WMC's diary pages, 2000.

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See-also: http://www.wmc.care4free.net/diary/.

October 2000

Sun 1st

D's "official" birthday this year. Some people tried to explain to him that tomorrow is his real birthday, but this of course cannot possibly make sense to him.

So: I get up with him and we breakfast together. Ma's house is so orientated that, although the sky is a glorious cloudless blue, the sun enters only with difficulty in the morning. Out in the front, though, is sun: and indeed later I go out onto the brick-paved bit with my coffee: also good as you can watch for people arriving: perhaps I should form the habit of sitting there: especially on days when it is chill in the morning and warm in the sun.

Blow up balloons, pin up banners, help a little with the cooking-type preparations, get chided for sitting in the sun...

RNL arrive; M goes to fetch Fuzzy from the station; then I go to fetch J+J, by the time I'm back the people are sitting out the back and its time to lay out the pims, and from there things proceed very well, the only thing missing being a "pause" or "slow" button to allow one to appreciate things as they go. Everyone seemed to have a good time, the children palyed very well together. The us-age folks took the children to the playground after lunch allowing the others to rest and the children to let off some energy. Then back for chocolate cake and more present opening.

People left from 5-ish onwards until we left sometime after 7. Next week is Helens party: whew! No rest...

Home, tidy the vast array of toys and wonder where they should all go... open Paste di Mandorla from M+J who are just back from Sicily, which appears to have been good.

Mon 2nd.

D's real b'day, calendrically. I get my monday-morning lie in in the sun, and by the time I get up its cloudy. D to pre-school with his 3 balloons to show off and prove he is 3.

Work: more joc_ than I care for. But its a learning experience... I could do it all a lot better now!

Soir: M off to yoga. M+J phone up to wish D happy b'day but only after he is abed. Later, Andrea phones up from hospital and sounds very well. All seems well with Niamh too. Now to download some piccies from D's b'day.

Tues 3rd.

Swim: 29, (28), 30.5. Not so fast, true, but pool quite full. Also, note that I'm back up to 50, at the cost of some internal struggle. Cb1. Triumph: yaaca has worked, with *D -> *I (just a nupdate joke there, folks).

Quiksave next door for fishfingers (Overcoming my scruples; get Birdseye, which at least stated that they were 67% cod) and Bran Flakes for M (now shop is shut, boo hoo). FitzBillies for a cake for D at M'a's.

Isn't it about time my palm came back?

Home with D pm. Grey day, threatening rain that never came. Stay in all the time - neither D nor I tempted out, now that CB1 has run out of mints - except a trip down the garden for a bonfire. Fortunately I remembered to check the pile before lighting it - it was full of frogs hoping to overwinter (soon they were hopping, ha ha) - so we had it in the old wheelbarrow instead, saving numerous frogs from terminal overheating.

Experiment with private things by pgp: encoded with wmc-online key: 2000-10-03.asc.

Wed 4th

Get up by 8 so I can wash hair (horrors). Its a measure against the "visitors".

pm with D: rather late to M's. Get D home: play in the garden by the pond. Its a lovely blue quiet afternoon. I sit out with coffee and toast. After a while, remember I saw Howard et al by the rec just starting with a balloon when I cycled back, so we get ourselves together and off we go. Sadly by the time we're therre they are nearly packed away. Stop to talk to Howard for a while while D pokes at the kit... then into town, but CB1 haven't got any mints *still* or really any food that I could want D to eat. Hmmm... Back: stop in just-noticed-by-D playground at the start of Mill road. Quite nice, if small. Pet a lovely thin big dog, which acted more like a cat in its desire to be stroked. Teach D comparative anatomy: these are its ribs, there are yours, etc.

Then to lammas land, for about 1/2 an hour, as the evening slowly winds down, chill, but quite clear. Walk by river, then home. M is rather late; I cook in interim and even wash up. D plays with his colouring book, something of a favourite from his B'day.

No replies to pub email so we'll stay at home: M phones Clive, eventually finding him in hospital.

