Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Olympic Notes

Watched more of these Olympics than most. I guess being up at the crack with little A has meant breakfast Olympics on the Beeb has been the daily routine.

High spots –
1. Michael Phelps and his eight gold medals from week 1.
2. Usain Bolt and his three gold medals from week 2.
3. Some fantastic swearing from the sailors – well, what do you expect them to say straight after winning a gold medal. “I’m f***ing happy” sums it up pretty well.
4. Adrian Chiles, who didn’t know much about most of the sports, but didn’t profess to, unlike the other ‘commentators’.
5. Steve Ovett, one of the very few analysts who gave realistic assessments of the British athletes’ chances.
6. Handball. What a cool sport. A cross between basketball, soccer and mugging.
7. The great women’s high jump competition.
8. The Aussies’ view of the British success - we won our medals in sports that involve sitting down (sailing, rowing, cycling).

Low spots –
1. British athletics. Phillips Idowu and others were highly touted but failed to deliver. And learn to pass the baton, people.
2. Andy Murray. Again.
3. Paula Radcliffe. Not fit enough to compete. The world breathed a sigh of relief when she went over to the barrier and only needed to stretch.
4. The dismal coverage of the tennis, basketball, or indeed any sport that didn’t feature a Brit doing well.
5. Inane interviews with athletes just as they finish the race. You are not going to get any great comments there, are you?
6. A Chinese bias in the judges’ scoring in too many sports.
7. The endless opening and closing ceremonies. Why?

Overall, great fun. I might even try to get tickets for the 2012 games in London.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Train Notes

Here is another story of how common sense and long-term planning appear not to exist.

In re-opening the Ebbw Vale train line, someone did an estimate of passenger numbers, almost certainly without asking the likely users of such a service. And then they built a service which could just about manage to serve their guestimate of 22,000 passengers - a decision was made to provide just three miles of double track instead of nine. That’s enough for an hourly service but with no possibility to add services without further substantial investment.

So now we have a situation where double that number of people is using the train, and they can’t run extra trains because they didn’t put enough dual track to allow any more trains to use the line.


Eisteddfod Notes

So the 2010 National Eisteddfod is to be hosted by Blaenau gwent, and held at the old steelworks site in Ebbw Vale. Good news for the area. All they need to do now is actually find some Welsh speaking locals. My count of Welsh-speaking locals runs to 2, RS and Ray.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Lego Notes

Some people clearly have too much time on their hands. This Lego verion of the Beatles album is just one of a whole bunch of LP covers here.

There’s also the fight scene from The Bourne Ultimatum recreated in Lego here. Wonderful, and what tinternet is really for.

Ava's Diary

Me in my new high chair. Very comfy too.

Ava's Diary

Where to start? It’s been ages since my last update. There’s simply been so much going on that I haven’t had time to post here on my dad’s blog.

Anyway, a few highlights from the last few weeks:

I’ve had a cold this week, so that meant having a day off crèche with a bit of a temperature. I’m going to crèche three days a week now, Wednesday to Friday. Its good fun too: I get to play with lots of other babies and toddlers and the staff take good care of me. Dad usually drops me off on the way to work and mum picks me up.

My cold has meant that I haven’t been sleeping very well at night, so mum and dad are knackered. They reckon I’m starting teething too – I don’t know about that, I just like drooling!

We all went for a picnic last Saturday down in Ponty Park. We sat under a big willow tree by the bandstand and chilled out for the afternoon. Then last Sunday we went to Nanna Ena’s and had lunch in the garden. Then I watched while everyone did some gardening. Mum says I’ll be able to help out with the gardening soon.

A fortnight ago we all went to stay with Aunty Lou & Uncle Dave (Aunty Lou is an old college friend of mum’s, so not an aunt at all) and Emily & Tess Egg. Oh, and their four pet rats, which were cuter than rats really should be. Karen and Ray stayed too so the house was very full. I was the centre of attention. Uncle Dave did a barbeque and everyone drunk too much.

I gave everyone a scare a few weeks ago. I vomited and went very pale. Mum and dad took me to the ‘out of hours’ clinic at the Royal Glamorgan hospital, where I proceeded to throw up in the waiting room. That seemed to shift it because by the time a doctor saw me I was fine & gave him a big smile.

I went down to the doctor’s surgery for a check up and to be weighed last week. I’m now 14lbs 10oz. Which they say is bang on target for a growing baby almost 7 months old.

Oh, and I’ve finally started growing some hair. Phew! I was worried I was going to be like Grandpa!

I'm looking forward to seeing my cousins Robert and Emma from the USA. They're flying in next week to see me for the first time, along with their parents Uncle Tony and Aunty Heather.