Category Archives: Work

Where I earn my wages, been here since September 1979. I’ve seen the business grow from a small business to a multi-discipline business with offices worldwide.

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.

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

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

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.

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 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.

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.