Monthly Archives: May 2010
It’s been a varied week this week, thankfully capped with a bank holiday.
My direct boss left on Friday so there were the usual hand overs, team lunches and goodbyes to contend with.
I attended the team lunch under some protest as we went to an Indian Curry House. I don’t eat spicy food and am allergic to tomatoes so for me this was torture. I should willing and went, ordering a Chicken Tikka and sharing my Directors spinach cheese dish only to be ill when I returned home that evening.
This pissed me off even more as I was already hacked off that my allergy was brushed aside so that we could instead go to a restaurant which pandered to my colleagues moral and religious beliefs.
Anyway my boss has left so I am staring into a new world (with no current replacement boss) on Tuesday.
Typically the bank holiday weather is poor but it hasn’t stopped us getting out.
On a rain-soaked Saturday we travelled into the West End where we attended a production of Bedroom Farce. It’s a play based in the 70′s which features the lives of 4 couples. It’s quite mild and not much of a farce but we did enjoy it and appeared to laugh quite a lot.
Afterwards we caught up with some friends in the Ku Bar. I got plenty of ribbing for my meeting with Dillon but no where near as much as Richard as he bought an iPad the day before.
Our choice of restaurant was full so we took a chance and popped into Nando’s in Covent Garden. What a mistake that was! The service was dreadful. The waiters didn’t know where any of the tables were. Our food took 30 minutes to arrive and all arrived at different times. Two of our dishes went to a different table and when we’d finished we were asked if we had other food on the way. It was an absolute joke. I never did like Nando’s and this just reinforced my opinion.
It was fun in there but I am starting to feel like a middle-aged gay may (at 36!) as most of the guys look pre-pubescent! I don’t ever remember being that aware or fortunate at that age but I am pleased younger guys can do much these days. Although I am reminded by the documentaries Gareth Thomas has worked on that homophobia is still very prevalent in the UK today.
So yes Richard bought an iPad and even though I was reluctant it does have its uses. For one it’s great to own a computer which boots up instantly. The OS is nice too which gives me high hopes for the new iPhone. It’s also very fast. I cannot get use to the accelerometer in it though as it feels alien in such a big device.
I’ve been playing around with Robo.to and find it quite quirky. Basically it’s a micro site you set up so people can view all your online content in one place. I love the instant repeat videos (which work on iPhone) and the home screen icons which automatically create a photo icon of the user when saved (nice touch). Why not give it a go?
I have not heard anything yet re my application of work to the Royal Academy’s’ Summer Exhibition. Hopefully I’ll find out sooner rather than later. Please keep everything crossed for me.
I write this on Sunday morning in the car as we head up to Charlecote Park. The weathers not great but it’s dry and our picnic is packed. I am sure there will be plenty of photos for you to view on our return.
Whatever you’re doing this weekend, have fun.
I try not to eat in Nandos and tonight I am reminded why.
A nice day at the theatre and a few drinks in town were ruined by poor service, ignorant staff and lack of organisation.
I cannot believe we waited 30 minutes for food. All the plates came at different times and worst of all the waiters didn’t know our table numbers.
How can a busy West End restaurant not know how many tables they have or where their tables are?
When the food arrived it was cold and some how two orders arrived on the wrong table.
The service calamity lasted long after we had finished when a waiter asked if we were waiting for food!
I didn’t see the appeal of Nando’s before and now I am even less inclined to use it.
A joke. Avoid Nando’s. Especially in Covent Garden. A joke.
I don’t know if it was the time of day, the cliental or the interior but this place was just way too unfriendly and pretentious.
We visited for a friends leaving drinks on a Friday evening and the place was rammed. Full of faceless men in suits and Carrie Bradshaw wannabes.
It took an age to order any drinks and when we did the bar man constantly got the order wrong or managed to charge us for someone else’s order.
At £4.20 for a pint of Peroni and an average of £8 for a cocktail you have to ensure you’re loaded before visiting.
There was a TV showing sports and music playing in the background but the place has been so badly designed you couldn’t see nor hear anything.
Pretentious and over-priced – avoid.
It’s been bloody manic since we came back from our holiday and at present there appears to be no let up.
