WMC's diary pages, 2001.

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

December 2001

Sat 1st

Sat on a box of books in Comberton gym in the midst of a bazaar. This unnatural posture cos I'm waiting for H who is trying to find our table. Done. Set up bookstall & sell a few. I leave at 12:30, so can take D to Ma's in time to put up her liqhts. Since Med are late back from Joels party I get a lie down instead.

To Ma's, most of the way towards & under one towering cloud with beauteous light effects. First long run for the c5. Put up lights (one side truncated by corrosion) in what turns out to be a pleasing outline. Inside at darkness: D has been watching btb but does like the lights. No rest: sweep chimney, which has apparently been smoking. Get a shoe-box's worth of soot. Coffee. Later, the full moon rises through the tree inside the lights.

Start home 6.30, later than intended, due to indulging D in B's white cmas. D sleeps just before home. M beds him; I bath with the persian boy, from the bookstall. I also got 'the book of the walking year' & 'big walks'.

Sun 2nd

Lie in grace of M.

D: which is scarier, ghosts or crocodiles? Me: well, ghosts don't really exist. D: and crocs have the sharpest teeth.

Duxford. Hanger 1 then cafe. D obliges me to buy us chips (above an offer of a tuna s/w) then a bread roll, then eats just the roll & no chips.

The us hanger is v instructive (to me; I'm not quite sure what D makes of it): to whit, more resources & ?better tech? is hard to beat (though civ taught me that some time ago).

Watch some of the videos - D wants to see planes dropping bombs - see the iconic-napalmed-girl-clip - which confuses him. Why is that girls bottom like that? Thats what happens when you drop bombs on people. Oh.

However, what he really likes is the railway in the land hall & the sand in the desert bit.

Mon 3rd

E wakes at 4 a.m. which is a step down from 5.30 which she has managed the past few days.

Vacs meeting...

Soir: M has arranged Kirsty but my curry is next week. K v understanding. M off to yoga party. I waste evening on model: is it nfs? Is it my changes.

Tues 4th

8.30, blue skies and sun after rain and wind. I am first up: D says 'leave me in peace' & takes his quilt back. E gurgles and is probably looking at her mobile. Deposit her on sleepy M & persuade poor sleepy D up. 'I'm not ill I'm just tired' he says but wants calpol anyway.

Swim 27.5 (just), 28.5, (30.5). Cb1.

'we travel not for trafficking alone;
by hotter winds our hearts are fanned:
for lust of knowing what should not be known
we take the golden road to samarkand.'
james elroy fletcher, hassan, act v, s2.

Spoilt somewhat by l3 but otherwise... of course, I don't.

SA. Arj. Remember: Mackays for pliers for S. Such choice. Also get a 'puller' for me.

Home (via a wasted hour at work: gets so bad even drlandf defeats me). But D is off with Sam so I get time for coffee. 4: go pick up D (who was v bad leaving pgp, says M, hitting childs) but who comes ok, after initial 'I don't want to go'. Home: bonfire of xs cardboard boxes. M takes D (& E) to w'rose. I tidy a little & do small honey pots & labels for fayre (sic).

Cook pots, sos, onions, tofu, garlic while D & E bath. Water though ceiling.

Soir: drlandf cannot stand against me.

Late: to bed: D has vomed, poor thing. But he is still asleep. Poor pilchard is a mess too. Sigh & tidy.

Wed 5th

Day off. Slow a.m., read Gill sleepily. Its not a book for sleepy reading. As day wears on it becomes clear I'm under the weather. Don't even get to lift dahlias. Weather doesnt help: wet & windy then just windy.

Thurs 6th

Again: first up 8.30. E just stirring; D needs his duvet removed & even then curls up on the floor.

Sun. Calm. Drop off D, who sweetly carries his frog umbrella against the sun. Cycle in with 2 bikes - the red one for repair. Work. Yoga. To bh (meet small vole along the way. It suffers me to handle it, which probably means its unwell) & dump bike. Cb1.

Shop: arj; ivor the engine for D; cds. Home.

Fri 7th

M says: E sleeps till 5:45.

D with Amber after pgp.

After much driving-around confusion abandon plans to pick up bike with D when I realise I left the seat behind. So go in alone (thanks M) & pay 141 & cycle back with 2.

