Sep 16 2010

Double Trouble

Category: Anna's Photos,FriendsChrisM @ 12:12 am

The 16th of March saw us leaving Evesham, but we managed to catch up with Irina on the way back to Swansea. (IrinaG to be more specific. My Irina met IrinaG in Cheltenham, I think at her office. The spooky thing is that IrinaG also comes from Kazakhstan. The fact two ladies called Irina randomly meet in an office is probably reasonably rare, but then to add Kazakhstan as a common factor must make it reasonably rare!)
We met up at a pub that I’ve forgotten the name of (either Irina, can you help out here?), and Anna behaved herself very well whilst we munched through a delicious lunch. Cheltenham’s big race week was starting that day, and I’m glad we lived in Cheltenham for so long, as we managed to use a few country lanes to avoid the traffic that was beginning to pour into the area!

IrinaG And Anna Pub Lunch

IrinaG And Anna Pub Lunch

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Sep 07 2010

Present Time – A Little Delayed

Category: Anna's Photos,PersonalChrisM @ 10:08 pm

Delayed in two senses. When Nick came up to Evesham (btw big congratulations to him for recently passing his driving test!) he bought the Christmas and Birthday presents that we had not been able to open due to being in Kazakhstan at the time. Even though his son Jack was about to be born, we really appreciated him making the effort and making sure we had some more time together (he also had a job interview in Cheltenham, so the timing was perfect). The second part of the delay? The video of this evening was posted a little over a month ago. I have been very slack recently at posting to this blog, other than occasional tweets. Now that PockeTwit (my preferred Windows Mobile twitter client) isn’t working due to OAuth being required for logins, the site has been quite bare recently. I am hoping to put up a few more posts by the end of the week, and if I can just create 36 hours in a day, I might even manage to post more next week 🙂 Oh, 12th of March is the date these photos were taken, which reminds me, I need to check if is still pulling these posts in automatically, and also start manually embedding those videos that don’t make it across.

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Jul 27 2010

Evesham Ducks Again

Category: Anna's PhotosChrisM @ 2:19 am

Not much to add in this post, text wise. Still the 12th of March 2010, in Evesham, around the river feeding ducks.
This isn’t combined with the previous video post as it makes running Anna’s site a little easier that way. I’ll get round to fixing that potential duplicate post importing issue another day.

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Jul 27 2010

Feeding The Ducks At The River In Evesham

Category: Anna's VideosChrisM @ 2:13 am

Copying the activities from a week before, here we are in Evesham (I’m reliabily informed by Wikipedia that some locals refer to their hometown as Asum??) feeding the ducks once more. The river Avon winds it’s way through a lot of Britain, and you can get to the area shown in the video by walking through the old Abbey grounds.
There are some tables near there, so if we ever visit Britain in the summer, we could probably take a picnic down there, and really give the ducks something to quack about with the breadcrumbs 🙂 However, the 12th of March isn’t really sun bathing season, so we fed the ducks and moved on.
BTW, I didn’t plan on putting Anna’s dummy in a pile of bird seed, the idea was for Anna to take a handful to feed the ducks, however Irina had just asked her to hand the dummy over, and when Anna saw a palm in front of her, just followed the request (ignoring the Mamma part).
Obviously we cleaned up the dummy at home before returning it into general circulation. Anna normally only has the dummy in as she falls asleep, but we take it when there will be long trips in the pushchair, as it works well as a temporary pacifier. Which is why the Americans call it that I suppose?
Also, I was hovering around Anna as 1) She was very close to the river bank and 2) I vividly remember a goose snapping at my fingers as a child and so, along with bees & wasps, I am convinced that they’ll attack Anna if I’m not there to protect her 🙂 Though Anna should probably know that once she is capable of running well, and flapping her arms in the air like Daddy does when he sees something black and yellow buzzing around, she might be best to assume I’ll stop pretending that I’m anything other than a big girl when it comes to bees and wasps. I’ll jump in front of a raging bull/speeding car/other dangerous thing I can’t think of right now, but once Anna learns to run, and wants to run away from bees/wasps, she may find her Dad joining her 🙂

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Jul 27 2010

Breakfast in Evesham

Category: Anna's PhotosChrisM @ 2:05 am

The next day from the previous post was the 12th of March, and we took a few shots of Anna at my Dad’s house during breakfast time. The highchair with no legs reference is to the portable seat you secure to a normal seat, and actually worked really well! Not much else to say for these photos, other than it they include a rare shot of Anna with a bib on without food being splattered everywhere. She is, of course, a lot less messy now. Usually 🙂

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Jul 27 2010

Grandad And Anna

Category: Anna's PhotosChrisM @ 1:36 am

On the same day that we saw some friends in Cheltenham (11th of March), we had also set up camp in Evesham, over at my Dad’s house. He seemed very happy to see Anna, and she seemed totally content with the new surroundings to investigate. The year before when Anna had been there, she obviously hadn’t been able to move around really. In case you’re wondering, that is Anna’s little suitcase you can see in the bottom left hand corner there. Always have a good supply of toys with you at all times 🙂 We were all waiting anxiously to discover whether we would soon have a new niece/nephew / grandson/granddaughter, as my younger brother (Nick) and Roz hadn’t discovered whether they were to be having a boy or a girl, and Nick came down that weekend as he had an interview in the area, and we didn’t know for sure whether we’d be able to cross paths again before our return to Kazakhstan, as for some reason babies don’t always arrive exactly when the doctors guess 🙂
Anyway, enough for now, I think there are some photos or videos of Nick still to come.

