30 June, 2009

The Devil Child of Redhill >:(

So the other day as I sat my (tired and hot) sorry arse down at Redhill Bus Station (having run from platform 3 at the railway station above, just missing my early bus home), throwing my bag to the ground and then settling into a reasonable impression of a dog that's been in the sun too long...I squinted up at the arrivals board to see how long I would have to (theoretically) wait...it wasn't long, only 7 minutes, so I exhaled heavily, wiped my brow and then pulled my rucksack over with my foot and plunged inside for my book (just to help pass the time) my mind and body starting their settle towards a state of rest...it can't have been one paragraph later that I was interrupted by a harsh whistling sound, over and over again coming from the shelter in the centre of the traffic island...a small boy, perhaps six years old, was stood inside next to a dark haired woman who was doing a very good job of ignoring him (reading a magazine and rolling a cigarette) as he stood inches from her back, alternating blowing the whistle with all his might and then beating her back (as hard as he could) with his free hand...when this didn't elicit any response he took two steps back and threw the whistle at the woman's head...

I'll admit, I was openly gawping at this point (along with most of the other people waiting for buses) - my book forgotten in my hand - as he ran to the shelter window and started banging his hands against it, each one formed up into the correct position (if you will forgive the Americanism) to be flicking her "the bird"...it was at this precise moment that the woman suddenly stood, charging over to where the whistle lay on the floor, stamping on it once, very firmly, the sound of shattering plastic clearly audible, then returned, still avoiding any eye contact with the child, to her magazine...

At once, the child ran out of sight behind the bus station office, hands covering his eyes, noisy wails emerging from his mouth...mother, I was guessing now, didn't even glance up...when the child reappeared, it was to throw both his shoes at her (missing both times, but using such force they bounced out of the shelter and half way across the distance between him and me, tumbling to a halt near the rubbish bin)...more indecent gestures banging the glass followed, until he slumped down on a chair near the first bus stop, pausing only for a second to flick a McDonalds drink carton (half full of water where residual ice had melted) at a girl I later presumed must have been his sister (as she took it completely in her stride, just sticking her tongue out, to his enormous frustration)...shortly after this my bus arrived, and I piled on, leaving him to his tantrum (and them to their nightmare)...

I surprised myself, I was actually extremely angry at him and felt very sad for her...I mean, the mum was hardly doing herself any favours, but something about being in the position I am (with Flyingpops being pregnant) just filled me with rage when I juxtaposed this behaviour into a future where this was happening (after all the tears, laughter, joy, despair, pain, excitement, dreaming and bloody hard work) to a woman who must have gone through similar sorts of emotions and happy preparation as we have done...only to have this ungrateful devil visited upon her...I mean really...what would you do?

29 June, 2009

Second NCT Class

So last Wednesday night was the second of our NCT classes, this time we were practically the first couple to arrive, still managing (using our amazing powers of judgement) to bag the worst place for Flyingpops to sit (a huge sofa with virtually no back support)...the session kicked off (when everyone had arrived) with the group being split into three groups (I got the kitchen crew, Flyingpops the living room posse and the rest had to huddle in the hall) where we had to modify (with black and red marker pens) a large picture of the outline of a gingerbread person so he (or more probably she) was exhibiting signs of stress...so we duly scribbled on rough approximations of frowns, fists, weights on the shoulders and speech bubbles with "F*** off" all over it earning us the comment "I should be quite concerned at how familiar you all are with the physical signs of stress" from the tutor...

I won the teachers pet award for knowing that all these were due to the "fight or flight response" (largely caused by the hormone Adrenalin) and we were then treated to a little display demonstrating what effect this could have during pregnancy, and it's all sorts of nasty things, but most importantly Oxygen is diverted away from the uterus and baby, Oxytocin is rendered less effective (one of it's key jobs is uterine contraction), and all this works together to basically grind everything to a halt...this is precisely why some women are in and out of hospital like a yo-yo...at home - contractions fine, getting more frequent, everything looking good for delivery in the near future, unfortunately once the mum gets into hospital, if they start to feel stressed then the whole thing shuts down and you have to pick all the bags of snacks, lotions and pads back up and return home until she calms down again...extremely useful in the days when a bear or lion might spring through the entrance to the cave, forcing a quick getaway but rather annoying in this day and age...we concluded that section with five minutes of deep breathing and muscle clenching...

