Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Busy, busy as always.

Friday I managed to stay in the office all day rather than having meetings and stuff so was able to write up the ATCO minutes and do a bit more target preparatory work. Then it was the weekend (hoorah) and I went home early. (Well, I am now over 20 hours up on Flexi time, and we are only supposed to go to a maximum of 16). Friday Night we watched Josie And The Pussycats which was actually quite funny. A very good send up on the ideas of product placement (which did of course enable loads of that within the film) and some good music. Plus Alan Cumming is always reliable as a bad guy.

Saturday we went down to Colchester and got the stitches out then stopped at Flatford on the way up for a nice picnic lunch by the river. Not been there properly before (i.e. Joan had never been and I'd merely delivered books to the tourist information centre!) so that was very interesting to see the real places made famous in the works of one John Constable. I like a nice old building to start with, and I can certainly see how plenty of artists have been inspired by the location. We then took a leisurely drive home through some pretty bits of south Suffolk before doing a nice load of shopping at Tesco.

Sunday was a lazy day mainly spent sitting around with book(s) in hand. Joan did go out to the Felixstowe Fuschia show in the afternoon (and won a nice hanging basket in the raffle) while I popped in to Argos for some shopping we needed. Then watched Shallow Hal which was also gently amusing (but I can't see the appeal of Gwyneth Paltrow).

Monday back to work with a bang and a meeting with the supplier for stop announcement kit on the new Park & Ride buses. They will be shouting out the names of stops as they go past them which could be interesting. We are thinking of having a competition to find the "Voice of Park & Ride". The meeting then involved us walking round town with the guy taking GPS readings at all the stops and then driving up to the site to capture that one. Very hot and sticky by the time we got back here. Still, better than sitting at the desk I suppose (plus we did learn that Ipswich Buses are having trouble with people smashing their buses up overnight at the weekends - and that the security guards have been joining in rather than trying to stop them). In the afternoon I gave my small group New Routes presentation which went quite well with plenty of feedback which we will hopefully be able to act on. Plus we also got the news that Chris Evans is leaving us to go and be an ambulance driver for the special care baby unit at Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge. Good luck to him, no doubt there will be other movements in the coming months of things don't change!

Yesterday was more New Routes in a meeting with the people looking after the Libraries equivalent which was quite informative, although I'm not sure how much we will really be able to share with them. Then another 1 to 1 with Sonic where he seemed pretty pleased with how I'm doing. And today I have been at Martlesham P&R this morning for the second operations group meeting.

SO, in that time also plenty of reading been done. First of I finished Park And Ride and have to say it was very interesting, even if P&R as such wasn't mentioned! I'm obviously just at the right age and from the right background to relate to what Mirandaw Sawyer was going on about. Although I do wonder if the cultural references will make sense if I go back to re-read the book in 10 years or so. Watch this space!

Followed that with The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill. The original true tale on which the film was based, as written by someone who was there. Read this many times over the years as Ma & PA have a copy, but this time I bought my own as it was cheap! OK, so it was missing the photos from the edition I'm used to, but did have a preface and introduction that were new to me so win some, lose some. Still an absolutely staggering tale of courage and acheivement under terrible circumstances. And no idea of how/if I would manage in such a situation.

Then I had a quick (and I do mean quick as I started it with breakfast yesterday and finished before bedtime) fiction interlude with the next Eric Thompson Magic Roundabout book - The Adventures of Ermintrude. Funny.

Have now started Civil Engineering 1839-1889: A Photographic History by Mike Chrimes which looks fascinating and has loads of pictures of bridges and things which I do like. All the more interesting now I've picked up a bit of civil knowledge through buildong the P&R sites - although not enough to provoke a career change!