Friday, 8 February 2013

Second week away

Tuesday

Its 4:49am as I type this and once again I can't really sleep because of the strange bed. Its been a rough night of tossing and turning since about 12:30 when I was woken by people leaving the bar that is part of the hotel.
I'm staying at a hotel owned by the Wetherspoons chain because the Abbey was full this week.
The hotel receptionist was really pleasant when I checked in so is a credit to the place. The hotel is nice, d├ęcor is good for an old coaching in. Early this evening I chatted via video chat with my family in Yeovil, sadly I wont be doing that again this week as forgot to bring my Blackberry charger, in fact I forgot to bring my phone charger as well, thankfully I have a spare phone so I can still talk to them. I do have my laptop so if I can access the Wifi on Wednesday evening then I can chat to them via Skype.
Tonight I'm going to be at Pink Kitten in Bristol again so I'll only have the chance to ring them anyway.
The journey up was another long one. I set of at half past 6 and arrived at the office just after 9:15. Almost 3 hours due to slow traffic in a number of places.
I've not brought my running gear with me this week as I wasn't sure where the hotel was going to be and how easy it would be to get out running. I do plan on bring running gear next week though as I'll be back at the Abbey and feel confident that I'll be able to find some run routes in the evenings.

As the hotel is part of the Wetherspoons chain its got a bar and restaurant. I decided that I'd try it out since I know that the food is reasonably priced as are the drinks. Well the drinks certainly were as I got a large white wine for the same price as I would have gotten a single glass in London last week. I decided to have gammon steak for my meal and discovered that came with a free drink.
It was crowded in the restaurant and even though I found a table out of the way and faced away from people I still felt uncomfortable. The gammon was OK but I ended up leaving some of the rest of the meal. Thursday evening it looks like I'll be eating somewhere else rather than the hotel. In fact I doubt that I'll be eating at the hotel as although they do breakfasts I've not got those booked. I was planning on having breakfast but I don't think I'll bother. Instead I'll manage on breakfast biscuits instead and grab a sandwich at lunchtime. I'm not doing any real exercise this week so cutting down on how much I eat will help me to lose a few pounds, which is something that I seriously want to do.

Wednesday

I've been up about an hour surfing the net, catching up with emails and generally lying in bed (its 6am right now). I managed to get a bit more sleep last night, went to bed about 11 and woke up properly just before 5. I don't really sleep lots as it is, being in a strange bed certainly doesn't help.
Yesterday started off being interesting, if not slightly worrying. As I headed out of the hotel to the car I noticed that there was a dusting of snow on all the cars. By the time I'd reached the hire car it was actually snowing, quite big flakes in fact. Driving to work was an interesting experience as its a while since I've driven while it has been snowing.
Fortunately by the time I got to work it had stopped snowing, within another hour the snow had all melted. A good thing as I had a trip to Bristol planned for the evening in order to go to burlesque class.
Sadly that plan went out of the window as with only one person saying that they would be at the class the advanced lab was cancelled because it wasn't worth running it for so few people.
This left me with a slight problem, what to do during the evening. I'd picked up a couple of DVDs on my way into work so at least I had something to watch. Food would be an issue though as I wasn't sure that I wanted to eat at the hotel again. In the end I decided I'd see what else was in the area but in doing so discovered that the hotel had a much bigger dining area than I'd thought.
I found a table, a bit large for one as it could seat 6, and left my coat to mark the fact that someone was sitting at it. Ordering my food I was served by a nice young woman. The service was good and the food hot and edible. Finishing up I went to the bar and order another drink to take up to my room. While waiting to be served I noticed a couple of young girls glancing at me and whispering to each other, had I been read, possibly but I wasn't worried.
Returning to my room I didn't end up watching a DVD. By the time I managed to get online and chat to my family, check emails and browse a few websites it was 9pm. A quick bath, due to not being able to figure out how the shower worked, a bit of a chat with a couple of people on Facebook and then it was bed.
Tonight its going to be pick up something to eat from Morrisons, chat to the family, practice my burlesque routine and watch a DVD. A nice relaxing evening.

Friday

Well I'm back in Yeovil, its 7:30am and we were due to go to Wales this evening to my parents. Sadly that doesn't look like its going to happen as across from me fast asleep in the chair is my son, who came home last night from a meal out and was cold and shivery. His leg and one foot were aching and when I checked him in bed his pyjamas were soaking. This morning he's still full of a cold but has also found it painful when breathing and also when lying in bed, sitting more upright is easier. Having taken some painkillers he's now sleeping with a blanket pulled over his head to block out the room light. A visit to the doctors is on the cards for later!

The rest of my week in Malvern turned out to be OK. Wednesday evening I ventured out to the Bengal Brasseries opposite the hotel. I'd read some reviews about it and had decided that if I got there early then it wouldn't be busy and I could eat and be away before it did get busy.
Well I was right it wasn't busy, in fact when I arrived just after 6 I was the only one there. By the time I left there was a family of four and a couple eating.
The meal was lovely, the best I'd eaten all week. Poppadoms first with an extra one in addition to the two I'd asked for. A meat stuffed pepper for starter and then a tandoori mixed grill with Bombay Aloo and naan bread. Well I managed to eat all of the meat from the grill, half the aloo and a part of the naan bread before having to admit defeat.
The staff there were really friendly, 3 waiters who dealt with me and asked where I was from so I ended up having a conversation about being from Somerset on business and staying across the road from them. A really pleasant evening and if I end up at the same hotel again then I'll be happily popping in to have something to eat again.
I also discovered a little Thai restaurant around the corner which I might try at some point and while chatting with one of the other women in the office on Thursday morning discovered where there is another nice Thai restaurant which I might venture to at some point in the next couple of weeks.

I managed to run through my burlesque routine a couple of times in my room Wednesday evening, is not a complicated routine, I just need to get used to using the fans.

The week ended quite well as I managed to almost complete the task that I'd been assigned which was to take images of the hard disks on the test rig with the bare bones Windows 7 operating system and then install our software and see if it would run, for the most part it did and I've learned quite a few things about Windows 7, installing drivers and firewalls in the process. Just need to iron out a few issues next week and I'll be able to write up a report on what I've done and found.

Next week I'm back to the hotel I'm going to be using until the end of March. I'll be taking my running gear with me so I can at least get some training in during the week.

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