31/07/2002 - Crete
[15:00] So we boarded the plane, no worries there. The plane didn't move. For
quite a while. The captain came on over the intercom. It appeared that the
storms over London had knocked out large chunks of air traffic control. Which
was a problem. We were allowed to move about the cabin but were on 'ready to
fly' which meant that if someone else wasn't ready we could get their take off
slot. In that event it was run for your seats and belt in. That was cool.
They turned on the in-flight entertainment anyway.
We took off an hour later than we'd been supposed to anyway. The amazingly
verbose and helpful captain still managed to get us in only twenty minutes
We deplaned at speed and collected our bags, heading for the coach station.
Oddly, for an international airport there were no coaches until 04:50.
It was currently 02:00. We headed back into the airport and tried to get some
sleep (or read) on the floor of the arrivals area. Around 4:50 we headed down
again, blearly-eyed. Tried to sleep on the way home, didn't managed, got home
at some ungodly hour of the midmorning and headed home. Spent too long working
on email and writing up this journal before getting a few hours sleep.
[23:00] Went to the pub, had a good time, showed people my pictures by bringing
my laptop with me. Came home, spent some time talking to Bob again and
eventually went to bed. Holiday over. Some amazing times, some really hard
times and a whole lot of thinking. Bed now.
30/07/2002 - Crete
[11:15] Lazily stayed in bed until 09:15 then showered and ate. Slowly began
to packwhile Bob went into town to change some money. There are no cash
machines in Plakias. No, I don't know why. We're aiming for the 13:15 bus to
Rethymnon and then on to Heraklion. That should give us time to do some
shopping, have a meal at Hiovanni's again and get to the airport in plenty of
time. Bob's back from town now, so time to finish packing.
[21:51] We finished packing and said our goodbyes to those in the hostel we'd
made friends with, including Chris who hoped we'd be back soon. If only to fix
the computers. We can't escape them, even in Crete.
Bags on back and front we paced down to the shore road stopping to admire the
scenery one last time. A twenty minute stop in the sun brought the bus to
Rethymnon and an uneventful journey. The change of buses for the one to
Heraklion was the work of fifteen minutes and then off we went again. I read
for most of the 80km before we alighted where it all began. We took a trip to
our original youth hostel and deposited the larger bags for the after for 5
euros. From there we decided on a savoury crepe for lunch (late) at the same
place we'd been on our first night in Crete.
The cafe culture we've adopted lead us to work on our pet project for the best
part of the afternoon and evening. A rapid bout of tourist-like shopping
garnered a t-shirt and some gifts for the people back home. I'm out of cash
now. Pretty much everything done, we went for our bags and meandered over to
Giovanni's for a last and Last Night meal. As before it was excellent, as was
the wine. Both attentive and attractive waitresses remembered us well.
Around 20:30 we finished our coffee, cleansed our palettes with lemon sorbet
and walked to the bus stop for the airport route. When it arrived it was packed
full and we just made it fuller. I was almost thrown off for crowding the
driver. A few stops before the airport almost everyone got off and, as is the
Greek style, shoved us our of the way.
At the airport, check in was painless, and purchase of a further gift or two
for someone who's been helping me out these past weeks was made. Hope she
likes it. Now all there is to do is wait. 23:10 flight, 01:10 arrival time
(local time) at Gatwick. Then it's a really really long coach trip home.
No work tomorrow, just a debrief in the pub with others to discuss the project
we have in mind and have a drink.
29/07/2002 - Crete
[17:00] Slept much better last night. I think the cold is already broken. A
shower at 07:00 prepared me for the day and a continental breakfast and a mug of
hot sweet tea allowed me some energy. We selttled down in the communal area
after breakfast and played a game of chess. Unfortunately my mind was really
on other things and I lost, badly.
We went for a walk, west out of Plakias, at speed. I needed the movement, and
the heat to keep my mind occupied. Bob's a great friend and he's got some idea
of where I am right now. This is why the holiday has been so uniformly
So we walked, in the heat, talking. Eventually we ran out of road. Turning
back we stopped at a taverna for a drink, got to talking about other matters
and had lunch there too. Many hours later we walked back to the hostel, hand
wrote some emails on paper to be sent from the UK and settled down to wait out
the sun. I decided to pop in and get up to date on the journal.
