Old boys gathering

The week at the heart of the UK Engineering Applications hub has been a busy one with a mixture of tickets being raised with technical support being requested to new software requiring ordering. We do seem to be getting a large volume of tickets being raised at the moment. I do say though that in most cases it’s not the IT or software causing the problems but the users! Maybe more training or less access to the software settings or maybe both!

Friday though was the ‘Old Boy’s gathering. Hamlin had set the wheels in motion for us to get together something we’d not done since December last year! The ‘old boy’s’ are a group of ex-colleagues who worked together over the years and mainly got together at Povall Floor + Wilson (PF+W) in the late 90’s. but as time passed by moved on & worked at other companies, however we have all kept in touch.

There were only 6 of us who were able to make the gathering at The Rising Sun in Manchester which is our usual haunt. Guess what by the time Phil Beswick & I got there just before 18:00 the guys were in their usual spot in the window. The beer, laughter & stories flowed all night long and with 300+ years in age for the 6 of us there was some story telling. Nothing to eat which is always dangerous meant I was busy looking for something to eat on the wall home from Hindley rail station. At 22:30 on a Friday night I was appalled that there are no open chippys but if you want pizza, curry or kebab you are heartily catered for. So it was a kebab for me to help soak the beer up.

Up early on Saturday as United had the lunch time KO against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Not a had game for the neutral to watch. Chelsea went 1-0 up after some slack defending by Paul Pogba allowing Rudiger to score in the 21st minute. United rallied round with a better 2nd half performance where Anthony Martial scored twice before Ross Barkley scored the equaliser in the 96th minute for Chelsea. So many time over the years had we used all minutes available to us & often teased by opposition fans calling it Fergie time that we got undone by our own best asset. As the Chelsea fans jumped with joy there was a minor bust-up on the touchline as one of Chelsea’s backroom staff twice ran past Jose Mourinho celebrating in his face before Mourinho was up out of his seat. At the end of the game there were chants of F*ck off Mourinho from some of the Chelsea fans. Strange behaviour as he is their most successful manager. Chelsea staff & fans equal no class.

Today we’ve had mum & dad over for tea. Nice to see them as we’ve not seen them for two weeks. They both look well. We even got a Skype call from Sam, Harry & Nancy who again I’d not heard from in a couple of weeks. Harry has lost a tooth & the tooth fairy had left a £2 coin. Wow inflation is at a high as 50 years ago I was only getting a sixpence (old money) equivalent to 2.5 pence in New money.

Date night – A Star is Born

Tonight was date night for Mrs C and myself and we’d planned to go to the cinema to watch the latest block buster – A Star is Born.

First we headed for something to eat at Coast to Coast and both had burgers. Not what I was expecting but pleasantly surprised as they were not the tall, impossible to eat, gourmet burgers that seem to be the norm in some restaurants but they were  easy to hold and eat.

Mrs C had pre-booked tickets but explained that we would be sat near the front. Not what I wanted but all that was left was row C. Not too had and certainly not as close as I thought they’d be. By the time the trailers had started the place was full.

The film revolved around a chance meeting between Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) an established musician and Ally (Lady Gaga) a young musician who appeared to be giving up on her dream in a bar where a bunch of drag queens were holding an open mic night.

Jack (Jackson) and Ally had an instant connection but as their relationship developed their careers took different directions.

A gripping story-line, fantastically directed by Bradley Cooper who also starred as Jackson, his voice both with verbal dialogue & his singing capability were great. How he kept up the gravelly voice was amazing. Sadly he was not as strong with his acting in the latter third of the film but Lady Gaga held the film together with a strong, raw and earthy performance as Ally and you can see why she is being linked with a potential Oscar nomination. I expected her singing to be excellent but wow can she act, hell yes.

Well done all, a must watch film.

Chicago 2018 – now in the past

After landing back in the UK on Tuesday after 18 days in Chicago with my cousin Julie we’ve had to re-adjust to the alarm going off at 05:20, rush-hour to and from work and getting used to the folder weather that is starting to creep in 🙁

Wednesday morning was interesting at work 500+ emails sat in my inbox & 34 incidents in the Engineering Applications queue for me to deal with. Even by close of business on Friday night I still had 200 emails to catch-up with as well as a mounting workload in the queue. But no whinging as it’s the work that pays the mortgage.

Saturday was a busy day, we both overslept & actually woke at 09:30, but I suppose we needed the sleep. Off we went to see Brenda. She’s seemed well & playful. We had a good your with her before she got bored & started to wander off. From here we went over to Timperley to see mum & dad. They too seemed well & we spent the time catching up with them about our trip to Chicago. Layer in the afternoon we called round at Sam & Matt’s & caught up with them & the grandchildren (Harry & Nancy). Harry & I played dinosaur ‘Top Trumps’ & guess who won? Yes Harry. From Timperley we dashed back home so I could watch United v Newcastle in the Saturday evening game.

United had a shocking game in the 1st half & were 0-2 down after 10 minutes. The second half was a little better but the team had to dig deep to get a result & finally ran out winners 3-2 by the end. Both Woodward (Chief Executive) & Mourinho have a lot of work to do to turn the poor start to the season around. THe fans seem split with some calling for Mourinho to be sacked while others are asking for Woodward to go!

After the game we headed out to our friends Darren & Tracy to catch-up with them. Avoid chat & a couple of beers & then it was hometown.

I woke up at 04:20 on Sunday morning & checked to see if Conor McGregor had already fought in UFC:229 against Nurmagomedov but he hadn’t so I sat & watched some of the undercard. The right actually started at about 05:20 & McGregor was out-fought by Nurmagomedov who won with a choke God & submission by McGregor. There was terrible scenes at the end of the right with Nurmagomedov jumping into the crowd & trading punches with some of McGregor’s corner team, then McGregor was attacked by 3 of Nurmagomedov team in the ring. Maybe this is all a stage act to boost earrings for a return bout in the future!

After a live-in on Sunday I was up to do the last now of the lawn before winter, vacuum all of the house & tidy the garage. Mrs C & I started to watch some TV before Warren & Dawn called round to see us. The brought me a nice bottle of whiskey for my birthday – many thanks.

later in the evening I had a catch-up with my brother before settling down to watch Jacksonville Jaguars v Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL.