Just back from holiday, visited Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano. Back a day late due to thunderstorms and Alitalia. Will never fly with them again. I have added the pictures to the website at http://www.blasdale.com/pictures/2006/Sicily/index.html
Continuing theme of Alitalia, Chris came up with the following meanings for Alitalia
Always Late In Transit, Always Late In Arrival
Airplane Landed In Tokyo And luggage In Alaska
A Little Italian Tit And Lotsa Italian Ass
A Little Italian Tradition And Lotsa Italian Attitude
Its Thursday, and I am about to fly back home. Short week as Rosemary and I are off to Cambridge next weekend. Spent the four days here in Edinburgh, staying at my favourite hotel the Radisson. They gave me a bottle of malt, and a glass to go with it. Well miniature.
The week was a mixture of rain, and wind, followed by unseasonable hot weather today. Not particularly sunny, but very very warm.
Been keeping a low profile this week. Ate at the Ichycoo bar a couple of times, had scallops one night and salmon on Thursday. One small outing down to the Mai Thai where I had an excellent meal of Thai fish curry and some vegetables. White there I picked up a card of the artist who who paints their pictures which decorate the bar. Rosemary was impressed by them. Well I thought I had the card, seem to have mislaid it. Will have to email the restaurant.
Today I left early for the airport, wanted a stress free boarding. Of course today there were no traffic holdups, check in was fast. No queues at the security, and the plane is 45 minutes late. Oh well.
Had a nice weekend with Ann And Mike. Did Bicester Village, though I was unable to find the walking boots I required. Ann came a way with a few purchases.
Selina and Graham came over on Saturday for supper. A salmon side marinaded in balsamic vinegar, Soy Sauce, then grilled and served on top of beans with a potato salad. Quite good if I say so myself.
Sunday, nice lovely warm day, mowed the lawns, sat outside with a Pimms. Lunch was slow cooked shoulder of lamb with Pomegranate. Ann and Mike left us to go home via Ikea.
All the enjoyment was destroyed by the early morning get up call on Monday to drive to Luton. Huge queues at check-in, and even longer ones at security. Ushered through the waiting crowds for the flight, only to be delayed for another hour. This flying is getting to be a rather tedious repetitive joke. Made up the hours already, was in the office until 7.30.
Back home after another week in Edinburgh. Been quite a hard week, working long hours system testing the new release.
Stayed on the Grassmarket in the Apex International, so ate in the Grassmarket resturants. Ate twice at the Petit Paris, always missing the happy hour meals. Both times I ate outside on the pavement, watching the world pass by. On the final night ate a very nice Sea Bream at the Mussel and Steak, followed by a very melt in the mouth chocolate tort.
Travel back, was fraught. I managed to catch the plane at Edinburgh, but BMI Babyhas got to get its check in faster. The queues was long, and slow moving. Edinburgh has also got to sort its security out. They don’t manage their queues at all there. All the other airports I have flown from always actively manage the queues, bringing passengers forward where their flights are about to leave. Several passengers had their baggage unloaded from the Birmingham flight because they were British and queued for security, while I just walked past the queue to the head.
Ann and Mike are staying this week end and we are off to Bicester Village.
Unusually I have had a couple of days back in the office. I managed to catch up on my expense claims and sort a few tasks out. Short break, because I was back up to Edinburgh on an evening flight on Tuesday. Far more civilised way of travelling, no early mornings, and empty airports.
After work on Wednesday I met up with Ed Aldridge. Although he left the Bank a couple of weeks ago, he was back in Edinburgh for his own belated leaving drink. We (Mary, Ed, Simon and Neil) started the evening in All Bar One. We finished there with a bottle of Champagne, and went on for a meal at Nargile. Turkish restaurant, so we ate kebabs and hummus. Think we were the last out of the restaurant.
On then to Opal Lounge, trendy bar on George street, and finally Le Monde, another trendy bar on George street.
I had a few problems recently with my old Blog. So I have upgraded the blog to this new software version with loads of new features.
It will take a little while to get to grips with the new features, and a little while before I get back some of the missing postings.
I hope you won’t get emails with the spurious odd characters you were getting with the old version.
Started off fine. In the evening worked for another customer. Afterward met up with Ed and Mary in the Bow Bar, and then ate Pizza and Chilli in Mammas Pizza Company. My Chilli was ordered extra hot, now regretting it a day later.
Alas, the weather turned bad, and the rain hammered down. Not so good when I was doing my Newcastle dress impression. At least Tee shirts dry quickly.
Flew up to Edinburgh from Birmingham. Good day in Edinburgh. I did little in the evening. I had to work for another customer, so spent my time dialled up at hotel phone rates. Ate in the hotel restaurant, chose the tuna. They love to serve it raw. Cooking it means to place the tuna on top of a hot vegetable.
Morning spent sawing the wood up into fireplace sized pieces. What did people do before chainsaws? Should have enough for a very cold winter.
Sunny all day. First started work on the spare room, moved the power sockets and removed the radiator in preparation for the dry-lining, due to start on Tuesday. Also filled the gap between the window frame and the wall with expanding foam. Caused a little grief to Rosemary. She thought I had not prepared adequately. The foam would not stop coming out of the nozzle and it has to be admitted, it went everywhere.
Mowed the lawn and the borders of the field. Then spent the rest of the afternoon sorting out the wood shed.
We drove to High Wycombe to John Lewis where I admired the huge TFT and Plasma displays showing a BBC HD trial channel. Yes, you can see all the wrinkles and spots on the actors’ faces. Popped into Asda, where we bought really cheap petrol, as well as the Fired Earth shop.
On the way home stopped off for lunch in a small hotel, The Rose & Crown, between High Wycombe and Princes Risborourgh. Good – Rosemary had two starters (Thai fish cakes & stir fried duck), while I went for a fish main course.
Lunchtime at the Café Royal, leaving presentation back in the office to Ed Aldridge. Evening quick meal in the Olive Branch, where I ate Sea Bass. The meal was very nice, then it was back to the hotel for an evening in.
Supper tonight was at the Olive Branch, a Mediterranean style restaurant. Did the three courses. Afterwards met Ed to see a show on the Royal Mile. It is called the Free Fringe. Four comedians performed, unfortunately missed hearing the first, because of the poor sound system, and also we were standing by a fan. Very good show by a very young black comedian, and finally an excellent stand by Paul Sinha, he is an Asian Gay comedian who loves football. He has a show at the Pleasance Courtyard.
Back to work today, a shock to the system. Ate a curry at Zest. Tried to keep the quantities down by not eating rice. Good meal though. Met up with Ed Aldridge after the meal, and visited the Stand, where we can some standby tickets to see two hours of ablib stand up comedy by Andy Parsons and another Scottish comedian. They were commenting on all the events of the world, and took turns. First I heard of the Asians being thrown off the flight from Malaga. That is how topical their show was.
Up again late, had a cup of coffee and a croissant in a nearby café. One event booked for the afternoon, and that was a Russian Clown Mimes from St. Petersbourg. The show was called the family. It is basically about a family of four children, their mother and alcoholic father. The father was always trying to leave home, only to be reconciled with his family. The children were always playing tricks on their parents. I won’t say any more, because I would not want to spoil the fun, though expect plenty of audience participation.
The evening was spent at the Saltire, and a meal in the nearby pizza establishment.