June 2004 Archives

Janet's Birthday

As the title says. Nearly 50, and tonight was the big surprise. What would've been a quiet night having an "Eat All U Can" buffet at the local curry house, instead turned into a packed out "All The Family" night out. And Janet had no idea at all :-D

Just this minute got in, having had a couple, and several more. The Carlsberg wasn't all it was cracked up to be, so I ended up having to drink my Kingfisher AND Laurie's Carlsbergs - well someone had to do it ;-)

Guinness Cold

Don't know about you, but I've been creasing up recently watching all my old fav Guinness TV ad's with the unusual twist of being cold.

Clever little ad campaign, I find myself ticking them off as I see them, wondering if the latest thing I'm watching is another old Guinness advert gone cold, or something even more surreal.

It Is No More

| 1 Comment

Whilst in Bristol last week my laptop died. Well, I say it died, it just switched itself off half way through synchronising itself with my network drive. It then began to reboot itself until the hard disk had enough and it froze. Then some weird message about ACPI conflicts and it hung. Battery out and restart, only for it to go through the routine again, with the hard disk pleading me to switch off and let it be. I then left it for the day and managed to get another hour or so out of it at home before it again went all rebooty.

Ahhh, I here you techno-literate ones say, it's that Sasser virus ain't it! Nope, clean as a whistle. So puzzled looks from all concerned.

Today I signed the death warrant, a form that allows our IT outsourcing to rebuild my machine by destorying everything on it and starting from scratch. Not a pleasant experience, nagging doubts in my mind as to whether I've managed to get all my data off it. But, as luck would have it, the rebuild didn't work because of an intermittent network connection. A quick wander around the office by the technician, trying a few more connections and hey-presto! The network connection on the mother board is dead. So a replacement motherboard and no loss of data. PHEW!!

So, is it a new machine, or my old machine with a new heart? Time will only tell...

New Car!

Well, I've a Jag on the drive, if that's what you mean ;-)

Nige came down this weekend just gone, with Ian and friend Kev. Nothing out of the ordinary until we went to go out on Saturday and noticed a large patch of oil on the floor :-O

Having spent Sunday hunting around the scrapyard, we noticed on returning to the car that the patch had appeared outside the scrapyard too. BUGGER :-(

So off to Halfords for some bits and bobs, then back to the house to degrease the engine and see where the leak might be coming from. MISTAKE :-(

Having cleaned off all the gunge the oil now had a clear path out from behind the triangular plate and gush....... out it came at a great rate. DAMN :-(

So, after trying to fix it with some old rubber car matting, everyone piled into Mum's car and went home. My job? To hunt down a Jag dealers for a new oil seal.

Giving the details over the phone I was a bit disturbed when the guy questioned exactly what I mean't by "triangular plate" on the front of the engine. A moments silence, and then, "OOooooohhh THAT triangular plate, I've got 'em in stock, they're a popular item". Best buy a couple then, eh, Nige. But first, off to the bank for a loan.....

3 Peaks Challenge

A guy at work (Phil Avins, for those in the know) is doing the 3 Peaks this weekend. A challenge in itself. And due to circumstances he's going to do it in aid of Cancer Research.

So, he'll be pestering everyone at work to open their pockets deep. And if anyone else reading wants to sponsor him, drop me an email and I'll add you to the list.

7 years...

...since I met Jules. In a pub, drinking Hooch......

A year ago we were planning things for the future, a party to celebrate Jules recovery from the first op and a return to work in less than a months time.

What's hard to fathom is it's been over a month since the funeral....

I went up to the cemetry with Mum to put up some flowers. And the place looks so much different now, with all the bouquets gone. But what's interesting is the state of her grave. The soil's tilled, loose stones gone, and very tidy compared to those around her. If I didn't know any better I'd have said she's been out with the rake tidying, not one for leaving the place in a mess.

Everyone's gone home now, and if I don't get off to bed I'll be late again for work.


Since the gang are down, and it'll be Janet's birthday during the week, we all piled down the local "Eat-All-You-Can" chinese. Yum :-p

Always a good night, the variety of food and dishes available is HUGE. Drinks are pricy, but then the food's cheap, so it's a balance between eating and drinking too much ;-)

Problem now is, I can't physically sit down, my stomach is full to bursting :-O

Nige, Kev N Ebo R Ere


Better get sorted and ready to rock the town :-D

I'm pretty sure it's the first time Kev's been down, and if not, it's certainly been a while since he's ventured South. So we'll need to introduce him to the curry, vodka jugs, and maybe Times Square pizza experience if he's time ;-)

Busy Few Weeks


As you'll gather from the lack of postings I've been busy over the last few weeks, jetting off to Paris and Bristol with work, as well as trips home and partying the weekends away back down South.

More entries will appear over the coming week as I load up photo's and type up stories, so keep 'em peeled.

Back In Bristol

Phil's away on hol's so I'm filling in on the Primavera training, and it's taken me down to Bristol.

Last time I was down here was with my old job I think, many moons ago. And the weird thing was, not ringing home to say I'd got here okay. Okay, the footy was on (tender hooks game, or what :-O) but in the hotel room I was thinking, "Mmmm, must remember to take those biccies home, and the hot chocolate...." except, :-(

It's hard, the little things set it all off. But then I guess it's goning to be like this for quite a while.

Pics of free food and beer, only there to wind up Ebo...

Donations so far

I've had the letter through from Austin's with the total they collected from donations in memory of Jules.

A staggering 343 was collected and passed onto Garden House Hospice in Letchworth. I should know soon what the final figure was once they've totted things up.

Many thanks to everyone.

