WMC's diary pages, 2005.

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January 2005

2005/01/01. Saturday.

In the cafe, D with Hedgie the hedgehog and Giraffe Happy New Year again! Wake slowly, with E snuggling into bed again.

12: me, Mfd, DE off to Didcot: not only is it open, but today is a steaming day. M stays at home to play. We have missed the best weather of the day but its passable. Get there just in time for the last pre-lunch ride on the "Earl Bathurst" a 4-6-0 (I think; anyway large and green) to the end of the line and back, which doesn't take long. Poor old Earl, he must long to stretch his legs a bit (he does sometimes: a note says he will be going to Exeter in march, 62 second class or 140 luxury!).

After that the usual Didcot misc, looking around the engine shed then the locomotive repair shed then the carriage shed, with lunch in the cafe between. This all works quite well and E is happy when not being scared by engine noises and whistles - then she wants to hold my hand. D is really happy, looking around everything, remembering stuff and discovering new things. I try to hold E's hand whilst taking photos!

Home: early dinner just after 6, then bed for E and definitely bed-on-time for D, who was mostly unaffected by his late night last night though a bit mad this morning. Do some of D's "bricks" before dinner - redesign his "mr weasel kennel" a bit smaller, work out how to mix the mortar. I end up doing most of it - not least because we are doing it near the computer and he wanders off to RR. E is interested. It takes quite a while for the mortar to dry.

Soir: online somewhat (explaining, insofar as I can, the various ramifications of email/isp's to Mfd/J. Then wiki/rc/tin). Then reading Penrose. M plays piano in the background. Swap some of my photos onto M+J's machine.

Late: with Mfd, fix the plug on our bath which wasn't draining.

2005/01/02. Sunday.

Somewhat earlier up and - ta da - go for a (shorter) run. Well done me, even if it is short. Shower. Going downstairs my thighs ache. Meanwhile M got up at 7:30 (or a little later) to piano.

The bricks stuff has set quite firmly. Now all we need is a roof.

Reading Asterix+O to D, suddenly remember! wash the car! so rush out and do so, with a little help from D. It was getting to the state where I didn't want to touch it. Talk with D about how its nicer clean... wonfer aloud if he would take 50p to wash it on sunday mornings. He is doubtful.

Early lunch (Mfd suggests that more than 50p would be right; J says that in Tescos there are gangs who wash your car in the car park while you shop, for 5), then off to DATE(WE) in Teddington: 12:40 -> 2:10 or thereabouts. DE good in the car so not painful. Hellos... talk. Den has done the "teddington ten" (mile) this morning and shows off his blister (and I knew he was... one factor in my going for at least a brief run). So they are all well and while we sit in their vast kitchen and talk the children play on the floor and in the living room fairly quietly. They have a lot of geomag. Discuss... misc. Children at school; Dens salary in dollars; Edward; M's job shift. Etc.

Off to the local playground. Its now 3:30 and windless, sunny but chill. One of those end-of-days. The new playground (which Alex helped fundraise for) is rather good. It features a lot of rotating things at odd angles. E really likes the "flower pots" which are cups she can sit in and which rotate at an angle. D climbs to the top of a roof (pic). And we all have fun. Edward stays just about asleep though our visit and is thus Good.

Off after 4, heading back and then to Goring to see PSHD but! they are out. Hmm. Whats up? Odd. Home, not too annoyed as its only a minor diversion. Phil later explains that they were caught up fixing someones computer... Back.

D plays RR after dinner.

Online: misc. Penrose: who seems to be doing his best to do down Einstein in favour of various "classical" folk.

9:20: Mfd finishes reading A and the golden sickle (trans'ing from German) to D; D then collapses in the hall complaining that he has run out of puff and needs to be wound up; then that he needs fresh batteries. He really ought to get to sleep on time today.

2005/01/03. Monday.

Aim to leave "before lunch" and do so, just about: off just before 1, though this is delayed by a photo session (4 generations of females; I took one about 2-3 years ago, expecting it to be the last, but F just keeps on going strong).

Drive: OK. Clear roads, children OK.

Stop at orchard for lunch, for convenience. Cheese toasties and baked potatoes.

Home! Its cold and its grey. House is chill: turn on the heating, unpack the car. Kids run about. Phone N to see if they can go play: thats not on, so see if N can come to us: OK (distinct whining in the background of unhappy N about something else and she nearly blows her chance). So I get her (and P too: need a playmate for E) and it works. They play happily; I unpack more and then sit around. Meanwhile M goes off to w'rose to shop since the house is almost foodless, apart from excess chocolates. She buys pizza so when the time comes dinner is easy, except E whines and won't eat hers.

N collects at 6:45, now its quiet. Baths by M while I wiki/rc/tin. By golly but wireless and broadband beats a modem! Put up a post on Belette about argument-from-consensus.

OTOH it does eat up most of my evening. Upload Earl Bathurst to wiki.

Bed: just before midnight.

2005/01/04. Tuesday.

[Written at 00:34 on the 5th: naughty me]

All up late (except M, who leaves at a fairly reasonable off-to-work time; before any of the rest of us get up. I rise about 9 and bath and shave (first for a while: I forgot my razor and Mfd+J's). Then I wake DE (E is just about stirring). B'fast, etc.

10: By appointment, take DE to A+C's for a days play. Then off to work in time for coffee. Hot topic: Lloyd Pecks RI christmas lecture. We're all delighted (of course) that climate is such an interesting topic that Bios talk ab out it, but a bit puzzled why they didn't ask a climatologist in the first place. Ah well, we're not so telegenic. Apparently LP included a "CO2 use" quiz in the lecture: I guess he didn't mention the ship fuel use :-)

Work, misc. Mostly sorting out the GRL review, which I think looks like being OK. Time to stay for a'noon coffee for once.

Pick up DE at 4:30, all happy (except for being picked up). C+Dak are there too, and all are playing "some kind of special powers game" says Clare. Anyway they are upstairs, which is the important bit. D has one red glove on so I guess thats his power. Gemma is hiding under the bed, poss thats hers... Home. Toast. D RR. E and I play.

Write 8 queens solution in fortran (inspired by: su doku).

Soir: entirely devoted to being online. This is quite unreasonable. From about 8pm onwards I did wiki/rc/scienv. This was fun, but Just Too Much. I was aided in this by M doing her pre school accounts in the kitchen: a laptop with wireless and a big battery is very convenient.

2005/01/05. Wednesday.

At last, back to routine. Up to get D to school and then with E. M was going to pre-s to do treasurers stuff and offered to take D, leaving E and I the luxury of staying in, but I was quite keen to take D back for his first day. E, of course, is not aware of where we are in the week so is a bit miffed at not going to pre-s.

Its a bit of a bitter chill day, though lacking edge.

Home. E plays Winnie-t-W and Spot (and can do some of the puzzles) while I am online.

To smoko, then pool (back to the old routine; the pool has indeed been fixed up over the holidays though the absurd no-psp-floats policy is still in force). After arj then... cb1? its shut! To the chemists for a nit comb (or 2 in fact :-))) and look again... Paddy is on the verge of opening it but won't be for a bit. So off to the cafe de paris, which I like, though it has no books. Pleasant atmosphere... a bit algerian perhaps. Turkish cafe opposite, the road is full of cafes. Thence to library, where we end up with 13 books. And then to Gap (no) and M+S (yes) for new underpants for E: she has been complaining about hers being too small and getting really quite stroppy on occaision.

