Monday, November 24, 2008

Post Apocalyptic Nightmare

I haven't blogged properly for a while and I find that I'm on lunch with K & Z nowhere to be seen! To be fair K might have decided not to come home as I'm not sure how much I'll want to eat so I might just have a full hour of solitude.

Anyway, I don't know whether its just a coincidence but my entertainment currently consists of various views of post-apocalyptic nightmares. After playing Fallout 3 on the Xbox I worry that I clearly don't have the skills needed to survive in a wasteland, let alone find my estranged father!

Charlie Brooker's Dead Set has made me realise that with the exception of the front door our house is fairly fortified but I could just about manage shambling zombies, running screaming ones would probably kill me very easily.

And finally Survivors has shown that we should probably get some bottled water in the house although with my sickly nature I think I'd be one of the first to go to a strange flu like virus. Deep joy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The official website is pretty good too!


Have you seen the new trailer for the Star Trek reboot?

Pretty good!

Monday, November 17, 2008

B is for Bleaugh!

A rare opportunity has arisen to update my blog as I'm off work looking after Kathryn & Zachary.

Out of nowhere K & I have both been struck down with some kind of gastric flu and boy its not been a fun 24 hours. I have finally managed a cup of tea and some toast but Kath is still suffering, poor girl.

And now I have the opportunity I seem I am bereft of stuff to write about. I could blog about the auction (2 tea sets and a blanket box), Z's constant wakefulness (the fact he's crawling means he wakes and sleep crawls and cries when he reaches a corner) but I think I'm going to carry on watching Arrested Development until I feel better.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Its only October and my mind is already thinking about Christmas and gifts and stuff. I've made a decision that I don't want to get a load of useless 'stuff' this year as the house looks lovely and spacious and I want it to stay that way!

To that end I'm asking my parents to give me money thsi year so that I can club it all together and buy myself a fancy ice-cream maker! Then K will be able to buy me some knickerbocker glory glasses/sundae bowls and help with her gift buying troubles.

The next stage involves convincing my friends that gift giving should now be restricted to birthdays only. Not sure what kind of reception I'll get but it should save people a load of money (which is in short supply this year) and reduce the amount of 'stuff' to integrate into the house when its over.

The only problem I have now is what to get K. There will be no repeat of last year's extravagant laptop giving (no need it still works) and my usual standby of a Radley handbag won't work either as she hasn't used a handbag for months. I've got a couple of ideas but nothing too exciting at the moment. Perhaps I need to start to think of a custom gift?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Post Storm Update pt 2

I've made the obvious mistake of leaving this update far too long as I can now barely remember what happened in the week after we moved. Random thoughts (and in no particular order).

* I surprised myself (and K) at how calm I remained in IKEA when we spent 3 hours (and a significant portion of cash) trying to find appropriate furniture for the house. Z sucking the face off his own reflection in a wardrobe helped keep the mood light (and thanks to Krista & Chris for keeping Z amused for so long!)

* I love my new kitchen and the baking mojo has returned! The ice-cream maker is providing a continuous supply of fattening treats and K is doing loads of great cooking too.

* We have space enough so that nothing is hidden away in boxes and all our books and things are on display.

* Having Mum & Dad so close hasn't been terrible (although they were away for 2 weeks so that probably helped a bit!) and apart from wanting to stab Dad with a screwdriver when he was helping us unpack we haven't had any fallings out.

* Its great to have my brother so close (but not so great when he gets rushed into hospital!) and having him discover a joy for cooking.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Post Storm Update pt 1

The storm has passed and we're now all settled, so I thought it time for an update.

Moving day was nearly 3 weeks ago and actually went much better than expected! Having got up at 5.30am to prepare for the movers at 7 was only slightly annoyed that they turned up at a quarter to 8. Was also slightly alarmed to see that there was only 2 of them but after on;y 2 hours of cheerful carrying they were fully loaded and ready to go! Amazing! We fannied about a bit (hoovering, returning keys, forgetting to take meter readings) and then set off on convoy for The Midlands.

I had expected the lorry to crawl up the M1 so was slightly perturbed when I got a phone call from my mother (collector of keys and meeter of men) to said that they had arrived and had started to unpack! We were still at Cambridge services feeding Zachary sweet potato!

Finally reached Long Eaton in good time to watch them empty the last few boxes into the correct rooms and wave us goodbye. Had to prevent my dad from giving them money (I'm a grown up and had already taken care of that) but I can heartily recommend having movers, however much they cost!

The house itself was only a little like I remembered it! Much bigger and scruffier (its amazing what you can hide behind nice furniture and vases) than I remember but felt like home almost straight away!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Calm before the Storm

Apart from a few odds & sods (collapsing bed & cot, taking legs off sofa, wrapping TV, emptying last remnants from fridge etc) I think we're almost there.

To be honest I thought I would feel more sad at leaving our house of nearly 7 years (our first) and moving away from Ipswich where we've lived for nearly 8 years now. I don't know whether its because of the trauma of moving but it hasn't given me chance to stop and think about the things I'm going to miss. Since having Z I gotten so fed up of stuff everywhere that at this stage its almost a relief to be moving.

What will be nice is that we can come back for holidays to Suffolk. There are some lovely places along the Suffolk coast but never far enough away to justify holidaying there when you live so close by.

The coming week is likely to be mental...not least all the unpacking and getting new furniture to put on the unpacking on/in. We've tried really hard to sort stuff as we've gone along and loads has gone to the tip or to charity, but I fear we're still going to have too much stuff for the new house. I sense a really serious cull is in order even if it means getting rid of some boardgames! We found an old copy of Atmosfear in the loft yesterday and part of me wants to add it to my collection on BGG but then another more sensible part says that since the video player is in storage why am I keeping a game that relies on a video to play? I think its time to be brutal (and of course brutality means I can justify buying new games to replace it! Ones that we'll actually play!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rather dull word representation of my blog. Andby that I mean the words are dull...not the striking nature of the image! Thanks to Wordle

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lovely East Anglia

Guilty Update

OK forced to update my blog and tidy up a few things since I may get an influx of visitors due to the 'accursed black box'. Actually its quite a neat little widget that redirects you to blogs of others who've answered various questions in a vaguely similar manner to you. It can be seen in my previous post.

Um this is rare for me actually as I'm writing a blog entry while I'm at work, which is somethign Iwouldn't normally do. But since I work from home and K & Z are doing another stop on their farewell tour of East Anglia and I can't bug them I'm doing thsi instead. And from a different computer so I'm not wasting work resources!

The house is in various states of 'packed'. The front room looks a little bare, my office is a tip and Z's usually calm haven of a nursery is now a treacherous assault course design to bruise shins whenever a nappy change is required. To the observant among you this means we have now sold and bought houses and we should be moving in a few short days (Monday to be precise). Obviously this is all still dependent on numerous things solicitors need to do (not least actually exchanging bloody contracts!). Having been badgered by both sides of our chain ("We're ready what's the hold up?", "We need to move before our holiday") Monday's exchange day descended into farce. We'd signed and returned ours a week ago and the first snafu was our buyers ("holiday") not having signed their forms and having to rush into their solicitor's to sort it out. Then it turns out the sellers ("hold up?") hadn't done theirs either!

