Thursday 31 December 2009

Another year is coming to a close

And i'm getting the half day off for free! Yippee!

Ta, ta for now.

Now all I need to do is get to Ross' house then drink an enormous amount of beer.

Wednesday 30 December 2009

No booze in January attempt 3

If you discount a me going to a wedding, a company dinner, going to see Billy Connolly, a couple of meals with friends and a friend's birthday I am once again going to attempt not drinking in January...

Guess what you're all getting for Christmas next year

All my 2010 blog entries in a handy hard bound book for easy reference.

Scratch that. If I write the same amount of drivel as I did in 2009 then it would cost $85.85 each for the hard bound option!

Car mileage

We've had our 'new' car for almost a year now and we've only done 6,000 miles. I'm glad we don't have to drive to work each day as that would seriously add to the wear and tear on the thing and would add a lot to the servicing.


At the weekend I tried to stock up at wine at our nearest Majestic but it was shut so on my day off yesterday I drove over to take a look. I eventually came out with a mixed selection wine. 6 white, 4 red, 2 Cava and 3 crates of beer. Two of my current favourite St Peters and 1 grate of Tiger. So much in fact that it wouldn't all fit in my boot. Luckily I went without April so I used the passenger seat and the footwell.

With any luck, it'll be a while before I have to restock...

Christmas present list

In no particular order here's what I got for Christmas

Obligatory Socks and pants
Cat Mug
Homer Simpson apron / oven glove
Homer Simpson cushioned tray
Selection Box
Potato ricer
Fancy pepper grinder
Electronic money counter (didn’t work)
Armando Iannucci DVD
Oz Clark wine book
Ben Goldacre Bad Science book
Box of Biscuits
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Not a bad haul really.

Back into work and it's so quiet

Even though i'm only in for a day and possibly a half this week I can already tell it's going to seriously drag. I'm out for lunch with one of my old flatmates so that should help speed things up but I can't see it being a long one.


Friday 25 December 2009

Great spot

Just started to watch a new episode of the West Wing and spotted someone I recognised.

David Graf: Officer Tackleberry of Police Academy fame

Goofy bastard and other Christmas friends

Drinks at the Knight's Lodge

A perfect Christmas

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. If you don't have a copy, let me know and i'll make sure to get you one as a present next year. Best film ever!

Thursday 24 December 2009

An hour and a half to go

It couldn't come sooner.

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Cancelled trains yet again!

Oh well, I guess i'll just have to stay at home again.

Trains have either been suspended until further notice or outright canceled. The weather's no worse that yesterday and certainly not as bad as Friday so can't really see the problem.

Bloody trains.

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Why you should read...

A guy was reading a Dad Brown book this morning on the way into work, I had a quick look at some of the blurb on the back and it read

"Why you should read a Dan Brown novel"

Jeez! You really shouldn't have to convince someone to read your books.

They'd be better off saying "They're not as bad as everyone says"

I hope it's not contagious

April’s just had her new i-phone delivered. I may have to install i-tunes on my laptop so that we can finally consolidate all our music. It makes me shudder just thinking about it.

Good news is that i'll probably have control over the TV tonight.

Monday 21 December 2009

A night of comedy, science and music

I went to see Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People at the Hammersmith Apollo last night.

I went last year and it was just as good. If anthing a little slicker, but saying that we still got our money's worth with nearly 4 hours of music, science and comedy.

Highlights were Dara O'Briain and Al Murray the pub landlord. Both of which I intend to go and see next year.

It was being filmed last night so it may be on over Christmas (it was on BBC news this morning). If anyone wants to borrow last year's dvd I bought it for £10.

See last years entry

Bored over the Christmas break?

Why not write a comedy sketch?

Should I finish making my tea?

I was just making a cup of tea in our breakout area when I heard a loud thud behind me. A female colleague had collapsed and fell off her chair during a meeting.

There were enough people around her and checking she was okay so I headed over to HR to get them to get an ambulance. I think she’s conscious now but they’re still going to take her in as a precaution.

The predicament I have is should I go back and finish making me tea...???

I hope she's alright.

Insurers’ bonuses escape tax

Insurance Times, 21 December
HM Revenue & Customs has changed it definitions of banks to stop the one-off 50% supertax on bonuses hitting insurers, the Guardian reports. "We have received representations that the definition of a bank inadvertently catches companies which would not be regarded as a bank from a commercial or legal perspective," HMRC said. "Having considered these, we think that the diversity of regulated investment activities undertaken by non-banking financial service groups in the UK means that the original definition of a 'bank' did not effectively exclude all the groups we intended to exclude. This resulted in a number of corporate groups inadvertently being brought within the definition of a 'banking group', and therefore within the scope of the bank payroll tax."

That's a relief, now to put the rest of my plan into action. Get a £25,000 bonus...

Sunday 20 December 2009

Saturday 19 December 2009

Nokia syncing problems

I've replaced the old Nokia PC Suite with their new Ovi suite. The bloody thing won't sync properly with my phone so have to copy photos across manually. Bloody thing!

"You wouldn't have this problem with an apple"

Blah, blah, blah...

A little bit of snow

and a free day off for me, result! Well I did do a little bit of work from home, I read some Ceiops consultation papers.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

We're off to see this again on Sunday

Should be fun.

Internet radio

I've been starting to use the internet radio on my phone during my commute each day and it's quite entertaining. I've been mainly listening to a couple of American comedy channels (no UK comedy channel) and although they can be quite hit and miss some of the comedians do make me chuckle.

They basically take 5 minute sketches out of stand up comedians live acts, it's quite varied, i've heard acts like Bill Hicks and Doug Stanhope but also heard Bill Cosby and Robin Williams. All good fun.

Although it's not so great on the train (i've got at least 5 long tunnels on my route), I still like it.

Tuesday 15 December 2009


I've just ripped a hole in my trousers. It's not massive and is quite near a seam but still very annoying.

I was walking to the break out area someone was walking past me so I stepped to the side to let them pass. When the they passed I caught the edge of my trousers on an old pin board behind a cupboard which had a nail sticking out.

Doh! Hopefully April can use her amazing stitching skills to fix them. I've got a spare pair of trousers and another suit but it's still annoying.

Monday 14 December 2009

Ha, ha, modern art is rubbish

Just watched the tail end of School of Saatchi (it's on just before QI). They were deciding on who had the best pieces of art in an x-factor style knock out.

