Jul 21 2010

Fit For A King

Category: VideosChrisM @ 12:11 am

Before I forget (or it gets relegated to an ever increasing group of bookmarks titled “to write about”), here is a video I came across of my old hometown, Cheltenham. It focuses entirely on some of the Regency era architecture to be found in the Spa town, but it was interesting trying to work out where some of the shots were taken, and the music seemed very suitable.
If you want to see what parts of ‘nam look like, click play below, and then head on over to Cheltonia, for a brilliant series of posts on walks you can take in the area. I’m not aware of knowing the author at all, but found his video and blog when searching twitter for mentions of Cheltenham, and thought you might like it?

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May 28 2010

Shoplifters To Terrorists

Category: In The MediaChrisM @ 8:55 pm

Another vague tie in to Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 again (a game I’ve been playing recently), as I came across a piece on high tech surveillance techniques that could be in use on battlefields within just a few years.
The fact that this concerns me less than behaviour-analysing CCTV systems that were touted in the last couple of years for domestic use is probably a purely selfish instinct. I’m not likely to ever find myself in a potential war zone, whereas the thought of being flagged for a higher level of scrutiny whilst wandering around a UK high street or shopping centre creeps me out a little. The end results should dictate a reversal of concern levels though – after all, if a security guard/policeman takes an interest in my shopping in Cheltenham or Swansea, I’m never going to encounter a predator missile suddenly being aimed at me. If the software or operators make a mistake in Afghanistan/Pakistan though, the error could lead to loss of life, not just an inconvenience.

Not Modern Warfare 2

The MW2 reference was that the article originally caught my attention as one of the photos reminded me of a level I’m trying to complete right now. Hopefully DanD will be able to come over again soon, as playing with two controllers isn’t particularly easy.

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Mar 15 2010

Antique Owning Hoodie Wearers!

Category: Friends,PersonalChrisM @ 7:21 pm

Whilst waiting for Anna to wake from her lunch time nap, Irina, Dad and I were all watching an episode of Antiques Roadshow on the Yesterday channel. It seems to have moved on a little since I remember it (Sunday evenings when I was a child, with crumpets or savoury muffins for tea!).
Gone were the experts with bow ties on, and in are… well the same experts, but the antique owners seem to be from a wider background now, with hoodie wearing young adults bringing in RAF memorobilia from their Grandad, to a builder who scans the car boot sales at weekends.
The builder did quite well bringing in a hold-all containing lots of things he had bought for less than a fiver – some were worth close to a thousand pounds! Anyway, Anna woke up, so attention switched to feeding her. I’m also arranging meeting up with friends in Cheltenham tonight; it will be great to see them as some I’ve not crossed paths with them in a couple of years…

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Feb 19 2010

Chomp, Gulp & Brrrrm!

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 5:17 am

As the time drew closer and closer for our trip to Britain, my mind automatically started fixating on those things I missed from home. So what have I crossed off the list already, since returning to Britain?
A nice Chinese takeaway – I’ve slowly discovered that there are normally a few dishes I can enjoy, and Irina loves them.
Shreddies and Weetabix (not simultaneously) with milk that tastes like it is supposed to 🙂
Coke Zero (I love Coke, but want to have some teeth left – Coke Zero isn’t yet sold in Kazakhstan). I still try to be sensible, but knowing that I’m not destroying my teeth quite so quickly is a relief 🙂
Tinned steamed chocolate pudding (the two minutes and you’re done type – apparently not yet a recognised treatment for depression, I suppose not enough peer reviewed research papers have been written???)
Marmite on toasted tiger bread (white bread with some sort of coating on top, no felines harmed, I promise).
Orange squash (for non-UK readers, this is a concentrated fruit based drink that you dilute to taste)
and, of course, driving our car again.
We still need to see Dad, visit friends in Cheltenham, have proper fish’n’chip shop chips and a battered burger, a bacon double cheese burger from Burger King and buy a few things for Anna, but given that we’ve been here less than a week, I think the amount of ticks in the To Do list is more than satisfactory 🙂

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Oct 10 2009

re. “Chelters” @stephenfry I l…

Category: TweetsChrisM @ 7:17 pm

re. “Chelters” @stephenfry I lived in Cheltenham for 15 years & have never heard that before 🙂 ‘nam a few times, but not Chelters…

