Monday, 30 April 2012

Monday 30 April 2012

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Back to work today and the weather was bright and sunny with a glorious blue sky. 

Had a meeting with Paul Sullivan from Intergage - a web marketing agency. He was very interesting and came out with lots of ideas that will be useful to me and Ruggles & Jeffery.

Roy Hodgson, the former Fulham manager who took them to the final of the Europa League is being interviewed by the Football Association for the role of England Manager. It's a surprise as nearly every press report suggested that the Manager would be current Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp. Hodgson's current team West Bromwich Albion like Fulham under him are very well organised. Hodgson left Fulham to be Manager of Liverpool but was not so successful and was dismissed inside 6 months. A well organised side has brought success to the German national team for the past 40 years, so he just might be the right man for the job.

Tottenham have played some great football this season but their form has dropped off dramatically recently apart from yesterday. Harry Redknapp has gained a reputation as a "wheeler dealer" on the transfer market (a term he doesn't like), but both Southampton and Porstmouth who he managed in recent years went into administration after he left. Whether true or just my perception, Spurs seem to have a very large back-room staff and I wonder whether the FA could have afforded or were willing to take on Harry's team. For some reason, Stuart Pearce's position appears sacrosanct and I'm not sure that Harry would have wanted to have his number 2 forced on him.

Big match on TV as Manchester City beat Manchester United 1-0 to go level on points at the top of the Premier League but with a better goal difference. 2 games to play and the title is still up for grabs. It's been an exciting season at the top and bottom.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sunday 29 April 2012

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After another disturbed night with Georgie waking up at midnight and Luc wanting to sleep in the spare bed with me, I woke up to more rain. I'm starting to worry that the pool will overflow! 

I finished reading "Scorpia Rising" by Anthony Horowitz last night and the writing style is a little different, at times judgemental and a lot more detached particularly at the end of the book than the other Alex Rider stories. In this, the last book of the series, the reader is made far more aware of the tragedies that have beset Alex Rider.

Anyway, it's an excellent read with a lot of twist and turns, but I feel the ending was difficult to write as I'm not sure that the author knew when was the right time to say goodbye to Alex Rider.

I spent most of the day building the Titanic with Luc - it's a Revell model. The set came with a big and a small version and the small one is taking ages. Still with all the rain, it's a welcome distraction. Whilst Luc was watching CBeebies, he complained that there were too many adults on children's TV - 2 words Luc: Junior Showtime.

Chelsea beat QPR 6-1 today and Spurs beat Blackburn 2-0. Blackburn were actually worse than QPR!

By early evening the Titanic was built, the rain had stopped and Luc played happily with Megan and Mitchell.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Saturday 28 April 2012

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Luc's Danbury Outdoors Saturday morning activities started today. He went mountain biking and BMXing in the pouring rain whilst I ran a circular route of 6.2 miles from the Outdoor Centre to Butts Green and back. It was a lovely undulating run on the country roads and I even had to run through a ford. It took me 1 hour 13 minutes 39 seconds so I wasn't exactly pushing it. I read my book (Scorpia Rising by Adam Horowitz) whilst I was waiting for Luc to finish and stiffened up.

Luc fell off the mountain bike into a big puddle but he had a great time. Fortunately, I had 2 towels and a fleece to dry Luc and wrap him up.

We all went to Wicks and Homebase to look at kitchen tiles, sinks, taps and work surfaces. I went to the library and took out the "Falcon's Malteser" by Anthony Horowitz - it's the first Diamond Brother story so I'll see what I think of that series.

It was the last day of the regular Championship season and West Ham missed out on promotion as Southampton beat already relegated Coventry 4-0. West Ham, Blackpool, Birmingham and Cardiff will now take part in the play-offs. Southampton and Reading were promoted. Fulham got thrashed by Everton 4-0, just as I was thinking they might finish above both Everon and Liverpool. Canvey Island FC won 5 - 0 but remain in the Ryman Premier League having failed to make the play-offs.

Luc went out to play with Mitchell, Megan and Holly and got soaked. There are now 4 sets of his clothes in the washing machine just from today.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Friday 27 April 2012

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Wow, we all had a decent night's sleep for the first time this week and I woke up feeling better than in ages. I took Buddy for a walk round the block in the early morning sunshine.

Georgie is still coughing, but the Doctor was confident the cough would just go as quickly as it arrived. 

