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August's Journal
October's Journal

[09:40] Good weekend. Was at a party on Saturday through to Sunday morning. The last committee meeting for the Discworld Convention (2002) and an opportunity to make some arrangements for the 2004 convention as many of us are sticking around to do it again. I, of course, will be Gopher King again.

On Sunday morning I travelled to London to go to The Castle again. Did some wonderful bouldering climbs (no harness or rope, they just get in the way) before friends arrived after which I showed them some things I'd been doing. We moved onto roped climbs after that and did some really good routes. One of us had done a course at the place and hence had some ideas on things we could do. Pretty cool.

Heard some bad news over the weekend. I don't like 2002 to date, it's been really shitty in places. I'm really hoping that things get better for my friends and perhaps even me some time soon, I miss the good times.

[10:00] Had to reboot one of the servers this morning. Perhaps it was for the best, NT4 probably shouldn't be allowed to go for six months without a reboot, I think it's tempting fate.

[16:05] Solaris 8 install plus Oracle 8.1.15 this afternoon. Interesting. And annoying.

[11:15] NT4 profile woes appear to be happening this week. That's the third person whose profile I've had to nuke and recreate this week. Soon as I've gotten on top of todays chores it's back to Solaris.

[15:00] Oh no, I'm not busy, whatever gave you that idea. No, not at all. Literally oodles of time to do the piddling small things you want doing that, realistically, you could do yourself with just a small expenditure of brain power on your part.

[16:20] Off for the weekend. Could be good, could be bad. We'll have to see.

[14:55] So Stargate SG-1 was good last night. We also watched three on DVD afterwards which took us to midnight as there was a double episode of the new series.

[15:00] So today I've been re-reading up on BIND. I don't think I'll be using it here, but I think I can set up and maintain a decent installation and make sure it's patched against nasties. Speaking of which, I almost managed to snag some Solaris 8/Intel CD ISO images yesterday, only the downloads kept crapping out. I've got the promise of some to borrow tomorrow lunch time. We'll see if the person remembers, I doubt I will.

[15:30] For the moment I'll try with Solaris 7 and consider doing an upgrade-in-place to 8, and then a fresh install of 8.

[17:15] I now have a functional network install, but no networking as yet. That's tomorrow's task, for as long as it takes. First stop 'sys-unconfig'. Is it only me who finds CDE to be the worst desktop environment in the known universe. Challenged only by SunView and OpenWindows. Funny how all three are from the same people.

[17:35] I had to fire up the Gimp to check this. Weird. Anywa, off home to prepare for the evening's socialising.

[09:10] Climbing was good, apart from an overhang route which I completely failed to do after a good few attempts. It's odd, because I've done it before. Watched Point Break when we got back to the house for food afterwards. What a cheesy film.

The PFY is in today (remember: it's Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) so we'll be doing some more work on the Windows 2000 migration.

[16:55] Not only have I mastered pretty much all of the subtle intricacies of Windows 2000's printing system but I've managed to snag a set of Solaris 7 CDs for Intel (don't laugh) with the download (slow) of version 8 trickling in over night. I'm going to try an install and then do an upgrade. Should be an experience, if nothing else.

New series of Stargate SG-1 this evening, having some friends round to laugh at how they shoehorn in the new actor as well as sone older episodes before and after it.

[09:00] After some decision-making we decided not to go to Karate last night, but instead went to his house and found some open fields to practice kata in. As we'd surmised, we were quite rusty and the two hours or so we spent getting to grips with the eight or so sets was well spent. Added bonuses to the evening were the pillion rides there and back on rather fast motorcycles. It's a rather invigorating experience to ride on the back of an Eliminator at very-fast mph down a dark and totally empty motorway.

[14:40] Climbing this evening. Got some things sorted, at least for the moment. I hope things stay good, or get better. I'm fed up of stuff going to hell every so often. It doesn't help me in getting on. As a result I'm starting again today, giving it a go, taking it from the top, turning that new leaf over. Let's see how that goes.

[16:30] Took my bike in for a service today. No idea how much it's going to cost, but it's about time it had stuff done. Left it there at 08:30, going back for it at 17:00.

