WMC's diary pages, 2000.

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

December 2000

Fri 1st 'Daddy you make my trouble go away': sadly a request not a statement. We play by the pond a bit (tidying leaves I startle a newt) in brief sun; then inside. Make steps for b-t-b's house.

Soir: M borrows palm to play rogue.

Sat 2nd

To Ma's.

Tring Museium Sign on side of house [10k]

Pm: to tring museum. Have competition with Rob for silliest animal: elephant shrew wins. N hasn't been before. Harvest mouse nest moved: shuffled aside & microscope substituted.

Morpho Menelaus [62k] Lightly retouched to remove text, and somewhat more heavily to remove the pin Making People and Horses Elephant Shrew [48k] winner of weird beast prize

Soir: fire.

Sun 3rd

L speaks in 3rd person. Perhaps because she talks so early? N opines.

D (& L) up quite late - 8.15 - on a blue morning.

Scourge of vandalism visits ched - cars aerials twisted & one of r+n's wipers bent.

Walk to church for christingle service - D goes in but I stay out. Say hello to P. A lovely morning. When I get back M+I decide to go out for a short walk - to canal bridge, swing bridge, first lock (v full) then back.

Lunch. Pm: put up lights for Ma on ginko with rob.

Mon 4th

Nothing !?!

Tues 5th

Swim: 27, 29x2, 28.5. Only 40. Cb1, etc.

Home. Fix m's tyre, my 'mr fix-it' image dented by not doing it properly on 1st go. D plays #1 game for a bit then back into l-room where I am having my coffee & reading 'the miracle workers'.

To town, on bike: I have learnt. Clouds grey, light rain, only just light.

Trapped for a while in front of tv shop. RS, various, then ex-dillons.

Wed 6th

My day off: take 1/2 day holiday. Read a bit, with my coffee pot, in the sun, then heave myself up about 11 and head off for the allotment for some long-overdue digging up of potatoes, and a little bit of onion planting (too late?).

Back; shower; rest and read; then time to go and pick up D, who seems very happy and bouncy.

Helen has phoned, so go to Toft for a session of leafleting for the Green Party. Leave D with her and Charlie (he seems happy; they have soe diggers outside; Charlie is about 2 3/4) and head back to Hardwick, where I am to do the said leafleting. Park, orient myself, choose a direction to go, and off I go (somewhat nervously), trying to remember which houses I've done and not. Mark up my map, and note down the street names. Soon get into the stride of it, but its hard work: end up with 200 leaflets in 2 hours. The takeout-fold-pushthough becomes automatic after a while. Learn to loathe people with stiff bristles inside their letter box (as Helen warned) and become familiar with the varieties of door and arrangements of paths. In all this time I have done perhaps 1/4 of all Hardwick. Rick was out so I didn't stop but I did leave him a leaflet.

Back to Helens: D has been happy and Helen compliments his behaviour. I get some tea and we discuss leafleting. Home about 6. M comes in soon after. D and I cut felt for the new cutlery draw, M cooks.

We eat. Then bath for D. I sort out Novembers diary online and the last of the pictures from Tring. Still to do the .cam ones...

Thurs 7th

Gmd: I forgot 10.204. Restart.

Yoga. Fr. Vase search. Cb1.

Home. Soir: hack through may-june 1998 & cvt cam->jpg. Conversion & deletion *much* slower than taking.

Fri 8th

Take D to H's again & head off to leaflet. Meet Rick out walking the streets with Ewan & talk: go to cafe for a bit. Do 100 leaflets then have to head off to dr.

Dr P says foot is just the joint: will recover. Blood is118/80. He takes sample re anaeaia but doesn't believe.

Back to H. D once again fine.

Soir: Windows, as if it had not already conclusively established its claim to tip-top champion huge-pile-of-sh*t operating system, decides to re-prove its claim by deciding that 'esc' is too complex to pass on to telnet, and it will interpret itself to mean 'next window'. Thank you windows. Now f*ck off. Switch to linux. Download gocr.

Sat 9th

Up grumpily with D. Yesterday my deraileur broke: try to swap on old one but fail: buy one in town (shim not camp: bh says that they can't get c at a price worth selling). Cb1. Arj. Vase in mill rd: pick up on tues. Notice that pool at 12ish is quite quiet: maybe I can swim then.

