Christmas and the Year Gone By

Well this past year has been every kind of trauma, fun, upheaval, renewal, learning and as much realisation as you can possibly imagine. At the beginning of 2011 I was indeed living in Devon, now I live somewhere in the middle of the UK and plan to move yet again inside the next 6 months or so.

I’ve also managed to travel extensively and even had this blogs help and hindrance appear for the über fast tour of southern and middle England before she went on her way. I also became an author; publishing the first of several books to Kindle, with a further two in the final edit and one in the writing stage. That one I need a literary agent for.

I’ve had the pleasure this year of meeting several people I have only known online, I also seemed to have travelled a lot and appear to have been to a lot more networking functions than usual. At one of these I met an old friend from my Sheffield days; Alan and I played in a band together, I was a drummer back then and he was the lead guitarist. Heck we even did a European tour and completed several dates across Germany and into Switzerland. No, sadly while I’d like to have claimed it was all rock and roll – we provided the musical backing for a rocked up Christian youth choir… But it was, how should I say… “eventful”. Alan went on to join the RAF Police (like my brother actually) and now is a respectable photo-journalist, podcaster and DJ’s a local radio show – it was fantastic to catch back up with him.

I also finally gained a good Dentist, not only good but both he and his assistant are a shed load of laughs which is always welcome, but he also has a real handle on the state of the bombsite better referred to as my mouth. This is a major “plus” to this year.

This past 12 months have proved an eye opener for me, it has shown me some of the true nature of the most outstanding people I know, ALL of who I am grateful to!! I’ll pop a list at the bottom, but it is in no way complete, so please do not be offended if I didn’t mention you.

The last few weeks have been fairly heavy, because there is much in the works and I’ve been somewhat outside my comfort zone, in fact I could probably say that sums up 2011.

So, here it is, TWBrit thankyou to all who have come by this way to read the blog, contribute to this, and some many other aspects of my life. I truly can’t thank you enough, you have been outstanding, and my life this year would not have moved forward so incredibly well. Above all these people have brilliant;

Sue Black : For constantly encouraging me, ringing up and checking in. Dragging me to the Google Garden Party at Bletchley and for various other things. In the world of tech and software.

Joanne Black : For being true to who she really is; honest, courageous and a genuinely nice person, mom and wife. And for clearing the trees so I can see the wood – and direct encouragement.

Fenny : For stepping up to the plate like no other (and getting a new bathroom out of the deal). Fenny I have known for a great many years, she is way more geek than most geeks and is truly an awesome person. I am seriously indebted to her this year for her direct help and support.

Martha Lane Fox : For getting me to write my first book, in itself it did come to much – but was a catalyst for all the writing since and that is more than enough! :-)

WKD and Kev&Jenette who have kept in contact to see that all is going well. WKD is strange as a former work colleague because while I’m sure my patronising and arrogance drove her nuts, I miss the banter at work.

Hammy & Dean : These two guys were lost to me just over a year ago, and a lifetime apart has changed little. Hammy is still one of the most funny and outstanding guys I know and it’s been a real pleasure keeping up with them throughout the year.

Charlie, Ray Willis, Gary Jones and Steve Easey : Rockin, just rockin!

Gabby aka Gabsatrucker : I swear, this hardcore whoop-ass nut job of a friend could never have been any nationality but her own… she’s crazy in a good way and razor sharp with her wit. She has also help out on this blog, editing my books and all manner of other things. Not bad seeing as every aspect of her life over the last 12 months has been very tough going.

Other areas of outstanding help and encouragement came in the form of Twitter friends @Ritchhh and Natalie… without these guys I wouldn’t have been even on the net still, let alone able to get my ass down here.