On telling the girl who won that she'd won.

"Oh fuck..."

Ha, ha.

What did she win it with? Log on a fence.

What a load of bollocks!

I can't win

The cats have been waking us up at night with their stupid noisey antics. But it turns out that that's not why April was a little grumpy this morning. It was actually because of something I may have done to her in a dream...

"Sorry if I was grumpy this morning, you’d probably just done something to annoy me in my dream"

Mmm, Sunday lunch in style

There's a handful of Michelin starred restaurants in Kent, and I want to try them all whilst I’m here. The closest is in Biddenden which is about a 30 minute drive from Tonbridge so decided to treat April to a Sunday lunch at the West House.

It was a bit quiet when we walked in, we were the youngest couple in there by a good 20 years but we were also the least posh.

April had some sort of quail egg froth with bacon and syrup to start, I had pigeon with some sort of crème potato. In between our starter and mains we were given an espresso cup filled with pumpkin and truffle oil soup.

After some miss-communication between April and myself we both ordered the beef for main. This was very good, but it came with a side of more beef (stewed beef knuckle with rye) in a tiny cast iron pan. All that red meat made me pretty stuffed so we didn’t go for the three courses.

All in all a very good meal, an £80 extravagance for Sunday lunch but very nice as a treat.

Friday 11 December 2009

Sign here

Along the same lines of keeping libel law out of science

Eek! -5

Eek, it's going to be -5 in Tonbridge on Tuesday next week. Brrrr...

Thursday 10 December 2009

The cure for all which ails you

I've had a bit of a cold for the last 3 days now and can't seem to shift it, even though i've been lemsipping to the max.

I'm out for a curry with some old colleagues tonight, hopefully that'll cure it. If i'm honest though, i'd rather stay in and try and recuperate the recommended way.

I think i'm getting old.

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Darling to unveil bank bonus tax

Alistair Darling may unveil a 50% tax on bank bonuses above about £10,000 in the pre-Budget report, the BBC understands.

This strikes me as targeting the wrong people. From next year people earning over £150,000 will be paying 50% anyway so you're really only hitting relatively junior people in the banking sector who had very little to do with the situation we find ourselves in at the moment. If he really wanted to punish the bankers who recklessly invested their bank's money then they should look at the top earners on say £1m+, even then as a real money making exercise it would be a waste of time or even counter productive.

This is simply a publicity stunt designed to attract uninformed voters.

Thank god I work in insurance and not a bank. I pay far too much tax as it is.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

The West Wing

We finished watching the first series of the West Wing last night. It ended so well we HAD to watch the first of series two. That was a two parter but we couldn't justify watching another as we'd already watched four and it was passed 11pm.

Maybe a few more tonight...

No fair... I'm coming down with a cold

I felt it coming on last night so had a pre-emptive lemsip last night. It was not better this morning and it's getting worse now. Boo hoo!

Time for more lemsip.

Monday 7 December 2009

I passed the exam

I get the official results within a week but seeing as it was an online test they gave me the preliminary results there and then.

1) Main features of risk and insurance: 88.9%
2) Main features of the insurance market: 95.8%
3) Main principles of insurance contracts: 77.5%
4) Main legal principles of transacting insurance: 75%
5) Main methods of dealing with complaints: 100%

A straight average would give me 87.4% but there are more marks attributed to different sections so it may be higher or lower than that.

£500 bonus, not bad for a few hours work. Bring on the next one.

Friday 4 December 2009

Just seen a fox in the back garden

I don't think it's old limpy. He wasn't as mangy and didn't have a limp.

Both cats are in so he can't get them.

Christmas Tree

On my lunch break I popped into B&Q for a tree. Big problem being the car we have.

Sorry about the picture quality on the first one, not sure what went on there, something to do with the light I think...

Thursday 3 December 2009

Biscuit and Poppet relaxing

Poppet's looking a little pissed off, but Biscuit's having fun helping me with Football Manager and npt having any arms...

Exam on Monday

I've got my frist insurance exam on Monday afternoon. I've read 7 out of the 10 chapters and have just done the online past exams. I got a grade 9 out of a maximum of 10! 88% I've also got Friday and Monday morning off as study leave so plenty of spare time to top up my reading too. You're allowed 2 hours for the exam, I took 25 minutes. 5 days study leave and £500 for passing each one. He, he! Not bad really.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Why didn't he just beat them up?

One was 5ft3, the other 5ft6.

Wicksteed Park twinned with Disney World???

I wonder if the judges have ever been to Kettering?

Smiths of Smithfield

We're off here for our team Christmas lunch.

I've been there about 5 or 6 times before but never to the 3rd floor. Should be good.

Head hunted again?

This time I think the guy got the wrong Stuart. When I was out for lunch I received this voicemail message “Hi Stuart, my name’s Paul and I’m calling from Capital Systems regarding the new quantum mechanics breakthrough and the stats for the ‘hydron collider escaper’… can you call me back on …

I initially thought it was from an ex colleague who's name was Paul and also had a novelty northern accent. He's now relatively senior in a large insurer so thought he was messing about to try and get passed our receptionist. He’s asked me if I want to join his company before so it was certainly on the cards.

I checked with a friend to see if the mobile supplied was the same as his own mobile, it wasn’t but could quite easily have been his work mobile.

In the end I called

It turns out it was a head hunter but not for me. They wanted experience in Oracle Fusion.



Mmm. Swiss Salami special from Basil's.

I haven't had one for years, usually Markus would pick them up in the morning after a heavy session the night before.

Saying that I think I might ask for less mustard mayonnaise next time.

Friday 27 November 2009

All I want for Christmas is

... 32% beer.

Tactical Nuclear Penguin

"This is an extremely strong beer; it should be enjoyed in small servings and with an air of aristocratic nonchalance. In exactly the same manner that you would enjoy a fine whisky, a Frank Zappa album or a visit from a friendly yet anxious ghost."

It should be drunk in spirit size measures? Probably because it tastes so rough.

The Half Moon may be closing down

Or at least change from where I took April on our first date.

It looks like it might change into a gastro pub. Boo. It's not as if Putney is short of gastro pubs.

Amongst other bands we saw the front man from Dodgy play there (Valentines)

What to watch on Sunday afternoon?

Everton v's Liverpool (Sky Sports 1)
Kettering Town v's Leeds (ITV)

Decisions, decisions...

