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[15:05] 70 So we did a surprise party for Steph last night. A bucket-load of sushi was deposited in my fridge by Cormac and then we all headed down to the river to punt for the evening, where we met her and Cormac (who'd managed to keep everything from her for the whole time). Once they'd arrived with the rest of the group who was loitering with intent to surprise we went for a leisurely excursion, picking up a few passengers here and there while drinking champagne and eating muffins and crisps.

After we'd finished we headed back to my place by various modes of transport where we surprised Steph with the sushi as well as even more people turning up for more alcohol, laughter and helium-filled balloons (and people). As the night drew to a close people began to go home and at one point I had to cycle after someone halfway to their house to deliver the keys they'd left on my floor.

I actually woke up full of beans this morning. Although I got in late I've been having some good conversations and getting things done. However, a friend is feeling ill at the moment and some of my head is taken up with hoping they feel better soon and what I might be able to do to help. If nothing else all my hopes and best wishes go out to them and the promise that I'm around if they want anything. Even cups of tea.

The weekend is allegedly going to be very full, even with London Underground works. Hopefully none of them will stop me having the fun that's planned. Poi fun on Saturday (and the football) and perhaps something in the evening too when I get home (but probably not). Sunday I'm going back to London (world-weary sigh) I'm such a martyr. Maybe it's the generous offer of a sit in a pub garden with new friends, beer and food which is making me get back on a hot train a second day in a row. Sunday evening is the usual tremendous fun of the circus arts workshop. This time held outside on one of the grassy areas of this fair city. For the moment though... gym then a fun evening in the sun, followed by what may be a very interesting night.

[11:10] I've been in work since 06:50 this morning and I'm very tired. This probably has something do with going to a Blues jamming evening at a pub last night and then coming home and talking online for an enjoyable but protracted period of time with someone in Romania. And then getting up at 0610 this morning to be in the middle of town to power down a rack of Dell kit, move it a few - but technically significant - feet and then completely rewire the entire rear of the thing and power everything up again. Doing that while blinking sleep from your eyes can be a mind-altering experience. I'm sure power cables shouldn't coil and uncoil of their own will. They don't even have a will. I think. Do they?

Suffice it to say I'm a bit spaced out at the moment.

The rest of the day is going to be spent doing small bits of work that don't require me to fiddle with power cables or log into any mission critical boxen. At least not until I've had some breakfast, and a drink of water.

[16:00] Hot today. Hot yesterday. Even hotter tomorrow. Yup.

There was an interdepartmental barbecue today. I was supposed to be doing the cooking for a little part of it but they had everything covered so I just hobnobbed with everyone else and drank lots of pineapple juice. Unfortunately I appear to have damaged my left contact lens at some point during the event which is causing me grief now so I may go home soon so I can whip them out and stop my eye itching like a bastard.

I'm off to get my hair cut and then to a blues session in a pub this evening. Meeting some new people, which'll be fun. Work has been much of a muchness today but with the added complication that the load balancer (well I think it's the load balancer, Zeus think it may be our firewall or routing tables or something) is dropping traffic to one of services. I've got a filtered snoop running now which should give us some definite answers the next time it happens. Or not.

I'm hot, and tired (Oxford comma there you notice) and, well, just a little off kilter today for some reason. Don't know why. Maybe it's all the things going on at the moment. I think I need a diary, or a quiet place to retreat to now and then.

Anyway, must go before my eye pops.

[17:00] I made the mistake of trying to help the web team run a new service through the load balancer this morning. It would have been a simple issue of raising a new IP on the back end node (the web server) because it's an SSL site, creating the necessary framework on the load balancer and then shifting the static NAT from the web server to a traffic IP on the load balancer. But no. No, it had to be complicated by some brain-dead Apache configurations which trampled over each other in interesting ways which made my head ache.

Once I'd fixed it to everyone's satisfaction I went for a run to work off some of the annoyance I'd been building up. Turns out that I forgot to pack any spare clothing (other than that with which to run in) for post shower so I'm currently... feeling rather free. You probably didn't want to know that.

Anyway, I've spent the rest of this afternoon keeping cool and working on various small things. Not quite sure where my head is at the moment. Thoughts keep straying to other things I just can't seem to ignore for no readily apparent reason. On the plus side, I have something lined up for tonight, tomorrow night, Thursday night and most of Saturday and Sunday. This for me is pretty good.

