Summer 2010

Thought I’d better do a bit of a recap about what’s been going on over the summer, and I supposed the first thing I need to blog about is that we had a bit of a setback at work last month when we had a break-in at the office.

Basically, the whole top floor of our building was targeted, and the burglars broke into about 50 separate units in all! Most businesses had stuff stolen, but it seems like we were the worst hit, with us losing 3 iMacs and a Macbook Pro, plus all our filming kit comprising of a Sony EX3 and Z1, as well as a load of audio stuff as well.  It’s been a pretty horrible experience – luckily we’ve only lost a bit of work since they didn’t take our server or external hard drives, which would have destroyed us really since we hadn’t really got a decent back-up of all our work. But it’s just so gutting that you put so much time and effort into building the business to have some scum just take it away from you.

Anyway, we’re currently looking at options for what to do next – hopefully we’ve got a new office lined up because I really don’t want us to go back to our old one, because I think it might just happen again if they don’t sort out the security issues.  Should have a clearer idea of the future soon.

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On to happier stuff… at the beginning of August, Rob and Clare got married in a field in Mellor (a small village not too far from Stockport), and I was one of the 12 ushers who were all dressed fully in white!

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New car!

Well after nearly seven years, I will be saying goodbye to my little red Fiesta this week. I was down in Tamworth today, and I went to have a look at some Ford Focuses and ended up buying one!!

Basically my current car’s MOT is due at the end of the month, and I’m pretty sure it won’t pass (I only just managed to get it through last year) so I thought it would be best to look at getting another car before spending any more money on it.

The one I’ve bought is 9 months old, with just 12,000 miles on the clock, and I’m going back down at the end of the week to pick it up. I think it will be quite weird because I’m so used to my Fiesta, but I’m really looking forward to getting it!

It’s been a pretty busy week – I’ve been doing a few different jobs, and yesterday I was down in London with James with the rest of the Preview team about the DVDs we’ll be producing every 4 months. It’s going to be quite intense at first I think as we sort out exactly how it’s going to work, but after we’d had the meeting, I felt a lot more confident about it – which is a good thing!

Also, I’ve got someone who’s going to do me some plans for an extension to the kitchen, and I’ve got to sketch out all the dimensions and take a load of photos for them to do it. It’s being done as a bit of a favour, so it’ll take a while, but it should hopefully mean I can get all the work done by the summer!

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Was driving into work this morning and realised that my car had suddenly become a brand new Fiesta!! Unusually, the mileage counter only goes up to 99,999 miles, so I’ve now clocked it and it looks like it’s only done 71 miles!!

When I bought it back in summer 1999, it only had 21,000 on the clock, so I’ve managed to do nearly 80,000 miles in the six years I’ve had it! And I only do 100 miles a week for work, so that’s quite a bit of distance I’ve done! Woo!

Might need to think about trading it in for something else at some point…

Removal men

I was over in Sheffield yesterday and last night giving Jamie a hand collecting some furniture for his new house that he’s in the process of buying. He was given it by James’ grandparents who are moving to a smaller house (apparently the person who’s bought their current one is the manager of Sheffield Wednesday, Paul Sturrock!), and they’ve given him a couple of beds, plus a table and chairs. So we strapped each of the beds onto the roof of each car, and filled up the backs with other bits and pieces!

Then later on the afternoon, I helped him by giving him a hand with repairing a chair of Darren’s, which was hand-made by his sister, that which had split in half across the seat. When I say I was ‘helping’, it was more a case of holding bits of wood, and supporting clamps! I think he did a really good job, and when we took all the clamps off this morning, the glue and dowels appeared to have done their job because Jamie was able to sit on it without it falling apart again!

Then last night we stayed over at his mum and dad’s house, so decided to rent and watch ‘I, Robot‘ – and I thought it was a really good film… when it came out I didn’t bother going to see it because I thought it might be a bit rubbish, but it actually had quite a good story to it.

Other stuff… my car failed its MOT on Wednesday. I’ve left it with my brother to do some work on it, so have borrowed mum’s Peugeot 205 which is quite different to my trusty Fiesta! It’s taking a bit of getting used to driving a car that doesn’t have a fifth gear, has a manual choke, and rattles when it does above 60mph!

Dave Bateman’s (month-late) birthday!

Went to Old Orleans last night with a load of people to celebrate Dave Bateman’s 21st… although his birthday was actually on the 4th January, so it was really his 21st and 1 month birthday!

I caught up with a few people I hadn’t seen for ages, and there were quite few who I didn’t know as well! And the best bit was at the end of the meal, just as we were all sorting out our money to pay, Dave’s dad decided that he was going to pay for everyone’s food! That was really cool, although we did all feel a little bit embarrassed because none of us were expecting anything like that! Though we soon got over it and thanked him for his generosity!!

