September 2004 Archives

Tidy Up


Since kicking this place off I've not really got to grips with the templates and background stuff. Needless to say, when I've been writing and drafting, rather than publishing, things have fallen apart a bit. So, now, everything should work properly. I'll still not be publishing on time, so stories will appear somewhat at random some weeks. But the look and feel should work.

Oh, and the spammers are back. I've had 2 in the last 3 weeks, so they've obviously started to wise to the fix. Bring on 3.11 I say!

Feeling Like Crap

I've woken up the last 2 mornings feeling hungover and crappy. Which would've been okay, except I've not had anything to drink, and nothing too over the top to eat. Today started with a throat that felt like I'd swallowed a whole bunch of brambles. So I'm at home.

Switching on the TV found me watching a programme about the joys of making nettle soup..... OUCH!!!

So, I'm upstairs now, running a bath, and sorting out this place.

Leave us alone, get a life!

You may, or may not, remember an amusing story last year of the struggle by our landlord, Mr Deletetheweb himself, Jonathan Sanderson, and his attempts to get connected. I'd made a comment on our less that excellent service from our provider, NTHell. Then we were cut off.....

So chuckle I must when I stumbled over this story on the BBC News site:

BBC News: NTL 'sorry' over abusive message

Short Day

Only in work for the morning. Then home and wait for the TV man to take my old telly away. I've rented a TV since I can't remeber when, and thanks to Nigel's new cinema, I've his old TV. So my rental can go back.

Surprisingly they came round early, so I've now got a free afternoon to get on with stuff, pop down town, and relax.

First off is getting this place tidy, finish off some of the stories that have been Draft for a while ;-)

Lazy Sunday

I can't remeber the last Sunday were I was at home, on my own, with no-one around. Shame then that Spitfire decided to wake me up at 11am, when I really wanted to have a bit more time in bed.

Off picking Sloe's with Sy later (more Sloe Gin, Ian!!!), then Janet is joining us for one of his infamous Older Luncheons. I say lunch, it'll stretch out from 2-3pm until the wee small hours, with copious amounts of food and alcohol. We're having Lamb too., something I'd not be allowed if Jules were here. She like chicken and pork, so the menu was always somewhat limited.

Rock The Party

Just got in from Nick and Karen's wedding reception - what a party! A whole roast pig, and Bob Parr's band (which I'm sure the neighbours didn't quite expect to be THAT loud :-O). It can't be beat ;-)

Also got to meet the mini-Rage, Raj and Angela bringing there little one with them, along with Angela's sister, who looks like getting roped in for more babysitting ;-)

Weird being there on my own, at times thinking, "I wonder what Jules would've thought of this", and even maybe what our wedding reception might've been like.

The music went on into the night, and was still blasting out when I left. In fact, if I open the window I reckon I can still hear it from here ;-)

Some Brains

Went down the Old Town tonight with Sy, to discover the latest guest ales. And Brains have one there, and nice 4.2% number, with lots of flavour. In fact, you wouldn't guess it's that strong. Which probably explains my state now.

Just finished off a large round of cheese on toast, a strong cheddar and the remainder of my home-made tomato chutney. Which, sadly, I doubt I'll be able to repeat this year since I've managed to kill off most of the tomato plants :-( I might cheat and go and buy a load on Saturday and make some pseudo-home-made. Well, I'll have made the chutney, even if I haven't grown the tom's ;-)

Save The Cream

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After the huge response from both my readers (Mike & Andy), I though it appropriate to link to this site:

Save The Cream

The campaigner's did it before, so show your support and keep the Cream of Machester in Strangeways!

More News from Ivan

Ivan Noble's Tumour diary: Wanting more
He's discussing the alternative remedes, and how to take charge of things and try and look forward to a solution, or extension, putting off what the doctors keep saying is inevitable.

Interestingly he's said the apricot kernels aren't something he's looking into. And I have to agree, that there's too much good AND bad information out there about it. The question of whether it did any good for Jules is open, but I'd argue that the Hospice environment and herbal mixtures did more for her than the apricot kernels.

Still, each to their own, and it does work for some. Just not for all :-(

Hitch A Ride Tonight!

On the BBC News today:

Hitchhiker's Guide back on the air

So, home, tea on, and retune the radio to Radio 4 by 6:30. Wonder if it'll be as good as the original?

Pie Eating

BBC News - Pie chart solves terrace question
It's no surprise that Hull comes in the top 10. Jules did point out on one of her early visits to Hull on the number of food outlets, and pubs, on most streets and shopping centres. And, it is more and more noticable even today. When a shop, butchers, hardware, etc...., closes up pops a new Wetherspoon style public house. Or a SubWay........ Mmmmmm, Subway..... :-P

Bye Auntie Mo

Today's my Auntie Maureen's funeral. It's depressing, in some ways, that events like this bring together people you've not seen for such a long time. It's the first time in ages I've seen both my uncles together, and a whole raft of old school and family friends. As with Jules funeral, it's a timely reminder that you really need to get round to doing things today, and not tomorrow or the next. Make the effort more often, as you never know how often often will be.

The conclusion of the day? Well, we're home getting changed, then all back round to Mike's house for a party into the wee small hours. We wont' forget, we'll celebrate. It's what she wanted, and insisted.

4 Months

4 months. And it still hurts, a lot.

This week, for some reason, has been worse than most. I don't know if it's been a bug going round, but I've felt it more in the last few days than of late. Maybe it's Auntie Maureen's death last Sunday which has brought it all back, or maybe the fact it was about now that Jules consultant had said Jules would pass away.

It's a coincidence that Maureen's funeral is today, and probably no coincidence I'm still in Stevenage at 1am, getting ready to hit the road and get up to Hull.

