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This happened near by

Apr
19
I am here in Sofia. Saw no sign of a football match though when I went through this tube stop twice last night. Did see police near the tube entrance and exits.
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Paul Clarke's blog - I live and work in Hythe near Folkestone, Kent. Married to Clare and father to two, I am a software engineer, and I do mostly javascript, nodejs, python, ruby, and php. I like pubs, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, lego, and time travel.

Sofia work trip

Apr
19
Fine drive up to the airport, nice to be driven, chatted about work but in a good way. No hold ups so at Luton a bit early. Remembered to take everything out of my pockets this time so breezed through security and then to Friska for a wrap and a coffee. Flying with Wizzair which is super budget so shunted through the next but into a very crowded seat. Strangely the person who was sat next to me disappeared before take off. I thought he was in the loo but he did not reappear. Is this suspicious?

Got my book and headphones and water so thought I was settled for the flight but a) going into aeroplane mode turns off the Bluetooth, so am allowed to use my wireless headphones? B) I left my glasses on the overhead locker and now the one remaining person on my route is asleep. Decided to risk the headphones, not report the missing passenger, nor (shockingly) have a beer. Traveling with two colleagues, one hinted at going to the pub but the other said "it's funny I never have a drink before flying" which put a bit of a damper on it. I'm not sat with the colleagues, but still going to hold off on the beer. Partly because of have to pay for it myself.

Will get to Sofia about 7pm local time so will hopefully find good when we get there, despite not being with local colleagues tonight. Not sure if we'll go into town proper yet, I hope so.

The stewardesses have a sign language, pointing at the eyes and then shivering means "bring some ice". I am struggling on without the glasses trying to read, some Montalbano short stories. My eyesight comes and goes. I'll put the headphones back on until my row-mate wakes up.

Plenty of turbulence about 16:45 UK time as I think we went over a range of hills. We must be approaching Bulgaria, I think this happened last time too.

Everyone applauded on landing.

Got a taxi from the office in the arrivals lounge, this have us the reg of a branded taxi to meet outside, rather than one of the touting minicabs. Meant it cost us approx 8 Lev (4 quid) to the hotel instead of whatever we got charged last time (瞿20 maybe?). Taxi driver drive it like he stole it, eager to get back for a more worthwhile fare maybe.

Hotel is big, I am on the 11th floor but room is not impressive. Got the tube 3 stops into the centre to look for food. Found Cactus which had an English menu outside with a vegan section. Quite a nice, place mine was only a plain salad though. Struggled to find another bar open so headed back to the hotel area to try Brick. They were about as welcoming as last time, we just called last orders, you can have one drink... Nice to sit and chat, even though only about work.

I barely slept at all, and am up again by 5am UK time. Too early to meet my work mates but don't want to risk falling asleep now and being late for the day.
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Harbour Arm Sunday

Apr
16
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It was nearly a nice day on Sunday so we headed to the Harbour Arm looking for food... Clare had heard that Dr Legumes was open, and so it was! It is more of a fancy menu sit down place, than the burger hatch they had before. We saw the sample menu and it looks great, but we were not intending to try and feed the kids there, and it was just too busy / popular for us to mess about with takeaway, so we'll try it again another day... We went along the Harbour Arm and each ate in different places, one got a burger from That Burger which looked good, one got kids sausage and chips from Not Just Ribz that looked less so and Clare and I both got food from Baba Ji.

From the people you brought you Coppers and the Holy Pundit, Baba Ji brings the flavours of Indian street food to the Harbour Arm.


We had Vada Pav, Medu vada, and a vege wrap and all were really good.

I went fully Harbour Arm and got some Docker sourdough on the way back too, though from Folkestone Wholefoods. Very tasty bread. I also got some Amarillo hot sauce from sauce shop, though I think that might be the thing that has given me a funny tummy today. It's pretty good though so I'm going to keep on eating it.
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Weather is looking good for this week

Apr
16
Good weather here and even better weather in Sofia where I will be visiting quite soon.
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Returned my Google Home

Apr
16
Think there was a fault with my Google Home, the sound quality was quite distorted and flappy. I took it back to Currys and they were not keen to replace it, they tested it in store and it seemed ok there. I had to really insist to get it swapped, but they did it in the end. I must have seemed pretty shifty, as I couldn't help them test that one as I'd forgotten my phone, and I couldn't get a refund as I didn't have the original card I'd bought it on. I only really wanted to swap it. Got there in the end. I think the sound is better on the new one, but I might just be imagining it.
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Have been going spending crazy with the share money

Apr
15
Well, sort of. I have just bought a new iron and ironing board cover, really treating ourselves. Have thought about buying some more things, but I know as soon as I do the washing machine will blow up or something so best to just keep it as rainy day money.
I am going to buy a Nintendo Switch but we have settled on this being a birthday present, as number one son's birthday coming round quickly enough. We're not going to say "this is birthday and christmas in one" though it would be an extravagant gift, but we might get away with saying it's half for him and half for the other one's birthday five months later, and then spend slightly less when his birthday comes around.

Number one son was creeping up behind me while I was writing that, hope he did not read it.

Speaking of share money though, have a very odd one from work, there is another management buyout and as they put it "The Board are ... giving you the opportunity to monetise half of your shares as part of this transaction, whilst still retaining half of your shares" - I think this means they will buy half my shares next month, but at more than double the price I was expecting. That's how it looks anyway so I think I can cash in what I thought was the full amount, while still retaining half the shares. Sounds good. I will have to pay for the next five years holidays up front! Or at least book next years holiday asap and I guess pay the rest off the mortgage. Clare would like me to put it to the extension...
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Fitted in a trip to the Inn Doors

Apr
15
Got out of work in a timely fashion on Friday, so at the Inn Doors for opening time and had a relaxing couple of pints.
Met someone who lives in the very fancy flats between here and Sandgate, and he and his wife seemingly own it as just a weekend place, very nice.
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Great day out at Bedgebury Pinetum

Apr
15
Glorious day on Saturday, which was a stroke of luck, as we had committed to Go Ape at Bedgebury. Only Thing One and Clare doing it as the other one was just too short. A fantastic day though, a lovely place to spend the day, loads of fresh air, and they had a brilliant time on the treetop course. On the way back went to Ashford to try and do a bit of shopping and get some food. Somehow I lost my bank card at some point this week, so I was hampered slightly, but still managed to get some new shoes for Thing Two and a Pizza Express. Only found out while we were at Bedgebury that my card was missing, so panicking a little bit, was someone rinsing my account? No idea where the card is still, but it's cancelled and there were no rogue transactions on my account.
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Paul Clarke's blog - I work and live in Seabrook near Folkestone, Kent. married to Clare and father to two, I am a code engineer, and I do mostly javascript, nodejs, python, ruby, and php. I like pubbing, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, lego, and time travel.

Paul Clarke

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