New Year, Snow Change

I’m probably not alone in feeling that 2021 is a little to similar to 2020 so far. After a very different Christmas and New Year, and mostly not for the better due to the current situation, we all slid into 2021 hopeful of better. It will take some time of course and luckily I am extremely patient and laid back so this is no problem.

I am fighting every urge in my ever-expanding body to not piss and moan about the abject and endless incompetence we are suffering on a daily basis from the government. The fact this paragraph exists suggests I have lost that fight. The latest goal post moving on the vaccine, along with the usual hokey cokey approach to policymaking around schools is just another apparent attempt to make this shit show last as long as possible. I know this is hard and unprecedented but we are ten months into this now. At some point, you have to wonder if those making decisions are just incapable of competence.

I know this isn’t the place you come for real-world stuff and political opinion but this is beyond politics now. Ultimately all this affects my ability to holiday and is relevant to the core focus of this blog, but before all that, we have to stop people dying.

Where is the communication? Why is all this vaccine uncertainty being allowed to gather momentum, cause confusion and undermine confidence in the only way out of this mess? Louise’s Mum is due to go back for her second jab on Tuesday. Or is she? At 89, with no internet access, her news sadly comes from the Daily Mail and the news on the telly. She literally has no clue whether she should keep her appointment. She hears that the second jab is perhaps now at 12 weeks but she has had no contact from her GP, who will no doubt be bombarded with incoming calls about this, giving them no chance to make any proactive calls to either reschedule or reassure those due to have their second dose.

Luckily, she has family who can try to find out for her, but what about the thousands of other octogenarians who don’t? This latest act of wilful neglect will cost lives and prolong the pandemic. My frustration is indescribable. Sigh………

Louise has worked for most of the festive period. This, alongside the six-figure salary, is one of the main perks of being a nurse. She has not enjoyed it. If you ever come across some comments online about the pandemic being over-exaggerated and the NHS being quiet and not struggling, please, do not believe it. Every day is a horror show, with staff constantly off ill or self-isolating, leaving those still standing to pick up the pieces and ever-increasing demand. Louise has finally been issued with some PCR rapid testing kits that she has to do twice a week. I’d like to slow hand clap that, as it’s only been the ten months that Louise has been working with COVID positive patients on a regular basis.

I blame my impending return to work for the unexpected ranting today.

House wise, almost everyone involved has had the audacity to take the whole of the festive period off. Imagine doing such a thing. So not a lot has happened. We have not started any of the packing we desperately need to do. It is just too hard and I suspect we will need the looming presence of a deadline to force us into action. Never had I wanted a day to be over more than the one on which we eventually move house. Over the Xmas break, we have had the results of our Home Buyer’s Report back from the surveyor. There are no show stoppers, but there are it appears about a million things that could go wrong and cause us issues at some point in the future. We are assuming this is the standard form of these things with the surveyor covering his arse just in case those aliens do land and sabotage our electrics and roof.

So as the working world wakes up again next week, I’ll be looking to get a decent update from our solicitor about how quickly we can now get this done. It feels like we have been “moving” forever and I just want to get that ominous cloud from over us.

In cheerier news, as is the law, I must report to you that we have had some snow over the last few days and for the first time ever, Freddie has been out playing in it. In his previous short years, he has either been too young or the snow has not been substantial enough. He loved it.

As for my weekly ever-changing moods on any chance of international travel, well, this week it has ebbed to a pretty low point, even for a mid-June departure. As the UK government continue to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, over in the US the outgoing abomination is determined to leave things as badly broken as possible to show his successor in the worst possible light. Add to that, the Florida governor, who is falsifying death rates and taking what could be politely called a “laid back” approach to vaccine distribution and that is not a recipe for the quick resumption of holidays to the US.

Virgin currently aspire to resume flights to Orlando on the 18th of March, but in a similar way I aspire to wear 30″ waist jeans. Right now, I’d settle for Virgin processing my promised refund from my altered booking that was “guaranteed” to be with me by the end of last year. I am currently in yet another endless wrestle with their infuriating automated text system.

At times I do wonder if I will just endlessly blog about a holiday that I constantly move back and never actually have. It’s a form of planner’s purgatory.

