Thursday, January 29, 2004

Still snowy... There was an extra load came fluttering down out of the sky during the evening and that was still wafting when we went to bed. Must have stopped sometime after that though and I've not seen any falling at all today. Which is nice. But the gritters have been working overtime - they've done five priority one runs in the last 48 hours at £15,000 a run according to my spies. Hopefully things will start warming up again from tomorrow - Joan has the weekend off so it would be nice to be able to get out of the house.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Oooooh, snow's come again. No more than we had back in December down this end of the county but quite a bit more the further west and north you go apparently. My only disruption was choosing to come in via Martlesham Park & Ride rather than London Road because I wanted to see what it looked like in the snow! So I took a few pictures and will get them up on the web sometime. But the journey in from there was grindingly slow, so I didn't arrive here until 9-07 instead of the usual 8-40 ish from the same time departure at London Road. Oh well, I'm several hours up on my Flexi-time so I guess one day won't kill me.

Yesterday's course on Influencing People/Non-Verbal Communication ws interesting, but I'm not sure how much of it will end up being useful. The big problem being it only really giving an overview and generalities. I guess I could look up some more in depth stuff if I find the need later in the year. We shall just have to see how it goes.

Not much else going on. Have now finished all the short stories in the Conan Doyle book and am about to embark on the first novella - The Lost World. Should be interesting to spot the differences made by the BBC when they dramatised it for Christmas a couple of years ago.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Oh crivens, where does the time go to? Things have just been really busy and hectic with lots going an and stuff. Plus when I might have had time spare to waffle on here I've been lazy or done something else instead. So I'm not going to attempt a day by day reconstruction of the time since last entry, merely list a few selected highlights and lowlights...

Return Of The King was magnificent. Although obviously condensed to fit a cinema-friendly running time (but still clocking in at 3 hrs 20 mins) so roll on the extended DVD. Mind you, Richard and I are still watching our way through the extra features from the first one, so there's plenty to keep LOTR fresh in my mind between now and then even without re-reading the books.

Workwise things have been plodding along pretty much as normal. We now know where we will be sitting in Endeavour House for definite. Can't say I'm overly thrilled with the layout - cramped desks, rows of four opposite another row of four rather than nice clusters, me in themiddle of a row so nowhere near a window - especially now I've seen the furniture samples. But there isn't actually anything we can do about it, so will just have to grit the teeth and get on with the new regime. Still busy throwing stuff away left right and centre. Every day sees another sackload carted off, but the piles around the office don't seem to be getting any smaller. Really not sure how we will squeeze everything in. But then as I'm sharing my space with Matt the trainee who only has about three folders so far I might be able to get away with sneaking in a bit more than my proper share.

Have also been on basic risk assessment training which was frustrating in the extreme. It didn't really clarify if SCC has a consistent policy or anything. This week I have another two courses - influencing people tomorrow and construction guidelines on Friday. Both a better option than sitting at the desk I'm sure!

Have also managed to polish off two books and start a third since I last wrote on here.

First the latest Discworld book from Terry Pratchett to hit paperback - Night Watch - which was up to the usual standard. Hard to find anything new to say about TP's stuff as it is so consistenly brilliant. I guess the main thing this one did was to set a time-reference for some of the earlier books in the series, as they now have a 30 year window in which they have to have taken place. Somedays I wish I could justify buying the hardbacks when they come out, as I do hate having to wait for the latest tales, but at least if he dropped dead tomorrow I would still have two more to read...

Next came The Book On The Book Shelf by Henry Petroski which was possibly the most interesting book I have ever read. Details both the history of how books developed from scrolls and how book shelves and library stacks came about. Absolutely fascinating stuff and makes me want to spend the week re-arranging all the shelves at home again. It has also reinforced the decision I made back in 1997 to stick a slip of paper with the date I finish it in the front of every book I read (well, of those I own anyway, not much point with loans!) so I would know how often I re-read things. The frequency of reads for a given book will of course always get longer and longer as the number of alternatives grows, but it still surprises me when I do re-read something to find how much time has elapsed. I wish I'd started it years before. And I am now in the process (which will take all year, for obvious reasons) of replacing all the old scraps in the books with the pages from this year's "page-a-day" calender. Which is on the subject of forgotten English so has loads more fascinating reading that I didn't want to end up just throwing away.

So now I am wading through a collection of short stories and novellas by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle entitled Tales of Mystery and Terror. Can't say I've noticed much of the latter as yet. Not properly read any of his stuff before so I thought it was time I gave it a go. Interesting, but I'm not sure I'm enjoying the Victorian style all that much. Might take a break before I reach the end
and return to them later.