Idle Holiday

I think the worst thing about being on holiday but not actually going on holiday is that, well perhaps just me, one feels that one must fill the time with something constructive. I've been off since last Thursday, the laundry's stacked up to the top of the basket and I really just cannot be arsed....but now I feel v guilty and so instead of doing something useful like doing said laundry I find myself sitting at the comp telling you lot how guilty I feel!

Yes so last Thursday we both finished work for a week or so. I was on lates so Gavin came up to Derby on the train, and after he'd managed to find my office, which took longer than expected we set off for Mum and Dad's in the car. This time I decided on the quick route via Nottingham and Grantham after the debacle of getting lost somewhere around Kegworth last time I went from work thanks to the sat nav....honest!

Friday Gavin, Mum and I went to this warehouse outlet place in Peterborough. No it's not the same one I've mentioned before, this one is bigger and better than before.........I picked up exciting things like washing tablets and Chinese curry sauce......though they obviously will not be used together I might add. Friday night we all partook (is that the right word??) of a nice Chinese.....and yes the takeaway place did supply the curry sauce, we didn't supply our own! ;)

Saturday was really good, we all (that's the family plus Gavin) went to Mablethorpe, which for those of you that don't know (and why is it that you don't know Mablethorpe???) is a bit of a backwater Victorian seaside place, about 10 miles north of Skegness on the Lincolnshire coast.
Helen, my sister, drove Gav and I in her car with me navigating the way. Helen wasn't particularily trusting to begin with but when we arrived over 30 mins before my parents and Hayley, who were in the other car, she soon came around to my way of thinking. Helen and I were especially thrilled when a departing car gave us a parking ticket valid until 22:00 that evening meaning that neither of us had to shell out parking money....we are our father's children after all! ;)
We spent a good 5 hours there in the end. I banned the word "cold" and enforced its replacement with "bracing". Most of the time, however, the sun did stay out even if the wind was a little bracing!
We took a walk along the sand-dunes to the main town area and the pleasure beach thing there. Helen, Mum and Gav went on an extremely short Ghost House ride before we all spent nearly an hour doing the 2p slots and 2p one-armed slot machines....a good time was had by all. After that we just sat about by the sea before Dad and I noticed an old fashioned loose sweet shop on the front. We went in and ordered 100g each of sweets at which we were presented with two ready-sealed polythene bags. No scales, no paper bags.....things just aren't what they used to be!
After that we went down one of the back streets and had a delightful fish supper, minus Helen who'd decided she'd rather go back and sit in the car as she was feeling a little "bracing".
It was a really nice day actually and brought back memories of when Helen, Dad and I used to go to Skegness in the late winter months when noone was around. Gavin was even more amused by it all...it reminded him of holidays he took as a youngun too.

Sunday day time Dad, Hayley, Gavin and I went to Grantham to have a look around. There wasn't much open so we settled for a mooch around Blockbusters (Gavin's favourite store after Computer Exchange) and a milkshake in Morrison's cafe....we know how to have a good time! ;)
Sunday evening, Gav and I drove back home and just slobbed around for the rest of the evening.

Monday we did absolutely nothing...and I mean it...the weather was disgusting. I can't even remember getting dressed....how slovenely.

Yesterday we arose earlyish and set off to Nottingham. Gavin had mentioned it earlier in the week as we had been before but last time I don't think we had enough time to have a proper look around. I drove this time aswell, rather than get the train. I decided to go all around the backroads rather than the more direct M42/A42 which I'm thoroughly sick of after driving those roads every day for the last 6 months. Also instead of driving into Nottingham city centre, a thought I didn't particularily relish, we parked at Phoenix Park just off the M1, a park and ride site of the NET, Nottingham's tram system and within 20 mins of parking the car we were in the city centre. We had a good day just having a look about and having lunch and finally in the evening we set off back to the tram to get the car.
As Gavin and I are thinking of moving up that way next year I felt it would be a good idea to have a little drive about some of the towns on Nottingham's outskirts. So we did, which wasn't one of my brightest ideas as the rain was extremely hard and we'd chosen to leave about 5 o'clock, just as rush hour was beginning in its earnest.
However we drove about through Sandiacre and Stapleford and ended up with Long Eaton and Sawley which looked really nice despite the heavy rain...more investigation is definitely warranted there.
Last night we sat and watched a Mike Leigh film called "Life is Sweet". I bought it as I love Mike Leigh's play "Abigail's Party" which stars Alison Steadman, his then wife, who also is in Life is Sweet along with Jim Broadbent and a very much younger Jane Horricks and a really bizarre character played by Timothy Spall. It was one of those English Social Commentry films so I really enjoyed it.