Back, now quite chill, E somewhat tired complains of cold face (though she has her nice new Henry-hat on which protects all else). Miss MD at sch; find her on her bike (so she got home early and swapped) in St P Rd: D has gone on ahead to B's house; we can't have G because she (and C) are making C's b'day cake for tomorrow.

Home with ME, I am immeadiately sucked into my computer. Fun fun fun.

Dinner: pancakes. D comes back just in time to get one. School was good, he says, when prompted.

Finish RC draft on ice age.

Soir: have a bath just ot prevent self computing all evening :-). The Anubis Gates for 2nd time. M pianos then goes to bed before 10 while I'm still in bath. Down after to write this and misc. Bed... well, early by yesterdays standards: its now 23:35.

2005/01/06. Thursday.

Up a bit earlier, getting into the swing. D sch; E pre-sch. Work (all night for a drink of rum...). Well, until 5:30 anyway, mostly because I'm revising the ULS paper for GRL and it has to be in tomorrow. Deadlines are wonderful. Also a satisfactory talk with MP re Q4 (enough acronyms for you?). And discussions with TLC re the tropical-connections stuff (just what *does* set the wavelengths for Rossby wave trains?).

Pick up D (its dark, very dark, and I have no light) and let him cycle home from the corner by himself if he promises to be careful (he does) while I get E. Who is hap-hap-happy.

Home. D on pooter; E sits and eats with me. M back a bit late (she phones at 6 to say she will be; I'm starting to wonder why; she is *always* late (well nearly), so there is no point in phoning) and all is OK. E then D bath, and I read "esio trot" to D in the bath at his req (why is it called that? Well its about 2 people and a tortoise, and tortoises are rather slow and backward creatures). Happiness based on a falsehood. Ah well, but happiness nonetheless, at least in story land.

Soir: more GRL revisions (in fact enter them into word; this is easier at home than work!). And RC/etc.

Hey! That was a short entry.

2005/01/07. Friday.

Work: finally get the revised GRL paper away, figures are such a pain, getting the point size and the line size all OK. Talk with JCK/TLC over lunch about this. Once-upon-a-time we had a graphics dept that did stuff. Though as I recall it was a bit slow... or maybe the number of papers grew and the graphics folk didn't. So we all switched to doing it ourselves, but it eats up time. But only at every paper submission, which for me isn't that often, if I am honest!

School at 3:30, get E from M'a, she runs to me as ever (E not M'a). M'a points out that E has chicken pox, or something very like it, and we talk about it and agree, yes, probably. Meet with N: OK, I will have kids, she can go to Aldi. Back home (DN race ahead on their bikes, and we lose track of them. We find their bikes but not them... ha ha they are hiding which would be fun but the wind is chill. Cory turns up and goes to look for them, we go home. Ah... *there* they are. Go get your bikes... meanwhile, EPC play outside in the pinking sunset, and I go in to tidy a bit. And, err, write this... DN are still out there in the sandpit (D still has his cycle helmet on) whilst EPC are noisy inside.

E proves a bit fragile... keeps running to me in tears, that P&C are not letting her play, or... well. Eventually they all disapppear upstairs and it goes quiet. (retropsect: the pox?).

Cook dinner (pasta). M back in time to help. Mr Box arrives, first of the year.

Soon followed by NP home, E bed. Phone Nina to get her opinion, which is that we won't get away with taking infectious E to the panto. Hmmm. I guess not.

My bath. 1/2 way though M appears: err... do we know where the tickets are for tomorrows panto? And Mother suggests bringing a friend instead... so it morphs into Lara bringing a friend, and D too, so we use up the 2 free tickets (M staying at home with E; we both seem to agree that this is likely to be best). Agree with N that N can come, though we can't leave much before 11, which should be OK unless parking is tricky. Print out maps, though I should know it all.

We don't know where the tickets are, but we do get some unpacking done trying to find them. Hmm. Probably it will be OK anyway: phone theatre tomorrow.

Windy all day and *very* windy now... what sounds like litter bins blowing down the street.

2005/01/08. Saturday.

While I lie in bed M's brain has been racing and pure mentation has deduced the truth: that the tickets have fallen behind the dresser at Ma's. And they have. Whew.

Pick up N at 11, after a few stiff words from N to her about not being whiney. To Ox fairly quickly, about hour-and-half, roads mostly quiet and children too, entertained by the Hobbit, we don't even have time to finish CD 2. A good story, that repays several re-reads and several re-hearings. At one point, D explains to N why he picked her to come "well I asked B first because he's my best friend, but then I asked you..." which seems heartless to me but N seems to take it as expected. Park by LHM (spurning P+R; as I was once there I feel I have some vague right to), round the corner sort-of, where the restrictions are fewer and the roads (today at least) quite empty. Walk through the parks (entrance by LMH) on a cold but sunny day. To the pond, then river, up to the arched bridge (where does it go? could we have parked there? no, because the gates will be shut by the time to come back). DN play pooh sticks (N wins, because she didn't thow hers so far; D feels this is cheating) then run down the far side into the field. Ah, the exuberance of youth, a delight to watch. I amble down; N demands my passport and just by chance I happen to have it with me... So, we arrived in good time but now we should head off through the sunny cold empty parks. I point out objects of interest as we leave Keble! Oucl! but predictably and correctly they are not interested. The Dinosaurs (better). They start singing (when i was 3, i did a wee, the day i went to sea, i hopped aboard a pirate ship, and the captain said to me, oh, this way that way forwards and backwards, over the irish sea, a tot of rum, inside my tum, and thats the life for me, oh, when i was 4...) I think it was.

To the theatre. Crowded! Fight inside. See Ma. Hello! Go to cafe-end (oddly, less crowded) to get a bit of food/drink, past crowds of small children, harassed parents and in-the-way grandmas. There is some kind of hold up with letting people in, hence the crowds. Rob finds us, as do others. OK. ma buys light-up swords, this years must-have merchandise, all round. And eventually we all get in OK. We are up the top, splendid views, row B. N gets a cushion to sit on higher - there are a few going spare - though we measured them back-to-back a bit earlier and they were the same.

The panto itself: I spend most of my time watching it (rather, than, say, bored watching D or N) because it was worth watching. Perhaps complex for a child, but D and N were both enthralled and enthusiastic afterwards (D's only prev exposure to anything vaguely similar was some show that N's ballet did, in which children came up and pranced for a bit and them more came on with some vague story link (I didn't see it), so initially he was very unkeen. But by the end he said, I only wish there was more). It was 2h, with a 15min-ish interval to buy ice creams which the children expected. The structure was more musical than panto. There was some he's-behind-you, and oh-yes-it-is, but not too much: far more songs, mostly good. And all high production qualities. having the pirates all with instruments, and peter pan with an unwieldy cello, was a bit odd but seemed to work. I don't really know the story...

After, to Bella Pasta (I think) for slap-up feed, well its very child friendly, especially when you sit at the end of the table furthest from them, ha ha. But everyone was behaving very well and there was no need to control them. Good food too. (Oh: who was there: since M and E couldn't go, there were 2 spare tickets, so we brought N and L brough a (male) friend, Alex (cue comments about how nice it was to see the usual m/f child sex divide bridged); also RNT; MfdJ; Ma).

