Archive | February, 2008

My brand new nieces

25 Feb

At the weekend, Mimi and I headed into hospital to see my brothers new born baby girls. Two of ’em ! And they look identical ! Mind you, to me all babies do look identical, but I’m assured this will continue for quite some time to come.

As with most identical twins, they babies were born prematurely, before they got too big and caused problems. But this means they are currently living in the critical care ward of Wexham park hospital. They are still quite poorly, but no more than is to be expected with premature babies, and when I went to visit they both took turns in kicking around a bit and wondering who the strange spotty hands and ginger haired face belonged too. In the picture below is Olivia, the eldest (by a couple of minutes !), sporting a nice woolly hat and some tube giving her food and so forth. Isabel was just next to her in another incubator and doing very well – she had a sunlamp on her and a tiny eye mask ! Sheer luxury, I have to pay for diamond membership of my gym for that privilege…

I really felt quite proud of my brother and his partner through the whole event. They have been so good at looking after the babies before the birth and now seem quite in control during what must have been (and still, to some degree, be) a stressful event. I’m sure they are going to be great parents, and Mimi and I look forward to spoiling the babies at any available opportunity !

I hope to see Olivia and Isabel (my little nieces !!!) again soon, maybe next time I’ll get more pictures of them and less of me. Then again, if they want more photos of them, they can write their own blogs… this one’s about me 😉

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Reaffirmations

21 Feb
As a man who frequently dreams of reinvention, but rarely comes close to doing much about it, I think it might be time to abuse my blog to help reaffirm my goals. Things have slipped a little admittedly part due to my glut of holidays this winter season, one snowboard trip to Les Arcs during which my beloved snowboard, Fat Bob, gave up on being trodden on and busted, making me realise how hard it actually is to find a decent sized wide snowboard for hire (or even purchase) in a French alpine resort. And more recently, a trip to Romania with Mimi to hunt vampires, overtake horse and carts in our rental car and eat lots of meat and pickled things. Oh yeah, and I’m off boarding again in a couple of weeks – poor me 🙂

So having burnt out all my holiday in winter 2008, I need to reaffirm what to do with the rest of my time. Back in June 2007 I wrote this post which listed five major projects. Firstly was to lose weight, which to a degree I have done. But anyone who clicks through or watches the Traineo image on the right will have noted a static number. I assure you I am still updating this, but cannot seem so shift weight at my currently lifestyle. So it’s time to refine that project with two more affirmations:

#1: I will go to the gym twice a week during a normal working week. No exceptions. This is on top of any third activity I do (currently Yoga)

#2: Cut down drinking and unhealthy food by drinking more pints of water when out (half of the “addiction” is having a pint in hand, you see) and trying harder to plan more meals / making more homemade lunches (which is something Mimi and I are both focusing on)

I also stated back in June that I would write more. Well, blogging is always a good background practice for that. I’ve just completed a creative writing course that didn’t teach much technique but did get me writing. So hopefully I can keep some velocity up with that – I started writing up my travels in Romania, so hopefully I can blog some of that later on. So let’s try an affirmation of:

#3: I will write more, either about Romania, or another short topic, and blog it. Before the end of April, ideally.

Also, a new affirmation from a comedy course I finally took last December

#4: Perform one stand up comedy gig this year

What else from June ? Coding… well that isn’t happening out of hours, but that’s not a bad thing with everything else I’d rather focus on. Instead I will make an affirmation to apply it within work – but that will come up as part of my work objectives (currently under review) so I’ll leave that off this list. Another thing was finances… well, I am making steady progress in tracking finances, but may of signed up for one too many accounts and cards on the way, and forgotten a few too many passwords for the online accounts. So one extra affirmation to get myself ready for a new financial year and ISA allowance is:

#5: Ensure I have a full picture of all accounts, ISAs and general savings by the end of the financial year.

oh yeah, and…

#6: Sort out final bills from my old house share within the next two weeks (sorry Jon 🙂

And finally there was talk of learning. My basic German came in some use in Romania when the English let me down, and Mimi and I’s French helped support what gaps the German had. So it would be nice to bolster these language skills where required, but in truth without a specific holiday destination requiring them, language learning can be fast forgotten. So I can replace learning with just a resolution to keep in control of things, get on the front foot and take control of things.

But… hold on… what about FUN !?!?!! One more affirmation for me then:

#7: I will find time to play computer games and / or read books at least one hour a week.

oh go on, one more:

#8: I will try and organise at least one board gaming session with friends every month.

Much better !!! Hopefully all this self assurance hasn’t been too dull for the reader. Some far more exciting news coming for the next post…

Glastonbury cometh

5 Feb
Once again I have registered for the legendary festival of Glastonbury – last year saw 3 tired, frustrated hours refreshing browser pages and speed redialling phone lines before admitting defeat in April, but strangely I feel compelled to pre-register so I can try again come April 6th !

Anyone out there fancy joining me in this endeavour ? Get your pre-registration in by March 14th and together we can refresh browser screens in vain hope !