Our solicitor assures me everything is all set for Monday so removals have been booked and my 2 new company car test drives moved to a new city.

I have decided against a cat picture (always a favourite with the 'net it seems) so hopefully any new visitors won't mind too much. Instead you'll have to imagine a funny cat picture you saw somewhere else.


This is addictive! I should be working or packing not visiting other people's blogs!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


K beat me to it for the coverage of Wedding, Christening & Boat Trip so I'll just have to post some snaps instead!

My current fave picture of Z & K...


As well as one with him wearing one of Jamie's Christening presents...


Finally one of my lovely wife (taken by someone far more skilled than I at the Watson - Booth Nuptials and one of the 3 of us.

(All credit to Simon Auchterlonie for the fantastic shots taken at the wedding!)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Update

Not sure why I'm updating so early on a Sunday morning but I've just had a terrifying dream about G&S committee members, fried food and being scared of pub toilets. The alternative is to top and tail Z but the unexpected 30 minutes of extra deep sleep have caused me to be vague and unable to function properly at the moment.

House things proceed apace, the Long Eaton survey is being done on Tuesday, the mortgage is agreed pending the Tuesday valuation and we're getting an electrical safety certificate done next Monday. Its then down to when the sellers want to move and how quick our solicitor gets his act together. Sadly K and I have already worked out in our heads what new furniture we need to buy and where its going to go as well as deciding where all our existing furniture is going as well!

The Olympics started on Friday with a frankly spectacular opening ceremony (although I still have got 3 hours of it taped to watch) which (according to the BBC) had 10,000 performers, as well as 2,008 drummers, had been in the planning since 2001, rehearsed for more than a year and cost somewhere in the region of £20 billion!!! I just know we're going to have Chas n Dave and some Morris dancers in 2012 and we'll be the laughing stock of the planet! That aside I do like the Olympics. I'm not a keen sportsman but when it is an Olympic event it is infused with something that makes me want to watch. The fact that I can choose what to watch thanks to the magic of digital makes it even better! Despite the unwanted politics the Olympics is such a symbol of hope and community and comradeship that makes it so compelling to me.

After the great Friday apple sauce debacle Z has managed to have his first meal of baby rice! Hopefully better sleeping beckons, although judging by last night I'm not sure we should hold out for a miracle!


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Me-me-meme (mosaic)!

Seen this on a few blogs now (here, here & here) so thought I'd have a go when I'm supposed to be working.

My creation

1. What is your first name? (Leigh)
2. What is your favourite food? (lamb)
3. What high school did you attend? (West Park Community School)
4. What is your favourite colour? (blue)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (None)
6. What is your favourite drink? (Cherry Coke)
7. What is your dream vacation? (Japan)
8. What is your favourite dessert? (Lemon Tart)
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? (hairdresser or magician)
10. What do you love most in life? (family)
11. One word to describe you (annoying)
12. Your Flickr name (leighbob, although no matches, it suggested I meant 'neighbor' so thats what I searched for!)

Credit where credit is due...

1. Small boat at old leigh, 2. That's a BIG Noise from a Lil lamb..:O))), 3. 801 CD10 Parks, Schools and Pools by City Council District, 4. wham:a different corner, 5. Sunny Side Up, 6. Scientific Bean Review, 7. Fuji-san Sunrise, 8. Hello cake, 9. Secret World, 10. Watching the fireworks, 11. Sea In my Fingers (thank friends), 12. Berried Cedar Waxwing

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The best 31st Birthday ever!

00.08 - Woke up to hear Z griping and K pacing, no mention of birthdays, fell back to sleep.

02.45 - Woke to hear Z griping and K pacing, was about to suggest a feed but before I could a baby was plomped onto the bed next to me and satiated with boob. No mention of birthdays.

06.00 - Woke to hear Z griping and K marvelling (read: despairing) at how wet he was. First big nappy malfunction in new reusable nappies. Z balling. I realise that since I'm off work there's really no excuse to lie there listening to it and get up to help.

08.00 - Wake up to see Z quietly sleeping between us, happy and contented. Wondering why I'm so lucky to have such a beautiful family.

08.10 - K wishes me happy birthday and asks if I'd like presents...she knows me very well!

08.30 - Presents all opened...very spoilt, highlights include a K-penned "Daddy & Zachary Adventure Book", a box of sweets, meeple t-shirt, Carcassonne coasters and a couple of board games.

08.35 - Lying in bed playing with Z while K makes breakfast downstairs.

08.45 - Eating bacon and fried eggs (with the egg fried into a heart shaped hole in the toast) with tea and orange juice, whilst in bed! Bliss but crumby!

09.00 - While K feeds Z I take phone call from my aunt who has mixed up me and my brother and sent him a birthday card instead of me!

09.30 - Lie in bed reading "Dad Rules" by Andrew Clover (a present from Z) while watching Zachary have fun playing with himself, before dropping off for a nap.

10.00 - Squeeze in a game of Citadels.

10.30 - Get fashion show as Z is paraded in front of me in the 2 family christening gowns. At least they fit...there were worries about fat arms.

11.30 - Everyone up and dressed, still reading my new book.

12.00 - Wander into town for lunch. Neglect to bring parasol as it is cloudy but hot. 5 minutes into town glorious sunshine directly overhead, can't be bothered to go home and fetch parasol.

12.30 - Find orzo in small deli. K pleased as it is the final ingredient in my birthday tea (having searched fruitlessly at Morrisons, Sainsburys & Tesco yesterday)

14.45 - Back home having spent a load of money on nothing much. I seem to have a constant urge to buy my son books he won't be able to read for years to come.

15.30 - Played with Z, watched some of The Shield series 6 (naughty Shane!) and helped K fix the pomegranate granita.

16.30 - Read some more of my book, punched the bits for Tikal.

18.30 - Put Z to bed while smelling nice things wafting from the kitchen.

18.55 - Receive phone call with new improved offer from people wanting to buy our house! Hooray! Offer not brilliant but we feel that its the only one we're going to get before the prices plunge any further. Hopefully tomorrow will see our new lower offer accepted on the house in Long Eaton.

19.10 - Start blog.

19.15 - Settle Z again.

19.20 - Continue blog.

19.25 - Settle Z again.

19.30 - Eat delicious meal prepared by K of Chicken Roulade with dolcelatte, basil, tomatoes and pancetta served with orzo pasta with mushrooms. Followed by an indian dessert which was made from pomegranate granita, with melon, coconut milk, pomegranate seeds on the next layer with toasted almonds on top. Delicious along with a nice glass of rose. K shall be doing the cooking more often.

20.00 - Watched Celebrity Masterchef

21.00 - Played Tikal and K is so far beating me up. Clearly she is better suited to searching the Mayan jungle ruins than I am.

22.00 - Finish blog while K feeds Z.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Baby Update

1. The cradle cap is almost entirely gone! A combination of daily hair washes and coconut oil have worked their magic and he even has some lovely fuzzy groth of hair coming back!