Today I've been watching a couple of DVDs, well when I can get a look in at the TV that is. Gavin's just discovered eBay and has bought a terrible American series called "Dante's Cove" on DVD. It's absolutely terrible. It's like Sunset Beach meets Charmed with a bit of soft porn thrown in. To me it looks like a poor excuse to watch men with oiled up bodies writhing about on the beach....that's if one needs an excuse at all! Still Gav seems to like it.........I wonder why! ;)

See you soon x

Humdrum

 

Right I feel sufficiently guilty enough now to give this another try!

 

10 weeks apparently since my last posting! Several times recently I’ve come to write and to be honest it’s felt like I’ve got nothing much interesting to say.

Life is pretty mundane at the moment really, plodding along I supposed you could say.

 

It’s been 5 months since I started in Derby with work. And as I said last time, it feels just like I’ve never been anywhere else. The vast majority of people have been so welcoming and friendly it’s made the transition a lot easier. I’m enjoying my job, although I do find the company is a little tin pot in operation if you catch my drift. Still I think we’ll get there eventually.

Gavin and I are still ummming and arrrring about the pros and cons of moving that way. Now that I’m used to travelling that way, it feels very normal and don’t particularly mind the thought of doing it for a couple of years even. However I would probably be wise to wait and see how it goes over the winter months to give my final verdict.

One alternative option would be for us to move half way to, say Tamworth for instance. That way I would still be closer to Derby but it would allow Gav to stay in John Lewis Solihull if he so wishes!

 

Anyway that’s a decision for next year really.

 

June 29th was Gavin’s 30th birthday party. We had a really good time in the Banbury Club in Chelmsley Wood. About 90 people turned up in the end which was impressive; thank god we ordered enough food! It was a relief that it went off like a bomb really as we’d spent the week before hand stressing like mad getting everything ready!

 

The day after Gavin’s party we flew off on holiday. Lanzarote for a week in a resort called Costa Teguise all inclusive. It was my first proper holiday abroad since 2000, and then only my second! I really enjoyed it. I found the island really nice, especially as there was a constant breeze, which for bigger people like me makes the sun much more bearable. It was so nice to get away just him and me! :D On the flight over, we both had aisle seats. Despite this, height wise I found the seats really uncomfortable, felt like I had to fold my legs up to get sat down properly. I must have had a right face on me as the stewardess came down and asked if I was alright. She told me that she would attempt to book me seats with extra leg room for the return flight, which I was delighted to find she had done when I got on the plane home.

We landed into Birmingham about midnight and by the time we’d got our cases and got home it was 2am. Gav was insistent that we watched the last episode of Doctor Who season 4 on catch up TV despite the fact he was to be at work at 9am that morning. By the time we got to bed it was 3am. I was alright though; I had two more days off, bonus!

 

July 31st was my 24th birthday. I was working lates as I hadn’t enough leave left and didn’t really feel it was significant enough to warrant a day off. I was glad actually as I was made a real fuss of at work. It was really touching actually. They’d all signed a card for me, which is surprising for people who’ve only worked with me for a few months. I had presents and loads of cards and Kelly made me lunch. Made me feel right fussed over! The next day I did have the day off, but for Gavin’s niece’s 18th birthday party at Star City….made me feel v old!

 

One thing that is worrying me at the moment is the money side of things. All I can say is that thank god work is paying me travelling time at the moment. I’m afraid my past habit of bending the plastic has finally caught up with me….and just as the economy goes into decline and prices rocket, not to mention the fact that the student loans company has finally caught up with me and started taking the payments! I’m horrified at how expensive groceries and petrol have become…..especially since I rely so heavily on my car to get too and from work….I’m at the mercy of the oil companies really. I’ve even taken to shopping at Aldi and Lidl. Do you know I actually quite enjoy shopping in these places…they have some really different interesting stuff…who needs Tesco! I draw the line at Netto though! ;)
 

So Sunday just gone Gavin and I did a car boot to clear some space as well as raise some cash for a couple of DVD/CD units we needed to tidy up the living room. I wasn’t looking forward to it to be honest with you. But once there I really enjoyed it. We sold loads of PS2 games as well as some odds and ends. We made £63 after taking out the admission fee which is not to be sniffed at and we managed to get what we wanted from Argos….cheap and cheerful.