Probably the other most important thing we learned during the rest of the evening (as we went through the three stages of child birth) was that eating and drinking are extremely important - apparently the mother will burn up something like 4000 calories during the process, so it's important to have a good selection of sugary snacks to keep energy levels high, oh and drinking needs to be handled extremely carefully as the bladder will be squashed down to a very tiny size indeed as the space around the cervix is reduced (and sitting on the toilet is an annoyingly comfortable position for giving birth apparently, but not to be encouraged for obvious reasons)...oh and I am also not to take offense if Flyingpops becomes a little insensitive to my ministrations in the latter stages of childbirth, apparently activity in the neocortex is going to practically flat-line, and that section of the brain is the one (that in humans) is responsible for language...interesting stuff!

26 June, 2009

Finks Links #69

Please insert predictable Bill and Ted reference here (dude)... ;) Anyway, it's Friday *again*, the weeks are just shooting by now...Flyingpops actually finishes working (ready to have the baby) in less than 2 months now! :0 It's been another collossally busy one, so just a few links this week (all good though) -

Discover the giant pyramids of North Dakota (momuments to fear and ignorance)...

Visit the
Materials Library at Kings College London (containing the World's most unusual compounds)...

An amusing collection (one or two you will have seen before, but mostly new) of the highs and lows of fatherhood (love the clown one)...

Learn that the Nazis had managed to design the World's first stealth fighter (and it *would* have been invisible to Britain's chain home radar network)...uh oh! :0

...and finally, a concept fail...

24 June, 2009

Mysterious Cave, Canary Wharf

Popped over to West India Quay yesterday at lunchtime, just to enjoy the glorious sunshine and see what I could see (as there are often things to see around here for a chap with a camera), and (after briefly being groped by a statue-style mime artist to much hilarity from everyone watching), I did actually find something worthy of a picture...from most angles it looks slightly less than impressive -
Mysterious Cave, Canary Wharf
Mysterious Cave, Canary Wharf
- certainly not worthy of the little sign next to it -
Mysterious Cave, Canary Wharf
- claiming "scientists have been baffled" by the sudden appearance...*until* you peer at it through the specially positioned lens at one end -
Mysterious Cave, Canary Wharf
- my shot (taken with my cameraphone) *almost* manages to do it justice, it's really, really clever... ;)

Not quite as good as the artist's concept art for the project, but still rather impressive... ;)

23 June, 2009

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach
So just a few pictures from our (fairly short lived) trip to see what the beach at West Wittering was like...
West Wittering Beach
...and actually, it's easy to see what the fuss is all about...you can imagine what it's like in summer, these beach huts all filled with families...
West Wittering Beach
- absolutely miles of beautiful beaches -
West Wittering Beach
- and out in the harbour a constant procession of watercraft -
West Wittering Beach
- it's just a really beautiful place-
West Wittering Beach
- just a shame I couldn't have had more of an explore thanks to the knee, but I certainly got a good idea of what the place was like...we will check out more of it next time we visit... ;)

22 June, 2009

First NCT Class, Redhill

Last week (on Wednesday) we went along to our first NCT Antenatal class...I really wasn't sure quite what to expect, all I knew was that every single person I had ever spoken to about pregnancy who has had any sort of contact with the NCT recommended it wholeheartedly...so when we found out that Flyingpops was "with issue", it was a bit of a no-brainer but to apply to attend...it costs quite a bit to go along (I think we paid just shy of £200 for the pleasure) so I will admit to having had a certain amount of curiosity as to what we were going to get for our money...as it turns out I was actually extremely impressed...

