Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Install part 3.

As I type this I’m downloading the ISO of Mandriva one ( with a view to further evaluation.

Why Mandriva?

My first intentional LINUX experience was Mandrake 9.0, which came free on a magazine cover CD in 2003 or 2004. I slapped together a dual boot trial install on a work machine, and was impressed with how well it ran, decoding DVD video output in a 600X800 box glitch free through a 233MHz processor. Web browsing was a pleasant experience, and although fonts left a little to be desired, it wasn’t too bad with a Voodoo 3 card.

So I installed it as a dual boot on my home machine.

This machine had 2 CD drives, and it quickly became obvious that little thought had been given to how LINUX should handle such a situation: I couldn’t install software or watch DVDs by popping the appropriate disc in a drive and using it. Now to anyone experienced WITH LINUX would have solved this in a jiffy, but coming with more than 15 years apple and PC experience, I was completely lost. On top of that, my modem wouldn’t work without specific drivers (which were more expensive than the modem!) and ditto printer. LINUX sites were full of jargon and since Win 2000 (already installed) worked great, there was absolutely no reason to continue with it, and it was abandoned.

I’ve since tried various live CDs. Knoppix was a favourite, and I was so impressed with the way this ran I even sent Randall a CD a couple of years back. Ubuntu was also tried, but in common with some distros, it’s dull, clunky and crude looking. However I still remember just how cool and smooth that original mandrake install was. I also noticed that with my recent Fedora install, file management, hardware compatibility and general handling seemed much improved, even though screen fonts are lousy (probably due to the ATI graphics chip – ATI doesn’t offer proper LINUX driver support).

As part of trying to support people here I’ve been reading up about Vista, since I know that sooner or later someone will get a vista-based machine and need help. However it turns out that 3D desktops aren’t that new after all – Mandriva (as mandrake has been renamed) has had them for a couple of years. My curiosity was piqued, and so instead of installing fedora as I’d planned, I’ve decided to try Mandriva again instead. It will be interesting to see if this OS is as cool as the earlier version *appeared*, hopefully with most of the LINUX command line based silliness ironed out of regular useage. This one, while at no charge, also comes with proprietary drivers, so hopefully it will recognise my graphics card and actually manage a decent display. I’ve also gone for the KDE interface, as I remember that being somewhat cleaner than gnome, although they both presented effectively the same information and settings. We shall see.

Thanks to Randall for this.


Tuesday, 30 January 2007

I've found someone....

.... who has expressed my feelings on homosexuality in a way that I have not been able to thus far. Have a look at this post on Jamie Arpin-Ricci's blog.

Monday, 29 January 2007

Hot button topic?

There’s a particular forum where hot-button topics seem to be the speciality right now. One of those that caused the most debate was the question ‘would you vote for a Muslim politician’. Views varied from “I’d consider them as any other politician” through to “how could any real Christian even consider the possibility”. No surprise there then.

So I was a little surprised to read today in the times that Israel has accepted her first Muslim cabinet minister.

Interesting that they should make such a move, all things considered. Of course some would suggest that it was the result of a manoeuvre to retain power by another (Jewish) cabinet minister, but he cannot have been alone in voting for that individual. Possibly significant, and worth watching in the future.

And now for something completely different.

Last week I did circuit training in the village for the first time since I got ill back in November. Thanks to cycling a bit since Christmas I hadn’t TOTALLY lost fitness, but it was a struggle at times. However this post isn’t about that directly.

There was something was curious about skipping. I found that I seemed to have a dfinite limit to the number of skips I could do with fluidity and good timing (skipping feels un-natural to me, being male). On 2 occasions I got to about 85 skips (I always count, as it’s part of keeping going) when my rhythm just fell apart. Weird, like I suddenly lost the sense of timing. If you’ve ever walked down a long flight of stairs and part way consciously tried to control your legs then you’ll know what I mean.

