Our Online Clairvoyant


Oops! Too much activity

My new rugby club's website is off line. Doh! When it's up and running it makes my old club back home look very amateurish.

Tuesday 23 December 2008


An hour and a half to go... Yawn

Not sure if I can take any more of this. A couple of drinks with James at lunchtime certainly helps but i'm so bored!!! It's so quiet here. I've plenty to be getting on with but it's all dull.


High visability jackets?

All four members of the gang were dressed in hooded tops, face coverings and two of the men were in distinctive high visibility jackets.

What's the idea behind that? Hoping that the shock of moving from a jacket with high visibility to lowly visibility will make people forget who they are.


I am so bored...

I'm the only member of my team in today.

Yawn. Tick tock, tick tock...

Roll on lunch...

Blog Tracking

Here's some lovely charts showing my blog activity over the last few months. It'll probably pass 2000 visits today.

Monday 22 December 2008

To Brand New MX-5 or Second Hand MX-5, that is the question

Baz Luhrmann should have have made his film about this quandary rather than the tired story Romeo and Juliet.

We're getting our insurance money soon so we're umming and arring about what to replace our car with. We loved our MX-5 so there's a good chance we'll get another one.

However, should I get a nice brand new one and take the hit of the depreciation?

Watch this space. We're looking into test driving a new MX-5 and an RX8 on Saturday before heading back home for the meal.


A friend is coming up to his 30th birthday so we've been looking round for presents. As various ideas come indifferent websites pop up.

Here's a great one. £10 for a lump of plasticine. What a bloody waste of money.

Don't worry Kris, this wasn't a suggestion. Just something i've spotted on the site.

Nine Lessons & Carols for Godless People

We arrived at the Hammersmith Apollo early so that I could collect the tickets (they hadn't been posted) but were told that we couldn't get them till after 6:30. That was fine as we wanted to grab a bite to eat before hand.

I met up with the others in a near by Mexican restaurant. It was a tiny little place but the food was fine. The bill came to nearly £100 for 4 people which I felt was a little steep but what can you do?

Anyway... By the time we were back at the Apollo a queue had formed, all waiting to collect their tickets (despite being told there wouldn't be one), it was moving relatively quickly so I wasn't too worried about getting in on time. The last calls were made but we were next to get served.

Surprise, surprise, our tickets weren't there and the box office had no records of me calling up mid week to tell them that our tickets hadn't arrived yet. A big hold up was caused by the idiots not being able to find where we were supposed to be sitting but eventually we were finally given 4 random tickets that allowed us to stand at the back of the stalls. 20-30 minutes after the first section had started. I was fuming!

Stewart Lee's 10 minute slot calmed me down. He really is a great comic. The other acts of note in the first section were Ricky Gervais, a bit too rude for our liking but I did laugh so can't complain. Mark Thomas was good too and it was interesting to find out that he has quite a religious family, including a sister who is also a vicar.

In the interval I went back to the counter to see if they'd managed to find our tickets and Steve got the beers in. She said she couldn't but had managed to get us 4 excellent tickets that were reserved for the manager of the Apollo. When we got there a couple of South African's were in them. I explained that they were ours, they tried to proclaim their innocence and tried to claim them as their own but I pointed out that they were in the wrong row must move so they begrudgingly squeezed into one of the front rows where they belonged. Pissing off a South African, ha, ha! It made the previous heart ache and standing almost worth it.

Our new seats were great, loads of leg room and a great unobstructed view of the rest of the show and the extra two beers we bought each other for the second act.

Jarvis Cocker did a couple of songs, one of his own and a cover. He's a very funny man. And surprisingly more skinny in real life. I don't think he was forced to play rugby as a child. Although I would have paid money to see it.

Dara O'Brien was very good and probably could have gone on for another hour or so. Richard Dorking and Simon Singh added some scientific cheer and the whole lot was finished off by a very talented Australian. Tim Minchin. A very good night indeed.

What a numbnuts

You'll be surprised to hear that this time it's me.

I cleared out the used rail cards from my rail card wallet on Friday. It was only when I placed it on the oyster card reader yesterday that I realised that I must have thrown that out too. I'd only just put £20 on it. Doh!

I think I can claim it back, but it will cost me £3 for a new one, and it cost me an extra £2.50 yesterday and another quid this morning to get in. Doh!