[30/07/2002 - 11:00] No sooner than we'd sat down to read than Chris, the person
who runs the hostel wandered over to ask us if we could fix someone's computer.
Seems their ISDN doalup had failed to work when the machine had been reinstalled
due to a Klez infection it'd picked up. Unfortunately the no-name ISDN box only
had NetCon printed on the side and a manual written exclusively in Greek. It
was making a connection very quickly, then dumping the line and claiming the
other end had said there was nothing happening. We ended up using the standard
28k8 driver which was supposed to work, but didn't. In the end we blamed the
woman's ISP and told her to try again in the morning. We got driven home again
safe in the knowledge that by the time she tried again we'd not be around.
More reading was done and I enthused Bob about Karate and got him interested in
attending classes when we get back to the UK. In the end hunger drove us back
into town again. Good food and more cocktails solved most of the day's woes
and sent us happily home at some ungodly hour of the morning. There were some
noisy people who didn't seem to need any sleep at all wandering about the hostel
and they were determined not to let anyone sleep. In the end I managed anyway.
28/07/2002 - Crete
[29/02/2002 - 01:10] So slept badly again, waking all the time to blow my nose
and try to cool down. By 04:00 I was sick of it but managed to doze through
the occasional torrential downpours. Up at 09:00 the the sound of Bach's
Tocatta and Fugue (on Sunday Chris pays classical music in the morning). I
headed off for a shower (water still at a perfect temperature, even over night)
and then to stare at the overcast and rainy morning.
Bob was up by 10:00 and we had breakfast together before engaging someone in
conversation until the hostel's PC became free. We checked email (some real
suprises) and then I showed Bob the MUD I use habitually to demonstrate some
key concepts we need for the project we're working on at the moment.
After reading some difficult to assimilate information on Bob's email we had to
get out of the hostel and go for a hard walk somewhere, anywhere. We just
needed to get out. Being a big problem tends to do that to me. We didn't take
any water, any bags and we were lucky Bob had his wallet in his pocket. The
path left out of the hostel goes straight up the side of the mountain to
Mythrios and is supposed to take about an hour. We did it in less than thirty
minutes, even in the raging heat of the day.
Once in Mythrios we headed to a taverna for lunch. This was uniformly excellent
as usual and finished off with some yoghurt and honey for my throat. Plenty
more talking took place. Some of should hopefully sink in and have some
effect. Back down from Mythrios we investigated the route to One Rock beach.
Apparently a forty-five minute walk to get to, we set off and were there,
scrambling down the steep cliffs some time around when it was estimated.
One Rock is a very small nudist beach. So off came the clothes and into the
very high waves funneling into the cove around the one large rock a few dozen
meters out to sea. Naked swimming and sun bathing in mixed company is really
rather fun in a liberating way. Eventually we ran out of drinkable water so I
stopped bouldering/climbing on the rocks above the beach (in the nude, very
weird) and got dressed.
Taking the long way back (by accident) we arrived back around 20:20 and played
a game of chess which Bob won this time (I wasn't playing to win, honest).
Headed out to town for a savoury and then sweet crepe with milkshake before
talking until about technical things and heading home.
Bed time now. Hopefully with more sleep and a less runny nose.
27/07/2002 - Crete
[15:10] So I slept badly again for some of the first half of the night, but a
breeze sprang up and the second half was much, much better. We woke, dressed
and were packed and happy to see Nick an hour before he was due to in to open
up so that we could collect our passports. With them safe from the safe(!) and
packed away we could make our way to the pickup point for today's walk. There
was no taxi this time though. As there were only four people paying to walk
today our walk leader (same lady as last time) drove us out to the start point
herself. We stopped off to pick up the Finnish couple who were our walking
companions before a longer drive out out of town than last time.
Parked in a village on the edge of another gorge we started out. The walk was
much less difficult than before, the heat less and much more of a breeze.
Again we were innundated with the smell of oregano, sage, jasmine. There were
wild pears, mulberries and plums to pull from branches.
