Dear Diary... August 2018

Friday 31st August - End Of The First Week

So the final day of the first week in the new job, and all appears to have gone pretty well. I've managed to get myself onboard a number of weekly meeetings which means I feel part of the team, so all good there, and for most of today I've spent some time working on a lengthy report which details how many installations we have of all items in Add/Remove Programs, and indeed if they're actually compatible with Windows 10. Part of this reasoning is that for most business applications, there may be some dependencies which may not work, and in addition to that, there's also the understanding that we need to check for information security reasons too.

It's actually been good to cross check things as we go along too, and to be sure where I am and that's helped me get a better understanding of the business and how it all works. I definitely think that for me it's been a case of fitting in and getting to know the people that I work with, and also to be able to know what's doable and what isn't. I've already identified some things which could work better, but will need to tread carefully and take things one small baby step at a time. You can't change the world overnight, but you can change things little by little.

I also headed down to the staff café at lunch, balance loaded, as I knew it was the fish and chips on the Friday. And my, for the money it costs, it's rather good actually - a nice sized piece of battered haddock, with chips and mushy peas. Granted I'd rather have a plate than the recycled paper box it comes in (I must subscribe to the likes of We Want Plates sometime) but it's still very nice. In fact I'm going to make sure I get some balance topped up next week so I can do the same on the Friday, seems to work nicely actually.

It was then getting home on the train, with still the route on the tube to Farringdon then the train home (as I used to go from there) being the best way, and the quickest, with maximum air con and chances of a seat too. It worked out well as I could get home, ensure I picked up the case and camera bag, and then it was off from mine towards East Croydon station. I knew that the Victoria Line had issues so I got the train back to Farringdon and then tube to Euston Square, and up the lift and on the road to Euston. I was well in good time for the 2040 departure up to Manchester, so all good there.

On the whole it was a quiet-ish journey up on the train, with the soundtracks of Matt Gray's Reformation albums providing suitable ambience (make the Tusker Desert Theme tune of the day) - and helping the journey speed by as I headed up to Manchester Piccadilly, where I got a weekend tram ticket at the station and headed to The Love In My Heart's place, where she and Brian the cat were waiting for me - in fact Brian sat up and almost wanted me to give him a fuss and a love, awww. So August ends with an old job complete and a new job starting - and a new challenge ahead too.

Thursday 30th August - James and Shame

It was a nice surprise to arrive home from work and see a package from Amazon with my name on it. In fact this was some of the nice voucher I'd been given from my previous job as a leaving present, and so as such it was a case of ordering music I'd like to listen to and enhancing my collection somewhat. I must admit though that it's always good to keep up to date with what's out there and be able to enjoy music as much as I can - and there's still some great stuff to come out later this year from the likes of She Makes War and Kristin Hersh, so definitely a good one.

So I had two CDs inside my package: the first of which is the new James album "Living In Extraordinary Times", following an EP release earlier this year. On first listen, I can understand why "Coming Home (Pt. 2)" was the choice of single, it's classic James complete with Tim Booth's voice on fine form and a defiant chorus of "I'll be coming home" building perfectly to a crescendo and feeling somewhat uplifted. Definitely tune of the day for me and one that will carry me to Manchester over the course of this weekend, that is for sure.

I also had a second CD too which was the debut album from the post-punk band Shame, entitled "Songs of Praise". Of course that's actually some irony due to the fact that there's a fair few songs on there tinged with a touch of anger and a touch of the late great Mark E Smith of The Fall in the style that the album is delivered, especially vocally, but for one it's definitely an album to grab you by the proverbials and demand your attention. It's one of those which you may initially think "really?" but on second or third listen, it all falls into place.

Interestingly, a bit of trivia: the first three tracks on the album all last three minutes and thirty four seconds. Exactly. Not sure if that was intentional but certainly worthy of note. It made me think of an idea I had for an album once where all the short tracks on side one and the long tracks on side two - and in some ways David Bowie had also done that with the Low album - the short more accessible stuff on the first side and the more avant-garde longer film pieces (Warszawa especially) on side two.

Elsewhere it was the Champions League draw today, and I have to say that I was rather pleased with the draw that my Manchester City got. As Premier League Champions, we were in pot one and so avoided a lot of teams that way, so getting Shaktar Donetsk, Lyon and Hoffenheim was a rather good draw all round actually. Much better than Liverpool, who bizarrely were in pot three despite making the final last year, so got Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade. They should get through, but could have been easier. Man U on the other hand got Juventus, Valencia and Young Boys, with Tottenham getting Barcelona (some game that's going to be!) along with PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan. I'm already giving that one the group of death status..

Wednesday 29th August - Transport Justice

I had a good second day overall in the new job. One thing I'd been noted about was that you got a free breakfast item up to the value of £1.75 if you got in early before 8.30am. I thought I'd give that a go and managed to get in pretty early, and that was positive to see. Nice coffee and indeed a good egg and bacon barm added in, and swiped the card, and all good. I must admit it was quite nice in their café area chilled out and having some energy to consume and get ready for the day ahead.

In fact it proved to be a good day all round: we had the team meeting this morning and it was a good way of getting to understand some of the challenges that were being faced and in order to work out what would be a good way forward. I also spent a couple of hours with one of the team going through some of the stuff to do with SCCM and gave a few useful pointers in terms of where to look for things and what might be worth adding in terms of client settings to be reported on - and that was well received all round.

I finally had the admin account sorted this afternoon, so was able to log in with that and in addition run some required reporting from a SCCM point of view. What I'm able to see pretty easily is that it'd be a case of having to look at some of the resulting reports and then diagnosing it based on what my manager was after us getting. What I can see from the initial analysis was definitely a case of there may be more than is realised, but how much of that is actually used now, which I can back up with additional reporting later on. It's going to be an interesting time ahead I reckon. Tune of the day is the excellent "Talking Time" by Cabaret Voltaire for that reason..

One thing I would urge everyone to look at currently is a campaign for Transport Justice, so that every passenger has the right not to be discriminated against when taking public transport. There's been too many cases of passengers with disabilities being left behind on an aeroplane, not being allowed to board trains due to no guard or an unstaffed station with no assistance available. It's well out of order and for me, it needs to stop, and stop now. The problem is though that the Equality Act has to be tested in court before change happens, so a legal case needs to happen, hence the crowd funding is happening.

I would urge you that if you've received any Delay Repay refunds as of late that you seriously consider putting that towards funding it, and ensuring that a court case can not only be brought as needed, but the law effectively enforced, meaning that the likes of the Department for Transport and the self-styled Rail Delivery Group are called to account, especially their push for getting guards off trains and destaffing stations. Follow this link and do the same and give everyone their equal right to ride.

Tuesday 28th August - Starting All Over Again

So it was the start of my new job and the first day that I'd be working on Baker Street (cue Gerry Rafferty classic of the same name as tune of the day.) I had worked out a suitable route beforehand, and this actually meant that I'd be able to get a seat on the train and the tube, as the Metropolitan line would be going against the flow of the main traffic in and out of central London. Nice. So it was first of all off to Farringdon and then swap platforms to get the tube across to Baker Street, easy peasy. A few minutes' walk later and I was at my new offices.

I headed to reception and they had my security pass ready for me, and my new manager came to collect me from the first floor. He explained that the way I came in was the client facing entrance, and as such wasn't the one that we'd normally use. Instead he showed me the building layout and how the staff get in, and then from there a quick tour of the bits of the building I'd need to know, including the first floor staff restaurant on-site, all tea and coffee free and for the rest you top up the balance on the ID card if you need to and then use the ID card to buy stuff. The Love In My Heart told me lots of schools do that now in order to stop things like dinner ticket sales that used to happen when I was at secondary school.

It was then to the office and thankfully, even though we were hot desking, a desk had been reserved for me to make me feel welcome, a nice touch. And a work laptop too, which was all set and good to go, so once I logged in, I was then able to at least see that my email account had been sorted out, and that indeed I had all the accessories - wireless keyboard and mouse, and HDMI to VGA lead so I could hook up the laptop to the VGA displays on the desk, and that worked out pretty nicely overall. I was introduced to the rest of the main team I'd be working with, and that was pretty good overall to get to know people straight away.

Most of the first day was going through some of the induction check lists that I'd been sent by HR, including some online courses which I needed to do. Most of it was related to the business in question, so for us IT people that involved a case of brain in gear and using a common sense approach to get the answer correct. Thankfully some of this training was similar to one I'd done a few months ago at the last place, so definitely well worth sorting out there and getting some of those done, as well as adding my groups on Yammer (as they use that) as well as making sure I was in the relevant calendars and all that sort of stuff. I did have a problem sending email due to a document management system that is in use, but one of my new colleagues sorted that out for me - she was ace.

The day went by pretty quickly and then it was a case of taking tube then train home, and actually making sure I had a change of clothes to get out of my work outfit (shirt and trousers now folks, no more jeans etc for me in this job) but that did mean I could then settle in and watch the US Open on Amazon Prime on the telly. In fact I saw Novak Djokovic come back in the third set from 4-2 down to win the set 6-4, and then win the next set 6-0 to take the match. Awesome stuff as he'd found his form accordingly.

Monday 27th August - Quayside Queueing

It was nice to have a relaxing breakfast with The Love In My Heart and have Brian the cat being all cute, rolling around in his play tunnel and then wanting to play ball as well. He did look absolutely adorable so that's something, and for me definitely one thing I'm going to miss during the week. I have to admit that the weekend had gone by far too quickly and I knew that I'd be heading homewards later on in the day. But first, it was nice to chill out with some superb breakfast and then get ourselves ready to head out.

