Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Still alive!

I know, its been ages sine the last entry. If I remain this sporadic there's no way I'll ever collate enough material for my autobiography!

Not been up to much. On the business front I got some parts and built a couple of these sexy-looking aluminium "cube" PCs - the type of machine that looks at home under the TV. They were quite cheap to put together, were incredibly high-spec, and only took an hour to build, although when I finally got round to selling one (on eBay) it went for a small loss. I suppose I gain a little more hardware knowledge but I don't think I'll try the experiemnt again - we don't go into business to make a loss!

On the family side, we had a lovely weekend just gone. Saturday we went out to Bournemouth, for a change. All the rage in Alice's school currently are Tanagotchis, so the first visit was to Argos to get her one. Nowadays they have infra-red ports so that kids can use them to interract with each other. Clever. Its amazing how important it is to conform when you're six!

We had a bit of a browse around the shops, then went for lunch at Harry Ramsden's. The food was fine but is was infuriating at how poor the service was. It was over half an hour between getting into the restaurant and the food arriving, which was totally unacceptable. They have obviously made a decision that they get sufficient "occasional" trade that they're not fussed if people come back or not. Anyway, stuffed, we then had a nice long walk along the beach. Cold but sunny, a beautiful winter's day. After the walk Alice was ready for more replenishment so we stopped for her to get a '99 - I don't know how she does it!

Sunday, therefore, meant the obligatory trip to the supermarket to replenish supplies. Once that was done, however, we went wandering once again, basically heading due south to the coast. First stop was Calshot, right by the refinery at Fawley and just across Southampton Water from Southampton itself. Lovely views of the Isle of Wight, and from there it looks remarkably close. We drove on through Lepe and Exbury, just tootling along, then on to Lymington via Beaulieu. A nice walk in Lymington, culminating in afternoon tea in one of the cafes along the quay. Lovely part of the world. If London didn't need to be so accessible.... (Actually if I didn't need to have access to London without doubt we'd look at moving to Cornwall, but that's another story.)

Will leave the client's early tonight since Barcelona are playing Chelsea, and that should be a decent game. Both teams are amazing to watch. People talk about Rooney the wonderkid but Barca's Melli is phenomenal, and roughly the same age. Plus, of course, its easy to forget that Ronaldinho is only something like 25.
Read some good books lately - I bought a biography of Marco Pantani, whom I really have a soft spot for. I think cyclists in general are perhaps the ultimate athletes, and Marco in particular had that certain spark, that charisma, which even great riders like Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong didn't match. Tragic, of course, what happened to him in the end. Second, I have just read a historical book about how the Nazis came to power in Germany. Fascinating, although reassuringly a set of completely unique circumstances stemmed from the expectation developed under Bismarck, followed by the humiliation of losing the Great War. Fascinating stuff - in fact I'm now working my way through the sequel, detailing the years when they were in government until the Second World War, from 1933-9.

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