Becky, Dave, Rosie and Andi came round for dinner. I made them Baked Bean hotpot (recipe below). Rosie brought mango sorbet for desert and we watched Casualty and “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”. I was complimented on my hotpot and told that I could cook again for them. Really nice evening with friends and only a bit to drink.
Most of the veg that I cooked had come from the new Fresh Food Market in Bristol. I also got some very nice dark chocolate truffles.
Baked Bean Hot Pot
- 500g minced beef
- Beef oxo cube
- One onion, diced
- One red pepper sliced
- Half a green pepper sliced
- 7 mushrooms, sliced
- Two 400g tins of baked beans
- Half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- One teaspoon of basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Fry the mince and onion in a large frying pan. Crumble over an oxo cube while the mince is browning. Add the peppers and mushrooms and stir for two minutes. Then add the two tins of baked beans, cayenne pepper and basil. Combine together and slowly simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is really thick and looks good enough to eat. Serve on a plate with potatoes, knife and fork.
And it is all shiny. A Vauxhall Corsa SXi with only 8000 miles on it.
You can tell that it is only a 1.2 but then because it is so light it still feels quite nippy when compared to my old Rover. I can see why the advertising for the Corsa claims that it puts the fun back into driving.
I just need to work out how to connect my ipod to it now.
Hannah, my sister, rang me last night to tell me that my grandfather had a fall at the weekend and cut his head. Apparently it wasn’t anything major serious but it is still worrying. My dad was on-hand to clean it up but they took him to hospital anyway to make sure. I am glad that my grandparents recently moved closer to my parents.
This weekend the Queen Fan Club organised a Freddie Mercury Birthday Party at The Shed in Brierley Hill, Dudley.
Jacky from the fan club asked if I could get some party poppers so I went to Tesco and bought 250. Then Becky, Rosie and I drove up on Saturday morning and checked into our hotel, The Copthorne, which was a mile from the venue. I had a ‘connoisseur’ room which meant that I could take advantage of the 4pm check-out time on Sunday.
We saw lots of our friends arrive at the hotel just as we went outside to get a taxi to The Shed. The club was only a mile away however the taxi driver appeared to find it necessary to take a short-cut through ASDA car park. The taxi only cost four pounds so we didn’t complain.
When we got to The Shed I dropped off the party poppers with Amey at the door and then we headed upstairs to get some drinks in while the main room was still being made ready. There were lots of people that I recognised from the convention plus we met up with Libby and Emma.
The main room opened and we were treated to some karaoke. I waited half an hour to get served at the bar – there was only two bar staff on duty. The rest of the gang arrived and Jamie sang a karaoke number which was fantastic. The auction was next and had Trina bidding over £200 for a poster signed by Freddie Mercury. We then saw the cover bands Queen Rocks and Flash Harry before going back to the hotel.
We stayed up in the hotel bar till 4.30am before deciding that going to bed was a good idea. Finally got to sleep at about 5am but it was too warm in the hotel room and I didn’t sleep well.
Sunday loomed and I didn’t feel like moving when my “time for breakfast” alarm went off. Finally got out of bed at 2pm. Rosie and Becky suggested that we should go and have brunch with Flash Harry. We met them outside the hotel and headed off to the Wetherspoons pub just over the road.
Finally got back home in Bristol at about 7pm after dropping off Rosie and Becky.
Had Freddie Mercury lived to see 2006 he would have found himself being 60 years old on the 5th September.
To celebrate his ‘birthday’ Queen Productions put on a special performance of the musical We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre, London.
I managed to get some tickets for myself, Becky, Rosie and Jamie. Turned out that the tickets were for row D, four rows from the front!
Lots of people had gone in fancy dress and we were no exception. Jamie dressed as Roger from the video to “I Want to Break Free”, Rosie and Becky dressed as ladies going to a masquerade ball while I wore a 70’s Daddy Pimp costume. Unfortunately we had a camera malfunction and failed to get any photos of ourselves dressed up.
I hadn’t seen the show before and while the plot wasn’t the best in the world I did really enjoy the show. I would like to go and see more musicals in the future. Spamalot, the Monty Python musical, is due to open in London soon.
Due to it being a special night Roger and Brian played a few songs at the end of the show.
When it was all over we went back to the hotel and got hideously drunk.
This year it feels like I am living my own personal Final Destination but with less death and more bad luck. I think I must have done or not done something I was destined to do around March this year.
Lets look at the evidence:
- Grandfather diagnosed with suspected Alzheimer’s
- Sarah and I split
- Car crash number 1
- Powerbook goes in for repair for faulty screen, sleep light and lid latch
- Car crash number 2
- Powerbook goes back in for repair due to a scratch on the new screen
- New car order delayed for no real reason
- Powerbook returns from repair with two dead pixels and no bluetooth hardware
- Powerbook battery on the “laptop battery may explode” list
Duds (of askduds.co.uk) has told me that he is not standing next to me on New Years Eve in case 2006 tries to have a final ‘pop’ at me.
In May this year my laptop, a 12″ Apple Powerbook, started going a bit funny. The screen had uneven backlighting so that when you were reading a web page left to right the screen would go from being dark to being light.
I booked it in for repair but with various things happening I didn’t have time to take it in. I finally managed to get it to an Apple Authorized Repair Centre, in Cheltenham, five weeks ago. I had also noticed problems with the sleep light and the lid latch.
They took a look at the screen and decided that it needed repair. I left the laptop with them and went home to Bristol. A week later I rang to check on the status of the repair. They told me that they had replaced the screen but the lid latch and sleep light needed a new base unit which was on order.
A further two weeks went past before I could pick up the laptop. When I went to collect it I noticed a large scratch on the new screen. I wasn’t best pleased and told them I would see them the following weekend, leaving the laptop in their “care”.
Two more weeks went past before I had the opportunity to drive up to Cheltenham. On getting to the repair centre I found that the second new screen had two dead pixels. Aparently this is not enough for Apple to repair it again – it needs to have at least five dead pixels. Again I wasn’t pleased but I signed the collection paperwork and went away, telling them that I would have a proper look at it when I got home.
On getting the laptop home I didn’t see any more dead pixels (which was a shame as I can’t stand dead pixels so the possibility of another repair would actually be quite good). However I did notice that my laptop no longer thought it had any bluetooth hardware. Reboots, looking in log files, prodding with hammers. Nothing, no bluetooth hardware found.
So now I will have to take it back to the repair centre to get them to fix the bluetooth. I am guessing that they forgot to plug the module back into the ‘logic board’.
In total I have been without my laptop for five weeks so far. I wonder how long it will be before it is properly fixed, if it ever reaches that stage.