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28/09/2018 [17:00] King Lear. Long, interesting, not quite comprehensible, but I got the gist. I don't think I'm witty or erudite enough to tell you more about it. The presentation (watching it on a cinema screen with mutiple camera angles) was interesting, but the three or four sound drop-outs were distracting, even if they were for only a fraction of a second each time. Rachel arrived a little later than planned due to an over-run meeting, but I ordered our food to arrive at pretty much exactly the right moment, which was good. We got home quite late but, being tired from the day as well as from our respective colds, we dropped off quite quickly. She had to be in London early this morning so it was quite an early start for her too, which was sad. At work today I got a huge amount done in the morning (mostly owing to no-one else able to do the things that needed doing being in today), then went for a run at lunch time which proved to me that unless I'm 100% well on Sunday, the 10K race I'm doing is not going to result in a particularly impressive time. Immediately after my shower I headed into a retirement lunch for a developer to say goodbye as well as to get some free lunch, then left after the speeches to go and swap a hard drive in an array at the most remote data center. And that's pretty much everything today.

This weekend I'll be doing parkrun (but not expecting anything amazing), some Tesco shopping, having a soak away dug for my boiler's condensate pipe (since the pipework was changed after the external wall insulation was installed), and then hopefully going to meet Rachel at the train station some time in the evening. On Sunday we'll be going to run a 10K race on the other side of town and then coming home to relax and unwind for the remainder of the day.

On Monday I have to remember to leave the side gate open so someone with a better mower than mine can come and tame my garden. I might ask him to do some weeding as well as I'm not sure I can be bothered to spend the hours it's going to take to deal with my gravel frontage. Anyway, that's all to come. For now I'm going to head home and see if I can't stop coughing for a while.

27/09/2018 [17:20] Another not-so-super night's sleep, but oddly I don't feel too bad all things considered. I can't tell you why, especially as I was up a little later than normal watching a film or two. Anyway, I felt good enough to stay in bed a smidgen longer than normal, and still rush around having a shower and shave before making lunch and eating breakfast. I even made it to work just before 09:00... I think. Honestly, I'm not sure. It doesn't seem to matter all that much, and much less so than it used to to me. Maybe it's because of just how many stupid and wasteful things are going on here at work these days. I won't bore you with the details, but a middle manager with delusions of adequacy has spent a considerable amount of money on some servers and storage which he really shouldn't have considering all the factors involved. I was so bothered by this that for the first time ever I got out of my chair and went and found a higher level manager and asked what was going on. We'll have to see if anything more than nothing at all comes of my actions.

I also went to the gym for probably the last time in a while today. This is because I'll be paying for running coaching again from next month and I'd rather not pay for that and gym membership at the same time. Especially as I expect the running to eat up a lot of my energy and free time. Although as I'm training for ultra marathons it's entirely possible that most runs I get set won't fit into a lunch time. We'll have to see.

Rachel - although she missed the train she was aiming for - and I are headed to watch a simulcast of King Lear this evening at one of my local cinemas. Her missing the train she'd planned on means we get somewhat less time at the GBK we're hoping to go to beforehand. Hopefully things will still work out timing wise. I'm going to head there a little earlier to get a table and maybe order some drinks or something. I'll tell you how the play was tomorrow, as well as whether I get any work done, and if there's any fallout from my corridor complaining today.

26/09/2018 [16:55] Firstly I had a rotten night's sleep with my runny nose, and didn't really get any proper shut-eye until gone 01:30, but then as I was getting up this morning I managed (don't ask) to lose the battery out of my phone, and when it finally came back to life again all 4000+ messages from Rachel (along with a good few others from various people and race results and things) had all gone. Just the inbox, not the sent items or anything like that. It's a shame, but I didn't really go back and look at them all that much.

Anyway, still with a drippy nose and a lack of energy I headed to work and did the usual work thing for the day. I even managed to attempt a run at lunch time, even though it nearly wiped me out, my heart rate was well above what it usually is for that pace, and it left me feeling like this weekend's 10K isn't going to go very well at all. I'm going to head home now and hope that the cold won't bother me quite as much tonight and I'll wake up feeling somewhat better tomorrow in time to meet Rachel in the evening for a meal out and then a showing of King Lear at a cinema.

