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About this blog

It's sick, bring grapes.

Entries in this blog

 

13 Weeks In

[left]Well, here we are 13 weeks into fatherhood! I’m very conscious of becoming a baby bore (see earlier blog entry) so I’ll keep it brief! In a nutshell I’ve never been so tired and yet so happy, she is a little darling and any sleepless nights are forgiven with one little smile.[/left][left]In other news we have finally sold the back end of our garden to our neighbor who is going to build a house on the plot of land. It’s great to finally see this happen as we have been negotiating and trying to get it sorted for the last 4 years! It is heartbreaking to see the bulldozers move in and part of me feels like we have sold a small part of our souls as my wife and I are keen gardeners and we had ambitious landscaping plans when we first moved in. A couple of trees which we planted ourselves 10 years ago have also been chopped down and I’m glad we were out when it happened.[/left][left]However looking forward it means that we are in a nice position financially, much better than I hoped for considering my wife lost her job while she was pregnant.[/left][left]I remember writing in an earlier blog about how this year seems to be quite hectic and full on. Well that theme has continued and it feels like sometimes my life is stuck on fast forward these days.[/left][left]Having completed the garden sale we immediately set off to look for another house and exploring the possibilities of renting out our current property. However, considering the fast pace of this year and not wanting to tempt fate we have decided to hold off until after Christmas. In addition we have a family member in relationship troubles, and one who has grave health issues. This year is proving to be just a bit too full on and we are reluctant to push our luck. [/left][left]Time to sit back, take stock and enjoy life for a short while… [/left][left]… and if that isn’t tempting fate I don’t know what is! [/left][left][img]https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/312376_10150298693508995_754708994_8047017_1935201963_n.jpg[/img][/left]

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

We Did It!

Melissa Florence Cynthia born 20th June 4:10pm, mother, baby and me all bloomin'shattered but happy!
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/767129c5-7429-4b14-93f0-f91d432a2b09-1.jpg[/img]

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

5 Weeks To Go

In not much more than I month I will be a Dad.

As I sit here and contemplate that sentence it still boggles my mind that the authorities have allowed this to happen, surely there are protocols in place to prevent people like me from breeding? Apparently not! It seems that any Tom, Dick or Harry can procreate whenever they wish, it’s a human right so I’m told..
On the face of it we are woefully unprepared for the imminent arrival of Melissa Florence, the nursery if half painted and baby paraphernalia is scattered throughout the house in random piles, much like a tsunami has swept through the local nursery and dumped it’s contents haphazardly in every room.
Emotionally it’s been a bit of a roller coaster, a few niggling health problems from the start and it seems no sooner did one issue resolve when a scan would reveal some new horror to be googled and fretted over. Today however I hope we have turned a corner, the latest scan showed everything back to normal, a very average little baby nestling in a very average womb and a mother who looks radiant and beautiful (but slightly more rotund).
So we can settle down into the last few weeks of pregnancy and look forward to our new arrival, now, where did I leave that paintbrush?

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

On Becoming A Baby Bore

For years I have lagged behind my friends and family in regards to procreation. I stood quietly in the corner, rolling my eyes as they compared rearing notes and cooed over their offspring. Even the sanctuary of the pub held no safety. Each of my drinking buddies has there own kids and much of the chatter is about the latest exploits of little Tommy who has finally managed to use the potty or tie up a shoelace.
Personally I found all that mind numbingly boring, who really needs to know the ins and outs of a child’s snotty exploits? I certainly didn’t and I was confused at the enthusiasm they all had on the subject. Sure I get it, you’re proud of your kids, but this is the PUB. Shut up and talk b***ocks please!
Then I found out it’s our turn, my wife and I are about to join the club. First reaction was huge! I’m going to be a daddy! YAY, cue the fanfares! But as the weeks of pregnancy went on the novelty wore off slightly, not to say I was any less pleased! I’m delighted, it just seemed a long way off and in the meantime, well, not much changed.
Yesterday we had a scan at 21 weeks into the pregnancy and oh Boy! Stand back! The damn thing has a face!! A beautiful little face! She was reclining in that cosy womb like a beachbum in a hammock and I’m smitten. Totally in love with an unborn child and now I Get IT! I get why all my friends and family go on and on about every little detail, I get why they obsess about each stage of development like it’s world news.
To the those without a kid, this stuff is about as interesting as watching paint dry, but to Mummy and Daddy, it’s like the falling of the Berlin wall every single day.

