Resources from the web site of Well House Consultants on the subject of Daily life. We provide
I write. I write off topic. Share with me in this section
(and the following sections) some of my musings that are nothing
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|Five lessons learned or re-learned on my travels
1. Demand still outstrips supply in WiFi connectivity, and there are still people out there looking to make a quick profit. Conclusion of my trip from Melksham to Thun to give a course from Wednesday to Friday.
2. There is a lot that could be done by the UK railways to bring them up to the standards ...
|Moving on - a task for the hotel staff!
Six beds (and seven bedrooms) in six nights ... this is one heck of a week if you wondered why my blog has dropped to a trickle. Sunday night at home, Monday in Cheltenham where (for the first time in my life) I complained at checkin ("oh yeah - it might smell - they've been working on the drains"), ...
|The family is defunct. Long live the family.
Have you heard it said that in modern society the family, and especially the extended family, is defunct? That so many of us of working age have become so driven by various pressures to earn money to keep a roof over our heads that we have abandoned things which would have been considered our natural ...
|Remembrance day - inside a church and inside the day
I remember how bored I got at school at the end of term Church service - we all shuffled across the road to St Nic's and listened to Rev Ogilvie - who was a nice and earnest man, and great in a pastoral role. But listening to him and to the head have us sing songs with words I found - even in those ...
|Sunday - no longer a day of rest
Well ... yesterday was one of the busiest days I can recall, and it was a Sunday. We've moved a very long way from the UK (and our business) being Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.
There are - normally - a couple of compromises to it being a "weekend" day on Sunday - such as breakfast starting at 08:00 rather ...
Monday through Wednesday - Perl course in Bristol. Thursday and Friday - PHP course in Swindon. "Of Course" newsletter - autumn edition - to be proof read. Opentalk and other boards to be checked and moderated. Contract work / elements to be slotted in. Typical quiet week ;-)
Stopped overnight with ...
|interesting products and subjects
I once went to a military exhibition in Germany to present a computer graphics card on a booth, run by the company I was working for. It was before the days of the EU, and I had to get the card signed through each international border on the way on a "Carnet" - what a hassle. So I was pretty d**n proud ...
|Changes to morning routines
You'll have noticed a drop-off in blog entries this week because it's been SO busy - even by our standards. The last Python Course before Christmas from Sunday to Wednesday has run into the last Lua Course of 2011 running from Thursday to Sunday (yes, we're up to a seven day week!). Add to that various ...
|Busy weekend of contrasts.
A busy weekend after a busy week. And already it's Monday morning again. 7 delegates on a Python course, currently (08:15 as I write) at breakfast at Well House Manor.
Saturday was a trip to Taunton ... for the twice-a-year meeting of Travel Watch South West, where representatives of user groups and ...
|Twitter Phishing Trips ... and a great new alert service
A new service from Twitter - telling me when people mention me in their tweets. I like it - helps me keep engaged with efriends such as Alex, during very busy times. It's only something that I've seen in the last few days.
But at the same time, I've started to receive "message box full" ...
|2000th article - Remember the background and basics
Entry number 2000 ... little did I look forward to my two thousandth article when, in the summer of 2004, Lisa suggested that I should join that trendy group who were starting their blogs. But here I am, in my fifth year of posting, averaging more than one article per day.
Why has it lasted? Perhaps ...
|A move towards the family
Over the weekend, Chris and Delene moved - from Calne to Melksham, from a shorter term home to one where they hope to settle down for many years, and from one which was just a house to one which has some very specific features and prospects that can make it truly their home.
With a short move, and a ...
|C course inspires new teaching examples
If you're reading this article as one of a series in my blog, looking for amusing anecdotes, and news of Melksham, you may be getting a bit concerned at the long series of articles on C and C++. This week, I was at meetings at Well House Manor on Tuesday evening, the divisional police HQ on Wednesday ...
|Family Gathering at 404, The Spa
Yesterday's lunch was the first time in goodness know how long that the whole family living here abouts came together for dinner, so I'm going to make a very rare break from my 'norm' and post a family photo which they all knew I was taking. From left to right, my Dad, son Chris, his wife Delene, Tom ...
The most incredibly busy week - a five day Perl course, and five evening meetings too. The web server has been down for a few hours this evening (don't know why yet - network problems at our web space provider by the looks of things), so no more than a holding post tonight! ...
|Quiet summer days? I think not!
