Wednesday, June 30, 2004

A quick post from Romania where I'm visting my parent's in law with my wife. This internet cafe I'm using costs about 20p for an hour... I've managed to resist the temptation though and have stuck to about 8 hours a day.. (*ahem* - joke). Anyway - it's not long till we return :-( great shame, but all this relaxing and being looked after can get a bit much !

Today we went and visited Delia's grandmother and great aunt who live in the country side. We literally drove cross-country in this clapped out old banger to visit these rugged old ladies. One is 85 and lives alone - she draws water from a well and gave us a live chicken as a wedding present !! Far out. She said we'd not see her again as she'd be dead by the time we came back... cheerful !!

Then we visited her great aunt who keeps hundreds of animals and lives on a small farm (just her). She gave us fresh milk and eggs.

Loads else is very different about Romania. It's very poor which shows in lots of ways - but if you walk through town (Roman where Delia's parents live has a population of about 80 000) everyone is very well dressed. Delia says it's more important to them to look ok than it is to enough to eat. Prices are about a half to a third if what they are in England - but a good wage for a working man is about fifty pounds a month.. ouch. Still they seem to get by. Most of the young people want to leave for Europe and a lot of them do.

The buildings are delapidated, the mountains are beautiful and so are the ragged young gypsy children who come and beg from you in the street. Anyway - enough for now..... Hopefully some of my photos will come out and you can see then.
posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, June 30, 2004

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Well.... this is it... wish me well....

I'm off to Romania from tomorrow. Away for two weeks, so this is likely the last you'll hear from me for a bit. A sad moment as I unsubscribed from the void-shockz group for the duration of my trip away. I'm sure my inbox will be overflowing with stuff when I return anyway........

I fly from heathrow tommorrow morning at 9.30 am, which means I have to be at the airport at 7.30 am, which means I have to leave at about 5.30 am - sick ! We then arrive in bucharest at 2.45 pm local time - which means I have just realised I have no idea at all how long the flight is !!

After that I have another four hour drive to where the parents-in-law live which is the moldova region of Romania... could be fun as we have less than a handful of words of language in common and Delia will have to translate everything. Serves me right for being lazy and not learning Romanian.

I will be able to get internet access in Romania - but not necessarily pop3 mail access - so I might be without email for two whole weeks what a strange idea. Anyway - I get to see real mountains and experience and entirely different way of life... see you on the other side.
posted by Mike Foord on Tuesday, June 22, 2004

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Aargh.... I feel really torn. I've been working as a small part of a large project that my church ahs undertaken - the Northampton Jesus Centre. We've bought an old cinema and are busy renovating it. Soon it will be open as conferencing facilities, drop in, community cafe, activities etc. I've been working on the service development side - half a day a week and in my 'spare time' - getting the activities and services ready for when we open and beyond. Like all big projects there is a real need for capable (?!?!) and committed people to be involved. They would like me to take on the 'community liason' job which is 20 hours a week - but I feel committed to my work situation (TBS Builders Merchant) which also needs committed people. I've settled for *probably* going over to one day a week for the Jesus Centre.. but the planned replacement for my colleague who abandoned us a while back has just decided he doesn't want the job.... Whatever I do will be a stretch and it's a bit of a painful decision - still, it's nice to be wanted...
posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, June 16, 2004

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Monday, June 14, 2004

This is my 205th post to blogger on this blog (64 on my techie one... which has now become almost exclusively a python blog). Fascinating hey !?

One week and two days till I go to Romania.. my first time out of the coutnry in about nine years - I get to see mountains, fantastic. I'll see if I can bring back some photos - straight from the heart of Transylvania.

My empire has just increased slightly - I now have a sales rep who is full time at my depot... and this one doesn't stun animals at three kilometres when he laughs.
posted by Mike Foord on Monday, June 14, 2004

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Friday, June 11, 2004

Bleeaurgh... (is that spelt right ?) - my hayfever is back in force. Every year for me the arrival of the elder flower (which smell gorgeous) signal the arrival of sneezing, dribbling and red eyes. It's not actually the elder flower that does it, it's when the grass goes to seed - but they happen at about the same time. Luckily I keep it under control with chemicals - good old cetirizine di-hydrochloride....
posted by Mike Foord on Friday, June 11, 2004

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Monday, June 07, 2004

Man it's hot here... and I love it... It bugs me that everyone complains though. During winter everyone complains about hte cold or the drearyness - come summer and they're complaining that it's too hot !! Personally I love it, and I love the winter because I appreciate the summer twice as much as a result.

Particularly I've been noticing sweet chestnut blossom - whole trees alive with colour. I wish I had some pictures to show you - I think I've been walking around with my eyes closed for most of my life ! Speaking of pictures, the website is badly in need of an overhaul...
posted by Mike Foord on Monday, June 07, 2004

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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Here's something you probably didn't know - in the UK there is a national shortage of fibreglass quilt products. Insulation has just gone up in price twenty percent... I blame kyoto myself...
posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, June 02, 2004

(0) comments Michael's first rule of business - if things appear to be straightforward.... someone is lying to you.... *sigh*

Lot's has happened, so much that I'm only likely to tell you in bits and pieces and make no sense at all - but I'm sure you're used to it by now. We've jsut booked tickets for our trip to Romania and Italy. The journey is slightly complicated as we fly to Bucharest and then from Bucharest to Venice. Bucharest to Venice is probably a slightly unusual journey - but booking the tickets seemed unduly complicated.

We booked using opodo in the end (an online agent). We tried to arrange the tickets from opodo and expedia numerous times. Every time it would give us various options (with varying degrees of convenience and price). We would select the best and they would chunter away for a few moments and then say 'Sorry flight has just become unavailable' or 'sorry the price has changed' (usually to double what it was mere moments before). This happened time and time again... very frustrating.

Anyway - we got there and it's all booked.

I'm afraid I have to go - the telephone has started it's ceaseless complaining.
posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, June 02, 2004

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