Monday, December 26, 2005

Peace on Earth - you must be joking

I know our new neighbours want the building work done as soon as possible but is it really too much to ask that they give us a break from all the noise for a day or so.

Not a chance it would seem. They were hard at it all day on Christmas eve. They even did some work yesterday – yes Christmas day ! ! ! . It’s now Boxing day and they’re still at it.

As you can see it’s now getting on my nerves. I appreciate that they want the house renovated but have they once given us neighbours who are either side of them a thought. After all we’ve had to put with all the noise every single day for the past eight weeks.

I’m beginning to hate our new neighbours and they haven’t moved in yet ! ! !


Friday, December 23, 2005

Ain't WiFi Wonderful

Well yes, it is. Sometimes. I'm sitting in the lounge beside the Christmas tree with a laptop on my knee connecting through a wireless access point in the spare bedroom.

On the minus side, we have two access points (yes, two - but one is used as a bridge for certain functions) and in the past month BOTH power supplies have packed up and both access points needed their firmware reloading. You don't get those sort of problems with a length of CAT-5 cable.

Of course being the sad engineer type that I am whenever something electrical gets thrown out I always keep the power supply. So when I needed a 5 volt 1 amp supply with a 3.5 mm connector ...

Merry Christmas


Every little helps

Ever since we’ve been married we’ve always saved one and two pence coins that’s either been in our change or what we’ve found lying on the pavement and given them each Christmas to the Salvation Army.

Sadly due to one thing or another the amount we give has been declining each year. Gone are the days when they received over £25.

We’ve never missed the money, well one and two pence’s you don’t, so if everyone put aside their small change this would really benefit charities.

There is however one down side to this - the government would run out of one and two pence coins….

This will probably be the last Blog until Christmas so I hope you have a great Christmas and that Santa brings you lots of presents.

See some of you on 31st.


PS here’s hoping the builders next door decide to take a long holiday as I could do with a bit of peace and quiet ! ! ! ! !

Monday, December 19, 2005

Scrooge of the week

You may remember I wrote a complaint letter to a certain paint company who has an X in their name (see ‘It’s been a busy old week’ on December 4th).

Today I have received a reply.

First of all they have me down as ‘Ms’. If they had been bothered to read my letter properly they would have seen that I am in fact ‘Mrs’.

The letter makes no reference to the complaint I made regarding their technical help department.

What the letter does do is waffle on about how good their products are but offers no explanation as to what the cause of the problem could be.

As a ‘gesture of goodwill’ they enclose a cash redemption voucher to the value of £15 against any of their products. In order to get my money back I have to send them a receipt then wait 21 days for a cheque to be dispatched.

Considering the paint costs us more than £15 we are financially worse off. Then there’s the amount of time we spent giving the paint work four coats and the time next year in having to redo the whole thing. Plus we have to buy a product of theirs in order to get your money back, something we are not prepared to do.

I certainly think their ‘gesture of goodwill’ is pretty poor.

I have written and received replies to a good number of complaint letter and everyone of the companies have been extremely generous. This one has got to be the worst.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Mention mince pies at your peril ! ! !

Goodness knows why but I had agreed to make 8 dozen mince pies for various people. As there wasn’t enough room in our original freezer to store them I had to wait until the new one came.

So Thursday was my baking day. Everything was going perfectly until I tried to get them out of the so called non-stick bun tins. Out of 4 dozen only 26 were salvageable but in no fit state to be given to anyone.

To make matters worse the workmen next door spent the entire day ripping out the old kitchen units and as our kitchens are back-to-back it was pretty noisy.

I was not in the best of moods ! ! !

As I’d already made the pastry I had no option but to plod. Thankfully you can freeze uncooked mince pies in their tins and cook them at a later date.

I didn’t want to take the risk of having a repeat performance so bought two new non-stick tins at Morrisons on Thursday night.