Town crawling: stupid to shop. RS for dustbuster. Fr cafe. Home.

M+D in l'room: they have been w'rose. Try to get D out for walk: fail.

Make biscuits with D (practice) but it doesn't go so well: making is ok, but cutting out hard, also icing hard, and eventual taste a problem: even D not too keen.

Sun 10th

D came into bed at some a.m., about 3, not exactly sure why, he is evasive when questioned. M suspects monsters occaisioned by calvin+h, I suspect a habit engendered when he slept in our room at ma's. D says 'i didn't want to sleep alone I wanted a cuddle'.

M up late. Then I laze. Put up picture rail, or 2/3 of it. About 1, decide to go out. Big rainbow. M decides to stay in. I head off with D to pub (he insists), then pool, then cb1, then back in dark.


Linux. Try to sort out dns/hostname.

Mon 11th

D in our bed again but more quietly. He seems ill, a bit, hot & tired & fractious. M decides not to take him to play'p but m'a takes him at 12 so M gets to work. Call from M at 4.30: D unwell so she goes to get him. When I get back a bit after 6 he is quiet. I do the kedgeree (with instr from M) while she + D sing at piano. D to bed a bit early then M off to yoga & I rogue, egp site & fix(?) the machines name/net.

Tues 12th

Swim 26.75, 28.5, 29x2. First sub-27 for some time. Cb1. Read mail. Have I missed my 'manager-as-dev' course? I fear so.

Pick up vase from gondwanaland; D's digger from german toy shop; food from arjuna. Now my r'sac is full: go home.

Pm: D wants to Rocking Horse & I never have so ok.

Curry club, at the Golden Curry Soir: met xmas curry at golden curry. Present: jt, val, sandra, gareth, jck, me, ian, steve h. Afterwards val, s & I to empress for beer & star trek trivia which I can't do.

Wed 13th

High winds o'night: oddly, my shed is still there.

M has taken car for mot so can't go to H as planned & her phone out so can't tell her.

Thurs 14th

M'a sick, which is unfortunate for her but also for us. I skip yoga to come back at 12 (which is rather rushed as I go to give blood at cavendish with tom and susan f), then D wants to go to the orchard and its a bright if chill a'noon so off we go. Digging outside the old JB entertains us, and, Oh Heaven, another digger and a dump truck at the orchard. Lunch shows D in a poor light: he is still a little under the weather: denied his ice cream he indignantly refuses to want anything else, then when we sit down insists on acquiring all my potato. Ho hum.

End up buying a bamboo stick about 1" thick - they had some twice that. We'll find a use. D again distressed when I won't buy a truly tacky watermill, even though he likes it.

Lecture: D. Kennedy: 'cl, sci, policy'

- guesses hadley model best
- leaked ipcc: change by L / inc in upper bound of T ch.
- uncertainty of energy demand
- dislike of reliance of sinks. Mentions 'the' n-am-is-a-net-sink paper.
- personal experience (birds etc) as evidence of T ch
- mauna loa record cycle shows evidence of broadening as spring earlier & fall later
- problem of consensus vs few looking like a tie: media friends defensive
- more press coverage in europe. Mentions grauniad
Gareth, Brian, Dave V, Chandri, Rapley, Sandra there too.

Home. M has cooked potato and eggs. I do sos.

Soir: address some cards, but inserts still await. We have only 6 so far. M busy doing stickers for pre school fayre.


Fri 15th

D in & out of our bed all night. Cute but painful. More p than c as the night goes on.

Last met smoko of year.

pm: cycle into town to pick up car via cb1. 357. OK. Perfect clear sky fades as we go, ending in a light decorative pollution haze at horizon. Return via b+q for me to ogle routers (poor selection) & D to play with the toilets (vast sel).

Now trapped in the conservatories. D wants me inside because we are friends. Now he has let the gingerbread woman in.

Home. M back then off to works do with great enthusiasm. D asks for then won't eat b'flakes + yog, then happily to bed.

Soir: make up c'card inserts.

Sat 16th

Lie in. Coffee + !paper!, delivered by our ever-young paper-boy, JC.

