Fairwell to Moneypenny and winter adventures.


Well, main news this time, is that today is my last day at Moneypenny and I’m moving on for pastures new.

It’s a shame, as I’ve really enjoyed working here, and met some fantastic people.

The next generation of my career is beckoning, with an offer I honestly can’t refuse.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Rachel, Ed & Glenn, everyone in my team, everyone in the dev team and all the people in sales and support.

Most of all, I’d like to thank the 400+ PA’s who I’ve tried so hard to help over the last 18 months, who’ve treated me so well and made this duty a pleasure to perform.

Of Moneypenny as a company, all I can say is that I’ve seen what they do first hand. They are excellent, set the standard within the industry and I couldn’t recommend them more highly.


Well, Valentines came around again and as usual I bought Nikki some nice flowers, and a practical present.

We aren’t much for the chutzpah of dining out on Valentines, so as usual, we stayed in and cooked (good food and wine are part of the very fabric of our relationship, so it seemed appropriate).

Sunday evening seemed a daft time to celebrate, so we chose Saturday instead.

I promised Nikki that we’d do anything she wanted on the Sunday of Valentines day (a decision I’d later perhaps regret).

Nikki chose for us to join the walking group on a 3* walk to Moel Pearce and Cadair Brownwen (extremely challenging for me, as I’m not that fit).

Good company and the snow on the tops made it a fantastic day.

Unfortunately, I got mild hypothermia on the way down ! (I’m OK now, and was back at work by Monday morning :).


On the subject of the outdoors, I’ve got a week or 2 before I start my new job.

A couple of weekends ago, Nikki and I stayed in Edale and did some walking around some places I’d always promised myself I’d revisit.

Whilst walking through Hayfield, we liked it that much, that once we returned home, we’ve booked a long weekend there for next week.

I’ve got great plans for 3 days of fab walking and evenings with open fires and restaurants with nice food and wine.

One thing I’m really looking forward to is having lunch in the Lantern Pike pub pictures above.

Apparently, one year the whole town was snowed in, everyone congregated in the pub and occupied themselves as best they could.

One chap called Tony Warren started writing a screenplay. Not something I enjoy but its international fame is beyond debate.

He wrote the first 6 episodes of Coronation Street !


A few jobs around the house and then the weekend later, I’m flying to Malaga with Nikki and some friends.

I’m not an around the pool kind of guy, so I’m intending to get the bus around a see a few different places (Tracey at work as been helping, as her brother lives there).

One special project, is Gibraltar. I’ve only been there once, had the chance to climb the rock, didn’t and have regretted it ever since.


It’s not all adventure.

My house is almost complete and just 1 more thing to do before I put up the hand carved “Weltevreden” sign outside that Glenn bought me as a Christmas gift.

Only thing is, that 1 job is the kitchen, which is about 100 jobs all mixed in together.

Its said that the art of buying a car is: Get the right car -> Get the right price

I’ve worked out my own system for kitchens: Get the right kitchen units -> Get the right appliances -> Get the right person to put it all together

I’m still a long way from success, but I’ve been looking at appliances this week. I found this amazing Samsung oven, that can literally clean itself.

I also saw a microwave in John Lewis that seemed specifically designed for men. Among its many control’s and buttons, it had 1 that said “reheat curry” and another that said “reheat chinese”.

More kitchen adventures in the next blog entry (if it ever ends…)


I’ve got 8 people joining me on my Easter jaunt to Pembroke and St David’s.

It promises to be a fantastic trip, with some of the best coastal walks (and pubs) in the country.

If you’ve not got involved yet, pipe up, it would be fab to see you there.


I’ve not been to the theatre much recently, but I’ve got a packed itinerary over the next 6 weeks.

One thing I’m really keen to see, is The Creator at Manchester’s Home: arts centre.

I’m excited about seeing the building on Tony Wilson way, which I’ve not seen before, but most of all, its the performance I’m looking forward to.

It’s about intelligent androids from the future who travel back in time to speak to Alan Turing on this death bed.

I’m also going to see Comedian Adam Hill in Crewe (the first time I’ve been outside the railway station in that city).

A return to Wrexham and Ed Byrne will complete my comedy duo.

Although I’ve attended dozens of courses taught by his students, I’ve never seen Ray Mears in person.

Nikki and I are going to see a talk by him at the Liverpool Philharmonic.

I’m expecting sycophants everywhere, but I’m still really looking forward to it.


I’ve been spending a lot of time converting the country pages over to this site (with the rush to upgrade, it didn’t happen when I wanted it too).

If you scroll down, on the right you’ll see something that says countries (I’ve added another 20 recently).

If you open it out, you’ll see some of the countries I’ve visited (and ultimately, it will show ALL the country’s I’ve visited, once I’ve finished.

While converting the pages about Moscow, I remembered the Church of Christ our Saviour I visited in Moscow.

It originally took 40 years to build. In 1931 it was ordered immediately demolished on the personal orders of  Joseph Stalin.

With only 3 hours, unknown people capture as much information as they can about the church and its construction for posterity.

As the building was levelled with dynamite, they must have looked at all that was left of it in a shoebox with its hand drawings, measured out pieces of string and samples of door handles…

In 1995 after the fall of the communist party, using the contents of the box and modern computer design tools, they were able to completely re-construct the church and it reopened in 2000.

People who had stood in the original, say it looks just the same.

Its not possible to live a life and never make mistakes (God knows, I’ve made enough and many of the people reading this could fill a book with my failures).

But I believe, and this story shows, that if you really try, you can put things back together.

Once again, thanks for reading, and near and far, The search for adventure continues…

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