A most wonderful Christmas

A brilliant Christmas day began on Christmas eve with Nana & Grandad coming down to stay. We set the alarm clock for 7am, so we were up before Megan. We got everyone up and settled in the livingroom with camera’s at the ready. Steve eventually got her up at 7.45am and down she came to find all her presents, she was a bit overwhelmed by it all and she sat on the steps for a few minutes. Eventually she came in to see her Rock-a-bye Chou Chou and pram, she has been asking for them for about a month, so she was highly delighted. She opened a few presents but was soon “fed up”, so we had some breakfast and the adults opened theirs. Daddy got Mash DVD’s and Terminator 1,2 & 3 DVD’s, some books and Cd’s, a poker card shuffler and some beer. I got a Ipod nano and an Ibook, which I am currently using, so no more moaning at Steve to let me use the computer!

We got the Turkey in the oven and Aunt Elaine & Uncle Darren arrived quickly followed by Aunt Ina & Uncle Dennis, with the soup. Dinner was served at 2.30pm, with some yummy soup. Followed by turkey with all the trimmings plus beef and gammon joints. I had been worried there wasn’t enough food, but believe me there was enough to feed the whole street!

After lunch Megan wanted to open more presents, and got quite excited. We started playing with some of Megan’s games and after some knocking over of drinks and candles we had a really good time. Nana, Grandad, Aunt Ina and Uncle Dennis all left about 8pm, and we put Megan to bed.

After that, we opened some Champagne and then a bottle of Baileys. Elaine bailed out at 10pm, followed by Steve at 11pm and Darren and I stayed up till 12, until I couldn’t focus anymore.

Everyone agreed it was the best Christmas in a long time 🙂

We’re nearly there

Just two working days left to the Christmas break (thank goodness) – I’d taken Monday and Tuesday as leave, but it was spent tidying the house and clearing out a lot of Megan’s old toys to make way for the new stuff that’s surely going to arrive on Sunday. The charity shop in the village we’re very pleased to see us, and there’s still a couple of bags worth of clothes to be dropped off. Wasn’t much of a holiday anyway, and as I don’t seem to have managed a weekend this month the holidays can’t come soon enough!

The Christmas Do in Manchester went well last week though – I’m not sure I could cope with Chinese Karaoke at 3:00am every day of the week, and whilst I think we’d sobered up by Friday morning I think I’m still catching up on missed sleep.

Helen and Ryan are over from Canada at the moment and Angela and Megan are meeting up with them tomorrow – unfortunately I’m working so will be stuck in the house, but Megan’s getting excited at the prospect of seeing Ryan again (not sure Ryan’s going to be feeling quite the same way!).

Just been checking out the New Year holiday destination again, and I must say it looks a bit posher than we’re used to – we’ve booked two of the cottages at Mooredge Farm near Matlock, and they come with a shared swimming pool (hope it’s indoors!). As tradition dictates there will probably be slightly too many people for all the beds, but I’m sure we’ll work something out on the day…

Christmas Do

Dad’s packing his bags tonight for a trip down to Alderley Edge in the morning – we’ve got a Team Meeting tomorrow, but it’s really just an excuse to go on the Christmas Do in Manchester. We’re off to somewhere in Chinatown for that traditional Chinese Christmas Meal, and copious quantites of alcoholic beverages. There’ll be a rather shorter meeting on Friday morning before a long trip back to frozen north – there’s another upgrade on at the weekend so I’ll be working Saturday again.

Angela and Megan went to Braehead today, for some more Christmas Shopping and to meet up with Aunty Laura who’s up from Leeds for a few days. I think they had a good time, but they were definitely all shopped out when they got back – Megan even went to bed early, which is almost unheard of. 🙂

Here’s a couple more photos from the big bang on Sunday – one of the damage to the Northgate building and another of the building and the fire as it burned. Makes you realise just how different things might have been if this had happened during the working week…

We’re printing again

Picked up the replacement printer from Active Office this morning, and normal service has been resumed – to me it looks like a refurbished model rather than brand new, but the main thing is it prints properly.

Lets just hope it lasts a bit longer than the last one…

Printer Replacement

Got a call from Active Office in Kilmarnock this afternoon, the replacement printer from Epson has finally turned up so I’ll pop along in the morning to pick it up.

