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Changing the clocks

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Should we change the clocks each year.

First we put them forward then we put them back.
Every year we all have to be reminded & many of us forget.
So let me know with the poll on the left of the home page or leave a comment.

Earth day, it's easier than you think

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8:30 pm to 9:30 pm tonight March 28 2009 is when we should all turn our lights off to save money & energy. And reduce the amount of CO2 used.

Sounds easy, doesn't it.

Well thats because it is. It's easy to turn the light on isn't it, & just as easy to turn it off again.

Pacman on drugs?

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Saying that kids today are affected by computer games is rubbish.
If Pacman had affected us as kids, wouldn't we all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills & listening to repetitive music?????

Social networks are habit forming

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A while ago I started this blog & it seemed to take up a lot of my time each day checking to see how many page views I'd had.
Then a few weeks ago I signed up with Twitter. Which is great by the way.
Then my wife mentioned her friend in the UK had asked her to join up on Facebook to keep in touch.
We both signed up & now we can keep up to date with our families back home.
Which is also very good.


It is now taking up so much of my time that I managed to completly kill my laptop at the weekend.
I promise to myself that from now on, I will try not to hurt my computer any more. Because reinstalling windows, the updates & all the software you need to run your life is a serious pain in the arse.


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My wife told me that "my horosope was very bad for this week".

I told her that I don't believe in astrology. I'm a Capricorn & we're very grounded.

Buy IKEA but learn Jovian

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I have made it through day 3 of the kitchen installation, just. It's supplied with instructions written in Jovian by a little man in Japan who has no concept of what a kitchen unit should look like.

If the instructions are easy to understand, then I assume he doesn't get paid. It's the only explanation.

Kitchen blues

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The kitchen is out of it's boxes............but still not completely installed. Perhaps tomorrow.

Decided the best thing was to stop, shower & grab a beer.

New kitchen for Easter?

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No pictures today  I have spent the day ripping out the old kitchen & time is getting on.

The kitchen units were already installed when we moved in & behind them lurked untold horrors.
The new kitchen is still all boxed up in the gite ready to be installed tomorrow. We'll see....................

Easter Weather

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Easter's not far away & you are already thinking of your holiday. But you need to know, is it going to be Spanish weather in the UK or is it going to be UK weather in Spain.

At the moment your guess is as good as mine. It could be sub tropical, torrential rain or driving snow, here or there.
The weather forecasters, for the past few years have told us that worse is yet to come , either too hot, too cold, too windy or too wet.
But remember they come on after the news, which is all doom & gloom. Whilst writing their forecast they must think "light winds in the South & drizzle in the North" is a bit boring after all the stabbings, shootings & bombings that have been on the news. So why not "Dangerous gusts in the South & possible flooding in the North".
Severe weather warnings, flood warnings, high UV levels, smog warnings, you name it they will warn you about it. We were raised on fish fingers & drizzle. We're used to bad weather.
Is it really getting hotter in the summer & colder in the winter, or do we just believe what we're told in the press. "coldest since records began", "most rain in 24 hours for 79 years", "statistics show that it is getting warmer / colder". A popular Sunday paper recently told us that statistics show that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the population. Is that really true? It can't be that high can it?

Happy Birthday WWW

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20 years ago this Month Tim Berners-Lee wrote a document called "Information Management: A Proposal." It set out how using "hypertext" to share information between researchers based at CERN would make life a lot easier. It was the birth of the World Wide Web.
Only 20 years later we are blogging, twittering, facebooking you name it, it can be done on the Internet. Keeping in touch with loved ones all over the world is all thanks to Tim Berners-Lee.
So many thanks & happy birthday.

Facebook brings a family closer

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Last week Facebook got some bad press along with other social networking sites. So I decided to give it a try.