My weight is now 13 stones 0 pounds.

Had a ridiculously easy drive into work and was there in 20 minutes. Karen (Julie's friend) was moving today, so Julie had to pick up Mason to take him to school with Luc. In spite of her cough, Georgie was looking forward to Nursery.

Ok day at work and I created some ace case studies for some of Ruggles & Jeffery's work at Virgin Active.

Buddy, Georgie and I went for a nice walk in the evening sunshine at the sailing club after work. The tide had just turned and was going out but Benfleet Creek looked lovely. Georgie was exhausted after Nursery and went straight to sleep.

Watched "Life Stories" which is a chat show hosted by Piers Morgan. In this episode he interviewed Carl Vorderman about her life. Julie reminded me of the time that we stayed in Bembridge (Isle of Wight) in October when we first met. It was quite cold and I suggested that we went to bed in the afternoon. Julie was really miffed when I went to bed with paper and pen so that I could join in with Countdown!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Thursday 26 April 2012

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Georgie is still poorly and so a trip to the doctor is in order.

My weight is now down to 13 stone 1 pound, but significantly my big fat beer belly  which I have grown to love over the last 20 years has nearly gone. I'm still a bit podgy but the scales are moving in the right direction!

I took Luc to pre school this morning and he seemed quite happy although a little tired.  On the radio on the way to work they mentioned a new report that concluded that mobile phones don't cause harm and that the report was based on aggregating multiple pieces of research. I was very excited that my favourite bit of Statistics featured on the news - how sad.

In between working hard, I exchanged tweets with Syd Moore (the author of the "Drowning Pool"). At lunchtime, I tried to find somewhere for Luc and I to go kayaking together but it is proving difficult.

I went to to Macro on the way home.

Georgie is still unwell. Luc's behaviour has been pretty poor recently and he has caused rows with neighbours. He is not allowed to play out as he can't be trusted to play nicely without an adult supervising him. He created a load of fuss before he did his homework tonight. 

I watched "New Tricks" on television and completed the Telegraph cryptic crossword. 

Wednesday 25 April 2012

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Georgie's cough has got worse and so we both slept on the sofa bed so that she could be propped up. She was uncomfortable all night and neither of us slept well. She woke this morning and seemed a lot better whilst I was shattered.

More rain and another ok day at work.

I took Buddy for a short walk at the sailing club after work. Buddy seemed to sense that it was about to rain again and was a very reluctant companion.

Georgie was ill again just after she went to bed and was sick everywhere. She then went downstairs and having sat down quietly for 10 minutes was running around like nothing had happened.

I watched another terrific game of football as Bayern Munich beat Real Madrid on penalties in the second of the Champions League semi finals.

I completed the Telegraph cryptic crossword, killer sudoku and kakuro. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Tuesday 24 April 2012

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Had a rubbish night's sleep which featured Georgie waking up several times and a milk man delivering milk at 3.20 am! It's raining again and the hose pipe ban might be lifted if this carries on. Apparently it's heading for the coldest April since 1981 and this morning was windy, wet and cold. 

The good news is my weight is now down to 13 stone 2 pounds, so I'm closing in on breaking the 13 stone barrier and significantly I am 1 and a half pounds lighter than Henry Cooper when he fought Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali as he became) for the first time in 1964. My target is 11 stone 10 pounds - the same weight as Martin Peters (Spurs, West Ham, Norwich and World Cup winning England footballer famous for "ghosting" into scoring positions unseen, being described by the late England Manager, Sir Alf Ramsey, as being "10 years ahead of his time" and for being a wonderful footballer). It might be a struggle to achieve this target as I struggled to make this weight even when playing regular competitive sport.

Had an ok day at work and surprisingly easy drive home. I went to the Yacht Club with Buddy and Georgie for a walk. After the rain earlier, it was a lovely evening and we had a very nice leisurely walk. 

I watched an amazing second leg of the Champions League semi final between Barcelona and Chelsea before Georgie woke up unwell at 9pm and I had to stop viewing. Chelsea had their captain John Terry sent off for a bit of sly thuggery, had the other centre half (Gary Cahill stretchered off) and were 2-0 down before half time. Surprisingly, Chelsea pulled one back just before half time and having laid siege on Chelsea's goal for 45 minutes of the second half, Fernando Torres who had come on as substitute and looked awful, then ran from his own half to score!!!! Chelsea win 3-2 on aggregate. Terrific game. 