To bas for party. This year D enjoys it - last year there was far too much noise. Two of the girls had their hair braided and tied behind a la princesses... wanted to take photo but refraimed. Wiz and Ben there - Simon south - she is doing "piece work" for enviro-risk-assessment. John and Lucy there, L looks very cute, cuter even than D, or am I becoming sated? Anyway, she is also somewhat shy today. D refuses to dance, or even view the flashing lights, though normally he is hard to stop. Most of the others are larger, though. And later, in the canteen, he dances happily to the singing fish "Big outh billy bass", and runs gleefully around the tables chasing a girl a little older. Later, in the lobby, he resists the girls 'come under the table with me' by 'i don't want to' - I think he wants to look at the ships.

On way back, play in newly-cleared woods next to the motorway. Whether what they have done is good for wildlife I don't know - could well be - they have certainly open the thickets up.

Over the motorway, we encounter 2 motorbikes, driven presumably by evil teenagers. Ho hum. The second one (darkish-purpllish-bluish-reddish) was E987 EEB though I shall refrain from reporting this, just this once. D not keen on the noise.

So: to Coton pre-school "fayre". Busy - far more than expected - and useful too: get playdough/tissue/marmalade/pot p/labels. M is co-tealady and is so photographed. The clown has a rabbit like Mr Marvel at BAS, similarly large and inert.

S has most fun - see on his face - running around on the mats & jumping. Then a lesson in life for D whilst chasing ball - he wants me to get it but I tell him to run and catch it like the others.

Stay till the end, then a long tidy - talk with N re pav - trustees == councillors, it seems - 4 kids left all running ball madly. M has sold 6 of her strips of labels! A profit of 2.40... before expenses. A poor hourly rate, considering how much time she spent on it... had she spent the time at work and donated the hours, they would probably have got about 80. But, of course, thats not the full calculation: its different, fun, and the fayre is good for "community".

Walk back together, its cold, frost tonight perhaps - about time. Coffee, read paper, bath: pick up V5 again after a rather long break and enjoy it: I seem to have burst through the barrier of wurble into a long interesting piece about visiting the Verdurins salon. For some reason something calls to mind the "signifiers" of White Queen/Northwind: those who have no status, but speak, purely to crystallise out the meaning, or rather to make clear which meaning all are following, as even shared experience and gesture-reading makes the inner worlds diverge (deliberate analogue to quantum measurement, I presume). After bath, feel unusual surge of energy - fueled by Proustian interest in the world, perhaps - so do the washing up and hoover. Hmm.

Prepare CD for burning (discover later that I forgot the pre-2000 stuff since its not a subdirectory; prob not important enough to re-do for. Also portable is not fast wnough to burn at 8x off mains; also removing scsi card without turning off hangs the machine), hence make up this entry. Tomorrow, off to F. Thats all for this year on this disk... Print off card inserts.

Sun 17th

D (with pants pulled onto chest): 'daddy i've got a bra' 'but youre not female' 'yes i am'. D does handprints for cards bam bam bam.

To F. Drive ok. Good there but eat to xs. Present: me, m, d, f, mfd, j, jeff, j+k, s+b, e, josh. Jeff+k give D a cat (probably a draft excluder) who becomes, after some thought, pilchard.

Soir: c'mas cards. Argh. Fog.

Mon 18th

M takes day off. I take D to p'g. Realise that D has been 'dry' o'night for so long that we really ought to change his sheet.

Ipms agm. 105 up from 101.

Soir: cards/um 4.5/cd (I HATE WINDOWS).

Tues 19th

Up late cos D is. Grey & slow (the weather & me, respectively).

Swim 28, 28.5, 29, 29.5. Pool quiet: lane to self. Arjuna. Cb1. Bookshop further up to pick up tf for M that they ordered. Now short of time. Habitat for boxes (they are nearly out) but won't fit in sac: argh. String, sellotape & ungainliness. Drop off M's dry cleaning near rs.

Home. A bit late. M+D have made little chocolate cakes for m'a, linda, etc. But D tired & has eaten too much choc. Read grinch to him & now he sleeps in l'room with pilchard. Meanwhile I read paper.

D unwell/tired all pm. We put back towel ring in b'room & then he goes to bed for a bit. Then down, but dopey. Phone ma 'cos he wants to.