And head out we did - and on the trail of bees, but also to head to the Lowry Outlet Mall in Salford Quays as well. So we diverted round the back of Moss Side and towards Old Trafford and located the bee outside St Bride's Church in Old Trafford, so once that was done, it was onwards towards the other Old Trafford and even though it was hours before the Man Utd v Tottenham game, plenty of people were in the megastore and shopping around, and spotted the bee so I got that, then it was off then heading over the bridge and onwards towards Salford Quays.

The Love got in the Lowry Outlet Mall, but the car park queueing was horrendous once inside. It looked like no one was moving because too many people were faffing around awaiting a space rather than drive to the next floor and find one. The Love found one on Level 3, which is perfect for the top level of the Mall anyway, so we got ourselves sorted and in we went. It was fairly busy, primarily due to the market outside which had all sorts of traders and makers with food, drink and art, all good. I of course spotted the bee inside so got that done.

In fact, whilst in the Mall, we both got a bargain and got some work trousers in the Next Outlet. The Love got a nice pair which were reduced from around £35 to £17 and in her size too, but the pair I got was even more of a bargain. In my size, in slim fit, and they were originally £50, and had been reduced in the outlet originally to £14, but then spotted another ticket on it which said £4. Yes, four pounds! Of course I had to buy that and granted, they are dry clean only, but as The Love mentioned, they may need a good few wears before I'd have to. And at that low price it'd be daft not to.

It was then time for lunch in the Dockyard pub, and as ever, the food was really nice. I had the Dockyard ale, and then for the meal I had the chicken and chorizo pie with mash and mushy peas, and a mere £7 for that. The Love had the pastrami sandwich with chips which also looked good too, and we had a good natter whilst listening to the likes of Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt" (make that one tune of the day) - and it was good to relax. Also good to see: four different zero alcohol beers people could have if they were the designated driver, good choices as well too.

After that it was back to Piccadilly station to see a sad farewell to The Love In My Heart as I was heading homewards, first on the 1619 train to Sheffield, which was over-rammed and thankfully I had a seat on. In fact we got stuck behind a slow train and so got to Sheffield just in time to head over to Platform 2 and get the 1729 departure to London St Pancras. and thankfully even though that was also mega packed, I got my seat there too, and so it was then on to my train home, and did a lot better than last week getting back. And onwards tomorrow to the new job!

Sunday 26th August – Rainy Leeds

With a whole Sunday to ourselves, The Love In My Heart had suggested that we head off to Masham and possibly have lunch in The White Bear, as well as a trip into Ripon too. We had breakfast, we fussed over Brian the cat (who as usual was being extra cute in his little play tunnel) and then had some breakfast before getting ready. The weather wasn’t looking so good though and so were hoping that it would clear up a little as we would head towards the motorway and over the Pennines.

Once she had dropped a couple of things off and stopped off at Saisnsburys Heaton Park for petrol, it was on to the M62 and over the tops. The rain was coming down pretty hard to be honest and wasn’t the nicest ever, and all the sheep on the farm that the motorway skirts around close to Summit were hiding close to bushes and stone walls attempting not to get as wet, understandably so. The rain continued along the M62 and The Love decided that it would be more sensible to head to Leeds instead and have a mooch around the shops and so on, rather than head all the way to Masham with the continual rain.

We followed the M621 and A58 towards the centre of Leeds, but it was a case of that we weren’t able to locate a parking space – one car park was £12 for 4 hours, and another was cheaper but none of the meters worked and was also a fair way out. Eventually we went back to the one at Woodhouse Lane that is close to the arena, and the price was reasonable and knew it wasn’t too far to get to where we needed to – and at least the car park was covered so The Love’s car wouldn’t get wet either. Once done, it was then a walk down past the University buildings and towards the centre.

We did have a nice walk around the pedestrianised area and the shops: with The Love’s brolly coming in very handy indeed. We went into Joy and she got herself a nice cardigan that was in the sale: and we also noted the new look Trinity Shopping Centre and also the Victoria one with John Lewis at the end, and lots of little places with high end names along the walkways towards it. They also had a branch of Anthropologie, which we’d only ever seen before in Richmond, so definitely a worthwhile mooch around there. It did seem much quieter than normal: that maybe was down to the hordes with wellies heading on the bus to the Leeds Festival for the day (and not having a tent: probably wise in that weather)

It was still hammering it down though and we then went across to some of the other shops and had a mooch around before then walking back towards the University and having some food in one of the pubs close by: the good thing was that this meant that a nice pint was mine, and very lovely. We then managed to get to the Morrisons across the road and get some bits, but also got the Birra Moretti Siciliana beer for later, which was gorgeous when I had it. It was then back towards the M62 and onwards through more rain, and it was misty as well over the tops.

Later on we settled in for the evening and The Love and I watched the new series Bodyguard. It was pretty dramatic in the opening scene, with around the first twenty minutes or so being on a train with plenty of suspense just in that part. Eventually the bodyguard character met the person he’d be guarding (expertly played by Keeley Hawes) who came across as a bit of a pain in the backside, and maybe that was a tough bolshoi front. It really also had some hidden elements: the bodyguard (also played very well by Richard Madden) had some PTSD related issues which led to heightened senses of fear, and pretty dark. The theme tune is also very sinister, so it’s tune of the day.

Saturday 25th August – Bees and Birthdays

The Love In My Heart and I had breakfast, and Brian the cat was being particularly cute and was lying on the floor looking at Mummy a lot, wanting her to give him some more love and attention. Cute I know, and managed to have the 50mm lens on my camera so was able to take some cute pictures of him, one of which I uploaded to Flickr later and he did look lovely, and quite a few people favourited it too which was good. Once breakfast was had we got ourselves ready and headed out for a busy afternoon.

First off we went to The Love’s father. He wanted me to fix the PC as for some reason all the desktop icons had gone missing. I soon worked out what it was, for some reason he’d designated a subfolder in his user profile around seven subfolders down as the desktop folder, and so attempting to restore from the recycle bin didn’t work because the folder it was at originally had been moved. I checked the registry, set all the user profile defaults and was then able to move the shortcuts back correctly, and spotted also he’d made a duplicate copy of the whole user profile folder, so got that sorted too.

Whilst I was there I had headed over to the North City Youth Zone building and managed to get another of the bees from Bee in the City, so that was good. The Love and I later on were heading off to my Mum’s, so we headed to North Manchester General Hospital and located the bee by Entrance 1, and then got back to Rochdale Road stopping off at church in Collyhurst where the bee was visible from the main road, a nice thing that it was on a slope and could see the road. It was then around the back of the city centre and to Crowcroft Park in Longsight and got the bee there, then to Levenshulme, my old stomping ground, and got the bee on the village green.

We went on to Levenshulme Market and a very nice surprise was to be had there – one of my lovely friends from Flickr was doing a stall with her photography on, and so was good to have a catch up and chat, and also admire the handiwork of the art on show. Sensibly she also had greetings cards as well which meant that you could buy it, be a conversation piece with someone, and then they’d buy stuff too. The Love In My Heart also knows her from her time working at the City Council, so was really good to see her as well and that made the afternoon just that bit lovelier.

After a nice visit to Station Hop for a drink (which was rather gorgeous – definitely will have to go in there again) We went to my Mum’s next and had a coffee and a cake and a good catch up too. Mum was a bit gutted as realistically she knew she couldn’t head off to Japan to see her brother, but at the same time she had booked all her Cornwall adventure for next year, so that was a positive really. We also noted that she was coming down to see me in October and having booked all the trains, it was now a case of what we’d do whilst there, so she had some ideas along the way.

Later on we headed back, got ourselves changed and ready and it was off to the Elizabethan in Heaton Moor to meet up with friends. The Boatman ale was good and on form, and The Love and I had a relaxing time with friends – and it was my friend’s birthday on the Wednesday so was the closest time we’d get to going out. I had the potato skins with Welsh rarebit to start and they were nice, as was the steak pie – proper chunks of steak and a gorgeous gravy whilst my friend’s scampi in a basket looked gorgeous too. He liked the card and present, and all was quiet till a group of very loud people sat on the table behind us, and they were a tad drunk shall we say! Tune of the day is the excellent “Diamond Dogs” by David Bowie, a classic which my friend and I would both like, and a dog on his card was somewhat apt!!

Friday 24th August – The Last Day

One more day at my job, and I didn’t feel too bad after being out for drinks the night before. In truth I didn’t want to go overboard, primarily because I wanted to save myself for a nice weekend in Manchester with The Love In My Heart, but also I knew I had a few final things that I wanted to sort today too. In fact, I had a couple of things I needed to refer onwards with an explanation of what had been sorted so far and how it best be moved forward – one of them most likely is looking at a long term software replacement so that won’t be done overnight anyway.

Our Network Manager got me a coffee this morning as a thank you (which was very nice of him) and also that set me up well for the day – doing some final documentation which I needed to finish, getting everything cleaned out and sorted, and getting through as much as I could to ensure things were passed over. I sent out a thank you email and contact details if anyone wished to contact me in future, and that was a good thing to do. Most people were working from home so the office wasn’t busy, but was a positive that those who were in were those who had appreciated my time there.

So at around 4.30pm it was a case of handing the work pass and cabinet keys back to one of the managers, having a handshake with people and then heading off to the lift for one final time to leave the office. I did feel a little sad but on the other hand I also felt a sense of relief too: I don’t like the final few days of working as you always think about what more you might have been able to do and what sense of achievement you might take with you, but at the same time it’s also a case of being able to take stock of where you are and where you need to be once you start the new job.

