Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Delay after delay

It had all been going so well; we’d had a nice relaxing week in pleasant surroundings. Then, when we arrived at the airport, the rep delivered the news that the plane had gone technical in London and there was a four-hour delay posted. Still, it meant the company paid for our lunch instead of us, so we hung around in the departure lounge reading our books and listening to our music.

About half an hour before the revised boarding time, we were all called together at a gate and told that they hadn’t been able to fix the plane, so the company had arranged for a First Choice aircraft to fly us home instead. The downside of this was that the plane wasn’t due for another three hours, so instead of arriving at Gatwick as planned at about 18:30, we would now be arriving in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

I suppose Las Palmas isn’t a bad airport to be delayed in. Compared to some Spanish resort airports I’ve seen, it is well-endowed with restaurants, cafes and shops. We did end up buying books and puzzle magazines to alleviate the boredom though and Thomas Cook (our tour operator) paid for a second meal for us.

We ran across John M from the Chorus while we were waiting. He and his partner had been out to Gran Canaria for the long Easter weekend.

The plane eventually arrived and we were boarded. The flight home was not much different from the flight out, although my tolerance for the cramped seating was lower. Also the meal was very stodgy and seemed designed to make you thirsty (you had to pay for all the drinks onboard, even the water!) Nevertheless the flight crew were all very pleasant – which can’t have been easy since they had been on standby since 09:00 that morning and had only been called up for the ten-hour return trip about half an hour before they were due to be relieved.

We were on the ground by 01:15 and Rosie was waiting for us at the airport, which made getting home carefree: At that time in the morning, I would not have been a happy bear trying to do it by public transport or even driving myself! Straight to bed when we got home at around 03:00.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Farewell to the Canaries

The trip yesterday was good fun. There were four people-carriers in convoy. We were in the front one with the guide, Jason, who gave his commentary in the other cars via CB radio. It was a full-day trip which more of less took us around the island, sometimes along some very narrow roads in the mountains with spectacular views. We saw the different climates in the north and south of the island, we saw the inhabited volcanic caves and the multicoloured rocks, rich in different minerals.

Today has been another lazy day. There was an overcast today for the first time, so we took advantage of the cover to go down to the lido for lunch and a game of Crazy Golf. Apart from that we just sat and read. Brett has finished all the books he brought and is now watching movies on my laptop while I have started re-reading the books he borrowed from me to bring along.

The night is clear after the cloudy day and the stars are bright now that the hotel’s lights are out. It’s a lovely conclusion to the day and the holiday: the stars, the darkness and the sound of the surf against the rocks down on the beach.

We’re heading home tomorrow, leaving the hotel around 11:15 and back in the UK about eight hours later.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Day Trips

We are up early today because we have a full-day tour booked and need to get into breakfast when it opens at 8am. Yesterday, nothing happened: We got up, ate, sat on the balcony and read, ate, sat on the sofa and read, ate, sat in the chair and read and then went to bed again. I am now finished my series of books and gnashing my teeth because the next in the series isn’t published until later this year, so I’ve taken to re-reading the series that Brett has brought along.

Thursday was a somewhat more interesting day, though. We lazed in the morning, but had booked ourselves on the ‘Crazy Camels’ tour in the afternoon. The camels were, alas, anything but crazy but it was interesting to see them close up (for some reason I always imagined them having some variation of hooves, but it turns out they walk on fleshy pads) and we had some fun. I’d rather hoped that we would see the desert dunes of Maspalomas as part of our trek. In the end though, all the tour amounted to was a ride up and down a nearby canyon; two to a camel, in metal seats slung either side of the camel. Not quite Lawrence of Arabia, but I suppose no less than I should have expected from a high-street package tour.

