Sunday, 29 March 2009

A week in London in the Company of VMWARE

So last week I was on a VMWare fast track extended hours training course. Some blog posts on specific VMWare features will follow during the next few days but for now a general overview of a very very busy week.

Was up extremely early Monday morning (6.15 and left the house at 6.45). I got the train from Didcot but unfortunately it was delayed so I was about 20 mins late into London. Why oh Why do the trains from Oxfordshire arrive at Paddington which seems to be the arse end of London, it takes far too long to get anywhere from here.
My training was on Threadneedle street which for those who don't know is in the City (close to Liverpool Street and Bank), I finally got there at 8.45 which was 45 mins late but I guess I can't blame all of that on the train, mental note made have to get up half an hour earlier the next morning (gah 5.45). Despite my lateness I hadn't really missed much beyond basic introductions so apart from it being a little embarrasing it was ok. First day started off with basic introduction to virtualisation and the options available along with a more indepth view on the networking features available in vmware. As expected the day finished at 6.30 and I got home at 8.45 and was back in bed at mmm 10.30.

Tuesday as planned I left home 30 mins earlier and did atcually make it to the course on time, although the first 30 mins not a lot seemed to happen so rushing did seem a little like a waste of time. Got out of class a little earlier which was quiyte good but when I picked the car up at Didcot it started to make strange noises and lights were flashing on the dash that really shouldn't be flashing. I ended up getting home about 8.15, Catherine had kept Emma up so I could see her this was a really nice surprise as I thought I wasn't going to see her all week which was quite hard to take in to be honest.

Wednesday I left for Didcot slightly nervous that the car wouldn't make it all the way but this worry was unfounded it was still makign strange noises but did make it with no problems. This was to be my last ultra early morning as I was staying in a Hotel on Wed and Thu nights. Another interesting day of training was finished off with a couple of pints and a curry with Jamie (who I hadn't seen for ages)

Thursday it was a joy to have a lie in until 7am, although as usual I did not sleep well in a strange bed. Another intense day of training, I find IT training a strange experience it's either extremely challenging and difficult or very very easy, this course was mainly very easy but with the odd bit of challenge, this is hardly surprising though as I've been using VMWare products in some form or another for about 8 years.

Friday, final day woohoo it's been an interesting and enlightening week but I was glad it was drawing to a close. At lunchtime today I decided to go for a walk to Spitalfields market and see what I could find for lunch (we were given luncheon vouchers each day) when I got there I saw that one of the restaraunts was spit roasting a pig outside and selling 'pork sandwiches' for a fiver a go. So I asked the guy if he took luncheon vouchers, no problem was his reply. Off he went and carved me some very succulent looking pork and dropped it in a lovely crusty bread bun, my mouth was watering by now, so I handed over my vouchers at which point he said "oh better just check with my boss" who then decided no we don't take them, couldn't believe it could almost taste it (stil can now), it was so close. Friday did finish early which was nice and I treated myself to a 1st class ticket home (which was even nicer) and to round the day off nicely the car didn't breakdown on the way home either.

It was a very good week all in all but it was very nice to be home with Catherine and Emma for the weekend.

I'll try and blog a little this week about the cool stuff I atcually learnt about VMWare last week.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Great Weekend before a tough week

Heading towards the end of a fab weekend which is great because this week could be pretty tough going.
As always the weekend started slightly early (I finish at 4pm on a Friday) I knew I wasn't going to be in the office next week so Friday was a tough day catching up on things etc but by the time I left everything was sorted. Nice relaxing Friday evening with a few beers and some TV nothing special or out of the ordinary.
Saturday morning we didn't have anything planned until 11.00am so Catherine very nicely let me have a little lie in while she got up and gave Emma breakfast. We had arranged to do a second viewing on a house in Blewbury at 11.30 it's a 4 bedroom semi but is quite small for a 4 bedroomed house and the garden is very compact, so we are in two minds whether it is good enough, we did make a decision on the other house we saw in Blewbury that the Oil CH and the slight untidiness of the surrounding area was enough for us not to move forward, its a shame, it was a lovely house but was just not meant to be.
Saturday afternoon we went off to do Grocery shopping this is becoming more eventful as Emma gets older, apparently 2 is just the right age to run around Sainsburys like a mad girl causing general havoc, she always seems to be better behaved in Waitrose but hey we can't afford to shop there every week. Saturday evening was spent with my lovely wife a bottle of chenin blanc and a good film (oh and some Pizza Express, cheesey garlic bread) the Film was Swimming Pool starring Charlotte Rampling, very French with a weird twist at the end which I didn't really get, very enjoyable film though.

