By Calum on Jun 20, 2007
First up, the main part of Julie's belated birthday present from me was a spa weekend at the Johnstown House Marriott over in County Meath, still one of our favourite retreats when we want to spoil ourselves. That was supposed to be followed by her even-more-belated Christmas present the next day-- a trial flying lesson up near Belfast-- but it was cancelled for the second time this year due to poor weather. (It's rescheduled for this weekend, but the signs don't look good so far...)
On Bank Holiday Monday, Julie again joined 40,000 or so other women in the Women's 10km Mini-Marathon. Lack of training opportunities meant her time wasn't quite as good as her last outing, but she still raised a tidy sum for the Niall Mellon Township Trust.
Following that, the other 'big bit' of Julie's birthday present was tickets to see George Michael at the RDS outdoor arena in Dublin... not especially my cup of tea musically (I enjoyed Sophie Ellis-Bextor's warm-up set more than I was expecting though-- and not just because of those legs!), but there's no denying he knows how to put on a show, and the weather couldn't have been better. Here's hoping it's as good on Friday for my birthday day out to see Peter Gabriel and Crowded House in Marlay Park, but as it's been tipping it down and blowing a hooley all week so far, that looks unlikely to say the least...
On the geek front, pretty much every gadget I own has given up the ghost this month. First my camcorder, which fortunately was repaired under warranty. Then it was the turn of my ageing Minolta S414 digicam, whose CCD has thrown a fatal wobbler. (I luckily have a bit of birthday money to replace that... price and feature-wise, I'm looking at something along the lines of a Finepix S5700, but I'd prefer the proper image stabilisation and the form factor of a Lumix-- suggestions welcome!) My PS2's optical drive then proceeded to expire noisily; cue a quick trip down to Game to get one of the new slimline jobbies. (And another trip back next week armed with WEEE documentation to take my old one back for recycling again, since they refused the first time.)
Finally, the video cable on my PowerBook G4 has failed to the point of uselessness, after creaking a bit for a few months... 'fortunately', the five-year-old Dell Inspiron 8100 that I was using as a home server also suffered yet another hard disk failure the other week, so the PowerBook can take over those duties when my new MacBook Pro arrives :)