WMC's diary pages, 2005.

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2005/09/01. Thursday. O'night storms.

Wake to a sunny day. To work, via HC to get forms to copy, that I forget to copy at work. Good stuff re sea ice: variability. Thence into town: get keys cut, to CB1 (do first bookcrossing book; also first "Killer sudoku"), arj and pick up E at 4. Long to talk M's about law-n-order. Take E back to school, to ask about the desk that is outside. Yes I can have it, and would I like a bookshelf too? And a cupboard? Oh yes. Take bookshelf for new room. Go home, and then get car to take the desk, load it with Heathers help. Home.

M has tidied the house rather nicely, good. E and I have dinner: rice noodles.

Building: kitchen roof is now on!

Soir: online. Katrina. New Orleans is looking really really bad now.

2005/09/02. Friday. Sun again.

Up and to work. Mostly sea ice, a bit of HC.

Back in time for a bite of lunch and await Veronica. Oliver+Natasha+Charles are here, as are Matthew and Emma, so its busy. But M is on. And anyway the kids are entertaining themselves. While I talk to V, children disappear off, and DE go with Heather. Peace and quiet? yes, but have to get barclays stuff ready for meeting at school at 3:30. Take M along to load white cupboard into car, and she walks back while I do quick meeting to authorize account, and then dump reg forms at home club and put are we-will-be-open-notice. Back via Jane to get her to sign the auth-sig form. At last, time to sit down and have a cup of coffee, though its now 4:30.

Mfd/J arrive at 6; DE back soon after. Put cupboard into place, and move some stuff in.

Dinner, E bed, I read a bit of Rotten Romans to D (Mfd brought it...), quiet soir more on Killer Sudoku's than online!

2005/09/03. Saturday. Hot.

CB1. Phone home. MFI. Wrestlers - Thai. B+Q. Home.

2005/09/04. Sunday. Hot/muggy.

Vine. MED/Mfd/J to Fitz. FP 9. Allot in hot hot sun. Pub for 1/2. Home. D to N'a - cat. Walk FP2 - OK. American cemetary. Get D, home, dinner for others but bees for me.

Late: thunderstorms, lots and lots of rain.

2005/09/05. Monday. Muggy.

Still wet from huge o'night rain, and grey, but hold promise of heat and indeed the day becomes muggy/hot by pm. Taking DE head for school; D is well on time for his first day, good. Take E to p'school, chat Sheana - all is well. Work. Go back at 3:15 to see if Nicky/Lynn OK: yes. Help with reg forms. See D in there - I never do. Back to work to catch tail of smoko. Get 1/2 way through Exeter sea ice talk. Home, via Ian (plans) and Jane (sig).

M has done kedgeree, D is reading quietly (home was school? fine) and E is in the bath. Mfd/J left about 10.

2005/09/06. Tuesday.

M to her piano lesson at 8:45 so I gather kids to school (E, having got v tired cycling all the way yesterday, is happy to be cycled today). E's first day of tuesday pre-school, though I don't think she realises this.

Work, fairly hard, till about 2. Mostly my sea ice presentation for thurs. Also Accent meeting.

Back in time for lunch and a talk about kitchens with M. Argh, but has to be done. She leaves for town to look at more kitchen shops after we have refined our ideas.

I get kids, both seem happy, we hang around school till 4. Home. Let D go back by himself; Sam appears; OK. They stay for a bit then head off for Cory's. E belatedly wants to go too: next time. Read her Fox in Socks instead.

M back in time to do dinner. I do a long stoat on methane/veggies, and start up the pictures blog as an experiment.

2005/09/07. Wednesday.

2005/09/08. Thursday.

Catch 9:15 heading for Exeter. No AJ. Odd. Meet AJ at KC, to Padders. No platform, go for coffee, catch train OK. Exeter a bit late, taxi to UKMO arrive 2; AJ convinced meeting starts at 2:30 and wants to go for lunch but it starts at 2 so go in only a bit late. Good stuff. Fin 6ish; others to Holiday Inn and me to town (on P+R bus) to the Barcelona, "the hippest hotel in Exeter" says AK. And its good, even if I have little time to appreciate it. Interesting and individual in a way that HI can only dream of.

Meal is at 7:30 so bathe quickly, the out via cathedral square and a brief look around: seems OK, first time I've been able to look at Ex. To Harrys; Aj first there alone. A good evening of talk: time to gossip with AK/AMcL/HB. After to pub - the Ship - with JR/J Stark/SL.

2005/09/09/ Friday.