[10:55] Well, no-one reminded me, but I remembered on Sunday anyway. Sent some TIFFs to the Register with the artwork they requested for the next few designs. They lost the CD I sent them because they appear to be moving offices at the moment.

The weekend was good. Went to London on Saturday with a load of friends and had a great time shopping, playing in the Trocadero and then at a nice chinese place in Chinatown. Sunday was quieter. Went to see The Bourne Identity which is really rather good. A bit predictable in places, but solidly acted and with some good action sequences. Worth seeing. Doesn't seem to be out on DVD yet, though. I ended up scanning through a few pages on and came up with about forty DVDs I'd like. I've decided to get one every few weeks or so, to amortise the costs a bit.

[11:20] I began the process of sorting through all the stuff I have to work out what to throw away. I've already binned a whole load of stuff, and I'm going to be giving a fair amount away too, probably to Oxfam or similar. I found some letters, celebratory cards and stuff. Funny how things change.

Binned a load of stuff from my time in school; photos, etc. Time to leave those behind. All the girls from there are probably married by now, anyway. Also binned the stuff from Israel, that's over with now. I have the memories, kept some of the photos. Also have paper journals from both years. Got rid of some old boxes, some computer stuff that's of no use to man or geek and also a metric buttload of floppy discs. I still have a lot of things.

I'm loathe to get rid of books, but I think there's some that I'm never going to read again. It'll all make for easier moving. I guess.

I actually have many things I don't need. Kind of surplus to requirements now. It'll be something of a wrench to send them on to somewhere else (plus an arse to cycle some of them into town to a charity shop), still, it needs to be done if I'm going to fit into the new place and get on with things. If I give away something important I can always buy a newer version again.

[16:30] Must remember to book SCUBA course for November. Sticking it here so that I can read back in a few weeks and do it. Karate for the first time in a while this evening. Meeting up with a friend this time, rather than going on my own like last time. I think I mentioned that the people there the first time around weren't too open to someone new starting. Hopefully with someone else we can make some friends and make it more than just a lesson and then home.

[08:40] The meeting last night was very interesting. There's some fun new stuff in Solaris 9 and 10. Shame I don't really get to use Solaris at all at the moment. Still, I can hope and work towards something in the future. After the meeting I was so damned tired and my eyes had been covered in contact lenses for so long that I decided not to grace people with my presence and just went home.

Annoyingly, I heard something on Radio 4 this morning that was probably of interest to someone, followed by the hourly pips. I thought they were the 08:00 pips and jumped out of bed. They were the 07:00 pips. As I was up I passed on the information via computer and then tried to fill up an hour.

[10:30] I come back to the office after doing some tasks and the place smells of vomit. Only no-one's been in and I can't see anything. Weird. And smelly.

[11:00] I'm in a meeting all afternoon. There'll be wine and stuff. Hopefully I'll find something to do this evening. Saturday is nicely filled, but I'm not sure about Sunday, yet. I may go climbing, see if I can drag someone else along so I can do some roped climbs.

[12:20] Not much more to say. Trying to make today's entry a little bit longer as there'll be nothing for you to read this afternoon. I know what I should remember is to get the original artwork for some of the O'Really designs on Monday, then The Register can start doing some more. Someone remind me on Sunday.

[09:00] This morning on the way in to work it was Fat Boy Slim all the way. It certainly gets the blood flowing after a late night, again. Good night, bought some Pizza Express pizzas and doughballs from Sainsbury's. They may be thin crust, but they're really rather nice. Even the hot and spicy ones. Watched plenty of Stargate SG-1 (missing out the semi-dire 'Spirits' episode), followed yesterday's plan, really.

So this morning I drag myself out of bed, feeling low and stuff and decide that some exercise would be a good idea. Twenty minutes later after my more frequent than not exercise routine I'm feeling a lot better. Erdorphins are a good thing. Shame they don't last all day.

Burnt 413MB of PowerPoint Presentation to CD last night. All the time I was trying not to twitch uncontrollably. I'm posting it off this morning before I have an allergic reaction. I've also got a webmasters meeting for most of this morning. Should prove interesting, and it's only across the way from here so I can always pop back if something untoward happens.

