Friday the 18th of July, my final day at Phonak.
I was supposed to leave the following Wednesday, but they had very kindly agreed I could leave on Friday, which would allow me to have a week off before starting my new job on the 28th.
In the afternoon, we had some cakes and a bit of a celebration. I gave a short (very short for me) speech and shook everyone’s hand, kissed a few people (but nothing serious).
I got 5 cards, and some really nice presents, including a space pen with my name and “Coolest man in Phonak” engraved on it (from Louise and Lisa), and a really smart caricature picture which I’ve put up in my living room (from Jean and Tracey) and a cracking bottle of wine from my mate Nick.
An envelope was passed to me, which I thought mistakenly, was some sort of “keep your mouth shut money”. Leaping back to reality, I realised it was a collection.
I was shocked when I found out how much. It was far more money than I expected (and honestly more than I thought I was worth 🙂
Sad to leave, but lots of fun memories.
I used the money from the collection to buy some new Rohan trousers the following day.
Back to Friday evening. I’d arranged to meet up with Dan Q, my old friend from Chester, who works on the business park.
Once I stop working in Warrington, I reasoned, we wouldn’t see much of each other and I wanted to say good bye.
I’d forgotten a key detail. Dan is an arse, supposedly turned up for 10 minutes, then went home to enjoy the nice weather.
So, to plan B. I’d promised to catch up with Tracey, a long-time friend and confident from work, who was meeting up with her son and some of the younger crew, from the lab.
I had a nice time with them all, but the lesson learned was don’t try and drink with the kids, as though your 20, when your clearly not.
I went home in a bit of a state, and missed attending the globetrotters talk on Easter Island (I’m going there next year) due to a hangover.
Speaking of work. if your connected to me in Linked In, and can’t find me, its because I’ve cancelled my account.
8 years membership hasn’t delivered anything I can think of. I only had an account on there because I felt like I should. I’ve realised I’m not a “feel like I should” kind of guy.
On Sunday, Nikki had decided to replace her car and asked for my help (I know more about delivering baby’s than I do cars, but I wanted to get involved)
For 3 years, while working at Phonak, we used to listen to the radio when I sat with accounts.
An advert, which got as close to mind control as is scientifically possible, was for Fords of Winsford (I can hear the infuriating jingle in my head as I type this now).
I actually got to visit it while car shopping and it was pretty interesting (they had a nice canteen, and I had a pasty and some coffee).
I loved the Ford Focus power shift and the Vauxhall Astra GTC. They were really smart. Visited a few more dealerships (and sampled more coffee) then went home.
Weather was fantastic, but that’s no reason to sit on my behind.
Loads to do in house, and I was delighted to chop through the list of 80 DIY things that needed doing.
I also had visits from a plumber and glazier, as I’d been advised to find out who upgrading the house would cost. Turned out, it was much less than I thought.
Dropped off some unneeded stuff at the charity shop.
* Once again, the guy in the picture above isn’t me, he’s some sort of model, but this time he’s sawing.
Tuesday, and more work to do in the house.
My spirits are picked up by this hilarious picture that Glenn sent me.
I’ve owned 400 plus self help books, and career wise, I’ve frequently read, “dress for the job you want”. When I saw this I collapsed laughing.
Once jobs were done, I caught up with a series called the 100, as recommended by Alan at Phonak Credit Control.
In the afternoon, I went to the local hospital to have my knee x-rayed.
I read a book some years ago, called the pocket life coach.
It mentioned each week, creating a “putting up with list”. The idea, is that real problems in your life get sorted out.
Annoying problems, on the fringes, like dripping taps don’t, but sap your energy and take days off your life.
My knee, aches and irritates me sometimes, yet I’ve put up with it, and walked 25 miles across rough terrain on it, without major problems.
Thinking of the putting up with list, I’ve decided to sort it out.
* to those that dont know, the picture above is Hugh Laurie, who played Greg House, a genius/eccentric Dr, with a limp.
In the evening, I have a couple of drinks with Glenn, then we go for a curry.
Pretty fun night (I didn’t take any pictures unfortunately, so this is an old photo, and I’ve lost a lot of weight since).
Over the conversation, Glenn offers to give me a lift to Greenfield the following morning, so I dont have to take the train.
On Wednesday I arrive in Greenfields, which I first visited aged 13 and haven’t been back to in at least 10 years (I’ll be putting up a whole page about it soon).
My oldest friend Frank Walmsley was always fond of Greenfield as well.
Since he was back from Thailand where he now lives and we only see each other about once every 3 years, it seemed an ideal place to meet up.
It was fab to see his lovely wife Na as well and hear about goings on back in Thailand where I’ve had so many good times.
Thursday, and more routine stuff.
Off to the tailors, to have my walking trousers repaired and stock up on supplies (including cans of lager).
After loads of work in the loft, I got cracking in the garden.
Its hard to imagine a tiny garden like this needing loads of work, but after months of neglect, the Japanese garden that Lisa & Glenn ridicule was back to full strength.
Bit of a lazy day on Friday, organised my outdoor gear and watched Defiance.
In the afternoon, I met up with Nikki and we headed off to Betsy Coed camping
By “mistake” ended up in the wrong camp site, which turned out to be better than the one I’d originally planned to stay at.
Dinner and pints on Friday night in the town. Saturday walking didn’t go entirely to plan, but had great fun and fab weather with Dave E despite buses right out of Charley Chaplain.
Sat evening, a brill barbecue on the camp site cooked by Nikki’s sister Lyn.
Sunday and breakfast by the railway. Had a look in the shop there, as I’ve decided to build a train set “thing” with ticket offices and trees.
Back home on Sunday, pints in the Mill, bath and ready to start new job the following day.
Overall, a fantastic 9 days, to catch up with friends, get out walking, get things done and recharge my batteries.
The search for adventure continues…