Yesterday afternoon the rest of the mince pies were baked and guess what – they stuck ! ! ! At least this time most of them were in reasonable condition to be given away.

Next year I’m buying them from Sainsburys……


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

“Why don’t we get another one?”

Every year around this time I always moan that the freezer isn’t big enough.

I don’t know why but items, no matter how small they are, when bought to be eaten during Christmas take up loads of freezer space.

Our freezer is so full that I’ve told my mam if she runs out of the meals I make her then I’ll have to cook them at her house as there is simply ‘no room at the inn’….

After 11 years of putting up with my annual freezer moans John replied ‘why don’t we get another one?”.

“Don’t be silly”, I replied, “we have no where to put it”.

“How about the cupboard under the stairs”.

So this morning we took delivery of another freezer.

It’s come just at the right time as Dennis, our ex-next door neighbour called round this morning with three jars of home made mincemeat.

I can now get started on making the eight dozen mince pies ! ! !


Friday, December 09, 2005

Heat wave

Don’t worry some mystical power hasn’t bestowed Fulwell with gorgeous weather (you can tell I’ve been watching too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer….). We actually have a warm kitchen.

I should explain. When we bought the house we replaced the small kitchen radiator for a larger one. For as long as either of us can remember it has always been cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

We thought it was due to it being the last radiator on the central heating system so only got hot when the other radiators didn’t need the heat. Hence being hot in the summer.

Last night we noticed that the radiator was cold at the top and warm at the bottom so guessed it must have an air lock.

When the boiler man came back to tidy up any loose ends this afternoon he asked if everything was working ok so we mentioned the radiator.

It turns out that there wasn’t an air lock after all but a blockage.

For the first time in 11 ½ years we have a hot (and I mean hot) kitchen radiator.

Which means:
No more frozen pipes in the kitchen
No more using the electric fan to heat the room
Food taken out of the freezer will actually defrost
And most of all it won’t be warmer outside than in…..


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Yippee ! ! ! !

Five weeks since our wheelie bin was stolen we’ve finally been given a replacement. So no one ‘steals’ it again we’ve painted our house number and street name on it.

We’re sitting in a cold house with no water or gas as we’re having our central heating boiler replaced. Who’s bright idea was it to get it replaced in the middle of winter – mine…. Thankfully the weather is better than it was two weeks ago. Then it was actually warmer outside than in our kitchen ! ! !

They’ve just gone off for lunch with the old boiler out and the new one sitting on the bedroom floor waiting to go in.

There’s also a nice hole in the wall and a lovely draught coming though it.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Great Wall Of China

They tell us it's an urban myth that you can see it from space. However, with a little help from the satellite photos on Google Earth there are three very interesting things you can see from space.

1 Our garage roof (see upside down "L" shaped white object in picture).

2 Marie's car parked outside her mothers house.

3 My car in the car park at my work.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

It’s been a busy old week

Yippee ! ! ! We’ve finally downed our paintbrushes. It’s taken us three months but we’ve managed to get the living room and dining room done.

However thanks to a certain paint company who has an X in their name we’re going to have to redo the dining room. Four coats later on the wood and metal work and it’s still not covering over the old colours.

I phone their help line on Monday wanting advice as four coats seemed a bit excessive especially when their non drip gloss was anything but. I got a snotty little man on the other end of the phone who tried to fob me off with all excuses known to man.

It must have been near his tea break so took my phone number, said he’d look into it and ring me back the next day. You guessed it, he didn’t.

Nearly a week later and still no phone call so the customer from hell has put pen to paper. Lets just say the letter will burn it’s way out of the envelope. Upset me at your peril ! ! !

I also had to shout at our electricity company on Monday. We received an estimate bill the beginning of November even though the meter was read twice in three days – don’t ask ! ! ! So yet again they were given the meter reading and we waited for a revised bill to be sent.

