Friday, December 21, 2007

Advent #16 - 21st December: Christmas party

This is a made up story. Any similarity with persons living or dead is entirely co-incidental.

You can learn a lot about good management just by observing the people you work with . You can learn how to be a good manager and you can learn how not to be a good manager.

Today I observed our team leaders breaking the first rule of good management.

Last night was the team "Christmas do". I couldn't make it but by all accounts they "had a good time".

As today was our last day at work before Christmas and the college was closing at 13:00, we were looking forward to an easy day and an early finish. Just a departmental meeting at 11:00 to go to.

But at 9:45 I received a rather sheepish call from J who'd stayed over at S's house. They'd just woken up and realised they should be at work. Having only gone to bed at 5:30 they were both a bit worse for wear and certainly not up to driving.

Of course I went to pick them up.

Now they weren't just a bit tipsy - they were both still drunk and I had trouble keeping the pair of them in the car.

I did worry for their careers.

Back at work we thought the meeting would be a quick do, wishing us a happy Christmas and off we go. So we weren't expecting the guest speaker or the full-on PowerPoint presentation.

We knew we were in for a good time when she started by telling us she was going to talk about a subject that we didn't need to know about and possibly would never need to do anything about. Things really got going when she told us that she hadn't designed the PowerPoint presentation herself and and it was a bit dull - but she did promise to be as quick as possible.

As the meeting wore on I looked round at the people who didn't look too well after a long night, who were badly hung-over or still quite drunk, and wondered why we where there.

Thankfully after an hour they let us go. But not before at least two people had serious giggling fits and were asked if they needed to leave the room.

Inspired be the team meeting (or was it the team party) one of my colleagues decided the best way to impress a young lady he rather admired, was to lower Santa from our first floor window past her window on the floor below.

Sadly, in his excitement he made a serious error and lowered it instead past the window of the Health and Safety manager. She was not too chuffed.

If you look carefully you can see her arm as she opens the window to shout "take him away".

Meanwhile, back to the first rule of management.

Never plan a boring meeting the morning after a staff party.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Job

I have just seen a new job on telly that I didn't know existed. I have been watching Greatest Ever Disaster Movies on Channel 5. Lots of clips of disaster movies strung together with comment from actors and movie critics.

One persons caption indicates that he is a Disaster Movie Experts. How do you become one of those? Is there a qualification involved? How many are there? Are there many openings for Disaster Movie Experts?

Advent #15 - 19th December: Christmas food

I've just watched Hester Blumenthal perfect Christmas Dinner. He went to such incredible lengths to make his meal. He used gold, frankincense and myrrh as ingredients in his first course. Well actually he couldn't use myrrh because it's so bitter so he used it as a spoon (if he was any sort of chef he would have made something out of it:)).

He made reindeer ice cream (he couldn't bring himself to serve Rudolf). He had a fragrance made specially which reminded him of his grandads living room?! He fed some "happy" geese some special food to make it taste just right.

The visitors to his meal, really appreciated his efforts they seemed really amazed at what he had done. Although it did seem a bit over the top. I mean how exciting can it be to eat Christmas decorations.

To celebrate a had a Fair Trade Chocolate Biscuit and coffee.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Advent #14 - 18th December: Christmas advice

I took the day off work last Friday because Matthew wasn't feeling too good. So I was watching a bit of morning television when an item came on about men who don't know what to buy for their wives. At last I thought some help from daytime television.

But it appears that Selfridges are offering a service to blokes who are not sure what underwear to buy their wifes. They obviously help them choose tasteful stuff and the right size. One shop assistant was interviewed. Apparently, a gent came into the store and when he was asked about the possible size of his wife he was able to show the assistant a picture of his wife on the phone in the buff.

Today as my advent picture I have included......

A picture of a Nativity scene at my mum and dads house.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Advent #13 - 17th December: Step Santa

I have some catching up to do on the Christmas Advent because of a busy weekend. so, here is a picture of the stairs in our house with a Santa on each step.

The one near the top played an annoying tune everytime you stood on the step, so that got switched off.

Advent #12 - 17th December: Liverpool Nativity

Well it's all over. Rehearsal ran straight from Carolling on Saturday afternoon through to 7:30 in the evening, then started again for us on Sunday afternoon immediately after the Sunday morning meeting (service). In fact as I arrived to the terminal on Sunday, the ferry with all the cast and crew had just arrived and we were greeted by a panicking floor manager. We all managed to get our kit together and do the rehearsal as soon as we all arrived.

The whole band got together for the last rehearsal on Sunday afternoon on the final run through which was meant to run in real time but didn't quite.

The logistics in running the production where immense, we saw a bit of what went on in the background.

There was a lot of waiting around for "our turn" and the evening turned very cold as darkness came (-3 when we got in Pete's car to go home). We struggled with tuning and we couldn't really hear what was going on with the recording.