Phone home: E is OK (and so is M).

Walk back in dark with Ma and DN to car; give Ma lift to Thornhill P+R (which means, Headington) via SPR and Longwall; then head back with DN (they wanted to stay with me due to Hobbit; get from D2 to D3). Arrive a bit ahead of Ma, fail to find key, but she arrives to let us in.

Soir: misc; Kids bed 9, they need a bit of harsh treatment to get them to stay quiet, but apart from that they have been lovely all day.

10: watch Jerry Springer, the Opera and its better than I thought it would be. Ma stays till nearly the end and doesn't seem too offended.

2005/01/09. Sunday.

Ma is off to church before I'm up; kids are watching kids TV, which is what its for...

B'fast. Paper. Coffee. ma back 10. Force kids to stop (after Art Attack) and b'fast; then they race off and play in the sun room, with the little house-toy-thing that D outgrew years ago. But they have such fun - we can hear them from the kitchen - inventing stories and stuff, talking to each other, its delightful, and since also I've got involved in the griddler, We don't stop to pack until 12:15. Before that I've taken the lights off the gingko and its getting windy again. Cold stiff fingers.

Anyway, pack and off and get through to disk 4 I think on the way back, but otherwise little incident. By a small amount of manipulation I get D to say what he wants, viz, can he stay at N's for the afternoon, when I drop N off; and he can (though N, in instructing N to play quietly (she and N are both working) nearly manages to get her into the state of whininess she is trying to avoid. Children are always better behaved in other peoples houses.

Home, about 2. Hello E; hello M. All is well, sit down with some lunch.

E is not obviously sick; a bit low from 3-4 (and I take her up to bed at one point but she returns after 15 mins) but otherwise not very spotty and fairly OK. Agree that she will go to M'a tomorrow.

Pick up D just before 7.

Soir: comment on the PP Q2 and get M to read and comment too: that will be my contribution since I am at the school tomorrow night. Blog on JStO. Tidy watchlist. A bit of RC but not much. 11:30: bed: M tinkles while waiting for me.

2005/01/10. Monday.

Grey day, but I'm inside working. E to M'a (c'pox so she can't go to preschool), D to sch a bit late. Rather misc at work but settle down more in the afternoon. No yoga.

Back a bit early - 6:30 - just in time for eggs on toast, yum. D has discovered the playmobil website (M has banned him from action games during the week). E is happy and her spots are fading.

7:30: to sch for "vision and discipline"... well, OK. A lot of talk, could have been tightened up somewhat perhaps, useful but.

Home; M is doing pre-s accounts and now (11) tinkling. I ought to finish off my cooling post but don't; the Inhofe piece is just up and will serve for a while.

2005/01/11. Tuesday.

Another grey day. My bike wheel is rubbing... must fix sometime before I wear the tyre away. Email problems solved eventually: it was a forgotten procmail move to IN-testing. Arghhhhhhhh. But other odditites show up: Toms backlog. Begin yacrz to get diags of IS/WS/COR out of EVP: do the diags bit and now need to edit the code...

Stop at pub for a coffee as an experiment. It works, in that I happily sit there doing my crosswords book D got me for c'mas. Other customers are playing backgammon.

Home; lunch; rv MC article.

Pick up DE 3:30, E is well, D maybe a bit sick: complains of stomach ache and is distinctly grumpy. Home. E plays Spot and I make hot choc for three.

and so goes the afternoon. Cook pasta pm; M back 6:30 only :30 late...

DE to bed in the spare room together. Fun, but takes them ages to get to sleep since they get up to play with toys.

Soir: wiki woes: JG and the MC article. Very unpleasant, and not worth it. Final polish to rc ice-age post.

2005/01/12. Wednesday.

E maybe has a few fresh spots on her nose - or perhaps just threatening redness - hmm, lets not worry about that shall we. Its a bright sunny day, but a hard cold windy one. D sch; E and I back home. E a little bit miserable this morning... e.g. insists on wearing no socks, and sandals, because she wants to get cold feet. I insist on socks, so sadness ensues. She is about 80% OK I guess.

To smoko, thence the pool, and we splash happily: I am again a baby dolphin and E is the mummy. Also (from another child there) the underwater fountain becomes the "jelly monster" and E attacks it. After, to cb1, but no! Its being redecorated. Hmmpf. Cafe de paris? E refuses (why? I don't know). So Germ instead, where they welcome her, and we have a big lunch for a long time. Good. The brick chimmneys opposite are beautiful in the sun. They must be 100, 200 years old. Were they built to be beautiful, or just built well?

Time to go home: its a long cycle against the wind, even if it is sunny. Terry S overtakes us on the way back and we talk about the PP meeting I missed, and What Next. Stop briefly at rec so I can check it. When I have, then E wants to get off and play: swings and roundanbout; then home cos its chill. She plays BBill; I write this...

M back with DB about 4. They go off to the computer and its quite peaceful.

After a while I stretch out on the sofa and after a bit more while I am quietly asleep, though constantly woken by minor squeals. B home for supper; I get up 6:30 for our supper.

Soir: M off to book club (though she says she has not read the book) and I put E to bed (first for ages). She (and D) want to sleep in the spare room again. Hmm. Well, OK, I suppose. Finish Asterix in Corsica with D then I am alone! Ha. What shall I do? stoat:oreskes-attacks post.

Again try to get sftp through to main pooter but fail. Oh dear.

M back 11 and tinkles a bit.

2005/01/13. Thursday. Cold, raw but beautiful sun pm.

Hmm, so yesterday failed the early-to-bed, and today fail the early-to-rise. Hmpf. But, just have time to snatch breakfast, chivvy children into their clothes and get D to school just on time. If they could be a bit faster at getting dressed (or I could start the entire process 10 minutes earlier) we would all be happier. Maybe tomorrow.

Work: finish off setting up yacrz (evp with diags for coriolis and evp stress magnitudes).

To town for lunch (well, a coffee and macaroon at w/stones) since I'm oging back to work at 3:30 to talk re My Future. While at w/s, browse "State of Fear", which is awful, at least on a quick browse. Look through it for some of the famous "footnotes" and find one or two. Looks like the traditional genuine refs but cherry picked. Example: characters discuss the T record: See the cooling from 1940-70? Yes? How do you explain that? Derrrr... they say to themselves. Of course its the sulphates+var... we all know that, so does MC, but he's lying to his readers. Well nothing odd there.

And so back to work. This is the me/JT/MP "showdown" meeting where we discuss whether I'm a scientist of a computer support person. No surprises really... we fudge it somewhat: I get to put scientist first, and an ack that the majority of my time goes on science, *if* I can resist the chance to compute. We shall see.

This lasts 1h. Then home. Lunch, belatedly, or is it tea? Anyway, at the kitchen table, with computer on hand (the 7h battery life of the r100 is wonderful, no need to worry if its plugged in or has been for ages, plus the wireless network of course). Divide time between the web and the paper, though the web is often more interesting.

Pick up D, let him go home, and get E. Who is a bit quiet/shy... why? M'a wants to swap next wed/thurs: ok.

D now v keen on swimming this saturday.

Gavin alerts me to horizons "global dimming", so I alert Tom.

Soir: try downloading cygwin to r100 as a first step in gettig rsync to work as a method of sync'ing photos between this and main machine. Still going. Max xfer speed appears to be 168 k/s. Meanwhile, M tinkles.

