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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Who hid the blog?

I had a rare day in the office yesterday, getting all officialled up for the piece of work I am doing that will probably run until my holiday and beyond.  It is interesting, I think, and will be a good distraction from all the football.

Brad is at Glastonbury with his own Maggot 1, and I am getting daily updates from him on text or Whatsapp.  His journey down started Wednesday afternoon, and he got in to the ground at 6am Thursday morning.  His campervan was diverted to a local show ground to clear them off the congested entrance, but they were woken at around 4am to be told that now was the time to get in, and a good thing coz within 2 hours the entry was closed again due to another batch of congestion.

He has got a bit wet, but with a van to retire to for chilli and dry clothes, he is doing good and having a fantastic time.  Were it not for the mud, the rain, and the requirement to stay away after 10pm, I think I would rather fancy it myself.

We have a clear weekend, with only sport on the horizon.  Cricket match last night, which we lost dramatically, football training today and a match tomorrow.  Otherwise, I need to crack on with some DIY bits, mow the lawn, and get an afternoon kip.

Maggot 2 has been getting headaches, indeed he had 2 days off this week, so we took him off to the doctor again, and this time he has been referred to a consultant, which happens in 3 weeks, so that is good.  We are keeping a headache diary in case, and hopefully we might be taking the first tentative steps to getting some kind of diagnosis, if indeed there is anything other than "he gets headaches sometimes" to diagnose.  The doctor seemed to rule out migraine, brain tumor and diabetes, so let's see what the consultant says.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Made me laugh

This made me laugh.

You may want the volume fairly low coz there is a LOT of mic noise.

EU or not EU?

I was at Brad's birthday party on Saturday and Sunday, and during the evening, an impish person (might have been me, who's asking?) said "EU" and stood back to watch the fireworks.

It was, not surprisingly, a hotly debated topic.  Most people had entrenched to what I would have guessed to be their decision.  The only person whose stance was not as I guessed it, someone whose view I would also consider fully, was Brad.  He was Brexit, when I thought he would ultimately choose Remain.  His argument is sound, or as sound as anyone's argument can be when based on all that has gone on over the last few months, on both sides, so I was comfortable that it was a rounded, well-considered view*.

It was therefore a great surprise when he sent me this link, saying he had changed his mind.  It must indeed be powerful stuff, and I am listening to it now as I type this.

Since I know some reading this are also considering the arguments, I wanted to offer it up for your consideration, at least if you have any more capacity, energy or enthusiasm for doing so.

* and without wanting to be accused of taking pot-shots at the defenceless, I would judge it to be infinitely better considered than those who read The Daily Mail or The Express.  What I struggle with is the idea that a story about "a legal immigrant who has managed to milk the benefits system" equates to a good reason to opt for Brexit.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Two one

Not my degree, but rather the score of England vs Wales.  It was a nervy affair, and while we have been undone by freak goals before, more than once, overall I think we were dominant, and certainly from an English perspective, were good for the win.  Our performance was not perfect - hoping Kane and Sterling find an extra gear for next game - but it was encouraging.  I note that previous tournament winners have often started modestly, and have grown in to the tournament as the competition progresses, so hoping England can follow that path.

Monday evening will be a much more comfortable event now we have four points on the board; we just need to maintain our energy and performance to see us over the line to the knockout stages.

On other news, we had a great weekend away in Riverside Lakes.  It was as we remembered it, only more so.  I caught a six-pound hybrid carp and lost a three to four-pound bream, and in between Brad and I indulged in a little bit of tiddler bashing, going shallow with maggot after little greedy perch, which was fun.

We also had an afternoon of camp Olympics, including a three-legged race (which we would havfe won had Maggot 1 not sabotaged us) and other activities.  Brad and Angelina also brought their giant bubble maker (two sticks with some string) and their "patented recipe" for bubble mix, with which we produced some amazing bubbles, as you can see below.