Soir: write cd's but under *linux*. Software (xcdroast) not so good, but at least the o/s is usable.

Wed 20th

Skip work early to go to p's 'thing': kids sing, santa brings presents (in her bin-liner :-) & tea & biscuits.

Home. D is still u-t-w & after some play he sleeps for a while pm. M back 5 ish & wake D 5.30.

D not quite up to going out so cycle alone to H's: an excuse to get good bike out. Quite a good party. Meet mr bakers father.

Thurs 21st

Hols start now. Celebrate by sitting by fire with paper. Then cb1, a little light shop, & time for lunch (fr cafe with M). A busy life.

After lunch wander shops in center to little effect. Eyelink for a spare pair. Then to pool (29, 31.5, since I haven't done 20's for a while. Nice to have nothing to rush off to. Dive (inc one from top).

Home. Out to carol service. Crowd thin. Trad style. D not to bad (as it seemed to us) or v good (others). No other young kids there - next up about 8.

Back. Search for g90. Fail.

Longest night.

Fri 22nd

am: sit with paper, then allot (lots more pots), more sit, then pick up D.

Pm: with D at home quietly. M has day off. Soir M wraps (yo! M'man etc).

Sat 23rd

V bleak 'dawn' & stays o'cast all day.

'extra' swim: only 2x10 & in 28.5, 30 to boot. Cb1: see R for first time in ages. Lose. Last few pres. Home.

Packing. Argh. Car full. Turn things off & leave.

Ma's. Rnl here. Fire - reluctant - new wood. Cook - m soup / me my potatoes + sos. Good. Ma needs new knives & oil & mustard.

Sun 24

Up with D. L still asleep but when he hears her wake + shout he gives a big smile & rushes off to see her.

Rain nearly all day. Indoors. Bob t b'r. Move 4 barrows of wood in brief interlude of dry, & push back a roof slate.

Carols D not L. D didn't sing & maybe a bit unsure. Sit on steps near the flutists amp to which D listens.

Soir: ched quiz (for 10): eg "not high, swore" -> locust, 100 times. Embroider simple snowflake on stocking.

Mon 25th

C'mas morn. D wakes & is pointed to his stocking. M gets up & I laze in bed - M has bought me (us?) book.

Ma + N off to church, then R + M take L & D to the kids service at ched so I am alone... on c'mas morning... I think I can cope. With coffee, of course. Ma+N back, sit in kitchen awhile then light fire & read L 1 for a while, then have strength of will to stop to brinq in a barrow of wood. Nice to be briefly out in sun.

C'mas lunch. Good. Sometimes said that only english cooking is b'fast but perhaps c'mas lunch too. D & L do well. L still mostly in 3rd person, possibly a bit more when being -ve. Maybe not. She speaks very well. L at one point (repeating R): 'head might explode'. D now entranced by btb (again).

Mrs Queen, then presents. D & L so engrossed playing with p's they take ages to open all & L doesn't finish. D likes his digger a lot.

Soir: play chinese chequers (twice) and mikado-sticks (once). Quiet.

Tues 26th

Lie in since D slept in ma's room (& wet for 1st time in ages). Coffee & a little more then Ann, Jen, Alex, Ben & Dani arrive. Play, presents, lunch, take D's digger outside (bitter cold), walk (better once going) Ann, Ma, Alex & me. Other stop at p'g. Up past church, over road, r then l, to Mentmore rd & back just as others finish. Home, tea, fire, Spot.

Wed 27th

Again lie in, not quite so long. Outside cold, o'cast. Ma hangs washing & L helps. D looks in frozen bird bath.

D: "daddy, go away. Mummy, you can stay, because you're nice".

Finish off moving wood. Put up Ma's dustbuster, perhaps not too well. R does N's fish. Lunch. Pack (not too well: see later) & off.

Sunset developes as we go & Didcot towers look esp good. At M+J's discover we have left the dirty washing and my sac behind. D plays tweenies & jump ahead pre-school.

Presents, inc more brio for D (ie m'd & me! & scottish m't'g by Murray).

M has been given 'screws & screwing' & is engrossed. J says that an Archimedes Screw has the screw fixed in the barrel: quite obvious if you think.