What an idiot.

Friday 19 December 2008

Over Qualified?

One of our water coolers has stopped working so our maintenance guys have put up a sign saying

"Please do not use, engineers have been called"

Surely they mean handy man, is an engineer a little over qualified? I think you'd be pretty annoyed if you'd went through 3+ years of university to train to be an engineer only to find out that your chosen course led you to work as a water cooler repair man.

BYO Indian restaurant tonight

Mmm. We received a flyer for a new Indian restaurant in Tonbridge last night and seeing as I haven't been to one for a while I think we may give it a trial later on tonight.

It's a bring your own alcohol restaurant so I think they're still waiting for their licence to be approved.

I shouldn't laugh...

... but, you know me. I will anyway.

"However, the nose also contains erectile tissue, and this may also become engorged during arousal, triggering the need to sneeze" Eeewww!

Thursday 18 December 2008

Car update

We bought the car in January last year and it cost us just under £5,000 which included the new MOT, Tax and warranty.

Our insurers originally offered us £2,400, they've now offered us £3,600. I've downloaded Glasses opinion on the car price (cost £3.50) and they reckon a showroom price given a similar make / model / age / condition / mileage would now cost £3,800 to buy.

I think the offer's half decent considering we could probably negotiate on that showroom price.

What to get though... I started looking at Loti (thanks Alan), then MR-2s but I think the MX-5s are perfect for what we need at the moment. We'll probably get another one of those.

Lunchtime 'O' Booze strikes again

I love Christmas.

Kicked ass on the pub golf machine too. 6 holes 2 under. Maybe I should turn pro.

Chinese on the 27th

Our party has now grown to a mighty 12 attendees.

Stu, April, Kris, Kirsty Ben, Ian, Tim, Shaz, Ross, Esther, Dylan and Thingme

If you can think of any more people to invite just let me know. The plan is to grab a beer or two before hand somewhere in Market Harborough, stuff our faces silly with crispy duck and msg then head back to Ross' 'new' house for a few more beers (Although he still has to ask his sister who's living there). Aston said he might be around for the beers afterwards too.

I wait for nearer the time but it might be a good idea to grab a handful beers / drinks before hand and drop them round as I doubt Ross will think ahead and get anything in.

Presents bought and wrapped

All my presents are now bought and wrapped, April may suggest otherwise but it's the best I can do. Only seven days left to go. I'm actually quite excited.

Enigma 2

Yesterday's brain teaser: Toner

Today's is a toughy.

Feral canine, rather shy, though its rep would this belie. In sheep's clothing it plays dumb. Kevin Costner danced with some.

Wednesday 17 December 2008

It'll be lonely this Christmas...

I've used up this year's holidays now. Boo! Everyone else in my team has at least 5 left out of the 8.5 working days for the year. I can see it being a very slow couple of weeks.

Metro: Enigma

I read the Metro most mornings on my way into work. I've got between 40 and 50 mins of sitting on my so arse and a quick skim read of the 'news' and sport plus completing the three sudoku usually keeps my brain occupied. However i'm getting much better at sudoku which means I have more time to look at the other puzzles. One puzzle is called the ENIGMA. Here's today's conundrum...

If your office printer starts spouting sheets with missing parts, then this component could be low. Replace the cartridge; off you go.

Any ideas???

Who do they think we are? Bloody idiots!

Where's Ricky Gervais gone?

This is the list I had when booking

Sunday, December 21, 2008 @ 7:30 PM Nine Lessons & Carols for Godless People

Ricky Gervais
Robin Ince
Richard Dawkins
Stewart Lee
Chris Addison
Ben Goldacre
Mark Thomas
Simon Singh
Josie Long
Justin Edwards
Martin White Fax Machine Orchestra

I'm not saying I wouldn't have went if Ricky Gervais wasn't on the line up but I think it's a bit of a swizz. It's similar to going to a Rolling Stones gig then when you turn up they've been replaced by Bryan Adams. The tickets weren't cheap, £36 each including booking fee and I ended up buying 4.

Let's hope the Very Special guests are Eddie Izzard, and David Baddiel, and maybe to add to the Christmasy theme perhaps Chevy Chase.

