Monday, June 26, 2006

A whole new me

They say that money changes people and I have to agree that it does. It certainly affects our spending habits although not necessarily in the obvious ways. I remember a time when I was a student and then just after where I had barely any money and large debts as well. To be honest I didn’t really care, I kept spending. I’d inherited the Mother C spending vision of “if you’ve got it, spend it”. Although in this case it should be more like “if they’ll let you borrow it, spend it”.

Those of you who know me would probably find this quite surprising as in my family I am the ‘sensible’ one. The one who doesn’t drink at family parties, who follows the rules to the letter and generally does what is expected. That is certainly the view of my family, anyway. To my friends I’m the one who drinks, swears, says inappropriate things at parties. I still follow the rules but only where I think they apply to me and I have been known to flash my cash about. I remember buying 6 bottles of wine at Sainsbury’s and then only noticing that I got an extra discount for 6!

Anyway, the point is I used to spend money that I didn’t have. Now though I have money (including savings accounts!!) I dither over every decision about spending it! I’ve gone from easy street to penny pinching miser in the time it took my account to flip from red to black. There was no real change in my overall wealth but suddenly my attitude switched. There is something about watching a little pile of money grow on the internet to a pile a little bigger and something inside says “No!…if you don’t spend me I’ll get a little bigger”. I don’t know whether the Mother B ethic of “Save everything, you can’t spend your money!” has finally asserted itself via K (although interestingly Colleen seems intent on spending all of her money in the shortest amount of time possible at the moment) or whether my true sensibilities (allowed to flourish away from Home C) have stopped me in my tracks.

Either way it’s making purchasing this iPod a bloody nightmare!


So the weekend has gone again and it’s another rainy Monday. Which is quite a relief to be honest as my garden really needed a good water! Spent the weekend engaged in valuable pursuits. Sorted the garden out big style…lots of weeding, mending next doors fence, constructing a new garden box (yes I bought one) and rearranging my garden. The best bit is that I’ve now got room for a wormery! Unfortunately I discovered that I can actually put my veg peelings and rotten fruit in the brown bin! So my primary reason for the wormery has gone…will have to ponder further.

Went to bed quite late as usual on a Sunday (and despite the fact we didn’t have our usual DM we had quite a bit of fun!) but woke up with a very tickly cough at about 3.15am. Went downstairs and returned with a juice drink (and trying to climb our stairs with a drink and no banister is tricky) to try and calm my throat. K was dead to the world and laying entirely on top of the duvet, oblivious to everything. Lay there coughing a bit more and decided to try cough medicine instead.

Then went and sat in the lounge to give it chance to work before returning to bed. I managed to learn the following things…

a) The light from a DS lite is enough to fill an entire room
b) It gets misty at night in Waterloo
c) Gwen, Chief & Mathilda are the only animals awake at 3.30am
d) I caught my cough from Gwen as she was having real difficulty. Shame Nookington’s is closed at night or I would have bought her some medicine.
e) The milkman makes a very scary shape as he looms by the front door delivering milk at 3.40am in the morning…WTF!!!

Staggered back to bed and K had managed to right herself and ask me if I was OK…although knowing her she has probably forgotten that we talked!

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Weekend

Hooray the weekend beckons!

Gardening to do and games to play...BBQs to have and lovely food to eat...

Er...that's it I think.....

Thursday, June 22, 2006

And then He said "Let there be Lite!"

Wahey! My DS Lite arrived today...impossibly small, all white and stylish with screens soo bright they hurt my eyes (no kidding!) A nice fat stylus too...very very pleased. One downside is a stupid blown pixel on the touch screen. Only really visible when the screen is black (and its glaring red at me) but I'm not sure if I can put up with it....Nintendo are very good at exchanging them though so I think I'll wait until the initial release window has passed and then get a new one.

I've also got to update my friends lists and codes though because of the whole paired gamecard/system thing....bum!

In other news I finally finished Metroid Prime 2....hooray! Very enjoyable. You kinda take for granted a good game sometimes and expect all games to be top notch but this was truly great all the way through. I sometimes just boggle at how damn clever these people are who can firstly think up something like this and then translate it into pictures. Then someone else can make those pictures move and be controllable! Its just awesome! P.S. I love videogames!