25/09/2018 [18:00] My cold has finally taken proper hold of my body. It started last night with a horribly sore and raw throat which left me having trouble swallowing all the way through the night. Even while I was walking around Tesco in the evening it wasn't all that pleasant. However, after a poor night's sleep the sore throat has died down as the usual progression to an incredibly drippy nose has begun. I've been sneezing and using up copious amounts of tissue over the course of walking over to a server room to install a fibre channel card, doing firmware upgrades on two servers, doing application firewall and load balancer changes, setting up SSL certificates, installing new RHEL7 workstations for users, discovering previously unreported HDD errors and having to scrap those workstations and install new ones, and generally all the little things that go into me doing my part to keeping this place running. With my nose being as it is, and also being a little lower on energy, as well as not wanting to spread my germs all over the gym, I decided to pass on weight training at lunch time today. I almost certainly will run tomorrow, but it might just be a steady one, rather than sprintervals of the kind I was planning on doing in some belated attempt to get some speed into my legs before the 10K race we're doing this weekend.

24/09/2018 [17:10] I finally managed to get a response from the person who does next door's garden. Which means I get to call him this evening between 18:00 and 19:00 to ask what his price would be for mowing my monsterously overgrown lawns. So that's good, at least.

Otherwise, Rachel and I headed to her parents' house for the long weekend and a good time was had by all. Her brother's family also arrived, there was curry, crazy golf, and plenty of relaxation. We also got to do a run around the village, which was good, even if I was breathing like a broken steam engine for pretty much all of it for some reason. Trains there and back weren't too bad, but there were a few delays here and there which hopefully Rachel will be able to claim for.

We ended up back at my house on Sunday, which meant we got to have a nice relaxing late afternoon/evening before dinner, television and bed. This morning neither of us wanted to get up, but work was calling so we headed out at the appropriate times. Sadly, it's very close to the part of the year when cycling to work requires gloves and potentially at least a wind-stopping layer. I didn't have them this morning.

I'm heading home now to an empty house, but I'll fill it with downloaded television and the cupboards and fridge-freezer with food from Tesco in short order.

20/09/2018 [16:20] As I wasn't going to be able to exercise at lunch time today (having lunch with Max to give him a book on AI and say goodbye for the time being) I got up semi-early this morning, showered, shaved, headed into work without a packed lunch, and then got changed to go to the gym. I had a quick 40 minute blast at the sports centre and then showered back at work again and was at my desk not too long after 09:10, which was fine as I was still the only person in the office. I've spent most of the day working on clearing down my inbox by doing all the things in it that've been pending, as well as judiciously filing things into folders where possible as the contents aren't something I can do anything about at the moment. I've also singularly failed to get in contact with the gardener I've been trying to get to come to mow my lawn, so I may try to do that again tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow (and the weekend), in a few minutes I'll be leaving work early for the day and cycling to the train station to get a train to Peterborough to meet Rachel's train as we head up towards Grantham and thence to Rachel's parents' house for a long weekend. I have tomorrow off, but Rachel will be working from home. We'll spend some quality time with them, as well as with Rachel's brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. If my right ankle/calf/achilles ache (which came out of nowhere yesterday after my run) plays ball I'll squeeze in a fast run tomorrow at some point, but otherwise it should be slower, longer runs with Rachel. Weather permitting, anyway. I think we're coming back to my house on Sunday, so that'll mean I should be in work at a normal time on Monday.

19/09/2018 [17:30] For no readily apparent reason I got in to work at 08:00 this morning. I have no excuse. Nor for staying past 17:30 today, but there you have it. I haven't managed to achieve all that much today owing to the people I was hoping would rack up some servers for me not doing so. I did do a reasonable run at lunch time, although how I felt at the end of it doesn't bode well for me doing more, for longer and further, the weekend after this at a local 10K race.

