WMC's diary pages, 2004.

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

November 2004

A happy sunny image

Mon 1st

W / Y (J feeling old) / W.

Thence to Churchill for DK gw lecture (interesting to know what he thinks & how he presents it & the q's) & after spot Andy H & we go to Castle (he is waiting for S to come out of a Lab meeting) for a wee drinkie or two. Talk philosophy &.

Back 11:30 just as M finishes tinkling.

Tues 2nd

Grey damp sunless day.

W: finally submit uls/grl paper. Whew. Straight to school to pick-up. E runs to me. Acquire Oliver & he & D RR all pm except for brief dinner pause.

7 (or a bit late): pc meeting. Slow over pavillion but its important. Gets through in end.

Wed 3rd

News: looks like the monkey wins :-(.

Smoko (on time!) & then town. Cam West works nearly complete now & we no longer have to dodge round the back. E decides against germ which is a mistake because...

Pool, but toddler bit is shut & we have to wait till 12, so go up to gallery. & though pool is closed for 'lessons' no-one is there. Parkside is a good building but the running is poor. Swim in 1/4 of the pool we are allowed: 1 baby occupies half & 1 toddler other quarter. Arj/Cb1/lib. School. M brings O back but pooter is forbidden.

E: cute things re being good/naughty.

Soir: heavy (but satisfying) work on mbh/m&m.

Thurs 4th

W then vacs meet. Then machines dead so off to town. Cb1 then fireworks. No rockets? :-(.

Greshams is being rebuilt as lux flats/houses.

Chem for era-40 talks. Adrian S's v good, the rest dull (from my pov) & too stratospheric. Tea room: light floods in but the view is dull. & the coffee mach broken. More talks (dull) till 5 then go back for E/D.

Fri 5th

W then home. Pick up E from M'a then school to see if D to m/sports: yes. & happily, cake sale. Buy random set chosen to be not too squishy, plus some E wants.

Home, tidy. M back just in time for me to sch to pick up DB & loud footy-mad A.

Bit of a rush to get bonfire ready. Stop to invite G+E but they are out to town. Stuff sack with cardboard, prop it up, & tape D's lighthouse to the top & Bush to the front - courtesy of the Economist. Paul arrives with O and V; ACGS arrive (A has the rockets and sparklers I didn't get) just as we are about to start before 6: set off the firework I've taped under the guy and it catches fire in a shower of pretty sparks. Then light the main pyre and start the fireworks! I am in charge of this of course so am a bit harried and try to avoid drinking too much: we have laid out a table in the field with beer wine etc and A has brought the "insanely strong" beer that P brought him... Bram etc arrives about 1/2 through: introductions: they join in. Helen B arrives too. So a good time is had and the sparklers finish it off and no-one gets burnt.

Then inside for pancakes (we men stay outside for a bit by the dying embers and talk of... something. I forget. I was allowed to drink by then) and this is good too. Kids have somewhat trashed house but we can sort that out tomorrow...

Sat 6th

Retrieve stuff left down garden and find O+V's hats and an unknown bike light. Town 11. Cb1/arj/oxfam (the bloke-that-I-know invites me downstairs and I browse through a whole boxful of what I call "crap 60's sci-fi" which is sometimes truely dreadful and sometimes good (get an A E van Vogt who combines both in one book): pick out 8 or 9 from a pile that must be someones collection, liberated on death). Home for 2:30. Plough still shut.

pm: sort-of promise M that I would take the children out somewhere but... don't (Cory comes round). S oM gets frustrated trying to practise piano, but the stool is rather in the way of getting into the l'room. And of course E wants to talk to her. So M gets a somewhat raw deal.

D suggests re-arranging the l'room to how we once had it before: with the sofa in the middle dividing "adult" from kids halves. Its a good diea and we do it. Now all we need to do is make sure the toys *stay* in the other 1/2.

Reading crash: M phones Mfd/J but they are OK and it wasn't even their line as it turns out.