The stops off in a taverna was welcome and welcoming and the light snack
(actually breakfast for us) was just what we needed. There then followed a lot
more steep up and down after 11:00 but passing through villages (now mostly
empty as more and more of the younger generation move to the larger towns)
broke the walk up a bit. Through one village we came across their natural
well/spring and were able to refill our water bottles. Just after that was a
natural tunnel which was filled with butterflies. A walk and a final steep down
hill stretch took us to the lunch taverna. Food, wine and raki was quickly
consumed as we were rather tired and hungry. A lift back to our morning
pickup point and a two minute walk back to the French-infested hostel to change
shoes and repack for the the bus trip to Plakias followed. I decided to write
down the day to date too, as the bus isn't until 16:15.
[28/07/2002 - 09:30] So we walked to the bus station, bought the tickets and
lazed about inside eating icecream and talking about the issues which bothered
me. Bob's been really good at letting me blow off steam and try to get things
straight. I still wish that things weren't as they are now, though. The things
that've happened are bad for everyone and had I been given time and opportunity
(even now) I think there's hope to have something new. Anyway, the
bus arrived on time, was nice and modern (with air conditioning) and was driven
well. As we left the town though, for the first time in over 14 years it
rained in Crete in July. Weird. Anyway, rain it did and it followed us
south to Plakias. Not only that but my cold is getting progressively worse too.
It's as if my body's given up defending itself and said "that's it". My throat
hurts, it's hard to swallow, I have a running nose and a high temperature. We
still arrived in Plakias and walked through the overcast day to the youth
Bob was instantly recognised by the manager (Chris) who dragged out the raki
and some glasses and we drank our welcome. There were unfortunately no beds
left indoors (we thought), but as people he knew he found some other decent
places for us to kip. Turns out there were some beds inside after all as we
started talking to others in the communal area and two attractive French women
turned up. Mostly because Chris allocated the beds we thought he'd given us,
to them. We moved our stuff and everything was sorted.
For the first time in a while I played a game of chess as my cold/flu kicked in.
Dinner was on the outcome so I tried my best agains Bob, and won. Huzzah.
Admittedly he'd played no more than a dozen games in his life, but he's an
Still, at around 22:00 we headed out to look for a place to eat. A fish
restaurant seemed to be the best option so we had sea bass and grilled tuna.
Given the uncomfortable seating that most places seem to have we relocated to a
beach bar for cocktails next and slowly descended into a pleasant drunken
happiness as the rain came down and the sea and the mountains were lit up by
spectacular purple tinted lightning.
We talked until well past 01:00 but then, not even the words which come from
deep places when you're more open through massive amounts of alcohol can give
you the answers you need, sometimes.
We wove our way back to the hostel and to bed. The heat and my cold stopped me
from getting a proper night's sleep and I was woken by the occasional downpour
26/07/2002 - Crete
Woke far too early before the 06:30 bells but was still rudely brought awake by
them, likewise the 07:30 ones. They sound like they're being rung by two
children on a bet. No elements of campanology whatsoever. Anyway, tried to
doze until 08:30 before getting up. Wandered to the area normally closed when
Nick isn't there and ordered some Greek yoghurt and honey for my increasingly
sore throat which had threatened to leave me unable to sleep and breath last
night. It helped anyway. Over breakfast Bob engaged in an extremely unfair
battle of wits with a fat opinionated redneck American with some pig-ignorant
ill-informed opinions on evolution, among many other things. The man was also
a fully paid up member of the World Jewish Conspiracy group. Idiot.
I dragged Bob out of there before GBH was administered. We wandered through
the town to the fortress where we spent a hot two hours exploring the walls
and the reconstructed chapel of St Catherine and the next-door mosque which
seemed to have become a contemporary art gallery. A real shame.
From the fortress we went to find the minaret of what we thought was a still
active mosque, only to find it closed and a music conservatory. We decided to
seek solace and lunch at the Wine Festival in the municipal gardens. But it
turned out that that wasn't open until the evening.
So we wandered toa shop, bought some more honey and Greek yoghurt. Ate it at
the hostel, made sure email at home wasn't overflowing the inbox and had a
slightly more pleasant conversation with the idiot about British broadsheet
newspapers. In the end we decided to go to a part of town which the map claimed
didn't have anything in it. The map was right, there was nothing there and we
ended up walking around the outside of the fortress on the sea road, far below
From there I needed the loo (too much water) so we popped into three tavernas
in search of shade, among other things. The second place held on to us for a
good few hours as we hashed out and then filled in the gaps on some really
technical ideas for the future. Before too long it was 19:40 and a quick trip
back to The Happy Walker to confirm tomorrow's walk. Once that was done we
went to the hostel to find it infested with French backpackers. Plenty of
eye-candy, no friendliness. Figures.