Awake early and lie in bed quietly. Up 7:30; my wake-up call comes just a bit later. B'fast in the nice bar area: a bit steel-fan structure. Feeling a bit queasy from last night so coffee, grapefruit juice and coffee will do. They have got a bit carried away with the coffee, its practically stiff. Check out, and taxi to UKMO, arriving just a bit late.

Talks good.

After, taxi back with AJ and MM-M; he is going via Crewe though. I have a little walk the AJ and I have some lunch in the station, then take the train back, which is just a little late. The journey passes in Sudoku and Proust and in reading the three 8/11 papers - very good stuff. Swap Pad to KC OK and get a seat. Torrential rain on way back... hope its stopped: I have no coat. Bye AJ at station; gap in the rain; cycle homewards. To N's at 5; stop in to say hello to D/E and get trapped by truely massively torrential rain for next most-of-hour. N and D end up going out (in swim suit/pants) and play in the rain and the puddles.

Then to HC to talk to/soothe NR and check LW is OK. Seems to be, pay NR.

Home. M OK - pianoing. Go back in car to get DN, but: N sad because her cat is outside. she is unreasonably sad about this. We end up finding the cat but she still doesn't want to come... odd... take D back and say we'll return for her later (M needs to come back with E's stuff). B is now at home waiting. M does go back with Es stuff, and does bring back N. N ends up reading in the l'room with me while DB play on the pooter till 8. 8:30: bedtime: send them up to brush teeth and stuff. N still fragile, and ends up sad, and about 9 asks to go back home. Phone N: she comes for her. Poor N. DB quiet. D had written a note "welcome to daniels sleepover party" but as he says, its not going right.

News: the FEMA head "has been sent back to his desk".

M out tonight, pub, with x-work.

2005/09/10. Saturday. Grey/Wet.

Take D to football, E still happily with P (she comes out to watch). In the end I stay to watch it all, talk Ross/Bram. After, back home with D (some slight confusions, and D a bit sad about it: JE off elsewhere and B to John Bagleys), M collects E (and brings P). Quiet till 2.

pm: take DEP swimming (not N, she is with Hannah), this works OK though E is a bit tired/whingey. After, briefly to pool cafe, then home, dropping P on the way.

Early bed for DE, who are both tired.

2005/09/11. Sunday. Still grey.

Up before 9 at D's request: he wants a balloon for his 101 scientific experiments. We stretch wool across the l'room and put a balloon on a straw and it zooms along the string. Then, outside, put vinegar into a bottle and bicarb in a ballon over the neck and tip it up to fizz and fill the ballon.

10: DE to BG's to play. M plays piano. I check WP meetup stuff. Catch 12:15 train but have to swap into the later one at Letchworth due to fault. In London, tubes are wonky and walk from marble Arch to the Archers in Bathurst street. Here I am... who is inside? Fortunately my which-group-are-you problem is solved by seeing Charles Matthews, and someone else in a wiki t-shirt; and realising that the white-haired guy in black, and the woman in black, are DG and AR. And so, talk. About what? Well you had to be there. Mostly wiki. About Go to CM when the geek stuff got too much for him. Nice chat to TK. Fin (for me) at 6; home 8:20 in the dark (my the evenings are closing in) just in time to kiss D goodnight.

2005/09/12. Monday.

Work / home!

2005/09/13. Tuesday.

Today is taking the car to Duxford to get its MOT done and the back window (that D b*gg*r*d by pushing the catch in so none of the doors will lock) fixed. M can't do it cos she has lost her driving license so can't get a courtesy car (and, as it turns out, having >6 points on your license doesn't help either) so I do it. Getting to Duxford is far easier than to Marshalls, happily, and get a dinky little C3 in return. Stop at Ilgas for E (8:50) and say to DB in dressing gown "Ive come for E" which confuses him... since M is late. Ahem. Home, pick up E and take her to preschool. Work.

pm/soir: ?

2005/09/14. Wednesday. Sunny.

I'm getting used to the New Format Wednesdays. Since D now goes to school by himself, E and I don't need to, so I get up a bit later and we have a more relaxed morning. Also E now doesn't seem too keen to go to work (is she picking up the vibes from the BAS board? That would be truely scary) smoko, so that removes the running-for-10:30 problem too. And M is around (sort of waiting for us to go so she can start tinkling). So we cycle in (after a fight ab out putting on underpants) (via Barclays to check on HC account: they will look) to the German cafe (now open again) via a quick word with Ian about the pavement state.

