Haydn Vernals

my personal web pages


Five years of my life...

18th January 2009 - OK, so it's been a while since I last updated, but in a quick update, the care is great, really pleased with it, Christmas was good with some nice gifts both given and received and I'm now in the process of getting my head down for the next six months running up to our wedding in July...   More soon ;¬)

30th November 2008 - I collect my new car on Tuesday, another BMW, this time a 330i M Sport, 3.0 Litres of straight six with 272bhp, greedy ?  Hmmm...  perhaps !  I've gone a little old man in that it's an automatic, but because it's a M Sport model, it does come with a Tiptronic type steering wheel gear change.  I've added leather, heated seats and the Media Pack that puts a fancy screen on the dash board and a controller on the centre console for controlling music, heating, bringing up servicing information, navigation linked to Google, connected drive that calls 999 if the airbags deploy and you can also retrieve news, weather, traffic and local information via the internet - yes, that's right, even my car now has internet access !

16th November 2008 - The wedding plans have moved on a little further this week, we now have a photographer to record the day !  Not much else going off this week, apart from a few aches and pains with my shoulder, which is probably indirectly attributable to my earlier back troubles...   ho-hum !

1st November 2008 - Had a reasonably busy home day today, you know the sort of day, up early, clear some rubbish from the garage, trip to the tip returning via the local DIY store, few jobs around the house, few jobs in the garden, trip to mums, trip to Waitrose, then home for a selection of nibbles in front of the telly for tea, all washed down with a few drinks, a selection of specialist beers tonight I fear ;¬)

26th October 2008 - Started to bring my roads related content across from my old site, moving to the new site has involved a tad more work than I had hoped for, but keeps me busy on a Sunday !

19th October 2008 - After a few days of back troubles again, I'm starting to feel much better, I've had a day of PC fixing today, my uncles PC died last week, so in comes Haydn to save the day and build a new one from some new bits and some rescued parts of the old one.  Attended an event at Elland Road last week presented by a firm that supplies LED road studs and traffic count equipment and services...   oddly, some of the talks were interesting and the food was excellent.  Plan on getting back onto normal hours this week after several weeks of back troubles, my bank balance could do with some help !

12th October 2008 - Holiday was great, lovely villa overlooking Puerto Pollenca, although it did seem a little damp there, the sun shone for most of the week, the pool wasn't quite as warm as I'd have liked, the food wasn't as great in the usual places, but we had two great meals in the square, one at Maxims and the other at the Italian a few doors up, which is owned by the same people.  The Tango has moved and was altogether most odd and felt like a piece of Pollenca has been taken away forever...

28th September 2008 - My back problems are easing thanks to the Chiropractor, hopefully a week away will help, but dreading the trip to and from Majorca with all the bag lifting, small airline seats, troubles with hire cars and the unexpected problems of a villa that we haven't used before.

16th September 2008 - Had a little trouble with my back this last week, doctor didn't help so I've enlisted a Chiropractor to sort out my pains...  Saw the eye surgeon last week too, he's explained what he could do with my eye, but I've the feeling that I shouldn't be messing with something that isn't giving me any trouble at the moment - any thoughts ?  answers on a postcard !

9th September 2008 - Went to sort the marriage licence out today, seems odd that all you need is a passport and a driving licence to get married !

25th August 2008 - Added a new feature to the website today, a portfolio of photographs taken recently and over the years...  I hope to add loads to the site as I get around to looking through the old ones and taking new ones...

24th August 2008 - The cityscape of Sheffield changed forever today as the twin cooling towers at Tinsley were demolished with explosives this morning at 3am.  I was there of course to take some picture which can be found in the photo pages.

18th August 2008 - Just returned from a few days up in Cumbria, staying at the Drunken Duck Inn, which I must say, was rather nice.  We had a great view from the room, I had a fantastic meal each night, including delights such as venison, scallops and loin of lamb...  Yum !

25th July 2008 - In a moment of wild shoot from the hip purchasing, I've gone and bought myself a Canon EOS 450D Digital SLR...

15th July 2008 - Had my first visit to see the eye specialist today, it's the first time I've been back to the hospital in about 15 years.  The surgeon talked about a few options for my right eye, most of them seemed just cosmetic, I've got to go for a few test next month, but perhaps I've already made my mind up, will see how things go.

