Furniture, Fights and a Piano

We finally moved out of the apart-hotel and into our apartment. Last night was the first night we slept there. So far all is fine. But it has been another full and hectic weekend…

Another Busy Weekend

Moving luggage, buying furniture and trying to buy more furniture but failing. It has been almost non-stop. The ‘failing to buy furniture’ involved a second-hand dining table and chairs. A rather nice set actually, and a bargain. But it would not fit in our bloody hire car and was difficult to take apart. I had no option but to leave it. In the end we bought a new but cheap one. Even though we have a dining table en route in a container we need one right now. This new one will serve as a desk at a later date. Somewhere for Dani to do his homework.

The weekend finished with a visit to a pub to watch a heavyweight boxing word title rematch. A very hyped dispute between one Tyson Fury (UK) and a certain Deontay Wilder (USA) over in Las Vegas, Nevada. How I would have loved to have gone there. I actually looked into it. From Sydney you can fly via Hawaii to Vegas. That would have been a great trip. But of course, having been here only one month it was always just a dream.

A Different Time

It seemed very strange watching a live fight from Vegas at a sensible hour of the day. The boxers entered the ring at around 4pm Sunday. It would have been 5am in the morning back home. And 11pm Saturday evening in Nevada. Dani really enjoyed it. We saw the previous two fights on the under-card also. Dani picked the winner in all three bouts. I must start putting some bets on when he comes out with his sporting picks. He does seem to get it right more than anyone I know.

Tyson Fury won the main event convincingly in case you don’t know…

Waiting for Internet

As discussed in a previous post we still do not have an internet connection. I am writing and posting this from the local library but will need to return home soon to meet the NBN installer. Even that will not be the end of it. The internet service provider is a different company (see earlier post here) and they are supposedly mailing us a modem to connect to the NBN device. Nothing has arrived yet.

Dani hits the keyboard – but not the computer this time

Dani also acquired a small electric piano this weekend. Courtesy of a Cash converters store (so yes, it was cheap). Most of the kids in Dani’s class are learning to play a musical instrument. For many it is the piano. For others it is the violin. I think the sound of a kid not being able to play piano beats one not being able to play a violin any day of the week. Hands down!

Personally, I would have chosen the recorder for him. It was actually a third option too. Much cheaper, far more portable and best of all a very quick win in producing some bearable tunes. I was over-ruled by both Dani and his mum. What do I know eh?…

Sonic the Hedgehog – Film Review

After school yesterday I took Dani to the cinema to see Sonic the Hedgehog. As he finishes at 3pm and there is a cinema in the shopping centre near his school it is a great opportunity to go and see the type of films he likes. A very convenient time slot.

I was never into video games, but I do remember the Sonic character being one of the early popular games on the SEGA consoles. The game is back in vogue – apparently.

Some Cast Members

The thing that caught my eye about this kids’ movie was that Jim Carrey plays the chief villain. Back from what seemed to be a short-term exile. Back to his nutty best.

Dani’s nana always said that Carrey was like Jerry Lewis on speed. And there was certainly the odd scene where he exhibited such qualities. Like he had never been away.

Naturally the star of the show was not even real, but he was voiced by a real actor. Ben Schwartz; who it turns out has been in quite a few movies but mostly ones I have never heard of. Although he did play the voice of BB-8 in the latest Star Wars movies. That’s odd. Doesn’t that BB-8 droid only make R2D2-like squeaking noises? Hmm…

Plot – Spoiler Alert

Sonic comes from some other planet. I really wasn’t paying attention at the start but if you know the game then you probably know the place. When he and his guardian (a female owl) are attacked she gives him some magic golden rings. Each ring can open up a gateway to other places. Even other planets. He ends up escaping to earth where he lives in the woods near a small town in Montana, USA. Funny how all aliens in films end up in America isn’t it?

Despite being able to do what he wants – as he is too fast for anyone to see – he realises one night just how alone he is. Then, in frustration, he unwittingly unleashes his supersonic powers which cause a power outage in the whole state. This attracts the attention of the military top brass who unleash Carey’s character, Dr. Robotnik, to search for the cause of the power surge. Dr. Robotnik uses his intelligent drones and robots to discover and then try to capture Sonic.

While running from the drones Sonic ends up in the home of the local sheriff (Tom) who he befriends. Dr. Robotnik turns up at Tom’s house and when the sheriff and the hedgehog escape Sonic loses a blue spine. The two new friends quickly become fugitives being pursued by the increasingly crazy Robotnik. The mad scientist soon discovers that Sonic’s spine has immense powers that he can harness. This makes the final chase and fight scenes a lot more even.

