At the Fringe again

Just returned home from a fantastic holiday for myself and Lucy in Edinburgh. We rented a flat in the middle of the city for nearly two weeks, and were able to see dozens of shows at The Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, including the world’s largest Comedy festival. This year, we went by train (via Crewe – cheaper than via Stafford). No long drive at top and tail of the holiday. Fantastic. My last role in IBM before leaving in June was working on a proposal at RBS in Edinburgh. It Read more […]

Tunnel Vision

  Had a great day yesterday, enjoying a long tour through tunnels and locks on canals around Dudley with the Dudley Canal Trust, followed by a meal at Mad O’Rourke’s famous pie factory (pub). and then a drink at The Crooked House. This was a surprise treat from my brother for my recent birthday. My brother had asked me some time ago if I was free on the 4th of June as he had something in mind for my birthday. He wanted it to be a surprise though so would not tell me what it was going to Read more […]

Restaurants need to focus on good service

You would think in this day and age, when finances are hard for everyone, and in light of the many TV programmes providing advice on running food establishments, all establishments would ensure their customer services are top notch – it is an easy win, and a damaging loss to get this wrong. We recently patronised the Pheasant in Admaston, and the experience was so disappointing I sent them an email afterwards: I am sorry to advise you that you lost the regular custom of my extended family and friends Read more […]

Amazing Human Body

We saw a performance by Traces at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry last night. An acrobatic dance show described on their site thus: TRACES combines high-level circus skills with an electric urban street energy. With disciplines as varied as Chinese poles, basketball, skateboards, classical piano, dance, comedy and illustration, these five acrobats move quickly from one skill to the next, interpreting each in surprising and innovative ways. It was breathtaking. I really like modern dance, especially Read more […] poor customer service

I was a regular user of and recommended it to many colleagues who, like me, work away from home a lot, stay in hotels and quickly get fed up of the hotel menus. I did send them some detailed feedback suggesting how they could make their service more helpful to customers like me (adding a receipt option for example) – never got any response on my feedback though. I recently noticed that there was a new option to enable you to store alternative delivery addresses so you can get deliveries Read more […]

new specs

Had my friendly neighbourhood optician put some new lenses in my existing spectacle frames this evening. The lenses are varifocals to a new prescription so I am going through the usual head mangling process of my eyes (or rather, my brain) adjusting to the changes. Fortunately, the distance part of my prescription has not changed but the reading part has increased a couple of steps so as I walk around, the floor and steps look very strange. Using a computer is particularly challenging as the screen Read more […]

Team meal

Something unusual happened last night. A large group of us working as a temporary critical-delivery team went out for a meal together. We went to an excellent fish & chip cum pub restaurant, Mulligan’s Restaurant & Bar. The place had a tremendous, relaxed and easy-going vibe to it. The food was excellent as was the company. I ended up over-eating (no great change there). I was caught out by them giving me a very generous main-course sized portion of fried white-bait as my starter followed Read more […]

Hotel dining

I have spent most weekday nights over the last year in a Crown Plaza hotel. I know the room services menu pretty much off by heart. I am allergic to cheese which knocks out a large chunk of the relatively short menu. I think the food mostly comes from the 3663 food services company, which has a large repertoire but I don’t think I had the best offering tonight. I uploaded this picture to flickr so my wife could see what I was dining on. (In case you are wondering, under the chicken there is some Read more […]

Summer Ball at the Grammar School

This was at the rather successful grant-maintained Adams’ Grammar School in Newport, Shropshire to be exact. To quote them: "A Voluntary Aided, selective state grammar school for day pupils and boarders located in the market town of Newport, Shropshire. We welcome boys aged 11-18 as day boys or boarders and girls aged16-18 as day girls in our sixth form." Junior Boarding is at Longford Hall, a fine Georgian mansion in 125 acres of sports fields and grounds with its own fishing lake. Read more […]