2005/01/14. Friday. Cold. Sun.

DE school; talk H re this pm (she is hassled; I'll take NP); E p'g'p. Sch is having coffee/bring+buy at 9:30 for the Tsumani but that doesn't work well for those of us who work. So go to work. Fin 13:30. Stop on way back at allotment: one of the panels has torn off my rain shelter. Hmm, must fix. Rest seems OK.

Home, coffee/lunch/web.

Pick up E and P at sch, and get Cory too, who is something of a Lost Boy, if we're onto Peter Pan type themes. I'm reading PP - borrowed from N - but finding it somewhat hard going. AE van Vogt's weirdness seems to be winning. Meanwhile, DN to multi-sports amid some slight confusion about Gym class, which for bizarre reasons is only available to people who don't do any other club; or may not be available at all. Well, given that, I shall ignore it although D would like to go.

Home. E's ability to play-above-her-age is rather strained by having C and P at the same time and she doesn't survive too well: I have to help her. Leave them (briefly!) at 4:30 to get DN. E (running past me to get something from the l'room): I'm just looking for Jesus. By which she means, her baby, called Jesus.

Afternoon proceeds quite well from there: in that they play happily and leave me in peace. Cook (pots; onions; aub; broccoli) and M comes in at about dinner time.

Baths. DE to bed back in their own room: even they seem to admit that being in the same bed in the spare room just isn't working, in that they stay up too late.

2005/01/15. Saturday. Damp.

My day for lying in and I use it, not even up when MED leave for w/rose at about 9:15. I luxuriate in my idleness and look out over the garden and beyond. On the radio is Home Truths and this is what finally gets me up: I was never terribly keen on it even when John Peel presented it (I liked his voice though) but whoever is doing it now is worse. When they got on to weeing in churchyards I thought this is enough! and bravely got up. Slow quiet breakfast, and just get myself out of the house when MED return at 11. So I promise to be back soon and head off, hammer in hand, to (a) fix a loose board at the pool at school and (b) nail back on the sheet of corrugated iron that blew off my water-roof at the allotment. Which all takes about 30 mins.

The plan for the day is to go "family swimming" at Impington, with Billy etc, and we've invited Naomi too. It was Andys plan, but he forgot B was invited to Larrys party (not D, ha!) so B can't come. No matter, we will go. D is very very keen on a family swim. Partly he is just keen to swim - he senses some injustice in that E gets to go each week with me but he rarely can. But also I think he wants us to do stuff as a family - we don't do this much. And this is because, both M and I being busy (on whatever scale, maybe we're not really in comparison to others, but we *feel* busy), whenever there is a chance for one of us to take the 2 kids elsewhere, the other of us usually tries to duck out and get some free time.

So, after lunch, find our kit (sew up D's old blue trunks as I can't find the new ones; but M suggests we use his PE trunks instead; and we do. E sweetly says that D's ones are for 3 year olds and she is now 3 so can she use them?), go get N, and off. We're early (good grief) but then one of the first in. Pool is quite warm. usual thing: a number of large (6'x3' perhaps) mats and some smaller, and the kids splash about and have fun. E rather clingy - she seems to have lost the water-babyness she once had, and really really doesn't like being out of her depth, even just floating with armbands on and me standing within arms reach. DN have great fun and really enjoy themselves, and do a bit of swimming practice too. They can't do breaststroke and do odd doggy paddle. N gets quite good at swimming on her back (though its not backstroke).

Back via Orchard: stop for tea, while I get 3 bags of composted stuff at special sale price of 1 each; then 4 bags of composed manure for 10 total. OK! And not even smelly, though a bit wet in the back. DN are running around outside somewhere in all this... drop them off at the allotment.

Stop at N's to see if we can borrow P -we can't, he is at A's - E is dreadfully disappointed. Hey ho, home. DN disappear upstairs and end up on our bed reading Calvin and Hobbes. I think. E gets rather sad - tired - won't do anything except with M, but M insists on being asleep by the fire, and eventually I take E upstairs to rest in her bed. She comes down alter, quieter but still fragile. Dinner: baked pots.

After: E bed; D RR; me web. Soir: M tinkles, me web. Hmmm... this finished at 23:40. I'll just check my watchlist...

2005/01/16. Sunday. Sunny (mostly).

Another sunday evening sitting by the fire with a computer and a book. This time M is making odd noises upstairs... her tax form I suspect, today I have been Taking The Children Out while she goes through the annual hell. Though it seems to have been easier this time. Mfd+J phoned (on another matter) and helpfully suggested that they did theirs in August... I relayed this to M but she wasn't impressed!

Anyway: kids up before us; E drags me out at 9, and I feel groggy, which is clear proof I should have been to bed earlier *and tonight I will*. Downstairs, b'fast, and fairly soon Dak then Cory turn up and they play happily with D and E. Dak generally gets to drive the computer it seems, which is fine by me (did I ever mention that Dak is y6; Cory (I learn to my surprise today) is y3 to D's y2).

Misc morning, throw kids out into garden at 12:15, they play in the sandpit. Dak/C home; we have lunch (tuna and a stirfry, which isn't terribly nice to be honest; D dislikes it). After, I get a rest, and MDE play.

3: somewhat belatedly (do I ever do things otherwise?) I drag self away from my griddler (very promising) and take the kids out to the rec, with C+Dak coming too. C starts off on the old stabaliser bike but soon gives it up and puts in an impressive display of running, as the rest of us are on bikes (on the way back he appears a bit puffed so I ask D to offer to change; and he does; but doesn't do nearly so well: so perhaps C's y3-ness is there after all). See them across to the rec, with E running after, then go to deal with the 7 bags of compost I've left by the gate. The ladies are there so the gate is open (I did bring my key) and I hump the bags off to strategic places around the allot. Walk to the end to say hello to Nick who is mowing his allot, which he has knocked into fair shape. I am jealous. To rec: all OK. Knock and go inside to speak to N; N is sick (5 times, she says, and smiles when I ask her if she will try for 6). Back to the rec: ECP and D are on the whirlybird and Dak has reverted to Nelson. I settle down to griddle. Still going well.

After a while kids go into N's garden (this is OK) and bounce on the trampoline, and I settle nearby and griddle. Some inconsistencies are troubling me. Its getting a bit dark by now... we head off home (borrow N's Asterix omnibus, D has been eying that for a while), via the pub, where the kids play on the pool table (one of Daks friends is in) while I... settle down and griddle. Finish, with clearly the right pattern, though there are a few inconsistencies at the bottom. Home!

Bath (Earthquake Weather... hard to get into), dinner, then misc and E's bedtime, then D's.

Soir: stoat:Pielke mostly.

More f*ck*ng evil from Sharon on the 10pm news. Grief.

2005/01/17. Monday.

Work fairly hard on misc things, ancils, and unwisely fail to follow my own advice and end up with int errors on a annually-varying amip-type run.

Home just before 7. Infants all happy; just for once I end up changing E and reading her story, though M puts her to bed. Meanwhile D is reading his school book, about a Ginger Ninja cat, who has problems with Tiddles the bully of the playground.

Spend rather a long time blog on the various fora, longer than I intended to.

2005/01/18. Tuesday. Hard rain o/night. Sun then rain.