Later today we'll be saying goodbye to someone dear, and then having a drink. A party to celebrate, a chance to catch up, and in some cases a chance to get to know.

What Does It All Mean?

I ended up staying at work for much longer than I planned today. But I'd got into a conversation with my line manager about what I'm doing, what does it all mean, and the career path of work.

Now, career is, I think, a strange use of the English language. To career means to go swiftly or wildly. So, by definition, you need to move on at a pace, and make noise as you're going. Well, maybe not, but it does sound like that if you take it to the extreme.

The advice is, move on when you can and don't get stuck in a rut. And leave for something else, but come back, as this will guarantee more money, and a breadth of knowledge which you can plough back into the business.

My apprasial comes up in a couple of weeks, so that'll be an interesting conversation. As for moving on, as you'll no doubt notice, the website is updated, and there should be a downloadable CV on there soon.

She's Gone

Last week when I was up for Nigel's birthday I'd popped into see my Auntie Maureen at Castle Hill. She'd been diagnosed with cancer, and just before that weekend been given the news it was terminal. Well, today she lost her fight. Mum rang me earlier to tell me. So, after a little cry I came upstairs and started to write this.

Now, I say Auntie in the term of family friend who was an Auntie to us. And in fact, she's more of a second mum. Someone who's there to talk to, sort things out, and listen. Not something I've experienced as much as Nigel and Ian, since I've been tucked away in Stevenage the last 14 or so years. In fact I've seen little of her and Mike, unlike both Nigel and Ian. But it still hurts. More so that she never got to meet Jules properly, only really knowing her from the occasional times she read the weblog, " and when Emma showed me how to do it....".

I remember as a kid going round to play, they lived just around the corner from East Park, and Chris was about the same age as me. We'd always have crisps and those little stubby drinks of pop, the ones I struggle to find these days, no doubt due to the high sugar and E-numbers that they were probably full of. And we'd have nights over there, the whole Bell family and Denman family. Laughing and giggling :-D

They were there when Dad went, and when Nana went too. A support.

She can't be in any pain now, and thinking it through, she'll be getting to know Jules and Toby, and no doubt introducing her to Dad if she hasn't already found him ;-)

Sad Day for Drinkers


In the news:

BBC News - Bitter end at Boddingtons brewery

I remember when I was going around Universities choosing where to go, I was somewhat influenced by UMIST's pitch since it seemed to revolve around going to the brewery and having a few beers, " the name of scientific research...".

Shame that it's gone, but now in the days of artifical water, beer can be brewed anywhere these days, or so they reckon.

2 Miles in 3 Hours

Off the BBC News:

Lorry crash brings M25 chaos

A jack-knifed lorry closed the anti-clockwise M25 in Buckinghamshire on Wednesday afternoon, bringing traffic to a standstill.

Police closed a five-mile stretch of the motorway between junctions 16 and 17 near Gerrard's Cross after the lorry, carrying concrete, jack-knifed across three lanes at about 1500 BST.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said it was expected to re-open at about 2000 BST.

Officers were directing smaller stranded vehicles through on a narrow piece of the hard shoulder.

That'll be me not getting to Italy then...

It took me 62 minutes to do 62 miles, and then over 3 hours to do 2 miles. I've some piccies which I'll load up once I've got 'em off the mobile.

Quiet Day In The Country

That's the nice thing about Nigel's pad. It's out in the middle of no-where. No noise, no bussle, and a pub at the end of his drive :-D

Spending today sorting out his new tv which arrived yesterday in time for his birthday. 1000w of pure power, it'll shatter the tranquility of the place once it's p and running.

A night in watching DVD's, and then back to work in the morning ;-)

Happy 3-0 Nige!

Happy Birthday to me bro, Nigel. He's reached that big age, the one not quite 40, and older than 20.
We're off to paint the town tonight, or at least, go for a curry at Bengal Brasserie in Market Weighton ;-)

Still recovering from a monster pub dinner from last night. I'd managed to get up here before 8pm, which is a feat in itself as I'm sure Nige and Ian will vouch. And I have to agree that his local, the Pipe & Glass does a fantastic sirloin :-P

Can't Believe It!

Just finished work, and am at home packing the car, ready to go up North for Nigel's birthday weekend. The unbelieveable bit? Well, I'm going to be hitting the road in a few minutes, which means if all goes to plan, I'll be up there well before last orders, so should be able to enjoy some of the excellent food Nige and Ian tell me about from The Pipe & Glass.

Anyway, I'd better dash otherwise I'll not get there at all ;-)

It Canna Take No More Capt'n


News on the BBC:

Star Trek Scotty receives honour

So the engine room fall's silent as he takes a well deserved break.

Bringing People Together

The internet is a fascinating place. Take the weblogs. It amazes me the number of hits Jules weblog is still getting, and the email's I receive from people who've stumbled across it on their search for answers to why and what brain tumour's are all about. I remember doing the same last year, and scaring ourselves with some of things we found, but also taking encouragement from some of the stories we read.

Just re-reading last years entries, exactly a year ago Jules was nearly ready to start enjoying some normal drinks. Where has the time gone? To think we were looking forward to a slow recovery, physio, taking each day as it came. It's comforting that people are still reading it and getting some comfort from what they've read, the same way I got comfort from writing it in the first place. It's a great record of what was happening each day.

Owh, and talking of searching, when you're next using Google, try searching for "primavera p3e stevenage", might explain the emails ;-)


The lads have gone, the dust is settling, and the sun is shining. Provisionally booked the day off, and I've decided to take it. There's a few things to do, and the weekend's given me a new vigour to get on and do them.

Jet wash the drive of all the Jag oil, cut the grass, sort the back room, and cook dinner, but not necessarily all in that order.

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 September 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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