So anyway, today we have a full-day tour booked. It’s billed as the ‘VIP Tour’ but I think that just means we go in a minibus with a guide rather than a coach. Still I’m hoping there are going to be some good photo opportunities along the way.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Puerto Mogán

Yesterday evening before dinner we headed down to the Playa Taurito ‘centro’ which consists of a small leisure complex and some shops and restaurants in the valley between all the hotels. At the wide end of the valley is the short, black sand of the playa itself and at the other, narrower end is a roundabout where the coastal road intersects all the local hotel access roads.

The leisure complex boasts palm-shaded walks around a decent looking crazy-golf course. Towards the beach end is the lido, which is almost a water-park in its own right, with little waterslides, fountains and waterfalls built into a pool forming a large circle around plenty of sunbathing space in the centre. I think we might spend a morning down here at some point.

Today was more of the same. Brett spent most of the day sunning himself by the pool. I spent the morning on our balcony enjoying the view and reading until the sun crept around to warm it as well, at which point I headed down to the pool and ensconced myself beneath an umbrella to read. Despite all the careful sunshine avoidance, though, it appears I’ve picked up enough reflected sunlight to make me quite pink about the face and arms. I shall definitely be using sunscreen tomorrow – even for sitting in the shade.

Tonight we went out for dinner. After a brief excursion to the unexciting Mogán village (which is about 10km inland of the Puerto Mogán) we headed down to the port for dinner. We chose a fairly smart looking spot with a ten course degustation menu for €50 a head and had a very pleasant, leisurely meal which tantalised our palates.

The only downside to the evening was the forty-minute wait for a taxi back to our hotel; although the temperature was showing as 23° at 23:30, so the waiting at the taxi rank wasn’t unpleasant. We made it back to the hotel before midnight and now just need to drink a fair amount of water before I go to bed to make sure I don’t have a hangover tomorrow.

The three-master in the bay is all lit up tonight. It looks lovely.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Dull Blog

I fear this blog could be a little dull(er) this week. The plan is mostly to sit by the pool and read. There is talk of really striking out and walking down to Taurito Centro (the bottom of the hill) to check out the beach and the lido, but I’m not sure how much will come of it.

We had a very pleasant Mediterranean dinner in the restaurant last night, washed down with a fine red Rioja. The food is good for a buffet presentation – having worked in the industry I know how hard it is to do this successfully: keeping the menu sufficiently varied for all the guests, and hot (or cold) but not over- or under-done, not soggy, not dried-out, not full of streptococci. So anyway, I think they’re doing a good job here.

The bar didn’t prove quite so impressive however. They have a cocktail menu so I ordered a daiquiri and Brett a margharita before dinner, but I ended up having to show the waiter the menu to convince him that I could have it without banana or strawberry and both of the drinks were pretty bland when they arrived. The bar does have a lovely balcony overlooking the beach though, so we intend to go along a bit earlier tonight to watch the sun set before dinner.

We had our obligatory ‘Welcome Meeting’ with the holiday reps today and have signed up for a couple of tours later in the week; a half-day camel riding on Thursday and then a minibus tour around some of the more spectacular and out-of-the-way sights of the island, including its peak Las Nieves.

Apart from that we just spent the day lazing and reading, mostly by the pool: Brett is sunning himself while I’m staying in the shade (I am not a big fan of sunshine and tanning,) both of us reading our books.

There are a couple of three-masted yachts out on the bay.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Gran Canaria arrival

So here we are in Gran Canaria, on the south-west of the island at a tourist development not far from the small fishing village called Puerto Mogán. The hotel block is very pleasant and modern. We have a junior suite, which is two adjoining rooms; one with a sofa bed, chair, coffee table and small kitchenette. The temperature is a warm, but comfortable; 25°C outside and there’s not a cloud in the sky.
We have a good view of the ocean and there is a wonderful feeling as you look out across it: there is nothing but water as far as you can see. Nothing in fact until you hit Antarctica, more than half the world away.
We’ve scoped out the complex as well as two swimming pools (one of them kept children-free) there’s a restaurant, open-air barbeque, pool bar and little supermarket. There’s a regular bus service to the nearby towns, internet access and car hire from the foyer. It promises to be a good week.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Ping's Birthday Treat

Ping took us both out for lunch today, and then on to Dennis Severs’ House in Spitalfields as a birthday present.