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Annus Horribilis?

Some years pass you by and don’t seem at all memorable, other years ‘things happen’ monumental things! Sometimes these events are personal and other times it’s more widespread.
Take last year for instance, pretty benign by most standards for me, did job, came home, annual holiday, blah blah blah.
Don’t get me wrong, there were memorable events, but all in all it all past quite benignly. No one died, Although we had/have financial stress we coped. Nothing really upset the applecart.
This year I have a feeling that things could be different,
My wife and I are expecting a baby, possibly the biggest life changing event for any couple. At work, things are ‘afoot’ with our company being absorbed more completely into our parent company. This is called integration apparently. I call it downsizing and cost cutting.
The financial stress of last year is starting to wear and we face the real possibility of severe hardship if certain key things (which are quite likely) happen. I look to my friends and a lot of them seem to be on the cusp of big changes in their lives too. Job losses, or threats thereof, babies on the way, life saving operations, relationship woes, emigration possibilities, weddings, funerals. It’s all on the cards this year.
Further afield there are political issues, regime changes, economic instability, climate woes. It seems we live in interesting times! I don’t hold much faith in horoscopes but if I had bothered to read mine for this year on New Years Day, if it didn’t say ‘Hold on to your Hat!’ then I’d be disappointed.

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Cat Update: They Gutted Him Like A Fish! (Or How My Snoring Nearly Killed My Cat)

On our way back from holiday in the south of France I got a phone call from my neighbour, she had kindly agreed to look after our cat whilst we joined the rich and famous in St Tropez.
Her first words to be in that phone call were "Don't panic"
Now anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not one to panic, and anyone who knows my cat, knows that to receive a phone call regarding aformentioned feline with the words "don't panic" at the front of it is hardly surprising.
Avid readers of my blog (you poor chosen few) will recall that 2 years ago, whilst on a similar trip to France, he escaped from the in-laws and disappeared for 4 weeks!
So, as I said, "don't panic" was not wholly unexpected, nor was what followed.

"He's ok, but he had to have a bit of surgery"

It transpired that he had eaten a little cork, or similar object which having travelled the entire length of his small intestine decided to stop there and go no further. The feline equivilent of severe constipation followed and he was dutifully taken to the local vet by my neighbour.
I quick xray and he was off to emergency surgery to remove it!

Now, it seems that the Xrays were delivered to the surgeon on a CD and his computer couldn't open them (modern technology eh?). With time pressing he apparently said.
"Stuff it, I'll just do a full laparotomy and have a good rummage"
So, to cut a long story short, they gutted him like a fish, removed the offending object, and sewed him back together again.

What was puzzling me was where he had found this little cork he swallowed and I was eager to take a look at it so that I could identify what i was and where it had come from.
On closer inspection it turned out it was one of those foam earplugs my wife sometimes wears when my snoring gets too extreme!

I've said in the past that my cat has a very sweet nature but he has not been blessed with a great deal of intellegence and this incident goes someway to proving my point. All I can say is ...Thank God for pet insurance. I feel that this is not the end of his adventures, one day I'm going to write a book about him and make a fortune!

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Cat Update

*CAT UPDATE*He's fallen deeply in love with the radiator in the kitchen. It's not all hearts and flowers though. He can't turn her on, and she keeps going cold on him.

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Wedding

[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/DSCF5938_3.jpg[/img][img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/P1120856_3.jpg[/img]

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Exam Stress Over!

Some of you (those that care about such things) may have noted that I have been largely absent from Netweather for some time. The reason for this is that last week I had an extremely difficult exam to pass and I've been working hard revising for it.
The exam in question is called BASIS and if I pass it means that I will be qualified to advise people on pesticide use. The exam itself is taken over two days and is divided into several sections. There is an identification exam where I have to correctly identify 20 different pests and diseases of plants as well as correctly identify 10 broad leaved weeds and 5 grasses. Pass mark is 85%
Trust me, all weeds look the same when you don't know your bittercress from your shepherds purse!
The next stage is a multiple choice paper. Pass mark is 70%
The final exam is a viva (a live exam where you are directly asked questions) This is in 4 parts, 3 field station exams where you are quizzed on a specific crop situation and finally a panel viva where you are grilled for 10 minutes by 3 guys.

