pmsumner: (phil)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:52pm on 10/01/2012 under , ,
I've been semi-actively looking for a new job now for about 6 months. However I've decided that I'm going to be a little bit fussy about where I look. I don't want to be commuting 30 miles each way to work any more. If I can - I want to get a job fairly locally - Wrexham, Chester, Oswestry - that sort of area. I've not so far had any luck finding the kind of jobs advertised that I think I shoiuld even bother applying for, never mind the kind of jobs that I want. Excepting of course jobs for the local council which I may as well not bother applying for.

A couple of people recently who I've talked to about jobs and the complete lack of anything useful in Wrexham, have (essentially) suggested that I should stop being so fussy about where I look. Manchester would be a long way out, but it might be worth it as a short term stop-gap. If I can find perhaps some development work in Manchester and do it for a year, get some real experience in that field, that might expand my options locally.

A commute to Manchester means either a hellish drive of about an hour and a half, or a hellish train journey of about 2hrs. Neither of those do I like.
Mood:: thoughtful
location: LL11
Music:: Little Britain - BBC Three
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:27pm on 10/07/2011 under , , , , ,
So, let's see... where did I leave off?

2 months eh?

Well, let's give you a minor catch up.

New job - is busy. Very very busy. I had a minor collapse at Jane when I got home one day after I was told I was being shit at something when I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing, and kept on getting work piled on me from various directions (my boss, a director, product management). I went in the next day and got the people involved to tell me what they expected and I told them that I needed my boss to be the one who knows what I'm doing and to be the one responsible for telling me what I am doing, and it's all been better since.

No quieter mind, still just as busy, but now all from one direction.

On the 2nd of July, Jane and I went to Jodrell Bank Live (, where we saw 5 bands: Alice Gold, Wave Machines, British Sea Power, OK Go and The Flaming Lips. British Sea Power surprised me by being better than I remembered and having a cute violinist. OK Go were awesome as I expected (see - hand bells!), the Flaming Lips were absolutely astonishingly great performers - I didn't know much of the music but I don't think that mattered.

I have some photos but my battery wasn't properly charged up and didn't last long - it was a LONG day - we got there at 4 and got out the car park about 1:30am! Photos here. Official and amazing photos here:

I went on a work trip to Strasbourg. Well, Reichstett. Well actually an oil refinery in Reichstett. It was a waste of my time really - I think I only really went because the bosses don't trust the European engineer. To be fair to him he knew exactly what he was doing and I brought very little to the site that he didn't already know. 2 very long days - leaving home about 3:30am on Thursday, getting back about 11pm Friday. Ugh. This after having been working until gone 3am on Tuesday on another project!

Early June there was the Wales Comic Con! Some pics here (, mainly off the talk that Gareth David Lloyd and James Moran did. A fun day, and we also had an [personal profile] eponymousarchon stay with us for the weekend, and we had a nice time. Jane bought some comics called "Vampire Freestyle" that she's really enjoyed and ended up buying more of: I bought an autograph and DVD from Norman Lovett and had a quick chat with him before his talk with Chris Barrie, always an interesting pair to see talk.

The Wales Comic Con is a small event but they do well :)

There's probably plenty more, but hey... one post every 2 months is probably not enough to put everything interesting in.
Mood:: 'tired' tired
Music:: Weather forecast on ITV
location: LL11
pmsumner: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 11:40pm on 19/07/2010 under , , ,

Last weekend, we had plans to visit London to see a matinee performance of Wicked and then go see The Divine Comedy (well, Neil Hannon) at Somerset House.

We set off stupidly early on Saturday morning, on the 0730 train to London from Wrexham on the Wrexham & Shropshire service to Marylebone. I was quite excited by this as it's a new route to me, and I'd heard such good things about the service. When we got to the station and found an old Intercity carriage waiting for us my heart didn't quite sink, but it did dip a little bit.

From 17th July - Wicked and Divine Comedy

On arrival at Marylebone, as it is an area that neither Jane or I are familiar with we wandered round a bit, grabbed a sandwich (breakfast was a LONG time ago) and decided to wander straight on down to Victoria. It seemed like a good idea at the time to walk it. By the time we got there we were hot, hot, hot, hot and hot.

We hung around the stage door for a while as we'd arrived at the theatre fairly early, hoping we might see someone we recognised. Nobody obvious turned up in the 20 minutes we spent there. Just after we decided to walk away and go in, we heard people running and turned round to see Lee Mead going into the building - gah!

