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Dom Mooney's Website

July 2009

Holiday Update: Now with Video!

You may, or may not, have noticed the update from our holiday that slipped in below. If you didn’t feel free to go there first! This video (besides being the first I uploaded to YouTube and being taken with my Flip Ultra Camcorder) shows the approach to the place we stayed, which gives a great feel for the time we had.

I hope you enjoy it!

Facebook is Evil?

Facebook is evil. It’s killing blogging, and I watch the updates from my friends and colleagues which I used to love reading for their amusing content and detail, slowing in frequency and even dying out. I miss them.

Facebook is good. It aggregates a lot of short, quick, updates from my friends and colleagues together along with a mass of trivia and fun.

Facebook is a necessary evil?

...What does that make Twitter?

Dorset Long Weekend


I’m typing this, hidden in the corner of the room that we are sharing with Nathan in a B&B in West Bay, just outside Bridport in Dorset. The lights are out and I can only praise the backlit keyboard on the MacBook, and cringe at the click that the spacebar makes in comparison to all the other keys! The reason for the stealth is the attempt to get Nathan to sleep.

We’re down here for a long weekend to celebrate the wedding of one of my friends from University. It scares me to think that it must be 18 years or so ago that we met as fresh-faced, somewhat naive youths in Southampton, truly half a lifetime. Anyway, Jamie was on the same course as me, although I think I first met him through friends at the adjacent Hall of Residence (Chamberlain) to the one that I was staying at (Glen Eyre: Terrace) rather than on the Mechanical Engineering course itself. We shared a house in our fourth year, and our paths continued to cross as we both moved in FMCG and nuclear circles.

Anyway, around the time that Nathan was born, Jamie fell off the face of the world, and I assumed that it was due to my inability to keep in touch with everyone and juggle work and home life which I was going through. However, at the end of last year, I learnt the real reason that he had fallen out of contact. He had met a lady, the love of his life, Alex. He dropped me an email to announce his engagement, much to our surprise and delight.

Anyway, I didn’t make the stag do (which was at Le Mans) because we were already booked on holiday in France (more of which will appear once I’ve finalised the missing entry for June), but we were invited to the wedding. Only downside to this being the fact that it is in Dorset, on the coast. (Think equidistant between Southampton and Exeter). The Sat Nav predicted 5 hours, the reality was 8 and a half, as the M1 was closed, and the M5 had a major smash, and we got stuck behind a Morrisons lorry which refused to get out of crawler gear in the back roads for far too long. Fortunately, we planned the long weekend and came down a day in advance, and even more fortunately, we had no issues beyond annoying the B&B owners. Some of the other guests arrived at their B&B to find that they had cancelled the booking on them and had to go hunting for alternative accommodation.

On the morning of the wedding day, we went into Bridport, which proved a challenge parking-wise as part of the town was shut off due to charter celebrations. Whom should we meet but Jamie and John, his best man, heading off to the registery office for the ceremony!? We headed back to the B&B, and got ready for the reception. Nathan looked especially cute in his suit. The reception was held at the Riverside Restaurant in West Bay, which has very good reviews, and they did Jamie and Alex proud. The drinks reception swayed to the sound of a steel band, whilst the sun shone and the ducks floated on the river. The meal was fantastic, and the staff very helpful, especially as we were on the “noisy” table with all the small kids. Nathan made friends with Ben and Reese, and they had great fun playing. John’s best man speech was excellent; it teetered towards the edge but always pulled back.

Dancing to the Steel Band.

What was especially nice on the day was to catch up with a number of people I’d lost touch with; James & Jo, Chris H, Fiona, Chris H-S, Nick, Jack to name a few. I hope to do a better job this time to stay in contact! Anyway, Nathan was full of beans most of the evening, finally running out of batteries around 10:30 pm and asking to be taken home to bed! Until then he had been telling us he wanted to stay up!

It was a great day, with the final, huge, shock being Jamie and Alex’s plans to emigrate to Canada. Well, they have all our best wishes, but I’ll miss him being in the same country. At least the internet will help with that.

We spent today out doing stuff. Nathan latched onto a leaflet on “The Tank Museum” in Bovington, and announced several times he wanted to go there, so we set out pretty quickly in the morning. It was great, although the size of the machines, and the sound effects, did occasionally overwhelm him. A good day out, and made interesting because of the historical stories, machinery and the personal link of my maternal Grandfather having served in the Desert Rats in armoured cars in the Second World War.

On the way back, Jill and Nathan fell asleep, so I diverted to Maiden Castle, a huge iron age hill fort conquered by the Romans in the first half of the first century AD when they came to Britain. Physically, it is very impressive, as the ramparts are still there. I left the sleeping duo in the car and made a rapid transit to the top (which did get me out of breath!) at which point I realised my mistake! I underestimated the size of the place, probably mentally drawing comparisons to the Roman Fort on the Hardknott Pass in Cumbria. That was dwarfed by Maiden Castle. I took some pictures, but probably only saw 25% of the top before I headed back down to the sleeping beauties! I’d like to come back some time when I can spend a bit longer looking around.

We then headed west of Bridport in search of a beach, and found a pebbled one at Seatown, which was nice. However, it was windy and the breakers scared Nathan a little, so after we spent some time throwing stones at the water, we returned to the car. We then went further rest to Lyme Regis for no other reason than neither Jill or I had visited the town, and did a drive through to see what it was like. It looked nice for a visit, and is another place noted as having potential for the future.

We returned back to West Bay for fish and chips, and then an early-ish bed for Nathan before the long drive tomorrow. An excellent long weekend, just hoping that the drive back will be better.