Thursday, 30 June 2016


Thursday was almost a re-run of Wednesday, at least, from a work perspective.

The day was dotted with conference calls and in between I managed to watch a recording of another lecture and "ace" the associated test that ensures I had paid attention ... it wasn't that hard, a decent set of notes ensured I passed first time.

Once the working day had finished I wandered out to the garage and applied a second coat of Danish Oil to the hive. Forty minutes later I wandered back in and slouched on the sofa for a while before donning a T-shirt and "Trackies" and heading up to the Village Hall  ...

... I was an hour early for Pilates, but 30% had arranged for us to be weighed and measured, having now been on our "Programme" for the best part of three weeks. It is fair to say that I was well chuffed by the result as I appear to have lost around 10 lbs ... mind you, I still have a long way to go.

30% stayed and attended a Zumba class, whilst I popped back home, returning 50 minutes later for an hour of Pilates.

That just about sums up the day; progress on all fronts; work life, home life, health and well being.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The mid point

Goodness! Half way through the working week already and just about half way through the year too.

Today was quiet and I finally managed to find the motivation to spend a couple of hours completing some on-line education and passing the mandated, multiple choice test afterwards. The rest of the day included a smattering of conference calls and a few communications supporting a new project where I seem to be the "go to guy" for background information.

As I approach my third anniversary as a Piano Mover I am amazed at my progression from knowing sweet fanny adams to being brought in to consult on, and manage, complex projects and programmes.*

As the afternoon faded in to the evening I got up from my desk and was quite restless.  I needed something constructive to do, but didn't really fancy clipping the dogs' faces.** I wandered out to the garage and my eyes fell upon the recently assembled new hive. I found a small sponge and a can of Danish Oil and spent the next forty five minutes applying a coat of protective oil to the outer surfaces of the hive.

Based on Monday's hive inspection, I may need to split my colony and use the new hive so it will be necessary to have all the equipment ready ... just in case.

A pair of hive straps arrived this morning in the post as any new "daughter" colony will need to be sited a few miles away from home for the first few weeks.*** The new colony may also need feeding, so I made an improvement to my Ashforth feeder.

The Ashforth feeder is a container that sits on the top of the hive and holds sugar syrup. It has a slot that allows the bees to enter the feeder and drink the syrup. They need this extra food to fuel the production of new wax comb. Unfortunately my Ashforth feeder seems to be a bee suicide device as many seem to drown when feeding.  This evening I crafted a perforated, wooden float that will hopefully allow the bees to access the syrup but not get caught in the gloopy liquid.

I think I now have everything I need apart from a new site for any daughter colony ...

... The bottom of 30%'s parents garden is looking like a possibility.
* They must be insane
** Quote 30%: "Who's a beautiful girl? Does your face need clipping?"
*** The straps hold the hive base, brood box, crown board and roof together while it is transported in the back of the Defender. Imagine the effect of bees escaping in to the car.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016


It is a word we hear a lot nowadays. "You look awesome". "This food is awesome". "Your tweet was soooo awesome" ...

... are your ready to vomit yet?

It would be fair to say that I am not a fan of the current trend to use the work awesome to describe people and events that are, at best, OK and generally barely acceptable.

The true definition of the word awesome is an adjective describing something extremely impressive, daunting and inspiring awe.

A new top, a gastro pub meal and a semi-literate, 140 character utterance are not awesome. I fail to understand why the population seem to be loosing their ability to nuance and grade quality and, instead, leap straight to awesome without thought of using pleasant, super, marvellous or, perhaps more accurately shite.

I'll stop this rant now with these closing comments ...

...  if you use the word awesome for something that clearly isn't you are a twat. There is no argument. You are a knuckle dragging illiterate with a smaller vocabulary than an ASL trained Bonobo.

Now, where was I going with this?

Last Summer I witnessed something that I felt met the true definition of awesome.

We were spending a couple of days in Monterey, CA. It is a pleasant town with a population of 27,000 that describes itself as a city.  It has a harbour where sea lions sun themselves on the rocky wall that protects the entrance and Sea Otters float in the calm waters within. It has the World famous Monterey Aquarium and the nearby old canneries have been converted to a fine retail district.

It is a fine town city and should be on the itinerary of anyone visiting California's coast. It is also a great place to go whale watching ...

... early one morning we wandered down to the harbour and boarded a large boat. The sky overhead was leaden and coats and sweaters were needed as we took a seat and the boat headed out in to the bay.

It was a two hour trip out to the area where whales had been seen on previous occasions and on our way out a pod of Dolphins joined us and caused great delight as they swam in close to observer the boat.

One must have a very stoney heart not to find great joy in seeing these delightful creatures torpedoing through the waves, but, all of a sudden, Dolphins became uninteresting ... very uninteresting.

The boat engines ceased and our gazes were directed to a Humpback Whale surfacing off in the distance. Within a few minutes we floating in the midst of somewhere between twenty and thirty of these amazing animals as they dived for food and even breached off in the distance.

At all times the boat just sat quiet in the water and left it up to the whales approach or depart as they wished. At one point we saw a group of three approach the boat from the port side, dive under and then surface within twenty feet of us on the starboard side.

This was a truly awesome experience.

A group of three preparing to dive
Exhaling as they surface
You could even see the barnacles on this one's dorsal fin
This one surfaced right alongside the boat

Monday, 27 June 2016

Will they or won't they?

Shortly after lunch I managed to tear myself away from the horse shit I am employed to wade through.*

I put on my bee suit, lit a smoker and wandered out to inspect the hive ...

... I started at the top and lifted off the first Super. It felt a little lighter than last week and that may have been down to poor weather and the bees making use of their stores. There was nothing of great concern to see, so I moved to the next Super. This was the one that was added a fortnight ago.

The frames in the Super looked almost exactly like they had last week; the foundation had been partially drawn but no stores of nectar or pollen had been added. I moved the most recently added Super to one side and dived in to the Brood Box

Once again the brood box was absolutely rammed with bees and I thought I was going to have no chance of spotting the Queen. I made a start on examining the frames, taking care to watch for eggs and young larvae. Two or three frames in I spotted something very different ...

... a Queen cell with a developing larvae. Prior to this point I had only seen queen cups that had not yet been laid in, but here was a fully constructed Queen cell. I removed the cell and continued my inspection. I eventually located the Queen, but I also found three or four other Queen cells.