2. His stomach is most days a bright scarlet colour. Ezcema unfortunately, and each cream we've tried makes it worse. K is back to the doctors tomorrow so they can prescribe a different variety. Fingers crossed this one will help.

3. We're back on reusable nappies! Using these at the moment. And they've been really effective. The best part is that they've made from bamboo which is eco-friendly to the max!

4. He won't take a bottle from me yet. He just spits it out in disgust! We're going to try with a higher flowing teat as the one we have is for newborns.

5. His 'tummy time' is producing real dividends!


Today he almost rolled over whilst reaching for Mr. Quackles! A real milestone once he achieves it but it also means we'll not be able to leave him alone on the bed!

6. The dreaded D word. Zachary has spent the last week screaming every time we put him in his cot and not going to sleep without a feed and then only for a short time. We've tried putting him on his side (this worked one night), Calpol (this didn't work at all) and rocking him to sleep. This last one works while he's still in your arms but as soon as you put him down he starts balling. He spent much of the week in our bed which is interesting since he is so grabby with his little chubby hands! Anyway things came to head last night where not even feeds would settle him down and he was screaming non-stop for about 10 minutes.

So he's now upstairs, sound asleep with a dummy in his mouth! And part of me feels like a terrible parent, but then again, that small piece of silicone managed to settle him in 2 minutes flat and he's fast asleep with no bother!

The funny part is that he clearly didn't know what to do with it at first and it kept popping out of his mouth. Its quite surprising how far he can propel it with an over eager chew. After a few minutes he got to grips and a few minutes later he's still asleep with it firmly tucked in his mouth. Despite feeling a little like failures apparently his risk of cot death has decreased (worth any feeling of failure) and clearly his problem was one of comfort and not anything medically wrong (which was a worry).

We're going to limit use to bedtimes and it won't used as a way to get him to be quiet in the day. Also it will hopefully mean that if he wakes in the night the dummy will settle him without a fresh feed and a bit more sleep for me & K. To be honest we don't begrudge the lack of sleep but he was so distressed that we succumbed to the lure of the dummy.

And my goodness, there's a lot to choose from!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Blog, He Wrote

K keeps hassling me to update my blog and I'm finally presented with an opportunity to. There's nothing on the TV and Casualty that we Vision Boxed on Saturday seems to have only recorded the last 10 minutes so we've reverted to the old stand by of Murder She Wrote. Not sure why since we have 3 discs from Lovefilm to watch. Unfortunately we're on pause at the moment as K has gone to attend to crying Zachary. From the sounds of things I'm not sure she's going to be back anytime soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Food Update

In the excitement that is my working week I fogot to update on my cooking exploits.

The homemade marzipan was great when in the fridge but as soon as it came out it turned into a sticky mess...I think adding the eggs a bit at a time in the future is the way to go.


Despite the struggle at getting it to stay on and not glue itself to the board it turned out OK for a first attempt. And despite looks it tasted delicious.

Also managed to make a batch of Elderflower cordial. The recipe here, originally taken from Alex's blog, is a lie. It makes 2 litres (or at least it does when I make it).


And all my nice glass bottles are boxed and in the Midlands so this year's elderflower cordial is stored in Fanta, IrnBru, Cherry Coke and Sprite 500ml bottles, handily sterilised in the baby steriliser! It tastes especially nice when mixed with Champagne!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

June - Update

1. If we get an offer on the house, should I lower the offer we're making for the house we want in Long Eaton since the average house price has fallen 5% in the last 2 months. But what if they then accept someone else's offer!
Apparently the buyers found other houses that were "better value". After a long talk we've decided to be bold and stop taking baby steps with our price. As of now its on for "Offers in excess of £105,000". Apparently this does what it says on the tin and we should expect offers in excess of this amount. This helps us stand out from the crowd of of £110,000 houses and hopefully encourage more viewings. We'll almost definitely have to put in a lower offer on the Long Eaton house should we get any offers at the new price. But the maths still seems to work and First Direct should be able to lend us what we need without too much of a hike on the mortgage repayments (although extending the term back to 25 years would help with this).

2. D&D 4th edition. This looks great and I'm tempted to buy the rule books even though I have no-one to play with! Listening to a podcast over at Penny Arcade/D&D website and the new rules sound fantastic. Am wondering if I could get a group going when we move back to the Midlands...I wonder if K will want to play?
Had a read through of this in Waterstone's today. Looks good but trying to stick to my limited spending so this will have to wait until I get my bonus.

3. Cradle Cap. I shouldn't be allowed to hold a sleeping baby who has cradle cap...too tempting to pick until I've picked it too much. Fortunately the Nurse Prac. at the surgery wasn't too worried and just gave K some Coconut Oil so we're giving that a whirl.

Ok so perhaps the coconut oil has worked too well. We washed his hair this morning and I poked at a bit and it literally peeled off!

My poor patchy headed son, what have we (well mostly me) done to you?!


I also broke my no spending rule and bought some books in a 3 for 2 offer. Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs, Death Message by Mark Billingham and Fabric of Sin by Phil Rickman.

Hmm can I be arsed to make a Battenburg (complete with homemade marzipan) this afternoon?


Its been an odd week for me actually. I think having a baby around the house has slowly caught up with me physically. The slightly less sleep every night for 3 months has started to take its toll. The stress of trying to move house isn't helping either.

Its hard to believe that Z is 3 months old now...I can remember first holding him in the hospital. He's still massive but thankfully the growth is slowing need for new clothes every 2 weeks. The only problem is all the advice we keep getting from all corners. Its hard to keep focussed and confident with what we are doing without all the opinions but then I suppose it shows people care.

The slow build up of exhaustion is affecting my work somewhat in that I just cannot be arsed to do any! Had a meeting in London on Wednesday and was hoping to cruise by on autopilot but with so few attendees I had to contribute, and the bit where my PC Lead put me on the spot and said "As Knowledge Management Lead Leigh, what do you think we should do next?". Fortunately despite my empty mind I managed to come up with something and agreed to write up a project plan for next week. My boss will be back as well expecting to see great things from the P2 data that I should have ready and reconciled back to the system...hmmm I think I'm going to have a busy Monday!

We did actually have a house viewing this week! A call at 16:45 yesterday with people wanting to come around straight away...fortunately K managed to negotiate 17:30 and we set to work clearing up the shit hole! They seemed to like the house but had others to see and may well want a second viewing today. From their feedback the fact that our house doesn't need much big doing to it (e.g. double glazing, central heating etc) is a big plus as far as they are concerned. We shall have to wait and see. The other bonus is that all the weekend housework was crammed into 40 minutes and is all done now!

The impending house move (it will happen eventually) has brought into sharp focus how much less money we'll have floating about once it happens (and especially when the maternity pay dries up). I have responded in my usual way to get all anal about it and demand to see all K's receipts for the money she spends each month! (not quite, but thats not a bad idea!) I have also resolved not to spend any money on new board games, books or video games for this month and see what I have left at the end of the month (the theory being that this could be used to plug the gap when we move).