Work is going well.  I had a contact from three ex-colleagues at Starfleet in the week.  Two were affected by a TUPE situation where they may well end up working in the same company as me, so were after advice on my thoughts and experiences.  The other was my padawan at Starfleet who has now definitely grown up, flown the nest and doing great things.  He is interested potentially in a move to nn, so I have facilitated a contact for him.  Fingers crossed he gets what he is looking for.

This weekend we are at Brad and Angelina's for Brad's birthday celebration.  There are a host of attendees, some sleeping over at B&A's house, some choosing a local hotel.  Unfortunately we will have to leave early for a Maggot 1 cricket match, so will miss the extended breakfast planned.  It will be a fun weekend and we are very much looking forward to it.

There is no football for Maggot 2, he having to make a big decision in dropping out of the tournament planned for Saturday because there were too many boys wanting to play, and we can only take eight.  This means he will play in the last two tournaments for sure, with others likely having to drop out from those to keep numbers down.  It was not easy for him, but in the end the decision was made easier because his mate had also volunteered to drop out, so knowing it was not "just him" made the decision a simpler one.

I hope you have a great weekend, and speak next week.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016


A word with several meanings.  The meaning of mine are NNN's half year (aka H1) results broadcast.  They are good.  As with all these, there is a bit of "good here, could do better there" about it, but definitely upbeat and a promising start for the new organisation.

We also had a result at the weekend for Maggot 2, whose 6-a-side team won the Under 10 Felpham cup.  We even played Felpham in the final.  It was a well-fought victory, and while there were moments where we were lucky, and moments where the other team was lucky, we did make some of our own luck, and the ball seemed to mostly bounce in our favour.  A great victory, and hopefully we can extend that, now we have the winning feeling, to the remaining three tournaments.

Of these three, Maggot 2 has had to volunteer to drop out of the first, since we can only take eight boys, and nine put their names forward.  This took much discussion with Maggot 2, to which I could easily relate, mostly revolving around the idea of "why do I have to miss it, when everyone else will be playing, all my friends".  This was interrupted by a text from our coach saying that T had volunteered to drop out of the first, which is our own tournament.  Immediately, Maggot 2's decision changed and HE wanted to dip out of that same tournament, mostly I think because he could see that if T can do it, then so can he.  A quick call to the manager hopefully sorted it.

This does make life easier in that we are due to Brad's birthday celebrations on that day, so do not now need to arrive late.  We will have a match Sunday, but that is easier to manage.

Otherwise, I am really getting back in to this working thing, getting some deals moving, and generally trying to generate my own workload.  I know, I am one-hundred percent sure, that it will get busy, sometimes very busy, but right now it feels a bit strange that I am not daily chasing forty open deals.

We are away this weekend, with Brad and Angelina, and associated Maggots, at our favourite campsite, Riverside Lakes.  Having just checked that link, I have to say it does look a bit hippyish, but what it really is is a very relaxed site, with restricted pitches so it never feels anything near to busy, that allows open fires, has masses of land, water, grass and woods for the Maggots to explore, plus a couple of fishing lakes, for Brad and yours truly.  I have had to read up on bream tactics, since that seems to be the fish I catch most there.  The lake does have carp and silver fish also, however about five years ago the stocks were somewhat decimated by otters.  It has recovered a bit, but it is fair to say that it is not a bountiful fishing experience, but it is there, it is free, and it is good enough.  Hopefully we can get a bit in on the first night, and my natural early waking means I will also get a few hours done first thing, before the rest of the clan are awake.  I cannot wait.

Also, this will be the first outing, with us at least, for Brad and Angelina's new (to them) campervan.  They have been threatening to buy one for a couple of years, but what they want is not so easy to find.  As Brad explained, there are broadly two types of seller conversations; the first ends with the line "...if you can meet me at the services on the M4 with the cash...", and the other start with the line "sorry, it is already sold."

The one they finally found really was fate.  Brad arrived early at the dealership, gave his requirements, to which the salesman said "you are standing right next to it, and I must tell you that I have sold this van twice already."  The original buyers had the same surname as Brad - fate writ large - who had it for many happy years before part-exchanging it with the same dealer for a newer model.  The next couple bought it and sold it back again within a couple of years, since they did not get on with it.  And then Brad appeared, stage left, camera tracking his walk towards the van, to buy it.  We are all very excited here to see their new purchase, and I am sure they are even more excited to use it in anger for the first time, at our most favourite site.

