Archive for the 'Holidays' Category

by Pat
on Aug 15th, 2011

Les Vacances A France

C’etait bon.

At least that’s what I think I should say, from what memory I have of French spelling. I don’t really remember how to spell things in French. Nor, to be honest, how to say them either.

That said, despite my lack of language knowledge, the 2 week holiday in France that I just had with Lev, Jess and Katie was indeed tres bon.

Or trés bonne. Or trésse bonn. Delete as appropriate, or replace with something that makes sense.

It was excellent to get away from things for a bit, and to have a chance to wind down and catch up on some sleep.

Our home was in Cénevières: a beautiful French town situated in the green arable pastures within the valley of the Lot river. It’s overlooked by impressive hills and cliffs and features friendly, relaxed locals and occasional lost tourists.

Cénevières is close to various other lovely French towns and such sights as St Cirq Lapopie and the Pech Merle Caves (featuring 25,000(!) year old paintings). Well worth a visit.

I’m tired after the long ol’ drive back, so here’s a Lazy Bullet Point Based List™ of the things wot I dun did, in no particular order:

  • Ate lots of bread and cheese.
  • Watched a huge electrical storm that surrounded the whole valley. We sat on the grass in the villa’s back garden, only coming inside once it started raining (which purely by chance coincided with when the storm was at its closest to us, as I am not a wimp (He is a wimp – Squage)).
  • Posed for photos on the edge of a 50-100m drop in St Cirq Lapopie (told you I wasn’t a wimp (We’ve not seen your expression in the photos yet… – Squage))
  • Ate cheese.
  • Wandered along a disused rail track, including over a river bridge and through a spooky tunnel. In France, they don’t pull up the sleepers and track – they just let nature take over the track. It’s an eerie, slightly scary experience, particularly when wandering through a disused train tunnel, which could easily pass for an in-use tunnel were it not for the lack of the sound of any oncoming Metal Death on Wheels…
  • Ate bread.
  • Stared at the breathtakingly clear night skies, admiring the milky way, a couple of satellites (not planes, disbelievers! (Yep. Probably high-up planes – Squage)) and a shooting star or two (A… very fast… plane? – Squage). Shut up. (Ahem – Squage)
  • Ran around little back roads, either by myself or with Lev (aka “The Running Machine”). Good fun, if flippin’ knackering (particularly when the “ideal cloudy weather” fast becomes “not entirely ideal baking hot sunny weather”)
  • Ate some cheese and bread
  • Cycled through beautiful farmland and villages, rekindling my love of biking.
  • Ate bread.
  • Ate cheese.
  • Stared in awe at 25,000 year old paintings in the Pech Merle caves (whilst secretly wondering if someone could’ve just put them on the wall in the 1950s)
  • Played the new exciting game “Water Still Alive Keepy Uppy”. Yes, it sounds strange, but it’s a soon-to-be-mega-popular sport. It’s definitely isn’t just a variant of passing a ball to and from people in a pool for as long as possible. Noooo…
  • Ate bread and cheese.
  • Jumped into and swam around in the Lot river. Twas quite an experience – beautiful trees lining the banks, gorgeous houses with turrets in the distance, and deep black depths below. Occasionally 20ft boats would trundle past, but fortunately the current was negligable so one could get out of the way without any trouble. All in all, twas damn refreshing and relaxing. Apart from when accosted by underwater reeds. Then it was more like swimming through jam.
  • Played various board / card games, and generally lost them (aside from one at-the-last-minute smashing in Settlers of Catan – FEAR MY SPECIAL 4 VICTORY POINT EXPLOSION ON MY LAST TURN!)… and don’t talk to Lev or I about Table Football against Jess and Katie…
  • And lots more… including the consumption of both wheat-based food and the matured products of cows and goats. Quelle surprise. Ooh, looks like a bit of French came back to me, after all. Bon actual jour.

Au reviour,

Pat :)

by Pat
on Feb 19th, 2008

All Change, Please!

Yo peeps!

Well, something that’s not happened since I went to Oz in 2006… that’s right, I’m leaving my department at work! Goodbye Technical Services!

There’s one key difference:

Last time, despite actually leaving the company outright and going to the other side of the world, I came back to the very same department (albeit in a different role). This time I’m permanently leaving the department! *

What’s more is the distance involved in my move. I’m not just going to the other side of the world, oh no: I’m going to the other side…. of the corridor!