This made me wonder, is there a sub-conscious counter running in my head. Does it also have a finite capacity, and when it becomes full, does it over-flow like a bit of duff code in Windows, causing a vulnerability and a crash? Who knows, or indeed cares?

Friday, 26 January 2007

Yet one more post

Can I recommendreading this interview of John Smulo by Brodie of View from the basement. If you've never though of those who are of different religious backgrounds of being of any importance to Christians in their mission, this is for you.

Hmmm. I seem to be having typographical diarrhoea.

Blog posting is like London buses - wait for ages, then a whole bunch come together.

It's funny in the context of the last post that I'm starting to actually PREFER playing clean guitar. Even quite like MY acoustic guitar tones (most 'name players' sound sucky though). Scary.

I used to despise middle-aged guitarists that stopped rocking.


It may just be a lack of practice thing - curable only with some prolonged jamming at highish volume and decent gain levels. In reallity it's probably partly influenced by me mostly using strats - they just sound like ass with a big bucket of overdrive with a standard single coil pickup. Listen to some of Jimi's best tones - all relatively clean. SRV - clean. Knopfler - don't even think about dirt. Even Blackmore was using very modest gain levels in Purples early and best days.

Seems I'm becoming one of those watered down, mellowed out aged rockers.

I like ZZ Top

And have pretty much since I first heard them.

But I wish they didn't used to rip off some other bands when they cut 'Tres Hombres'. Thanks to one particular track I now have a very good idea of what Keef and Mick would have sounded like if they'd been born in, say, Austin instead of Sidcup. Oh, and I've just heard Gilmour's slide solo from Wish You Were Here on another track.

But Waitin' for the bus, Jesus left Chicago and La Grange just nail it for me.


It's just got to the place on the CD where the live tracks start. Gibbons is using almost uncontrollable drive levels, the guitar disappearing into a huge ball of toneless fizz. It's so overdriven it's actually hard to hear what NOTE he's playing. Crowd seemed to like it though.

Now is the winter of our discontent.

Name the originator of that quote......

Now is the winter of our current self denial, actually.

I have an ebay habit which, while carefully controlled prior to Christmas, did managed to turn up a bunch of valves at madly bargain prices (amps, for the use of). Like a new pair of Electroharmonix EL34s for about £8 instead of around £40 or £50.

But it's still cash.

Chris has also been inclined to buy the odd item that was perceived to be a 'bargain'.

Since Christmas I've been watching stuff on the 'bay, but just repeatedly let it go. I've seen some REALLY hot deals, but just didn't feel happy about bidding. In line with the way my worship rig is developing I could really use a wah-wah pedal to round things out, but the right tool just hasn't happened for me. This week I twice typed some numbers into the 'bid' box before tussling internally, then hitting 'back'. One occasion I'd even waited up to literally the last 30 seconds.

Looks like this is the time to not buy stuff. What's the betting something just 'un-missable' will turn up tomorrow? Like a set of 4 matched 6550 valves for a tenner or that semi-acoustic guitar I've been fancying for ages?

Greedy? Me? Youbetcha. But I AM grateful.

Email is AWOL email is down (and has been for 2 days).

No email.

No ebay alerts.

No church meeting info.

Normal service will be resumed when they get round to fixing the problems with their (excellent, free) email system. I've had bigfoot and a bunch of other 'free' mail service providers, but UK2 have been the best I've found. Their spam filter works too - virtually no legitimate emails bounced, maybe 1-2% of emails are spam. I'll put up with the hassle for another couple of days.

If you're burning to contact me NOW then try the same name at

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Ever have that feeling?

2 days ago I was breathed on by someone. They asked me a question, and as I faced them I felt their breath wash over me repeatedly, almost as if they were deliberately breathing out all over me. This has happened before with similar consequences.

This afternoon I seem to have acquired a scratchy throat, and I know EXACTLY where it's come from.