Thurs 5th

Work: somewhat tired. Yoga. Fr cafe with M: feel jaded. Eat too much. Heffers with M to look for a book bearing on "the Question", but fail. German toyshop: get "train" for Helen. Cb1, briefly, relax. Then out to Rosie (awfulness of signposting on roads only beaten by internal directions) to see Andrea, but not Niamh. A looks and sounds very well. N (and she) may well be moved to a less-serious ward soon. Lend her the digital camera, and look at Clives piccies.

Home, over the path over the railway across the flatlands to Trumpington, and regret loss of camera: the sunset is magnificent, with precipitating clouds trainling rain and backlit by the setting sun. Back via Grantchester etc, carefully since I have no lights.

Fri 6th

Wake to perfect blue sky, but chill.

Excitement at work: get the PUM running "stand-alone".

Home with D: "lets make Bob the Builder fix the cars; you make him fix them while I sit on my potty and do a poo".

Rick comes round with paper and Ewan. We have tea; D shows off his train set and building ability; E can sit up and wants to crawl.

Stay at home: day has become cloudy but lost none of its chill: raw. D has fun in the garden, playing with water. I stay more inside. Put bench together and leave up by pond.

Cook sausages/potatoes/onion/garlic/tomatoes/runnerbeans.

Derbac M+my hair again, but a good comb of D reveals nowt so leave him in peace.

Sat 7th

Order of day is to go to Helens party. It is as grey as a grey thing and gets worse: visibility on roads is rather poor and I'm surprised to only see one accident. Leave 10:30-ish (late), and deposit bottles and papers on the way, so only get there at 12:45, later than we intended.

At P+S: have a good time. Food (sandwiches, doritos, twiglets, etc) and drink (tea, then wine) etc, good. Chocolate cake with smarties. D has fun, and H eventually gets to play with the toy train we gave, once the boys have been fought away. Meet some people we last met last year... discover that the graffiti I left on their chalkboard is still there, too.

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig: less rain. I nearly sleep in car and D does. Back by 6-ish, quiet evening.

Soir: spend too long hacking linux-model.

Sun 8th.

Grey start (I sleep downstairs despite D's efforts to make me play...) but soon cheers up. Into town to try the "farmers market" in the market square. Well: it lacks critical mass as a farmers market, with only about 3 veg-ish stalls and another 3-4-ish of related produce. But get apple juice, quiche, samosas, onions and olive oil (that latter a "related product", it being cretan and imported by locals).

To w'stones, just a minute before they open at noon. Cafe, which shows its virtues over cb1 in actually having some food... mind you, why they don't have proper fruit juice is a mystery. Also, the tostini was a bit squidgy and yukky.

Swimming pool: 27, 28, 28, 29 in a crowded (but not quite intolerably so) pool. D splashes around a bit but then spends much time watching M or I swimming. We try to analyse M's style and work out whats wrong.

After, reject pool cafe and go to cb2 (after several mis-tries: you can't get there from mill road by backstreets: APU is in the way). "Proper" food there, and quite good. But no good books. Where or where is perfection?

Home. M and D go inside for some quiet time - D is somewhat tired - and I sit outside by the pool on the newmade bench and experience the sunset, most satisfactory, a sundog and interesting clouds and quite still. Finish POB: fow. Then tidy up brambles by big apple a bit more. Would have had bonfire by neighbour-but-one hasn't got round to getting her washing in: it'll get damp, you know.

Soir: M cooks stir-fry. I hack LM a bit more: nearly nearly nearly there... dies just after (but not in) INITMEAN.

M is trying to do the pre-school pumkin-and-toffee-apple poster. And succeds.

Mon 9th

M yoga soir: I pum. Get it running. Astonishingly, the image compiled on the linux box at BAS will run at home. Which is just as well, as I don't have f77 at home... And the input files are OK in alpha format.

Tues 10th

Sleep 8:30-9:30 in l'room: no great hurry.

Swim: 26 (hurrah), 30 in 30 1/3 (probably OK, but I have no history of 30's), 29.5. Cb1. Wander up road to bookshops. Arjuna. Home.

