Friday, 3 July 2015

Friday 3rd July 2015

I am now just back from dropping the cats off at the cat hotel, or cattery as they insist on calling it. Its a hotel for cats I tells you! I now have the packing and loading, which seems like a massive task, but will probably take half an hour. I am to pick Jools off at half two, maybe leave home at one, so time is ticking away.

Thursday

And so it rolled round, that the first day of the holibobs rolled round. Only, someone, me, had agreed under duress to chair a meeting that morning. Which meant that I had to drop Jools off at work, then drive back for the meeting, which under normal conditions would not have been a problem. But, then there is the strike.

The strike in Calais was called off on Wednesday evening, but the backlog is expected to take a week to clear. So, not really knowing to expect, we set off for Hythe half an hour early, just in case of queues. Only, Dover was a ghost town. There was less traffic than ever, a few trucks were in line enar the port, but the rest of Townwall Street and up through Aycliffe, it was empty. And then there was another small queue at the new lights, with maybe half a mile more of trucks taking up one lane.

Marsh Helleborine Epipactis palustris

We drove along at 70, not really stressing about it. We take the second turnoff at Folkestone, and take the back road to Hythe, which crosses the M20 and the turnoff for the Tunnel, and then we saw the trucks! Trucks here there and everywhere.

After dropping JOols off, I drive back, deciding to risk it through the town, which meant cruising past the long lines of parked trucks. Quite an amazing thing. Back along Townwall Street, then right at the roundabout at East Cliff then back up Jubilee Way and home. Took a bit longer than usual, but not too bad.

Marsh Helleborine Epipactis palustris

I had so much planned, but first the meeting, then writing up the notes to circulate them. That took two and a half hours, and in that time, clouds rolled in and the wonderful sunlight vanished. I had messed up the shots of the Marsh Helleborines last week, so my plan was to first to head to SBBOT to re-take them, if I could. I drive over to Sandwich, then the narrow road to the estate. I pay the quid to get to the observatory. I am in luck as there is no ringing, so I can get to the orchid site. But the sun was now replaces with low dark clouds, and spots of rain was falling.

Southern Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa var. albiflora

I decided to risk it, grabbing my camera and gorillapod. At the site, the Southern Marsh were going over, but a couple were worth snapping. The Helleborines were at their best, so I rush round firing shots off, and once back home I check my shots and they were great!

Marsh Helleborine, Epipactis palustris,

All around the site were dark clouds, and there was even a few rumbles of thunder. I decide call in on the old folks back home to drop the door key off, as they are going to water our plants. But, the house was empty: the radio was one, the windows open, but no one there. Taken by aliens I expect.

Southern Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa and Forester Moth Adscita statices

Back home I have lunch and check out the storm-tracker site, to see there is a massive storm just over the Channel in northern France. I hope it is going to come over to us, but after an hour or so, it moves up the coast to Belgium. I cannot be bothered to go back out, so break out the football DVDs and watch the highlights of the four matches against Ipswich, then the Play off final itself. Three hours had passed, and it was now nearly 5.

I get a call from Jools, she would be back at Martin Mill at half six, so I tidy up and get ready to collect her.

She is waiting at the station entrance, and once back we have a coffee sitting outside on the patio, talking about the next two weeks. We have a family meal to go to, well a BBQ, and there is no escape, so we drive to Mike's, where the clan has assembled. We are a little out of place, as we don't talk about TV, gossip and so on, so we stay for an hour, have a burger and a sausage before we make our excuses and leave. Somehow it is half eight, we have so much to do.

So, I drive to Coldred instead for a beer at the Carpenter's Arms, which might not have been the best use of our time. It has just been voted pub of the year, so we went to congratulate the landlord. I laso decide to have a pint: what's on I ask. Just the one he said. Well, I'll have a pint of that then!

It is a fine old place, how like puns used to be. We get into a conversation with another drinker about Chine. It is a shame when we have to make our excuses and have to leave.

Back home, showers, packing, washing, more packing.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Thursday 2nd July 2015

Wednesday.

I will now review some of the stuff I have done in the last 8 months in the course of my job. I am doing this because as you may have noticed, I am now on 18 days off.

Back at the end of October, I managed to squeeze three days off, during which I sneaked off up to Norwich for the annual beer festival. I said at the time, I was doing this as I would have precious little time off before the summer. How right I was. But I did not realise how dark and long some of those days would be. When I say dark, I mean the requirement for travel and stays in quiet, out of season hotels, was considerable.