It was then off on the tube to Euston Square and off to the Crown and Anchor pub for a well earned pint. It was busy in there but also nice to get a seat and relax and be able to just have some time to wind down after work and be ready to head up on the train to Manchester later. Euston was busier than normal anyway as the line was closed over the weekend due to engineering works and so thought it was best to be able to get up tonight, even if that wasn’t as cheap potentially.

The train journey went well and listened to some Swing Out Sister on the way up (make “Which Wrong Is Right?” tune of the day) and before I knew it, it was welcome to Manchester and a welcome home from The Love In My Heart, as she came to collect me. We headed off to the local Chinese near her place and simply had to have the rather gorgeous crispy chilli beef in sweet and sour sauce with egg fried rice, totally awesome that. We snuggled up on the sofa and watched a bit of telly and Brian the cat was being as wonderfully cute as ever…

Thursday 23rd August – Leaving Do

It was another busy day in the office attempting to get all the last minute stuff sorted so I could at least leave and not feel like I’d left anything behind which was a problem. One of the issues that I had been working on was that one of the form submissions in ServiceNow meant that the order of the questions was the wrong way round, leaving all the check boxes at the top. I had a couple of ideas but it was good that the folks at Accenture got back to us and suggested a business rule to do the job, which it did. That at least meant during testing we were able to sort that.

I had a chat with my Service Delivery Manager and worked on getting that put into live as an emergency change, as a normal one wouldn’t have been done in the timespan I had left. I managed all that and we got it done, so was good to get that all sorted. As an example we had a form with check boxes and that meant that we were able to see it in the right order. In the long term we may want to look at the proper catalog items widget, but that has ordering all over the place and two stage checkout, so realistically we’d have to look at so many alterations so was easier to amend the existing one (which Accenture had already amended.)

With all that done it was off to a IS department meeting in one of our larger meeting rooms on the first floor. Of course it was good to be able to get things done and to work out the way forward. What I didn’t expect was that one of the senior managers decided to come forward and do a presentation talking about what impact I had made, and indeed they also had a card with a gift voucher inside for me. That I didn’t expect whatsoever and was very surprised and humbled to receive that, to be honest. I know that during the week people were all saying that they were going to miss me, but that was unexpected.

Later on we headed off round the corner from work to Simmons Bar, the new Farringdon one had been opened recently. They had a happy hour from 4-9pm with bottles of Starapromen or Brahma for £2.50, and also glasses of wine for the same price, as well as decent ale pints (Brew Dog Punk IPA and Meantime Pale Ale) so that was also good. The place also had a SNES you could play on as well so a few of us decided to have a blast of one of the Mario racing games on there, which was pretty good fun all round.

The evening went by pretty quickly and it was good to chat to lots of people in a more informal setting and be able to chat about plenty of non-work stuff. It did feel good to be out and at least everyone was offering to buy me drinks which was really nice of them too. I will miss the place of course, but I know too that for career reasons I am making the right move onwards too. Tune of the day is the excellent “Happy” by Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, which for some reason I’ve had in my head all day and wanted to play as soon as I’d got home from central London later in the evening.

Wednesday 22nd August - The Final Countdown

Well, okay, perhaps not the song from Europe that everyone remembers from the 1980s per se, but it definitely is a case of the final countdown in terms of the job and finishing off whatever I can to get things sorted. It was perhaps something of note that I spent some three hours or so in a couple of meetings with staff in order to get things passed on as much as possible, in terms of handing what I could over and ensuring that everything is documented as much as possible so it can all be passed on where it needs to be.

For me at least perhaps what was most notable is that how many people have expressed that they will actually miss me when I've left and that they've always found me helpful and approachable. It's very humbling to be honest and I really do appreciate that a lot, but it also goes to show that I must have been doing the right thing along the way. I definitely do think that from a realistic point of view that I'll be taking a positive experience forward and it was a difficult decision to actually hand the notice in, but know ultimately that it's the right one to have made.

No decision like that is ever easy, primarily because you settle in, you get used to the people and the work environment, but you also get used to how the particular ways in which that company works and adapt whatever you need to fit the ethos correctly. Naturally some things of course are the same no matter what, but I always believe that you have to have that flexible approach too. Works wonders for me overall and shows that sometimes the coolest head around is the best head to have.

I headed on the train and tube to Wimbledon Park later and had the hair cut sorted, and it needed doing to be honest because it was getting a tad on the thick side. The good news was that despite there being a few people in waiting for cuts, it didn't take so long and was soon having the hair all neat and sorted and ready for this weekend and beyond. I for one was pretty pleased that I was able to get that done and head back via Wimbledon on the tram home in good time.

Later on I chilled out and listened to some excellent Swing Out Sister, especially their most recent album "Almost Persuaded" which I still enjoy listening to months later after getting the Pledge release late last year. "Which Wrong Is Right" from that album has a really nice laid back vibe to it, especially the way that the interludes between each chorus are just a really nice bit of funkiness, so tune of the day for definite. And you do need to buy the album!

Tuesday 21st August - Matalan Mania

I decided after work to head off to the nearest branch of Matalan, primarily to get some new work trousers for the new job - and for a few good reasons in that the price is always reasonable but also the fit is also pretty good. In fact the current suit I have at the moment is from there and if I say so myself, I do look pretty sharp in it. However, it is dry clean only, which means of course a fair few pounds to pay every time I need to get that sorted. Much better of course when there's machine washable versions you can at least wash and use as you need to, so that was the plan.

Interestingly, where the Matalan is in Croydon is not far from the Lombard Roundabout, where the A23 crosses with the A236. Notably though it's also where you can see the tram tracks but you can't get to Ampere Way station not far from IKEA, which is a shame as it would mean a much quicker journey by tram from mine. So instead I walked to Reeves Corner and waited for the 264 bus which would take me along the main road towards the roundabout. There was also a crashed car at the lights not far from the corner which was delaying traffic somewhat too.

Anyway, I got there and all was good. I did want the slim fit ones though primarily because trousers always are really wide in the leg with regular fit, and to be honest, that doesn't always work so well even with a pair of shoes on. The good thing is that the leg is always slightly shorter than jeans so they don't necessarily hug the floor as much, always good when you're out and about. I also knew from my other pair exactly what size to get, so that was a definite positive.

And I found some nice pairs too - a nice charcoal grey semi-check pair that was patterned in a good way, and comfortable material, as well as a tailored fit navy dark blue pair (have some different coloured shirts to go with this) so a good alternative as well as the pairs that I already have. In fact when I got home later and tried them on all was very good and the fit was really spot on, so happy bunny really. And they didn't break the bank either, a definite plus as far as I was concerned.

Later on I watched one of the episodes of the Manchester City - All Or Nothing series on Amazon. It was perhaps notable that as the players headed out to Abu Dhabi for some warm weather training, the players were singing Wonderwall by Oasis, with John Stones notably attempting to do some backing singing style in the Oasis way, fair play to him like - and tune of the day primarily as that song is inpexplicably linked with City now, especially from its mid 1990s release onwards. All good fun nonetheless.

Monday 20th August - Buzzing

Well, sort of. I had a good productive day at work and managed to get one of the new forms designed and up and running in live, and also worked out a way that certain types of incident could be hidden from users that don't have a particular group assignment membership, so that was pretty good to do all round really. In fact I documented that and spent a fair bit of the day also documenting the driver package stuff in SCCM and how it works with various different tools from Dell and HP. Nice to get sorted I think.

Later on I checked out the pictures I had taken over the weekend as I had been around the city on the trail of the bees in Bee in the City. It was certainly good to note that I had managed to get another 31 crossed off the list, so that's now 51 in all, just over half. The pictures came out well, so I've updated my set on Flickr with some more, and sorted them in numerical order as per the trail map so you can get an idea of where they all are. Certainly it's been enjoyable so far doing that anyway.

I had a watch of the second episode of All or Nothing, the Manchester City documentary, and a nice use of classic Manchester anthems including Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (tune of the day obviously) and focussing on the first of the derbies at Old Trafford from earlier in the season. It of course featured fans from both sides explaining what it meant to them including Walter Smith (he of "take it take it take it" commentary from Fanzone back in the day) and showing how the rivalry is still as much there as ever. Naturally having the fans sing "Park the bus" about Jose Moaninho was a classic highlight!

I had a good chat with The Love In My Heart and she had spent some time last night watching the film about Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything, and she was surprised that it was much better than she had expected. I guess one thing that we noted the last couple of times we'd been to the cinema is that we do like going and having a nice time there, so maybe something we should occasionally do more often. With the prices now lower these days it's much more of an incentive to go and watch, and not before time that the prices are reasonable I reckon.

I guess too that it's always good to spend time in those longer Winter evenings being able to relax and watch something when it feels that bit colder outside, so we'll see how that all pans out too. In the meantime I think it might be a case of an episode a night for the next week or so to watch the documentary and take it from there, but nonetheless intriguing stuff. It makes me smile other fans are watching it and then passing judgement on the club and its fans. Deluded or what?

Sunday 19th August - Liquid Football

After a nice breakfast courtesy of The Love In My Heart and indeed lots of letting Brian the cat out to play and have a general peek outside, despite the overnight rain that had happened, it was off to the Etihad Stadium later with my friend and off for the first home game of the season against Huddersfield Town. In the same fixture last season (ironically the last home game of that last season) Huddersfield had battled to a heroic 0-0 draw which helped them stay up in the Premier League and have the chance to play us again. They had lost to Chelsea on the opening day though so they may have wanted to hit back.