So far not too bad...although things that I ordered months ago and ready in June have thrown a little spanner in the works. I've resolved that Super Smash Bros Brawl will be the only video game purchase, despite the delicious looking (and 2 player) Lego Indiana Jones. I'm consoling myself with the music from Smash (downloaded here).

Also annoyingly my ipod's select button has stopped working which renders my ipod unusable! Fortunately its pay year end this month so there should be a bit of a bonus winging its way towards me. I'm stuck with whether to replace my iPod nano with a new nano (now with video) or go all flash and get an iPod touch. The web browsing, email checking is appealing on touch but the size is off putting, I don't want another phone sized item to carry around with me. Plus the fact that the touch is double the price!

Other things I'm obsessing about are:

1. If we get an offer on the house, should I lower the offer we're making for the house we want in Long Eaton since the average house price has fallen 5% in the last 2 months. But what if they then accept someone else's offer!

2. D&D 4th edition. This looks great and I'm tempted to buy the rule books even though I have no-one to play with! Listening to a podcast over at Penny Arcade/D&D website and the new rules sound fantastic. Am wondering if I could get a group going when we move back to the Midlands...I wonder if K will want to play?

3. Cradle Cap. I shouldn't be allowed to hold a sleeping baby who has cradle cap...too tempting to pick until 've picked it too much. Fortunately the Nurse Prac. at the surgery wasn't too worried and just gave K some Coconut Oil so we're giving that a whirl.

Friday, May 30, 2008

This is so true!

I had a fantastic dream the other night but by the time I relayed it to K it ended up as me throwing explosive cushions into my parent's bedroom while The Doctor looked on. I think there were terrorists in there somewhere.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A dangerous precedent

K and I have started snacking in the evening. It started with a bit of chocolate, then with bowls of crisps over the last few days and we're currently working our way through a mammoth bowl of popcorn, although to be honest, its a little tasteless! And I can fit 16 pieces in my mouth at once, compared to a paltry 11 for K!

In other news K successfully expressed this morning and I gave Z his first feed. He gets this odd spaced out, ecstatic look on his face but I was concerned that there wasn't enough for him. Well, 90 minutes later and he's still asleep (I did have some help from the mobile)

Gaming has been a bit frantic as well. Playing Lost Winds on Wiiware, nice and gentle and well worth the 1000 points. Downloaded Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 1 as well and am enjoying the writing, the game cliches and the turn based combat. Great fun.

Still need to play some more GTAIV, get back on Wii Fit (its been 10 days now) and play some more Mario Kart Wii, let alone The World Ends With You. Also wondering whether to buy a new DS lite for K (I can't really buy a new one for myself, can I?)

Or perhaps I should just put my bonus into the house moving fund?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Here we go

I'm gearing up for quite a long stressful weekend. We've got Mum and Dad coming the day after tomorrow to help pack away most of my life into boxes to help with selling teh house.

I do see this as a good idea but part of what I like about the house is all our things that remind me of good times and people we know. The kitchen looks a bit sterile and I think the front room is going to look odd without the coffee table. Hopefully though, the new pictures will entice people to come and view and hopefully buy!

I can't quite believe its been a week since I posted though. And I've fallen off the WiiFit wagon big stylee and just when I was starting to lose weight as well. Monday I had to do the shopping, Tuesday I'd been in the car 2 hours (lets not even talk about my nightmare trip TO Watford...lets just say if I'd had an empty bottle I'd have used it), Wednesday I gave blood (and got the biggest bruise for my troubles) and tonight I just can't be arsed. Once the coffee table is gone and we've got more space it'll be easier.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Things I have Learned from GTA IV

I cannot handbrake corner around bends at high speed and expect not to hit/maim/kill pedestrians and/or myself.

That is all.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Lazy Bank Holiday

Updated with successes!

After having 2 great and social, busy days (see here) I've decided there's only a few things I want to do today...

1) Sit on my arse Spent much of the day doing this

2) Do some WiiFit exercising (I seem to have gained 4 pounds in 2 days) Had to drag myself to set it up to just do the body test. Once I'd done that though I was keen as mustard and managed 33 minutes, mainly Step Advance & Rhythm boxing

3) Play some more The World Ends with You as once GTAIV arrives tomorrow I'm likely to be a little distracted. Yes played this and ignored the cries of my son

4) Have a roast chicken dinner. Looking out of the window I see sun and blue sky (and not the rain originally forecast) so I think it will be roast chicken, salad and roast potatoes instead of veg and gravy. This was delicious, potatoes roasted in with the chicken and turned into chewy chicken flavoured lumps

5) Play with Zachary to make up for a nail clippers/finger incident this morning. Done and I think he's forgiven me

6) Play new boardgame 1960: The Making of the President Played while handing crying baby back and forth. K rewrote history with a historic win for Nixon, I'm not sure how she did it but I think I focused too much on the large states and not the middling ones

7) Maybe get dressed Barely did this...shorts, t-shirt and flip flops

Call the social!


Some irresponsibe parent let their 8 week climb onto a cannon and be papped by the tabloids!!!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

So whingey!

Poor little Zachary! After being so good for ages he has finally succumbed to an afternoon of crying. To be fair this was down mainly to his 2 jabs this morning. We were going ok for a few hours but then he got a bit hot and fever-y and then just cried and cried. It pains your heart!

Although so far it hasn't seemed to have disrupted the sleep routine! He went down at 7 and has been asleep since. He's a good boy really.

Been playing Ikariam recently, as recommended by Neil. Was happily expanding and researching and then an island neighbour started to attack me! I retaliated and then he complains about attacking him. So I stop and then another neighbour contacts me and says that the first neighbour had offered to give him free resources if he starts attacking me! Outrageous! SO me and the second neighnour have teamed up to kick his ass! Felt a little guilty but then the latent dictator in me broke free!

Also managed to get back on the WiiFit wagon today. After doing 8 minutes yesterday and not doing anything at lunch I did a good 30 minutes this evening and felt much better for it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

So cute!


And I managed 30 minutes of Wii Fit today in my lunch break, although we won't mention the paltry 15 minutes I did yesterday...

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Managed to add 34 minutes to my FitCash total this morning including 808 spins on the hulahoop in Super Hula Hoop! Enjoyed a long jog around Wiifitty island (the highlight of which was a Mii version of Alex overtaking me and then tripping over and falling on his face!)

Wondering if I'll be able to keep it up when I have to go to work afterwards and hoping to see some improvement soon. So far I have put on weight each day but I think this is down to my changing outfits more than anything else. I have now been scientific about it and established the weight of my boxers, shorts and t-shirt are 1 lb. Super!

K has outperformed me on a number of activities still (ski jump being a sore point) so I need to focus on those. Really don't like the muscle work out ones but I am starting to include them in the mix each day...hopefully we'll see an improvement over yesterday's scolding by the trainer when I stopped doing press ups half way through!

On a positive note I can feel its effect on my body and I slept straight through last night despite there being a number of feeds!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Will it work?

I'm hoping so...

My aim is to lose a stone and a bit in 3 months...thats about 2 lbs every fortnight.

