Saturday, 11 September 2010

A weekend away

After getting back from my vacation last week I had a few days of rest and relaxation that were seriously interrupted by a cold (three hours back in the country and it started, is that really fair?) followed by a weekend away with the company I work for.

On the Friday before we were supposed to leave I actually called my boss to say that I wouldn’t be coming, but his phone was turned off.  Seeing as I was not simply going to not turn up I packed my rucksack with lots of Paracetamol and nose spray to keep the sinuses open.

We reached the small port in the north of the Netherlands and found that we were to travel to the island where the party was organised by speed boat.  Very exciting and a lot of fun – though really cold in the middle of the sea!  The pilot was having some fun swerving from side to side and doing a few circles when someone decided to side on the rubber side of the boat.

As soon as we arrived the group was split in two.  Half the group did an afternoon sailing on a clipper, and half did a beach games afternoon.  I was in the second.  We started with Jellyfish ball (literal translation) where you fill a hessian sack with wet sand and have to get the sack into bucket of the other team.  That’s the rules in completion and I am still in pain, and have cut up legs now :)  Think British Bulldog with goals...

Whilst the team lost I did at least manage to get the sys admin manager (natural enemy of a developer obviously) into the water towards the end, and it was us two that spent most of our time hanging onto the sack to make sure the other could not run away with it.  It was fun, though painful – and with the cold I wanted to throw up after just a few minutes.

Next up beach five a side football, though with the tide coming in it turned into water polo after a while.  And finally beach volleyball.  I love the game, but am completely useless at it.  I think I cost the team more points that I won.

After a (unfortunately poor) meal we had a party with a live singer, who whilst not my cup of tea did get the party mood going.

Next morning we went back to the mainland on the clippers, and a few of us helped the crew with the sails (damn is that hard work!) before chilling and sleeping in deck.  I don’t know many people managed to avoid sun burn on that 4 hour trip (as opposed to 45 minutes on the speed boat) and there were more than a few lobsters in the office on Monday :)

Whilst writing this I’ve been watching the BBC breakfast program, and I have to say I can’t believe the drivel that they are putting on to fill the time.  There are some good interviews, and stories.  And then there was a 10 minute discussion of an article in one of the papers about where the best place to buy a prawn sandwich is.  Were they really that desperate for filler?

Then there was the story about the tax mistake in the UK.  The tax office seem to have dropped the ball quite seriously there – both with the mistakes, and the way they are handling it.  I think the worst was the radio 4 interview with the head of the tax office saying that he didn’t feel he has to apologise, and there were no mistakes on the part of the employee’s or computer systems of the tax office.  To me that says that it was deliberate...  I don’t know the in’s and outs’ but I though the whole idea of PAYE in the UK was that this type of mistake should not happen.

Right, time for breakfast and getting ready for my first run in three weeks!

Oh, one last thing...  Whilst browsing the blogs my virus scanner popped up with a warning that a virus was downloaded when visiting one of the pages.  I don’t think that it infected anything, but I’m now running a scan to make sure.  Be careful out there people.


  1. Well Stace, I ran this through a scan and while you may have a virus, hope you are better soon, you seem to have been cured of all girlieness! Not the tiniest trace could be found in this post, I double checked.

    Caroline xxx

  2. A clipper ship? Maybe your cold is actually a case of scurvy. They should have provided you with limes to suck on during the trip back.

    I never watch the morning shows for the very reason you cited. They are such a waste of time.

    Melissa XX

  3. than a few lobsters in the office

    That's Doctor Zoidberg to you, young lady! ;-)

    Ack. Sunburn and at this time of year too? Saying that, it was rather warm and sunny before lunch.

    Yes, breakfast TV.... something I've not missed as CBBC / Cbeebies has replaced it on our set. I wonder if any of the breakfast folk would snap under the banality and go off on one? :)

  4. Caraline: It was a very neutral weekend yes :)

    I guess that also goes down to the spectrum from the last post... I used to enjoy those games when in the ATC back in the UK (and trust me the girls gave as much as the boys when playing)!

    Melissa: I think more a clipper boat... Around the north cost you have 5 islands, and between those islands and the mainland there is the Waddenzee - it's quite shallow and these clipper ships are specially designed for the shallow water.

    No limes, just lots of coffee and red bull (does that count ;p)

    I really need to get the CD's back out of the car, listening to music would be much that trying to find something on TV in the mornings...

    Lynn: Yup, after Professor Farnsworth managed to get his cloning machine working.

    It wasn't actually that hot (in fact we were all in fleece jackets in the wind) but I think that was the problem. I knew it was going to happen, but had forgotten my sun screen.

    Maybe the banality is deliberate from the produces, and they are hoping at some point someone does and add something interesting to the morning...


  5. Become a Radio 4 listener, then you get the Today programme instead. The pictures are much better on the radio!

  6. I used to listen to radio 4 in the car until they stopped fitting long wave radios... I suppose I should take a look at where it is on the cable digibox - I do like a lot of what they send out.


  7. Which blog, Stace, had the virus?

  8. I honestly don't know Calie. I had been to about a dozen during the morning. The only thing that I am sure about is that I had only visited blogs that morning.

    I wish I could narrow it down and let the person know, but I can't even remember which dozen blogs I had visited.

    It turned out to be a tracking cookie - which makes me think that it was widget that someone was using which is doing something it shouldn't.