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If technology doesn't seem like magic, it's probably obsolete

I'm finding less time to update my blog these days, but my flickr photostream is often updated.

Playing in my house right now...

At 00:00 GMT on Thursday I was listening to:

More of what I've been listening to

Latest pictures from my phone

www.flickr.com
More pictures from my phone


Sunday July 31 2005 at 01:27 GMT [via mobile]

This 1963 bottle of Graham vintage port wine was a very nice present to my dad. This afternoon we decanted it, and tonight we thoroughly enjoyed drinking it. The debris (it requires a much more substantial word then sediment) left in the bottle was incredible. Look carefully at the picture.

This 1963 bottle of Graham vintage port wine was a very nice present to my dad. This afternoon we decanted it, and tonight we thoroughly enjoyed drinking it. The debris (it requires a much more substantial word then sediment) left in the bottle was incredible. Look carefully at the picture.

Saturday July 30 2005 at 00:21 GMT [via mobile]

After watching Poker on TV, my dad and brother decided to try their luck online. They\'re winning so far!

After watching Poker on TV, my dad and brother decided to try their luck online. They're winning so far!

Saturday July 30 2005 at 00:14 GMT [via mobile]

Although Josh is not yet 6 months old, his magnetic personality draws other kids in.

Although Josh is not yet 6 months old, his magnetic personality draws other kids in.

Wednesday July 27 2005 at 23:14 GMT

No proper posting for over a week. Dear dear...

The weekend was VERY busy. On Thursday night I ran with the club as part of the Midsummer Madness series of races. One lap of the Meadows (2.5km) almost killed me. You'd have thought I would've learned, yet there I was on Friday evening in the sunshine running up and down through fields, over streams and ... almost dying. It was a very hard race, despite being only 8.39km. I'm just not in shape!

On Saturday morning I was up bright and early to do some speed shopping with my brother who was in town for a stag night, before meeting yhe wonderful Grant, Maki & Ryo for lunch at David Bann and then jumping the train for a perfect journey to Derby.

On Sunday it was Iain (a university friend -- why does that suddenly conjure up images of us both in black and white photos, wearing sports jackets...) and Amanda's son, Josh's, Christening. It was a very cool service with just the families and friends in a lovely chapel followed by food and drinks with a large helping of good chat.

With another perfect train journey home, it was a most excellent weekend all in. The only thing I'd have changed was to have more time with both sets of friends. :-D

Tuesday July 26 2005 at 21:18 GMT [via mobile]

Tuesday July 26 2005 at 21:09 GMT [via mobile]

My first and second difficult rated Su Doku, complete.

My first and second difficult rated Su Doku, complete.

Tuesday July 26 2005 at 21:05 GMT [via mobile]

No golden ticket for me. Must try again!

No golden ticket for me. Must try again!

Monday July 18 2005 at 17:13 GMT

I am not addicted. No really, I'm not. Just one more grid...

Sunday July 17 2005 at 17:47 GMT [via mobile]

Hanging out at the finishing line of the 2005 Rat Race in Edinburgh. Next year...

Hanging out at the finishing line of the 2005 Rat Race in Edinburgh. Next year...

Sunday July 17 2005 at 17:41 GMT [via mobile]

No more need for checkout staff at Tesco. Worked pretty well.

No more need for checkout staff at Tesco. Worked pretty well.

Sunday July 17 2005 at 17:37 GMT [via mobile]

One of the many borrowed variants of the eBay logo & styling.

One of the many borrowed variants of the eBay logo & styling.

Sunday July 17 2005 at 17:30 GMT [via mobile]

Sunday July 17 2005 at 17:26 GMT [via mobile]

A quality night out for Rich\'s 30th birthday. Congratulations, dude!

A quality night out for Rich's 30th birthday. Congratulations, dude!

Friday July 15 2005 at 15:21 GMT [via mobile]

Time to leave. :-(

Time to leave. :-(

Friday July 15 2005 at 14:48 GMT [via mobile]

Gorgeous sunshine for Thursday, our last full day on holiday.

Gorgeous sunshine for Thursday, our last full day on holiday.

Wednesday July 13 2005 at 22:13 GMT [via mobile]

The real place to go for fine wine! I *love* this picture of Hazel on the tower wall. After a brief visit to Pienza (sp) we stopped here before flipping, once again, to the east coast. Tonight we\'re about Pineto, north of Pescara, beside the beach and keeping our fingers crossed for sunshine on our last full day.

The real place to go for fine wine! I *love* this picture of Hazel on the tower wall. After a brief visit to Pienza (sp) we stopped here before flipping, once again, to the east coast. Tonight we're about Pineto, north of Pescara, beside the beach and keeping our fingers crossed for sunshine on our last full day.

Wednesday July 13 2005 at 21:55 GMT [via mobile]

We took it very easy, apart from a big walk in the hills.

We took it very easy, apart from a big walk in the hills.

Monday July 11 2005 at 09:35 GMT [via mobile]

Despite the reason for being in Italy was to get to Croatia, we\'ve decided to remain in the boot. I\'d have turned a four-day visit into a speed tour of the country, when what we both want to do is totally relax. To that end, we traversed the country once more and are again in Tuscany, staying at La Crocetta in San Casciano dei Bagni (www.agriturismolacrocetta.it). We were attracted by the promise of delicious food made by one of the owners, and were VERY happy with dinner last night. Right now we\'re lying in lhe garden, pondering a wander into San Casciano for a lunchtime beer. :-D

Despite the reason for being in Italy was to get to Croatia, we've decided to remain in the boot. I'd have turned a four-day visit into a speed tour of the country, when what we both want to do is totally relax. To that end, we traversed the country once more and are again in Tuscany, staying at La Crocetta in San Casciano dei Bagni (www.agriturismolacrocetta.it). We were attracted by the promise of delicious food made by one of the owners, and were VERY happy with dinner last night. Right now we're lying in lhe garden, pondering a wander into San Casciano for a lunchtime beer. :-D

Monday July 11 2005 at 09:13 GMT [via mobile]

On Sunday we visited San Marino. My impression of the republic before we visited was of an upmarket, pretty place with some interesting history, thus we made the two hour  journey through *torrential* rain. In reality, the San Marino we found was full of the worst kind of tourist trash: shop after shop of cheap perfume, watches, fake bags & clothes, not to mention swords, knives & guns (really). The people we met did nothing to improve our impression. They seemed bored and really fed-up. The town was pretty, but we left quickly.

On Sunday we visited San Marino. My impression of the republic before we visited was of an upmarket, pretty place with some interesting history, thus we made the two hour journey through *torrential* rain. In reality, the San Marino we found was full of the worst kind of tourist trash: shop after shop of cheap perfume, watches, fake bags & clothes, not to mention swords, knives & guns (really). The people we met did nothing to improve our impression. They seemed bored and really fed-up. The town was pretty, but we left quickly.

Sunday July 10 2005 at 00:12 GMT [via mobile]

The rooftops of Florence from the top of the Duomo.  We\'ve now moved to a micro-location called Campegna in Marches to form a plan of action.

The rooftops of Florence from the top of the Duomo. We've now moved to a micro-location called Campegna in Marches to form a plan of action.

Saturday July 9 2005 at 23:37 GMT [via mobile]

... is music night, in Pizza la Repubblica.

... is music night, in Pizza la Repubblica.

Friday July 8 2005 at 12:48 GMT [via mobile]

Yesterday we ate at an excellent restaurant called Coquinarius in central Florence. Highly recommended.

Yesterday we ate at an excellent restaurant called Coquinarius in central Florence. Highly recommended.

Thursday July 7 2005 at 23:39 GMT [via mobile]

Last year I lost a few days racing around here on my X-box. Now I\'ve shortened my life by a few years by driving along here for real. ;-)

Last year I lost a few days racing around here on my X-box. Now I've shortened my life by a few years by driving along here for real. ;-)

Thursday July 7 2005 at 22:49 GMT [via mobile]

We took a few hours in Siena before driving to Florence (Firenze). Luckily we decided to give ourselves 2.5hrs to do what should have been a one hour trip. We got to Florence without issue, but then spent almost two hours trying to navigate the streets, even with expert direction from Hazel. Having put the Punto through the tightest of gaps (we had to fold the wing mirrors in), my driving skills are much improved. Just as well no-one will ever know about our excursion through the pedestrianised city centre and discussion with six unimpressed carabineri. ;-)

We took a few hours in Siena before driving to Florence (Firenze). Luckily we decided to give ourselves 2.5hrs to do what should have been a one hour trip. We got to Florence without issue, but then spent almost two hours trying to navigate the streets, even with expert direction from Hazel. Having put the Punto through the tightest of gaps (we had to fold the wing mirrors in), my driving skills are much improved. Just as well no-one will ever know about our excursion through the pedestrianised city centre and discussion with six unimpressed carabineri. ;-)

Thursday July 7 2005 at 17:44 GMT [via mobile]

We left Chianti  for Siena & Florence yesterday, with a nice bottle that used to live in these barrels.

We left Chianti for Siena & Florence yesterday, with a nice bottle that used to live in these barrels.

