Monday, July 31, 2006

Reason why I like working in Penzance part 1

On my walk from the office to the sea front

Above is a view of the sort of perk that helps ease the pressure of work, part of my 2 minute walk to the seafront.

2 minutes from my office

It really is that close.


I was listening to a play on Radio 4 this afternoon, August Birthdays by Frances Byrnes, about a woman remembering things from her past . At one point there was music reminiscent of the time being remembered, it made me think of my dad's ice cream chimes. His tune was The Happy Wanderer but Greensleeves came into my head; a few minutes later they played it in the background.

Not major but syncronicity in a small way.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

St. Erth Concert Band

St. Erth Concert Band on Penzance Promenade July 2006

Above is a shot of the band - I didn't like to get too close so this is a grab shot from where we sat.

Last night on the Prom

We are sitting on the Prom listening to St.Erth Concert Band. It has been a beautiful Greek day and the evening sun is warm on the back of my neck; the most gentle of breezes is passing across my arm and carrying the music across the bay.

More people are gathering as the evening passes, the different tunes drawing people for reasons known only to themselves. It's somehow comforting when amidst strange one can share a smile during a particular piece of music.

St.Erth Concert Band are different to what may be called a traditional brass band, as their name may suggest, they comprise of a mixture of brass and woodwind instruments.

We found out from our best friend W. that they were playing here on the Prom, loolcing out on Mounts Bay, St. Michael's Mount standing proud in the distance. Unfortunately this is the next to last concert they are holding here, for the foreseeable future, as I understand it.

All in all a beautiful experience.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Beating the airport blues

What do I do when stuck at the airport with only floorspace available? Why I carry on blogging of course. That's an ordinary rucksack you see because 1) it's less conspicuous for carrying all those precious gadgets 2) I knew it would definately meet the airline size guide for hand luggage 3) It doesn't matter as much if it gets a little scuffed.

It was so hot at the airport moving between terminals I could have jumped for joy when I saw the Starbucks sign. Here I have a shot of my life savers 1) My x51v that, when it wasn't online allowing me to blog, provided reading material as well as audiovisual 2) A vente Banana Caramel Frappaccino - I didn't think anything would come close to the frappes I had in Corfu Town until I had this coffee based version instead of the cream one. I got so caught up in enjoying my drink and pda-ing I almost missed the call to board. managed to get a great aisle seat near the front and had a relaxing run back listening to the latest TWIT.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Went the day well?

It was a good day. We have a great team, a range of responsibilities and everyone holding their own. I always have got a buzz from talking to clever people and today is no exception. If there's one thing the project I work for has given me it's scope to stretch myself.

My biggest concern was not being involved in an Investors in People review right on when Cathy and I are doing things and I manged to avoid that. My biggest concern now is probably staying awake until I am on the plane home. I finally got to sleep on top of the bedccovers around 2.30am, I was soooo glad of the fan in my room.

Now I hardly dare blog this bit but the journey was smooth to the station thanks to Paula wh organised a taxi that made Kings Cross in no time. I have come into the city as I felt it the safest option in case the rails had melted again. This way I felt confident that a bus would be laid on if the train didn't run. What I didn't want to experience was getting to Tottenham Hale, find that the Stansted Express wasn't running and be sent all the way to Liverpool Street before heading out again.

I just missed one train at the station but made the next. A kind lady guard came through the carriage I was on to say that there was airconditioning in the first 4 carriages. The train has left on time.

When I get to Stansted I will probably go through the rigmarole of having my rucksack emptied, owing to the large number of leads and accessories I carry. My travelling tip of the day is this: put all your gadgets, accessories and odds and ends into sealable plastic bags; when someone empties your bag there is no mess and packing/re-packing is real easy, it's good for preventing tangling with the leads This means it will be best to checkin near enough straight away and go through to where
I can sit with a wifi connection and surf till my plane. One thing I noticed while passing through Stansted was that having logged on to a Cloud hotspot and chosen to roam via BT my x51v was a bandwidth tart and jumped on a stronger service after I had moved 6 feet or so. I will have to tether it to one provider next time.

Arrived at last

We arrived at Liverpool Street underground at around 12.45am, the buses actually drove down onto the mainline concourse. It was so late the underground stopped running at that precise time. There was nothing for it, I had to book a taxi.

I finally got in my room at 1.10am and am having a Cup of tea to wind down. The room is extremely hot but, grace of graces, an electric fan has been made available.

Now if I can only sleep.

It was going so well....