Sun 7th

(22:30: M has finished her piano (early!) and is now going to read her email. I've uploaded various innsbruck/2001-07 pics to wiki and now shall write):

Up 9. Its a grey (gray?) day and stays that way. D is RR (he later says he got up at 6 which is possible) and E comes to have b'fast with me. D joins us.

Dk comes round about 10 and joins D on RR (I think he has his own save). E and I go into l'room and play wooden blocks and read mog and the v-e-t.

M cooks us lunch (sunday lunch! good grief!) then heads off for treas stuff. I take D and E out for a trip to the river... to my surprise they don't object. Its still grey. To waterbeach sailing, by sort-of agreement with Tom. There should be racing, though it feels like there is no wind. Arrive 2:30 (go through town, but it takes 20 mins whichever way you go) and walk along the banks till we (a) find Tom and (b) find a nice bit of bank the cows have broken down so D then E can play. I watch: there is some wind, the boats move, though gently, and the sfc is smooth. E says the boats are "wobbly" and indeed they heel over as people move on each tack. Ed goes past; Lucia (though I didn't recognise her) and the Tom with David Warren. Mary is on the bank with a man with dogs: D throws a stick that the dogs drop at his feet when I tell him to.

And it starts gently to rain, drizzle only. But E also has wet hands. So follow the boats back and talk to Tom and Mary. Then we go to the club house for a bit but there is no tea or biscuits to D's displeasure but we can wash E's hands. So... head off home (after brief flirtation with going to Tom's, but he has 3 kids and bits of boat to get home) via... the Orchard. There just in time to get hot choc/coffee but its nearly 4:30 so closing/quiet. At least I buy some onion sets. No sloar lights though, which D wanted, as M broke his a while back (pushing it into the ground too hard when moving it at D's req).

So, home. M back. I get to rest for a bit. Se to xferring scattered web diaries onto wmconnolley.

Dinner, then childrens baths, D RR again, E bed then quiet. M reads to D.

Mon 8th

W / Y / W.

Soir: look at holidays for next year. Still vacillating. Would be best to plump for Ll but not just yet. Silly me.

Tues 9th

E sick. D sleeps till 8. Grey day.

Wed 10th

DE sleep; E not up till 8:20. M takes D to sch so E can stay home. This confuses E. But we have a happy home together. I wonder if we should stay in but E v keen to go to smoko then swim, so we do. Pool have contrived a new stupidity to trump all their others: they cannot lend water wings "for H+S reasons". Shitheads. They don't do it because they have a cringing spineless fear of being sued because they know they haven't got the guts to stand up. But they have got the guts to take water wings away from babies. Shitheads. Well, thats got that off my chest: I shall hate them forever, of course.

Swim/arj/cb1. E is holding up quite well so far. To lib and still happy, and doesn't even fall asleep on cycle back (coat and gloves on: its chilly). Meet M at sch; tell H that e is sick and can't come to play with V; home, D much miffed at not being allowed to bring a friend.

E volunt to bed 6 (can I go to bed daddy?) & stays there asleep. Poor little thing: she is tired.

Thurs 11th


1:30: allot for most of 2h at the back. Clear nettles past "roof" and dig over more.

Home: quick bath. Late lunch, coffee, relax.

Pay off Mr Box as I actually meet him for 1st time in 4 weeks.

Pick up E then D. All OK.

Soir: D has discovered his "kanoka card" that he got with his last bionicle. That and answering 2 q's on the bionicle site gets him 200 pts which he spends on v2 of the game. But! Its the same cr*ppy one as last time and keeps blanking and is essentially unplayable. Poor D "but I've wasted 200 pts". M downloads new lego DD for him, which also struggles, but works.

7:30 to comm room for PP revivial meeting, and it does revive, very good. Some energy being shown.

New l'room arangement is good. helps keep us an "adult" bit.

