Saturday, May 31, 2003

Hooray, I'm on holiday!

Had a really good evening last night with Lesley and Mick. Joan cooked up a wonderful meal and we all got on just fine. Well, we knew we would but there you go.

No plans to speak of now, just a nice empty week stretching out before us. Might pop in to Ipswich this afternoon to get a birthday present for Mum if Joan feels up to it. She fell asleep in the garden yesterday and got a bit burned. Not nice.

Finished Mountain... this morning and now deciding what to read next. Watch this space.

Friday, May 30, 2003

OK, here's what I intended to say yesterday when the thing refused to work:

Well, the filler changes are now OK so hopefully we can finally get these blasted books signed off. Looking at a delivery date of 13th June so I will have to make sure our storage area gets a final clear out before then. Not helped by stuff turning up unexpectedly of course - today we have received 10,000 Traveline information cards (and 50 holders!) which I will disperse around the town this afternoon.

Had a very relaxed evening yesterday after the foot woman cancelled. Got a Chinese meal in to save cooking and collapsed on the sofa while watching Baz Luhrman's updated Romeo + Juliet. Most excellent. I studied the play for O level English Language and despite 18 years having passed since then without looking at it again I was surprised by how much I recalled. And also by how many references to it there are in everyday life - songs, tv shows, other films or books or plays - it seemed like every couple of minutes someone said a libe that has been reused as a title or whatever. So add a familiar topic to the modern setting with superb camera work and other visuals I was just enthralled. My only complaint was that we had borrowed the dvd so I won't be able to watch it again easily. But I think I will obtain a copy if I see it cheap anywhere - especially now it has been re-released with a bunch of extras and a commentary.

Today all is going quietly here. Sonic is out at a meeting in Bawdsey so we are able to proceed at our own pace. Of course my pace is being dictated by Pindar as I wait for the final versions of the books to approve. I have even started sorting out the junk on my desk in advance of not being here next week. Must be desperate!

Several hours later....

Hmmm, Blogger doesn't seem to be working today so I can't do anything with this other than add to it. Had another nice walk in the sunshine at lunchtime. Managed to restrain myself and not buy anything with my last few pennies before payday tomorrow. Not even an Ice Cream today. Still, we are going shopping when I pick Joan up tonight so will probably end up with a couple of tubs of the stuff. And nothing arrived from Pindar yet either.


So that was yesterday in a nutshell. We did indeed go shopping but by the time we got home I had such a splitting headache that I went straight to bed with some drugs. Got up for an hour or so at 9 then slept through until today. A totally wasted evening when I wanted to help Joan get the house in shape for tonight when we have friends for dinner.

Hey ho. Today I have so far managed to pull a muscle in my neck when putting my toothbrush away so am in a bit of nagging pain fromthat. The insides of the books finally arrived over night so I have checked and approved them but only one cover has made it so far. Back to the waiting then. Hopefully they will all be here and sorted by 3.30 as I want to leave then.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

OK, so I did manage to get out after thinking I wouldn't after yet another PC lock-down crash thing. I just gave up on it eventually and hit the town. A spot of air, a chat with Joan, a look at Kerrang (interview with Iron Maiden and review of the new Metallica album) and had an ice cream. Feel much better now!
Well, I have now reached that stage in the week before a holiday where Friday cannot come soon enough. I am all poised to sign off the first couple of books to finally get this production underway when lo and behold more changes are produced. One to a timetable for Monday and one to a bit of filler text. I could cry, I really could. And then to add to the confusion there are some other changes coming sometime in early July which we don't have full details for but I need to add something in about. What did I do? I'm sure I would remember offending the Gods of timetable production wouldn't I? Quite how I am going to relax next week now with all this lot hanging over me I just don't know. Mind you, surely they can't halt production again while I am off. Can't they? Please?

I'm sure things would be better if the rain was coming down in buckets. But instead it is an absolutely glorious day out there in the world. The Suffolk Show is on and I would much rather be there getting chilled with the sheepies and stuff than sat here trying to translate Mike's timetables for public consumption. Or at home in the garden. Or on a beach. Or anything other than this really. But I am just too damn conscientious and will get these books sorted if it kills me (or I kill someone else!). It wouldn't be so bad if we hadn't just spent all that time tinkering with the names of timing points and such like - I am now having to go through any new file to make sure all the changes are there. Consistency after all these years is nice, but a right royal pain in the arse. It would be even nicer if my PC didn't decide to lock up and take 15 - 20 minutes to come back up two or three times a day at the moment as well. Fingers crossed we do actually get new kit and hurrah for deciding to bring my book with me every day now.

Now for some sun and fresher air than can be found in here...

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Calmed down a bit now. At least there have been no unexpected urgent timetable changes this morning that need to be squeezed in to the books. A couple have turned up but they are not desperate enough for me to hold production up any longer. Heck, they haven't even chosen their own start dates and will be waiting for the Traffic Comissioner to do that for them, so I can hardly put stuff in I don't have full information on.