I'll get more done tomorrow, I promise. Also, it's the last day of the week for me as I'm off to with Rachel to see her parents tomorrow evening.

18/09/2018 [17:20] It has been a useful day, if I squint at it a little. Not everything I wanted to achieve was achieved, but I did manage to file a few incident reports, keep things going here and there, and get my hair cut. I haven't yet managed to get in contact with the person I want to come and attack my lawn/the garden (my hover mower won't now deal with the grass length easily/sensibly), but I may manage that tomorrow.

I think that's everything, if I'm honest. There should have been some racking of servers (by someone else) such that I could start installing them (with Chris watching), but that doesn't seem to have happened. I'll work on the Kickstart files for them tomorrow in lieu of them actually getting moved to the right server rooms and made ready for me.

You know, it really does feel like the back left half of my hair cut is a touch longer than the right... or the hair's sticking up more on that side. I'm not sure which, but I'll have to wait until tomorrow morning when it's all settled down and have another check then.

17/09/2018 [17:15] Well, I'm back, and I'm well again. Or at least well enough to feel OK. The remainder of Friday was spent at home trying to convince myself I should have come home. It turns out it was a good idea as I was able to get myself into good enough shape to then head to the train station and get myself to Croydon. Rachel ended up getting the same train as me, which was nice. Over the weekend we decided that I wouldn't come to the thing she was doing on Saturday morning/early afternoon, so I stayed home and caught up on reading and some television. I did make myself go for a mid-afternoon run which I thought was pretty fast but turned out it wasn't and I was just low on muscle glycogen. On Sunday we had a bit of a lie-in and then went for a run which ended up by the place Rachel needed to do an hour on a 'stall' for a charity she volunteers with. The run was nice, if a lot slower than either of us was hoping for. Still, it got us out of the house and moving around on a lovely sunny day. It was probably a mixture of us being low on energy post illness, and the bitty nature of the weekend, but I don't think either of us were at the top of our game, emotion-wise. Things should improve now that we're both finally over whatever it was we got. I headed to work at an almost civilized time this morning and was still the second one in the office despite the much later than usual arrival time. Plenty of things have been going on in the the building such that I'm pretty sure by the middle of next month we might have lost two key members of staff in my office and things will become a lot more interesting (read: hard) for me in terms of the things I need to know how to do. Still, I took the opportunity to mention that I haven't had any kind of pay rise other than "cost of living" for the last eight years or so, so if things do get more complicated here there's almost a chance I might get some more money... although I know of at least one person who really deserves that more than me.

I'm going to head home now and see if I can work up the enthusiasm to attempt to mow the lawn. It may be a lost cause at this point with the mower I have, so I may have to pay for a gardener to do it for me this time.

14/09/2018 [12:10] I've been ill for the last few days. I'll spare you the details, but it was all stomach-and-lower related. Rachel came to see me last night, which was wonderful, but then I slept badly on my right shoulder, and my stomach started playing up again over the course of this morning, so I'm going home again. I'll have to see if I have the energy to make it to Croydon for the weekend. I'd really like to go, but it may just be a bridge too far.

In other news, I did almost everything that was piling up for me this morning, which is pretty good. I don't think I've been quite so productive in weeks. If the weekend goes according to plan I'll be with Rachel until Monday morning, doing fun things. Otherwise I'll be home and feeling sorry for myself and for not having traveled, and wondering if I should tell Rachel to have a weekend at home for the first time in a while.

11/09/2018 [17:30] Whatever started affecting me in the early hours of this morning (upset stomache, and feeling very hot), has changed into something that's just left me drained of energy and feeling vaguely unwell. I can't be more definite than that. Having to sit around all day on a course certainly didn't help, either.

Honestly, I've no energy or inclination to write anything today, so that'll have to do you.