[13:20] I'm tired. It's probably something to do with cycling to Ely and back on Saturday after spending the whole day walking around in town, and then the entirely of Sunday teaching myself to juggle wot did it. The ride to Ely was mostly so I filled up the day a bit. After finding that no-one wanted to do anything and were doing more fun things themselves I took myself out of town, got on my bike and started pedaling. If nothing else it kept my mind occupied for a while. The route was the same one I walked a few weeks ago and boy was it rough going in places on wheels. Eminently satisfying though. Panniers are a wonderful creation too for keeping your back from getting sweaty. Once I got to Ely I spent an hour in the cathedral in blessed(!) silence admiring the architecture and soaking up the peacefulness of the place. While I miss being at parties and such there's something to be said for spending an hour with yourself and working out where your head is at.

Unfortunately an hour doesn't seem to be long enough in my case.

Still, the cycle home provided time for more introspection. I really wouldn't do the route unless you've got at least front suspension, or a desire to enjoy the route with a friend and take your time over it. It's certainly something I'd like to take someone else on, to enjoy the views and have a picnic or something in one of the fields.

On my own on Sunday I spent the day in the garden with some makeshift juggling balls learning the basics of juggling. I'm pretty sure that by the time I could head off to the circus arts workshop I was able to hone the skills a bit more. I'm still not doing it right (correct arm movements, etc.) but given the fact that I couldn't juggle at all this time yesterday I'm reasonably pleased. It was a fairly pleasant evening at the workshop. Probably the highlight of my weekend.

This morning though I'm really feeling the cycling from Saturday and the juggling from Sunday. I haven't ached this much since the first time I went climbing. I'm also tired - really dog-tired - and would give something precious for a cuddle with someone and a sleep.

[11:05] So I went and read some stuff I've been keeping myself from reading. Obviously, after having read it, I kind of wish I hadn't. It does me no good at all. Maybe in a while, but still not yet. I think I will go to the butcher and obtain some nice bits of meat to eat. That will distract me again.

I don't really know what I'm going to do this weekend. I'm sure something will come up.

[14:30] Day three on the Zeus ZXTM TrafficScript course. I had aimed to be there for before 0900 this morning so that we could cover the last bits of the course before the practical and multiple-choice examination required for certification. So there I was, as was everyone else, except the guy who was running the course. In the end we started at 0930, just like every other day. Still, it didn't matter in the end. We did the last bits of the course, then the four of us taking the course were left to come up with a solution to the problem we'd been given. We had two hours and owing to some seriously good communication and flip-pad usage we managed to complete the task entirely in under one hour. Apparently we're one of the fastest groups ever to do it. I find that a little hard to believe as we weren't really that fast at organising and working out who needed to do what. Anyway, with that done we moved on to the multiple-choice examination of twenty-five questions. At this point we were told that some of the questions might be open to interpretation (in fact the two course leaders spent some time doing the exam themselves and then arguing about the answers). Once everyone had completed it we all went through the answers and spent some time debating the pros and cons of various sets of answers. Suffice it to say that we all passed by substantial margins.

Given that food had been provided for lunch we all hung around to eat and talk over some issues we were having with our own business implementations of ZXTM before breaking up and heading off. I went into town to check up on the possibilities of some things for next week before coming home.

I'm off out now to be part of the celebrations for a friend's passing of her vetinary degree, gym later, then something else. I have no idea what. Not sure what's happening over the weekend either. Probably nothing of note at this point in time.

[15:00] Day two on the Zeus ZXTM TrafficScript course. The morning was spent doing all kinds of TrafficScript examples to do with SSL decryption, encryption and pass-through. Certainly cleared up a whole load of issues with regard to internal protocols and stuff I won't go in to at the moment due to wanting to keep my readership (such as it is). At least in my head anyway.

This afternoon is all about the weird and wonderful world of loop-back virtual servers and huge uber-clusters of ZXTM machines. Of course I've joined someone else's cluster so all my wonderful configurations have been relegated to a backup until such time as this exercise I'm on is over and I can restore it.

Life continues to continue. I got up this morning and was struck, as I looked out of the window at the sunny day spread out before me, just how lonely it can be sometimes when you got to bed and wake up very much alone. Last night, in the car on the way home from a fun climbing session where we met someone new at the wall, I was listening to the music playing on the car's CD player and watching the silhouettes of the trees flash past me during the twilight of the longest day of the year. I was at peace; enjoying the feeling of wholeness, contentedness and general completeness of self. So how can emotion and mod change so quickly? Who knows, but I imagine it's no different for me than for anyone else. The more I meet new people in life the more I realise just how similar we all are in our inability to control most aspects of our existence.