Sat 8th

Lovely bright still frosty morn. But busy too: to school for pre-school fete set-up; M does 'door' with E & I try to control D. Finish off film & post (on same day!). To wi hall for 'rebuild' consultation: plans 2 and 3 require demolition of mens inst. Back to school: my honey not selling well but badly situated :-(. Punch+Judy in full flow & D yelling loudest. Photo of audience. Home, change for allot, print photo & leave it with M.

Dig up yet more raspberries & grass then stoatavate. My clean back end is getting bigger.

Sun 9th

To F. M drives there, me back, & all (us; f; m+j; j+k; s+b; j+ka; j). D a bit hard to control: he really needed a run outside but wouldn't stay for long because the action was inside. Much food, of course, & early presents.

Mon 10th

Freezing mist. Stays all day.

My show-and-tell is the pooing reindeer. Pm: pen warming & I present Tlc's & my simple model which no-one holes.

Soir: met curry at the gandhi, good. Preceeded by drink at Prince Regent (its Jesus! From some young squaddies) for those coming straight from work. Poor ir has pranged his car this am & lost a student.

Tues 11th

Yesterdays fog continueth, but a bit warmed, the world drips damply. The cyclepath just before the m'way is beautiful in a thin-track-through leaves, damp, winding way. Swim 28, 29, (31.25). I'm getting v bored with swimming - even at once a week - & not just cos I'm slow.


Pm: meet M w/s to take over D. Library. Buy new (bulb) front light.

Soir: repair my modules; modem works again; but irda still doesnt.

M out with Andrea to see Hairy Pooter.

Wed 12th

Work hard; abhro; yaase still going; simple ice model.

Pm: Naomi over at 3. She and D play happily, but mostly separately :-(

I make them paper pirates hats & balloon swords.

Soir: to can for evening. N already asleep and stays so. D bounces but pleasantly till put down at 10.

Thurs 13th

Day off. Up with D, hand E to M. D to pgp, kiss him goodbye. Home. Coffee, paper, discuss cmas lists. Town: still grey. Heffers for wildlife photog of y, I need v7 I think but they only go back to v8. Many pictures are astonishingly good. Try Borders: no better. BH for bike lights for Rob. RS for frame for my-owl-from-D. Cb1. Arj.

W/s: they have v7, & it is the one I want. Hurrah.

Home. M says E played with a toy, & sitting on me she fondles my beard. And soir she wiggles her bot off her nappy when left. Growing up!

Sort photos. Pancakes for dinner.

My beautiful new kernel has no pcmcia: rebuild with & put the photo-cds into order, a bit. And irda attempts confuse the modem...

Fri 14th

Soir: more photo-sorts. M to bed eary.

Sat 15th

We're all up late: past 8:30, so I get a lie-in. Sunlight pours in: lovely. Up 9:15-ish: luxury. B'fast & into town. Its present time. Not to crowded, yet. Look round All Saints Garden. Frost: cold toes. Need toe gloves: no not socks.

Cb1. Challenged by R & win. Help fix their server by removing kbd cable. Get bowl from Cherry Tree. Arj.

Back to asg: get monkey pot. Home, in liqht surprising rain.

Sun 16th

Following last nights surprise call from Allison, take D to Colne val railway for 'santa claus special'. About 1h to get there, then find Nick, A, G & A. Train puffs up & we find our place in the crush. Old style pullman carriages. We go up track a ways, stop, and as santa comes through the carriages the engine puffs down a parallel track, pulls us through the station, and this repeats.

D has a pugwash-felt-picture set; A has a noddy-car; G has a colour card set. D tries to climb on seats to see santa as he progresses.

About 1h in total. Then g+a off; we go to buffet car. Food not quite up to adverts. Then, wander a bit. Its smaller than Didcot, but has a farm-walk type bit we don't explore as we have to rush back for the...

Carols. Park outside school. Go into church. Me waiting & we find a pew. D good: ie we manage to control him. E is quieted by being plugged in. Tea & mince p after.

All today - & recently - E more awake - poor M.

Soir: c cards. Photos: put up more E for Ernie.

Mon 17th

Last day at work! Make slides for wednesday, mostly. Then finish with a minor tidy up - I can see most of desk 1.

Soir: finish cards. Read 't peace war till rather too late.