So it’s nice to start the new year in the right frame of mind I find. Happy New Year?

Till the next time…….

I Don’t Want To Build A Snowman

I left you last week with a cliffhanger about us going to the cinema. It was the equivalent of the Netflix thing of just having to watch the next episode and the fact that you are here now proves that you could not resist knowing what happened next…yes?

To prove that point, I was inundated with a request to give my feedback on our experience.

It was decent. A strong start, quite sweet, but went to pieces towards the end. But enough about my bag of popcorn, we watched The Favourite and enjoyed it very much.

It’s a two-hour job, so that’s either good value for money or a reason to take a cushion with you. You may be aware, from previous bloggage of my absolute hatred of period dramas. This is more to do with their ever-presence on Sunday night telly as some omnipresent reminder that Monday is coming for you and it ain’t gonna be pretty. So this probably wouldn’t have been my first choice for a film to watch, but Louise was very keen, and the reviews had been very favourable so I allowed Louise to watch it.

Image result for spacey gif side eye

It was a really enjoyable watch. It became clear early on that they were using modern language so you won’t be battling with thees and thous, but you will encounter some colourful words of a very modern nature.

The story, whilst not a blockbuster style action fest held the interest with ease and there were several very funny moments too. The ending was just a bit weird if I am honest but I won’t spoil it of course. All in all, I give it four out of five stars and a strong Mkingdon thumbs up. I do wish I had gone Pick N Mix, but we had plans for a large tea that evening and I didn’t want to be spoiling that, but I knew I’d regret it! Life is cruel at times.

The working week has been a little more bearable than last, mainly due to a couple of snow days at home which always make working more pleasant. The snow and ice have made other tasks more challenging when really it just shouldn’t. Simple jobs like walking the dogs turned into a form of water skiing with me gliding across the ice ridden pavements whilst Oli and Bean searched out their next sniffing place, typically three feet from the last. With the fields temporarily being snow crusted delights and not the usual mud fests they are for six months of the year it did allow me to venture onto the local playing fields and let them have a good run without ending the walk like a Tough Mudder contestant. This does tire them out which makes for a more peaceful evening.

Things got very real in this laughable snowmageddon when the bin collections were cancelled on Wednesday which means we are now two weeks away from the next one and facing endless fun and games with our plastics and cardboard. In a time before my blogs, I do wonder how you made your lives work without such crucial updates.

The ultimate travesty was when I went to do our usual weekly big shop. I have long since stopped venturing to an actual shop to do this. It is an online experience and usually works out well. Upon starting up the app I discovered that every delivery slot for the next four days was full. Now, either they had cancelled deliveries due to the light dusting of the white stuff or the entire population of Bolton has decided to stock pile three months worth of food to cover the next few days of nasty weather. Brexit? What could possibly go wrong?

Now I have to actually leave the house and go to the supermarket and undertake a “Click and Collect”. I shall be taking a receipt so they can reimburse my fuel expenses. So enough snow now thanks, as we just cannot function in its presence.

With that click and collecting the next task on my endless list of weekend chores I shall leave you having uplifted your Sunday with these essential and world-changing updates of my week.

Till the next time…..

Murdoch vs Branson. Call me!!

I have had a Sky induced strop this week.

Being a sensible, mature adult, even mid strop I knew that it was an over reaction, and not really that important, but it did not reduce the venom by which I did what everyone does now when they are angry….updated my Facebook status about it.

Friday saw some snow.  In fact it saw a lot of snow in these parts.  Thankfully, due to some work appointmentage in the bustling metropolis of Manchester earlier in the day, I was at home when it started rather than trying to battle my way home through it from the office.

Said appointmentage by the way was in a section of Manchester called the Northern Quarter.  This is the mecca for all things artsy and cool in Manchester, and indeed if you try to get in without a pair of converse and a pair of thick rimmed glasses there is a toll to pay.

I met with a design agency (get her!), and the office was pretty much the stereotypical version of what you might imagine it to be.  It was an old mill style building, with one of those old style pull the door shut industrial type lifts.  As I emerged into the office itself, I was immediately surrounded by retro cool jumpers and sarcastic T-shirts.