At the last minute, just before the ferry came, there was a water leak from some equipment on the landing stage which immediately froze solid just where we where walking through the "thugs". I had thoughts of the band falling over on live telly, and having a bit of a Laurel and Hardy moment. But people where careful and it went OK in the end.

Pictures from Glyn (Thanks mate)

Mark and Geoff marching in to save Mary and Joseph.

Dave, Wally and Kev.

Steph Dave Kev and a bit of Glyn S.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Advent #11 - 13th December: Part of Christmas

A day without Carolling or rehearsals, so my plan is to do some college work (as I need to hand in an essay next Tuesday) and I am away all weekend.

So I thought I would just write this before I start,

oh and I need to check on the Internet for a report on Everton's win against West Ham last night.

And Heather will be home soon so I need to make her some tea ....

I wonder whats on telly tonight?

The Christmas Radio Times (essential part of Christmas) - we only ever get the special two week edition.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Advent #10 - 12th December : Liverpool Liner Landing stage

This is a post is catching up on the dates. Its a good picture taken with my phone from the new Liner landing stage at Liverpool.

Advent #9 - 12th December : Liverpool Nativity

We had our first 'block through' our scene in the Liverpool Nativity this afternoon. Just five of us went as the rest of the band was at work. Our scene is down at the new Liner Terminal at the Pier Head. Most of the production team where there and so we commandeered them as temporary bandsmen so they could see how things looked.

It seems that we rescue Mary and Joseph from Liverpool Yobs when they get of the ferry.

Geoff Hughes
had a go at my cornet, there was much laughing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Advent #8 - 11th December : Carolling

A night out caroling near our church

I got accused of forgetting Al's coat, so he had to wear his Pa's oversized coat.

Sarahs Birthday

Its my nieces birthday tomorrow. She will be one. We had her birthday party tonight at Petes house. She was a star.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Advent #7 - 10th December: Decorations

In response to Heather challenge to find "over the top" outside Christmas decorations, I was able to snap this picture on the way home today.

This one score highly in several ways. It has a sleigh and reindeers and a inflatable Father Christams (Can't tell what the small things are over the windows).

Advent #6 - 10th December: Carol Concert

This is catch up from yesterday (too tired last night).

We had our two Carol Concerts yesterday. I suppose its technically the same one done twice. Really good crowd of people turned up for both. It finished with a play by the Sunday School (Kids Alive). Everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves.

I was sat behind the piano with Mary (my sister-in-law not the mother of Jesus) and had a poor view but I managed to get a shot of Mary and Joseph singing a duet. I had to look twice at the costume that Joseph was wearing, I am pretty sure that I wore that curtain when I was the second wiseman (But I had a crown with Fruit Gums as jewels).

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Advent #5 - 8th December:

It's approaching the time of year when I enter into "negotiation" with Heather about the Christmas decorations. I tend to have an aversion to filling the house with Christmas tat and Heather enjoys the process. Heather also wants to buy Christmas lights every year, but I don't see the problem of using the same ones as last year.

Anyway here is a picture of the latest Father Christmas for the Father Christmas shelf (please save me!)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Advent #4 - 7th December: Can he fix it?

Bob the Builder, along with Roly his Steam Roller, turn up at Sainsburys to 'fix' an unwitting Liverpool Walton Band.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Advent #3 - 6th December: Christmas Dinner

The canteen at work prepared Christmas dinner for us today. We where going to pay £6.50 for three course dinner, but they forgot to give us the parsnip soup. So we paid £5.00 for main course and pudding.

Actually, it was not too bad. I took a picture, it's my first Christmas lunch so it counts as a Advent entry number 3.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Oh No! Heroes has finished

I've just watched the last episode of the first series of heroes.

Hiro is always talking about Star Trek, he's a big fan and can do the vulcan salute thing.

So I have just have one query:

How could hs he go through the whole first series without recognising that his dad is, in fact, Mr Sulu from the original Star Trek?

Advent #2 - 5th December: The corner of wrong

At work they have been decorating the canteen with Christmas decorations. For some reason they have decorated the coffee machine with the following unusual "thing".

I'm not sure if it's scary yet, but I do have to look at it every time I get a coffee.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Advent #1 4th Dec: Santa and Scrooge

Heather is trying to do a picture everyday up to Christmas, thought I would have a go. Here is number 1 (late starting).

At work, Barry, the outdoors man, has brought in a Father Christmas for use on the high ropes. All the students have to give him a hug or a kiss before he lets them down.

Barry must feel an affinity for Santa Claus, both having outdoor jobs and climbing etc. Unlike Jason (friend at work in picture) who is having a bit of a "Bah, Humbug" moment because Barry has hung Father Christmas in the staff room.