In addition to all this we have to submit a project, something we have found out or a crop situation we have studied.

All in all, it's been a stressfull couple of months but it's finally over now and I can relax a bit. I haven't had to study for anything for about 13 years and my brain is like swiss cheese these days so I've found it really tough, the wealth and depth of knowledge needed is vast.
Did I pass?
Well, I passed the Ident and the multiple choice paper, I also think my project is ok. It's just the viva that I'm not sure about, I think it was OK but it's difficult to tell what they thought of me. I found out if I qualify in 2-3 weeks.

No pressure but there is a company car, a laptop and a 10% wage increase riding on this. As well as the respect of my colleagues, no-one in our company has failed yet and if I do, I will be the first and won't be able to do my job properly until I can retake the exam in the Autumn.

yelp!

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Wrongness

Well things are going wrong!
My partner has been looking for a new job recently and one came up which had her name all over it. We did wonder if the universe was playing some kind of joke because literally the day after announcing to her boss that she would be moving on she stumbled across this job. Working in the same village as I do, working with plants, and doing what she is very qualified to do. Jobs like that don’t come round too often so she applied.
Well she got an interview, and thought that it had gone well. But today she heard that she didn’t get the job.
Understandably she is heartbroken, it really did seem like fate was lending a hand there but it seems that fate has other plans! The trouble is, now her boss is making plans for her replacement.

I might add at this time that she works for her parents company, that is why she has been so upfront about her plans to seek employment elsewhere, she initially committed to them that she would stay there until the spring but when this job came up she did the right thing and was honest to them that she had an interview coming up which, if she got the job, would mean leaving at Christmas.
So the conundrum is, what happens next? Worst case scenario is the company makes her leave at Christmas, I think it’s unlikely but if they manage to replace her before March she could be out on her ear.
I know what you are thinking, surely if she is working for mum and dad, they will look after her?
Believe me, that can’t be taken for granted, it’s a business we are talking about here, her leaving will be a blow to the business but in the same breath, the needs of the business always come first, one of the reasons she is leaving.
The whole situation is a mess and far more complex than I can explain properly on a blog. Suffice to say, she needs to get out of where she is working, for the sake of her sanity, her self respect and for the sake of her relationships with all that are close to her. (including me). Which is why we are upset that she didn’t get the job. There will be others and I hope that things will work out, she needs to lick her wounds and move on.
Other crap news:
The cat is very ill, taken to the vets yesterday to be re-hydrated.
My car has just cost me 500 quid to repair!

All I seem to do on this blog is moan! So although I have plenty to moan about I shall focus on the positive to end the rant!

I have a job (touch wood). Which I enjoy.
I have a house, and the mortgage repayments are now back down to the low level they were when we moved in.
I have a Partner who loves me and I love her.
Tonight I shall be going to the pub with my Friend
I have lots of friends
The winter is shaping up to be cold (well the hope is still there anyway).
It’ll soon be Christmas

That’s not too bad is it?

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Happy Hallowe'en

[b]The Raven[/b]
by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow will he leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

The Wanderer Returns

Well despite my worst fears my cat came back. He escaped from my in-laws on the 1st of September and was finally captured by a lovely couple about 1/4 mile away yesterday. 30 days after his escape!
He has lost a lot of weight and as I type this I am waiting for an appointment at the vets to get him checked over. I spoke to a lovely lady at the cats protection league who said that the is some risk that he may develop some liver damage from the rapid weight loss so it's best to get him checked out ASAP.

I must admit that it had reached the point where I thought we had lost him for good, especially as I had found the remains of a dead cat not long after he went missing and very close to where he escaped from. In fact he was found alive only one feild away from where I found the dead cat!
So the relief I'm feeling is absolute, and next time I go away, the cat is staying at home with a cat-sitter!

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Holiday Snaps. Warning lots of pictures!

Try and stay awake now!!

