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Saturday, 26 November 2011

When I grow up I want a Harley!

Greetings from Birmingham! Well Sutton Coldfield actually but its near enough and it is the posh bit. The reason we are here this weekend is two fold. First to visit Sarah's parents and secondly to go to Motorcycle Live at the NEC. 

Guess what, I use my Tomtom sat nav for only the third time and it packs up....A trip to Halfords is in order. I am most dis-chuffed as I may have needed it for the journey.

Friday night we took a trip to the Balti Triangle, and area of Birmingham famous for it's curry houses. The traffic around Alum Rock was a nightmare, we only arrived by the skin of our teeth. Anyway the meal was superb, my chicken Balti was good, as was the family naan which three of us shared. Maybe it was too much because I was absolutely stuffed, but Andy polished off his meal including a veg dish, Julie's salad and ate a fair proportion of the naan as well. The guy has hollow legs!

 Saturday morning Andy, David and myself drove down to the NEC whilst our respective 'other halfs' went off to Birmingham city centre for some retail therapy. We arrived and parked in Birmingham international station (only £5) and took a short walk to the NEC where we parted company with David who took the train into the city. As we walked into the Entrance we were greeted by the ladies on the Carole Nash insurance stand....That put a smile on our faces. The thing I liked about the different manufacturer's stands is that you can sit on all the bikes to try them for size. I particularly liked Harley Davidson (see pic), they seemed to fit me like a glove. I can see why many men in their mid life crisis opt for a Harley. A quick pit stop for chips and yet more freebies then we managed to catch up with Andy and Dave from Dexterity in Ashford, who were there helping on the 'Get On' stand which introduce people to motorcycling. The guys said they had never been so busy, with plenty of people having a go on bikes that have never ridden before. By about 3pm I think we had seen nearly all of it and collected a few freebies on the way. I took this photo but the trouble was there was a lady sitting on the bike.....oh well!
Back to Sarah's parents for a lovely dinner, then we spent the rest of the evening playing Uno and Cards. 


It was travel home day today so we didn't really do much, It was a lazy Sunday morning when I just watched some iPlayer stuff on the iPad and read a magazine. After yet another lovely dinner (I need to walk this weekend off!) we packed the car and set off back to Kent. The journey took about 3.5 hours and apart from a white van moron pulling out on me on the M20 it was a fairly uneventful  trip. Until next weekend then.......

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Nothing Planned.....19th/20th November

This weekend is the first one in weeks where we have nowt planned. This morning the cats made sure we didn't sleep in too long, and after Sarah got up and fed them they went out to do their business.  We decided to have a trip to Canterbury. I suppose it makes a change from Ashford. On the way I noticed the police had cordoned off a footpath near to us. I hope its nothing too serious.   We bought a few items, no Christmassy stuff yet though but there was plenty on offer. We also noticed a lot of people dressed as Imperial Stormtroopers walking about. Apparently they were Greenpeace campaigners. And I thought Stormtroopers were the bad guys! After a spot of lunch there went back to Ashford to look at yet more freezers. Now do we want frost free or not? Would you believe the  difference is about £100.
I checked out the CD players I bought from the Hospital Radio Station for use as standbys on Dance Web Radio. They work fine. I even cleaned the grubby finger marks from the 'play' buttons. I'm playing vinyl tomorrow for the first time in years so I'll be trawling through my record collection later. Plus I've been buying 12" singles on ebay lately to fill in a few gaps in my collection. Tonight is officially 'Night in Night' with a takeaway, bottle of wine and the usual Saturday night TV fare.


Great, I get up this morning to feed the cats and get myself a coffee, and one of them has left a 'package' on the dining room carpet (from the cat's front end, I hasten to add!) I normally leave things like that to Sarah, but in a fit of bravery I cleaned it up myself.

I received an email the other day from Apple. Apparently the first generation iPod nano, which I purchased in 2006, has the potential to overheat due to a faulty battery. I gave it to my dad a couple of years ago after I bought an iPod touch, so I phoned him and told him to un-dock it from his speaker ASAP! I retrieved it from him and just entered the serial number on the apple website. Lo and behold mine is a problem one so they are sending me a box to send back the Nano, and I get a refurbished one in return.

Then it was off to DWR . I was looking forward to the show because turntables (remember them??) had been installed in the studio. So it gave me a chance to dust down a few 12" singles and LPs and give them a spin. Using decks is a dying art, finding the right track, being able to cue the start of the song (about 1/4 turn back on a SL1210), setting the correct speed, and remembering to fade down after the track so the next one doesn't play!  I was in my element!

