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24/12/2002
[12:10] Well, it looks like I'm here after all. I've gotten some stuff done, and also downloaded the Splinter Cell PC demo. Will let you know what it's like later on. Had a quick look at Office 2000 SP3 and am rather thankful that we've not rolled out too many machines using Office 2000 via Administrative Install. For some reason known only to them, Microsoft have seen fit to require all Access 2000 users to rename three files before installing the Service Pack. At a quick count we only have five machines I'm going to have to do it to luckily. All new machine should get the updated version when they're created.

I'm getting a train to my parents some time early this afternoon. Not sure if I'll write journal entries or not. Taking a look at entries for this time last year is rather amusing. Not having seen The Great Escape was suprising. Glad we rectified that.

In case anyone's interested, things between us are much better than before, I think we're on the way to building some kind of understanding. It's pleasant; an almost beginning to what I hope could be a close friendship based on the link we had before, but with a different grounding. I don't want to forget what was, I know it's not any kind of feasible future, I'd just like to be friends with someone with whom I shared and share a lot. In time, perhaps. In time.

23/12/2002
[10:00] Looks like I'm the only person in the building. It certainly makes for conducive working enviromental conditions. No-one getting in my way when I go to do something.

Just upgraded the firmware in my Axis 2120 camera. Unfortunately it was the PFY who set it up so I've had to guess at the settings which got blanked by the upgrade. I think I've gotten it all right.

[11:10] Today is not actually the last day I'll be in work. That's tomorrow. I'll be in for the morning and then going home at lunchtime. With luck I'll be on a train by 14:00 and home to my parents in Leeds by the evening, trains notwithstanding. I have an iPod, not much to carry and books. I'll be fine.

[16:10] The new eMac I've just uncrated seems to have come with OS X and no OS9 at all. This is unfortunate for a number of reasons. All of which I'll deal with after Christmas.

I don't know whether I'll come in tomorrow after all. If I don't then a merry Christmas to you all. And a happy new year.

20/12/2002
[14:30] Firealarm, in this weather. Damn.

[15:55] Today is closedown day here at work. Of course I'll be here on Monday and probably for bits of Tuesday before I head to my parents for a few days over the festive period. Frankly it'll be the best time to get things done.

[16:10] Well, there's a thing. Apparently I'm name-dropped in NOCs and at weddings of tech-type people to enhance people's kudos. Why does this really seem very odd. I'm just this guy, you know?

[16:55] Got the pictures up on Fotopic now. Next thing to do is get them on BOFHcam Gallery. I think this'll be the last collection I put on here. From next year I'll be linking to Fotopic directly.

19/12/2002
[11:40] Let me tell you about the holiday. But first, let me download some photos from home...

O.K. That's been started, and is going to take a while. I need a bigger pipe at home. Or a few Zip disks. Anyway, yes, the holiday. So we took the train down (some of us) met up at the hotel and stayed the night. Pretty nice place. The flight over was uneventful but it was pleasant to arrive in a country where the temperature was roughly twenty-one degrees.

A coach took us to the hotel (all sixteen of us) where we settled in and began to do stuff ranging from walking to diving, swimming in the complex's pool in the dark. To my shame I made the mistake of drinking far too much on the second night there and ended up voiding my stomach for the best part of three hours and missing the next day's climbing and walking on Teide. That was a bit of an arse.

The week proceeded with more walking, more relaxing and plenty of nights out at food establishments. During the week I received some bad news which put a downer on stuff but it's life, and life just keeps on going. So I did. What was I going to do really, stop having fun?

So at the high point there were seventeen of us there. In one night we went to a place called Harley's, had over one hundred cocktails prepared for us, gave the waiter we'd harrassed until he joined in with the jokes a fifty Euro tip and left the entire staff very happy to have served such a monster crowd.

In the end it was one week gone, one week to go. Ten people went home, we shifted around the rooms a little and got on with having a good time. Among the cool things we did were more climbing, going to the beach and building two of the largest sand pyramids I've ever seen. There are plenty of photos getting processed (eletronically) at the moment and they should be up before Christmas.

The weather took a turn for the worse towards the end of our second week and the large hill behind the hotels decided to send most of its mud and lose rocks down the streets and into the hotels, ours included. I think we had the entire rainy season's rain in two days. Driving on Teide was exciting (plus afterwards we got to see snow on the peak) and climbing in just a pair of shorts (very hot) with a snowcapped mountain in the background is really rather excellent. In the end though we'd done a lot of stuff and it was time to come home. The return flight was uneventful and the drive back with iPod on loud stopped our driver from falling asleep at the wheel.

I could tell you more, go into much more detail, but frankly the highlights are all there. The lowlights? Well, they happened too, but nothing's perfect.

[13:10] Everyone's at Christmas lunches today. I didn't get on board in time, so I'm not.

[16:55] So I went to see Dirty Pretty Things at the cinema instead. It's really rather good. Has some great scenes, some laugh out loud humour which is very much understated and is very Real. I recommend it.

03/12/2002 - 18/12/2002
[17:45] I'm sorry to say that I didn't keep a journal while I was on holiday. For various reasons it just wasn't feasible. I did take five hundred and eighty-three photos though, which I will be putting up (suitably winnowed) as soon as I have the time. A lot of cool things happened and overall it was a pretty good time. I'll try and give you a run down on the major points of interest tomorrow. For the moment I'm going to go home, out some washing on and get some sleep.

Today I've caught up on some email, resubscribed to mailing lists and conducted interviews while beginning to fall asleep. remind me not to upload photos as soon as I get in from a drive home in the middle of the night. Like I said, more on the holiday tomorrow.

02/12/2002
[10:30] So, so busy. No time for much more right now. Hopefully more before I head off for two weeks.

[11:00] Stress load decreasing slightly. Work load still high. Better say some of my goodbyes now, in case I don't get time later. So, yeah, off for two weeks to Tenerife. Be good while I'm away. Seventeen of us in total. There may be some stress for one or two reasons but I'm certainly hoping to make this a fun time for everyone going and keep the most important thing uppermost; we're all going to have a great time and be with our friends. I'm hoping to be more pleasant to be around for other people and to perhaps take some small steps towards healing a breach, but there's no rush. The wheel turns, time passes and heals everything in the end. Relax, relax and simply be... Listen to the sound of my voice... Relax and be at peace, you are drifting, drifting on a sea of calm and friendship. You distinctly do not feel me lifting your wallet.

[11:20] As per usual I intend to keep a journal while away. Two week's worth may take a fair while to write up. There should be photos, too.

[11:55] Not sure if I'm coming back after lunch, if not then everyone have a nice time doing whatever.