Friday, 30 July 2010

T'up North

There are endless debates as to where the "North" of England begins. My dad thought that Manchester where Julia comes from was in the frozen Arctic wastelands, whereas a college friend who was born in Carlisle thought that Manchester was in the South Midlands. A recall many years ago staying in a hotel in Winchester and this debate was taking place in the letter columns of a local paper. One writer said that north was anything north of the A34 (a local arterial road) and that London was the most southerly of the northern fishing ports!
Anyway this week I had to spend a couple of days in Sunderland at a customer. I stayed overnight at a hotel in Roker on the beach front. The weather was lovely and I was astounded at how lovely it was. It was just a shame that I was working and could only enjoy the scenery on an evening and before breakfast stroll.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Celebratory Weekend

Saturday saw Julia and I celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary.

We have lost touch with one of the bridesmaids, Pauline, who is standing next to Julia. Maria, married to John my best man we still see regularly as we do Julia's twin sister Phil who is standing at the end.
We did not do that much to celebrate; saving it up for the grand curry night next year! It coincided with a friends 65th birthday/retirement/new conservatory party. So we went there and had a good time, excellent in fact.
If anyone reading this knows Pauline (nee Sollitt) and knows where she is please let us know.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Graduation Day

Wednesday saw Helena graduate from the University of Hull with her degree in politics. This meant an early start for Julia and I (5:30) to drive up to Hull and see Helena strut her stuff! It was a great occasion, the graduation was at 2:30 pm but before then there was collecting the robes, official photos etc. The official photos will be some time; but in the meantime:

After the ceremony held in the City Hall we went back to the University for some drinks. We then went out to dinner at Ceruttis an excellent (albeit somewhat expensive) fish restaurant. We had a great meal which was worth every penny; a good end to a great day.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Reunion Day

Last Saturday saw three of us ex-RCET (Rugby College of Engineering Technology, then Lanchester Polytechnic, now Coventry University) types meet up as we are want to do some three times per year. John, Martin and myself plus spouses have been meeting up on a regular basis since we left college in 1970.
This meeting took place at the Barley Mow in Clifton Hampden,  Oxfordshire  near to John's house. We were joined by Julia Walsh, widow of another RCET man, Stuart. We had an enjoyable lunch followed by a stroll along the Thames then back to John's for a clotted cream tea - a most enjoyable way to spend a Saturday.

Barry, John, Maria, Julia (Mellish), Julia (Walsh), Martin plus dog!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Hello Sailor

After a gap of some thirty plus years I took to the water again taking part in the IBM Business Partners Regatta as the guest of one of the teams. Organised by Sunsail  we raced in Sun Fast 37's.

A professional skipper is provided and there is a motley crew of six amateurs who are whipped into shape by the skipper in a mornings training session  and we then take part in three races over a two day period. It was great fun although as I type this I ache in muscles that I never previously knew existed.

Skipper Pip Hare - you would have thought she would read the manual before the race!
We finished 7 overall (out of 34 boats) and we finished in 7, 7 and 9 in the three races. We, the crew that is, were pleased with our result although Pip Hare would have liked to have won - she is a competitive young lady; having just won a round Britain and Ireland yacht race - click here for interview .
It was a great couple of days and we had a formal dinner on the Monday evening in Cowes which was very enjoyable although I was shattered after the days sailing - getting old! At least I didn't do a Lord Lucan as one member of the crew did - the youngest at that! It must have been something he ate, nothing to do with alcohol at all..............!
 A most unlikely looking sailor!
And in the evening!

A massive thank you to RecartaIT who were the business partner whose boat I was on. Haven't had so much fun in ages.