In no way stereotypical

If you weren’t an Apple Mac computer or stripped wooden floorboard you were no use to them.

Anyway, the meeting was productive, the people were actually lovely, talented and very useful so all was well.  I took my uncool M&S bedecked torso back into the real world, where I didn’t need to try so hard to be cool.

So there I was back at home mid afternoon, cracking on with some work, watching the first flakes of snow hit the ground.  It soon turned into a fair deluge, and traffic thinned as the roads got worse and worse.

Anywho, such a sad sham is my life that one of the highlights of my week is the repeat of the series on TCM of Band of Brothers.  I mentioned it last week, but that shall not stop me repeating my high regard for this programme.  It starts at 9pm.

At 8.43pm I was told without any softening of the blow that no satellite signal was being received.  I took this as a personal attack, and uttered a phrase I often quote when bad luck befalls me.  “You couldn’t write this!”.

Our Sky dish is in a very lofty position, nowhere near any window, so I resorted to throwing snowballs at it in an attempt to dislodge the seven flakes of snow that were stopping me from watching my favourite programme.  Of course, nothing worked, and with no signal I couldn’t even record them for later.

Naturally, Band of Brothers appears to be the only series currently on TV that isn’t repeated at least four times throughout the week.  I even searched You Tube for the two episodes I was currently missing, but no joy.

My bottom lip knew no bounds as it protruded proudly to display my dissatisfaction with the world.

I constructed and dispatched a very strongly worded email to Mr Murdoch (or one of his underlings) outlining my outrage, and telling him that I wanted to cancel my contract forthwith, immediately and without delay.  No bugger has replied.

So I have spent the weekend on the Virgin web site, pricing things up.  It is pretty much like for like, but each have their pros and cons.  Virgin have faster broadband, cheaper phone (for us) and very similar TV.  Alas, one channel has stopped me from pressing the button on this change.

Virgin do not have Sky Atlantic.  We do not watch it a lot, but I know that sometime soon the new series of Game of Thrones is going to appear and if I can’t watch that there will be a similar meltdown.  Nothing comes between me and my dwarf sex and unlimited sword related bloodshed.

So that right there is a dilemma.  I am leaning towards Virgin on principle really.  It all depends now on who contacts me first, Murdoch or Branson.  Let battle commence!

Oh and to add insult to injury, Tesco phoned us on Saturday to cancel our delivery due to the snow.  Seriously, taking away food and Sky in the space of 24 hours is a risky business.  This has Falling Down written all over it.

Falling Down
Where is my delivery Mr Tesco?

To save the day my brother and sister in law invited us for tea on Saturday night to prevent us having to eat toothpaste sandwiches.  We had a delicious meal, and watched Dredd….in 3D on their clever new telly.

Emily in 3D
Emily in 3D

So Mr Murdoch I’ll have one of those fandangled 3D TVs as compensation for missing my programme, plus of course the box set of Band of Brothers!

Till the next time…..

I blame George Michael!

Can you see Bruce's helmet?

Not that I watched it, but I think that Armageddon was on telly recently.  This is a film which plays out a scenario of the world being threatened by a giant haemorrhoid, sorry I mean asteroid, whilst Steven Tyler screams in the background.  There are many films about the end of the world, and being from Hollywood they tend to use scenarios that are ideal for the big screen.  Deep Impact, if I remember correctly was an almost identical film released around the same time.

I suspect when the end of the world comes it won’t be battled by Bruce Willis, and accompanied by an aging rocker.  In reality, I suspect it will present itself in a more subtle way, that may well sneak up on us all.

Perhaps that sneaking has already started, or maybe it is just Christmas proving to be too much for our over stretched infrastructure, fraught nerves and creaking overdrafts?  Or is that just me?

Whether this is the end of the world, or just a slight over reaction from me (never!) things are looking a little worrying right now.

We are all painfully aware of the financial meltdown of recent years, and what could be a more telling sign of impending doom than Woolworths going bust?  Surely a portent of darker times ahead?  In response to that a new government have been elected, who have immediately used the “oh it was all a lot worse than we thought” line to rip up anything said pre-election, and begin to undertake all the usual actions that we saw last time they were in, but had promised not to this time around.  I don’t want to make this a political thing, as I’m sure that whoever had the poisoned chalice this time around would be doing very nasty stuff to us.