Quickly leaving we went to the wine festival and found we had to wait fifty-five
minutes before the wine came out (children's part still running). We sat on a
Greek memorial to some guy or other and Bob attempted to unroll some of my
brain from the state it was in. Eventually running out of time we paid the
3 euros to get in, bought a glass and proceeded to drink far too much wine, even
if it was interspersed with water. Luckily there were some burgers to be had
and so, happy and lightheaded we talked some more about our pasts before
thinking on to the coming days in Plakias. Those should be excellent times.
Eventually we'd drunk enough that even sharing a room with some French people
seemed like the most sensible thing to do and we slunk back home with headaches
and a need not to start something with the French guys lying all over the
ground. I wrote the journal up to date and thought about tomorrow's walk before
closing the book for the day.
25/07/2002 - Crete
[23:45] Slept badly in the heat again and tried to dose until 06:30 when we
were supposed to get up. Off went Bob's alarm and up we got, to be brought
fully awake a few minutes later by a number of church bells being inexpertly
rung by what sounded like monkeys.
Now fully awake we dressed and walked in hiking boots rather than sandals down
to the shore where we waited to be picked up and driven to the start point. At
07:30 our taxi appeared and in we got with someone else who'd been waiting with
us. A few miles out of town we were dropped with about eight other people from
all over europe and the southern hemisphere who were holidaying in Crete. I
think there were Australian, Dutch, German and English people represented. We
set off on the vaguely circular route and the temperature continued to rise.
Over the following hours we climbed and dropped along the side of a gorge,
crossing the river at the bottom a number of times as the path wound its way up
to its top. At one point we came across an abandoned village, totally covered
in creepers and vines which still stood almost undamaged yet home to hundreds
of bats. We also saw many many derelict mills run by the river as well as
houses, villas and storage barns. Very odd.
at around 11:00 we left the gorge and headed for a village with a small taverna
which served us cold drinks and snacks. Plenty of raki too, which I'm
developing a taste for. Moving on we walked roads, through orange and lemon
groves (eating from the trees as we went) as well as seeing wild oregano, basil,
sage, mint, incense, capers and figs. The temperature was in the high thirties
and shade wasn't always available to we were all pretty hot for most of the
time. In the end we actually climbed out of the gorge completely and overlooked
the town below before turning away towards a taverna which served us a healthy
amount of food and drink, including lots of wine and water. The taxis arrived
around 15:00 to drive us back to where we'd been picked up in the morning. A
short walk took us back to the hostel where a cold shower and a shave restored
some semblance of humanity. After a while we ambled over to The Happy Walker
again to cancel the walk for tomorrow and book one instead for Satuday when we
may have more strength to take it on.
Inside we found one of the people from the walk who'd been on eight others and
was mostly a resident of Crete at the moment. A happy couple of hours was spent
talking to him in the place and being supplied by Raki by the owner as we just
sat there. It wasn't until that we noticed it was half past seven that we
realised we should have something to eat. The three of us agreed on a seafood
place and for the next 40 minutes we split up to relax and prepare.
Meeting up again we took ten minutes to wandered down to the shore and to a
very well hidden place which did huge whitebait and octopus along with a lot of
salad and wondeful meatballs. We talked long past 23:00 about relationships
and where I was in my life at the moment. It was helpful but I still feel very
much at sea. When we finished we said goodbye and headed home. While the heat
may not have gone down much yet the wind has come up a bit more strongly now
and I seem to have developed a really nasty sore throat. I don't know whether
it's the Raki or the wine I had today (retsina) but time will tell.
24/07/2002 - Crete
[21:50] Sleeping in 28 degree heat isn't as bad as you might think. I woke at
about 07:00 and managed to keep dozing for a while. On getting up and jumping
out of the top bunk I headed for a shower again. There were two or three
scantily-clad women doing morning things as I headed into the bathroom are and
we all exchanged the smile of backpackers everywhere when met by someone
attractive and wearing very little.
