Friday, 17 February 2017

Half term

The kids have been off school this week. Coincidentally it has been a very long week this week! It's been a bit tricky getting all my hours done with the added noise and confusion but overall work was actually easier than the week before. Unfortunately though I've had very little time to get out on my bike, I've only managed one ride - I had been hoping to go for a two hour ride yesterday but was thwarted by a lack of sleep. Of course, yesterday turned out to be the brightest day of the year so far!

I bought a game for the 3DS last week - The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. The 3DS belongs to Nicky (it was his Christmas present) but he's said I can borrow it to play. Of course, I've not been able to play it at all yet whilst Nicky has been playing it quite a bit! I'm happy about it though - Zelda games have been some of the biggest highlights of my gaming life and I'm glad that Nicky can now appreciate it too. Speaking of games, I'm hoping to watch the end of Metal Gear Solid 4 tonight. I actually completed it two weeks ago but I read that the final cut scene is over an hour in length so I want to make sure I can watch it uninterrupted!

We've got our holiday booked for the summer - we're heading back to the same place on the Isle of Wight for the third year in a row. It's nice there and the kids like it, so we may as well stick with what we know and it should take them less time to get used to it. We'll probably go somewhere in the caravan in the spring half term to make sure the caravan is all ready for the Isle of Wight (and Glastonbury, obviously!)

Thursday, 9 February 2017

February

January has gone by really quickly and we're already a third through February. Maybe it just feels like the start of the year went quickly because I felt so tired and ill throughout it - I'm finally starting to feel human again now! I've even managed four bike rides in the last 8 days and am hopeful of getting myself back to full fitness (although I missed out on a place in RideLondon, boo!)


Rory was four last week. Those four years have gone by both extremely quickly and very slowly at the same time! We didn't do anything special, just took the kids to the local soft play so they could run around and wear themselves out. Kitty will be six in a couple of weeks and Nicky will be eight in April! It makes me feel old.

Not much else to write about really! It's cold again despite being brighter during the week. I'm looking forward to warmer and brighter days so we can kick the kids out in the garden after school so they get some exercise (although apparently they're made to run a mile every day at school!)

Monday, 23 January 2017

Cold

The year seems to be going quickly even though nothing much has happened. The snow has been and gone but it's still freezing cold. I've not been out on my bike much for a variety of reasons - lack of sleep being the main reason, but I've also been unwell and achey. I'm hoping I get a place in RideLondon so I'm forced to train!
I caught up with my old housemates from university this weekend. It was great to catch up, it's been a few years since I'd seen two years of them. We went to the Four Quarters bar in Peckham which has a variety of old arcade machines - Asteroids, Time Crisis, Street Fighter II. They also had an N64 hooked up to a projector so I played multiplayer GoldenEye for the first time in over a decade! Had a few drinks too which unfortunately led to me falling asleep on the train home - only missed one stop but it meant an extra 25 minutes walking in -3C!
Last night I went to see the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing the music of John Williams. It was a belated birthday present and I took Nicky - I was worried he'd be the only kid but there were quite a few there, mainly for Star Wars I'd guess! It was awesome to see a live orchestra playing such familiar songs - I knew most of them even when I didn't think I did. My highlights were Jurassic Park and Schindler's List, as well as Star Wars of course! Nicky also liked ET despite not having seen the film.

Monday, 9 January 2017

2017

I didn't realise that it had been so long since my last post. Life has been pretty stressful and non-stop in the run up to Christmas, which wasn't helped by me doing my back in and getting a nasty cold. I didn't eat nearly enough junk on Christmas Day due to feeling lousy! I'm still trying to clear all the chocolate and beer out of the cupboards before I can start thinking of being healthy!

So, 2016 wasn't the best of years - there were some highlights but plenty of lows. Hopefully 2017 will be less stressful and more enjoyable. The kids are getting older and more independent, and Rory will start school in September so we should hopefully get a few more things done around the house!

After waiting almost a decade I've finally bought a PS3 and am catching up on many years of missed gaming. I've lasted this long without reading any Metal Gear Solid 4 spoilers and so can enjoy the game properly - loving it so far, I'm onto Act 2 now. I also got Lego Dimensions to play with the kids and it's really good - it's fun to play with plenty of references for kids and adults alike. I also played and completed Life is Strange which I absolutely loved - I've never been emotionally affected so much by a game before and the end choice left me a wreck!

