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Another Birthday weekend has passed me bye

Well last weekend another birthday passed me bye.

We celebrated my birthday all weekend, starting the birthday celebrations off on the Friday lunch-time with a couple of beers at a pub close to the office. As is customary on your birthday its your shout at the bar. We ended up this birthday celebration at a new bar on Piccadilly Approach called Piccadilly Tap. The bar is simple inside with just a couple of ‘poser’ tables & a few small traditional tables all with stools. But where they are lacking in furniture they make up for in beer selection, as they have three large blackboards on the walls with about ten beers per blackboard. All the beers range in style, flavour & cost. Take my word its well worth a visit if your visiting Manchester City centre.

Saturday was my birthday & we had a lazy start. Michele was the only one up with me as both younger boys were still in bed, no call from Andrew either, but I did get a text off Sam my daughter. Later that afternoon I had a visit from my mother-in-law who called over with a card and some money for me. Not long after the mother-in-law left I was on my way to collect my daughter and grandson. Matt my son-in-law was catching us all up later as he was at Old Trafford watching Manchester United. By the time we got back Mum, Dad & Aunty Jilla had already got to ours and were being ably entertained by Michele. Lewis had already left for work as he was on nights at Manchester’s Radisson Blu Hotel but before he left  did get a card with some money in it for my birthday. Josh too came up trumps with a card & money. Sam, Matt & Harry bought me Alex Ferguson’s new book called Leading along with some money.

Later on the Saturday night my brother & his family joined us along with Helen & her family. The Bray’s unfortunately were not in attendance as Warren was working nights & Dawn was already out with Adam. However they did call up the Sunday before with a card for me.

The card that travelled the furthest was the one from Chicago as my cousin Julie, Joe, Elle and Chris had sent one over for my birthday.

It was a late night as the birthday party wrapped up at 01:00hrs. I was then unceremoniously kicked out of bed at 03:00hrs for snoring, but that was due to the head cold I was starting to get coming out.  I was then woken by Lewis coming in at 05:00hrs who was having a rant about a dangerous taxi driver who’d brought him home. Then at 08:00hrs my grandson Harry was up and about. Matt and I kept him entertained until 09:00hrs when we made a drink for Grandma and took it upstairs to wake her.

Sunday was a day for relaxation after the busy birthday celebrations the day before. Even Drew made an appearance to wish me happy birthday and for a brief period I had all four of my darling kids under the same roof.

The week before my birthday celebrations was a busy one in the office as we’d rebranded from EC Harris to our parent company name ARCADIS. We had been part of their group for the past four years but now was the right time to become fully integrated. But this was fraught with branding issues as all our branded documents had to be rebranded. The CAD ones were poor and not as slick as what we had had previously. So it was a week of attempting to put these right. As I type now there are still some discussions on-going and tweaks being made to them!

This weekend was supposed to be a quiet one with the only appointment in the diary a visit to Wigan College’s open day for us to look round with Josh who finishes year 10 in June 2016. After the visit Josh appeared to change his opinion of Wigan College from poor to ‘it looks OK’

Saturday night was a must win game of Rugby Union for England v Australia with the winner progressing from the group stage to the knock-out rounds. I dont usually watch the rugby but I gave it a go. It was OK but England got beat by Australia, so that’s England out of the World Cup. At least the rugby shirts will be cheap now, why not check them out on Amazon!

Sunday was a double header of football with the Liverpool derby at Goodison and then Arsenal v Manchester United at 16:00. Everton and Liverpool drew 1-1 and it wasn’t long after the final whistle that Liverpool’s Manager Brendan Rodgers got the sack. Manchester United were convincingly beaten by Arsenal 3-0, which means United drop to 3rd place below Arsenal & it’s back to the drawing-board for Louis Van Gaal.

Long Time NO blog, but I’ve been to Maastricht!

Well we’ve just come out of busy period for the Cleary household hence the reason for a lack of posts. But I suppose you’ll forgive me for being busy?

The first thing to report is that we’ve had a week away from work following on from the Easter break which was enjoyable even though it was busy.