Sunday was mothers day hence Catherine's turn to have a nice lie in, Emma and I got up and had some breakfast pretty early (7.30), did some playing watched some TV, we had fun which is good as I'm not gonna be around much next week. The weathers been pretty good in Oxfordshire this past week so we decided to go out and have a picnic, we packed sandwiches croissants and drinks in a bag along with a throw and off we went for a walk down the Thames, weather wasn't quite as good as yesterday but we had fun and Emma loved eating outdoors, she loved it even more when we then went to the playpark she has learnt the word swing in the past few days so was shouting that a lot, oh and if anybody dares mention the word 'slide' then you get an instant 'wheeeeeeeeee'
Emma was a little angry when we left the playpark but this is quite normal and she was looking very tired by this time. When we got back home Emma went off for a sleep, this was the trigger to go and do some gardening, well it was more throwing some stuff in a bin to be honest, Cath is the gardener in this family, I'm just a labourer. To be honest I can't stand gardening as a rule but do feel I ought to help now and again and it's good to feel you have contributed :) Next...... the car needs washing it has done for quite some time so did that (not very well I noticed afterwards but never mind I did try) finally had a sit down and a cuppa then Emma was up again, we played in the Garden for an hour or so (while cath cooked dinner) which was great fun.
BTW for those wondering Emma very cleverly compiled a load of video of herself from when she was a baby and put it on a usb memory stick (I did offer some guidance) for a mothers day present for Cath.
Was hard to say goodnight to Emma tonight and put her in her cot, I'm on a training course in London this week which means leaving the house at 6.15 and not getting home till around 8pm, plus on wed and thu I am staying over. It will be hard to not see my little girl all week but it's some training I have wanted to do for ages (vmware) and it's only a week so I'm sure we'll get through it.
Sorry if the post was a little mundane and normal day but you know sometimes thats the way life is, to me it wasn't mundane and normal, it was a lovely weekend.
Right gotta go to bed early so i can get up at 5.45 will try and blog some more about the training course during the week.

Saturday, 14 March 2009


So the house we have now is lovely and it's a perfect size for the three of us, also has a nice large garden which Emma loves running around in (A change from a year ago when she hated it) but because we don't have an investment in it and we know it's not long term it's just not home. As I guess you know there is a recession on at the moment, you may not also know but house prices in the UK have been dropping like a stone, I think they are now down over 20% from their peak which means maybe it's time to at least start looking for a home for us to settle down in for the next few years. It's quite a difficult thing to do Cath and I both have quite strong opinions and mostly they agree but not surprisingly we think differently in certain areas, in addition to this we both want a set of things that we just can't have for the amount of money we can afford to spend.

Over the last couple of weeks we have spent a lot of time in Blewbury ( ) and thought we had found a suitable house we viewed it for the second time today but found it had oil fired central heating and no gas in the house, this was quite a blow because Oil CH is much more expensive to run and getting Gas piped in is probably going to cost a small fortune, it's a bit of a downer but we will just have to work through the options, I guess we'll get there in the end and we will end up with a lovely house for the three of us but this stage is very hard.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Yes I know

I haven't posted in a month, it's been a touch and busy 4 weeks, normal service will be resumed this week I promise.
In the meantime Catherine now also has a new blog at and I've uploaded a few new sets of photos over the last week or two at