Luc had created an excellent PowerPoint presentation about the sinking of the Titanic that I will put on to his website tomorrow. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

Monday 23 April 2012

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Georgie has a bad cough and was choking in her sleep last night, so she slept in the spare bed. I had an eye test at the new health centre on Canvey at 9.10 am which meant that I was able to take Luc to school before going there. It was ok and the blurred vision and stinging caused only minor irritation . First signs are that things are ok.

After a sunny morning (I even got a bit sun burnt yesterday), by lunchtime it was raining again. I had a meeting with Tony (my boss and Commercial Director at Ruggles & Jeffery) this afternoon.

Drove home in torrential rain. The traffic was ridiculously busy even though or maybe because of an underpass from A13 to A130 that looked like it was now open.

Georgie had been to Nursery this morning and was tired and poorly. I sat reading in her room for nearly 30 minutes before she fell asleep.

I watched a bit of the Championship game between Leicester City and West Ham on my lap top. There is a slight delay in streaming matches over the internet so I am in danger of receiving goal alert Tweets before actually seeing the goal. I listen to a radio station called Talk Sport in my car and follow one of their sports reporters (the Moose) who is a West Ham fan on Twitter. Anything other than a West Ham win would mean Southampton would be promoted and West Ham would go into the end of season play-offs. West Ham won 2-1 so it's all down to next Saturday's matches.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Sunday 22 April 2012

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I was woken up by Georgie at 5.55am (digital clock) to glorious sunshine and it felt almost like summer. 

I took Buddy for a lovely walk at the Yacht Club this morning. There was a man sitting by the slip way having breakfast rolls and coke reading his Newspaper in the early morning sunshine.

I made some rolls and sandwiches for a picnic before we all went off to Landbourne End Activity Centre open day. Luc went caving, kayaking and climbed on the low ropes across a pond. Luc was very wobbly on the low ropes and I managed to capture some excellent video footage parts 1  and part 2. Luc attracted quite a crowd of expectant parents as he tottered inches above the water. He made it across the pond 3 times by the hanging ropes, on a single plank and on a wire with single rope before succumbing to the hanging tyres.

Luc found he was quite good at kayaking and won the kayak race and really enjoyed it. We all did some pond dipping, visited the farm where we could stroke goslings, hens, piglets, lambs and kids (baby goats), went on a garden trail and rode in a cart pulled a pony. On the garden trail, we potted some pumpkin seeds and it will be interesting to see how they do. We all had a lovely time and we were exhausted by the time we got home at about 3.30pm.

I went to Jean & Jack's with the trailer to pick up a bench seat to house the pool pump and heater and also some plant pots. As I left their house, it poured down with enormous hail stones and wild gusts of wind. I had to stop twice as the bench turned over in spite of being tightly wedged between very heavy pots.

Manchester United drew with Everton 4-4 and so the title race between Manchester City and Manchester United is back on again after Manchester City beat Wolves 2-0 later in the day - Wolves are now relegated. Liverpool lost again and unbelievably have the same number of points as Fulham.

In 2012, football matches take place all over the weekend from Friday night to Monday night with most matches still taking place at 3pm on Saturday. A second set of league matches, domestic cup games and European games (Europa and Champions League) take place in the evenings from Tuesday to Thursday. Shortly after the BBC started screening live games on Friday nights in 1983, I predicted 7 day a week live football getting TV audiences from across the globe with hardly any one actually attending live games as they could view their team on TV. It's not there yet and the capacity of Premier League stadiums are still increasing, but it still might.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Saturday 21 April 2012

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Before I got up, I read the first few pages of Scorpia Rising the final book in the Alex Ryder series by Anthony Horowitz. It was a really busy morning as I had to go to Tesco to get a present for Georgie to give to Lillie at her Birthday party. Whilst I was there, I picked up a digi-box for Luc. The UK has just switched over from analogue to digital TV and many televisions are now redundant without additional digital receivers. 

The 2 big sports news stories are about allowing athletes (notably Dwayne Chambers) who have served a ban for taking drugs to be allowed to compete for Great Britain later this year at the London Olympics and the F1 Motor Racing Grand Prix which is taking place this weekend in Bahrain against a back-drop of civil unrest. The Dwayne Chambers issue is not only that he has been caught once but that he had retired from athletics after the ban was imposed, so he was not regularly drug tested during his ban which athletes in training normally are!