 
The rest of the time since posting has been taken up with friends visitng and working really....dull! :D

So that’s it really. I’m working all the way through from last Monday until next Thursday without a day off….you can’t do enough for a good company as they say!!

Still Alive!

I'm still alive...haven't posted for 8 weeks. I couldn't really tell you why, but I guess you should always assume that no news is good news and all that.....

I've really settled into work at Derby. The travelling has really just become the norm to me now. On early shifts, after trying to be good and park in Birmingham, I've now got into the habit of buying a parking pass for Tamworth and driving there every day. Tamworth is as near as Birmingham and much quicker to get to on account of the M42. On lates it's not so brilliant and more often than not I find myself driving all the way as traffic into Birmingham is crap and also the trains are always full forcing me to stand all the way....not pleasent.

The people are great on the whole....to me it feels like I've never been anywhere else to be honest.....so all is good in that respect.

Gav and I had a lovely break 3 weeks or so ago....did a night in Cardiff, Bath and then two nights in Torquay. Cardiff was great...really buzzing so I definately think it's somewhere that deserves a longer stay. Bath wasn't really up to much...pretty but not all that exciting. But we were really taken with Torquay actually...which really suprised me if I'm honest. I expected it to be a bit "Kiss me quick" if you catch my drift, but it was really nice actually. The hotel we stayed in was lovely. I'd found it through Late Rooms and the rate was pretty reasonable. The owners were a lovely gay couple from the area and upgraded us to one of their better rooms which was kind. Unfortunately the weather wasn't brilliant after about 6 hours of arriving so both nights we went into Torquay to eat then came back and had drinks in the bar with the owners in the hotel. Was really good and will definately be going back sometime. Photos are on Facebook for those that can see!

Since then it's just been work plodding along really. Plans are in their final stages for Gavin's 30th party on the 28th, should be great! :D Had to shell out over £400 at the car's service the other day, apparently the brakes needed replacing....lovely! Also found out that the bitch next door got the money from my insurance after all....wasn't impressed. She had £400 cash in lieu with which she's bought a cheap nasty elderly Ford Fiesta which is just dumped on the drive. Again Wasn't impressed.....it's made my premium go up!

But otherwise it's just plodding along as usual.......

Ordeal

Everything seems to be a bit of an ordeal at the moment. I'm daily fighting that impulse to shut all the curtains and switch the phones off and just hibernate and be away from everything and everyone. Everything just seems so bloody pointless.
I'm not really sure what's wrong with me, maybe just a down period. I also think it's the past year's uncertainties and strain manifesting itself. Nothing's really changed. I know that my job is changing to Derby yes, but no idea what shifts I'll be working, when or how in fact I will actually be getting there. I wouldn't mind, only it's now just 10 days until the move. This company is absolutely hopeless, I hope it's not a sign of things to come.

I haven't done very much lately, I was on lates Sun - Thurs last week and all that bollocks about high winds causing chaos was just that, bollocks, nothing happened. I guess it's the old addage - when you plan for disaster it rarely happens. I had one busy day (well when I say day I mean 2 hours at the most of one day) and that had nothing to do with the weather.
I'm in the final throws of my 5 day long weekend. Gav and I were off together for the first 3 days, and we did nothing at all really, apart from going to see our mate over in Acocks Green before she went off on holiday, then his parents. I wanted to go and see my parents Mon and Tues, but couldn't as I didn't have enough petrol and I'm larry flint until Friday, pay day! Couldn't tell you where the money's gone, oh yeah I can, bills and the like! I guess having little money hasn't really helped my already fragile state of mind - it's something to which I am unaccustomed.

Tomorrow I'm back at work, early shift, up at 4am. Right now I feel like I would rather jump out of a 10th storey window than go to work tomorrow, especially on earlies!

Ah well, I have no doubt that this feeling will pass - sooner rather than later I'm hoping. :D

Calculated Risk

 Well it's been nearly three weeks since I updated and things are now starting to (finally) move along at work.

But first.....