No revised bill came, only a letter demanding payment for the estimate bill otherwise they will cut us off. I was not amused and made my feeling known to the poor girl who happened to take my call. It would seem that there is no record of either of the two readings nor of the one I phoned in – wonderful….

So what did I have to do, yes you’ve guessed it, give them yet another reading. I was assured that I would not be cut off and that I would receive a bill on 8th December. The bill arrived on Wednesday – so much for 8th December…..

Good news on the replacement wheelie bin. I had to ring the council asking if they could send someone out to clean up the mess as the local scavengers who patrol the streets ahead of the bin man had very kindly emptied the contents of several black bags in the back lane. While I was on the phone I asked if the wheelie bins were in stock. ‘Yes Mrs Harper, they’ve just come in so you should be getting yours shortly’.

Finally got all the Christmas cakes made. Now to start on the eight dozen mince pies ! ! !


Monday, November 28, 2005

News from a snowy sunderland.....

Thought I better do a blog as I haven’t done one for a couple of days.

Wasn’t very well from last Sunday till Tuesday. My throat was really sore and I felt absolutely rotten. Feeling much better now though.

The phantom door bell went off (four times ! ! ! ) during the night. I don’t know who it was locking, unlocking then locking their car at 4am in the morning and then again at 5am but I’d like to get my hands on them…..

It’s four weeks since our wheelie bin was stolen and still no replacement from the council.

On Friday saw the untimely death of Richard Burns. He was only 34. For those of you who don’t know who Richard was, he was the World Rally Champion in 2001 and the only English man ever to do so. Ironically he died four years to the day he won the championship.

He collapsed on the way to the 2003 Rally GB (what used to be called the RAC Rally) and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was a lovely man and even in his early days when we used to help lift his Peugeot 205 out of ditches you could see he was a bit special.

Sadly being a lovely man and being a bit special doesn’t get you 12 pages in the Sunday newspapers. What does get you 12 pages is being a man who threw his life away. If you haven’t already guessed I’m talking about George Best.

Richard never had a second chance of life unlike George and this makes me so angry. Here is a man who was given a liver transplant from a person who sadly died. That person didn’t have to donate their organs but they did. That person allowed Best to continue living when they couldn’t – and what thanks do they get. Not a damn thing.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005


We went to MAKRO (cash & carry) today. They had a special offer buy one get one free on chicken fillets. Everywhere you turned there were these notices saying that due to unprecedented demand they had sold every single chicken fillet in the world and there were none left.

For goodness sake, it's only chicken. What's the matter with people.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

At last it can be revealed ...

I was out on Saturday morning and when I arrived home Marie was rather excited. "They've arrived" she said. Yes, the Christmas wine order had arrived to replenish the rather depleted wine cellar. Three cases of the stuff. So now, for the first time anywhere, we can reveal the contents of Marie and John's famous wine cellar.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Are you sure ?

Ever since I was stung by a bee when I was five I’ve been petrified of wasps, bees and hornets.

Last night I went into the living room and what was buzzing around – a wasp ! ! ! I could have given Linford Christie a run for his money as I bolted for the door.

John was in the little boys room so I sat on the stairs waiting anxiously waiting for him to come downstairs. It was a long ten minutes…..

“There’s a wasp in the living room”.
“A what?”.
“A wasp”.
“Are you sure?”.
“Yes I’m sure”.

We spent fifteen minutes trying to find the wasp but it was no where to be seen.

“Honestly, I did see a wasp”.
“I believe you but it’s a bit late in the year for them. Are you sure it was a wasp”.
“Yes I’m sure. It wasn’t a blue bottle. It was long, thin, stripy and buzzed”.
“Well it’s not here”.

We agreed to give up the search and settled down for a night in front of the telly. Half an hour later, what should appear – Mr Wasp.

“See I told you there was a wasp”…


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Baby it’s cold outside ! ! !

We had our very first frost of the winter today. It must have been really cold as we live less than 800 yards from sea so don’t normally get much frost due to the salt in the air.