Fri 12th

W. Today is FS's talk so prepare a bit by finding IPCC 2001 and printing a few useul wiki pages wot I wrote. Etc. Also work somewhat! 3d adv code now quite good (got rid of Pa/hPa bug) and play at looking at circ. Still sends particles off from SP though. Show Tom. Read Renwick & X and disagree with their RW stuff (fig 6: its not coming from Australia! they are seeing what they know they should see). Lunch with Tom and glacios.

4pm: and so we down our coffee cups and go to listen to the Evil One. And it goes fairly well as I expected: he tells a pile of lies, half-truth and evasions in a reasonably convincing way. I interrupt about 4 times in the first 15 mins and get tolerated for the first few then shushed. So I (and everyone else) sit in silence for the rest. Questions: I get the first 10 mins to myself (to my surprise: I had expected lots of people wanting to attack him). I shoot him down on GCMs (not tuned); const RH (not used); polar amplification (Ant not in fact in IPCC; to the contrary SO less than avg); MSU (all show warming). Others then pile in (JT anti-Doran; Julian points out that the models fit-to-continents is good). The surprise was CR's q at the end: how to you justify your assoc with sepp, which is unbalanced: and S's reply: but its not a science site.

Well, that was exciting. Time to go home. Stop at IMcG for progress report (ahem) and arrange meet next tues. Home (Cory leaving as I arrive back just pre 6): dinner in progress: AB grace us. DA quite keen on pooter but B thinks its boring. Tough luck B. Go for sit down. Tricia drops appeal stuff. A comes for B ~6:40 and M takes A back then: E goes along for ride - she is still a bit sickly: coughs, as does D. Warn D that he is doing too much pooting (well so am I) and he can expect to be cut back.


Sat 13

Sun. Laze in it.

MED off to w'rose: D offered coming to allot with me, but declines. I do 2h digging at the back: good. Plant 1 pkt onions (3 rows) and 1 pkt garlic (2 bulbs; 2 rows just).

To A+C: I am to de-virus their pooter, which is sadly in need of it. Easy enough. I have DE with me and they play, E and Gemma get on well. E totters up stairs wearing G's purple slippers. G has a dressing up box - should E?

Home. D is constructing a water-fountain for filling your drinks. But, he sez, its not electrically powered, it done by your breath. And so it is: what he has is a system of two straws into a bottle, one of which you blow down, and out of the other the drink is forced into your cup. And we add an nifra-structure of stand and stuff. Mostly his work/design with me supplying finishing touches. He is a little hazy about why blowing in forces liquid out - I think its just obvious to him that it will. The only bit he got from school was the stand, which is a strip of card bent into a triangle, which is strong (says the materials stuff they were doing last week).

7:45: to school for quiz night (inviegled by A+C) with fish+chips supper (or spring roll for me) + bar. Good. Turns into a very tense night with us only 1 pt off the lead in the last round... err, which we then stuff up to come definitely second. Hey ho. I drink 4 cans boddys which turns out to be too much for my head next morning.

Sun 14th

My head hurts. Up at the un-heard-of hour of 8:30 'cos D wants my help making a funnel so he can refill his water fountain machine. Well, its in a good cause, true. Instead of a funnel I cut the bottom off a bottle; drill out a cork and use that. It works, with a little dribbling stopped by tissue; but the play-do is getting a bit wet and leaky.

11:30: do some tidying at front: rake up leaves, trim bushes, even sweep dirt from road in front. Walter comes to talk about path #2 (filling in ditch and removal of bridge?).


2: off to the rec. I had envisaged going the back way and M coming to pick us up but DE want to cycle: OK. Just as we're getting ready Rick+Ewan come round but we have to disappoint them :-(

Rec: knock on N's door: yes she is back (whew). N and P come out to play: Nelson is doing his piano/violin with N. Sunny but quite chill. Fortunately I still have my t'suit trousers on. Clouds come in and its chiller. E and P eat the little picnic we had prepared. Sometimes they all play together (tug of war with skipping rope) but more often DN run off and EP play on the swings and stuff.