Work, misc, setting jobs up again on minifer, I never even find time to look at yadma and its ancils. But I *do* write my abstract for EGU, which was the urgent task, good. Just as I'm leaving I get something of a shock from wiki, in the the evil Cortonin has RFC'd me. Hmm, well it should prove interesting. Hopefully I will "win"; but what if I lose. Should I "do a Landsea"? It would be tempting.

Home for 2 ish, lunch by fire. Photo Weather GD for Gavin and xfer. Wireless is down (wind?) so use dialup, which is slow of course, but very interestingly after about 1-2 mins I get one, then another, blocked intrusions into Netbios by the firewall (zone alarm), which I never ever get using the home wireless/nat.

Pick up E from school (being a bit naughty cos I forced poor M'a to walk her there, when I could have picked her up from her house. Sorry) and we go to see about D. See Clare... might D...? Yes; but G is off to ballet. Its all the rage for young girls. Broach this with D who shouts Yes thats just what we were going to ask you, so thats OK then. Rain is beginning, and E is very sad, because *she* has no-one to play with and I'm not much use. Even P is off to Sallys. But we go home, alone, and I read to her in front of the fire and she is happy.

M back 6, so I can go get D. Who earns a 15 mins in his bedroom when he get home due to naughtiness - just over bounciness really, but he just won't learn when to stop. Just like me when young perhaps.

Dinner: a rather peppery tofu/cabbage mix by M, preceeded by bought soup.

E to bed early by her own request. D a bit early, by M's decision.

Then hack through the plans for the rebuild of the Airey housing which I *don't* like - they are dull, unimaginative, terrible. Hand them on to Ross, and marvel at his beautiful photos of Fjordland. Why did you come back I ask?

Soir: get xfer (well, sftp) *from* this machine to our main machine to work. Hurrah. This by changing the subnet mask that defines our trusted zone from 240 to 0. But... for no very obvious reason its very slow... 10's of k/s rather than 100+. And since I want to xfer 100's of 1M images, thats a problem. Which I haven't yet solved.

A bit of action on the RFC, looks OK so far. Blog on Landsea. I learn from Sarahs blog that she+A are off on hols in France.

2005/01/19. Wednesday. O'night frost. Sun then mild rain.

A busy day. Up not-very-early again (not quite late: well, OK, 8:20, definitely past when I would like to be wanting to get up; and since I'm writing this at midnight I don't suppose tomorrow will be better).

So: since E is a bit slow (and a bit sad: she was in our bed for part of last night) M takes D to school. I then take E to M'a (noting on the way the patches of ice on the road... you can see where this is leading, can't you?) and drop her off (today in exchange for tomorrow). On the way back at the corner at the bottom I carefully avoid a patch of visible ice and come off on a patch of black ice. How annoying. Scrape leg trivially, and later discover that the Palm has taken some of the fall, but appears to still work. Home: what to do? I have some free time. Network a bit wonky so don't log in. Read instead and do some washing up (only gets done round here when the network is down...).

Head off for town and sit in cb1 for a while reading the Darwin awards book and check my mail. First I've been in for ages, with them shut etc. Good to be back.

Catch 12:15 to london OK (buy Viz; its good); meet Nick Watkins at the other end which is fortunate since I discover the AZ I hastily found (we have many, but I can never find one...) had vital pages missing. So we walk there (via Mornington Cresent, always fun) together and talk of the meeting and stuff, inc work. Also chat in the foyer re hi Q4 project on complexity, which I've always been a bit dubious about, though I didn't say so directly.

The meeting turns out to be rather good, except for 1 (maybe 2 talks) during which I get out weather. But otherwise good: Tim Palmer on cellular automata; Alan Thorpe *already* moving over to management speak but with a rather nice 1km clud-generating run from the Earth Simulator (say what you like about the science, it produces beautiful pictures...). And others: mixed layer depth to 1m and 1h coupled for hadcm3 improves MJO (actually he didn't say that, but it *does* affect the simulation). Talk to WJI in the interval, excellent, RealClimate type stuff, he of course knows the radiative forcing stuff far better than me. But then he gets AMcD'ed, who proceeds to explain radiative physics to WJI, which is quite funny really but I'm not allowed to laugh. WJI just about manages to stoop down far enough to understand where A is going wrong, I think.

After panel discusssion (a bit odd perhaps; good contribs from Mason) a brisk walk back and surprise self by *not* getting lost and getting a seat on the 6:15. From C, phone M (where is the mobile? worry?) and say I'm going straight to the Gov meet; do so and am only a bit late. Hush hush stuff.

Back just before 10. Nikola re the advertising of tomorrows plans "not a meeting". Check watchlist and the ongoing RFC. Disappointed to see Ed Poor weighing in against me; and GregBenson (ask him why); and BenA, but he's a non-entity (literally). Now its 5-5. RealClimate: edit a few comments. Google ads: I've made $0.47! Hurrah, a total of $0.64. Only $99.36 to go to my first check.

2005/01/20. Thursday.

D sch; E p-sch; now I am at liberty. Or I would be, if I didn't have some leaflets/posters to photocopy to publicise the showing-of-plans for the Airey houses tonight. But do this and leave at JB's house.

Home. Annoy myself by wiki'ing; the dark side is coming out now. it is close to being too annoying to carry on, which is sad.

Collect E at 12. I've brought the swim stuff so we go straight into town. Stop at Germ for lunch and they are again very friendly to E. Pool: at last an improvement, they have bought a load of new toys. Still no water wings though. We have fun.

Arj/cb1 then back in time for a'noon smoko at BAS. This is just like a wednesday but upside down, so to speak.

Stop at N's to discuss tonights meeting (oops no its *not* a meeting; its a showing-of-plans); she will go at 7, I at 8. P is somewhat sick. Now its dark; to M's to pay her; home. Mr Box turns up, and E says delightedly "hello mr box"; I point out to her that he has a real name too; but he doesn't mind.

Get D at 5:45, M back 6. Dinner.

Out at 8 for the meeting; fairly well crowded in the room but its not a large room. Everyone is against, but will that do us any good against the might of the district planners? Likely not.

Soir... wiki/rc almost all evening. Its not sustainable.

2005/01/21. Friday. Cold. Windy.

DE to school, on time. Wiki annoyed me last night and made it hard to sleep as I turned it over in my mind and that really isn't as it should be. Also I was a bit harsh to D when he was slow getting ready because of a mood spill-over, and that is intolerable. Something Will be Done. But what?

As it happens, we're at sch on time or even a touch early (see! its good for something). See D change his reading book (he reads well; could do with more writing); E to pre-school.

Work: this-and-that day; decide that yadma is annoying me and rather than just letting it slide (multi-y ancils) its better to sort it out. And fortunately I do (I'd forgotten to change a few strings when repeating the commands on the alpha so the wrong file got xferred so the model was trying to read a file written on the wrong machine). And *then* I write a bit of code to do perturbed-starts based on the jobid so its random but repeatable and then I fill the cluster up with these things. And while they compile I check wiki with some trepidation but nothing too bad is happening. In fact we're all being quite polite, unless i'm missing stuff behind the scenes.

Right, so after all that I'm back at 2:30 and have time for bread and coffee by the fire. In a fit of discipline, I *don't* check my watchlist. I hadn't intended to open the r100 at all, but I do, because I remember I wanted to mail Ben Goldacre about his bad science column to point him to the RC post on peer review. After an exchange, it turns out that he blames a hangover and the subeditors for cutting out "experimental" as a vital qualifier to "no paper can be Bad Science". Fun fun fun.