[12:45] Day one on the Zeus ZXTM TrafficScript course. It's a tiny group of people, just four of us, and two trainers. Very cool. Plenty of scope for breaking the flow of things and just asking questions when required. We're all on laptops and running VMWare to get a linux (Debian) platform to run the actual ZXTM software on. As I said, very cool. I've already learned some damned powerful things. Amusingly I've already modified my laptop in such a way that at least one of the demonstrators wants to know what I've downloaded to make working on Windows easier. Must remember a USB stick tomorrow or get his email address so I cen get him my set of utilities.

Can't really write much today as I should be concentrating on the course. We've converted this training course membership from two days of consultation so theoretically it's still costing us money. I think it's lunch time soon.

[16:25] This TrafficScript example exercise is bastard-hard. Good job I've been able to get my head around it... eventually. It's bloody powerful what you can do with this language and things like LDAP authentication. I must remember to take these examples with me when I go on Friday. I'm so going to need to go climbing this evening at this rate.

[13:45] 80 So I'm in the beginnings of a conversation with a very interesting person. A speculative email that was actually responded too. Of course the more I read in their journal the interesting and weird the whole idea of a conversation becomes, but then isn't this exactly what I wanted? You know; oddness, interest, weirdness, difference, expanding my mind in new directions? Well if this gets off the starting line there will certainly be a plethora of new things to talk about.

In other news I went to see The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift last night after a pizza with some friends. The film was definitely what I needed, even if the protagonist had the most annoying accent in the world and bore not a passing resemblance to Jamie Bamber (Apollo) from Battlestar Galactica. The mental dissonance was odd. No plot to speak of and definitely not (as a friend remarked) carbon-neutral. Still, that and the pizza made for a fun evening. I even got to the cinema early and had a chance to waste some money in the arcade and do half an hour's poi on the grass.

Today everyone apart from me and a few other developers are at an Away Day organised by the management. As a result i've been port-of-call for everyone still here with a technical beef of any description (including the Windows-related ones) and have already restarted one of the major Oracle stacks for the first time ever. A mildly nerve-wracking experience made worse by the database being on the NetApp and therefore dog slow in shutting down.

Otherwise I'm feeling a bit more positive today and not really caring much about the email I sent yesterday which hasn't been replied to, and probably won't be. I'm sure I'll care some other time, just not right now and right now I'm holding on to feeling better than normal.

I'm off climbing this evening. Or not, if it turns out we can't get a full car-load. I may head to the local 'climbing wall' for my fix if nothing else. I find I'm hoping for emails and not getting any.

[09:30] Yeah, well I guess that was another weekend over with. I haven't felt quite so lonely in a long time. Friday was spent alone. I don't even remember exactly what I did. Saturday all I really remember is sitting in the garden with James and Cat and reading for a while. That was quite restful as I recall. Actually, that bit was nice. I put out a very late announcement for barbecue fun, but no-one else came. We ended up going for a short walk around a nearby country park type thing before coming back for a mini-barbecue and then a DVD.

Sunday morning I couldn't sleep so went for a long run which turned into something of a trial as the day warmed up. After coming back for a shower and breakfast I felt at a bit of a loose end so I wandered into town with poi, books, drink and sun glasses. After pottering around the market I ended up buying a few CDs and then going to read by the river for a while. When I checked my watch it was only one in the afternoon and frankly I was bored out of my skull. Also too many people were jumping into the river, screaming at the tops of their lungs, exposing themselves in public and doing dangerous things for me to get much enjoyment from where I was, so I came home. The rest of the afternoon passed quietly and it was with some relief that I had something to do in the shape of the circus arts workshop in the evening. It went OK I guess. Got the basics of a few new tricks down, said hi to some people. Felt kind of flat the whole way through though to be honest.

I'm at a bit of a low ebb at the moment. Probably just made another mistake as it is. On top of that, despite trying to fill up my time I'm still left with huge swathes when I'm on my own and not so much stuck for things to do as with no enthusiasm to do them. I have plans, they're just not really anything I want to persue at the moment.