Commiserations to Erin this morning for having a large amount of kit release its magic smoke yesterday. Not your fault and I hope you get things sorted soon. Glad to hear you're coping fairly well. Sounds like things are in hand, at least a little.

[14:20] Web liaison meeting this morning was interesting. Lots of information on how to make sites accessible to all users. Also lots of information (redundant to me) on hosting external sites. Been there, done that, got the virtual host setup under Apache 2.

[14:30] Oh! Nearly forgot! Congratulations to Erin for putting his wife in the family way. My best wishes to you and your better half. Mildly jealous, but then I won't have to go without sleep for three years. So it's not all one way.

[15:50] If you're interested, take a look at The Project.

[16:25] Microsoft sucks, I can't seem to get Q329077 out as a stand alone install I can put on my machines from a central installation point. Which sucks. Cancelled Thursday evening's DVD-fest this evening to go to a Sun Users Group meeting. Should head off to it I suppose.

[10:50] Went to a meeting, turns out it's tomrrow. No big mistake, spent time talking to a FreeBSD sysadmin over the road. Smokes like a chimney, good guy though.

Climbing last night was fun. I think I was still a little blown away by Monday night. I did some good leads and the left hand sinde of the overhang for the first time. I've only tried it once before and that was quite a while ago. Looks like I'm really improving. Hopefully I'll be all recovered by Friday when we're going back to the Castle.

[15:00] I rubbed my eyes this morning. The new lenses I'm trialing at the moment (toric, astigmatic corrective, monthly disposable) are a bit itchy so up came the fingers. Seconds later I've lost clear sight in my right eye. I can't see the lense anywhere. To cut a long story short the lense was trapped under my eyelid. I headed off to the opticians who show me how to tease it out again. Sight restored I went to lunch.

[15:10] Tonight is the last of the Starship Troopers (animated) evenings for a while, plus selected Stargate SG-1 episodes (series 2). We're also pre-popping out for Pizza Express (pizza restaurant chain) pizzas and doughballs from Sainsbury's. Should be a nice pleasant evening. New series of Stargate starts next Wednesday, which will fit will with the continued older episodes.

[16:10] The next language to get a decent grounding in is Python. First off, the indenting. Oh I think it's nice, but a rule? Not too sure about that. Anyway, it looks semi-sensible. Works under Windows as well, which is useful.

[08:10] Watch battery died last night while I was in London. That was annoying. I'm absolutely knackered, it's only the fact that there's nothing to do at home and I'd be bored there that's forced me into work this morning. Climbing for three solid hours without a break keeps the mind busy, but when you've finished there's nothing to do but try and think on. Met some nice people from New Zealand at the wall and climbed with them all evening. Did some monster 6a climbs which left my fingers a little sore. Pulled a muscle in my back too. It seems to be O.K. now though. So I should be able to make it to another wall this evening.

I got an email from Jennifer Kaye Ringley this morning. She of the JenniCAM. It's been a while since she emailed. 3 October 2000 in fact. She didn't remember that she's emailed me before, but that she had seen the site before. Nice of her to get in contact. From the words in her message she's read the Disclaimer and has no problems with the site. Probably because it's using an old design. I do like her parting comment at any rate. Hi Jenni, hope things are O.K. over there in the States.

[12:40] New battery in watch and NTP synchronised with the rest of the world. By dint of sitting in front of a PC, rather than by having a watch that swanky. Off to lunch at 13:00, only I've eaten my actual lunch already. As I'm climbing this evening I might feel the need to get some additional carbohydrates inside of me. Chips I think. And some Coke. Not achieved a whole lot this morning. Had another person call thinking we're PC World. That makes 119 wrong numbers now. I'm considering leading the next lucky caller on for a while, to see what happens.

[16:45] I think two of the people here who've departed for other climes have wandered off with laptops belonging to me. Well by me I mean the Institution. But every piece of technical equipment in this building is mine by default, so two buggers have stolen laptops from me. Needless to say I'm not best pleased. I've released the bloodhounds and am already on the case. It means new laptops if we don't get these two back. Which sucks in one sense. Not in another.