Our classes were to take place in our tutor's house in Grovehill road in Redhill, starting at the commuter friendly time of 8pm, finishing (just as the yawns start to kick in) at 10pm, every Wednesday (until we know everything there is to know about child birth and aftercare, of course)...when we arrived a number of couples were already there, sitting slightly self-conciously on one of the many sofas, filling out one of the numerous forms attached to clipboards making their way around the room (accompanied by a plastic box containing an assortment of pens) collecting contact details or choice of the (many) drinks on offer one might like at half-time...when everyone had managed to find the place, apart from the elusive "Jenny and Mark" (who were unavoidably on holiday in the West Country, from the sounds of things), the group was split up, each person selecting a different partner than the one they arrived with (not in that sort of way) and this set the scene for the rest of the evening, being mostly small group activities...the first being to introduce your new partner to the group (after talking with them for a few minutes to find out a little about them), it turned out that most people simply signed up in order to meet other people in the same boat (Urm, we're pregnant, what the hell do we do now? Sort of thing), followed by finding out if we had any idea what the NCT does (other than these classes and the aforementioned sales)...it turns out that they are actually extremely active not only in forming little groups of parents (and giving them cups of tea), but also at the highest level at the hospital, working hard to promote parents interests and watchdogging (if that is a word) to make sure that those initiatives that they suggest are followed through with...we then ran through a selection of cutaway anatomical diagrams showing just how small an amount of room for digesting food and breathing there will eventually be inside the mums to be (to a few nervous glances) and handed around actual-size-and weight models (drawing gasps of surprise from the gentlemen in the room) demonstrating exactly how much the females in the room have to moan (and hold their tummies) about...

The final section of the session was a brain storm, boys in the kitchen, girls in the living room, where we all wrote down everything we were worried about (which was an extremely useful and theraputic process), these lists are to form the basis of all our classes to come (which makes me think that these sessions are going to be a largely unique experience depending entirely on the people who come along and precisely what they are concerned about)...the most impressive thing of the whole evening (for me) though was the tutors clear, expert summary of all the different options for the actual birth (which the midwife should have taken Flyingpops through and didn't), and I think it's actually made us change our mind...rather than normal East Surrey Hospital delivery suite, Flyingpops is now quite fancying the birthing centre just across the hall (full of soft objects to lean on, pilates balls and paddling pools)...so it's already been very useful...roll on next Wednesday!

21 June, 2009

Happy Father's Day


Thank you so much for all your hard work on my nursery. Mummy is so pleased it's finished and she can now sit in there and relax (after sorting and resorting the nappies/babygrows etc etc).
Enjoy the Grand prix today and think, next year fathers day will be very different... I wonder what we'll be doing?!?

Love you lots already and can't wait for a cuddle in September,

MJ xxx

19 June, 2009

Finks Links #68

Right, here we go, an *attempt* at getting back to normal (this is never going to work with the baby coming along)! ;)

Learn how to turn your old CRT VDU into a fish tank...

A tree growing on a tree...

Enjoy discovering some shockingly violent 1950s coffee commercials (starring early muppets)...

Someone has (honestly) written a twitter client for the C64... :0

"The prairie dogs escaped within 10 minutes of being introduced to their new $500,000 escape-proof habitat"... ;)

Take a (newly shot) tour around Saddam's abandoned palaces (many now repurposed into US miliary uses)...

Mmmmm...Astronaut beer... ;)

Okay, wind turbine blades are fairly large then...!

Why did nobody think of this before???

The Japanese invent a terribly polite umbrella... ;)

...and finally, an excellent fire drill fail and a great attempted murder fail...

More next week...!

18 June, 2009

Geek Pizza Joke

Oh this is very clever... ;)

If radius=z and thickness=a, then a pizza has the volume pi*z*z*a

17 June, 2009

Chilis Canary Wharf in Administration!