17th June 2008 - Back on the updates, transferring the last bits of the old site over into this site.  Also working on a new style for the business website, which will hopefully look a lot more professional and express my future business ideas in a much clearer format.

20th May 2008 - After much consideration, I left Hull today, keeping both Hull and Calderdale happy wasn't easy, so I'm concentrating on providing services to Calderdale for the short term, giving me time to concentrate on looking at my future and what I want to do from here on - more later

13th March 2008 - This sees the launch of the Traffic Engineer Forum to a select few unwitting folk that I know - It's a site just for professionals in the Traffic and Transportation Sector to talk shop and exchange ideas...   Time will tell if it's a good idea or not !

1st March 2008 - It's been a long time in the making, but yesterday, being a leap year 29th February, Lesley asked me to marry her, I accepted of course.  No date, location or other arrangements made yet, so keep in touch and I'll let you know the details.

25th February 2008 :: Go east young man !
Back to my past with some work with Hull City Council with some traffic regulation and democratic process work.

6th February 2008 :: Go west young man !
Although seemingly light years away, I've picked up some work with Calderdale Council looking mainly at road safety, including safety cameras, traffic calming, speed limit, parking, maintenance and assistance to the Highways Development Control Team

14th January 2008 :: Thanks for the help lads
After a few cold leads, some former colleagues from Hull come up with the goods at their firm in Beverley, I'm grateful for the work and also pleased with the company, sadly it's not a long term prospect.

2nd January 2008 :: Bye bye Sheffield
Time to move on, Sheffield was getting me down and a complete lack of understanding by the people there about what I was going through with mum before Christmas really made the final straw.  I'm currently taking some time off and checking out some work options.

15th November 2007 :: Where did the year go ?
It's perhaps been the longest period between updates on here, why ?  Well, I have been quite busy, continuing with D-zyne Ltd, taking my first steps into Property Development and also putting some time back into being a School Governor for a local Secondary School.

D-zyne Ltd - Had a good year so far, with lots of bus priority work, developer related schemes and a fair share of road safety work for my main client.  I'm also getting some work done for some other clients, but that side of the business is less developed, partly due to the amount of work I'm getting from my main client.

Property - I've spent some considerable time since September 2007 working on business plans, investigation of sites, talking with planning officers, financial people and getting my head into the details of house building.  I'm fairly confident that I'll get my first development on site in the next 12 months and fairly confident that when I do find the right site, all hell will break loose whilst I get the planning consent, finance and build team together.  Fingers crossed !

Governor - Having expressed an interest in becoming a School Governor in Dec 2006, my local council put me forward as a LEA Governor for Birley Community College.  I'm now in the thick of it as a Core Governor, helping improve the performance of the school, sitting on the disciplinary and finance groups and starting to get involved in the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project earmarked for the school.  It's all good fun, but generally very daunting !

21st July 2007 :: It's a bit wet here...
It's been a while, so I'll keep it as short as I can :¬)  Big news is that I'm swapping my car again, the BMW 320Si that took delivery of last September and what I was so happy with, has developed a fault that neither the dealer, nor BMW UK, nor BMW AB can't fix !  So after some lengthy negotiation I'm taking deliver of a BMW 325i M Sport next Saturday.  It's in Le Mans blue, has leather seats, xenon headlamps and rides on some lovely 18" alloys...  How do I feel ?  well, I'm not happy, but I'm not unhappy ;¬)

The business is going fine, I'm paying my taxes and working at a steady pace, still waiting for some things to get sorted, like my Corporation Tax and VAT registration, but letters I have had this week indicate that perhaps it will be sorted in the next few weeks.

Last but not least, I've just returned from three weeks in Canada, visited my aunt in Medicine Hat, from there, toured into the Rockies, visiting Lake Louise, Jasper, Kamloops, Kelowna and Nelson...   The scenery was awesome, the roads (work interest here), where quite different and the people where almost too nice !  I'll be heading back their some time soon though.

13th May 2007 :: D-zyne Limited is born
I've gone and started my own Private Limited Company this month, it's scary, there is a whole new language to learn, I now have an Accountant, Company Secretary, Certificate of Incorporation, Company Bank Account, books and a company seal !  All that is left to finalise is the VAT Registration and then I can start invoicing for the time I'm currently working.

8th April 2007 :: Summer is here
The days are getting longer, the nights are getting warmer, I've got some new garden furniture and we had the first BBQ of the season yesterday...