Latest From Ivan

More news from Ivan Noble over on the BBC site. It's been a few weeks since he's written, but all seems as well as can be expected.

Tumour diary: Reaching a milestone

Keep an eye on things, and offer as much support as you can.

Brewery Trip

Tring BreweryYup, the now annual IEE fact finding mission to Tring Brewery was tonight. And I'm amazed I can type straight :-O

The best attended one ever I believe, with nearly a full house at the brewery.

Can't wait 'til next year, so come on Dan, get organising :-D


Another trip over to Paris for a meeting again. And the torture of having to travel Eurostar Business. I'm even becoming a frequent traveller :-O

One thing I did do this time tho', mainly as a result of things that have happened, was a taxi ride round Paris before heading off to the hotel. Yes, I said to the driver, I know it's rush hour and a long way to go, but I'd like to see Paris whilst I can, coz I don't know when I'll next be over here. Grab it while you can, as they say ;-(

Oh, and not to make you jealous, but pics in the extended bit...

It Would Only Happen To Jonathan

Everyone has one, the good friend from back home who you click with no matter how long it's been, or whatever circumstances you happen to meet up again under.

So imagine my reaction when I popped over to his 'blog to see how he's been getting on with production of How 2 :-O - Things I haven't blogged but should have - (2)

Yeap, it IS true, and would only happen to Jonathan I can assure you, so sleep safely tonight kids ;-) Oh, and don't worry about the exploding potatoes, you've just got to ask yourself, "Ahhhr, yes, and wh-y not" ;-)

Bedding Down


Got my bedding plants today. All 18 trays. So the back garden resembles something out of B&Q or the local garden centre.

Now, you see, I'm sure I said 8 tiny trays. Must be the accent.

Anyway, better get out there and start planting. Goodness only knows what the neighbours are going to think...

Big Night Out

and nearly Bailey's last night out.

Nige appeared around 7pm, on his own, it seemed. Then a small elf-like individual tried to smash the front door in. Which would be scary if it wasn't for the fact he was wearing a haloween costume - they start early up't North you see. Shortly after that someone else knocked too. And then 2 girls appeared, although I couldn't possibly confirm it was Jules little sis Laura and her friend, since Laura's grounded at the moment ;-)

So, with Nige, Bailey, and Tez in tow we hit the Old Town. A few beers, jugs of vodak-red bull, and then a curry at the Taj Mahal. We then got a lift home from Janet, Jules Mum. It was at this time that Bailey saw his life flash before him, as he fell from Janets car as she pulled away. Or at least that was the official story.

Venus Makes Pass At Sun

Only happens once in a while, last time was 122 years ago, so don't miss this one!

BBC NEWS Science-Nature Venus about to make Sun passage

Land of The Green King

Went out last night with Sy, a mate from work, for a few drinks down the old town Several pints of IPA later and it was time to go home. Good night, even if no-one else could make it out. There's always tonight. Nige's down, and Chris'll be out too.

Night Out In London

Went out in London last night with an old friend from work, Jo, who's joined the Police. And going out for a drink with a load of policemen and women is an interesting experience, to say the least.

Met some really good people too, putting a little perspective on life. Cheered me up as well, which can't be a bad thing ;-)

And hey, I'm in work BEFORE 9:30, which must be a good thing :-D

More News From Ivan

I've been following BBC News Online science and technology writer Ivan Noble's story ever since I stumbled across it on the BBC's site whilst searching for information on Jules diagnosis and tumour. Well he seems to be doing okay, and is looking forward to the birth of his son in July.

Some Interesting News

Being in the industry I'm in allows you access to news that would otherwise be not in the public arena. So when you read stories in some of the more high-callibar newspapers you have to chuckle. For example, in the Sun this week:

'Flop' jets 2bn sale
Britain is to sell off at least 50 Eurofighter jets for around 2 billion, even though they cannot fly in clouds. Austria is to buy 18 of the jets and Singapore has agreed to buy some. Greece may buy 60 after the Olympics. Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon is selling on a third of Britain's Eurofighters.

So, err, how does that work exactly? Perhaps the super manouverability is so that they can dodge those pesky clouds, ehem! Or maybe, just maybe, you don't want to buy it and so need to highlight in easily understood terms, things which make it useless so that when you cancel your order it doesn't impact on public feeling too much....
The full, correct story can be found at the Eurofighter forum, a very interesting font of knowledge if you're into that sort of thing.

Back To Work

And reading thro the hundreds of emails, bulletins, and other stuff that collects at my desk. Not that my desk is where is used to be. As they say, it's easier to move your staff when they're not there, than move them when they are. I'm nearer the door, a good sign perhaps, or maybe a sign of things to come? I'm also sitting in amongst the intranet development team, which from a personal point of view is great, coz all the probs I'm having with the websites can get sorted over a coffee!

Anyway's, must get back to the work side of things. The printers apparently don't work, the reports are all crap (I co-wrote them), and my desk needs unpacking.

The fun never stops!

First post


A new weblog, just for me.

It didn't seem right continuing Jules Weblog with my continued thoughts. Instead this place will begin, and Jules Weblog will remain as a record of everything that happened in the last 12 months.

It's hard to believe that. 12 months ago we were sitting, together, at home, watching TV. And now, I'm here, alone, typing on a screen just trying to comprehend what exactly happened 2 weeks ago, and why.

Keep nudging me, I'm going to be crap at keeping in touch. And drag me out, kicking and screaming, because I'll be quite happy sitting at home otherwise.

About Alan Bell

Lapsed: electronic engineer, scout leader, project controller.
Now: Oracle Primavera training consultant, business support manager, occasional website designer.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2004 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.