Of course I'm talking about Wii Fit! The problem is its day 2 and I can't be arsed to go down stairs and get on the thing!

Edit: Just done 30 minutes on it. Strangely addictive quality...just wanted to breech the 30 minute mark. Hopefully it will continue!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Say "Cheese"


Definite social smiling...hooray!

Now if only we could get a buyer for our house.

Zzzzzzzzzzzz Pt 2

And now its Friday.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I knew housemoving was going to be stressful but I hadn't counted on the insomnia setting in this early!

From K's blog you may see that we've put an offer in on our Midlands house (which has been accepted) but because we haven't sold ours yet they are still taking viewings. I'm now paranoid someone else is going to view it and fall it love with it like we have!

We've had one viewing so far and still not heard any feedback. At this point I'm thinking about raiding the piggy bank to see what we can do to speed it along. I think ultimately its going to come down to price but a tiny part of me worries that no-one will want to buy our house at any price!

Anyone out there want to buy a lovely 3 bed mid terrace conveniently located to the centre of Ipswich?

P.S. Z has been asleep for nearly 4 hours now! (And yes he is still breathing!)

Sunday, April 20, 2008


He's only 6 weeks but he's already big enough to kick me out of bed!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Z's big Midlands Adventure!

If its not been clear so far with my posts having a baby is a life changing experience! I spent some time away this week (as detailed in K's blog but I'm not sure I like being referred to as a cat or my family as mice!) and it was strange. On the one hand I missed them both a lot but also I liked not having to think about anyone but myself (how selfish!) and then the guilt at liking not having to think about anyone else!

I practically flew home from Fleet after my only took 2 hours 10 minutes!!! It must be a record! (Well for me anyway!)

The last couple of days can only be considered a success. Z was a bit of a pain trying to go to sleep last night at Mum's (we reckon unfamiliar surroundings and a very hot living room) but managed to sleep for 4 and a half hours straight (another new record!) and then slept for 5 hours in the day! (Will wonders never cease!?!?)

We did manage to see a number of houses...

Great garden, noisy road, smelly and a potential road widening of the M1 that might cause future prices to plummet.

Tiny kitchen, 1 room pretending to be 2 on the particulars, lovely upstairs decor, throat closing combination of cat hair and air freshener.

Nice village, on A6, no parking at all, wet dog, no bathroom, dirty, smelly, under East Midlands flight path, rooms much smaller in the flesh.

Very helpful agent, last minute viewing, lovely interior, noisy road, second viewing with mum in tow, smallish kitchen, flexible options for living, would make an offer if not for...

Nice family, kitchen to die for, smallish outdoor space, no off road parking, big rooms, 2 toilets, good location, underfloor heating in bathroom, offer being made by us on Monday!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Under duress

I'm updating my blog because K wants to read it. Not sure I've got much tp blog about but there you go.

Been an interesting couple of weeks and the weekend promises to be a challenge too. We're going to look at houses in Long Eaton & Kegworth tomorrow and we have to get up, dressed and out by 9 and then hope Z doesn't cause a super fuss on the way there. He was as good as gold this morning but has done nothing but cry and eat this afternoon/evening. He's finally asleep and we even managed to wash his hair without any complaints.

There's been plenty of gaming undertaken too. Shadows Over Camelot saw some action (and we actually managed to win!) Hopefully adding the possibility of a traitor in the midst will spice things up even more! Hive and Mr. Jack are two good 2 player games as well. K has been playing a lot of Professor Layton and the Curious Village and I've restarted Pokemon Diamond and I'm determined to finish it this time. We've also been playing a lot of Mario Kart Wii (although K does get a little frustrated)

Also this is far too addictive/cute...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Double Dactyl overload

After reading Alex's efforts here and here, K became obsessed and made up her own (later fixed here).

Well blow me if I didn't wake up thinking about them too! I was forced to get up to find a pencil and write it down...not sure if its entirely correct but I like it anyway..

Goo-gily, gar-gily
Kathy the Beagle Brown
At feeeding and changing
She's not a twit

With much admiration
Her husband declareth
"You are a hit!"

If you were down with the 'yoof' you could swap the 4th line for 'She is "The Shit"' and it would still make sense.

Now...what else could I write a double dactyl about....

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Baby Elephant!

K is taking every opportunity to use the very local children's centres to get the little super star weighed!

He's now 5.16 kg (which in baby weight is 11.4 pounds!) That means he's put on 3 pounds in 4 weeks! He's huge....and consequently has outgrown his size 1 nappies and some sleepsuits/vests have already been consigned to the 'too small/save for next baby(!)' box.

Still getting through the tiredness at the moment and wasn't sure how good a host I was when Paul & Alex visited yesterday. We had a great catch up and Zachary was relatively well behaved, although he did get a bit hot and fidgety!

We also took the 'don't change him unless he's distressed about it' thing too far yesterday and ended up with a-poo-coming-out-the-back-of-his-nappy-while-K-was-feeding-him-in-our-bed-at-2am-this
morning incident. Deep joy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


A quick tip for all you people who like to sleep...don't ever sign up to play online Werewolf. Especially with a baby in the house where the importance of sleep only goes up!

Essentially a group of people with some as werewolves and some as villagers. The wolves know who each other is but everyone else is clueless. Each play cycle sees the villagers voting on who they think is a wolf (who then gets lynched) and then the wolves vote on who to eat. The dead players are revealed including what roles they were so everyone always knows the ration of villagers to wolves. The villagers win when the wolves are all killed and the wolves win when thy reach parity (same number) as the villagers.

So far in the game I'm playing in we've managed to lynch 2 villagers in a row! And we're down to 3 villagers and 2 wolves! In the mix is a potential sorcerer who will vote with wolves! Nightmare!

Thanks to BoardGameGeek for making this possible!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Marzipan - Raw Eggs? Who knew?!?

Just had my third (and last) slice of a very delicious simnell cake that the mother-in-law sent over for Easter. I have discovered that marzipan is another in a long line of things I've discovered I quite like that I previously thought I didn't! (these include brie and fried mushrooms).

Anyway, looked up some recipes so I could make my own marzipan (as this cake seemed to have a much grainier, less artificial marzipan taste) and discovered that it has raw eggs in it! Or am I just looking up the wrong recipes?!?!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Addicted to Baby

I literally cannot stop taking pictures of Zachary!

Current favourites...

In the hospital before he got ill

Meeting Auntie Becky

Coming home from hospital

Cuddles with Daddy

And my current top favourite...pensive, thoughtful baby!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Up my sleeve!

Whilst flailing about for a towel to wipe Zachary's bottom (cotton wool just gets stuck) I failed to notice the stream of wee...which managed to go up the sleeve of my jumper!! At least there was no continuous flow of poo this time! And it doesn't seem to wash out! Its alien freaky poo!

It didn't help that all the towels seem to be in the wash cycle at the moment and he's running out of clothes! (Despite my addition to buying them whenever I can).