I'm cross: to me there's no doubt at all as to the source of my infection, yet I can't do anything about it.


That was written around 5.30pm.

I'm now home 2 hours later. The throat is positively sore and my head is mushy like I just got off the bike. I need to go shopping, but what I really want is a large glass of whiskey and to sit up all night (my head is in 'no sleep' mode already).

Nuts. Wonder if I'll even get to work tomorrow?

Data, data, data.

Retention of information is everything in computing business.

This has been brought home to me by my desire to transfer my working ‘life’ from one machine to another: a result of my 6 year old business laptop becoming slow and unreliable. Over the years I’ve collected data that, whilst not indispensable, would be ‘inconvenient’ to lose. And why should I ever lose it, when storage costs around 30p or less per Mb?

At present our IT future, and therefore the availability of my data is uncertain. Not that the company is doing badly – far from it – but IT has been firmly removed from our control, and as someone with data going back around 15 years that I still consider useful, I’m a little twitchy that all my stored files might become unavailable to me.

For some time we’ve had a ‘spare’ laptop floating around. It was bought as an upgrade for the MD, when his own began causing trouble, only for the trouble to be migrated straight across along with all his system settings (Palm software is ‘interesting’ if you don’t mind whiling away happy hours trying to synchronise). After fighting along for about a 18 months he threw in the towel and moved AGAIN to a nice little IBM/Lenovo X series machine. The fact that he flies quite a lot and the new computer weighed literally half the old one, yet the batteries lasted long might have been a *slight* incentive).

So we had a 2 ½ year old T30 laying around.

It had been set up by someone (now departed) from IT in the original parent company for someone else to use. Unfortunately they’d never sorted email (outlook) or printing properly and I no longer had the printer drivers etc. So this week it’s been resurrected from storage, re-formatted with a virgin XP install plus a cheeky little Fedora 6 partition and dual booting added. Mid-week I ran a full C:\ backup on my old R32 laptop using the windows backup util and yesterday restored that backup to this – the T30.

The results have been better than I’d expected, and a little different too.

There have been plenty of horror stories about how useless windows backup was, and on rebooting after the restore they were all echoing in my head. Well, it successfully transferred all ‘My Documents’ but put them in a folder called ‘Toni’s Documents’. Fine, I found them OK. Better yet, *some* of the apps made it across in working form, including the network monitor for our printer system but not the anti-virus software. The biggest failure was Outlook. The new machine has outlook XP and the old one 2003. There was no transfer of outlook data, and that is a Bad Thing. Outlook also won’t export its entire file structure in one go, and even worse, there’s no backward-compatibility between versions. So no working outlook for me just yet, except through a web-based exchange server. A solution will be found, however.

So what’s it like on the new machine?

The hard drive is WAY noisier (:-`) and I have around 5Gb free space instead of 1Gb. The real difference is in what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t glitch, hang, pause or make me wonder if it’s completely frozen. It does occasionally pop up odd dialogue boxes unexpectedly, but I’ve a feeling it’s due to an excessively sensitive touch-pad, and on this (dee lucks) model, sensitivity and noise filtering can be adjusted. Battery life is just like the other one used to be (about 2 hours) and the speakers are better (great for when I’m alone somewhere and have a DVD handy).

We’ll see. What’s the betting all our PCs etc will be replaced in the next 3 months, and that this was wasted? You just never know, and that keeps me on my toes.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

All white now

Nice to see our friends in Canada have shared the love a little.

It's a couple of years since I last cycled in snow. Kind of looking forward to it.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Install Install part II

I'm typing this in Writer, running under fedora.

As a tool, Linux is OK. Some aspects of it do seem better designed than windows: security wise it's much easier to make safe from unwelcome browsing of personal files. It would have been very easy to install if all I'd wanted was just a single OS running on this machine, as it would have done the default partitioning and format and that's all.

