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Friday, 29 July 2011

And . . . relax

Don't you just love Fridays?  I do.  This Friday finds me executing on a well structured plan, doing some conference calls, helping uncle and father-in-law with worktops in between times, and keeping on top of my workstack.

We are planning to see David and Samantha this weekend, and will be having a BBQ on the beach, weather permitting, and looking at the forecast, it will permit.  Looking forward to a bit of summer fun with good friends, so the weekend is shaping up nicely.

Other than that, I will be doing, wait for it, DIY.  Things are progressing well, with my office now finished, and the rest of the extension getting there.  Some undercoat on one door and Satinwood on that and one of the other doors, and the woodwork painting is complete.  Just need to finish some little bits of skirting, that were waiting for other bits to finish.  Then the final piece will be to put the appropriate pelmet etc. around the sliding door to make it beautiful, and then were are all but there.  Oh, we still need to finish the downstairs shower, shower door and tiling, but that is something we can do at a bit more or a leisurely pace, although would still like it done before the holiday.

So, that is it really.  It seems like I have talked about nothing other than work and the extension, with a bit of real like slotted in now and then, and to be honest, that is basically the profile of my life just at the minute.  Which is why I am very much looking forward to taking myself away from this place and these things to a land where red wine is cheap, French bread is just called bread (well, pain or baguette anyway) and the sun always shines. 

Without wishing my life away, roll on.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

It's a funny old world

Now, before I recount this tale, I need to say that where I live is a very nice place, both the geography of the place - don't tell anyone, or else they will all visit here, but the combination of the coastline and the inland hills means we have our own micro-climate that gives us the best weather in the country, fact - and also the architecture and clientele of the locale.

Having said that, I cannot vouch for every individual who chooses to live here either. 

So the tale starts two nights ago, when LO had to close the rear doors due to an unholy row going on in the gardens over the other side of the allotment behind our house.  The following day, LO and the maggots went on a picnic at a local park with school friends and associated helpers (aka parents).  At said picnic the full story was told, that the row was about a local man who had shot his neighbour's cat.  It was this event that caused the row the previous night.  The said man is what is known as "a nasty piece of work" and has done various unpleasant things to other neighbours in the past, and is generally viewed as someone not to get involved with, coz he is trouble.

Not a pleasant tale, and one I hope that the like of which will not be told often.  And I cannot believe that sentence is right.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Monday Monday Here Again

The sun is shining, I am on my first conference call of the week, and all is well with the world.  Uncle Chippy is hanging doors and the old man is painting.

Tomorrow, the Sparky is returning for, hopefully, his final trip.

The day after, the tiler comes to finish my study.

On Thursday, you will probably hear a faint woo hoo from somewhere on the South Coast as, in broad strokes, the last trade needs to enter our extension.

People keep asking me questions, so I had better go.  Have a good week, and speak soon.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Saturday morning

It is Saturday morning, a cup of tea is to my left, a laptop is on top of my lap, my book is to the right just waiting for some attention, and it is raining.  Now THAT was not on the agenda.  To be honest, it is going to get better later, so we should OK for a bit of DIY and garden play and general pootling around.  I am doing a lot of that at the moment, both by necessity, and also because I love being in my home right now.  We also go on holiday in three weeks so really need to be sorted by then.  There is nothing like a deadline to keep you focussed.

On other news, there is no other news.  I hope your weekend is starting as well as mine, and that the sun shines down upon your sun-starved body and your Vitamin D production improves.

Friday, 22 July 2011

And . . . relax

This has been a week that history may classify as a turning point.  I am not shouting about that yet just in case it is a blip, and we are approaching the silly season for holidays, so that will make an impact also, but maybe, just maybe, we are starting to get on top of our backlog.

The reasons I am not yet shouting about it are several, including the fact that it is a bit early to say we have nailed it, because I am by nature a bit conservative and prefer to "under promise and over deliver" (BINGO!  Ed.), and also actually because if we do clear our backlog too quickly then I will have some of my team taken away from me to work on distant planets.

Also, as Mrs Marple said, there is many a slip twixt cup and lip, so caution favours the brave and the brave favour caution, and there are old pilots, and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots etc. etc.  I may have to run that one up the flagpole to see who salutes (enough already, ed.).

This weekend looks pretty fantastic weather wise, and it will be spent poodling round the house, doing some DIY, playing with the maggots and spending some quality time with LO.  I think also that I shall be visiting the tip a couple of times trying to clear several white bags (to bags in which all the sand etc. was delivered) that have built up from the builders, the plasterer and the tiler.  At least they were tidy, but at the same time it is a bit if a pain having to clear these manually, but then that is what weekends are for.

I hope yours is as much fun as mine is shaping up to be.  Speak next week.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

ha ha

I know, funny guy.

On a week like this, a chap needs to get his kicks where he can find them, and if he cannot get his kicks, at least he can irritate or bore the wotsit out of a few folks.