I’m pleased to report that the washing machine is fixed. The repair man came on Tuesday (a day earlier than expected….) and it turned out that a couple of the weights had come loose.

Still no replacement wheelie bin.

The new neighbours (or should I say their workmen) are getting on my nerves a little. I don’t mind all the banging, that’s to be expected when you get a new house. It’s their loud music. Even teenagers would ask them to turn it down.

I decided if you can’t beat them, join them so out came my Runrig CD’s. That got them to turn it down…..

That’s all for now.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Two down, four to go.

Yesterday I got the first two lots of Christmas cakes made. I only have six to do….

Thankfully I’ve learned a few short cuts over the past few years so it takes no time at all (throw everything apart from the fruit into a bowl and mix well. Then add the fruit. Cake done in less than five minutes). I even roped John in to help. While he was mixing the first one, I was preparing the second.

Our washing machine isn’t very well. It’s working ok but the noise while it’s spinning is enough to break the sound barrier.

It only started doing it yesterday morning. At first I thought I’d over loaded it as I wrote off the very first machine we had by over filling it. However when I did a second smaller load it did the same.

As it is still under guarantee I rang Comet to report a fault. Not too impressed as this is the second time I’ve had to report a fault with the machine. The first time was on it’s maiden wash and it refused to spin.

When I eventually got to speak to a human being I explained that I wished to report a fault with my washing machine.

“Do you want an engineer to come out”.

I was really tempted to say “no thank you, I’ll bring it into the store if you like”. However I said yes please.

“What exactly is wrong with the machine.”

“It’s making an extremely loud noise when it’s spinning”.

“Sorry I can’t hear you, could you repeat that for me”.


“What kind of noise is it making”.

“Here, have a listen……”.

The engineer is coming out on Wednesday.


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Hello I’m Marie and I have a confession…..

I’ve started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes I know I’m several years too late and that as it was probably meant for 12 year olds I’m a little older than there intended audience, but I can’t help it. Do you think I can be cured…..?

Update on our missing wheelie bin.
Still no sign of a replacement but we’ve found out who’s stolen it.

It’s our other next door neighbour. It would seem that their new(ish) bin has gone missing so they have taken ours instead.

We’re going to do the neighbourly thing and not steal it back. That’s a very kind gesture I hear you ask. Not really as our old bin smelt of cold pizza so they are most welcome to it ! ! ! !


Things I Hate number 3,174

It's three o'clock on Saturday afternoon. You're painting the dining room walls. There's an area about the size of a tea towel to go. And you RUN OUT OF PAINT !!!!


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We've Bin Robbed

It's true. We put our wheelie bin out the Thursday before last and it's gone. Some miscreant stole it. What was it Paul said about a horse and four piles of bricks.

And it gets worse. Marie called the council to see if we could have another one. No problem they said. Take about seven to ten working days. That was twelve working days ago.

It would seem that there isn't a spare wheelie bin anywhere in the entire City of Sunderland.

At the moment every available piece of land in Sunderland is sprouting houses. Here's a tip. Don't buy one. You won't be getting a bin.


How much ! ! !

That’s what John said when he found out how much replacing the boiler was going to cost.

We had hoped it would be simply out with the old and in with the new but oh no.

Thanks to new regulations this isn’t allowed any more so we’re effectively having to start from scratch – hence the huge estimate.

Time to raid the piggy bank, me thinks ! ! ! !


Monday, November 07, 2005

Have you missed me

Haven’t Blogged for a couple of days as there hasn’t really been much to report.

On Saturday we went Christmas shopping to the Metro Centre. Decided to get up early (well early for us anyway) and get there for opening time at 10am.

What we hadn’t realised was they now open at 9am so got stuck in a rather long queue of cars trying to get into the car park. Great start….

However once inside the place was reasonably quiet so we managed to get all our shopping done by 1pm. Yes I even bought something for my mam ! ! ! ! ! !