[18:20] Oddly, at the end of a crap day of needing firewalls opening and machines not booting from USB keys (stupid PowerEdge 2650s) and generally feeling like crap I've had a bit of a lift from about four different places. And now I'm going to eat pizza with people and then go to the cinema.

[12:00] Sorted out a few things this morning. Got another SSL certificate request sent out and installed a few Perl modules. I've also had some useful meetings with the web developers about the retasking of certain stupidly-underused machines and got some vague plans in place for when they'll be reinstalled and moved to different VLANs.

I'm off this afternoon to show my replacement's replacement at my old work place what the deal is and give him the other side of the story I gave him during his interview. In a promising start he's offered to meet me in a nearby pub and buy me lunch.

Must do some more ZXTM revision for next week.

[15:10] Climbing last night was fairly excellent. Cormac and I left town in time to get to the wall well before 1800. This meant we got in at least three hours of decent climbing, even with two slightly newbie newbies to keep an eye on. No stunning climbs of note although I did manage to do the crack from the left, right and from the front with isometric tensioning.

On the way home I found I had a missed call from my parents. Turns out the house they're moving to has wiring which must be on the order of thirty years old. Not only was the insulation powdering off the wiring behind light fittings they found a bare live wire in the airing cupboard behind the electric shower. Don't get me started on what could have happened or the issues involved with the imminent move and the need to rewire an entire house when new carpet needs laying too. Anyway, at least they're not going to die from electrocution now.

I've decided to attend the Latitude festival as I get a free ticket if I go and teach poi for about five hours (in total). I think this is bloody good value given the length of the festival and some of the acts that are performing. All I have to do is get there, take a tent and work out how I'm going to survive in terms of food. Should be a doddle.

In other news I've been boning up on Zeus' ZXTM technology for the course I'm going on next week. Did I mention that previously? I really can't remember any more... Probably not. Anyway, I'm on a Zeus ZXTM Traffic Scripting course next week (Wednesday to Friday). They're giving us machines that have external connectivity apparently. Stupid fools.

For most of the morning I was working on doing more of those MySQL 5 upgrades. The most important one was at 0900 this morning. Turns out that following the upgrade of that important one the boxes everyone had forgotten about which get their data from that box and are tied in with exim for mail delivery hadn't been doing anything other than twiddling their thumbs due to DB incompatibilites. Don't ask. Around 15:00 one of the developers came down in a rush and explained this to me. Luckily I was able to get the updates done in fairly short order and now, for the first time, both mail boxes are running at something approaching fifty percent of their stated abilities. You know, like reaching a load greater than 1.50 for more than a few minutes, etc. Exim's working flawlessly, of course.

I got to help a friend today. I like it when I do that. Especially when the friend smiles.

[11:40] Came home from the pub last night to find that the trellis to the right of my front door had come down. I think the amount of rain which came down while I was walking to, in, and returning from the pub must have increased the weight of the foliage enough that it tore itself free. I decided not to do anything about it there and then considering the night was wet, dark and I was dog-tired from going to the gym, having some food and drinking a bit of Hoergaarden.

This morning I got up and spent half an hour finding out that that the trellis was both rotten and broken, and also that most of the stuff attached to it was dead and only the canopy was still alive. I've chopped the whole thing out and crammed it into the green bin (which hopefully gets emptied today). All I need now is some time to clean up the wall and think about getting something to replace it. The area looks very bare without anything in its place. I should really get the porch canopy replaced too, and a new front door and frame. Maybe once I've paid for the other expensive things I have already on the cards I'll get around to that.

[11:30] Climbing last night was fairly excellent. I took along a new person who seemed to get into the whole thing fairly well. Not a bad climber, but then she's fairly fit already. Needs to work on her rope technique, but then she was starting to get the idea by the end of the evening. It was James' birthday yesterday so he'd brought along some cake to the climbing wall. Once we were all done for the evening we sat out on the grass and ate it while singing happy birthday. Oh, yes, special mention for Lois (the youngest member of our climbing group (seven)) who seems to be improving every single time she comes along. Her power:weight ratio is excellent at the moment and she's really beginning to understand the physical concepts of weight translation and body positioning. By the time she's my age she'll be far, far better than I am. I'm quite jealous to be honest. I wish I'd started earlier in life.

So it was raining this morning which I had great pleasure in cycling through in just my normal shorts and T-shirt. Unfortunately this has now stopped and the heat's begun to crank up again. So now we have heat and humidity. Marvellous.