I went for the pre-match brew and was horrified to discover that City had gone back to instant Nescafé coffee - the cheapest they could get and horrid. At least the tea is still PG Tips so my friend is happy, but it was rubbish when they did the rubbish coffee and I stopped buying it, and will do so again till they get back something decent. What's wrong with a bit of Azera, they do after all I'm sure have the coffee in a cup thing they can always buy a stock load off and make money from it!

Anyway, enough of that and after dissecting the team news we headed out to see the game. It started off with the players coming out and David Silva having his baby Mateo as the official mascot for the day - a lovely touch by the club that to be honest. City went forward and it was clear that Huddersfield were parking men behind the ball, not sure that was the best tactic. In fact Silva was on fire, breezing past defenders and already making trouble for their defence, and looked utter class as he went forward.

A moment of magic saw a long ball from Ederson (the goalkeeper!) find Sergio Agüero, who then took the ball towards goal and lofted the keeper superbly for the opener. A great goal and the defenders all ran to Ederson to celebrate his fine assist. Benjamin Mendy down the left was also on fire at the moment too, and he combined with Gabriel Jesús, and after a couple of ricochets, the ball went back to Jesús who finished low and hard. That was liquid football (as Alan Partridge might have said..)

City weren't over and done with and a low ball from Mendy set up Agüero for his second and 3-0 to City, with Huddersfield pulling one back before half time, their scorer having been out for a year with injury so that was a nice moment for him to be fair. At half time I wondered if it would stop raining and if we could score some more along the way, as we were playing well and looking like we could score whenever we fancied to. Huddersfield fans had been singing "Where were you when you were s**t" to which City replied "We scored 10 when we were.." in reference to the 1987 10-1 win over the same side..

City pressed on in the second half and David Silva scored a beauty of a free kick to make it 4-1, it was superb. Mendy found Agüero again and it was a hat trick for Sergio, and that was the cue to be brought off to save energy and bring on Phil Foden. City though still went forward and a run from Leroy Sané and shot was saved but the ball rebounded off the Huddersfield defender and in it went for 6-1. "We want ten!" chanted the City fans, and it was a cracking day, made all the better by the news that Man U had lost at Brighton later in the day. Tune of the day is the ace "Blue Moon" by Supra, which gets everyone going...

Saturday 18th August - Going On A Bee Hunt

It was an early(ish) start for me as I was heading off all over the city and suburbs of Manchester on the trail of Bee In The City, mainly focussing on a number of the ones outside the city centre to tick them off. I managed 20 or so last week when walking around the city with The Love In My Heart, but I wanted to get plenty more, and so with The Love going to her father's place later I thought it was a good idea to head off and see what I could find. In fact there was one not very far away so I thought it was off to the Manchester Cycling Centre to start off with that one outside the Velopark Café.

I then walked over to Clayton Hall and spotted the bee outside there before walking to the tram stop and on to the Etihad Stadium. A quick stop there saw me get three of them including Mike Summer-Bee, named after Buzzer of course, the legendary Manchester City player, and in City Square as well, felt good to see that one and the two close to the Athletics Arena. Back on the tram and off to Deansgate-Castlefield, and had enough time to get the bee there before heading on the airport line.

In fact I got to Wythenshawe and noted the next tram was only 6 minutes behind, so I got off, crossed over to the Forum to get that bee, and back on next tram to the airport, with a bee there, then off at Roundthorn on the way back to go to Wythenshawe Hospital for that one. It was then back to Chorlton and change for the tram to Didsbury Village and that bee was done too (and little bees inside too which was nice) - and the tram was only 1 minute wait to go back towards the city centre and off at Deansgate-Castlefield, and did a little loop around there to get five more before then walking towards First Street.

My favourite bee so far, Bee Here Now, was facing the old Haçienda, and had images of Manchester music legends including Frank Sidebottom. Well, that had to be done of course! There were also two more there and I had to take a picture for a hen do all dressed up ska stylee with one of the bees, the things you do! Then via Oxford Road station is was down Oxford Road to my old MMU stomping ground and onwards towards the University of Manchester and the Science Park to get the bees there.

I finally reached Whitworth Art Gallery, and the lovely staff at the front explained there were three bees, one was the one on the large trail but it was smaller in size. Got that and with the humidity rising, it was sticky. I managed to get on a Magic Bus back towards the city centre and avoided the traffic jams at Portland Street, cutting to Sackville Street and Portland Street along the way to get two more before meeting up with The Love In My Heart for the afternoon.

We headed to 57 Thomas Street for a well earned drink first, before then heading to the VUE in the Printworks and checking the cinema times - another bee, the Madchester Bee was in there, so had to get that too. We ended up going to see Incredibles 2, which I'd fancied going to see. It was hard to believe that it was 2004 that the first one came out, and understandably there were kids everywhere for it, but also a fair few Pixar fans like me as well. I enjoyed it actually, a good plot, some superb animation, and a really nice eye for detail, especially with the superhero features. The title theme by Michael Giacchino is tune of the day in fact.

After that we headed to Mackie Mayor and had some lovely beer coupled with food from the stalls delivered up to the balcony we were sat at - I had the mushroom pizza and The Love had the burger and chips, which admittedly looked very nice indeed. We then walked through Ancoats and spotted another bee by the Halle St Peters, in a nice square complete with lots of places to eat and drink - we'll have to go back there! And then we walked to New Islington tram stop and took the tram back to The Love's place, to fuss over Brian and have a chilled out rest of the evening.

Friday 17th August - Heading Up North Again

It was a busy day today and I wanted to spend plenty of time getting things sorted in ServiceNow, and get things sorted I most certainly did. I actually managed to get two new forms completed, up and running and working after having them working in development for some time. I think too for me that the important thing was that we were able to demonstrate how things would work and indeed what would be good going forward for the future as well. I'm keen to try and ensure that everything as much as possible is all sorted out for when I do leave at the back end of next week.

I took the train home after work and managed to stop off at Sainsburys on the way home - and there was a nice chicken katsu curry meal for one that was reduced as it needed to be used by the end of tonight. I took that home and put that in the oven, and it was excellent - possibly the closest thing to having Wagamama's one without having to go in and sit on a bench with someone that you may not know. It was good to get that and indeed have some tea as well.

I also had noted yesterday that the Manchester City series "All or Nothing" was now available on Amazon Prime. I had ages ago done the one month trial of Prime or else I'd have done that - but what I did note from the app on my telly was that the Prime Video only bit was a mere £5.99. So, get that for the first month signup, cancel after that, and watch the eight episodes in the same month which should be doable. And with that sorted I had enough time to watch the first episode before heading for the train later.

And in fact the episode was very good - focussing on the new signings that we had made, and the opening games of the season, with a really good behind the scenes view of the manager, players, tactics and the games, focussing a bit on the 5-0 win against Liverpool as well which was good to see. I think the players themselves deserve a lot of credit for allowing themselves to be so open and I am already looking forward to watching the remainder especially.

Later on it was then off to Euston and on the 2040 train to Manchester Piccadilly. It was a nice relaxing and quiet journey and I had some She Makes War on, namely the last album Direction of Travel. It still sounds ace and the excellent "Stargazing" is tune of the day as I looked outside and admired the view of the night sky as the night drew in, and once at Piccadilly, off on the tram to see The Love In My Heart and Brian the cat, who even let me give him a fuss and a love. Aww...

Thursday 16th August - Suited and Booted

Well, the booted bit was done when I got the new shoes from Clarks last week, although I'm waiting to get them broken and stretched in nicely so I can not worry too much, and then there's the shirts I got from the Pretty Green sale so I can look stylish in the office, so all good there. The last part is going to be the trousers, and that's always something I'll need to get used to, primarily as in all the last jobs since 1997, I've not had to wear trousers for work - so definitely a contrast.

So it was off into the centre of Croydon, and first stop, as I had a gift card for there was Debenhams. In fact that proved to be useful because the area where the suits and trousers were was relatively quiet, so I could use the changing rooms and try a pair on to see how it'd be. In fact that proved to be a good move because as I suspected, trousers always seem to be a different size than jeans (boo) so it was a 36 regular instead of a 34 regular. In fact when I got home later I checked and the suit trousers I have were also 36, so it's pretty consistent across the board. The gift card meant I had to spend less, so epic win all round there.

I went to Next after that and was a little disappointed. Not in what they had trouser wise, all their stuff seemed very good as The Love In My Heart had mentioned it would be. But... nothing in the size I wanted. And I mean nothing. So it was a tad disappointing to have to head home later on with just one pair, but I know that I do have another pair or two here I could use, and I can always order the stuff off Next online and then do a collect in store, which might not be a bad idea to do actually. In fact that might work out well because I can then get what I need...

I did also note that Debenhams always have a sizeable clearance section in their stores so when I'm in Manchester this weekend I'll check it - I did see a few pairs in the Croydon one, none my size, but the reductions were good and the styles decent, so there's something. In fact it's very rare that I ever pay full price for anything in there anyway - there's always a sale on. In fact they survive better than House of Fraser are doing right now - the store near me resembled a ghost town earlier (cue Specials classic, and thus tune of the day because of it.)

So I went back later to playing Pixies' Doolittle again (in case you didn't know, my favourite album of all time) - and on Blu-Ray audio. The surround mix has been handled well, and I prefer the LPCM 5.1 mix (more like DVD-Audio is) than the DTS one, but either way it's not been done in surround for the sake of it, but well mixed to actually get that nice soundscape of being in the studio with the band as they'd recorded it. And it's one of those albums everyone should really have...