This is our set up. Right by the river near to Argentat, Department of the Correze in SW France.
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/000_0002.jpg[/img]

View towards campsite from nearby bridge.
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0659.jpg[/img]

Little cottage next to campsite, typical of the area.
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0664.jpg[/img]

Wildflowers
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0697.jpg[/img]

It did rain a bit!
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0708.jpg[/img]

But the tent and the tarp coped well
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0709.jpg[/img]

The best Cheese shop in France, Monts du Cantal
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0710.jpg[/img]

The rain became too much so we headed off to the Ardeche region. Here is the view from the campsite
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0769.jpg[/img]

Gorges de L'Ardeche

[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0732.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0751.jpg[/img]

Pont D'Arc
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0761.jpg[/img]

A troll, hiding in the trees!
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0794.jpg[/img]

Eddie Lizard
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0800.jpg[/img]

Sleeping Cat, in market where I purchased my new mushroom collecting basket (see food for free thread)
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0825.jpg[/img]

Paradise!
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0835.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0841.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0856.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh106/azoreshi/100_0859.jpg[/img]

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Sunshine then Showers

Life is a bit like that isn't it?
I come home from a fantastic holiday, the food, wine, company and scenery were all fantastic, the weather was ok too .
But when we got home we found that our cat had escaped from the people who were looking after him. The very same day we left.
Unfortunately no one has seen him for two weeks. We have posted fliers around, notified all the authorities we can think off and searched everywhere but I fear the worst for the little fella. To make things worse, during our searches we were directed to the remains of a cat a couple of fields away from where he escaped. The foxes had done what foxes do and I was unable to tell weather it was our cat or not, but it seems like too much of a coincidence really. I fear the worst but it's not knowing which is hurting most.

A flat end to a lovely couple of weeks away, as I said, sunshine then showers.

Plus the tele is busted and the exhaust on the car is blowing

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

So near yet so far.

Well it's been ages, I know, I know I'm terrible at communicating and I'm sorry. It's just that nothing particularly exciting or newsworthy has happened since I last wrote.
Talking of lack of communication.
There I was in my hotel room watching Boris Johnson talking about who the hell he thought he is when several alarm bells went off in my head.
Here is my chain of thought:
Who do you think you are?
Genealogy
Family
Brother
Birthday
August 19th
Bugger, today is the 20th
I’m on the Isle of Wight.
His address (in Scotland I might add) was safely stored on my Outlook contacts at work (back in Kent) along with his phone number.
Mum had rung me up the previous Friday telling me not to forget my Brothers’ birthday.

Oh well, that’s me in trouble then!

So why the Blog title? Well in about 7 days time I am off on my holidays to here

[img]http://resources.campingcontact.nl/CampingContact/ProductMap/F19SOL.gif[/img]

To a little campsite next to the river, where nothing ever happens and long may it continue. I will sit there drinking wine and eating fine food while the river gently washes my troubles away.

Quite frankly it can't come soon enough!

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Recent goings on.

Well I haven’t written an entry for a while so I thought I would have a go as we now have a new format. Well recently things have been pretty busy, work is hectic with loads of problems to sort out, but that’s ok I like a challenge! At home the house is back in student mode after having a big clear up a few weeks back we are back to piles of washing and dirt accumulating in the corners again now, I must try and clear up this weekend or I may catch dysentery. The new car is going well and the missus and I are enjoying trouble free motoring through the Kent countryside at the weekends, unfortunately the price of petrol means that we can only travel the end of the road and back again, but hey ho it’s better than sitting inside. Mind you we ventured as far as Brighton last weekend but more of that in a minute! The garden is looking wonderful! Full of the abundance of spring and heavy with scent. It really is a joy to behold and all credit goes to my other half for all the hard work she has put into it over the years. So far this year we have had about 8 BBQ’s, starting from Easter day, probably all this charred meat will give me some sort of horrific cancer but I don’t care, all those marinated meats, crispy pork cutlets and fragrant kebab mixes are worth it. I’m being flippant of course… Now onto our trip to Brighton, well last weekend my partner and I had the pleasure of meeting some of the regulars from the Banter thread. Many thanks to Coast and Louby for organising the event, and also huge thanks to Katie Loo for the calorific experience which was her pepsi chocolate cake, very, very yummy! We met up in the Harvester on Brighton marina, Coast had done a stirling job of organizing the sunshine despite the rest of the country basking in torrential rain we sat on the terrace and quietly spent a lovely lunch basking in some late spring sunshine and sipped our orange juice and lemonade (there is a vicious rumor that I drank the bar dry of drinkable beer, unfortunately it’s entirely true, although I put it down to a lack of supply rather than increased demand). Overall, once we got over our initial awkwardness (coast excluded) I think we all got on rather well, there was a surprising lack of weather chat and all in all we had a nice time and it was great to put some faces to names and meet some of the characters that I chat to from time to time. Hopefully we can arrange another meet up and get some more people involved, so if you are interested in meeting up, keep an eye out for announcements and I’m sure we could get together again sometime. Well I’ve rambled on for long enough, I just noticed that my little old blog has attracted over 2000 hits now so I want to thank all those who have left comments for me, I don’t know about anyone else but I do find it comforting that someone is out there reading my insane ramblings. Thankyou all! AH. P.s. I managed to convince my other half to join Netweather, so some of you at the meet up must have made a positive impression! She has only been on a bit, did any of you spot her?