[09:30] Was going to go to Karate this evening but the other two people I was going to go with can't make it until next week. As a result (and given that I didn't climb this weekend just gone), I'm climbing tonight instead.

The weekend was O.K. Saturday was good as friends came over and had a great time at my house. Unfortunately I had to head off to a SCUBA taster session at half past five and didn't get back until half past nine. While the session was excellent, I'm not sure I'm going to pay three hundred pounds for the qualification without knowing that someone else who's going on holiday with me is also going to be going. Otherwise I'm going to end up as the only person who can go SCUBA diving, which kinds of defeats the object of getting the qualification in the first place!

[12:05] Just realised this evening that I'm going to be going without an evening meal again. Unless I Burger King it. Must resist the lure of the Bacon Double Cheeseburger XL!

[14:45] So I went to lunch and then on all the way across town to the sorting office to pick up and pay 99p on a letter sent to me at work. It turned out that the letter was work-related spam. The company had just reused a franked envelope. I'm not best pleased. Getting the 17:15 or 17:25 train this evening. Not sure which, don't really care. Plenty of time for climbing.

[08:55] No PFY today. Need to work out what to do today to stop from going insane. I think I have a good idea.

[10:05] The building site outside my window has decided that today is a Loud Day. As a consequence I doubt I'll learn anything today, it's almost impossible to concentrate on anything that requires learning complex concepts, like Perl.

[11:30] Speaking of which, I took a crash course in tensors yesterday lunch time and was doing some fairly complex stuff by the end of an hour. Cool stuff. Must do some more.

[12:10] Hopefully I've just gotten in on the ground floor of something cool in life today. Will know more in a few weeks. Damn, forgot to bring in the artwork for the other O'Reallys today. Seems The Register is in the process of moving office and it's temporarily mislaid.

[16:30] Nothing much to do this evening. I've finished the day's tasks, tidied up the machines I've been fiddling with and made some progess all round. Time to go and enjoy the sun.

[11:25] Climbing was good. Did some hard climbs again. Lumpy whites (no plates), up the spine with distinct left and rights and a blindfold all holds climb up the right hand side. I also instructed someone in the art of climbing for the first time and allowed someone else to show them how to belay me. That was quite an experience, being belayed by someone when it's their first time. I think he was pleased to have someone trust him. He's learnt to tie a figure of eight, rope in for climbing and belaying and how to belay correctly. I showed him how to put on his harness too, as well as some of the basics of actual climbing. I'm no expert, or even an instructor so I couldn't show him much. I've recommended that if he's really interested he should go on a course or something, to cement the knowledge in and make sure I've not taught him anything incorrectly.

I see house thirty-six this afternoon at 15:00, and it's a Thursday so that's the afternoon and evening filled up with stuff. My lunch date has bailed at the last moment (has to take someone to an antenatal class because their ride dropped out this morning). Hell, I'll go to the Club again and say hi to some people.

[12:25] Damnit. I'm a good writer. And I'm creative and know how to make people laugh. Wish I had a reason to do it more often.

[14:40] Right, no Dell technician. I've left the PFY with instructions in case he/she should arrive. I'm off to see a house for about 40 minutes.

[17:00] Went to see house number thirty-six. It's... in a great location. It's got a nice lounge. The rooms are O.K., but it's unfurnished, the decor is appalling, there's no white goods and the carpet sucks, where it's not got holes in it. The house is basically nice, the inside is fair to extremely poor. I'll take another look on Monday.

[17:20] Oh, the Dell technician turned up just as I was about the leave the house I was looking at so I pedalled back to work in a few minutes and raced up stairs. He was just in the process of slotting in the new disc and trying to work out why the machine claimed the disc wasn't 'failed' what with being blank. I ended up having to do the thing myself (not having done it before with Dell RAID) and we both learnt something. Rebuild onto the new disc took about an hour and I made him wait (with a coffee, I'm not a complete ogre) until the thing was back up and running.