D has fun being bathed & hair washed (by m+j) & m+I vegetate by fire. Theres is much more efficient than Ma's: a log or 2 burns for some time & gives out much heat.

Thurs 28th

Awake to snow! But laze in bed anyhow.Is this a waste? I do feel guilty. But also sleepy. Guess which wins. I take D outside to make snowballs & stuff - there is about 1cm, fluffy. Cold, but windless & a little sun so quite pleasant - especially for m,m+j who breakfast inside. Throw s'b'ls which is fun but I have to make them - just a bit cold & snow needs to be squished to stick. D squeaks happily when we through s'balls against the kitchen window, cars, etc. Inside.

D has an accent (horrors!): "loight" for light.

To Ox via Abingdon, leaving D with M+J - everyone seems happy with this. D is, it seems, to be permitted 3 ties 1/2 hour on his new games. The Air Balloon is shut. The bus was exact to its minute but was the 31 not x31. Snowy landscape. View of ox in sun - towers - from roundabout, somewhat obscured by pylons etc.

To Borders for cafe. I read 'router' again. Then seperate. I to oxf b's'p (get 'indiamen') then museum (shut) then via corner of Broad St to New College Lane, with various photos along the way, as the sun fades. SEH is shut. Hum and haw, and decide to walk round CC meadow rather than go back to a coffee shop (thus unintentionally reparing my sloth of morning). I am well rewarded, for the sun comes back once past the buildings. Cold air, but so still that I stay warm despite my shorts (no longs yet this year! ha! I'm going to make it...). Gorgeous blue sky fades as I walk round. Swans.

Squirrel in the snow! Leap! Poor photo: delete.

And then back. Bus will be at 5:10: just time for espresso at W/s: view: moon: last of s'set. And so catch 5.10 back, M arrives somewhat later. D drags me round to play his game one last time. Then I bathe and read L 1, supposedly just 10 pages but strech it out to 12ish. Dinner. D is tired and its late, is naughty and is rebuked and promises to be good, but eventually its too much and its to bed with him, which he is quite happy with.

Do 2 cards worth of photos, sitting by fire.

Fri 29th

Quiet day. Went for a walk-behind-church in sunny cold frost (D, M, J) but then poor D fell into stream behind wi where slabs taken up (sorry, no photo, wrong instincts) & we rush home (or as close to this as M & J understand). Then I go out again as far as Frilford rd.

Soir: download mysql. Then client. Then perl mods. Then headers.

Sat 30th

Up late then out inst. to beat rush. Now in evil Tescos park while M buys nappies. Yes indeed, D's night training, while flawless at home, is sadly proved lacking away. Frustrating, because he can and does get up and... hey ho. Lets say that last night was disturbed, but principally for m+j.

Then to vineys, furniture world, f village, etc etc, but fail to find stool.

Nearly lunchtime. Ma has come over, kindly bringing some stuff we forgot. We take D out for a run round the garden + play chase. J has pointed out old b'nest, & it has a few strands of tinsel woven in. I am now testing my theory that it is warm enough to sit outside in the sun. Works so far.

Test out my french cd, alone upstairs & then with M downstairs. Seems ok initially, & seeing your voice is fun & perhaps useful.

M writes up diary - first in ages - in new book.

Sun 31st

Now on tr Didcot->pad which, despite mfd's dire warnings, is but 3 min late, though still on a speed-restricted timetable.

Up before 8 today - something of a novelty. Clouds, but still light snow. Skip planned walk - can't get D out.

Now on tr to E Croyden. Tired. Beat Jay Rastall by 1 1/2 (having entered at 2d, oh the shame) but we were both on our 3rd set of overtime.

Saw loads of folk there: Mike C, Richard M, Alex S, John R, Alan T just for a start. I've forgotten how much I enjoyed playing go. At least when I win. Ticket (t'card z6) gets me to H+I and to EC.

To F. M+D, Mfd+J, S+B there with dinner 3/4 over so I collapse into seat.

Then await midnight. All seem tired by 11. Some sleep. Someone proposes using Paris time but no!

NY. Fireworks: scared fox! And, a bit later, at m'night, a scared D: who has his hands over his ears & needs a cuddle.

Ref picture of house [800x600; 130k]

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