Finally got my P&R newsletter approved (after I've made a copule of changes) so that can go out shortly. Woo hoo. Another job done and dusted. I will of course make sure that gets saved for a day or two as the diary is very empty for this week and I don't want to leave myself with nothing to do later on. Mind you, I'm sure I could be more productive if Charles wasn't chairman of the social club bar. He is sitting here at the moment ringing around people to cover shifts while he is on holiday and I am getting a bit fed up of hearing the same thing over and over again.

Haven't mentioned it up to now, but yes we have started watching Big Brother again. Right from the start this time. A reasonable bunch of people it would seem with nothing standing out as far as any of them are concerned to make us want to get rid of anyone as yet. We will have to see how the weeks progress. Still not quite sure what makes the show such compelling viewing but there you go.

Still not got any definitive plans for what we will be doing next week on our holiday. Never managed to book any form of break away from home but we will still manage to relax I hope. It would be just our luck to have booked up to get to Paris though as it seems that most of France is about to go on strike.
Instead of the usual driving to pick Joan up last night (well, yesterday afternoon really as the shop did shut at 3) I walked in for a change. This enabled us to walk home along the beach rogether with an ice cream. All very nice but I won't be doing it again unless Joan specifically asks me to as even after a short day she was rather tired by the time we got in. So was I (!) and we ended up snoozing for nearly two hours before dinner. Add to that a full nights sleep and you would think we would be feeling chipper and dandy this morning, but no. We were both wandering about like zombies.

I was brought to life and then annoyed by the radio though. Not the radio itself you understand just what they were saying on it. Today is of course theoretically the first day of construction at Martlesham P&R so they did a little piece on it. First interviewing a Labour councillor who although supportive of the scheme was very woolly in the things he was saying. Not a very good defender of some of the more "touchy" issues we have had to overcome to get the thing going. And then a few minutes later one of the Conservatives phoned up to basically slag the whole thing off, to the point of claiming the existing sites weren't succesful etc. Fair got my blood boiling. Luckily Mark Murphy lived up to the award he just won for news presenter of the year and was able to turn most of it around - after all it was only last week they asked people to phone in and say what they thought of buses in Suffolk. Nearly all the calls they had praised P&R to the skies and they were so surprised by this that they called here for collaboration. I ended up going on air to confirm we do our best and the praise was justified (how did I forget to write that on here before? Simon Barnett, radio star!). I do sometimes wish we could get the politicians out of the loop, but then I guess we wouldn't be a council!

And already this morning the Police have been on in a tizzy that we might be blocking roads this week when the Suffolk Show is on. As if we would be that stupid!

Monday, May 26, 2003

So, another bank holiday monday. Another day where Simon is sat at the keyboard instead of being out in the sun shine. Not my fault this time though as the garden is currently full of thick and very smelly smoke rising from next door but one where they seem to be burning old socks or something. So I can't sit out on one of our nice chairs that I've just extracted from the shed and cleaned the winter off of. Can't even hang the washing out. So I will sit here and waffle, have a bit of lunch and hopefully by then he will have run out of things to incinerate so I can have at least half an hour before it is time to get Joan. Heck, I have even got my shorts on for the first time this year so he'd better stop at some point.

Friday turned out to not be the relaxing afternoon easing into the long weekend I planned. Just as I was begining to think all was finally sorted with the area books and I could maybe scoot off early the phone rang. Charles had been up to Norwich with Sonic and they had called in to see First Eastern Counties before leaving. Who had given them copies of some more changes they are making. So naturally Chaz phoned to let me know. Luckily we already had copies in the office that had been posted so I was able to do some frantic work to get them sorted out. So at least when Sonic did come wandering in (why is he still so keen? Anyone else would have taken the chance for an early finish) I had the satisfaction of being able to tell him the stuff was already with Pindar and would be in the books. But that is it for changes now. No more. Or we'll never get the damn things delivered (after all, the cover date was meant to be today!).

Anyway, not much excitement for me this weekend what with Joan being at work and all. Saturday I had a walk in to town in the morning which was nice for the exercise and then had a lazy afternoon. We did watch the Eurovision Song Contest though in the evening and I can't say I'm surprised that our entry scored nothing. Some are saying it is a response to Tony Blair throwing us into the USA's war on Iraq but I think a lot of it must also come down to the song itself being pretty dire and the girl not being able to sing.

Yesterday I did some thrilling ironing while Richard recorded some stuff off the computer. I thought I would be free of that now he has his own but it seems not. Turns out his hard drive can actually be heard on the recordings which does not bode well for me getting peaceful weekends. OK, so partly I bring it on myself by feeling a bit sorry for him and lonely some days when Joan is working but...

Feeling generally OK with things these days now I am clear of the tablets. At least I presume they are all gone from the system now. I do tend to get a bit emotional at times - I can often feel myself about to go when watching tv and sad stuff happens - but I can live with that. Just means I'm human after all.

Oh well, time for a bite to eat, a quick look at the forums then hopefully some reading in the sun.