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Oct 01 2009

Off to Astana’s TGI Friday, me…

Category: TweetsChrisM @ 4:10 pm

Off to Astana’s TGI Friday, meeting with DanC’s family. Not seen his newest addition yet 🙂 Wonder how similar this TGIF is to Cheltenham’s

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Jul 02 2009

The Day Before

Category: Personal,PicturesChrisM @ 1:44 pm

So, just one day before Anna came into this world, we were at the hospital, with a contraction and baby heart rate monitor attached to Irina. We saw a few other soon-to-be Mums in the ward, who we’d met at pre-natal classes & during previous trips to the hospital. I was a little over-protective, and asked the cleaners to come and sort out the dried blood I’d noticed on the angle-poise like lamp. Ooops, turns out someone who had used the bed prior to us had had chocolate on their hands!
As we looked out the window together, wondering just when Anna would decide that the time was right, Irina noticed a medical building across the road that looked vaguely familiar. Turns out that her old company (PKL healthcare, where she worked when we lived back in Cheltenham & Bourton on the Water), had constructed it! Small world…

Continue reading “The Day Before”

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May 06 2009

Catch Up Post

Category: Friends,PersonalChrisM @ 12:39 pm

There haven’t been a lot of ‘real’ blog posts recently, with tweets from my phone being the normal method of updates. So, just to sync everyone at the same time, we went to see Dad on Saturday, over in Evesham. Luckily the car didn’t need any major work done to it (it was making a noise like an Austin Metro engine when you turned the steering wheel), just a top up of the power assist steering fluid. This meant I was happy driving on the motorway with Anna and Ira, without worrying about breaking down or exploding 🙂
It was great seeing Dad, Aunty Chris & Bob again, and to catch up with what has been going on. I hope to see Dad and my brother Nick (and maybe Roz?) before we leave for Kazakhstan on the 14th. From there, we moved onto Cheltenham on Sunday, to see some friends who had not yet met Anna. Irina managed to find a great deal on a room at the Queens hotel in Chelt, which I’d never been in before, let alone had a room. TBH, the rooms, staff and decor were all fine, but I think the reputation of the place had led us to think it would be a lot better. Ira #2’s boyfriend (Andy) instantly became a demi-god when he took a quick glance at our pushchair, diagnosed and then fixed the fault within a couple of minutes – the brake had been semi-engaged since the day it arrived, which meant pushing it and Anna uphill was un-necessarily arduous. Unfortunately, whilst returning from town the brake had fully engaged, so we had to half carry the thing up the Promenade. Silver linings in a cloud and all that though, as if it hadn’t finally engaged like that, we’d not have mentioned it to Andy & therefore struggled over in Kazakhstan pushing it along stony tracks etc.
So what plans today? Sort out a couple of things for John’s upcoming 60th birthday, help look after Anna, generally not get in the way of Irina who is packing boxes to send ahead of us for Astana & try and check out the rest of the demos I downloaded over the weekend for the XBox 360.

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May 03 2009

Anna’s First Ever Trip To Cheltenham

Category: Anna's Photos,PersonalChrisM @ 2:55 am

After leaving Dad’s in Evesham, we went on into Cheltenham, where Irina had managed to find a good deal on a room at the Queens hotel. Whether the room was not as plush as their standard rooms, or it was simply a case that the hype accorded to this hotel increases your expectations, we couldn’t be sure. Nothing wrong with the place per se, just not as ‘wow’ as we expected. We met up with Ira’s friends from when she worked at PKL and had a nice meal at Cafe Rouge. From there we went on to meet up with the other Irina and her boyfriend, as well as ChrisD, Steve and Emma, over in the beer gardens.

Continue reading “Anna’s First Ever Trip To Cheltenham”

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May 02 2009

Last Visit To Dad’s

Category: Anna's Photos,PersonalChrisM @ 2:07 pm

These pictures were shot in Evesham, at Dad’s house, on the 2nd and 3rd of May. This was our last trip before heading back to Kazakhstan, though we did also spend some time in Cheltenham on the 3rd.

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