After packing Bob and I headed down to the communal area for a cheap breakfast
before I took a few pictures of the place to remember it by. We paid to have
the bags minded for a while and headed out to look at the place in the daylight.
We wandered through the town and took in some museums including the
Archaeological Museum where some time was spent in the shade drinking cool
liquid and admiring the sun through the trees. More photos and then we took a
trip down to the fortress on the shore. Deciding that as it was there we may
as well walk down it we took a trip in the blazing heat down the entire length
of the harbour sea wall. It's about a mile in length. Took a picture of some
fish and a rusty sunken trawler before getting to the end, turning round and
As we reached shade again hunger struck and Bob recommended a small place only
slightly hidden away called Giovanni's. It's an Italian place for sure, but it
never seems to be full and the waitress service and the food are tremendous. I
couldn't have found it on my own but it was an oasis of calm and cool in the
middle of a hot and mentally hard day. If I ever come back to Crete I will go
to Giovanni's again. As it is we whiled away a few hours until it was time to
pick up our bags from the hostel and head for the bus station. Grabbing and
carrying the bags through town in the middle of the day was hot work and it was
a pleasure to buy the tickets and wait in the shade. While the driver was
angry and incoherent everyone managed to get on and I dozed the two hourish
journey to Rethymnon, west of Heraklion. I felt a bit dizzy with heat when we
arrived but managed to follow Bob to the hostel about a mile from the station
and just inside the old city walls.
Once settled in by Nick (the hostel operator) and showered we walked the 20m to
The Happy Walker. This is a company started by a man from the Netherlands who
came here a long time ago and never went home again. It organises walking
trips around Rethymnon. We booked a walk for tomorrow and one for Friday
provisionally. As we were sitting there he handed us small tumblers of Raki
which we were allowed to keep.
Bookings arranged and time spent talking over we headed back to the hostel where
I got a chance for the first time to read and Bob got out his sketch book and
did a reasonable attempt at drawing a minaret just visible over the roof next
door. We made some conversation with some French girls who'd just arrived
before wandering out into the old part of town in search of food again. We
settled on a place called The Old Tavern which served good salads brought to our
table by an extremely nice waitress. Who didn't even notice me. Tough luck.
Bob and I picked up our previous conversation on credit disks and secure
transfers. It's all good stuff, maybe we'll do a paper on it one day. A walk
back to the hostel and and ATM visit rounded off the evening in preparation
for tomorrow's early rise at 06:30.
23/07/2002 - Crete
[24/07/2002 - 00:10] After staying up late with friends I packed past midnight
before crashing out to the sound of the radio, the only way I can sleep at the
Woke before the alarm and got myself sorted. Double-checked the stuff I needed
to do and walked to the bus station. Met my travel partner (Bob) and enjoyed
the feeling of the rain beginning to fall as we boarded the bus for the long
trip to Gatwick airport.
We passed the journey with a long and detailed discussion of universal credit
disks, encryption and cybernetic implants and wearable technology. We took a
nice lunch in the Pizza Express there and check in went very smoothly and we
passed through into the departures lounge and duty free. We were wandering
around when suddenly the fire alarm went off. The entire airport was cleared
and we ended up walking for about five minutes to something which looked vaguely
like a concentration camp. Once the alarm was over we went back in and had an
uneventful boarding and takeoff although for a few moments I was midly
dissapointed that we didn't crash and burn into a violent conflagration of
twisted and burning metal. Odd, that.
A flight time of three hours took us to Heraklion where our bags came out of
the bowels of the airport's carousel system in less than ten minutes. Very
efficient. We bought bus tickets, not from a ticket machine or similar, but
from a newsagents-type stand which didn't advertise itself as being able to do
that. It was about midnight and 30 degrees centigrade. Wonderful. Once on
the bus we headed into town and were dropped off a few hundred meters from the
youth hostel. When we arrived it was full though, which wasn't helpful.
It was hot, late and we were tired but we headed off across town to the second
hostel in the town. Walking along the shore in the dark was relaxing and I
began to feel that perhaps this holiday might work in helping me sort my head
out a little.
Open and with vacancies we paid our 9 euro for the night and headed out for food
and to see something of Heraklion. My first taste of Crete was a monster
savoury pancake and a drink from a vendor about a mile from the hostel. A
shower before bed cooled me down a little but I know it's going to be hot all
the time we're here. I've finished for the last twenty four hours or so now,
so I think I'll get some sleep.
