I didn’t include these in the August post from last month, as there are a lot. We came back to Britain in time to be at Nick (my brother) and Roz’s wedding. It was down in Cornwall, where they live, so a very beautifully pregnant Irina, Anna, myself, Mum & John went for a holiday in a cottage near Falmouth, giving us plenty of time to see them and unwind in the Summer sun. I think it was our first week long holiday since Dubai back in 2003 (money that would otherwise be saved for vacations tends to pay for plane tickets between Britain and Kazakhstan), so it was very refreshing to break the routine. Anyway, enough typing for now, here are the pictures. I’ll try to caption July & August’s photo galleries soon.
Too many photos to label them all, feel free to ask questions about any that interest you.
I should have mentioned in my last post, all these pictures are coming from John’s blog (Celt Photographic). I’ll have a look through his facebook pictures as well, and at some point in the future check through our camera’s contents.
Anyway, the first photo is from the 21st of April, and shows Nana (my mum) holding Tim on the sofa, with Gwen (freshly shorn) once more in guard duty mode.
Carol Kavanagh, Gwen And Tim Merriman
Then we have Anna having a bubbly bath on the 22nd of October. Overall, she is doing pretty well with suddenly having a new member in our family. She understood he was on his way, and they day she met him in the hospital was caught on video, I’ll have to check if I uploaded it to YouTube yet from John’s camera. (I was at home grabbing a nap before driving anywhere!). Anyway, back to the photo…
After taking Anna to the playground in the morning, we went to TGI Friday here in Astana. Although some friends comment on the prices, occasional staff attitude issues and better alternatives, I hadn’t tried the Astana branch at this point (20th April). The burger was tasty, the cocktail (custom ordered as the menu didn’t match what I remembered from a UK edition) well made and just right ratio of ingredients. Irina’s Mum came with us, Anna was very well behaved (I was a little concerned she’d try throwing the big girls ceramic plate on the floor) and by the end of the meal I was very glad we went there, and perhaps a little tipsy 🙂
We have since visited again once or twice, and given that there are other expensive restaurants in Astana, and sometimes you just want a Western style burger, I’d happily recommend you try it at least once – if nothing else you’ll at least be able to criticize from personal experience, if you don’t end up liking it 🙂
One “feature” with Windows Mobile devices is that they are designed to rarely actually close programs, instead the idea is that programs are hibernated or minimized, meaning that when you want to re-start the program it is almost instantly available. This approach does unfortunately have some drawbacks though, as despite recent specification increases you will often find yourself low on memory if you use more than a couple of resource hungry applications. Another issue is that WM will attempt to automatically close programs that it deems are not needed, and take a lot of RAM (device memory, as opposed to storage memory) up. This can leave you with programs you don’t need staying in memory, and programs you’d actually prefer to keep open in the background being automatically closed down.
If you have an app that displays RSS feeds, and another than plays music or streams live video, you may find the wrong program is automatically closed whilst the one(s) that could be closed aren’t. Another issue is that, as with desktop PCs, some programs leak memory. If you’re not familiar with the term, it is a bit like someone sticking a reserved sign on a table at a restaurant, and not removing it either after the meal or if the customer fails to turn up. There are in reality spare tables left in the room, but due to the reserved sign, new customers (applications) are denied the use of these tables (RAM).
One solution comes in the form of CleanRAM – it clears out unused applications and processes from your phone’s memory to ensure more RAM is available for the next app you load. You can create exceptions so that certain programs are never closed. A bit like Windows own memory management algorithms, but more aggressive and highly configurable. Memory is recovered both from programs that are hiding in the background, despite not being in the official WM applications running list (I’m looking at you Ms. PacMan!), from leaks that need fixing, and also re-loading some drivers and processes to ensure the maximum amount of free RAM is now available for your next program.
Back on the 17th March 2010 (St Patrick’s Day), I finally had a chance to begin to repay Mum (and John) for all the lifts they’ve given us over the years. I dropped them both off at a pub where Celtic-rooted people were planning to have a few (dozen) drinks to celebrate Pat’s day, and listen to Henry Martin’s Ghost at the same time.
Given the timing, it wasn’t surprising that a lot of the stereotypical tunes were demanded and played, and anything that the Dubliners had recorded in the past was familiar enough for me to remember. Despite the lack of alcohol on my part, there aren’t many good photos, and even this one had to be tweaked a lot. There were a couple that looked OK quality wise, but the people in them may not want them published, as everyone was already really quite relaxed by the time I came to pick up Mum and John!
Henry Martin's Ghost
I could just be mixing up my musical groups, but I think HMG have since disbanded? (Henry Martin’s Ghost, not the Labour government of her majesty at the time). Here is to hoping that an abomination of an ill-matched group of ne’er do wells don’t try and take over from the band, leading to another ConDem-ned nation! (credit to K.Haigh for the ConDem nation, she at least bought the hashtag to my attention back when people were still in shock, not sure if she actually invented the phrase).