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Zoom

Took delivery our our new car today. ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM!

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

New Car

Well, on the back of my recent car troubles (see last entry) we have decided to spend money! :o Having looked around for a bit we have decided on a 5 year old Mazda 323 1.6 GSi. Not a particularly exciting motor but it has a reputation for reliability and in my opinion it offers a good package with all the mod cons you would expect in a modern car (air con, ABS, CD player etc etc) but you don’t see many of them about which I think gives it a bit of exclusiveness. All in all we we’re after a car which won’t let you down and that will give us some trouble free motoring for a few years, soon I will be getting a company car which means I can ditch my old Ford escort which has faithfully served me for 30 000 of it’s 180 000 miles!!! :o This is the most I’ve ever spent on a car in my life, I’ve never been in a position to buy anything of any value before and to be honest I have been reluctant to borrow until now, but I’m in a good job and all my other debts are paid off so I decided to borrow a bit to get this car. It took me all of five minutes to get a loan for 3000 pounds, who said getting credit was getting harder?? :lol: My Bonus next month should hopefully mean that this debt won’t hang around for too long.

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

car trouble

Well the car has finally died. The engine siezed up. Apparently the oil wasn't being pumped where it should be so basically running without oil! Anyway. Having spent about 150 pounds per month on two cars, just on maintenance costs since Oct. :lol: I've decided we will make do with just the one car. A clapped out ford escort with 180 000 miles on the clock . Hopefully this will last until I get my bonus next month. Another bonus down the drain!!!! Last year I had to spend it on fixing a burst water main, this year its a car. One day I will get to spend it on something I want rather than something I need or have to get. There goes the holiday down the drain again! Why is it when you think you're winning, something comes along and kicks you in the teeth?

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

The rant continues.

Well I know I said a wasn't going to look at the model Output thread anmore but unfortunately I did just that. Well, there is a cold snap on the way afterall. :lol: Again it was full of useless comments or comments which belong in another thread. I don't know why I'm so uptight about this, it really isn't like me at all but for some reason I'm wound up about it. So much so that I took the step to actually report one particular post to the mods. Something I have never done before. I'm glad to say that the response was swift and the post was removed (thanks Paul ) but looking back on the thread on half an hour later I saw 2 or 3 posts which deserved the same treatment, I can't report them all. I'm just not that sad! Guys, think before you post! It's been said a thousand times before but ask yourself. Is this the right thread for this post? Does it contribute to the discussion? If not then rethink where it does belongs and post it there, there are plenty of threads where you can talk about the particulars of each event without trashing the Model thread. There is even a thread to moan in. Anyway, rant over for now and in the future i will go back to my pleasant and carefree self, but now I realise how some people get such high post counts and mine remains below 200 despite being a member for ages. ( I even refrain from trashing the forum with my moaning and keep it in my blog )Prehaps those people who repeatedly offend and post in the wrong thread should have their count dropped to 0. just a thought? P.S People no one cares if it never snows where you live! Unless they live there too, in which case they already know! Pointless And relax *goes off to find something worthwhile to moan about *

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Model resolution.