Summer holidays.  I love 'em.  Am off the the South of France in under 4 weeks.  I know that may be some people's idea of hell, but I cannot wait for the freedom, the (admittedly) rather long drive down, the new scenery, the sun, the pool, the baguettes, the wine, the cheese, the beaches, the wine, the scenery, increasing my average minutes per day of quality time with maggots, etc. etc.

We are taking great grandma, so will need to pack a bit less so that we can fit her rather large handbag in the car.  Since the properly already has 3 adult bikes, we will only take the Maggot's bikes, so that will lighten the load also.  As is standard when this chap spends any time away from his own bed, we will be taking a topper, to ensure a good night's sleep and that a chap's back does not suffer from a sub-standard mattress.

Other than that, all I need is a couple of t-shirts, a couple of pairs of three quarter length shorts, and enough inflatables to sink a small ocean going liner.  Did I mention we love inflatables?  The goal is to fill the complete surface of the pool, and we then draw from a vast array of standard games, all of which are being considered for inclusion in the next Olympic Games.

Anyhow, the call is on, so gotta go, since I will have to speak on the call very soon.

Sorry for being absent

Not been writing for a while.  Wouldn't be today but on time, so effectively early, for a conference call, so thought I would pen a few lines.  No doubt the moment I start
to write the call will sta....

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Oh no, tell me it's not Wednesday already

  • Work: still looking for a way to get a quart out of a pint pot
  • extension: flooring getting sealed today in main room, maybe utility
  • home: Maggot 1 and 2 both had good school reports, which calls for an end-of-year prize; Gola bag as present for Maggot 1 (first signs of peer influence), Maggot 2 still deciding.  BBQ x 2 planned for weekend, and so is "light rain shower".  However that is the BBC and they tend to be on the pessimistic end of truth, so hoping that our unique geography works its magic once more and we get the best of it.

Friday, 8 July 2011

And once again we find ourselves at Friday

I am glancing out the window, and the scene before me resembles something akin to a third world country; or Manchester.  It is absolutely tipping it down, and I definitely cannot see the hills

On the home front, the tiler has now done all the extensive preparation, and will be laying the first stone today.  The mayor has popped in with his trowel as is the law when any first stone is being laid, and Ladbrokes have also popped in to offer odds of three-to-one that it will not be finished by Christmas.  Meanwhile LO is at work, the kids are at school, and the weather has stopped Papa from starting on the outside painting.  Add to that a complete absence of milk, and you have what can only be considered a "disaaaaaaaaster dahhling".  How is a chap to get through the day without interruptions and coffee?

This weekend will see some more ticking off of tasks on the long to do list.  I have finished the carpentry for the boxed in soil pipe thingy in the downstairs bathroom.  This is a fat pipe to waste height that is a building regs essential part of the drainage or something, and we have chosen to box it in, but take it to the ceiling and the bit above the top of the pipe (with a fetching little hatch-like shelf concealing said pipe) has shelves, so that it is both use and ornament.  The plan is to paint it in with the walls so that it just looks like part of the room, so one inch MDF has done the job handsomely, wood I got pre-cut at the suppliers to the width required for the shelves (200mm since you ask).  With a bit of two-part wood filler (my new best friend, expensive, but the biz) the seams are seamless and now it is painted, it is as if it has always been there.

We have David and Samantha over on Sunday, which will hopefully be sunny, and we are very much looking forward to doing something that does not revolve around the extension, other than that we will be using said extension for the visit.

Have a good weekend, and speak next week.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Mid-week update

 Looking out the window, it is raining.  I guess summer has left us again for a while.  I am hoping that it will visit again soon. 

In the meantime, the tiler has started, and is currently marking it all out to get it positioned correctly.  That really takes time, but I can see that it will make the laying all the easier.

On the work front, things are looking up, in as much as some new processes that we are introducing will make a difference.  The trouble will be that the leaders, who only read the headlines, and not the detail, there will be an expectation of immediate results, whereas the truth is that there will be a slow build to bringing it in, working out the fine details and making it tell, so the question is whether we can get through that start-up phase before the big wigs start shouting.

Time* will tell.

*And time, as I have already asserted, is an abstract concept.

Monday, 4 July 2011

The start of a whole new week

I am a great believer in recycling, and that includes my blog titles.  I hope you appreciate the frugality of what you are reading.

This week is starting with a bit of confusion over what our collective priorities are, and also confusion as to what our prioritisation process should look like.  This means that we don't know what we should be working on. 

Luckily, we have a manager on the call who is unencumbered by the reality of the coal face, so is able to see through the problem in a way that us mere mortals cannot.  We are all very grateful for her assistance in guiding us, as is proved by the many instant messages I have from colleagues also on the call, who are saying things like "what an inciteful mind" and "why didn't we think of that" and "we are so lucky that she is helping us see the error or our ways" and other such positive comments.

Now we just have to find a way of implementing her ideas, and deal with the feedback that will undoubtedly come back from our customer.

Now I have exercised my sarcasm gland, I feel ready for the week.  I hope yours is as well planned as mine will be.