Oh, I didn't explain, did I? The least important of our servers had some weird kind of SCSI errors being reported in Array Manager. I emailed my tame Dell server person, Melinda (maybe I did mention this. Who cares?) who actually rang me back and talked me through some diagnostics and then decided to send a technician out with a new hard disc to replace the weird one. Nice person. Anyway, all done now. Thursday this evening. Email sent out, replies garnered, it's almost time to head home and do the host thing.

[17:30] Oh I did mention it, the day before yesterday. Never mind.

[10:30] It's been a year since I said "[14:10] World goes mad." The world is slightly less mad this time around, but it's still pretty damned depressing in its way.

Climbing last night was good. Did some good climbs, couple of 5b and 5c routes without a rope when no-one was watching. Not that I really care, no-one really is interested in how my climbing's improving. Went back to a friend's house to play Monkeyball (badly). Got up this morning and dragged myself into work to book a callout for a Dell technician to come and install a new hard drive in one of the servers and rebuild the RAID array. I could do it myself, but it'll be fun to watch someone else do it for once.

I have a lunch date today, and tomorrow, which is good. Tonight should be DVDs again, so long as my guests can make it.

[16:00] Went to see the house. It was in a wonderful location, only the decor was in a terrible state of repair and the rooms were far too small. All of them. I couldn't fit all of my stuff (that I want to keep) in the place, let alone someone else's one day if I decide to share. It's a shame as the house as it stood was nice.

[16:05] Hurrah! Email from The Register. They're happy with the sales figures are thinking of doing one new design every month. This is great. Some good news in a world that's a bit pants at the moment.

[17:00] I've just sent them an email with the order I think they should release the designs in. I don't really mind if they follow it or not. It's based on all the emails I've gotten to date from people asking for the ones which aren't in print anywhere. Come on people, anyone in the UK or Europe who didn't want to buy from the USA, now's your chance.

[17:45] Guests can't make it this evening. Going climbing again instead. Hope to toughen up the calluses on my hands as they're at a critical stage at the moment. It reminds me of when I started Karate and the soles of my feet began to firm up, which is good as hopefully, things permitting I'll be starting Karate again on Monday. I wonder how it's going to be.

[09:50] So I went to see the outside of house number thirty-five last night. It's O.K. Probably a little small. Anyway, I've asked to have an appointment to see the inside at some point. They're going to get back to me later on today. I went to the opticians before work this morning to talk about getting toric lenses which will correct the astigmatism in both eyes (I thought it was just my left one) and give me much clearer vision than the one-day ones I'm wearing at the moment. These ones will be monthly disposable ones and hence a little more expensive and required to be cleaned. They're getting some in for me to try free anyway. We'll see how that goes.

[10:10] Currently my faith in Dell's technical support is being restored. I have a PowerEdge 2300 with a PERC2/SC in it. Three 18GB discs in a RAID5 configuration. Owing to being a little distracted recently I haven't been checking the Array Manager logs as frequently as I should and have only noticed that since the fourth there have been intermittent SCSI... confusions. So this morning I emailed my lovely contact at Dell. Melinda, her name is. Seems to have an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of servers, PERC cards and the like. She didn't bother with emailing back, just rang and was in the middle of laughing at my .signature. I've sent her my event log and am now waiting on her reply.

[11:00] There's a gear evening at one of the climbing walls I go to, this evening. A few of us are aiming to go over there, try some of the stuff and have attempt not to spend lots of money. Not sure how much climbing we'll get in, but it should be a nice evening nonetheless.

[16:00] Now have an appointment to see house thirty-six. That's on Thursday. No response from the other people as to when to see the inside of house thirty-five yet.

[17:35] Home to get climbing stuff and then lift to other place for lift to climbing wall.

[10:10] The weekend was O.K. Saturday I pottered around the house until someone invited me into town to go shopping. Ended up buying a top in Next. Once town was exhausted of its potential we wandered home and watched DVDs until some silly hour of the morning. I think I made some food, probably pasta bolagnaise.