The massed bees and Queen cells are all signs of a colony that is preparing to swarm. This would not be good as my Queen could well disappear, taking a good proportion of the workers and probably manage to piss off my neighbours as well. Adding Supers has had no impact on the colony so I needed an alternative.

Since the bees had not availed themselves of the additional space provided by the new Super, I decided to encourage them by moving the Queen Excluder further up the hive. This would allow the Queen and the workers up in to the extra space and, perhaps, reduce their swarming urge.

I may not have described the reconfiguration particularly well so, hopefully, this diagram will help.
Apparently young, prolific Queens can need the additional laying space made available by moving to a brood and half. I can always add further Supers, if necessary later on. At the moment I just want to keep my bees content in their hive rather than buzzing off down the road.

I had a chat with the people that supplied my Nucleus colony and apparently I have taken appropriate action, but I may need to perform a "split" and create a daughter colony if the extra space of a "brood and a half" hasn't deterred them from producing Queen cells.
* Revisiting costs that were assembled and priced in November last year because "the customer doesn't like them" ... I don't like paying £1.11 per litre for diesel but an argument on the forecourt doesn't change the costs or the price!

I also started to get under the covers of a new service that is needed and it is starting to look like I have been fed bullshit from day one. I was advised that I just needed to collate existing elements and add a little support where needed ... It is now starting to sound like it needs to be built from scratch ... Oh Joy!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Bleurgh !

I woke this morning and did not feel at all well.

I had gone hypoglycaemic over night, waking with a headache and zero energy levels.  The net result was that I did very little for the first couple of hours as I attempted to restore my blood sugar levels to something approaching normal.

By mid-morning I still didn't feel great, but couldn't tolerate any more time in front of the TV, so I headed out in to the garden to potter. I spent a reasonable hour trimming back a Kerria Japonica that had taken over a bed, and then had a go at the Cherry Laurel that also needed tidying up.

Over the weekend 30% and I had managed to fill our two garden waste bins to overflowing and they were only emptied on Friday. The way the lawn is growing at the moment I'm going to have to get creative to deal with the amount of green material that we are taking out at present. *

Lunch followed and I still didn't feel great. After assisting 30% with repotting a couple of Bay trees, I retired indoors and crashed on the sofa. I eventually woke late in the afternoon as the rains started.

It certainly wasn't the most productive of days and the weekend's weather had not been conducive to inspecting the hive.** Hopefully I can find a quiet hour early in the week to take a peek at the bees.
* The hedge has gone crazy, but I think we are both doing our best to turn a blind eye to that at present.
** The ever present threat of a shower, with the associated cloud cover,  meant that a nice clear spell during the middle of the day just didn't happen.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

An early start

This morning I woke before six and was soon downstairs imbibing strong black coffee.

By eight o'clock I was outside in the garage carrying out much needed tidying. I really wanted to get the floor swept, but each time I put a couple of bikes outside, to give much needed space, a shower passed over and they had to be rushed back inside. Eventually a shower free spell occurred and I can report that the garage is now a much more pleasant space to work ... far from pristine, but certainly a lot tidier.

I wandered back in to the house for a coffee and eventually TP made an appearance. I encouraged him to breakfast swiftly and then recruited him to assist me with a trip to the Tip. The trailer was already loaded and it was a few minutes work to rope the load and head off.

Forty minutes later we were back at home and loaded the last remnants of the "kindling stack" in to the trailer. Allegedly, a colleague of 30% wants this wood, so by having it pre-loaded it should encourage him to simply borrow my trailer and take it away ... alternatively it is ready for another tip trip if it isn't removed before I need the trailer next.

This frenetic activity brought us all to lunch time and in the afternoon 30% and I headed over to see her brother and the ELF.  A pleasant couple of hours were spent catching up on each others' news and discussing the recent political divides before we headed back home.

We then returned to the garden and I mowed the lawn whilst 30% planted up the raised bed. Various pruning and weeding activities followed until hunger and fatigue drew a halt to proceedings.

Dinner was taken early and was followed by a wash and brush up, as our evening was spent at the Artrix theatre in Bromsgrove watching Barry Cryer and Colin Sell  perform their Strictly Come Joking tour.  It was a lovely evening watching the two old farts enjoy themselves on stage recounting anecdotes and telling jokes, some of which were as old as they were.

We certainly managed to fill our time today.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Time for some admin

As the working week drew to a close, it was clear that the RFI response would be assembled and submitted comfortably in advance of the client's deadline ...

... whether it is any good is another matter, so all I can say at this stage is that we have delivered crap ahead of time.

With that out of the way I needed something to fill my day and the lawn didn't need a trim. Instead I sat down and completed some long overdue admin. I won't go into details because there is no way that I can make the updating of a workload report in any way enthralling.

I finished the day with a long call to a frolleague in Nevada who will be sadly moving to another team in the next couple of weeks. I'll miss her jaded cynicism and the shared, complete and utter loathing for another of our colleagues who is based in New Jersey.

Team calls will never be the same now I will no longer have someone to bitch with via the corporate instant message service during the tedium.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Are we all going to Hell in a hand-cart?

Yet another quiet day in the home office.

The development of the RFI response lurches on. Today I received the approval to include the pricing and we completed yet another review of the responses and capability statements.  We are on target to submit tomorrow, so by five o'clock Friday I should be celebrating with a G&T, although a mineral water is more likely in view of our recently started diet and exercise programme.

Shortly after lunch I decided to stretch my legs and wandered up to the Village Sports Pavilion to cast my vote in the EU referendum. On the walk to and from the ballot box I took a keen interest in what was in flower in the hedgerows. I have always had a strong interest in Natural History and the arrival of the bees has made me even more observant of what forage is available for them.

As I passed a patch of in-flower bramble a couple of hundred yards from home I noticed honey bees, that could well be ours, and also Bumble-bees working the blooms. As I stopped and watched I realised that the Bumble-bees were a different species to those in our garden. These had a rust coloured thorax with none of the yellow stripes we naturally associate with Bumble-bees.

Back at home I had a session of Bumble identification and learnt that the ones in the garden are the common Buff-tailed bumble-bee whilst those feeding on brambles up the road are Tree Bumble-bees; a species not found in Britain until 2001.

Back at home, I finished at a reasonable hour and relaxed. before 30% and I dined early and headed back up towards the Sports Pavilion and Village Hall. 30% cast her vote and then we attended our second Pilates session of the week ...