My “line manager” leaves next week and aside from the work I already do for him, I am also covering nearly everything else he leaves as there is no replacement.
I am stressed, overworked and tired but I am coping. Being so low in the food chain it annoys me that I am stuck where I am, doing what I do with no thanks or recognition for it. I can live in hope I guess.
This week has been particularly difficult as it included 2 separate full day workshops, 15 meetings (yes I counted) and barely no time to come up for air.
I have to say a big thank you to Richard who has been an absolute rock, supporting me and keeping me calm through it all.
I think this week has been so hard as it also followed a weekend in Devon. Lovely as it was it’s always very tiring after.
On Thursday I got a message from Dillon (Buck) as he was in London and thought it would be nice too meet up. I managed to escape the office for half an hour to meet him for lunch.
For those who don’t know he used to feature in adult gay movies and is one handsome fellow. We had an interesting chat about many things including the complexities of looking after tropical fish ;0)
Before the workshop on Friday (I was in at 7.30) I had to endure a fire alarm, intensive pummeling from my Physio (my back/leg is playing up again) and a couple of meetings. I was tired before we even started.
Thankfully a friend of mine had read my mind and suggested escaping for a drink afterwards. A couple of us went out and it was such a lovely evening. I could not pass up the opportunity to take a stroll along the Thames and enjoy a pitcher of Pimms outside Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank. Being out with friends on such a lovely evening really did help me forget all the negatives from this week.
It’s been manic but the events at the latter part of the week have compensated some what for the beginning of the week and at least we are heading into a weekend of hot sunny weather. I am sure Richard and I will make the most of it whether it be a picnic in the country or a day in the garden, it’ll be nice to relax for a bit!
We took a long overdue trip back to Plymouth this weekend. Overdue as we’ve not been home since Christmas.
Unknown to us we picked the perfect day to travel as it was the FA Cup therefore most people stayed home to watch the football. There were gaggles of boy racers on their way to Castle Combe to swing their tiny cocks around in front of their fellow “performance car” owners but little else on the roads.
Anyway the first site that greeted us was my dads garden and so much has happened. His rockery has established and his new vegetable “patch” is really taking shape. I think there is enough fruit and veg to feed the cul de sac. It’s a new endeavour for him but I can tell he has inhertited my Grans green fingers as he is a natural.
My mum is looking well and seems to have really settled in the cottage. Of course she’s redecorated again but that seems as natural to my mum as gardening is to my dad.
It’s nice having both families in Plymouth but tiring as we have quite a few people to catch up with. I never seem to have enough time to get around to my friends.
The majority of Saturday we caught up with Richards dad and sibblings before heading out for dinner with my parents and Richards mum. It may not have been the poshiest place in Plymouth but our parents like it and the food is always really good.
It was nice for the six of us to take the time to chat and chill over dinner. If we hadn’t we probably would have done more running around.
I slept well last night except for when one of my parents cats decided to play Saloon with the cat flap. He’s got so big he’s realised that us gullible humans will let him in to save him the indignity of squeezing through the cat flap. As soon as he saw I was awake he just kept tapping the flap expecting me to get out and open the door! Cheeky beggar.
I spent a drizzly Sunday at my folks and enjoyed a wonderful family roast (the kind that evokes childhood memories, that you can never recreate) before Richard picked me up.
Here we are, all too soon, back in the car heading north towards the capital.
I miss Plymouth simply because my parents are there, no other reason and for that reason I can admit it’s always nice to go “home”.
It’s the morning after the General Election, the skies grey and the trains delayed.
Welcome to lathargic retarded Britain.
After years of Labour rule, years of Labour cocks ups, years of MPs robbing us for thier duck ponds – this country cannot decide on a positive course of actions.
Labour lost majority last night. Conservatives gained. Libs stalled to fail.
This country clearly doesn’t want change yet there is no clear message to government.
Obviously people have stuck with the big two and the procrastinating has cost the Libs and to be honest I am not surprised as it always happens.
What is worrying is people turning up late and not being able to vote. Hurtling into a hung parliment where Brown may end up still leading us.