Other signs that Bruce better get his vest on are more subtle than this.  It is clear then, isn’t it that the eco-system is on the blink, as we have had several flakes of snow country wide, and this naturally has been more disabling in the UK than real disasters are around the globe.  Earthquakes in LA, bush fires in Australia and floods in Asia get around seven seconds on the news, but if it ices over somewhere near BBC HQ, we have 24 hour rolling coverage of events for seven days.

Media City
Soon to be the centre of the world

Soon, the BBC and ITV will have large chunks of themselves in Manchester at Media City.  This is just over the road from my desk/office, so I look forward to such coverage of the chaos and disaster in years to come at Salford Quays when the temperature dips below zero.  Bound to happen right?

All the chaos from the snow has been heightened of course by the on rush of Christmas, and the madness that this brings.  Without extreme weather (well, it is just snow but hey ho) Christmas will make most people behave strangely.  We’ve all fallen victim to the last minute panic buys in the run up to the big day haven’t we?  The shops will be shut for around 36 hours, but still, if we don’t get that jar of Hollandaise sauce, then the whole festive season will be a disaster.

Airports around the country are full of people wanting to be somewhere else, and it seems six inches of snow disables the entire travel network.  Families sleeping in foil sheets in public buildings would surely be a scene from a “The Day After Tomorrow” sequel?  The Day After, the Day After Tomorrow….this time it affects Christmas!!  I copywrite that idea immediately, and expect to get a greenlight on that project sometime in the new year from Spielberg.

Then add in smaller catastrophes, like Skype not working.  This, I admit, is not in itself a disaster.  Indeed some of you may not even know what it is.  However, the time of year again heightens the impact of this thing breaking down, when it seems to have been running fine for ever.  Skype is basically an online tool for talking to people, over the internet, for nothing.  Those with relatives around the country and indeed globe, will be relying on Skype to communicate with those over Christmas, mainly as the poor buggers can’t travel home as the entire travel infrastructure is broken.

So either the end of the world is nigh, or Christmas is just a bridge too far for our fragile, overly complicated world these days.  (By the way, as long as A Bridge Too Far is on telly over the festive period then all is well with the world again, no matter what else happens!!)

I have a theory though.  Perhaps all of this is a sign from God (or whoever you believe in) to give us a message, nay a warning.  And what might that warning be?

I can’t say for sure, but I think he is saying something like….

“Armageddon really bored of the same dozen Christmas songs being played back to back for four weeks again, and I am going to keep breaking things until you abandon them or you cancel Christmas altogether”.

So this is something for Noddy Holder, Mariah Carey, Shakin Stevens, Wizard and all you other one time a year PRS cheque getting types to think about.  Please, let’s retire these “classics”, even for a year or two.  Why not hire the brightest and best songwriters we have, like you know, The Cheeky Girls or David Guetta to write some new ones.

If we don’t, then each year will only get worse and we only have George Michael to blame.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Christmas, I am only sulking mildly this year as I have no holidays left to take, and have to work through it, whereas in the past I take a full two weeks off.  In a way, what is there not to like about it?  It is a time of year when overeating is mandatory, and you get given stuff for free.  Right up my street, I think you will agree, but really if I hear Noddy tell me “It’s Chrrrrriiisstttmas” one more time, I may have to track him down and undertake some sort of dirty protest on his Christmas lunch table.

Apologies for the inevitable return to Meldrew-esque ranting……I put this Humbug style post down to the horror of being in work right up until the day, the stress of living in a scene from Auf Wiedersehn Pet, and having no definitive plans for (or chance of) a summer holiday.  I’ll get my coat…..

Till the next time…..

Perfume just smells nice!

As mentioned last weekend, we had guests to stay, and we had a lovely time, in good company, with great food.