... another European import!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

A quiet day

Wednesday was a fairly uneventful day, so I thought I would make this a "Picture Post".

As we approach Whiffler's second birthday* I have realised that he gets mentioned quite frequently, but has rarely been pictured. This photo was taken in the Spring of 2015 and he can be seen sporting a lamb clip.
If I am honest, this clip does make him look a little girly and nowadays he generally has a more masculine clip, lacking the fluffy top-knot and ears.

Basically the little bugger's coat is very fine and he is not a fan of being brushed.  The net result is a short coat that doesn't tangle so easily.
* 1st July  2014

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Coordinating and Uncoordinated

The Sales Team continue to amaze with their unwillingness to take ownership of the RFI response that needs to be issued this coming Friday.

Let's be clear here: this is an RFI, a Request for Information. The Client is asking for capability statements and indicative unit pricing. All of this is standard Sales material that they regurgitate at each and every meeting they have. There is no demand for a solution, which is where I would need to pull my finger out, so all I am here to do is to run the process and coordinate the necessary activities.

Today was the day that our draft response was reviewed. The idea was that each of the questions and answers was presented on screen and the answers were to be honed to an incisive and inviting statement.

Sales were represented by an AVP, a Sales Director and a Sales SME. The first response was read out and ...

... we were literally deafened by their silence. After an embarrassingly long pause they contributed nothing; not even "that's fine". Eventually one of the other attendees stammered an observation in the hope that they would get the idea of the meeting.  Over the next two hours the Sales AVP realised that that he was going to need to work for a living and actually engaged, but his other two guys were hopeless.

Sorry, I just had a image flash though my mind of me standing in the dank, bilges of a large ship and seeing water pouring through a hole that shouldn't be there.

Away from work, the weather had been much better today and I spent the first hour of the evening mowing the lawn to transform last week's crude crop into something more akin to coiffured elegance.

Later in the evening 30% and I attended our second Pilates session. Once again we were stretched and twisted and once again we ended up sweating buckets as we contorted on rubber mats in the Village Hall.

There were a couple of exercises that my left hip simply would not perform and my inability to rapidly tell left from right produced a few moments of chaos too. The Instructor, however, is a patient soul and says that we are both doing well.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Not going as well as I had hoped for

And so the working week begins ...

... This week is the big one ... imagine a team of honed athletes, at the peak of their physical fitness, prepared and poised for the final sprint to Friday's finish line.

Now turn away from that splendid view, wander out of your imaginary stadium, down a few back roads and into a very unappealing Public House. In the Tap Room of the aforementioned Hostelry you will find my team; propped up against a bar or snoozing in the aftermath of several hours of drinking. Christ! They are fucking useless.

With a few exceptions, there is absolutely no sense of ownership and very little leadership. It is a long hard slog to assemble the right words and numbers and the cats I have to herd are mangy, moth eaten and do not smell very attractive.

Basically; Friday is our deadline and there is still much to do.

The morning was very quiet, the afternoon was pretty busy  and there was a moment of mild disappointment when I learnt that I had not been successful in my recent application.  I was not overly surprised, as I was far more experienced than the individual they were seeking,* and I was told as much in the feedback I received.

I am not as disappointed as I thought I would have been and am sure that something else will come along at some point in the not too distant future.

Today's good news was that TP passed the first part of his Motorcycle A2 licence test; the off-road Module 1. It is now incredibly complicated to pass a bike test and basically this is the third of four hoops** that he needs to pass through before he can ride a large, but power restricted machine.

The evening saw the weekly visit to Dog Training where Whiffler was reasonable. For some strange reason he would not wait at the far end of the hall in preparation for a recall and simply wandered towards me as I retreated from him. He was obviously having an off day.
* They are looking for an Apprentice Chippy to do a Master Carpenter's job. Everyone I have talked to, including the Hiring Manager, has said this, but they continue to seek a less skilled and experienced applicant.
** Step 1 is Compulsory Basic Training on a 125cc motorcycle,  step 2 is the Motorcycle Theory Test, Step 3 is the off-road Module 1 test on a 500cc  motorcycle and step 4 will be an on-road test on a similar bike.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

It wasn't raining, so we went

For the past week, perhaps slightly longer, we had been thinking about going along to the Three Counties Show at some point over the weekend.

Now this may sound like some torturous decision making process, where we had examined each and every aspect to the nth degree ... it wasn't ... Basically, each time we drove in to the Village we saw a sign advertising the show and thought "maybe we should go".

Yesterday we "sort of committed" and this morning we clambered in to the Defender* and headed over towards the show ground at Malvern.

We had a pleasant day and the weather stayed dry right up until we were walking back to the car, when a few drops starting to fall. Overall the show seemed to have been scaled back compared to previous years, with fewer trade and retail stands.

The livestock show was as impressive as ever and we even managed to catch up with a few old friends down in the Poultry tent. If I am honest I think I would prefer to go to one of the Garden or Seasonal festivals unless I was actually exhibiting at the show.**

* We have two little cars and the Defender. 30% is notorious for heading out in one of the little cars and buying one or more purchases of a size that exceeds the internal capacity of the vehicle. This happens a lot. Taking the Defender is a case of belated preparedness.
** Note to self: You need chickens before you can show them.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Busy from start to finish

Saturday started earlier than it should have done due to the demands of 30%'s bloody Audi.

This morning I needed to follow her, and it, over to Coventry where it was left with a Soft Top Specialist who will investigate this month's fault at some point in the coming week.

The return trip took a couple of hours and it was ten o'clock before I was imbibing my second cup of coffee of the day.

I filled the remainder of the morning out in the garage assembling the new hive. I had knocked together the brood body and supers in spare moments over the past two days. This morning I assembled the roof and made a start on the frames. None of the assembly is complicated and is mostly a case of slotting parts together, using glue and nails to fix.  The occasional use of a square is needed to make sure the boxes are ... well ... square.

The frames, however are fiddly and there are just over thirty of them to construct. The work is repetitive and can be tedious, but I seemed to find the right mental attitude and spent a relaxing hour knocking out the first set of ten super frames.

Lunch followed and then I headed out in to the garden to finish the half of the lawn that didn't get mowed yesterday. That burnt another hour and then I decided to take a look through the hive.