We had _awesome_ seats which were allegedly restricted view. Row B, to the right of the stage, but the view was only ever restricted by members of the ensemble. The show is astonishing. The music grabs you from the opening number and other than the well known show stoppers (Defying Gravity, Popular) the other lesser known songs all work brilliantly.

I managed to get a couple of awesome photos of the proceedings:

From 17th July - Wicked and Divine Comedy
From 17th July - Wicked and Divine Comedy
From 17th July - Wicked and Divine Comedy

They're from the first half, the person I was sat next to managed to take up so much room I could barely move in the 2nd half, despite repeated elbow pokings.

After the show, we waited at the stage door again, but someone told us that the stars wouldn't normally come out between the matinee and evening shows. We gave up and headed straight to the hotel which was officially the Liverpool Street Travelodge. Technically it may have been this, but actually getting there proved altogether more challenging. Google Maps showed it quite close to Aldgate/Aldgate East and as we were on the right line, it seemed like the right thing to do. Took us a while to find the place - Travelodges seem to be good at hiding, or maybe it's just us.

The room was hot, small, bare, "well used" and only just functional (there was a bed, lights, a TV, a kettle & mug with a couple of teabags, and a towel). Don't stay there if you don't have to. It wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't nice. I decided not to bother taking photos of all the things that were a bit grim or broken and sending them to their customer service, because I couldn't be arsed. I'm not that anal...

We headed straight out after dropping off our bags, and headed to the Strand where Jane had a hankering for Wagamamas which was what Wagamamas is - good, quick and tasty. NomNomNom.

The venue for the Divine Comedy gig was Somerset House. I'd never been there before and it was a pleasant surprise to see it was literally in the courtyard of the building. The support act (someone...) was pleasant but nothing super-special, and Neil came on at about 2115. He played pretty constantly until 2300! Songs from every album, crowd favourites (National Express, Indie Disco) and relatively unknown tracks (Time To Pretend). He made mistakes, but took them in his stride, occasionally stopping mid-song to think what should come next!

It was an astonishing show. I can't decide whether I prefer seeing him with the backing of an orchestra (have seen him perform with a 5-piece string band and a full orchestra) or like this... on his own is special, intimate, but with the full orchestra you get the full-on sound, the complexities in his music that, no matter how good he is, can never be expressed by a piano or a guitar on it's own.

My only complaints: 1:) it was all standing, because damnit my feet were sore after 3 and a half hours of standing up, and 2:) the price of the drinks! £4 for a bottle of Grolsch? vI also got some photos from the gig - these were harder to get because we were further back, the light was changing quite quickly, and really, how many photos of a man playing the piano can you genuinely want?

From 17th July - Wicked and Divine Comedy
From 17th July - Wicked and Divine Comedy
From 17th July - Wicked and Divine Comedy

Mood:: 'calm' calm
Music:: Family Guy
location: LL11
pmsumner: (blobbyBlobbyBlobby)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:45pm on 28/09/2006 under , , ,
"I don't want to leave."

"Well don't - stay here with me.
We can start a jazz band."

How sweet. In context.

Today's been an utterly crapola day, overall. The morning was good, nice easy morning, spent some time investigating things that had been bugging me for a while, finding a few things out in the meantime. The afternoon turned into a hell that describing isn't worthwhile. Suffice to say the call queues didn't get below 6 people waiting for over 3 hours. Bear in mind there are 3 of us taking calls, some of which are taking 10 minutes because the eejits don't even bother listening to your responses.

It took me nearly 45 minutes to get home - that's a 6 mile journey. 4 of those miles took 10 minutes. I swear there's got to be a better way, but you look at this map and tell me if there's any sensible way to get from Daresbury to north of the river Mersey that doesn't involve going around steps 6-7-8-9, which are the key areas of congestion.

When you also note that I spent 20 minutes stopped at one of the several swing bridges across the Manchester Ship Canal yesterday, you see that this commuting thing in Warrington town centre is a pain in the arse.

By the way - when I say sensible, I mean that doesn't involve going east on the M56, north on the M6 and then west on the M62 again, which would probably be quicker.

Add into this, that Barclays promised me a return letter regarding my claim to get unfair charges refunded by the 28th September, which it is today, and I have received nothing. I will be writing a second letter and instigating action within 7 days of that, then.