Go in when they are getting chill: EP play upstairs quietly. DN still out. Later try Nelsons new remote control plane (100 no less) but the battery isn't fully charged.

Home about 5:30 in darkness, E now tired and becoming naughty (having been good most of day). M has a theory that she is learning naughtyness from bad child at preschool but I am less sure.

M cooks carrot soup that D will only just eat (I liked it) and E doesn't consider.

Late: D to bed, I go up on hearing a noise, to discover D in our bed reading by the side light. Erhumpf, I say. D looks up, innocent, hooded by the duvet. Its Mr Weasel's b'day he explains. I forget to give him his party during the day so I'm reading him a story. He chose "mr christmas" because christmas is quite like a birthday. Well, thats fair enough.

Later: book llangrannog (http://www.welsh-cottages.co.uk/ 722). Well done me, I think.

Mon 15th

A bit late in (up #2 to check on whats happening over the ditch at the top (yes its been filled in, but no its not a problem, at least for walkers).

Tom agrees Singer wasn't up to much; that seems to be general opinion. I won't write too much here, because this is essentially public. A few said "ah, but he had some good points" which, err, disappoints. Talking to MP makes me late for yoga so I skip it and have lunch instead, and talk (about S) with Brian and others.

Home a bit early, 6 ish, and participate in dinner.

Soir: 8: to PC meeting. Planning. "policy" stuff disagreement, as expected.

Tues 16th

Remember (late) to sort out a few toys for pre-school sale.

W. Home for lunch.

3:30 to sch. Pick up E (in fact cme across M'a/E walking hand-in-hand towards sch). M's "reminds" me she is off thurs. Ah... Oh? Yes.

After school is pre-school toy sale. We are a bit late getting in, and our contributions have already been sold, good. A scrimmage of kids. D gets a "potters wheel" with all the clay gone but apparently functional. He is delighted to get it for only 1 (of his own money: I must remember to take it from him...). Meanwhile, where is E? Err... happily in the middle of the baby toys section. Oh for the camera. She gets a pink piggy hand puppet. And I pick up a few books.

Home: D v keen to try out his wheel and we do, but, we don't have the right sort of clay: its far too stiff. In fact it seems to be fibrous. Try to buy more?

Soir; 8: to IMcG to talk outhouse (or Kids room, as now to be). Turns out he was expecting to come here... which would have let M comment. Hey ho. Essentially agree his plans, but take them back to M to discuss. She is OK, with slight reservations. Poss of shower in toilet.

Wed 17th


Drop plans back with Ian, who is out, when I take M to town.

First to smoko, where mana braids E's hair. E sits quietly through this and likes the result. Thence to pool (E doesn't want to stop at Germ) which continues its downhill slide by having the toddler pool distinctly cool (boiler probs, says the lifeguard - they should have told you at reception). Unsurprisingly, there is only one other child in. Migrate to middle pool (lesson troubles again) and stay a while. E chilly and unkeen to try to swim.

Arj. Drop off M's 3 dry-cleaning bits at penguin. Cb1. Library. Home.

E is still coughing a bit, and still a bit tired, and still a bit inclined to be sulky/no-y, but only a bit. They may not be related. 'Vivian has two mums' sez E. Hmm, well I don't suppose V thinks so. Stop to watch punts, ducks and leaves over the Cam, as we often do.

Sch at 3:30 by my cunning arrangement. E goes to V, by prior arrangement hung over from last week. Leave M to take d home and go back: yes, my watchlist is in a state and wikistress rises as the battle against/with Ed continues.

Cook: pots/onions (sprouting!) and aub. M takes advantage of E's absence by sleeping by fire while D takes advantage of that by playing RR, till I tell him to do his homework and tidy his room.

8: S and A to discuss appeal. Long talk. Whew.