The week after I last updated I can't really remember much exciting happening, probably because I was on lates. Ah! The cogs are turning. It was a my spare week so on the Wednesday I went up to see the control office at Derby, especially since at that point I was 90% sure that I'd be working there come March. So I parked at work in the Mailbox and went upstairs, just to show my face at work, but my manager was there and came bounding over like a labrodor and practically hounded me out of the office, not annoyed, more excited which was bizarre. Whilst I was being hurded out of the office, he thrust a list of the names of those on duty at Derby that morning and gave me a quick character profile on each of them....weird!
So I got on a CrossCountry Voyager (so handy to get them free now that CrossCountry and East Midlands Trains have a recipricol arrangement!) which sped me to Derby in about 40 mins. I excited the station and vered left and saw a building which said "Midland House" on the side, but walked past as I'd decided that it was far too close to the station, as Kelly had told me it was a good 5 mins. I don't think it would take 5 mins if you crawled, so god knows what she was doing to take 5 mins to get there!
I went in and was met by a rather ferocious receptionist who told me that she wasn't aware I was coming, and when she called the control, they equally didn't have much of a clue. Eventually, Judith and Neil came out to fetch me. I was really nervous going in actually, especially since I wasn't really sure what they'd make of me and I them, but on the whole they seemed ok actually, if a little bit quieter than our lot in Birmingham. We'll soon sort that eh [info]

snowkitten_uk?! Anyway with cuppa in hand I proceeded to bug them about what they all did. Alan was the DCM and was fairly quiet, but was pretty busy while I was there so let him off, "Twiggy" was the Train Running Controller, Neil was Customer Liaison and Judith was Performance. They all seemed a good laugh actually.
Anyway at 1, the afternoon shift came in. Dave Smith was DCM, again quite quiet and shy, Tony Marsden was train running controller, Sarah was performance and a woman whose name I don't remember was on Customer Liaison. This shift seemed a lot quieter and so at 2 I left to get the train to Sheffield, to route learn the Midland Mainline, but instead was on time to get the train to St Pancras. I fully intended to take full notice of the surroundings and learn the route which I did faithfully until I got to St Albans where I promptly fell asleep, contacts in place and all!.
I got off anyway in a daze, ran to the loo and grabbed a sandwich from Marks and Spencer. I really like St Pancras, despite the fact that my company's platforms are stuck out the end in a concrete bunker! Still I got on the train back to Leicester and changed there for CrossCountry's train to Birmingham.

The rest of the week was uneventful to say the least, on lates.
The following week was much the same I'm afraid. We had a busy day on the monday when all hell broke loose on the Snow Hill route mid-morning where, despite being on the Customer Service desk for the week, Melvyn, the Route Controller, asked me to go over and sit by him mainly so he could talk through what he'd done to make it clear in his own mind. He did very well though.
All week I was getting lots of rumours and hearsay about what was happening with the move to Derby, like "we're all being displaced" and " we'll not get any travel reimbursements" etc, which I have to say, in the absence of any word from Derby, I did end up listening to and started to worry profusely. So I sent off a bit of a ranty email explaining that I'd had enough of waiting and the strain was starting to show on everybody. He called me straight away and put a few worries to bed, but some other lingered on, especially when I had a reply to my email from the Operations Director. It wasn't a rant from him, but it was a bit weird that someone so senior had got involved.
On the Thursday, Tony the full time TSSA bloke came in to tell us we were to receive the movement proposal shortly and that would tell us which jobs were there and who would be indentified with each job, which I got the next day by email. Unfortuanately it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know! I was so unsure by the end of the week that I decided to fill in an application form for London Midland, I applied for Train Service Manager, West Coast, West Mids or Snow Hill (all three).

Last weekend was my long weekend and my parents came to stay at a Premier Inn in nearby Shirley. It was a lovely weekend actually. Gav cooked for them on Friday night, Roast Beef etc which they seemed to enjoy and I'd made a yummy Chocolate mess pudding thing from a recipe given to me by AJ at work, which was lovely and rather naughty.
Saturday, Gav was working sadly, so Mum, Dad and I went to the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley. Dad was enthrawled with the trolleybuses and tram, which were impressive, but I loved the canal boat ride on the canal tunnels under Dudley which was fascinating. If you're into looking at pictures of tunnels, the pics are on my facebook profile!
I was also really impressed with the tilted cottage, seriously that place is crazy and leans everyway in each room!
So after that we came home and had a lovely chinese take-away from our local, so to speak. We then played on the Wii, it was quite funny watching my Dad trying to get to grips with the Wii remote!