Lunch was in a pleasant restaurant called Terminus, although the cuisine turned out to be a little to nouveau (which, to my mind equals ‘small’) so we skipped dessert and went on to the Spitalfields Market where we found cake and coffee to enough satisfy us all.

Dennis Severs’ House is an interesting, if slightly surreal, experience. The concept is a house where each room is faithfully recreated as it may have looked in the period 1724 – 1914. The rooms are laid out as if the occupants have just stepped out for a moment, leaving their tea, or port, or pipe, or whatever on tables and mantels. It feels very realistic, apart from the omnipresent notices from the custodians trying to get you to have some kind of artistic epiphany by virtue of being there amongst all the realism.

There were some obvious mistakes in amongst all the realism too – modern buttons on a printed fabric shirt, fibreglass insulation in the ceiling and modern stamps and franking on some letters. Ping thought it was part of the experience; the implication that someone still lives there, but for me it just made the experience more hollow, rather than knitting it together.

Rosie had arrived by the time we got home. Bruce had come over to help her unpack too, so it was nice to see them both. I had Chorus stuff to get out of the way though, so I was soon immersed in my email. Later it was packing – although that proceeded unusually smoothly. (I detest packing.)

I think we are pretty much sorted now though. The alarm goes off at 04:40 tomorrow, which is roughly five hours before we fly. Whoever said international travel was glamorous hasn’t seen me at that time in the morning when I’ve only had four hours sleep.

Yesterday evening, I discovered I had received an email from Bystander, the guy who writes the Magistrate’s Blog (see the right-hand column,) wishing me luck for my interview. I wrote back to him asking if he had any tips – and he did, which was very decent of him.

The topic of my impending interview came up over lunch today. Ping was quite impressed by my volunteering to become a Magistrate, but he managed to pose some interesting moral dilemmas for me to have a think about before I face the interview panel. Well, at least I’ve got a week ahead of me now when I’ll have time to think…

Saturday, March 19, 2005


Ugh. Way too much Chorus stuff to be done! Wasted the whole of this lovely sunny day indoors on my laptop. Roll-on the AGM!
Brett had a good day though, what with haircuts, comic books and coffee in the Village. Then he came home and cooked my dinner. The man is fantastic!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Tourists in Town

Another year over; a new one just begun. Thirty-six is such a ‘nothing-special’ age to be. I’m feeling underwhelmed again. No different from yesterday, in fact! Still, one feels one ought to do something special on the day, so we did.

We’ve been tourists today. We took a walk along the Thames to Westminster, took photographs of famous buildings and then spent the afternoon touring around Westminster Abbey – which feels less like a religious building and more like an overcrowded display cabinet for memorial statues and plaques. I fear that I bored Brett senseless explaining some of the intricacies of Heraldry, about which he has never expressed the least interest but which litters the tombs of the great and the good. Despite an officious verger managing to be rude to both of us separately, we had a good day and enjoyed the Abbey, which is quite splendid in so many ways – I wish more of the monastic areas had been open, but apparently you have to come back on specific days to see them.

After Westminster, we headed into the West End for dinner at Kettners. I didn’t fancy haute cuisine, just a smart restaurant with comfortable chairs. Then, after hanging around Soho and Leicester Square for a while, we went to see Keanu Reeves in Constantine. (This is another comic-book hero turned into a movie. The last one we saw was League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which was dreadful. This one though was rather good I thought.)

On the whole, it has been a lovely day. The weather was beautiful: sunshine from a clear blue sky and temperatures around 17°C; hopefully the first of many such pleasant days enjoying ourselves this week.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

More Exams and Antiques

Well, the exam went extremely well. I scored 896 out of a possible 1000, which is quite respectable. It means that my MCSE is now upgraded to the latest version and, more importantly, I can go on holiday without having to worry about re-sitting anything.

