Cunning plan?

Mike of Troubled Diva fame has moved to Troubled-Diva. He claims that the addition of a hyphen to the URI is a response to incompetence amongst his hosts. Personally, I think it’s all just a ruse to get the entire blogging community to link to his site. Such attention seeking!

Babe in arms

One of the guests at Saturday’s party was a five week old baby called Katie. At one point, I turned to see Hels standing in the conservatory, cradling Katie in her arms. Apparently, I looked "proud". Proud that my fiancée can hold a baby?

Relationship history

Hels said I should write something here about this, although, to be honest, I’m not quite sure what to say…

On Saturday afternoon, having run a few errands and sorted out a few more wedding bits and pieces (invitations posted today), we sauntered down to Worthing for Sarah and Paul’s housewarming barbeque. We were a little bit early, so nipped into a seafront bar to kill a little bit of time and watch a squally shower lashing the shore. It was clear from the weather that we were in line for more of a "grilleque" than barbeque, and that proved to be the case once we arrived at Sarah and Paul’s spacious new home.

In spite of the inclement conditions, the party trundled along pleasantly enough, particularly as it gave me a chance to catch up with Gary, who I haven’t seen in ages, and also to meet the other usher for Sarah and Paul’s wedding (I’ve been practising my ushing ever since they asked if I would do that honour). However, what I hadn’t realised was that both Andrea and Kate would be there. It was good to see Kate again and to catch up on all the news – over the years, we have built up a good friendship, which some might say is what we should have stuck with all those years ago instead of trying to have a relationship. She and Hels got on well, which is without doubt a good thing.
The upshot of all this is that I stepped in to the living room at one point (having taken a "comfort break") to find Kate, Andrea and Hels standing next to each other and looking at me. That was the point that I decided it was time for us to leave!

The strange thing is that I really felt quite ambivalent about the whole situation. I don’t really view Kate as an ex any more – she’s a friend now. I don’t really have any time for Andrea at all, as regular readers of this site will know. And H stands head and shoulders above them both, both literally and figuratively.
As I said to H on the way home, the one thing that the evening did teach me is that it is true what they say – things do tend to work out for the best in the end. I can’t imagine how they could have worked out better than they have.

Personal news update:

Not much to write about at the moment. Work is still the dominant feature in life.

  • Drove 375 miles yesterday to deliver some plants to Cambridgeshire. Driving a Transit Luton in a strong wind is never much fun.
  • Took Hels’s car for its MOT test today. It failed. I’ve been and purchased the parts required to make it pass, and Tim is kindly fitting them. However, he’s already hit a problem, though hopefully it can be remedied quickly.
  • I’m currently printing all the inserts for the wedding invitations (where to stay, how to find it, etc.). We should get them in the post next week.
  • I’m working my way through a huge backlog of work emails that I’ve filed but not yet replied to or dealt with. PFE has reached a stage where an admin assistant would be useful, but the money is not available to pay for it. So it looks increasingly like I’ll be working longer hours to try and get everything done. Still, at least I remain in total control of everything, and I guess that is a positive.
  • And, whilst losing the football last night is a disappointment, I can see absolutely no justification for this idiotic behaviour.

Hard sums

From the Beeb:

Group D explained

  • The Czechs have won Group D.
  • Germany are guaranteed to progress if they win against the Czechs.
  • The Dutch will go through with victory against Latvia only if the Germans do not beat the Czechs.
  • Latvia will only go through with a victory and a Czech win or draw.
  • If the Czechs win and the Latvia – Netherlands match is a draw, the Netherlands will reach the quarter-finals with two points as long as the match against Latvia is a score draw. If it is goalless, the Netherlands will go through unless Germany lose by the odd goal in a match with at least five goals. Then the Germans qualify on UEFA’s coefficient.

In the event of a tie, Uefa criteria will be used to separate the teams.

Tiebreakers explained

If two or more teams finish level on points at the end of the group phase, these are the criteria which will be used to determine the final group placings:
1 Greater number of points in the matches between the teams in question
2 Goal difference from matches between the teams in question
3 Greater number of goals scored in matches between the teams in question
4 Goal difference resulting from all three group games
5 Greater number of goals scored in all group games
6 Coefficient derived from UEFA EURO 2004 and FIFA 2002 World Cup qualifiers (points obtained divided by number of matches played)
7 Fair Play ranking
8 Drawing of lots by the Committee for the European Championship only applicable if more than two teams are level

If two teams meeting in one of the last group matches have the same number of points, the same goal difference and the same number of goals, and if this match stands at a draw at the end of normal time, the ranking of these two teams will be determined by kicks from the penalty mark rather than the above-mentioned criteria.

As an aside, have you ever looked at the awful code used on one of these BBC pages. Standards? Hello?

6p! Six whole pence!

BT are to charge six pence if you press "3" after dialling 1471, according to this BBC News item. However, just using 1471, writing the number down, and then dialling it manually, will remain free. This seems to make no sense, as surely automating this process in the exchange must reduce exchange load and have a lower cost for BT – Brian?