Cycling has been very stop-start due to colds and injuries. Hopefully I can get back to training properly and build up the miles. Fingers crossed that I'll get a place on RideLondon this year!

Monday, 10 October 2016

Success

I remembered the date for Glastonbury tickets going on sale this year and was fully prepared for it - two laptops, a desktop and two tablets, utilising home and mobile broadband connections. Still, See Tickets contrived to make the process as painful as possible, with even the holding page crashing this year. My home broadband connection was not getting any joy but I eventually managed to book on a laptop tethered to my mobile, despite having to resubmit payment details three times. There's got to be a better way of doing it, but we have tickets! 

We went away last weekend to Clacton with the caravan before it got too cold. We got lucky with very little rain and the park wasn't too busy. I even got a full night's sleep! My brother came up for the day with my nephew and the kids managed to persuade him to get onto a water ride - he got thoroughly soaked! 

I'm sure he'll thank me for uploading this!
Life has been a bit stressful recently with various things bringing me down. I think I've got over the worst of it, just need to concentrate on the things that I have control over and ignore other things. It's got really cold recently which hasn't helped.

It's our tenth wedding anniversary on Friday so we're going to York for the weekend. Our first trip away without the kids for seven years! Will be revisiting a few old haunts from my university days...

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

London

I took Anna to London a couple of weeks ago as a belated birthday present - I had tickets to see Macbeth at the Globe Theatre. Anna had wanted to see a play there ever since the theatre was rebuilt so it was a good present! We headed up early and had lunch at the Swan Restaurant next to the Globe - it was very nice in there and the food was lovely and reasonably priced. I did feel a little underdressed in just black jeans and a t-shirt, but it was boiling hot and I really didn't want to wear anything smarter when I knew I'd be standing in the Globe for three hours!

Yes, standing - we had groundling tickets. I'd done a fair amount of research before booking and found that you get the best view standing (no pillars in the way) and the seats were uncomfortable anyway. Groundling tickets are only £5 so superb value. Here is a panorama showing the view from inside (you can only take photos whilst the stage is clear). This was our view in the first half, right at the front.

The play was brilliant - I studied Macbeth at school and parts of it came back to me throughout. It was uncomfortably warm, I can't imagine how the actors must have felt up on stage! The porter scene seems to divide critics but I thought it added some much needed comic relief to proceedings, and there were a few other such interjections throughout. Standing for three hours wasn't a problem - I've stood much longer at gigs and festivals, and I'm healing pretty well from surgery.

Afterwards we spent a little while looking around the Tate Modern, and then had dinner at Cheeky Chicos - the food was good but the place was quiet, I guess it's busier during the week. We then revisited a few Sam Smiths pubs with the aim of updating my website, but I never cope well drinking in heat so we only managed four before heading back. Overall it was a lovely day, the child-free time was much appreciated!

The kids are back at school now, Nicky is in junior school and has a new class to settle into. It's hard to believe it's his fourth year at school already! I've also been back on the bike a few more times, although I haven't been sleeping well recently so have been too tired to go out this week.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Isle of Wight

We had a lovely week in the Isle of Wight, although tiring - as is to be expected with three kids, there wasn't too much relaxation! The weather was kind to us and we didn't have any rain. Despite some stress about my surgery the wound was fine and didn't cause me any pain all week despite the long drive and setting up of the caravan.

We went to Blackgang Chine again, taking advantage of their 7-day ticket and going for the late night opening on the Monday as well. I think they're at the right age for it, in a few more years I think they'll be too old. Nicky was extremely excited about the hedge maze, rollercoaster and water slides, as well as the fact that there were several Pokéstops and gyms dotted around - shame the phone signal wasn't strong enough to play Pokémon Go too much!

We went to Carisbrooke Castle for the first time and got some wooden swords and shields to play with - I'm sure we'll live to regret this! We also revisited several places that we went to last time such as the model village in Godshill, the Griffin pub complete with hedge maze, the Caulkhead pub with pirate ship in the garden and more. We also managed a couple of days on the beach - the first time at Ventnor we also hired a beach hut for the day, it cost £15 but it was nice to have a base to keep things in.

Since coming back I have mostly been watching the Olympics, especially the cycling. I've also managed a couple of rides on my road bike which I'm very pleased about, nothing major (only 5km and 8km) but taking it easy to begin with!