Archive for the 'Countdown' Category

by Squage
on Nov 6th, 2006

4am Sucks

Pat really needs to reconsider what a “good time” to leave the UK is.


See you on t’other side!


by Pat
on Nov 5th, 2006

1 Day To Go.

I’ve been busy for a lot of today, stopping for some footy watching and a nice couple of goodbye beers with James and Gib this afternoon.

Inbetween these tasks, I’ve been feeling a strange mixture of massive excitement, a bit of sadness and a little fear.

It’s really odd not knowing what’s coming. This is so much bigger than anything I’ve ever done and so it’s really difficult to contemplate. I mean: I’m not coming back to England for A YEAR.

That’s insane.

What’s great though is that I know this is the right thing to do. Where I was in my life wasn’t where I wanted to be and I’ve felt like I’ve been treading water for years now… so this is me doing something about it.

Anyway I’m not gonna waffle on as a) there’s plenty of time to do that on my travels and b) it’s 8:30pm, I’m knackered and need to get up at about 4am.

Do stay in touch – I’ll do my best to reciprocate!



by Pat
on Nov 5th, 2006

2 Days To Go…

…and I spent most of today recovering from last night.

Twas a great night (thanks for coming FFE folk, I really appreciated it!!), but unfortunately there were more than a few vodka-cokes, beers and odd shot things (cheers Mr Elliott… I think) to make most of today a touch delicate.

Here’s a photo of the hard core group who managed to make it through the bowling, meal and onto the wonder of Chicagos:

Top row: James, Gib, Me, Claire.  Middle: Michael.  Bottom: Steve.

There were plenty of other photos from last night but I think it’d be unfair to post many of them online :-)

Anyway after a whole lot of packing, tidying and drinking water I’ve managed to get to a stage where I could actually go to the airport and get out to New York. Which is nice. Still got lots to do tomorrow in the world of PC cleaning up, car emptying and printing of documents, but I’m pretty chilled regarding everything.

Tonight we had a family meal out (the last one for a year – eek), which was really nice. It was a curry, inevitably, and excitingly (what?) Scuzz and I both sampled the true joy of the Celebratory Dessert Team – Punky and Gavvi:


Live the dream.

2 more wake ups to go…


by Pat
on Nov 3rd, 2006

3 Days To Go…

…and I’m getting quite excited now. But it’s excitement with a tint of sadness, which was quite apparent at the end of last night.

Lev and I went to Bas Vegas for a nice meal – complete with doodling on the tables:

Drawing on tables!!!

Following that we went to see a rather high brow piece of cultural “infotainment”: Borat.

Despite the second half feeling like it was just treading over the same ground that the first half did, I still heartily recommend seeing it, if only to sit in horror whilst watching Borat and his rather portly producer running around a hotel stark naked and staring in disbelief at a crazy Christian Gospel ceremony in Texas – where Cohen doesn’t even need to make his character do anything ridiculous to make the audience cringe…

Anyway, after seeing that, Lev and I said goodbye “for a year”… and as I drove off I suddenly realised that, oh my god, I’m not gonna see my friends for an entire year.

It’s really quite scary.

Anyway, another goodbye happened today – this time with Gary Steers (him from SGR Colchester fame) and Sarah Soon-to-be-Steers:

Sarah and Gary

They got me an amazing selection of amusing and useful gifts for the journey… including a pack of cards with a lame – sorry, great – chat up line on each card.

My favourite is the following:

“Hello. I’ve got 3 months to life”.

It’s just so wrong. I’ll let you know if it works… :-)

Right, time to go… got some getting ready to do for my Work Leaving Do this evening!

Til tomorrow (whereupon I might be a touch hungover)…


by Squage
on Nov 2nd, 2006

4 Days To Go…

…and it’s feeling crowded in the house with all the Squagés hanging around!

Still, Pat seems to be pleased with it so that’s fine. He had another nice lie in today, which was good to work off the beers from last night’s pizza, beer and quality film fest round James’ schweet flat.

Pat spent most of the day putting off going to Lakeside to get some more bits for travelling. Following watching far too much daytime telly, Pat watched series 3 episode 5 of LOST – which was ACE, thanks The Dave :-)

Eventually he wandered over to Lakeside. I stayed at home. I’m glad, as it seems like it wasn’t that great. From the random, confused mumblings I managed to extract the following analogy:

In Constantine, the world of Hell exists in parallel to the world of the living. The image below illustrates how these worlds appear:

The world of the living VS the world of Hell

Here are those same two parallel worlds at Lakeside Shopping Centre, Thurrock:

The world of the living VS the world of Hell... at Lakeside Shopping Centre, Thurrock.

Nuff said.



by Pat
on Nov 1st, 2006

5 Days To Go…

…and the “not being at work” thing isn’t quite sinking in.

The idea that I might NEVER go back into the office again seems really odd – after all, I went there straight after Uni and it’s been the only thing I’ve known since.

I keep feeling I’ll be going back next week – which, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth.

Very odd… I keep swaying between sadness and a great sense of relief + freedom.

I suspect that’ll get replaced with MASSIVE EXCITEMENT in a couple of days… in the mean time I’ve been filling my time today organising myself and buying stuff:

Lots of things!

That’s not including the clothes… I really hope my back pack is big enough :-)



by Pat
on Oct 31st, 2006

6 Days To Go…

…or, in the world of work: 0 days to go.

Yep. That’s it. I’m not longer a Systems Engineer. I’m unemployed.