Great chats and great laughs, insights and fantastic help which is a large part of the essence of life have often been on Twitter and in email, these have come from;

Loraine in Ohio

Dan Mann

Big Dog

@howlatthemoon

@seasparkle_x

@Pete1550

@Domjoly

@2rexy

@EricMcWhirter

@Simplycycling

@Gypsyhooker

@catflap

@bobbylew

@ethics13

and just so many more

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General things

I have been writing something that’s not of this blog (shock!) though it will take the name sake and hopefully be the first of many things in that vein, it is designed to be an easy read, with typical TWBrit humour etc and typically stuff with out the fluff…

This Blog’s (and her own blog) Gabsatrucker has given up on iPhone and opted for the Motorola Atrix… A dual core processed phone with a kicking 1 gig of ram and fully Flash enabled. Now while this 4G super phone is pretty smart and cool, it totally leaves iPhone back in the dark ages AND has a replaceable battery, memory and other commonsense things the iPhone (as all Apple products) will NOT let the owner tamper with – I say owner very loosely when referring to Apple…. This all causes many problems when trying to get your information out of an iPhone because technically you no longer own it. Nevertheless, with the aid of Google Apps (of which some are astounding) she was able to finally suck her information from the iPhone in part and get up and running again.  Oh and the best part… she left the WiFi, Flash video and GPS switched on and 12 hrs later the phone still had life!!!  On top of all this is the complete Webtop…. if you’re wanting to do some everyday computing, this little sucker is all you need!! It’s a complete desktop if you want it to be…. No I’m not saying you’re going to be playing high-end games and making a 14 foot Photoshop image, but it’s all here in this package and it’s a damn fine bundle if I say so myself!

While in London last Tuesday to deal with things regarding the old St.George’s and Finborough School saga, I was walking along and after having a smoke thought to have one of those extra strong mint things. I don’t know quite what possessed me to do it, but I crunched it up…. And as I did so I thought – hmmm, interesting crunch…. As two large chunks of tooth fell from my mouth… bugger!!

Funny thing about anything to do with the school, I felt blank before I went, strange during and knocked sideways after…

Anyway, I met and had lunch with the ever smiling and great buddy Sue Black (the now known name sake of Mustang Sue’s Wreckin Crew) at a place called Planet Organic… who knew that growing things that way would be so popular!!

In other news and leading straight on from Sue is that HM the Queen visited Bletchley Park yesterday. She came to offer her thanks to the Code Breakers themselves, to unveil a plaque and said the following:

The papers and hacking scandal has gone as far as Mr Murdoch wants it to as Rebekah Brooks finally leaves his side… You see, Murdock wanted to capitalise on this and refused her resignation twice… Now with share prices plummeting and as much money from it all he could muster… Rebekah leaves and Mr Murdoch starts giving out “sincere” apologies… the obvious concept is that the news machine with then move on… Not So as the FBI start investigating the hacking of 911 victims families..
It’s possibly going to end in the downfall of the worlds largest media operation and if these accusations do hold true, then what questions of integrity will land on the shoulders of people in these News Corp companies.. The plot thickens :-)

Fenny aka Hooloovoo42 heads out stateside this coming week, so at last I can rest from all the loud music, wild parties and general ruckus that she doesn’t make, though I maybe taking her to Heathrow on Tuesday.

Managed to spend a good while talking the guys in the Asia Pacific region this week which was great! Emailed with Gary up on Nth Island NZ and Skyped for a good few hours with both Hammy and Dean, respectively Sth Island NZ and of course Dean in Australia… who is due to send me a photo of something (hint) so I can sort him a web logo and icon/avatar like most other people. That said, I’m at a loss what to do for some of them, but i’m sure imagination will eventually come up with something…

Finally, this Monday….  I’m getting my eyes checked, I have squinted long enough and it’s time to go four-eyed… so we’ll see how this sucker pans out. It wont improve my looks, but may in turn help to mask them.

Wow… hopefully a new week brings better days

I went back to work the other day and regretted it almost immediately. I was fine until about 10 minutes into the drive of a 15hr day…
The run, while a long day was simple – run down to the Roddas clotted cream factory, load up with cream and then make all haste to Westbury in Wiltshire before returning home.
Well things didn’t go quite according to plan, but I made it home in one piece – almost was surprised after they over charged the tank with steam raising it’s temperature to 120 oC thus cooking the last 400lts into a solid mass. A further screw up on the CIP ended up with having 20000lts of Caustic Soda to get rid of and I can tell you – the moment I opened the rear valve, you’d be shocked how fast truckers can run (myself included).
 