Getting into a bit of website admin, I've decided to remove all e-mail addresses from this site in a feeble effort to reduce my spam, which is getting on for up to 200 a day sometimes :¬(  so, if you wish to e-mail me, e-mail Haydn at my domain name, it should get to me !

29th March 2007 :: I must hide my Switch Card !
The fireplace is fitted, coving is up in the lounge and hall, the walls are painted and the undercoating is almost all done...   phew...   Not content with a nice new laptop, I'd talked myself out of a big screen telly, then walking past the Panasonic Shop in Sheffield, I saw a deal I couldn't miss, so I've now got a big fat 42" Plasma !  yeah !

Under changes to the financial laws covering my freelance working, I've had to become a Director of my own personal company...  Laughable really, but hey, it looks good on the business cards !

11th February 2007 :: Been spending again...
Always one for the toys, I've bought myself a new laptop, a lovely Sony Vaio FE41S, Core2 Duo, 1.66Ghzm 2GB RAM, 160GB HD and a 15.4" X-Black screen...   Mmmmm...     Only trouble is that I'm scouting around looking for a mobile data deal that will give me cheap internet access in the UK, Europe and whilst I'm in Canada !

What else ?  Well, work is fine, keeping very busy, we have been through a bit of a journey with kitchens, conservatories and back to kitchens, we are about to have a fireplace fitted, looking into some block paving or imprint paving for the front garden and also into other bits and bobs around the house...   We have booked the flights for Canada, three weeks in the summer, just need to sort of the hire car and where we are staying !

12th January 2007 :: Happy New Year
It's been a right busy few months, not much of an excuse, but, it's mine, for not updating here...

Anyways, what's happened ?  Biggest news perhaps is my Aunt emigrating to Canada with her family, thus the update, to keep them up to date from here onwards.  I've remortgaged, so I've paid things off, got money waiting to do other things and well, just feel now it's sorted that a few problems have been lifted.  Work has changed a bit, just short of putting my notice in, a lovely package of work landed on my desk, so I'm as happy as a pig in brown stuff, with roundabouts to remodel, roads to widen, little schemes to sort and all the mopping up of the 2006/7 schemes, so I'm a very busy boy !

In other news, my mate Dave has emigrated to the far east, a little known place call Gateford Meadows, near ye olde town of Worksop, which is funny, because most of the residents of Worksop, don't work ;¬)  What else ?  Hmmmm...   well the Bimmer is going well, although I must book it in for a service as it needs a wash !

9th October 2006 :: A month of Sundays...
Lazy Haydn again !  Well the new car came, it's fantastic, I've been away for two weeks, which was nice, was off sick for a week, which wasn't so nice and I'm having trouble getting back into the swing of work...  ho-hum !

31st August 2006 :: Tis the night before Christmas !
Well, it is for me...  get the new car tomorrow !

12th August 2006 :: Delivery dates
Had the call yesterday to confirm delivery of the new car.  I'll be driving it away from the 1st September and I'm like a child the night before Christmas waiting for Santa to visit !

29th July 2006 :: BMW wins over Audi
Having signed up for a new Audi A4 (see below), I had a series of events that made me decide to cancel the order, will explain if asked.  Therefore, I went looking for something else, looked at a Lexus IS250-SE, very nice, took it for a short test drive, hmmm... liked it, took it for a longer test drive a week later, ah, too small inside, awful gear change in 1st & 2nd, also I found it a little too tight on headroom, but on a positive note, a fantastic engine, lovely relaxing drive and a very nice looking car, not sure on the interior centre console though.

So what next, "oh lets call at the BMW dealer, see what they have to show me", an hour later, I'm test driving a BMW 320Si which is rather special being of a limited 500 cars coming to the UK shores.  It has a hand built engine inspired by touring car racing, giving more power (173bhp) and it revs higher than the usual 2.0 litre BMW engine.  The deal, well I've saved just over £2k on the car, which has a M Sport package of styling features, sports suspension and lovely 18" alloys and is also has leather, upgraded speakers, heated seats, sun protection glazing and Bluetooth phone preparation fitted as optional extras.  The car was recently referred to as a "Baby M3" by Vicki Butler-Henderson on C5's Fifth Gear, raved about in EVO, desired as a junior M3 by Autocar and...  I'm still smiling, roll on September !!!!

17th July 2006 :: Wikiwhat ?
Being a long time fan of Wikipedia, I couldn't help thinking that I needed to put something back into the site...  so yesterday I started making my own contributions, the first is on Puerto Pollença.