Wednesday 15th August - Writing The Notes

So tonight I've been mainly involved with writing some sleeve notes for a forthcoming CD. I can't say which one at this stage, but suffice to say that it was an honour to be able to contribute and do something useful with the time in the evening. Not only did this involve some extensive research and re-checking some information that I had gathered, but also wanted to add a little bit of trivia about each of the tracks there too, and what they relate to. Those might not feature, but sort of helped me with the creative process in order to find a deeper fact than what lies within.

It's also a good excuse to use the creative writing streak I have on occasion and be able to think of something which is not only something I'm passionate about, in terms of music, but also the fact that there's always a level of objectivity in terms of how you can't always appear biased and have to look at things from a reasonably neutral angle (something BBC News presenters, especially Laura Kuenssberg, would do well to remember on occasion.) Yes, I have definite favourites over time, but you can't always reflect that when you are looking at the audience who'll be reading what you write and think "how dare he say that!" or something similar. Fairness is often the way to go.

I think for me too that it was really good to not think about work and completing all the tasks I need to do in the next week or so, but instead look ahead somewhat as well. I do have a positive life on the whole these days, and I have a wonderfully beautiful and intelligent girlfriend, who really does bring out the best in me and gets me in the positive frame of mind, just by being herself. It's hard to describe sometimes the effect it has, but I know when I feel a little down, the thought of The Love In My Heart giving me a cuddle is more than enough to give me that glowing feeling inside.

What worried me a lot actually was that moving down South for the new job back in December 2015 may have affected our relationship, and part of me almost pulled out at the last minute because I wasn't so sure - even when I did start the job I was still questioning myself. However, the important thing for me is that she has been so supportive and encouraging - especially as the time has passed, and the weekends we've had together have been all the more special because of the fact that we make the most of them when we are together - and that's been important to me to say the least.

Tune of the day in the meantime is the rather excellent classic from Pixies - "Debaser". I was playing the Doolittle album earlier (I have the Blu-Ray Audio disc of this now) and to hear that blasting from the speakers in such high resolution and in surround is an experience so different but yet so bloody good. You have obviously the opener as a classic as well as the likes of Monkey Gone To Heaven, Here Comes Your Man, I Bleed, and Gouge Away at the end, which part of me really wants to sing loud right now but it's 11pm as I'm typing this, so maybe not...

Tuesday 14th August - Puzzles and Mach 3

So it was a nice puzzle of sorts to test out and check with ServiceNow. So I had created all the necessary check boxes and values etc for the form which is going to be a record producer to create an incident, with all of the necessary values ticked and sorted. That part, all good. However, what seemed to be a sense of frustration was that despite all the relevant forms and check boxes appearing in the correct order and all playing ball, when the form information showed on the actual generated incident, the tick boxes were in no order at all.

I wanted to see if it was something that had been amended as part of an instance configuration, so to be on the safe side I fired up my developer instance (admittedly in the new London version). I set up a similar form and crucially with check boxes and labels. When that appeared in the incident view, it all showed correctly and without any issues either. Hmm. I spent some time poring over various configuration settings on both instances to see the difference but couldn't seem to find any, so will have another look and see what the state of play is.

I did however get a useful hint in terms of one of the catalog widget items. It transpired that some of the items appeared to show an Arial font, some didn't, but have worked out why this is - the widget itself will always use the CSS Bootstrap default unless you specify it somewhere else - so the catalog item has to have the description field set accordingly for this to work. For some reason, remnants created using the old UI11 appear to have stuck, but the moment these are changed or any new ones created, they default to the system level Bootstrap variation, so good to get that sorted.

After work I headed off to the large Sainsburys at Waddon Marsh, primarily to get some razor blades for the Mach 3 but also as I wanted those posh Compeed blister type plasters to put over the heel to give them a bit more of a quicker time to heal (and to feel more comfy.) In fact I got that and also got (as they were on offer) some Persil tablets which are actually dishwasher cleaner tablets instead, so no liquid needed. I suspected it probably needed a good deep clean inside so thought it best to give that a go and see how it all turns out.

However, the bargain was on the Mach 3. 4 blades for £8.50, not so cheap. But... get a pack of 13 in a larger box for £17 (they were £21) and all of a sudden that's a lot better, in fact if you bought 2 of the 4 packs, that'd be £17 in itself, and so effectively you get 13 for the price of 8. That's a good win, so went for it and did that, and that'll last me a lot longer too so less hassle all round there I reckon. It just reminds me of that 80s jingle that they used to have for Gilette back in the day - you know the one, you're looking good, you're looking sharp, you've come so far, yes that one.. make that tune of the day.

Monday 13th August - Healing

First things first - the feet are feeling a fair bit better and the heel not so bad after The Love In My Heart had some spare graze plasters (fairly large they are too) which she had spare. It has surgical tape on the outside and the plaster cushion on the inside is pretty soft, and has helped a spare bit get the foot to some sort of normality now. It'll still take some time to recover, so I decided that it would be worth me checking out some options to maybe give the new shoes a bit of a stretching just to get them that bit comfier before I put them on (and most likely armed with some plasters etc!)

Anyway, I did a bit of looking up, and most popular seemed to be a wooden shoe stretcher which has a metal screw, the idea being you effectively fit them in snugly inside and then leave them overnight to give that bit more room around the toe and the heel. I suspect that I didn't have the maximum room for one of the toes so this was then pressing back and rubbing the heel. The Love did suggest vaseline too to ease the friction but that's also going to be a bit messy I suspect in parts. Anyway, I'll get some spray to go with that later in the week (I ordered the stretcher online) and see how they measure up. The shoes are more than suitable for work, just want to make sure they don't kill me on the first week of the new job.

I also spent some time tonight catching up on the highlights and some of the post-match reaction following the Manchester City win at Arsenal yesterday. Suffice to say that the now rebranded AFTV (was Arsenal Fan TV) was going into meltdown with some negativity from the fans to say the least. To be fair to the presenter Robbie, he was saying "it's only the first game for the new manager, it's going to take time" but there's too much impatience from some people. The empty stadium near the end told its own story - too many glory hunters, not enough loyal fans. It annoys me when City fans leave 5 minutes plus early before the end of a game because they want to get to their cars etc, none of that for my friend and I - we've seen so much drama at the end of games.

Case in point actually - imagine if you had left the Etihad Stadium back in 2012 possibly before the start of injury time and thought "that's it, title over" - and not realising that City have come back from the dead before? Needless to say that moment with Edin Džeko equalising and then that goal from Sergio Agüero was utterly magical, perhaps the finest moment I've ever witnessed as a City fan (and there's been lots even before the recent times to be fair) - and my friend and I had none of this leave early rubbish. We stayed till the end, the reward was ours, and so was the title!

Anyway, I've been getting few ideas together for the next few weekends for The Love In My Heart and I, especially when she is coming to me. We did look at a few National Trust places (because we'd get in for free) that maybe were reachable by train, and one of which wasn't that far from East Grinstead, so that may be a contender (we can get the train there) - and it would also mean that we'd have a different day out. The other alternative is to hit the seaside at Brighton or indeed anywhere else along the coast too, so that may also be a possibility. In the meantime, tune of the day is the rather brilliant "Devastate Me" by She Makes War, which is fast becoming one of my singles of the year already. It's just so darned good!

Sunday 12th August - Buzzing

After a nice breakfast and being able to relax with a bit of the cycling in the background from the European Championship in Glasgow, it was good to fuss over Brian the cat as he lay on the bed, and he allowed me to give him a tummy tickle. I of course was being careful as I know he'd be likely to give me a little swipe with his paw, so carefulness assured. The Love In My Heart had some good graze plasters which were a perfect size for the heel to keep them away from infection, so put them on before the socks and that did feel at least less painful.

We then decided to head for the city centre and have a walk around, on the trail of the statues of bees in the city as the public art exhibition Bee in the City was taking place over the Summer. The Love parked up near Piccadilly station as we knew of a good car park that wasn't expensive, and then as we headed by the station we were able to tick off the first two there, and then see one by the bridge over London Road and in Piccadilly Place, so really nice to see the inspiration and the art behind each one.

We then walked into Piccadilly Gardens via the Manchester Visitors centre as we could pick up a trail map and guide (useful for me actually) and then see the bee by the gardens, which was of course very popular. From there we headed along to Stevenson Square, and there was a Sunday market on, which was very nice! We spent some time around there and had a good mooch around - lots of independent stalls, and lots of art and cards focussing on the bees too. There was another bee statue there so we got that and then moved through the Northern Quarter.

It was then by the Craft Centre, as there was a bee outside (my brother had told me that this was vandalised but had been repaired) and then towards Swan Street and to the Mackie Mayor. It was actually really nice inside there and we stopped for a drink, and from the balcony we could admire the view of all the food and drink stalls and all the food smells were rather nice - especially the pizza and the fish as well. We may have to head back one evening and have tea there.

From there it was off to the Co-Op building and then to Angel Meadow, and another two bees found there, before we then went towards Balloon Street and located one there and one by the Printworks, before heading down towards Victoria Station - it was packed as lots of people had seen a Paw Patrol event at the arena. Plenty of parents and children were all getting their pictures with the bees so wanted to wait till there were no people around (not so easy!) - and it was the same with the two in Exchange Square and two in St Ann's Square as well.