Disaster! My favourite crappy American eatery has gone into administration and closed it's doors forever! Curse my penchant for places where I can hear myself think! :(

The credit crunch has well and truly done it now! >:(

The Ship Inn, Itchenor

After we had unpacked all our things and enjoyed our delighted nose around the static we popped into East Wittering (only five minutes drive away) to the shops to buy some food and drinks (as that was where we had been told the nearest supermarket lived), and I have to say, the place was absolutely charming, just a hint that we were seconds from the water, a couple of little shops selling buckets and spades (and that sort of thing), the rest of the town being made up of 40 or so bespoke stores (such a rarity in this day and age) from a wonderfully brimming greengrocer -
East Wittering Greengrocer
East Wittering Greengrocer
- to the fantastic pie shop -
East Wittering pie shop
- where you can see them busily making the pies you are about to buy (I bought a steak pie and a ready to cook cottage pie for later)...absolutely wonderful...
The Ship Inn, Itchenor
That first evening, we thought we would go and check out the local village to the site (Flyingpops having spent most of the rest of the day napping while I read in the sunshine)...on our way passing a large group of (no doubt ravenously hungry and desperately thirsty) ramblers on a grim charge, prompting us to put pedal to the metal (suspecting, correctly, that their destination was the same as ours), unfortunately we missed the entrance to the pub on our first try -
- affording us out first taste of Chichester harbour, unfortunately the two minutes it took to comment on how pretty it was, take a quick snap, then turn the car around-
The Ship Inn, Itchenor
- meant that by the time we had parked the car, the ramblers has beaten us to the bar and were monopolising the staff ordering gallons of real ale and time consuming dinners, so we checked in the restaurant, but were politely informed that there were no tables free and we would have to wait for about 20 minutes (oh well)...so we grabbed a couple of drinks and headed outside to find somewhere to sit, eventually settling on a bench next to a selection of fishing gear dumped outside the public bar (only some of it decorative)...
The Ship Inn, Itchenor
We didn't have to wait long, which was good as Flyingpops was starting to get a little chilly as the sun started to set, before we were being seated on a little table right by the door...
The Ship Inn, Itchenor
Dinner was rather good, when we did finally get it, Flyingpops choice was particularly interesting - listed on the menu as "Vegetarian Fish and Chips", it turned out to be chunks of halloumi deep fried (like a cod fillet would be), the fried potato was a little on the "well done" side, but I kind of like that...I went for their (extremely mature) cheese burger, cooked medium rare, which also came with chips, but mine were served up with a very interesting dip called French Ketchup, which tasted a lot like a mixture of ketchup and mustard...jolly nice anyway...after our meal we made our way contentedly back to the static, for a few drinks and a snooze in front of the DVD player...

16 June, 2009

Itchenor Caravan Park

Itchenor Caravan Park
Can't believe this was so long ago and I'm only just getting round to writing about it...what a slacker! Being away from home has really messed with my routine (not necessarily in any sort of bad way, apart from my lack of blogging, of course, but) things should get back to (whatever) normal (is) soon...Anyway, if you would care to join me, set your wayback machines to two weeks ago, Friday morning - Flyingpops and I are to be found battling around the workmen, gathering clothing/bedding and then squashing everything into the back of Poppy the Beetle (in a tetris-like jumble), before somehow levering ourselves into the remaining space and setting off for the seaside (yay!), the journey was pretty good until we got to just outside Chichester, where we hit a *huge* traffic jam, my knees started to seize up with all the use of the clutch, and by the time we pulled past the (very welcome) entrance sign and I hopped out of the car to visit the little reception office, I really was hobbling...
Itchenor Caravan Park
Anyway, equipped with directions, we made our way through the maze of roadways, lined with literally hundreds of static caravans, each lovingly embellished with their own individual quirks, be it a posh raised decking arrangement, or a beautifully appointed garden with topiaried(sic?) hedges...the initial impression you get is that this place really doesn't feel like a caravan park - these are more like lovingly tended second homes...you definitely get the feeling that there is little in the way of normal "camping" taking place here...
Itchenor Caravan Park
So, working our way slowly, to avoid the wildlife -
Itchenor caravan park - ducks
- we found the static caravan we were lucky enough to be borrowing (which, of course, was situated right in the furthest possible corner on the other side of the site, directly opposite the way we came in) -
Itchenor Caravan Park
- but actually, that was rather nice...it certainly guaranteed by far the best view from the back windows over the fields towards the bay and was blissfully quiet, devoid of all but the most personal of transient visitors (*so* many people knocked on the door expecting their neighbours, only to find Flyingpops or myself peering out the front door and comments like "Oh, you aren't x")...
Emily's static
The inside of the static was an absolute revelation, an incredible kitchen (probably smarter than our one at home), a washer/drier combo, microwave, posh toaster...and the living room had large screen TV, DVD player (with surround sound), and even an old SNES! Incredible...