The weather has been mild but wet all week and today wasn't exactly ideal for a hive inspection either. It was dry and warmish but there was little sun and the bees weren't flying much. As a result the hive was crammed with bees and there was no chance of spotting the Queen. The workers had made a start on drawing out the foundation in the frames of the super that I added last week, but had not made a huge amount of progress. Had the weather been better they would have completely built out the comb in the space of a sunny week.

Peering through a mass of bees, the frames in the brood box looked good too; with plenty of larvae and capped brood. I removed a few Queen cups* from the frames and then reassembled the hive. Hopefully we will have better weather over the next week and the next inspection will see the second super filled with comb.

After shrugging off my bee suit I continued with Apiarist activities and spent another hour assembling another ten super frames in the garage.

By the time I had finished the afternoon had drifted in to early evening and I spent a while tidying away the packing materials that accompanied the hive.

It had been a busy day and the evening was spent relaxing in front of the TV.
* Queen cups are wax cells built by the workers that face downwards towards the floor of the hive.  They are easily identified as all other cells are aligned horizontally. Any egg laid in one of these will be reared by the workers to become a young Queen.

The Queen cups are removed as an element of swarm control management.  If a second Queen hatches the original Queen will fly with a swarm to seek a new colony site, leaving the young Queen to mature and eventually take a mating flight.

Friday, 17 June 2016


The weather has not been great for the past week; Warmth and showers are great for the lawn, but hadn't allowed it to dry sufficiently to mow until this afternoon.

Just before five o'clock I rose from my desk, wandered out to the garden and dragged the lawn mower from the shed. I raised the deck an inch or so and started to take four or five inches off the top of the grass.

It was all going beautifully for about twenty minutes and then I felt a wet plop on my head. I scanned the sky and could see that yet another storm was on its way in. I decided to get as much cut as possible until "rain stopped play".

After another ten minutes or so it started to rain quite heavily so I emptied the grass box and wheeled the mower back toward the shed. By the time I reached the shed it was hammering down and I rushed to get the mower back in.  By the time I went to close and lock the shed it was raining stair rods and I hurriedly turned the key in the lock ...

... the bloody thing wouldn't close and I spent the next five or ten minutes fiddling to get the lock to ... well ... lock.

I looks like the wet weather has caused a slight warp in the shed door frame and a judicious tap with a convenient lump hammer made the necessary adjustment and the door then locked.

Prior to this malfunction I had been reasonably dry but now I was absolutely drenched, so much so that TP took pity on me and handed over a towel as I walked in to the house.

Bless him.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Proud Parent

A few weeks ago TP finished his college course and has been doing what most students do over the Summer between College and University. Pints have been pulled in his part time job and a lot of Game of Thrones has been watched, interspersed with Fall Out and Fifa on the PS4. He has also been planning a short trip to Amsterdam and will be leaving for that in a few weeks time.

He has had a fantastic two years at college and has worked incredibly hard to gain a Triple Distinction award that has led to an unconditional offer at the University of his choice and the award of a modest scholarship that he regards as a rather nice deposit for his next motorcycle.

This evening we were all invited to his College Annual Awards Ceremony where a choice few students receive accolades for their achievements. TP received the award for Outstanding Achievement on his course and should be as proud as 30% and I am.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Flat Pack

After setting up my first hive of bees a couple of months ago, and following a fair amount of research, it has become apparent that a single hive isn't really ideal.

Colonies can, and frequently do, fail over the Winter months. If one has more than one hive  there is a better chance of survival through until the Spring. The surviving colony can then be split to found new colonies once they have built up their numbers on the Spring nectar and pollen.

Over the past few weeks I have been considering the purchase of another hive. Realistically I am unlikely to get another colony this year* but it will be ready for the start of next year and its components are alway useful to have around.**

Over the weekend I bit the bullet and hit the purchase button on a Supplier's website. At about ten o'clock this morning I received two very large boxes containing a flat pack hive. These are now sat in the hall and over the next week or so it looks like I will be assembling another hive.
* There is an old saying;

A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon
A swarm of bees in July isn't worth a fly

Basically if a swarm arrives in July it is really too late in the beekeeping season for them to build a sufficiently robust colony with adequate stores to survive the Winter.

By the time I get my new hive built and sited it will probably be way too late if it attracts a swarm and certainly too late for a nucleus colony.
** Spare Supers are always handy to have around to give a strong colony more space for nectar stores.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Another Village, another Village Hall or The worst dog training session ever

After a long and reasonably productive day I can report that work is mostly herding cats to reach decisions that, to me, are fundamentally obvious.

When I set up meetings I generally put an outline of the meeting purpose in the invitation and then repeat that purpose when I start the meeting ...

... so, why are the following minutes filled with tangential, irrelevant discussions that need to be closed down and the audience brought back to the fucking point of the call.

That sums up most of my working day. I appreciate that it is a very cynical perspective, but I am working with a team that are dominated by Techies that have been promoted in to management positions in an industry they don't understand well.  There is a real and massive difference between being able to configure and manage a network and managing a Network Outsourcing Contract.

This does not appear to be common knowledge in the corridors I wander.

On the home front I can report that the bees appear to be somewhat happier now that they have extra space in the hive. The have been "bearding", which basically means clustering at the entrance to the hive. Apparently this behaviour is to ventilate and control the temperature and humidity in the hive to make conditions close to optimum for brood rearing.

I will have to wait until the next hive inspection to see whether they have started to draw out the foundation in the new Super and also use the opportunity to shuffle some of the outer frames nearer the centre of the boxes to encourage use of all of the space.

The working day eventually ended and this evening 30% and I gathered a few essentials in to a bag, dressed in casual, comfortable clothing and headed over to a nearby Village Hall. It was very much like the preparations for Dog Training apart from the fact that Whiffler was left at home.

A few miles down the road we pulled in to the Hall car park and waited apprehensively in the lobby. It was fair to say that I would rather have been hosting a Piano Moving meeting than loitering outside our first ever Pilates session.

What followed was an hour of stretching, bending and twisting that may well have been "low impact", but I can report that it certainly raised a sweat and, unlike dog training, I did not get a cheesy reward when I performed an exercise well!

We both enjoyed the session far more than we thought we would and, having given it a go, are now thinking about which class we will attend next in our Exercise Programme.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Whiffler is a star

Monday started with yet another trip to ferry 30% and her Audi TT to the workshop.

It is a matter of record that I am not a huge fan of the car and it has reaffirmed my opinion by developing yet another fault. This time the soft top has refused to close automatically.