With time ticking too quickly we headed to The Bank on Mosley Street for a nice Sunday afternoon meal together. The Love had the Sunday roast chicken which looked really good, and I had the beef, ale and mushroom pie (and yes it was a proper pie!) All went down well there and we had a good natter with the view outside of the city centre. Time had gone by far too quickly though and we were walking back to Piccadilly station and for me to get my train later. I did feel sad actually and that reflected my thoughts on the train going home, but at the same time had had a lovely weekend. Tune of the day is the rather brilliant Manchester anthem "I Am The Resurrection" by The Stone Roses - some of the pieces of art in the market had lines from that song too..

Saturday 11th August - Reunions

It was nice for a change to head up to Manchester on a Saturday morning train, having been used to Friday nights for a fair while. And actually, it was lovely and quiet too. I got the train from East Croydon to Victoria, then on the tube to Euston, and was in good time to board the 0820 train to Machester. It was lovely and quiet, so much so that I'd booked a table seat but no one sat in the other three spaces all the way to Manchester, which was pretty good all round. I had the headphones on and some tunes so that was good, but did feel rather relaxed and happy, and especially as The Love In My Heart was there for me at Piccadilly.

We waited in and relaxed with Brian the cat being his usual self, wanting to run off outside and have a bit of a fuss. It was good though as The Love's sister was coming over and with her nephew, being over here for a few weeks in the midst of doing his PhD in Taiwan. It was nice to see him anyway and we all had a good natter for a while, and a catch up. In fact I was one of the last people he saw in the UK before he headed over, as we met for food when he was sorting one of his visas out in London, so was really good to see how he was doing and how much he was getting re-used to Mancunian weather.

Later on we all headed off and to meet some of The Love's family, this time at a Toby carvery which was not far from Oldham Athletic's ground. It was typical Toby fare, but with the sullenness of staff who really seemed happy to be working there (ahem, not.) A smile goes a long way, but I guess it depends on the clientele that they usually get as well. Still, the food itself was fine, I had the gammon and the pork along with a Yorkshire pud and plenty of vegetables, and that went down nicely with us all to be honest. They did have a refill machine for drinks but it was broken, but the bar staff sorted that out so all was good there.

Time had sped by before we all headed our own ways and we stopped off at my Mum's for a bit - we had spotted her on the way home with her shopping as it happened so gave her a lift back, and then had a nice cuppa in the back garden and chatted about her possible Cornwall adventure next year. It was good though to have a catch up as well and be able to just chill out in the afternoon and that felt pretty good. The Love did mention to my Mum that perhaps staying in one place that had nowhere to go in the evening might be a bit difficult, so Mum has taken that on board it seems.

The Love and I later headed off to West Didsbury and to Wine and Wallop. They had a guest ale on called Wallop which was rather nice an The Love had the rosé wine which was nice too. What I did see at the bar though was not just the ace beers, but a bloke in a hat and whom I recognised straight off as Bruce Mitchell from The Durutti Column. Of course I played it cool and left him to chattering with who he was with, but it was good to see that the great and the good of West Didsbury love this place like we do. In fact "Jacqueline" by The Durutti Column is tue of the day.

Friday 10th August - Pinching and Rubbing

So today I decided to wear one of the new pairs of shoes and try and at least get them a little bit more settled in before I start the new job. That all in all was a huge mistake, well at least without some form of protection for the heel anyway. Pretty much since I moved down, almost all the shoes I've ever got seem to always rub the back of the heel, normally in the middle but occasionally the sides, and even with socks on, the friction tends to rub quite a bit to the point of rubbing quite hard.

In fact when I got home from work later the first thing I did was take the shoes off, and I could see that the skin at the back on both heels had either come off or at least was rubbed to the next layer off. It was pretty painful and was so glad to remove them. Now I know I'd tried them on and they felt fine, and I know that they were my size as well. I can only think that due to the water hardness the skin on my feet generally hasn't been so good, and making it a bit more prone to rubbing and pinching like that. Of course any pair I've managed to at least wear in a bit appear to be fine, but it's just really awkward that there's so much that hurts.

On the other side of things, I did manage to progress a potential new form in ServiceNow nicely. It's in fact going to have a number of sections to it, so it will involve a use of some rules and UI actions to ensure only the correct parts appear as needed when filling it in. One thing I had to work out was that if you ticked a box and so a question appeared based on that tick, if you filled in the tick boxes below that but then unticked the main box, I wanted the other tick boxes to also disappear. I did get that worked out in the end so was a case of building up the necessary and getting on with it nicely.

I wasn't on a train to Manchester tonight so spent the evening instead being fairly relaxed at home and checking over a few things in the house (and also changing the bedding) whilst listening to some quality tunes, including the new Bodega album Endless Scroll. It's growing on me with every listen and I have to say that there's plenty of power pop short tunes but also does feel like an art rock statement also, with the likes of "I Am Not A Cinephile" being relentlessly short and sweet.

But best of all at the moment is the new She Makes War single "Devastate Me" (make that one tune of the day if you will) with lots of really good crunching guitars, a great verse chorus verse flow, and the middle section that just feels like it's going into a downer before the defiant final part and chorus. It shows great promise for the new album and I was massively pleased to hear it played on Steve Lamacq's show this week too, showing hopefully some more purchases of said single after listening to it. Here's hoping...

Thursday 9th August - Thunder Down The Elephant and Castle

It was incessant rain for most of the day today, and a lot cooler outside as well, which certainly was a marked difference from the weather for the last few weeks. To be honest it did need a downpour of rain to a degree to try and freshen up the skies. There was a threat of a thunder storm though and as I was watching the European Athletics Championships later on they kept looking up to the skies in case that hit Berlin - I wouldn't have fancied doing the steeplechase event in rain and thunder that's for sure, it's hard enough having that big water jump to clear (and I've seen on an athletics track close up how far that actually is!)

With the rain coming down, I spent the time today going through some training with one of our second line people, and it was really good to be able to see everyone take note and be able to follow up what I'd put into practice with documentation and be able to present well enough. It was actually nice to be out of the office and in a separate location for that as well. I also had worked on a change in ServiceNow so that everything looked really spot on for the Excel training courses accordingly.

On the way home I decided to head not just straight home but instead on the train down to Elephant and Castle, my old stomping ground where I used to work. I headed off the train, down the stairs and then on the path over the footbridge to the shopping centre, and nothing much has changed there. The plan was to go down to Clarks as they have an outlet store there and get some new work shoes for the new job. I did take a good look and actually they had plenty of pairs in my size - just a case of working out which ones were good enough.

In fact, they had an offer on some sets of pairs where when you bought one pair, you got the second pair for £10 extra (the cheaper of the two being the £10 pair.) I did see a smart pair for work, but also one I could wear for work and for going out too that were pretty stylish and smart. So, with that in mind, it was both pairs purchased for £45, so that worked out pretty well actually. It was good to walk back through the old shops again and remind myself of time spent working there before then avoiding the claps of thunder and heading on the train to Beckenham Junction to get the tram back - it was easier than waiting ages for the train to Mitcham Junction instead.

I spent the evening watching the thunder and lightning and watching the European Athletics again, with some good performances overall - KJT in the heptathlon takes the lead over Nafa Thiam on the 200 metres, with Nathaneel Mitchell-Blake coming through a very tight field to get a second and season's best in the men's 200 metre final, and a nice bronze for Holly Bradshaw in the pole vault behind a Greek one two. Good performances all round, although I do wish that the BBC would bring back the proper athletics theme - that is of course "World Series" by Keith Mansfield and tune of the day - the times I'd watch this on midweek night as Steve Cram would head to the likes of Oslo, Nice etc in the pursuit of breaking records. Those were the days!

Wednesday 8th August - The Cooldown Commences

Admittedly, it felt a bit fresher this morning as I woke, and for the first time in ages I felt like I had had a good sleep. It was admittedly quite a lengthy session of ironing later in the day as well, with five pairs of jeans and seven shirts from two wash loads to get ironed and sorted. Not exactly what I wanted to do, but had been putting some of that off until the weather had got a little cooler so I wasn't sweating like a proverbial pig in the apartment. I must admit that as nice as it all is with it being cosy, last Summer was pretty warm and this Summer has been rather a tad warmer. I suspect that it'd be good if they had fitted air conditioning throughout so I could have set the temperature as needed, but still.

It was also a busy day at the office today too, as I spent a fair bit of time looking at some development in ServiceNow. It was a case of being able to look at some new workflows, revising an existing one and being able to show the way that we'd be able to look at defined conditions so that depending on the options selected, an assignment would occur correctly at the right time. It was just a case of building the expression and making sure that it worked, and that was also a positive.

I had also worked on some SCCM based reporting and putting together a guide for how to look at checking software that had been run and by whom, and so put together a nice little report spreadsheet of certain ones which had been run which weren't allowed, and passed that to our IT security analyst for more info. He was pleased that the information was able to be gathered very well, but also that it showed where some of the software was being used. We both agreed that it needed a policy to enforce properly so that it would actually have some backbone, but what it did show was that we had detected items correctly.

It was also good later to get into the retro mood and play some of the older games again on the Commodore Plus/4 this time around. I had another blast of Video Meanies, and had to remember that some of the screens do actually have backgrounds which kill on impact, so you have to be pretty careful which way you go. I guess too it was handy that I still have a joystick adapter so I can use a proper Atari style joystick on the game instead of those horrid Commodore controllers with the odd DIN round input that it had. Still though it showed that I was able to play well enough.

Not just that either, but the other Plus/4 game I spent some time with was the version of Kikstart for the C16 and Plus/4. It's a markedly different game from the Commodore 64 version, as it's more of an arcade game sort of reminiscent a bit of Moon Patrol, with you speeding up or slowing down and pressing fire to jump over obstacles or land on springs to put you high in the air, avoiding thunder clouds and also spikes too. A nice version and playable and fun - and even a version of the TV series theme tune, which of course is actually "Be My Boogie Woogie Baby" by Mr. Walkie Talkie - I even wrote an article about that - and it's tune of the day.

