Hands on Hardware Porn

At Last:

I am typing this on my new Macbook Pro with Retina display and SSD. Never used such a nicely made piece of kit. Could go on and on but will end up sounding like those über annoying Apple Weenies. It’s cool. I’m glad I’ve bought it. Moving on…

Other Stuff:

Carluccio’s Caffe – were exceedingly cool a few weeks ago. I Tweeted a pretty minor complaint to @Carluccioscaffe whilst seated in the Euston Station outlet. 30 min elapses and their PR was all over it like a rash. Bam! – please email me with the problem. Pow! – we are very sorry. Ooomph! – please have dinner on us. MFTS and I had a very agreeable evening at our local branch. A lovely bottle of wine was given as a parting gift.  Talk about exceeding expectations and cementing customer loyalty.

University – I didn’t really expect to make the cut when the talking was over but I managed to secure (blag) an offer of a place to read history at Ruskin College in Oxford. I started off on the English and creative writing route and rather cheekily changed horses mid-stream during the Open Day. The more I heard about that course the more I knew it wasn’t for me. I got talking to one of the Profs on the history course and it took about 15min of chatting before I knew that was the correct path. I need to decide between now and September. Get the strong feeling that if I don’t do it now then I never will and will regret an opportunity lost forevermore.

Portraits – MFTS bought me a really neat birthday present. She has commissioned an illustrator called Kate Madigan to draw me and Héloïse. Today we met Kate in Blackwell’s so she could take a load of reference photos of me and H to work from. She then draws directly into Illustrator using a sophisticated pen and tablet arrangement. I like Kate’s style and am looking forward to the end result.

Oil Changes – that’s right, you heard me. I was so impressed by the mobile mechanic that came to service my car. I have never seen an oil change other than get under the car, unscrew the sump, try not to get covered in old hot engine oil and stop it going everywhere. Chris from Mobile BenzTech rocks up, opens special hole on top of engine and shoves a pipe down it that is connected to a cylinder that looks like the Hozelock pump sprayer and hooks that to a compressor in the van. Moments later the oil is being sucked out. No mess no fuss no drama. I was really impressed. If you’re not you ought to be.

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Well Hello, Potential Audience

With my impending interview at Ruskin College Oxford for the part-time Creative Writing and Critical Practise degree course looming I nailed some boring domestic tasks early on and then intended to move into more serious pursuits like going through my in tray and clearing the simple things and writing a serious post. Un-bloody-likely. Though I woke up absolutely brimming with ideas I had no idea I’d end up hosting an ad-hoc male coffee morning.

My mate, who is a Senegalese immigrant to the UK and has the unlikely job of police officer, and I end up discussing the problems in Mali and the modern day roots going back to 1991, the arming of certain African states by – guess who – the Americans and the fact that many of the incumbent administrations have found that the way to get the Western powers interested and investing is to work an Al-Qaeda link into the mix of bad guys. We thrash out the problems and I end up lending him two DVD’s. He is also a Muslim and has had a glancing insight into the murky world of the war on terror by dint of a six-month attachment to a specialist counter-terrorism team. Nothing like a group where the bulk of folks haven’t really got an idea what they are doing and blunder round managing to cause more upset and division within the communities they are – allegedly – trying to bring on-side. Clint Eastwood had a word for it. That word was Cluster***k.

Then my brother rocks up ‘cos he is bored and has done his one work task for the day. Coffee made for him. He then starts showing more than a passing  interest in the sourdough bread I am baking. In the meantime he decides to have a swing on my RockRings (a strength development aid for climbing made by Metolius) and promptly breaks them. Huh? These are supposed to last a lifetime. Could have been v dodgy if one was fully committed in a hold and they had failed fast.

The policeman goes and eventually, when the bread is out of the oven, (that’s why he was hanging on)  dear brother departs with half a huge loaf of freshly baked bread having subtly delivered the innocent remark, “how will you and MFTS eat all that”?

It’s hard being a Domestic Goddess.