30% absolutely adores the vehicle and, like some doting mother with a spoilt, bastard child, can see no fault with the rattly pile of Germanic crap.

As a result I bit my tongue and said nothing as I drove her back from the workshop ...

... I said even less when we picked up the car, having found out that it will need to be taken to a Specialist in Coventry for further investigation and repair.

My working day was busy and reasonably productive, but there was little worth mentioning beyond that. I have picked up the management of a new RFI and made good progress with that. I also showed masterful efficiency when I drafted a single e-mail and used it for three separate enquiries on another of my projects.

This evening it was Dog Training and the stars* must have been in perfect alignment because Whiffler finally seemed to find his mojo with two of the more complicated exercises.

I have rattled on before about the exercise where he has to go away to a lidded box and sit until I pitch up, open the box and give him the treat.  He still isn't perfect but he has finally grasped the concept.

There is another exercise where I perform a recall and then get him to stop and sit midway between me and his starting point. Once again, he was far from perfect, but showed that he finally had an idea of what he was supposed to do.

His masterpiece this evening was a two minute wait in the lying position with me totally out of sight. He was almost perfect apart from rising to a sitting position as I returned to collect him.

As he is approaching his second birthday I am wondering if he is finally growing out of his youthful lack of concentration?
* Canis Major perhaps?

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Marketing Ploys

If there was one thing I needed to do today, it was to put another Super on to the hive.  The problem was going to be finding a dry hour in what looked to be a cloudy, rainy day.

The drizzle set in soon after breakfast so 30% and I headed over to a huge garden centre between Bromsgrove and Droitwich. She had visited a couple of weeks ago and entered a prize draw. The Gods of fortune had smiled down upon her and this morning we we headed over to pick up her prize ... a box of chocolates.

There is some irony here as a) 30% doesn't really like chocolates, b) we have both just started a fitness programme and c) we managed to spend over one hundred pounds on planters as a result of collecting a three quid box of choccies.

Our route home included a quick stop at a supermarket and we arrived just in time for lunch.

Immediately after lunch the weather had cleared somewhat so I threw on a veil and a pair of gloves, lit my smoker and grabbed a spare Super from the garage. It wasn't a lengthly process to remove the hive roof, crown board and Super and add the new Super just above the Queen Excluder.  The original Super, crown board and roof were replaced and I wandered away.

The colony now has a 40% increase in space and the foundation in the fresh Super will also give them something to do. Hopefully this will deter them from swarming.

The rest of the afternoon was spent planting in the garden when showers and thunderstorms allowed.

Saturday, 11 June 2016


Saturday started early for 30% and me: By quarter to nine we had already hit B&Q for terracotta pots and compost and shortly thereafter raced through Pets at Home and Jaeger in short order.

By ten o'clock we were back at home and unloading a significant quantity of garden and pet supplies form the back of the Defender. I'm glad we hadn't taken the Mini, as 30% had proposed.

The remainder of the morning was spent on light domestic tasks. Basically we were waiting for the arrival of the Personal Trainer for our initial consultation and the official commencement of our exercise programme. Amy; the Trainer eventually turned up at around half past eleven and spent a solid 90 minutes discussing diet and exercise plans that will benefit rather than put a pair of insulin dependent diabetics in to a coma.

The session went well and, ironically, ended with my having a hypo: Lunch obviously followed and then 30% and I headed out in to the garden to pot up some plants, including an ornamental display, which was to be a house warming present for Bond and Moneypenny.

B&M moved house at the beginning of the week and, this afternoon we popped round for coffee, a chat and a snoop around their Des Res. We had a lovely couple of hours, chatting in their new garden, catching up on news and discussing plans and families.  We do love their company and each time we get together it is an absolute delight.

Needless to say, we stayed longer than we planned and didn't get home until six o'clock. 30% needed to get ready to go out again. This time it was to attend an amateur choral event with her Mum and Dad.

The weather was the best that it had been all day so I hastened myself in to my bee suit, got the smoker lit and headed out to inspect the hive.  After a few puffs of smoke at the hive entrance I removed the roof and peered at the mass of bees in the Super. I then went to remove the crown board and it was stuck fast to the body of the Super ...

... This was the first indication that the bees were producing propolis. At this point I should explain that bees fill large voids with wax comb,  that is used to raise brood and to store honey and pollen. Smaller cracks are filled with a red, resinous substance called propolis which is the bees equivalent to a gap filling adhesive.

I had been expecting to see it for weeks, but today was the first time I had seen any sign of this "hive glue". It left me wondering what had suddenly caused it's production; colony size or availability of appropriate plant material?

Being quite late in the evening I carried out the inspection quite hastily.  I took a look at a couple of frames in the Super and could see that the cells that had produced brood were now filled with honey and the mature honey was starting to be capped with wax. Most of the Super frames were filled with bees and I was astonished when I went to remove the Super from the Brood Box: It must have weighed around twenty five kilos and most of that was going to be honey stores. They have been very busy in the past week.

I then dived in to the Brood Box and located the Queen on the third frame that I pulled from the box. She is much harder to see now we have so many workers and, as time has passed, her blue marking has got quite grubby so she now needs to be located by size and shape rather than by the blob of paint on her thorax.

I was greatly reassured to see her after last week's failure and could see that she was laying well by the huge quantities of eggs, larvae and capped brood. I scraped away some drone brood, brace comb and a few small Queen cups* and then closed up the hive.

I was home alone this evening as TP was out at work so spent my time avoiding the football and using the internet and books to assess the state of the hive. My conclusion is that I possibly should have put another Super on to the hive last week and certainly should have done so today.

It looks like I'll need to open up the hive briefly tomorrow too.
* Queen cups are cup shaped cells that point downwards rather than horizontally, as worker and drone cells do.  If Queen cells are left in the hive young queens will be raised and swarms will result. Removing these cells, as soon as they are seen, and also ensuring that the bees have plenty of space are method of reducing the chance of a swarm.

Friday, 10 June 2016

TP's Grand Day out

This morning I headed off fairly early for an appointment at one of the local hospitals.

I took the Honda and had a great ride in through the countryside. My choice of conveyance also had the added advantage that I was excused parking fees at my destination. The appointment was to get yet another assessment on an ongoing problem I have had with my hip / pelvis. I have been suffering with pain ranging from a constant dull ache to excruciating twinges for more than three years and have had real problems getting the Health Service to engage.