It’s been an odd day… packing the desk was rather sad, but gave me a chance to go through some of my old things (my “first day at work” starter pack, the 2001 company calendar (complete with lots of weekends reading “Uni” for all those times where I went back to see mates), print outs of photos of drunken evenings with the FBL guys), which was nice.

After a pub lunch, I was given a leaving presentation in the afternoon, which was a) massively embarrassing and b) quite humbling – as I guess these things are. Some stories I’d entirely forgotten about caused a great deal of cringing from me – and laughing from those watching – but that was more than made up for by the goodbye card signed by loads of people and the ace presents… including… yes… ANOTHER SQUAGE:


They’re like buses…

Mr Paul Grimsley and your better half, I salute you both :-)

As I said in my leaving speech (aside from the snarky remarks about technical career paths ;-) ), thanks to everyone for being such good fun to work with. You’ve given me lots of good memories of the past 5 years – I’m going to miss you!

And who knows, with hindsight I might even miss work.


Toodles :-)


by Pat
on Oct 30th, 2006

7 Days To Go…

…which marks my final Monday at work and my second from last day there.

I’m feeling very, very nervous now… not just because of the fact that in one week I’ll be wandering around New York without a job care in the world, but because James at work’s decided to buy some of this for his crazy beefcake regime:

Follow your dreams.  You can achieve your goals.  I'm living proof.  Beefcake.  BEEFCAAAKE!

Fortunately those nerves will subside seeing as I’m only working with him for another day. Well, I say “working”. It will be my last day, after all :-)

Anyway, til tomorrow (I might be a bit tipsy if it’s in the afternoon (getting a lift in from Beefcake Barry))!


P.S. Big thanks to Sissel Anita for providing a fine selection of hard rock tunes for me to listen to whilst rocketing around valleys / throwing myself off bridges… who knows, it might even give me the courage to go through with the bungee. Probably.

by Pat
on Oct 29th, 2006

8 Days To Go…

…and I’m SO amazed.

Today I went to a pub called The Landseer in Islington, as part two of the “Pat’s Leaving and Pauly’s Having a Birthday” weekender. Loads of mates from Uni turned up, which was brilliant.

What really has made today amazing are the things that they’ve made / created for me on my trip around Oz:

1) Radio Shows!
A whole 9 shows, made by various mates (Dave, Pauly, The Mark, Chanmander, George, Stu B, Lev, RTJ, Bobince, Russ and Mr Paul Hardman) – totalling 11.5 hours – for my listening pleasure on my journey around the world! Utterly ace of you peeps, thank you so much!!

2) Sir Iain McDonkey’s Guide to Australia
For some while, RTJ and myself have had a strange injoke going on about loving horses (well, we pretend it’s a joke…)… so he thought he’d get me something that I might find amusing very useful on my travels.

I definitely didn’t piss myself for 10 solid minutes on receiving it. No. Ahem.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you… Sir Iain McDonkey’s Guide To Australia:

Sir Iain McDonkey's Guide To Australia

(click on the picture to view the whole 8 pages…)

3) Crazy I Dog Thing!
Made by Sega Toys, and grabbed from Japan by Ness and Lee when they went their recently.

It’s a cute little pink robot dog thing that dances to some Japanese pop tunes when you press its nose.

I’m not going to describe it further yet as I’m going to get some batteries for it and take a video for you to enjoy :-) I wonder if people will enjoy it playing Japanese pop at full blast on the plane…

Courtesy of Si and Ruthie (created, in fact, by Ruthie’s fair hand)… this came in the form of a smallish box with a HP logo on it. Previously my experience of HP branded boxes has gone along the lines of:

“Vague Interest… Gradual Excitement Increasing… Box Opening… Disappointment At Some Crap Print Cartridge.”

Not today. No. Today went along the lines of:

“Interest… Gradual Excitement Increasing… Box Opening… Utterly Speachless.”

You see, for the box today contained this:




Something to take photos of at various locations all around the world? I think so!

5) Summary
You guys rule :-)



by Pat
on Oct 29th, 2006

9 Days To Go…

…and after waking up on Rob’s floor at 8am (having fallen asleep at about 2am) I trundled back home, dozed about for a few hours and then went to the land of London for the “Pat’s Leaving and Pauly’s Having a Birthday” do at Buttoned Down Disco @ the Forum in Kentish Town avec my Uni mates.

Met up with Lev and Jess first to have a meal – ended up in China Town in a lovely restaurant with great service, great food and a name I can’t remember.

I’d be such a good marketer.

Anyway, after that and a packed tube journey Lev, Jess and myself arrived at the Forum quite early on (it, er, hadn’t opened)… and sat looking at the results of the bubble machines on the overhanging entrance roof.

Once it’d opened we wandered in to be hit by a wall of noise (it was a touch loud), so conversation was, er, limited to start – but that was fine as there were 2-for-1 deals on Carlsberg through the evening.

Well, I say “fine”. It did lead to some “interesting” dancing.

“Sadly” the only photo I have of the evening doesn’t feature any of my terrible the odd dancing, just the club (as taken by my mobile phone):

Buttoned Down Disco, as made obvious by the beautiful picture quality of my great phone!

There are many more embarrassing photos from this evening, which are no doubt making their way to the net as I type, I’m not going to give you any clues as to where to get them :-)

Anyway, after about an hour or so of mental dancing the music went very odd so we spent the last bit of the evening sitting at a table having a SLIGHTLY… SLOW… AND… SHOUTY…. CHAT… over the music.

After a while we all trundled home – well, I crashed at the Ealing Flat Of Fun (cheers for the sleeping space dudes!) – and looked forward to lunch at The Landseer on Sunday.

Right, tired. Going to sleep. Yes!


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