Category Archives: Manchester

My Home city in the NW of England

Autodesk University London 2018 & World Cup 2018

Wow last week was a busy week with a 4 day trip to London for AutoDESK University 2018.

It started off with a 07:09 train from Wigan North Western to London Euston that was delayed by 20 minutes due to trespassers on the line between Lancaster & Preston. Not the start i wanted!

Instead of arriving in Euston at 09.10 & having 50 minutes to travel across London to the Arcadis BIM forum I was left with just 25 minutes to do the same journey.

I arrived at the forum at 10:10 (only 10 minutes late) not too bad as it was at the Tower Hotel near Tower Bridge & St Katherine’s Dock

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The day was spent with approx 120 Arcadians from all over Europe listening to how Arcadis is transforming itself into a Digital & BIM leader within our industry. AutoDESK were also out our internal meeting which shows the partnership & closeness of our two great companies.

In the evening Arcadis had put on a BBQ & beers for our staff to mingle & get to know each other. This was done in a private area outside of the hotel on the banks of the River Thames. We also had a large screen showing England’s opening game in the 2018 World Cup against Tunisia.

Arcadis Staff at the BIM forum

The rooms we were given in the hotel were a little more expensive than our usual budget as we usually have a budget of £125/night however the rooms we’d been allocated were £190/night. This caused some concerns of being able to get them approved & pushed through our expenses system.

Some of the staff had great views of Tower Bridge, like the one below

Tower Bridge

While others like myself had view up the river :(, like the one below

The following day we were all up early for the short walk to Tobacco Dock for AutoDESK University London 2018

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We then had two days of classes & forums from AutoDESK staff & other companies who all use the AutoDESK software from around Europe.

One of my colleagues from Engineering Applications gave a 1 hour presentation alongside a colleague from AutoDESK on BIM360. BIM360 is being adopted by Arcadis as our Common Data Environment. This was particularly interesting.

As with most events the days were long but we did have the evenings to socialise & have a couple of beers to get to know people. Our Tuesday night was spent in a pub on St Katherine’s Docks called The Dickens Inn.

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Day two & we all had to wear our Arcadis (Orange) Tee shirts which allowed the 120 strong Arcadis Group standout from the 1400 visitors to AutoDESK University.

Arcadis Team

Our final night together in London allowed Yannick (France), Roland (Holland) & myself to get out for something to eat

Roland, Gary & Yannick at Tower Bridge

The final day was spent working in Arcadis House before my 2 hour train journey home to catch-up with Mrs C.

Friday I worked from home & was surprised by a dragon-fly flying into the house & settling down on the window frame next to me for a brief rest.

Dragon-Fly

Saturday I spent time with mum & dad. I even brought dad in to the Manchester office so he could see Manchester from 10 floors up.

Then i went over to spend the later part of the afternoon with Sam my daughter & the grandchildren.

Sunday was going to be all about sport on TV, with the England game against Panama which they comfortably ran out winners with a 6-1 victory. then it was the French Gran-prix before another 2 games of football.

A busy weekend with friends

We’ve had a busy weekend with friends who have been up visiting from London.

Helen (an old school fried of Michele’s) and Brian arrived late on Friday evening after a long drive from Horsham in West Sussex. Michele had cooked a welcoming winter meal for our guests of Chicken and Vegitable Bake, all as requested by Helen. Helen and Brian had this served to them last time they called up and liked it so much that it had been requested once again.

Friday evening was spent drinking beer/wine and chatting  as it had been a while since we had last seen the pair of them.

Saturday morning was a little bit rushed as Michele had organised a treat for Helen and herself that had been brought forward by a couple of hours. So it was off into Manchester. I dropped the girls off just off Peter Street by the Free Trade Hall now the Radisson Hotel. The treat Michele had arranged was for the two of them to have their nails done at The Midland Hotel. The Midland Hotel was not Michele’s first choice but the Radisson Hotel was unable to undertake the nails on the saturday.

While the girls were pampering themselves Brian and i went to the National Football Museum at the Urbis Centre.There are some very interesting exhibits in the museum. The one that i think stood out most of all was the presentation on disasters at football games and how the change was made to all seater stadia, especially after the Fire disaster at Bradford City FC, where 56 people perished.

Following our visit to the museum Brian & I called into Sinclair’s Oyster Bar for a cheeky pint before catching the girls up outside of the Pandora store in Manchester Arndale.