It began with at least three straight weeks in Denmark, witnessing the start of the tower production. The tower of a wind turbine, is important, obviously, but probably the main component you think of less when compared to the nacelle, blades or the electrical gubbins inside. So anyway. I flew over to Denmark on a Sunday, something I would sadly get very used to, and was at the factory early the next morning for the start of the project.

I say start of the project, because for most of us, up to that point, it had all been hypothetical, and all on paper, this was welded steel sections. Basic, very basic engineering. And so, over the next three week, the sections were welded together, and one by one the towers began to take shape, one after another. Then we switched to a couple of audits, both in Germany: both suppliers of major components. I flew to Witten first, staying at a very efficiant but quiet hotel overlooking a main railway line. The only downside was that it was dark so early, I mostly heard the freight trains rattling through. Another flight to Stuttgart, a short drive to Kirchheim, where I stayed at a glorious boutique hotel, disguised as a Beirkeller. That was rather wonderful.

After Christmas, back to see the towers again, then a supplier of another electrical component. And into February, things got really crazy. Production of baldes in Denmark begain, a week there. Then another week at the nacelle factory as production started there. Back to the blade factory, then to the blade factory in Germany for a week. And then back to the same place again for a couple of days.

After that, well, here there and everywhere. Production was going on everywhere, then work began in Esbjerg to get ready for installation. Into May and the frst loadout of eight turbines was made ready. I was back in Germany, then to Denmark doing a round of three inspections a week. Then at the start of May, all production had been completed, work was under control in Esbjerg, but then we had to get the office ready in Holland for installationa and testing. So, trips to Holland, with trips back to Denmark inbetween. The month rattled past.

Into June and to my surprise, just as work should have been slacking off, I am put onto another project, two short trips to Copenhagen followed. Inbetween I go back to Holland, just for some variety.

And here we are, the beginning of July. I have been at home for some 9 days now, I have not had two weeks at home, apart from the Christmas break, since October. Maybe longer, but I don't want to power up the work's laptop to check. Anyway, 18 days off, well deserved I believe. The 43 turbines are working, supplying wiggly amps powering tens of thousands of cloggy homes. As I said to Jools, I can point to the windfarm and say, I helped do that, and it will last until after I am gone. Probably.

Wednesday.

And to the hottest July in England for a decade. And I was trapped inside, undertaking meeting after meeting. It was cloudier than the day before, and so did not look warmer, but it was much hotter. The cats only nibbled their breakfast before finding cool spots to see the days out from. I was stuck inside, so made a fresh coffee and got on with it. I ploughed on, breaks in meetings meant fresh pots of coffee. Jeez it was so hot.

But by half four, I was done: I set my out of office message, and switched the computer off. If only that was it, but somehow I had allowed myself to chair a meeting on the first morning of my holiday. So, just one more meeting it was then. I went outside, the heat seemed fierce, but with the sun now behind the house, the back garden was in shadow, and a cool breeze blew. Or it seemed cooler than the sunshine. When she came home, Jools assured me it was a hot wind. Maybe it was.

I went into the furnace we called the kitchen. I boiled some cubed potatoes for chorizo hash. Then, chop up the onions, peppers, fry them up, chop up the chorizo, fry that, then the potatoes until they were crispy. Combine them all, pour a chocolate and coffee beer, and all was done. That hit the spot.

Back outside to watch the sun set, or at leas the sky turn colour. In the east, a huge orange full moon rose over the houses on the other side of the valley. It looked amazing.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Wednesday 1st July 2015

I am writing this on Wednesday evening. I have been on holiday for some four hours now, and so far, I do not feel any different. Maybe I will feel better on Friday when we have the feline rodeo, or operation cat round up to give it its proper name. And between now and then, I have somehow been persuaded to have a meeting on my first morning off. See, I love my job.

But the worse part is over.

But before we talk about today, we go back in time, 24 whole hours to yesterday, when it was still June.

Tuesday.

And on this day, the big heat did hit.

For the most part, spring and this small part of summer have been, well, mild without being hot. So we kings got used to being able to sleep, cook in comfort, and all the other things that we complain about when the thermometer hits 80 or above. And Tuesday was such a day.

Jools left for work at seven, and I decided to have breakfast sitting on the patio, making the most of a few minutes before work. The sun was already strong enough for me to feel it on my thighs through my jeans. IN the sunlight, a small crowd of fresh poppies danced; the day's previous crowd had lost their petals through the day, but the view was refreshed overnight. The air was thick with insects, busy collecting nectar and pollen. I carried on and ate my bran flakes.

