Secret Revealed…what a let down I hear you cry..

So I can now let you know (as no doubt you will not have slept since my post mentioning said secret) what all the secrecy was about.

I have a new job!

Oh? Is that it?  Alas, that soundtrack to my life is apt once again.  I was down in that there London last Thursday meeting with important types from the new company, agreeing stuff….and stuff.  I knew as I left the meeting that I had the job if I wanted it, so after many minutes deliberation on Thursday evening, I resigned on Friday morning.

I know this stuff happens all the time, but I have been with my current employer for ten years, and feel totally institutionalised (that word is a bugger to type by the way…try it).  The fear factor of leaving is softened as the new company is run by an ex-boss of mine (the one who took me to see United get dumped out of the Champions League a little while ago), and having worked with/for him for many years, I shouldn’t have to start all over again in the prove yourself stakes.

The new role is quite different to my current one, with new things to understand and learn, and I am in no way suffering a crisis of confidence that I shall be discovered to be a charlatan (or any other mid 90’s Madchester band), and realise that I was consigned to work all my life with my current employer.

I’m not going to bore you with company names etc.  You barely care as it is, so besmirching any brand names on the internet is not needed.  An audible sigh of relief around the internet is heard.

So this week I have been telling the managers that report to me, and then my team, that I am off in July (yep, 12 weeks notice…what fun), and I was mightily flattered at the reaction.  They had the good grace to at least appear upset, and shocked, and being serious for a second, I did not expect anything like a reaction of this type, so that’s nice.  I haven’t been a complete arse for the past ten years then.

With my never ending notice period, by the time I actually get to my new job, I only have five weeks at the new place and then the countdown ends and we are off on holidays.  Don’t fret, I have already checked that the holiday dates would not be an issue!!

As a weird coincidence, my new MD (the ex-boss referred to earlier) goes on the same day, perhaps even the same flight we suspect.  His villa is on the same development too.  I feel slightly responsible as I convinced him to go two years ago when we worked together, promising his kids were not too young (hey, they are 21 and 27…joke!) and now he seems to be hooked too.

A period of notice is a weird place, with my natural work ethic and give a toss-ability hard to shake, and I have to keep reminding myself that I really shouldn’t care anymore.  It will take time I think.

What's that, I'm a prefect? Great!!

Other news this week, also of a good nature, is that Emily has been accepted as a prefect at school.  For Emily, the benefits start and end with a special coloured tie, which denotes her newly acquired super powers to the rest of the proles at her school.  Beware her wrath fellow schoolmates.

Planning wise for the upcoming hols, little has progressed lately with all the job kerfuffle, as my concentration span can only deal with so much at once.  I did get pointed at an iPhone app that looks to be an excellent addition to any control freak, OCD WDW lunatic (hey, that’s me).  It was wizzo off of the Dibb who drew my attention to it (Thanks Paul).  The WDW Lines app shows you in real time the current wait times and fastpass return times, also allowing you to enter the wait times etc as well.

Lines App
Walk the line!

As I type, Buzz Lightyear has a twelve minute wait!!  This app alone guarantess that I will actually take my phone with me, rather than leave it in the kitchen drawer at home to avoid any contact with work whilst on holiday!

It just so happens that the company I am going to work for actually do all this stuff.  iPhone apps, mobile marketing, mobile vouchers (think Orange Wednesday campaign) so in time I might even understand how it all works.  Anyone who is paying attention, might have worked out that this is where I got my hands on the iPad last week.  Still no sign of the free one by the way.

And so as this post comes to a lovely full circle of completeness, I have my fingers crossed that whatever shower get into power next week, it doesn’t destroy the the dollar rate, as I have park tickets and spending money to worry about….and if something as trivial as a new government were to queer the pitch I shall be less than pleased.

Till the next time…..

The briefest of apologies to Mr Jobs

Dear Steve,

I know you will no doubt have read my previous post in which I was less than enthralled at the prospect of your new iPad product. I know you are a regular reader of this blog along with all the other movers and shakers in Apple land!!

On Thursday of this week, I was in that there London, for reasons that I shall explain at a later date.  A strange series of events meant I had my hands on one of your new fandangled iPads, and used it for all of about three minutes.

It may well be an oversized iPod Touch, but it is a thing of beauty Stevie boy.  You guys know your design, and it had to be wrestled from my clammy mits.  As long as that free iPad arrives this week I am sure we can now be friends again?

My “first dibs” on the iPad mini idea still stand though.

Probably best to send me an email or similar, as if you phone me I won’t be able to hear your voice.  My view on that hasn’t changed!



Till the next time….

