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September 2010

Even Keel

Just getting my head back above water after a manic three weeks. It all started with a great – albeit interrupted – holiday in Keswick in the Lake District. We've kind of made a tradition to head up there around the time of my birthday in September and most years have been blessed with good weather. This year was an exception with horizontal rain at one point! However we really enjoyed it and Nathan is really coming into his own in terms of appreciating things like this. He was enthralled at the Beatrix Potter World, much more so than the last time that he went there. He also loved the restaurant with the Cinema in Ambleside (Zefferelli's, if I remember correctly) where we went for my birthday meal.

I had a break in the middle, as I had a side trip to visit a chemical company in the Netherlands with work as part of an exchange, which was actually quite good fun. However, it was great to get back, as the two days away from the holiday really made me notice how much I missed Jill and Nathan. I had an awful trip back across the Pennines to Cumbria, and ended up meeting them on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway platform at Boot when they came in on L'al Ratty. Nathan was completely surprised and excited to see me there! We also caught up with Howard, Paula and MJ, which was great.

The next two weeks were completely crazy; I had the return visit from the Netherlands to host, which entailed a lot of work as I ended up producing a presentation that I didn't expect to have to do, but it all went well. After that, there was the small matter of a grand strategic plan to finalise – work again, not the baby ones that Jill has been working on – and present, followed by a full blown surveillance audit of ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001. Fortunately, I am only responsible for two of the systems now, having left quality behind, but it was still pretty stressful.

Along the way we have had Nathan's return to swimming at Waterbabies (marred by the breaking of Jill's glasses when he jumped somewhat too enthusiastically into the water and made hard contact! Ouch! I've also had been trying to focus to finish two scenarios for Furnace in a fortnight (well, ten days), as I foolishly let myself be persuaded by Tom Zunder to run an extra game of my RPG first love, Traveller. Characters for that are done, as is the initial plot line, so I need to bottom that at the weekend then start on the Wordplay: Singularities scenario. I'm much less prepared than I'd like to be, and have less reserves of energy as a certain small boy has been giving us disturbed nights recently.

Speaking of Nathan – who as usual is indirectly dominating this – he managed to have an accident at nursery by jumping and landing on a table, cutting his face. He was very brave and looks like a little wounded soldier. He's also getting more and more cheeky, and certainly pushing the limits more and more. It's fun, but it can be draining! He's also developed a bit of an obsession with Toy Story generally, and Buzz Lightyear specifically. Having never seen the films, I was impressed with the DVDs of Toy Story 1 and 2! Jill took Nathan to his first ever film at the cinema to see Toy Story 3 and he loved every minute of it, even the wee break just by the end of the film!

Anyway, I shall follow up with some pictures when I have a minute, but expect mean and moody from the holiday rather than sunny and bright! Until the next time, here’s hoping things are on an even keel...

Dalek Conquest of the Bathroom

Dalek Conquest of the Bathroom

As arranged by Nathan...