For me, the thing that says Linux can never be a windows killer is the struggle with silly stuff. Drivers should require no more effort than unzipping and than running an .exe file. Mount and unmount? If a drive is connected to the computer it should work all the time. As for software dependencies, package all the darn .dll files, VB runtimes etc with the software or don't put out your shonky half-baked apps. And as for the names of those apps..... The mind boggles where they came from.

There's another OS I've had a quick look at. It's new, but appears to have actually been designed to make it useable and convenient (if not necessarily secure – hacking criminals are the bane of good software). It's called SYLLABLE, and is a development project available from I have a version on CD that runs as a live CD (came on a Linux format DVD). I've only run it once briefly, but it's small, attractive to look at and FAST. Has the same font problem as Linux, but apart from that it *feels* much nicer - hard to explain why, but it just does.

I had the realisation this morning.

It came about 4 or 5 minutes after leaving home.

I was wearing the wrong gloves.

Very, very cool thing to do.

My fingers are returning to life now with all those burning, tingling sensations normally experienced after a good snowball fight. I must be getting wimpish after living in warm houses for all these years. I wish Johanna could have seen things like this, the valley robed in a light mist, with golden sun rays creeping over the top of the valley and warming the chilly scene below. There was a lot less frost than I'd have expected, considering how wet it's been. Yesterday afternoon the skies cleared totally and the temperature went through the floor, clearing away a lot of the damp air. By the time I was home last night after a meeting everything was lightly sparkling, but most of that sublimed overnight.

My fingers are OK now (typing is obviously good for them) and my ears are almost recovered too. All that's left now is my face, which seems to take a long while to normalise after it's been deeply chilled.

Monday, 22 January 2007

Install, install.

I mentioned last week that I’d re-formatted and restored a work laptop back to its virgin condition last week, plus added office XP, and the sum total space used was >8.5Gb. What I didn’t mention was tweaking the drive partitions around to install Fedora 6 (Linux) and that gave me a windows partition of just 10Gb i.e. 1.5Gb free for all data etc. As its been a couple of years since I last played silly beggars with partitions I had to go back a re-remember the correct process. Red Hat’s partition software doesn’t totally hold your hand either. But between Ubuntu’s partition tool and Red Hats I seemed to re-size and re-partition the drive entirely successfully in just a few minutes.

So we now have a T30 that will dual boot into WinXP or Fedora.

And this is where my delight in things Linux stops.

I went hunting printer drivers on the net. Nada without paying (at least, as far as I could see). Looking at screen fonts with my R32 (3 years older) sat next to the T30, Windows is really crisp at 1024 X 786 with a 12 point font. Linux can only look on like a poor sister in rags, with messy fonts that bleed at the edges. Generally it *looks* much nicer in Gnome than windows, although many of the icons lack crispness. It’s also a bit slow considering it’s a decent system.

Then there’s the ‘package updater’ which seems to just sit there as if it’s hung. Resolving dependencies for updates. Right. Got there eventually, and now it’s downloading the packages as slowly as someone used to XP would expect. (edit - took around 3 1/2 hours to download and install 190 updates! That's still quicker than XP).

So I’ll see if I can find printer drivers to make it useful. If it were based on looks alone then LINUX would walk all over M$ (and challenge the Mac). As it is, a gorgeous front end will never compensate for fuzzy fonts and the hassles of LINUX management.

Well good morning Judge, guess I’m back again.

Monday morning has just finished, we’re into Monday afternoon already and the sun is shining.

Unlike it was at 8.00am.

By the grace of God the sleet stopped by 8.15 and I could ride in with only modest moistness although the air was pretty darn cold. It seemed to take a long while to balance temperatures between hands/head/feet and core body temperature: while that happens I tend to feel quite uncomfy, and it takes significant time for the head to settle into some kind of stability for thinking.