[09:40] The PFY missed the last train home from London yesterday so he's not
due in until around 11:00 this morning. I think he got a little drunk.
I'm on holiday from tomorrow. I'll try to keep a journal as normal. I hope
it's good. I'm shopping today for new boots (lots of walking planned, keep
brain and body busy). Hope everyone has a good time while I'm away.
[17:05] Went and bought some hiking boots this lunchtime. Had a great time
with people, managed to forget about stuff for at least five minutes. Almost
a record. Waiting for someone to come round so I can leave for the cinema.
By 09:10 tomorrow morning I'll be on my way to Crete.
[12:00] Nothing happening today, either. Which, for a Friday, is good. Off to
see some friends in Milton Keynes this evening. Sorry entries are so short at
[12:30] Nothing happening today. Tonight is DVD evening.
[14:25] Spent lunch talking about SSL certificates and starred certificates for
[16:55] Headed out to the outskirts of town to fix someone's floppy drive. I
couldn't be bothered to even find out what was wrong in the end, just whipped it
out and stuck in a spare I'd brought. I'll take a look at the other one some
[11:30] Climbing last night was excellent. People came back for Chinese again
afterwards (almost a curry) and we ended up watching Family Guy episode until
we started to fall asleep.
There's a problem machine in here at the moment, someone from Central's come to
have a look at it.
[12:25] Well, not so much a clean bill of health concerning the machine as
more likely a denial of service which caused the box to barf in new and exciting
[10:40] Climbing was good even though my feet were torn to shreds at the
weekend. Still, I was happy to have that happen, helped me focus on things.
Better than the alternative.
I ended up sitting on the grass with someone until late into the evening and
talking and reading and drinking fruit smoothie and eating chips. Nice.
This morning I've been doing more reading, getting stuff done and dealing with a
door which has been unlocked for the last few months and suddenly decided to
lock itself this morning with someone in the room. Which was fun. Engineer en
route, apparently. I also have a PC four miles away with a broken floppy drive,
a course on Apache SSL this afternoon and PCs and toner to buy.
[17:00] The course was pretty good. Left before the IIS section as it wasn't
applicable to what I needed to know. I also needed to get back to work as there
were things I needed to be doing. Climbing again this evening.
[14:25] Driving lesson this morning. Pretty good. Went on sliproads to dual
carriageways, more reversing, more roundabouts and lots more other stuff again.
Weather's great today, but work isn't really something you want to do on a day
like this. Still, climbing again this evening.
[14:30] It's filehandles today. I've already dealt with them a fair amount
under Unix anyway, but it's good to see that it's the same thing, practically.
This morning was regular expressions, this evening is films and tomorrow is
looking for a holiday for the end of July. Don't worry, I'll keep a journal as
normal and try to get it typed up and stick the photos onto the gallery.
[17:15] At the risk of having everyone and their dog download it from me, I
have the theme tune to 'Scrubs' as an MP3 now. It's the full song as sung by
Lazlo Bane. If you can find it on this site, download it. It's called
[15:15] Another driving lesson today. This is hour eight now completed. He's
really rather suprised at the progress I've made (which is why I've already
booked the test) which is cool. The problem is that my driving instructor is
stopping working for the BSM at the end of July so I need to be passed on to
someone else for the one weekly lessons I'll be having before my test. This is
probably good practice as I'll have someone else in the car for the test,
More learning this morning. It's odd to do after so long not moving anywhere.
It's a good feeling. This afternoon I'm doing learning and configuring a
RedHat 7.3 box for gateway duty, as I mentioned yesterday.
[17:00] Turns out that it's not needed after all. Perhaps I'll just use it for
[10:45] Yesterday I spent the entire afternoon working in another part of the
Institution. Got some stuff done, saw how the other half live. Or at least
some of them.
Climbing was cool, although I don't seem to be improving at the moment. Nearly
made a black run though, had my first proper falling off. It was good to see
that my belay person was on the ball and my knots held. Scouts came in useful
[17:25] Installing a RedHat box for someone so they have a gateway machine for
their home network. Gives me something to do, anyway. Must remember how to do
an IP-forwarding kernel again...
