Dear Diary...

This is my diary. How things are. Or something. Please note that the diary is archived month by month, so feel free to click the links for the archives:

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Thursday 2nd December - Out On The Town

It was back to working at home today which did mean I could get plenty done today before a visit from The Love In My Heart tomorrow for the weekend, which I'm looking forward to very much (as I should do). I was able also to run some tests and work out just why that one application was failing - and to me it definitely seemed to be missing files or services on one of the app servers somewhere, so will need one of our colleagues to be able to conduct some further investigation on that. The good news is that at least by being thorough it's being appreciated, so that has to be a definite plus point.

I also had a couple of deliveries of Christmas presents which was good - not least because I had been to Waitrose the other night and picked up some gift tags and wrap so I could get things wrapped up and organised, which has to be a plus point without question of course. I also was able to get a few more bits ordered and definitely feel like I'm on the last leg of getting things sorted before the festive period. The good thing this year is that a lot of presents aren't big in size, so won't necessarily need to be trundling big bags with me everywhere as well as the case over that time.

I left home after work and was heading off into central London to meet up with a few work colleagues as we had planned a get together to celebrate both the completion of a couple of major projects and also a pre-Christmas drinks thing too. This one at least meant that if for example anything did happen, I'd have time beforehand to still go. After consideration, the 17th one is just too close and too much of a risk to take to be honest, and so won't be going to that, so considering this more of a little bit of a do.

In typical Southern Rail always letting you down fashion, there were signalling issues just south of East Croydon so took me time to get a train to Victoria, then from there headed on the Victoria Line (which was rammed, most likely due to the Tottenham v Brentford game later on to be fair also) and got off at Oxford Circus then walked across to the Green Man pub for beer in there. The selection of beer was very poor indeed (I mean, Doom Bar. No, just no.) and so it was on to the Brewdog Punk IPA for me, the best of a not very good bunch it has to be said.

It was nice to catch up with everyone and have a good natter about all sorts - plenty about football and indeed later on the pub showed the Man U v Arsenal game including a rather controversial opening goal. We did all think that as any injury was caused by Man U's own player, the goal should stand, and that's what VAR came up with also. It ended up being the Cristiano Ronaldo comeback show with two goals, but still. It was just nice to see people although I suspect that my head might be feeling it a bit more in the morning, and tune of the day is the tune that they're using for the Amazon Prime football coverage - Makeba, written by Jain.

Wednesday 1st December - Primed For Silva

It was another day off to the office today and quite nice too as my manager was also in the office, so good to have some face to face chat and conversation, mainly whilst we were heading off next door to Whole Foods for a well earned coffee during the day and then spending time outside with coffee and catching up. It was also a good sign that despite the office being busy everyone had adapted the new protocols and that definitely felt positive - a case of everyone's in this together and keeping safe as much as we can. It felt a good thing to be honest.

I also had an email from Amazon again at this time of year offering me one month's free Prime membership - and with a couple of forthcoming games of football being on said channel including the Manchester City game at Aston Villa tonight (and I can always use the fast free delivery for any remaining Christmas presents) it was pretty daft not to do that. I have the app on the telly as well and so I can watch the game from the comfort of my own sofa without having to do too much. That said, once I knew Andy Townsend was on commentary pundit duties, I was eternally grateful for the option to switch to crowd only noise. Goldie Lookin' Chain have a rap about said commentator - definitely worth a listen and tune of the day for me.

It was good to see a resurgent Aston Villa under new manager Steven Gerrard give us a decent game, more so second half, as I don't mind Villa at all. Even Prince William turned up to watch (who to be fair has long been a Villa fan) so by royal appointment, City turned up. And did they ever! We had most of the play in the first half and midway through a nice run down the left by Raheem Sterling got him to the byline - he pulled it back all the way to beyond the edge of the 18 yard box where Ruben Dias smashed it into the bottom corner. I mean, he's our defender and a quality strike and all that!

City pressed on and Villa got more into the game. The opportunity came to clear and a peach of a ball from Fernandinho found Gabriel Jesús on the right hand side. He pegged it down the right and Bernardo Silva was on side in the middle. The ball was crossed over and from the edge of the box Bernardo hit it superbly, side footed the ball into the top corner with sublime skill. When even some of the Villa fan vlogs say what a quality goal it was (and fair play to those) it says a lot about how much that goal was a classic. 2-0 at half time and going well.

I always knew though Villa were going to come back into it so it was no surprise at all when Olly Watkins smashed home low from a corner and he did really well. Villa had other chances and needed some agility from Ederson in net and some good defending to keep Villa out - and at the other end Jesús should have done better with a chance fed to him from Bernardo Silva. However I will take the three points and another win to keep up with both Liverpool and Chelsea no problem, so that's all good.