Snow days…

We’ve had about 8 inches of snow and the school’s I should have been working with are all closed (along with the majority of Oxfordshire schools).  We’re all at home – working now we’re back from sledging and snowballing.  I’ve uploaded some photos to Flickr – see to the right of this page.


Long period of quietness comes to an end…

I realise that there has been a prolonged period of quietness from this blog recently (unlike the radiator under my desk that has just belched loudly!) so I thought it was time I updated.  It’s not that I have not been blogging BUT recently I have been working on a blog pulling together ICT and Education-related news/comments etc which I am helping to share with teachers (mainly aimed at Oxfordshire teachers really).  Finding, choosing, editing, presenting these snippets is quite time consuming but the number of hits is growing steadily with weekly hits regularly nearing 100 already!

As to home-based news, we are preparing for Christmas slowly – presents have taken a back seat with our recent move but now that’s mostly complete I think we can start gearing up for Christmas now!  The large (too large) conifer which dominates the front corner of our new home is bedecked with lights now and at the weekend various members of the family helped to make a wreath for our front door which is now proudly hanging there welcoming visitors.

The girls secret Christmas present has been ordered and will arrive this week hopefully – when it will no longer be a secret as it is FAR to large to be hidden, and will involve yours truly spending a considerable amount of time constructing it BEFORE Christmas!

Photos to follow I’m sure!

Well enough for now…

Internet grocery shopping – lazy or cost cutting?

Over the many years I have ‘dabbled’ with various online supermarkets.  Sainsburys, Tesco then most recently Ocado.

Ocado wins!

The on-line shopping experience, the iphone app, the weekly delivery slot, the Waitrose products price checked against Tesco prices.

The text before delivery to remind me of the delivery time and to tell me about any missing items, the driver AND van’s name! Not only that but the receipt organised into DATE order so that we know what needs to be used and by then – I am a convert AND the typical weekly shop is about £30 less as I am only buying the items I know we need every week!

PLUS we get special offers and a free newspaper most weeks!Nick

Back from Wales too…

A lovely week in Wales near Aberdyfi.  Some sun, a little wind, some rain (but not a lot and really not much at all in the day).  We boated on Lake Bala in our Canoe, we rode a little steam train from Aberystwyth, played on the beach, TWICE.  We ate Honey ice cream and met the Honey Ice Cream Bear!  We visited the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) and King Arthur’s Labyrinth.  We swam indoor and some of us outdoor.  All in all a super week!  There are some photos on Flickr!nick_rvsm

France 2009

We are all safely back from France.  You didn’t know we’d been?  Oh well, do try and keep up!

I am traditionally a Francophobe I guess.  I don’t speak much French having given it up in 1984 after only 3-4 years.  We visited Northern France quite a few years ago and it was ok, I guess, but nothing very mind blowing.  Then about a six months ago my father-in-law (Grandpa Huge) decided to treat the whole of his family to a holiday as a way of marking his 70th Birthday!

He chose France at a place called Camping Les Gorges du Chambon.  We had a BALL – it was superb!

We flew into Limoges airport and drove a hire car to spend a week in a caravan-come-rustic wooden chalet with the 4 other families and Grandpa Huge & Grandma Doris.

Six ‘vans’, 12 adults, 12 children (all Hugh’s Grand Children) and glorious weather.

I even drove (being too tight to pay to put S onto the insurance!).


  • played in the on-site play park
  • canoed
  • played on the artificial beach at the river
  • swam in the pool
  • rode horses (well some little people did)
  • went to visit markets
  • ate & drank
  • prepared a surprise treasure hunt ending at a surprise picnic
  • watched a most spectacular evening thunder storm

We all really loved the week.

We stayed on for a second week with Ellie & Paul & family.  That was also a lovely week but in a location about one hour north of Limoges.

Some of the photos are appearing on Flickr and will be on the following pages too soon…

Maybe now I am something of a Francophile!nick_rvsm

01 Jan 09 Looking back, looking forwards…


As 2008 has drawn to a close and 2009 is but a day old I am in reflective mood.

Achievements for 2008
* successfully started roll-out of the new LP
* kept my sense of humour (mainly)
* kept my family together!
* converted to iPod technology with my iPod Touch
* converted to Twitter (when I finally got what it is all about!)
* the development of and this blog
* getting BT Vision (it rocks)

Looking forwards to 2009
* Evangelising the new LP
* The birth of West Oxfordshire Division, St. John Ambulance
* first OCC training using SL
* continued development of the “Family Speller!”  nick_rvsm

26 Dec 08 Merry Christmas and all that…


Well, that’s all folks for another year. The goose has plenty of time to fatten (again – as we enjoyed a corn fed, hand reared Turkey this year. It was a lovely bird!)
I hope that everyone got what they deserved! And that everyone has a peaceful New Year!
Roll on 2009 (and a lottery win!)  nick_rvsm

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