I can’t remember if I mentioned taking psychometric tests last week (since I’m not viewing the blog at work). On Friday I completed 2 – 1 paper, 1 online. Well, Saturday I then did another ‘character assessment’ type for a training session we were doing at the Kings centre, Oxford. I’ve had results back from the online assessment, and it fits pretty much what I already knew. However it IS interesting because my approach to life is different between church and work. With work I’m very much focussed within specific areas of expertise: with church I’m much broader and will consider most things to be ‘good’ for me.

I was talking with someone on Saturday.

That someone is very busy with an international ministry, churches to oversee, significant people to meet and influence. Yet he's never too busy to greet us, knows what's happened to us and asks how we are in a way that suggests he doesn't just want an 'OK'.

His wife too checks here regularly, and prayed for us daily after Sarah Died.

To Steve and Lorraine, thank you for your time, love and care.

Sunday, 21 January 2007

'Tis curious.

How Nikita has become like a daughter to us.

She was over here for dinner after church this evening, and we were both happy for her just to be here in the house. There's a definite pleasure for us in seeing her do so well too.

As I say, curious, but not at all bad.

Friday, 19 January 2007

I'm home again.

It *felt* really slow and hard work but apparently I managed better than 15 mph. On a mountain bike with big draggy tyres, wearing baggy clothes and a loaded rucksack after dark that's pretty fair, even though it was on the road (it would be brilliant off road!).

As I came down to Aynho wharf I noticed the road was VERY reflective in car headlights. On closer inspection (and with the hint of warning signs) I realised it was completely flooded. There was nowhere else to go, so through we went - it was about 8"-10" deep so only my feet got very wet, and I managed to keep going.

Apart from that it was just a long sweaty grind. How sweaty can be judged from my weight - about 2 lb under 12 stone just before I climbed in the shower. Not to worry - I've just eaten a whole 'large' supermarket type Pizza while posting this, so I'll be back up to normal pretty soon.

Distance calculation etc courtesy of

Well at least it was dry this morning.

Quite a bite to the air and a fair bit of wind, although nothing like yesterday.

My legs felt good on the first climb out of the village, but then where the second climb starts they just had nothing and that was pretty much how the rest of the ride in was. Tonight Chris is out and Ben won’t be coming home until *late* so I might try an extended ride back: say 12 or 15 miles up through Ardley, Souldern, around to Deddington and then back down the B4260 . You’ll know of course, because I will have done it before posting this on the blog.

BTW I’ve finally managed to use the ‘new’ LED light system off road on Wednesday night. First surprise was how much the lights need to be aimed downward, as it was no longer important to see what was coming 75 yards ahead, so much as 25 feet. Running 3 LEDS (1 wide, 1 medium and 1 spot) gave plenty of light for normal trail speeds, although not as wide a beam as I’d like. I can see quite clearly why most LED users want a helmet light too. Contrast this with the Halogen system I built 4 years ago which lit up the trail like daytime, but drew 4 times as much power, makes me wonder about the famous efficiency of LEDs. Having said that, my MkII prototype is most of the way to completion, and that should put out 50% more light than this set for about half the current draw. We’ll see how that works out.

Now – work.

Now why is it? - post from yesterday

I’m so darn tired this morning?

Had a decent nights sleep. Pleasant evening last night out for dinner. Didn’t cycle in.

Probably it’s the ‘not cycling in’ that did it. My body is now used to – even anticipating eagerly – the 15 slightly strenuous minutes riding here, and is still waiting for its proper wake-up call. I hope it’ll eventually realise that I’m actually here and start to come round from the post-breakfast torpor that I’m stumbling through. Mind you, it’s so windy here, I wonder if I’d have actually made it in at all. As it was, I looked outside at 6.30am and it was dry and quiet. 7.30am when I put the cats out it was soaking wet and blowing an absolute gale! VERY unseasonally mild though.