Sunday was different. I intended to go climbing and have people meet me there only by the time I got to London I felt like meeting up with them instead and wandered over to Tokyo Diner again before going with them to The Castle again. I did some monster climbs at the walls again, as well as some good roof work when no-one else was watching. One of the friends' parents live in London so we went back there for a nice home-made curry before driving home rather than taking the train back. I was tired. I was tired this morning too, defences were down, felt a little lonely in the house on my own. It being a bloody horrible day outside doesn't help either.

[12:20] Just filling in a job application for a web developer job. I don't know if it's something I can do completely, but I know I can learn on the job. I just have to show the people that I can.

[16:30] Sent off the application, did the weekly ring around the letting agents to see if there's anywhere I can live. I've got number thirty-five to look at this evening. If I like the look of it I'm apparently allowed to go and look at the inside another time.

[17:10] Right, just off to see the house. Before I left I decided to see if the RAID 5 configurations were O.K. I haven't checked them in a good few weeks and I was bothered to see that one of the servers has a SCSI sense warning on one of the discs. I'm waiting to see if anything happens over the next few weeks before I panic. Off now, anyway.

[10:00] Didn't get to bed until 02:00 this morning. Had a good night last night watching (amazingly) Miss Congeniality and Legally Blonde. Both actually very good films in their own ways. Fortified wine, pizza and company always good additions. Ended up watching another Starship Troopers animated series campaign as well.

Heading off to The Castle this evening. Leaving work early to make sure we get some decent climbing there before it closes. Don't know what I'm doing this weekend. Hopefully I'll be heading back there on Sunday at the very least. I love it and I've only been there once. Must remember my direct debit forms for this evening.

[11:15] There's a leading course being run at The Castle on 21 September and 12 October. I need to choose one of the dates, but they both potentially clash with a trip to London and a possible SCUBA training weekend.

[11:45] The current PFY leaves at the end of today. The old one's coming back from maternity leave from Monday. She'll be doing three days a week, which means my time will be even more at a premium than it already is at the moment. I'm looking everywhere for a new job at the moment. This one is busy, but boring as hell now. I need out. There are two semi-potential options, but they don't become anything more (or less) than that until some time in November. I have some plans for here, involving the Perl I've been learning and Windows 2000, but that needs to wait until the old PFY is settled back in again.

[12:35] Time to take the PFY to lunch. Dunno how long we'll be, not too long I imagine.

[14:30] Back from lunch. Pleasant. Made sure I hadn't offended someone, which was useful. Bought the PFY lunch, and a drink, had conversations about the fact he's off to Guatemala for somewhere in the region of six months, maybe more. Nothing much happening this afternoon. I'm heading off for climbing at around 16:30ish. I don't know what the weekend brings, yet. Hopefully I'll be kept busy.

[09:20] So I went climbing last night. Went round to a friend's first and had some nice roast beef salad and then climbed and climbed and climbed. I did so many new routes and pushed myself so hard I was amazed. Note to self: try the pinks + blues again top roped, also white discs only on lead. I got to bed at a sensible hour (just after midnight) but woke up really tired this morning. I think it was pushing myself that hard. When I climb on a Wednesday there are some really high quality climbers and one of them was belaying for me and giving me tough routes to climb. I think I was well above my grade last night. It was exhilarating. Kept me nicely occupied.

[10:55] I don't think I've mentioned that I hope to start Karate again on Monday 16 September. Well I do hope to. I've got someone else to go with. I don't think I want to do it if there's no-one else to attend with. I tried it once a few years ago and the club didn't really make me feel welcome. If I have someone else to talk to from the off then I think it may go better. If nothing else it's someone else to bounce ideas off.

[12:25] Got my contact lenses in in under seven minutes today. Maximum time limit today is four hours. Off to lunch soon. Vision a little blurry. Still peeved it's not as good as glasses.

[15:00] Lenses still blurry, eyes tearing slightly. Assume it's the lenses rather than anything else. This evening is DVD evening. Should be good, nice warm evening, windows open, some wine some amusing films and good relaxing company.

[16:05] Whoa! Headrush! Taking out my contacts has resulted in some really wobbly vision. Seems when I'm wearing my glasses I turn my head to keep what I want to see in the middle of my lenses. With contacts in this lesson seems to have been unlearnt very quickly. Putting glasses back on is a bit weird as I have to get back into the old mode again.

