It took a request from a reader of my blog to remind me that I have not updated recently, and I was surprised to see it was January the last time- I thought it was more recent than that!
I have been working at my old company for odd days per week as a consultant after my retirement last year. I always said I was available for work if they wanted me to, for up to two years after retiring. (This would mean up until the "normal" retirement date)
Some work was done in December after returning from a China holiday, and this was picked up again at the end of January.
I did not want to go back to five days a week and 9 to 5 working, but was happy to do up to three days in any one week. (and no paperwork or politics to deal with!)
So far this has worked OK, some of it has been spent in the building working at a laboratory bench and I was let out for a few days to support some project work in France, near Bordeaux.
As a 16 year old, I had vacationed nearby with my parents, but was left in charge of my brother and two other boys of friends of the family, whilst both sets of parents went in to Bordeaux for the day (basically to get away from us) and I was personally disappointed not to see the city then- Some 48 years later, I got to see the city!
It is a very pleasant setting on the river Gironde. A lot of old warehouses have been demolished on the river frontage and this has opened up a great vista for the citizens of Bordeaux. They were wine warehouses for storage prior to shipping out to other cities/countries. Now more transport is direct the warehouses are no longer needed.
Today I was able to act as a mentor to a "colleague" from Hong Kong as we worked on the lab bench on a project, so that was a pleasant task.
Our latest granddaughter had her first birthday, so both sets of grandparents and an Aunt/Uncle with cousins, descended on the family, to find that the birthday girl was unwell and she went back to bed for most of the day. She did revive for present opening and cutting the cake, which was made by hand by her mother in the "Hello Kitty"style as shown in the photograph below.
Once this was done the energy level dropped again and she went back to sleep, but has recovered well in the meantime.
We have redecorated a bedroom that used to have a small window in one wall, but this was filled in when the house was extended on that side, and had a neat rectangular plastered area in the middle of the wallpaper! It was about time as we had left it a year before tackling the job.
In an earlier blog I put a photo of a mosaic piece I was doing, but not finished. This is now complete and shown below. I ended up wax polishing the marble part of the mosaic, with stone wax kindly supplied by Lawrence Payne of Roman Mosaic Workshops http://www.romanmosaicworkshops.com/default.html
as I realised that the grouting had taken the shine off the stone.
I also treated myself to a new DSLR camera- we have a camcorder that also takes still shots, but unfortunately a fault has developed which makes it unreliable and co-incidentally E's digital compact also developed a fault so a new one was obtained for her as well.
This new DSLR takes pictures at an amazing 18 mega pixels so the level of detail in the pictures is amazing- I am still getting used to it, so have been out and about taking pictures under different conditions. Luckily as it is a Canon camera and I previously owned, and still have,an old Canon film camera, the lenses I had, fitted the new camera, and do work, but need a bit of fiddling with in between shots, so will supplement the standard lens until I can trade them in for a more up to date one.
The Cake picture above was taken using the new camera.
Our dog, Rosie, had her second birthday, and in our house we always celebrate this with a cake (according to Blue peter it should be a savoury one) which we can all eat- the dog has a slice cut up on a plate and we have a piece as well. This is our fourth family dog, and each one has had a cake on their birthday. Below piccie of her relaxing after eating!
Sasha lived for 14 years, Matt for 11 years and Homer for at least 10 years with us (and up to two years before we rescued him) and Rosie is the latest. All have been rescue dogs. Homer was the only one without a known history as he was picked up from the side of a motorway in Scotland, and the other three were to much for the owners to cope with, had not been mistreated and turned out to be lovely family pets.
A bit of a gallop through the last few months and I have probably missed some things out which I will remember later!