D plays his new computer game for 2 hours solidly (plus however long he had been playing before I arrived). It becomes sunny around 4. So I oblige him to stop playing for a bit: he chooses "go into town" so we do, he in his "new" duffel coat. Cold. Stop to watchh digger clearing vegetation at the back of the new-house-on-the-corner. He wants to "go to the play shop" which I take to mean play in a few shops; so we do. In lakeland, I even buy a few bags while he plays in their bit at the back. W'stones (ex-Dillons) for late tea. Their pain-au-c are rather tough.

And so home, at about 6:45. D instantly wants to play his game. M late: some emergency at work via the marketroids.

Bought artichoke (rather larger than mine) in arjuna; cook it; pleasant to eat and the "petals" look lustrous. Also M cooks chard-and-sos.

Linux PUM (shall I call it "plum"?) running, and get displays of the data too. But the refresh is going wrong.

Wed 11th

Apprently not a lot occurred today - a problem with my palm *still* off at repair. Not impressed by their speed at all. What did we do... (this written fri pm)? I think we were just "at home" and neither keen to do much. Had a bonfire.

No pub pm: met curry instead, at the Tandoori Palace down Histon Road. Quite acceptable, and perhaps even good. No palm, and A still has Nikon, so no notes or piccies. SRL asks are people censored out of this so let me mention his name: hello Steve! and hello to Sharon too, and even Elliot or Esther if they're surfing.

Thurs 12th

Lunch G cafe today. Then a look in RS for fonts (fail) and speakers (none appear suitable) with M. Then seperate: me to cb1; M elsewhere. Cb1 crowded: one must hope that the students run out of money soon. Grump grump.

Bath. Hairwash (urgh).

Soir: somehow linux has run out of, and won't release, my memory, even on reboots. Odd.

Fri 13th

With D pm, to see Simon S (and Jackie, and ?Peter?) and the smallholding. Very interesting. Appears to be working: all looks good, and they can shift their stuff, but a very bold undertaking, to launch into it all. D has fun splashing through puddles on the black plastic weed-stopper, until restrained: too much stomp makes holes. Lovely pm, sunny and still. Watch tractor opposite for a while when we leave. They let us have some onions and kale as a taster. Also discuss my Candidacy, haha.

On way back: stop at H+A; A happens to be in so we talk of this and that, inc the s'holding; and oil prices.

M back by the time we are (we're quite late; q to 7). She is cooking swede and carrot and orange soup which is (gasp) nice. Though D can't be persuaded so.


Sat 14th

A "normal" weekend in prospect: good. I skip swim: I can't cope with the thought of pushing through the multitudes. Read pageproofs of 5anal in cb1. Browse Sally Anns for fun, and discover a nice wardrobe, oak, with a cute way to take apart. Discover this a bit too much, and manage to make one of the doors fall off, which earns me a mild reproof from the man in charge. But, I decide to buy it, so thats all right. Have to cycle off to cashpoint. They will deliver next saturday.

Home, via arjuna.

pm: begin the Task for this w'wnd: painting the bit of the living room behind the bookcase, where it has stood since we moved in. With M's help move it out of the way, then start stripping wallpaper. D not very interested in helping: though he remembers very clearly wanting to help last time, he gets distracted away now. Perhaps because I am quicker and more efficient this time, knowing what to do: and he senses that he is not needed? Maybe. Anyway, get much of it done. D helps put the stripped paper into bags.

M not to town because of foot: she sits upstairs and, said to say, works a bit.

Soir: finish washing down and sanding l'room. Then paint.

Sun 15th

Now, this is the problem with not having my palm, and writing this days late: I can't remember what we did today. I think we stayed at home. It was a nice day, good for sitting out in the sun. At one point I went off to allot, dug a strip at the front, extracted potatoes and put in onion sets (from arjuna. plant me now, they said, so I have...).

Soir: finish painting l'room. Mon 16th


Soir: pageproofs. Discover some figs are wrong. Argh. Hope its not my fault.

Time to move the bookcase back. realise we might like a table in that corner, so leave the bookcase on the wall by the fire. Only problem: where to hand all the pictures...