13th July 2006 :: Unlucky for some ?  Perhaps
Some associate the 13th with bad luck !  Like a bull in a china shop, I shunned tradition today and bought myself a new car.  Signed up today for a Audi A4 2.0TFSi in SE trim...  I'm happy !  Delivery in late September.

7th July 2006 :: Tipsy Haydn
Had a great day out yesterday, sat in the beer gardens of Sheffield, soaking up the sun and drinking away all the worries of life ! :¬)  Been a busy old month at work this last month, been getting a few consultations out and dealing with a few on site troubles...  nothing too taxing though...  I seem to have less and less time for updating these pages too, something I'll try and sort out soon !

Back is much better now, as is the computer, Office 2007, wasn't much fun, Word and Excel are fine, but Outlook threw teddy from the pram and didn't like talking with my phone, so back to 2003 I went...

28th May 2006 :: Office 2007 Beta
Followed a link on the Sheffield Forum the other day and I now have a fully useable beta copy of Microsoft Office 2007.  After a few install issues, been playing with the new "Ribbon" interface, which is quite nice, it's going to be difficult for many to migrate to the new style of working, but overall, I feel that the ribbon interface will open up a lot of the hidden tools in Word, Excel, Access etc...  Go take a look and download from Microsoft's UK site... 

27th May 2006 :: Double Trouble
Life for me this week has consisted of ibuprofen rub, paracetamol and lots of grumpiness all down to a bad back, which is apparently down to a pulled ligament in my back - didn't realise you had them there, but then again I'm a Traffic Engineer not a a Doctor ! - Anyways, I've been in and out of work, feel stiff and generally really snappy at the moment...

In other news, although I'm not a Labour party member, I attended my local Labour Constituency meeting last Friday, to hear my MP Clive Betts give his regular report, hear what the reporting officer had to say about the recent local elections and also to hear Sheffield's Chair of the Highways and Transport Committee speak.  I got up and said my bit and he promised to try and get in touch with me at a later date...  I'm currently considering rejoining the party and being slightly active, but just reading through the party policies at the moment, I'm slightly torn between my roots in Labour and what the Liberal Democrats have to offer, although I'm not convinced they can form a Government, it's been a two horse race between Labour and Conservative for decades now.

3rd May 2006 :: Lazy Haydn !
Seems it's been a while since I last updated...  Quick news then, Switzerland was great, garden is looking top, not done much in the house, work back at Sheffield is fine...   I'll look to post a few more bits later in the week :¬)

4th March 2006 :: Spring is here, or so we thought...
The bulbs in the garden are popping up, the weather was getting better, I have started booking holidays and looking what to do in the house and garden through the year...   Then came the cold and the snow ! LOL 

Anyways, speaking of snow, I've booked two weeks in Switzerland, flying to Geneva, then using the train to get around, staying also in Zermatt, St Moritz and then returning to Geneva.  The trip includes the famous Glacier Express, we will be taking the opportunity to get some mountain air, the the League of Nations building in Geneva, ride the Gronergrat Railway and take the cable car to kleines Matterhorn.

Feedback on my historical journey along some of Sheffield's roads is good, although I'm finding out that there were a lot of uncompleted projects and many pipe dreams.  Take a look :: Here ::

29th January 2006 :: Busy January
After the season of good will to all men, comes get bloody busy season...  Why is it that January is always a time for getting jobs done, people asking favours and so on....   Anyways, news since last time, mum's looking a bit better, my mate Dave is house hunting in Brinsworth, as is John in Guildford, car buying is writhe, John has a new shape Leon on order, Dave is hovering over the new shape Civic and me, well, I might get a new one in the summer, maybe another A3, maybe a A4, dunno yet.

Been planning my holidays too...  Having a long week in Switzerland in late March/early April, then also my obligatory holiday in Pollensa in September, might just slip another one in somewhere, but will see...   Also starting looking into the history of some of the roads in Sheffield over the last 30-40years...   I've not got far, but jotted down a few notes on the Mosborough Townships Grid System and also the little known Sheffield Urban Motorway, with a plan from 1968 !  Hope to add more as I find out more...  Take a look at what I've found so far :: Link ::

12th January 2006 :: Happy New Year
It's been a tough old year on reflection, starting with stress at work and North Bridge, losing the baby, mum being sick, the stresses of my move from Hull to Carrilion and then to Sheffield in 2 weeks and lastly mum being sick again over Christmas.  The good news now, I've settled in at Sheffield, mums starting to get herself together and best of all, she's had news today that she can retire from next Friday !