Pick up E from M'a; sch. I'm partly hoping that N might take E but no; so I offer to take P instead because E will be sad if D gets to go play but she has only me :-( So home we go. P was sick yesterday and is a bit off colour today, but he was at school. And things mostly go OK, in that they play happily and I read the Economist in peace, only occaisionally breaking up metaphorical fights.

M home before 6; she has had her hair cut. I'm in the middle of cooking (pots; onions; sos; aub) so she gets the table ready. just as she comes in E has a mad fit over "winnie the witch" not doing what she wants which I can make no sense of and leave to M. M handles dinner; I'm posting again. M goes to get D at 6:30 taking P, and E goes along for the ride.

Soir: misc; much on the computer but *happily*; resolve to stop obsessive watchlist reloading and *no wiki after 10pm*. Thats better. Do the wed meeting for JA.

Soir: *M* is now hooked on wiki, just reading. She is tracing the history of the dispute and the subpages, which would probably fill a book it printed out. Talk about Wegener.

Late: M on the piano; I'm in bed.

2005/01/22. Saturday.

Lie in till 9:30, it being my day, though MED will be away tomorrow so perhaps I'm cheating.

Misc; Cory comes around.

2: MED off to F's; I go into town. Cold. cb1's 10th anniversary "party": free drinks - wine too if you want it but I have 3 coffees trying to solve a sudoku (only a medium) but I'm distracted talking to Rob. 3 coffees in a row is too much for an empty stomach. Ugh. Arj; Ox; home.

Continue the restricted-wiki theory, which is working quite well.

Quiet soir, bed 11 ish, puzzle unsolved.

2005/01/23. Sunday. Sun.

Awake lazily and lie in bed that way in the sun for a bit. Turn radio on and get some psycho- babble in my ear from R4. Up, bfast in lroom and coffee and fin by 11. OK! Up-and-at-em: I rally must *use* my free time, as I've promised too. Find hacksaw, in bits; stick it together. Off to BW to saw the bolt ends off the underside of the horse: this has no practical value at all but it keeps the safety inspector happy we hope. Turns out to be fairly easy. Rec: do same for seat near road too. Talk to Nick, who is tidying up a little. Bench near ramp requires the saw blade turning which the saw can do in theory but not in practice. So, that done, to allotment to dig a bit (in the middle, it turns out). After that to he pub for a rewarding drink (*not* beer: I had enough last night) so settle with a lemonade and the sudoku puzzle. Which proves still puzzling: medium indeed!

Home. Now its 3 and MED are in theory back at 4 so do some tidying, as promised. This quickly becomes dull... so sit with a coffee. M phones: not leaving yet. 4: out to talk salaries review with Janet M - Dot is there with the plans and James is measuring. J & I agree there are Q's we need to ask Tricia to make sense of it, so I leave with a list. Talk to Beryl about the footpaths grant and -ahem- trubble with Dots overfussiness. Home, more tidying, then a rest. Just getting up to do something useful when ME arrive, good timing. But E is sad, weepy, only just woken up from the car, so she cries on my lap while M gets D; she would rather be crying on M's lap. Since he crying is so pointless it is rather annoying. Poor mite. D heads for the computer and I tell him to tidy some of his stuff - Fred the Lion and Mr W etc. So he does that first and I think gets captivated by something in his bedroom.

E to bed soon after, then D.

Soir: finally read the new PP questionnaire v3 (looks OK to me) and then do a CD of pics for Ernie that I should have done some time ago. Also the loving cup photos for Jeff. Find a card and M writes it but: do we know where he lives.

E wakes up and voms, which is bad news, cos she can't go to playgroup tomorrow (naturally that is only our second or third thought: the first thought is of course, poor E). M and I tidy up.

Off and on today I've been reading Earthquake Weather which is annoying because I can't quite decide whether to not bother finish it or not. Unlike Anubis Gates, which was hard to put down.

(M says she got her lie-in this morning anyway so all is well)

2005/01/24. Monday. Cold. Some snow.

E is sick today, or at least potentially so, so to work with poss of being recalled. And indeed I am, since E does a runny poo so M'a doesn't want her. So back for 2. There have been snow flurries earlier but its all gone now.

E is happy and chatty but tired, so we stay in all afternoon. M comes back earlish anyway and cooks kedgeree, and since she is back it is easy for me to collect D. D is annoyed to see me and actually head-butts my groin which is not fun so gets told rather sharply to go get ready to go and then he is sad. Sigh. Later it turns out that he was annoyed that I was late, not early, as he usually is... so hard to please. On the way back we talk about Maths which he did at school and was dull because it is too easy. Hey ho, that fits our prejudices nicely. But... query a bit, and it turns out that he doesn't actually finish his work, presumably because he gets distracted and its dull. Promise to talk to Mrs S for him, but say (and so does M later) that the thing to do is to finish it.

PP meeting at 7, which all goes OK - the questionnaire is basically ready, we need a map (with TS) and we need a sec, but not too urgently. And it doesn't last too long :-) - I'm back by D's bedtime.

Late: E wakes up and is sad and makes coughing noises. M takes her to the bathroom but apparently nothing occurs and when M asks her E says she wasn't sick.

2005/01/25. Tuesday. Still cold.

M throws a sickie poor her, but luckily for her E is OK (well she *did* actually throw up a teensy tiny bit during last nights episode, but happily M didn't realise this (it was dark) so since she has specifically assured me that E *didn't* throw up I officially fail to notice the tiny vom and just happen to swill the bath out before using it). So she goes to M'a, and I take D to sch, only a little late.

I'm feeling a tiny bit queasy myself, a little sick-in-the-stomach, but this may be stress. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with Stuff To Do. Hmmm. So I leave at a sensible time (1:30) and get back for lunch and say hello to M who is in bed still, though she has been up.

Read paper, drink coffee, sit by fire. Set some yeast going since we are short of bread and its fun to do. Get DE from school and while D runs round outside I talk with Mrs S about his maths, and she takes it all seriously as appropriate. She has troubles, of course, because with 2 years and many abilities its hard for her to teach all levels at once. But she will try. She points out that D doesn't always get things right... D didn't mention that aspect... perhaps due to inattention. D comes in at the end and gets to be part of the conversation. So, all satisfactory and promise of progress. Meanwhile, E has been playing with cooking in the classroom.

Home. Yeast has got carried away. D helps me mix dough while E plays Spot and M still sleeps upstairs. DE go say hello to her.

Misc a'noon, M comes down, a bit slow.

Bread is good and forms basis for dinner, though E doesn't want to eat much.

7: to PC meeting, which takes till past 10, a record I think. The Airey houses were OK (we all dislike the plans, as did the public, and we didn't get bogged down in the reasons for objecting). Agreeing grasscutting quotes took some time - Gordon and Beryl disagree rather about Herald and the-one-Beryl-uses. Beryl protests under footpaths about having to do everything through Dot and I support her - its unneeded bureaucracy - but others (N) stay silent and GD is of course all in favour of strictly sticking to the rules, and to my surprise so is GK (because he had earlier complained of same. Sigh). Anyway, other stuff, all necessary though prolonged a bit more than really needed because people like to speak and ramble sometimes.