And so on… Enough of the plot spoiling. Hey, some of you may even want to watch this movie.

Suffice to say that there are some hyper-active scenes. One of which ends in a bar fight where Sonic does his lightning fast thing on the bullies.

Conclusion

I could tell that Dani loved the film, although he rarely lets on too much. I enjoyed it too. Much more than I expected. I would recommend this film to anyone who has young kids but also to anyone who ever played the SEGA video game. Finally, of course, this movie is worth consideration for any cinema buff. If only for the chance to see Jim Carrey back on the big screen.

Aussie Cinemas

Oh; and a top tip if you want to go to the cinema around here. Take a jumper or jacket. It is freezing. It is not a good thing when these indoor places are over air-conditioned. It’s like travelling on the trains here. They are too cold. Then you have to come out into the hot and humid streets. Not unlike Madrid in that respect.

NBN Anyone?

We have only a few more days in the aparthotel. While the apartment is habitable, we have not got our container which is probably somewhere in the Indian ocean as we speak. Hopefully still on board the container ship. Apart from the obvious things like fridge (check), Washing machine (check) and furniture (ahem… still working on that one) there are other things to consider. These days one of those is the internet. Hardly an essential but still a (very) ‘nice to have’. Although in this day and age many people (of a certain age group) would say it is more important than running water. Not much hope is there in a decade or so time?

Apologies. As usual I have digressed slightly…

Welcome to NBN

NBN anyone? What? Nobody has heard of it or knows what it means? No; me neither. At least not until last week.

NBN stands for ‘National Broadband Network’. As the name suggests it is a nationwide government controlled broadband internet provider. A government owned monopoly no less. The corporation tasked with designing, building and operating all this is NBN Co Limited (now known simply as nbn).

Sound Familiar?

Now wait a minute. If you live in the UK or know a lot about its political parties this may sound more than a little familiar. Read these quotes taken directly from a document produced in December 2019.

We will establish British Broadband, with two arms: British Digital Infrastructure (BDI) and the British Broadband Service (BBS). We will bring the broadband-relevant parts of BT into public ownership, with a jobs guarantee for all workers in existing broadband infrastructure and retail broadband work. BDI will roll out the remaining 90–92% of the full-fibre network, and acquire necessary access rights to existing assets.”

“We will deliver full-fibre broadband free to everybody in every home in our country by creating a new public service, boosting the economy, connecting communities and putting money back in your pocket.“

And, in case the penny hasn’t yet dropped…

“Labour will deliver free full-fibre broadband to all by 2030.”

Yes. This was part of the Labour party manifesto for the UK general election in December 2019. An election in which, it is widely stated, that they got slaughtered. And policies like this were considered to be largely to blame for the scale of their defeat. Yet here in Australia this is more or less exactly what is happening. It has been ongoing for some eleven years now.

I will freely admit that I too mocked their nationalised broadband plan. Maybe they just failed to explain it properly. I certainly don’t recall them comparing their plan with something already up and running in Australia. Odd that…

Where they went wrong

Instead of the Labour party explaining that they want to do something similar to an existing system in Australia, they added this socialist clap-trap – and this is what most voters picked up on. But only after strongly mocking the idea as a whole.

“BBS will coordinate the delivery of free broadband in tranches as the full-fibre network is rolled out, beginning with the communities worst served by existing broadband networks. Taxation of multinationals, including tech giants, will pay for the operating costs of the public full-fibre network. The plan will boost jobs, tackle regional inequality and improve quality of life as part of a mission to connect the country.”

Unfortunately for them, people are starting to see through this kind of Utopian bullshit.

My Concerns…

Back to the Aussie NBN. This is the bit I am concerned about. Taken from one of those wiki pages:

There has been a significant failure of the NBN to deliver nominal performance to end users. There has been contention between RSPs and NBN on the reasons for this. Bill Morrow, then CEO of NBN, admitted in 2017 that 15% of end users received a poor service through the NBN and were ‘seriously dissatisfied’

Note: RSPs are Retail Service Providers. The same as Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Europe. These are the companies that the government (NBN) allow to use their network. For a fee of course.