[16:55] Just spent the afternoon doing more of those damned MySQL 5 upgrades and wishing that the developers would get back to me sooner with the kinds of checks they need running to make sure I'm not completely buggering up all the databases they have on the machines. I'm really in need of some other tasks to do at the moment, but more than that I'm in need of cooking myself some decent evening meals and getting some proper food inside of me. That and trying to find some bread which doesn't go mouldy so quickly in this heat. For the moment though I think I'll just head to the gym and then have a night in for once.

[11:00] Well, the remainder of Saturday was rather excellent, if a little hot. After James fell in the river with his Nokia 9x00i which had to be dismantled and left in front of a fan for the evening. It seems to be working again now. Got home rather late on Saturday night/Sunday morning and slept in a bit until people were ready to leave and others had come over to watch the Grand Prix, get a lift. A few of us went over to Shaun and Linda's for (another) barbeque where more poi was spun, two more people were indoctrinated into the cult and a lot of very delicious food was had.

I got to go to the circus arts session this evening and things went very well. I think the fact that I'd met a lot of the people before outside of the session meant that I fitted in fairly well to the flow of things. I'm contemplating going to a festival thing in a few weeks time where I may get to teach spinning (if that's something people want) in exchange for a free ticket. I think it would require logistics support (to attend) that I'm not currently capable of assembing. We'll see.

Today is mostly about waiting for the web developers to get back to me about their MySQL 5 testing and to tell me I can do the rest of the servers without fear of breaking things utterly.

[12:20] 90 Just about to head out to the Green to relax and chill and stuff. It's James' birthday celebration today so everyone he knows who can make it will be coming to a barbeque at around 16:00 until we decide to go to his house for the evening. I'll be packing my poi and camera and some one-shot barbeque trays to allow people to cook on. I got those this morning when Cat and I, in a fit of Saturday morning productivity, headed to Tesco. Since then we've done nothing at all. Anyway, off to relax on the grass for pretty much the whole afternoon.

[11:00] Off for a dental appointment in a few moments. My bottom wisdom teeth are coming through and I really want to make sure they're not going to cause any problems given the angle they're at in my jaw. Also requiring dental work could be a bit of an issue in the non-too-distant future. So I better make sure it's all sorted sooner rather than later.

We have a plan for the MySQL 5 upgrades! Huz-bloody-zah. I'm pretty sure I know what I need to do and who I need to talk to now. Just talk to the developers, ensure dumps have been taken, remind them that changing from MySQL 3 to 5 means that newly created users post-upgrade will authenticate differently unless the old mechanism is specified during their creation and we should be good to go. Probably. Dentist time. Erk.

[15:45] Well that went rather well. Apart from the massive cost (£45, but then they are the only teeth I'm ever going to have) the dentist doesn't reckon my severely impacted wisdom tooth is going to do anything silly and the less impacted but more active one isn't going to do anything too horrible to me between now and hopefully three or so months from now. Which is kind of important. As far as I can tell the rest of my teeth are in fine fettle. I just definitely need to keep using mouthwash to get the bits I can't really clean, clean. Smashing really.

Headed into town and ended up having a lovely lunch by the Mill Pond with a new friend who reminded me by their presence that new experiences are always possible, you just have to suggest them, even if just to yourself. I came back to work to begin the MySQL 5 updates and have done two thus far. They're the least important ones and will confirm that the remainder can be done without completely messing up that which they're being used for. All I need now is for the developers to come back to me with the ancillary commands required to complete the updates internally.

The weekend should be fairly full, as I think I've mentioned previously, but tonight remains currently unfilled. I think I had my share of UV rays at lunch time, but if nothing comes about I may go to the gym and then down to a green area to do some more poi and staff. There doesn't look like enough wind for some serious kiting. I'm sure I'll come up with something, even if it's just reading and watching the world go by.

[10:20] As I was leaving last night I tried to close both windows in the office. Unfortunately one of my co-workers had over-enthusiastically pushed them open in the morning and the sliding hinge bit thingy had jammed against the stops. When I pulled the windows closed the slidey bits remained against the stops and the windows definitely moved, thus bending the hinges quite substantially. Cue ten minutes of manually bending the hinges back into a position where I could close and secure the windows for the night.

