Wednesday, March 31, 2010


New stuff

Finished a document that I'm rather proud of today: we'll see how it goes down. I also got more fully involved with the company's Center [sic] of Excellence. There's a balance there between the work that's billable, the pure CoE work and other work that my boss wants to happen, but that's all good.

In London tomorrow, rather than at the cathedral for the blessing of oils, but that's rather how things go when you have a full-time secular job.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010


All tired

Got some good work today, though not quite as much as I'd hoped: Jo took a while to get back to sleep, though it wasn't her fault. I'm working on a discussion paper for work which I think should get an interesting response. I wrote one which I'm now editing down: my boss reckoned it was worth focussing it down a bit, and he knows the company better than I do, so I'm taking his advice.


Monday, March 29, 2010


A child in a red top

Sometimes things touch you. Today, on East Croydon station, there was a child - a girl, somewhere between 13 and 18, I guess - wearing a red hooded top, who was weeping and weeping into a mobile phone. I was struggling with approaching her - along with all the dangers that brings - when she vanished as I turned around. I don't know what the problem was: whether it was something which, tomorrow, will be gone, and healed, or whether it was something with which she'll always be coming to terms, but I had one of those experiences.

I wonder if anyone else saw her. I wonder if I did the right thing. All I can do is pray. For her, and for all who are afflicted by grief tonight.


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Shredding. Frogs

Separate activities, you'll be pleased to hear. We bought a garden shredder today, and I managed to clear lots of old garden waste, as well as cutting back - and shredding - the second buddleia. In between these tasks, I sat and watched somewhere between 25 and 35 frogs who are using our pond as a place to lay their eggs. And, of course, fertilise them. I'd never realised how busy - and loud - they'd be during the middle of the day, but they were really rather active. It was really fascinating, and Moo and the girls also spent lots of time watching them.

We have _lots_ of frog-spawn. I mean lots.

This morning, I went to the 0800 service at Great Yeldham. Keith, our rector, has been a very good friend over the years, and he's retiring in May, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to get to a service that he was taking.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010


Haverhill and Gosfield

(backposting) Haverhill: I went there to pick up some dry-cleaning, but popped into the church there, where I was delighted to run into my good friend Janice, the curate and a Newfy owner. Had a good chat, and then headed off to meet everyone else at Freeport.

On getting back home after lunch, I went to the first hour or so of Geoff's leaving do. He's moving on from being incumbent at Gosfield and Greenstead Green. He's been a wise counsel and friend, and I'll miss him. I think he's going on to fresh challenges which will suit him well.

Tonight was the last of Jo's ballet shows this year, and Moo was planning to watch it from the front, but Mel wasn't feeling great, so Moo managed the dressing room again while Kate and Mac watched from the front. I had to stay at home and look after Miri, so wasn't really available to help out. Luckily, there's a DVD, so Moo can watch at her leisure.

In fact, I went to bed not long after Miri, and was in bed by 0850 (though I comforted myself with the knowledge that the same time will be 0950 tomorrow, as the clocks go forward tonight).

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Friday, March 26, 2010


Jo's show

(backposting) Jo's show tonight, so I needed to get back in good time, as we weren't expecting Kate and Mac (my parents-in-law) until after Moo was due to take Jo off to Halstead. I managed to get away OK, although, in the end, K & M arrived only 5-10 minutes after me.

Miri was a darling, and went to bed very well, and I had a lovely meal with Kate and Mac. Moo and Jo didn't get back till around 1045, and Jo was completely shattered. She actually fell asleep as she undid her seatbelt: I've never seen anything like it!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010


I've never been to Wellingborough

(backposting) Before today, that is. Was hoping to see my friend Gary, but he wasn't available. It was quite a drive, too, which wasn't much fun, but I had a pretty productive day with a customer. And I'll be back tomorrow, too.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Into London again

(backposting) Ooh, so busy. And so into London. A meeting with a customer - in fact, an important presentation, and it went rather well.

I'm enjoying the breadth of work that's happening at the moment, and it sounds like we've got something else coming up soon, hopefully. There's also the question of whether I'm going to be off to Australia or not. And for how long. We'll see.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Lucid Beta 1

(backposting) Good old Ubuntu is getting towards Lucid, and today I took beta 1. I've been on the alphas for a while, and they've been going pretty well, so all's good.


Monday, March 22, 2010


A bun in the oven

You just can't trust your employees. Mel's only gone and got herself pregnant: I can't think how. Well, I can, but enough. She's known (and we have) for a while, but she had a scan today, and she's found out that she's 11 weeks gone. I'm very, very much looking forward to seeing the pictures.