Ooh. Just installed Firefox at work

I've been using a dodgy old version of internet explorer here at work and they even won't let me upgrade it to the latest version.

Ha, ha. I'll install Firefox then thank you very much.

Never let the system get you down. Stick it to the man. Yarda, yarda, yarda...

Thursday 26 November 2009


I'm working on automating many of our procedures for putting data into our models and extracting useful info out of them.

If everything goes to plan my models will be nice and slick and consistent. I don't envy other members of the team having to do it with theirs...

Home alone

April's going to a ball tonight and is staying at a friend's house later so i'm left home alone.


The cats better keep me company.

Monday 23 November 2009

Cat news

Old CV

A friend of mine was looking for his original job specification when he first started at Lloyd's and stumbled upon my old CV, the one I used when I started working in insurance back in 2002. He, he! It's changed a bit since then.

Bloody cats!!! Strike back!

I was running late for work this morning so was rushing into the kitchen to feed the cats. Without looking I stepped into the kitchen and then into a pile of cat vomit.

Yuk! Bloody cats!

I didn't have time to clear it up so had to shout upstairs for a spare sock and asking April nicely to clear it up for me. Sorry April (you now have a voucher for one free cat mess clear up).

Idiots. What a waste of time and money

Wednesday 18 November 2009

West Wing

Finally started watching the West Wing (30th birthday present from the dweebs) this week. Is it good? Yes. Very. Another high budget American TV series.

Only another 150 episodes to go...

Mmm, I love a bit of S&M

Sausange and Mash that is. Guffaw, snigger...

I've started a monthly team lunch recently here at work, last month was Wagamama now for some sausage and mash at Sausage and Mash.

My next step it to make it gross account...

Tuesday 17 November 2009

£75 in my change pot

I've got a change pot (Pewter pint tankard stolen from a Davy's wine bar) where I put all my change in each night. I took it to the Sainsbury's machine (charge 8%) and I took out a clean £69 (£75 real money) ! Not bad really.

My current rule is all money in my pockets go in there each night including £1 and £2, but each morning I take out £1.20 for a tea on my way into work.

Study leave

I was off yesterday studying and it was the first time i'd stepped foot in a library in 8 years. Jeez! I was actually quite productive and also quite enjoyed it. 4 more left then the exam.

Friday 13 November 2009

Study leave on Monday!

I've got 3 days study leave to take until my first exam. How cool is that? I guess i've got to study though.

Capital modelling is in demand

In the past two weeks i've had two cold calls from recruitment consultants asking me if i'd be interested in a move. I was chatting to my boss about it (always good to let your boss know that you're wanted...) and he said that he'd had a few recently too.

With all these headhunters about, it looks like insurance is picking up. Saying that, we were never effected anything like as severe as the banks.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

I thought I was blocked there for a minute

Phew! Not to worry, the people's champion can still write his anti establishment hard hitting political rhetoric.

Websense was going to give me a 'quota' of 60 minutes per day!

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Slightly different audience

I bought Dragon Age: Origins today for the x-box, so looking forward to that but there was a massive queue outside Waterstones so I had to push my way through to get it. They were queuing up for David Attenborough to sign his new book for them.

They were queuing round the block, he was there on Friday afternoon too, that's a pretty popular book signing when compared to Viz a few weeks ago


I finally got round to having my surprise birthday weekend. April did so well in keeping it quiet. I didn't have a clue as to what i'd be doing or even where for that matter.

As it turns out we flew to Amsterdam to see Skunk Anansie! They've recently reformed and April managed to get tickets on ebay. The hotel was great too so thanks to Steve and Jenny for helping April fund it all.

The highlight was obviously the gig (photos to follow), but the city and museums were great too, I can't remember much about last time I was there with Kris and Shaheen but it was quite different.

An added benefit was that 99.9% of Dutch speak excellent English so there was never that added hassle of trying to communicate in pigeon English.

Study material's arrived

That'll keep me busy in the run up to Christmas. I haven't got an exam date yet but it's provisionally early December.

Friday 6 November 2009

The GREAT polystyrene in a wicker basket challenge

There's an old Hamley's hamper that's been lying under someone's desk for ages and then one day this week it was put by our bin to be thrown out. Of course we had a look in it and it was filled with polystyrene lozenges.

Being bored we decided to bet how many were in there.

I lost. There were 612.5 , I guessed nearly 1,000.


SC Heavy Weight Champion of the World

There's quite a lot of news at the moment discussing the big fight between David Haye and Nikolay Value dubbed David v's Golliath.

I'm not a massive fan of boxing but this fight has intrigued me a little, I mean look at the size of him!!!

So what does heavy weight mean? Having looked it up it means anything over 200lb, yikes! If I was a boxer i'd be in the same category... 203lb

Time to lose some more weight me thinks?

Saying that i'm actually the lightest i've been all year, and when I say lightest I mean least heavy.

Typo or poor font choice?

Whilst playing football manager last night I played a fixture against Bumley, i'm pretty sure it was Burnley that were promoted to the Premier League not the arse version.

Thursday 5 November 2009

Just been told about texting to landlines!

Why was I not told about this before? I've been woken up to a whole new level of piss taking!!!

He, he!

Wednesday 4 November 2009

How ironic

It's as ironic as it gets. As Liverpool concede in the last couple of minutes against Lyon I beat them 1-4 whilst a man down in Football Manager. What are the chances of that eh? I randomly drew Lyon in my Champions League draw too. Boo!

Rafa, your time is up.
Liverpool, i'm only on 3 months notice.

Heaven and Hell

I got to the station early this morning so jumped on an earlier train, i'd have to walk accross London Bridge as it was a Charing Cross train but the sun was out and it's usually quicker than heading on through to Cannon Street as usual.

We got to about a mile out of London Bridge before stopping and didn't move more than a couple of meters forward for 20 minutes. Move forward a bit, 10 minutes, move forward again 5 minutes. We finally arrived at the station and it was rammed so took another 10 minutes to get out.

To de-stress I put my headphones in and put some Black Sabbath on. Heaven and Hell. Great track. Quite Iron Maideny. Or Iron Maiden are quite Black Sabbathy.

I'm sure they had a frustrated commuter in a suit, carrying an umbrella and the book First Things First (coping with the ever increasing demands of the workplace ), when the wrote it...