I have had a range of diagnoses ranging from "Your X-ray doesn't show any problem"* to "it may be a problem with your sacroiliac joint". I have also had a range of treatment options ranging from nothing through to non-prescription anti-inflammatories and sessions of physiotherapy with a very pleasant chap called Nigel.

None of these have made an iota of difference and after yet another visit to my GP I finally got a referral for today's appointment with an Orthopaedic Practitioner.  We spent the first the minutes of the consultation discussing the history of my condition and then I was prodded, manipulated and made to perform a variety of exercises.

Eventually I was allowed to put my clothes back on and was given his preliminary diagnosis. His view is that it could be one of two problems: an arthritic hip** or possibly a tear to the cartilage that supports and holds the head of the femur in the hip socket. The next step is an MRI scan, but he doubts that the Worcestershire Health Authority approved device has the resolution to give a diagnosis of the latter.

I left feeling somewhat more optimistic as at least something was being done but was somewhat frustrated by the irony that, on the first consultation, I stated that I had a problem with my hip and was told that it didn't seem like a hip problem.  Three years later I am back to square one.

On the work front I was quite busy and had an interesting conversation with a Director who couldn't manage to read and understand a six line e-mail. He seemed surprised when I responded to his totally inaccurate snottagram with a reply to the same group pointing out how wrong he was and re-stating the two lines that he had failed to read.

He obviously didn't like my response, so decided to call and was somewhat gobsmacked when I didn't take his comments lying down and pointed out that he clearly didn't know what he was talking about and that he wasn't actually helping to clear the road block.  I also pointed out that none of the other recipients had had any problem understanding the six lines of text and that I had also had a follow-on 'phone call with the action owner to ensure that the matter was being progressed.

By this time I was pretty fucked off with the fucking idiot so then asked him "if we had a problem". The stupid bastard finally got the message, backed down and apologised. What a fucking twat!

To finish on a slightly more positive note; TP attended the first day of his Direct Access Motorcycle Training Course today. After a year of riding around on a 125 cc bike he was allowed to ride around the countryside on a 500cc Suzuki. He arrived home absolutely shattered but advised that he had had a fantastic day. He had learnt a lot and had been assessed right up at the top of the group.

The only problem is that he now realises how bad his little Yamaha is and doesn't want to ride it anymore ...

... I may have to start hiding my bike keys.
*  I swear I will never ever have a consultation with a fresh out of college hospital again. He was about to send me on my way and seemed surprised when I pointed out that he had only excluded a problem with the bones and asked about a soft tissue problem ... useless fucker
** But, in his words, I am surprisingly young for that condition

Thursday, 9 June 2016

More bees than I thought

The lawn had dried off sufficiently after yesterday's downpour, so this afternoon I dragged out the mower and gave it a trim.

As I was mowing close to one of the edges of the lawn I noticed a bumblebee fly up from the turf, closely followed by another.  I looked down and saw a hole in the ground of about the same diameter as one's thumb. As I watched yet another bee emerged. Clearly we have a bumblebee colony in the garden as well as our honey bees.

I am delighted to have a colony of bumbles in the garden as their population has declined due to habitat loss, so it is encouraging to see that our garden provides a suitable refuge.

On the work front I was reasonably busy. The morning was taken up with minuting and planning the latest project I have picked up. During the morning I was also notified that our customer had issued an RFI with a very short turn around time; consequently the afternoon was consumed by a  call to assign actions to owners and collectively panic ...

... It looks like I'll be quite busy over the next couple of weeks

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Work Life Balance

With very little on my plate at work this week, it was easy to keep this morning free to take the Honda in for her MOT.

I hadn't ridden her for the best part of a year and was looking forward to the short ride over to the workshop. She fired up at the first touch of the starter button and within a few minutes her temperature gauge had started to climb.  I put on my gloves, eased* my leg over the saddle and headed off down the road.

She is a completely different beast to the Enfields; with an engine and frame that just wants to eat up the road. She may be twenty one years old, but she still looks and drives like she had just rolled out of the showroom for the first time.  I had forgotten what a lovely ride she is and took a somewhat extended route to the workshop which included a marvellous set of bends and a short stretch of Dual Carriageway.

The chaps at the workshop were busy drinking coffee and chewing the fat,** so I left the keys with them and headed over the road to the cafe to wait ...

...Half an hour later she was wheeled back in to the sunshine and I headed over to collect the certificate, pay my dues and head home.

I returned to find that my my inbox was reminiscent of Mother Hubbard's cupboard, so wandered back out to the garage and replaced the perished rubber cable holders on The Shitter.

In the afternoon I actually had some proper work to do and attended a kick-off call for a new project. The Sales Guys spouted interesting facts interspersed with complete nonsense.  I listened carefully, took copious notes and stifled the sniggers at some of their more ludicrous claims ...

...  Don't get me wrong; this is an interesting piece of work but it has far more complexity than was presented today.

As the working day ended I headed out in to the garden ad contemplated mowing the lawn.  As stood there gazing over the tussled turf a large drop of water plopped in front of me. Within seconds we had the most torrential downpour that lasted the best part of an hour.

I didn't need to do any watering this evening either.
* Note: "eased" rather than "threw" ... it appears that I have a dodgy sacroiliac joint at the root of some long term discomfort.
** Both metaphorically and literally, as the nearby cafe does great bacon sandwiches

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Busy, but doing what?

Tuesday was one of those days when I seemed to be busy all day, but cannot, for the life of me, work out why.

My principal accomplishment was finishing the documentation of my achievements for my mid-year performance assessment. Other than that, I cannot recall anything of any significance. I had a few hours of mundane calls. I also had a pleasant chat with a friend and colleague who I am likely to be partnering with on an upcoming "whale" of an opportunity ... unless I can engineer a move to a new role.

Away from work I did little more than shuffle the bikes in the garage; relocating the Honda to the front, as I will be taking her in for her MOT first thing tomorrow morning.

By the time the clock struck five I was absolutely shattered  and actually retired to my bed for an hour.  I hadn't had a great night's sleep and I'm not sure whether it was lack of sleep, combined with antihistamines and hot and humid weather, but I could barely keep my eyes open.

Needless to say the evening was not one of frenetic activity.

Monday, 6 June 2016

It's that time of year ...

That was the title of the email from my Boss at the top of my inbox this morning.  Oh Joy, we are at the six month point in the Staff Appraisal Calendar and I am due to submit my mid-year achievements.