After a brief stop at the office to deliver (and eat) some celebratory/birthday cakes and pick up an Amazon package containing a present from my sister, I went and had a coffee on High Holborn before meeting up with Owen for a burger before the show. Brett, hot off the plane from Sweden, arrived shortly thereafter (wearing a tie!) and we toddled off to the Theatre Royal in Haymarket to meet the others and pick up our tickets for Acorn Antiques – The Musical.

The show was a little bit strange. The first half was pretty dreadful actually – a play within a play about some modernist producer wanting to revive the popular show but give a dark, edgy, fatalistic feel. The best bit was where it parodied Les Miserables by (amongst others take-offs) the set tilting to form a barricade out of antiques.

The second half was more enjoyable, after Mrs Overall had won the lottery and put on a ‘proper’ Acorn Antiques – The Musical in the West End. This was more of an extended version of the TV sketches done with musical interludes and was pleasantly entertaining – and included a bit of a homage to Chorus Line too. Not something I would rush back to see though.

As the bows were being taken, Brett turned to me and said, ‘You British are a strange lot!’ and, for once, I didn’t feel inclined to disagree. On the way out I decided that I must really fall into the camp that ‘doesn’t get it.’ Several of our companions were raving about how fantastic it had been. Compared to them, I felt distinctly underwhelmed.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day. More importantly tomorrow is my birthday. Wehay!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Exams and Antiques

The slog towards the weekend continues: I’ve spent the last twenty-four hours studying. I hold a Microsoft certification which I am currently updating. This means I have to sit exams which, in turn, means I have to study for exams. No fun.

Well, okay, admittedly it isn’t as bad as it could be. The exams I am sitting are ‘upgrade’ exams so they only cover the material that has changed between the Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 systems. I work with these systems every day, so most of it is second-nature – but there are a few areas where I am as clueless as Joe User would be and getting my head around all the detail involved in those bits is painful.

I had the first exam (there are two) today and I managed a 70% result which was barely a pass! I am expecting tomorrow’s exam to be harder, but strangely I am performing better on the preparation exams than I did for the first one. Go figure.

Hopefully it will all be over by this time tomorrow. Either way (at this time tomorrow) I’ll be sitting in a theatre watching Acorn Antiques – The Musical! Now, for my American readers I should perhaps explain… Acorn Antiques was a series of short sketches on a comedy show fifteen or more years ago which parodied the low production values of a popular soap-opera of the day. It became a bit of a cult hit and, like most ‘Cult Hits’, either you get it or you don’t. (Owen brought the DVD over on Sunday. He loves it, I enjoyed it but Brett slept through most of it – well, we had just had lunch. Even so, he is flying home especially early to see the show with me tomorrow night. What a hero!)

Anyway, they’ve made a musical of it and, to be honest, I’m curious to see what they’ve done. The show is certainly a sell-out hit and the tickets aren’t cheap either (!) so I’m assuming they’ve got some new angle to attract the people who don’t remember the wobbly sets and dreadful continuity of the original soap, around which it is all based, and which have a rather short shelf-life as a joke.

In theory my holiday starts tomorrow. When I walk out of the exam I am not back in work until the Tuesday after Easter. In practice though, I’ve got lots of Chorus stuff to do to get the newbies all sorted before we go away, plus we’ve got to get the spare room ready for Rosie to live in again! (At the moment the wardrobe is full of Christmas decorations that need to find a home until next December.) Hmmm…

Sunday, March 13, 2005


Tonight I feel guilty. It’s been a self-indulgent day: Lying-in until late, then watching TV, then going out for lunch, then watching more TV, then reading and doing some Chorus email and then watching yet more TV. There was no shopping done, no laundry done and no washing up done. I feel like I need the holiday now, not in the future. I am not motivated to do anything – which is not a good thing, because there is so much that needs doing. Apart from all the housework, I have an exam on Wednesday and another on Thursday that I need to be studying for.