It’s been a busy day, with some fallout from the weekend work but most problems stemming from the oil depot explosion. The northgate-is.com domain is still out of action, so any email sent to that address is still missing presumed incinerated, and the company website is still down.

A statement was issued to the stock exchange yesterday, and various stories have been appearing on the web

Hopefully tomorrow we’ll start to see some systems coming back online…

UPDATE: Turns out the Northgate website is back on-line already, and a new buiness continuity website has been setup to keep everyone updated – looks like we do know what we’re doing. 😀

A Big Bang

It’s been a hectic old week at the Bamber household, Dad’s been working on two big migrations this week which has meant late nights on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday – thankfully they’re both just about finished now without too much drama.

Angela managed a night out with the girls again on Thursday, and came home relatively sober in the early hours – although it was still poor old Dad that got up at the early to take Megan to nursery, despite an equally late night working on the migration (I’m looking for some sympathy here 😀 )

Liverpool extended their run of wins and clean sheets against Middlesborough on Saturday – they’ve equalled a club record of ten games without conceding a goal and now jet off to Japan for the World Club Championships (first game on Thursday).

The week has ended on a slightly surreal note however, the oil depot in Hemel Hempstead that’s currently burning like a big bright burny thing was around fifty yards from Northgate’s Head Office. To get an idea of just how close, this satellite photo shows the office circled in red – its fairly obvious where the oil depot is (or should that be was?).

Fortunately there were only a couple of members of staff in the building at the time and they’re both fine, but the building has basically been blown apart. Which means there’s around 700 Northgate employess with nowhere to work tomorrow, and also a big hole where an awful lot of servers used to be. There’s several customers that had managed servers hosted at the office and all the HR, payroll and other internal systems are presumably just a smouldering ruin.

I hope there’s a good disaster recovery plan in place or the next few weeks will likely be most interesting indeed…

Repair or Replacement

The V70 came back to day – as clean and shiny as its ever been – with two new tyres, new brakes, new wishbone bushes and a driver’s door that locks when you want it to.

All that could be yours too, for just £868 (ouch) 😦

I’d not heard anything from Active Office about the printer that I took in last week, so I gave them a call today as well. Turns out its not repairable so a replacement has been ordered from Epson, but apparently they’re very much in demand in the run up to Christmas so we’re still waiting for it – at least this one’s all under warranty!

The final Champions League group match is about to kick off at Stamford Bridge, so I’m off to chew some nails…

Peter Pan and the Wishbone Bushes

Another action packed weekend with a live migration for Stoke keeping Dad busy, and a Peter Pan pantomime at the Seamill Hydro entertaining Megan (and Mum) on Sunday. It should have been the Singing Kettle for Megan on Saturday too, but she decided she didn’t want to go – so Dad was left migrating with one hand and trying to stop Megan from helping him with the other.

The V70 was picked up by Park’s this morning for its running repairs, and they left me a brand new V50 to play with until its ready (probably sometime tomorrow). The V50 is a bit small and the engine is a bit noisy when its idling, but otherwise quite impressive – handling’s good and peformance is surprisingly quick for a two litre diesel. Don’t think we’ll be replacing the V70 with one next year though, we’d probably just about get Megan’s stuff in it but Mum and Dad would be travelling light. 😀

The Reds manged their sixth win on the bounce on Saturday, still without conceding a goal, beating Wigan 3-0 at Anfield. Peter Crouch finally got off the mark with one (or possibly two goals), with Luis Garcia scoring the third in the second half. It’s the final match of the Champions League group stages tomorrow night, with Chelsea all that stands in the way of a top place finish. Probably a good job we’ve already qualified and the result doesn’t matter that much…

Printer Repairs

A broken scanner at North Ayrshire (SCSI Interface Fuse Malfunction apparently) cut short the trip there yesterday, but it did give me the chance to drop off the Epson Stylus CX3600 for repair. I took it to Active Office in Kilmarnock, as they were the nearest authorised repair center, who are going to have a look at it and let me know what the problem is (still waiting to hear from them).

Got the bill through for the repairs needed on the V70 today as well, and its nearer to £900 than £600 – will definitely need to look at getting a replacement in the New Year. 😦

Still it was another good result for the Reds last night, a 2-0 win at Sunderland that was the fifth in a row and now they haven’t conceded a goal for over 630 minutes of football – if they beat Wigan on Saturday morning then they’ll go second (at least for a little while!).