Then it was home for a nice dinner and sunday night TV. Not a bad weekend after all!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Rye Bonfire and Radio meetings

I slightly overslept this morning. I didn't get home until late last night after a great evening at the annual Radio Joyce Green Curry Night. It was good to see my old mate Graham who had travelled down from lowestoft  for the event. What really bugs me is he hasn't changed at all, still got all his hair and so sign of grey! I reckon he uses 'product'.....

Before I went out this morning I tried to book and order some tyres with the company that rhymes with 'flick-twit' as they were cheaper on-line. I got as far as entering my card details and booking a day & time, then I realised I couldn't remember my password for the card verification. So I created another one, which involved entering my card details again with some personal information. It didn't work. So I reloaded the web page and was told that my reservation had 'timed out' and I had to enter all the details again. So I booked another time (1 hour later than my original) and entered my card details yet again for the THIRD TIME.....Then the website crashed and I had a few choice words to say that rhymed with 'clucking bell' .  In a way I'm glad it didn't work because I called into Watling Tyres on the way home from town who quoted me £20 less per tyre, saving me £40 in total. They are fitting them on Tuesday.

Then it was off to our friends to meet up for a trip down to Rye for the bonfire parade. I've never been before but I had heard so much from my mate that when we were invited to join them I jumped at the chance. I wasn't disappointed. We arrived quite early and settled in the lounge of the Mermaid Inn for a drink or two. Then we strolled around town a bit before liaising with the others at the chip shop queue. A battered sausage and some very hot, but very tasty chips, plus some hot winter Pimms and mulled wine courtesy of Batty went down well. Then we waited in the high street for the parade to pass, then walked down to the park for the bonfire & fireworks. All in all it was a brilliant evening and definitely a date for next year.


I got up around 8:45 knowing that my friend was popping in around 9:30 to collect something. So it was a bit of a surprise when the doorbell rang 5 minutes later and I was in the downstairs 'reading room' and Sarah was in the shower. 

After our weekly shop it was off to Darent Valley for the Radio AGM via Bluewater and my Brother's place.
We bought a new shower mat (glamorous eh?), dinner and had a look at freezers and laptops. The sales guy in one store was trying to sell me a Samsung and some anti-virus software. When I told him what I use he grimaced and tried to give me a horror story about how bad it was. I never had a problem with mine so I reckon he must look at some dodgy websites!
The sales guy in another store really had no idea when I asked him how one type of microprocessor compared to another, and I left feeling even more confused than when I entered.

After a coffee at my bruv's place it was off to the meeting. I can't really say what went on there but in 17 years of being in  Hospital Radio it was one of the most memorable! Tomorrow night I should be at another meeting where I suspect there may be more fireworks....Watch this space!

Sunday, 6 November 2011



I came downstairs this  morning to find Arnie asleep on Sarah's cushion on the sofa. So went to pick him up to chuck him out and he let out a big meeeeow. He is obviously not too well so we left him alone to sleep it off. He was a little better later, he went outside, did his business, ate a little cat food then settled down again. Following on from the success of last years firework party, we decided to hold another. So most of saturday was spent (apart from a quick trip to the Blue & White Cafe for brekkie) preparing the house, cooking food and herding the cats in preparation for the evenings entertainment.
The evening went off fine. We had 25 guests in all and I was pleased that people enjoyed themselves as they were leaving nice comments on facebook. Highlights included:-

A chinese lantern getting stuck in the tree (see photo), I was trying to put it out with a hose and someone (I know who!) kept turning the tap down so I got wet!

Manky turned up with a ruddy great rocket, which we kept for the finale. We weren't disappointed.....

My friend losing his car keys...I scoured the garden with my head torch on at about midnight. They were under the sofa...

I still have loads of chilli, hot dogs, rolls and soup left...Guess what's for sunday lunch.


I awoke with a stonking headache, which was surprising as I only had 2 beers last night. A couple of tablets taken and I was OK. Then it was off to Asda for the weekly shop. Luckily we tidied a lot up last night so there was only a bit of washing up and garden tidying to do. 4 bags of rubbish later and I think we are sorted.

I arrived at Dance Web Radio this afternoon just in time for John's interview with Kenny Thomas. Mind you I nearly didn't make it through the door after falling arse over on the wet decking! Nothing broken though. Fascinating fact: Did you know Kenny is  fully qualified in accupuncture.

The show went well I had at least one new listener on the chat box so that is always a bonus. Now back home, fed and watching a load of talentless tw*ts on 'that' show....It seems odd that the show is losing viewers hand over fist so they resort to spats between the judges to gain publicity. Its like a badly made pantomime. Don't vote it only encourages them!
I must sort through a mountain of AAS branded clothing that is sitting on my landing. Maybe thats a job for tomorrow night..........