My mum called today and we had a good long chat about what’s happening in both our lives. I filled her in on the holiday, the Magistrate’s interview in April and Paris in May and she updated me on what’s happening with the bee business and where they’d been walking recently and what is going on at the Bowls Club (Their local social centre.) We talked about Rosie’s job and how she’s coming down to London for a week to unwind a little after organising her move – and also to house-sit for us while we’re away.

I so need a holiday though. I have the ‘worn-down’ feeling that I sometimes get which gives it away. It’s time to disappear for a while to somewhere where nothing has to be organised or planned and I can do everything on the spare of the moment; Time to get out from under the pressure of living and working in London and having an active social life – where even the things you enjoy have to be carefully timetabled; Time to turn off the phone and avoid the Internet for a week – apart from occasional blog/travelog posting, maybe.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Suits and Holidays

So Friday came and went and now it’s Saturday! Work is trolling along as ever. It was one of the team’s birthday today, so he brought in several scrummy cakes yesterday afternoon. A lot of my day was spent working on our new print charging system and trying to get video conferencing working between here and Santiago in Chile via the Internet. The videoconferencing problem is very annoying – we almost have it working: We can call each other and seem to make the connection, but neither of us gets any audio or video and we can’t see why. Maybe letting my subconscious work on it over the weekend will help.

Last night I was rushing home to catch up on all the Chorus work that had accumulated this week. With feeling ill, Wednesday (my only free night this week) had been spent lying on the sofa watching TV before getting an early night, so Friday night I had to buckle down to answering emails and trying to grease the machine that is 'Chorus Administration.'

Brett arrived home around 10pm to find me more or less worn out by the email, so we snuggled on the sofa and watched Desperate Housewives before heading off to bed.

Today felt like the start of a manic weekend, but now seems to be a bit more under control: We both needed to go clothes shopping and this was the best opportunity to book our cheap winter-sun break. So we went out to Wimbledon and spent prodigious amounts of money on a suit, shirt, tie and cufflinks for my Magistrate’s interview next month, several pairs of new work trousers for Brett, a week in Gran Canaria and some toothpaste.

Having the holiday actually booked now is great – it’s on the horizon and we can start counting down the days. We’ve booked a hotel called the Mogan Princess on Playa Taurito (the southwest of the island.) The resort sounds fairly quiet and we have a suite with a good sea view (allegedly!) all for a very reasonable price. Just what you need for a bit of rest and relaxation!

Rod and Jess were meant to be coming over tonight for dinner but when I rang to confirm, Jess had a headache which wasn’t going away, so it seemed wisest to postpone. Tonight is now going to be spent with just the two of us alternating between Chorus stuff and TV which actually sounds like a lovely evening.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Eating Out

Think I got something dodgy in my tuna niçoise sandwich yesterday as I spent the afternoon and evening feeling pretty rotten. Been a bit iffy today, but seem to have recovered pretty much now.

Today was mundane at work; however I ended up eating out for two meals out of three. Rowan was down for her second interview and she got the job. She was thrilled and we went out for lunch with Bruce to celebrate. This evening I met up with Rob Smith, my erstwhile colleague at my previous employer. Whenever he is up in London on a course we try to meet up for drinks and dinner to catch up – although usually most of the catching up is him regaling me with stories of the latest bizarreness at work while I sit there with my jaw hanging, absolutely speechless.

There is usually some comparing of technologies and strategies in the way that tech-geeks often do, but I rarely have any stories to match the short-sightedness that he seems to have to put up with on a daily basis. I am glad I am no longer a part of that. I somewhat smugly showed him the Sunday Times award we received for being voted one of the best companies to work for in the country. (They publish a list every year and this year we entered and came in the top twenty! We now have a nice little marble trophy on our reception desk to prove it.) Despite all the silliness though, do miss a number of the people I used to work with: I don’t keep up enough with Emma, even though we are still in touch, and I never managed to keep up with Paul, the networking guy, or Ben from Operations.