Sunday Mum and Dad went to the church in Solihull that they like and afterwards I drove them to Leamington for them to look around. They were impressed I think, despite the rain and wind, oh well!

Monday I decided, as I'd applied for a West Coast job, that I'd better learn some of the routes I didn't know so I went to Hampton-in-Arden and got the train to Northampton then changed for Bletchley. Got off there and got the little shuttle train over to Bedford which was in a word boring, especially when I came back to Bletchely over the same line. I even took notes about the stations and line layout! All proved to be a waste of time though!
Took absolutely ages to get back from Bletchley, being forced to change at Bletchley, Milton Keynes and Northampton, talk about crap connections!

Tuesday I had to wait in for the plumber/heating guy. He turned up at 10:30 actually. Gave the place a clean bill of health, and fixed the crappy tap over the kitchin sink. Was a big mistake to have been playing on the Wii when he came in as he proceeded to make himself comfortable and watch me play Zelda for a good 30 mins. I kept dropping hints like "don't you have other appointments?" but to no avail!
I did nothing for the rest of the day, and when I say nothing I mean nothing!

Wednesday Gav was off too and Helen, my sis, came over late morning. We sat about for a bit then she said she wanted to go shopping, so Gav kindly suggested Merry Hill, again! So went there for a couple of hours, before getting lost on the way home. How daft of me to rely on Gav's navigating skills!

Thursday was another nothing day, was getting so many texts and calls off people about work, was getting me wound! I should have been in this week really!

Friday I got up late and went to Solihull to get my Mum's card and wrapping paper and also Mother's Day cards for my grandmothers. Came home wrapped the present for my mum and took it to the post office in Acocks Green for posting. When I was in Solihull in the morning my phone was ringing which I ignored and didn't check it until I was in Acocks Green at which point I saw it was Steve Law, my old manager and gaffer of the set up with London Midland. He'd left a voicemail message asking me to call when I get a chance. I didn't know what to do as I'd not heard any more from East Midlands Trains about jobs there so I left it for a bit, but called my Dad instead and asked him what he would do as I was sure Steve would be offering me a job on LM. He told me to ask him for some thinking time. So I called Steve back. He offered me the Train Service Manager, Snow Hill job and asked me to accept or decline on the phone there. I told him I wouldn't and that he would need to wait until Monday so that I'd had a chance to think about it, and hear from East Midlands Trains. He didn't like it, but I stood firm. On the way home I had to pull up and take a call from a couple of disappointed work friends who'd also been short changed by Steve. Had he offered me West or West Coast I would have bitten his hand off, but as the Snow Hill is the same job as I'm doing now, with little chance for promotion, it was a little disappointing.

 

Yesterday we rose late and decided to drive to Derby. I wanted to see how long it would take to get there, and despite taking the wrong turn at the M1, it took exactly an hour door to door, having managed to park etc. Was pleasently surprised with Derby, was better than I'd thought it would be actually.

Drove home via the new Control Centre just off London Road. Looks rather swanky actually, will look forward to going there in May.

So I have my 1-2-1 meeting with Sean my manager tomorrow. It sounds like I may have cooked my goose with London Midland, which in some ways seems to be a good thing, but I'm nervous about what will be offered me, but excited too. I know I will be sad to leave the office I've been in for nearly 4 years, but things have to change sometimes for the better. So I will be declining any outstanding offer from London Midland tomorrow and taking a calculated risk on East Midlands Trains. Here's to the future!

Just a list

So I left you last Sunday. 

Monday was a quiet day, I got a text from Nic, a good mate from school, asking if I was free at any point that week. So replied and told her that I'd be free the next day Tuesday. Since she was having trouble with her back I suggested driving down to her's again. I don't mind, still loving the driving!
So I set off on the Tuesday about 10:00. It was pretty quick as I took the A45, M45 then M1 towards Luton. The M1 was a bit congested, but I've now decided that the M45 is my favourate road, so quiet and fast!
The slowest bit was coming off at Luton and taking the A505 round the southern outskirts of Luton then across to Hitchin since they're upgrading the road there.
Got to Nics at about 11:45 so not too bad in all. Had a brew then decided to driver down to Hatfield for a look around the Galleria shopping centre and a spot of lunch. I've been there before actually, when I went to visit Nic the week she moved to Hatfield for uni in 2002, 5.5 years ago, so shocking how long it's been!
After we'd had our fill of Hatfield, we drove over to Letchworth Garden City, it was a nice little place, but after looking around for a few mins, the weather took a turn for the worse and we decided to go back to Nic's. She seemed fine, and was brilliant to see her.
On the way home, leaving at 17:30, I wanted to try a more direct route back to the M1, meaning I could miss the A505 and those damn roadworks. So got onto the one-way system but took the wrong direction and ended up half way to Bedford on the A600. Still I turned around and regained the way I wanted, cut through to Burton-le-Clay on the B655 the through to Harlington and onto the A5120 and finally the M1. It would have been a bit quicker had it been light, but hey ho!