I finally got to work at 9:25, that’s an hour and 45 minute commute! Argh! Damn you trains!!! but as my friend next to me said, at least you missed 25 minutes of work. I left work at 6:40 on Monday so they still owe me 1:15 in my eyes. maybe i'll have a long lunch...

Pain in the bloody neck

I woke up early this morning with a stiff pain in the neck. I must have slept awkwardly. I get the same thing about once a year but it's not as bad as it's been in the past.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Viz respectable?

I went into Waterstones at work this lunch time and there was a small queue for a book signing. When I left I saw the sign and it was for the creators or Viz. The guys were middle aged men in suits. Far to respectable.

I also bought Slayer's new album.

Weekend plans

I'm finally getting my 30th birthday present from April and Steve this weekend, and I still haven't a real clue as to what it is. All I know is that

I've had to book Monday off
It's "bloody expensive" (Steve)
It's not sheep herding
I'm not allowed a big night out this Friday
And it seems that everybody but me already knows about it and refuses to tell me what it is.

Damn you! Call yourselves friends.

I've ordered my study material

And have a preliminary exam date of early December. That should get April off my back...

Monday 2 November 2009

FM handing over ceremony 2009

I finally got the new football manager through the post today! Only a weekend late.

He, he!

Thursday 29 October 2009

Bishop Kristoff

Rock on brother says Bishop Kris. Always up for a curry.

April as happy as Larry

Who's Larry? April having a sizzling plate of meat at a restaurant last week. Hot granite is excellent.

BBC Studio

BBC Studio for Buzzcocks recording last week.

Never fear, DHL is here

Amazon have despatched my FM2010 with DHL. Screw you Royal Mail idiots.


Bastard work shy striking ass wipes! If I don't get the new football manager tomorrow there will be hell to pay...

... or maybe not hell, just mild annoyance.

I'm also still waiting for an extra HDMI cable. Cocks! Mother flipping ass cocks in fact.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

I am rapidly going nuts

Our head office over in Tokyo have asked for a massive dump of data out of our model. My working spreadsheet is currently over 400mb and constantly crashes. I'm going to kill it if it doesn't pull itself together!!!!!

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Famous spot

I had lunch with James today at the Weatherspoons in the city. It's a huge venue that's nice and cheap and service is pretty quick. It reminded me of th last time i'd been there with him where we spotted Andy Fordham.

For those that are not in the know, and I count myself in that catagory, he is a professional darts player and used to be fat.
I did recognise him but didn't know his name, hence when looking for his name in google when typing this up all I needed was to type fat darts player and he popped straight up.

Anyway, looking at him now, he looks ill. Surely there's a happy medium...

Guess who's a numb nuts?

Yes, it's me. I've just this minute spilt a large coffee all over my desk, leg and shirt! April will be pleased trying to get the stain out. Oops!

What an idiot. Looks like i'm popping out at lunch to get a new shirt.


Monday 26 October 2009

Old Business Cards

I picked up a book to read this morning, Player of Games (Iain M Banks) and inside were two of my old business cards. One for Lloyd's one for Gallagher. That means it's over two years since i'd picked it up before.

Maybe i'll read it this time.

I don't have cards at the minute as I rarely meet clients, maybe I should though as book marks are certainly handy.

Christmas rugby night out

I've just been informed about a rugby night out before Christmas. The theme is revenge of the nerds.

Guys, can I borrow some of your clothes???

Bristol shenanigans

I went back to Bristol last weekend to meet up with my old flatmates / uni palls. In total there were 9 of us out, some of which I hadn’t seen since 2001. Bloody hell! It was really good to see them though and we had a great laugh. Getting in at 3 on the other hand is not something I want to make a habit of. I'm shattered.

Yeah, free half day off

We've just been told that we're getting a half day on Christmas Eve off! Plus at our manager's discretion New Years Eve afternoon off. Seeing as he's not in I reckon that's virtually guaranteed...

Friday 23 October 2009

Correlating friends

It probably won’t surprise you hear that I have a spreadsheet that I update on a weekly basis that details my rating of each friend out of 10. It's quite an arbitrary score and can be based on more or less anything.

Not replying to an e-mail or missing your round of drinks in the pub may get you a 6 rather than a 7. Or ironing my work shirts on a Sunday night may get you a 10 rather than a 9…

I’ve been keeping it up to date for nearly four years now so have amassed a fair amount of data so when bored at work yesterday I decided to attach a correlation matrix off the back of it to see if different friends (or my ratings of friends) correlate with each other.

It’s interesting to see that certain clusters of friends do correlate, it must have something to do with me being happy (or not) with that group as a whole at any given time. Interestingly certain groups of friends also negatively correlate against each other. I guess if one group is moving down the scale I make more time and effort with another so they raise in my expectations.

All very interesting, or at least useful as I found a new technique for excel where I use an indirect expression so that I can use named ranges in the correlation function.

If you want to see YOUR average score over the last 4 years let me know…

Terrible story but interesting quote...

When asked about "sawing" injuries to her neck, which appeared to be an attempt to cut her head off, he replied: "I have no reason to cut someone's head off, I've never cut someone's head off.

Why would someone have a reason to cut someone's head off? Also having never cut someone's head off before does not exclude you from cutting someone's head off in the future.

Feeling a little rough this morning

I went out with a James last night and got back pretty late. Jeez, did I not feel well this morning. It can only have been down to the chips with chilli peppers I ordered from the kebab shop.

Quiet night for me tonight though.


Wednesday 21 October 2009

FM 2010 demo

Whilst ill yesterday I stumbled upon the new demo for Football Manager 2010. My first impressions were that they'd messed everything up as I couldn't find anything but once I got into the hang of things it was pretty much the same.

Other than the updated database, there only seem to be a few changes. Improved tactics and assistant are the two that seem most improved. Some of the other changes aren't working however, like the Premier League table. I click on it to see where I am and am faced with a blank screen. When I click on the club injuries table it takes me to my fixture list. When I click on the match analysis tab when playing a game, there's nothing there.

Hopefully these'll all be resolved by next Friday when my full version should arrive. In future though, rather than messing with the interface (which works fine) concentrate on the database and game engine. If it aint broke don't fix it.

This all won't matter if the idiots at the Royal Mail don't deliver it on time.

Tuesday 20 October 2009

I'm off ill today

I'm no better than I was yesterday, in fact if anything i'm worse.