Whew. Back 10:30. Settle down with pooter for email. 11: D voms now, sadly mostly missing the bowl so his bed and stuff needs changing oh what a mess. Perhaps next time we won't put him into the top bunk if he is feeling queasy.

2005/01/26. Wednesday. Sun then grey.

Normally my day to town with E, but since D is sick he won't be at school so I guess we'll be at home. As it happens M is also feeling not up to working standard so stays home; so I decide that yes I am definitely sick myself and go back to bed until 12. I lie there in the sun glorying in it when awake and sleeping when asleep. The radio burbles R4 in the background and some is worth listening too and sometimes I'm asleep, but I listen to most of the comedy prog in the hour before 12 so its prob time to be up. M is playing with E and D is playing with his friend the computer.

Turn and about: M goes back upstairs to bed. I read the paper in the sun and check on wiki - seems sane at the moment. D, called from the pooter, settles to some spirographing and E does misc.

2: decide to kick us all outside in the last of the sun. E wants to take a pop-up tent out - fair enough. Put D's mattress (was outside drying and UV'ing in the sun) inside to form a comfy base. D brings his own tent and the tunnel is out too. Make them a joint hot choc since its chilly out and bring some food - D, being queasy, has eaten little. E (I've just realised) hasn't noticed that she has missed her normal wednesday in town.

M comes down a bit after 3, OK if a bit tired. I play some civ in the afternoon, and tidy a bit, and hoover. We really don't put enough into keeping the house well.

7:45 out to GP meeting in the Plough, me & Martin & Nick and Simon & Steve. Martin who is there buys me a beer - not sure I should have one on my stomach but what else can I have of an evening? Coffee would be no better anyway. Not much to do - Gen Elec; County; Newsletter; stuff. Cycle home: cold and drizzle ugh. Envy Sarah off on her hols (I've been reading her blog).

Home just as D is in bed (or rather, on the floor) and he hastily drops down to try to pretend that he wasn't reading. Turn his light off and kiss him goodnight. M goes to get disk from Ilga re her concert stuff; and re-arranges next lesson for saturday.

Wiki still sane; comment-check on RC.

2005/01/27. Thursday. Cold grey rain.

To work, then to town. Have lunch in Trockel Uhlmann & Freund, who ask after E. I have my favourite mozarella-olive-tomato sandwich, lentil soup and a coffee. My stomach seems to be getting better though I don't quite finish the excellent soup. Thence arj and then the local indian shop where I have hoped to get marmite (in fact this was almost the only reason for coming into town, since its a grey wet day). But I fail. Cb1: reading Barry Trotter and the shameless parody, which is reasonable fun. Thence to w/s to browse a bit amongst the new sci-fi (nothing inspires; read a bit of re-demolished, a Bester collection (Bester, the man who wrote two of the outstanding sci-fi novels of all time: Tiger Tiger and the Demolished Man, but then nothing else of note) and the essays are interesting: he too didn't think much of most sci-fi, though he was writing that in the 50-60's; might be different now) then Ox (nothing, again resist the temptation to buy some crappy sci-fi) then head back, timing myself to arrive at the allotments at just 4, to meet with Pauline. We have agreed to mark out with stakes the 3 allotments that were Ivons. Neither of us is quite sure why its a good idea to do it *now* before they are ploughed, but hey ho it is agreed, so we do. Fortunately the rain has stopped (P confesses that she had been hoping I would phone her to cancel; I'd been hoping the same in reverse) and it doesn't take long. Home, and play a bit of Civ. I'm on King level for an easy win. Truth is the curves are already at the state where I will obviously win and the only thing is to "win" nicely. But this is hard in Civ, or perhaps I've never discovered the way. This soaks up the time nicely and I don't even have time to read G2.

Go get D and let him ride home from the corner as usual; get E who is OK; home. I'm still a little queasy so don't make any effort to cook; break and cheese will do, and toast. D RR's of course, he has done his homework in homeclub.

M back. She missed the earning call last night but it turns out its the Dutch for the chop this round.

Phone: Tricia re salaries review. Pointers. Ken lost (threw away) the files.

Soir: hmm, sadly I have to record another evening lost to Civ. Stop just before 1 am - ooops. The only plus side is that earlier on I'd been planning bed by 10 because I was ill, but seem to have shaken that off quite thoroughly.

2005/01/28. Friday. Cold grey rain.

So... unsurprisingly I am a bit late up. I thought I was better but only have a small b'fast. Kids sch; work. Misc; the 2100 paper a first few picks. Emails. Home 2 in light rain.

3:30: to M'a to get E and talk a bit about What Goes On in the Bus Shelter. Dark deeds. E to sch and consigned into the care of N. Remember to leave some books with Mrs S for her book sale in aid of the Tsunami. Talk to JM re salaries (she knows nothing... Sonia?). Home. Civ. M back 5:30.

6:45: cycle to N's whilst M drives. I am to babysit! How exciting, my first ever. Bring a few books and stuff and at the last minute the r100, since I realise that I can type this. So... they are getting ready for some formal do, I chat with Nick while kids watch pink panther on dvd/flatscreen: they have some entertainment center thing for c'mas. M takes E away; Nick shows my his Triops and interesting they are too. Basic instructions (in bed by 9; well its a friday) and they are off and I am alone with 4 children. Who are well behaved. PP till 7:30 when I make them stop. DNP go off upstairs and Nelson engages me in ?Krogenol? anyway a rather fun shove-ha'penny type ish game. I got the name wrong. Apparently a relic from Nick's childhood. After a good start I fade then miss my chance and N wins 120-135. Meanwhile DNP are building a den to sleep in upstairs and annoyed with Nelson for not helping so he goes up after the game. Later some domino-runs in the kitchen, a bit more PP, then bed at 9. I kiss D and tuck in P and assume NN will be OK with a goodnight. They chatter audibly till 10, quietly a bit more, then sleep. Meanwhile, I have discovered I can play Civ without the CD... oops, do a few more turns, build the Hoover dam, and stop for now. Its a won game absolutely but... should I finish it? Or should I be strong and not. Lets be strong: I'll delete the files now: done. Now to read some of the Improving Material I brought with me.

NN return about 11:15 and I cycle home through the cold wet. Not such a bad way to spend an evening.

2005/01/29. Saturday.

[Oh good grief its now 11:40 and I'm only just starting to write this...]

Don't get up till 10 so listen to Home Truths with Tom Robinson (I think it was) or at least part of it. Quite good. M had been woken early (by our standards: about 7:30) by E who really really wanted M to come downstairs with her and wasn't going to be fobbed off with coming into bed for a cuddle and who was prepared to scream to make her point. So M got up. E has been a bit fractious the past few days, on the fragile side, a bit tantrum-y. Maybe its the weather, which doesn't encourage going out.

However, I get to lie in bed, when M takes E off to pick up D (a bit earlier than might be expected, 9:30, because N has ballet classes) then to w/rose. Up 10; b'fast (light, cos my stomach is a bit woozy this early), paper, wiki (sigh; same old septic nonsense, but with several other Good Guys weighing in), Civ (start an emperor level game). D likes to watch - they come back around 11+.

See a squirrel in the garden - the first ever that I can recall.