Just... not good.

Music:: Lost in Translation
Mood:: 'pissed off' pissed off
pmsumner: (Scarlett Johansson)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 09:00pm on 14/09/2006 under
Getting up at 0630 for the past 2 weeks has just about killed me. It's not been helped by the joyous situation at work of it being the busiest few days ever and only 2 of us there, in the middle of everybody in the office trying to pack up the place before moving commences at 5pm tomorrow. GAH. And we haven't even started, we've not had any time at all to get packing.

I'm not at all overjoyed to be going down to London again this weekend. I'm exhausted and will be exhausted again tomorrow, and plan to be driving until somewhere around 11pm. However apparently it shall all be worthwhile.

I got a message today (which was left on Tuesday, goes to show how often I check my landline voicemail) from the garage asking me to call them. Wonder why...
Music:: Friends
Mood:: 'exhausted' exhausted
pmsumner: (evil genius)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 09:03pm on 05/09/2006 under ,
I have wine.
Thanks be to the gods above, I have wine.

This week's been enough to test my patience, I remember now why I detest public transport so much! I am going for the long term though, I'm going to make myself get through it and carry on using the bus to get to work when we move to Daresbury Park, as the X30 from the town centre stops right by the park.

The main focus of my annoyance today has been the number 8, a supposedly "frequent" service - more than 1 every 10 mins between 0730 and 1800. Well how bloody well I had to wait 40 minutes for one today, and then literally, 3 bendy busses came along at once? *sulks at First Manchester* Another annoyance is that I can't use any passes bought in Manchester whilst in Warrington, however if I lived in Wigan I could. Stupid boundaries.

*downs glass*
That's better.
On a positive note, my car will be done by Thursday. Hurrah.
Mood:: on my way to drunkeness?
location: WA5
Music:: Radio 4 - In Touch
pmsumner: (Sleeeeepy)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 05:06pm on 03/09/2006 under ,
Well, a kindof day. I set out at 11:45 to go to Wigan and see The Sentinel at the Cineworld there. As observant followers may remember, the reason for going to Wigan is that there's at least 1 bus/train combination an hour I can get from there, whereas from Halton Lea (Runcorn) there's only 1 every 2 hours. If I'm lucky.

It all went remarkably smoothly. I was on the train before the one I expected, I got a bus within minutes of arrival, to Robin Park, with a nice driver who promised to tell me when we got there as I had absolutely no idea where I was going. The film was ace - not as good as The Interpreter or The Constant Gardener, which I suspect were the catalysts for the current rash of political thrillers, but really enjoyable.

The only disaster point was when I wandered out the place, I saw a bus stopped at some traffic lights that looked like it was going where I was going (I subscribe to the Dirk Gently method of navigation). I spied a bus stop and ran to it - only to find the bus didn't actually go to that bus stop and it went a different way. D'oh. Then on inspection of the timetable found there was only 1 bus an hour on Sundays!

Decided to walk. In all wasn't too far, about 30 mins walking I guess. Probably less if I had known exactly which direction to go and hadn't had to inspect random bus stops to see what direction I was walking ;) The train from Wigan North Western to Warrington was immensley crowded, the London trains always are on a Sunday afternoon/evening though, from memory.

So for a 2 hour film, I was out from 11:45-16:45. Not a bad travel:film ratio ;)
Mood:: 'hungry' hungry
pmsumner: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 02:22pm on 02/09/2006 under ,
It's incredibly bad news, really. I glazed over about half-way through the list of things that they said needed doing, but it included: timing belt, valves, a somethingy manifold, cam belt, head. Probably lots more.

Quote? £1500.

I texted mum from work and told them the cost. I suggested it might be the best option to give in and get a new car. Dad called back a bit later saying that they'd pay and it made more sense to fix it than to scrap it. His logic is that the rest of the car is in good nick and I've only recently spent money on it getting other bits done, why throw that away? I can't agree completely. But if he's willing to fork out for it, then I'm not one to argue too much.

So it'll be done "by the end of the week". Apparently they've had 3 other timing belt failures in this week which is bizzare - apparently normal rate is 1 every 6 months! I think someone's been cutting them. I'm OK with this in as much as I can get in to work - the commute's a bit nasty but it's possible. Takes approximately 1hr 45mins to get from here to work. That's made up of: 20 min walk to station, 30-45 mins to whatever Manchester station, 10 mins to Salford Crescent, then 10 mins on the number 8. I may have to investigate the possibility of getting the number 8 from Manchester centre, if it goes past any stations that my trains do...

