Tuesday, September 26, 2006

More Alice Growing Up and Victoria's Birthday

Alice spent her first night in a 'proper' bed last night. Yesterday afternoon Victoria converted her cot to a little bed. This is all very exciting!!

The bed is only about 6 inches from the ground and we padded any potential falls with a generous round of pillows and a rolled up duvet but this did not mean that Victoria and I were able to sleep at all last night. In fact we were both awake for the majority of the night listening to the baby monitor, waiting to hear a thud!!

We checked on her several times and most of the time she was fast asleep in her new bed. At about 4am though we found her about half way accros her room curled up against the wardrode. How she got there I don't know. Victoria scooped her up and put her back in bed, and that was where she stayed.

Well done Alice. :-)

Today is also Victoria's 34th birthday. I bought her lots of very generous presents as I am the best husband ever. Actually I am probably still trying to make up for buying her a bottle of Diamond White for her 21st!!

We are having Rob and Lucy round on Saturday to celebrate which will be great fun.

Happy birthday sweetie.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Reading 16th - 18th September

Victoria, Alice and I went to Reading last weekend. It was kind of a family trip and my mum and David, along with my Granny and Eric had already travelled down the day before.

We were there as we wanted a nice weekend away and we wanted to visit Richard, Eric's youngest son, and Jeremy, Eric's eldest son, along with Jeremy's wife Ellen and daughters, Emma and Lucy.

We were staying in a great hotel, the Madejski, which is actually attached to the Madejski stadium, home of Reading football club and the London Irish Rugby team. This is a really nice hotel. We had a club room, which meant we had access to the 'Club Lounge'. This is a nice quiet corner room that serves coffee and tea in the day and wine in the evening. Very posh it is.

We arrived on the Saturday at about 11am after being skillfully guided there by TomTom. Alice had a run around the hotel to make up for her being stuck in the car for two and a half hours and then we checked into the room.

Victoria and my mum took Alice swimming along with Jeremy, Ellen, Emma and Lucy, and afterwards David suggested going next door to watch the rugby. As we were so close to the ground (ie. attached to it) we thought it would be rude not to. I would not have bothered if it was a football match but rugby is a 'proper' game, not that rubbish played by wimps.

You can see in the picture on the left (stolen from Google Earth!!) where our seats were compared to our room. :-)

The match was great. London Irish vs Bristol. The first half was dominated by London and ended 11-3, but in the second half Bristol came back and beat London 23-11. Very exciting it was.

The atmosphere was nice as well. All the fans were mingled in together and alcohol (mainly Guiness) was being freely served. There was no trouble or drunk fans and everyone got on really well. I am guessing it is not the same for football. The banning of alcohol at football matches is very telling!!

After the match we chilled out for a bit and at 7pm our babysitter arrived. This was preceded by us putting Alice to bed at 06:30 and spending half an hour in the bathroom while she went to sleep. Luckily she was tired so was out like a light.

After a pint in the bar the taxi arrived and took us to Richard's house. It was dark so I can't remember where he lives, but I think it was Wargrave. Anyway, his neighbour is Paul Daniels so I am guessing the value of his house is a couple of hundred thousand less than it should be. ;-)

We then went to a pub called the St George and Dragon round the corner for a meal. It was all very nice and we had lots of wine.

After the meal it was back to the hotel. I suggested a quick drink in the bar as I fancied finishing the night off with a whiskey. I thought that £24 was a bit steep for 2 large Laphroaig's, a glass of red wine and half a lager though!! The whiskey came to £15.80!! I can buy a bottle for £22.

Still, hotel prices and all that. It was a nice way to end the night.

Next day I popped into Reading with my mum and Dave. I was surprised how nice Reading center is.

The Thames is running through the middle and is surrounded by House Of Fraser, Debenhams and the now obligatory Cafe Nero and Starbucks. It was really nice to sit there in the sun and drink a coffee.

After this it was off to Jeremey and Ellen's for lunch. A buffet had been prepared and it was all really delicious.

After lunch we sat in the garden and Alice played with Emma and Lucy. They all had a great time as you can see in the pictures I took. Alice was a bit tired at 5 ish so we took her back to the hotel.

