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Friday, 25 November 2016

A secure week

I cannot go in to too much detail, but as inferred in the title, security has been the main flavour this week.  To be precise, or as precise as it is wise to be, I have been under an assessment regime for the last three months, the culmination of which was, on Tuesday, notification that I am a secure chap.  Such an assertion is far from a formality, and I have had to go through several levels of assessment to reach this point, but reach it I have, and happy I am.

This means in practice two important things:

  • I can now work on more confidential matters, thus opening up more opportunity
  • I have a qualification that is fairly rare, and its rareness will, I hope, afford a small level of job security as we move towards the next phase of nn, a company which lives, like all others, in an ever changing world.
LO is away this weekend for her yearly meet up with one of her best friends, who lives down in Cornwall.  They meet up in Bristol for three nights and two and a half days of pure girlie pleasure, which is nothing to do with those emails that end up in your spam folder, but rather a time for non-stop retail pleasures.  In other words, most men's worst nightmare.

Us lads have a fairly fun weekend.  Last Sunday's cancelled match for Maggot 2 has been rearranged for Saturday, against the best team in the league, and on Sunday he has another match against one of the top teams in the league.  It will therefore be a testing time for the boys, who are definitely capable of winning both games, but likewise are also capable of losing both games - it is all in the mind, so will depend on which team turns up to play.

In between those two games, we are also off to see Pompey play at home, something to which I for one am very much looking forward.  We will train it down, and the Maggots will get the promised burger off a van, and I will hopefully get myself a Pompey beanie hat.

Otherwise, we will not be doing too much.  I really need to spend a bit of time clearing leaves from the garden.  The wind last night has kindly made a couple of neat piles of leaves, and it would be a waste of mother nature's help not to get them bagged up before she changes her mind, and redistributes them all over the garden again.

Have a great weekend, and speak next week.

Friday, 18 November 2016

I'm not a celebrity, and I am happy in here

Had a good week at work.  More work coming my way, also got some clearance approved which makes me more valuable to the business, and will open up some new opportunities.

At home, we have had a steady week, which means moments of frantic busyness followed by moments of calm.

This weekend we have the usual football, and we have David and Samantha coming over to us Saturday night, which will be fun.  In actual fact, the arrangements have changed and now we are going over to their house for the evening.  Either way it will be fun.

Talking of football, we enjoyed the England vs Spain friendly (so called, though it had more yellow cards than your average competitive international), sullied only by their late equaliser.  Being a "glass half full" kind of chap, I am happy to take the positives from the game - we played well, with purpose and with a fair amount of attacking threat and flair.  I was also pleased for the boy Vardy who has exorcised his demons by ending a goal drought.

Nearer to home, and following a terrible game twelve days ago, the match last Sunday was very much better.  The coach took them aside to the changing rooms for a long discussion at the start of training on Saturday, to spread the message that there was to be only short and tidy passing, no panicky hoofing of the ball, even from goal kicks.  If they were to lose playing like that, then he would not shout at them, he would only shout if they kicked it long in a panic (though if that was a perfect ball to one of their own, the complaints may have been much quieter).  He also talked about not having any fear of failure - something we thought was maybe creeping in to the team's psyche - and the results were astounding.  They played a fantastic match, winning 3-2 against a team who, having heard about the score from the previous week, really expected to beat us easily.  It was therefore very satisfying that we dominated the game.  The cherry on the icing on the case, for me, was that Maggot 2 scored his first header in open play.  A beautiful move sent our striker, and fastest forward player, down the wing, where he whipped in a perfect cross from the right, which Maggot 2 met with a perfect glancing header inside the left hand post.  Nice.

I wish you a fantastic weekend, and speak again next week.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Very well thank you

Things are pretty good.  The course I attended Wednesday to Friday last week is being put in to practice this week, and it is a very satisfying experience doing so.  My current deal is so nicely shaped that it could easily be one of those test cases you use on such training courses.  We just need to ensure that we cover the right bases with the process - ensuring it works for us, not becomes a burden - but we are in really good shape.  The biggest challenge is that our client is so busy, it can be hard to get the time we need with them.  This has resulted in a methodology, if that is not too grand a word, whereby we do all the legwork for them; need a session to bottom out their requirements, baselines and use cases, guess what, we are writing that ahead of time, and asking for correction of what is written, rather than giving them a blank piece of paper on which they have to try and map the same information.

Away from work, home is all working as it should.  LO went away for a girls' weekend last weekend, so us lads had an equivalent lads' weekend.  We went to watch Pompey play, unfortunately the worst game of the season, but fun nevertheless.  So much fun in fact that we have booked to go again in a couple of weeks.

This weekend we are not doing very much.  On Sunday, we planned to go for a family dinner out at a local pub, to say goodbye to Uncle No. 1, the same uncle who built our extension as it happens, who is going back to Thailand for six months.  He splits his time between here and there, and was actually back in the UK to sort out some medical issues.  Indeed, he was quizzed by the health police just to check that he was not getting free treatment to which he was not entitled; they were suspicious that he had been out in Thailand for too long on his previous visit.  He now has a "note to self" to come back at least once a year, to avoid such issues in the future.  It is fair enough that they checked, from where I am sitting, however most of the family were outraged, he having "paid his taxes for years".

That's all for now folks.  Have a great weekend, and speak next week.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

What are the odds?

When it comes to democracy, naming a ship Boaty McBoatface should raise a smile for most, but Donald J Trump as the next President of the United States, hmm, not so sure.

At least during his nearly-an-acceptance-speach on the news this morning, he sounded statesman-like, calling for unity and wotnot.  Let's hope that is the real DJT, and that he has left behind his more dubious personality characteristics as he takes on one of the, if not the, biggest political jobs in the world*.

* My old boss used to say (and he was not the only one) that you should not write publicly anything bad about a person that you would not say to their face.   That also goes for avoiding libellous content.