Tues 18th

Have to wake D, and what with searching for the elec forms etc we end up rather late to pgp. Misty again.

Swim 30, 30.75 - quite pleased with the latter, how my standards have fallen.

To sc to meet elec officials with Simon. Brief chat. Get reg.

Cb1. Arj/turk, quickly. P.O. for photos for new driving license long delayed. Swiz: they are digital (& not v good). Home, 15mins late.

Quiet p.m. D lets me lunch then read. Paint santas chair bright orange.

Soir: to gpp chez h, by bike.

Wed 19th

Up 6:45 (ugh, how D spoils me) to get 7:45 to bracknell with j*2, tom, nicole, dgv & sh. Crowded.

Get there & meeting is useful. On circle line back, the usual pain... Kc: chaos: delays. We may be on the 17:45 - or the delayed 17:15 - or... but in the end only mildly delayed - home 7:30 - & I got a seat.

Soir: a+s over for pancakes: c+a cry off sick, sadly.

Thurs 20th

Lie in, since we're all up late. Take D in for smoko. Hoped to put new procs in to cluster but D won't stand for it so go, via looking at the ship models.

Watching the c west building. I suggest when D grows up he could be a builder. D: yes. But what I really want is to be a teacher at pre- & big- school.

To library cos D wants to visit their cafe. Pleasantly warm: outside its sun but quite chill: ice on bas pond.

Heffers arts (try & fail to find balsa wood; we have a plan to make a crane) & tohiti (D wants to play on the castle bed. Should we get one?). Home, through watching cutting-and-chipping hedge next to Cavendish; dumpers & a bulldozer where they are making a heap from the new diggings; and a sunset.

Fri 21st

Soir: M takes E off to Virata party & I put under-the-weather D to bed early - in fact he goes up himself. Then spent ?2h? online starting a variety of jobs on the newly upgraded cluster.

To bed 10:30. Fairly soon after M is back & D feels unwell. Calpol. A little while after he is v unwell & tries to vom intothe sink but produces little. Then we all sleep.

Sat 22nd

D comes into bed quite early & we rise somewhat before 8 seeking calpol. But he seems better: last night he was crying (tummy pain or sadness?). Quiet morning.

Town: Jessops to get copy of E photo for Ma. Distressed to see fine scratch on my print: my carelessness or fujis? Eyelink for test: nearly unchanged, except for axis. Xxoctopus for draft excl. Cb1. Asg for flower pot 2. P.o. to send off driv lic form + p'port.

Starts snowing as I head back. Then sun. Then hail.

Soir: photos (e's birth) with M. Check fuji scans: scratches are their fault. Then! Disaster! Crash & fails to recover properly. X font server?!?

Sun 23rd

Lovely dawn. Some snow but thin.

All a.m.: pack. Car is full. 1pm: off to Ma's. D has, sadly, developed bored-in-car-ness. Sun: drive west. Lovely day, traffic medium.

2.30. At Ma's. E slept on way over. D runs in, we unload, ma has 2 guests left over from drinks. D watches b-t-b. Fetch in wood: D holds the torch. Then I unload 1:30 of video (D's 3rd-4th) onto tape (start #7).

D will sleep in Ma's room (because 'she is his best friend' - how can she object?) so we set up Peters 60y-old camp bed. And so D to bed.

Fix X. It was disk space: when you get above x% (98?) it reports 0 free on /.

Mon 24th

D up with Ma then M while I lie in. 10:30: all off to L Buzz for Santa Special on the narrow gauge line. Train out, through estates etc, hooting when we cross roads & once men with flags to stop traffic for us. Don't go far: must come for full line in summer. Engine is 'elf'. Back: buffet. Ma & I get mince pies (in 'dobbers' resto, fnar; a dobber was a sand-miner) while M & D go off for Santas grotto. Then I go find then just as D heads q so I swap with M & go in with them. A red-draped tunnel & a friendly santa. What does D think? Hard to say. He is unreserved: with a strange adult he would be shy. Yet I think he knows that this is not the real santa: and from qs I think he is half-sure the real santa is pretend. I've told him there is sea-ice at the pole. The world is formless for him: there is space for impossibles.

Ma off for brief last shop. We go to J+J.