Yesterday I signed up & started searching for family members. I have now been in touch with members of my family I haven't seen for years. they have photos of their kids, holidays, nights out you name it they've posted it. What a great way to catch up & keep up to date with your family. As you may know we live in France & rarely get a chance to go back to the UK. So for us it's the best thing since sliced bread.
As a result the saying that "there's no such thing as bad press" has worked.
We are now in contact with our huge family once again. In fact I think we will chat more now than when we were living in the UK.

Celebrity Twitter goes bad

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This morning, after the kids had gone to school, my wife ran upstairs to the office to check on her twitter updates.

She had seen that Phillip Schofield had been tweeting the night before & decided to leave him a good morning message.
To her suprise he replied straight away saying good morning back.
She then noticed she had a new follower. Yes it was Phillip Schofield.
She shouted to me downstairs to come up quick & then told me all about it. But she couldn't understand why her picture had changed on her home page. Pleasure soon changed to rage as she realised that the evening before I had been tweeting & not logged myself out.
As a result she had sent the message as me.
But on a positive note, at least Phillip Schofield is following one of us.

Get out of jail free

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So you get into the hospital room of a celeb, there's no one around & you have a hammer. Then the celebrity starts to scream for help & the nurse comes who then calls security, then the police & the person with the hammer is arrested. Charged with possession of an offensive weapon. All straight forward for the police. Clearly some nutter on the loose. Caught red handed or hammer handed which ever way you see it.

But I have now read that the woman in question was charged but then released & that security around Jade Goody has been stepped up.
What if this women thinks that anyone in hospital deserves a bit of hammer action, not just celebs. In a few days time will we see lots of people walking around with hammers knowing full well that if they get caught, they will get a very severe telling off from the police, their hammer confiscated & sent on their way.
This sounds like another get out of jail free card to me.

Sunday Roast

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Yes it's Sunday evening & normally it would be roast chicken, pork, lamb or beef. But not today. Today it's Duck. Juicy, tasty, succulent roast duck. So this post is going to be short because I can't wait. So short in fact that's it, bye.

Tweetdeck rules

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A few of days ago I signed up with twitter to follow the celeb team climbing Kilimanjaro for comic relief. I explained the object of the site ("what are you doing")  to my wife who thought it was good for friends & family, until she signed herself up & found a number of celebs like Phillip Schofield who she likes also twitters frequently. We are both now completely hooked. So much so that we have downloaded the best software ever invented, "tweetdeck". You will be amazed at what celebs are up to. We are. I have even put my "twitter updates" at the bottom of this blog page. Give it a try, you'll be hooked.

Website & the Dentist from hell

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I have just finished (well almost) the new website for our gite.

It still needs a few tweaks here & there, but all in all I'm quite happy with it.
Give it a try & let me know. Just click the word gite.

I didn't get to post a blog yesterday as I had been back to the French dentist I have learnt to hate. She gave me the injection after she had prodded about & inflicted as much pain as she thought she could get away with. Three injections later she got her little black & decker drill out & started grinding away through my tooth & it felt out of the bottom of my jaw. When she finally realised I was still in pain, she stopped & asked if it still hadn't gone numb. Had my French been better, I could have told her that my nose & right ear were numb, but the tooth no.
All I could muster was the international sound that everyone knows as "WTF do you think".
Now this I think might have upset her as she then turned the drill back on, set it to hammer action & continued attacking the tooth.
When I eventually came around, she said "that the cavity was very deep & had to be filled three times." It was so deep because she had drilled it so deep & wide. I'm sure with the hole being so large I had some subsidence at some point & in consequence my right ear is now lower than it was.
The worst part of all, is that after she had finished the torture, she then stood & asked for her 100€ for the pain she had inflicted, gave me a quote for 400€ to inflict more pain & told me I had two more appointments with her as she had found another cavity (or created one).

Red Nose Climb

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Today talking about what went on, on the QE2 has taken a rear seat (but just for today).

I have just been reading the updates for the Red Nose Climb on Twitter.
I'm sure we have all been through some days when we have thought "wow that was hard".
But I think these guys are going through things that not many people have experienced, & the hardest part is ahead.
If you want to keep up to date with their progress click this link http://www.rednoseday.com/climb . If possible make a donation.

