Pauly's Soapbox


Twenty years ago today I was at 60ft Dolls

University of Surrey Students Union
60ft Dolls 7.2(10 1 votes, 0, Pauly) 4th Feb
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I loved the 60ft Dolls they were ace. This was another freebie at the University of Surrey, a Sunday night special. I drove up, must have been in the VW van, almost certainly with the same friends I went to the other gigs in this series from. Friends I haven't seen since then probably.

Speaking of VWs though, Dad has had enough of the money pit JPD 914K and it's coming BACK! It'll be my liability now instead of his. Probably, if we can get it safely from his house to my house in one piece. I have been offered a couple of opportunities at work today, one is some overtime, maybe 10 hours over the next couple of weeks, and the other is a secondment to our other (still local) office, which will pay a little bonus. So if I get both of those then I can afford to keep the beetle going for a while... Here's me and it, back in the day:

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Bright and sunny day today

Actually a nice day today, bright and sunny and not as windy as the last couple of days. My temperature monitor shows it getting up to about fifteen degrees at lunchtime, but I think something's wrong. It's in direct sunlight and must be making a little sun trap, magnifying the heat or something. I'll have to move it, which might mean extending the wires on the temperature probe.

Started a two week stint of working from home today, an experiment to see how effectively we can all work remotely. Suits me I love working from home. Not sure everyone is playing along properly though, I did a few video-meetings today using google hangouts and several people were in normal meeting rooms at work. It's demo day, so fair enough, but will see how it goes tomorrow.

Not heard yet about the secondment or overtime yet. The latter should be in the bag, hope I can find time to do some, but at least one other person is up for the secondment.
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Popbitch at companies house

Look I really am a shareholder it was not all a dream.
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Rubbish step count today

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My step count has been good since I've had this fitbit, even since I updated it to correctly report on my dominant arm, instead of my other arm. Thought that might have been giving me an artificially high count for a while, but I've still been doing the arbitrary 10,000 steps since then. To do this I need to have done about 6500 by the end of lunch. Today, in the office, too busy to go out, I'm at 2500 by this point. I should have been walking instead of writing this.
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Twenty years ago today I was at Mike Flowers Pops

Portsmouth Pyramids
Mike Flowers Pops 2nd Feb
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See, they weren't all classics. Mike Flowers Pops were a spoof band, they did an easy listening version of Oasis' Wonderwall, and that's it. I heard that in a previous incarnation they were A Tribe Of Toffs who did John Kettley Is A Weatherman but there's no mention of that on Wikipedia which is surely the source of all fact.

This was a Portsmouth Venue Campaign show. I didn't pay to go, I would have been handing out flyers or taking tickets or something. The BBC were there trying to report live from the show for some reason. They were calling in on a satellite phone, or trying to, but it wouldn't work, so they reported in using the payphone in the lobby of the Pyramid Centre.

I think I also have a ticket or a poster or something that says Shed Seven was on this night. One or other of the dates must be wrong. I know I was definitely at Mike Flowers Pops
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It's so windy out it has made my ears hurt

Just went for a lunchtime walk along the seafront, and it's SO WINDY today. Is this a bit of Storm Henry? Looks like that should only be affecting Scotland.
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Cracked open my home brew

Latest home brew is very good! I thought it might not be, as I've not left it to condition for long, and the temperature during the brewing process was a bit inconsistent. It's good though, just my kind of beer. It's a bit fizzy coming out of the barrel, which is a good sign as it means it has fermented further. It's not at all sweet, so that's a good sign it all worked. I have no hydrometer so couldn't measure it's alcohol content but I'm happy with it.
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Splendid Saturday in London

Natural History Museum

We did an overnighter to London, mainly for the purpose of letting the boys spend their christmas Hamley's vouchers. We also did the Natural History Museum and Science Museum.

First good thing was the price of the train tickets. In advance I thought it'd be forty quid each for Clare and I and the boys go free but when we got to the station in person there was a twenty-five pound ticket for us, and a pound for Harry. That's the high speed and everything, bargain. And because the line between Folkestone and Dover is closed, there's free parking at Folkestone West too, so we left the car there overnight.

We stayed at a Premier Inn, all in one room, which worked about as well as can be expected. I like Premier Inn, they're comfortable and consistent. Checked in early, dumped our bags and went to the museums. Dinosaur bit was closed but it was fine, Tommy still saw the Diplodocus and Stegosaurus and the animatronic sleeping dinosaur, and even a Tyranosaurus Rex skull. Plus all the manky animal remains and things. They loved it. We took a packed lunch and ate it there, for further frugality.

We had time to go to the Science Museum too, my favourite, mostly they like the Garden in there, the interactive play area with the water and building blocks.

We had dinner at Rainforest Cafe, I'll complete that in another post...

The boys loved travelling around by tube and bus. I think I beat the oyster card too, on my last journey I got a warning "there was not enough to cover this journey we'll take it when you next top up"... I have no plans to top up the oyster card again! It's the same price using contactless I think, so I have come out in profit haven't I? Unless I paid a deposit for the card, maybe... I'll hang on to it.

Nice fast easy journey back too, and the car was still where we left it, bonus.
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Had a lunch at Tibits

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We took the boys to Tibits for lunch, a nice contrast from the Rainforest cafe. Here it's all vege, lots of vegan, we thought there'd be more that would appeal to the boys. With hindsight, not the best choice for them, Tommy barely ate a thing, though Harry enjoyed the vege chili. I'd had a huge breakfast in the hotel, hash browns and mushrooms and beans, so didn't eat so much lunch but what I did have was delicious.

We were planning to come here when we go to Richard Herring in a couple of weeks, but now we've "done it" we might go somewhere that is less biased to my tastes, go somewhere that's a treat for Clare too.

Right outside Tibits is where the cover of Ziggy Stardust was shot, so there's a big tribute to David Bowie there.
31 Jan Comment / reply

I had beer! At Kings Cross Parcel Yard

Got back from our meal about half eight or so, and we had the same plan as the last time we stayed in a hotel room together. I said I'd sit in the bathroom until the boys fell asleep while Clare went down to the bar, then I'd go out for a bit when she came back. Actually Clare offered to sit in then while I went out instead, very kind. This was the breaking of my dryanuary booze fast, so quite exciting. I thought about a pub called The Fellow right by the hotel and briefly about trying the Water Rats but remembered that the Parcel Yard in Kings Cross was quite good so headed there. And it was great! Much bigger than I remembered, I must only have popped in briefly before. It's all Fullers so I had a couple of old Gales beers, and they were good. Took my MagPi magazine with me, but it was too dim and I am too blind to read it. When I got back to the hotel the boys were sleeping nicely, and after finishing Clare's wine, so was I. Tommy was up again before 7am, nice one...
31 Jan Comment / reply

Rainforest Cafe is disappointing

We took the boys for a treat meal to Rainforest Cafe. I'd really not bother again though. The decor is ok, but the food is poor. It's pretty expensive, that is mostly the location. It's tacky, but will appeal to some children. It was just about what we expected really.
31 Jan Comment / reply

Paul Clarke's blog - I live and work in Seabrook near Folkestone, Kent. married to Clare and father to Harry and Tommy, I am a web dev, and I do js, Node, php, and ruby. I like pubs, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, lego, and time travel...