On a quite different note, I’m increasingly frustrated by Microsoft’s approach to windows: both installation and updating. On one of our work laptops I’ve just gone back and restored the factory settings (basically a virgin install from a partition on the hard drive). This is not a base level machine by any means (IBM T30 with 1Gb RAM) but the install took a full hour from first hitting the F11 key. That’s SLOW as a full Linux install takes around 20 mins and likewise a win 95 full install (on a Pentium 166 MMX) would take 20 mins.

Worse than that, windows update (utterly essential with the string bag approach to security M$ seems to have employed) takes literally hours and hundreds of Mb in downloads and then installs. The initial 2 downloads weren’t too bad – around 30Mb. Then service pack 2 – 200+ Mb. I left that downloading overnight, and it was waiting for me this morning: 25 mins of the hard drive hashing away before it installed. Then another minor download/install/restart. Then a 50Mb download/install/restart. I’m watching the installer now “Downloading security update for Windows XP (KBXXXXX)(Update 16 of 66)…Done” etc. 20 mins later it’s now INSTALLING all those downloaded files. Almost 35 minutes after going to automatic update the machine could finally be restarted.
So back to the windows update page, checking…. And next we download a security update for iExplorer 7 that was installed in the LAST round of installs. I’m sure this un-integrated approach to security and updating is one of the reasons that it’s such an arduous task.

Anyway, that was the last update required for a basic XP install. I wonder what it’ll do once I’ve popped Orifice XP on it? That’s a 480Mb complete install for the professional version BTW. I do have the corporate version of Office 2003 kicking around but don’t have the corporate product key, and in any case I think XP is a slightly better product. Just 2 updates, 5 mins and I get a warning from the newly installed windows GDI tool that I have a security vulnerability. Thumbs virtual nose at M$ - little surprise there then.

On a completely different topic, it’s now a full week since I decided that I would not use the net for personal purposes AT ALL from work. Today is the hardest I’ve found it not to go play on the net, but by the grace of God I’ve managed to stick with it. Writing this is something of a compromise (I’ve done it in the odd 2 min breaks between things) but it’s one that is positive, rather than partially giving in to my negative desires. I have to say, I really do feel much happier about things, sticking to this. It’s stopped me feeling a continuous pull and I’ve been able to get on so much better. Bargain.

And yet again, on a completely un-related topic…. There’s an ESHRE conference on PCOS in March – 1 day at Thessalonika. Wonder if I can go?

Thursday, 18 January 2007

I wrote a large post this morning

and forgot to send it home before I left work.

Tomorrow then.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

What a mixed morning.

It's Ben's 19th birthday today, and on that basis it's probably the last birthday I'll mention for him. He's well and truly moved on from childhood birthdays now.

At the same time I'm still feeling fall-out from last night. We were involved in an Alpha group up until Christmas, and we were to also to continue with the follow through group doing the journeys material. I'd managed to convince myself before we started that this material was different from the Journeys stuff I was aware of: unfortunately I was mistaken. To me it's crude and brutal tugging of the heart strings. I disliked it before Sarah died and my feelings haven't changed.

And it seems to work fine for other people.

But up until now there's been a burning anger inside from the stuff we watched last night. It's not an anger with anyone, but just an anger at all the emotions raked back out, all the wounds reopened and the deep wells of unhappiness re-tapped. Typing this may help damp things down a bit, and I'm sure given time I'll settle back down. This just really did not help right now - at least as far as I can see.

Now I'm sat here wondering if I should press on with it anyway, confronting all those feelings. What's the point of being a Christian if all you can do is let your feelings dictate what you can and can't do?

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Tonight we're off to a party

The theme - Gone with the wind.

Chris wouldn't have let me dress up as a baked bean tin, so I've got a 'kind of' Rhett butler outfit on and Chris looks like a ship sailing in full curtains. There might be some pics if we can find someone who can hold a camera.


No sooner do I speak... er, write, than Ben comes along:

I may not be around too much

but we'll have to see.