After lunch on Saturday we had a drive out to Whalley.  A pootle round the shops, and an overly expensive coffee in Maureen Cooksons.  This isn’t some old dear we visited, but a rare thing, an independent department store with a coffee shop where a coffee is a similar price to an item of clothing.  All was well though as Steve paid!!  The highlight had to be the hot chocolate shot.  It was, as it sounds, sickly, overly sweet, and likely to remove a tooth or two, so it was right up my street.

Xmas House
There's a light that never goes out....

Steve and Di took us to a mutual friend’s house, (they live in Whalley, the mutual friends,not Steve and Di) via a local landmark.  The saving grace for this house is that they do it each year for a hospice I think, so it is just about excusable.

A brief stroll later, we stopped for a drink of varying degrees of softness depending upon who was driving (that would be me), and a good chuckle at Mark’s (chap of the house) failing attempts to get his outside xmas lights to work!  How ironic when around the corner, the other house don’t seem to know how to turn them off!

We returned to Bolton, and partook in a Chinese of enormous proportions as promised.  This catering option is not totally driven by our lack of culinary skills, but more by Steve’s hankering for a decent Chinese takeaway.  They live “in the sticks” and their nearest take out is a good twenty minute drive away.

The rest of the evening was spent chatting and playing games on the Wii and Xbox.  Not Black Ops of course, not with mixed company so we resorted to Scene It instead.  It isn’t important, but I won.  Just saying!

Apollo, it was just me at 11.15!!

Again, pre-empted by a series of moany tweets, Sunday night saw me happily picking the girls up from the Manchester Apollo, following a Youmeatsix gig.  I ranted a little at certain parents being allergic to getting off their arse past seven o’clock to pick their kids up, and instead rely on others (always us) to do the honours.  This is because we refuse to let a thirteen and fifteen year old get home from Manchester on public transport after 11pm, on a school night.  Yes, I do sound 106, but I’m not bothered.  That is just ridiculous.

They would rather they took this chance than not have a drink all night and go and pick up their daughter.  Knowing all this they “offer” to drop them off at the train station on the outward journey.  Gee, thanks.

On to the week, and as those who endure my tweetage will know, the weather conditions are having a detrimental effect on the garage conversion.  I fully appreciate as ever, that the weather is both worse elsewhere, and affecting many more serious issues than us gaining a  bedroom, however, I can only write of my own experiences!!

This week was all about removing the garage door, and replacing it with a window and wall.  I guess now, we are right on the cusp of stopping calling it a garage, and starting to call it a bedroom.  The construction of the front wall took three days rather than one, due to snow and frozen sand, but we are all but water tight now.  Hopefully with the rest of the work being inside we can make good progress this next week.

I did learn this week, that the best directory of “workmen” is to be had by a relative being a member of a golf club.  My Dad is, and whenever we have something that needs doing we usually give him a bell, as no doubt within the ranks of golfers there is at least one of every profession.  This held true this week, as we needed an aerial sorting, quickly, for the new bedroom.  It had to be done asap as we are wall mounting the TV, and so the cables had to be laid before they finished boarding the walls.

One call to my Dad, a referral to a Steve, and he was there the next day, doing his thing, for a very reasonable price.

With the project coming to a full head of steam now, it has been a bit of a shock to my system.  The amount of money I have had to spend this week has been frankly quite distressing.  It is all (more or less) budgeted for, but it appears that everything is required now.  Bathroom stuff, tiles, TV, aerial for TV, the list is endless.  Well, it isn’t really as it just ended, but you know what I mean.  This outflow of cash goes against my natural instincts!

Christmas came a little early on Friday evening.  With my brother going over to France to his house for the whole of Christmas and New Year, we had a family meal on Friday evening to exchange gifts.  We had another Chinese, and I knew it was good as I was so full I was in considerable pain.  The true sign of a good meal.  As we headed for home the snow came.  It was so bad that we couldn’t get the Mondeo up the hill to our house and had to park it up and walk the last few hundred yards.  This was big snow, and it was to keep us housebound for all of Saturday!

Speaking of which, how can it have come to pass that I have made it to the ripe old age of 40 without ever seeing It’s a Wonderful Life?  I know not, but that was the case until yesterday afternoon.