But, and this is most unfortunate, if you fancy coming to stay here then you are most probably out of luck - of all the statics on the site only *one* is available to hire, all the rest are permanently privately owned...which is actually rather a telling endorsement for the place all by itself...fantastic site, and a privilege to be invited to stay there! :)

More to come!

15 June, 2009

New Bathroom installed!!

So, this is *exactly* why we decided to move out of home -
New Bathroom #1
New Bathroom #2
New Bathroom #4
New Bathroom #5
- while the work on the bathroom has been taking place (it was just total chaos)...work was only actually finished last Friday night, our first glipse of the finished product was at Saturday lunchtime (after haircuts at my folks) and my goodness has it been worth all the time and effort (almost 2 weeks solid for those involved)-
New Bathroom #6
- including a nice modern toilet (wonder what they did while the toilet was out of commission?) and a heated towel rail -
New Bathroom #7
- a funky new sink, the biggest bath in the world(tm), seriously...it's *huge*...and a super powerful shower, situated right up on the ceiling (as I'm quite tall my normal shower experience is one where the flow of water starts somewhere roughly level with my chin, so this is absolutely perfect - I can pretend I'm a normal-sized person for once)...! Admittedly Flyingpops is having a bit of trouble as a result, suddenly feeling like she is living in the land of the giants, but it will all be much easier when she isn't heavily pregnant...for the time being we are having to employ a combination of a small set of steps and me giving her a hand to clamber in and out...All there is left to do now is choose what flooring we would like, it's a toss up between some of that nice modern textured linolium, and some real (non-slippery) floor tiles...It will probably be the linolium (for practical reasons), as if anyone needed to get at the pipe work (for whatever reason) having to smash off the tiles to get at them would be a bit too much of a pain to bear...

Anyway, we are extremely pleased...other than the floor it just needs one or two finishing touches (lick of paint on some of the pipe work, a shower curtain, choose some nice accessories, that sort of thing) and we are all done...!

12 June, 2009

Tube Strike, MotorExpo 2009 and Crossrail...

...lots been going on, just having a rather unusual week, hopefully everything will be back to normal soon! Managed to make it up into town yesterday (on crutches), despite the tube strike -
Travelling around central london from london bridge without the tube
- they were giving away these guides to help people make their way around London without use of the underground, the unhelpful advice for people wanting to get to Canary Wharf was just to go to Bank and get the DLR (like *everyone* wouldn't already have thought of that)...as it was, somehow, despite every single other tube line being down, the Jubilee line was actually running (albeit with minor delays), so it wasn't actually that much of a trial to get in and out of the office...

Anyway, when I got here (although I'm not really going to have much of a chance to look around it, in my current state), I found that the 2009 MotorExpo was in full swing, the reception of One Canada square having been turned over to all manner of Aston Martin automobiles (and even the odd wicked looking Tesla) -
Motorexpo 2009
- and outside has been similarly transformed -
Motorexpo 2009
- although I must say, the number of hungry executives drooling over the exhibits seems to be considerably down on last year...

In other news, work is proceeding apace for the London crossrail station, they have turned the corner now if you look closely, and from the looks of things, they are going to complete a box using these metal tubes -
Canary Wharf Crossrail building
- and then drain out the water and actually dig down to build the station, so I have the perfect vantage point here in order to spy on them... ;)

09 June, 2009

Sorry Guys...