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Sunday night

I had my friends John and Ros staying over on Sunday night. They arrived a little late so we ended up booking a table at a local Italian restaurant at the top end of the High Street.

As luck would have it, it happened to be a Frank Sinatra night, with a half decent impersonator. As lame as this sounds it was actually quite funny and we had a good laugh. It was embarrassing when he walked by all the tables asking for you to join in but thankfully we were right at the back so he tended not to bother us.

Which one is the mouse?

This is the life. All I need is an extra pair of hands, one for the laptop and one for the TV remote.

Tree inspection

Poppet taking a closer look. It's covered in decorations now. Let's hope they haven't destroyed it by the time I get home tonight...

Thursday 11 December 2008

What a view

Here’s a photo from my recent trip to Edinburgh, or to be more precise it was taken somewhere in between Manchester and Birmingham on my way back about 30,000 feet up.

Can you tell which airline I used?

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Varsity Match

I’ve been invited to this year’s Varsity match at Twickenham tomorrow afternoon. Steve invited me, Deloitte have a bunch of tickets so are taking a load of clients out. I think they must have been scraping the barrel when they came down to asking me (the day before).

Three problems

1) I’m really busy at work
2) My Christmas Ball is on in the evening so logistics may be a problem
3) I haven’t asked my boss yet

Answers to problems

1) I can work late tonight, and the guy who i'm doing work for has been invited too so he can hardly complain
2) I’ll bring my DJ into work and head back there after the match, we’ve got a shower so everything should be fine.
3) Any ideas???

Congratulation to April!

April passed all of her exams! All she needs now is for her course providers to pull thier fingers out and pass her piece of course work.

Tuesday 9 December 2008

FM has died

I tried running it last night to finish off my season with Newcastle and it stopped working. I tried reinstalling but the problem stayed the same.

Something about an XML parsing problem with the shortcut???

I searched for it and there's a few bits and pieces out there but couldn't get it to work. I'll try again tonight. If worse becomes worst i'll just get myself a new laptop...

Should the RSPCA be informed?

Poor dog. I hope they spoilt it afterwards.

Monday 8 December 2008


I'm tired now. Although the weekend up in Edinburgh wasn't particularly energetic i've been very tired today.

I really am old. At least i'm not getting grey hair. Eh Tim?

Tuesday 2 December 2008


I've had the same e-mail address for over ten years now and spam is something that I just take on the chin. It's certainly annoying but once your address is on a list there's not much you can do about it.

My question is this, which idiot clicks on the links and follows through with giving the companies money? I've had the same spam for years.

Do I need

-A bigger penis?
-Sex with a random girl?
-Cheap viagra?
-or to help people move money from Africa?

I need none of these...

My point is that I've been getting these messages for years. And I assume so has everyone else. Why would anyone suddenly decide that one in particular was non spam?

Two options.

1) They're an idiot
2) They're a fcuking idiot

I probably get 4 or 5 a day between my accounts. And I put my blame solely on the idiots. If the spammers got no interest, they wouldn't continue to bombard e-mail accounts.

York Cathedral

If you haven't been to York before I recommend you going. Lots of shops and ye olde worlde pubs.

Here's a picture of the Cathedral just before dark.


SC's Girlfriend Conversation Interest Gauge

Pi * r2 * Height = volume = gulp size during conversation topic.

My Mazda has died

We tried to drive up to Manchester on Saturday as it was our two year anniversary, we managed to get 10 miles away when I noticed some squeaking coming from the engine. At first I though it was the CD (The Darkness) but then steam started coming out. As we were pulling off the motorway the engine stopped, luckily not in a dangerous place.

We called the AA and they took us to our hotel, the car was too badly damaged for roadside recovery and our cover didn't include towing the car back home. Luckily I'm also a member of the AA via my Dad's membership which does include that and also our warranty though the Mazda garage.

We called Mazda first and they were there within a couple of hours. He spotted a big hole in the radiator and then when the car wouldn't start said he suspected the head gasket was probably gone. Great! He seemed confident that it would be covered under the warranty though.

In the morning Mazda arranged a hire car (Ford Fiesta) so we drove to York on Sunday as planned. We then drove all the way back yesterday.

I am currently waiting for a call from the Mazda garage near home (where the car was dropped off yesterday) to find out if it's going to be free or it's going to be very expensive indeed!

Wish me luck.