1:30: leave M practicing piano, drag D off junkbot, and head off to the pool for assignment with Andy+Clare+BGS and N; we're there a bit before them, and a good time is had by all, but especially NDB. G and S are a bit nervous of the water, and so is E - or rather, not nervous, but she definitely doesn't want to float in it by herself, she wants to stay by the edge. Hmmm, no longer the water baby she once was. D gets himself very tired flinging self around on the mats and stuff. Sweets after (I was going to buy one-between-5 but Andy had promise them). A has offered to take them but not for "tea" so drop them off (passing and talking to M, who is off for her piano lesson), and home. Wiki repairs; Civ.

Dinner is pizza from w/rose so thats easy; D not very hungry and (as becomes apparent later) really quite tired. After dinner by popular demand delayed several days we have a bonfire. E proves her fragility by having an eppy over being forced to wear her coat. We have a lot of cardboard junk to clear out and ME have bagged it. Also there is junk wood to burn, so we do. All of which could be quite idyllic but its not quite that good: E has another eppy about which chair to sit on, forgotten a minute later by her but not me, since my ears are still ringing; D is making a bit of a hash of starting his own fire - where are the pyro genes in him? And he gets smoke in his eyes. Hey ho. E rescues an "owl mask" that I had discarded into the junk, OK. And then some christmas cards that she bumbles off to post through our letter box. In the end I am left sitting quietly by the fire musing on the world.

Back inside: its now about E's bedtime, M does this, and D is so tired that without complaint he goes up at the same time and they are both quickly asleep.

Soir: so: more Civ till past 9. Then settle to wiki for a bit; then listen to the news, such as it is (Iraqi elections; nothing much yet). Stoat: the long-delayed post on Science and Policy, which I trust won't wind up RP, but he's a Big Boy and can cope I guess. Then think of a second one, all of a sudden, on the climate bets issue; then a quick one on WGI/II/III. Meanwhile M has been doing the preschool spreadsheets (which she claims to find relaxing) and is now hooked on browsing my RFC on wiki...

Now its past midnight! To bed (or civ first?)

2005/01/30. Sunday. Sun later cloud.

Up with E at a sane time, she wants to have breakfast together so we do. D too. M sleeps in late - till about 12. Meanwhile I give DE's b/room a long-awaited decent clean, 8and* clear out a shelf for D's stuff.

Andy phones... how about going to the Rec later.. 2? OK. Phones back in 5 mins: 1? Since its sunny now. Yes, good idea. Indeed D is outside in the sun having a snack. So lunchtime. D is not pleased to be dragged to the rec - he has other ideas. E wants to go though. D is hoping to get Dak to come round, or something. But he isn't going to stay inside and play on the pooter all this lovely day. So after a snack, we head off, I put 3 packs of twiglets and various things into my sac. E doesn't want to go on the back of the bike - she insists on walking. Just far enough so that when she says "I want a carry" I don't want to go back and get the bike. Argh. So: E and I go to Andys; meanwhile D 9with new-found knowledge) runs off to Daks house to see if he is in and wants to come too. Leave E at BW where some others are playing; knock up A; see him at BW. They (ABS; G is off partying with C) arrive but where is D... B goes off to find him but just in time D appears from the other way and we're off. Little S is a year younger than E but walks all the way to the rec while E wimps out. Hmmm. DB run on ahead and so A and I talk in between encouraging S. Sun.

Rec: they run off (even E). Nominally we are here to play football: B certainly wants to; D is less keen; I'm looking after E, and go see N to see if N wants to play. Sadly P is out partying too (same one I suppose; Natasha) but N&N are having lunch in the garden, its just about warm enough to do this. N is just finishing so she goes out to play but isn't too keen on actual football either so they just run around to the far corners. Good. Adam too. They go into the shipping container which seems wrong so I amble over (by which time they have left) and I push the doors shut and try to bar them. Mail Ross.

Then... it clouds over and gets chilly and E is getting restive. So I take her to the pub where happily Larry and Davy are playing with their gameboys or whatever in the pool room (the table is out of use). So E goes in there and I get her a drink (*still* no apple juice. Hmpf. And no crisps: what are they thinking of? Fortunately I have one pack of twiglets left). So I get to sit quietly with my coffee. A reasonable number are in: only a few tables left. A and the others come in and I get drinks; they have no coke only pepsi. A has a theory about the crisps: it is an anti-kids measure consistent with heading for wine-bar status. Possible... but then why are they so child-friendly otherwise. Talk to Jenni about kids and computer games. C comes in with G in princess costume; she will talk to me - usually v shy. She looks a but (in her attitudes) like Fiona in Shrek. Paul comes in v briefly to see how Adam is but P is apparently sick and doesn't stay.

In the end, C takes GE back in the car, to save E the walk/carry, though G after some careful thinking has decided that she doesn't want to come to E's house or to have E round to play. On her 4+ y old dignity, perhaps. A and I take NA back... while we talk to Nick, the kids run onto the trampoline. Nick is relaxed (he is flattening out his allotment and eying the one next door; pining for the prairies I say) and doesn't mind if they stay, so I say I'll come back at 4:30 which is just-before-dark.

So A and I walk back chatting (did I lose S in this narrative? I guess he went with C). I pick up D's bike left at the sch on fri pm (as ever). Talk DB re football. Eventually home, with only a little while before I'm off to pick them up. There was some question of whether N should come too... but they have ended up winding one another up in the way kids do and N is in tears and a cut finger so leave her and bring DB.

I now get the rest of the afternoon "off" cos I've done so much (but remember last weekend... well yes). And! Just for once! I don't totally waste it. Following on from my brave clean of DE's b/room this morning I have a go at the bathroom: it can't be made pretty but it *can* be made clean. So sand down the boards under the bath roughly, not beautifil but OK, and the skirts, and the remaining lino under the bath, and then oil it just in time to come down for dinner. Good. Meanwhile, B has gone back for his "tea". After dins clean out the bathroom window ledge for good measure... now I need to do the other end, but this can wait another day. Hurrah for me!

Soir: various online activities (how did we live without an always-on connection for all?) on main computer setting the diary pages to rights (do 2004/12) and updating txt2html.pl to cope with the new date format. And then oterh stuff that, somehow, takes me past 11 despite best hopes, though not past 11:30.

2005/01/31. Monday.

Have another -ahem- little disagreement with D about his being slow. Really I need to start him earlier, but today was esp provoking. We were late, he was slooooowly putting on his jumper, then after I turn round I discover he has taken it off again and is sloooowly putting on a different one. Argh! Anyway, to sch. Chilly but sunny. Drop off E a p/s and into work.

Have quite a good day - get a lot done (pull back UKMO files; update 2100 page; write slides for higem talk for AJ; discuss hades with DDW; etc).

Home a touch early cos a bit tired by all that. MED having dinner fairly harmoniously. D still a bit queasy - doesn't eat much - me too: oranges mostly. But I do finish off his cheese toasty. Then he's back on the pooter. I have a quick Civ but not quite hooked... the Americans discover Philosophy first, which annoys me whenever it happens, and is my cue to quit. E howls a bit when is me reading her a story not M :-( but then quietens and we enjoy Meg at the Zoo together. One of our later library books... D quietly reads his school book, then I read him Asterix and the Big Fight.

Soir: a lot of staring at computers from both M and I. M is still dipping into the wiki fights, which are winding down a bit now. Then she does p/s stuff. Meanwhile I play a bit more Civ (ah...) and wiki and newsgroups. How did all that last past newstime? Oh I don't know.

Then a brief brief tidy in the kitchen; write this; bed.


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