...for not posting - serious knee-cartilage related soft-tissue flare-up caught me by surprise over the weekend, exacerbated by whacking my knee on the corner of my metal pedistal under my desk three times in a row (training our new chap, so sat in quite the wrong position for speedy desk tucking - ouch!), dashing the commute home to start the break as soon as possible, followed shortly by an hour and a half sat in an incredibly uncomfortable position in the car on the way down to our weekend break...anyway, whatever it was that caused it I've ended up being practically unable to walk (again)...I honestly think we would have been forced to cancel the break completely if it wasn't for the fact that we *knew* the house was still going to be in total chaos (bathroom no-where near done), and that between Flyingpops and I, the whole process of even packing the car up to come home in a hurry would have been a complete farce...as it was, it was pretty hilarious (although *only* in retrospect - and this is no joke, we were hefting things to one another out of the second door (the one without stairs) at the head of the caravan to save bending and stretching, Flyingpops holding in the Bump, gasping and me clutching at my knee making the odd indecent outburst)...heaven only knows how we got it all done...

Can't fault where we went though, despite the medical "issues" stopping us exploring terribly far afield, it certainly looks like an amazing part of the country - pics and stories to come, once I can lean toward the keyboard without grinding my teeth in pain...and thanks to Emily! Don't know what we would have done without the blissful rest afforded to us...trying to cope with all this *and* the builders taking over the house? I can't even start to contemplate it...! Once we got back to civilisation, we just decided to give up on home completely instead heading straight to Oxted (where we had kipped all last week), although this time, instead of being resident for house sitting and watering duties, thanks to my folks actually being home, it's a bit more like us being looked after for a while...so thanks (very much) Mum and Dad too... :)

07 June, 2009

On the beach...

On the beach...
Originally uploaded by finkangel.

...at East Wittering...had torrential rain all night, but lovely sunshine today! Only bad thing is my knees are playing up again, so sand walking is a bit tricky :(

05 June, 2009

Made it!

Made it!
Originally uploaded by finkangel.

We've been here since about lunchtime, amazing caravan, kitchen in there is better than ours at home and the tv dvd setup even has surround sound! We've already been to east wittering and done lots of shopping, best thing of all though is that it's blazing sunshine down here, hurrah! :)

Finks Links #67

Another week is over...and I am off on my mini-holiday, so this is an autopost, written yesterday... ;)

Meet the ultimate lock picker (great article from Wired)...

Time lapse videos of NASA satellite footage showing deforestation, urbanization and drought...

The worlds most pointless machine (you probably saw it already, but if not it's worth a look)...

Heaven and Hell...

Meet Nick Pope, the ex-head of the UK "X-Files" team...

Fancy a Tactical defence pen (designed for stabbing people more than writing things)... ;)

10 rather funny signs...

A retro-look USB Vacuum cleaner (to get those stubborn buscuit crumbs out of your keyboard)...

Scientist Chunli (yes, really) Guo modifies metal so it pulls water uphill! Next stop infinite power via self feeding water wheel? Watch this space!

...and finally a hilarious trousers fail...

More next week!

04 June, 2009


Nearly time for us to start our mini-break...only one more day to get through...really looking forward to getting away and switching off for a few days, our venue is a borrowed caravan (thank you MEEM) located (not in the South West, as I had thought, but) in Itchenor, West Sussex (near Chichester)...it's a little village that sits looking out on Chichester Harbour (which is apparently one of the busiest waterways in England)...unfortunately, after the excellent weather we've been enjoying (sat in the office - bah) it's forecast to rain all weekend, especially bad on Sunday (what is it with us and mini-breaks in the rain?)...so we might have to do the usual, and find some indoor type things to do...!

03 June, 2009

Commuting from Oxted

Woken by the sunrise
We're a couple of days in now, so what's it been like commuting from/to Oxted? Well, good and bad actually...my first journey there (on Monday) I managed to pick up the 1808hrs from London Bridge (a fast train, literally stopping at East Croydon and then Oxted), super quick, and the luxury of being able to then just walk for 3 minutes and be at the front door...total bliss...Tuesday morning on the journey in we lucked another fast train, but there were no seats (for me) until East Croydon where about 50% of the people on board flew off to find connections (Flyingpops was able to flash her "Baby on board" badge as soon as she got on board and a kind lady moved for her), so not quite as good in that respect, as there are always seats from Earlswood...the other bad thing is that (as we were last night) if you are late, the trains get rather far apart (like half an hour apart) instead of the excellent rush hour 10 minute gaps between trains, and unlike being able to nip to East Croydon and catch the next Redhill service out of Victoria, with Oxted trains there really is no alternative but to wait...so actual journey, largely much better, as long as we get out reasonably early...