And to celebrate I bought some new games (even though I have a stash waiting to be played on the Xbox). Chibi Robo and Prince of Persia Two Thrones are on their way. I loved the first new PoP and spotted the end of the tilogy on sale at Gameplay for £14.99. Bargain!

Monday, June 19, 2006


I had an odd day at work today. My main memory is the pain across my stomach when I had an accident with a baking tray and a wall yesterday. I have a nice long red scratch and bruise that I can feel pretty much constantly. Other than that it was bizarrely quiet with one whole team out of the office (for various reasons I believe).

Added to which my eyes are hurting and I’m quite tired (although going to bed at 12:30 is probably the cause of that). Got another cabbage in the veg box and boiled a ham on Sunday evening which means I can make my newly discovered ham/bacon & cabbage pasta dish…yum! Sounds odd but when you add onions, garlic, crème fraiche and parmesan it becomes something quite lovely.

Still scouting around for what to spend my money on…got thinking about my current garden storage situation and it might be time to expand from a basic chest where everything is piled on top of each other, to something with doors so I can stand stuff up in it. Just not sure about the price as the web is being pretty unhelpful to be honest. I don’t think I paid THAT much for the one I have at the moment but I need to have a wander around B&Q to check…

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Too drunk to care

Have had a great weekend so started on Friday with K passing her exam with flying colours and the going out to the Chinese with Becks & Ralph. The delay in their arrival meant that we could catch up on taped TV and even watch some more Life on Mars, which I'm really liking. Had a nice meal with very friednly waiters altough I te far too much and felt a little ill the next day, not great for a trip to London.

We got up very early and got on a early train (although still quite full...everyone clearly having the same idea as us) and thanks to some ticket jiggery pokery got a return to London for use on any trains for £13! Brilliant!

The sun was shining as we arrived and we then ate quite an expensive breakfast for 4 at the Tate Modern. To be fair it was expensive but not overpriced. Good tea and delicious bacon sandwiches! Spent a couple of hours in the Tate which is always good value (as its free!) and then headed over to Vinopolis. Again ticket jiggery pokery (and vouchers from Tesco's) meant we got the premium package for £13 each! I really like that place as after you'vehad the 'How to taste' wine session you suddenly turn into a wine snob and really do think you kow it all! You also start the audio tour vey interested but by the time you tasted wine at the first coupe of tables you stop listening because you're too mellow to care.

The premium table is always a favourite and you can really taste the difference. We also managed ot taste beers, whiskey's, absinthe and some Bombay Sapphire cocktails! Managed to avoid buying any wine at th Majestic wine merchants at the end of the tour and then had lunch in Pizza Express. We were fortunate to get a table outside and managed to squeeze in 3 courses, more wine and a lot of people watching. The drink and my natural generosity allowed me to pay for lunch (that and the frankly ridiculous bonus I got this year) which was spent lazily and in the sunshine. We stopped at the Globe to watch some morris dancing and then a brief stop at St. Pauls and then we were on the way home. Too drunk for driving and too lazy to wait for a taxi and we had a pleasent stroll back home from the station.

The camera had been packed to take some lovely summer shots in London but didn't make it out of the bag all day but when the weather and company were so great the title of the post says it all.

Friday, June 16, 2006


What I forgot to mention in my previous post is that the match I watched was dull as anything! I had to go out three quarters of the way through so I missed the goals! Instead I got to watch half arsed attempts!

Anyway, my brain age is sticking around 30...I thought I'd done really well but I'm still being caught out by that damn Stroop test! Plasterer all done now and was even left on his own to let himself out...see I can trust some people!

Got the inlaws coiming over tonight...R&R...I think we're going to the Chinese then off into London tomorrow...fingers crossed the weather stays nice!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


On the instructions of my boss at work I did watch the England match today. He'd ben spreading rumours that the only reaosn I was working from home today was so I could watch the match but in fact it was so I could make sure the plasterer didn't steal my stuff. Which is really unfair and judgemental as he was a nice chap who has done a good job so far.

I don't know what it is but I think we've stopped trusting people, society in general I mean. I think there are many things to blame but ultimately I think we get what we deserve, civic karma, if you will. We want to be able to move to and work from where we want, consequently we don't know or trust our neighbours. We want to be able to know what's going on from our newspapers, hence we live in fear of crime that statistically happens to barely anyone. We want to earn lots of money, and so we feel bad when someone earns more than us. We want to have children but we feel we need more money to support them although our parents managed just fine with barely half what we have now.