Bloody colds...

Monday 19 October 2009

4 games of rugby 3 smashed fingers

When I finally quit i'll eventually have a couple of claws.

Man flu not swine flu

I've just filled in the online National Pandemic Flu questionnaire and it's official, I don't have swine flu. It's only man flu.

But the trooper that I am still managed to drag himself into work. Let's see how many people I can infect. A problem shared is a problem halved.

Thursday 15 October 2009

Modern Family

I watched the first episode of Modern Family tonight.


Pub crawl

I had a mini pub crawl with James last night, and went to around 5 new pubs. Some were even quite good. I'm a bit bored of the city these days so it's nice to go somewhere different.

Tuesday 13 October 2009


I've just watched the first episode of Fringe on Virgin on demand, I get it for free with our extra large package (ooh er misses). Can I be arsed to watch all 20 episodes of the 1st series? Probably. But when?

Series to yet watch

4-6 Sopranos
All of West Wing
Stargate Universe

I guess it'll keep me occupied and out of trouble for a while.

1/2's not bad

I poured the last of my cider out at the weekend. I reckon at most 5% was drunk. I have to be honest and say that it wasn't great. Oh well, at least the first lot wasn't bad.

April will be glad to get rid of the huge barrel in the utility room though.

On another note, "Like Son like Father", my dad's bought a cider press for something to do during his retirement (Jan next year) and over the last couple of months has been harvesting his and neighbours apples. Apparently it's nearly ready for tasting. I have to admit, there's nothing like real scrumpy.


Finally got my phone bill back from the trip to America...

Eek! £156. Oops!

Monday 12 October 2009

Late notice beer

I was going to go to the gym after work today, surprisingly I feel fine after Saturday's game, but a friend from Lloyd's e-mailed to say that he was inviting a few out for a beer or two after work for his birthday.

The fact that I forgot my headphones (stupid gym music) and the fact that the beer will be free, he twisted my arm...

Anyway, a while back we spotted a load of wrapped presents in an unused desk at work and ended up opening them. They were cuboid paper weights filled with water and a floating boat. We bought a Belgian Marine insurer not so long ago and they were they marketing gimmick.

Anyway, we're got one left that's still wrapped and i'm going to give that to him as a present. Let's hope he likes it.

£1.99 HDMI Cable

I've just bought a HDMI cable from amazon, and that includes postage and packaging. Not bad really, let's hope it works.

I bought a splitter a couple of months back and haven't got round to using it yet as I was one cable short. I've now got the x-box (which came with it's own) but am still one short. When it arrives i'll be all connected without having to whip out cables all the time.

Watch this space...

Sunday 11 October 2009

It's raining it's pouring

Sundays can be really boring. I guess at least i'm not at work.

Good win yesterday

We won 7-10 yesterday away to Sevenoaks, good win as they were top of the league. That should move us into top spot with 3 wins out of 4. Not bad having been promoted last year.

Friday 9 October 2009

3 weeks till the new FM!

He, he. It's going to be good!

I can't get to the site at work though. Spoil sports.

Thursday 8 October 2009

Food, glorious food

I went to lunch (not that sort of lunch) with a friend from work yesterday, and another friend today and am out for dinner here later tonight

I've been before but it's very nice. Even the website is pretty impressive. Scroll over the x-mas menu button. That's a nice touch.

Stargate Universe

I watched the first couple of episodes of Stargate: Universe last night. It's not that bad. I really enjoyed the film but never thought the series (s) after was any good. Although i'm sure they had their fans it wasn't for me.

I'm looking for something to watch during the autumn / winter so thought i'd give it a go. I'm quite glad that I did. Robert Carlyle plays a leading role and is excellent, so too is his comedy computer game playing maths genius.

Wednesday 7 October 2009


I was running late for my train on Monday night and I felt someone hitting me with a newspaper. I didn't hear anything as I has my headphones in and as I was late I ignored it. I was hit again. I turned around about to give whoever it was a shout when I noticed it was Soph, my old flatmate. Oops!

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Where's my slice of the pie?

"US regulators will for the first time crack down on bloggers who fail to disclose fees or freebies they get from companies for reviewing products."

I'd like to make it explicitly clear that I have never received payment or service in kind as part of writing this blog.

That's not to say that I wouldn't of course...


I was supposed to be taking Steve and Jenny out for a belated wedding present last night to a fancy restaurant in Borough called Roast but at short notice Jenny went home ill. Having quite looked forward to it all day we (April and I) went out anyway.

We ended up going for a quick drink in a Sevenoaks pub called the Black Boy. A Shepherd and Neame pub, not a BNP members club.

As luck would have it their chef was trying out new starters so gave us some black pudding and apple wrapped in bacon. Mmm...

We were booked into the Vine later so it was a nice little starter to get us going.

It was pretty dead, only another 3 tables booked but it was great anyway. April had a haddock risotto followed by Belly Pork, I had scallops followed by peppered steak. All in all a very nice meal.

Monday 5 October 2009

New umbrella

I bought a new umbrella at lunch today. £40. We couldn't find the umbrella that April acquired for me from her company so I was stuck borrowing one of April's tiny ones, it barely covered my shoulders. Luckily it wasn't pink.

As it turns out my old one had a two year guarantee. No reciept = No refund.


Sore hand

I've got a sore hand today. Not sure what's wrong with it as I didn't really hurt it again on Saturday when playing rugby. It's only when I use the mouse though so just for today i'm going to use my left.

Wednesday 30 September 2009

Readership reduced by 1

Or at least during the day. April can no longer access my blog at work due to the fascists at websense.

Tuesday 29 September 2009


A friend of mine has two spare tickets to a Nevermind the Buzzcocks recording in a couple of weeks so has invited us two to come along with him.

Should be good fun. It'll be similar to the QI gig but he's got priority tickets so we won't have to queue up with all the plebs. I imagine that'll mean more drinking time if James has anything to do with it. Eek!

1 year anniversary

A year ago today, I started work in my new job. And I have to say that it's flown by.

My team’s good fun, I’ve learnt loads and none of which has really phased me. I’d probably like to have met a few more people in my time here as I still don’t think I know anyone other than those I directly work with (20 people (10%)) but other than that things are running smoothly. Roll on a few more, only another 9 to go before my paid sabbatical...


Some bloke fainted this morning on the train. Wimp! Girls yes, blokes no.