Tues 17th

To work, to check 5anal figures (yes, the eps's are ok, thank goodness, which means the press has fiuled them up somehow), and send off the proof-checked m/s. That takes till 10:20. I am going to miss the divisional meeting, which I had mis-heard for some little thing but which I now guess to have been important. Good: people can have fun telling me about it over smoko.

Swim: 28.75, 29.75, (28.5). cb1: read grauniad. I need to find a copy of lyonesse I or III.

Home, via arjuna. M and D are off: probably at orchard. I settle down in the sun with food and coffee and await them and read the economist complaining that pakistans military dictator is useless.

M and D back: indeed from the orchard. D plays with go-stones but declines a game, disconcerted by the confidence of my play perhaps. Well he did insist I took black.

At 3, decide to go to allotment and finally leave by 3.30 ish. Meet penny and sam on the way, S+D embrace in a very cute fashion. Stop for a while to watch the JCB clearing scrap wood from the old barn at the corner house.


And so to allotment, where we have fun. He digs, I mow. Then he complains I'm not digging, so I do too a bit, and make an area nice for him. Then mow a bit more. then dig right up at the end together and even find a few potatoes - but not many - that bit got quite weedy this year.

Then set to tidy up some of my big mistakes: leaving piles of rubbish around in the hope that they might turn into compost heaps. Clear the one by the old grapgevine stake (incidentally, a new vine seems to have taken root near the cardoons), and mostly do the "main" one in the middle by the strawberry patch. D wanders off to pick raspberries from the next-to-one neighbours patch. Lastly we cut some more elder "tree" down, then its time for home: 6-ish. Stop by pub, which is just opening. Good. I am dry: a cold cider sets me up well, whilst D has apple juice. We're the only customers for a while, then some others come in: the landlord bemoans lack of custom, and warns he risks the fate that the JB suffered. But, he hopes to start a shop in a portacabin at the back. Sounds hopeful.

Home. A bit of food, and D dives into his Blinky Bill game.

M back only a little late. I'm exhausted by allotting: bath.

Wed 18th

Palm comes back: about time too.

pm with D to lammas land, briefly, despite my best efforts to get D to the pool, since the weather is poor. On way back, stop in at pub again...

Soir: re-load everything onto palm, inc the OS3.3 IR hotsync patch. Then pub: good.

Thurs 19th

At last I have my palm back after 3 weeks of absence. Can it be mere co-incidence that I phoned them up on monday? Though this is not phsically my old unit: its in better shape & it came with a stylus. But I had to re-install the os3.3 patch for ir sync.

Beautiful blue-sky morning. D has shared his b'fast with crow & teddy.

Work: vp (dyn2).

A good yoga at lunchtime: mostly stuff from The Book course 1, with bits of 2. Fun.

Lunch with M at G cafe: I am late, which is naughty. Then she goes off to hopital to see A+N. I go to Mill road to get various b'fast cereals for everyone except me, then cb1, then home, via allotment, where I dig (or rather, move some more of the earth heaps I so foolishly created), then measure, in paces. A fine evening for it.

Home. M+D come back: D is tired and emotional, but nice when he calms down. Then M off to pub with Americans and I work - oh dear. Si phones.

Fri 20th

Misty. D up late & so are we. I wait at school for M. People seem to be collecting their bulb orders. No: they are sorting them.

Pm: put new tyre/inner on bike. To school for pumpkin & toffee apple sale. Get 2 p, grown on the pre-school allotment apparaently, and a toffee apple for D. On way, we met Penny and Sam, and were invited round by S (seconded by P) so indeed we go, and admire the rabbits and cats, the latter remarkably placid, though one hides. Four children is a lot, especiialy when their friends visit!

Sat 21st

Overnight rain, and more when we wake. Grey. Still, I decide to go out, perhaps from force of habit, perhaps because we need some bread... no swim, because of the crowds, but as I pass the pool I realise its half term, and the pool is near empty. Hey ho, I was feeling a little jaded anyway with swimming.

cb1, arjuna, w'stones. Here I am once again astonished by the filling-ness of their macaroons, which don't look so huge but seem to have the magic capability of indian meals to instantly fill me up, no matter how nice they are or how empty I feel beforehand.