Sinderby, Snotty Spaniels and Secrets

Let me deal with the secrets thing first.

Well I can’t tell you, otherwise it would not be a secret.  All I will say is that I am working on something that I hope comes off, and if it does it should be better for me and the family all round.  More news as it breaks…you shall be the first to know.  Actually you won’t as Louise would be quite upset were that to be the case.

I have to point out that my lovely silver sexy Macbook has gone to the great big recycle bin in the sky, and I have been landed with, I mean I have been lucky enough to get a HP EliteBook in its stead.

It seems OK, but the keyboard feels very different and it keeps putting a \ when I just want to do a capital letter.  Frustrating, and I therefore distance myself from all typos in this ere post.

Snotty Spaniels, you know about.  We ended the last post with us making an emergency dash across the M62 to drop the little git off with our friends who were to let him recuperate in the country air of North Yorkshire.  Luckily we had planned to go and see said friends last weekend, so this meant Henry could have a week in the land of James Herriot, and then come home with us, a week later.

Henry the dog
Het up Henry

So this weekend just gone, we spent the lovliest of times with Steve and Di in Sinderby.  After an uneventful journey, apart from Rebecca acting as iPod DJ all the way there, and inflicting the very best and worst of Emo culture upon us, we arrived to see Henry distraught at being seperated from us.

We were also blessed with the weather, and for the first time this year actually dined Al Fresco.  I have no idea who invited Al, but he was welcome.  The rest of the day was spent wandering around a pretty little town/village called Leyburn, where Louise and Di spent what felt like three days in a soft furnishing shop whilst Steve, myself, the girls and Henry waited ever so patiently outside.  I had never heard a dog tut until Saturday.

On the way back to Steve and Di’s we stopped off to feed two donkeys (Steve and Di do this regularly, we didn’t just stumble across them), and they were in a field right next to Marmiom Tower.

Marmiom Tower
Through the arched window...

We then retired to a nearby beer garden to sample the delights of the local brew, namely Black Sheep.  Again, a first for the year, having a beer in a garden named for that purpose.

We then retired to Sinderby for a lovely meal courtesy of Di, quite a lot of wine and beer, and for the second time in a week, a session huddled around a fire pit.  I must admit the temperatures dictated we didn’t move too far from the flames!!

Henry spent the evening being a right pain in the backside, as he located what we think was a hedgehog house, in the back garden, and would not leave it alone.

One by one, the girls first, we retired to bed, with us all giving in to droopy eyes by midnight.

Sunday saw us mainly eat to be honest.  Bacon butties all around for breakfast, followed by lunch at the local boozer, which is a true country pub with stunning food.

Henry in the car
Say Cheese

After a brief stop off at Tesco in Thirsk we find our way home via the A1 and M62, with Henry on his way back to Chez Williams.  He has had a busy week, and a very hectic weekend which may explain why, for once he did not whine all the way home.  Instead he fell asleep almost immediately and looked like this until Bolton.

The rest of the week ahead is full of meetings and secret things which I really hope will all come to fruition by weekend or at worst early next week.  Don’t worry, it won’t be anything as exciting as I’m building you up to expect!!

My head is all over the place to be honest, which probably accounts for the rambling (more than usual) unstructured form of this post.  Apologies.

I’d like to thank the keyboard on this laptop for making this post twice as difficult to type as normal.

Till the next time…..

Tardy Remissness…

Well it has been far too long since my last post.  Apologies.

It seems much has happened, but nothing really of earth shattering importance.

As I mentioned right at the end of the last post, I spent a couple of days in the South West “on business”.  Bristol and Stroud don’t really conjure up those cosmopolitan images of exciting business trips that some must endure, to New York or Hong Kong, but at least it got me away from the office for two days.  Adding on the lack of a Friday due to Easter it made for a very pleasant week….well as pleasant as a working week can be.  I do wonder what it might be like to have a job that you actually enjoy and have a passion for.

Don’t get me wrong, I have passion for what I do, to the extent that I want to do a decent job, and get upset when folks either get in the way of that or don’t want to join in.  For all my joshing, I have worked bloody hard for the past 23 years (Oh God that is depressing) and have reached a fairly decent position….but I can’t hand on heart say that I love my job.

I think a lot of that is down to the fact that when I’m gone, I won’t be leaving behind Nobel Prizes and earth changing legacies.  More a list of modest acheivements and regrets that I didn’t try harder to be a pop star when I still had hair!!

Yep, that's the way home.

Anyway, back to the story…whilst in Stroud I again stayed at the Ragged Cot which is a cut above the usual Travelodge style place our budget dictates we stay at.  As well as some (honestly) useful meetings, we did just seem to eat for 24 hours, which can never be a bad thing.  Mental note – actually start the pre holiday diet fat boy, rather than just keep talking about it.

