Not dead…

…though I’ve come pretty close to it through an excess of excess in the last few days. I think that most of my internal organs are about to pack in as a result of the strain of it all.
Coming up soon on grayblog…

  • the annual grayblog Review Of The Year
  • a Christmas report
  • um… stuff. and things.

Watch this space!

A special announcement

Well, for those of you who have waited patiently for a photo of Hels, here she is with your cheesily-grinning author on the banks of a canal in Copenhagen, with the impressive buildings of the Gammel Strand behind.
Hels and me, Copenhagen, 29 November 2003
In my original account of our long weekend in Copenhagen, I left out one thing that took place. On the Friday evening, we walked around Tivoli, admiring the beautiful fairy lights and watching all the happy Danes (and tourists) enjoying the rides, stalls and glögg. Having passed the skating rink and warmed ourselves by a brazier, we turned a corner and found the most breathtaking sight, a weeping willow with simple white lights along every branch arching down and wonderfully reflected in the water of a lake. It was utterly beautiful and we held each other close as we admired it. We stood there gazing at it, and agreed that it was very beautiful indeed. Then there was a pause. I turned to Hels, and said "Will you marry me?" – and without so much as a moment of hesitation, she said "Yes!"

On Monday, we stopped in a wonderful independent jewellers on the Strøget, where we chose and I purchased a beautiful white gold ring with four princess-cut diamonds, which Hels is wearing as she sits next to me now.

I am the happiest man alive.

[with apologies to all those who are reading this before I’ve had a chance to send you a personal message – we’re just so thrilled, that we want everyone to know!]

Hooray, hooray, holiday!

This is the last you’ll hear from me until Tuesday afternoon at the earliest. I’m just about to depart for Tunbridge Wells, and in the morning Hels and I will go to Gatwick for the 0940 Maersk flight to Copenhagen. For the first time in ages, I’ll be travelling sans laptop in spite of the hotel being equipped with broadband in every room.
We both need this break desperately – I’ve been looking forward to it since the moment I booked it. It’s going to be brilliant.
See you all next week!


Typical, isn’t it? Just as I’m about to go away for a much needed weekend break with my gorgeous girlfriend Hels, I catch a cold. Still, there is only one thing to do when you have a cold – yes, that’s right, try to infect as many people as possible, with bonus points for infecting people of other nationalities. Fortunately Hels is unlikely to catch it as she has already had it.

I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Any tips from people who know the city would be welcome. We’re planning to nip over to Malmo on Sunday too, as Copenhagen seems to shut down on the sabbath. If you’re very lucky, there may be photos. If you’re really lucky, you may even get a photo of Hels. If you’re unlucky, I’ll be in it too.


Dad is [many] years old today. Happy birthday! (not that he reads this, but, you know, the thought is there and all that)

As promised…

I promised an update on what has been going on during my month-long hiatus. Contrary to rumours spread by Dead Kenny (who has done a fine job of keeping you up to date with things Brighton and Hove Albion-ish), I haven’t been exploring illegal substances or doing anything that could really be described as thoroughly outrageous. However, the following did occur (in no particular order):

  • Brighton appointed a new manager in the form of Mark McGhee. I think this is a good choice for Brighton in the short term, but it is unlikely that he will stay with us much beyond the end of the season, particularly given the lack of a decent stadium facility.
  • There is a "new" Weebl and Bob
  • My brother Tim and his long-time girlfriend Jane surprised just about everyone by announcing their engagement at the weekend. Huge congratulations to them! I think everyone had just about given up on them ever marrying, what with their joint cat, joint mortgage and his-and-hers mobile phones – it never seemed as if they wanted the hassle of a ceremony. Still, a chance for yours truly to wear a suit and stand up in front of a crowd of people and talk for a few minutes. Potential best man speech topic ideas welcome.
  • Mo restarted content creation, which is a good thing.
  • I travelled to Amsterdam for a few days to attend Hortifair at the RAI, which was both hard work and tiring. I went with Mike, one of the people supporting PFE, and we had a useful and enjoyable time meeting lots of companies at the fair as well as sampling the products of the local restaurants. On the last morning, we even managed to fit in a very quick tour of the Van Gogh Museum, where we had an interesting discussion on the merits of James Cagney and Jimmy Stewart as actors, and also concluded that much of Vincent’s daubing was driven by purely commercial motivation, rather than much in the way of artistic desire. At least, that is the impression that much of the museum gives – I’m sure that there is an art historian reading this who will disagree.
  • Some bright spark set fire to Woolworths in Chichester city centre, causing some considerable damage to the facade.
  • The final parts of the refurbished Waitrose have opened. The coffee is pretty good.
  • I moved grayblog to new hosts and installed MT. The hosts are a lot cheaper and offer better support and many more facilities. MT is very powerful, but almost has too many features for a time-poor site owner like myself.
  • I’m sure that there were loads of other things, but I can’t think of them at the moment.

Some of you might be wondering why I disappeared from the scene. Well, partly it was because grayblog was drifting a little and had lost its way. I hoped that taking a break would help me to find my blogging mojo once more. It also afforded the opportunity to at least get started on some of the boring back end changes that needed to be made in the hosting and CMS arenas. As you have probably realised, there is still more to do on that score.
But one of the principal reasons was that I had found myself to be very short of time indeed. Much of that is a product of the pressures of work.

In addition to all of that, a little while before I took my blogging break, I met Hels. She’s made me promise not to write too much about her here, so I will not say much more than that for now. Suffice to say that she is beautiful and fun, we are very happy, and have all sorts of plans, including a weekend break in Copenhagen at the end of the month which I’m really looking forward to.

So, what news have you lot got?