Home. New wardrobe has arrived (with a few more cracks, sadly, but none fatal). D is sick, or perhaps just very tired, but he seems a bit hot. Anyway, he is lying on the floor cradled by M. And so passes a quiet afternoon, with D sometimes on the floor, me or M. Towards the end of the day he revives somewhat, and plays his game (Blinky Bills Ghost Cave, bruce), and goes to bed happy, as far as can be told.

In the meantime, I have moved stuff in our room, taken the wardrobe upstairs in pieces with M's help for the base (real wood is heavy...) and cleaned it, and glued a few bits into place. Sadly the chip I knocked off the door I cunningly put inside, where of course it was lost when disassembled: I should have put it into a drawer.

M surfs the web looking for Virata gossip on yahoo, etc. Exactly why I am unsure... the price is low (it dipped to 28) and we need reassurance.

Anyway, w'robe is assembled & looks good. We then have to make sense of the wreckage of the b'room.

Sun 22nd

D: my tummy isn't full to the top, its full to here (points to nipple height).

This is at coton orchard on 'apple day' (which was y'day, but they are doing it all w'end) but their concessions to this are minimal: we should have gone to the bot gdns. D likes the fountains, though. Well, maybe its a little better than I said: they do have a display of lots of apples. Buy some elstar after tasting.

Am: sort out b'room. Clean out under bed, where dust & forgotten things live (bivvi bags: remember them?). Move CoD to under bed. Grand t-shirt sort: a whole pile of 'not going to get worn but can't bear to bin'. I have an idea of making a patch-work of them (one day). But I do bin (or rather, move oxfam-wards) my DJ, shirts + trous, old suit. Also bin old cycle paniers: faithful for many a trip but now too broken to keep. Discover m'cycle helmet (is my head still a fascist free zone?)

D sick/tired pm. Sleeps mostly.

Soir: finish off enough to at least sleep. Worst offence now is piles of mouldering papers, photos, etc on shelves. Diary 2000/10 #2 (23-29)

Mon 23rd

D up late but its half term. Some concern about how well he is. Try M'a and see.

And so, about 5, I get a call from M to go and get D, who is tired/crying. At M'a's, he is completely floppy but otherwise OK. Take him home, he sleeps by the fire, drinks pineapple jouice, then I take him up to bed at 7ish, where he sleeps soundly, so far [8:30].

M out at dinner with Americans.

Tues 24th

Disturbed night: D wakes ?twice? But then wakes past 8.30 in the morning so I get a lie-in.

Swim: 28x2, 29.5x3. Slow. Felt like lead on the last set. Cb1.

Pm with D. He seems much better & sleeps not. Still we stay at home. I build a 'house' for D from a table, boxes & a blanket. Crow, weasel etc come to visit & have tea.

Wed 25th

pm: windy (the weather...). Stay in with D, though he seems to be recovered now. This + that, quietly.

Just before sleep, jump out of bed & left toe crumples under me, painfully. Poor toe! It has suffered the nail, followed by skin blotches/boils (presumably related), now this.

Thurs 26th

Toe moves but hurts. Joints a bit swollen.

Soir: download mysql + perl bits + make ora-table.pl work, partially.

Fri 27th

On way home: D corrects me: no, noise is not birds in trees but a rattle in my sac.

Phone A: she & N are back home but no visitors (esp children). With D, take bags of spare clothes (+ dj - farewell old friend!) to oxfam in car. Attempt to find n. cambs ridgeons (a mistake) but fail: I remembered the map but forgot the street. Then go back to p+r & get bus in, which is what D wanted from the first.

Cheese shop for cheese + olives (D eats some o, plus a tomato, plus a walnut (how did he open it?) but is excused.

Now in not-the-real-w/s, in the kids bit, D took his wellies off to jump on the 'seats' & is now playing with pop-up maisie. To their cafe which qratuitously closes in our face (nonetheless D gets a bottle of a'j) so to the other one...

D proves he is capable of pouring water from glass into bottle, with little spilt.

On bus back: D: thats McDonalds. Me: we don't go there (echoing D earlier). D: no, we go to cafes. Me: which is better? D: mcd's. Me: silence.