We then spent the afternoon mooching about the city, stopping off for lunch and then grabbing a couple of extra cheeky beers.

The evening was spent at home where we had a hearty Chinese take-away all washed down with plenty of beer.

Michele made us all sit through the X Factor before Brian and i got chance to catch up with Match of the Day.

Sunday was a lazy day which started off with a full cooked English breakfast. Brian and Helen left shortly after lunchtime with a 4+ hour drive home, but guess what Michele forgot to give Helen the pies she’d been storing in the freezer for her! Oh well Helen I suppose i’ll have to eat them 😉

A busy week in the office using Revit – AGAIN!

This past week has been a busy one in the office as we’ve been inundated with schemes to produce for all side of the business. Yes we’ve been working for both Social Infrastructure & Property.

JP was swamped with Education Funding Agency work, CM was away on annual leave & as usual we had no support from our colleagues down South! 🙁

I was asked to put my existing workload on the back-burner & take a Property Team scheme on for JP. It wasn’t a difficult job but rather than use AutoCAD we elected to undertake the design in Revit. Revit enabled us to quickly shift the furniture layout around as well as provide an existing, demolition & proposed layouts very easily. Only wished we’d been given the Revit Families training, but we’ve still got to get approval off work for that! We had to space plan an office fit out for a 125 seat office with a mixture of 4 and 6 person desks. There was also a requirement to provide 4 number 6 person ‘touch-down’ desks. In the end all was completed on time & sent to our Quantity Surveyors to price up. We even managed time to create two options. Then it was back to playing catch-up on my core work for the Manchester Education Team with some Development Plans that needed creating. I was also able to clear a planning application for a remodelling of a teachers staff room that required new windows and a door adding.

The week ended with a couple of pints at a new bar which had opened on Station Approach Manchester called Piccadilly Tap.

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There was quite a turn-out for a Friday lunchtime pint as there was 8 of us from the office who had decided it was definitely needed. So we split ourselves into 2 groups of four to make the cost of buying a round more appealing.

Piccadilly Tap, Manchester 2015

We are still trying to get our CAD drawing sheets created too, its been over 3 weeks now since we re-branded the company to our parent companies name and we are still waiting for the title sheets to be produced. Its getting quite embarrassing but I can safely say no one is waiting for me to create them as someone else (who shall remain nameless) has taken it on to undertake. Its not just the AutoCAD ones that we are waiting for its the Revit one too.

More the same this coming week I expect.

The weekend was much more fun, Michele and I went off to Warrington looking for new cars as our current deal which ends in May 2016. Michele fancies a Mitsubishi ASX crossover, but after having a look I’m not so sure. It looks slightly bigger than the Nissan Quashai that we used to have and I’m not too sure if I want a car that big again. Some debate to go though. Then we did a spot of shopping in Warrington, new work shirts and trousers. Following this we called at Bents Garden Centre near Leigh as they’ve had a new refurbishment undertaken and it looked quite smart inside. Maybe another trip is due before the Christmas period kicks in.

Saturday evening was spent with our friends Warren and Dawn as they’d offered us tea after we called in for a coffee. Dawn made a nice Chilli con Carne which was washed down with a couple of bottles of ‘Old Speckled Hen‘. Dawn had been in work all day and even though we’d not seen them all for a couple of weeks we called it a night just after 21:00 so Dawn could settle down and rest.

Sunday (today) was a rest day, i did a little bit of practice with Revit to keep the skill up as I’d noticed that because I’d not used it for a couple of weeks I’d lost the edge. We called over the road to Michele’s parents to see how they were and they both seemed happy.

I’ve had a chat with my daughter Sam tonight who has been telling me what she’s been planning for the coming weeks with a trip to Sheffield and also Nottingham. She was also explaining that her husband (Matt) and her have set a new business up called ‘Sammy and Matt – business builder and mentors‘. How they manage to find the time in their busy life I don’t know but good luck to them both. If you don’t try you’ll never succeed.

Lewis and Drew have both been busy with work too this week as I’ve not seen or heard from them both either. Oh the catering trade and the hours they put in.

Michele, Josh and I have been at the 6th Form Opening Evening this week looking for options for Josh to do after his GCSE’s in May/June 2016. He wants to do Business Studies at A Level and in his own words become an Entrepreneur. Maybe we should buy him this book?

I’ll wrap up now as Homeland (season 5) is due on Channel 4 tonight and it’s my turn to make the lunch for tomorrow.