Friday 17 December 2021

House build update

 Here's a couple of pictures of the house build.  Steel frame is partially up, as too is the cavity wall adjoining to next door's house.  We've so far paid 46% of the cost of the build (this has gone up slightly, and about to go up again).  Then we've got to pay for the kitchen (which we've paid a third of already), then we've got to pay for the repositioning of the garden steps.

Monday 29 November 2021

Back home

 I'm heading back home (Corby) on Saturday morning for an ex rugby playing friend's memorial game.  Steve's picking me up in the morning and we'll head over to the club.  I haven't played in nearly 2 years so I will be in a bit of pain on Sunday.  I miss it.

It's Christmas!

Edit: Florence's (April's) really excited about Christmas this year, she's talked of nothing else since the last big event, Fireworks Night.  So, after rugby tots (via Majestic) we took her to buy a tree (photos to follow).

We brought all the Christmas stuff down and got to work.  It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Little git

 Arthur finally broke my tablet.  He was playing with that and my phone and decided he wanted to smash it.  So he did.

One anonymous person put a crack in it a year ago (could be human, could be animal), but they haven't confessed.

It's been at the back of my mind to get a new one anyway due to the crack but as it worked perfectly fine I was sensible and decided to wait till it properly broke.  The same for my surface pro and mobile.

I did some quick research and decided on a samsung s6 lite.  The previous was a s4, the latest is a s7.  Arthur was asleep and Flo and April were busy making Christmas decorations so I popped to Curry's to get one.  Itwas pretty busy, I guess people were trying to get a black Friday deal (on Sunday), I must have been there for 15 mins waiting to be seen by someone so that they could get the box out of the cage and for me to pay for it but nothing.  I walked out and ordered it online.

Thursday 25 November 2021

School choice

 So... we've decided to put Flo into the local prep school (fee paying), and by Easter 2023 Arthur will head there too.  It's a big expense but we can afford to pay the nursery fees as they stand now, why not pay them for the next x years too.  We're in a good position financially, where else would we put the money?

Stupid Clark purchase 34

 We've ordered a digital one of these in oak.  Only £9k.  Bargain.  Bloody idiots.  Let's hope the kitchen is finished before it arrives (Feb)


 This time, not talking about the work on the house.

I've verbally agreed to stay at my company for another couple of months (end of March).  It's the second extension so pretty good.  If only I had some work to do.

Well, here's the monster

 The new bath was finally installed yesterday and we've had 3 baths already.  It's massive! 

The monster

Friday 12 November 2021

That will sort it...

 The heating's gone in our new office so the building manager said he'd pop round with some oil heaters whilst the gas man takes a look at the boiler.

He's turned up with a couple of these tiny things!  We're basically in a small old house, not nearly enough to do the job.  Luckily it's not that cold and it looks like i'm the only one in today so may just put them both by my desk.

Bathroom's coming along

 The bathroom's coming along nicely, but there are few things still outstanding.  

Those eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted that there is no bath in the bathroom.  Fingers crossed this will get delivered and installed next week.

The washing machine and dryer will live in the cabinet that is getting built and hopefully installed next week.

The throne.

I think we also need an electrician to finish with the lighting (floor and ceiling) and we need a new pump for our en suite which again should get fitted next week too.

Thursday 11 November 2021

Today's highlight

Saying that, the whole office had a shock at 11am.  As part of the remembrance day events around Tonbridge they fired the cannon outside the castle.  25m from my desk.  Jeez! 


Monday 8 November 2021

Seen better days

 They've seen better days but these are my chilli plants.  2 from my dad and the scotch bonnet twig in the middle is mine.

I've just watered them so hopefully they will perk up.  The previously green chillies are certainly starting to turn colour 


 One of our friends Wayne helped organise it and it went very well.  Over 4,000 tickets were sold.

Arthur's first firework night 


Flo was happy with her glowing unicorn thing

Well, that was an expensive weekend!

 It was our 10th wedding anniversary last Friday so thanks to some lovely friends we were able to head into London for the weekend without the kids.  Incidentally that was the first time we've both had more than an evening away from the kids since Florence was born 4 years ago!

There was not much of a plan except eating and drinking.  First stop

Tom Kerridge's restaurant Kerridge's Bar and Grill

He'd kindly left a happy anniversary card.

Next was Bob Bob Ricard, a Russian restaurant with a button in each booth that simply states Press for Champagne.

Saturday we went to Clos Maggiore, this is the restaurant April took me on our 6 month going out anniversary.  We've also taken Steve and Jen there as a thankyou for paying for our flights out to Las Vegas for their wedding.

Tome of wine

7 cheese selection with some port. Don't mind if I do.

In the evening we went to J Sheekey

We stayed in a lovely hotel just 50m from Soho Square, Hazlitts, it was a 18th century town house.  We thought we managed to get quite a cheap deal considering the location, unfortunately what we thought was payment for the whole weekend, it turned out to be for each night.  Whoops!
The throne room

Other highlights included finding a replacement to the Crobar.