Breakfast al fresco

I Go inside and begin working. It is the usual mix of meetings and mails and documents and spreadsheets. I go back outside for a mid morning coffee, for lunch and again in the afternoon. It just gets hotter. I thought I saw a hummingbird hawk moth in the morning, so O keep my camera nearby just in case, I even remember to pre-set the controls just in case. And just after lunch the little fella comes flitting around, and I fire off a 100 or so shots. As you do. hey are not perfect, but with some post-processing, they are acceptable, and I have mostly frozen the wingbeats.

square

I am happy.

Back to work, until half three, when I have had enough, I am on the verge of another allergy attack, and so it is either more drugs or go outside for a while. I decide to go for a walk, we have a bag of carrots which we will not use before we go away, so I thought I would use them to get closer to some fine horses along the lane.

Tuesday evening walk to Fleet House

I must have been mad, walking in the late afternoon sun, to check out the butterfly glade, look at the piglets and maybe feed the horses some carrots, if they were hungry.

Tuesday evening walk to Fleet House

The broad beans in the fields on all sides are now producing fruit, as it were. And after Monty Don said how sweet the young beans were, I thought I would try some.

Tuesday evening walk to Fleet House

And indeed they were soft and sweet, I should have tried more.

Tuesday evening walk to Fleet House

At the glade, the piglets were spark out, the heat was oppressive, I was regretting the decision to go out walking, but then the weather was so glorious, it would have been madness not to go.

Tuesday evening walk to Fleet House

In the glade, there were a few Meadow Browns, a single Common Blue and a lone Brown Argus. I let them be as I could not be bothered to change lenses.

I walk down the hill, and the two chestnut horse were very interested in the carrots I pulled from my bag. They munched them all, and then followed me back up the hill.

Back across the fields to home, where, without breaking step once inside, I grab a cold beer from the fridge then go outside to sit in the shade of the hedge, quenching my thirst and bringing on a major headache, but what the heck?

Tuesday evening

When Jools comes home, we make dinner: a simple meal of breaded chicken, salad and the left over bread from the day before. It is perfect. Its too warm to sit inside, so we sit on the patio, watching the sun set and the moon rise. Its cheap entertainment.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Tuesday 30th June 2015

The world is a grim and horrible place at times. Last week eight people were shot to death in a church in Charleston. The murderer was a white man, and the dead were all black. It was an act of terrorism, but most are not calling it that. Since then many churches, all black churches, have been hit by arson, but that is not arson either. At the weekend, 38 people were gunned down on a beach in Tunisia, but that was terrorism, because it fits the image. Watching the news is painful. Painful too because of the continued and increased attacks on the poor, the sick, the disabled by our caring government who thinks the best way to ensure people get well paid jobs is by cutting there benefits; as if people choose to have low paid jobs. From tomorrow, the disabled will lose disability allowances which mean many will not be able to get out of bed, because there will be no money for help. The 'war' rages in Ukraine, but it is not called that either. The news has moved on from a year ago, and the west and Russia play their war games in a bombed-out country. In the Middle East, IS is still killing innocent people in the most barbaric of ways, Israel is still killing Arab children, and their leader justifies it.

The one bright spot this past week, has been to Supreme Court's decision in America to legalise the right of marriage to people of all orientation. That should be a cause for celebration, but the religious right think that only they should make the laws of the country, rather like IS in Iraq, turning the moment into all about them, their hate, their bigotry, rather than the happiness of thousands of loving couples who can now marry.

I don't listen to the news much now, nor watch it on TV, I get the highlights through Twitter.

Monday.

6 days since I last saw an airport of a security scanner! And I feel great. Just three days to go and then the holidays. I know I talk about it a bit, but I am quite looking forward to it. Anyway, with meetings from seven in the morning, my day is full, and on top of that I have to be sure that the projects are OK before I go on holiday. Lots to do, and everybody wants a piece of my time.

While outside the sun shone down from a clear blue sky, a gentle breeze disturbed the nodding heads of the fresh poppies. It was far too nice a day to be indoors, working, And yet there I was. Even the cats were too hot to pester me for stuff, except in a middle of an early meeting, Mulder came in from his trundles and demanding feeding. NOW.I was able to walk away from the computer, feed him, go back and the same guy was still talking. Wonder if I should have wandered away more!

