Thursday, 25 March 2010

Check and go

I was in egypt all last week for the regular visit to the usual clients and subcontractors. I stayed in Cairo for 3 nights at the ever predictable Ramsis Hilton and then for 1 night in Alexandria at the Windsor Hotel. The Windsor has the worst breakfast buffet I have ever experienced. Whilst the quantity of food laid out is plentiful, the quality and hygiene leaves my stomach in a state. Last week for breakfast I mainly ate lots of bread, although I did push the boat out on Friday and sampled a boiled egg.

Anyway, one airport is much like another and this morning I was up at 540am to travel to Birmingham Airport for an early flight to Dublin. What a difference though to my last flight to Dublin 2 weeks ago. Last time I flew from Liverpool at 620am, which meant I had to leave home at 420am. When I got to the airport at 520am the bar was full of people drinking beer. AT 520AM! Curse you Liverpudlians! But in reality most were Irish Manchester United fans who hadn't been to bed after the game the previous evening. This morning at Birmingham things are a lot more refined. Costa is making the money today, whilst the bar is empty.

The flight is due to board any second, and there are lots of people milling around the announcement board waiting for the gate number. Whilst waiting for the gate a woman on a phone started to have a very heated discussion with her son telling him to get up for school. 'Kieren, it's 720am. It's time to get up for school' she shouted. Most people ignored her, but she continued to shout at her lazy son to tell him to get out of his bed because he was late for school. Now I don't know which school he went to or how old he was, but I clearly remember getting out of bed as late as was physically possible in order to make it to school, partially dressed and nearly awake. Maybe kids have changed in the last 20 years or so, but I'm sure they are as lazy as ever. And if they are not then I am disappointed.

Gate J has now opened and more cueing and bunching has started. Thank goodness for ipods.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


I slept badly last night. One of those nights when you wake up every hour or so, not really knowing why and then find it hard to get back to sleep. Only when you do get back to sleep you wake up again pretty soon afterwards.

In addition to not sleeping well, I also didn't go to sleep till midnight UK time, which is 2am local African time. Then I was up early, feeling dehydrated (air con I think) and not at all hungry for breakfast.

I made it down to the lobby of the hotel only a few minutes late, and then had to wait for my Egyptian client who was running a lot later than me. In reality my Egyptian client was running around 4 hours late, but I was met an hour later by Mohamed, the young engineer who had been sent to pacify me and fill the intervening few hours with a tour of Cairo (hurrah, just what I wanted) and a lunch of KFC (without the C) and Costa Coffee, which is a new popular thing in these parts.

On the positive side I did manage to finish my Chris Evans autobiography. I actually enjoyed reading it, a bit rushed in parts and lacking on gossip, it was pitched right I think. Read on twitter recently he is finishing off the next book, which will start when he bought Virgin Radio.

After finishing the book, I attended a couple of meetings and made lots of promises to do things which will be difficult given the timescales. But today (unusually for me) I was in no mood to argue. Lack of sleep I think.

The wifi in my room does not work, so I have no access to my laptop. This is a good thing as I have enough emails on my blackberry to keep me going. But I know that by the end of the week I will be inundated with filing and backlog. Hey ho, how did we manage before all this technology.

My next book is called The Lunar Men and I am hoping to finish it a little quicker than the Chris Evans book which took me 3 months, although probably only a few days of actual reading. Most probably spend too much time reading blogs and tweets.

On the subject of heroes, not mine by the way. I watched about 30 minutes of the Michael Jackson movie 'This is it' on the plane last night. Why? Not sure. But man it was awful. Awful and sad at the same time. My over riding memory is that he was terribly thin and had awful dress sense. Unfortunately I only posses one of these traits, and whilst we could all do with losing a few pounds I get the feeling that he was not in the best condition to launch a worldwide tour.

Tomorrow I am going to Ain Soukhna and then to Giza. At least the humous is good.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Terminal 3 (spell check version)

It is 1130pm and I am sat in a taxi speeding along an elevated highway which runs around the city of Cairo.

Cairo is one of the worlds biggest and growing cities. Look it up. It's massive.

Tonight; like any traveller; I am here and tomorrow I will be back on a plane to the UK. I think the point I want to make is that middle aged men don't really want to travel. Most would much rather be at home in their own bedroom and being woke up by their usual noises of kids or dogs, or alarm clocks and a cup of tea.

You can't really (in my experience) drink tea in Egypt as they only have condensed milk. It's not good.

So, for all of you worldly travellers I bid hello. For all of you home lovers I bid masalam.

Good luck to you all, except the one's in Cairo. As it is too hot and the lifts are rubbish.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Website Suggestions #1

running from camera (2 seconds)

The rules are simple:
I put the self-timer on 2 seconds, push the button and try to get as far from the camera as I can.
If you would like to see the full set of photos from this absolute genius click

I challange everyone to do their own twist on this idea of leaving the timer on the camera for two seconds and then do the same thing over and over again.

If only I had a camera to capture my bottom gaffs.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Blackberry Blogging on the sofa

I am trying out the life changing experience that is mobile blogging. I am currently sat on the sofa watching Antiques Roadshow and also typing this out at the same time. Who said men can't multi-task? Probably some bloke, as women's opinions are never given the oxygen of publicity and respect. Ofcourse I am joking..... Or am I?

No I am joking. Or atleast trying to.

Anyhow, back to the sofa blogging. It isn't quite as easy as conventional blogging, but mainly due to the fact that the keys on my blackberry are very small and my fat thumbs (who has thin thumbs?) haven't managed to be filed down into a point yet. Come on evolution, sort it out!!

The main dissadvantage of mobile blogging is that there are no photos or spell checks. Nevermind eh?

Say Cheese

After too many months of dormancy I am finally going to give my bogging life another go.

I have been shamed into this by the constant high quality entries by my wife, and also by recognising the benefit that you get by sitting down for 10 minutes a day and registering your recent thoughts and experiences. I also have been spending more and more time reading other peoples blog, so it must be the thing to do............

As the title of this entry suggests, I am re-entering the blogging world with small steps only. Above is my favourite photos of the day.

Favourite quote of the week is:
"You can have a threesome if you need it" - Band Leader from SteamChicken

Favourite dance move of the week is:
The Gypsy