I went to the library at Canvey and took out "The Devil and His Boy" also by Anthony Horowitz before I dropped-off Georgie and Julie at Farmer Tom's play barn in Benfleet for Lillie's 3rd Birthday party.  We managed to get nearly there before we realised that the present was still at home. Nevertheless, we still managed to get to the party in reasonable time for the 10.30 am start.

Georgie Russell at Lillie's Party
Luc and I then went in hunt of a model Titanic and managed to get one in Smyth's Toy Shop at Rayleigh. It is a Revell model so I'm expecting lots of glue and swearing next weekend! Luc and I drove on to Southend and took in the Activity Centre open day but it was cold, windy and Luc was a year too young to take part. It was nice at the seafront, though.

Georgie had a lovely time at the party even if she wasn't sure of the rules of pass the parcel. Having picked-up Julie and Georgie, we went to Homebase to pick up more paint for the kitchen and then on to the Post Office to collect a kitchen clock that couldn't be delivered, earlier.

After, a quick Dairylea roll, I went to the recycling centre whilst Luc played out with Mitchell, Abi and Scarlett against our wishes.

I took Buddy for a lovely walk in the late evening sunshine at Benfleet Yacht Club and had a nice chat with an experienced yachtsman. As I got home, it started to rain yet again!!In the car I found out that Bristol City had won their game today so Portsmouth and Coventry City are relegated. Fulham beat Wigan at home and are 9th in the table on the same number of points as Liverpool.


Friday 20 April 2012

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A bit of a surprise this morning - it's not raining and the sun is out. I took Buddy for a walk round the block before work. 

I managed to book Luc on to the next 10 Saturday of activities at the fantastic Danbury Outdoor Centre. It means that I can run along the country lanes and B roads around Danbury Common whilst Luc is mountain biking, climbing, shooting arrows (the real thing not darts), orienteering, etc...

By 2pm the rain had started again and it was accompanied by thunder and lightning. 

Another dreadful journey home because of the roadworks and then read my book. I finished Crocodile Tears tonight and it was another excellent Alex Ryder story by the genius Anthony Horowitz. 

Our garden pool is still not working as the cost of fitting the heater seems to be spiralling out of control!


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Thursday 19 April 2012

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Another disturbed night. Georgie woke at 3.30 am and I'm now wondering if there is something that's happening outside that's waking her up. After a busy day at her Nursery yesterday, Georgie was wide awake by 6.30 and wanting to talk about the things she did there. She also chatted about her trip to the beach with Luc, Mummy and Luc's friend Michael. When it stops raining, I will take her there after work.

It rained again today and I had a pretty miserable journey into work. The traffic was quite heavy and for some reason the work on the Sadlers Farm roundabout was centred on a stretch of road (A130 north of Sadlers Farm) where there is rarely any queues and did not need widening etc rather than the maze of flyovers and the roundabout that causes the mayhem every day.

I had a meeting in Southend this morning at the University of Essex. It went really well and I love being out of the office during the day in spite of the rain. The view of the estuary from the Southend high street always takes me by surprise. Before the meeting, I bought some sugar fee Sherbet Lemons and Sherbet Strawberries from Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe

Had an ok afternoon and then drove home in the rain. Luc was out playing on his skateboard with Megan and Holly in spite of the rain.

I watched a super programme on ITV4 called "From the Ashes" about 1981 Ashes series. Wonderful to see Willis, Botham, Brearley and hear the magical voice of the brilliant Peter West.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Wednesday 18 April 2012

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We had a disturbed night as Georgie woke at 12.30. Due to a misunderstanding, Georgie then slept the  rest of the night peacefully in the spare room double bed.

My ankle is nearly 100% better so I was able to take Buddy out for a walk this morning. It’s Georgie’s first full day at Nursery today, so hopefully she will be brave and last the day.

I made some rash predictions on the football last night, but I got Reading’s victory and West Ham’s draw correct.

When I got home from work, Georgie had enjoyed Nursery today and liked her marmite sandwich that she had for lunch. Tonight, I watched Chelsea surprisingly beat Barcelona 2-1.

I made some changes to my website and my daily blogs will appear on with the archived news updated weekly.