Thursday 16 May 2024

35,000 steps yesterday

 Took the kids to school on their scooters, then went to the gym.  Took the dog out for a long lunch time walk and went to Waitrose (twice).  Then in the evening played touch rugby with the team i'm playing with on Saturday.  Nice bunch of lads. The Badgers.

33,000 steps is a little over 24km!

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Sock news

Just completed a sock amnesty. 28 pairs down to 14 regular socks, 18 down to 10 trainer socks. 

Last night's game

 We defeated the second form of the god Auril and left her on her island with no escape.  We also all drew 3 times from a deck of many things.  I pulled got lucky and pulled a couple of useful utilities out of the deck before getting the Sun.  This means you instantly level up.  We all levelled up straight after the session any way, but I levelled up twice!  I'm now level 9 and have access to level 5 spells!

Next week we're back to the pub as our dining room table still hasn't been fixed!

Celeb spot

 Shaheen was out with a friend after work last night and took a cheeky photo of a celeb.  Ally McCoist.  Good spot.

On my way to the games cafe last night for our latest D&D session I spotted Andy from Kent Survival, my favourite youtuber.  I know he'd moved to Tonbridge but have not spotted him yet.  I said hello and shook his hand.  His a good guy.  I also spotted him at 9:30 when we left too, so I assume he'd been for a bite to eat or the pub!

That was hard work

 It's Arthur's birthday next week and we having a rugby party for him the Saturday after.  One of my rugby mates has a company that coaches kids so has said he will run a session for me.  

April ordered 18 min rugby balls as gifts in their party bags.  I hope they enjoy them as it was bloody hard work pumping them all up!

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Not sure if I can pull these off

 I've been going to the gym 3-4 times a week and usually end each session with a quick 20 lap swim in the pool.  I'm bought these to walk in and out of the changing rooms etc.  I'm not sure if I can pull off wearing them.  2 reasons

  1. I'm too old
  2. My feet are more like hooves so I actually struggle putting them on

I'm willing to give it a go though.


 I've now gone and got myself an interview.  I haven't received the contract extension from HR yet so haven't signed anything that would tie me down, but looks like they'd need me at the end of June anyway.  This is on Thursday so fingers crossed!

Monday 13 May 2024

Another extension

 I use around 3 or 4 recruiters to get me new contracts and it's been surprisingly quiet over the last couple of months in what would normally be a pretty busy period.  I've been looking for a 6 weeks now and i'd usually get a least an interview somewhere, but nothing.  There was one role I went for which was validating a syndicate's capital model.  It was working for the same managing agency as i'd worked previously and did two of they're syndicates.  This was just for one.  I did well there and got two extensions and I was about to get another longer one but then the budget fell through.  I didn't even get an interview.  I have heard some things about the company recently and when I looked at linkedin about my ex colleagues, none of the senior ones I dealt with were still there.  Maybe I dodged a bullet.

Anyway, this morning i've been offered another month extension so have accepted.  Just need to get the paperwork through.  If I manage to stay till July i'll get a £3k bonus for doing the virtually nothing towards a huge project the company has been working on.

I like it here, but can earn more elsewhere if the right role comes along.  At least that's another decent wack in my pension. 

We did it!

 April was out for most of Saturday so I had the kids.  Flo wanted to do her 300 piece jigsaw again and Arthur asked to help us.

It took quite a while, especially the lettering.  That is 2 hours I will never get back!

Little helpers

 I asked the kids to help me pack the shopping as we had a bbq / play date round ours later in the day.  I turned my back for 1 minute and they'd started without me.

Some blue juice, made me feel like I was in star wars

BBQ 1 of the weekend

 On Saturday we popped round a friends for a bbq, he always makes a real effort and was a very decent barbeque.

We also took Arwen so she could play with their dog.  She was shattered by the time we got back.

Another week, another soup

 I made a chicken and vegetable soup on Saturday.  Pretty decent.  Loads left.

Friday morning walk

 I've got 2.5 days to take off this month so decided to make the most of the nice weather and took Friday off to see my mate James in Winchester.  Before that I took Arwen out for a 2 hour walk along the river Medway.  Lovely!

Posh bacon rolls

 My rugby club does posh bacon rolls, this weekend I made some myself and took it to the next level.

Streaky unsmoked bacon under the grill with cranberry sauce and brie.

I made it again on Sunday with added honey.  Delicious! 

Thursday 9 May 2024

Sun's out

 BBQ's out!

Working from home this afternoon


Tonbridge school facilities

 I've recently joined Tonbridge School gym and spotted a map this morning.  Their facilities are amazing.  But so are the fees. £12500 at term.  On the plus side that would only be for 5 years as they start in year 9.

Wednesday 8 May 2024

We're on camera

 We're on CCTV in the function room for our d&d games. Now the whole pub can see how much of a geek I am.

Sadly I think they already know.

Good deeds of the day

One if the regulars at the pub I frequent has been ill recently and unfortunately has had to go into hospital. Last week I bought a card for everyone to sign and organised a whip to get him something nice.

The flowers and chocolates arrived yesterday and he messaged me to say it nearly brought him to tears. I assume that's a good thing...

Another of the old boys, this time a 90 year old needed help getting to the pharmacy for a COVID jab. I picked him up, dropped him off, waited, then dropped off a repeat prescription at his doctor's then dropped him back at Waitrose. I also signed a power of attorney form for him to prove that he wasn't under duress.