It may be this is my weekly blog, so have a great weekend when it comes, and speak next week.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Time off

The story this week has really been about time off.  We had a Bank Holiday Monday, which coincided with the first day of half term for the rest of the Scobi clan, and I personally have Thursday and Friday off this week, meaning I have a two day week this week.  Still two days more than GF, but a welcome thing nonetheless.

On a work front, that is fine, since I am basically between deals, and I am still getting used to the deal cycle, since my previous role was about large quantities of everything, so the business was about volumes, and rare dipped.  Being somewhere near the top of my game definitely helped with that I am sure.  With my new role, similar I think to Bad Man (and Golfy come to think of it), the deals are larger and longer, and will be, once I am in the swing, a cyclic thing with moments of hard work and intensity, leading up to submission, and moments of slack, in-between deals.
The fact that my deals are also a little slow means that I am not busy enough.  This will change I know.

During the long weekend, we had some sport; a football tournament for Maggot 2 on Saturday, where we did quite well, but faded in the knockout stage, and were definitely hampered by the lack of a goalie.  I now realise this could shape the whole of next season if not solved.  See next comment for possible news on this.

On Sunday, Maggot 1 was playing a cricket match at a local, well-to-do village.  The scene was idyllic, the match well played by both sides, and the weather was balmy.  We lost, but only just, and having put up a pretty good batting performance, something that has been lacking in previous games.  It was a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.
At this match, a young lad approached Maggot 2 asking if he played for the Trojans and if he know the coaches.  Maggot 2 is never one to be overly effusive to anyone he has not known for at least a year, so did not say too much, but I picked up the mantle and managed to discover that this lad was, let's call him Charlie, and someone Maggot 1 had mentioned a while back as "joining your team" but who, when I enquired, no-one on our side knew about.  It transpires that one of our less frequently used coaches DID know about him, and was meant to be passing on his details, but has yet to do so.  I was therefore asked to make contact.

Making contact was to be done by asking Maggot 1 to send a message (on social media) to his mate, who is the older brother of Charlie.  Having been informed during many a high-volume discussion that all his mates are allowed on their phones whenever they want, and he hates us, Maggot 1 did throw in that this particular mate was not allowed on his phone much.  It took two days for him to acknowledge Maggot 1's message, and goodness knows how long to actually get Charlie's parents to ring me so we can arrange for Charlie to come to a practice.  Note to self not to ever rely on a teenager for any kind of urgent communications.  And I thought this social media thing made everything instant.

Anyhow, when I was chatting with Charlie, I asked him if he knew a keeper, to be told that "Alan" was also looking to join and he was a good keeper, so once I have made the first contact, I then need to try and make a second one with Alan to see if we cannot bag ourselves a keeper.  Now that really would be a result.

It is fair to say that the Premiership has nothing on local U11 football.

On our time off, we are off the Windsor for two days and one night, staying in an ubiquitous Travelodge hotel.  We plan to see the castle, maybe Eton if we can get there, and generally see the sites.  It will be fun and we are all looking for it.

Before I sign off, just wanted to give an update on the floor.  It is two thirds done, with the utility and study area done last week, and the front half of the main room now also done.  The trickiest bit, around the cooking and eating area, was cleaned last night, and has been left for the required twenty-four hours to dry out.  I plan to seal it today, first coat at lunch and the other two either side of football practice tonight.  We have opted for a gloss finish, as I may have said before, it is not particularly in favour at this time judging by the low stock levels at our supplier, but for us it is just what we wanted.  Having moved from satin back to gloss for our woodwork (part of this work started with a redecoration of the utility area, with the walls freshened up with a new coat of emulsion, and the doors all now glossed) it was the natural next step to do the floor also.  It is lovely, better than we hoped, and not surprisingly it really does bring out the colours in the slate, as well as making the rooms feel brighter.

On that note, I wish you a happy rest of the week and weekend.  Speak again next week.