Tuesday, 30 January 2007


I know I don't post as often as I should, or as often as I used to, but it was only when looking at some numbers for the amount of posts I've made over the past 18 months that I realised how lax I'd been lately.

Below is a table which shows, for each month, the number of posts I made in that month, and a rolling 3-month average (i.e. the average for that month and the two previous months).

Month Entries 3 Month Ave
Jun-05 12 12.00
Jul-05 14 13.00
Aug-05 12 12.67
Sep-05 16 14.00
Oct-05 14 14.00
Nov-05 11 13.67
Dec-05 15 13.33
Jan-06 6 10.67
Feb-06 8 9.67
Mar-06 6 6.67
Apr-06 9 7.67
May-06 12 9.00
Jun-06 10 10.33
Jul-06 8 10.00
Aug-06 3 7.00
Sep-06 8 6.33
Oct-06 6 5.67
Nov-06 1 5.00
Dec-06 6 4.33
Jan-07 6 4.33

It's quite shocking!

For the first 6 months I managed to keep up around 13 or 14 posts a month. That's 3 per week. Recently, I've struggled to do 1 a week. And last November was a shocker, with only 1 post in the whole month.

So - I really need to do something about this. I've got the new blog for "Merry Wives" which I mentioned yesterday, but I also need to find other interesting things to write about.

Suggestions gratefully received!

Monday, 29 January 2007

New Blogs for Old

I've created a new blog to document the process of directing our latest play.

Ottershaw Players are doing The Merry Wives of Windsor in June. And my Merry Wives blog will give you all a behind-the-scenes commentary of what's been going on.

That's the theory anyway.

I should also point out that we're doing John Godber's marvellous play, Teechers, on 27th and 28th April. I'm not involved, but if it's as good as the version which was put on at last year's Woking Drama Festival, it will be cracking.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Annnndddd... Relax

A week into the new job and I feel more relaxed than I have done in years.

Everyone at the office seems very nice. The first day was quite relaxed; a 9.30am start followed by some introductions and an HR induction and the usual sorting out of all the relevant system access requirements.

But the majority of it was all sorted out long before I arrived. Which makes a change from certain recent employers...

So far it's been a varied, interesting week with the chance to brush up some old skills and the prospect of learning something new on the horizon.

And the phone only rang once. It was a wrong number. Bliss!

Friday, 19 January 2007


It's my last day in my current job today.

I feel like going to the pub right NOW! But I've got to do a presentation at 3pm for my erstwhile colleagues. They think it's going to be about Oracle database tuning.

Instead I think I'll do a slideshow about The Merry Wives of Windsor instead!

About this point in a blog would be the usual place to review the last 4.75 years of employment. Note down the good times and the bad. Trumpet my achievements.

But I don't really feel I've achieved anything, workwise, in all that time.

A lack of training; no support from management; risible pay reviews; staff morale through the floor; appalling staff appraisal system (what system?); permanently short-staffed teams with too much work (the good teams anyway) - the teams that do a piss-poor job seem to have plenty of time on their hands and loads of staff to while it away. Why is that?

Anyway, enough of my moaning. I've been telling my bosses all this for the past year or so and it doesn't seem to have made a farthing's difference.

So, I'm off.

To a job with better prospects; where I'm directly responsible to the customers I support; with far fewer databases to support; in a more stable environment; with decent training; and the chance to learn genuine new skills.

Oh, and the commute is a lot easier - even after we move house.

And they are going to pay me quite a bit more money too.

I'ts not the 'dream' job that I was wishing for here a while ago - it's still in the IT industry, so it couldn't possibly be - and that dream job really IS just a dream at present.

But I genuinely feel that it stands a chance of rekindling my enthusiasm. I'm looking forward to Monday morning...

Sunday, 14 January 2007

I'm Cross Now

OK - so I haven't been around for a while and my Mum told me off for not blogging recently. I've been busy - I can't help it. I'm about to change jobs, so I've got to write down everything I know about my old one because they won't be able to cope without me.

[That's not arrogance - it's a plain fact: I'm going to steal the keys to all the filing cabinets and change all the database passwords without telling anyone!]

And we're sorting out our new house and I'm in pre-production on our new play.

So it's all been a bit hectic.

Anyway, tonight we get back from a lovely Chinese meal with Ma & Pa (a thank you for helping us with various household tasks today, plus another 40-odd years of parenting) and as we're walking home we notice the lovely clear skies so I decided to take some astro-photos with my shiny new camera.

All is going well and we keep noticing some lovely red stars. Are they stars? Or is it Mars? Let's look it up...

Only Mars is below the horizon at the moment. And when we look closer, the red 'star' is in exactly the same place on every single bloody picture! Which can only mean that my nice, shiny, new, expensive camera has a faulty pixel in the bloody sensor. Arse!

So along with all the other busy-ness, I now have to take it back to the shop and persuade them to swap it out for a new one...


Anyway - phantom star apart - I'm pretty happy with the pictures. Check out the one of Leo. I managed to catch a real planet on that one.