The morning turned into afternoon, and I celebrated with stuffing sandwiches. And mayo. It were right grand. Outside, it just got hotter.

I made some focaccia in the afternoon. Found a recipe online. Well, the first recipe I found, I used, and it came out very nice: flavoured with lazy garlic, and with sea salt and rosemary on top as it cooked. Wonderful with the Insalata Caprese we had for dinner.

It was too hot to go for a walk, so the salad, bread and beer/cider meant we did not feel like it much either. With no Glasto for us to ignore, no football to watch, no TV eye candy at all. I sat outside in the cool of the evening shade as the sun set behind the house, the sky to the south turned pink then red. I had a wee dram, and then another. Birds, bats and bugs filled the air, and far overhead jetliners soared their way over the Channel to 'somewhere else'.

We live here. I live here. This is our life, in the house we bought. In reality, the cats run everything, but for a moment, I thought we did.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Monday 29th June 2015

Sunday.

And I think it is fair to say, that on Sunday my enthusiasm finally ran out. I could not be bothered to do anything much, maybe listen to the radio, edit some shots, and the usual, but go out, visit Nan? No.

I think the treadmill of work, which, and let's be frank about this, is not that hard for me, but even still, it has worn me down, to the point where I now feel I really need the two weeks off. I am really counting the days and minutes to Friday when we set off. But before then: Sunday.

After the glory that was Saturday's weather, Sunday was a dull and drab affair. It even rained some in the afternoon, cats came in complaining that their lovely fur was all damp. Or I guess, or imagine what they were saying.

Even though it was only yesterday, quite what I did to while the day away is a mystery to me. All I know is that soon it was lunch, eaten in the cool lunchtime out on the patio. Jools, who was inspired and worked for five hours gardening, the opposite of me. The garden looks a picture, although we are still unsure of what to do with it come the autumn, and thoughts are still on the 'footballer's wives' fountain, which will be road tested when we come home towards the end of July.

Jools went to see Nan at three, and I stayed behind to cook dinner: the full roast chicken dinner, with chestnut stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes and steamed veggies. I had bought a bottle of Prosecco the day before, and it went down very well with dinner. Stephen Fry accompanied dinner too, with his desert island discs, which was a real treat.

Which gave us an hour to prepare for the 7th and final part of Jonathon Strange, which was rather wonderful again, and Sunday evenings won't be the same now it is over.

Ad so was the weekend, but for me, just three working days ahead, and then. HOLIBOBS.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Sunday 28th June 2015

Saturday

Once again, on a day off, we were awake well before six, when the alarm was not set to go off. Anyway. Not that the cats minded. They were perfectly happy with being fed before six, that meant they could beg for 2nd breakfasts even earlier than on a normal day.

First task of the day was a trip to the temple that is J. Sainsbury Ltd. We make a list, onto which, I scrawl adding at the bottom, beer and cider. We are at its door at five past seven, along with many other people our age, which means that we are at least conforming to stereotypes. We zip round the aisles, piling stuff in our trolley. There are only two checkouts open, giving us an open goal to engage in some complaining, but we conform to another stereotype by queuing up in silence, arranging our goods on the belt in weight order, so to aid packing.

And we are out, driving home along deserted roads. Whilst Jools unpacks, I begin the morning ritual of the cooking of the bacon. Oh yes, bacon butties.

All fed and watered now, it is time for the orchids. The season is rushing forward, being the final weekend in June, the main season is drawing to an end, and most of the wonderful orchids have already either died off, or are past their best. Now, at this point I could so that due to theft I will not reveal where we went, but at least one of the sites is only one of two in Kent where that orchid can be found. So, due to my description, and it is a public site, you would know where it was. And finally, as the site has security, and you can be charged seven quid for entering the whole estate, so, you know where it is. Right?

In the interests of orchid security, I will not reveal the two locations, you know why. Sigh. I was alerted this week to two incidents of orchid security: one, where a guy was with a cool box, apparently collecting orchid seeds and some planted. And a second where a site of mutant bees was flattened and one of the more unusual mutants, picked. This is why I generally do not reveal locations.

That apart, on with the orchids.

A short drive to a seaside location, where I had hoped to see a final glimpse of the Bees at the seaside. In addition there is a fine collection of Southern Marsh there. So, seeemd like a good idea. That the site is now mainly used as a dog toilet, the descent onto it is a hopscotch game avoiding turds and discarded dog poop bags. Let us skip the fact that people collect their mutts poop in a non-biodegradable bag, then leave it where the dog pooped: why?