5:45: oh what fun. M can't be bothered to come home on time so E & I must qo out into the dark rain to pick up D. This improves my mood no end. 7:30: D: MUMMY IT'S SNOWING! IT'S SNOWING IT'S SNOWING IT'S SNOWING!!!

Slowish to ~mk due to snow. But then clears. Good for driving but sad for kids. Snowy verges melt to rain. Arrive 10:30: DE straight to bed in our room. Talk a while (Ernie+Si back from Ox with Mara from Edinb ~1h late by train.

Fri 19th

Up 11! Partly tired, partly because I can. Various activities going on but I have breakfast.

12:30: To Ox in Si's car with Jon & Heidi who is in movies. Park in westgate (in retrospect a mistake: an appalling way to enter ox: better to get out at folly bridge (either p+r or drop from car) & walk through c'ch meadow. Misc; then sep at Bod.

Sep 2. B'wells coffee & read Cherwell. Gentle wander: ox b'shop. Deb for grey jumper & Gap for grey T.

Catch 4:45 x31 back.

D has been raking leaves & making carrot salad, of which he is proud.

J&K arrive for din late. E & D behave well & eat chicken (?).

Soir: mail q. Mickeys mobile.

Sat 20th

DE in bath. E resists sharing bottles with D. D takes a 2nd: E screams: I haven't got lots! I'm going to count them! ONE TWO THREE FOUR. Not lots! In truth E has the better deal & D is remarkably kind. Then D, asking for a towel: 'I do wish you would obey me'.

To Fallowfields hotel, Southmoor. Snow restarts. D stands in window, mesmerised. I ask Mara & she tells us about Boston snowfalls, where they get so much they get sick of it. Neither D nor I can imagine that.

O'night: E wakens/whine/excuses.

Sun 21st

Si then M piano.

Botley jam. Pub-on-bridge now the 'antiqurian soc'. Ugh. Keble rd blocked. Dinosaurs still there. St J: J. Ash: founders pl corp chr. Rom: Cafe.

Mon 22nd

M fulfillls her promise to get up a bit after 7 and practice early morning piano. I doze through it and can't decide if I like it or not. I could get up and go running I suppose...

Back to work to discover the you-have-been-assigned-to note I left in my intray on thursday. Sigh. So write a complaint. JCK asks later if I'd like to rant at him: no, not yet. JT says... not a lot really. Wouldn't-it-be-a-good-idea? No.


Appeal: hoo-ha. But poss from the wrong people. Can't contact RG.

Work on hadcm3 sst errs in anticipation of thursdays meetnig in Reading - I think - but TLC not in. JJ's nature piece on ant osc is dodgy, says GM.

All in all a hard day. Home 7 - puncture - fix in the morning I hope.

Tues 23rd

E to M'a & D to sch in good time for once. W (hard) till 2:30. Back. Stop for allot - but! - notice activity at Plough. Locksmiths vans. Interesting. Go over, & in. Meet Mary White of Enterprise who confirms they are re-taking possession ("peaceful" came into it). She is wary of me but I learn a little (new temp landlords; re-open in a few weeks). Good. Meet one of new, Tim Lightfoot, amicable discussion (he has new baby & partner veg): shake hands & get his mob.

Then allot: a little dig in case I want to plant tomorrow. Pick spinach. Put note re plough on n'board. Sch.

D now has a real shoebox (since M bought him new shoes over w'end and indeed a 2nd pair wellies) so xfer D's carefully made up stuff into it, with M. D is v keen to give as much as he can... he is concerned about putting in sweets (but they are unhealthy!) but we can't put in fresh stuff. Anyway, I presume that the poor infants that get this stuff will be glad of a little light relief.

Soir: misc re appeal; cancel meeting since don't get the OK till late. Read Toms mail re talk and comment.

Wed 24th

Light grey continuous overcast. Continues all day. All outside is damp, and leaves I have failed to rake up litter the path to the compost heap.

D to sch (remembering to take in the Op Christmas Child shoebox). E and I go home for a bit; E plays Spot and I tidy a bit, since Ma is coming, but not as much as I should.