We're so lucky to have such a good nanny - and friend - and although she absolutely didn't need to, she told us a couple of weeks ago that she was pregnant. We're so pleased, and fully support her. Just wait till she tells the girls tomorrow!

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Sunday, March 21, 2010


Emergency, ice-cream and barbecue

I was due to preach at and celebrate the 0930 Holy Communion at Greenstead Green this morning, and pulled up at the church at 0901, in good time. There were more cars than I would have liked, and as I came past the church noticeboard, I noticed that it was a 0900 start... Ah. Geoff, who'll be leaving soon, kept things going until I was vested, and he took the first part of the service. I then preached, and as I preached, I saw that one of the congregation seemed to be in tears, head in hands. I finished the sermon, and went to check that she was OK. And then called an ambulance: she wasn't in tears, but feeling very faint. Geoff took the rest of the congregation up to the choir, and finished off the service with a few prayers and a blessing, rather than completing the Eucharist. I coordinated with the Emergency First Responder who turned up very quickly, and the ambulance crew, who weren't far behind him. We heard from the crew then that her blood pressure had got very low, but they'd stabilised it, and she was doing better. They then took her to hospital, and hopefully she'll be OK.

So, got home, and the girls had ice-creams while we sat outside in the sunshine. A glorious day, so we headed off and bought some products to clean the barbecue, some meat and some sausages. Barbecue time! We even ate outside, and then gardened afterwards. It's lovely to start back on the garden. I'm hugely into gardening an sich, but I don't mind it, and it's lovely to be able to start using the garden again.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010


Rugby, ballet, rugby

I was a good godfather this morning, and went to Morg's very first rugby tournament, at which he was playing for his school. He played in all four games, and although they didn't win any of them, they were the B team, and all a year or so younger than their opponents. A number of games were lost mainly on speed and size. Anyway, I shouted loudly, and was proud of my godson.

In the afternoon, it was the dress rehearsal (paid, though - for charity) for Jo's ballet show. The extra year since the last one really showed, and she was much more convincing than last time. She was a Tellytubby, a pixie, a Victorian urchin, a pearly queen, did a tap thing, and was part of a "going to Barbados" swimming costume thingy. I had Miri in the audience, and sent Moo texts throughout, some of which she felt able to read out to the other mums and parents backstage.

And now we're watching the rugby. England are 7-9 down to France at the moment.

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Friday, March 19, 2010


Sport Relief

Just give.


Thursday, March 18, 2010


"Toddler" and "Vomit"

(backposting) These are never two words that you want to associating with each other of a morning. Unluckily... Poor Miri. Anyway, it seems to have helped a lot - as did the 2 hour sleep she had in the morning.

I headed into London in the morning, and had a very productive day. A couple of things came up which I thought were going to be a nightmare, but both of them turned out OK. And I was able to help a number of other people with issues, too, which is always rather pleasing.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Chickenpox - everywhere

Poor Miri; she's really suffering. As of this afternoon, she's got spots in her mouth and throat, too. I don't really expect her to last the night - by which I mean sleep through, of course! - but that's fine. If she's poorly, she can sleep with one of us.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010



(backposting) Well, it was a lovely day, and I needed to do some deep thinking, so I went for a walk. The birds, at least, think that spring has sprung. Oh, and the walk worked, too: I had several very good ideas, I think. I do love my job.


Monday, March 15, 2010



Well, it's probably been coming for a while: Miri has chickenpox. It does explain her being off colour recently.

Oh, and this morning, the girls were awake a bit early, but stayed in their room. And when I went in, I found Jo reading to Miri. And she was reading a proper book, on her own, for the first time. What we've been calling a "chapter book": one of these. Not great literature, but well done her.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010


Mothering Sunday

(backposting) A mug each from the girls, some flowers from Jo (via her pre-school), some other bits and pieces. And I got my Mum a leather cover for her new netbook. I went with Mum and Dad and the girls to church, and I'd like to say that Moo had a quiet time at home, but she used the new hoover (well, Dyson) we bought at Freeport yesterday, did some cleaning and put the food on.

Lovely lamb shoulder for lunch, but Miri completely lost it, and wouldn't eat a bit. Jo was a star, and lovely big sister, looking after Miri and calming her down while the rest of us finished our food.

In the afternoon, Moo took Jo to her ballet rehearsal, and my parents headed off home. Miri and I went out in the garden, where she played, and I did some cutting down of brambles and buddleia. Then in (when it started raining), some puzzles, books and TV. Got the girls to bed well, and I went upstairs for a bath at 2040: needed an early night.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010


Haircut - and a lovely meal

(backposting) You don't want to know about my haircut, do you? Well, I had one, anyway, so there.