Then of course we had Valentines day….

Valentine’s day has two benefits;
1 you can slightly cross certain lines in the work place.
2 it makes a fortune!!
However, as it was a Sunday, it was lost on most logical people. After all, if you know your heart, you’re hardly going to allow a 3rd party depict how you act, when you and how you feel.
The greatest Valentine gift a guy can give to a woman is this the shopping spree for all the reduced priced chocolate the day after – that’s a result!
 
Vancouver Winter Olympics have started,  but not with out the sad death of one of the participants.
It was funny how everyone was pointing fingers at everyone else about the whys and wherefores of this tragedy… So let the commonsense of TWBrit tell you who’s fault it was…
It is the fault of the design and placement of the support pillars!! They simply should not have been there – just in the same way that any over sport i.e. Formula 1 removes nearly all ‘spin-off’ obstacles.
So basically – they should test for these things over every inch of the track…pure and simple eh?
At least while I watched the horrific collision, I didn’t hear the “Whoooooaaaaaarghhhhhh-SPLAT”
 
Returning to my car for the first time in over a month, I have received a fixed penalty notice for the none displayment of road tax… nice! I was just so able to run about and sort that our over the last four weeks!!
I finally finished my complete paper and sent it off… this time with a basic action plan on the end.
I would like to think something would come of this, but frankly I doubt anything will.
So with the arrival of my HGV1 (truck license) renewal forms and the need to pay for a medical etc, I seriously doubt that I will pursue my present paths.
In this my friends, I’m not happy, but we pick ourselves up and get on with it I guess – Can’t believe I took the test back in 88 and it’s only been renewed once in 94!
Need to take some new pictures this week for my Passport – should be interesting as I’ll be tacking them myself LOL
 
Terry aka Little Trucker has been driving in some tough snow conditions stateside and Gabby has spent the last month keeping me on my toes.
 
WKD is someone I don’t think I’ve now seen since Christmas, but we do communicate.
 
Fenny is busy as ever working away, she also posted an article about the subject of my paper which can be seen HERE. The response on her blog just shows how much feeling there is about this subject – she can also write better than I can lol.
 
I contacted Worthy Farm at Pilton the other day. If you don’t know, I’m talking about the Glastonbury music festival. I asked if I could have some of the official artwork to do an article on the blog rather than nabbing their logo from the web.
I went on to tell them I wished to write about not only the festival and the announced final line for this year, but also that the site is still and will always remain and active dairy farm and an important part of the local community.
the reply was this:


Not quite sure what to make of their response other than, well ok – it’s their logo, choice and lack of write up.
 
So, lets see how this week pans out eh?
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A great Sunday

sleep

What a nights sleep – finally!  You know I really thought this was going to be a crappy weekend , but as it turns out, It’s shaping up quite nicely.

For the first time in an age I feel release, I’ve watched some great movies toohancock. Yesterday I spoke with SEC, Fenny and had a laugh. This morning I woke up and watched ‘Hancock’ which had me in stitches – especially the prison scene!

 

australian_flagAround the web, the world is ticking over nicely in it’s heaven and hell style sure in the knowledge that the sun will always rise the next day.

SEC was telling me how well her recovery from a shattered pelvis during a riding accident had gone and later last night I was talking to Ruth over in Australia.clef

 

Light heartedly, my Marshall amp seems to be too loud to turn up to full volume in my home as things start falling of shelves. It’s only 100watts yet I seem to getting some form of battle shock after trying – it’s so cool. LOL (43 and still a kid)

 

This is the first great feeling day I’ve had all year and it leaves my soul rested.

Hey, don’t get me wrong, I still have something to vent later in the coming days or weeks… But today just feels good.

 cartank

I have several posts coming up over the weeks and months, a Taylor guitar review, the usual blah, blah stuff and much more. I might even do a piece on a subject I was asked about recently which is offensive and defensive driving skills.

