Thursday, 28 December 2017

In Search on Me continued.

You may remember, I did bring to you attention, girls wearing tights and how little they leave to the imagination. Some tights cling so tightly to their bodies that they clearly reveal their callipygian curves and the entire shapely length of their legs. Others would be better off not displaying those particular features of their anatomy. I feel that those of a heavier build, big units, should stick to more loose fitting apparel. Their bottoms, can not in all honesty, be described as callipygous.

I notice that the expression 'I was going to say' is being used more and more now. I feel this comes from all the texting we find ourselves doing and we compose what we going to say before actually typing it in to the little text box. If you are actually talking to someone and you say 'I was going to say', then what? Naturally the flow of the conversation, would be to say it. Maybe those of us that studied grammar could shed some light on this rather meaningless expression.

Interestingly on Boxing Day in 1893: Dictator, mass murderer and founding father of the Republic of China, Mao Tse-tung was born. I do fear North Korea's Kim Jong un is heading in towards the same honour. My advise to Trump, stop procrastinating and take him out, test your army and once you had your little war you can say you have achieved something worthwhile.

Looking back at Christmas passed, yesterday actually, and I found the day to be full of joy, cheer and delicious food. We did speak to most of the family scattered around the world. South Africa, Australia and North America. How times have changed, my father never flew in an aeroplane, let alone leave South Africa and here we are in the UK with my children dotted all around the world. Taking the traditional photo on the beach while having a live video call to Michael in the Gold Coast of Australia. 

I find myself enjoying a coffee at the beach cafe as I finish off this blog. It is very cold and the strong wind makes it feel as though the cold is creeping into every part of you. On the beach are a few hardy dog walkers, but they are few and far between, the rest are in this cafe drinking and eating. I am amazed at the numbers of layers of clothes they peel off before sitting down, only to add the layers back on, before braving the cold. Talking of braving the cold, I must be off to buy dinner, so if I don't talk to you soon, enjoy your New Years celebrations and I wish you all the best for the coming year.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas, my view

Christmas Eve: This can be an a motive topic and will bring out the best and worst of us, especially if you have the misfortune of irritating, boring or down right obnoxious family who you only see at Christmas. This can try the patience of the best of us. Th old saying, you can pick your friends but not your family. 
I can gladly say we are not going to be burdened with anything like that this year. Victoria and Robert will be joining Susan and I for this years Christmas celebration. Obviously there is the dog, but in all fairness he is like having a over excited child around, Robert knows how to deal with that. I am sure his nose will be taking in all the food smells and a big part of the day will be hoping for a mere morsel or two, no begging, Susan does not do begging.
We have a traditional walk on the beach on Christmas morning. Normally just get up and have our morning coffee, me anyway, Susan has a slice of lemon in hot water. In the days gone bye the children would open their Christmas stocking presents, yes those that Santa brought and then we go down to the beach for our walk and the family portrait, another tradition.

Christmas Day: This year we set off in a light rain but the rain had stopped by the time we got there and the walk was good, a little windy but JB had a game or two, knocked someone over and we came home to breakfast and then the exciting time of handing out gifts. It was quite strange but we were talking to Michael on Face Time and he is also in the picture if you look closely at the iPhone.
Just a fact about today, in AD 336 Christmas was first celebrated on the 25th. 
Hope your Christmas has been as good as mine and you have a wonderful New Year full of your hope and dreams. 

In Search of Me

Life is messy, but if you can get through the mess you will sometimes find out who you are. Not sure if my life is that bad but some days it does have a messy feel about it. I am having a constant battle as I try and slow down to Christmas and the work just keeps coming in, urgent some and not so urgent others but everyone still wants it yesterday. All a bit messy and hopefully I will come out the other side unharmed. 

I have escaped to Caffe Nero for a coffee before shopping and then on to another Christmas party, really no escaping even in the evening. I have just bought myself a new jumper/fleece from Edinburgh Woollen Mill. My old Barclays fleece has seen better day but still my ‘go to’ winter warmer. I will consign it to evening wear at home until Susan decides to throw it out, hopefully not too soon. One does get so attached to an old faithful winter warmer. Susan gave me this fleece about 8 years ago and others have come and gone but this seems to have staying power. Have you got a jumper, fleece or jacket that you go to when chilly?

Someone has just walked in with pyjamas on, a coat over them but I am sure they are pyjama pants, One never knows these days, women's clothes seem to do inside and out. Just like tights, some really need to have a skirt or something covering their bums as very little is left to your imagination. I never know if they wear underwear and quite frankly, I am too afraid to ask, could be accused of sexual harassment. 
"Excuse me love, but have you got knickers on under your tights, as I cannot see any tell tales signs?"
No, that is one question I will leave to braver men than me.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Christmas Parties

Yes it is that I that time of the year again and we are dragging ourselves off to the various Christmas parties. Just been to an architectural firms party, great fun and their new offices are state of the art. Beer on tap, snacks and Frank Sinatra singing those old favourites. Well not Frank but someone impersonating him. Trouble with these type of parties is that we only have two hands. You all stand around drinking and eating off paper plates, beer in one hand and a paper plate balanced in the other, but how do you get that smoked salmon and cream cheese biscuit into you mouth without spilling your drink or dropping the rest of the food? I am sure we have all been there and will be again, still makes for an interesting dilemma. 

I find myself drawn to the beach and with that urge, came the rewards of coffee and cake. Walking JB today was a challenge, it would have been fine but the wind was just strong enough to chill the soul. England is in the grips of a cold snap, with the coldest day being recorded today. -3 deg F, combined with the breeze makes it invigorating and one does appreciate getting home to a warm house. 