This is the first time we've been in since their summer hols, so say Hello. have the usual and its good as usual. After to pool (and since I've remembered E's armbands all is well) then (since E doesn't want to go to CB1 - bored with it) we go to Cafe de Paris, which like all the best parisian cafes is run by someone who looks algerian. They actually do lunches, and we get a nice table in the rear outside in a yard, but I miss the cb1 atmosphere. Do the Times killer sudoku. I've forgotten my cycle lock so check bike outside every now and again.

Dump some cheques into natwest, and back to school in time to meet D coming out. I don't need to of course, but M is taking DE off to magnets this afternoon to all look at kitchens (result: don't look as good as MFI in general).

Alone at home I have a rest (wiki) then go talk to the bees; OK.

MED back; dinner; I sit on front stoop in the sunshine with Grauniad (new berliner format) and pooter and coffee. Mostly I poot.

Soir: pub.

2005/09/15. Thursday. Late heavy rain.

Work then town: Nero for lunch, and browse various tramping-in-NZ books. Somehow its not what I'm looking for: all too organised: the X track, the Y. Hmm. To M&S to buy shorts but I'm too late: sale rail only: buy a blue pair as thats all thats left.

Home in the sun. Tidy a bit, in fact quite a bit.

5-ish: heavy rain, becoming very heavy later.

Soir: try google earth to look over NZ!

2005/09/16. Friday. Sun.

Work till 3:15; to school. Its our turn for NP, and M is around. Just before 3:30 I check HC with Nicki: OK. Help M bring kids back: take Hannah too since we can. Somehow I then get away with reading the Economist etc while the children mostly play by themselves and M intervenes when needed. P is on the pooter for the first hour and E reads with M. Dinner OK; H is rather bad (tears and tired) when J comes to take her away (later we get an apology delivered by letter, from J and from H).

Soir: misc stoating, and then sort out some honey. M to bed early, having exhausted herself tinkling.

2005/09/17. Saturday.

DE to football, giving M chance for piano. We also have JE, who by pre-arrangement came round about 8:30. E and I watch from the ramp, and E runs around, and I try the sudoku.

After, home, pack, and off chez F.

8: off to Ikea. Get lost (too far down the Purley Way) but get there OK. Look at kitchens: like their doors and draws. Shop is a maze.

2005/09/18. Sunday.

Up late: DE are quietly watching TV...

To "park" - ie green bit. For centre of a city, these houses are nicely arranged.

To town (tram again, DE both v v keen on trams) to "stir fry" all-you-can-eat" chinese. Good food, if basic.

Set off home at 3; back no troubles.

2005/09/19. Monday.

Work. am, machines down, tidy office and other misc things. Pm: do some real work on the ar4 stuff. Home 6, MED out! Relax, and stoat: on the arctic-seaice-heatsink bit.

MED back. E has a "mobile phone" from a magazine that she shows me and "phones" people on, quite happy. M goes off to N to get a passport photo signed.

7:30: to PP meeting. Diana has done a huge pile of analysis: the full print out runs to 100+ pages. I volunteer to do the basic stats, others will analyse text-bits on questionnaires.

2005/09/20. Tuesday.

2005/09/21. Wednesday.

A back-to-normal wednesday. M is around; E wants to go into work so we do, and somewhat to my surprise no-one complains, though we joke about it. Germ; swim; CB1 (at my insistence).

Soir: HC meeting 7:30-10 (whew!). Long but useful.

Home alone: MED out for D's art course, week 1, and to get D's new bike.

Sitting out at the front when D and his bike arrive: its quite big (about the size of Billys) and of decent quality. Its an 18-gear mountain bike. He is pleased with it and can ride it too. Who should we give his old bike to?

2005/09/22. Thursday. Fine.

For the past few days the weather has been good, making up for the grey/wetness of the previous week. At this time of year, ending of summer, I'm either in this "nice long summer" mood (if its fine) or "nearly winter" mood (if wet/grey). Its not helped by the building work, which means that if wet, mud gets tracked around.

Work, lunch, work (JCK finds interesting Chapman+Walsh AR4 paper). Home just before 3: time for a brief sit before off again. Return Nicki's (I not Y) and Lynn's CRB and Sonja's too. Help M gather up the kids (D's bike is universally admired and judged by N to be totally cool): we are having AOV over and end up with N too. She is nominally here to do her party invites but ends up with DA playing at JE's, ahem, and in the stream too.

I'm having a quiet afternoon (having spent far too long online last night, and indeed previous nights too). End up tidying up the front garden a bit: since its green-bin tomorrow it might as well be full.

2005/09/23. Friday. Fine/wet/fine.