The Easter break started off with my Dad, brother and I having a long awaited afternoon out visiting some of the pubs of my home town of Altrincham. We called in the ‘Old Market Tavern’ as our first stop and had a couple of beers. The pub was not busy but there was a small gathering which gave the place an atmosphere. Our second pub was the ‘Orange Tree’ and was not busy at all! In fact we were the only ones in there for a while apart from the landlady. The bar had by the looks of things had an extensive refurbishment that had smartened the pub up no end. Again we had a couple of beers here while dad mixed the round up with a coffee. Our third and final pub was the ‘Malt Shovels’ and it looked like it had not changed at all in the 25+ years since my last visit. It was the most busy of the pubs we jaunted into on the Good Friday afternoon, however the beer was not at its best and after one pint went back to the bar we forced the other one down before having a whiskey and then heading home to some fine home cooked food at mum’s.

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London

Well Christmas is now a distant memory and it was a great time to spend it with the people that mean the most to you. How many days to Christmas now I hear you say, I haven’t a clue and don’t care. It will be when it will be.

My parents are still struggling with chest infections that they’ve had since the turn of the New Year. They’ve been quite poorly with it. They’ve had a roof leak too over the rear bedroom where the under-felt had torn a little & was allowing any driven rain to pass under the tiles to drip onto the insulation in the loft space. I’ve managed to pin the felt back up in place with the help of some cross battens between the rafters. Not 100% back to new but a reasonable repair that should just stop the water getting in.

We caught up with Sam, Matt & Harry at their house and even got a visit off Drew too. Harry has started his potty training this week & has managed to keep dry for the later part of the week, although he did have a couple of accidents at the beginning of the week. They all seem well and fine too. Drew was full of beans and looks well rested after his Christmas break. He’s finished work at House in Goosegreen, Altrincham and has also now sold his interest in Urban Burger Bar! Selling up in Urban Burger bar was a bit of a shock as he’d worked so hard to get the project up and running. However He’ll start over else where one day. He has also had an interview at the same hotel (Radisson Blu, Manchester) where Lewis works and starts there tomorrow (Monday).

My two youngest are fine, Lewis has been away in Bradford most of the week seeing a new young lady called Danielle. We met her for the first time on Friday evening and I must say what a pleasant young lady she is. Danielle is studying to be a nurse at Bradford Uni. Josh is fine albeit that he’s fully into being a stroppy teenager and has the attitude to match.

Mrs C and I are both very well, we both seem to have taken to our soup maker and are now into our second week of having homemade soup for lunch at work. I even made a beef and vegetable soup made from the leftovers of a beef casserole we had for tea one evening last week. Very delicious. I’m even getting my stash of homegrown chillies eaten up as they are being used in the soups.

The week at work was OK too, no boredom and not too stressful either. I had a trip to London on Friday to meet up with colleagues from Arcadis, Hyder Consulting & RTKL to discuss BIM (Building Information Modelling). This meant that i was on the 07:09 from Wigan North Western to Euston for the journey of just under 2 hours. I met a colleague at our head office near Kings Cross before catching the tube over to Victoria, then a short 5 minute walk to Hyder’s offices. The meeting was an open forum & introduction to where each of the separate parts of the business are at. We even had the meeting gate crashed by the Arcadis chairman Neil McArthur who was over in London for meetings. We all had to introduce ourselves to him before he chatted to us about what BIM meant for him. I got the impression he was quite excited about the challenges as well as changes BIM will bring to the construction industry. The meeting ended sooner than I had expected and i had a little bit of time to kill before my train back from London to Wigan so I wandered down to the Houses of Parliament for a breath of fresh air. I was also treated to a flyby over the Cenotaph by two Chinook helicopters, shame i wasn’t quick enough with the camera as they looked quite stunning flying low over London. My trip back was luckily by First Class as strangely enough it was cheaper than Second Class! In the First Class lounge I met a couple of friends – Alan and Tracy Brookes. (Friends sounds better than the boss and his wife as I’ve known them both for over 25 years now). After a couple of beers, a glass of port and chicken Teka Marsala i was well rested. Its nice to travell First class from London everynow and then.

Now settled down ready for what this week has to hold for us.