Sunday got off to a great start with an phone call from our friends Jan and Andy inviting us to their New Years Eve party. Then it went down hill as my pains started acting up.

Today the most exciting thing I did was go to B&Q for a couple of tins of paint. We’re still busy painting the living and dining rooms and have been since September. Can’t you tell we love decorating… Don’t mind other bits of DIY like making things but decorating no.

We’ve set ourselves a challenge. The rooms must be finished before 10th December as that’s when we’re putting the Christmas tree up.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Sainsburys have put the price of donuts up ! ! !

I went shopping to Sainsburys with my mam this morning and as usual whenever I go there I always come back with donuts.

They’ve put the price of the ringed ones up by 4 pence ! ! ! ! I could understand if it were the jam ones as the cost of jam could have gone up. But to increase the price of the holes is a bit unfair…..

Marie – who was very good last night and didn’t have any wine. Can’t say that about tonight though. It’s pizza and wine night. Yippee ! ! ! ! ! ! !

An ordinary day - yesterday.

This was meant for yesterday but the internet was so slow last night that I gave up .....

Not a huge amount to report today. Got woken up just after 8 o’clock this morning by the phantom door bell. It was the new neighbours arriving to do more work on their house.

Then the phantom door bell went again half an hour later. This time it was Billy the central heating man. We decided on Sunday that the boiler needs replacing as it’s big, ugly, noisy and well past it’s sell-by-date. We await his estimate…..

The new neighbours are still having fun demolishing their new home. I’m convinced that they are knocking it down from within as they are making an awful lot of noise. John keeps reminding me that we would have made just as much noise when we renovated our house. True, but he doesn't have to listen to it as he’s at work all day…..

So other than a trip to Morrison’s, that’s been my day.

Now do I keep to the diet and have a bottle of diet coke tonight, bearing in mind John will be having his usual Thursday night beers or do I say sod it and have a glass of wine. Answers on a post card to…….


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Miracles do happen

I had my mam on the phone this afternoon. Nothing unusual about that, other than she was bored.

She’s bought some fabric to make curtains for her bedroom but won’t make the first cut in case she makes a mistake. So I’ve got to do the ceremonial first cut on Friday and if they’re wrong then I get the blame and not her….

The conversation then went to ‘do I (meaning me) still want to go to the Metro Centre on Friday’, which really means ‘I’ve (mam) changed my mind. I fancy going somewhere else instead’. The somewhere else is Sainsburys. Not the most exciting of places to visit but at least it’ll keep John happy as I always buy him donuts whenever I’m there. They do the best and cheapest ones around, 12p each ! ! !

Anyway, while we were chatting the subject of Christmas came up. Since my dad died I tread very carefully mentioning the word as it still upsets her. However she’s actually mentioned something she’d like for Christmas ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

She would like some craft books, preferably on patchworking and quilting.

I have a feeling Amazon is going to get a hammering very shortly…..


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Christmas shopping ! ! !

We’ve decided on Saturday to go Christmas shopping in the Metro Centre.

I know it’s early to start thinking about the dreaded festive season, but I hate shopping at the best of times so thought we may as well get it over and done with before it gets too crowded.

Most of the people I need to buy for are easy, such as
Sarah, my niece: something cute or edible from M&S.
John’s friend Peter: Anything weird or unusual.
Our friends 5 year old daughter Esme: any thing recommended by the shop assistant in Early Learning Centre.

My mam on the other hand is the worst person in the world to buy for. Every year I have the same problem and every year it gets harder and harder. What do you get a person who doesn’t want it, has already got it or doesn’t need it.

I’ve dismissed the usual lady gifts – smellies, ‘makes me sneeze’; cosmetics, ‘don’t use them’; jewellery, ‘necklaces choke me.’

Last year I was going to get her a mobile phone but was told in no uncertain terms that it would be left in the box as she didn’t want one.