Literally 6 metres from my current desk, the change of environment may be too much for me to take but I’m hoping I’ll be ok. Basically, I’m moving to another department to do some cool stuff for a funky and very useful web based system designed to help our customers. The cool stuff involves Oracle, WebLogic, funky web front end stuff and Linux/Unix. I’m looking forward to it!

Two days to go in TS, then I start next week (as I’m off on a long weekend to go to see Jersey… in Jersey! Sam and Spence from Oz, who’re On Tour at the mo are coming over too so it should be an awesome weekend!).

Right, that’s all really. Just an update from my world.



* Probably.

by Squage
on Jan 18th, 2008

This Past Week

It’s been a long one, but I think Pat’s come out of it feeling pretty good (Aside from this cold I’ve got, just in time to go away! – Pat) – stop being a pansy! (Oh, ok, no problem, you can enjoy your flight in the hold…- Pat) Er, I mean, oooh dear sorry to hear that!

(We’ve started this post with a side-comment extravaganza – Pat) Yeah probably not the best way to begin is it? (Nah, makes you look a little scatty and odd – Pat) Makes me, eh? This blue alien blob who somehow lives with you and is currently typing onto your keyboard, yeah? I’m the one who’s scatty and odd? (Um, shall we move on? – Pat) Yes, let’s. Take two:


This past week has been a long one for Pat, but despite being a bit ill towards the tail end of it he’s not had too bad a week. Let’s have a look at the past few days’ worth of photos:


2008-01-14 My Friend and Enemy

Yep, this has really been the theme of the past two weeks. Amazingly, Pat’s surpassed his usual lame level of gym attendance and, even I have to admit, has done pretty damned well this past two weeks. 5 times to the gym last week and 4 times this week (he was sniffling and snuffling last night so made some lame excuse about needing a lie in this morning (Boy did I… – Pat). He’s already down from 30 stone to 28 stone! (Oi! – Pat) ok ok I’ll be nice this once… he’s actually managed to lose a few kilos since the start of the year. Hopefully the snowboarding will help it keep coming off!


2008-01-15 A Squage Mug!

Pat’s been busy using my beautiful looks to create some custom “Squgs”, which have been dished out to some of his friends and have been making people happy (at least Pat’s hoping they have been – the reception’s been good so far, which is not at all surprising – I mean, who wouldn’t want a mug with my face on it? Eh? EH? Exactly). Pat has said cryptically that this is just the beginning of something big this year – maybe he means he’s going to be drinking lots of beer from Squgs and get back up to 30 stone again… (Yep, I think if I take a couple of T-Shirts from the suitcase I can put Squage in the hold… – Pat) I mean, er, yes! Pat’s going to do exciting things art wise this year!



Ok so there’ s not actually a daily photo here. If there was one it’d probably be of the odd painting in Prezzo that he and Ruth from work were pondering over for a while. Here’s an “artist”‘s impression:

Red Blob Painting

Doesn’t quite do it justice somehow. (I dunno, looks about right… – Pat). Man, I think I’ll try to do some artwork this year too if that sort of thing can get bought by restaurants…


2008-01-17 Squage: Packing For The Next Adventure!

Packing for BOARDING! Yep, as Pat ended up feeling crappy yesterday he ended up not going out to London (which was sucky as he was looking forward to a decent catchup with Andrea and Sinead (We’ll def. meet up on my return, ladies! – Pat)) he decided to make the most of his evening by packing.

As a shocking result, he actually managed to get 95% ready for a holiday with a full 36 hours to go! First time for everything… (Oi… actually, no, fair enough – Pat)

And yep, that is me indeed. And yes, I need a bath. Gonna have a snow wash next week :-)


2008-01-18 Not Gonna Miss This

Pat’s definitely not gonna be missing the journey to work.

So, right now… Pat’s all packed (aside from a few technical items – he’s still charging one of his camera’s batteries and is about to sort out the music on his MP3 player) and really, really looking forward to tomorrow’s day of traveling, starting at about 8:20am and ending about 12 hours later via a bus trip, an airport, a plane ride, another airport and another (long) bus ride to the picturesque resort, 2,500ft above sea level, ready for some serious boarding, chilling out and fun having. And maybe sitting in a hospital bed. (Oi! Don’t jinx it! – Pat) Hey that’s not jinxing, jinxing is saying something like “Pat will definitely, definitely not get inj”(-Ok ok ok ok ok – Pat). :-)

Have a great week and we’ll see you on the other side – plenty (and I mean plenty) of photos to come!


Squage (And me! – Pat)