We shall see. I still need to get it installed and up and running. Interestingly the standard of service I have received from the retail RSP (not NBN) has so far not been great. Judging by their initial lack of ‘support’ this could become a series of grumpy old dad posts. Today for example it took me three calls of 10 minutes each before I actually got to speak to a human. Listening to those recorded messages is soul destroying. Although, I suppose this is typical when dealing with any large company. BT or Sky, in the UK, or Movistar in Spain – to name a few.

If there are any issues with our NBN connection I will be writing these blog posts from the local library while going round telling everyone that NBN actually stands for No Bloody Network!.

I will keep you posted. One way or another…

House Sorting Blues

So, we have an apartment. But what we don’t have is a key to get into the building. An owner/tenant cock-up for sure.

Oh; and the building has a name (as well as a number), as many do here. I never noticed it when we first viewed the property. But when we turned up to collect (half) the keys I spotted it. Immediately!

Savile – One “L” or two?

To anyone from the UK the name ‘Savile’ has two instant meanings. One is the famous London street Savile Row, where the rich and famous go for their tailor-made suits and handmade shoes. Well known but hardly visited by the majority of the population. On the other hand, to most people in the UK, the name Savile conjures up images of one seedy, horrible, now thankfully deceased and sick individual: Jimmy Savile.

The odd thing is that the building name is spelt with double “L”; but look at it. One of the letters has fallen off. How spooky is that?  An omen? I am sure a lot of people will see a funny side to this, however. So called ‘gallows humour’ being what it is in the UK. I admit that I am among the many who share the dark humoured social media jokes about Jimmy Savile.

Here it is. The building with a spooky name?

Good bunch of Guys…

After picking up half the house keys we picked up a hire car. Now we needed one. It was off to a shopping centre where they had those ‘white goods’ stores. We need the essentials. A fridge, washing machine and (curiously) a dryer. We managed to get a reasonable deal getting all three from the same store for just over $1000. Sounds a lot eh, but really not that bad. The store name is great too. ‘The Good Guys’. A household name in this part of the world.

Now that would have been enough for me. But as there were plenty of other things we needed it was off to find the nearest Ikea store. Having a car now, I could hardly make excuses, could I? As it turns out the nearest Ikea is right next to the airport. A worthwhile trip as the airport is a place I will need to know how to get to and from as and when we have visitors coming over.

The Joys of Ikea?

Ikea is like Marmite. Or should I say, Vegamite. You either love it or hate it. I fall into the ‘hate it’ side of the debate. Ikea that is. I happen to love Marmite. And Vegamite too – which I only tried since coming here. Basically, they are the same thing. Same taste anyway…

I really can’t explain why I don’t like Ikea but after a certain amount of time in there I can’t wait to get out. I sort of understand why some people love it though. It’s cheap (and nasty) – they have simple furniture like the ‘LACK’ (of class) side tables for only a few dollars. It has more or less everything under one roof;  but at least 50% of the products you would never want nor need if they weren’t so bloody cheap.

Some items catch your eye because they seem to be well made and not cheap looking. The reason for that of course is that those items are not cheap. In fact, most of the decent products in Ikea are no cheaper than many other furniture stores.

Two hours later (!?) and seven hundred dollars lighter we made it back ‘home’ – to the hotel. At least I had the experience of driving around Sydney. Something I have to get used to of course. Easy for me, not so for Dani’s mum who has never driven on the right side of the road; ‘right’ as in ‘correct’. Meaning the left hand side.

The white goods were indeed delivered today (now Monday). But not without the usual cock-up and me hanging around for hours. Despite them texting me a 12.30 – 2.30 p.m. time-slot last night. Same as the UK then…

Cut to The Keys….

A day after picking up the keys we had the owners get us a copy of the building main entrance key. Then I had to get a new spare cut so as to hand back the spare. What a caper! Not quite a ‘nightmare’ – despite that spooky building name. Is it just me or does anyone else think that name is a bad omen?

Ah…Being able to settle into a routine in our own place is still a way off it seems. Such is life. Sometimes…

A Place to Live

We have finally found a place to live. It has only been three weeks but seems much longer as most of our spare time has been taken up looking for a permanent address. Rather, I should say, we have been accepted for a place that we applied for. It is not exactly what we were looking for but after three weeks in a hotel it’s time to compromise. When you accept a place, it is inevitable that within the next week or so you will see something which is exactly what you were looking for. What do they call that? There is a phrase for this kind of thing but right now it escapes me. Sod’s law maybe? That’s life though…

This Saturday, instead of zig-zagging across this part of Sydney we will be going to collect the keys to our apartment and starting to buy what we need so that we can move in at the earliest date possible.