Wednesday and Thursday I was on earlies and nothing really all that exciting happened.

Friday I was off and spent most of the day cleaning and tidying until about 5 when I made my way to Birmingham Airport to pick up Michael, our mate who lives in Paris nowadays. Was really good to see him, having not seen him since last August. We went to Buffet Island, a chinese buffet place near my old place in Erdington.

Saturday, Gavin and I made a full English brekkie, though the aftermath of it means I'm no longer permitted to cook, something to do with too many cooks causing too many arguments! After brekkie we went to Leamington. I've never been before so set the sat nav which, as usual took us the most bizarre way, along the A45 to Coventry then on the B4113 through the rather attractive Warwickshire countryside and into Leamington on the A452. After driving through the town centre a couple of times we finally found somewhere to park. I was really impressed with Leamington I have to say, it reminds me of a sea-side town actually, and it has a good array of shops and some very attractive architecture too.

Once we'd done with the shopping etc, we set the sat nav to take us home. This time we ended up on the A452 all the way to Balsall Common, including Kenilworth town centre which was far from quick! Then it took us on the B4101 to Knowle before joining the A4141 and home on the A41 and B425. Would have been a nice scenic route had it been light!

Roast beef for tea once we got home!

Sunday it was time for Michael to go home and Gav to go back to work, so we dropped him off in Solihull first of all before me dropping Michael off at the airport for his 12:00 flight. After that I went home to go and get the laundry ready for when Gav's mate Rachel came over on Sunday evening. Gav cooked a lovely potato bake with sausages and veg, and we all had a few drinks too which was good! ;)

Monday Gav and Rachel rose early and off to work, leaving me at home all day, and yes I did absolutely nothing!

Today I needed to get the valentine stuff sorted so set off for Solihull, but half way there I decided to go to Leamington instead. This time I took the A4141, then the A4177, then the A425 into Warwick where I got lost for a while before regaining the A425 then the A452 into Leamington town centre to park. I returned the same way we'd come back on Saturday. Was lovely to go back, especially since it was gorgeously sunny and warm today!

Anyway I realise this entry was pretty boring, but wanted to make sure I listed what I'd been up to!

Still no word from my lovely employer East Midlands Trains, it sounds like it will be early next week before we hear anything since their meeting was postponed til friday from a couple of weeks ago. It's driving me crazy!

Another thing!

Forgot to mention I had a call of an old school mate on Saturday who I hadn't spoken to for nearly 6 years. Was good to hear from them, if a little bizarre!
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    Mark Ronson

A whole month has passed!

Wow I can't believe I've left it a month since posting!

To bve fair I have tried starting an entry a couple of times over the past month, but every time I've started I've just found I've had nothing to talk about!

So another Christmas time and New Year has come and gone and for the first time I can remember I was ill for it.
So much for me bragging about not being ill for a couple of years, it seems like the world has saved them all up over the past couple of years for me to get all in a row.

I started feeling ill on Christmas Eve at work. I was working 2-10 Customer service East that day and just gradually started feeling crappy. So got to go about 9, at which point I drove home, packed my remaining clothes and stuff (and Gavin too of course) not to mention the pressies. Headed off to Mum's about 10:30. I drove, a little quickly and we made it in 1 hour 25 mins. That A14 is a marvelous road! ;)

Christmas Day was lovely. I haven't been at Mum and Dad's for Christmas since I moved away, so it was really nice to spend it there, especially since I was with Gavin too. We opened the stockings that my Mum always does for us every year, which was great. I got lots of little trincket things but also some Black XS aftershave that I'd told my mum about a couple of months before hand so I was well chuffed. I was expecting a satsuma and a piece of coal! ;)
Dad, Hayley and Helen went to church at about 10, so Gav, Mum and I were left preparing the Christmas dinner. I was in charge of the roast veg, which even if I do say so myself, were really nice when eaten a few hours later! 
The church brigade came back about 11, and we opened a couple of proper presents from each other. Do you know? I can't remember all the stuff I got and who bought it for me, must be my age. Still I got some pretty nifty stuff including a gift book made up from photos my mum had submitted of my 21st birthday which is getting further and further distant now!