I still get a feeling of dread at having to do this, which is, no doubt, a hang over from my period of servitude at Dante's Nine Circles of Hell.  30%  has worked for the Neat & Tidy Piano Movers for twenty seven years and tells me that their approach to staff appraisal is very different.  However, I still get somewhat stressed by the process, despite the fact that I received a top rating last year.

Perhaps it is as a result of my recent decision to seek a new role at the Piano Movers because, today, I have decided to take a more relaxed approach to documenting my accomplishments ...

...  Basically I have gone in to last years appraisal and copied and pasted my 2015 results in for 2016. All I need to do now is review, update the names of the various opportunities and modify the text as necessary.

This occupied the bulk of the morning but the result looks great.

At lunchtime I rewarded myself with a short spell in the garage and replaced the perished rubber strap that secures the rear of the Shitter's petrol tank,

Late in the afternoon I had a call with my Boss and a Sales AVP about some upcoming work that I consider a poison chalice if ever there was one.

This "opportunity", or rather the lack of leadership, skills and process needed to do a god job are some of the main reasons I am seeking a new role. I have also had a look at the financials and am not sure that my role, or any other role will exist in the Brave New World  they are proposing.*

The discussion was interesting and I learnt that much of what the Sales AVP had been spouting for the past few weeks had been complete horse shit. It was also apparent that they have taken steps to assign another Solution Lead for me to team with. This suggest that a) they are preparing for my departure from the account** and b) my responsibilities will be virtually non-existent from what I heard today.

At the end of the call I decided that I had definitely had enough and wandered out to spend a few minutes watering the new turf in the glorious sunshine. As the clock struck five 30% joined me and we headed out to the front of the house and planted up the raised bed with Marigolds, Begonias and Alyssum.

The planting adds a real splash of vibrant colour to  the House and Road and they should give a splendid display over the Summer. I watered them in as 30% prepared dinner and then we headed off to Dog Training with Whiffler.

This evening a good proportion of the class was held in the field outside the Village Hall and Whiffler did really well. He was very good at ignoring the distractions out in the field, which is a bloody miracle for him.  He was also superb at running down the long tunnel, which many of the other dogs were put off by.  He even made progress with the fiendishly difficult*** "send away to a box containing a treat" exercise.

The other news from today is that 30% has signed us up for an Exercise Programme: Part of my brain tells me that this is a very good idea. Another part of my brain has massive misgivings.
* The Customer will have no-one to shout at when it all goes tits up
** I haven't even had an interview for a new job yet
*** for him!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Great Intentions

30% and I had great intentions for today.

I must admit that I thought we were biting off more than we could chew but even I was surprised by how far were were from our target by the end of the day.

We started off well and shortly after nine o'clock we were outside the house weeding and digging over the raised bed.  The weeding wasn't hard work but the bed was bone dry: digging it over and breaking up the clods raised a sweat and I was grateful for a coffee as I reached the end.

At this point we realised that were would not get it planted today, as it would need soaking and raking before the tilth was suitable for planting. By eleven o'clock our plans had already been revised.

30% had arranged to meet up with her brother, the ELF and their new baby at a local craft centre* for lunch so our aborting the planting session gave us ample time to clean up and head out in to the wilds of Worcestershire. Despite my extreme reservations about the venue, we had a lovely time catching up with the three of them and eventually I was given an ice-cream to stop me from moaning.

After a couple of hours we headed home and it was time for this week's inspection of the hive. The weather was hot and sunny and I found it a real challenge to keep my glasses on my nose inside a bee suit with sweat dripping from my brow.

The hive looked very good and the Super is now virtually clear of the brood that the Queen laid up there before I put the Excluder in place. The workers are starting to cap off the cells of honey and things seen to be progressing well. The Super still has a couple of frames of undrawn foundation at each end of the box so they bees have ample space at present.

We then dived in to the brood box and, again, all looked well in there. There was plenty of capped brood and larvae, but I had no chance of seeing eggs with my spectacles sliding of the end of my nose. We also failed to spot the Queen on this occasion despite going through the frames twice.

I know I should not be worried by not seeing the queen as the presence of larvae shows that she has been in the hive in the past few days but it is reassuring to know that she is there and hasn't come to harm before or during the inspection.

Feeling hot and somewhat frustrated we closed up the hive and retired for a cool drink. 30% and I had great plans to continue our work on the bed of brambles and perhaps make another visit to the Tip, but it was way too hot and we were both incredibly tired so the remainder of the afternoon was spent on light duties in the house and garden.

We agreed that the flower bed can get planted one evening in the week and there is always next weekend for a visit to the Tip.
* A few days back I commented that I was not a fan of Food Festivals. Well, I feel exactly the same, possibly more so, about Craft Fairs: Craft Centres are the worst possible combination of these two tedious events with a smattering of piss poor garden centre to complete the ordeal.

I bloody loathe these places as they clearly operate on a business model of selling people something they clearly do not want. I swear they are frequented by menopausal women towing along their incontinent parents, purchasing gifts for people who have got more sense than to visit these establishments in the first place.

There is a clear difference between a present and a gift. A present is something that you want and need and gift is something that you don't.  These places are filled with prettily arranged gifts at extraordinary prices and I could not see a single fucking item that I would want at any point in my life.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Saturday stuff

I have to start this Journal entry by admitting that we have been harbouring a criminal here at The Pile for the past few days. 30% is the ne'er do well in question, having received a speeding ticket a couple of days back ...

..."Yes Officer, I appreciate that the speed limits are in place to ensure the safety of other road users and pedestrians, but the irony is that 30% generally drives like a Nun and has the nickname Sister Maria Theresa of the immaculate contraption."

It is also ironic that I was a passenger with her at the time and remember thinking that I wouldn't have taken her selected route as it was convoluted and included four speeding cameras ... perhaps I should have mentioned that at the time?

On the subject of legality and the road: the first activity of the day was to see if the Birthday Bullet could be persuaded to start, so that it could be taken for it's MOT test.

The battery seemed to have been resurrected by its connection to a trickle charger and it was a few minutes work to get it re-fitted to the bike. I sat astride the bike, flipped up the side stand and hit the starter button. I was rewarded immediately with the thud thud thud of the 500cc motor with it's Goldie exhaust.

I threw on a helmet and jacket and took her for a quick run down to the local petrol station to fill her up and all seemed well with the bike, so I was hopeful of a smooth passage through the test.