In the evening, Moo and I went out for a lovely meal at Scutchers. Wine-wise, we had a lovely Pouilly Fumé and a beautiful Fleurie (Domanie de Madone). I also had an interesting "black muscat": a red dessert wine - though it tasted like a standard white wine, with a little extra something. It was great to have some unbounded time with Moo, just to chat and enjoy each other's company, with some good food and wine. Usually we only have a little time over lunch or coffee, and we need to be back to look after the girls, but as my parents were looking after them, we had as much time as we needed.

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Friday, March 12, 2010


Birthday and Chicken pie

Thanks to Rick Stein, Delia and Good Housekeeping, I came up with a chicken and asparagus pie this evening (yes, I used bought puff pastry). I was lovely, and we ate it all up between us. My parents are here for the weekend, so there were more people to share it with.

It's also Moo's 36th birthday today. I got her presents from the girls ("A Brief Encounter" and the Paolo Nutini album - which I'd confused with another artist), and I gave her a Wii game that we can play with the girls. Mel had made her a set of blueberry muffins instead of a cake, as per instructions, and my parents gave her a set of knitting books that she seems very happy with. I've been working very hard today, but we went out for lunch, and I hope she had a good birthday. I'm taking her out for a nice meal tomorrow night, as my parents will be baby-sitting. Where to go...?

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Actual illness

(backposting) All right, so Jo was properly ill today, poor thing. Real throwing up. So she had a day at home, and Mel managed Miri. On a couple of occasions I came and worked downstairs with a very quiet and compliant Jo, so Mel could deliver/collect Miri from pre-school.

Sounds like Moo needed restraining in a meeting this afternoon. Sometimes I wish I could there. Other times I come to my senses and am glad I'm not.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Jo's 2nd parents' evening

And this time, we took her with us. She's a bright kid, and has the same problem that I had: once she's mastered something, she's not that interested in following it through. So doing things like practising her writing is an issue. We'll get there.

On a different note, I now seem to have completed my move from ENTJ to INTJ. When I first took a Myers-Briggs test (or style test), I was firmly E-, a few years ago I moved to being borderline E-/I-, and now I'm I-. I think that's good for me, I have to say.


Monday, March 08, 2010


London time

A day in London. An early start, and a morning with a customer where it wasn't clear whether things were going to work out or not. But in the end, with help from Mike, one of our support guys, we got it sorted. Good thing.

Bought Mothering Sunday cards for Moo and mum, and a present for Moo. And a very nice new coat for me. It was reduced: what can I say?


Sunday, March 07, 2010


Pentlow church
Originally uploaded by MikeCamel

I took the 1115 Holy Communion service at Pentlow this morning, which I'd not visited before. A good service and welcome. I preached - as I did last week, though in a different church - on how "doing" Lent isn't always easy, and how finding belief can be hard, though we're not the first (look at Mark 9:24).

In the afternoon, I spent some time doing a little gardening. Miri was with me, and played around outside - Moo had taken Jo to her latest ballet show rehearsal.

And there are other pictures, too: have a look at Flickr.

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Saturday, March 06, 2010


*Bzzzzzzzt* We apologise for the interruption

Normal service should now be resumed. Blogger announced about a month ago that there were going to cease supporting FTP anymore. So, I thought I'd try moving to SFTP, but when I tried to rearrange things, it turned out that I couldn't set that up correctly either, and nor could I return to FTP. Thought about a variety of fixes, and decided to set up a redirect from the old site to here, so you'll now fine Mike's Musings at Not perfect, but I didn't want to relinquish control of the domain, so that's it from here on in.

From the first post, there's not been a single day without an entry up till now. Some of them have been backposting, and that'll probably continue, but there's always been a posting. I'm afraid that a month is too much to make up, and it's been a useful hiatus, I think. I was half-wondering about stopping blogging, but I've missed being able to comment, chat, gossip, whatever, so this has strengthened my resolve to keep blogging on a daily basis. It's a discipline, and sometimes a chore, but I think it's worthwhile.

Of particular interest and relevance? Oh, I don't know: I'm getting over a nasty bout of cellulitis, which I'd not had before, and would prefer not to have again. Painful, and not just that, but a proper infection, not like gout, which I originally thought it was. Had to take some time off, and I'm still not 100%.

Finished off a scarf: I'll post pictures soon. Managed to reverse both the picture of Tux the Penguin (which doesn't matter) and the "Linux" lettering (which does), but it's done, and I'm really not reknitting over 3 feet of yarn to sort it out.

Girls well, Moo well, good birthday party for Kate and Jojo, at which I gave Jo my Dell laptop (suitably "pinked up").

Glad to be back.

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