I have just re-read the first line of this post & noticed the on, on bit.
See if you can solve this puzzle. Can you say a (proper) sentence with the word "and" in it 5 times in a row?

QE2 & that sinking feeling

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Yes a ship held together with bits of rubber sheet & jubilee clips.
When we had a pipe crack or start to leak in the bulkhead, there was no time to drain the system cut out the pipe & replace it. So in consequence you got a 4 inch square piece of sheet rubber from the stores along with 2 jubilee clips (hose clamp in the USA) . Place it over the leak, fix the clips in place & cross your fingers.
Now time for a true story.
A main water pipe on 4 deck burst one day. It was like Niagra Falls. The floor was covered in over an inch of water. When the water reached the staircase gravity took over & I must admit for a split second it looked like a very nice water feature.
The passengers didn't think the same, even for a split second. They were more concerned about their Louis Vuitton luggage.
Just as the torrent reached it's peak, the captain turned up to find out how serious it was.
An elderly lady in a bit of a panic spotted him & grabbed him by the arm & said "CAPTAIN, CAPTAIN THERES WATER FLOWING DOWN THE STAIRS".
The captain in true British fashion took her hand off of his arm, held it in his hands & said "Madam, you only need to worry if the water is flowing up the stairs". 

QE2 wife & kids

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Yesterday I was talking about having kids & the things they say.

Today I thought it might be a good idea to tell you about life pre kids. On the left you can see a picture of the "QE2". Many many years ago I worked on board this ship as a petty officer. It was on board this ship that I met my wife.

She was pure white with a black & red bottom (I'm talking about the ship now) . When I arrived at Southampton docks the first day & saw her for the first time, she took my breath away (I'm talking about my wife now). She was so tall against the cranes (still my wife). The ship was also very high, I had never been this close to a ship so big before & it was a little bit scary. We set sail that day, it was the first Atlantic crossing of the year after the world cruise. 5 days after leaving Southampton I would be in New York. In fact it was more like after 5 days heaving that I reached New York. I always thought it was in films that people went green with sea sickness, but I was wrong. I was so bad that I had to visit the ship doctor, who gave me an injection (that had to be injected into my bum cheek) since then I have never been sea sick again. Although I did get a lot of the crew asking if the doctor "had given me a prick in the bum". The answer to this question changed depending on who had asked it. Anyway back to the topic of this post "meeting my wife" & "the QE2". The story is long, funny & sun drenched. In future posts I will explain all the tales, floods, passengers, rubber & jubilee clips, even the one about how it helped that she had a smooth bottom (the ship by the way).

Snow, Snowing & Snew

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On the right is a photo scan of my new (& first) nephew. It's alot clearer than the scans my wife had when she was pregnant with the twins. It was like an 85 year old on drugs drawing on an etch-a-sketch. But as you can see, you can clearly make out the head, nose, mouth & arm. He also looks like he's scratching his head. (just like my brother). Kids are wonderful at stating the obvious, embarrassing you in front of strangers & family & making you fall over laughing.

Teaching the kids the subtleties of English whilst they are being brought up in France can be funny & frustrating. A few years ago we were trying to teach them that the past tense of throw is threw not throwed, & the same with grow & grew not growed. But then our daughter said "Oh I get it, if today it's snowing & tomorrow it will snow, then yesterday it snew.
NO NO NO NO NO. It's impossible, I thought learning French is hard having masculine & feminine everything. But teaching English grammar rules, & when they are to be broken is not easy.
Because a child when told something like that says the one thing to stop you dead in your tracks "but why?"
Can you answer it? No, it just doesn't sound right to say "it snew yesterday" or why the word "close" can be said two different ways even though they are spelt the same.
My brother is looking forward to the birth of his son, but I haven't got the heart to tell him what he's in for.

PS my spell checker has just had a nervous breakdown

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