I ended up getting in to work 5 mins early because of him. Git! I walked from London Bridge in stead of Cannon Street, as I knew they'd cancel the train. April waited hoping they'd take him off so the train and a thousand commuters could continue on their journey but no. He was too 'ill' to move. What's the difference between sitting on the floor of the train and floor of the platform? Nothing.

Anyway. As it turns out, his 'hysterical' girlfriend put it down to him having a bruised ankle and forgetting to have his protein shake that morning. Ha, ha, ha! Tosser!

Monday 28 September 2009

X-Box 360

Well, I finally bought one, although I very nearly didn't bother. I went to a PC world, looked at the price and deals. £200 + free extra contoler + Lego Indy + Kung Fu Panda. I then walked next door into the Currys and they had exactly the same deal so decided to buy it there. I wasn't fussed about the two games but with the extra controller I thought why not? 30 mins later still waiting for the fuckwits to get the various bit of the deal together I left.

I mean come on. You main job as a shop worker is to sell stuff. You just lost out on £200, all for being an idiot. I then went to an Argos and bought it through them. the box was £195 and the game deal was £20. Halo3, Halo Wars and Forza 2. John Madden 10 is in the post as we speak.

Friday 25 September 2009

Payday today

I think i'll get that x-box tomorrow / Sunday. Is there anything I need to know before I go and buy it?

Cats and Cocktails

I've been tasked we've coming up with a cocktail this week. My friend Harriet's sister is putting together a book of cocktails from Harriet's friends. It's a present for her Hen night that's coming up shortly.

I think i'm going to make some sort of 'Biscuit Bellini', April's going for a Poppet Pimms. I'm sure i'll post some photos of the cats posing with a champagne flute later.

Thursday 24 September 2009

New season, new injury

I think my body's trying to tell me something.

I went rugby training last night for the first time in what must be 10 years and managed to injure my middle finger of my right hand.

It's now black and blue and swollen to 1.5x the size.

Doh! Hopefully it'll go down by Saturday and i'll still be able to play.

Wednesday 23 September 2009

I truely am a geek

I brought in some sweets for work from Las Vegas and California in on Monday, and we're getting to last few. The ones that are left are these gummy dice.

Inspecting one closely I noticed that the pips on the dice were incorrect. Opposite sides should add up to 7.


They didn't! Idiots. You've got one job. Painting white pips on gummy dice. How can you fcuk that up?


...And no, I didn't break the banks of Las Vegas

In total I think we lost around $150 between us. The only games there that allowed any element of skill were poker and black jack but the stakes were generally too high (only a few $5 tables) and I wasn't massively confident in my skill so what would be the point in gambling?

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Have you missed me?

Well, it's certainly been a while. Probably the biggest break since I started this thing.

What have I been up to I hear you all ask? Silence and tumbleweeds etc.

I've been in America for two weeks, the longest break i've had since Australia last year. It was great not having to worry about work (not that I ever do these days), but just not having that dread on a Tuesday morning knowing that you've got a massive project due in a couple of days and then wishing you started it a few months back.

As luck would have it, Steve's timing was great. Lloyd's ICA (how much money do we have to hold as capital to pay a 1/200 year event, plus a bit) deadline for 2010 was the last Friday, and I managed to miss the two week period prior, it's our biggest deadline of the year.

It sounds like I got off likely but in reality my syndicate was in a good state so I didn't really leave anyone in it. Just the boring reporting side. Ha, ha! Didn't stop me worrying though. What if i'd made a major mistake and it was only found out when I was away. Also I felt a strange feeling of jealousy too. Another member of my team would be messing around with my model. What if they changed something that I didn't like? What if they broke it? It's like my baby.

In other job related news a former boss who has recently started working for another Lloyd's agency asked me if I wanted to apply for a job at his 'new shop'. The role sounds great, Head of Business Intelligence. A friend said I should go for it, if anything i'd have great business cards. But i'm very happy right now and i'm only just approaching a year in so really have no desire to up sticks again for quite a while.

I've missed the cats loads and I think that they've missed me (and April too). I knew i'd miss the furry little things but maybe not quite so much. They ended up staying at my friends James and Vikki's. They, for some reason, volunteered to look after them. Despite them having recently got themselves a puppy! I've met Ted a few time now and I know he can be a little bitey. I hope the cats showed him who's boss. They didn't like travelling to Essex and back in their carry cage but i'm sure they enjoyed it much more than getting put in a cage in a cattery. Thanks again guys. Let us know when you're free for us to treat you to a free meal. KFC or we may even stretch to a Burger King.

What ABOUT America? Well, it was great. The flight over was fine, I watched 3 films. Night at the Museum 2, the new Star Trek (again), and now that I think of it, I can't remember the third, it must have been great...

Eventually (10 hours later), we arrived in Vegas. Ouch, it was hot. I think that was the theme of the whole trip. Outdoors in that part of the world is hardly suited for gingers. Thank Jebus for air conditioning. We didn't do much on the first day other than grab a quick bite to eat (burgers) as we were all shattered. We (April and I) were staying at The Flamingo. The hotel was dated (one of the original hotels) but our room had been recently renovated so we were very pleased. It all looked out onto the main strip. The Belagio and Paris were two of the main ones we could see from our window.

Don't worry I won't go into every day in detail...

The next few days were good, we got to know the area by looking round all the main casinos, I preferred those around Freemont Street (more how I imagined Vegas would be), we went to a Nuclear missile museum and of course Steve and Jenny's wedding.

I met up with a slightly nervous Steve at around 12:30 (not sure why he was so nervous, I had to do the best man's speech later), and we grabbed a bit to eat and a couple of beers before the event itself. We met the Vicar (or whatever he was) in one of the Belagio chapels. He was a funny guy and made everyone at easy. The wedding itself went smothing and I managed not to lose either of the rings.

Next was a trip to the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, we of course did this in style. A massive 20+ seater stretched HUMMER. During the trip we almost drowned in champagne. After a few photos we drove to the dinner venue.

Steve'd booked us a private room towards the top of the Stratosphere overlooking the whole Las Vegas strip. The whole view was amazing. So too where everyone's reactions to walking into the room for the first time. Once again the view was absolutely tremendous.

The wedding meal was good but my best man's speech was better... What a great day.