To smoko (need to talk to Tom re Reading) and try to contact Martin L re cam building soc but fail. So M and I go home (M rejects going to town, since we won't be swimming). Misc till 1 then leave for Orchard. Stop on way at sch since its break time and find D at back and say hello (D is delighted and runs to me with open arms and jumps up).

Ma is there with ?Margaret? We get a lunch - they warn me it may be slow so choose easy stuff. M leaves; we three wander outside. E plays in the houses and wants one - not unreasonable. Think about getting bagged manure but decide not now since Ma's car might smell of it.

Back. Tidy! Ma irons E's party dress and some hankies she and E were playing with. I go get D (slow to come out as usual: but he was helpping tidy) then to book sale and get Captain Underpants which I've wanted for a while though D is relectant.

Home. D, E and Ma set to making creme caramel which she promised to D and this suceeds. M back; I rest. She has brought ND curries.

Sort out Ma's portable (she couldn't read zip due to lacking decoder; play-install the wireless usb; install avg. Curious problem with corrupt downloads on her machine).

Late: M to bed early (still on the morning piano jag) and finds D, who says "thats not a book you should read before bed!" and is distrubed. It seems.

Mail 2xphotos to Ernie (him+E; John).

Thurs 25th

To Reading with tlc.

Infants in our bed: sweet but poor sleeping.

Fri 26th

Swap front wheel with black bike. How convenient.

Work: rescue yacyh/i/j/k & start l/m/n/o, which are prob more interesting anyway.

Check realclimate with jck.

Cb1 for a rest. Arj museli. BH for new tyre & inner.

Stop at rec since N is there with E, P & Paula & her 2. E v sad (suspects I am there to take her away).


N arrives 7:30 & we set out for our treat, Spiers & Boden at the folk club. Full but we have res seats.

S+B: We've had a req: but we'll keep playing anyway: trad banter of the upper thames.

Sat 27th

Dk then C round.

Allot 12-2: onions & bbeans: rather late.

Home. Rick+E briefly. Bath. M back.

Pm: tired. Tidy after kids water play.

M cooks: sphag+pesto.

Soir: tired. Early bed.

Sun 28th

Sleep in till 9 ish grace the infants.

Feel rather muzzy am.

12: take DE off to do tree planting. Weather is grey. Stop at N's house to see if NNP want to come and then it starts drizzling. Wah. Wait a while (DE play) while Na finishes her piano (N is strict) then take all 5 off to plant. Rain eases. Kids are happy. At field corner the mud starts and doesn't relent, we all have huge "feet". It rapidly becomes clear that the children can't dig through it, end up with me digging and them providing trees, shleters and sticks. We do about 1 each, and at the end N is keen but others are playing. Back to N's for (just about pre-arranged) lunch: in fact we brought some food over because they had car troubles. Nick comes in from sorting out his recently aquired allotment and talks of lumberjacking (as asst mech) in canada.

2: N off to concert; Nick takes DENeP into back garden (no staying indoors!) and I take N to do more planting: we do much more, 10-20 perhaps, not sure exactly. ACBGS turn up, and Hanna+K are there, which is nice for N. And others too. In fact far more than I would have expected: 20-30 people I'd say. We get 2/3 of the strip done.

Back to N's 4; Nick not finished but all kids want to go inside so I take them in: they run upstairs. N returns soon after, we stay till 5. Home: M spent about 4h on piano!

Quick bath before dinner.

8: appeal meeting till 9:30 again. But after this I feel rather better: recovering. Go on to do PP q's and re-write John Zillman. And then type this in... meanwhile M is long in bed.

Tues 30th

Higem meeting.

IS: Jmt ice/dump problems. Ask wn/hadley re n pole.

'new pages' by phtml.pl/ftp-me.pl?

Germ then appeal.

D v pleased to have done his maths sheet first (&, as it later transpires, correctly).

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