He had 5 changes the other day, 3 from weeing on himself whilst being changed, once while pooing on himself whilst being changed (happened in the middle of the night so was interesting to try to work out what was different about him when I picked him up in the morning) and the final most embarrassing reason for a change? Mummy dropping chocolate on him!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dirty Boy!

The silence is shattered by a rumbling noise...

The force of nature is still in slumber...

A squelch follows, laughter erupts...

Zachary's nappy is full!

Stamina pt 1

I'm sure most parents out there already know this but Stamina is a trait well needed when starting the journey into parenthood.

Since we're now all safe and well I thought I'd just share with you the first few days of Zachary's life and the stamina I needed. I suppose I should be napping (like K & Z are at the moment) but now seems like a good opportunity to do this blog entry.

Wednesday 12.30am - K wakes up to go to the loo and then says..."Leigh, my waters have broken!" We were both remarkably calm thinking about it. Often waters don't break until contractions has started so this was kind of a surprise. We mopped up (helpfully K was perched on the edge of the bed when this happened so managed to miss the mattress protector entirely. We called the hospital and they advised us to go back to bed and come in again at 9am in the morning. Since K has me so well trained I was concerned about the kitchen being a mess so I spent 30 minutes doing the washing up before going back to bed.

Wednesday 2.30am - We both realise that we're just lying in bed awake too excited to sleep! I put on a CD of G&S overtures that allows us to think about something else and time passes.

Wednesday 4.00-5.00am - The CD has finished and I think I must have got some sleep in this hour as it passed by too quickly.

Wednesday 7.00am - Since I'm just lying there awake I get up. K tells me she's started to have contractions so we get ready to go to the hospital.

So far I've been awake since 7.00am Tuesday morning (24 hours) and got about 3 hours sleep.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Middle Name Meme

Spotted this over on Dogwood tales and thought I'd start off a new round of blogging with it.

Take your middle name and then reveal 5 facts based on the letters of it. Since my middle name is Bobby I've got a lot of B's to deal with! Here goes...

B - Boy/Bundle of Joy. We just brought home Zachary from the hospital and he really is the most gorgeous thing I have EVER seen in my life. He's 8 days old today.

O - Opera. Specifically the Light Operatic works of Gilbert & Sullivan. I have performed in a lot of them, met lifelong friends through a University G&S society and met K, the light of my life. Have started singing them to Zachary to help settle him down.

B - Boardgames. Always an eager boardgame fan as a youngster but my passion has been reignited via the new wave of modern boardgames. My obssession is helpfully fed via BoardGameGeek.

B - Batman (and superhero comics in general). Favourite Batman comics include The Long Halloween and Hush. I do like Superhero team up books so most of my collection is JLA, Avengers, The Authority but I am partial to a bit of Ms Marvel.

Y - Yogurt. Y is such a difficult letter to find something from so I plumped for Yogurt. We make our own and I love the fcat that it always comes out different!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Still no sign!

After a great weekend away we're now back to a holding pattern of waiting for baby to arrive!

The final bits of clothes have now been washed (including a "I love my Daddy" jumpsuit for when baby comes home). I'm really looking forward to it but there's nothing to be done but wait.

I must admit its going to be a little odd though as all the important people to tell about the birth have all said that they only want to know when it's all done with (i.e. when the baby has arrived). Hopefully the labour won't be too long otherwise I'm going to have no-one to tell other than K (who presumably will be aware what's going on!)

Managed to resist the urge to spend more money on board games helps that we've already instigated the "Leigh pays for everything policy" and I can see what's left in my account to spend on frivolities. Its really good actually as some of the games I've bought over the last 2 months I have probably only played once! I'm not even going to mention the video games I haven't even put in their prospective video game consoles!

Friday, February 29, 2008

This might be quite good after all!

Men watch out!

As is tradition every four years, today sees an opportunity for unmarried women to take the bull by the horns and propose to their men (or women, um does this mean lesbians can only propose once every four years!!). I caught a snippet of the BBC Breakfast news and there was a emailer who was planning to propose to her boyfriend and was so confident that she had also planned a wedding and a reception for the same day! Just imagine if he says no...awkward! I remember when I proposed to K, that was scary enough without the worry that I'd organised a party that might need to be cancelled!

It's also the day where K has to try her hardest not to go into labour. While it might sound cool to have a birthday once every 4 years I don't think I'd like it so I'm hoping that we go another week yet. Especially as we have defied convention and are away visiting family in Norwich Saturday/Sunday...its that or another weekend in the house going slowly crazy.

Just one week to go and its occurred to me that a number of my reports exist solely in my head and I better get them down on paper if the team has any chance of uninterrupted service when I go on paternity leave!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fire of Wrath!

Ah good times!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

High Adventures in a World of Magic

BGG reminded me of an old game I used to play when I was much younger HeroQuest. Thanks to the joys of ebay and everyone's desire to sell off stuff to buy videogames I was able to pick up a cheap second hand copy!

Since there was only 2 of us K had to play as all the 4 heroes while I took on the role of the Evil Wizard! K picked some inspiring names for her characters (Dwarf - Niles, Elf - Bob, Wizard - Leigh, Barbarian - Brutus) and barely made it out of the practice dungeon (The Maze) alive. The next dungeon (The Rescue of Sir Ragnor) went a little better and next time we'll swap roles and K can be the evil one (a part she was born for).

I was ready to go back to reading or lolling on the sofa but K wanted to play some more games. And not being one to miss an opportunity I picked up Alhambra and San Juan. Alhambra is always good value and we had a good game (this time remembering all the Dirk rules) but much to K's shame she lost out to Dirk!

I managed to win at San Juan today, thanks to my Palace and I do like a game with an enforced time limit (in San Juan's case when 12 buildings have been built).

Also managed to get some gardening done (the front) and will try to do the back garden tomorrow (assuming the baby isn't here, K seems to be having Braxton Hicks quite regularly at the moment!)

Still no sign

With no sign of baby yet I feel like I'm starting to go a little stir crazy! Perhaps working from home has its downsides as I barely left the house this week. I think I need to start getting out more but with K struggling to walk anywhere if I go out it'll have to be on my own. I may start to walk in the mornings again I think. A brisk twenty minutes around the block before I start work will probably do me the world of good.

Fortunately I have managed to avoid succumbing to the f-EVE-r. I played it a few days in a row but my starting character was clearly not designed with what I like to do in mind and so I have no desire to continue without re-rolling my startup and the thought of doing that puts me off. In another place/time I sense that this game would have really appealed to me but with a baby on the way and my new work pattern I'm conscious of doing any activity that isolates me from other people.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Damn you Foster!

Its a quarter to midnight and instead of being tucked up in bed I'm updating my blog while I wait for a computer game to manufacture a perpetual motion device so that I can finish my quest early and get the bonus mining lasers!

Its all Alex's fault! An offhand comment on K's blog now means not only have I checked out, downloaded and created a trial account for Eve Online, I'm sat here thinking about how much quicker I'll be able to mine stuff with my new lasers! And even when I go to bed, I suspect that I won't sleep for thinking about it!

