Older blog entries for ringbark (starting at number 483)

Passing through Stafford again

A busy week since the last time I wrote here, with late nights both at
work and at home. Once again, it's not the right forum to talk about
work issues here, so I won't do so.
For my own records, I need to note that Viv, David and I all gave
blood on 3 Jan 2009.
Monday last week has already been touched on here, but there is really
little to add. Leaving earlyish on Tuesday both too and from work,
deciding to take it easy on Tuesday and maybe see a movie or a show on
Wed or Thu. Bad mistake: those were two late working nights. Didn't
get back to Wembley till after midnight on Wed night/Thu night.
Saturday we went to Birkenhead. I had to certify someone's identity
and after that we did a load of shopping.

Dawn, though a more dismal one than last week. Another week of the
same, though punctuated by a trip home on Tuesday for the church
council meeting.

That's about it for now.

Syndicated 2009-01-13 15:05:10 from C'est dur de mourir au printemps tu sais

A happy new year

A quick check reveals it has been a week since a posting of value.
Monday to Wednesday were still quite busy workdays, though not quite
at the frenetic pace of the week before.
The opportunity to stay upmarket at lower prices was very welcome as I
went off to the really rather splendid place at Canary Wharf.
A straightforward trip home on Wednesday afternoon. Viv met me and we
went off to a friend's place for her birthday before going home and
having a lazy evening before going to another friend's place for a
fairly quiet New Year celebration. It was snowing a little.
New Year's Day and Betty came to visit us for lunch. We played games
in the afternoon, if I've got the right day. I think that was the day
I successfully mined $1m of tin. But that's the object of the game.
Friday. Not much. A deliberately quiet day. David and I went to the
bank while Viv and Christopher went to the hospital...
Don't remember much else about it. I think that might have been the
day we all ended up playing computer Monopoly. Saturday was a trip
into town to give blood. Viv and I gave quite happily. It was David's
first time and I think he learnt a lot from the experience.
Then we had lunch and bought him a coat with some money he had been
given for Christmas for that purpose.
In the background in the evening was the 100 best adverts programme. I
wrote the sermon for Sunday morning while that was on. We were looking
for something that wouldn't distract me and that was ideal...
Sunday morning. Delivery of the same sermon. A disappointly small
congregation and a freezing church. The same at the other two
services. I think the combination of the end of the holidays and the
poor weather will have put many off.
Lunch at the Merebrook. Betty joined us. It was another relaxing afternoon.
And an early start this morning. I'm on the train to Euston, which
should be an adventure in itself.
The plane crash that blocked services near Stafford on Friday has now
been sorted. The overhead cable issue near Watford may not have been,
but the announcement on board didn't give any clue of a problem. Wait
and see... though I would not expect a great amount of trouble if the
line is clear, as this train is diesel-powered.
Dawn is breaking over the frosty Cheshire countryside.
Current music: Blonde on Blonde

Syndicated 2009-01-05 08:08:18 from C'est dur de mourir au printemps tu sais

meme time :-(

A) People who have been tagged should write their answers on their blog and replace any question that they dislike with a new, original question. I was tagged by [info]vih who was tagged by [info]moth2fic.

B) Tag eight people. Don't refuse to do that. Don't tag who tagged you. I randomly tag [info]617, [info]mrs617, [info]jiggery_pokery, [info]shewalksonroses, [info]highway61poet, [info]davidbrider, [info]ghoti, [info]atreic - I think that's eight... Of course, if they’ve already done it they only need to link me to their post...

What are your nicknames?
AMong others, ringbark.

How do you style your hair?
I wash it, I comb it, I part it on the left, I'm grateful still to have it.

What's the last book you read?
The World in 2009.

What colour shirt are you wearing now?
Blue and white.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Shy extrovert.

Is your ear itchy?

Do you nap a lot?

Who was the last person you hugged?

What's your current fandom/obsession/addiction?
Still trying to promote a Dominick Hide fandom, without much success. Otherwise,it's probably ST:TOS.

What was the last thing you ate today?
Coronation chicken sandwich.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
Around an hour, including bath and web.

What websites do you visit daily?
Gmail. Livejournal. Telegraph. Stuff. Aardvark. Flyertalk. Often some financial sites too.

What classes are you taking right now? And if you're not in school anymore, what's your job?
Senior Credit Risk Analyst.

Do you like to clean?
Myself? Yes. The house? No.

What's the last movie that you watched?
The day the earth stood still.

What cell phone model do you own?
Blackberry 8310 smartphone (EDGE)

What is your favourite weather?
Hot and sunny

How are you?
Very well, mostly very happy.

Where would you see yourself in ten years?
Who knows? New York? London? Paris? Munich?

Syndicated 2008-12-29 19:22:18 from C'est dur de mourir au printemps tu sais

Happy New Year?

