So I started the week with another session of hockey coaching with Paul. Again, I really enjoyed it and came away with a beaming smile. The session was tighter than the previous week and we tested the attendees with some extended basics and finishing with a game. I’m now almost certain that it is genetically impossible for anyone over 40 to cleanly reverse stick the ball whilst being second nature to the youngsters. Another common shout from me in the session was elbow out to exaggerate the dribbling to the top D. Unfortunately, i’m not able to attend the next two sessions as I’ll be down in Eastbourne with my parents. The club is very lucky (hard work by various voluneers) to have such a talented group of youngsters coming through the club and also the older generation still keen to learn and progress whilst giving support to the younger members.
The first half of the week was all about Cater For You and J & J Air Systems. Cater For You is still knee deep in a new Magento platform’d web site design and we were presented with the drafts for the responsive site. If we can increase the lowly mobile responsive rate then that’ll pay for the project itself. I’m also sorting out images which can and cannot be used for the project. We still have a swathe of images not touched for 15 years and are too small or not suitable and we’ll need to re-take hundreds of photos. It has also prompted me to look more closely at dead stock / slow moving and whether we want to take them across to the new web site.
We have also invested in a brand new VOIP telephone system. The team were complaining that the old analogue lines were quiet and with the increased number of phone calls and size of team they couldn’t hear customers very well. Delighted to hear that this system has fully resolved that and they can hear clearly. Only downer was the people who installed it did no training for the team which was a bit odd.
The end of the week saw me based at CSE and then Trading Depot, both companies I’ve been working for since the early 2000’s in various guises. The latter has released a podcast featuring me as the guinea pig for the first edition – the following ones do sound a lot more exciting – maybe download my one if you have insomnia? Really enjoy going there as there is always so much going on and first time I’ve seen them since the Christmas do – my Dad dancing seemed to amuse them….
If you do want to hear my voice and a 1 hour summary of how my career has progressed over the last 30 years or so, give it a listen. You can download the podcast from here or click below.
London with Becca
Rebecca had her braces fitted this week so we had made some nice soft banana cake for her to eat earlier in the week. She then asked that we do something together on Saturday, so obviously I jumped at the chance for a bit of time with her. We popped into London once I’d dropped Jamie and his bike off at a friends and headed straight for Oxford Street with the aim of being at Canary Wharf at darkness for the Winter Lights exhibition / show.
Whilst I cannot stand shopping, I do enjoy it with Rebecca and she milled around the various clothes shops buying the odd thing. What was interesting to me though was how busy say Top Shop, John Lewis, H &M were then went into my favourite, Debenhams and it was really dead. They are having a tough time with sales at the moment and teetering on the edge of administration, I wondered about buying some shares, but if their store has no footfall on Oxford Street they really are in big trouble. Obviously there isn’t a bit segment in the market for middle aged men who don’t go shopping!
Winter Lights at Canary Wharf
A quick search of what there was to do this weekend in London showed that this was the main attraction. When we arrived in a packed train, Canary Wharf was busy, though not unbearably. Surprisingly, it is the first time I’ve been there, despite the fact many of my friends have worked there of the years. It was quite an eye opener for us with the skyscrapers reaching into the starry sky. A cold evening, we trundled around a few of the sights, where eventually we picked up a map, and realised it was a lot bigger than we had thought! After seeing about half of the displays and stopping for some fries, we decided to pootle back home and defrost in the tube. Well worth going to though and we eventually arrived back home shortly before 10pm.
Batchworth Lake Walk to Cafe @ Lock 81
As I was spending half the week away in Eastbourne, I thought it would be nice to spend the morning with Sarah and Molly. I have previously mentioned on social media and my cycling blog posts that I love the Grand Union Canal by Rickmansworth and in particular the beautiful Cafe at Lock 81, so we parked up at the Aquadrome (currently free parking but soon to be paid for) and walked around Bathworth Lake and down the Canal to the Cafe. It was a crisp sunny morning, so a warm cup of tea and their fabulous bacon sandwiches were just the ticket.
Before driving down to Eastbourne, Jamie and I popped to the hockey club to mess around and practice whilst also having half an eye on B who was playing in the ladies Over 45’s game. Unfortunately they lost heavily to a very good Canterbury side who were a pleasure to watch.
As well as the dog walk, this week I went for the usual 10k run over to Chorleywood and back with Molly, couple of treadmill workouts and most importantly no golf.