Starts fine. I decide not to take coat or I'll be too hot. Work till 3 ish when its pouring with rain and has been for an hour or more. Hmpf. Brief break in cloud so I get to school OK (and then on to M'a and back cos I forgot E was there...). So... DE off to N, I get a quiet afternoon, especially since M is off in Wales (or on her way there) for the great Crib Goch adventure as organised by Luke D and featuring Tim C and the enormous tent.

At 6, the rain has gone and the sky is bluw so the mooted pub visit is on. Collect DE, bring NNP too, when I get there ACBGS are there and others too. In fact piles of people turn up... Karen; Kate; many more. Even Nikola, and later even Nicholas, which is just about unprecedented. Continues till nearly 8 when its dark. Home; bed DE.

By about midnight I've finished stoat:Hoyle and post it.

2005/09/24. Saturday. Very fine.

Woken early by E coming in to bed but she is fairly quiet and very cute.

Quick b'fast while hustling DE out of the house in time for D's football at 9:30. D not keen to go (he was drawing quietly) but happy when there. I spend time talking to Bram and Nick (we watch people digging up and relaying the cricket square) and then they watch while I put in bungs into two pipes on the skateboard ramp. All this is cool but glorious sunshine.

After football, D wants to go with JE and they want him and Bram is happy so OK by me. Meanwhile... where is E? Oh, there she is, playing with P on the edge of the rec in a quiet corner. I go up. E "we're happy here. No one is annoying us". And they have built an outline den from some bits of wood, and are collecting "carrots" (wild parsley???) from the woods and laying them out and are very happy doing this, and deeply cute. So I leave them to it, checking with Nikola in case they need owt. Home, get gloves, to allot for some rather overdue digging. Spend an hour hacking at the front and am rewarded by a clear space and some potatoes. How is E? Still happy. N offers her lunch so thats OK by me. Back home, D is happy lunching with JE so thats me clear for a quiet coffee. Bliss.

Later: cut back grapevine. Tidy somewhat.

Collect E: drive to N's about 4, pick up some of the rolled turf cut from the rec (its going spare) and put it in the car. Watch Nick helping Nelson and a friend try to launch and fly N's radio-controlled plane, while Nikola watches with camera and P just watches (E is apparently inside with N and Hannah). I watch what looks to me like a disastrous flight: 2 quick circles before crashing (you can see why it has a pusher not puller prop!). But no: this is apparently *good*. After another half dozen goes they are beginning to get it, then it finally crashes into trees and breaks the tail assembly. Still, everyone happy. Collect E, home, go see how D is: he and JE are damming the stream with dreams of producing hydroelectricity. Martha watches and doesn't want to come play with E. I help dam; ME then play inside; I get another 1/2 hour free to lay some turf.

DE home; bath D who is filthy. We have all had a great day: D has played all day, E has most of the day, the weather has been beautiful, I've got to watch the kids, rest, do some useful stuff, and talk to other adults.

Cook E pasta and D toastie. Put up Quiberon to blog. Misc. Bed late.

2005/09/25. Sunday. Again fine.

Another day at home, M not back till about 6. Dakota came round before I got up so he and D were playing online - some kind of golfing game and others. I assume that the "problem" online stuff will come when they are a bit older...

For large parts of the day D (and E, to a lesser extent) played outside on the raod and green, D cycling around on his new bike. D has taken to doing this, and there is a crowd of kids often about - Matthew, Amelia, Ruby (for E), etc etc. At one point I have to go out and shout at someone for taking up the board protecting the pavement to make a skateboard ramp but apart from that all is well.

Make the coconut ice that D has wanted for a week or more. Use honey not sugar, and raw egg white not dried, so it may be a bit wet. Leave in fridge to set, still not set by tea time so leave overnight.

Make bread: and it turns out well. I sit out front eating; D wants some, and E. Also E's friends, who give the impression of not having seen fresh bread before. Maybe.

Also lay some more turf, and am at this when Luke drops M off. Then to rec to return honey ex and get more turf. Now its late and darkening: quick shower and dinner.