The next day was Steve's birthday and we were all off to the Grand Canyon. I'd never driven on the right hand side of the road before but despite having a few initial problems with reverse in the automatic people carrier the trip was uneventful. That's if you forget the part where after we entered the national park we lost one of our cars. Unfortunately, there was no mobile signal so we had no idea where they were. I thought the worse, and that they may have crashed but thankfully they had only broken down. All was sorted before we had a great meal in a lodge right on top of the canyon (not that we'd have known it as it was pitch black).

The next day I took a trip round the canyon in a light plane. The first 10 minutes were great, the next 40 were not. I had to use all my powers of concentration just to not be sick. Thankfully we eventually landed and after an hour or so I was fine.

the next day we all made our own way back to Vegas then on to home or continued on our holidays. We flew to San Francisco on the greatest plane ever. It was a Virgin America plane. We upgraded ourselves for $10 (it would have cost us more than that anyway because of our bags in the hold), but as we walked onto the plane we both said wow! the whole plane was kitted out with neon blue strip lights . Other highlights were the Virgin on demand touch screens which included being able to order your drinks / food (which were free due to the upgrade) via the TV. My only disappointment was that the flight was only for one hour.

Our hotel in San Francisco was great, the room was tiny but we April did amazingly and found us the only hotel with free dog and cat named Pip. Pip spent most of his time in our room. In San Fran, as I hear the locals calling it we headed into Chinatown for food, rode the cable cars, had Clam Chowder, went to a great comedy night and ventured across to Alcatraz.

After San Fran, we (I) drove to Sonoma, it was only an hour or so a trip but they'd ran out of Sat Navs so we we had a heightened level of stressful driving. This culminated in me getting pulled over by smokey the bandit when turning left at a crossroads close to our final destination.

Basically, I probably should have done a little research on driving in America before venturing out on the roads but hey, what's the worst that could happen??? I wasn't 100% sure what to do at stop signs. I assumed as long as nothing was coming you could just carry on forward. We were a little streesed i'd missed the previous turn and had to to a big U turn a few minutes back to get back on track. The car in front was turning left at the cross roads so I just followed him. Also pulling out from the left was a police patrol car!!! What are the chances eh?

Anyway, he quickly wheeled round and got me to stop. After showing my licence and apologising profusely he thankfully let us go. Thank you Jebus! He was actually an okay guy.

Eventually we arrived at our Sonoma b&b. April did well. It was great and really friendly. The town was great and as luck would have it we arrived on a locals festival right in the central plaza. The best part of this part of the trip was a bike ride round 4 of the local wineries, meeting bicycle Bob and basically relaxing in the beautiful surrounds.

Leaving was sad, but i'm glad to be home.

Is that long enough of an entry or do you want me to continue?

Thursday 3 September 2009

Vegas baby

I'm off to Vegas tomorrow so you may have to wait a while before my next exciting update.

Ta, ta!

Thursday 27 August 2009

Twirl or a flake

I just bought myself a twirl from a vending machine at work. Upon opening it, it turned out to be more like a flake. If I had wanted to eat powdered chocolate I would have got a couple of scoops of chocolate powder from the kitchen.

I've found a new pub

When I say I, I mean April, but we met up with a couple of my old flat mates in the Jerusalem Tavern in Farringdon last night.

It's ran by my favourite brewery St Peters.

Although very busy and very loud it was a great little pub, probably better in the winter months but great all the same.

Tuesday 25 August 2009

12 / 10 on the scale of drunkeness

Yesterday, Wellingborough Magistrates' Court heard that in a police interview, Smith had been asked how drunk he had been on a scale of one to 10 and had replied "12".


Al Murray the barber

I got my summer holiday haircut last night. I went to a local barber in Leadenhall Market, I don’t have time to get it cut in Tonbridge. I've been there a few times before but try not to as it’s £19, almost double the price back in Tonbridge. And with my hair cut there’s very little difference between the two.

“What can I do for you sir?”
“A number two round the back and sides and trim it up on top”
“Certainly sir, how would you like the back? Tapered or straight”
“Not bothered, which ever is quickest.”


This barber looked, sounded and acted just like Al Murray the pub landlord.

Was it worth the extra £9? Probably not…

Monday 24 August 2009

Silly girl

April had to go into next door neighbours house yesterday. Our silly cat Poppet was stuck up on their porch for at least 16 hours! Doh!

They noticed her up there when they went out for dinner the previous night at around 8, and then heard us calling her yesterday lunch time as we hadn’t seen her all morning. They remembered that she still might be up there so let us know. Silly thing. She was really glad to see April. So glad in fact she dug her claws in.

In addition to this, Biscuit was accidentally locked in the spare room over night when we were changing our bedspread. Another silly girl.

One bonus of all this is that we had our best night’s sleep in ages!

Sunday 23 August 2009

Hmm, country pub food

I took April to the Bottle House again today. Mmm.

April had a big fish with some chips and I had grilled salmon on a crayfish salad. Yum, yum!

Saturday 22 August 2009


I've just completed Farcry. I don't complete games very often as I don't really have the patience but I stuck it out with this one. It's an excellent game. I had to put it on god mode for a few of the end levels as it was stupidly hard even on easy (if that makes sense).

I'm sure it'll run on most older PCs if you turn the graphics down so I recommend it to everyone. Well, when I say everyone, I mean if you like shooting mercenaries and evil mutants with rocket launchers that is.

Battery died last night

I tried to unlock the car last night in order to pick April up from the station but nothing would happen. I manually opened the door and tried the key in the ignition. Nothing. Looking round the car I noticed the boot wasn't shut properly. Doh! The small light in there must have been on since Sunday and ran the battery flat.

Luckily we've got Mazda Assist and they popped round this morning to get the car started. Afterwards all I had to do was go for a nice long drive to recharge it.

Not impressed

She does not look impressed with me.

Friday 21 August 2009

Stuart? Professional? Don't make me laugh...

I've finally signed up to do my professional insurance exams.


This will be wierd

Free tea this morning

I went to my usual coffee shop to pick up my white tea this morning and when I offered to pay he said don't worry about it. I asked why and he said because it was a Friday.

Good man.

I told the guys at work and they said i've probably got a stalker.


Live hurricane tracks

Fingers crossed Bill's forecast is accurate and doesn't slam into the East Coast of America. Saying that, it's predicted to hit the UK at some point. Fortunately it'll have run out of steam by then.

