Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Now that was a pretty good weekend, even if I do say so myself. Not that anyone else would be able to judge what I regard as good or not and pass comment along those lines, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, Saturday was the London Theatre jaunt. Caught the coach fine from just outside the office here and promptly lived up to all expectations by sleeping away the A12 and a large chunk of the M25. They are just such dull roads for passengering along and I can't recall the last time I stayed awake on them when not behind the wheel. Still, the rest of the trip was as interesting as driving in to London always is. Even though we were along roads I knew for the main there are always new things to catch a glimpse or a better understanding of. And little architechtural quirks always catch my interest.

On arrival we had a few hours to kill so as it was almost next door wandered along to the National Gallery. There we had a quick look at some personal fave piccies before finally completing our art odyssey and having a look at the really early stuff we hadn't got to before. Once again awestruck by the way things have lasted - some of the colours on paintings 5, 6 or even 7 hundred years old are still so vibrant it defies logic. Especially these days when anything we do seems to fade away in weeks if it even gets a glimpse of the sun. Really must read up on art a bit more when I get the chance (and given that I have a couple of appropriate books just sitting there on the shelf I do have no excuse really).

Culture hunger satisfied we then went off for a spot of lunch. And guess what? We went to Garfunkels again. Did consider trying somewhere else but then couldn't be bothered. So I had the Spanish Omlette which was just as tasty as Joan had lead me to believe and also left room for a pudding for a change. Nice toffee waffle combination. A short walk along the Strand turned up nothing else of major interest to kill the time we had remaining so we just went in to the theatre and sat down a bit early to read the programme and wait for curtain up.

And another damn good show we got to see. As with Les Miserables, Chicago is again presented with a very minimal stage set. So much for the so called west end extravagance. One day I'm sure we will see something with lots of constructions and props and stuff! Anyway, the cast were all well up to scratch (even Gaby Roslyn who was not exactly noted for acting before and Michael Grecco off Eastenders) when it came to the singing and dancing and stuff. The band were on top form and even the costumes were pretty sparkly. Not sure why girls in prison for murder should spend all the time in their underwear but I wasn't going to complain. Maybe they did things differently in Chicago in the '30s. On the whole a very enjoyable couple of hours - and we had both forgotten the surprise ending(s) so that made it even better. Trip home was a bit cold on the bus but otherwise OK and that was that for a good old day.

Sunday we didn't venture very far. Spent the morning sorting out the top shed so as to make it sensible to have the "new" freezer we got from Jerry in there. All of which generated several bags of rubbish and a tidy final location. I wonder if we will manage to keep it that way this time. By the time it was finished time was rolling on so we went in to town for a spot of lunch at the Wimpy. I can't help it, but I do like their burgers from time to time. A quick trip to Safeways followed (where funnily enough we bought plenty of frozen food!) and that was the daylight pretty much gone. Joan went to Bingo with Helen in the evening (Helen had a couple of small wins that covered the cost of getting in but nothing dramatic) while I stayed at home and watched my VLM 3 DVD and played some TS2.

Did I mention the VLM before? Virtual Light Machine. Jeff Minter's ever expanding quest to do things other than games with computers and amazing graphics. They evolved from things like Psychedelia on the C64 and Trip A Tron on the Atari ST with the first VLM proper appearing built in to the Atari Jaguar's CD add-on back in the early 90s. Designed to react to music pumped through it and interpret it visually with lots of interesting swirly patterns and the like. With an element of user interactivity and control on top. VLM 2 lives in the Samsung Nuon range of DVD players which never really caught on and don't seem to be available any more. VLM 3 is what he is producing on the way to Unity as part of the process of getting to know the inner workings of the Gamecube. The DVD was produced as an auction item at the last Retrovision and the winner is now making copies available for the cost of a donation tot he Llamasoft Travel fund. So I just had to have a copy.

Seriously groovy stuff. Mind melting in places! I am so looking forward to getting hold of the finished product it just isn't true. And still at least a year to wait for it. So unfair the waiting process. And this incarnation will be totally User driven as there is no way of getting an Audio input in to the cube. Woo.

Yesterday was another Felixstowe based one. We walked in to town to see the Dentist to get the final info on what I should or shouldn't do and the decision was to go for it. So I am. Wish me luck cos I have a feeling I'm going to need it. We also did some shopping and had lunch at Puccinos. Yup, three days off, three lunches out. Well, why not? And I managed to resist the usual Pannini temptations but had my favourite filling in a jacket spud instead. And I was amused to notice in amongst all the hygeine certificates on the wall one for tap dancing. We also saw Ma & Pa (and yes, Richard had made it in to work fine. I assume he is in today but haven't heard otherwise) and I even managed to give the grass the first cut of the year. Although only at level one as it was just too soggy still for major leage scalping.

So here I am back at the desk. Nothing major going on although I do finally have some timetables to play with and ought to be getting on with them. And it is good to see that nothing else changes around here when you have a day off - we have a new trainee among us but no-one has bothered to introduce him to me...

Update - that lot written between 9 and 1030 in odd fits and starts. 1100 - Richard phones to see if I can take him home now as he just feels too zonked by his tablets to go stay awake and focussed. Great. Not a good way to keep a job this. I'm not free though so he is phoning home for a rescue!

Oh well.

Another strange and involving dream last night. Basic premise revolved around Richard getting married (so I knew it wasn't real straight away). It started off with me and Joan getting ready (and again I was getting fully made-up and wearing a rather nice dress. I wonder if my brain is trying to tell me something here) followed by a decidedly eventful journey along Trimley High Road (loads of very deep holes to drive through and around smashing up the car in the process) to get to the venue. Which was our old junior school back in Welwyn Garden City. So that was odd enough to be going along with. The bride to be kept changing race - again odd. And thenthe entertainment was being provided by me, Mr Minter and the VLM crew and most of the rest of the dream revolved around us trying to get set up. And then I woke up so don't know if we were a hit or not. Very disappointing.

Update 2 - he is getting taken home by someone from IT. Another load off my mind. Hope he gets sorted soon.

Had a strange text message when I turned the phone on this morning. It just said I fancy you and gave a number to call for more info. At £1.50 a minute. The most obvious explanation is that "they" have this fab new service that will let you send an anonymous message to the object of your desire and are trying to plug it. The sinister option is that it is just a big scam and they will rake in thousands from people phoning back and listening to some long recorded message or just being put on hold. The final option is of course the most worrying - that someone really does lust after me and is using this as a way of telling me. And given that I know who I've given my phone number to this is very unlikely. Whatever the true source I'm not going to phone it so it will have to remain a mystery unless I start getting more messages.

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