As eleven o'clock drew near I headed over to the workshop, dropped off the bike and key and chatted with the owner before retiring to an adjacent cafe for a coffee and a bacon sandwich. After a very comfortable wait I wandered back to receive the verdict.

The bike had passed and was the subject of much examination by a chap who had been hanging around in the workshop ... He advised that he was the original owner of the bike back in 2009.  This was quite a coincidence as he has sold the bike way up North towards the borders of Scotland. It was 30% who had located it on a website, purchased it as a birthday present and brought it back to a few miles from its original home.

The afternoon was a much quieter affair. 30% and I headed in to Stratford for a few essentials and returned via the local Nursery where we selected bedding plants for the large, stone raised bed at the front of the house.

We had great intentions to weed and plant the bed, but instead both crashed and took a siesta instead.

Well,  It is the weekend!

Friday, 3 June 2016

Sod work; it's the weekend!

By midday on Friday I had discussed the costs of the escalated project with the Pricer.  She had developed and released the pricing and I had bundled this with appropriate caveats and assumptions* before sending it off to the Sales Team.  That meant that I had nothing else that needed to be completed at work today.

I therefore headed out to the garage, uncovered the Birthday Bullet** and wheeled her out in to the sunshine.  I had her booked in for her MOT on the fourth of June and needed to make sure that she would start.  Initially all looked well; The warning lights all illuminated and the fuel pump whirred, but then I noticed petrol dripping from a perished fuel pipe. This wasn't a good sign but I thought I would still see if she would fire up.

I pressed the starter button and the motor turned over once and then there was nothing: Despite having a trickle charger on over Winter the battery was not in good shape.  I therefore resorted to Plan B and uncovered the Honda.  She was much more cooperative and within a few minutes was purring out on the drive. At leas I  now had a bike to take in for a test tomorrow.

I then returned to the Bullet and removed the battery. That was when I noticed that the electrolyte level in the cells was low. I soon had the battery topped up and  connected to a charger ... fingers crossed that it will charge over night.

My mind then turned to the perished fuel pipe. This was not the first rubber component that had deteriorated in the garage over the Winter.  I had previously noticed that The Shitter had several rubber fasteners that had perished and all were all less than two years old.  I therefore spent a few minutes on the 'phone to Hitchcocks Motorcycles and can report that a packet of rubbers*** is now winging its way in my direction.

There was nothing more that I could do to the bikes so I returned to my desk and clock-watched until it was acceptable to log-off ... for some of my colleagues this is, apparently around lunchtime on Thursday.

I then headed over to the Littleton Auction Rooms to view the lots in tomorrow's sale.  I rode over on the Shitter and the ride pressed home what a super little machine she has turned out to be. The bike is small, light and not particularly powerful. It is therefore ideal for bimbling around the lanes.

She drew quite some attention in the car park and I was accosted by a fellow motorcyclist, who described her as "absolutely stunning".  It is very gratifying to have one's work appreciated.

The day finished with a Chinese Takeaway, a large Gin and Tonic and an evening in front of the television. The weekend has finally arrived.
* Unfortunately they never read them ... I even tell them to read them when I send out the pricing!
** 30%'s gift on my fiftieth birthday.
*** Fnarr fnarr!

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Some excitement at the hive

Today was the first of my motorcycles MOT tests, so The Shitter was dragged from the garage and ridden over to the local workshop. 30% made herself and the Audi available to get me home and by quarter past nine we were both sat at our laptops having the most extraordinary fun.

The day rumbled on in the usual fashion and at around three o'clock the missing costs for the escalated project finally arrived. I then spent a happy couple of hours trawling through these to make sure that a) I understood them and b) that they actually added up to what they were supposed to.

They all looked good so my cost model was updated and fired over to the pricing team with a request for this to be turned around as quickly as possible.  I also arranged a call with our Pricer* to talk her through the costs which will, hopefully, ensure a smooth transit through the pricing process.

I had now done everything I possibly could to support the escalated project and wandered out to enjoy the garden. I must have been feeling keen,  as the lawn mower was dragged from the shed and I was soon running up and down trimming the sward. The new turf has grown beautifully, so I raised the height of the blade and ran the mower across the new areas of lawn for the first time. With the lawn looking almost manicured I wandered in for dinner.

That just about covers the day's events apart from a period of excitement in the afternoon ...

... At around two o'clock I looked out at the hive and was amazed at what I saw. There were literally hundreds of bees flying in front of the hive. We are used to the coming and going of the foraging bees that are out seeking nectar and pollen, but this was something completely different.  It didn't look like swarming behaviour and I wondered if the hive was being robbed by another colony. I watched the entrance for a while but I could see nothing that suggested that foreign bees were trying to get in to the hive.
This photo doesn't do justice to the activity actually witnessed
All I could see were hundreds of bees dancing in the air in front of the hive. I wandered back inside and made a quick search on the Internet and discovered that I was most likely witnessing orientation flights. Once a worker bee hatches it initially remains in the hive and carries out "housekeeping" duties such as caring for the Queen, eggs and brood and tending the stores. Later in their short life they emerge from the hive and become foragers.
Foraging workers returning
What I was witnessing was these new foragers taking their first flight and learning the various cues that will allow them to return safely to the hive.
* Little Miss Sunshine: I am certain that I have had a minor rant about this brown nosed, talentless cow who seems to think that she is a couple of grades above her actual position in the organisation. I will re-state that she has neither the intellectual, nor the managerial skills to do her own job let alone the one she seems to think she should have.

She wasn't abandoned at the workshop

Don't worry, the Shitter wasn't abandoned at the workshop.

30% and I found a mutually convenient slot mid afternoon to go and collect her from the workshop. She had passed with "no advisories" and is good for another twelve months. Whilst paying for the test I got the next bike booked in for its test and it looks like I will be back there again on Saturday morning.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016


Well this week is dragging its heels.

With only four working days this week; I had expected it to be Thursday by now. Unfortunately that is not the case. I have almost, but not quite enough, to keep me busy at the moment and consequently my mind wanders to what I could be doing instead.

The weather is not particularly pleasant, in fact it is bloody cold for the beginning of June,  so I don't feel inclined to head out in to the garden, but neither do I feel inclined to endure the ordeal that is on-line training courses.

As a result, the day hasn't exactly raced by as I have stepped in to support floundering projects and provided detailed guidance to individuals that want to kick off new activities.  I haven't been swinging the lead: I just haven't been rushed off my feet either.