Blimey, yes I'm going to talk about the weather Or more precisley the Model discussion thread. You will very rarely see me post on that thread, I wouldn't want to tarnish it with my less than amature thoughts but you can bet your bottom dollar I will view it regularly throughout the day. Having been a member of this forum for a couple of years now and an avid fan of this forum I have found the model discusion thread of great interest and a valuble learning tool. Which I'm sure was the intention of that thread from the start. Throughout this winter however I have found it labourious to wade through all the differing opinions, claims and counter claims. It seems like for every sensible well thought out post there are 3 which lend nothing to the discussion and distract from the true purpose of the thread. There are several regular posters who are steadfast and reliable, they may have their preferances in regards to the weather they wish to see but they don't let that get in the way of the facts. Thankfully most of these guys are posting detailed forecasts and thoughts seperate from the main model discussion and I have found these to be far more down to earth and straightforward (albeit sometimes quite technical) than the Model output discussion. I feel that now I can interpret the models to a degree where I think I will avoid viewing the Model output discusion thread and stick with those threads from those forecasters I trust. It saddens me to do that because I've learnt a lot wading through that thread, it's just that I can't be bothered any more. I just hope that newer members don't feel the same way as me as they will lose a valuable learning tool. One final note. To those that post detailed and regular thoughts seperate from the model thread. Keep up the good work guys, you can be sure there are lots of people out there hanging on every word and we really appreciate your efforts, even though you may only find most of our posts in the lounge :lol:

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Preconceived ideas.

It’s funny how our expectations cloud our judgements isn’t it? For example: Person A works has a leading role in a small company but he doesn’t believe in his own abilities as a manager. As a consequence whenever he is praised for his work he quickly dismisses it and it’s quickly forgotten. Perversely, whenever he is criticised he will dwell on what has happened and torture himself, wondering what went wrong and agonising about how to put things right. He goes home to his wife and tells her all about the mistake he has made, when he goes to the pub with his mate he will have the same conversation. In short what is happening is that he is focusing on the bad stuff and not allowing himself to feel the praise and celebrate it. The irony is that in his conversations with his mates he complains that he never gets recognition for the hard work he puts in and the long hours he works. He is getting it but he doesn’t listen to that bit! He does this because of the image he has of himself. He doubts his own abilities and so is always looking for the evidence to support his theory, after all, no one wants to be proved wrong do they? He is looking at the small blemish on an otherwise perfectly white sheet of paper. Person B is the manager of person A. She sees great potential in person A, their skills are a bit rough around the edges but the potential is there for person A to be a great manager and to make a real success of their role. Person B has been coaching person A for a while, trying to raise him up to a higher standard. The only trouble is that every time person A fails she senses that he falls back down to a lower level again. It really knocks his confidence and he ends up back where he started. It’s got to the point now where person B is losing patience. It seems like a predictable pattern. Person A takes a few steps forward and then takes a few steps back again. Now Person B has come to expect it. She has now got preconceived ideas about person B and finds herself becoming frustrated with his performance and she is now becoming overly critical, picking on the slightest mistake, he seems to require constant support and positive feedback, but in reality she hasn’t got time to nurture person A full time, and he doesn’t listen anyway! She is looking for the slightest blemish on an otherwise perfectly white sheet of paper. So what is the answer? Some of us are very pessimistic. We are constantly looking for praise from others, but if we don’t have faith in ourselves we don’t take this praise on board anyway. The answer is to change our own image of ourselves, if you truly believe that you can be successful then you will start to act successful. Take on board people’s criticism, but don’t dwell on it. Learn from it and move on, confident in the knowledge that you have grown stronger and you won’t repeat the mistake. When you start to act successful then people will recognise that trait in you. Their preconceived idea of you will be that you are a winner. When it comes to that new promotion or that important contract they need to get, who do you think will be at the top of the list of candidates? P.s. I worked out all this during the third pint in the pub last night! By the forth the conversation had moved on to house prices! But I thought I had better get this little gem of wisdom down today before I forgot. I’m sure it’s not a new revelation but it’s taken me 32 years to figure it out. I hope you find it useful too...?

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

What price paradise?