Don't get me wrong I'm not sure I'd want to live in another time but I can't help feel sad for what we've lost. The obvious benefits are that I don't have to worry about how I'm going to feed and clothe myself, I can eat food from all around the world, I can find out just about anything about anything without 14 volumes of Encyclopeadia Brittanica weighing down my bookcase, I can play games with people in the US & Scotland as if they were in the next room. All in all I don't think I'd live anywhen else!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Memo to self.....

.....only test my brain early in the day and before drinking wine! After achieving 30 over the weekend I've now slumped back to 38! The Prof. seems unperturbed however, telling me to try again tomorrow. This is against K with a consistent score of around 25! Curses...competitiveness rising, sabotage thoughts whirling.

Onto other news you can tell the summer's here (besides the glorious weather that makes leaning on my desk with bare arms not pleasant) as all the good telly is about to finish. ER ended last week and (as with all good cliffhangers) left Kath shouting at the TV "That's just wrong!!" as the end credits rolled.

House, & Desparate Housewives are about to finish as well and I get the sense CSI is about done too. That leaves CSI: Miami which hopefully will start soon and the last half of Lost. Good job we've got the DVD rentals to keep us going....just watching Prison Break & Life on Mars...both great. We also still need to wtach the end of Six Feet Under but that might take longer as there are 3 seasons to get through!

Good news though is that I've discovered a fellow Animal Crosser at work and his town has Apples...Yay! The last fruit I need! We've got Peaches so he'll finish his set too! Brilliant!

Saturday, June 10, 2006


This apparently is the age of my brain!

I got home after a long day on Thursday and "Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain?" had arrived.

After a quick introduction of the science behind I got my first Brain Age check....I though I'd been doing OK, shouting out the colours of the words and not the word itself but alas brain age is 72! Which is not good as I am the right side of 30 still!

Firtunately the daily exercise programme and the new tasks has helped me score a brain age of 30 this morning...not as good as Kath's 25 however...must train brain better!

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Originally uploaded by Leighbob.
Ok so I've finally posted my photos of the break over on Flickr. Had a great time and it was good to see everyone again.

The house was fantastic and Emma is a star! (she organised the whole thing). The length of time was jus about right as well as I managed not to fall out with anyone..although I think there were points for us all where it could have gone either way.

A highlight for me was the outdoor hottub...especially as it has the ability to sooth away my aches and pains. The problem is I have the twin demands and laziness and extreme competiveness at work. This is fine when it comes to Boggle (which I won) and Triv (which we won but it went on far too long!) but not so for Rounders. In Claire's absence I was the captain of the Idiots (having served this role in 1997 when I was skewered on stage and stayed put bleeding into a puddle) and I wanted to win. Picking my wife as the first choice was a shwo of loyaylty but I though it was going to be my downfall...not realising Chris was still available was my second mistake.

4 of my team were out and we'd only scored 3 runs. Somehow, out of nowhere Emma, Rachel and I stepped up to the mark and finished with 9 runs! Amazing! After a very long rest the other team had their innings and after their star players were knocked out with only 2 runs scored I was confident of success. A bit of unfair play kept us going for a further 20 minutes by which time we caught em all out with 3 runs...Yay!!!

Then played vigourous 'Extreme Frisbee' and then hiked the hard way back to Monsal be honest my body has only stopped aching today!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


After a hectic few days at work I'm now enjoying a day off prior to our weekend away in Derbyshire. Our friend Emma has done a fantastic job organising it all and I need to make a big list of things we need to take...including what we need to make starters for 20 people!

I was actually playing on teh XBOX but I've switched to doing this as I'm avoiding the window cleaner....I get uncomfortable in a room when the window cleaner is cleaning the windows! Good job I got up early and got dressed!

Givin blood this afternoon so might treat myself in town with a new pair of shoes...well I have just been paid after all! Annoyingly K caught me out with first of the month shenanigans this morning when I was still half asleep. My record was running at 3/4 months as well! Just wait until the 1st July!

Also the start of the month means my pickled shallots are ready....bit of pork pie and salad should do for tea then!