The Stag Weekend

Ok. I’ve been quiet for some time. That may be due to various events that were coming up (and have now passed). Yes, I survived my stage weekend. But equally, I’m now married and honeymooned. I’ll take this opportunity to record what happened at the stag weekend, then add in separate blogs for the wedding and honeymoon. It’s only fair, after all ;o)


I was picked up by Luis (my best man) on the Friday and driven to a secret location… Lincoln… where most of those attending the weekend met up at a bar. During this time we were visited by a local, “Sleight of Hand Walter”, an elderly gentleman who did the most amazing card tricks.

We then headed off to our abode for the weekend – a wooden lodge in the middle of no-where. We spent the rest of that day drinking ourselves silly and playing poker. Paul even stripped to his pants and decided to swim across the nearby lake. And he did it too. Boy was he drunk.

The next morning was my “surprise”. We had to stop soon after
leaving though for Paul to barf at the roadside. He decided it would be best if he didn’t go any further and set off walking back to the lodge. Anyway, we arrived at Humberside Airport. Luis was talking about “wing walking” but as he’d been leading me astray with false comments for months, I didn’t believe it.

As it turned out… I was right to disbelieve him. Ages ago, Luis asked me what I’d always wanted to do. I told him, but knew (as he commented at the time would be the case) it would be too expensive to do this weekend. Somehow though, Luis HAD arranged it. I was to have my first lesson flying a helicopter.

There was some basic training of the controls whilst we were on the ground and then we took to the sky. At this point my instructor was flying. When we got to the Humber Bridge however, she passed control to me. I fly it over the bridge and back again, and even returned it back to the airport. My instructor, however landed it. During our return trip, she showed me what happens when you turn off the engine at 1500ft. It drops, but not too quickly. She restarted the engine in time before we reached the ground – it was all just to show that no-matter what happens, it’s all quite safe.

In all we spent 30 minutes in the air. I now have an official pilots log book with half an hours flight time recorded in it. I now only need 44.5 more before thinking about a pilots licence! Will I do it? In time – when I get my loans paid off.

We then returned back to the lodge to pick up Paul (who was now feeling better) before heading off to all go go-karting. It was great fun – I wasn’t much cop myself though.

That night we tarted our-selves up and headed into Lincoln. We “dined” at the Chicago Rock Café until it was converted into a club for the rest of the evening – we wandered into a few others bars but returned here to dance for most of the evening.


Paul and John C left in the morning.

Sunday was an attempt to recover from the night before, as we pulled on walking boots and sturdy trousers and headed off across the fields. Unfortunately I’d brought new boots and I was in agony very quickly. For most of the walk I was in my socks.

After a good few hours, we arrived at a pub that served the most fantastic Sunday carvery. Here we stayed drinking and playing darts until later afternoon. Now it was time for Rob to return home.

The remaining of us went back to the lodge and watched some DVD’s whilst doing what we did best – drinking.


Not much to say about Monday, other than the fact that we left in the morning. I arrived home early afternoon after a fantastic weekend.

My thanks go to everyone who attended and particularly Luis for organising it all.


Less than 3 weeks to go!

And everything is pretty much organised for my wedding.

Jennie has lots of stuff to do during the final week (she’s off work and staying at her mums) to get the hall ready, but otherwise it’s all organised, paid for and generally sorted. The DJ has his list of songs, the caterer has a final menu, the bar has been fully paid, etc, etc. We’ve even received some of our wedding presents.

Tomorrow, I (the groom) commence my 4 days of the Stag Weekend. I have no idea where I’m going other than the fact it’s this country. My beer is ready. Expect me to turn up at the wedding with one eyebrow missing.


Infamy, Infamy…

From Computing magazine, 18th April…

London pride

Gavin Asthills might have spotted an automatic sign warning of an event on a different road 50 miles away, but that’s nothing, says David Artiss.
‘I was travelling south on the M1 and, around junction 28, was told on repeated signs about a closed junction on the M25. Now, I know that most Londoners feel the universe revolves around them, but this is ridiculous. Is the idea that anyone travelling south must be going to London?’
By the way, junction 28 is near Alfreton, some 120 miles north of London. Can anyone beat this electronic sign for irrelevance?


Less than 2 months to go

..until my wedding. and lots has been done..

  1. RSVP reminders sent out, but most have been returned. We even have a table plan!
  2. The caterers have been sorted with details. As well as a defined menu, they’ll also provide tables and chairs.
  3. We’re in the process of paying the final amount for the bar.
  4. The bride and groom have been sampling alcohol to decide what to supply. Hic.

All, so far is going well. We also have out first “Wedding Preparation Meeting” with the minister this weekend.


Sony Ericsson K800i

Well, I did say I might mention it in a later Blog.

First of all an explanation of why I’ve stopped moaning about nuisance mobile phones and bought one…. the other Friday I was due to pick my daughter up from her mums. And it snowed. Not just a little but a lot. A blizzard really and I couldn’t see the lines on the road let alone anything ahead. Meantime my daughter was stuck at school, her mum unable to reach her.

It was just luck that I’d remembered to take my emergency (pay-as-you-go cheap n’ nasty) mobile out of the boot and had it turned on – I got the phone call from her mum to tell me what was happening and we decided in the end to call it off – I’d pick her up when the weather cleared the next morning. Meantime I’d found somewhere to pull over.

So all of this made me realise that having a mobile – a proper one that I have turned on all the time – might be a good idea. It would also help during my (oh my god it’s less than 3 months) wedding. Oh, and a pay rise at work helped justify it as well.

So after some research I plumped for the Sony Ericsson K800i. The high quality camera also further helped justify it (as I then wouldn’t be caught shot of not having a camera when I needed one). And I got a Bluetooth headset for it as well.

And I have to say, it’s very good, although accessing the phone contents on my PC via Bluetooth is flaky (not that it’s an issue – Bluetooth file transfer is so damn slow). I got a hard transparent case for it along with a 1Gb micro memory stick from – very, very cheap price. Recommended.

I also managed to get it, eventually, to allow traffic uploads to my TomTom One. However, it wasn’t clear cut – my phone kept complaining about a “Connection Failure”. I spoke to Carphone Warehouse (whom I bought the phone from) and they, handily (I’m kidding), told me to visit one of their shops (what is the point of phone support if that’s there answer!). Meantime I’d posted my problem on a GPS forum and they came back with an answer.

If you have the same problem (or again, this will be useful to remind myself of the answer), then you need to do the following:

  • On your phone navigate to the following:Settings|Connectivity|Data Communications|Data Accounts
  • Select your data account and then ‘More,’ then select ‘Account Info’ and note the number against ‘External ID.’
  • Now, when the TomTom errors, you get a prompt to enter the details manually. Do this and skip through most of the information.
  • When it prompts for the dial information it will probably look something like this:*99***3#The number 3 here should be set to your phones External ID.
  • Next, your logon will appear as something like this:at+cgdcont=3,”ip”,”internet”,””,0,0All of this depends on your account and various bits may be different. However, once again the 3 should be your External ID. Change that bit too.

And that was it (although I’d be curious to know how long it would have taken CPW to have worked that one out!).