I thought about getting her a magazine subscription but that went down like a lead balloon ‘they’re all a waste of money’ or ‘they repeat the same item every couple of months’.

I even thought about a boring book token but she prefers to get books out of the library ‘once I read a book that’s it, I can’t go back to it again’.

So any suggestions would be gratefully received…….


Sunday, October 30, 2005

New neighbours part 2

Our new neighbours seem to be having fun destroying their new home. Yesterday it was the kitchen and today the bathroom.

There is one thing that causing us a little bit of concern with the new neighbours. It’s not being woken up at 9.15 on a Sunday morning to the sound of banging when you have a hangover – it’s their car.

We have a phantom door bell which plays the Westminster Chimes of what originally appeared to be for no good reason, especially very late at night (3am….) when there is no one at the door. Scary ! ! ! !

We eventually found the culprit – car alarm remotes. Those of you who were at John’s party will remember what happened when the Kings locked their car, the door bell bust into life.

It seems that the new neighbours car is setting off the door bell. Fortunately the door bell plays a different tune when it’s been rung for real so we know when to answer the door or not.

We also had a slight panic a couple of weeks ago when the door bell kept going off. After the seventh time in succession it was getting on our nerves as there were no cars in sight.

We then noticed that Kevin, the neighbour over the road was installing a new door bell. Every time he pressed his bell to see if it worked, ours went off….

I’m pleased to report that things have settled down with Kevin’s door bell. Hopefully the new neighbours car will do the same.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

New neighbours

Dennis our next door neighbour moved house on Thursday. We didn’t actually notice he was missing until late yesterday afternoon. Just goes to show what good neighbours we are….

Him and his family were moving some furniture into a trailer box on Thursday but we thought no more about it as he never mentioned an actual moving date. Do you think he was trying to tell us something ! ! !

Thinking his departure was imminent we bought him a bottle of whisky and a good luck in your new home card at Morrisons on Thursday night.

Next morning this car wasn’t at the door but we didn’t think anything peculiar about it as he was often out early.

When I came home from the childminders (my mam’s but we always call it the childminders) I couldn’t put my car in the garage as a car was blocking the door. I was not impressed. Of all the places to leave a car etc, etc.

I drove round to the front of the house and just as I pulled up out side ours I spotted two strangers come out of Dennis’s. Could they be the garage blockers. I decided to follow them and find out. Sure enough it was.

So it appears that Dennis has done a runner. What of his whisky. Well, he’ll have to come back shortly as I’ve got make to him 2 dozen mince pies and a Christmas cake…..


Friday, October 28, 2005

How’s this for service

I wouldn’t say that we are regulars with the pizza place but….

Whenever we ring them we only get as far as saying ‘I’d like to place an order please’ when the reply is ‘it’s on it’s way’.

The chef gets concerned if we’re late in phoning and they get very confused if we ring them any other night but Friday.

We ever get a bottle of wine at Christmas ! ! !



The wine is waiting. The Pizza is ordered. I like Fridays.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rhapsody in blue makes me see red

We bought ourselves a DVD writer a couple of months ago so I’m slowly starting to copy the stuff from video onto DVD.

Today was the turn of the film Rhapsody in Blue. I set the video away to play, then pressed the record button on the DVD writer. The little light said it was recording so left it to play merrily to itself.

50 minutes later I came back into the room and noticed that the machine wasn’t recording. After fiddling with it for a bit I realised that I had a dud blank DVD.

No problem, I’ll set it away to record again.

Everything seemed to be going fine until I noticed that I had set it to record at standard speed so would only get 2 hours on the DVD. I couldn’t remember how long the film had to run but didn’t think it was longer than 2 hours.

2 hours and 17 minutes to be exact. The machine must have known that I was willing it not to stop at 2 hours so kept going until it reached 2 hours and 15 minutes…..

I was not amused. However it only missed off a little bit of the end so I wasn’t bothered. John on the other hand was, so I had to record it once again.