Southern Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa

Once again I digress.

Down on the site, among the the fast growing trees, bushes and other plants, there in an error of about ten square metres there is a fine colony of Southern Marsh, now in their prime. As ever, we took about 5 minutes to find them, as the large site can look pretty similar. I am sure we get odd looks as we lay on the ground snapping what look like pretty purple flowers, and yet ignoring dozens of equally pretty purple flowers. What can it all mean?

Southern Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa

A little further on I look for the Bees, only to find that on the bone-dry land, and under the sun, they had come and gone. All that were left were the dead spikes, now bereft of flowers, and already shrivelling back to the ground for another year. Jools did find one that still had a flower, so I snapped it. As you do.

The last Bee

Walking back to the car, I was on the lookout for butterflies, maybe a Small Blue or a Holly Blue, but saw just a huge Red Admiral. He failed to settle, or when he did I was not ready and it flew off again. Foiled again.

To the next site, a nature reserve, slightly overgrown. And more overgrown than when we were last here about ten days ago. We walk along the path, and to the left there is just a sea of tall grass, hiding almost all the orchids from sight. A few can be seen though. We find the path deeper into the area, and round a corner there are orchids everywhere, some, once again, looking a little past their best, certainly the Common Spotted did. I am here to check on the Marsh Orchids, trying to find a conclusive Leopard Marsh. Thing is, orchids, especially Dactylorhiza, are promiscuous, and will interbreed and hybrise like crazy, and telling an unusual hybrid from a Leopard can be tough. Doubly so as not all have spotted leaves, spots in donut shapes, or the patterns one would expect.

Leopard Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa var. junialis Anyway, such is the thoughts of an orchid hunter, but i am lucky in that one of the first Marsh Orchids I see had clearly donut shaped spots, and is of the classic Leopard colour and markings. I snap that, and lots of the others, such an array of colours and patterns, it is bewildering really.

Leopard Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa var. junialis Happy with the Marsh, the next port of call was Sandwich Bay. Sandwich Bay is private land, the visitor is charged seven quid to enter during the day, and failure to buy one can mean your car is clamped. Although this goes against every socialist bone in my body, it also means that the orchids which are found here are well looked after and do not suffer from theft. So, I pay the seven quid, and we drive onto the Strand, right to the end near the golf club where there are the thickets groupings of Lizard and Pyramidal, along with some Bees. But, once parked it seems that the Bees have gone here as well, so make do with the Lizards and Pyramidals.

Pyramidal Orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis

It is dry and hot here, and not conditions for orchids, even Lizards, and so they seem to be drying out quickly, and anyway the season is coming to an end for them too. Indeed, some are turning brown at the bottom, the flowers drying out turning the colour of dried leaves.

Marsh Helleborine Epipactis palustris

After half an hour, I have had enough, got the shots I wanted. Jools had spent the time laying on the beach looking at the clouds, which maybe time better spent, who knows. We get back in the car to drive to the observatory, to check if the Marsh Helleborines are out. Good news is they are, and we are given permission to access the site.

Leopard Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa var. junialis Across the meadow and then past the ringing site, and even before we go through the gate there are orchids. Beyond the gate, even more orchids, Southern Marsh, Leopard Marsh and Marsh Helleborines, for the time being, just a few out, but it is a riot of colour with the lush grass as background. It is wonderful. I see two wonderful Leopards, growing close to the path, the leaves are darkly spotted, not donut holed, but the colour and density along with the robustness of the plants meant they have to be.

The Marsh Helleborines grow here and at one more site in the county, and as that is private, we have to come here to see their delicate beauty. A paddock with these wonderful orchids is a sight to see and gladden the heart. I will try to return before the end of the week.

Lizard Orchid Himantoglossum hircinum Our final call for orchids, is the ancient beech wood where we have seen the Lesser Butterflies and the white Lady. It was now clouding over, but still wonderful to be on the wooded down, the air still. But the thick canopy of branches means that very little sunshine now gets to the ground, and what orchids were there, Twayblades, Lady, Fly are dying off or already dead. We search the usual sites for new rosettes, but don't see any. I do spot, ahem, three Common Spotted, much smaller and paler than the downland varieties, but that is all of fresh orchids. We don't go up to see the Lessers, happy wirth the morning's hunting, we turn round and walk back to the car, to go home for lunch, forgoing a trip to one of the local pubs. Oh, how I have changed.