Lunch was about 1:30, which seemed pretty early as Christmas lunches go in the Pratt household! Lunch was delicious and felt just right. The turkey was lovely and the Christmas pudding brought by yours truely was yummy, especially with a healthy dollup of Brandy Butter!

After lunch were the rest of the presents during which I started to feel really rough. I actually fell asleep in their reclining chair for a couple of hours at one point! Oh well. Went to bed early, and had a better night's sleep as Gav kindly let me sleep in the proper bed upstairs rather than the matress in the living room. So now Christmas Day tipples for me I'm afraid! It's just not right!

Boxing Day was a busy day, or was set to be. I wasn't feeling too good at all, but we needed to come home so I agreed to drive home. We were supposed to come home, drop our stuff off at home, then go to Gav's mum's for the afternoon, then go to our mate's Debbie and Janets for the evening. But because I was feeling so rough, and didn't want to pass it on to Gav's baby nephew I dropped Gav off at his Mum's for a bit, then he called me back to come and get him when he was ready. A bit later we went to our mates, but didn't stay late as our mate Deb seemed to be in a bit of a bad mood!! I didn't matter really as Gav had to be back at work on the 27th.

When I woke up on the 27th I felt v rough and fluey. I felt really zapped of energy and practically didn't get out of bed all day. So called into work about 1 and told them I wouldn't be in for earlies the next day. Sean, the duty manager seemed really impressed. Sorry, forgot I was off all the time.......oh hang on I haven't been off for 2 years previously! Still I didn't worry too much about him as shortly after I called up Rich, then after chinwagging with him for a bit, I fell sound asleep for a bit. Was off sick the next couple of days and gradually started to feel better. So much so, I went back to work on the Monday morning (New Years Eve), at 5:30! The week at work was fairly tame to be honest, but didn't really feel 100% better to be honest, probably something to do with being up at 4 every morning and having trouble getting off to sleep in the evenings. 
Workwise we'd been told we were OK to come in a bit later on New Years Day, so we were able to go over to Debbie and Janets for the evening and see the new year in. Coke only for me though, Gavin drank a couple though so was good for him. We left theirs about 00:15 and I was straight to bed.

When I finished the week of work on Friday just gone, the virus I'd had was either back with a vengence or been replaced by its big brother. I felt like absolute shite! I couldn't physically move. The energy loss feeling I'd had on the 27th was back but this time coupled with back pain, joint ache, fever and head ache so I guessed this must have been flu! Gav was pretty worried when he came home that night. Still I got a bit better on Saturday, and Sunday I'd felt better still. But yesterday I started feeling rougher again, just coldy really and finally today I've woken up with a really vile chesty cough, feels like the Bronchitis I had a couple of years back. Nice! I was a bit pissed off really as firstly it was my long weekend off and also I was supposed to be seeing Nic (a school mate) today, but had to call a raincheck, wouldn't be good to catch this baby!

Though I'm sorry guys but I will be more than likely coming back to work tomorrow, as thanks to the ridiculous management for attendance procedure at work, I'll end up in trouble if I don't. So I hope everyone fancies a chest infection/Bronchitis/Flu/whatever the hell it is. 

Anyway that's it for now!

Bye bye.

It's the Final Countdown........

Ladies and Gentlemen, please raise your glasses to Central Trains....

Love em or well mainly hate them, Central Trains, the train operating company everyone loves to hate, is no more in a matter of 5 hours, 2am.

I've been with them for 4 years now, and on the whole enjoyed my time with them. I'm back on Monday, and although I will be working for an entirely new company, East Midlands Trains, I will in fact sit in the same office, with the same people, working on behalf of another new company, London Midland. So the big change for me will be next May, when they move all us East Midlands Trains peeps to Derby.

So if you wouldn't mind, in truely melodramatic fashion:

Central Trains, 1997-2007 RIP