Home. Tidy while D plays with brio.

M back. Do more ora-table.pl. Upload some rpm's (inc f77 + apache) from 6.2 cd.

M+J arrive 9.45. Eat. Talk.

To bed. D wet (first for a while) but lovely smile when he sees m+j.

Sat 28th

D goes to m+j on waking so we get a welcome lie-in. Outside, rain pours.

Town. Fr cafe (duff oj) then separate, me to mill rd & m to b'shops.

On way back: man on pp with kite (2m) & 3-wheel buggy! Loses control.

Home 3ish. Dmj have carved pumkins (& made p'kin soup) - but I have bought another, ha ha. To jenny (stetchworth: 1/2 hour) for bens 4th. Ben & Danni look very well, as does J. Pat/ann there: hello dogs. D plays with B. B is a serious little chap.

Home quite late - q to 7 - through terrible rain. M still at work.

Dinner: p soup + cheese.

Sun 29th

Another lie in. Bliss. Sun, very powerful.

M+J leave 10 ish. J has a cab case tomorrow & needs to prepare - as indeed she has been doing.

Eventually gird up our loins & head out to apple day at the bot gdns. A good selection of apples to buy. Plus mince pies + chutney from wi. Apple id: ours is a Laxtons superb. Prob.

Go back via glasshouses & D has fun but the cactus house is his undoing: in he runs & in trying to evade removal from off-path he falls onto 'mammalifolia prolifera' (53). I think. But it certainly causes great sadness, & the removal of spines causes even more. Poor wiglet.

To car, briefly to b+q for picture rail (+ springs). Home. D happier. Have fire in bedroom.

Mon 30th

Overnight huge winds (waking D, who comes to sleep in our bed because he is frightened) and wake to vast rain, which thankfully stops by the time we have to go out.

DougC can't come: no trains at all from Reading. So, settle down to whats-up-in-the-ocean.

Home. Dark. I've forgotten my front light. Cycle along, navigating by looking up to see the patch of sky between the trees about the path. Pickup D, who is fine. Home, D sitting on the back, "because it is dark". I point out the plough, but I'm not sure he saw it. D says that because he can see stars, it will rain. I correct this.

M off to yoga. I install gpg (1.0.4, I already had, unbeknownst to me, 1.0.1) and then fight to get it to install my keys. For something trying to be a pgp replacement, it distinctly lacks a pgp-compatability mode.

Tues 31st

D wet today :-( but its a sunny morning. Downstairs with D. Washing up. Build the cube by chance: when D asks I can't redo it. Wake M at 1/2 past & we all lie in the sun together (though D doesn't like it in his eyes). I sleep for a little.

Swim: 28x2, 28.5, 29.5. Only 4, in deference to my toe, still a bit crumpled, but improving. Sun in pool. A cheering morning. Cb1. Sally army: has a load of ex-bas stuff. Buy ventile top & balaclava. Find picture hooks in artique. Home.

M+D are out in garden, d is digging. D is for dig? Have time to sit inside with a coffee. My broad beans are coming up, so are the onions. Add a row of garlic, from my bulbs.

D cycles around green, we watch as a treelet is killed/cropped by the council & then in 'cos its cold. Pick last few grapes (white, last longer, & starlings don't eat them) & bring in a sunflower head for the seeds. Dahlias still out.

Rick comes round with E (briefly) before going to pick up J.

Do pumpkin I got from arjuna. D decides the face is 'not scary: just shouting'. Carving pumpkins (well) is an art. Have a fire upstairs & read stories (notably prudence the puppy). D turns off lights to look out into the darkness: moon, distant car lights, remains of sunset, a plane. Well, thats what I see.

Downstairs. Cook gnocci & artichoke. Finish p'kin. Megan and 5 others come round t-or-t which I'd forgotten. Hastily find stuff while D shows off our p'kins to great hilarity since he is undressed. M'a in b'ground.

M back late. She puts D to bed (&, sadly, nit-treats him).

I sort out my tosh's pgp & enlightenment.

Govt sells out nhs.


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