I suppose I have to do these things now as anytime soon sleep will be the only thing I want to do at night.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Speedy Limbo

Its 11.30am on saturday and the weekend is stretching ahead with nothing more pressing to do that decide what to eat and put some stuff in the loft. The bed has been changed and I've been out and had my haircut (although not very well and I'm too British to say so to the hairdresser). K is sat by my side reading her book and I'm just frittering my time away on the interwebs.

My boardgame obsession is still going strong with new games arriving almost daily. My only justification is that once the baby is here I'll have a much reduced disposable income so I won't be able to spend it so I may as well do it now. My fixation has had an odd effect on K though as she now seems to be dreaming about games! It seems like my plan to corrupt her is working!

We are now 3 weeks away and time seems to be moving both very quickly and very slowly at the same time! I can scarcely believe its the weekend again but the baby seems to be taking forever to come out. I think we're both ready now....come on baby! we want to say hello!

Monday, February 11, 2008


Went to see Juno at the cinema yesterday and it has made me more excited for the baby coming along! It was very funny and a touching story to boot! It has had an unfortunate side effect that I've started to make up little songs and nicknames based on our potential name choices!

Even before the film started K got very excited with the Doctor Who cinema trailer (I must admit it was pretty good!) preparing us for the new series in the next few months (Spring apparently but who knows when that is?). Even Donna looked quite good as she chatted to Bernard Cribbins (wasn't he in the Christmas episode?) about wanting to find the Doctor.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


The dining room cleared, the floors vacuumed, the washing-up done and the cardboard taken to the tip and everything was ready for the first CAPLE GAME-A-THON!

We decided on 8 games (perhaps we should have picked an odd number) with 2 of them card games (taken from my new book Blazing Aces) and the rest an agreed mix. We settled on Alhambra, Boggle, Carcassonne, Dungeon Twister, Lost Cities and Ticket to Ride: Europe. Space was made on the table and we were ready for the off!


1st CAPLE GAME-A-THON, 03/02/08, L & K

Each game was written on a piece of paper and put in the exciting ‘Chalice of Destiny’ (green cereal bowl).

Round One – Card Game 1

We plumped for a new game from our book and settled on ‘Sitting Bull’. A poker based game where 2 players try to form poker hand combinations from a reduced 32 card deck with 7 cards removed. Players alternately play cards to form a 5 x 5 grid with one player scoring horizontal rows the other vertical columns.

Result – With 8 points (to K’s 6) I emerge victorious and take an early lead.

L: 1 K: 0

Round 2 – Boggle

After drawing another card game from the Chalice we agreed to put it back and pick another game. This time out came Boggle. Good for me as I’m quite good at it!
After 3 very close rounds including words such as Streets, Tenets & Tresses we had a winner!

We managed to get 35 words (between us) from this selection in 2 minutes. Can you do better?


Result – With 61 points after 3 rounds, K is the winner (to my measly 51 points). So much for my gaming prowess at Boggle.

L: 1 K: 1

Round 3 – Alhambra


Hooray! We both really enjoy this game and it's usually quite close so we got ready for a nail-biting one. It's a combination of getting sets and laying tiles in a pattern to build up your palace. It's great because you have to ensure that you get first place in some sets but try to get second place in others. Winning by coming first in a set is not enough if you've focussed on that exclusively.

After getting to almost the last tile in the bag with no second scoring card in sight we realised that we’d forgotten to remove a quarter of the currency cards! K was gutted as her Alhambra wall was big and it looked like a victory was guaranteed. We agreed to abandon the game and have a rematch.

But first we popped out for lunch! Off to Nando’s, chicken wings for me, and halloumi/portabello mushroom pitta for K. Yummy!

Round 3 – Alhambra – Take two!

Determined not to make the same mistake again, we double-checked that the extra currency cards had been removed. They had and so we were good to go! The game proceeded much better this time and we got to the second scoring card with many more tiles still left in the bag! It was at this stage however that we realised we had forgotten to give Dirk his second set of tiles at the previous scoring round! D’oh! With so much at stake neither of us was prepared to leave the game as it was so we were forced to abandon the game for a second time!

Round 3 - Alhambra - Take Three!

To be honest I was crushed! After the first round I was beaten into 3rd place by Dirk (the shame!) (K11, D9, L4). The second scoring round saw me claw back some dignity and draw level with him (K43, L32, D32) and finally I edged ahead and beat him by 1 after the final scoring round (K132, L114, D113). Bear in mind that Dirk doesn't score for the length of his Alhambra wall (worth around 15-20 points) and you'll see how badly I was doing.

Result: K 132, L 114, Dirk 113

K started to take an early lead! L: 1 K: 2

Round 4 - Ticket to Ride: Europe

Another really enjoyable game but it can sometimes feel a bit like multiplayer solitaire with only 2 players (not a great deal of interaction, just focussing on your own routes). But a nice steal of Riga to Petrograd thwarted K's ambitions of having the longest route (and resulted in a station being played for the first time).


Despite this, a canny choice of destinations at the start of the game meant that K scored more bonus points and took the victory.

Result: K scored 108 (and getting Lisboa to Danzig really helped) and I only got 103 (my tactic of discarding my long route didn't help!)

It was starting to look like a whitewash!


Round 5 - Dungeon Twister

I was relieved when this one came round. We've only played this once before and I won so I was confident going into it. It's a fantasy based dungeon crawl but does not have any luck elements to it. Strategy and a clever guessing of what your opponent might do will win the game.

I secured an early lead with my wallwalker and goblin by getting them out of the dungeon with some treasure. I then cemented this by polishing off K's goblin for the final point and the win!


Result: My 5 points saw off K's 2 (but she was just glad to have scored some points!)

Finally regaining some dignity I started to draw level. L: 2 K: 3

Round 6 - Another card game

This time we played a game called 'Portland' where each player has a 52 card deck and has to win successive rounds with the highest poker hand. The twist being that each new card must be played on top of one of your existing 5 until you are happy with your hand. The winner of the round scores a point and all the cards are discarded and the next round begins. It becomes a question of whether to lose early rounds (worth less points) to preserve the cards in your deck for later rounds that are worth more points as the cards discarded i each round are removed from play in subsequent rounds!

After losing the first 3 rounds I managed to win the last 3 and take the victory!

L: 3 K: 3

Round 7 - Lost Cities (3 rounds)

Another fun one that has the benefit of being addictive and very quick! The trick here is to play enough of each set of cards to score points before the draw deck runs out. The tricky part being once you've played a number card you can only play higher ones afterwards and that you must play a card each turn. Added in is the ability to draw from either the deck or the 5 shared discard piles mean it's quite tense towards the end!

Not enough cards on the Stonehenge pile means I scored -4 points for this set!

Another trouncing by K with a combined score of 124 vs 36 for me after 3 rounds!

L: 3 K: 4

Round 8 - Carcassonne


After deciding to remove the River expansion we settled down to this great game that we haven't played as a 2 player in a while. Remembered how much fun it is (especially without the river) I didn't want it to end! And I had to win to force a draw otherwise the first GAME-A-THON would end in embarrassment for me!