I've started the New Year running, work is looking good, I've been working on redesigning lane use on a major roundabout in Sheffield, developing three Child Safety Zones in the north of the city and also putting the finishing touches to a new Signing Strategy for the City Centre.  For fun, I've started investigating some of the history behind Sheffield's roads from the 1960's to the present day.

Father Christmas was good to me too, lots of new DVD's to watch, new CD's to listen to, a few games to entertain, Battlefield 2 is just amazing...  and best of all, I got a massive Technical Lego set, the child in me was engrossed for days ! LOL  Great fun

18th December 2005 :: Christmas Madness
It's the time to get stressed and shirty in the shops at people :¬)  I've been busy doing some Christmas Shopping, got some real corkers this year for some people, I'm pretty sure they will be happy on Christmas Morning.  Had a trip back to Hull last Friday, had lunch with two of the girlies, then into the office to say bye bye to Vali, who's going to a new job in Lancashire, then off to the pub for a drink and the very nice Christmas meal - well done Dave for sorting that one.  I'm all PC'ed up right now, not only have I been building new ones, but everybody seems to have come to me with their PC problems this last month...  thankfully I have one left to do...  Job for in the week :¬)

25th November 2005 :: PC Madness
Been dipping into my credit card again, bought myself a new video cards a nVidia based XFX 7800GT, along with some bits for upgrading Lesleys PC, then I have my uncle's new hard disk to pop in this weekend, to replace his c drive, so that's a full re-install thanks :¬)  Busy busy busy  I've also set up a network gaming session for the Christmas week, with some serious playing of Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Quake 4 and hopefully some others.

18th November 2005 :: Autumn Tidy
Done a little housekeeping on here, not much, but it's the start of a few new pages I'm about to add.  I heard that my old boss Vali is leaving Hull - oh no !!! - and that North Bridge finally reopened, without too much of a hitch.  I've also been busy this last week, building a new PC for my mate John, another build of some older parts for my cousin Pip and also re-installed my own PC with a fully licensed Windows XP as part of my Autumn tidy ! 

10th November 2005 :: Settling in
After two weeks back at Sheffield, I'm just about settling in there...  It's been odd going back, many still see me as I was when I left in 1999, however there has been a considerable amount of water under the bridge since then, not only in my career but in my own personal life.  The good news is that some key people have made me feel very welcome and I appreciate that, especially those who I probably didn't get on with that well when I was there before.

As for workload, it's interesting stuff so far, I'm getting quite mind numbingly deep into a new signing strategy for the city centre, building on previous work and adding a little of my own twist to it.  I'm also getting more involved by the day in a closure of a part of the inner ring road to enable a 10 storey office block to be demolished.  The PTE don't like the planned route, neither will the public... it's North Bridge all over again ! LOL

Missing my old mates from Hull CC, but not the banter about who's turn it is to mash the tea !

27th October 2005 :: CWSP RIP !!!!
Hot news this week...  Haydn encounters a IR35 problem !  Which has forced my hand to move onto a new role with Sheffield City Council.  Seems I've landed on my feet though, I'm involved initially with a Signing Strategy for the Inner Ring Road, issues to do with a new EMS/CPGS system and also a major diversion in the City Centre for the demolition of a old building.  It's been odd returning, but I will say I've been made more than welcome which was nice :¬)

My Media Centre PC was delivered yesterday, it had a few issues, but armed with a spare WiFi dongle, some cables from Comet and Focus and a few downloads, I soon fixed them - Early days yet, but initial thoughts are it's a little more noisy than I'd hope for, but I think I'll get used to it, also, it doesn't like recording a TV show, whilst playing a Dvix file.  Other than that, I'm rather happy with it :¬)

11th October 2005 :: Hull City Council RIP !
Having beaten my head till it bleed against the big wall that is Hull City Council, Haydn has left for pastures new - I started yesterday at CarillionWSP working as Principal Engineer for Highways Agency, Area 12 South, looking after improvement projects on the M1 (J30-37), M18, M180, M181, A1(M) past Doncaster, A160, A180, A616 and A628.  It's looking promising so far, got a laptop, but waiting for a network login, also got my diary filling up fast, with meetings about traffic lights on most of the M1 junctions, an induction with CWSP, network manager meetings and some "training" days !