I’m also missing Brett right now. He called me last night before he went to bed, but I haven’t called him tonight and now it’s too late to. Still, I suppose this time tomorrow he’ll be back.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A Big Empty Bed

Lots of Chorus stuff keeping me busy at the moment. Sunday was the final CD recording session. It was an all day affair but, after six, long months, Christmas is finally over! Yesterday was an intake evening for new members and, as Chairman of the Membership Committee, this meant lots of work for me. There was a good turn-out of volunteers too, which meant the whole evening went smoothly.

Tonight was a meeting of the Membership Committee itself and we had plenty to discuss, but it went quite smoothly and was a productive meeting. Hopefully we’ve managed to damp down the hornets’ nest we stirred up by some bad wording in the last set of minutes. I have to find time to write up this latest set of minutes at some point though.

Yesterday I had to perform one of the sadder tasks that you get in IT Support. In this job, a bit like being in the clergy, you get to see people in all walks of life in all kinds of situations. Yesterday I had to break the bad news to one of our consultants that the file containing his expenses data for the last three months had in fact been irretrievably lost. It was a simple misunderstanding on his part about how the synchronisation worked between his PC and his PDA, but it could conceivably leave him several thousand pounds out of pocket. The moral of this story: look at how you use your IT in your day to day life and think through what might happen if it suddenly wasn’t there – then take steps to guard yourself against those consequences. It’s the constant mantra of IT support staff to users – and there’s a reason why we keep saying it.

Anyway, now I’m home and getting ready for bed, the realisation is dawning that Brett is away and won’t be back for a while. This isn’t a long Chorus meeting he’s at, where he’ll be home a bit late and climb into bed shortly. He’s gone until at least Friday. The bed seems awfully big without him.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

A Long Lunch

Why does my life involve so many Saturday mornings when I have to get up early?? Today was another Chorus recording session and the call time was 9:30am. Ugh! Still, it was a short session. We were at the Cadogan Hall, off Sloane Square, but we only had it until 1pm as another group had it booked this afternoon.

The recording all went well but towards the end it was quite comical: We were finishing up with a beautifully atmospheric piece called ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ which gets quieter with each verse until the last one is sung almost sotto voce. However by then we were all getting rather hungry and I’m sure that there will be at least five different people’s stomach growls on the final few takes.

After the recording, Brett and I were invited back to Mark G’s for lunch with a few of the other choristers. We stopped off at a Sainsbury’s on the way for provisions and then headed on to the small, but beautifully decorated, top floor flat he shares with his partner Chris in Pimlico. There we dined on charcuterie, cheese, fish and humous accompanied by a variety of fresh breads and pink champagne with strawberries. It turned out that this was the unofficial housewarming party, as they had only moved in three weeks ago. It was a most enjoyable afternoon – and reminded us that we need to get our entertaining organised a bit better. But then that probably goes for most of the rest of our lives too. Ho hum.

After a long leisurely lunch and engaging conversation we made our excuses and departed. Brett headed off to Putney to collect his comics while I went home via Waterstones, in the hope of finding the second book of the series I am reading at the moment. They didn’t have the book, so I came home and ordered it from Amazon (and the two books that follow it!) as I want to make sure I have plenty to read when we finally do go on holiday!

One pleasant surprise when I got home was a neatly typed envelope, stamped ‘Private and Confidential’ and addressed to me. It was an invitation to an interview for appointment as a Magistrate for the London Courts. It’s only taken eighteen months to arrive, but now it’s finally here I need to prepare for it. Need to buy a new suit too. I haven't needed to wear one in a couple of years and the ones I have are pretty threadbare anyway. Time to splash out I suppose – and hope I do well at interview so I actually get to wear it some more!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Stockholm, eh?