Space for M to insert Snowden Horseshoe stuff:

From M: at the weekend, Luke Diamand, Tim Chick and I did the Snowdon Horseshoe - up to Snowdon via Crib Goch and back down via Y Lliwedd. It was a lovely sunny weekend, and crowded too - everyone taking advantage of the last of the summery weather. When we got to the car park at Pen-y-pass, it was full and we had to park 3 miles further on and bus back (1.50 each way, since you ask). Finally got going around 10.30. Climbed steadily up, following large crowds. When we got to the Crib Goch ridge itself (past a sign on a stile saying Caution: this is the Crib Goch path) the walking turned to scrambling and stayed that way. It was a lot colder than in the valley. There is a lot of upwards scrambling, none of it a problem if you're used to climbing. The ridge itself is pretty much horizontal, with gendarmes at intervals. None of it is unsafe (so long as it's dry and the wind isn't too strong) but the elegant way to do it - striding confidently forwards - requires a lot of balance, and the wimp-out way (going just below the ridge and holding on) is a bit awkward. I did a bit of both; Tim generally strode along, and Luke was a bit unhappy (he doesn't like climbing / scrambling / heights). Fantastic views - by now it was cloudy but the cloudbase was well above the mountains. At one point I counted 11 lakes in view, as well as the sea in the distance.

Crib y Dysgl followed - more of the same though not so starkly. The wind was more intense and threatened to blow us over once or twice. Got to the top of Snowdon at 2.30. Crowded like christmas shopping in the town centre, as Luke put it. We stayed just long enough to find our path, descending a slightly yucky scree slope.

Y Lliwedd is another rocky crest, though the path, which we tried to follow, stays well below it. Glad the visibility was good, because it would have been very confusing otherwise. I was as usual noticeably slow on the slippery downhill bits (though not as slow as Luke was scrambling uphill). Rejoined the miner's track for a couple of km of quick march and we were back at the bus stop at 5 to 6. Luke's book put the whole thing at 7.5 miles and 990 m of ascent, if I recall correctly.

Other things about the weekend: went up in Luke's car Friday afternoon; Tim's gigantic tent (hexagonal middle area that could easily seat 10 in chairs in a circle, with 3 sleeping pods) Luke cooking trout; welcome pizza after the walk; canoeing in the morning in Luke's canoe that worked and in Tim's blow-up one that also worked but spun round in the wind whenever it could.

-- Miriam.

Monday 2005/09/26. Inside!

Work / still no yoga / work. Mostly getting yadva to work on the Bull cluster, as a test. Does, but crashes, dunno why, after 1 month. Probably don't need to know why. Ah, and the output is junk - Nan's. Oops.

Home 6:30: still light, just. New phones (dialatron... say it: DIAL-a-TRON!) have arrived (in fact DE phoned me up at work just because they had) also the 1G CF card for NZ, so play a bit. They can be used as intercoms.

2005/09/27. Tuesday.

Work, then... I forget.

2005/09/28. Wednesday.

An E day: to work (raised eyebrows from MP but I have an excuse if challenged (I'm not): I need to talk to JT re sift stuff. In the end I pick up the papers to take home. Thence Germ, pool, C-d-P (the waiter turns out to be italian I think not algerian... at least his says chiao bella very convincingly). Library, quickly, then school. Swap her to M and she and D then off to D's art. I rest at home.

Soir: Excitement: arctic sea ice trends and the Inhofe hearings; blog both; Gavin / Mike do a better version for RC.

2005/09/29. Thursday.

Up early and with D to breakfast club. Its easy, because Jacki does most of the work. Nice sunny morning too. I think D enjoys it. Spend most of the time playing marble run with D and reviewing the policies. Rush off at 8:50 to work and spend the day interviewing. 2 v good, 2 ok, 1 just, 1 fail. Cathy Goss leaving presentation after.

Home, tired. D is outside with N. N? Yes, she is doing her party invites. Get sucked into sea ice - Antarctic - more complex than I thought. Interesting. But...

Soir: decide it would be fun to install w2000 (am I mad?) on the spare pooter. Get there in the end via corrupt floppies missing video drivers etc.

Meanwhile M hacks through the preschool accounts.

2005/09/30. Friday.

Work: various: pulling back ar4 sea ice; models; write up idl-pp guide; stuff. Back in village about 3; stop at school when I see kids out at play: its a skipping day it seems. Talk to Maryon Leeper (as well as D etc). M passes with E: off to w/rose; apparently M'a didn't show up to collect E at 12: hmm wots up?

Pick up DNP at 3:30, bring them home and let them play. D invites ?matthew? in too, and Dakota shows up.

5:30: off to talk to N/L at home club. Some -ah- friction re salaries payments, because the cheque from PTA hasn't cleared. Leave K to smooth that over.

6+: take kids down to pub; ACBGS are there (but no-one else this time). But its good: stay till 7:30 when its near-dark.

Soir: decide it would be fun to put W2000 onto one of the recycled machines, and do (foretting W2k won't boot from cd; tedious floppy process). But it all takes till late. And blogging too.

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