Then of course we had the Easter break, and I must say that a four day weekend should be the norm.  If any party stood at the next election with that on their manifesto I would not only vote for them, I’d be out there now canvassing!!  Forget the small issue of an unsustainable economy, it makes perfect sense to me.

Those familiar with the Pavlov’s Dog theory will perhaps understand my theory of Bank Holidays.  After the bleak winter months, at the first sign of temperatures above zero, and an extra day or two to fill, the entire nation throws itself into DIY.  Some do it as they enjoy it.  I however rank DIY just above removing my eyes with a rusty fork.  Still, the theory held true as we spent most of the long weekend painting.

Louise was of course to blame, as she did her usual trick of starting a job, knowing that I am unable to cope with a half finished project.  So after many days hard slog we now have a chocolate kitchen wall (yes, just one, and not real chocolate…just the colour), which to be fair has made a huge difference to the room, and our whites are sparkling.  That as a result of my non stop glossing.

Chocolate Wall
Bring on the wall!!

I did count the weekend a success though as I managed to avoid setting foot in B&Q.  However as we drove past it during the weekend we did spot the rest of the western world queuing to get on the car park…proving my theory of course.

So back to work, but only for four days so not all bad.  On Wednesday an ex boss of mine called me offering a ticket to Old Trafford that evening.  He is an Everton fan, and I support Liverpool, so this may sound a little odd, but his new company “does corporate” there, so for the sake of a night out and meeting up with him for a chat I of course accepted.

There was a real sense of foreboding as we walked from his office at Salford Quays to Old Trafford, and every United fan who looked at me seemed to be seeing some sort of “I support the enemy” tattoo on my forehead.

Still, it is always a nice experience to see a big football match live, and for someone with my allegiances, imagine my delight to see United go out after leading 3-0 on the night.

Old Trafford
Enemy Soil, literally.

Some may think that you should always support the English team in these situations, but those are people who simply don’t understand the rivalry between Liverpool and United.  I have many friends who support United, and we get along fine, and even can exchange some ribbing both ways after a game.  I am old enough and sensible enough to seperate the two, but the hatred for United as a concept is deep seated and irrevocable I’m afraid.

Friday brought a mini crisis only resolved by having some true friends (who happen not to support United).  The crisis was that I have an ageing cocker.

For those who don’t know, he is called Henry, and is the family dog.  For some time he has been plagued with nasal issues…namely a lovely stream of excess snot.  This is managed by some regular medication from the vet, which seems to be funding his annual holidays and retirement fund.  Over the last few days though it has reached a whole new level in yuk.

The vet was visited again on Friday evening, and it seems that my glossing antics may well have irritated his hooter (not as much as it irritated me having to do it).  The plan was to get some more pills (he wants a three week holiday this year I guess) and if possible to get Henry out of the house for a bit.  As he probably wouldn’t appreciate sleeping in the back garden, we called our good friends Steve and Di, who looked after him when we went away last summer.  They agreed, and this meant we had to do a hand off just off junction 28 of the M62 on Frday evening.  There was nothing illegal involved here, Steve and Di live in Yorkshire, so this was a suitable middle ground.  By the sound of things Henry is having a ball, and hopefully his hooter will be smeg free soon so he can come home.  When the kids get a cold, we’re going to use the same trick to palm them off to Yorkshire as well.

Speaking of friends who actually do support United, to round of this latest post, we entertained Mike and Amanda last night.  At the risk of sounding a little odd, I met Mike on the internet!!  This was many years ago now.  We were both members of The Dibb, and realised we live not far apart, and made that huge leap of actually meeting up in the flesh!

We have many things in common, such as a love of Disney/Florida and a hatred of our jobs, but a realisation that we must endure the latter to have any chance of enjoying the former.

Having spent many an evening around their fire pit, we have taken the plunge and invested in one for ourselves.  Wow, a fire pit and decking….as Rik from the Young Ones would have said “Stop being so blinking Bourgeoisie Neil”.  Even though I am not called Neil.

Fire Pit
Help, the decking is alight!!

Again having avoided B&Q for another weekend, we enjoyed a nice evening staring into the fire and poking it with a stick.  Nights don’t get much more exciting.  So much so that Louise wandered off to bed well before Mike and Amanda left, which was in no way related to the amount of red wine consumed.  She was just tired.

So today is to be a true day of rest, before the diet starts tomorrow (other phrases in the same category…the cheque is on the post, we don’t mind looking after your snotty dog and I have no homework Dad honest).

Till the next time….