One thing that really bothered me yesterday (and I have no idea how my sister put up with this in the middle of the summer), is that her old room (where we are lodging) has thin white curtains with no backing...at 5am when the sun came up the room got bright extremely quickly - waking me up - at home we have blackout curtains or blackout blinds on all the windows (pretty much) meaning the sun doesn't get a look in until it's allowed, but this morning I actually found myself quite enjoying slowly being woken up by the sun rather than by a blast of (far too early in the morning) pop music from Radio MurkyMercury...the other really nice thing about being based in Oxted town centre is the proximity of the shops and restaurants...we really are out in the sticks at home, having only one small shop within reasonable walking distance...I'd forgotten what it's like to have everything right on the doorstep (not had that since I lived in Dorking)...

Flyingpops is loving it, she prefers the mattress as it's slightly harder than the one at home, meaning she doesn't sink so low and moving around is easier, the bed is also smaller (and in a slightly bigger room) than at home, meaning there is a gap on her side of the bed so she can get up more easily if she needs to in the night, and (of course) we just happen to be surrounded by all the things we have bought for the baby (this is where it is all being stored while we do the decorating) - she sorted out all the baby grows twice last night, while I was watering the garden-
Oxted Garden
- which seemed to take ages, it was actually getting dark by the time I finished, but it's all in a good cause, as Kipperfrog's wedding reception is due to be held there, so we can't let it all wilt while it's our sole responsibility! ;)

02 June, 2009

London Crossrail - Canary Wharf station

London Crossrail platform works
Ah, just found out what they are building below my window! It's the new Canary Wharf station for the crossrail service, although interestingly according to the map, this station is actually going to be *underground*, it explains the weeks and weeks worth of digging they have been doing under the water removing hundreds of bargefulls of oily mud (guided by divers) i suppose...what they are doing right now is driving in 90 foot long rusty tubes in a long line (you can see one on it's side on the top barge if you zoom in) and then (presumably) filling them with concrete...so that has solved a little mystery, whether this is to remove the water from one side or another ready to dig the tunnel I'm not sure, but I'll keep my eyes on them and if anything else interesting happens I'll post a picture... ;)

01 June, 2009

Bathroom and Nursery, weekend update

Canary Wharf
It's been another busy weekend, I finished off the plasterboard skimming in the nursery on Saturday (and because it was so hot it was a bit of a nightmare) the sanding took much longer than I thought and was harder work than I thought, but it was well worth it, the wall is really smooth and jolly even now (even if I do say so myself)...probably shouldn't have worn black clothes though, when I came out it looked like I'd had a collision with a sack of flour, all in my hair, in my ears and up my nose...took ages to clean up all the dust, starting with the vacuum cleaner, and finishing up with a damp sponge on the walls themselves (a surprising amount kept on clinging to them even after repeated wiping)...on Saturday night, instead of watching Britain's got talent, I made a start on the painting, but gave up after a wall and a half as the finish looked terrible (really disheartening after all the effort I had gone to), oddly in the morning it had all magically straightened itself out (could have been just the electric light playing tricks with my tired eyes, but I definitely concluded to get some better paint would be a sensible thing to do, the stuff we have is way too watery)...

Sunday, for once, I actually had a full day of rest (even fell asleep on the sofa at about 9pm)...! This week it's going to be chaos at home, the bathroom is going in - and we are going out (to avoid the upheaval)...we are staying with at my folks place in Oxted, the only bad thing is that they aren't going to be there as they are off on holiday...So this morning we loaded up all our clothes and wash kits (etc) into Poppy the Beetle and after work I'm heading straight there, the next time I see the house (which will be at the end of the week, just before we go off on our mini break to the South West), the new bathroom should be installed!