Friday, December 19, 2003

Grrrrr. Left office at 5pm. Finally got home at ten past seven. Was all going fine until I got up to Park & Ride where I made the mistake of popping in to the office for a quick chat. Turned to the cctv moitor just in time to see someone drive into the exit blocker. So that was another hour and a half of work claimed while I helped in the sorting out - directing traffic and stuff. Double checked the tape before going home and she definitely went through while the light was red and the blocker was rising. So no liability for us - all her own fault. Got to feel sorry for the woman as it can't be nice, but how hard is it really to look for green before driving on?

Finished the customs book - very good. And the next I decided to go for is another re-read. The Redemption Of Althalus from David & Leigh Eddings. Only been three years since I first read that one, but still not remembering more than the basic details. A good untaxing read, which is just what I need at this time of year.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Work Christmas dinner yesterday went very well. Down to the Lord Nelson for the third year running and once again superb food and good service. Sonic had organised certificates for assorted end of year awards which went down OK apart from a few grumpy sods who refused to play ball. Management paid for the drinks and virtually instructed us not to go back to work for the rest of the afternoon. OK, so I did along with most of the rest of us, but the thought was definitely there.

Been pretty quiet again today and expecting more of the same tomorrow. Although it seems Joan has bought a new fish tank so we will no doubt spend most of this evening sorting that out. Oooh, the thrills.

Didn't mention the recent entertainment highlights last time so here they are now. As well as buying a new VCR we have watched A Knight's Tale which was fun and suitably daft for spending a couple of hours with. Not exactly much in the way of historical accuracy but then we weren't expecting any. And I quite liked having a totally inapropriate (by normal standards) rock soundtrack rather than the usual orchestral stuff. Had the feet tapping.

Also over the weekend I re-read Terry Pratchett's Hogfather as I needed a lighter bit of fiction than the Gap stuff and wanted something Christmassy. Or at least the Discworld version of. Enjoyed it much more than the first time I read it, but then that was when I was off work with depression for the first time back in 1998. Am now nearly finished with The Duty Men by Peter Gillman & Paul Hamman which is actually the book of a late '80s BBC series about Customs & Excise. Fascinating stuff - mainly a bit of history tied in with a number of detailled case studies that would have been the episodes on TV. I'd love to see an updated version (like, how have the figures for drug seizures changed etc) so might just look out for stuff on the subject in the New Year. Expect to finish that one on the bus home tonight or later this evening but not sure what to go for next...

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Oooh, where was I? Oh yes, on the way to Bury St Edmunds with Joan. It was very foggy in places but we got there and back safe and sound. Her review went OK - and then Chris told her he wanted her to cut her hours back again as he could see she was getting stressed out once more. So wile we are still waiting for confirmation of what she will actually be doing, we think she will be going down to four days a week for a while. Hopefully this will also co-incide with some help when she is off so that she doesn't have the work to do on the days she is there and also the sorting out of Marion. Matt is also less than happy with her at the moment and made that clear to Chris too.

Then Weds night was the Mexican meal with Sonic & team. Which also went well. Our first meetings with Mrs Sonic and Miss Matt, a very convivial atmosphere and I enjoyed the food too. Although I didn't go for anything particularly spicy and there was far too much of it. No-one finished their meal. I think if we go there again we will not bother with starters.

Thursday was my guest appearance in the office. Stayed in plodding away at P&R stuff rather than going out in the van I had booked. Then again, it was absolutely chucking it down most of the day which I felt was a good enough excuse to stay in.

Friday at home again. Went to see Kirstie the hygenist in the afternoon and she seemed reasonably pleased with the results of all the trips to Colchester. Still managed to find a few things to moan about, but then a trip to the dentist wouldn't be right without getting complained at. And I know I should probably do a bit more teeth cleaning than I manage some days - especially after all the effort, pain and expense - but it does get a bit tedious some nights. Also did some more Christmas shopping while I was in town, so Joan should be getting some nice surprises next week. And got further soaked in the continuing rain.

Sat & Sun were both days of work for Joan and pottering about the house for me. Got some of the decorations up (Outside and window lights, the tree, some other fripperies) and also wrapped all the presents I've got for Joan so far as we don't know what she's working between now and Christmas/her birthday so I thought I ought to take the chance when she was out. Also finally got round to tidying up some of the numerous cables trailling across the lounge.

Saturday night we went along to Ma & Pa's for dinner as Grandma was up. Very nice meal and also very nice and unexpected Christmas present from Grandma. Which has gone straight in the bank towards a holiday. Although saying that we have had to buy a new video recorder as the old one just died in the sound department. Why do these things always pack up at Christmas time?

So now I'm back at work for a whole week before a two day one next week. Nothing else to add for now.