Back home we have buttered multi-seed bread which we had bought that morning, washing it down with a good beer, or cider. Life is good. Outside the sun shone down.

Somehow, the afternoon slipped away, with a beer festival at the Carpenter's Arms under way, we had planned on going, but I decided that we would have dinner at home, breaded chicken, Jersey Royals and salad. And have another beer, then maybe relax the evening through. Which is what we did.

At nine we went outside to sit under the open skies, as the near full moon tried to shine through the thin cloud, and bats wheeled around us, chasing moths and other insects.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Saturday 27th June 2015

Ten years ago today, I had my last 'working day' in the RAF. Some would say I had never had one, but, well, I know better. I try not to be one to look back too much, but ten years is ten years, 20% of my life and all that. That final week had been going round, handing in kit, getting the clearing chit signed, then the on this morning, the final round: OC Eng, OC Arm, then PSF, hand my ID card over, and that was it, I was a civvy. Almost, I was paid up to September 18th, so I had plans for the summer.

OC Arm, OC Armament Flight, was my boss, he should have had me in for a chat, thank me on behalf of the RAF and Queen for my 15 years of service, but he just signed the chit and shook my nad. He was a wanker, so why worry? Not me. I said goodbye to folks in the armoury, ignored the smiling knife who killed my career; yes, that's you Smithy you twat. Anyway, I walked out of the armoury, up through the camp, which was soon to close anyway, up to PSF, Personal Services Flight (?), hand in the ID card, sign some final forms, give them my address. And that was it, yes, you can go and do what you want!

On leaving I met an old friend: you just posted in? he asked. No, now leaving. For good. We shook hands, and I walked to my car to drive out for the final time. It was a wonderful summer day, clear blue skies, no wind. I think it wasn't yet ten in the morning, so I had time to drive home via the Reedham Ferry, get changed and head down the pub to celebrate.

I spent the summer in the US, travelling to New Hampshire, Maine and New York State before travelling to Seattle, hiring a Mustang convertible before driving down route 101 through Washington State, Portland, along the Oregon Coast, up the Columbia River Valley, Mt St Helens, Crate Lake, San Francisco, California and finaly to LA. The flying to meet friends in Arkansas, my 40th birthday in Vegas, and two final weeks back in Arkansas. Then the real world hit when I cam e back, the pay cheques from the RAF stopped.

And that lead me to being a draysman, a chemical delivery driver, a geophysical engineer and finally to the wonderful world of wind turbines. Its been a blast. And in the meantime, I met Jools, moved to Kent, got married and we bought the ugly house on the cliffs: Chez Jelltex.

These blogs go back to 2008, just before we married, what went before was in another country, another time. The journey was tough at times, but I love where I have ended up. We are seriously thinking about a trip to the Far East next year. We shall see.

Friday.

Day 6 of the 5 day week.

How did that happen? Well, the trip to Copenhagen of course. Since then I have been trying to smooth out the job and project in preparation for the holiday which starts at 16:00 on Wednesday. Not a minute later!

Being a Friday, I have wall to wall meetings. Starting at 08:00, and inbetween I have to review the project. It is relentless, but relentless at home, with coffee and cats and the sun shining outside.

The morning gives way to the afternoon, and I have another meeting, which turns into a talking shop, over runs by an hour. It is half three, and I think it is about time the weekend should start, being a manager, I believe that it is in my field of influence to decide when the weekend should start, so I decree to me and the cats that the weekend has started, and switch the computer off. No one complains.

Jools arrives home at half four, I am preparing dinner, and I realise we don't have enough breadcrumbs: shall we go out for dinner asks Jools? It is pay day, and I have received a bonus from work. It is an easy decision. We have coffee in the back garden before we drive into Deal for a curry.

The curry house is quiet, we get a good table and order a generous meal, but don't have a starter, just the poppadoms and dips. I have something with king prawns, and Jools has a balti delight. I ask if it comes with Angel Delight; apparently not.

On the way back we stop off at The Berry, which is having a beer festival, and a music one as it is Glastonbury as well. So they call their beer and music festival, Glaston Berry. Get it? I have a pint of chocolate beer, but with the curry laying heavy, I can only manage the one pint before thoughts turn to home and Monty.

Jools drives home, the weekend had begun, and i have three days before the holibobs.

Life is good.