Go to carols at 7. Windy but not too chill. D goes off to play on the tractor in the dark while we sing, & I or M check him sometimes.

Back. Get D ready for bed. Hang up his stocking (embroidered with star, from last year); Ma & M read b'time stories; we are awaiting L & T. 8:45: no show: D to bed, happily. 8:55: they. Meanwhile E sleeps.

Tues 25th

[cmas, eh? Well with all the press of things this is being written out of order on friday on the llama in marcham p'gr'd.]

D in to us 8-ish for his stocking-from-santa. All well till the orange at the toe: 'why has given me an o?'.

Wed 26th

Jen+abd & Pat over, plus dogs.

Ben has a rocket: a tube on a tripod, a length of hose and a bag to stomp on. It goes surprisingly far when the hose is straightened.

Walk to rec to play with Bens rocket. Good fun for all the kids, & adults. 22o halo.

Thurs 27th

Pack & off somewhat late. To Hincksey supposedly to see Si+B ride but since we pick wrong side of ring road, we're 1/2h late. Have a little look round (old stone), stroke a horse, & all just squeeze into car: to m+j. F is there.

D gets to watch most of toy story. Present opening. We have a boot beetle!

Soir: bgii.

Fri 28th

Up late & lazily. Eventually take D off to p'gr'd. Sun but windy. He is well wrapped up in new gloves, scarf, socks & hat - his 'boring' present from m+j (& indeed he cast it aside in disappointment on first opening, yet it is about the only thinq he has used).

On the way: D: do houses live in themselves? There: d sets to painting the helicopter while I had him paint & brushes. M arrives. Now D is repairing the heli which has crashed.

Xan+E to lunch. X,J & I end up playing ludo (D started with us but didn't last, not surprising, it takes ages) but I lose :-(.

Sat 29th

Me&I to Ox by p+r: bus would have taken 40 mins. Borders: I read linuxformat; M feeds E & browses fairy-tale books for D.

Catch 12:50 to Pad; thence to ihs in gps for London open. Hello to various old friends esp Mike, Alan, Richard. End up playing A: win this time, with a brief attempt to stuff it up at the end.

Home remarkably fast: leave just before 6 & home just after 7: M picks me up from Didcot. So my morning goodnight kiss to D was not needed.

Soir: bgii.

Sun 30th

For no obvious reason, D takes against his clothes & 1/2 h of talking (& leaving him alone) fails to persuade. Eventually he says he is tired so back to bed for him. But then F tells him trains are only today & he is up & dressed.

To Didcot: D & Mfd . A steaming day. Ride on the 'Earl Bathhurst' a 4-6-0 mfd says (he's really a spotter, you know) now reduced to travelling just a few hundred yards. We go 1st.

Rain: to buffet: chips all round, & coke for D. Branch line: the steam heating is going & the lines leak: clouds of steam between carriages: all v nostalgic (to a time I never knew, of course).

Ttte is there (accurate, inc face). He talks not: I say he is in disgrace for yet another prank.

Home. E has been sad, which is unusual.

Soir: bgii, but not to late. Now lord of d'anise & in the ular hills where strange wolf-like things are reported: what *can* they be?

Slide show, starring new proj: happen to go up, & poor D is still not asleep & sad to miss slides. So he comes down awhile.


An unusually early waking - 7:15 no less - to get 8:19 from Didcot. Frost: -5 says car as we scrape it. Beautiful clear skies: pale rose sunrise against trees.

No opponent! Naughty Bongchul Kim. So take photos & watch.

[b1: mc & gs; b2: a vdl & ps; b3: rh & tn; b4: sjk & yk (not in room); b5: js & ps; b6: tmh & jv (nir); b7: fr & jc; b8: uo & dw; b9: aw & as.]

Lunch with Mike & Alan & other-Mike. Walk round Regents park (distant zoo) with A & o-M: utter blue sky: frost.

Pm: lose to Matti Siivola on board 9. At one pt it looked like I was doomed at move 30, but held out till byo-yomi. Good game.

Back, again quickly, home before 7. Tired. Shower. D happy; E had been somewhat sad.

Up till ny playing bgii...

Just before midnight wake up D (M was unwise enough to ask if he wanted to be) but he is soooo sleepy. Champers, of course. Outside, fireworks & firecrackers. Go for a look: cold but still: moon so bright.

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