Some kind of monster turned it into this!

My new favourite bar in that end of town is Bradley's Spanish Bar, i'd been a couple of times before really enjoyed it's free jukebox.

Wednesday 3 November 2021

No more conservatory!



 I had the second rpg session last night and everybody turned up.  You never know, the first session might not have been somebody's cup of tea but it was good to see everyone return.

I am the eldest, there's a Scottish guy who's about 35, 2 in their late 20s and GM who I was shocked to hear was only 17!  He's very good though and we had fun.

Progressing quickly

 The kitchen has been boarded up and one of the side walls of the utility room has been pulled down.  Today the rest of the utility room and conservatory are getting demolished!  

We had a new skip delivery at 7:30 this morning which I imagine will be full by the time we get home tonight!

Feed me!!!

 Heading back to the office after walking the dog, I heard a big meow. I'd forgotten to give Josie her lunch! And she'd followed me almost all the way to the high street!

I had to walk back and take her home.  Greedy fat cat!

Tuesday 2 November 2021

Next D&D session tonight

 I think the all of the players from last week are joining us again.  We shall see.  The DM asked if he could run his home brew setting.  We all said yes.  This could be interesting.

More carnage

 They certainly don't hang about...

Here's some shots after day one.  The dog looks very confused.

Monday 1 November 2021

Maybe we won't have a useable kitchen afterall...

 Apparently they're going to install a temporary sink for us.  And by that I assume a bucket.

Day 1 of the build

Day 1 of the build proper starts today.

We've had a busy weekend packing up the majority of the kitchen, which is not easy whilst juggling two kids and an annoying dog. The build time is 3 months so we aiming to get this all complete by the end of January.  It will inevitably overrun as these things tend to happen but I think there is a high chance of us being in by the Spring which will be nice.

First job will be to close off some of the plumbing / electrics in the kitchen that will get torn down, I think the utility room and conservatory will get pulled down by the end of the week.  Quite scary really.

Thursday 28 October 2021

New FM out (beta), time to update the chart

 According to Steam, these are my hours played for each of the last 13 versions of football manager

First week in the new office

 The first week in the new office is nearly over and it's been good.  Fairly quiet, there's been no more than one other person in here each day.  I think that is more down to it being half term than anything else though.

Work itself has been quiet too.  My boss is off work this week and everyone else seems to be ignoring me so not much else I can do.  Oh well.  I'll submit my October timesheet tomorrow.  That will teach them,

Wednesday 27 October 2021

New D&D group

Last night was fun.  I was able to share my geekiness with some local strangers.  My halfling rogue (now level 2) will be ready to play  next Tuesday.

4 players and a DM was with a good balance of experience.  Sadly me with the most.  I am so very old.  We're due the next weekly session next Tuesday.  Looking forward to it.

Tuesday 26 October 2021

School choices

 It's nearly time to select a primary school for Florence.  Currently both kids are at the same nursery for three days a week and two days we have a nanny.  Next (school) year we need to find a school for Flo.

Because both kids are in full time care we are at our peak childcare expense.  I don't want to scare future parents but this is currently around £30k a year.  We are not at a fancy private school, it just happens to be the nursery right next to the station which was especially handy when we both went into London each day.

This got us thinking, and looking into other options...

The state schools near us are good and will prepare both kids well to get into the local grammar schools and we're are pretty sure Flo will get into our preferred choice given our proximity but given how much we're currently spending and can potentially continue to spend we've also looked at private options which broadly speaking is on par cost wise.  The big difference is staff numbers per child which are roughly double.  We've still got 2 state and 1 local private school visit planned but that's our current plan.

One more year of Flo (£15k per year) and another 3 for Arthur (same) at state and then free vs another 6 years for Flo and 9 for Arthur.  To me that £225k.  Fuck!

New office!

 With all the work going on in our house (the extension starts on Monday) we've decided to rent two desks in a shared office.  Yesterday was our first day and we were the only ones in. We're right next to the castle so only a 2 minute commute!

Holiday antics last week

 Our lot went away for a week in sunny Kent with Shaheen and his family.  His girls are similar ages to Flo and Arthur.  The place we stayed at was lovely.

Board game cafe visit

 We finally popped to the new board game cafe in Tonbridge a couple of weeks ago.  And i'm back again tonight playing D&D.

Tuesday 12 October 2021


I asked if all of the pipes were now redundant and Vince said yes...


Cooked a pie

 Cooked a lovely chicken, mushroom, leak and bacon pie with minty potatoes and buttered carrots on Sunday.  Lovely.

Arthur can't get enough of the carrots.  The gallon of butter may have helped.

Monday 11 October 2021

In case you didn't know...

 It was Flo's 4th birthday on Saturday!  She's been telling everybody she meets for the past month.