Fortunately a clever placement of my farmers meant that come game end I had sufficient extra points to secure the win...phew!!

Final tally, me on 138 (those extra 32 farmer points really helped) and K on 116.

*drum roll* The final verdict of the 1st CAPLE GAME-A-THON....


A great result all round and a great way to spend a few hours!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Calm before the Storm

With nothing on at the cinema and nothing else taking our fancy and with no prior commitments the scene is set for the first (in hopefully a long line)....


And who will emerge victorious? Only time (and this blog a bit later) will tell!

Snothing Here

While everyone else I know (OK only three people) is revelling in a winter wonderland at the moment I'm looking out at quite a bright morning with nary a snowflake in sight. Which is slightly depressing because it means we may not get snow until much later this year....and I don't want snow when the baby is due.

Before I go any further I'm hoping a reader will be able to help with some grammar. In my first sentence I'm not sure whether that should have been 'is' or 'are'. If the bracketed bit wasn't there the 'is' is perfectly OK (I think) but the words in the brackets seem to invalidate it and would suggest that I should have used 'are' instead (because of the three people). Perhaps I should have changed those brackets to commas and had it as a clause? But even so the sentence should read correctly if the portion enclosed in commas wasn't there and so 'are' doesn't seem right either!

Perhaps if my school had split English into two subjects (Lang & Lit) instead of cramming it into one, I'd know the answer already? Hopefully one of you people can point me right!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cooking the Books

Watching Five at the moment and Sherrie Hewson is ruining the programme at the moment...funny faces and 'accidentally' getting chocolate pudding on her nose! Just fuck off. Jeremy Edwards is trying to keep control of the whole affair but just seems to rush from workstation to workstation looking panicked! I don't know if its a repeat but they're making Christmas Puddings...

Stuck for something to do at the moment...K is at a work's do (last day before maternity leave tomorrow) and TV's a bit shit. Although Whose Line is it Anyway? is on back to back on Dave so I'll probably watch a bit of that.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Old skool gaming

You may have noticed the new widgety thing at the left side of my blog...this is a helpful tool from BoardGameGeek showing a random selection from my game collection. Not video games but BOARD games...I've gone all old school!

Spurred on by a marathon (well 4 in a row) games session with Em & Paul at Christmas (the excellent and very reasonable Carcassonne if you were wondering) my interest in board games has been reunited.

Despite toy shops (I'm looking at you Toys R Us) now focusing on electronic gadgets it would appear that the board game world is still going strong and I've been immersing myself in it once more (and rapidly filling up that space saved by shipping out all my old board games to my parents).

Current games on the bought and enjoying very much list are (in no particluar order)...Zooloretto, Lost Cities, Alhambra, Ingenious, Ticket to Ride Europe and others. Most of these work quite well as 2 player games (especially Lost Cities & Alhambra with the mysterious 'Dirk' sticking an oar in) but I'm itching to teach others and play totheir full potential...consider yourselves all warned! But bearig in mind that these games are all designed to be learnt in about 5 minutes (it took less time than that to teach my sister -in-law how to play TtR:E, so it must be easy!)

I may add a few to the collection in Feb but then its a case of no spending for the foreseeable future! With K having only maternity pay I'm going to have to stop buying crap! Ohh the responsibility!

Imminent Arrival

OK so we're 44 days to go and the house is being prepared in earnest. When I say earnest that it what I really mean! It has kinda stopped being a joyful occasion in my mind to an almost feeling of dread of the responsibility and how we'll cope with it all!

Last night's trip to Mothercare World was as eventful as previous trips. This time the pram car seat (for our bizarrely discontinued, then not discontinued 'travel system') wasn't working properly. We can tighten for a smaller baby but not loosen...this leaves a small problem in that our baby is probably going to be bigger than a barbie doll! (which is the only thing that will now fit in it as I played with the tighten function before realising the untighten function didn't work!) Fingers crossed we don't have the baby prior to 4th Feb when they come back into stock! We seemed to pick up a large selection of nappies and a huge playmat that caught our eye (stuff buying clothes and cotton wool, let's get the toys in!)

There's still a list of things to get and we seem to be relying on a vast truck of baby clothes as gifts as we are kind of short in that area...I suppose when we know what sex it is will help in that area. Other than that everything seems to be taken care of. K finishes work in a few days and I think it can't come soon enough to be honest. The tiredness has started to hit her a bit and most days she comes home looking a bit wan!

Work have also been great for me as well. My home working is all approved and I'm just waiting for for them to install my business line on Friday and for my new office chair and IT equipment to arrive. I've also been very prepared and put together a Paternity Leave plan making sure that the 'very important work that I does' will get done (they'll probably only need a chimp and a spreadsheet and they'll be sorted). I also get a quite generous 2 weeks paid leave to cover it off...I might be screaming to get back to work after a couple of days!

I suppose its all got a bit more 'real' as we visited the Pen's at the weekend to meet their new arrival (4 months old now). They seemed to know exactly what to do at all times and seemed very much more organised and grown up than I remember them being prior to A's arrival. They seemed unfazed by crying, poo and the fact he was on J's breast more than he was off it! (maybe that's just my hazy recollection!) I imagine that after a few months we'll probably look competent as well.

I was looking through some old pics and realised that I haven't been tracking teh bump very well. Here's a couple of pics to show the current progress.

This one was taken 7 weeks ago...


And this one 4 weeks ago (Christmas Day! And aren't I mean forcing my pregnant wife to do the washing up on Christmas Day?!?! To be fair I did remove the customary chains for the photo!)


Rest assured she is even bigger now and is set to enlarge before the month is out!

A pleasant diversion

Weird hand drawn thingy courtesy of 1up's 100 Free games 2008


pacman cupcakes
Originally uploaded by hello naomi.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Portal Antics

For those of you that have played Portal this will be hilarious...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Final Countdown

Its early on a sunday morning so what am I doing? Yes thats right I'm on the computer! K is staying in bed for a bit I think...which is good news as I think she's really starting to feel the whole 'exhaustion of pregnancy' thing. She did go a bit of a funny colour in Morrison's yesterday so I've got to take extra special care of her at the moment.

We're now into the final 8 weeks of the pregnancy and things are moving on apace. Antenatal stuff starts happening soon and K gives up work in 3 weeks time. The pram arrives shortly as does the cot, but we have managed to get a moses basket and a small selection of clothes (we don't yet know the sex of the baby). We're hovering around a very small selection of names but I think it'll be a case of waiting to see what the baby looks like before we make any final decisions.

K's brain is definitely on the fritz too....a side effect of pregnancy I hope and not of things to come generally. A highlight example is when she was on the phone to a preacher and in a panicked voice said "I'll just go and find out what the readings are". She then put down the cordless phone and ran upstairs. A few minutes later (the cordless phone still sat downstairs with a patient preacher at the other end) I went upstairs to see what she was doing to find her desperately trying to get the printer to work to print something out. It was at this juncture that I gently pointed out that she could either pick up the phone sat next to the screen she was looking at, use the cordless that was in my hand and just read out the information from screen to printer without the pesky time consuming printing!