Just about to head down to Tamworth for the day to get my car door repaired and resprayed after the break-in last week. And it means I get get in some visits to relatives as well!

Very tired!

It’s been a very tiring few days!

I was up all last night in Bolton filming James doing his best Tom Cruise impression for an opening video for Investor Relations magazine we’re doing. They hold big awards ceremonies around the world, and they’ll be using this for the next year, so the pressure’s on to come up with something good!

Also, we were doing some preparation work for it on Monday night, and some git broke into my car, just up from my house… They nicked all my CDs (which luckily weren’t the originals) and also caused some damage to the door itself when smashing the glass. So that’s an expense I could have done without. I’ve had the glass repaired on insurance (although I had to pay the first £50) but it’s going to cost me to get the door straightened out, and it resprayed.

Arghhh, arghhhhhh, argggghhhhhhhhhhh!!

Nightmare day!!

Driving into work this morning, I was just coming off the M60 to take the main road into Manchester, when all of a sudden I lost control of my steering and was struggling to stay on the slip road. Then as I left the motorway, I could suddenly feel every bump in the road, so pulled over to find one of my back tyres had blown out! So I had to get out in the pouring rain to change my tyre at the side of the road – which isn’t something I’m particularly skilled in(!) – so that I could actually get into work!

Usual day in the office really, and I had arranged to take a tape that Colin needed for the weekend up to Middleton (Sarah had asked me for it a couple of days ago and I was meeting her there so she could pass it on to him), so thought that if I left about quarter to seven, I’d be able to get there before 7.30 which was before they were all going out. So I get to the car park to find I’d left my lights on and the battery was totally flat – and it was still chucking it down! :o( I was pretty annoyed with myself ‘cos I new I was up against it time-wise, but I gave Simon Malia a call, who I knew was on his way down from the office to the car park, and since I knew he had some jump leads, asked him if he could give me a boost to my battery. Fine so far. Next, Simon brings his car over, and we start to connect up the jump leads. We followed the instructions to the letter, but when we tried to connect the final lead to my battery, for some reason there were loads of sparks generated, more than I’ve seen before when I’ve jump started my car in the past.

Anyway, I got into my car to try and start the engine, but when I turned the key, I got absolutely nothing – not even weak lights on the dashboard which I thought was pretty odd. Getting back out of the car, we suddenly noticed smoke coming from both batteries, and it continued to get worse. We both ran as fast as we could away from the cars, knowing that if they were to burst into flames, both cars could go up! Incredibly stressed(!), I got onto the phone to the fire brigade – which seemed to take ages to get through to – ‘cos I just had a vision of both cars bursting into flames! A fire engine eventually arrived, but luckily by then, one of the jump leads had melted through, so the circuit was broken before a fire could actually start. One of the fireman disconnected the leads, and basically both leads had melted to become one! There was no obvious damage to my car, but there was slight smoke damage to Simon’s car – and the firemen managed to get both started again – after pushing mine around the car park to bump start it(!)… The whole thing really shook me up though – I thought that was going to be the end of my Fiesta!

They say bad luck comes in threes, and today’s certainly no exception. As I pulled into my road, and started to reverse into a parking space, I managed to clip the rear wing of someone’s car, putting a nice dent in both mine and theirs. So that’s an insurance claim against me as well! :o(

All in all, a pretty bad day. And I still haven’t been able deliver this tape!!

Spike & Su’s wedding

Was at Spike and Su’s wedding on Saturday down in Leyton in East London. I was ushering again, so had to hire a suit for the occasion… any more of this and I’m going to have to buy one!

I drove down on the Saturday morning, after picking up Jude from Stockport station who I was giving a lift to, and we got into London at one o’clock after a nice 4 and a half hour drive…

…hmmm… was slightly distraced by something then. Will come back to that in a minute…

It was a really nice day – although I was incredibly tired… especially since I’d only been able to get 3 hours sleep on Thursday night because of work. So travelling to London and back in a day was pretty hard going! It was nice seeing Rob and Lib again too – I’d not spoken to them since their wedding, so that was cool. Got back to Manchester at about 2am, so it was a VERY long day! There are some pictures of the day here.

Now to tonight’s distraction. I’m currently at work late doing a few bits and pieces, and my car’s parked right outside the office, and some git’s put their foot through my car window. Luckily they haven’t got away with anything because our building’s security guard saw him and chased him away, but there’s glass everywhere! Total nightmare! Now I’ve got to drive back with no window…