Just A Short Time To Catch One’s Breath

It has been hectic.  Seriously Hectic.

Work

I’ve never been busier with work, and Q3’15 has been manic.  We’ve stripped out our CPQ and ERP systems at work (amongst others), and went live with new applications effective 1st of July so it’s been a rocky, high pressure, high emotion few months.  I’m off to the US again for quarter end, it will be great to see my three team members face-to-face but September quarter end has traditionally been the toughest of the year, and with everything else that’s been going on this one is lining up to be a real test both of professional acumen and of sheer emotional tolerance.

I picked a bad month to quit drinking!

Fishing

Nobody, but nobody outside my work wants to hear about my work.  Onto something I do enjoy..

I joined up with my (now) local club in June just before the river season started, and spent some good money down the tackle shop along the way since then.  Unfortunately I only made it out about 6 or 7 times in total, mostly on Saturdays.  Work responsibilities and Travel pretty much forbade the chances of getting a few days off here and there to extend my riverbank run, and with current plans for Saturday and flying Sunday (return following Saturday) that rules out the next two weekends.  As a traditionally fair-weather fisherman, that could spell all until next Spring.

The few times I did get out it felt really good to be back on the riverbank and doing something I used to enjoy pretty much more than anything else.  It was tough going, the first location was a lake on a golf course which was pretty sparse going on the bites.  Talking to one or two of the seldom seen other club members who I did see there it’s known to be more of a carp lake and even then a tough one.  The car park was at the Club House, the Lake about half a mile down the hill at the bottom – dragging all the equipment up and down that rough gravel path was hard work (for a paperwork jockey like me!)

The other venues were specialist too; but I did have a good day with a bite almost nearly every chuck at a pretty quite lake about 10 miles away, (venues intentionally being withheld.)  That day was glorious sunshine and though it might sound cliché, for a chunk of the afternoon I felt I recaptured a part of my youth, a part of myself.  Simply reeling in unremarkable tiddler after tiddler added up to a good net-full. This particular lake is known for it’s Tench but I had no such luck on my two follow up visits, a couple of possible bites and plenty of tell tale ‘Tench Bubbles’

Not my photo, but similar to 'Tench Bubbles' seen when Tench feed and disturb the bottom when feeding

Not my photo, but similar to ‘Tench Bubbles’ seen when Tench feed and disturb the bottom when feeding

I made it one night to the supposed Crown Jewel of the Angling Club, but the place was packed solid with ‘Carpers’ and the water level was very low, making safely landing bigger fish a tough prospect.  I landed three modest sized silver fish but the session on that evening was more about getting out of the house for a few hours when work had been rough for a few weeks – it was the only non-Saturday session thus far.

Last time out was on the river which I felt would suit me more as I used to fish the Thames in Abingdon growing up.  However the section I picked wasn’t ideal for my time of day and bait selection which meant it was a wipe out.  I had to cut the session short when in the early evening a dozen or so teens turned up on the brigde 50 years upstream and spend 20 minutes diving in, throwing beer bottles and doing just about anything and everything to disrupt the tranquil session.  Apparently it’s an issue that comes up quite a bit there, with Travellers bathing and washing down horses occasionally in one section and then canoeists trespassing and killing of sessions in another (and being rather rude, if not offensive at being informed they’re trespassing; it seems the local canoeists think they have right of way everywhere, even when the council confirm quite the opposite).  It’s a shame because it’s my local clubs only decent stretch of river and it’s probably the most fished, and most disrupted section.

It’s a shame too a local temple decided to run a raw sewage pipe into the main flow of the water without permission.  Hopefully the EA will be able take action there.

I wonder if the travellers know, or care, they’re swimming in a stream of partially untreated sewage?

Rugby

I’ve been watching International Rugby since about 1996/97, I’ve no specific club allegiance but I try to catch the six nations, the Autumn Internationals and the World Cup and though I only caught the last twenty minutes or so I think the South Africa v Japan game was probably the most exciting 20 minutes of rugby, ever.

Those who saw the whole game might say the best game of rugby, ever (?)

Japan have apparently never won a game in all the previous seven world cup finals, and South Africa are where a lot of people would have put their money on where the Web Ellis Trophy will end up after the final.

I have a few South African friends and some have been completely quiet on Facebook, but a couple were generous enough to post congratulatory remarks, but this from Twitter caught my eye and I thought deserved a retweet..

SA Tweet

There’s a sense that we’ll all remember what we were doing before we switched over, for that remarkable result.

Now, I must confess I am a bit of a lucky boy…

About 18 months ago I signed up to the Official World Cup site as I wanted to get alerts for tickets and maybe try and get hold of some.  At the time I was still living in Galway and, from memory, not having a UK address made stalking England tickets a bit of an issue… Only a slight issue really because by the time the allocations had gone out to England Rugby clubs for preferential offers/pricing (nothing against that, the real fans who associate with a club and their family should get tickets if they want them..) after that process, the initial prices for general sale were over £2,000 each.