I was amused at the co-incidence ... to see that one of our most downloaded images in the last 24 hours has been this one, taken st least three years ago at the rear of "404". It's a co-incidence because - just yesterday - I brought that BBQ out of storage in 'The Tack Room' at The Manor, degreased ...
|Learning about others private lives
The woman sitting next to dad is worried about tomorrow's meeting now that Emily has had to pull out ... she wonders if Lucinda can go on her own and how that can be turned to her advantage. She left a curry in the bottom of the fridge, but is having her son check to make sure that it doesn't have cashews ...
|Enjoying the summer weather
The long, long evenings and the lovely weather are giving us some great opportunities to walk; here's Gypsy, with 200 yards of our home, in the fields. Having been with us for about six weeks, she's now well attached and can be let off the lead in appropriate places - and on the way up to "The Foresters" ...
|Updating my public profile - Graham Ellis
It's when delegates start asking me how old the picture of me in the back of the training notes is that I realise I should update my picture from time to time - not that people choose the person to teach their PHP course based on a photo of the tutor.
The picture on the right is me, taken on 27th April ...
|A long day to guess where
It's only quarter to eight in the evening ... but I'm exhausted to sleep - probably due to the quarter past five start from home this morning. Perhaps that was crazy, but for on site course between 150 and 200 miles from home, I'm torn - to travel out the night before, have the hassle of unloading all ...
|Town Crier competiton
Through the archway at the old fire station, you can see Melksham's market place and all the old buildings around it. Two hundred years ago, Melksham was the largest town for many miles around and that history is still there to be seen.
Today was the first of what we hope will become an annual Town ...
|Out in the Vale of Pewsey
On Saturday, we took the day off / out. We've been holed up too long at home working on accounts, web sites, and all the other stuff that comes with our business so that - although we are not short of things to do - we needed a refresh.
I have often driven through Pewsey ... but never stopped. So on ...
Yesterday was a lovely Spring day ... with bright sunlight making the old clock on the side of the Church (a.k.a. the sundial) useful for once after a long and dull winter ;-). In the field and on the hillsides, white horses (of both animal and chalk varieties) added to the scene.
It feels a lot longer ...
|Learning to Twitter / what is Twitter?
Have you come across Twitter - http://twitter.com. I expect some of the folks who read here will have done so!
Twitter is a "microblog" - a message of up to 140 characters that you can update as often as you like ... and that message is called a tweet. Boris Johnson, Barak Obama, Steven Fry all twit ...
|Hire Car, from Atlanta Airport
It's only 3 days since we landed back in the UK ... yet it seems an age ago. I have written an incredible number of emails, created a new forum, and dealt with more than one major issue that's of the nature that I can't blog about it. This morning, I was up at 04:30 and prepared breakfast for over ...
|Melksham to Georgia
From Melksham at 04:00 to Blue Ridge, Georgia, at 17:30 (or 21:30 if you use the same time zone). Visiting Alyssa and Tyler. 2 cars, 2 buses, 1 railed transit, 1 aircraft. We started counting the number of queues we had to go through when we were at Gatwick, and we gave up counting ... while still ...
Friday afternoon ... and a week in which a lot has happened comes to an end. A raft of pictures that have been taken to be shared, but alas have not yet been shared ....
A week long Perl Programming course ...
Breakfast for 33 (yes, that's thirty three!) at Well House Manor this morning ...
|East of Melksham Countryside
Lisa, Dad and I went out for a walk behind our home yesterday afternoon - the view above is from the fields, looking across to Snarleton Lane. The same sort of scene must repeat itself a thousand times across the land ... but it still has a certain beauty.
On the fields across towards Snowberry ...
|Through Snow and Flood to Linux and Tomcat
I arrived in Milton Keynes on Sunday night ... to find at 9 p.m. a hotel where they had closed the restaurant early for lack of customers, and after an appalling drive the advertised meal was not to be had. The final 3 staff took pity on me - one of few customers around, and the only one not in his ...
|Who sticks by you in the snow?
There are those businesses who will go out of their way to continue to provide a the best service they can in the inclement weather, and there are those who will abandon even their regular customers in the snow - "fair weather friends". It's been interesting to learn who falls into which group this ...
|The final step to being British
It's over ten years since Lisa moved to the UK, and she's been British for over half of that time ... but there have been just a few experiences which have taken a while to happen. Last night, I took her to her first panto and she had the experience of the leading boy, the pantomime dame, "He's behind ...
|Carry on Training - in spite of the weather
Public Transport Chaos yesterday - the newspaper headlines tell us of the London bus system shut down, and our own status report page on First Great Western's train services show that they too had major issues (but congratulations to them for managing to run even a reduced service).
But our training ...
|The Month Ahead - What is happening in Melksham
OK - I admit it - I am lazy, so the list above moves forward through all the events I have in my calendar and you shouldn't find lots of old stuff hanging around. And I'll teach you how to make this easy on our PHP Techniques Course.