I've just been for a wander into Warrington. It's truly grim out there. Weather can't decide if it wants to rain, wind or storm so it's blustery and damp. Not raining, just damp. So I sat in Starbucks and tested out my prior knowledge of T-Mobile Hotspot logins ;) Took me a few attempts but I remembered how to do it! Not that I could then do anything exciting with it..... but that's not the point, right? :)
Mood:: tired
pmsumner: (Default)

[LJ2ME] The bank holiday weekend

posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 12:04am on 30/08/2006 under , , ,
Has involved lots of walking, lots of being herded around like sheep, lots of deep thumping bass, lots of dancers, costumes and trying not to get annoyed by whistles and horns while in bed.

Jane and i spent the weekend at my folks', and spent some time wandering about the notting hill carnival. Madness, complete and utter!

We had an amazing time, and i will write more later...

Device: SonyEricssonW800i/R1AA008
Mood:: sleepy
pmsumner: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:26pm on 15/06/2006 under , , , , ,
Well, I call it a jolly... My employers are doing a course for the installers of the kit they make, to allow them to service the stuff in the field for hard disk issues, rather than doing what they have to right now and send them back. This is positive for us in 2 ways - firstly there's less work for the returns/repairs department who are really overrun right now. Besides, changing the disk is literally 5 minutes work. Second - it's good for the company's image. No longer will the kit need to be pulled out, sent back and be away for 3 weeks. In a high security environment this could be unacceptable.

Anyhow - the company want one of us to be on all of these courses, to answer questions and hobnob with the customers. We've got courses all over, including Manchester, Glasgow, Bristol, London, Newcastle and Birmingham so fingers crossed I'll have a jolly lined up.

I'm planning on doing the Rugby World Cup next year. Tickets are relatively reasonably priced, unfortunately they're using Ticketmaster for their distribution which guarantees ludicrous booking and postage prices.

The quoted £47 for the cheapest two first round games played at Murrayfield isn't too bad, and they're still available. £88 for the two first round matches in Murrayfield, and one semi in Cardiff isn't horrific either, but they've got none of those left. Bah. Next available price... £139. That's starting to get a bit silly. Saying that - 3 first round + 1 semi, all in Cardiff is £177.

It might be best to wait until individual tickets begin to be sold in Autumn and see what makes most sense then. Only problems are that
  1. I will forget
  2. That means the remaining decently priced packages might sell out.
Oh well.

Thinking of [ profile] wandering_sag, who will shortly, if not even now, be heading homewards from her "short" trip across the world, without her promised stop-over in the UK. *sulks cheekily* Also thinking of [ profile] xanna, and hoping she's not worrying too much and just enjoying what she gets. She surely deserves it.

Oh, I made it through the first 3 chapters of The Penguin History of the USA and the tone has significantly improved. Either that or I'm concentrating more on it. Quite interesting. So exactly why did people think it was a good idea to up and colonise a new country? I'm sure I'll find out soon.

_One Word_ Meme )

After my half-day, which I used to register for all appropriate medical services locally (took my time, eh?), I popped into work early-ish, intending to spend some time reading my paper mail and sorting out any remaining sort-out things, and found only Siobhan there with a queue of 7 calls so jumped straight in. Turned out to be a good day - picked up on a tricky little error that our senior engineer hadn't picked up on, had a chat with Paul (group manager) about sports and found that he's a season ticket holder for Wigan Rugby Leage Club (boo hiss). We had a quick chat about league vs. union but both agreed that in the end it's all good - they let you drink on the terraces and everything. Not like your football fans who can't be trusted... He also said that if he had spare tickets at any time he'd let me use them, which I was most shocked at! The boss' boss is a nice bloke :)

Anyhow, they were showing the England/Trinidad+Tobago match somewhere where I couldn't see it (thanks be), and by the time I left work at 5:30pm, the car park was the emptiest I have ever seen it. I got home in record time. Under 30 minutes. Not a single jam anywhere. Wow, can England play at 5pm daily please?

Long, rambly entries. My speciality these days.
Music:: Background Noise
Mood:: dehydrated