Monday, 28 February 2011

How time flies

I got up this morning thinking I had to take the car to the garage early-ish, so I took Bella down to the park, where the first signs of Spring are showing.

Notice the daffodils just starting to come out beneath the tree.

I got home and realised that the car is not going in to the garage until next Monday (d'oh!), So I pfaffed about / sort of worked until after lunch, when I went off to Chew Valley Lake to meet up with Bob, our erstwhile mandolinist in Left At The Lights.  He has been off work since last September, but is returning to the joys of UWE on 15th March ("Beware the Ides"!).  He brought some bread to feed the swans (who were nowhere to be seen) and ducks, who got crowded out by the resident seagulls as soon as the bread hit the ground, of course!

We talked about the possibility of us working together if he gets (and applies for) the same retirement offer as I have had.  I am still waiting to hear if UWE will pay me to go away, but the form has had to cross 6 desks in the last 3 weeks...

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The latest idea!!

We come up with travel ideas when we're out walking Bella.  Well to be accurate, I think of something (usually when I'm washing up or doing some other mundane chore and dreaming of distant lands) and put it to Marcus when he can't escape....middle of Westonbirt arboretum or just sat down to expensive fish dinner - you catch my drift? Today I presented him with the campervan scenario...driving away to anywhere we choose for however long we want. Take Bella with us or leave her with Carol/kennels?  What kind of van - big, bigger or smaller?  "Sounds wonderful" says Marcus. "Guess what (says I)....there just happens to be a giant campervan sale at Chepstow racetrack next weekend.  "Goodie" says Marcus, "let's go"!  Bingo!!!!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Su's taxi

Today was one of Su's Open University tutorial days in Bristol. I dropped her down to the bus station in Bath this morning and met her afterwards for a late lunch of dim sum in our favourite Chinese restaurant.  In between I pottered about the house a bit and took Bella off for a walk in the breezy, but clearing day.

After a yummy lunch, we went for a stroll around the harbour area of Bristol. As well as usual sights, we saw some unexpected things, including a Morris convention outside the Arnolfini gallery and a double decker bicycle!

Friday, 25 February 2011

A Golden Dawn ........

..........that I missed!  Woke up at 06.50 and noticed orange glow behind the blinds. I blinked and it was 07.15 and I hadn't remembered it was our WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!! Cripes!! Well I had remembered but it wasn't my first thought which was more the image of a steaming mug of earl grey tea that I had to get for myself and a coffee for the love object (not the dog).  22 years we've been wed but have "known" each other longer.......................
What to do on such a special day? Go to IKEA of course.  Zoomed off to be there when the doors opened (actually 5 minutes early), joined the queue and at 9.30 nipped upstairs to the cushion dept.  But where were all my fellow shoppers? Racing, literally, to the cafe to stuff themselves with the 99p breakfast. If it costs so little you really do have to ask yourself where on earth it came from. My mission accomplished, dashed back to Bath to visit friend and her cats for morning tea and cakes.

Linda is camera-shy but this very old chap is not.....

Bella and I spent some time in the local park this afternoon playing ball and chatting to other doggy people.  Took this pic with the "sport" setting on my camera Think Bella looks like she into the action....which is more than can be said for her owners!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A day of computers

Yesterday I took delivery of a new computer from work.  The story behind this is that, after my operation, the physio suggested  that lugging a laptop and bag etc. around may not be the best thing for my back health.  So I asked if I could l get an iPad (and keep the laptop as a base machine at home).  iPads are pretty light and good enough for what I do actually at work.  However, our Vice Chancellor in his wisdom has decreed from on high that no iPads may be bought.  So I asked for the next lightest option possible, which is what I've got - a nice shiny new MacBook Air.  The fact that it costs more than twice as much as the highest spec iPad I could have got seems to be neither here nor there. Universities, don't you just love them?!

So, last night involved getting all the data from my heavy laptop onto my light new one, a process that was finishing off this morning as I walked the dog in the park. We kept a respectful distance away from the swans, before I went into work, where I showed my new machine to my excellent technical support chum, Alan Price.

The rest of the day floated on by- and here it is nearly 10 o'clock somehow! Time to go and make Su a cup of tea, methinks.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Another grey day.........

This winter seems to be going on forever. And when it's overcast and damp the temptation to sell up and head for the sun is practically overwhelming. In order to cheer myself up one of the things I do is go through some of the hundreds of photos I've taken over the years that feature blue skies and flowers.

Today I came across these which show you ducks and a peek at a very special Greek island and reminds me that we've not long to wait until we're there again....but probably no ducks.

So I'll count my blessings and the days before we go
and see if this is where we'd like to spend a lot more
than a couple of weeks ..........

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Another year, another birthday. It started with a warmer, non-raining grey day in the park and a card from Su to the joys of UWE - shown here is the lab where I spend quite a few hours each week.  After that I came back home to some great presents and a lovely meal at the White Hart bistro pub.



Monday, 21 February 2011


Feeling sad as took these two to their new quarters today.  They’ll be missed apart from cat hair everywhere, dirty paw prints over tables, work tops, sofa covers, and the occasional gifts – live/dead mice, birds, frogs, and meowing to be let it in, to be let out, to be fed, to be fussed, or just because……..but we will miss them – really!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Day at the Beach

Today, we went to the beach. Rather than tell you about that, I thought I'd show some of the cross-country drive there, and  notable sights en route - including the surreal topiary in the village of Cross, where comedian Frankie Howerd used to live. Also featured are narrow roads (specially for our soon- to -visit Canadian readership), snowdrops and some shots from the beach.





Saturday, 19 February 2011


Was going to moan about the parking on our street but put all that on my facebook page.  Instead I thought I'd introduce you to more of Bella's chums. As you can see from the pic we only walk in prestigious places with these two as they come from a posh house!

This is Chips. He's about 9 years old and is visiting Bath while his owner tours the antipodes.
He's a friendly little chap and I'm usually very fond of him but today he decided to take off back home which left Marcus with the other two while I chased after him terrified in case he had no road sense. (He lives in the country). No need to worry. Met him sitting outside house with the cat, both waiting for me to let them in!

This is Wilfred. He lives in Bath until his owner finds somewhere to live in a more rural environment.
He's the youngest of this trio and has become extremely well behaved since living here.....apart from the incident with the Bull Mastiff but that's another story.

And you know who this is!
Quite pleased with this pic as she normally turns away when she sees
the camera.....but today I tricked her. She thought I had a ball hence her keen expression.

Hope all dog-lovers enjoy this......can't bring myself to do cats as they'll be gone, hoo......