Brett called from work this afternoon. That’s an unusual occurrence so I was kind of expecting something dramatic to be behind it. Sure enough he got told today he’s leaving on Tuesday to work in Sweden for the next three months. Hmph. It isn’t a total surprise – the possibility had been mentioned a few days ago – but having to leave on Tuesday is a bit sudden.
I know I’ll miss Brett, but what can I say? I can’t begrudge him the trip – I know I would love to get the chance to live and work in a new country for a few months every now and then. And he certainly needs new challenges at work. Stockholm isn’t really that far away anyway, I can spend some weekends out there and enjoy it with him.
It looks like Rosie will be moving back in for a while too. She’s the only one who’s been called back for a second interview with the Mental Health Foundation, so she’s fairly certain she’s got the job unless she makes a serious mistake at the next interview. Bizarrely her office will be within spitting distance of mine, so I imagine that we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other. It will be good to have her down here some more though. I think her life definitely improved when she was down here on her sabbatical, so I’m glad she gets to carry it on.
Thanks to John W for flagging up the problem with the blog layout. It seemed to only affect Internet Explorer and, since I use Firefox, I hadn’t noticed it. Turns out it was the graphic in the list of referrers bolt-on that was too wide for the column. For some reason IE shifted the whole column of text left rather than let the graphic overhand the right border. I’ve removed the bolt-on now as only about five people seem to read my blog and I know who they all are!
While I was fiddling with the template though, I also updated the Blogs I Read section as Dan is no longer in India and I’ve also been reading Jonny B’s Private Secret Diary which is quite amusing. Enjoy.

Highland Fling

I don’t think it’s the actual ‘getting up’ in the morning that I have the problem with; I think it is the having to get up that makes me rebel and huddle under the covers until I am late for work. I didn’t have to get up this morning. (We finished all of our labs yesterday, so today was going to be exam preparation – which I can do just as well from home without the cattle-truck nightmare that is the rush-hour tube spoiling my morning.) So, not having to get up, after Brett had kissed me goodbye and headed off for the train, I rolled over and felt good and had my lie-in and yet still was out of bed about an hour later.

So today is being spent doing test MCSE exams and doing all the housework I’ve not had time to do so far this week.

The ballet last night was very enjoyable. I don’t think I’ve been to see a ballet since my junior school took us to see Coppelia when I was about nine and it’s not normally something I would consider for an evening’s entertainment. Nevertheless both Brett and I were rapt as we watched the story unfold. I really wish we’d been able to see Swan Lake now. Unfortunately, according to the website, we need to head to Japan or Korea to catch a show anytime this year. Maybe we'll have to try something non-Matthew Bourne and see if more classical interpretations still hold the attention.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Fast Forward

So it's Thursday already and I haven't blogged. Too much going on really. I'm on a course this week and, as expected commuting on the tube is a living nightmare for the first hour of every day: Rush Hour tube trains are worse than cattle trucks. You are crammed in with literally no space to move. On Monday I had the hair of the woman in front of me catching in my beard as the train moved. Today I was breathing in the garlic emanating from the man whose head was in my armpit as I hung on to the rail. If we were cows, at least there would be animal rights protesters lobbying parliament and flour-bombing MPs!
The course itself isn't too bad. Quite hands on and with good equipment. It's probably worth a blog in its own right as IT training courses are such a microcosm. It's easy to see where the geeky stereotypes originate; we are all very technical and just a little bit socially awkward. The only downside is (believe it or not) that it finishes early every day. Since I have something on in London every night this week, this means a lot of hanging around and eating fast food. On the upside I am making good progress on my book (A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin) and, for the first time this week, Brett and I get to spend an evening together as we go to see Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling.
The Big Chorus Issue reared its ugly head again on Tuesday night and, after getting in from a Chorus meeting, I spent a further three hours replying to Chorus email. A lot of that time was spent editing the anger out of an email reply to the Chorus Chairman. I really am losing my patience with the whole thing. Roll on April, with the AGM, so I can get away from all this and go back to having a life and the Chorus as a hobby!
Anyway, got to go eat now. Need to keep my strength up as, betwen Chorus bitching, long daily studying sessions and late nights I'm feeling pretty weary.