In other news, one of my former colleagues at Hull, John Boardman, informed me yesterday that he was now the proud father of a little boy and I'd just like to wish him well on here :¬) 

Lastly, I parted company with a big wad of cash at the weekend and bought myself a Windows Media Centre PC for the living room, it's a pre built one from Evesham Computers, it can record TV, has a 14 day forward programme guide and will connect to my other computer to stream stored media such as music and films direct to the TV.  I like my toys, so why not...   And for the record, the D-Link thing was sent back, it was rubbish !

2nd September 2005 :: Gadget Time
Having worked hard all this summer getting my garden sorted and getting my projects at Hull rolling, I felt appropriate to reward myself.  First came the new mobile, then I've had a bit of a DVD thing going, with Seasons 1, 2 & 3 of the West Wing going down very nicely.  Next up, I have been pondering a Media Centre PC, however, with the hassles of Windows MCE and the nasty and small range hardware that is currently available and suitable for a MCPC, I've taken a diversion and bought a D-Link DSM-320 - WTF is that I hear you say, well it connects to my wireless network and allows me to watch videos on my PC upstairs on the TV downstairs.  This device also worked with photos and music stored on my main PC.

What else ?  Well, 1st September came, PSP dropped out the sky onto a eager nation of gamers and people like me, who can't resist a gadget.  Anyways, when I manage to prize it out of someone's hands, I really like this gameboy wannabe...   Hang on, it thrashes a Gameboy into the 1800's, believe me, the Sony PSP is one hell of a machine that will endear itself into millions of peoples pockets...  

22nd July 2005 :: Deliveries galour
Having my topsoil delivered this weekend, all 7 tons of it...  I must be mad !  I've also got my new phone, a Sony P910i, to replace my old and battered P900i :¬)

8th July 2005 :: A funny old week
This last week has been like a rollercoaster, had a fantastic BBQ on the 2nd July, with all the family and lots of friends, everybody went home with full tummy's and humming the tunes of G8.  Then we had the sorry news from Edinburgh of rioting and such, then the great news of the 6th July, also my Birthday, when London won the 2012 Olympic Games, only to be followed by the tragic news from London yesterday.

On a more personal level, I got a few DVD's for my birthday, a red rose plant for my new garden and also some money, which was duly spent on another DVD and a CD, New Order's, Waiting for the siren's call, which as a album is fine, but as a New Order Album, pretty much dull...  Work isn't really much fun at the moment, but I'm battling through and will see what happens when I get to the other side :¬)

24th June 2005 :: And now for the hard bit
The hard landscaping in the garden is now complete, I've made a start on the second deck, which will be circular - cutting the decking will be fun - I've been busy at work this week, so not much chance to get much done after work, hopefully, weather permitting, I'll be making a push to get the decking finished, the water feature working and maybe a few other bits too :¬)

15th June 2005 :: Almost finished...
The garden landscaping is now almost complete, the Granite Sett feature rings are in place, the slate paving is almost complete, the blue brick lawn edgings are in and the water feature base is complete.  I have a load of timber coming on Saturday, so I can build the second deck and create a retaining structure for the side beds.  Also bought this last week was a Broil King gas BBQ, a outdoor gas heater and mum bought me a gazebo for my birthday next month :¬)

6th June 2005 :: And so it begins...
After repeated redesign, months of anguish and lots of sleepless nights, the garden has finally been started !  Got a bloke in doing the hard stuff, with me just helping where I can.  Today the garden was levelled out, hardcore was placed and whacked down.  I've also painted four fence panels before it went dark and completed some stuff for work too !  Busy day and I'm pooped !

5th June 2005 :: Long time no update...
At the request of Colbo, here's an update.  May saw a week in Majorca, weather was great, apartment was lovely and the people were as always as friendly as they could be :¬)  After seeing mum's camera, I had to get one for Lesley, so she was snapping all over with her birthday toy.  Built a PC for my mate Dave, nice P4 3.2GHz with 1Gb DDR Ram and 120Gb Hard Disk, he seems happy now he can play Half-Life 2, but it seems to be running a little hot, so will have to sort that soon.

On a sad note, another close friend of mine lost his dad last month, he's took it hard but hopefully he will find it in himself to come and talk about the ordeal... 