On the plus side climbing went well and was quite a lot of fun. Ended up doing some reasonable climbs, but it was rather busy so I only got to do one lead climb. Came home and made myself a rather stunning omlette. Eggs; they're fast food and good for you (but only if they're fresh).

It's another lovely day here at BOFHcentral and even with broken windows we're managing to keep the heat down to sensible levels. I'm doing MySQL 5 upgrades and generally trying to be cool.

[14:00] So, the mark-of-the-beast day managed to bite me in the bottom after all (not that I believe in that guff). Not only have I lost any chance to save one burgeoning friendship, but another relationship has either gone down the pan or is on hold for the forseeable future. Excellent work! Marvellous work! You couldn't have done better if you'd tried. And "oh look", you were really trying to do things right. Nice one. No, really. Congratulations.


Curry with Shaun and Bob was nice. An excellent time to relax and generally forget about things for while. Obviously the SMS I sent afterwards in an effort to continue the pleasantness of the evening didn't have the desireed effect. All in all I think I should have stayed out with them for the evening and just not gone anywhere near a computer. Then again, the initial mistake was made yesterday morning.

Suffice it to say I'm not feeling particularly happy with myself at the moment and am probably just going to draw my horns in for a while and try not to bother anyone overly much in case I make another mistake. Speaking of mistakes I'm hoping that the interview panel I was on this morning will mean the person we decided to appoint won't be as mistaken a choice as a panel not including me made. If you get my drift. I'm a bit at sixes and sevens at the moment because of the heat and my general state of mind at the moment. Still, I think the choice was good and that either way there may be the possibility of another post for whom I have the perfect candidate some time in October.

Climbing tonight is taking some organising for one reason or another. I just want to get through the day without messing up, to be honest. I think I may tidy the server room after some lunch.

[17:00] Well I did some tidying, tried to get that damned sort code API thing working with its associated database and have left it with the developer and his line manager as there's obviously something screwy going on inside it. The rest of the time has been spent doing overly complex amounts of logistics for climbing this evening as both normal drivers are out of action for various reasons. Luckily we have a backup driver who stepped into the breach completely out of the blue so I've been electronically dashing around trying to get people to be places at certain times. Anyway, at least it's one part of my life that hasn't gone completely to pieces. Unless I bugger that up too. Here's a thought. How about I don't, yeah?

[16:00] If anything I'm tired today than yesterday. I guess I was still on something of a high from the weekend (even with the dip in the afternoon). Climbing like a bastard last night can't have helped an awful lot on the energy front, but Cat and I had some truly excellent burgers and cherry tomatoes when we got back home. I slept like the dead.

Turns out my speaker donation was appreciated, which is nice. Apparently they sound just as good as the rather larger ones they're replacing. Being smaller they're far more useful in the current circumstance and I'm happy to be of help where I can.

Today I've been struggling to come up with interview questions for the job interviews I'm taking part in tomorrow. Hopefully I'll do a better job in helping my previous workplace select a replacement for me that they did on their own last time. I've also been installing bank sort code verification software on development servers and wondering just how much crack you're required to smoke to be able to get your head around the API contained therein. Nuts. Don't even get me started on the hoops you need to jump through to upgrade the internal database with new/valid data. Otherwise I've been struggling through a day of this and that and completely failing to do some proper server room clear out. That'll be tomorrow afternoon I guess.

Curry tonight.

[12:00] "And what it all boils down to is that everything's going to be quite alright..." Yeah, sometimes I think that's entirely feasible. Like today. The day at the Fair on Saturday was good. Didn't start too well but gradually got a whole lot better as I purchased some socks and some juggling balls to make up my sockpoi. Had an icecream, sat with friends, spent some time with the jugglers doing poi, teaching poi and generally getting altogether too much sun. Later I cycled over to Keith's for a barbeque/party/meetup deal wossname. I left there early (so around midnight) so I could get some decent sleep for Sunday which turned out to be rather a busy and tiring day.

I caught a train to London to meet Andy and see his new place. This meant going to Hammersmith from Kings Cross, which can take a while sometimes. Unfortunately, owing to the gravitational pull of Ikea he was still a long way from where I was so I decided to go and visit someone else instead. Jumping on a variety of Tube trains and the DLR I headed out way past where I'd been before and ended up somewhere fun. Watching Top Gear was excellent, as was the impromptu snackage. I also feel remarkably pleased with myself. I haven't lost what I thought was a fairly good skill.