Snow Mini
Snow chance of going out

With more snow outside than backstage at a Depeche Mode gig, we literally could do little else yesterday than settle down to watch one of the many Christmas films that Sky were dusting off.  Having sat through the first half hour of Home Alone 2 earlier with Rebecca, I marshalled Louise and Emily onto the couch, cracked open a box of Quality Street and settled in.  For those wondering, Rebecca was going out with a friend to get their fringes wet in the snow.

I'll never get my Mondeo up that hill in this weather!

I was, as you may have guessed delighted with it, and somewhat surprised at the way the comedy in it still works today.  James Stewart is well, there aren’t words I can use to describe his performance.  Classic.
Looking at Facebook later, it seemed half the western world were also tuned into the same film!
Now then, speaking of stuff on the TV, I have to comment upon something that bugs me more with every passing pre xmas day.  I appreciate this is a propos of nothing, but I can make my own rules here.
What the hell is going on with these ridiculous perfume ads??  I have never come across such arty, pretentious, up it’s own arse drivel in my life.
I can only imagine the conversations around boardroom tables in advertising agencies across the land throughout August.
“So here’s my concept, we get some hairy bloke to dive off a cliff into water, and then as he gets out, he shakes his hair all sexy like, and flexes his love handles a bit.  All the time he is being watched by some decent looking bint, and this will sell loads of toilet water”.
Even though diving into water would remove any smelly stuff from his flabby body, I can almost see a connection between the product “Cool Water” and him lobbing himself off a cliff into the sea.
However, my absolute favourite of this festive campaign is this nonsense….
From what I can make out this appears to be some sort of game of charades.  This blonde piece is like some sort of modern-day Una Stubbs, acting out some sort of very long and complicated film.  If you watch closely at one point she definitely does the sign for two syllables!!  My guess is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest!
Even ones that seem to have a very good premise, which in this case is Charlize getting her baps out, they have to go and spoil it all by having her talk French.
Nearly every perfume ad is done in French, and based on my assumption that less than 5% of the UK population can speak French (well, why would you!) this cannot be a sensible ploy.  You don’t see other products sold this way. It simply wouldn’t work.
Vous ne pouvez pas obtenir plus vite qu’un installateur ajustement kwik.  Let’s see how sales go off the back of that ad campaign shall we?
So to all thick rimmed spectacle wearing, pink shirted, pointy shoed, £100 cuff link wearing twonks who work in advertising, (and I have met many in the line of duty) perfume makes you smell nice.  It does not make you look like that berk on the cliff or give you jumblies like Charlize Theron, so please don’t insult and offend us with this constant stream of arty nonsense.
and breathe….
Till the next time……


I haven’t seen snow like this since….oooh, two days ago.  For years we have been relegated to watching the snow sufferings of others on the news, a sort of vicarious viewing of gridlocks and closed schools, however we are now in snow central.

The girls are gutted as they are off school anyway, so this snow is sort of wasted.  Until today we have been able to get around pretty much OK, but I had a list of errands as long as my long thing this morning, and only managed to get one done (my haircut, which to be fair doesn’t take too long) before realising that the conditions were getting serious, and I headed for home.

We live at the top of a hill, which is great as a flood defence, but tends to be an issue when the white stuff hits.  So after a few failed attempts at the hill, a fellow struggler helped me salt the road, and push the car up the hill, and I returned the favour.  We have never spoken before, so the spirit of the Blitz reappears.  Who said global warming was a bad thing?

I would like to pass on my thanks and appreciation to my boring Ford Mondeo for its handling of the dreadful road conditions.  I did enjoy sailing past the Merc drivers as they slid and spun trying to make progress.  Being not quite as succesfull as others sometimes has its merits.

My Mondeo
The New Ford Reindeer

So being snow bound now, myself and the kids have hunkered down for the day.  My failed errands sneer at me from the back of my mind.  The gym, the rubbish tip and food shopping shall have to wait for clearer roads I’m afraid.

We are watching Bandslam on DVD now.  Well, technically I am half watching it as I’m typing at the same time.  Louise is at work and it is a serious concern that she may not be able to get home.  The snow hasn’t stopped all morning, and the roads are going to be horrific for her journey home.  As he works in a hospital, they can’t exactly close early and send everyone home, particularly as she is attending an operation today!!