(My) Dad With Anna At Home

(My) Dad With Anna At Home

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Jul 26 2010

Arriving In Evesham

Category: Anna's VideosChrisM @ 10:48 pm

The 11th of March saw us visiting my Dad over in Evesham, and later some friends in Cheltenham. Apparently Anna had already had enough of being held that day, and she seemed to want to thoroughly investigate her Grandad’s house – she was barely a couple of months old when last there, so we can’t blame her for her curiosity. Anyway, we have about four videos left of Anna in Britain I think, and about fourteen more photo posts left to publish. I’ll try and complete another four or five pic/vid posts today.

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Jun 03 2010

Step By Step New Hotmail Account Guide

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 12:41 am

If you are Roger (Dad’s next door neighbour), this post if for YOU! If you aren’t him, and are just reading this blog post because it is on the front page, feel free to keep reading if you need a step by step guide to starting a new Hotmail account. If I was in Evesham right now, I’d probably try and convince Roger that a GMail address might be a better idea, but that would take too long using Dad as a message relayer 🙂

Anyway, onto the guide.

1) Turn on the PC. Start your preferred internet browser (likely to be Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome)

Start Your Internet Browser

Start Your Internet Browser

2) Enter in the address bar, and press Return or Enter on the keyboard

Enter The Address

Enter The Address

Press Return Or Enter (Thanks Wikimedia)

Press Return Or Enter

3) Click the Sign Up button located in the lower left of the screen
(Hoping a screen shot isn’t necessary here 🙂 )

4) Decide whether you want a or a address. It makes NO differences, other than personal preference. If hotmail is your choice, proceed to step 5. If you want, click the first drop down box and click on

5) Pick an address you want to use. It makes sense to choose something that is difficult to mis-spell, easy to remember, and finally, something someone else will not have already registered. Bad choice examples: , , . All of those are either easy for other people to spell incorrectly, or will most likely have been registered already.

6) Enter your chosen e-mail address in the first text entry box. Click the check availability button. Swear loudly as you discover someone else already has the exact address you want. If it isn’t free, Microsoft will ask for your name and some relevant interests and suggest available e-mail addresses you might like. Either follow their steps, or click on the little X in the Windows Live ID advanced search box and type in a new e-mail address. Again click the check availability button. Repeat these step until you are informed that your chosen address is available. (If possible, try not to select an alternative address they offer that has a number on the end. Again, easy for other people to mis-type/remember it).

7) Select a password that you want to use to sign into this e-mail account. If possible, choose something you do NOT use anywhere else online. It needs to be six characters long, and if you use a mixture of lower and UPPER case letters, numbers and special characters (£${ etc. etc.) it will be harder for other people to guess your password and hack in. It will also make it more difficult for you to remember, so try and find a balance 🙂 Type this same password into the retype password box.

8) If you have now selected an e-mail address and password that Microsoft isn’t complaining about WRITE THEM DOWN NOW. TWICE. Keep each piece of paper in a different room, so if you ever forget your address or password, and can’t find the 1st piece of paper with the details recorded on, you have a second chance.

9) If you already have a different e-mail address that you can still access, enter it in the Alternate e-mail address box. This is the address that Microsoft will use if you ever ask to reset your password if you’ve forgotten it (and lost both pieces of paper). If you don’t already have an e-mail account, click the “Or choose a security question for password reset” link. If you clicked the link, select a question you won’t ever forget the answer to, and enter that answer in the Secret Answer box.

10) Fill in the rest of the boxes down to Birth Year with your relevant information.

Fill In Other Boxes. ZIP=Post Code

Fill In Other Boxes. ZIP=Post Code

11) In the text box below Birth Year, you need to type the eight characters shown in the image just above it. This is Microsoft’s attempt to make sure you are a real human asking for an e-mail address. They apparently had problems with hamsters and motorbikes pretending to be humanoid and asking for addresses. Or it could have been people using automatic systems for spamming. I can never remember which.

Capcha Code

Capcha Code

12) Untick the “Send me e-mail with promotional … ….” box. Double check all the boxes on the page are correctly filled in.

13) Click I accept. If all information has been entered correctly, you will now be logged into your e-mail account. The first time you send an e-mail, you may be asked to enter another eight letters from a strange looking image. Again, another anti-spam step.

14) In the future, visit, and if you see your e-mail account on the right hand side, click sign in. Then enter your password, and click sign in. If you are on a different computer or internet browser, you will also need to enter your e-mail address.

15) Ideally, repeat steps 1-13 and create a second e-mail address that you will use when signing up for other accounts online. Why? Your first e-mail address is for friends, family and people who you trust to send you real e-mails. The second account you create can be given to anyone/any company online. This way, if these companies spam you, it won’t interfere with your personal e-mail account, and if the spam ever gets too bad, you can just create a new second account, and not have to tell all your friends to use a new e-mail address.

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Mar 12 2010

Arrived in Evesham (Dad’s) fin…

Category: TweetsChrisM @ 1:22 am

Arrived in Evesham (Dad’s) fine. Hope to see Chelt people over the coming days. Two & a half weeks left in Britain. Back to Clydach Tuesday.

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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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