[08:50] More of the same today. Climbing this evening. Sorry there's nothing
more exciting to report at the moment.
[12:20] Fairly good morning, had a good driving lesson. Came into work.
Nothing apparently happened. Finally gotten the new version of SSHd to work
with my hands off journal update script. Stupid thing.
[15:10] Lunch was good. More work this afternoon. Slowly slowly, it's the way
to get it done.
[12:40] Minority Report: Overlong, unsettling, variably paced, well lit,
hauntingly scored, odd, gruesome in places, for a 12 certificate. Overall, I'm
glad I saw it. We all went to Pizza Hut beforehand, much joking about stuffing
the crust. Very juvenile. Cycled home with people after midnight, lent someone
a toilet roll.
Learning lots more this morning, but slowly. I think it's the best way, even
though it chafes so much.
[14:40] Good lunch. Brain in gear.
[10:00] Pushing on with stuff today. Hopfully the books will arrive and I'll be
able to get some more information crammed into my head. Going to see Minority
Report tonight. Spielberg, Cruise, "Everybody Runs".
[10:45] Athena rang this morning, my frame's in stock. Will pop over there at
lunch to pick it up.
[15:00] Got my frame, went to lunch, walked back. Rescheduled the cinema for
21:00 this evening, which means we're all eating first, then film, then all
heading back to our own houses.
[08:10] In far too early this morning, but I'm away for some of the afternoon
talking with another sysadmin about stuff. Hoping to learn some new stuff in
the coming weeks. As well as keeping me busy in the evenings I think it'll be
good for me to stretch myself again. I just need to find a good reason to use
[12:25] Off to town this lunchtime to by some new clothes. First time in a
while, about time really.
[14:50] Back with clothes in hand. I've got two new long-sleeved tops and a
fairly smart T-shirt which is streets ahead of the stuff I wear normally. I
think it's time to start changing.
[19:00] Back in work to do some quick clearing up. Won't be here long, unless
something really crops up.
[10:45] Second driving lesson this morning. Went quite well, apparently I'm
ahead of the curve generally speaking. Not sure at this time whether I can get
away with just ten hours of lessons before the test. Went on roundabouts, lots
of junctions and some reversing around corners. Stalled a few times, got the
peddles a little messed and am not keeping my heel on the floor when
controling the clutch sometimes. Other than that, it's going well.
[16:55] Busy day. Got into work and had some problems installing someone's new
library management software which appears to be constructed of string and
wishes. Went to a pension seminar at 12:00 and then on to lunch when it
finally finished (far too long). Had a good lunch then came back to reghost a
machine which has been causing me Issues for a good long time now. Hopefully a
new image, a new printer and all new patches to all kinds of stuff might help
and I won't get nasty notes on my desk in the mornings any more.
Climbing this evening.
[11:40] Another month, but this one is different, obviously.
I had my first driving lesson this morning. It was pretty good, I impressed the
driving instructor with my technical knowledge and apart from stalling twice
in the two hours and occasionally being too far to the left (near the curb) I
was doing very well, was out in traffic between 08:00 and 10:00 and driving
between 15 and 60 miles an hour the whole time. Current problems are not
keeping my clutch foot's heel on the floor, and occasionally losing clutch
control at slow speeds/moving off.
Giving blood this afternoon. More on that after lunch, etc.
[16:20] So I went to lunch and then went to give blood. Fairly easy, only it
was a little uncomfortable. The finger prick was fine, after the initial stab,
but the draining was painful to start with but once they'd wobbled it around a
bit it was only mildly uncomfortable. Either way I won't mind doing it again
in twenty-four weeks time. Apparently I have a good, strong heart. Only took
seven minutes to give the requisite amount. Had to lie down longer (eight
minutes as a first-timer) afterwards.
[16:35] I was sent an unsolicited CV this morning for a post which doesn't
exist. Kudos to Sebastian for having the balls to do it. Shame I don't need
anyone. I'd imagine he'll find somewhere to work fairly soon. I gave him some
CV design tips which he may or may not use in the future which might help.
[17:10] Another fairly full day tomorrow. Driving in the morning, then in for
an hour, install some software for someone, off to a pensions talk, lunch, back
to work to reghost a machine and install some extra stuff. Then I get to