As for me, I'm on with the garden now, with tonnes of slate, granite and blue engineering bricks sat on the drive waiting to be laid.  Got a man coming to do the hard work starting tomorrow, so hopefully the structural part of the garden will be complete within the next two weeks, in readiness for the planting, which also is already in hand :¬)  Work is plodding on currently, two people have recently left, Patrick to work for East Riding Council and Fiona to have a little baby, she popped a little 7lb 2oz boy out last week :¬)

Lastly, I'm playing with the idea of building a Media Centre PC for the living room.  I'm not talking some hulking noisy machine here, I'm thinking of using either a Pentium M mobile CPU or even a VIA Eden CPU to reduce heat output and hence require less cooling, therefore reduced fan noise.  The options are limited, but maybe I'll get there sometime before Christmas !

29th April 2005 :: Digirama
Mum continues to amazing me in her new found gadget craze...  She has now fell victim to buying a digital camera.  She said at first, just a £120, then when she got to the shop was willing to spend £270 !  We ended up getting a Fuji F455 for £41 less than list :¬)  Haydn the deal maker strikes again.

28th April 2005 :: Victory
Had some great news today, the local Fire Station that had been earmarked for closure by the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has been saved, the vote by the Fire Authority overturned the plan, with all 12 members voting to keep the station open !  I've been very active in saving the station, writing to and phoning councillors, fire authority members, MP's and even John Prescott, who incidentally failed to reply to my letter !

10th April 2005 :: Rough Week
Just looking forward to Majorca in May !

29th March 2005 :: Easter Break
Just back from Edinburgh, had a nice relaxing time, even though it rained, was foggy and I got stuck on the motorway in a post accident traffic jam.  I will add the photos as soon as I get around to it :¬)

25th March 2005 :: Site updates
Started to add in my old holiday pictures from my previous website...  It's a bit of a ball ache !  Going away on Sunday though, three days in Edinburgh, booked into a nice hotel :: The Bonham :: which is close to the main shopping street and also within a short walk of the castle !

22nd March 2005 :: What ever will I do next ?
With the evasion of doomsday, I've been tasked now with continuing with my VMS project for Hull.  Simple you might think ?  Well, it will involve pulling many elements of the City Council and the private sector together, to form a basis of what Hull City Centre will look like in a few years from now.  I've got approval today to spend about £2M on EMS (Electronic Message Signs), CPGS (Car Park Guidance Signs), control infrastructure, supplementary static signing and staff resource.  Also approved today was a report on Decriminalised Parking for Hull, this means that the control of parking will be removed from the Police to be managed by the City Council, with the ticket revenue going back into parking schemes and maintenance.  Sounds good in principle, but many of the Traffic Wardens now fear for their jobs, pay, pensions and benefits, that they currently get.

9th March 2005 :: Doomsday, as predicted didn't happen !
Doomsday came and went, it didn't happen, much to the Hull Daily Mail's disgust, however, the Yorkshire Post gave a honest and truthful account of the days events, yes there was minor niggles, but as predicted by "The team" the closure of North Bridge went to plan.

6th March 2005 :: North Bridge Final
Well the day is upon us tomorrow, the media in Hull have had a field day on the subject, however, after completing the final on site part of the Traffic Management works yesterday, I'm very confident that the press will have egg all over their faces.  I will be in Hull tomorrow from 5:30am, monitoring the CCTV cameras around key routes into the city and managing the team that will deliver Traffic and Travel information and also making some critical traffic management decisions about signal times, traffic warden duties and dealing with the media - after they have wiped the egg off themselves.

13th February 2005 :: Digital Mum

Mum has embraced the 21st century since I've left home, first with an iPod, then Sky Digital, then a Camera Phone...  Now she's gone all Pentium on me and asked me to build her a computer.  How does this sound ? 2.8GHz Pentium 4 (S775 with 1MB Cache), 80GB SATA 7200RPM hard disk, 512MB DDR ram, DVD writer, a 19" Iiyama monitor and a Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard and Mouse all for about £450 !  She's also gone ADSL too !!!  What next, maybe she will get married to a con from the USA on death row !!!