Despite signing for this apartment I had two more property inspections booked in this week. The first one I wanted to see because both the apartment and the area looked great. But they emailed and texted me early yesterday morning to say that it was now off the market.  Then as the second of the two came closer I just thought; Nah, I can’t be bothered. For the time being I am sick of looking at properties. So, I texted them to cancel. That’s just the way it goes.

Parents Cocktail Evening

Last night we attended a parents evening at Dani’s school. We arrived late because the school had put a time of 7pm on their website. Then about midday I received an email that it was to start at 6pm. There was no way we were going to make 6pm as Dani’s mum only got back from work around that time and we had to arrange for someone to look after Dani (a colleague of his mum). These things are no longer easy when you do not have family close at hand.

Anyway, by the time we arrived we had missed the chat with his teacher and the chance to see the parents of his classmates. Well not quite. His teacher took us up to the classroom and gave us a quick rundown on what had been said. But by now all the parents were in the meeting area enjoying the drinks and cocktails. It was very noisy and very busy so we never really had the chance to find anyone to talk to. Apart from Dani’s music teacher who just happens to be the wife of one of the people Dani’s mum works with. What a Coincidence eh?

The evening was for kindergarten, year 1 and year 2 (Dani’s) and by now most of the parents of the year 2 kids had started to disappear. They have done it all before of course. There will be other events. After a couple of beers and wines we left.

Now we need to plan the move. The end is in sight. No more house inspections and we will soon be settled. I will then be able to get into a routine, do some of the things that I want to do and start having a proper look around the Sydney area. It’s time this part of our lives got interesting…

The Easiest Job in Australia

What do you think the easiest job in Australia is?

Film or TV star? Easy money and lots of it for sure. But they lose their privacy and are constantly hounded by the media/paparazzi.

Top sports star? Well, they do earn lots of money just for playing games. But no.

There is one job in Australia where they earn money and do not have to do anything (hardly) The title of easiest job in Australia goes to the real estate agent.

You’d better believe it…

Most agents cannot be bothered doing viewings more than twice a week. Even if they are just around the corner. Many only seem to do Saturday mornings.

The agents often don’t even visit the properties to check and confirm details like whether or not the cooker is gas or if there is a bath and/or shower. Minor details obviously. Trivial. Who the hell needs to know such stuff? Only maybe the perspective tenant; I guess… But the estate agents just don’t give a shit. You want to know the room sizes? In most cases forget it. And take your own tape measure. They hardly ever give a floor-plan. They can’t be bothered to go and measure up. Let alone draw out the information on a floor-plan.

Yet another failing is the lack of photos they put online. In this day of digital imagery, it costs nothing to make a few more snaps of a room or building does it? But once again they really can’t be arsed (i.e. bothered)

But here’s the thing:

They don’t have to do hardly any of those things mentioned above. After one Saturday morning inspection someone will make an offer and apply to rent the property. Round here the property would have to be completely ruined for it not to rent. There is a huge transient population in these areas so, all but the worst property is guaranteed to rent with or without an estate agent. And don’t they know it.

Try Viewing a Property

The websites say things like: “Arranging an inspection is easy! You can use our booking page to view available times to inspect and pick one that suits YOU.”

NO! YOU CANNOT!!! It’s a f*#king lie!

They only do one or two inspection slots a week. And one of those will definitely be Saturday morning. Quite often you will receive a text message telling you that the day’s viewing is cancelled. Sometimes that will be because the house has just been leased. Often it will be because they can’t be arsed going to the property just for one person to inspect it. So they wait till the Saturday inspections when they know it will be busy.

Here is another good example. I had arranged to visit a property at 1pm yesterday. I took a taxi. The driver didn’t have a clue where he was going. I had to tell him he had gone the wrong way. This meant I arrived a little late at the property. I phoned the agent. He told me that they had “taken a deposit just this morning” and then asked why I was there. I told him that he had called me two days ago to bring my original appointment forward. Ah. The penny dropped. At least he was apologetic. First verbally and then later via a text message and an email.

By the way, the taxi fare was a real rip off but at least I got to see some streets I hadn’t seen before. Very nice too. A little tour now and again is not a big problem. Especially when you are still getting to know the areas.