10/09/2018 [17:30] Here I am, back again. We had a great time in the south of England, thanks for asking. It started with an overnight in a SnoozePod in the outer grounds of the Eden Project, which was fun, if a little stuffy. The following morning we did the very undulating Eden Project parkrun, where Rachel bested me by a good minute and a half and a bit. I just don't seem to be able to run quickly at the moment. After that we took the train to St. Agnes to see Rachel's aunt, and run a few coastal paths. I had a bit of a depressive turn and wasn't terribly good company for most of those, sadly. Plus I just felt too tired and lacking in energy, which didn't bode well for later on in the week, so that didn't help my mood either. After a day or so there we headed off on a few trains to Weston-Super-Mare where we began our run along the Mendip Ways. West first (the prettier of the two, if I'm honest), and then the East. The first day was around 30 miles, all told. We broke our day up stopping in Cheddar Gorge after figuring out that our maps from 2008, 2009, and 2011 were perhaps a little out of date with regard to the recognised route of the West Mendip Way. That was around mile 20. The afternoon 10 miles wasn't too bad, but had more of the same ups and downs which'd slowed us down in the morning. We were rather glad to take a bit of a short cut at the end of the day to get to our accommodation in Wells for the night. It turned out to be a fabulous place (recommended by Rachel's parents) where we had a lovely meal made for us, but were mortified when the lady of the house came downstairs with our sweaty kit saying that the turn-down maid had said the room was too 'chaotic' for her to work in. We'd only hung it up around the room to air and dry. She ended up washing and drying it for us, which was nice. The following day we decided to leave our bags at the place and wander around Wells, visiting the cathedral, the Bishop's Palace, and the market, among other places. Towards the end of the day we went back, collected our bags, and then took a taxi to the place we were staying for the second night in Wells (although it turned out to be in Wookey Hole). We went out in the dark to a pub for an evening meal and then turned in for the night. The next morning, after a nice breakfast from our host, we got on with the running again and did the bit we'd missed out on on the Tuesday before starting the East Mendip Way in the middle of Wells. This took us by various highways, byways, and through the middle of sweetcorn fields, to Frome. By the time we got there, even after only 20 miles, we were footsore and glad to be stopping for the day. Rachel hadn't eaten all that much so I found us the 'best' curry house in Frome and we set to eating a rather generous set menu offering each. The following morning Rachel didn't feel all that well, so we were very careful in not over-exerting ourselves walking around Wells for the morning and then on the trains back to my place. Rachel had to do some running at Kings Cross to get a ticket and then get on the same train as me (I couldn't wait as my ticket was for off-peak trains only). We ended up on different parts of the train with no way to reach each other, so I couldn't be there for her to lean on when she was feeling bad. We met up on the platform when we arrived, and then cycled slowly and carefully home. On Saturday morning we did a gentle parkrun with Rachel's friend, and then invited her home for coffee and a chat. After that it was all about Rachel preparing food for the evening meal until we had to go out for Rachel's eye test (she's getting long-sighted) and a failed attempt to get her new bike its 6 week servicing. Max and Stacey came over for dinner and then headed off in time to get back to their van before night fell. Sadly, Rachel began to feel a lot iller and had a terrible night of stomach issues. Sunday was then a literal day of rest, although I did do some hedge trimming, and later in the day we cycled very slowly to work to pick up a delivery of sandals (turned out to be too small), and then to Max and Stacey's camp site to see their van. By the time we got home it was about 20:00, so I had some dinner (Rachel was still on toast and water) and then we headed to bed.

This morning I got up when Rachel did, after a better night's sleep, luckily. I headed into work only about 30 minutes behind Rachel and made a start on all the emails and work that'd piled up whilest I'd been away. Unfortunately it was the same morning as some network maintenance, so I had to stop for about 20 minutes while the network went away. That gave me time to pack up all the stuff I was sending back and get labels printed. While I was going through my email I noticed that I'd been put down for some training for today and tomorrow. This was frustrating as not only did I have a lot to do at my desk, the networking for the training session hadn't been set up, so I had to dash around trying to get that working before the session (at a site that takes 10 minutes to walk to) could begin. In the end almost everything worked out and it's now the end of the day and I'm going to go home and collapse for a bit. Once I've cycled home, anyway.