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This is the UK website for Peter and Maureen Scargill. We live in the Northeast of England and also on occasion in Andalucia in Spain.

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A pleasant birthday

Crewe HallI have to say I did not hold a lot of hope out for today – this time in CREWE, stuck in a meeting the outcome of which I may not see as I’ll not be on the same committee when they next meet– however, the hotel is actually very pleasant. We’re staying at the Crewe Hall hotel which is a fabulous old building and the atmosphere is great – which is more than can be said for the food. I’d show you some pictures of the superb oak staircases but it’s all a little dark inside and every attempt at grabbing photos with my phone failed miserably.

It was my birthday today and I was quite stunned by the number of Facebook, LinkedIn and Skype good wishes – thanks to all for making my day and thanks to everyone who kept me laughing a good part of the day.

Crewe Hall[6]Spent the day in a long meeting – and in the process even managed a tiny trade that netted me enough to buy another Raspberry Pi (I think my enthusiasm in the blogs has contributed in some small way to the fact that everyone is now out of stock) and a complete set of surrounding toys (case, fan, WIFI dongle etc).

The day ended with a small number of us, mere remnants of the once-mighty curry club,  who, faced with the notion of supporting a large business with a not very nice restaurant, or a small restaurant with decent Indian food, decided to go out and do our bit for small businesses – and very pleasant it was too. Even that was not without incident as the management narrowly avoided a fight as one guy who’d finished the meal without actually having the funds to pay for it ended up in a slanging match with the manager. Ultimately he paid half the price and cleared off. As you’d expect, the police, no doubt tied up with something serious like a parking violation, eventually turned up long after the whole affair was over – that could have been exciting as we were material witnesses however they chose not to bother us.

And so tomorrow is another day – a day of meetings– and Ebay shopping.

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FSB Annual Dinner

One Great George StreetThe FSB had it’s annual Chairman’s dinner last night at Number One Great George Street. Always interesting not least because of the amazing architecture, we had a couple of good speakers but sadly I could not tell you a word they said due to the acoustics in the room which produced a continuous echo whenever the speaker said anything. I figured it might be me so I asked others at my table and the response was always the same … can’t make out a word. We had a number of well known faces in politics such as Stephen Timms but I did note that Vince Cable was missing for once!

That didn’t stop it being a grand event so here are some pics. i left the Canon at home and the lighting isn’t ideal for a mobile phone so bear with me…

Firstly on the right, the hall where we had dinner – you can make this pictures larger by clicking on them. Below, remarks by a very enthusiastic Hushpreet Dhaliwal: ‘Enterprise for All’ at the drinks reception. I trieddozens of shots to get both her and FSB Chairman John Allan smiling at the same time… to no avail.

Speaker

Why the Big Ben shot? Well, I was there anyway so rather than having a late drinking session (we were up the night before until 1am a the Indian restaurant) I cleared off after dinner and took some photos.

Big Ben

On the way back to the hotel I just happened to stumble on a bar selling Leffe!!

Leffe

And that was that over for another year.

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The King of Spain

Perhaps you though I was going to say something relevant about Spain? No… that’s a pub in Brussels – on the corner of Grand Place to be precise and the image you see is half way up the stairs. My trip this week to Brussels went well other than a shocker on timescales which means we need to work more quickly than we’d anticipated.

Our work with ESCO is about to be set in stone and translated into multiple languages – which is gratifying one the one hand but one always would like to do better. I’m like that with some of my electronics – I have to force myself to actually finish something off and move on because you can always improve what you’ve done.

King of Spain

Anyway I’m back – I’m down in London actually for another round of meetings but during my brief stay in Belgium I managed, despite the rather nasty tail end of the flu to meet up with some chums as well as getting a great deal of work done.  When I get a minute I’ll post some more of my pictures up.

Brussels

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Another busy week of travel

BrusselsThis week starts with a trip to Belgium via London – I can’t believe I have to sit around in Heathrow for a couple of hours – sitting here making sure my laptop is up to date so I can do something useful with the time. First stop this week will be Brussels  We have some work to complete rapidly for the EU ESCO project with the international team I’ve been working with now for, well, approaching a couple of years I guess and I’m hoping to meet up with an old pal while I’m over there for a few drinks at the King of Spain in Grand Place (that’s if the remnants of flu will allow it) on Monday night.

2 days of intense meetings in Brussels then I’m back to London – Victoria area for 2 days of FSB meetings – and that just about wraps the week up once you take travel into account. I’ve spent much of the weekend buried in paperwork but this evening we had a very pleasant wine tasting evening in Bellingham, Northumberland.

And that’s about it – I’ve been working on my technical blog which is topping 3,000 page views a day… who would have thought it. The outcome is a vast hike in knowledge thanks to being able to bounce ideas of so many people so next weekend I plan to start constructing some new kit to take to Spain with us in February to bring our home over there into the 21st century.

LondonBoth of us have been really bad this week with the flu but Maureen is now starting to come around, I think I have another couple of days to go, can’t stop sneezing right now. Nothing else is new.

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