Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Running Start

So yesterday was quite social; I had lunch with Owen in The City and dinner with Joe R in Earls Court. Lunch was the traditional progress from SubWay to Starbucks whilst exchanging news and gossip. As we watched the world go by from the shelf at Starbucks though, we realised that we were witnessing another terror attack underway in London; it seems that there is a plague of Italian loafers (with tassels!) breaking out amongst the City Slickers.

We ran screaming from the scene.

Dinner was a less traumatic affair, although it too had an unpleasant consequence. I have known Joe since I was living in Folkestone (which makes it five years ago now!) and we share a dry humour, interests in good food and the arts and a certain technical overlap in our work. Neither of us is great at keeping in touch though and, when we totted it up, it turns out to have been two years since we last sat down for dinner – a gap broken by only occasional emails and invites to events that one way or another we neither managed to get to.

We had plenty of catching up to do and so, as Joe is a creature of habit and it’s on my way home from work (kind of), we did the catching up over dinner and a nice bottle of Chardonnay at Ballans in Earls Court. I spoke of the Chorus, my flying and a possible sideline in photography. He spoke of his career changes and endless business travelling (which is making his application for British citizenship a nightmare, because you have to list and explain every departure from the country in the last five years!) He has also just broken up with a guy he’s been seeing and living with for the last year or so, which he is finding something of a strain even though the parting is amicable. It was a very pleasant dinner though and we both came away nicely merry and determined not to leave it so long next time.

As for the unpleasant consequence? Well, I should really have been more cautious when I realised that the first bite of the seared tuna was so well stoked with histamines

My digestive tract was finally totally empty a little before 2am and I gratefully turned in for the night.

Only to be woken again a little after 4am by the night watchman at the office; the heat alarm for the server room was sounding; all the air conditioning units had shut down and he couldn’t restart them. There are only two things you can do in that situation; ventilate the room and reduce the heat generated. So while he opened doors and access panels, I spent an hour frantically sending shutdown commands to the non-essential servers before driving into the office to better monitor what was going on.

It turned out to be a cock-up by some electrical contractors who were doing testing work on other floors of the building. By the time I arrived the units were operational again so I spent another hour restarting machines and making sure all was okay.

On the upside though, it means I can now go and have a nice hot breakfast and charge it to the company! Yeay!

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