Thursday 20 August 2009

Mmm, Argentinian Steaks

A couple of us from work met up with an ex-colleague for lunch yesterday.

We ended up going to Gauchos. It's a small chain of very good steak houses. I've been to that one twice now, and i've also been to the Chancery Lane one a couple of times.

You basically get shown some very good cuts of meat on a big slab of slate then they cook it to order.

Mmm... Needless to say the afternoon went very slowly.

Sleepless nights

I haven't been sleeping well recently. Every night this week the cats have been messing round keeping me awake. Bloody things.

This morning we found one of their toys under the bed. What made them think we needed to hear them playing with a toy mouse at 3 in the morning?


Could I be named and shamed??? Who cares?

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Reading 2009 'lineup'

What a crap lineup

Pretty glad i'm not going this year, there are only 3 or 4 bands that i'd actually want to see.

This year I will be getting wet in St. Ives instead.

Tuesday 18 August 2009

New FM

Thanks to Ian I now have FM10 on pre order. Don't expect to hear from me in November.

... scratch that don't expect to hear from me till 2011

Zombie Attack

Should we be worried?

The funniest part of this story is the Professor's name. Robert Smith?, the question mark was added so that people didn't confuse him with the lead singer of the Cure.

Unless he started to wear make up and The Cure all started to wear elbow pads I don't think he'll have a problem.

Turning 30

I turn 30 in less than 2 weeks. Is there anything I need to do before then?


Monday 17 August 2009

Spreading the word

I lent a friend at work The Great Outdoors over the weekend I now have another convert.

Dan Aykroyd and John Candy comedy gold.

It would only be better if it had Chevy Chase and Steve Martin in it with maybe a small cameo part from Bill Murray.

Saturday 15 August 2009

Bored today.

I've more or less done nothing today. Just sat on my ass watching football, playing nonsense on my laptop. I really should learn to get off my arse.

Thursday 13 August 2009

13 days left till Vegas

Can't bloody wait! I haven't had a week off since the beginning of March, in early September I won't have to go in to work for 17 day! Woo hoo!

It has the added bonus of being during our biggest deadline of the year. Ha, ha! Suckers! Saying that, my work's pretty much done already. Over a month early I might add.

I'm truly amazing me.

Between 5ft2" and 6ft3in???

Idiot, I mean come on. Over a foot difference in height? Was he 6ft3" when he attacked you, then 5ft2" when he walked some distance away???

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Forest bigger than Liverpool?

At least in transfers they are.

Forest spent £6m, the most in the Championship! That’s more than Liverpool!!!

Alonso £30m
Leto £1.3m
Arbeloa £3.5m
Total £34.8m

Johnson £17.5m
Aquilani £20m
Total £37.5m

Net Spend £2.7m

Bloody hell!

Woo hoo! No. 1 again!

Come on men, 3rd place isn't good enough.

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Fantasy football time

The new season is only a few days away so it's time for a new fantasy football.

I'm joining a different one this year, the 'official' Barclays Premier League one. No sooner had I entered my team, I was websensed out!

Spoil sports. Have they nothing better to do? Obviously I didn't but that's not the point... It was during my lunch break, it's hardly demanding on the webservers.


Anyway, I can access it using my phone so ha, ha. Suck on those plumbs, etc.

Catch up

I'm catching up on our lunch time learning sessions this morning. We're supposed to go to them all but sometimes I just can't be arsed. I've missed the last two.

Emotional Intelligence
Coping with Climate Change

I think you can probably guess which one i'm more interested in.

Home alone

April's on a course (Leeds) and working (Birmingham) this week so I won't see her again till Friday night. Boo!

Tje cats better keep me company.

Saturday 8 August 2009

Gregg's not the bakers

April's been on secondment in a different department all week and to top that off she's still been working most nights this week to do her day job. So, i'm taking April here tonight.

She needn't worry it's not the pastry shop, it's a very nice restaurant in Sevenoaks.

The beer festival

Here's some photos from the Great British Beer Festival

James and Peter,

Beers from the East Midlands. If you squint you can see the Wagtail from Great Oakley.

Fat guy behind James with a bowling ball for a stomach.

Northants Skittles, I thought it was only a Northamptonshire thing.

General shot of Earls Court

Friday 7 August 2009

Gary Spivey follow up

He even has a website

Check out his predictions...

Thursday 6 August 2009

Payday loans / loansharks

There's no difference. One's legal the other gets a prison sentence. Although I dare say you won't get your legs broken if you don't pay up.

Wednesday 5 August 2009

IMdb rating scandal

Zoolander 6.3 / 10 ????

It's at least an 8 in my book. I've seen it four or five times and it's brilliant, it gets better every time.

Funny Hair

Why don't you come to Corby...

... and get a degree in sandwich making???

At Corby university.

Ha, ha!

Beer, glorious beer

I'm off to Earls Court tomorrow afternoon for the Great British Beer Festival.

I expect Friday will be a quiet one.

Tuesday 4 August 2009

Treating us like animals

Our office breakout area (canteen) is having a major revamp and has been out of action for the best part of a month now. This leaves a problem with where to dish out the fruit.

Each day, just like in a zoo, they place it in a different meeting room. I think this is to keep our hunter / gatherer senses tuned.

I went to the gym twice yesterday

April was doing her fitness class back in Tonbridge so thought I may as well.

In all I ran for 4.5km (30 mins), cycled for 15mins, rowed for 10mins, swam 30 lengths, and did 20 minutes of weights.

On my second trip however there was a problem with my membership, it appears to have lapsed. The let me in anyway but am a bit annoyed. I've got to speak to HR later as the money's certainly came out of my wages.

Also i'd like to make a comment about fat women doing aqua aerobics, what's the point? I only managed to hold in my laughter due to the fact that they were probably laughing at me. For some stupid reason men have to where swim caps whilst swimming. If you're nice i'll post a picture...

Monday 3 August 2009

New Regime?

I've just got back from the gym and it wasn't as busy as i'd thought. Maybe i'll do it more often?

Sunday 2 August 2009

Free veg

One of our neighbours just popped round and asked if I liked courgettes. Saying yes, she handed me these belters. I've never had a yellow one before.

Carnage at the bbq

James sat on our antique mini table at the bbq yesterday. Doh! I think it must be worth all of 20p to replace so i'll be hounding him next week for my cash.