Every cloud…

It seems wild goose chases are the order of the day around here. But there is always an upside. This property was just around the corner from the Golden Sheaf pub (click to see photo in this earlier post). I concluded that it was about time I ventured inside. And very impressive it was too. Very large with a huge garden bar area and serving what looked like good food. Next time we can all go and have a meal. ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ as the saying goes…

Spot the Difference

Here is another great example of what goes on. When they can actually be bothered taking any photos, they often do this kind of thing…

The photo on the left is a still from a video taken by me during the property viewing. The other photo is from the website advertisement of the apartment.

Hello! Forget the different dishwasher for a moment. Where the hell did that sleek new oven and hob go to? Where did that crappy white cooker come from? At least the wall tiles remained the same colour. So not all bad eh?

As stated above, generally the estate agents can barely be bothered taking any photos. There may be only 5 or 6 photos for a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom property. If you are lucky. But as you can see here it is not only that they can’t be arsed to take photos; they then doctor them!

So, the obvious question has to be: How do I get a job as an estate agent? All jokes aside, it could be an option…

Meeting an Old Friend (from the other Side of the World)

After more than two weeks in Sydney I met up with an old friend today. It was as if we hadn’t seen each other for a few weeks. It was in fact half a lifetime ago!

Meeting an old friend

His name is also Chris – there are a lot of us about – and he spent quite a few years in Singapore before moving to Australia. We first knew each other back in our days working in Manchester. Originally through a mutual friend. The legend that is John Marshman. I trust you are reading this John.

It really was half a lifetime ago when we last saw each other. Wow! It sounds a long time when you say it like that. Neither of us could quite remember exactly when we had last seen each other. My best guess would be in the mid to late nineties. But the exact year escapes me.

Despite that Chris looked pretty much as I remember. He didn’t sound quite right though. During a decade or two in Australia he seems to have developed some kind of speech impediment. That’ll be that hint of an Aussie accent he has picked up.

It was a short meeting during Chris’ lunch break, but we talked non-stop. It was great to catch up and cheered me up no end. We will meet again but agreed we will only leave it a week or so this time.

Quick Wander in the CBD…

When I left Chris to get back to work, I took a quick walk around part of the central business district (or CBD as they say here). I saw the old Sydney Hospital and original Mint where the first Australian money was made. Oddly it is now some kind of conference centre. Then I had to get the train back to meet Dani from school. But near the train station I found a place to visit on my next trip into the centre. The Reserve bank of Australia Museum. More on that to come. There’s something I find interesting about banknotes in other countries. I can’t quite say why but I am sure I will enjoy that visit.

Part of an old Sydney Hospital
The Mint – the old coin factory

And of course, I visited a couple of old pubs. One of which, in keeping with the bank theme, was an old ‘Bank of Australian South’ building. It’s not just in the UK they do that to od banks then. A great building though. Old Sydney architecture with a new twist – above the door. This is The Three Wise Monkeys.

House-hunting, Eurovision, Another Great Pub and Pigs

What has house-hunting got in common with Eurovision? (That’s that European song contest in case you didn’t know). Or pigs for that matter? Well, nothing really only an extremely tenuous link… Our Saturday.

This Day in Australia…

Last night saw the live competition to be Australian representative in this years’ Eurovision song contest. I know. Me neither. But they had a full night long show for it on one of the TV channels.

Australia have been in Eurovision for some years now and I have no idea why. Since when was Australia in Europe? I know there are many others like Turkey, Israel and Azerbaijan (to name three) also in Eurovision but come on! Australia could hardly be further away! Not sure why they were ever invited to partake but I don’t really care. Suffice to say that I did NOT watch it nor will I watch the full contest.

Good old Abba

I have not watched Eurovision for more years than I care to remember. That said I am old enough to remember Sir Cliff Richard and Lulu representing the UK. And yes. I can remember watching the famous ABBA win it in 1974. I was not quite ten years old. They did OK after that I seem to recall.

Aussie TV?

Before we came over here I was told that Australian TV was worse than in the UK. Sounds like a race to the bottom of the barrel to me.
Anyway to my surprise I have seen some interesting TV programmes since I have been here. Admittedly they are mainly things like documentaries about Australian history or informative travel programmes showing places to visit like Queensland and Tasmania. It will all catch up with me in the near future I am sure. The novelty will wear off.

Meanwhile More Rain

It rained again today. Heavily. And as predicted we got caught up in the storms while flitting from place to place looking at properties.