I arrived at Stansted having hardly noticed the journey as I was writing a blog entry. The Stowaway keyboard proved it's value once again, fitting perfectly the little pull down tray.

The seat I got was exactly what I wanted, an aisle seat not too far from the loos and with space for my bag directly above me - Ryanair my carrier is a low cost airline, where you grab a seat when you get on board. (One thing I noticed was that the Ryanair website allows online checkin for passengers who meet certain conditions - such as only having hand luggage. The concept is one where having checked in you can print a boarding card and bypass the front desk, going straight to the security/departure lounge when it is opened and, by probably having the lowest of boarding card numbers, you can get to the plane in the first 90 batch to choose the better seats.

I had toyed with the idea of a window seat to take photos but l have had my fill of shots of tiny pinpricks of light and shade depicting towns l don't know the name of. I also considered one of those seats by the emergency exits, in the middle of the plane but reckoned they would be full by the time l headed up the aisle from the back of the plane - the normal Newquay Ryanair procedure is to load boarding tickets 1 - 90 first, I was 107.

So good seat and good flight.

All there was left to do was catch my train to Tottenham Hale - the only stop other than London Liverpool Street. From there it's one stop on the tube and then I am within 5/10 minutes of the work's accommodation where I'm staying.

I bought my ticket earlier in the day on the Ryanair site. I saved some money and, while it was more expensive than the bus, I didn't want to go right into London.

As I made my way to the station an announcement was made. Apparently the train tracks melted today and were under emergency repair - a bus had been kindly laid on for us, unkindly it was only going to Liverpool Street. I would have to spend an extra hour going into London and back out again to Arsenal. I would have paid the much smaller fare if I had chosen to go into the capital, not paid 3 or 4 times as much!

We are currently on the Muggles version of the Night Bus, (for any Harry Potter fans out there), going at a similar speed.

The Finest of Weekends

So what is it that makes the weekend one that will stay in memory for some time to come?

Getting your first phone call from a godsons - not a quick chat during a parent intiated call but a dialed it himself, first to speak sort of communication. I am not saying it was the easiest of conversations but, then again, that's part of what made it special. He really wanted to get his message across and this he did - once he had done so I was passed to mum but that didn't matter in the slightest, if anything it seemed very businesslike almost as if he was passing me to his assistant.

Joining said Godson on after he has taken part in an event and being personally invited to attend a concert he is part of.

Having the birthday present brought out unprompted to tell you about how he has been using it.

Getting to go for a stroll with him and his dad around the harbour and getting included in the adventure as one of the boys.

Discovering a cave that I never knew existed on our adventure and seeing places in a way I hadn't seen for more than 25 years.

Spending a day unexpectedly with best friends.

Laughing and relaxing as you only can with best friends, including getting to bounce about on a trampoline far later than was wise.

Enjoying the balmy evening air as you walk home with your beautiful wife on your arm.

I don't think I have done it full justice but these are some of the reasons why I can look back and say that is was the finest of weekends.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Zooomr envy

Zooomr launch delayed

People depress me sometimes. As you may have seen via the link, the launch of version 2 of Zooomr has had to be delayed because of a DOS.

This is a service that has given something to the community, big or small, rather than target a few of the more popular blogs; obviously envy abounds. Still, I for one will still be there for blogger for longer than the DOS.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Komboloi Museum in Nafplion

I just came across a nice piece about Aris museum in the Greek town of Nafplion (Modern Greece's first capital). It's definately somewhere I'd like to visit.

I have read Aris book on the history of Komboloi and found it fascinating.

Fine Day at the beach

Took a break this lunchtime with some of the folks at the office. We went to a place new to me, called Polkerris.

A small beach with a cafe, pub and shop looking down on it. Very few people on the beach, but I guess the schools "up country" have only just broken up and the local ones haven't. Also, there seemed to be an infestation of a form of sand fly and lady birds around. The took a particular liking to S, to the extent that she had to buy another t-shirt to replace the yellow sand-like one she came in.

A good break but the time went so quickly.

Polkerris, place worth coming back to in the future when the bugs are dormant.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Views of the beach at Loe Bar near Porthleven

Some more photos with the help of the excellent Diarist programme.

Loe Bar pillbox This would have been set back further once upon a time, fortunately never used.

Are the cliffs in Porthleven that high? I wanted to give the impression that you could see the curvature of the earth.

We are so fortunate to have views like these right on our doorstep. For many years family of mine have walked these cliffs from one village to another. My father would have walked this route when courting my mother.