I've realised that, once again, I've been spending way too much time on the net. It's affected me quite a lot, so I'm backing off: total personal ban for me on surfing at work, even in breaks. I'm also likely to post less as I don't always get time in the evenings.

I've been thinking in terms of internet addiction, but that's not quite right as I *can* control it IF I *choose* to do so. However I do find that if I look once, I won't stop, hence Me stopping totally at work. The net is way too useful and I'm too involved to back right out, although I have considered it. But I do need to watch it carefully, hence backing off again.

See you round.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Prayer request

This is quite serious. Pray for someone called Carrie, who is carrying twins and haemorrhaging.

Wild, wild and sexy.

This was the description 'Bike' magazine used for the 70's in their first issue of 1980 - yep, I used to be a regular Bike reader.

Why am I mentioning this?

There's something which I've been wondering about, a matter of tension for me. people talk about stuff being 'sexy' but what does it mean? Fernando descibed The Curse Of The Golden Flower as being a sexy film. A friend I used to work with described his Suzuki GSX-R as sexy. Does it mean something which fires the loins, but without making you have to 'deal with it'? Is it kind of like erotic, but subtle? Most importantly, what does it mean for someone that's a Christian, trying to not get lead into sin?

In my parents generation, at least in England, anything involving a suggestion that more than sleep happened in the bedroom was verboten. I want to find the right balance in this tension, and be neither too puritanical or too lascivious (can there be an acceptable amount of lasciviousness?).

Yet another rambling witter, brought to you by TBOTAM.

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Been a funny few days

Lots of unrelated stuff seems connected in my head, when in reality there's little to actually hook it all together. Rather that witter unintelligibly I think discretion is the better part, and so I'll skip most of what's happening behind the eyes here.

Yesterday we went to see so old friends that we've not met at all in the last 4 years, and only sporadically in the previous 12. They now live on the Leamington/Warwick border, about 40 miles away. Simon is a software developer and Michelle is an associate professor with Warwick Uni, and both are great people to be with.

The people that impressed me most however, were their children. Both are lovely, bright, warm, polite and friendly. It says quite a lot to me when people's children (they're 10 and 7) are happy in the company of adults, occasionally taking part in the conversation and not flapping or stressing for attention themselves. They are also quite seriously intelligent, but not in that grating, precocious way some smart-Alec kids try to be.

Nice family - we really appreciated spending time there.

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

How can I not post this?

And specially for Marc and Dixie:


Tuesday, 2 January 2007

I know why I've been miserable.

That cold has worked its way properly under my skin now - usually makes me a little maudlin, as well as all the rest of it.

Monday, 1 January 2007

Happy war, Christmas is over.

The tree has gone - it was dropping needles faster that Brian Rix's trousers, fairy lights, etc. Only the door wreath and the stair lights remain like a little gravy, caught in the moustache and missed by the napkin.

I gather from Ben that Johanna made it home OK, so that's all OK then.

Somehow I feel miserable. Randall's 'Achievement' post sparked it. I can look back and see the good things of the last year, but it FEELS pointless and hollow. Never mind, feeling are not reality and perception IS false, so on we go. For once the French have the right idea in more than just food and wine.

BTW for Dan and Kita's benefit

I have a freshly installed nasal irrigation system. Thank you both so much.

Well there's a space on our settee now.

The previous occupant is presently (as I type - not as you read) at Luton Airport, waiting for the plane back to Geneva.

The last 2 days the poor girl was too ill for more than laying around and sleeping really, although early morning calls to BF in another time zone may have played a key part in that too.

The weather was, frankly, poo while she was here. In a cruel twist, today is beautiful, with blue skies, brilliant sunshine making all the trees glow and the fields glisten a golden green. Made for a lot of squinting on the outbound journey and pretty views on the way back, with a sense of being cheated.

Tomorrow, boring normality and routine. Today I want to catch up on all the things I didn't do last week, but at the same time I want to sleep. Who knows what will happen?