3rd February 2005 :: North Bridge
Taken a few days off due to a really bad bout of stomach cramps.  Work is very mad right now, due in part to a major project I'm responsible for delivering and also all the other nonsense we get dragged into.  I made it into the press this week, picture and quote from myself no less, also in the news is that the North Bridge Closure (the project I'm responsible for) could well be high on the political agenda for the May 2005 General Election (well in Hull at least) where we have both Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and Cabinet Minister Alan Johnson.  I'm amazed that whilst building a £230M Tram system in Sheffield, with all the associated diversions to utilities and numerous road closures, we never had as much press coverage as on this little £1.5M bridge maintenance scheme.

10th January 2005 :: Busy Christmas
Looks like I've been slack in updating here, but been busy :¬)  Christmas was a normal mix of family, chocolate, family deaths and a nasty cold.  Enough said...  The New Year has started as it means to go on, work is as busy as ever with a major project to divert traffic from a bridge that's closing for repairs and at home I've been left with some storm damage to sort out, only a few ridge tiles, however it seems as though my roof tiles are not fixed as they should be, I'll have to dig deeper and sort that over the next few days...

8th December 2004 :: Councillor Nausea
I've had the realisation that most councillors are indeed unaware of the national need for modal shift from single occupancy vehicles and feel that we should be following the US model of building multi lane highways through our cities because its a vote winner !  Hmmm, funny how their tune changes when they have to sign the contract for the Billions of £'s it would cost to do such a thing !

21st November 2004 :: Half-Life 2
It's been six years in the waiting, I've spent £800 upgrading my computer to play it, it's had rave reviews - All I can say is wow !  Never have I been so engrossed in a game - The game physics, the visual quality, the AI, the whole damn thing is just out of this world !  Play on................

11th November 2004 :: Sickly Me !
Opps, I let myself run out of my tablets on Sunday, this means Haydn has had the nasty reflux gullet thing return again.  Hit me on Monday night, had a shitty Tuesday, got my new prescription that afternoon and then been playing catch up ever since.  Hope to be back in fighting form very soon !

5th November 2004 :: Upgrades Are Us !
After several months of threatening to upgrade to a kick ass PC, I've finally done it !  Well it's not the ultimate kick ass PC, but S775 3.2GHz Pentium 4, with 1GB DDR, 120+200GB SATA hard disks and a nVidia 6600GT video card, it should give me a fighting chance with :: Half-Life 2 ::

Also been doing a little grave investigation today, my ancestors lived in a nearby village in the late 1700's to 1800's, so we figured that there could be some clues in the village graveyard.  Had a quick scan but no initial clues, so back to the drawing board.  Some of the old houses seem to date from that era through, so might find something in the local census, births and deaths records.

30th October 2004 :: Me, Myself and Ikea
Buying flat pack furniture should be easy, but gawd I hate Ikea.  Maybe that's a :: Rant :: subject for the future !  However, got them home and I must confess the Ikea "Pax" flat pack is superb and so easy to assemble, shame my walls are straight though ! LOL 

23rd October 2004 :: Scaring John Prescott
Had a wet time on site in the week, supervising some coloured surfacing being laid.  Fun bit was firing the thermal lance up (sounds like a machine gun firing) as the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott drove past in his bullet proof Jaguar with Special Branch armed escort !  Needless to say, put a smile on all our faces !

15th October 2004 :: Post Holiday Blues
Going back to work after a nice, chilled holiday was always going to be bad, but this time it was a little bit worse.  I have spent the last two months running around busy as a bee, but now, it's almost like the calm before the storm.  I've been tasked with some new work, mainly in the city centre, but I can't help thinking that, the work I am about to begin is a whole lot bigger nightmare than the last few months !

27th September 2004 :: Not so Bus Station Blues
I was quoted today in the press...  "It's gone like a dream" said a council spokesperson. :¬)  To sum up, the press was out and waiting for an almighty mess to happen, well what with the hard work of all the people involved, it didn't happen.  Funny how my bosses haven't been bothered to praise me !

25th September 2004 :: Bus Station Blues
Work has been progressing on my current project, the new temporary bus station for Hull.  Tomorrow is the crunch day, all the services will move into the Albion Street / Bond Street area and I will find out if the last few months hard work has paid off !

19th September 2004 :: iPod Mini
Mum, who still struggles with the video timer has just moved into the iPod era...  a nice bright green one, with 4GB of storage.  I must confess to being quite amazed with the device !

9th September 2004 :: Albion Street
Work is currently very very busy and I'm working very long hours.  For more on what's keeping me so busy check :: More here ::

5th September 2004 :: New Site
Launched the new format site, only in a very reduced form currently, will be working on the new pages over the next few months.