Knight Rider

Today I got to drive KITT. Let me explain. One of the folks at work just got his new company car and I had to drive it today. It's a Renault Grand Scenic Grand Something Or Other.

You get in and a sign lights up telling you to insert the smart card. Then another sign lights up telling you to depress the brake pedal and press the Start/Stop button. Then yet another sign tells you the oil pressure is "ok" and by the way it's 18 Celsius and the parking brake is on.

And speaking of parking brake, there isn't one. Just a small button you press when you want the parking brake on. To release it you just drive off. Very weird. Don't fancy trying a hill start.

By the time I'd covered the six miles to the warehouse I was suffering from information overload. It got dark(ish) so the headlights came on. There were a few spots of rain, so the wipers came on. I felt slightly cheated that I had to steer the thing. And all the while these little signs kept lighting up.

The owner tells me that it used to be worse, until he figured out how to turn off all the audible signals too.

I've decided I don't like Knight Rider.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Can't think for an interesting title so this will have to do

As expected the wine and chocolate got a hammering last night. Well it is the TOTM so I’ve nothing to feel guilty about.

Spent the morning making batches of sausage casserole and chilli for mother. Since my dad died last May she won’t cook for herself so gets me to do it. I should point out that I don’t just feed her sausage casserole and chilli – she does get other things as well…..

Other than that had a very ordinary day.


HTML 1, John 1

OK, we'll call it a draw.

On the plus side you can now access this blog directly by going to, and it's got a heading at the top. On the minus side there's still HTML.

But I think I can see what the problem is. Most books contain"worked" or "real-world" examples. I'm a software specialist moreused to dry computer manuals that give you a formal description ofthe syntax. Real-world examples are just too exciting for me.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sod the diet

I’m or rather we are both on diets. We’ve been trying to lose weight for over a year but not having much luck.

We do well for about a week, or two, then something happens:

We go out for a meal with friends – can’t possibly weightwatch in a restaurant.
We’re on holiday so don’t give a damn ! ! !
It’s Christmas/Easter/our birthday’s/someone else’s birthday.
John has a stressful day at work.
My pains are bad so need medicinal wine.
It’s the run up to conference so out comes the wine, cheese, chocolate – in fact just about anything we can get our hands on that’s fattening and yummy.
It’s the TOTM (time of the month) where only large amount of chocolate and wine will do.

Today it’s the TOTM so I can say goodbye to the diet for this week as I’ve a feeling I’m going to need lots and lots and lots of chocolate and alcohol…...

Ah well, there’s always next week (ha, ha).



It’s not funny. I’m a software developer with 30 years experience. I can write in five languages and read another five. I can even still interpret punch cards.

But there are two languages that really leave me flummoxed.

The first is “C” which is probably excusable. It’s been described as a “write-only” language, in the sense that once written you can never go back and understand what you wrote. I mean, come on, what kind of language allows lines like “a++ + ++b”. In any sensible language this would be a syntax error.

And now for a terrible confession. Today I made one of my first forays into HTML. It’s horrible. Most languages you get a feel for how it will look. Not this one. It seems to put in loads of stuff you don’t want and loads of unexpected white space. Stuff those fancy editors, I ended up using note pad .

Tim Berners-Lee has got a lot to answer for.


Hello - er are we on yet.....

Hello from the BOGOF blogs.

Just new to the world of blogging so please be gentle with us. I'm Marie and he's John.

For those of you who know us, this is probably superfluous (I'm glad he spelt that and not me....) but for the rest of you we live in Sunderland, approx 800 yards from the very cold North Sea.

For our sins we organise hospital radio conference. The last one being just last weekend in Portsmouth. You may have read about it in some other blogs. We deny any responsibility ! ! !

For those of you who know us really well, it's past 9pm so time to visit the cupboard under the stairs.

By the way if you want to know who to blame for this, try Gottle or Sybil Baggins. It's all their fault.....

Bye bye

Marie and John