Getting up at 06:00 this morning was made slightly more tolerable than would have normally been the case and as a result the journey back to Kings Cross and the wait while cancelled and delayed trains were allowed for caused me no stress whatsoever. The Christopher Brookmyre (read the reviews of the book reviews) novel I'd bought on Saturday afternoon stood me in good stead on the slow train back home. I'm in work now, having powered through town by bike with Hendrix in my ears and an unhealthy disregard for road users on my brain. All I need to do now is make it through the working day, climbing this evening and then bed can claim me.

A weekend of tolerable lows and rather fun highs all round. One for the old long term memory storage thingy.

I'm due to head into town at 13:00 with the engineer who came on Friday but whose part (technological) didn't. I imagine the afternoon will consist of tearing out Apache 2.0.x from one of my machines and replacing it with Apache 1.3 with mod_perl and mod_ssl. Once I've got a ton of tapes wipes with the degausser in town.

[17:30] Obviously, obviously this good mood wasn't going to last. Of course I'd begin to feel the part that is missing from my life again eventually. Well, tough. Can't say nothing, can't do nothing. Shouldn't, couldn't, wouldn't. Won't. I'm invisible and as I face a certain sun I cast no shadow. You probably never could have imagined it to reread emails which still make me smile but the Venn diagram of some lives exhibits no overlap. Times change, people change, pain can fade but some memories remain as bright as a single solitary star in a night sky. I get to keep my memories, at least. The rest is gone for good.

[Yeah, I know I said I wouldn't talk about it any more. But hey, who cares? It's doubtful anyone'll track back this far anyway. Right now I'm existing on about three hours sleep in the last forty-eight, very little food and a determination to go climbing. This has probably affected my mood.]

[09:45] I left work last night and headed to the gym. I've not been in a while so found that this morning my muscles were aching quite pleasantly for once. Anyway, after doing that and coming home for a shower I found I had itchy feet so packed up my camera and poi and went off to do some spinning and photography. The spinning went well (not picked anything up in a while but I'm getting a handle on some of the planes I need to be maintaining) and once I'd tired of that I wandered around town in the sunset taking photographs of things wich looked interesting. This took me through a fair on one of the grassy areas of the city where, after another hour elsewhere, I returned to step into an impromptu film festival of interesting short films in one of the large tents. Sitting alone in a crowd of people, watching a variety of films I was struck by both my personal freedom and a stab of loneliness. I would have loved to have shared the evening with someone; had someone to laugh and discuss the films with and to have on the journey there and back and especially enjoy the weather with. But I don't.

I came home around midnight and spent an enjoyable hour or so chatting to friends online before heading to bed. This morning appears to have been blessed with phenomenal weather so I'm about to head out with camera, poi and staff to take part in the fair parade through town and then spend the day with likeminded individuals enjoying the sun and crowds of the fair as we practice our arts. I'm looking forward to learning some more tricks by the end of the day.

[14:00] Someone asked me today which compliment I would most like to receive of the below. To be called "intelligent, hot/sexy/attractive, knowledgable or really excellent fun to be with." I had to admit I went with being fun to be with. I'm not entirely sure why, except that these days I'm really more in the mood for fun than anything else. And anyway, the others can always be encountered later. Having a personality someone likes is far more important, I think and opens up scope for the others to either be discovered or realised.

[17:25] A dull sort of a day workwise. Staying up very late last night didn't help much but was an awful lot of fun. I have to admit that loss of some aspects of my life has lead to an increase in others. Of course nothing is perfect and I still very much mourn those parts of my life which have been curtailed. In fact I find myself remaining just as sad about what happened as the day they were. Of course, there is nothing that can be done to effect a change in the future as it seems blindingly obvious that things have altered forever and avenues are now closed to me by new situations. I must just Get On.

As mentioned previously this has been neatly encapsulated by TWOT and as a result I add this to that which I discovered in a previous incarnation detailed within this journal, being that Life is Short (and), It's All Good.

I now find myself making time for the things that I want to do, especially if they are new, exciting and lead me very much to places I have not been before. Thus far my experiences have been almost all phenomenally good fun and those new people that I've met have, on the whole, rewarded my enthusiasm with their own. I find myself both torn between the old and the new; that which I had (and lost) and remember with passion and happiness, and the experiences I'm now gaining; frightening, exciting, strange and lonely in all their differentness.