Grud. December Already.

I forgot to put my watch forward the other day went around for 24 hours thinking it was the 31st of November. Oops.

So what does the new month bring? Snow? Erm… no. Crappy rain and fog. But tons of lovely decorations and houses covered in lights to distract you when you’re driving. Some people have far too much spare cash. I saw one in Cardiff (up the A470, maybe 2 miles from the city centre) absolutely coated in tinsel, lights and decorations. A big sign informed their lucky neighbours that the lights would be going on on December 3rd.

What else? Oh, yes. As of Monday, it was illigal in the UK to drive while using a non-hands-free phone. Yet it’s still legal to light up a fag while driving, or at least there’s no specific law against it, read for more information about the laws.
. Which as per last years survey, was one among the main reasons for accidents, right after DUI accidents to which you can find in-depth details on this post. Yes, I’ve heard all the arguments – police saying they’d like to take people who talk on their mobiles and drive to accident scenes caused by chatters and so forth . But how many people do you know who drive 100% of the time with both hands on the wheel? I know I don’t.

As for a “study” that says even talking on a hands-free badly affects driving more than having a passenger in the car… what a lot of crap. Who do you make eye contact with when you’re on the phone? Nobody. Ever had someone on the back seat you’re trying to talk to? Unless you’re concentrating to avoid it, you’re bound to find you’re spending more time staring into the rear view mirror than normal. Likewise a passenger next to you.

So what next? Collars to force you to always look forward, or a ban on cars with more than one seat? After all, as the radio adverts say, it’s difficult to concentrate on more than one thing at a time. After all, there’s no immediate on-the-spot fine for taking both hands off the wheel to dig your ciggy out, then destroying your night vision by flashing a flame in front of yourself.

What made me laugh was an interview with a “Senior Policeman” in Manchester which was on BBC TV on Monday morning. They couldn’t have picked someone worse (from the police’s point of view) as he didn’t seem to know anything aside from “mobile phones = a fine”. Everything the interviewer mentioned was met with, “Erm… I don’t know about that…? Can you explain it?”

I want to be pulled over by him. “It’s OK officer. The law states that as I’m wearing a tie, I’m allowed to use my mobile.” He looked like he’d believe that anyway.

It’s started already…

Check the date. November 27th. A month until we celebrate the inaccurate birthdate of some guy who got nailed to a tree for telling us that maybe it’d be a good idea to be nice to each other for a change.

I walk into a shop (Gadget Shop in Cardiff to be precise), buy something and am wished “Happy Christmas” by the salesperson.


This still doesn’t beat the t-shirt-wearing urchin who knocked on my door on October 12th last year and stuck his hand out with a “Happy Hallowe’en”. Maybe I should have given him a pound to go and buy a calendar with the right dates on.

Still In Nigeria… Just

Heading home tonight. Hopefully the weather won’t turn like it did last night. The rain and wind were so strong that both windows literally had water running down them… on the inside! On the right, the water was streaming down the wall about an inch from the plug for the aircon, which could have got interesting.

Thankfully, a laptop with a working battery and two Futurama DVDs saw me through the occasional blackouts. Oh, yes. And I was working hard on site documentation as well… Mind, it’s hard to type up your notes when you can’t actually see them! Aside from when the less-than-occasional lightning flash brightens the room.

Apparently, planes fly out in all weather so I should be OK. Apparently I need to shoot off from here at 6pm to get to the airport within the hour. Seems a little early as the flight’s not until 23:40 and my tickets and boarding passes will already have been sorted.

I just hope they have food at the airport as I’m starving. Lunch arrived prompt at 12:30 and it’s the first thing all week I’ve not been able to eat. Ham sandwich fine. Ham sandwich with some kind of evil spread not fine. I’m sure 95% of the rest of the world would wolf it down and compliment the chef, but I just can’t face it – and I can’t risk being ill in case I chuck up my malaria tablets.

Hey ho. One can of Coke for lunch… Something else I noticed here. Coke tastes the same, but Fanta Orange is a lot sweeter and gloopier, with less fizz. It also turns your spit bright orange for *hours* afterwards, even if you brush your teeth and gargle. Weird.

Add to that, the person I’m supposed to see at 2:30 for a meeting went for another meeting at 2:00 and hasn’t been seen since… I’m in a bit of a bind! Finished the further site documents I had to do and am now sat waffling this stuff off! Must thank Nikki for taking the time and trouble to have a conversation by email with me. I’m sure her company appreciates it too 😉

I suppose my main disappointment this time round in Nigeria has been the lack of wildlife. We just got here before the rainy season last time (end August / beginning September) and the lizards and dragonfiles were everywhere. This time I’ve seen three lizards altogether. Got some cool photos of one, though, but it’s quite a plain one. One of these days I want pictures of the ones that look like an accident in a paint factory.

At Last!

Archive now works! After much fiddling with unhelpful setups and paths that just didn’t want to work (along with the system picking up a path to my FTP server which simply isn’t right – no idea how it did that), I’ve finally got it going.

Then I realised that I’ve posted approximately feck all so a bit of an anticlimax. Ah well. At least it works. I might post more now.


Big country, very hot, amazing storms when it rains. Yup, stuck here for another week courtesy of work. Thankfully, the people are amazing. Probably the friendliest I’ve ever met outside of Newcastle (not that I’m biased).

Thing is, there’s not a lot to do in the evenings unless you want to hit bars all the time. And that involves money. Of which I have none. Thankfully there’s satellite telly, and the Africans love their football! Hasn’t been a night this week without a match on.

As my friends will tell you, I’m a notoriously fussy eater. Amazingly, I’ve been OK here this time. Last time I came, I gave up eating after I was served a prawn curry. I don’t like seafood… I don’t like curry. I was living on biscuits.

Instead this time, I’m surviving on a bag of fruit chews I bought at Manchester airport. Only I’m finding that I’m sharing them with some teeny spiders that have managed to get into the wrappers. Little sods – they’re *my* sweets!

Anyway, home on Saturday morning (overnight flight) and I can’t wait. It’s nice over here, but you can’t beat home… with broadband!