The babysitter was booked again, this time for 8 and we all just sat in the hotel bar and had a drink. It was very pleasent. Once again I finished off the night with a large Laphroaig. Lovely.

Next day it was time to return to Sheffield, so after breakfast we packed up all our things and headed off back up north.

We had such a nice weekend and were really sorry when it was over, and thanks to Richard, Jeremy and Ellen for being such excellent hosts.

There are pictures available here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Movie Review

I just finished watching my newly delivered DVD of 'V For Vendetta'.

What a great film this is. A mix of Beauty And The Beast and 1984.

Both Natalie Potrman and Hugo Weaving were brilliant, with Weaving giving a fantastic performance as he was behind a static mask for the whole film.

See this movie. It is brilliant. If you don't like it you are wrong!!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Sad Day For Formula One

Michael Schumacher has announced that he is retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the 2006 season.

Although many people don't like him, say he has no personality and seems to win all the time, he is possibly the greatest racing driver we will see in our lifetime.

Since he began in 1991 racing for Jordan he has won 7 championships (the previous record was 5) and it looks like he might win an 8th this year, won 90 races out of 242 and achieved 69 pole positions. He has broken every record in the book and has to be the best wet weather driver ever.

Some may argue that Senna was a better driver but we never saw them race each other while they were at their best so we will never know.

Schumacher was not only the best F1 driver for the past 15 years, he also changed the fortunes of Ferrari, who before Schumacher had not won a championship for 21 years!! He has a knack of pulling together the best team of the engineers and stratagists that get him into the position he wants to be in, thereby building a great team instead of just concentrating on his own performance. This is why he is one of the greatest drivers. As everyone who knows anything about F1 knows, it is a team sport.

I think that next year there will be a big gap in F1 and it will take a long time to fill it.

Ferrari have recruited Raikkonen to replace Schumacher but he has no chance of being a replacement. He's to dull!!!

I think our only hope is Alonso. He's young, fast and moving to McLaren next year.

Whatever happens, Schumacher will be missed. Let's hope he get's one last championship!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Great Debate

Phil and I were discussing the old TV show Buck Rogers this morning and seem to have differing opinions on the appearence of Col. Wilma Deering.

I say she is a bit of a bloke and Phil thinks she is rather sexy.

To settle this debate I have created a poll.

Here it is :

Wilma Deering - Hot Or Not?

Is Wilma Deering from Buck Rogers Hot or Not?

Yes, she's very tasty.
No, she is a man beast.

The Greatest USB Device Ever!!!

Ever since Phil and I saw them on The Register a few months ago we have dreamed of the day we would take delivery of our very own USB Missile Launcher.

That day for me was last Friday.

The launcher is bigger than you might think, the pictures you see online not really showing it in it's full glory!!

After opening the box, inserting the batteries, plugging it into a spare USB port and installing the software we were ready to go.

The software gives you an onscreen control panel for aiming and firing the spring powered rockets. You get left, right, up, down and fire. Once you have aimed and you press the fire button you can hear the spring pulled back and a second later the rocket fires, projecting it about 10 feet. Not the greatest distance but plans are afoot for an 'upgrade' :-) Anyway, as long as it reaches Mr Callaghan's desk who cares?!?!

Buy one of these!!

They are great.

Of course your better half will not understand. As Victoria put it when I explained what it was : "so it is a posh way of flicking rubber bands at each other".


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Growing Up

Last night was a big night for Alice. Last night was her first night in Pyjamas instead of a babygrow.

Victoria bought two pairs of PJ's for Alice this week instead of replacing her rapidly declining babygrows. To the right you will see a picture of Alice modeling pair number one.

She looks so cute. When she is asleep she's looking like a proper little girl. I can't believe how quickly she is growing up. It does not seem almost two years since she was born and here she is with an almost full set of teeth, talking almost in sentences and now wearing PJ's.

I know this little advance may seem inconsequential to some of you but Victoria and I, as I imagine do all parents, get really excited by the smallest thing.

Anyway, that's all for now.

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