At least there should be a bed for the night if she needs it, I’m guessing the hospital has a couple of thousand!

Having missed the gym today I shall have to restrict my calorie intake to single digit (thousands) I think.  A test of will power if ever there was one.  I can hear all the xmas goodies screaming my name from the kitchen cupboards.

Oh look, it approaches midday, and that means I am allowed to have lunch.  Eating lunch prior to 12.00pm is a big no-no, and I see it as abject failure.  At 12.01, all is good.

I hope the snow abates tomorrow as I have promised the family a sumptious breakfast on Christmas Day of Eggs Benedict.  Having never made this before that should be interesting….particularly if I don’t have things like eggs.  So a journey to the market which us super is required, or it is stale bread and cereal all round.

Till the next time…..

Snot Christmas yet…

However, I have now finished work for the festive period!!  It was timed perfectly that on my last day in the office I was visited by the snot fairy, and I have a full blown case of man flu (which I guess is different to a half blown case…isn’t our language funny sometimes?).

I won’t talk you through my working week as once again I was down south, a fully fledged member of the death squad for our Surbiton office, with Wednesday being a full day of shifting crap from the office and then on Thursday, more meetings with the poor sods now looking for work.

I see that after saying I wouldn’t talk you through it I seem to be doing exactly that now….anyway, the journey home started in a full blown (there I go again) blizzard, and ending about seven hours later with a full blown sense of humour failure.

Whilst I was away Emily & Rebecca went to see Paramore (supported by Youmeatsix) at the MEN.  They loved it just a lot.  I like Paramore too, mainly as I am an utterly cool Dad.

Paramore all dressed up

So on my return to the frozen North, I popped into the house for all of ten minutes before setting off out again in the snow to attend a team xmas meal, at a lovely curry house in Whitefield.  The Forts of India was very good, and I could just eat my Saag Chicken all over again right now.

Forts of India Interior
Saag Chicken please....

So despite feeling the onset of my gruesome illness I had a nice night with good company and tremendous food.  I do find it odd that the chaps who work for me forget I am sort of a normal person, and it does take a little while for them to relax when out of the office.  I am only the boss as I have a mortgage to pay…not through choice!!

However, after the two days I had down south, as soon as the last forkful was consumed, the cash was left with the guys and I was off to bed.

A frustrating drive home, as it had been on the way there, as three flakes of snow means that everyone drives as if we lived in the frozen wastes of Alaska.

Friday started badly, with the man flu having me in it’s full grip by now.  I struggled out of bed, and through the snow, arriving at work around 10am.  It was OK though, I was forgiven by my team as I had brought them last day chocolates!!

I sort of limped through Friday to be honest, and was very glad to put work behind me around 5pm.  After a very busy last few weeks, the official finish for xmas sort of snuck up on me, and there wasn’t the usual feeling of it being an event.

I do not darken work’s door again until Jan the 4th, so you have been warned, I may post more often, and the content may get a little repetitive!!  It has not escaped my notice that my illness has arrived just in time to eat into my holiday, rather than preventing me from working.

Right now I am sat on the couch in a house resembling a sauna, as I can’t bring myself to turn the heating off.  I have around twelve layers on, and Enchanted on the telly.  The house is peaceful as Louise is out with Emily and Ben (boyfriend of Emily) at her drum lesson.

The first boyfriend!

On the subject of Ben/boyfriends, I am a little put out that I actually like him.  I had always hoped to make any boyfriend’s life an outright misery, with over bearing/oppressive/embarassing behaviour.

Instead, I find myself encouraging Emily to see more of him, be nice to him, and not to be moody!!!

Rebecca is out at a friend’s house, after a sleep over last night, so I type away, the dog snoring at my feet, hoping Louise brings back something good to eat.  I have to feed a cold…it is the law!!

We are forecast lots of snow tonight, and yep, right on cue it has started.  So once the family are back we shall barricade the front door, crank the heating up to eleven, and find something unchallenging to watch on the telly.

Drat, the extraction of snot from the nasal area is becoming a pressing requirement so I shall sign off…..till the next time.