Archive for July, 2005

I’m back!

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Skokholm Island, on an almost completely cloudy day:

Skokholm Island

I’m back from two weeks in Pembrokeshire. As well as having a great holiday, eating better than royalty, seeing flora and fauna on and under the water and messing around in boats I learnt two important lessons.

The first: be very careful equalizing ear drum pressure when scuba diving, or you risk perforating an ear drum. Of course, this lesson could have been learnt from a book, but I went and did it anyway. My left ear drum has healed over, but my hearing will be dodgy on that side until my middle ear recovers from the sea water I pumped into it. Fortunately, since I was really being fairly careful at the time, it wasn’t a painful experience - I finished the dive with Ant and saw a very nice squat lobster hiding in a rock face.

The second: if you happen to be on Newgale Beach, buy an ice cream from Mr Creemy.

Mr Creemy's Van

After getting back from holiday on Sunday, on Tuesday I moved in with Sarah. We’re renting a place right next door to Southgate tube station, which we expressly picked for a nice quick commute on the Piccadilly line. Unfortunately, due to the tedious (and hopefully temporary) infestation of exploding primates on the London tube, the Piccadilly line is currently closed. The quickest way in to town is by our old commuting route on the Northern line. Bugger.

We’re still unpacking and making the place our own, however a first step was the installation of my fine Tiki Toilet seat:

The Tiki Toilet Seat

Just another bomb

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

I’m safe in Wales at the moment, trying to catch up with the news and find out what’s happened today.

This new set of bombs sounds like a joke compared to the last one - maybe it’s a message: Hey! We’re out of explosives! Hopefully the police will be able to round up a few of the perpetrators before they figure out how to do any real damage.

Anyway, to all the Londoners I know, good luck getting home. Don’t let the bastards get you down.

A Welsh Lizard

Tuesday, July 12th, 2005

A lizard

A lizard, photographed by Ant and me yesterday in the Deer Park, Marloes, Pembrokeshire. I spotted it sprinting across the path and ran in front of it. As soon as it figured out we had it surrounded it decided to play dead and hope we’d leave it alone. We did, but only after waving a camera in its face.

Reptiles seem to love the hot weather here. We saw a large adder a few seconds later but stayed at a respectful distance and didn’t get a chance to photograph it.

We’ve also seen Razorbills, Porpoises, Choughs, Fulmars and Spider Crabs. No seals yet, but that’s just a matter of time.

Bye for now.

I’m off to St Ishmaels

Friday, July 8th, 2005

Yesterday was supposed to be my last day working before my family’s annual pilgrimage to St Ishmael’s in beautiful Pembrokeshire. After yesterday it would feel good to carry on in the normal routine and go in to work, but that wasn’t the plan anyway.

We won’t be back in London until the 24th of July. Then we launch straight into moving house, so we won’t be back working until the 27th.

All of you take care, have fun and we’ll see you when we get back.

Osama has only got one ball

Thursday, July 7th, 2005

In case I haven’t talked to you yet, it’s worth noting that everyone I know is OK.

The whole London tube and rail network shut down when I reached Finsbury Park station this morning. I went to get a bus in to work and got a phone call from my colleague Andy telling me a bus had exploded and that I should just go home. So, figuring that when bombs start going off people should stick apart, I bought an A to Z and walked to East Finchley where I was picked up by my dad.

Sarah and Dave are still stuck in their respective offices in the middle of town. Current advice is to stay put, so they’ll be doing that for a while.

Everyone from GT is either in the office or has gone home, but all are accounted for and safe.

7.00pm update: Sarah and Dave have made it home now. One of Sarah’s co-workers at the Design Council is still unaccounted for and would have been travelling through King’s Cross at the time of the blast there. Hopefully she’ll turn up safe in one of the London hospitals.

Saturday update: Sarah’s colleague was caught in the King’s Cross blast. She’s in hospital now, conscious and in a stable condition. Out of respect for her privacy I’m going to stop writing about her, but she has all our best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.

Southend-on-Sea

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005

Fibre Glass Totem

Crazy Turtle The Gaity Bazaar

For a fairly complex set of reasons, mostly centred around cheap towels, Sarah’s mum drove us both over to Southend-on-Sea on Saturday. I have vague recollections of going there once before, but I must have been very small. I’m sure I remember peering in the window of the Gaity Bazaar - a fascinating, anachronistic and moderately distasteful seaside souvenir shop, every inch of the place crammed full of unbuyable tat. The totem pole and turtle ride pictures were taken in Adventure Island theme park, and I’m quite pleased how they turned out.

We spent far too long shopping, ate fish and chips, then rode the train out to the end of the pier and back before driving home.

Political update

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005

A modern labour minister

In case you still think ID cards are a good idea, let some mustachioed and monocled dogs clear things up for you. Flash plugin required, turn on your sound: The very model of a modern Labour minister

Also, if you’re interested in Free software you’ll be pleased to hear the EU Parliament has thrown out the software patent bill. Yay!

Crispy Bacon

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005

Chief constable takes 50,000 volts in the back.

Chief constable hit by Taser gun

Look at the guy with the Taser, that’s the face of a man who enjoys his work.

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