[16:30] Off to see another house. Back tomorrow.

[09:40] Quiet evening last night. All on my own.

[10:40] Off to try putting contact lenses in. Back later.

[14:00] In half an hour I have to take them out. Taking out is easy. They'll have been in for two hours at that point. Tomorrow I'm allowed to wear them for four hours, then six, eight and finally a maximum of ten. I'm out again this afternoon trying to get my life on track. Not sure what's happening this evening. I hope it's something good.

[09:45] Day begins. Chances of doing something, moderate. Chances of climbing this evening, 50%. With luck I'll be the most experienced (or most able) there this evening and I'll be charged with leading up the two main walls to secure them for belaying. I love leading, it's a real rush. I hope it's me.

[10:00] For those of you who don't know what leading is, it's when you don't have a rope attached at the top of the wall you're ascending. You attach it to your harness, then begin to climb. The person on the floor is still feeding it through their belay device, but letting it out. As you pass points on the wall you clip the rope through certain devices called "quickdraws". These are carabinas which attach to a solid point on the wall (or equipment you've wedged in a crack on a real outdoor climb), a piece of well-stitched fabric called a tape and then another type of carabina which is very easy to clip a rope in to. The term quickdraw comes (I think) from the ability to remove them from your harness, attach them to the wall and then clip in very quickly. Anyway, once you clip in to a quickdraw you continue to climb, but safe in the knowledge that if you fall off now you'll only drop until the rope tightens against that point. Climb and repeat. The belayer on the ground alternately pays out slack to let you climb, and tightens a little when you clip in your next protection point.

So there you go.

[16:15] I have a house to look at tomorrow. It's very hard to find anything free in this city at the moment. I hope it's tolerable.

[19:00] Climbing's fallen through, I can't go where everyone else is because of other things, I'm lonely and bothered at my own behaviour and lack of control in certain aspects of it. I'm stronger than this, I know I am, but in the end it comes down to the fact that life is different and I have to accept it. And I hate it. I hate the fact that it's all gone away and all I can do is live with the facts as they are presented to me, and hope to make life better again in any way that I can. Perhaps one day things will be as I want them at that time. For the moment nothing is as I hoped it would be. Around me my friends are getting on with their lives. Some of them are having a good time, one or two are having times as difficult or even worse than my own. We're supporting each other as best we know how, but nothing takes away the pain completely.

Friends are good. Hang on to every one you have as much as you are able. If you lose a friend then work to gain them back. But consider how you're doing it. Mistakes are easy to make, you can blow your chances by just being too eager, or clinging on to the past. The past it good, but don't let it rule your life. There's nothing more important than What Happens Next. Base your decisions on the past, sure, it's a good source of ideas, but don't live there. I am, and it's a fucking stupid thing to do. Life changes. The changes are like waves; it's worth keeping up with them and riding the exciting ones as well as possible, rather than letting them crash over you and eventually drowning you completely.

Personally, I'm a goddamn hypocrite. Or I have been for the past few weeks. All this advice above? I've not followed it for more than 30% of the time, and it's cost me dearly. I'm alienating the person I want to be around the most and that's not a good thing. It's probably for the best that we don't see each other as much. I'm going to get over this. I know I am; I'm not an idiot or a fool. I just wish it'd happen sooner. I don't want to feel like this for someone else when it hurts this much that they don't feel the same things back.

I've written more than enough when I shouldn't have said any more than what is in last month's Journal, so I'm going to leave it there. Tomorrow is another day. It's Wednesday, for a start.

[12:10] So I passed my driving test this morning. Which is good. Out of a maximum of fifteen or more minor faults, or three or more majors I managed to only make eight. Most of them on not always checking my mirrors in time. During the beginning of a manouver, rather than just before it. Still, passed!

[12:25] Off to lunch in a few minutes. Drinks are on me, which could be a mistake. Still, who cares?

[17:00] Eighteen rental agencies called. Not a huge amount of options, really. As someone said, living in this city sucks when you're on your own.