Tuesday 7th August - Humid And Helpful

It was rather humid outside and still very very warm (another day of 32 degrees plus in the afternoon) so it was good to be able to be in an air conditioned office and to crack on with a few things. I actually introduced two positive changes into ServiceNow, with a nice change to first of all sort out a small issue where a person could pick themselves as a line manager, and I've managed to get that removed and sorted out. The other was to do with a form and to add a new option just to be sure that we would be able to cover all bases for any folder requests in future, so was quite good to get that one nailed really.

I also had some positive feedback from our training person on the proposed look and feel of the course booking form that I had looked at on Friday, so we would be able to have that implemented nicely with a planned change to make sure it all worked properly too. In fact I'll be raising another one tomorrow to be able to add some other course forms that are needed, so it's another thing crossed off the list to be able to sort out as well, and crossing them all off as viable options before I leave.

I also had some good news from the new job in that all the security clearance stuff and checks that have been needed to be made all came back and all sorted, so that's a positive - it means I can look forward to getting started now and to be able to adapt to a new job and surroundings. I know it's going to be a bigger change overall for a number of reasons but I also know that it's the right move to make at this time. It's definitely though a case of being brave this time around and heading into a different business and different territory entirely - at least the charity sector isn't that much apart from education in some ways..

It is supposedly the final day of the really hot weather but I must admit I do want the heat at night to drop too so I feel like I can actually get some sleep properly. For me it's been noticeable that when it does drop and there's some air around I do sleep well, but if not, it's a pain and I almost have to tire myself out to sleep by one way or another - either reading a fair bit or watching telly till I feel like the eyes are about to close with the focus for so long. It's not the easiest, and just be glad when it does get a bit cooler later on...

I've been playing the Bodega album "Endless Scroll" tonight. It's just as indie as arty as the live set was when I saw them back in May. The likes of the short and sharp "I Am Not A Cinephile" is the sort of statement that the album makes throughout, and I also really like "Jack In Titanic" too, so that's tune of the day. It's one of those that grows on you with each listen, although for some it may seem a little too short (but hey, Pixies songs were short, never did them any harm did it?) Buy, listen, enjoy.

Monday 6th August - Formby Fun

The Love In My Heart had had a relaxed day with Brian the cat yesterday whilst I was at Wembley, but what she had also done was bought lots of nice goodies for us for today in order to take a picnic out with us. She had suggested on Saturday that we head to Formby, as we hadn't been there for some time, and also that would mean we could look for red squirrels in the woods first and then have a relaxing afternoon sat on the beach with a picnic lunch. That sounded rather ace actually and so after getting up, having a shower and getting some breakfast, with the picnic all good, we were going to load the picnic basket.

That was of course until Brian had other ideas - he decided to sit on the picnic basket and look all cute and rest on there beforehand. He actually even posed for a picture, bless him! It was all cute but we wanted to get moving, so the lure of a few Dreamies later and we were all sorted. The good news was that the weather felt warm but also a bit cooler, so should mean we weren't going to bake in intense heat whilst being out, and so with the wind blowing a breeze nicely in The Love's car, we headed off towards the East Lancashire Road.

The journey was going well, passing Haydock, under the M6, and carrying on nicely towards Knowsley and the M57, heading there towards Aintree and at the end we noted a new road had been built linking the busy end of motorway trumpet junction (the M57 and the M58 end here and the A59 meets them both) - so we headed straight across onto the new A5758 which took us to the A565 road to Formby and Southport. The traffic was crawling there due to roadworks and only stopped once we turned left and headed on the road to Formby itself, where we passed through the town centre and on to the National Trust signs for Formby Point.

Being members, parking was free, and we ended up parking not far from the beach, although it was noticeable that part of it was closed off to flooding with a large pool of water at one end. We managed to get a good spot and walked back towards the woods and followed the Squirrel Path through the woods and trees, on the look out for any red squirrels but also noticing how many pine cones from the trees were there to lure the squirrels into having something to munch on. The Love admired the wooded setting, and we later followed the new Asparagus Path which took us a different way towards the beach and in fact the path ended up virtually next to the car. Bonus!

We then got the picnic basket out and headed along one of the sandy paths and over some dunes and down to the beach. It was warm and windy, and the sun wasn't fully out but still intense behind the clouds as well. The picnic was lovely, some nice Italian meats, bread, posh crisps, dip, and even some cake as well as some San Pellegrino cold drinks with the little ice cooler box to keep them cool in. It was just nice chatting and sitting on the picnic blanket on the beach, admiring the view, and a lovely way to wind down to be honest. I even headed for a walk around the dunes and The Love was happy taking in the sun, then we stayed for a lot longer and chatted some more. It felt lovely.

The time sped by and we noted a nice pub in the centre of Formby, so we stopped off there for a drink on the way back, and they had Pendle Witches Brew. Ooh yes, gorgeous and spot on, had to be done. It was nice there too and the time was speeding by too quickly, so it was back towards the M57 and the East Lancs, and had to go slow in parts due to peak time traffic, but got back to Manchester Piccadilly station later where hugs and kisses were mine before I headed off, with a sad farewell as I headed on the 1915 train back towards London Euston, with tune of the day being the rather good "Velvet Days" by Kristin Hersh, just that nice softness about it that reflects our lovely day together.

Sunday 5th August - Agüero 200

I got up at 6am this morning and after getting myself showered and ready and having my retro 1989 Manchester City home shirt on, it was time to meet my friend at the Blue Car Park for the Etihad Stadium, as we were off to Wembley for the season curtain raiser of football, the FA Community Shield. It's always sort of like the FA Super Cup if you will, with the league and FA Cup winners meeting, so that's us up against Chelsea today then. It was good that we all arrived on time and were soon boarding the coach which left at 7.30am, better of course be there at Wembley sooner instead of later.

It was really good to catch up with my friend, and have plenty of time to chatter about what'd been going on for us both as well as then be able to talk football (which I can't do so much with The Love In My Heart.) The time sped by and before we knew it we were at Corley services not far from the end of the M6. We went into Starbucks as there was no Costa, but this did mean we got a proper mug for the tea and coffee we had, and I spotted they had sausage barms to have for breakfast, so that was us well and truly sorted - and nice to have too, I must admit.

We got to Wembley around 12.30pm and once the coach was all sorted, we headed off towards the ramps of Wembley Way and I remembered the Sainsburys Local from last time to get lunch - but what was this next door? A branch of Warrens bakery all the way from Cornwall? Hell yeah. So got all the cold drinks in Sainsburys and then got the steak pasty for me and sausage roll for my friend in there, and happy days all round, and had a shaded spot under some trees to have lunch and chat. We did notice plenty of flats developments going up all around the stadium and close to the Outlet Village there - I have to admit that it was changing the landscape of the area somewhat and this also meant much less parking too!

We got into the ground, had a brew before kick off, and was glad that we were in the shaded part of the stadium as it looked very hot pitch side. The teams came out and the crowd roared in appreciation, although nowhere near full it has to be said. The official attendance was around 72,000 but I would have put it at a fair bit less than that to be honest. City though were in the mood right from the off, and it was good to see that the team were giving the likes of Phil Foden an opportunity to shine in the sunshine.

And shine he did too - every forward movement seemed to involve him and he wasn't afraid to run at players and give them a good question or two. One such move in the 13th minute saw him carry the ball forward and then lay a simple pass to Sergio Agüero, back for City after the World Cup and a knee injury before that. He went forward, pulled the trigger, and right into the bottom corner for the opening goal - and, at last, the 200th of his Manchester City career. The crowd went mental and it was so good to see him get it on such a big occasion and to set us on our way. Apart from the odd goalkeeping howler from Claudio Bravo, City were in control and all was good to see.

The second half carried on that trend, with Foden putting Agüero through on a 1 on 1 where he should have scored or passed to Ilkay Gundogan. That said, he did make up for it soon enough after John Stones cleared the ball out of defence classily, he found Gundogan and then Bernardo Silva, and a ball through to Agüero was finished superbly. 2-0, 201 up for the Argentinian, and absolutely class. The number of subs was large and heat breaks for drinks took place due to the intense heat, but we kept going, and Brahim Diaz also looked superb and willing to have a shot when he came on.

So we won 2-0, Supra's version of Blue Moon should have been belting out (make that tune of the day) but there was another version attempting to sound like them playing instead for some odd reason. The players lifted the shield and presented it to the fans, and we then headed back to the coach, and out of Wembley. This time it was off to the A40 and then the M40, and around Birmingham to the M6 before then stopping off at Hilton Park for a comfort break and a coffee, then off Northwards and back at the Etihad just before 10.30pm. A cracking day all round made better of course by us winning!

Saturday 4th August - Mission: Very Possible

The Love In My Heart and I headed out at around lunch time after we'd had breakfast and allowed Brian the cat a bit of a play out (where he kept sneaking off and then hissing at The Love when she wanted to get him back in.) We met up with some of The Love's family and later on headed back to The Love's place, where coffee and a gorgeous cake that she had made was served. It was nice to catch up and relax, particularly with her father, who appeared to be enjoying the racing from Goodwood this week especially. It was nice to see that he was up and about, although with the weather being still warm, a jacket definitely wasn't needed.