Looking back to Loe Bar and the route back to my father's village when he was growing up.

Looking back to Loe Bar

Update: Zooomr is 3 and a bit hours from it's version 2 launch and is closed a the moment so I can't rotate the picture but will do so tomorrow.

Views along the walk

Diarist comes to the rescueCliff top near Loe Bar without this it would have been a lot harder to post, as my email option seems to have broken.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Free Zooomr Account

Free Zooomr Pro Account

This is my picture from my Zooomr account Me at start of sponsored walk

I caught a reference on Josh Bancrofts blog to Zooomr the photo sharing site offer of a free Pro account to bloggers who create an account , post a photo, blog it and link back to their blog.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Some early P2 shots from the sponsored walk in memory of Mary

For some reason they seem to be missing. I'll post when I've worked out what's happening.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Starbucks Taunton

Here I am again, beginning to love the location for our Regional Health & Safety meetings. We have tried a few actual venues, in a bid to match cost and convenience, but the town itself has attractions for me. (Before anyone starts having untoward thoughts, I merely refer to the fact that Taunton has the closest Starbucks to West Cornwall. OK it might be a 3 and-a-bit hours drive, at legal speeds, from where I am but it is a comfortable place to have coffee that has wifi.

Last time I tried using my meter to gauge the best place to sit but this time I asked; the answer I got was "The transmitter is above the doorway to the toilets, so I guess somewhere along that wall [the wall from toilet door to where spoons etc are] over there", sometimes you cannot beat that human interface. I sat down at the table nearest the entrance to the toilets (I am not sitting outside of a cubicle - I'm not that obsessive...after all if the best signal was in the toilets I'd make myself comfortable in a stall. Here I get 4 bars out of five on my Kensington Wifi locator and that's a Normal strength (-44/0) signal according to the x51v's WLan utility. (For some reason I am unable to just turn on the wifi from the settings-WLan option or with the side button; the transmitter symbol does not appear at the top of the screen even though the green transmitting light is flashing and the Axim is picking up a signal - detecting the T-Mobile Access point plus another weak, locked one, called Sienna).

Egress is crawlking when it comes to checking updates. I can't use my email programme to check as I now use Flexmail and this hogs memory or sulks and everything grinds to a halt. I will post this and then try out a download or two of podcasts plus check my emails - the Cloud's offer shopuld be on now of ?11.99 per month for all you can eat wifi.

In memory of Mary

In memory of Mary

Getting ready to set off on a sponsored walk in memory of Mary Davies.

It's sunny with a breeze and good walking weather, I've my Axim, P910i for connect, new Nikon P2 camera (unboxing report later) - let's go.

The day is fine, some cloud but not enough to bring the worry of rain, despite what the weather people presaged. There is a healthy number of people gathered for the walk, both younger and older, a few on bikes. We are on foot, though we could possibly have borrowed a couple of bikes I think it is fairer that we walk, I also really enjoy walking Penrose Woods; it is a National Trust property and was left to the Trust by the previous incumbant whose family still reside there. The property has a rather grand country house and, as a child, I went there on a once to have tea though I hardly remember it now.

Penrose Woods sweep from Helston down to the sea on either side of the sand bar that separates Loe Pool from the sea. It is a mixture of woods on the Porthleven side and meadows on the far side of this. I am only taking pictures of us walking today (approximately 2 hours) but will endeavour to walk the whole circuit at this summer and take some shots to do it justice. [One of the toughest parts of landscape photography has to be the extremely early starts that are needed to do full justice to many views].

Later: I have taken some photos now and need to look at how I am going to transfer them for blogging purposes. Obviously, having bought the P2 with wifi capabilities I don't want to take the simple option of putting the SD card in a reader or this PDA, neither do I want to resort to the USB cord. The way I figure it, I should get into the habit of downloading the photos, tagging them and then push them up to flickr. If I get into a routine it should be easier to make use of the shots, the only downside being that I have to make a note of each shot's address if I am to include them in a post via Diarist. I could email the shots but blogspot seems to have developed a few quirks, one is ignoring emailed posts that contain both pictures and body text and also of ignoring emails from my Orange account.

I think I will post this before the photos if I get to the point where it's late Sunday night and I haven't cracked the wifi camera to computer thing.

About Me

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Cornwall, United Kingdom
A married Cornishman who is getting an inkling of what he wants to be when he grows up. I currently work for the NHS. [See bottom of page for Blog Archive and Links.]

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