"Birthday"

Had lots of fun yesterday. It wasn’t the best of starts when my son bounded in at 6am and jumped onto the bed (grrrrr), but it did make us get on with the day. We packed the picnic, and then off to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The YSP was good. We choose a particularly bad day to go, because all the indoor exhibitions were closed for change-over, and outside it was blooming windy – although to be fair it’s a lot windier today, and snowing, so I mustn’t complain. It only took us 45 mins to get there, and we […]

"33 tomorrow"

It’s my 33rd birthday tomorrow. Well, technically it’s the 33rd anniversary of my one and only birth day. I’ll just stop there. In my old workplace we would have called it james++. I’m excited about my birthday this year, for the first time in several years. I’m not a great party animal, but the last couple have been “yeah, yeah, another birthday – so what”. I don’t really know why – but they haven’t seemed worth getting worked up about. This year I’m excited though, and have been for about 2 weeks. It might to do with the little ‘un, […]

"Torchwood – D’oh!"

I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I hadn’t realised that Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who. If we’re on the subject of embarrassing lack of knowledge, I also didn’t realise that 3G phones use GSM for voice – which destroys my main objection to getting one (i.e. that the coverage for normal phone use would be worse than my current 2.5G phone). Ah well, live and learn.

"Boston Blog VI (Harvard)"

On Wednesday, the snow arrived. About a foot came down overnight in Boston – other places got a lot more. This was enough to disrupt various airports, which meant the people who were supposed to arrive from Virginia that day couldn’t make it, so we all had the afternoon off. Having been a day late on the way out, I’d missed my ‘mall’ time, so this was the day to make up for it. We plumped for the Cambridgeside Galleria, mainly because it was close-ish to Legal Seafood, and right next door to MIT. We put the shopping on hold […]

"Boston Blog V (Eating in America)"

One of my the people I was working alongside has all but emigrated to America, and now lives in California. He claims that there are basically two types of Restaurant in the US – really nice ones, with good service, decent food, edible portion sizes, but not necessarily too expensive… and complete dives that dump a mountain of deep fried crap onto your table with a glare for daring to even enter the place. The interesting thing is, he states, there is no sort of middle ground. No average restaurants. Based on an experience of about 5 days and 4 […]

"Boston Blog IV"

American beckons! Very smooth flight over. The films very Marie Antoinette (which wasn’t all that) and Man of the Year which was absolutely, and unexpectedly, awesome! Very very funny. I wasn’t going to bother watching it, until I heard everyone else on the plane laughing, so decided to plug in the headphones. Glad I did. I also had time to squeeze in some development on the plane for the demonstration the next day. Arrived in Kennedy on time, did the whole passport, baggage reclaim (one of the first off, unusually!), and customs, then throw my bag into the transfer pile […]

"Maligning Amsterdam"

I’ve now been told by two different people that I’ve got Amsterdam all wrong, and am basing my opinion the sleezy bit – which I guess is a fair enough comment. If I’d arrived in London for the first time on a wet February afternoon and spent an hour walking around either Kings Cross or Soho I wouldn’t have many positive comments to make. Anyway, if I’d got around to implementing comments, the one below from handee2001 would have appeared (instead of which it arrived by e-mail): Give it a second go it you can. The area directly around the […]

"Boston Blog III"

I’m afraid I was very dull at Amsterdam, and checked in to the nearest hotel, in this case the Sheraton. I considered getting a train into town to find one there, but I didn’t know how the trains worked, and I had all my bags with me, so the Airport Sheraton it was. Very nice too – best of all it meant I could dump my bags in my room, and decide what to do unfettered. In any case, there is something very civilized about getting up, packing a few bits and pieces, and then strolling down the corridor to […]

"Boston Blog II"

This entry was more wry the first time I wrote it, but it appears to have vanished without a trace so I’m not feeling wry anymore. Probably not a bad summary of the whole trip, actually!! That said, the trip started off ok, really – in as much as “starting” means “getting to the airport in time to check-in”. I had a taxi booked for 04.30 in order to get to Leeds /Bradford for 5am, in order to get the 7am flight to Amsterdam. Taxi duly arrived, very easy journey to the airport. “Good,” thought I. “Plenty of time to […]

"More Madeira Musings"

One thing I forgot to mention was that we were there for the start of Lent, which of course meant Shrove Tuesday – Mardi Gras! To mark this event, there was a carnival in Funchal which we all went to. It was actually quite fun – lots of people walked by, or came by on floats, and they were all dressed up in costumes. These seemed to split between general sex/horror (men in drag, Grim reaper), society references we didn’t understand (the tramps’ parade, and lots of scarecrows), and political messages, particularly a lot of stuff to do with health […]

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