Seven apartments inspected. $200 in taxi fares. 12 files uploaded. 4 house applications made and all of them are just about OK. Not exactly what we want. Tiring stuff. OK; I have to admit that Dani’s mum is doing most of the application form stuff. Still tiring for me and Dani though.

But then we came to rest in this pub. A classic old boozer in the heart of Bondi Junction. They even had the good sense to build the (relatively new) shopping centre around it. In the UK they would have probably knocked it down.

They have split this place up into two separate businesses. Downstairs is the old pub complete with the original oval bar in the centre. Plus interesting pop-art on the walls. Epic! Upstairs has been converted into a Mexican restaurant and tequila bar ‘El Topo’. A great place to take a break if you get fed up in the shopping centre…. Which by my reckoning should take about 40 minutes or so.

Pigs

A short time later we found a great shop selling games. Mostly board games. All sorts, old and new. Dani decided he wanted something – as kids do – and this was it.

A few beers have been drunk playing this one in the past…

This  brings back memories for his old dad. Of long boozy coach trips with mates to see the Le Mans 24 hour race. It made for a fun change from the usual card games.

And today(Sunday)? The weather is worse than the previous two days. This would be bad even for the UK !! House bound on Dani’s mum’s birthday.

Aussie Show and Tell

We just received an email from the mother of one of the kids in Dani’s class. She is the “class parent” this year. Well…I wasn’t quite expecting that one but OK. I will run with it…

Anyway. She included a timetable for all the kids in the class to do their ‘Show and Tell’. Dani has just over a week to prepare his Aussie Show and Tell… Not that he seems bothered.

Show and Tell

Here is the remit: “Research a famous Australian (artist, author, scientist, singer). Present some interesting facts to the class about this person. You can use photos, posters, or props for this presentation.”

Naturally I suggested Rolf Harris. He is all of those things – well almost.

Artist? “Can you tell what it is yet?” Of course. A very well-known artist.
Author? Yes. He has loads of books to his name.
Singer? Well, if ‘Tie me kangaroo down sport’ and – dare I say it – ‘Two little boys’ count as singing the YES, he is also a famous singer.

The least said about his version of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ though, the better. I am still having nightmares about that one. As much as I have tried to erase that cover version from my memory, I have read that it got to number 7 in the UK charts. Oh no! (head in hands). How mad is that?

Dani’s mum didn’t know who I was talking about; so, I had to explain. In full! So that was the end of that idea then.

Back to the drawing board then.

Other suggestions were: Actors Eric Bana (once of Hulk fame) or Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor) or Hugh Jackman (aka Wolverine). There’s a theme there eh?

Alternatively, there is rock legend Angus Young (of AC/DC, as if you didn’t know).

A couple of other famous Aussies are the motoGP stars Casey Stoner and Mick Doohan.

Can you suggest any others? If you have any suggestions please send them to the comments section on the website.

Here Comes the Rain!

Everybody knows how much this was needed here in New South Wales and in other parts of Australia.

Today it Rained

And how it rained! Very heavy. In the UK we are used to a lot of rainy days but very rarely does it rain as much as it did here today. We have had some rain over the past two weeks but nothing like this. I wouldn’t say it was ‘biblical’ but it was monsoon-like.


Rain. Sydney, NSW 7th Feb 2020

Apparently it is set to continue over the weekend. Great news for us – NOT! We have about 7 or 8 property viewings to cram in. Looks like taxis to get around. Which is good news or poor Dani. He gets really bored – generally after the first property. So not having to walk miles as well will be a welcome relief to the lad.

The fire service were most pleased as you can imagine.  One fire chef I saw on the news was almost in tears (of joy).

Bad Old Dad

Unbelievable. I can’t think how it happened but today at the end of his first full week in school here I forgot to pick him up on time. I arrived more than 50 minutes late to find Dani and one other child still in their classroom with their teacher. I made my apologies and ushered him out as quickly as I could, slightly embarrassed. In my defence they do finish early on Friday. 2.07pm in fact. An odd time but no excuses. I picked him up at that time last Friday so what on earth happened?

The only thing I can say as any kind of mitigation is that I have been bombarded today with property listings, cancellations and also the odd viewing. I managed to get a lift back to the hotel from the owners of one viewing as they took pity on me in the torrential rain. I have been trying to juggle the possible property inspections for tomorrow. Planning a route based on the locations and times. It would be so much easier if they allowed me to view some of these places in the week. Tomorrow there are simply too many properties that clash – with the same viewing time slots. Not great but we will have to make the most of it.