Thursday July 7 2005 at 17:37 GMT [via mobile]

not sure why but obviously things are a little tense given the situation in London. (richlloyd)

not sure why but obviously things are a little tense given the situation in London. (richlloyd)

Thursday July 7 2005 at 00:12 GMT [via mobile]

50,000 people head home after the concert. (richlloyd)

50,000 people head home after the concert. (richlloyd)

Wednesday July 6 2005 at 20:53 GMT [via mobile]

The last of the Live8 concerts as it happens. Thanks to Duncan for the stadium photos. (richlloyd)

The last of the Live8 concerts as it happens. Thanks to Duncan for the stadium photos. (richlloyd)

Wednesday July 6 2005 at 17:34 GMT [via mobile]

Wednesday July 6 2005 at 12:17 GMT [via mobile]

We had a lazy day on Tuesday, with a wander around town, lunch, lazing by the pool and then dinner. There was a small (rock|pop) concert in the square during dinner.

We had a lazy day on Tuesday, with a wander around town, lunch, lazing by the pool and then dinner. There was a small (rock|pop) concert in the square during dinner.

Monday July 4 2005 at 23:38 GMT [via mobile]

We\'ve moved north and west to Greve in Chianti, staying on a vineyard here: fattoriaviticcio.com. The last piece of advice I was given before leaving the office was: no matter how fast you drive in Italy, there will always be someone going faster. Despite \'making good progress\' on the autostrada today, an Audi appeared behind me like our car was stationary!

We've moved north and west to Greve in Chianti, staying on a vineyard here: fattoriaviticcio.com. The last piece of advice I was given before leaving the office was: no matter how fast you drive in Italy, there will always be someone going faster. Despite 'making good progress' on the autostrada today, an Audi appeared behind me like our car was stationary!

Monday July 4 2005 at 23:29 GMT [via mobile]

From Montepulciano.

From Montepulciano.

Monday July 4 2005 at 23:25 GMT [via mobile]

A glass of MontepuIciano in Montepulciano, at the cool Sax Wine Bar.

A glass of MontepuIciano in Montepulciano, at the cool Sax Wine Bar.

Monday July 4 2005 at 18:04 GMT [via mobile]

Some groups clash with police in Edinburgh. (richlloyd)

Some groups clash with police in Edinburgh. (richlloyd)

Sunday July 3 2005 at 23:26 GMT [via mobile]

Today after a traditional breakfast we headed to Macerata, a typical central Italian town. We wandered about, lay in the gardens and generally soaked up the experience. Tonight we ate pizza, drank beer and watched local 5-a-side football in San Severino. All good!

Today after a traditional breakfast we headed to Macerata, a typical central Italian town. We wandered about, lay in the gardens and generally soaked up the experience. Tonight we ate pizza, drank beer and watched local 5-a-side football in San Severino. All good!

Saturday July 2 2005 at 23:43 GMT [via mobile]

Classic architecture, warm 10pm weather and football in the middle of town.  Add superb company, a quality dinner (juno999.it) and drinks for EUR 42 and everything\'s looking good!  Being on holiday rocks.

Classic architecture, warm 10pm weather and football in the middle of town. Add superb company, a quality dinner (juno999.it) and drinks for EUR 42 and everything's looking good! Being on holiday rocks.

Friday July 1 2005 at 23:17 GMT [via mobile]

The wine rack at the Radisson Stansted hotel.  There was a lady on wires dancing up and down to select each bottle.

The wine rack at the Radisson Stansted hotel. There was a lady on wires dancing up and down to select each bottle.

Friday July 1 2005 at 23:11 GMT [via mobile]

Shops on the march routes in Edinburgh board up ahead of the weekend.

Shops on the march routes in Edinburgh board up ahead of the weekend.

Friday July 1 2005 at 11:25 GMT

Hazel and I are escaping the G8 craziness to Italy & Croatia for a few weeks of relaxing, eating, drinking and enjoying the sunshine (current temperatures are high 20s C). As is our style, we've not actually booked too many of the places we'll be staying; in fact, we've only booked the first two nights here.

We're planning to base most of our Italian tour on this book, recommended by a colleague, and then busk it to the max in Croatia. Should be good for a laugh, especially seeing as it's high season for tourists.

I'm planning to post pictures as we go. Thanks to the Orange mailing list, I found out about riiing mobile. You get a Lichtenstein mobile number, and then you pay no incoming roaming charges wherever you are for either calls or texts. The card itself is only GBP 30, which I'd easily get back in terms of saved costs. Outgoing calls are cheaper too. If I manage to find a SIM before leaving, I'll be sure to report back on how well it works.

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