Yes, over £2,000 each!!

There was no mention of whether that included a seat in the changing room, or sat with the lovely WAGS of the rugby world.  So, I took the only conclusion left, this meant tickets, were for then at least, for the rich boys and girls to avail of.  I checked out some travel agents in Ireland who had packages, but unsurprisingly their packages were geared towards the Ireland games, and though not as ludicrously priced, they were still somewhat prohibitive (being a Finance Manger in 2014/5 is a good gig, but not that good).

Anyway, every few weeks the email would come through and from time to time I’d log in, and there was never, ever any England tickets.  There was France v Italy (about £400ea), there were tickets for non-England games in Manchester & Brighton (£200+ ea), and that may now I think about it have included a certain Japan game that would have unknowingly been a rewarding punt; but there was nothing at Twickenham for England…

… Until a week and a half ago.

So there I was, lucky me, one week out from the tournament opener I happened to be checking Yahoo mail and quite a way down, from a day or two before was the standard sight of the latest email burst.  Something that day had been on TV, probably a news report about the opening ceremony rehearsals and though I had long since given up hope of getting a ticket so when I saw this I thought ‘what the heck’ (or something somewhat similar) and clicked in to take a look what games were still available.  I am not sure it was habit or curiosity but for some reason I still put “England” into the search field under “Team” and clicked search and, lo, tickets were on sale for England v Wales.  Now it’s a toss up whether the Wales or Australia game should be or will be the game of the group, but for now and because I got these tickets we’ll be definitive and say the England v Wales game IS the match of the group!

Fortunately I did not need to take a mortgage out, and £75ea was the asking price.  Still very steep in my book but a home World Cup might not come along again in my life time.  yes, I’m only 36 now, but with my cholesterol intake and general level of fitness I may not get another chance. There was no groups of 4 left at this point but I did manage to get 3 seats together, so Sarra and Dad are the lucky pair.  If I could have got a fourth I would have offered to my Brother; who I duly phoned to inform in case he wanted to try for tickets but he seemed a little disinterested.  Having not heard back I assume he didn’t, only he will know come 10.30pm next Saturday if that would have been worth a little effort to get online.

Unlike for the European Cup Final earlier in the year (my only other trip to Twickenham) the road where I’ve rented someone’s drive (£30) is closed from 5pm so we’ll have to go early.  Normal form would suggest a few drinks, but in case you missed it or forgot already – I picked a bad month to quit drinking!

Sunday

Off to Heathrow early (well, early for Sunday), not likely to be home before midnight and next week is going to be tough, but once it’s done and we’re into Q4 there will be a chance to get things back in order.  We’re still much further ahead of other teams on that score, but no manager likes to be coming from behind on the issues, and I’m no different there.  I have a good team, we’ll get on top of things soon enough and get things back into good order.

Virgin Atlantic again this time.  BA were more expensive and so not wanting to over do it went with the red team.

Every flight I have been on this year, be it BA, Virgin, Delta or Aer Lingus has had issues with the in-flight entertainment system, is that just me and rotten luck?.. Think the whole industry is overdue an upgrade on their systems.

10 Years

Somewhere along the way we figured out Sarra and I first met romantically 10 years ago on September 9th.  If nothing else does I felt that warranted a stroll down to a local restaurant and a Chicken Tikka.

I duly thanked Sarra for “not leaving me in all that time”.  It felt only right to verbalise it.

Not really a man of romantic words nor deeds, am I?

A Bad Month…

Well, when is a good time to quit drinking?

I’ve alluded, so I’ll join a couple of dots, but wifey and I going through a process and though we’re both avid fans of being off our skulls on a Friday & Saturday night, we’re in last chance saloon on the starting our own family front.  So, we’re going all in and trying to give ourselves as best a chance as possible.

I did manage a bit of time off in August for a break (it was have a break, or, have a breakdown) and used that break as the mental line in the sand to get out of the weekend routine; and am pleased to say three weeks later we’re holding firm and actually doing well.

Posts

I have a couple of other posts in mind.  At the time of the FIFA post I had two or three in mind but time passed by and actually it’s probably as well I didn’t as events moved on too and recalling half-thoughts now they may already have failed the test of time.

I updated the About Daniel page as I managed to finally get the Paperback Edition of An Ever Deeper Shade of Blue out and on to Amazon.  That should warrant a post of it’s own but really the next thing is the Marketing plan, or lack thereof.  I am exploring options on advertising, which is quite interesting, but it’s the array of potential next projects that I have half-formed ready to pursue that need consideration.  For me, what I think I should do next does not correlate to the feedback and advice I’ve seen on blogs and forums, and other’s advice does seem to have merit.  Need to think things through and decide what to do next.. AEDSOB took 5-6 years, so I need to up my output rate if any kind of success in this field is to follow.

On a less personal note, the recent invitations to Lambeth Palace for January has prompted some concerning worries.  These need to be mulled over.

Final Thought

Wherever you are, whatever is going on I hope you have a great day!

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