If you have an event to submit, email me - email@example.com and ...
|Heading Upstate New York
A bridge over the Hudson, from the Albany train
We met Linda - probably not her real name - on the railroad up from New York to Albany on Sunday. She boarded the crowded train behind us, and, looking for a seat, sat opposite us in one of the four seat bays, with a polite "may I sit here?". A quiet ...
|Looking forward, in Melksham, in 2009
Late in 2008, I was delighted and honoured to be elected the President of the Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry - something of a figurehead role in which I can listen to the views of businesses in the town, and advocate the shared business views both within the town and further afield. Here, ...
|Gordon Dodge, R.I.P.
Gordon Dodge, who helped fight such long odds to get Melksham station re-opened in 1985 - and won - passed away yesterday. My deepest sympathy goes to his wife Audrey and family who have lost a remarkable husband and father.
When I started the "Save the Train" campaign 2 summers ago, Gordon welcomed ...
Course went well ... but an awful day with the car. As I drove in to the college in Inverness where I'm training, I saw that one of my headlights was out so I bought a bulb ... and came to fit it in the college car park. But the bonnet wouldn't open. Called the AA and I had to give them a one hour ...
|The Holiday - unlikely romantic comedy?
Last night, we watched "The Holiday" - a romantic comedy with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and a couple of blokes that I didn't find quite so fetching. The premise was that both the young ladies (one in the USA and the other in the UK) had come to the end of relationships and were unhappy and distinctly ...
|Wondering where I have been
I "missed" yesterday ... and if you're wondering where I have been, let's have a look and see if we can find out ....
That's our presentation board for "Save the Train" - getting the story of the loss of service and the communities it served out to people.
A further presentation board? Yes, but ...
|End of Training, 2008
Yesterday was the end of training for 2008 - the final Perl on the Web course for the year ran, and we're into our low / quiet season ... for training IS seasonal, with a low season from mid December through to mid January, from where business picks up and we'll be "all hands on deck" again by Valentine's. ...
|Odd one out.
Paddington Station, Oxford Station, Border's book shop in Bristol, Regent's Park, London and London Bridge station. Which is the odd one out?
It's London Bridge station. I've bumped into people quite unexpectedly that I know at all those places, and at all except London Bridge station it was former ...
|Middle aged subsidise young and old
On one hand, a society should look after its young and old and give them preferential treatment - but on the other hand it's quite galling at times to feel in that expensive middle age when I am subsidising the extremes!
Why these thoughts today? Because, before we left the USA yesterday I spotted ...
|A lack of technical content
There were two emails in my inbox on Thursday, receive within a few minutes of each other> "Going mad here" says one as its subject line; "boom or bust - is the training industry on the verge of a recession" asks the other. The first was from Lisa, reporting that the enquiries and admin were flowing ...
|Behind closed doors?
I'm a great one for talking in the open, expressing my views and thoughts here on "The Horse's Mouth", sharing technical tips rather than squirrelling them away by myself. so why no entry for two days - perhaps my longest gap.
As a hotelier now, as well as a technical trainer, there's customer confidences ...
|Meet, greet and welcome
Picture ... Lisa waits at Heathrow to greet son Tyler, yesterday morning. Tyler has lived (contrary to our desire) with his natural father in Florida for these past years, and we have seen him for holidays and high days - always too short a time to spend together, always too few visits always too little ...
|Ducking stool for Melksham?
There are times that there's a clash between the look and feel of a web site, and the need for functionallity - for it to operate correcly in all circumstances. Of course, both are key elements - a web site must work correctly for it to be useful, and it must attract and retain the visitor, and help ...
|Take vehicles off the road - put all the passengers into one
One of these road vehicles can take as many passengers as all the others put together - which?
Yes, Sunday brunch was with the travel and transport folks and I ended up taking a photograph of the carpet at Jxxxx and Dxxe's place. The brunch was lovely; we drove across there as public transport ...
|Another frantic posting!
Are you wondering where I've been for 48 hours? Our busy life has been busier than normal! A Sunday brunch with people whom I have the greatest respect for in the travel and transport arena, a Monday Opening event at Well House Manor with local businesses, the Mayor, the district council leader, propective ...
|Selling by phone and Skype - our policy
Ever been "bugged" by sales calls ...as we enter the new business arena of being a hotel as well as a trtaining company, we're now being subjected to twice the number of these calls, and people are starting to sell via Skype too.
So ... for our staff ... and myself ... here's a policy statement:
|Wellhouse Manor, Hotel, Melksham
One word or two? Is it "Well House Manor", or "Wellhouse Manor". Well - really, it's three separate words but folks do write it either way. We've already got a "Wellhouse Consultants" page on our training site, as s service to anyone who does a search for us in that form and I hope this page does ...
|Enthusiastic, but ....