 

I have no idea how 2009 is going to play out, but it just has to be better than 2008.

 dell

In techy things, time to build a new PC, this time it’ll be a dual PC with an emphasis on home entertainment with a liquid cooling and a large storage array. I’m forever looking at Tablet PC’s (the large ones, not stuff that sits in you’re hand) and I really think Samsung are the best way to go kodak-zx1regarding display devices – they rock!.

The coming weeks and months will bring the Kodak Zx1 to the cam market and that is a beast to look out for especially when it offers 60fps, full 720p HD and up to 10 hrs of recording for around £120!!

 tablet1

Windows 7 is a little late, but that’s ok and Internet Explorer 8 is also.

 

So what for the rest of the day? I have a little washing to do, need to check the car over and I might – just might go over to Woodbury and have a stroll over the RM Commando Endurance course. This is mainly because I feel too much like a lard-ass when even LittleTrucker is back pounding the pavements with running.

 

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Published in: on 22 February, 2009 at 16:06  Comments (6)  
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This and other stuff

I just read an article on the BBC News site, here I’ll cut and paste it;200px-bbc_logo

Multi-million pound pay deals for the BBC’s biggest stars are “extremely unlikely” in the future, the controller of BBC One, Jay Hunt, has said. _45252646_jay_226

She told the Daily Telegraph she could not see herself agreeing to the sort of contracts that see Jonathan Ross earn a reported £6m per year.

“My reputation in this industry… is as one of the stingiest women in television,” she said.

You’re not kidding!! Have you seen the state of the BBC1 channel? it’s like something out of the dark ages. I’m not joking when I say that even ‘I’ could do a better job at BBC 1 than the crap the channel has turned into. Frankly, she should learn to spend the money on programming quality entertainment – not shoving every viable show on to the 6 million other BBC channels.

Other stuff;

The battle for the Taj is over.

Apparently it was Thanksgiving in the US over the last few days, I know it’s a big deal for thbart_vs_thanksgivingem but I still don’t get why it’s such a big thing to be honest – but what do I know. However, it seems several people lost their lives in the ensuing ‘Black Friday’ shopping rush – amazing!

Myfacebook_pic-copy1 Facebook is officially dead and for now I can’t see myself returning to it.

Twitter, I’m so not sure about this thing. It’s kind of weird. Yet it turned out to be one of the single most useful tools during the Mumbai thing – who would have thought!

Obviously we’re moving into crimble-treea more seasonal part of the year and I’m guessing that the pubs of this once great isle are gearing up for the whole thing. I haven’t actually had a ‘Chrichristmas-tree-inside-the-housestmas’ as such for several years due to work commitments. It would be nice to change that this year, but alas it is not to happen. I should get New Year off though. That said, I had my first Mince Pie of the year last night – alright, there were three, steaming hot and eaten with single cream.

I found myself staring into a bowel of Cheerios this morning, I think I have bridled my restlessness too much this past year. I need to sort a few things out and get on to complete any and all outstanding commitments and promises to friends and mates and get on to treading new ground.

Fenny seemds_amazon_laptop_web_188s to have returned from the dead, this is miraculous to say the very least. She is also sounding much better, but sadly her laptop is not in such a good way. Hope an image format will work wonders.

Had an inbox full of emails today. There were the usual Africans begging to allegedly give me millions because of some terrible banking issue with an ailing family member, advertising, a handful from friends, some trade stuff and the millionth email from PMI – but also someone calling herself Brittany who loved some profile of mine and thought I was hot – huh? then she must either be blind and/or grotesque!! 3 of the emails from friends were almost devoid of sense which would be fair enough if they’d sent them while drinking. Anyway as my brain wasn’t working after just getting up, I selected option ‘2’ and promptly deleted them. I’m sure that if they were important, they will write again – but please take your time, think and take a breath before doing so.

Last but not least, if I hear of any more stupid things done by our present government – i’ll take up politics.

 

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Published in: on 29 November, 2008 at 15:42  Comments (3)  
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