If this was the X Factor or Britains Got Talent this country would have voted in their millions and a result would have been certain. Sadly the people of Britain don’t seem that bothered and couldn’t decide.
Maybe the political choices weren’t great but surely Labour should have dropped to at least third?
So we now wait in political limbo unclear of our future.
On thing is certain though. Nick Griffin recieved a sharp message losing his seat to a huge Labour majority. Even I would agree the Fat Scotsmans is a better proposition than that racist wanker.
Dissapponted. Once more.
Dissillusioned. For sure.
Come on Britain, pull your socks up!
If days were measured great by the sites seen and the food consumed today would be “Excellent”.
We planned to have a drive around Warwickshire, taking in a couple National Trust properties as we are currently interested in properties we have not seen before.
Our first port of call was Baddesley Clinton which is an atmospheric house which from the 15th century. It was full of priests holes and stories of murder and ghosts. The moated house was modest in size and had a fantastic garden full of wildfowl and numerous specimens.
Actually our first port of call was the tea room where I enjoyed a cheese scone and some tea – Richard preferred filter coffee and a flapjack ;0) This was walked off whilst wandering around the grounds only to be supplemented with a hearty lunch of leek and potato soup (for me) and salad (for Richard).
A very short drive lead us to another trust property – Packwood House. It was a stark contrast to Baddesley but just as interesting. The house itself was very interesting to wander around, packed full of oddities picked up on a world tour in the early 1900′s. The house dates from the 16th Century and features a wonderfully Alice in Wonderland-esque topiary garden.
We were very lucky to be serenaded by a chaffinch and I managed to get a fab shot of him mid song (I love the zoom on my Lumix camera!)
As we were in the area we decided to drive to Warwick – a place neither of us knew very much about. Arriving in Warwick it felt like we wouldn’t learn much either as most of the place looked closed.
There are grand roads of Georgian houses, a very grand church (although no cathedral as we had expected) and of course the castle. The castle which is owned by the Tussauds group which seems to the disgust of the locals. Whilst photographing the castle tower over the wall we were informed of ways to get in whilst saving money or how to get the best shots of the castle without even paying to visit (drop me a line if you want to know how!)
After an hour or two we decided to stop for dinner and made our way to Prezzo (one of my favourite high street chains). As ever the food was excellent and we returned home fat and full.
A truly wonderful day out. especially when we didn’t plan very much. Amazingly it’s all within 90 minutes drive of us too. We must visit again soon.
Its our final evening (proper) in Spain and I write this whilst enjoying the peace and quiet. It’s a cool evening with little activity except for the lapping of the waves and the odd cricket.
This just about sums up our holiday. I’ve never known it so quiet down here but after the chaos at home it’s exactly what we needed.
The weather had been lovely, hot and clear for afternoons on the beach but cool enough to go for gentle strolls and drives along the coast.
Sunday we ended up at Almuñécar which was a contrast from Torrox, I am sure it’s quite a party location once it gets going. The climb to the top of the hill and the illuminated cross was worth it for the views.
We enjoyed a stroll into El Morche where we encountered a friendly chap from Bristol before heading to the local garden centre to marvel at all the exotic species.
We also found a few new restaurants during this trip ensuring our tummies were full (look out for my reviews on Qype).
Today was hazey so we drove down to Marbella and had a browse around La Cañada which proved a bit of a knock on my wallet. Still I do like to purchase clothes here as they always seem to be brighter and nicer than the standard boring clothes you get in the UK.
I won’t post this till we return but we have one more full day as we have a 2230 flight home.
Tomorrow promises more of the same, shopping, a walk to the lighthouse up the coast, lunch and a quiet afternoon before the drive back to Malaga airport.
I’m so glad the ash abated and we got to come away. My tan isn’t perfect but I have colour in my cheeks and the bags under my eyes have receeded. A truly relaxing week in the sun as planned.
What’s that you ask? What about the Spanish hunks? There wasn’t much this trip – well none caught on camera. I will say we did both do a fair bit of window shopping. Lol.
Not sure our next trip here will be as quiet as it’ll be full season and accompanied by Richards family(!).
(More photos to come later ;))