Friday, April 19th, 2024

Random Friday…


Woke up at 5AM this morning and ended up on a call with a US colleague for over an hour – good start to the day to get things cleared up. Spent the whole morning in PowerPoint and Outlook. I’m thinking of starting to write presentations on the Mac just for novelty value.

London Abound (yet again)
This blog starts from a train into London. Of course there was the usual carnage trying to get to Cambridge railway station. The main road feeding the city centre is down to 1 lane now (should be 4) due the guided bus shambles that continues to plague Cambridge. At least the contractors seem to be working weekends now to try to get things moving along. I was going to question why they don’t work 24hrs a day- but I’m sure there’s some 1800’s rule about noise at nightime in Cambridge that would prevent it (aside from people in the UK being lazy).

It always reminds me of a late night in Hong Kong Airport (waiting for a flight that ended up being cancelled). En route to the airport hotel (after several whiskies drunk with a guy from RBS) I noticed that there were people painting the walls of the airport at night. I thought at the time ‘if that was Heathrow the whole terminal would look like a building site for 3 months’.

Friday in London
Had my work medical in London. As I walked around the city on a Friday afternoon, I had one of my ‘moments’ when I wonder what the hell I’m doing with my day-day life. I’m a big city person and Cambridge (or more precisely where I work day-day) isn’t a big city. I know many people hate it, but I really do love the stimulation you get from the noise and activity in a big city. Of course it gets tiring after a while, but I find it far better than the raw silence you have.

I guess the other thing I really miss is that ‘after work drinks’ culture. Going for a quick drink after work is a great way to unwind and also try to leave at a sensible hour. I really miss that terribly.

I wonder why my credit card company (that I pay the balance off every month and have done for many years) insists on sending me cheques to use every month. I can’t help feeling that this practice encourages people to get into more debt. Of course there’s nothing illegal about it- but it just feels morally wrong to some degree. I imagine some people get the cheque in the post (although that doesn’t seem quite the right phrase here !) and don’t have the willpower (or have the need) to use something that encourages them to get into even more debt. Of course that’s the intention – not the wooly words in the accompanying letter that make out as if they are doing me a favour !

I saw one of the new LED backlight televisions yesterday at work (our demo team that shows off the latest technology). Truly amazing. The picture quality is fantastic, but the best thing is how thin the panel is – about 1.5cm thick by my guess. I can feel a purchase coming on – though I have been very very good recently at not spending money on gadgets (actually I think the last thing was a hard drive and that doesn’t really count).

Weekend Plans
For a change I’ll be based in Cambridge. I plan to relax. Of course that won’t happen and I’ll wake up at 5AM, get up and start doing things. I need to clear the clutter from the house in prep for a potential view. I’m getting much better at being ruthless when it comes to clutter (being Scottish means you are brought up with the mindset of keeping absolutely everything for a rainy day). I guess the internet helps things here- since I know that I will always be able to find something pretty quickly- that’s the comfort of living near London also.

I also need to start taking a few more pictures – I haven’t done this for a while. Although the scenery around Cambridge is nice, I don’t find it at all interesting.

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