It is nearly time to look back at the past year and forward to the
coming year, but first of all it's time to tell of the last few days.
Although an unusual route for me, the trip home was uneventful.
Matthew and Viv met me at the station. Then it was home before the
carol service at Townfield Church. More home time before the late
service at St Andrew's church.
Christmas morning dawned and Betty took us all to the morning service,
but before that we had eaten breakfast and the boys had rapidly opened
their smaller gifts out of the red stockings they have had since they
were very young.
The big presents waited till we were home and the lunch was cooking.
That's always a good and glorious time, as gifts are received. No, I
don't know why a 14yo wants a mini-fridge. But we are pleased to
report that he wants anything. The very sick boy we knew in May seems
to be making very good progress, but the future is still uncertain.
But now I go off to London with far fewer concerns than earlier,
though I know he is still at high risk. But he's doing things and
having fun. The difficult personality, at times nigh on impossible, is
back and is actually a joy to see.
The rest of Christmas Day was a bit of a drifting day. Boxing Day
didn't start early but did have a family game of Monopoly in the
Saturday was another quiet one, with a trip to the cinema to see 'The
Day The Earth Stood Still' and have a meal at Frankie and Benny's.
Then to the shops to buy a kettle, a pound of butter and a couple of
Which brings us to Sunday, which was like Christmas again. Church
followed by turkey, though this time at Betty's.
And this morning? Virgin claim to be running to time, but Merseyrail's
failure to do so means I am unable to tell.

Syndicated 2008-12-29 08:45:16 from C'est dur de mourir au printemps tu sais

Christmas Eve

This was posted by phone on Christmas Eve but failed to arrive here

It has been a remarkable year, but I'm not sure now is the time to
renew it. I'm very happy to back home for Christmas, after taking a
new route home: Euston-Warrington-Chester-Bromborough.
The new timetable following the works does seem to be making the
trains noticeably faster.
Home for a little while, but now off to the service at Townfield.
After that, some unstructured time before the eleven o'clock service.
Even though it should be quiet this week, it has still been
astonishingly busy at work, and I think the three days next week will
be no better.
I have found that Amazon is a brilliant way to do Christmas shopping.
In fact, most of what I buy is bought online. I think that the only
major things I still buy in shops are clothes/shoes. I also buy food
for immediate consumption at places like BK, McD, Pret, KFC and even
some real eating places...though even then, a lot of it is done
online. Rail tickets, air tickets, hotel accommodation: online. And
2009 will be more of the same.
As a completely different thought, how good to be back at home while
it was still light! And how different from this morning, when my
wake-up alarm didn't sound. Oh dear.

Syndicated 2008-12-27 22:08:40 from C'est dur de mourir au printemps tu sais

Christmas Day

Today is Christmas Day.
This is rather late to be posting this year's Christmas newsletter online. Many of you will already have received snail copies of it.


We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Syndicated 2008-12-25 22:51:30 from C'est dur de mourir au printemps tu sais

The last few days

Day has followed day in an exhausting manner over the past month or
so. It has been a very busy time at the bank for a variety of reasons,
while the weekends have also filled up.
It has been impossible to find time to do stuff during the day while
in the evenings it's been either a late night working or else an early
night caused by tiredness. Last Sunday didn't help: after the service,
straight off to London for what was basically another full day. This
week will not be like that, I hope.
Saturday: shopping in Birkenhead in the morning. In the afternoon, off
to Bromborough with Christopher. He is so much better than last
weekend. We went to Comet and bought...a mini-fridge. Well, it's not
so mini. I'm still not clear why a 14yo wants his own fridge. To keep
Coca-Cola cool? To keep his chemotherapy medication cool? To prepare
for college life early?
In any case, that's one of the things he's getting...
And as the dawn breaks over Cheshire, it's time to post this and go
back to sleep. This is the new 07.35 from Holyhead and Wrexham to
London Euston via Chester. I'll let you know later if it's any good.
It does mean a slightly later start on a Monday, and that can't be
Current music: Bob Dylan's Street Legal

Syndicated 2008-12-22 08:58:40 from C'est dur de mourir au printemps tu sais

Trojan horse?

Once I got back to the hotel last night, I found a large, gift-wrapped
parcel. It is actually rather incovenient, so I am taking it to the
office today, minimising the time I will have to carry a suitcase and
a large parcel... It could be a modest gift or something appropriate
to recognise around 100 nights in their hotel this year. Or it could
be a Trojan horse.
Whatever it is, another day has dawned. This is the Metropolitan Line
from Baker Street to Liverpool Street.

Syndicated 2008-12-17 10:14:37 from C'est dur de mourir au printemps tu sais

Tuesday night - Keble drinks

Another few busy days, enough to make anyone despair or turn to drink.
Tonight, after despairing, I did turn to drink. In fact, it was the
Keble monthly drinks party. It is an ideal event, for the people there
are pretty much strangers, but friendly ones. So I can be myself
anonymously, but in good company. It was a very pleasant evening
indeed, just what I needed after *three* days like that. Afterwards, a
few of us walked over to Temple Station, where we travelled to
Embankment, where the party ended. So now I'm on the Bakerloo Line via
Minto Central to Marylebone. Tomorrow morning: more of the same. No,
not drinking with Keble men, silly!
That is all.

Syndicated 2008-12-17 07:28:00 from C'est dur de mourir au printemps tu sais

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