I'm enthusiatic in my support for the TransWilts train services, but I'm not an enthusiast. And I'm not an expert on any aspects of the railways, but I have some expertise on aspects of how the railway runs. Such is the symantics of my ongoing pressures for an appropriate level of train service for ...
"Getting a bit technical". So says my closest friend, and she's pretty technical at times. "A lot of PHP and Python". Yes, there has been a lot of PHP and Python for the last couple of weeks, so now for something completely different.
Yesterday I was recalling how we had a school visit about 12 ...
|And so to Inverness
A short and hurried blog at the end of a Sunday morning with fascinating breakfast guests - talking about the development of HTML, and the history of the Web, with a couple of the movers and shakers behind it. Part of me is sorely tempted to quote stories but, no, I won't. I've too much respect for ...
|Too much for the National Trust
Yesterday was the day that the National Trust with other organisations designated to be a typical day, and they encouraged everyone to write a blog to be archived for posterity to show typical life in October, 2006. Good idea, yes; I wrote mine, but came to find on submission that there's a 4k limit ...
|Rocks, hard places, trains and funerals.
I'm off today to the SWPTUF (South West Passenger Transport User's Forum) meeting in Taunton - it's a bit of being 'caught between a rock and a hard place' because I really need this weekend for Manor preparations AND the meeting is an important one for me to further contacts and push the case for the ...
|Vintage Bus Day
Today was Vintage bus day in Warminster ... there must have been some 50 buses dating back as far as 1947 running the old routes between Warminster and Bath, Warminster and Salibbury, Warminster and Frome, and the villages in between, Here, pictured at Horningsham, just behind the Longleat Estate, is ...
|To join an organisation?
It came as a bit of a surprise to me - but a pleasant one - when I learnt that Lisa and I were the only generation of Ellises who weren't members of the National Trust. Visiting The Courts at Holt, Dad, a life (and it seems lifelong!) member showed his card and sailed through the gate and, blow me, ...
|Working on Weekend in Wiltshire and others
A refreshing breeze today .. thank goodness that the hot weather has broken a little. I've been coding with windows (HOUSE windows!) wide open, generalising out the wiki code that we've used for a while on the main site and was written as something of an experiment so that it can be much more used for ...
|On Crosby sands
On Friday, I finished in Liverpool city centre at 17:00 and had a boat due to depart to Dublin at 22:00 from Bootle Docks just five miles up the road. This left me with time to look around at Crosby and Blundellsands, near the mouth of the Mersey. An old, quiet, clearly very affluent suburb of Liverpool ...
|Over zealous police activity?
Link to update
Is the very act of driving a car out of a pub car park sufficient grounds for a policeman to stop you on the basic that he suspects you might be drinking and driving? Apparently, the policemen of Wiltshire think it is.
The other day, I left the West End (Pub) after a lunch with customers. ...
|Open source questions? Anyone can ask.
"Do you answer questions from ANYONE on your Opentalk forum, or just from people you've trained" ... Asked by a delegate on last Friday's MySQL course.
I answer good questions from anyone. Questions from people who've been on courses tend to be excellent questions - on topic, not easily resolved by ...
|Coming or going?
Well - that's been one heck of a week and I don't know if I'm coming or going!
Excellent course in Gloucester - a great group of delegates and a real opportunity to show another 9 people what a fabulous language Perl is, and how it can be really useful in what they're doing. To give them some practical ...
|Behind every face is a person and a story
"That's a lovely piece of cloth". What an unexpected comment from the office and facilities gent who was helping me move my laptops from the loading bay to the boardroom. There's so much we view, but don't see, isn't there? Raymond, who's always on hand when I run courses at this Central Glasgow location, ...
I lost my "Camel Book". You would think that with over 600 books on the shelves, I wouldn't miss the odd one - but each book has its own particular features and certainly amongst my 23 hot favourites I'll spot any that are missing within a few days. What a mystery - had a delegate taken it accidentally ...
|Not two the same
A Midland town at the start of the week, and Swindon today. Next Monday morning, I start in Bristol. Python earlier this week, PHP today, Perl next week. Seven students using Windows a few days ago, one using ... dunno (it doesn't matter for today's subject) today, and 10 students using a mixture of ...
|Helping mental health through diet, exercise and other lifestyle matters
A broken leg has laid my son Chris low for the past few months. A car pulling out in from of his motorcycle lead to is entire left leg being in a plaster cast for several months; it's now in a reduced cast and he's getting somewhat more mobile.
Chris has always been immersed in computing - from hacking ...
|May day away
I'm away for a short break this long weekend - Hi from a wet, wet Oban - passing through on the way to the Isles. COuldn't resist nipping in to this Internet Cafe. ...