It was then later on off to the city centre for me and The Love, as she wanted to see Mission Impossible: Fallout at the cinema, and she had got a Vue gift card which meant that basically it'd be free to get in. Sadly, the posh Scene cinemas where you get food and drink and a posh seat wasn't on for the showings this weekend, so it was a normal seat (£4.99 each) for us both. We went to the Northern Quarter first though and had a well earned drink in 57 Thomas Street - lovely Manchester Marble bitter come to me. The atmosphere was relaxed and they had leaflets for Bee in the City so The Love snagged one.

It was then off to get the cinema ticket and up the escalators to screen 18 to see the film. I was glad I put the phone on silent as I saw it vibrate two times in the trailers with attempted phone calls from Mum, so politely texted I was in the cinema and would respond later, then switched the phone off to be double safe. Naturally we both wanted to enjoy it with no disturbances and as soon as the opening scenes kicked in, that was us pretty much glued to the big screen.

And I have to say: I really enjoyed it! I knew that The Love would enjoy that anyway, but for me it was a welcome addition to the series. Tom Cruise was being Tom as Ethan Hunt and doing all his stunts, certainly Simon Pegg as Benji has got better with each of the films and in this one he did have some comedic elements but also some serious moments of reflection too. And Ving Rhames as Luther is just über-cool of course, utterly loyal and after the team had got his back early on, he was the first to say "He'll do it!" come the end scenes. It was also good that they involved Sean Harris again as Solomon Lane, and being decidedly evil along the way - with Henry Cavill showing a darker side to his character also. Even though it only appeared in the trailer, "Friction" by Imagine Dragons is tune of the day - I had it in my head a lot during the film itself.

So with film very much enjoyed, we headed off through the Northern Quarter and stopped off at Rosylee for some tea - The Love had the steak frites, with a well done steak, and I had the meat feast pizza, which was rather gorgeous, and a pizza cutter that they provided was pretty handy all round too. We had a nice drink in there to go with it, and once done it was back on the tram to The Love's place (which was very busy) and we relaxed with Brian having another good play out.

We also watched the documentary on More4 that had been made a few years ago by Ron Howard which detailed The Beatles' career, with interviews, clips and footage all well put together. I'm not a big Beatles fan as such but it was good that it concentrated a lot on the touring years and how that took the toll on the band: with the last few albums having no tours at all and just one solitary performance on the top of Apple's HQ in 1969. It certainly showed some effort to get people to chatter about the band, with the likes of Eddie Izzard, Whoopi Goldberg etc talking about it, and poignant too in the fact that the Beatles insisted on segregation free gigs, which during the 1960s in America was a bold thing to do.

Friday 3rd August - Different Angle

So I had a puzzle on the hands in ServiceNow that I really wanted to get to the bottom of for my colleague who runs the training courses. She had mentioned to me that in fact the courses for Excel need to appear in the same order as they do on the internal form for adding a course, and indeed the service catalog form text shows them in the same order, but the actual drop down for the course selection didn't. It was a bit puzzling but I soon worked out why, but what took the time today was working out the answer to that.

So what I had been able to work out was that it sorted them by the value, which was the likes of excel_beginners, excel_finance2 etc, but because these were in a different order alphabetically, it would show that way. What I really wanted to do was effectively do them by order of sequence (the choices have a sequential order based on where they appear in the selections with the corresponding dependent value). I knew those were stored in the sys_choice table, with respective elements and sequences.

So, I suspected what the case was here was that because the it_training table didn't actually reference the sequence directly (because it's in another table) so is in effect using it as a lookup for the new course form. So, for the request form for the service catalog, it may only look at the actual table referenced in the Lookup Select Box to get its necessary values and reference, and of course that was referring to the training table instead. So, I had a think about this, and set to work.

I now referenced the sys_choice table with the value being the required lookup and the label being the name shown on the choices, but then got clever with the reference qualifier. So, the sequence needed to be in order, so ORDERBYsequence for that, and then with two additional qualifiers - the element was always part of the course field in the training table, so refer that (element=u_course) and then the dependent value because it needed one, so dependent_value=excel. Add that with a ^ between each statement in the development instance, save the form and see what happens.

And.. it appeared the right way! Nice. Even nicer was that it very much looked like once I added some course dates in for a few of them in Excel, the second field to lookup the time was correct because it was utilising what was selected in the first field still (the course in now sequence order). So that was quite good. I had stayed back till around 6.15pm to get to the bottom of it, but as my train wasn't till 8.40pm, I had plenty of time. I just need our training person to check that over to be sure it's okay, but feel pretty chuffed I've managed to work it out by myself really.

Later on then after a well earned drink of the gorgeous Jaw Brew Fathom it was time to head to Euston and to board the 2040 departure to Manchester Piccadilly, with the sun slowly setting over London and almost getting dark by Milton Keynes Central, with the likes of Nine Inch Nails' "God Break Down The Door" from the Bad Witch album (make that track tune of the day - very reminiscent in parts of late era Bowie) keeping me going for the journey ahead. It was so nice to see The Love In My Heart when I got to Piccadilly, and a nice hug ensued before heading back to her place, fussing over Brian the cat, and watching The Last Leg on Channel 4 Plus One before heading for a well earned sleep...

Thursday 2nd August - HTTP-Yes!

So after I wrote my diary entry yesterday I raised a support call with my hosting provider of my website. I knew that they did offer HTTPS certificates for one year as part of the packages that you get these days, but what wasn't clear on when you looked at upgrading would be if these would replace your current hosting package, or it was a cost on top (effectively paying double, which I didn't want to do of course). The good news was that they got back to me and confirmed that it would replace the current package and cost, and as this worked out a mere 50p more plus VAT per month, that seemed decent to me.

So I pressed the upgrade buttons, ran through the wizard, and let things complete and take their time. And yes, it was pretty seamless all round, and once done I added a bit of code to check for any needed redirection to https (easy to implement once you know how). And then off for the button press for the HTTPS certificate. I waited around half an hour for everything to settle, and yes, it's now all HTTPS all the way. I did have to tweak the homepage code a little bit just to make sure that some of the external sites referenced from the front page offered their content in HTTPS as well (they all did, so happy bunny) and job done.

So now in Firefox you'll see a nice green padlock icon, and latest versions of Chrome will flag as secure (version 68 has some checking now, so it will flag anything unsecure elsewhere such as the Daily Fail's website) so that was all good, and nice to get sorted. I also know that the date for renewal will stick in the diary nicely, so I can either see if extending the 12 months' worth will allow for another free cert, or if there's a small cost involved to keep that going. Either way, it's been very useful to do.

In the meantime, I've had my Mum thinking about planning some sort of adventure down to Cornwall next year with one of her friends. I can get why she'd want to do so although of course there's a fair number of caveats i that the month she plans to go is still the high season, so demand will pretty much be massive where possible, and of course on top of that you have the fact that you've got to think carefully about how you get to / walk between places, because it's not always a strictly "as the crow flies" sort of thing either..

Still, I've been having a few cold drinks to keep cool in the heat, and it's been nice to listen to some more new music, and She Makes War's new single "Devastate Me" is pretty excellent all round (so tune of the day) - I've been listening to the downloaded version at the moment (which I paid for) and eagerly awaiting the CD version so I can blast that out on the system with some gorgeous guitar coming forth from the speakers. It's a sure fire indicator of how good the new album is going to be, which you really should be buying!

Wednesday 1st August - The Heat Is (Back) On

After a few days of the nicer weather, still relatively good and warm but just not as hot, it looks like as from this morning the heat is back on again. Whilst, granted, it is nice that work does provide air conditioning and it does at least mean that I was able to get on with a few bits of stuff myself, it was also noticeable that the weather outside was getting that bit hotter. Mind you, if you're in parts of Spain or Portugal right now, the heatwave has hit there in a big way - try an afternoon temperature of 40 degrees centigrade (yes folks, that's over 100 farenheit, wowzers)

So it was a case of getting on with a fair bit of testing today, including version 68 of Google Chrome to determine it fit for purpose before looking at deployment. On a positive note, it looks like although it will flag something in the address bar if you do happen to browse a http only site, it does at least mean that it's not that obtrusive as yet and will at least let you carry on, but with a simple and sensible warning to you. I do think that as more of us need to go https as other browsers will follow suit I'm sure, maybe hosting providers might look at actually offering their hosting as https by default?

More to the point, this reminded me that I needed to have a chat with my hosting provider and see what they can do as well. A lot of their newer packages appear to have a year's SSL certificate included, all well and good, but I'd either have to change package to that (even though my current one does what I'd like it to do in the main) or purchase one with all the fun and games of having to attempt to generate a certificate request, more so when I don't actually have a dedicated server for it (as the provider has all that back end stuff.) I shall see what the response is, and take it from there.

In the meantime, I had a nice delivery earlier - my new watch! The old Ben Sherman one had finally given up the ghost with its battery, and with a new strap also needed, I figured it was actually going to be cheaper to actually order a new one instead of faffing around with getting all that replaced. I did see a nice one online in John Lewis, but a bit of shopping around and I found the very same one for around £10 less, and an independent jewellers' chain in Yorkshire at that. So I did the order over the weekend, and it all arrived safe and sound today.

And yes, all good, and all working. I did say to The Love In My Heart that I felt pretty odd without a watch on really, so was good to get it sorted. In case you wanted to order the same one, you can do so here. Note that the same site also has some pretty nice Hugo Boss watches for around £65, which considering how much they normally go for, it's a good place to shop. I'll definitely be using the same retailer again, spot on with service and delivery. So with that in mind, something Yorkshire is tune of the day and you can't get much more so than Sheffield's Heaven 17, with the classic "Temptation". Glenn, we've talked about this!