Getting back to Christmas parties, I do have the Cooks staff party on Friday. Helen is the organiser and because of her genius we will all be sitting down to a 3 course meal. The balancing act not needed on this occasion. I think I will in future enquire what type of party I am being invited too and then if it is a balancing act type affair, I will gracefully decline. 

Have you heard of Brexit yet, seems to be all the news here. Well we are leaving the European Union and going it alone. Could be the start of making Britain great again. Our problem is we have politicians negotiating our exit. We all know politicians can not be trusted to keep any promises and now we will be relying on those idiots to get the best deal without paying an arm and a leg for it. Not going to happen, those French and Germans have a lot to lose, as we and them are the net contributors to running Europe. 27 countries and only 3 are really funding it. I have heard that they want around £40 billion just to start the process. No, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron will not go gently into this goodbye. Maybe we should just walk away and not worry about a deal? Call their bluff and see how quickly they come running to us to renegotiate or not.

Sunday, 3 December 2017


Life and this time before Christmas is always really special for me. Christmas movies most nights, alway end happily and full of Christmas warmth. Susan and Robert have a few comments on my choice of television viewing, but they all seem to enjoy them. In all honesty, there is very little on in the evenings, with the exception of reality shows and the normal 'who done it' serials. Strictly Come Dancing a show in questions, I have seen so many and heard all the jokes. I am looking for joy and happiness, real movies with tears and joy. Life is too short to have to wait every week to see what happens in the next episode. 
Changing the subject but have you noticed that most Polish men are rough around the edges, exceptions there are but mostly the rough and tough kind. The women on the other hand are very good looking, well dressed and quietly spoken. The men tend to have shabby tracksuit longs, t shirt and running shoes. Such a remarkable difference but seems to work for them.  

Elbow sang about the time between life and death, can be such a waste of time. I disagree, real life is never a waste of time. I do know that the time between life and death is but a mere twinkle, compared to our universe. Use what you have, waste not a minute and regret none of your failures. Like love, life is never a waste of time.
Just in closing, the winter has  finally embraced us and all the woolly jumpers, coats and thermal underwear have been taken down from the loft and now are our favourite outfits. 
Christmas to most of my family, is in the middle of summer, while we hope for snow and that cold biting wind from Siberia to bring us our memories. 

Exactly one month to Christmas and I will be wrapping presents today for dispatch to all far flung corners of the world. I am a little worried about the one destination, I have sent gifts there before and they never seem to arrive. Oh well, I am sure the thief needs were greater than mine but I still hope he has a very unfortunate life changing experience.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Winter lingerie

Yes the temperature has dropped and we are relying on our central heating to keep us warm in the house but what happens when we venture out? I have resorted to wearing thermal underwear, my lingerie are of the industrial variety as opposed to the fine silk worn by some members of the opposite gender identity. I am amazed at the difference in style between mens and ladies thermal underwear as you can see in the 2 images I have inserted. No flappy Y front for the girls? I did see a fleeting glimpse of myself in the mirror this morning and it is not a pretty sight, no, definitely no, self taken portraits, this is not for the faint hearted.
With the colder weather comes certain advantages, very blue sky is one that I noticed today on my walk with Jenson at the beach. I also enjoy the low sun which never really rises more than a third of the way across the horizon. Everything just shouts take a photo, and with my new camera and lens I have taken advantage of the days when the clouds stay away and the wind is not too strong. I am taking a course in photography and it has inspired me and made me look at scenes, building and people in a very different light.

Taking photos is all about light and what you can do with the available light you have. Once you understand light, the other feature come into there own.  Different aperture settings can change an otherwise boring image into something really in focus, either taking in the whole scene or focusing on the subject and blurring the background. In low light the latter is your best bet as your shutter speed increases the smaller the aperture, f3.5 is the lowest my lens will go. At this setting my camera in low light without a flash is still good enough to take a hand held shot. The minute I increase the aperture to say f100, my shutter speed decreases and with my shaking blurs the picture.
F3.5 setting
This images shows my point off well, the subject is sharp and the background blurred out. Click to enlarge.

Life is full of choices, some are clever choices, others not so clever. Like deciding to give horse riding ago with out taking riding lesson, well how hard can it be? Not a clever choice but reading this blog is a clever choice, filled with the most interesting comments, observations and tales.

Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

We have entered the heady world of acquiring our own server (VPS). Derek assured me we would have total control and would be so much more stable. Well we finally got it setup by our friends at TSO Host, 3 hours it took them and then we were away. Emails moved and lost, Derek was a little over zealous in his enthusiasm, like a child with a new toy. Anyway I set my emails up, or should I say, attempted to. Would not connect, Derek had a go and nothing. Phone our good friends at TSO and we were told that we had made too many attempts at logging in, so it blocked our IP address.
At this stage you must understand that the normal, well spoken and polite, Derek Johnson, was about to explode. I believe his exact words were, 'I will not stand for this poo.' Actually said something like that, but as we have children who read this blog I have substituted with the word 'crap' for 'poo'. 

He then went on to threatening to take our 300 customers away from TSO, bit of an exaggeration as the last time I counted we had just under 30. I do believe that the young lady on the phone, at that stage, would have done a little jig just to see him go.  They do inform you at the beginning of the call that this call may be recorded for training purposes, now that is one call they can use again and again. Excellent training on how to deal with a difficult client without losing your cool.

Needless to say it has taken a good two days to iron out all the problems and after many emotional phone calls to darling TSO we seem to be getting there. That is the verdict according to Derek 
and I am not of the mind to question him, until it is running smoothly.

Our Robert and Victoria are coming down for the weekend, they live up north and will find the climate here so much milder. Susan cannot wait to see her baby and I anticipate the odd discussion on the state of the country's politic and of course Brexit will be dealt with again. Must admit it will be good to see him and as he is only here for the weekend, it will hopefully not break the bank. We will enjoy an ale or two, that I do promise.