We have a very long and narrow back garden with access and off road parking at the back. When we first bought the house the solicitor pointed out that there was potential for development at the back and that we could make lots of money from it, at the time we were not interested. We are both keen gardeners and we relished the opportunity to get our teeth into our new plot and turn in into our little bit of paradise. So we spent a few years planting and landscaping our way down the garden until last year we got towards the end of the plot. We created a lovely vegetable plot and greenhouse, planted an Olive tree, a fig and a grape vine. One more year would have seen us done and dusted. That’s when the bombshell hit. Our three neighbours on the other side (three consecutive plots) all sold their properties to one housing developer, the developer quickly applied and was granted planning permission for 6, 2 bedroom flats and he has recently started work. Time for a rethink! If development was going to happen and we would have six flats gurning at us as we enjoyed our paradise then maybe we should investigate what our paradise is worth? What price paradise? Well it turns out it’s worth a lot. The sort of sum which can pay of my mortgage and have some change kind of sum. So several months back we took the decision to sell the bottom half of our garden to our next door neighbour, as reluctant sellers we got a very sweet deal and he will develop the land and his end of the garden and build another semi detached house on it. Now that we are in the last stages of drawing up a contract though I am starting to get pangs of conscience. Another green space is being eaten up by developers and it’s purely our greed which is allowing it to happen. I look at my little pond full of frogspawn today and I’m wondering if there will be as much next year? What will be the impact? We had fox cubs playing in the garden last summer, I suspect they had a den next door where they are building the flats. Will they find somewhere else? So this is how urban sprawl happens then, money can buy out even those who are environmentally conscious, and the ends justify the means. So time will tell, when I see the money in our account will I leap for joy or will it feel dirty? When I drive down that street in 10 years time will I remember what our paradise meant to us in our first home and regret selling it? I think the reality is that if we didn’t do it then someone else would have but is that enough to make me sleep at night?

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Memories of a summer storm

Below is a little story I penned shortly after a huge storm on the 19th July 2007. It was widely believed to be super cellular with high straight line winds, possible tornado damage near or around rye/eastbourne and very large Hail towards Canterbury. The day had been one of those hot, sticky days. The sort of day that the sweat clings to your skin and no amount of cooling margaritas can quench the oppressive humidity (although there is no harm in trying). Watching telly with my Fiancée we exchanged a glance which spoke volumes about how we were feeling, too tired to change the channel we sat and sweated and stared at the screen. As we sat there I sensed a vibration, barely audible, I felt the noise rather than heard a rumble. I shrugged it off and continued with the task of perspiring languidly. But soon enough the vibration came again, a gentle rumble, deep and resonant, the window rattled gently in its frame. My curiosity aroused I turned to my partner. “Was that thunder?” “Was what thunder?” She replied. Not being a huge weather fan like myself she was not tuned in, but like my fellow weather fans I spend most of my summer, chained to the models and the weather reports hoping beyond hope for the chance of a storm. At the mere possibility of a storm I leapt from my seat, strength and purpose renewed! I rushed through the open door into the murky stillness of the hot afternoon. As I did so I looked up and around, not immediately seeing an approaching storm, I was half expecting another false alarm and my spirits momentarily sank, was it just a distant lorry I heard? And then I saw it. To the south west, about 20 miles away a huge, towering thunder head! I looked it up a down, instantly recognising it as something special, its base seemed to be near the town of Rye on the south coast, its sides towered upwards and it leaned heavily to the north, as I continued to look up to see its anvil, already well developed streaming up over the county, nearly stretching over the top of me. I realised then that this storm was something special, a real monster, a potential super-cell! “Oh cr*p, where’s the camera?” I exclaimed. I raced back inside and fetched it, screaming excitedly at my partner, who just stared and continued to sit and perspire, she sighed and wearily fetched the camera for me. “I expect you'll be off chasing it? Get me some more ice while your out, I feel the need for another cocktail.” “I’m not going anywhere, this beast is heading right for us” The next hour and a half was spent in rapture, one of the best storms of my life, the lightning flickered through the sky and the thunder was deafening. I crouched in the green house as the gust front hit, half petrified and half joyful, taking shot after shot. I returned to the house, breathless with excitement “How was your storm dear?” asked my Fiancée. “Better than sex” Not the most tactful statement I admit, she sighed again and poured me a drink. “Enjoy sleeping on the couch do you?”

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

 

Two weeks later

Well what a differance a couple of weeks makes! Since my last blog entry I have been really busy, working every day and I really haven't had time to be S.A.D. I've finished a couple of really big projects at work and now the weekend stretches before me with the prospect of meeting up with a few old friends and catching up on old times. The sun has been shining today and I feel pretty happy. Nothing quite like burying yourself in work to make you appreciate the good times I say. Have a great weekend folks!

Azores Hi

Azores Hi

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