Change of venue

 There was a change of venue for D&D last night.  Our dining room table has been sent away to get de-wobbled so I suggested we use the upstairs function room of my local.  To my surprise the group said yes (they're all a bit neuro-spicy as one of my friends likes to put it...).  They enjoyed it! One of them even had a couple of beers.  I don't mind the guys coming round mine every other week but there are some weeks where I can't make it so we've had to cancel for everyone.  I think i've convinced them that we should use the pub every other week (the alternate weeks we're in the games cafe) rather than mine, and use my place as a backup if the pub gets a booking.  We'll be there in two weeks anyway as I don't think the table will be fixed by then.

My Spirit Guardian got a little banged up in my bag.  Luckily Sara brought some glue.

What a change

 I've come into the office today after what seems like a long time away.  I've had a few weeks holiday to burn so that explains some of it but in reality I just don't need to come in.  It's also £38 on the train and the cost of a lunch time beer is extortionate. 

What a change though.  When I started (Sept 2002) I used to be in 5 days a week with zero possibility of working from home, I think over the course of the year i've averaged 1 day in the office.  The dress code has changed considerably too.  When once I had to wear a suit and tie, i'm now wearing jeans, trainers and a Motorhead t-shirt.  We're still not allowed to wear shorts but I think that's only a matter of time.

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Am I champion elect?

 Looks very likely that i'll win the Tonbridge Massive fantasy football league trophy again this year.  I'm 45 points clear of my nearest rival and have 10 / 15 players the same as them so their differential players must do something special to overhaul me.  I've got two free transfers this week so I could use them to try and match my rival even closer so that it's even less likely they can claw back the points difference.  That would make it 3 wins out of 6!  

Arthur really does like his corn

 Arthur was hungry over the weekend so I made him his favourite.  Corn on the cob.  He loves it.

Park life

Whilst Flo was at a party (April snuck off to the pub), I took Arthur to the park. He was a little shy to begin with but by the end made some new friends.  We were there for over an hour and a half in the end and just missed the rain.  April and Flo go soaked!

Oooh, didn't know they did that

 Flo went to a couple of birthday parties on Saturday and one of them came back with this science experiment.  It contained a petri dish and a few packets of skittles.  You place the skittles in a pattern around the edge then pour water over the top.  The food colouring slowly seeps out to make a colourful pattern.

Stuck for a light something to eat on Sunday and decided to make this

 Another broccoli and stilton soup.  I added some asparagus too as it was on special.

Sun's out...

... cat's annoying.  She's grabbing every available spot of sunlight..


Thursday 2 May 2024

Cat squirting

One of next door neighbour's cats has been a bit of a dick recently (and in the past).  I've decided to wage war.  It doesn't get to sit on my land without consequences.

Swan watch

Spotted which I assume is the same swan this morning.


Wednesday 1 May 2024

Just checked out my holidays

 And turns out I get 2.5 days pro rata for this month, plus the two bank holidays!

Lunchtime walk

 I took a lunchtime walk with Arwen this afternoon and it was lovely and warm.  There was a yellow weather warning for a storm but I think we missed it.

Here's a photo of a swan I spotted

Here's a video

Last night's session

 I missed last week's session through illness so was good to catch up with the guys and find out what trouble they had gotten up to in my absence.  We managed to kill an ancient frost giant and the first form of the god Auril.  After this campaign we might have a little break but our GM wants us to keep our old characters and have a go at the new D&D campaign Vecna: Eve of Ruin.  We're currently level 7, this will be for characters 10-20!  I've never played a character for this long and certainly not to level 20!


May day, may day!

It's the first day of the month and I started it as I mean to go on.

30 mins on the cross training bike thing

20 minutes weights

15 minute swim

30 walk to school-gym-home

Cross training bike thing

Look at those pasty whites go!

Tuesday 30 April 2024

Re-joined the gym today

 I quit back in August / September last year as my net income after tax, pension, expenses etc. wasn't quite high enough to give me enough to pay for all my sunk cost plus the play money I need to help me be me.  

I'm due to leave my current place at the end of the month and in theory will be earning a lot more (net) so have joined again.  My theory is that if I go at least once a week for a month I will save enough money to pay for it by not going to the pub at lunch time.

If I drop the kids off at school at their normal time at 7:30, I can head straight to the gym (nearby), do a few hours in the gym then walk the dog at lunch time instead.  That will keep me out of the pub and should get a little healthier and lose a bit of weight. 

I've a few audible credits to spend so need some entertainment whilst working out. Any suggestions?

Tonbridge School now has automated tanks!


Is that a mini gun on the side?

Different route this morning

 Yesterday I tried to take the dog to Dean Woods but when we got out it was far to wet and muddy so drove back and did our usual walk through the playing fields and then into the woods and around the farmers fields.

This morning I did the Poacher and Partridge route (without stopping for a pint).  We walked although the Medway for the majority of the route but also pass through farmers fields and through an orchard.  It was lovely once the sun made it's way out of the fog.

Overall it took me a little under 2 hours and I think it was around 14k steps / 11.5km.

1km walk to get out of Tonbridge, but it's quite pleasant along the canal



Fog's nearly gone

Follow that path

I think they're cranberries

More cranberries


I'll be back in September to steal some of your apples!


Slomo canal